Well, top marks to the osteopath and to the NHS physio I have just started seeing (who happens to be a friend from church). I am now considerably more mobile than I was a fortnight ago, and also in hardly any pain. I was even able to walk to the hospital and back for my physio appointment this morning (a good 2 mile round trip)! And all this is despite having spent the last two days cleaning the house!
Our house is now fully double glazed. It took the workmen 7 working days – I can’t believe they did everything so quickly and with so little damage to the inside of the house. It is definitely warmer in here now, and the heat is staying in the house instead of going straight out the windows! Oh, and everything looks cleaner and brighter (clean windows inside and out!), the new white plastic window frames will be much easier to clean and will never need painting. Hurrah!
Well, I am HUGE! Technically my bump is exactly the right size for my dates, but everyone keeps commenting on how big I am, and whenever I look in the mirror I am completely taken aback. (I guess all that eating during the first 4 months may have had something to do with this! I have put on about 13 kilos/ 28 lbs in total)
Finding clothes to wear is a challenge. I’ve been blessed to receive some hand-me-downs, and I’ve bought several new items, but a lot of items in the shops seem to be very low cut on top. Most maternity collections do not have any skirts in them this winter (most have short dresses), and nowhere I’ve looked at has any long skirts. Obviously the answer is to make my own clothes (though fabric is expensive here), but I haven’t started on the curtains for the nursery yet, and, frankly, curtain making is stretching the current limits of my sewing ability. Footwear is also being a challenge – I’ve had to go up a shoe size. I have wide feet anyway and tend to go for sensible, comfortable shoes, but it got to the stage a few weeks ago when I had to buy a new pair of larger shoes or spend the rest of the pregnancy wearing walking boots/ going barefoot!
My carpal tunnel syndrome is bad – my hands and wrists are very swollen and my palms painful when I use my hands. However, this pales into insignificance beside the pelvic pain I’ve been suffering from. I’ve been in some measure of pain on one side for the past 3+ weeks now, originally I assumed I’d pulled a muscle, but early last week it got so bad I could hardly move around the house at all. The doctor has referred me for physiotherapy (and I’ve just got an appointment for that for tomorrow), and I’ve been to see an osteopath privately. Seeing the osteopath certainly helped, helped a lot – although in some discomfort still (discomfort not excrutiating pain) I am so much more mobile. This time last week I could barely move; this morning I walked to my ante-natal class and back, a distance of around 2 miles. The osteopath reckons she can help with the carpal tunnel syndrome as well, and has given me some exercises to do.
I’m still anaemic, and have just been given a new batch of iron supplements to take, my indigestion has been getting better though.
All this probably makes pregnancy sound terrible, but I certainly don’t feel that way about it. My bump may seem huge (to me and to everyone else), but I’m astounded by how little it actually limits my movement. I feel delighted every time I feel the baby move. I am so grateful that God has made us part of His work of creation through this miracle.
Workmen arrived this morning and started replacing our windows. We are getting double-glazing! I am so happy. Also rather cold as the wind whistles through the windowless rooms while they work. We didn’t know they were coming today until the end of last week, so it is all happening sooner than we expected at this stage. (Actually, my beloved husband found out on Friday that they were starting work today, but didn’t tell me until Saturday night. We had just had good news about the Church heating and our window situation just kinda slipped his mind.) The workmen think they will have the job finished in about a week – this is extra good news as I’d assumed it would take much longer. The disruption is huge while this is going on (we are having to tie the dog up to furniture and the cat is hiding under the duvet), but it will be fantastic to get it all over and done with. I’m looking forward to a much warmer house when the work is finished. This is our 5th winter in the house and we can rarely get the living room over 15 degrees Centigrade at this time of year (actually it rarely gets up to that temperature even), the first year when one of the radiators in there wasn’t working properly I considered contacting the local funeral director to offer use of the room as a temporary mortuary! We are so grateful that the diocese has found the money in its budget to reglaze us this year, even more grateful that the work will be done before the baby arrives. As heating costs continue to rise it will be great to be able to retain a bit more of the heat we put into the house.
When the chaps arrived to start work I was busy loading my shopping trolley in Sainsbury’s. I was getting close to finishing, about to hit the freezer aisle, when the alarms went off and we were evacuated. Thankfully, they were letting people into the carpark so I was able to wait in the car for a while before I decided that I might as well come home as clearly we weren’t going to get back in to the shop for quite some time. It is an inconvenience, but we have food at home so we aren’t exactly going to starve! I’ve just placed an order online to be delivered later this week instead of trying to go back and I’ve been able to get a few more heavy items than I could have managed in store on my own (a month’s supply of cat litter, for example!) – so it is not all bad!
