Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Preggy Update

Week: 20 and 3 days

It feels like I've been at week 20 for ages! Moving my due date forward by 5 days will do that. Oh well.

pregnancy

Measurements:
Weight: 72.5kg (+0.5kg from week 19, +1kg since start)
Boobs: 99cm (same as week 19, +1cm since start)
Ribs: 83cm (same as week 19, +1cm since start)
Waist: 91cm (same as week 19, +4cm since start)
Hips: 99cm (same as week 19, +1cm since start)
Thigh: 58cm (same as week 19, same as start)

I'm feeling pretty good. No crazy hungry days lately, and no firey boobs since I last mentioned it. I can feel the baby more and more, although it's still just a deep low flicking sensation. Over the past week my bump seems to have gotten firmer if not bigger, and now when I lie on my side I can feel it pulling me over.

I've become aware of my hair. I have fine, very slow growing hair - I generally go for a cut every 8 weeks... it's been a month and I think I need another cut now! They say that your normal hair loss (100 hairs a day fall out normally, the follicles rest and then start up again) stops during pregnancy, and I certainly have noticed that my brushes have less hair in them. So I have an "extra" 100 hairs per day, and it's all growing like crazy!

I told Milord and he was all "Oooh - you lucky thing! I wish I could get pregnant." until I told him all the extra was going to fall out all together once the baby comes! Oh, and my nails are growing faster too.

For your viewing pleasure - a tiled view of my bump growing over the last 20 weeks!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Winter is on the Way

I've just had a gloriously lazy weekend ("enjoy it while it lasts" say all the parents. Yeah yeah, whatever). The weather was dry for a change, blustery and cool with sunshine. Well, cold for Oz! When it drops below 25C [77F] I need a cardigan, below 20C [68F] I need a fleece, and at 15C [59F] I'll be in several layers! (In England I used to think 15C was balmy!) I think it is time to bring the heaters out of the roof, as I got really chilled yesterday!

Saturday mid-morning Milord brought us coffee (decaf) and the papers in bed and I suggested we go for a walk later...

We got out of bed at midday and apart from domestic chores there was nothing that had to be done. I did a grocery run and stripped the bed etc while Milord fired up the xbox and played a bit of Halo 3 (super soldier fighting aliens). Several hours later as the sun set I kicked him off and played Fable 2 (hero on quests) and he played with me as a henchman. Then a bit of TV and more xbox. Milord went to bed early as he was scuba diving the next day and I played til midnight!

On Sunday Milord left early to go diving. I slept late, read the papers, did a few loads of laundry and at midday I was back in the world of Fable 2. This xbox thing is addictive! When he got home at 4pm I handed over the controls and let him play Halo 3 until dinner time, when we watched the finale of "So you think you can dance".

I may have read my book at times too.

Walk? What walk? Heh heh heh...

Update: Apparently it is snowing on the ski fields 5 hours drive away. No wonder it's so cold out there! Brrrrrr

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Preggy Update

Week: 19 and 3 days

Ok, so as you know we went for our 19 week scan this week and found out that we are having a little girl. (Squeeee!) Everything looks good. I'm trying to get screen grabs of the scan dvd to upload but it's fighting me at the moment. We've revised our due date back to the 13th Sept so I'm still in week 19. *sigh*

My bump and my weight are the same as last week so I won't inflict any photos of me on you!

Pregnancy Symptoms I didn't expect (in spite of loads of googling over the past 4.5 months):

  • Peeing when I sneeze. Finally the shooting pain when I sneeze goes away to be replaced with bladder issues. Fantastic.

  • Pains down my legs. It's a little like sciatica but is known as pelvic girdle pain and is caused by the softening of the ligaments in my pelvis, getting ready for childbirth.

  • Breathlessness. I thought this would start once my bump was huge, but already I'm completely puffed just walking up a slight hill to the bus stop.

  • A numb bum whenever I sit for a while, especially on a hard seat.


