Infant to Baby

20140202-nakedtummytime-sml-2Our lil O is now 3 1/2 months old! How time flies! He is no longer considered an infant. :( He is now a baby! :-)

Everyday he brings so much joy to our lives and everyday I feel so grateful for the treasure we have. He is growing so fast. It’s hard to keep up! It still only feels like yesterday that I was walking up and down our street, breathing in smoke from the bush fires burning close by, trying to bring on labour.

So much has happened since I last wrote a post so I’m just going to list a few milestones that have occurred over the last couple of months:

  • Christmas – We went on a road trip to K’s parents house where we stayed for two weeks over Christmas & New Years. Lil O was fantastic in the car. It was a 10 hour trip each way. We planned it well, so that we left when he was due for a sleep, then stopped when he was due for a feed and it worked really well. He pretty much slept the whole time in the car. The highlight of the trip was seeing him interacting with his older cousins, who absolutely adore him. He loved playing with them and was all smiles and giggles. He also loved his poppy, who could easily make him smile and giggle.
  • Rolling – Lil O rolled from back to tummy and back again when he was 11 weeks old. We had to transition him quickly out of his swaddles and into sleeping bags as he was moving so much in his cot. I thought this first roll was a fluke, but he continued to gain strength and do it quite easily. He struggles a bit with the back to front, but he is so determined that he gets there eventually. Front to back he does with the ease of a ballerina! At my first mothers group meet up yesterday the community nurse didn’t seem to believe me when I told her he was rolling, but I didn’t think it was that unusual and he is a very strong lil boy.
  • Talking – – I know it’s just baby babble, but I swear sometimes it sounds like he is saying words like “hello” and “i love you”! He is very chatty sometimes, especially when he is on his change table. Yesterday he was babbling away in mothers group as people were talking, it was like he just wanted to join the conversation.
  • Grabbing – He is very good at grabbing now, but still gets quite frustrated if he can’t reach something. He has worked out how to pull the handle on his bouncer hanging toys to make the music play and is very good at picking up things with two hands. He is also starting to grab at my noise and mouth with interest.
  • Solids – In a couple of weeks we are going to start him on solids. The recommendation that has been to start them at 6 months is about to change to 4 months apparently and we are going with that. He seems ready. So at the moment I’m reading up on all the ways to wean them onto solids. I’m finding the Baby Lead Weaning information very interesting but not sure if you can start that at 4 months? Breastfeeding is going well and he is finally putting on weight and growing well, so I hope to continue that for as long as possible as well.
  • New Zealand – A couple of weeks ago we took lil O to Wellington in New Zealand. We were really worried about how well he would travel, but he ended up being an absolute angel. The main purpose of the trip was so he could meet my grandmother (his great grandmother), who at 92 is quite frail and we just don’t know how much longer she’ll be with us. Seeing lil O and her interact was the most precious thing imaginable. He just loved sitting on her lap and she gentling chatted to him. I’m so glad we made the trip and it was so special to see the joy it brought her. While we were there, there was a 6.3 earthquake. I’ve grown up with earthquakes and have never really been bothered by them, but when this one rumbled it scared the crap out of me. I really think having a son has made me more fearful. K, who I thought would freakout, was hardly bothered by it at all. Lil O didn’t bat an eyelid!
  • Sleeping – Our lil O is generally pretty good at night. We have got him into a routine of going to bed around 7.30-8pm. I then dream-feed him at 10pm, which takes him through to 3 or 4 am. He will then sleep for another 2-3 hours. During the day, it’s a bit hit and miss. I try to follow a sleep, feed, play routine and not have him up any longer than 1.5 – 2 hours, but this doesn’t always happen. Some days he won’t nap at all, others (like today) he will sleep up to 3 hours each nap. Some days he self-settles, other days he won’t. But generally I think he’s a good sleeper.
  • Development leaps/wonder weeks – At around 11.5 weeks we had an awful week where he just wouldn’t settle. According to the Wonder Weeks theory, he was going through a major development leap. It was a tough week. It was just before we left for New Zealand and we were both pulling our hair out. Some days the only way we could get him to sleep was to put him in the car and go for a long drive. Luckily for us, we live in a very scenic area with lots of interesting places to drive to, so it wasn’t too bad and worth it just to get him to sleep. I’m so grateful that K was on holidays as I think I would have cracked it on my own. But he came out the other end a much happier lil boy with lots of new skills and abilities so all was good in the end. I think we are now in another wonder week as he’s been a bit up and down. His night sleeps this week have been a bit all over the place as well. On Sunday night he slept from 8pm through to 7pm (with one dream feed at 10pm) and then the rest of the week he’s been waking a couple of times, which hasn’t happened for weeks! Just when you think you have them in a good routine, they go and change!

