Friday, January 27, 2006

Countdown: 37 Weeks, 6 Days (...or 15 days to go)

I know I haven't updated in ages but I've been really rather busy. We've almost got the nursery finished, and ended up taking the bassinet down to Mamalas so she could do some finishing touches to it. (I will post pictures later on)

Let's see... Oh also I have been pretty busy with appointments at the hospital which I'll do a quick recap of:

January 22nd, 2006
Had the tour of the hospital today, and got to see where all the birthing rooms were. There are only 4 of them, but they are quite big and spacious, and all include a spa tub which I am very excited about. According to the midwife who led all of us through (there were probably 20 or so of us) there have been some "accidents" where babies have been born IN the tub, but mostly (unfortunately) they get the mums out in time and get them on the bed to deliver, using the tub only as pain management. Either way, I get to use the tub which I'm ECSTATIC over.

The hospital also has 4 private single rooms, which are generally reserved for women who have had complications, or who have had to undergo a cesarian. The midwife did say when we come in to deliver, if the rooms are available and we ask for one, then we'd most likely get one. I'm a little torn on that because part of me wants to have a private room, and another part of me would rather share a ward with other women so I'll at least have someone to chat with.

January 23rd, 2006
Went in for the second round of Cholestasis testing, as well as having my liver rechecked and a general bloodcell count done to make sure I wasn't anemic. Again I fasted, but unlike last time, did NOT have a mint before hand, just incase. I do have to say though, how pissed off we were in the beginning when I went to down to pathology close to where Mamala lives. It turns out they could not do the bloodtest for me, EVEN THOUGH the Doctor I saw told me it was perfectly alright and I did not need to come back to the hospital to have the blood drawn.

It turns out, I did have to come back to the hospital. So, there I am at Pathology around 845am (hungry, mind you) only to be told I now have to head roughly 20mins in the opposite direction back to the hospital. Okay, so, off we go. Twenty minutes later we arrive, and they make me wait an additional ten minutes. (Even hungrier now) The blood gets taken at 930am and they send me out to go have breakfast - finally!

I did wake up a couple of times through the very early morning hours scratching at my arm like a complete maniac, and had to apply TWO coats of DermaVeen to stop the itching. Since I've only really been itching when I'm really hot, or I've been out in the sun, today we realized that yesterday I had spent a lot of time in the sun (minus sunscreen no less) and therefore my right arm got considerably pinker than normal, thus the scratching. It even feels like more of a sunburn itch than anything and stings if I scratch too often or too hard.

January 25th, 2006
Antenatal appointment at the hospital to review the results of my bloodwork. Got a new doctor this time, Dr Ahmed, who was really very nice albeit a little hard to understand at times. He went over my file ALOT more thoroughly than any of the other doctors, including telling me that I actually had THREE due dates! I only knew of two! Turns out though, that we're going back to using the February 11th due date (again) because two of my ultrasounds AND my LMP correspond with it.

My liver test came back perfectly normal, which was confusing to me since if my bile salts were high (at 11) then wouldn't my liver ALSO have some abnormality? I posed this question to Dr Ahmed and he said that while it's usual to have a liver problem while having cholestasis, that's not always the case... And in some cases the bloodtest doesn't reveal any problem either, even when there IS one. (Science is so great, is it not?) My general bloodwork came back perfect as well and I'm not anemic (which I already knew), and my bloodpressure is also perfect.

It's all really very confusing to me.

After talking with Dr Ahmed, he has decided he doesn't feel the induction is necessary at this point, but we still don't have the bile acid results back yet, and those won't come back until next week, so I have another appointment on Wednesday to review those and probably come to some kind of solid decision then. Dr Ahmed told me that based on what we've talked about, he'd rather wait as long as possible and NOT induce me (since it's better for the baby that she come when she's ready) but since I'm at 37 weeks, I am clinically full term now and it would be okay to deliver any time between now and 40 weeks. (If she happens to come on her own, I mean)

He checked my uterine size and it's a stunning 38cm long, making my little demonette quite healthy and a good size herself. Dr Ahmed said if I was any shorter than I am, then I would be having a BIG baby but given that I'm so tall, he is quite confident she's a good size and her heartbeat is strong and incredibly healthy.

He did say that he still wanted me to have the trace monitoring (CTG) done of her heartbeat just to make sure she wasn't under any stress (relating to the cholestasis), but given that all 4 birthing suites were full and there was up to a 5 hour wait to have that done, I opted to make an appointment for Thursday to come back in. A five hour wait would have put me back at the hospital around 9pm and that's my bedtime just about!

So there, that brings us back up to speed for the few days I haven't posted since being away from the house, staying with Mamala. Yes she has a computer but her computer room gets unbearably hot and I can't sit in there for any length of time to type out a post OR go reading everyone elses!

Yesterday we did go back in for the CTG, and D came in with me as well. I was led into one of the birthing suites and hopped up onto the bed, and then two fetal monitors were strapped to my belly. I can't tell you how beautiful hearing her heartbeat is. I can't tell you how hypnotic it is, and how it was lulling both D and I to sleep. I can't tell you how much we truly missed hearing it once the CTG was done and midwife Heather told us her heartbeat looked normal and that she was not under any stress at all. (We already knew that of course, but sometimes you just need to let the docs do what they want to do)

So afterward, we basically came back to Mamalas, packed up our stuff and headed home. I don't need to be back down that way until next Wednesday (which happens to be my big three-oh birthday and which I had totally forgotten about, being so preoccupied with when bubby is going to get here and getting her room all prepped) so there was no point in me staying. Starting the following weekend however, I will be at Mamala's place until the baby is born because she only lives 15mins from the hospital, whereas I live an hour from it.

