Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm sorry I don't live up to your standards...

warning:  I'm pregnant & hormonal, very emotional & having a bad day.....

Ever since I was a little kid, I knew that I was the failure of the family, the one who would disappoint everyone, would never amount to much in the eyes of everyone else...

& here I am today, 26 - and bawling my eyes out, because it has never been more clear to me, that my worries when I was a little girl, turned out to be 100% spot on.  The only people in my family who I feel do love me for me, and don't wish I was anything BUT myself, are my parents - and I guess that is a good thing, or pure luck...

Here is a list of the ways in which I am sub-par as a human being - in their eyes

  1. I'm 26, and have never been married - was briefly engaged - to a woman - so obviously that doesn't count - I must have just been 'going through a phase'
  2. I have two children, who have two different fathers & I'm in a relationship with neither.  Never mind that it is in my best interests, and my girls best interests, for me to not be in relationships with their fathers
  3. I'm obese - I will never be skinny, I will never be athletic and toned, and when I do lose weight, why congratulate me?  I'll obviously just put the weight on again.. support & encouragement isn't really that important!
  4. My longest relationship has been 15 months, and obviously I did things wrong, otherwise, why would he have broken up with me?  Surely the problem wasn't with him!  Must have been Emma
  5. I am living off the domestic purposes benefit, rather than working - who cares that it was a decision I made, because I felt it was best for *my* daughter, to have her mother with her as much as possible in the early years of her life - obviously it'd be better for her to only see her mother at nights, in the same way she only sees her father one day a week
  6. I don't have a huge career, I haven't finished a university degree, I guess the fact that I am happy working an average job, for average pay doesn't mean anything.  I should aspire to be a doctor, a lawyer, a nurse, a teacher... something exciting and interesting - definately a job I can't leave at work at the end of the day, something that I have to bring home with me, so my children get a little of my attention, but work gets more....
  7. I'm not a 100% straight, heterosexual woman!  Obviously I feel more attracted to women than men, just because I can't find a nice man to settle down with.. yes, that's got to be it!

I hate that I can't be loved because I am simply *me*...  My sister, my cousins - they all have their flaws, their dirty little secrets - but because they're living the life everyone thinks they should live, well - it doesn't matter!!!  Because I am happy being a Mum - and putting that before having a career, it doesn't mean that I don't have aspirations - I do, it also doesn't mean that I am unhappy with my life - because I am NOT. 

Everyday with Gaby is a fabulous day, even if I am feeling down, just looking at her makes me smile, hearing the words "I love you Mummy" makes everything great again, seeing her accomplish something new makes me feel wonderful about myself - reiterates that I am a good Mum, and that my daughter isn't missing out on anything, just because she doesn't have a 'normal' family (ie Mum/Dad living together).  Everytime Emersyn kicks me, I feel a huge surge of love, and can't help but smile - everytime I think about meeting her, tears come to my eyes, because I cannot wait for that day.  Being a Mum IS what makes me happy, it's what I feel I'm meant to be doing.  But why isn't that good enough for everyone else??

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Recipe - Crockpot Cola Chicken

This is a favourite with my family - it is SO easy to make, and is really healthy.  From memory, it is worth about 4 points on the Weight Watchers Points system (though that isn't counting the rice you have with it)...  I dare you to try it - you won't be disappointed!

Cola Chicken

1 whole chicken (approx 3lb), OR chicken pieces, OR, chicken breasts
1 cup (tomato) ketchup
1 large onion - thinly sliced (optional)
1 cup of cola

  • Wash & pat chicken dry
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Put chicken in crockpot, with onions on top
  • Add cola & ketchup
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours

Best served with rice, or mashed potato
I prefer it with the chicken breasts

"week 22 - you may have noticed your centre of gravity has changed"

In one of my pregnancy books, for 22 weeks I read "you may have noticed your centre of gravity has changed", and I figured that yes mine had, but not substantially.

