Friday, November 28, 2008

Just a quickie - 30 weeks

Well, it seems like a milestone and I had lots I wanted to say but Grandpa died yesterday and that has been occupying my mind more than much else. It's pretty hard to be sad when you have a little life kicking away inside of you but I am definitely feeling reflective and a little homesick. I am spending a lot of time remembering Grandpa and thinking about, and communicating with, my family.

I'm experiencing a few aches and pains but nothing too bad, just a bit irritating really. My hips sometimes get sore and I'm feeling a bit large... bump shot on its way when I get the chance. My shoulder gets sore at work and I (as usual) have days where I just can't focus. I have also been experiencing unpleasant pains in my abdomen, mainly at the top of my uterus on the right-hand side just under my ribs. I think they are Braxton Hicks contractions. Usually they are what I would describe as sensations and they occur all over my abdomen but three nights ago I started experiencing them as pains in this one spot. As you'd expect with a muscle contraction, they would last a few moments then ease up. It wasn't a dull constant ache like I get with my shoulder. I put it down to one of two things: overdoing it and eating a spicy curry. After the contraction had eased, the area around it sort of felt bruised (woh!!! Major squirm just occurred that took my breath away) and my ribs were painful for a couple of days. The pains came again the following afternoon so I left work early and had a rest. That eased them up. Now I just get them very mildly at bedtime. It seems to be a sign that I should go to bed and that's how I'm taking it.

In other news, the heartburn and sleeplessness have been back again this week. I think that might get worse when I'm overtired. We had a crazy weekend shopping for lounge furniture and this one isn't looking much better. We're heading over to Andrei and Karen's to catch up with family tonight and give Zoe her birthday present. Tomorrow after yoga we're doing a First Aid for Babies and Children all afternoon with the yoga group. It will be full on but useful and fun. On Sunday we're baking my birthday cake and the Christmas cake and hopefully finishing our shopping and finally choosing a sofa. Toby's mum and dad are coming round so I'm going to show them my ideas for the nursery. I have written a MASSIVE to do list today. I don't know how we're going to fit it all in. We can but try.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Good news, bad news

Good news: I've just had the blood glucose test for gestational diabetes and it was normal so I'm GD free!!! Hurrah!!! No dieting over Christmas for moi! Also Ajie is in the correct head-down position so all that walking is paying off. Good baby. (Clever mammy.)

Bad news: Dad called this morning with the news that Grandpa isn't very well at all and is pretty much on his death bed so it seems that I won't get to see him or speak to him again. Very sad.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I have special needs

What do you know? Nothing from me for almost two weeks and then two posts in one day. Well, I just had to log on because I was amused to find out this morning that apparently I have "special needs".

I have been a Fire Warden for our floor for about three years or so now and I'm in the process of handing over to a colleague as I won't be here next year. We both attended a 1 hour training session this morning. I do these whenever I can because it's the kind of stuff that's easy to forget if you don't keep on top of it. Anyway, this morning we were discussing evacuation procedures and we were reminded that we should first attend to those with special needs, which includes women in their third trimester of pregnancy!

Well, this was news to me. Even better, once we were advised how to deal with these people with special needs we were told that we could then move on to the able-bodied. Excuse me? Exactly what is it about a woman in her third trimester of pregnancy that renders her dis-abled and incapable of removing herself from a burning building? Sure, some of us may be a bit slower than usual - we mightn't be nimbly fleeing down the stairs in a spritely manner but I'll wager that I'm a hell of a lot more able-bodied than the majority of the people in the lecture theatre at the time.

I resisted the temptation to stick up my hand and ask, "Excuse me, but what happens if the fire warden is in her third trimester of pregnancy?"

Hilarious... I can see me using the "special needs" tag at some opportune moments over the coming weeks and months, especially when it comes to packing the car for our weekend away: "Sorry, can't... I'm a bit special!"

Where did the week go? (Almost 29 weeks!)

Somehow I completely missed a post last week and yet I fully intended to drop in and give an update. I even took bump shots. Every time I take these I think I look smaller in the photos than I do in real life. These ones were taken a week ago so maybe I am bigger this time.