On our way home yesterday afternoon, we took some detours and didn't quite get lost, but for a little while we weren't sure where we were, and right in the middle of nowhere - at the end of the road no less - was a little teeny town called Cabbage Tree Point, located nearish to Jacobs Well. We stumbled into this quaint little town quite by accident, and when I say it was located at the end of the road, that's exactly what I mean. Right at the end of the road was a jetty, and beyond that, quite a large river. But it was so lovely to see; I love taking detours and ending up in little out of the way places.

Tomorrow marks mine and D's ONE YEAR anniversary and to celebrate we are heading up to the city and staying in the delicious Marriott Hotel so I probably won't be blogging again until sometime on Sunday.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2006


Just got back from the antenatal clinic, and I have some mixed results. Overall I think it was a good visit, but I'm not entirely sure.

Firstly the OB changed my due date. Again. They've decided to go by the dates of my ultrasound, which makes my due date now Feb 21st (again) and not Feb 11th. Because of this, they've decided to restest me for cholestasis, as well as do a complete liver check - all done via blood. All of that will be done on Monday, and I go back on Wednesday to discuss the results with whoever is on duty.

Okay so that being said.. the OB I spoke with today isn't too concerned with the bile salt test results I already have. She said they were high, but since I'm not experiencing any major itching, that she's not going to get too concerned until the new bloodwork comes back. My itching isn't constant, it doesn't really wake me up through the night and it generally isn't something of a discomfort, so she wasn't TOO concerned about it.

I also mentioned the black spots I saw the other afternoon when I got up from the couch, but she did not seem concerned about that in the slightest. (I'm not really sure what to think of that, but for now I'm taking her word for it)

So when I go back on Wednesday to discuss the results of my new bloodwork, I am also being scheduled for what's called a "trace" which is where they hook me up to some machine and monitor the baby's heartbeat for awhile. Apparently this can tell them whether or not the baby is okay, or under stress, etc etc. The OB says she wants this monitoring to go on twice a week until my 38th week (which is now 2 weeks away and not 1) and all the while constantly monitoring my itchies to make sure they do not increase. At this point, the OB doesn't think it necessary to induce me, but again they won't really know anything until the second lot of results come back and we talk on Wednesday.

She was very happy with baby's heartbeat, which is still very nice and strong, plus there was LOTS of fetal activity today during the external exam, and we also found out that her head is nice and low. Also next week, they'll do a vaginal exam to find out exactly where the baby's at and feel how ripe the cervix is. At least the good news about all of this, is that if I do have to be induced, bubby's in the right position and fairly low, even though I haven't actually "engaged" yet.

As of today and my new (old) due date of Feb 21st, I'm back to being 35wks 3days along instead of 36wks and 7 days.

It's all terribly confusing but I am staying positive, and as long as there are no signs of fetal distress then I'm perfectly happy letting everything go as a normal pregnancy would. If the tests come back in a not-so-positive light, then they WILL induce in my 38th week; I guess they just want to be sure and not prematurely induce me when there would be no need. I guess this is a good thing.

Whew, that seems like so much to absorb, and I don't think it's all fully sunk in quite yet. I am left feeling a little... frustrated at the seemingly indecisive nature of all this testing, but by the same token, I'd rather know for sure than just be induced on a whim only to find out later there was no need.

In other more positive news, my strepB tests all came back negative so that's one less thing to worry about.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

More Shopping

I'm heading out today, down the coast to Mamala's place where I shall be until tomorrow evening. Tomorrow is my appointment with the senior OB at the hospital, so I'm very much looking forward to that, and finding out exactly what's going on.

Today, however, seems like it's going to be quite busy. I have to shower and be ready to leave in roughly an hour and a half; from here we're going straight to the Mall so my older brother can do his grocery shopping. It's possible we'll end up seeing one of Mamala's friends for abit while we're in there, and then I need to have a chat with the people of Centerlink. (That should be barrels of fun)

After that, we are going to head around to the place where I bought my chest of drawers from - basically it's a silent auction place, and I won a lovely chest of drawers for $70 woo!! - and I also need to chat with the people I'm buying my carseat from to see if they can install it for us on Saturday.

I also want to buy a couple more skirts and add some credit to my cellphone - man I can already see the dollars whizzing by.

Oh and I woke up this morning (again) with an aching pelvis and tops of my thighs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Little Brother!

Good lord my littlest brother turns 24 today. TWENTY-FOUR. It's so weird; I always thought he was around the 26 mark. That says alot of positive things about him for sure.

Anyway we went out and had dinner at Sizzler, the whole family, and an immensely good time was had by all. He took off after dinner and headed down to some friends' place to get good and sloshed, and doesn't need to worry about driving home since he's crashing there. I'm so proud of him for being so responsible. (insert cheezy grin)

In other news, I did call my Dr today to ask whether or not I needed to be retested for the cholestasis. He pretty much said no, because once it comes back positive it doesn't really change, but beyond that, the test won't come back until around the 38th week mark or after it, and by that point we'll have needed to make arrangements for the induction so it would be rather pointless. He did inform me that I will be seeing the senior OB on Friday, rather than the midwife, to discuss all the options, risks and benefits, etc etc etc. I don't feel nearly as nervous or as stressed out as I did yesterday or even earlier today. It helped to talk about it a little bit, and I have come to the conclusion that bringing our daughter into the world 2 weeks ahead of schedule is a GREAT THING.

Anyway, so that's where we're at right now. I won't know anything else until I chat with the OB on Friday, but I'm feeling good and positive and I'm sure that will magnify after my appointment. I'll keep you updated!

