Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's a girl!!!!

I was spot on!  Had my ultrasound today, and it looks like I'm going to be the proud Mama of two girls now!  Yeap - this little one is also a girl!!!!!  The ultrasound was a mixed bag - found out the sex, but she was either asleep, or just very relaxed and stayed in basically the one position the whole time!  She was lying facing down toward my cervix, and we weren't able to get a good look at her face, or heart - so I have to go back in 4 weeks time, for the u/s tech to finish the anatomy check... I don't mind though - chances are I'll get better pictures, and hey - it's an excuse to see little Miss Emersyn!!!

I only got one pic that was really worth sharing - I guess I was a bit disappointed, because at my 12w u/s I got amazing pictures... either way - the most impt thing is that Emersyn is HEALTHY, and everything looks good.  Bad pictures isn't exactly the end of the world...  Infact I'm over it already, after finding the one good picture.....  Which I shall share now!

Little Miss Emersyn, using Mama's placenta as a pillow!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"We're not angry, just disappointed"

I heard a young girl talking on the radio, about her parents finding out that she is dating a 22 year old (she's 16), when they asked what her parents said, she replied "we're not angry - we're disappointed".... and suddenly a montage of my teen years flashed before my eyes.  Before she said the 'we're disappointed' part, I instinctively knew that she would say - because I heard those words so often during my teen years!!!

Not so much my later teen years, but definately between 12-15...  I was a little cow.  I was moody.  I was angry.  I was rebellious.  I was immature.  I continuously did things that I knew would annoy my parents, or upset  them - and I am still to figure out why I felt the need to do those things!!!  I can't remember many specifics now, just a lot of scenarios, of my parents & me sitting in the lounge, after I'd done something.. and hearing those words "we're not angry - we're disappointed"... if I was to write a book about my teen years, the title would probably BE 'we're not angry - we're disappointed'.

Ahhhh.... how right they were when they said "when you have children, you will understand where we are coming from"..  As usual - Mum and Dad were right...  Having children has taught me that, over & over - Mum & Dad really did know what they were talking about, all those years ago.. and when they said "we're not doing this to be mean, we are doing it for your own good" - they really did mean it.  What is worse is when I find myself saying things to Gaby, that they said to me - and that used to make me roll my eyes, and pull faces when their back was turned... 

I just hope Gaby & Emersyn/Lucas will be the exception.. that they'll be the teenagers who AREN'T dreadful, and AREN'T rebellious.. and who are simply perfect, who I never have to tell off..

Yes, I know "haha dream on"...

Monday, January 25, 2010

3 days to go!

How exciting, only 3 days now until we find out the sex of this little babe!!!!  I really have no idea what the result will be, I keep thinking girl, partly because this pregnancy is so similar to my pregnancy with Gaby - and because I've only ever imagined myself having girls!  If it is a boy, no way will I be upset about it - if anything I might be more excited than if it's a girl - because having a boy would be 100% new to me!!!  I've not really had a lot to do with boy babies - most of the kids in our family are girls, especially the ones that I spent a lot of time with when they were babies!  It would be really lovely, to have a boy - to pass on the Oakden name.  All of the Oakden grandchildren are girls, so it's really down to me - being single, & using the Oakden surname, to create a little man, to carry on the Oakden name!!!  I know my Dad would love it if the babe was a boy...  But I know that he loves his little Gaby girl too...

I've been so concentrated on the fact this u/s is the one where I find out the sex of the baby, that I tend to forget that it is also the u/s where they check for abnormalities, and now I am starting to get a little worried about it.  Everything looked good at the 12w u/s, but they don't exactly do extensive examination then - so I guess I can't really go by that.  I would like to PRESUME that all is well with my little one, but if being a member of JM has taught me anything, it is that you can't rely on that fact.  Yes, most of the time the babies are fine.. but not always. 

Gaby is excited about seeing the baby on the 'tv' again, and I've tried to explain to her what they do at this ultrasound - ie looking at all the body parts, and that they might be able to tell if it is a girl or a boy, and she's really looking forward to it!  It's nice to have her excited!  My Mum will be going in with me, and I know that she's looking forward to it too.. She went to Gaby's with me, and I know it meant a lot to her, so hopefully this one will be just as special!  I would still love if my Dad came, and I hope he will.. would be nice to share it with him as well...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Almost 4 years ago..

