Friday, October 31, 2008

More Clucklette photos

I just couldn't resist popping up all the photos from last week's scan. Some of them are a little difficult to make out and a bit blurry but they're all a bit different.

I can't stop watching the moving images, especially the one of AJ drinking and sticking out its tongue - it's so cute. S/he waves his arms around and snuggles into the womb wall. Dr Stokes showed us how to find the baby's head so we can get an idea of what position it's lying in. It was breech at the surgery but when I was lying in bed last night it seemed to have moved into a lower position.

We're a bit zoomed out here (see profile shot to the left). Little hand in front of face.

A bit closer in. The umbilical chord can be seen in front of bub's face.

The chord is really clear in this one.

Not at all sure what's going on here. Even the profile looks strange. What's going on with its nose and lips?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

26 Weeks Facial Scan

Just a quick update to show you some new bump photos and stills from our facial scan today. It was lovely to see our baby and luckily it was in a reasonable position for us to see its face and was awake and moving around. We saw it gulp down some amniotic fluid (yummy) and the umbilical cord was right up near its face. We have movies of the scan which are great as we can see it wave its arm around and open its mouth to swallow fluid. It's very exciting especially as it looked like an actual newborn and was much chubbier than we'd expected.

Bub snuggling into the uterus wall (head to the left, facing the right way up. I think that thing floating in front of it is the umbilical cord.) So what do you think? Boy or girl?

And the view from the outside.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Latest ailment

Just thought I'd pop in and tell you of my latest ailment. As well as a a general lack of enthusiasm and vague lethargy towards my work, emphasised I'm sure by my feelings of anxiety over the lack of organisation and abundence of mess within my home, increased tiredness and a prevailing feeling of wishing I was elsewhere (pool, bed, beach, gym, anywhere really), I am currently experiencing discomfort whilst sitting at my desk.

This is not a good situation for someone in a desk job. I appreciate that I am much better off than those poor unfortunate women who have to stand all day to earn money. Suzi, from my yoga class is a 35-week pregnant physiotherapist who is suffering from varicose veins. Sarah, who is 28 weeks pregnant also has a desk job and has been complaining of discomfort for a couple of weeks now. Basically, I feel uncomfortable sitting, and eventually my lower back, hips, legs and even my shoulder start to ache. These are not unfamiliar symptoms but I thought I'd worked through them over the last few years and got them out of my system. Clearly pregnancy has re-awoken them.

I have pretty much been feeling tired on and off since my last post so I suspect that is aggravating my ailments. Around lunchtime I get tired and then start wishing I could go home to bed. Somehow I push through it and don't nap but I suspect that just once I should give in and perhaps I will then feel better. I've hardly been taking it easy. At the weekend Toby and I unpacked boxes of books and arranged them in a library on the bookshelves Toby built. I also sorted out some boxes from the study so that we can turn that into our spare room. I had two things I really wanted to get done though. First, to finish pulling the painters tape from around the kitchen window, sand the bits where the paint has peeled and begin the touch-up job. This requires much preparation as the kitchen sink is under the window and constantly has dishes either waiting to be washed or sitting on the draining board. At least twice over the weekend I prepared the area by washing and/or putting dishes away but then didn't actually get to the task in hand before the dishes started piling up again (naughty dishes!). The second job I wanted to do was to continue wiping the cat hair off the patio chairs and preparing the patio for summer (hurrah!!!); the same three chairs that I cleaned one morning last week instead of getting ready for work (yeh, not really sure why) are still the only three that have been cleaned, only one of them is now dirty again as we had dinner out there with a friend on Saturday night and forgot to lean the chairs into the table and one of the cats sat on one of them. Needless to say I got neither of my two jobs done.

I did do all the laundry though, kind of essential given my limited wardrobe. And I've completed my tax return, which is due at the end of this week. I'm now just waiting for my spouse to complete his so I can submit it. I've also been nursing my sick cat who has been on antibiotics and eye drops since Friday for a cold, poor thing. He seems to be the mend now, thankfully.

