26 March 2010

An anniversary and a due date

Cowboy, Champ and I are heading overseas to the Philippines tomorrow (or as Champ says 'go Philiphines on airplane far, far away'.).

There are many, many things to worry about including a toddler on an international overnight plane trip, making sure none of us consume dodgy food or drink (especially me), child-snatching, and my current favorite: trying to stop Champ drinking the possibly contaminated water as he showers. But I am hoping that the 4 days in a luxury resort (with built in babysitters - aka Cowboy's parents) and the joy of introducing Champ to his Great Grandmother and so many relations in the Philippines will overshadow the worries.

While we are away, a few milestones will pass. I may be so hard at it relaxing that I will forget the date, so I will remember them now:

April 2nd was my due date with Muscles.

April 6th will be one year since we conceived Turtledove.

It is hard to think about the babies I have lost. Of course, I still don't know if they were boys or girls, if they would have looked more like me than Champ does (Cowboy's mini-me), or more importantly if they would have had a chance at being healthy.

It is also strange to think that if I hadn't lost them, I wouldn't be sitting here now cradling my belly and thanking God for Lucky. I know that that feeling will continue after Lucky is born. The more you fall in love with your child, the more you wouldn't wish to change any events that brought them to you. But it is hard to be happy for my losses; hard to be happy that two babies that Cowboy and I created did not make it to our arms.

So, off we go on our holiday, Cowboy, Red, Champ and Lucky. My family.

22 March 2010

What's in a name?

As we approach the 15 week mark, we have started to think seriously about names for Lucky. I am likely going to find out the gender at our 18-20 week scan, so having a name picked out would be fun (not that I am planning on letting family and friends IRL know the name).

And, no, we are not going to name our baby 'Lucky'. Actually, I call our baby Lucky to all and sundry at the moment, Cowboy on the other hand calls Lucky 'Charming' because he thinks it is a boy and 'third time is a charm' whereas I think 'third time is lucky'. You may be surprised to know this, but all of us are going by pseudonyms on this blog. I know, it is a shock that I didn't name my son 'Champ Lemoncake', I know. So I need a real name.

I have revealed on this blog before that Champ's name is Xavier. This is pronounced a little differently depending on where you come from (Americans generally say X-avier where as British and most Aussies say it with a soft X, 'Zavier') but we are not fussed on how people pronounce it. All of our friends and family call him using the British pronunciation as we liked it from a French baby name - plus it is easier to shorten it as we do to Xav (pronounced Zave). When we chose Champ's name we didn't know his gender. I was literally in labour trying to decide on a baby girl name, but we knew hands down that Champ would be Xavier if he was a boy.

When Champ was born our second preference for boys names was Sebastian. Whilst I still like this name, it is getting very popular, to the point that there are a few Sebastians in most circles that we mix in. To us, that is a big no-no. If Lucky is a boy, we currently only have one top name (again we can decide on boys names a lot easier). The name is Watson. I like it because it also starts with an unusual letter (like Xavier) and it was my Grandmother's maiden name.

If Champ had been a girl he would have been Eliza. Our other options (in no particular order) were Audrey, Violet, Madeline, Rosie, Beatrice, and a few more that I can't even remember. Eliza is not now a name I would name this baby. Only a couple on that list rate in our top ones at the moment. If Lucky is a girl, our top two names are Violet and Beatrice. I am leaning towards Violet because, again, it starts with an unusual letter (and then I would have 2 little Roman Numerals, X & V), but it is also gaining popularity, so that is one point for Beatrice.

Nicknames are something I also consider. For example I like the name Madeline but wouldn't like it to be shortened to Maddy. My philosophy on that is that if you don't like the nickname, it is too much work to spend your life asking people not to shorten your child's name. I don't mind Xav as a nickname (or 'the X-man' as some people call him!). As for nicknames with Lucky's shortlisted names I don't know how people would shorten Watson, Violet I would shorten to Vi and Beatrice to Bea (if she is a gentle soul) or Trixie (if she is a bit feisty). I think I can cope with all variations.

So, now that you know my preferences and my conditions to a name, I am opening my comments page up to suggestions:

19 March 2010

Fairness

Champ is a lover not a fighter.

Besides a brief 'pushing' period between 18 and 24 months where he would randomly push other kids over to see what would happen (Hhhhm, here's a kid learning to walk, I bet he'll take a great tumble; What about if I push the girl in the back rather than the front?; Let's see what happens if I push this much bigger child... oops, not doing that again!) he is really laid back when with other children. He is fortunately like his Daddy and is pretty happy to go with the flow.

He can be redirected very easily if another child takes the toy he is playing with. Just a simple 'How about you use the red car?' if a child steals the yellow truck will mostly always do the trick. My problem is, how much should I redirect him like this and how much should I stand up for him?

