i'm pregnant and it's going to be a rollercoaster

you are an alien. I’m sure of it. And the obstetrician was right when he told us what you’d do when next we saw you: you performed on cue and waved at us. Double-handed! December 10, 2008

Hello Speccie,

good news – you are all in the normal and good range of the NT-scan results and the chances of you having one of those chromosomal abnormalities is pretty low. Your dad and I are pleased. Good for you. Still have questions and its all a bit weird to even think of, but reassuring I guess.

Otherwise – you seemed not to want to co-operate with us in getting the scan. I asked the ultrasound lady about the risks of ultrasound, well, actually I told her that we wanted to keep it to a minimum and she was very helpful & understanding with that & also reassuring. So she was efficient as she did it and just pointed out things quickly to us as she went about her measuring and checking. You were lying there and looking at the camera most of the time, scrunched up in a little ball though – curled up a bit like the way I sleep. We could see your head and your jawbone really clearly, and your legs were both there too. You have little arms, and we could see your finger bones, which are still hooked together in a web (I think we could make that out too). Weirdest of all, we could see your entire backbone with lots of little vertebrae really clearly. And through the top of your head we could see the two halves of your brain.

I also have a big placenta that has good blood flow in it to give you the nutrients you need, and a spot where you are connected through your umbilical cord. So all is good there.

After measuring your length & looking at your hands & arms & legs to make sure they were all there & looked ok, we tried to get the neck thickness reading. But you were asleep & in the wrong spot. So to get you to move around I had to lift my bum in the air & wiggle around. We tried that a few times, but you just didn’t want to move. Checked that you do have a heartbeat, and you do, 160 bpm at the moment, which is good. After wiggling my bum around a bunch of times you only seemed to shrug but stay in the same spot, so next we tried getting up and walking around the room while wiggling my bum. That seemed to work a bit – you kinda turned towards the camera & waved your arms in the air on either side – and looked so much like an alien with hollow eyes and a big brow but narrow chin coming at us with your arms waving around crazily up beside your head that your dad started doing impressions and dancing around with glee.  Sorry, no offence again, but you really do look just like an alien or the figure in Edward Munch’s ‘The Scream’.   I think the ultrasound lady was a bit surprised by my shouts of “oh my god, it looks like an alien freak – no offence speck”. After the single double-handed wave which sent both your dad & I into peals of laughter you immediately just then scrunched back up again and steadfastly refused to move.

Are you planning on a circus career?  You could go for a position in the freak show at the moment though I think that with the dexterity you displayed you have the capability to do a bunch of different things, and given your willingness to perform (but only at your choosing and only once dramatic bit) perhaps you are suited for something like that?  Or maybe you’ll just be a nude exhibitionist?? Up to you, but you showed promise in all these departments.

Next the ultrasound lady suggested that I needed to go and eat a bunch of sugar and come back in 10 minutes – apparently the effect of sugar on you down there is that immediate. She was hoping that it would wake you up and make you move around a lot so she could get a picture in the right spot of the thickness of your neck. So I went and scoffed a hot chocolate & then a caramel slice (urg, too sweet), and came back up. And, surprise, surprise, you were seemingly awake / much more active. You were moving around – doing flips and extending and contracting your legs and arms, and generally having a good swim. For about 5 minutes, after which time you tried to sleep again. The second ultrasound lady wasn’t as nice, and kept trying to poke you with the ultrasound machine, and I got fed up with her and told her to hurry up and finish. Your dad looked like he wanted to punch her. Anyway, she had managed to get one reading of your neck, which seemed fine, so we were done. After that my bloodtest results came back & the counsellor talked us through the results, and went on our way.

Your dad and I caught the bus home together and recounted to each other what it felt like to see you. He congratulated me on growing an a-ok baby until this point – but really, as I told him, its all you now I think. You should have most of your own organs and what not, so apart from nourishment etc, you’re on your own steam.

Anyway, it was good to see you, you looked relaxed and pretty comfortable down there. There seemed to be lots of room for you to grow bigger, and you seemed to be getting a bit of exercise. BTW perhaps the reason you were sleeping today is ’cause you had a pretty big work-out at frisbee last night (my back certainly knows about it today)?

so, like before, keep at the growing, you’ve got bigger but have a long way to go~

love you


nervous December 10, 2008

Hi Speck,

its your 12 week scan today (11 w 6d is where you are – so pretty on the mark)- the NT-plus test where they work out some probabilities of you having downs sydrome etc.  Its all done by blood test and ultrasound, so I’m excited to see you again, but I think understandably, also a little nervous.  I have read the material about what will happen, and your dad and I have talked about what the outcomes might be and our possible choices based on those outcomes, but it is hard to conceptualise until its really happening – a little more room for emotion and other things to creep in.

