31 December 2009

2010 New Year Resolution; 2009 Motherhood Year

I resolve to have a brilliant 2010. I remember reading a quote from someone (probably someone famous) who said that they always try to make the new year better than the last. Well, 2010 doesn't have to work hard to top 2009.

Cowboy is looking at 2009 as a 'bad luck year', but I can't totally agree. Despite the rollercoaster ride with the very steep slopes, is wasn't all bad. Anyone who reads my blog (or can read the side panel) knows of the bad stuff that we experienced this year, so I thought I'd stick to the good stuff; 2009 was my Motherhood year.

In 2009 I committed myself to motherhood. Although I have been a Mother since 2007, it wasn't until I quit my career (after returning part time when Champ was 11 months) that I feel like I really started to savour everything about motherhood. I had always loved Champ; this year I discovered how much I love motherhood too.

I have savoured Champ everyday, marvelling at how he is growing up into such a sensitive, adventurous, intelligent little guy who loves nothing more than making people laugh (and ice-cream). He is the best bits of my life all rolled up and I could not be more honoured to be his mother.

I am looking forward to 2010 as a year where Champ and I will continue to laugh together each day. I am desperately looking forward to 2010 as a year Cowboy and I can make him a big brother.

I hope that all your 2010 dreams come true and that this time next year we will all be looking back on 2010 as possibly the best of our lives.

Happy New Year everyone!

30 December 2009

Too cute

Champ: (Pointing to one picture of Captain Feathersword) Look, Captain Feathersword!
Mummy: Yeah, that is a silhouette of Captain Feathersword, a silhouette.
Champ: Oh, yeah. (Points to another picture of Captain Feathersword) This one dry.

Geddit? Silhouette - wet. This one is dry. Oh he cracks me up! Another day while we were outside planting lettuce seeds:

Mummy: We are planting lettuce for us to eat.
Champ: Oh wow. Go now?
Mummy: Where are we going?
Champ: Letter-box... (grabs seed container) letterbox?

Geddit? This one took me a while...lettuce sounds like letters to him.

The kid is a born comedian, he just doesn't know it yet.

28 December 2009

Hope

So here we are at the 28th December. Turtledove's due date.

When I lost Turtledove I had images of this Christmas being full of pain and sad reminders. It wasn't. I did remember each day during the Christmas period that I 'should' have been heavily pregnant, but as they say, time heals all wounds and the effect wasn't as devastating as I had imagined.

I still long for that baby. I still ache to give Champ as baby brother or sister. But I am not debilitated by the pain of our loss. I am hopeful that one day soon we will deliver a healthy baby and some of those old hurts will heal some more.

Cowboy and I did all we could this month to make that dream a reality. I ovulated Christmas day as predicted, so now we are settled in to the 2 week wait and are hopeful.

I know that a positive pregnancy test next week will not give me the same joy it once would have. What that test will give me will be hope.

I am so ready, and want this with all of my being.

24 December 2009

Sleep; Baby Dancing; Christmas

I can't sleep. My mind just keeps turning. I am very excited to be TTC again. Could pregnancy insomnia have kicked in before I am even pregnant?

I am not even due to ovulate until Christmas day/Boxing Day. Our plan had been to do a few months of the Sheattle's method (for a girl), despite the reduced chance of getting pregnant by not trying during my most fertile days. So we have been actively trying for the past week and last night was supposed to be the last night for this cycle.

However we discussed it last night and decided to give it one last go Christmas Day. I guess we figure that we just want to add to our family with a healthy baby; boy or girl.

So, here's to a Christmas baby.

Merry Christmas everyone!

20 December 2009

Ready Again

I have just been enjoying a cup of tea and reading my latest book during Champ's daytime nap. The main character in the novel has had her heart broken by love many months ago and has now met someone new that she fancies. Her best friend is trying to warn her against him because she can not stand to see this girl's heart being broken again. The main character firms her jaw and decides 'I don't care. I'm ready again. For everything this time.'.

That is exactly how I feel this cycle. I think that part of our decision to wait to TTC until our results were back from the tests after our miscarriages was due to me not being ready to try again.

But now I feel ready again.

I have analysed and analysed everything from by behaviour during my last two pregnancies, what I ate and my general health to the products I use in my house and on my body and any other miscarriage threats I could potentially be exposed to. I think that the time has come to simply try again. I need to trust that my body ended those pregnancies because all was not right and to hope and pray with everything that I have that our next pregnancy will bring us a healthy child.

I am sure that I will spend quite some time worrying throughout my next pregnancy and my heart will be 100% wanting everything to succeed. But I think I will have to trust my body and simply throw myself into it again.

Come what may.

I don't care. I'm ready again. For everything this time.

15 December 2009

Two years!

Two years ago today my life changed forever. Well, I guess it all started 9 or so months before then, but I didn't realise quite how different my new life would be until 5.57 a.m. on 15th December 2007 when my heart flip flopped and I knew I was had fallen into the sort of love that is impossible to reverse.

I didn't realise Champ was a boy until 20 minutes after he was born when Cowboy and I had finally stopped exclaiming over his every little feature and a nurse asked if we had had a boy or a girl. As I snuck a look under the cloth which had materialised to cover us both, I told Cowboy that Champ was a boy. The look in his eyes is one I'll never forget. Good thing too, because he was out of that room in a flash to tell our family that we had a little boy! He was also clearly besotted.

I knew I would love my child, but I didn't realise it would be like falling in love. He is in my every thought and action. He is firmly entwined in my life and always will be.

The other day while watching some TV show, the son challenged the Dad to a show down over the mother's affections. Cowboy commented dryly 'We all know who'll win that challenge, hey son?'. He occasionally makes comments to the effect that I love Champ more than him. I try in actions and in words to show Cowboy that I love him just as much (albeit quite differently) as Champ.

But maybe that is the difference. With Champ I don't have to try to show him. Motherly love is just hard not to show. In every moment there are looks, cuddles and an awareness of each other that is not found in any other relationship. The umbilical cord may have been cut two years ago, but there is a very strong one that I never fail to feel the strong presence of.

The last two years have changed me as a person. Despite the daily trials and tribulations of being the mother of a two year old, I never fail to acknowledge just how lucky I am to be Champ's Mummy, mostly because I get to kiss him any time I like.

11 December 2009

Grumpy

I don't know how I can still manage to be grumpy at this time of year. I have Champ singing 'Jingle Bells', exclaiming at 'Christmas' he spots everywhere and a nicely full social life. But still Grumpy Mummy keeps popping up her ugly head. I have a couple of theories as to why.

It could be because we have finally been given the all clear to TTC and our Christmas babydancing can't come quick enough. I have had really quite mild PMT lately, even Cowboy mentioned to me last month that he hasn't seen my usual pre menstrual grumpiness of late. But this month it is back with avengance. Hopefully for the last time in over 10 months.

Another reason could be that my Turtledove due date is fast approaching. Turtledove was to be a Christmas baby (28th December) and often the sight of all the Christmas decorations act as a reminder of what may have been.

Either way, I hope this grumpiness clears soon. I've calculated the 15/12 as my expected CD1 (Champ's birthday, so it should be easy to remember this cycle) and if it doesn't go away then, there is always the 'trying' part of the cycle to look forward to and by the Turtledove's due date will have passed. Another milestone moment and hopefully another pregnancy started.

So go away Scrooge, you are not invited to our Christmas.

09 December 2009

The Hidden Costs of Children

Sometimes when those cost of having children surveys come out I think they underestimate all the costs. For example:
  • Do they consider the cost of never getting to sit on the toilet in private?
  • Or have a shower in peace?
  • Or the cost of finally having that shower in peace only to find that the silence was due to your toddler pouring your new, expensive, barely used cuticle oil down the sink?
  • Do they consider the cost to your sanity of hearing 'Mummy cuddle?' 87 times per hour?
  • Or the guilt associated with feeling stressed by your most beloved wanting lots of cuddles?
  • Guilt in general has got to rank pretty highly in the hidden costs of having children, but is it quantified?
  • Do they consider the costs to society of having zombified parents roaming the street surviving on less than optimal sleep when their child has but a sniffle through the night?
  • Then you'd have to add the extra dollop of guilt from being put out because your (almost, but not quite) sick child wants to cuddle at 4 a.m. and only Mummy's arms and Mummy's 'angelic' rendition of Brahm's Lullaby will soothe.
  • I haven't even touched on the tedium of play time, the worry over eating habits and discipline routines or the obsession over every little thing your child is/does/doesn't do.
Today I am spent. Can you tell I am having a bad Mummy day? Hopefully we'll return to our regularly scheduled program soon.

