A birthday, and a goodbye.

My baby is one year old and my heart is full. A balloon of joy swells up in my chest and bursts. Not every so often, but constantly, always. When I am with her, when I thinking of her, when I am talking about her, when I am watching her sleeping …

My life is full, too. Mr Bun and I are racing, racing – juggling and tap dancing through a weekly circus of two very demanding jobs, the insanity of this property market, our marriage, our families, ourselves. It is all going by so, so fast. We are breathless. But we are happy.

Today is my daughter’s first birthday. It’s my 100th blog post. It is time to say goodbye.

I have squeezed so much pleasure out of this blog, which is wondrous considering it was borne from a place of pain. Infertility hollowed me out. It was a physical battle, but the scars are emotional. While driving last week I happened to looked right instead of left – and out popped a memory. A curve of road, a traffic light: there I had been, wailing at the steering wheel as I left behind another negative beta. Oh, that pain. The pain of wanting something so very badly. I remember every aching minute.

I am not a closed person, and have been open about what we went through … but no-one knew, no-one knew like you did. I have relished the luxury of not having to explain anything. But equally, you listened to the detail I sometimes felt compelled to go into. This place allowed me to open up all of that.

Thank you. For your support, and your curiosity, your advice … your humour! This age that we live in is truly miraculous, allowing us to build these extraordinary communities from all around the world.

When I first discovered the world of infertility blogs, I fell upon page after page, seeking out stories that mirrored mine. Some sites I found were years old, many had stopped writing altogether. Most, though, had stuck around long enough to reveal that they had finally become mothers. This gave me hope like nothing else. I like to think that maybe I’ve done that for someone out there.

I will miss this space, particularly as a kick-up-the-bum to write – because I don’t get to do that so much any more. I dunno, I may drop back and regale you with more minutiae … or maybe create somewhere new? But for now I think it’s a good time to sign off.

Life is a matter of contrast, and I’m sure there will be dark days ahead … but there will be light ones as well.

Right now?

Now – my baby is one year old and my heart is full.

Sending you all love, and luck, and happiness so pure that it makes you float.

x

20 Bunless Questions

So, life’s gotten in the way of blogging in a BIG way lately. I’m not going to go into it, but it’s been a crackingly busy, boring, delightful, frustrating, wondrous, tedious, brilliant, crazy Summer here in the Bunless household.

When I saw the 20 Questions post over at Pail I was so pleased: a nice way to get my blogging brain back into action, and indulge my rampant narcissism at the same time.

OK. Let’s do this thing.

1. What was the last thing you threw in the garbage/recycling?

Cardboard ‘stuffing’ from a newly-purchased vaporiser. Little Bun came down with a belter of a cold on Saturday morning. Fever, streaming nose, red eyes, barking cough – the works. My little trooper managed to continue to sleep through, albeit very noisily – which broke my heart! The worst of it seems to be gone, but we’re left with a nasty cough – hence, the vaporiser.

2. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

Well, ignoring the lullaby tracks that I played religiously during LB’s months 5 – 8 (Brahms will forever remind me of long, napless days), number one is Lippy Kids, by Elbow. A stunningly beautiful, hauntingly nostalgic track that makes me feel happy and sad all at the same time. Seriously, have a listen.

Sigh – I love that song.

3. What is your favorite quote?

I’m not sure I can pick a favourite, but one that’s close to my heart – ‘Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember’ (Seneca) … pretty much sums up my response to a lot of things. I am a terrible nostalgist.

4. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Ah. Hands down this would be cleaning the high chair. This has easily surpassed every other tedious chore in my life. As LB feeds herself now, the mess ranges from mild to HOW DID TUNA GET INTO MY SHOES? Avocado and mango are the worst. Crevices YOU DESTROY ME.

5. What is your favorite form of exercise?

OK. Um. I am a bad exerciser. LB’s dairy and soy allergy meant that from three months post-partum I had to alter my diet pretty drastically. This, combined with breastfeeding, meant that I dropped under my pre-IVF weight really quickly. While great, it’s also been an excuse to ignore exercise in a big way. So I’m properly wobbly and unfit and gross. Having said that, we walk walk walk all day every day. So right now, walking with my girl is top of my list.

