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

its your dad’s birthday and we ate a lot of icecream cake… despite the fact the endocrinologist says I’ve gone too hard on the weight gain front. March 29, 2009

Hello Speck!

Its your dad’s birthday today, so it was a big day with lots of friends and family and a HUGE icecream cake.  Neopolitan flavour – all hand-made by me, you and Lukey, who came over to help with it yesterday (well, really I think he thought that making icecream would involve lots of opportunity for little kids to lick the bowl and he’s be on a winner).  So, it was chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.  Rich chocolate, vanilla bean and fresh strawberry.  I think the whole thing was about eight litres of icecream – so a big one.  I started with vanilla making on Friday night, and made the vanilla custard.  Then yesterday Luke and I made the chocolate custard and I started up the new ice cream maker.  Chocolate first.  Made a big layer with lots of belgian cocoa and lindt chocolate.  Very rich.  The only container I decided would hold enough for the hordes of people coming was the largest salad spinner we have.  The zyliss put to a new use.  After chocolate it was time to freeze the vanilla.  Did that.  Then I made lemon sorbet for the non-dairy people.

Then a break for the AFL football.  Your dad wanted to see a game for his birthday, so we walked down to the Gabba and watched the lions beat the eagles in a game that was quite good to watch, with your two uncles, grandad & R.  then walked home.  Got home and decided that even though it was late the cake really needed to set overnight, so despite my earlier plan to do the final layer in the morning, got to it with a kilo of fresh strawberries.   Ice cream maker on overdrive until one am, when I put the final layer on the cake, and popped it all back in the freezer to set overnight.    So, icecream cake + lemon sorbet ready to go and frozen.  A bit less sleep than normal.

Today I just ate one bit though.  It was a hit with everyone – lots of sounds of spoon sucking.  Some people liked the strawberry, and some the chocolate.  The vanilla was a bit lost in the middle, but I think the cake wouldn’t have been the same without it.   I know you wanted more, but I just ate the one bit.  Along with the rocket and cheese muffins I made (from the rocket your dad grew), we had enough…  Despite the fact that I know I get ice cream cravings because of you (my usual preference is sorbet).   It was rich, but its also because of the endocrinologist who did her best to make me feel like I should give up icecream…  Bad timing as the new icecream maker just arrived (it is my new baby before you arrive).

ice cream cake - the leftovers

ice cream cake - the leftovers

We went to the endocrinologist on Friday, and she says I’ve put on far too much weight.  I’ve gone up 14 kg already.   Apparently that is too much.   But I feel fine, and I still exercise a lot.  So it can’t be all bad.  Anyway, she saw me briefly, asked some questions, wrote a list of more blood tests and other things I have to go and get jabbed for in the coming weeks (fun fun fun) and then charged me a lot of money for the privilege.   Finished by telling me icecream should be cut out of the diet as it will be more comfortable for me if I don’t put on any more weight.

I’ve been thinking about it.  I still don’t get it.  How do they decide how much you should put on?  I think you’re an average size baby, and I’m an average healthy sized woman, so I guess I would fall into the ‘you’d expect to put on x kg’ bracket.  But without asking further questions and testing, how does a doctor know you’ve put on too much weight? For example, apparently most people put on lots of weight at the end of their pregnancies, and not so much at the beginning.  And maybe I will put on a lot from now too.  But I put on a lot at the beginning.  And I was still exercising a lot.  My boobs are large normally, and they have grown exponentially and are a lot heavier than before.  That has happened about three times now.  Most people apparently only need to buy a new set of bras once.  I’m on my third set.  Each time, I bought big ones, but the boobs are just getting bigger and bigger.   I’ve discussed this seriously with your dad, and we both agree that my boobs have got to have at least 5kg extra weight between them alone.  I actually think I put on nearly 10kg mostly in the first trimester, and in the second I’ve just put on a bit of weight more slowly.   So what is to say that is wrong for me? Its not like I eat badly.

Overall the last few days have been a bit up and down.  I hope you haven’t been too disrupted by my abrupt mood swings and general discombobulation.  Yesterday I spent the day alternately making ice cream and then feeling upset.  It is going to continue for a while, so you may have to get used to it.  I think you are enjoying having your dad around – you move a lot when its just he and I having a quiet chat, like you know his voice and find it something you should react to.

Love you,  we might get a bit more ice cream in before sleep time, if you’re good.