05 December 2009

The verdict

I didn't realise how nervous I was about the results of my pregnancy loss tests until I was actually in the waiting room yesterday. I had been telling people all week that I don't know what is better, to hear that there is something (very easily fixable) wrong and we will do this, this and this to fix you asap, or to hear that there is nothing wrong so we can't help you. Then when I was sitting trying to read a book with trembling hands and thoughts zooming at a million miles, waiting for the professor to call my name, I had sudden clarity: it is so much better to hear that there is nothing wrong. Silly to think otherwise, really.

Luckily, after a pretty short wait and a brief reading of my results (which felt like an eternity), the professor said in his quiet, deliberate, monotone way 'The tests show that there is no medical reason to expect that you will not have the family that you desire, sooner rather than later.'.

That means everything is ok, right?

After quite a few more drill-down-to-specifics kinda questions from me he came just a tad short of saying 'just go home and make a baby, lady'. He said that my antibody and hormone levels were 'normal' and whilst he can not tell me that he is 100% confident that our next conception will result in a real live baby, we are entering in to it with the same odds as the rest of the population (approx 3:4).

Good news, right? Then why did I not stop crying for a long time once I made it to the privacy of my car?

I realised that these tests for me were as much a snapshot into what to expect in the future as they were an insight into our recent pregnancy losses. So I cried for Turtledove who was to be born in the next fortnight. And I cried for Muscles who we were so hopeful for. I cried with relief because the results did not say that that my body had actually caused a healthy baby to be miscarried. And I cried because chances are they were just not perfect enough to be born.

Our bodies are amazing the way they know that this potential child is just not healthy enough for this world. But I still cried, because as genetically imperfect as they were, I would have loved them anyway. I would have.

01 December 2009

Happy 100!

Welcome to my 100th post!

At different at different stages this year I may have stopped to think about what I would use my 100th post for:

For a few weeks of the year I may have thought I would use it to say that I am in my final month of pregnancy (with Turtledove) and that I can not wait to not be pregnant and to hold this baby in my arms.

Then later in the year I thought I might use my 100th post to announce that I am entering my third trimester (with Muscles) and am enjoying slowing down and savouring my time as Mummy to just one child.

Once again, of course my plans were squashed and I thought I may use my 100th post to announce the results of my specialist tests which are due this Friday.

But, nah. I decided why wait. I'll use my 100th post to talk about the fun things in life: wees and poos. You see, toilet training has begun in the Lemoncake household. I am about to join the ranks of parents whose every waking moment is centred around the potty. Although Champ has been ready for the potty for some time I bidded my time until summer. Guess what? It's December 1st. We are saying bye-bye to nappies and hello to the world of potties, adorable jocks and loads of accidents, spills and tears.

I'll let you know how we go. So far we have had great success (lots of 'hits' in the potty) and lots of extra washing (lots of 'misses' in front of the tv/toys/something more interesting than bladder movements).

27 November 2009

Tink-oo

Whilst we do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, I have read a number of your posts regarding what you are grateful for and I have watched enough Hollywood movies to have a general idea of what Thanksgiving is all about (tell me, do all children really dress up on stage for a school pageant which provides the opportunity for their parents to have a major life realisation and save their marriage or advert some major catastrophe or is that just the movies?).

Anyway, I hope that what I am grateful for is obvious. I am grateful for my loving husband Cowboy, my adorable chubby cheeked son Champ and for all of my family and friends. Rather than just the obligatory thankfulness post I'll ask a question about offering thanks.

What I wondered is if a 'thank you' get diminished because the thanker repeats 'tink-oo, tink-oo, tink-ooooooo, Mummia!' until the thankee says 'you're welcome, what lovely manners, Champ.'?

I am grateful for Champs good manners, but must I tell him so everytime I pass him his water bottle and receive thanks in return?!

23 November 2009

One year

Yesterday was the first anniversary of my Nan's passing. I remembered it as I was taking my pre-natal vitamin. It was the day of her funeral that I received the delivery of my first box of pre-natal vitamins since I had had Champ. That means it has almost been a year since I decided that I would soon like to expand our family.

A year is a long time and yet not. It has passed without me realising it and yet has been a heartbreakingly long year at times.

When I made the decision to hold off from TTC until our issues are fully investigated I thought that knowing that it would be at least until the new year would make it easier as I wouldn't think about it as much. I was wrong.

These last few weeks I have been plagued with longing to be pregnant again. Longing for a baby. Far from giving me a TTC break, this waiting has brought the issue into the forefront of my every waking moment.

I am almost in my next fertile window. It is almost 2 weeks until our next appointment and that seems an eternity.

I am almost in my next fertile window. And yet I wait.

22 November 2009

Not all doom and gloom

Just to prove I am not all doom and gloom while waiting to be (hopefully) given the all clear to TTC: Merry Christmas to all from Champ!

(I tried to upload a video of Champ playing his little guitar and singing 'Christmas song' and 'Jingle Bells' but it took hours and still failed. I figured my computer skills were more equipped for photo uploads.)


I managed to score a smiling toddler Santa photo through hard work and perseverance. I know that the screaming toddler Santa photos are very cute, but I was after the elusive happy face.

We visited Santa from the moment he set up shop and the first visit I didn't even ask Champ if he wanted to cuddle Santa. I just showed him Santa, we both waved to him; all the while Champ was saying 'No, bye-bye Santa. Bye bye.' Then after a while of waving we both went up to say hello. Mummy shook Santa's hand to show Champ that he was an all round nice guy that Mummy trusts.

Santa gave Champ a little gift and I asked Champ to shake Santa's hand. That he figured he could manage. For the rest of the week all I heard were little stories about 'Shake Santa hand'.

Once I figure he had Santa sorted as a nice guy I asked if he wanted to go back to the shops and give Santa a cuddle. 'Oh yeah, Santa cuddle, shake Santa hand'. So we did. And he did. Getting to ring Santa's bell was the cherry on the cake that scored the smile. Now I keep hearing stories about 'Santa, ring bell.'

17 November 2009

Everyone but me

Everyone in the fecking world is pregnant except me. Even a character in the book I am currently reading (and was enjoying until today) just found out she was expecting.

I am having such strange jealousy though.

I met a girlfriend today who gave birth to her second child 5 weeks ago and I was introduced to her daughter for the first time. She was adorable and my friend was glowing. But I was not jealous.

I met a woman at a party over the weekend who is due on Christmas Eve (2 days before Turtledove's due date). She was big, hot and uncomfortable. And I could not stop staring at her belly with jealousy.

Silly thing to be jealous over really.

13 November 2009

Part of the family

Every day, more and more Champ is becoming part of the family. I know he has been around for nearly two years (oh my, nearly his birthday, must look in to getting invitations out soon) but for a while it has seemed more like Cowboy and I with a baby, rather than a family of three. Lately a few things have changed.

Champ is getting more and more verbal every day. It is insane how fast kids learn. Now when Cowboy and I have conversations in the car, Champ actually listens and pipes up with his own comments, sometimes relevant sometimes not so much (using the word 'learns' can have him babbling on for minutes about visiting the 'worms' in our compost bin).

We have also packed away Champ's highchair (cleaning it up was quite a chore!) and he now sits proudly at the table in his booster chair with Mummy and Daddy. Just as much food gets thrown to the floor but we generally have less of a battle keeping him seated while he eats (and throws) his food. And it's nice. It feels more like a family of three sitting down eating (and throwing) dinner merrily.

It is nice.

11 November 2009

Some days...

Some days, like when I am having a massive Mummy meltdown after having to leave Library story time early because Champ would not stop randomly pushing other kids to the floor (he still hasn't grown out of it and I am very tired of it), I think I might wait until Champ is in school before we try for another baby and then our family will be complete as the four of us.

And then...

Some days, like when Champ and I are bent over, heads together in concentration over his colouring books or a bug he has spotted outside and I reach over to plant a kiss on his head, I think that even if I have five kids it still won't be enough.

07 November 2009

Non-negotiable

My darling boy Champ,

I thought I'd put this in writing so that there will be no doubt as to my meaning. Since you are not yet two years old, and even for a good year after you do turn two, having a nap is a non-negotiable part of the day.

Whilst I do realise that there is much more fun to be had playing in the sunshine, you need to sleep. I know that yesterday you made it through the day without a nap. That was a once off. Your Mummy couldn't stand any more crying, and after two hours of coercing, threatening and almost begging for you to sleep she gave up and we played in your sand pit in the shade with the hose running to cool us off. This will not be repeated.

Nor will the offer of reading quietly alone in your cot. Mummy doesn't like torn books does she?

I know that nap time comes at an unfortunate time - the hottest part of the day. Of course the hot Australian sun beating down on your blinds and the unrelenting stickiness of the day make napping a bit tougher than usual. You need to to get past that and Just Go To Sleep.

