Sunday, August 30, 2009


I am still pregnant!

But that's OK.

C'est la vie. What will be, will be. Etc...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Due date

Well, I made it.


The baby is technically due today, and I am just back from hospital (having done a day stay admission from early this morning).

I am sitting here feeling really very upset because I've been dealt both good and bad news. Good: my blood pressure is stable and the baby is well and normal. (Better than good, really.)

Bad: I just had a second 'stretch' done - or should I say attempted - and the obstetrician says the cervix just isn't ready. But I had one done on Tuesday, I said to him. "Aah, well, the obstetrician you saw attempted one and probably didn't want to disappoint you by telling you she didn't achieve it."


So. It seems there won't be a delivery any time real soon (as in today, tomorrow). Of course, there may (who bloody knows?) - unpredictable little creatures, babies.

But what there is - unfortunately - is a date for a caesarean on Thursday.

I KNOW that's nearly a week away. I know. I KNOW I have to do whatever is best for me and for the baby. There's no way I wouldn't. BUT I can't help feeling slightly heartbroken at the prospect of staring down another caesarean.

Devastated, actually.

In the meantime, I suppose all I can do is pull myself together, start thinking positive and will this baby to arrive. SOON!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An interesting few days...

Up to 39 weeks and 5 days now - something to be very proud of! Things have been very interesting round here. At about 1am on Monday morning I woke to a kind of uncomfortable feeling, much like period pain.

Yippee, I thought, we're on the way! These pains, plus pains at the small of my back, continued - and there was the odd contraction thrown in for good measure. At 4am I took some Panadeine, mainly because I thought I should get some sleep if at all possible. Then at 6.30am I got up, thinking 'today might just be the day'...

We made plans for E to be elsewhere and Shaun ducked into work for an hour or so then came home. By which point there wasn't much at all going on.

The 'step up' to proper labour just didn't happen. And I have to admit I was disappointed. If it had come that day, the baby would have been born on the 24th - which is 4 years to the day E was due. Oh and he/she would also have been 4 days early. Considering the huge importance of the number 4 in my life (I think I blogged about this a few months ago) I was simply expecting it to all kind of fall into place.

Never mind!

I'd had a fetal growth ultrasound booked for 12 so Shaun and I went along to that, thinking it would be good to check how things were going anyway. It showed the baby's head is super-low and looking ready to go. And the growth of the baby is 'normal' - it's hard for them to estimate but somewhere between 2.9kg and 3.8kg. This is fabulous (E was 2.4kg at birth).

While I was at the hospital they did my blood pressure and ran a CTG on the baby - all good.

Today I was back at the hospital (I swear I deserve a reserved car parking spot - ha, if only!) for my clinic appointment.

Again, the BP was sitting nicely. I saw one of the obstetricians and she decided to give me a 'stretch'. It wasn't the most pleasant of experiences, but it was certainly quick (phew). The good news? Those pains I had in the night seem to have led to a soft cervix. Now it's a matter of waiting to see what happens.

They've asked me to come in again on Friday for monitoring, so I was waiting in line to make that appointment when E decided today would be a great day to whack me in the stomach. Right where I'd just had the strip and stretch. People, I cried. It HURT. Still annoyed that he did that. The whack itself was only a light one, but right on where that had just been done .... aaaaargh.

Anyhow, everything is looking reasonable for something to happen. My due date is Friday ... maybe that's the day?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Now for something completely different...

... broccoli! From our vegie patch! Steamed for dinner it turned the most vibrant and healthy green.

PS: still pregnant...

Friday, August 21, 2009

The waiting

This waiting business really is doing my head in.

And I'm not sure why - after all, my due date is next Friday, yet still I feel like I am going slightly mad, always thinking "ooh, is that a contraction?", "maybe tomorrow is the big day?".

There are probably a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, my little boy was born at 36 weeks. Because of this, I have had the hospital bags packed since 35 weeks. They are beginning to gather dust!

Also, I'm one of those people who often gets caught up in superstitions, signs from the universe etc, etc. One of the things that we have going on in our family is that almost all of us are born on someone else's birthday. And certainly E arrived on my cousin's birthday.

Today is my Nan's birthday. So naturally I have been over-aware of every twinge and ache. Nothin'.

But that's OK because I know that Monday was the date E was due (so kind of a birthday!) and the 26th is my brother's birthday. Oh, and if Little One arrives on the 28th it will be making an appearance on its own due date. Now wouldn't that be something?!

The phone calls, text messages etc saying "so have you had this baby yet?" are picking up in number ... which is a tad frustrating!

In fact, frustration is a bit of a dominant theme over here. Yesterday and today E has been at preschool and so I have had what are probably the last few days of PEACE to myself. You think I have been able to savour and enjoy them?