I don't want him to always miss out on the toy he wants just because he cries less than the other kid. Many other children his age are getting quite possessive and will yell and scream if made to give back the toy they have just snatched. If both parents are present and notice the snatch the other parent will generally ask their child to give back the toy to Champ, but if the child makes a fuss I ask Champ to use a different one and we all move on happily.

I am glad to see that he is only so complacent to a point though.

We have one little friend who is incredibly possessive, anything Champ (or any other child) touches, be it hers, Champ's or belonging to a third party, she will snatch it and if asked to give it back she will scream and clench her fists firmly refusing to give it back. If made to return it, she will tantrum for ages, never once forgetting the doll/car/book she wanted. It isn't really a criticism of the two year old, she will probably grow into a very determined adult who will be very capable because of her strong desire, but it is tough to be around for too long!

But anyway, if we are with this girl, Champ will back down, and back down, and back down. He will tolerate being redirected up to 15 or so times in one playdate. But then he gives me this look, and my heart simply breaks for him. His look says 'This is just not fair, Mum.' and he will be just as upset as the girl (justifiably so). It is usually this point that I do let him play with the toy and I try as hard as I can to redirect the other child.

So, I don't know if I am doing the right thing. I am someone who fights for what I want and I was probably just like his little friend when I was her age. Cowboy is like Champ and he feels that he missed out on a lot because he didn't stand up for himself. He doesn't want Champ to be quite so easy going and miss out on what he wants. I don't want Champ to feel like he missed out, but I just don't know that me standing up for him will teach him to stand up for himself.

Any suggestions ladies?

16 March 2010

And then...

So after all the positive Mummy thoughts in my last post, the universe has to find a way to catch up to me, tap me on the shoulder and remind me that being a stay at home Mum isn't without its struggles.

For one, Champ has been driving me insane! He is actually a really good kid so I am putting it down to pregnancy hormones making me a bit short tempered on occasions, which in turn makes Champ's usually cool, calm and collected self forced to rebel against the unfairness of having a grouchy Mummy and the day spirals downhill from there.

Also, I got asked to join a friend and her son at a Wiggles concert in the middle of the year. She actually bought 3 tickets too many and was trying to sell them off. Because it would have been 3 tickets it would have been $90 for the experience (and Cowboy would then have had to take a day off work to use one ticket up). I know Champ would have loved the show, but I just had to say 'no' due to the cost. Then of course I started to feel guilty for all the things he will have to miss out on because I am not out earning a second income for the family.

Money is not 'tight' around here, but we are conscious of what we spend and try not to go too crazy. We are also not 'getting ahead'. I mean, we are paying the bills, paying the mortgage and not feeling too restricted, but we are not paying much more than the minimum mortgage repayments and not saving any elsewhere either.

To be fair, if I did work we probably wouldn't actually 'get ahead' anyway because we would probably just spend extra money that we currently don't. I have noticed that is the way it is with most people, everyone tends to live within their means and when that means expands so does the credit card bill. But still, maybe we would then be going to the Wiggles in May if I was working.

I really wish I could ask Champ what he would prefer...

A couple of other tid bits that I have been meaning to post about:

I am still sick! Like really vomiting and all. It is doing my head in! The nausea is not anywhere near as bad as it was a few weeks ago, but I am vomiting more. Add to the mix the occasional pregnancy headache (which I never get when not pregnant) and this is one unhappy Mummy. (Note to self in 2 years: Go easy on yourself and do not consider #3.)

To everyone who suggested buying a doppler when I was stressing before our 12 weeks scan, thanks for the advice and I am still considering it, but I am just not sure dopplers are for me. I tend to stress mostly before scans, so checking more often isn't going to do me any good. Also, I am afraid of not finding it one night and then panicking for no reason. But, for those of you who have done this more than once, I do want to know if you found the doppler useful after you started feeling the baby moving? I felt Champ move at 17 weeks, so I don't know if it would be worth it anyway since by the time it was shipped here I might be already feeling Lucky move and thus reassured anyway.

One more piece of random news: Champ woke last night after 12 hours of sleep with a completely dry nappy. He then rushed to the toilet and proceeded to pee his weight in urine. The kid really does make my life easy; he toilet trained himself well before he was 2 years old and now it looks like we might be out of night nappies by the time Lucky is born!

09 March 2010

Immersed

It occurs to me sometimes that friends of mine may think that I have 'lost myself' since I got married and fell pregnant (one in the same to me since Champ was essentially a honeymoon baby).

They probably breathed a sigh of relief as I returned to part time work when Champ was 11 months old, expecting the 'old' Red to come back and devote lots of energy to my career as a Charted Accountant. I am certain they couldn't understand what had come over me as I quit that job 6 months later in order to stay home and raise my son myself.

I have friends who I am sure now find me 'boring'. They think that as I am at home with Champ all day everyday (which is not actually true since everyday we have at least one activity such as music or playgroup to attend) I have become 'just' a Mum and that I need to be 'freed'.

