Storm In A B-Cup

Parenthood: The Early Days

In the next few days, hubby will be posting a guest post (or 2) about his perspective on baby G’s birth, but until then I’d like to write a little about baby G’s early life, before the details grow too fuzzy to remember.

The first few days of my daughter’s life passed in a blur, as I’m sure they do for many new parents. On day 2, it was discovered that baby G had a severe case of jaundice (why noone noticed earlier, I don’t know). For the 2 days prior, I had noticed that she was very sleepy – more than she should be, though the midwives insisted it was normal – and difficult to wake enough to eat properly.hospital1

I knew these were signs of jaundice, but time and time again I was told that she was acting like all newborns and everything was fine. When a new midwife finally saw her on day 2, she was shocked by how yellow she was and performed a TCB test – a series of lights pulsed on the forehead which judges the amount of bilirubin in the blood. It isn’t as effective as a blood test, but gives a good estimate. This test came back with readings much, much higher than they should for a baby 48 hours old, so we were sent around to the special care nursery. At this stage, I thought this was for a closer look and a blood test. I insisted upon taking baby G around myself, and so soon after a caesarian, the trip was slow at best.

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My precious baby, all bundled up, not allowed to even touch her ūüė¶

When we arrived, there was a lot of fuss and bustle. A blood test was taken; baby G stripped down to just her nappy; a cannula inserted in her arm to administer extra fluids and any medications necessary; and a nasogastric tube inserted for feeding as I was told that for a little while, all of her feeds would need to be given via tube since she would not be allowed to come out from under her lights for any longer than it would take to change a nappy. She was placed on a bilibed, with several banks of lights all around her. I stood back, watching all of this activity and feeling utterly helpless. I was shown to the pumping room and instructed that even though my milk had not come in yet, I should pump every three hours for fifteen minutes on each side, to encourage my milk to come in and to give baby G as much breastmilk/colostrum as possible.

The whole process was very overwhelming, and completely daunting, and for a brand new mum, incredibly scary. I was sure that somehow, this was all my fault. I was desperately trying to pump enough milk to feed my baby the amount that the doctors said she needed to flush out the jaundice, which turned out to be so high that had it been a couple of points higher, she would have needed a full exchange blood transfusion. As it was, baby G was under very careful watch, and her bloods were being tested several times a day to ensure her levels did not creep too much higher. No matter how much or often I pumped, it was never enough. Every feed had to be topped up with formula, and it devastated me to see that I couldn’t provide my baby with the one thing she needed – my breast milk.

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Middle of the night visit to the special care nursery

With each day, I had hope that baby G could come out from under the lights, or at least be able to come out long enough to breast feed, and a few days later I got my wish and was allowed to feed her myself – as long as I met the strict three hourly schedule, and allowed a formula top up through the nasogastric tube to ensure she was eating enough.

Five days after baby G’s birth, I was discharged from hospital. I had been ready to leave on day 3, physically, however since I lived so far away from the hospital and baby G was being kept, I remained admitted for as long as was allowed. Five days was the maximum, and my little princess was not seeming anywhere near her release, so alas, I was discharged without my baby.

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Coming home!

On day six, baby G was finally out from under her lights, but her bilirubin levels had rebounded. No one was sure if we would be allowed to go home yet. On the morning of day 7, even though her levels seemed to be continuing to creep up, we were sent home, with baby G’s care transferred to that of our local country hospital. Though my local hospital didn’t have special care, baby G was well enough that their facilities would be able to care for her now, if her condition worsened at all.

Bringing baby G home was surreal, and the days after we arrived home are absolutely a blur in my mind now. Just a big jumble of feeding and changing nappies and all three of us cuddling together. Of middle of the night sitting up in bed, baby attached, me trying desperately to stay awake while I fed her. It seemed as though it would never end. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and the most amazing. I loved every single magical second in the middle of the night when it was just baby G and I, in the dark silence.

A couple of days later, we headed to our local hospital for baby G’s checkup. Her bloodwork was done, and her bilirubin levels had increased again. Had we been at the city hospital, I believe she would have been put back into phototherapy for a further 24 hours, however the paediatrician at home was happy to wait another two days and test again before making a decision. Luckily for us, two days later her levels had evened out, and we were completely discharged from the hospital system.

Baby G’s first two weeks of life were amazing and scary and harrowing and wonderful and unforgettable (yet completely blurry!) all at once. And while in some ways I’m glad that the hardest newborn days are past, in many other ways I just can’t wait to do it all again!