So what’s next? Well I need to start working again…sigh!!! I really don’t want to leave him with anyone else, but at some point that is going to have to happen. I’m lucky that I can work from home, but even that is hard as he needs my attention so much. I don’t think I will have enough time to work around his needs. We have no family living close that can look after him, so our only choice is daycare or a nanny. Handing him over to a daycare when he’s only 4 months old just doesn’t seem right to me. I’m procrastinating finding a solution, but I’m sure having no money coming in will soon motivate me.

  

It’s all smiles

Nothing brings us more joy than seeing our lil O smile, and we are now getting lots of them. Every time we go pick him up out of cot he beams up at us, when he is sitting in his bouncer playing he cracks himself up and when we talk to him he beams back the most gorgeous smile that just warms your heart to the core.

It’s been a full on week, having spent last weekend in the city for a wedding, having his grandparents (my parents) stay for the week, first round of immunisations, visits from my friends and their bubs, and a special visit to K’s school to visit her kids.

At the wedding, lil O was fantastic. He screamed just as the bridesmaids stepped out, but then after settling him, he pretty much slept for the rest of the wedding. He then went down for the night and slept for 7 solid hours! Not great for my boobs, which by the morning were about to explode, but it was amazing and refreshing to get some unbroken sleep.

My parents have stayed for the week after the wedding and so lil O has been very spoilt with lots of cuddles. K has had a very busy last week of teaching before the holidays so it was good to have some extra help. My dad has been busy doing jobs around the house, which were neglected for the last couple of months and mum has helped babysit lil O giving me a bit of a rest.

On Tuesday lil O got his immunisations as well as other checks. He managed to pee all over the doctor and bed before getting jabbed. He screamed a bit, but managed a big smile when I picked him up afterwards. The doc said he’d either be unsettled for a day or two or very sleepy. That day he was very unsettled and didn’t get a wink of sleep, but managed a good nights sleep and then has been fine since. He didn’t even get a fever! His weight is still at the lower end of the scale. In fact he is just under the bottom line of the growth charts. This is worrying me, but the doctor seemed to think he is doing fine and that he is steadily gaining weight and is happy and healthy, which is all that matters. He’s just a little guy!

On Wednesday my two closest friends visited with their little babies. We managed to get some cute pics of the three of them together that will be coming out at their 21st, much to their embarrassment I’d imagine! :-)

The highlight of the week, was visiting K’s school so that her kids could meet lil O. K teaches such a beautiful bunch of kids and they were so excited to meet him. They sang a song to him, which almost brought tears to my eyes. In fact I had to keep my eyes averted away from the kids otherwise I would have cried. It was just so beautiful. The experience was one which we never thought would happen and one that we’ll never forget. In a time that our nations politicians believe our relationship is not equal to others, it’s a great sign that people of the next generation are so much more accepting of us and genuinely believe we have just as much right as any other couple to have kids.

  

1 Month!

Our lil O is now 1 month old (plus 4 days). We can’t believe it! We are just loving him more and more each day.

Just over a week ago we reached our first milestone…a smile! This wasn’t a “I’ve got wind” type smile, but a response to his mummies being silly! On repeat tries of such silliness we only received a frown, but we were happy with the one smile. Just over a week on we get smiles when we go to pick him up out of his cot, when we blow raspberries on his tummy and when we are just silly mummies. It’s so gorgeous to watch. I think he smiles a lot more with mummy K! She is the fun mum, whereas when he’s with me, he has a one track mind – booby!

Being first time mums there have been many challenges. Trying to get him settled on a number of occasions has taken a lot of patience and persistence. Sometimes I just think he would much rather be awake taking in everything around him than sleeping away the hours. Then just when you get him settled, he has a poo explosion, then the whole cycle starts again!

It took 3 weeks for him to get back past his birth weight. He only lost 100 grams those first few days in the hospital, but then didn’t put much on for the next couple of weeks. I had to express and top-up his feeds for a week to increase my milk supply and in doing so, he put on almost 200 grams in just 4 days. He then put on another 300 grams the following week, so is now doing very well. He is now just over 3.5 kilos, which is still smaller than a lot of new borns, but it’s nice to see a bit of fat on his skinny long legs.

He is a bit of a social butterfly having already attended a wedding at 10 days old, where he was a shining star almost stealing the focus away from the bride and groom. We have another wedding to attend this weekend for which I think he’ll do the same.

Our dog has been adorable with him and even a bit protective of him. She gives him gentle licks on the cheek or feet and stands guard at my feed when I’m feeding him or changing him. She even comes to tell us when he’s awake or when the cat gets too close. The cat is our biggest concern and we’ve had to lock her out of the bedroom at night, much to her dislike and keep a close eye on her during the day so she doesn’t get in the cot.

We have so much love for this little boy and sometimes I still find it hard to believe we created such a beautiful human being. We are loving watching his personality starting to develop and watching him grow (so quickly) everyday. He brings so much joy to our lives and we feel very blessed!