6. What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?

I’ve always been a sucker for balmy summer nights. So I’m loving evenings at the moment, out in our little courtyard. The smell of cooling, wet soil – freshly watered after a long, hot day. Mr Bun barbequing our dinner, the two of us catching up over a glass of something very cold, as the sky turns pink and purple overhead.

7. What is on your bedside table?

I’m embarrassed to say, no books. This is unusual, but since having LB my bookwormy ways have fallen by the wayside. Now she’s sleeping through, I’m going to pick this up again. But, I’m afraid that currently my bedside table holds my phone, a glass of water, the baby monitor and sometimes a bit of the weekend paper that I’m still catching up on come Thursday.

8. What is your favorite body part?

Probably my mouth – because of my enormous head (!) I managed to avoid braces as a kid. I think a big, happy smile can be the most attractive thing about a person. Unless you’re Daniel Craig as James Bond, and then it’s your sweet, sweet body.

(yes, I’ve recently seen Skyfall)

9. Would you use the power of invisibility for good or evil? Elaborate.

Oh, evil. I am a snoop – definitely. I used to love riding on the top of the double decker buses around London, only so I could peer into the window of first floor flats.

10. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

My twenties were a really fun decade, particularly years living overseas and working as hard as I played. Or was it the other way around? But how can you pick a year from the past, when you have a baby who is growing into the future? I’d love to be lucky enough to answer that question when I’m very, very old.

11. What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?

Oh wow, I could write a NOVEL about this stuff. Seriously, when I’m having my most anxious 4am moments, very detailed lottery-based fantasies can calm me down like nothing else. So, first thing? Open a seriously amazing bottle of Champagne and start looking for a beautiful home.

12. What is your biggest pet peeve?

I am an anally retentive, obsessive perfectionist. EVERYTHING is my pet peeve. No seriously. What you’re doing right now – stop it – it’s annoying me.

13. If you could know the answer to any question, what would it be?

That’s easy – what are those winning lottery numbers? Because money can’t buy happiness, but it can sure help along the way!

There are other questions – ones about life, and death, and all that’s in between. But I’m too superstitious to muck with that stuff. Even if I could find out, I don’t know if I’d want to.

14. At what age did you become an adult?

When I left home, and moved overseas to a foreign city with no friends, no job, and no clue. I was 21. It was the best thing I ever did.

15. Recommend a book, movie, or television show in three sentences or less.

Oh goddamn you. This is my favourite thing to do, and there’s no WAY I can stick to just one medium, let alone three sentences.

OK – a book – one of my favourites with my non-Aussie friends in mind. Dirt Music. A rolling, languid, sensual dip into my country. A truly magical read, with a corker of a love story holding it together. Let me know if you like it.

16. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

I’m not sure about trouble as such, but gee could I talk. Probably quite obnoxiously. Definitely precociously. All home movies have the unfortunate feature of having my face thrust into almost every frame. Not a shy little flower!

17. What was the first album you bought with your own money?

It was this. On cassette. I was entranced by her hat.

18. If someone wrote a book about you, what would be the title?

I think this is the hardest question here. I’ve come back to it a few times, but I’ve got nuthin’. How about ‘Anxious and Paranoid’ … ? I’m only half kidding. Those who love me, love my neuroses as well.

19. What story do you wish your family would stop telling about you?

Thankfully, I don’t get many stories told about me at family get togethers. We’re not big on reminiscing in my family – more about anecdotes of the day … But generally a joke or two about my large head makes its way into the patter.

20. True or false: The unicorn is the greatest mythical creature. State your case.

Oh, false false false. A unicorn’s got nothing against The Woman Who Can Be It All – Fantastic wife! Perfect mother! Stellar friend! Exemplary career woman! Spiritually aligned! Physically fit! Now THAT’S a creature worthy of myth and legend.

(can you tell I’m due back to work soon?)

– – –

Well, I hope that fit the bill – I can’t wait to read everyone else’s answers. And hopefully this has been the kickstart I need to pump a few more posts out into the ether. Thank you Pail for the great inspiration!

x

Happy Halfway!

We’re at Six Months. Six Months. SIX MONTHS.

Little Bun hasn’t mucked around, she’s decided to ramp up the milestones over the past few weeks – hurling achievements at me so fast, like some sort of baby ninja.

