Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Due to extreme laziness (and little things like parenthood), the wife and I have relocated to a combined blog.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It's piccy time

So we had our latest visit to the hospital. Everything is progressing as intended. Babies are developing well. One is a couple of days behind the other, but there's always been one smaller than the other and proportionally they're developing at the same rate.

You'll have to excuse the blurriness of the images. The camera wasn't really cut out for this kind of thing.

I think the one on the left is T2. So far that's the best name we've come up with for the little lad. Although we are moving towards "Owen" for this one. That may firm up, depending on which England player scores the winning goal in the World Cup final.

This pic (on the right... hopefully... if I haven't screwed up the formatting) proves - for those of you who may have had doubts - that we are having twins.

I guess it also proves that they're gonna be pretty close. They seem to revel in lying on top of each other. Which makes getting decent pictures pretty difficult.

Think T1 is on the left and T2 on the right. T1 so far is called Thomas. And no, there's no chance of it ever changing to Rooney. Or Defoe.

Due date so far is anywhere between late July and start of August. It's all a bit up in the air, particularly as twin births very rarely go full term. I'm reckoning start to middle of July myself. I guarantee now that it will coincide with England winning the World Cup for the first time in forty years.

Not much else to report in the visit. Pig had some glucose and protein in her urine, which isn't fantastic news. They'll keep an eye on things to make sure it's nothing to be concerned about and to treat it if it is.

This is T1 on his own. Not sure if he's got a headache, he's waving or if he's telling the sonographer to bugger off.

So that's it for now. Sure Pig will get round to updating her blog with some more of what's been going on in the Sid and the Pig household.

It's all been a bit hectic, so you'll have to excuse the sporadic posting. It's not you... it's me. My mind (and my heart) is on someone else. Or rather a couple of other people. And their lovely Mum too, obviously.

Oh - and if you have any better suggestions for boys' names then please post a comment.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Not staying...

Just gonna give a quick update on the world of us.

Things are progressing well, although I'm sure the pig might disagree given how cack she feels. We even got to go out to a pub. Friends of ours were embarking on a bit of a tour so we popped over to Hull to say hi-bye. You can check on their progress here.

In other news, it's been snowing. It's ace. Snow is fantastic. Just wish it was heavy enough to prevent us going to work, rather than make it take two hours to get there. The place looks stunning in the snow.

We've got an anatomy scan next week, so I'll be back with a proper post on Monday night if I'm not too lazy.

And the pig's sister should be moving in this weekend. She's flying over as we speak.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Two little boys had two little toys

Yes, yes I know I've not been around. Got a lot on my plate, ok?

It's been tough coming up with a post these last couple of weeks. My mind has been in a bit of a fug due to having way too many things going on in it. I got used to the idea of being a Dad. Then I got used to the idea of it being twins. Then we had the added stress of mono-amniotic twins. It was all a bit much really.

But my mind eventually calmed down, helped by some productive weekends around the house a bit of a refocus at work and a nice visit from the Grandparents to be.

So with a slightly more sorted outlook it was just time to wait for today's scan and then I could get back into this thing and reacquaint myself with you (albeit in many ways imaginary) lovely readers.

Today's scan was good.

The consultant was much friendlier as was the rather loud midwife who we saw a few weeks ago. They were chatty, even to the extent of faking remembering conversations they'd had with us previously. Then they commenced the assault on Pig's bladder (one thing that pregnant women never tell you is that ultrasound scans have to be done on a full bladder and if they're searching hard for something then they're putting quite a strain on it).

First revelation was that the little mites had developed to such an extent that you could make out their genitals. The fact that you could make out genitals kind of gives away the big reveal.

We're gonna have sons. Two little twin heart-throbs.

Then there was the next revelation. They spotted a membrane.

Yes, I know that finding out the sex of your unborn children should be the big news. But you have no idea of the relief that finding that faint line on the screen brought us. No longer do we have the fear of tangles and the horrible statistics of a mono-amniotic pregnancy to contend with. Just a nice regular twin pregnancy.

So all in all, a good day.

We've got more pictures to show you, but the stills never really convey the feeling of when you're in the ultrasound room watching the twitches and movements of those two little boys.

