Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Good Size

Gestation: 34 weeks 5 days
Days to EDD: 37
Weight gain: 13kg
Number of chocolates eaten today: Three! All Quality Street. No Christmas cake yet though.

Update from obstetrician appointment:
It's all good. My aches and pains are "normal" (i.e. "don't bother me with the details, I'm on my Christmas holiday and want to go home asap"). The baby is "a good size. It won't be a small one." My response: gulp!

That's the second time he's mentioned the baby's decent size now and I'm getting nervous. I'm starting to hope it will arrive early and think perhaps I should try to get everything sorted for its arrival sooner rather than later. Yet at the same time I'm wary of getting my hopes up and spending the last 3-4 weeks of gestation panicking that Ajie is growing to be the size of a cow. I hope no one tries to convince me that Ajie's head won't fit through my pelvis. I hope Ajie's head will fit through my pelvis. Oh lordy. I'm trying to ask it to slow down a bit... I mean, sure keep growing 'cause we'll all worry if you don't, but perhaps just a bit slower. I can't help but wonder whether it's all my fault for giving in to the sugar cravings and that I will get all I deserve for being a pregnant pig.

Other news:

  • I'm still hot. It was quite a warm day today (31C in the house according to Toby's new weather station that he got for Christmas from my parents) and I'm sweating like a pig. A pregnant pig. There's a common theme here. I have resisted the urge to stick on the air-con because there is a lovely breeze outside and I'm managing to get a bit of it coming through the house.
  • Had a lengthy chat today with my old friend Paul at my old organic shop - haven't been there for ages - before he realised I was heavily pregnant. Score!
  • Yesterday we bought a new (used) car (Nissan X-Trail which we pick up tomorrow) and a new (new) 2 piece leather lounge suite (it was an expensive day) which will hopefully be delivered in 2-3 weeks, although the salesman was supposed to call me back today to confirm and he hasn't. I intended to call him before 5pm but I've spent the last 2 hours sorting out insurance for the car.
  • Went shopping for prams and cots today, well looking. I think I've decided which pram I want: the Steelcraft Strider Deluxe in Kingfisher (a lovely blue), possibly with a bassinet. I'm undecided on that point at the moment. 
  • Did I say that I'm hot?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry 34 weeks (and a Happy New 35 weeks)

34 weeks today. Oh yes, and it's Christmas Day - hurrah!!!

34 weeks
Days to EDD: 42
Weight gain: 13kg
Number of chocolates eaten today: None. Yet. I'm still in bed so there's plenty of time. Really looking forward to coffee and Christmas cake later.

Writing this on Toby's teeny tiny little Eee PC and the cursor keeps jumping around all over the place. It's driving me nuts so I'm going to get up and see if Santa has been and try again later on my humungous laptop.

Later: Okay, scrap all that. It is days later now. I don't know where the time has gone.

Gestation: 34 weeks 3 days
Days to EDD: 39
Weight gain: 13kg
Number of chocolates eaten today: Two! Quality Street (toffee deluxe, and the pink fudge one; real English chocolate from the English chocolate shop - a birthday present from Toby) but I also had two slices of Kielana's birthday cake and a sliver of Jeff's birthday muffin.