Rolling over? Check! (Just a few days after Mr Bun and I were speculating that she’d literally never roll … as in, she’d be lying around on her back at four) she rolled! Of course, Mother of the Century here was out of the room attending to one of the 395 loads of laundry I do on a daily basis. She was chattering away on her mat and when I walked back in she was on her tummy. Woo!

So began ten days of obsessive rolling. Unfortunately she can only go from back-to-tum, so there’s been a fair bit of frustration on her part (she kicks like a reverse beetle-on-its-back, angry and stuck) and lots of help on mine. Now, she seems less interested in the rolling thing. Been there, done that, rolling’s so over man.

First cold? Check! This one was less fun. She had a blocked nose and scratchy throat and a bit of a temp. The hardest bit was I was sick too. Never are you more acutely aware of your new role as Mother as when you are sick. There’s no rest, no stopping, no days on the couch under a blanket mainlining S.trepsils and watching junk teeve. She was on the mend within a few days and back to normal after 10.

First food? Check! We’ve gone from pulling faces of abject disgust to opening wide and leaning forward to meet the spoon. It’s so cute. I started her on purees about a month ago, and we’re just beginning (as in, this morning) some finger foods too. It’s more work than whipping out the boob, but it’s a lot of fun.

First teeth? Check! She has TWO bottom teeth. This one was super exciting for me. Her body is changing and growing and doing what it’s meant to do. I really find it quite miraculous!

One’s completely through and the other is just peeking out. I’ve decided to use this as an excuse for a very unsettled time over the past week or so. Even though everyone swears blue that teething doesn’t cause half of the symptoms we attribute to it … work with me here. I need something to get me through the night(s).

Life with a baby is a life surrounded by cliches. She’s growing so fast, I’m starting to lose sight of the newborn she was, and glimpse the girl she will become.

I’m drinking it in, every minute.

Happy Half Birthday my darling girl.

Blessed

A year ago today, I stood in a quiet, dark boardroom looking down on the first day of Spring. I twiddled the silver chain that hung off the blinds. I waited, phone pressed to my ear, my mind blank.

This.

It would be some time before I believed what had happened. And time more to feel excited about the possibility of a baby (A BABY!) … but this day was the beginning.

When I look at Little Bun, with her feet waving in the air, stretching out the ever-deepening creases on her fat little legs, big eyes watching me – I remember that day and all the days that came before.

We are blessed.

 

 

The Bunless Birth Story

OK. Two things:

1 – This newborn baby thing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

2 – Here is my Birth Story. I am typing this with an overtired Little Bun sleeping on my chest. It’s been a bad day. She’s been crying nonstop, and I’ve been … well, trying (failing) to calm her. So, the chest it is. But anyway – the In Laws have left and I have some ‘time’ to get this down.

It’ll be a long ‘un, so the abridged version is here: I gave birth. It hurt. But we got a beautiful baby girl. The end.

OK – here goes!

– – – –

Cast your mind, dear reader, to four weeks ago.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT – 40w6d

Mr Bun and I headed into hospital for my first dose of P.rostin gel. As you may remember, this was with the aim of getting things started, ahead of Dr Spock breaking my waters and commencing the induction proper on Thursday morning.

My cervix was still so high and closed that the insertion of the gel hurt LIKE A MOTHER. We were sent home and told to come in if anything happened. I woke up the next morning with nary a niggle down below … little did I know that would be my last solid(ish) night’s sleep in – well – ever.

THURSDAY MORNING – 41w

We had been told to come in again Thursday morning, regardless of anything happening or not, so off we went, bags in tow – expecting this to be it. On examining me, Dr Spock said there’d been so little movement that she wasn’t that comfortable progressing into a fully fledged induction. I was relieved to hear this, as I was beginning to worry about forcing things too fast. So, we agreed that she’d give me a second, slightly larger dose of the P.rostin. We’d wait a full 24 hours and if there was still no change, she’d progress with the induction on Friday morning.

