- Cauliflower & bacon soup
- Chicken & veggie soup
- Beef & veggie soup
- Chorizo & lentil soup
- Porcupine balls (old family recipe of rice & meatballs)
- Chicken & sweet potato casserole
- Lamb & rosemary stew
- Beef & red wine casserole
- Chicken satay & rice
Monday, April 29, 2013
I am in serious countdown mode now. I finally woke up this morning and was able to say 'next week, we will meet our boy' - that felt super good! The weekend was good, we have done a good cleaning on the house so I am just hoping to keep everything maintained until next week when we go to the hospital.
On the subject of Boo2, he has been moving much, much more these past few days, I have been really relieved. The doctor said to go in and be monitored yesterday if I still felt he was not moving as much but since he has been doing really well, I didn't bother with it. I have my last appointment with the OB on Thursday so I am hoping that little Boo2 keeps up the movement. I am still feeling very uncomfortable, of course and I know that the only cure will be to give birth to our beautiful little man. I am just so excited to meet him!!
Today, my two sisters and Mum came over and helped me out with a marathon cook up. We cooked the following dishes:
It was a pretty fun day. So much nicer cooking in a community than slugging it out on your own. It was nice sitting and chopping and cooking and chatting. I made sure that we had some yummy lunch and all of the food has now been cooked, portioned out, labelled and put in the freezer ready for us to grab in those first hectic weeks of bringing home a newborn. They were all so awesome, everything has been cleaned and put away and the house is spic and span again, nice! I am absolutely exhausted now though, I can barely get off the couch my back is so sore, we started at 9am this morning and finished at about 5pm - it was a very full day.
I am super thankful that my mother in law is coming around tomorrow to visit with JBB and myself. She is a wonderful woman. She helps out with anything around the house, takes JBB to the park to run his energy off and then I make us a nice lunch so we can have some food and a natter. She is lovely because she understands that once JBB goes for a nap, I will also want to head off for a bit of an afternoon sleep.
I am so lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful support, it is a community that I sincerely appreciate and I like to nurture it wherever I can. My Mum and JourneyMan's Mum are not particularly computer savvy so I like to volunteer to help them research or book anything that they need to online. I try to volunteer to help out as much as possible, they help me out so much and I can honestly say that it is a massive joy to give so much help.
My Mum is going to Thailand in 6 weeks for a holiday with my Aunty (Dad's sister) - I am SOOOOO excited for them, they both deserve a lovely break, it has been a tough past 12 months for both of them. I have to say, I am a bit jealous because I love Thailand, I feel like it is my second home these days and I would love to be going with them and shopping up a storm but I will be happily mired in getting to know my newest little man when they go!!
This time next week people, it will be the night before the Ceasarean!!! Whoo too - am SOOOOO excited.
Friday, April 26, 2013
I am definitely on the countdown now - I am really ready to meet our little guy now. It's been a pretty uncomfortable week. Lots of cramping, back pain and stabbers in the lady bits, ouch! I feel like I am blown up like a balloon with all the fluid as well. Boo2's room is ready for him, the hospital is essentially packed and I am preparing for a big cook up next week. So we are all ready!!
I had my 37 week appointment today with the OB. I had noticed that Boo2's movements had reduced over the last few days so I had another monitor, thankfully that was all good. If he is still not moving much over the weekend, I am to go back in to be monitored again on Sunday. I think that he is just not moving as much because he is a bit squashed now. His heart rate was excellent!! Looks like we are going to make it to the Ceasarean date of 7 May - so the countdown is well and truly on. Only 11 more days to go. I hope that they go fast!!
In the very best of news, they have changed the policy of the hospital so that JourneyMan and Boo2 will be able to come to recovery with me. Last time with JBB, I had about half an hour of cuddle time with JBB while they cleaned him off and sewed me up and then JourneyMan and JBB went back to the room (and got JBB weighed etc) and I was in recovery, I think for about 40mins to an hour. This news has really made my day - now I will be with my boys while I recover. I can have some skin to skin time all of that time in recovery as well as to try to breastfeed straight away. Big Yay! My Mum will be bringing JBB in to see Boo2 asap so he will meet him as soon as we are allowed to go back to the room.
