Archive for Pregnancy

 

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Making Baby 3 – The Hospital Stay

14 April 2009

I have been very, very lucky with my third pregnancy. The labour was pretty much text book, and there were no complications on my part. Just two small stitches, for those of you who know what that’s about.

When the doctor put Liam in my arms, I was overcome with the joy of meeting my little boy!

But the doctor, who sees babies being born four or five times a week, was carefully watching Liam’s breathing. After about two minutes, he decided that Liam was not breathing quite right, so he took him away from me and connected a blood oxygen monitor to Liam’s tiny foot.

His oxygen levels were a little low, but improved when pure oxygen gas was blown on his face for him to breathe.

They doctor asked me if it was okay with me to put Liam in a plastic box called an infant incubator, where he could be kept warm, and breathe added oxygen, and be monitored by a special nurse. Of course, I wanted to make sure he was getting off to a good start, so I said yes.

Liam in the Infant Incubator
Liam in the incubator. Here, he is about an hour old.

After I had a shower and cleaned up, I went to visit Liam. And about an hour after he was born, he had his first feed. This was another hurdle that can come up for a newborn, that is, if they don’t quite “get” how to attach to the breast for feeding. But I am glad to say that Liam was a natural.

By the next morning, it was quite clear that Liam was just fine, and didn’t need to be in the incubator any more. So we shared a little room all to ourselves. He did just what a perfect baby was supposed to do at this stage – eat and sleep. As a result, I could also pretty much just eat and sleep.

At the end of the first full day, my husband brought Callum and Sean to visit, and they were so excited… for five minutes. After waiting 9 months, they were expecting to meet a super hero, but what they found was a little red lump who didn’t do very much.

Karen, Callum, Sean and Liam
Me, Callum and Sean looking into crib. The boys are underwhelmed.

The novelty of having a new brother wore off very quickly, and then they were more interested in playing with the remote control on the hospital bed: Up. Down. Up. Down. Up. Down. Half way up. Half way down. Back up a little bit. Back down a lot. Argh it drove me crazy!

By the end of the second day, things were so well that I was bored. Nothing was wrong, and I didn’t need any help.

However the last time I had a baby, I developed mastitis (infection in my milk ducts), so I thought it best to stay in hospital till after “my milk came in”.

When you have a baby, your breasts don’t produce milk immediately and instead baby drinks a substance produced by your breasts, called colostrum. It’s kind of like a training course for the baby’s digestive system, with a built in immune system upgrade. Babies are actually getting their calories from their own fat supply, and their weight goes down immediately after birth, not up. It takes 3-4 days for the “milk to come in”.

This is a polite medical way of saying that you wake up one morning, and suddenly, your breasts are doubled in size and have become extremely firm – like melons. This may sound like a miracle, but actually, it can be very, very, VERY painful. The suddenness of this volume of milk can cause problems, and so I had to be hooked up to a milking machine, just like a cow. This provides such a relief from the pain that I don’t mind the humiliation!

The Milking Machine
My milking machine. My good friend.

But, by the fourth morning, my doctor came by and said that I should just go home. Everything was just going so well. So I picked up my new baby, and took him home to start his life with our family.

I am so grateful for such an easy start.

Liam 2 Days Old
Liam looking cute, two days old.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3 – The Birth Story

7 April 2009

It is Saturday morning. My two boys wake up early and play happily in their room, while my husband and I sleep in.

It is a nice slow start to an easy morning. We all have eggs and toast for breakfast, then I sit in the garden, sip a cup of tea and read a book.

I have a phone conversation with an aunt – no, no signs of labour yet. After 40 weeks of waiting, I have given up expecting signs.

11:45am – I suddenly feel a little twinge in my abdomen. It is unlike any other twinge I have felt in the past weeks. It is like a light squeezing in my stomach. It goes away, then it comes back again a few minutes later.

12:00pm – I start to track the twinges. They come every 5 minutes, so I casually mention this to my husband. He starts to pack the car and get the boys ready to go. We make a few phone calls to my mother and the hospital. I move around and gather all my things and re-pack my bag. The twinges don’t hurt at all.

1:00pm – We drive to the hospital. My husband drops me off, then drives to my mother’s house to drop the boys off. I chat happily to the receptionist, and I get the impression that she doesn’t believe I am in labour. To be honest, it doesn’t really feel like I am.

