Thursday, 24 May 2007

Birth and Spring 2006

The Sound of One Woman's Head Exploding
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02/09/2006, 06:55 PM
If I say "no" or "put that down" or "please don't do that" again today I think I will scream. I'm so incredibly tired that tired just seems like a ridiculous word to use. I'm feeling big and unwieldy and I just want to be selfish and sleep. DH tonight is off being wined and dined at work followed by going to the AFL in a corporate box then free drinks afterwards. He asked me before agreeing to go and I couldnt' say no because he really deserves a night off. But right now I'm just wihsing it was any other weekend. DD is sitting in the middle of the trashed lounge room pulling tissues out of the box, ripping them into shreds and making it snow. And to be honest I don't care. She's being quiet, she's not destroying anything and a box of tissues costs $2 so it's cheaper than anything else that woudl keep her quiet.Finally found a blanket for the Crab that I liked today - went to the city to find it. It seems like every single other person in the whole of this city was there as well - probably killing time before Riverfire. The number of people just made me feel like I couldn't breathe. The only areas that weren't crowded were appropriated by the smokers so it was back to the wall to wall people. It is days like today that makes me sure that I don;t want to do this whole pregnancy thing again. I don't want to be pregnant and sick again, I don't want to have any more than 2 children either. If you have more than 2 children then they outnumber the parents! And considering DH and I felt like we were outnumbered today I have no intentions of doing that as a fulltime job. I'm just irritable at the moment as well. I don't want comments about how I look (awful), or how big I am (huge) etc. I'm perfectly aware that I'm not goign to win a swimsuit competition at the moment. I've just had enough of people. I'm also irritated by those at the moment that cannot extrapolate beyond their own experience. Who cannot read or think for themselves and are suspicious of anyone who thinks differently than they do. Who cannot understand that others will make a different choice for themselves than they might. And that for their circumstances, their completely opposing decision might be the right one. That there is not always ONE answer. The world just feels so me, me, me, lately. What can I get. I gave this much so where is my return?? Doing good things seems to only have a point if there is a notable reward. I'm not saying I'm perfect. In fact this post is whingy, whiney and self-serving. But I am more than willing to put it out there that right now I'm a pretty miserable human being. But those that sit in judgement, smug in their own self-congratualtion at the moment are the ones that disgust me the most.

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03/09/2006, 09:32 PM
Long day today. It's amazing just how exhausting sitting in a car can be. We visited my Dad today for Fathers Day and had a nice lunch with Mum and Dad and Mum's family. The Grot loved playing with her "cousins" and Mum had fun showing us brochures for the European holiday they're planning. Was lovely and I"m glad that we went, but I've been prostrate on the lounge since we came home, barely able to keep my eyes open. I washed the baby clothes today. Loading their newness and factory softness into the washing machine felt sacriligeous. But when I pulled them out of the dryer they were so warm and cuddly and just delicious that I couldn't help but snuggle them close. And now they're all carefully and neatly folded into the tiny suitcase that will wait by the door for "the moment". I can't wait to wrap my tiny bundle in the soft blanket that sits on top of all the clothes, protecting them and keeping them warm for my tiny little one. I also pre-washed all the nappies today, decorating my line with a multitude of cute flannel prints and fuzzy pastel coloured fleece. So soft and again, so small. And there's more fluffy mail on its way! I feel positively spoilt. My own suitcase I have yet to pack. It's hard when I already wear most of the clothes that needs be packing. I guess the miscellanea like the ever exciting maternity pads and some toiletries can easily be packed. Maybe I should just put some clothes into the post-baby bag and wear the same outfit every day until "the moment". Could also go out and buy myself some more pyjamas being as after all taht's what I love wearing more than anything else!I should probably go look at one of those ubiquitous lists of what to stick in "the bag" as well. I don't fancy trying to find said list while in labour this time. Plus last time I packed about a million things I didn't need/want and ended up with no maternity bras or shoes.Feels so weird packing up the suitcases. They are lovely and discreet and understated and have rarely been used (they were a wedding gift). Matching luggage filled with neatly folded and packed clothing just waiting for a get away but I don't have an itinerary!Am in a strange holding pattern now. Just waiting for the magic 8 ball to decide that today is the day. And then it's off to the hospital we go.

Stupid Braxton Hicks
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06/09/2006, 01:45 PM
Want this baby to decide to come out. Not liking suspended animation. Now see the wonderful benefits of a scheduled C-section. You know EXACTLY when it's going to happen. Instead I'm twinge-y but know that it's just BH. But maybe it's not. But it is dammit. Cervix is still high and back. Just want to meet my baby. Shouldn't have packed the bloody suitcase - it's just sitting there mocking me *ha,ha* it could be 3 more WEEKS before this child makes an entrance. NoooooOOoOoOooOooOOoOHave an OB appt in one week. Might ask for a stretch and sweep then . Had enough!

Suspended Animation
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07/09/2006, 08:47 AM
Feeling tired, sick and overwhelmed and emotionally labile as well. Yesterday was a BAD day. I'm so exhausted just getting out of bed in the mornings, probably because I'm literally sleeping like a baby. Awake at inappropriate times, and feeling the need to cry when I do wake.I'm very bad at being tired. Yesterday I was exhausted all day. From the time that DH left early for work to the time that he came home late (just in time for dinner...). He then proceeded to play on his computer all night. Leaving me to talk to no one again and get upset. I have no belly photos. Even though I have repeatedly asked he just gives a non-committal answer. I will never look like this again. I will never grow a baby inside me again, and it's too much to get up from shooting fictional characters on a f**king computer screen to take a photo of my belly. Plus the huge belligerent part of my personality is so p*ssed off that he doesn't *want* to, that I refuse to remind him. Instead I seethe. There is little to no interest shown to me or the baby at the moment. Aside from the fact that one day soon it will be here. There is no rubbing of bellies (unless I ask - which completely defeats the point). There is no feeling for kicks or movement. No questions about what's happening. Nothing. I was so sh*tty last night that I came downstairs and slept on the World's Most Uncomfortable Couch TM and he didn't even notice. He's tired and has to go to work you see - and hey, all I do all day is laze around (Exhibit A our disgusting lounge room). The fact that I am tired now, that I need help and support NOW seems to be incomprehensible. The fact that the baby is here NOW just that I have to do everything for it just doesn't compute. I just want to sleep. I've asked him to take some leave because he's tired as well - but he's saving it. For what I have no idea. FOr the divorce procedings maybe (no, not very funny). I want to be excited about the Crab coming. I want to be enjoying these last days, but all I'm doing is falling through each day. Trying to be at least an adequate mother for the Grot, trying to maintain some semblance of order around the house, trying to actually eat some food to nourish the crab and failing miserably at all. What scares me the most is it's only going to get worse when we all come home from the hospital.Did I mention that tiredness is bad for me? Have turned into a shrew.

13 minutes
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08/09/2006, 06:42 PM
Well going by the pattern that's occurred over the last hour that's how much longer before I'll be breathing like Marilyn Monroe.Hope this isn't fake. I'm ready tonight LOL. Oh and I love my husband again tonight. He bought me flowers yesterday and I didn't even tell him what was wrong. I don't think this is it. Aside from anything else I just don't have the "vibe". Plus my OB isn't on this weekend. Roll on next week...

Well if I'm not allowed wine I'll take its homonym
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11/09/2006, 11:12 AM
Still here. Still moping. But not wanting to evict today. Really don't think it's fair to saddle a child with a birthdate that makes people cry.So I'm thinking tomorrow looks good. Maybe 2 or 3pm-ish? So how does one order up something like that ROFL? I'm sick again today with bad reflux. My belly feels like it's going to explode in all 3 dimensions and I'm just generally grumpy. Shouldn't have packed my bags. Brings to mind all those cliches about watched kettles etc. I'm not even feeling like it's imminent. Had a weird paranoid thought yesterday that it might never happen. That I would end up being the interminably pregnant woman featured in Guinness Book of Records. Or that somehow my dates were all cocked up and I'm actually meant to be pregnant for another 3 months. I am also going somewhat insane. Is there such a thing as antenatal psychosis? I'm so over the top emotional at the moment that it's ridiculous. I'm just so over everything except playing with DD. And even then I know my effort's not as good as it should be. I just want a self-cleaning house and about an extra 12 hours each day just to sleep.And I am completely ready to hold my baby instead of lugging it around as carry on luggage. Hmm could I GET any more whingy? I'm irritating myself lolI don't understand this sudden irritability. It seems to be relatively common amongst anticipatory mothers but I still feel ashamed of succumbing to it. I'm not even at my due date yet. So it's really very silly.OK this is ridiculous - I just realised that there were 50 hits to my diary since I posted this morning (it's now afternoon). So sorry to all who I'm boring to tears!

38 weeks 4 days
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12/09/2006, 11:08 AM
Still here. Still lumbering about. Still whinging.Except I'm sick now as well just to make things more fun. . Still getting contractions on and off, with random runs of mild dragging sensations low in my pelvis that convince me to check the clock just in case this time, this run will be *it*. I wasn't like this at all last time. There was no waiting around thinking every twinge was it, there was the one lead up which by the time I realised it was *it* it was nearly time to head off to the hospital. I have become mildly obsessive. But I think part of it is that although things are happening, there is a giant pessimist inside of me yelling out that it's not happening for weeks. I think it's also because I'm anxious about it happening at a good time. Today or tomorrow during the day would be wonderful because DD is in daycare and after the Crab makes their appearance, it means that DH can collect her and we can do our family introductions without having to involve anyone else.I very clearly have an idea of how I want my two babies to meet each other, and the thing that is clearest in my vision is that it is just the 4 of us. I want the Grot to meet her new sibling and to start her big sister stint without anyone else observing or commenting or laughing at how she takes it. I am very sensitive to the fact that I want her to be in as non threatening an environment as possible. Also, if I have the baby during the day today or tomorrow then we don't have to tell anyone else until we want to. If it's any other day of the week then someone necessarily becomes involved unless I have an unscheduled freebirth at home. I really strongly feel the need to keep everything as personal as possible. I don't want congratulatory phone calls and visitors until I feel ready for them. Which might be straight away, but I want that option. In the lsat couple of days, aside from obsessing about every twinge, I've also lost sight of the birth. Conveniently skipped over it like it's just another ordinary thing to cross off on my "to do" list before we get to the next bit. I'm probably erroneously assuming that I will have another relatively short birth. In spite of the fact that the crab is posterior with chin wedged above my pubic bone and neck currently extended. I could still have a prolonged and instrumental birth. I'm not sure how I will cope if I do have intervention this time, as much as I've tried to pretend that it might happen, my brain refuses to envision it. My belly has well and truly dropped. It sits out all in front and very low now, like I need to hoist up my bra straps or something. The pressure in my pelvis is confusing any symptoms that I think that I'm experiencing. My stretch marks from the Grot though are still pale and silvery white. There is no redness like before, my skin does not look clawed by vicious talons. And I have a variety of belly photos now, none of which look quite right for some reason. I have no idea how to resize them otherwise I would probably post them. The crab is active and squirmy today. It still makes me smile, even though it does literally take my breath away at times. But I can't help but think every time I feel those little feet pushing that babies are meant to be quiet in the lead up to labour. So I guess it's more days of waiting. If I go past tomorrow though I will be more pregnant that I have ever been before. Oh the humanity!

