Thursday, 24 May 2007

Winter 2006

24 weeks
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01/06/2006, 09:39 AM
No exciting pregnancy news at the moment. I'm on holidays this week and as such have been keeping busy doing things like cleaning the house and folding laundry. It's strange how much I enjoyed it. Repetitive maybe, but relaxing and rewarding at the same time. I'm completely ready to chuck in uni at the moment - being home is lovely. I have so much more freedom this time around as well. I have my car (and can actually drive it!) and I just know (somewhat) what I'm in for this time. I'm insanely clucky, my breasts leak when I see babies in shopping centres and I have been known to mist up while reading parenting magazines and birth stories. I'm still feeling isolated though. I want my friends to have babies lol. I konw I will have to make an effort to make friends with people who HAVE children but at the same time at the moment I just wish I was sharing this with someone. I wouldn't care if I never got a word in edgewise and it was all about them... just that they are getting to experience this too. I have been processing how I felt at the beginning of this pregnancy lately. I didn't want to be pregnant. Finding out I was pregnant was the most gut-wrenching feeling. I cried because it just felt horrible. Here was something that so many people would be so excited by and I was crying and wishing it was a terrible dream. I had so many plans. And now it was all being decided for me. I didn't want to tell anyone I was pregnant. If I told people then it was real. I didn't want people to know and I didn't want to think about it. I spent at least one day lying in bed in tears scared out of my brain and feeling like I had stuffed everything up. I didn't want to hear what people thought of me being pregnant, I didn't want for any of them to even know. Dh was happy though and that made it worse. What type of woman and mother was I to not be happy by this news? When is a baby something to cause pain? What was I doing to my poor baby by not being excited. I dreaded telling DHs family. In fact the day that he "told" people I spent in tears in bed because I didn't want to talk to any of them. I realise that I am still angry about the way it went last time (with DD) and it still hurt. THere was no reaction that they could give that would have made me happy. If they were happy I would be angry because it took so long for me to fall pregnant with DD and they were shocked and upset. If they weren't happy then they were just compounding my own feelings that this was a mistake.Telling my SIL was horrible. Telling someone news that you know will hurt (even though she already knew) when you already don't want to tell anyone. Hearing about how much my news hurt felt like I was the lowest of the low. I kind of wished I could disappear for a year or so and just come back with the baby. I just felt like everyone was rejecting my baby. Me, my SILs, PILs everyone. And even though I still was so conflicted about being pregnant in the first place I hurt for my baby. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. I was going to do the whole pregnancy and birth thing properly this time. Conception would be anticipated and rejoiced, DH and I would both be excited by the peeing on the stick ritual and would be ecstatically happy to see that second line. We would be feeling ready financially and personally. It would be a time of joy and sunbursts and whatever. Basically it would be a movie moment. Parents would be excited this time and people would just genuinely be happy for us. But it didn't work out that way. I have felt so guilty in the last few months. I have been waiting for things to go wrong because I didn't deserve a healthy and happy pregnancy with my reaction. When I started bleeding at 17 weeks I almost expected it. Here was my payback for not being happy enough. I was going to lose my baby because I had failed it. My guilt and fear were intertwined. Since that time I have never had a moment of feeling unhappy about this pregnancy. I love my belly and I love the feeling of little kicks. I am excited about holding my baby and I dream about the birth and holding my baby. I dream about DD playing with her little baby brother/sister. I mist up in the baby aisles in department stores and I have become obsessed with modern cloth nappies. There's one on-line at the moment that I've seen with litte embroidered cars trundling across it and I WANT it I want my baby and I can't wait to meet him/her. That new baby cuddliness. That excellent milky, musty, sweet, sweaty smell that they have. The softness of their skin and the silkiness of their hair (assuming this babe actually has any!). Tiny cute outfits with embroidered giraffes and teddy bears. Baby ugg boots.Looking back now it feels so odd that I was so afraid of being pregnant. Because right now all I want to do is curl up in my nest with my babies and cuddle them to sleep.

Fluffy Mail and Farm Animals
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04/06/2006, 02:50 PM
Yay, second lot of fluffy mail this week. It's amazing how happy a teensy soft nappy can make me at the moment. They're just so cute. Seems almost sacriligeous that my little Crab is going to befoul them . Have got 7 nappies so far which is still only a small number if I plan on using them fulltime. The current plan is to use cloth during the day and Huggies at night until I get the hang of it and work out what works best. So am hoping to buy at least another 10 before baby comes along. I love the look of the Honeyboys and Bubble Bubs that I have and am planning on buying some Baby Beehinds as well. I have also bought more 0000 body suits including a gorgeous little green one with an embroidered giraffe. It is very very cute. Well, really anything that tiny is guaranteed to be gorgeous. It all looks far too small for an actual person to wear though. Last time we had so much stuff to buy, cots and change tables and nappy bags and the like. It is a bit weird not having to buy all of that this time. I bought DD a new bed this week and painted it "Lilac Fluff" for her. It is very sweet. Just have to buy a new cot mattress and we have everything we need. There are other things I'd like - I'm in love with the Boori cradle for example but the budget isn't going to stretch that far and it would be pretty much unnecessary as well. I also don't know where we'd put it? I am banning myself from baby stores however as I'm a complete sucker for anything small, wooden or just beautiful. Also bought DD the Farm Animal stikarounds that I had been meaning to buy since before she was born. Her room actually looks like a nursery/child's room now. I love being in her room with her books and her toys and now her cheerful farm animals parading around the walls. It is a lovely warm room. Hoepfully DD can share it with the Crab successfully. This week at home has been lovely. I have managed to meet up with friends, do a fair bit of cleaning and folding and tidying. I always feel better when the house is clean. DD and I also bought some seedlings to put in the garden and in our hanging pots and the green shoots all over the place lift my spirits immeasurably. It is hard growing things in our garden as there is so little light (we are shaded by a large camphor laurel) but seeing roses and wisteria bloom can bring me out of the darkest mood. If only a quarter of the annuals that DD and I bought flower there should still be a lovely display in the garden in a month or so. Snapdragons, Verbenas, Petunias, Marigolds, Cyclamens, Stocks, Sweet peas and roses. I love my garden.DD is just gorgeous at the moment. Happy, cheerful, articulate. There is nothing quite like being told "I love you" every night when you put her to bed. She can be frustrating and she can be naughty. But she is just so beautiful that it doesn't matter. I have only 54 days to go until I am finished with uni for a WHOLE YEAR. That just makes my heart glad. In 53 days I will probably be less excited by that (what with the interminable exams) but right now I am just happy. My house smells clean, there are green things growing in my garden, I have my wonderful family and all is good in the world. There is only one thing I wish and hope for at the moment, and that is that my SIL is having a baby. \

Damn Cloth Nappies
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05/06/2006, 07:51 PM
They're going to send me broke! Am addicted. Which is bad when you have no money to spend. It is ridiculous how much time I am spending looking at these things and stalking the trading rooms. Completely ridiculous (but fun ) I had better like using them when the baby arrives. Not too worried about that though - have been known to be *Ahem* a bit stubborn. First day back today. Am so happy to have been moved to a much closer hospital. The free parking and milo are just fringe benefits! Lots of contact hours but very well structured which suits me. Am also happy that I can count the very few number of days left until I leave. There are also no written exams! Yay. I'm so much better at the practical stuff.Grot is still gorgeous. I am constantly in awe of her abilities. She barely spoke a year ago and now has over 1000 words. I know that because I stopped counting then . She can also recognise colours accurately now! Which is good because it was a bit disconcerting when she was asserting that something was green when it was red. Not a lot else happening. Belly is bigger and itchy. Maternity clothes are annoying. Either too big or too 80s. I refuse to wear tents or midriffs but finding something in between is proving challenging. My SILs have kindly donated a lot of clothes but am still looking for jeans that don't fall down. Even SILs nice pair of jeans are too big for me which doesn't makes sense as SIL is at least 2 sizes smaller than me. I think she just had much more of the basketball belly than I do or will have. Have lost weight again. N&V have both settled down to only every other day or so and I'm eating as normally as possible but weight is not doing anything. Am not stressed about it though. Not much else doing. Another OB appt next week which will be nice (if I ignore the accompanying $2200 bill). Not too worried about the Crab, too much movement for that. I'm just in a nice place at the moment. I don't even think about "the bad things" at the moment. I'm just so happy to be pregnant.I am also thinking a lot about whether there will be a number 3 or 4. Scary but nice thought at the same time. I think I'm opposed to the idea of it being easy! We'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it. There's also the fact that if this birth goes off without a hitch I would want any other babies to be homebirths. I'm betraying my secret hippy sensibilities now. Had best do some study and think about the expensive cars I can buy when I eventually graduate

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06/06/2006, 08:58 PM
I've never shrunk from the big ethical issues in life. But abortion's one that makes even the most committed intellectual squirm. When is life life? When does the mother's life hold precedence over the infant's? What is right and just.To tell the truth I really don't know. I can't think of a situation where an abortion/termination/interruption would ever be something that a woman would look on with joy. It is, by it's nature something that is bound to make even the most unreligious woman question her deepest morals. In the end is it something that women should be allowed to do or not? When you start going into the grey areas - "yes but only if" solutions is where it gets messy. If you say yes even once then it really should be yes fullstop. Saying no is much easier. Morally it means you can feel perfectly comfortable - because there is never an acceptable situation then. You can feel lofty and nebulous and superior. Your absolute position means that there is never a decision that needs to be made. I guess I am in the yes camp. But it just seems to morally repugnant to get rid of a healthy baby for the sole reason that "you dont want it". Is that hypocritical? I don't know. When there are "reasons" it becomes more acceptable to me... but then why is it that when I hear of women having multiple terminations just because they didn't want the children does it make my heart ache? In both cases a potential life has ended. Are there noble causes of death? I don't know.I never want to be in the situation where I have to make the decision. I never want to be in a situation where NOTHING is the right decision. I have never been there. Even thinking about it hurts. But when the baby that is lost is one that was dearly wanted, one who the parents loved long before they knew that there was anything wrong it becomes even harder. I wish I was in the "no" camp. It really would be so much easier. But I can't be. And to every woman out there who has interrupted a pregnancy my heart aches for you. This post makes no sense. I just can't pontificate and I can't articulate. I just needed to write something down.

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08/06/2006, 07:15 PM
When will this "morning" sickness ever just take itself quietly out to die? Come on... it's 25 weeks of vomiting now and the joke is getting really really old.Plus I'm starting to freak that there must be something wrong with the Crab for this to be going so long. I still have cold sores in my nose from last week;s cold and I can't even look at food without feeling the bile rise. I'm on my feet all day long and sitting is uncomfortable because the Crab like it's big sister likes to lie against my back and kick up into my kidneys and stomach. I love the kicks, I really do - but how do you lean over someone to palpate their liver when leaning forward makes you feel a rising panic as you realise that you've just refluxed right back up into your mouth because you were kicked in the stomach at exactly €the wrong moment.Hmmm could I be any more whingy? I know I should just be grateful to be pregnant but today it's just getting me down. Even fruit is making me ill. And the scar in my belly button hurts On the good side I'm not tired at the moment. And my brain doesn't feel as foggy as it has done. So that's nice. And my view count for this diary is over 1000 Can't imagine how that happened!

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10/06/2006, 05:31 PM
Dummies have all been thrown out this weekend. DD picked them all up herself and chucked them in the nappy bin (so I'm not tempted to retrieve them at 3am ) and we've been to David Jones where she got to pick out a present of whatever she wished for being a "big girl". So she got her first bracelet and necklace combo (a delightlfully matched set of plastic butterflies on elastic!) that she wanted as well as some plastic cars, trucks and trains to play with. So currently her train set is all over the living room floor and her new Thomas train is roaring around at great speed. We actually went dummy free last night which was successful - she went to sleep relatively easily (no crying at all - though about 10 minutes of "I want my dummy"). Today;s nap was a disaster though. She just lay in bed for 90 minutes yelling out that she wanted her dummy. So we threw out the dummies ceremoniously and took her to the shops to buy a "special present". I think we'll be OK with the night time going to sleep. That hasn't been a problem in a long time and with last nigth going so well *fingers crossed* tonight will go as well. Day sleeps though are going to be hard. She's been resisting them a lot of late even with the dummy and has even staed awake some days (with disastrous results) so hopefully we can get that under control as well.It's so weird going through this routine. Before children I was an avid dummy disliker. In fact, in some ways I think I still am. I don't like the look of them and the idea of sucking on a bit of plastic still grosses me out. But insomnia soon cured me of the notion that I would "never" use them. I really am hoping not to use them with this baby because I still don't really like them. But the blessing of being able to put DD in her bed after bath and books each night and know that she would fall straight asleep at 6:00pm (which she's been doing since she was about 4 months old) has been blissful. But that time's come to an end. And now I'm just left with this tall little girl who chats away and insists on wearing "big girl" undies and no jumpers. Where the little baby that used to snuggle into my breast has gone I don't know. I miss her so much - but this new model is much more fun.

Mum's the Word :(
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12/06/2006, 09:59 PM
Dummies are gone and we haven't yet folded. I forgot just how beautiful DD is when she sleeps - without the dummy you can actually see her face again. Wasn't 100% easy but today we got both a daysleep and she's gone to sleep tonight without too much hassle. But best of all is she's not waking during the night to try and find and replace her dummy. So she's happier in the mornings because she's sleeping properly again (the waking for the dummy has been happening since the new bed). To complete her "big girl" transformation she is refusing to call me Mummy and has instead started to refer to me as Mum. I am completely not ready for that. I get teary over the fact that my little baby girl can talk at all, let alone calling me Mum. It sounds far too old. My Mum is a Mum. I am a Mummy.I can't imagine how hard it's going to be when the Crab gets to this stage. When she loves me, but is big enough to refer to me as Mum. When I have left being Mummy behind forever Mum was always just Mum. A constant. Like most self absorbed children Mum wasn't really her own person... she was just my Mum. Now I'm older (and hopefully wiser) I know and love my Mum for herself as well - but for years in there she was just one of the many people on the periphery of my life who were there to love and support me and who received regular cards and typical "Mum" gifts at refular intervals throughout the year. For some reason, although I love being a mother, I haven't really identified myself with the Mum persona. The idea that someone could think of me as "just their Mum" isn't something that had honestly really occurred to me before. The responsibility of being a mother has certainly hit. The isolation as well. But just as the sheer wonder of it took my breath away, the things I keep learning do as well.The Crab has been very very active in the last few days. Even the quiet periods have been less quiet than usual. I lay out all of the new clothes and nappies that I have bought and it all fits into one small shopping bag. It is such a complete turnaround to when I was expecting DD. I have about 6 outfits of which 3 are blue and 2 are green and 5 nappies with 2 more coming. That's all. I want to go out and buy things but DH and I yesterday worked out just how little money we have. Well, after I yelled and cried a lot and DH sat there and did nothing (he is the most aggravating man to fight with). We worked everything out though - not that there was much choice. We have basically just applied for a loan to consolidate our debts and pay out my Obstetrician, and will pay off the majority of the personal loan with the maternity payment. We will be fine, it's just that we have about $7000 of extra bills over the next 3 months that would not normally be there and with me at uni and all it's been impossible to find the money. Bleh, I hate money. I know that this is the reason people wait to have babies... I just can't see it being much easier unless we had waited about another 10 years. And we weren't prepared to do that. So we just muddle through now while DD doesn't care and this baby will care even less. I think I only really care because I don't like feeling insecure and also because I have far too many friends that have already graduated and have money. I honestly don't know how people who earn less do it though. I have read threads on here where there is a family of 5 on an income of less than $35K per year and I just don't know how they do it. I know they're not paying for fulltime daycare at the rate that we are... but even so. I love the fact that in 2 and a half short years my income will be over $55K per year, guaranteed. So when I graduate we will be definitely earning over $120, 000 a year as a family. That's what makes me accept our current position - it's crap because we're sacrificing now to make it much better in the future - in the very near future. I cannot imagine accepting what we're on now as it. As the best that it's going to get.I want to go on a holiday. I want to go and buy new high thread count sheets because the crappy washing machine just tore the set we got for a wedding present. I want to buy a new washing machine when/if the old one dies without having to think about it. I don't need a Ferrari parked out the front (no matter how much I'd like one ) but I just don't want to have to worry about money. It's hard talking about money as well. It just feels tacky. And also like an admission of failure. I already feel like my inlaws have been expecting me/us to fail since the beginning. I hate proving them right. The idea that we're the poor embarrassing relatives still smarts.