1:30pm – I am taken to a birthing suite, and introduced to a midwife. She spends a considerable amount of time fussing around with her preparations – shuffling paperwork, laying out implements, making sure various machines work, opening packets of this and that. I sit on a chair and watch her.

My contractions are so mild that once again, I’m happily chatting away about the cute little garden courtyard outside the birthing suite.

The midwife hands me a few bits of paper for me to look at. They turn out to be the hospital food menus! She wants me to choose what I’m going to be eating for the next few days!  There is no sense of urgency.

Making Baby 3, The Birth Story
Shall I choose the vegetable lasagna or the… oh wait I’m having a contraction… or the assorted sandwiches?

2:00pm – The midwife does an internal examination, to see how far my cervix has opened up (dilated) . She is pretty surprised – it is already 7cm! Since we only need to have 10 centimeters to get baby out, this is pretty advanced.

The midwife now believes that I am very close to having a baby! She calls the doctor, who says he is coming right in. Suddenly, things are happening. I really AM having a baby!

2:15pm – The midwife wants to establish a baseline for my contractions and baby’s heart rate, while things are “quiet during the labour”. She straps a little metal disc to my belly and shows me how the monitor works. My contractions are still really mild. I’m absolutely fascinated by the machine, and spend ages watching the graph rise and fall with each contraction.

My husband arrives and makes a joke about hoping to have missed the baby arriving. With nothing to do, he looks at the food menu. We both think it’s hilarious that I’m HAVING A BABY and the hospital staff want me to decide on what food I want to eat. It doesn’t seem real.

2:30pm –The doctor arrives. He is wearing sandals, board shorts and a very loud floral print shirt. But hey, this is Australia, and it is the weekend after all. He says I don’t look like I am having a baby, and we banter about how convenient it is to have a baby on a Saturday afternoon (as opposed to a midweek 4am delivery). I don’t make any jokes about his shirt.

3:00pm – They take me off the monitor, and I pace up and down the birth suite to try and get things going. I occasionally sit on a large rubber ball thing to relieve the weight on my legs and back.

Making Baby 3, The Birth Story
Pfffft, third time around is too easy! Let’s have a fourth!

My contractions still feel like a mild period pain. The doctor asks whether I want to have my “waters broken” – referring to the membrane that holds the fluids and baby within the cervix. This will quickly progress the labour. I say YES! The doctor uses a special little tool to break my waters.

3:30pm – About half an hour after having my waters broken, the contractions are finally starting to hurt. They feel like very strong abdominal cramps now, lasting a minute. I focus on steady and deep breathing through each contraction, which help me significantly.

4.00pm – My cervix is almost fully dilated to 10cm. Each contraction is becoming stronger and stronger, so that I can’t talk. Each contraction is pushing my baby’s head down into my cervix.

4.20pm – The contractions are now so strong that I can’t stand up. I crawl onto the bed, and trying sitting and lying in different positions.

I suddenly feel the urge to push. The doctor checks me, I’m fully dilated.

And just like in the movies, everyone in the room seems to shout out “PUSH!”

I push as hard as I can, and it feels like I am trying to do a VERY large poo.

Each contraction is excruciatingly painful. And pushing is extremely hard work. No wonder they call it LABOUR.

Because I wasn’t completely exhausted by the early part of labour, I am extremely alert and aware of everything that is happening.

The doctor and midwife are with me all the way, encouraging me, and reassuring me that I’m doing a great job and that my baby is okay.

In a room full of experts, my husband has nothing to do, and just watches. At one moment during a push, I catch sight of his face, and it is like he is watching a horror movie. I try to imagine what he is seeing! An entire human being squeezed out of another human being’s bottom!

The pain is so bad that I am screaming out.

4.41pm – I summon one more agonizing push – I feel like I am going to tear myself into two – and the baby’s head pops out. But I can’t sustain the push and his shoulders get stuck.

A few minutes later, I push baby out into the safe hands of the doctor. Within seconds, the doctor puts my baby into my arms.

As I see Liam’s face for the first time, I am overwhelmed, and I cry from joy and exhaustion. It is already worth it, a million times over.

Liam snuffles and grunts, and takes his first breath. Six billion people on the planet have been born like this, but it still seems like magic to me.

