Mother Fluker

A Migrant Mother's Musings

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

29 weeks.

In other words, 9 weeks to go before Dr T gets the carving knife out. Had my 29 week check-up today, a visit only remarkable in the fact that both Dr T and I were suffering from sciatica. I told him he should be grateful he didn't have to try pushing a stroller with it.

Have been recommended a good physiotherapist, but am not sure when I'll be able to get up there - certainly not before next week. Growl. Will also have to stop lifting H so much as that is not helping matters. Though we have swimming tomorrow which is a rather unavoidable wrestling match, even given the flotation aspect of the water (actually it's primarily displacement rather than flotation given my current shape).

Anyway, baby scanned fine, head down in the pelvis and all looking boringly normal apparently. Have been given my time to be at the hospital - 6am on June 2nd, to prep for a 9.30 operation. Baby will be born approx 9.40am. It feels really good to know the date and time in advance (assuming of course that things don't happen early). I'm glad I don't know the sex though - that'll be enough of a surprise either way.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


D told me last week that one of the receptionists at work keeps a kangaroo under the desk. Now, good though he is at winding me up, and gullible enough as I usually am to fall for his stories, I wasn't having a bar of that one.

But he persisted with unusual tenacity and even told me that Caroline had invited H along to pet it and feed it. So this morning we duly turned up at the airport to see Bob, a year-old little orphan joey who was ensconced in a box of blankets at the International Terminal reception desk.

H smothered Bob with kisses, which must have been rather alarming. Nevertheless Bob handled the situation with aplomb. Bob is released into the big wide world next week, the 10th time Caroline has had to let a baby go in this way. Amazing.

Or then again...

...there's nothing like writing about the weather to make it change. We had rain yesterday for the first time in weeks. And the temperature today is a chilly max 20 degrees! Outrageous. Shiver, shiver.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Endless Summer

Yet another day with temperatures in the mid thirties, blue sky and gentle breeze. A tad on the hot side for someone with 40% extra blood in her veins, but hey, I am not complaining. Especially after talking with friends and family in the UK who are in the throes of the coldest spring for over 20 years. Snow, sleet and ice for them this late in March seems a little unfair. Recently I have been checking out a couple of webcams overlooking Buchanan St in Glasgow, and boy, does that make me feel that emigrating was the right decision!

Being predominantly of southern English extraction, even living approximately half my life in Scotland did nothing to harden me against the cold and damp, and I have always felt the cold to more of an extent than other people. Probably my inadequate circulation. Actually the coldest winters I ever spent were in Norfolk, Kent (in an unheated student house a stone's throw from the North Sea), and in southern France, so the Scotland theory has some major exceptions. But I think it is the darkness in Scotland that is the hardest to bear. Wonderfully light on summer evenings, but those Decembers/Januaries when the streetlights stay on all day and you can feel your bones going soft are just too, too hard.

Perth apparently has the best city climate in the Southern Hemisphere. Summer here this year was late, but it's certainly here now. And soon we have "Autumn", when a small proportion of trees drop their leaves and temperatures dip to the low twenties. I never get bored of the sunshine. I never wish for a rainy day. Couldn't think of anywhere better to live at this point in my life, for sure.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Things you thought you would never hear your husband say.

This morning as he was leaving for work, D said to me "That Cracker one is really good. Though it's not as good as Fifi. Slugsy is a brilliant character".

I stared at him blankly for a moment before I realised that he was referring to H's now-extensive collection of DVDs, one of which is usually playing at some point during the early morning chaos chez the Flukers. Hearing him comment so incisively on Boohbah and Fifi Flowertot was kind of freaky. After almost 18 years together, 16 of which were child-free, we frequently surprise each other in our new roles.