Tomorrow, I am heading to the market to get all the food needed for our cook up. I am going to fill the freezer up with healthy lunches and dinners and snacks so that we will have a few weeks of food when I get home from the hospital without too much hassle. We did the same before JBB was born and it was great to have healthy food only a defrost away. My bestie is coming over for a visit on Saturday arvo so that will be nice to see her.
Sunday is going to be a nice rest day though I daresay a bit of cleaning will need to be done, I at least need to defrost the freezers so that there is room for the food from the cook up. My sisters and Mum are coming over on Monday to help out with the cook up which is brilliant news!! With 4 of us, we should be able to get it done pretty quickly. Tuesday, JourneyMan's Mum comes over to spend a few hours with us (and she takes JBB to the park to run the energy out of him!!). Wednesday, I think I will get to the shops for a few last minute items and then Thursday I am back to the OB.
11 more days.......
Thursday, April 18, 2013
So, I have made it to 36 weeks - honestly, I am so happy to have gotten to this point and was so doubtful at times in the pregnancy that I would even get here. The panic and doubt continued last week, I started to get some greenish discharge and called the fill in OB to see if it was anything to worry about. I get a bit worried if I see green down there because I only have one kidney and infections are a huge deal to me. The fill in OB said that I could come in for a swab last Friday to see her or I could wait and see my regular Doc on Monday. I asked her if it was urgent and she said 'well the baby is still in there so not very urgent'. This upset me greatly - I feel like she thought I was being hysterical when I felt that caution was needed because of my history.
Needless to say, I chose to wait to see my normal OB on Monday and, as usual, he was fabulous. I told him of all of my concerns and he was extremely comforting. He sent me off to get the tests redone to make 100% sure that all was good. I also had to have a urine test to check for UTI's and then I was also sent to be monitored (baby heartbeat and any contractions) for around 40 mins. Everything came back all good so I have breathed a huge sigh of relief. I don't think that I will fully relax until I am holding him in my arms but at least I am not in full panic mode like I was for the past couple of weeks.
So now I feel like I am enjoying these last weeks. I am still in a lot of pain from sciatica and being so heavy but the extra time that I am able to spend just with me and JBB is absolutely priceless. He is at such a funny age, he cracks me up with his faces and jokes - he loves to make me laugh!! His speech has really improved over the last couple of months and he is going really, really well. We do have days of power struggles though, he is after all, 2 and is trying to assert his authority. He likes choice this kid and some of the struggles are about the most minuscule things!! The weather has turned cold but he always wants to only wear a t-shirt when he gets out of bed (then whinges about being cold). I have found that if I give him the choice between two jumpers, he will consent to wearing one. For breakfast, I always have to give two choices (peanut butter or vegemite on your toast? Weet Bix or porridge?) which seems to cut out most of the tantrums though he now likes to negotiate 'yoghurt first, then toast', which cracks me up.
It is surreal that in just 3 short weeks, we will be a family of 5 (including JourneyDog of course) and that our lives will once again change forever. I am so excited to meet our little man and to see what he is going to be like.
Exciting times - only 19 days to go!!
Sunday, April 14, 2013
It is healing week in the PAIL world and I thought I would post my own thoughts on the subject. For some of the other PAIL healing posts, click on the PAIL button on my blog.
As I draw to the end of my journey through the infertility landscape, I do find myself reflecting on what has brought me to this point. When I started this blog, my main aim was to provide information on our journey to others who were considering the same path. Ours is a fairly unique on in that we pursued donor eggs via a different race than our own and still to this day, I don't come across many people that make this choice. We just wanted to be parents and we didn't care how. We looked into all options, adoption, surrogacy, foster care and donor eggs. Donor eggs in Australia was going to be a long wait (2 1/2 - 3 years), adoption in Australia is ridiculously difficult and by the time we had served all the waiting periods for international adoption, I would most likely be over the age limit. When we were deciding on our course of action, I was 38, I was 39 when I had JBB and I am 41 when I will have Boo2.
So, we decided to go to our beloved Thailand to source donor eggs from there. We have all the issues of using donor eggs but some of the issues of interracial adoption. These have not been insurmountable options and they became easily dealt with once I realised how I could heal.
Healing is such an important part of our journey through infertility. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to pursue donor eggs in a country other than our own because I most likely couldn't have moved past using my own eggs. Does that mean that I have completed healing from our journey? I don't think so, this pregnancy has thrown up some more things that I feel that I need to heal from but for the most part, we are moving on.