That was until today when I was taking an armload of stuff (ie crap) out to the garage to put in the rubbish bin - and managed to fall down the stairs!!!!  I don't know how I did it, but I think my foot may have slipped or something - and next thing I knew I was fall off the side of the steps, scraping my toes, feet, legs & hands on the way down.. I kind of dived along the ground, before rolling onto my side.  My first worry was that I'd hurt the baby, but I didn't hit my belly at all, and didn't really fall from a massive distance.  I got inside and admittedly was crying - a huge chunk of nail came off one of my big toes, and then a big chunk of skin off the side of my opposite little toe.. one of my feet has a big graze, as does the shin & knee of the opposite leg!

Gaby was a good little paramedic, she got me some toilet paper and the bandaids - but then she looked at me with a very serious look on her face & said to me...
"Mummy - that is why we don't wear jandles [thongs, flip-flops] isn't it"
that was admittedly very cute, and made me laugh - she sounded so very grown up!

I think from now on, I'm not going to carry any big loads of 'stuff' down the stairs, I will have to do it in little trips I think!!!  I'm just glad that none of my neighbours from the three surrounding units saw it happen - wasn't exactly my most graceful move!  I've not fallen down stairs in YEARS... but now with all this added weight in front, I'm obviously not as stable as I once was!

I have had a few movements since it happened, so am hoping that means that everything is okay in there... I will keep note of her movements for the next day though, incase there is an obvious decrease.. but I'm thinking that because I landed on my hands & knees, that everything should be okay..

Friday, February 26, 2010

Saw my beautiful girl again!

On Friday I had my repeat ultrasound (at my 20w u/s they couldn't get some of the shots they needed, because of the position Emersyn was lying in) - and it was so wonderful to see my girl again!!!  She was in a bit of an awkward position again, but slightly better than last time, and eventually the u/s tech got the shots she needed... but not until I'd gone for a 20 minute walk, to try to get her to move a little!

Everything looks great - the heart & face (which were what she needed to look at) all looked perfect, and then she did all the measurements that help them determine the size of the baby, and well - little miss has GROWN!  At 19w2d she weighed 298g/11oz & then at 23w2d she weighed 640g/1lb7oz - so she's doubled her weight - well, more than doubled it & is around the 62nd percentile.

I finally got some 3D pictures as well, which was such an amazing experience - I cried when I saw the first one, and then my Mum was rubbing my foot, and I didn't have to look at her to know she had tears in her eyes as well!  We got a couple of good 2D pictures of the face as well, but no profile pictures, like I was hoping for.

All in all a wonderful experience!

Here are some pictures of my little bambino!

you can see the back of Emersyn's head
a little ear & her right arm/right leg

you can see her arm & a little sliver of her face

the orbits/eyes

looking front on at Emersyn's face
note her hand above her head
... looks like she's doing the 'peace' sign!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

the best fight ever!

Just a short post today.... the mall is calling our name!

I just had a huge screaming fight with Gaby - about who loves who the most.  It really just consisted of us both yelling at each other:
"I love you"
"NO - I love YOU!"
"NO - I love YOU!"

over and over and over and over... with lots of giggling thrown in for good measure...  It's so fun that Gaby is getting to the age where we can be silly like this together!!

Now to convince her that she really can't wear her togs (bathing suit) to the mall!!!!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Brodie Scott - 6 years on

February 22 2004, we got the tragic news that my nephew - Brodie Scott, had passed away - from SIDS.  At the time my sister was living 3 hours away, and the hardest thing in my life - besides learning of Brodie's death, and my Grandfather's death - was not being able to run to my sister & hold her, and let her cry - and cry with her.

They held the funeral up here, and something I hope I never have to do again, is see such a tiny coffin - it was quite honestly, the saddest, most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen.  My sister was only 17 at the time, and she was so strong - I admired her in a whole new way after that was over... I don't know that I could have handled it as well as she did - of course it wasn't easy for her - and afterward was extremely challenging for her, but in those days where she had to plan, and then do the hardest thing a parent ever has to do - she was strength personified.

