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Week 6 Week 7 : It's not easy being green... Week 8

"I just hope if I puke at work I don't puke on anything expensive" -a.

Baby stats:
Current size: Size of a pea
Weight: Weight of a pea
Aimee's key symptom: Having to pee
Comparable to: A pea (not surprising)

Developed this week: Heart chambers, brain hemispheres, kidneys, lungs, intestines, pancreas, nerves, muscles, and the ever-important appendix.
Aimee's thoughts:
I was going to talk about throwing up, but thinking about throwing up will make me throw up, so I'll talk about NHS registration instead.

NHS - the National Health Service. The official public health system for the Kingdom of England. Sounds very dramatic and prestigious, doesn't it? Well, I'll bet you five quid that the Queen is a private patient.

As this isn't just my first time being pregnant in England, but also my first time being sick in England, this means I have to start at the beginning of the beginning. And that means registering at my local clinic or 'surgery'. Not only is it a testament to how you can turn what looks like two old takeaway shops into a surgery, but it's also a testament to ' if this filing system worked in the seventies...'. It's so old, it's almost new again. Paper - how retro.

Once I've passed the first registration test, I then get to see my assigned doctor to confirm my pregnancy. Now here's the exact conversation:

Doctor: Why are you here?
Aimee: I'm pregnant.
Doctor: Congratulations. When was your last period?
Aimee: March 1st.
Doctor: Okay, sounds like you're pregnant.
Aimee: Don't you want to give me a test or anything?
Doctor: Nope, I'll take your word for it.

I'll take your word for it. I kid you not. The exact words from my health care professional confirming my pregnancy. How... trusting... of him.

As part of this enlightening conversation, he also asked me which hospital I would like to select. He steered me away from one, claiming that the midwives were 'mean and rude' and basically said that my other two options were fine.

North Middlesex Hospital: We make you better since it doesn't get any worse!
I randomly chose the North Middlesex Hospital - hoping that this wasn't the catch-all for midwives too mean and rude for that other hospital.

Kev and I traipsed up to the hospital, which, despite the nice weather, somehow managed to remain a dismal grey, and learned the proper way to apply to be a patient there - shove your referral slip under the door marked 'staff'. A couple of weeks later, someone eventually slips on your slip (which is why it's called a 'slip') which reminds them to set up your appointment.

This appointment is called a booking appointment - where they talk to you and decide which midwife you should have. I consider this the 'sucking-up to-the-person-who-makes-this-decision-appointment' - again, trying to avoid any mean-midwife scenarios.

After this appointment, you then get your appointment with the midwife. She then assesses you (again) and begins to book another appointment for your first scan (or maybe it's just an appointment to meet the scanner-guy who assesses you for an appointment to use the scanner, I lost track at this point).

I figure that by the time I get around to a proper scan, our child should be at the toilet-training stage. This is why, in just a few weeks, we're getting our first scan - done privately at the Baby Ultrasound Company. Who knows? Maybe we'll bump into Princess Sophie.
Kevin's thoughts:
Aimee has started puking. All I can say is, thank goodness I'm not the sort of person that pukes when they see other people puking, because when Aimee pukes, she pukes with gusto.

I feel for her, I really do. I hate Hate HATE throwing up. It's one of the most uncomfortable things the human body can do on its own, with the possible exception of passing a kidney stone, though I've never had that joy. In my own experience, the only thing I can think of that's worse than throwing up is throwing up while simultaneously having the runs, but technically that's just further discomfort piled on top of throwing up. I'm sure by the end of this article I could think of even worse things*, but I guarantee each would still include vomit.

See, back when I was 16 and everyone else was in their heyday of binge drinking (you did so, you liar) I wasn't much of a participant, more of a spectator (and usually the driver). Drinking during one's youth, it would seem, is one of the key stages of development of one's liver, as well as one's ability to throw up gracefully. When it's a regular Saturday night thing to spend the night next to the toilet bowl, I would guess that the throat would adapt quickly to such a harsh environment.

As a result of not punish - er - rewarding myself every weekend as a teenager, when a situation comes where I DO have to throw up, such as bird flu, or getting my money's worth at the All U Can Eat Chinese Buffet, my body digs in its gastrointestinal heels and says to the vomit, "Where do you think you're going, then? Nobody gets out this way. You'll have to find another way around." Eventually, the guards tire and are overpowered, but not without a fight, so, though it inevitably succeeds, the vomit is resisted with every fibre of my being. And that's why I hate throwing up. Sucks to be Aimee.