To me though, moving on does not mean, forgetting. I feel like to move on, I need to grieve the parts of the journey that didn't go the way I expected and we all have expectations about how we 'should' be able to conceive our kids. I think that moving on means also celebrating those parts of the journey that brought us here as well. I have grieved having my own biological children, that part of me has been healing for a long time. I look at my beautiful JBB and am thankful and celebrate every day that I allowed myself to move on from having my own biological children. How can I not celebrate when I am a parent to such a fantastic kid? Each celebration brings a little bit more healing.
I am happy to move on from our journey through infertility. The thought of not having to do any more cycles and all of the supplementary treatments that go along with it. These are lovely thoughts, a balm of healing to my soul. I feel like there will be some grief that I will need to work through about this but I will be able to do this and celebrate the birth our darling Boo2 very soon.
There is no forgetting for me though and, to me, that's okay. The main reason is our journey through infertility is intrinsic to JBB and Boo2's stories. It is part of their identity and that is why I don't regret anything that happened. Sure, we would all love to have sex with our partners and *boom* 9 months later, baby arrives but to me, that would mean that JBB and Boo2 would not have come into existence and that is impossible for me to face - along with JourneyMan, they are my world and my greatest achievements and that is a healing thought.
There are still scars, both physical and mental but I am hoping that one day, they will go white and fade into the background. For now, they are still a little red raw (I think that the panic over this pregnancy has everything to do with scars from negative cycles past).
The healing for the main part though, resides in the face of JBB and the movements of Boo2 that I can feel - they are who we wanted all along.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Yes, the liver tests that I had come up all clear. It hasn't cleared the itching but at least I am no longer (too much!) fearful for Boo2. I am very thankful that these tests came up fine, I have relaxed a little bit again (a very small bit).
That being said. I had a breakdown on Monday. I think what caused it was plain old panic. Panic about the baby, panic that I am not going to be able to handle both kids, panic about the Ceasar. I am not really sure if this is really the truth but I was definitely in a panic because the prior week had felt like a year and that I still had 4 weeks to go and I didn't know how I was going to get through.
There was an element of emotional exhaustion here too. I have been worried about Boo2 from day 1. Certainly even prior to day 1 - here was our last chance to provide a full blood sibling for JBB and the worry that we would have to go back for a full fresh cycle with a new donor was not a prospect that we wanted to think too much about. Add on my Dad's death and grieving through the whole pregnancy, I think I am just exhausted from it all.
I was also plain afraid that my body would let me down, that I wasn't providing a safe place for Boo2 to grow and flourish. I want to see his face, I want to hold him in my arms and watch him breathe safely and assuredly, I want to know that he is safe.
I know that a lot of this was also hormones but I just couldn't stop crying. I disturbed JourneyMan many times at work and finally I got on to my sister and went over there for lunch. Just to talk about everything out loud helped. There wasn't really anything anyone could say that would help, I just needed to get the words out of me so that I could move past them.
Yesterday, JBB and I spent a lovely day at the beach with my older sister and her 3 boys, my younger sister and her son and my Mum. Just having the supportive company that they bring and seeing JBB laughing and having a ball helped wash away anxiety. I am still worried, I am still fearful but I am now, at least, not panicking so much that I am crying.
Over the past 24 hours, I have re-read quite a bit of my blog of the last days of being pregnant (I had SOOO much more energy last time!!) and the first months of JBB's life - it has been good to read that I was also fearful then and that I came through. At least I feel a little bit more confident in my parenting abilities this time.
Pregnancy wise, I think I have actually dropped, my younger sister noticed and made the comment yesterday too. I don't know if this means that Boo2 is on his way but it is another milestone (I can't actually remember this happening with JBB) and I am very glad of it.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
So, I have now it looks like I have obstetric cohlestasis which is a disfunction of the liver due to the plethora of hormones in the body during pregnancy. Apparently the body dumps bile salts into the blood stream and this can cause unbearable itching and dangers to the placenta and baby. It hasn't been confirmed 100% at this point but I have been put on the medication as a precaution. Let me tell you, the itching is absolutely unbearable but even worse is the thought that this could be affecting Boo2. I have gone back to the early days of out and out panic.
It seems that the main risk to the baby occurs if the baby goes to term - one of the treatment protocols for this cohlestasis is to deliver the baby before 38 weeks so it looks like the Ceasar date will be brought forward.
