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.

25 July 2009

One week down

So my first real week as a SAHM is over (i.e. a week where I am at home and Champ is not in daycare for 3 days per week!). I had a great week with my best boy. We did lots of things that I haven't had a chance to do with him before.

We spent an afternoon sitting at Champ's table while I coloured in his colouring book and he stuck stickers on his book, then removed them to put on his hand, then back on his book, then on his nose, rinse, repeat. All afternoon.

We went to library story time. I used to take him to rhyme time when he was younger as it is designed for babies and is mostly singing and rhyming. Since I went back to work though, the rhyme time day clashed with work so we haven't been in ages. Meanwhile, somewhere along the way, Champ grew up and is now in the older age group for story time. It was great. It was a bit beyond his current concentration levels (5 books and they were a little long for him), but he was pretty well behaved with a bit of encouragement and will soon understand what is expected of him for the session. He also loved the colouring activity at the end of the session.

I made some playdough for Champ! I was so excited to do this as I remember my Mum doing it for me when I was young. I made two colours and boy is it good that it is non-toxic and eatable. He is sneaky though, he never ate any when I wasn't watching (my sister was playing too and vouches for him) but as soon as I came in to the room again it was straight in the mouth. I have now stopped reacting and he is getting better at not eating it. We now have approximately 2/3 of the playdough we started with, the rest I have just thrown in the bin as I changed Champ's dirty nappy.

Speaking of nappies, I have been inspired by Sunny; Champ and I started using modern cloth nappies. They are great and I love the feel of Champ's toosh as I cuddle him. No more plastic sounds, just utter softness. Of course it will take a while until the investment pays off in terms of cost because those things are so expensive. At least most of the ones I got are one size fits all (from newborn to toilet training!) so this next little munchkin will have to help pay them off.

I also bought Champ some step stools this week. I used to plonk him in front of the TV for about 20 minutes in the evening as I prepared the evening meal (with as little effort and time as possible - steamed veggies with pan seared steak/chicken/chops 3 nights a week sound bad?). He no longer wants a bar of the TV for anymore than 5 minutes a day (who wants the Wiggles when I can have Mummy's undivided attention) and loves 'helping' me by 'washing' the vegetables. After a rather nasty accident (blood nose) involving a 19 month old standing on the kitchen chair at the sink (recipe for disaster or what?), I opted for a $3 plastic stool which is no more than 15 cm from the ground but allows Champ to see what Mummy's doing that is sofascinating on top of the counter. I also got him one for the bathroom so that he can wash his hands (which he loves to do infinite times per day) without me having to bend over and carry him.

It has been a pretty good week in the lemoncake household. I quite like being a SAHM! I'll leave you with some photos of us around the house, soaking up the winter with the heater on full blast (just so that Champ could run around in just his new cloth nappies and Mummy can squeeze his adorable legs whenever she wants).

24 July 2009

Break

I haven't had much of a chance to blog this week. Cowboy has been home for work sick and I have been trying to make it look like I actually do things other than lounge around online and drink cups of tea during Champ's nap. You know, cooking, cleaning, the boring stuff.

No new news around here though.

OK, now I'm off to do the dishes...

21 July 2009

Babysteps

I love my GP because she is a hypochondriac. I had merely to suggest that I am nervous about this pregnancy because of last time and she didn't hesitate to write me a referral for an early ultrasound.

Normally in Australia we are only able to get one ultrasound through the entire pregnancy (and you have to wait until 20 weeks to get that!). If you choose to do the down syndrome testing (which we didn't choose with Champ) you also get one at 12 weeks. I did actually manage to squeeze two more ultrasounds in when I was pregnant with Champ though due to spotting at 4 and 8 weeks, so I do have 3 sets of pictures of him before he was born.

But now, due to the kindness of my doctor, I am booked for an early ultrasound at 6.5 weeks! I can not wait. I just hope that this pregnancy sticks around that long.