Current ailments: 
  • I'm still getting that strange pain in my abdomen, at the front, to the right, near my rib cage. Sometimes it seems to be related to baby movements and that seems to be increasing so I think part of the bub is rubbing against me inside and causing irritation.
  • Possibly linked is a muscular pain in my lower ribs to the back. I have incredible knots there and have to get Toby to rub my back. Sometimes it seems to be caused by the baby but it's definitely irritated by sitting in one position for too long and pushing my shoulders forward (when typing or holding a book) doesn't help. The drives to and from Toby's parents' place didn't help either so no more long car journeys for me.
  • On Boxing Day I woke up with a sore left wrist. It seemed to be related to a tendon or ligament and was ever so slightly swollen. Perhaps I lay on it in the night. It was weak and useless all day but the next day it felt a bit better and gradually eased its way out.
  • The sore wrist was closely followed by a sore tendon in my left foot which was also slightly swollen. I think perhaps bub was lying on a nerve or something.
  • I'm hot.
Strange observations:
  • Thanks to the heat I am currently unable to wear my rings most days as my fingers are a bit swollen.
  • My belly button is starting to pop out. It looks a bit odd. And it feels rather odd having skin exposed that is normally on the inside.
  • The baby seems to be sitting a bit high up today and I feel like my heavy boobs and belly are bashing together a bit. I'm sick of my boobs actually.
  • My 34 week belly seems MUCH bigger than my 32 week belly. Can't believe there's another 6 weeks of growing to do.
Other news:
  • The nursery is coming along nicely. I have finished painting the chest of drawers and some shelves and I stuck some underwater stickers on the shelves and the change table. Toby has painted the walls, doors and skirting boards. Now we just need to arrange the furniture and get sticking!
  • We have finished our ante-natal classes. Following our two birth classes was one on breastfeeding, then active birth and finally tips for looking after a newborn, to be continued during our hospital stay.
  • The midwife during our final class confused the hell out of us with regards to our cot and SIDS (cot death). There are lots of bizarre rules but one of them is that you shouldn't line your cot with fabric. Ours is. If I remove the liner I'm worried that the baby could catch its fingers between the wire of the frame. I don't think it would pass current safety standards but they obviously didn't worry about this stuff 90 years ago. So do we take the risk with the fabric, remove it, or buy a cot? Who knows!
  • There may more news but I'm tired and can't remember ... I have my next appointment with the obstetrician tomorrow so I might pop back in and update on the size of the bub (measuring 1-2 weeks bigger than dates at the last check) and perhaps I'll remember more news then.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Perhaps I'll burst

Some days I feel like I'm going to burst. Not with excitement. Literally.

Gestation: 32 weeks and 5 days
Days to EDD: 50
Weight gain: 11-12 kg
Number of chocolates eaten today: None, but I did have a hot chocolate to try to eradicate the hunger pangs.

32 week belly shot - excuse the tired look and heavy no-bra boobs. It was bedtime.

Tonight, when preparing to shower after the gym, I noticed dry flakey skin on my nipples! On My Nipples!!! I swear I have never before had dry skin On My Nipples. I have certainly never noticed dry skin on my nipples before. Is this normal? Another bizarre symptom of pregnancy? I'm going to have to look it up. Rubbed some nipple stuff on them (Palmer's Nursing Cream, part of my toiletry pack from the ladies at work). The tube mentioned pre-natal use indicating this could be normal.

Friday, December 12, 2008

32 weeks and growing

Well, I guess the countdown has started. We are well and truly into single figures in terms of weeks left before the squirmer is due. Even if Dr Stokes lets me go 14 days overdue we will have our little bundle of joy in less than 10 weeks. I can't quite believe it.

The baby is getting quite big. In fact Dr Stokes says it's measuring one or two weeks bigger than my dates. He said that's good because it means bub is healthy and growing. I am resisting the temptation to wonder if that means it might be early, or on time and big. I think there's a good chance it could even out over the next few weeks. As Gran said the other night though, I am now well and truly aware that there's another little human inside me. It moves around a lot now, with much shorter periods of rest, although most of the time its actual movements are smaller as there is less room. That said, the other night it had me cracking up watching it try to change position. My whole belly was undulating like something out of aliens. I don't know whether it gave up in the end because it's pretty much in the same position it's been in for the last couple of weeks, although I woke up later that night to find it lying right up in between my ribs and over to the right hand side (its favoured side) leaving the lower left portion of my belly practically empty. I rolled onto my back and it straightened itself out a bit.

There is a heel constantly over to my right-hand side and when Ajie squirms the heel comes pushing out. Even Lucie could feel it the other night and sometimes it's so prominent it feels uncomfortable so I push it back in. Ajie pushes it back out again. I push it back in again. This can sometimes go for quite a while and I wonder if it's the start of a battle of the wits that we'll continue throughout life. Ajie certainly likes digging its heels in. It seems to be quite a mellow baby. For all of its squirming there isn't much in the way of violent or sudden kicks. I think Ajie is more of a yoga baby, or maybe a surfer than a footie player. There is the occasional short bout of hiccups though that can be quite violent.

