Aug 19, 2008

A new blog

After hearing that I still have some of my beautiful loyal readers checking in here for updates, I thought I should pop in to say that I have started a new blog for Jacob that is updated regularly called Munchkin Land. The new blog has been set up as invite only - if you would like access just leave a comment with your email address so that I can send an invitation.

Thanks again to everyone who has checked up on me and wished us well. I am so completely in love with our little miracle and feel very lucky that I am now part of the family of my dreams :)

May 13, 2008

Our Miracle - The Birth Story

Our little miracle has finally arrived!!!



born Wednesday 7th May at 4:27pm, a whopping 3.97kg (8p 12oz) and 54.5cm long. Here is his birth story:

It all started on Tuesday night at 11:40pm, I noticed a very suspicious small gush of fluid when going to the bathroom. Not really sure whether it was what I thought it was, I went back to bed to wait for an hour or so and see what happened. Sure enough, another small gush an hour later. After putting on a pad and another amount of fluid, I phoned the hospital who agreed that it sounded like my waters were leaking and asked me to start to make my way into the hospital. If it was in fact my waters, they would be keeping me in until my baby was born. I couldn’t believe it, we were off to have our baby!!

I finished packing the last of the bits and pieces, phoned the grandparents to be to let them know we were heading in, had a quick snack and a cup of tea, and after one last look at our empty nursery we were off! It was very strange to be leaving for the hospital without any contractions. I’d had an image in my mind of being in quite a bit of pain on the way, it was nice to be able to enjoy the excitement of the baby’s imminent arrival. On the other hand, I was also very aware of the fact that I had only managed to have 2 and a half hours sleep.

We got to the hospital at around 3:15am and were taken to the labour ward. The midwife confirmed that my waters were in fact leaking, set me up on a bed and advised me to try to get some sleep while waiting to see if the contractions would start. I managed to lie down with my eyes closed for a while, but definitely not in the mood to be able to sleep. By around 6am the contractions still hadn’t started. The midwife phoned my obstetrician who asked them to put me on a syntocin drip to induce labour. They told me they were starting with a very low dose and would increase it every half hour until my contractions began and were around 5 in 10 minutes. My obstetrician arrived at around 7am, I had still not felt any contractions. The internal showed that my cervix was only 1cm dilated and was still not thinned out enough. He ruptured my membranes further which allowed a massive gush of fluid. I was told to prepare for a long day and given some antibiotics to help prevent any possible infection. He guessed that I could be looking at delivering somewhere around 5pm-6pm that afternoon. I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed that I was so far behind, but still excited that I would be meeting my baby that day.

The contractions ended up starting at around 8:15am. I was very closely monitored to ensure that things were going the way they should, and they kept a close eye on the baby with a fetal monitor. As glad as I was to be constantly reassured that the baby was doing well and I was on track, it was difficult being stuck to the bed much of the time. Especially as my waters were continuing to leak underneath me. I was given breaks from the machines as I needed them, but even then I was attached to the drip which had to be dragged around with me.

The first couple of hours went fairly quickly. I was in pain, but it was manageable. A lot of my pain was in my back so I was given a birthing ball to sit on while hubby massaged my lower back during contractions. They seemed to get stronger very quickly, with each one stronger than the last. The back pain never seemed to go away in between contractions which made it difficult to relax at all. The midwife suspected from feeling my belly that my baby was in a posterior position which was contributing to the back pain. I was given a heat pack which by this stage didn’t really do a whole lot for the pain. A lot of my plan for pain management involved water and the spa which I obviously couldn’t do because of the drip attached to me. It was difficult to even walk around the room.

At around 12:15pm, the midwife came in to do an internal to see how far I had progressed. I was just 3cm dilated. I was having very strong painful contractions, but they were not effective enough to be progressing as quick as they thought they would. They were now saying that it may be a few hours after the original prediction. I was crushed, in a lot of pain and feeling like I wouldn’t be able to get through it knowing how far I still had to go. I could hear another lady labouring down the hall who was very close to giving birth to her baby. Hearing how much pain she was in didn’t give me very much confidence considering how much pain I was feeling already.

I was offered some gas but it didn’t seem to do anything and I couldn’t really sit still long enough to concentrate on using it. By this stage I was feeling like I really couldn’t cope with the contractions anymore, I was in tears and in complete agony. The contractions were only 1-2 minutes apart and the back pain was excruciating and never went away. In preparing for labour, I tried to make myself imagine the worst pain I could, but it came no where near to how I felt, especially knowing I was only 3-4cm dilated. I think that was what really pushed me over the edge.

So I went for it. The Roles Royce of pain relief…the Epidural. It only took them around 25 minutes to get the anaesthetist there but it felt like an absolute lifetime. He came in and started to explain the procedure, risks etc, I really didn’t hear much of what he said, I just wanted that needle NOW! So very glad that I had researched all pain relief options before I went into labour. I had the epidural at around 1:30pm, it took around 5 or so contractions to kick in, each one slightly easier. Even those few contractions felt like they went for eternity.

Once the epidural had really kicked in, I felt a million percent. I could still feel the contractions, but they felt more like tightenings with manageable pain. I was still able to feel and move my legs around and felt incredible relief. I was able to rest and try to recover from the morning.

