Monday, 22 March 2010

Pregnancy Report

I'm sure there are plenty of other things I could talk about, like how adorable the furry new bear babies in Bern are (now that the weather is nicer and they've come out of their cave to frolic clumsily and fall down hills and attack each other in an incompetently adorable way), or how nice it is now that it's not completely freezing every day (even though everything still looks pretty grey and grim and dead). But I'm not going to.

Every time I want to open a tin (that doesn't have a ring pull thing on it, which is most of the tins in my life) I have to get Reto to do it for me. Our tin opener is in a Swiss army knife (an actual one that the Swiss army gave to Reto, funnily enough) and apparently my vampire baby has leached me of sufficient fingernail strength that I would now starve if I was forced to exist on a diet of nothing but tinned corn and chickpeas. Or if I didn't have Reto to open tins for me. Or if I didn't have the means to go and buy a tin opener that I can use.

I almost fainted the other weekend. Sitting down outside in the fresh air made me feel better again, but unfortunately, a few days later at an antenatal class where we were a much larger group than normal, being given a talk by a gynaecologist and an anaesthetist, I started to feel similarly weak and fainty. I went outside and felt better again after a few minutes on the balcony, but then the second time it happened that evening everyone paid a bit more attention to me coming and going, and all of a sudden I had a midwife and the gynaecologist fussing over me in a riot of different languages (which was kind of confusing). They made me come and have my blood pressure checked after the talk was over, found it to be surprisingly high and had a bit of a panic. They insisted I go and see my doctor the next day and have everything checked, so I did, and I was fine. Avoiding poorly ventilated, overly heated rooms seems to be the solution, which should be easy but the Swiss seem to like nothing more that heating their rooms too much and never opening the windows.

People stare at me a lot. It seems to be a common complaint of non-Swiss people living here that the Swiss have an enthusiasm for staring for no apparent reason, something I've never really noticed apart from during the last few weeks. My tummy is really not that big by pregnancy standards (it's far more annoying how often people goggle sceptically at me when I tell them I only have a few weeks to go, as though they think I am lying or deluded or have a pillow shoved down my top and am not pregnant at all, or they start grilling me on my eating habits and whether Reto is a midget or something), but in the last few weeks I have been openly stared and pointed at by squillions of passers-by. One person even stopped as we were passing him and turned to gawk at my stomach. I would wonder if I was being paranoid and if people were just looking in my general direction, but the pointing is really pretty unmistakeable.