And I spent a wonderful morning with Lucie on Sunday. We did my old favourite walk from her place, near where I used to live in Buddina, up to Point Cartwright, wandered round the headland, lazed on the beach, had a quick dip in the river and then enjoyed a coffee at the cafe there. Unfortunately my lovely morning, and the previous day's yoga session weren't quite enough to neutralise the stress I felt upon discovering case-making clothes moths munching away on our lounge room carpet. It's all but bald in one corner, with another heading the same way. And to top that off the vacuum cleaner broke whilst I was cleaning them up. I don't know whether to steam-clean it, treat it (not sure about having chemicals on the carpet what with the cats and that, but I suppose we can keep them on the patio for a few days), or replace it. There's already gaping hole revealing concrete from where we pulled the bar out, plus the rather random tiles that were behind the bar. So really, the whole thing could do with being replaced anyway, I just wasn't ready to do it just yet and it's such a large room it's going to cost us a fortune even if we choose a cheapie.

What with everything else we've got going on (final things for the baby, decorating the nursery, sorting out our spare room, finding a new car, not to mention boring maintenance I keep forgetting about, such as a termite barrier) I just don't want to have to think about it right now. But at the very least I'm probably going to have to research vacuum cleaners. Perhaps this is my chance to finally get the Dyson I've always wanted.

I put my maternity leave form in last week and I finish up at work on 9th January, which I think is only 10 and a bit weeks from now, plus I have at least a week off over Christmas. I actually think I need some time off before then, maybe even just a day this week or a long weekend sometime soon. I think that's why I'm so tired. I'm not sure whether to take a day's recreation leave or to take it as sick leave. I'm not sick but I could head that way if I don't rest up soon, and I have so many more sick hours accrued than recreation leave. Will have a think but I'll have to do it soon. I have a half day on Friday but to be honest I feel knackered thinking about it as I'm driving up to Noosa for Sue and Richard's citizenship ceremony. The following morning I am heading to a second-hand baby market with Lucie to look for bargains (specifically a change table for me) before yoga, and then we have a party at Libbette's place on Saturday night. I'm thinking I might need some downtime before then or there's no way I'll get through it all.

Oh, and I'm sure my belly expanded overnight again last night so I'll get another bump shot posted soon. And AJ is getting rather big and has started nudging my internal organs. I'm not entirely sure which ones (although I think the bowel got a bit caught up in it all) as I'm not accustomed to having my organs dunched, but suffice to say it's a bit unpleasant.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

25 weeks down and 15-ish to go

Wow! I am TIRED today.

I have just hit a bit of a brick wall and I'm seriously thinking of going home for a nap, despite the fact that I had great intentions of swimming this lunchtime. I haven't had a swim since last Monday, not including a quick ocean dip on Sunday.

I can only think it is due to the fact that I got up in the middle of the night to kick Monty out of the house after he spent about 15 minutes trying to open the laundry door. I'd left the cats on the patio because yesterday one of them was sick on the futon and I'd had to take the cover off and wash it. I'm sick of them vomiting on the carpet and furnishings but aside from that I didn't want them getting onto the coverless futon mattress, and I especially didn't want them being sick on it. So anyway, I put them out but locked the outside cat flap and left the back door open so they could still get into the laundry, but they couldn't get out into the garden. I woke up in the middle of the night to a load of banging and bashing and spotted Monty's paw protruding from underneath the sliding door to the laundry. I kicked them out and locked the back door but woke up a few hours later thinking, "oh, it's bin day. Must get up and put the bins out." And then of course there are the umpteen obligatory toilet visits I endure most nights.

I'm sure my belly has grown again. I took more photos this morning just to see.

On Monday lunchtime I went for a walk. My schedule was severely disrupted by someone giving me very little notice to get something done. I got hungry and had to have some lunch before I went and probably didn't leave it quite long enough between lunch and my walk, although it was about an hour.

Anyway, I got outside and thought, "am I walking funny? I feel like I'm walking funny."

And then I thought, "I can't get enough air into my lungs. It's like there's nowhere for them to expand to."

The next thought was, "crikey, my belly feels heavy today."

Followed by, "holy crap! Look at the size of it!" when I glanced down at myself.

I weighed myself when I got home and I'd put on about 1kg. I asked Toby if I looked bigger than the day before and he said yes and when I went to the gym on Tuesday Lucie thought I was bigger than Sunday.

That said, I'm not sure it really shows in the photos but perhaps I'm just used to it now. People still think I'm small for 25 weeks.

Anyway, whilst writing this my swimming buddy called so I've decided to give it a go and if, after a swim and some lunch, I'm still feeling tired then I'll go home and sleep. I'll be back later to chat about the stuff I didn't have time to chat about. Unless I'm sleeping, that is.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New bump photos

Hello, just thought I'd drop by and share some 24 week bump shots taken over the weekend. Excuse the pyjamas - I always seem to think of doing this at bed time for some reason. I tried to make up for it by taking more the next morning before yoga but I think the PJ one is quite nice so I'm including it anyway.