Not long after the epidural kicked in, things really started to happen. The contractions built up and seemed to be coming almost constantly. At around 3pm another midwife came in (there were 3 shift changes during my labour). She told me that she would definitely be there to witness my baby being born. Just that statement gave me some much needed hope again. She asked my permission for a student midwife to be present throughout the remainder of the labour & birth. I was happy to oblige. It was her very first birth which I thought was very special. The midwife did an internal exam and told me that I was now 8cm dilated and it wouldn’t be long before I was pushing the baby out!! I couldn’t believe it, in just 3 hours I had dilated 5cm!

In a few moments though, the excitement wore off as I became scared of the pushing process. The pain from the labour and my need to get the epidural had really affected my confidence in being able to birth the baby. I was in a panic, I didn’t think I could get through it. I honestly don’t think I have been that scared in my life. The midwife was absolutely fantastic, I feel very lucky that I had her for the last part of the labour and birth. I feel like I couldn’t have gotten through without her, she was a fantastic support.

By around 3:30pm, the effects of the epidural were wearing off. The contractions were incredibly strong and I started feeling urges to push and pressure like I wouldn’t have thought possible. They topped up the epidural a little, but the contractions were still extremely uncomfortable to the point that I really had to concentrate on breathing through them and was squirming all over the bed.

At around 4pm the midwife told me to start pushing. She helped guide me through the contraction, when to push and how much progress I was making. The pushing actually helped to ease the pain of the contractions and hubby was able to see our baby’s head for the first time. She asked if I wanted a mirror, I wasn’t too keen but one arrived anyway. It was a large full length mirror which meant I could see everything. She was encouraging me to look during pushes to see bub’s head coming but I found it hard to open my eyes while pushing so strongly. The fetal monitor wasn’t picking up the baby’s heart rate very well with all my squirming so they attached a device to the head where they could monitor it better. By now the contractions had managed to turn the baby around from the posterior position which I was very relieved to hear.

During the pushes, I felt like my head was going to explode from the pressure. Just as the baby was about to start crowning, they phoned my obstetrician who came running in from his rooms at the back of the hospital. Crowning was probably the worst part of the entire labour, words just cannot describe the pain. By this stage the epidural had worn off and I felt everything. The burning sensation from the baby’s head pushing out was just immense. Especially when waiting for another contraction to push through with the baby’s head just sitting half out, half in. The obstetrician splashed cold water over it which helped, but only just. The midwife got me to feel the baby’s head – it felt so bizarre. Like folded over soft skin, nothing like a skull at all. It’s pretty incredible that it can squash up so much.

A few more pushes and the baby’s head was out. Wow, what relief! One more small push and he was out. I managed to be looking in the mirror when his little body slid out of me. I’m glad they ended up bringing it in – there were a few bits that I wish I’d never seen, but some that were really incredible. Watching his little body slide out was one of those moments, it’s really is amazing what the human body can do.

Hubby had the honour of catching him on the way out and lifted him up onto my chest. Throughout the pregnancy I always thought that I would be a bit squeamish with a goopy baby but at the time I just didn’t care. The tears came pretty well straight away, I couldn’t believe my baby was finally in my arms. I didn’t even think to check if it was a boy or girl, it didn’t even occur to me. Hubby had looked though and I heard him say it was a little boy, all his dreams come true in that sentence! I couldn’t really tell you what happened in those first moments holding him, I was just so overwhelmed with the rush of love that I felt for this tiny baby. He was looking up at me and was just so calm and content. I vaguely remember hubby cutting the cord, but I just couldn’t stop staring at my little miracle.

As I held him, the obstetrician was busy getting the placenta out, and as I ended up with a second degree tear while delivering him (one of the reasons being that his hand came out next to his head), he also worked on stitching me up.

After a while the midwife weighed and measured him while hubby and I watched. They had said when he came out that he was a good sized baby and this was confirmed when he weighed in at 3.97kg (8p 12oz) and 54.5cm long! Head circumference was 35.5cm.

The obstetrician had finished working on me, congratulated me and left while hubby and I shared more cuddles with our little munchkin. The midwife was filling in paperwork and asked us whether we had a name for him. Hubby and I looked at each other and both agreed that Jacob would be his name. We had been tossing different names around throughout the pregnancy, but kept coming back to this name and seeing him, it just suited perfectly. Craig is a family name that we wanted to pass down to him.

And so, our son, Jacob Craig was born.

May 6, 2008

Tick Tock

Yep, still hanging in there. I seem to be getting all the signs that labour is not far away, it's just not kicking into gear for me yet. I'm getting a lot more sleep these days. Still up every 2 hours or so, but I'm managing to get back to sleep fairly quickly and feel like I am getting some good sleep in. I'm actually used to getting up every couple of hours, and don't even mind now that I'm sleeping in between. Even with getting much more sleep, I'm still finding that I'm very tired. Yesterday I had two naps throughout the day, one of them over an hour, even though I had slept around 8 hours the night before. Then last night I still managed to sleep for close to 10 hours. I won't be surprised if I am napping again at some stage today.

The braxton hicks contractions are continuing and getting stronger and stronger. Still not painful, just very uncomfortable. The tightening feeling seems to be spreading and squashing every part of my body, including my bladder which now has me in the bathroom up to every half hour throughout the day. I don't mind them though, I like that my body is getting in lots of practise for labour and secretly optimistic that it will help make it shorter and more efficient.

Other than the standard aches and pains & considering the weight that I'm now carrying around, I'm not doing too badly. We have decided to book in for the induction next week Thursday the 15th just in case nothing happens before then. So I'm not too concerned at this stage, either way we only have just over a week to go!

