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

Welcome to week 23 February 26, 2009

Hiya Speck,

As the title says, welcome to week 23. It’s Thursday night, and I’ve made it home to Brisbane after a very draining work week in the office. I’m currently sitting in the newly revamped local fish and chip shop, very happy that my first stop on an attempt to get take-out dinner is going to yield such good results… That might sound a little strange; but I’m picky on takeaway food. Your dad made me come by myself ’cause he loses his temper or feels anxious for me because he thinks I am not going to be happy with what I find take-away. Its more true maybe in a food court. There are often very limited vegetarian/pescetarian options. Anyway, a girl at the wedding last week mentioned that the local fish and chip show to our house in Brisbane had been redone and she’d eaten here and interviewed the owners and that it was good. And I’m impressed. Barramundi and salad for me and you.

Funny, I am reading the Kaz book week by week, and it’s often a bit uncanny how spot on the book is. Uncanny not as the things related to your development are as expected, spot on, but more the additional things. Like week 23 has a large section about travelling while pregnant, and travelling for work trips, which is exactly what I’m doing this week. And you with me. I think after taking about eight flights over the course of the past two weeks, I can now safely say that I’m sure that the pressure effects you somehow. You are definitely more active when we’re in the air. Lots of kicks and what not. I’m assuming its not in a bad way (the effect), but just different so that you are more active. Funny.

Off to eat my barramundi.

love you


Saturday Night Fever. Or was it Staying Alive?? February 24, 2009

Hi Little Speck.

What is going on down there?? You are kicking like a demon.  The kicks are so strong I sometimes exclaim involuntarily.  Like at dinner on Sunday night, when I think you went for the seventies disco workout pose and flung your leg down and out and your opposite arm up, mimicing John Travolta or someone like that, all in one hit.  It was such a strong and strange feeling – two spots at once, that I yelped out aloud in the restaurant.  Keep it down in there will you! I like to dance too, but you have to dance to suit the situation.

We might have to put some music on at home tonight and have a boogie though – you are going slightly beserk down there this afternoon.   And you are pushing up at the top of where you come to in my belly now (about 2 cm above my distended belly button), rather than just kicking at the bottom.  I take it back.  You are doing loop-the-loops and just kicking or throwing or whatever away down there like a crazed thing.   I wonder if you know that it is making me a bit tired?  I’ve had a very long week at work already even though its only Tuesday.  And your Dad left Sydney on Monday morning after dropping me at work for the drive back to Brisbane.  So I am hanging out with Cokemeister, who forced me to watch the Oscars last night and I stayed up too late…  Retribution is your kicking..

Love you


Reflux: the latest ailment February 21, 2009

Hiya Speck,

Hope you’re doing well. Your Dad and I are well, feeling thoroughly relaxed. I’m not ready to go back to work on Monday though :(.

We’re sitting in Queenstown airport waiting for our plane to Christchurch to come. We had a great time last night at the wedding and also had a relaxed day with J & J wandering through Queenstown and around the lake today. It’s always a bit sad how quickly the end of a holiday comes around.

So, what is new with you? Well, not much really! I trust you’re still growing away down there, getting bigger and bigger. I know you are as my latest ailment is gastric reflux, otherwise known as indigestion. Which means that you’ve now decided to encroach on the area of my internal body cavity housing an organ dear to my heart (yep, hanging out with your dad for days, I’ve caught the bad joke virus): my stomach. Damn damn damn, less food, more frequent eating and little antacid tablets will be the order of the day from now on.

Night times and attempting to sleep is when it is at it’s worst, waking me up and forcing me to eat a tablet or two to assuage the rising bile. Erk!

But otherwise all quiet on the Speck front.

Love you


Finished riding February 19, 2009

Filed under: exercise,pregnancy — rakster @ 7:51 am
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Hello Speck!

We made it! We are finished and eating muffin and hot chocolate in a cafe. Mmmmmm.

