Friday, December 22

High Drama in Meep Towers

We were staying with some friends for the weekend last week. When I got into bed on Friday night, my heart started pounding in my chest. But it wasn't pounding regularly - it was doing strong beats, then weak little beatlets, going like the clappers and then slowing right down. It was very odd.

The next night, it happened again. Maybe I should be worried. I got Mr Meep to get his laptop out and Google 'heart palpitations in pregnancy'. He said it seemed to be fairly common. So I put it to the back of my mind and went to sleep, despite the little drummer boy putting on a full performance under my left breast.

All week, it's kept on happening. Mostly in the evenings, but sometimes in the daytime too. I've felt fine otherwise, so I didn't worry too much about it.

Last night, I met some friends for a drink in the world's cosiest bar. After and hour of chatting and drinking tea, the old ticker started playing up again. I ignored it and carried on with the evening. Got home and it was still going on. While I was tucking into my jacket potato, I thought it was going to jump out of my shirt and join the spud on the plate.

It usually only lasts for an hour or so. By now, it had been four hours. Mr Meep decided it was time for action and insisted that I phone NHS Direct. A nice lady asked me lots of questions, like was I turning blue and was my speech slurred (they weren't). Then, calmly, but with an underlying sense of urgency and slight hysteria, she told me to get to casualty quick smart.

I don't like a fuss. I asked Mr Meep if we could just wait until morning. I pretended it was getting better. He was having none of it and marched me to the car and drove me to the hospital.

At A&E I was expecting a long wait in a room full of office Christmas party casualties covered in blood and party popper streamers. I got to the reception, told them what the problem was and was whizzed off to the trolley bay straight away. Before I knew it, my clothes were being removed and I was covered in padded stickers and wires and all kinds of paraphenalia.

They switched on the heart monitor. It didn't look good. It looked like a graph depicting the highs and lows of an episode of Eastenders. At some points, it was flatlining for a second, setting all kind of bleeps and beeps off.

Next up, the ECG machine was wheeled over and did a lovely artistic depiction of my wonky heart rhythms. "Well, that is definitely not normal," said the nurse and disappeared behind the curtain (they were themed curtains, depicting the hospitals of Cardiff and the Cardiff City FC shield).

Next came the doctor, who asked me more questions about heart history and breathlessness, then disappeared behind the special curtain to summon the cardiologist.

Although I am normally quite chilled out, by this point I was getting a tad worried. And so was my heart, judging by the monitor, which sounded like it was composing a new mobile ring tone.

Two hours and some blood tests later, the doctor returned. He concluded that yes, my heart is abnormal, but pregnancy does funny things to your body. As I don't have any other symptoms, it's nothing to worry about, so off I went.

So that was the end of that little drama.

This morning, I just got a big fat rejection for a writing contract that I was interviewed for on Monday. As usual, they said I had excellent writing skills, good interpersonal skills and obvious enthusiasm - so why didn't I bloody get it then? I don't know, sometimes, life is a bit rubbish.

Merry Christmas, one and all!

Wednesday, December 20

The Splott Nativity

It was a cold, dark December night. Times were hard for the Meep family. They had one car between them, so when Mr Meep needed said vehicle to get to work, Ms Meep was left with her legs as her only form of transport (all donkeys were booked up - it's a busy time of year for them).

That day, Ms Meep had already walked the dog (1.5 miles), walked to work (1 mile), walked to meet a friend for a coffee (1 more mile). When coffees were finished at 7pm, it was time to go home.

The woman, who was tired, cold and heavy with child (well, a very small bump anyway) could not face a further 25-minute walk home. Again, there were no donkeys to be seen, so she decided to wait for the number 13 bus.

So she waited. And waited. And waited some more. She was not full of inner peace. Buzzing through her head were lots of swear words and non-angelic thoughts. When the bus eventually turned up - 20 minutes later, her face turned from a scowl to a look of awe and wonderment at the approaching vehicle, its yellow headlights lighting up her joyous face.

But as the bus approached, she saw that it was packed full of people. The bus pulled in and one person got off. A old man, who was also waiting at the bus stop, hopped on to the bus. When the lady, who was WITH CHILD remember, tried to get on, the bus driver stopped her.

"Sorry love," he said, "There is no room on the bus."

Then the doors closed and he drove off.

So she picked up her bag, which was laden with a filofax, two mobile phones, a book, an umbrella, lots of muffin wrappers and other heavy items, and wearily made her way home. Alone. In the dark. On foot.

On the way, she encountered three unwise men. They were wearing a lot of gold and shouting things at her from outside the takeaway - they had followed the shining light of the 'Kebabs' sign to get there.

