Monday, April 7, 2014

Tuesday 8 April 2014

I am finally getting around to updating this blog. Its amazing how full my days are now that I have Callie to care for. I have never been more tired, but I have also never been more insanely happy.

Callie is 11 weeks old today and is growing and changing more and more each day. She is so alert and engaged now. She is cheeky and playful and smiles so often. She makes my heart ache with love each time I look at her or hear her adorable noises. Here is a photo of my little girl taken today:

She's so big now that she no longer fits into her 0000 clothes anymore and is in her 000. Here is a photo of Callie in her car seat the day we bought her home from hospital and one from yesterday to show how much she's grown (we've also had to adjust the straps in her car seat up to the next level):

Miss Callie has settled very well into a routine and seems to respond very well to it. The routine we are using is based on the Save Our Sleep one by Tizzie Hall. I like it because it lays the routine out for you very simply so its easy for sleep deprived parents to work with! We're not super strict on the routine and adapt it to her as needed, and it seems to be working very well. She is up for the day at 7am and in bed at 7pm with at least 2 sleeps during the day. Some days she would much rather be up with us and that's ok too. The routine just gives us a guide so we know she is getting enough milk and sleep. It also gives us a rough idea how the day will go so we can fit outings and visits into our day. Its all going very well and I am really glad we have implemented it. Callie is also getting very good at self-settling, which is wonderful. She is sleeping amazingly well. She sleeps from 7-10.30pm when she has a dreamfeed (usually she is totally asleep for this one) and then often only gets up once over night. We have even had a few nights (including Sunday night) where she has slept through until 6am or later. Such a good baby.

Callie is still sleeping in her cradle in our room and has her very cute comforter Mizzie the monkey to keep her company. Here is a photo of Callie in her cradle with Mizzie:

So in my last post I mentioned that Callie and I had to have our 6 week checks and that Miss C was having her 6 week immunisations. That all went well.

On Monday 3 March we took her to see Dr K, the paediatrician who looked after her in hospital, for her 6 week check up. Dr K weighed, measured and checked her all over and was happy to report she is doing great. At this appointment she weighed in at 4.76kg and was 56cm long.

On Wednesday 5 March Callie and I went to see Dr B for my check and all is well there too. The C-section scar is healing great and Dr B was happy with how I'm doing. He also told me that if we have number 2 he would be more than happy to care for us. He also said that with a baby as gorgeous as Callie how could we not want another one? How sweet is he?!

Thursday 6 March it was time for Callie's 6 week immunisations. She was such a good baby and only screamed a little and then was quite happy once I feed her. I wasn't so brave and had a bit of a cry. The nurse said that was very normal and gave me a hug. I'm so proud of Callie, she was a star.

The following day we hopped on a plane to Melbourne to go see my Mum and sister. Callie was such a little champ on the plane. She slept the whole way except for a little as we were landing and was fine once I fed her. Our hire car was ready for us and an excellent company called Hire for Baby had fitted our car seat for us. It was such an easy process and we will definitely use them again.

The weekend in Melbourne was very special. Callie got to meet my friend Emma and my extended family and most importantly she got to meet my Mum. Seeing Mum with Callie will forever stay with me. It was so special. Mum was besotted with her and just wanted to give her loads of cuddles. I got some beautiful photos of the two of them together. It was also the most lucid and engaged I had seen Mum in months. It brought tears to my eyes and I am so grateful for those moments seeing the two of them together. Here is a photo of Callie with her Nanna Gwen:

Home again and it took a few days to get Callie settle back into her routine. I think being in a strange place, not sleeping in her own bed and a disrupted routine really messed her around. Thankfully she was back to herself within a few days.

Callie loves being outside. I think she'll be a very outdoorsy little girl as she grows up. She loves going for a walk in the pram. I try to take her and Smudgey-Moo out for a walk each afternoon, weather permitting. It is not easy to walk Smudge and push the pram at the same time, but it makes them both so happy I couldn't not take them both. Here are our girls out for a walk:

I always thought that I would get bored being home with Callie, but nothing could be further from the truth. Each day is full of laughter and new experiences as Callie grows. I love my time with her. We play together, talk, sing, dance, go outside and have cuddles. We read stories and play with Smudge. My days are full and are even better on the weekends when Bio Mum is home too and our whole family is together. I love my little family.