I discovered our baby likes Led Zeppelin at the weekend. Good baby.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Niceness (24 weeks)


People are exceptionally nice to you when you're pregnant. Always asking how you are, whether you're still feeling sick (even though you never told them you were in the first place), incredibly interested in the nursery furniture you may or may not have been spending your money on, making way for you in corridors, commenting upon how difficult it must be climbing four flights of stairs because the lift is out, whilst carrying another person.

Don't get me wrong. I truly believe that pregnant ladies should be given a bit of lee-way. Hormones are crazy things and it's best not to get on the wrong side of them. I should know; two nights ago I found myself miserable and close to tears for no reason other than Toby was making me go back to square one when it comes to buying a car (and there is way too much choice out there; how the hell am I supposed to know which kind I want?) and my dinner wasn't very appetising, despite the fact that I insisted we have fish because I had a feeling the baby needed it. I forced my salmon and veggies down, all the while thinking "I'm not doing this for me." A trip to Mooloolaba to watch a lightening storm whilst eating yummy ice cream soon sorted me out, even if we did flatten Mitsi's battery and get soaked phoning RACQ and trying to get someone to jump-start her. Personally, I think she might have heard the conversation we'd had earlier in the night and thought to herself, "hmmm, so they think they can just replace me with a Forester, do they? Well, not before I have a bit of fun."

So, yes, by all means I think people should go easy on me if I seem forgetful, or take a few hours off work for ante-natal appointments or sleep, or make a silly mistake. In short, they shouldn't be mean. But the level of niceness, and sudden interest in me and my wellbeing, that seems to have taken control of many of my colleagues (except for those I sit with and see every day, who have thankfully remained normal and still take the piss out of me when warranted) is actually beginning to creep me out. Perhaps it's because I know it's not actually me that they're interested in and concerned about.

Career versus motherhood

I love the fact that my baby comes everywhere with me. It feels so safe having it tucked away inside of me and knowing that I can trust my body to look after it and do all the right things. I can pretty much go anywhere and do anything and know that AJ is safe. S(he) is being fed the right foods, never needs changing, never cries, puts him/herself to sleep, amuses him/herself when s(he)'s awake. This is definitely the easiest part of motherhood.

That said, there are times when I look forward to not having to bring him to work with me every day. There is nothing so disconcerting when you're deeply engrossed in a programming problem, or putting forward an opinion in a meeting when all of a sudden you feel the squirmer wriggling around, forcing you to sit up, as though it's going "hey mam, I'm getting a bit squished here you know. Give me some room, will ya?".

It must trigger some mothering hormones or something because the maternal instincts suddenly kick in and you start wondering when you should start decorating the nursery and should you have bought that sling you've been thinking of getting for a while now from EBay, and thinking of which, oh darn-it you've let that auction for the Baby Love book end without getting a bid in. All professionalism goes out of the window. You glance at your belly, convinced that your co-workers can see it moving and think that some alien-like creature is going to burst out of it at any moment. You want to giggle and say to them "hahaha, did you see that? AJ is obviously incredibly enthused by this conversation. He's wriggling around all over the place."


Speaking of which, AJ was going nuts the other night. My uterus is now pretty much right up to my ribs so depending on where AJ is and which position I'm in I can see him squirming around making my belly do funny things that a belly-dancer would be proud of. S(he) had me in fits of giggles the other night. It doesn't just look funny but it feels really funny too. I asked the midwife yesterday if she could feel where the baby was lying but she said it's still too small and they move around a lot at this stage anyway. She said they could be in one position and within seconds have flipped over and be somewhere else entirely. Well, don't I know it. One minute I'll be feeling movements in the middle of my abdomen above my belly button and the next thing the bub has stretched right out and is kicking me above my right groin.


Speaking of groins, because I always like a nice segueway from one topic to another, I woke up on Saturday with an uncomfortable dull pain in my left groin and a similar pain in the corresponding region of my back. I wore my belly band for an hour then went to yoga and it wore off. It flared up again on Monday and Tuesday and I noticed that I could feel a ridge as though a muscle was all enflamed. Well, it turns out it's the ligament that connects to my uterus. It's just getting a little freaked out by all the extra weight it's carrying. I rested on Wednesday and Thursday and felt fine but obviously I can't stop exercising for the rest of my pregnancy so I saw my physio this morning and she gave me some stretches and some strengthening exercises. I have to stretch and strengthen my deep hip flexors and the strength exercises are weird because they're really subtle. We discussed how I can incorporate this into every day life and what things I should be aware of, which exercises are good and which ones I should be careful with. I'll probably talk to Sherry about it in yoga tomorrow too.

