Sunday, September 28, 2003

more or less what I said on my bulletin board today; I really don't like shopping. I want this baby to play with, learn with, teach, talk to. I have no interest in dressing it up like a doll or spending hours of my pre-baby life sticking cartoon characters on its wall,or co-ordinating its cot colours to its bunny rugs. does that make me a bad mother?

I feel like a failure. we have been to BabyCo once and Baby Target twice this weekend and only managed to come away with a few lame bags of nappies, lots of bunny rugs and muslin wraps (because they're easy to choose), some blankets and a few basic toiletries. meanwhile we were surrounded by pg and baby-in-pram people who seemed to know exactly what they were looking for and how to get it.

is anyone else bewildered by the amount of STUFF they need, and where on earth you're supposed to get it all? Baby Target, for instance, had some good things, but only one (ripped open) pack of nappy liners.

I'm starting to regret leaving the bulk of our shopping until now. why isn't there one store you can go to to get everything - I thought Baby Target would be it, but they don't have some things I'd really expected and then there's the brand thing - dh and I are going by the Choice guide to safe products - and of course we can't buy a nappy bag until we have the pram it has to fit on and can't get sheets until the cot has been dropped off, and so on and so forth. I admit to being not much of a shopper, but this is seeming like an impossible task right now. (this and buying a car/selling both our cars/finishing the house cleanup/garden/etc).

I know I shouldn't be whingeing, I should be feeling really happy about being able to shop for the baby and being able to afford what it needs, but all I really want is to curl up on the couch with dh on a Sunday afternoon and watch videos

Thursday, September 25, 2003

I have a nephew. He's my older brother's oldest child, and was born when I was 17. which means he turns 20 in two weeks. He was brought up partly by my parents, partly by my brother, not at all by my brother, and is an independent creature who works wherever he can find work. Over the years we've been fairly close and I've tried to keep contact with him - sometimes he even calls me, which I think means I've succeeded. he's a good kid. I like him.

and probably tomorrow, or the day after, a girl he spent time with in February is having a caesarian at 31 weeks to deliver his first child, shockingly early in my opinion. he's dealing with it as best he can. of the family, only my brother and myself know. this girl, whom I haven't met, apparently smokes and drinks and her placenta has basically given up. which makes him, the unintentional father, angry, and so am I in a way. he's only 19 and this is a huge responsibility, one we suspect she chose to place on him. he's concerned about the state of her house and her ability to care for the baby (she's 27, with a 10-year-old, but if a teenage boy thinks she's a bad housekeeper, how bad must it be?)

the baby will probably still be in special care when I go into the private part of the public hospital to have my baby. I can't do anything about this situation except listen to him and hope, and to some extent admire that at least he hasn't washed his hands of the whole thing. he's been here today, and now he's off to the hospital and I'll know soon when I'm to become a great-auntie to a potentially ill, potentially badly cared for little baby.

the girl lives in the country town 100k away where I, and the nephew, grew up. apparently she's not that approachable. and what can an old aunty do anyway?

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

last of the dreaded classes at 5 tonight: breastfeeding. dh wanted to know if he had to come too, if the fathers had to know how to breastfeed. I said yes, 'cos two weeks after the birth I'll be so sleep-deprivation-addled I'll need him to tell me what to do.

Monday, September 22, 2003

suspenseful's birth story: one of the most detailed and evocative I've read. sounds like all in all, things went pretty well for her. also sounds really, really scary!

ob/gyn appt with dh today; he asked about when we'd see the dr during labor, the answer being "when she's in strong labour", whatever that means.

baby was pronounced to be of normal, average size - I forgot to get my card out so I didn't get a fundal height this time - the midwife commented that those who put on weight fast at this stage often slow down in the final month (I'm up to 150lb!), and we established that although the hospital's overall caeasar rate is nearly 50 per cent !!!, my dr's own is seven per cent where labour is started spontaneously. feeling really surprisingly calm and confident about it all. sensible really; it's not like watching an approaching train, when there's a chance of escape; more like a tidal wave that will either drown me or not, there being no choice about the experience.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

that line people spout about how women in agricultural societies/the past just work in the fields until they go into labour, squat, deliver the baby and get on with it? it's bullshit. I'm sure no one works a shovel right up until term. and isn't the point of labour pains partly to get us to go find a safe place, like any mammal?

dh spread dirt today while I did a little raking and plant-sowing. it didn't take long for me to feel almost crippled with the stretching/ache across the belly. and all I wanted was to cocoon in a safe place (in this case, the bath).