After six months of thinking Ajie will be a boy I have had some strong girl feelings and dreams this week. Now I don't know what to expect but I think I'll be less shocked if it is a girl. I need to prepare Toby though as he would love a boy and is worried he'll be disappointed if it's a girl. I don't think he will be but perhaps my conviction that it is a boy all this time hasn't helped him prepare mentally.

We started ante-natal classes last week and have done two now. They're really good, very informative and it's nice to know that the hospital in general has a policy of letting you birth as naturally as you like and as they believe is safe. The first week was all about a natural and normal active birth. I was a bit annoyed to discover that Dr Stokes doesn't do water-births. Apparently you have to get out for delivery or they pull the plug. Toby and I are devising methods to prevent them from doing that, such as sitting on the plug. I'm not hung up on a water birth at all but I have done a bit of research and it seems like a good thing, plus I'm just irritated that the choice is taken away from me. I'll have to find out what he has against them.

Last night was a bit more full on as it covered all the things that you don't want to think about, such as use of forceps or emergency cesareans. It was good to know in what circumstances these things might occur and to start preparing for the possibility that it could happen to us. I was shocked to hear that one in three births end in cesarean! That seems like a lot to me. We also went through the different methods of induction, something I'm still hoping to avoid but at least I'll know what to expect if it is unavoidable. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that a medicalised birth might happen and isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The people in our group seem to be nice too and last night one of the girls from yoga was there. She's also English and is due 2 weeks after me but is having twins so will probably give birth before me or around the same time.

I am incredibly busy at the moment. Work is ramping up and I don't really have time to be writing this. I'm so tired. We had a great weekend away down at Byron. It was so relaxing and I took three days off work. But things have got crazy again this week. On Tuesday night we ended up test driving a car (so I've missed yoga and the gym this week and I'm feeling a bit unfit). We're currently looking at getting a Nissan X-Trail which is really nice to drive. We weren't too sure about the actual one we saw on Tuesday though and need to do a bit of shopping around. On Wednesday night we went round to Scott and Lucie's with Libbette and Lincoln for Christmas dinner. It was really nice and we all got each other little presents. Lucie even got a gift for Ajie - a very cool set of decorative lights with felt dolphins, crabs and boats to match our underwater theme. That night I was kept awake with a sore back and I've been tired ever since. My back is getting better but I missed pilates as a result. It's been a bad two weeks for exercise. Must get back into it.

That said, I had a lovely morning on Wednesday where I walked for a couple of kilometres near the beach and went out along the rock wall at The Spit. I saw loads of fish in the water and a turtle! Then I went for a swim in the ocean. It was a beautiful morning and I wish I hadn't been too tired to get out of bed and do it again every morning this week.

Work threw a baby shower for me on Wednesday too. We played a game where we had to guess whose baby photo was whose. Only 7 people brought photos in but it was still fun. People also guessed (or suggested) baby names and when the baby might arrive. The director read out a passage about children from The Prophet - one of Toby's and my favourites actually so I should stick it up here sometime to share. They also got me some fab gifts: a cute little almost designer romper suit and matching bib, although I confess I'm not sure how to get it onto the baby as it has no poppers on the legs. I have the receipt so I can always exchange it; a cloth book that you can tie to the cot with high contrast pictures on one side for newborns and a colourful frieze on the other; some creams and oils for me; and a gorgeous painted wood mobile of Noah's ark with lots of animals on it. What with that and Lucie's lights I can't wait to get the nursery done.

I read in the news today that Australia has the third worst childcare system in the developed world, which is somewhat concerning. Read more here.

And that's about that. It's pretty hot here but we got an air-conditioning unit installed the other day so hopefully I'll be able to cope a bit better. I will have to set the time on it and program it to come on and off at night I think... hopefully it will keep the house a bit cooler.

I finally have a new bump shot so I'll upload that in the next couple of days.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Tomorrow I will be 33 and my family will be saying goodbye to my Grandpa. My mother-in-law very kindly offered to help me out with any travel expenses if I wanted to go home for the funeral but aside from the hassle of getting clearance from my obstetrician and the airline, and having to rush back quickly before the airline get nervous about letting me back on board, and the fact that it's probably a bit much to organise in a few days, not to mention that I'd probably pay way above and beyond a fair fare, I figure sitting still for that long is probably impossible and unwise for someone who is 7 months pregnant.