Trying Not to Worry

My Doctor called me yesterday afternoon. He called to tell me he got the results back regarding the Cholestasis testing, and from what I understand (which may be totally different to what he said), he is going to recommend I be induced at 38 weeks as a prevention. He said my liver was normal, but the bile salt count in my blood was at 11. He said this would be somewhat normal if I had eaten the morning of my bloodtest, but since I had fasted, this number is very high and so therefore, is not good or normal, at all.

He was faxing down his recommendation to the antenatal clinic yesterday, and I go back to see them on Friday. I am 36 weeks and 3 days along, as of today, which means if they induce, we will likely see our little girl the last week of January, beginning week of February. And that's if the dates are even correct.

You might recall a smallish problem we had with that. The Doctor/Midwives didn't know if they should go by the date of my LMP, or by the first ultrasound report. In the beginning they went by the ultrasound report which would have made my due date February 21st. But then, because I was a "week in advance" with everything, they decided that the dates were wrong, and that I was due February 11th.

My Doctor did suggest yesterday that I get retested for the Cholestasis, and the results would come back just in time to decide what we are going to do - at least by my estimations. They need to induce or cesarian by 38 weeks, because apparently after that, the risk of stillbirth increases and so does the risk of sudden fetal death syndrome. Obviously we'd all rather be safe than sorry.

So, I told D last night and he was as supportive and as loving as ever. I rang Mamala yesterday afternoon and told her about it; she said the results didn't feel right to her, so I think she'd like it if I was retested as well. She kept telling me not to worry, not to stress, everything would be fine... Much the same things D has been telling me since last night.

But I can't help it. And I know it's no good to stress over it, because the Midwives may not think it's anything to worry about (they said they'd call me if they did, and so far they haven't) and I am going to see them on Friday and ask a bunch of questions anyway so I'm probably causing myself a whole lot of needless stress right now, which I know isn't good for the baby.

And I know it does no good to worry about it anyway because if the retest comes back saying I do have cholestasis for sure, there still isn't anything I can do about it. All I wanted was a nice, normal pregnancy, without any complications.

I'm not going to wallow in self-pessimism or defeat though. There's nothing wrong with our baby; she's just going to greet us 2 weeks earlier than originally expected. Let's just hope that when I get induced, she decides it's okay to come out and won't get distressed or anything like that, causing me to have an emergency cesarian.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Quick Recap of Events

Had my 36th week antenatal appointment today at the hospital, and it went fabulously well. Baby's heartrate is 120 beats per minute, which is a significant drop from 2 weeks ago when it was 154bpm, but it's still very strong and very healthy so Midwife Ann was happy. Bubs wasn't moving around AS much during this exam, which I think is mainly due to Ann's non-gouging of my stomache (she was really very gentle) although she was gouging about in the pelvic region trying to locate bubby's head. Turns out she's moved abit lower down, so she's still in the correct position for birth.

Didn't get my cholestasis results back yet - they were sent to the Mater hospital in Brisbane, so they said they'd fax the results to the antenatal clinic as soon as they got them in, and if it wasn't good, then the midwife or doctor on duty would give me a call. I didn't hear anything back this afternoon, so if I don't hear anything by Wednesday or Thursday next week, I'll take that as a really good sign.

Also had my last round of blood tests done; checking for hemoglobin count and antibodies once again, as well as a non-blood-related test which involved swabbing some sensitive areas with an extra extra EXTRA long cotton bud, for strepB. This is done routinely, so if they discover that I have strepB, then they'll feed me antibiotics via IV during labour so it doesn't get passed along to the baby. Guess I won't know that either until next week.

I do know that I thought it very inconsiderate that I had to do the actual swabbing considering I couldn't see down there at all and had to rely on depth perception. Turns out I don't think that worked so well, so we'll see. Hopefully I did it right. (I still think the midwife shoulda done it!)

Afterward Mamala and I did some shopping for bubs... Got her pram off layby (pictures to come), as well as bought some nappies (diapers) and nappy pins, a new bassinet pillow - I wanted to get the mattress but they were out of stock - 2 mattress protectors, some tiny little coat hangers and an absolutely melt-your-heart skirt that I plan on bringing her home in. I just have to find a top now to go with it, and buy some socks too. Oh and I put some more money on our carseat which we'll pick up in the next couple of weeks.

Very busy day today, and even though I walked around ALOT, my feet squish bags didn't get AS puffy as they have been lately. I think it helped that I was in aircon for most of the day.

And speaking of aircon... Apparently we're having someone come out to the house tomorrow to give the owner a quote on having aircon put into the house! OH PRAISE JESUS!! Hopefully this means that the owner will put in a reverse-cycle split system and we will have AIRCONDITIONING!!! Yes I'm getting my hopes up and all blown out of proportion. I hope they will not be dashed.

Oh oh oh and the most important thing... My previous post about the Huntsman spider that ran across my feet while I was sleeping? Well! We got home tonight, I stepped out of the car, turned around and holy shit... There was a big old Huntsman sitting on our garage wall. My flesh immediately began crawling and I dashed in the house to hide and tremble, while reminding D to get his camera and take photos. He did, and got amazingly close to The Beast. I shall have photos for you soon... And yes, the one he took photos of tonight was the same size as the one that ran across my feet.

And, rather than kill The Beast tonight, he got the broom and shooed it outside. He then proceeded to spray the interior of the garage with surface spray, so if The Beast does venture back into the garage, he will die a most horrible death. There's only so much I will do to keep a Beast of Such Magnitude alive.

Now, however, I must retire for the evening and go lay down. It seems my parasitic demonette has lodged her foot once again firmly into my ribcage, which is making it difficult to sit here and type. Of course, having just typed that, her foot miraculously dislodged and I am no longer in discomfort, but I am, however, out of things to say.