Making Baby 3, The Birth Story
My beautiful little boy.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3 – Hello World!

30 March 2009

Baby Liam

Everyone, meet Liam. Liam, meet everyone.

Suddenly, my family will never be the same again. It is exactly how we dreamed it to be.

I am too tired to be ecstatic, but I am glowing with relief, joy and fulfilment.

I have three healthy children. My life is truly blessed.

We are all doing well.

I’ll post up the full birth story as soon as I can.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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How To Get Un-Pregnant

27 March 2009

Karen 40 Weeks Pregnant

It is terribly ironic, that after spending so much time trying to get pregnant, I now really want to be… NOT PREGNANT.

Every mother I meet seems to have a story about how they brought on their labour, or have some entertaining piece of advice they received.

Go for a very long walk.
Go for a very fast walk.
Make love.
Clean the bathroom.
Do some gardening.
Go horse-riding.
Go for a bumpy car ride.
Drink one tablespoon of castor oil. (This will produce diarrhoea, as well as a baby.)
Have a massage.
Eat spicy food.

Well, I’ve tried some of the afore-mentioned things AND STILL NO BABY!

My doctor says that at 40 weeks, I’m doing well, there’s nothing wrong with me, nothing wrong with the baby, everything seems to be going fine – so I have declined to be induced, until absolutely necessary. I guess, as much as I am complaining, I actually want to have as “natural” a birth as possible.

So it’s my own fault really. I have chosen to wait it out!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Week 40 – Now It Hurts

24 March 2009

Okay, I admit it. I made a big mistake. I presumed that since both my previous boys had been born in the 38th week of pregnancy, that the third would be as well.

I am now almost 40 weeks (full term) and the baby still hasn’t arrived!

I have never been THIS pregnant. And it hurts. Literally.

I am getting tighter and heavier by the day. It takes a phenomenal amount of effort to bend down to pick something up. Or to get up from a chair. Or god help me, get up from off the floor!

My butt hurts when I sit. My feet hurt when I stand. My back hurts when I walk.

My baby is kicking me in the lungs and in the stomach. I have nerve tingling sensations in my legs from his head pressing against my spine. Every time he moves, my tummy feels like a balloon being stretched to its limit.

When I go to sleep at night, the pressure of the baby on my organs make it really hard for me to breathe.

callum_bellybutton

My belly button, which is usually a nice deep “inny”,  is pushed out so far that it sticks out of my clothes, like an huge, rude nipple. I have to go to the toilet every 15 minutes because there is no room for my bladder to expand.

My entire family are carrying around mobile phones, waiting for me to ring and say one word – LABOUR! – so they can spring into action.

But it’s not happening. Day after day, I am still very pregnant.

However.

I think worst of all… my biggest mistake is, telling everyone that I was expecting the baby in the 38th week.

Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) I meet, says, “You’re still pregnant?” or “Any news yet?”

It’s driving me crazy!

Where is this baby!?


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Week 39 – Waiting to Pop

19 March 2009

Waiting To Pop


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 38 – My Confession

10 March 2009

Making Baby 3 - My Confession

I have a confession. A sort of announcement.

As you can see from the picture, I am not 23 weeks pregnant. I am 38 weeks… and there are only 40 weeks in a normal pregnancy.

Let me explain.

When my husband and I decided we were going to try to conceive a third child, the question on my mind was: Am I going to share the journey with my readers?

A lot of my readers had asked me why I hadn’t written much more about my previous two pregnancies. And I knew that many people would be interested to know the week by week details.

Also, since this website is based on my life, it was only natural for me to share this amazing life experience.

However, my immediate answer was: No, it was much too personal.

5 years ago, I decided not to share anything about my husband’s battle with cancer, which was happening at the same time as my second pregnancy.

I revealed it all in one, simple, short post after he had recovered.

I have no idea what I would have done if my husband had died, or been crippled.

A part of me wonders if writing about it would have helped me through it, in a therapeutic way.

And looking at it in hindsight, maybe I would have been able to inspire more people if I did.

Who knows. But at the time, keeping it secret was the right thing for me to do. The thought of sharing the day to day details of my life at that time, with thousands of strangers… was daunting and terrifying.

