Announcing pregnancy to family and Santorini holiday

Just a few days after the Leeds Festival, I was travelling to Santorini, Greece, on the 3rd September 2015.  This was a holiday I was craving for months.  To share amongst this longing of being abroad with white-washed clifftop villages and romantic sunset views, were my cousin Louella, Mama Alicia, and Auntie Estrella.  We have never had a holiday of just us 4 and this was booked ages ago! By the way, the GP appointment is scheduled for when I return.  Finally!

I was dithering, walking around the flat like Penguins from Madagascar (If you know how they walk, I was not even showing any bump at all) whether I should tell Mama Alicia and Papa Marcelino.  Especially due to the holiday where I would not be my usual active, drinking, and exploring self.  Frantically deliberating, I annoyingly bugged Martin on his thoughts, and called Louella for reassurance and some advice.  (Louella was extremely pleased she was going to be an Auntie). What a damn nuisance I must have been – similar to hearing Melanie Pearson from Neighbours constantly cackle.  That alone would drive me mental.

Plucking up the courage, Martin and I head to my parents to tell them the good news.   Whilst travelling there I was building a barrier around me, the highest mountain it could be.  This was in case my parents had some audiokinesis superhuman power. I expected X-Men’ Storms lightning bolts to hit me when they hear what we have to say. (I am not sorry for the super hero mentions across this blog.) Yet we had utter, uncomfortable silence.  I just wanted to knock knock on an invisible door in front of them and say “Anyone there?”  I handed a gift, a coloured Pots & Co dessert ramekin, with little socks and a fold out message with the words written, “Lola and Lolo, you are going to have a grandchild.  Love Laila and Martin”.  Lola and Lolo are Filipino translations for grandfather and grandmother.  Eventually after what felt like 5 minutes (but I am sure it was shorter), Mama Alicia either could not comprehend the idea or read my writing.  In aid, Papa Marcelino explained that I was pregnant. A few tears trickled down my cheek as I had an imprint that I was talking to my traditional, back in the day parents and fearing the worst.   I thought a big row would explode but was greeted with the sound of my screeching Mama Alicia congratulating us.  This was then followed by a welcoming hug that broke my mountain moved swiftly towards me.  Though Mama Alicia was thrilled, Papa Marcelino was remaining soundless. How was Martin feeling at this point?  Papa Marcelino turned the awkwardness around to sheer amusement.  He explained, a while ago he was pondering when he would eventually have a grandchild! I have to say, that there was one meaningful yet shyly joking comment from Mama Alicia of when we were getting married.  Oh how many times we would have this question replayed through others! So now they know and all would be ok on holiday.  We also told Auntie Estrella, Uncle Roger, Anthony, Jimvee, Monica and Ian.  All who gave their kindest blessings and loudest happy screams to show how much they loved the idea of us becoming parents.

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Where we thought we had time on our hands – we nearly missed our flight! Try running or in my case speedily fast brisk of walking to the terminal.  Damn, it was long! Mama Alicia insisted on carrying my luggage (I do get infuriated when people think I am helpless because I am pregnant but I do understand I need to let go and let anyone be my servant – haha.) At least we were not the last ones – as a group behind me were shouting “Wait!!” Our first night we went to grasp the scenic views and explore the shops in the hills, looking out to the sea.  Just enchanting! We ate at a lovely restaurant – tasting all the Greek food that we could munch on. Oh, how I desired a touch of local wine whilst the others drank! Just a sip.  Come on.  Give me a taste! Disappointed, I had Coke but at least it was from a glass bottle.  I have no inclination why but Coke in a glass bottle always tastes fizzier and refreshing – all that sugar, so bad but oh so good! I was looking forward to the itinerary we arranged for the next couple of days; Oia to take panoramic sunset views that are picturesque, volcano cruise including hot springs and Santorini’s history.  I could not wait for this country to intensify my love of travel.

Waking up the next morning, I head to the toilet, awakening Louella with the most aching, broken hearted and helpless cries of screams. I had the freshest red blood covered all over my knickers and dripping down the toilet.  There was dried reminiscence down my leg left through the night. For those that do not know – this can be a miscarriage or leads up to a miscarriage.  All the crying sucked all of my energy within me, falling to floor, hysterical. This was the breaking point that I knew I was certain I wanted Bump Lentil, even with all my reservations.  Why does it take something like this for me to be ascertained!?   Louella, emotionally too, supported me towards the bed and called Mama Alicia and Auntie Estrella.

