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Sugar High

Posted on: Thursday, 28 August 2014

The end is nigh. We're back at work - all be it in the obligatory Training Day uniform of ill-fitting jeans and bad trainers, but it's work nevertheless - and teaching starts next Tuesday. SOB. Where did those glorious weeks go? And, more to the point, where did this belly come from? I left school at 19 weeks preggo and I'm now 27 and WOOOAH there.is.a.difference.

So, pre-empting the Nightmares Of Doom (and I still had one!) on Wednesday night before the official return today, I got up on Monday, got the tram in at normal time (ugh, hello 7am daylight, haven't seen YOU for a while) and did a day 'to get ahead' (hahahahaha oh sweet, naive Laura). I was mightily smug. The next morning, however, I was knackered. That's the thing with this work business - it's every day, five days on the trot. Who came up with this? Not Scandinavians, that's for sure.

Oo, and we've been to see some creches too. I know. HOW. WHAT. My mind is still struggling to compute that this child is NOT YET BORN and yet we're thinking about its childcare in over a year's time. This is the norm, apparently - in fact, we're late - you're supposed to inform creches 15 weeks into pregnancy to get on some kidney transplant-style waiting list, at least if you want a hallowed place at a Francophone commune creche where the fees are cheap (500ish euros full-time, or so goes the rumour) and doctors' notes result in deductions of fees for days legitimately missed due to sickness. I KNOW! My sister was speechless with admiration/envy.  

This was not a commune creche. It was a private creche. It was lovely (although the Romanian-orphanage-style room full of cots was a little bit, well, odd). It was also expensive. It's in the right area for us (I don't mean that in terms of our baby wouldn't be seen dead anywhere else, but rather that the transport links for work are good). Apparently we can claim some of the eye-watering outlay back in tax. In fact, I had the most boring text message exchange of our entire relationship with Adam about this very important fiscal issue. I've never felt more attractive as when typing the words 'we'd qualify for 11 euros tax back for each day of FT childcare' into BBM messenger.

I also went for a scan and the gestational diabetes test at the hospital. AGAIN with the mental private healthcare process: display no symptoms of anything ever but for the LOVE of your unborn CHILD make sure you have every expensive diagnostic test under the sun - and thank your gold-plated-Daddy-Warbucks-health-insurance-stars for it. And actually, while I'm on, in a bizarre twist of coincidence do you know how many times I've come across the term 'socialised healthcare' in newspaper articles - all right, all right, episodes of The West Wing - as if it's something dirty or cheap or dangerous recently? I'll tell ya: LOADS. And to me, and maybe to Brits on the continent generally, that's just mad. My hospital is lovely, don't get me wrong, and my doctor is lovely and I am appreciative that I won't be forced to conjugate unfamiliar French verbs mid-delivery AND I can buy a bloody leather bag in the giftshop should the fancy take me, really I am, but it's just all a bit - excessive. There's a post-modernist sculpture in the hallway. The fella at the sandwich bar today asked me if I wanted balsamic vinegar.

And I think of the NHS vision and their wonderful staff, doing things efficiently and largely in the most cost-effective way possible, and I like that. It's responsible. It's no-nonsense.

ANYHOO. Check me and my first world problems out: my hospital is too nice. My luxury leather handbag bought in the giftshop (not really) is chafing my shoulder. The midwife makes crap tea (not really). Second time around (!) I'll be a lot more informed and a lot braver about sacking some of this guff off, I feel.

So today I had blood taken and then I drank this. It was rank.

Mmm, sweet all-natural naranja. 

Then I sat about for an hour and had more blood taken. My veins started putting up a fight at this point - "Ce n'est pas vrai, ce n'est pas vrai" muttered the nurse, which disturbed me a little - and she had to take it from my wrist.

Then I sat around for another hour and had more blood taken. By this point my veins all seemed to have pretty much collapsed. I thought she was going to have to start hunting in between my toes and I would leave l'hopital looking like Amy Winehouse in those horrific 2007 ballet shoe paparazzi shots.

But hey, test done, and hopefully I don't have diabetes, my bairn will suffer no lasting side-effects other than maybe a predilection for Monster energy drinks and I can just get on with the serious business of getting fatter and fatter. After being bridesmaid for my friend this weekend, obvs. Everyone loves a pregnant bridesmaid! Woop woop! That DJ better have Salt n Peppa Push It, I'm telling you.

And so I shall leave you with a few things that are floating my boat this week despite the impending tolling of the Back To Work bell:

* James Booth's new biography of Philip Larkin is Book of the Week on Radio 4. YOLO! You can listen again for seven days only here. It sounds wicked and is giving me endless quotable nuggets of twitter joy. Don't thank me all at once.

* The idea of getting a tattoo done by this woman. In another braver, edgier life.

* Donna Wilson has launched a range of baby and children's clothes for John Lewis. LOOK. Can I justify buying this now? Do you think a boy could wear this? I totally do, so don't tell me otherwise, yeah?

* This is my favourite twitter account ever. Everything she says makes me die. There's an English Language A level coursework project in it somewhere.

And you? What's rocking your boat? I could do with some good social media accounts if anyone has any recommendations (I want more real people, yerr narr?), book recommendations to keep my reading strength up as term begins or, you know, places where I can look at pretty baby stuff is always welcome. And if anyone has any creche advice for an actual Creche Idiot (that's me), please do tell. What should I be looking for? What questions should I be asking? Although you should know I have all the tax questions covered. I'm cool like that.


  1. Vert Baudet has gorgeous baby clothes-I think it's linked to La Redoute

    1. Oh my. The grey cardigan in the baby boy section is divine.


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