Friday, October 31, 2003

so. the nephew, aged 20, has beaten me, aged 37, to parenthood.
his little girl was born on Wednesday - an aunt ringing to see about visiting me (I said no, very nicely - really too tired today, and feel I've done my "before baby" socialising), and dropped that my parents had told her.
which was good, because it meant that nephew had told his grandmother, my mother, who has been kept in the dark about this up until now, while I was in on the secret. didn't enjoy that. rang my mother, then rang nephew.
the little girl is only 5lb and will be in hospital for a while longer - she's four weeks early, induced because of placental problems or failure to grow, from what I can gather - but she's OK, seems normal and is in good hands. I'd thought she'd be born in the public arm of the Melbourne hospital I'm going to the private bit of, but in the end she was born in the country town I'm from, 110 ks from here. so I can't go and see her and her mother, dammit. not that I'd rush in today - the mother will probably be a bit taken aback just by my mother's enthusiasm without aunties like me getting in on the act. will send a card today, though.

nephew is very dear to me and I'm excited for him, but apprehensive about how all this will pan out. he actually went to the birth, too - said it was amazing, to which I pretty much said "told you so". I'm a great-aunty!

a 6lb8 baby is quite large really. I held one yesterday. erk.
very tired and slow today. luckily don't really have to do much. a bit of a sore throat, too, so even a swim is out of the question. can't get sick now

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

erk. feeling very pregnant. sometimes it's been possible to forget it, or treat it as just a giant beer gut that moves. but today the braxton hickses have been stronger and the baby's movements feel like someone grinding rocks together in there.
have been toying with the idea of having the baby on my due date just to annoy everyone who says it never happens. I figure my support person is free that day, the weekend will only annoy ob/gyn and I have an appt Monday anyway - Tuesday is a holiday in honour of a horserace here, so the midwives won't be happy to be working then.
yes, Monday will be good. and then I'll be able to say "little X came right on time". that will really nark people off.

but now it's 10.07 and I have to drag dh off to bed. to SLEEP, that's all. weekend might be Operation Stimulate Labour, prostoglandins and all.

Monday, October 27, 2003

nothing happening. have builders due to swarm all over house on Wednesday. that should bring something on by Tuesday night, surely?
39 weeks!

Saturday, October 25, 2003

how lazy am I? can't be bothered posting anything original, will just recycle bits from my latest email to friends/bulletin board posting:

dh is having a Saturday morning sleep in - little does he realise it could be his last for 12 years or so, until the little darling develops teenage sleep patterns. and then of course we'll be up late worrying about him/her...

my other pre-baby obsession has been movies - saw Intolerable Cruelty last night, pretty funny if not as "deep" as the normal Coen Bros film. and yes, baby hiccups and leaps when I sit still. sometime the hiccups feel like morse code: L-E-T M-E O-U-T!

when dh wakes up we have to go test drive yet another car. not all that much fun doing the corners/bumps/brake tests with a belly this size, I can tell you. (I have a towel in my car, but too embarrassed to take one to test drives - just hoping nothing happens!)


what, no gory details? I thought I'd start with the waters breaking and move on minute-by-minute from there right through to the episiotomy...

no, nothing's happened yet. official due date is Monday week, but we're trying not to fixate on an arbitrary date. baby is fine, I'm fine (albeit now restricted to slip-on shoes as I can't tie my laces any more!) and most of the busy-work of buying stuff and unpacking boxes is done, at least as far as I can go in my present state, whch is not only huge, but full of those very pacifying pregnancy hormones. I hardly recognise myself. All I'm doing is wandering about the house, reading, napping (on dr's orders of course) and being taken for slightly alarming car test drives by (dh), whose job it is to find the new car. and swimming, yes, three times a week - being in the water is my favourite thing right now. our birth backup person's job is to take photographs (digital and still) so you will be kept fully up to date - I'm looking for a free photo hosting place as the in-laws are in Sydney (though MIL will be on the first flight down of course).