This second dose of P.rostin was administered with the help of N.itrous Oxide (Gas, or Gas and Air). I lay there at nine in the morning laughing my arse off while Mr Bun, Dr Spock and a midwife looked on in amusement. It was not my most sophisticated moment …

Mr Bun had already taken Thursday off work in expectation of that being our ‘induction day’, so we headed home together to wait. We even discussed going to see a film, but by the time we arrived home the P.rostin Pains had really kicked in. These were just like bad period cramps, and I had to take some heavy-duty painkillers to dull them. It was so weird having ‘cramps’ again after nine months. I swear I got a touch of PTSD-like flashbacks, in feeling like my period was about to arrive … I kept having to remind myself I was 41 weeks pregnant. A few times, Mr Bun asked if I was having contractions – but these were constant cramps that responded to painkillers. So, in a word, no.

THURSDAY NIGHT

Resigning ourselves to a full induction the next morning, and toasting our last night as a family of two, we sat down to takeaway and a DVD. As the opening credits rolled, I felt a swift and firm ‘kick’ down low in my nether regions. Almost immediately, there was a POP and my waters broke bigtime! Being the practical lass I am (ahem) I swiftly moved off the couch/rug/any stain-able soft furnshings and onto the wooden floorboards.

Me – ‘Woah! WOAH!’

Mr Bun – ‘What! What!’

Me – ‘My waters JUST BROKE!!!’

Mr Bun – … !!!

Me – ‘GET A TOWEL!’ (See? Practical)

We called the Maternity Ward and even though I was having zero contractions, they told us to come in. We piled the car up with bags and made the third trip in two days to the hospital. They examined me, confirmed my waters had broken (duh) and asked us what we wanted to do. We could hang out in the labour ward, use up one of our four allocated nights (it was 10.30pm, so counted as a first night) and wait for contractions to begin – or head home, try and get some sleep, and come in when contractions had started. It seemed a no-brainer. We got back in the car, and made the now very familiar drive home.

And – you guessed it – my contractions began. They were crampy-like, down deep (I believe they call it perineal pain!?) and within half an hour were coming every 2-3 minutes, lasting 45 seconds. It was intense, and it wasn’t long before I was doubled over the kitchen table having a good old holler. It was time to go back to the hospital. For the fourth time.

THURSDAY NIGHT/FRIDAY MORNING

The drive to the hospital was one of those surreal, out-of-body experiences where you’re living something you’ve imagined so. many. times. I was bellowing over speed bumps and bracing myself on the roof of the car. I couldn’t make it across the footpath until a contraction had passed, and had to stop again – doubled over and moaning – outside the lift. We arrived in the delivery suite and Mr Bun asked where we should set up our TENS machine. The midwife looked at me, and gently said, ‘It’s a little late for that, love’.

With the help of gas and a shot of p.ethadine, Mr Bun and I worked through the contractions together. While things were progressing really quickly, and the pain was intense – I felt in control of my labour. Mr Bun was AMAZEBALLS, and really helped me work through each peak and trough of pain.

Around 3am Dr Spock came in and announced I’d gone from 3cm to 10cm in a few hours (woah). And that, being fully dilated, I’d be soon be getting the urge to push and the baby would be not far away. The contractions had peaked, she said. While I had been gently suggesting (ie. starting to shout) for an e.pidural, this news changed things. I felt calm. In control. I could do one more hour – sure I could!  We agreed to a top-up of p.ethadine and got ready for Baby Time. Labour is easy, people. I am a birthing legend. Bring on the champagne and streamers!

This did not happen.

This did: bad things. Painful, sobbing, begging-my-husband-to-help-me-please things. I did not get an urge to push. The baby was not moving anywhere. The contractions were getting worse. And the ANAESTHETIST AND DR SPOCK HAD BOTH BEEN CALLED AWAY TO ANOTHER LABOUR. Endless minutes passed. Time slowed. Mr Bun looked stricken. It was a shit way to spend the early hours of a Friday.

Dr Spock eventually reappeared and immediately approved the goddamn epidural, and then broke the news that the anaesthetist was still an hour away. The ensuing 60 minutes were the toughest of the labour.

When the epidural finally did arrive it was incredible – obviously. It’s amazing that you can go from 100km/h to 0 in just 15 minutes. Drugs are GREAT.

