Thursday, May 23, 2002

is this still working?

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Okay, I thought I'd better update for those five people who visit this site daily.

Ready? It's here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Sometimes, good things happen.

I dread receiving letters and phone calls from companies. Especially companies with whom I have had financial disputes in the past. Therefore, it was a delightful change today to receive a call from this particular company admitting that they had made an error, apologising profusely, and offering to do whatever they could to make it up to me. I soon found that this did not convert to cash terms, instead they offered to send me their product for free along with a years free subscription to their service. Being in my right mind (for now at least), I politely but firmly declined.

However, I no longer have any hard feelings toward them, and I will not carry through my threat of maligning them to every person I speak to, and I will even give them a plug here!

On a more topical note, it looks as though this blog will remain at thirty-three weeks plus five.
Firstly, I am not suffering prodromal labor; I am in stalled labor! My unclear thinking turned out to be pretty lucid! It was fortunate that I read the article that I did. When I mentioned my concern to Dr B, it was as though a lightbulb went on above his head. (Although if he had read my file a little more thoroughly, he could have figured it out for himself!) He then performed an internal exam, and to his surprise, found that I was 100% effaced, but not the tiniest bit dilated, due to the scar tissue from my prior surgery. And unfortunately, because of this scarring, my cervix is unable to do anything on it’s own, and medical intervention is necessary. I now have no option but to rely on interventionist methods to kick-start labor. I’ve resigned myself to it now, but at least it means I get to see our baby sooner! Oh, I forgot to tell you that this intervention is going to take place in the next hour or so! (Told you I’d keep you well posted!) So hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I can place our announcement here!!

Wish me luck!
Well, it's official. I'm prodromal. I have now spent over two weeks in "This Is It - No, It's Not" mode. And I'm mighty sick of it. Last week Dr B told me that the next time the contractions began to get to the hospital before they stopped again and he would break my waters. I considered his offer, but I really wasn't sure if that would accomplish all that much, and I would have a greater chance of needing medical induction if it didn't work.
However, after a week of suffering, I'm ready to reach a compromise. I'm going to have my membranes "swept", as opposed to ruptured. This is supposed to be a highly effective, (yet still "natural") method of starting a reluctant labor. I hope so.

There is just one thing that I would like to be reassured about before any of this starts. A few days ago I came across an article on "stenotic cervixes" which basically means a cervix that won't budge, for a number of reasons. One major reason being scarring from previous cervical surgery. This has me worried, as two years ago I underwent diathermy to treat a pre-cancerous cervical condition. So perhaps there is a possibility that everything else is ready to go, but my cervix keeps going "Stop! I'm not moving, so you may as well give up." Does this sound plausible?

I'm not thinking very clearly at the moment... I'll consult my doctor and let you know what he thinks. Until then, I think it's best I stop.

Saturday, December 08, 2001

And from the trusty iVillage calendar:
36 wks gestation
38 wks LMP
Length: 34 cm crown to rump; 47.5 cm or 18 1/2 inches from head to toe.
Weight: 2900 gms or about 6 1/2 lbs.
If I'm lucky.
(Oooh, and a newer belly pic will be available very soon!!!)
Response to comments:

I don't think I’m quite round enough to be a basketball, perhaps a football?

No news could mean anything at this point, but the most likely reason is that I’m being slack. I’ll try harder in future, I promise I'll even try to type out a quick post just before leaving for the hospital… :)

My Official Due Date (ha!) is the 23rd of December, however if, as last time, I go past my date by two days, we will in fact have a Christmas baby!
Which doesn't thrill me, but not because of the Yiddish thing (I am in fact a Christian with Jewish roots) but I would much prefer to spend Christmas in the comfort of my own home with my loved ones, than in unfamiliar surroundings suffering great pain.

Also, I am still having “practice contractions”, and I’d prefer not to drag on with them for another two weeks. They are quite tiring, not to mention frustrating and quite painful. And occurring as I type. So I’ll have to leave this for now…

Tuesday, December 04, 2001

Hey. I have a dr's appt. in 17 minutes. I'll let you know all about it later...

By the way, my belly diameter now equals 113cm (44.5 inches). I hate thinking about that in conjunction with the fact that I am only 166cm tall.

Sunday, December 02, 2001

No baby yet.

At my Drs appointment last Wednesday I learned that:

i) I now weigh 81kgs (or a whopping 178.2lbs)

ii) The baby's head is engaged. Apparently this is not usual for a second pregnancy, usually the head doesn't descend into the pelvis until labour is well established. So it could mean that I could have the baby any time or I could hold off for another two weeks and six days.

