Archive for July, 2012
Naming baby number 1 was a relatively easy business – a couple of years before L was born, friends of ours had a baby girl and we fell in love with the name they chose for her, and jokingly asked if we could steal it if we ever had a girl, they agreed and when L was born it was natural that she had that name. We had a boys name that we liked a lot too.
Since then we have moved from France to England and had fun with L’s name as it has an accent on it and is frequently mispronounced here, which has made choosing a name for baby number 2 that much harder.
As our surname is a very French one it would be weird to give our children very English-sounding names, but we need a name that won’t confuse the English, that they’ll be able to pronounce and that won’t cause the poor child to be teased at school. Not an easy task! We also want something that is not too common, but not too weird either.
B and I recently went on a babymooning holiday to have some couple time before baby number 2 arrives and I bought this book to take with us. I told B strictly before we went “we can’t come home until we’ve chosen our baby names!”
Well we had a funny evening or two leafing through the book, with B making suggestions such as Arthur (pronounced Ah-ture in French) and me liking Killian until I wrote it down and decided I didn’t like the idea of my child’s name starting with “kill”. But I think what made us laugh the most was the idea of naming our baby “Gaylord” which, although I’ve never come across it in France, was one of the suggested names in the book. I’m not sure any son of ours would appreciate being called Gaylord and then being put through the English school system!
We have now fortunately chosen our boy and girl names (we don’t want to know the baby’s sex) and are just waiting for them to grow on us….only 3 more months to go to see if they fit!
I am delighted to be pregnant with child number 2, but this is actually my third pregnancy. I am one of the many, many women who has suffered from a miscarriage. According to the NHS one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage and around three quarters of those miscarriages occur during the first trimester (first 12 weeks of pregnancy). I am one of those statistics.
My first pregnancy was in July 2005 and I got pregnant the first month we started trying. I was delighted. A few days after we found out B and I went off on holiday to the French Alps with my parents, his mum and his gran, so we excitedly told them our news that first night, despite it being really early days. It was great fun as we talked about this new grandchild and great-grandchild and I have such happy memories of those first few days of the holiday.
Then mid holiday we went on a day trip over the border to Switzerland and after lunch I noticed some bleeding, not just spotting either. To cut a long, very sad story short the next day (the 14th July – France’s national holiday!) it was confirmed that I had “spontaneously aborted” the baby. I was only about 5 weeks pregnant at the time, but the grief, guilt and sadness I felt was overwhelming.
I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like for those miscarrying later on and anyone who has ever gone through a miscarriage has my full sympathy.
Despite reading up on miscarriages, in particular early miscarriages, and seeing that they happen in general through no fault of the mother, and are caused by a foetus that wouldn’t have been viable, I still couldn’t help blaming myself. What had I done wrong? What should I have done differently? And would I be able to carry a baby to term?
Despite my gynaecologist checking me out and reassuring me that everything seemed in perfect working order, I couldn’t help worrying if my next pregnancy would be ok.
After getting pregnant in month 1, it took us a further 8 months to conceive L, during which time so many of our friends and acquaintances were announcing pregnancies that poor B ended up clearing up my sobbing messes time after time.
We were over the moon when we found out I was finally pregnant again, but I was unable to enjoy that pregnancy. Every week took me closer to this baby being viable and I remember being ridiculously relieved when I reached 24 weeks and I was told that if I happened to give birth now the likelihood was that the baby would survive. Instead of thinking “wow, that’s really too early for a baby to be born” all I could think was “my baby is viable”!
I felt such a great responsibility towards my unborn baby – I didn’t have one sip of alcohol, I stopped doing sport (it had been suggested by a certain someone that walking – not hiking, just walking – in the Alps had caused my miscarriage), I was overly strict with myself about what I ate, and I basically didn’t relax for around 40 weeks!
Funnily enough once L was born and she was no longer just my responsibility I completely chilled out, she slept in her own room as soon as we brought her home from the hospital, and I never worried overly about her, in complete contrast to when I was pregnant with her.
Pregnancy number 2 couldn’t be more different – as I know I have carried a healthy pregnancy to term and that I now have a very healthy 5 year old to show for it I feel completely relaxed about this pregnancy and my miscarriage risks (hopefully I am now past the major ones as I will be 25 weeks tomorrow). Which is crazy really when you think I am now 36 (I was 30 for my pregnancy with L) so my miscarriage risks are probably higher.
I wonder if I am alone in feeling this way? Have any of you had miscarriages and then had subsequent stressful pregnancies through fear of further miscarriage?
I felt incredibly lonely when I miscarried as I didn’t know anyone who had also had a miscarriage, but I’m guessing this is just because we don’t tend to talk about it with others. Have you had a miscarriage? How did it affect you?
If you know of anyone who has suffered from a miscarriage, just be there for them and help relieve them of that horrible guilty feeling.
For this pregnancy my commute involves travelling on the tube (London underground) into central London every day. After years of commuting in bumper to bumper traffic jams or on completely unreliable trains (anyone ever heard of French strike action?!?) on the French Riviera, this is my best commute ever. I have a 7 minute walk to our local tube station, an 18 minute direct tube ride on the northern line, and then a 10 minute walk to my office the other end. The tubes run every couple of minutes at the time of day I get them and they rarely have strikes that affect them, engineering works or other delays. So, you may think me weird, but I love my commute! It’s a little bit of “quiet” time for me before and after work when I think, read and just generally let my mind wander wherever it will.
For those of you who have travelled in London you may have seen women with big tummies sporting this attractive badge (or maybe a cleaner one than mine!):
I was in two minds about wearing one of these, as I didn’t think I’d really need one as my commute wasn’t overly long and I wasn’t fussed about standing. But then I hadn’t banked on squashed trains and over-heating, so within a month of my positive pregnancy test I’d gone and picked one of these up (a note to any French readers – you don’t need any proof to pick one up, you just ask for one at your nearest station, and it’s given to you! A very different experience from needing anything like this in France).
I started wearing one but more so that I felt justified in asking for a seat if 1st trimester nausea and tube over-heating meant I needed one. As time moved on I was grateful of this badge when the tube carriage was busy – at just 5’3″ I needed a badge up on my shoulder as nobody seemed to see the big bulging tummy lower down.
There is just one thing that confuses me – what is the official etiquette with these badges? What has your experience been as a pregnant woman wearing one? Would you ask someone to give up their seat or hope they notice you and give it up anyway? The experiences I’ve had have been varied:
- The woman sitting in the seat that you are supposed to give up for pregnant woman looking at the badge, then my tummy, then swiftly looking back down at her newspaper/book to avoid offering her seat up. Nice!
- The kindly person mid carriage who shouts down the carriage to me standing near the entrance, mid busy commute to offer me their seat, resulting in glares from everyone as they get shuffled out of the way to make room for him/her to stand up as I sit down. Thank you, even though this is the embarrassing one.
- The alert person sitting in the aforementioned “pregnancy” seat, who is out of their seat while you still have one foot on the platform. Thanks!
- The person who you ask if they mind letting you sit down when you’re really not up to standing. Thanks for the dark looks!
On the whole, my experience has been positive, with people keen to give up their seat. To those giving me evil looks, thanks all the same, it makes up for the not being allowed to eat anything interesting, drink any alcohol, do anything fun, get comfortable or sleep well. I know it was my decision to have a baby but your consideration is greatly appreciated