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The Birth Story of Baby G part 2: The Birth

Here’s the rest of the birth story of baby G, as promised. It’s a bit longer than the first part, but it has all the important bits! Plus the cutie baby pictures at the end, so feel free to skip forward to those ūüôā

It was at about 8am of the following morning – Friday – I was checked and found to be 9.5cm, and by 9 I was fully dilated. The midwives at this point decided to let baby come down a bit further on her own, and came back to check again at 10, and at 11 decided I was ready to push. I began pushing and a scalp clip was fitted to baby as the CTG was no longer picking up her heartbeat very well. By 12, I was told I was making good progress and that they could see baby’s head with each push but it was receding again. All of which I know is very normal. However I do have some experience reading CTGs as a student nurse and having completed 160 hours of practical time in a maternity ward. I was following pretty closely, and could see for myself that all was not well, and was feeling pretty uneasy at how casually it was being treated at the time. I could see that baby’s heart rate was dipping very low, and while this is OK during a contraction as long as it recovers well after, my baby’s heart rate was beginning to dip after each contraction and was taking longer and longer to recover each time. I am well aware that this is a strong sign of fetal distress and was beginning to worry. Soon, a doctor came in to check on me, very casually, but I think these staff are very good at hiding from mums to be when they are becoming concerned!

She performed an internal exam and so did the midwife and another doctor (at this point, I didn’t even care any more. My water had been broken for something like 28 hours and I had been labouring for 18 hours). They suspected that baby was posterior, and decided to perform a quick ultrasound to make sure. Everyone left the room and left me and hubby to our own devices, instructing me to continue pushing. The CTG machine was sounding alarms after each contraction and push, and I really don’t think I should have been left at this point. Soon, the doctors returned with the ultrasound machine, and it was determined that baby was definitely posterior and it was decided to start me on syntocinon to try to intensify my contractions enough to get baby to turn. Soon after this, her distress increased and the doctors were not happy with my progress and it is at this point that they asked me to sign some paperwork to do with theatre – I don’t even remember what it was all about, though I suppose I must have been told at the time.

I was informed that they would like to attempt a vacuum delivery and if that were to fail, a caesarian section. It was at this point that I became really distressed and just wanted my mum. Unfortunately, she lives an hour and a half away from the hospital and though she left as soon as I called, only made it around the time that baby ended up being born.

I was so upset about having to go to theatre, and knew deep down that at this point, a caesarian delivery was almost a foregone conclusion. I was in floods of tears and kept asking to avoid the caesarian if at all possible, I already felt as though I was failing as a mother. My husband had been taken away to get dressed in scrubs so that he would be allowed in theatre, and he wasn’t allowed in for quite some time. The nurses kept trying to calm me as I continued asking for him, I was so so terrified. On arrival in theatre, it seemed that the one sane person in the room was the anaesthetist, a different guy to who I had seen earlier. He was a lovely Irish man, and kept me informed of what was going on and more than once went in to bat for me when it came to getting my husband back in the room. He was very calm and positive and very grounding in the time that T couldn’t be with me.

As the doctor was preparing the vacuum, my epidural had worn almost all the way off, and I was instructed to push with each contraction, in case I would make any progress on my own. Pushing with tears streaming down my face and the knowledge it was getting me nowhere is not one of my favourite memories, to say the least. As the doctor began to fit the vacuum, I think T was allowed back in the room (I’m a little fuzzy on this). She injected some local anaesthetic to prepare for an episiotomy, and then used the vacuum to assist my efforts in pushing on each contraction. I could feel baby moving down, and I’m sure very very close to out, however after just a few pushes, the doctor decided it was too dangerous to baby to keep going and informed me that a caesarian was the next step.

The baby at this point was too far down the birth canal just to proceed with a caesarian – she was far enough down that her head could be seen when I pushed – so the doctor had to push her back in. I don’t think that is something you ever forget, having a baby pushed¬†back in.¬† Especially without any epidural left. I plan to never experience that again.

The anaesthetist topped up my epidural, and we waited for it to work. I was continually poked with ice and sharp things to see if I could still feel everything, and each time I was poked and prodded, I could still feel every bit of it. So the doctor kept topping up the epidural more and more, and it continued to be almost completely ineffective. At this point, the obstetrician in charge decided just to proceed with the caesarian. Agony. The worst thing I have ever felt. The epidural was not working. I told them that, and the doctor still didn’t stop. The anaesthetist kept asking if he should put me under and the ob kept saying just to give her a minute. Next thing I knew, T was being ushered from the room and a mask was over my face. I remember asking if I was going to sleep now, I was so so so terrified. I didnt know what was happening but I knew it wasn’t good. The anaesthetist said no, and then asked me to count to five.

So I did. And as I was counting, the world started spinning, turning to black, my ears filled with the buzzing of a bizarre “nothing” kind of silence. And I tried to yell out. I tried to call out to let me go, to let me stay awake, to let me experience my child coming into the world. I knew they were putting me under and I couldn’t escape. And then it was done. All I knew was dark, spinning, black, unending nothing. It felt like eternity. There was no time. No beginning, no end. And I thought to myself: I hope this isn’t what death is like. I want to come back. I want to meet my baby girl.