No. I have been grumpy, frustrated with everything and crying my eyes out. For no reason at all. I guess it's like a mega dose of PMT - I figure I am broiling in some pretty toxic hormonal soup at present ... and it's not pleasant.

The more teary and grumpy I get the angrier I get at myself for not "making the most" of this time.

Thinking logically, the longer this baby stays in the better: more chance for me to get some sleep; a couple more days of (relative) peace with just one kid, not a kid and a newborn.

But there's some part deep within me that says "enough - let's do this SOON" ... (possibly the part of me that doesn't want a caesar!).

Thursday, August 20, 2009


39 weeks today.

I have nothing more to add, except to ask, 'are we there yet?'

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

38 weeks and 5 days...!!

At my clinic appointment today I got lucky and had the head obstetrician of the hospital pick up my file and call my name. This was great, because I had about 50 million questions for him (they must hate having journalists as patients!).

Being a public patient, I see whichever obs is about - this means I have had so much conflicting medical advice. It really is quite incredible how varied it has been!

The doc I saw today is the man who made the call on when E was to be born, is a highly experienced professional (as you would expect from someone who leads the obs team of the busiest maternity hospital in Australia) - and I think that beneath a guarded exterior he's a lovely person.

In other words, I was itching to get his take on things. Is a VBAC a realistic hope for me? Would he like me to present at the delivery ward earlier than an average first-timer? And - crucially - this 'strip and stretch' business, is it going to bring on labour?

Well, it turns out that (like about half his obs team), he's not keen on the 'strip and stretch' and so today I walked away without having that done. On Thurs this very procedure had been recommended to me - in fact, written on my antenatal card - by one of his colleagues. See? Conflicting.

This particular doctor reckons it's not a terribly reliable way to get things happening and that we should just wait. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'd psyched myself up to have that done, for labour to start happening, say, the day after and to be holding my baby by, possibly, the weekend. Of course, all this may still occur. My body is certainly readying itself. And the good news is that the baby is apparently "partly engaged".

But on the other hand, skipping this procedure is of course one less medical intervention (ha - says she who's rattling with drugs that are keeping this infant healthy!).

I didn't get any sort of commitment from the Dr about whether or not I will be able to even have a VBAC - nor did I expect one. How can he say?

It's simply a matter of wait and see what happens.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Here we are

... at 38 weeks and 3 days. It's a good place to be. Things, I feel, may be going to happen soon. The Braxton Hicks type twinges are now more like a period pain. Mild and nothing to worry about, off and on too (feeling them mostly at night) - but notable.

This is good - isn't it?

I suspect it may be the start of what's called 'pre-labour', but I read somewhere that this can last for weeks. Hmmmm. It may not last all that long since on Tuesday the obstetrician is going to give Nature a little helping hand in getting things started.

Even this comes with no guarantee of kicking labour off, but I think it could be worth giving it a go. My mum reminded me that I don't have to have this done (and also it depends which obs I see at clinic on Tues - they all differ so wildly in how they treat their patients).

As of Thursday, when I had my last ultrasound, the baby wasn't engaged - but that doesn't really mean very much at all.

Exciting (and daunting, too), huh?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Organic - or not?

With me on 'maternity leave' (well, technically 'unemployed' since I am self-employed) we're adjusting to the loss of one income, so things are all achange. The belt is being tightened, 'lifestyle' tweaked.

We're trying (of course) to be more careful with money. We've dropped one day of daycare to lower that bill, we're thinking of dumping private health (after the bub is here!) and economising where we can.

Sadly, this may mean giving up something we've only fairly recently become committed to: buying organic.

In the past few months we've progressively built up how much organic food we buy and eat. I wouldn't say we only eat organic - we're a long way from that - but we're trying. If I see a standard product and an organic one, I will always consider both. In some cases I will buy organic as a matter of course. Here's one:

Organic tea. I like to drink it whenever possible. Why? I read a piece in The Guardian ages ago about just how tea is produced, and about how teabags are generally bleached (the organic ones generally come in unbleached bags). Now, just how well is pesticide usage regulated in places like Sri Lanka and India, where a fair bit of the world's tea is grown? I don't know the answer to that. Do I want to pour boiling water onto bleached paper and then drink that water? No, I do not.

I was pleased to see IGA carries organic teabags - and sells them for not much more than regular ones. That's an organic product we can stick with.

Another way I've found to keep organics on the weekly shopping list is to be smart about when and where I shop. The supermarket nearest to us sells a small but decent range of organic vegies. Some of the prices are outrageous - but hold off a couple of days and the same produce tends to get reduced. That's when I buy it!

