Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bye bye Boobies

It's been a week since Patrick last had boobie, and this morning was the first time I gave him a bottle and a snuggle in bed instead of, well, me. It wasn't quite as nice, because instead of him staring into my eyes and playing with my moles (his favourite is the one near my armpit when I make clicking 'on' and 'off' noises and stick out my tongue when he presses it) he just laid on his back and stared at the ceiling. Sad to think I'll never again see his shining eyes as he tries hard not to giggle as I tickle his tummy or his feet because he knows that means the boobie will slip out. And the looking deep into my eyes, deep, deep, deeper... it used to unnerve me, because, what did he want from me? The neediness of that gaze freaked me right out because, like, hell, kid, I don't know the answers to everything, please, man, I don't know what I'm doing. But lately it's more like searching my face, my soul... but no more.

78 weeks and 4 days. And I didn't expect to make it past 2 weeks, but it just happened that way. I'm sad it's ended, but it had to: I was acutely aware of the diminishing supply (dry sucking...hurts) and also every time I had this mental image of my pituitary stuggling to keep up with the prolactin and oxytocin and all those pregnancy hormones at the same time, given I have about a three millimetre wedge of normal pituitary tissue, the rest being taken up with a (very) benign... umm... growth (it is, technically a tumour, but that has all sorts of implications that don't apply to me- even more technically it is a hamartoma- a developmental lump that's probably been there since I had a pituitary and will never get any bigger) and the awful threat of miscarriage that hangs over my head- if I miscarry now I think I'll feel cheated because I'll have 'given up for nothing'.

I try very hard not to be a boob nazi, because I know I'm very, very lucky to have had firstly a plentiful supply (in fact I'm still leaking at random intervals), a supportive husband and workplace, and the ministrations of a lactation consultant who did housecalls, and the dosh to pay for them. I'll admit to feeling a little 'you don't know what you're missing' when my cesar patients tell me they're not going to attempt breastfeeding, but I try to keep this to myself, because I know breastfeeding is not for everyone for any number of reasons. I'm just glad I was able to stick at it. As for the length of time I fed Patrick- well, I had always expected that Patrick would give up of his own volition, and just kept thinking it would, just, kinda, you know, happen. But then when it didn't, I just kept putting it off as something to do later. I'm not a hippie hippie "breastmilk is the only thing that is nutritionally adequate for your baby and toddler" because, hell, I give Patrick hot chips, for chrissakes. It's definitely more about the emotional connection, now, and, of course, now that special part of the bond is gone, I'm sad.

On other news, v2.0 is now 7+5/40; only two others have made it to this point- and one of those was Patrick. I have my first obstetrician's visit on Friday, so I'll have one of those reassuring ultrasounds then (or not reassuring, as the case may be). I feel sick, tired, emotional and dizzy, which is about as good as it gets for pregnancy symptoms for me, so, so far so good. I'm not going to get all tizzy and put up a ticker just yet- trust me, I know day by day what we are up to date-wise, but 17th of April next year is looking, at this point at least, like a busy time for me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hobart photos and vid

This is the amazing West Hobart Train Park which is apparently good enough to come all the way from Denmark for. We turned up there and found a huge gathering of press and policemen and thought, nah, fuggit, we're going in. The royals are about a metre behind my back as I took this: fortunately the Danish security people kept all the press at the gates so you can't really tell from this photo just what a fishbowl we were in. Pat had a ball here- there's lots to see and do. Unfortunately we didn't have a tricycle for him to ride: there's a painted on train 'track' complete with railway bridge and signals to ride around to the left of this photo.

W.on.der.suits. This is the largest size they make (2) and the only 'footie suit' they make that fits paddy for sleeping in. He looks so cute in it...
Dad's messy 'study' where I wrote the rambling and very ingenerous post about my parents. Whilst I was writing it, my dad was walikng Pat around the back yard...


Patrick throwing a tennis ball for Molly, the old dog, in the backyard in Hobart.
In the cutest hat- my mum bought it for him.
This is the view of Mt Wellington from my parent's front verandah
In the snow on Mount Wellington. It started to really come down about 5 minutes later- there was about 5cm of snow on the top of the car in about 10 minutes... Ok you northern hemisphere types can snicker, but Hobart is the only capital city that regularly gets snow.

Finally, this is a video of the truly awesome Parliament street slide- I remembered this from my youth, when it was made of metal and much faster, but Patrick loved it. When we arrived I immediately rethought the idea as way too dangerous for Patrick- he's too little- but when I turned around to look for him to take him home someone said "He's at the bottom" - he'd already loaded himself up and gone down, completely fearless. We stayed here for about half an hour: by the end of that time he was absolutely buggered- as was I (there are 36 steps to the top, and I had to carry him up the last 10 every time he went down). If you ever visit Hobart (and I sincerely recommend you do), be sure and visit this slide. It's in Parliament street, near Fitzroy gardens. And completely free of charge. One of the many reasons I love Hobart.
video

Work sucks

I've been on afternoon shift all week- five days of 1400- midnight madness. And it's been horribly busy- so busy that yesterday they cancelled all the elective (routine) surgery and only did emergency stuff. I'm so tired with the 1T stuff I could just about die but for the last three days in particular it has been so busy I don't often get to sit down until 2300. Yesterday I did a transplant list by myself for the first ever time, which was daunting but I got through it fine- my boss was in the next room so I had mental backup, and I knew she'd help me if I asked, so I had support there, but it was till very intense. The good thing is now I have a great sense of achievement... And two days off!

