Baby girls hands and feet

Little Bruiser is growing!

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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

More than 4 months ago

Long time no post!

A lot has happened since I last updated.

I stopped eating chocolate and lost most of Hamish weight, and then lost some more, due to a very rare event in my life - an illness. Horrible horrible thing, pneumonia, do NOT recommend as a weight-loss strategy.

I had another reminder of how amazing my family and friends are and how blessed I am to have them all in my life. I found out a couple of weeks ago that my husband, along with an entourage of keen helpers, has planned a surprise wedding vows renewal for us on the day after our 10th wedding anniversary. The ceremony was lovely (better than the original one!) and the reception and fun afterwards was great. I enjoyed myself lots, and still marvel at how everyone could possibly keep this a secret for so long - they sure pulled it off!

I applied for a job, and got it. I started last week, and I am enjoying myself immensely - a very interesting, varied, exciting, challenging job, with great colleagues and supportive supervisors. Which is just as well, because...

...on my first day at work, I got a phone call from my husband, who informed me that his supervisors want him to go on a short-term posting (for 9 months) in the beginning of next year. We discussed it, and decided that he would not take the posting unless I could somehow take unpaid leave or arrange something else. I was not hopeful, as I was going to discuss this with my supervisor on my SECOND day at work, but I was shocked - she was very understanding and told me not to stress, that my job would be waiting for me when I come back. Wow. Talk about good bosses!

And, of course, there's Hamish. He is now, officially, the son of his parents. The paperwork has gone through, Kylie and Adrian 'adopted' him, and he now has a new birth certificate that shows them as his parents.

He is a little delight. I got to see him, and Kylie and Adrian, and their parents as well, for two weekends in a row - first the wedding vows renewal, then Adrian's birthday party. He is (Hamish, not Adrian :) a chilled out little guy, gives lots of smiles, loves exploring and touching everything, and already eats some solids! He doesn't sleep much during the day, but very well overnight, and even lets his parents sleep in regularly.

Apparently laughing at a funny joke from dad - I think dad was  more likely making silly faces/noises, or singing a very entertaining rendition of 'Glump glump went the little green frog one day' :D

Remember the photo with Hamish, Sophie doll, and a paper saying '1 month'? This paper says '4 months' - what a change!

When I was watching Kylie and Adrian this weekend, it all finally wrapped up for me. I don't think I've been been looking for 'closure', but I got one nevertheless. The way they interact with Hamish, the way their faces light up with smiles, their genuine happiness... I am so happy for them, the feeling almost lifts me up.

I am also very proud of them. They are the best parents (if you don't count Adrian's occasional lapses of judgement that make me want to come over and give him a lecture on parenting :D So far, I have managed to bite my tongue and stop myself, particularly as I always remember that my husband's behaviour towards our kids is pretty similar - which, now that I think about it, probably means that it doesn't constitute a lapse of judgement as such, but is merely a 'dad thing').

I never doubted it, but now I know for sure - I made the right choice. If I could travel in time, even knowing exactly what was going to happen and how stressful the pregnancy would be, I'd do it all over again. I helped to add another child to a wonderful family, and hopefully aided in healing a little bit of the terrible hurt in his parents' hearts.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Time flies!

Yes, it does! Little Bruiser is no longer known by his in utero nickname. He is definitely Hamish now. A little man with his own personality, a giggler, a kicker. We went to see him and his parents a few weeks ago and spent the weekend together. I had lots and lots of cuddles, and Damien as well as Ben and Sophie got to hold Hamish too.

Life is good.


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Happy 1 month, Hamish!

Surreal... One month ago, this little guy was only just born. I can't believe it - it feels like it has been much longer. 

He is an absolute cutie pie! And, true to his nickname, still a Little Bruiser. Only a little bigger now :D 

1 month old... already??


And awwww again....


Wonder what he's thinking...

Gosh, tears in my eyes again... they look so happy! Well, most of them :D

Monday, 13 August 2012

Impatiently patient

I want to get fit again! And I want to start now!! Physically, I am feeling completely fine now, but I think I should probably wait until about the 6 week mark until I start training for that marathon :)

Which brings me back to my previous post - I still feel like I need to find myself a new 'project', but the urgency of the last week has passed. I have thought about a few things that sound good, and I'll see if I can do any of them, but I think I am happy now to take my time in getting there and just enjoy life without any extras for the moment... I think. Hmm. We'll see how long that moment lasts :)

Friday, 3 August 2012

New normal?

The Rafterys left Canberra on Monday, after we have all jumped over one of the last hurdles of the surrogacy process - we had a little talk with a psychologist, who, I assume, will conclude that we are all sane and aware of what we are doing. We then have to wait until the 30th August before we can lodge a request with the court to transfer legal parenting responsibilities for Hamish into his biological parents' hands. The keyword here is 'legally', as my time of responsibility for his well-being is over, save for the moments when I am giving him a cuddle and need to make sure I don't drop him on his head or something of the sort :D Unfortunately, those times will be few now as he is three hours drive away. 