This blog post took many hours, nappy changes, burps, cuddles and more to write! Thank you for your patience! I promise to write more often.

  

Introducing Lil O

o-4daysoldIt’s only taken me a week, but I’d like to introduce you to our little boy ‘lil O’ (blog name). Born on the 22nd of October at 12.12pm, weighing 3.1 kg (6 pound 9 ounces).

My induction began at 4pm on Monday 21st of October. They first monitored me with the CTG machine and discovered that I was already have contractions, which I had thought were Braxton Hicks. They then applied the first round of gel, and the contractions began to intensify over the next few hours. At first I was able to walk around a bit. We even went for a walk around the hospital grounds, stopping briefly with each contraction. At around 11pm K went home for a few hours sleep and by 5am in the morning, the contractions were getting quite intense and close together so they moved me to the birthing suite where I was joined by K at 6am.

At this point, Sticky still wasn’t engaged and dilation wasn’t happening very quickly even though the contractions were full steam ahead. This meant they couldn’t break my waters, so some more gel was applied. Contractions got even more intense, longer and quicker. I was in and out of the bath and getting to the point where I felt overwhelmed by the pain.

By 11am (19 hours since the first lot of gel), the midwife was getting concerned with Sticky’s heartrate, which was dropping with every contraction. The obstetrician was called in and after checking me over, decided that Sticky needed to be out within an hour. From there things moved very quickly. I have hazy recollections of a pen in hand trying to sign a document, being poked and prodded in-between painful contractions, being wheeled down through the maternity ward with onlookers witnessing my groans with each contraction, and then chatting to various medical professionals as they did their job.

At this point it was somewhat of a relief to know I was heading in for an emergency caesarian as the thought of no labour progression after so long was making it harder for me to believe I could get through it.

Once the spinal block went in and I was laying on the table, K next to me, it was only a matter of seconds before I heard those first cries and being held above me was our very cute little boy, our ‘lil O’.

Turns out, he was trying to come out superman style with one arm leading the way. The OB said the placenta was on it’s way out, which would of contributed to the heart-rate dropping. So in the end it was a good thing we got him out quick.

K cut the cord and before I knew it he was in my arms as they began to stitch me up. He was so alert looking from K to me and back again. I was instantly in love with our lil O.

He was then taken away with K to get checked over whilst I was taken to recovery where I stayed for about 45 minutes. I was missing my lil O and just wanted to be with him. It was the longest 45 minutes ever.

Finally we were reunited in the maternity ward as my legs and body started to regain feeling. K and I just couldn’t stop looking at him. He is just beautiful.

It’s been a hard week since his birth. The nights especially! Also the frustration of not being able to do much due to the cesarian. I’ve never been so sleep deprived in all my life but none of this matters as we have such a perfect boy who, already brings so much joy to our lives. K has been a saint doing absolutely everything, from changing nappies to singing him to sleep. I feel like the luckiest woman on earth.

  

Induction booked

Yesterday I had an appointment with the OB, but of course there was another emergency caesarean so he had to cancel all his appointments. Lucky for me, they booked me in with a midwife who the OB had given instructions to regarding ‘what next’. The midwife, went through the normally checks after telling me she would also being doing an internal sweep (stretch & sweep/membrane sweep), which I think may have stressed me out a little as my blood pressure, which is usually low, was a little raised. K was with me and held my hand as this was being done, however it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, even after the midwife told me some women find it worse than labour. If that’s worse than labour, then labour will be a breeze! At first it was painful, but I just switched on the CalmBirth techniques I’d learnt and it was easy.

Unfortunately Sticky has not engaged still, however my cervix is soft and ready to go. The midwife couldn’t tell if it was dilated as it was right back hiding. I do have a wonky cervix, but was told early on that it shouldn’t be a problem with giving birth as it should move forward. But the midwife seems to think the stretch & sweep probably wouldn’t help much, although I did have a lot of Braxton Hicks all night.

The induction has been booked for Monday afternoon, at which point I’ll be 41 weeks. I need to sit very un-lady like for the next few days and try do all the things possible to get Sticky to move down. Even though its possible to go into labour without the baby being engaged, there is a danger of the cord dropping down apparently, so it’s not the most ideal situation to be in. That being said, I’m hearing lots of stories of women who were never engaged until labour, so I’m not too concerned. I just have to get the hospital quickly if my waters do break. I’ll also be heading in for a number of acupuncture appointments over the weekend to see if we can get it going before Monday.

My parents have been sitting on-hold waiting to jump on a flight from New Zealand, however, my dad has not been well and is booked in to get his heart shocked back into rhythm on Monday. He may not be able to fly and mum can’t leave him. Another stumbling block is we currently have some bad bush fires burning around Sydney, one of which is close to home and has closed the freeway, so there is no getting in or out to where we live. There is a bit of a reprieve today with the weather, but it’s going to get bad again on the weekend. We have both our bush fire survival kit and our hospital bag packed and ready to go at the door!

