December 28, 2010

Ten

Ten has long been my favourite number. I have so many connections to it:
  • The first three letters of my name (to the point that my nickname used to be Ten-Ten)
  • I was born on the tenth of June
  • I was the tenth grandchild born to my mum's parents
  • When I played basketball, I was number 10
...and many others. A lot of things in my life boil down to the number ten. Even the dates of Ianto's death and birth. 26/2, the day he died. 2+6+2 = 10. He was born on the 28th. 2+8 = 10. He was born in 2010. I always knew I would have a baby in 2010. Actually, I thought it would be my second baby, because I planned to start having kids around 20 and space them out by three or four years. Not exactly how it ended up, obviously, but I was still right.

Another ten? It's been ten months since Ianto was born.


December 26, 2010

Xmas part two (three?)

Xmas Eve Continued

Well, after my big day at the hospital, I went back to my mum and dad's place for the rest of Xmas Eve. I really can not remember what happened for the rest of the day there. I suppose I had something to eat at some point, but otherwise my mind is blank. That night, still there, I sat down to watch Carols by Candlelight on TV. My teenage brothers have grown out of it, but I still love singing along and being silly. Of course, I didn't anticipate crying like a silly person.

It started off with everyone in the house cracking up laughing - Dad was playing with an app on his new iPhone that repeats everything you say. He and my youngest brother were in the kitchen laughing at that, while Mum and I were in the lounge room trying to watch the carols but laughing at how funny Dad's laugh is when he's really amused. Then "Silent Night" started playing on the TV... and I lost it. Last year while I was watching, Ianto kicked me really hard during that song, just as I wished him a Merry Xmas. It all hit me at once, and the tears started flowing. At some point Dad came in, still laughing, until Mum pointed out that I was crying and could he please be quiet because we were watching TV. He sat next to me and just hugged me tightly until I stopped crying,  started cracking silly jokes again (it helped that Cookie was belting my insides in what seemed to be an attempt to cheer me up), and was singing along to the next song.

Once Scott got home from work, he joined us and we all decided to open our Secret Santa presents. I'm not bragging or anything, but what I bought for my recipient (my youngest brother) was the best gift given. Sunglasses and a nice watch/pen set. I got a "foot warmer" set from my oldest brother - some ugg boots with foot lotion, spray, and gel. I think he might think my feet stink.

Once the Secret Santa presents were open, we couldn't help it. We had to open the rest. We've never done that before, opened our presents on Xmas Eve, so we all waited until midnight to rip into them. I got some books, a nice necklace, and the "traditional" stocking full of Cadbury chocolates. Well, that wasn't all, there was more, but they were the main things. After all the excitement of the day, Scott and I finally went home. He'd managed to get himself as a Secret Santa, so he had some DVDs he'd been holding off watching. We put one on, and fell asleep.

Xmas Day

When we woke up, we went back to Mum and Dad's for what we thought was meant to be a family breakfast. Turned out they were leaving to go to their holiday house (um... caravan.) earlier than I thought, and they were finishing off packing. I still held hope breakfast was coming, but they ended up leaving without that happening. I cried again, having had every plan I'd made broken by something or another. Then I perked up and made Scott some French Toast. For a first-time effort, it was quite good.

After lazing around a little more, we headed off to Scott's dad's place. Ugh. If it wasn't for the fact I didn't want to be horribly lonely on Xmas, we wouldn't have even thought of going. I'm not exactly a fan of his dad, or his stepmum, or his nan... Or any of their respective dogs. All of whom were there. Yuck. Suffered through that for about an hour and a half, choking down some very dry chicken, then we left to go to my Pa's place.

Oh god that sounds weird. Pa's place. It should be Nan and Pa's place. But no, Nan's gone now. Oh boy were there tears flowing there. He's hard of hearing, so he was practically bellowing everything he wanted to say. Plus he's fond of repeating himself, so I heard the same thing a few times - how Nan was "always the boss" and how this'll be his first Xmas without him in 65 years. When we first got there, I started making myself a cup of tea, but I had to stop when I realised I'd be using Nan's teabags. It wouldn't have bothered me before (it's not like she was protective of them) but it felt weird knowing that once those teabags are gone, that's it. No more teabags that Nan put in that container herself. Once it was getting too upsetting for me, we headed home.