Apr 30, 2008

39 week OB Appointment

We just got back from our 39 week OB appointment with great news! All is well with both me and bub, and I'm now favourable!! Cervix is nice and long and starting to dilate, all is progressing really well towards labour. The OB did a stretch & sweep to try to move things along. It was pretty uncomfortable, but not painful and well worth going through if it will help! The OB said he wouldn't be surprised if I go into labour within the next week.

I have another appointment booked for next week, if bub has still not arrived we will be booking in for an induction on either the 13th or 15th. Even if it does come to the induction, I feel a lot better about it now knowing that everything is favourable as it has a much higher chance of working.

I'm feeling so excited right now! I was worried that I would be told at the appointment today that everything was still locked up tight so I was over the moon to hear how positive it was. Even though I know it may still be another 2 weeks, knowing that my body is gearing up for labour has made it so much more real! Come on baby, you can do it! We are so ready to meet you!!

Apr 28, 2008

The Nursery

I thought it was about time that I added some pics of the nursery. Although bub wont be sleeping in there for the first couple of months, I wanted to have everything ready for when we get home. We haven't done a huge amount with the room - it is a small room and with one side taken up by windows with verticals and another by a full length mirrored cupboard there was not a lot of space to work with.

This cot was the very same cot that I was brought home to as a baby...

I love the changetable that we chose - is doesn't take up much room, but the drawers are really big so fit heaps of stuff in them. It's also a bit higher than a standard changetable which is great for hubby and I. Plus the mat comes off the top so that it can be used as a normal chest of drawers once the changetable part is no longer needed:

And finally, here is our bassinet - where the baby will be sleeping for the first couple of months. As the nursery is a fair distance away from our main bedroom, the bassinet will be in the lounge across from our bedroom. I love our bassinet, it is the first real baby purchase that we made all those months ago:

Apr 24, 2008

38 weeks

Just when I thought I couldn't get any bigger...

I am so uncomfortable these days, although I'd be happy to put up with just being uncomfortable to get rid of the sciatic pain. I'm not getting much sleep at all - I can't seem to find a position where I can't feel the pain shooting down my leg. I've been dealing with this pain now for months, I guess it is just starting to wear me down. Although even when the pain is bringing tears to my eyes, I still can't help but smile when I feel the baby move inside me. Not for one second have I questioned if it is worth it.

I had my 38 week appointment with the midwife yesterday afternoon. Everything is still going well. The baby is 'moving towards engagement' so still not engaged properly yet, but is apparently in a very good position for a natural birth. The midwife took some time at the appointment to run through the procedures again for labour & delivery, and although I was already aware of everything she said from the classes, I felt that rush of confidence again that I can get through this labour. She was very clear that I would have choices throughout the labour and if I wanted to try to get through with little medical intervention, her and/or the midwife on staff at the hospital are able to help me do just that.

I feel very ready for what is to come. I'm not sure if it is normal to feel this ready - I would have expected to feel quite anxious about the labour and beginning of motherhood, but I feel surprisingly confident and ready.

Apr 18, 2008

Mothers Group

I went to my first Mothers Group meeting this morning. I found a group in the same suburb as me - they all either have small babies or are just about to, and are all first time Mums. I think I was really lucky to come across this group because a lot of the ones I've seen have older children. Where we meet up is only a few minutes drive from my house as well which is very handy.

The meeting went really well, they are such a wonderful group of ladies. It was a great morning out, in fact I was there for a bit over 4 hours. They meet up every fortnight for morning tea and a chat. I think it will be a great way for me to get out of the house and chat with people at a similar stage as me.

I got so clucky being around all the gorgeous babies today - I can't wait for my little one to arrive! I wouldn't really say that time is dragging, but I'm getting more and more excited as the days go by. It still feels so surreal. Sometimes I get so excited that I feel like I am going to burst!

Apr 16, 2008

37 Wk OB Appointment

We had our 37 week OB appointment yesterday afternoon and I'm happy to report that all is still going well. He checked blood pressure & baby's heart rate as normal, as well as checking for signs of swelling. My feet have been getting a little swollen, but nothing to be concerned about. He also felt baby for position and size. Bub's size isn't as big as what my belly looks which was a relief! Position wise, bub is still head down but now with it's back on my left hand side. The only issue is that bub still hasn't dropped down low enough into the pelvis. The OB wasn't too concerned, but did say that he would like it to be further down next week. Come on baby, you can do it!

Next week will be another appointment with the midwife, the following week will be back to the OB when he will start internals to check how I'm progressing and try to help things along - how exciting!!!

Apr 14, 2008

Baby Shower

We had our baby shower on the weekend, it was a great success. We had both male and female friends and family together down by the beach for the afternoon. I made some yummy afternoon tea snacks - blue and pink cupcakes, fairy bread, rocky road as well as a savory roll, lollies and nuts. There was beach cricket, some baby shower games as well as general chatter and a few drinks. We were really spoilt with gifts for baby as well, all in the most beautiful packaging. It was great to catch up with everyone a final time before the baby gets here and it seemed a good time was had by all.

It's still hard to believe that we will be going to similar family/friend gatherings as a family of three soon!

Apr 10, 2008

36 weeks

Here is my 36 week belly shot, I think it is safe to say that I'm feeling pretty huge these days!

And here's the comparison with the 34 week shot:

I had my 36 week checkup at the OB yesterday afternoon. We ended up seeing the midwife again for this appointment. Bub and I are both still travelling along well. Baby is head down, but facing up at this stage with all limbs out to the front of my belly. Explains all the movement I've been seeing lately. It's good knowing what body parts I'm actually feeling. Hubby even got to feel the head with the help of the midwife. It has started to decend into the pelvis, but still has a bit of room to move so further to go yet before engagement.

