Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our Birth Story

This post will be lengthy – I want to share my whole experience, so feel free to skip it if you like!

Our little girl was due on 15th November, but as per my last post that date came and went with no sign of impending labour. I had an appointment with my midwife Marilyn on the 16th, who suggested making a time with my OBGYN to discuss induction. I had that appointment on the 19th, and he was willing to induce me the next day. I said I’d actually prefer to wait it out a little longer, since I’d only be 5 days over my due date at that point which I didn’t think was allowing enough time for baby to make her own way out, plus I didn’t like the idea of induction which can lead to a cascade of interference, and all I wanted out of my birth experience at this point was to be able to do it on my own if I could. So we agreed the following Monday (26th) would be induction day, giving our little girl a total of 11 days past my due date to make her own way.

We had Jonah’s (our nephew) birthday party on the 24th – that morning I’d woken up with some small pains but nothing dramatic, but I did lose my mucus plug. Upon calling the maternity ward to let them know, they said without contractions or broken waters, labour could be within the next 24 hours or within the next 2 weeks. So we went along to Jonah’s party and I didn’t have any further signs of anything happening until the next morning, where I started having very mild contractions about 10 minutes apart. After a shower, the contractions eased to about 15 minutes apart, then 30 minutes apart, then disappeared almost completely.

At 4:30 Monday morning (induction day), I woke up very uncomfortable and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got up and went to sit in the loungeroom.  Almost immediately, I had some relatively strong contractions. The first two or three were about 7 minutes apart, followed by the next two or three being 15 minutes apart, but then they started hitting hard between 2-5 minutes apart. I woke up Michael and asked him to come sit with me in the lounge as I was feeling a bit anxious, but I didn’t even get to sitting down before the contractions hit harder.

I called the ward, where luckily Marilyn was on duty and answered. I told her the details and she said she’d get things ready for us. Michael called my mum (who was my second support person and our taxi!) and she came to get us. On the half-hour drive to the hospital, my contractions regulated out to about 4-5 minutes apart, with an occasional “aftershock” contraction between the bigger ones.

We arrived at the hospital at about 6:30am (the exact time I’m not sure of but I’m guessing it was about then!) and Marilyn hooked me up to the CTG machine to measure how far apart my contractions were and make sure baby wasn’t in any distress. Everything was good, the CTG confirmed my contractions were about 4 minutes apart, so Marilyn examined me to find I was 5 centimetres dilated. This made me super happy because I knew then that I was halfway there already, and so far I’d done it all by myself. By this point it was about 7:15am (judging from my Facebook updates!), meaning if I hadn’t gone into labour myself, I would have been coming into hospital for induction in 45 minutes’ time! So thankfully, our girl was helping us out and saving me the worry and stress of induction.

I stood around and swayed, rocked, and breathed my way through my contractions. They gradually got stronger and stronger. Around 8am I got into the birthing tub, which initially relaxed me and helped ease the pain of the contractions, but as they got stronger, the water didn’t really help any. At this point I asked for some pain relief, so we started with gas & air, which didn’t really help the pain but it did help me catch my breath and take deeper breaths. Marilyn examined me again and found I was 8-9 centimetres, and told me if I was going to have baby in the tub then they’d need to up the temperature of the bath water to 37 degrees. I was already feeling hot and almost a little sick so I didn’t want the temperature increased – Marilyn suggested I get up and try to empty my bladder, to help make a bit more room for bub, but as I started to get up, the contractions just hit me one after the other and I could barely get up out the tub. I squatted back down in the tub before getting out and Marilyn put the back of the birthing bed up so I could kneel on the bed and face the wall behind, slinging my arms over the back. This was a relatively comfortable position and let gravity help the process along too.

A few more minutes in this position with gas & air, and I found myself needing to push. Marilyn examined me one more time and said we’re ready to get this baby out, I was a full 10 centimetres dilated and ready to rock’n'roll! I took a few deep breaths on the gas & air and pushed with all my might – it was a very strange feeling: you want to push with the contraction (and the pushing eases the pain of the contraction), but the pain “downstairs” is pretty intense so you’re kind of between a rock and a hard place.

I don’t remember much else at this point except pushing at least two big pushes with every contraction – and I do recall between contractions feeling like I’d gone two steps forward, one step back because I could feel baby’s head coming through, but then retract back in.

Finally, when my Marilyn said, “Let’s get this baby out, Terri! You can do it! I can see her head!”, I knew I had to do this. I bore down and pushed with all my might, and with some pretty excruciating pain, her head popped out. I remember screaming “Ow ow ow ow, it hurts, it hurts!”, and Michael told me a few hours later that this was the only point that he was really worried and scared for me, but luckily my mum was there to give him a reassuring look.

With my next contraction, out came the rest of her (another very strange feeling – it felt like my insides fell out!) and Marilyn (after initially checking her over and cleaning her off just a little) told me to sit up and passed our baby girl between my legs. When I saw her, I just couldn’t believe it – a little person lay on the bed before me! I immediately picked her up and held her close to my chest, just exclaiming “Oh my god! Oh my god!” over and over again (I remember looking at her hands and thinking "Fingernails! She has fingernails! I hadn't even thought about fingernails!").  Michael cried (as I expected him to!), and I don’t think I even looked at my mum at all; it was all about our little girl. At about this point, there was a knock at the door – my dad and my nan had arrived – so we just asked them to wait about 10 minutes while we got sorted!

I had requested that the cord be allowed to stop pulsating before clamping and cutting so about 5 minutes after her birth, Michael cut the cord. I was given the injection to help birth the placenta (I had to help by pushing a little as the cord was apparently quite thin), and then handed baby over to my hubby to hold while I turned around and Marilyn and another midwife (who I didn’t even know was there for the last part of my labour!) cleaned me and the bed up so I could sit down and have skin-to-skin with baby.

