Day 266 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

My OB tells me that you are in the right position. Not “engaged” exactly but spine outwards and head down. Ready to come out. Unfortunately she also told me that my body wasn’t quite ready for you to make your appearance. She said she would see me next week for my scheduled appointment because she was pretty sure she was not going to see me in hospital this week. Bummer.

I think I am ready for you to come out little dude. Before you get too much bigger preferably. That’s the thing that is really concerning me at the moment. Well that and the other irrational thoughts I have concerning whether something will go really wrong or we’ll find out something after you get here that slipped under the radar and is, you know, “not good”. I have absolutely no reason to think that anything is wrong. That you will be anything other than a healthy little boy but still I am starting to get some of those “what if” moments. I suppose I should be thankful I haven’t been plagued by them the whole pregnancy, but still…

These last couple of weeks have just been hard. Physically I am finding it tough. I am definitely not sleeping well. The heat isn’t helping. As I lie there on top of the bed with the window open and a fan going I feel like my feet are on fire because that what I use to regulate my temperature. If I am able to cope with a sheet covering me, my feet are usually sticking out somewhere. Which can get kind of tricky in a king bed when you are constantly turning over and trying to get that comfortable position so you can enjoy at least an hour of uninterrupted sleep. It’s the small things. Cause I don’t quite have the same opportunity for rest as I did last time.

Your father doesn’t really get that he was working full-time when I first took mat leave from work and that at the time we had neither a young child or a dog at home. Since your father resigned so we could move to the new house, there have constantly been three other beings in the house that want my attention and it adds to the whole tiredness thing, I tell you. And then there is the fact that your father was concerned about the whole inducing early thing so I actually read up on it this time. Last time, it was strongly suggested that we induce because I was overdue. I wasn’t offered the option so much as presented with a particular solution and so I went along with the advice. That was what I was paying the doctor the big bucks for when it came down to it. Not that I would have changed things but I didn’t “know” going in that induction made things hard and fast and required constant monitoring and led more frequently to intervention being required.

I actually had a textbook induction when it came down to it of course. I didn’t require any other intervention (apart from the induction drugs themselves) and there were no real complications but this time I am slightly apprehensive. Despite the fact that I’ve been through the process before, I know I coped really well and hey, the smaller you are, the better, I’m still not sure what to expect. It could be very different this time. I am hoping for better. I am hoping for not scary, manageable and your father not feeling like he could pass out because he was paying too much attention to the business end. I’m pretty sure he’s hoping for that too cause he’s never living that story down…

So even though I initially thought I’d really like for you to be a February baby, I good whenever you are right now. I’m just waiting for my body to catch up. You seem to be moving less. Not necessarily less often but less…enthusiastically shall we say. Not sure if that’s because there is not enough room any more. I think there is not enough room in there any more. I think I’d love to lose some weight and dropping a baby, a placenta and some amniotic fluid sounds like a fine idea. How about you help me out with that?

Much love,
Mama

Day 259 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

37 weeks! Term! You can totally come out now! I must admit I am actually starting to get a little bit apprehensive about when and how you are going to arrive. I am expecting you to be quite big. Bigger than your sister at any rate. My delivery with her was a good experience on the whole but I’m not sure if I can expect the same with you. I have had no medical professionals freak out and suggest that I might want to consider a c-section due to your size so I guess that is a good sign. On the other hand, I was reading a couple of comments on Facebook the other night which was probably not a good idea.

Don’t read about the things that can go wrong or the things that could be issues right before you go through something. You will only freak yourself out. Or convince yourself you are dying of cancer. Everything gives you cancer nowadays. I’m sure if won’t be long before someone tries to claim that childbearing gives you cancer or, you know, something else that should be innocuous such as blinking. Anyway, don’t go to that level of “being prepared”. Being prepared is contracting a medical professional you trust to advise and arrange things for you so you don’t have to worry about all the ifs and buts and maybes. That was the plan last time and it worked swimmingly. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that it works the same this time around. I’d cross other parts of my body too but I swear that you feel so huge that its really uncomfortable to do so.

Apparently you are not engaged yet so you’re not showing any inclination to come and meet the family. However, you do feel like you’re pushing down at times and I sort of hobble to the bathroom when I get up to pee at night. It sure makes your dad and I look a pair at times. He has had issues with his back so he occasionally waddles around groaning in discomfort and I shuffle along behind with my distended belly. It is really a workout taking you anywhere. My heart rate jumps up merely because I turn over in bed! Which I do like every ten minutes it feels like because otherwise I get all twitchy and uncomfortable. Sleeping is really bad at the moment.

