Tuesday, 27 December 2011

baby moon

Today we're going on what people call a 'baby moon', being the last holiday you go on as a couple before a baby is born (another last). To me the name baby moon doesn't quite make sense to me - if it's derived from honeymoon, shouldn't it be after the event? but semantics, semantics. Looking forward to getting away (and it will be another first-ish too - much the same as Christmas, a first adult holiday that doesnt involve way too much alcohol). There'll be lots of sun, beach and wildlife - that's the plan anyway, and little to no updates here.

29 weeks

Sunday, 25 December 2011

lasts and firsts

I hadn't really thought about it, but as several people reminded me - the last Christmas that we don't have children! A little scary. Also made me remember another Christmas half a lifetime ago - pretty much exactly, which was the last time I had a Christmas where I didn't get drunk - hmmm, (and coincidently the last Christmas at which I ate meat) which makes this my first adult sober Christmas.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

relief

There are many many things to worry about when being pregnant, most of which relate to or boil down to worrying about the baby surviving and being healthy. I've spent a lot of time being concerned about the likelihood of miscarriage and the like. Of course we're not there yet, but I must admit this week I am feeling quite relieved just knowing we have made it to 28 weeks and all looks good. While babies born before 28 weeks can survive, after 28 weeks the chance of survival and being healthy are very high, so I'm very happy to be here.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

28 weeks

skin

One of the side effects of my pregnancy has been looking into the mirror to see my 13 year old face looking back at me. You might think this sounds like a good thing, but actually the only thing I remember about my 13 year old face is the rampant acne. At least this time 'round I am feeling much less self-conscious about it. Although, it still felt a bit depressing to have it pointed out to me. Oh yes, my family members are champions of tact. Anyway, at risk of jinxing myself, I'm thinking the worst of it is over and my skin appears to be clearing up, yay!

Monday, 19 December 2011

touchy feely

Many people had warned me - apparently when you are pregnant your stomach becomes some kind of public property and people will come up and touch or feel it, people at social occasions, people at work and supposedly also complete strangers. Eek! I had trouble believing it. I mean what kind of person thinks that's appropriate? If I went up to someone and started poking at their stomach they'd think I was a weirdo, so why would anyone think its OK to do that to me? Nevertheless I started to expect it, and started imagining my angry response accompanied by a backhand.
Lo and behold, last night I experienced my first unsolicited belly pawing. The worst part probably being my lack of angry response, I didn't really feel that bothered by it at the time. However, I did mention my plan of whacking whoever might try. He, being my former Aikido sensei, thought this was a great way to keep my Shio Nage or similar in practice, hmmm.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

showers

You might think the idea of being showered with gifts would appeal to most (at least that's what I am assuming the 'shower' the baby shower, bridal shower etc refers to), but such events have never appealled to me. It all seems so cheesy and always involves super lamo games. The few bridal showers I've been to have bored me to tears, but at least they have alcohol to offer some relief. As a diligent reader might remember, I've always managed to avoid actually attending any baby showers I've been invited to, as they seemed to promise even more tedium. So, I had no intention of having a baby shower myself. But people do keep asking. Some friends made a considerable effort to convince me the other night - 'It doesn't have to be the traditional type - you can invite men', Oo, Oo, can I really?? sigh. 'You remember so and so? I went to hers and it was great - no lame games' and then went on to say 'we had to guess the pregnant stomach size, did blindfolded draw the baby - hilarious!' and some other activity whose details I have forgotten but also sounded very much like a super lamo game to me. hmmm.
But the clincher argument is of course, 'but all the stuff, you get so much useful stuff.' and I must admit I'm almost falling for that one. Finding out and thinking of all the stuff you need to get for a new baby is overwhelming, then the figuring out which kind of each thing to get, let alone the effort of actually going out and buying it all. Maybe letting some other people do some of that work wouldn't be such a bad thing. But finding the enthusiasm and energy to organise an event in this 'condition' and with all the other stuff we're trying to get done seems a big call. And, the idea of having a party just to get presents is kinda vulgar.
Undecided

