PAIL September Monthly theme post: Write to life.

This post is part of the PAIL monthly theme posts (Pregnancy After Infertility and Loss), and September’s theme is Why we blog. . Other posts from the members are here.

I started blogging in February of 2011 as a space to record my journey as we tried to conceive. I’d spent so long trying not to get pregnant, it was just weird to be on the other bus!!! I needed somewhere to clarify how I felt about it, and I’ve always done that with writing. Private Blogging was just an evolution of my existing emotional processes.

Six months later, I began thinking we may have a problem, reading infertility blogs, trying to get my head around what was next. On my fortieth birthday I was sitting in an IVF clinic waiting room with a wad of Internet research and an armload of questions, PCOS for me and a couple of low sperm counts for hub-in-boots. The thoughts had to go somewhere.

Trying to conceive is inherently funny. IVF is inherently funny. The things you have to do to help science make a baby are madness. Absolute madness! Counting follicles like you have an egg carton in a supermarket, injecting yourself, wandering around secretly carrying ovaries that look and feel like bunches of lead grapes. Jerking off in strange rooms with bar fridges and porn…it ain’t your normal journey.

I also felt writing about it here would allow hub-in-boots to see my emotional journey in his own space and time, if and when he wanted to read about it, not by my leaning on him too heavily (at least at first). I thought it would help us communicate, with more space and reflection. I think it definitely achieved this, and our journey through IVF and bedrest were, I’m sure, much more harmonious and mutually supportive as a result.

Plus, once you’re out about IVF, you can get tired answering the same questions, talking about it all the time. I blogged so I didn’t have to spend my life talking about it. Everyone knew where we were at, so we could start conversations from a place of shared info. People didnt have to ask me how it worked, I wrote it out for them.

The decision to be “out” about IVF was a very personal and practical one. I had depression years ago. I suffered very very badly, before I knew what was happening. I remember thinking if I really knew what it was, what it felt like before hand, I would’ve recognised it, and got help sooner. When I got better. I swore I would be out about depression. I would always tell people, I would talk about it, if it was relevant. Just in case it helped just one person.

And so it was with infertility. Another taboo, another outspoken Jo. Another hope to suffer with a purpose. And with humour.

You would think that pregnancy would end an infertility blog, but the fact is, a pregnant “infertile” feels differently about being pregnant. It is a whole other category of complicated. Add that to pregnant infertile, with a sub chorionic haematoma of grave proportions with a complicated pregnancy on extended bedrest, hell yeah I still needed to blog. I was living in liminal space, on the threshold of everything, but nowhere.

I needed to blog my child into existence.
I needed to write him alive.
I needed to distance myself from the spectre of loss that sat beside us, waiting for tragedy.

And when jman arrived, I needed to blog myself into being a Mum. I needed to blog his first days, as a gift to him. I needed to blog away that spectre of loss that haunted us, to blog away the pregnancy trauma, (because waiting and hoping 24/7 it is traumatic).

As jman hit nine weeks old, my nephew, 22, committed suicide. No warning. Simon, originally himself a very premi baby with months in NICU, would have been twenty three on Monday.

I felt like the spectre of loss had just moved somewhere else in the family, that it was still here. I felt that our making it through somehow contributed to Simon not making it. I understand this is completely illogical, nonsense, but emotions can speak other truths from logic. My anxiety skyrocketed. I had nightmares about the ‘inquest at jensen’s death’ if he slept through more than a couple of hours. I dreamt of my nephew. I dreamt of losing Jensen, as in physically leaving him places. I didn’t always directly write about these things, but I tried to blog myself to a more positive mindset, to record each day, to see how real and alive he was, and to see how safe we were, even as my mummy radar shifted into overdrive.

On a more prosaic and joyful level, I wanted to share the joy of this special boy who we’d worked so hard for. I wanted to celebrate his life, with both those who loved us in real life, and those who had joined us in our journey, online, and rooted for us, and cheered for us, and cried for us, and helped to bring him here. They all pushed us another step forward.