Apparently at this stage it is looking like a very average sized baby for us. The midwife guessed the birth weight at between 7 pounds - 7.5 pounds. Definately would be happy with that!

Apr 7, 2008

Pregnancy photos

I had my professional pregnancy photos taken on the weekend. We had them done by a lovely ex-client of mine who did a wonderful job. Here is a sample of one of the pics:

We get to see the whole range of photos at an appointment on Friday, from what I have seen already it's going to be hard to choose which ones we want!


Naturally I expected labour to be painful, but I never expected the pregnancy part to be this painful. In the last few days I have started feeling a new sharp pain very low down that happens on occasion through the day and night. I am also feeling the same type of pain I was feeling here, but at a much worse level. Night time is the hardest - I struggle to roll over, get out of bed and limp to the bathroom, sometimes even questioning if I will be able to get there because the pain is so intense. During the day I have to painfully limp every time after sitting, even if I have only been sitting for a short while.

I guess the positive to all this pain is the possibility that it means the baby has dropped down lower in preparation for delivery. My next OB appointment is in 2 days so hopefully I will find out then.

It is also helping to prove the theory that the fear of labour gets taken over by the desire to end the pregnancy! I'm finding that I can't help but not only look forward to finally holding our baby in my arms, but also to the simple things like laying on my back, walking without pain, sitting comfortably, drinking water without getting heartburn and of course eating sushi!

Apr 2, 2008

Baby Names

This is one thing that I have really been struggling with. Obviously we have been discussing baby names since early in the pregnancy, but with only 5 weeks until my due date, we are yet to decide on one of the names. We have a girls name picked out that both hubby and I love, it's the boys name that has been extrememly difficult.

Boys names just seem so much harder to choose - with girls names you can really be quite creative, but when both hubby and I want a good strong boys name, it is a lot more difficult to find. I have been through so many baby name books & websites that my head is spinning, and I'm still trying to come up with a definitive short list. I want to at least have this so that we can name our baby shortly after birth.

It is just such an important thing to consider, our child will be stuck with this name for the rest of their life. I guess it doesn't help that I'm a Libra too - the worst decision maker there is!

Mar 27, 2008

34 weeks

Here I am this morning at 34 weeks:

and the comparison with the 32 week pic:

This weeks photo looks like it was taken a bit closer, but it still looks like I've grown a bit in the last two weeks. I'm starting to feel really bulky now, it's hard to find any position that is remotely comfortable and even then I have to move after a short while. I have also noticed that my feet are starting to swell during the day - yesterday in particular I could really see that they were swollen and had trouble getting into my shoes. My fingers are still swollen as well - I still have my wedding band on, but it's now stuck there. Hubby and I did try to take it off about a week ago, but my finger is just too swollen. It seems to be ok where it is, I just can't get it over the knuckle. Hopefully I won't have any dramas with it.

I had my 34 week check up at the OB yesterday, everything is still going beautifully. Bub is head down which I was happy to hear, and everything is looking good. My tummy is really tight now - the OB did mention it but it is normal, apparently some people just carry more compact than others. It is making the braxton hicks contractions that I have been feeling quite uncomfortable though - my tummy goes absolutely rock hard. They are not painful, just uncomfortable. I've started to really notice them over the last week and I get them multiple times throughout the day now.

I'm still loving being off work - it's strange how quickly and easily I have settled into it after working full time for so long. I'm not getting quite as much done around the house these days - it seems to be taking me longer to recover from any sort of physical activity and I am starting to get really tired throughout the day. Of course my sleep has not improved so that must be a contributing factor - some days I find myself having two seperate naps throughout the day, but I can only sleep for up to an hour at a time.

I've managed to get most of my hospital stuff packed now though - finishing touches should be done today. I'm also in the middle of washing all the baby things, hoping to have that all done in the next week. I'm starting to feel really excited about the birth now, although for some reason, 6 weeks still seems far away, even though I know it will probably fly by. I guess I just can't wait to finally meet our little miracle.

Mar 17, 2008

Breastfeeding Class

We had our breastfeeding class on Saturday afternoon. It was taken by a lactaction consultant from the hospital and went for about 2 hours. I found it really helpful. I was actually surprised that while she was very pro-breastfeeding (obviously, considering it was a breastfeeding class), it was not at all preachy and the messages were very positive but realistic. I definately learnt more during this class than the 40 minutes or so that was spent on breastfeeding as part of the antenatal classes, and have come away with some great resources and ideas for further reading. So absolutely worth doing. I also feel very confident that there will be some great help available to me at the hospital should I need it in those first few days after bub arrives.

Mar 13, 2008

32 weeks

Here I am this morning at 32 weeks...

And here's the comparison with my 30 week shot:

Doesn't look like a whole lot of difference over the last 2 weeks. My weight gain seems to have stabilised a bit as well so I didn't expect a whole lot of change.

Everything is still going well with the pregnancy. I have developed a cough that I'm really hoping doesn't turn into anything more sinister. For now I am just drinking loads of water and trying to rest as much as possible. Very difficult for me - I'm not a very good patient! But I will do anything to make sure that I am looking after this baby the best I can.