Bump at 27 weeks and 6 days

Not quite as obvious from the front.

Even my nieces are starting to notice my bump now. Last night they both (separately from one another) pointed to my bump and asked "Is that where your baby is?" and I replied, "Yes it's getting big, isn't it?" They agreed and I explained that it was going to get a lot bigger because it isn't coming out for another three months and it's spending that whole time just getting fat.

I think Zoe is quite excited about being a "big cousin". She was only two when Kielana was born so it will be lovely for her to be aware of, and remember, the baby. I hope they get to spend a lot of time together. I never had cousins when I was a kid but I always wished I did. I think it'll be really good for the baby to hang out with older children. I think it helps to socialise and educate them. And it might also help to prepare the bub for when it has to go to childcare.

I phoned up and left my name with one childcare place when I was off sick the other day. It was recommended to me by a lady who works at the University and it's really close to home. Probably not quite walking distance but not far at all. The lady I spoke to took my name and told me to call back in a year and find out where I was on the list. I will spend some time calling others when I go on maternity leave. It seems a bit early but friends have advised the earlier the better and since then the biggest childcare company in Australia, ABC Learning Centres, has found itself in serious financial strife. The company currently owes over $1.6 billion AUD to staff and creditors after over-committing itself to the purchase of smaller companies (or something). The government has already provided $22 million to keep the centres open until Christmas but this hasn't stopped parents freaking out and moving their children to other centres where they can. And who can blame them? Who wants to start the new year having to take unpaid leave because you can't find anyone to look after your children?

This morning I heard on the news that another childcare company, based in New South Wales, has collapsed. This is directly linked to the ABC collapse as the latter failed to complete a $8.5 million deal to purchase centres from the former. Being based in Queensland this shouldn't really affect us but it's not good news and it could make for tough competition in looking for childcare places. Thankfully I have a year to think about it and hopefully ABC will sort itself out in that time and ease the market a bit again.

I had a day off work on Monday, which was bliss and, after another busy weekend, much needed. Saturday wasn't too bad. I had the usual yoga class and this time Lucie was in the same session as me so we drove up together and called into a friend of Lucie's colleague on the way back to pick up some cheap second-hand baby stuff. Lucie got a Tigger jolly jumper (very cute) and I got a Mamas and Papas Lottie Ladybird playgym (complete with toothmarks on the rattle, which Mam thinks I should replace but we'll see) and a Valco BabyMinder bouncer. I also got a little hammock for the bath and a soft insert for the car restraint (which we don't have yet). After lunch I did a spot of shopping and bought some disposable nappies (Huggies) on special as well as a change table mat.

On Sunday we had a lazy morning consisting of coffee and croissants in the garden (yum!) before heading down to Brisbane with Betty and Lincoln for my first ever experience of yum cha (dim sum), which was great. It was an extremely hot and humid day but I almost don't notice the heat these days, I just notice that I feel a bit rubbish. We then headed to West End to meet some friends in a park for a leaving barbecue. As a storm was expected we found it a bit strange that they hadn't arranged a wet weather option. We bumped into one other couple there but the hosts and a range of other friends were nowhere to be seen. The dark clouds drew in and we continued to wait, unable to leave before Mark arrived as he was bringing our change table up from the Gold Coast. Eventually people started to arrive, and then so did the rain. We huddled under a pergola and Mark, Mindi and Guy arrived with the change table in their car. Within moments the rain, which had eased up, started again, this time with a vengeance and the most intense storm I have ever been in surrounded us. Gusts of almost 50kph blew the rain horizontally into our shelter so we got soaked. We all huddled together, wrapped in towels and blankets. The huge trees nearby looked like they might lob a branch in our direction at any time. Lightening hit all around us with thunder following almost immediately in some cases. We even saw a building on the other side of the river be struck and sparks flew off it.