Yoga and cravings

Lucie has been unable to get into my yoga class which is a real shame but Sherry has so many pregnant ladies coming to her now that she's decided to put on an extra class so Lucie will join that one. Hopefully in a few weeks we'll be able to merge the classes but for now I'll be with other girls due the same time as me (there are about five of us due in the same fortnight) and the same should happen for Lucie too. I was most reassured last night at dinner when Lucie told me she has also been suffering from sweet cravings and went on to list all the goodies she'd had for morning tea that day. I thought "wow, that's a lot" but her list continued! I was feeling bad for having had 3 chocolate biscuits that morning (which made me feel sick) followed by the yummiest dessert of chocolate crispy ravioli last night but now I know I'm not the only one. Only Lucie's indulgences didn't make her feel sick; on the contrary she said, "I felt great!"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gigantic lentil burger is just asking for heartburn

I have just consumed an incredibly messy gargantuan lentil burger with fries. I usually bring my own lunch as it's quite difficult (and expensive) choosing something to eat from the uni cafes, especially when last week's ante-natal class is still so fresh in my mind (no soft cheese, don't eat salad that's been sitting out, no sprouts, be wary of ham, no salami, no undercooked eggs or meat of any description, no cold shellfish... those nurses are damn spoilsports, the lot of them).

Anyway, I figured I'd be reasonably safe with a lentil burger but as AJ is getting bigger I am having to eat less, something the part of my brain that controls my hand to mouth mechanism has yet to come to terms with. Consequently I frequently suffer from heartburn. Apparently this is normal in pregnancy (due to progesterone making the esophagus lazy) and isn't of any concern. Oh well, that's alright then. My current remedy is a glass of milk and a teaspoon of bi-carb of soda dissolved in water. The milk doesn't really do anything; it soothes the burn on the way down and makes the bi-carb taste nicer. I don't have any bi-carb at work with me though. And the only milk in the fridge is full cream which I prefer not to drink by the glass. So I shall just have to suffer and it will serve me right for being such a gutso.

I scored at the pool today. There was another pregnant lady there and we ended up in the changing rooms together. I was eyeing up her one-piece enviously so I asked if it was a maternity swimsuit (which it kind of had to be given the size of her) and when she said it was I asked where she got it, to which she replied "the UK; I bought it when I was pregnant the first time. We moved here when I was 7 months pregnant."

"Oh!" I said. "I'm really missing the UK shops at the moment."

"Well, you can have it in 10 weeks. In fact you can have all my maternity clothes. I have loads. I have clothes from here and from the UK and I'm sick of the sight of all of them. I never want to wear them again. And I won't. I'm in a rush but here's my number."

Bo Nus!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Belly buttons

One thing the books don't tell you is that before your belly button turns itself inside out from all the skin stretching that's going on, it turns into a vacuous cavern, more like a pot-hole really, a long, deep tunnel that as far as I know goes right into your innards. I wouldn't know as I haven't felt like investigating it much. It's disturbing.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pelvic Floor Exercises and Hiccups

The Early-Bird ante-natal class on Tuesday was good and worth taking the time to do. We chatted about a lot of stuff that would have been useful to know earlier but are still quite useful now. We discussed nutrition, in which I discovered that I have been eating things I shouldn't have been, which I kind of knew but thought would be okay if I was sensible about it but the pregnant midwife who was leading the class was all like "ooohhh no, well it's up to you but personally I wouldn't".

We also talked about exercise and a physiotherapist came in and laid us all down on the floor with pillows and got us doing pelvic floor exercises. "Squeeze and lift, and hold.... and hold ..... and hold .... and hold, keep breathing, don't clench the buttocks, and hold.... don't tense your abs.... and slowly lower." Jeez, she had us doing that for ages then we had to sit on fitballs and do it all again. Then she had us all back on the mats on all fours, fully relaxing our bellies whilst she came around and made sure you were tensing your trans-abdominals and only your trans-abdominals. I'm still not convinced I'm doing either of those exercises correctly.