Oh, and my Dad's chuffed 'cos now he can take them to the football. Like any daughters of Pig would be fussy, prissy little girls that wouldn't have enjoyed that kind of thing.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Part 1 - The Wedding (Off to see the other Dad)

So we had our honeymoon and it was fantastic.

Then it was back to Johannesburg and goodbye to most of our party. BM stayed on and our SA friends who had accompanied us went off to enjoy the sun and countryside.

The next part of our holiday was to be spent in Kwazulu-Natal with Pig's biological father (I came to the conclusion through the holiday that "real" father was an unfair title, as her step-father is way more of a real father than the one who supplied her genes). This part of the holiday was a bit surreal.

We were to stay with Dad v.1, his partner and a couple of his friends in a guest house that they had arranged. So we drove the few hundred miles from JHB to Howick with the aim of getting more detailed directions once we'd arrived. We got there and gave him a ring. He informed us that they were at another friend's house. They were having some drinks and would be having a barbecue (well, obviously he didn't call it that being South African but I'm done with my colloquialisms for the moment). Could we pick up some drinks and some food?

No problem, we thought and bought the supplies. I phoned him back to get directions and he handed me over to a very confused guy who gave me vague but strangely successful directions to their place.

We rolled up and were greeted by a strange site. A middle aged (and rather gone to seed) woman in the skimpiest bikini you could imagine. A feral child of about three wandering naked and refusing to be controlled by anyone. Dad v.1 and his partner lounging in the sun and obviously a little worse for wear. A young couple (the parents of the feral one) and their baby. None of them quite sure what was going on. They'd been to see a white sangoma (I know that isn't the right spelling). They were all a little altered.

It was summed up by two things:

1) It took three hours before one of the party turned to the pig and asked if she and Dad v.1 were related, "cos you look alike".
2) Roughly an hour after this, the sangoma and her two apprentices turned up with a bottle of champagne. When we asked what the champagne was for we were informed it was the guy of the young couple's birthday. We'd been there four hours and no-one had thought it was worth telling us this.

It was all a bit... odd.

So that afternoon and evening passed and we followed the slightly inebriated couple back to the guest house we'd be staying in.

The next day we'd be visiting a sea-world type place (on Dad v.1's partner's prompting) in Durban.

We got up in the morning to find v.1 and his partner about to set off to collect the mad middle-aged woman from the weird people's guest house. He'd pick up his mother (Pig's grandmother) and see us at the sea world type place.

We got there and had a look around. Pig phoned v.1. He was running late so he said we should enjoy ourselves for a bit. It was a bit of a miserable day so we looked through some shops and sat on the beach in the drizzle. We phoned again. They were still running late. We got some lunch. We wandered around a bit more. V.1 finally phoned - he'd arrived. We accompanied them while they had lunch. Then we went to the aquarium. Then we went home. Ace!

Now one thing I should just explain to you is that Dad v.1 is a bit of a thinker. He used to be an architect and then scaled back his life to find himself. He's been writing a book for about ten years. His open mindedness has had a very positive influence on Pig and the way she approaches the world. But now, he's retreated into the world of theory so much that he doesn't seem overly connected to the real world. His life is so theoretical that other people's schedules don't matter to him. Other people's feelings often seem to pass him by. He adapts his perception to fit into his theoretical view of the world. He self edits to such an extent that it's almost as if he doesn't see the same world as you or I would.

That evening was spent Ten Pin Bowling. I don't mind telling you that v.1 was crap. Theory is all well and good, but it doesn't really help in games of skill. We slaughtered him. It gave me far more pleasure than it should.

The next day we went to the mall to do our Christmas shopping. Once that was out of the way we could concentrate on the main purpose of our being there - making our marriage legal.

You see, even though v.1 had performed marriage ceremonies before his forethought hadn't extended to how we would make it legal. We thought it only right therefore to get the legal side of things sorted out in such a way that the person who performed the ceremony could at least be there when we made it legal. We had a vain hope that he might even help us a bit.

No such luck.

On that morning, as we prepared to head off to the Magistrates Court, v.1 said his goodbyes and he and his partner headed off to the beautiful countryside near Lesotho. We would have to do this ourselves...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

More tests

So we went for another antenatal and ultrasound today. We'd pushed for the tests for Downs and Edwards and what-not. Us being us, if there's a none-invasive test out there we'll go for it.