Five AM
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15/06/2006, 10:49 AM
I hate 5am. When DD wakes then you know that the day is going to be crap. It's too late for her to go back to sleep and as such you're up before the sun and already annoyed with the day. Add to that a little girl who is completely overtired before the day begins and it's hideous. She couldn't go to daycare this morning because she was completely volatile. She's in a room with 11 other children - it's not fair on them if she's throwing tantrums, crying, wanting hugs and then not sleeping all day. So we're home and ABC kids is my best friend. I was meant to be at uni today until after 6pm as well and I think if I'd tried to go I would have fallen over. I crash at 3-4pm as it is, let alone when I've had such a stellar start to the day So it's daytime television and books and cuddles aplenty today. And with some luck a midday nap. I'm not too sure about that though as when overtired DD tends not to sleep. And I can't handle another screaming match. It's nice at the same time to be at home though. A taste of what's to come I guess. We're just spoiled because DD usually sleeps so well that when she doesn't it completely throws you. I forget though that she didn't sleep longer than about 4 hours (usually 2 or 3) for at least the first 6 months of her life. If the Crab goes the same way then I'm going to be a zombie at about Christmas time. Hopefully DD and the Crab can entertain each other at times though - otherwise I think I'll just be a sobbing mess in the corner come evening most days.

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16/06/2006, 07:14 PM
As someone who almost never eats junk food I know I am going to regret this very soon, but tonight for dinner I just wanted pizza - Dominos pizza to be precise. And I ate almost the whole thing PLUS garlic bread.Oh dear. Usually even the smell of dominos is enough to make me retch.2 hours later and I have burst a few blood vessels in my face and my eyes are bloodshot. Lets just say that it was a bit of a stupid craving to give into

On my own
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20/06/2006, 08:23 PM
Doing the single Mum thing at the moment. Is very stressful. Have no idea how I would do this fulltime without going mad. Aside from anything else, when the Grot goes to sleep I'm lonely. That's the thing with having a DH who is also your best friend I guess.We dropped DH at the airport yesterday morning. The Grot really enjoyed being there and watching all the planes. She even quite enjoyed waving DH off and watching his plane take off. But when it dawned on her that DH wasn't coming straight back she started to cry for her Daddy. Apparently at daycare yesterday she kept talking about "Daddy went away in the plane" and was worried that "Mummy is going on a plane too" . Poor little munchkin. She is so used to spending her time with both of us that she just doesn't understand where Daddy is and that he's coming back. So I'm really looking forward to taking her back to the airport on Friday so she can see him again. I love watching the relationship between DD and DH. DD is definitely a "Mummy's girl" and always has been. I've been her first preference for whenever she's tired, sick, or just wants cuddles and DH has come a very poor second. But in the last couple of months she has begun to want DH more. There have been times when she's only wanted him. It surprised me actually because I thought that I'd find that upsetting - but the reality is that I find it beautiful. I'm going pretty well. Starting to feel very pregnant. Have reflux on top of my N&V now. Not so bad if I remember to only eat small meals and drink lots of water (which is not always). I also get very sore in my back and feet if I'm standing up all day as well. My belly is also sticking out a lot more and looks properly pregnant. There aren't many people who would think that I'm just fat at the moment I don't think. The crab is cruising as far as I can tell. Seems to be bigger than the Grot was. Certainly making my belly protrude a lot more. I'm almost as big now as I was at 9 months with DD. Uni is going well at the moment. Very busy but I'm enjoying it. I also found out that I passed my GP exams and also got a distinction/high distinction (depending on where the cut off is for this semester). That's one less thing to worry about as well. We have also not had to get a loan which I'm happy about. So all bills are paid at the moment and am not too stressed. And it's RAINING. I love the rain. It makes me happy. Apologies for the poor grammar in this entry - I'm far too tired to be posting anything at the moment!

Fermented Grapes and the L Word
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21/06/2006, 10:11 PM
Now I'm not a somelier - and when it comes to vino I'm very much out of my depth - but I am/was relatively sure that fermented grapes are meant to come out as wine. DD has a remarkable ability though to turn sultanas into biochemical weapons that I'm sure George Dubbya would be interested in. Tonight's effort made me open every window upstairs (even though the temperature is in single figures) just so that I could breathe without feeling faint.Today was long and hard. My brain felt like soup and every neuron had to be prompted to connect. Just feel mentally sluggish. I'm feeling less tired though. I actually feel awake and alert most days now which is nice. I'm also doing OK in the keeping the house running. But tonight I just felt like I hit the wall, I want my DH home and I want him here now. Stupid little things were annoying the crap out of me and DD was just aggravating me. Which is completely unfair on her because she wasn't doing anything particularly naughty at all - it's just that DH isn't here to help. So I'm cooking dinner, entertaining her and trying to clean up at the same time. And all I wanted to do was sit on the couch and vegetate. Makes me realise yet again waht a gem I have for a husband. He does so much around the house that often I don't even really notice - or more accurately acknowledge. A misses him too, and thinks that every car that pulls into our driveway is him. It's so sad watching her little face light up with so much excitement as she jumps off the couch and runs to the top of the stairs yelling "Daddy's home!" and having to tell her that Daddy's still at work and won't be back for a little while. She just slumps. I haven't really talked about DH on here and don't mention him nearly amuch as he deserves to be - usually only when I'm angry and frustrated. I met DH during my second week at college. I was barely 17 and excited to be living away from home for the first time. I was meeting so many new people and was enjoying my freedom and independence and the fact that no one knew me and hence I got to "start over" with regards to how I wanted to portray myself. The only thing that was slightly difficult was that I had no money and that I didn't drink. Both of which are a bit of a social issue when you're at College.But I quickly made friends and found myself hanging around a specific wing of college where most of my new friends lived. DH was a second year and I met him in the corridor of Merrington Wing in second week. I would love to be able to say that my first impression of him was love at first site but that would be lying . I thought he was very weird. But he must have made an impression on me because I can still remember meeting him more than 7 years later. I obviously made an impression on him as well because from that date on he would often spring up beside me wherever I was. He also made it abundantly clear that he was "interested" in me. And being a typical nonsensical teenager I found his obvious interest a complete turn off. Plus he was weedy and weird... not cool boyfriend material. (Ah the shallowness of youth )As the year progressed I started going out with someone and spending time with our large group of friends (DH was part of the group). I can remember thinking at one stage that I was the happiest I have ever been in years. I was social, I was skinny, I had a job, I could buy my own things, I was happy, I was popular, I had a boyfriend and life just felt fabulous. I think I embodied joie de vivre. And DH was still there. Always around, still making it abundantly clear that he liked being around me and that he wanted more than being friends. And I remember thinking of him like an annoyance, someone nice enough that just did not get the hint that I was not remotely interested. One night we were watching TV and he reached over and held my hand. I can remember feeling the spark that flew up my arm and rendered me mute. At the time I brushed it off as annoyance that he was still harrassing me when I had a boyfriend! But even then I remember my subconscious whispering that I should have been more angry at him, and that I could stil feel the pressure of his hand around mine for hours afterwards.After that incident I tried to avoid DH. Even when my "relationship" with the other guy ended messily and tearfully (I was still very seventeen) I still stayed well away from him. It wasn't just his keen-ness, or hiw weird-ness. There were things about DH that just bugged me like his propensity to say complely inappropriate things at the worst moment and his social awkwardness. He was still a very nice person though and I couldn't bring myself to be mean as others were.At the end of that first year he left to go to the USA to teach skiing and snowboarding in Colorado. And before he left he basically let me know that he was still interested. And I brushed him off.So the new year started much as the first year of uni had. Fun, exciting and full. With the added bonus that I was now 18 and could go out on Thursday nights with everyone else and get stupidly drunk, dance and sing around the piano bar at the top of my lungs. I was also in the grip of a pathological desire to make my ex-"boyfriend" fall in love with me and spent far too many hours wondering about how he felt about me. I corresponded sporadically with DH with light, fluffy and inconsequential e-mails and life just moved on. DH came back to college but I saw him much less as my popular friends and I had moved to a different wing of the college and life was full on with the social whirl and studying and classes etc. Wasn't quite as happy as in first year what with the unrequited love and all (looking back I still have no idea what I was thinking!) but still enjoying life.Then Nana got sick. At first it was just sick, something that happens when you hit your late 60s, things get worn down, colds and flus can be serious and Nana was always healthy, it obviously wasn't a big deal. Life continued on pretty much as normal.Then she started deteriorating. She was sick, she was in pain and there was no diagnosis. Her face changed as it became thinner and paler. Her mannerisms changed, her very person seemed to be ill, her stuborness and opinions began to be less prominent. To me that was when I knew she was sick. She just didn't seem to be Nana any more. And suddenly my light fluffy social world didn't seem quite so fun any more. And my friends were for the most part as light and fluffy as my life was at that point, that was one of the major reasons I loved being around them - they were so happy and positive. I withdrew a lot. My friends to be fair didn't abandon me or anything, but they didn't understand and to be honest they had their own lives. They helped, or at least tried to, but they were still having fun. And their grandmother's were either fine or had died, afterall - it's kind of an expected thing. Then Nana was diagnosed. I was still living in dream land where even though she had metastatic, indolent, late stage T cell lymphoma that you treated that and she owuld be OK. Only a month or so ago she'd been fine. She was going to be OK. That's why we have doctors and hospitals. It got worse.Then on my 19th birthday my Aunty called to let us know that Nana was in palliative care. I didn't really understand what that meant - they were giving up? How does that work? Does that mean that she was going to die? She was perfectly fine3 months ago...She died 3 days later with everyone there with her exactly as she would have wanted.I was a mess. The day of her funeral I barely remember, but I turned to one of my (male) friends to try and cheer me up. His method of cheering me up is one that I will not talk about here. The fact that I still had my virginity afterwards though is something that I will thank God for for the rest of my life however. My brain was not in gear at all that evening. After that day, I was very flat. I associated with my quieter, more empathetic friends. And one night while I was wandering around at some stupid hour I noticed DH's light was still on. I chatted inanely for hours with him while he maintained a somewhat bewildered expression on his face. But I had not felt so safe and at home as I did that night in months. I eventually fell asleep on his bed - and unlike my other "friend", DH tucked me in and kissed my forehead - aside from that he didn't touch me. A few weeks passed with DH and I spending more and more time together. I didn't think that we were starting a relationship at all - just that he was such a good friend. And that I just relaxed in his presence. He made me feel happy again. He made me smile. And he made me feel special and important and loved. Our other friends were watching this with smug amusement and waiting for the moment when we'd announce that we were "going out" (Hey we were only 19 ) but I still was just coasting and enjoying feeling comforted. Til one day another friend pulled me aside and asked me how I felt about DH. Until that moment I hadn't honestly thought about it. And it wasn't until my friend smugly declared that I was in love with him that it dawned on me that I did care about him. And not just as a friend. I will never forget how surprised I felt at that moment. IT felt like the twist in the plot that king hits you because it was so glaringly obvious. And from that day we were a couple A very cute, very highschool couple. I didn't sleep with him for months. We did fun things like go to the beach and build sandcastles. He took me to meet his parents in northern Qld and we went fishing. And I have never felt as at home as I have with my DH. He is the most beautiful person I've ever known in my life. And he loves me. Deeply, wonderfully, completely. He is my safe place to fall but he is also the one who lifts me up and inspires me. He is the one that makes me shine. He held me as I brought the most precious light into our lives and will be there when we go through it again in September. I could write for hours in here and I still could not convey how much I love my husband. And right now I miss him so much it hurts.

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22/06/2006, 08:59 PM
Very tired. Have all of these things that I want to talk about like education and justice and health, and the far less lofty subjects of studying and working and daycare. But brain is just sludgy. Too tired to cook dinner for me tonight as well. BOnus of that is that there's no reflux. I'm ignoring commercial television at the moment and watching some bizarre documentary about kids that are preparing for some Biology Olympiad or exam. I think it's called "Battle of the Brains" or some such. It's fascinating stuff and kind of weird at the same time. When I was at school I participated in the Chemistry Olympiad and several international Maths tournaments/exam things. One of them was a Russian competition that runs for 9 hours and was called "Tournament of the Towns" or something. There were about 9 problems I think, and to receive an award you needed to solve at least one of them. In my best year I think I solved four. I look back on those days and what I used to be able to do and I wonder if it was some sort of weird hallucination, because these days I have trouble remembering to brush my hair in the morning. My brain just doesn't seem as "sharp". I remember going to see the careers counsellor at school where he tried to find out what I was planning on studying at university - was I going to go into Law? Medicine? Engineering? Higher Mathematics? I honestly couldn't answer. At that time my answers were pretty much jst that I wanted to leave home, that I wanted to have fun and that my only goals for the future were to get married and have babies. I was definitely interested in a lot of things, forensic archaeology, palaeontology, pure mathematics, architecture, fine art, languages, culture, psychology. But I had no ambition for a particular career. I just wanted to learn. So I did almost all of the above subjects. I studied literature and philosophy in English, French and Spanish; I studied physics and mathematics; I did subjects on human health and dissection; I did film appreciation subjects and I delved into the history of medicine. I loved flicking through my subject list book and highlighting anything that looked interesting to me. And not one of them pointed towards that elusive career that I was apparently aiming for. I remember feeling completely lost and bewildered. My friends were ambitious and studious - they had set career goals and were working towards them. I was just floating around hoping for something to grab me. When I looked at my list of subjects that I had done there was a definite trend in the Science path - many of the subjects related to the human body. The way it works and functions and the things that can go wrong. And when I looked abstractly at my Arts stream I saw a similar trend - subjects about the human experience. And somehow I married the two in my head and came up with medicine as a career goal. It would fulfil my desire to continue studying and learning, and give me more insight into the fascinating lives of people - the way they work and function, the way they interact with their environment. My voyeurism on life could be gratified and I could help people at the same time. And for the most part I'm enjoying it. At times the restriction and the didactic nature of the course drive me up the wall mostly it is fascinating. There's also a modicum of respect garnered by it (perhaps undeservedly) that makes it feel like something worthwhile to do with my life. But one fascinating thing that I've been pondering is that the more I study and learn, the more I understand; and the more I understand, I realise the less that I "know". Education is a srange mistress, holding back answers to questions just out of reach. While I have never been a black and white person - the more study I do and the more I understand, the greater the divide between the two and the more turbulent the grey area between. It's almost as if absolute knowledge is a tiny boat lost at sea, where sometimes the shores are visible and it seems like you can see the answer - before the swell or the waves swallows it up and there's no direction or compass to guide you again.Hmm. I think I got a little lost in my metaphor there - maybe I'm becoming slightly delirious! But the point of this was that I've always loved learning. And while I may have depreciated on the IQ scores in recent years - there's still so much more I want to learn (even if it means that there will be less that I will know)