My induction starts with the Prostaglandin Gel on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday morning, if the gel hasn’t kicked off labour I’ll be moved to the birthing room at 6am and they will rupture my membranes and then give me the oxytocin drip. Hopefully by Tuesday afternoon we’ll have met our Sticky.

I’m not sure why, but K and I really want it to come before the 24th so it’s a Libra…we are a little scared of Scorpios! Silly, I know!

Please send me some ‘labour inducing’ vibes over the next few days!!!

  

It’s time Sticky!!!!

So we have now reached 40 weeks and we are still waiting, waiting, waiting! I kinda get the feeling Sticky is quite happy hanging out in my belly. Every night s/he has what feels like one hell of a party in there! Every time I jump from the pain of a very hard punch or kick, K gets all excited thinking I’m having a contraction. I think she is more impatient than I am, which I love!

At my OB appointment last week (39+2 weeks), the OB said Sticky was not yet engaged, which of course sent me into a slight panic. What if my pelvis is unfavourable? What if Sticky won’t fit? What if???? I know that some people’s babies don’t engage until they go into labour, but most engage around 36 weeks, so it makes me think Sticky really doesn’t want to come out. It also means that induction is inevitable. If Sticky doesn’t make an appearance by Thursday this week, I will be booked in for an induction. Either way, Sticky will be here within the week!

Come on Sticky…this world is waiting eagerly for you!!!!

  

A change of plans

At last weeks appointment my OB decided that everything was going well enough to postpone my induction. Sticky is healthy and happy, my GDM levels have been maintained at a good level and I am healthy with good blood pressure etc. Originally, because of the GDM, my OB was going to induce me at 39 weeks, but now he’s happy to let me go to 41! This is great in that Sticky has another couple of weeks to come when he/she decides to come, but it’s also bitter sweet, as in our heads we were expecting to meet our bundle of joy this week!

So now we are just getting impatient! Only 1 more week until the official due date! Come on Sticky….we can’t wait to meet you!

We are trying all the old wives tales to get things going this week:

  • Very hot curries
  • Walking
  • Clary Sage Oil
  • Raspberry Leaf Tea
  • Massages (to get that oxytocin going :-))
  • Acupuncture
  • Bouncing on the fit ball

If you have any others that you think may work, we’d be happy to hear about them. We would love to avoid an induction! We are also getting a little nervous, as K’s sister is getting married the first weekend in November, so we could potentially be going to a wedding with a 1 week old! Eeeeek!

  

Preparing

I was back at the hospital yesterday for my schedule OB appointment. K and I went in with a plan. I really didn’t want to see the OB from last week (the fill-in) who put me into a complete meltdown, so we decided if we were told that we would be seeing her, that I’d ask to see a midwife instead. As it turned out, I was told that I would be seeing the fill-in as my normal OB was attending to patients (Sept is a busy month). I asked if I could see a midwife instead. The OB’s assistance didn’t have to ask why and went and got a midwife. The midwife just happened to be the one that came in last week to assist an internal examination to check the source of spotting. She gave me a bit of a peep talk when I told her I didn’t want to see the fill-in OB because she was causing me too much stress, which was affecting my GD levels. She said I had no choice but to see an OB due to the GD levels, but I think she understood my stress. She probably could see the disappointment in my eyes, which were close to tears.

So we sat down and waited. K kept reminded me to breathe and I sat there reading my “CalmBirth” book to try and calm myself. I was pissed off! The girl sitting next to me asked me if it was Dr R that I didn’t want to see. This girl was at the reception desk and had heard my conversation with the midwife. It turns out she was also in the same boat as me and didn’t like this particular Dr either, saying she stressed her out as well. It was nice to know it wasn’t just me, but sad to know that this dr was stressing everyone out!

After about 45 minutes the OB’s assistant came out and quietly said to me that Dr F (my normal OB) would be seeing me. She gave me the thumbs up as she walked away – what a saint! She had obviously had a little chat with him. I could feel the tension fall off me and instantly felt happier. We waited at least another 30 minutes, which was fine, before seeing him. He also saw some of the other patients, which also made me happy!

He asked me what was stressing me out and after telling him all my fears he put my mind at ease saying everything was looking good. Sticky was waving cheerfully when he did a quick scan. He commented on how active Sticky was and said this was a very good thing. Although he also said Sticky wasn’t yet engaged. All my results from the swab and blood in urine test came back good, so I have no GBS, no UTI and my blood pressure was perfect.

I’m feeling so much better!