According to T, what he saw next was pretty confronting. Baby girl was very very wedged in, and a bandage was being used as a kind of pulley to hold my incision open while two doctors climbed around and over me on the operating table, elbows deep inside me, trying to unstick baby G.

When I woke up, it was about 4pm, I think, baby G having been finally born at around 2:30, I was told. In recovery, all I wanted was to know if baby G was ok, and where she was, and everything about her, and where T was, and if¬†he¬†was okay after all that had transpired. And noone could tell me any more than yes, baby G was in fact a girl and she was ok and with T. For the entire hour I was kept there, I continued to pester the midwives with requests to go and see baby G and hubby, and kept being told that I had to stay for “just a bit longer” since in the time since I had been put under, the top up epidurals had taken effect probably too much and I couldn’t really feel anything at all.

Finally I was taken up to the ward, and for a few minutes I was in our room by myself, with a midwife checking my vitals and such. Soon, I heard wheels coming up the corridor and into the room, and I remember that first T came into my little curtained off section, and then the little bassinet was wheeled in, and the first thing I said was “here she is!”. Two hours after her birth, I finally got to meet my baby girl. She was put onto my chest for some skin to skin – although delayed, I’m told it was still very important, and I was helped to latch her on for her very first feed. She was incredibly sleepy, as I’m led to believe that newborns tend to be past the first half hour to hour of wakefulness. But she latched like a pro, and I couldn’t take my eyes off her, my beautiful baby girl, finally in my arms and healthy. Slowly I managed to get the details from everyone.

Baby G was born at 2:33pm on Friday the 11th of July, at 3625g, or just barely under 8lb even, and 48cm long (or 18 inches). Her head circumference was 36cm, pretty big, and considering her OP positioning, I wouldn’t have been able to get her out naturally according to the doctor. I however believe that given time, and had she not gone into distress, we would have managed just fine. After my water had been broken for 34 hours, 21 hours of labour followed by an emergency caesarian, she was finally here. Born at 37+5 gestation. The drama was over – or so we thought.

Two days later, Sunday morning, as baby G and I were heading to her hearing test, we discovered just how sick she was with terrible jaundice and we started a whole new adventure in the Special Care Nursery – and that’s another story for another day!

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The Birth Story of Baby G, part 1: The Labour

When I was around 36 weeks pregnant, I started experiencing what I now know to have been pre labour symptoms. I was having period like cramping, a lot of pain in my lower back, losing what I know to have been my mucus plug (and had been since 29 weeks, despite what the midwives told me), and having fairly regular braxton hicks contractions. I spent a long, LONG week and a half dealing with these symptoms between the couch, bed, floor, bouncing on my exercise ball, and perhaps most commonly, draped over the top of my exercise ball on the floor. I was certainly not sleeping for more than about half an hour at a time, between the SPD pain, back pain, needing to pee constantly and just general discomfort.

By the time 37 weeks and 4 days came around, I felt like I really could not endure any more.  The morning I was 37+4 (a Thursday), I was lying in bed around 7am and felt a distinctly different feeling. I sprung out of bed and to the bathroom, leaving an unmistakable trail behind me. I was one of the 10% of women whose water breaks before any sign of true labour beginning. I remember feeling oddly calm. The air felt different. Today was probably going to be the day that I met my precious baby girl, and all I could think was that I had ruined a pair of trackpants and possibly some bedsheets.

Within a few minutes I had phoned the birthing suite at my hospital (an hour and a half’s drive away, disregarding any traffic). The midwives were reluctant to believe that my membranes had spontaneously ruptured this early but when I told them exactly what had happened, told me to come in, but not to rush. So T and I each took a shower, and we stopped at good old McDonald’s for breakfast on our way to the hospital.

Two hours later, we were arriving at the hospital, and I was being hooked up to a CTG machine for some monitoring to see how baby was doing. Within a fairly short amount of time I was taken to a labour room (where some of the midwives were very unhappy to see me – I was taking up valuable space which may be needed for someone who “actually needed” it). The midwives asked for a urine sample and to see a pad as they still didn’t really believe my water had broken, however when I handed them a cup overflowing with liquid that was CLEARLY more amniotic fluid than urine, they declined to do the swab to test if my water had broken or not. The hospital was ready to send me home through early labour – I wasn’t happy about this as I live so far away from the hospital and had no idea how fast or slow labour would be – when someone thought to check my group B strep status, which had only been tested about a week ago, and I had never been notified of any results. I suppose I would have been at my next antenatal appointment, scheduled for a few days’ time. When they discovered that the swab had come back positive for group B strep, I knew I was officially in for the long haul as I had to be administered IV antibiotics every 4 hours until baby was born.