Dr B was actually so certain that it wouldn't be too much longer that he sent me to the hospital for a CTG, and told me to go to bed early in case labour started that night.
And so with my spirits soaring that the good Dr thought I would soon meet our new baby, I sat on the CTG for half an hour or so, until the midwife returned and unkindly informed me that I had wasted her time as the results revealed nothing.
I left in shame, praying that I would go into labour that night, just to spite her. Alas, it did no good.

Every day since I have wished for the same thing. I'm getting so frustrated. And tired. I am exhibiting all the signs of going into labour at any moment - and have been for a week! And still nothing. Well, it'll have to wait now anyway. Tomorrow is 3yos 3rd Birthday (I know, I've been ahead of myself for a while!) and I have a Thomas the Tank Engine cake to bake and decorate, various delicacies of questionable nutritional value to whip up, a thousand balloons to inflate and a house to make festive. I'm glad we're only having a small family gathering!

3yo has actually asked for a baby sister for his birthday. I have tried to explain that I'll try, but I don't have a lot of control over the e.t.a or gender of his sibling. Plus I think the novelty of sharing a birthday might wear off after a few years.

It is unlikely that I will be posting regularly from now on, but I'll let you know as soon as anything of any significance occurs!

I leave you with Saturday's Pregnancy Calendar Report:

35 wks gestation
37 wks LMP
Length: 33 cm crown to rump (about 45 cm or 17 1/2 inches head to toe).
Weight: 2700 gms or 6 lbs.
Earliest date of full-term birth: get ready!

Monday, November 26, 2001

I am extremely grateful to Joan Stack Kovach, RN, MS, CS for writing this wonderful article on why the phrase "False Labour" should be outlawed!!

False labour — a condition in the latter weeks of some pregnancies in which irregular uterine contractions are felt, but the cervix is not affected.
Cervix not affected! Says who? Let me go on record saying that I do not believe in false labour. False labour, prodromal labour, and Braxton Hicks contractions are all names for sensations that supposedly do not do anything, at least not in any measurable way. So what? Just because the changes are not apparent, should that mean the labour is false? If something happens, but we imperfect, limited health practitioners can neither see nor measure it, does that mean it’s false, doesn’t count, isn’t helping toward the goal?
Women who have false labour eventually have babies, and I'll bet most of them believe those early pains were part of the grand event. I’m convinced that if it hurts, there is something happening. If nothing is happening, why the pain? I don’t know what’s going on, or how it helps to get the baby out, but by golly if it hurts, it’s an act of labour and demands respect, honour, and an open mind. False labour: Is there a phrase in the medicine of male conditions that is as negative and indicting as this? I think not.
How about another name for these events? What about UCL? Undetectable change labour. Or ITS? Invisible transition shifts. Maybe IPC. Important preliminary changes.
We must be careful before labelling something that is happening “false.” If I ever work maternity again, I might just say to a patient who seems to be hurting, but not dilating, "You're having important, early contractions that help get you ready to deliver, but we just haven't yet figured out what exactly is important about them." I'll tell her they are real, essential, necessary, early, subtle — anything, but false!!

I feel better now.

I spent yesterday in the annoying uncertainty of "false labour". This meant I spent 5 hours suffering from erratic, yet quite painful contractions for nothing. It doesn't even mean that I am in any way close to having this baby; I could continue on like this for another month. Oh please no...

Sunday, November 25, 2001

Does anyone know how to search for a blog on Blogger?

Friday, November 23, 2001

This is (or rather, was) our wedding cake! I have posted it here to enter The Cake Contest.

Please leave a comment to vote for my cake. It may help.

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Some Amazing News!! We have finally decided upon a name!!

It all started on Wednesday, when fearing the situation was becoming desperate, I dragged husband to the library in order to borrow numerous books on baby names. Then I forced him home again, shoved half the pile of books into his arms and locked him in a room until he could make a serious list of potential names and then shut myself in another room to do the same.
Now you may think that isolation was possibly an unnecessary factor in the selection of a name, however I beg to differ. It is imperative. Otherwise, every few minutes one of you feels compelled to snort “Who in their right mind would call their daughter ‘Arnostinka”??!!” or titter “If it’s a boy, can we call him ‘Trophimius’??” or just announce “'Frusannah' is a lovely name; it’s a combination of ‘Frances’ and ‘Susannah’.” (No offence to anyone named Arnostinka {the Estonian equivalent of 'Ernestine'}, Trophimius or Frusannah. In fact, you have my deepest sympathy.) But if there is no one around to make these pronouncements to, you are forced to concentrate on the task at hand.
Strangely enough, husband and I both managed to select only one name, but in a freakish coincidence IT WAS THE SAME NAME!! And then today, I suddenly had a thought for a middle name and suggested it to husband. He looked at me for a moment and then said “I was thinking the same thing!” (Begin playing The X-Files theme here)