When she eventually got back to Meep Towers, she retired to the sofa. She covered herself in a big patchwork blanket and nursed a bowl of vegetable curry. Around her, the livestock (Mr Zebedee Miaowington and Ms Blodwen Stinkalot) looked peacefully on. In the corner, the eco-friendly light bulb glowed dimly.

All was calm.

Sunday, December 10

I need sleep

It's 6am and I am sitting on the sofa worrying. I have been awake since 4am, worrying about:
The gas bill
The fact that I haven't renewed our car insurance
How I am going to afford living on statutory maternity pay for nine months (all of.. oooo.. £104 per week)
Intruders in our garden (they broke our back fence last night)
Not eating enough protein for Mini Meep
Having a glass of wine a couple of times a week
Going on the tube in rush hour on Monday morning (I am a tad on the claustrophobic side)

Is it the pregnancy hormones?

Gah! Need sleep.

Wednesday, December 6

Mark Owen...

... has got a spaniel!

Confirming that they are the pet of choice for mumpets everywhere.

Sunday, December 3

Sunday Scribblings: In the Last Hour

In the last hour, Mr Meep and I returned home after watching an amazing film. It was an entertaining, thought-provoking story about making the most out of life. And, best of all, Maggie Gillenhall played a boho babe with great hair, a fab flat and gorgeous clothes, who ran a cake/coffee shop (so, basically, my dream lifestyle).

We left the cinema with the warm glow you get after watching something that touches you. Outside it was cold and windy, and we ran to the car to keep warm. When we got back to Meep Towers, we were greeted with the smell of the banana cake that I had left cooling in the kitchen. Mr Meep had made some dough to make the traditional Sunday evening pizzas. While he made the bases, I chopped up tomatoes, olives, artichokes and mushrooms and tore a ball of mozarella into strips.

There was some dough left, so Mr Meep made some twisted bread sticks with olive oil and sea salt, so we could dip them into some creamy houmous as a pre-pizza nibble. While Mr M put the bread sticks in the oven, I made the lounge look as cosy as possible, with the warm, orangey glow of the fairylights in the fireplace and the candles on the table. Sufjan Stevens was coming from the stereo in the corner and the pets were fast asleep on their beds.

We were all ready for the ultimate cosying-up weekend end.

That is, until the cat suddenly leapt off the pink velvet chair and ran across the room as if he'd just found out that there was a mouse/tuna convention being held in the opposite corner. In his mad rush to find said mice/canned fish, he leapt onto the table and skidded along its length. As he got to the end, he leapt on to the windowsill, his back legs knocking over my beloved digital camera.

In slow motion, the camera fell off the table and landed with a crash on the floor below. I wasn't too worried, I'm sure it can take a few knocks here and there, but I was about to use it anyway, so I tried to take a few shots. I pointed at the candle flames dancing on the table and pressed the button to release the shutter.

Nothing happened.

Nothing, but a strange whirring sound coming from the lense, which was trying desperately to focus but failing miserably.

Mr Meep came to the rescue, trying to see if he could fix the problem. We tried everything, nothing worked. I was absolutely gutted. My new camera, just a few months old, ruined by my evil pet cat.

We sat in silence for a while, until Mr Meep jumped off the sofa almost as fast as the cat. He rushed into the kitchen and opened the oven, to be greeted by a burning smell - it was the breadsticks, not soft, golden and salty but rock hard, black and burnt to a crisp.

Bugger.

More Sunday Scribblings here.

10 things I have learnt while I haven't been blogging

  • 1. Never, under any circumstances, feed your dog leftover Indian takeaway just before you are about to embark on a five-hour journey with her in a small car.
  • 2. Even on the ninth viewing, Love Actually still makes me cry. Especially the bit when Andrew Lincoln is holding those cards up for Keira Knightly. Oh blimey, here I go again...
  • 3. No one tells you that you spend the first three months of pregnancy looking an attractive shade of grey.
  • 4. Christmas shopping is evil, consumerist, environmentally unfriendly and stressful.
  • 5. It is even worse if you are wearing about ten layers of clothing, whilst battling your way through M&S carrying the five thousand presents no-one really wants that you have already bought.
  • 6. Next year, everyone is getting a goat. Yes, I know I said that last year, but I really mean it this time. Honest.
  • 7. If I pay £13k to have our loft converted, it is just too low so we won't be able to stand up in it. Therefore, my baby will be living under the stairs, a la Harry Potter.
  • 8. After today, I don't have a single spare day in my diary until December 27th.
  • 9. I still have a crush on most of Take That (except Gary, obv), especially with their new rugged faces, fluffy hair, big winter coat thing going on - the bunch of big fluffy mumpets.
  • 10. Home-made cakes are incredibly good for unborn babies. Especially banana bread (full of potassium), pecan pie (nuts for omegas), passion cake (carrots for vitamins) and chocolate brownies (er...).