You are too young to be 'over' nap time. You need it. I need it. The world is a much happier place when nap time is adhered to. You are simply too young.

Although you are also too young to lie. Lying is quite a complex skill. You need to be able to preempt what someone else will do if you tell the truth and then deliberately say something that will cause the other person to behave in a different way. You are far too young to grasp this. And yet today you lied to me. Today at nap time you told me you had done a poo. You hadn't, had you Champ? When Mummy checked and told you your bottom was clean, you then lied again didn't you, darling boy? You said you needed the potty. But you didn't did you, sweetie?

So, can we please agree that you are 22 months old; you need sleep and you do not lie. The sleep part is the most important, mmkay?

Love always and forever,

Mummy

xxxooo

05 November 2009

Champagne and chilling

I have now had time to digest the news that there will be no baby Lemoncake making in 2009.

Cowboy thinks it is a good thing because 2009 has been so unlucky for us. He thinks we will start afresh in 2010.

My reasoning is different, but I have come to the same conclusion. For more than medical reasons, it is a good idea to wait until the new year to TTC again.

I have my sister's 21st, Champ's 2nd birthday and Christmas in the next couple of months. Not to be pregnant during those times means a) I can drink champagne at my sister's 21st; b) I won't be running to the bathroom constantly to check for spotting during my favourite time of the year; c) I can drink champagne over the silly season.

Overall, it will give me some time and space to relax, not worry about our future children and find a little peace with our 2009 trials.

31 October 2009

The appointment with the Professor

It turns out I need not have been too worried about bringing Champ to the specialist appointment. Not because he behaved like an angel; he didn't.

He ran around yelling 'toot-toot car!' because his keen eyes had spotted a children's play area in the waiting room, then the only thing that would keep him quiet during the appointment were the handful of crackers and 2 muesli bars I had packed to be shared by all of us which were eaten all by Champ in minutes at which time Cowboy escorted him out of the room while I sat and talked with the very serious and softly spoken Professor in peace.

I need not have worried about taking him because the Pregnancy Management Clinic waiting room was the same as the Pregnancy waiting room. Yup. I was waiting for my recurrent miscarriage appointment in a room of approximately 20 women at various stages of pregnancy. The hospital was designed well, no?

Anyway, despite my envious green eyes in the waiting room and Champ's noisy departure the actual appointment went well. After I told the Professor (that's his name because that is how he introduced himself - 'I am professor blah, blah an obstetrician at this hospital' - I can only assume that 'professor' is a higher qualification than 'doctor' for all the pride he took in saying it) our relevant medical history, he asked me what questions I had.

We discussed that no, my in-laws were not correct that Champ being such a heavy baby had stretched my ute to the point of no return; and yes, I was being silly blaming my physical activity (walking) the day before each miscarriage as a cause; and no, my heavy and clotted periods since the second miscarriage were not a concern of retained product despite having not had a D&C either time.

Ok doc, whoops, I mean Professor, you turn. Where to now?

The Professor said that given our 'easy' pregnancy with Champ and given that he is 'normal' (which I wanted to dispute - he is not normal, he is complete and utter perfection, can't you see that Professor?) he is 'cautiously optimistic that we will get the family we want'.

Cautiously optimistic.

He believes that the likely cause of my miscarriages is chance. That my 1:4 came up. Twice. Or my 1:16 came up for all you maths buffs out there.

But then the warning came. Do not pass go, do not collect $100.

He urged me not to succumb to pressure of well meaning family and friends, not to put pressure on myself. That I am young. That Champ is still young. Do not put pressure for this to happen too quickly.

Despite his cautious optimism, we should run blood tests. We should wait for the results. The results won't be back for another 2 weeks. Ok, I say. We'll sit this cycle out. Whoops, his next appointment isn't for another month (my next Cd14). Ok, make that sitting out two cycles. At best. So, no more making babies for the Lemoncakes until New Years Eve.

Here are 15 vials for pathology to fill with bood. Happy New Year!

29 October 2009

Blessings

This evening I was busily getting everything ready for our 'early start' to the pregnancy management clinic tomorrow morning (it's at 9 a.m. in the city - leaving home with enough time to make it through peak hour traffic will mean waking before our precious little miraculously-sleeping-in-regularly-since-daylight-savings-change-over lovely boy).

I was searching our office for all of my relevant medical history: ultrasounds, blood tests, referral letter, etc. but the letter was no where to be found. A more organised woman may have filed all of her miscarriage documents in one place, but not this one. I finally found it between some of Champ's finger paintings and his 2011 pre-school information letter.

It struck right then me how lucky I am to have him. Some women are surviving this battle and worse ones without the help of finger paintings to cheer and distract them. Whilst the thought didn't quite stop me from crying at Muscles' before and after ultrasound images it did make me plant an extra kiss onto Champ's chubby cheek and thank God for my blessings.

23 October 2009

Part of 'The Club'

It looks like I am now part of a club that I never asked to be a member of and wish fervently that didn't exist at all, for anyone to join.

Since my miscarriages this year, whenever people note that I have an 'almost 2 year old' (which I now say rather than trying to remember exactly how many months Champ is) they ask when he is going to become a big brother. Seeing as they feel comfortable enough asking me about my family planning, I feel that they can handle hearing the truth. If not, they wouldn't have asked, surely.

More often than not when I 'out' myself to people I hear in return stories of their (or their sister's/BFF's/boss') miscarriages, struggles to conceive, even once the story of egg donors being the only way the woman could carry a live child to term.

I am now part of 'The Club'. People feel that since I have experienced loss, they are comfortable talking to me about their fertility issues. We talk about their charts this month, how often they 'did it' on the one time they were successful at conception, tell me when they are on CD1 and all they want to do is go home to bed and cry.

I am part of 'The Club'. But I am not. I want to stamp my foot and scream 'I am not joining this stinkin' club! I never asked to be here! I am super fertile!'. But I am part of the club. This time next week I will be at the Pregnancy Management Clinic in a department that specialises in multiple miscarriages.

In a freak of the universe I have no one to babysit Champ that day (people are usually lining up to do it, but this one day everyone is busy). I really don't want to bring him. Not because it will be hard work getting him to refrain from running around and touching everything with his sticky little fingers while I discuss our issues with the doc, not even because I don't know how long we will have to be there and if it will run into his nap time. I don't want to take him because I am worried about upsetting the other women in the waiting room who have also experienced multiple miscarriage and may not have the delight of a toddler to take their minds off the worries of the world.

My Mum's comment on that was 'That's a lovely thought, Red. But that's the way the world is. Those women can't get away from it, or never see little children.'. But maybe it is because I am part of 'The Club' that I can feel so deeply for these other women. Maybe I am part of 'The Club' after all.

20 October 2009

His parent's son

Champ is one of us, he is a Lemoncake through and through. It is enchanting watching certain characteristics he has inherited from both Cowboy and myself emerge in this new little person. I read recently ('The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox' if anyone is interested in a fascinating read) that when we are born we are an anagram of all of our ancestors. I have definitely noticed Cowboy and my initials imprinted in Champ.

For instance, Champ is grumpy when he is hungry, loves television, hot chips, cheese and ice-cream, is a thinker, takes a while to warm up in new social settings and loves his Mummy very much. All traits shared with Cowboy.

Champ also is stunningly attractive, exceptionally intelligent and very quick witted. Just like me. Ok, ok. Maybe we don't know where exactly he got those traits from.

But he is a chatterbox and somewhat of a show off, loves reading and being out and about, craves attention constantly, adores being centre stage, is rather partial to his Daddy and is scared of the butterfly enclosure at the zoo. Just like his Mummy.

There is one little characteristic that must be a throw back from past generations (probably my Grandfather actually), he is a little comedian. Since he was young, if he found something that made everyone in the room laugh he would perform it over and over to get the reaction. Early on it was simply things like rolling his eyes in an imitation of a teenage child upon seeing his parents do something incredibly silly or embarrassing. Lately it has been slapstick comedy.

He will run around calling out, 'yun, yun, yun' ('run, run, run' for those that don't speak 'Champ') and then cry out 'pall' (fall) just as he attempts a little somersault or otherwise crashes to the ground. He will then roll around the floor saying 'Oh no!' basking in the laughter of those around him (or the sigh of his mother who has seen the act more times than I ever asked for).

Somewhat cuter is when he engages in imaginative play by getting teddy to do the act while Champ commentates. When teddy falls and cries 'Oh no!' Champ picks him up and says 'Zaza (Xavier) kiss, all gone' (like the way Mummy's kiss makes Champ's hurts go away).

I'll concede that his streak of kindness comes from his Dad too.

14 October 2009

Sigh

A mother at playgroup who announced her pregnancy the same day I did (Turtledove) delivered a daughter yesterday, Gracie. I love the name.