Things I can still do:
  • Paint my toenails.

  • Tie shoelaces.

  • Shave my legs.

  • Groom my pubes.

  • Turn over in my sleep.

  • Get out of bed / out the bath / up off the floor without help.

  • Run for the bus.

  • Cross my legs.

  • Sleep for 6 hours straight without needing a wee.

  • Wear heels.


Comments I am already tired of:
  • Enjoy your sleep while you can. duh.

  • Your life is going to change. duh again. Of course it's going to change! That's the whole point of having kids, right? Who wants to be a DINK forever?

  • How much time are you going to take off work? I never know how to answer this. I intend to "take leave" until my kiddies are in school, unless I can't hack being a SAHM. Is it bragging that as a couple this is an option for us? Is it anti-feminist to "pause my career"? Are people going to see me as lazy?


Oh, and? Where the hell is the fabled libido boost of the second trimester? I'd not turn my fella down for a tumble but I'm certainly not initiating anything! Very unlike me.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

It's a Girl!

We're having a girl!

We are totally thrilled... we were both kind of hoping for a girl. Milord because "Girls are easier" (heh, what does he know?) and me because - well - I just can't imagine having a boy!

Everything is looking great in there. Heart, brain, kidneys, skeleton, fingers and toes all look fine. How cute are the teenie weenie hands and feet?! We were in the scan for over an hour as my baby girl was not cooperating with the ultrasound tech and this a very important scan to pick up any anomalies, but we got it all in the end.

Now for girl's names. We are actually in agreement on a name right now, but that's a secret!

Woohoo! Sugar and spice and all things nice ;-)

Monday, 20 April 2009

Halfway...

I'm so excited I can't sit still! It doesn't help that I need a full bladder in just over an hour so I've been hydrating... I've been to the loo every half hour since midday and at 2pm I'm going to have to start holding - the worst part of the exercise.

Because - I'm off for my 19/20 week scan in a little while! On top of checking that everything is growing normally we also have a chance of making out the gender.

Oooh I have butterflies.

Also tiny baby-taps which I have only realised this week are not gas but signs of my baby moving! It feels like occasional bubbles really deep and low in my belly - nothing like I was expecting. I've probably been feeling them for weeks but it's so subtle I thought it was digestion!

'Scuse me - I need to wee while I still can. Oh oh exciting!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Fridayitis

My boobs are on fire! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! This is normal apparently. Great. The only thing that helps is cradling them in my cool hands - which is Not Safe For Work.

My belly is cold and has been for months now. Hot boobs, cold belly - the opposite of my pre-preggy state! I understand the hot sore boob thing but why is my baby bump cold? Everyone has been telling me that my pregnancy will keep me warm over winter, but instead I have been colder than usual since conception. In my first trimester the only time I was warm was during a heatwave that flattened the city. Not that I want hot flushes or anything - I'm just sayin'.

Plus I'm having a hungry day. It is midday and I have had 2 slices of multigrain toast with bovril (it's a Saffa thing), 2 apples, a muesli bar, a small orange juice, a litre of water and 2 cups of tea. And I'm starving! I'm about to tuck into a cheese and tomato multigrain sandwich, celery sticks and a strawberry yogurt. I've had a hungry day about every week lately, but so far the hunger has always subsided... I really feel for the women who have this all the way through pregnancy!

In other news I am booooooored. We are in code freeze while a test release is rolled out and I have nothing to work on. One can browse the internets only so long before one's brain turns to mush.

Plans for the weekend: tonight we are visiting RuralChick and her family where they are staying around the corner from us for the weekend (they're in town for Milord's toxic ex's 50th, but we don't talk about that). It's her daughter's birthday today - she's turning 7, and we are giving her a cute purple bicycle.