Hope everyone had a fantastic Friday the 13th!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I Can See It From Here

My due date, you know. February 11th. Exactly FOUR WEEKS from today. Now would be the appropriate time to say "Begin the Countdown!" but in truth that started about two weeks ago. Am I excited? Oh hell yes! Am I nervous? No, not so much.

But I do have a couple of niggling concerns.

#1) If my water doesn't break, how will I know when I've begun labour? I've heard that it feels similar to bowel cramping, so if that's true then how will I know the difference?

#2) I've heard that for the first week or two, new parents (specially moms) don't want to deal with any phone calls or neighbours, regardless of the reason. If that's the case, and that's me, how do I diplomatically say, "I'm sorry, I don't want to talk to you or anyone right now. Call me back in about a month."

I used to be concerned I wouldn't hear her crying since I was/am typically a heavy sleeper. I've been told by so many of my new-mom friends that this goes away, and your sleeping patterns change so much that you will wake up all the time and possibly get out of bed to make sure she's still breathing. Since I had a little "incident" at Mamalas the other week, which I did not post about then but will now, I am quite convinced I will not sleep through her night cries and be able to get up and feed her or cuddle her or change her, or whatever.

Okay so now the incident I referred to... Well if you're a fairly regular reader, then you will know of my aversion to spiders. Particularly Huntsman. (Just as a warning, you may not want to click that link if you're at all squeamish about looking at spiders, particularly big ones) For the record, and I think I have mentioned this before, Huntsman are not venemous and therefore will not kill you if bitten. But I have heard their bite feels like someone's just punched the ever living crap out of you. Owwie.

Okay but I digress here. Some of you have seen some of the spiders we have around our house, and they're a bit further down on the right on my FlickR badge if you'd like to have a look. Only one in the spider set is a Huntsman and it's a baby, so it's going to be a wee bit hard to describe just how big the one I'm going to tell you about, was.

Take a look at the palm of your hand. If you're an adult of average size, then it's legs would have dangled OVER your palm and on your fingers. I hope you can appreciate the size of which I'm talking about, even though if you're not familiar with them, you may very well be having a hard time with that. Trust me when I say I am not exaggerating.

Now... Knowing how big that spider was, I shall continue with my story. This happened a couple of weeks back when I headed south to visit Mamala one of the weeks I had my antenatal appointment at the hospital. Mamala had given up her bed to me, and was sleeping on the single spare bed in the spare room (she's so nice!). Because it was so stinking hot that night (at least to me) I chose to sleep without any covers on, which is very normal for me these days.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

I woke up around 130am after feeling what sort of felt like a very strong wind across my feet. My eyes snapped open, I flicked on the light and I stared at the bottom of my bed, and at my feet and tried to wrap my brain around the fact that while it may have felt like a strong wind across my feet, or perhaps even blowing the sheets across my feet, somewhere in my head I knew MUCH differently.

Panic did not yet set in, but I knew instinctively what it was. Yes, it was the aforementioned LARGE spider. No, it was not down near my feet at the bottom of the bed, but I knew it was down there somewhere. My heart was pounding, my limbs were a little shaky and I leaped out of the bed (after carefully checking the floor and walls beside me to make sure said monster was not there) and stood at the head of the bed, staring down at the end of the bed, as though by some miracle I would grow xray vision and be able to see through sheets. And a mattress.

Since this didn't happen, I leaned slightly forward, ever so slightly, to peek around the bottom edge of the bed. And then I stood bolt upright for I had seen it. Not all of it, mind you. Just the tips of it's legs. But it was there, on the edge of the bed and IT HAD CRAWLED ON ME.

I needed to make my escape! But how? There were only two ways out of her room and one of them involved walking past the monster clinging to the edge of the bed. The other involved walking (or sprinting!) across the bed and onto the floor on the opposite side of the room. I wasn't sure I wanted to do that because any movement I would make, might very well cause The Beast to leap onto the floor and run in my direction (because that's my luck), or, turn and run UP ONTO the bed where I would have been standing. I also knew that if I chose to run across the bed, though thankfully with my leg span it would have been one step onto the mattress and one step onto the floor, even though she's got a queen sized bed, then I might have ended up coming down hard on the floor, thus waking Mamala up, and scaring the (literal) crap out of Nanna who lives below on the ground floor.

During all of this thought, maybe half a minute passed and I knew the longer I stood there, the more chance I had of The Beast crawling up toward me. Or onto the floor and then around toward me. (Huntsman run incredibly fast as a general rule and will also jump a little) I had little choice. I sprung across the bed (not a bad feat when you're 8 months pregnant) and lightly landed on the floor on the opposite side of the room so I didn't disturb anyone. I should mention at this point, I have not screamed. (I'm very brave you see)

I got to the door, actually just outside it, and it was a battle of wills against myself: Turn around! No for gods sake don't turn around, you don't want to know! TURN AROUND! NO! I ignored the angel telling me not to turn around, and instead listened to the devil who was cackling gleefully on my left. I turned around, slowly.

And sucked in a giant gobful of air which created a minor vacuum in the immediate vicinity where I was standing. There it was, ladies and gentlemen. On the end edge of Mamala's bed, on the quilt, hanging out in all of it's magnificently huge glory, staring at me. It's entirely probable that this spider was as terrified of me as I was of it. Moreso probably, because I'm six feet tall and it's what, half a centimeter tall?

Anyway, so I woke up Mamala and made her come and kill it for me. (Remember my previous braveness? It was a sham. A SHAM!) I spent the rest of the night with the light on and waking up every hour to make sure I didn't have another one on or near me. The good thing about Huntsman is that they're not terribly social spiders, so they do not generally roam around in small groups. This means that it's very rare to have more than one in your house at any given time - this is a GOOD THING.

