Friday, October 29, 2004

chez miscarriage is asking for good thoughts for Cecily, whom I don't know. I can't bring myself to even go to the blog - after last night's TV trauma I am ready for some happier news. like seeing my cousin's new baby tomorrow. which isn't to say that what passes for prayers with me aren't going Cecily's way.

a friend brought around her kids and one of their friends tonight - two 11 year olds and a nine-year-old. A loved it. he was at the centre of an adoring circle, and repaid them with a fine exhibition of "walking" behind his rolly horse. he's getting so fast at it.

his teeth are like buses: for four months I waited for his third tooth to appear. On Wednesday, there it was - one of the bottom teeth, instead of a top one as was supposed to be next. the very next day (after a midnight scream/panadol) a top one was through too. today another top one is almost there. so far, breastfeeding is continuing. he knows what's good for him.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

there I was about to have a bath before watching Kath and Kim and I saw an image of an ultrasound on the TV. so I sat down to watch a 1/2 hour program on premature babies - one in particular - and the possible causes.

it's so awful. I don't know whether I should have let myself watch it. the baby featured was obviously in such pain, so confused at what was supposed to be its life (born at 22 weeks to a mother who didn't even know she was pregnant.) Please God protect me and mine from such a thing. and of course, as I knew would happen, the baby didn't survive.

and a possible cause posited? gum disease. really. apparently there are toxins produced in the mouth that can affect the uterus. clean your teeth, girls.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

vbac and ICAN - vaginal birth after caesar sites.

recommendations: go into labour naturally (I remember my dr mentioning that, and he supports waiting). have a doula (already planning that). go to a proper hospital (definitely). 18 months between deliveries (we'll have at least 25).

there will be much more to come on that. if I'm lucky.

So my cousin, who did IVF and whose chances I rated low (poor responder, a year older than me, overweight) is now a mother. She delivered a boy this afternoon - my parents called me. I am so pleased for her. Apparently she had some surgery after natural delivery, so I'm hoping she'll still be in town when I go up there on the weekend. I can't go before Saturday because of car issues and she lives a fair way from where my parents live and where she had the baby.

While I'm always aware of the women who have yet to have success, I keep coming back to this: IVF technology has been the best thing ever to happen to me, and every single baby born through it is certainly badly wanted. someone should get a medal.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

home. the flight was foul. not a moment's sleep. not a wink. so much for business class. A. got some sleep - most of it on my lap, pressing down on my bladder.

the being-home is paying off already, in the form of casually running into mothers' group friends. it's things like that that are why I want to be here, not there. and I picked up the news that another baby in the group is an IVF baby. I hadn't advertised A's status, but it came up during the chat, so next time I see that baby's mother we'll have something to talk about.

while I'm here I want to bring some order to the place. being away gives you a fresh eye, and being in a nice new serviced apartment has made me realise this place isn't as clean as it could be. so I'm working on that, and in my free moments I'm going to gradually work through the house, room by room, starting with turning A's room into a proper baby room, not a repository for our junk. I hope dh's parents will help me move the cot out of our bedroom into A's room tomorrow. having him in with me just doesn't work.

home, home, home!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

so two months after the announcement I hear that Julia Roberts' twins are IVF. and birl/goy. did I write that? and that the sexes were announced when she was nine weeks, indicating either invasive testing or PGD. and that she's taking five years off work, she says, to play with her babies. I could almost like her.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

baby asleep (after hooting about his cot for 45 minutes), but due to wake up.

After having A, I am more than happy for my next baby to be a boy. But I've been buying girl stuff. just in case. it's all so cute and every now and then I buy a tiny little dress that I just don't want to give away. so I put it with the "too small" stuff and there it will sit until we know what happens next.

yesterday, while I was feeding him dinner, he spat something out, or turned his head, or some such small act of defiance. and I felt a kind of anger I don't recognise. not overwhelming, by any means, but a "if you're going to be like that I won't be your nice mummy" anger. weird. parenting is very complex.

we're off home for three weeks on Monday. yahoooo! just received an invitation to go on a cruise all day Sunday. this is impractical, given that we're going out Saturday night and I have to pack. but we're going. cruises are one of the few really good things about life on this metropolitan tropical island.

