101 things IN

and other things thrown in between

101 Things in 1001 Days: January 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007


This week at One Deep Breath, we are asked to take a closer, more contemplative look at our connection with nature. Here are my connections...

Mother Earth
We take, plunder, grab
Feeding off you hungrily
Till it all runs out
A field of flowers
Small, bright, delicate
Your colours give me pleasure
Soft scents on the breeze

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chronicle {of my first labour}

Warning! This is a long read.

February 16, 2003 – 11ish O’clock at night

I am lying in bed when I hear this audible ‘pop’ and a sharp pain in the lower region of my belly. Thinking it is a bad case of gas, I lie and wait for the ‘emission’. After 2 minutes nothing has happened so I turn to settle into a more comfortable position when – wait, what’s that wet trickling between my legs? I reach down and feel gingerly – yes! It’s definitely wet, getting wetter by the second and showing no signs of slowing down either. I switch the lights on pronto and shake hubby awake saying at the same time ‘my waters have broken; I think my waters have broken’.
‘What waters?’ is the sleepy response.

The light finally dawns and he leaps out of bed – fairly calm- grabs his mobile phone and calls, after a bit of fumbling about with the numbers, our friend Boo and my Midwife. She asks if I am in any pain (yes), what time the waters broke (about 10 minutes ago), was I bleeding (yes, a little), how is the flow (heavy, I am lying in bed with a towel between my legs!). Fine sounds good she says (could have fooled me!!).

She tells hubby to tell me to go and have a shower and clean up, get ready and then go straight to the hospital. I do all this and shortly after Boo arrives and off we go.

Feburary 17, 2003
Midnight-ish – 3am

Arrive at the Hospital a little after midnight. I am put in one of the labour rooms and asked to change (would you like the hospital gown or did you bring something along?) into something ‘more comfortable’. So I change into my La Senza night shirt and a pair of warm socks and climb onto the bed where I am put in a ½ lying ½ sitting position, and hooked up to a machine which monitors my baby’s heart beat, my heartbeat and pulse rate, via two straps which are put around my belly and a finger clamp on my index finger. My blood pressure is also checked. The midwife palpates my belly (quite roughly) and examines me internally (even more roughly!!) and tells us that I am 3cm dilated. She would leave me on the monitor and come back and check on me in 30 minutes. She drapes me with a hospital blanket and leaves. I am still cold in spite of the blanket.

By this time the contractions are coming hard and I am in pain and hanging onto hubby’s hand for dear life and muttering ‘mummy, mummy’ (huh????). I keep telling him how much it hurts and he keeps stroking my head and saying ‘I know, I know sweetie’.

The midwife returns 30 minutes later, takes the straps off and inquires after the sort of pain relief I would like. Hubby and I look at each other for a second and opt for Gas and Air - with an epidural as a last resort.

She hooks up the Gas and Air machine and shows me how to use the inhaler bit and then hands it to me. I put it into my mouth and breathe deeply… nothing and then it hits. All I can say is this must be how drug addicts feel when they take their first hit. It is a very strange feeling. It doesn’t take the pain away but boy, does it make you feel high. I felt like I was floating and the pain was sort of in the background – like it was happening to someone else, not me. You hallucinate and just zonk out basically. The effect doesn’t last long though and wears off a few minutes after you stop inhaling. However, we become inseparable friends that inhaler and I.

About an hour (or more) later the midwife suggests that maybe I would like a warm bath as this would help relax me and ease the pain a bit. I gladly agree (anything to ease the pain) and off we go to the bathroom with hubby supporting me. The water is lovely and warm and does help the pain a little but not much. In between the breaks of pain, I chat with hubby but when the pain hits it is numbing and all I can do is moan.

It is at this point that my main midwife, D, arrives. She asks after my contractions, the pain and some other stuff which I cannot now remember. She also goes off to get my Gas and Air and soon I am high again. After about 30 minutes in the bath, I decide I have had enough and I am helped out, dried and dressed up again. I also decide that I need to wee – an attempt which takes absolutely ages. D leaves the tap running to help me along. Finally I do and we set off to the labour room, which D had swapped in the meantime for a smaller and much warmer one. She asks if I would prefer to lie on the bed or use ‘the chair’. Now, this chair is no ordinary chair. I will call it a birthing chair. It reclines and is soft and comfortable and just heaven. I settle in, clutching my inhaler for dear life and wait for the rest of the drama to unfold. I am so totally spaced out.