All mighty movement March 25, 2009

Filed under: exercise,pregnancy — rakster @ 8:36 pm
Tags: , ,

You are either really excited or just a bit antsy like me. You have been kicking, turning and generally pummelling my innards non-stop for three days. Perhaps you know I haven’t written in a while and are worried that I’m not paying you enough thought attention. Aerobics workout. Rest up, you’ll get a chance to tax your dad and I when you come out.

Love you


boy or girl? I'm thinking you're a girl, but really not sure… or have I subconsciously picked your sex when you were conceived? March 20, 2009

Hiya Little Speckle, Good morning to you.  I’ve put the stats from the latest votes together, and it seems we still believe you’re a boy.  Only just…  The current survey results put you at boy 44.44%, girl 38.89% and undecided 16.67% (current survey results).  I’m leaning towards a girl for you.  But not sure.

There was an interesting article today in the SMH by Deborah Smith about research into birds and how they may be able to influence the sex of their offspring… Article – Sex and the tweety: why redheads have more sons

“Sex and the tweety: why redheads have more sons

WHICH one will she choose? The fiery redhead or his black feathered rival? Looks count a lot to the pretty female finch on the lower perch. Given a choice, there is no question. She will go for her own kind, mating with the male with the same head colour as her – black. But if a redhead is her only option, she will do something extraordinary, Sydney scientists have found. She will produce many more sons than daughters after mating. The research is the best evidence yet that birds can control the sex of their offspring. With the help of some black dye, to cover up the red and trick the females, the researchers also showed the female Gouldian finches determined their offspring’s sex based on the male appearance alone.When black females thought they were mating with black males they had about equal numbers of sons and daughters.A Macquarie University biologist, Sarah Pryke, said there was no chemical or genetic interaction between the parents at work. “Change the colour of the male’s head with dye and the sex ratio changes.”She said her team’s study raised the question of whether other animals, perhaps even humans, have this ability to influence whether boys or girls are born. “This discovery will change our understanding of sex determination across the animal kingdom,” said Dr Pryke, whose study is published in the journal Science. How the Australian finches, which are an endangered species, subconsciously do it “is a big mystery,” she said, but one possibility is that the sight of a mate with a differently coloured head raises female stress levels, producing hormones that interrupt the normal processes of fertilisation. Why they do it is more clear. When finches with differently coloured heads mate – which happens about 30 per cent of the time in the wild – their babies are much more likely to die than in same colour unions.  The risk of death for the girls is also higher than for the boys.A black female with no option but to mate with a red male, or vice versa, will go ahead anyway, but “make the best of a bad situation”, Dr Pryke said.By skewing their offspring’s sex ratio, so four times more boys than the vulnerable girls are born, they maximise their chances of some chicks surviving. Evidence of skewed sex ratios in humans include findings that optimistic women are more likely to have boys and women living under harsh conditions tend to have girls. “There is often a large increase in males produced after wars,” Dr Pryke said. “

Interesting – right?  So if I am optimistic you’re more likely to be a boy.  And stressed or under pressure, a girl?  Or maybe I can influence it to just what I want (which I’m not sure how you’re be ’cause I really don’t have a preference.  Though, before I thought about it much I for some reason wanted a girl.  I just figured it would make more sense and I felt like I’d be used to girls better ’cause of all your aunts…)…

Mmm.. Weird Hey, I wonder if we can influence your sex.  And I wonder if there was much your dad could have done about it…

Anyway, whatever you are, you kick a lot.  So going by other friends, that means you’re not going to be a chilled out lounge baby.   Maybe higher maintenance like me.

he he.,.

love you



week 25! 102 days to go. I'm starting to think about things like whether to dispose, nappy system or just good old simple nappies? But mostly I'm still thinking about food. Figs this weekend. March 15, 2009

Heya Speck,

102 days till you’re slated to join us.  Apparently you’re just like a little baby inside my uterus – now you’re just getting bigger and bigger.  I’ve already put on 12-13 kg, so I expect I’m going to go above the averages as everything I’ve read tells me that you just grow a lot from now on.  I can still see my feet.  And I can still see my fanny.  Two things which will apparently disappear soon.   Well, disappear from my normal line of sight.  More ce la vie.  If I get bigger I get bigger. I’m hungry most of the time.  So I eat.  Not bad food, just a lot of it.  I figure you need it.