So now we have a name. Granted, it will only suit a child of one particular sex, but with the odds we’ve been given we are hopeful that it will be fitting.
I’d love to be able to share our chosen moniker with you, but that would be giving too much away and I’d hate to spoil the surprise. You’ll just have to wait. So there. :P
For Bob and anyone else who may have been wondering… I’m still here and still in one very large piece!!

The reason for my recent absence of posts has been due to the hectic events of the past week.

Things like: we finally decided to get the funny noise in the washing machine investigated. It turned out that the bearings in the motor had gone. This would have been a simple and fairly inexpensive thing to fix (around $40), had we had it checked straight away. But because we had let it go for about a year, (it was still working fine, it was just noisy!) the friction had damaged the internal shaft, blah blah blah, end of story: a whole new motor was needed, it took three days to fix and cost us $222.
Of course we are now kicking ourselves for not having it seen to sooner, but the noise happened so gradually and didn’t appear to be causing any real problem so we thought why bother? It was only after I was speaking to my father on the phone on Sunday and he told me he couldn’t hear me, and asked if there was a plane flying overhead and I replied, “No no, it’s just the washing machine”. Since I was three rooms and two closed doors away from the thing I thought it was probably time to do something about it.

My final 8-month doctors visit was yesterday. As of Sunday, I will be 9 months pregnant. (And I’ll still have roughly a month to go, who invented the 9 months of pregnancy myth??!!) Dr B has kindly offered to have me “over and done with” before Christmas, if I like. Isn’t that thoughtful of him?? I’ll bet he just doesn’t want to run the risk of me interrupting his Christmas dinner.
I know that if I am still pregnant around the 20th of December, I’ll be sorely tempted. I can’t think of much worse than sweltering through the heat of that time of year, and I would like to be able to fit in a decent Christmas dinner without suffering from heartburn for the rest of the night, however, I am not a believer in induction for convenience sake. I’m going to let nature take its course, and if my baby chooses an inconvenient birthday, well, so be it.

Anyway, here are the new statistics for 35 weeks and six days:

Weight: 79 kgs (173.8 lbs) Not too bad. I’ve only gained 1kg in the last two weeks.
Rotundity: 109 cm (43 inches)
No. of trips I have made to the bathroom today: 6

Length: About 31 cm crown to rump; 42.5 cm or 16 1/2 inches head to toe.
Weight: 2300 gms or about 5 lbs.

And from my personal pregnancy calendar for today:

Your haemoglobin (iron) is coming back up. Baby is done taking most of the iron she needs from mother.

The antenatal classes are going well. Last week we concluded the Labour and Delivery component. Husband now has a much better understanding of what to expect. He is now justifiably terrified and doesn’t know how he will cope when the time comes.
Tonight we begin “Parenting Issues”. This is supposed to cover Breast vs. Bottle, Circumcision vs. The Hood etc. Should be loads of fun.

Unfortunately, since the classes are designed for first time parents, they will not be covering issues that are of importance to me, like how to cope with two children and what to do when your older child starts exhibiting signs of sibling jealousy before the new baby has even arrived. I attempted to locate some information on the subject recently, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but this was way too much for me. If anyone has the time or the inclination to wade through the article, please send me a basic interpretation!

I’ll try to be more regular from now on and keep you "posted", as the event draws nearer. (Ha ha.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

“Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes.
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases.”
- Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland)

If I were to take that advice, I doubt that 3yo would still be alive, as we are now both suffering from unbearable colds, complete with barking coughs and croaky voices. And in the middle of November too! I don’t know what the world is coming to. The weather this weekend could only be described as freezing, which is most likely the reason for our ill health. We are only weeks away from summer, and yet it feels as though winter is still upon us. Why can’t the seasons behave as they ought??

The one member of our household who is not suffering can’t accept the fact that he is fine. He thinks he might be coming down with the same thing; he already has a bit of a tickle in his throat. By tomorrow he will probably be sicker than 3yo and I combined.
If his pessimistic prediction does eventuate he couldn’t possibly feel as awful as I, for he lacks five pounds of baby to pummel his insides every time he coughs or sneezes.

