Monday, 31 July 2006

Mikaela's birth story Part 2

To recap: my waters broke at about 1:30am followed by contractions - but of inconsistent intensity and frequency - for the rest of the night. At about 9am I called my mum and the midwife, Debbie, to tell them what was happening, but told them I was not yet in 'established labour', defined as 'strong, regular contractions' generally of no more than about five minutes apart.

Debbie said that if things hadn't gotten established by around lunch time she'd want me to come into the birth centre for a check, since my waters had broken. My mum said she'd be there in about an hour to collect Liam. All good. Somewhere in there we also called our doula, Vickie.

But then, things started hotting up. I was having more trouble focusing and relaxing through the contractions, especially with Liam popping in and out. Actually that's an understatement. It just wasn't happening. However I was still breathing rather than yelling at this point. Chris was mostly off trying to get Liam ready to go to my Mum's, but he'd left the watch in the room with me. So - since they were definitely getting a lot more intense - I started timing contractions. By the time my mother arrived at around 10am I had been having five minute apart contractions for at least half an hour. Mum took one look at me and said she didn't think, if she were me, that she'd be waiting till lunch time. In fact she would suggest that we head to the birth centre as soon as she left. Sage advice, as it turned out.

At that point I hadn't been thinking in terms of heading straight in, but her words prompted just that decision. As soon as she left with Liam, I had Chris call Debbie who arranged to meet us at the birth centre in half an hour. Of course, at that point we realised all the things 'we' (Chris) had to do before we left - change the sheets on Liam's bed, for one, since he'd wet the bed the night before, and change the sheets on our own bed in case my mum ended up sleeping there that night (I was still expecting to be home that night, but just in case...) - in retrospect I see that this was possibly not as urgent as I thought at the time. (And anyway I'll wake Chris up earlier next time!)

So, it was after 10:30 by the time we managed to leave the house - Debbie's notes said that we arrived at the birth centre at 11:00. On the way in I had a contraction at exactly the same spot as I remember having one on the way to give birth to Liam. That spot on Sulwood Drive will always harbour labour memories for me now. When we got there Debbie took us into our room - the same room Liam was born in - and took my blood pressure, listened to the baby's heartbeat, checked my pulse and whatnot. While she was doing that I had a couple more contractions but was able to sit on the edge of the bed and breathe through them.

Debbie said the bath (a large corner bath) was already filled, since Chris had told her on the phone that I wanted to come in to get in the bath, but that I might want to walk around a bit before getting in as the water could slow things down. I joked that that wouldn't be entirely unwelcome, but I was only half joking. I remembered how relaxing the bath was in my labour with Liam, how it helped me get right into the hypnobirthing/calmbirthing zone, and that was what I was counting on happening again.

Ha!

Debbie left us to get settled in, and I stripped off in record time and got in the water (not before having another contraction however, standing up, which really is not a good position for me during labour). Ahh, lovely. But what's this? Another contraction already? And, and - It was not easy to breathe through. In fact by this time my contractions were all accompanied by a sort of deep groaning breath, not just quiet breathing -  that seemed to help somehow. A couple more contractions in quick succession and I was just about ready for drugs, and wondering how I'd get through. I was praying (literally, and I don't do that all that often) that this was transition - even though I'd been expecting several more hours before we got to that point - otherwise I did not know how I was going to get through.

I remember Chris wondering aloud whether he should go and get the midwife - or maybe he was talking to Vickie, who'd arrived shortly after I'd entered the bath. I was thinking the same thing, wanting Debbie to come in so that she could tell me it would shortly all be over. Please God! The next thing I knew Debbie was in there, and telling Chris that she could hear the change in my voice during contractions. Yes, I was no longer even remotely quiet. I was still using the calmbirthing though, and relaxing as much as I could.

The next thing I knew I was right in the middle of a normal contraction, when suddenly it became a push. I believe I said "Oh god, oh god, she's coming." I know, it sounds like a soap opera, but that's what I said. I don't remember having anything like this level of awareness of switching gears during my labour with Liam, but this time it was clear as bells. Debbie's notes say that this, the start of second stage, happened at 11:50, about 1/2 hour after I got into the water.

Now, I have to say that this was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I don't remember any sense of voluntary pushing - my body was just doing its thing - so I suppose the hard part was in letting it. I know I was very anxious not to tear (again) so there was a part of me that was wanting to hold back. Chris was right there reminding me to use my breath to breathe the baby down (not just to screech). Remarkably, this was actually helpful. I was freaking out a bit, and his reminders  - and Debbie's - helped me to calm down and not hyperventilate!

I remember Debbie saying 'just one more push' and me saying 'really? is she really coming?' by which I really meant 'is it really about to be over?' Which of course it wasn't - one more push was to crowning, not birth.

It's funny how the mind works in amidst everything else. While all this was going on I was lying - or more like floating - on my side in the water, and once second stage got underway Debbie said it would help to have my legs open up a bit, so I asked Vickie to help support my upper leg. So when Debbie said it was almost over, while part of me was thinking 'thank God' and 'I am never doing this again' another part of me was thinking 'Just was well, because Vickie's arms must be getting awfully tired.'

Mikaela's head crowned - which means it not only was visible but stopped retracting between contractions - at 12:02am. And that's another thing, I remember the feeling of her moving back in after the end of the contractions and desperately not wanting it too, since that meant I'd have to just push her back again! I don't remember having that level of awareness of what was happening during Liam's birth. Of course, second stage with him was a lot longer, so I guess it might be all more of a blur - plus I'd been going at it all night (in established labour) so I was pretty tired by the time it came to pushing him out.

Then I think there was a bit of a break between her crowning and her head popping all the way out (with the cord around her neck, same as Liam - something I always used to think was a big deal, but found out when Liam was born that it is actually very common and not much of an issue - the midwife just unloops it). Or maybe the break was between her head and the rest of her. I remember once her head came out Debbie asked if the contraction was still there, to which I murmured a vague assent, and so she said I might be able to push the shoulder (and therefore the rest of her) out before it finished. Even as she was speaking I knew the contraction was pretty much done, but I tried anyway, so keen was I to be finished. So when there was that break between contractions at around this point, while it was something of a relief, it was mostly an annoyance, with the finish line in sight, so to speak.

Chris was up near my head providing a hand for me to keep a death grip on (actually more important than it sounds, since it was also helping me maintain my balance in the water), but Vickie was down the other end and able to see Mikaela's face when she came out. She wrote "From my position I had a clear view of the baby's face, it was absolutely serene with a Mona Lisa smile." Of course she also said " Kirsten laboured with focused and well measured breathing, her face was beautifully soft, her mouth slightly opened, her eyes closed." This was referring to the transition period, which is not precisely how I remember it at all. Then again she said Chris was stoking my hair, which I thought was something she imagined, but Chris told me it was true. So I guess my record may not be completely accurate!

Anyway, at 12:10pm on June 24, less than 3 hours after labour had established, Mikaela came out into the world and straight up onto my chest in the water. They brought  warm blankets to put over the exposed parts of us and I just held her.

She was amazing. And slippery. And at that stage we still didn't know she was a she (although I'd been referring to her that way the whole labour). The cord was in the way of our view as she came up, so no-one had seen. After a few minutes Debbie asked if it would be okay with me to let the water out, as it was hard to keep us warm - the blankets kept wicking up the water and needing to be changed - while we waited for the third stage to initiate (more contractions to expel the placenta). I said fine, but first I lifted her up to check if she was indeed Mikeala, or was some as yet unnamed boy. Mikaela she was (though I did almost drop her back into the water in the process, which I could almost swear happened with Liam too - slippery, like I said).

Of course, once the water was out of the bath and with it my lovely buoyancy, the bath had a hard bottom and was not all that comfortable. So after a couple of minutes I asked for and received help to get out - Mikaela never leaving my arms - and was deposited onto the (double) bed. There Mikaela nuzzled at my breast, though without latching on, and after a while the contractions started up again and out came the placenta. Those contractions were more like the ones from earlier in the labour though, thank goodness: easy to relax and breath through.

Once the placenta was out Mikaela did latch on and spent the next hour-and-a-half sucking away happily.

All in all this labour seemed harder - and much shorter - than Liam's, but I felt somehow more in control. I think it seemed harder mostly because I never had a chance to get into the calmbirthing 'zone' which I spent hours in during Liam's labour. And I felt more in control - more aware of what was happening - partly because I'd done it all before, maybe partly because I wasn't so tired by the end, and partly because I knew the midwife and connected with her. She was truly wonderful. Will I do it again? Well we'll have to wait and see. If we do go back for another turn, then yes, I would do it the same way. Except next time I will wake Chris earlier and go into the birth centre quite a bit earlier (after all, it went from 12 hours established labour with Liam to 3 with Mikaela - what will the next one be?)!

And thus endeth part 2. Part three, in which we find out whether I did tear again, and how the rest of the day went, will have to wait until another time. And probably won't be called Part 3, since it really won't be Mikaela's birth story anymore will it?

Sunday, 23 July 2006

Mikaela's birth story (or my labour story, with Mik's birth at the end - almost)

Mikaela was four weeks old yesterday, will be one month old tomorrow, and I still haven't written her birth story. So here it is:

Part 1: pre-labour (the boring bit, but for the record...)

Believe it or not, the night before Mikaela was born, I said to Chris that I was ready, that I'd be quite happy for her to come that night. Of course, I'd been saying I was ready for weeks, so that's nothing new really. And then I changed my mind anyway - that was Friday night, Chris didn't have to go back to work until Wednesday (although he had some Rolfing clients on Monday and Tuesday who he ended up having to cancel), so I figured Tuesday night would be better - giving us the four day weekend to rest up first.

I'd been having contractions on and off all week at that point, which never happened with Liam, so I'd been in a moreorless constant state of readiness, wondering if each day if that would be the day. With Liam I'd had a hind water leak the night before I went into labour, which at the time I thought was the membranes rupturing properly, so I thought I 'knew' that labour would be commencing shortly*. That was nice. So, I said to Chris on this Friday night, it would be nice in some ways if my waters broke, letting us know that this was indeed 'it'. But that of course I didn't really want that to happen, since that would make the labour quicker and more intense (for me and the baby) and, without the water cushioning her head, also made the possibility of the baby becoming distressed more likely, and therefore likewise medical interventions. Then off I went to bed.

At about 1:30 in the morning, or slightly before, I woke up. Something made me check for moisture - I'm not sure what, I don't remember feeling wet - and moisture there was. I sat up and the moisture became a little gush, so I grabbed a convenient towel (and managed not to get the bed wet) and went to the loo. Where it became entirely obvious that my waters had, indeed, broken. This time, for real. The membrane beneath Liam's head didn't rupture until right before he came out, so I hadn't experienced this before, but there was a lot of fluid. Oh, and there was a bit of a mucus plug but it was yellow, not red - ie not a 'bloody show' - was this the so-called bloody show, I wondered, or not? I sat on the toilet for a while, then got out a night time pad ('sanitary napkin') and headed back to the bedroom. I went through three of those in fairly quick succession, but then it slowed down to a trickle.

Meanwhile I spent ten minutes or so looking for some clothes to pack in the 'labour bag' to wear home from the birth centre, then realised I'd probably want to wear those ones to the birth centre, did some tiding up in my bedroom in case things got going quickly and my Mum ended up coming over and sleeping in there for the rest of the night. Then I decided I needed to sit down and make some notes about what was happening (everything in life must be written down. It is a rule!). Here are some of them:

1:39 sit down to make notes [noted down most of the above, but more briefly!)

1:41 I had a painless contraction.

1:45 decide to try a calm birthing relaxation [from CD]

1:46 realise I need to lie down on towel or soak bed - all that moving around creates more gushing.

1:47 change pad

1:51 try lying down again. mildly nauseous.

1:56 another contraction - lying down so more intense and uncomfortable.

2:04 contraction. ditto.

2:11 contraction. as above.

2:18 contraction. as above.

2:29.contraction. sitting up cross legged in bed - more intense but shortish.

2:32 Try lying back down. Any chance of sleep? Wish I could go email a friend, but Chris is sleeping in the study.

2:36 contraction.

2:42 contraction

2:49 still mildly nauseous - or is that hunger?

2:50 contraction.  a heat pack on my back could be really nice.

2:59 contraction.

3:01 I'm getting up, I'm starving. Can't sleep. Sure I'd be more comfortable having these in a chair.

3:02 Except it's so nice to be lying down between times.

[here endeth the notes]

So I went out to the kitchen, think I had something to eat (can't even remember now) and heated up a wheat cushion. Chris - who was sleeping in the study, right off the family room & kitchen - didn't stir. I kept telling myself I'd wake him after the next contraction.

I continued having contractions roughly 8 minutes apart - they were uncomfortable enough for me to stop and breath through them, using the calm birthing techniques, but not too bad and not consistently intense. Around 4am I found a position of sort of semi-reclining sideways on the couch which didn't make them worse (as lying down did) and which allowed me to nap in between contractions - and then they slowed down. Not sure exactly, but I'd say that for the next two hours they came at 10-20 minute intervals. At about six I got up - can't remember why, maybe I got uncomfortable. I think the contractions had sped up again, but walking around seemed to slow them down. Which was a pain, since I figured if I wasn't sleeping, things should get a move on.

