my-speck

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

You're twelve weeks old September 11, 2009

Hello Poogie Woogie,

Well. Days are flying by and all I seem to do still is feed you, change you, get you to sleep (though you’re pretty good at that yourself, I must say – compliments). Repeat. Oh. That’s not true. We do lots of talking practice and read books and practice mouth movements in between too. But basically my whole day gets sucked up playing with you and looking after you. Its crazy. I knew it would be like this but at the same time its still very different from what I expected. The time is flying by but it isn’t at the same time. You’re 12 weeks old tomorrow.

So, what have you done in the first twelve weeks? So many things:

  • learned to look at us and interact with your eyes (you can now beat me in a staring competition and you sure are expressive with your eyes)
  • learned to smile and giggle and laugh with people who are talking to you
  • learned to use your hands – putting them in your mouth and staring at them close-up to your face, starting to grab things and hold on (only just)
  • learned to hold your head up when you’re in tummy time and look around – you’ve got much stronger than when you first came home from hospital
  • learned to practice talking. You’re not quite babbling yet, but you’re almost there – lots of ohhh, ahh noices. Your current nickname (from your dad and I) is “Apu”. We’re thinking of it being your second name.
  • learned to put yourself to sleep. Now this one is pretty good. I’m proud of you for this. When you”re tired, as long as you’re not overtired, we can pop you down in your cot, maybe slightly swaddled, and you’ll go to sleep by yourself, quite happily. WHen you’re overtired, nothing works but putting you in the sling and bouncing you around for 5 minutes. And listening to a bit of screaming in the meantime.
  • learned how to breastfeed MUCH better than when you started. Ahh.. And the best – you’re good at it lying down too.
  • learned what being scared is like (at the football)
  • learned how to listen to stories being read to you
  • learned how to poke your tongue out at me (imitating me poking mine at you)
  • and grown out of three sizes of clothing (you’re now a size 00 – been through 00000, 0000 and 000).
  • … the list goes on …
  • and finally this week you’ve learned what it is like to get diarrohea (and mum has learned how many nappies it is possible to go through in one day. Hundreds. By the way the doctor thinks maybe the diarrohea is from your Rota virus vaccination, but you’re otherwise ok in that you’re not dehydrated, your temperature is normal so its all good).

you sleeping this morning - 12 weeks old. In your normal 'arms-out' position

I had to count through the calender today to work out how many weeks old you were – for some reason I thought it was more like 14-15, but then I figured you weren’t quite 3 months yet, so I had to be wrong…

So. We’re down to Lismore with you for the night tonight, and then hopefully the beach with you tomorrow. I am going to have to find you a sun-safe suit to wear. Your Aunt R kindly gave you some excellent new swimmers that will hold everything in (like a tight wet-suit) and you have the gorgeous board shorts from A-M, so you’re good for swimming, but might need more for extra coverage during the day… And a new hat.

:)

love you

mum

Me and You Today - 11 weeks 6 days.  Gee you're big!

Me and You Today - 11 weeks 6 days. Gee you're big!

 

Topsy Turvy February 7, 2009

Hi Speck,

well, I don’t need to say good morning, as you have been kicking away down there like mad, so I know you’re awake, and you’ve already said hello. You’re moving around so much now that in an active period, when you put a hand on my stomach it just feels like there is something moving around, even if you’re not kicking directly. Your dad attempted to tap tap to get you to respond today. One of the women I work with has told me that they are going to teach their baby while it is still in-utero – apparently different training if its a boy or a girl – things like acrobatic skills and music and counting. I’m unclear how the counting was supposed to work. It sounded a little wacky to me – something about visualing the number and the same number of an object, and your baby understanding that. Maybe I misunderstood? But the acrobatics was a little clearer: as you get bigger and kick, we tap the outside of my belly and get you to respond. We then train you to move around the belly responding to the tapping. Still, a little far-fetched for me, but what the hell, we might give it a go. Could be fun.

