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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The big news from outer space is that flying to the moon ain't as popular as it used to be. According to press reports (so by definition it's probably rubbish), ESA were expecting 50,000 people to apply to be Europe's first lunartic. As it turns out, only 8,413 completed the application form. The other forty thousand are still trying to work out what an astronaut's main tasks are.

Interestingly, only 822 people from the UK want to head into space (the others want to be reality TV stars), of which 167 are female. That means that approximately 0.6% of all the Brit-chicks who applied are related to me. That's quite a claim to fame. I might write to the Guardian. They could do a feature on me.

According to ESA's press release, "Those who make it through this first selection can soon expect to receive a letter inviting them to participate in the next stage - the psychological testing". So I'm bracing myself for a flurry of visitors searching for 'How to pass the Rorschach Inkblot Test'.

Anyhoo, back here on Earth, it's been an emotionally charged day. Lisa had a routine midwife appointment at 2pm, and at 3pm, just as I was tucking into a mango ice cream from the pharmacy freezer, she phoned to say she was being rushed to an emergency hospital appointment ninety minutes later. Apparently they'd detected protein in her urine, and struggled to find a heartbeat. From the baby, that is. Lisa's was pounding through her chest.

Fortunately I work with a brilliant bunch of people. My supervisor immediately said I could leave, the Pharmacy Manager told me to leave, and when I burst into tears, they gave me a hug and pushed me out the door. I barely had time to finish my ice cream.

To be honest, I was more emotional about it all than Lisa, but then she's always been as hard as nails. Frankly she was holding my hand on the way to the hospital. But the good news is that everything's fine. Lisa spent half an hour hooked up to a machine which proved far better than the midwife at finding a heartbeat. In fact, having monitored the baby's movements for twenty minutes, they said it appeared to be shuffling around quite normally. They think the placenta's at the front, which is why Lisa hasn't felt it move. The baby's kicking that rather than her.

As for the protein, we'll know more on Monday when the tests are back from the lab, but Lisa's blood pressure is normal (which, considering how worked up she gets watching Big Brother, is a miracle), so pre-eclampsia seems unlikely.

So that's all good news. But not as good as the final result of our 90-minute hospital visit. On our way out, I popped into the toilets in the prenatal department and found a tub of dipsticks with instructions on testing your urine. Naturally I couldn't resist. I'm pleased to report that I'm 100% fine, and in perfect condition for birth.