So the plan is to take this pregnancy in the following baby steps:
  • Hold my breath until I pass the marker of my last miscarriage. Then breath.
  • Then hold again until the early ultrasound. Then breath.
  • Hold once more until the 12 weeks screening test (I want it this time only because I feel like I need the reassurance, not for the actual screening reason). Then breath.
Hopefully I will pass all these points without passing out and I hope that I can breathe normally after this point.

19 July 2009

Please Grandpa

I have fond childhood memories of my Grandfather sitting in his tent in the seaside caravan park where my extended family and I spent most summers. He would have his glasses pushed down, bent over in deep concentration with the latest form guide in hand and listen to the horse racing.

I don't know if he was any good at betting. I do remember my uncle and him celebrating many a 'good win' but I am sure that if I asked my Grandmother, she would tell me that he lost more than he won. Still, he studied the form guide, checked the odds and placed his bet.

Maybe that is why I expected this cycle to come out with a BFP. I studied my symptoms, knew the odds (2 for 2, gotta mean something) and placed my bet.

It paid off. I am pregnant again.

Other childhood memories of my Grandfather including me sitting on his knee reading story after story; of me playing hairdresser by placing curlers all through his grey dampened hair and brushing it for hours on end; of him tickling my toes in front of the fireplace just the way I liked it to be done; of sleeping over at my Grandparent's house and setting the table for him for breakfast the way I knew he liked it to be done (left handed).

My Grandfather passed away 4 years ago. Sometimes in the last few months I have imagined Turtledove, a 3 old feminine version of Champ, sitting on my Grandfather's knee 'up there'. They are both smiling, both so happy to be together.

So now I am pregnant again.

Grandpa, I know that Turtledove must be happy with you, but please, can we keep this one?

18 July 2009

My 'To Do' list

Things I can strike from my 'To Do' list today:
  1. Go shopping for clothes for myself (get disoriented and end up in a maternity shop, buy one maternity skirt to add to the countless maternity clothes purchased when pregnant with Turtledove and Champ).
  2. Book a doctors appointment for next week for myself (for my pregnancy hospital referral).
  3. Visit a baby shop with Cowboy to look for a cot valance (explain to Cowboy that this is what the nursery needs for it to be complete - ignore Cowboy's questioning look 'Nursery? For Champ?')
  4. Order all food eaten out to be 'well done' and refuse to eat deli ham, bacon or anything else which is not advisable for pregnant women.
What remains on my 'To Do' list?
  1. POAS or otherwise seek a positive confirmation of pregnancy (oh, you thought maybe I would have done this one before doing the other 4? Nah, I'll get around to this one eventually.)

16 July 2009

'Al you' Champ, I really do

I now have 4 more days until I can POAS. I am dying to do it sooner of course, but I will probably only be wasting it. I am usually pretty good about waiting until either the day AF is due, or one day prior, but this time I might end up wasting a couple of sticks because I am so over analysing everything.

I have been nauseous for a while, yesterday I even had a little spit up while at playgroup (the really gross kind that sneaks up on you and you swallow before you realise what has happened). I woke up this morning with really aching hips which has been a prominent feature of pregnancies to date. However that could be due to me refusing to lie on my stomach, I have been lying on my sides each night which suppose is extra pressure for my hips. Anyway, I am so over analysing all of this - I am either pregnant and will find out in 4 (or 3!) days, or I am not. Thinking about it will not change it.

I wish I could convince myself of that.

Champ is really challenging me at the moment. I haven't really even had care of him very much this week (he is still in 3 days childcare until next week, and I had a funeral to attend on Tuesday so my FIL babysat all afternoon). Still, I just can't seem to find the excessive patience he requires right now.

I think I have to learn to pick my battles. I say 'no' to things that I really could say 'yes' to, and then regret it as it would have been easier to just do it in the first place.

For example, Champ saw me peel and wash some vegetables in the sink last week. Now, whenever he sees some of his plastic food, he uses his plastic utensil to 'peel' it and then runs to the sink crying out 'wash, wash'. I say 'one time' and he echoes me, holding out one finger like he understands. I turn on the tap and he spends all of 1 second wetting the carrot before shoving it into his mouth and running off happy.

For 30 seconds.