And you’re moving around a lot, not just kicking, just like Kaz said you would. Loop the loops, topsy turvy. Sometimes you’re down there marching on my bladder, and lately you’ve been trying to kick me up in the stomach. And I think you are trying to make more room by pushing my uterus up past my belly button. Which, by the way, is apparently where it is at now, according to the obstetrician yesterday. All very normal. Soon its going to get higher than that and I suppose, eating bigs meals will end entirely and the yoga breathing I have been practising will really come into its own. Here’s hoping. I can now fill up different parts of my lungs a lot more independently on demand. So making space when my organs start to push up on my lungs a bit more. I’m still struggling with the using my diaphgram and breathing in by pushing it down while trying to pull in and tense my pelvic floor and hold at the same time. Too hard to concentrate on both. Must practice more.

Went for our last (hopefully) visit with the obstetrician in Sydney yesterday. A lot of money for a “hi, how are you feeling, lets take your blood pressure, weigh you and listen to the baby’s heartbeat for a few seconds”. But you’re well, the ultrasound technician didn’t lie on Monday when she told us that you were in the normal ranges for everything in your scan. I asked about the nose measurement. Apparently good bridge-of-the-nose development is an indicator against downs syndrome. So, yours is strong and long. My placenta is in a good spot (who knew that there were good and bad spots before they got pregnant?).. Its at the front but more importantly apparently, up-high. And my cervix is closed. Its 4cm big. So its the spot that somehow has to open and let you through when its time for you to come out. Bloody hell. How does 4cm get to 12cm (or however big it needs to get???).

Anyway, its very hot and I’m going to go and relax.

love you
mum

 

so all your bits appear to be in the right spot, you've 5 fingers and an upper arm 2.19 cm long. February 3, 2009

Hiya Speck!

good news – all is well with you and you have 4 chambers in your heart, a lot of blood going around in different directions in your body (and seemingly – from the technician’s comments – you importantly have it flowing on both sides of your bladder), you have a stomach, kidneys which have a lot going on, a nose, lips, mouth and fingers and toes. In fact, the scan was quite exhaustive and lots of you was measured. You are in the normal ranges for it all. Your nose bridge bit got measured (why??).. And your upper arm (humerus) was 2.19 cm long. That was the only one I managed to ask about. The rest was too quick. Its all on the last page of the video we got.

Anyway. It was a little strange to see you down there. You are much bigger than last time and you were moving around like a crazed thing. In fact, you were kicking very hard. No I know why I can feel it – it was odd, but you were kicking at the same time as the technician was checking your legs, and I could see you kicking and feel it (right on my bladder – which was full due to the scan so it was very uncomfortable) at the same time. Bit freaky. So, you kick really hard by drawing your little legs right up almost parallel with your spine (very flexible you are!) and then moving them down and extending your feet all in one big very swift movement. I.e. A huge big kick very hard and fast. So that’s what I can feel. Your dad laughed a lot. You also look like you’re sucking or attempting to suck on the area around my placenta. Photos…

Speck - you at Week 19!

Speck - you at Week 19!

Woot! Exciting. I don’t think we need any more scans, so that might be the last time we see you before you come out. You have big thighs. Round and wide at the top like mine. And you have indents on your feet like mine too. We got a photo. Maybe all babies have them? I don’t know.

Speck - its you again!

Speck - its you again!

Anyway, I love you! I am excited and your dad is too.

Your foot at 19 Weeks.

Your foot at 19 Weeks.

Keep at it! Love mum

 

Kicking! Like a crazed soccer player. Or maybe you were attempting to practice throwing a frisbee and it was your arms doing all that pushing on my abdomen/bladder. February 2, 2009

Good morning Speccie!

You have got bigger and stronger for sure!  Last night I felt SOLID big kicks/movements for the first time.  It was after watching the tennis, I went to bed and couldn’t sleep, so lay there and felt you moving around for a bit.  You really felt like you were wriggling around a lot.  I’ve read that you are more likely to be active at night as my walking about and moving rocks you to sleep during the day.

So, with my hands on my stomach, I laid there and practiced my yoga breathing and pelvic floor strengthening exercises (the fear of you tearing when you come out outweighs the laziness and I’m doing them every day).  Anyway, that seemed to stimulate you even more, and you went a little bit “Hi, I’m here, stop that and give me some attention.  No?? Well, I’ll just kick/punch you as hard as I can repeatedly!”  Or maybe, to be more  <mindblank word has disappeared. baby brain.  Insert appropriate word here>, you were perhaps just testing newfound strength in your little body and saying hello as best you know how.

