The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

In the face of overwhelming and largely irrefutable evidence, I’m reluctantly resigned to increasing exhaustion and immobility.

I’m not sure why this comes as a shock. Perhaps because I subscribe to the ‘I’m-pregnant-not-suffering-from-some-chronic-debilitating-disease-symptoms-of-which-include-acute-belching’ school of thought.

Inspired by my mum – who, when pregnant with me, played squash up to her eighth month (which, if you consider the number of times I must have violently head-butted her cervix, may serve to explain much) – and my obstetrician in Blenheim – who ran a triathlon at 36 weeks pregnant at the age of 42 (which, because she was my doctor, I prefer to think of as admirable rather than CERTIFIABLY NUTCRACKERS INSANE) – I imagined I’d still be rock-climbing and shark-wrestling well into my third trimester and practicing extreme karate-kicks with my midwife between contractions.

Therefore, I’m fairly sullen about squaring up to reality. This unhappy station includes having to adopt the recovery position for several hours after a round trip to Dunedin, and being incapable of trundling the dog around the Oamaru Public Gardens without collapsing onto every single park bench for the purpose of puffing.

The situation has been aggravated by my recent erratic sleep patterns. In our antenatal class, while the other prospective mothers complained about sleep deprivation, I merely smiled mysteriously (or more likely unbearably smugly). Because until recently, I slept like a hibernating bear with the chromosomes of Rip Van Winkle. (Did you know a tompion is a pellet of mud and saliva that a bear inserts up his anus before hibernating for the winter so that ants won’t crawl in? The word originates from the French ‘tampon’ and can also be used to describe a plug placed in a gun’s muzzle while not in use to keep out dust and moisture. In case you were wondering, neither application has anything whatsoever to do with my REM quality.)

I’m not sure when it started, but I find it just about impossible getting comfortable in bed. Lying on The Asset’s head used to work, but when I try that trick now he kicks my lungs into my oesophagus. It’s been hella hot in the last couple of weeks, which hasn’t helped. Also, my bladder’s holding capacity appears to have shrunk to that of a beetle, resulting in at least two nocturnal bathroom forays. Previously, I’d return from a bathroom run thinking, ‘Beh I’ll NEVER get back to sleep *huff*!’ and three seconds later I’d wake up in the morning. Now – perhaps in preparation for parenthood – I like to prove myself right.

I’ve also adopted a startling grunt. I emit this grim, guttural expectoration when I sit, stand, ascend stairs, pull weeds, throw Jed’s frisbee, open doors . . . in fact, any action other than lying in a perfectly still, prone position. I would grunt rolling over in bed, except that the action is beyond my current skill-range.


Yesterday Andrew and I had planned A Great Adventure.

To be accurate, I planned it and Killjoy Funsucker III failed to talk me out of it.

We drove south and turned west into Trotter’s Gorge where we stopped for a bush-walk. The sign in the carpark estimated the Loop Track at 1.5 hours. It didn’t mention most of it was uphill, which added a striking new depth of flavour to my grunt echoing joyfully around the woody hills.

Back at the carpark, we enjoyed our first swim of the summer in the nearby stream i.e. we crouched in three inches of water seeing who could shriek louder.

We carried on, stopping for a picnic just over Dansey’s Pass: soda bread with great slabs of cheddar cheese, date scones, apples and mince pies.

Last night, I slept like a dead squirrel.


Comments on: "Killjoy Funsucker III" (7)

  1. I do love finding your posts.

    But, in remarkable news … I finally bought you book!!! Im overjoyed at my cleverness. I was not only in Amazon, I thought NIAMH’S BOOK BUY IT. And I did. And I’m aquiver about it. It was never about lack of interest. Sometimes it was about me not having money and/or a credit card for the book ordering place. But mostly it was totally due to incompetence and poor memory and stuff like that.

    Anyway, good luck in the weeks ahead!!! You’ll be grand.

  2. “Did you know a tompion is a pellet of mud and saliva that a bear inserts up his anus before hibernating for the winter so that ants won’t crawl in?”

    No, I did not know that. I’m sure I will never think of hibernating bears in the same way again. Or ants up my anus.

  3. deadlyjelly said:

    Di – always wonderful to catch you. Can’t believe it’s taken you THIS LONG to buy my book! Which one did you get? – there are two and I kinda think the second one is better although maybe it depends whether you prefer plot or character development 🙂 It took MarkJ until last month to read About Time – he said he was saving it up until he went on holiday. But THANK YOU! for getting either of my books and I hope you enjoy it.

    FG – that little nugget of information is something I’ve saved and cherished for years. I’m always thrilled when I can work it into a conversation. If you can apply it to prevent ants roaming around your lower intestine so much the better my friend.


  4. Dammit no, I didn’t know there were two. I bought Little Black Dress. I will get the other.

    I WOULD HAVE bought both if I wasn’t so well … such an appalling person. Sigh. I was so rapt I had managed to do it because it’s been a pain in the ass not remembering for SO LONG.

    I love your writing so I’m fairly sure I’ll enjoy your books. I put it out there on facebook too, with links to your post. I shall continue along that path as well.

    Everytime I read of the hibernating bear info, I get a little nausea … just so you know. xx

  5. Dear DJ, it sounds like you’re at the pumpkin-vine stage of pregnancy, sadly just too late for Halloween. Susan was much the same this time last year. Let me assure you that, however little you’re sleeping now, it’s a lot more than you’ll be getting when The Asset appears.

    On the other hand, once The Asset is out, it does become a great deal more entertaining. It’s surprising how much one can communicate with no vocabulary and no control of one’s facial expressions. At least, compared with when one’s only medium is kicking and no-one has ever taught one Morse code.

  6. deadlyjelly said:

    Hello Di! I hope you are the grandest. If you’ve bought a book called Little Black Dress it wasn’t written by me haha. Little Black Dress is the imprint that published my two books – they’re called Smart Casual and About Time. Whatever you’ve got I hope you enjoy it!

    I’m so pleased about the effect the hibernating bear info has on you. I can only hope you read the post with food. KISSES!

    Vet – actually, I would call it the detonation stage of pregnancy. Thankfully, since I married Andrew, I have had plenty of practice communicating with someone who prefers to express himself with Black n Decker.


  7. I won’t state the obvious about my idiocy, as I have openly displayed it however the book arrived yesterday … ‘Smart Casual’. God only knows why I referred to the whole ‘A little black dress book’ thing. It’s winter here, not a lot of sunshine, the trauma of tearing myself away from Italy, grandmotherhood. Feel free to choose.

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