At least our illness has saved me from suffering through an evening with husband’s best friend and his horribly uncouth wife.
Last Sunday I fell for the old “Honey, we aren’t doing anything on Wednesday night are we?” ploy.
When I heard the line, I replied without thinking: “Not that I know of… why?”
Then came the clincher. “Oh, I’ve just invited B and J for dinner. That’s okay, isn’t it?”
To which I replied, “NO, it is NOT. I don’t care if he has been your best friend for twenty years: I don’t want them here.” Well, that would have been my response, had the entire conversation not taken place in front of the intended guests; but because it had I smiled through clenched teeth and said, “Yes, that’s fine.”
Well, I got my way in the end.

I don’t know why they even accepted the dinner invitation in the first place. Every time they come over for a meal it is exactly the same: they arrive, she looks to see what we’re eating and then she goes out and buys her own food. (And despite what you may be thinking, I am not that bad a cook.)
The first time it happened we were having a barbecue. Knowing that she has an aversion to red meat (although she used to eat sausages, of all things) I provided chicken breast fillets for her. Was she grateful? No, she left for the supermarket and returned with… chicken breast fillets.
The second time we were having pizza (Homemade. But it’s better than any you can buy!). She went and got Chinese take-away.
The third time, we had another barbecue. She left under the pretence of buying drinks, but returned with frozen hash browns and some other frozen potato-fritter thing called “Bubble and Squeak”. She requested that these be barbecued, then spread two slices of bread with inch-thick margarine, sandwiched her cooked potato delights between the bread and ate with gusto.
Obviously, my cooking is just not up to her gourmet standards.

Or else she thinks that I may try and poison her. (Which may not be an unjustified fear.)

Later that day… which happened to be early this morning….

It seems I did not take my congested chest as seriously as I should have. At 6:30 this morning I was awoken by a sudden inability to breathe effectively. This isn’t such a rare occurrence, as I have been an asthmatic since I was two years old. Until now though, I was classed as having very mild asthma and only used a Ventolin inhaler very occasionally. However, when I used the inhaler this morning I got no result. I tried again, but I found I couldn’t breathe in far enough to draw the gas into my lungs. And so it was soon discovered that a trip to hospital was needed.

After ringing the mother-in-law to come and sit for 3yo, we headed off for the emergency room. Fortunately for us, it was not busy and I was seen to straight away. I was immediately attached to a Ventolin nebuliser (a pump and mask). After 20 minutes of this though, I didn’t feel any better, so after a short wait for my pulse to return to normal, they gave it another shot. 30 minutes later I felt extremely nauseated and my heart was racing, but I was still unable to breathe freely.
By this time my usual doctor, Dr B, had arrived. He was concerned that two attempts with the nebuliser had failed to provide any relief, but before he would let me try again he ordered a CTG to see how the baby was handling the lack of oxygen to my body.
Apart from a racing heartbeat (which is a normal side-effect of Ventolin) baby was fine, and I was not having any contractions. And so it was back to the nebuliser. Fortunately, it was third time lucky; after this attempt I could breathe freely once more!

3yo is staying overnight with the in-laws, and so I have the house to myself for the afternoon. I think I’ll go and lie down now.
As I sit her shedding silent tears of mirth and rocking helplessly with laughter (it's 2am and I mustn't wake the man), I urge you to view the source of my glee.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

One of the most difficult things in having a baby is deciding upon a name. I thought by this stage we would be narrowing down names from a list compiled over the last 8 and a half months... not so: we have yet to agree on a name to even go onto the list.

A recent name discussion:

Me: “What do you think of Layla for a girl?”
Him: “Layla??? As in the song Layla??" (Sings Eric Clapton's "Layla" in a ridiculous voice, then stops.) "You’ve got to be kidding.”

Me: “Okay, how about Grace?”
Him: “But my sister works with a girl called Grace.”
Me: “And that would be too confusing for you???”

Him: “What about Samantha?”
Me: “I only like that because you can shorten it to Sam. But we have a hundred Sam’s in the family already.”

Him: “I kind of like Harry for a boy.”
I recite the child’s would-be name in full. “Harry” does not suit our surname.

Me: “What about Sebastian?”
Him: “Yeah… maybe.”
(Sebastian is added to a list of names that might be added to the list of names.)

Nothing further has developed since that conversation. Perhaps when the time comes, we’ll have all our friends and family write out names on bits of paper and we’ll draw them out of a hat! Come to think of it, that might also spare us having to actually listen to their name suggestions.

With approximately 5 weeks and 3 days left until the anticipated arrival, I hope we won’t have to resort to the tactics of my grandmother and mother. My grandmother named her first daughter (my mother) after the midwife present at the birth, and my mother, in turn, named her youngest son after the doctor that delivered him.