I lay there for a bit longer and decided that not only could I feel you from the inside, but my hands could definitely feel you too.  So I woke your slumbering dad up (he is a bit used to it ’cause i do it relatively frequently when he has just fallen asleep in 3 seconds – or less – and I lie there for hours); and after listening to him grump a bit, got him to put his hand on my belly and push gently down near my bladder.  And you obliged and remained practising the kicks/frisbee-throwing action.   At first it was a bit softer, so I waited and then said out loud when you did a big one.  He didn’t feel it, but about half a second later you did an almightly HUGE GINORMOUS big one and he withdrew his hand in shock and disbelief.  I think he liked it but was actually a bit scared,  or shocked at how strongly he felt it.   Your dad then immediately went back to sleep after assuring me he felt you too.  So there.  You have made bodily contact with your dad and me now.  Good one.

This morning you are at it again.  Maybe you are hungry and letting me know.  I will go find some yoghurt & fruit to satisfy my and your hunger.

love you.

mum

p.s. we get to see you today for our check-up scan.  I hope all your bits are there and in the right spot.  I was worried about it last night so your kicking/punching was very well-timed ’cause it really helped put me at ease.  You really must have been doing a big aerobic workout so all your heart chambers etc must be fine, surely.  Anyway, we’ll see today. Hope the noise & intrusion doesn’t bother you too much.

xxx M

 

woohoo! Holidays December 12, 2008

Hi Speccie,

guess what! we’re on holidays! Its official, work has finished for the year! Just those nasty exams tomorrow to knock over, then we’re free!

By the way, was that you giving me a sharp kick in the kidneys at around 12:45? It was such a sharp, unusual pain that went away really quickly, that I suspect you were trying to stretch the boundaries of your home. Please keep it down in there if it was you – it was very painful. Otherwise, sorry to accuse you of things which aren’t down to you – I guess you have no real way of refuting it. I guess you’re stuck with that until you’re able to talk. In fact, I can blame you for everything from now until then really.

I look foward to it. I can see the conversations now:
Your dad: “Where did all the lollies go?!! What’s mine is yours and I want some lollies!”.
Me: “Oh my goodness, you little monster. Speck, I can’t believe you got into the lollies again!”.
Your dad: “I thought Speck was still on milk”.
Me: “Well, I guess he/she has moved on quickly. Fast developer, just like his/her dad :)”.

Awesome. It sounds like it might just work out. There have to be some compensations for carrying you around for nine months!

Hope you’re as excited as I am.  Look forward to lots of swims and lazing on the beach.   I might read out-loud to you if you’re lucky.

Love you

mum

 

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
mum

 

Happy Week 9! Now you start to swim :) November 20, 2008

Hiya Speck,

I’m lying in bed as I type.  Had to leave work on-time after getting in a bit early and had intended to come home and study but its all too much so I took to bed for a bit of a rest.  Your dad just got home and he is cooking fresh fig and walnut salad.  Yum.

Apparently I had it all wrong last week, and according to my books and the internet, you are only just beginning to swim around this week.   What good were those webbed hands then?  I guess you still have them for a bit more, so do take advantage.  And you are apparently grape-sized, but by next week you’ll be the size of an orange.  Now that is a bit weird.  How do you grow so much in one week?  No wonder I’m tired. Other things happening to you: your tail is disappearing, and your are starting to get your boy/girl bits.  Lucky for you!

The hospital information arrived today. I read it but with a bit of disbelief.  I’m still not really sure that you are coming, and if you are, will I really have to deliver you?  Through my vagina in a hospital?  Oh my god.  The birthing suites sounded private and ok, though.  And apparently your dad should bring togs for the shower.  So I guess we can shower together when you’re fighting your way out.  Its all a bit surreal, I have to say.   Hopefully you’ll be born at the same hospital I was born at, and the one where two of your aunts were born, and your two maternal uncles and cousins too.  Your other aunt was born at home.  I watched when I was 9 years old.  Its still one of my most enduring and exciting memories from my childhood.  And my only real exposure to childbirth.  I remember thinking that your Aunt was going to get her head banged on the bed as she came out: she had a big head with black hair & it was two pushes before she was fully out so she was in mid-air for a while.  I think I have a lot to learn.   Hopefully your dad and I will have fun learning about it and be relaxed about how it happens.   I’d like to think so.

Love & thinking of you

mum