next person who says anything to me about the "natural" thing of labouring (pun intended) right up to the birth gets a broadside about infant and maternal mortality rates and the idiocy of work/intellectually driven decisions overriding our animal needs.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

free place to put baby pix (complete with popup ads)

last night: hospital tour (again), this time with a decent guide, ie an actual midwife. checked out the rather bare room and thought "nothing a few sarongs won't fix" and despite the presence of about 16 strangers, asked lots of specific questions about matters as personal as, say, did they have a torch with which to examine my genitals if I wanted the lights down (of course I put it more obliquely than that!)

this morning, opened the paper to a rather shocking photograph of a caesarian in progress; it showed the exposed abdomen and you could see the paleness of the fat and flesh inside the lifted flap of skin, which looked HUGE. folded it over, feeling ill, and read the accompanying article about the rise in caesar rates. the hospital I'm going to is sometimes known as "caesar's palace". got to the birth notices and while trawling for names, found one that thanked my ob/gyn for his "faith in mother nature". felt better.

then spent several hours checking out big clunky cars with big boots and side airbags to replace my sporty little car. sob. still, it was a sunny day and after dropping dh off I enjoyed every second of the drive home, topless (the car, not me). and after my swim, on the way home, a couple of pleasantly rough-looking blokes (unshaven, cigarettes, big tough black 4wd) tooted at me. mustn't have been able to see my belly. so for a few minutes more, I can still be a cute girl in a cute sports car.

schedule: next week: finish house unpacked. next weekend: shop for baby stuff. week after: pack bags for hospital (35 weeks then!).

Friday, September 19, 2003

look who's in labor

I wonder what it's like to sleep. I mean really sleep, from 10 pm through to 7 am. I've never been a good sleeper, but now that I can't roll over in my sleep I'm waking four times a night, at least. so the afternoon naps are not a luxury but a necessity. and a few hours after starting to sort out the study (box after box of bits of paper, every bit needing consideration), I'm ready to sleep again. all this tidying-up is all very well and will eventually get me to the nirvana of a clean and organised house, just once in my life, but I think it may also do my pelvic joints in again; and I have a nagging suspicion I should be getting out there and doing a few enjoyable things too; there's the odd exhibition I'd like to see, and so on.

did go and have lunch with dh yesterday at a place we like; never been there during the day and it was much more business-y than at night. I fit right in with my huge belly (not to mention being the wrong gender to start with). but it's a bit too early to start being intimidated by people in suits, not after years of professional cynicism about them, so I just leaned back in my chair and cast a cool pregnant eye across the lot of them, with their talk of finalising deals (one actually said "it's been a long hard labour"!), share prices and the like. none of it really matters does it? not compared to a baby. man, these hormones are strong stuff.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

ps: but before I did all that I spent an hour doing my tiny little freelance job for the week. tcb.

second day of maternity leave and I've:
-spent TWO HOURS going to a shopping centre in a fruitless search for a decent maternity bra, coming home with a couple of bags of cleaning cloths and a soap holder.
-washed some glasses that we never use
-clipped a recipe from the newspaper
-dusted a whole lot of stuff.

what's that line from Michelle Shocked: Anchored down in Anchorage? "I sound like a housewife
Hey Chel, I think I'm a housewife"

does it mitigate it at all that I'm listening to Janis Joplin as I clean?

as dh left the house this morning I said to him: will you have your phone on all day? you know I might need to contact you; you wouldn't want to come home and find me here with a baby!

After so many years of trying I can't even count, 3 absolutely horrendous operations, 13 cycles, 8 transfers - it has finally worked! it is a miracle! every single heartbreak, every single penny, every single tear, is all worth it for this moment.


yep, it was the same Seph. what an amazing piece of persistence. only go read the rest of her post about finding out she's pg if you want to have a little weep. it's so lovely for her.

Monday, September 15, 2003

so here I am in the new extension, trying to "work" on a freelance thing on my first Monday off on leave. the cupboard in the baby's room is partly emptied and vacuumed, but there's so much to do in this house that I don't know where to start.

brother and SIL brought a mass of plastic bags full of clothes, a soft carrier, baby capsule, etc, etc, etc yesterday. they're piled up in the big timber box we snaffled from dh's auntie's estate, which said "toy box" to me the moment I saw it.

I think I've popped again; this time kind of sideways so the belly is not just a basketball but a full sized pillow. 33 weeks today.

I have the worst thrush or cystitis or something. it hurts to wee and I think I have nappy rash. is that normal? probably.

in a dream last night I was shown a b&w printout that showed how much wider my pelvis was when I changed positions. this labour thing is unavoidable, I suppose, and while I'm educated, I don't feel ready. did my physio today and thrush or not, the perineal massage has to recommence today.

on Friday after finishing work I felt quite flat. it was so weird to pack up most of my stuff and just leave there. don't even know if I'll be back.