I have to say that since the Rafterys left, I have had a few emotional moments. Certainly, I am missing all of them, but it is not just that. I am very, very happy that Sophie Cleo has a little brother now, and that the new family gets to settle and live their lives in their own home. I don't feel like I should have a baby in my arms, as adorably cuddlable as he is. I think the main issue is that this undertaking has been a huge part of my life for more than three years now, and for the past year and a half it almost completely consumed it - not to the exclusion of everything else, but rather as a backdrop. Emotionally and physically, it has been at the forefront for so long, and now, suddenly, in one day, in one moment, it's all gone. Over. 

And I am at a little bit of a loss, actually. I'm not sure what to do with myself. That will probably soon right itself, but at the moment I am floundering a little. I am back to my 'normal' life - kids, work, study. But something seems to be missing. I find myself thinking of new 'projects' - something big, some long-term goal. Getting fit and training for a marathon - sure, why not? Starting over in a new, challenging field of study when I am finished with the current one - sounds good. Finally completing one of my novels - okay, that could do it. But somehow, none of this sounds quite satisfactory enough. I guess there are very few things that could compare with what I have just accomplished - not many that I am in a position to do anyway. And when I say compare, I mean have, in my own eyes, a similar achievement value. I don't know. Maybe any of the above project possibles would do if they contributed to someone else's lives as well? What about training for a marathon and then running it to raise money for Make-a-Wish Australia? Hmm. Sounds better. Maybe I'll start with just trying to volunteer for them. What do you think?

Thursday, 26 July 2012


Today, the Rafterys came over for a short visit, and gave me a gift. Well, ostensibly, Hamish gave me a gift. I didn't open it immediately as I wanted some cuddles first :D But after the cuddles, I had a look, and immediately had tears in my eyes... 

It is a necklace with a round two-part pendant - on the inside, there is a 'tree of life', and on the outside, a silver ring with the names of the three children that I carried and gave birth to - Benjamin, Sophie, and Hamish. Needless to say, this is something that I will cherish forever. Teary as I type this.

As I was putting it on, I realised that I had it all wrong from the very beginning. When I named this blog, I gave it a subtitle - A Journey to Surrogacy and Back. I don't know what I was thinking. This journey has changed the life of many people, my own included. It has brought a new life to being. There is no 'back' to go to... The only direction to go from here is forward. Ahead. Beyond. 

I am a tummy mummy. I grew and gave birth to Kylie and Adrian's child. I am proud, happy, fulfilled. 

And as of today, this blog has a new subtitle.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

And now for the compulsory bit...

yes, the birth story :D

We went for the pre-arranged monitoring appointment on Wednesday. We met our midwife first, who took us down to the clinic and sat us in the waiting room. The appointment was supposed to be at 10.45am. Time goes by, all the people who came before us have gone, people who have come after us have gone, yet we are still sitting, waiting... Our midwife came by at one point to check, was surprised to see us still waiting there, and I think she went to speak to the nurses at the front desk. More waiting. And more. Finally, shortly after about 12pm, the registrar who saw us on Monday walked past and had the good sense to ask us if we were waiting to be seen. As it turns out, they misplaced our paperwork, and the doctor who was supposed to see us actually finished her clinic half an hour prior to that... Great!! Glad we wasted our time in these oh-so-comfortable chairs (not!).

We then went in to see the doctor, who took my blood pressure (high at the first reading, normal at the second), felt the baby (well it isn't small, she said), and noted my lack of composure. She went to consult her supervisor, who said that induction would in fact be a good idea, and then we all went up to the antenatal ward to see when we can get in - after being warned that all the induction spots are booked out for the next five days, but there is a possibility of transferring to a different hospital. After about 5 minutes of consultation with the midwives upstairs, the doctor emerged victorious - we can induce today! In fact, we can induce as soon as the rooms are cleaned, as there was a cancellation literally in the last half hour or so! So, as it turns out, misplacement of paperwork can be a beneficial thing - had we been seen on time, we would have gone to the antenatal BEFORE the cancellation, and would have been sent home with an induction date of 23 July (5 days later, on my husband's 40th birthday...)