We have had hot weather this week which has not helped at all. Your dad lies beside me under a sheet, cell blanket and doona while I lie on top of all the bedclothes with a fan going. Preferably with my feet in direct airflow because they tend to feel hotter than the rest of me. I toss and turn all night, rearranging the belly for maximum comfort each time I try and settle. I am hanging for the day when I can roll over onto my stomach again and bring my knees up to my chest. It’s the little things in life. Also being able to curl up on my side without feeling like I must have a weight bearing down on my chest would be good. Its not necessarily a shortness of breath I feel at the moment but neither is it comfortable. And then theres the scratching…

Its not like last time when I would wake up in the middle of the night wanting to take a layer of skin off with my fingernails because my stretched stomach was so damned itchy. Nor do I have a repeat of the skin irritation I found it incredibly difficult to get rid of which had me try to peel off my shins or the area behind my knees. No. This time around, I get those little itches that just want a slight scratch but my skin as a whole is sensitive to level that I feel like I have just given myself a bruise whenever I satisfy the compulsion. So then I hurt all over again for a different reason. It’s a pain I tell you.

Hope you’re faring better on the inside.

Much love,
Mama

Day 252 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

What can I say this week? You are really pushing the limits of my stomach at the moment. You have been for a while but now, despite the complete lack of feeling I have around or through my actual belly button, the area surrounding is quite sensitive. Probably because of all those stretch marks I now have. I didn’t get any with your sister at all which was great. However this time around, I have little purple pathways that wend their way outwards from the middle. I don’t have any marks on the side of my torso as some other women do but front on, you are already making a mark for yourself dude.

As for everything else, its one day after another and one step in front of the one before with a couple of naps thrown in for good measure. I haven’t had to take numerous phone calls from a job that no longer employs me so I have not been bound to a wooden chair for hours and I have been soaking up the last of the “three of us” days before you get here. Well, in between biting people’s heads off because the whole pregnancy discomfort and lack of a suitable brain-mouth filter kind of means that the rest of the family are treading very carefully at times.

I did have some grand designs of fixing up your bedroom. Getting rid of the excess clothes that belong to everyone else in the house. Putting some of the clothes that will be yours into the wardrobe ready for use. Finding some floor space etc. I thought the beginning of the year would be a great opportunity. I haven’t managed to get around to that yet but I will. Before you officially move in. Which in reality is months away because you will be sleeping in our room for a while so it is the dog that we have to relocate first…although I had vague plans of using your bedroom floor instead of the hallway so I might have to get on that…

Maybe I’ll get a crazy nesting urge and overhaul everything just before you get here. Although I didn’t get one of those last time. I was induced last time and plan to be again so maybe that whole cleaning and sorting compulsion will escape me once more. Who knows. Rest assured that you will have somewhere clean to sleep and it won’t be in a drawer so you’re all good.

Much love,
Mama

Day 245 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

Happy New Year! Just to let you know, we celebrated by me wearing pajamas, turning on a fan and hopping into bed well before midnight. I contemplated being in the city for the 9 o’clock fireworks…for about five minutes. Then I figured that with the amount of time we would need to be out in advance and I would be sitting on the ground, not to mention the walk to and from the car park, the traffic getting out and the lengthy drive home it was so not worth it. Genevieve doesn’t know what she is missing yet and your view is still pretty static at this stage. Not that I expect you’ll like fireworks for a while yet anyway. They pretty much start out more as loud bangs than pretty lights…

And speaking of things that will take a while, cause I totally was, apparently you don’t seem to be in a hurry either. Just like your sister. I had a growth scan a couple of weeks ago and whilst I knew that it put me out of the high risk category, apparently it also showed that there is a goodly length of my body from your head to where you come out and they are not expecting that you’ll be in a rush to come and meet everyone. This was not exactly unexpected but it wasn’t exactly good news either. Especially as I have also been warned that you are likely to be bigger than your sister, weighing in at over 4 kgs.

This pregnancy has been a lot tougher on me than the last one was. You are all out in front like a big watermelon, really low down (I swear my belly dips down slightly before continuing around) and really heavy. I have started clasping my hands underneath like a platform to boost you up and take some of the pressure. I guess I shouldn’t complain thought because I have not been bed ridden, I don’t have sciatica up and down my legs and I can still breathe – albeit more rapidly as I am frequently puffed. However, a full night’s sleep is but a distant memory, I am way more cranky overall and am most comfortable when I am horizontal. Which I find I need to be frequently. I lie down a lot now. I nap too but sometimes just lying down makes it all (a bit) better.

So yeah, last time around at 41 weeks everyone was saying you must be so over this stage and ready for the baby to be out and I was like no, not really, I still feel fine. This time around, I’m not even at “term” and I totally would not care if you came tomorrow! I really think your father might though. We have decided to opt for an induction right off the bat this time around and he is therefore aware that this will probably needs be before my actual “due date” but he seems a little concerned at how early the OB and I might consider to be appropriate.

As long as you arrive safely though and without too much drama, I can definitely deal with everything else. I would gladly take more discomfort in pregnancy if it meant that you were better off when you are delivered. Doesn’t stop me also hoping that the next couple of weeks don’t get any harder and that the birth experience is much like or even better than the last one I had. The whole wing it philosophy worked last time so here’s hoping for a repeat performance.