This morning I had my first acupuncture appointment, which I’m hoping will make things happen before I need the induction. I will have another acupuncture appointment next week and then when I know my induction date, I’ll have 4 days in a row, which should get things started before the induction. I’m really hoping this, along with all the other things we are trying will help induce a natural labour.

As I type this now, my best friend is in labour. I can’t tell you how exciting this is for me. She was due to be induced on Sunday as she is overdue and had slightly high blood pressure, but had some acupuncture, which lowered her blood pressure and it looks like it might have got things started. I keep looking at my phone every few minutes to see if there is a message from her. I can’t believe we are going to have kids the same age! It makes me so happy and excited for us all.

  

A bit of a vent…

I had what felt like a morning from hell yesterday morning at the hospital. Of course it probably felt that way because I’m very pregnant and I seem to get emotional very easily at the moment. I know I’m probably over-exaggerating my frustration and stress of it all.

I arrived for my scheduled appointment with the obstetrician, who I’d not seen for a month due to two cancellations. I was very eager to see him this morning as I had so many questions about various things I wanted to ask him. It seemed quiet in the waiting room, so I thought, great I’ll be in there in no time at all. Oh, how I was wrong!

As I was peeing in a cup (lets not go into the complexities of trying to pee in a cup when you’re 36 weeks pregnant), my phone alarm went off to remind me to take my blood glucose reading. It was 7.5 (quite high)! This of course put in my panic mode as all I’d had for breakfast was the same thing I’d eaten throughout my entire pregnancy – a bowl of porridge, which has never given me a high reading. An hour later I’m still sitting there waiting and listening to him sitting in his office chatting candidly with a nurse about nothing medical related. I could feel the stress levels rising and my emotions boiling. Finally the “fill-in” OB came down the corridor and called my name. Crap, bugger, shit, was my response! I’d seen this OB before and it wasn’t a nice experience. I followed her into a room and asked why I wasn’t see my normal OB – she gave me no answer.

I handed over my diabetes book, urine sample and AN card. She looked at my diabetes card and flipped! “Who have you called regarding these readings?”, she asked. I told her that I rang the hospital once after having a week with 4 highs and they weren’t concerned with my numbers. I also told her the OB had never been concerned and the dietician was happy with my diet. She didn’t seem too pleased. She then sent me off to the loo with a swab to test for GBS, well she didn’t actually say GBS, but I’m assuming that is what it was for. Her instructions…”stick it up as far as it will go and wiggle it around a bit”. How bloody awkward trying to do that when your 36 weeks pregnant!!! Anyway, I managed, but then noticed blood on the toilet paper after (my apologies for too much information). As I went back into the office she was testing my urine. She told me that there was blood in my urine and I told her there was blood after I did the swab. She didn’t give me any indication of what the blood in my urine was but said the blood that I saw could mean I’m starting to dilate. I mentioned the Braxton Hicks I’d been getting and the period pain that seems to be increasing in intensity. She said the period pain was a good sign that labour will be easy! WTF!!! Easy??? Anyway, she must have been a little bit concerned as she did a speculum test to check for blood – there was none.

She was ordering around the midwives and treating them terribly. I could see they didn’t like her very much. One of them who had to supervise the speculum test, apologised to me about the disorganisation and gave me a look that spoke a million words about what she thought of this OB.

She then sent me off to pathology for blood tests, along with my swab and urine.

After returning from pathology, she sent me across the road to chat to the Diabetes Educator. After a very long chat with her she has recommended I stop working as she thinks the stress of it is causing my levels to rise. I do agree, that stress and emotions do raise my levels and I would love to stop work right now, but the stress of not completing the jobs could very well send my blood glucose levels skyward as well.

What I’m really angry about is the mixed responses from everyone regarding my diabetes. I get such different opinions from everyone and it’s so frustrating as one minute I think I’m doing fine, the next I feel like a failure, which only pushes my levels up higher. The OB told me I wouldn’t be induced until I got to 41.2 weeks, but then changed her mind half-way through the appointment, saying if I keep getting these levels I’d be induced at 38 weeks. My normal OB won’t let me go past 39 weeks! Who do I listen to? It’s times like this I think maybe I should have gone private!

I spent the whole evening stressing about it all, so got no sleep. I’m going to reduce my work load to just a couple of hours a day and try and do whatever I can to take the stress out of my life. I’ll even be more strict with my diet – if that’s at all possible!

Meanwhile…our country is turning to shit (and going back 30 years) due to a newly elected “dick-head” of a government who opposes same-sex marriage and has only 1 woman in his cabinet. Oh and then nominates himself as the “Minister for Women’s Affairs” (Introducing the Minister for Women’s Affairs), which I find completely barbaric! I fear for our country. It’s not only the rights of same-sex couples that will suffer from the new dick-head in power, but also asylum seekers, the elderly, health and education, women in general, child-care workers, the list goes on. My facebook feed is flooded with disgust at this new government and it makes me wonder who actually voted for him? Obviously no one in my life!