Anyhow, we went down to the cafe to have a quick bite to eat, and returned shortly after. At about 2.30pm, our midwife broke my waters. I wanted to see if this could bring on labour on its own, but the doctor (different one) who was looking after us said they wanted to put the drip with synthocinon in straight away as well. So about 15 minutes later, after doing some walking around the ward, I was plugged into the drip, and put onto the contraction and heartbeat monitors, none of which came off until after Hamish was born... Contractions started soonish, just little cramping here and there. In a couple of hours, they started getting a little stronger and more regular, enough so that not talking through them was a good idea. I kept upright, standing or sitting, for about the first two or three hours. Then I sat down on the bed for a bit, and then stood up again. After that, it was all over the place for about an hour - one strongish contraction, followed by three not so strong ones, and so on. Then, all of a sudden, bang! One really good one that I had to breathe through, and then it just never stopped... One after the other, getting stronger and stronger. I can't remember much from that point, except that I know I did a lot of screaming, and hung onto Kylie's hand for dear life (Adrian wisely exited after he made some silly joke and I didn't react favourably) - that never happened to me before, with either of my births. I can only surmise that it was the synthocinon - really, really intense. I went from 4cm to 8cm in about 40 minutes, and somewhere around there I begged the midwife for an epidural. She did go out to ask, but as she came back, the pain changed from completely unbearable to something that I could control a bit better - she started getting everything ready for the baby coming, and I started thinking that I could make it without the epidural after all.

Unfortunately, when the midwife checked the cervix, she discovered that I had the same thing happening as I had with Sophie - something called 'anterior lip'. This is basically when the top part of the cervix (the one closer to the stomach wall) does not dilate at the same rate as the rest of the cervix and there is a little 'lip' leftover, where the cervix is thicker than it should be. Not sure exactly why this is, but possibly it has something to do with the placement of the baby's head. It also means that at that point labour slows way down, and the cervix takes quite some time to dilate fully. Bummer. So I did end up with an epidural in the end, although I had to wait for one for about an hour and a half. When it was put in, all was bliss for a little bit, and then I spiked a fever. Again, not sure why, possibly some sort of infection, as my waters were broken by then for a good while. Hamish's heart-rate went way up (mostly around 180bpm, but Kylie said it was over 200bmp at one point), then it slowed right down (all the way to 80bpm)... Anyway, it took about 3 hours on the epidural for the cervix to dilate fully. When I started feeling a bit of pressure, I started pushing, and he was out in less then 20 minutes - came out crying, straight into Kylie's hands. Adrian got to cut the cord, and there were some tears from all of us. It felt wonderful to see them all together.

Hamish on day 1

I'm sure I would have enjoyed the whole thing more if I was a little more with it. I felt completely exhausted, and this wasn't helped by my somewhat lazy uterus - apparently it wasn't contracting after the delivery as it should, and I lost some extra blood and had to be put on an extra drip with something or other to help it along. My fever also declined the invitation to leave me alone and persisted in hanging about, so I was left on two different types of antibiotics for almost 36 hours.

We all transferred into the postnatal ward, and as I had the fever, Hamish was kept in the hospital for 24 hours as well for observation. We were all discharged the next day, but unfortunately Hamish got a bit of a fever that night, and ended up at the emergency. The fever went down pretty quickly, but they put him on IV antibiotics and put him through all tests imaginable (bloods, urine, X-ray, ultrasound, even attempted a lumbar puncture), but found nothing except elevated leukocytes in his urine - possibly indicating urinary tract infection. Last night, the little man and his family were finally allowed to go home.

Throughout all this, Hamish has been a delightful little thing. He barely cries (except when his nappy or clothes are getting changed), and when he is upset or just not too happy, he makes tiny little squeaky noises - he sounds like a little mouse :D With the exception of the first day/night, he consumes his formula with relish and keeps it down without much spewing up (of course, the one time that I gave him a feed, he spewed most of it back all over me... probably my fault though, that was one of the very first times I ever attempted to bottle-feed a baby, my technique must suck!).

Hamish and I on day 4 - fortunately wearing a dark top so that  you can't see the spew stains... :D

I have been doing quite well. Up until yesterday I just had to deal with a little tiredness - alas, yesterday early morning I woke up in pain and realised that the milk fairy has been... My boobs are absolutely killing me, and for some reason my back got rather painful as well - I imagine it might be related, as I am noticeably top-heavier now! So I've been popping Panadol and padding my bra with chilled cabbage leaves. Frankly, it is hell... but the midwife says it shouldn't last for much longer than 48 hours.

As a side note, while physically I am still recovering, emotionally I have been completely fine. Not even a little tiny bit of the blues that one normally gets on day 2 or 3 post partum. The only thing that makes me a bit sad is that I have all this milk and it's getting wasted! :D

And that's about all. Actually, there are bits and pieces that I haven't written about, but this is now so long that I might leave that for another time. I apologize in advance for any typos or grammatical errors - not proofreading this!

Before I go, I want to thank all of you who have been following the blog or just stopping by to check on me. Although the primary purpose of this blog was to have a journal of my journey, I really appreciate knowing that there are many people out there who have been here with me all the way. In particular, thank you for your comments - you have been great support! 

Friday, 20 July 2012

My work here is done...

Hamish Donavan Raftery was born at 3.36am on 19 July, weighing in at 8 pounds 14. We are all well, recovering in the hospital but going home soon.

For your viewing pleasure, here is 'First cuddles from mummy - Kylie and Hamish, at 1 minute of age'

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Would you believe...

that Bruiser still has not deemed it appropriate to grace us with his presence? You betcha! I am starting to feel like this is never going to happen!! Really, really anxious now as I keep thinking that every extra day only increases the possibility of something going wrong...