A few weeks ago I bought Callie a swing and man does she love it! She is fascinated by the hinges and the toys hanging from it. She is very happy to just swing away in there, often dozing off. There was a little drama with the Swing, with it not swinging itself, the sensor wasn't working or something. I contacted the company and within 24 hours of me emailing the details and receipt we had a new base for it and now it swings itself perfectly. Here is Callie Boo in her new swing:

Miss Callie went to her first picnic when she was 8 weeks old. I took some burgers and picked Bio Mum up from work and we had a little family picnic down by the lake. It was windy but lovely. Here is Callie at her first picnic:

On 21 March I took Callie to see the Maternal Child Health Nurse for a check up, she was exactly 2 months old. The visit went really well and the nurse was really pleased with how she is doing. At this appointment Callie weighed in at 5.185kg and measured 56.3cm long with a head circumference of 39.3cm! I'm aiming to take her back in this week for another check to make sure she is still growing as she should. She feeds like a champ, but I am a little concerned that maybe towards the end of the day I am not producing enough milk for her as she seems to often get frustrated at her 6pm feed. Maybe she's just getting tired? I don't know. I'll talk to the nurse about it.

Callie has also decided she hates baths again! When she was in hospital and the first few weeks at home she screamed through every bath, but then seemed to start really loving them and only screaming when we got her out. Now she is back to screaming through them and I've got no idea why. I've tried feeding her before the bath, having the heater on so she doesn't get cold and nothing seems to help. I've even tried getting in the bath with her and for the first one it was fine, but the other two times we tried that it wasn't so good. Not sure what else to do. I guess we'll just keep trying different things and hope she starts to enjoy the bath again.

On Saturday 22 March our awesome friend Cass from Plum Photography came over and did a photo shoot for us. It was such a lovely afternoon. We got the photos on Friday last week and they are just beautiful! Cass did such an amazing job. I love them so much and can't wait to get some printed. I'll end this post with a few photos from the shoot (all credit to Plum Photography). I'll hopefully post again soon.

Monday, February 24, 2014

24 February 2014

Well it has been quite a while since my last posted, just over a month I'd say. What an amazing, life changing month it has been! I'd better start at the beginning...
When I last posted I was 39 weeks pregnant and preparing to go into hospital to be induced due to the feared size of Bub, especially her head. Here is the 39 week Bump photo:
So on Monday 20 January 2014 I spent the day resting and completing the last bit of packing for the hospital, I also kept finding myself drifting into the nursery as the gravity of what was happening became more real.
Bio mum was at work, but didn't last too long and was home before mid afternoon. I was so glad to have her home as I was getting a little nervous. We relaxed together, before our friend Steph and her daughter Bella came over as they would be staying at our place to take care of Moo while we were in hospital. After dinner and some attempts at relaxing, we headed to the hospital at 7.40pm. We arrived and were shown to my room to get settled in.
We watched some Ink Master on Bio Mum's tablet while a lovely nurse/midwife named Karen set up a monitor around the bump to check on the baby. All was well and then it was time to insert the prostin gel to kick things off. Not long after the gel was in it started to burn and I started getting some pretty intense back pain. I ended up having to buzz Karen as the pain was pretty awful and I couldn't really tolerate being on my back. She gave me some panadine and sleeping tablets. Bio Mum stayed a little longer before heading home for the night, it was about 11pm I think by this stage. After that I spent the night trying to sleep, while having pretty bad back and period like pain (Karen kept calling them little niggles, which I didn't like as they were way more than 'little niggles').
The next morning Bio Mum arrived back at the hospital just before 7am. After I had a shower we headed over to delivery and got set up in the delivery suite and met our midwife, Anne. Turns out she actually knows Bio Mum's brother in law's mother. Not too long after 8am Dr B arrived and broke my waters, he also did and internal exam and found that I had dilated 3cm over night so that was pretty good! Here is a photo of me in the delivery suit enjoying some breakfast before things really got started:
After my waters were broken they set me up with a syntocinon drip to get my contractions going. It wasn't long before they were coming hard and fast. They were mostly in my back and the most intense pain I have ever felt. They just kept coming with a far too short break in between. Each time one hit I was squeezing Bio Mum's hand or the sheets and writhing about. It wasn't long before I was begging for an epidural. They offered me gas or other pain relief, but all I wanted was the epidural!
They contacted Dr B and then arranged an Anaesthetist to come and help me out. Our Anaesthetist was phenomenal! I could have kissed her once the epidural was in and working. Getting it in was a bit rough as the contractions were coming so fast and I had to force myself to stay still. She had to adjust the catheter in my back, but finally it was in and I was very happily pressing the button for pain relief.
That epidural was amazing. I could still feel and move my legs, but couldn't feel any pain from the contractions. I could still feel my stomach tightening, but that was it. It was actually really fascinating to watch the monitor hooked up to my belly to see when my contractions were coming. The monitor also kept track of Bub's heart rate so that gave us some comfort to see her doing well. Here is a photo of me post epidural going in and the fascinating monitor:

(The line on the right of the photo is tracking the contractions, you can see how regular they were!)
After the epidural both Bio Mum and I had naps and relaxed watching the Discovery channel. In case I needed surgery I wasn't allowed to eat so I got to enjoy my water and watch Bio Mum eat my lunch! I was pretty much starving and chugging water to try and ease that.

That was how the day went. Lots of sleeping and every 15 minutes a wondrous press of a button to top up my epidural.

Our lovely midwife's shift ended at lunch time and then Cheryl came on, who was equally as lovely. Just before 5pm Bio Mum and I noticed that Bub's heart rate kept dropping and quickly rang for Cheryl who came in and checked things out. Dr B came along not long after and did an internal exam which found that I was only 4-5cm dilated and that my cervix had curtained (not entirely sure what that means). It was also discussed that Bub was posterior (explaining the extreme contractions I had been having in my back.

Dr B had a look and then told us that we were going to have to have a C-section. He said he could let me labour longer, but the outcome would be the same. Bub was not engaging and most likely stuck.

After it was decided that we were having a C-section it was no more than 20 minutes later and I was being wheeled into surgery and Bio Mum was taken off to change into some scrubs. Luckily our fabulous anaesthetist was still at the hospital so she was able to come into surgery to do my C-section anaesthesia (I'll also add that she was so nice that she only charged us for the epidural and not the C-section anaesthesia, which would have been quite pricey as it was after hours). They got me all hooked up and ready for surgery and then brought Bio Mum into the room (She says it felt like ages before they came and got her). Bio Mum sat up by my head and was told if she felt like she was going to faint she had to sit on the floor!

Not long after they got started with the c-section and within a few minutes Bub was coming out. She was VERY stuck in my pelvis and I felt my entire body jerking as Dr B tried to get her out. Finally she was out and they dropped the sheet in front of us so we could see our beautiful baby girl. I promptly burst into tears. It was instant and complete love at first sight. She had a mop of dark hair and was just perfect!

My most vivid memory of the surgery was Dr B holding our girl and saying 'Come on sweetheart' as he waited for her to take a breath. Finally she did and my heart started again. After she was out they took her out of my sight to be checked over by the paediatrician. Bio Mum went with her and also cut the umbilical cord.

After she had been checked out (and while Dr B and his assistant stitched me up) they bought her over and placed her on my chest. I couldn't stop the tears of joy from falling. Here is the first time I got to hold our little girl:

Her name is Callie Elisabeth and she is perfect. She was born weighing 3.59kg, 49cm long and a head circumference of 36cm. Her Apgar score was 7 at 1 minute and a perfect 10 at 5 minutes.

After our cuddle they took me to recovery and took Bio Mum and Callie back to our room on the ward. I was in recovery for about 2 hours (longer than I should have been as they were very short staffed). I was set up with IV pain killers (by the time I finally got my pain killers I was really starting to feel the pain from the C-section) and checked over and then finally taken to the ward to be with my girls.

We did some skin to skin time and I gave Callie her first breast feed. It was amazing. I love this little girl so much. I also love Bio Mum more than ever.

We were in hospital for 5 days after Callie was born, which was incredible as the lessons and guidance we got from the midwives was invaluable. I have no idea how people manage going home hours after having a baby! I am so grateful for the time we spent in hospital.

The first 24 hours I spent in bed hooked up to my IV pain killers and oxygen. Bio Mum was brilliant looking after Callie, she is much more natural at this mothering thing than I am. She was born to be a Mum, I'm a work in progress!

The first time I got up after surgery was bloody awful! The pain was terrible and I couldn't stop my body (mainly my legs) from shaking. My first act once on my feet was a much needed shower and despite the constant trembling it will go down in history as one of the best showers I have ever had! Bio Mum came into the bathroom to help me as I was pretty unsteady and really couldn't bend down at all. Unfortunately a couple of nursing staff felt that was a great time to come in so people got to see me in all my glory...although after everything I so didn't care.