The results came back very good, we're at less risk of those things than other people with our backgounds. The chances are infinitesimally small.

The twins are doing well. They've grown and are closer to being the same time size now. But it's looking more and more certain that they're mono-amniotic. This is a bit of a worry.

For those who don't know (and baring in mind that this is from someone who's new to all this twin stuff), twins can either have separate placentas, share a placenta (mono-chorionic) or share both a placenta and amniotic sack (mono-chorionic and mono-amniotic). Ours are the third kind.

This means a couple of things. They're definitely identical. They're less likely (apparently) to suffer from twin transfusion problems. But they are in quite a high risk group due to sharing all their living space. What this means in practice is that there's the potential for complications due to the chords getting tangled.

We're trying not to let it phase us too much. There's nothing at all we can do about it at the moment. What it does mean is that they will have to be monitored very carefully once they are viable (in terms of delivery). It means that they are much more likely to be premature and that the chances of a natural birth are fairly slim.

So we're a bit stressed but trying to remain optimistic and to continue treating the pregnancy as the blessing that we still believe it is. The babies are healthy and active, so there's no reason to think that anything is wrong at the moment.

We'll keep you posted on further developments. I only wish we'd had the presence of mind to ask for some hard copies as everything was much clearer this time.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Part 2 - Back in the real world

Another one of our typical weekends. Moving furniture around. Eating junk. Watching cheesy TV.

The house is now thankfully free of builders (they haven't finished yet, just that they haven't got much left to do inside), so another room was free to be filled with furniture. Again, we've reassured ourselves that this will be a great house... one day.

Got a nice message from a friend of ours in the U.S. Her reaction to the twin news was just what we needed. Happy, but full of "Oh, My God!"s.

Anyway, back to the compulsive "Celebs do Ice Skating" thing that we're watching at the moment.

(Do you like the nerdy category thing I've put in now? Such amazing programming skills. You never lose 'em, y'know. Course in my day, it was all done in Notepad, mutter, mutter)

Part 1 - The Wedding (Safari)

So after the wedding it was time for the honeymoon. Being in Africa, this meant it was Safari time. Being us, this meant dragging seven of our friends along with us.

We drove from Johannesburg to a fantastic spot near Sabi Sands called Djuma and stayed in the Galago camp. We arrived at night and were stunned at how The Pig had excelled herself in organising this place for us.

It's a fantastic place for a group of friends to go to and experience the bush in all it's beauty. Clean, functional rooms. A big open space for a camp fire and to cook. An outside, covered dining area. All curved around a view of a grassy plain. We sat around and aclimatised ourselves to the sounds of the bush and the millions of insects. Then it was an early night so that we could be up for the morning bush drive.

What a drive. Our rangers got a call that some leopards had been spotted. Leopards are very difficult to see when you're holidaying in the bush. We drove to where they'd been seen and caught a glimpse of them through the shrubbery. It was incredible, but it was only the start. We drove on a bit further and saw another leopard in the trees, with a kill. It dragged it down and the rest of the family gathered around it. Our driver took us to within a couple of meters and we watched as mother, father and two juveniles took turns to crunch through the body. No words, or even photographs can get across how unbelievable it was.

The rest of the drive just continued in the same vein. We saw a cheetah, we saw a family of lions, we saw an elephant, we saw buffalo. We even saw a hippo as we stopped for a cigarette break.

It took us until the evening to see a Rhino, otherwise that would have been the entire big six in one morning.

The rest of our time at the camp was just as good. Everything we asked our rangers to track down they did. We saw herds of elephants, with babies playing in a waterhole. We saw more leopards (one - a cub on it's own, playing at stalking gecko's, probably the cutest thing I have seen in my life). We saw a pair of cheetahs, slinking their way through their territory. More lions. Our rangers could even spot cameleons in the trees at night.

There were so many highlights, that I keep thinking of more as I type. The elephant that almost came into the camp to drink from the pool. The trip to our ranger's village. The dung beetles.

Just an awesome experience.