7 is a bit old to learn to ride a bike. I should know - I learned when I was 7 (until the age of 7 my family lived on the side of a mountain so I understand why I hadn't had a bike up to that point, but anyway)! Mom ran along pushing and holding me up, up and down the road for hours while I was trying to get the knack. I hated it. Absolutely hated learning to ride that bike - I can clearly remember the terror as I wobbled along with Mom shouting breathless instructions behind me. Mostly "Stop leaning!"... I hope RuralChick's kid gets the hang of it easier than I did! My child will get a bike at 2 or 3 with huge training wheels - I want them to learn how to do it before they're old enough to be scared.

On Saturday we want to play with the new Xbox 360. Milord has got his hands on the Xbox 360 version of "Civilisation" for me (I'm not attracted to the shoot-em-up games) - should be fun.

And on Sunday it's another bbq with friends, which I assume I'll have to drive us home from after 5 hours!

Ok, sandwich inhaled. Still hungry. Pass me a celery stick!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Preggy Update

Week: 19 and 2 days

pregnancy

This is an impressive week for growth! Your baby weighs approximately 250 grams (8-9 ounces) and is about 22 cm or 6 inches long.

[..] the permanent teeth buds are forming behind the already formed milk teeth buds. Growth becomes rapid now and your baby begins to store iron for the production of red blood cells. [..]


Huh, my kid has teeth.

Measurements:
Weight: 72kg (+1kg from week 16, +0.5 since start)
Boobs: 99cm (same as week 16, +1cm since start)
Ribs: 83cm (same as week 16, +1cm since start)
Waist: 91cm (+2cm since week 16, +4cm since start)
Hips: 99cm (same as week 16, +1cm since start)
Thigh: 58cm (+2cm from week 16, same as start)

Here comes the weight gain! According to the literature I should expect to gain 0.5kg (1lb) per week from now until the due date. How funny to walk up to Milord this morning and say "I've gained a kilo this week" and for him to answer "Oh great! It's about time!".


On my "safe gain" chart I'm sort of following the desired projection of a total gain of 12kg. Not that I'll starve myself if I go over of course, don't worry!




Although I have grown out of all my non-maternity trousers my bump is not exactly huge. I was wearing a lovely flattering maxi dress on the weekend and received several "you can't be almost halfway" comments. Not that I really know what 19 weeks should look like... IrishMILF was enormous at 19 weeks but she's short and tiny so I can't use her for a comparison!

I'm feeling fine. Over Easter I started going "Oh wow, I'm not tired any more! Maybe that's over."...and then the alarm went off on Tuesday morning and I was as weary as usual. Seems I only have energy when I get 10+ hours sleep a night!

  • I still haven't felt the baby. I can't wait for that to happen!

  • No boob growth but I have had stabbing pains behind my nipples that I can totally do without!

  • The pigmentation on my face is actually fading with the onset of winter, yay. No belly line yet.

  • My digestive system has become less regular - I'm countering with lots of celery and water.

  • I wee a lot but nothing extraordinary considering how much water I drink - I'm always thirsty.

  • Nose bleeds seem to have stopped.

  • My spots have cleared up! Woohoo!


I did have a terrible itchy rash for the last couple of weeks. It started on my bum cheeks, then slowly spread to my waist and thighs, followed by my upper arms and chest and tummy. We think it is because our washing machine was on the blink and didn't rinse properly - and I reacted to the detergent left in my jeans and work trousers. I rewashed everything, but the rash took a very uncomfortable week to subside.

On Monday I have my next scan. We might be able to see if we're having a girl or a boy! I'll let you know ;-)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Book Review: The Book of Joby

I haven't done one of these in ages. I am still reading at least one book a week, it's just that they don't often grab me enough to tell you about them!

Here's an exception: The Book of Joby by Mark J Ferrari

I read a lot, and it's a general potluck. I wander into the library after work, browse the shelves for a few minutes, pick up a couple of books and walk out. My local library is a bit limited in English fiction, and heavily biased towards Australian authors (which is ok, I just wish it was more balanced) so my choices are not extensive. I choose a book by look and feel if I don't know the author...