It has been 6 years today, since we lost our precious little guy - and so much has changed, in all of our lives... yet when this day rolls around, I think all of us are taken right back to THAT day, and it seems as if we are back in that horrible moment.  It breaks my heart that Gaby & Emersyn will never know their big cousin - that they'll have no memories of him... all they'll know about him, will be from our stories, and looking at photos.  The one photo I would love to have - that I'll never have the chance to have, is one of Brodie, Gaby & Emersyn... sitting on the couch, all smiling like goofy little cheeksters... sitting impatiently around the Christmas tree, on Christmas morning... standing around one another at each others birthday parties - when it's time for the blowing out of candles...

As the saying goes - life goes on - and indeed, it does, but there is such sorrow, in knowing that it goes on, without Brodie....

our first photo of Brodie - a few hours old
born at 35 weeks, Brodie spent 10 days in the NICU

well enough to be out of the incubator
wearing a little knitted outfit I made for him
in 'our' teams colours - being held by Mummy

home from hospital!
in his favourite 'froggy' position

Brodie's first smile
December 12, 2003
smiling at Poppa

Brodie & his Mummy

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who said that bribery doesn't work?!

Last year - January-ish, Gaby had her first 'proper' vomit - sadly it happened in her bed, while she was asleep.  After that one incident, Gaby became VERY anti-her-bed, and most nights ended up sleeping with me.  It went on for months - I tried everything I could think of to try to get her back in her bed - changed her room around, got her a cool new bedside lamp, got her new sheets, got her a new duvet, took the bed off its legs so she was on the base - on the floor.. It never worked though.  Most nights I would fight a losing battle, then give in & let her get in my bed.

Around August she FINALLY started sleeping in her bed again - it was great, but then in October she got sick - and spent a couple of nights in my bed with me (at that time Jason was living with us), and after that, she became a frequent visitor in my bed - and slowly got back into her old ways - of not wanting to sleep in her bed.  It was hard for me, because obviously Jason was here - and we wanted time to ourselves in bed, but at the same time - my daughter was feeling upset, my daughter obviously needed that extra security, that being near me at night, brought to her...  A few nights Jason would get home from work & Gaby would be in our bed with me, and by then I was in the 1st trimester and exhausted by 4pm, I never had the energy to get up & move her - especially when I knew it would be a fight to get her to stay in her bed....  That was part of what ended up breaking us up - he thought I was indulging her, that I let her away with too much - that she should sleep in her own bed.. I understood what he was saying - but I also knew that Gaby NEEDED me, and that I wanted her to feel secure... so I couldn't win either way.  

After we broke up & he moved out, I decided that it wasn't worth all the stress & anxiety - on BOTH of us, to get her sleeping back in her bed again, so since then she has been sleeping with me everynight - I didn't have any problems with it, infact it was nice to be so close to her, and to wake up to her every morning.  BUT I did know that the time would come when she'd have to get back in her bed - and I knew it had to be before the baby arrived....  I have been telling her for the past few weeks, that she will need to sleep in her bed eventually - and then yesterday I decided that it was time....

I told Gaby that she'd be sleeping in her bed that night, and she didn't argue - we went and tidied her room, I made her bed up with new sheets & put a new duvet on - let her put all her soft toys on the bed, and basically did what I could to make her feel comfortable with being back in *her* bed.  Admittedly I also used a bit of bribery.  She has been asking me for awhile now, for some Dora socks - but I'd said no, because they seem rediculously priced, compared to the non-label socks I could get her... but I told her if she slept in her bed last night & tonight, that I'll buy her some Dora socks.  Seemed to do the trick too!

Bedtime rolled around,  I took her to her room & she got in bed - she was a bit tearful, but I stood my ground.  I indulged her in her few minutes of stalling tactics - getting her a drink, getting her a toy from the lounge, putting a new blanket on top of her, etc etc, but then told her it was time for bed & that she had to get under the covers.  She started crying & asked if I could stay with her, so I told her of course I would - but she had to snuggle down & close her eyes and go to sleep.. I thought that would cause mass protest - but it didn't!!!