Looking at the calendar today, I realised that in two days time, it will be 4 years since Gaby was conceived!!!  It seems like a whole other lifetime ago, and I guess in some ways it is... I can't believe my precious little girl has been with me for close to 4 years!  I often wonder what my life would be like if I didn't have Gaby... I might be in a better place financially - but I struggle to imagine how my life would have any meaning!  Of course I wouldn't know any better, and my life would probably seem great to me... but knowing what I do.. from my 4 years of having Gaby in my life... I wouldn't change any of it!

I've been reminiscing about my pregnancy with her, a lot!  I started experiencing symptoms at what would have been about 5DPO, very early - and by the time I was 10DPO, I knew that I was pregnant - just hadn't had the test to confirm it.  My midwife stopped by at 13DPO, I took the test - and bingo!  PREGNANT!  I wasn't shocked by any means, it was more I was happy to have the confirmation - and of course I was VERRRRRY excited!

positive hpt @ 13DPO - Feb 7, 2006

Because of my history of losses (had had 2 prior to my pregnancy with Gaby), I was very anxious and nervous - and scared for the entire 1st trimester, but slowly the weeks passed me by - I passed both of my loss stages - 5w4d & 10w4d - and after the 10w4d mark, it felt like I was in unchartered territory - I had never made it that far in a pregnancy, and it was all very new to me!  I had lots of symptoms with Gaby, which provided a lot of reassurance for me, but it wasn't until I had my 12w u/s that I really started to feel good about the pregnancy.

12w1d u/s - 4 April, 2006

The pregnancy progressed well - I still had a tonne of anxiety and paranoia - everyday wondering if it was going to be the last day of my pregnancy... deep down I knew that everything was going to be okay, but I am obviously a pessimist, and half expected something to go wrong.  I started feeling movement at 14w3d, which was another piece of reassurance, my m/w appointments were always good, we always found the heartbeat easily, and it was always nice and steady - it was a very happy time!  I still had in the back of my mind that something might be wrong with the baby, and imagined going to my 20w u/s, and coming out with bad news....  My 20w u/s arrived, and not only was I told my baby was healthy, I was told that I was pregnant with a little girl!  I had presumed from day one that she was a girl, and it was cool to find out I was right!

19w1d u/s - 19 May, 2006

The remainder of my pregnancy flew by, and at 39 weeks I went for another u/s to get an indicator of how big Gaby was - my midwife was worried she was going to be too big for my pelvis (being that I'm 5'0, and she was measuring large for dates)... I didn't mind the ultrasound - was lovely to have an excuse to see my little girl again!  She looked just as beautiful as I'd remembered, and it hit me during that u/s, that I was going to be meeting her - in person, very soon!!!!

26 October 2006 @ 1.01am - Gabrielle Jayda-Leigh Oakden, was born  @ 42w0d- weighing 8lb4oz.  I ended up having an emergency c/s with her, because 2 days of induction failed to dilate me to even 1cm, then my waters broke & there was lots of meconium present, so my I freaked out and requested a c/s - and my m/w agreed it was the best course of action...  So it wasn't an emergency in the sense that it was life & death... just an 'emergency' in the way that it wasn't scheduled.  My baby girl was gorgeous and it was love at first sight.

Gabrielle Jayda-Leigh Oakden - 2 hours old

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What the Old Wives Tales suggest!

11 days today, until my ultrasound - in which I will hopefully find out whether this baby is a boy or a girl... 11 days seems like a very long time to wait, so to satisfy a little of my curiosity, I thought I would look into various 'old wives tales', and see what they suggest I am having!

Carrying high or low - the myth says that if you are carrying low, you are having a boy - and if you're carrying high, you're having a girl...
My result:  carrying high - it's a girl!

Fetal heartrate - the myth says that a heartbeat 145+ is a girl, and 144 and below is a boy
My result:  averaging around 152bpm - it's a girl!

Cravings - the myth says that if you are craving sweet food, it's a boy - and if you're craving sour/savoury food, it's a boy
My result:  craving savoury food - it's a boy!

Breast size - the myth says that if your right breast is larger, it's a boy - and if your left breast is larger, it's a girl
My result:  right breast larger - it's a boy!

The ring test - the myth says that if you hold a ring (on a string) over your belly, and it swings in circles, it's a girl - and if it swings back & forwards, it's a boy
My result:  circles - it's a girl!

Acne - the myth says that if you get acne while pregnant, it's a girl - if you don't notice an increase in acne, it's a boy
My result:  increase in acne - it's a girl!