You will thus be spared any more bumpy days. You’re 22 weeks today, and according to Kaz there are some who say that you begin to think this week. I wonder what you have been thinking?? Bump, ouch, ohh, mmm? I’m hungry I wish she would eat more.. Mmm sugar rush. Bump.

Also I guess maybe you’ll feel a little less constricted without a pair of too tight bike pants holding you in.

Looking forward to the wedding tomorrow and just chilling out for the rest of the day. You’re moving around down in there, I can feel it, enjoy.

Love mum


Megasouras (or my bum is like a dinasour and very painful) February 17, 2009

Hello Speck!

My bum is sore. The ‘comfort’ seat on my rental bike is a misnomer. It is the opposite. While the trail is beautiful the sore ass is affecting my enjoyment slightly. Also, you seem to be growing at an alarmingly fast rate. So my protruding belly is not quite fitting so well into the bike pants.

All otherwise though is good. You are happily (I assume) kicking away down there and I’m eating lots of good food along the trail. And we are staying in a huge luxurious apartment tonight in Ranfurly with a massive big spa. Good for you too: some floating.

Love you


The birthing suite experience – Fawlty Towers couldn't have done it better… February 16, 2009

Hi Speck,

So, your dad doesn’t want me to write about this, because he thinks that it might worry people (who read my letters to you) unnecessarily. I think though, on reflection, that it’s part of being pregnant and I want to tell you about it. And there were some funny moments.

We had planned to get to Dunedin yesterday and catch up with J & J for the afternoon, which, especially as we haven’t seen them at length in a coupla years, we were both looking forward to.   But it didn’t quite work out that way. We got an extended stay in one of the birthing suites at Dunedin’s hospital, St Mary’s, instead. I wanted to take photos at the time but your dad was pretty stressed out and didn’t want me to, so no pictures for you, just the story.

I had a little bit of bleeding which started on Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t a massive amount, so I wasn’t worried about it, as I’ve read that lots of women get bleeding sometimes during their pregnancies.  And I read a forum that people who are due in the same two weeks as me post on, and lots of them have had bleeding episodes, and so I know its pretty common and usually, once you’re past week 12 or so, works out fine.   Since you’re now 21 weeks closer to joining us than when you were first being prepared by my body as a little polyp waiting to burst forth into an egg, I wasn’t too concerned cause you’ve got yourself well settled and my last scan showed that my placenta was anterior and more importantly, high; also, my cervix was shown as fully closed.   Apparently the placenta being low and having bleeding is generally more of a worry.   But, you have a good spot, which is important, and I knew that so wasn’t too worried.

Went to bed on Saturday night and felt fine, so all good. But by Sunday afternoon, after flying from Christchurch to Dunedin and getting to our hotel, I was still bleeding a little and a little bit worried. I was feeling perfectly healthy and hadn’t had any cramping, sickness or other bad signs, but your dad and I just wanted to check, especially as we were planning on heading off on a cycling trip on Monday. We both thought that getting on bikes and heading into the NZ Central Otago region where there aren’t too many doctors was perhaps best done after we got some medical advice.

We thus tramped through Dunedin to the 24hr medical clinic, where we didn’t have to wait long before we were seen by an absolutely lovely and thorough female GP. She took a history and read the little pregnancy history card that I now carry with me everywhere. After a quick external feel of my uterus (which by the way she said was ‘a cute little shape – sticks right out and is very round like you swallowed a ball’), she got the little ultrasoundy/doppler machine going and checked your heartbeat. Which was, as expected, all normal and good.   Again, she explained this was a good sign as you weren’t distressed or worried about what was happening.  She then phoned the hospital and had a chat to the obs registrar, who suggested we should come in for a check. Which is how we ended up in a birthing suite at Dunedin’s hospital.