Mar 12, 2008

A new addition

That's right, there is a new addition in our family. A gorgeous new neice. My sister delivered her baby on Sunday morning - she is just perfect:

Seeing the end result of my sister's pregnancy is starting to make it so much more real for me. Especially now, with my due date only 8 weeks away. It's also made me that much more excited about meeting our little one.

I have to say though, it has made the labour seem that much more real as well. While I still feel confident that I can get through it a lot of the time, I am starting to have moments of panic at times when I think about actually going into labour. It's one thing to prepare for it in theory, but I'm sure a whole different thing all together to actually experience it. I am still trying to prepare myself as much as possible, but not dwell on it too much. After all, what goes up, must come down. Not much that I can do about it!

Mar 4, 2008

Our new camera!

We bought a brand new whizz bang camera on the weekend - a Canon 400D D-SLR :

We got the twin lens kit so an additional 75-300mm lens as well as the 18-55mm lens that is on the camera in the pic. I just love our new camera!! I've wanted one of these for a while now, it takes the most incredible photos! We've only had it a couple of days so I am still learning the features and practising with different shots but already I'm amazed with what it can do. We got it now so that I will have some time to play around with it before the baby is here. Between this and our new video camera, we should be able to capture some fantastic memories of this incredible time.

30 week appointment

We ended up seeing the midwife for our appointment yesterday afternoon as our OB was running very late due to a delivery that day. Our midwife is fantastic, so lovely and very helpful. I found out that my iron levels are lower than what they would like so she has put me on a supplement and I am to try and increase the iron-rich foods in my diet. Other than that, my blood pressure and baby's heartrate were both still really good. Apparently at this stage bub is on the upper side of average size wise which is what I expected.

I also had a chat to her about the pain I have been feeling through my pelvic area and down one leg. It started around 2 weeks ago, was excrutiating for a while there, then calmed down a bit to a manageable pain. The worst pain is rolling over in bed at night - sometimes I physically can't roll over for the pain. Getting up and walking after sitting can also be a struggle. It still hurts to walk around, but it is more manageable.

Apparently it is sciatic pain caused by hormones making my pelvic bones shift. Not much I can do for the pain except see a physio for some exercises and avoid specific activities that make the pain worse. Probably the reason why it got better for a while was that the baby has moved up higher since my last appointment and is now floating around changing positions, so not as much pressure on my pelvic area. (Also explains the intense movements I have been feeling lately). Nice to know that it is going to get worse after engagement!

Mar 3, 2008

A free woman

Yep that's right, I'm now officially free from working life...for now anyway. My last day on Friday went well, I went out to lunch with all of the advertising crew in the office I have been at for the past couple of months. They also gave me the most beautiful clothes for the baby, as well as a matching bunny rug.

It's so hard to believe that I don't have to go to work anymore. I haven't been out of work since I left school. Until I was 19 I was working 2 or 3 part time jobs, then I have been in full time employment ever since. It still feels like I am just on a short holiday. My first day as a lady of leisure has been fantastic, I'm getting a lot done already and it is so much easier being able to take short rests in between doing things.

Sadly though this morning, I decided to take off my engagement ring. I have noticed over the last few weeks that my fingers have become quite swollen. I was really hoping not to have to take my special rings off, but they are starting to leave an indent in my finger so I thought it safer to get it off now before I can't anymore and have to get it cut off. As it was I had to use a fair bit of soap and water. I've left my wedding band on for now, really hoping that I don't have to take it off too. My wedding rings are so very symbolic to me, I feel naked and lost without them.

Feb 27, 2008

30 weeks

30 weeks today!!! Bump is getting big now - I feel like I look huge in this pic...

If you look closely in the comparison pic, you can now see my belly button when I'm standing side on! I've put on about 8kg now which is where I'm supposed to be so happy with that.

Yesterday, I enrolled both hubby and I in a First Aid Course with St John's Ambulance called 'Caring for Kids'. It is basically like a basic first aid course, but it focuses more on babies and children up to the age of 12 years. This is the content of the course:

> Assess the scene of an incident
> Conduct primary assess. of the casualty
> Safety
> Provide basic life support to a child
> Management of choking
> Management of wounds
> Management of internal and external bleeding
> Management of head and facial injuries
> Management of infection control
> Management of poisons, bites and stings
> Management of burns
> Management of fractures
> Management of medical emergencies for children

It goes over one 8 hour day so will be a long day for me in particular. But it has been about 10 years since I have done a first aid course, and hubby has never done one so we thought it would be a good idea to get it done before bub arrives.

I've still been struggling with my sleep the whole way through this pregnancy. I have a lot more pressure on my bladder now so I'm getting up 2 or 3 times to go to the bathroom throughout the night. Plus all of my dreams are so vivid, I feel like I am not getting any real rest. I've had a couple of problems with nightmares on occaision which I hear is another joyful pregnancy symptom, but in general my thoughts are just so vivid that I remember most of the night and therefore don't feel like I am getting any deep sleep. Plus obviously now I'm struggling to get really comfortable. Last night wasn't too bad though so I'm feeling a bit better today - only 1 bathroom trip and I actually feel like I got a bit of quality sleep in there. One more work day then I can start catching up with some nanna naps!

Feb 26, 2008

Antenatal Class - Week Four

We had our fourth & final antental class last night - this one was all about the first six weeks after birth including discharge from hospital, SIDS, post-natal depression, where to go for help and what to expect from life at home with the new baby. I found this class really helpful and am already feeling a lot more confident about those first couple of months at home with our baby. My main fear about this time is not how well I will cope or how well hubby will cope, but how well we as a couple will cope. Not that I have any real reason to be concerned, we have a very solid marriage that has gotten us through a number of difficult obstacles in the past. I guess it is because I value our marriage so strongly that I can't help but be a little worried and protective of it. I think this is my main reason for wanting to go into that first six weeks as prepared as we can possibly be.