Off to monitoring at the hospital clinic tomorrow... You don't want to know what happened on Monday after I cracked it and called the midwife in tears saying that I can't deal with the pressure anymore (emotional, not physical) - but I'm going to tell you anyway. We went for a monitoring then, the result of which was 'baby is doing fine, your cervix is progressing beautifully, no space for you now so come back on Wednesday and we'll talk then'. That made me feel even more stressed than I already was and I burst into tears in front of the midwife, the registrar, Kylie and Adrian and both of my kids (who were thankfully fully immersed in the joys of iPad games and didn't pay any attention to my display of theatrics) - feel very bad for K & A though witnessing that, as I'm sure it's only made them feel guilty. But that, folks, wasn't the worst part. About a minute after everyone left the room to give me space to get myself together (and about two minutes after I acknowledged the registrar's statement that the baby is doing fine by saying that I am aware of that fact, just as well as I'm aware of the fact that this can change in a matter of minutes), some poor woman in the room next door started wailing desperately and crying 'my baby, my baby'... Kylie and Adrian, who were by then in the waiting room, of course heard it as well, and there were apparently midwives crying and doctors bustling into the room... Obviously, this is someone else's tragedy. But for me, and I imagine particularly for K & A, it was the absolutely worst possible end to our little outing. Depressing day followed. Today I had another really crappy, and rather painful, day. While I would love to entertain the notion that the full-on crampiness could be a sign of impending labour, I am not overly optimistic...

Come on Little Bruiser, 41 weeks tomorrow!! Stop this nonsense and get your butt out!

Friday, 13 July 2012


still nothing. Nada. Niente. No movement in the station. Hmph.

Little Bruiser should get a Little Busy before I get a Little Batty.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

One day shy of full term

... and LB is still taking full advantage of free board.

I am getting a little (well, maybe a bit more than little) worried about the size - seems rather heavy, and is definitely long. The midwife today didn't think that the baby was too big (although she did comment on the length), and said that I might have a lot of amniotic fluid, which would account for the heaviness. Not sure about that one, hoping she knows what she's talking about... but at the last largish ultrasound we had (the 3D one at 34 week) the sonographer said that the fluid amount was on the low side of normal. So I don't know.

At this point I am really over it, and I just wish that he hurried up and came out to meet his parents already! The idea of carrying him for, possibly, another two weeks, does not exactly fill me with happiness - it would make things rather difficult from a lot of points of view. Also, and this is probably just the 'over it' bit talking, I feel like I've been on this surrogacy journey forever now, and I am quite ready for it to be done and dusted. It has been a huge part of my life for, well, at least the last year and a half, and in a smaller way for much longer.

So, it is time, Little Bruiser! Get your gear ready and make your grand entrance! Anytime soon would be good!!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


And yes, again, still 2 in 1. Ugh...

The day after I posted last week we had a midwife appointment, and as part of it she did a 'stretch and sweep' - for the uninitiated as to this particular loveliness, the midwife (or doctor) inserts their finger/s into the vagina, finds the cervix, and if that is at all dilated, tries to stretch it a bit and separate the membranes of the amniotic sac just past its entrance from the uterine wall. At the time the midwife said that I was 2cm dilated and my cervix was anterior and thinned out a bit. Well, needless to say, nothing eventuated from that little adventure but a little bit of cramping on the day. Today's appointment brought another stretch and sweep and not much in terms of encouraging news - still 2cm, although cervix apparently a little 'softer', so I guess at least we're moving in the right direction. However, LB was, for the first time, not behaving himself quite as nicely as usual, and was slightly posterior (his spine facing mine), which, while not a huge problem, could mean longer and more painful labour, if s/he stays that way. Again, ugh...

So, for the time being, no movement at the station - although everything is all set for the grand entrance, what with both Kylie and Adrian being here and settled, and hubby off work to be able to watch the kids while I'm otherwise occupied. 

And so we wait.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Yes, 38 weeks! And still 2 in 1...

Getting very tired now. Tired enough to have decided that I would give work a skip as of today - thankfully it's the last week of term, followed by two weeks of holiday, so I will only miss three days.

LB is sitting very low, and we're both stuck in Braxton-Hicks-Galoresville at the moment - I turn over in bed, get a Braxton-Hicks; I stand up, get a Braxton-Hicks... you get the picture. Just about done, seriously. I also feel awful for Kylie, because I think I'm making her feel guilty that I feel tired (and grumpy) - and she shouldn't feel that, because I knew what I was in for when I agreed to do this. Anyway, hopefully not much longer and LB makes his/her appearance.

On a happier note, not sure if I mentioned that I won a competition for a free photo shoot of myself, Kylie, and the LB bump. The shoot took place a few weeks ago, and some of the photos are now up on the wonderful photographer's blog at - I'm the one with the belly :D

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Almost term!