Oh, and Zinnia - those comments were directed solely at the people who've said those things to us in person. Thanks for the links and please don't let my ranting put you off from commenting again.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Starting to sink in

The shock of two little miracles coming along is slowly starting to sink in. So before this blog turns into an endless series of posts about how our lives are about to change in a massive way, I'll try and make some headway on getting you updated on the wedding.

** Warning - contains actual pictures of myself and the pig (it's difficult to share your wedding pictures with the world without including ones with your face in) **

Part 1 - The Wedding (Reception)

So where were we? Ah, yes we got married.

The ceremony was lovely except for the frankly not brief enough Celine Dion musical interlude.

Following the ceremony there was the obligatory meet and great with everyone who had come along. This was accompanied by obligatory "compliments" on our music selection.

At least it cut through the emotion and returned things to what we had originally intended - fun.

What seemed like about three hours later - after photograph upon photograph - Pig and I surgically removed our lips from our teeth (who would have thought smiling for so long could become so uncomfortable?) and headed along for the reception. Now the fun could begin.

We ate. We drank. Finally it was time for the speeches.

My best man took the mic and nervously began. He was wonderful. Throughout the ceremony I had managed not to cry. But his speech was so complimentary to the Pig and I and so warm and unabashedly heartfelt that I couldn't help getting choked.

Then it was my turn. As is my way I just made it up as I went along. I think it went ok. It brought out some more tears in the Pig, so it can't have been too bad.

The Pig followed me and had her say in her usual style. You see - I'm the soppy one, she's the funny one. So guests were admonished for still wearing their ties in spite of our instructions. Female guests were told to remove their stockings. People were basically reminded that this was our wedding, so that meant no formality and everyone would enjoy themselves Goddamnit!

Then we could relax and enjoy ourselves as much as the guests were.

In a lot of ways, a South African wedding reception is very similar to a British one. Or should I say, very similar to Peter Kaye's description of a British one. All the classics were there: Jive Bunny, Greece Megamix. Plus a few new ones - including the rather bizarre Afrikaans tradition of the Sakkie (look it up). The only difference is that there's less self-consciousness and more wild abandon. Which isn't a bad thing at all.

I even managed to drink all day and indulge in shooters with our American friends who came over.

/ As an aside, one side effect of the ileostomy that I discovered while in SA is that drinking is a pretty pointless exercise. If you're lucky you get drunk for around fifteen minutes. Then you have about fourteen hours of being dehydrated. It makes for an appearance of having a manly tolerance for alcohol, but soon becomes very boring and you reach for a fruit juice.

So we mingled and we danced and we sat and we started to feel the excursions and emotions of the day catch up with us.

We headed off to our suite to spend our first night together as a married couple...

Which largely consisted of opening our cards and presents and then collapsing exhausted into the rather massive bed. After all, we had a big day ahead the next day as we'd be heading off for our Safari...

(See how I whetted your appetite there?)

Part 2 - The Present (How the hell are we gonna cope?)

So this twin business is starting to catch up with us. The endless platitudes and hollow comments are all well and good ("You don't do anything by halves, do you?" (just realised that was a comment Zinnia made, sorry darlin'), "What are the chances of that, eh?", "Well done (to me, like it was all thanks to me)!", "Do you have twins in the family", "That'll be a lot of work"), but you just get the feeling that no-one has grasped that this is a BIG FUCKING DEAL!.

Things are already tough for the pig. She's really knackered. Yesterday we had to go down to London for a meeting. Leaping out of bed at six, a looong train journey, a long interminable meeting where she had to maintain a cheery client face, another looong train journey and then a slump onto the sofa is not an ideal day for any pregnant woman, let alone one who has just found out she's carrying twins.

So we're still reeling. The only things that are helping me maintain my sanity are the thoughts of the two beautiful children we're going to have (if they take after their mother) and my absolute faith in the resources of my wife. If only she'd allow herself not to be super-pregnant woman every once in a while.

By the way (and continuing the "my wife is wonderful" theme) if any of you are considering berating me for referring to the pig as the pig, just take a look at the picture above and you'll realise that it's said with a massive amount of irony.

Oh, and before I go - hello to those of you in Australia (you know who you are).

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


So we went along for our scan.