I had a little sleep, and then we got down to business. The actual birth of Little Bun was the most peaceful, beautiful thing. Our favourite music played. Mr Bun and Dr Spock chatted and joked quietly. When our baby emerged, calm and peaceful and very, very beautiful – there was an explosive pink and purple sunrise out the window. I reached down and pulled her onto my belly, and then my chest. I was the first to see that she was a she. A few tears were shed. She latched onto my boob. Our daughter was here. We had become three.

There’s so much more to tell. The blissful post-baby days in hospital, surrounded by bustling midwives and the heady scent of endless flowers. The Baby Blues and how they muck with your mind. The sleep deprivation and how it mucks with your EVERYTHING. The, frankly, horrible breastfeeding trials of clinics and classes and consultants (and how, four weeks later, I’m nearly there). What it feels like to have a baby, after so long of wanting one.

But you’ll have to bear with me. This post is being completed three days after it was begun. Time at home with a newborn is liquid. Your day, your life is not your own. You exist to serve another, so things like blogging – and eating, and brushing your hair – become luxuries.

Let me just say one thing: to those of you, waiting and hoping and trying your goddamndest to get what you want. Whatever you end up choosing, whatever ends up being your story – know that there are people out there who hurt as much as you did, who begged and hoped and prayed as hard as you did, and they are here. On the other side. With what they wished for.

x

Fully Baked (40w0d)

HALLO FORTY WEEKS!

I’m not sure what I envisioned for this day … to be honest, I didn’t really picture it at all. I’ve been so focused on taking it ‘one week at a time’, that 40 weeks is here and – well – it’s here! I never thought I’d go early, or on my due date. It’s just not my style. So today, bringing with it no signs of labour, is not about disappointment … more about excitement. Because a baby has to be here pretty soon – right!?

We had our last scheduled appointment with Dr Spock this week and after discussing options she went ahead and booked our induction in. This is another reason why I’m feeling so (relatively) calm today. I have a date to work towards. The ‘complete unknown’ has been somewhat removed.

I trust her. After our last appointment, I’m definitely a lot less blasé about inductions. As I mentioned last week, the research I’ve done has shown me that an induced birth is often one that leads to more interventions. On the other hand, I am not keen on going 10 or 14 days over … and we agreed that a week was a good compromise.

So, she’s penciled us in for an induction a week today (!!!), assuming nothing happens in the meantime. The plan is to head in for fetal monitoring tomorrow and again the beginning of next week (Dr Spock’s routine for full-term Mum’s). We’ll then catch up with Dr Spock after my second monitoring appointment and check in that everything’s OK, and next Thursday is still the right date to shoot for.

And in the meantime – wait.

There’s a little spanner in the works: Dr Spock is off call from tonight until Monday morning. Which means – ba ba baaaahm – Dr Bark will be managing her deliveries from now until Monday.

Look. This is the thing. I clearly have a LOT of love for Dr Spock. And it would be disappointing not to have her there. And Dr Bark and I haven’t exactly gotten off to a great start. But it’s not something I can control, and going into labour naturally in the next few days would clearly be a better outcome than being induced next week. As long as the baby (and I) are healthy, I’m fine.

Which brings me to my final point. The dark, horrid thoughts have returned with a vengeance. I am really struggling with fear about something happening to the baby. Every slowed or absent movement has me panicking. I think it’s because we’re so close – the idea of something happening now is almost impossible to contemplate. I am trying to manage the fear with a combination of practicality and reason – while also being ready to call L&D as soon as I really feel something needs to be checked. That I’m going in tomorrow for a check up is something for me to focus on. I’m sure this is purely anxiety about the whole situation manifesting itself in my greatest fear – it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with though.

Hope you’re all having a fabbo week. I’m waddling through mine with an ever increasing sense of excitement, fear, nervousness and wonder …

!!

x

Hello, Month Nine (36w0d)

Thirty six weeks today. Woahohhhhh.

Puh-retty surreal to be this pregnant. Certainly feel the next four weeks (plus?) are going to crawl by – none of this ‘it’s going by so fast!’ for me.

 

I’m getting into the swing of maternity leave, and have a nice little routine down.

I’m up and out in the morning running errands, catching up with people etc until early arvo; then I’m back home for a quick rest before I try and strike some things off the Home Chores list. For the past few days this has been about finishing the basics of the nursery. But I also have eminently fascinating things to tackle coming up – like updating the photo albums, and cleaning out the bathroom cupboards (ooh!).