Last week I picked up a hefty tome with an unassuming cover and an intriguing title: "The Book of Joby". The blurb told me it was going to be about God and the Devil and the fate of creation, with a bit of Arthurian legend thrown in. Awesome.

The story revolves around a 9 year old boy, Joby, who at the start of the story is gloriously obsessed with being a knight in the service of the King Arthur of his favourite book. I was a dreamer as a child and I can totally relate to Joby's state of mind. This is a child every parent hopes to be blessed with - he's almost too good to be true. Then of course his trials begin...

...and continue for nearly 3 decades of misery and disappointment.

I won't spoil the story but it never gets so dark that you want to walk away. Characters get depressed and angry but not to the point where you don't like them any more. The author spends a lot of time describing magic and love and beauty, always just out of reach and always a beacon in the depths of despair. During the first couple of chapters I was grumbling at the sheer plethora of adjectives - the author wouldn't use one if two were available - but then I got sucked into the rhythm of the prose and stopped noticing. And couldn't put the book down until I finished it - at 1am!

I'm not sure how well the story would work if you didn't have a grounding in Christianity (old and new testament) and Arthurian legend. I think you'd miss out on a lot if you'd never heard of Lancelot or Lucifer. But if you do, then you'll enjoy having them weaved together.

It's a magical book. When I finished it I wanted to start it all over again!

PS. There are no dragons. There is a dragon on the cover but no dragons in the story. Oh well, you can't have everything!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Happy Easter

Yes, I know I'm late ;-).

I hope you got lots of chocolate... Milord didn't actually get me any chocolate eggs this year but I got him a Ferrero Rocher egg which turned out to be the exact stuff they coat the little balls in - nutty choccy heaven! He let me share it ;-). I also got us a big bag of tiny solid eggs which are now in a bowl on the lounge table tempting us.

It was a nice long weekend. There was a chance that I'd have to work (deadlines ugh) but in the end things weren't that critical and the developers of my section got time off.

Milord's birthday fell on Friday - nice when they throw a holiday on your birthday innit?! I gave him an Xbox 360 Elite which he'd been wanting for a long time. Anyone who knows me has just gone "You gave him what?! You hate gaming in your living room!". In the past I have been totally obstructive when boyfriends have wanted to buy gaming consoles, but times change! Milord doesn't play all that often, and when he does he is happy to wear headphones and I can read a book on the couch next to him... plus with the impending shutdown of our social life due to finances and babies I can see the Xbox being used a lot. Milord can game for hours but doesn't like to read as much as I do, and actually laughed when I told him I'm going to get back into jigsaws this winter. A boy's living-room hobby had to be found.

On Friday afternoon we met friends in a pub beer garden - although it's getting chilly now the days are still nice. I had a several soft drinks over 5 hours as the company got tipsy before dragging Milord home and out for a quiet local dinner. I've discovered I can handle 5 hours of being the sober one before it all gets too boring...

Saturday he played golf and I lazed around the house (bed, bath, couch) unable to put my book down. I did do several loads of laundry, cleaned the bathroom and whizzed around with the vaccum cleaner, so I wasn't a total blob!

On Sunday we visited friends for a bbq... for 5 hours. And on Monday we visited another friend for lunch... for 5 hours. I am now quite over being designated driver for a few weeks I hope! Luckily my bloke doesn't take it for granted and has been very appreciative.

This weekend I ended up explaining the egg and bunny thing (pagan spring fertility festival) and why Jewish folk eat lamb and unleavened bread over Easter (passover) to Milord. This stuff just sticks in my head - call me Saffapedia! We even ended up in a serious discussion of christenings and faith teaching for our kids... for an unbeliever Milord is surprisingly keen to christen our kids in a church and send them to Sunday school. I think deep deep deep down he'd perhaps quite like to find his faith again. I don't have a problem with that.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Preggy Update

Week: 18 and 2 days

I saw my obstetrician this week for my 4-weekly checkup. BP good. Uterus size good (17cm). Baby heartrate good (how much do I love hearing that galloping sound?!).