Pig (I'm sick of calling her The Wife - seems so impersonal) clambered onto the table. The radiographer put the jelly on her belly and started searching around for a baby.

"So, I hear you're a bit worried it might be twins then?"
"Yes" We both replied.

Blurred images faded in and out of view as the ultrasound burrowed its way through Pig's tum.

"Well..." the radiographer said.

A baby came into view. There was something indistinct to it's right. It started to coalesce into something more recognisable. Yup... you've guessed it.

Another baby.

We didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So we decided to do both (me mainly laughing, pig mainly crying).

Another twenty minutes or so of poking around, with a second radiographer coming in to help and it was well and truly confirmed.


As far as they can tell, identical twins.

We've spent the afternoon talking to relatives and otherwise being stunned. A baby was always going to be hard work. As happy as we are (and believe me, we are happy), we just can't imagine how much hard work twins are going to be.

I'll post something that makes a bit more sense next time.

Until then, here are some pictures - I hope you can make them out. They make a lot more sense when they're moving.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Crashing on...

So in the same spirit as the last entry, here we go...

Part I - The Wedding Bit

So we awoke in our hotel bedroom on the morning of our wedding. A quick dash to the mall to get some last minute essentials (primarily socks for the bride to wear with her surprise wedding footwear) and then the bride of the moment was off to get her hair cut and her makeup done for the day.

So that left me in charge for the first time in ages.

I gathered the British posse and we made our way to the venue (for reasons way too boring to go into we stayed in a different hotel for the couple of nights before the wedding and would be staying at the venue for the night of the wedding). We then plonked ourselves down and waited... and waited... and then went to the bar... and drank... and waited. The wedding was to commence at four, so there was a lot of waiting.

BM did a good job of checking my nerves and looking after me. I had a couple of things to arrange (this was the first chance to talk to the DJ), but largely I was surplus to requirements.

Then the time came. We toddled off to BM's room and got ready.

Then we went out to the setting for the wedding and we waited again.

And finally the time of the wedding arrived. My balls shrunk and my gut dropped into my toes as the BM and I took our places at the mini lapa for the ceremony.

The music started and I could sense behind me the bride approaching. I was routed to the spot as I waited for her to draw up alongside me. I turned and there she was, looking every bit as spectacular as I imagined she would be.

Her father took the microphone and started the ceremony. We both waited expectantly wondering what he was going to say.

To be honest, he started badly. He started some rambling analogy about defining ourselves in relation to other things. I saw momentary dread on the then w2b's face. Luckily he seemed to pick up on this and gave us the brief version. Then it was on with the rest of the ceremony.

We needn't have worried. Despite his strange views on life, the universe and everything. Despite his disconnectedness with the real world and tendency to live his life academically. Despite of all the aspects of his personality I would learn later in the holiday to dislike. Despite all of these things his words were perfect.

Then it was time for our bits. My salivary glands refused to work and I gasped my way through the words. W2b's eyes began to tear and she squeezed my hand for reassurance - guessing, correctly or otherwise that I was struggling (I don't to this day know whether I was nervous or overcome with emotion). She said her parts with a strong voice but with tears trickling down her face.

We fumbled with an overly complicated arrangement of rings, ribbons and roses and finally placed them on each other's fingers. More words and we kissed.

Then we made our way down to the "congregation" for w2b's father's surprise musical bit. He'd told us previously that there would be a part in the ceremony for music. He had a couple of suggestions for a song and we tried our best to track down the one that sounded least offensive (some Pavarotti and Bryan Adams thing). Little did we know he'd brought a track along himself.

We were told to stand in a circle and hold our hands. Then we were to close our eyes and listen to the music as all that were gathered wished their best wishes to the couple. So we stood and waited and the music started.

And there it was. Celine Dion. Singing "The Power of Love".

I snuck a look at my new bride. She snuck a look back at me. We shared a half offended, half amused smile. Then I started to silently giggle. My wife's eyes widened as she tried to tell me silently to stop. Then she started. Our shoulders began to shake. We looked around and others in the circle were looking around, amused.

And it just went on and on and on.

By the end, the only people not laughing - either at the music or the reactions were my wife's father and his partner.