So when it came to Making Baby 3, I still had lots of fears. Fears of failure. Fears of being too real. Fears of sharing things that were very close to my heart. Having the contents of my heart out in the open – open to attacks, ridicule and judgment.

And what if something went wrong along the way? Complications. Invasive procedures. Operations. Miscarriages. Still births.

I guess if something did go wrong, I wanted some time to deal with things personally and privately, before I shared it with the world.

Because on the other hand, a big part of me wanted to share the story. I wanted to put it out there. I wanted to tell others. To let people in. Connect, talk and inspire people on a different level.

So I found a way where I could share my story.

I put a 3 month delay on all my Making Baby 3 posts. Yes, what you have been reading up till now, was written 3 months ago.

Why have I decided to reveal the truth now, before the delivery, if I have gone to so much trouble to keep it delayed?

Well, to be honest, a lot of reasons.

Because everything has gone so well so far with this pregnancy – I’m feeling confident.

Because we had problems getting pregnant, I have had to consider how fortunate I am to be having a third baby.

Because, I guess, that I have matured a lot in the time we have been trying to “Make Baby 3”.

Because I have become a wiser, calmer, stronger person.

And because I wanted to be completely honest with you, my readers.

I hope you understand why I needed to have the delay. I hope you forgive me.

So now, I am currently at 38 weeks.

I am big, and I am heavy! Everything in my pregnancy has been going wonderfully fine and dandy.

Considering that both my other sons were born during my 38th week, I am expecting the baby any day now!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 22 – Going Natural

27 February 2009

I’ve been thinking about the kind of delivery I want to have.

For my first baby, I wanted to do things completely naturally.

I went to a special family birth centre, where there were no doctors – just midwives. This was part of the public health system, which in Australia, is pretty well resourced compared to other countries.

They had an extremely tough screening process to make sure that all admissions were completely low risk. They encouraged the use of aromatherapy, music therapy, hot baths, and pethidine gas as forms of pain relief. All birthing suites looked more like a large, gorgeous hotel suite, rather than a hospital ward. It was a really wonderful set up.

Unfortunately, during the labour, I developed several complications and was rushed to the main public hospital. I had an epidural, I had a natural birth, and I delivered a healthy 3.4kg (7.6 pounds) baby. Total labour time was 15 hours.

After the birth, I started to bleed, and was put on high alert for emergency surgery. I ended up needing a blood transfusion and intensive care. I spent several days hooked up to monitors, drips, urine bags, and all kinds of machines… and I was unable to hold my baby for 3 days.

I spent the next 3 months being sore, very weak, and needing to recover and heal in all kinds of places.

It was certainly not the “natural” experience I was hoping for!

But I was extremely thankful for the doctors and nurses who looked after me, and that despite it all, my baby and I were fine.

For my second baby, we chose an obstetrician who came highly recommended and was extremely supportive of natural births. The hospital was a lovely little private hospital, with a very big price tag. Thank heavens for private insurance!

My second birth was textbook. It took a total of 6 hours. I delivered a 3.6kg (8 pounds) baby, with no drugs, no pain relief, no tearing, no complications. It was all completely natural!

But unlike my first delivery (with an epidural)… THIS TIME I felt every contraction, every spasm, every spine-tingling, bone-rattling, blood-curdling, skin-crawling, knuckle-crunching, debilitating, horrifying, complete shocking pain.

I admit, it took me by surprise.

I wished I could say that I was strong and resilient throughout it all. But I wasn’t.

After 5 hours of it, I broke.

It completely and utterly defeated me, and I wanted to just lay there and die, and let someone else get the baby out. The doctor (who was just wonderful) came in, urged me to try a little bit harder… I pushed, and the hey presto, the baby came out.

My recovery after the birth was amazing. After 2 days, I was bouncing around with no pain, no wounds, no needles, no drips, no sore bits. I felt great!

ANYWAY. So with all that on my mind, I’m wondering whether I want to go completely natural drug-free again, or have the epidural.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 21 – The Anatomy Scan

20 February 2009

Last week, I had my 20 week ultrasound examination, sometimes called the anatomy scan.

This is when they examine the baby’s head, brain, face, lips, heart, stomach, lungs, abdominal wall, kidneys, bladder, spine arms, legs, hands, and feet.

They measure the growth of the baby, the baby’s heart rate, the position of the placenta and amount of amniotic fluid.