Finally at about 7:45 I woke Chris (and where was Liam, you might ask? He was sleeping in! Weird, but good) and told him we were going to have a baby that day. initially he looked unimpressed with being woken, but that made him change his tune!

Between 8 and 9 I sat backwards on the toilet in the ensuite, sitting on a pillow and leaning on another one - I figured this could be a good posi to allow me to be relaxed and nap in between times (our doula had suggested it), but actually I think the contractions would have been less intense if I just sat up right, hands dangling between my legs, in a dining chair. At least, they got less intense when I did that. Anyway, so I was sitting backwards on the toilet and Chris (when he was there) pressed my hips together from the sides (does that make sense?) during contractions, which helped quite a bit (another suggestion from our doula). Liam came in at some point and swapped places with Chris to give me a back rub (in between contractions) which was very sweet. He was in and out all the time between eight and tenish, and was lovely the whole time, but did make it hard for me to get into the calm birthing 'zone'. I got Chris to time the contractions for me for that hour between eight and nine and they were mostly around eight-ten minutes apart, but still inconsistent in intensity (some very intense, others mild) and with the occasional longer gap.

At nine I called the midwife to let her know what was happening - that my waters had broken, that I'd been having contractions since then, but that labour had yet to establish, according to the convention of consistent 'strong, regular contractions'. I also called my mother, who was supposed to be coming around for morning tea, and asked her to come get Liam instead. Again I said things weren't established yet, so when she said she'd just got out of the shower and would getting there by ten be okay, I said fine.

But from that point on, things got more intense fairly quickly.

Part 2, in which labour establishes and Mikaela is born, will have to wait though.

*Of course, I now know this to be wrong, even though I was right. Hind water leaks don't really mean much of anything, and often seal themselves up - as this one probably did, since I had no more leaking - without further effect.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

Food

There are so many foods on the 'off' list when you are pregnant, and as I was just saying the other day, I was particularly strict about them.

Well, last night I had sushi for dinner, with fresh, raw oysters and King Island Brie with crackers as entres. I do love my husband. (And my food.)

Monday, 26 June 2006

Introducing Mikaela Estelle

Have neither time nor energy to write much of anything right now, so will just duplicate my announcement email...

Mikaela Estelle was born at 12:10pm on Saturday 24 June after a short, intense labour, at the Birth Centre. Everything went perfectly. [And by short I mean we got to the birth centre at 11am, I got straight in the water expecting that would make everything easier like last time - ha! straight into transition instead! an hour later there she was. Amazing. And fucking hard work.]

The all important details: she was 47 cm long, 3.415kg (about 7lbs, 8oz), with a head circ of 34. She nursed for an hour and a half shortly after birth, and has fed lots more since then - making her quite a contrast to her brother (though with very similar measurements).

Liam is delighted with his baby sister, as are we all.

Now I'm off to try to get some sleep while Chris and Liam are at the Library and M. is asleep.

Thursday, 22 June 2006

Contractions (38 weeks today)

I've been having pre-labour contractions on and off for days now. In fact I had two hours of regular, ten-minute-apart ones on Tuesday night, though not much since then. They weren't all that intense - too uncomfortable to lie down through (of course they started as soon as I lay down to go to sleep), but okay if I got into a good sitting position.

Part of me wants to go into labour tonight - get the waiting over, get to say 'forget it' about any uncompleted tasks, get to have that fabulous endorphin rush that is what I am in this whole thing for anyway. Another part would like to wait until I can breath properly through my nose again, since I am still getting over my cold. And still another part thinks it would be great to hold off for a couple more weeks and appreciate our time as a one child family while it lasts.

I didn't have any of this 'waiting' stuff going on before Liam's birth. I sort of expected he'd be early rather than late, but not two weeks early. This time, given that Liam was two weeks early, 38 weeks (which is today) is kind of my equivalent of 40 weeks last time - that is, I'm thinking it could be any time now, though I know it may not be for another two weeks (or more), so each day I wonder if it will be today. Or tonight. Also with Liam I didn't have any contractions at all until labour-day - at least, none that I was aware of. Not even painless Braxton-Hicks contractions.

Like Chris said to me yesterday, having that two hours of regular contractions on Tuesday night really drove home the (potential) immediacy of it. I didn't really think anything was going to happen then - although I had no good reason for that, as they felt pretty much like the ones I was having in the afternoon before Liam's birth, ie in the few hours leading up to established labour - but it could have.

So, if it happens tonight I'll be thrilled (although it would be nice to get over my cold, though at least the baby will have my antibodies), but if not... I've got lunch plans and playdate plans for next week. And hey, if we make it to July 1st the government's maternity payment will be $1000 more, which will more than pay for the fitted cloth nappies we plan to purchase once we decide what sort we like.* I'm not counting on that but it would definitely balance out any frustration over having to wait that long. (Of course, I do realise that we may be waiting way longer than that - anytime up to July 20 would still be considered 'normal' - but frankly, that just doesn't bear thinking of!)

Ahh, Liam's 'woken' from his 'nap'. Better go be a parent....

______________
*So far we have two each of Babybeehinds' one size hemp & organic nappies and Motherease one size organic cotton nappies, plus one Nature's Child all-in-one (ie doesn't need a cover) organic cotton size 1 nappy. We'll try them out - interspersed with disposables and normal square terry toweling nappies and then make a decision on buying a bunch in bulk. Good for the environment, should save us $2-3000 over the period of nappy wearing for this child, and (I'm assuming) waaaay easier to use than regular cloth nappies.

Monday, 19 June 2006

I am MAD

I should be in bed now - 10:40 at night, and my best friend who is also a Bradley Childbirth instructor likes to tell her students that by this point they should *both* (pregnant woman and partner) act as though every day might be the day before labour. ie Not stay up late writing bitchy blog entries. But, I can't sleep anyway because I am too full of righteous anger.

Usually I don't bitch about people I know in here, because I work on the premise that anyone I write about will probably read it eventually. This time I don't care. My father-in-law and I don't see eye-to-eye on many matters, but in general I guess we get on okay. He has a great relationship with Liam, and for that I will tolerate much, and, I suppose, so will he. Every now and then I snap at him about something, but usually that's as far as it goes. But today he pissed me off royally.

Actually at the time I was only mildly pissed, and moreorless let it pass. In fact it's really partly Chris's fault I am so mad, since I waited till tonight to debrief with him, and while he agreed that it wasn't the most appropriate comment or way that his father made the comment... well, you can hear the 'but' there, can't you?

Now I've built it up to be something major, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. You have to understand the context, and particularly the context of my life over the past two years or so, to really get it. What he said was that I should not be driving anymore - you know, at this point in pregnancy. I was risking two lives now, he said. Because of the steering wheel don't you know, should I have an accident. Not that I've ever had an accident. Ever. (Unlike him.)

Now, part of this is that I am just sick of being told what I should and shouldn't do - 'One drink won't hurt you' 'oh my god are you drinking tea while pregnant?' 'Isn't avoiding pre-prepared salads a bit extreme? I ate whatever I liked in my pregnancies - even sushi - with no problem' etc. But it's also more than that.

I am not a risk taker. Ask my husband. Ask anyone. I am one of those parents who has to be careful not to over protect - Chris will let Liam take way more risks at, say, the playground than I would, for instance. This is something I am conscious of having to manage, if I don't want to instill too much fear and caution into my children (but of course, I also want them to be safe - it's a hard balance to find).

Further, I do my research and I take it seriously. When I was trying to get pregnant this time I read that listeria can have up to about an 8 week incubation period (can't remember the exact time now) - so in other words, you can eat something well before you get pregnant and not show any symptoms of listeria until you miscarry weeks later. Presumably this isn't that common, because when you hear of listeria outbreaks (and people do die of it every year) people tend to all get it within a relatively short space of time, or so it seems. Nonetheless, since that time, I have been rigorous about not eating anything remotely suspect.

That means that for two years now I've been avoiding all the obvious things: soft cheeses, raw fish, deli meats... but also the less obvious things, that not everyone bothers about: cold left overs, pre-prepared salads, including anything from a sandwich bar, anything that I'm not completely sure has been cooked, thoroughly, just now - so that means pretty much everything from a food court (except hot chips or uncut fruit), anything like a BBQ chicken or hotdog, any salad served with my food food in a restaurant, even vegetarian 'sushi' rolls. People mock - bad enough that I haven't been drinking alcohol or caffiene (and Chris and I both moreorless gave those up about 3 months before we started trying to get pregnant, though we haven't been as strict as we were with Liam's pre-conception and pregnancy) - and this means that I also have to turn down food people offer me in their homes that I'm not sure of, or that was prepared earlier. But like I said, I'm not a risk taker. I had one miscarriage, I don't want another one. Let alone a still birth, or for the baby to die after birth because of something I ate beforehand (and yes, that is a risk with listeria).

People mock, and I'm pretty sure my father-in-law has been among them, although not as badly as some, and probably he learned his lesson after I snapped at him once when we were still trying to get pregnant (or maybe it was even after we got pregnant?) and he commented that just relaxing might help/have helped. I believe I told him that was about the most offensive thing he could say to someone suffering from fertility problems. (And I think I made myself clear on that score here in this entry). So for him now to turn around and say I shouldn't be driving... it's not just offensive because it's telling me what to do, what risks to take, and that basically in his view I am an irresponsible mother if I do what virtually every other pregnant women does and keep driving right till the end of the pregnancy. It's not just because he has been dismissive of our other efforts to keep this baby safe, that I am mad.

It's because, I am not a risk taker. Do you know why? Because I constantly imagine tragedy & drama. I strap Liam in the car and then walk across the road to return the shopping trolley, but I never close his door, just in case - because as I walk across the road I am imagining a scenario where I get hit by a car and taken away in an ambulance, and he is left alone in the car. I take a shower when Liam and Chris are out and imagine someone breaking in and stabbing me, and trying to get to a phone in time to call an ambulance to maybe be able to save the baby (though probably not me) - I imagine out this whole scenario, and almost have myself in tears. I do this countless times a day. Whole conversations get played out in my head.* You wouldn't guess it, probably, because I am basically an optomist. In fact, I'm as much of an optomist as anyone I know. But I'm not a risk taker.

Well, now someone has told me not to drive. What happens now if I do get in an accident? If something does happen to the baby? It will no longer be a freak chance, but my fault. Never mind that the bus I'm travelling on could have an accident. Or I could get hit by a car crossing the street. Now if I drive, I am going to have to feel guilty. You probably think I jest, but I don't. I am so angry at this man for making this become my fault.

And just in case you are wondering... driving in third trimester pregnancy is considered such a non-issue that I could find almost nothing about it on the web. Babycenter talks about seat belts and airbags, but doesn't even consider that you might be worried about driving in general. The Durham Council County website in the UK has a page entitled 'Driving and Pregnancy' but all they talk about is the best way to wear a seatbelt. All I could find on the Essential Baby site was that you should try to take breaks and move around regularly on long trips. Finally I found sofeminine.co.uk where someone had actually written in to 'ask the experts' about driving in the third trimester. The answer was plain: " Driving always carries the risk of having an accident, whether the driver is pregnant or not, it is up to you to weigh up that risk. As long as it is comfortable, you can get in a car right up until the end of your pregnancy. I would certainly rather you drive than walk everywhere!"**

__________

*I tell myself that this is a good sign for a writer, even if it does make me sound completely neurotic.

**BTW, Chris's 'but' was, he claims, that although he didn't agree with his father and wasn't trying to justify him in anyway, he probably was right that the steering wheel imposes a greater risk on the baby in an accident than not - than, in otherwords, being in an accident in the passenger seat. He wasn't saying that meant I shouldn't drive, just that technically his Dad was probably right about that. Whatever. A but is still a but.

Saturday, 17 June 2006

Sick again! and at 37.5 weeks...

So, I'm 37.5 weeks pregnant and sick again! I can't believe it after having not properly recovered from the last cold when I started mat leave 3.5 weeks ago. Damnit damnit damnit. Liam gave it to me, of course, but whereas he had one day of being a bit subdued (Wednesday) and aside from that has had a snotty nose, I have the aches, mild fever/chills, sinus ache, lots of snottiness and am generally miserable. Spent most of the day hiding in bed.

And, I've been having (I think) sort of false labour contractions on and off. Not often enough to make me think anything is going to happen anytime soon really, but enough to make me think it might. And right now would clearly not be such a good time - what with me being sick, and my Mum being away, and we haven't had our second meeting with the doula yet (cutting it a bit fine I know, but we only just discovered her). Of course, I don't really remember what contractions felt like from last time, and I certainly didn't have any before hand (maybe I had some Braxton-Hicks without knowing that was what I was feeling, but these ones actually hurt), but I think that's what they are. Or maybe it's just the baby moving around a lot and whatnot. That can be uncomfortable enough!

