Wednesday, January 31, 2007

lap swimming rules- Australia

This is something thst really, really gives me the shits.

I am an admitted late starter swimmer. I couldn't complete an entire lap before I was about 16. I still can't breastroke or butterfly. I haven't quite mastered tumble turns. So when I started swimming laps at the pool, I was quite anxious to observe others and get the etiquette right.

I've Googled and wiki-ed this, and there aren't any Aussie versions. Good American rules appear, but of course they swim 'on the other side of the road'. If you ignore the 'right' and make it 'left'
is pretty good.

So here are my lap swimming rules for Australians (and everyone else who drives on the left!)

1. Before entering the pool, have a pee. Persons peeing in the pool should be publically shamed. Don't blow your nose into the water. If you have a band-aid and it comes off, it is your responsibility to fish it out of the water so it doesn't become a 'snack' for other swimmers.
2. If 'slow, medium, and fast' lanes are so marked, share the lane according to your ability. WALKING IS, BY DEFAULT, 'SLOW'. If you cannot complete a lap under 40seconds, you are NOT, repeat NOT fast. Not even by half.
3. Where lap speeds are not posted, try to guage which lane is occupied by swimmers of similar ability and speed to yourself and join that lane.
4. Keep to the left. This means you. This also means as far to the left as is practicable. Not just to the left of the centre line, the left of the lane.
5. If someone is swimming faster than you in your lane and is right behind you, let them pass you on the next turn.
6. If you need to stop at the end of a lap, hang to the sides of the lane whilst resting. Don't sit in the middle with your back to the lane and complain when someone touches your back instead of a wall. If you're not tumble turning, have a quick look and see who else is in your lane and how close they are, and maybe hang back to let them turn in front (see 5).
7. Lap swimming means just that. It's not for swimming half laps, stopping and thinking about doing some more. Then stopping again. It's not normally walking laps either. There will normally be one lane already with some other people walking in it. If you want to walk, walk with the other walkers or in the kiddie pool. The only excuses for stopping half way are near-drowning, a wardrobe malfunction or the unexpected ingestion of bugs or other floating 'snacks'. Oh and contractions. (Ok, any medical emergency).
8. If there is more than one person in your lane (ie you) then please DON'T butterfly. It takes up the entire width of the lane. Sure you will impress with your manly physique, but, seriously; it just makes you look like a wanker. Backstroke is another anti-social stroke unless you keep right over to the side of the lane. When you breast-stroke, keep you feet to yourself. My fetus likes kicking but does itself not like being kicked.
9. I reserve the right to kick extra hard and splash you in the face as I pass if you are not obeying the rules and giving me the shits.
10. Sharing is something you should have learned in kindy, or at least primary school. If you are a little old lady, these rules still apply to you. Being old, stupid and racist does not mean you don't have to share.

Friday, January 26, 2007

I really like this photo I took of my beautiful neice last year. We were at a great Vietnamese restaurant in Melbourne (Tho Thos) after the exam and young Ms L was determined (at the age of two) that she would eat her food with chopsticks just like the rest of us (she's pretty clumsy just with a knife and fork, but we breed tough, determined women in our family). She is a picture of concentration. I love the blurry waiter in the background, too.

Monday, January 22, 2007

All together now...

It's summer. I spend a lot of the time hanging around the house in a sarong and bra. Yesterday I could feel something tickling my inner thigh.

This is the monster that I plucked out. As you can see, uncurled it is about 14.5 cm long (nearly 6 inches).

"Oestrogen has a trophic effect on skin, nails and hair growth". That's right, not just the hair on your head, either.

All together now:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How long now?

How long now?
- about 5 weeks 4 days

How long 'til you finish work?
- about 4 days (and I can't wait)

How is the PET?
- BP fine; proteinuria, gone; oedema, shocking (painful tenosynovitis the worst)

Are you excited?
- well, actually, a combination of terrified, anxious, apprehensive, sad and excited. And bloody nervous, too.
I'm terrified that something will still go wrong, or the baby will have some sort of funny syndrome, or have cerebral palsy or some other thing we can't screen for antenatally.
I'm anxious that mum is coming to help out, but she occasionally drives me crazy, and that this may be a really bad idea. Also my dad and sister are coming to visit the week after the due date, and will want entertainment. I'll be too shickered and may tell them to go f*&k themselves.
I'm apprehensive about all that labour entails. You have to remember that my experience of labour for the last three years has all been of women who are requesting epidurals because of the unbearable pain, or because they are exhausted. I'm worried that I will not cope.
I'm sad because my llife will change forever, and, quite honestly, I quite like my life. I especially like being able to pick up and go somewhere at a moment's notice. I like being able to travel with only what I can carry. I like not having responsibilities other than to myself(including professionally) and my husband. I like being able to get up early and go for a swim when I want.
I'm also sad because I have spent so long worrying about and denying this pregnancy that I haven't let myself enjoy the pregnancy. When I first fell pregnant, I was so overjoyed with the idea of being a vessel to creation, so alive to the new life within me; I felt so blessed and ripe. That lasted a whole week and a half until I miscarried. I have spent at least 30 weeks of this pregnancy deliberately concentrating on other things (the exam, selling the house, moving house, the holiday) so if this one didn't go as planned, again, I would protect myself from the hurt of loss. Now that I want to enjoy the pregnancy, I'm not sure how that is done- where do I have to go mentally to allow myself to do it? The closest I get is when I am swimming in the mornings, possibly because this is also the time I feel the most well physically (no tenosynovitis, sciatica, respiratory embarrassment or heartburn), and my belly swells out in front. I imagine I am a great sleek seal, a great sleek pregnant seal. It's lovely. But the minute I am on dry land again, I feel lethargic and enormous and sore.

I am excited about meeting the baby, but I would be lying if I didn't say that because of all that shit I don't really feel bonded to it at all.

I think this is what worries me the most- before we started trying to get pregnant, I imagined pregnancy would be a wonderful, intimate time of bonding with the new life that is so very much a part of you. It hasn't been, because of my major denial. I want very badly to start feeling this bonding, but I only have 5 weeks and 4 days left. I am sincerely worried that I won't be able to love this child as much as it surely deserves, simply because of my own selfish denial in order to protect myself from the potential of loss.

So despite having now been blessed with actually being pregnant, and making it to a major milestone (34 weeks), I am so scared that I will not be the mother thst this child deserves. Does that make sense? I had a dream last night that I had had the baby (I had a GA LSCS in the dream) and then when they brought around the baby (which was already smiling and walking) that I didn't feel like it was mine at all; the baby seemed like a present someone gives you that obviously was very expensive and difficult to source, but completely not your taste, but you still feel obligated to put it on the mantelpiece and ooh and aah at it all the time. It was disturbing.

What a mess I am.