So once the hospital finally found someone who could place my cannula – apparently I was particularly difficult, with deep veins plus the edema that I was now experiencing in my whole body, I settled in to wait for an induction of labour as the hospital didn’t want my waters to remain broken with no baby for too long and a positive GBS swab. At 11am, the midwife came in to tell me that in a few minutes someone would be in to start the syntocinon drip (pitocin to all those in the US). A few minutes turned into a few hours, and by 5pm with no drip yet, my contractions had definitely started all on their own. Meanwhile it had taken me all day to even get a hold of a pillow for myself (can you tell why I might have ended up with such a traumatic birth?).¬†labour1

Early labour went pretty much as I had expected, and with the support of my wonderful husband, I thought everything was going very smoothly, but by 11pm or so I was requesting an epidural with some degree of insistence. I had been checked around 7 or 8pm, and been found to be at about 4cm dilated, so I was of the belief that the staff would be OK with me getting an epidural, however they continued to try to stall me. The doctor who performed my internal to determine that I was about 4cm was very brusque, rough and caused me a lot of pain, and he is the one who kept telling the midwives I couldn’t have an epidural yet. I was VERY firm in not wanting to see him again.

First I was given some type of tablet for pain relief and another to “help me rest”. This only really took off the edge, and I most certainly wasn’t sleeping. By perhaps 2am (the details are already becoming so fuzzy), I was vomiting and shaking and seriously not coping with the pain again, so I again started asking for an epidural and again being told it was “Still too early” because it was my first baby, so I couldn’t possibly have progressed very far. So I was given a morphine injection, the only result of which for me was some dizziness and next to no pain relief.

By the time 5am rolled around, I was very much not coping with the pain and my contractions were only around a minute apart, and lasting for close to that whole minute. I was getting one strong one, a longer gap and then two weaker ones right on top of one another in a repeating pattern, a pattern which I was later told is common in women labouring with posterior babies. The midwives FINALLY agreed to getting the anaesthetist to administer my epidural and in the meantime offered me nitrous oxide gas. The nitrous oxide, while not providing much pain relief, gave me a much needed focal point, allowing me to get through a bit more. It did take off an edge, but made me very uncomfortably dizzy and my voice very manly and deep, which made my husband laugh to no end.

At 6 am, 13 hours after I was considered officially in labour, I finally got my epidural. It took five attempts to place correctly, as the anaesthetist had to try to place it in between contractions Рand there was not much time at all Рand he said my epidural space was very deep, almost too deep to reach. He told me that the needle to place the epidural is 8cm long and my epidural space was 8cm in, so it was quite difficult to place, the most difficult he had placed in a long time, he says. While placing the epidural, he got quite frustrated with my midwife for not listening to me sooner about wanting an epidural as he suspected I may be at least 8cm dilated. labour2

In my case, it was lucky that my progress had not been checked before the epidural was placed, since if I had been checked, I would not have been allowed the epidural. As the anaethetist had suspected, I was dilated to 8cm and was transitional. Luckily, within two contractions of the epidural being placed, I was blessedly no longer feeling anything to do with the contractions but could still move my legs and feet around pretty well. I had a catheter placed, and settled in to wait. No sleep was to be had, but at least I was able to rest.

I had written out the entire birth story in one post, but it was simply too long, so I think that here might be a good place to break – part 2 will be coming very soon!

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Daily Prompt: Good Tidings

Ten years ago, I was a very different 15 year old girl to the 25 year old woman I have become.  I was a shy, nerdy bookworm who was just discovering performing and had really only just made some friends for the first time. I was a musician through and through and basically my whole life was year 9 at high school.

Today, I am many different things – but most of those things are different to what I was ten years ago. I am a young woman, married (which alone, my fifteen year old self would never believe), with a beautiful baby. I no longer define myself by my academic success or what my next piece of music might be, but rather by how happy my day has been, how many times I have seen that bright baby smile grace my day.

The daily prompt¬†today asks us to tell our ten-years-ago self three things about our lives that we have to look forward to, and I feel like this prompt couldn’t come at a better time! The most challenging, rewarding and fun things for me – and for my fifteen year old self – to look forward to in life are very much all the same thing to me at this point in my life, and can be summed up in one word: parenting.

I am mum to the most gorgeous 4 month old baby girl in the world (in my biased opinion) and it is all at once the most challenging, fun and rewarding thing I have ever done.

Every day, being a mum is a challenge in a new and different way. Right now, the challenge is in teething, and sleep. Baby girl is uncomfortable and sore and as such is not sleeping. Really at all. Unless she is held, therefore hubby and I are spending a LOT of time lying on the couch with the little princess. Every day is a challenge because I am never sure that any decision I make is the right one, and I second guess myself at every turn, and every second that passes. I think in the end, all parents are just doing their best and making it up as they go, and that brings me some comfort.