Shortly after leaving Pa's, we very almost ended up in an accident. Completely the other driver's fault - a taxi driver, of course. He tried changing lanes into ours, completely ignoring the fact the front of our car was level with his window. Scott blasted the horn a few times until the idiot got the message that we were there (and it's not like he didn't know anyway, his window was open right next to our loud clunky car!) and got back in his own lane. A few seconds later, he did it again! This time, Scott just leaned on the horn continually until he backed off again. He ended up speeding up and merging into our lane ahead of us, leaning out his window with his middle finger raised. I returned the gesture as Scott handed me his mobile and told me to take down the details of the taxi. I did, and we filed a formal complaint as soon as we got home.

As for the rest of the day, I'd had the idea earlier to go to the movies. We looked up session times and wasted time until we had to leave for the movie. We ended up seeing Megamind, which is so fun! I was going crazy trying to pick one of the voices, which Scott was sure was George Clooney. I agreed with him until the credits... it was Brad Pitt. Ah well, at least I was right and it was a familiar person rather than a nobody I'd never heard of.

All in all, while yesterday wasn't great as a Xmas Day, it was a good Saturday. Friday was more "Xmas-y" than the big day itself, which is fine by me.





Xmas Eve at the hospital

Friday, I had a similar panic to what I had on Monday. I hadn't felt much movement from Cookie in a couple of days. This time I really did panic. I remembered that a cold drink had helped last time, so I skulled a ice-cold bottle of water... and nothing. "Oh shit." So off we went to the hospital. On the way there, I concentrated so hard on my little bump - and still nothing. I thought for a moment that I could feel a somersault, but when I looked down I realised it was just my seat belt.

After spending about 15 minutes trying to find parking (gawd I hate hospital parking!) we got into the hospital, checked into Emergency, and into a little check-up room straight away. Scott and I did what we always do when we're scared about our babies - no talking, no eye contact. Eye contact means admitting we're scared, admitting there might actually be something wrong. It's just an unspoken thing we do.

I lay on the bed thingie as directed, pulled my skirt down to show off my horrific stretch marks beautiful belly, and the doctor (midwife?) put the yucky gel for the doppler on. Then the moment of truth... That scratchy sort of noise the doppler makes as it moves around... Still no heartbeat. Scratch, scratch... "Is that my heartbeat?" I thought as I tried to slow it down. Nope. I could feel my heartbeat now, very distinctly different to the sound of my baby's faster one. "Oh thank goodness."

Eye contact was finally made with Scott. We both tried pretending we hadn't been scared, as the doctor/midwife told us she had to go get some paperwork so she could send us up to Pregnancy Day Care. She left the room and we cracked up. "What the hell is Pregnancy Day Care?" we asked each other. No mention of the fear we'd just been feeling. No need, there was nothing to be scared of.

Pregnancy Day Care turned out to be where they did a CTG to hear Cookie's heartbeat. Of course, me growing a baby who likes to scare their mother, it took a little while to get a proper trace on the heart. I ended up having to hold it myself, pressed at an angle into my fat tummy. The next twenty minutes or so were bliss. The constant thump-thump-thump filled the room as I lay there trying to ignore how sore my tummy was getting from having the monitor thingo pressed in. There were a few times when it suddenly went really fast, but it slowed to normal within seconds. The midwife came in and said she'd let me go soon. Scott ended up having to leave around then, because he had to get to work, but that was alright, we knew all was fine with our baby by then.

Day Care (giggle...) sent me back down to Emergency to give them a little slip of paper saying all was okay. I'd forgotten that when I was down there earlier, they got a high blood pressure reading so they wanted to check that again just in case. So I sat and waited again in a little room. Blood pressure was alright, did I mind giving them a urine sample? No worries, I'd been busting to wee for an hour at that point. Took the sample back to my little room - taking very special care not to place it anywhere near my drinking water - and waited again... A lovely doctor called Alex came in to talk to me as the midwife (the third one at this point, are you keeping up?) took my wee away for testing.

Alex had a feel of my tummy, noted that it was measuring right on dates, and stayed with me as the midwife came and told me there was lots of sugar in my wee. Yippee. I had to do a finger-prick test to check I didn't have that level of sugar in my blood. I hate finger-prick tests even more than usual needles, so both women were treated to what happens when I'm scared - excessive babbling. I swear I told them both my life story in the space of a minute. Actually, Midwife screwed up when she was pricking me. She thought she'd aligned the thingie with the fleshy part of my finger - but when she squeezed to get the blood out, it came from under my nail. She'd stabbed my nail bed. The weirdest part? I didn't realise she'd even pricked me. I didn't feel it! Anyway, that came back normal. I told them it might have been the Maccas breakfast I'd had - the first time in ages I've had McDonald's for breakfast, and it had to be the day I go to the hospital.