Once I was all covered up, my dad and nan came in. They couldn’t believe that as they’d walked through the front door, their granddaughter and great-granddaughter had been born. Baby latched on to my breast within about 15-20 minutes of being born – this was an amazing bonding experience that I would not have changed for the world.

Photos were taken, and she was taken off and weighed, measured, cleaned up and dressed. I was allowed to get up and go to have a shower, then we were walked down to the ward where I would stay for the next couple of days. We came home on Wednesday 28th November :) 

So, introducing…
Lily Fae
26th November 2012
Time:  10:33am (6 hour labour!)
Weight:  7lb 9oz
Height: 52.3cm

Thank you to everyone for their well wishes, congratulations, support and blessings – we are over the moon to have our own little bundle of joy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

40 Weeks, 6 Days

Tomorrow I will be 41 weeks pregnant.

I really had hoped that our little girl would have made her way into the world by now.  I know, I know - due dates are only a guide and babies can be born 2 weeks either side of that date, etc. etc.

I guess being that for the past 9 months, all I've been able to think about is having a baby, and now that it's finally here and the build-up has come to a peak and it's all very exciting, all I want is to be holding her in my arms and cuddling her and being a little family.  I said, after my stint in hospital, that she'd either come early or, more likely, keep us waiting after everything we've been through.  The latter seems to have been proven! 

And it makes it more difficult when people keep saying "Just relax, let go, it'll be fine, she'll make it here"  - like I said, for the last 9 months this pregnancy has been my life, all I can think about, and now that the time has finally arrived, it's hard to just let that go and let be what will be.

I have "ideals" for my birthing experience, and while I know the world (particularly unpredictables like giving birth) does not run to ideals but will run how it will run, it would be nice to know that at least some of my wishes could be granted.  For example, being able to have a water birth.  If I have to be induced (I'm scheduled in for induction on Monday 26th should she not arrive by herself by then), then chances of my being able to have a water birth are reduced.  And induction runs the risk of a cascade of interference - firstly they'll try gel, then they'll try breaking my waters if that doesn't work, and then an IV of pitocin, and finally there's the possibility of being taken in for an emergency C-Section.  Each of those steps takes me further and further from my "ideal" experience.

I know that I should just be grateful for the chance to have a baby at all - that she's healthy and grows well and all that - and trust me, I am.  It would, however, be nice to have it all run to a natural beat, rather than a medical one.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

38 Weeks Update

Lack of updates, sorry guys.  Have been busy with finishing up at work and other commitments!
Weight Gain: Total of around 8kg, after initial loss of 7kg.

Innie or Outtie: Still rockin' the innie - don't think it'll pop :P

Maternity Clothes: Pants yes, tops not really - I still fit into most of my old tops (but most of them are bigger and baggy anyway.

Sleep: Terrible night's sleep last night but generally pretty good.  My usual pattern is two "bad" nights (ie waking up more than twice) followed by one good night.

Pregnancy Perk: People helping me! The cashier at the supermarket was very helpful, and the lady I purchased M's anniversary present from carried it out to my car even though I insisted I'd be fine with it :P

Embarrassing Pregnant Moment:  None that I can think of!

Best Moment this week: No real "best" moments - just knowing it's not long till we get to meet you.

Baby Purchases this week: First Christmas outfit :D


Movement: Gives me a few good bashes every now and then but has definitely settled down into a pattern (although I'm still working out what that pattern is).

Food Cravings: Nothing really.

Food Aversions:  Still bacon!

How’s Mummy? Getting a little over being pregnant and just want to meet our little girl already - hoping you'll show up before your due date but who knows - just want it to be done!

How’s Daddy? Daddy's good, also getting anxious to meet you in person - he's so lovely, says "I love you" to both me and you when he leaves for work <3

What I am looking forward to: ARRIVAL DAY! 

Our Baby in Veggie/Fruit Terms: Baby is now the size of a watermelon, approximately 3.5 - 4kg and 50cm in length.

What Baby Peanut is up to: The last bits of vernix caseosa (the white goo keeping baby's skin moist) and lanugo (downy hair) are slowly shedding into your amniotic fluid. Baby's head is about the same circumference as her abdomen, and her head could be covered in an inch or so of hair.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

34 Week (and 3 Days) Update

I've now been home for 3 weeks and things are looking pretty good!

The Monday before last, I had an appointment with my OBGYN, who said it was fine for me to return to work after my stint in Hobart, and that there was no longer any sign of the clot on my placenta. I don't need to see him again until 7th November!

This Thursday just been, I had an appointment with my midwife, had my second Anti--D shot, checked on bub's heartrate and my growth (both of which are spot-on perfect).  She didn't see any reasons for concern about heading forward at this point, which is VERY exciting considering we've had a bit of a rough time!

Yesterday was the Baby Shower, hosted by my awesome mum, and it was great! We were SO spoilt with gifts, it was unreal!  I feel so overwhelmed with love and support right now, it's just amazing.  We had an awesome afternoon tea with fun games and lots of laughs, yummy food and fantastic company - I couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable afternoon.

I have so much sorting to do and a final sweep of the baby's room to clear out the last bit of mess before it's completely finished and I can finally post photos for everyone - I'm itching to show you all the room but not before it's perfect!

34 Week Stats Update:
Weight Gain: Total of about 6kg, after the initial loss of 7kg.

Innie or Outtie: Still an innie!

Maternity Clothes: When I'm out-and-about, definitely.  But at home, I can still fit fine into most of my t-shirts and pants :)

Sleep: Sleeping okay, just waking up with a dead leg every so-often, and finding it difficult to get to sleep in the first place.  A normal night now involves waking up maybe once every couple of hours.