She did JUST AS I ASKED!  She got under the sheets, snuggled down - closed her eyes - and within about 5 minutes, was sound asleep!!!  I was shocked - I really had expected more of a fight than that.  I stayed on her bed for about 10 minutes after she went to sleep, to make sure that she was properly asleep.. then I snuck out to the lounge - and didn't hear her again until about 5-6am this morning, when she hopped in bed with me!!!!!

I was so proud of her, and told her so - and of course she asked about the socks... so I told her if she sleeps in her bed again tonight (like our agreement was), that we'd go buy her socks, after we do the groceries tomorrow morning!  Fingers crossed (very tightly) that she sleeps in her bed again tonight - I think if we can get a few nights in a row, she's more likely to stay there...  

It's a good day in Mummy-land!

Monday, February 15, 2010

a couple of exciting pregnancy firsts!

This weekend I both felt Emersyn move from the outside - and saw her move from the outside!  I possibly got more excited than I should have - but it's something I didn't experience a lot of, when I was pregnant with Gaby (partly due to having an anterior placenta, partly due to having so much extra 'padding').  It felt really good to reach these milestones, and so early, compared with my pregnancy with Gaby.  I'm sure that with her I was 30+ weeks, before either of those happened, but this time it was 21w3d/21w4d.  Very cool!

I've noticed a lot of change in Emersyn in the past week - her movements are a lot harder, and I'm feeling them a lot higher (above my belly button) - I also often get a kick up high & a punch down low, within a couple of seconds of each other... always makes me smile when I feel her kicking.  Her movements seem to be a lot more regular now as well - so there isn't the same stress & anxiety if I haven't felt something for a few hours.  I have noticed that she doesn't kick me when I'm lying down in bed at night - so obviously that is now her sleepy time - because for about 3 weeks it was a time I knew I would get kicked a lot.  First night it worried me, but then I woke up at 4am & felt a lot of kicks, so figured she'd changed her sleeping pattern!

I'm starting to get a little worried about making sure I have enough clothes etc for her, for when she's born.  I really wish I hadn't gone and sold most of Gaby's newborn clothes - I could really do with them now!  I am going to need to clean out Gaby's wardrobe, because I know there are some bags of clothes in there, and bags of blankets etc etc - I really have no idea what I'll find!  

It feels so strange to be organising all Gaby's old stuff, for a new baby to wear - takes me back to when Gaby fit into the teeny tiny little clothes - and now they probably wouldn't fit on her foot!!!!!  I enjoy telling Gaby about when she was a baby, and how she used to wear certain outfits, do certain things - I think she thinks it's all a big fabrication - because as she tells me "but I'm a big girl Mummy!!!".  Very cute.  She loves looking at the bassinet, sometimes she'll just stand by it, and run her hand up and down the fabric, with this wistful look on her face.  

I can't wait until there is a baby in that bassinet!!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love you times infinity

One of the sweetest moments of my parenting life happened today, while driving in the car with Gaby.  She was in her carseat in the passenger seat, because I had a whole bunch of boxes in the backseat & boot - she looked at me & smiled and said "Mummy, I love you" - then took my hand in hers, and held it the whole way home - a good 20 minute trip.  Luckily the road was very much straight & easy to drive with one hand!  

Everyone asks me how much trouble I'm having with Gaby, being that I have a baby on the way, and she's at an 'awkward age' - and it bothers me that EVERYONE ASKS, because to be honest - Gaby is wonderful!!!!!  The only time I have troubles with her, is when she's tired and needs to go to sleep.  She is funny, she is sweet, she does as she asks, she's excited about the baby coming, she loves having cuddles, she always tells me she loves me, she's always making me laugh.. there are none of the tantrums or bad behaviour that everyone seems to expect that she'll be displaying.  

Truth be told - I have never loved Gaby more than I do right this second, and I almost cry when I look at her, and think about how wonderful she is.  She really is a treasure, and such an easy child.  I have pulled her out of kindergarten, because I missed having the time to spend with her, when she was at kindergarten... she's still going to preschool, but she isn't going to kindergarten for the 3 afternoons a week, that she was going. 