Fibonacci Hot and Cold
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25/06/2006, 10:10 AM
DH is home and we're having a lovely weekend. The weather is spectacular today, I got to sleep in and the house is (relatively) clean. We picked DH up from the airport on Friday night which was lovely. DD was very happy to see her Daddy, and her Mum was pretty happy as well. It was just lovely to actually all be togeter again. I'm such a sook though, he was only gone for a week! But for us, and our family that is a long time. Saturday was nice as well. DD graced us all with a rare sleep in and afterwards we had pancakes for breakfast - of note only because eating breakfast around here is sporadic at best (for the adults) so eating something like pancakes is actually kind of exciting lol. We then decided to head off to the shops for the morning to have a look at the sales and just walk around. I had a MYer voucher to spend so I bought the Crab some wondersuits and the Grot a few Wiggles CDs that were on sale (2 CDs for $13!) and DH bought more Lego (for the Grot apparently ). I love shopping with vouchers - it feels lovely because I don't feel guilty for anything I spend it on. It can't be exchanged for cash and you are obliged to actually spend the vouchers in a store. Had lunch after that which was nice because we don't often eat out as a family. And I decided while having lunch that I wanted to get my hair cut. For clarification my hair has been waistlength since I was about 4 years old. I have sporadically had it trimmed at the hairdressers or had layers put in, and then about 6 years ago I had it cut to about 5cm below my shoulders which at the time felt very risque and daring (I actually kept the plait of hair that they cut off to give to my Mum!). But because that style was a bit curly and puffy it was too much maintenance and too much of a change for me to keep up. So, the point of all that is that I have been annoyed with my hair lately - and my tendency to pull the whole lot up off my face and clipped back for work. And realistically, it spent all of my non-work time in exactly the same fashion. So I decided that being as my hair grows at the late of literally a few centimetres a month that I would do something new and different for me and if I didn't like it, well a) I will soon have a newborn to deflect attention from me and b) it grows so fast that it's no big deal anyway. So I got it cut in a style that is just touching my shoulders with nice long layers (but no volume factor) and a choppy fringe thing. And looking in the mirror as the chunks of hair fell to the floor behind me in long black tendrils it was surreal. The lovely girl cutting my hair kept checking with me that I wanted to cut so much off but I just kept smiling - because as it all came off I had this bizarre sensation of looking at myself in the mirror and thinking "there you are". The person looking back at me in the mirror actually LOOKED like me for the first time in months and maybe years. I look like someone who cares about themselves now. Some would say that I probably look like everyone else, but what I look like is an early 20s woman who looks happy and excited by life. I am not beautiful and never have been, but I feel hot at the moment because I feel like I've been hiding behind my boring clothes and hair. I used to be very eclectic in my clothes and style and it feels like that part of me is visible again. All in all it just feels lovely and I love my hair and me at the moment. To top off a happy day we had tickets to see Coldplay last night. Seeing live music is something that DH and I have always loved and I'm glad we've managed to do it even with children. It's also a nice tradition in that when about 28 weeks pregnant with DD we went to see Live and something about hearing "Heaven" live while your baby kicks is incredible. Last night's concert was fantastic and great to watch as well. I have so many favourite songs and they were all better live. Yellow was magic because as they were playing they dropped giant yellow balloons filled with gold confetti onto the moshpit so there were these great bouncing orbs throughout the song which would occasionally burst in a shower of gold. Then at one stage Chris Martin actually ran into the crowd and jumped up on the seats 2 rows in front of us and sang. It was just incredible. I have always loved Coldplay and the whole experience was just amazing. I wish we could go out to see our favourite bands more often. November we are going to see U2s postponed tour which should be interesting as we will have a 2 month old then. But as someone who has waited 8 years for this concert I'm not missing it!So that's been my weekend thus far. Very mundane in the scheme of things - but exciting for us and our family.Oh and this is post number 50! Wow, I had no idea my propensity to ramble about nothing was this bad!

Fits, Faints and Funny Turns
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27/06/2006, 09:04 PM
Nothing much happening. Far too busy to be doing anything interesting. Fainted today. It's nowhere near as romantic as it looks in movies. Odd, nauseous feeling followed by spots in vision and suddenly thr floor is closer than you remembered. Have done it before but today was weird. Afterwards even though I was shaky and blood pressure all over the shop I remember thinking it was actually kind of funny because in the movies or more accurately soap operas it's always the sign of a pregnancy.I am starting to wear down. I hate using pregnancy as an excuse but the reality is that I'm tired. I also have so much stuff to do that would be tiring even if I wasn't gestating. I'm not as sick any more thankfully - Only vomiting every 2 or 3 days which is a HUGE improvement. Any time my blood sugars drop though I feel a bit queasy. Which is fun as next week I Have my GTT. The idea of drinking a liquid jellybean the size of a cricket ball is enough to make me feel ill just thinking about it.Have ordered more nappies this week. Am feeling very excited by that. But mostly I'm just looking forward to having my baby. I look definitely pregnant at the moment. Is it strange that I feel weird that everyone can tell now? I've never pretended to be logical before though

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01/07/2006, 08:27 PM
I'm probably tired and I'm definitely still sick so that must be it. Inlaws are visiting and sometimes I wish that they weren't actually so nice because then I could just whinge and people would sympathise. Unfortunately they are lovely people who mean very very well. But I'm feeling oversensitive and sick and hormonal so things bother me.Things like the fact that MIL bought me some maternity clothes today because she wanted to. It was a lovely gesture and I hate myself for feeling slightly unhappy about it. How ungrateful am I? I guess there are two things there - one that I feel that in buying me clothes it's almost a "you look dreadful so I had to try and fix the situation" (which it isn't) and two, the fact that she bought me clothes in a size larger than I am so now I feel like I must look disgusting and fat as well as poorly dressed. Neither of those feelings are fair on my MIL at all because I know that she didn't mean it in either of those ways. But as I said in the title, oversensitive.Secondly is people's fascination with "tricking" us into revealing the sex of this baby and trying to get DD to tell them. It actually makes me completely p*ssed off. It is our news. Our baby. Our decision. I know it's irrelevant in the end - obviously by September everyone will know. But right now, it is something special between DH, DD and I. It is no one else's and they have no right to it. We don't have many special, three of us, family things. This one is. It separates us from everyone else. I don't find it "funny" when people try and manipulate DD into saying the baby's name. It feels like they are just trying to ruin one of the few things I've been able to keep quiet about this pregnancy. I never wanted anyone to know I was pregnant until I dealt with it myself and I didn't get to do that. Similarly, I wanted to have the time to bond with my baby while he/she was still a bit of a "theoretical" concept to others. I don't want comments on the names we have chosen, I don't want other people feeling like they "know" my baby either. I make no sense. I am being oversensitive. And I haven't even told DH how I feel. So that's why I'm blurting it out on a silly online diary.But one of the things for me is the fact that DH is not a gushy, over the top father to be. He doesn't chat to my belly, or act ridiculously overprotective or ANY of those things that movie Dads do. I don't want to live in a movie, but his inability to get caught up in the "miracle of pregnancy" means that anything he does that is related to the baby feels special and intimate. Calling the baby by name, and asking me how ***** is going makes me feel much as I guess the wives of the "gushy" Dads do. I am not ready to share that with the world at the moment. I just want to enjoy our family. I wish I wasn't so sensitive about my appearance. I really do. When I was little I used to pray that God would make me pretty when I grew up. In fact I used to make bargains, God could take away my "smartness" because that was the only special thing I had if he would make me beautiful. And sometimes even now, as ridiculous and childish as it is, I would trade some IQ points for "looks" points. I know it is immaterial, and I know that I'm a fairly nice person. But sometimes that just feels like what people say to ugly children to make them feel better. I have finally started putting on weight, which is bittersweet. I know it is a good thing, and that it means the baby is healthy. But sometimes I look in the mirror and want to cry. I almost wish that I could be anorexic again, because then at least I wouldn't be fat. I felt so good last weekend. So happy, so OK with my appearance. And this weekend I just feel like crap. Maybe it's because I put on weight, maybe it's because I'm tired, maybe it's because my MIL overestimated my size, maybe it's because I've had to listen to stories about how "gorgeous" relatives are. Just feeling hideous and paradoxically very very small.Edited to say that I KNEW I shouldn't have posted that I was feeling less sick. Vegemite coming out of my nose was apt punishment I think.

J'ai vomi dans la voiture
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03/07/2006, 02:04 PM
Sounds so much classier in French, but there is nothing classy about vomiting in your car. Or on the street, or in the gutter, or the bathroom, or the shower, or anywhere really.SO my day today has been very declasse.I feel hideous. Worse than hideous. I have vomit in my nose and I can't clean it out. The Grot also did an explosive out of nappy poo this morning that went on her jeans (haven't had a blowout since she was about 3 months!) which was fun as well.I am feeling miserably ill. I don't want to eat anything and worse I don't want to DRINK anything. I am forcing myself to drink small sips of lukewarm water to try and keep from getting dehydrated because I cannot go to hospital. But I have just had enough. I love being pregnant but this I do not love at all. The weekend was nice but busy. We had a birthday party to go to yesterday with a "cocktail reception" as I think they're called. It was very nice, at a lovely location with fabulous views and lots of nice people, but the food was mostly fried or a big fat listeria no no. So I ate the fried stuff against better judgement and promptly threw it up in the bathrooms. (I am such a classy guest these days). And I haven't stopped vomiting since. I had at least 3 people comment on my weight (although every comment was that I looked like I had lost a lot of weight) and many more assertions that I didn't look 29 weeks pregnant. It's an interesting thing that your physical appearance becomes the subject of public discussion when you're pregnant. Not many people think it appropriate or in good taste to comment on your size or physique when you're not pregnant, yet somehow, along with everything else in pregnancy, the minute you announce your "news" it's everyone's business.It becomes OK for someone to openly and critically look you up and down and then to your face to make comments on whatever they saw. People also feel perfectly comfortable discussing your vagina and your breasts, and haemorrhoids seem to be hugely fascinating to some as well (have no idea as have never had them). There's just a complete lack of boundaries. I'm sure no one woudl talk to an obviously post menopausal woman about her presumed vaginal atrophy. Why therefore is the state of my perineum up for grabs? I don't find it so much insulting as peculiar. I'm feeling psychologically better today. I don't know why I got so upset the other evening. It's so silly . Or maybe it's just that driving home and pulling over to vomit in the gutter puts it all into perspective.

Encore Malade
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04/07/2006, 07:49 PM
Encore nauséeux. Merde. Have been attempting to be thoughtful and thought provoking lately but it's failing miserably. The day to day busyness makes it too difficult to be a philosopher I think. Things that I have been pondering lately are very much centred about birth and children (which isn't particularly conducive to study!).The birth of DD was an incredible event. But what was even more incredible was just what the reality of having a child is like. The emotional, physical, mental, financial commitment that is involved. No matter what you read, or how much you think you understand it's just impossible to comprehend. When reality had well and truly set in DH and I looked at the situation and basically decided that 2 children would suit us best. For many reasons. And because we were only going to do it once more I was going to do it PROPERLY best laid plans and all that.But the thing is that if I'm going to stick to the 2 child policy then this is it. I'mnever going to be pregnant again. My uterus and all the other reproductive paraphernalia might as well be packed into a dusty box in the corner. At 24 I don't think I'm ready to give up my reproductive life yet! What a selfish sentiment.But deeper than the reproductive urge is the feeling that I can't believe that our family will be complete in 2 short months. Just the four of us? In some moods that sounds so balanced and perfect. In others it seems so small and unfinished. I am one of 3 children, DH one of 4. And I always wanted a big family of my own. But I'm not sure if I could do it. The idea of not having any more babies feels wrong as well. This pregnancy has been an emotional and physical rollercoaster (while still somehow being normal and routine)but even still it is worth it. I haven't even had my little crab yet and I"m half planning Oofty #3. And considering a homebirth of all things! But that's a different post. For a day when the spacebar isn't sticking and I can string more than 3 words together.

But the greatest of these is love
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08/07/2006, 11:10 AM
Let me not to the marriage of true mindesAdmit impediments, love is not loveWhich alters when it alteration findes,Or bends with the remover to remove.O no, it is an ever fixed markeThat lookes on temptests and is never shaken;It is the star to every wandering barke,Whose worth's unknowne, although his height be taken.Love's not Time's foole, though rosie lips and cheeksWithin his bending sickle's compasse come,Love alters not with his breefe houres and weekes,But beares it out even to edge of doome:If this be error and upon me proved,I never writ, nor no man ever loved.One year ago today that was read to DH and I as we held hands in our winter finery. Shakespeare said it better than I ever could. Happy Anniversary

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09/07/2006, 08:59 PM
Nothing quite like a 4 course anniversary dinner with a mylanta chaser.

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11/07/2006, 09:35 PM
Lots of boring stuff to write/whinge about Saturday as well as being my first anniversary also had the questionable honour of being my date with the sugar drink of death. Let me preface my experience there with a few interesting tidbits. When not pregnant if I eat more than a few lollies then I get tremors, a racing heart beat, often a headache and quite severe nausea. When pregnant I have half those symptoms on a daily basis WITHOUT lollies. As you can therefore surely imagine, drinking a giant liquid jellybean complete with artifical colouring and flavouring is not going to be a joyful event. I think I should have sold tickets.Like a good patient I booked my test for Saturday morning and fasted as per instructions (was very easy as Friday night I was feeling hideously ill and didn't want to look at food). DH then dropped me off on Saturday morning at the collection centre. I then got to take my very suspicious looking urine specimen jar with its "inconspicouous" paper bag and provide a sample so they could make sure that I wasn't already dumping sugar from my kidneys (either that or wth my unbrushed hair and daggiest clothes they were making sure I wasn't on drugs).Following that a jab to test my baseline bloods and then I was presented with a styrofoam cup and the bottle of doom. You may think I'm overdramatising what is to many simply a bottle of relatively flat soft drink - kind of like what a slush puppy with too much syrup would taste like (something that I would have considered treat to end all treats as a child) if someone attempted to put it through a soda stream (are they even available any more - but I digress).Being as the "clock" doesn't start until you finish the entire bottle I looked carefully at my nemesis, examining the nutritional panel which yielded the obvious - high carbohydrate drink with no other nutritional value. Stalling as long as possible I poured out the visocous lime green mixture - much like one weary at the end of a rough day. Swirling the green around the styrofoam it stirred an unwelcome memory - it looked exactly like the absinthe I had drunk in a veritable orgy of drink mixing after my second year exams. With this unpleasant thought swirling around with the drink I raised the cup to my mouth and downed it in a gulp before pouring the second drink.My mouth was now coated in the sickly lime mixture but it wasn't as bad a I remembered last time. "This will be a breeze" I thought to myself as I lifted the elegant styrofoam a second time and downed the cordial with aplomb. There was now about one cup full left in the bottle and I began to pour it into my styrofoam cup. My mouth by this stage felt like it was coated in green jelly and what had been a mildly sweet aftertaste on my tongue was now a nauseating sickly saccharine. As I lifted the last cup my nose smelt the fake lime and my abdomen contracted in response. I could hear the refusal of my mouth to open as my brain desperately pleaded with it to cooperate and get this whole ordeal over with. Blackmailing my taste buds by promising a gastronomic feast for dinner I managed to skol the last of the cordial and felt some sort of bizarre sense of achievement.Triumphant I took my empty bottle as evidence up to the counter so that the timer could be set and settled back on the uncomfortable plastic chairs with a 6 month old tabloid magazine thinking about the fact that I could smell the "lime" on my breath and that sitting around for 2 hours was going to be incredibly boring. Fast forward 5 minutes and I swear I could feel the transport of every single molecule of glucose as it crossed my gastrointestinal mucosa. In an assault that kept coming and coming my stomach bucked like an unbroken colt at the insult and I fought desperately to keep every drop of that revolting mixture in my GIT. As the sugar laden blood trekked its way up the portal vein I swear I could feel my liver quake at the coming onslaught. Waves of nausea broke out over my whole body, my heart rate increasing and my whole body broke out into a cold sweat. Then it hit my systemic circuit. Nauseous and giddy I realised that I was actually swaying in the chair. I also realised that the other occupants of the waiting room were shooting me covert looks - probably thinking that I'd had a long hard night and was now drunkenly swaying to some internal melody - no doubt something terribly 80s based on my lack of rhythm. Fighting an incredible urge to just go to the bathroom and get rid of any of the sludge left in my stomach and instead tried to focus on Jennifer Aniston's heartbreak. I also thought about the fact that the floor looked much more stable than my plastic chair, and also meant that I couldn't drop the magazine in a drunken display of incompetence. I mean it's pretty sad seing someone who obviously can't hold their drink!So I sat on the floor, still feeling as drunk as I ever have, with Simone Warne's latest crisis swimming before my eyes. Terrified that I was either going to pass out, or worse vomit (and hence have to go through this torture again) I decided to lie on the floor of the waiting room. My dignity by that stage was non existent. I couldn't have given a flying fig what the others in the waiting room thought of my ability to hold my drink - my entire energy was focused on furious bargaining with my GIT to submit to the ordeal. I suddenly became aware of a cheerful and then concerned far too chirpy voice asking if I was feeling quite alright. For some reason (perhaps because I was drunk) I thought that this comment was hilarious and had to stifle what would have sounded like somewhat hysterical laughter at the absurdity of the question - surely pregnant women are not in the habit of lolling around on the floor of their collection centre!Attempting to muster some semblance of my normally controlled self I pathetically tried to convey that I was "fine" in as blithe a voice as was possible in the circumstances. But when I was offered a glass of water I gratefully accepted. When a following offer of a bed to lie down on was procured I dropped the pretense and meekly followed the nurse to the collection bed for the wimps who faint at the sight of blood and weirdos like myself that can't even drink flat soft drink without turning it into a spectacle. I also realised with some horror that there was still another 40 minutes before my first blood collection. Those 40 minutes ticked away so slowly I swear that at times my watch was actually going backwards. The Crab at this stage was also obviously getting a bit of a sugar rush, because the squirming began. In some ways this was good, as it reminded me that there is a very special person that I was doing this for. But by the same token, the feet into my liver and epigastrium was not helping my nausea. Eventually the hour passed and the alarm went off. The relief I felt at that moment was immense. I was also starting to feel less systemically affected - my heart rate had come down and I wasn't feeling anywhere near as dizzy. I could also sit on the edge of the bed without the uneasy sensation that I was actually on an unstable boat in 2m swell. The second hour passed uneventfully, with even the nausea starting to taper off and being replaced with boredom and a desire to get the hell out of there. And so ended the morning of my first wedding anniversary. I called my OBs office today to find out the results, and one is pleased and proud to announce that I have a perfectly functional pancreas and that I am in no danger of gestational diabetes whatsoever. Ironically my week has been filled with diabetes. New diagnoses, old diagnoses, complicated diagnoses. And as hideous as that whole test was, getting to see what happens if and when you get diabetes is enough to make sure that I would front up again and again to make sure that I don't have it and that I wasn't putting the Crab at risk either. My brain has returned as well in the last week and all of my neurons appear well-rested and eager to work after their lengthy holiday. I'm glad they're returned - it does make my attempts at professionalism a little less farcical. I also realised today that I got a Dean's commendation for my results of first semester which is lovely and gratifying and makes all the sacrifices we're making seem worthwhile. Only 16 days left until I pack up the uni side of my life into a tidy crate for a year and focus on being a Mum and a Pregnant Lady and washer of gorgeous fluffy bamboo nappies (it truly is love at first sight/touch there). Can't hardly wait!Oh, and a disclaimer, for anyone reading this, my experience with the 2hr GTT is not typical, and certainly not common. I think the combination of a general sensitivity to sugar when added to Hyperemesis and anxiety about possible vomiting and having to repeat the test gave me my embarrassing effects. I wouldn't wish them on anyone