Thursday, 15 December 2011

tight

Everything feels kinda tight these days, well, in the belly region anyway. For some reason I expected to feel more flabby than tight - but this is definitely better. But, the latest new feeling is a particular tight feeling in the lower abdomen. At first I thought that my tights or my undies were just too tight for my ever-expanding stomach and were and digging in, 'cos that's what it feels like. I stuck with that idea for a while but turned out that changing into my loose fitting pj's or a general lack of clothing wasn't always helping. So, I naturally turned to Google, where I found out that it's pretty common. How on earth did first time pregnant people cope before the invention of the search engine?, must have spent a lot of time fretting or visiting the doctor, or maybe they just talked to other women in real life - eek!
Knowing it's common is good, albeit what I expected, but I really wanted to know is what causes it, and that's still unclear. Suggestions range from Braxton-Hicks contractions (the uterus muscles tightening occasionally, kinda practising - this idea doesn't seem right to me 'cos its more a constant feeling), the uterus stretching, ligaments getting stronger etc. Anyway, a question for the midwife next week I guess. Apparently having a lie down helps - sounds like a good excuse to nap at work to me!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

full

I seem to be constantly hungry but my belly keeps saying 'ha! no, sorry, no way you're gonna eat all that, there's not much space in here anymore ya know' and as result I am also constantly full. Its a weird feeling being full and hungry at the same time.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

27 weeks


3rd trimester, eek!

belly belt

When I was shopping for maternity clothes I just couldn't bring myself to buy those elastic waisted/topped maternity jeans. Shudder, elastic waisted. My idea was that I was going to be biggest in summer and it'd be warm so I could go for dresses as much as possible and wouldn't need too many pair of pants. ha! yeah right had I forgotten where I live? Anyway. What I found was a doodad called the belly belt, which basically acts as an extension to the waistband on your normal jeans and other trousers. So, you have the jeans unbuttoned but held together with the belly belt and then you have a stretchy wide belt/band type thing, kinda like a cumberbund, which you wear over the top of your jeans which covers up the fly. I wasnt really convinced at first but after seeing what was on offer in the world of maternity trousers it started to seem like a good idea - cheaper than a new pair of pants, can be used with all kinds of trousers, does not require purchasing elastic waisted anything. And, it worked pretty well...at the beginning when my pants didnt need to be too much wider. But it now seems a bit problematic. On sitting down the band kinda rides up and when you get up you find you've exposed your open fly. I'm having to constantly remember to check that all is properly covered up, and regularly find that it is not, which makes me a bit worrisome about all the times when I do not remember to check (probably always during important work meetings). And this isn't only an issue when sitting - but also walking, bending, stretching - pretty much always except for when standing still. And even when it is all covered up the belly belted open-fly doesn't really sit flat, like it should according to the promotional pictures, so there's a strange bulge under my lovely cumberband, which I'm sure looks rather dodgy.
On the other hand this could all be my imagination as my partner insisted its not noticeable, but I'm not sure he's a credible witness - he also thinks the wigs on the African ladies in our neighbourhood are not noticeable.

Monday, 12 December 2011

childcare

The other day a friend was telling me about her kids childcare centre. They rang her up while she was at work (obviously, otherwise she probably wouldn't be paying the have the kid in childcare) to tell her her son had gotten a splinter in his hand, allowed her to hear him crying and screaming in the background and then told her they weren't going to do anything about it because they are 'not allowed' to remove splinters. What? How ridiculous. Whyever not? Also, what was the point of calling her, just to let her hear her kid suffering? They knew she was at work about an hours travel away. She ended up having to get her mother to go there to remove the splinter and the childcare centre couldnt(wouldnt?) even provide a pair of tweezers or anything to get it out so she had to use a pin from the pinboard. I mean surely they have first aid kits? What do they do if a kid properly injures themselves, just let them bleed away while they wait for someone else to come and take care of it?
So, I now know something else I need to check on when deciding on a childcare centre - do they actually provide care.