Okay, so! This is why I am of the firm belief that I will no longer have any problems waking up to hear my baby fussing or crying. If I can wake up to a light spider touch, then I will certainly wake up to a screaming human. I am no longer worried of that. Maybe I should be greatful that The Beast chose to teach me that lesson.

You know what else though? I'm going to miss being pregnant. As much as I want my little demonic parasite here with me, I'm really going to miss having her inside me and watching her bounce and jiggle and wrestle with my organs until she got comfortable. I'm going to miss the hunger pains and dizziness she used to cause me if I didn't eat every couple of hours. I'm going to miss her hiccuping and the way she responds to D's singing and his conversation. In as little as four weeks, and as much as six weeks, we will have her here with us, drastically changing and improving our lives.

Of course, there are some things I'm not going to miss, and actually will be quite happy they're done with.

I'm not going to miss my swollen feet. (My brother lovingly refers to them now as "squish bags") I'm not going to miss peering over the watermelon to tearfully stare at the fat little piglets attached to my bubbled up feet and ankles.

I'm not going to miss the pelvic aches and pain. Oh dear lord no I AM NOT!

I'm not going to miss struggling to get up off the couch from a horizontal position; or needing help to get up off the floor when I so stupidly think how wonderful it would be to lay down and rest on it. (You'd be surprised how often I choose the floor over the couch or bed, particularly at Mamalas)

I am not going to miss the leg cramps! Oh my god those are annoying. To wake up in the middle of the night with a severe charlie horse gripping your calf is not a pleasant experience! And it's infinitely WORSE when it's in both legs at the same time!

I'm so not going to miss the itchy skin and wickedly itchy boobs/nipples. I'm so sick and tired of constantly scratching them and not being able to find very much in the way of relief.

But at the same time, as much as I'm not going to miss all of that stuff, I think somewhere inside me, in a weird way, I am going to miss it. These things have been symbolic in a pregnancy I was so positive I would never experience, and yet here I am, experiencing it to the fullest. After all, taking the good with the bad is all part of it, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Fans

So our my fan died over the weekend. It may have had something to do with the fact that we had some stormage, and a bunch of power surges which may have been the reason for the motor suddenly dying. Or it might have been because it was an old fan, I have no idea. All I know is that I almost flew into panic mode at the prospect of not having a fan blowing directly on me as I sat at my computer.

Yesterday, we headed into town so my brother could drop off his form, and then we headed into the nearby new shopping mall. We made a beeline for K*Mart and then wandered around aimlessly, unable to find the fan section, because you know what stores are like and how well labelled everything is. We ended up attacking some store personnel and my brother wrestled her into telling us where their secret stash of fans was, so off we trotted and picked up two. TWO fans now! And damn do they kick out some air. It's awesome.

Luckily though, it wasn't that hot yesterday. I think the top only got to around 28C but again with no breeze made it feel abit hotter than it actually was.

I also took back my second copy of "Me, Myself and Irene" and exchanged it for Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Forest Gump with an additional purchase of Batman Begins because D wanted it. And because it was (miraculously) under $20.

Still haven't heard anything from the travel agent(s). I think I'm well and truly disgusted enough to never use one again. But that horse isn't one I feel like beating on at the moment since I'm in a rather jolly mood.

D's friend sent pictures of their baby girl last night, and she is so gorgeous. He cannot wait until our little demonette is here, and neither can I. We're so excited and want her here now now now! I can't believe we only have a month to go. ONE MONTH.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Someone Has Some Explaining to Do

Back in March of last year, D and I purchased our tickets to travel from Canada to Arizona (where we parked for 2 weeks) before flying on home to Australia by way of New Zealand. When we purchased our tickets, we originally wanted to fly Qantas because quite frankly, I have a huge aversion to flying on any other airline. In my opinion Qantas is the safest airline, and since it's my life we're discussing, nobody can convince me otherwise.

Well, at least up until the point of our ticket purchase last year, nobody could. But you see, then we met the travel agent Liv, who convinced me that Air New Zealand is just as safe (if not safer) than Qantas, and that I would be perfectly fine flying on that airline. Obviously she was correct in that, since here I am today, writing out a post.

I have just digressed, though. When we were speaking with Liv, we told her we wanted one-way tickets to fly to Australia, because we couldn't really forsee us coming back to Canada anytime soon. She convinced us that it would be ultimately cheaper to book roundtrip tickets (and in actual fact, it was) and while she couldn't make them open-ended, she could put them up to 12 months in advance for the return trip. Okay fine, we said. Let's do that. We thought there would be no problem, but as she was typing up things on her little computer, suddenly there was a problem. Now she can't do a return trip to Australia so far in advance with Air New Zealand (but she could have with Qantas). This means of course, that she can only put the return trip as far in advance as February of '06, but before that time, we should contact her directly (or if not being able to, contact anyone in any Flight Centre, regardless of where we are) to have the change made to our return date, resetting to May of '06. She also told us that this would be done free of charge because she was unable to set the return dates one year from the date of our travel. We would get one free date change, and thereafter it would cost us money.

No problem, we said. Actually it's better that we do it this way. We said. Essentially that gave us a lot of leeway in which to change our return flight and go back whenever we wanted, up until May of '06.

After chatting with some people yesterday, this is not so. We went up to the Brisbane Airport in order to talk with Air New Zealand about having our return flights changed and the tickets reprinted without having to wait for them to come in the mail. This is around the time we found out that we do not, infact, get a free flight change. Rather, our flight change is going to cost us US$150 each.

You can well imagine how royally pissed off we were. Are.