Then again, if it's a boy we could easily solve the problem by naming him after my father and H’s father; both of who have the distinction of being known to the world as “Gary.”

Whatever name we eventually choose, I guarantee that our child will not grow up to be as traumatised as this poor child!!

Monday, November 12, 2001

My dreams have become quite vivid and memorable lately. Maybe that’s something that happens in the later stages of pregnancy. I can’t remember if it happened the last time; I think I had weird dreams all the way through that one.

The dream I had last night was strange and rather worrying. It began with me standing in my kitchen. Then someone entered and handed me a baby girl. For some reason, I felt I had to bathe her, so I took her to the bathroom, filled the tub up to the brim and then sat the baby in it. The water completely immersed her and I watched as she attempted to breathe. She kept gasping for air, but could only take in water. Finally I realised that she was going to drown and so I quickly pulled her out.
It was only then that it occurred to me that the bath must have been too full, so I held the baby under one arm and attempted to pull the plug out with my free hand.
But then the baby started squirming, and because she was wet I had trouble holding onto her, but I held tight and never dropped her. And that was the end.

Anyone out there with a knack for interpreting dreams, please feel free to enlighten me as to the meaning of this particular one.

Saturday, November 10, 2001

"Remember, you ARE beautiful, womanly and motherly! You may feel bulky, but you are full of life!"
- The iVillage Parentsplace Pregnancy Calendar

Does that mean that non-pregnant, non-bulky people are not full of life?

Trite inspirational commentary aside, the Pregnancy Calendar has been helpful in the provision of foetal development information, such as the following facts for today:

32 Weeks Gestation
34 Weeks LMP
Length: 30cm from crown to rump, 41cm from head to toe.
Weight: 4lb 11oz or 2100gm.

And, thanks to the man of the house, the tape measure has been located and so I can confidently announce that my belly girth now equals 165.5cm (42inches) directly around the navel.

Is it a boy or a girl?

I am carrying the extra weight: Out front. (It’s a boy.)
The hair on my legs is growing: The same as before. (It’s a girl.)
I am carrying my baby: Low. (Boys are carried low. It’s a boy.)
I sleep in my bed with my pillow to the: North.(Boy.)
My feet are: The same as before I got pregnant.(Girl.)
I: Refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread.(Girl.)
The Dad-To-Be is: Gaining weight along with me. (This indicates a boy.)
My mother’s hair colour is: Not grey. (A girl will be born.)
I had morning sickness in early pregnancy: Yes. (I am expecting a girl.)
I am looking: Not so good. (Girls steal their mother’s looks. It’s a girl.)
My age at the time of conception was: 22 and conception took place in the month of: March or April, we’re not exactly sure. (March; it’s a girl, April: a boy.)
Hang a thread with a needle over your belly. The thread moves: In circles. (It’s a boy.)
During pregnancy, my chest development has been: Quite dramatic. (Expect a girl.)
I have been craving: Sweets. (Girl.)
My nose has: Stayed the same. (Girl.)
I have been craving: Fruit. Strawberries, in particular. (Girl.)
Feelings toward orange juice: Must have it daily. (Girl.)
I am having headaches: No. (Girl.)
My abdomen resembles a: Watermelon. (Girl.)
If someone asks me to show them my hands, I: Show them palm up. (Girl.)
How do you pick up a mug? By the handle. (It’s a boy. Is it a “handle” thing??)

"Congratulations, you have a 33% chance of having a boy and a 66% chance of having a girl!!”

(All you mathematicians reading this will no doubt have noticed that this only adds up to 99%. Well, this is because I skipped a question. I just didn't feel confident in stating that my urine was consistently “bright, neon yellow” or “dull, cloudy yellow”; the only choices available.)

Does this correspond with our ultrasound prediction?

All may be revealed in: 43 days!

Okay, so I'm now actually thirty-four weeks pregnant, which puts me in a dilemma about the title of this site. After careful consideration, I have decided to let the title remain "thirty three weeks" as that is when my blog began, and simply add a "plus one" for each extra week. blah blah blah. Does it really matter?

Can anyone enlighten me? What exactly does in utero mean in Spanish? I chose to view this page, thinking that it might be another pregnancy journal, but somehow, I don't think it is.


(There, Site Add people. Happy?)

And the winner is...

I haven't found the tape measure yet, so until then it's still anyone's guess! =)

Here’s another pregnancy tip: A perfectly cooked steak with peppercorn sauce may taste divine at 8 in the evening, but have some antacids on hand for 5am the next morning!