St Mary’s has a number of birthing suites, a few of which were occupied with women, who, from the sounds we could hear, were in various stages of labour.   We were put in one at the end of the ward.  A big room decorated in hospital green and more green.  With a shower and toilet, a single hospital bed and a couch.  The furniture was dwarfed by the size of the room.   Clean but old.   I had a bit of a cry at that point, as that’s when it became pretty real to me that something might be wrong.   I was ok before that, it just hit me for a few minutes.  After a quick cry I was feeling better again.   But hungry as we had missed lunch.   Your dad thankfully managed to get to the cafeteria and back before the midwife looking after us made it in. Thankfully because after asking us a few questions she immediately placed us under ‘quarantine’.   Apparently the South island of New Zealand and St Mary’s are the only places on Earth where the superbug MRSA (or something like that) hasn’t yet reached.  And as I’ve been admitted to hospital in Australia in the past six months, until proven that I don’t harbour the bug I need to be quarantined… So quarantining meant that the door was shut, no-one allowed to visit (small chance of that anyway), and any medical staff having to be gowned and gloved in disposable plastic stuff before they came in the room. A bit novel. I then had to swab a bunch of my orifices so they could test them for said superbug.   Your dad got quarantined with me.

Again, as there are no photos, you’ll have to picture it.  Me and your dad in a big green hospital room.  For hours.  Waiting for the doctors to be free.  Apparently there were some births with complications (twins and other stuff) happening.   We had our books and a yahtzee game, so we passed the time ok.    But the door was closed and we weren’t allowed out.   And there were some interesting noises coming from the other rooms.  I use ‘interesting’ in a broad sense.   More like very loud distressing screaming at regular intervals.  It kinda freaked me out but I was strangely calm at the same time.   Your dad listened intently, then remarked, “She’s doing it wrong.  According to the Janet Balaskas Active Birthing book you’re supposed to work WITH the pain.  Not against it.”  Ha.  On one hand I was pleased – he’s obviously read the book from cover to cover (which is good cause I asked him to and it might help when you come).   On the other hand, if he says anything like that to me when I’m trying to get you out I suspect I will try to deck him.

After a while a nurse came and took some blood to go and test to make sure your blood wasn’t in my blood, or something like that (protein testing); and some other things.  I forget.  She missed my vein and was really bad at it.  But nice in person.   I coped.   I would have passed out from that a few months ago, but the common taking blood thing is starting to make me slightly more used to it.  She went away.  After a few hours, the intern doctor on rotation came to take my medical history.   She was obviously new, and not an obstetrics person, ’cause she asked some funny things and didn’t know stuff like that you can tell which ovary the baby comes from if you get an early ultrasound (you came from the right).

When the doctor finally arrived, she was a lovely but slightly distracted-seeming woman who had obviously had a long day.  The intern was in-tow.   And what followed was what I’d write as a comedy skit about obstetricians if I were to write one.  Picture two doctors, both of whom are distracted and keep forgetting they are supposed to be in quarantine.   There were at least 9 changes of gloves for the main doctor as she starts to examine me, then changes to surgical gloves,  changes back to non-surgical gloves, thows them, forgets new ones, swears when she remembers, gets new gloves, throws gloves as she thinks she’s finished, then I remind her that she told me she was going to do ‘x’, she recalls, forgets gloves, swears, gets new gloves.  Repeat repeat repeat.   Add to the distraction a non-functioning or poorly functioning light.  Picture me on bed with legs up and two doctors crawling around on floor trying to peer up my fanny:   Main Doctor:  “well, this light is terrible. Can’t see a thing.  Can you see anything?”;  Intern:  “no, can’t see anything”. Etcetera.   I felt like I was in a Fawlty Towers episode:  “Visit to the doctor”.  Me trying to breathe cause it was a bit painful, but at the same time almost having an out of body experience when I can see how comical the situation is if it weren’t so serious.  Your dad alternately trying to comfort me and not be alarmed at the circus going on at the bottom of the bed.

After a lot of gloves, a lot of discussion and lots of feeling around, we determined that we had no idea where the blood was coming from but there didn’t seem to be too much.  We had a look at you on the ultrasound and you looked happy and good, and again your heartbeat was fine, as was my bloodpressure etc.  And my cervix was still sealed.   Did a little test which looked a bit like a litmus test on a long cottonbud which indicated that there was no amniotic fluid leaking out.  A good thing, cause the doctor explained that the hospital had a policy of non-intervention if you decided to come along early before the week 24 mark.   Which didn’t give you much of a chance if that was what was happening.  So amniotic fluid would have been bad.  But there wasn’t any.   And the blood was slowing.

