27 April 2010

Belly comparisons

Lucky is nearly half way through baking and I am finally starting to feel a little normal again. I haven't been actually sick in a few weeks and I only really get nauseous if I let myself get too hungry or I eat chocolate (seriously, my daughter hates chocolate!). I am however still chronically exhausted. I am sleeping insane hours and still waking up tired. But maybe that is just part and parcel of having a toddler while pregnant.

I have been feeling guilty because we took so many belly pics with Champ but, until last week, not one with Lucky. For the first trimester it was more about protecting myself. I didn't want belly pics lying around if this pregnancy had gone the way of my last two. And recently I have been too sick and tired to actually be dressed and bother taking a photo.

I figure if she ever asks for pictures of me while pregnant with her, I will do one of two things: a) explain that she made me sicker than her brother ever did so he got more pics than she did; or b) lie and show her the ones of me with Champ.

But out of curiosity, I got Cowboy to take a photo for me last week so I could compare them. Sorry, I am not going to show the side on ones of me with just a bra on which is the only comparable angle we have. But, you can compare these photos of me fully dress, albeit not on a comparable angle and with me slightly further along now than in the pic with Champ.

With Champ at 18 weeks (at a masquerade party):

With Lucky at 19 weeks (last week):

Just to show that my belly is bigger than my boobs!

21 April 2010

Surprised by the expected ("It's a...")

Our big ultrasound went wonderfully. Lucky is doing perfectly and measuring to be due 15 September (Champ is 15 December so if I go on my due date it will be easy to remember my kid's birthdays).

We did find out the gender. We kept trying to direct Champ to look at the screen to see his 'baby brother or sister', so the technician asked if we wanted to know if it was a brother or sister. Looks he will be a doting big brother to a little sister.

Even though I had a hunch I was having a girl all through the pregnancy, it was still a little bit of a shock.

A girl.

One of each.

Pigeon pair.

I can't get the song from Annie "Little Girls" out of my head. Some women are drippin' with diamonds, some women are drippin' with pearls; Lucky me, lucky me, looks what I am drippin' in... Little girls! Well, only one little girl, but if my family's baby shopping spree doesn't end soon, I imagine I'll soon feel overwhelmed by all the pink, dolls and frills.

18 April 2010

Gender neutral

Gender. It's not important. What is important is a healthy baby. But of course the gender of your child does have consequences slightly more important than just the colour of your nursery.

We didn't find out Champ's gender before he was born. I wanted the surprise. I was told it would get me through labour wondering if the baby I was pushing out was a boy or a girl. I can tell you that I did not once in those 24+ hours of actual labour ponder the gender of our baby. I just wanted it out.

We were so indifferent to Champ's gender that we forgot to check under the towel for a few minutes as we exclaimed over his every little facial feature. Well, we were indifferent; until I checked and told Cowboy that he had a son. The look on that man's face told me he wasn't as indifferent as we had made out. I will never in all my years forget that look of overwhelming pride and joy on my husband's face.

In two days we have our big scan for Lucky. We are seriously thinking about finding out the gender this time. No real reason. Just to do it differently; see which we we like better. But of course you can't 'undo' being told. So we are still not 100% sure we will find out.

With Champ I 'knew' he was a boy. The entire pregnancy I was convinced he was a boy. That didn't stop me secretly hoping for a girl. That is a terrible thing to say, I know. I am the oldest of 3 girls and by the time my brother came along I was too old to 'play with the baby', so my experience is mostly with girl babies.

That is probably the reason we didn't find out his gender. I knew I would be disappointed if at the 20 week scan I was told I was having a boy. But after the birth, and holding your baby in your arms, there is no way you could feel one ounce of disappointment. All I felt at meeting Champ way pure love. I literally fell 'in love' with him. Now, I don't know if that happens when you have a girl.

This is why I am contemplating finding out Lucky's gender. I will not feel disappointed if Lucky is a boy or a girl. In fact I want both. I want a brother for Champ and I want a girl to dress up.

I know the absolute joy that a son is. People say that sons grow up and move away to their wives while a girl will always come back home to Mummy, but in these early years having a son is pure joy. Champ is a little comedian, he is bright and energetic and he loves me with an absolute passion. Little boys tend not to hold grudges or get nasty with each other. And who wouldn't want a ton of little Mummy's boys?

Of course I wouldn't mind some of our cars, trucks and balls being replaced by dolls and whatever else little girls like to play with (can you tell I am the mother of a boy?). And I adore girl's clothes much, much more than boy's. I would also like to have a daughter who will someday marry and have babies.

But these are all very general and quite sexist things. Champ enjoys playing with soft toys and dancing to music just as much as girls at his age do (loves the soft toys and tea parties actually!). And who is to say a little girl wouldn't insist on wearing pants and climbing trees - even chose not to marry and have children. Champ and his brother my be chalk and cheese; he and his sister may end up best of friends. There are no guarantees about anything.

I have learnt more about myself and about children in the last few years. I am proud to honestly say that I am actually indifferent to the gender of my child now, and would be thrilled if my future kids photos looked like either of these pictures below.