Last night my sweet husband took me out for dinner. We left 3yo with my parents for the night and enjoyed what may well have been our last evening out with only the two of us. I am only beginning to realise just how much change this baby will bring.
We are extremely lucky that both sets of parents live nearby, and are (almost) always delighted to have our little one at any time. So far, there has only been one occasion when we have been unable to get a sitter. But even once I’m ready to leave our new baby (and this didn’t happen with 3yo until he was almost a year old!), I don’t think it will be as easy to find sitters for two small children! And so, our already-declining social life may well become non-existent.

We made the most of last night at least. After we had finished our meal and returned to a house that was all ours for the night, we spent the next few hours… setting up for our garage sale. (No, that’s not a euphemism.) We didn’t get to bed until after 1am because we had to be ready for the garage sale that we held this morning. And what an experience that was…

We have never held a sale of this type before, or even been to many and so it was quite a learning experience. We advertised to start at 8am, but, as we had been told to expect, people were queuing at least an hour before that. And the things they haggled over! They would happily pay the asking price for junky things of no imaginable purpose; but for an object of any value, they just had to bargain.
Still, in the end we did quite well: we made $95.70 for all the stuff that we would have otherwise just thrown away. I guess that’s the whole point of a yard sale though; “One man’s trash… etc.” I’m just glad it’s all over.

Only three people asked the dreaded “When’s it due” question today. Which isn’t too bad considering the number of people that came and went. One of which was my former high school Literature teacher. She once said that I was the most talented writing student she had ever taught (which doesn’t say much for the rest of her students!). I could almost feel her disappointment in me for not amounting to more. Instead of undertaking a tertiary education and embarking on a fabulous career as a writer of some description, I am a young mother and housewife; still living in the same suburb I grew up in. But I’m happy, and that’s all that matters.

And look, I’m even writing! See Mrs C., don’t give up on me just yet!

44 Days until

December 23

Thursday, November 08, 2001

I'm quite annoyed. I can't find the tape measure, and I did so want to let you know the exact rotundity of my fecund belly. If anyone would like to try and guess my girth, I can tell you that on the 25th of October, when I was thirty-one weeks pregnant, it was 105cm. (I have no idea what that is in inches, sorry.)

I have been to see the doctor, as promised, but sadly there is very little to report. I waited an hour to hear that my weight has burgeoned to 78kgs (171lbs) and the baby’s head is sitting very low in my pelvis. Apparently this doesn’t mean a thing, although it does explain the pains I have been feeling there lately.

My blood pressure must have been fine, because nothing was mentioned about it.

The heartbeat was strong and clear. I used to take it for granted that it would be, however only this morning I read about a woman whose baby suddenly had no heartbeat at 33 weeks. And no reason could be found why it happened; even after the baby had been delivered and an autopsy had been performed there was no explanation as to why he had died so suddenly. With this in mind, I was as thrilled at hearing my baby’s heartbeat today as I was the first time I heard it.

Typing this now has made me think: how many heartbeats do we take for granted?
I feel compelled to share my most recent belly pic with you. This was taken at around 24 weeks, so you can only imagine how huge I am now!

I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon, so I'll check in later and let you know the stats.
Five minutes left until tomorrow.

Here's a pregnancy tip: a good breakfast cereal covers a multitude of sins.

Anyway, we've been to our class. It was quite interesting actually. We learned about various methods of pain relief. I think I probably found it more informative than any of the first-timers, because I know what the pain that needs relieving actually feels like!

I'll have to write our birth plan soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2001

Thirty-three weeks and four days. I am exhausted. I don’t know why, I just woke up feeling this way. My legs are aching, I have a horrendous cold and I am so tired that even though I have been up for hours, I still feel like I could fall asleep at any moment. I have a great deal of sympathy for narcoleptics.

Because of my lack of energy, I skipped taking 3yo to playgroup this morning. Not that I was able to get any more rest, it just meant I had to entertain him at home on my own. (Thank God for Playschool, Sesame Street and VCRs.)

The baby has been extremely active this morning, which made it even harder for me to get any rest. There’s not a lot of room in there anymore, so instead of kicks I get squirms and pokes. I could actually make out a foot trying to push its way out at one stage! At least it’s staying down low, and keeping out from under my ribs! My first baby lived with his feet under my ribcage for at least 3 months; it was agony!

Anyway, since I now have no plans for today, I’m hoping to fit in a nap this afternoon, as tonight we will be spending 2 hours at antenatal classes. We attended our first class last week. I was actually quite surprised at how much I learned, considering I’ve done this all before. I think I probably got more out of it this time than I did first time around, because I knew exactly what she was talking about.