My bump is 1cm bigger at 90cm and although my weight is still steady at 71kg I'm readying myself for the gain. According to the stats I can expect to put on half a kilo per week from now until the end - so I should get to around 83kg. Wow.

By the way - none of my doctors have weighed me during my pregnancy, or even asked me about it (except during my 12 week blood tests because my BMI would affect the results... oh and I'm taller than I thought - they measured me at 168cm tall). It seems that these days they don't measure weight during pregnancy (unless you're obese).

Of course it's still all that pregnant women and mums talk about.
"I put on x, and lost it after 6 months"
"I put on x and that breastfeeding=weightloss thing is a lie!"
"I put on x and never lost it"

IrishMILF's latest update was that she had "gained 20% of her [pre-preggy] body weight!"

I hate being told "you are lucky, you can eat as much as you like at this time, and put on loads of weight without guilt!"
No. No I can't. Because it still has to come off again at the end!

The same to the people who say "Why are you still going to the gym? You're allowed to get blobby now."
Thanks.

I have yet to embrace my burgeoning belleh. I'm not big enough to look pregnant, I just look big in the middle... Like a co-worker said last week "I'm glad you told us you're pregnant, otherwise I'd just think you were getting fat!"

Argh.


What I wear makes a big difference to how I look. I normally work in smart trousers and a collared shirt. On casual Fridays I might wear something softly clinging or floaty. These pictures are from earlier this week. As I ran out of the door in the morning I realised it was chilly so I grabbed a light jacket.


On the way home it was even chiller so I tried to do the jacket up... um, fail. It's a slimline jacket usually - and now packed away in the "revisit in 6 months" box!


And this shot is from the previous week's casual Friday. I'm not entirely convinced about floaty tops yet!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

First Anniversary

On Saturday Milord and I celebrated our first anniversary! Wow, what a year it has been...

We have a money tin that Milord puts dollar coins into when he empties his pockets. He been putting coins in there for about 6 months and it was just about full - we opened it and counted up $420! Woohoo, enough for a night out of the city and a good meal!


We drove to the Blue Mountains on Saturday afternoon after a lazy morning ("Blue Mountains" is a misleadingly romantic name for what is really hills covered in gum trees, but apparently the haze given off by the gums appears blue from a distance). It's a hilly rural area and a good place for a short break from the city. We found ourselves a cozy cabin with a big spa bath and wood burning stove thingy. It was a cold wet day so we started a fire and curled up with our books, shared a bath, watched a dvd and went down the road for a very good meal. I even had a couple of glasses of wine - very decadent!

On Sunday we went to Mt Tomah Botanical Gardens - a beautifully laid out collection of temperate region plants from all over the world (lots of South African proteas!). Down the hill they also have a piece of cool rainforest - lots of moss and ferns.


It was pretty damp and cool although not raining and I was glad I had several layers!


After some awesomely fresh scones in the garden's cafe we did a slow scenic drive home, getting back shortly before sunset. The clocks switched from daylight saving time on Saturday night, and now it is dark by 6pm. Wah!



Thursday, 2 April 2009

Couple Meme

I have another meme/award thingy tucked away in draft - I should dig it out and finish it! In the meantime here's a quickie:

Couples Meme

What are your middle names?
Mine is Jill, his is David.

How long have you been together?
We got serious 3.5 years ago.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Dating? Well, I'd known Milord for 5 months when I flew into Sydney for our first kiss...

Who asked whom out?
I'm going to say me, as I was the one to initiate contact.

How old are each of you?
Me: mid 30s. Him: late 40s.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
We each have a sister, but his is in the same country so we see her more often!

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Renovations! ...and money, which is sort of related.

Did you go to the same school?
Hardly. Different continents...

Are you from the same home town?
See above.