  

Meet the midwife

Yesterday I went into the clinic for my re-scheduled OB appointment from last week. It’s been 3 weeks since I’d seen the doc and had a number of things on my mind that I wanted to ask and discuss. Last week was cancelled so I was feeling a little anxious to check that everything was going well and I’m supposed to be seeing the doc weekly now.

As I sat down in the waiting room I heard the moans and groans from a lady giving birth. I’ve been in there many times and have never heard anyone in the midst of labour so was quite surprised at this and how it affected me. It scared the bejeebers out of me. After 15 minutes or so, the doc’s assistance came out to announce that he had to cancel all his appointments for the afternoon due to an emergency caesarean. My heart dropped through the floor. I wasn’t going to wait another week, so asked his assistant if I could see a midwife instead. Luckily she agreed with me that I needed to see someone and found a midwife to see me.

As I waited for the midwife the poor woman in labour was wheeled out on her bed moaning on her way to surgery – she was the emergency caesarean. I felt like crying for her! Following her out the door was the lovely midwife Karen who took our CalmBirth class on the weekend. Karen sent the poor woman on her way then came back in noticing me sitting there. She came running over to see how I was and said she was going to give K and I a call as she wanted to meet up for coffee to get our feedback on the course. I guess us being a ‘special’ type of couple, she wanted some diversity in the feedback for the course. I told her we’d be happy to.

I finally got to meet a midwife. She was fantastic. She spent almost half an hour with me chatting about various things. It was so nice to meet someone who could potentially be the one delivering our baby!

I finally got my official scan results from 32 weeks. Turns out our little sticky is on the smaller scale of things – in the 25 percentile – apart from his/her head, which is in the 74 percentile. All within the normal range, but still I have this vision of a short kid with a massive head!

I’ve been having some period like pain on and off for the last week, which at times has made me wonder if I was close to labour. I asked the midwife, who checked a few things then said lay low for the next week as it could be a sign of impending labour. So no ‘love hormone’ (oxytocin) stimulation until I’m at least 36 weeks, which is only a few days off. The hospital doesn’t deliver before 36 weeks, so if you go into labour before then, they ship you off to one of the city hospitals, which is something I would dread! K and I have been talking to Sticky, trying to tell him/her that the time to come is in 3 weeks and that a 7 hour labour would be ok!

Sticky certainly feels like he/she is moving down and preparing for birth. He/she is deep in my pelvis and I often feel him/her pushing off my hip. There’s lots of squirming around in there now and lots and lots of hiccups. :-)

  

Calm Birth

K and I attended a Calm Birth class this weekend and it was fantastic. At first I was a little worried about sitting in a classroom, 9.30am – 6pm for two days. The thought of sitting still for that long seemed painful, but they had lovely rocking chairs with foot stools, fit balls, pillows, blankets, everything to make sure you were very comfortable. The weekend also went very fast so it wasn’t painful at all.

We both got so much out of the course and are now feeling a lot more confident for a calm birth even if plan A doesn’t work.

Calm Birth is taught to empower parents to discover the joy of birth. The techniques they teach include breathing techniques, massage, visualisation, meditation, and using the power of beliefs thoughts and emotions. The course was incredibly powerful, not only in techniques to get you through childbirth, but also to get you through life.

On our arrival on Saturday morning we met a lovely midwife Karen who was to be taking the course (her father is the creator of Calm Birth). Being the only same-sex couple in the course of 12 couples she made a point of saying that she’d like to apologise upfront for referring to partners as ‘fathers’ and that she’d do what she could to make it gender-neutral. We were fine with this and are quite used to the reference to ‘fathers’ in this new world we find ourselves in and it really doesn’t bother us at all. We know we are the minority. So throughout the course, Karen would say things like, “…now fathers…[small pause]…and K”. It got to the point that every time she said it I had to try very hard to not fall into fits of laughter. She really was trying hard, and she was lovely and sweet and a fantastic presenter for the course, but the “…now fathers…[small pause]…and K”, was just too funny, and we weren’t the only ones who thought so!

The course did bring up some issues for me, one in particular is what they call conscious parenting, which emphasises the importance of early bonding with your child, in particular before the child is born. It also includes the importance of immediate skin to skin contact after the birth of the child, that first hour is important, the first 6 months are important. This is all stuff I missed out on as a child. My biological mother was 14 when she “accidentally” got pregnant and I know it was a horrendous pregnancy filled with shame and guilt. When I was born I was quickly taken away from my biological mother before she could even see me. I then spent the next 2 months alone in a nursery being cared for by nurses. I never had any skin to skin contact or bonding and was left to cry alone for so long that I learnt very early on that nobody will be there to console you or love you when you need it most. By the time I was living with my adopted parents I had learned that crying did nothing and was apparently a very quiet baby and toddler. I apparently never even had a tantrum as a toddler. It left an imprint on my life that can never be erased and the course reminded me of this and why I’ve had so many issues over the years.