It feels good to have most of the baby stuff bought, washed and the room sorted. There are bits and pieces still to do, but I definitely feel calmer knowing that if the bub came early we’ve got the majority of stuff ready to go. I still need to pack The Bag – but so much of it is stuff I need everyday … think I’ll pack everything I can and leave a big ol’ checklist on top for the stuff that needs to be added last minute.

(Just an FYI here … in case you thought I was sane or anything … it’s taking me one huge effort to write about all of this so matter-a-factly, like me going into labour to produce a healthy bub is determined. I know it’s likely. But I do still worry that it won’t happen. Of course I do. I wouldn’t be me if  didn’t).

I haven’t done a Symptom Check in a while:

– Discomfort, moving into Pain, around my lower back, hips and pelvis. This is mainly when I get up after sitting or lying for a while. I haven’t sprung, leapt or jumped anywhere for a loooong time now. It’s more rolled, groaned and grimaced. Sitting on the floor is basically impossible now. Bending down to pick things up from the floor? Gawd. I now negotiate with myself to see if I can just leave whatever it is there. This is not conducive to a tidy house

– Rib pain has moved from the localised spot just under my left boob, to a broader, burning sensation wrapping around my whole left ribcage. Driving or sitting for longer than 15 minutes sets it off, and it won’t quit until I lie down. Annoying, but definitely deal-able

– I. Wee. All. The. Time. Sometimes, baby will move and I need to go PRONTO. Other times, I’ll have two sips of water and need a pee again. I’m still trying to keep nighttime visits to 2-3 max … I think this will soon be a thing of the past

– I’m far less emotional than I was last trimester. I think this is probably because I’m not working and therefore a lot less tired. But the teariness has definitely abated

– A really weird one: the joints in my fingers hurt like a mofo. Seriously, they are so stiff when I wake up the morning I can barely grip anything. It gets better during the day, but still – any idea what this is?

– Baby is moving pretty consistently throughout the day. Lots of stretching and pushing. The weirdest feeling is when you can feel opposite-pushing from opposite sides of your tum – yup, that’d be a head down there, and feet all the way up there … eek!

– The scary-swelling of last month has gone down a lot, which is clearly due to finishing work. I still can’t wear any shoes except my thongs. Which makes for some pretty chilly toes in these mid-Autumn mornings. Luckily we’re in the middle of another stunning set of warm days. As April closes I know I’ll be living in bedsocks … but what to do outdoors? Oversized gumboots!?

OK. I need to try and tick off one more thing from the list before I switch into lazy preggy lady mode for the evening. Hope you’re all having sunshiney days, wherever you are x

The Big 3-0 (30w1d)

Well hi there!

A big milestone this week – thirty whole weeks. Holy cow! Feeling pretty blessed to have made it this far.

The past month of pregnancy has really tipped into a different speed (slow) and feeling (discomfort). I’ve had nothing truly serious to complain about – but there has been some pretty crappy rib pain that’s causing some issues.

It started about three weeks ago – it’s the oddest, localised (size of a ten cent piece), burning pain (like a lit cigar held against my skin) just under my left boob. It only appears when I sit and can be quite intense. Physio, stretching, ice packs – I’m doing it all with no improvement – so Dr Spock actually sent me in for a x-ray last week. I discussed it with her a fair bit beforehand, did some reading, and decided it was the right thing to do. She was keen to rule out ‘anything sinister’ (nasty words), so I was too.

They didn’t find anything – good news. And that’s fine with me: as long as I know the baby and I are OK, I can handle the pain. It does mean that I have to restructure my work for my last weeks in the office, as I can’t sit at my desk for more than a few hours. Thank god for the mobile interwebs and an understanding boss. I see a lot of couch-working in my future!

Apart from my cigar-rib, the shift into the third trimester has been pretty much as I expected. I’m finding pregnancy is a lot about hindsight. When I was in the early weeks, I didn’t think I was that typical – yet looking back I was queasy, exhausted and pretty textbook! Again with the second trimester, I was scoffing that they were meant to be the ‘easy months’ – but now I’m bigger, heavier, stiffer and more swollen … easy sounds about right!