Who is smarter?
Ooooh. I know he'd say me, but seriously I couldn't be with someone less intelligent than me. He has an engineering degree and I have an IT diploma...

Who is the most sensitive?
He is, oddly enough.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Thai restaurants.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
South Africa from Oz.

Who has the craziest exes?
He has a very toxic ex wife who sadly is still in his friend's circle.

Who has the worst temper?
I probably lose mine more often and recover swiftly, but when he loses his it's an EXPLOSION followed by a week of grump.

Who does the cooking?
Me generally. Because I do the shopping. Because I think of the menu ahead of time. Because I'm a girl!

Who is the neat-freak?
We're both pretty tidy, thank heavens. Cleaning, not so much!

Who is more stubborn?
Him, totally.

Who hogs the bed?
If the bed is smaller than huge, he's in the middle of it!

Who wakes up earlier?
Weekends: Pre-pregnancy, me. Now, don't even think about waking me if you don't have to!

Where was your first date?
Sydney... probably a cafe for brunch the day I flew in.

Who is more jealous?
Him! But only about my past...

How long did it take to get serious?
Maybe a month - by which time we were in contact every day.

Who eats more?
Him. Even now that I'm not dieting.

Who does the laundry?
Me. He does the dishes. I clean the bathroom and he vacuums the house. It works out well!

Who’s better with the computer?
He's better at the techie stuff but I kill computers less! As a programmer I'm all about stability... he's not allowed to use my laptop.

Who drives when you are together?
Him. Unless he's drinking then lucky lucky preggy me.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Friends

A few weeks ago I flew to South Africa for an old friend's wedding. I wasn't there for long, but I still managed to spend some quality time with the Bride and with a couple of other good girl friends who flew in from all over the world.

...times like that really bring home to me just how alone I am over here. Oh sure, I have "friends" - a couple that I can open up to, and plenty I could go for lunch with. But no one with whom I have that great connection which is so very rare.

*sigh*

It's ok, I remember it took me a number of years in the UK to make "real" friendships (and even some of those have not survived the distance since I left). Finding a good friend is as difficult as finding a keeper bloke. You need chemistry, common interests, similar humour and plenty of tolerance for each other's faults. After spending a day together you should look forward to seeing them again and have plenty left to talk about.

Oddly enough, the closest I have come to finding a friend like that here is with one of Milord's old friends. She's my age with two young children, married to a guy in his mid 50s and living in the back of beyond in a ramshackle wooden house with horses, chickens, ducks and a new calf being hand-reared. Her husband spends 4 nights a week in Sydney leaving her alone with just the kids.

In spite of these differences in lifestyle I sense a real connection with (need an alias... how 'bout "RuralChick"?). I love her child-rearing technique and if my kids turn out like hers I'll be thrilled. She is generous and serene, loves a drink and cooks superb simple meals.

She is also very good friends with Milord's toxic ex - so there are some topics that we just don't talk about!

Last weekend Milord was away, so I contacted RuralChick and invited myself over. I got there about lunchtime on Saturday bearing champagne as is traditional (I can watch, right?) and was introduced to the very cute baby bull during his lunch bottle. She whipped up a couscous salad with cheese and fresh bread and we chatted and flipped through the weekend papers for a bit, while her kids watched a bit of TV as a weekend treat. The plan was to visit some other couples with kids for dinner - but her little girl was suddenly violently ill so we cancelled that plan and rang RuralChick's hubby to bring home dinner ingredients!

I had a lovely quiet evening in with them. I nursed my single weekly glass of wine over 3 hours of conversation before ambling off to bed in their self contained guest cottage in the garden.

After a lazy start on Sunday I rejoined the family for a very late breakfast. RuralChick had a rummage around for maternity clothes for me, but as she's skinny with no bottom not much fitted! I headed home in the early afternoon - I'd had a great weekend, I didn't get irritated with RuralChick and I am looking forward to spending time with her again...

...I wonder if she feels the same way about me?