Jeff might be my literary soul mate. He sent me a copy of My Friend Dahmer speculatively in anticipation of my labour and delivery. I’m sure he didn’t mean to hint that I should pay attention in case Anne has dark fantasies and murderous desires as an adolescent.
I don’t read graphic novels enough. This is an excellent personal observation of Dahmer as a young man, before he started his less-than-wholesome extra curricular activities. Told from a peer’s point of view, it feels very authentic and matter-of-fact. Backderf isn’t shying from admitting to things he did that he may now be ashamed of, and he asks some serious questions of the adults in Dahmer’s life.
Maybe legalising same-sex marriage is another cheap vote grab, but I’m happy that it’s at least progressive. I remember recently seeing some Scot against it being interviewed on the news and his point was no one knows what the consequences will be if same-sex marriage is okayed. I know what the consequences are — people of the same sex who want to get married, can. Simple!
We got Anne into a ring sling and even took a short walk yesterday (to the post box and back). In my currently very limited world, this minor achievement is tantamount to my personally resolving the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines to the satisfaction of all parties.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So I asked the publishers if I could get a review copy of John Irving’s latest, In One Person, because I am a big fan and would (more likely than not) review it. And I got it, two days later.
Billy Dean grows up in 50s and 60s America, with a cross-dressing grandfather (who does so only while acting on stage), disapproving grandmother, aunt, and mother. He doesn’t know what to think about his own complex feelings for Miss Frost, the local librarian, and an older student at his all boys school.
We go on this journey with Billy, whose bisexuality (not a spoiler) keeps him confused and liberated at the same time. The novel travels back and forth through his life, where we meet all the important men and women he’s loved (and who love him). We also get to see the 80s — a truly horrific time for people who have (unprotected) sex with others — through his eyes.
Neil suggested I take a final bump photo as we were heading off to hospital to be assessed (I was in labour, but we had no idea how far along I’d got). Which was probably a good thing, because the next time I was home we had a baby in our lives.
Labouring at home is definitely better than doing it in the hospital, even if it is the midwife-led birth centre. Once I got there and it was confirmed that I was in active labour, things slowed right down. Which kind of sucked. So I had to have my waters broken and things proceeded quite quickly from there, which I will now lay out in point form (because, do you really need to know all the details in florid prose?).
Gas and air was only an option earlier on; the valve became really annoying when I was trying to push.
That said, I was in the birthing pool, so trying to use it over the edge of the pool wasn’t exactly conducive to concentrating on delivery.
Trying to push is like taking a dump. In fact, I took lots of dumps. There was no magic net brandished to neatly scoop everything away.
However, Neil has always said that I am full of shite.
Baby’s head crowning feels like passing a cactus through your unmentionables. I was picturing a succulent I saw / photographed in Xiamen when this was happening. Not very helpful, I’m sure.
Woo, was that placenta big.
Getting stitches after a second degree tear is fine until the final stitch goes through a place which the local anaesthetic didn’t quite reach.
Watching Neil hold and watch Anne (that’s ‘er name) while I was getting stitches was so sweet. You could actually see him fall in love with her.
Being over-over-tired means a lot of shaking. A lot. As well as an inability to actually relax and sleep.
And for a couple of tangents: yes, Kristen, Fembot is pretty much here. Maternity pads are amazing, but they won’t stop the ginormous blood clots from making an appearance. Apparently only peeing and pooping will do. Every day’s a bloody school day, eh?
I know I haven’t reached the estimated due date yet, but my current feeling is this pregnancy — and the sacroiliac joint pain that has been plaguing me since the start of my second trimester — will never, ever end.
Do you think school uniforms are a great leveller or a waste of time? I don’t think I hated my school uniform(s), but I didn’t like how anal-retentive the ‘authorities’ were about how we wore them — that was a complete bugger.
Maybe the UK should take a leaf from China’s book and dress all school kids in shell suits. For some it’s pretty much all they wear anyway!
(The ‘four fingers’ refers to how high our socks had to be over the tops of our school shoes. No more, no less. And it had to be four of whoever’s fingers were doing the measuring.)