Then she taught us all how to poo correctly.

Her advice was actually really good and I've been trying my very best to keep up with my pelvic floor exercises since then. I can already feel that pregnancy is having a bit of an affect on them and I don't even have much baby in there yet.

Back to the pregnant midwife and we discussed cigarettes and alcohol, the first being bad and the second being either bad or not so bad, depending on who you listen to. I have chosen to listen to the authority which says that a small amount is okay, although I forget who that actually was. And yes, it is an official health or pregnancy-related organisation and not a mate trying to get me out on the lash.

They also talked a little bit about who will be present at the birth. They assign a midwife to you on arrival and that nurse works with you one-on-one, which is nice to know. Of course, when her shift ends she buggers off home and is replaced by another one-on-one midwife, which could be a little disconcerting if that occurs during what is known as the transition period and all you want is a face you can trust to walk in and say "you can do it, you're doing really well" and instead some random stranger pops in and goes "right then, where are we up to?". The transition period, by the way, doesn't sound that nice. It's the bit in between the uterine contractions which move the baby into the birth canal (vagina for the rest of us) and dilate the cervix, and the cervical contractions where you feel the need to push the thing out. It's also where the endorphins that kill pain and send you off to la-la land during the first stage of labour start to be replaced by adrenalin to give you the energy to push during the second stage. It's a very confusing time and apparently is when a lot of ladies suddenly start to go "uh-oh... I don't think I can do this" but of course by then it's too late. No going back.

Anyway, so you get this midwife but you only get your obstetrician, the dude you've paid thousands of dollars to perform an ultrasound once a month, if something goes wrong or the baby is about to slip out. And even then, you mightn't get your own obstetrician because he only works one weekend in four. And of course, like most people he's entitled to sick leave and holiday (how rude). But I kind of knew this and I'm happy with it. I figure an obstetrician is kind of like insurance: you sort of hope you don't need it but it's best to have it just in case. Plus you're bound to see your midwife again at some point over your next few days in hospital so that follow up contact would be nice but you'll probably never see your obstetrician again until you turn up at his surgery with another three thousand dollars and a big fat positive two years later.

Did you know that women used to prime their nipples for breastfeeding with steel wool? I don't know how true that is but apparently it's not advised any more. Damn right. Yowch!

Speaking of which, I have been assured that breastfeeding doesn't have to hurt, which is good and relieves my mind immensely. So it might, but it might not. Still haven't quite come to terms with the whole induction thing though, but I'm working on it.

My sister sent me through a couple of baby books. One about cool baby names, and I was delighted to learn that most of the names on my list are cool, even if Toby has crossed most of them out. Incidentally, we have nicknamed the baby AJ. It is to do with some names we are considering but that's all I'll say and I'm sure it'll cause much speculation. The other book is damn hilarious and, surprisingly has some useful and interesting information in it. I learnt this morning that AJ hiccups. I have felt these rhythmical movements that are too subtle and regular to be kicks, but too strong to be my pulse (and usually in the wrong spot and then they stop anyway, which you'd hope my pulse wouldn't do). I've often wondered what it was, kind of assuming it was my pulse but knowing that didn't quite make sense. Well, now I know it's AJ's hiccups.

I just know you're all dying to know how to poo properly. This is important for all of us, especially as we get older, and especially us ladies. The first thing to remember is to eat a high fibre diet. We don't want any pushing and straining on the old loo; that's very bad for the pelvic floor. The second thing is to spend no longer than 90 seconds in total, including wiping and flushing. If you are then there's a problem somewhere. And the main thing is to get into a good position. A good pooing position is a squat (see, I knew those Asian toilets made sense). The knees should be higher than the hips and this gives the bowel a direct downward angle. Keep the pelvis tilted forward, not back, as this produces a kink in the bowel and your poo has to go up before it can come down so to speak. I have installed a little stool in our bathroom so that I can raise my feet and knees when I sit on the loo. And there you go. I honestly never thought I would be taught to poo properly and I'm horrified to learn I've been doing it wrong for thirty-two years.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Balloon belly