I'm on my final week of work this week, I finish up on Friday! I can't wait to spend the time at home. Work hasn't been too bad since swapping to my new temporary role, but I am finding it difficult sitting in an office all day every day. I'm also starting to have trouble getting in and out of my car - being lower to the ground I am struggling to get up out of it and down into it. I'm also looking forward to spending some more time with hubby - the way our work hours are at the moment, we only get a couple of hours together of an evening to go through everything we need to talk about, cook dinner, clean up & shower ready for bed. With me not working we will have another 3 hours or so on top of this to enjoy spending the last couple of months alone together before our lives change forever!

Feb 19, 2008

Antenatal Class - Week Three

Also last night was our third antenatal class - the first of the two classes on parenting. This one focussed on characteristics of the newborn baby, what happens in the first few days after birth, a little on sleeping, nappy changing, wrapping etc and a section on establishing breastfeeding. We were also given a little booklet on breastfeeding as a reference. I'm not worrying about it too much at this stage as we have a seperate breastfeeding class to go to next month which will go into more detail. I am very passionate about trying everything to breastfeed our baby so I'm gathering as much information as I can before the birth to try to help prepare myself.

Hubby & I really enjoyed this class, it makes it seem so much more real talking about caring for the baby. On one hand, I know that I should be enjoying my pregnancy and not wishing the days away, but on the other, I am just so excited about the day that we get to finally meet our little miracle.

28 week OB appointment

I had my 28 week OB appointment yesterday afternoon. Test results from the glucose challenge test came back, no diabetes for me! One more hurdle down. Other than that the appointment was pretty standard, baby is doing beautifully, my blood pressure is perfect. Bub has actually moved since last visit and is now head down which is a great sign. It is strange to think of the baby laying upside down all day.

My OB has also suggested I pack my bags for the hospital already - that way I will have less chance of going into labour early!! I found this quite funny as my OB doesn't seem like the type to be superstitious. I haven't even written a list of what to pack yet so I will have to get started on that. My appointments have changed to fortnightly now too so next visit is in 2 weeks.

Feb 14, 2008

28 weeks

28 weeks & third trimester!!! Here I am this morning...

To celebrate hitting third trimester, I thought it would be nice to add a pic from the beginning of my pregnancy journey - just a slight difference to my figure!!

I put the 26 week one in there as well to see how much I have changed - definately a lot fuller in the belly now!

Today is also the day of my glucose challenge test. I have just come back from Part 1 - drinking a super sweet glucose drink. I was really worried about what the drink would taste like so much that I have been dreading this test. I was imagining a sickly, syrupy type drink that would make me want to throw up from the taste. But I'm happy to report that it was no where near as bad as what I thought it would be. It was basically like sweet lemonade. The lady at pathology was saying that some people actually like the drink. I definately wouldn't go that far, but it was bearable. Very cold and fizzy though which did make it hard to get down. Part 2 is the blood test that I have to be back within the hour for. Then I should get the results at my next OB appointment on Monday afternoon.

Feb 12, 2008

Antenatal Class - Week Two

We had our second antenatal class last night - this one was about coping mechanisms for labour both natural and medical, as well as unexpected outcomes and caesarian births. I enjoyed this class a bit more than the one from last week, possibly because it was a little less basic theory and a bit more interactive. This was the last class on labour and birth, next we move on to parenting for the final two weeks.

The main thing that I have gotten out of the labour classes so far has really surprised me. I expected to come out of these classes with a sense of reality about the fact that I will soon have to go through the labour process, and quite fearful of how I would be able to cope. But in fact at this stage, the classes have actually helped me to feel more empowered towards the labour process. I came into them thinking that I would need to use whatever drugs that could be given to me to help cope with labour, and I have come out with the frame of mind that I would like to try to labour naturally for as long as possible, and use only the gas for assistance in the later stages. Obviously I am still keeping a very open mind as I have never experienced labour before and therefore have no idea how I will cope. I am definately not closed off to the idea of even an epidural if it turns out that is what I need. But I am happy to say that I now feel a lot more confident about my ability to get through the labour process with as little medical intervention as possible.

Feb 11, 2008

Remnants of IVF

I've been struggling a little lately with a few things that I have put down to remnants of our IVF journey. Through the depression that I experienced during our IVF journey, I always believed that falling pregnant would fix everything and none of it would matter anymore. While I feel so incredibly grateful and blessed to be carrying this baby and it has made everything a million percent better, I am just starting to realise that it doesn't take away from what we went through with IVF and I may still have a few things to work through. On that note, I bought a book that I am reading, hoping that it will help:

It goes beyond the actual IVF treatment cycles into the ongoing effects throughout pregnancy and after birth. So far it has been a really good read and it seems to have a lot of my feelings spot on so I'm feeling very positive about it being able to help me get over this little hurdle.

Bub is really quite active these days. While I am getting used to the movements happening, I still love feeling them. Sometimes the baby moves around so much I can see movements all over my belly. It is such a strange and wonderful feeling, I could sit and watch it for hours.