The next thing I knew I was at a hospital, where the hospital was inserting items to check the blood down there. With this, she regretfully explained that I have miscarried but would double check with a scan. I wanted to break down, and was so thankful Mama Alicia was accompanying me. I was then taking to another room for blood samples.  Fail. Needles in both arms did not draw anything through.  The nurses had to use the dorsal hand veins instead of the arm and leave some sort of tube/container on there. Half the day had gone by and I felt like a zombie with plasters on both my arms and hands to where the needles left its mark.  Eventually, after a lot of staring at other patients walk by, I had an ultrasound in a dim lit room, cold gel over my tummy, and the probe machine scanning over my stomach.  The doctor could see the sac (I had no clue what I was meant to see.  A circle? Was that it? I could not tell what I was meant to be looking at!) but hear no heartbeat of Baby Lentil. I felt like I was being crushed between 2 solid steel plates, and suffocating.  We had to come back to try again in a few hours.  Maybe there is hope?  Arriving later that same day, the news did not elevate.

I was then taken to a private gynaecologist, somewhere else on the island who would perform a transvaginal ultrasound.  Again, items prodded inside of me, along with a camera. Whilst looking on the monitor, horses galloping could be heard!  There was Baby Lentil – healthy and a good heartbeat rate, estimated at 6 weeks – 7 weeks in and due around 26th April 2016, the same day as Papa Marcelino birthday! This was the best feeling in the world – and I was so overwhelmed.

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Least to say, I missed out on the tours that day and the next, but that did not matter! Through all of this hell of pain, my family and Martin were so compassionate, when I felt so lost.  I love you all  and Bump Lentil– and nothing can express how much!

Leeds Festival 2015 during pregnancy

In less than a week from finding out that my uterus is starting to perform all the necessary stages to carry an embryo, I was heading to the Leeds festival. I still did not know how many weeks I was in, as my GP was on holiday.   To my dismay, not only was I panicking about things I should not do – the realisation I could not drink alcohol put such a frown upon my face! I got more frustrated about it when Martin and I went to do the big bulk shop of food and drink!  Whilst Martin was piling the shopping trolley with everything that can diminish your mind type of fluids, I was only adding juice.  Do not get me wrong, I love fruity juice – just love alcohol on certain outings! We read up that there is a high miscarriage rate in the first trimester.  Therefore we did not want to inform many people and would let the pregnancy run its course. However we agreed we would inform Phil, Martins brother and Laura, bride to be, as we were going to enjoy the Leeds festival together. As Laura put it, sober @ Leeds! Both were totally chuffed.  My mind was overloading as we knew we would be due around their wedding in May 2016. If I have to give birth in Cumbria, I will!  Or magically hold my breath in so Baby Lentil does not pop out until afterwards! Hurry up GP appointment!  Grrrrrr!

Can I handle this? I know, I am 32 and only experiencing this enormous event only now. WTF? Do pregnant woman even attend these events?  I know – stupid questions.  But I am starting to question everything! What is good, bad, acceptable, not acceptable, safe, and harmful? Does my GP not understand I am new to this! My blood was boiling as I would erupt with an encyclopaedia of questions, that is just being archived for now. I do not want to always refer to the internet – I just want to communicate with someone person to person and talk about pregnancy so that my worries could dissipate.

For my first time festival, I felt I did it right. Pink Moon Camp was a necessity – comfortable and hygienic whilst being pregnant.  I shred skin flakes like crazy and can be dry due to my eczema – so having showers nearby was heavenly.  Knowing that outside the camp, others could possibly be sleeping in mud, faeces, urine and rubbish cruelly put a smile on my face. I did despise the toilets by the stages, though.  I never knew that I could pick up any scent so easily.  A peg on my nose would not even mask those smells in to a far off land. Yet at most performances, I had to keep befriending the toilets.  I have not camped in over 5 years and remember how it was – still fun. Our own little BBQ’s, hot drinks at the side of the readymade tent.  I have to regretfully admit, I did not know many of the artists but they were amazing hearing them live.  Metallica was just crazy! Festivals and early stages of pregnancy is challenging but I would go again!