Pregnancy Perk: I have to say the attention, don't I?!  And being able to eat whatever I want without excuses :P

Embarrassing Pregnant Moment:  None that I can think of!  I don't embarrass easily though!

Best Moment this week: The Baby Shower, for sure - this girl is one spoilt child already!

Baby Purchases this week: None this week, didn't have to!!!

Gender: Still a girl, and we've had pretty much every radiologist confirm this every time we've had a scan!

Movement: Still a wriggly worm.

Food Cravings: Nothing out of the ordinary - I still enjoy strawberries but they're not really a craving at the moment. 

Food Aversions:  Still bacon - can't get my head around it at the moment.

How’s Mummy? Very happy!  Glad that everything's now going smoothly.  My morning sickness has returned but it's really only in the morning and of an evening when I'm trying to get to sleep.  Otherwise, I'm fine.  Things are starting to look positive for the final outcome!

How’s Daddy? He's wonderful - been very supportive and just my rock for the past 3 weeks.  He's been taking the time to relax and play his video games before bub arrives!

What I am looking forward to: Our next midwife appointment, being able to discuss my birth wishlist (it's not a plan! The moment you call it a plan, it's not likely to follow!) and see if she's happy for us to travel down the waterbirth route that I so want.

Our Baby in Veggie/Fruit Terms: Baby is now the size of a butternut squash, approximately 2kg and 45cm in length.

What Baby Peanut is up to: She's filling out and getting rounder -- she'll need her fat layers later to regulate her body temperature. If you've been nervous about going into premature labour, you'll be happy to know that 99 per cent of babies born at week 35 can survive outside the womb -- and most have no major problems. Although your baby's central nervous system is still maturing, her lungs are nearly fully developed by now.

Monday, September 17, 2012


I'm finally home - they let me come back a week earlier than they anticipated because I'd been asymptomatic for over a week, and my clot (I finally found out it was a retrochorionic haematoma) had disappeared almost completely as of Thursday. The clot itself was 35x59x48mm, which is pretty huge but still less than 5% of the placenta itself.

Retrochorionic haematomas are more common in early pregnancy, but since mine happened in my last trimester, they were obviously quite concerned. Luckily, bubby stayed put but she would have been in the right place had my bleeding not settled.

Alls good so far - have to call my OBGYN tomorrow and make an appointment to see him about continued care, whether I'm still considered high risk, and if I can return to work between now and a couple of weeks before baby is due.

Just happy to be home really

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


On Saturday (8th September) I was released from the hospital and have been staying at a hotel only 5 minutes from the hospital, and am now being treated as an outpatient.

While I thought it would be better to be in a hotel room (my own space, no interruptions, quieter), I almost miss the hospital for the simple fact of company - you're never really alone in hospital, with people coming and going from your room, you almost always have someone to talk to.

Anyway, today I have an appointment at the hospital, in the high risk antenatal clinic, so I'll be heading in there and requesting that I be allowed to go home sooner rather than later - I don't think being away from my family is very helpful.  I have a scan booked in for Friday, I'm hoping that they will agree to let me go at least by the weekend.  I mean, it's my right to refuse any further treatment or attention.

It seems rather cruel and inhumane to keep a 30-week pregnant woman away from her support base for 4 weeks, at the most emotional point she'll ever experience in her entire life.  I only get to see my husband on weekends, which SUCKS majorly, and the occasional family member or friend during the week.  I manage to keep myself occupied, but I still don't think it's the right place for me to be - how can someone heal or rest in an unfamiliar place?

Rambling thoughts from someone who hasn't got a lot of sleep the past 3 weeks.  I don't know.  I just want out.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Knit knit knit

Yesterday we had a visit from one of the nurses in the NICU, who just wanted to have a yack with us about what happens in NICU and that kind of thing.  She's also a lactation consultant so she ran through with me briefly about how to breastfeed and how the milk is produced, etc. which was good to know because I do intend on breastfeeding but because of this interruption in proceedings, we hadn't had a chance to get to antenatal or breastfeeding classes yet.

During our conversation she asked me how I was holding up, if I was keeping myself occupied, etc.  I said yes, in general I'm okay.  If I was on strict bedrest I'd be going completely nuts, but since I am allowed to go out and such, I feel generally okay.  She said she's a knitter and I said that I had been for a while, but sort of let it go by the wayside.  She suggested I start it again, maybe knit something for Bub, and I though it was a brilliant idea.

And it definitely makes the day go quicker - I spent all of today just in my room knitting and watching Grimm (TV series, if you didn't know).  I'm not a skilled knitter but I did manage to pull off a good chunk of a baby blanket for Bub:

Doesn't really look quite right here because it's 100 stitches squished onto the one needle, but you get the idea.

There's been a couple of mishaps with one or two dropped stitches, and the time I had to undo about 6 rows because I'd purled instead of knitted at the start of a couple, but other than that it's looking quite cute and I'm really pleased with how it's turning out - I can't wait to wrap my little bubba in it, and tell her later on (when she understands) that I knitted it just for her while I was in the hospital, wondering if she'd decide to be born early or not.

It's been quite therapeutic and a good use of time.  I'm excited to get it finished - and I still have two weeks to do it in.

Tomorrow's schedule is another ultrasound, in which they'll check how Bub is growing - I read today online with some research that if she's not grown any more since my last scan two weeks ago, that I might be in for a C-Section - so let's hope she's grown that little extra that tells them she's a 30 week old and not a 28 week old anymore!

Friday, August 31, 2012

One Week Down, Three To Go

Feeling rather low today. I've been in here for a week and 3 days, with 2 weeks 6 days left to go. Not that the time I've been in here has seriously dragged or anything – it’s not been terrible, but it just sucks being in hospital when you don’t feel sick or bad in any way.