Last week my belly got big and I suddenly started to look pregnant. Lucie came round to do some yoga with me on Friday night and commented on it. It was only five days since I'd last seen her. Then when I got to yoga on Saturday morning the girls were all "ooh... look at your belly" so it's obviously just appeared in the last week. I actually woke up on Sunday morning feeling trimmer than I have in ages, which was a bit unexpected (especially after munching 5 home-baked ginger biscuits on Saturday). I put that down to the fact that I rode my bike to work on Friday and went for a swim, where I reintroduced breaststroke to my routine and added backstroke. Anyway, I took another belly photo so you could see the balloon. It doesn't seem as big to me now as it did on Saturday but that's probably because I'm getting used to it. It also doesn't look as big in the photograph:

I still haven't bought myself some summer shorts. I was going to go after yoga on Saturday but I was too hungry and went home for lunch instead. I then couldn't be arsed to go back out again and persuaded myself that it'd be best to do things around the house and go shopping in the air-con when it was hot on Sunday. Only thanks to a fresh north-wester, Sunday didn't turn out to be that hot after all yet I still didn't manage to shop for shorts or do any painting. Toby and I finished off some housework in the morning then went to the beach and for a coffee. We went and looked at lounge suites (settees to us northerners) and got home in time for lunch before heading up to a maternity ward tour at The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital. Yes, I kept forgetting about that appointment whilst making my mental plans.

The ward tour was pretty good and allayed many of my anxieties. I am still worried that I will go stir-crazy confined to the birth suite, and then to the small maternity room, but the midwives said to stay at home for as long as we were comfortable to do so and we timed the trip to the hospital which was only 6 minutes. So, at this stage my plan is to keep busy around the house, go for walks if it isn't too hot, and go to hospital with just enough time to spare to check-in (or whatever you do at hospitals) and unpack a few things. As for the confinement afterwards, well, we'll just have to play that by ear. I'm sure we'll have plenty to keep us occupied.

Toby asked to be shown forceps and suction caps and, whilst I'm still determined to do everything I can to avoid having to use them, I do feel a bit better after she talked us through it all. I also saw what a birth stool is after reading about it many times. It's a little stool that is horse-shoe shaped and you sit on it facing away from the shoe opening, sort of like a toilet seat with the back cut out. The idea is that the baby can be delivered through the middle of the stool and the midwife has access via the opening at the back (guided by a mirror, which she sticks on the floor underneath).

The couple of midwives we met seemed really nice and the facilities are pretty good: huge big spa bath, shower (with rails you can hang onto), beanbag, and they're happy for you to throw the mattress onto the floor. I can imagine wanting to spend a lot of time on the floor with pillows so I was disappointed the floor was hard and shiny. Understandable though, I suppose. They have a fitball too although I might take my own in case someone else is using it. The only things missing were ropes. In our yoga studio we have ropes hanging from the wall and we use them in all sorts of asanas (postures). During one preggie yoga class we were in a chair-like pose with our backs against the wall, knees bent at right angles, blocks between our knees. It's a pelvic floor posture and it was the first time I'd done it. My legs were burning and shaking and Sherry was telling us to work through it, that it was good practice for working through contractions. I held onto the ropes to ease the tension a bit and suddenly thought "wow, these'd be great in labour". I wasn't really expecting the hospital to have them though. My only other thought was that the hospital seemed really small but in a way that's a good thing as you'd get lots of care, and they don't mind how often you phone them with an update on your labour progress enquiring whether you should come in.

Tomorrow I'm going back for my early-bird ante-natal class. It's a bit late for me really because the last one, a month ago, was cancelled, but I don't really want to miss any information. Hopefully it won't be a waste of time. I was supposed to be meeting a friend for lunch and she was going to show me how to prevent mastitis by massaging the milk from the outside of the breast to the nipple. I'm not sure whether she was intending on using my breast to demonstrate or her own but I guess I'll have to wait until next week to find out now.

So anyway, my current worries (because it is customary for a pregnant lady to always have something to worry about; it helps to prepare her for motherhood because everyone knows that a mother always worries) are as follows:

  • Breastfeeding, or more specifically coping with cracked and sore nipples. My friend assures me it will hurt but that it will only do so for the first few weeks. What? WEEKS? Oh my god! Give me strength.
  • Induction. I am convinced that induction leads to many undesirable events and so I do not want to be induced. However, I am aware that my anxiety over this may delay the onset of labour, because a stressed out, nervous mother is less likely to deliver, thus leading to the very thing I don't want to happen. Therefore, I must spend the next few months preparing myself for the possibility that induction may happen and convincing myself that that's okay. Then maybe it won't happen, and if it does I won't mind.