My Dad made it quite clear that the family wouldn't be all that impressed if I attempted the trip. Gran said she'd worry. I was never really that serious about it. It would be a terribly selfish thing to do and I have to put my baby first now. Poor squirmer doesn't have a choice in the matter and I need to respect that.

Pregnancy is a wonderful journey of education into the strange symptoms and sensations the human body is capable of producing and enduring. Last night brought a new symptom. At around 2.30am I awoke feeling quite uncomfortable and a little bit sick in the stomach. I was fed up with sleeping on my left-hand side and wanted to sleep on my back or my right-hand side but whenever I did I could feel a tingling sensation, like pins and needles, in my right leg. Eventually I could feel it even when lying on my left-hand side. After a while I started to become more aware of the sensation and also quite hungry so I figured I'd get up and do some research. In the dark I grabbed a couple of pregnancy books and took them into the living room. I figured just getting up and walking around might help my circulation. I was pretty sure the baby was putting pressure on an artery. I grabbed some weet-a-bix (actually called weet-bix here but it was Uncle Toby's vitabrits or something... same difference) and read all about pins and needles in the hands and feet, which wasn't exactly what I had but is apparently caused by swelling due to excessive fluid or something.

When I went back to bed it had eased a bit, although was now present in my right arm too. I was feeling a little bit better sickness-wise having eaten, but now I had a ligament pain or something at the bottom of my uterus on the right-hand side. Thankfully I did get back off to sleep eventually although I'm quite tired today.

Today I've had tingly hands, both of them on and off. For a while it was mainly my right-hand which I'd been operating my mouse with. I read that carpal tunnel syndrome is common in pregnancy and it's caused by swelling in the wrists putting pressure on the nerves. My wrist did look a bit swollen. Hopefully it'll pass but at least I have a short week at work this week. I have Thursday and Friday off for our trip to Byron. Thursday is really just so I can chill, get stuff together, get my hair cut (if I remember to make an appointment) and resume my pilates. We start our ante-natal classes on Thursday night. Friday we go away and we'll probably return Sunday. Monday I'll re-coup and do the laundry then back to work on Tuesday.

The First Aid course was very useful on Saturday. I hope we remember it all. It was only $20 each and there were quite a lot of girls from yoga there with their partners. I knew some of it anyway from doing First Aid as part of my Fire Warden training at uni but it was good to have it reinforced and to have Toby there too and know that he will also know what to do in an emergency. The best bit was getting to try CPR on baby and child dummies. I've had to do it quite a lot (once a year) on an adult dummy but we don't usually get babies and children to try on . I hope I never have to use it though.

I baked the Christmas cake on Saturday night. It wasn't the best day to do it as it was disgustingly humid, but I just wanted it done and out the way.

Sunday was nice. We walked some dogs belonging to Toby's colleague to the beach and then had breakfast in the garden. Toby upset me by insisting I sit down the other end of the table from him - apparently he'd placed a chair there for me deliberately but I moved it closer to him - all because I slightly nudged his notebook (which he wasn't even looking at because he was reading the paper). He probably wouldn't have even noticed if I hadn't apologised and straightened it up. I wonder how he can possibly be so anal about stuff like that yet leave a pair of socks on the coffee table for days on end.

I wrapped up some Christmas presents for family back home, spoke to my parents and watched Toby attempt to make a Delia Smith Chocolate Beer cake without really reading the recipe. It was still yummy although the icing in the middle turned out a bit odd because he used caster sugar rather than icing sugar. I couldn't eat that bit. It was too sweet and crumbly. It was my birthday cake though so I was going to enjoy it. We shared it with Jeff and Larraine. I was going to bring the remainder of the cake to work to share with the team on my birthday but Jeff ate it. I even tried to stop him by mentioning my intention as he started cutting his second piece but he just replied "oh that'll be nice" and continued on. There's just under a third left but it's not enough to share with ten people so I'll just have to pick up a shop bought one on the way to work. I thought it would be nice to do something as it's a sad day, being Grandpa's funeral, and I think some people have my last week before maternity leave off work. All the more cake for me to eat at home anyway.

We didn't get our sofa. We pretty much ruled out all the ones we'd narrowed it down to and now have another couple to consider, neither of which are ideal. It's so exhausting.