I always thought the saying "Love you to the moon and back" was just a romantic bit of hooplah - but now I completely understand it - and I DO love Gaby 'to the moon and back'.. I love her times inifinity!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

4 years ago, I was 4w0d pregnant!

Wow!  Last night when I went to bed, I realised that it was February 7th - and that February 7th, 2006, I had gotten my BFP with Ms Gaby - at 3w6d pregnant!!!

Crazy to think that 4 years ago, my journey with Gaby was just beginning.... So much has happened in that time - so many amazing things... Life has never been the same since - and I'm so glad about that!

Love you Gaby girl!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The (stressful, horrible, scary) week in review...

Sorry about the utter lack of blogging this week - lets just say, my blog has been one of the furthest things from my mind...

It all began Tuesday morning, I woke up - went to the toilet & found that I was bleeding.  I tried to stay calm, but that didn't really work - I rang my m/w and she told me to meet her at the clinic at 9am.  Met the midwife, she took me in - listened to Emersyn's h/b - which was nice and strong, then talked to me about my symptoms.  Basically I had no symptoms - except bleeding.  It wasn't heavy - but it was there, and that's enough to stress out a pregnant woman!   Julz (m/w) rang the hospital & asked what they wanted me to do, and they agreed that because everything seemed okay, I should just go to St Georges (one of the secondary maternity hospitals) & get a Rhogam (AntiD) shot.... then ring my m/w if the bleeding got worse, or stopped & started again.  Went to St Georges.  Got my jab.  Took Gaby to preschool.  Went to my parents house (as I do when Gaby is at preschool).

Everything was fine until 10.30pm Tuesday night - went to the toilet & was bleeding again.  Rang m/w, she told me to go up to the acute gyne assessment ward at the hospital.  Luckily my friend was staying, so she looked after Gaby - and my Mum came to get me, and went up to the hospital with me.  Up at the hospital, they took my vitals, talked to me again about my symptoms, had me do a urine sample.  By the time I got up there the bleeding had stopped - seemed it was in a routine of stopping and starting.  The doctor came in, talked more about my obstetric history & my current symptoms.  She did an internal exam with a speculum & took 3 swabs, then she felt my cervix - told me it felt a 'little short'... then she tried to use the doppler to listen to Emersyn's heartbeat - which she couldn't find.  I had felt lots of movements that night & she told me before she started using the doppler that she wasn't particularly skilled with it - so if we couldn't find the h/b, it's most likely be due to her lack of skill.  She told me she'd get the ob registrar to come down & listen for the h/b though, just to be safe.
Ob registrar (who looked about 12!) gets down, eventually - and has a portable u/s machine with her.  We looked at Emersyn & all looked well - I couldn't see much from where I was lying on the bed, but I could see her moving around, and felt a lot of relief.  They checked the placenta and everything looked good - couldn't see any obvious signs for my bleeding.  The ob registrar told me that if the bleeding started again, to come back up - but otherwise, to talk about it when I came for my high risk ob appt on Thursday (to discuss my epilepsy).

Woke up Wednesday morning, no bleeding.. took Gaby to preschool & went to my parents, no bleeding.. of course at 4pm when I went to the toilet, I found I'd started bleeding again.  I rang my m/w - same routine - go up to acute gyne...  Gaby stayed with my Dad & friend, and again Mum took me up to the hospital.  The nurse did my vitals, talked about symptoms - then got out the doppler.  Luckily she found the heartbeat (eventually), and again Emersyn's h/b, was nice and strong.  She told me that the doctor would be in to talk to me soon - but then returned awhile later, to tell me that the urine sample I'd done that day, was positive for white blood cells - indicating a UTI, and one of the swabs they'd done the night before, was positive for BV (bacterial vaginosis) - so I was given a reason for my bleeding (and cramping, which had started that day), and sent on my way with a prescription for the BV, and told to talk to the ob the next day, to get him/her to check what bacteria had showed up in my urine sample & to prescribe accordingly.