It is the most fun thing ever, because I get to spend my days singing and playing and making up new games to play with my baby. It is the most fun experience because I get to see a gorgeous little smile and hear a musical laugh every single day, and it makes all of the challenging moments worthwhile.

It is the most rewarding job on the planet, because every day I see an amazing little person emerging and becoming her own self, with her own personality. Every day, she grows and changes and I get to help her discover the world for the first time.

If I had a chance to sit down with my fifteen year old self, I would tell her all of these things because right now, at this point in her life, she is pretty scared that she won’t ever come to anything. She is stuck on the idea that she has to be¬†something.¬†something bigger than she actually wants to be. She thinks her life has to be all about books and words and having it all. She is scared she will be the lonely bookworm forever, and I wish so much that I could tell her it will all turn around and that in ten short years, she will have the most incredible life – nothing like she has dreamed – that she could imagine.

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Back again, Hopefully to stay (?)

It has been so so so so long since I posted, yet again. Last time I posted, I believe I was about 19 weeks into my pregnancy and about to find out baby’s gender. ¬†Now, I have the most beautiful 4 month old baby on the PLANET, and my life has changed in the most unbelievable ways.

I want to make a bunch of updates, but it’s far far far too much to put into a single post so for now, I’ll write just the most important stuff, perhaps just some of the rest of my pregnancy and then my next post might be the birth story which I have been just dying to share, but only now feeling ready to talk about, since it was such a traumatic experience for me – and baby – unfortunately.

As at the last post, I was going to find out baby’s gender in the next few days or week, and I was so so excited. ¬†Ever since I was a little girl, I “knew” that my first baby was going to be a girl, and when I became pregnant that feeling only intensified. Up until I found out the gender though, I tried to make sure not to get my hopes up as of course I would love whoever arrived in my arms, as long as he or she was healthy and happy. As we drew closer to the exciting day of the ultrasound, I had myself almost utterly convinced that I was having a little boy, and my husband and I even had a name picked out for our future son while we were very up in the air about girl names.

On the day of the scan I drank my mandatory 1.5L of water and we drove to the clinic half an hour away. When we were told that the tech was running about 45 minutes late, I was a little beside myself – I don’t know how I made it that long without wetting myself. The scan went very well, although bub was measuring a little early at this point, and as such they had a little trouble getting all of the pictures they needed. I tried not to be too pushy about the gender, but I think I still asked…oh, maybe 4 or 5 times? At the end, the tech told me that she was 98% sure that baby was a girl, and I was so shocked and happy, and excited all at once, I think I was floating for about a week afterwards.

That day we bought our very first baby outfit and made our little facebook gender announcement. Ironically, the onesie we bought that day, baby girl G never wore once, we ended up with SO MUCH stuff for her!

I had a wonderful pregnancy for the most part, however ended up finishing work a month earlier than I had planned when I developed severe SPD. I battled through for a few weeks but ended up stopping work at about 32 weeks, when I started not only having a lot of trouble with SPD but having consistent, painful braxton hicks contractions as soon as I was on my feet for any longer than about an hour at a time.

So much else happened throughout the course of my pregnancy, and I really wish I had kept blogging throughout so that I could have everything documented but I know now that if I tried to write about it all, it would be a huge convoluted mess, so I won’t even try – I’ll skip from here to the labour and birth story, which begins at 37 weeks and 4 days. But first I’ll share a couple of pregnancy photos – I couldn’t resist!

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18 Weeks and This Week is The Week!

So today I am 18 weeks and 2 days pregnant and of course, managed NOT to post every day as I wanted to (I know, BAD blogger!). ¬†But I’m going to press on and this time not make any promises to myself about “posting every day” or any such nonsense. ¬†I love blogging, but as we all know, life tends to get in the way at the best of times!

Since my post at…15 weeks (has it really been that long already?) I feel like not much in terms of my pregnancy has changed. ¬†I mean, I’m used to reading all these weekly pregnancy blog posts where people seem to be experiencing new and different and exciting things every week. ¬†But really, I feel like really, not a lot is changing for me. Sure, hubby and I got the bargain of a lifetime in a furniture clearance – a cot (crib for the Americans out there?) which converts to a toddler bed for just $99 (way less than half price!), and we found somewhere to buy a mattress for the cradle we are using which I slept in as a baby, which shouldn’t have been as difficult as it was but I suppose it must not be a standard size any more. ¬†But major pregnancy stuff? ¬†I thought I was feeling the baby moving a bit for a while there but now I’m not so sure. ¬†I’m definitely wearing out more easily when I work a full day at work (the 10 hour shifts are a little rough, especially standing all day), and I get funny aches and pains in my tummy. ¬†But I don’t know. ¬†I thought stuff was supposed to change and shift faster than this. ¬†

I think I’m lucky though. ¬†There are two other girls at work expecting babies, and we’re roughly due within about a month of each other, and these two girls seem to be doing it tougher than I am. ¬†So I must be lucky. ¬†Pregnancy really hasn’t thrown anything too tough to handle at me so far – knock on wood! I would really REALLY like to feel baby moving a bit more soon though. ¬†Most ladies seem to feel their little ones start moving around this point, right? ¬†Though since I’m a bit bigger, and also since the u/s tech said the placenta seems to be anterior (at 13 weeks), maybe it will still be a while. ¬†We shall see.