On a positive note, we’ve come away from the course with a bunch of skills that if we practice them over the next few weeks, should get us through labour calmly rather than full of anxiety and fear. We will be communicating with Sticky as much as possible and treating him/her as if he/she is already here. If anyone starts telling us horror birth stories, our response will be “please stop, our baby is listening!”

  

Time to pack the bag?

With only 5 weeks to go (for induction) it’s time to start thinking about packing that hospital bag. At 34 weeks, I’m at that point where I want no more of pregnancy and more of motherhood. I’m eager for Sticky to make his or her appearance. Although not before 36 weeks and not before I’ve completed all my work projects. We would really like Sticky to stay put until at least 36 weeks, when he/she is considered full term.

We’ve transformed the nursery. It was yellow with a horrible wallpaper freeze left over from the previous house owner. We wanted to go for a more neutral look which we can change and decorate easily as Sticky grows. We gave it a paint and added a bit of colour with some Michael Leunig prints and a retro arm chair.nursery

A friend of mine had a dream that I went into labour early and sent me a message saying I must pack my bag. She recently gave birth at 34 weeks and was totally unprepared! We are starting to buy all the bits and pieces we need to go in the hospital bag…most importantly nipple cream, which everyone keeps telling us is an absolute must for the first few days.

As for pregnancy symptoms, well I’m definitely getting to that point where everything is a huge effort. The grocery shopping takes me two hours in stead of one, there are a lot of moans and groans every time I stand up, I’ve got a definite waddle, lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and it feels like I’m lifting a ten-pin bowling ball every time I roll over in bed, not to mention that the rolling over process feels like a 6 point turn in my car. Sleep eludes me and it doesn’t bother me too much now. I once savoured my sleep and wondered how I’d ever be able to manage getting up every few hours with a new born, but now I’m not so worried. I’ve become so used to not sleeping.

My favourite part of this point in pregnancy is feeling Sticky’s limbs, in particular his/her foot, protruding from my tummy. I can actually feel the distinct outline of the heel of his/her foot. It makes all this so much more real and exciting. There really is a tiny little human being in there squirming about. It’s crazy!

  

Where has my brain gone?

I’m having a shocker of a week with pregnancy brain. It’s relentless. The 3rd trimester fatigue has hit with a vengeance, which I’m thinking is probably the main cause of such brain fuzziness.

I had a 32 week scan yesterday to check the growth of our little Sticky. All went well – I think! I arrived without my referral (bloody pregnancy brain) so K and I had to return home as they wouldn’t do the scan without it. This, of course, turned me into a stressball as I’m really not good at being late. K was getting me to breathe and calm down as I was speeding through the streets home. Luckily they were very nice about it and just swapped me with another person and I didn’t have to reschedule.

The sonographer measured everything and then graphed it to show the progress from my last scan (at 20 weeks). He said Sticky has a big head but a little femur, but all within the range for the gestational age. Of course that got me worried and have googled every possible reason for a big head and short femur. Seeing things like, “possible indicator of DS” has freaked me out. Of course I’m probably freaking out for no reason at all, as all the measurements were within the range. I am a shorty with a small head and long legs, so I guess Sticky doesn’t take after me in this regard!

I then had an appointment with the obstetrician this morning. He was only running an hour late this morning – go him! He didn’t have the results of the scan as they were still waiting for “authorisation”, whatever that means! So now I have to wait another 2 weeks to find out the results. He said he would call if there was anything of concern when he does receive them. But my trust in that hospital ringing for anything is all gone, considering they have never called me when they said they would.

On the way home, I thought I’d quickly drop into Centrelink (government organisation for family services) to hand over a proof of citizenship for my Paid Parental Leave application. I’ve never had to deal with Centrelink before and have heard some horror stories so I did expect a bit of a wait. I waited 2 hours! The lady who checked me in entered the wrong name into the waiting list, so after waiting 2 hours a name was called out with my surname, but a different first name. I have a very common surname so I didn’t really think it could be me, but nobody got up. A couple of minutes later it dawned on me that maybe it was meant to be me, so I went back to the checkin lady to check. She couldn’t find anyone with my surname on the list – I’d been taken off! She was very rude to me when I explained that maybe I’d been put in incorrectly and that the person just called out was actually me. She basically told me I was an idiot for not getting up when I heard the “incorrect” name called and told me to go away. At this point I was almost in tears. My blood sugar levels were verging on Hypo and I was on very tender hooks. I had wasted a whole morning of work sitting waiting and was about to crack it! She went on to serve the next person and I was left standing there a little lost. I eventually got myself together and told her to go ask the lady who called out the ‘incorrect’ name to check. She stormed off and found the lady, who thankfully decided to see me, but not after first saying “I called out your name twice”. Ahh, no you actually called out the wrong name twice! It astounded me how quick they are to cross you off the waiting list. What if you needed to go to the toilet (after waiting 2 hours) and missed your name being called? I pay a lot tax to be eligible for this kind of service!!!