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13/07/2006, 03:54 PM
I have turned into a crazy pregnant woman. One of those ones who becomes obsessed with babies and baby things. I can spend HOURS looking at cloth nappy websites. I almost drool over the patterns that some of them come in. They're so cute I mean look at this and tell me it's not gorgeous I dare you But it doesn't stop at nappies, DH dreads goign into department stores with me because if I am let loose in the children's wear and nursery department I am liable to ruin any and all attempts at frugality within seconds. I want to buy whole ranges of tiny little clothes. The sad thing is, that even when not in department stores I am thinking about soft miniature clothing and whether or not buying embroidered white jumpsuits is really such a bad idea. Then there is all the other baby paraphernalia. Cots, cradles, prams, rocking chairs, slings and swings. I already HAVE all these things and yet I want to buy more more more. *look that one has carving over the headboard - can we buy it* Can a baby really have too much in the way of bedding anyway??Then there are toys. Soft toys, cuddly toys, educational toys, toys that go *ping*. We already have a mountain of them at home but I still want to buy them. I am obsessed. It is taking all of the tiny reserves of rationality that I have left to put things back on the shelf. The only thing that I am allowing myself to spend money on is the cloth nappies - as most require a direct deposit and hence I only pay for them out of my Family Tax Benefit that I receive each fortnight (which is my "pocket money" to spend on fuel for my car, coffee with friends, phone cards and whatever else I want). The other reason why I'm "allowed" (well in my rationalisation anyway) to buy them is because I didn't do the cloth nappy thing last time and it is ever so much mroe practical to get a stash happening BEFORE the crab gets here Speaking of the Crab, all is well on that front (well so far as I can tell). Lots of kicks. I am almost sure that he is head down at the moment because a) all the kicks are in my chest and stomach and b) there's a hard round bump easily palpable in the suprapubic region whose dimensions are very headlike. Oh and we're up to week 31 now. How fast is that going? Third trimester, 8th month. Feels like yesterday I was sheepishly buying my HPT!The Grot is going well at the moment. Somehow she seems to have doubled in height in the last few weeks. Her weight hasn't changed but she's getting so tall. We have no idea where that comes from. DH and I were both midgets and at 5'9 and 5'7 respectively it's not like we're huge now. She's only 12 and a bit kgs and I would estimate her height at the moment to be about 90cm (that could be way off). She is still incredibly active and her carers at childcare always look exhausted when I pick her up. She just keeps going and goign like the Energizer Bunny. The funniest thing is though is watching her best friend try and keep up - by the end of the day he looks completely knackered. DH is pretty tired at the moment. I think that work's been busy plus he seems to almost have a cold that's running him down. It's very unlike him to complain of feeling "off" so he must be feeling relatively crap. I hope he feels better soon. I think maybe I need to help him out more and give him more rest. I sometimes forget that he needs that too Still at uni but only 15 days to go. Loving that in the extreme. Uni is just flowing really well and I'm not finding it difficult at all except for the inevitable tiredness at the end of the day. But sometimes I just get hyped up by somethign that piques my interest and I can run on that for a few days. That's what I love about the career I've chosen - there's ALWAYS something interesting happening. When you're working with people it's impossible not to find someone or something that makes you think. It's my only distraction from my baby obsession at the moment as well. I'm scared to think what I'm going to be like when I don't have that to focus on any more - I will have to let down my tyres or something so I can't go shopping!

Wisdom and Inspiration
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17/07/2006, 08:53 PM
Trying to work out where this entry is going to go. But my brain is refusing to come up with a cohesive summary so it will just be my usual unstructured blah.I have been thinking about things again - and not uni things which is always a bad sign. Been thinking about what it has meant to me to be a mother. The Grot was my initiation to this weird world. Pregnancy itself was pretty much a breeze, and I thank her for that. I didn't exactly glow with soft back lighting, but I felt happy, and content and fertile and womanly and all of the metaphors of blossoming fecundity. With my baptism of pain, and the presentation of my squirming, slippery offspring I expected to feel instantaneous love, but what I really felt was awe. As I later watched DH holding our satin cheeked, peaches and cream complexioned infant, the enormity of what we had achieved started to dawn. The full implications of what it meant to pass into the realm of motherhood were being shown to me. Her helplessness and dependence were both terrifying and humbling. There was the ego gratifying notion of "hey we made that" - see those perfect little shellpink fingernails and those unbearably cute fuzzy, hairy monkey ears? We made those! For weeks afterwards I was high. Running on adrenaline, or love or just sheer emotion. I never had the 3 day "baby blues". Everything just came as naturally to me as if I had been doing it my whole life. It was so easy, the 2 hourly feeds even during the night, the bathing, changing nappies, the baby paraphernalia. I crashed about 3 months into my motherhood journey - mostly from tiredness but also from isolation. Looking after the Grot was easy, and honestly she was what kept me going. For a while I toyed with the idea that I was suffering from post natal depression - and while I probably would have satisified the criteria on many scales, I don't believe that it was so. I was suffering due to my isolation and my feelings of loss of self - but I don't attribute that to hormones or A at all, but through my unwillingness to go out and "make friends" with other mothers. As the Grot began to grow into her fledgling personality I began to enjoy myself more. Although I love babies, fulltime I find them so passive and uninteresting that I felt like my brain was melting. As DD seemed to progress overnight, and interact with the world and more importantly me, I started to feel human again. But I was so happy about getting to go back to uni and feel a little bit like me.The first few times that DD went to daycare I found it very difficult, but she thrived. I felt somewhat guilty and redundant in that DD loved being at daycare - she loved her carer and she loved playing with the other children. And she loved seeing me at the end of every day. I loved the way her face would light up when I'd come to pick her up, before she'd toddle off to play with her friends while checking occasionally to make sure I was still there. Being back at uni was good for me as well. And now I had someone that I had to justify being there for. A was my inspiration. I had to do well for her. I had to pay attention in lectures and study so that I could show that I was doing the right thing for all of us. I aimed for, and achieved 70% as a minimum result, with a high distinction in ethics and consistently good results in my clinical work. I won't pretend it was easy all of the time, and there were other issues that came up that I don't want to discuss in this entry, but for the most part, it was rewarding and fulfilling. Each night, when we were snuggled up in the rocking chair that I had held her in as she breastfed, reading books, I was just overwhelmed with the love I felt for her. When exams approached and I felt myself losing touch with reality I would sometimes be in tears at how hard it all seemed. But then occasionally, when A would wake from a nightmare or just because she couldn't put herself back to sleep, I would sit in the dark with her satiny cheek against mine and rock and as her body became heavy with sleep I would be in tears at how in the end, the only thing that mattered was what was happening right at that moment. In that dark closeness, everything that was important to me was cradled in my arms. And for her, I could be strong enough to do more study, to keep going, to get my degree. She has, and always will be my inspiration to keep going, to try harder, and to achieve more. She has allowed me to keep studying and to pursue my dreams - and without her I could not have continued.The Crab, by contrast, has given me wisdom. Through this pregnancy I have learned a lot. I have had to deal with falling pregnant when I wasn't in the "headspace" that I thought that I should be. I have learned that pregnancy isn't always easy and that "morning sickness" doesn't happen just in the mornings and it doesn't always stop at 12 weeks (as this morning aptly demonstrated). I have learned that pregnancy is not always a joyful event for others to hear about and that sometimes, it hard to feel excited even for yourself. I learned how hard it is to have an expectation of how you should feel enforced by others while you don't feel the same. I have learned that pregnancy and birth do not always result in awe and accomplishment. That they can be associated with pain and devestation. That they can tear families apart with grief. That they can cause a pervasive sense of loss and fear. I have learned fear with this pregnancy. I have felt the panic of losing blood in the second trimester and the bewilderment that accompanies it. I have had a weekend just passed with little to no foetal movement and had the realisation of what a gift pregnancy and the chance of being a mother again really means. I am not arrogant enough to think that I understand everything, or even anything about how hard it is for someone who has been in the horrible position of losing a pregnancy - whether it was greatly anticipated or a difficult surprise. But I have learned things that I couldn't have learned otherwise, without the shock of this pregnancy. The Crab has had me on a sharp and difficult learning curve since day one, and I have no doubt that he/she will continue to teach me humility, patience and empathy.In choosing the names for my children, I never thought so much about their meanings. Although I liked knowing that they didn't mean "bitterness" or "anger" a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet surely? But in their training of me as a mother, my two beautiful babies have taught me that obviously there's more in their names than Shakespeare allowed.

I'm like really like happy like y'know?
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19/07/2006, 11:32 AM
It's official, I have become a ditz. I should dye my hair the brassiest platinum-est cheap home job I can find. Because it would truly suit my personality at the moment.I am so happy and chirpy and bubbly today I think others are wondering if I'm on prozac. I keep looking at the sun shining and smiling because the sun is shining! I am ridiculously happy and for no good reason, aside from eveything is going right with the world. There are nine, count them NINE days left of uni before I get to spend all of my time with the adorable Grot who is becoming more gorgeous and more loveable every single day. My belly is looking almost exactly like a basketball, and for once is getting more attention than my oversized "assets". It's also clad in new clothes today that aren;t BLACK and aren't MATERNITY. Just a nice, pretty, white broderie anglaise top from Jeans West in a size smaller than I usually buy pre-pregnancy. Yesterday was 30 weekish antenatal appointment where I got told again that my blood glucose control was fantastic and I swear you could almost hear my pancreas purring at the praise. Then we got to my blood pressure which at a leisurely 100/60 made my obstetrician very happy. After a day of inducing women with pre-eclampsia it was like he's discovered the lost city of Atlantis or something. Which had me congratulating myself as well - as if I actually had anything to do with it But all in all I felt much like I did in primary school when I got a stamp or sticker for "high achievement" or "good attendance" or whatever. DH was also there which was lovely as it meant that he got to listen to the Crab's heartbeat with the doppler which was good and strong and swooshy just as it should be.I then decided very maturely to blow off the afternoon's planned uni and to go shopping instead. This was a much smarter idea as David Jones had 20% off nursery manchester so I was finally able to buy the Crab it's own set of sheets for the cot in a glorious green from the "Duck home" collection. I then went into the Myer Centre and for some reason Jeans West where they had lots of clothes that I actually liked but sighed at the fact that obviously they don't stock a maternity line. But then I decided I'd *try* some on anyway, hoping that there would be enough stretch in the top or that the baby doll style would fit. AND IT DID!! AND it was on special. So instead of looking like a frumpy old lady dressed in black I actually look like a 24 year old. And because the top I'm wearing today is stretchy-ish it shows off my belly and makes me feel happy. So shallow but so happy.I put all this on the credit card, which really didn't need the extra stress at the moment, but today after reading the Venting board I remembered the Baby Bonus which most fortuitously had been deposited into my bank account today or yesterday so now my Visa is looking rosy and cheerful again.Happy times. I also received fluffy mail on Monday - a Very Baby bamboo which smells bad (due to the plastic it was sent in I suspect) but looks cute and is nice and trim and soft. Ahhhh nappies. So I'm happy happy happy at the moment. Almost deliriously so. Focussing on uni is proving very difficult but I'm managing to appear somewhat professional at least most of the time. I'm just so excited about finishing and nesting and just being a Mum to my beautiful little girl and going to the library and to the beach and all those fun things you can do when you don't have to head off to work every day.

Dropping the Ball
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21/07/2006, 08:25 PM
Was obviously far too happy in the last post - reality has decided to knock me straight back to Earth.Things That Are Not Going Well Right NowUniGoing OK, but OK is not GOOD. My supervisor thinks I am "very good" but not "excellent". I have to work harder. And concentrate more. So annoyed with myself. I really really wanted to go well in this rotation. I didn't want to just be mediocre. Pregnancy isn't really an excuse. Being sick isn't an excuse. Being lazy and tired is a reason but it's not an excuse. Blah. Damn high standards.MotheringFeel like I'm not being a good enough Mum at the moment. Like I'm not giving enough time, attention and stimulation to DD. I try to chat and read and play with her properly every day but sometimes it just feels like I'm taking short cuts. And sometimes the chort cuts are just because I'm tired, not because we've run out of time or anything. She is being so beautiful at the moment that I don't feel like I'm keeping up my end of the bargain. I've promised her twice ths week that I would take her to the library and then haven't. Once because one of my lectures was rescheduled and once because we went and visited friends. But still feel slack.PregnancyVomiting AGAIN today. Thick yellow bile for at least half an hour in the shower this morning. The water went cold so I had to turn it off and was just sitting in the bath tub shivering and retching. Of course DD wandered in because she heard the shower stop and started completely freaking out because Mummy was sick and there was blood streaked yellow crap coming out of my mouth.I've also just had enough of being pregnant today. I can't sleep, I hurt, my back hurts and tonight I had bowel cramps that caused Braxton Hicks contractions that f**king hurt as well. Just felt sore and sorry for myself. My baby has also started to play possum. I can still feel the Crab moving but as it seems to be head down and feet are up in my liver and stomach, I don't get to feel those gorgeous squirmy kicks any more. And it freaks me out. I NEED the reassurance that little feet poking out of my abdomen give me. Being a WifeThis is the biggest giant monkey ball that has been dropped lately. I am sucking big time as a wife at the moment. I'm too tired to pay enough attention to DH. I'm too stressed about uni and too sick to give a damn about sex. He's been sick and instead of being a good, supporting, caring wife I've been getting shirty because when he has a cold he snores, and because he's been grumpy. I've been so completely absorbed in myself and pregnancy lately that I think I've forgotten that DH needs me too. But sometimes I just feel like there's not enough of me to around. And selfishly, sometimes I don't WANT to share me. I want to spend any time that I manage to steal away from uni and the Grot doing what I want to do. Which is hardly fair on DH. Especially as when I withdraw I do it really well. Even my Mum talks about how as a child that I could freeze her out completely. When I'm feeling lost I implode, and all that's left is frozen tundra. Not exactly comforting for those around me.I know that things are bad at the moment, because even the Grot has picked up on it. She keeps wanting cuddles, and to make sure Mummy is OK. Watching her big blue eyes get worried and stressed, and seeing that perfect forehead crumple with concern is making me feel even guiltier.I'm trying hard at the moment, but then it feels like I'm just not trying very hard AT ALL. I know I could be doing more. I should be getting better results at uni, I should be doing better as a mother, I should be looking after myself better for the crab's sake, but most importantly I need to be a better wife at the moment. When DH and I are happy and everything is going well everything else is just so much easier to cope with.HAPPY news now! Yesterday a close family friend had a beautiful baby girl. My womb fairly ached with the gorgeousness of it. She's just so beautiful. The size of newborns. And the smell!I took DD to go and visit her and DD loved it as well. She was very excited by the baby. Right up until I was offered a cuddle. Then the Grot reminded everyone that she is very definitely TWO years old and that I am HER Mummy, not this (admittedly cute) impostor's. With tears and cries of "My Mummy!" I reluctantly had to pass the very beautiful pink bundle back. Watching DD's reaction makes me very nervous for September. But leaving out that little hiccup, I am so happy that I'm pregnant and that I meet my own sweet smelling cherub soon.