We were nice though. We did not scream at the nice lady from the Air New Zealand desk. We were not mean or rude to her. She sent an email to our travel agent, and is now awaiting response from her. (I should point out that I have sent several emails to our travel agent, Liv, and have not heard one word back from her)

From there we headed home, stopping at the nearby shopping Mall to go and tell our tale of woe, horror and misfortune to another person at Flight Centre. We were lucky enough to have the good fortune of dealing with the lovely Allie, who also sent off an email to Liv asking her to call us, or email us, or something, because we are her clients and we are NOT happy in the slightest. Allie then informs us, that basically Liv had told us a bunch of bullshit; that Air New Zealand typically does not offer free flight changes, BUT THAT QANTAS DOES! Qantas, the ORIGINAL airline I wanted to travel on, you'll remember. She also said, that unfortunately if Air New Zealand told us it was going to cost an additional US$150 to make the flight change, then that would be correct and we would have to pay it.

Obviously, we are not happy with this and we stupid enough not to get any of our original itinerary in writing regarding the free flight change. What the hell were we thinking?

Okay, so now that part is over with, while we are waiting to hear from either Liv or Allie, or the woman at Air New Zealand, I have this question: We bought the tickets in CANADA. Why then, does our flight change require the money to be in US FUNDS? WHY is it not in CANADIAN funds where we purchased them?

Oh and PS, I went for my Cholestasis test on Friday. I won't get the results back for another week yet, but fingers crossed I don't have it.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Can't Wait to Get my Ribs Back

Last night was a little bit of a rough night. D and I headed to bed around 1030pm I suppose, or thereabouts, and although I had been fairly uncomfortable for most of the day - bubby's feet in my ribs, not so much the heat yesterday thank god - I figured as soon as I lay down, I would at least be comfortable.

Not so.

"Aha!" gurbles the small child. "She's laying down which means I can stretch out!"

And stretch out she did. I felt the whole thing, a full body stretch that started with her hands all but fluttering out of my general pelvic region, to her feet which were all but gouged up into my throat. And there she stayed for a good minute or so - you know what those really good stretches are like; you don't ever want them to end, do you? So of course, I can't really blame her for staying that way and enjoying every minute of it.

Once she was done, I heaved a great sigh of relief and attempted to lay back again, to get comfortable. It just wasn't meant to be. One foot right up into the ribs, pressing against them with her heel for all she's worth. It's entirely possible I'll be enrolling my child in the ballet as soon as she's old enough: it would be a sin not to further develop those leg muscles outside of the womb.

As I tossed and turned and grumbled with the irritation of having a tiny foot jammed in between two pieces of bone, I moved to my left side thinking that maybe she'd fall to the left and get out of that very delicate area. Again, I was wrong.

There's going to be no second guessing this kid; she's the one who's going to be teaching US what to do, I can see it.

Grumbling still further, I flipped onto my right side, pillow wedged firmly beneath the giant melon and instantly found relief. It was heavenly! At least for me. The wriggling parasite within had to move herself again to get comfortable, but at least the foot was gone from my ribcage.

I indulged in a maniacal laugh and happily fell asleep.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Taking on the World, One Tub at a Time

Do you have any idea just how hard it is to get in and out of a bathtub when you're 8 months pregnant? Well, if you're 8 months pregnant, I'm sure you do! Let me tell you, when you gaze down at that bathtub and think to yourself, "There's so much room in there, I'll be able to float!" you're wrong, DEAD WRONG.

When you sit down, it's like your ass and thighs have magically widened and you don't have even a third of the room you once thought you had. And then you try and get comfortable, somehow mangling your legs together in what appears to be some version of crossing them at the calves, with your knees resting on either side of the porcelain as the water floats up, up, up and around your belly, not quite being able to submerge it, but giving you enough bouyancy that if you close your eyes you can imagine you're out at sea. In a very cramped lifeboat. But it can be done!

But because it was so absolutely dreadfully, unbearably hot when you got in the tub, you don't mind the crampiness so much because you're partially submerged under nearly-cold water, and the cool southerly breeze is dancing across your bare skin through the open window directly above you, and you drift off to sleep for an hour, not thinking about the god-awful time you're going to have trying to get GET OUT of the tub later on.

And then you wake up. And while you're loving every minute of that bordering-on-cold tub of water, you're also shivering a little bit because even though it was so hot an hour earlier, that your skin stuck to itself, it has since cooled down and isn't nearly so hot and the cool breeze dancing across your skin feels colder and colder and colder. So you do some kinky manoeuvre in order to slide your hand down under your ass and past your thighs to reach the plug to pull it out so the water can drain away, and then do you begin the arduous process of trying to extract yourself from the shallow, porcelain apparatus.

You're not quite sure how you're going to achieve the actual getting to your feet stage, because your hands (and body) are quite prune-like by now, and are also somewhat slippery from being submerged for an hour. Isn't it funny that you can wipe your pruned hands on the towel for five solid minutes, and yet they're still sopping wet when you touch the sides of the bath in order to hoist yourself upward? It's like your skin is so waterlogged that it won't ever be dry again.

But, somehow you manage to thrust yourself upward while clinging vainly to the sides of the tub, hoping like hell you don't slip and fall. And as you stand on your feet, completely upright and overjoyed, you want to do a small victory dance right there in the open window, for all to see. But you don't do that victory dance. Instead, you grin stupidly at yourself in the mirror for not only being able to get INTO the tub, but now also OUT OF it while you're eight months pregnant.

And then, as you sit at the table this morning, recapping the highlights of yesterday, you hope with all your heart and soul that today will NOT be as hot as yesterday because as much as you're proud of yourself for being able to get in and out of a bathtub (something you USED to take for granted!) you really don't want to have to go through it all again if you can help it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Recap of 2005

Found this over at Luvs+Autumn and figured I'd snag it. You should snag it too:

1) Was 2005 a good year for you? Best year of my life.

2) What was your favorite moment of the year? Landing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at around 1030pm on January 28th.