By the way, they don't have All U Can Eat Buffets in the UK; they have Eat As Much As U Like Buffets, which I think has a more polite tone to it, and doesn't always have to end in vomiting like American buffets.

Enough on my philosophy of puke; my goodness, I could write an essay on anything. Now I just need a good segue into my real subject. Hmmm. Speaking of vomit, have you met my friend James? (Sorry James, best I could do.)

From left to right: Aimee "I usually have a neck" Beimers, James "My face isn't always this lopsided" Cooper
James invited us up to his folks place in Glossop for Easter, which, when we accepted a few weeks ago, sounded like a wonderful idea. As the date came, so did Aimee's fatigue and propensity to vomit at the drop of a hat. James was promising some brisk country walks in the Peak District, and a lovely home cooked dinner of beef bourguignon. In, say, Week 4, Aimee would have been up for that. In Week 7, she was up for sleeping and Melba toast. What were we to do?

So, we had to tell them. Prepare them for the possibility of afternoon naps and sudden lunges to the toilet, rather than let them figure it out for themselves. Yes, definitely the more polite course of action.

In afterthought, Aimee was reasonably alert and had a hearty appetite, so we might have been able to get away without telling, but in the end we were glad we did. We were able to share our excitement with a few more people, Aimee could get lots of motherly advice from Mrs Cooper, and now I've got a friend in Leicester who knows about my upcoming daddyhood. What a great way to spend Easter!

Certainly a much better way to spend Easter than my footnote.

*How's this for uncomfortable? Suddenly getting diarrhea in the public restroom of an Eat As Much As U Like Buffet, but your own smell causes the urge to vomit the second you sit down on the toilet so you instinctively pitch forward and vomit into your elastic-waistband-and-ankle stretchy trousers causing the vomit to pool around your calves. And you forgot to lock the cubicle door.**

**This footnote almost caused Aimee to throw up again, so it must be pretty gross.

Did you know?

A baby's intestines begin developing inside of its body, but then, like a college student who eats nothing but KFC, they get too big too fast and have to move out! They park themselves in the umbilical cord until the baby's body catches up, then move back in to their proper place. Travelling intestines. Who woulda thought?
Did you also know?

The citizens of Gainley spend the most money per capita on cigarettes than any other town in England! Ick!
People in the know

Hangin' with the Coopers this weekend, they were bound to find out!

Aimee's cravings

Kraft Dinner! Inga: send another crate, or I'll have to eat crappy British mac & cheese out of a can!
Aimee's Book of the Week

The Best Friend's Guide to Pregnancy
By Vicki Iovine
Excellent book - it's like a warm hug. This is how pregnancy books should be - do we really want to hear about how many different diseases it's possible to catch or read an alphabetical list of the different types of potential birth deformities? Nope. We want to read about how you really shouldn't suddenly decide to cut your hair short halfway through your pregnancy, and key tips on listening to advice that you have no intention of taking. The only drawback of this book is that it seems to have been written in 1990's America. A lot of mention of stirrups (the fashion, not the device) and high-rise pants. But with the way fashion is heading now, perhaps it's almost ahead of its time again!
Baby got B-mail!

First impressions are everything! Get your message in first, before somebody else tells the baby about what you're really like!
Send a message to the womb and beyond!
Muncus Cooper's Parenting Tip: Caring for an infant shouldn't be any more difficult than caring for a small pet, since being the same species you would be instictively more attuned to its needs.
*Muncus Cooper is neither a parent, psycologist, paediatrician, nor TV license payer. Should any wish to follow Muncus's advice, it is at his/her own risk.

baby visits
an historic town
baby visits a
lead mine
baby visits
an authentic
British home
baby visits
the set of Pride
and Prejudice

Baby.beimers now proudly presents: A Series of Uninteresting Events!
James and I grew tired of striving for the picturesque and decided to instead search for banalities. Our results were so dull, so drab, so utterly pointless, that we had to ask the question... Which of these sits squarely at the bottom of the trough of mediocrity? Which of us is the Salieri of photography? You decide!

1. Fallen Tarpaulin

2. Eighties Coke Ad

3. Soup on the Stoop

4. The Descent

5. Evil is a Foot

6. Sod It
Click each photo to enlarge, then vote for the mediumest!

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4  5  6

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Interested in Kevin and Aimee's other adventures? Of course you are!
Lose a month out of your life reading the Roadtrip or the Bikeabout. They're rather funny.

© 2006 Kevin & Aimee & Baby Beimers.
Not just for breakfast anymore!