Only a few days to term! Very exciting, although even if LB were to be born today, labour wouldn't be stopped as apparently the only thing that changes now is the weight - everything else is all fine.

I have been feeling a bit under the weather in the last three or four days - veeeeerry tired, headachy, and cramping on and off. Yesterday it got to the point when I decided that enough was enough and called my midwife, who asked me to come to the birth center to get checked out. And checked out I was - extremely thoroughly! They put me on the baby monitor (to check LB's heartbeat (145 average), baby movement (lots), any contractions (none to speak about)), checked my blood pressure (125/74), ultrasound (placenta is low, but baby is lower, so all is good), internal exam (cervix is long, closed and posterior - nowhere near ready, told you I have cervix of steel!), and urine exam. And, as I suspected, it turns out that I have a urinary tract infection! Not too happy about that, but happy to know what's happening. So as of today, I am on antibiotics, and I have been told to 'hydrate as I have never hydrated before' :D Hopefully this will clear up soon, and I'll start feeling better.

As a side note, I found out that what I thought must surely be an urban legend - you know, the stories of women turning up at the emergency complaining of abdominal pains, and find out they are full-term pregnant and in labour - is NOT an urban legend after all! The obstetrician that was doing the ultrasound was very nice and chatty, and told me and the midwife about a lady who turned up the day before thinking she had severe gastro, and was told that she was in fact 40 weeks pregnant, 10 centimeters dilated, and ready to deliver! Apparently she was in complete denial, refused to push, and in the final minutes yelled at the midwives in between contractions 'But I can't be having a baby, I don't even have a basinette!' :D

And on this happy note, I shall finish this post.

Edit: Not sure what happened with my font, but can't seem to fix it... hmmm. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

35 weeks

Oh, how much more can this little one grow, I wonder? I feel like s/he has nowhere to go now - I feel huge! I'm sure that's just my imagination and there is plenty of space, but man, I do feel quite done :D

We had a 3D (actually 4D) scan on Saturday, the first one I've ever had. It was interesting, but sadly LB didn't cooperate much - he is well and truly positioned for exit, head stuck down low, and his hands were, you guessed it, very nicely covering his face for basically all of the ultrasound. For a brief moment, after a lot of poking and prodding from us, s/he moved those little hand a fraction, and a part of a cute little face could be seen... just for that brief moment though. It appears that while the level of the amniotic fluid is within the normal range, there isn't all that much, and that combined with the size of the baby (normalish for the gestational age, actually) doesn't make for good ultrasound pictures. Oh well. Not that long to go until we get to meet this new little person... in person!

Kylie has been spending quite a bit of time here, helping me while hubby was away. She is coming back tomorrow for a week, then leaving for a few days, and then coming back again. As by that time I will be very close to 37 weeks and anything can happen at any time, she will probably be spending a great deal more time here. Which I certainly don't mind at all, as she does my housework, cooks, and entertains the kids! Plus she's great company, of course :D

I have had quite a bit going on, what with work and study in particular, and I feel really tired now most of the time - thus the lack of updating. I have an inkling that won't improve much until the big arrival. By the way, although the due date is 11 July, my money is on 29 June - probably because that is the last day of work (term ends) and I had a dream that I gave birth while on playground duty :-)

Saturday, 26 May 2012

About time

to post something again.

We're about 33 and a half weeks now, and really getting close to the final countdown. LB is going strong, growing and moving well - just a few more weeks and s/he will be ready to come out of their temporary accommodation... And although I am feeling slightly guilty about it, I have to say that I'm kind of looking forward to that day! Getting a little tired and achy now, and all the day-to-day stuff is becoming somewhat  challenging.

I can't really complain as I am getting loads of help. My husband is away for a couple of weeks for some training (back for the weekend though, thank [insert deity of your choice here]), but Kylie came down for three days last week, and is coming next Tuesday again to help me with the kids/house. It has been great having her here, (particularly after last Tuesday's scare that Ben gave me - passed out in the morning, out of the blue... Of course, as a first-aid trained, responsible, calm adult, I freaked out and I'm sure I did all the wrong things. Thankfully, he was only out for about 30 seconds, and after 4 hours spent at emergency, they couldn't find anything wrong with him (aside from some blood in his urine, have to follow up on that). As he also had diarrhea that morning, the doctor suggested that maybe he was just dehydrated, so I'm going with that. Of course, this would happen when daddy is away, as always - it sucks, because I'm sure HE wouldn't freak out! Anyway, all's well that ends well.) I'm also being rather pampered at work, very probably because the boss keeps watching me as if I were a ticking bomb just about to go off :) I'm sure he's petrified of the possibility of me going into labor there - sure would be fun at a primary school! I keep assuring him that I have quite a while to go yet, but he tells me to take it easy whenever he gets a chance, and he even got some relief teachers to do some of my playground duties lately. Well, not complaining about that either!