Most life-threatening abnormalities can be detected during this scan. And you can find out the sex of the baby.

I was quite tense for a few days leading up to the scan. Probably more tense than I was willing to admit at the time.

I was deeply concerned about my baby’s health – mainly because we conceived using artificial means, with my husband’s frozen sperm, which was gathered when he was quite sick.

There was almost no evidence that cancer, or chemotherapy has a negative effect on a man’s sperm.

So although I tried to be calm and sensible, I could feel the rising anxiety inside me. It made me irritable and emotional. It took all my energy to remain composed on the outside.

For this scan, I had to drink one large glass of water, one hour before arrival. I was a bit annoyed about it, because this was bound to add to my edginess.

I arrived, and there was a long queue. I was getting tense.

There was a slight problem with my referral. Slightly more tense.

I had to sit and wait. More tense!

When it was finally my turn, I lay on the chair while the sonographer did her thing.

My fingers were twisted in a white and pink tangle. My muscles were knotted up. My back was stiff. My neck was tight.

She made some polite chit chat, and then gave a commentary on what she was doing, what parts of the baby she was checking, head circumference, length of legs, heart beat, blood flow, 10 little fingers, perfect little toes…

All is well.

Baby is absolutely perfect.

Did I want to know the baby’s gender?

Yes.

“A boy! Congratulations! You can go to the toilet now.”

So I ran to the toilet. I returned to the sonographer.

I lay back on the chair. And I relaxed.

I realised what had happened. I realised the good news. And I started to cry!

I cried!

All my tensions were released. All my worries, all my anxieties, angst and fears, washed away into a little soggy bit of tissue.

I was so happy. My little baby is perfect. My little baby boy!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 20 – He’s a BOY!

13 February 2009

Making Baby 3 - 20 week ultrasound

Here’s a big happy grin from my newest little boy!

I’M GOING TO HAVE THREE BOYS!!

OMG I’M THRILLED!!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 19 – Girl or Boy?

6 February 2009

When I started writing this series of Making Baby 3, I know I was very openly determined to have a girl.

We tried all kinds of natural methods to increase the chances of conceiving a girl!

Ovulation kits, keeping a temperature chart, Chinese gender charts, Celebrity Daughter Diets, sex positions, sperm care, and even cervical mucus charts!

However, after 7 to 8 months of failed pregnancy attempts, reality hit us. WE JUST WANT A BABY! A healthy, happy baby. We didn’t care whether it was a girl or boy. And so we began artificially assisted reproduction.

And now, pregnant at 19 weeks, in my heart of hearts, it is still true.

I will be so happy if we have a boy! And I will be equally happy if we have a girl!

So next week, I’ll be attending my next ultrasound.

When the nurse asks me whether I want to know the sex of the baby, I’m going to say YES!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 18 – Depression

30 January 2009

These weeks of my pregnancy have been hard. Hard for me. Hard for my family.

It’s difficult to explain and it’s difficult to deal with.

I have read many stories of women with depression. I have a friend who counsels women with depression. And I have heard heart-wrenching stories by friends who are going through depression.

So I feel safe to say that I don’t have “that level of depression”.

What I have does not even compare to the harrowing struggles I have heard.

I know what I have is linked to my pregnancy. I know my body is undergoing all kinds of chemical and hormonal changes and imbalances.

I know I definitely do not experience the full impact of the hormonal illness.

Whatever it is, I have tasted the reality of it, and I am both shocked and shaken.

It’s like I have something evil inside of me. An evil version of me. It knows everything about me. It knows which buttons to push. It knows exactly what to say to make me cry. It brings everything that is good inside me, down.

Some days I am so down, that I am literally paralysed. Paralysed with an overwhelming cocktail of sadness, self-loathing, confusion, uncertainty, insecurity. It’s suffocating and relentless.

At first, I thought I could over come it with positive thinking. Rational thought. Being optimistic. Using the power of the mind. Or simply distracting my mind with something else.

Then I thought, all I had to do was surround myself with happiness. Arrange time with my family. My friends. My favourite places. My favourite music, foods, flowers, chocolates, long strolls at sunset, a manicure, a new dress, some pampering.

That was my surprise: That whatever I did or whatever thought – NOTHING CHANGED IT. NOTHING MADE IT GO AWAY.