I’m also slightly concerned about ultrasounds in general after having a chat to a friend earlier in the week who was worried about them.  I’ve done some reading and there are some studies that make some tentative links between ultrasounds and reduced foetal development (in summary there are some of the opinion that parts of your brain/nerves might not develop as well if you are ultrasounded a lot compared to not at all/just a little).  So I’m also a bit tentative about the whole ultrasounding thing – I might have a chat to the doctor today about this and ask that they just keep it to a minimum – ie what they need to do but minimum time ultrasounding if possible.  Then next time I go to the obs I can have a chat to him about it and get another opinion too.   Trying to keep open-minded about it but also a little cautious – overall I think I believe in minimum intervention where possible, so really, not ultrasounding you unless medically advisable for solid reasons does make good sense.   Hopefully we’ll see you soon enough anyway – and in the flesh!

Otherwise, my exams are weighing on my mind too – but I just want them over and done with.  Sick of trying to study.  Need to do a bunch more but time is running out.  And its really a secondary concern at this point – its just adding to my overall level of stress / nervousness.

So today your dad and I go into the clinic, I give some blood and then half an hour later they come and do the ultrasound and do some measurements, and then I think all of this data gets fed into a central Australian database of other ‘noids results (tests and baby health etc) and then they come up with some kind of probability that you do/don’t have the chromosomal abnormality that causes downs syndrome.  I’m going to Sydney Ultrasound for Women, who have some info on their website about it. I’ve been there before – thats where your first two scans were from. Then I guess we get options for more testing and a counsellor talks to us about the results. Its a pity you can’t talk too and let us know how you’re doing. I’d like to have your opinion.

Love you, will definitely see you later today. Be well!



letter from your aunt (she is in Japan and bored at work) December 9, 2008

Filed under: pregnancy — rakster @ 5:25 pm
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hey speck,

how are you doing? you still making <your mum>  feel sick? stop it. she has to work for a couple more months yet before she can sit around while you’re swimming.

have you become human-like yet? or are you still a fish/pig/alien? 🙂

can’t wait to see you after you’ve popped out… although you’ll prolly still be all pink and a bit funny looking for a while 😉

xo love, your aunty (scary!)


bilious December 8, 2008

Filed under: exhaustion,pregnancy — rakster @ 2:15 pm
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Hi Speck.

I feel sick again. It started yesterday and only really abated in the evening. And today it is back. A slight sinking feeling and a little nauseous. The fact that my pants are definitely a lot tighter than they were a few weeks ago is perhaps not assisting the feeling, but really, its all you. Maybe you needed more hormones today and yesterday for a growth spurt? Its warm outside, but I’m in meetings all day again today. Unfortunately all I feel like doing is lying down and sleeping. Its a bit like being having that sea swaying feeling you get when you’ve been on a boat for a few days and try to step off to the dock. I feel like I’m swaying as I walk around the office, and that my stomach and breast size in tandem must be giving people clues that I’ve got a bun in the oven. Or some other euphemism for pregnancy.

Hope you’re well. I’m not good. Please just get on with it & let this day be over.

love you, even though you are annoying sometimes (I suspect this may continue for some many years yet – the concept of loving someone dearly no matter what they do – but don’t push it).



Farts: I am feeling a bit bloated after beer battered fish & mash (couldn’t face chips) even though I pulled off most of the batter December 5, 2008

Good evening!

I was planning on studying tonight but after an early dinner at the pub with your Canadian Grandparents and dad I am tired (sound like a recurring theme?), so have bought my ‘puty to bed (you dad has finally stopped calling it ‘your baby’ now that you are around) and have decided to write to you instead. I have had a mashy day – feel like I didn’t accomplish anything at all at work, though I did go, and do remember doing some stuff. I also was supposed to get more blood tests (pincushion that I am) but forgot the forms so didn’t manage to get that done either – will have to go up to the collection place tomorrow morning instead. It was kinda hot, and basically I just felt distracted all day.  A bit like a few weeks ago when I could only concentrate for five minutes at a time.

Anyway. Your dad has a weekend of sightseeing, shopping for the upcoming driving coastal trip to Queensland, and general hanging out with Candian G&G planned; and I have a weekend of study ahead of me. You dad came and had a chat to you tonight, so you should know what is up.   I suspect you felt/heard the 8 rasberries he used to attempt to get through to you.   He promised you that as I was just going to stay at home and study, the most excitement you could look forward to tomorrow was hearing and experiencing the movement within me – ie. another day of awesome loud and large farting. I was a little offended at first, on my and your behalf, but on reflection his synopsis has some merit.