Friday, 9 December 2011

low tolerance

I'm discovering a whole lot of new terms theses days and I'm also noticing my very low tolerance for a lot of slang type pregnancy terms that just grate on me but other people seem to think are 'fun', ugh. I really hope I never slip into using these, for example, some of the most loathsome:

preggo
as in preggo-friendly - i.e. a restaurant whose menu doesn't revolve around all the stuff you're not supposed to eat when your pregnant, or preggo-brain (see 'words fail me' post). Cant even think of the right description for why I detest this term so much, it just sounds awful.
Same goes for 'preggers'

up-the-duff, up-the-spout
who would have though that people actually still really use these terms! They remind me of gossiping miserable women sniggering about some young unmarried girl getting pregnant

knocked-up
This just sounds so bogan to me, but might be just because of that lame movie of the same name out a while back

yummy-mummy
ugh, just smacks of over the top overly fake and totally unrealistic articles in 'women's' magazines


But worst of all is all the acronyms especially those used in Internet discussion forums, particularly
DD dearest daughter
DS dearest son
DH dear husband (or dear hubby)
all usually accompanied by details the birth dates and a lame-o quote about love and happiness and in sickly cutesy font in blue or pink, or maybe purple, ugh ugh ugh.

words fail me

I was warned, and I guess I didn’t really believe it, but I am now all too clearly exhibiting the symptoms of my pregnant brain turning to mush. In particular I seem to be struggling with vocab during conversation. All too regularly I find myself floundering mid-sentence with stuff like ‘and well, you know what I mean, the thingamy, the what ya call it, that doodad’. Eek. Not that I was ever really the queen of eloquence, but this is a bit much. Maybe I need to go and visit the Blarney stone again. Its all very reminiscent of Homer Simpson with a bowl of ice-cream requesting ‘that metal thing, you know, you use to, um, dig food’.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

relaxation

Last night’s yoga session involved a new position for the relaxation part. I can never remember the names of such things so lets all it feetonwallasana. Basically involves lying on the floor with your butt against the wall but elevated on a big cushion (or rolled up blankets for everyone else in the class who don’t get my special pregnant lady treatment, ha ha), then legs at right angles going up the wall. Surprisingly it’s more comfortable than it sounds, once you manage to actually get yourself into the position, or at least it could/should be. Baby wasn’t so sure and kinda went nuts. Not sure if it was the being turned topsy-turvy or the strong calming voice of our teacher, but felt like the kid was trying to jump out. So, not such a relaxing relaxation period, but fun.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

rules of appointments

In the past when it came to medical appointments my general rule has been to try and get an appointment as early in the day as possible. That way, theoretically, there won't have been time for the doctors to get so far behind in their schedules, as they always do, and I hopefully won't have to wait very long. (Although I have often had the experience of being in the waiting room and seeing the doctor only turning up to work sometime after my appointment time).
Today I discovered that this tactic is not going to work at my hospital. The best way for me to get to the hospital from home is to get the bus, which goes directly to the hospital, but arriving in time for a 'first thing' appointment means taking the bus during peak hour. The bus seemingly has a bus stop every 50m along its entire route, and somehow manages to wind past every school and railway crossing in the two suburbs it crosses at the same time as being on a major inbound traffic route. In short, it took friggin ages to get there. And everyone else seems to have the early morning appointment idea - there were sooo many people in the waiting room.
So, the new tactic is the end of the day appointment. Being on the one-to-one program means I can have an appointment a bit later and, as it turns out, everyone else has gone home by 5, so I can sneak in at 5 after relatively painless pre-peak hour travel to find an empty waiting room. At least that's the plan.

test

One of the many things I've found out about in this new world full of stuff I'd never even heard of let alone knew anything about, is gestational diabetes. Yep, being pregnant can give you diabetes, sigh. This is usually temporary but it also puts you at greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes afterwards, as well as other nasty potential consequences. Anyway, had to head down the the hospital to have the test today. This involved drinking a bottle of very sugary fizzy stuff, then spending a rather pleasant hour sitting in the grass in the sun reading a book (I did 'try' to do some work by calling some people but they didn't answer the phone, shame) and then having several vials of blood taken out of my arm. Now just have to wait and see. I'm not in any of the risk categories so I'm hoping chances are low, otherwise there will need to be yet more scrutiny and adjusting of my diet, sigh again.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