3) What was your least favorite moment of the year?
Having to spend the first month of a new year with someone I pretty well never wanted to see again. Ever. And then have to put up with his abusive bullshit for 2 months after I'd moved out.

4) Where were you when 2005 began? With my ex, watching The Twilight Zone marathon and trying not to do anything that would make him mad at me.

5) Who were you with? With my ex.

6) Where will you be when 2005 ends? Well considering I'm doing this late... I was at home, in bed.

7) Who will you be with when 2005 ends? My fiance.

8) Did you keep your new years resolution of 2005? I don't make them.

9) Do you have a new years resolution for 2006? No...

10) Did you breakup with anyone in 2005? Nope!

11) Did you make any new friends in 2005? Yes

12) Who is your favorite new friend? I don't really have a favourite

13) What was your favorite month of 2005? Oh so many... February (my birthday, my fiance's birthday and my mother's and sisters birthdays), May (came home to Australia), July (found out I was 9 weeks pregnant AND got engaged)

14) Did you travel outside of your country in 2005? Yes, to Canada and the US

15) What different states did you travel to in 2005? While in the US? Arizona and California. While in Australia? Just Queensland and New South Wales.

16) Did you lose anybody close to you in 2005? No.

17) Did you miss anybody in the past year? Yes

18) What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2005? This one always makes me think. I haven't been watching alot of movies but... probably Lemony Snicket.

19) What was your favorite song from 2005? "Holiday" by Green Day.

20) What was your favorite record from 2005? Curtain Call, by Eminem, I suppose.

21) How many concerts did you see in 2005? None, I don't go to them.

22) Did you have a favorite concert in 2005? No.

23)Did you drink a lot of alchohol in 2005? I wouldn't say alot, no...

24) Did you do a lot of drugs in 2005? Yeah well, I was sick so it felt like I was always on them.

25) How many people did you sleep with in 2005? 1.

26) Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year? No.

27) What was the worst lie someone told you in 2005? Um... Well I'm sure it's not the worst but it's the only one I can think of off the top of my head: "I don't read your blog."

28) Did you treat somebody badly in 2005? Yes.

29) Did somebody treat you badly in 2005? Yes.

30) How much money did you spend in 2005? Er, no idea.

31) What was your proudest moment of 2005? Oh god... Coming out of denial over my pregnancy AND getting engaged.

32) What was your most embarrassing moment of 2005? Being in denial of my pregnancy. (I rather chose to think I had breast cancer instead)

33) If you could go back in time to any moment of 2005 and change something, what would it be? I would not change a thing.

34.) The best thing that happened to you in 2005? Meeting my fiance.

35) What are your plans for 2006? I plan on giving birth to my child, but after that, I have absolutely NO idea. And I'm looking forward to it!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Not Fair and It Makes Me Want to Cry

It figures I'd only hear about this Blingo thing AFTER I'd left the US and come back home to Australia. This ranks right up there with that really nifty jewellery site I want to buy from, but can't.

Come on guys, Australia needs some love too!

Busy Little Bees

Today was a rather busy one for D and I. We woke up late (for us) at around 730am, and started the day off with a cuppa tea - green for him, regular for me - and both sat down to play a little WoW before we got stuck into the housecleaning. This didn't last too long however, as a few power surges knocked us offline and we both took that as a sign that we needed to get offline and begin the cleanfest.

And clean we did! I vacuumed the entire tile floor of the dining/family room, hallways and laundry, which took me about an hour or so, I suppose, and then I decided I would do the shower. Of course, it was so stinking hot that I was looking forward to cleaning the shower because it meant cool water, and the chance to get WET! Huzzah! So I cleaned out the entire shower, top to bottom, scrubbing down the tiles in varying positions: on my feet, on my ass, on my knees, and even squatting. Let me tell you, the workout I had was amazing. Of course I'm being facetious; my back was protesting rather painfully after having done all of that, but it was well worth it as I stood infront of the fan, and having the air blow across my wet skin.

That sounds only mildly pornographic, doesn't it? Getting wet, various positions... That should make for some interesting websearch hits. Teehee.

Anyway... While I was doing all of this, D was cleaning up the loungeroom and the nursery, vacuuming and then he was in the garage with the wooden changing table, sanding it down and readying it for repainting, as well as going through some of the boxes in the garage that haven't been unpacked yet AND prior to all of this, he rearranged the loungeroom for me and thoroughly cleaned it out. Now we both love the new look of the loungeroom since it feels so much more cozy and inviting - though we do have a lot of dead space at the moment, but that will quickly be filled as we purchase more furniture.

So after all of that, we decided we were going to do nachos for dinner, and promptly headed out to the grocery store to pick up some necessities. I should point out the psychic ability of my beloved, and the fact that we have this quirky little thing where we try and guess the dollar amount going to be spent on the groceries lined up on the conveyor belt. Let me tell you something people: he guessed the exact amount of our grocery purchase. Well... almost. He guessed $196. I guessed $175. The total grocery bill was $196.35 and it freaked not only him out, but my jaw hit the floor and the cashier was also a little bit freaked out. So, that being said, now we have to go check our lotto ticket from Saturday. Who knows, maybe we'll have won something.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Year of the Dog

For all those Dogs out there, this is your year. Of course, I have no idea when the Chinese calendar actually starts, but it's your year anyway so revel in it.

I cannot believe it's 2006 now. It took me so long to get the date-writing right (from American to Australian: day/month/year) that I'm now going to get it scooched again for awhile until I remember EVERY DAY that we're now in 2006. My god.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my previous post, and for all the wonderful emails I've been receiving. Your guys are just the best. THE BEST!

So now... to recap because I haven't updated in a few days and I feel like I've been super busy, although by the time I write it all down I'll have realized that I haven't been super busy at all, and wonder how I managed to waste all the time inbetween.