It does annoy me a bit, people that condemn Internet over sharing about their children. I get the safety thing, I get it, but what they miss is how enmeshed you are at first as a mum, how their life is your life for a long time. I will end this blog at some point, when I feel it is taking from jman rather than recording for him. I’m his mother, I trust I can make that judgement, like I make a thousand other judgements for him, every single day.

I thought about transitioning to another space when he arrived, but it is all part of our journey. It is all part of the one continuum, and I don’t care who knows the gory details. I don’t care if it doesn’t have tidy easy to tag cookie cutter blogger edges. It is our life. It is messy and multi faceted. It is worth sharing.

Right now, with a fourteen month old tear away on the loose, blogging is sometimes another nagging chore, but mostly it is a perspective changer. It can be hard when you’re picking up books for the sixteenth time that day, have just been hit in the head with a yoghurt covered spoon, and you’re wondering why you bothered with two degrees and whatever happened to your brain? Because I might blog about them, because I have a problem with perfectionism and at times negative thinking, blogging, particularly humourous posts, make me stop and reframe the moment, from “what a disaster!” to”what a hilarious post!”.

When I travelled solo, or dated idiots, I’d always think how Would I Tell the Story; as I got stuck in carriage full of smugglers having lost my passport on a Bulgarian night train on the border, faced with an Alsatian with bad breath, the thought of the dinner party story it would become made me stop and reassess, and not panic. And so it is with the parenting trip. I think in stories, in words, in connecting my story with other stories. I always have. A blog is simply a logical next step.

The value in blogging after, after infertility and insurmountable odds, is firstly to show it is possible to those still in the trenches. Secondly it is to celebrate the joy of a little person becoming a person, growing, developing, and thirdly to acknowledge that how I parent requires everything I have been until now, and more.

Lastly, and this is something I only thought about after I first drafted this post, when you become a mum it is a time of personal upheaval. You lose who you were. You lose your edges. You get to be someone else, but eventually I think you need to try and recognise which parts of yourself are lost, and to an extent mourn them, which parts are new and worth celebrating, and integrate those disparate selves into a whole. This, I think, is how you avoid becoming “just a mum”, how you avoid resenting your partner or child through the upheaval, how you find a way to parent well, and how you find a new normal by selecting from the smorgasbord of selves to create a new plate of you. I’m laying out my dishes in these pages, I’m looking at what is there, I’m thinking which parts I want a second helping of. That’s why I blog.

The Monday snapshot : hard ass year

That was one hard ass year.

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You can see jman is stressed out by it.

2012 contained several of the worst days of my life, hanging in time, frozen moments of some of the hardest yards I’ve ever done as a person. Others, with the tragic loss of Simon, were the worst that our extended family have experienced. Words are just pointless in the face of that. And it wasn’t just these moments, but the long hard slog that went with them, the sheer stubborn force of will it sometimes took to just hang on, day after day of feeling like a well that’s been drained, wondering just what is going to fill us up again….

I spent almost half of 2012 inside these four walls. Confined. Waiting. Hoping. Fearing. Balanced on a knife’s edge.

And of course, our boy has helped to refill our wells, with a whole lot of new stuff. He was worth the wait. Understatement of the millennium.

Thank you to those that helped us through. .

2012 also contained some of the best days of my life. His birth, of course. And teaching our son to make stupid noises & blow raspberries. Sometimes, blowing raspberries at life is the best course of action.

May you have a wonderful 2013, break resolutions by January 2nd, and may your 2013 dreams come true.

Take it away, jman.

Monday snapshot: Today’s the day

Today’s the day that jman’s life started, in a little petri dish, on the first floor of a nondescript building in Greenwich. Today’s the day, a year ago, that the scientists rang me to say we had 12 eggs fertilised in our second ivf attempt (three embryos made it to day 5).

It is a strange feeling to look at him, laying here attacking his owl on his playmat, and think that a year ago today he was one cell, thinking of becoming two, thinking of being a hatching blastocyst in 5 days, thinking of joining me on the 30th. After all we’ve been through. It’s amazing.