7:00am – 12:48pm

At 7:52 am, D examines me again. I am 7cm dilated. From experience, she explains, a woman dilates at the rate of approximately 1.5cm every hour and thinks that by 10:00am I should be having my baby. She then orders hubby off to go and have some breakfast in the hospital canteen.

At 10:00am D checks me again and this time I am fully dilated (10cm) and from this point forward it is action stations. Every contraction now is important and I am required to push with each one. I push and I push and I push …. By 12 noon still no baby. My contractions were are now happening further and further apart and I am getting higher and higher on my G & A and in la-la land.

By this time, the Consultant arrives and gives D a deadline of 1 hour to deliver me if not , she (the consultant) will give me a forceps delivery which D assured me in no uncertain terms, was a road I wouldn’t want to go down. So adamant was she that I wasn’t going to have a forceps delivery that she wouldn’t allow the consultant examine me and practically kicked her out of the delivery room.

By this time D had reached her limit with me. She put a catheter into my bladder to drain it ( in case this was one of the contributory factors for the baby not coming), turned me onto my side to encourage the contractions and see if I would be more willing to push – I wasn’t as the pain in this position was just unbelievable. Finally, with hubbys help, they both hurled me out of my comfortable chair because D said I had become too comfortable and lazy in that position and took away my G & A – this was the killer for me. I was put onto the bed with my legs in stirrups and given an ultimatum (in fact several)

1. If you don’t push with each contraction, you will be put on a drip which induces them; however, they will become 10 times more painful.
2. You can have your G & A back BUT you will have to lie on your side.
3. You cannot avoid the pain, so you can push hard now and deliver your baby. I believe you can do it.

I opt for number three.

The pain was horrendous!!! I pushed like I had never pushed before and suddenly I could hear hubby say ‘I can see the head. It has crowned’.

By now both D and hubby were yelling at me to PUUUUSSSSHHHHHHH PUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSHHHHHH YOU ARE ALMOST THERE – which I did and then D tells me to stop and just pant (the head was half way out by now) and then the head was out at 12:46pm. I was told not to push. A couple more pushes later and our darling daughter was born at 12:48pm. Hubby did the honours of cutting the umbilical cord. She was put on my chest straight away – gook and all – before being taken away to be cleaned.

About ½ hr later, I had a warm bath and was wheeled away to my recovery room.


And to think I will be doing this all over again come June!!

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007


(My writing process)

Pen between my teeth
Paper staring back blankly
Idea, where art thou?

(My sewing/craft process)

Silks, cotton, velvets
I cut the cloth within which
A pretty dress hides

(My unwinding process)

Mug of tea in hand
Warm blanket wrapped around me
My time to relax

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Time Capsule Baby Box

I am excited by a new idea which is to create a Time Capsule Memory Box for my forthcoming baby. Basically it is a box which will contain items from the day and the year s/he was born. Things I am thinking of including in it are

A newspaper dated the day s/he was born
A favourite magazine of mine from the month of their birth
A CD compilation of number one hits from the year
Their hospital tag
Their first photo or set of photos of their first 365 days
A journal I would have kept throughout their first year (and beyond)
A favourite poem or piece of writing
A novel printed in the year of their birth
Perhaps a small piece of technology from the year 2007
Their favourite toy

and so on and so forth.

I think it would make a great gift for when my child grows up. I wish I had thought of this when my daughter was born.

Have any of you done something similar? What did you put inside your Time Capsule box?

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I have to confess straight away that I am not a big fan of fantasy – never have been. I have not watched nor read Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter or been captivated by science fiction. There is no real explanation for my total lack of interest in these particular genres of writing or film except to say that perhaps I am a little bit too realistic when it comes to (my) life in general and so tend to prefer to live in the now of things.

Having said that I will admit that I do fantasize about changing my life sometimes. Doing something different, living someplace else – I especially fantasize about moving out of the city and living in the country or somewhere quiet by the beach where I will grow my own vegetables, raise my own fowl, not worry about finances, live in a world without TV, iPods and the internet (perhaps living without the internet is stretching it a bit, but it can be done) and have my children grow up in the great outdoors. And the main reason I like this particular fantasy of mine is because it can easily (well almost) become reality.


Friday Felicitations {2}

Finding my ring again after it went missing for ten days. What hurt the most was that it was a wedding anniversary gift from hubby. You can imagine my joy when I found it glinting up at me from the floor of our coat cupboard.

Celebrating the birth of babies to two of my close friends in one week.

Rediscovering the power of the Word via this wonderful gift from hubby.

