Archive for December, 2007

Alleviating fears and stocking up on debt
December 14, 2007

On Wednesday we went for another scan (14 weeks) with a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist. The reason we went to see a specialist was because Angie was quite concerned that the baby might have abnormalities.
The reason for this concern was more than the usual advanced paranoia. It was to do with the chronic medication she was taking before falling pregnant (and for a very brief period of time while pregnant). Topamax (or at least topirimate, the active ingredient) has demonstrated selective developmental toxicity in mice. Reading the linked article I see that there were primarily craniofacial defects, but for some reason Angie feared we had a child growing in her with no arms or legs.

The weeks leading up to the scan have been quite tense, and the intensity amplified on the way to the hospital. We snapped, hissed, and snarled at each other. I tried to be supportive and say soothing things. My success rates varied. Wonderful opportunities to practice patience were afforded to all!

We got in to see the doctor who happily informed us that Eskom had scheduled load shedding in the next ten minutes, so we rushed in to get the scan done and confirmed that everything was fine. About 2 minutes afterwards the power went off. The doctor suggested that some form of divine intervention was at play in delaying the power failure until after its scheduled time.

The thing I helped created no longer resembles a blob. It is, without doubt, human. The doctor pointed out all of its bits. It has little waving-around arms. It has legs. It has a bladder (so the kidneys are working). It has a brain, and eyes, and even little eye-lenses. It has a spine. It has a prominent nose. It sleeps. It was woken up. And maybe, just maybe, it has a penis. Probably I have a son, but we can only confirm his sex at the next scan (20 weeks).

The relief that everything was okay didn’t hit me immediately. Angie was totally relieved once she saw those arms waving and fingers curling.
I didn’t think I needed to be relieved because I didn’t think I’d been worried. Only once we left the hospital did I begin to realise how tense I’d been, and suddenly a wave of exhaustion rushed over me.

The other news is that our offer for our new home was, after a slight increase, accepted. We are soon to be seriously thrown into a goopy pile of debt.
The acceptance of the offer has resulted in the installation of new laminate floors and the removal of the previous manky carpets.
Other people installed the floors, but I have applied some DIY of my own:

  • All light-bulbs are now working (don’t laugh — that is DIY).
  • Some cracks in the plaster have been repaired, while others will be addressed in due course.
  • Much clutter has been packed into boxes, but said boxes are still causing clutter of their own (though it may be a more compressed form of clutter). The boxes need a new, temporary home. Those who have previously volunteered are soon to be imposed upon.
  • Mildew infested sealant on sinks has been replaced and repaired on bathroom sinks. Kitchen and bath are lined up for treatment.

We need to sell our current place before the end of January. Hopefully that won’t be too challenging with the floors we’ve just installed.
All in all, things are proceeding very well.

An amusing side-effect of the laminate floors is that they are far more slippery than carpets. The dogs, especially Bean, are perplexed. I may write more on this at Waffle Group. Nothing on the topic is there at the moment though.

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Building a nest
December 2, 2007

The search for a place to raise the spawn has begun in earnest. This nesting thing is a little weird. There is a very strong urge on my part to provide a suitable home for my child. I consider our current place totally unsuitable, but I’m not completely sure why.
I say it’s not big enough, but that’s nonsense. We could clear out the study and turn it into a nursery. Somehow this seems wrong.
There’s no garden, and a child needs a garden. However, our complex has lovely communal grounds and gardens and so the child (once he or she grows enough) will have a garden to play in. If the number of children running about in our complex are anything to go by, this isn’t an issue at all. Yet, it feels like it is.
Like I said, this nesting thing is weird and I don’t get it, but I’m willing to go along with it.

Since we found out about the pregnancy we’ve been taking steps to find a bigger abode. The steps have been gradual so far.
We knew we needed to sell our current place, so we found an estate agent we liked.
We knew to sell the place we need to fix up the manky carpets, so we eventually found someone to replace them with laminate floors.
We know we’ll need a bond, so we started organising pre-approval for one.
Things in our house needed to be tidied, so we’ve started working on that.
Our estate agent showed us one or two places, but nothing we liked or within our price range.

Today we decided to check out a few show-houses. We found one we absolutely love. A free-standing cluster home, plenty of garden space for the hounds to run around in, outside storage ZoZo hut, beautiful finishings inside the house. Plus, no issues with body corporates since we can modify the building without their consent — thus there is space to expand if the family grows and we find the three bedrooms are becoming a little cramped.

Just like that our gradual preparations have taken a quantum step up. We placed a conditional offer to buy, but can’t afford it if we don’t sell what we’ve got as soon as possible. We can’t sell it yet because the things that were gradually being put in place are only partially there.
Tidying and fixing is about to be pushed up a few notches. The hardware store is going to love me tomorrow. Frenetic DIY to follow. Hopefully I’ll surprise myself, because I don’t think I have much competence in the DIY field.