Alex asked me when my next ultrasound was booked for, and I told her I didn't know. I was supposed to be booked in for next week, but my usual doctor never gave me a referral. She went off to check if I was booked automatically, or whether I needed to book it myself. It turned out that it would be incredibly hard to get me in for next week, did I want to go up straight away? She didn't have to ask - of course I'd go up! She warned me that they still might not be able to get me in, since I didn't have an appointment, and I'd just be at the mercy of whoever was on shift. I still wanted to go, so off I went.

I ended up waiting for a few more hours. About three and a half hours. So I saw lots of people come and go. There was a gorgeous little boy, maybe around six months old, who kept looking at me and grinning before "talking" to his dad about something. He kept me giggling for a while (yeah, I giggle at babies. Sue me) before he had to leave. There was the weird teenage girl who I'm fairly certain took a photo of me on her iPhone. Creep.

Then there was the "bad news couple." They came out from their ultrasound silent as anything, and sat back down in the corner. I kinda had a feeling something was going on, and I was right. A few minutes after I became aware of them, she broke down in tears and started whimpering to her partner something I remember very well saying myself - "It's just not fair..." My eyes filled with tears instantly. Bad news has never been so obvious. I fought with myself for a while, wanting to go over to comfort her and tell her my story, but I couldn't. Her partner didn't seem the type that would be open to a stranger talking to him out of the blue. While she was in the toilet, he was on the phone to someone telling them what was going on. From what I could gather, their baby was alive, but had serious problems. That's all I could get with the aforementioned creepy teenage girl playing a very loud game on that damn iPhone. They left, and I was left worrying about what news they might have received.

Then, finally, it was my turn. Three hours of sitting down had left me a little creaky and sore, so I slowly followed the lady into the dark room. Lay down, got more yucky gel squirted on me. There was the head, oh, there's the heart... Ohmygodisthatapenis? Just as I started thinking I was looking at my new little son's legs and willy, I heard "Aw, baby has their arm over the cord there"... Oh. What I thought was a leg was an arm! Oops. So, no, we're still being surprised. Everything was normal, though obviously now Cookie's too big to make much out on the ultrasound if you don't know what you're looking at. They had problems once more getting a proper reading on the cord's blood flow. Want to know why?

Cookie had the hiccups! Although I couldn't make much out, I could see the little jerky movements, and it was just so cute. The woman actually ended up putting it in the official report (with the spelling as it is here) - "Very active baby. Had hik-ups." We also found that baby's head is just slightly smaller than Ianto's was when he was born. And it's going to get much bigger, apparently. That's the first time I've really thought about that. Ianto wasn't fully grown when he was born. This one's going to be bigger. Obvious, I know, but I'd never really considered that properly. Oops.

Gosh, if you've been through all this without a break, you're a hero. Go have a cuppa or something. I'll be back soon with the rest of how my Xmas went.




December 22, 2010

It's started. Perfect.

I suppose I should be grateful. I got to 27 weeks before starting to freak out. But freak out I have been the past three days. I convinced myself I'd lost Cookie.

Never mind I could feel him/her kicking lazily here and there.

Never mind the logical part of my head was telling me that I was trying to feel kicks at times s/he tends to not kick much (I'm guessing s/he's asleep during those times - they do sleep in there, you know!) and the fact I was feeling kicks at all was a good sign at least.

Never mind I knew s/he had moved into a new position a couple of days ago so it could just be that s/he's kicking towards my back instead of my front.

Oh, no, the fact that I wasn't feeling the massive strong kicks I've come to expect from Cookie had convinced me that I'd lost another one. I started making plans last night and everything - "I'll let Scott go to work, then call him when he finishes and tell him to meet me at the hospital because I'm worried. Then we'll do the scan, confirm what I know, go home to pack bags..." I seriously had it all planned out. Right down to the plot in the cemetery where we'd be burying another child. I even (this is so hard to say, and please don't judge me...) planned where I was going to ask to be buried, because I was going to kill myself.

I got up, had a drink of water, and sat on the couch and started thinking about what kind of stuff I might want to pack. "Maybe I should do it now?" I thought, but decided I was too tired and went back to bed. I lay on my back for a little bit, hands on my belly, and thought about my babies. I felt guilt that I've bonded more with this one than I ever did with Ianto. I felt sadness that I'd lost two in one year, and this one so close to Xmas too! I felt paranoia that I'd never be able to carry a child to term. I felt... a massive kick, right under my hand! I'd been thinking about it all for so long that the time had clicked over into an "awake time" for Cookie, and s/he was kicking as usual! I could even distictly feel where his/her bum was, for the very first time! (I'm guessing bum, could have been a head...)