You may be wondering why, if I have gone through all this before, I am attending classes again. Well, it’s actually for my husband’s benefit. I’ll try to explain this briefly. We used to go out, but broke up when I fell pregnant. After that we didn’t see each other for two years, so he missed out on the majority of the pregnancy, the birth and first year of our son’s life. Two years ago we reunited, started dating again and married a year later. That’s cut a very, very long story short - perhaps one day I’ll give you the unedited version, but I think you get the picture for now.

So since he missed out on all the fun last time, he now has a lot to make up for! I don’t think he has any idea of what he is in for, but hopefully the classes will help to prepare him. There are about six other couples in our class, I wonder if we’ll make any friendships among them? I can’t imagine it right now, but then I look at the friends I made from my first class, and watch our three year olds running around together and I can barely remember when we were just a group of strangers with only our big bellies in common!!

There are now only 46 days until December 23, 2001
Today is exactly thirty-three weeks and three days since my Last Menstrual Period. And so I thought that if I were ever to keep a pregnancy journal, it would have to be now, as I have only a few weeks left in which I can actually do this while pregnant.

This is my second, and probably final pregnancy. (I also failed to record any details during my first pregnancy, but for entirely different reasons.)

Well, I suppose if I am to begin this, I had better start from the beginning....

The impending arrival of this little one became a twinkle in our eyes on Wednesday the 11th of April 2001. I'd like to be able to recount a touching story about the moment we found out, but the way it happened was more pragmatic.
Our baby making efforts had been going on for six months with no success, however each month I would optimistically purchase an early pregnancy test. Which wasted quite a lot of money (those tests aren't cheap!) because I never had the patience to wait until my period was due before using the test.

Anyway, once we hit the six-month mark and still nothing, I made an appointment to see my ob-gyn, Dr. B. just to check that everything was working. Considering that our first child had been conceived the one time we didn’t use contraception, it seemed strange that nothing was happening this time round. After contemplating my charts and the times we’d had sex, Dr. B. concluded that I was most likely not ovulating. So we scheduled a blood test for the day after my charts predicted that I should ovulate, but it turned out that this date fell in the middle of Easter, and so I had to wait an extra two days because of public holidays. The actual date that I was able to get the blood test done was Tuesday, April 10. I was annoyed that I had to wait, because I just assumed that the test would prove Dr.B.’s assumption of lack of ovulation, and I wanted to be able to start treatment straight away.

However, even with this in mind, I still purchased my monthly pregnancy test the next day as usual. I didn’t even think about it, I just threw it in with the rest of the shopping I was doing. Once I got home I thought about whether I should do the test then or not. As usual, I couldn’t resist, but after the last six disappointments, I couldn’t stand to watch and wait for the elusive second pink line to appear, and so after I had wet the stick, I put it out of my mind and went to unpack the rest of the groceries. When I returned to the bathroom ten minutes later, two bright pink lines were there to greet me!! I couldn’t believe it! I was so thrilled!! I desperately wanted to be able to tell my husband, but it was only 3 o’clock in the afternoon and he would be at work for another 2 and a half hours. I considered phoning him, but I really wanted to tell him in person, so I was forced to wait. I thought about really creative ways I could let him know once he was home, but it turned out to be a wasted effort; as soon as I heard his car in the drive I just rushed out and said “Guess what?” He looked at me strangely, because I never run out to greet him, but before he could even reply I blurted out “I’m pregnant!!” And that was it.

The next couple of weeks were uneventful. We were excited by our news, but as I hadn’t even missed my period when we found out (it was 11dpo, and it wasn’t even an early test!) we felt it was much too early to tell anyone. Well, except my Mum, I just couldn’t help telling her! =)

By the time I was six weeks pregnant everything had changed! I was very, very sick. I would spend the whole day feeling extremely nauseated, and then just as I would think about going to bed for the night, I would begin vomiting. This went on for many weeks, although the vomiting began to occur at other times of the day as well. By the end of the first trimester I had lost 10kgs.