Anyway, have to finish here as I have lots to do - need to clean up (since this morning, the kids have 1. built a cubby in the living-room, 2. built a boat in the kitchen, very inconveniently placed!, 3. did some colouring and sticking, and the backs of the stickers are strewn everywhere, 4. built 7 jigsaw puzzles in various corners of the house, and then walked over some of them, and 5. dropped random toys wherever they saw fit. Also, Sophie 6. changed her clothes two times, so her wardrobe is in a bit of a disarray), and do some study - major essay due in two weeks. Oh, and I can actually do this in peace, as Damien took the kids to an indoor playground - hopefully they stay there for at least a couple of hours!

Forgot to say that we have a midwife appointment next Thursday, so I'll probably update with something more worth reading then :D

Sunday, 6 May 2012

In the thirties

Yes, we made it this far. Not surprising in the least, but another milestone nevertheless. I'm starting to feel a bit tired and rather heavy, and I have been getting the 'when are you due?' questions from complete strangers lately - obviously I look like I"m about to go into labour :) When I was questioned along those lines by a (surely well-meaning) lady today in the supermarket, she looked slightly horrified when I told her I still have about two months to go, and proceeded to ask me if I was sure there really was only one! The gall!! :D

Anyway, aside from the fact that LB has been doing a little more growing than is the average (at the last midwife appointment I was measuring a week ahead), s/he is doing well and moving around as if they had eight limbs instead of four...

Here's for at least six more uneventful weeks, before we hit term!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Third trimester, anniversary, and a photo

We are officially in the third trimester - home stretch, yay! I am starting to feel a bit uncomfortable now, as in the tummy tends to get in the way a bit, particularly when one wishes to roll over in bed, or one needs to crawl under the sofa to retrieve a misplaced piece of lego... But otherwise all good. I am happy to report that after the one horrible calf cramp that I suffered a few weeks ago, I have not had a repeat yet! The reason is that I asked some lovely surro (online) friends for advice, and they delivered! According to them, bananas and/or calcium supplements (over and above your normal pregnancy vitamin intake) help - and they do! I don't know which one makes the difference, but I am not keen to find out, so I will diligently continue loading up on both the yellow fruit (or herb, whatever classification you prefer) and the lemony chewy tablets every day.

Also, today marks one year from the first post on this blog! One year ago, I just found out that I was pregnant with Little Traveler, and things looked rosy. I can't believe how much has happened since then... Anyway, as I said, home stretch for Little Bruiser. I have recently had a few moments of clarity when I fleetingly recalled from previous birthing experiences the unpleasantness that the D Day ahead will probably bring, and Kylie and Adrian have been busy getting things ready at the home front - the nursery is painted, furniture rearranged, and the first batch of baby clothes washed. Impressive, if you ask me!

And, after a long pause, finally another picture of LB (who, it would appear, may now actually have a real name, as I was informed last week!).

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Last Thursday afternoon, I had to, unexpectedly, do the dreaded glucose test. You know, the one at the end of the second trimester, where you have to drink a foul, sweet drink very fast, and then have your blood drawn an hour later to check for any possible unsettling news about your body's glucose processing times...

I say unexpectedly, as I was told originally that it would be too late to have the test done at 4pm, when we had our midwife appointment and birth centre tour, and that I'd have to come in on Tuesday (today) to do it. But lo and behold, we turn up and I am sent off presto to have the test done! Not too late after all, apparently. 

I spent the last few days mildly worried about the results, as I spent most of the Thursday previous to the blood test loading myself with Easter chocolate eggs, hot cross buns, and profiteroles that were strewn all across the staff room at work - a little celebration marking not only Easter, but also the last day of the first school term. But, as it appears, I had no need to worry! The test results are completely normal - big, giant phew! as I now don't have to go on a special diet for three days followed by another test to determine if I am in danger of gestational diabetes. My body is probably so used to processing large amounts of chocolate on a regular basis that a sweet drink on top can't possibly throw it out of balance...

And to celebrate, I might just eat this Easter bunny that is eyeing me from the top of the fridge - the kids won't miss it, will they? :D

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Honeymoon's over...

The day that I have dreaded now for quite some time has finally come. Or, rather, the night... The cramps from hell have arrived. No, don't worry, not those cramps! Cramps in my legs. Calves, to be precise... And they are effing bloody painful...

I had none with Ben, but with Sophie, they woke me up several times a week for the last few months of the pregnancy. I wake up in the middle of the night to sudden excruciating pain in one of my legs, and realise that I must have flexed the muscle in question while I was asleep, and it just got stuck there. No matter what I do (ie. try to relax the calf, massage it, get my husband to massage it, swear, cry and similar), the next minute is pure hell. And yes, I had the first one of those beauties just last night. Crap. Excuse my French.

Otherwise, life is all dandy - LB is growing and kicking, Ben and Sophie are (normally) quite well behaved and (mostly) delightful, I am in love with my super lovely husband, and I have an assignment due in a week. So I'd better get cracking.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Attention! Attention!