Anyway, Liam was 38 weeks, so I've been thinking it could be sometime soon, and feeling quite excited about it (despite the continuing state of disorganisation in our house - though *finally* today all the renovation-type work is finished), but now I'm suggesting to the baby that holding off for another week or better yet two could be a good idea.

Monday, 12 June 2006

The planting of Liam's apple tree

When I left work a few weeks ago (two? three? it seems like a lifetime ago already) my lovely colleagues bought me some gifts. They cleverly called Chris for ideas (found his mobile number on his so-called website) and ended up buying an apple tree and a bookshop gift voucher. The voucher I am greedily saving for now; I'm always like that with vouchers. But the apple tree we just planted out - over Liam's four-and-a-bit year old placenta.

Yep, it's been sitting in the freezer all this time, waiting for us to buy an apple tree. So while on the one hand it seems slightly odd to use the apple tree that was bought as a gift for me because of the baby I shall soon give birth too, it also seems most appropriate that Liam's placenta should be planted out before the next one arrives. And it was nice that he is old enough to have some idea of what we were on about. So that apple tree, while it was bought as a gift for me, will henceforth be known as Liam's apple tree.

May it bear loads and loads of fruit and bring great blessings to the world - just as Liam is already doing.

Friday, 09 June 2006

Taking it all in hand

When I say I am feeling a little overwhelmed, what I am mostly referring to is the state of my house. All the outings we've had lately (birth refresher classes, information evening and tour of Liam's school to be, calm birthing refreshers etc, not to mention Chris spending last weekend in Sydney) would be easier to handle if our house wasn't in such a state.

Over the past couple-few months (I can't remember now when it started, but it was a few weeks before Easter I guess) we've been having a lot of work done on our house. Not really renovations as such, but still fairly disruptive - things like having an ensuite toilet put into the massage room (sorry, Rolfing Studio), having all the outside woodwork repainted, the deck fixed up and repainted, the gutting replaced & water tanks put in, other various outside bits fixed up (roof ridgecapping, gables etc), and then inside we've had shelves put into cupboards (finally we have a linen closet and more kitchen shelves and a place to put brooms/mops etc in the laundry), living room wall with bookshelvesthe back door (which was really an indoor door and was rottting) replaced, a hole patched in the living room ceiling and a falling down ceiling panel rescrewed and most recently (as in yesterday) the living room/dining room/front entrance hall painted. We had painted a couple of the walls ourselves starting with a big long one that has since had large bookshelves fixed to it (hence the need to get it painted) right before Liam was born. Since then we've been living with a two mustardy-yellow walls and the rest pink.

Of course what all this means is that we've had the yard filled with rubbish (it's amazing how much rubbish all that produced) and tools and ladders, and various messes in the house for too long. Most of the yard is finally cleaned up now unburied plumbing in ground (though the plumbing for the toilet has still not been inspected, weeks after it was finished, so we still have a big hole in the ground), but the of course to compensate we had to empty out the living room etc yesterday - all the pics on the walls, all the toys, all the books in the front entrance hall (not the ones on the wall we already painted thank goodness), etc. So all that is now littering the spare room/study and the massage room.

However, I've decided it's time I took it all in hand. My plan for today is to put as many of the pics back on the walls today as I can (need to buy some more picture hooks as some of them were just sitting on nails the previous owners had left), and iron/wash all singlets etc we painted at the T-shirt party/baby shower my mum had for me a few weeks ago. (Plus the few sets of new baby clothes people couldn't resist buying, even though they were instructed not to!). And maybe I'll even sort through some of the zillions of hand-me-down baby clothes (with an amazing preponderance of pink) we've been given, but I don't want to over plan and end up exhausted and disappointed with not getting it all done.

I would also like to write a couple more coffee break columns for Canberrakids (yes, a foolish time to take on a new commitment, but I did it anyway - they are looking for more contributors though, not necessarily regular ones either, so if you are in Canberra and a parent...) before the baby comes (I've written a few to be going on with), but... we'll see. My Sunday writing time this week is out, since we have a birthday party to go, & next Friday I don't get my morning off because my Mum (at whose house I shall shortly be dropping Liam, hence my plan for a productive day) is going to be away. So I shall simply do what I can, and hope it's enough to keep my sanity.

Wednesday, 07 June 2006

Pregnancy update - 36 weeks

I'll be 36 weeks pregnant tomorrow. That means it's about 2 weeks till the point when Liam was born. All along I've been figuring this baby will be born sometime between 37 and 39 weeks (though I also figured I'd get successfully pregnant a little more quickly than I did!), so it's getting pretty close. Of course, the midwives like to remind me that there's no guarantee this one won't go to 41 weeks, but I hope not.

I don't remember feeling so over it all with Liam - in fact when I realised at 37 weeks that I could now go into labour at any time without it being considered early it was a bit of a shock. But this time I feel pretty ready to have the baby out and in my arms. Mostly because of the muscle strain and because I am just so uncomfortable a lot of the time.

On the other hand I don't want anything happening too quickly - my Mum is going to be away the weekend after next (ie when I am 37 weeks) for a few days, so I don't want to go into labour then, as she planning to look after Liam for us. And I still have much to do in terms of lunches and cleaning and maybe even some relaxing in there - somehow things seem to have been rather hectic since I started maternity leave, which was not the plan at all! I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all truth to tell.

Still, I do sometimes remember what a priviledge it is to be pregnant, especially when I am (occasionally) able to get into a comfortable position lying down and am feeling the baby move. I seem to know more and more people who are having trouble falling pregnant - and someone close to me recently had a miscarriage after trying for over a year to get pregnant. I am very grateful to be where I am and not where I was nine months ago, wondering if it would ever happen.

Wednesday, 24 May 2006

The meaning of bliss

I am now on maternity leave. Yippee!!!

Tuesday, 16 May 2006

The dreaded lurgy, or, Getting ready part II - all the things that are not going to be done in time!

It's my second last week of work before mat leave and I'm off sick. About which I do feel a little guilty, but what can you do? At dinner on Friday night I started to notice a slight tickle in my throat and within two hours I was completely gone.

On Sunday I was feeling better already, and got up (though admittedly late) on Monday morning with every intention of going to work.  I was half way there before I realised what an idiot I was being, and turned around and came home. Just as well because by Monday afternoon I felt completely like crap again. And aside from anything else I do hate it when other people bring their nasty germs into work and spread them around.

On the upside for the weekend, I did complete a second draft of that story I wrote for uni - the one I thought maybe wasn't worth continuing with - and I'm pretty happy with it now (did most of that on Sunday). Which is just as well since my deadline was for this coming Sunday, and I still have to finalise the other assignment too, although I think it's mostly okay as is.

This is particularly good because I've been starting to feel quite stressed lately about all my self-imposed deadlines. In my head I need to have everything done not just before the baby comes, but before I go on maternity leave (ie Thursday next week). Everything being: the story & paper for uni; a clean house (ha!) and clean and tidy bedroom - my plan being not to get out of bed (this time) in the first days after the baby's born just because someone (say the midwife) is coming over*; all the baby clothes dug out of boxes, washed and placed in drawers (I've done some of this, but I'm sure there must be another box somewhere); the two boxes of stuff that came out of the hallway closet recently (before we had shelves put in) either repatriated with the closet or thrown/given away; the last year or so of filing done, and our financial books got up to date, so that we can do next year's taxes easily and simply early in the new financial year.

There's probably more, but that is a good portion of it.** And you know what, the filing/book-keeping stuff is still stressing me, but the rest of it not so much. Maybe it's because I'm sick and so I just don't care, but I think it's because I've got the uni stuff under control, and that was the main worry. And especially that I'm relatively happy with the story which a week ago I thought might be unworkably bad.

I'd still like to do all those other things, and in addition I'd like to finish a different story and submit it to Literary Mama's 'Desiring Motherhood' issue (deadline is the end of June), but you know what? Most of it probably won't happen. Because the fact is my 'before mat leave' deadline, while somewhat aribitary (chances are the baby won't come for another four or more weeks after that), was also sort of real. In fact it's still nearly two weeks away, but already I am incapable of doing a lot of that stuff - especially anything involving bending/lifting - even filing - without a lot of the belly pain I mentioned. Plus there's the fact that Chris may be away the Sunday-Monday after I go on mat leave, and will be away the following weekend.

But right now I think that's all okay. As long as the filing/bookkeeping gets done (and I must admit that is a big if) everything else will be okay. In fact, I'm rather over getting ready now. If it weren't for the fact that of course I don't want my baby to be premature, I'd be hoping for contractions to start any minute. I am beyond ready.

______________
*Which isn't to say I won't get out of bed at all, just that last time I missed out on naps I could have had, because I felt the insane need to be up and dressed just because someone might be coming over.

**Of course there's more: I haven't written out a birth plan or bought a baby book yet (or indeed seen one that I would be remotely willing to use), I haven't got a present ready for Liam to celebrate the birth of 'his' baby, I haven't even called the woman I've been meaning to talk to about a refresher in hypnobirthing/calm birthing... there's heaps more.

Saturday, 06 May 2006

getting ready

Picture_002 My friend brought me over this baby hammock the other day. She used it for all three of her children, the youngest of whom (my godson) is just now too big for it.

I love the idea of co-sleeping, and did it for 18 months straight with Liam, then night-weaned him and started sharing the night-time load with Chris. But he was an atrocious sleeper as a baby (night-weaning helped, but was not the end of it), and more to the point I was an atrocious co-sleeper. I am a really light sleeper, and even now I wake up frequently at night when Liam stirs, even though a) I don't have to get up to him (Chris does that now); b) he probably isn't really awake anyway; and c) it's usually through two closed doors (though only one wall).

So having him in bed with me did not work out very well for me, and I suspect that might be part of why he didn't sleep so well either, although who really knows. He slept worse when we tried using the cot or bassinette. He slept best in the sling, which makes me think being upright might have had something to do with it, especially since he did have a fair bit of reflux. And the hammock is supposed to help with that.

Anyway, it's not as though this friend's children are stella sleepers, but they did pretty well for the first six months (up until they started teething). My godson is turning out to be a little more like Liam, wanting to nurse a lot at night - maybe it's the connection to me? Let's hope not, because I have high hopes of this baby sleeping through the night by 6 weeks. :) Of course, this baby will still be in the room with us, but not right in the bed (at least, that's the plan).

Edited to add: The No Cry Sleep Solution was our best friend in terms of helping Liam to sleep longer. I highly recommend it to anyone whose child is not sleeping so well.

Thursday, 04 May 2006

Wasn't the second trimester grand?

For the record, I want to say that the second trimester of pregnancy can be really great. I am saying this because I'm bound to forget it over the next few weeks.

It took me quite some time to want to revisit pregnancy after the last one - I always planned to (and quite a bit earlier than this, obviously) but until Liam was over two, I didn't look forward to it. The people who were ready to go again after six months or so left me quite bemused.

Having now experienced the better part of another pregnancy, I guess I mostly remembered the first trimester last time (ie weeks 5 to 18 or so, in my case). The tiredness and nausea of course, but I think the feelings - the depression basically - was what stuck with me, even though I wouldn't have articulated it that way at the time. And yeah, that sucked again the second time around.

And now, I'm well and truly into the third trimester - 31 weeks today in fact - and definitely getting more uncomfortable. I have the same abdominal muscle pain I had last time, which as I recall, just gets worse each week until birth. At this point it is a relatively constant irritation, and hurts quite a bit if I bend over, stretch it at all, do anything that requires extra abdominal work, lean forward over the counter etc. Plus I am now just constantly bumping into things and sleeping less and less well.

All in all I'd have to say I'm still enjoying being pregnant - and am very conscious that it may well never happen again - but it's definitely not all that comfortable physically.

So just in case by the end all I remember are the hard bits, this is my reminder to self: Second trimester was really quite lovely.

Monday, 17 April 2006

Too many things to say (or, Winnie-the-Pooh - so many versions)

I have so many posts to write and not enough time to write them - about things like all the building and maintanence work currently being done on our house; about nesting, and sorting through boxes of things (papers) that have been waiting since we moved in to be unpacked (ie 5+ years) (happily a lot of their contents turned out to be Chris's financial papers - he had basically no financial filing system before he met me - which are now well over five years old and could therefore be thrown straight out); about various activities of Liam's, or parenting foibles of mine...

But since I need to get to working on that story I am going to limit myself to these brief mentions, and to recording the fact that I read Liam a story from the real, unedited, Winnie-the-Pooh this morning, and he listened intently and wanted more.

He has Winnie-the-Pooh on CD (Disney version) and on tape (English version - taped from one of my sister's childhood records - I'd love to get my hands on more of the AA Milne stories in those voices if they're available anywhere); he has Winnie-the-Pooh picture books, both Disney and classic versions. But these are all edited (or in the case of Disney often entirely new) for a younger audience than AA Milne's original stories. So as I read I was worried that he would complain that the version I was reading (the 'real' version) was wrong. But he didn't. I promised to read him another one tonight.

Monday, 10 April 2006

The Countdown...