38 weeks 5 days
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13/09/2006, 01:11 PM
Nothing happening whatsoever. Had another 2 hour run of mildish contractions last night (at a perfect time as well) and got so far as to check whether babysitter #1 was available. That sort of foresight and planning was the immediate kiss of death to the contractions and they promptly stopped. Someone in the cosmic universe is having a giant laugh over all of this. As am I whenever I manage to gain some perspective. Have gone into the acceptance phase though, I've managed today not to obsess too much. Just looking forward to tomorrow's OB appointment which should be the last one. Am tossing up whether or not to get an internal done to see if anything is happening - last time that happened I went into labour that evening. So it's very very tempting. DH is on tenterhooks as well. Hard for him as he's trying to organise leave, juggle work and keep the house clean while I spend 90% of the time asleep or close to it. Daytime television is abysmal. Dr Phil made me cry today (an abusive mother and her gorgeous cowed children) so I switched on to Queer Eye which just irritated me. I probably should have kept watching it though - as last time I went into labour while watching it! And now it's another pseudo-serious Oprah episode. Was Oprah always so arrogant and smarmy and controlling? In recent years her shows have been just incredibly condescending and hard to watch. Aside from anythign else they're BORING. I'm so glad that I rarely have the opportunity/desire to watch daytime television. Swimming with the Grot this afternoon and then gymnastics tomorrow morning and then OB appointment. At least I have plenty to keep me busy.

t's official
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15/09/2006, 12:12 PM
I have never been as pregnant as I am now, today, at 39 weeks exactly. Another week ticked off and this week to go. Still waiting for the cogs to start turning and for this whole meeting the new addition thing to actually happen. I woke, somewhat jaded at 2:30am this morning, to the now familiar sensation of cramping in my pelvis. I dismissed it, but a tiny part of my brain was reminding me that Braxton and his band of Hicks had never woken me before. Staggering off to the bathroom however, I realised exactly why I was feeling off - as the Gastro took hold and left me feeling wretched. For some reason though, I did not find it as revolting as normal, hoping against hope that the spasms that were wracking my abdomen would be enough to trigger real contractions. The idiocy of wanting to labour with gastro didn't actually occur to me until this morning. I guess that indicates my level of desperation at the moment. I'm feeling better this morning but my throat still burns and the bathroom is still a welcome friend (even if solitude is not to be had). But there is absolutely no action on the baby-producing front. In fact the Crab has become almost silent, scaring me and alternately making me wonder if I have made this whole pregnancy up as a cover for getting fatter. Obstetrician's appointment was yesterday and was basically just another check. The Crab is 4/5 engaged so completely in firing position. I just can't shake the ambivalence of that news though - it means everything and nothing. I have been prepared for at least 2 weeks, so now that I am here the most pregnant I have ever been (I read Week 40 in UTD for the first time today, I never got there with the Grot), it just seems unreal. Yesterday was actually a really nice day. After gymnastics the Grot, my best friend, SIL and DH and I went to Yum Cha for lunch (methinks this may be the cause of my Gastro). We had a really nice lunch and then DH was able to come with me to the OB appt. Afterwards DH, the Grot and I went for a walk to the park and gloated about our gorgeous offspring. Sitting there, in the cool of the late afternoon, watching her awkward running gait as she tore around the playground I truly realised just how big my baby girl is getting. She sang all the way home, all of the words to Baa Baa Black Sheep plus a random medley of tunes and words that melded together. She was too tired to walk all the way home so instead cuddled close to her Daddy, arms around his neck and head nestled into his shoulder knowing full well that it makes both of us melt. It seems so unreal that it's not going to be just the three of us any more. That she will no longer be the centre of my universe. Part of it of course, but no longer the sole focus. For some reason that makes me unbearably sad. The fact that the Crab will never be the sole focus has never bothered me. But that my tall gangly, blonde haired green eyed whirlwind will have to sometimes compete for my arms and lap for some reason makes my eyes fill with tears.

39 and somethingorother weeks
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18/09/2006, 10:26 AM
Given up counting how many days weeks months that I am pregnant. Suffice to say that I am still here, and still distinctly over being pregnant. I'm not very big, I've not put on a lot of weight, and I'm not "that" uncomfortable so I'm not sure why I am so whingy about this, but I suspect it is mostly to do with being impatient to meet my little Crab.Today;s stats are pretty meaningless in the scheme of things. 5/5 engaged, 3 cm dilated, uterus as toned as it can be and only today's dose of raspberry leaf tea to finish. So basically everything is just teetering on the precipice waiting to fall into place. The bags are packed and sitting there waiting to be loaded into the car, the cot is set up, with sheets and all, blankets tucked in around the snuggle bed ready to go. The Grot is ready and waiting for the Crab to come out (supposedly from my belly button), babysitters are on tenterhooks and DH is ready to jump in the car and come screeching home from work (haste not entirely due to excitement about the birth). The house is immaculate (for us) after a prolonged day of cleaning on Saturday. For some reason it became vitally important that I remove the last traces of scum from the bath tub with a loofah and toothbrush. All of the clothes are also folded and in their proper draws and the whole house just feels open and airy instead of its usual clutter. Today is just another day of drudgery and waiting. DD is gorgeous - so mch so that she's taken to randomly giving me hugs and saying "how are you gorgeous Mummy". Also when you say "I love you" to her, she responds with "I love you very much too either". It is beyond cute. I wish I could just keep her exactly as she is at the moment. Hopefully not too much changes when her squalling sibling comes home.

Coronavirus (not related to beer)
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19/09/2006, 08:12 AM
OB visit in less than 2 hours.Worst headcold I've had all year (and can't take a damn thing for it) - thanks Mum!No sleep last night.Happy to wait a few more days for the appearance of the Crab because if I tried to do it now I think I would pass out. So tired, so sick. Want to go back to bed.

3 minutes apart
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20/09/2006, 01:16 AM
3 minutes apart and starting to hurt... hmm wonder what's going on

Party of Four
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22/09/2006, 07:45 PM
We're home, all four of us. Some a little more battle weary than others but we're all home. I have morphed into Dolly Parten and DH looks like he has been "sleeping" in a dumpster. The immaculate house is already trashed and I'm simultaneously ecstatically happy and tearful but life is wonderful. For those who have been playing at homeThe Crab (aka Sophia) was born at 8:37am on Wednesday the 20th of September after about 4 hours of active labour. 7lb14oz, 53.5cm long, 34cm head circumference. Will post birth story laterFrom this (in labour)To this

Babies, Boobs and Barnyards
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25/09/2006, 09:49 PM
Day Five of this circus that we now call life. Trying to set up some sort of routine and failing miserably but still waking up every day and finding things to smile about. Primarily the angelic being that spends 95% of her time nestled into my very ample breasts which are currently being used about 14 hours of every day. Seriously this child could give my Dyson a run for its money.It's very odd to ahve a baby that loves snuggling as much as our little monkey. The Grot was never interested in being held closely - she would push away and try and look at the world, independent from day dot. The monkey on the other hand loves to snuggle down. After a feed she will nestle her head on my breast before letting out a sigh and a sniffle and fall asleep. We're also cosleeping because at the mere suggestion that we put the monkey into her own bed (which I can reach from our bed) she immediately wakes up and demands cuddles.She is so tiny and perfect. Her face is looking less smooshed now, but her nose still bears resemblance to a Rugby front rower bending one way and then another. Her eyes are less puffy now and she opens them more frequently. They are the non-descript slate-blue of most caucasian babies but I still live in hope that they will be as dark as her Daddy's. Her fingers are so tiny and so soft, but her grip is like steel. When feeding she will grip my thumb to pull herself closer into me and attempts at disentangling her are futile. Her skin is so incredibly soft. It's a softness that scares me with its vulnerability. So fragile. Her tininess and the fact that she is a living separate entity takes my breath away. That I have been entrusted with the care of something so small and precious and full of boundless unwritten potential. Today was our first day out and about as a family. We took the Grot to go see Barnyard (which was great though a little scary in parts) while the Monkey slept. Although the cows in the movie had udders regardless of gender it was really quite a funny movie. Speaking of udders, my breasts continue to grow. Not being "tiny" before pregnancy, and then having them grow substantially throughout, I assumed that my cup had runnethed over as much as it was going to. But OMG they're still growing. I shudder to think what they're going to be like when I stop feeding as I am at least an E cup and probably closer to an F cup at the moment Too tired to continue writing this post, so will just segue with a photo instead

I survived
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28/09/2006, 07:57 PM
Today was day one of me being a fulltime SAHM to two beautiful baby girls with no help or assistance whatsoever. So being the overachiever that I am, I decided to not only brave the day by cleaning the house and feeding the Grot Cheerios, but I also decided that I would make an "outing" of it.We needed groceries and toiletries I reasoned, so why not get the first "outing" over and done with. So I loaded my new car (until last week I had been driving our crappy 11 year old Corolla while DH drove the lovely new car) with the Grot, the Monkey and the nappy bag and proceeded to adjust the drivers seat realising for the first time that I was going to be in control of a vehicle with the two most precious things in my life in the back seat. For the first time since I got my license almost exactly 12 months ago I felt panicky. I felt hyperalert and jittery the whole 3km to the shopping centre. When we got to the shops, I unloaded the Grot, put the Monkey in her sling, collected the library books and nappy bag, and now resembling a pack mule headed towards the elevators, allowing the Grot the honour of pushing the buttons. The trip to the library was uneventful, exchanging some Hairy McLairy books for more Hairy McLairy books as well as some more Allan Ahlberg ones. And, being overconfident I decided to head to David Jones. BIG mistake. I was attracted there by their 30% off children's wear sales. Unfortunately so was everyone else and the second that I stopped to look at some clothes the Grot disappeared into the maze of sales racks. It is a completely terrifying prospect when you're laden down with bags and a baby and realise that you cannot see your toddler in a crowded cacophany of clothing racks. Luckily I found her a few seconds later, in the Christmas shop where she has headed in the past - enthralled by the displays. But my heart was still in my throat. After finding several sales tables, and keeping the Grot placated by promising her a "James" train engine I left with another bag to add to my stash, and headed for the grocery store. Let me say that placing a 12.5kg toddler into a wonky shopping trolley (I let her choose) while harnessed to an infant in a sling is no mean feat. But with James in hand, the Grot was happy, and list in hand we meandered through the shopping aisles. All went well until the Monkey woke up and demanded attention, which of course happened as I was trying to load items onto the conveyor belt and the Grot had tired of James and was trying to find more and dangerous ways to balance in her seat. Instead of going home at that juncture, I instead persevered to the butcher, the baker and (no not the candlestick maker ) the fruit store. By the time I headed back to the car I was completely spent. But I survived! And I got the grocery shopping done and it all went relatively fine. Am inordinately proud of myself Life here is still magic. I don't know what cocktail of hormones I'm ODing on at the moment but I am euphorically happy. I literally feel like I'm high. Maybe it's the sleep deprivation, or maybe it's the fact that I'm absolutely besotted with my new family. But whatever it is it is good. I keep going to write my birth story, but I'm just not ready yet. I know I should write it now, because it will fade soon, the colours will be less vivid, and the emotion will not be there. But I think that's part of the reason why I haven't begun. I'm afraid to write it, because I don't know that I will be able to convey just how powerful it was and I don't want an empty treatise as tribute to it. It's like bringing faded carnations on a first date. I don't want to descend into cliches because I can't find the right words. The Grot is still amazing me with how well she is coping with the change. In fact, there have been so few feathers ruffled that I wonder if maybe I was silly to worry. But then I remember that we're still early days, and we don't know yet how she'll go when the honeymoon is over. Aside from coping with that her new passion is trains. Every morning she has been playing trains with DH when they get up at 6am. She can sit there for hours playing with her little set. Toilet training is going OK, completely lead by her. I have not the energy nor the patience to commit to doing it fulltime, but by allowing her to follow her own lead, we have had very few accidents. Some days she asks for a nappy and some days she asks for undies and I don't make a big deal out of either chioce. Though I do praise when she goes to the toilet of her own volition. I am thinking that a star chart with some sort of reward (like a Thomas Train) would work very well for her. When things settle down a little I think I will try harder. The Monkey is becoming more adorable if at all possible. She slept in between each feed last night (feeding approximately 2hourly at night) so even though her stretches between feeds are longer during the day, I don't care, because last night I actually got about 6 hours worth of sleep albeit broken into one and a half hour blocks. No wonder I'm feeling so fabulous!Physically I am feeling pretty good, though my chest cold is still aggravating. Worst of all, although my pelvic floor is intact it does not yet have the strength to combat the worst of my coughing fits which is embarrassing and scary and makes me determined to work hard as it's not an experience I've ever had before. My belly is flat but flaccid and impotent at the moment, and although not disgusted by it (how could I when it produced such gorgeousness?) I am not enthralled by it either. So I am enrolling in a postnatal yoga class and thinking about joining a gym again. The problem with the gym being that last time losing weight rapidly seemed to affect my supply.Speaking of which, feeding is still going brilliantly. I am obviously making plenty of milk and am going to start doing some pumping soon being as we're getting some semblance of a pattern happening WRT feeds. I need to get a supply happening in the freezer because we are supposedly going to U2 in about 6 weeks time which will only be possible if I have enough milk in the freezer for an evening off. The idea of leaving her is really quite unfathomable at the moment but hopefully will be OK. Well there is a very vocal little girl mewing like a kitten at the moment trying to attach to her Daddy's forearm so I must be off. I just wanted to have this post so that I can read back and know exactly how exultantly happy I am feeling at the moment. Blissful doesn't even come close to describing it

Derriere Accoutrements
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03/10/2006, 12:01 PM
Well we're up to day 13 and the first day of me being home alone with the Monkey. It has been absolutely lovely so far... with only one I've been able to lie in bed most of the morning and let her feed whenever, leaving me to feel like I've actually had some sort of rest. In fact, today has been going so cruise-ily that I decided to crack open the expensive and gorgeous cloth nappy stash and try them out on the Monkey's tiny little derriere. So far so good! We've had a mammoth explosive poo that has been completely contained within the pink fleece honeyboy with rose tabs and we're currently sporting a fetching lavender number. They look far too good to be hidden under clothes though!The Monkey is being very very cute at present. She has spent most of this morning with her gorgeous eyes open and is currently enthralled by her hands which although attached to her body seem to be completely out of her control. Her nose has almost completely straightened out now and looks less like she has been in a baroom brawl and her complexion is showing that newborn milkiness that I remember. Her hair is also growing, so that its dark silkiness is actually recognisable as more than just peach fuzz. She is still as cuddly as ever, but we are starting to see some personality beyond the need for cuddles and milk. I can't wait until she actually starts to look at us as more than a food supply. She is just so incredibly beautiful. I love nothing more than cupping her tiny face with its soft round cheeks and tracing her wispy eyebrows with my thumb. Her eyelashes are also starting to grow now, and they make her eyes stand out more. She is going to have such gorgeous eyes - they are already the focal point for her perfect little face.I am going pretty well. Yesterday was difficult as we had had an abysmal night beforehand with the Monkey awake from 10pm-3:30am. It makes it very difficult to function when your toddler wakes full of beans after a night like that. Luckily my inlaws are down and were able to help with the entertainment of the Grot and stopping me from feeling too sorry for myself.I also had my last visit from the home midwife yesterday (part of the early discharge program) and the Monkey is putting on weight well. Her belly button is confirmed as an "outie" and she is looking very well. My part of the check up was fine as well - I'm doing fine, and since my cold has gone away I am feeling perfectly fine and intact again. So much so that normal relations are also happening and the renovations don't seem to have ruined anything. After the Grot I was petrified so it's good to know that's not an issue. I have also booked my postnatal "Mummy and Me" Yoga class and am really looking forward to starting that (at 6 weeks). In spite of the fact that I am yet to have more than 3 hours sleep since the Monkey was born, I am still feeling positive, happy and just in love with my life at the moment. Let's just hope that it continues on this path!

