Monday, June 30, 2014

40 plus five equals monitoring

Monitoring looks like this, from my perspective. It takes about 20 minutes (or 30 if they don't seem to need the bed), and may involve sipping of ice water and a midwife poking around the grub's bottom for a reaction. 
Two monitors strapped to belly, one for her heartbeat and one for my contractions. 
Afterwards, reassured, the sun shining, I walked. And walked.

Just what I like to hear. 
I walked down Grattan, feeling great, through Fitzroy, along Smith Street, feeling tired, slowing, chatted with midwife about results, reached the city again and resolved to make it to Mr Close for a hot chocolate. Made it. Then to Evelyn Faye to buy bergamot oil for my labouring but it was out of stock. On to Magnation to get Vanity Fair. Then a train home. A seven kilometre walk.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

40 plus dancing

  • Wednesday due date and Thai dinner
  • Thursday pregnancy massage (with thanks to my team for the voucher!) and two km walk to-from massage. 
  • Friday manicure, pedicure and eyelash tint (in case that's what she was waiting for). 
  • Saturday a visit to the nut shop for more supplies (they were shocked-shocked!- to see me again) more Thai

Middle Fish long lunch with chili sauces, weird service and sweet roti dessert. 
Been cooking and making in the kitchen, tried out two recipes for date energy/protein treats for Charlie, had success with a chia and pomegranate pudding (one in the freezer earmarked for hospital bag).

Last night I got worried about her lack of movement. She's never been a kicker; more of a squirmer with occasional hiccups. We monitored, she eventually complied. This afternoon Charlie pulled out his guitar and we were treated to thirty minutes of dancing from the lil grub. It was amazing.

Mountain Goats home concert

Thursday, June 26, 2014

40 weeks and counting

Not sure how I feel about the roman numerals for this update 
The due date came and went. We had another long, sometimes perplexing, but in the end reassuring appointment at the hospital yesterday. Perhaps some files were mixed up last week, who knows, but I was asked to have extra monitoring, and a check of the fluid to see that the placenta and lil one are ok. All ok. So back home until Monday for another 'post-dates' monitoring. I'm trying not to read too much about inductions lest I lose my calm.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The little one

Tiny dress, made by Ma for me
Many calls to check on us. Let's see what the 4pm midwife appointment brings.

I slept ok, my body is being good to us, or so it feels. Had perhaps final acupuncture yesterday. Was worried I might be in labour or wiped out so wasn't sure if I should plan a driver from the appointment, but I was fine, stopped and grocery shopped on the way home and then made apple and rhubarb crumble upon return. Then watched Game of Thrones and saw a demon born. Agh.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

39 weeks

That's a bump
Started getting calls... A few days to go... Started reading Birth Skills... Off to second acupuncture session. Fighting a head cold. In love. Charlie tied my shoelaces today.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Maybe it was after the acupuncture. Maybe it's just time. But it feels like a new phase. Physically and mentally different.

Gifts for her displayed in the ballroom light
It's been a long week. A long few days. At Wednesday's appointment with the Cosmos, I mentioned the little one's movements were not that obvious to me. So we got hooked up to some monitoring and had a scan. The waiting and the consultations and monitoring took the afternoon. Although the upshot was positive, it was a draining process, I was exhausted and emotionally drained.

Then there is some restructure business going on at work, terrible timing. The smart advice is to stay out and think about work sometime on 1 June 2015 when I head back from leave.

I've continued with Evening Primrose oil tablets, three per day. And just started yesterday on Raspberry Leaf tea. Does it make any difference? Would it happen anyway? It feels different now. This morning I had episodes of contractions and movement that lasted minutes and then repeated 1-2 hours later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sweet parade

A package addressed to Lil Stevie
I could begin a collection of posts of the gorgeous knitted things this little one has already received. 

This precious piece was crafted by a dear friend and huge talent, and addressed directly to the as yet unnamed and unseen little one. I think she'll look quite fetching in it. 

My first ever acupuncture session was slightly baffling and definitely made me feel dopey. Is that normal? 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

38 weeks and 4 days

Technically closer to 39 weeks now! 
Picked up TENS machine, was gifted a microwave, Mum gave me beautiful knitted goods (and chilis, and rhubarb!), still reading To Kill a Mockingbird, made first batch of soup and have booked in acupuncture. Gave my brother the #best t-shirt. Went to final pre-natal yoga.

And further rearranging of the ballroom nursery.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Today I wore myself out.

Last night was the 'Meet the Midwife' session at the hospital. Bring a plate and gather with the other women 'due' in your month and chat with the four midwives in our Cosmos team. We were supposed to go last month but the date didn't work so instead we went in with the July crew. That meant I had the most advanced pregnancy. The message was clear: my baby is term, and I should get ready.