After my shower I hoped back into bed. The next few days passed way too quickly between visits from very excited friends and family (many of whom brought me the food I had been unable to eat while pregnant and way too many lovely gifts) and caring for Miss Callie. We had two very bad nights on days 2 and 4, where none of us got much sleep, but for the most part Callie is a very good baby and we are so lucky.

Here is Callie in hospital:

My Dad and my sister flew into town on the weekend after Callie was born, which was so amazing. I just wish my Mum could have been there too. We have skyped with Mum a few times so that she could see Callie, my sister has also shown her loads of photos. Mum seems really excited and happy about Callie. We are planning to head down to Melbourne on the March long weekend to introduce Callie to Mum. It means so much to me that Mum and Callie get to spend some time together. I want those memories so I can show Callie photos and tell her about her Nanna in case we lose Mum before Callie can build her own memories of her.

Callie has been great, feeding well, usually sleeping pretty well and pooping like a champ! She already has such a big personality and looks so much like Bio Mum. They share the same nose and Callie even has the same monkey toes! She is our little monkey!

We were lucky in hospital to have some amazing midwives looking after us, especially Vera, Janet and Sarah. They taught us so much and I will forever be grateful to them for the knowledge they gave us. I really would have liked to have brought Vera home with us, but she wasn't so keen. Vera was also a lactation consultant so was really helpful when it came to feeding.

On Sunday 26 January 2014 after both Callie and I were checked over and my stitches removed we were discharged and allowed to bring Callie home with us. I was both nervous and excited. I was scared how we would cope without the midwives there to help us out, but excited to bring our little girl home.

The drive home from the hospital was nerve-wracking. Bio Mum drove so carefully, it was really sweet. Here is Callie and Moo they day we brought her home, Moo seems to really love Callie:

We settled in at home and started figuring things out. We had a visit from the Maternal Child Health Nurse on 31 January 2014 and found out Callie is thriving and had gained 330g since leaving hospital. The nurse was lovely and really gave me some validation that we are doing well.

We've ventured out a few times, the first couple of times was just a walk in the pram and then we walked up to the supermarket. After that we ventured out further to register her birth and to do some shopping a few times. Callie has been brilliant on our outings. She loves the pram and the car and it so mellow when out and about. Actually she is normally a very laid back and mellow little girl.

On Valentines Day Bio Mum and I left Callie for the first time and headed out for a lunch date. We left her with Bio Mum's parents and went to this amazing place that has food from New Orleans. It was a little stressful, I really hated leaving Callie even though I knew she would be fine. It was such a relief to come home to have some Callie cuddles.

Since we brought our girl home there have been ups and downs and big life changes, but every single second has been worth it. I can't imagine not having Callie in our lives. She is meant to be a part of our family and just brings so much joy to our lives.

We have had poo explosions that have both shocked and impressed us. I have never been impressed by poo before having a baby, now its become one of my key topics of conversation. I have been peed on, pooped on and spit up on and I don't care in the slightest. I am sleep deprived and constantly hungry, but as long as Callie is happy and thriving then I can cope.

I have had moments where the exhaustion or doubt has gotten to me, but they are few and far between. A big part of how well I'm coping is Bio Mum. She has been pretty damn amazing. She has taken such good care of both Callie and me it has made everything so much easier. She has made sure I eat and drink and get sleep as often as I can. She tells me I'm doing well and supports me when I am doubting myself. She did the lions share of the nappies in the early days (I've picked up my game now) and helped me as I got the hang of breast feeding. She has done the middle of the night feeds to give me a break and let me get some sleep and has committed to doing these feeds every Friday and Saturday night. Bio Mum is incredible and I could not imagine doing this without her. I love our little family.

Callie is now almost 5 weeks old and she is growing so fast. She is already a funny and sweet little girl and so loved by everyone. She is beautiful and I can spend hours just watching her and going through the thousands of photos we have taken of her. I get lost in her and time just flies by before I'm ready for it to.

Its amazing how time is speeding by and yet it feels like she has always been in our lives.

Today was Bio Mum's first day back at work, which was hard for all of us but Bio Mum especially. I know she missed Callie (and me too) so much. I missed having her here, not even just to help out with Callie, I have loved spending all this time with her over the last 5 weeks. I feel like having Callie has just brought us closer and closer together.

I am also proud of myself for managing by myself today. I was sick as a dog yesterday with gastro (Bio Mum was sick from Wed night to Saturday) and was really scared I would still be sick and would really struggle. Thankfully as the day went on I felt better and I managed well. I have some more confidence now that I can care for Callie, maybe I'm a good Mum after all!