Six weeks and one working day till maternity leave... not that I'm counting or anything. :)

When I first talked to my manager about when I would go on mat leave, and told her I'd be starting it 6 weeks before the baby is due (ie at the earliest possibly opportunity), she asked why, in a surprised tone.

Uh, because I'm not an idiot!  Okay, I know that's not really fair, ie that not everyone who works longer than necessary (despite paid mat leave) is an idiot - I even did that with Liam, though only a week longer (I planned on two, but I didn't make it). But those 3 weeks of mat leave before Liam was born were such bliss, I am hoping to relive them... In vain, I know, since I have a four year old to keep me company now, but still, I don't plan on working a day longer than I have to.

(Of course, I have the convenient excuse of pubic symphasis pain making long periods desk work increasingly difficult, but that is just an excuse really - I'd be doing things the same way anyway. Plus there's the face that Liam was 2 weeks early, so there's a good chance this one might be too... but again, not the real reason.)

So did I mention already? Six weeks and one day to go...

Friday, 31 March 2006

Why does the second trimester ever have to end?

I'm 26 weeks pregnant now, approaching the end of the second trimester (when does it end exactly? I forget). It doesn't seem right that it should be almost over already when it's less than 2 months since I really got rid of the nausea. But the third trimester is just waiting there in the wings, I can tell.

The truth is, I'm in no hurry now for this pregnancy to end. Hard to imagine my ever feeling that way in the first trimester, and I suspect as the weeks wear on I may change my tune. But at the moment I am really enjoying it. I'm enjoying having the baby all to myself, and I'm enjoying having time with Liam without the interruption of caring for a newborn. Earlier on I would occasionally get that sense of what a newborn was like - the good parts - and get all excited (this was towards the end of the first trimester when my depressive hormones started to lift). But now I feel more like the baby is already here, in a way - now that she moves all the time, and is a constant physical presence for me (even when she's not moving) - and so I'm not as excited by the newborn idea, and besides I'm trying (for once) not to be rushing ahead in my mind.

But, my body is pushing on - it and the baby. A few days ago I was relishing the second trimester and wishing it would last for longer. Then Monday and Tuesday my pubic symphasis problem really started to play up, and now I have some lower back ache as well (related, I'm sure - it's right in the sacro-illiac area). And I'm starting to get more tired again - I've been feeling pretty energised for the past few weeks.

Still, there are compensations - less than 8 weeks to go till maternity leave kicks in. Yippee!!!

Sunday, 26 March 2006

Pregnancy comparison

Someone asked me a while ago whether I'd noticed differences between this and the previous pregnancy, and I said no, not particularly. But I'm starting to now. I think this baby moves more than Liam did in the womb. I also think she's lower down - or maybe it's that Liam was head down from early on and she is feet down - cause it feels like she spends a lot of time standing on my bladder, and very little time kicking up towards my ribs.

Monday, 27 February 2006

Pregnancy update

I'll be 22 weeks on Thursday.

I'm already having a small amount of colostrum leakage, which I'm sure didn't happen until around the end of the 2nd trimester last time (but then I wasn't breastfeeding before getting pregnant last time either).

The reflux is getting worse, but is still not too bad really, considering it started in the first trimester - I was worried it'd be horrid by this time.

And the good stuff - I'm getting to feel the baby move a lot these days. It does make it hard to concentrate on other things sometimes - I feel almost rude if I don't pay attention to her when she's moving around.

And yes, we decided we would tell people (though in person I still only tell when asked) and it does look like it will be a girl. Which you probably figured from that last post where I mentioned that was my preference - I would never have put that in writing if it looked like being a boy. The only down side is that if they are wrong we will have no name picked out - we hadn't been able to agree on a boy's name, and now we've pretty muc given up trying. Our girl's name has been picked for a long time.

edited to add: And I forgot to say that Chris has now felt the baby move too (as of about a week ago).

Wednesday, 08 February 2006

It's a... sorry, can't tell you.

Yesterday I had an 18 week ultrasound. It dated me exactly where I dated me - 18 weeks and 5 days. Of course according to my research (I looked it up on the web, but I forget where now, sorry) that's plus or minus 10 days at this point, but still. I thought it was pretty good. I still reckon the baby will probably come early though, sometime in late June.

I haven't picked up the report yet, and I'm not entirely sure whether the sonographer would have told me if she saw something wrong, or had to leave that to the doctor to decide, but I'm assuming she would have. She did tell me heart, kidneys, brain even, all looked good. And that seeing the hand open ruled out a number of syndromes. And of course growth being consistent with my dates is encouraging. So that's all good. (Also the spine looked good, legs were good, feet angled correctly, bladder developed... can't remember what else.)

And yes, we found out the sex. Or at least, the probable sex. We haven't decided whether to share yet, so I won't say anything here at the moment, except that I found myself feeling quite ambivalent about the whole thing (beforehand I mean). About the ultrasound in general, and about finding out the sex and possibly sharing it in particular.

It was interesting, because I've never really understood the reasons people give for not finding out, let alone for not sharing if they do. The only one that ever made any sense to me was that it could be wrong, and that is still a concern. It's why we haven't told Liam yet. We probably will tell him (I'm hopeless at keeping secrets) but we'll make it a 'maybe' not a 'definitely'.

But in the days leading up the ultrasound I started to understand. Or maybe not, maybe this isn't the reason people don't do it. For me it was a combination of things which I identified slowly. First there's the fact that an ultrasound is basically intended to pick up (or rule out) problems. Okay, looking at it as ruling out is nice, but still, it sort of highlights the risks. We didn't have one with Liam, so we didn't even face finding out until he was born, and it just wasn't something I thought about much. So that was part of the general ambivalence about the ultrasound.

Then I realised I was also feeling ambivalent about finding out the sex. And part of that is because frankly, I had a preference. I don't usually talk about it, because what if the baby should grow up and read this one day and feel like s/he was a disappointment? But I did. And I realised that I wasn't looking forward to the possibility of having my hopes dashed. On the other hand, I figured it was better that happened now than at birth, so I could get used to it. Some people I know seem to think it's wrong to have a preference - ungrateful basically. Bully for them. It's not that I would be unhappy to have the opposite sex. Of course I want a healthy baby first and foremost. But that desire is quite separate in to my desire for a - okay, I'll say it, a daughter. I have a son. If I have another one, I will love him. But that won't stop me from also wanting to have a daughter - it's separate to the desire for a child, y'see? We may still have another baby, so it's not like this is our last shot at a daughter, but then again, it may be.

Anyway, so that was another part of the ambivalence. But sitting in the waiting room, I realised there was another factor at work too. It's that privacy thing rearing it's head again. Going in and having a stranger look at the baby, and possibly even tell me things about it I didn't really want to hear... I wasn't that keen. And then the asking that will no doubt occur among well meaning friends - 'How did it go, did you find out the sex? What are you having?' Which of course they will ask because - up until the past week - I've never been shy about saying yes, we'd find out the sex.

Once I was in there having the ultrasound I was fine, and felt not at all invaded. But afterwards, when we were discussing what to tell people about the sex I had that feeling again, of how this is a private, personal thing, that - at least until the baby is born - should be ours and no-one else's. So we are undecided.

Still, I'm glad we did it, and it's nice to know the baby seems well.

Friday, 20 January 2006

Pregnancy symptoms I keep forgetting to mention

  • The horrible taste in my mouth - I've had it since early on. I remember last time someone calling it a metallic taste, which is sort of right, but I'd describe it more as a sour taste. Yuck. I don't remember it being so strong last time.
  • Light headedness. I may have mentioned this already but it's come on more now - supposedly I now have 40% more blood pumping around my body (I'm 16 weeks today) and I notice it every time I stand up suddenly.
  • I know there are other things I keep forgetting to mention - oh, like the gagging every time I try to clean my back teeth (sometime to the point of puking) but that's starting to fade now, thank god,  - and I will come back to this post and add them when they come to me, just for my own future reference.

Saturday, 14 January 2006

Back at the desk

Tomorrow is my first day scheduled to get back to studying/writing, and surprisingly I am looking forward to it. Or maybe it's not so surprising - after all I was really enjoying it before I deferred. But the truth is that only a few weeks ago I was dreading the thought of it.

As soon as I got pregnant I gave myself permission to quit writing for the first trimester. I knew I'd probably still feel nauseous a bit beyond that even, so I planned to start back mid January. That'd be now. And yes, at 15 weeks pregnant I still feel nauseous, but it is definitely on the improve. And in the past week or so I've started to have a little more energy too - mental energy especially.

So it feels good that I'm going to be getting back into studying now. I am planning to spend the whole year, moreorless, on one subject - Fiction Writing B - which I started last semester. I've already got the lectures, readings and assignments, so I can start now, even though the class doesn't officially start until second semester (ie 2-3 weeks after the baby is due). My aim is to get as much as possible done before the third trimester, and to have the first assignment complete and a draft of the second one ready for workshopping before the baby's born. I'm going to re-do all the reading I did at the beginning of last semester. The lecturer is on maternity leave with her second child this semester, so I'm not thinking she's likely to change the course very much between now and then!

I'm only going to have Sundays to study, and aside from maybe when I'm working on the story I don't plan to do anymore than that - I want to still have some time and energy for Liam, and with working on four days now (and being pregnant) that's limited as it is. I am enrolled in another subject in first semester as well, but I'm expecting to defer from it (on the basis of having a baby due right at the end). I haven't done it yet, because once I do I lose all access to the library etc which I might need for the other subject, and who knows, maybe I will find that by the time uni starts (in March) I am so far advanced on the fiction writing subject that I can do both. But I doubt it.

Either way, I'm looking forward to a day of reading and writing and thinking about writing tomorrow. In fact I can hardly wait.

Thursday, 12 January 2006

Heartbeat

We saw the midwife for the first time today. (The Birthing Centre here isn't funded well enough to take care of people for their whole pregnancy, so I've just been seeing my GP up until now.) We'd met her before - when I was pregnant with Liam - but only briefly. She took one of our prenatal classes, and we'd really hoped to end up with her on the day of the birth, but no such luck. Now the birthing centre has a case loading system, where you have one primary midwife, plus a couple of back ups in case she's not available (eg if she's been up all night with some other mother).

Anyway, today was our official first appointment. She came to our house, and Chris came home from work (just as well because Liam was not in his best form at first), and spent over an hour going through everything with us, as well as taking my blood pressure and getting me to pee on a stick (I'm a bit dehydrated, but I pretty much knew that, but otherwise all is good). Then we got to listen to the baby's heartbeat. She warned us that at 15 weeks it could be hard to find - they usually do the first appointment at 16 weeks, but she's going on holidays next week - but there it was, straight away. Good and strong too. So they baby is still alive, and all is well with the world.

Tuesday, 10 January 2006

Feeling vulnerable

Just before Christmas I started wearing maternity clothes sometimes to work, simply because having anything tight around my waist contributes to the nausea/reflux, and I am somewhat lacking in work appropriate dresses that aren’t maternity dresses – I don’t usually wear dresses to work.

The Wednesday before Christmas was the first day I wore a really obvious maternity dress, and it made me feel quite vulnerable.  A few people there already knew I was pregnant, but I figured others would now be working it out – it made it all so public all of a sudden, and I found that I wasn't all that comfortable with that. Sometimes it bothers me that I fade so easily into the background, but as soon as I don’t, that bothers me even more!

Now, three weeks later, almost 15 weeks pregnant, it is getting pretty obvious, and in fact I hardly have any 'normal' clothes that fit me at all. And I am remembering the feeling I had last time of experiencing something very publicly, that for me is very private, and not enjoying it. Just like then, part of me is reveling in the fact that my shape is becoming unmistakably pregnant, in wearing maternity clothes, and in the thought that soon now, maybe a week or two even, I might start to feel the baby move. But another part of me hates the way it opens me up for public comment. I don't want people I don't know  to congratulate me - if I wouldn't talk to them about my personal life usually, then I don't want to talk about this either.

I don't really understand it fully myself - I'm sure I wouldn't have minded virtual strangers congratulating me on getting married or something - but this is different. It's about my body and my most personal hopes and fears. I can't explain it really - I think I said it better last time.

Saturday, 31 December 2005

Thirteen weeks and counting

Thursday was thirteen weeks, and I had some more slight spotting. Bugger. But nothing else since then. I'm not panicking this time, but am still dismayed. Everything is supposed to  feel safe now. On the upside, I think the nausea is starting to decrease.

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

Sibling spacing

Dawn had a post about sibling spacing a few days ago, with so many comments I still haven't got through them all. Since I'm late to read it I thought I'd record my thoughts here instead.

While almost all our peers (mostly parents of kids at playgroup, a few pre-children friends) were having their second child when the first was around 18 months, we waited planning on a gap of about 3-3.5 years. That's the gap we'd always planned, although we did have a brief period when we first started seriously considering having three kids of thinking maybe we should move the program up a bit. But in addition, I felt completely unready to even be pregnant, when my friends were giving birth to their second, let alone have another baby. And so did Liam. He loved other people's babies, but when asked, he was very clear that he did not want one.