Lucky she's so cute!
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04/10/2006, 11:47 AM
Another very painful night - awake from 10pm - 4am. Lots of back arching and fussing and whinging before she finally relaxed her tiny little buttocks and released the mother load. Our gorgeous little girl seems to already have issues with poo. It is phenomenal how hard it is to maintain any perspective when it is dark and cold and you are very very tired. At one point last night I snapped at her to just go back to bloody sleep and then realised the stupidity of what I was saying. She's 2 weeks old today - I don't think she was doing it just to mess with me. So we cuddled into bed together and she sucked me dry for 2 hours or so before finally falling asleep - and then sleeping in for 3 hours this morning so that my breasts became so full that I couldn't put my arms next to my sides. The sleeplessness is weird. On some days I only need 2 hours sleep and I can face the world fine. On other days like today I am absolutely zombified. Even lifting my arms or drinking a glass of water seems to take enormous effort. So today I am thinking of investing in a swing. A fancy, musical, animal noises,mirrored, scientifically proven swing which hopefully comes with a set of steak knives. I think however what it really needs is a heartbeat simulator and optional dairy fragrance accessory because it seems that that's what she really wants. Just floating in and out of days at the moment, with no real rhyme or reason, focussed entirely on when her last feed was, and when the next one may be. I know that this will soon pass, but in the thick of it it is kind of monotonous. But that being said, I am still loving it. Last night as I fed her for the umpteenth time by starlight I just felt very blessed. It was cool and dark and she was snuggled into me making those gorgeous little squelchy noises and as tired as I was, I could not help but think how beautiful it was. Right now she is snuggled on my chest, making the snuffly noises that babies make when they're rooting for the source of the milky smell that she is obviously searching for. Already she has fantastic neck control and keeps lifting her head to look up at me as if to ask "where is it?". Frustrated she's now eating her tiny fists while mewling punctuated occasionally with a sigh.Right under my nose is her downy soft head, with its milky sweet smell and one of her tiny hands which is splayed on my neck. It's for moments like this, even with the preceding night, that make all of it, the vomiting for 36 weeks, the labour and delivery, the tiredness and frustration, so completely worth every second because without all that I wouldn't have HER.

Chapter One - Prelabour
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07/10/2006, 09:55 PM
It's still weirdly cool for September, I'm wearing ugg boots in Brisbane in September, and that's even with all of the extra body heat that I'm generating these days. I'm so tired, but wired at the same time. On tenterhooks.I had my 40 week OB appointment this morning. Am so over being pregnant. My OB laughed at me (in a nice way) and told me that I'm doing well. I rolled my eyes at him. The appointment was perfunctory. Everything is still going well. Blood pressure good and low, heartbeat strong. I ask for an internal to check that things are actually happening, because even the Braxton Hicks, the copious CM, the slowed movements cannot persuade me that I'm going to give birth any time soon. The cervix is soft and 1-2cm dilated. But it's multiparous soft, not fully effaced. "Can I have a stretch and sweep"? I hate the way it sounds pleading and whiny to my ears, but my OB assents. I clench my teeth as the membranes are swept, trying not to jump off the table. But I'm still pessimistic as we book my induction date for October 5. That would make me 41 weeks and 6 days. I am resigned that nothing will happen before then, 2 weeks and three days to go. My heart sinks a little further but Sophie kicks me hard in my ribs. It makes me laugh - my little girl is trying to remind me that she's still there. I'm just so impatient to hold her. I walk despondently down to the mall, trying to stay upbeat but my head in that whiny place. 2 more weeks, MORE than 2 weeks! I walk into David Jones, determined to buy something for Sophie. But the clothes hold no appeal, and I can't even manufacture enthusiasm about the toys so I head to the top floor to walk around the Christmas display - it's beautiful and sparkly in the spartan surroundings. I look at the ornaments, and a sparkling fairy on a swing appeals to me, should I buy two little fairies for my little fairies? I pick them up, but then worry that maybe Sophie isn't "Sophie" and put them back. I head to Myer hoping that something in there will catch my eye, but nothing inspires and the Christmas display isn't open yet. So I trudge back through the mall, deciding to go home and get some useful sleep. I stop at Sussan on the way back to the train station - they have a huge sale advertised in the window and I want more pyjamas for the hospital - they're the only possible thing that I can think of to pack in my bag that I haven't already. So I try some things on, all soft and snuggly. I love the new smell of the cotton. I buy a few things and feel less despondent. In fact, for some reason a little voice is telling me that it's going to happen today. Sometime soon anyway. I catch the train back to my car and decide that a few more old wives tricks can't hurt and decide on Indian for lunch. Something hot and spicy, a tasty vindaloo seems to fit the bill. At home it is hot in the middle of the day. The air smells dry and still and hot and spiced with the curry. I'm feeling big and tired. I talk to DH and friends on MSN and am depressing and whiny.It's cooler now than it was then, as I sit and wait for DH to finish reading stories to DD in the early evening. I snuggle in to DH when he comes to me and wait to be petted and reassured that I'm not just fat and am not going to be the eternal pregnant woman. In spite of my whininess I am completely in love with my husband at this point. We joke around and laugh for a while, before trying another well known induction method. It is wonderfully good, afterwards we're both blissed out and I even forget about the interminable pregnancy. But there is no "show", I'm not as completely oblivious as I'd hoped. DH is tired, I've been getting up a lot at night and work is hard for him at the moment. We watch some crappy TV together and the now familiar Braxton Hicks start up again. I don't tell him because we've been down this path so many times in the last couple of nights. It's not painful either, just "contractions" - I can't think of any other word to describe them, just a sensation of a muscle tightening and squeezing in my pelvis. It's not painful at all and it doesn't feel "periody" like my labour with the Grot. Ergo, it is another false alarm. I refuse to look at the clock but it is about 10. At 10:30pm DH is exhausted and I tell him to go to sleep. "Any contractions" he asks, and I tell him that yes, every 10 minutes, but no pain so just another false alarm. I don't want to go to bed so I tell him to sleep, I can always wake him if it;s the "real thing". I sit on my computer and read random topics on EB. Then a friend logs on and I chat to her on MSN for a few hours. The distraction is wonderful and stops me obsessively timing the contractions which are now about 5 minutes apart.At one point she asks me if anything is happening and I sheepishly reply that contractions are every 5 minutes. But I refuse to get excited. It is now about midnight. I am wearing my new pyjamas and ugg boots in the strange September coolness. The sensation is becoming more uncomfortable as the time passes, but not painful yet. I am unconvinced that this is "it" but at the same time I don't want to lie down in case it makes them go away. At 1pm we're down to every 3 minutes and I am getting distracted when it happens. I know it is real now, but deathly afraid that it's going to stop and I'm going to go back into limbo. I decide to tempt fate. I say goodnight to Leesh and turn off all the lights, crawling into bed with DH. "I think this is it" I whisper to him, but lie down waiting with baited breath. They keep coming. They hurt now as well, not enough to cause me to yell or need anything, but I can't ignore them. The deep dragging sensation, the feel of my uterus contracting hard. I can feel them when I lay my hand on my belly. I wake DH up fully, and he talks to me sleepily. Should we call SIL I ask? She is to pick up DD "when it's time". I am afraid to call her in case this is still a false alarm. But I'm also worried that if it goes as fast as it did last time that she will get here on time. Each contraction is only lasting 20-30 seconds though, even though they are only 2-3minutes apart. This is just prelabour my brain screams. BUt the night is only going to get later, so we decide to take the step and call SIL. It feels like we have truly set the ball rolling now and we can't stop it. I rock with each contraction, backwards and forwards, swaying my hips feels good. I want to sit in my rocking chair which is in DDs room. The chair is noisy when I sit in it, and DD stirs, she sees me in the chair and sits up a little so I sit on her bed. and cuddle her to me. "Sophie is coming sweetheart" I whisper into her silky curls "she's goign to come out of Mummy's belly. Aunty U will pick you up soon and then tomorrow you can come and see Mummy and Sophie at the hospital". The Grot is dopey but wide awake at the same time. It must feel like a dream to her. I cuddle her to me as DH gets her bag ready so that she can get picked up. SIL arrives and picks her up. As soon as the Grot leaves I am hit by a "real" contraction. It hurts and brings me to my knees. I rock backwards and forwards and beg DH to rub my back. It feels so good. 3 minutes later another contraction slams into me. I am ready for it and drop down, and DH rubs where I ask. 3 minutes later another contraction hits. I am confused, should I call the hospital? Should I hop in the shower? Should I lie down and conserve my strength? I am pretty sure that I am going to have this baby today, so I decide to let the hospital know that we will be coming in some time this morning. Gauging by the speed of my last delivery, it will probably be before day break as well. When I call the hospital, the lady on the phone is concerned that as my first labour was only 6 hours and I'm already having contractions 3 minutes apart that I should come in soon. I am not convinced that much has happened, but I am worried about trying to get to the hospital in transition so we set out, packing the bags into the car. As DH closes the garage door Bittersweet Symphony starts playing on the radio. It suits my mood completely. Contractions are still coming every 3 minutes and hard, but I don't feel that labour is going to happen as fast as with the Grot.DH and I are still joking with eachother when we arrive at the hospital. We wait for another woman to go through, so that we can start signing the forms. One form makes m laugh out loud - it gives the hospital permission to contact Sophie if she has any concerns about her hospital stay. Finally we are granted access to the birthing suites. An older midwife named Lynn is apparently "our" midwife. She gives me a tasteful yellow muumuu to wear and asks me to get changed so that she can check what's happening. Contractions are still every 3 minutes and painful, but in between I am myself, laughing and chatting with DH. I am feeling very restless and hate being confined to the bed. This bed is hard, and lying on it the contractions are hurting my back and DH can't rub it for me. I am annoyed with the nurse, she is rummaging through paperwork and asking me questions all the while making me spend more time on my back. I suppose I could get up, but I just want this bit over and done with so I can jump in the shower. More annoying questions, and then the blue latex is snapped on so she can have a feel of how dilated I am. She waits until the latest contraction finishes and then feels my cervix. I can feel already that my cervix is posterior still, and my heart sinks. "One centimetre" she announces. As if it might be a good thing. My heart is being eaten away by stomach acid. Seeing my face she adds "but soft, you are in labour". I am feeling unbelievably embarrassed. I have another contraction but it is mild, I can barely feel it from the outside, and I can see the expression on her face change. "Was that a little one" she asks. I nod, fearful that I'm going to cry. She calls up to the ward and then starts to explain what's going to happen to me. She wants me to take something so that I will sleep up on the ward and then I can come down later when I am truly in labour. I flatly refuse to take pethidine so she starts to talk abou tablets that can "help me sleep". I am firm that I will NOT take sedatives. She tries again to convince me that I should take something so I can get some rest but I am adamant that I will not take anything.I promise that I will lie down and rest when we go upstairs though. I don't remember if I cross my fingers at this point but I have absolutely no intention of lying down. Contractions have all but vanished. It is 2:30 am as we make our way up to the overflow ward. They are full tonight, so I am in the crappy end room. It has a single bed and no bathroom and two straight chairs. I cannot lie down, and refuse to. I try and make DH lie down though so he can sleep. He is so tired, and now nothing is happening. I am so restless. I pace around the tiny room, staring out the windows.It's hot, I am annoyed at myself, and the room is terrible. No contractions. Labour has stopped. We have to reset the clock. Sophie is squirming inside of me and I chat to her, plead with her to come out. Little baby girl I love you so much already, I just want to hold you and to stroke your tiny head. I wander down to the shared bathrooms, and I have a bloody show finally. It's bright red, I don't remember that with the Grot. But no contractions.