How Do I Love Thee?
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23/07/2006, 12:52 PM
Let me count the ways When reading blogs and online diaries or even "due in" threads I am always somewhat bemused and let's be honest, jealous of women whose husbands are very excited about pregnancy and birth. Who spend time gently caressing swollen bellies, and whispering sweet nothings to their growing babies.I do not have a husband like that. Birth and pregnancy are abstract concepts for him. He is excited that he is going to be a Dad again, but short of occasionally feeling half heartedly for kicks on my belly he is not anxiously involved. Buying baby things (unless it involves toys or large assembly) is relatively boring for him, and when it comes to gushing over baby clothes or nappies then he looks at me like I'm from some alien planet.He read "Up the Duff" when I was pregnant with the Grot, and enjoyed "So You're Going to be a Dad", but that was about as involved as he got in the pregnancy. He couldn't tell you if the Crab has eyelashes or not. And frankly, until he gets to hold it, has difficulty visualising the Crab at all. He doesn't mist up at ultrasounds, and doesn't get the same thrill out of hearing the heartbeat that I do. Now all of this sounds as if he doesn't care, or isn't interested. But the fact is, that until the baby is actually HERE, it remains simply an abstract future notion. He isn't ignorant of the fact that it's "difficult" for me at times, but associating me and the baby and all those things together is hard for him.And sometimes, especially when I read about husbands that aren't similarly affected, it's hard for me too.So, yesterday morning when I was still feeling very sorry for myself after a long and miserable Friday, getting an extra long sleep in felt about as generous as DH gets. To be woken up to the rustling of a David Jones bag was a sureal experience. For that bag to contain a stuffed giraffe with a slightly loopy expression on its face specifically for the Crab was about as big an event as happens in this household. When that was followed up by DH presenting me with the Tetra Snuggle Bed that I had mentioned a few times that I would like to buy but wasn't sure about as we're not exactly flush at the moment was enough to make me cry. Even WITHOUT knowing that he actually went to 2 shops on opposite sides of town to find it for me. My DH just DOESN'T buy baby things. Expecially off his own bat. It just doesn't occur to him. So yesterday was lovely. And I was made extra yummy risotto for dinner as well. A husband that cooks, looks after toddlers, lets me have a ginormous sleep in AND buys things for our future offspring is something that I'm very grateful for. Even if I couldn't put it as eloquently as Ms EB Browning

This time tomorrow...
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27/07/2006, 10:22 AM
I will have finished uni for the year and be on maternity leave.That's assuming I pass. I'm going to fail I'm going to fail I'm going to fail I'm going to fail I'm going to fail I'm going to fail I'm going to fail Adrenaline has kicked into overdrive (either that or it's because I nearly got run off the road this morning). Stressed up to my eyebrows (which incidentally are in bad need of waxing - note to self get that sorted this afternoon).Feeling huge at the moment, as though my belly is actually starting to squish my abdominal contents into my chest, which is fine, except the organs that already live there are p*ssed now. So they're either sulking and whinging or they're pushing upwards as well and impinging on what little space my brain has left. ARGHHHHHScared about this exam. Worried I will get somethign that I won't even be able to fake my way through. Or one of those lovely patients that insists they've told you their whole story but then guiltily mention as you get up to leave that "oh and I also have Parkinsons/Asthma/One kidney/had a lobotomy". My pre-exam ritual is always like this, stress to the max before hand, spend the day before swinging from indifference to panic, then wake up tomorrow morning and start the grooming ritual. Since highschool, getting ready fro exams has almost been ceremonious. I would get up, have a shower and wash my hair and shave and all those other shower related thigns. This would be followed by making sure face was clean and blemish free, then do hair so that it looks perfect as well. Then dress in most professional clothes owned (easy when it was school uniform and even for French oral exams I did it). Basically look as confident and well presented as possible. Wear minimal jewellery. But the jewellery that was worn was always significant. It's amazing how many more mnemonics you remember by wearing rings in a certain order.Then absolutely MUST NOT eat breakfast as it's guaranteed to be vomited up in a most unsightly manner. If absolutely necessary then a glass of ice cold water is fine. Get to exam venue and then purchase caffeine loaded drink. My preferred drop is "V" but in a pinch either Red Bull or full strength coke is OK. A can will lasat about an hour, possibly two, a bottle for any exams expected to go over 2 hours.By now stomach is a squirming acid swamp that is adding heart burn to the tachycardia, hypertension and squiggly belly. But, the trade off of all of this is about 2, maximum 3 hours of pure adrenaline filled focus. My brain works like it's on speed. I can concentrate, I pull memories out of nowhere and everything in my brain is a ready tingling mass ready to fire. Then I finish the exams and am completely spent. No energy, no brain power, and somehow my perfectly manicured hair and eyebrows will have decided to escape from my head and will be sticking out at weird angles making me look like some dishevelled, spent, Einstein impersonator. Usually the antidote to all of this is to head to the nearest pub with as many sympathetic friends as possible and do further damage to my GIT with crappy food (wedges with sour cream or kebabs preferrably) and copious volumes of alcohol, thereby blotting out the whole unfortunate day from my brain. But, as a sensible mother and pregnant woman, I will instead probably go home and sleep, or, if in the rare instance where the high feeling persists, I will go shopping and make irrational purchases for the Crab. Either is equally likely. My most hated post exams ritual is one which many like to engage in, which is the gory dissection of the exam. Breaking each point down to its minutiae while someone does a silent tally on who "won". As far as I'm concerned, once I've walked out of the exam room it is over and never to be mentioned again. So by tomorrow afternoon I will be a combination of exhausted, excited, thrilled, spent, possibly drooling but overall beginning to feel that unbelievable sense of pure unbridled FREEDOM that comes with having finished exams. After spending so long hyping myself up about it, it takes a while for the realisation to dawn - but usually, come about 3am after the exam I will be wide awake with the apprehension that it is all done and I am free. (Then I will probably need to go to the bathroom because with a head grinding into my bladder, I'm also on the verge of incontinence )

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28/07/2006, 08:14 PM
Completely and utterly spent. Exhausted. But it's all over. I'm a SAHM again and a lady in waiting. Feels so good to be done, but mostly I'm just numb. Just hasn't sunk in yet.

Things to do when you finish uni
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30/07/2006, 08:50 AM
Alphabetise your entire DVD collection, but first separate into children's DVDs and adults DVDs
Go through entire CD collection and make sure CDs are in their correct cases (alphabetisation optional)
rearrange bookshelves in children's room so that books are arranged from tallest to shortest
resist the urge to organise pantry on similar linesIs this what nesting is? Or is it just filling in time?DH put the cot back together yesterday (it was left as a toddler bed after we bought DDs new bed) and it's now sitting in the corner of our room, complete with its new cheerful bedding, a couple of plush toys, all the baby clothes laid out so that I can admire them at sporadic intervals, and my small cloth nappy stash. I have to admit that seeing the cot being reassembled brought a tear to my eye. As DD was "helping" with the allen key and fetching bolts and holding up the end of the drop side it hit me just how big my "baby" has got. I honestly can't remember her being so small. I remember putting the cot together for the first time, in the brightness of what was to be her nursery consulting the diagram and thinking about having a real life baby in there! And now my baby is feeding the cat by herself and asking "why?" and "what's that?" without pause. The being at home thing is absolutely lovely 2 days in, thoguh I suspect that tomorrow will be the nicest day - when I wake up and realise without guilt that I don't have to go anywhere at all today! That I can just do some washing and some cooking and play with the Grot. Or shall we go to the park? Or the pool?Being as I don't function without routine (ie unless I plan things to do I will sit around all day and watch appalling daytime television) on my agenda for tomorrow is making a "timetable" of sorts of activities for the Grot and I to get through each day. I'm not going to schedule every single waking hour, but just things that needs be doing each day. Aside from it allowing me to actually achieve things each day - I know that the Grot herself does much better when she knows what's coming. I suspect that I will loosely base our days on her current daycare routine, as that is what she is most used to.All of this sounds like i am frightfully organised which is pretty much the opposite of reality! It's just that this is the thing that I found I needed last time I was a SAHM so that the days didn't blend into each other. Everything is going well with all other aspects of life at the moment - nausea and vomiting have been conspicuously absent this weekend and even though it's damning myself to say so, I am hoping that it's finally gone away for good! My only real symptoms now are insomnia. I just can't fall asleep at night. It's like I'm not even tired, and my body refuses to lie still. I've had restless legs before, but this is like restless body syndrome. I'm not feeling tired during the day though - so I guess that I'm getting enough sleep. Well this post is as dull as ever, I've had a few things I wanted to talk about but right now my brain is full of fluff and to tell the truth it feels glorious.

My First Day
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31/07/2006, 05:55 PM
Well my first *official* day of being at home is drawing to a close and the house is still very messy (but the kitchen benches they are pristine!) and we're very happy. Went to the library and cleaned them out of Thomas the Tank Engine books, have bought the makings of a notice board for the Grot's room, organised swimming lessons, managed to get the Grot to have an almost 3 hour midday nap, organised my copayment for private hospital room and studiously avoided cleaning at all costs Also went for a lovely long walk to the park (I've been in the bad habit of driving the 3 blocks to the park - in my defense I live in one of the hilliest suburbs in Brisbane). And pushing a 12kg pram with a 12kg toddler in it reminded me that I've not been doing a lot of strength based exercise lately! Felt lovely to be outside though, and aside from the Grot face planting after a 1.5m fall off the swings it was realy nice to spend the time with her. Not sure if I will be able to walk with her and the Crab to the park though, the hills just about killed me this afternoon as it was!Then when I came home there was not one but THREE packages of fluffy mail!! I'm so excited. My favourite most definitely has to be the tots bots bamboozle. That nappy is surely the softest thing I have ever felt... if I was a baby I would be demanding nothing else on my exquisite skin. I have to stop myself from doing things like rubbing it against my cheek. I also got some covers and a Kissaluvs. The Kissaluvs was relatively cheap but as it's manufactured in the US of A and not locally and is also just cotton I don't know that I'll buy any more. So now we're just sitting around dancing to the Wiggles (I'm taking a break) and waiting for the "man of the house" to come home (and he's late) so taht I can start making my favourite vodka carbonara for dinner. The other lovely thing about being home? I've remembered how much I LOVE cooking. DH who has had home cooked desserts for dinner for the last few nights appreciates it as well! Well this "pregnancy" diary has again failed to have any pregnancy news! Not much is happening, I'm getting steadily fatter and my belly seems to have dropped so at times it really does look like I've swallowed a basketball. Sitting on the couch is now near impossible unless I sit on the edge like I have a pole up the proverbial. Much like its big sister the Crab has nestled in against my spine which makes leaning back extremely uncomfortable. I'm thinking of investing in a fitball because it will be good for my posture anyway. But there just is something so glorious about sinking back into the sofa and watching a movie at the end of the day - even if that movie was Team America World Police. Again deep and meaningful escapes me...

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03/08/2006, 05:59 PM
Had an obsessive cleaning day today. Am now stiff and sore but the house looks relatively clean (sadly much more to go) and will hopefully stay in much the same state. I'm annoyed with myself though, because the more I cleaned the more I could see that needed to be done. Wiping one layer of dirt off to reveal another. I would still be cleaning except my back started to give out on me and being as I can't lie on my back or do my favourite stretches I for once in my life did the sensible thing and slowed down. That must be a first for me. So my plans for the next few weeks involve a lot of scrubbing with or without old toothbrushes and making the whole house have that lovely "clean" smell. Bonus being that I save money by not shopping (bought MORE clothes from David Jones yesterday oops) AND I stay relatively fit because housework is damn hard physical labour. Especially when you have cheap white tiles (who honestly buys white tiles for a kitchen) with matching white-ish laminate that stains if you look at it the wrong way. Pregnancy is going fine. My belly seems to have disappeared for the last few days. Met up with some lovely ladies from here yesterday and even they can vouch for the fact that I'm carrying somewhat "compactly" . But I had a few random people ask me when I was due etc yesterday so must still *look* pregnant, just not 33 weeks. Speaking of which I'm there today. If I go as early as I did with the Grot then I could have as little as 5 weeks left. Now THAT is a scary thought. The Grot is being angelic. She helped me with the cleaning today and was relatively good humoured all day and even had a nap without complaint. Getting so tall and never stops talking. Her sense of humour is developing as well, she can get slightly more complex humour now and can anticipate things. It's quite funny to watch her tranisitioning. We watered the garden this afternoon and had a lot of fun. Husband is being gorgeous. I have had fresh flowers in the house ever since I finished uni (roses yesterday no less ) and last night I also got mint slice biscuits. I swear that I could live off of those things. They are the only junky type food that really does it for me. So much so that I'm actually proud of myself that there are some still left in the fridge I had intentions of talking about breastfeeding in this post in honour of World Breastfeeding Week but will have toleave that for a time when I'm not distracted by urges to vacuum the front verandah.