he's awake.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

so I heard there might be a chance of moving to subediting at work. so I emailed the person concerned - no response. I mentioned it in an email to my old boss, who eventually mentioned two things in reply. 1) advice that I should do my 2 days/week in blocks of four days over a weekend and the following two days, to get solid experience. hmmm. maybe. maybe I am capable of learning without that kind of relentless work assault, maybe it's a good idea. we'll seee. and 2), that the person concerned has said I should get in touch when I'm back. wtf? this is exactly the kind of lasseiz faire (sp?) bullshit my company excels at. woman on maternity leave applies for positionl. gets no direct response except offhand reply via third party. I've emailed p.c. asking to set up a time IN ADVANCE if he needs to see me. I have to get childcare to see them, dammit! and would appreciate a sensible reply to a serious work enquiry. my history with p.c. isn't great. he took offense to a note I put in an article once, alerting subs to something or other. sigh. but I do have someone else who would like me on their section.

glass ceiling experience #1: women with babies, especially women with babies living overseas, don't have the time and energy to play the catch-a-superior-when-he's-ready game. I've worked for this company for nearly 10 years. many women there are in my position at some stage. how about some respect and understanding, guys?

an interesting place to lurk - the Oz-midwifery bulletin board.

Monday, October 18, 2004

the current interesting-blog-to-shite ratio on Blogger is around 1:10. I know this because I went through 10 blogs before finding the unlikely RN, the blog of a trainee Chicago Baltimore nurse. She's working the maternity wards. DO NOT read the post on the C/S if you've had one and you're squeamish. I may never recover from knowing what was done to me (if in fact it was - I will have to ask my dr). it's certainly motivating to deliver naturally next time (if I get a next time).

Annoying Things My Mother has Imparted about My Childhood, #1: that my oldest brother and I were perfect babies. she "can't remember" us crying much in the night, nor having sleep problems (her or us.) while I will never forget the four or so months of hell Beetle put me through. like someone who's been starved and stockpiles food amongst plenty, I now obsess over sleep even when I'm relatively well rested. last night was not bad. I fed him at 5.15, put him back down and then slept to 7.30 (after a mini-breakfast). I hope this can be a new thing - have him sleep a longer block, then just do one morning nap, not two.

after various apologising etc we ended up having a good weekend - not at all marred by dinner in the dining room of the Peninsula, a very old-fashioned and expensive place with a band, crystal chandeliers, mirrors, well-dressed staff etc. one got quite sloshed on one's 1/2 bottle of Australian red. the evening finished nicely with the band playing Whiter Shade of Pale and the discovery that it's not the "mirror told its tale" but "the miller told his tale." I like my version better.

and we were joking about how I should have married a really rich, older guy (dh is younger) and he said "you'd have to go through the trauma of a funeral" and I said "that's not trauma, it's a photo opportunity." take that, Anna Nicole.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

memo dh: Friday night is a very bad time to botch the one simple pre-dinner task (cook up some pasta) I asked you to do while I had my swim - my only free time, remember. I went out and got a burger (it was nearly 9pm and I was HUNGRY), came back and cooked his macaroni cheese, but am still hungry due to eating shite. and so in the morning, when we'll have 45! minute of baby nap time to snog, I'll be a) still feeling grumpy and exploited (I cooked and cleaned and cared for the baby quite hard this week, 12-13 hours a day) and b) sleepy because I won't sleep well tonight.

silly b*

Friday, October 15, 2004

it helps if you know the back story...talking to an expat mum yesterday, and she was calculating down to the month when she should get pregnant again in order to make the most of her maternity leave here yet still have the baby in Australia when they move home.

and I said something like "you can't be sure it'll happen when you want" and she told me that every time they'd tried, they'd got pg. that month. and if I didn't know she'd had a 20 week miscarriage, and that she knew about my IVF so I could also pick up the slightly apologetic tone (only slightly), I'd have hated her, wouldn't I?

it's a nice photo. dh and I in a cable car at the fun park with A in front of us. my Dad took it and sent it over. but it's umistakeable, right there under my silly floppy pink hat: a double chin.


I mean, I'm glad I no longer obsess over my weight and food intake as I did in my early 20s. it was ugly and a waste of energy. but at 38, with another pregnancy (I hope) to go, I do not want to be fat. not even a bit pudgy. I think of myself as a fit, athletic, slim person. with a double chin.

Hong Kong is definitely part of the problem. exercise is difficult. two years ago I was riding a pushbike 10 ks to work and back again, plus a weekend ride. and I'd swim 2-3 times a week. the baby makes it more complicated, but in Melbourne, at least I could walk.

it's not getting easier being here. it's getting harder. this just isn't my place. dh and I are due this weekend for the big discussion of what to do next year. how can I take A away from him? how can I stay? I'm already dreading the 5 weeks between the birthday and my return at Christmas - 4 if I burn off the inlaws. but as I gradually get more sleep, I get more energy and the low-maintenance convenience of this flat matters less, its restrictions matter more.