The only time I've felt ‘sick’ since the 21st August, when my initial bleed happened, was when they told me I’d have to come here to Hobart and I got anxious and upset. I've not had any pain at all and it feels so useless being here.

I may have said it before here, and I may have not, but up until this point in my pregnancy I've felt so strong and so empowered. Like nothing could stop me. Like, “Hey! I'm making a human! What’s YOUR super power?!”. I wrote about how I feel about becoming a mother, and that I'm so excited to be on this journey, and that it’s the most magnificent phase of my life, and that I'm looking forward to meeting this little person even though I already “know” her.

And it still is, and I still am excited to be on the journey – I can’t wait to meet this little girl whom I've been growing from a zygote to become this amazing, moving, living, breathing thing that I can hold, tangibly, and pour all my love, support, pride and affection into, to help her grow and become a contributing member of society.

But this occurrence feels like it’s taken a lot of the magic away – it’s made my pregnancy into a condition, not a miracle. It’s a plight, a reason for concern, not a magical experience. I feel less empowered and more out of control, I feel less strong and more helpless.

I know that in the larger scheme of things, four weeks won’t have seemed that long and it will all be worth it when this baby finally meets the big wide world, but for the moment, it's the longest four weeks of my life and I wish it would end.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nothing worth doing is easy...

If you’re friends with me on Facebook ,you’ll probably know the saga already and therefore my telling you over again in this post isn’t really going to be telling you anything new. But feel free to read anyway, of course - I can’t stop you!

This will be a really intense, long post - just warning you.

Tuesday, 21st August 2012
Went to work as per normal, everything was the usual, I was getting shit done and feeling pretty positive about the amount I was doing. Had a phone call from a client, then got up to go and talk to one of my workmates about it (around 3:10pm). As I was standing by her desk, I felt a leak in my pants, and a small trickle down my leg. I tried to stop it by ‘clenching’, but it seemed to continue. I thought, “Fuck, I’ve peed myself,” and excused myself quickly from her office and headed out to the Ladies’ room.

I got out to the toilets, pulled my trousers down, and to my absolute horror, I had blood all the way down my right leg. I don’t really remember much else about that instant other than it scared. me. shitless. I looked in the loo and there was blood everywhere there too. I wiped myself, stuffed a little TP in my knickers, and tried to remain calm. Washed up my hands, walked (briskly) back into the main office, and immediately told the lady I’d been talking to that I need an ambulance. She thought I was joking to start with until she saw my face. She sat me down in her chair and calmly called for the paramedics. In the meantime, I called Michael and told him to remain calm, I’d experienced some bleeding and we had an ambulance on the way, but I feel fine (which I did, other than being a little panicked). I told him to get in touch with my Dad (who I’d tried calling a couple of times) for him to go pick him up from work.

The paramedics were amazing. They showed up within 2 minutes of being called, and kept me calm. I felt a little light-headed when they put a cannula into my arm to get some fluids into me, and was laid down on the floor to relax and recover. They stuffed a beautiful (ha!) large pad into my pants to collect anything else that might leak and took me straight out to the local hospital.

From here on in it’s a bit of a blur - I remember being wheeled straight up to the Maternity ward at the MCH, where I was immediately attended to by two nurses and a doctor. The first thing the doc did was check on bub, and he said (much to my relief) there appears to be plenty of fluid around her. They did a speculum inspection, took some swaps of the blood I had there, and it showed negative for amniotic fluid. Another relief. In this time, Michael and Dad arrived, and the doctor went out and told them what had happened. Michael filled out paperwork then they both came in and sat with me.

A little while later the doc and nurses did another speculum, to do a bit of cleanup and make sure that it wasn’t a rupture in my birth canal and that they could see the mucus plug, which seemed okay.

I was then sent down for an emergency scan just to check on everything on the more high-tech equipment, and bubby was fine - measuring up perfectly and didn’t appear to be in any distress. Placenta was also okay, no detachment and definitely not low-lying. They then did an internal scan, and the radiologist said that everything there appeared to be okay - my cervix wasn’t closed but wasn’t open either, but it didn’t appear to be changing at all.

I was sent back up to the ward where another doctor came in and did ANOTHER freaking internal exam on me - I don’t have any problem with internals but crikey four times in the space of a couple of hours seemed excessive even to me at that point. Anyway, they couldn’t see anything wrong, or nothing that they made apparent to me anyway. They talked about the possibility of sending me to Launceston or Hobart hospitals. Michael said he’d better get me a bag packed because, regardless, I’d be at the MCH for at least a night and would need some clothes, toiletries, etc.

It was at around 6:15pm, shortly before Michael and Dad got back, that one of the nurses told me it looked like I’d be sent to the Royal Hobart Hospital. I almost thought she was joking. Hobart (Tasmania’s capital) is approximately 3 hours from where I live. For some this might seem like nothing (hell, for some this is their daily commute to work!) but for me, being from a small city and used to having everything nearby, this was just horrific. I was pretty upset at the news, but tried to take it in my stride. I knew that the RHH is the best for neo-natal and premmie baby care, and if bub was born early, then we’d be in the best place for the best care available.

Around 6:30pm my mum arrived at the hospital. It seemed I only saw her for about 5 minutes before they told me that the paramedics were ready to go. They airlifted me to Hobart (Michael would come down in the morning - I told him that was the best option, get things organised at home and come down the next day because it’d just be me sitting in a hospital bed and having tests/swabs/etc. done, pretty boring for him). I arrived at the RHH around 9:00pm, was taken straight to the maternity ward.

At this point I have to say that EVERYONE I dealt with through this process - 8 paramedics in total, two doctors, countless nurses, a radiologist and a pilot! - was amazing. I was so fortunate to not run into any egos or bad bedside manners. Everyone was just great.