Breast Feeding
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04/08/2006, 08:20 PM
Well there's a fair bit of discussion this week about mammaries and their fountains of gold so I thought I'd weigh in. As the possesor of a set that would put Jordan to shame and being just generally overopinionated in general it seemed like a good idea.Breastfeeding for me has always been natural, expected and just "something you do" to feed your baby. Until I came to EB I hadn't realised that people were so passionate either way. I hadn't realised the depth of emotion, failure and guilt that some women feel for not breastfeeding. The posts from this week alone have been astounding - that people feel so threatened and inferior when they did not breastfeed is just odd to me.Here is where I launch into the unnecessary but popular personal anecdote...After DD had been birthed and my ragged nether regions had been patched up and shock and hunger had started to set in a little, I asked DH to pass the Grot back to me so that I could get another hit of her gorgeousness. We were all alone in the room, just the three of us, and the Grot looked like she knew what was going on better than we did. She was happily taking in the surroundings unfazed while DH looked like a stunned mullet and I was just high (naturally - no drugs for me). It then occurred to me that all the "books" said it was important to give nursing a bit of a go at this stage. So, naturally I had a go.And the Grot latched on and sucked away painlessly for the next half an hour or so. I was just amazed at how easy it was! She was a natural. This occurred at about 4am (or thereabouts) and afterwards DD fell asleep I think. It was a Tuesday morning, bright, clear and sunny, I remember that, and I remember being wheeled to my room still high as a kite. Parents were called and I couldn't stop grinning. Poor DH though looked like he'd been thoroughly bashed and tortured and was exhausted. The Grot (who was perfect and adorable aside from her ventouse halo) basically slept for most of the day which was pretty understandable when you consider what she'd been through. But I had a midwife pop in incessantly asking if I had fed her yet. When I explained that she had fed in the delivery room and was basically sleeping now I was asked to wake her up and try. So I diligently did, and as expected she wasn't interested. That night though was a different story - she was awake nearly the whole night, WIDE awake and she wanted to feed! Her thirst was insatiable - she could have been latched on all night. And I suddenly understood why some people find it hard to BF, my nipples were becoming chafed and each feed was becoming more and more painful. It was probably made worse by the fact that I kept having to change positions as each midwife insisted that the position I was feeding DD in was *wrong*. They also had a chart to fill in to make sure she was getting enough and often enough. By the third day I felt confident enough to complete falsify the chart and just did whatever seemed right at the time.By the time we came home BFing was pretty much sorted. It was easy, it was convenient, and the Grot and her milky scented self seemed perfectly happy. I then made the mistake that I'm sure many do of taking her to a child health nurse to get her regularly weighed and measured. From very early on (perhaps 6 weeks or so) DD was growing lengthways at a staggering rate, but when it came to weight, apparently she "wasn't putting on enough" and being as she was feeding every 2 hours I was told that my milk might not be enough and that I should try formula. I was even given sachets to take home. It was then that I started to doubt myself. The insidious little voice of motherguilt told me that DD wasn't following her growth curves so I must be doing something wrong. Then there were the concerned but blithe comments from others that she wasn't sleeping *enough*. Even though I knew intellectually that she was fine and that all was goign well, every time I had a bad night, or felt like a crap Mum I would hear that voice saying that I was somehow failing her. I probably could and should have sought more help and reassurance but mostly I was just upset with myself that it wasn't working. But looking back now it WAS working. She was growing, she was healthy, she was happy, she was meeting all of her developmental milestones. I just let all those other voices in my head undermine me. As a young first time mother I didn't inspire huge amounts of confidence in others as it was, and on breastfeeding, they managed to do what I hadn't thought possible, and made me lose confidence in myself. I was still limping long however, and at about 6 months although I was supplemeting with formula I had got to a point where my confidence was starting to re-exert itself. Everything was going pretty well and DD was certainly growing, so I started to feel like maybe I was actually doing fine. I ignored the well meaning comments that had originally unnerved me, and just did what was working so well for us. Everyone was happy.Then at 7 months I had to take medication which is absolutely contraindicated in breastfeeding. As it was only for a week, I figured that if I expressed (even though obviously the milk would have to be discarded) then we could just go back to feedingthe normal way. But when I finally was rid of the medication and tried to latch her on she screamed and refused. I kept trying, becoming as distraught as she was before I caved and gave her the bottles that she wanted instead of me. Over the weeks taht followed that I took the rejection pretty emotionally, but kept feding her formula as the options were pretty limited. And as my supply dwindled, I moved on, because there was no going back now. Looking back it is something that I am still sad about. But sad is the correct adjective, not guilty. I did my best for my little Grot, and although I would definitely do things differently now (oh how wonderously clear is hindsight) she was still fed, loved and nurtured. And for that I refuse to feel guilt.I do however feel anger - not at the women that have breastfed successfully, nor to the ones that say that most can do it. The anger I feel is directed at the continuing societal misconceptions about breastfeeding. That formula is "easier" and the solution to all sleeping problems. That socially it's easier. That so much focus is put on a chart from a bunch of statistics without looking at the child in front of them. It's for this reason that I'm vehemently against the advertising of formula. It is insidious. It is darkly clever. It gets under your skin. It plays on your insecurities and whispers to you in the black of night when you're at breaking point. It makes promises that you want to grasp hold of. It pretends that it is a valid alternative rather than a back-up. And once you're on the band wagon you can't get off. It's so expensive, and it smells so bad. There is none of the milky sweetness of breastmilk, and there's so much stuffing around with cleaning bottles and trying to get specs of milk out of ridiculously expensive teats. So taht's my over the top emotional journey with breastfeeding the Grot. Formula wasn't evil (though it was bloody expensive) but it wasn't necessary, and it wasn't as good as the milk that I made. And I wish I'd had the maturity/wisdom to see that 2 years ago. But I still don't feel guilty about it - the Grot did get a good start to life, and formula fed her for 6 months or so and she thrived.So even with this story, I still don't understand the anger thrown at breastfeeding mothers in recent threads. I don't see them as *smug* or *superior*, personally I see them as the silent cheer squad, the women who are saying - "look it is possible to run the gauntlet of poorly informed and societally conditioned people and still have a fabulous BFing relationship". They inspire me to try even harder this time, and most importantly to seek help from the properly qualified resources that are available to breastfeeding mothers. I know that I *can* breastfeed, my challenge for the Crab is to actually keep it goign and to not be swayed by the misconceptions.My other aim is to have some photos of a baby nestled against my breast with that milk drunk contentedness that only a breastfed baby can have. I have plenty of the Grot bottle feeding, but the satiation on her face is different from the bliss I remember. I have difficulty remembering the Grot as a baby, but the firmest memory in my mind is looking down at the her angelic face with her half closed eyes and hearing that squelchy noise as she sucked. I can't wait to hold a baby in my arms again whose eyes light up at the sight of pale flesh and whose little nose roots against the skin, smelling her milk. And mostly feeling that little tremble of excitement as they latch on and take that first draught. To my mind, nothing I have felt as a mother is quite the same as that knowledge that you are providing for your baby. That you carried them and nurtured them for months inside the safety of your body, but now that they are a participant in this gameshow known as life that you are STILL the one that provides all their needs. To all the Mum's still breastfeeding this week congratulations and I hope you can keep it up for as long as you feel you want/need. I hope to be amongst your ranks soon.

omiting Marshmallows
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06/08/2006, 10:27 PM
Word to the wise, vomiting marshmallows, while not as revolting as say steak, or peas, is still hideous. I should know better than to say that N&V has gone away. But will half digested marshmallows in my sinuses learn me? Probably not, will have to wait and see.I'm tired, uncomfortable and grumpy at the moment. Not even a cot full of baby gloriousness is helping. Have things that I want to blah about but will post later when I'm not vanilla scented. Just thought that the way I'm feeling now should be captured for posterity so that when the Crab is winning an argument some time in the not so distant future I can pull out the "yeah well I vomited marshmallows for you".

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09/08/2006, 09:46 AM
Well last night, I actually properly realised that I'm going to have to give birth to this baby. That might sound like a bit of a stupid "realisation" but it just hit me. That I'm going to have to go to the hospital and go through all that pain again. And as confident that I am that I can do it, and that it will be an incredible experience, I ended up in bed sobbing.Fear is such a powerful emotion. I didn't have time to feel fear with the Grot's birth. It was all so fast, and then I had a baby. So the pain and the shock and the overwhelming fear didn't hit me until she was safe in my arms. The fact that she had a knotted cord when she was snuggled warm and slippery against my breast was a fascinating bit of information when it was shown to me. Just one of those "oh look at that". Now I realise that it could have easily ended up in a problem. I'm scared about coping with labour this time because I KNOW what is coming this time. I know my body is going to take over and I will have to relinquish control. I know that I can do it, but thinking about it and anticipating it last night just made me curl up into a ball. I'm also scared for DH. He was petrified when I was in labour. Watching me in pain and not being able to "fix" it was very hard for him. So I try and talk to him about things that I think would help this time and he shuts down. He doesn't like talking about it because it's so scary for him. When he says things like that it makes me want to him him - scary for HIM what about ME???? (can you hear Shannon Noll squalling in the background )I'm also worried about the Grot, how she will go. How it will be for me to be home and having to be a good mother to her and look after the Crab and myself as well. Whether se needs her Daddy at home with her when I'm in hospital or whether I need him more. And even if I need him more, do I still put her first? Well of course I do. But I'm scared of being in the hospital all alone with a baby and no DH there to look after me. It's times like this that I wish that I had been brave enough and trusted myself enough to have a homebirth. But our house is completely unsuitable, and the homebirth situation in Brisbane is pretty abysmal at the moment anyway. Also, there is no way that I want to have to transfer to a public hospital where my friends are doing an Obstetrics rotation with unknown caregivers making decisions for me. I trust my obstetrician, I see him regularly and he knows me. I know we differ on some points but I don't mind that, because he will still respect my decisions, and because I know him well enough I am confident enough with him to question him and any decisions.I just want to press fast forward and have all of this over and just get to the looking after the baby part. Then I can stop stressing about it all.The stupid thing is that I know that labour and delivery and ultimately holding my newborn will again be one of the most superlative things in my whole existence. But I'm having a dark period - where I can't move out of the fear and focus on the good and empowering. I hate fear and I hate more that I have succumbed to it. The Crab is kicking me hard at the moment, trying to get me out of this rut. I think it's just that part of the fear and overwhelming loss of control that I felt in the beginning is rebounding on me now. Oh well. Am going shopping today. Shopping makes EVERYTHING better

La construction du nid
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10/08/2006, 07:48 PM
Nothing exciting just tired. Very very tired. Have nothing articulate or interesting to say. Except I have just hit 34 weeks which means that if I go as early as I did with the Grot then I potentially have only 4 weeks left. That's a scary scary thought. Starting to think only about the baby and birth and making sure that the house is clean. Am obsessed with the fact that kitchen floor is revolting and that I need to clean the windows. We have everything for the Crab now, I just need to clean it all and lay it all out.All of the little things are currently in the cot, and they make me happy. Teensy little clothes, soft toys and nappies, cheerful silky bed linen, gorgeous little hats and my favourite of all - a little Summer suit set.I feel like I'm going into myself as well a lot lately. I need to be alone a bit at the moment, and I spend a fair bit of time just sitting or lying and feeling my swollen belly. I love the feel of it under my fingers, the taut skin, almost like a drum, smooth and cool. I love how hard it feels, and how you can feel the contours of my baby's smooth back and how the Crab kicks in response when I gently rub its spine. I love holding the soft cotton of the outfit, for which I spent hours trawling the internet, to dress my tiny baby in when I finally get to hold its vulnerable softness in my arms. It makes me feel so full. That gold that originates somewhere in your heart floods my veins and warms me from within and gives me a glimpse of somethign else. But it's made me also feel close to other mothers. Like we share some unspoken bond. A secret handshake, that sense of knowing. I've become acutely aware of other babies in the vicinity of me, and have to restrain myself from picking them up and cuddling them. I've also been thinking about the baby that's not here, and how she would be doing. She was born nearly 9 months ago now. She would be 6 months old now - laughing and cooing, rolling from front to back and maybe starting to crawl. Delighting in the new tastes and textures of "solid" food and making the world fall in love with her. I think about her bald little head and her bright blue eyes and her sparkling personality and how much the Grot would have loved her.And sometimes being happy just feels wrong.

Miss Polly Had a Dolly Who Was...
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11/08/2006, 07:13 PM
Sick, sick, sick. Had enough. Want to check into a nice plush hotel with a pool and a day spa and a fulltime chef who makes yummy things like fruit salad on call. Being sick is depressing. You look bad, you smell bad, you certainly feel bad and it's just not fun. Following whinges- I want to lie on my belly for maybe a year or so - I want to lie on my back so I can unkink my back- I want to be able to see my legs- I don't want to have to wear a bra to bed- I want to go to a cafe and order a salad instead of chips- I want to eat soft serve ice cream even if it's revolting- I want to be able to lick the bowl with DD when I make a cake or muffins- I want to never again know the taste and texture of mylanta- Ditto raspberry leaf tea- I want to be able to take good drugs when I have a head cold like Sudafed!- I want to be able to run up the stairs without hitting my belly with my legs- I want to be able to pick up DD to give her a cuddle without having to brace myself first- I want to be able to lie in the bath and have all of my body under the waterI, I, aye. Is it possible for meto be any more whingy? I just want my baby out and snuggling on top of me instead of into my ribs. Today it feels like every single one of the 34 weeks so far has draggggged. I'll be OK tomorrow after a decent night sleep,but just today I'm just feeling like Miss Polly's dolly.Edited to add what I really want right now is some of the icy cold vodka in the freezer with some real lemonade and liberal dash of lime juice. I mean can foetal alcohol syndrome really be as bad as they make out *pfft*

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11/08/2006, 10:19 PM
Am useless as a wife and useless as a mother. Want to find my cave so I can go hide in it for the next month. Instead of sensibly being asleep I'm wandering the house cleaning up so that I feel slightly less like the leech that I am. Not pulling my weight at the moment and need to do more. Can't use uni as an excuse any more - I'm a SAHM, as such I have a job to do and I'm not doing it. Being sick isn't an excuse. The house still needs to be cleaned. I also should be doing more things with the Grot. Just useless.

Cave Time
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14/08/2006, 11:52 AM
Having a crap couple of days. Oversensitivity seems to have moved in and taken up residency. DH can say nothing right at the moment, although some of his comments lately have been on the "didn't think that one through very well did you buddy?" express. Thursday was spent doing hours and hours of housework. Including some of my most hated jobs such as folding laundry and putting it away (thankless cause it just never ends), vacuuming, etc. After all of this stellar activity I even managed to make dinner and have it ready by 6pm. DD was on "fast forward" all day that day and DH even came home late but I thought I had done a pretty good job. I didn't even care that DH didn't notice/say anything. Friday started badly with me feeling stupily ill. It got worse duting the day with DD not wanting to sleep and basically I spent most of the day horizontal trying to stop DD from drawing on library books. I felt hideous, and worse still my immaculate house from only literally hours before started to get trashed again. DH had helped as well by leaving clothes all over the floor, all his breakfast stuff out on the bench etc. So basically I was sick, depressed and had a messy house again. So when in a moment of self-pity and hey, why not tell the truth, whining, I told DH that I just felt bad because he still has to go to work every day but I don't feel like I'm pulling my weight at the moment (vis a vis the messy house, not getting out of pyjamas etc) and he AGREED with me. That of course had me in a stupidly sobbing mess feeling completely worthless and uselss and resulted in me getting out of bed and cleaning the house until about midnight in between vomiting all over the shop and blowing blood out of my nose. (Yes I'm the definition of class). Saturday I was woken at about quarter to six by DD and being as Saturday is DHs sleep in I had to keep her relatively quiet and play with her and feed her while feeling hungover, sick and depressed. I went back to bed later and had a nap, then came downstairs to find the house trashed again and that DH had taken DD out (to the movies) he then proceeded to bring her home well after her nap time and being as they had seen a movie all she had had to eat was sugary crap. She was completely labile and demanding an ice cream for lunch so DH gave her one. Once you add that sugar load there was absolutely NO WAY she was goign to sleep. So in my lovely depressed and self pitying mood I then got given a completely feral toddler to look after for the afternoon. (Hey he took her out so I could have a sleep what was I complaining about?!?)Sunday was better. If nothing else I felt less sick.Then today I find out my timetable for uni next year, and I'm going back a week earlier than I thought. Being as we were planning a trip to the snow for the week before I go back (mainly because I knew Dh would love it as he's a former ski/board instructor), and the Australian ski season isn't exactly reknowned for being great earlier I sent DH a flippant e-mail that he should take the two kids and go without me a few weeks later when I'm back at uni. And he thinks it's a good idea. We've never been on a proper holiday with the kids before and he wants to go without me. Cue more crying and overemotional crap from me. Why on Earth would I want to go to the snow when I can't snowboard for crap and have never tried skiing anyway? It's not like I'd like to see my two babies see snow for the first time - or make snowmen, or go toboganing. It's not like I would like to actually spend time as a family or anything,not to mention the fact that the only time I've been away from them is when we went on our honeymoon and I hated being away from the Grot. So it's back in the cave for me. My own little dark vomity cave where I don't have to think about stupid emotions.Edited to add - I also weighed myself this morning and am 2kg heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight. So I'm also revoltingly fat as well