Sigh.

Another friend showed me her 14 week ultrasound pictures today. We were due the same week (Muscles). I was doing a really good job of not remembering which week I would have been up to too.

Sigh.

I have just over two weeks until we see the specialist. This cycle we are actively preventing pregnancy (given our track record, we really do need to). It seems so counterproductive.

Sigh.

Champ was watching Playschool this week and the presenter asked 'Do you have a little brother or a sister?', he turned to me and said 'Sister, Mummy? Sister?'. I wish.

Sigh.

At playgroup Champ spends most of the time playing in the dollies corner, putting the dolls to bed and pushing them in the pram (the rest of the time he spends in the play kitchen - domesticated little man that he is).

He has really started noticing the little playgroup babies (sisters and brothers of kids his age). Today he was besotted by a 5 month old baby there. As soon as he saw her he started calling 'fia, fia!' to little Sophia. I hadn't even realised he knew her name. Then, all of the session he was watching her and smiling at her, he would hand her toys and pretend to tickle her (we stopped the tickling when he started with a 'squeeze fia's toes' game). He came running to tell me when she fell asleep 'fia sleeping' then when she woke up 'fia wake'. I had to hold back the tears watching him. He will make a great big brother someday, hopefully.

Ok, one more big sigh, then back to getting on with life:

Sigh.

11 October 2009

Mummia

Champ took quite a while to say my name. I distinctly remember that he could say cheese, dada, bird and book before he showed any interest in saying the name of his most loved thing - me! We used to joke that he didn't say my name because he just saw me as an extension of himself, not anything that he would ever need to call - I was already always there.

When he did finally say 'Mumma' I thought I would never get tired of hearing him say my name. I was wrong.

This week, wherever he is, whatever he is doing he randomly calls out 'Mummia!'; he could be happy as Larry (happy guy, that one) playing by himself, not actually needing anything and I still here 'Mummia!'.

Conversations can go like this:

'Mummia!';
'Champ?',
'Mummia.';
'Champ.';
'Mummiaaaaa!';
'Aaaaarrrggghhh!';
'Mummia? Play?'.


If you are curious about the use of 'Mummia' rather than 'Mummy', we are too. At the moment Cowboy and I are 'Daddia' and 'Mummia' respectively. The only conclusion we have drawn is that it is a misunderstanding by Champ about social norms.

You see Champ's actual name (I know you are very surprised that his real name is not Champ) is:




(Sans the 'I heart' part)




So you see, when pronounced, it ends in 'ier' OR 'ia' to an Aussie.

So we figure Champ thinks that '-ia' is a polite thing to add to people's name. Like the Japanese have '-san' or '-chan'. If you come up with a better reason, we would love to hear it.

Must go, Champ calls.

06 October 2009

Off hold

This past year I have been putting many parts of my life on hold. Paused. To be continued.

I expected to have baby this December, and then again in April, so why should I start my business/loose weight/etc, etc?

As of about a week ago, I have resumed life.

Champ and I are walking most places and I have been trying to eat just as healthily as I make him eat (Seriously, what was I thinking serving him fresh grapes while I eat chocolate biscuits?). I don't know if the exercise will continue once I am pregnant again since I am paranoid of overdoing it after the miscarriages, BUT that isn't going to stop me from doing it before I fall pregnant anymore.

I have also started doing some thing for myself in the form of work. I am just doing what I feel like, when I feel like it. But right now I am enjoying it so much that I am doing it all through Champ's nap time and well into the night each night.

I really wanted to sell modern cloth nappies via party plan (because I love them and can't stop talking about them to everyone I meet anyway!). I recognise that there is quite a small market for this and I didn't want to go to the effort of starting my own business with such a small market, so I am selling the cloth, but also selling Tupperware via party plan.

I am hoping to do all of the work getting parties for the Tupperware side, and then if I am at a party with someone who is pregnant or has small children (which constitutes most people at Tupperware parties), I have an active audience to slip in about the wonders of cloth nappies for those interested. I already have a few Mum's talking about setting themselves up with cloth so there are lots of willing people out there who just need demonstrations to see how easy cloth is these days.

So I am a busy Mummy at the moment, and loving it. I adore staying home with Champ, but I hope that this business gives me that little extra challenge that I need, just for me.

30 September 2009

Cheers!

Cowboy, Champ and I just returned from a lovely little 4 generation getaway (Champ, me, my Mum and my Grandmother - along with two of my siblings). Champ was totally spoiled for company with everyone vying for his attention while Cowboy and I sat back and relaxed (we are paying for it now though with a 'lil muchikin who thinks someone - me - should be playing with him every waking minute of the day).

As I could have predicted, AF decided to crash the party. Once again 4 weeks after miscarriage, Bam!, my cycle is back. I am hoping that this heralds a new phase in my moods. For the last 4 weeks my moods have gone through all of the mourning stages. The strongest of all were anger and sadness.

My moods were not necessarily directed at the object of the loss, more upon almost everything else in my life (thankfully Champ escaped unscathed - the same can not be said for Cowboy).

I have been left shaking with rage at Cowboy for forgetting to tell me he was off for the morning to play squash, and again when I was stuck in traffic that made me late for the toy library, arriving just after close time, I was frequently angry at the back gate for not opening/closing easily enough.

This last week I have been very sad. Sad that so many of my clothes seem to have shrunk (particularly in the tummy and thigh areas), sad that my friends and I hadn't caught up for so long and then when we did things were a little awkward, sad that our 'good' couches have little finger print stains all over them.

But with the arrival of AF, my moods seem to have settled a bit. I am no longer left raging hours after the storm which drenched my clean clothes which had been left of the line has passed. I don't feel like crying into my cup of tea when Champ throws his bowl of cereal over board.

I feel more stable.

This cycle will be a non-event. It seems counter intuitive to waste a cycle when we want to add to our family so strongly. But that is the choice we have made. We will wait until our appointment with the specialist at the end of next month and see where we go from there.

So instead of using the month to try to conceive, I will be using it to get back into shape a bit with lots of walks to the park and lots of good healthy food choices. I have let 3 months of pregnancy and many more months of mourning add far too many kilos to my weight scale. I think that shedding the kilos will help me to shed some more of the mood swings too.

So I'm off now to down my carrot sticks and rice crackers with a nice glass of cold water. Cheers! To stability.

22 September 2009

I extended my Loungeroom:

Playing with the caterpillar we found in the back yard we had a great science lesson about the whole caterpillar - cocoon - butterfly thing.

Arts and craft times are what Champ enjoys most. Moving the fingerpainting outside was genius as I could sit and enjoy a cuppa while he played happily for over an hour (this includes time playing with the water while washing up the paint brushes and containers afterwards - you know, the best bit).


In his pajamas practicing his 'cool' look for the playground the next day.

19 September 2009

What's the rush anyway?

After my second miscarriage Cowboy and I had some decisions to make about what to do next. If you will recall, he thought we should just go and try a third time since conception happens pretty quickly for us, whereas I was leaning towards not gestating for 10 weeks before being back to square one again. Again. One thing that was holding me back was cost.

I don't know how much fertility docs are, but I know they are not cheap. We do have private cover, but that still leaves a pretty big out of pocket expense. I know that cost alone would not stop me from investigating further, however Cowboy's argument that we could have just been unlucky with the gene pool twice (rather than it being any long term, fixable problem) did have some weight - especially since we have no difficulty with my first pregnancy.

I had pretty much reconciled myself to trying again next cycle (waiting out my first post-miscarriage cycle), that way by the new year I would either be 12 weeks along or on my way to a specialist to cure all our problems (ha!). But then I met a mother at one of our breastfeeding association meetings who also had a child Champ's age. I asked her if her daughter was her only one and she responded that having her daughter had literally almost killed her so as much as she would dearly love another one, she wasn't going to risk it. This led me to open up to her and another Mum close by that we had been trying to make Champ a big brother but that we miscarried twice this year. The other Mum asked if we were going to see anyone and recommended a doctor (a professor actually) at the hospital which Champ had been born at who would see you after only two consecutive miscarriages. She had been herself having suffered two before she had her daughter and could not recommend him highly enough. The hospital is a public hospital. Free!

The place the professor works is called the recurrent miscarriage clinic and it sees women who have have three consecutive miscarriages, however there is another department, the pregnancy management clinic (PMC) which sees you after 'only' two. For free!

The PMC offers consultation before conception (including blood work and pelvic ultrasounds) as well as treatment if any problems are found. It also continues to see you weekly once you do conceive. Weekly. For free!