Here are some photos of Callie:

First bath, 3 days old.

Sleeping in her cradle.
Enjoying her snuggle pod.
All dressed up for her first birthday party on 15 February 2014.

She is such a happy little girl and I am loving every day with her!

I can't promise to post regularly or even often, that will depend on how tired I am and what free time I can scramble. I do promise to update from time to time. We are off to have our 6 week checks next week (me with Dr B and Callie with the paediatrician) and also Miss Callie will be having her 6 week immunisations, so I'll aim to post again about these appointments. We're also hoping to do a day trip to the coast this weekend and then off to Melbourne the weekend after so I'll have much to update.

Until next time, take care.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Week 38, Day 4

Friday 18 January 2014

Here is the 37 week bump (taken at week 37, day 6):

Here is the 38 week bump (taken at week 38, day 4):

The count down to Bub's eviction has well and truly begun! It is amazing to think that we will be meeting her in just a few days. I can't wait to hold her in my arms and to see Bio Mum holding her. Part of me almost doesn't believe that we are really going to meet our little girl so soon, the other part of me feels like we have been waiting forever.

The hospital bags are packed and ready to go, car seat is fitted in one car (second base has been bought to be fitted in the new car), Nursery is ready, clothing and bedding are all washed and we've had our last ante-natal appointment. I don't think we could be any more prepared at this stage.  I've even collected all the paper work we need and packed that. I feel very organised and prepared, but am sure that I will have forgotten something.

A few weeks ago I went to a breastfeeding workshop and one of their suggestions was from 36 weeks we should start hand expressing and freezing some colostrum to take with us to hospital, just in case I am unable to feed Bub. So we started expressing and on the first go managed to get 1ml (over the course of a day). A week and a bit later we managed to fill a 5ml syringe! I was pretty proud of that effort. Since then we have also filled three 3ml syringes, giving us a grand total of 15mls of colostrum to take to the hospital with us. The hand expressing has also helped increase the flow, which is great. Pretty happy with this outcome, here is some of the colostrum in the freezer:

Last week I had an acupuncture appointment, which didn't really go according to plan. We were due to start the pre-birth/induction points which are quite a bit stronger than the points I have been having. The second the last needle was put in I started feeling really hot, sick and dizzy. Poor Susie, my acupuncturist, had to very quickly get the needles out and get me on my side before I fainted. Thankfully she moved fast and after a ten minute rest in a dark room with a cold towel on the back of my neck I felt fine. They very kindly did not charge me for that appointment. I was supposed to go back this week, but was feeling unwell and figured no good was going to come from putting myself through that again. I am so grateful to the team at the clinic for all their help and support both leading up to this pregnancy and during.

On Tuesday last week my sister flew into town to spend some time with me while I was home alone on maternity leave, flying home to Melbourne on Saturday. It was lovely to have her here. We had a very chilled/relaxing week, which was exactly what I needed. I have been in a bit of pain and discomfort so wasn't really up for much. It also worked out well as Bio Mum was unable to make it to our OB appointment with Dr B on 9 January, so my sister came with me. I think it was pretty special for her too, because she got to see Bub and hear her little heart beating. I'm glad I got to share that with my sister.

The appointment went well, Dr B was happy with how me and Bub are doing. He also confirmed that Bub is still measuring large (she measured 40 weeks at our appointment, we were 37 weeks and 3 days). He also explained in more detail about our induction and how that will go. So we check into the hospital at 8pm on Monday 20 January and then Bub's heart rate will be monitored for a while to make sure everything is still going well. Then at 10pm the prostin gel will be put in and we'll see what happens from there. Hopefully that will get things moving and labour will start overnight. If not Dr B will come and check on me the next morning and we'll go from there. If all goes to plan Lil Dash will be sharing a birthday with her cousin Josh.

We had another appointment with Dr B this week (our last) on 15 January, which was also my sister's birthday! This appointment also went well, Bub and I are still both in good health and she has even started to drop into my pelvis a bit. Dr B was happy with how everything's going and we went over the induction plan again.

I have been experiencing a fair amount of nausea, insomnia (at night only, I seem to be able to have little naps during the day), back and sciatic pain the last couple of weeks. Dr B says all this is very normal. It has also been disgustingly hot lately, which hasn't helped with the nausea I think. Normally I hate heat, but it is much more unbearable while pregnant! If we decide to go for baby number two, we are aiming for a winter baby!