Thursday, October 23, 2003

due date: 3 November.
Current date: 23 October. so technically 11 days to go. floating around on my hormone cloud vaguely rearranging the garden and doing washing, it seems bizarre that all hell (ie labour) could break loose any minute. a few days back it felt close; now it feels like it's receded a bit. and pg brain is definitely here; I see I've already posted about dr being away from 13th. will take dh to the due-date appt if I make it that far, to talk strategy etc.
now have second names too, so I can talk to the baby by its name(s).
kicks have slowed down a bit; they now seem more like slow rolls. I think that's pretty normal as space runs out. and they happen frequently enough (when I pay attention) that I'm not worried. although it has occured to me that like a plane flight, takeoff and landing are the most dangerous parts of this process.

this morning I woke up and needed to urinate. nothing new there. but I noticed in my sleepy state that I knew in my mind what I needed, but there was a separate channel of feeling that felt what I needed in my body. does that make sense? anyway, the thing I'll need to do in labour is tap into that feeling channel, just use the thinking part to remind me of my breathing/exercises - which is dh's job anyway.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

quick dr report: he reckons baby is about 7lb 6. that's biggish, I guess. but good. his first leave from now is four days from November 13. my edd is November 3, and I really expect to be on time if not early, so that's good too.
and wow, can it kick! they're more like sudden jolts now than tiny kicks.
the bh's are full-on too; sometimes I wake up in the night feeling like I have a large rock under my skin. hoping that is good as well - is there such a thing as a "strong" uterus?

Monday, October 20, 2003

well, I shouldn't get too excited about this b/c we are going to confirm tonight, and there is still the second name/incorporating my name issue, but I think we have names!
the boy name is fairly popular - just outside the top 20 for the state - and the girl name is not on the top 100 at all. but that's OK, as boys are apparently more sensitive to having "weird" names. the girl name, I hasten to add, is a proper, real name, not something we made up.
in the process we found this infinitely searchable database of Victorian names, which does cool things like show the frequency of any particular name over the decades since 1929. it's kind of amusing that names like "John", which you'd think incredibly common, are actually well down the list, especially compared to (yawn) Jack and Josh - Jack being a nickname for John, of course. and names once common, like Ian, appear nowhere, while Americanisms like Blake are all over the place.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

haven't had any baby dreams at all for months. last night's was not like the usual dreams. usually, there's a small, slippery creature that I somehow lose or let die - not just since we were ttc, but for many years. and that's apparently not an uncommon dream.
but last night's was a real actual baby, my baby, very small, just a day or two out, lying on my stomach. I looked at her tiny heel and thought "that's what that pointy thing was the other night" (and last night there wassomething very pointy poking around in there.) there was also another baby, not mine, a friend's, and the two of them were looking at each other with their tiny round blue eyes.

Friday, October 17, 2003

the timer says 16 days. I think it's less.

not feeling much urge to blog. then again, not feeling much urge to do anything. took a friend to visit a mutual friend (more hers than mine) with a 9-week-old today, and was much encouraged by the clean state of her house, the relaxed, funky and mostly physically recovered state of the mother, and the fact she breastfed with hardly a problem. so it can be done.

tonight's agenda with dh: name the baby!

my TENS machine has arrived; they delivered it to the wrong house, but I retrieved it from the doorstep. now the bags are 90 per cent packed and the last minute chuck-ins are on a list. the nursery wall has acquired more fish stickers. things still need assembling, but dh and I will do that over the weekend.

while worrying about labour - which I don't do too much of, considering - I realised that the poor little baby will have such a hard time too, getting squashed down there. you're supposed to talk to it during labour. I hope I remember, and that dh and the support person will be able to keep me feeling safe enough to do that kind of thing unselfconsciously.

dh home soon. better go do wifely things like shower and cook.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

news: my cousin is officially pg. she was given an rather high chance of Down's so was waiting for amnio results. it's all OK. this is EXCELLENT as she was quite close to me growing up, and is due only 5 months after me. she's a high-powered corporate type, so it will be interesting watching how she deals with mum-ness herself.

and the nephew's baby is yet to arrive. this is good. the longer it takes, the more chance it will be OK. pretty soon I won't have much time to deal with family stuff. not much I can do about that.

more braxton hicks. more kicks and squirms. not long now.

wash nappies: no feelings whatsoever.
stick cute fish stickers on nursery wall: vague aesthetic satisfaction.
fold tiny jumpsuits and sort booties: sensation of vaguely watching myself from a distance doing mumsy things.
pack hospital bags: just another packing episode for a (formerly) seasoned traveller, involving a sensible list.

