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Happy thoughts.

Ok, so it seems like everyone around me is giving birth, like some great cosmic joke that’s so unfunny. In the past 2 weeks, I have FOUR(??!!) friends who gave birth. Even the angry cat at my void deck (whom I always thought was male and just a little bit fat) decided to deliver 3 really cute squishy baby kittens.

Meanwhile, I’m still here, as pregnant as ever.

Had another round of contractions on Saturday night and the husband was all “I think it doesn’t look so good, let’s go in to the hospital” but I was not to be faked again. I grabbed a hot compress for my back and decided to ride it out while rolling around like a crazy person all over my bed. I must have been semi delirious because apparently I was yelling incoherent words along the lines of “I WILL NOT GO BACK IN UNTIL I SEE THE BABY’S HEAD!!”

I hear the world record for the longest gestational period lasted 375 days, which I will attempt to break with this pregnancy. You know me, I’m nothing if not an overachiever.

Instead of sobbing into my pillow, in the spirit of optimism and happy thoughts and all that, I decided to make a list of why it’s great to be 9 months pregnant and still not give birth.

1. Weight training.

Who needs gym time when I’m carrying weights everywhere I go? That’s 3kg of baby + another 3kg of placenta, amniotic fluid and extra boob mass. It’s exercise 24/7, yo.

2. Spider veins.

I don’t have stretch marks but I do have some pretty rad spider veins running across my belly. The kids saw it the other day and they thought it was really cool. They took turns using it as a track for their Hot Wheels collection and after that, I conducted an extensive lesson on our family tree.

3. Heartburn. 

You’re probably thinking, this can’t be a good thing…and you’d be wrong. You spend all this time getting well acquainted with feeling like your chest is on fire, and it’s all very good training because a day might come where you’re actually having a heart attack. Most people would be all “what’s happening to me?” but not you. If that day ever comes, you’d be prepared. And we all know early intervention makes all the difference.

4. Shortness of breath.

That feeling like you can’t breathe and you’re about to pass out after climbing 3 steps? Harness it and use it. So like if you’re ever captured and water-boarded for important secrets like How To Make Your Baby Sleep, you’d be able to last at least 1 round before caving. That’s like a serious skill to master.

5. Frequent toilet breaks.

After you have kids, you’ll realise how precious toilet breaks are. Sometimes, a mom just needs to take five in the toilet and there isn’t a more legit time for a bona fide toilet break. Take them liberally and more importantly, ENJOY THEM.

6. Memory loss. 

When you’re nine months pregnant, you forget stuff like people’s names and important dates. Forget a birthday? Flash your belly for a free pass. Call people by random names like Lindsay or Sally, they won’t mind. In fact, I’ve stopped using my kids’ names and started pointing at them and saying “YOU” or “BABY”.

7. Backaches.

Okayyy, there’s nothing good here. Moving along.

8. Fatigue. 

After a few months of second trimester energy, I’m back to falling asleep all over the place. Partly due to pregnancy fatigue and partly due to the fact that I’m hardly able to get in any sleep at night with all the contractions and pain and general discomfort. I was almost dozing off when I heard Kirsten sneak into the room and whisper to her brother “Shhhhhh, mommy is sleeping because she’s pregnant. Let’s go play quietly outside.” I got a whole 5 minutes of silence before they decided to see who could stack more lego bricks on my eyelids…quietly.


A very uncooperative cervix

It’s been a crazy 36 hours which started with some painful, regular contractions on Sunday evening. (yay, finally right?) It was fairly manageable at first so I tried to sleep it off but this is a very thoughtful baby who woke me up at 3am with some good old fashioned pain in the uterus so I could watch the World Cup finals. I love a good game of soccer but frankly, given the state I was in, I enjoyed that match just about as much as I enjoy a bare-handed fist fight with an alligator.

By 7 in the morning, the contractions were about 10 minutes apart and the pain was getting out of control so I woke the husband to send me down to the hospital. I wanted to hulk smash everything in my way but I was also excited to finally give birth. It’s a cathartic mixture of rage and excitement.

9am, got warded and hooked up to the CTG, which recorded erratic contractions ranging from 7 minutes to 15 minutes apart.

I was asked about the pain level. “About 5-6”, I said.