I feel absolutely paralysed by fear at the moment and the thought that I still need to wait until Thursday to see the doctor again (my OB is away at the moment so I am seeing the fill in Doc who I like very much but I need my OB, I trust him and his judgement implicitly). Every day is an eternity right now and whilst I can feel Boo2 kicking, I feel good - if he goes to sleep for too long and I haven't felt him kicking for awhile, I start to panic. Thankfully I still have the heart rate doppler and check that he is okay.
My biggest fear at the moment is that the baby may be better off out of my body rather than in - the odds of seeing him happy and healthy seem to be diminishing before my eyes. I don't want to let him down, I want him to keep cooking away in safety but I am in doubt that I am providing that safe environment for him any more. I don't want to fail him, JBB and JourneyMan.
One day at a time, I guess. I am praying that my little boy will be okay.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
So, there has been a huge amount of changes here in the last couple of weeks! I am going to have to break things up so that I can get all of the info out.
A couple of weeks ago, my Mum and older sister came over and helped me to blitz Boo2's room. We got all of JBB's old clothes out, sorted through all of the them, washed (well my Mum did about 6 loads of washing for me) all of them including wraps, blankets, sheets, towels and everything. They moved all the furniture around so that the room is now a proper nursery. We still have a few things to do, like sand and varnish a chest of drawers and sand and paint the cradle but that's about it then put all the clothes and everything else away and it is done - yay!! I at least feel that now, Boo2 will have somewhere to sleep and some clothes to wear if he makes his appearance early so that is comforting. I do have to get a few things for my hospital bag but that is also getting there.
The weekend before Easter, JourneyMan and I had a mini baby moon - we stayed the night at a hotel in the city and spent some nice time together. We dropped off JBB to my Mum's place at around lunch time so that he could have his afternoon sleep over there and headed in to the city to enjoy each others company. We were in a lovely hotel overlooking the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), both of us love the footy so this was nice. When we checked in, we were the epitome of tired parents. We were both like 'should we go for a walk and see something?' but the answer was 'no we've lived in this town for our whole lives' and both proceeded to have an afternoon sleep. Oh dear. We went to see a movie at Gold Class (Silver Linings Playbook) in the evening which was really lovely. It was nice to have a date night together and spend time talking and laughing. Unfortunately the next day I woke up with a headache so didn't get as good a sleep in as I was hoping but it was still nice to relax and read. We had booked in to have traditional afternoon tea at the Windsor which is a Melbourne institution - it was absolutely delicious but I was still feeling very ordinary and by the time we left, I was feeling really terrible. It was a shame to end on this note but it was nice to pick up JBB and JourneyDog who is Woolly because I had really missed them, even though it was only a night away.
Last week was my last week of work. Originally, I was supposed to work another week or so but they stuffed up my contract and I thought it would be nice to finish a bit earlier and spend some good quality time with JBB. The last week of work was quite stressful and it wasn't, I had to hand over all of my duties to a person who needed a lot of hand holding which made things trickier than they needed to be. It was surreal finishing up on Thursday last week. The main thought that I had was that I would seriously miss working with my Bestie. We had only been working together for two years but we had so much fun and it was really nice to have a genuine friend at work and a friend who I could discuss work with and they knew exactly what I was talking about. I am hoping to go back to the same team and company in around 6 months so we still might get to work together but you never know, it has just been great fun working together - I will miss it.
Bestie Results are In
Speaking of my Bestie, on Thursday she found out the results of her lumpectomy - NEGATIVE!!! What a relief for her and her family!!! What a relief for me, I am SOOOOO happy for her and I am happy to report that she is super duper happy and back to herself again which is good news. For her, it has been 3 long months of uncertainty and waiting and I am so glad that she can now get on with her life (and new love!!) - so exciting.
Is going well though he is well into the the 'terrible' twos and have had many tantrums to deal with. The roller coaster ride of a toddler is amazing to behold. One minute he is lying on the floor screaming and pounding in frustration and the next minute he is cuddled up with me on the couch, touching my face and telling me that he loves me. He is a really smart kid, his speech has come along amazingly in the last 6 weeks and most of the time we have a ball of a time. He does, of course, love to push the boundaries but he is learning, growing and changing so much every day, it is just a lot of fun. I think that he is going to be a great big brother and he seems to be genuinely getting excited to meet his little brother. We are going through a very big 'mine' stage at the moment though and everything that is brought out for Boo2, he is claiming as his - uh oh!! I do worry sometimes about the after effects of the Kawasaki disease but so far he has shown no ill effects and I hope that it continues. I have read recently that they have isolated a gene that is related to Kawasaki disease so we will need to keep and close eye on Boo2 as well. JBB hasn't toilet trained as yet, I just don't feel he is ready, he doesn't seem to know when the wee is coming. I am not stressed about it, I am a big believer in letting a child dictate his readiness.