Feb 5, 2008

Antenatal Class - Week One

Our first antenatal class went well last night, it was bascially explaining the stages of labour and the basic procedures for a stock standard natural birth, including the dreaded birthing video. I coped quite well with watching the video, I think that a positive to me still being a little way away from my due date is that I was able to watch still with some denial that I will be one of those women. But it was very interesting to see others reactions to the video, lots of cringing and fear going on in that room! I think hubby has more respect for the whole childbirth process now and what I need to go through to get this baby out. Looking forward to next week's class when we are discussing drugs for pain relief!

Jan 31, 2008

26 weeks

Here is my latest belly pic at 26 weeks...

and the comparison with the 24 week shot...

I get quite shocked some fortnights when I see the comparison, it's amazing how quickly the body can adapt and change to the growing baby inside. My weight gain has been more steady in recent weeks, I've now put on around 6.5kg so far which I'm pretty happy with.

We have our first antenatal class in a few days time, I can't wait! The idea of having to accept the fact that I have to go through the whole labour process makes me quite nervous though. Until now, I haven't really thought that much about it and am still in a bit of denial that I actually have to go through it. But I'm assuming that the classes at the hospital will help make it that much more real for me. I'm still deciding if I will close my eyes for the birth video!

Jan 30, 2008

First nappy purchase

Hubby had the honour of purchasing the first lot of nappies for bub this morning. There is a fantastic sale on them in Wollies stores this week so we thought we would take the opportunity to grab the newborn nappies that we will need for baby and save some money. But could I find them anywhere yesterday?? Seems the sale was too well advertised! But while working this morning, hubby ended up coming across a Woolies that had some in stock and grabbed a couple of boxes. Strange to think that something that will become so mundane is so exciting for us now.

On another note, I have developed a rash-like skin irritation on my belly that is itching like crazy. I spoke to the midwife about it this morning and apparently it is just another one of the joys of pregnancy. I tried a cold teatowel on my belly last night but bub was not happy, kept kicking me until I took it off! So I'm off to the chemist later to get some calamine lotion for the itching, but other than that will just be hoping that it is short lived.

Jan 25, 2008

Woken up

Well the baby managed to wake me up for the first time last night. Around 4:30 this morning actually. I must have rolled over onto my left side when I was woken up by strong kicking and wriggling from bub. I waited for a bit, thinking that maybe bub was just trying to get comfortable. But after a minute or two I ended up giving in and rolling over onto my other side. No more movements from bub after that so I guess it managed to get comfortable. Quite funny I thought that a baby can manage to wake you up even from inside the womb!

Jan 21, 2008

The Babymoon

What a wonderful weekend! Hubby and I haven't been able to get away by ourselves since our honeymoon nearly 2 years ago so it was just wonderful to have the whole weekend to ourselves. It feels like we have been so busy the last couple of months that it was fantastic to just have a break away from everything.

We arrived at about lunchtime on Friday and had lunch at a local surf club before checking in to the hotel. The hotel was everything I had imagined, just absolutely incredible. Even the beauty of the lobby area just took my breath away. Our room was perfect, with everything we could possibly want, all decorated with the gorgeous Versace touches that you would expect. Here are a couple of pics:

The foyer:

Chilling out in our suite:

Waiting for us in our room was the most adorable Versace bathrobe for the baby - a size 4 so obviously for when they are older, but just so gorgeous. There was also a beautiful Versace teddy bear - here is a pic:

After checking out the room, we were off for a swim in the resort pool. I had been looking forward to this swim for ages and the water was just beautiful. That night we went out to dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants, right on the waterfront just after sunset. The food was incredible, this restaurant would definately be on my top 5 list. The only thing missing was the wine! Bub was kind enough to give me a bit of a kick to remind me how much it was worth missing out on though. We ended up back in the lounge area listening to a pianist and vocalist, hubby with a cocktail, me with a hot chocolate.

Saturday morning we enjoyed a very yummy buffet breakfast in the main hotel restaurant, then headed out for a walk on the beach. A walk that turned into a bit of a marathon walk down the beach while heading for what seemed at the time like a mirage. We made it though and had a bit of a wander around before catching a cab back to the resort. We got changed and headed down to the day spa area for a swim in the indoor pool - so much more peaceful than the outdoor area as no children are allowed into the day spa facilities. It was wonderful to relax in the water after such a long walk in the morning, and great to feel so weightless for a change! I was surprised though just how much energy swimming took and how much harder it was for me to catch my breath being pregnant.

We changed and headed up to the lounge for afternoon tea where I had the yummiest cake I think I have ever eaten! Absolutely incredible! Then it was straight back down to the day spa for me for a rejuvenating pedispa. So very relaxing and wonderful to be pampered!

Saturday night we went out to another waterfront restaurant for dinner. We had a fantastic table with a view right over the water. Unfortunately the food let us down - it was not bad, but not really great either, and I've never seen such big servings!! We both struggled to get through half of the main! Still a lovely night out on the water though. The rest of the night was spent up in our room playing Connect 4 - we hadn't played this game for years but ended up playing for a lot of the night, stopping at around midnight for some munchies - icecream with chocolate topping for hubby and a chocolate milkshake with a selection of cakes for me! I don't think I have eaten as much as I ate this weekend for a long time!

Sunday morning we again headed down to the main hotel restaurant for a buffet breakfast, then it was back up to the room for the sad job of packing. We spent the rest of the morning in our room, enjoying being totally alone together and of course, a few more rounds of Connect 4!