I imagine he still thinks that the wife's shaking was due to being overcome with emotion.

Part II - The Present

I'll try and keep this brief as I think I've gone on a bit with the bit above.

The dogs have gone. We found a nice new family for them. Even though we know it's the best thing for them, it was still hard. There were tears and there was guilt.

The wife is feeling a bit rotten, counting down to the end of the first trimester.

The house isn't finished.

Still loving being married and can't believe my luck at the person I've found.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I hate homework

When I was a kid, even though I was a bit of a swat one thing I could never get the hang of was homework. Schoolwork came easily to me, but give me something to do in my own time, to my own timetable and with a seemingly far off deadline and I was screwed. I'd leave it and leave it, allowing the overall volume to increase and increase. This in turn fed on itself and made the prospect of getting round to doing any work progressively less appealing.

What I'm trying to say is I know I've got a lot to cover in this blog and the more I put it off, the more I end up having to do.

So I'm gonna try and pull my finger out. In my usual nerdy style, I reckon the best way to do this is to break each entry up into two parts and catch up gradually over the next few days that way.

Part I - The Wedding Bit

Ok, so fly back in time to the start of December. We packed as lightly as we could and welcomed our Animal Aunt to the house. After a brief run through of how the place worked we took ourselves off to bed and set the alarm for some god-awful hour when we'd get woken up to get our taxi to the airport.

The alarm inevitably went off (seemingly) the second I closed my eyes and we blearily got ourselves ready for the taxi to arrive - trying our hardest not to wake Aunty and (more importantly) the dogs. A barely awake journey later we were at Manchester Airport, then checked in and on our flight to Amsterdam. A slightly more awake but no more less confused our or two later we were checked through and onto our flight to South Africa. A mere twelve or so hours later we were in another hemisphere and on another continent.

We were greeted at the airport by The Wife's mother and step-father. It was evening and unseasonably cool so not too much of a shock from the UK. We arrived at The Wife's parents' house and were welcomed by the clan of brothers and sisters and (as I later found out was unavoidable) a beer for me.

The next day was spent chilling by the pool. More beer. A slight sizzle from our pale bodies as they became accustomed to sun once again. Tons of tasty meat on the Brie. Life was good. This was a December I could get used to.

The week was spent largely tidying up the last loose ends for the wedding. Getting suits for myself, my best man and The Wife's brother. Haircuts. Buying a few presents for the Wedding party. Picking up guests from the airport. Talking to The Wife's father about the ceremony - not much to be gleaned there, the ceremony would be kept as a surprise to both of us. I was largely a spare wheel in the whole thing and was left to look after kids by the pool (The Wife's parents seemed to have a house constantly teeming with kids) while the women did the important stuff.

So a week later, we finally left the family home and headed off to a hotel to spend the night before The Wedding. No fans of tradition, we spent the night together. This was our wedding and we'd do it our way...

Part II - The Present

So here we are now. Wales is cold. The house is a lot closer to completion but still not there. The Wife is knackered due to the impending arrival. We've also had to come to a bit of an unfortunate decision...

We're going to have to rehome the dogs.

We've tried to get them completely house trained and it's almost there. We've tried to make them less clingy and that's working less well. We've tried to make them occupy less of our time and that hasn't worked at all.

This would all be perfectly fine if it was just the two of us. But we've got someone way more important than the both of us to think about now. Unfortunately, as much as we love the two little buggers there's just no way we can envisage the next six months - pregnant wife, half-finished house, incredible amount of preparation to do - with them. Worse than that, the thought of looking after them and a baby just plain terrifies us.

So the next few weeks will be spent finding a good home for the boys. We love them dearly and it breaks our hearts, but at least this way we can find a good home and provide a life for them that they deserve.

So ho-hum, we'll just have to see how it all pans out.

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Happy New Year from my wife and I

So we did it. We travelled to SA, got married, saw animals and returned as mister and missus to good old chilly blighty.

I'll give much more information soon. But for the moment I'll just let you know that we're both doing well - and that includes our embryonic addition.

Will write more once I've shaken this cold that the wife and I have managed to pick up. Fingers crossed it's not malaria. Anyone know the symptoms?


My ugly mug and my beautiful family Geek Stuff