I should have taken his photo, in that petri dish on the camera on day 5, but for the Monday snapshot you can make do with these:

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Ding dong, the witch is dead

An interruption to our invention broadcasts: This week I had my six week check up with Dr North Korea.

For those not in the loop, he won the title of Dr North Korea because of the dictatorial style he adopts in patient care, and the lack of involvement one gets in ones own health decisions. It wasn’t pleasant being his patient. He has all the empathy of a firing squad. It isn’t his fault, he’s a little aspergers-y, I’m thinking.

Anyhoo, my vijay jay passed the test, we’re healing nicely, thanks very much. Tick.

Let’s now reassess all the things he said would happen:

1. We’ll have an enormous baby on the 90th percentile

J-man was on the 25th percentile. He’s a little tacker. Good work with the ultrasound wand you bloody dill.

2. We’ll be separated at birth while he goes into days of special care for low blood sugar

He popped into special care for five minutes at a time, and had a few heel prick tests, and by 1 day old he was sorted.

3. I would have a caesarean

Natural birth, gas.

4. If I had a natural labour, my blood clot would rupture and the baby would die (his actual words)

The 60ml haematoma was re absorbed by 27 weeks, I had a natural labour, and bub was pretty happy actually

5. I’d have an induction

Nope. I told j-man when it was ok to come. He came 4 days later. Two and half weeks before the induction.

6. If I tried natural labour, I’d end up in an emergency c section

Or have a record 3.5 hr natural labour. With a bit of gas. And the jbaby arrived before the obstetrician did. Ha. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

7. We were at huge risk of pre term labour

He came at full term.

8. My gestational diabetes spelled disaster for us both, I’d be on insulin, blah blah blah

I saw dieticians and endocrinologists, I took oral meds, I watched my diet like a freakin hawk. I put on about 2.5 kg in pregnancy. I’m now 6kg below my pre pregnancy weight. Thinner than I’ve been for years. After 15 weeks bed rest.The bub was small. I rock.

9.I would never be able to breast feed (his actual words) because of gestational diabetes, PCOS and age

Ummm….my little Buddha of a boy gutses in the milk like a bloke with a yard glass of beer at his 21st. Breast milk. So ridiculously plentiful he splutters in it. And whilst sometimes I’d give anything to sleep through another freakin feed, my little butter ball is doing good on my gear. Never breastfeed my ass.

He’s lucky that doctor, that the best way to motivate me is to tell me I can’t do something, and don’t underestimate the effect of bloody minded stubbornness on us making it.

Then he had the audacity of suggesting I get pregnant by Xmas for bub number 2. This year!!!!I’ve been locked up since January, then breastfeeding & coping with a newborn since August 2, is he insane?????

What a dickhead. Well in the words of the wizard of oz, ding dong the witch is dead. We walked out of those doors and the sun seemed a little bit brighter. No more Dr North Korea. No more stupid communication style, rushed visits, scrambled responses. I am glad we stuck with him for the pregnancy, because Gumby aka Jensen made it. Against all odds. But no more.

Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead.

Mother of invention #2: horizontal-o-meter

New to the home shopping network this week for that baby in your life: the horizontal-o-meter.

Babies, Worried you’ll miss out on something happening? Concerned those new parents of yours are just doing it too damn easy? Now the horizontal-o-meter will solve all your first year dilemmas. Just ask satisfied customer, Jensen Angus.

“I was worried the folks were really handling the changes well. That’s when I signed up for the horizontal-o-meter. Now, whenever I move from arms to bassinet, my horizontal o meter goes off and I spring into alertness. No chance of unwanted sleep here. ”

The deluxe model comes with a parent sensor. “I’m so glad I got the deluxe one” Jensen adds. “now, I can feign deep sleep, but as soon as mum or dad are horizontal BANG! I hit them like a landmine. It’s so easy to use, it’s child’s play. I can relax in the knowledge that I won’t miss out on happenings around the house, securing me a few more dances to the rolling stones with dad, or extra feeds from mum. I don’t know how babies ever survived without the horizontal-o-meter.”