When the carrot water has been licked clean he again runs to the sink yelling 'wash, wash'. In hindsight I should just repeat the ritual until he is bored. I know he doesn't understand 'one time' anyway so it's not like I would be renegging. However, Mummy is tired of lifting her 12+ kg boy up to the sink, and says 'no more'. Cue water works. Then I have to lift him anyway and distract him with some other game that will take his mind off it (which usually involves me dancing him around the room or otherwise entertaining him anyway).

I think I should just accept that my job description includes 'full time entertainer' in addition to the many other tasks required to keep an 18 month old happy.

My Mum tells me that she thinks it is harder when you have had the break from your kids as I have had this fortnight. Mum should know, she had 4 of us and stayed at home full time for 20 years. She says that you have experienced the freedom and then comeback to reality still expecting everything to be nice and orderly. I guess it is like the way coming back to work after a holiday is so hard.

Still, there are some perks. Today when Champ woke up (after a 12 hour sleep - wohoo! He has been averaging 10.5 / 11 hours lately) he wanted to dance with me 'man, man' he cried pointing to Cowby's ipod. So I turned on his latest favourite song 'monkey man' and picked him up to spin around the lounge a few times.

Then he put his hand to my face and said 'al you'. I replied 'al you?'; 'al you' he responded again with his little hand on my cheek; 'I love you?' I asked; 'yeah' he nodded.

Mummy loves you too baby, she really, really does.

15 July 2009

Independance

I love (and hate) that you want cuddles constantly.

I love (and hate) that you want me to read 100 stories a day to you.

I love (and hate) that my leg is the perfect size stool for you to sit and read from.

I love (and hate) that you want me to sit on your Champ-sized chairs and colour with you.

I love (and hate) that you want to try to do everything for yourself.

I love (and hate) that you are not yet able to do many of these things alone.

I love (and hate) that only my arms will soothe when you are frustrated by failing to do things by yourself.

I love (and hate) that you are not yet independent.

13 July 2009

This is not an update

This is not an update because I really have nothing to update.

I am now half way through my 2ww and still have 'that pregnant feeling, woh oah, that pregnant feeling'.

Here's hoping that it is right, otherwise I may need to go to the doctors anyway to test for diabetes (so thirsty), chronic fatigue (so tired) and a tummy bug (background level nausea). I have no idea how I have these 'symptoms' 7 dpo though.

I noticed slight cramping 5-6 dpo and then this background nausea started. Surely it is too soon. Cowboy thinks that I either fell pregnant last month (despite having no unprotected 'leisure time') or that my body 'forgot' that it miscarried so now thinks it is 4 months or so pregnant (clearly, he is not a doctor either). I am hopeful that I am pregnant, but fearful of what the nausea will be like at 8 weeks if it has already started!

For the record, with Champ I noticed montgomery glands about 7 dpo (I have them now, but I forgot to check if they went away after breastfeeding or if they are just a permanent feature now) and breast tenderness shortly after. It wasn't until almost 6 weeks that I noticed nausea which worsened until 12 weeks when it abated.

With Turtledove I didn't have any symptoms other than tiredness.

Hhhhmmm, obviously hoping for an outcome more like Champ's than Turtledove's.

09 July 2009

Too much optimisim is never enough

Cowboy and I pulled it off (so to speak). We managed to shoot and score with 30 seconds on the clock. We almost high fived each other after the big event!

So now the waiting begins.

Except that I am not really waiting. In my mind, I am scheduling our doctors visits, I am reading up on how to make the adjustment easier for Champ, I am penciling the due date into my diary (it would simply not do to double book that day, you see). In my mind I am pregnant.

I am also 'experiencing' pregnancy symptoms. Ha! Cowboy swimmers probably haven't had time to even meet up with my golden girl yet, let alone go on a first date and eventually settle down into a harmonious future together in my uterus.

So, yes. I am pregnant. In my head.

Please hope with me that I don't fall too hard in two weeks.

07 July 2009

Sqeezing the juice (or: how not to seduce your husband)

Cowboy and I have been having some trouble creating a sibling for Champ. It is the old fashioned kind of trouble. No need for needles, meds or doctors visits. Our problem lies more in our heads.