I'm not sure how long this went on for but eventually it eased and we were able to get the change table out of Mark's car and onto the roof of Betty's and head home, albeit on a very wet and rainy road. To get out of the city we had to drive through a couple of black-out areas where power had been lost. It was a bit freaky driving through a city with no people, no pubs or restaurants open, no lights on inside buildings, no street lamps, no traffic lights - given that there were still cars on the road that was probably the freakiest bit. Watching the news the following day I learned that these were the worst storms in almost 15 years and that only a few km away from where we were tornadoes were ripping roofs off buildings, the wind blew down huge trees as though they were twigs and the roads were turned to rivers. I can't help but think we were REALLY lucky.

So, we now have a change table. In fact there is quite a pile of stuff in the nursery and other than a nappy bucket, baby bath and maybe a nursing cushion (My Brest Friend has been recommended) I think we have most things we need initially. Pumpkin Patch had 25% off everything on Monday so I bought the baby a t-shirt and a sunhat. I wasn't going to buy any clothes as I thought we might get some as gifts but this was too cute not to get and with the discount wasn't bad. Plus, I've saved so much money on other things I thought "why not?". I also got some t-shirts and bodysuits reduced in Target.

Toby's mum was on the phone the other day saying that she was frustrated because she'd seen lots of lovely things but couldn't buy any of them because she didn't know whether to buy for a girl or a boy. It's interesting, isn't it, that we now live in a world where people get frustrated not knowing the sex of a baby before its birth? At least we know the baby is healthy and the right size. What must people have done 50 years ago before you couldn't find out any of this stuff? Anyway,she must have seen some really nice things to get frustrated because Pumpkin Patch had some gorgeous unisex stuff. I think maybe we have different ideas of what is unisex though. For example, I saw some lovely blue clothes that I think would look great on a girl or a boy... it's just the right shade of blue to be not too boyish. If in doubt I've gone for more boyish colours as I think I'd rather dress a girl in boys clothes than vice versa, but I have seen some gorgeous girly things (mostly pink) that I would love to buy but daren't in case it's a boy. Mind, there'd always be someone I could give it to. Anyway, it just means all the more fun for us after the baby is born and we know what it is.

Toby has another theory. He thinks that his mum thinks that we actually do know the sex of the baby but that we're not telling. Well, to everyone reading: WE DO NOT KNOW THE SEX OF THE BABY!!! We think it could be a boy but there's every chance we're wrong. I think our doctor knows but he's not telling because we told him we didn't want to know. He might have forgotten by now. I'm not sure whether they make a note of it if you have said you don't want to know. Lucie found out what she's having on Friday (but I'm not telling because she wants to tell everyone herself) and that was very exciting. I told Larraine and she got a bit excited so I can tell that at least 50% of the clothes she's seen but couldn't buy might now end up going to the Bradley babe.

I have my test for gestational diabetes tomorrow. Have to drink a sugar drink, which sounds disgusting. I'm starting to find it difficult to sit all day at work. My back aches regularly. I'm also trying to walk a lot to get the baby in a good position. It feels like it's always in breech but I'm starting to wonder if I'm feeling it properly. I know I sit a lot for work but I try not to otherwise. If I'm at home I tend to sit or kneel on the floor in a yoga pose. AJ (now called Ajie 'cause it's cuter to say if a little difficult to read) is very active very regularly now. Yesterday at work it was kicking into god knows what and making me very uncomfortable. No more little flutters. My belly feels like it's been taken over by an army of partying mini aliens.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

27 weeks and OH MY GOD!!!

According to my baby forum signature there are 89 days left until my due date.

According to the calculations I did today only 40 of them are at work. Woohoo!! AND I'll have 12 days to take as recreation leave by the end of the year, 13 by the time I take maternity leave. So it'll actually be even less than 40 because I decided this week that I need to take regular rest and relaxation days to prevent overtiredness and overdoing it. And, a week before maternity leave it's the Christmas break so I'll have at least 7 days off then. Oh winding down... I can't wait.

And boy do I need it. I completely overdid it at the weekend. I spent Friday afternoon up in Noosa attending Sue and Rich's citizenship ceremony which was lots of fun and got me all excited about my own (not that I know when that is yet). I'll try and blog about it on Random Thoughts soon. I was exhausted by the time I got home, not helped by driving at night on a stretch of motorway with no road markings, just those silly flappy things which I couldn't see anyway because of the stream of traffic coming towards me from the opposite direction.