On the eating front – this weekend its fresh figs.

fresh figs

fresh figs

They are in season, so I bought a box.  Made fig ice cream yesterday, which tastes good but is all the wrong texture.  My ice cream maker (well, actually your grandmother K’s – I stole, I mean borrowed it years ago) has finally given up the ghost.  I’ve been contemplating buying a new one and keep wavering.  But after the fig ice cream taste being so good but texture so bad, I am convinced we need one.  For your sake too – homemade ice cream is sooo much better for you than bought stuff.  Not to mention the taste.  So I’m going to finally invest and buy one with an in-built compressor.  It is just too hot here in Australia to make any more than one batch in the variety that you bowl in the freezer.  And when I make ice cream or sorbet I generally want to make a bit at once.  If I have to do all those dishes, I may as well make it worth the effort.  Yay.   I am looking forward to a new one.  Maybe I can make your dad an ice cream cake for his birthday with at least three different flavours. That sounds like a plan.  You like ice cream too.  I can tell.  That’s why I want to eat it all the time.  More than normal even.  And fresh is better.  So ice cream maker purchase here I come.

fig ice cream

fig ice cream

What else? Well, I have been reading about nappies.  Its all too confusing.  I think I’d like to not use disposables all the time, so I started to look at the difference between plain old old-fashioned nappies, and the new washable nappy systems.   I am now just thoroughly confused.  Think I might buy some of both and see how it goes.  Or how you go. Who knows?  And how do you try to decide between the different brands without trying them?

Hope you’ve enjoyed the figs.  Tonight for dinner is fig, blue cheese, almond and rocket salad.  That is my plan anyhow.

love you



windscreen washing the inside of my uterus March 11, 2009

Hello Little Round Ball (’cause there is no way you are a speck anymore, its a round ball down in there…  you’re still my Speck, but your house is shaped more like a ball),

how are you?  I’m tired again.  Exhausted in fact.  Yes, I know I’m commuting Sydney-Brisbane, and that is a bit tiring, but I’m disproportionally tired.  It started last week.  The weekend was good but I could barely keep my eyes open at night.  We went to G&Ks for a barbeque on Friday night and it was only 8:15pm when I had to leave and go home – I was going to fall asleep at the table.

You on the other hand have been moving around like you’re in an aerobics championship.   You’ve got some new moves too – they started on Saturday.  Lying in bed on Saturday morning I noticed something different.   You now do big sweeping movements with feet and or hands – right across my belly.  If you can think of someone washing the inside of a car windscreen with big round movements, that’s what it feels like you’re doing.  Lots of that and less of the one-off kicking.  It feels pretty freaky to be honest.  It just lasts so long.  I think the short sharp kicks were easier to deal with.  And you’re definitely growing at a rapid rate, as now when I feel you moving around – I feel as though I can tell where your head, legs and arms are pretty often.  And every time you’re wiggling about and doing tumble turns.  Which is frequently.

I couldn’t sleep last night.  After a while, you woke up too and started to do the calesthenics.  You kick really hard now – if I’m looking at my stomach I think I can almost see where your foot pokes the stomach out.  Anyway, I figured that I may as well practice ‘training you in acrobatics’ for fun, like the girl I work with is going to do with her baby.  I thought it was a bit of a joke, but pushed just where you had kicked, and then you thumped back even harder than the first time.  I moved my fingers a few cm along my stomach from where the original kick was and pushed again, and, surprise, you moved and kicked back in the new position.  Funny.  I did it a few times after which you settled down again.   I then gave you a massage, which you seemed to like.  I’m starting to feel now that you’re really a little person in there.  Before you were just a ‘baby’.  Some kind of growing blob.  Now you are starting to feel more and more real.   I had a chat to you last night while massaging and I was wondering what you were thinking.  ‘Cause I think you’re thinking now.  I wish you’re Dad could feel these changes in you too – I think its definitely part of the ‘mum’ gets used to baby coming along part of being pregnant for nine months.  Last night you felt like a boy to me.  A month ago while walking home one night I had a premonition that you were a girl.   So, I obviously don’t know.