Oh and I couldn't help myself and had to buy these for Bub:

I have quite a collection of Converses myself so felt it was only fitting that Bub have a pair too! Plus they were too cute to resist!

It's almost time for us to meet our baby girl and until then I am planning to rest and relax as much as possible. Our lives are really about to change and to be honest I can't wait!

I'm not 100% sure when my next post will be, hopefully next week after Bub has arrived. I do promise to post though.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading!

Friday, January 3, 2014

36 Weeks, 5 Days

Saturday 4 January 2014

Happy New Year everyone!! Welcome to my first post of 2014.

2014 promises to be a huge and amazing year for Bio Mum and I and we are looking forward to sharing the challenges and joys with you via this blog. I also hope you all have a truly incredible 2014 which brings you love, laughter and happiness.

Today is Moo's 10th Birthday so she has been well and truly spoiled rotten with treats, cuddles and love. She is such a sweet natured and beautiful dog, you can't help but love her. She and Bio Mum are very alike in a lot of ways, they are soul-mates I think. Here is Miss Moo sleeping in the garden:

We are at 36, almost 37, weeks now. It is both scary and amazing how fast time is flying! Here is the bump at 36 weeks, 3 days:

In other news Bio Mum and I got a very special new years present. On New Years Eve we picked up our new car! We traded in the Ute and got a 2010 Subaru Outback (3.6R Premium) in satin white. The car is lovely. It is comfortable to sit in (very important for me right now) and beautiful to drive. It is going to make a fabulous family car when Bub arrives. Here is Outback Jack (as the car has been named, I like naming cars):

We had a very quite New Years Eve, which was heavenly. We went to a friend's BBQ and were home by about 10-10.30pm and in bed by about 11.30 I think. It was wonderful.

On Thursday we had an appointment with Dr B and he was happy with how Bub and I are doing. He has suggested an eviction date for Bub due to her size so if she hasn't come naturally herself, we'll be induced on 20 January. While I really want her to come naturally on her own, part of me is very relieved that we have an end date in sight. While I have (for the most part) enjoyed being pregnant, it has had its struggles. Especially in the last 6 or so weeks as I have grown bigger and much more uncomfortable.

My back has become a problem with almost constant pain and right sciatic nerve pain that has been bad enough to wake me up. I've also been experiencing pelvic pain that makes walking really hard, sore finger joints, sore feet and legs. I'm not sleeping well and have had a fair amount of nausea. Even the simplest tasks are a challenge now. I have a new found respect for pregnant women and feel guilty for all the times I have been less than sympathetic towards them. This pregnancy stuff is hard work, harder than I thought it would be (and I've had a relatively easy pregnancy).

It's all just such a huge physical and emotional change in what is really not a very long time. At least the end result is worth it! I can't wait to hold our little girl in my arms.

We have another appointment with Dr B next week and I have acupuncture. We'll be having weekly appointments with Dr B from now on as go time draws close. It is surreal to think that in just over 2 weeks Bub will be here!

Oh and from Tuesday to Saturday next week my sister will be here so that will be nice. It will be great to have some company during the day while Bio Mum is at work. Plus maybe I can convince her to wait on me hand and foot while she's here! It's going to be great.

Anyway, until next time have a wonderful week and stay safe.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

35 Weeks, 4 Days

Friday 27 December 2013

So I know I promised a shorter time frame between posts, but it has been a rather crazy (and exhausting) time! The last two weeks we've not only had Christmas and the mad rush leading up to it, but I also had my last day at work and all the things I had to get done before maternity leave started. This time of year is pure madness!!

Here is the 35 week bump photo (taken Christmas day):

In my last post I mentioned that we had an appointment with Dr B. It went really well. He is really happy with how both Bub and I are doing and told us that as everything is going so well, should I go into labour he wouldn't try to stop it. Bub is still head down, which is great, and growing as she should. She is still quite high though and not yet engaged.

Joy of all joys for me though is I have been having quite sever round ligament pain in my lower belly which has made walking pretty painful. Sadly the only thing to do is rest when I can and take it easy. Dr B said it was just a natural part of pregnancy and with that statement went my hope in a magical fix!

Shortness of breath is still a major issue and I am often finding myself needing to stretch out on the couch or in bed in order to breath easier. It has been the one thing I'm really struggling with, but its only temporary so it will all be ok. Next appointment with Dr B is on 2 January.

I had an acupuncture appointment last week as well and they were really happy with how everything's going. my next appointment (on 7 January) will be where they start to do the induction points, which is both very exciting and very nerve-wracking!

