Staircase Obsession and Weird Pains

I’m getting very bad about updating this pregnancy blog. I think it’s because I feel like nothing much is going on at the moment, but that’s not quite true. Last blog post, for instance, I completely forgot to mention than we’ve found a house to live in, and we’ll be able to move into it at the beginning of August. We’re going to have to call a lift truck (or whatever you call them) to move some of our bigger furniture out of the flat through the balcony, because of course the lift is still under reconstruction. And we’re not sure how many people will be able to come and help. But we can’t wait to get out of here. There are so many things wrong with the flat, and our landlord just doesn’t care. There’s no way we’re staying for another winter with a newborn baby.

So we’ve found a house, owned by a lovely couple (friends of a friend) who lived in it for 20 years before moving to a smaller house in a village 5 miles away. They insisted on re-tiling the floor and re-painting the living room (which has high ceilings and wooden beams) before we moved in. It’s a very old house – 17th century – but they’ve done a lot of work on it over the years, including converting the backyard into a kitchen, so it’s both gorgeous and not falling apart.

By some massive stroke of luck, the owners want to keep it relatively cheap, which means it might actually cost us less than our flat, despite the fact that it’s in the town center and also it’s a goddamn house. They could ask for quite a lot more, but they don’t want to, and unlike many landlords, they don’t seem too squeamish about taking on job-seekers as long as we can prove we have the money saved up to pay the rent for a year (which, luckily, we do).

The only thing I don’t like about it are the stairs. There are two staircases (not including the one that goes down to the cellar, which is appropriately damp and cave-like and really only appropriate for keeping wine). One of them leads up to the first floor, and the bars on it are quite far apart, so that a curious toddler could easily fall through them. This we can solve by attaching some kind of temporary barrier to the bannister, and maybe covering that with fabric if we want it to be pretty.

The second floor staircase, however, consists of two zig-zag flights with a landing in between, and the bannister is on the side of the wall. This means that there’s no barrier at all between the two flights, which means that not only could a toddler or small child fall quite badly from one flight down to the other, but a full-grown adult could, too, especially if said adult is carrying a child, or even a laundry basket, and is known for her clumsiness, and has trouble getting down stairs anyway because she has duck feet (all the time, not just while pregnant).

The second floor is a loft bedroom that will most likely become ours once Baby has grown up enough to sleep full nights in her own room. We can’t put her up there, carrying her down would be too much hassle and dangerous to boot, especially if she decides to wriggle around or suddenly flings herself out of my arms (which I’ve known babies to do).

On the other hand, anyone who has encountered pre-breakfast me will agree that putting what amounts to an obstacle course between a zombie and the bathroom – two between said zombie and breakfast – is a recipe for disaster.

My boyfriend doesn’t seem worried about this. He’s convinced that once we’ve been there for a couple of months, I’ll have memorised the way down, and be able to get down safely. I’m worried about that memorisation period, especially during my midnight trips to the bathroom. I’ve had trouble just getting down there in daylight, but in the dark?

His lack of support in this matter hasn’t helped me convince the owners that this is a problem. They slept up there for 20 years, after all, and never fell. They’re reluctant to put in a bannister, but have offered to put in some other kind of temporary solution, although for the life of me I can’t visualise what.

In the meantime, I’m left with my brain playing out horror movies in which I’m alone with the baby and I go down to tend to her and fall and bang my head and bleed to death while she cries in her cot all day, until her dad gets home.

Or else she’s bigger, and wants to come upstairs to see us, and while running up she falls and bangs her head etc. etc.

I’ve fallen down stairs countless times during my childhood, but usually the stairs were carpeted, and all in one flight, and had either a wall or a bannister on each side, which – believe me – makes a big difference.

So that’s what I’m worried about right now. That and the actual move, in which I will not be allowed to carry any heavy boxes or furniture, and will probably feel useless and frustrated.

Other than that, I forgot to mention that we’ve had the other morphology scan, during which she was more conveniently positioned, but still refused to get her 3D photo taken. Seriously, as soon as the doctor turned the 3D scanner onto her face, she moved her hand up in front of it, as though saying “no photos please!”. She’s such a diva already.

This morning I got what felt horribly like a menstrual cramp only very, very localised in my lower right gut. We were outside at a car boot sale, walking, and it made me limp a little. I was tired from getting up comparatively early. The baby hadn’t moved yet. It was continuous rather than throbbing, and a hot ache rather than a stabbing pain, and situated right about where my appendix is. It got a bit scary when it didn’t go away after fifteen minutes. So we went home, and after another twenty minutes in the car it started to subside, so I went for a nap when we got in, by which time it was nearly gone.

My boyfriend woke me up a couple of hours later so I wouldn’t get insomnia tonight, and by then the pain had become more familiar: it turned out to be constipation. Once I’d let off some of the pressure, so to speak, I read up on it and the reason it felt like a menstrual cramp, if what I’ve read is true, is because when you get constipated and your intestine presses on your uterus for too long, it can cause the uterus to cramp up a bit.

My research also tells me that Braxton-Hicks contractions happen quite frequently from your 6th or 7th week into pregnancy, but you don’t start feeling them before the 16th week at the earliest. I’m 25 weeks in today and still haven’t felt one, so that’s one pregnancy symptom I’ve so far been spared, apparently. Personally if I’d had to choose, I’ve have chosen the Braxton-Hicks in exchange for the nausea.

And of course, Baby woke up around the same time as me and has been poking me in disturbing places ever since. I don’t mind as much today, though.


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