How do people rate pain anyway? Should a 10 be having your arm ripped out by a shark? Or getting stabbed by a fork in the eye – is that just like a 9.27 on the universal pain scale? Or maybe walking barefoot on a minefield of lego pieces on fire – that should be a solid 10 in my books. Also, people who say childbirth without epidural is “relatively painless” or “quite ok”? Shut up, you’re ruining it for the rest of us.

Most of the time, anything above a 7 counts as “STOP TALKING AND MEDICATE ME NOW!!” anyway so 5-6 was in the range of dangerously close but imma put on a brave face and power through so I don’t look like a big baby.

And then came the super fun cervix check. By 2 different people (double yay). I’v never had so much attention given to my cervix. There was like a conference regarding the length of my cervix going on in the delivery ward, complete with grave looks and thoughtful nods.

“Not even the slightest bit dilated” was the official diagnosis.

Now this is my cervix being a jerk. My uterus finally had a turn of heart and decided to get on with the program, albeit reluctantly, so it was all like “ok fine, you want contractions, here you go, here’s more pain for you” but then my cervix had to be all “HELL NO!! NOTHING’S GETTING OUT OF HERE, NOT ON MY WATCH!” so my uterus got all confused and isn’t quite sure what to do with all the useless contractions.

So I’m stuck with erratic contractions ranging from a pain level of 3-5 but not much else. I had to be on the CTG machine every 4 hours in case it escalates, which it might, because with Finn, I went from 1-10 cm in like 2 hours. Apparently, I could be in this state for hours or days or weeks!!??

My options are a c-section (awful recovery), induction (increased risk of wound rupture) or to just wait it out. I’d like to choose none of the above but that’s not one of the options.

Looks like it’s gonna be a waiting game for now.


Week 37: Are we there yet? Are we? ARE WE???

On the bright side, I’ve lasted 37 weeks (!!) but honestly, this pregnancy has been really tough, by far the toughest among the four. And the closer I get to the end, the more intent my body seems on making it as unpleasant as possible.

I have all the ailments of the previous pregnancies plus some new ones I didn’t even know existed.

Like this is the first time I’m having severe dizzy spells, almost to the point where I’m about to pass out. These flashes of vertigo and disequilibrium makes my brain feel like it’s submerged in water and I don’t know if I’m even vertical or which side is up; I just want to curl up like a ball on the floor with a bucket in my face. It’s a terribly helpless feeling, not knowing when it’ll hit or how long it’ll last or what to do about it.

And the cramps! I’m cramping all the time. Braxton Hicks contractions is like your body’s way of being mean just for fun. As if one round of actual labor isn’t enough, it’s like “here, you need some practice pain before the real pain.”

But I’m starting to see the genius in this, it’s part of the grand plan to make the last trimester so awful that it trumps the trauma of labor so by the time the real labor comes, you’re so miserable that you welcome it with open arms.

At this point, I’m looking forward to the pain, because then it means that everything is finally coming to an end. So every time I start to cramp up, I get super excited, like “Oh oh oh is it time now? How about now? Or now? Or now? PLEASE MAKE IT NOW I WANT MORE PAIN!! GIVE ME PAIN!!!”

And then after 2-3 rounds of contractions, nothing.

“Ha, gotcha! Practice over, get back to being pregnant!” says my uterus.

Anticlimax, I’m so over you.

All my kids have been delivered full term or beyond so I don’t have high hopes of this baby coming early. But hope’s a funny thing – even the littlest bit can be comforting. Or crushingly disappointing. One of those.

Everyday, I wake up and ask my comfy uterus the same question: “Are we there yet?”

And everyday, I get back the same response. “We’ll get there when we get there.”


The benchmark for fatness

Is it just me or do pregnant people typically get a bit touchy about their weight during their last trimester? As it is, I’m majorly bummed about having to lumber around like a hippopotamus with a watermelon for a stomach, so talking about it isn’t like my favourite thing to do.

During my last visit to the gynae a week ago, the first thing my friendly doctor said to me was: “Mmm… putting on the weight a bit too quickly huh, I think we need to scale it back for the next few weeks.” Admittedly, I might have eaten a few too many slices of bacon in Melbourne but in my defence, that was delicious free range bacon that baby Theo enjoyed thoroughly.

In my defence Part Deux, I also played some ball at a street court to compensate for all that bacon. Clearly, it wasn’t very effective.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 4.54.18 pm

On a sort of related note, this reminds me of a conversation I had with the kids that also didn’t hurt my feelings at all.