to change the subject, we dropped the midmorning feed yesterday. it's made it harder to get him down for the morning nap. but it seems OK. he did wake up at five!!! am today for breakfast. must be time to ramp up the dinners another notch, I think. and like all true obsessions, that brings me back to the topic: I miss the market in Melbourne too, all that good, varied, safe food. I don't feel creative with my cooking here, and that's not good for A. or my diet.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

if one has to have a ^&%$# crashing headache with an 11-month-old baby in the house, best it be on a Sunday when Daddy is available to take a lot of the work off one's hands.

horrible dreams last night. not to even be recorded here. followed by a first nap in which I was wandering around a complex city, knowing I was dreaming, and forcing myself to wake up because A. had been asleep for hours and I had to find him and check on him. a weird lucid dream - I would force my eyelids open and see the same scene in front of me, only brighter.

for no reason at all I've just remembered a night when I was downregging and out with my two friends and for much of the night they discussed their respective kids. I miss them, but I think I am more in need of my "new baby" friends right now. and wasn't that just a teensy bit, well, insensitive when I was on my first IVF cycle? then again, neither of them is top of the class in empathy - one just isn't, the other thinks she is but really just makes annoying projections of what I "must" be feeling. yes, I love them both.

HK note: the fruit here is awful. first thing back in Australia, I'm off to the market to get a huge box of yummy apples or whatever's in season.

Friday, October 08, 2004

while A tries to figure out how to put his new frog toy back on its front - a quick blog...(one hour later...)

weirdly enough, I have just run into two people I know while out at the supermarket. one works in the building across the road, the other is an Australian mum who was there to go to the supermarket, so not that strange - but almost like being at home, no?

the parents left yesterday - it was really good having them installed downstairs. they spent a lot of time just doting on the baby, came shopping at Stanley with me, sat the baby while dh and I went to a movie and so on. all of which just reminds me now they're gone how little support I really have here. most of my friendships, such as they are, are still at that stage where they take from me, not give - formal outings and so on. my trip home has been brought forward, giving me THREE WHOLE WEEKS of a semi-normal life. hooray.

one Hong Kong friend and I are talking about a birthday party here for our babies, but it's already seeming like a big effort, involving hiring venues. I may have to explain to her that it's a bit more than I want to do on top of the party at home (I ought to be writing out invites this minute).

reading: Toddler Taming. yes, he's heading towards toddlerhood apace - cruising very fast (while hooting about it), showing understanding of many words and sooking when things are taken from him. so serious parenting is going to begin soon. I'm realising that I will probably behave a lot like my own mother did - I can hear it in the things I say to him - and I will have to face the question soon: is that right? is that what I want to be? was it right for me, and more importantly, is it the kind of mother A. needs? sooner or later I'll have to delve into my own childhood experiences. it was all pretty standard and uneventful, no dark secrets to reveal here, but examination is required.


Friday, October 01, 2004

his routine is so predictable now at 10 1/2 months I thought I'd write it down while it's stable.

5.30-6.30 ish wake, feed, breakfast.

7-8 back to sleep until 8.30-9

snackeroonie (banana)

9.00 Playschool

9.30 breastfeed

10-10.45ish sleep for 45

11.30-12 lunch


1-1.45 bf and straight into bed for 45-90 minutes

3.00 afternoon snack (cheese, bread, fruit)

5.30-6 dinner
6.30-7 bf and bed

10-10.30 rollover feed

and so on to the next morning. it's limiting, but very useful to know what he needs when. and having given up the late afternoon nap gives me up to 2-3 hours to do afternoon activities. the best time, I think, will be when he does an afternoon sleep only - I can have one too, but we'll have plenty of time in the morning to be out and about. and I'll be home then, too.

bits, while A. tries to finish his nap and his various visiting grandparents are out and about in HK.

I say "where's your lantern?" and he turns and points to it. and how he loves to be swooshed under its hanging fringe. he closes his eyes and surrenders to the tickle of the threads on his face, laughing and chortling.

an outrage: yesterday when he woke up after 45 minutes of afternoon nap, instead of patting him gently and saying "shoosh" and generally lulling him back to sleep, Mum-mum picked him up, practically threw him into his carrier and took him up to baby group.

on the way home, his grandmother (my mother) testing him on his sounds. she'd say "ah, ah, ah", and after a few seconds he'd say "ah." and yesterday looking at his photo albums we looked at the dog and told him its name and after a few seconds he said "B...B...B'' (the first letter of the dog's name). this morning dh and I tried again in bed after his morning feed and he came out with a surely accidental sound that was like the whole name. any second now there will be real talking, not the delightful babble with intent he's throwing at me now from the other room. (and what a relief he's back in his own room. no more houseguests in this apartment.

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