Chapter Two - in the Overflow Ward
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10/10/2006, 01:08 PM
The clock on the wall is irritating me. Every second that ticks by reminds me that I am not in labour. I'm distracted but I refuse to lie down. Sophie's head is already not in the optimum position to dilate my cervix, damned if I'm going to lie down and slow it down even more. Plus it WAS labour before. My pain threshold is huge so when I thought the contractions hurt then they HURT!I get bored with the pacing around and pick up one of the magazines I brought with me to the hospital - Cleo looks suitably vacuous. I sit cross legged on the bed while DH slumps over and falls asleep. I am having very faint contractions again but at weird inconsistent intervals and they don't hurt at all. I flick through this seasons "fashions" and pretend to be interested in this year's bachelor of the year contestants. Contractions still in the background like fuzzy static on the TV - impossible to completely ignore but nothing more than nuisance white noise at the same time. More trips back down the hall to the bathroom. Still no real contractions. The clock on the wall insolently tick tick ticks. I can hear it ticking it is that quiet. TickTickTickI am restless but not tired at all. I am still frustrated. Why has this labour been so different to the Grot's? Am I dilating at the moment? Who knows? The contractions are not palpable at all. Pace pace pace.It's 4am, I'm looking at the clock and wondering if maybe I should have taken the Midazolam or the Pethidine, or something. Just too wired to sleep. The sky is still dark but there is a purplish haze forming on the horizon - dawn is coming and Sophie is still inside of me. WHAMA contraction hits from nowhere, no lead up, nothing. I drop on all fours and rock and breathe. My breathing is not automatic, I am forcing myself to breathe. Deep breath in, hold it, controlled breath out. Oh Lord that hurt. I've woken DH even though I was quiet, he rubs my back as the contraction subsides and it feels good. Then 10 long minutes pass before another one sneaks up on me and king hits me. I feel like my legs have been knocked out from under me. Another 10 minutes and it surges again. I am a little boat in a big ocean being lifted up by huge waves and then slammed down minutes later. They are exactly 10 minutes apart, DH jokes that he could set his watch to them. It's just before 5am and the light is beginning to creep over the horizon into the misty foggy morning. I stand at the window waiting for the next contraction as it builds and builds and punches me deep in my pelvis. My knees go weak again. Down to 5 minutes now, the contractions are huge. I cannot speak through them, and I cannot stay still. I rock on all fours with DH rubbing my spine. I am eerily quiet except the monosyllabic instructions to DH, higher, harder, closer, up down. It's 5am on the mocking clock, contractions are every 4 minutes now. Hard, long, painful. But I can still hold onto myself through them. The breathing and the rocking and the rubbing are gicing me a routine. As each one starts to build we cope, my mind reminding me that it will soon be over. This is real labour now. I have none of the unsurety that I had with the previous night's debacle. This is real and powerful. I feel connected to the Earth. I grasp the top of the wardrobe to see if that helps, rocking my pelvis while DH rubs. It feels stronger than on all fours, but my legs are so weak. I will myself to stand up to the contractions. Feeling the spray of the surge on my face as they hit and somehow being reenergised by the incredible power. In the short periods between contractions I feel Sophie fluttering inside me. Soon I think. As they build in strength and intensity I give myself a timeline. It took 6 hours with the Grot so I have until 10am to birth this baby. And look, it's already quarter to 6, 4 hours left. I can do that. I can do that.Contractions are changing, they are harder and longer than ever before and the doubt starts to creep in, can I do this? My back has been pummelled by DH and is sure to be bruised later and I know that it's goign to get worse. At 6am I feel sure enough that this is labour to call the nurse. We press the green button and watch the sun rise in the sky outside. The light gleams off the copper of the PAH sparkles in the early morning. Twenty minutes later DH looks for a nurse as contractions are coming one after the other with barely 20 seconds break in between. The nurse is lovely but harried, they have had more arrivals during the night and she is working a double shift to care for all the about to be and new mothers that have arrived. We start to walk down the hallway and I contract, falling to the floor. As it abates we manage to get to the nurses desk before I again fall down. This walk is long and tortuous. We finally get to the lifts and DH and the nurse wait again for me to get up and be able to walk. Down to the birthing suites and I'm again down, holding onto an oxygen tank that happened to be there when I went down. There is some confusion when we get to the birthing suites, they're nearly full and there are more people coming in. I snaffle the last suite, the same one that the Grot was born in. This knowledge buoys me.

Chapter Three - Transition
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10/10/2006, 01:24 PM
There is a wait before I a nurse is allocated to me, as it is also handover time. I kneel in front of the large chair in the room hoping to use it as a support, while DH rubs my back. My breathing sounds so foreign, I can't believe that I'm having to tell myself to breathe! But the focussed breathing is helping. I control it so strongly that it distracts from the power the pressure and the pain. My muumuu is annoying me and I want to take it off and get in the shower with its hot water. The nurse finally comes in to assess me, and I joke that if I'm only 2cm dilated that I want an epidural right NOW. I'm 6cm though and in transition. I smile at this news, but it's a weary smile. I'm a complete sucker for the encouraging words from the nurse though.I finally get into the shower. How blissful does it feel to be naked instead of ensconced in the hot sticky material of the hospital gown? I bounce and roll on the fitball in the shower while blasting my body with hot water. When the contractions hit I aim the nozzle squarely at my pubic bone and with DH rubbing my sacrum the pain is less than what it was in the overflow ward. The nurse comes in to check Sophie's heartbeat with the Doppler. I can feel her moving occasionally and know instinctively that she's fine, and I'm irritated by the insistence of the nurse. She has trouble finding the heartbeat, it's not on either side and she can only find it low down in my belly, right above my pubic bone. Which means I can't use the shower while she checks. Contraction overlapping contraction I have to stand still so she can find the heartbeat. Surprisingly I am not worried even for a second. I know intellectually that I should be worried that they can't find her heartbeat but I know she is fine. Finally she finds the heartbeat but it's a little slow. The nurse turns down the hot water - "you're cooking your baby" she says and forbids me from using the water at the scalding hot temperature I am currently using. I think I pout at that stage but acquiesce. It's about 7am now and my OB is doing his rounds in the hospital. Cheerfully he pokes his head in and asks how we're going. DH answers and I say nothing, just riding the waves and incapable of doing much more than that. OB is concerned by this and checks again if I'm OK. I break out of my meditation and turn my head slowly "all OK" I manage to get out with some effort, and then go back to concentrating on the shower nozzle in front of me. The lady across the hall from me is also my OBs patient, and she's having trouble, OB explains that he will leave me be as I'm coping and go check on her. Whatever, I wave him off. I can't concentrate on much beyond what's happening right this second in my body. I certainly don'pt need OB hovering, I want the sanctity of the warm humid room with just DH and I back. There is no break between contractions now, just an upstroke and a downstroke. My breathing is what is getting me through, but I'm proud of myself because I'm coping. This is as bad as it gets I remind myself! And tehre are less than 3 hours to go on my self imposed timetable. It's nearly 7:30 when the contractions change again, they start to get further apart again but the sensation is different. In the short minute to 90 second breaks between them I feel completely normal and pain free. After hours of pain, it is a surreal sensation. I realise after a few of these contractions that I'm bearing down, involuntarily pushing against my pelvic floor with each one. I press the big round nurse call button in front of me wearily - I don't want to get out of the shower but know they will "make" me. The nurse bustles in and asks what she can do to help. Her voice is accented - Irish maybe? I find it odd that it is her accent that I am focussing on at this point. "I'm pushing" I say simply.

Chapter Four - In which Sophia is born
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10/10/2006, 01:56 PM
It is 7:30 when I make my way into the sun splashed room. Early morning, a beautiful spring day outside the window, still tinged with early morning dew. I am still naked and wet from the shower. The nurse asks if I want another gown, or a blanket so that I don't get cold, but wearing clothes just seems so foreign. The idea of covering myself now seems ridiculous. I need to feel free at the moment, and I can't with artificial coverings. I probably look and sound completely feral but I am adamant that I don't need any clothes. The nurse checks to see how dilated I am - 8cm and waters still intact, bulging through. She doesn't want to break them as my OB is in theatre with the other lady and she suspects things will go quickly once they are broken. I am neither here nor there. I kneel on the bed, gripping the top and push with every contraction now. It feels wonderful. Like I have some sort of control. Although the effort of pushing is almost unbearable, it takes the pain sensation away and replaces it with one of sheer pressure.But after a while I realise that I am pushing against my membranes. I can feel them like a closed door, stopping things from progressing. I feel like I am pushing into a brick wall every time and it begins to frustrate me. I push and push and push involuntarily but nothing seems to be happening. It feels exactly the same way it did with the Grot and I ask the nurse to break my waters. She is not keen as I still have a cervical lip and also because OB is still in theatre. It is nearly 8am. I spend most of my time on all fours in the middle of the bed, collapsing my head down after the effort of each contraction.The nurse comes back in to check on me and stifles a laugh, I am basically mooning anyone who comes into the room and I find it funny myself but I am not moving for anything. I have found a comfortable position and I'm sticking with it. The nurse asks if I would like a beanbag to lean into and I decide to give it a whirl. Nothing seems to be happening at the moment and I feel like I'm just waiting for someone to tell me what to do. The nurse and DH then take it in turns to check that I'm breathing as I spend my time, butt still in the air and face planted firmly into the beanbag. "I'm thirsty" I manage to croak, my head cold means that I can only breathe through my mouth, and with all the heavy breathing that I'm doing, I'm dry and parched as the Atacama. Just after 8am my OB comes back into the room cheerily and congratulates me on my progress. I am like a puppy dog as I lap up the compliment, and when the nurse chimes in I feel very clever and extraordinary. The amniotomy that I have been waiting impatiently for is uncomfortable and surreal - I feel the whole process, which ends in my thighs feeling warm and wet. There is not a large amount of liquor however, her head is pushed firmly against my cervix.I try pushing for a bit longer on my knees, both on all fours and up, with my head and arms draped over the end of the tilted up bed but it still feels uncoordinated and wrong. So when my OB suggests trying on my side I am happy to give it a try. I need the direction, for the first time my body seems a bit unsure as to what it shoudl be doing. "Wait for the contraction and then push REALLY hard right into here" my OB coaches, pushing against a spot on my perineum. As the next contraction builds I push as hard as I can, then gulp in another breath and push again. I do this for about 4 or 5 contractions before I feel it, I feel Sophie's head moving down. I am excited by this, I never felt it with the Grot and I feel so strong. "I'm doing it" I exclaim. My cheer squad keeps up the encouragement with each contraction and I use their words to lift me, to push harder. "Her head is still OP" my OB tells me between contractions, "so this time I want you to give me all that you've got to turn her, she's turning, you're doing very well". I lap up the praise and set myself the goal of turning her with the next contraction. By the end of the next breath she has half turned, and is almost crowning, I can feel her hard head in my vagina, pushed against the barrier of my pelvic floor."Push push push push push push push" from the squad. I can feel her now, burning the muscles, but not painfully. She is crowning, if I were to reach down now I would feel her slimy head. I never felt this with the Grot. I am feeling every second of this. I am feeling her being born. I feel euphoric, Sophie is THERE, in a few more minutes I will push her out of me."Push push push push push push push"Her head is there, I can feel it, it isn't out yet but it is hard and firm against my pelvic floor. Slowly I feel the soft tissues of my body yielding, allowing her passage, birthing her. I am birthing my baby, my Sophie, she is coming and I am whole, intact and can feel her being born I feel exultant - I am doing this!"Push push push push push push push"Her head is out, I can feel her body being squeezed by my muscles, I feel each shoulder being born and then there she is - arms outstretched, covered in vernix, thick like lard over her whole body. Sophie! That's my Sophie! I put my arms out and draw her tiny slippery warm body into my chest so that I can smell her. So primal, so primitive and so euphoric. My baby is in my arms. SOPHIE is in my arms. I want to cry but I want to laugh at the same time. DH cuts the cord, severing her last physical link to me and giving her life as her separate self. But I am entranced with my precious bundle and barely notice.My OB is beaming at me, "she turned back" he says "you birthed her OP". I try to smile but my body has started trembling as if it has just finally realised the enormity of what has happened. All I can focus on is holding my tiny squalling little girl. She is still yelling, but as she snuffles closer, the squeals dies down and it is quiet in the sun drenched room. I am so proud of her, and so proud of myself and my body. The previous night and the shame of the holding cell (overflow ward) is forgotten. It is just me, DH and our baby girl. The placenta is birthed and I couldn't care less, I'm not interested in it. OB wants to check that there are no lacerations but I know that there are none. I feel whole and intact and incredibly powerful. My whole body is trembling now though. I think I am hypoglycaemic but refuse to concentrate on myself. After some photos are taken I bring Sophie to the breast. She nuzzles for a little while before latching on. Her attachment even this very first time is perfect and she makes sighing noises in the back of her throat as she sucks for half and hour. It is complete. Our family is complete. As the colostrum flows into my tiny baby girl and the world around bustles back into its normal routine unaware of the miracle in my arms, I am feeling complete. Happy Birthday Sophia.