Having had Champ at this hospital (in the Family Birth Centre) under public care I know that some of the best doctors and midwives in Australia work in the public system and they give fantastic care (even post birth - Champ's hospital stay of 36 hours in special care was in this hospital and I know for a fact that many private hospitals were sending their intensive care babies to this hospital because it has the best reputation). I do know however that the public system is pushed to near breaking point and it is very difficult to get into their care. They only allow you one ultrasound at 18-20 weeks for the entire pregnancy. However, if you are managed under the PMC you get an ultrasound weekly for the first 12 weeks, plus one whenever you feel worried and need reassurance. Did I mention that it is free?!

So it all sounds great and I went to my GP last week and go the referral. I spoke to the clinic this week to schedule my appointment. The lady was lovely. She gave me an appointment with the professor.

For the 30th of October.

Do they not understand how women's cycles work? That will be after my next cycle. It will even be 7 days into the next, next cycle. If they have to run blood tests over the whole cycle that will mean waiting for the next, next, next cycle. And then wait for the results (next, next, next, next cycle?). And then possibly treatments.

So I am having a little meltdown thinking about it. Cowboy has very considerately not mentioned that we just try one more time since I may well end up 12 weeks into a successful pregnancy by the time we are even to get the results back from the professor (although I am sure we have both thought it).

Then a little voice inside my head asks me 'What is the rush anyway?'.

Even if we wait and are not able to commence operation baby making until the new year, Champ will only be 2 years 9 months by the time his sibling is due. Hardly a huge age gap (my ideal has always been 2.5 years).

We are very happy as a one child family at the moment (albeit with dreams of more children in our heads which we are not able to surrender). Champ would like a playmate, sure, but Mummy makes the best playmate for a 2 year old anyway.

Then I remember why I am in such a rush.

I will turn 30 next October.

The brick wall. The age which is a marker in a women's life between youth and being ancient (ok, a little melodramatic maybe). I know I won't suddenly develop gray hairs, wrinkles and be unable to run around and keep up with my kids anymore the moment I turn 30... but it sure feels like it.

So there is my dilemma. Go it alone (well, with Cowboy) and hope to have a baby next July (well and truly enough time to get in shape for a rocking 30th birthday party!) or see the professor and receive all the additional medical attention and support and be either in labour or still sore from the stitches at my birthday party?

17 September 2009

Attitude

I have noticed lately how I walk away from some conversations with certain Mums feeling grateful, happy and hopeful; and from conversations with other Mums feeling grumpy and dissatisfied. Some Mums have such a positive attitude towards parenting and their children that I mentally count my blessings as I walk away from their company; other Mums are so dissatisfied with their lot in life that their dark cloud starts to follow me around for the rest of the day and I find myself finding fault in my darling little boy.

Upon further examining these mothers, I realise that the children of these different types of mothers are all really the same, not better or worse bahaved than the other. It is the attitude of the mothers that makes them either darling angels or cheeky minxes. Often it seems that these 'difficult' children have been labeled 'difficult' since before they were even born. Have you ever noticed that 'difficult' labels are almost impossible to remove?

These mothers often had 'difficult' pregnancies and 'difficult' birthing experiences; the baby was 'difficult' and now the toddler is, of course, 'difficult'.

I know that these experiences can be easier or more difficult to varying degrees; however, all pregnancies are uncomfortable at the least, not many births are a walk in the park, all babies cry and fuss, and all toddlers are clingy attention seeking, tantrum throwing little beings. At times.

Some mothers manage to talk about their toddler with a smile on their face and a twinkle in their eye as they juggle the kid on one hip while calming him down from a tantrum, accepting and enjoying the fact that their child wants their attention more than any other thing in the world.

All I can do it try to surround myself with these kind of parents so that my attitude can be just as positive. Raising children is not easy; but nothing that is worth it ever is.

15 September 2009

Holidays

It just occurred to me that I have not blogged about this wonderful holiday that I have been on for the last 6 weeks. Let me tell you about it.

Pretty much straight after I quit work to raise Champ full time, Cowboy's work started offering redundancy packages. Cowboy hadn't been there very long (2 years) but he was considering looking around for another job with more pay, more mental stimulation, less hours and closer to home (you know, something ideal). The package covered about 4 months of his salary and by the time you consider that it is tax free, it came to about 6 months of his net wage (good to have an accountant for a wife, see?), in which time we are pretty sure he will find another job. Of course, he took the package.

So for the last 6 weeks the parent to child ratio in our house has been 2:1. Bliss!

Do you have any idea how easy life would be with two full time parents and only one reasonably well behaved toddler to take care of? Holiday for everyone! Of course we are rationing money a little (just in case) so we can't actually afford a holiday anywhere special, but the fact that I can leave the house during Champ's nap time, Cowboy can take Champ to the park in the afternoon so that I can vacuum and tidy up in peace, and I can read Champ stories while Cowboy takes his time preparing dinner each night makes for a very relaxed atmosphere in the Lemoncake household.

We sometimes take the divide and conquer route whereby Champ gets all of one parent's attention while the other either does household chores or relaxes with a good book. But we find our family is happier when we all get a piece of the action whereby we dress up and clean up together and then get out of the house for the morning, either to the zoo, a park, a children's farm or a play centre, sometimes even a day trip around our lovely state.

Soon Cowboy will begin the job hunt in earnest. It is probably a good thing both for our finances and our sanity. He has openly admitted that full time parenting is not for him. I don't think I could hack it, he says. And despite the extra help I get, sometimes I think it would be better for our relationship if we went back to the 'evenings and weekends only' relationship which existed before. I freely admit that I get frustrated if I feel he is not pulling his weight. Despite previously doing it all by myself when he was at work, I feel tired and angry when I know that he is slacking off somewhere in the house while I am cleaning and entertaining Champ. I don't mind doing it all when he is at work; but he is not at work so it is frustrating all.

Overall, this time with Champ has been great for their relationship and for Cowboy's parenting skills. It does, however, bring into prominence the difference in our parenting styles. When it is occasionally my turn to sleep-in in the morning (very occasional, ok?) I wake at 10 am or so to find both Champ and Cowboy in pajamas, breakfast bowls still on the table, toys everywhere and them both in front of the tv watching cartoons. I don't need to tell you how exactly opposite this picture looks when it is Daddy's turn for a sleep in. Cowboy would actually be hard pressed to find us both still at home at 10 am, he would also find the house tidy (maybe not clean, but tidy), pajamas folded and a load of washing having been hung our on the line. Still, I get an occasional sleep in, right?

Holidays are great and make for wonderful happy memories; but all holidays have to come to an end sometime.

And maybe that is a good thing.

10 September 2009

Schooooool's out for ... ever!

So I know I quit work to be a SAHM a few months ago (best thing I ever did!), but this week was Champ's actual last day at 'school' (daycare). Now before you go thinking I was sitting around for 3 days a week sipping lattes childless, I'll let you know that it wasn't like that.

I left work with the desire to start my own small business at home (in addition to caring for Champ full time). I spent a couple of weeks looking into the idea and created a business plan, I am educated as an accountant so it wasn't too much of a stretch to figure out what I would do from home. Then I fell pregnant. My business plans fell by the wayside as I found it useless to build up a client base just to throw it all away in 6 months when Muscles was due.

Meanwhile, since Champ was doing well at daycare when he was there 3 days per week, despite my better judgement, we decided to keep him in one day a week so I could give the business a red hot go. Champ didn't like the change. I think one day a week is too hard. When it was more frequent he was in the routine of going, but when we cut it right back there was too big a gap between daycare days and it stressed him out to be left there. The carers kept saying that as soon as I left he was fine and had a great day, but I was never happy about it and never enjoyed my one day per week 'off'.

Even once the business idea was put on hold, I kept him in for a while because it would be good for me to have that break when Muscles arrived. Before the miscarriage though, I decided it was too much stress for everyone and gave the centre our four weeks notice. Last Monday was the fourth week. We are now officially a daycare free family! Yay!

I know there are some benefits to childcare. The socialisation, the early (forced) independence and skills that the carer can teach that Mum and Dad might not have thought of. I really liked his daycare centre, as far as daycare centres go.

Overall though, I find daycare centres to be lacking in one vital thing: parental love. How can it be better for someone else to care for my child than for me to? No one else loves him as much. No one else cares about his learning and development as much as I do. No one else can be better than a Mum for a toddler.

So, I tried. I never wanted Champ to grow up in daycare. Maybe selfishly, I just never wanted anyone else to see him more than I do. But I gave it a go. Cowboy went to daycare full time at Champ's age. He turned out ok.

But I was never able to quiet that voice inside my head that told me that it wasn't right. I could never reconcile myself to the idea that even 3 days in childcare was a 'good' thing for Champ.

And, as all mothers do, I wanted the best for him. I wanted 1 on 1 care (a better carer:child ratio than any childcare centre), I wanted him to explore the big wide world (rather than one playroom), I wanted the most involved, caring, loving person to care for him, I wanted the person who knows him best to be teaching him and helping him learn about the world.