We went and met your obstetrician in Brisbane last Friday.  He is very relaxed.  He told me to eat anything, just avoid bungee jumping and advised not to take up heroin at this point.   I think I can manage that.  Your dad and I were surprised when we looked at the chart to see how big you are now.  No wonder I can feel you – you’re much bigger than a coke can (which is where I thought you were at).  I guess you won’t know him, but be reassured he is a very amicable person who seems supportive of what we want to do in the birth.  He is apparently well-known for only intervening and doing a c-section if absolutely necessary – chatting to him about this made me feel like he would be the right person to help us along.  I still wish to some extent that the model of care offered in Australia was more flexible though – while I like him, I’d also like for us to be able to choose our own midwife to come along and be there before, during and after your birth.  That’s not an option with the way the hospitals and medical system works today.  Which I think is a travesty.   But, ce la vie.   I guess you take what you can get and make what you will with it.  Hopefully your Dad and I will cope regardless.  As the doctor emphasised, the birth is going to be the ‘easy’ bit in retrospect.  Yep, it will be hard, and stressful, and most likely hurt a lot, but it will be over pretty quickly.  Wheras you’ll be with us for a long time afterwards.  To worry about forever more.



More kicking… Its going to be relentless for the next four months, isn't it? March 4, 2009

Dear Speck, Nothing new to report. I think I am going to be thoroughly ready for you to come out when the time comes – now it’s just you getting bigger and me being perpetually hungry day after day. Some days you kick a bit more than others, but that is the main difference. Yesterday was a big all-out kicking day. I took that as a sign that perhaps I wasn’t tiring you out enough so on the way home I walked down to Milson’s Point, caught the ferry to Balmain East and then trekked my way home through Balmain for some exercise.

View from Milson's Point across the Harbour

Luna Park at Milson's Point

Great walk, it’s nice to be out and about on the harbour. Pictures to show you. I think it worked – you were a little calmer last night than you had been all day. Your efforts yesterday were more disconcerting than normal because of your position: you seem to have spun around so you were kicking up towards my lungs in an upward direction rather than the down towards the bladder which I’m more used to. Haven’t written for a few days but all is pretty quiet on your front, and I’m back down in Sydney for the week after the weekend in Brisbane. Your Dad, I, your Aunt & T put your pram together on the weekend. It was a communal effort (see pictures). Wanted to check that the carrycot we bought actually fit the pram. It did, good. Your dad has since ordered the spare part we needed to make it tip-top, so after a quick wash I need to do, it will be set for you. Its a little strange to think about pushing you around in it. You now have a pram, a carrycot, a few little toys, a muslin wrap to drape over the pram (thanks T & El)… Your dad and I had a practice getting the pram from the front of the house to the street too. It was something a friend suggested we try to make sure it would all work. And good thing we tried, ’cause it was impossible. The width of the middle step is just too short to use to leverage the pram up to the next step, and too long to allow you to skip it and just leverage straight up. Which in any case would make it a steep angle for you lying in it… I tried for a few minutes to get it up by myself, until your dad exclaimed, “You’re faking it. You’re being silly!” to me, and snatching the pram away to try for himself. After manoeuvring the pram in an 18 point turn through one of the Australian grass bushes by the front gate, and numerous bumps, he managed to get it up to the street. “See, it can be done!”… He took a quick look back and then laughed, admitting with me that if you had been in the pram at the time you would have lost an eye in the bush and then most likely fallen out one side as the pram tipped wickedly from side to side as he lumped it up the last step. So. That’s a no-go for our stairs the way they are now. We’ll have to think of an alternative – current best option – build a boardwalk-style ramp from the street to the front deck. Its been added to your Dad’s list of projects.

Pram Assembly - Mark 1

Pram Assembly - Mark 2

Apart from poking your eye out, your dad would have lost you again while in the pram. He came back into the yard through the gate, again, “It can come in ok… mmmm. Maybe a bit bumpy” (yeah, pity about the big bumps and the screaming baby had you been in it). And then deposited the pram on the front deck and stepped back to check the mailbox or something. At which point the pram started rolling backwards until I exclaimed and he managed to catch it just in time before it toppled right off. We both peed ourselves laughing as he put the brake on the pram. “Baby down. Bah baaaaah” (think game-show ‘you’re wrong’ buzzer noise). We decided perhaps we needed to put a doll in the pram and push it around for a few days to make sure we didn’t kill the doll, and practised for you. Maybe we will be the worst parents. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see. There is no going back at this point. Anyway, hope you’re all well in there. Back to Brisbane tonight. Look forward to the plane. love mum