Mama or Dada - the myth says that if your first child's first word was Mama, it is a girl - and if the first word was Dada, it's a boy
My result:  Mama - it's a girl!

Bread - the myth says that if you are craving the heel of the bread, it's a boy - and if you are craving the middle of the bread, it's a girl
My result:  Heel - it's a boy!

Morning sickness - the myth says that if you get morning sickness, it's a girl - and if you don't get morning sickness, it's a boy
My result:  Morning sickness - it's a girl!

Extra weight - the myth says that if you're carrying your extra weight out front, it's a boy, and if you're carrying it on your hips & buttocks, it's a girl
My result:  Out front - it's a boy!

Hairy legs - the myth says that if the hair on your legs is growing faster than normal, it's a boy, if it is much the same, it's a girl
My result: Much the same - it's a girl!

Pillow direction - the myth says that if you sleep with your pillow to the south, it's a girl - and to the north, it's a boy
My result:  The south - it's a girl!

Feet temperature - the myth says that if your feet are colder than normal, it's a boy - and if they are much the same, it's a girl
My result:  Much the same - it's a girl!

Maternal Grandmother - the myth says that if the maternal grandmother doesn't have grey hair, it's a girl, but if she does have grey hair, it's a boy
My result:  No grey's - it's a girl!

Fruit or meat - the myth says that if you are craving fruit, it's a girl - meat, it's a boy
My result:  Fruit - it's a girl!
Number of boy answers:  4
Number of girl answers:  11

Old Wives Tales suggest that I'm having a....... GIRL!

To add to the Old Wives Tales favouring girl, the Chinese Gender Chart also suggests GIRL for me, and it was right with Gaby!

Now, if only there was more to OWT, than mere superstition...  I know that they have to be taken with a grain of salt - and that 50% of the time they will be right... but it's always fun to test them out & see what the results are - and I'll certainly have fun comparing the results of the OWT, to the results of the ultrasound!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Appointments galore!

Wednesday I had a midwife appointment, and I remembered just how amazingly wonderful my midwife - Julz, is!!!!  She is so friendly, funny & knowledgable, I always leave her appointments, feeling fabulous!  She got me to explain what had happened on Monday, with my seizure, trip to the hospital etc, and she was sympathetic - especially about the doctor not being able to find the heartbeat (on his ANCIENT DOPPLER!).  We had a talk about what I can expect seeing the high risk ob, and that she wasn't sure if I would see the high risk ob right the way through now, or if it would just be a one off appointment...  I don't mind either way, I am more than happy just seeing Julz, but what pregnant Mama is going to complain about extra monitoring?! 
- my blood pressure is fine
- my urine was free of all nasties (glucose, blood, protein)
- fundus is measuring spot on
- found heartbeat a lot faster than at the hospital, and it was 155-162bpm!
I go back to the midwife on February 9th.

At my m/w appt, Julie also gave me my form to arrange my 19-21 week (anatomy) ultrasound, which I rang up and scheduled this morning, and it is for January 29th @ 9.30am, being a Friday it means that my Mum can come, and I have told my Dad that he is more than welcome to come too - but I'm aware that that might be a bit 'girly' for him.  Hehe. I'm already way excited about it & counting down the days - because I will (hopefully!) get to find out if baby is a girl or a boy!  I don't mind whether it is a girl or a boy - another girl will be awesome, but a little boy will be super special as well.  All my gut instincts have been saying GIRL GIRL GIRL GIRL GIRL, to the point where I haven't considered that this baby COULD be a boy (besides choosing a name!), and I warned Mum that if it does turn out to be a boy, I may very well faint right there on the table! 

Today when I got back from our day out with Mum, I found that my appointment with the high-risk ob @ the hospital, has arrived in the mail, and that appointmet is for February 4th @ 1.40pm.  I am a little nervous about that particular appointment, because I am sure it'll be somewhat more 'serious' than my midwife appointments - and I'm also nervous because I will be finding out the potential risks that my (epilepsy) medication could have on the baby... my midwife assured me she's had plenty of patients on that medication before, and the babies have all been fine, so I'm taking that as a good thing...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Scary, scary morning...