Eau d'Enfant
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11/10/2006, 12:40 PM
Is there any smell more intoxicating than a breastfed newborn's sweaty head? I can't stop nuzzling the Monkey's downy head to get a hit of her deliciousness.The sleeplessness is starting to wreak a little havoc but I'm still besotted. Life is truly wonderful, but it is still very real. I am not living in a complete dreamland.For one, the Grot has decided that sleep is BAD. Going to sleep therefore has gone from being a very ritualised and very civilised affair (read books then put on her music while she blows kisses) to an all out screaming match which is often pre-empted before we even get to the bedroom. It is so hard, because sleep turns my grumpy Grot into a lovable princess who I can't help but smother in cuddles and kisses. Grumpy tired Grot however is not fun. When you combine her mammoth stubborness (which, sadly, she inherited from me) with her resolution not to sleep life is a little less rosy, and on some days tips into azure. She is also starting to push the boundaries a little in other ways as she competes whether intentionally or no for our attention. Last night she wanted to sleep in our bed (understandable as the Monkey is still insisting on cosleeping) but she has never been able to sleep with us, and last night was no exception. She can't sleep with distractions, and became steadily more tired before she was removed back to her own room. Today, after months of refusing to even look at the pram, she insisted on sitting in it, so I had to try and push the pram while holding the Monkey at the same time. It didn't work very well.I feel so much for my poor big baby girl. She has gone from being the centre of her family's universe to being part of an eliptical orbit. And due to the sheer necessity of the day to day care of an infant, sometimes she just has to wait. It tears at me because it is not her fault, yet to her it must seem like she is constantly being punished. I try so hard to make it easier for her, but at times I find my temper so short with her when all she wants is a fraction of the attention her Mummy used to lavish on her. I know that this too shall pass, but it firms my resolution to only have my two babies. While I know that my love could grow and expand to cover any and all that were welcomed into our arms, our attention and time is finite. I want to be able to give a lot of both to my children, and I cannot imagine how I would be able to give them what I want to give them if we have more. So two babies it is. Two babies, who are at this point in time blissfully sleeping wrapped up in their luscious pink bedding. Theyr'e so easy to adore when they're sleeping!!

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16/10/2006, 09:01 PM
I just wrote a very long post about my thoughts on turning 25 and lost it...Suffice to say that I'm a year older. Life is good and I'm very very grateful.

Dear Charlotte
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18/10/2006, 06:40 PM
Dear Charlotte,Happy Birthday on this your very first birthday! I hope you had a lovely day. Your cousins the Grot and the Monkey would have loved to have spent it with you. The Grot especially who is starting to understand birthdays would have loved to have been there to sing you "Happy Birfday". She's pretty good but gets a bit lost in the middle. She also would have loved to have picked out your present. I'm pretty boring and would have gone with clothes but with her influence I probably would have bought you something gaudy and flashy with a Fisher Price logo on it that went *ping* You would probably be a crawling demon by now like your cousin H. Or maybe you would be walking? The Grot walked at 12 months... Maybe we could have bought you one of those walker toys? But I'm sure your Mum and Dad would have bought one already. Either them or your grandparents. Your Dad's mum especially would have loved to have bought you one - if only to take a million pictures so she could show you off to her friends She would have been so proud of you!Being as you would have been as bald as the Grot and the Monkey I'm sure buying you hairties would have been a bit of a waste of money. But I would still buy you pink presents because, well I can't help myself. I'm sure your Mum would have made you some gorgeous clothes though. I'm such a dunce when it comes to sewing (no patience whatsoever lol) but she would have dressed you in something gorgeous. I wish you were here to celebrate with us sweetheart. We think of you often and sometimes I'm lucky enough that your Mum talks to me about you as well. I've seen your photos and you were so cute. Your chin looks EXACTLY like your Dad's. But I think in some ways you look more like your Mum.Your birthday was such a shock. You share your birthday with another special anniversary to me. The day you were born was the same date that my much loved Nana passed away. I was already so sad that day, so lost. The world didn't make sense to me AT ALL. To come home and to hear about your birth was so hard. To hear that you were there with Nana in that great big "other" hurt so much. To know that we would never meet you, to see your smile - it changed all of our lives.I don't know how your Mum and Dad are doing on the inside. I know they miss you terribly. You can still see it in their eyes, in their expressions and movements. I'm getting better at not trying to "fix it", or trying to make it better for them. Losing you could never be made up for really could it? Especially by your silly old Aunty! And yes I am old, my birthday is just before yours! We could have had joint birthdays when Grandma and Grandad came down. Except I'm SURE you would have got more presents lol. You're going to have a baby brother or sister soon. I think sister but others apparently think brother. I guess one of us has to be right. The Grot is looking forward to it but I think the Monkey's a bit young to understand. I wonder what you would have thought about the Monkey? She's certainly noisy. She's 4 weeks old today and starting to develop a little personality of her own. You should hear the way she grunts like a mating koala when she's trying to feed - it sounds pretty funny!Nothing about you not being here makes sense Charlotte. I wish so much that I could have done something. That everything had been fine and normal and boring as expected so that we were all as naive as we were. You taught so many of us big things. Cruel lessons for your Mum and Dad to learn, but big ones for me. You were here such a short time but you affected me so much. I know that you belong to your Mum and Dad, and I know I haven't been as good to them as I should be. But I'm learning. I just wish that they and you had been spared all this pain. Wherever "other" is I hope that my Nana's there with you. I miss her so much too. I wish that I could show her my babies. She would love little miss Grot, and she adored babies. The Monkey has this expression that she pulls sometimes where she looks exactly like my Nana. When my two little girls grow up I'm going to teach them to be RUTHLESS at Canasta just like their Greatgrandmother. I hope to teach them to have as much vivacity and joie de vivre that she had as well. I know that if Nana is there in the other that she is looking after you as well. Well, it's dinner time now and I have to go and play with your cousin and help your uncle serve dinner. We miss you so so much little girl. I've been thinking about you all dayLove AlwaysAunty JennIn loving memory ofCCW 18/10/05EPP 24/05/1932-18/10/2000

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19/10/2006, 07:33 PM
Finally a day where I wonder what on Earth I was thinking, or probably more accurately NOT thinking when we decided that 2 children would be fine and dandy.The Grot on her own is adorable, funny, clever and articulate.The Monkey on her own is adorable, snuggly, cuddly and gorgeous. Together you have mayhem. The Monkey is still insisting on being fed every 2 hours or less and the Grot uses the opportunity of me feeding the Grot to do things like colour in the television. Admittedly her drawing was very creative and probably better expressed than most things on the idiot box but still. The Monkey is also resisting and and all attempts to get her to sleep anywhere besides my arms. It's actually kind of funny the steps that DH and I have taken to try and fool her into thinking that she's still in our arms at night. We must look like lunatics. But I simply cannot hold her all day long. I have housework to do, I have to look after the Grot, and selfishly, my back is really not coping with the extra load. Sooo, basically I'm a failed attachment parent (in mindset anyway). We are still co-sleeping and I confess that I want to stop that as well. While there is nothing more gorgeous that being snuggled into her curled warm milky body at night, when cosleeping she only "snacks" and feeds every hour or less at night. Considering I am awake whenever she's feeding it means not a lot of sleep for me at all. If I was a good AP then this would not matter, but when I still have to get up at daybreak to start looking after the Grot as well, it makes any and all of my resolve on that point dissolve. We're past 4 weeks now, and that fact floors me to the ground. I literally have no idea where the time has gone. I look at my tiny baby, who is somehow not looking like newborn any more and suddenly my resolve not to do this again waivers. I will never again hold a baby as small as this again that has been born of me *sob*I went to the CHN this week and my Monkey is now weighing 9lb 2oz/has gained about 600g. Not a huge amount for 4 weeks, but I don't seem to have huge babies. That being said, the Monkey has the most deliciously chubby arms and legs and the roundest little belly. It's so adorable. In her nightly bath I lay her across my arm with her chin floating just above the water and I love watching her little legs frog kick in the water. Frantically at first while she accustoms herself to the water, becoming more languid as the lavender soothes her and she calms down. So while it's hectic and tiring here at the moment, and poor DH is hardly getting a look in we're still happy. I'm still so grateful for my beautiful family, and we can see light on the horizon from the mishmashed days that we couldn't even differentiate. I'm supposed to go out for the first time in 2 weeks (a 4 or 5 hour outing away from the Monkey!). The thought terrifies me. It is to go and see U2 which is my favourite band. The rescheduling of the tour has not been great for us, and although I've started expressing (I am lucky to get out 20mL at a time) I am still not convinced that I will go which is terribly disappointing. U2 tickets were DH and my Christmas presents to each other last year and I've been looking forward to this concert for years. Oh well, we'll just have to see!

Learning to cope
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24/10/2006, 12:07 PM
Nearly up to 5 weeks now and I have no idea where the time has gone. The Monkey is suddenly looking like a chubby cheeked baby now instead of a squishy newborn and I'm feeling so sad that I'm never going to see a baby this small again Things are still chaotic, but we're getting steadily better. I am trying to remember what it was like with the Grot but I just can't. Which makes me even more determined to chronicle this with the Monkey, because as unfathomable as it is right now, we're going to forget this. One thing that we have incorporated now is bedtime and aside from a few bad nights, we've kind of got it sorted. "Bedtime" starts at about 6pm and involves the Monkey having a Jurlique lavendar bath, getting dressed in a wondersuit and then having a full feed in darkness before being put in her own bed with her mobile. This allows DH, the Grot and I to have dinner at the table and then start her bedtime routine. She seems to like this better as well because we're able to give her personal attention without being interrupted by the Monkey.Then, by 7:30pm each night DH and I have a few hours to ourselves. Usually at 7:30 I pump for about half an hour so that there's a little supply of EBM in the freezer. In there, I've tried to keep up with the housework as well by keeping the kitchen clean etc. It's weird just how much monotonous work is involved. When you think of having a baby, even after I'd already had one, you just don't think about all of that stuff that has to be done. Maybe the giant stretches of sleeplessness help with the amnesia.I'm coping OK this week. Friday last week we a very bad day. After a terrible night, we had an equally terrible day where I just didn't want to do it any more. I actually said that to DH as he woke me up that morning to go to work that I just dind't want to do it I was so tired. But the day still had to be got through somehow. And even though it continued to deteriorate - in my mind I kept telling myself that tomorrow would be a new day and that there wasn't any choice. So I got through. And at the end of the afternoon, I answered a knock on the door to find a man holding a giant box for me - filled with a dozen long stemmed red roses and chocolates. It was all I could do not to burst into tears. Opening the card inside from DH did actually make a couple of fat tears roll down my cheeks. The sleeplessness is HARD. There aren't really words for the way that it collapses your body and your resistance. The hardest thing by far has been dealing with the sleeplessness and the Grot during the day. She has had a full night's sleep and is full of beans (she is a very active little girl and always has been) when she wakes up. She's also so inquisitive at the moment, that you have to watch her at all times. She's also still my little girl, and when she falls or hurts herself she wants and needs cuddles and attention. Which I want to give her, but when I'm feeding the Monkey it makes it so hard. There have bee so many times when I've had both of them in tears and I've been trying not to cry myself. But I'm not depressed, and I am still coping. It's just bloody hard sometimes. And it's not always rewarding, soft focus cuddles and giggles like a Huggies commercial. One thing that the run of bad days I've had lately confirms for me though is that I need to get more organised and more structured. The bedtime routine has helped immeasurably, and something as simple as that has already made us all feel so much better. Mornings need to be better put together, and so does working out a routine for the Grot during the day, that allows her to get more exercise. At the moment we're spending too much time indoors and it's that combined with boredom that leads her to do things like trash the living room - which irritates me and sets up a very bad cycle. Toilet training is frustrating as well. Some days she will be so "good" and tell me every time she needs to go. And others she will ask for undies and refuse nappies, but then proceed to leave puddles on the carpet all day. I don't know if she;s "ready" or not. In some ways I think that she was started far too early (not by me) and that this has confused her as to the fact that she's supposed to do it ALL the time. We've just started a star chart for her, simply for good behaviour. After 10 stickers she gets a new Thomas Train and it seems to be working thus far (will work better once she's got the first train I'm sure). I've also tried really hard to work around my irritation when she's making a huge mess as well to get her involved in cleaning up and not just to get frustrated. And it's definitely working. She's not "naughty" and usually if she "is" then it's because she's tired or bored, and it's my fault for not recognising that/expecting too much. In essence, I myself am getting much better at parenting her, and due to that, she's being more lovable again. She has started to mimic me a lot lately and it's very cute. While feeding the Monkey yesterday, I realised that she was chatting to her lion. Lion then became grumpy and needed some of her milk so she breastfed him. When he finished feeding she wrapped him up and patted him while telling him to go to sleep. It was so incredibly gorgeous to watch. It's also cute, because she has attached to her lion and giraffe toys much more than her baby doll which rarely holds her attention. She is also talking much more clearly lately. While her vocab has been extensive for quite a while, I realised that I was often translating for her when others couldn't understand. These days others can understand her much better which is gratifying and obviously makes her much happer. At gymnastics and swimming she is becoming a lot more coordinated as well. We're looking at moving her up to the first stage of "real" swimming lessons next term, and coinciding with that I think I will enrol her in two classes a week to get the full benefits. She is much more coordinated with blowing bubbles and kicking and diving. Am just so proud of her. Lately she has also started drawing "things" and is trying to write. She is fascinated with letters and the alphabet and is slowly trying to work outhow they go together to form words. The discovery is just incredible and I love watching her figure it out. It's so special watching her learn.