Thursday arrived - I made it to my ob appt with 10 minutes to spare - only to be told that the appointment time *I* had been given was incorrect - 2 hours incorrect - the time I'd been given was 1.40pm & on their schedule it was 3.40pm.  I had to wait - with a very bored Gaby, until 3.20pm (ish), was taken in, spoke to who I THOUGHT was the ob - but turned out it wasn't, he was just 'screening' me, to see if I needed to see the ob.  I thought the whole point of going to the high risk ob was to SEE THE HIGH RISK OB, but apparently not!  We discussed my epilepsy & meds & he felt that I didn't need to be seen again regarding thing, unless I started having more seizures that couldn't be controlled by upping my medication. 

I then brought up the bleeding/spotting/cramping - the doctor checked the computer system, and it turned out that my urine sample from the night before - that had been positive for WBC, had come back clear - I DIDN'T have a UTI!!!!  Apparently the BV diagnosis was correct.  He went and spoke to the ob & decided I should see him.  So we went back out to the waiting room - and then about 4.30pm we were taken back to see the ob.  By this time Gaby was cranky, I was cranky - and was starting to feel freaked out again, by what the cause of my bleeding would be, if it wasn't a UTI.  

To be nice - the high risk ob was a total w@nker.  He basically told me that I was "stupid and irrational for worrying about a bit of bleeding" - and that there were other patients who had serious problems, who deserved his time!  Lovely!  He told me he wanted to check my cervix, and asked me if GABY COULD WAIT OUT IN THE HALL!  Um - NO SHE CAN'T!  What doctor - wait, what NORMAL, RESPONSIBLE HUMAN BEING, suggests leaving a 3 yo, alone in a huge hall, in a huge building - with lots of cool looking machinery that I can imagine she'd want to go and explore?  The nurse looked at me with a look on her face as if to say the same thing I was thinking.  Gaby stayed down by my head, the dr did his assessment & told me my cervix was nice and long, and closed - good!  He then tried to listen to the h/b - and couldn't find it... So as if it was the hugest inconvenience to his day he said "I guess I'll go and get the ultrasound machine then"... he came back, demanded the nurse & trainee doctor get the room dark, then put the probe on my belly - and looked at the screen.. and didn't say a word... When I asked if he could see the heartbeat, he told me "yes I can" in a very impatient tone - like it was oh-so-hard to reassure a freaked out pregnant woman.  He finished up, told me to come back in 4 weeks & then was gone...  Me feeling no more reassured than I had when I went in - infact, I was LESS reassured, now that they'd removed the diagnosis of a UTI.

Friday morning, I rang up the hospital to get the results of the urine sample they'd taken the day before - the doctor I had seen first (who was nice, and respectful, and kind - everything a doctor should be!), had ordered for them to check again for a UTI.  The hospital told me I would have to get my midwife to ring up for the results.  So I rang my m/w, told her what they'd said, and she told me she'd let me know.  Around 1.30pm she rang me to say they didnt DO any tests on me from the day before, and that one person she spoke to said I did have BV, but that the other person said I DIDN'T have BV...  She was confused - I was confused...  She told me to continue with my antibiotics for BV, that she'd prefer me have the course, than stop - then find out I DID have the infection, and end up going into pre-term labour - which would be a very bad thing at this point in pregnancy.

It is now Sunday.  I am still taking my antibiotics.  I still have cramps (which I have read & been told, can be caused by BV, or the antibiotics to cure it!).  I am slowly starting to feel normal, and to not stress constantly.  Emersyn is kicking me lots, which is the best piece of reassurance I can get - seeing as the doctors can't give me any reassurance - or straight answers!!!!  Gaby stayed at her fathers last night, so I've been able to sit & relax, and do nothing - just worry about myself.. which has been good.  I have the midwife again on Tuesday - and I'm sure it'll be a big debrief... If my pee stick (that tests for glucose, protein, wbc) comes up even slightly positive for WBC, I am going to ask that she arranges for tests.  

My sister gave birth 5 weeks early, after a UTI was left untreated - and caused her to go into labour.  There is NO WAY I am going to let that be even a slight possibility for me...