Stay tuned for new product developments in this range such as the “just opened a bottle of wine meter”, “almost got to pretend they had a life meter” for sneaky nights out, and the “just sat down to dinner meter”.

The horizontal o meter is yours for just 12 easy payments of your life savings, plus postage and handling, cause lets face it they are never gonna get out to an actual store again. Buy one and get free installation in that baby in your life.

Gumby’s Birth story Chapter 1: Olympics and horses

Settle in kids. There’s a story to tell. TMI warnings will be given. Laughter will be had. A baby will be born.

Here’s the LAST BUMP PIC EVER.

30 July, 2 days before arrival. Pre labour started two days later.

Since last Thursday, a week ago today, (ok update so now over two weeks ago) a lot has happened. And in my quiet moments, I go over and over and over the birth in my head. Hopefully putting the story down here will give me and my brain more time to rest….so here goes! There is a story that will need to be pieced together, because my birth story is different to hub-in-boots or captain communication’s version of the story. We were all there. We all played our part…it’s just that mine involved more stitches and gas and less photography.

So here goes.

Chapter 1: Pre labour day 1

Well last week on Monday 30th, I was 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant. It was time, I decided. I did not want to wait for induction, because I did not want to be the one dictating when this baby would come. I went for a long walk to our local deli, stopped for coffee with two nonnas who were there (relatives of friends), and all the way there went a bit berko on the pelvic floor exercises  as I walked because, as usual, I hadn’t really been practising them as much as I should.

A few days earlier, I had gone on a mental online shop, and FILLED the cupboards full of food, stockpiled us up so we could live for weeks without shopping, filled the freezer with meats and meals. I spent about $300. I worked all week, getting bills for the next few weeks paid, our tax returns  done,  getting paperwork together for the paid parental leave. I visited my work, said hi to a few people, did a maternity leave form, visited the boxing crew on Saturday for breakfast. Looking back on it, all week I was putting full stops on all the sentences in our lives.

After the walk, my groin muscles were aching. I’d kind of overdone it, and they kind of continued like that for two days. Stupid Kegel exercises. I sat on the couch and thought of the things I still had to do before the baby came, and I listened to the calm birth meditation and a playlist I’d done up for the birth. I decided in my head that the jobs that were left to be done were not so important. It would be okay if Gumby arrived at any time. We were ready.

Tuesday the 31st I met with Captain Complicated Pregnancy for lunch. We went back to the deli and talked for a long time, but I felt kind of out of sorts, and weird about heading out. Despite wanting to exercise, I couldn’t bring myself to do anything. I almost rang her and apologised after lunch I felt like I was such odd company. I was agitated, but incredibly lazy at the same time, and really drawn to home. The weather was kind of crappy. When we got home I totally crapped out on the couch, but eventually muscled up the energy to turn the salmon I’d bought into a hot hot thai salmon curry that was really delicious. Hub-in-boots was stoked when he got home from training.

As hub-in-boots tucked into his meal, the usual evening Braxton hicks continued their merry work, but there was like an overlay to them sometimes, just a weird “what was that?”. I thought it was strange. You could have called it mild pain. I didn’t say anything. The night of Olympic broadcast was just unfurling when something in my head was really compelling, saying “whatever this is, you should rest”. So I called it quits quite early at around 9.

At 4am when I could not sleep. I lay there for a while, feeling the Braxton hicks do their tighten, release, tighten release, and I suddenly had a strong visual of a roller coaster. I could feel them rise to a peak, and then go up, over and down. They started low low low in my abdomen, rose up with the tightening towards my navel then arced over my hips and into my back. This was new. This happened three or four times before I started to pay attention. I reached for my iphone, grabbed the contraction timer on my Sprout Pregnancy app (so sad, techno girl), and started to time them. It was exciting being the only person in the world that knew this was going on, right at that moment.

They were regular, about 10-12 minutes apart, at first lasting 30 seconds and by dawn reaching 45 seconds. They were minor, but they were different. I lay in bed smiling. I was pretty excited. Would I tell Hub-in-boots to stay home from work? I didn’t know. Wait til dawn. Suck it and see.