Things I Have Achieved Today
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25/10/2006, 11:52 AM
Things I have achieved today
Got out of bed (BONUS)
HAd shower
Washed hair
Shaved (armpits especially were looking particularly feral and feminist)
Cleansed Toned and Moisturised entire body (I now smell like Passionfruit bodybutter YUM)
Made all the beds
Done 2 loads of washing
Hung out nappies which I washed last night
Folded 3 loads of washing and put away the folded stuff that's been in a basket for the last week
Managaed to get the Monkey to sleep (!!) in her own bed(!!!!!)
Eaten Breakfast!
Paid billsThings that I have yet to achieve today but needs be doing
go to library to avoid late fees on Who Sank the Boat
Vacuum lounge
tidy kitchen
mop kitchen
vacuum stairs (who was the idiot that decided carpeted stairs were a good look hmm?)
Buy some new bottles for the monkey (she had EBM in a NUK bottle the other night and drank it fine)
Express more milk
Look up gym memberships (procrastination really because none near me have a creche for under 2s)
Decide what to buy DH for his birthday
Any number of stupid household chores which I won't do anyway (like scrub grout and organise my desk)Apologies for the extraordinarily banal entry, but sometimes, listing all the things that I have done in a day makes me feel like I have actually achieved something...

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26/10/2006, 04:46 PM
My engagement ring fell off last night My beautiful, simple ring that I have worn every day since it was placed on my finger just fell off and I didn't notice. The almost perfect diamond in it was from DH's grandmother's eternity ring. There are very few items of jewellery as precious to me as that ring.After an evening of frustration it was the icing on the cake. I burst into big hot tears and could not be consoled. Well, up until DH found it again I guess. The fact that it can just "fall off" though now has me paranoid and is a boot up the behind to get it resized.Things are still tenuous around here. The house is clean, and the Monkey is currently asleep in her bed (!!!) but it seems to just suddenly go bad sometimes without warning. But then again, it is the wonderful moments that make it all worthwhile. Today, while watching her DVD for "quiet time" (I've given up on hoping for a nap) The Grot turned around to me and said "Mummy? Do you love me? You're my best friend" followed by jumping up and giving me a hug. Mmmmmmmmm Regardless of all the gooing and gaaing that people do over newborns, and well they ARE cute, I love that my little girls are growing up. Toddlers are much more fun (except for when toilet training gets thrown in there).

The light at the end of the tunnel
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01/11/2006, 08:55 PM
It seems November is going to be a much more restful month than the month that was October. The Grot even waved off October with a suitably Halloweenesque night of terrors and fear of her bedroom. But now, here in November, things seem to have settled down. The Grot and the Monkey are asleep in their beds, we're watching Spicks and Specks in our clean house, I've expressed some milk for the "I'm going to U2 woohoo" supply and I'm just generally feeling on top of things.This last month I've just felt completely snowed under. The lack of sleep, the neverending laundry, the dishes and dealing with life in general just had me feeling like I was constantly shovelling with no path visible. But, last night, after the hilarity of the Grot being petrified and the Monkey refusing to sleep in her bed or otherwise, I realised that so much of what was getting me down was my mindset. So today I decided was going to be a good day. I woke up determined not to whinge, determined not to get upset, and generally just to feel HAPPY. And it worked. Today was lovely. The house has been cleaned and I went shopping with a friend, and I just loved being with the Monkey.I have a tendency, unfortunate or otherwise, to live inside my head. If my mind says that things are right and that I'm happy - then that's what I feel. The flipside of that is that if I feel flat, unhappy etc, then that it is really hard to "snap out of" as I start to become a sad, flat person. And no one, especially not me, likes a flat and sad person. They're boring, they whinge a lot, and they can't see the beauty in life. And worse that that - that person isn't ME. I LOVE life, I love the world and all its beauty. So being grumpy these last few weeks has felt very wrong, like I've been wearing someoen else's slightly sweaty shoes. Just ick. (Can I get any more lost in my weird metaphors?)The Monkey is starting to get her own personality and it is very cute. She is still very clingy - living up to her name, she grips onto me like those baby chimpanzees you see on Nature channels. But as long as I'm near and she can see and smell me she is pretty happy, especially if she's outside. This was something that was getting me so frustrated, as it means doing, well, anything, is near impossible. But I've decided that I need to change my mindset on that. She's a tiny baby, she spent 9 months inside me, and has been thrust into a weird world with a crazy big sister that keeps wanting to hug her or randomly kiss her so no wonder she wants to be near her safety net. The light is visible at the end of the tunnel now and it has form, in the shape of the Monkey's beautiful and rare smiles

It's so 'citing!!
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02/11/2006, 08:42 AM
The Grot did her first poo on the toilet this morning! Who ever thought I would be so proud of someone doing a poo? But when she had finished and was sitting on the loo with a stunned expression on her face exclaiming "I did it Mummy! I did a poo on the toilet, isn't it 'citing!!!" I just about burst into tears. She is so proud of herself and is jumping around with the biggest grin on her face. My baby girl is turning into a big girl. So proud my heart's going to burst out of my chest! Can't believe that a poo is making me cry

Love the higher law
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08/11/2006, 08:11 PM
Lately it feels like my life is on warp speed. I look at the bright eyed little smiley bundle that is the Monkey and grope around desperately trying to find the weeks that have disappeared. She is 7 weeks old today. SEVEN! How and when did that happen? Yesterday was a strange and very full day. One of those days that bends the time-space continuum because you fit so very much into it. The Monkey and I started the day with our very first Mother and Me yoga class. I didn't ahve too many expectations of the class; yoga as an experience for me has been a spectrum of very serious exercise/workout through to a "spiritual awakening" with much emphasis on the "inner" etc. The class fell more towards the hippy, embracing yourself as a mother and child as a spiritual force end. The odd juxtaposition of singing about our children as part of the Earth and a bunch of YuppyMummies with their competing gym-wear and OiOi baby bags made me laugh though.The Monkey was mostly cooperative with the class, but as the youngest by about 4 months, she wasn't quite up to being massaged etc. I think though, that the more we attend the classes the more we will enjoy it. I wish it was more physical (because I really need the exertion - says she currently eating maltesers ) but it should be good for building strength. More importantly though it's an activity to look forward to each week with the Monkey. DH picked us up from Yoga at about midday, and I, being the very dignified and classy person that I am changed into our "going out" clothes in the car so that we could see my obstetrician for my 6 week check-up. Physically all is well. My OB commented that I didn't look to tired/exhausted and laughed when I told him I was alreday doing yoga. I think he believes that I am somewhat of an overachiever. It is quite odd to be having a conversation with someone while they are inserting large shiny objects into previously thought of "private" parts. But, it does help to take one's mind off things. Apparently my pelvic floor is very good (big sparkly gold star for me) and everything is going splendidly. So much so that that was in all likelihood my last visit. Is it strange that I felt sad by the idea? I really loved my antenatal appointments, the exciting, anticipatory feel of them. The way you belong to some special pregnancy "club". Where you feel glorious and goddess-like with a hint of enigma that comes with bearing children. But I digress. I'm also saddended by not seeing my OB any more. He's a fantastic doctor who I have no hesitations in recommending to those who ask. The odd thing is that I may very well have him as a mentor next year when I do my obstetrics and gynaecology rotation. From there we drove to Southbank and had lunch in a breezy restaurant overlooking the bougainvillea before heading to the Monkey's 6 week check up. She is perfect in every way, and we no longer have to visit the peadiatrician unless something goes wrong. It's seems somewhat strange to meet a professional, like them enough to recommend them to all of your friends, and then hope like hell you never have to see them again!We then walked back through Southbank eating ice cream and pushing the pram and I had my first real pang of sadness that we wouldn't be doing this again. The visiting the obstetrician for that first magic time when I would get an ultrasound to see a tiny little bean (or disco crab) jumping around in there. That I will never again go for a 20 week scan and see my baby that I alredy love yet have never met. That I will never again give birth and hold a new baby that is mine. The fact that this has coincided with the Monkey outgrowing her 0000 clothes just made it seem so final. My best friend is also expecting, and as completely thrilled and excited as I am for her, and to meeting her as a mother as well as brilliant friend, I had a pang of jealousy that she is just embarking on what I know to be an incredible journey. She will also no doubt get to repeat that discovery and wonder, and I never will again. I don't want another baby. I don't see us in the future having any more children, and I feel sure that our familiy is complete. But oh there is still a sadness there. I make such beautiful healthy babies. I have such a young, healthy and fertile body. In any other century I would have had 10 children, but we're only doing this twice. The finality of it all, and the farewell to my "womanhood" is making me feel secretly so sad and used up. It's lucky then that I have such divine creatures as the Grot and the Monkey to remind me of just how wonderful life is. After picking up the Grot from daycare, DH and I set about trying to squish the whole evening's routine in so that we could get out the door in order to get to the U2 concert. There was something surreal about wearing "normal person" clothes and a non-maternity bra, but putting on mascara while simultaneously breastfeeding the Monkey highlights the ridiculousness of our rushed preparations. As we stood in line for the shuttle bus, I looked at the other early 20ish crowd and wondered how many of them had done anything besides grab their (fashionable) handbags and rush out the door. Walking up to the stadium through the massive tidal crowds, we stood in line for our gate with the other cattle and then headed to our seats in the upper upper upper mezzanine (aka nosebleed section) which had a really impressive view, but, sadly, crappy acoustics. All however, was worthwhile for the concert that followed. U2 were, as hoped, a brilliant live act that was more than just musci being also a statement. A political message melded perfectly with lasting melodies. Standouts for me were "Beautiful Day" quite early, made especially meaningful for DH and I as it is "our song" and our anniversary is this week. Other than that, "Pride" (In the Name of Love), "one", "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "With or Without You" were all fantastic and unforgettable. My only tiny tiny gripe was that they didn't play my alltime favourite U2 song "All I Want is You" which I sing to the Grot and Monkey when they are sad, sick or upset. I was so incredibly envious of the general admission crowd, and if I get the opportunity again then I will definitely go GA. It was just not practicable this time, and highlighted to me how DH and I have changed since we were "young" and carefree. The only downer on the concert was the ridiculous congestion ogetting out of the stadium. There were, in very simple terms, far too many people trapped like herded cattle with no means of getting out. We finally squished onto a bus heading towards a random train station becomign very intimate friends with those that we were pressed into and spent nearly an hour finally getting home from there (2 hours after the concert had finished). By the time we got home I was closely resembling Dolly Parton and I was missing my unattractive but very firm maternity bra. Unfortunately, the Monkey had taken the opportunity of her first "baby sitting" to sleep for nigh on 5 hours and having been fed merely an hour before we came home was not overly interested in draining my breasts. Considering this is the child that has never ever "had enough" milk it was very strange indeed!Snuggling up to her in bed when we got home though was the perfect end to a very full day. Her quietly breathing, milky breathed, warm little body nuzzled into my breast is something that makes everything in life seem easier and worthwhile. Drifting off to sleep I had the lyrics of "One" in my head
One loveOne bloodOne lifeYou got to do what you shouldOne lifeWith each otherSistersBrothersOne lifeBut we're not the sameWe get to Carry each otherCarry each other

Things I Never Want to Forget
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09/11/2006, 05:11 PM
There are so many things that make this time so beautiful and special but so many are ephemeral, and I don't want to try and remember them in years to come and feel them slipping away into oblivion. So here's a list of all the things that at the moment make this all so worthwhile
The way the Monkey gets so hyped up at feed times and grunts and fusses around swishing her head from side to side and licking with her tiny dainty tongue to find the source of the milky smell
"Big Scary Monster" when she's going to sleep or waking up (the Moro/startle reflex)
The fuzz on her ears
Her pudgy, cool soft arms that are completely delectable
Her milk drunk dopey face when she finishes a feed
Her opalescent eyelids when she sleeps
Her excellent musty baby smell
The way she grips my thumb when I feed her, and her fingers only cover the distal phalange
Her instant angry face when you try and give her a dummy when she wants a feed
frogs legs in the bath
Her bulging round belly
The biggest goofiest smiles you can imagine
How soft her skin feel when I nuzzle it involuntarily exactly like a new rose petal
Her damp fuzzy hair and its silkiness beneath my fingers
The way she holds onto my clothes when I'm feeding her so that she doesn't "slip"
The way she cradles my breast when she feeds in bed as if to say "mine"
How warm her vulnerable littleness feels curled up next to me in bed
Her soft snoring that is barely perceptible and leaves me to sometimes have to physically feel her chest to check her breathing
Her floppiness when she falls asleep in my arms and just drapes across them
The dark olive colour of her eyes
Her bottom lip which literally quivers like a bow string when she is upset
Her strength - she can weight bear for a few seconds!!
Her cheeks! She is a veritable chipmunk
The oooo face she pulls when she is naked
Just how much I love her