I wanted him in the full time care of his Mum. And now I do.

07 September 2009

21

This month my baby boy, Champ, will turn 21 months old.

This year my baby sister, Clare, will turn 21 years old.

I want to cry with how the time has passed. It really wasn't that long ago that my sister was 21 months old. Really.

My baby sister has been my substitute daughter. I was 8 when she was born; the right age to want to help Mum out with all the Mummy tasks. I paced the floor while she screamed through long afternoons when Mum was too tired (she was a screamer as a child, I can not emphasise that word enough), I sat watching tv folding her cloth nappies for hours, I watched proudly all of her toddler dress up and singing performances both at home and on stage, I cried bucket loads the first day she told me that some rotten kid had called her names at school. She is now such a great friend to me. She has been my single biggest helper outside of our household since Champ has been born, coming over for a whole day each week to keep me company (and sane in the early days) and play endlessly with Champ while I get things done.

Champ will sometimes pick up my handbag, or his nappy bag, or anything that looks like a bag and hangs it over his shoulder saying 'Bye, (see you) soon.' as he walks towards the front door. I just know that the time will fly so fast until he will be turning 21 years old and his little 'goodbye' charade will be reality.

And I want to cry.

03 September 2009

Different

Warning: Gross post. Don't read if you have a weak stomach.

Sometimes life is just too cruel.

At 10 weeks gestation with Champ I had an ultrasound. Cowboy and I experienced the absolute thrill of seeing him waving his little arms (arm buds we were told they were) to say 'Hi Mummy and Daddy'. That image of joy will stay with us forever.

Yesterday I should have been 10 weeks gestation with Muscles. I alone in the bathroom at playgroup experienced another image that will permanently stay with me. I passed Muscles in one laugh.

While laughing with another Mum I felt an odd thing escaping me. I excused myself for the bathroom and there falling into the toilet, before I had a chance to react, was my baby. It looked just like the internet said it should at 9 weeks.

I started at Muscles for quite a while. What option did I have but to flush? I don't know what I would have done if it had fallen onto my pad instead and I had the option of doing something else with it. So I said a silent prayer and flushed.

01 September 2009

Snakes


I am deeply saddened by the loss of our baby Muscles. I have many emotions about it, and yet somehow they seem dimmer than last time.

Maybe it is because I have already experienced miscarriage once. The emotions aren't taking me by surprise this time.

Maybe last time there was more shock and surprise. I am surprised by this outcome, I really thought that this would be our baby. With Turtledove I had strange denial feelings all along, but this time I 'knew' it would work out (more fool me). But the first time that we miscarried there was certainly a lot of 'this type of thing doesn't happen to us' thinking. This time, I knew that 'this type of thing' happens to lots of people and that includes us. Twice.

Maybe it's that I know that I'll recover. I don't want to discount the emotions of miscarriage, however it is different than I feared the first time. Recoverable. I cannot even stomach the thought of what it would do to Cowboy and I if we were to loose Champ. From that, we would never recover. Now I know that miscarriage is not in the same league. Last time, I thought I would go to pieces. Which I did, momentarily. But our family recovered. And we will again.

So my emotions are still hurting, but not as much. I am very sad about loosing Muscles. I am worried about future pregnancies. Overwhelmingly, I am frustrated by where we are.

As Cowboy pointed out to me last night, I have to do the first trimester over, and over. The worst trimester. I am a much nicer and happier pregnant woman once trimester 2 comes around. I promise.

So despite slogging it our for nearly 10 weeks this time, almost having the end to the first trimester nausea, exhaustion and grumpiness behind me, I am back where we started. I made it 10 weeks and then landed on the snake; the one that takes you back to square one.

31 August 2009

Fat lady singing

My doctor sent me to have an ultrasound today once I explained the situation. The ultrasound confirmed that there is just emptiness where my baby should be.

I have had some blood tests and will have some further tests on Wednesday to check that everything has passed. I don't know how it could have since I didn't have any cramping or see any clots, but apparently my uterus is just a big empty space. Mystery to me.

My doctor is my GP. I don't have a team of fertility doctors on call for me to ask questions. My doctor is as knowledgeable about the common cold, sun spots and tinea as she is about pregnancy and miscarriage. I guess I will never have enough answers anyway so it wouldn't make much difference if she could explain it better.

So many bad thoughts have passed in the last couple of days. I have summer maternity clothes; now I don't need them; now I need a new summer wardrobe. I saw the heartbeat, Muscles was alive, but not anymore. All that morning sickness for nothing. Time wasted. Energy wasted. Love wasted.

And we are now at a 'where to from here?' point. My doctor is very proactive. In an instant she would refer me to a specialist if that was my request. So despite doctors generally waiting until the third consecutive miscarriages to react, she would act now, for me.

I don't know if that is what I want though. I know that statistically the odds are still in our favour for a successful pregnancy next time. That doesn't stop the worry and angst meanwhile. My doctor says she thinks we should try once more by ourselves. Her point is that we conceive so very easily so it is not like we would be 'wasting' a lot of time in trying again. Just 'wasting' love, dreams and hope.

I have no real idea of what the specialist tests would be. I think my next step is research. Or, maybe research while Cowboy and I practice our baby making. This time, there ain't no waiting.

Stupid, stupid, stupid

Saturday afternoon my spotting became bleeding.

'It is too much blood.'
I told Cowboy when he asked if there was any hope left.

I kept bleeding through Sunday, soaking pads with bright red, thin, watery blood. Sometimes it was thick and maroon just to spice things up. Sunday afternoon I felt a stabbing pain down where my baby must have been. I took some pain killers and went to bed.

This morning Champ blessed us with a sleep in (7.45 - wohoo!). I asked Cowboy to collect him as I wanted to stand up and immediately go to the bathroom to clean up and change pads. I expected a lot more blood. But there was none.

This morning I have had no more blood. I have not passed any clots. I have not had any cramping.

Maybe it means that I will need a D&C because my body isn't clearing it on its own.

I wish I could squelch this stupid, stupid, stupid hope that is coming up every time I think of Muscles. I don't want to hope if it is only to be shattered yet again.

30 August 2009

Empty

Another miscarriage.

The emotional pain is coming in waves.

But mostly I just feel an emptiness in my stomach.

29 August 2009

Another (hopefully) 9 Month Long Panic Attack

The last couple of mornings I have woken to small, small, small amounts of blood as I wipe after using the bathroom. I have actually been remarkably calm about it; mostly because I realise that at this early stage nothing can be done if the worst has started. I will not rush to the emergency department, I will not expect an ultrasound, I will not expect the doctors to do anything other than confide that they can't see into the future any clearer than I can.

So, I have just picked up and gotten on with life. What else can I do?

But then when Champ is asleep or I have a moment to myself, I do allow my mind to wander.

I already love Muscles. Don't let this happen.

Champ would benefit so much from a sibling. He already asks after the baby. I want a playmate for Champ close to his age. This close. This exact time. 2 years 4 months. Perfect.

What if something is wrong with me since I delivered Champ? What if I can never again carry a baby through to a healthy, safe delivery?

I can't remember what it felt like to feel Champ move inside me. Oh my God, what if I can never carry a baby through to that stage and I can't remember what it felt like to feel a baby move inside of me? I loved the feeling. What if I never get to feel it again? Please let me feel it again.

28 August 2009

Glowing report

We have just returned from Champ's Health Centre check up, so please excuse me while I partake of some Mummy-bragging. The health nurse was so pleased with him. She could not believe how much he is speaking, especially for a boy and the concepts he can understand.

When we first got in she was taking to him and he was just staring at her. She asked me is he knows any words yet. I was incredulous, but hid it and just replied that he does speak quite a lot but will just take a while to warm up. Although I wanted to reply 'Does he speak any words? Well only over 100 of them.'

Soon afterwards she asked him to show her his nose, and the picture of a pig on the wall. Then she asked him to sit on the chair in the room so she could test him a little. He sat down and and saw he pencils 'Colouring' he exclaimed; unused to pencils (we use crayons) he held it the wrong way; 'Upside down' he realised his mistake; 'Broken' he pointed out that the pencil needed to be sharpened. Then he drew on the paper a little with another one and then noticed some other toys on the table.

He started playing with the beads on the wire frame 'Up, down, up, down.'; 'Orange' he pointed to the orange bead (yes, Cowboy's jump-the-gun colour teaching has finally paid off). He moved to the blocks 'Block...s' (I don't know how he figured out plurals, but often uses the plural form of words with a pause before the 's'); 'nuther one' he said as he added each block to build the tower; 'Down' they all came crashing to the table; 'Again, one more time' he loves this game; One by one up they went again 'One, two, tee, pour'.