The exciting thing for this week is that I’m going for my anatomy scan, which means – unless bubs doesn’t cooperate – I should be able to find out if baby is a boy or a girl. ¬†And once we know, I know that the crocheting hooks are going to start getting a workout (whatever would I do if I wasn’t having a winter baby?). ¬†I am super excited to find out.

I’m also feeling a bit ashamed to admit that I kind of hope baby is a girl. ¬†Of course I will love whoever shows up — of course! But I suppose I always imagined myself having a little girl first. ¬†I feel like it’s kind of tradition – I am an oldest daughter, my mum is an oldest daughter, my nanna is an oldest daughter, and so was my great grandmother! I know that you’re supposed to say that as long as baby is healthy and happy, it doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl. ¬†And truly, it doesn’t. ¬†But a part of me¬†really¬†wants that little girl. ¬†

In two days I go for that scan. ¬†And I know that whether I come out knowing that I am growing my baby girl or my baby boy, I’ll be the happiest mum-to-be on the planet. ¬†And until then, I’ll keep wondering and being excited, and scared, and nervous, and looking forward to the life changing moment when I can call my baby my son or my daughter!

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10 Gender Prediction Old Wives Tales

In just a few weeks’ time, I’ll be able to find out (hopefully!) if the baby growing inside me is a boy or a girl. ¬†And call me silly, but I just don’t know if I can wait that long! Not knowing is just about killing me, so I thought it might be fun to google a bunch of the old wives’ tales that are supposed to predict the gender of your unborn child and see if any kind of trend emerged – and then see in a few weeks if it’s right or not!

1.One of the first tales I heard was about baby’s heart rate. This one suggests that if your baby’s heart rate is under 140bpm it’s a boy and if it’s over 140bpm it’s a girl. ¬†I don’t know about this one, since I know for sure that all babies’ heart rates will fluctuate pretty wildly, but it’s a bit of fun. ¬†According to this one, baby is a¬†girl with a heart rate of 152 at the ultrasound that I have had so far.

2. Morning sickness. ¬†Apparently if you have morning sickness, you’re having a little girl, but if you haven’t been hit with it, you’re carrying a little boy. ¬†According to this one, baby is a¬†boy. ¬†I was very lucky on the morning sickness front!

3. Breasts РAccording to this wives tale, if your left breast is larger, you are having a girl, and if your right is larger, you are having a boy.  By this test, my bub should be a girl.

4. Which side do you sleep on? – If it’s the left, ¬†baby is a boy. ¬†If it’s the right, baby is a girl. ¬†I don’t know what happens if you flip around, or sleep on your back!! Mostly I tend to sleep on my right hand side (I think this is really because my right ear is the one I can hear out of, so if I sleep on that one I’m less easily disturbed) so it should be a¬†girl!

5. According to the mayans, baby’s gender can be predicted by the year of conception and the mother’s age at conception. ¬†If both numbers are either odd or even, it’s a girl, and if one number is odd and the other ids even, it’s a boy. ¬†If this is true, baby is a¬†boy!

6. The traditional chinese birth chart. ¬†This one uses the mother’s age at conception and the month of conception to predict the gender. ¬†Here’s¬†a link to one if you’d like to try it for yourself! For me it predicts a baby¬†girl.¬†

7. If someone asks you to show you their hands, if you present them palms up, you’re expecting a girl. ¬†Palms down, a boy. ¬†For me – judging by my instinct – I would be expecting a¬†girl.

8. If you dream about your baby being a girl, your baby will actually be a boy. ¬†And if you dream of it being a boy, then it will be a girl. ¬†But what happens when my crazy dreams have me breast feeding a¬†kitten???? For this one, it’s¬†unknown.

9. If your areolas have darkened during pregnancy, you are having a boy, and if not, it’s said to be a girl. ¬†So far for me, that would mean I was having a¬†girl, but I suppose that still has plenty of time to change!

10. Cravings – if you crave salty/savoury foods, then bubs is a boy, and if you crave sweet foods, then bub is a girl. ¬†I’m not sure where this leaves me. ¬†I have craved both salty and sweet at different times, and occasionally together. ¬†Most often though, I’ve been craving salty so I will go with¬†boy.

So the outcome of this lot of old wives’ tales? ¬†3 say boy, 6 say girl, and the remaining one is undecided. ¬†My initial feeling was that baby would be a girl, which then swung the other way, and now I just don’t know! Only the ultrasound in a few weeks’ time will be able to tell us with any certainty!