Taking Chances
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10/11/2006, 12:17 PM
November, 2000It's the last Friday in swot vac and I don't care. I've never studied before and I can't bring myself to even go through the motions of pretending now. It's been 3 weeks since the funeral and I'm still lost. I've never spent much time at College sleeping anyway, but now I am so restless that I spend most nights roaming around aimlessly, banding together with the other night dwellers. My friends are, for the most part, cut of the hard working, hard studying cloth. Throughout the day I feel guilty for disturbing them from their impeccably neat rooms with their piles of textbooks which are decorated by neat, fluorescent post it notes. They drink coffee and have colour coded study planners tacked to their pin boards. I spend useless hours in front of my computer devising study programmes that I know I will never follow. But as a procrastination tool they are fantastic. Daytime television is terrible but late night TV is worse. I tack myself on to whatever group is going out for the evening to avoid being alone. It's a strange place to be inside my head. I want to be alone and away from everyone and I can't bear it at the same time. All conversations are about inconsequential stuff, and getting rarer as people become more and more terrified by the looming exam blocks, insulating themselves into the terribly organised rooms. I continue to roam, ignoring uni. I have enrolled in even more subjects this semester. My dual degree doesn't actually require it, but I have done it anyway, fitting in as much random knowledge as I can. French literature, Spanish, Anatomy, History, Physiology... it's interesting but I can't focus on it. I know I will pass anyway. Maybe that's arrogant, but my GPA speaks for itself. In any case I don't care. In a random "I should be studying" spree though I completely cover one of my walls with white paper and attack it with different coloured textas. I sleep next to a wall covered in everything you need to know to pass my eclectic combination of subjects. My wall becomes a discussion point for people wandering past my room, but between it and the medical illustrations that I've done, pinned up on other walls, conversations stagnate and end with a "well I better go study".It's been 3 weeks since Nana died and everyone assumes I'm over it. I have no idea. I am living in some weird perpetual night. Tonight is the same as every other night except it's weirdly cool for a Brisbane november night, the breeze is raising goosebumps on my arms. I'm wandering aimlessly when I notice that his light is on. Ever since he came back from America he has matured so much. He isn't as attention seeking and his social skills don't make me cringe any more. He's always been nice, but now he is nice and likeable at the same time. He;s not pretending to study either. I have found a kindred spirit in that regard. He is, instead, playing Diablo with a textbook sitting tokenly on his desk being completely ignored. I say hi, wander in and flop down on his bed and maintain a steady stream of chatter. He keeps up his end but is a lot quieter than usual. After a while I realise I'm not just making small talk but that I'm actually enjoying the conversation. I WANT to continue talking. About everything and anything. I have no idea of the time, I have lost all concept of it. I start to feel cold though, and make motions that I ought to leave so that I can put on a jumper and so he can go to bed. He jumps up and offers me a jumper insted. It is fire engine red and from the ski resort he worked last Christmas. We talk about that and more as the night gets older. After a while, for the first time in a long time I feel genuinely tired - not exhausted but genuinely sleepy and content. The gaps in our conversation become longer but they are not uncomfortable. Eventually I fall asleep. Some time later I am woken by him pulling the covers up over me. He hasn't touched me at all except to stroke my hair. I wake up and neither of us speak. I am confused. There is something inside me tingling and I don't know what is going on. I've known him for nearly 2 years. He's made countless advances that I've brushed or laughed off. He's not even "making moves" right now, but that little place inside, that seed of attraction is flourishing, breaking up through stony ground. I can't move. The spell breaks and I leave quietly. But both of us know, at that moment, that something has changed. THere is no hug, or kiss, or touch, or adolescent fondle. Nothing but a look, but we knew.6 years, 3 and a half degrees, 2 children, 1 marriage and a special bond
The heart is a bloom Shoots up through the stony ground There's no room No space to rent in this town You're out of luck And the reason that you had to care The traffic is stuck And you're not moving anywhere You thought you'd found a friend To take you out of this place Someone you could lend a hand In return for grace It's a beautiful day Sky falls, you feel like It's a beautiful day Don't let it get away You're on the road But you've got no destination You're in the mud In the maze of her imagination You love this town Even if that doesn't ring true You've been all over And it's been all over you It's a beautiful day Don't let it get away It's a beautiful day Touch me Take me to that other place Teach me I know I'm not a hopeless case See the world in green and blue See China right in front of you See the canyons broken by cloud See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out See the Bedouin fires at night See the oil fields at first light And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth After the flood all the colors came out It was a beautiful day Don't let it get away Beautiful day Touch me Take me to that other place Reach me I know I'm not a hopeless case What you don't have you don't need it now What you don't know you can feel it somehow What you don't have you don't need it now Don't need it now Was a beautiful day

Changing Rooms
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12/11/2006, 03:35 PM
We appear to have turned a corner. In spite of a frosty evening between DH and I, things have started to settle down enough that I feel like we're gaining some semblance of control over this zoo we call our family. We moved the Monkey's cot into the Grot's room, figuring that as it's getting no use in our room, we may as well give it a go in the Grot's room as it could do no harm. And aside from the sob that caught in my throat when I realised how empty our room looked without the Monkey's beautiful cot, it has gone well. Last night both the Grot and the Monkey slept well, with the Monkey only coming into our bed at about (?)3am meaning that for a few hours at least I got to sleep and toss and turn properly in my bed without worrying about squishing her. She is also having a long nap this afternoon in her new room and it means that the Grot is less lonely. Hopefully it will help at night when the Grot gets nightmares as she won't get as scared with the Monkey in the room with her. The Grot is also looking like a little girl today. We had our first birthday party to go to, and wearing a sundress and her hair in golden ringlety pigtails she looked nothing like a baby. So beautiful.With all this extra sleep I've been getting lately (at least 6 hours a night even if it's in 1hr blocks) I can feel my brain slowly coming back online so am up for posting about some non Mummy related things soon as well as my ideas re:weight loss.

Sleigh bells ring...
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15/11/2006, 02:51 PM
It's less than SIX weeks til Christmas!!! (and yes all of those exclamation marks are justified!... look there's another one)I'm so excited. I LOVE and adore Christmas and all of its trimmings. I love decorating the house, I love sparkly lights on people's houses and lawsn, I love cooking and the house smelling of cinnamon and cooking alcohol and rich meat. I love buying gifts and thinking about what excatly would be perfect for each family member. I love putting out our Christmas tree, and can't wait to see the Grot's face when she sees it.This is our first real year of Christmas as a family. To start with the Grot "understands" the idea of Christmas (the family and giving presents version not so much the Christian version) and will be helping me put up the tree. I'm also going to get her to help me make some Christmas foods and can't wait to watch her face on Christmas mornign when she sees all the presents. I love walking arond the shops humming (or singing ) along with the musak and choosing gifts for others. I love putting up the tree with all of our beautiful glass ornaments that twinkle in the lights. I can't wait for the Grot to help me choose where all the ornaments should go. Wrapping presents in all their glittery splendour and placing them artfully under the tree...Christmas has always been a big deal for me. When I was little, we moved around a lot, and had many different houses, and had to make and break friendships quite often. Christmas however was static and constant. We had a magical family celebration every year in our house at Bribie Island (we didn't live there during the year but stayed there every holiday). Christmas Eve was filled with cooking smells and setting the table for a giant traditional turkey dinner with Mum and Dad and my sister and brother. We would then watch the Christmas Carols on TV before putting out our Santa sacks and heading off upstairs to bed. When we woke in the morning and saw our bulging sacks hanging on the stairs it was just the most amazing incredible thing of our young lives. My sister and I, and later our brother when he was a bit older, would sit in the middle of the lounge room, slowly unpacking our sacks and exclaiming as we pulled out yet another bit off booty. In retrospect all of our gifts wre usually quite small, the sorts of things that many parents buy their children on a random shopping trip, but to us they were pirate gold. "Santa" always knew exactly the things we had coveted throughout the year. The book that we'd desperately wanted, and the pens and pencils with our own names on them !!. After having drawn out the discovery of our sacks for as long as possible, Mum and Dad would come down and we'd have breakfast. Always Christmas ham and eggs before packing all the presents under the tree into the car and starting the 3 hour trip to Toowoomba so that we could spend Christmas lunch with Mum's family under the Jacaranda tree. More presents and a lunch of cold cuts was almost always followed by a cold mango that we would eat as carefully as possible, trying not to ruin the Christmas dresses that Mum made us each year. After lunch we woudl then pack up the car again and make the 2 hour trip to Redcliffe where we had a Christmas dinner BBQ with Dad's family and all our cousins. It was always so much fun, with even the car trips being good as we coudl read our new Christmas books (or at least I did, while my sister and brother often fell asleep). We would then head off home to Bribie trying to get in some sleep before all Dad's family came up to finish off the Christmas leftovers for Boxing Day lunch at the beach. It was busy and hectic and loud, but I still remember it so very clearly. It changed a little when we moved to Toowoomba, but it is still ingrained so firmly in my memory. The sheer joy of it all. While opening presents was surely part of the fun, what I loved most was the ritual of it all. THe bustle and cheer and goodwill in the atmosphere. I really want to recreate that with my own little family. To create traditions taht will live in memories long after the dates have faded and the tinsel has been packed away. It's hard because I want to spend Christmas with my Mum and family and DH's family and friends as well. And they are scattered all over. We'll just have to get inventive I think!

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17/11/2006, 07:58 PM
Is it strange that I want to eat my baby? The Monkey is surely the most delicious morsel that has ever been placed on this Earth. Her fuzzy ears and her pudgy cheeks are just delectable, and the padding on her arms and thighs just screams out to be munched on. Oh and her little belly is perfect for raspberries.I am back to living in a dreamy besotted existence where life truly IS beautiful. I have a headcold at the moment, but I still would not change a single thing about my life. I have two gorgeous little girls and a husband who I adore. I am obviously tempting fate again by talking about just how happy I am at the moment, but life is good good good.I am so vacuous at the moment though. The highlights of my day include reading Better Homes and Gardens magazine (but the recipes! oh goodness the recipes!!) and folding my cloth nappy stash with cheer while planning meals and thinking up the perfect Christmas gifts. Happy happy happy(but not very interesting )