Ok kid, now you're just showing off! None the less, cue proud parents who realise that despite the tedium, the hours of play time we have poured into this kid are absolutely priceless.

The rest of the session went pretty much the same, Champ overachieving in every area. Then, she suggested that since he is quite ahead in other areas he might be ready to toilet train quite early. Drat! I had thought that his glowing report would mean I could slack off a bit and wait for the other kiddies to catch up (ok, so maybe not really).

I confessed that he does tell me before he does a poo and he can wee on demand when we ask him to in the bath. She said that with summer coming up I should let him run around with no nappy on outside so that he sees cause and effect and gets used to predicting the sensation. Ok, so that doesn't sound too hard. I have heard from other mothers that toilet training is the single hardest thing that they have done in child rearing. Running around naked though, that is a first step that I can handle.

26 August 2009

9 weeks a blessing

Muscles and I are 9 weeks today and I am happy we are here. I am tired, ravenous, emotional and nauseous, but so happy!

I have started to wonder when I can expect to feel movement this time around. I thought I felt Champ move at 15 weeks when I sneezed. Whether that was really it or not I can't be sure though. I know that second time around you can generally feel movement earlier than the first time, but I'm not sure quite how out of shape by tummy muscles have become. If my current physical state is anything to go by, it might be pretty early!

I am scheduling my blood test for the Downs screening for Monday week when I'll be 10.5 weeks. We decided to go ahead with the screening test (which we didn't do with Champ) for a few reasons. One was that I wanted another ultrasound (12 weeks) just to check up on Muscles. Another was that it is a more serious issue this time as we also have to consider Champ should anything be amiss, not just ourselves. One more reason has cemented our decision is bad news which a poor friend of mine received after the test.

She is only 31 but received a 1 in 9 risk rate at the screening test. At the amnio test at 15 weeks they found out that the baby had heart and brain problems, but also that the organs were forming on the outside of the body. Even if they decided to give the baby a chance to survive, his odds were not good.

I don't know what they decided; only that she lost the baby sometime this past week. I don't know if it happened naturally (which was quite likely) or if it was their decision and I understand her keeping that information to themselves. This friend has a daughter the same age as Champ and I know that her daughter's future, her understanding of what was happening and her emotions were serious considerations that my friend took into account when making her decision.

I am so sorry for my friend's loss. I will give Champ and Muscles an extra cuddle tonight before bed and thank God for all of our blessings.

24 August 2009

Springing into action

Yesterday I simultaneously blunted my razor in one use and lost about 100 grams. Yes, spring is springing a little early down under and it was time for the annual de-fuzzing of my legs. Of course today the weather has decided to remind us of the winter which is almost over and now my legs are cold beneath my tracksuit pants, but they'll be ready come next week - Spring!

Cowboy, Champ and I have used the early nice weather to get into some gardening. A typical afternoon involves Cowboy dead wooding, pruning and raking. Me trying to get some weeding or veggie planting done while supervising Champ. And said cheeky toddler doing all manner of non-productive garden play.

This week alone I have caught him pulling up some newly sprouted tiny sweet pea sprouts and proclaiming he was 'weeding' like his Mummy. I turned my back for an instant (yeah, I know I should have learnt not to do that) and turned back to find him at my height, having scaled Cowboy's ladder until he was 6 feet up it. And then once, quietly playing by the porch saying 'push, push, push' at regular intervals.

Curious, I crept quietly over to him to check over his shoulder what he was doing. After a little chuckle to myself, I left him be and got back to the weeding. He was squashing ants, one by one with his little fingers. Push, push, push. Boys will be boys, and I got a few minutes peace out of it.

20 August 2009

Superstitious

So I forgot to post an update yesterday when I was actually 8 weeks. Well, I didn't forget but I was busy during the day and then too tired at night. But I was thinking of blogging, does that count? I was thinking of you Muscles. Oh boy, was I thinking of you as I struggled to force down my food through the all day nausea.

So I have much the same symptoms as last week, only more exaggerated. I am super sensitive, sick and exhausted. Fun! But I am happy. Generally, until something makes me cry. Like an advert, or a nice passage in a book. You know, something important.

One new symptom has emerged though and I am sure it is related to the pregnancy. Superstitiousness.
  • Every morning I ask Champ to say hello to the baby, to cuddle the baby, to kiss the baby and to say 'I love you, baby.'
  • Every night Cowboy has a little 'chat' with our baby, encouraging it to stick around. If he forgets, I remind him.
  • Each night after I turn off the lights I continue that chat with Muscles. Telling the baby how much we love it and how much Daddy, Champ and I are looking forward to it joining the family.
  • Every night I ask God to take care of Champ and Muscles. I tell Him that I want them to be happy and healthy and grow old together as best friends.
I don't know what will happen if I don't do these things each day. Because I do them each day, so why would I need to know otherwise?

17 August 2009

Grateful?

Red: I can barely stand this nausea now, honey. (tearily) It has gone from that background nausea to full on feeling like I am going to chuck constantly.
Cowboy: (grinning from ear to ear) Good! Great to hear darling!

I am grateful that fell pregnant. I am very grateful that Muscles has stuck around this far. I am very, very grateful that we are (God willing) expecting a new baby in April next year. But does that mean I have to be grateful for feeling this poorly too?

14 August 2009

I love you (or: Bad, bad Mummy)

I think it has been well documented here that despite his many wonderful characteristics, Champ is not a good sleeper. He improved significantly when he weaned himself at 14 months, but still continues to be very hit and miss from night to night.

Recently we have been going through a bad patch. A very bad patch. He was sick a couple of weeks ago and was shocking, and despite him being a lot better now he has gotten used to night waking again.

Two nights ago I hit a wall (no, not literally although it might have made me feel better than what I actually did). Champ woke up ago at 1 a.m. screaming. I went in to him and as soon as he heard me he calmed right down as I tucked his covers back around him. Then as I made to leave he started screaming at me. I was very firm (somewhere between a nice calm but firm voice and yelling at the kid) and said 'It is sleeping time, no crying. No Champ, NO CRYING. CHAMP! Mummy said no crying.' He continued fussing as I tried to leave the room. So I said loudly "Ssssshhhhh! No crying. Sleeping time!' and left the room to his wailing.

Two seconds later I hear him screaming 'I love you! I love you!' repeatedly in a very angry non-loving-you kind of way.

I was so cross at this continued waking that I didn't trust myself not to yell at him if I walked back in again, so I went back to bed and asked Cowboy for a hand. He went in and calmed Champ and Champ continued to sleep for the rest of the night.

But I didn't. I was so upset with myself for loosing it. I mean, surely I can be compassionate to my son at night just as much as during the day. Then I realised the worst part about it all.

When I leave Champ's room and say good night I always finish with 'Goodnight, I love you.'. Always. Except that night at 1 am. The poor kid was screaming at me because I hadn't told him I loved him. Of course I knew that he knew that I loved him. But knowing that didn't help me sleep a wink that night.

BTW, just to make me feel even worse he woke up with another tooth, plus another one almost peeking through and two more bulging gums. Poor kid is getting all his eye teeth at once, and they are terribly painful ones I hear. Bad, bad Mummy.

12 August 2009

7 weeks

I am happy to say that Muscles and I have made it to the 7 week mark!

Still experiencing morning sickness at times (usually when I am hungry, full, thirsty, need the bathroom, or have been standing too long) and am completely exhausted. I could seriously sleep 16 hours of the day. I have even once succumbed to having a nap while Champ did (and I am only 7 weeks - imagine by 37 weeks!). I also have been bleeding and gagging while brushing my teeth, have had pins and needles more often and feel light headed when I stand up quickly. All my good old pregnancy symptoms. Yay!

I decided to be brave and weight myself yesterday. I actually haven't put on any weight yet. I realise that at 7 weeks I shouldn't yet have put on any weight, but the way my jeans are fitting me I thought I must have. Looks like it is just a redistribution of body mass, although I can't figure where I have gotten smaller to account for my larger waist and hips.

I am absolutely not making weight gain an issue during this pregnancy. However, I ask you to view these two photos below. Let's just agree that I'll try to be more careful this time. Breastfeeding two hourly around the clock and a child that didn't sleep unless being rocked in my arms or pushed in a pram got me back into relative shape quite quickly, but I have got my fingers crossed for a better sleeper this time so I am hoping not to have quite so much weight to shift post birth.

The first photo was taken a week or so prior to conceiving Champ, the next one was me at 34 weeks. Yep, I had another 7 weeks of growing ahead of that photo! I ceased to take photos after I saw this one!

10 August 2009

Breath #2

Cowboy and I just returned from our first ultrasound with good news.