26 weeks

moody

damn hormones! They've got me a bit melancholy at the moment. Lots of 'what have I got myself into?' thoughts. The idea of being responsible for a whole other person's life and well-being weighs heavily sometimes ('cos it all always comes back to the mother you know). Luckily this generally swings back to an over-arching feeling of contentment and joy pretty quickly.
I read an article the other day that said that babies were better off if their mothers had a more or less consistent mental state throughout their whole pregnancy - even if this was a state of constant depression, than if they went through highs and lows. I can't see how it could possibly be better to be feeling constantly miserable for 9 months than to feel happy a lot of the time and sad occasionally. Its not something I'm aspiring to anyway - just more advice I'm ignoring.

Monday, 5 December 2011

empathy

Last night I watched some crappy crime show on TV which happened to feature a pregnancy empathy suit (I’m tellin ya, it’s a conspiracy). During ante-natal classes the father-to-be is given a ‘suit’ with a fake stomach and boobs on it which also simulates the movements of the baby so he can try to understand what his partner is going through and what it feels like to be pregnant. Ha! How ridiculous! I thought. Reminds me of those classes where they’d give teenagers raw eggs or dolls and they’d have to pretend they were babies and look after them for a few weeks in the hope it would put them off having unprotected sex and getting pregnant. As if.
Yet, at the same time I wondered if it might not be a good thing. A little while ago we went to one of the pregnancy/childbirth prep classes offered by our hospital. There were two separate classes one for the men one for the women. I imagined the men would be learning all about how to look after us, understand what we were going through and to be supportive, etc. But, found out after that the key message had been that out of the three people in this (baby, mother, father) the most important person is you (being him, the father). Hmmm. What about me, me, me?

horror stories

Warnings and horror stories abound in conversations when people know you are pregnant. On top of which it seems that recently TV shows, magazines and newspapers are suddenly featuring so many more stories revolving around pregnancy and childbirth tragedies. Clearly this is some kind of conspiracy ‘cos it cant possibly be that I’m imagining it or that I might be more drawn to these kind of stories these days than I was when not pregnant. This week they’ve been getting to me a little and I’ve been worrying about too many what-if scenarios. However, I’m figuring this is a good thing. I reckon that the horrible things you worry about or hear about happening to someone else never end up happening to you. It’s the things you don’t think of that get you. So, maybe the more awful things you imagine the better?

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

under siege

I started feeling the baby moving and kicking a while ago, which was all very exciting, if a somewhat strange feeling. However, in the last few days or so the kid seems to have gotten very active. As soon as I sit still or lie down I feel like I'm getting beaten up from the inside. I'm wondering if this might mean the baby will take after its father rather than being the sedentary (OK, lazy) type like me.
And I swear it was dancing (by which I mean the first noticeable reaction to music) a couple of days ago - sadly it was to Ganggajang.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

25 weeks

weight

When I found out I was pregnant I imagined I would be one of those women who stacks the weight on, not just to the obvious belly area, but everywhere else too. But surprisingly it doesnt seem to have really happened. In the early stages I lost a few kilos. This is apparently common and generally related to morning sickness but I didnt have much morning sickness (only puked once which was more due to a colleague's rally style driving in the rain on a dirt road than pregnancy I reckon). I think the weight loss had more to do with no longer taking in all those alcohol related calories and maybe a loss of muscle mass when I stopped Aikido training.