Okokok, so let's see, I left off on the 26th December. Well the 27th wasn't anything spectacular; it was hot though, so I did spend a lot of time trying to keep cool, mostly with the fan blowing directly on me and ringing out wet towels all over my body. Mmmm wet skin under a fan...

The 29th I went down to Mamala's because I had an appointment with my midwife on the 30th at 8:15am. D, after having decided how much he truly hates where he works, rang me up on the 29th (on his way to work) and asked me what I thought about him taking the following day off, so he could come down and listen to the babys heartbeat and be with me for the checkup. Well I all but squealed (or possibly I did squeal) that yes that was a GREAT idea. And so, he called me back a few hours later and told me he'd gotten the time off work and would be joining me for my appointment.

Beyond that, the 29th wasn't that busy. We stayed at the Mall for awhile, trying to keep me cool, plus do a wee bit of grocery shopping, and then headed back to Mamalas. It was remarkably cool at her place and we were both chagrined to see how much my feet had actually swollen (I am not posting pictures, and don't actually HAVE pictures so no asking!) so I sat with my feet up on a cold towel for the remainder of the afternoon. My feet looked like mini submarines, minus the periscope thingy.

That night, the little parasite gave us something to laugh at as she kept moving and rolling around my belly, giving Mamala a chance to really see her acrobatics. Sometimes they were like wave-motions, and other times full on kicks; sometimes even moving and becoming so lopsided that the right side of my stomache was up in the air (mooning us?!) while the left side of my belly was perfectly flat. She's such a darling, my little parasite. We also spent quite awhile reminiscing over my childhood, things I remembered (or not) mostly about my grandparents.

The 30th came along, and D rolled up about 10mins before we had to leave for the hospital, which meant he was up at 5am Q-time (because we're an hour behind NSW in DST). He was terribly excited about hearing the heartbeat for the first time, and I only prayed we'd get the same midwife I had a couple of weeks ago, because so far she's been the only one who's been even remotely interested in finding the actual heartbeat and not the placental swish.

So in we went, waited about fifteen minutes I suppose, in a waiting room FULL of pregnant ladies - did you ever see that episode of the Simpsons where Homer drops Maggie off at playgroup, and when he comes to pick her up one afternoon, there's hundreds of babies everywhere just staring at him? Well that's what the waiting room reminded me of.

And... we were lucky enough to get Sue, the midwife I really wanted us to see! D came in, along with Mamala and my sister Tia. And he got to hear his daughter's heartbeat for the very first time! Of course, it was the first time for my sister as well so she burst into tears, which set off a chain reaction with Mamala and I, but it was very much worth it.

My uterus is measuring about 33cm long, babies heartrate was 154 beats per minute and OMG was she active during the exam!! And she's now out of the breech position and down where she should be. Sue did say that they will keep an eye on that, and even though bubby should stay where she's at right now, she may end up moving around a little and could get herself breech again. Still it's nothing to worry about yet, and Sue was extremely pleased about bub's progress. I might add she was also a little surprised at how active she was! My Nanna seems to think my daughter is going to be quite active and inquisitive - which Mamala concurs with; evidently that's a trait that was borne in me (and in D as well, I might add) so of course we're going to have one active, inquisitive child.

Can't wait!

So this week we're moving right along at 34 weeks and everything looks awesome. Sue says the baby is a nice size, not too big and not too small (as long as she's under 8lbs and over 5lbs I'll be happy) and growing as she should be. This made all of us, particularly D who hasn't been to many of my appointments, very happy. It's one thing for me to tell him what went on, it's something entirely different to hear it from the mouth of the midwife or doctor that everything is going along perfectly.

After our appointment was over, and we'd had breakfast, we drove back to Mamala's to pick up our car to head back into town and into the baby boutique. We wanted to price out carseats and how much it was going to cost to have one installed. Turns out that it's free installation as long as you buy from them, and luckily I found the exact carseat I wanted, for about $160 LESS than where I saw it in the first place!! So we put it on layaway, and will pick it up in a few weeks, along with the pram we have put away as well.

Then we went furniture shopping and found the chest of drawers we want for her room. We didn't pick those up yesterday because they come preassembled and we didn't think we'd have enough room in our car to transport it home. Luckily there's a furniture store closer to where we live, so we will be able to go in, buyt it and have it delivered if we can't fit it in our car.

We have 6 weeks to go before she's here and we've got nothing ready. I'm trying not to panic about it, but I feel like the time is FLYING by and it's all beyond my control. Of course, it's not really, it only feels like it. Or so I'm telling myself.

Anyway, that's the recap of the past few days, which now brings us up to speed, and the dawn of a New Year. We didn't do anything last night except watch a couple of movies: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Hot Shots! before stumbling sleepily into bed around 10pm. We were woken up briefly at midnight by our neighbours counting down the remaining 5 seconds of the old year, and then screaming "Happy New Year!" and dissolving into much merriment and laughter, at which point D and woke up, wished each other a happy new year and then promptly fell back asleep again.

This was disappointing to me because it's the first year in I can't even tell you how many years, that I didn't stay up to watch the ball drop. Of course, this is also the first time in my life that I've been pregnant, and I'm always tired it seems, so I suppose that's my excuse for not being able to stay awake, no matter how much I wanted to.

This morning we had to head out and buy some milk, and while out, stopped at McDonalds for breakfast. It wasn't as good as it usually is, but that might have been because I was really wanting Nutri-Grain cereal and IGA wasn't open and I don't know if they even will be open today (is anything really?) so I had to settle for what was available.

Oh, and yes I have all my Christmas photos on my computer now, I just haven't uploaded them. I know, I'm terrible.