The first nurse I dealt with at the maternity ward at the RHH was wonderful - she made me a cup of tea and offered me some sandwiches (which was awesome because I hadn’t eaten anything since around 12:00pm), and I was allowed to eat in peace despite being in a shared room. A little while later a doctor came in and checked my pad, still fresh blood at that point but the flow had gone down significantly already. He just had me change it over so they could see the amount that collected between then and the next time they checked.

This is where things start getting hazy because I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I remember another doctor coming in and removing the cannula the paramedics had originally given me because she couldn’t get any blood out of it, and giving me another in my wrist. She took blood, and I didn’t hear anything about that so I assumed that was all clear. After this one of the paediatricians came in to talk to me, about their facilities for premmie babies because there was a chance that bubby might be born early. I took most of what he said in and didn’t really have any questions for him, but it seemed to me like this was the best place for me to be if bub came early.

Wednesday 22nd August 2012
I tried getting some sleep but it was 12am before I managed to get anywhere, and I woke up every hour or so until 6:00am-ish. Doctors came in to see me a little later in the morning, after breakfast, and told me they wanted to continue to keep an eye on the bleeding. Once that stopped, they’d continue to monitor me for 24 hours, after which if no further bleeding occurred, I might be able to go home.

Michael and my mum arrived at around 12:00pm on Wednesday, bringing me some stuff from home including my laptop, clothes, toiletries, etc. so I was set for a stay if I had to. Mum left at around 2:30-3:00pm for the drive home, and Michael stayed behind and checked into a hotel nearby. He came back and sat with me until they moved me to a private room (which is ideal because I’m a light sleeper and easily distracted from my sleep). I had another scan at around 4:00pm and the radiologist, after consulting with his doctor, said it looked like a little bruise or scab or something had split open and that’s the cause of the bleeding. The way he described it sounded very positive and it put me in a better mood. Michael went and got some food, came back for a little while then went to his hotel for the night. We had been discussing the possibility of being home by the weekend because my bleeding had subsided, and from what the radiologist had said, it sounded less than threatening.

Thursday 23rd August 2012
Michael came in to my room around 8:00am and we continued discussing the possibility of getting home by the weekend, started to make plans, etc.

The doctors came in and we were feeling rather positive - until they mentioned that the scan showed the bleeding had actually come from the placenta, and they wanted to continue to monitor me till 32 weeks. I was only 28 weeks today - so that meant at least another 4 weeks in hospital, in Hobart, away from family. The other hospitals in the state - the ones closer to home - do not have the facilities to care for a baby before 32 weeks gestation so the RHH is the best place for me and bub right now. I was immediately upset, as anyone would be - my spirits were crushed. Michael was strong enough to keep it together and ask the questions and express how I was feeling to the doctors. I pretty much bawled my eyes out after the docs left and we had a moment of pure anger/sadness together. I knew what they were telling me - from a medical standpoint, this is the best place for me to be should baby arrive early, and I understood that. But emotionally, it hit me for six - I wanted to be near my support base, my family.

We discussed it a little further later on, letting it sink in a little bit more, and came to the conclusion that we just have to work with the cards we’re dealt, and just try to keep things as normal as possible. Michael went out and got me a few more things that I’d need - like bigger shampoo/conditioner bottles, some body wash, razors, DVDs to watch, etc. - to keep me occupied and keep things normal.

He went out for dinner after I ate mine, and back to his hotel room. I was emotionally drained so I tried to get an early night - I think I was asleep by 10:30pm.

Friday 24th August 2012
Woke up relatively early, still no bleeding other than old blood. Michael came in around 8:00am and the docs showed up around 10:00. Ran through essentially what we’d been through yesterday, which I was better prepared for and understood a lot better. I had my morning blood pressure taken and temperature, and got connected up to the CTG to check on bub and make sure I wasn’t having any contractions at all. All clear, all good.

And since then, I’ve just been sitting in my room. We were given clearance by the docs to go outside, so we went out in the fresh air for about 20 minutes this afternoon, which I enjoyed - it was nice to get out of the clinical environment, even if it was out into the city street rather than some serene location.

So at the moment, we’re just crossing fingers and toes that everything goes as it should, that bub stays where she should for the minute and just take every day as it comes.

All of your positive vibes, healing energies and thoughts are definitely helping - thank you ♥

Friday, August 10, 2012

Flu and OBGYN appointment

So things are going relatively well, excepting the fact that I’m at home sick with the flu right now.  Have had a terrible cough since Tuesday, off work since yesterday and not going back till Monday unless I have some miracle sleep tonight which gets me well again.  The cough has been the worst part – not being able to breathe halfway through hacking up a lung isn’t fun, along with feeling like I’m going to crack a rib.  I also hate the sinus and headaches that comes with it.  Urgh.

I had my Gluten Tolerance Test (GTT) and blood tests for rubella, Vit D, Hep B & C, syphillis, etc. and they all came back fine except I’m a little Vitamin D deficient (surprise surprise – I’m pregnant over winter in Tasmania, the least sunny of all places in Australia) and also iron deficient, so a strong vitamin regime has commenced and I’m otherwise feeling okay.

 Had an appointment with my OBGYN yesterday, bub’s going well, very active little girl who wouldn’t keep still for him to get a good look at, but he confirmed again she’s definitely a girl.  I’ll have them check again at my 30 week scan on the 10th September too, just to be sure! Also he confirmed that my placenta has moved out of the way of the cervix, which was concerning me slightly as it was covering it a little at the last scan, but it’s a good 3-4cm out of the way now, which means no c-section unless bub doesn’t turn or in case of emergency, which is positive.

Everything else is going well – I’m feeling pretty good in general and looking forward to meeting the Karate Kid who is living rent-free in my belly right now!

26 Week Update

Weight Gain: About 4kg still

Innie or Outtie: Innie still - but I have a very deep innie bellybutton so if it pops at all it won’t be till much later.