I've been randomly picked to be part of a research study looking at the influence on weight gain of weighing pregnant women at each hospital visit - they no longer do that as standard practice. Apparently many women put on far too much weight in pregnancy these days and they want to find out if being weighed every time will make women less likely to stack it on. Hmmm, fear of other people knowing and what will be officially recorded is a powerful incentive (disincentive?). Anyway, as a result I know that I put on less than 1 kilo between week 20 and week 24, and apparently this is very good. I guess that makes sense 'cos a baby only weighs a bit under 3.5 kilos on average when its born. I wonder will I put on more weight each week as we get closer to due date, do foetuses grow in weight and size linearly or exponentially or...? Will have to look that up.
Unfortunately I dont really know what I weighed at the very beginning (20 weeks was the first measurement) except from my probably less than reliable home scales. and should I measure from the very beginning or from my lowest weight point after I lost weight? hmmm.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

on the nose

During pregnancy one develops a rather acute sense of smell. This has meant I have to avoid things like Subway 'restaurants', whose stink I could barely handle before but would be sure to set me to puking now, and my partner's breath after our regular Vietnamese meals and a beer or two (for him obviously, not me). The other thing I've noticed is an increased production of, and sorry but I can't think of a nicer way to put it right now, snot. This is apparently very common, but what I don't get is how I can have such a stuffed up nose and still be noticing every tiny whiff of any kind of 'scent'.

Friday, 25 November 2011

reminders

Every now and then I've completely forgotten about being pregnant, and I catch sight of myself in a mirror or reflected in a shop window or something and get a shock - argh, what happened to my stomach? Oh yeah, that's right!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

one-to-one

Got to meet my midwife today, which I was rather excited about, and I'm glad to report I'm not any less excited after meeting her. Thanks to U's skills in charm and persuasion and general ability to get people to give him what he wants, we managed to get onto the Hospital's one-to-one midwife care program, despite the program being theoretically full for our birth date. The means we have one primary midwife who we see for most of our appointments and the birth, plus a small team of 3 other midwives who are like back-up for when the primary one is called to someone else's birth or has already worked her 12 hours etc. We get to know each of the midwives on the team and have a direct contact to them if we have any questions or problems outside of our appointment times. This is not the norm for the public system where apparently usually you have no idea who you will see at an appointment or who will be there at the birth and rarely see the same midwife more than once. And the best part being that after the birth (assuming all goes well) you get to go home within 24 hours and then your midwife will visit you at home to see how you're going, where usually you're expected to stay at least 3 days in the hospital.
So, I'm feeling pretty happy about the whole arrangment so far.

And, she measured my belly and I'd be glad to report to the hairdresser that it was exactly the size they say it should be for 24 weeks, ha!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

wind

ah, the pain. I can't comprehend how so much gas can even fit in my belly. Luckily there's no yoga today, these days I try my hardest to get a spot at the back of the room because of the regular worry of otherwise gassing some poor sucker who happens to be behind me during the downward dog. Luckily during my aqua fit class it can be easily hidden with all the splashing.

24 weeks

Monday, 21 November 2011

cute

On the weekend I went into a hairdressers I'd never been to before to ask about an appointment. On seeing me the hairdresser started gushing and exclaimed "Ooo, aren't you cute as a pregnant person!!! Oh, its so cute".
This reminded me of reading somewhere recently about how the baby-bump is a current celebrity must-have fashion accessory (sadly, I still haven't quite overcome my tendency to waste time reading celebrity trash gossip, sigh). It seemed like such a funny thing to say, as though I'd decided to come dressed today as a pregnant woman but tomorrow I might instead go out sans baby bump as a normal non-pregnant woman. And as convenient as that might be sometimes - leave the foetus at home to grow alone, its really not possible.
She then asked me how much longer I had to go, which I had to think about quite hard because most people ask the other way 'round (how far along are you?). In response to my answer she seemed disapproving - "gee you haven't put on much weight!". Really, how would she know? she never saw me before

Sunday, 20 November 2011

disturbed

I’m reading ‘We need to talk about Kevin’. I’m realising this is definitely not a good choice of reading material for a pregnant lady. (If you haven’t heard about it, it’s about the mother of a kid who grew up to be perpetrator of a high school massacre. At the moment it seems to be about a woman who had a perfect life which completely fell apart when we decided to have a baby which it turned out she wasn’t really convinced about having). Its rather disturbing and I know I should just stop reading it, but once I’m in I just can’t seem to abandon it. I keep hoping that it will somehow get less disturbing. Its leading me to far too much thinking about nature versus nuture, and the possibility of purely evil children.