Around the time I started wanting to be pregnant again (a few months before we'd planned to start trying) Liam started getting excited by the idea of a sibling. He's still thrilled, and just about daily asks when it's going to be winter, or comments that our baby will be born next winter (today he asked, "Will it be out then?" :). Sometimes he lists all the events between now and then (my birthday, Christmas, his birthday etc).

I see now how well Liam gets along with his best friend's little sister, who is two next week, and sometimes I feel sad that we didn't produce a sibling for him earlier. But mostly, I'm okay with the spacing we're going to have, and still think it's better (for us) than had we had the second one two years ago. Now that I'm pregnant again - and miserably nauseous - I feel this even more strongly. I just don't think I would have coped well with feeling this way while caring for a baby/toddler - especially one like Liam, who nursed about a thousand times a day, and woke up every hour or two all night!

Truly, I think how the spacing affects siblings' friendships is going to be as much to do with those kids and their personalities as anything, although also of course to do with their environment. I have a colleague who is 18 months older than her sister, and they never got along as kids and still don't. Chris is three years apart from his brother and they played together all the time as kids. I'm 23 months younger than my sister and almost 3 years older than my brother. I played with them both as kids, but more, I think, with my brother. As teens, my sister and I spent a lot of time together, but were very competitive with each other.

A few years ago my brother asked us if we considered ourselves to be close sisters, and I think neither of us was quite sure how to answer. Not as close as some, certainly, but closer than others, and getting closer as we get older, I think. My brother and I grew apart - like miles apart - when he hit puberty, and I moved out when he was only 15 (I was just about 18). But we're getting closer too I think, in some ways, albeit over a long distance (he lives in the States). Partly I guess it's just learning to interact as adults, leaving some of our heavier baggage behind us. Either way I love my siblings and am very glad of them. That's partly why I so want them for Liam. And I think a four year age gap is going to work out nicely for him.

Baby2_1Well, I had an ultrasound yesterday, and everything looked good. Aside from seeing the heartbeat it was very reassuring to see the baby's arms and legs waving around in the air. I also had some more bleeding yesterday but still not very much. I suspect Trish was right in her comments on my last post, except my suspicion is that the very nasty cough I have is the cause. That's my guess. My GP still wants me to take it easy for a few days, which I am happily doing (he said 'put your feet up' which I have mostly been taking as gospel!).

The image isn't very clear I know, but the bit above the baby's nose is a hand waving around, and the thing sticking up from his/her belly is the cord. You can't really see any feet in this picture.

The sonographer couldn't see any sign of bleeding, so that's good.

Sunday, 11 December 2005

bleeding

I had some very light - a really tiny amount - of spotting yesterday.

But this morning I've had some more - bright red - after a bowel movement. Still not much, but more than yesterday. This never happened with Liam. I'm terrified.

Saturday, 26 November 2005

More Pregnancy symptoms

Mostly this is just for my own future reference. I don't have the energy for a proper entry.

I'm now 8 weeks and 2 days.

1. The nausea has been getting steadily worse over the last couple of weeks. It's been all day long since Sunday two weeks ago. Hard to believe it's only that long.
2. Unlike last time, when the reflux/heartburn/indegestion didn't set in till around 22 weeks (I think) I have it already. I'm not sure which is worse sometimes, the reflux or the nausea. I keep telling myself it's 4 weeks to Christmas, which is 12 weeks, and 4 weeks after that I should start feeling better. But what if I don't? iIf the reflux is constant for the next 7+ months? It's better not to think about it.
3. The thing I forgot to mention in my last list was increased cervicial mucus (cv), but that's because it wasn't so much back then. It is now.
4. Everything else still the same as last time. Oh, except breasts more tender, and Liam says they're bigger already. He figured out for himself that it was because of the baby too.
5. Frankly I'm pretty miserable with it all. Everynow and then I have this flash of insite that in a few months I'll be really pregnant - visibly, and able to feel the baby moving - and that then it will all feel worthwhile. But mostly at the moment that feels too theoretical to believe in. Much less actually having a baby. That's way too far away to hold on to (not to mention somewhat scary. If I'm tired now, how will it be with the full on sleep deprivation of a newborn?).

Saturday, 19 November 2005

Feeling like crap (but still pregnant)

Feeling like crap. Did I mention that already? It was only last Sunday that the nausea started lasting all day (and into the night) but it seems like forever. Monday or Tuesday I was at that point I remember well from my pregnancy with Liam where I was vowing that if we have a miscarriage we'll be switching straight to adoption. That I was not going through this again if it were to be all for nought (and maybe not again even if it's not - do we really want three children?).

Then later in the week it didn't seem so bad. I even had one evening where I didn't really feel nauseous for a couple of hours. This was nice - maybe this pregnancy is going to be a little easier than the one with Liam was. Maybe I'll even get to stop feeling sick all day earlier than week 17 this time. But also a little scary - like, why don't I feel sick? Maybe everything was fine Monday, but has gone to pot since then.

When I was pregnant with Liam I was perfectly content to not have an ultrasound, let alone an early one. I didn't know then as much as I know now. I didn't know, for instance, that it's possible to have a missed miscarriage - where the baby dies at, say, 8 weeks, but you don't miscarry until 12 or 15 weeks. I kind of wish I didn't know that now either.

Anyway, today I've been feeling crappy all day again. And completely bloated - I swear my belly is twice as big as it was a week ago. I still think maybe it's not as bad as it was with Liam, but I don't really remember the progression with Liam. Maybe it will still get there. Chris reckons it was pretty awful right from the start though, and I think he's right. Just as well if it's better this time really, because when I was pregnant with Liam I didn't have a three year old climbing all over me.

I suppose there's always the possibility that 17 months of waiting has made me more willing to withstand the physical (not to mention hormonal and therefore emotional) miseries of pregnancy, but I seriously doubt that's it. I have a whole other post in mind about that actually, but it will have to wait, because it sounds like Liam has fallen asleep, which means (at 8:12) I am off to bed too. (Chris is out.)

(: 7 weeks and 4 days old.)

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Another blood test

I had another blood test yeterday to check hCG levels again. When I discussed not having an early ultrasound with my GP, he suggested another blood test in a couple of weeks (from then) to check hCG levels, as an alternative. So that's what I had yesterday. And it was good. My GP's receptionist (or nurse?) called me with the results today: 66,751 (milli-international units per millimeter (mIU/ml)). Last time it was at 659mIU/ml. So quite an increase.

And the nurse said that that was consistant with being more than 53 days pregnant (53+ days since the first day of my last period) - and I was 53-54 days, depending on exactly when ovulation was. So spot on. Same as last time, when it was consistant with 31-35 days and I was 32-33.

The weird thing is that from everything I've read there's actually a really big range of what's normal - like 7000-100,000 for a given week type of range. So the actual number is not as important as the progression. And yet I seem to fall on the exact 'right' level for the given day. Guess I'm just extremely average. Whatever - either way it's all good, so I'm happy (even if I do feel like crap).

(PS another egg from the chickens today - Liam says he'll have that one for lunch tomorrow, thanks very much!)

Monday, 14 November 2005

An Egg

We had our first egg today, I think from Ruffles. It was small - at least as small as the ones we used to get from our Silkies - but exciting. Liam ate it for dinner.

(PS 6 weeks, 4 days, all is still well).

Thursday, 10 November 2005

Dead chickens and new legislation

During the day lots of things to blog about come up, but then by night time I'm so tired I can't even think straight, let alone type straight.

For instance I've been wanted to blog about one of our chickens dying (of coccidiosis, which we think she'd had since before we got her, although she seemed to be getting better until the recent rain) and Liam's reaction. We buried her and planted a grevilla over the top (it's going to be a she, Liam said of the plant) on Wednesday morning. Since then Liam has asked over and over again why she died, and less often why we buried her under the ground. Then today he asked if Grandpop buried his wife under the ground when she died (she was my grandmother, but died a few years before Liam was born so he knows her only from photos, and only as Grandpop's wife).

Then I was also going to blog about the fact that Toxoplasma is a coccidia, and although not the most common one to infect chickens, it can infect them. Everyone knows (well most pregnant women know) not to have any dealing with cat litter, to wash their hands after patting cats and so on, because of the risk Toxoplasmosis presents to the baby. But worrying about chickens for the same reason is less common. While I was reading about this on the web yesterday I read that pregnant women should also avoid dirt for the same reason. My enthusiasm for gardening suddenly took a nose dive. Anyway, we're going to ask the vet tomorrow whether he can tell us what sort of coccidia Little Brown was infected with (he took a 'stool' sample to diagnose her) and whether we should be worried. But needless to say this did all shoot my worry factor up a bit.

And then I have also been wanting to blog about the government's anti-terrorism legislation, anti-sedition laws and this site, which has the text of a letter sent to Members of Parliament which you can use as a basis for your own letter, as well as a full list of fax numbers and email addresses from the House of Representatives. Of course they were really hoping that faxes and emails could be sent by COB Tuesday, since the government is trying to ram this legislation through in record time. The letter is making a case for their recommendation that

...the sedition provisions in the Anti-Terror Bill should be removed in their entirety now, and the whole issue of sedition be considered separately at a later date with proper scrutiny. We have taken legal advice on this now from two different lawyers who both agree that the sedition provisions (Schedule 7 of the Bill), can easily be removed without impacting on the rest of the bill.

This would allow the significant human rights and civil liberties issues in the rest of the Bill to be the subject of much needed scrutiny at the Senate Inquiry in the coming weeks, without being overshadowed by the attention given the sedition provisions.

It would also guarantee that any review of the sedition provisions  happened BEFORE they are made law.

And then I've been wanting to blog about the IR legislation, equally depressing, and the National Day Of Community Protest with an Australia-wide hook-up that the CPSU is promoting as part of its Rights at Work campaign (although this is not specifically a CPSU thing). It's next Tuesday morning. We're planning to be there.

But now I have to go get dinner for my family (Chris is currently bathing Liam). So no more blogging.

Sunday, 06 November 2005

Early pregnancy symptoms - I hope

I had a little bit of cramping tonight and momentarily freaked out. I've had some over the last couple of weeks, but I've read other people count that a symptom of early pregnancy (not miscarriage) so I haven't worried. Then I had some cramping that went on longer than usual tonight. So I headed, of course, for Google. Happily I found this page in birth.com.au which told me that

"Many women experience bloating, mild cramping and slight backache as pre-menstrual physical signs or symptoms. As the uterus grows, these sensations may also be associated with early pregnancy. Many women worry when they feel mild cramping, tugging and pulling in the early weeks. Some women find tissue salts such as Mag Phos helps with cramping. If there is no bleeding associated with it, then it is probably normal.

"NOTE:If you have strong or severe cramping or pain, you should contact your local doctor (or pregnancy caregiver) for guidance and advice."

I didn't have strong or severe cramping or pain at all, it just went on longer than usual, so I stopped worrying.

I don't remember being anything like this conscious of what was going on in my body when I was pregnant with Liam. I remember being just as exhausted (although I hadn't remember it starting this early) and more emotional. I didn't start feeling nauseous until later (the equivalent of tomorrow, as opposed to last Wednesday) so maybe I didn't have the other early symptoms as strongly either. But then I haven't been feeling very nauseous yet this time - just queasy from time to time.

So my other thought is just that I am much more aware because I've been paying so much attention to my body, charting and trying to get pregnant, for so many months. With Liam I didn't even know I was pregnant until about 31 days (although I started wondering about six days before that).

Symptoms so far this time include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Slight queasiness and occasional waves of real nausea
  • Exhaustion
  • General occasional dizziness plus extra dizziness on sudden standing
  • Lower abdominal cramping
  • Needing to pee more than usual
  • And did I mention exhaustion?
  • edited to add: Insomnia (I'm so tired I forgot about it) - I've been waking up in the night a few times a week, and taking hours to get back to sleep.
  • Edited again way late to add: and sore nipples. There was something else but I keep forgetting what it was (but they were both from the day of this post.)

No NaNo this year

So, one outcome of being pregnant now is that I am not doing NaNoWriMo. That was my deal - I'd only do it if I wasn't pregnant by November. Well, I found out I was pregnant what? Five days before November? So No NaNo.

I've also decided no writing - no serious writing that is (the blog doesn't count) until mid January. By then I will be around 15 weeks, and should be over the worst of the nausea, assuming this pregnancy follows the same pattern as Liam's. And then I'm going to get started re-working through all the reading and writing for the subject I deferred this semester, Fiction Writing B, in order to still be able to take it in second semester next year (which starts about 2 or 3 weeks after the baby (my baby!)  is due).

Between now and mid January I am placing no demands on myself except to get my taxes done and to do some gardening. Right now I'm off to plant out some tomato seedlings.

Thursday, 03 November 2005

Supported

Have I mentioned that I love my doctor? I know I have, because I periodically get hits from people who are in love with their doctors and wondering what to do about it. At least, that's my guess from the search terms they put into Google. Or maybe they're just looking for other people who are also in love with their doctors, beats me. Either way, I'm guessing this post is going to cause a resurgence of those visitors. Oh well.