Symptom Check …

– Swollen feet, hands and calves. Mmm …squiggy piggy fingers and toes. My havaianas are my footwear of choice – morning, night, corporate meetings and supermarket runs. Am dreading the cooler weather and the requirement to wear some proper shoes …

– Mr Bun has ALWAYS teased me for my brilliant ‘skillz’ (!) found in my crab-like toes … seriously, I can pick up ANYTHING with my foot digits. When were were kids, I could even give my brother a vicious horsebite with either foot. Anyhoo – skillz indeed, as I now can’t bend over that easily, and my toes come in handy every day. Here here for access to the ground without bending down!

– Kicks and punches are turning into big, sweeping twists and rolls. The bub’s movements tickle often, and actually even hurt sometimes. My tum can look like there’s someone doing a 90’s rave hop in there – which I guess there sorta is

– I am properly-freakin-ENORMOUS. Like, people ask me if I’m having twins enormous (I killed her). I have one big bump people. I’ve started dreading telling curious semi-strangers my due date when they inevitably ask, as the response is a sharp intake of breath, a quick glance at my belly and some raised eyebrows. ‘Oh! Well! Wow … you’re pretty big already?!’ I’d round-kick them in the face if I could lift my legs.

I try not to let it bother me. I won’t lie, the body image is taking some battering as my face, upper arms, thighs and bum start to catch up with the rest of my increasing girth. But, I remind myself of the times I wished and prayed for this – and all I would have given to be here, right now. A fat ass and some unflattering chin softening is no price at all.

We have been up to our ears in plaster dust and paint fumes (hello paranoid Bunless living with every window and door open) with the longest kitchen reno EVER rolling on and on. The nursery doesn’t yet exist – a wall needs to be put up to create it. I’m trying to remain zen*, and figure we can do the baby buying, building, washing and nesting in the coming month/s.

I am starting to think more about birth, and what happens after that. It’s exhilarating and terrifying – I worry so often that something will go wrong. But I try and think positively, which is when my head explodes with THIS IS REAL and I have to eat cake and watch junk teeve.

OK. It’s Friday night and I’ve got to get back down to the pub and crack on with my drinking, partying and general carousing it’s time to take my prenatal vitamins and roll into bed with my 128 pillows.

G’night all. Hope you are happy where you are.

I’m finding the blog and the pregnancy to be a difficult partnership. I still have so many superstitions whirling around my pregnant self, and I find the blog becoming tangled up in that. Many times I go to post, but I tell myself ‘I need to wait for the next appointment / week / purchase / test result’ before I do … it’s difficult to explain. But I’m sure you understand.

* HA HA HA haha HA

Kleenex anyone? (24w2d)

I can’t stop crying.

Not sweet n’ kooky ‘weeping at a sad puppy story on the 6pm news’ crying, but more ‘lying on the couch ugly-sobbing for no real reason’ crying.

It’s been a HUGE week at work. I’ve been clocking 12 hour days. The pattern this week was brutal: get up early to get into the office early, start work before the phone and email kick off, lunch at my desk, finish late, home, dinner, bed. That’s been me.

So yes, I recognise these crying jags are mostly linked to over-tiredness. I just feel so hopeless. It’s a stunning, postcard-perfect Summer’s day out there and all I’ve managed to do is eat some toast and do some internet banking. I am just so tired. Mr Bun has escaped, off to do some errands. So it’s just me and the Beast. Under the aircon, staring out at the blue sky, having our own little pity party.

Here is what I would like to be doing today:

  • Vacuuming and mopping the floors
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Folding the laundry
  • Going to get my toes done
  • Picking up toiletries at Priceline
  • Having lunch out somewhere, enjoying the kickass weather
  • Walking the dog
  • Being nice to my husband
  • Not crying

Here is what I am doing today:

  • Crying
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feeling sorry for myself
  • Repeat

The two lowlights of the week were bursting into tears in front of my boss when he asked me to pick up another project (on Friday afternoon), that was due on Monday. He ended up doing it himself.

The second, was being on the receiving end of the worst haircut I’ve ever had. They took off a good TEN CENTIMETERS more than I wanted. I am feeling like an enormous roly poly round person at the best of times, so a short cut right now has me looking like a lesbian trucker* from 1994. It’s so bad I can only tie it up for two months and wait for it to grow. Seriously. My hair was really the last part of me that still felt like ‘me’ and now it’s gone. Just thinking about it gets me going again.