Maternity Clothes: Yup, too big for the regulars now!

Sleep: Sleeping pretty badly - waking up every hour or so, at least being able to get back to sleep but getting more than 2-3 hours uninterrupted sleep is a godsend.

Pregnancy Perk: Feeling so empowered!

Embarrassing Pregnant Moment: None, other than dropping things and having baby brain.

Best Moment this week: Going to Melbourne to see your Auntie Alisha and Uncle Jernej, and coming home where your movement completely picked up after very little movement over that weekend (which freaked me out!).
Oh and finding out that the placenta has moved, so no chance of a c-section unless you don’t turn, or if it’s an emergency - yay!

Baby Purchases this week: None this week, will probably be getting your bassinet later this week though.

Gender: Still a girl, as far as we’re aware!

Movement: Heaps of movement, you barely sit still!

Food Cravings: Strawberries are still up there, along with icecream.

Food Aversions: Pizza and bacon. 

How’s Mummy? Got the flu at the moment, which scared me a little because I didn’t want to subject you to any more drugs or anything but luckily it’s just gentle Panadol for us at the moment, and plenty of rest. Also low on iron and Vit D but am upping my dosages on both so we should have that in order soon.

How’s Daddy? He’s been so loving and caring - taking care of me while I’ve been sick, bringing me home nice things, cooking dinner, he’s been wonderful. He kisses you goodbye before leaving for work every day <3

What I am looking forward to: Meeting you!

Our Baby in Veggie/Fruit Terms: You’re the size of an eggplant! Approximately 36cm long and around 760 grams in weight.

What Baby Peanut is up to: Baby’s soaking up your antibodies, getting her immune system ready for life outside the womb. Eyes are forming, and she’ll soon be practicing the blink…perfect for batting those freshly grown lashes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

23 Week Update

How Far Along: 23 weeks

Weight Gain: Not sure - maybe around 4kg?

Innie or Outtie: Innie.

Maternity Clothes: Yes, they’re much more comfortable than my regular clothes.

Sleep: Sleeping okay, but need the aid of a pillow between my knees to help my spine!

Pregnancy Perk: Attention is the main thing that I’ve been getting - that, and being able to look at cute clothes and baby things!

Embarrassing Pregnant Moment: None this week.

Best Moment this week: Feeling more definite movement.

Baby Purchases this week: Bought a cot sheet set, a mattress protector, some bibs, a little romper, and some other bits and pieces.

Gender: Still a girl, as far as we’re aware!

Movement: A lot more definite - it felt like you karate kicked and punched me in my back and front at the same time last night.

Food Cravings: Strawberries, and watermelon - neither of which are in season at the moment.

Food Aversions: Pizza, strong curries.

How’s Mummy? Doing well today - have been for about the last week, feeling very positive.

How’s Daddy? He’s doing good, starting to get excited!

What I am looking forward to: It’s always the next scan, being able to see how much more you’ve grown. And getting the nursery finished.

Our Baby in Veggie/Fruit Terms: You’re the size of a grapefruit! Approximately 28cm long and around 500 grams in weight.

What Baby Peanut is up to: Her hearing is well established and she can make out a distorted version of your voice, the beating of your heart and your stomach rumblings. Loud noises often heard in utero, such as the barking of a dog next door or the roar of a vacuum cleaner, probably won’t bother your child when she hears them outside the womb.

Friday, June 22, 2012

19 Week Update

How Far Along: 19 weeks

Weight Gain: 1.7kg - finally starting to gain!

Innie or Outtie: Innie.

Maternity Clothes: Feeling more comfortable in maternity clothes but still fit into my old stuff.

Sleep: Worst couple of nights’ sleep so far. Kept waking up every time I needed to roll over. Or worse, waking up and feeling wide awake but it being only 2am.

Pregnancy Perk: Nothing really!

Embarrassing Pregnant Moment: None this week.

Best Moment this week: Feeling more flutters.

Baby Purchases this week: A beautiful (albeit secondhand) cot for your room ♥

Gender: We found out last week you’re a little GIRL! And we’ve picked out your name - Daddy came up with your first name and I picked your middle name. But we’re not telling anyone until you’re here.

Movement: A few more flutters, but no definite kicks or anything yet.

Food Cravings: None really - I’ve been boring!

Food Aversions: None really, other than what I already disliked.

How’s Mummy? A little sicky today - sinus pain, sore throat, appetite’s gone. Just the affects of the weather and working too hard I think. I’m otherwise okay though.

How’s Daddy? Daddy’s still working hard, I know he’d love to be spending more time at home but we have to work!

What I am looking forward to: The next scan to confirm again that you’re a girl still :P and finally meeting you!

Our Baby in Veggie/Fruit Terms: You’re the size of a mango! Approximately 15cm long and 240 grams in weight.

What Baby Peanut is up to: Vernix caseosa, a greasy white substance made of lanugo, oil and dead skin cells (yum) now coats baby’s skin, shielding it from the amniotic fluid. (Picture yourself after a nine-month bath, and the need for protection makes sense.) You might actually get to see the vernix at birth, especially if baby is premature.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It's a...

So we found out your gender yesterday - I can’t believe we’re nearly halfway through this pregnancy journey already.

Much to my delight because I already just knew, you are a…..


18 Week Update

How Far Along: 18 weeks

Weight Gain: Still nothing!

Innie or Outtie: Innie.

Maternity Clothes: Still at the in-between stage.

Sleep: I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve been exhausted, but a good night’s sleep makes it all better. Have found sleeping a little uncomfortable but not enough to prevent me from sleeping.

Pregnancy Perk: Nothing else yet.

Embarrassing Pregnant Moment: None! I’m so boring!

Best Moment this week: Finding out your gender!!!

