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.