Some days, something will trigger it. Someone will say something. Or I will see something.

It might be the tiniest, most insignificant thing – yet it would instantly make me feel unreasonably upset, guilty, sad, or scared.

Someone might mention that my child was a bit small and I would feel guilty that I wasn’t a very good mother. I might see a picture of a gorgeous model and suddenly feel upset that I wasn’t more beautiful. Or I might read the news of a burglary and feel completely terrified that someone was going to break into our house that night.

And these feelings will grow and grow AND GROW until it’s so intense, I’m utterly consumed and I can’t function normally.

Thankfully, all this comes and goes. I might get it for 3 days, then things will be fine for a week. Then it’ll hit for 4 days, and then settle down again.

I’ve learnt how to ride my own depression, knowing fully that these crazy spells will disappear after my pregnancy. I can see the end. I just keep going, one step at a time.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 17 – Baby Movements

24 January 2009

With my first baby, I felt kicking when I was 22 weeks.

With my second baby, it was 20 weeks.

With my third baby, I swear I could feel kicking at 16 weeks.

Most literature on pregnancy describes the feeling of fetal movements to be like: gas, popping bubbles, a tickling sensation, a fluttery feeling in your abdomen.

For me, I would say, baby movement feels like you have an ALIEN IN YOUR STOMACH KICKING THE CRAP OUT OF YOUR BOWELS.

It feels like you have a creature swimming inside you.

Something that is jabbing you in the ribs. Something squeezing against your side. Something pawing at the lining of your tummy. Something head-butting your lungs and bouncing off the walls of your uterus.

It feels alien.

The first time is always the weirdest.

And later, you learn the daily patterns of the movement. It’s always quiet during the day. But the moment you lie down to sleep, the baby throws a party and learns to dance in there.

But you get used to it.

It becomes normal. You learn to expect it. And love it.

In fact, I distinctly remember that it becomes so normal, that AFTER I gave birth, I would actually miss the movements in my belly. My tummy would feel empty and quiet. It was just me in this body.

The party was now elsewhere.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 16 – The Curious Case of the Belly Bump

17 January 2009

I’m not a very big person. I don’t take up much room.

So moments like squeezing between two chairs in a restaurant, or walking between parked cars, or through a semi-closed doorway – DOESN’T usually register in my mind.

Until now!

With an expanding belly, you have to be mindful of the increasing area of your “personal space”.

I find myself bumping into walls, trolleys, tables, chairs, and people!

The other day I had a rather embarrassing moment trying to run through a closing lift door.

I zipped in at the last moment. I knew I could make it, and I probably could have – except for my bump. Sure enough, the lift door closed and went DONK on my belly and it had to reopen. And everyone in the lift rolled their eyes at the eccentric pregnant woman.

And another time, after I parked my car, I opened my door as far as I could (without banging it into the next car), tried to step out, and found myself wedged in my car doorway!

There wasn’t enough room for me to get out! I was pregnant and I was stuck! I had to re-park my car!

Another thing about having a large belly bump, is that people – especially old women – like to talk to you. They like to touch. And press. And ask questions. I don’t mind it that much, but sometimes it gets very irritating, especially if I’m in a hurry.

Children also like to ask questions. “Are you full? Do you have A BABY in your tummy?”

And depending on their level of curiosity and familiarity with Where Babies Comes From, you can often find yourself saying, “Maybe you should go ask your mother!”

Sleeping is another problem.

I usually sleep ON my tummy. It’s the only way I can fall asleep. It gets very problematic when your bump gets so huge that you can’t find a comfortable position to get a good night’s rest. In the end – to your husband’s dismay – you have to use 4 pillows wedged here, propped there, and you look like a tangled whale.

For me, the worse thing about having a large bump, is being treated like an invalid.

People won’t let you carry things. Or push things. Or stand on things. Or even lift things.

The other day, a young man insisted on lifting 8 bags of organic mulch into the boot of my car. Poor guy was getting his uniform so dirty.

And the staff at one restaurant, rearranged the seating in their cafe to make a wide enough pathway for me to get to the toilet!

I guess, it’s probably for the better. And sometimes it’s quite sweet. But I just feel humiliated and self-conscious!

Ah. Perhaps I should just get over it and milk it for what it’s worth.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 15 – The Hormone Roller Coaster

10 January 2009

This pregnancy has been so different from my first two.