Five days before I expected to ovulate I was able to seduce Cowboy quite easily. I told him O-day was ages away, that this was purely for fun. Four days prior to O-day again I was able to pull the 'I just want you for you' story. Shoot and score both nights!

The next night I tried again. It must be O-day soon, right? Yes, Cowboy, so let's go, go, go!

We kissed, we cuddled, we giggled, we changed positions, we both really wanted to want to be doing this, we tried to try (we tried to try for over an hour!). We failed.

The next day, we tried again. Once again, more giggling, some cramping (Cowboy!), shuffling, trying to convince ourselves that this was where we wanted to be. Heck, we even tried an adult movie. Many more giggles ensued. We gave up after a good hour.

Finally, this morning before work Cowboy decided that as today is 'the day' we would ignore previous experience and try to actually do it this morning. So, with Champ safely glued to the Wiggles DVD and our door firmly closed, we valiantly tried again. This time, we gave up after two minutes.

I am not holding out much hope that our attempts five days ago will still be swimming. This month may not be our month, but I am now armed with more information for next month. Next month I will be shooting for 2 days prior to O-day as my first attempt. We are obviously getting too old (and unfit!) for so many tries at baby making the old fashioned way.

05 July 2009

The way it should be

Sometimes I think about the thoughts of other Mums when our children are playing together.

Logically
, I know that other Mum's think their child is the cutest, the smartest, the funniest, the most adorable and the most brilliant. That is the way it should be.

However, I just can not fathom how someone could think their child is cuter, smarter, funnier, more adorable or more brilliant than Champ. I just can. not. see. how. And that is the way it should be.

03 July 2009

I am not a doctor

Cowboy and I have decided to get down and dirty through my fertile time this month. I hate to think of it as 'trying to conceive' because I am worried that I will only set myself up for disappointment if I don't get pregnant straight away. The last two pregnancies have happened so quickly for us, but I can't shake this feeling that this time it might not happen so easily.

Maybe the miscarriage has changed my body. Maybe it has just changed my mind so that I am not so trusting of nature to deliver us a healthy child anymore.

I have read the statistics. Given that I have conceived and given birth to a healthy child and had 'only' one early miscarriage, I am at no more increased risk of another miscarriage than any other woman.

But I am still worried. I think it is a worry that won't leave until I am delivered another healthy baby. The statistics don't stop the worry. The statistics don't stop me itching to google 'secondary infertility' or 'multiple miscarriages' or any other 'useful', scary information the internet can give me in an instant.

Now that we are ready for another pregnancy, bad thoughts and ideas have been invading my mind. I am making up medical problems where hopefully none exist.

Just now I was thinking back to Champ's birth. I had a completely natural drug free birth with him in a birthing centre attached to a hospital. He was a very healthy weight (4 kg / 9 pounds) and everything was blissful for the first few hours. In the day or so to follow things went downhill quickly though.

After a few hours of lovely skin to skin contact with Cowboy and I, I noticed rash on Champ's head, groin and armpit when I was learning to change his nappy. Champ's temperature was also dropping and I sat with him under a heat lamp to try to warm him up. I remember commenting on how fast his breathing was, but didn't understand the importance of that until later. In the next 5 hours we had had multiple visits from paediatricians and blood samples confirmed that Champ had elevated CRP (indicating inflammation and is a marker for some diseases).

By the time Champ was 12 hours old we were transferred to the normal section of the hospital and further blood tests were taken to check growth culture of the virus (a 24-48 hours wait on the results). After much difficulty in finding a vein (we watched as the doctors tried both hands and feet before finding a vein in his arm), a catheter was inserted into Champ's tiny little arm, and held in place with a splint and tape. Antibiotics were then given through the catheter as a precaution to any viruses he may have had.

During the night Champ was moved to the nurses station for observation. I don't know how I allowed this to happen as it seems shocking to me now that I allowed them to take my baby, but I had not slept in 48 hours, so I was a bit foggy. Two hours later I was woken as a paediatrician observed him, his breathing was rapid but not exhertive. I was informed that Champ needed to be placed in the special care nursery.