I got home and realised it didn't feel like "time off" to be there in the afternoon; without a job there is less structure. time is just time.

and I was looking at young women on the street knowing I can't go back to things that were once my life. but of course I'm always getting older; it's just that stopping work, having a baby, crystallises those changes for me.

not sure what to think about it all. I do know that stopping now is the right thing. I will need this much time to adjust, apart from completing all those tasks and stuff to do. then if I'm lucky I can rest and find the space inside me to embrace this new person I'll be.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

it's been bugging me that none of my classes etc so far told us how to change a nappy.

OK, so why do I not care at all about when I go back to work and how it will be? why am I willing to accept that 90% of the housework and shopping will fall to me now (dh can iron his own shirts)? why am I not fighting for the right to work, earn an income, etc? am I deluded about the luxury of being a kept woman, not to mention the politics? am I, at heart, a bit over my job, in which I've performed solidly but received no promotion or pay rises for years? is it an objectively sensible decision given dh's and my respective jobs, salaries and biological roles? is it laziness, fear of the grind that breastfeeding-while-working-while-having-a-life entails, a simple acceptance that either way, the burden will fall mainly to me so I may as well cut out the work bit and live with it? or is it the subtle effects of the bath of hormones in which my brain is floating right now?

I can make myself feel a bit wistful about things I'd have liked to achieve here at work. and there is still a lingering possibility of resuming studies - I think some of my ideas were good and merited investigation. but for now, for the foreseeable future, I'm a dependent woman with an even more dependent child. I will care about how clean my floor is. I'm something the me of 15 years ago just wouldn't recognise. but I'm still me.

dh and I managed to break away from house/baby conversations today and discuss life issues; in this case, that strange feeling you get reading something you wrote years ago - how clever and enlightening it can seem, as if it was written by someone else altogether, a higher version of the person reading it. I also talked about how I hope I can maintain a little of my current hormonal acceptance of the things life throws at me - normally I'm much more schedule-y and rigid than I am now, and even now I'm pretty inflexible - and he said I should write a note to the self of my future to that effect. so I guess this is that note. and this blog will become a historical document, a record of me before baby.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

sometimes my stomach hurts so much. I guess it's just the skin stretching, but ow ow ow anyway.

someone who does freelance work for the place I work is expecting his NINTH child this week. if I was still on IVF I think I'd call that greedy. but good on them. I guess once you hit five or six, more don't make much difference.

and surfing on from that, a ttc site with a pretty heartwrenching letter to family and friends at the bottom.

she has had her baby now, but if you're wanting to know how people may feel while ttc, that letter's worth a read.

another ttc journal I've come across (now 3 months pg). lots and lots of webrings there, too. (not all of which I'd join, btw....)

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Suspenseful did it!!! She's a mother! and what's more, despite my secret scepticism, she managed the whole natural birth thing. what a STAR! it's amazing to be able to look at the baby she's been talking about this time. it's real. I suppose these Web journals can come across as theoretical, just another story; but that is one real, slightly grumpy looking baby (and wouldn't you be grumpy after being squished down a birth canal?)

and according to Dawn, I'm next. gulp.

I don't mean to sound churlish, but is everyone going to assume I want to hear their birth stories/tales of how much their baby ate this morning from here on in?
today it was one of the staff at the vegie stall. lovely guy and all that, but isn't it inadvisable to tell a very pregnant woman about the pointy hook they use to break the waters? and I kind of mind the assumption that suddenly I'm interested in the how-much-milk-the-5-month-old-drank tale. maybe, only maybe, after I have an actual baby, I'll care. but this morning I am trying to continue with what's left of my baby-free life and get my vegies and get to work and all that.

speaking of: have decided this is it, the last week. can't get motivated to start anything new, still being overwhelmed by renovation tasks and housework and not making progress on baby shopping and room setting up. so it's time. taking this afternoon off, working Friday morning and at lunchtime Friday, that's it. over. who knows if I'll even be back? am taking home lots of essential documents, contact lists, etc. I have one small freelance thing I'll keep doing 'cos it's dead easy and will pay me nearly $100/week once I'm in the lowest tax bracket. but as dh has enough money in the bank and a good job, the only thing keeping me here now is feminist guilt and a misplaced work ethic, and maybe a touch of clinging to the old me. let go. rest. prepare.