Despite knowing the futility of it, I dutifully drank my litre of water 1 hour prior to the appointment and did not empty my bladder. I knew from experience with Champ that at only 6 weeks 4 days an internal would be required and it was. The sonographer found the sac externally then ordered me to the bathroom to relieve myself and to strip down.

After a few minutes (which felt like an eternity) of legs held high and wand inserted, the sonographer told me to hold my breath and it was then I heard music to my ears: the eerie sounds of a ultrasonic heartbeat. One darling little baby sac and one little heartbeat filled the screen and filled our hearts.

As fate would have it this ultrasound was scheduled for the same point in the pregnancy as my first one with Champ (6 weeks 4 days). Which is why I am not worried that this baby (aka Muscles) is measuring small: 6 weeks. Champ was measuring 6 weeks also and he came out a very healthy 9 pounds!

Champ's heartbeat at this point was 120 bpm, Muscles is slower 100 bpm which I am going to try not to let worry me. Saying that, I'll likely opt for the 12 week ultrasound even though I personally do not want the Down's screening.

I know that the pregnancy is still young and fragile, but the chance of miscarriage drops significantly when a heartbeat has been detected. Hence, I draw my second breath and consider telling friends and family about this pregnancy.

09 August 2009

Mummy Wonderful

I never knew I was so funny, clever, wonderful, beautiful and generally a blast to be around until I saw myself through the eyes of my son.

Seriously, if you could see the way Champ looks at me sometimes.

Despite all the Mummy-guilt, the self-doubt and worry, I must be doing something alright for that kid to love me so much.

07 August 2009

Handy

We like face washers here in the Lemoncake household. Those little terry-towling squares are useful for all manner of things.

We use them to clean Champ in the bath, obviously. We often have a spare one in the bath for Champ so that he doesn't snatch the one we are using. We use them instead of bibs (Champ refuses bibs) to clean up Champ's face, hands and highchair after a meal before we let him loose on our lounge room. We use them when Champ's t-shirt has left over lunch on it (but not quite enough lunch that it warrants an actual clean). We let Champ suck them with cold water when he is teething.

They are pretty handy.

I still wash Champ's clothes separately to Cowboy's and mine. I still use the sensitive baby stuff (despite him ceasing to be a baby some time ago). I wash Champ's clothes/sheets/towels/everything-machine-washable once per week. Today was the day.

Today I counted 21 wash cloths which I had pegged to the line. Twenty-one!

They sure are handy.

06 August 2009

Six weeks

Well, it has been a couple of years since I could say I was 6 weeks pregnant, but I am saying it now. Despite the spotting scare on Monday (which was bright red and then the next two days I experienced tiny amounts of brown blood twice) I am still claiming to be pregnant until proved otherwise (please, no!).

I have nausea on and off. Boobs are still not sensitive (and I can't see from my Champ pregnancy notes when this started with him). I know it is early, but if I had to guess the gender, I'd say girl based on my cravings. With Champ I was all about salt (think hot chips, potato cakes and vegemite on crackers) and I guzzled orange juice daily. This time, I love sweet (think fruit and chocolate!).

I could also sleep for 24 hours a day and it still wouldn't be enough. Yesterday at the park at 10 a.m. I told Cowboy that I could happily fall asleep on the swing. To which he replied 'You could sleep more?' I teased him with 'Yep, the twins are kicking my butt!' and breaking out into slightly hysterical laughter. 'Yeah, laugh now... until you find out about the triplets.' The laughter died out quite quickly as we assessed how we would ever cope with that reality.

04 August 2009

Allowing myself hope

After the little spots of blood yesterday morning, I am relived to say there has been no more. I still feel nausea intermittently, although if I allow myself to analyse it too much I realise that it is probably less than it was over the weekend.

All I can do is wait until the ultrasound in 6 days and keep everything crossed until then.

03 August 2009

No, no, no!

Spotting again.

Still holding on tight with all my ute muscles.

The nausea is still there, keeping me hopeful.

I'm not letting you go, little one.

02 August 2009

Breath #1

I am now past the date of my last miscarriage. Still feeling the nausea. Yay!

One more week until my ultrasound (Monday week). I was again checking my Champ pregnancy notes and found that the date of this ultrasound is the exact date (in terms of gestation period) that this one is scheduled for - 6 weeks 4 days. Champ was measuring 6 weeks at that stage (despite him being born above average weight - 9 pounds) and his heartbeat was 120 bpm.

Based on that heartbeat we hypothesised that he was a boy - and were obviously correct. This time I don't care if the heartbeat indicates boy or girl, as long as it is there and is healthy.

One more week til my next breath...

30 July 2009

My 'Everything' is expanding

It is 2 days until the time I started spotting with Turtledove. I keep talking to this baby and willing it to stick around. I have been having nightmares about having the same outcome as last time.

Champ was pretty sick yesterday. He vomited in the morning, didn't eat and had a temperature all day. I knew it was just a bug or something, but when I put him to bed last night I was in tears of worry. It is probably just pregnancy hormones, but I kept imagining the worst would happen overnight and despite him sleeping 11 hours overnight, I tossed and turned with worry all night.

I always knew I would love my children. I remember a quote in a card my Mum sent me when I was pregnant about children being your heart walking around outside your body. I knew I would love them. I didn't realise just how much.

When Champ was born, for the first few hours I would say the key emotion was wonder. Cowboy and I were in awe at his tiny little body and were fiercely protective of him. Somewhere during that day I fell head over heels in love. I can only describe it as a love affair. So intense and all consuming. Like the start of a new relationship, forever.

So I knew that I would love my children. I also knew that kids take up a lot of your time. They need things done for them, but also require more attention than is even possible to give them. What I didn't know is the incredible amount of headspace Champ would take up. Whether we are together or not, he is there. I am always aware of him .

Champ is my everything. Now, God willing, my 'everything' is expanding.

My Mum often tells me that when she was pregnant with my sister she asked her Mum how she could possibly love another child since her heart was filled with love for me. As she was told, and then found out for herself, 'you don't love the first one less, your heart just expands to fit the next one in'.

I am sure my heart will expand to fit in this next little one. What I am worried about is my head. I don't know if I can cope with it expanding to allow more worry in.

29 July 2009

5 weeks - take two

Well so far this is quite a different pregnancy to the last one, and I am really hoping to keep it that way. In my 5 week update with Turtledove I reported no morning sickness and in hindsight I now know that the pregnancy was not progressing as it should have. I didn't really worry about it at the time because I thought it had started at 6 weeks with Champ.

I have since managed to find my Champ pregnancy notes and there was a note at 5.5 weeks saying that I couldn't handle the nausea anymore and that Cowboy had 'better like this baby because I am not doing this again'. Ok, so here we are again, and here is the nausea again (yay!). But this time in light of the no morning sickness, no baby outcome last time, the nausea just makes me happy.

A symptom which is a first time for me is the thirst. It doesn't matter how much water I drink, my thirst is insatiable. I am also feeling the hip pain again which has been a signature of both of my pregnancies and have sensitive breasts, although not painful/tender.

I read through my notes and the breast tenderness with Champ hadn't started yet then either. I am wondering if the tenderness will be as dramatic this time around? I mean, my milk factory is still there, just not operational at the moment. Out of curiosity in the shower the other I day I 'tested' the machinery. Yep, still milk in there. I wonder if that is 5 month old milk or if it continually makes fresh stuff?

28 July 2009

Mummy's boy

I sort of had a hunch that I was pregnant before I did the test. This hunch actually had nothing to do with my body or how I felt physically. This hunch was courtesy of Champ.

They say that kids can sense things and I definitely believe that. Both when I was pregnant with Turtledove and again for the past 3 weeks, Champ has been exceedingly clingy. He has always been a total Mummy's boy, but this is to the point that he cries if I leave the bathroom when his Dad is bathing him.

Through both pregnancies it has also spilled over into nighttime wakefulness. Last night was the worst so far, he was up every 20 minutes for 2 hours and would only settle if I went in to tuck him back into his blankets and give him a kiss - personally. No amount of tucking and kissing from Cowboy would do. I felt pretty sorry for Cowboy actually, but I felt even more sorry for me as I got up out of bed for the 10th time! Luckily he settled from about midnight until 6 a.m. so I did get some sleep (but not enough, never enough!).

Another fascination he has developed is my boobs. This would make perfect sense to me if he was still breastfeeding, but it has been 5 months since he had a feed from me. Over the last week Champ randomly stuffs his hand down my top and announces 'boobies'. He didn't really even do that when he was breastfeeding (except when he was a little baby and would root for it). I have tried really hard not to react in the hope that it will just go away, but it is a bit of a shock for me. My boy, there is plenty of time for boob fascination when you are older, but for now your time alone with mine has ended.