Back to the point. As I said I went to see my GP yesterday. Now the fertility specialist who we finally went to see when we had already in fact conceived, told me that because I'd had a miscarriage the normal thing is to do an early ultrasound - say around seven weeks - and told me to talk to my GP about a referral (this was when I talked to her by phone to tell her that I was, in fact, pregnant). This is to check that there is actually a heartbeat.

But my theory is the last miscarriage was just one of those things, it was very very early and preceded by light spotting almost from the day my period was due. I've had no signs of anything like that this time.

Now, I know, a 'missed miscarriage' would be devastating. I've read of people who only discovered at around 12 weeks that their baby had died at 8 weeks. That would be awful - more time to get attached and secure, starting the grieving and recovering process later, and the awful feeling that you should have known. And don't start thinking that they should - the fact is the uterus can even keep growing, despite the baby having died - the whole body still thinks it's pregnant. Okay, so that would be beyond dreadful, and if I'd ever had something like that happen I'd probably want to have an ultrasound every week. Even if I'd miscarried last time later I might want to keep checking. And if I started spotting, I'd be down there for a check quicker than you can blink.

But as it is, it just seems like an unnecessary medical procedure to me, and I like to minimise those. Ultrasounds are considered to be totally safe, but then so were Xrays - it took fifty years to realise that they were in fact not safe during pregnancy. And ultrasounds haven't been around that long. So, while if I were truly high risk I would do it, as it is I'd rather avoid.

Happily, my GP agrees. He said he'd be happy to refer me just to ease my mind, but he agreed that it didn't seem necessary otherwise, and that the last miscarriage was  - I can't remember what his word was, but just random basically. They happen a lot. Someone less attuned to their cycle would likely never even have known they were pregnant. Which doesn't mean it wasn't emotionally significant, just that it was hopefully insignificant as a predictor of future pregnancies*.

One of the things I like about my GP is that he also tends to prefer to avoid unnecessary medical procedures. He talked to me about the options of a 12-13 week scan (the one that can pick up likely 'abnormalities' like Down's syndrome) and the pros and cons of that. I think we'll probably skip it (as we did last time) but we'll probably go for the 18 week one (which we also skipped last time). But we haven't decided for certain yet.

Anyway, that's all by the by. What really made me happy yesterday (apart from the obvious good test results) is that he wants to see me again in a month. I know this is quite normal, but it's different for me. We're going through the Canberra Midwifery Programme (CMP), at the birth centre at the Canberra Hospital, but they don't want to see us for the first time until I'm about 16 weeks along (which is a funding decision basically - don't forget this programme is all covered by Medicare, it's not private).

When I was this pregnant with Liam I had not yet found myself a GP. I remember calling the birth centre, and the other hospitals maternity wards, to talk about doing a tour and finding out what was what. But I felt very unsupported and alone. I went to the tours, and decided on the birth centre, but not having an OB or GP I didn't have anyone to tell me what was normal, what to expect, or to keep track of me. And because of the one ovary, might have a few miscarriages thing, I was pretty nervous. I remember almost bursting into tears during one of the phone conversations, maybe with the birthing centre. (I did, of course, do lots of my own research about what was normal, read lots of books, but it's not the same.)

I should add that I did talk to the midwives at the birthing centre earlier than 16 weeks, and they had me talk to a doctor at the fetal medicine unit who was able to give me more specific information about my risks and talk to me about ultrasound options etc, but that wasn't until about 11 weeks.

This time is completely different. My GP said yesterday, "Well, we'll want to see you every month or so until then [until the CMP takes over my care] of course." But it wasn't an 'of course' to me. I didn't have that last time. I went to a local GP to get the requisite blood tests, but she never said anything about seeing me again. I guess she figured the CMP would take care of me.

Also, when I was pregnant with Liam the CMP had a 'team' approach, where a team of about 8 midwives worked with everyone on the Southside program (ie me). The theory was that between the individual appointments (I think there are around 6, unless you go over time) and the classes you should meet all of them. Of course, we ended up with someone on the night who we hadn't met and didn't really gel with. It was still a great programme, and I still had a great birth experience overall, but I don't think the team approach is ideal.

Anyway, now they're switched to a case loading system where you have one primary midwife and one or two back ups. And I was able to request one who we had really liked last time (a lot of them had changed, but we were luck with her).

So now I have a GP who wants to see me every month (but is very on my wave length and not going to pressure us into doing anything we're not comfortable with, let alone do things like an internal exam, or weigh me every time I go in (or ever)), and an individual midwife who we already know we like (and is at least reasonably on our wavelength). I feel so supported, such the opposite of last time. And while last time, when I hadn't already done it all before, this would all have probably been even more valuable than it is now, I've gotta say - I rather like it.

_____
* I know I'm ignoring the possibility that the miscarriage was because my ovary is shoddy and the implication that then my eggs might not be all that good, ie that in that sense the miscarriage could be significant. That is possible. But without having had the testing done there's no way of knowing, and so far all the other tests are good. So I'm considering that a minor risk right now.

Ahhh that sea breeze

Today is a fabulous day. It's forecast to be another balmy 27 degrees C., but at the moment it's cool outside so we have the fan on bringing the cool air in, which feels a lot like a sea breeze.

Liam and I have decided to have a comfy cozy day at home today - our first in ages - because we don't have any other children to look after (because they're sick, and Liam and I have both had a touch of gastro) and (because of the gastro) we're not going to playgroup.

Liam now wants me to go look for his rackets that go with a shuttlecock he just found in a box, so I'll have to go parent now. But just wanted to record what a fabulous, summery holiday day it is.

(Also I was nauseous this morning, but feel okay now, which is like the best of both worlds - by next week I'll probably be feeling nauseous all day and cursing it, but for the moment it's just enough to give me confidence without blighting my existence!)

Wednesday, 02 November 2005

Quick Update: I'm still pregnant

Tomorrow will be five weeks.*

I got my blood test results today and they were:

progesterone levels: good (69, which is about in the middle of the normal range for a pregnant woman)
hCG (the main pregnancy hormone): perfect (659 on effective* day 32-33 - day 659 is normal for days 32-35)
Haemoglobin levels: fine
Circulating Iron: okay, if still a little low
Stored Iron: still low but much improved (ideal is 55, mine were 5, now 27), my doc is happy.

I've been up and down, of course, in my feelings of confidence. Every time I get a slight twinge anywhere close to my pelvic region I start to panic. But mostly I feel pretty good. Apprehensive but positive at the same time.

Today we told Liam. We'd originally planned to hold off for a couple of weeks, but I was having trouble remembering not to mention it in front of him. Chris hasn't told anyone in his family, but I think he will now. I've told everyone in mine (in my immediate family anyway, plus some cousins).

Of course, as soon as we'd told him I started to worry about - what if we lose it again. But if we do, we do. He knows that's possible because it happened to a close friend (who's 12 weeks pregnant now, yay!), but I'm not going to remind him of it. He's pretty keen - well, he's been keen for ages. Last time we talked about it he wanted a sister and then a brother. Today it was the other way around. I told him we'd have to just wait and see and he gave his usual response:

"Why?"

He also came up with this gem:

"Babies come out through your butt, don't they Mummy?"

Got more to blog about - about blood test/ultrasound options given me by my GP - but that can wait till tomorrow.

[In case you didn't guess, this blog is likely to be just a little focussed for the next little while. I make no apologies whatsoever! :) ]

--------
*I'm dating based on when I ovulated (day 12-13)/when my period was due, rather than how many actual days it's been since day one of my last period. If I date that way it was only day 31 on Monday (when I had the test) and isn't five weeks until Saturday. but clearly, that isn't consistent with the test results - hCG levels go up quickly at the moment, in fact my GP said if they were 659 on Monday they were probably 1000 today, so they would have been quite a bit lower on day 31, presumably.

Saturday, 29 October 2005

So far so good

Thanks everyone for the good wishes and Snoopy dances. So far all is going well.

I looked back more closely at my records from last November and it was actually the equivalent of yesterday (the day after my period was due) that I started having very light spotting last time.

While being two days past due, with everything still looking good, doesn't actually give me any guarantees, I am feeling more confident by the hour. Chris and I even spent an hour online last night looking at possible names (we had moreorless agreed  on names a year ago, but now we're back to the drawing board, at least for boy's names).

I am doing lots of grinning at the moment.

I'm also finding that I am wanting, totally irrationally, to wrap myself up in cotton wool. I know that it will make no difference. I still want to do it.

I did go to see my herbalist on Thursday and she gave me some slightly different herbs to take for the next week or so, then switch back to my normal ones. She also told me to up the dose of my vitamin C/bioflavinoids, as that is really important for getting a good blood flow to the uterus. 'Baby glue' as Michelle said in the comments of my last post.

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Another test

I bought another pregnancy test on the way home, but I didn't do it straight away. I just didn't feel up to facing disappointment.

I was thinking just yesterday that I finally get why people go through lots of pregnancy tests, why they buy 'early-test' pregnancy tests - because the last few days before your period is due are by far the worst.

Last week I was feeling pretty hopeful, which is my standard response to ovulating (except for over the past few months when I've mostly been too sick or sore to think much about it, or get too hopeful at all). Then this week I started to get despondent again. Each day closer to my period I get more and more doubtful, not just about this cycle, but about it happening at all. And then the last couple of days, I really just want to put myself out of my misery by doing a test, so I can know for sure: another failure.

Yesterday morning my temperature had dropped slightly. It was still pretty high, since it's been higher this month than usual (a sign? of course I wondered). And it only dropped .1 of a degree (Celcius), which it often does - my temperature is never consistant from morning to morning at that level, though there is a very clear drop at or right before ovulation and an increase of several points of a degree afterwards, which lasts for the rest of the cycle. But, it does sometimes drop slightly two days before ovulation, then half way down the day before. Sometimes. Usually it just drops the day before.

Anyway, yesterday I was in full doubt mode, and getting quite depressed again. If it was going to be another negative, I wanted to know straight away. Still, I resisted the temptation to waste a pregnancy test - they're not cheap you know. I figured I would know this morning anyway, when my temperature dropped, as it was sure to do.

But it didn't.

Today I've discovered another reason to keep the pregnancy test manufacturers in business. I almost bought two tests today so I could do another one today and then one tomorrow morning as well (just in case). I resisted, but mostly only because I remembered that I had one at home that my GP gave me ages ago. Still, I can see myself wanting to do one every day or two for the next week or more - because: yes, I did the second test, and it was a definite yes, and well within the three minutes.

Do you realise what this means? I am pregnant.

I have to keep saying it to myself. I am pregnant. Look, I know it's early days. I was pregnant almost a year ago, and miscarried within days. But right now, I'm not thinking about that. I have decided to enjoy being pregnant for however long it lasts, and I am hoping desperately that that will be for nine months. But either way, today, I am pregnant, and I love it.

Does this mean my single ovary is in good shape after all? Who knows. It got me Liam didn't it? So this pregnancy might possibly be fine and still it could be that the ovary is substandard. Would we spend another 17 cycles to try for another one after this? Maybe, assuming we still want three kids by then, but I'll be going and having that day two hormone-checking blood test as soon as I get my period back the next time (if, if, if...). We won't be trying again for a single cycle without having all the relevant (and relatively easy - I'm not talking a laparoscopy or anything) tests next time.

But the main thing is, right now, today, I am pregnant.

Hope? (for me, not the country)

I wasn't going to write this yet - you know, it's always better not to say anything until you're sure (is it?), but...

I think I might be pregnant.

My period's due tomorrow, Thursday, and usually the day before it comes, my temperature drops. But today my temperature went up (slightly). That's not unheard of, but it's pretty unusual (I looked back through my months of charting and there was only one other time it happened). It's also been higher in general in the last week or so than it usually is post-ovulation, but again, that's not unheard of.

So I did a pregnancy test this morning. I just couldn't wait any longer to know.

At three minutes it looked negative. But then I picked it up and from some angles there was a faint second line. 'That can't count as anything can it?' I wondered. But within about another thirty seconds there was a definite (though pale) line. Could picking it up and twisting it around have made any difference (the instructions are to place it on a flat surface and check after three minutes)? - surely not. But I'm not going to be too excited yet. After all I haven't reached the point yet when I started spotting before the last miscarriage (that's not until about Saturday I think).

Still, I'll be picking up another pregnancy test this afternoon and doing it tomorrow morning.

So maybe I will escape without all those tests after all and only (ha!) 17 cycles of trying. Like I said, I'm trying not to be too excited, not to get my hopes up (funny, 12 months ago I would have accepted this as absolute confirmation), but... I am anyway.

Technorati tag: . I've only just started using this tag - could it be that I can quit using it already?

Thursday, 20 October 2005

Results - test number 1, 21 day progesterone test

I went to see my GP yesterday (about something unrelated) and he already had the results of the first blood test. Now, I'm not totally sure if these are 100% reliable, because I belated realised that Tuesday was not in fact day 20, when I should have had it, but day 18. However, I'm pretty sure that would just make the results look worse, not better. And my GP said they looked good.