but let the husband set up the funky 3-wheeler pram stroller in classic grey, insert bright yellow liner and hang squeaky ducks off the hood and she goes CRAZY with cluckiness! "oooh, isn't it CUTE, look baby, it's your pram, where's the ducky?" and so on.

there is hope for my maternal instinct yet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

how the hormomes make me feel:
like it's perfectly OK to do all the cleaning and cooking because I want to.
like there's all the time in the world instead of neverenoughbusybusy - allowing of course that right now I have plenty of pre-baby, off-work time.
internal; as if the kicks and squirms wouldn't do that already.
like I need to be nice to my husband because frankly, I'm a vulnerable dependent woman and I need him, and the baby and I will need him more after the birth.
just tired when I'm tired, not tired and upset about being tired.

they really are good stuff. not looking forward to withdrawal.

Monday, October 13, 2003

oh, and while I think of it: the Braxton Hicks-es are really kicking in. there is no doubt that my uterus tightens up like a drum and everything ever-so-gently contracts from time to time. which raises my hopes for going into labour spontaneously - one of the most important things when it comes to getting through naturally.

circumference: 100cm+
plan for tomorrow's forecast sunny day: wash many baby things and dry in the sunshine. hang out with baby-encumbered friend in afternoon.

busy trying to have a life before the baby comes: movies Friday, dinner and an annoying late-to-start show Saturday, went up the country yesterday. my friend who's in town with the baby she had last year said yes, she did expect me to be just immediately available because I'm so pregnant. but really, as long as I get that crucial pm nap, I'm doing quite well. and so much has been crossed off the List, both baby-related and general business, that if I'm not careful I'll be ready by the weekend. you know what that means; and it's not two final weeks of luxurious do-nothing.

dh says he doesn't know if he's ready for me to go into labour yet. he really isn't prepared, and we haven't done enough of our exercises and drills, and the names aren't finalised yet. but what will happen, will happen.

tomorrow night our support person is coming over to discuss the birth strategy; my friend K is a backup person, as she's here until 2 days before the baby's due, and I DID attend her delivery last year with no warning + severe jetlag.

baby kicking all the time. strange lumpy protrusions sometimes, but I can't really tell a foot from an elbow. 37 weeks today.

speaking of naps...

Thursday, October 09, 2003

so the shopping drought is well and truly broken. I have just negotiated a small discount and officially paid for: a 3-wheel stroller. a carry/pram insert to go in it. a "travel cot". several sheepskins for different purposes. a change table. several sets of cot sheets. random pram toys. a full-size new cot recommended by the Consumers' Association. and so on. should all be delievered next week. it was actually a most fun - being a weekday I managed to do a circuit of the shop, tally up my purchases and get an assistant's almost full attention for an hour to sort out all my issues and the discount and delivery. tomorrow I am going to the other baby stuff store to return a non-fitting mattress, buy an alarm (dh can keep the non-alarm monitor he bought), then I will be almost DONE! am reserving a few fun things, like a play arch and a cot mobile, for friends and rellos to buy. and I suppose at some stage I have to organise the nappy service. and now I have lots more sheets etc to wash. but it feels good to have it all under control; except the bit about getting dh to assemble all this junk when it arrives, plus the car carrier. oh, and we have yet to get our new car. still, it's well on the way no

a tip to any men who might be wanting to have a moment of passion with their very pregnant wives: when indulging in a little pillow talk, do NOT refer to her private parts as a "birth canal".

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

dr's 36-week instructions: rest. make sure baby's kicking (as if it could stop!). don't go more than 2 hours from Melbourne.

he doesn't think I should go on the blues train thingy I won. bummer. will have to find lucky recipients for the tix. but I am allowed to visit parents/the country if dh comes along.

have actually lost a little weight. apparently that's OK and normal. fine with me; the weight-losing thing is not what I'm most looking fwd to.

had a crappy sleep Sunday night, but felt so much better after a nap and a swim. in fact I've become convinced that the baby has engaged, because I seem to be able to breathe better in the pool; there are still feet in my ribs, but that's OK.
so last night only woke about four times and managed to drop off again quickly afterwards. which in relative terms is fantastic.
baby is moving a lot; I bet I get one of those alert babies that never sleeps. which I personally will put down to it being a very smart, interested baby. even if it turns me into a zombie.
have washed all the baby clothes and bunny rugs prior to trying to pack bags; now if only I had a clothesline to dry them on...packing bags is a bit of a lose, really. everything on the list I need to use between now and whenever, and as a v. experienced packer I think I can chuck most of the stuff in during very early labour from the List. might just organise the actual bags, the cds and a few things like that, then leave it for a while.
OK, time to start my WEEKLY ob. visits today. must be getting close, huh?