Back to Bedlam
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16/08/2006, 10:39 AM
Back to my normal non hysterical self. Much more comfortable being me than the barking mad person I was over the weekend. I don't know who she is, but whenever she comes to visit I'm always extraordinarily relieved when she leaves. She's like that relative that everyone has, that automatically sucks the life from a room. Feeling better but conversely more sick. Just dealing with that now and shotting mylanta as if it were a particularly strong spirit, it doesn't have quite the same intoxicating effect unfortunately. It does however make my reflux better, and stops me panicking in the dead of night believing that I'm having a heart attack from the searing retrosternal chest pain that radiates to left arm and neck!Otherwise health and fitness wise I am doing splendidly and my OB is still happy with me. Blood pressure still showing off, general fitness good, though I've noticed I do get tired at the end of the day if I'm exercising. The Crab's heartbeat at yesterday's appointment was as clear as ever, but it's hard to worry about that when your belly is moving at the same time while the creature inside is trying to claw its way out!I've got bored wih shopping which is back to normal for me. I'm just not usually a shopping centre person, and now that everything is "ready" there's nothing that really catches my eye in the shops for the Crab. The Grot however could be bought many many things, so I'm glad I'm not interested in shopping as that would probably be another assault on the credit card. It's a public holiday here today in honour of the Brisbane institution known as the Ekka. DH is however working so it's just an ordinary every other day for us here. Though I think the neighbours are sleeping in - they being of the childfree, went out last night and got hammered variety. I'm trying to keep the Grot relatively subdued for their sakes but it's after 10 so no one should be allowed to sleep past then anyway - it's just an affront to those of us that have to get up!Back to DH being at work, he's swapped his public holiday for Friday so that he gets a long weekend and also so that we can go to the Ekka. I'm not sure how we're going to go with that being as the Grot doesn't sleep in her pram any more and also that I want to stay for the fireworks and her bedtime is 7-7:30 but we'll see how we go. We weren't goign to go, mostly because it's so expensive and I don't necessarily see the value. But then I changed my mind. I have this obsession lately with giving the Grot special experiences before the Crab gets here. So even if we do nothing besides go to the animal nursery and see a sheep being shorn she'll have a ball. Plus it's cheaper than Australia Zoo. I can't wait to see her first experience with fire works either. I have always loved fireworks and hope she likes them too.Just plodding along really at the moment. House is a bombsite again, I understand now the point of all those boring "minimalist" apartments. Quite simply if you have nothing, then nothing can be strewn around the floor. It does make the place a little sterile though.The Grot is doing beautifully at the moment. Cheerful, articulate and with boundless energy. In an attempt to harness it we're going to a trial gymnastics session tomorrow morning which should hopefully be good. It's a teensy bit expensive and I'm tempted to go for the PCYC one instead, but being as I'm lazy, this one has parking and is a short drive from here. The PCYC one is in the middle of the city so we would have to catch a train. Not that that's a big deal now, but in a few more weeks when I'm carting around a newborn as well I'm not keen.I'm also thinking of enrolling in a mother and baby Yoga class to keep me active on the days when the Grot is at daycare and I'm alone with the Crab. I know otherwise that I will spend the time prostrate and achieving nothing. I love getting out of the house (once I"m out) and I always feel better for doing so. Unfortunately a lot of the other activities I'd like to do cost money. And not being overly endowed with the stuff at the moment I have to prioritise. So for the moment we have the library, swimming and (hopefully) gymnastics as well as potentially yoga. I'm going to make more of an effort this time to join a mothers group as well. At least then I can say that I have tried. Still wistfully hoping that friends or family will have children soon. It's completely selfish at the moment but I just want the Grot to have little cousins and "pseudo"cousins to play with. As it is the Crab will be her closest (in age) relative (though she has a cousin on the other side of the country). So hopefully they get on well.We also got her "school" photos yesterday and they're very cute. She's just not a baby any more. She's lost all of that "baby" look and is now just a little girl. A very stubborn, very bright little girl.Blah blah blah. Nothing much interesting to say at all. Just happy to be happy at the moment.

Week 36
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21/08/2006, 09:38 AM
Another week down. Time is starting to dissolve in front of my eyes - surely I still have months to go? Instead of possibly 2 weeks?!Life is going well here. Nothing exciting at all. I'm getting fatter and more tired each day. Weight gain is stagnant again though which is good. I'm not retaining fluid like I did with the Grot and have thus far avoided both cankles and fluorescent stretch marks. The Grot is doing well - we've moved to part time cloth for her bottom and it's going pretty well. Only problem is that I only have fitteds plus covers for her and she refuses to wear a cover. It seems to be helping toilet training though as she lets me know straight away when she needs to be changed and is keen to use the toilet. At daycare they use cloth and I wonder if that's part of the reason that she will use the toilet there? She has on a pink camo Itti Bitti today and it is tiny. I want to buy more of them as they're gorgeous and the trimmest fitteds that I own. Also, being as I can buy her mediums, they will fit baby to come as well.The Ekka on Friday was fun and not as expensive as it could have been but still trying to work out where it all went. The Grot loved the animal nursery and petting zoo. She also got to go on the Carousel and loved it as well (which I'm glad of as it cost us $8 for the two of us!). We stayed until the fireworks which the Grot enjoyed I think, but as it was so far past her bedtime, she was not as excited as I'd kind of hoped. I had forgotten just how much of a rip off all of sideshow alley and the showbag pavillion are, so we didn't stay in either very long.But to see the animals and fresh produce and buy food from the international food area was nice. We stayed right away from dagwood dogs et al and brought a lot of fresh food with us so I didn't feel revolting afterwards. As soon as the babies get older though I think we'll be going to Dreamworld or similar for the day instead of the show - at $47 just for entry including train fares (when I'm still a concession and the Grot was free) it's an expensive day out. Nesting is on hiatus. I don't want to shop and I don't want to clean (though that one's not optional sadly). I'm mostly just very tired. Had a lovely quiet weekend though which has helped with that.Starting to stress a teensy bit about actually having a baby and bringing it home. It's scary stuff. And completely unbelievable at the moment. The idea of the crab being outside and separate from me is just bizarre. Well, washing is finished and the washing machine is yelling at me (who invented musical appliances?) so I'm off. Fun times ahead today including the library. Life certainly has slowed down at the moment Oh and I forgot to report on the gymnastics class. It was fantastic. The Grot loves climbing, singing, dancing, swinging and basically acting like a monkey. This class was fabulous for that as it was basically all that in a structured environment. The class leader was enthusiastic and seemed to genuinely enjoy what she was doing and it was really well set out for little monkeys. There is also a skill-based element that was fantastic as well, as you can see how it's developing coordination and ability. But the absolute best part for me was that afterwards the Grot was exhausted and will be easy to convince to have her midday nap afterwards. Win win win!

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23/08/2006, 09:39 AM
From my post of the same name...Chiming in very very late. I don't believe in organised religion. As others have said to me it seems to be have been one of the original forms of government - a way of telling everyone in the community what their role was, and justifying the rules and regulations by appealing to the need to have an explanation for everything. And to me that's what a religious God is - an explanation for the unexplainable (like death).In spite of that I am somewhat agnostic. Maybe it's just because it is comforting? I genuinely believe that there is some sort of life force/soul/spirit in people. If you have seen someone who is still technically "alive" but "not there" I guess you would know what I'm talking about. I've seen it a few times, especially in hospitals. I've also seen it in animals. So I guess for me the question is "what is that force". For me it's not a God in the form of a human man - to me that is the ultimate in paternalistic narcissism. But it is "something". I can understand therefore why people believe in a God/Gods.Books which have been used to control the masses may have fantastic morals to them and a bit of "based on a real life story", but they're not "gospel" to me. Though sometimes I think it would be much easier - as many religions are very prescriptive/black and white as to what is right and what is wrong. When you have to decide your moral bent for yourself, it can be very difficult.I struggle with topics like abortion, homosexuality, forgiveness, retribution, anger etc daily. Not that I'm a gay, aborting, unforgiving, angry vigilante - just that philosophically they are hard concepts. I cannot take the church's stance because although I was brought up going to church regularly and taking the sacraments, even from a young age much of it felt ritualistic rather than honest.I love the sense of community and just general "goodness" that one feels inside a church with a small community congregation. That feeling of awe and absolution when you enter a great cathedral and bow your head in silent prayer, or confess your sins, or sing a hymn of joy and beauty. I hate that rejecting organised religion also rejects those components. But I can't make myself believe. It's almost like when you discover that Santa isn't real. You can still pretend - but it's just not the same as when you have that joyous blind faith. I think also, that I resent organised religion for feeling that they have a "monopoly" on the spiritual. Not attending a church does not exclude you from spirituality. It does not make you a moral deviant, and it doesn't make you doomed to all eternity. As said in my abortion post, religion is great in some ways as it often has very defined paramaters and "rules". You don't have to think about things because the rules are already there with hundreds of years worth of arguments to back them up. But because people have not had to make the decision for themselves, I think that in some people it absolves them from the responsibility of the outcome. People who kill abortion doctors or bash gay men on an extreme level, or those that scorn or simply say "homosexuality is a sin" can do so feeling lily white - because they have not had to question for themselves WHY it is wrong. They can instead point to a book or a church and say "because it says so". That makes me angry and sad. If you have an opinion you need to understand and own it - not just use it because it has been prescribed for you. I don't think that churches/religions/beliefs are a bad thing. But the fact that they take away from individual responsibility and that they demonise so many things with no grey areas/understanding chills me. My other area of concern with almost every religion that I have encountered is its paternalism. Christianity is probably the worst, but even Buddhism puts men above women. There is also the Madonna/Whore dichotomy. Women to be virtuous have to be "pure" or are "whores". Sex is also so hidden, shameful and feared within Judeo-Christian religions. It is either the highest act that leads to procreation - or it is dirty and shameful and sinful. I haven't looked closely enough into paganism to have a strong opinion on it - but from waht I have seen a lot of its beliefs seem to mirror my own. Women and men are opposite but equal. The same but strikingly different.I am not a theologian but have always been interested in theology. One day I would love to do another Arts degree in philosophy and theology. You can never learn too much. Ignorance on anything only inspires mistrust, so maybe I need to educate myself more. But right now I'm in a comfortable state of "belief".

Bondage and Discipline
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26/08/2006, 05:24 PM
Somehow we're into week 37. The house is a catastrophe, the Grot had a screaming tantrum (her first big one in a long long time) the kitchen looks like something that should be on "Today Tonight" and the same load of sheets is currently goign through the washing machine for the 4th time. But unbelievably I'm feeling fine. Tired yes, but unhappy/depressed/emotional/hysterical I am not. I simply cannot believe that Friday is technically the beginning of full term. That is just absolutely ridiculous. I'm not ready to give BIRTH! I'm only just pregnant for goodness sake!We're just plodding along here, same old same old really. I'm trying to fit in as many activities with the Grot as possible and I think that's why time is literally zooming along. Swimming is fun, gymnastics is fun and I am really enjoying getting out of the house. It's why the house is revolting at the moment, but at the same time it's why my mental health is fabulous. I'm glad I signed up to things though as I just can't think of anything worse than walking around a shopping centre at the moment. I don't like anything in the stores and even my beloved cloth nappies are boring me a little. I just want my baby here so that I have to organise myself properly again.The Grot is being mostly lovely at the moment, but is starting to be really naughty as well. She just keeps pushing and pushing and pushing. Today we were going to take her to Curious George with lunch beforehand. At the cafe she repeatedly would do things she had been asked not to do, such as sticking her hands in her milkshake or removing her straw and hence dripping it all over her clothes. She would also push her highchair away from the table and then pull the table until she nearly knocked everything off of it. To top it off for some reason she decided that squealing like a stuck pig was hilarious. As we had just been served our food I didn't want to just get up and walk away and it was the first time that I really wished that we believed in smacking. She knew damn well that she was being naughty but it was like she just didn't care. We told her that if she did one more naughty thing then we would not go to the movies (it has been a weekly Daddy-Daughter treat lately) and she just grinned and continued to be naughty. So DH and I ignored her and then when we were finished our food we picked her up and told her we weren't going to see the monkey movie. She was still laughing and thinking that all was fine until we got to the car - when the realisation that she was not going to the movie resulted in a fullscale meltdown.In the car on the way home between sobs she repeatedly said "I will be a good girl" and "A is a good little girl" and "Monkey Movie pleeeaseee". It was so hard not to cry. I know she was tired but tiredness is not an excuse for naughtiness and we can't just let her "get away with it" because she refuses to have a day sleep. She has since gone to sleep now and will be sweet as pie when she wakes up, but the naughtiness lately is just so hard.I completely understand why some parents smack their children. It is something instantaneous that you can do when your child is naughty. The child automatically understands that bad behaviour meets with a painful consequence. But by the same token I refuse to do it. I don't care if it is easier, I refuse to hit my children. I also refuse for them to be undisciplined brats either. And this way is undoubtedly harder. It's also hard because DD has only started doing this lately. Sometimes it's just cheekiness, but where is the line between cheekiness and naughtiness and outright disobedience?We have successfully used the "remove the object of disagreement" technique and the withdrawal of privileges but both are difficult when out and about. The fact that DD is both stubborn and intelligent is difficult as well. If only she was intelligent enough to realise that her daytime sleep is necessary for everyone then we could probably avoid almost all conflict. When she has her sleep she is easy; she follows directions without being downtrodden, is lively without being obtrusive and opinionated without being oppositional. It's just hard. When she throws a tantrum (and it's not often either) trying to move her is difficult as well. She is impossible to restrain as she flails and kicks and sometimes laughs as she tries to get away so that she can continue with the yelling. While at home it's fine to leave her where she is, in the middle of a shopping centre aisle it's impossible (this has only happened twice). Restraining her in her carseat is a near impossibility as well. It makes me wish sometimes that like a newborn I could wrap her like a mini mummy with wide muslin bandages however I have a feeling that this might be disapproved of I understand of course that her learning to behave herself both at home and in public, and the importance of obedience, cannot be understated. Well behaved children are always more likable (that word looks like it's spelt wrong even though I checked my dictionary ) and definitely have it easier at school adn in social situations when they can easily adapt to social norms. But teaching that without crushing her spirit and what makes her essentially herself is HARD. And in truth I just wish I didn't have to do it (insert whining parent voice here). It's the crappy grunt work of parenting that we've managed to mostly cruise through for about the last 12 months that has just reminded us again that being a parent isn't just Disney movies and fun toys. It is hard and boring and often feels pointless. But it IS worth it. My children and their behaviour is a reflection on me/us and our parenting and I can't fail it for me, but more importantly her and her tiny and already stubborn sibling. Wish there was a guide for this. PS Yes I'm perfectly aware that most bookstores have an entire SECTION of books dedicated to how to teach your toddler not to be a sociopath, but I don't like any of them so there Plus I hate using a book - because no book was written for MY child. So I take bits from some and burn others and flounder a bit in the middle until I see the light. It's just awfully dark at the moment.

