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Baby on Board …

September 6, 2011

Had a wonderful trip on Saturday afternoon, walked miles along deserted beach and breathed huge lung fulls of fresh fresh sea air and enjoyed everything peaceful and beautiful that there is in Brancaster in North Norfolk. We had a picnic in the sunshiny sand dunes, paddled in the sea and played around with the sinky sand before stopping to take shadow photos. It felt good to be somewhere quiet, somewhere beautiful and to know that we are at least half way (assuming it all continues well) along our journey at 19 weeks.

The three of us on Brancaster Beach celebrating the half way point

Yesterday by total contrast, I was in London … and had a fairly full work day there. I went up on Sunday evening by train (The Spaniard doesn’t appear keen on trains … I felt sick all the way) but had an early night at the flat and slept well – still happy dreaming of the sea air and wide open spaces.
I was woken at 5.30 by planes … South Kensington appears to be under the Heathrow flight take off path … very loud … but bounced up and got ready to go for a phone conference. I had two scrumptious croissants and a cup of hot milk and chatted happily with my colleagues all over the country via a cunning skype link up (oh technology is incredible when it works!!) and then thought, as the rush hour was over, “I’ll get the tube” … after all only one change and with my charged up pre paid Oyster card it was as good as free.

I had been told about Baby on Board badges so went to the ticket desk and asked for one so I could wear it with pride and all the gentle Londoners would leap to their feet and offer me their seats … but no … “none here love, try another station”.

Was then shoved into by a stressy tourist with a large uncontrolled wheely case and then headed down to the Piccadilly line … people hurtling past on the escalator, I felt afraid, protective and very vulnerable. Luckily the tube was empty so I had a seat … but the rocking and shaking of the carriage of course made me feel sick and I’m sure caused The Spaniard to stick its fingers in its tiny ears and hide in the depths of its uterine home. Arrived at meeting feeling really weary and queasy but stuffed face with banana and biscuits and it all went well.

I tried at Tottenham Court Road tube for a badge … “nope sorry, any day now” … and Covent Garden, “no dear” and then gave up and sat and ate a large bowl of calamari to remind The Spaniard of what we were eating back in Alicante.

Tummy settled I headed to Westminster, to Portcullis House. This glass fronted, modern bit of the Houses of Parliament is always fun to visit … oodles of anxious looking politicians dashing around the place, some fabulous art and lovely high ceilings. The only issue is the security on the way in.

However, the staff were wonderful. I wasn’t sure about going through the X ray machine so they just let me through and patted me (and The Spaniard’s housing) down and scanned my luggage and then very kindly helped me up in the lift so I didn’t have to struggle up the stairs. Funny having a machine gun-toting policeman asking when you’re due and holding doors for you.

The event was wonderful, made even better by mountains of cake, and I sat down and wandered around talking to old friends and colleagues. It was the first time I’ve been amongst most of them since getting pregnant and it was lovely being complimented on being glowing (ha!!) and having people peering at (and in a couple of cases patting) The Spaniard’s sticky out tummy home. Also lovely being forced to eat extra cake!!

I did suddenly hit a wall of exhaustion and was taken off to a pub with long sofas to loll on whilst supping yet another soda water … very peaceful and a chance to unwind a little … but then the journey back to the flat. I had no cash on me and thought after the easy tube journey earlier that all would be fine, especially as a friend came onto the tube with me. St James’s tube station seemed reasonably clear, until we got to the platform and then a train came in … packed, just packed with people. We got on the second train that came in and it was terrifying being crushed up against the door by so many people, I felt so guilty for putting The Spaniard at risk and was hugely relieved when at Victoria, a few people got off and I was literally pushed backwards onto a seat.

I got off at South Ken and battled up the stairs feeling increasingly dizzy … the staff at the barrier there no help at all … but eventually got through and stumbled (literally – and pathetic I know but how it was) back to the flat where I just lay down feeling as if I’d never get up again.

By then it was 7pm and the idea of getting home to Cambridge was very daunting … but an hour’s sleep, a bar of chocolate and a cup of hot bovril restored me and I got a taxi (ouch) to Kings Cross and the train home where I was fed home-made onion soup and put to bed.

So … all in all I felt that London, let alone the Tube, was no place for a pregnant person to be … all the people all the rush … I felt so overwhelmed by it which I do find strange when so recently I loved all the hustle and bustle.

Back into my normal routine today – walk and work and sleep – the wind howling outside and all feels very right with the world. My oldest friend is back from a summer abroad and gave me a pair of tiny baby boots “they’re not real Ugg boots but you know what I’m getting at” … which was just lovely even though it does feel a little like tempting fate.

very small ugg boots!!

I’ve emailed TFL about the Baby on Board badges …I’d like to get one just for my collection of stuff, I really am not convinced anyone would take any notice of the badge when they totally ignored the ‘bump’… they haven’t replied as yet but we’ll see…

If I take another trip anywhere it’ll be back to Brancaster and not back to London … I need peace and calm at the moment … who’d have ever thought it!!

20 week (well 19 1/2 week) scan on Thursday … very scared and nervous that The Spaniard is ok and still alive and kicking vigorously, and excited to see it’s grainy image on the screen again and hope it’s come out from hiding after the day in London (Sorry Spaniard).

Bath time now and a reflection on all the poor pregnant people in London about to to battle with the tubes.


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