Baby Purchases this week: None.

Gender: … will post this next! …

Movement: A few little flutters but nothing definite.

Food Cravings: None really this fortnight - maybe strawberry milk?

Food Aversions: None really, other than what I already disliked.

How’s Mummy? Doing good, no problems other than being tired. The ultrasound person told me there’s a 10% chance I may have placenta praevia, BUT my doctor said there’s only 3cm of my placenta covering my cervix and it will most likely move out of the way before your arrival :)

How’s Daddy? He’s good too - very excited!

What I am looking forward to: Meeting you!!!

Our Baby in Veggie/Fruit Terms: You’re the size of a sweet potato! Approximately 15cm long and nearly 200grams in weight.

What Baby Peanut is up to: Your fetus has become amazingly mobile (at least compared to you), passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing. And, baby’s finally big enough that you’ll be able to feel those movements soon.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

16 Week Update

How Far Along: 16 weeks

Weight Gain: 0kg - still haven’t gained any so far this pregnancy (in fact I’m down about 7kg since my first GP appointment 11 weeks ago!)

Innie or Outtie: Innie.

Maternity Clothes: Still at the in-between stage.

Sleep: Sleep is good, occasionally waking up with a dead leg or arm, but nothing hugely interrupted.

Pregnancy Perk: None yet other than maybe people carrying stuff to my car for me or offering to lift heavy stuff!

Embarrassing Pregnant Moment: Nothing this week really.

Best Moment this week: Feeling a little flutter!

Baby Purchases this week: None.

Gender: Not yet known - hopefully at the next scan (18 weeks)!

Movement: A few little flutters but nothing definite - still a little early.

Food Cravings: Nothing other than the tomato soup from last week, but even that craving is wearing off.

Food Aversions: None really, other than what I already disliked.

How’s Mummy? Doing well, back at work this week after a week off thanks to the hospital, but feeling good and looking good - skin is clearing up which is AWESOME. Going for a haircut this afternoon for a little pampering :)

How’s Daddy? Daddy says he’s alright, too busy playing a game to talk to me right now!!! He’s been very affectionate and attentive to Mummy’s needs, which has been lovely x

What I am looking forward to: Still looking forward to that 18 week scan - less than 2 weeks to go!

Our Baby in Veggie/Fruit Terms: You’re the size of an avocado! Approximately 11.6cm long and 100grams in weight.

What Baby Peanut is up to: Listening to my voice, thanks to the tiny bones forming in the ears. Growing hair, lashes and eyebrows. Forming tastebuds.

Friday, May 25, 2012

15 Week Belly Photo

15 Week Update

How Far Along: 15 weeks

Weight Gain: 0kg (have actually lost about 7kg since my first GP appointment 10 weeks ago).

Innie or Outtie: Innie.

Maternity Clothes: Almost - I’m in an awkward in-between stage.

Sleep: Sleeping is the best - getting plenty of sleep at the moment, which I’m fortunate for!

Pregnancy Perk: No perks just yet really, other than all the attention from your grandparents and aunties and uncles!

Embarrassing Pregnant Moment: So far, it was my hormonal breakdown a couple of weeks ago because I forgot to ask for fried rice with my Chinese food. Yup. And I also just cried at a Huggies ad on TV.

Best Moment this week: This week was pretty insane, so no best moments yet.

Baby Purchases this week: None.

Gender: Not yet known - hopefully at the next scan (18 weeks)!

Movement: I thought I felt a little tumble a couple of mornings ago, but nothing since. You’re still a little small to feel yet.

Food Cravings: Tomato soup.

Food Aversions: None really, other than what I already dislike.

How’s Mom? Recovering from the weekend, which was hectic. Felt rather nauseous this morning, did try to vomit but nothing came up since I hadn’t eaten anything. Thanks for that, Peanut!!!

How’s Dad? Daddy’s good - he was a little scared for the both of us after the weekend, but doing ok now. Working hard for the money :)

What I am looking forward to: Soooo looking forward to the 18 week scan - hopefully we will be able to find out if you’re a little boy or a little girl!

Our Baby in Veggie/Fruit Terms: You’re the size of a navel orange, approximately 10cm long.

What Baby Peanut is up to: Legs are growing longer than the arms now, fingernails are fully formed and all the joints and limbs can move.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

An Eventful Weekend

As a follow-on from my last post, and because it’s too long for a Facebook post, I wanted to record the last couple of days in a post because it was an absolute whirlwind of emotions for me. Warning: This will be long!

On Saturday 19th, at about 7:00pm, I was driving home and started getting some pretty uncomfortable pains in my abdomen. I shrugged it off as indigestion, and went home, straight to bed and thought I’d just try to sleep it off.

Sunday morning and I still wasn’t feeling 100% – the pains in my lower abdomen had gone but around my bellybutton and above was still rather uncomfortable and painful. Again, I shrugged it off and went about my day (in some pain) and it wasn’t till the evening that Michael said, “Maybe you should call the midwives, just to be safe”. I called the antenatal clinic, and they said because I was under 20 weeks with abdominal pain, I would be taken to emergency. I called my mum, told her, she said to get out to the hospital. I called my dad, he came to pick us up and we went straight out.

On the way, I called the free nurse hotline for another opinion. They asked me a lot of questions and in the end said I was doing the right thing by going to emergency.

We sat in emergency for a couple of hours, saw the triage nurse, and then I was called in by a doctor. They pressed on my abdomen and said they would need to do a blood test. I was moved to another bed and a cannula was inserted in my hand, some blood was taken and we were told that we’d be waiting at least another 45 minutes for results. At this point it was 12:45am Monday morning, so I told Michael to go and tell my dad (who was in the waiting room) to go home and we’d call when we had more information.