At about 6:30, hub-in-boots rolled over, exhausted, and said “Oh god I’d give anything not to go into work today.”

“Well now that you mention it, babe, there’s been something going on. I felt it a little last night, but I’ve actually been timing something since 4am. They are not that painful, but they are different, and they are regular. I am not sure what to tell you about work”.

His face went pale, and his mouth opened and he looked across the pillow at me. “REALLY? Oh!”. He looked confused, and a little alarmed.

“Yep really. But I’m not saying they’re something yet. They just might become something later. But this stuff can rumble on for days. I wouldn’t worry too much.”

He was a bit surprised, and went for his shower, really unsure what to do. By about 7:15 I called it, and he came to the same decision, and said given work was only 30 minutes away, and given this may go on for days, he’d go in. But I was to keep him posted all day.

I dashed from bed to the loo with a bit of an upset stomach. Calmbirth course sign of impending labour number 2. Hmmmm. But it could be anything. Back to bed, be alert, but not alarmed. Keep Calm and Carry On.

15 minutes later at 8am hub-in-boots was back. He’d lost his car immobiliser thingy, so he couldn’t take his car to work. He was in a bit of a flap. I felt like I’d thrown him for six! I sent him off in my car, despite his protests, because hell, if they were contractions, I was not getting behind the wheel anyway.

I sent my sister, the other half of the birth team, a facebook message telling her she was officially on standby.

 

 

The day rumbled along, and after messaging captain complicated (S) and getting a lecture from her about doing nothing, and asking for what I paid for, by 11 I decided a call to Dr North Korea’s midwife was a good plan.

“Oh my god! I feel like your mother! That’s great! I’m so excited!”. The midwife was so enthusiastic after all we’d been through. She told me these things could rumble on for days, just take it easy, get loads of rest, but that it would be doing something. Getting my cervix ready for labour, thinning it out. Whatever it was, pre labour, early labour, false labour, whatever, it was bringing us closer. So I felt perfectly justified watching hours and hours of the Olympics.

The jokes rolled in about me having a baby on the horses’ birthday, August 1.

We’d done a meditation on early labour in the calmbirth course, about thinking you were in labour, and thinking through what you’d do. I got up and made as snack, just like I did in the meditation: banana and peanut butter on sourdough toast. Later on, a fruit smoothie. Just like on the calmbirth visualisation, I got up and had a long relaxing shower. I washed up, tidied the kitchen I did a load of washing and hung it on the balcony, I watered the plants. I added a few things to my hospital bag, and checked the baby’s coming home bag was in order. I was glad I’d made a mad dash to Target the previous week. I had a sudden feeling we didn’t have enough smaller baby clothes, and I bought about 4 suits in two different sizes (0000 and 000) and just hung them away with the receipt as a just in case. I felt like I was being stupid at the time, because we had heaps of clothes, and didn’t really need to be spending more, but I couldn’t help it.

At 5pm, the thing overlaying the Braxton hicks was a bit more “hello look at me”. The day’s contractions had regular patches and long patches of very irregular timing. 8 minutes 8 minutes, then 12 minutes 10 minutes 11 minutes, 7 minutes 8 minutes, always lasting about 45 seconds to a minute long.  It was all pretty interesting. We stayed home, had dinner, and went to bed pretty early.

At 2am Thursday morning, they woke me again. Now I think they’d qualify as painful. After two in a row at 4 minutes apart, I was a bit nervous so I rang the maternity ward. As I said in my brief post, I got a nasty midwife who did the dismissive “oh first time mother” routine, and told me to take two Panadeine and call in an hour. “No waters breaking, no show?” No. I was furious at how dismissive she was. (Cue the cranky post natal letter to the hospital!)

 After two hours of watching more tele on the couch, at 4am I called again, and the nicer midwife agreed something was happening, but probably nothing serious just yet. Hub-in-boots stumbled out bleary eyed. I told him I’d rung the hospital but there was not much change. Just get some sleep. One of us needed to be firing on all cylinders! I had no intention of going in to the hospital, I just wanted them on standby.