Anyway…rant over! It’s just been one of those weeks, when all I want to do is crawl back into bed and sleep. I feel like I’m getting nowhere with work projects and I’m getting to that point where I just can’t wait anymore for this baby to make it’s appearance.

  

Kitty drama, bloody nose & a quilt

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’ve been a very slack blogger! At almost 32 weeks the end seems so far away, but it’s coming sooner than it seems!

baby-quiltI’ve been busy with the sewing machine the last month and have made my first ever quilt. Don’t look too closely as you may find many mistakes, but overall I’m happy with it. I couldn’t get the material I wanted, which was annoying, but it looks ok and the cat loves it.

The cat! Our cat will be 2 in December, so is still a kitten really. Every baby item we’ve brought into the house she’s taken a liking too. The pram in particular. She loves sleeping in it. We have to keep the nursery closed otherwise she’ll be into everything. We could have a slight problem on our hands with her and may need to come up with some strategies to keep her out of the cot. She did make me feel like a mum this week though. zara-ear I came home from grocery shopping to find her with blood all over her head. Her right ear was ripped in half. It wasn’t a very nice sight. She didn’t seem too upset though and didn’t seem to be in any pain. I went into mum-mode and raced her to the vet and she had to go in for minor surgery to stitch the ear up. Afterwards, watching her stumble as she recovered from anaesthetic, just broke our hearts.

As for the pregnancy side of things. All is going well. I have a growth scan on Wednesday to make sure Sticky isn’t growing too big. The last couple of weeks, every morning and evening I’ve had a bleeding nose. I know it’s another common symptom of pregnancy, but I’ve never had one in my life, so its a little weird and yucky! My blood sugar levels the last couple of weeks have been perfect and I constantly feel hungry. Sleeping is almost impossible. Sticky kicks all night and I just can’t get comfortable. I do think Sticky is just preparing me for those many sleepless nights to come once he/she is born. Hip, back and pelvis pain continues, although the pelvis pain has eased off slightly as I’ve completely stopped doing anything physical that may aggregate it. I’ve also just started experiencing restless leg syndrome. baby-clothes

This morning I washed all the baby clothes we have received – mostly from my mum, who has almost bought out Pumpkin Patch! Baby clothes use a lot of pegs! How cute are they though?

7 weeks to go!

  

30 weeks…counting down

As we get closer and closer to due date, I get bigger and bigger and a little more stressed about all the tasks that need completing before Sticky arrives. I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to fly and with that feeling comes a level of stress at all the things that need to be done.

We are still gathering all the “essential” baby items and have decided that the nursery needs a make-over. I’m trying to complete multiple projects for work that “must” be completed before Sticky arrives, I need to do my tax return and work out finances for those months that I’m not working! It’s all a bit too much and if Sticky decides to come early, well, umm…not sure! Arghh!

The third trimester fatigue has set in and to top it off, yesterday I had some sort of horrid tummy bug. I won’t go into the gory details, but I was at a client and ended up in their sick room for an hour and then had to try and drive the 1.5 hour trip home without vomiting! I thought it might have been morning sickness returning but I’m feeling much better today thankfully, so I believe it was just a tummy bug! I think that may be my last trip to the city. It was a horrible feeling being stuck there and not knowing if I was going to make it home. The long drive isn’t good for my blood glucose levels either or my pelvis and back pain! Sticky is also squishing my lungs making breathing a little difficult! Climbing a few stairs feels like I’ve run a marathon!

We have finished up with the pre-natel classes. Today I was waiting for my appointment with the OB and ran into a father from the group. His wife had their baby last night – a little boy – and he was so happy. It was so cute to see how smitten he was and how proud of his wife he was.

My OB appointment went well. He was pleased with my blood glucose levels, even though I’ve had quite a few over the limit the last couple of weeks. My uterus is measuring on target and my blood pressure is perfect. I’m booked in for a growth scan in a couple of weeks to make sure Sticky is growing nicely and isn’t too big from the diabetes. I’ll then have another scan at 36 weeks. I’m really looking forward to seeing him/her again.

Sticky is very active, rolling, turning and kicking. We’ve even felt some hiccups, which are really cute! At night we have a little bonding session with him/her in bed as he/she tries some acrobats around my belly! I can work out exactly now what is what sticking out. He/she is sticking to the same position, head-down, facing my spine, which is perfect so hopefully he/she will stay that way.

I have a couple of Liebster award nominations and I promise I will get to them soon when I get some time! Thank you to those who nominated me! :-)