At about 1:30, a doctor came to see me, told me my white blood cell count was a little higher than normal, and that they’d have to book an ultrasound because they were worried that I had appendicitis. I told them that my main concern is my baby, I don’t want anything to hurt my baby. They said they understood and essentially left me to book in the ultrasound for the next morning.

We tried to get a little sleep (I got no more than 3 hours, Michael only got about 20 minutes because he was in a chair), and waited… and waited… On no sleep, no food, no drink and an IV, I was getting very irritable. Not to mention, by this point, I was having very little pain compared to the night before.

We had nurses and doctors coming in and out from about 6:00am till 10:30 when I was taken for ultrasound. I was so so so grateful to see Peanut on the screen and that he/she was moving around being quite active, didn’t seem to be too distressed. They tried to see my appendix but couldn’t see anything abnormal, although they then mentioned that sometimes it can be hidden by the bowel, and also because I’m pregnant and starting to stretch, things aren’t in the usual places that they normally are.

After getting back to my ‘booth’ in emergency, the doctor went to check in with the ultrasound guy, came back and told me I’d be admitted as an in-patient and possibly booked in for surgery. At this point I was extraordinarily upset, because I didn’t want to have surgery (I’m 24 and never had a surgery in my life – not even a broken nose or anything). The surgeon’s assistant came in, asked the same billion questions that I’d been asked before, before admin signed up all my paperwork. At this point Michael was absolutely exhausted and I told him to call my parents, have them come out and take him home. Mum stayed with me while Dad took Michael home for some sleep.

During this time, the surgeon’s assistant came back and told me that what the surgeon would like to do is a diagnostic laproscopy, meaning a 1cm cut, insert a camera and have a look around inside to see what’s going on. I’d have to be under general anaesthetic, and she assured me that this was fine for baby. I signed the paperwork on her word that it would be safe. As I was about to be moved to the ward, an OB/GYN from the gynaecological unit came and spoke to me, mentioned he’d read through my file and said it could be some other things such as stretching, a cyst (I can’t remember the exact name of it) that acts as the ‘placenta’ while the actual placenta is still forming – essentially once the placenta is established the cyst shrivels and dies and there can be pain associated with that process. He also assured me that while my white blood cell count was higher than normal, I am 14 weeks pregnant and my levels were normal for my stage in pregnancy simply to the higher blood volume. He was very reassuring and I felt confident with his opinion.

I was finally moved up to a ward at 3:00pm (still Monday at this point!). At this point, I had very little-to-no pain, but they wanted to monitor me. Mum and Dad stayed with me until about 4:00pm, by which point the doctor hadn’t been in to see me and they figured they’d go home. I messaged Michael and said he’d have to come in now since visiting hours end at 8:00pm on the ward. He came in and sat with me to wait.

At about 5:00 the surgeon came in and talked me through what their intentions were for the laproscopy, and since they weren’t sure if it was my appendix or not, that my pain had subsided, but I still had pain upon them pushing on my abdomen (and more so when they released the pressure quickly), they wanted to go in and do it. However, he then mentioned that by going under the anaesthetic, there was a risk I could lose my baby. I instantly started bawling my eyes out because I’d been told there was very little risk to bub (I know there’s always a risk with surgeries and anaesthetics, but I’d been told it was safe). I told the doctor my main concern is baby, he told me their main concern was me. I felt like spitting in his face and telling him that if their concern is with me, and my concern is with my baby that they should be concerned about my baby, but by this point (nearly 24 hours without food, sleep or drink) I didn’t have the energy. Michael asked them firstly what the numbers were – is the chance 1/100, 1/1000, or what? The surgeon didn’t have the numbers. Michael then asked them to contact my obstetrician, and the gynaecological unit at the hospital, and get their opinion.

About an hour later, the head surgeon came in and sat down, spoke to me and said because my pain had subsided and they still aren’t sure if it’s my appendix, that they’d spoken to the gynaecological unit at the hospital and they did not agree that the surgery was necessary, that they’d cancel the surgery at this point, put me on antibiotics via IV, and monitor me for a little longer – possibly switch to oral antibiotics by Tuesday afternoon and head home Wednesday.

By this point I was FINALLY allowed to eat since they wouldn’t be conducting surgery, which instantly made me feel better. Shortly after I had some food, the gyne (the same one who saw me in emergency) came in and asked if they’d called off the surgery. I told him yes, and he said that he was very happy with that because normally the surgeons don’t listen to them! He reiterated that he wasn’t confident that it was my appendix simply because the pain had subsided, and there were so many other things it could be. I said I trusted his opinion from his position and was grateful he was able to turn them around.

Michael went home at about 7:30 and I sort of sat in bed and read magazines, watched TV and played my 3DS till about 9:00pm when I went to sleep. I was so grateful for a room on my own – I was so tired I was so happy to be able to get some uninterrupted sleep. The only times I woke up was when I needed to roll over because I had the IV in my arm.

I woke up at about 6:00am, and the head surgeon came in to see me again at about 6:30-7:00. He pressed on my tummy again and I had very little pain, just a little tender. He said they’d take me off the IV antibiotics now and switch me to orals, and then I could go home later that day. I went back to sleep for a little while and woke up again about 7:30. Had some breakfast at about 8:00am, Michael called me at about 8:15 and I told him they said I could come home. He got my Mum to bring him out and we waited for a while… and a little while longer… waiting to be discharged and be given my oral antibiotics. Finally, the pharmacist came in with my antibiotics, the nurse came in to remove my cannula, and I was allowed to go home. I ended up back home at about 1:00pm yesterday (Tuesday).

I’m on rest at home till next Monday when I’m allowed to go back to work, by which point I’ll have finished my course of antibiotics and they’ll want me back next Thursday to follow-up.

Unreal couple of days, I didn’t know so many emotions could be experienced in such a short amount of time.