At 5 am I went to the loo, and woo hoo’d loudly, ran into the bedroom and demanded a hi-five from a deeply sleeping hub-in-boots. Stewie, we have a ( minor) show. And unlike the last time this happened, this was not something that said “Your pregnancy is stuffed”. Instead, this said “Gumby is on his way.” Hub-in-boots indeed hi-fived me, and went back to sleep immediately. I felt the auto- panic rise seeing even the tiny amount of blood, but I knew it was ok.

I crawled back into bed at around 5:30, and slept off and on til 8 or 8:30.  Contraction wise, nothing had changed. If anything, they were shorter and less regular.

At about 9am I rang the midwife at the Obby again. “still going, and had a show” I reported. I was concerned there was a time after losing the mucous plug that they would consider inducing for the baby’s safety or something. I wasn’t sure how it worked.

“I reckon you’ll have a weekender” she said. “These things can rumble on for days, especially with a first.” I madly added up the days. It was only Thursday. God another 48 hours of this? How do you stand the WAITING? “ I don’t think we’ll still be talking about this Monday. Just get heaps of rest. Of course, if it changes, don’t ignore it. Sometimes, just sometimes, I can hang up the phone from a call like this and things change in a moment and get cracking.”

She said it.

We pfaffed around laying in bed for another half an hour. I rang the mums and briefed them on what had been happening for the past day. My mum was excited but upset, because she was too sick with a virus to be anywhere near us anytime soon. Stewie’s mum was excited, first grandchild on his way.

Stay tuned for more adventures of maybe baby and hub-in-boots in pre labour: chapter 2 – keeping it real.

Chapter 2: Pre labour day 2: Keeping it real

Chapter 3: Laughing my ass off

Chapter 4: This is serious, Mum

Chapter 5: Gumby becomes  the J-man: Jensen Angus Eckermann

Chapter 6: My plan versus reality & did Calmbirth help

Don’t blame it on sunshine

36 weeks! Woot!

We had another busy weekend, another fancy dress (can you believe it? That’s FOUR, Gumby!), another brother hitting a big milestone (my bro Paul is SIXTY!).

The fancy dress was sixties kitsch so I rolled out a recycled Eurovision outfit and rocked on up to the bowlo in Balmain. I even had a dance, and I have to say “blame it on the boogie” is a little challenging in high heeled boots on a packed dance floor at 36 weeks.

I had a weird experience seeing a “ghost from Christmas past” at the party… Someone I went out with a few times after my 4 years with friend & ex partner Nath, and before Stew. It turns out he has worked with & is a mate of my bro’s girlfriend, which is why he was at her 50th. I thought about rumbling up and saying hi, after all this is the guy that got me onto two great bands : Arcade Fire, and The Postal Service. He had great taste in music. But it was that stage in the night when everyone was half cut, and having an eight month pregnant woman wander up and go “hey! I know you! We dated!” could really wig a guy out! Funny, but not nice. 🙂

Hub-in-boots et al loaded up on drinks so it was a loud drunken carload I took home, mentally picturing the absolute chaos that would occur at the hospital if I went into labour right here right now: 4 adults, dressed in 60’s gear, 3 of them sizzled, one in labour. Ugly! I had fun out, but it is an odd experience being the stone cold sober one.

Sunday was big bro’s birthday lunch, and 10 of us went out to the Austrian schnitzelhaus up the road. Gumby was in eatin mode, so I ate LOADS. A schnitty as big as my head. And followed it up with home made schnitty and veg for tea! And STILL my blood sugar behaves!

Yesterday we went to the ob. Gumby has been hurting me off and on, so I knew he’d had a significant position shift. He is still head down, but now is once again really low and fully engaged. So much so, his little head is squished on one side; you can SEE IT on the ultrasound screen! So the measurements of 3.1kg or 6lb14 are likely to be a bit understated, as his head can’t be measured now. His heart rate is good, blood flow is good, there isn’t too much fluid (which can happen if the diabetes affects him).