Having to attend a training course for work on my day of and ending up actually enjoying it. A nice lunch was served as well!

Re-reading an old Agatha Christie mystery which I found in the local library sale for 50p!

What are your Friday Felicitations?

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Getting Organised To Do Lists

My ‘Baby' List (it’s never too early)

1. Reusable nappies
2. Muslin cloths
3. Suducreme
4. Disposable nappies
5. Nappy sacks
6. Baby blanket
7. Baby grows
8. Baby wipes
9. Olive oil
10. Pre-measured pots for baby formula (after breast feeding)
11. Snuffle babes
12. Baby towel
13. Bibs
14. Toiletries
15. Moses basket (borrowing this from friend)

My ‘After birth’ list

1. Nipple shields (for breast feeding)
2. Disposable knickers
3. Maternity pads
4. Nursing bras
5. Nipple cream
6. Ear plugs (just kidding!)

My 'don't be without in hospital' List

1. Journal
2. iPod
3. Comfy nightie
4. Some munchies
5. Mobile phone – to spread the good news!

My ‘To do for Work’ List

1. Write official letter informing manager of my pregnancy and maternity leave plans.
2. Start work on hand over note

My ‘Just before I start maternity leave’ List

1. Place orders for stationary
2. Clear out my work folder
3. Set ‘out of office’ auto reply on email
4. Clear out filing folder

I am sure more things will be added to these lists as they pop up. In the meantime I am absolutely loving the baby journal I ordered, The First 1000 Days. I can't wait to start using it.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Reflections {of my faith}

You died to give life
I struggle to understand
And yet I believe

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings : Week 206

1. Episode :: desperate housewives
2. Source :: light
3. Jerk :: chicken
4. Introduce :: yourself
5. Ralph :: Lauren
6. Stare :: penetrating
7. Cast :: away
8. Scenario :: setting
9. Flu :: like
10. Mad :: hatter


Saturday, January 13, 2007


I used to have a pretty good idea of how I wanted my life to turn out.

I wanted to be married by the age of 21, a millionaire, naturally, at the age of 25, have the most perfect kids on the planet, live by the beach somewhere in a house with hard wood floors.

I was 16 at the time and did I happen to mention a realistic sixteen year old at that?

Anyway, let’s just say, erm, life didn’t quite pan out according to plan idea.

I did get married albeit nine years later than I had anticipated. I am still waiting for the millions and the house by the beach. Still, one out of three ain’t bad… is it?

Now at almost 37, my concept of a good idea is simply being content to see the sun rise every morning.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Felicitations {1}

This is my first post for Friday Felicitations and it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. Friday Felicitations urges us to

‘… to help each other throw out all that negative thinking and acknowledge those
things we have to celebrate. Friday is now the day to blog your
compliments, your accomplishments, something nice someone said to you, or maybe
even something you are striving to make better. Go ahead, announce
yourself to be happy and fortunate.’
This kind of goes against all I and many of you were taught as children. I am sure we have some memory of being admonished for boasting because praise of one’s self was given that label and we were strenuously told to desist from such behaviour. Living in England doesn’t help much either as being modest and understated seems to be the watch word. So for me this project poses a bit of a challenge albeit a liberating one. So here goes:

Feeling blessed to be alive to see yet another year. So many with whom I started 2006 out with never saw it to the end. I am indeed honoured.

Finally finding my voice through my blog and summoning up the courage to put my writing out there, however clumsy. It's been a real journey of discovery for me.

Conceiving after two long years of trying. Baby has started to move around as well which just fills me with awe and wonder every time.

My husband telling me, out of the blue, that I look sexy. I cherish that as I don’t hear it very often!!

Not a great first attempt but it'll get better.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Blog Project

Just stumbled upon the most delightful, not to mention inspiring, weekly blog project. I was so excited to discover it that I signed up straight away. Perhaps you might want to as well.

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I squeeze a little tighter

On the 1st of January a friend of many years died suddenly. This poem has been inspired by her death.

I Squeeze a Little Tighter
When I hug I squeeze a little tighter
When I kiss I kiss a little longer
When I speak I speak a little softer
When I smile I smile a little warmer
When I touch I touch a little firmer

When I listen I listen with a little more interest
When I search I search for a little more understanding
When I question I question with a purpose
When I see I see with a little more clarity

When I am tempted to complain
I stop
Think of you
And I squeeze a little tighter


Monday, January 08, 2007

Subtle Change


Skin stretched taut
Harboring the life beneath
Each day subtle change


The room stands empty
Colour peels off aging walls
My paintbrush beckons

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Friday, January 05, 2007


My first kiss ever was an absolute disaster. It was wet, it was sloppy it was … just horrible. Could it perhaps have been down to the fact that we were both barely fourteen years old and didn’t know what the heck we were doing?