And that of course brings me to my latest love: ALDI. I have shopped at ALDI off and on for a while, but with the view it was best just for basics. However, it sells a great range of organic food - at pretty reasonable prices too. Take my fave:

Pasta sauce - good pasta sauce. And something like $2.99 a jar (off the top of my head). I'll take it. Again, it could be pregnancy squeamishness but the knowledge that tomatoes are among the mmost heavily sprayed of the vegetables we buy makes me lean towards an organic option.

The ALDI organic cheese is fantastic too! It comes from NZ (so not too many air miles to get the guilts about!), has a crumbly texture, a tangy taste and it costs about $4 a block - more than the other regular cheeses, but not too bad.

This week when I ducked into ALDI I was excited to pick up a couple of pretty cool organic extras too: an organic cotton bathmat for about what you'd pay for a normal one. And this t-shirt for E:

It's organic: and it was $5.99. I know, I know ... probably made in a sweatshop in China, etc, etc. But I'm a sucker and I bought it. I don't generally care too much for organic cotton clothing, but when I saw these I had to have them:

They're Pure Baby OOO organic cotton trousers and they were one dollar at our local secondhand shop. Seriously. Organic and recycled ... could I be any happier with my purchase?!

One organic cotton product I spent a fair amount on is these:

These are a mix of Baby Beehind organic cotton and hemp blend fitted nappies and, er, an 'imitation' Baby Beehind nappy that is a bamboo and organic cotton blend. These nappies are ultra-absorbant - I know that even though they've not been on the little one's bottom yet, because they take FOREVER to dry. Never mind, the absorbency factor is good!

So there you have it. To be organic or not? Hmmm. It's case by case in our house - but we try.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A day at the zoo

We decided last weekend that on the Sunday we should do something E would enjoy - I mean, it's not like we don't usually play with him, treat him and generally indulge most of his whims every weekend ... but with the baby's imminent arrival we figured we should do something nice, something possibly memorable, something just the three of us.

It was a gorgeous sunny day so we headed out of town to a nice seaside place called Stanwell Park. On the edge of this town there's a little zoo - emphasis on the little ... it's not exactly Taronga! But that suited me just fine, especially since I don't walk any further than I can help at this point in time.

E had a blast! He led us round the zoo, pointing out the koalas, llamas, red panda, Tasmanian devil etc, etc. After we'd been and had lunch at a nearby pub that has AMAZING water views (it's called The Headland if you're ever in those parts) we asked E what his favourite animal of the day had been.

To which he replied: "Hmmmm, caterpillar." Okey doke.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I'm still here! Hanging in there at almost 38 weeks now (officially there on Thurs). It's all feeling a bit ... precarious, but I am still at home and still pregnant. This is excellent work on my behalf!

I had a check-up today, the upshot of which is I've been prescribed a day in hospital on Thurs for monitoring and a new type of tablet to add to the six I'm taking.

Having never been this pregnant before, I'm really not too sure how much of the sheer tiredness is the drugs and how much is just, well, normal for this heavily pregnant. I've had a couple more contractions, but nothing to blink an eyelid at. Today the obstetrician offered to "stretch" my cervix in the hope of bringing on a labour (the only tool we have at our disposal since I can't be induced). Err, no thanks - not when I'm not even at 38 weeks yet. Hmmm. Next week?

But then maybe, just maybe, by then the baby will have made an appearance of its own accord. Gosh, that would be lovely.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In the garden

There are quite a few advantages to having an August baby. The main one being that this little bub has been keeping me beautifully warm so far this winter (note to self: remember breastfeeding E at 3am on those chilly August/September nights? Yup, that's called payback). And of course it's possible to layer, layer, layer clothing, which at least makes you look a bit less ginormously pregnant even if that's not how you feel.

Then there's the divine Sydney winter sunshine we've been having at the moment (enjoying it but it's making me mightily nervy - what if, when we bring the baby home, we get weeks on end of grey rainy days? Not sure I could handle that level of cabin fever!).

But possibly one of the most useful things about having an August baby is the fact we have several of these beauties in the vegie patch:

I'm not only excited at the prospect of eating them (though that will be most excellent), anyone who's ever had issues with breastfeeding and too much milk will know exactly what I am planning to use them for...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bump again

I've made it to 36.5 weeks and I'm feeling pretty good. This despite the fact I still can't get a decent night's sleep (sigh) and my hips and ribs ... oh how they ache now! Day is not too bad, but night is pretty uncomfortable.

The BP is doing fine though - seems six tablets a day suits me fine and I am very happy about that. At this point in my pregnancy with E I was one day off having a baby. Doubt that will be the case this time.

Who knows though? On Friday night I had a particularly rough night, kept awake with contractions! I assume they were of the Braxton Hicks variety because despite being 3 minutes apart for many hours they didn't go anywhere or get any worse. Sure kept me awake though. I never had a single (true or fake) contraction with E so have no idea what one might feel like ... guessing I'll know the real thing when it hits?!!