Monday, September 08, 2003

btw, the hospital has dropped the ward-clerk tours. now a midwife does them. it took a friend of the director of obstetrics to do the crappy tour for them to realise this.
we had to go back anyway soon, to check what stuff they have there...

if it's the same girl as on my boards, Seph if finally pg!
I so hope it is.

ob/gyn report: he "passed" my birth plan - the only hitch was that they only allow one person in theatre at a time, so only dh can come, not our backup person. no biggie.

there's a head poking into my ribs. or maybe a foot. who knows; ob/gyn will tell me today which way up Mr Wibbly is, I guess.
146lb. I'm huge.
32 weeks; so up to 10 to go. can NOT get any bigger. can I?

wish they'd turn the a/c on at work. I'm on the verge of saying "that's it, I'm out of here for good". well, for 8 months.

baby classes: last week's evening class sucked. long, uncomfortable, ran too late and not enough breaks. plus it was all a bit low-level though I suppose some people have no baby experience at all. and I still don't know how to change a nappy.

saturday am was better: a warmer middle-aged midwife. she skated over a few things I want to query, like the shot to speed up 3rd stage, but I'll take that up with my dr and in my birth plan. and the people were more chatty; still a very different crew to the natural birth workshop types. plus the birth video was all wrong; it was of a woman being induced early with a small baby, in a hospital bed on various drugs, giving birth on her back. so glad we did the natural workshop first.

bought naming books after a rare movie outing Saturday (really must get out more while we can), so we're now reading 15,000 names, one by one. neither of us are super-decisive; I sometimes jump in on instinct, but dh doesn't like the ones I liked, so it's the long list for us.

yawn again. way too warm in here. not really working as such; tcb, (calling tradies, making dentist appts etc) and will shortly rewrite birth plan for this afternoon's ob/gyn appt. dh will come with me in two weeks to discuss.

had a sob at dh on Sunday morning because the house is all too much. we have roof storage now, and he spent a couple of hours Sunday afternoon putting stuff up there; it was filling up the baby's room and now it's nearly clear; so I can clean out all the renovation dust and start putting baby stuff in there. about time too, at 32 weeks; term is 37, officially. anything could happen...


Thursday, September 04, 2003

quick blog, late for baby class.

talking to a friend here at work; she told me her best friend (who I'd met a couple of times) had a baby 13 months ago. the friend had cancer. it recurred during the pg. she decided not to abort in order to be treated, but to have it. she died six months after the birth. the baby is now with the dad and its grandma. sometimes life is just so WRONG.

Monday, September 01, 2003

nothing like a few days offline to get back in touch with reality.

and two days of baby-having workshop was a great thing to do. it was a big weekend, all right, and a combination of poor food co-ordination and habit made the time on Saturday I'd normally be napping all a bit vague, but I think it got husband and me "on the same page" re: how we want to go about this; and most of all it got us focussed on the fact that in 7-to-11 weeks I will be having this baby for real.

the woman giving the workshop trained with Janet Balaskas, who more or less created the active birth movement. she is big on breathing your way through things, natural pain relief, muscle control techniques (Iike keeping the mouth loose for a similar effect on the birth canal). all this sounds good in theory, but of course I have lingering cynical doubts. still, anything we can learn to make it less like a hospital experience and more like something we control and I can enjoy (??), or at least not be frightened by, is good.

and it was fun to be with 14 or so other couples/support groups all pretty much at the same stage - lots of jokes and points of view, though I did find a couple of student types and nurses who were there to learn or act as non-partner support persons a bit annoying with the way they co-opted parts of the discussion that really should have been for us preggo people.

it confirmed that we will need a 3rd person - but also, for me, that her job needs to be about practical support, while husband does the mental/emotional work with me.

two funny moments: the suggestion that if we have access to a birth pool or bath, we should take a snorkel to breathe through. I can imagine turning up at the hospital, huge belly, snorkel in hand ... anyway, there will be so much to take that it might not be that silly. (a list of stuff and birth plan are my next job: in time to leave it with the ob. next week so he can talk to husband and me about it at the appt after).

the other was when the workshop leader came out with the phrase "spontaneous foetus ejection reflex", which basically means a really, really fast second stage. 'nuff said on that one.

lots more that I might blog as it comes to mind, but now I need to go check in on my bulletin board buddies.

and today I indulged in some retail therapy; silly in one sense with nine weeks to go, but hey, I figure I'll be pregnant again; and the clothes I do have are still mostly borrowed and either deeply daggy or sort of work-slick. there was nothing pretty - I don't mean mumsy cute, but sort of vaguely sexy, decorative, well-fitted and in my colours. so I did, anyway, and I'm glad I did.

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