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28/08/2006, 11:02 AM
First up a disclaimer. I've never written a disclaimer before but I want people to read this first and then actually think about why I'm putting this disclaimer here. I am going to write a post about my experience of childbirth. As in the vaginal kind. And I'm going to talk about in terms that may make anyone who's had a Caesarian or an analgesic cocktail feel like I'm trying to be *superior* or something. Please understand that this is my diary and I'm writing this for me and no one else, though I'd have to be incredibly stupid not to realise that some people are actually reading this. If you feel sensitive about the way you gave birth then maybe you don't want to read this. Just saying is all. I just want to reiterate that I don't think I'm superior, all that matters in the end is a healthy baby, but I'm refusing to water myself down because I'm writing how I feel. Ta.So now that I've built this post up it's probably going to be incredibly dull It has begun to sink in finally that I am actually going to give birth to this baby in a very short period of time. It may be a month away, it may be tonight. But somehow I am going to transition from being a pregnant woman to a mother with a newborn. When I was going through this the first time around my emotions and expectations were all over the shop. I just couldn't work out how it was going to happen. How was something that big going to come out of something so small without doing a lot of damage on the way through?I read books, I attended classes, I watched birth videos and not one of them really connected in my brain. I remember watching my first birth video, in black and white with variable sound because the only VCR that we had was my parents dodgy old one that they had been in the process of dumping. I remember then that it clicked that that was really how they expect you to give birth. It wasn't just some big cosmic joke - babies do actually come out of vaginas. The more I read, the more the benefits of "natural" childbirth were emphasised. And really, it makes sense, if you're a healthy woman with no complications, then the way that nature designed is probably best. I was pretty naive in that I just assumed that being as I was so perfectly healthy and pregnancy had ben a badge that I'd worn with ease that I would be having a "natural" birth. I read up on pain relief options - both medical and behavioural, aromatherapy and massage, self-hypnosis etc. I also read up on what happens if you need an interventional birth, when a caesarian is indicated etc although I knew I wasn't going to have one. But it was still all just an intellectual exercise. I can remember reading birth story after birth story trying to understand what it would be like. Trying to imagine what it would *feel* like to be in labour. Trying to guess how long it would last. Trying to work out what I'd *like*.I was still ruminating on those facts as my due date approached. I was feeling heavy and zen and suspenseful, completely on edge yet weirdly calm at the same time. Kind of liek the weird sense of anticipation you get when you're standing in line for a ride at the show. You can see how the ride works, you can see the people inside the ride with their elated or horrified or nauseous faces, and can hear their screams of enjoyment or terror but you can't yet work out how you're goign to react. The heat of late February was scorching and as gravid as my belly. The power would often fail as the grid tried to keep up with the demand for airconditioners and fans and I would sit in a lukewarm bath feeling the sweat roll into the bath and patting my swollen front bit focusing intensely on what was to come. I can remember sweat stinging my eyes as it rolled down my forehead and the smell of the drying sandalwood soap that I was using in the last few weeks as a Pavlovian association so I could remember these last few days of being pregnant forever.I completely went into myself in the last week. I think I knew instinctively that *it* was coming. The day, the night, the birth and then I would hold her in my arms. But as it drew closer I was consumed with the birth. Our birth. The day when one would become two. That Monday morning as I walked down the hill in the humid rising heat towards the city I *knew*. I knew she was coming. I felt different somehow. I remember catching the bus home, clutching what I knew was my last purchase before she came sitting in the "pregnant mothers designated seating" that it was coming. I smiled the whole way - the owner of the most precious and incredible secret in the world. I got home and made up the cot with the new blanket and sheets that I had bought and remember just sitting in her room. The bright, warm sunny room, rocking gently in my chair, looking at the brand new furniture. Smelling the finish on the new wardrobe and gloating over the tiny clothes held within.When DH came home that afternoon he knew something was different as well. He was restless and jittery in contrast to my serenity. When we were lying in bed in the early evening and my "show" had shown itself I remember grinning inanely. Yes it was coming. What *it* was I still wasn't sure, but it was.I don't remember if we ate dinner that night. I'm sure we must have. But the evening progressed like most others had. Warm and humid, we lazed around watching TV. As I was watching I felt a dragging sensation deep in my pelvis. The exact same sensation as period pain. I ignored it. A while later I had the same sensation again. It continued for about an hour before I mentioned it to DH. While uncomfortable it didn't *hurt* and being as I had had much worse with endo pain and periods I figured this must just be what Braxton Hicks felt like. But I was resltess by this stage. I didn't want to watch crappy television and felt the need to go into my bedroom where it was cool and clean and comforting. At some stage we decided to "time" these pains. It seemed like a good idea considering everyone does it on TV and we were kind of lost as to what we should do. The dragging pains were coming every 10 minutes or so. Sometimes less. The sensation was also becoming more uncomfortable. I could still talk through them comfortably though so I just assumed that this wasan't the real thing yet. Maybe it was the prelude, but it wasn't labour. The time between was gradually shortening as well. I tried the bath but it annoyed me as it restricted my movement, so I got out. I remember feeling an overwhelming need to be on all fours and rocking backwards and forwards felt great. It got rid of most of the uncomfortableness that had started to actually feel painful. I felt compelled to go into the nursery. To feel the energy of that room. I remember kneeling on the floor with my head on my arms on the rocking ottoman and rocking gently through the contractions. It felt so good.By this stage we figured that I might be in labour and we hastily packed a bag by throwing in whatever looked likea good idea at the time. (I don't think we used more than one or two things out of it). By now things were starting to feel serious. The contractions were actually painful and although moving and rocking and my heat pack against my pelvic bone and alternately my sacrum took the edge off, I could not ignore them any more - and even if I had wanted to, they were coming every 2-3minutes. Being as antenatal classes had instructed to call when we reached 5 minutes apart, we thought we ought to call. The midwife on the end of the phone asked how long I'd been feeling *twinges* which at that stage had been about 2 hours and brushed me off breezily insisting that I had plenty of time to go. So I paced and I rocked and I pushed the heat as deep into my pelvis as I could. But half an hour later the contractions were down to every 1-2 minutes. Although I didn't have a fear that I was going to give birth at home, I was feeling the need of the reassurance of a birth attendant. DH just looked bewildered and didn't know what to do. I needed to be with people who could tell me that I was doing well, and could tell me how we were progressing. So we called the midwife back to let her know we were coming in. By this stage contractions were coming with barely a nreak between them. And although I could cope with them silently I needed to go. I remember closing the garage door and thinking that this was the last time that it would be just the two of us driving away from the house. That when I returned through the front door there would always be someone else. The trip to the hospital was quiet and mercifully short. As we drove along the highway, lit with lights the river sparkled as we coasted by. I could see the lights of the hospital as we approached. A beacon of safety as we drove in silence. Once we got to the labour ward, my contractions were coming harder and stronger and longer. But the lady at the desk was not particularly hurried in processing our details. After several minutes of confiming our details, she left us for 10 minutes to find a midwife to take us to the birthing suites. At this stage I was still silent through contractions, even answering questions though they annoyed me, shifting my focus onto insignificant things. I asked to be checked when we reached our room and was found to be 6-7cm which surprised my midwife. She then tried to put the CTG on me because it was routine even though my OB had assured me that I didn't have to do it. But as I hadn't felt Oofty move since the beginning I assented. But I couldn't stay still during contractions. By this stage there was no denying that they hurt. The belt would slip and lose the trace, and following protocols the midwife would tell me they needed to get me to have the trace done. In the end I refused. It was impossible for me to be still. And I wanted the shower. The shower was blissful. I sat upright on a birthing ball with warm water directed at my belly, low in the pelvic region. The pain still wracked my body relentlessly but I felt so strong. And there was still a gap of about 30 seconds or so between each one where I could just calm myself. But that gap got shorter and shorter and the pain started to invade all of my thoughts. I turned off the cold water and let just straight hot water be directed at my belly while instructing DH to rub hard against my sacrum. By this stage I couldn't talk properly and the intensity just blew me away. I remember thinking then that this was just the beginning, that it was goign to get worse and the flicker of doubt began to flame. I couldn't do this. I didn't want to do this. I wanted to go home. As the contractions started to pile on top of eachother I lurched forward and nothing helped. I'd had enough, I wanted out. The pain, oh God the pain. But not sharp pain with a sting, achy, dragging, pressurised pain that I couldn;t relieve or distract myself from. I had known it was going to be painful but at that point I felt like I was dying. Or maybe I hoped that I was. It was interminal and unrelenting. It made my legs quiver and feel like jelly because I couldn't use any of my brain power to keep them working to support me. Every fibre of my being was consumed by the pain. Coping with the pain. I forgot I was having a baby, I forgot that the pain had a purpose. I was just lost in the sensation of my body taking over. I wanted someone to fix it, I wanted to forget it had ever happened as I reached out and hit the red button on the wall in front of me. The midwife came back admonishing me for pressing the "emergency" button. Even in my pain I felt embarrassed for hassling her. I asked for the gas. It was my only pain relief option that I would allow myself even then. But I think what I had wanted more was the support. The encouragement of someone to tell me how well I was doing. To acknowledge that it hurt but to remind me why. The gas was wheeled into the bathroom and after a cursory lecture on how to use it I grasped it like a lifeline. And the midwife left us alone again. DH fearful and lost, and me grasping the mouthpiece like a lifeline. It did nothing. In fact I don't even know if it was turned on. But it gave me a focus. I had to rattle that bead with every breath. Nothing was helping though. I was trying to work out how I could run away and leave my body behind. I think I begged DH to make it stop. I felt so helpless as my body revved up several more gears. Then the sensation changed. I felt myself involuntarily bear down. And in spite of the lecture of the time before I pressed the red button again. There was NO way that I was sending DH out to find her. I needed him to knead my back and direct the scorching hot water there. The midwife bustled back in and hustled me out to the bed so that she could check that I was actually *there* (It had afterall been only 4 hours since the original twinges). Although I missed the shower, I loved that someone else was giving directions. I was in no state myself to direct the proceedings - Iwas afterall battling an internal dialogue that was insisting that I just runaway and forget about the whole thing. The examination showed that I was 9cm and another midwife came in and told me that I should do whatever it felt like my body wanted me to do. If I wanted to push then that was fine. So I let myself push a little. Tentatively because I didn't know how I was supposed to be doing it. The new midwife encouraged me. She praised me and talked about how well I was doing. I was pitiful in my gratitude for her praise. I didn't really believe her but I clung to that admiring tone. My OB was called as I got through the contractions as best I could. When he arrived the pain lessened almost immediately. It was still unbearable in a way that words and even memory cannot describe but my confidence, shattered by transition gave a tiny hurrah. Here was someone that knew me, was cheerful and upbeat and was reminding me I was going to have a baby. Imagine that! A BABY!Pushing was strange. I never realised before that I would need coaching on how to do it. But I really had no idea. The fact that DD was malrotated probably had something to do with that, as did the fact that I was pushing with my waters intact. They asked to break my waters and I acquiesced. I didn't give a damn. If they'd told me that standing on my head would have helped I think I would have done that too. Pushing was a relief in some ways. It was active. It was strong. And blessedly between each wave there was a break where I flaked out or even at one stage joked with my attendants (oh and the gas had been given away long ago). It was just me and the power of my body and my cheer squad. I had thought that the "push push push" of the movies would irritate me. But I needed it. I couldn't formulate a thought for myself and I needed the direction. I remember focusing on the clock on the wall in front of me, and trying to work out where an hour had gone. Nothing felt different either after all that time. They brought out a mirror to try and show me that things were happening so that I didnt get discouraged. But it was abstract and strangely grotesque - not in an "ew I'm looking at genitals" point of view, but an oh my God, look how distended that all is. I was trying desperately to relax my pelvic floor as I pushed, but fear and pain combined with the fact that I had an extremely strong and toned pelvic floor meant that it was not easy to make it lax. Another hour passed. This hour seemed to progress for me, and towards the end I felt her whole head in my vagina. Hard and unyielding, but she couldn't pass the final hurdle. I was still pushing hard but was so tired, pain was still wracking my body and rendering me mute in my "quiet" periods. In the brief breaks all I wanted was to sleep. I remember an explanation somewhere - her head was crowning at a weird angle, she was still facing the wrong way and her neck was extended rather than flexed. Her heartrate was also starting to change a little. Not enough to be concerned, but still different. My OB told me that we were going to try the ventouse. I begged not to, and with the next few contractions pushed with as much vigour and strength as I could. Still powerful, still strong. But she wouldn't move. So the ventouse was assembled and inserted. Until that moment I had not known true pain. My body split open at that time and I made my first real noise. I screamed. Not a horror film scream but louder, purer. A single note that shook even my experienced care providers. They apologised, they soothed, they promised that it would be all over but I was lost in the pain. There was nothing else but pain. Until the next contraction where as I pushed, the gentle traction of the ventouse extracted her head, her face flattened by my pubic bone, facing towards me. I was still unable to feel a single thing besides pain. I barely registered her tiny head as the next contraction slammed into my perineum. And she was out. So quickly. Her arms flailing out so that she suddenly seemed huge - all arms and legs and was placed over my heart. There was no pain. The shock of that, and the desperate fear that I was goign to drop this lard covered *thing* on my chest left me bewildered. For a second I could not process what had happened. The room was silent, and in the centre of it all was DD nestled into my breast. I had a baby. There was no more labour I HAD A BABY. I had a baby girl. I think I wanted to cry at that point - I didn't know why I wasn't crying. But somehow I was beyond that. I had endured such pain, I had been so strong and I had made this. MY BABY. I was elated. I felt like I could conquer the world. I had experienced that rite of passage. I was a woman who had birthed her child. My heart sang and felt as if it would burst. I felt so incredibly proud of what I had achieved. LOOK what I had achieved. Look at this bundle that grew within me. Look at how perfect she is. But I was also in awe of myself. What I had done, what I had been through. What it had taken to bring her forth into the world. The power and intensity of it. The pure achievement of it. The fact that I suddenly felt connected to mothers before me. That they had been through this filled me with awe. How do we not talk about this - gloat about this? This was Everest with an even bigger reward! How could it be that so many women go through this every few minutes and it is commonplace? It was so incredible. So humbling. Even now, nearly 3 years later the power and courage and the strength of it all still leave me breathless.Of course the fact that my baby was fine at the end of it all was the most important thing. But the journey to get there was important to me as well. It prepared me to be a mother. It prepared me by bashing up all of my expectations and putting me squarely back into my box. It humbled and inspired me. For me the journey made the destination so much sweeter. When I reflect on all of this and the fact that I am going to go through it again I wonder if it will be as intense as last time. Will I cope better knowing that their is an end? Will I be stronger? Will I be more confident? Will I be able to do it all without any intervention this time? Will that elation at the end be the same? I know I will hold my baby. I know that will be incredible and of course the health of that baby is all that matters. But to experience that journey to get there? It leaves me breathless even now.

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29/08/2006, 09:08 PM
More preparations going on at the moment on a few different levels. Mentally things are going well. It still blows my mind that the Crab could be out in as little as 2 weeks. I'm not fearful though, just kind of amazed that we're already so close. I'm looking forward to labour and delivery, I'm looking forward to meeting my baby and I'm looking forward to starting the new phase. I've got to that stage where it's just "yep, I'm ready". It feels good to not be freaked out and just in the right space. Emotionally I'm feeling good as well. Happy, content, excited. Something has just clicked in the last few days. Physically I'm nearly there as well. I'm fit, I'm healthy (aside from the occasional upchuck), I've been taking my Raspberry Leaf Tea, my belly is tight and compact and ready to go, my weight gain is fine. I also made an appointment today to get *tidied up* being as it was something I've completely ignored all pregnancy and was completely prepared to write a post on the awful awful pain. Which turned out to actually be fine, so I'm happy! I've become extraordinarily vain about my body in the last week or so lately as well. I love looking at my body in the mirror. The contours, the way that my skin glows pale and is taut across my belly. The way that there is nothing angular about me - everything is curved. Smooth, soft a display of femininity and fecundity. The fertile goddess that every woman becomes as her form advertises. But at the same time looking in the mirror I am inexplicably sad that this will be the last time that my body will ever look like this again. The Crab is my last baby. I can feel that. So washing all the tiny little clothes is something I just don't want to do. I will never again hold brand new newborn clothes ready for the infant that I'm carrying. But it needs to be done. I didn't pack the hospital bags last time so this time I want to spend a day doing just that. Folding up the nummy soft wondersuits and the special gender specific, embroidered and appliqued little outfits. Packing them into the tiny trolley case with the socks and the receiving blanket that I will hopefully find this week! Laying the fluffy puppy dog named Charlie on top so that I can take him too - the first thing I bought in this pregnancy. The first tangible thing that made it seem all real. It's all so strange. Only 2 weeks. Little baby you have hiccups at the moment, I can feel your head bump my belly rhythmically as you hic hic away. Is it uncomfortable for you to hiccup? Do you know that the next one is coming?I can feel your little knee and the side of your bottom as angular little protrusions when I lie on my side. I love how when I stroke your tiny thigh you kick in response. Do you enjoy it? The warm, soft squishiness? Or is it starting to get uncomfortable? Sometimes I think you're impatient to get out - you squirm and struggle and almost seem to dig against my belly as if looking for a way out. Have you had enough swimming?I love watching my belly contract, and being able to see exactly where you are lying. Is that uncomfortable for you I wonder? Or is it like a giant hug. My arms will soon be giving you those hugs. You will soon feel my breath on your face as I breathe you in.Who will you look like? Will you be bald like your sister? Or will you have long dark hair like your Mummy. I dream of you sometimes. I hope you have brown eyes. Both your Dad and I have brown eyes but different colours. Daddy's are dark brown - clear and steadfast and shaped like almonds. Mine are lighter but they change. Will yours be more gold like mine when I'm joyful? Will they darken like mine do when I'm angry or look green when you ahve been crying? Will you have long eyelashes like mine that stop you wearing sunglasses?I feel that you are already so stubborn. Not that you had any hope with a Mum and Dad like you have. Will you love books? Will you like climbing like your sister? Will you be a natural skiier like your Dad? Will you be goofy foot like both of us? Will you love water as much as your sister and I or will you avoid it like your Dad. Will you love with intensity and fall hard? Will you feel loss deeply and experience the highest highs to compensate? Or will you be more like your Daddy and live in a state of steadfast happiness and calm. Will you snuggle into me, or like your sister will you push away determined to be independent from the beginning? Do you know me yet? My voice, my smell, how much I love you? Can you wait to meet me or do you already know me? Do you know your name? Do you know how much I already love your name? How much I say it out loud just because it is yours already my little starry sage? It's only days until we are properly introduced little baby and we can't wait. There's also a little girl anxiously waiting to meet you and cuddle you and stroke your hair. She can't wait either. We love you so much - promise me that you will be safe until I can hold you in my arms.

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