Seriously though, what is it with Boohbah? The first time I ever saw it was during a nasty hangover on New Year's Day. I was prostrate on the sofa and had shoved on a random DVD that had appeared in H's pile of Christmas presents. It's without a doubt the most bizarre thing I have watched on screen in many years and in my fragile state I have to say I found it rather disturbing. For the uninitiated, a giant ball of light whizzes around the world while five luridly coloured furry blobs perform dances to squeaky music. Watching the dances gave me unpleasant flashbacks to my postnatal aerobics classes. H seems completely hypnotised by it, so it has remained in the top 5 "God-help-me-I-need-5-minutes-to-do-something" resource list. But it is seriously weird, and I am sure that selective urine-testing of its creators would reveal definite illegal activity.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tim Tam World

Another check-up with the illustrious Dr Turner. As usual I was in his rooms for a total of 400 seconds during which time he reviewed my notes, did an ultrasound, confirmed the Carving-Knife date and, horror of horrors, told me not to eat so much.

I have put on a shocking 4kg in 5 weeks, and realise that this goes totally against my so-called determined stance not to put on as much weight as last time, a total of 28 kilos which took me bloody ages to shift off again. I'm five foot ten, so I don't look impossibly out of proportion, but I do look about 2 months more pregnant than I really am. My rings and shoes no longer fit, and I feel disgustingly bloated. It's all self-inflicted as I've had a mad phase on those cursed Tim Tams. Damn you Arnotts for your "Dangerous Liaisons" range, with the truffle ones, the caramel ones, and the double coat chocolate ones.

However, so in awe of Dr Turner am I that not a single Tim Tam has passed my lips since his warning. (He once told me during the last pregnancy that he would be "after me with a big stick" if I did not take my iron supplement. My God, the image of him coming after me armed with even a paperclip would be sufficient threat).

Anyway, the baby is fine, it appears, though it has a large stomach. On a good pasture, like its mother.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Teething, etc.

Ohhhhhhh, sllleeeeeeeeeeep. Last night the H awoke more than a dozen times. I tried everything I could think of bar parcel-taping his mouth shut and plugging my ears with playdough. Think it's the eye teeth - there are four hard white lumps straining against the gums and he is dribbling for the nation. Poor little thing.

Feel like a wet rag today. I am getting much too old for this.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

At last

At last, we are finally in our own home, and thank God everything went a whole pile more smoothly this time than the last three times I have moved.

The last time I moved, I was coming out from Scotland to Australia, was 6 months pregnant and was completely exhausted from having to organise everything at the Scotland end (flat refurnishing and redecoration, flat rental, shipping of worldly goods), plus the emotional trauma of farewells to family and friends.

The time before that was a logistical disaster, with the vendors not vacating the flat we were supposed to be moving into, the taxi failing to turn up to take me to the airport to fly down south to rendezvous with D, me injuring my eye and ending up in hospital, the central heating boiler breaking down in sub-zero temperatures, the cowboy plumber who turned up to repair it managing to electrocute himself, and a string of other bizarre and distressing obstacles.

The time before that we moved from a dodgy rental into our own first home, and the rental owner's wide-boy boyfriend was a real nasty piece of work. We had discovered that despite us paying the rent faithfully on time every month, they had not bothered to use that cash to pay the mortgage, and the building society were in the process of repossessing the house we lived in. The building society had not been informed that the property was rented out, and due to a loophole of UK law, they were entitled to evict us from the property. Stress city. We got out just in time, but the Dodgy Owners never gave us back our deposit, big surprise. Plus on the hottest day of the year, D broke down transporting a whole pile of our stuff on the M40 in a hired van, and the AA never turned up until I called them for the sixth time in hysterics and told them my father-in-law had a heart condition so they had better pull their finger out.

Anyway, this time everything went amazingly well. I still can't believe it. And despite a string of 37 degree plus days, the actual day we shifted was a pleasant 25 degrees, meaning that my pregnant-non-lifting duty of sitting in the shade with a clipboard ticking lists and barking instructions was perfectly doable. The only hiccup was the vendors' bankers not showing up for the settlement meeting, but that only delayed matters very slightly. And now we are finally in our new pad, surrounded by cardboard, awash with relief.