Background: When I was 11/12 I was diagnosed with nocturnal grand mal epilepsy - ie I only ever had seizures when I was asleep, and would have no idea until I woke up the next morning & felt like I had been hit by a truck, reversed over & then hit again. Was put on meds in 1997 - 2001 I came off them, and was seizure free until April 2007, when I started having seizures again (though this time they weren't the same type of seizure - they were petit mal, but still nocturnal). I was put on the meds again, and then started weaning off them in May 2009 - before we began TTC. I have been fine up until now...

Then I woke up this morning & realised I had obviously had a seizure during my sleep. If I wasn't pregnant I wouldn't have cared, but being that I'm pregnant, I had no idea if it could have harmed the baby, so I went to see my GP, after talking to my m/w... The GP got out their (ancient!!) doppler, and tried to listen to the h/b for about 4 minutes, but the only one he could pick up was mine!!!! He told me to 'not worry' (yea right), but that I had to go up to the Womens' Hospital, so they could investigate further.

I had to drive to the hospital (which was hard when I was freaking out!), and my Dad met us there (me, Gab & my friend).. we found our way to the gyne ward, and had to wait about half an hour to be seen.. the nurse took me in, did my BP etc, and then told me to lie down so we could listen for the heartbeat. Again all I could hear was silence, or my heartbeat... It was the most excruciating wait, but FINALLY she picked up the fetal heartbeat.. I cannot explain how relieved I was... while we were trying to find it, I was going through things in my head, trying to figure out who would look after Gaby while I was in hospital delivering, and how I would tell my parents.. how I would tell Jason... how the heck I would explain it to Gaby...

The h/b was 145bpm, and my BP was fine - the nurse who was doing the doppler, said that baby was hiding really well, and because I'm overweight there was a bit more 'padding' to get through... Because of my seizure I feel as if I have been hit by a truck, and my

So now I have to wait to find out what to do about my epilepsy. A lot of anti-epileptic medications are unsafe during pregnancy - and I would prefer to not go on them, but at the same time - if a seizure can put the baby at risk - I don't exactly want to have to worry about that either......

 Update:  I spoke to my GP, who spoke to the neuro at the hospital, and they both believed it was in my best interests to go back on my medication.  There is a risk to the baby, being on the medication - BUT there are also lots of risks associated with seizures during pregnancy (to the baby, to me)... so either way there is a risk, but I had to do what I felt would produce the least risk.  I am on a minimal dose of my epilepsy medication (half of what I would normally be on - and then what I'm 'usually' on, is still a low dose anyway), and am also on a high dose folic acid (5mg, rather than 0.8mg).  The doctor told me that the highest risk time, for effects, is 0-12 weeks, and now that I am passed that point, he thinks that I should be fine.  To be on the safe side, he has referred me onto the high risk ob clinic, and they will provide extra monitoring...  So there may even be another couple of ultrasounds in it for me.  I won't complain about that!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Going to need to become an encyclopedia!

Oh my - Gaby has started with 'the questions'...  We went to the beach earlier this week, and Gaby asked me to explain:
- what the ocean is
- how the salt gets in the water
- why you can't see the salt in the water
- why there is sand at the beach
I could explain easily enough what the ocean is, but really had no idea about the other 3 questions - I am going to start needing to read encyclopedias, so I can keep up with all her questions.  I'm sure that there will be plenty more to come.....

It is pretty cool that she is so inquisitive, and wants to know more about the world around her - it proves to me that she really is moving from toddler, to preschooler... and I guess it is another milestone that she has reached!  Very exciting!  I am wondering if I should start arming myself with "why is......", "what is......" type books - so that when she has one of her big questions, I can whip the book out & answer it properly for her.... and in a manner that she will understand.  Sometimes it's a bit hard coming up with the proper terminology, for her to understand....

Not long and I'll probably be asking HER to answer questions, for ME - or I'll be learning things from her, when she gets home from school.  Very scary thought!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Started my cloth stash!

I've decided that with this bub, I am going to use cloth nappies...  I used them for about 6 months with Gaby, but then she grew out of half of them, and I couldn't afford to buy new ones, so ended up slowly just getting back into the disposable theme of things.  The decision is purely a financial one - I know that money is going to be damn tight when baby arrives - and if I can cut THAT particular cost out - it is going to save me a LOT of money.  I figured I'd go through approx two packs of nappies a week, in the early days - which sure, could only be $12.00 - if I got the CHEEEEAP nappies, but that's $46.00 a month, which would be over $500 a year... and that is at the very minimum...  If I went with the 'brand' nappies, I would be spending around $28.00 a week... which would be $112.00 a month, which could be as much as close to $1400.00 a year... It's really a no-brainer.