By the way, for those of you who have no idea what 22 weeks means - and before I was pregnant, I was completely clueless; every time a pregnant friend told me how pregnant she was I'd have to ask "and what's that in months?" - it means I am 5½ months pregnant. In fact I am only a week and a bit off being 6 months pregnant. Scary biscuits.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How did I get to 22 weeks so quickly?

I was just posting on a pregnancy forum and I noticed my online signature, which counts down to the due date said "22 weeks pregnant. Only 125 days to go" and I thought "f&@*k me! When did that happen?"

Well, actually it happened today and I knew it was coming but it sneaked up on me nevertheless. 18 weeks left. Well over the half-way mark. I'm even looking pregnant now. It's so exciting and crazy and nerve-wracking and a wee bit stressful all at the same time. We still have so much to do in the house. I'm getting so close with painting the living room and was hoping to plough through some more this Sunday but it's forecast to reach 32°C and I don't think that's good painting weather as the paint goes all gloopy and won't go on properly. This just got me freaking out a bit as we're only getting closer to summer, and therefore closer to the hot weather where it starts to get difficult to do practical things, and all the while I'm getting bigger and bigger.

The shops have got this season's maternity wear in now, plus a friend donated some clothes that I can squeeze into, so the clothing situation, whilst still thin, is not quite as dire. I have also made my first purchases for the baby: some muslin cloths, which I bought in unisex colours even though I liked the boy colours better - why is it we attribute gender to colours? And a second-hand Baby Bjorn baby carrier purchased on eBay. I can see eBay is going to be my friend over the next few months.

Did I mention that my maternity tankini broke on the second wear? They didn't have any left in the shop and I couldn't be bothered to go shopping for another one so I negotiated getting half my money back and stitched it up. I don't feel like such a dag wearing random bikini bottoms, an old sports top and a rapidly receding rashie now. (Dag is such a good Aussie word for scruff-pot, uncool person, don't ya think?) Feeling quite pleased with the outcome, I promptly spent the money on some el cheapo maternity t-shirts as I've been struggling with what to wear over the weekends lately. I just need some decent shorts now and I should be able to plough on for another few weeks.

I've been reading Winnie The Pooh stories to my bump. I love those stories and having kids is going to be a great opportunity to read them all again. When I started reading the other night, Zadie was sitting at the foot of the bed. Her ears pricked up and she came and sat right next to me, purring and seemingly listening intently. The second night I read one she was in the living room and when I started reading she ran down the corridor and sat near the bed looking up at me. She didn't stay for the duration of that story but it does seem she likes Winnie the Pooh. The baby seems to quite like it too as I get lots of kicks at the end. And I've noticed Toby chuckling away as well. It seems we're a family of Winnie the Pooh lovers. The kicks after the first Pooh story were so strong Toby was in no doubt that he could feel them and since then they've been really noticeable on the outside of my belly.

Mam and Dad have been looking at flights for them and Nana next Easter and I think they're pretty close to booking. I am so excited. I am enjoying being pregnant and it just being me and Toby and having time to do things but I can't wait to see what our baby is like. Well, I can wait actually but I'm looking forward to it a lot. 

I still get tired and hungry and whatnot. I had a tired day and a fuzzy headache on Monday and decided to stay home, relax, swim, buy stuff on eBay. Then two nights ago I awoke with a nasty pain in my back, like I seriously needed to pass wind. I had to get out of bed and do a few stretches: spinal twists and child-pose, thank god for yoga. I managed to sleep a while longer until 5am but then the pain woke me up again and I couldn't stay lying down. I ended up squatting on a low stool with my head resting on an upright bolster (I was so tired), did a few more stretches and felt well enough to walk with Toby to get some milk. The walk seemed to help too and after some breakfast I went back to bed for a couple of hours until 9am. 

It was okay most of yesterday and seems fine today. I got my physio to check me out as the pain (coincidentally or not) was right next to the muscle in my lower back that seizes up and throws my pelvis out; the one that had me crippled in the early days of my pregnancy. Anyway, she was satisfied that all was well there: my pelvis was stable and mobile and no muscles seemed to be spasming so it got me wondering if the baby was resting on my intestine and causing a blockage. I don't know if that's possible but it sort of felt like I was constipated even though I wasn't and I think with getting up and moving around possibly the baby moved into a more comfortable position for me, and eventually my intestine eased up. Seems plausible to me.

It's my Gran's birthday today and Lucy's first birthday tomorrow; a very sad time to be away from home. Then again, the weather here is bloody perfect.