Champ and Lucky as best buddies:

Or Champ doting on his little sister, Lucky:

So now all I am hoping for Tuesday is for the scan to show me a healthy baby. But for the record, I want to know your guess as to the gender of Lucky...

12 April 2010

The good bits

I was probably being too harsh in my last post about our overseas adventure. There were good times, it has just taken me a week of recovery (and scrolling through the photos) to remember them.

We did enjoy our island getaway despite Cowboy not being 100% (we didn't know then just how bad he was). Champ loved the beach and the pool, and the resort had great kids entertainment sessions like pizza making. It was totally luxurious and I was only a tad put out by being the one who was running around after Champ most of the time, we didn't get any nights off either because Champ was super clingy overseas. I guess all the changes in one go made him want to cling to me as a piece of 'normal'.

We also enjoyed meeting Cowboy's family. I had met some of the cousins who have ventured to Australia in the last 8 or so years, but unlike his Australian family, Cowboy's Filipino family is huge! The day of my father-in-law's birthday celebration Champ didn't eat a single thing all day because all he wanted to do was run around with his newly found cousins. He was the absolute favorite; it was a mix of being new and different, his inherent cuteness and being the only male who can one day produce more little babies. Champ is the last of the family line (in name anyway).

The surprising bonus about Cowboy getting sick is that I got a free ultrasound! Despite the hospital being officially closed, Cowboy's uncle is a consulting doctor and used to run the whole hospital when he was younger, so Uncle opened up the hospital for us and got Cowboy seen to. He also consulted with an OB who he trained up from scratch many moons ago. I casually said I wish I knew the baby wasok after being so close to Shingles and before I knew it I was on the table with machines set up beside me.

I am very grateful now for the level of technology in Australia. I never knew the almost primitive technology some countries have to put up with. Firstly, I wasn't able to see the ultrasound screen like I can when I have them done here. They also asked Cowboy (being male) to leave the room, which luckily he refused to do (indeed!). They then wanted to wand me before I insisted that at 17 weeks I am sure external would do (I won that case also).

Finally, they announced that I was measuring 14 weeks. I told them that I was 16 but had been measuring 1 week ahead at each ultrasound. The doc assured me that this was fine to measure 14 weeks because the calculations are give or take 2 weeks. Give or take 2 weeks... In Australia it is accurate give or take 2 days!

I was so upset by the news that she agreed to measure the head individually as it is more accurate - 17 weeks. And the torso - 17 weeks. Oh, whoops, the baby was on a funny angle earlier so we were only getting about half the back in the measurement... Ok, lucky I was forceful enough to ask for a second measurement or I would have walked away in a panic as many Filipino women probably would do.

Then the final 'thank-goodness-my-medical-tests-are-in-Australia' moment. I asked the gender. 'He he he, no it is far to early to tell. We can't tell via ultrasound.' At that point I took my blurry ultrasound images and thanked then immensely for their help. I am now very happy to be back in Oz and I have my bigultrasound set up for next Tuesday. Phew!

Here are a few pics of the good times (plus a bit of baby bump):

In transit - exhausted:
What do you mean I can't fly the real plane?
Finally done with the first 3 plane trips - now just a short walk, a boat and a car...
The boat trip - are we there yet?!
Finally - paradise:
At sunset with his grandparents:
Pizza making in paradise:

You can seen my growing baby bump here:
Champ with his great grandmother and his cousins:

07 April 2010

Lessons learnt

The lemoncake family have returned to Oz. There's no place like home, there's no place like home...

I learnt a few things while we were away:

1. When your 2 year old falls into an on-and-off broken sleep on an overnight international flight and just needs your ssshhh-ing to get him back to sleep each time, try to resist the morning sickness and do not leave your seat to throw up in the toilet or you will pay the price with a screaming child and then an awake-after-only-6 hours-sleep toddler for the rest of the flight.

2. If your husband complains of headaches and a very sore 'pimple' on his forehead and is so not himself just before leaving on a holiday, consider getting it checked out before you get to your remote island holiday where you will not find a doctor for a few days.

3. A husband with Shingles living in hotel-close confines with a toddler and a pregnant woman is not a good combination.

4. When you are tired and you toddler 'needs' to eat and sleep in a semi regular pattern or he is off the wall, do not rely on family to show you around their home city - you will end up in bed most nights after 10pm and still up with a grumpy child at 6 am each day, everyday.

5. I should have given my boy more credit than I did, I was so worried about how/when he would sleep and yet I found that he could actually fall asleep anywhere if tired enough - even on a jeep ride, then transfer to a speed boat, then sleep in your arms all through an airport check in.

6. Bring more clothes on a plane for your toddler then you believe he could ever need to wear. Even if he didn't need them on the flight to overseas, on the way home he may wet through his entire outfit (even though he has been 'dry' for months), spill coke on another and end up on the flight with no top or warm clothes while you hug him close in a blanket to keep him warm and your husband attempts to air dry the orange juice from all over the last remaining t-shirt you have on board.

7. There really is no place like home.