I purchased my first lot of nappies the other day, while looking on TradeMe (NZ's version of EBay) - from a company called 'pepeFergs', they are locally run, designed by the couple, and then they are made in China - which I would imagine is a lot cheaper than having them made here.  I got a great deal - 10 OSFA, pocket nappies (& the 10 inserts), for $115.00 NZD ($84.50 USD), compared with other pack of 10 deals, which seemed to start at $225.00 NZD ($165.30 USD).  At this point the nappies only come in 4 colours - dark blue, light blue, pink & white, but that doesn't really bother me.. for that price I don't mind not having the variety of colours, or variety of prints!!

I will probably try to purchase at least another 5, before the baby comes - the lovely ladies on the Cloth Diapering board, on JM suggested having approximately 16-20, depending on how often I want to be doing the laundry.  I do remember from my time using cloth with Gaby, that there was nothing cooler than seeing a line full of cloth nappies, blowing in the breeze.. not sure why, but it always made me feel so 'Suzy homekeeper'!

My two biggest costs with Gaby, in the first year, were buying formula, and buying disposable nappies - hopefully with this baby I won't have EITHER of those costs to worry about....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Come hell or high water, I am going to breastfeed!

My only real regret, from the first few days of Gaby's life, is that I didn't make more of an effort to breastfeed... I'm not heartbroken over the fact, my life hasn't stopped because of it, BUT it is something that I want to make a BIG effort with, with Emersyn/Lucas. 

I don't feel I got enough support at the hospital, with breastfeeding.  The nurse helped me whenever I fed her, but of course there were other women & bub's that needed attention, so i didn't really get any serious one-on-one.  My midwife scheduled an appointment for me, with the lactation consultant, and then for some reason, the appointment got cancelled, and that was that.  I had another day & a bit in hospital, being assisted by the nursing staff, whenever I fed Gaby - but I was allowed to leave hospital, basically unable to breastfeed by myself.   I was told it would 'come to me', if I perservered...

Well it didn't 'come to me'...  I have huge breasts and short arms, and even in hospital I couldn't find a position that worked for me...  I tried and tried and tried to feed Gaby when I got home from the hospital, but she couldn't latch, I couldn't position her properly - she got frustrated, I got frustrated.  Luckily I had a breast pump, so I was able to express milk & bottle feed her.  I kept trying her on the breast, but we never 'got it', and (not so) slowly but surely, my milk supply started dwindling... I purchased a new electronic pump, with hopes that that would be more effective, and help with my milk supply - but no, I think I had left it too late.  I began supplementing with formula, and before I knew it, she was down to one bottle a day of breastmilk & the rest were formula.. and by 10 days old, she was fully formula fed.  I had spoken to my midwife about it, and was going to need to wait 3 weeks for an appt with the lactation consultant - by which time it'd have been well and truly too late.

Don't get me wrong, Gaby THRIVED on formula, she never had any health issues, we never had a problem bonding, the formula never made her sick, she seemed like a normal, happy, healthy baby.... But it still makes me sad that I wasn't able to breastfeed - that as a woman I failed in one of the things that is supposed to come naturally, and one of the things our bodys are programmed to do, biologically.  I blame myself, my midwife, the staff at the hospital & the lactation consultant who cancelled my appointment... mostly I think I blame myself though - because surely if I'd wanted it enough, I would have found a way...

So here I am now, 15w4d pregnant with my second bundle of joy, and I am already making plans to have a successful breastfeeding experience this time around.  My midwife is well aware of my hopes, and I know that she is the sort of woman who will do what she can to help me.  I have numbers for various breastfeeding preparation classes, that I can take before baby arrives, and know when & where there are 'open clinics' held by two lactation consultants, once bub arrives.  I've started buying books - I'm not sure how much breastfeeding books will help me, but I'm hoping that if anything, they'll give me the motivation to stick with it...

Going by my previous experience though, I will be prepared for the 'other' eventuality, and have a breastpump at the ready, and a can of formula hidden away - just in case.  Formula will be a last resort, but I know from my experience (parenting, in general) with Gaby, that even the best laid plains & intentions sometimes don't come to fruition, and that at the end of the day, the most important thing is that Mum & Baby are both happy & healthy...

I just hope our 'happy & healthy' includes breastfeeding!