We have viability!

Or, in other words, if LB were to be born today, they would have a reasonable chance of survival as doctors would resuscitate. Obviously it's still extremely early, and it would be a tough ride, but according to some statistics that I found (through Dr. Google, of course), babies born at 24 weeks have 40 - 70% chance...

Of course, this is all a moot point - if I didn't want to jinx myself, I would type here that I have cervix of steel and this baby is not going anywhere for a while! But I won't. As I don't want to jinx myself :D

In other news, the old knees are starting to give now a wee bit... getting up off the floor is not exactly comfortable. Oh well. I volunteered for this, didn't I? :D

Monday, 19 March 2012

I know it's been a while

It's getting a bit hard to post as often as before. Few reasons, I guess. Firstly, life is incredibly busy with work, study, kids, and other commitments. Secondly, there just aren't that many new and exciting things to write about in relation to LB - which is a good thing!

But this is meant to be a diary of sorts, so an update is definitely in order. Here goes.

LB is growing fast, and kicking, pushing, and prodding like there's no tomorrow. It is very reassuring, to feel the movements all throughout the day. I can't remember if my kids did it, but Bruiser is an expert at kicking down low around the cervix, and that is not particularly comfortable, but other than that it's lovely to know that he's doing well and practicing his footy skills already :D

So far, this pregnancy has been treating me well, as always. The only minor annoyance is some pain in my right hip - doesn't bother me during the day, but when I lie down at night and relax, it suddenly comes to life (or maybe I finally have time to notice it?) and it is a bit of a struggle to get comfortable enough to go to sleep. Some days are not so bod though, so I guess it has something to do with the amount of time I spend standing/walking around as well. If it gets any worse, I might consider seeing a physio about it, but so far it's okay. 

Kylie and Adrian came down this weekend for a wedding, and stayed with us. It was nice to have them over again, and I so hoped that they would be able to feel LB move, but alas! Little munchkin is very crafty, and as much as I tried to capture the active moments and slap Kylie's hand on my belly whenever Bruiser moved with some vigour, all my efforts were in vain. Oh well. K & A are coming again just before Easter - we have a midwife appointment and a tour through the birth centre - so we can try again. 

In semi-related news, I entered into a competition for a free photo shoot with a Canberran photographer, and won! Kylie, I, and Bruiser (in utero) will have a session sometime in May, can't wait!! 

In totally unrelated news, we have a new car!! Oh how my life is changed! Now that there are two vehicles in our garage, I don't have to drop everyone off in the morning in different corners of the city and then pick them all up in the afternoon again. Aah, so much time saved... 

And on that happy note, I shall end today's entry :D


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Isn't s/he photogenic? :D

So I guess this is long overdue... it is high time to grace this blog with a picture of Little Bruiser in situ, so to speak ;-)

Behold, LB at 22 weeks and counting!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Ultrasound report and pictures

Well the report and pictures finally made it online. The report is very simple and straightforward. Basically:

1. There is one baby.
2. The baby appears to be completely and utterly healthy.

That's how we like it!

The pictures are not exactly keepsakes, of course, so I thought I'd put up at least a few of the scary ones :D 

First, this little beauty:

The resemblance to parents is striking... :D

Then, there is the compulsory alien shot:

Beware the Skeletor!
And of course the scariest of them all:

Holy c#@p!

Go, Little Bruiser, go!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Just a quick one to say...

that yesterday marked the first day when I felt Little Bruiser from the outside!! At one point in the evening during a kicking session one of the kicks was strong enough to make me wonder if I could feel it with my hand, and sure enough, when I tried with the next one, I could! Without any problems.

Then I started to wonder if I could also SEE it, and guess what! I could!! I couldn't see the exact spot, but my whole belly moved on one side.

So, very exciting, but also a bit scary... I'm pretty sure I couldn't feel from the outside or see the movement until quite a bit later in the pregnancy with my two. That, plus the consistent measuring ahead of the curve (forgot to mention the other day that at the ultrasound was taken at 19w0d, but LB's size pointed to 19w4d... and then there's the head...), makes me think that somehow this little one won't be very little when they come out!

Friday, 17 February 2012


All good! All awesome!! Little Bruiser's measurements were all spot on, except for the head circumference which was a week and a half out - measuring 20w4d... with my luck, of course it would! All the other bits and pieces are in perfect order too...

Oh, and we found out about LB's bits as well...

And I can't say a word, because Kylie and Adrian want to keep it a secret! So, in deference to their wishes, I shall not divulge the truth, and shall refrain from calling LB anything other than LB :D

Pictures forthcoming early next week when the ultrasound report is available online and I don't have to try using the scanner :)

K & A told their family and friends today about the pregnancy - that too had been kept a secret until this afternoon. It was really nice being a part of that - they called their parents from the car over the speaker system, so we were all a part of the conversation. It was priceless hearing their reactions! 