The plan now is induce me at 39 weeks, assuming his position is still good at 38, and assuming my cervix has started to ‘blame it on the boogie’ and thin out. I’ve only got a 1:10 chance of spontaneous labour with a first bub prior to 40 weeks, and the ob reckons only 50% have gone by 40+3.

However the risk of stillbirth goes up at full term at my age, so we won’t be overcooking this bun, as much as I’d prefer Gumby to decide on the timing. I also know I only have a 50% chance of natural labour at my age, and induction lowers that & increases likelihood of further interventions. All a bummer, but as I’ve explained to the doctors before, I’m a person, not a statistic. I’m not an average! I’m an individual! Stats don’t describe the individual experience. So I’m hoping we at least get the chance to have a go at labour, and I’ll just wear whatever comes after that with good grace.

So the 38 week visit is the big decision making one, however we see the doctor weekly now. Gumby was kicking up a storm last night, I’ve been awake since 3am making listd and listening to tunes, so granted myself a sleep in after hub-in-boots left for work.

Hub-in-boots is looking a little nervous these days… He’d much prefer a known date because he doesn’t want that little shake awake saying “stew… I think….”. Maybe because the last time we did that I was bleeding to death & it was the car trip from hell? I’ve tried to explain to him it’s hardly likely to be a rush rush rush panic situation.

I seem to be over my horrible flat anxious hyper vigilant patch… Sure I’ve had some low energy days but I don’t feel as thoroughly crappy as I did at 33-34 weeks. I had a change in strategy last week, and just completely lowered my expectations of what i could achieve each day. This really seemed to kick it, and gave me the downtime to bounce back. I am back to hour long hilly walks 4-5 times a week, I’ve got through a few jobs on the list, I’m back to cooking, and feeling pretty good. My blood sugar has dropped significantly, so the tight control on diet isn’t quite as dictatorial, I do crazy stuff like having yoghurt and fruit STRAIGHT AFTER tea, instead of waiting two hours sometimes. We really do madness well around here.

I checked in with a specialist (i’ve met with once before) yesterday to be sure, and he’s totally comfortable with me just touching base regularly after gumby’s arrival to monitor my mood, given my prior history with depression. He thought a bit of a delayed reaction to what we’ve been through, and a bit of pre birth anxiety was pretty damn reasonable, as reactions go. We talked a little about the loss of identity that goes with this turf, especially for women these days… But that’s something I’m still slowly mulling over. It’s quite a different thing having two semesters off work WITH a baby to having three or four semesters off, almost half pre baby. It makes me feel more disconnected now, already, and was totally not in the game plan!

The ob and i have also established, since I’ve ignored my doctor and gone back to the glory that is having long hot baths (after 6 months I’m sick of taking dumb orders.. I’m having a bath!!!), that I have an amazing degree of abdominal separation. I really don’t know what this is ( I can guess ), but by jingo by crikey I can demonstrate it! When I go to sit up, I go from making my own archipelago in the bath ( its quite disappointing how much water WON’T FIT with me and my bump), there is this amazing mountain range that rises up from my belly; like a statisticians wet dream I can make an instant visual of a 3d bell curve! With my stomach! Apparently, this new party trick is not to be celebrated, and Dr North Korea has told me, instead, to roll onto my side or risk worsening the separation. Which is a shame, because it was hilarious, and hub in boots would clap his hands and cry “Again! Again!” whilst tears of laughter ran down his cheeks. Mind you, he finds me getting out of a chair or car hilarious, and loves to recreate “what did Jojo do today” by following the trail of dropped and or broken objects around the house. He finds my awkwardness very entertaining.

So now we wait! We’re in 21 days and under territory, I’m weirdly ready for labour but not ready to meet (& deal with) gumby! I’ll be putting more work into the labour ward playlist this week, as I’m pretty sure tunes will help. Suggestions welcome.. I figure we need the calming inward focused breathing one, and the have a laugh relieve the tension one, which surely needs to be kicked off with salt n pepa’s “push it” and a bit of rage against the machine….

After ivf and this pregnancy, we sure can’t hold the sunshine or the moonlight to account, and I doubt the “good times” are responsible…but I’m quite happy to blame it on the boogie….

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