During that night I expressed milk and took to Champ every two hours. He was on a drip IV fluid (dextrose and electrolytes) as he was dehydrated. By the third time that I got up to express and then feed him that night, I was informed that he had sicked up a lot of blood and mucous which had been swallowed during delivery. He had been moved to another room for patients who required less care, but connected to a heart rate and respiration monitor.

By 6 a.m. when I fed him, his breathing had normalised. By the time Cowboy came back to the hospital at 8.30 a.m. we were informed that an X-Ray would be taken and a paediatrician would do lumbar puncture to test for meningitis. Champ's CRP was still rising and they were concerned.

We left the room at 9.00am while they attempted the lumbar puncture. I distinctly remember the doctor saying that we should leave as it is something no parent should have to see done to her baby. They curled him up into a little ball and punctured his spine to draw spinal fluid. To this day I do not know how Cowboy and I left our baby in that room. I guess it was fear of what diseases he may have had that compelled us to do it.

The first attempt at lumbar puncture failed . The second lumbar was successful though cloudy with blood. By lunch time we were informed that the results were negative. It was not meningitis which would have been the worst case scenario.

For the next 24 hours Champ remained in special care, but his condition improved greatly. He was feeding well (although was still a sleepy feeder so I continued to express as well as feed him) and the IV fluid drip was removed. I was terrified when the respirator and heart rate monitor was removed, but the nurses assured me that they would still keep their eyes on him. He was in the room with such sick, tiny babies. There were babies in there that we born incredibly early and were so tiny. My 90th percentile baby looked so out of place.

Late in the afternoon, 36 hours after he was admitted, Champ was returned to my room! He still required the penicillin 12 hourly and gentomyacin 36 hourly which were administered through the catheter. Another day and a half later Champ's catheter leaked and the remained of the course of medicines had to be given intramuscularly as well as his blood taken to check CRP levels every 12 hours. It was so hard to watch my baby being turned into a pin cushion.

By day 5 Champ's CRP had dropped to half what it had been, however it was still remarkably high and we were told to wait another day in hospital. Finally exactly 6 days after the first signs of trouble, we were given the all clear to take Champ home. We were ecstatic!

We don't really know what was wrong with Champ in those early days. A big part of my theory has to do with the swallowed mucous. It stopped him feeding well which led to dehydration which explains the rapid breath and low temperature. The only unexplained thing in my mind are his CRP levels and the rash. However, if the other factors were not present, he would never have had his CRP levels tested and we may all have continued on our merry way.

Maybe.

Of course terrible things could have happened without intervention. We will never know.

Since I have been thinking about it is scares me that something happened to Champ while in my womb and that very something may have been what caused my subsequent miscarriage. See what I mean about making up medical problems? I have absolutely no medical basis for this self diagnosis! But it still worries me.

The possibility of becoming pregnant again has brought all of these miscarriage thoughts back to the surface. I have no doctor to ask about these things because we have never used a reproductive doctor. My GP is lovely, but can only assure me that the statistics are in my favour and that all I can do is get pregnant again to see how it will play out.

So that is the plan. Hopefully.

02 July 2009

SAHM - coffee anyone?

I only have two more days in the office before I swap my computer for crayons, my desk for my lounge room and my boss for one infinitely cuter (and probably more demanding).

I can't wait!

One hiccup in my plan is that I didn't realise I have to give Champ's daycare 4 weeks notice before withdrawing him. The outcome is that I will have 2 weeks of daycare for him after I have left work.

Because the Australian government want to encourage mothers to work away from the home and are willing to pay for it to happen, they subsidise about 80% of childcare costs. I literally have to take Champ to daycare for those two weeks or else pay the full $80 per day with no assistance from the government.

So in my first two weeks as a SAHM I will have 6 days of free time. How I am going to fill in those days is beyond me. I haven't had free time like this since Champ was born! However, I will persist though and struggle through those long, long days (that will be over too soon). Latte anyone?