Happy, happy day!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Midwife appointment

Today we had our first midwife appointment. Kylie came down yesterday, and it was lovely to have her here for it.

The midwife is really nice and quite at ease with our situation, and seems really accommodating and supportive. She talked about things way down the track, like birth plans, what happens after the birth, breastfeeding, and stuff like that - Kylie and I were a little taken aback, as we haven't really thought that far in such detail, but I guess we'll have to start thinking about all that soon.

The midwife got Kylie to use the doppler to find LB's heart, and it was nice and strong - I was, as always, rather stressed beforehand, and the relief after hearing the heart was tremendous :D It was fluctuating between 140 and 160, so I guess that's right where it should be. The midwife also felt the uterus, and it measures about where it should, and Kylie to got to try as well - not sure if she was comfortable with that one (she's pouring herself a glass of wine as I type :-)

We've got the few next appointments booked already, including the dreaded 26 week glucose test - not looking forward to that one all that much. Anyway, we also have the big ultrasound next Friday, and both Kylie and Adrian will be down here for that, so unless something momentous happens between now and then, I probably won't post before then.

Happy February, everyone!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


Just felt the first definite kicks! Had a few twinges here and there before that MAY have been kicks, but these little beauties just ten minutes ago were definitely IT! Very excited!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Nothing exciting...

Well, I don't really have anything exciting to say, but I thought I'd update anyway. Just so that everyone knows we're okay.

My belly is starting to look a bit rounded, more like a pregnant belly than 'eaten too much' belly. So I guess LB is growing nicely. I had a few instances when I thought I felt a kick, but not that many. Apparently, the placenta is anterior, so I guess unless it moves I won't be feeling a whole lot of kicking until a bit later in the game when the bubs gets stronger. I haven't had a midwife appointment yet, as she is currently on holiday - she is not back until next Monday, so I assume I will see her sometime next week. Her name is Toni, I was told. And that's it. See, told you I had nothing exciting to say... Hang on, just thought I felt a little kick again! Sideways. So maybe it actually was? Who knows...

The only new development in my current life has nothing to do with the pregnancy at all. I was offered a job on Monday - it's a part-time job, teaching ESL at one of the local primary schools. I've been doing some relief teaching there, particularly for the ESL teacher whose job I am getting now (disclaimer: she left of her own volition and now has a full-time job in one of the other local schools), and I always really enjoyed it. I know all the kids, and the kids know me, so it should be fun! Starting this Friday! It's really good, as I have guaranteed work, but I will still have enough free days in the week to go to uni - which should be starting 20 Feb. And that's REALLY exciting, can't wait! I haven't been studying now for over half a year and I'm suffering serious withdrawals :D

And that's all, folks. Will check in next when I actually have something to say...

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Triple test report

Got the report from the ultrasound/blood test yesterday. This is called the 'triple test', where the ultrasound results are put together with the values of hCG and 'pregnancy associated plasma protein A' (PAPP-A) in my blood (these values are converted into Multiples of Median - MoM), and a risk of Down's, other trisomies and some other possible problems is calculated. There is an initial risk given by the age of the mother - which in our case is of course Kylie - and this risk is then adjusted based on the ultrasound/lab work. So here's our report:

The patient's serum biochemistry results of a beta hCG value of 0.73 MoM and a PAPP-A value 1.71 MoM have been combined with the nuchal lucency measurement of 2mm obtained on 4/1/12. In combination these values decrease the foetus' risk of trisomy 21 from a maternal age derived risk of 1:188 to an adjusted risk of 1:3766. The background risk for trisomy 18 was 1:470, the biochemistry has decreased this risk to 1:9401. The background risk of trisomy 13 was 1:1472, the biochemistry has decreased this risk to 1:29434.

I think the risk is actually even lower, as the initial age-derived risk of 1:188 seems to me like it is for the age of 38, which is Kylie's current age - but the eggs were retrieved and the embryos were created when she was 36! So we're looking pretty good.

Other than that nothing much to report, except that I got my first belly rub yesterday. I have to say that I was probably asking for it, I was wearing a pregnancy dress that has extra fabric in the belly area (or course) and makes me look way more pregnant that I actually am... Oh well. This IS my third, so I am bound to be showing earlier anyway, right? RIGHT? :D

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

NT scan

We had our nuchal translucency ultrasound today - and LB is looking great! As soon as we could see her on the screen, we all breathed a big sigh of relief... she's a wiggler this one!

All the measurements were within the normal range, and the crown-rump length put her at 13w gestation (where I should be about 12w5d, so again, normal). Heart rate of 155bpm is also lovely. She kept putting her hands up to her face, so the sonographer had a bit of a hard time trying to view her nasal bone, but that was managed in the end too.

She is just too cute for words. And I am so, so relieved. She is actually there, and her heart is beating. Kylie and Adrian's baby is actually in my tummy. As in, for real. Wow...

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is a lovely picture of the little one - enjoy!