A few things i hate

When you write a huge post and it comes up blank on blogger. Turd.

When people describe something as "Spinach" and it's actually silverbeet. Like "spinach and fetta tart" at a bakery and it's horrible and bitter and foul. SILVERBEET IS SILVERBEET and IS NOT SPINACH!

First trimester symptoms. Sick, tired and bloated. My stomach is already hanging over my trousers, and it's only 7+3/40. Blah.

recent sewing photos

This is some stuff I have been sewing recently (well, over the last three months- I haven't got that much free time)- first a bunch of reversible hoodies. Super super easy- I used a s.impl.icit.y pattern (5316) which is just the one-sided affair, and then sewed a second one (the lining/reverse side) facing it and turned them out. Really not that hard but very rewarding. Once I have cut out the pieces, it takes me about an hour to sew- stretch fabric so I don't have to bother with edging or hemming much. I don't use my overlocker (serger) just my plain old machine using a very basic stretch stitch.
Since these photos were taken I've also made an apple green one with multi coloured guitars on the hood lining, and a white shaggy pile fleece one which has black and white stripes on the reverse.

My sister-in-law was bemoaning the fact that so much girls' stuff is pink and tizzy, so I made her this pinafore (for my niece) out of some black corduroy that I had left over from Patrick's stuff. I bought the red fabric as a cheap fat 1/4 for $3, and I already had the pattern. I was originally going to turn up the contrast at the hem as a facing but I liked the way it looked so left it hanging. The top of the back has the red fabric as facing too. The pattern has a ribbon closure at the back, but I used a black "frog" that I had left over from a maternity cheong sam silk top I made for a wedding. I had fun with this, and it turned out pretty good too. My s-i-l was thrilled and my niece looks super good. I can't believe it only cost me $3- my s-i-l tells me people think it's some designer thing that cost a mint.

I also had this floral cor hanging around- can't even remember what i bought it for, so I made it into some trousers for my niece. The green cord is again a remnant from Patrick's stuff. My niece's name is Stella, so you can see a bit of a star motif coming through (I thought it may have been too literal for my s-i-l- she's a sculptor, very artsy, but she doesn't mind).

Finally, to finish off I made her some onesies out of (shock, horror) non-pink fabric. Again, this was all stuff I had sitting around, so it didn't cost me a cent, and my s-i-l is thrilled with the result. I kept one of the striped red and white ones for Patrick that the stripes didn't quite match up on. I figure that I mighth be able to use them all for v2.0 so when Stella has finished with them I'll get them 'back' (not that that was my motivation, btw) even though they were all, essentially, free.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Down and out in Hobart and Tasmania. Also, v2.0 6+1/40

I'm down in lovely old Hobart visiting my parents.

I really love this old town, but there is something about being in my old family home that just brings me down terribly. My parents own a beautiful old bungalow (a bit like this) with views of Mount Wellington (which today is covered in snow- more on that later) that is seriously enormous- it has seven bedrooms, a library, a huge eat-in kitchen plus a dining room with an open fire plus it's on a double block of land with established old silver birch trees and iris beds, with apricot, nectarine and plum trees. But, it is FULL of crap that they haven't thrown out.

They're not hoarders to a totally pathological stage, but just for example, my dad still has the plans for an extension on the house we lived in in Canberra... THIRTY YEARS AGO. Ok, maybe that's sentimental crap, but there's serious new crap too. Like mum always keeps any postbags or post tubes you send 'just in case'. There are just the two of them living here now (they did have a lodger- a law student who is today being admitted to the bar of the supreme court of Tasmania) but they run two fridges plus a chest freezer. About five years ago I rationalised mum's plastics cupboard and put all the excess takeaway containers, old lunchboxes and milkshake makers into a garbage bag, with the strict instructions that what she hadn't had to use in six months was to go to Vinnies. And as soon as I left home she... put it all back in the cupboard.

Granted there is a pile of stuff belonging to me and my siblings that we would be horrified if they threw out- my artworks from year 12, my old school blazer, various dollies and teddies- but again, about 5 years ago I went through my stuff and loaded what I didn't need into a bunch of boxes and marked them clearly to be taken to Vinnies. They're still in my cupboard!!