Progesterone levels of 9-25 meant possible ovulation, while 25 and over meant probably ovulation. Mine were at 50. He said the estrogen levels were good too, consistent with being a few days into the post-ovulation phase. I have to call the specialist again today to make sure she doesn't want me to go get it done again today, just so she has the peak results, but hopefully she'll say no since I have three kids to look after all day today (well, from midday, when I have to pick the third up from school) (three including Liam that is).

Anyway, so far so good I guess. I can't say I'm too surprised by that as I'm pretty sure I ovulate most months - my temperature readings and LH surges are pretty consistent. I guess the question though is what is the quality of the eggs, and are the hormones doing the right things to sustain a conception?

Technorati tag:

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Is the single ovary the problem?

We went to see the fertility-specialist gynaecologist today. She referred me for three tests - the 21-day-progesterone blood test, which as luck would have it I was able to have today, another more general blood test which I need to have on day 2 of my next cycle (and which includes checking on my iron levels - hopefully they have improved in the past three cycles), and a more unpleasant sounding test where they insert dye into my uterus and then do an xray to see if my fallopian tube is clear. Since I only have one of them I guess that is fairly important.

The bad news is she thinks only having one ovary might be the issue. My temperature charting and LH surge testing indicate that I probably ovulate every month, but I've read the 21 day test is the only way to be sure of ovulation. Anyway, what she thinks  that since one ovary didn't form when I was in utero, maybe the other one didn't form as well as it might have either. So the day 2 test is to check for, among other things, various hormone levels, to see if the ovary is doing its job properly. The fact that I have relatively short cycles might be an indication that its not, she thinks.

She also said that having one ovary might mean I have earlier menopause than I otherwise would, but I'm not sure if that's only if that one ovary isn't doing it's job right. I'll have to talk to Chris later and see what his take on that is. Anyway, can I just say, that sux? [Edited to add: Chris reckoned it was only if the existing ovary was a bit shoddy (my word, not his) and getting a bit tired.]

And the final piece of bad news is she suggested I might want to wean Liam. He only nurses about once a day now (right before bed) and there's hardly anything there anyway, but she said there's a small possibility that it is having an effect. However, the day 2 blood test should tell us how things are going there, so there's no need to make an immediate or sudden decision.

If I sound a bit dispassionate about all this, well, I guess it's because I am. The truth is I don't really believe it's going to be an issue. I really expect all the tests to come out fine. This despite 17 cycles of trying to get pregnant to no good effect. Can you spell denial? I suppose I am still clinging to the hope that that's all because of having low iron levels, which will all be worked out soon.

We have an appointment to see her again next month. I guess we won't get the test results until then. Here's hoping that my next period doesn't come, that I am, in fact, pregnant right now, as we (metaphorically) speak.

(I tell you what though, if it does turn out that my one ovary is crapping out on my already, I'm going to be really pissed that the gynaecologist who originally discovered I only had one - back when I was about 24 - didn't both to mention this possible complication, so we could have started trying for children earlier, before it got so tired.)

Technorati tag: (if the tests come back confirming real problems, maybe I'll make an infertility category of my own, but I'm just not up for that yet).

Saturday, 20 August 2005

Where I have been....

I came out of hospital the night before last, having gone to the emergency room on Tuesday morning with what I suspected - rightly, as it turned out - was acute appendicitis. I am now sans appendix, but with plenty of extra stitches, needle tracks and pain. Oh and nausea and lightheadedness, which you'd really think would have worn off by now. I do not like this after effect of general anesthetics.

Anyway, I can't really sit at this computer for long (sitting upright is still quite painful, but leaning back in my chair is not really cutting it either) but just wanted to post a 'pity me' update. :)

I have some other more exciting news (no, I'm not pregnant) but I can't post it yet - have to tell some people verbally first. I'll let you know a soon as I can.

Updated to add: Something that came out of the surgery - it appears I really do only have one ovary. The last laparoscopy was right, the ultrasound, wrong. Because I was born with only one, I still seem to ovulate each month, so it doesn't explain why I'm not pregnant. It just just means I need to not have even one ectopic pregnancy (which is what I'd prefer anyway).

Of course it would also means all that stuff about maybe only having one kidney (wrong) and having a smaller uterus which may take a few miscarriages to learn to grow properly (also wrong) but I dealt with all that before. (Sometime I'll come back and add links in here for those who come to this page via a 'single ovary' search - all that stuff is covered in the pregnancy archives I think).

Sunday, 17 July 2005

Test results

I am so far behind in my blog entries - by which I mean I have about a dozen things I want to write about at the moment and no real time to do it - it's not funny.

But at least an update on my test results can be easily supplied. Mostly they were all fine. All except iron levels, which were low in general, and radically low for stored iron. My GP thinks this could be what's keeping us from conceiving. (Chris's results were inconclusive because the stupid place didn't get them to the lab on time, so he has to do a repeat. But they were probably fine.)

So, while less than a week ago we were seriously talking about adoption options, about what it would be like to only have one child, about whether there was any chance we could still have three children if we end up adopting - things like that - now I am back to assuming that we might make a baby this month or maybe next.

Five days ago I had finally accepted the idea that, after thirteen unsuccessful cycles of trying to make another baby, we were definitely having secondary infertility issues; that this was, in fact, not just all in my head, ready to be resolved any month now. Now I'm back to thinking it will all work out any month now. Which of course could be simply setting myself up for more disappointment, but hey, it puts me in a much better mood in the meantime.

And if I do get pregnant now (now that I am taking an iron supplement, and will immediately reform my diet to try to include more iron naturally as well), I can finally really thumb my nose at anyone who suggested just relaxing and letting go of the whole process (not trying so hard) since, if we weren't trying hard, if we hadn't gone to the doc and had tests, we would never have figured this out.

Friday, 01 July 2005

Twelve cycles=tests

I went and had a blood test this morning. That is, I gave them some blood (and a urine sample) and they will test them and send the results to my doctor.

Chris has his own sample to offer next week.

Y'see, it's now been 12 cycles since we started trying to get pregnant. And still there's no baby on the way. So we went to see our GP on Monday, and he ordered these tests. The next step would be for him to send us to a specialist - if, say, the tests all come back fine, but still we don't get pregnant - but we were happy to keep it to some basic tests for now.

At the end of last month I was pretty teary when, once again, I wasn't pregnant. Now I'm feeling pretty positive again. We're having tests, sure, but I think probably by the time we get the results for them we'll have a positive pregnancy test already. That's what I'm hoping for anyway. (Whereas, at the beginning of the month I started doing research on how adoption works in Australia. It wasn't promising.)

We had my cousin over for tea yesterday (that's dinner, in case you don't speak Aussie) and she announced that she is pregnant. It wasn't exactly planned, but she is absolutely thrilled. I won't pretend that I didn't have a twinge of jealousy (how come it happens for her without her even trying?), but it wasn't as strong as I might have expected. It wasn't long ago that told I a friend that the next time someone tells me they are pregnant I may have to get violent. But truly, I am so excited for her. And of course she now considers it urgent for me to get pregnant so that we can be pregnant together. I hope she gets her wish!

Wednesday, 08 June 2005

At least Liam gets to play at being an older brother...

Liam's friend B. went to school for an hour today (and every day this week) with his mum in tow, so we looked after his little sister, C. Chris looked after her on Monday and Tuesday, so Liam's had time just with her every day this week. 

I really liked watching them together. Of course when B is here, C gets left out a bit, or, a lot actually - she is 18 months to their three years. But without B here to play with, Liam really played with her. He even tried to read her a story. It made me think what he could be like with his own little sister (or brother) in a few years. At this point he will be at least five and a half before he has an eighteen month old sibling. I'd thought maybe that was too old, but I feel good about it now.

And of course reading posts like this one about Noah (8) interacting with his one year old sister helps too.

Sunday, 29 May 2005

About the pregnancy thing (or lack thereof)

The truth is I alternate between getting depressed about it (particularly right around the time I find out I'm not pregnant each month) and not. I guess I haven't yet reached the point of seriously worrying that it just might not happen - my hormones were so all over the place after the miscarriage that although we've been trying again for a while since then I really only feel like it's the past two or three months that we had any real chance.

I'm seeing a herbalist which is helping I think - each month I see evidence that my hormones are a bit more back to normal. And I'm talking back to the way they were before Liam, not just before the miscarriage. Still, I've told myself one more month and then if it doesn't happen we will go to see my GP to make sure there's nothing else going on - low sperm count or something.

Mind you, having said that I have started fantasising about someone asking us to adopt their newborn... if the miscarriage hadn't happened I'd be about seven months pregnant now... but thinking about that is the way of madness, so mostly, I don't.

Tuesday, 24 May 2005

by the way

One more month with no baby in sight. Next cycle will be the 12th one since we started (although not actually the 12th attempt - that miscarriage stuffed things up for a while). Did I mention how sick I am of this yet? I did? Okay then, well, I'll just get back to work.

Saturday, 30 April 2005

Feeling hopeful

It's the start of another cycle of trying to get pregnant.  And because it's the start of the cycle, and maybe a little more than usual because we had the last month off trying, I am feeling positive. There is absolutely no reason that we shouldn't get pregnant this month. In fact, I am all but convinced it will happen. And if not this month, then surely next.

I'm sure that as the end of week four approaches I will be all doom and gloom, ready to be depressed again, but right now I am feeling hopeful. And I want to record that, for posterity. Will it help to read this in three weeks time? Hell no. But what they hey, right?

Tuesday, 29 March 2005

A pregnancy test

When I took a pregnancy test this evening, I wasn't sure what to hope for.

I am going, I suppose, through the same basic phases of anyone struggling to get pregnant.

  • First I was keen and excited, fully expecting it to happen quickly - as quickly as it did with Liam - despite knowing full well that there was every possibility it wouldn't.
  • After about two months of trying without success I was already starting to obsess a little - to be hyper conscious of where in my cycle I was. To get depressed at each period.
  • After the fourth cycle brought a pregnancy quickly followed by a miscarriage. things were looking a little grim. I had a month of serious hormone enhanced melancholy (and lets not forget the nausea).
  • After two months of not trying, while my hormones sorted themselves out, I determined to be less obsessive. Instead of planning every month that that would be the month I'd get pregnant, I planned it would be March.
  • Nonetheless, towards the end of each month I get that little bit of hope, quickly - or sometimes not so quickly - dashed by evidence of another failure. In fact it's now at the point where the hope is tempered by mild depression even before the evidence arrives, just on the assumption that it will arrive.

So, here I am, the end of March. The end of another cycle. But, as has happened now about every other month since the miscarriage, my period is late. Or at least, late by when I expected it to arrive (Sunday, yesterday or today), although that has been quite unpredictable since the miscarriage. So of course, this morning I let myself get my hopes up. To make matters worse my temperature was still up this morning, and usually it drops the day before or day of the start of menstruation. So I was really hopeful.

But then, around morning tea, the spotting started, every so light, but enough. I spent the rest of the morning sulking over dashed hopes. No baby in 2005 for me. But by mid afternoon I was starting to wonder. There was still only very light spotting. This was starting to remind me of the miscarriage. I decided to buy a pregnancy test on the way home. The sort that claims to be ultra sensitive, that you can use up to four days before your period is due. I figured if it came out positive I could call my herbalist and tell her what was happening and get to her to feed me some anti-miscarriage herbs.

I got home, got out the test, read the instructions. Didn't know what to hope for. A positive result would give me the possibility of a baby in December. I could call Michelle, ask for help, maybe save the day. On the other hand it would also give me days or even weeks of uncertainty, and possibly still end in another miscarriage. Not something to hope for. But a negative test... no baby in 2005. And no answer as to when there might be one.

I took the test. And the sense of relief that flooded me when it came out negative answered the question for me. I just do not want another miscarriage. Do not want to find that it wasn't just a one off, that it was part of a pattern. That maybe Liam was the one off. Okay, I'm not pregnant, but it's only been three months since I started trying again. This morning I was so depressed about not being pregnant, but tonight? Well yeah, okay, I am disappointed. But I am also a relieved.

Sunday, 13 February 2005

But please-oh please-don't ask me to just relax

Trying-to-Conceive Poem #4 By Marion Cohen.

This poem is so perfect.  Marion, I am right there with you.

Wednesday, 22 December 2004

Duh! Haywire hormones.

Well duh! Of course it wouldn't take a new pregnancy to create pregnancy nausea, because my hormones are still in free fall from the last one.

I don't have time to really blog now (got presents to wrap, house to clean, etc. - we're having Christmas here this year, including M-I-L staying with us), but just wanted to say that I am feeling a lot better this week. Still nauseous, but relieved to realise that a lot of what I've been feeling - physically and emotionally - is probably hormone driven, or at least hormone complicated. And I think that is settling down a bit.  If nothing else I have a whole lot more energy now than I did a week ago.

Unfortunately my herbalist suggested that we should take another month out from trying to conceive, to let my body recover properly. And although we ignored her last month and tried anyway, this month we are going to be obedient. Now that I've realised that my body is still not back to normal. 