Monday, October 06, 2003

hmm. might be able to fix the dropside issue. but that still leaves the crossbar at the ends. just because her little girl didn't climb out and fall three feet to the floor doesn't mean our baby won't. we either have to fix boards across it (and I don't know if she'll mind us modifying it) or just get a new one. I'm leaning towards the latter.

I also don't like the dropside; there are two simple swinging loops that hold it up. it wouldn't be that hard to open one, then the other in sequence, then get a small arm trapped between the top and the mattress as it dropped. how annoying. it has to go back.

at least the New Zealanders put some of it online.the cot we have doesn't look like it complies; it has horizontal bits at the ends, which I was already worried about. and the bars are, lessee, well, the maximum distance apart (8.5cm)
the distance from the base to the top of the cot is also barely the minimum. I think I'll have a serious look at the ones in the shops to see how different they are from this one.
the tricky thing, of course, will be telling my friend that it won't do, as her four-year-old survived it just fine and of course rejecting it could be seen as a criticism. anyway, the baby won't be sleeping in it straight away, so I have time to sort this out. I'd rather do it sooner than later, though.

what, I ask you, is the POINT of safety standards if you have to pay for them?
have been given a cot that is at least ten years old, and want to check if it's OK. but I can't get the safety parameters online, can I? grrrr.

great. after 8 months of avoiding shellfish, this medically-backed allergy site tells me that restricting food in pregnancy makes no difference; it's when I'm breastfeeding that's the real problem (I knew I had to avoid those foods while feeding as well, of course.)
it says the first two years are crucial, and with my family history of severe allergies (mine are mild, thank goodness), I have to quite strict about it. severe allergies suck. it's not just a matter of a rash - my brothers could be killed by common substances and insect bites.

Friday, October 03, 2003

maybe it's a kind of nesting thing, or an urge to get the most out of these last few weeks - days? - of being a single human being rather than part of a kind of symbiotic creature. maybe it's my existing tendency to be solitary, magnified by the changes I'm going through. maybe I'm just an ungrateful friend. but rather than pleased, I feel a little put-upon with each new phone call and proposal that someone drop over or in one case, even come and stay the night. now that people know I'm at home, or have realised they have to see me NOW if they want to do so before the baby comes, the number of calls has jumped markedly, some of them from people who really should have made the effort to turn up to the housewarming rather than require a separate visit. but many are also people I do want to see, whom I really can't say no to; old friends, my mother for the best part of a day, I have a friend coming from overseas, etc.

and of course I'd really like to get that quality time with dh, whose parents will themselves be back from overseas and wanting time with us soon.

not sure what to do about it. plug on with the essential shopping and tidying up, I suppose, refuse to do anything midafternoon because without naps I'm stuffed. multitask people maybe - let them come Tuesday if they decide to, but get someone else here then as well. try to find the stillness in my relaxing time, the times I manage to just sit, or do my exercises, or read, or walk the dog.

there is certainly a sense of a deadline now, of not being pregnant for much longer.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

last night, dh asked if I chat to pregnant women I notice at the market etc. I said no, not really, unless something happens to break the ice.
so when I was waiting to come down in the incredibly slow lift at the 7th floor medical suites today (went in to learn how to use a TENS machine), I said to another pg woman as we got in, "they're really slow lifts but it's not like we have the option of using the stairs, is it?".
and her face kind of twisted a bit and I thought oops. and she said "I could throw myself down ... at this point." to which I said "oh, sorry", and faced the lift doors. by the time I got into the car I was almost in tears (again: Big Talk to dh this morning about his neglect of his physical duties towards me, ie cuddles and training for the supposed relaxing touch stuff during labor).
I saw her drive off in a very nice, expensive station wagon. Was she not happy to be pregnant? Was there a problem with the baby? Did she just have something else on her mind. Whatever it was, I wanted to chase after her and say: "You know, you have just upset me horribly. I'm sorry if I disturbed you; can I do anything to make you feel better?"

but that would no doubt only have made it worse. so I s'pose I'll keep my mouth shut in future.

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