The pregnancy books all talk about constipation as being a side-effect of being pregnant, but I guess I just thought it wouldn’t really affect me.  Being pescetarian, and only really eating fish maybe once every two or three weeks, I generally have a large load of vegetables and all sorts of beans etc in my diet and have never had any problems with movement through my bowel.  Perhaps a little bit TMI for you, but essentially if anything, I am usually more on the flowing and free side of the poo equation.  But, you come along, and all that has changed.  I’m not suffering from the dreaded constipation, but by golly, there is none of the flowing and free going on anymore.  And talk about irregular.  I have read that my whole digestive system will have slowed down because of you – but seriously – i think if it were going any slower we could build bridges with what surely must be the vast quantity of partially digested food which must be in holding pattern down there in my intestines.  And farting.  My entire stomach almost looks like I am pregnant already because of all the gas in there – particular just up under my ribcage – I can push on it and it feels hard and swollen – like a big drum, or an inflated balloon.  And I just can’t stop but fart big, loud and long farts all day long.  I have to repeatedly leave meetings at work to slip to the bathroom and let them out.  I’ve given up at home and just let it all go, much to the disgust of your Canadian Grandma & the mirth of your father.  I am still insisting that they don’t smell at all, just that they are loud and frequent.  In fact, not only am I insistent on this, its a fact.  I can’t smell them, and I as the pregnoid in the house definitely have a heightened sense of smell, so I would know.  So there.  They don’t smell.

Perhaps another take on the whole farting affair is that it is a way for me to stimulate you to do some exercise down there: perhaps you have to wiggle around a bit to avoid the gaseous emissions coursing through the intestines nearby your little abode.  Or I guess I could just blame it all on you and say that it is my body having to feed you and dispose of all your waste that is making such a mess down there.  Whatever the case, your dad is right, the most excitement you can look forward tomorrow is a bunch of gas and noise.  Live it up baby!

Love you & thinking about you.



oh yeah! another week December 4, 2008

Filed under: pregnancy — rakster @ 7:34 pm

and happy 11th week of incubation for today!


and its nearly only 200 days to go December 4, 2008

Hello Speck!

Your grandad (Australian) has helpfully pointed out that you are no longer a speck, but for the moment that’s what you remain to us, so speck it is. Well, its nearly only 200 days to go (203 today). It is a long time but close in the same breath.

Your Canadian grandma & grandpa arrived two days ago and our house is noisy, with lots of Canadian accents and yelling going on – all good fun – can you hear it? There is lots of cooking and noise and talking and drinking going on.

Meanwhile, your Dad and I are thinking about where you are going to be born and what to do. We have still got an obstetrician in Sydney, and one that we have yet to meet in Brisbane, but also thinking about other options. There are lots of them. Your Canadian grandma might have a fit if we try to have you at home (as she has already got her two cents in on!), but there are a spectrum of options from something like that to a planned c-section in a private hospital. How do you choose? We have both started reading some birth stories for all kinds of births, and some are nice, some are sad and some are scary. I guess it helps to have some idea of the range of things that can happen and what people choose and why. I’d like to have a midwife that we know and feel comfortable with all the way through the birth, rather than, or in addition to, an obstetrician who is only there for some of the bits. But is that necessary? I don’t know. I guess we just have to work out what we are comfortable with and what is best for you and us.

Anyway, we may be getting ahead of ourselves, though we both think its important we think and talk about it to get used to the idea, and have lots of questions for all the people we will no doubt see about your arrival in the coming weeks and months.

Hope you are happy and healthy down there.
love you


…grow grow grow…. December 2, 2008

Hey Speck!

well.  Long time no chat.  I can’t feel you moving around and I think it is still going to be a while before we can commune by touch through my belly.  So chatting with you this way is all I have for a bit longer.  Apparently your dad is going to be able to hear your heartbeat through my belly with his ear at some point too.  Again, I suspect its quite a while off, but that hasn’t stopped him trying.  He hasn’t rasberried you in a few days – but don’t feel neglected, he is just busy cooking for me while I study, and getting excited about your other grandparents arriving to visit from Canada.

Its a bit hot today, it feels like summer is finally here.  Yesterday was warm but it still cooled down last night.  It was a funny night – the people up the road have a yearly Christmas  decorations / turn on the lights drink/party on the street outside their house and we went along to say hello.  All in all about 50 people and then assorted children, with a slow start but then building to taking over the street and standing around chatting and gossiping.  We’ve lived in the same two streets for almost two years, so we know a few of them.  I was still surprised at how many little kids were around – I only see the ones who live across from us, but there were heaps of the little munchkins running around everywhere.  At 8:30 there was a 10 second countdown from the crowd on the street – where all the kids stood at the front & held hands & looked & then screamed with delight as the Christmas lights of the house with the party were ceremoniously turned on.  All in all I think I’m still a bit incredulous that we’ll have to look after you and you’ll be one of those independent, loud, screaming little bundles of energy.  Welcome, but still slightly unreal.

Otherwise your dad and I are well, still making sure we eat well – you’ll have to let him know that you really enjoyed the oven-baked falafels so he cooks them more frequently!  Hope you are busy growing your arms and legs and other bits.

love you

p.s. you better be growing a lot because I am increasing in size at a rapid rate.  I think its actually disproportionately rapid.  I’m hoping I look as fat as I do mainly because I am constantly totally filled with gas, but unfortunately I suspect that is not the case.