Especially when it comes to the effects of my body’s changing hormones.

One day I will be happy. DELIRIOUSLY happy. I will wake up in the morning and I will be literally singing with glee and gladness from my ear lobes to my toes. Everything is wonderful and nothing can go wrong.

I will cook up a storm. I will clean the house from top to bottom. I will take my children to brand new places for brand new adventures. I have all the energy and optimism in the world to face anything!!

Next day I will be anxious. I’m tense. I’m stressed. I worry and I bite my nails. I fret, agonise and lose sleep over the smallest, tiniest details.

What if this happens? What if THAT happens? I better do this, this and this so nothing will go wrong. But what if something ELSE happens? I can’t control anything! What’s wrong with me??

Next day I will be angry. I am frustrated, irritable, easily annoyed, and very short-tempered. I will shout at the children. Snap at my husband. Growl at random people I meet during the day.

My children are doing everything wrong! Why does the toilet have to block up TODAY of all days?? Nothing is going the way I planned!! My blood will boil until I am paralysed by my own rage.

Next day I will be sad. Really, really sad. I am miserable and depressed. Nothing is going right, so I curl up on the couch and cry.

I have no motivation to get up, get dressed, make something to eat, or anything. I have no confidence and not a scrap of self-worth. I just want to lie there and sink into a deep dark hole where no one can find me.

The funny thing is… a big part of my brain knows that these things are NOT NORMAL for me. In my head I KNOW that all this is just the effect of the hormones. Yet there is very little I can do, but manage it all.

My saviors:

My husband. He hugs me and tells me that everything is all right. He doesn’t try to fix things, he just listens to my irrational words and tears, until I talk my way into laughter.

My kids. Even after a long hard day, they cover me and my tummy with hugs and kisses. They know nothing else but to love me because I’m mummy.

My parents. Ready to cook me the most delicious food in the world. Ready to look after the boys and love them and spoil them in a way grandparents can.

My friends. Always there when I need a bit of girly chatter, pampering, long superficial conversations about anything and everything, and loads of female insight.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 14 – What do the other siblings think?

3 January 2009

Callum Painting - My Family

My 5.5year old son did a painting at school. The teachers framed it up and he gave it to me for Christmas.

My heart stopped when I saw it. It was titled “My Family”. Goodness, it was so cute.

It just glowed with that beautiful innocence and plain acceptance, that can only come from a child’s heart – we’re having a baby, and it’s going to be part of our family.

After a few minutes of gushing, my husband teased him – “Hey Callum, what’s that on the ground? Is that a dog? We don’t have a dog!”

“IT’S THE NEW BABY SILLY!” he retorted.

I asked my son why the new baby was wearing RED.

He told me that RED was a boy or a girl colour. And that he’s happy to change the colour when we find out the baby’s gender.

Sean Painting - Mum and Baby

Things are pretty much the same with my younger 3.5yo son. He drew this picture of me, wearing a spotted dress, with a baby in my tummy.

I asked him what happened to my hair. Apparently I have it tied up in a ponytail, so we can’t see it.

My son will talk excitedly about all the stuff he’s going to teach the new baby. How cool and fun it’ll be. How the two big boys will have to talk in baby language so the baby can understand them.

I love it that my kids are so excited about our new life with a new baby. A party of five. I can’t wait!


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 13 – Baby Brain

29 December 2008

I’ve got a serious case of baby brain.

I’ve been doing the STUPIDEST things. I’ve left my credit card with cashiers. Put my keys in the wrong places. Done, and said the dumbest things.

Sometimes when I’m talking to someone, my brain will have a hard time processing the conversation. I can feel it chugging along slowly, stopping, restarting, then push along again. Slowly.

Sometimes I will think of a question, begin to ask it, then realise that I have forgotten my question… so I fumble around with my sentence trying to recover it. Only to then admit that I’ve lost my train of thought. It’s very embarrassing.

But the most problematic setback I’ve found, so far, is being unable to multi-task.

Usually I can juggle at least 4 jobs at once.

I can turn on the washing machine… then while the machine fills up, I can start baking a batch of cookies. On my way back to the laundry, I can defrost dinner from the freezer, throw the rubbish out, swing past my son’s room to help him with something, cut the cookies, throw them into the oven, wipe down the kitchen bench top and dinner table, turn on the sprinklers, hang up the washing, turn off the sprinklers.. etc etc etc.