Didn’t ever find out if I had the superbug as those tests didn’t come back before I was finally discharged.   Doctor said all was good, just probably a bit of random bleeding, which is pretty common.   She said that the bike riding wouldn’t affect it or worsen it at all, but of course if anything happened to come back into the hospital if needed.  And whatever they did seemed to make it stop.

So, your and my first birthing suite experience.  Hopefully no more until you actually join us.  Though we could make like a general tour of hospitals around Australia and NZ and do a comparative review….

love you.  we’re glad you’re ok.



Rail Trailing with a bump February 16, 2009

Filed under: exercise,pregnancy — rakster @ 3:03 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Hello Speck!

You’re very quiet down there this afternoon, I expect you’re taking it easy after a rather energetic day of cycling…

We left Dunedin this morning and caught the Taieri Gorge Train up to Pukerangi. It was a lovely trip, you could hang out in the space between the old train carriages and while cold, it was beautiful. I took a photo of you about 7km out of Pukerangi.

We got picked up by a slightly crazy but lovely local woman who gave us a tour and took us to Middlemarch, where we picked up our bikes and headed off down the trail. Today isn’t so far, just 30km, so after putting my heart rate monitor on so that I can make sure I don’t overheat or stress you out, we rode along at about 15kmh. A good pace, nice for chatting with the South African guy your dad and I met on the train and was keen to accompany us for some company part of the way (he was going a bit further than us).

So, we cycled along and had a nice time.. I didn’t notice you until I started to get a little tired and slightly saddle sore, when I really noticed the extra weight and bulk around my tummy. The slight tightness of my worn-low bike pants also added to the effect. I feel the bumps, all varieties, a lot more. Overall, a good ride but I was tired at the end and VERY glad to find a well-appointed room with a big claw-foot bath when we arrived.

I had a big long soak.

Love you

Ps. I’m famished and am going to eat a lot for dinner.


Gee, we've made it past half way. Its getting a little scarily close. February 13, 2009

Good morning Speckle!

Its Friday. And your dad, I and you are off to New Zealand tonight for a holiday. Brief sojourn before we head back to Brisvegas and our old house before you come along. I’m looking forward to it. I think you’ve got the excitement down there as you have been turning somersaults this morning. Or maybe you’d be doing that anyways? Who knows? you can’t talk yet. I guess it will be a while.

This week I’ve been a mixture of strangely calm inside and panicked in my mind about you coming VERY SOON, while at the same time being a bit, lah di dah, it will all work out. And feeling grumpy and generally very tired again. But still strangely calm. Hormones. They do strange things to you. Guess what? Its PAST HALF WAY. I was kinda ignoring it but coming down in the lift at work the other day I just had a bling, tah-dah moment, when I suddenly realised that it really was only just over 4 months and you’d be joining us. And we will be changing nappies, and trying to breastfeed you and cope with little sleep and you’d be cute and I guess I’d love you ’cause you were mine and “OH MY GOD”. Then I got distracted alternately by how famished I was and how much the person in front of me annoyed me and I promptly felt fine and forgot the panic.

I had to buy some maternity clothes last week, as the only clothes that were fitting were skirts which I just left undid and wore longer tops with. And new bras as each of my boobs are now as big as rockmelons and just as heavy and the bras I bought at 2 months pregnant just don’t fit anymore. Unfortunately that is not an exaggeration. Expensive but necessary. In the clothes department also I decided it was getting a little too much, and went and bought some new maternity pants and skirts. Coupled with the tent-like shirts that are in fashion at the moment I think I’ll be fine until you come now. You’re supposedly around 19 cm long this week and you’re just going to get bigger. As am I. By the way, the investment was worth it. I never thought I’d look forward to putting on ribbed material around my waist, but fashion statement or not, it is SOO much more comfortable than anything else and I never get out of it now. Good. So next week I’ll be alternately cycling round central Otago wearing slightly too small bike pants (didn’t upgrade those to maternity) and lounging in my oh-so-comfortable stretch-waist maternity jeans. Look out central Otago, you won’t know what has hit you!