I think I am still in a bit of denial that Bub is actually coming soon. It has taken me weeks to actually pack the hospital bag(s), and even then I'm still not totally finished! I think it is denial that has led to my procrastination! It's not that I am not bursting to meet our little girl, it's more that I just can't believe that this pregnancy is almost over and very soon we'll have a baby girl who we will have to look after. It's just such a huge deal that I think my head just can't quite wrap around it. I hope I'll be a good Mum.

So I am very pleased to say that as of Christmas Eve I am on Maternity leave! Yay! I don't think it'll really hit me until Bio Mum goes back to work next week and I get to stay home in bed! 

It was so hectic in the lead up to finishing work. I had so many things I wanted to get done (all accomplished by the way) and with my ever increasing exhaustion and discomfort, it was a challenge. I am very glad to say its all done now and I don't have to worry about anything work related until 1 December 2014, when I am planning to return.

The lead up to Christmas was a little crazy and probably felt more so because of how pregnant I am. Thankfully all presents were purchased on time (while some that had to go interstate could have been sent a little earlier) and I didn't have to brave the Christmas Eve nightmare at the shops! I say this every year, but next year I am going to start planning earlier and buy everything (or mostly everything) online!

We managed to do some catch ups in the lead up to Christmas so that was good. We even successfully managed to host our first annual 'Turducken Day' dinner. I am pleased to report that the meal was a success and it was a great night. It also gave me confidence for Christmas lunch!

Christmas Eve was a quiet one at home with Bio Mum and her parent's (of course both Bio Mum and I had to work during the day), where I forced everyone to watch Carols by Candlelight as it was one of the traditions my family always had when I was younger. Maybe because I couldn't be with my Mum, Sister, Dad and other family members this year (way too pregnant to travel) I really felt the urge to have as a traditional Christmas as possible.

While Carols were on I started on the Christmas pudding, another family tradition. Every year my Mum made a pudding (which was a family recipe), which was mixed on Christmas Eve and then left overnight before being boiled in a pudding cloth on Christmas Day.

Christmas Day we were up early to get ready to head over to Bio Mum's sister's place for breakfast. We also opened our presents to each other (and for our little girl) before we left. I loved mine and the very enthusiastic reaction from Bio Mum told me she loved hers (I got her the Lego Death Star). Our little girl did pretty well in the present department considering she isn't even born yet!

Breakfast was lovely and then Bio Mum and I had to head home to put the turducken in the oven and get ready for lunch.

After a busy morning getting ready we sat down to Christmas lunch with Bio Mum's parents, sister, brother in law and nephews (who were much more interested in our gym equipment than food!). All in all it tasted pretty good, not a bad effort for my first real Christmas lunch (I did have a lot of help though). After lunch and presents (we were all very spoiled) Bio Mum's sister, brother in law and the boys headed off and the rest of us did a bit of cleaning and napping before sitting down to watch a movie. It was a really lovely day.

Boxing Day was spent avoiding the Boxing Day test on television, I can't stand Cricket, and the last of the clean up (mostly by Bio Mum). We also managed to watch a few movies and have some lovely naps!

Today has been spent doing some sorting and de-cluttering before we head to a BBQ at our friend's place later this afternoon.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and I will be sure to post soon.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

33 Weeks, 3 Days

Wednesday 11 December 2013

My apologies for not posting last week, it was a bit of a crazy I have been really, really tired.

Only 13 days to go until my last day at work (24 December, thankfully only a short day to 3pm)!! I am so ready to be resting at home. I am just so tired and feeling heavy and uncomfortable all the time. I think what I need is some quality time on the couch in front of the air-con! Plus work is really busy so the down time will be great.

Here is the 32 Weeks bump photo:

And here is the 33 Weeks bump photo:

(Moo totally photo bombed this one, see brown blob in the bottom of the photo!)

There is something kind of nice about being unmistakably pregnant, its much better than earlier on when it was hard to tell if I was actually pregnant or just fat!

Lil Dash has been rather enjoying squishing my lungs so breathing continues to be a problem fairly often. She also seems to be pretty partial to being on my right side so my belly often looks a little lopsided. She already seems to be a very strong willed little girl, just like her Mums!

So the weekend before last weekend we headed off to Bio Mum's parent's place for some quality R&R, which was greatly needed! It was a lovely weekend full of good company, good food, good naps and wonderful relaxation! We even ducked into town and did some shopping for Bub and for Christmas presents.