But with BABY BRAIN… I have to do ONE THING AT A TIME.

I can’t cope with anything more. One task. Then another.

It’s so inefficient. Now I know how it feels to be a man!

If I try to tackle anything more, I’ll mix everything up, and I’ll end up slumped on the floor crying at my own stupidity – like putting a plastic bowl in a hot oven, or pouring fabric softener in the cake mix.

I am absolutely frustrated with myself!

WHERE ARE MY BRAIN CELLS??


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 12 – 1st Trimester Scan

19 December 2008

I can’t believe it’s the end of my first trimester already.

Making Baby 3 - Ultrasound 12 Weeks

My 12 week scan goes really well.

As the doctor rolled the ultrasound wand over my belly, I could see all the bones in the baby’s legs, the form of the arms and roundness of the body.

The images were so clear. I was really amazed.

In fact, I was so amazed by how much detail there was, I asked the two female doctors in the room, “Can you tell the sex of the baby at this stage??”

The doctors perked up and dropped their professional persona, “Officially we can’t. It’s too early to tell. But we love to guess!!”

They chatted on about how they like to place bets based on their combined 30+ years of experience.

They excitedly moved in on the screen, and started mumbling about the angle of the pelvis versus the size of the something, and the width and length of the something else.

One doctor said, “I think it’s a GIRL!”

But the other doctor exclaimed, “NO! It’s definitely a BOY!”

So they argued for a few minutes, each trying to explain their own conclusions, while I laughed, “I bet you guys do this on purpose! Ah what a scam!”

So I left the scan, not caring at all whether the baby was a boy or girl – but deeply reassured that the baby was healthy, strong and growing well.

I’m so excited!


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Making baby 3: Pregnancy Week 11 – Argh! I Need Maternity Clothes!

12 December 2008

I Need Maternity Clothes!As I look back on my two pregnancies, I believe I did something rather silly – I made it my MISSION to spend very little money on maternity clothes.

I wore my usual clothes until they didn’t fit. Then I bought cheap jeans, tops and skirts from Target in a few big sizes.

The result was that I ruined all my usual clothes (they stretched and went all loose in the tummy area) and all the cheap clothes stretched, faded and didn’t last.

So I’m absolutely KICKING MYSELF that I didn’t spend the money in the first place and invest in some nice and proper maternity clothes!

I should have at least bought some stuff in classic styles, basic colours, and some everyday staples, like jeans.

Now it’s 3.5years on and I don’t have anything to wear – especially just normal, everyday clothes. I’m irritated that I have to go spend money on more cheap tops and skirts!

I should have had a little bit more foresight, especially since I knew I was going to have more than one kid!

A few weeks ago I started a hunt for some online maternity shops. I also asked lots of my friends for recommendations. I was looking for maternity boutiques with a great selection of basic wear, or who stocked really nice dresses and evening wear, or sold stuff at really good prices.

I tested out a few boutiques – and I sent lots of stuff back, as I wasn’t crazy about the price, quality or service, thus I wasn’t happy to recommend them on.

But I’ve managed to find a few really great ones too! And over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring them on my site.

So I’m asking any mothers out there, do you know of any great online maternity shops? One that you’d be really happy to recommend?

I’d love to hear from you!

This is me showing off my bump in my “usual clothes”.


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 10 – All Day Sickness

6 December 2008

I don’t have morning sickness. I have the under-represented pregnancy ailment called ALL-DAY SICKNESS.

Ok. I suppose I know some women who throw up 10 times a day, who have to be hospitalised and constantly monitored. My pregnancy is not going that bad.

I just feel terrible all day. And every hour or so , I’ll feel a build up of dizziness, light-headedness, nausea and tiredness.

But I’ve discovered there are lots of things that I can do to make myself feel better – exercise, eating, doing a hands-on project, or dressing-up to go somewhere different. It keeps my mind off feeling sick and somehow it just works.

So I’ve been managing my body and activities like a hawk. I’ve been saying NO to lots of up-coming activities and commitments. I’ve been keeping a light schedule, simple daily goals, and staying far away from things that might make me stressed or emotional.

I’m just completely focused on keeping myself together.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.