To make things worse, on my 23rd birthday, when I was just on seven weeks pregnant, I became one of the one in 10,000 women who have never had chicken pox and catch it while pregnant! I was fortunate that I had an extremely mild case; I could count the number of spots that I had, and they confined themselves to my torso and only lasted about 4 days. However, this did not change the fact that the varicella virus had entered my system and was possibly passed to the developing embryo, putting it at risk of Congenital Varicella Syndrome. This syndrome covers a wide range of birth defects chicken pox can cause, however the severity of possible defects varies according to the gestational time that the virus occurred. There are many conflicting views on when this is, but the majority of doctors believe that the embryo/foetus is most vulnerable between weeks 8 – 24. I was lucky to have been one week away from reaching that period, however Dr. B informed me that as with any major illness in the first trimester, I had an increased risk of miscarriage, and ordered an ultrasound to determine the health of our little embryo.
So, on the 16th of May, at 8 weeks gestation, we saw our baby for the first time. Everything looked fine according to the U/S technician. (According to us, it looked like a bouncing jellybean.) The heartbeat was visible, if not audible, and we were told there was no reason to believe that the pregnancy would not continue normally.

This was good news, but Dr. B ordered a Level II Ultrasound at 19 weeks, just to be on the safe side. As our hospital only has the lower-tech scanning equipment, we had to travel to a clinic four hours away that provided state-of-the-art facilities and highly skilled personnel. I will say this for them, they may have been highly skilled in the practice of sonography, but I was not so sure about their inter-personal skills!
During the scan, I was confused as to what the sonographer’s explanations of our baby’s health meant, and asked for a plain English version.
He sighed and said “Put it this way: We can tell your baby has eyes, but I can’t tell you if they’ll be able to see. Yes, there is a brain present, but that doesn’t mean anything in terms of intelligence or retardation.”
I chose to interpret his statement as a rather poorly worded explanation of the limitations of ultrasound in general (which I fully understood), rather than about my baby in particular. So I asked, “Okay… as far as you can tell, there are no obvious physical defects that could be attributed to congenital varicella syndrome??” To which he replied, “None at all, your baby appears to be perfectly healthy.”
We did ask about the sex of the baby, but were told that the little one had been crossing his/her legs throughout the examination and only opened them for a fraction of a second. However, from that glimpse he would say it was 80% more likely to be a ??.
(What, and spoil the surprise?? =P)

The only potential problem that the ultrasound picked up was that I had an anterior, low-lying placenta that had a 10% chance of developing into placenta praevia. This would need to be rechecked at 32 weeks to determine whether or not it would impede a natural delivery. In the meantime, I had to be alert for any bleeding or spotting.

The night before my 27-week doctor’s appointment, I did notice some slight spotting and reported it accordingly. Dr. B thought that it was probably nothing, but thought it best to check the position of the placenta earlier than planned. And so another ultrasound was ordered. This scan revealed that the placenta had migrated and was not likely to cause a problem for delivery, which was great news, as I had been hoping that a Caesarean would not be necessary.
The cause of the bleeding was found to be a tear in the placenta that had leaked into the membranes and was collecting in the cervix. This meant complete bed rest until the bleeding ceased and the placenta healed.
Dr. B didn’t believe that I would be capable of doing this at home, (what with a very active almost-three year old to look after!) so had to spend my first few days of bed rest in the hospital, until the dictators-of-nurses felt that I had learned just what complete bed rest entailed. (It means getting up only to use the toilet.)
After a week of this, I had another scan to see if the tear had healed. It had, but I still had to remain on partial bed rest (also known as couch potato bed rest) for another two weeks. (This scan also showed that the chance of having a ?? had risen to 95%!!)

And that pretty much brings us up until now. Thirty-three weeks and three days. Nothing major has happened since then. At my last appointment, Dr. B did mention that “there’s a lot of baby in there!” and if I make it to my due date he feels certain that this baby will be bigger than my first, who was 7lb 12oz. (Of course, I heard the “if I make it…” statement as “You will go early.”=)

I have been getting a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions lately, which are annoying but not painful. Apart from that, I feel really good; probably the best I’ve felt since the whole thing started! I’m trying to stay relaxed and not pay attention to the people I encounter in the street who make comments like “Gee, you’re huge!! How long have you got to go? Really, that long?” etc. And even more tactful: “My sister-in-law had twins last week, and I don’t think she EVER looked as big as you!!” (A comment made to me last Friday by a Target shop assistant.)

Today has been a record I think; so far not one person has asked, “When are you due?” or “How long have you got to go?” But the day is not over yet; I still have to collect my son from his afternoon at day-care and do the grocery shopping, so there’s still a chance!

Well, today hasn’t been a record-breaker. I encountered at least two people in the supermarket who asked how long I had to go.
I’ve been having some strange pains today. I think I’ve been doing too much lately and I’m a little worn out. So I’ll try to get to bed early tonight. I think this is enough for today anyway!!

only 47 days until my due date