Saturday, 31 July 2010

Maternity must-haves

The marketing opportunities of the hormone-addled pregnant woman are seemingly endless. I spend many happy hours sniggering at the NCT catalogue - which is a bit like an Innovations catalogue for pregnant women. My favourite item is the Womana Birthing Wrap - 'because every woman deserves a little black dress to give birth in' which allows them to feel 'comfortable and feminine on your special day'. It's basically a wrap dress with an inspiring message screen-printed on the inside of the neckline. Which is useful. I imagine that when I'm flagging from the effort of pushing something the size of a melon through my cervix, it would really give me that extra boost to peer into the neckline of my dress to read some guff about the longest journey beginning with a single step. Oh, and it's £59.99. £59.99! for something that I'm almost guaranteed to throw up on.

Also on offer for £25, is a DVD titled Orgasmic Birth. I quote (because you really couldn't make this shit up): 'Joyous, sensuous and revolutionary, Orgasmic Birth brings the ultimate challenge to our cultural myths by inviting viewers to see the emotional, spiritual, and physical heights attainable through birth.' Holy mother of shit - are they actually trying to sexualise child birth? I imagine my only thought about sex will be to curse my poor husband for getting me into this state coupled with the niggling worry that my vagina will be forever turned into something resembling a wind sock.

Moving on. The mothercare catalogue has its own share of nonsense. I love the pregnancy toiletries, particularly the 'Perfect Delivery Perineal gel' which would make all the difference, I'm sure.

The thing is, I'm sure people buy this crap. I'm so tired and emotional I'm practically insane half the time, and I don't think I'm the only one. So my plan is to invent a pregnancy cash in product of my own which I can then market to other vulnerable women. My best idea so far is (drum roll) The Bump Bib! Fed up with dribbling toothpaste/cake/ice cream down the front of your bump? Had enough of looking like you're coated in vomit before you have even had the baby? Get The Bump Bib - a glorified apron with a jaunty jokey message about buns in the oven or some shit, yours for £19.99 (plus VAT).

Sunday, 25 July 2010

The bwown cashmere jumper

We're about to enter an whole other world. The world of kid logic.
We're at a party at our friend's place in norfolk. It's night, and the lawn is lit with burning torches. We're sitting around a table, shooting the breeze, sipping wine (and fizzy water). Suddenly a little voice pipes up. "Excuse me, have you seen my bwown cashmere jumper? It's very precious to me. My mother bought it for me." No. We haven't seen it. Where did he last have it? "In case we haven't grasped the enormity, he continues. "It's from Brora. It's very expensive." We take pity. I scan inside the house, and S takes a torch and accompanies the lad on a tour of the grounds.Eventually, they find a crumple garment in the undergrowth. The kid is overjoyed: "My bwown cashmere jumper!" he says, grasping it triumphantly. And then promptly loses it again - quite possibly on purpose.
I'm not the only one with innumerable questions. After spending the afternoon with friends and listening to yet more birth horror stories, S turned to me, palely, and asked, "So when people say that they were 3cm dilated, what bit exactly are they talking about?" I told him it was the cervix - the bit that effectively stops the baby from just falling out of the womb during the pregnancy. That struck me as a fairly basic bit of information so I started to worry - what else doesn't he know? Does he expect a special delivery via stork to just deposit the kid in our laps? A few quick questions established that he does know the basics: Birth will be grisly; babies shouldn't be left alone in the bath and it's probably not a good idea to let the cats sleep on it's face. Well that's something I guess.

Thursday, 22 July 2010


I feel like a kettle drum being played from the inside. The kids is using my rib cage as a glockenspiel. But I can't work out which bit of him is poking me where. It feels like he's got several extra limbs. Shit. Another thing to worry about...

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Bumps and grinds

Great news! My unborn child is a Bowie fan! I’m sure of it. We have been attempting to cram in a bit of culture before B-day so went to the Barbican to see the Michael Clark Company’s Come, Been and Gone. It was tremendous, albeit exhausting to watch. I get puffed out hauling myself out of a chair these days. The final, brilliant act is choreographed entirely to Bowie tracks including Heroes, Future Legend, Aladdin Sane and The Jean Genie. And the kid, who had been pottering around aimlessly, suddenly kicked off, air punching the sides of my womb and (ouch) trampling on my bladder. A week or so later, I was watching a film which plays out to Under Pressure by Bowie and Queen. The same thing happened. I was so proud! Evidence of pre-natal good taste.

Of course, I might be completely misreading the baby activity. I’m aware that I have a tendency interpret his kicks in a way that suits me, for example:
Cannes: screening of a very dark and violent Ukrainian film, My Joy, which I absolutely loved. Baby kicks = Hooray! My kid likes difficult former Soviet cinema. He is bad ass!
Cannes 2: Screening of an interminably dull German film about joyless sex in a corporate world. Baby kicks = Hooray! He’s bored and wants me to leave, probably to buy cake. An excellent suggestion, I will do just that.

So the awful truth might be that far from appreciating Bowie, he’s actually registering his disapproval and demanding Poker Face by Lady Gaga.

Other music he has liked (or not)
I wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges – on the soundtrack of The Runaways. One of the first times I felt him move.
Swagga, by Excision and Datsik, a track which my husband describes as like listening to someone trying to saw off their own leg with sound, and with which we’re both mildly obsessed.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Preg style

It has been HOT recently. Seriously, thigh-chafingly hot. So what's a 7 1/2 month pregnant woman to do? Answer: adopt Demis Roussos as a style icon and float around in a kaftan. Grudgingly, however, I realised that the Demis look is not entirely flattering. I resemble Hattie Jacques crossed with a cruise ship. Earlier this week, I had a reception to attend on the South Bank. It was a warm evening, but not too warm. So I decided to try out one of the maternity frocks kindly lent to me by my friend T. It's a black, knee length, figure skimming cotton jersey frock with long sleeves and a plunging neckline. I thought I looked the bees knees. My husband's response: You look like a fat mime! Cheers.That's exactly the look I was going for.

Big, big, bigger

So, yes, it's been a while since I have blogged anything. I blame this on the hot weather and the exhaustion that rolls in most afternoons like a sea fog, rendering me pretty much useless.I have found myself drooping, slack jawed and drooling slightly, in front of the fish monger's stall, unable to make a decision; it now takes me twice as long as it should to write a feature.

Other changes - I'm bulging all over the place like a badly tied balloon animal. My brain has yet to catch up with my new body shap however. I find myself trying to squeeze through gaps that I used to be able to fit through, only to get wedged between parked cars, in small toilet cubicles, and the like. Embarrassingly, it's not just the bump i misjudge. It's the boobs as well. I keep crashing into people with my knockers. It's like some bizarre compulsion and has resulted in a fair few very frightened-looking men sprinting away from me up train platforms.