Pregnancy - 32 week growth scan
So, we had a growth scan at 32 weeks that was a little confusing. This scan was hugely important because it would highlight if the two vessel cord was causing any problems in Boo2's growth. On the day of the scan, the clinic called me and said that their machine had broken down and could I attend a different clinic (with the same technician who had been handling our case from the beginning), I said yes, that was no worries. When we were in at the clinic, we got mixed information about the scan. They said that Boo2 was bang on the 50th percentile for weight, which is perfectly average - we were very happy but the technician did say that some of the measurements were around 2 week behind. The doctor said that he would call me if there was an issue but I haven't received any calls so I am assuming that all is okay. I do have an appointment with the OB this Thursday so will know more then.
Pregnancy - 33 weeks
It has been a pretty tough pregnancy, I do feel that pretty much every pregnancy symptom has come my way over the last 33 weeks, the latest being carpel tunnel syndrome and sciatica in my back. As an infertile, I dreamed of the two pink lines wiping away my anxious, waiting and that I would enjoy being pregnant, watching my belly gently swelling as I relish every moment of pregnancy. Unfortunately the reality of both pregnancies has been pretty much white knuckling it right through. The worry is my worst symptom but I am definitely quite uncomfortable at the moment and I am looking forward to meeting this beautiful little boy growing inside me. At least I know that it is all worth it. I am really excited to meet Boo2, he already seems to have a different personality than JBB and I am excited to see what he looks like and what he is like as a little person. Only 35 days to go, whoo hoo!!
JBB has a new cousin, a little girl. JourneyMan's sister had her last week and she is absolutely adorable. I can't lie and say that I wasn't a little bit jealous that my sister in law had a girl and that there was a little part of me that grieved for a daughter of my own (not in place of Boo2 but in addition to) but it was only fleeting and holding her made me yearn to hold Boo2. She is a really beautifully good baby, hardly crying, sleeping and eating well. JBB was absolutely adorable with her as well, completely gentle, fascinated and couldn't wait to give her a kiss when he was holding her. He makes me so proud, he is such a good boy. Since we saw her, he has been talking about it to everyone he sees. I can't wait to see him holding his brother, we are so lucky to have such exciting times ahead.
Happy Easter to all! We had a super busy one here. We had our maternity photo's taken on Good Friday morning. I felt quite uncomfortable about them but hopefully there are some nice shots in there that are worthwhile. I mainly want them for the newborn shots of the boys but am hoping there are some nice belly ones in there since this is the last time I will be pregnant. We then made our way over to JourneyMan's sisters place way, way on the other side of the city and spent most of the rest of the day cooing over the new baby. On Saturday, I took JBB to the market with me and then had to rest in the afternoon from the effort of it. Sunday was a busy day, the Easter Bunny visited JBB and he hunted around for his eggs. It made JourneyMan and I smile at how much fun he had looking. We had brunch over at my older sister's house (JBB went crazy with his cousins) and it was the most amazing food. JourneyMan took JBB to the footy and then I went to the footy in the afternoon (different game) with my Aunt. Monday we went and spent some time with my bestie. It was a really nice weekend but very busy, I haven't been sleeping so well so have been pretty exhausted.
First Day not Working
Today was my first day not working and we had a pretty productive day. JBB helped me to make some stewed apples and some Thai chicken curry for dinner. His Nanna (JourneyMan's mum) came over to have a play with JBB and some lunch with us which was really nice. I got quite a bit of cleaning done and got to be with and play with JBB all day which was lovely. He did have a bit of a meltdown but I think he was still very tired from his busy weekend. He had a good afternoon sleep which was good because it allowed me to have one too. It will be nice to spend the next 5 weeks with him before our lives change once again forever.
Foof, big update - you have done well to get this far!!! Will hopefully check in more regularly from now on!!