We had a lovely long weekend on Exmoor. The cottage was charming – thick old stone walls, but with all mod cons. The weather was grey, and we spent quite a bit of our time relaxing in front of the wood burner.
Simon getting the fire going.
The view from the bedroom window. (A bit less built up than London!)
From the road near the cottage. Where the trees are in the middle of the photo there is considerably more of a dip than than it seems – the cottage is down there.
We relished the peace and quiet, and the time being together. This short break was a blessing. I have to admit that I am glad to be back home and to get back to the usual routine, though!
We had a lovely time in Bruges (Belgium). Here is a little taste:
(Simon is actually grabbing his spoon not the bill!)
We had a lovely boat trip on the canals (and again in Ghent), did plenty of walking around sightseeing, finally got to see the art collection at the Groeninge Museum in Bruges, but did not climb the 366 steps to the top of the bell tower (that is the tower in the photo above)!
We had a nightmare journey back, however. Eurostar had double booked our seats (and also those of several elderly people). No seats on a 2 hour 20 minute journey that turned into a 2 hour 40 minute journey. Train manager was nowhere to be found. I have written to complain – will let you know if and when I hear anything back.
I have my first antenatal class this morning and then we are off on holiday again. This time we are going for a long weekend to a cottage on Exmoor, Somerset. Weather forecast is foggy and damp, so it might be a lot of reading by the wood-burning stove!
Well, the re-painting works have come to a grinding halt. Not because of the size of the bump (as Sharon foresaw and I feared), but because of these:
Apparently all the pain and swelling (and the numbness at night) I’ve been suffering with in my hands is pregnancy-related carpal tunnel syndrome. So now I have to sleep with wrist splints on, and I am also to wear them when my hands are at rest during the day. I am hoping that after a few nights of wearing the splints I might be in less pain during the day and might be able to get back to doing a bit more again (like the painting, say). Simon has said he will finish off the painting when he has a couple of days off after Christmas.
In the meantime, we are off on holiday! We are going to Bruges (Belgium) for 4 days, coming back on Saturday night. We have been before, both separately and together, and it is a charming place and quite easy to get around on foot. I’m looking forward to those Belgian chocolates!
I said it was cold – as we were going to bed last night we realised it was snowing. Well, mainly it was a sleety rain, but there were definite snow flakes in there. It didn’t settle, which I am glad about, and we have been having another bright but cold day today.
The dog threw up in the study yesterday, and the smell has been really, really, bad. Simon and I have scrubbed the carpet, I’ve steam cleaned the carpet, we have had the window open, used enough air freshener for that alone to make us feel ill, and still the smell lingers. It hasn’t just lingered in the study either, it has pervaded the entire house. In the recesses of my memory I seemed to have something about bicarbonate of soda helping in these situations. I did a google search (I am really loving the internet at the moment) and came up with instructions to make the bicarb into a thick paste with some water and rub it into the area (you then hoover it out when it is all dry and its work is done). I didn’t have a lot of bicarb in the cupboard but the little I had has worked its magic – we have actually been able to use the study with window and door shut. Amazing. Simple, cheap and effective.
The oven stop working on Sunday as I was heating it to roast our beef. I was not a happy bunny. We have a small top oven (with grill) which is uneconomical but did cook the beef, and I fried the potatoes so all was not lost. We had to say goodbye to the idea of Yorkshire pudding, though. Ironically, I had been feeling so tired that I was threatening everyone with pasta for dinner instead of a roast. Clearly the oven felt much the same as me. So no cakes, no home-made bread. I feel bereft. The crockpot is putting in overtime though – leak and potato soup for lunch, and now a steamed pudding cooking in there for dessert this evening. I am pretty certain that the oven element needs replacing. I know I can order a spare through the manufacturer’s website, I just need to work out whether this is something I can replace myself or whether I need an engineer/electrician (and how much that will set us back).
We had some good news this morning, though. We had a letter through to say that the diocese has approved a quote to replace our windows. We are going to have new windows. New, double-glazed windows. Double-glazed windows that don’t have rotting frames. I danced for joy in the hallway. That will save money on our heating bills, not to mention making the house warmer. And safer. And quieter. Yippee. Praise the Lord! Work can start whenever the company can do it. I am so grateful.