We were very lucky with the weather this weekend too - we were worried that we were going to get rained out, but the sun was kind enough to come out for most of the weekend. It was just so wonderful to be away for those couple of days. Very hard for us to leave and come back to reality, but that was made a thousand times easier knowing what a special gift we have to look forward to in a few months time. And while it was absolutely fantastic to be away on a romantic weekend for just the two of us, we both couldn't help but look at other families with young children and daydream about holidaying with our very own child.

Jan 17, 2008

24 weeks

Time already for a 24 week belly pic update:

and a comparison with 2 weeks ago...

My belly probably hasn't done a heap of growing over the past couple of weeks. Some days I feel quite small, others I feel like a heffa!

I had my 24 week appointment with the OB yesterday afternoon, all went really well. Hubby was able to come with me to this appointment - he hasn't been able to get there since the first appointment so it was fantastic to have him there with me. Again, the appointment wasn't very long - just the standard question time & blood pressure check for me and sizing & heartrate check for the baby. OB is happy that both me and bub are doing really well. Next appointment is in another 4 weeks, just after I will have done the glucose test.

Hubby and I are off tomorrow on our very special holiday. I've been looking forward to this weekend for ages, it's hard to believe it's actually here. Hopefully we will get some nice weather for at least some of the weekend, a sunset walk along the beach sounds just perfect about now.

Jan 15, 2008

Buying for baby

After the weekend just gone, I feel a lot more organised with all the baby stuff we need to buy. We found a great baby shop and managed to knock a really good chunk of things of the list. We bought a change table, a car seat, a super comfy rocker chair with footrest, a new mattress for the cot, an activity mat, wall stickers for the nursery, mobile for the cot and some other bits and pieces. We've pretty well crossed off the big stuff now, all that is really left is the bits and pieces of little things that we can get closer to the time. The change table and chair had to be ordered and we pick them up in a couple of weeks - after that we can get to work setting up the nursery!!

Everything else has been going smoothly. I'm starting to feel some stronger kicks from bub - yesterday morning in particular I was at work watching the baby move from the outside of my belly. Such a bizzare feeling, but just so comforting. The movements are happening more regularly now as well which has been so reassuring. They just make the whole experience feel so much more real.

Jan 8, 2008

2007...looking back

A week or so late, but I thought it would be a good idea to do a bit of a wrap up of 2007. This is a quiz that seems to be doing the blogger rounds, this one is courtesy of Shannon

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I honestly don't remember having any new year's resolutions last year

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
none, we are in desperate need of a holiday

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
our baby :)

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
19th February - day one of our first IVF cycle
28th August - first HPT with 2 lines!
4th September - blood test confirming pregnancy
24th December - first time I felt bub's movements

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Surviving our IVF journey with my life and marriage still in tact

9. What was your biggest failure?
Can't think of anything...?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
The one month I took off IVF over the year I had an awful cold.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A brand spanking new 4wd

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Again, can't think of anything for this one

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I don't think anyone's behavior made me feel this strongly, however I was extremely disappointed to find out that a close friend's wife was unfaithful to him.

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Easily our pregnancy

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
No one song in particular

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Most definately happier

b) thinner or fatter?
Fatter...but with good reason!

c) richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Appreciate the little things

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Nothing in particular

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
I was already in love and still am :)

22. What was your favorite TV program?

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't hate anyone

24.What was the best book you read?
Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Natalie Gauchi - I didn't watch Australian Idol this year, but happened to flick over on the second last episode and was mezmerised by her voice.

26. What did you want and get?
A successful IVF cycle

27. What did you want and not get?
Our baby for Christmas

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Die Hard 4

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went out to lunch with family, I was 27. It didn't really feel like my birthday last year. I was 8 weeks pregnant and still adjusting to our dream coming true so much that my own birthday felt like it paled in comparison.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
To have fallen pregnant much earlier in the year.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
For the first half of the year, much the same as 2006! Didn't buy much in the way of clothes for most of the year in the hope I would soon be pregnant. The last couple of months I have started living in my maternity clothes :)

32. What kept you sane?
I was sane???

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
No one in particular

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Political issues don't tend to stir me all that much.

35. Who did you miss?
No one in particular

36. Who was the best new person you met?
All the truly wonderful people in my IVF buddy group and then my pregnancy buddy group on EB - you all know who you are, I can't thank you enough for your support and friendship during 2007.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
That regardless of the odds, someone has to be the '1'
That I am capable of being stronger than I ever thought I could be.
That sometimes life just isn't fair and there is no clear explaination for it.
That you never know what someone could be dealing with.
That support and friendship don't have to come from people in real life.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place'

Jan 3, 2008

22 weeks

22 weeks today and wow, I think it is safe to say that there is a reason I have been feeling bigger lately. Here is my 22 week belly shot:

and the comparison with 2 weeks ago:

Seems I've really popped out over Christmas! Surprisingly though, I have still only put on around 3 and a half kg so far. Nearly 1kg of that was in the last week so I'm guessing that the normal pregnancy weight gain will start to catch up to itself soon. Either that or I ate too many chocolates over Christmas!!

I've also been able to confirm in my mind that the movements I first felt over Christmas were definately the baby. I have been starting to feel them a bit stronger lately, more definate kicks I guess would be a way to describe it. A couple have been that strong that I could see my belly twitch from the outside! The easiest time for me to feel it seems to be when I am sitting still at night after dinner. Hubby was even able to feel bub kicking for the first time a couple of nights ago which was just wonderful. He even copped a boot in the head from bub last night! The movements are still very sporadic, but it is so wonderful to be feeling something from the baby, it really helps to appreciate pregnancy so much more.