I'd love to help them. They still drive around in the V6 4.0L station wagon that guzzles 15L of petrol per 100km- and with petrol here about $1.60 a litre, that means, what, $96 for a return trip to Launceston- cheaper to fly- but they refuse to even consider looking for a smaller car. I'[d help my mum sort through her fabric scraps, but she refuses to part with them. Currently I'm sitting in my dad's...?study ?junk room ?train room ?godknowswhat that is literally filled with junk- paper, old maps, files, bits of wire- and a model train setup that is about three metres long and two metres wide- that doesn't even run properly. My sister and I used to share this room when we were little- there is easily enough room for both our beds, two chests of drawers, a dollhouse, several boxes of lego and all the other paraphenalia of childhood, but now you have to walk in sideways, dodging all the junk.

It wouldn't worry me so much if they actually used the stuff that was stored away, but I know for a fact that they have absolutely no idea what is in most of the stored crap. Like my mum's deep freeze- she never goes below the top layer (peas, three litre containers of milk- that's right, there's two of them- frozen bread, vege sausages) and when either me or my sister does a clean out, all the meat at the bottom is well past salvage. Yesterday I threw out some antihistamines that were- get this- 14 years past date. Mum said they weren't hers, but, srsly, after 14 years would you remember what pills you took for your hayfever that year?

It gets me down, and despite the weather today being sunny, crispand clear, I can't even motivate myself to be happy. It's time to go home.

I'll write about the snow when I get home and can get pictures (Dad says there's something wrong with the 'photo program' on his computer, and he won't let anyone- including my sister with an honours degree in information systems- try to sort it out.

Oh and v2.0 is ticking along fine. Nothing much. We have our first appointment with the lovely obstetrician in two weeks time. All my bloods checked out pretty good, good beta, etc etc. No news=good news.

Monday, August 11, 2008

v 2.0 4+6/40

Well the faint line aint so faint anymore, it's really there. And I have developed brain fuddle to a seriously dangerous level. The nausea isn't too terrible- I've never been a vomiter, thank heaven, but I hate the horrible 'just turned my head too quicky, whoa, gotta sit down' feeling I get instead.

First trimester symptoms are the worst, because, apart from you, dearest internet, and your partner (who is sick of hearing about them) you can't whinge about them without letting on you're up the duff. I do feel definitely different this time around- less 'glowing feeling in the pelvis' more 'gotta pee'.

FWIW here's my list of 1stT hates

1. Having to pee all the time. Especially now after one va-jayjay birth the "Old pelvic floor she aint what she used to be, aint what she used to be, aint what she used to be". I mean, not total old-ladyness, just more hells bells get out of that loo NOW! It's not so bad at work when I have a bunch of really quick cases to do - like hour-long choles or whatever, because I can just nick to the loo which is conveniently between recovery and the rest of theatre (even if that does mean I'm sometimes going in there with ampuoles of Fentanyl, Ketamine and Midazolam in my pocket- I mean, it does look seriously dodgy, I'll admit it, but a girl's gotta pee, right? And I never come out with them open, right?). But then there's the 6-hour long hand extravaganza (reattatch nerves, blood vessels, tendons, etc etc etc) where I'm literally hopping up and down and praying I don't sneeze.

2. Head fogging.
I have a bad case of domestic blindness. "Where's the spatula?" "Umm, the one in your right hand?". And I keep forgetting things like... shoes. I forgot to put shoes on. Thank christ I don't have an exam to study for this time, because that sucked majorly.

3. Tiredness.
I just commented on Matt's blog that it's like having done a week of 12-hour night shifts, but you have only just got out of bed. Seriously. Yesterday I started to nod off at work. Although anaesthetists dozing on the job is not unknown, it is frowned upon, and it seriously freaked me out. We were doing a god-awful orthopaedic procedure on a very fit well guy, but I had1. Just had lunch 2.Was wearing an enormous lead gown- we use portable x-ray machines for ortho operations, and if you're 'in the family way' you're meant to wear two on your lower half. I don't want to give anything away at this early stage, so I wore the biggest one I could and kind of bunched over in my chair so there were two layers over my pelvis. A lead gown is exactly as heavy as it sounds. 3. am pg.

4. Running out of breath.
Gotta love progesterone. By even this early stage of pgcy, the amount of progesterone you produce makes you breathe faster to get more oxygen for your hypermetabolic state (which is also responsible for the tiredness). I found last time(s) that the feeling of shortness of breath started at about 5 weeks and didn't stop until 40 (or 39+5 as it was). Hating it. Went for a swim this morning and felt like I was going to drown- no so much for unfitness (which I am) but that I couldn't breathe fast enough...

5. Belly bloat.
That lovely PMT bloat just never goes away, does it? Great.

6. Not Knowing.
Is this to be the first in a series? Can I allow myself to think about the future? Should we be planning? Should I be in healthy denial until 12 weeks? Is it healthy?

I'm not sure how to feel, so I'm just going to go with that ambiguity and live day to day. Day to freaking day.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

#2.0: 4+1/40

Yesterday I was expecting AF, but nothing. So today I POAS and got BF*P. Given that that would be G6 but only P1 I'm expecting another MC but we'll W&C: another HPT on the W/E.

In other, related news, big congratulations to both Julie, Paul, Charlie and now Ben and Matt and Constance.



*=faint