The reasoning is sound: I don't want a medical induction, therefore, do all I can to naturally induce labour from this point forward. Fine, but I had some plans for the next two weeks...

On the way home from the hospital we bought Evening Primrose Oil capsules. The other natural induction tips the Cosmos suggested were:

  • Swimming
  • Walking up stairs
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Spicy food and emptying bladder and bowels often
  • Clary Sage inhalation or application to pressure points
  • Acupuncture
  • Not worrying about your due date!

I took the Evening Primrose last night, with my Vegemite sandwich, and slept well, until woken at 4am by what I can now recognise as Braxton Hicks. They came in an episode, lasting until Charlie's alarm went off. It certainly made the birthing seem much closer than it had a day ago. I downloaded a contractions tracker app.

Today, though, I got up and headed into town to rally against the budget. I joined Jack and the tradies on the march and felt glad to be there. Now I need a lie down.

Beat the Budget Rally, Melbourne, 12 June

Saturday, June 07, 2014

37 weeks and headed to the hills

Looking and feeling large
So we missed a photo at 36 weeks. Here I am at 37 weeks plus 3 days. Still no weight gain for a month or so, but definitely girth gain! Hospital bag is now packed, and will come to the high country as we go camping this long weekend.

We got the go-ahead from the midwife on Wednesday to go camping, once she established that my mother's labours were not quick. Snow is forecast, it's our 8 year (!) anniversary and the last weekend before gates close in the high country. Excited.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Saffron in situ

First pass at arranging the new chair. I reckon this corner will make me very happy. 

New Boden armchair plus a few favourite things. 

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Yellow chair

37 weeks means term.

It's been a lovely first week of leave, and I'm grateful for the timing.

It started with a holiday feel, going to Queenscliffe on Monday to visit Priceless ladies.

On the walk to Point Lonsdale for a milkshake 
I've slept one night through, the others I have woke between 2-4am, bright and awake. I swing my big body up and out to lie on the sofa and 'research' whatever is the distraction of the minute: how to organise baby clothes? Where do co-sleeping babies take their daytime naps?

Yesterday was a Cosmos appointment and I presented our midwife with a birth plan (given as homework last appointment!). We had questions this time, and it felt like a productive session. A condition of Cosmos was agreeing to the 24-hour maximum hospital stay. I wondered what this meant in practice (somewhat from a hospital-bag-packing perspective: how many undies/pjs are required?). Midwife explained there were two check-outs, 11am and 3pm, depending on when you'd given birth. So a quick stay. The key factor was about a successful start to breastfeeding. We also found out the team is qualified to supervise a waterbirth, so that is an option for me.

After the Cosmos appointment, I walked Charlie back to work and then headed slowly up to my gym. I had a session booked with Fil to take me through a personal training session that was intended to refresh my memory of how to put together a weights session for myself. To start with I was tired but it was so good to go through a gentle session (that I can feel today!) and treat my body to some stretching. A good compliment to yoga.

The big news today was I brought home this sweet yellow chair! I saw it out the window as I cruised Brunswick a few weeks ago, and it had waited for me (and attracted a 15% discount in the meantime...).
Window display at Rodwell and Astor in Blyth Street
It's everything I wanted in a 'nursing chair'. Firm, upright, comfortable, roomy, stylish and yellow (or saffron, as they say).

Monday, June 02, 2014

Day 1 of Leave

Friday was the drawing to the end of a chapter of my life -work- that started perhaps eighteen years ago. The only other break from work I've taken was living in Lithuania January-June 2004.

I've been asked how I'm going to spend these few weeks, what things I have planned. Without much trouble I can see my time cut out for me:

  • Sleep. My slumps have been around 9am and 1pm. Balanced lately by the hour of energy sometime between 2-4am. 
  • Walking. Want to keep mobile!
  • Swimming. Everyone recommends swimming for pregnancy! I haven't done this yet but my plan is to go to Footscray or Altona to paddle in the slow lane and let the little one and my body get the weightlessness benefits. 
  • More Mama Shanti yoga. Hopefully will get in three classes. 
  • Hospital appointments. These now are every week, on Wednesday afternoons, with the Cosmos midwives. 
  • Celebrate our eight (!) year anniversary. 
And then there's the technical, or nesting, or practical stuff:
  • Pack the bag
  • Organise nappies
  • Buy a bedside light
  • Organise bottles
  • Organise breast pump
  • The big job - washing and organising all the tiny clothes, perhaps more broadly known as 'setting up nursery'. Hoping to have a mother-friend come to sit with me for this.   
The party aftermath is captured by the card spread. I love noting the themes of cards. From top left are the birds and elephants... through to baby photos... flowers and wreaths... some pop-out cards and then the bottom row are the homemade cards.  Reading through these is an incredibly warming and eventually overwhelming experience. 

Love parade