Of course, I immediately burst into tears, waking Scott up in the process. Now he thought something was wrong, and I tried with all my might to explain that it was okay, they were half happy tears, half "oh s***, I have another 13 weeks of this worry!" tears. He hugged me with his hands on my belly and felt a few kicks himself. That's all he needs. Not me, I'm still worried! I know how quickly things can turn around, so my happiness was short-lived.

So, twenty seven weeks of being fairly cruisy about this pregnancy, and now I'm scared. How am I supposed to trust my body and my baby for the next thirteen?

Oh, and this is my 100th post. I was hoping to make it a nice positive one, but last night killed that idea. Today's very much a "blah" day.

December 14, 2010

I think I'm in love... with the hospital?

I had three hospital appointments yesterday. They all went heaps better than I expected they would. I'm so surprised how smoothly things are going at the hospital, especially given how opposed I was to even having a hospital birth. Still, here's hoping #3 gets to be born at home...

The Hospital Tour: Went very well, the birthing rooms aren't as scary as I thought they might be. MASSIVE bath in every room (guess where I'm insisting on labouring?) and a very comfy atmosphere. They encourage you to labour in the bath, though I didn't get to ask if I'd be allowed to actually birth in there. I was a little worried when they said the two rooms without baths are kept for women who are high-risk, but I'm hoping they don't mean me. Surely they wouldn't?

The postnatal ward looks fantastic, though I know my poor mum won't be able to visit me unless I have the curtains closed (she's scared of heights)... They have double beds in there! I'm going to be able to co-sleep right off the bat, how fantastic is that? They're also very keen for all their patients to breastfeed, to the point where they don't even supply formula if you want to formula feed. If you're not going well with breastfeeding, they get a lactation consultant in for you. Given how adamant I am about breastfeeding Cookie, I'm really happy about that.

Breastfeeding an infantImage via Wikipedia
I was quite excited to see how comfortable everything looks, and that the middies seem to be the ones running the show instead of the OBs. Fills me with a little hope... They did say, however, that they usually only allow two birth partners per woman, and if you want more you have to really fight for it. I have three. Crap. And yes, I know they wouldn't have shown much of the negative, so I could be fawning over things that won't end up mattering to me. They might be horrible, really, but I have to hope they're not.

The Obstetrician Appointment: Very quick appointment, given the long wait *sigh...* I don't have Gestational Diabetes (yaaay) and the only small problem was the Northern still hasn't sent them my history so I have to go try to collect it myself. Idiots! Cookie's heartbeat sounded incredibly fast to me, but the doctor didn't seem worried so I suppose everything's okay. She said she's taking her annual leave soon so she most likely won't see me until after Bub is born. No big deal to me, I've only met her twice so I'm not attached to her. She seemed a bit dippy anyway. Which reminds me, she said we needed to arrange another ultrasound two weeks from now, but didn't give us a referral. Hmm... Must look into that...


The Psychologist Appointment: All went well, not really much to report there. She wants me to write down anything I might want to talk about before our next appointment. When she asked how I coped with losing Ianto, I wasn't quite sure what to say. I just told her I wrote a lot after it happened (well, I did! Look at how many blog posts I've done!) and slept a lot. No motivation to do anything. Ever.

Oh, goodness, speaking of sleep, I have been sleeping so much lately! The past three days, I think I've only been awake about 30% of the time.
 



December 07, 2010

A year of sadness, anger, and joy

You'll have to click through to read it, but this is my 2010 on facebook (a collection of my statuses, January - now)



Xmas part one

(I wonder how many "Parts" this one will have? Aaaanyway...)

Well, it's December. This time last year, I was pregnant with Ianto (not quite "heavily pregnant" yet, but getting there...) and looking forward to 2010 and the joys I thought it would bring. HA! Little did I know, hey?

My belly on Xmas day 2009 - 23w pregnant with Ianto.
Our annual Santa photo - we thought it would be our last without a child in the picture. This year will feature my significantly larger bump and Ianto's teddy bear.
I went to Ianto's grave last week, put some small decorations up to make it look a little more festive (and less bare)... I want to keep adding to it, but I'm not sure how.

Overview of the whole thing
This time next year, we WILL have a headstone here. Hopefully. If we can get the money together...

I tried to get a better picture of the fairy lights, but you can hardly see them...


And so concludes "Part One"