What do the old wives tales tell you? ¬†What are some other fun old wives’ tales to try?

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Not The Best Day

I’ve been gone for a couple of days because life has turned crazy – yet again. ¬†I was supposed to work a ten hour shift on Sunday, but within two minutes of getting onto my lunch break (before I even had time for a bathroom break, may I add), I got the most terrifying phone call of my life. ¬†It was my husband, and I couldn’t understand anything he was saying. ¬†He could barely string two words together, and the only word I can think of is terrifying. ¬†I had never heard him like this. ¬†He is always the calm, cool and collected one. ¬†If anyone is going to panic in a situation, it’s going to be me. ¬†So to hear him so shaken, so scared, so incoherent, was something I never expected, and certainly never thought I was going to hear. ¬†And then he managed to get a sentence out. ¬†

“I’ve had a car accident. ¬†It’s bad. ¬†The car is written off. ¬†Come and get me the f*** out of here”. ¬†Well, ¬†a couple of sentences. ¬†My heart stopped. ¬†I ran back into my workplace and told them I was leaving and I didn’t think I’d be back for the day. ¬†I raced out of the building and to my car, ready to leave. ¬†At which point I realised that I had no idea where my husband was. ¬†I asked him when he rang me but I don’t think he really heard. ¬†I rang him again and again, but I think at this point the EMT’s might have been checking him out. ¬†

I was in such a state of panic I rang my parents, hoping they might be closer to where he was – he was on his way to work and we only live a few minutes’ drive from my parents. ¬†I managed to reach their mobile, and they headed out to look for my husband while I kept trying to reach him. ¬†Eventually I got onto him, and found out where he was and headed to the scene. ¬†

A very tense half hour’s drive later, I arrived. ¬†It was a moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget. ¬†Police cars stopped, lights flashing. Firefighters on the road, directing traffic, clearing mess, hoses at the ready. ¬†Ambulance parked, doors open. ¬†Traffic cones spread out across the highway. ¬†Tow trucks at the ready to haul the cars away (though it turns out only my husband’s car was damaged to the point of no return). ¬†It was like a scene from a movie and I had no idea what was happening. ¬†As I ran from my car, I realised that my parents were already there, and I calmed significantly upon seeing my husband apparently not doing too badly, giving his side of the story to a police officer. ¬†I spent some time there just waiting and taking it in. ¬†

It was only when I saw the car that I realised just how lucky we were that my husband is still with us, that the accident didn’t take his life. The passenger side of his car was crumpled. ¬†The windscreen shattered, one wheel hanging off and flattened. ¬†The gearbox seized between two gears and parts of the engine were spilling out of the wreckage in all directions. ¬†My husband says he was in the right hand land (Australia, remember!) overtaking a car when he came up to another car which was going slowly. ¬†As he approached the back corner of this car, it turned across his lane as if it was going to do a U-turn (across four lanes, without indicating, on double lines, I might add). ¬†My ¬†husband could not slow down or stop in time – he was in a 100km an hour zone, travelling close to the speed limit. ¬†His car hit the side of the other car at full speed. ¬†It spun and slid across the road, landing in the traffic going in the other direction. ¬†I feel so lucky to still have my husband, and so lucky that my baby will still have his or her father. ¬†

We are also lucky that the car behind my husband was our next door neighbour, who stopped and stayed with my husband until help arrived, left her phone number, and agreed to speak with the police as a witness. ¬†She says it was clear that the car in front of my husband hadn’t indicated and basically that what happened couldn’t have been my husband’s fault – that it was irresponsible and negligent driving on the part of the driver in front. ¬†I only hope that the police see it our way. ¬†We’re still waiting on a ruling on who was at fault.

We might only have one car to get us around now. ¬†Which is tricky, since we both work a half hour commute from home, with no public transport available. ¬†We might have some fines to deal with. ¬†I don’t know. ¬†But I do know that I will never take for granted again that other drivers on the road will be doing the right thing if I am. ¬†I know that I will never take for granted the fact that my husband is here with me. ¬†I will never take for granted the fact that my baby has his or her father in their life. ¬†I will appreciate every moment that we have. ¬†Maybe I haven’t written the most thrilling or exciting blog post ever written, but I have made some pretty important realisations in my life. ¬†And I think that’s maybe a lot more important than writing the best blog on earth.¬†

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Pregnancy Musings at 15 Weeks

Since this is the first week that I am blogging since getting pregnant, I suppose I have some catching up to do.