Much love,
Mama

Day 238 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

Merry Christmas! From all your family to you. Including your exhausted, puffy and big-bellied mama! I don’t know whether I am eating more this time around or exercising less but I am definitely bigger than I was with your sister. So much so that some clothes that fit me last time I was pregnant are too small this time and I actually had to take all my rings off. That was painful. They weren’t actually cutting off circulation but it had gotten to the point that I noticed them on my fingers and if nothing else, I remember how unattractively swollen I was after delivering a baby that I thought it best to remove the jewellery now lest it be a real issue later. Cause there was one of those rings I definitely did NOT want to be cut off! So instead I had I had to work off the three rings on my 4th finger over several days as it was too painful to do them all at once.

On the plus side of my many kilos, I don’t seem to suffer from pregnancy cankles or excessive water retention but I’m definitely not feeling trim, taut and terrific. More tired, tubby and tetchy. My conviction growing stronger every day that I really don’t want to do this again. It was like that in the first trimester when I was doing a lot of thinking that this pregnancy better stick because I wasn’t planning on a re-run. Then I got to the 2nd trimester stupidity when I started thinking that a big family would be awesome and I could totally go another round and maybe get another girl so I could use all those girl clothes again…I was clucky while I was already pregnant! I am now back to the original standpoint. Not that its not going to be awesome to have you but I think you’re destined to be a younger child and not a middle.

I met a lady the other day who has recently given birth to a daughter. I saw her talking to another young child that was obviously hers and asked if she had just the two. She said no, she now had eight. All singletons. So respect to her. Really. But I am so not going there. I’m pretty sure that your dad doesn’t want me going there either. With the brain-mouth filter in hiatus during the pregnancy, I haven’t been the nicest lady around and at the rate I’ve been going, given another go around, next time I probably really would bite his head off!

So once again this does just seem like a bit of a whinge. Please believe me that I did have these grand plans initially of keeping these a lot lighter and hopefully an entertaining record of what my journey was like with you. I’m not sure it quite worked out like that. Although in the interest of adding anecdotal items, it just so happens that our current bench height which I think is a fraction higher than the old house is incidentally the perfect height to rest the belly on while I am doing the washing up. I am not great on my feet in one place at the moment but this almost makes it bearable to perch my poochy self on the edge of the bench. As long as I don’t splash myself with blisteringly hot water. I have already lost sensation to the skin around my flat belly button but below that (where I can’t see), I can still feel and damn it, washing up water is hot.

Much love,
Mama

Day 231 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

This was a big week for us. It started out with a growth scan which told me some of what I already knew (i.e. you are going to be big) and some good news that I was waiting on – I am no longer high risk and am cleared to deliver naturally. Although I must admit that a small part of me was probably hoping that the decision would be taken out of my hands and I would be required to not go through labour again and would need a caesarean. I know the recovery is worse with a Caesar and also that plenty of women would give their right arm to deliver naturally. I also know that I had a really good experience last time so its not as if I am concerned about repeating a bad experience but I do remember that it was hard and tough and now I know that I am going to go through it all again.

But you are also looking very healthy so that is good. Everything is looking largely (being the operative word) as it should and things are flowing in the right direction. Which it took several attempts to ascertain because you would not stop moving. Your sister was in comparison a very restful baby. You are on the other hand a very energetic little thing. You are constantly pushing and stretching and wriggling so it will be interesting to see what you are like when you arrive. Whether you’ll be a Houdini that is impossible to keep wrapped or whether you’re calm and peaceful (yeah right). Cause when you’re not specifically moving, you also now get hiccups. I have felt this before and wondered whether I would again with you – apparently so.

And with the rest of the week, I worked in Sydney. I drove up this time instead of taking the bus so I couldn’t just doze or rest on the three hour trip. I was also staying with family so I was a long way out of the city which meant early mornings and late nights getting back. There was a lot of walking around the office and to and from bus stops as well so it was more exercise than I am currently used to which I am sure will leave me wiped next week. This week I have probably been running on adrenalin. The change of pace and scenery kicked me into another gear during the day so whilst I was tired, I wasn’t exhausted as I was in and around the city. I managed some late nights too because I was either up late chatting or out at bookclub with the ladies. I would totally crash when I finally got to bed of course (and it was awesome to have a bed to myself with no toddlers, no partner disturbance and no dog) but I slept better than I have for a while so that helped. The humidity was notable and uncomfortable though so I was once again glad that we made the move that we did and we’re out of Sydney. Its fun for short periods of time but I really don’t miss it. I think you’ll be a lot happier here than you would have been in our old house too!

Much love,
Mama

Day 224 (AC)

Dear Peanut,

I don’t think that anything of major import happened this week. Although I am posting under the early December date, I didn’t actually write this letter on that date so I guess that means I was probably tired and drained. When I wasn’t working I was probably trying to rest. I think I cancelled the midwife appointment that I had scheduled because I really felt that I didn’t need it. Sixty odd k’s is a long way to drive to tell someone that I don’t have any questions.

This cancelled appointment also means that I would have morning tea with one of the ladies from town and her toddler though. She lent me a couple of maternity tops to wear which was really nice because my summer wardrobe that fits is sadly lacking. That’s still really all I have to tell you about the week though. I’m just plodding along really and you seem to be growing on your merry way as well.

Much love,
Mama