Friday, 18 November 2011

weary

It's Friday afternoon and what I'm looking forward to is not beer o'clock, an excellent band I plan to see at the pub, a night of laughter and dancing, a great movie or even a nice dinner. All I am looking forward to is getting home to have a nap. Oh dear! and by all accounts such feelings are likely to last for a long time yet.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

faith restored

As if in direct response to my recent grumbling - I was offered a seat on the train for the first time this morning, yay! Admittedly it was only half a seat due to the rather overweight girl sitting next to it, and since I could only really fit one buttock on the seat and the fat girl had cheapo headphones on, was listening to loud tinny pop and had a nasty bronchial sounding cough, it might have been more comfortable to stand. But, its the gesture that counts and this act has restored my faith in the humanity of Melbourne's train travelling public, for now.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

'really?

I didn't think you were going to.' has been a very common response when I have told people I'm pregnant, including from my own mother. And although I've quite openly been rather uninterested in other people's children (and still am), and I don't go around telling anyone who'll listen my family building plans - as I know many people do, I have been somewhat taken aback by this response. I guess because its a reminder that people are making all kinds of assumptions about me and my life. Such an assumption seemed groundless or illogical but I'm forced to realise its no doubt based on things I've said and done over the years. Probably things like my response of 'groan, do I have to?' whenever invited to a baby shower and my success at avoiding attending every one I have been invited to (no, I will not be having a baby shower, ugh), or the look of total trepidation that has completely taken over my features whenever I have in the past suspected I might be asked to hold someone's baby.

advice

I found out pretty quickly that everyone, and I mean everyone, wants to give you advice on what you should be doing when they find out you're pregnant. Including those people who say 'now you don't need listen to all those busy-bodies who want to tell you what to do, you just do what is right for you, but here's one really great piece of advice I can offer.....'.
Today a friend of mine who has no children and has long and loudly professed a dislike for children, also gave me her pregnancy advice (yes, you). hmmm.
I know they mean well, but unless I've actually asked someone I must admit these days my eyes are quickly glazing over.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Western Health strikes again

Today a lovely Western Health midwife rang me - apparently she had a message that she should call me back. Only thing is that the last time I rang a Western Health midwife and left my details was 6 weeks ago. In the meantime after many unanswered faxes, and frustrating phone calls with unhelpful hospital admin staff I've, not surprisingly, given up on Western Health, and have taken my business elsewhere (whoever said the public health system wasn't flexible). You'd think after this and this they'd be trying a bit harder.
In some ways it's a real shame because the actual midwives I've spoken to seem great and they've offered me a place on their one-to-one program (where you get to have the same midwife for all your visits and the birth), which by many accounts is fantastic, but on the other hand, given above, maybe I've had a narrow escape.
And, I'm pretty sure I've managed to wangle a place on the one-to-one program at my alternate, more responsive maternity care provider.

ah, my aching feet

Still looking forward to the one day when I will be offered a seat on public transport. This morning the train was crowded as usual, but luckily I happened to be standing right next to a seat that was vacated by someone getting off the train at the next stop after I got on. This other (young, seemingly fit, non-pregnant) woman actually glowered at me because I sat down in it when she apparently wanted to, sigh. Although I guess it wasn't as bad as on the bus the other day when a 20-something year old guy actually pushed past me to get to a vacated seat before I could.

(luckily my feet aren't actually aching as yet - but they could be - those people wouldn't know!)

23 weeks

context - months and weeks

Before I gained pregnant lady status I was blissfully uncomprehending of the concepts of gestation weeks and would measure any time frame longer than 4 weeks in months, like regular people. But pretty much from the moment of purchasing the first pee-on-the-stick home pregnancy test, the measurement by weeks concept is thrust upon you. As such by now the idea is fully entrenched and I can only measure pregnancy duration weeks, and will title my posts accordingly.