We found out on the 6th of November, I was around about 6 weeks along but I had been suspecting for a little while for a few reasons – Firstly, my boobs had grown and were really sore – something that never happens to me, ever. ¬†Before a period or otherwise. ¬†Secondly, my period was late. ¬†It was day 46 of my cycle when I finally broke down and tested. ¬†BUT the previous month’s cycle was 43 days long, so I don’t think this was too far out of range. ¬†Though I wonder if the previous month may have actually been a chemical pregnancy. ¬†But that’s neither here nor there. ¬†I was unreasonably tired. ¬†And – and this may have been my biggest hint – I just had a “feeling”.

It was a terrifying day. ¬†As much as I wanted a baby, I also knew that this probably wasn’t the best time for us, in all practicality. ¬†My husband and I spent that day just scared out of our minds. ¬†And we stayed that way for a long time. ¬†Gradually, the fear has been giving way to excitement, and there has definitely always been happiness!

My first trimester was pretty good – I was very lucky as far as symptoms go. ¬†I had next to no morning sickness, and I just kept on waiting for it! ¬†I was however incredibly tired. ¬†ALL. THE. TIME. ¬†My breasts HURT. ¬†Lots. ¬†And grew – by 8 weeks I was up at least a cup size, and soon I only had one bra that even¬†kind of¬†fit. ¬†I had a BUNCH of hot flashes. ¬†It’s summer here, so it’s already hot, but even on mild days, I literally felt like my face was burning off, and I was dizzy and just felt horrible with that. ¬†And something I really wasn’t expecting was the low blood pressure. ¬†My blood pressure has always been on the low side, but once I was pregnant, I found that if I stood still for more than a few minutes, especially if I hadn’t had something to eat or drink for a while, I would get super, super dizzy, lightheaded, start seeing spots and just be sure I was going to pass out. ¬†As long as I was well hydrated and kept moving I was ok!

This trimester, I have really not had a huge change in symptoms. ¬†I was SO looking forward to that boost in energy but so far it has remained elusive. ¬†Seriously. ¬†It’s all lies. ¬†I go to work, I come home, I collapse on the couch because I seriously cannot go on. ¬†I’m asleep every night by 9. ¬†And I can sleep in until 9 or later the next morning given opportunity. ¬†And I will still be tired. ¬†I’m calling BS on the second trimester energy burst, at least for me.

Since I have come into the second trimester, I have found my skin is starting to break out, although I really thought that was supposed to be clearing up by now.

Baby brain is a very very very real thing. ¬†I’m finding that especially at work, things are just slipping my mind that really shouldn’t be. ¬†The other day I asked someone where the stapler was. ¬†It was IN MY HAND. ¬†They must have thought I was crazy. ¬†It’s not very good!

Just in the last few nights I’ve found myself not sleeping well. ¬†I don’t really know why. ¬†It isn’t like I’m too hot, too cold, uncomfortable or anything like that. ¬†I just can’t sleep. ¬†Very strange.

I feel like I’m being so negative, but I suppose the biggest positive is that other than those few things I’ve mentioned, I really feel completely normal. ¬†My husband is being so supportive and helpful. ¬†I love him a lot!! He is just fantastic.

And – I know it’s super early – but yesterday, my parents pulled the cradle I slept in out of the roof for us so as soon as I get T to put that together I’ll post photos! ¬†We still have to buy a mattress, I think it might not be a standard size any more, but we’ll work it out. ¬†It’s so exciting! ¬†And not that long until we can find out if it’s a boy or girl! It really is all super exciting!!

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Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now

I am promising myself I will get back into blogging Рit is a resolution of mine.  Not necessarily for the new year, or for any particular reason other than I need something to focus myself on and to continue to express myself in a way that is meaningful to me, if not to anyone else.

That’s why I am writing this post in response to the daily prompt: Write here, write now. ¬†It’s a challenge to myself: I will write every day, ¬†something new. ¬†Something that makes me think or reflect or that interests me.

Right now, my life is in a place of great change. ¬†I feel scared, excited, lost, terrified. ¬†I have no direction, and yet a whole new direction. ¬†I am scared that I will be a bad mother, that I can’t make the right decisions for a whole new person who is completely dependent on me. ¬†I feel terribly selfish because I am afraid that in this whole process of making someone else, that I might lose myself.

I already love my baby – in an intellectual kind of way – I know that I want the best for him or her, and that I don’t want anything bad to ever happen to him or her. ¬†But I also feel as though I am a bad parent for not already feeling that deep, instinctive connection and love for my child that so many parents say that they can feel as soon as they see that first scan or hear his or her little heart beating.

Now – completely unrelated – I’m also not sure that I am following this prompt quite correctly. ¬†But to be honest, I don’t think I care all that much. ¬†I am writing, and I am feeling and I am expressing something that I have been afraid to express aloud. ¬†And I think that that is one of the most important parts of blogging for me. ¬†Connecting with myself. ¬†And hopefully, someone else out there can relate and maybe feels some of the same things. ¬†And maybe, just maybe, they feel a little bit less alone now. ¬†I know I do.

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