OK. Deep breath. Time to see past the hormones and FWP’s and get over this.

The GOOD things about this week have been ‘turning’ six months pregnant!! It’s like we’ve passed a real milestone and I’m feeling the most positive and excited about the baby that I ever have. The bub is kicking more and more each day, and every punch, wiggle, turn and push fills me with this glowing, warm rush of happiness (mood swings, anyone?). While the pregnancy still seems to be going very slowly, I am starting to realise that May really isn’t that far away. I think because there’s so much to do between now and then – I am becoming more appreciative of the months and months us humans are given to gestate.

We are also about to get a whole lot of work done on the house, including a new kitchen. It’s going to be dusty and disruptive, but the thought of some significant improvements to the house we’ve been in for nearly two years is truly exciting. I mean, we’ve been living without a dishwasher for nine months**!

OK. I’m feeling a little better. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not ungrateful. By no means do I wish any of this to be any different. It’s just the ups and downs. It’s seriously more intense from an emotional perspective than I expected. But I’ll take it. I’ll take whatever I have to, as long as it means health and happiness at the end.

Have a great week, everybody.

* No offence to lesbian truckers. It’s just not my style.

**Another FWP

A Kicking Christmas (20w)

And, ladies and gents – we’re halfway there.

WOW.

This week Mr Bun and I finished work a few days early, and are using the days to Get Shit Done. This has included my 20 week ultrasound and appointment with Dr Spock. Wonderfully, everything seems normal and good and there’s nothing at this stage they’re worried about. Merry Christmas indeed!

Very kindly, Mr Bun’s agreed to let me have my wish of keeping the gender a big unknown. Although, like a little boy shaking down his presents on Christmas Eve, that didn’t stop him from trying to find out. He was puh-reety focused on the screen during the scan, peering at the images to see if he could work out if it’s a boy or girl. At one point I had to steady him, ‘No darling… don’t get too excited … that’s the umbilical cord.’

The BEST thing about the past week or so has been the increasing activity from the little wriggle-pants that is our baby. The first kick was a serious HOLY SHIT moment, and came around 18 1/2 weeks after a while of ‘weird’ flutterings that I was pretty-sure-but-not-certain were baby movements. But then the kick, felt under my palm as I was lying in bed one night, and it was … yep, pretty awesome.

Since then, it’s been getting more and more active. Between 5-6am and 8-10pm are the busiest time. Not sure if they’re kicks or punches, but I can actually see some of them and Mr Bun can definitely feel them. Early this morning was pretty full on. I was lying there feeling the mini-prods and then suddenly it felt as if my stomach was turning inside out and a large lump ROSE UP under my hand. It was hard and round and basically freaked me out (maternal, much?). I’m assuming it was a head or bum … pretty cool, but also a rather pretty intense reminder that there’s another little being in there.

So, we move into the second half with a heady dose of This Is Really Happening. It feels great and very, very unreal in the true sense of the word.

Symptom Check, for those of you that care:

– Sleeplessness, caused mainly by a pretty sore back that gets worse as the day goes on

– A ‘waddle’ that is now rather pronounced, and amuses me

– A tendency to grunt whenever I have to bend over the increasingly large bowling ball of my stomach

– An intense, emotionally-overblown fear response to pretty much EVERYTHING. Don’t believe me? Try these on for size: Losing our house to the bank (this will never happen, but there was an article in the paper and now I can’t stop thinking about it); Nuclear war, caused by the succession in Nth Korea; Anything happening to Mr Bun (the poor man has acquired a pregnant limpet these holidays); Cancer (always); Falling down the stairs; The taxi driver crashing the car … It goes on … sigh

– Energy energy !woo! feeling fine OH GOD I NEED TO EAT/LIE DOWN NOW

There are more. Apparently the past month has been the ‘eye of the storm’ as such, and stuff starts ramping up again. Like I said, it’s feeling a lot more real and every day I say Thank You and Please, let me keep being thankful.

Have a wonderful Christmas / holiday / rest and let’s all cross our fingers for a sparkly 2012.

xx