While in town we went to this great lingerie shop and I got myself fitted for a maternity bra (I have been wearing them for quite a while now, just hadn't been fitted). Man has it made a difference to be wearing the proper size bra! Now they are not the most attractive bras, but who cares as long as I'm comfortable!!

We got home from Bio Mum's parent's the afternoon of 1 December so it was time to put up the Christmas tree! Now I LOVE Christmas and would have had that tree up weeks earlier had Bio Mum let me! Here is our tree, its a bit tacky but I love it!

Christmas is the one time of year where I get really, really dorky and traditional. I like everything to be just so and find it really a struggle when Christmas isn't how I feel it should be. I guess I'll always be a kid at heart when it comes to Christmas and I'll always long for the way my Mum always had Christmas. We haven't had a Christmas like we used to in quite a few years.

This year will be my first attempt at creating my own Christmas and traditions that I can share with my baby girl for years to come. As I'm too far along to travel I'll be having Christmas in Canberra and not traveling to Melbourne to see my family as I do each year (last year we went the weekend before Christmas and had Christmas in Canberra and at Bio Mum's parent's place). So Christmas day will start with presents and breakfast at Bio Mum's sister's place, which is awesome because that means we get to see the nephew's open their presents!

Then back home where I'll get cooking! I'm aiming to do a proper, traditional Christmas lunch inspired by the Christmas lunches my Mum always used to make. I'm even hoping to make my great (and possibly another great) grandmother's Christmas pudding if my sister can find me the recipe! The big change will be the 'Turducken' that Bio Mum has asked me to cook. If you don't know a turducken is a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken.

I hope it all goes well.

On Wednesday 4 December we had another appointment with Dr B, which went well. Lil Dash is still doing well and measuring about a week ahead now (much less scary!). She is looking great and Dr B seemed really happy with how both she and I are doing. He did tell me though that he is glad he never has to be pregnant! Nice to know he's sympathetic! 

I'd been getting quite an itchy bump (especially in the warmer weather) so Dr B suggested I try having some Alpha Keri baths. So on my way home from the appointment I swung by the chemist and bought the bath oil (pictured below) and the cream. This stuff is amazing!! The itching is mostly gone and my skin feels awesome! Thank you Dr B!!

My nesting instinct has also started to kick in a bit. I have a desire to do washing, lots of washing, and to organise the nursery. In fact I have packed and repacked the draws of the baby's tallboy several times now. Here is the top draw that sits under the change mat (tallboy has the change table on top of it):

Nappies, wipes, cream all at hand, plus a few other items (the feeding chair is right next to the tallboy so we have some feeding bits and bobs in the draw too).

Here is the next draw down which is full of the newborn clothes we have (all now washed and ready to go!):

I am so in love with these tiny items of clothing and am still a little in shock that our baby is going to soon be wearing them!

I also washed all Lil Dash's wraps/swaddles and towels. Here is the wraps all stacked in the cupboard:

And here are the towels and her basked of bath items (face washers, toys, baby shampoo and wash plus other bits and pieces):

I figure the basket will be easy to just pick up and move to the bathroom when its bath time for Lil Dash!

Wednesday night last week we also went to the movies (to Dendy Premium, so awesome) to see the Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It was so amazing. I had chills and yes I did cry once or twice. Pregnancy hormones I swear! I am a bit of a Hunger Games nerd if truth be told.

This weekend just gone we headed out Saturday morning and did some more Christmas shopping and saw a movie (Delivery Man with Vince Vaughn, very funny and sweet). It was nice until the shops got really crowded, then it was less fun! We did get a lot done though.

Sunday I had to go into work (overtime, 6 hours at double time so not really going to complain!) as we are very busy in the lead up to Christmas. I also want to get as much done before I go off on mat leave as I can so I'm not leaving too much for my team to pick up (we are understaffed and the workload just keeps increasing). It was a very productive day and lots was accomplished so I was happy with that. I was tired afterwards though!

Sunday night we had our friend and his daughters over for dinner which was lovely. They are such awesome people and I always have a great time with them. The girls are so great...I think we might have some babysitting candidates!

This week has been busy, but going fast so that's good. Dinner with friends tomorrow night, so that will be nice.

Appointment with Dr B next week so I'll aim to update then.

Here is a photo of Moo this morning enjoying some sun in the doorway to Bio Mum's study:

From Moo, Lil Dash, Bio Mum and I, thanks for reading and I'll be writing again soon!