Santa Photos
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20/11/2006, 08:01 PM
Well my Christmas shopping is almost done (I am in awe of my sensible, well organised talent in that regard ) and one of the last things I wanted to get done was visit Santa with the girls and get the annual portrait taken. The first Santa photo with the Grot was fine. She was a sociable 9 month old, and my only issue was trying to stop her drooling on everything. She had no idea who Santa was, or what the whole photo thing was about, but a jingly toy over the camera and photos ahoy. The second Santa photo was a bit trickier. We staked out the Santa grotto at the shopping centre, and we got excited by the Christmas decorations, but when it came to meeting the "big man" she got uncharacteristically shy and pouted for her photos, refusing to talk to Santa at all. Today I decided we shoudl get this year's photos over and done with. The Grot was excited about meeting Santa this year, and was cued up to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas. She also had the moral support of the Monkey who would be getting up on the big red knee as well. All started out well, when we got to Myer, there was a miniature railroad that ran in a ring around Santa's grotto. The Grot ADORES trains, and was very excited by the idea of going on the train after Santa. As we sat waiting our turn to go see Santa she watched the train, holding on very tight to Lamby I talked up the excitement, and we looked through the samples of other children's photos so I could explain the "sitting up on Santa's knee bit". So far so good, the Monkey was awake and while drooly, was in good spirits. Both of them looked clean and neat - no milky vomit had leapt out onto the Monkey's clothes and the Grot was very un-Grotty. Then the over cheerful "Santa's helper" came out and asked the girl's names and lead us towards the man we'd been coming to see. I could feel my own sense of unease rise at this point, and holdign the Grot's little hand in mine, I could feel the tension rising in her. We were lead around a couple of corners before opening a door to a very small room. At this point I was feeling slightly unnerved, so I can only imagine how my imaginative little princess was feeling. The Monkey was completely unmoved though, dribbling down my arm. Walking into the very close room, I could not help but wonder if they had had a set designer for some horror flick set it up. Aside from being very small for the number of people crowded into it, for some reason (I suspect for the photography) they had also changed the lighting to a very eerie blue. The Grot was being very brave, but I could see the effort it was taking her. Why I didn't turn around and remove her from the situation I have no idea, but at that stage we both became aware of the large man in the red suit. The Grot seemed to be doing OK at this point, and when he held out his hand and asked her name, I was so very proud of her when she let go of mine and told him. Her voice was soft, but as Santa had already been prepped as well as the fact that she spoke pretty clearly it annoyed me no end when he asked again TWICE what her name was (plus he's SANTA - Santa knows your name). Each time the Grot's voice dropped in volume until it was a barely audible whisper. He then asked what she would like for Christmas and he heard that and the conversation picked up a little, the Grot gaining in confidence and speaking up a bit more. Santa then asked what the Monkey's name was. Repeat the performance from above until I shaprly broke in with "Her name is Sophie". Santa then asked what Sophie wanted for Christmas. The Grot pondered for a while and then said "I think she'd like a car". Santa didn't understand her the first time (can you see a theme here) but when he DID hear her, he said something along the lines of "Oh no, she wouldn't like a CAR, I think she'd like a doll" I should have walked out at this point. The Grot was uncomfortable, and she was getting scared of this strange man with fluffy white stuff obscuring most of his face lecturing her on what little girls and little boys are supposed to like. But instead, I decided that we'd gone this far and we might as well get the photo taken Bravely my little girl got up on Santa's knee, and stayed there as the Monkey was positioned. I was so proud of her for not bursting into tears, which, had I been in her place I'm sure I woudl have. She even courageously mustered up a smile (not a real one, but a flicker of one at least) but the photographer was d*cking around, and was not yet ready. Finally the photographer was ready and started doign the "voice" laden with fake bonhomie to try and get her to smile, while the elf who had lead us in waved a toy aimed at 12 month olds around. The Grot by this stage had well and truly had enough. She'd had a bizarre conversation with a scary man in a bright red suit in a tiny blue room and now peopel were waving crap around talking like nutters trying to get her to smile. Her bottom lip came out, and refused to go back in. I heard myself encouraging her to smile and then, listening to what I was saying, and seeing how absolutely petrified she was by this stage, I collected her off Santa's knee and gave her a big hug, leaving the non-plussed Monkey to drool on Santa. Santa then made some other comment and tried to give the Grot the token "I've been to see Santa" present, which she took as quickly as possible without making eye contact while I avoided the urge to slap him .Once we had walked out of the room, the tension seemed to melt out of my poor baby girl, and we watched the train for a second while I organised paying for the photos (I didn't put her through all that to not get a photo!!). Disaster then struck "Mummy, where's Lamby??" said a tiny voice, heavy with about-to-fall tears. There was NO WAY she was going back into Santa's lair to look for him. Luckily I found him relatively quickly and we could leave, our shiny prints of the ordeal safely stowed under the pram. She got to go on the train as well, looking very very small in her wooden seat, as te train chuffed its way around the circuit. I wished so much that we'd only gone on the train, which was beautifully set up, complete with golden tickets that were punched before the train was allowed to leave. And to top it off you could also get professional photos taken on the train, which, being out in the open rather than in a scary isolated room woudl surely have been much more cheerful. Lesson learned. Next year, we'll see how the Grot feels about it, and hopefully choose a "Santa photo" place that has actually had some experience with children who have imaginations. Santa better be bringing some awesome presents this year to erase that memory!!

The young mother thing,,,
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22/11/2006, 09:42 PM
Well, as you may or may not know, according to most "polls" these days, I am (or at least was) a "young mother". This title never bothered me. Aside from anythign else I'd always hoped that I would be a young mother and had no intentions of waiting til I was 30-odd if circumstances permitted. Why I wanted to be a young mother is hard to define. Partially I have to admit that it was going with what I knew. My Mum had me at 22 and while not exceptionally young 25 years ago, it was younger than most of my friends. I love my Mum, and she's been a great role model to me so I think, as said above it was imitating her great example. Secondly, as I think I've alluded to before, although I have great ambition and drive to learn, I don't necessarily have drive and ambition to work (though I want to do that as well). What I always wanted was to have a family. To be a wife and mother . I think part of that was related to far too many years of reading the Anne of Green Gables series and wanting to be Anne with her house full of imaginative children. (I shouldn't admit this but I still love reading those books). But even though I had this secret wish buried deep inside, and although I am prone to day dreaming and forgetting the practical aspects of life, randomly bringing an innocent child into the world wasnn't on my agenda. I was never going to get up the duff just on a whim or childish dream, but I had hoped that circumstances would be such that I could. Luckily I happened to meet my wonderful DH, and life allowed me to be a mother when I wanted, unhindered by my fertility issues or circumstance. I revelled in it mostly. I have heaps more energy than a lot of mothers, and to be honest, part of me quite liked doing somethign out of the norm. In my course, mothers are a novelty, and those that have children *during* are few and far between (though certainly not unheard of). So being a young mother was never a negative thing for me. The only negatives that really presented themselves to us was the lack of money and the difficulties that poses. When DH got his first *real* job in an Engineering company I was so proud of him and basically I felt that we were doing everything OK. In our antenatal classes we stood out like a sore thumb, and waiting in my OBs office I always looked at least 10 years younger than everyone else that walked through the door. That always amused us hugely for some reason, the slightly surprised looks that people would give us, being as in both situations we were in a private hospital setting, usually reserved for those with a little bit more in the way of money.We enjoyed challenging the stereotype, but to be honest, when out and about we barely ever raised an eyebrow. We were happy and confident and excited (and terribly naive as well lol). But it was no issue really. We were aware that other people found it a bit odd but it never bothered me. People never really made comments and we were pretty much oblivious anyway. Lately however, I've been the victim of a couple of "young mum" drive bys and for some unknown reason (possibly because I'm so happy) they stung. Why would people have an issue with us when we're so happy? What could be wrong with an engineer and a 2/3rds doctor having babies? We don't receive welfare (aside from the FTB-B that I get for not working and a token bit of FTB-A).Yesterday while finishing off my Christmas shopping (now all done) I had the Monkey in the pouch and was pushing the pram which had the Grot's coveted tricycle in it as well as a single David Jones bag that had a pair of gorgeous pink striped pyjamas for the Grot. I did not look my absolute best, having gone to the shops straight from yoga (I wanted to get the Grot's bike and was on the right side of town) but I was still neat and tidy and the Monkey DID look adorable (I know his because I was stopped repeatedly by people wanting to talk about her). As I was walking back to my car a woman looked me up and down, glanced scornfully at the pram, turned to her friend and said in a snidey voice "Good to see what the $4k buys these days isn't it".SHe was a random stranger dressed in cheap Kmart clothes with synthetic shoes, so why I cared what she thought is bugging me. But I wanted to run after her and ask exactly what had given her the right to be so rude? Was it my beautiful and well dressed baby? Surely not? Was it our neat, serviceable pram that was rated by Choice magazine as the best 3 wheeler? Of course not. It was me, and the judgement she made on me and my appearance and assumed age (I do look a lot younger when I wear gym clothes). I wanted to ask her what she was assuming about me. Because the $4000 dollars that she mentioned went on obstetrician and private hospital bills. I was out alone with my baby because my husband was working in his professional job that is salaried well above the national average. My left hand boasts a hand made beautiful diamond solitaire that was far nicer than her mass produced, Michael Hill "original".I wanted to ask if being a doctor and being married to an Engineer was a thing to be sneered at? That having two gorgeous well kept and generally adorable children was a bad thing?What annoyed me most about the whole thing was that it *did* get to me in the first place. I AM happy. I AM secure. I DO love my life. Why I care what a stranger in a suburban shopping centre wants to think about me is ridiculous. But it did take away some of my Christmas cheer (quickly buoyed up again by the big dopey grins of the Monkey). So just asking anyone reading this. DO you make driveby comments in shopping centres? Or do you think them? I know I'm guilty of it occasionally (the thoughts, never the words) and I wonder why? The "judgemental" bandwagon is often trotted out on EB threads until it makes my eyes bleed. "Judging" is something so very natural to do, you can't actually help it. But why someone negatively judged me is bugging me. What it was, aside from my youth that attracted derision. I just fail to see how youth is a negative.I'm sorry that this post is so disjointed, I have written it in sections as I've been flittering around doing other things so will probably do a massive edit just so people can understand what I've written lol.

All in the blue unclouded weather
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26/11/2006, 09:20 PM
The sunshine state is surely living up to its name at the moment. We have been having the most gorgeous clear weather, with afternoons punctuated by light cool breezes and that lovely summery smell of spent flowers, backyard BBQs and gravid air. At teh moment I'm sitting here in my coolest clothes that would be decent to wear out of doors and covered in that sheeny film of sweat and glowing cheeks familiar to all. It has been a very busy, but at the same time enjoyable weekend. It was DHs birthday on Saturday which I hope he enjoyed as much as we did. After waking up with all his girls in bed with him, he got to open his presents: a book and a DVD (Cars) from the Monkey, new underwear and Peter Alexander pyjamas from the Grot, and a much coveted Playstation + accessories from me. Once breakfast of pancakes in front of the new DVD had finished, we packed up and headed to Dreamworld (part II of my gift) for the day. The day was bright and clear with the sun strong in the sky. After purchasing our tickets (at a 50% discount thanks to a lovely lady who had a surplus of vouchers) we headed to Wiggles World with the thoroughly over excited Grot singing "D-O-R-O-T-H-Y Dorofy the Dinosaurrrrrrrr" we wandered around the lurid rides and exhibits. The favourite ride was definitely the Big Red Car ride through the Wiggles house and especially Dorothy's garden full of roses at its end. From there we looked at the petting zoo, where the Grot enjoyed patting the baby lambs and feeding the goats and alpacas. Next we visited the Australian native animals exhibit with the ever favourite Kangaroos and Koalas where the Grot for the second time became a tourist attraction in and of herself. While we had been standing in the shade waiting for DH to buy entrance tickets, a busload of chinese tourists had unloaded and spotting the Grot with her porcelain skin (it almost glows), blue-green eyes and hair that looks like pure gold in the sunlight they were enthralled. She was surrounded by a crowd of smiling people saying "Nihao" and other things in Chinese that she couldn't understand, while others clamoured to touch her hair and others snapped off photos. At one point a lady picked her up so that her friend could take a photo of her and she was absolutely petrified. That's when I stepped in, and as a result ended up in a stack of photos myself I'm sure. While at the kangaroo and koala exhibit, the tourists again became overwhelmed with excitement as the Grot was fascinated by the kangaroos. I have a fantastic photo of the grot squatting and looking square into the eyes of a particularly docile kangaroo, while behind her the paparazzi goes rabid, cameras everywhere. The rest of the day was filled with watching tigers, going on water rides and enjoying thrill rides with DH. The Monkey slept through much of the day, oblivious to all the gaudy colours and cheerful music. The car on the way home was very quiet, as they both fell asleep the minute that the Black Eyed Peas started coming through the radio and the airconditioning enveloped them. We've passed the 2 month mark with the Monkey now, and life is sailing along as if she had always been here. She sleeps most nights from her strict bedtime (within 15 minutes either side lol) of 6pm til about 1am, then after that there is no routine, except that she comes into bed with us, and cluster feeds from 5am-7am. She is gorgeous, and passive, and intently observant. She loves: her mobile which plays classical music and twirls, her fists, (when she manages to stick them in her mouth her face lights up and she sucks delightedly), the Black Eyed Peas (especially the songs "Pump It" and "Don't Phunk with my Heart"), cool air and most importantly, me.The Grot is going well, though I think the novelty of being home with Mum all day is wearing a little thin. She loves gymnastics and swimming (Which are on her non-daycare days) and is excelling in both. Daycare is the highlight of her week, and she adores playing with all the other children, as well as the messy activities that they get up to. THe panic has struck for me though, that we haven't organised a place for her for next year when I go back to uni (her daycare only takes children up to age 3). Other than that, she is delightful - aside from her insatiable curiosity as to how things work, and her latest fetish for cutting things up with scissors. She's off to see the Wiggles in 2 weeks with her Daddy, and I know that she'll have a fabulous time.DH and I are going well, and we've both lost the tension that we had in previous weeks when we were stretched to our absolute maximum. We both still have bad days, but now that the Monkey sleeps of an evening, we again have that time to just be ourselves, and I love that. I love getting to be just "Married Jenn" instead of "Mummy Jenn". They are completely different people. I also am looking forward to goign back to uni, and being "Student Jenn" as well. There are a lot of people crammed into this body of mine! (No wonder it's looking a little bit crowded these days )

Cruise Control
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28/11/2006, 09:07 PM
That's basically where I'm sitting at the moment. Cruising along taking most things in my stride. Yesterday was pus to put it bluntly, but after hightailing it to the pool and swimming a lot of laps I felt heaps better. There is something so very cathartic about following the black line lap after lap after lap chanting the lap number in my head. I am a bit sore and sorry today but feel good in that way that only after-exercise vainglory can feel. My lap times were embarrassing, and I managed only a meagre handful of freestyle laps, but I swam 2km overall, and for my first attempt since the appearance of the Monkey I'm quite proud of myself. Not much doing at the moment. Just counting down the days until DH is on holidays and we can spend all our time together. Forget just how much I love him sometimes.

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