Many moons and kisses on, I have overcome the trauma of that first kiss and now kissing has become quite a pleasurable pastime. I have even heard it said that kissing is sometimes more intimate than sex and I have to say that a very big part of me agrees with this.

In the early days, my husband and I were ardent kissers. It was something we could just sit (or lie) and do for ages and we both enjoyed it immensely. My favourite sorts of kisses were the quick stolen ones just before a parent walked into the room or in the kitchen while friends who were over for dinner waited at the dinning table for their food to be served. They always reduced me to a red faced, flustered and breathless wench. These were hot passionate kisses laden with promises of other things to come.

Sadly our kisses have changed now. Marriage and Parenthood has taken its toll on the passion and our kisses are mostly mechanical, now reduced to a Goodbye Peck when we go to work and Hello Peck when we return. What used to be a passion rousing activity has now become a brief pressing together of pursed lips for a nanosecond and then it’s all over.

There are times though when a glimmer of the hot kiss reappears and it always takes me pleasantly by surprise. Hmm I think, we haven’t quite lost it yet and lose myself in the moment.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Journaling for my Children

From this year I am going to keep a journal for my children (my unborn child included here) or rather, I am going to keep a journal that my children can read in the future. I am hoping that this will provide them with a deeper understanding of the many facets of my life that make up who I am.

You see, when I look back at my own relationship with my mum, I realise that up until a couple of years ago I really didn’t know much about her – and there is still a lot I still don’t know to be honest. To me she has always plain old Mummy. That’s it. I never saw her as someone who may have nursed dreams, or suffered heartache or fears or who perhaps may actually have loathed her life and longed for freedom at some point or the other. Instead, she was always Mummy. Put on this planet for me – to comfort, chide, nourish and give, give, give. I believe I am like most other children who as far as they are concerned Mummy doesn’t have a life of her own rather, Mummy’s whole world revolves around me and I sit right at the centre of it. It wasn’t until I became an adult that my mum began to open up a bit to me but even so, I can tell she is not comfortable with it. Perhaps it’s has something to do with the way her generation was brought up.

I on the other hand want to make my children a part of my life. I want for them to see me as a real person – not just someone who goes to work, cooks meals and makes sure they have clean clothes on their backs. I want them to know about my fears, interests, feelings, hopes, dreams, failures. I want my journal to be the medium through which they discover who I am.

I think it’s going to be an interesting project for me as well. It’s not going to be the normal, run-off-the-mill journaling I have done in the past – today I did this, tomorrow I’ll do that, today I feel like this etc etc. It’ll be a journey of discovery for me too. Things I plan to include in it are –

Sketches (I don’t draw very well but hey, that’s part of the fun)
Snippets of news or newspaper clippings
Random observations
Music I like
A family tree
My hopes and dreams
… and lots more

I want to create a journal which I would have loved my own mother to have written and given me to read.


Happy Feet

I went to the cinema yesterday with my husband and daughter, who is almost four, to watch Happy Feet. Big mistake. Twenty minutes into the movie she declared it was boring and proceeded to busy herself with constantly asking to go to the toilet, requesting for more popcorn, trying to stretch out across the seats and finally, enquiring every 5 minutes ‘is it over yet?’. It was her first ever visit to the cinema and it will be her last for the next couple of years.

I don’t blame her for coming to the conclusion that it was boring. It was plain to see why. It was very grown up with jokes that would fly over any four year olds head. Even a ten year old will struggle a bit with the jokes and double entendres. But that seems to be the trend these days; most of the animated movies are targeted more at the adults than the kids.

As for me? Well, I am not quite sure how I feel about the movie. I loved the soundtrack because it took me back to the good old days, and the theme of the film was good as well – over fishing and how it affects the animals who share the planet with us. But there was something a bit off putting about watching penguins sing. I am not a big fan of birds and to watch one of their species singing at me from a huge screen for almost two hours left me feeling a bit overwrought. And it didn’t help that the main character, Mambo, reminded me of a friend’s husband who has that clumsy air about him. Will I be watching it again? I don’t think so


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The New Year

A fresh page, new start
Twelve months lie ahead filled with