Besides, constant nausea isn't all that conducive to hanky panky fun.

Monday, 13 December 2004

Nausea - pregnancy or anxiety?

What I haven't mentioned yet is that I have been feeling somewhat nauseous on and off for the past three days or so. Of course, this is probably just tension induced nausea - there would be nothing uncommon in that, and so I keep telling myself. And it is much too early for it to be pregnancy nausea. It couldn't possibly be that. Or so I keep telling myself. But... There's something else too.

On Friday I went to see my doctor about that almost blacking out thing that happened last week. I figured it was probably anxiety induced, but that I should look into it, just in case it was something else. My doctor agreed that it was consistent with the other symptoms I'd been experiencing, probably caused by chronic mild hyperventilation or shallow breathing resulting in too much oxygen and not enough carbon dioxide in my system. This in turn can cause low blood pressure. He suggested I carry a paper bag around with me.

Anyway, to get to the point, while I was there I mentioned that I'd been having very light spotting for a couple of days. I figured it was probably just an indication that my hormonal system is still a bit out of whack from the miscarriage, but again, thought I should probably mention it, just in case. What did my doctor say? He said 'Could you be pregnant?'

I'd forgotten that there can be slight spotting at the time when the fertilised egg implants itself into the uterus wall. And yes, it was around the right time for that. And yes, we had done the relevant deed at the relevant time. I can't remember if I mentioned that my herbalist suggested leaving it a month before trying again but my doctor said there was no need. We decided to follow his advice in this case, simply because I couldn't imagine waiting if I didn't absolutely have to. Anyway, he gave me a pregnancy test to use this week if my period is late.

I am really hoping it will be late.

UPDATE: Being pregnant might also explain my mood - and the fact that I lost it at work today and ended up leaving at midday in tears (over nothing - nothing happened, no-one said, or did, anything). I'm really hoping I can blame it all on hormones and not on my mind cracking up.

UPDATE 2: I'm not pregnant. So what is the deal with all this nausea.  A common bug or something?

Friday, 26 November 2004

No baby

It comes time to explain why I am feeling so drained after my holiday instead of refreshed. 

The holiday itself was great.  The wedding we went to in Ballarat was both lovely and a lot of fun. Liam had a great time and still didn't want to leave by 11pm - he wanted to keep dancing to eighties music and jumping on the coloured lights reflected on the dance floor.

Catching up with our friends and family in Melbourne was also great.  Our friends even let us stay in their house after they took off for Adelaide, which was extra nice because it was all child proofed and full of their two-year-old's toys, books, DVDs... And otherwise we would have had to stay in my sister's completely unchildproofed house, without even her company to keep us entertained, since she was at work most of the time.

But.  After they left things took a turn for the worse. I am not going to go into all the details, emotions, hopes, fears etc as they play out. Basically on the Wednesday I started to suspect I might be pregnant.  By the Thursday I was certain. On the Saturday I miscarried.

I had already started having spotting, so on the Saturday Chris ended up staying home from the training course we were there for, so he could look after Liam and I could just look after myself. I know that no studies have really supported bed rest as a means of preventing miscarriage at that early stage, but I just felt like I had to do everything I could do prevent it, and that meant doing nothing. Had I been in Canberra I would have called my herbalist for some anti-miscarriage herbs, though I suspect with it happening so early and so quickly, they probably wouldn't have helped.

Anyway, that's that.  Now I have to start again. Though my herbalist did suggest giving it a miss this month to give my body a chance to regroup.

Of course, as well as all the other miserable emotions you might expect this to bring up, it also completely refreshed my work stress - the longer it takes me to get successfully pregnant the longer it might be that I have to work longer hours/full time and put Liam in childcare.

It also brought back all the anger about the position I find myself in at work.  If I - and the rest of my division - had been informed about the new anti-part time policy when it was developed (which, it transpires, was at least some months ago) I would have made a number of different decision this year, including applying in some corporate processes for other jobs, and starting earlier to try to get pregnant. Anyway I am frustrated, angry and stressed out about the whole thing.  Which is just icing on top of the nasty miscarriage cake.

Today was my first day back at work, and I found myself crying in the car half the way home.  Not about anything in particular. Just everything.  Every time someone at work asked me how the holiday was I went into an unconvincing 'Um, well, it was fine" mode.  I'm no good at lying - I couldn't bring myself to just fake enthusiasm.  But nor did it seem appropriate to say, "Oh yeah, it was great right up to the point where I had a miscarriage.  After that it sucked." So, I just kept it to myself, and found myself getting more and more tense as the morning wore on. 

On the way to the car I ran into another friend who also asked the inevitable question about my trip, and I didn't have time then to stop and talk to her about it - I'll probably tell her on Monday.  But having to fake it again sent me into a spiral of feeling sorry for myself which had me sobbing by the time I got to my car (about a minute later).

I think the thing is, or one of the things anyway is, that because it was such an early term miscarriage - we barely had time to start getting excited before the spotting began, albeit very very slightly at first - I feel like it's ridiculous to make a big deal of it.  It's very common, I know.  It doesn't necessarily mean anything about anything. (Even if I did read an article in my herbalist's waiting room just this morning about the increasing frequency of second child infertility (linked, at least by this article, with the increasing delay in having children at all), and how those people don't fit anywhere and no one really feels very badly for them - after all, they have one child don't they?)

And really, if it weren't compounded by the work situation, I wouldn't be feeling nearly as bad about it as I do/have done, I think. But on the other hand, to not mention it, to not tell people, makes it into even more of a big deal in my mind. And anyway I'm no good at keeping secrets.

One thing this has done is reaffirm the rightness - for me - of my decision to tell people fairly early when I was pregnant with Liam. I imagine we'll do that again. The idea of not telling people in case it doesn't work out is great, but then if you do have a miscarriage, no one even knows to feel bad for you, or to stop asking you (for instance) if you're pregnant yet.

By the way, I'm only just mentioning this now partly because I haven't had the energy to write it before, and partly because I haven't told my mum about it yet. So Mum, if you are reading this - don't be hurt that I haven't told you: I really was going to, but we haven't really had a chance to talk since I got back.

Thursday, 30 September 2004

Not pregnant yet

I got confirmation in the normal monthly way today that I am not pregnant. We've only been trying for two cycles, and already I am sick of it. I am so ready to be pregnant again, I just want it to happen now. It makes me wonder how people cope trying month after month after month.

With Liam it took us three months, so although I am entirely aware that there are no guarantees, that we could still take a year to get pregnant this time or even not be able to do so at all, I am really assuming that it will be fairly quick again. Here's hoping anyway.

Tuesday, 31 August 2004

Pregnancy archive is up

After a huge effort, all the posts that were linked from my pregnancy and pre-conception archive at Ocean View Verandah are now here. And the archive index page is here too.

This covers the handful of posts from before we started trying to get pregnant but were thinking about it, those from when we were trying, the ones when I was pregnant with Liam plus a few from the following few months following his birth. And his birth story of course. And then the few I have written already about this second wave. (BTW I don't think I am pregnant this month - no sign of my temperature going up - but that won't worry Chris: just means we get to try some more next month. Ah well.)

It took a lot more effort than I expected to get these here, because you can't make sub folders within your TypePad files (it's really not designed to be somewhere you upload a lot of ready made html files), so I had to go through and change all the links between files, all the links to pictures etc. I basically left them in whatever format they were in, so there are a few that even say 'Kay's Journal' at the top, from way back when I first started. The rest say Ocean View Verandah. But to save uploading even more files they all have the same background image.

Of course I also took out all the old site menus and next/previous links (since the next/previous posts often weren't relevant to pregnancy and so didn't make it up), and added in a link to the front page of Narrating kayoz and to the pregnancy category page. But, what I may have missed were some links within the text to previous posts. So if you're reading through them and you find any errors, feel free to post a comment on this post (since there's no comment function on those posts).

What I have decided from all this is that I am NOT going to put all the rest of my archives up here. So, for the moment they will stay where they are (while I still have TypePad on a three month free trial anyway) and when and if they find a permanent home I will post a link from the front page.

Tuesday, 17 August 2004

Pre-Typepad Pre-Conception & Pregnancy Archive

Below are all the entries about pregnancy and conception from before I started using Typepad. Also included are parenting entries from the first few months after Liam was born.

Pregnancy and (lots of) trying to conceive posts after this date (for a second baby) are in the Pregnancy and trying to conceive category.

Since these early ones are not in the Typepad template they don't have comments enabled, but feel free to post comments in response to this post - they will show up as new comments on the front page of narrating kayoz. I've dated this entry before I actually started using Typepad to make sure it comes right at the beginning.

Updated May 2006 to add: Gradually I plan to republish all these posts into Typepad, but this is more trying than I expected (what with having to go back month by month to get the dates right from back in 2000, plus having to fix a lot of yucky code when I paste it in), so it may take a few years... :) They will appear below this post in the 'Old Pregnancy Archive' category, as and when I do get to them. I'm not going to publish them in the 'Pregnancy and trying to concieve' category, because I want to keep the pre-Typepad post separate.

Pre-pregnancy
First trimester | Second trimester | Third trimester
'Fourth trimester'
Starting again
       
Pre-pregnancy
2000
29 January Natural fertility and contraception
14 March Babies' names
2 April Conception plans, and single ovary issues
13 June Pissy about having to put the baby plan off again.
22 June Coming to terms with the changing plans
1 July I got my Natural Fertility Kit in the mail Thursday....
24 September Becoming parents (slowly)

2001
18 March Preparing for conception - changing our diet
19 May Are we really ready to make a baby?
26 May Could I be pregnant?
13 June Answer: No
17 June Finished knitting a baby blanket
25 July Why we've decided to put off trying until December
       
First Trimester
28 July I still can't believe it - I'm pregnant!
31 July 5 weeks today, feeling happy, worried and tired
1 August Tired and Crabby and looking for a midwife
2 August Wanting a celebration (very short entry)
3 August A flex day: paying bills, seeing the GP and developing pregnancy nausea.
5 August Day 40. Hungry, nauseous, and wondering if I really still want a new, challenging job.
7 August Tears, hormones, and feeling alone
20 September Talking to a doctor at the foetal medicine unit, plus Sabine's baby is born.
26 September Thirteen weeks. Today we heard the baby's heart beat for  the first time.

Second Trimester
16 October My first ever fainting experience.          
18 November Finally enjoying pregnancy!
28 November Chris feels the baby move and I feel like a hippo
6 December 23 weeks. First baby purchase and first baby gift.
31 December 27 weeks. Feeling vulnerable - a private person in the public domain of pregnancy.      

Third Trimester        
22 January 2002 An abdominal muscle strain (not placental abruption as I first feared) and feeling even bigger!
28 January 2002 The muscle strain is still bothering me, but maternity leave approaches.
13 March 2002 Maternity leave is bliss! All those people who said I'd be bored and just in waiting mode must have rocks in their heads!
16 March 2002 A mother and baby blessing was thrown for me!

The Birth of Liam (written about a month later)

'Fourth Trimester'       
24 March 2002 Liam Christopher has been born
15 April 2002 So many changes in three short weeks. How time has flown - and yet, it seems impossible that we've only had Liam with us for 26 days.
18 April 2002 Four weeks old today.
27 April 2002 Week 6, and a first sleepy chuckle.
6 July 2002 What a clever boy we have. Shame about the sleep though.
8 July 2002 A '10 week old' photo.
9 July 2002 Trying to decide about vaccinations.

See Liam's Log for more about Liam & parenting him in the first 2+years... And then see the parenting archives of Narrating kayoz
       
Starting again
24 May 2004 Could I be?
06 August 2004 Pre-conception planning again
16 August 2004 Not my last pregnancy
   

Monday, 16 August 2004

Not my last pregnancy?

This time next week I could be pregnant. Actually, I could be pregnant sooner than that, given that my last cycle was only 25 days. I could be pregnant within a couple of days, although that's not all that likely. And either way we won't know for at least another week or two.

We haven't decided yet whether this will be our last child. We only ever planned on having two, until Liam was born. But since then we've tossed around the idea of having three quite seriously. It's expensive, this business of having children. Some people say that shouldn't be a consideration in whether to have another, but it is.

But there are other things too.

Age, for instance. If we space them all apart by three+ years, Chris will be forty, or very close to, by the time the third child is born.

Career? Yes, believe it or not, I am starting to get why people feel frustrated by having to put their career 'on hold' during their children's baby years. And I'm not exactly career oriented!

Patience? Yep, that too. I have a friend who has two children and simply says that she loves her children incredibly, but she doesn't think she has the patience to cope with more than two.

But the thing is, I don't feel like this pregnancy - the one I am hoping to embark on very soon - is going to be my last. I feel like if it were, I would need to know that now. I would need to be able to say to myself, this is the last time I will be doing this. Pay attention.

On the other hand, wait till I am in the throes of all day pregnancy sickness and see what I say then.

**This post was orginially published on Ocean View Verandah using Blogger. Please let me know of any down links (especially to photos).**