Archive for June, 2007

36 weeks

36 weeks belly The little boy has decided it’s safe to turn around and face the exit so my belly is starting to move down again! That also means the pressure on my pelvis is back too, along with frequent visits to the bathroom for – despite what it feels like – not much at all.

But what’s getting really difficult is to bend over and reach my feet. While I can get down to the ground, getting back up again is a much bigger challenge! Which is why the 9-month pregnant woman putting the special post-op stockings on the recovering bypass patient is a sight to see! She can’t bend forward, I can’t get back up and the inevitable laughter causes fear her sewn up chest is going to burst open. You really can’t help but see the funny side of it all…


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I’ve only a few days left at work until my 12 months maternity leave begins. To celebrate the occassion my boss has instigated a baby draw. Entrants pay $2 and guess the date, time and weight of the baby … winner takes all.

Considering bub is still lying sideways (and despite my efforts to pre-stretch all the necessary parts he just isn’t going to fit out that way) I think he’s going to give me that extra week I’ve asked him for. So I’ve placed the following order (rather than bet):

Day: Monday 30 July (due date is 23 July)

Time 9.36am

Weight: 7.4 pounds (3.35kg)

UPDATE: Despite being two days and 100 grams out, I won!

On another note, one week after surgery mum is due to come out of hospital tomorrow. She’s had a really good recovery so far which I’m sure has been aided both by her fitness and positive attitude. So now I just need to unwind myself from the knot I’ve managed to tie myself in over the past few weeks so the little man knows it’s safe to turn round and face the exit. Being worried not only scares him but makes it harder for mum to stay calm and focus on her recovery, which is the best thing for all of us right now.

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I’m generally pretty good with coping with tough situations like seeing a loved one in the ICU but the last two days have been quite hard. I don’t know if it’s the added dimension of being nearly 35 weeks pregnant and the hormones that go with that or if it’s that fact that this time it’s my mum. The one who normally holds it together for everyone else. The one who does the looking after not gets looked after. The strongest woman I know unable to speak or breath unassisted.

Thankfully her breathing finally improved enough for them to remove the tube tonight and while it’s obviously quite difficult to get the sound out the few words she spoke made me feel so much better.

And what did she speak about? Making sure my brother takes the long drive back up to the Hunter carefully and that his wife knows when to expect him, that my sister has a good flight and that I go home and get some rest. A mother’s love never ends.

And while I’m so happy to know she is on the road to recovery I can’t help express my relief with more tears.

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The surgeon just called and the op is over. He said all went well and he performed 5 bypasses – what’s that, a quintet or something?

Mum’s been taken into the ICU and while she’ll likely to be asleep for 6-8 hours I’m going to head over there now…

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Mum went into hospital yesterday and is having her bypass surgery now. I called at 7am but they said she’d already been taken down to theatre so I just have to sit and wait now till I get the phonecall. The surgeon said he’d call himself after the operation was over.

My sister flew in from Queensland yesterday and we spend a few hours with mum at the hospital last night. Not wanting anyone to worry, mum puts on a pretty calm facade. I guess it’s what being a mother is about and I’ll soon find out.

My brother arrives tonight and we’re all staying at mum’s house for the next few days so before she left for hospital she layed out fresh towels on all the beds, left notes about what food was where in the fridge and freezer and even left a beautiful little outfit for the baby hanging in her room where she knows I’m sleeping.

I guess being a mother doesn’t have a duration. You don’t switch off when they’re old enough to find their own way. They’re always going to come first. And looking after yourself will always be bound up in wanting to be the best you can for them for as long as you have…

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When I last went to see the midwife for a check up a couple of weeks ago word was that the little man was 4/5 engaged. In other words he was head down ready to slide down the birth canal like a slippery dip. I thought he was going to come early for sure. And I wanted him to.

But when my mum had a heart attack just a few days later I freaked out at the thought of him arriving early. There was too much going on. Luckily mum was together enough to call an ambulance and get to the hospital fast enough for the damage to be minimised. But the longer-term prognosis was more serious. The were more blockages and she’d be needing bypass surgery as soon as her body was ready.

Well if I was in any doubt about whether or not my state of mind could affect the little life growing inside me before that, I’m not now. Within days of mum’s heart attack I felt him back up and turn around. I pictured a fish in a bathtub that the plug’s just been taken out of … desperately trying to swim in the other direction. To avoid the inevitable.

It’s like he knew some shit was going down and he was better off where he was – for the time being anyway.

Mum’s surgery is due to happen this Friday (34 1/2 weeks in my world) which leaves just under six weeks till his expected arrival date. If he’s as in tune as I think he is though, I reckon he’ll add on a few days at the end and give us all a little bit more time to rest, recooperate and get things ready for him.

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Here we are faced by our first big question of parenthood … should we get a three-wheeler or four-wheeler stroller?

We went to a three-year-old birthday party in Centennial Park yesterday and I tell you it’s better for a bit of stroller spotting than a visit to Babyco.

It’s just a guess but I’d say the split was about 50/50. It was hard to tell if the three-wheeler babies were more comfortable with their inflatable tyres than the four-wheeler ones were with their plastic wheels. The parents too weren’t showing any obvious signs of satisfaction or otherwise with their stroller pushing experience.

Of the two people I spoke to with three-wheelers (party attendees not complete strangers) one said while it’s great to push it’s heavy to fold and bigger than a traditional stroller. The other said that after going through two four-wheelers she couldn’t be happier with her new three-wheeler.

I wasn’t sure how appropriate it was to go round the park asking parents if I could have a little push of their precious little package or if they could take them out so I could test the folding action so I guess a trip to Babyco is on the cards after all.

This is what I think I need to look for. If you’ve other ideas, please help!

  • Five point safety harness
  • Meets the safety standard
  • Lays back so it can be used from new-born
  • Light (10kg or less) and compact
  • Easy to fold and unfold (preferably with one hand)
  • Brakes that can be put on without bending over
  • An easily accessible shopping basket
  • Reversible handle for when they’re little (this one I could do without)

Not that the stroller or pram you or I were pushed in 30 years ago would have had any of these things…

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