That was followed by baby markets with Lucie on Saturday morning where we both totally exhausted ourselves. We arrived as soon as the markets opened and there was a queue to get in. By the time we'd parked the car the one and only decent change table had been sold. I've since purchased one on eBay for $62 (well, I haven't paid for it yet because I haven't heard from the seller; obviously they don't log on often) but we have to go all the way to the Gold Coast to get it. It's a good excuse to drop in on our south coast buddies and visit Ikea though. At the markets I bought a heap of MCNs (modern cloth nappies) all made from organic hemp and bamboo. I got three cute-arse fitted nappies (including 2 gorgeous microfleece ones). They're quite small so should fit straight away. The others were flat bamboo ones that can be used as boosters when the baby grows out of them. We both bought breast pads from the same stall for any little emergencies. I had to laugh at the lady because she had a silky breast pad pinned to her top as a demo and she described it as the "sexy" pad. Lady, there ain't nothing sexy about leaking tits!

We also bought some little outfits. Lucie got a gorgeous shawl/blanket thing, which I threatened to buy if she didn't but of course, we already have my mother's beautiful 53 year-old shawl. I bought my first toy and that was about that really. We flopped into some chairs with take-away tea and biscuits and chatted to Kaz for a while. I showed Zoe my new toy and she said "is that for your baby?" I said "yes, do you think it'll like it?" to which she gave a definite yes. It's the first time we've talked about the baby actually and I'd like to talk to her about it more. I didn't really speak to Kie because she was being a whingy bugger and the only thing she was concerned with was the fact that her lollypop was the wrong colour. Life can be so cruel when you're almost three.

Then Lucie and I, slightly recovered, hightailed it up to yoga.

Neither of us got anything done for the rest of the day but then partied Halloween style up at Betty's place that night. What an awesome party!! Everyone was dressed up. My outfit was so last minute. I didn't even know what I was going to go as but I decided after two minutes of online research to go as a Day of the Dead Catrina. This involved flying around the garden in the dark collecting flowers and sticking them in a hat before putting dark eyeshadow all around my eyes and under my cheek bones to make me look sunken in and dead. It was great to catch up with everyone but I stayed up too late and ruined myself for three days.

It wasn't helped by the fact that Guy stayed over at our place. We hadn't seen him for months, not since I was about 6 weeks pregnant actually, so we sat up chatting til about 1am. Then Guy woke us up at 2am having remembered that he was allergic to cats. Unfortunately it was the inability to breathe that reminded him rather than his actual brain. Then Toby was up and about ridiculously early and by 7am I gave up and got out of bed. I had another nap after the boys had gone out but it wasn't enough. And that night the sleep-bad nights started, mostly thanks to the incredible humidity that had set in. I'd wake up needing the loo, and find myself all hot and sweaty. On getting back into bed I'd find it difficult to get comfortable and then my mind would kick in thinking of all sorts of stuff. What if the change table isn't suitable? What else do we need to buy? When will we get around to decorating the nursery? What are we going to do about the carpets? How will I get through a day at work tomorrow? I wonder how much leave I have - perhaps I could start taking days off. Then I'd start composing blog posts in my head. I woke up wide awake at 5am, got up and had breakfast, then went back to sleep. For two days I was completely out of synch, slightly head-fucked, and unable to work.

Apparently I'm in the third trimester now. It could partly explain my sleepless nights and slowing down. I'm thinking of packing in the gym in favour of the Preggie Bellies DVD that Kaz leant me. The gym is just so hot and stuffy and I'm not getting as much out of it anymore... but I'll give it a few more weeks.

I think I've been getting Braxton Hicks contractions but I'm really not sure. I read that they can be confused for baby movements but that it feels like the baby is pushing against your tummy, usually at the top, and it goes hard and tight. I've definitely felt this. I also get a feeling quite high up that is similar to the pain you get in your bladder when you desperately need a wee. Not sure what this is.

I think I had a lot more to say but this has been a very long post and I'm off to plan my days off now.... back soon with more belly shots!