This 'free Mum' argument really confuses me as I feel no need to be 'freed' - freed from what anyway? Freed from being a Mum? Freed from the most rewarding and satisfying, not to mention fun, thing I have ever done? If nothing else, I think they should be freed from sitting at the same desk everyday, working with the same people and having to wear highly uncomfortable clothing for 50 hours a week.

I fully admit that Champ consumes me. But I am happy to be consumed. I am happy to hand over a handful of years of my life to be at the beck and call of him, to guide his upbringing and to have lots of fun, laughs and kisses. I am happy to spend a few years of my (hopefully long) life raising my son.

I am happy to immerse myself in all aspects of motherhood. Because it is true, I am immersed in motherhood. I spend my days trying to stimulate Champ and give him a balanced start to life. I spend spare time reading parenting books and planning how we can spend our next adventurous day.

For these next few years, I am 'just' a mother. I am 'just' the most important person in someones life. I am 'just' raising a son to the best of my ability so that he may one day become the best person he can be.

And I am 'just' loving it.

05 March 2010

"It's a..." and other ultrasound facts

Best, best, best ultrasound I could have asked for!!

Lucky is still measuring ahead (12w4d) and heartbeat was 168 bpm, so still really fast. Lucky was a bit active this morning, but we still managed to see all five fingers on each hand, took photos of the bladder, both legs and could clearly make out the spine.

I casually asked the technician if it is too early to tell the gender. I should have known not to ask if I didn't want to know. He blurted out that if he was asked, he would say 'girl' as there is no pen*is.

Of course I know it might not have 'come out' yet as it is still early, but I have been getting girl vibes anyway. I think I'll have to ask at the next ultrasound (even though I hadn't decided if I wanted to know yet - we didn't with Champ) because I don't want to go through the whole pregnancy thinking of Lucky as a girl and then get a shock to find out it is a boy (even though I would be delighted either way)!

04 March 2010

Crapping myself

I am really scared after a doctors appointment I made for Champ yesterday. I took him to the doctors for his travel vaccines for our trip to the Philippines at the end of the month. I was anxious enough about that (the temporary discomfort of my little guy), but then the doctor started questioning me.

I replied that I had travelled to South East Asia 3 years ago for our honeymoon, so I was covered. Ummmm, now I know that a few of those shots only last 3 years - I had thought everything was for 10 years! Because we decided to get the shots well before our January 2007 wedding, we are now 4 month out of date for our injections.

The doctor said he would need to give me typhoid and swine flu but I was still covered for my Hep A (luckily I went back for that booster shot to make it last 10 years). I told him I was pregnant. His response: 'Why are you travelling to the Philippines while you are pregnant?'.

I was floored and now am scared.

I have since checked my itinerary and we are not travelling to any of the provinces which are high risk for malaria (his main concern because i can not take the tablets and they can not cover me at all) and we are staying at 5 star hotels and resorts the whole time - it isn't like we are staying in a shanty town.

I have done some research and believe that swine flu vaccines is quite safe, and typhoid injectible (not live) has had no reported problems with pregnant women, but it has not been medically tested as they don't test on pregnant women. It is also best to do it outside of the first trimester. I will be 13 weeks next week and the injection takes 10 - 14 days to take effect, so I think I can just scrape in if I do it next Friday.

Still, as Champ says, 'too scawy (scary)'.

In other news, looks like I spoke too soon about my morning sickness lifting. I am still sick and still vomiting. I am upset because it all stopped at 11 weeks 3 days with Champ, so that is what I was counting on this time. But no such luck. This kid is already more trouble than its brother. :)

01 March 2010

Worry, hope, love.

I have been suffering a bit of pregnancy insomnia lately. Nothing really to write home about, and I remember being the same while pregnant with Champ. The combination of early nights, nanna-naps, constant thirst, subsequent multiple toilet breaks, sore breasts and aching hips make some night time wakefulness perfectly understandable. This last week though, one more thing has been thrown into the mix to make me even more wakeful. Worry.

You would think that at 11.5 weeks I would be past the worry. However, I think it is the hope that has been creeping in ever since that 8 week scan which is making me worry. Prior to that scan I tried to have a 'come what may' attitude (hard as that was to actually pull off). But since seeing Lucky's heartbeat and little limb buds waving hello to Mummy, I have been caught up in hope.

Rather than planning each week at a time, just hoping Lucky would hold on tight to let me make it to the next weekly milestone, I have started to look further ahead. I have started to think about sleeping arrangements and our pre-baby shopping list. I have started to imagine Champ holding Lucky for the first time as he realises Mummy's belly is not the baby, the baby was in there. I have started to anticipate the sleepless nights, our breastfeeding journey and managing a newborn and a toddler.

I have my 12 week scan on Friday morning.

Last night I woke up and I was cradling my belly in my arms. And I realised that hope and love have well and truly made it in to this pregnancy.