Thursday, October 18, 2012

40 sleeps...........

34 Weeks Pregnant - heading out to Dinner (without Kids :-) )
If you fancy a speedy pregnancy, I can highly recommend having 4 pre-existing Kids to keep you busy because this pregnancy has been the quickest one on record. I'm 34 weeks already! How did that happen? Which means there is only 6 weeks to go, give or take. Or in language the kids understand best, only 40 sleeps until I am a Mum of 5!!!!! Oh my goodness, pass me the paper bag NOW!

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?


  1. You do have your hands full, don't you? Your kids are all beautiful by the way, even the unborn one! xx

  2. Oh Mel- that visit to the Obstetrician is priceless, I bet you'll be glad you wrote it all down one day, but I did chuckle at the siblings response to the baby onscreen. Despite all of those lovely side effects of pregnancy that picture of you is gorgeous, you are glowing!
    Like you the morning sickness seemed to be never ending, luckily I managed to make the bathroom (well to tell you the truth I didn't stray far from one!) Two weeks ago the nausea stopped, but I have been coughing a little (from hayfever I think) and that is bad news. The other morning I totally disgraced myself at the breakfast table, as the cough started the dreaded gag reflex and I ran to our toilet, I nearly made it, but the wall was a bit worse for wear! Poor Rob is such a sweetheart, cleaning up after me, cooking and generally being very tolerant of how slow I am taking things. I can't imagine how hard it would be to deal with 4 other children at the same time!
    Our dogs are pretty funny, Claudia is particularly troubled by my frequent bathroom visits, and will often come in when I am leaning over to give me a reassuring lick on the face!
    I can't wait to see your little one. I have my next "big" scan next week, and whilst I've teetered back and forth on finding out the sex, I think I've gone back to my original plan to keep it a surprise! Many people think that's crazy as they think that the discovery of twins would surely be enough of a surprise for one pregnancy!

  3. Still laughing here at "evil eye baby". That photo is scary though!

    Am sure the baby will be a delight for you all.


  4. Hi Mel, your tale of the visit to the obstetrician is a mum of five myself it takes me right back to those days. I didn't see it quite as humourously back then though..hehe! I think you should keep those 'lipstick boy' photos for his CV...he'll always get work as a clown, those faces, from happy boy to sad boy are classic.

  5. This post had me in hysterics Mel, not because of your uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, or morning sickness though... the obstetrician visit. Hilarious! You are a champ with your four in tow. I stress taking my two out :) Your doctor sounds lovely, a bit like the one I had and adored too. Hope the next few weeks are smooth sailing for you and hopefully less painful. By the way, you are looking so stunning, such a good advertisement for pregnancy you are!! xx

  6. Oh Mel you do make me laugh! I'm sorry that I laughed at the unexpected nausea on your evening out, and the lipstick face! I hope the next few weeks go easily for you (if that is possible with 4 other children)and I look forward to catching up with your "goings on" when we're home from holiday. x

  7. You look beautiful. As mother of a mere two children I don't know how you do it!
    Very entertaining read x

  8. Thank you for the laugh. :-)
    You are looking absolutely amazing and I hope the next few weeks as as smooth as possible for you and your gang.

  9. too funny....between your stories of the dreaded all day sickness (and when and where it decided to show up) and the antics of your kids I laughed the entire way through. Your obstrician sounds great, reminds me of the paed we had who would spend our visits telling us about the drugs he has tried (he has to know what they taste like so he can reccomend them to the kids) and ignoring his own kids broken leg and days later taking them into emergency not letting on he was a dr.

    And btw you look positively gorgeous

    40 sleeps and counting!

  10. This one made me laugh so hard too! I have four also and you have to have a sense of humor. You look great in the picture. the boys response to the sono picture is too funny.

  11. you are gorgeous. and so generous to share, this brought back so many memories for me. it's so good to write down as much as you can, it's easy to think we'll remember. your babies are all so beautiful, enjoy the countdown to your next one!
    xxx lori

  12. Oh Mel! That 'baby photo' brought it all back for me. I love those 3D ones and only had it with the last one. We took the 9,9,7 and 6 year old to our fifth baby scan. Dressed in uniforms they looked like they were on an excursion. That scan man NEVER let children in but made an exception and they were silent as mice. One put his hand up very quietly in the dark to whisper a question about the gender but we put the ban on that one too. We found out with the twins and didn't bother again.
    The morning sickness was never as bad for me as it was with the twins. Once I had to throw up in a folded magazine on a bus that took forever to get to the shops. Nobody noticed! We mummies can be ever so discreet and clever when need be.

  13. P.S. That progression to the sad clown face is hilarious!

  14. Love your posts Mel! love the happy to sad clown face too... you look great, lets hope the 40 sleeps go well too. cheers Wendy

  15. You (almost) make me nostalgic for when my life involved stories like this, (almost). I'm at the other end of the 'journey', broken by 20+ years of mothering and impoverished by uni fees (just kidding ... well mostly kidding ;) ) I didn't get the bonus baby, 4 pregnancies equalled just the 4 kids. I'd have gone on though if we hadn't decided one child per adult hand was probably all that was viable for us! (Shh, don't tell the Mr. but you're making me quite broody, good job it's (almost) too late ;))

    You are looking marvellous Mel, sorry you're suffering - SPD is the pits! - but you really do look well x

    1. Annie, we are getting more and more impoverished by the day simply due to their massive food intake! I can't even bring myself to think about the food bill when they are teenagers let alone uni fees etc down the track *shudder* :-D

  16. I love your obstetrician Mel, he sounds fantastic. I love reading your posts, you tell a story so beautifully, very entertaining. You are looking drop dead gorgeous Mel, absolutely stunning. For all the ailments this pregnancy might be causing, it certainly doesn't show on the outside. You look young and fit and vibrant. Your boy with the big red lips looks adorable, what a cutie. I'm so excited for you and can't wait to read the lovely news of babe number five's arrival. Take care of yourself hun xoxo

  17. Mel, I'm still laughing. I don't expect too many dull moments in your home. I love your writing style, so enjoyable and entertaining.

    What a great obstetrician. Great sense of humour.


    PS how stunning you look, gorgeous.

  18. Just found your blog and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the way you write!

  19. What a fabulous post Mel
    You look amazing and I think the 2nd baby shot is wonderful
    Best of luck for the next 40 days (and nights)

  20. Great post, one I am sure you will revisit over the years and laugh about. I just saw What To Expect When You Are Expecting and your blog made me laugh much more than the movie.

  21. Mel this post made me laugh so much. Your four pictures of your little fella with his lipstick on...oh my :-)
    Any appointments with my kids these days are generally "interesting". I did the dentist recently with all three in tow... and I have to go back, sigh.

  22. I had to laugh in agreement :) It just isn't the same after the first pregnancy is it? I have to admit that each pregnancy I told myself it would be like the first - lots of exercise, rest and putting my feet up, but each time I was more often grumpy and tired. Just stumbled upon your blog and glad I did.

  23. I simply adore you and your wonderful blog!
    I could not stop giggling!!!
    I can't wait to hear all about gorgeous number 5 xoxo

  24. Oh my goodness Mel, I'm so happy to meet you and your gorgeous blog!!
    You have certainly got your hands full, but what a fun household, I'm sure. You look absolutely lovely with your bump :)