|34 Weeks Pregnant - heading out to Dinner (without Kids :-) )|
I thought it might be time for a little update on how I've been travelling so far. I could have posted weekly or monthly updates on the pregnancy to save you from what will now be a lengthy Post but like many good intentions, it just didn't happen. Never mind.
Well, so far so good. It's been a pretty normal, textbook pregnancy for which I am grateful. Emotionally it has been the best pregnancy yet, not least because I have the joy of sharing it with the Kidlets, who at 4,4,6 and 8 are at an age where they can truly appreciate and get involved in what's happening. The gang are super excited and I am so proud at how well they have coped with the prospect of a new sibling along with all the other changes they've endured over the last 12 months. Also, worrying about one little soul is much less stressful than worrying about two at once and contrary to what I was expecting everyone has been really positive about me having a 5th baby. As my sister said everyone now figures I must really love kids. Now that came out a bit wrong but you know what I mean.....
We don't know what we are having. Of course I can't wait to find out and understand why people do. It's very exciting! We had a surprise for the first baby and for the Twins but found out for the second and I just personally preferred having the big reveal at the birth. For me, the gender is just a small part of their little personalities and if you've been touched with the loss of a baby or have been devastated by the loss of your closest friends' beloved 5 year-old, everything gets put in perspective and I just can't enter the gender conversation. However, when people ask I usually say it will either be another girl or another boy but NOT another set of Twins :-D
But it hasn't all been Beer & Skittles. Physically, it's been quite tough. The so-called normal pregnancy related complaints of morning sickness, fatigue, back pain, Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD or separation of the pubic bones), mood swings and heartburn that barely caused an eyebrow raise during my first pregnancy seem to be taking their toll on me this time around.
Or maybe I've just turned into a bit of a sook now that I'm 35 and entering that dreaded Advanced Maternal Age bracket. Or maybe the Twins are responsible for my current body failings. Or maybe it's just the culmination of having a few previous pregnancies. Or maybe I'm just a sook.......
I sailed through my first pregnancy at age 26. I was working in a law firm in Melbourne diligently accounting for every 6 minutes of my existence. I walked the 40 minutes to work every day, would make a dash to the bathrooms around 10am when the wave of nausea appeared. I'd return to my desk without anyone noticing, remain cheerful, make an appearance at Court, brief the odd Barrister in Chambers, then pick up a greasy toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwich and polish it off with a chocolate paddle pop on my way back to the office, finish off the day, walk home again, take the Whippet for a walk, crash into bed and do it all again the following day. I did not miss a single day of work and no one knew I was pregnant until I was about 6 months along. Shortly after, I handed in my resignation as we decided to move back to Tasmania and raise our new family there.
This time around has been slightly different. All efforts to keep the news to ourselves for as long as possible flew out the window when the first bout of morning sickness hit and I inadvertently christened the flower bed in the Car-park at School drop-off. I had to chase the parent down who witnessed the ordeal and explain myself, which would have been fine had I not been wearing Ugg Boots and my husbands daggy tracksuit pants. It was then decided he would do the school drop-off and leave me and my morning sickness at home where the only people I would frighten would be the boys. They too started to get really frightened by the violent nature of morning sickness, asking questions like "Mum, are you dying?" to which I responded "no, not today darling". My attempts at humour failed because the next day I would get "Mum, are you dying today?". "No, my love, we are having a baby and this is all completely normal, yep all very normal".
The sickness caught me completely unawares at any time of the day and night. There was also the evening when we were attending a function at the Athenaeum Club, a posh gentlemen's club in Hobart, where I christened the antique carpet on the way up to the dining room. I eventually made it to the bathroom and came out seeing my husband valiantly mopping up the trail of destruction with paper towel. Mortified to say the least. We continued on the evening as if nothing had happened but I decided I needed to keep myself at home to avoid further embarrassment.
There were a couple of weeks of feeling semi-human where we enjoyed a gorgeous little trip to Vietnam but short;y after that my pelvis packed it in due to SPD which meant I could barely walk without immense pain. Again, a normal condition of pregnancy which will go away as soon as the baby is born. Normal but annoying and painful nonetheless. I am finding myself increasingly couch bound which is hard with two energetic 4 year olds all day every day but they have been so great about it and I'm doing my best to keep things normal. Not that 'normal' is something that we carry off very well around here. To give you an idea of what normal for us entails, let me tell you about my last obstetrician appointment.
Picture, if you will, a serene environment where first time mothers sit anxiously in the waiting room with their beloved partner, holding hands and gushing over the pregnancy magazines while they wait in anticipation to see their growing Fetus on screen for the first time.
Then there is me with my entourage of 1, 2, 3, 4 'exuberant' sidekicks.
Before we even enter the waiting room, I have to clean up the boy who has watched me too many times apply make-up in the car at traffic lights because she is always in a rush after having to get a million people ready. He is pleased with his efforts until I explain that the 'lipgloss' is in fact lipstick and all the other kids start teasing him.
We enter the waiting room and the other boy chooses the 3D glasses from the 80's toy box to match his Batman outfit and proceeds to tell everyone he can see their brains. Charming!
I keep boy 3 occupied with my iPhone while I ditch the pregnancy books and brochures and enjoy some time catching up on trashy gossip from the surprisingly 'in date' women's magazines. I see a pattern for the baby jumper I knitted last week and ask for my phone back so I can take a photo, to which boy 3 states in the loudest voice "But I'm in the middle of playing Fancypants!". Eyebrows were raised and I'm still not sure if it was because he was playing Fancypants or because I took a photo of a magazine that would only cost $3 for me to buy myself. I pretend they are first-time Mums and don't try to explain the hassle of finding a car park, getting kids in and out of seat belts, fumbling around for change, avoiding arguments over chocolate bars at the counter when I can take a quick photo right now. I reason with myself that I could probably memorise the pattern except I'm suffering 'pregnancy brain'......
Meanwhile my daughter is waiting patiently, but her time to steal the limelight is still to come.
We finally 'escape' to the Obstetricians office. I adore him. We have known each other for 9 years and he has delivered all 4 of my babies. By 'delivered" I mean he made a presence at the end of each birth but he is there if things turn pear-shaped which makes for a stress-free pregnancy and birth. He is also blessed with an excellent sense of humour, and during my first scan this time around, he put his monitor on a split-view screen which showed 2 big circles indicating Twins. You have to be pretty confident of your Patient's sense of humour to carry that prank off!
He gathers 4 extra chairs around his desk, gives each of the kids a clean specimen jar and proceeds to fill them up with lollies while we wax lyrical over the state of politics in this State and his latest sailing adventure.
The kids chomp away as he starts doing a quick ultrasound. We are just about to see the little baby on screen when my daughter screeches that she just lost the big fat molar in the red jellybean. It has been wobbly for at least 6 months so there is applause all around. The ultrasound is abandoned as the Obstetrician reaches into his pocket and hands her some loose change. There is much excitement and clearly the going rate in his household is 3 times more than ours.
Everyone recovers from that and we finally get back to the ultrasound, the moment we've all been waiting for. A picture emerges from the computer and there is another uproar as all 4 kids start squealing "Evil Eye. Evil Eye. Scary baby!". Sigh. Poor baby, already labelled by its siblings before its born.
This will simply not do so the obstetrician takes another photo, "Look, it's now blowing you all a kiss!". Crisis averted. Did I mention I adore my Obstetrician?
See, never a dull moment! Anyone else in the same boat at the moment?