Otherwise I’m starting to think we should be thinking about buying some stuff for you. We’ve got a cot, and we have a change table, but that’s about it. No, we have a bottle which someone left at our house once when their baby was little. So: one stolen bottle, one cot, one change table. What else do we need for you? We are going to get a pram this week in New Zealand, as the Mountain Buggy one we want is made there and is quite a bit cheaper. I guess we’ll need some clothes and nappies and the like too. I think it would be great to have a nappy service for a while – that might be kinda helpful. It would be good to have that taken care of for a while. My book suggested I could ask people just contribute to that rather than buying me flowers. I’ll get your dad to investigate.

How many clothes do you need? A friend from work sent me a link to a baby site that she recommended for basic jumpsuits and the like but I’m a bit confused as to what I should buy. Maybe I should buy a few so you have something to wear and then we can work it out after that? I don’t know. It will be winter, so you won’t be able to go nude. Actually, I forgot, your dad and I bought a baby change bag and a few blankets for babies in the January sales. So maybe we can just swaddle you in blankets and push you around for the winter. With some spare blankets and a camera in the baby change bag. Then you can go nude in summer. Really, it scares me how little idea either of us have. Consoling is the fact that everyone who has a baby seems to cope somehow. So I’m sure we’ll work it out and make some mistakes and whatnot but somehow muddle through. I am reminded of the time I was sent home from school in Grade one, six years of age, with a note for my father: “Please make sure <Mum> wears underpants under her school dress/skirt; cross-legged reading sessions require this”. Or words to that effect. Yep, I missed some undies some days. Nonetheless I think I worked out ok, I only occassionally forget them now.

Hope you’re well down there and enjoying the good food I’ve been eating. You must be growing as I am once again ridiculously hungry.
love and kisses

p.s. your dad is now researching thingy bits that attach to the toilet so we can clean your nappies. Little Squirt. We thought they looked a bit expensive and then read the bit about them being toddler-tamper proof and decided that it might be worth it rather than a do-it-yourself option. He he.


Your first toy February 13, 2009

Filed under: pregnancy — rakster @ 10:16 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Hello little speck!

Well, we made it to nz. You kicked like crazy the whole way over on the plane. I wonder if the pressure felt different to you? It was a little strange that you were so active, though I also ate a bit of chocolate, so it could have been the sugar and caffeine in that…

Anyway, your dad and I have had a lovely time wandering about Christchurch today. We bought you some things: a Mountain Buggy pram is the biggest one. It’s in a big box and despite knowing what it looks like I’m keen to pull it out and look… But I’ll restrain myself. Got a blue one with a tangerine wool liner as that was all they had left. I figured you’d just like the bright colour of the liner and not be too concerned about how colour co-ordinated you were.

That was pretty exciting. And then at the markets I found you a very cool first toy… It’s original and just for you! I hope you like it!

Love you



Tired again… February 9, 2009

Hello little Speck,

I’m tired and grumpy again. I’ve been sleeping badly – what with the heat and you randomly kicking me in the middle of the night and generally squishing my bladder into what must surely be only slightly bigger than pea-shaped judging by the number or times I have to pee. I think I’m fighting off a slight cold too. And we are moving house this week and packing isn’t fun and its all a bit stressful. I hope you just chill out down there and its not affecting you too.

You, your dad and I enjoyed a swim in Leichhardt pool yesterday evening. It was hot yesterday and it was good to get in a pool with you and feel almost my normal weight again, and cool at the same time. I did some treading water for 20 minutes to get some exercise. Your dad and I were wondering whether you could tell that we were swimming and if it felt different to you? Can you feel the pressure of the water too? Your dad suggested maybe it just sounds a lot quieter to you when underwater as sounds are more muffled. You certainly seemed to sleep throughout it.

Hope you’re well.

love mum