Kirsten: Kor kor, did you know that El Macho is SUPER FAT! Even fatter than mommy, you know!

Tru: Hahahahah, I know! Mommy is only this fat (gestures to his imaginary belly with his hand) and El Macho is THIS FAT (gestures to an even bigger belly).

Me: Oi! Who is this El Macho and why have I become the benchmark for fatness? I hope there’s a compliment in here somewhere, guys.

Tru: El Macho is the bad guy from Despicable Me 2. He’s really fat and you are only a little bit fat, that’s why.

Me: <Sighhhhh>

Kirsten: Is it because sometimes you eat instead of facing your problems?


Kirsten: Mr. Gru said it. In Despicable Me.

Me: NO! Maybe. Sometimes a little bit. And sometimes I eat because it’s delicious. Plus I’m pregnant. Also, I think we need to stop watching that show.


Let’s talk about labour

I know I’m supposed to but I haven’t spent any time thinking about my birth plan yet. Partly because thinking about it makes it more real and the thought of going into labor again is terrifying. The labor hurts, the epidural needle hurts, the pethidine hurts, the IV hurts and the cervic check makes me want to hulk smash something. Yes, I’m a big baby even after 3 deliveries.

I had a bit of a scare last night with some pretty bad crampish pain so I guess it is time to start thinking about it.

Here’s the general idea of how it’s gonna go down: Contractions -> Get to the hospital -> PUSH, C’MON PUUUUSH!! -> Baby -> YAYYY -> The end.


If you want deets, I’ve readjusted some parts of Finn’s birth plan and this round is going to be quite different. Read on only if you’re ready for some TMI.

Epidural: YES. 

I attempted going meds free with Finn and chickened out almost immediately once the contractions started coming in hard and fast, which is when I realised that I’m an epidural kind of girl and that’s ok.

Mobility: Not much. 

It’s my third VBAC and there are the usual risks of wound rupture so I’ll have to be hooked on to the CTG machine once I get in. Ain’t gonna be much walking around once the party starts.

Episiotomy: Not entirely keen but likely.

Both Kirsten and Finn got a little bit stuck on the way out and the gynae recommended one to minimise the pressure on the C-section wound. If it has to happen, I’ll take one for the team, is all I’m saying.

Video Footage: HELL NO. 

No, just no.

Backup plan: Emergency C-Section. 

I hope it doesn’t come down to this but if there are any complications, immediately abort mission and go for a C-section.

Post delivery: Boob time and lots of cuddles.

I finally nailed the breastfeeding with Finn so it’ll also be full breastfeeding fresh from the boobs with baby Theo. With any luck, it’ll be a piece of cake.


Week 32, it’s starting to get real

In the scheme of pregnancy updates, 32 weeks is when it starts to get real. Like super real.

At this point in the pregnancy, I have this constant awareness that the baby is there all the time, mostly because he’s been making his presence very acutely felt.

I like feeling the baby move – it’s one of my favourite things about being pregnant. But the past couple of weeks, he’s been kicking really hard in every organ possible. I’m getting kicked in internal body parts I didn’t even know existed. And having someone kungfu kick you in the kidney from the inside of your uterus, that’s a special kind of um, discomfort. The other day, I was in a meeting and I might have involuntarily peed in my pants a little because the little guy jabbed me in the bladder.

Also, I was really hoping that Theo would be the mild and docile sort but the last kid that kicked me this hard was Finn and look how crazy he turned out. Boys!

With the baby on my brain this much, I guess it’s also inevitable that the nesting instincts are in full swing. The husband says I’m going into my bird mode again. I’m not sure if it’s a compliment seeing how much I hate birds but I take it that he’s referring to cute birds like penguins. Penguins are the only birds I don’t mind plus they make very efficient nests. Using rocks. That’s pretty much my nesting philosophy these days for a fourth baby. I used to spend all this time looking for the softest, most beautiful cot but it’s already the fourth time I’m doing this so by now, I’m all like “here, this pile of rocks will do just fine.” Kidding. I have a perfectly good cot for the baby.

Most of all, at 32 weeks, I’m restless. All I can think about is how much I want to give birth already. I’m torn between days of “baby needs to hang in there for 8 more weeks so he gets nice and fat” and “I NEED TO GET THIS BABY OUT OF HERE NOW”.

You know what? I’m just going to enjoy the next 8 weeks as much as anyone can enjoy the final weeks of pregnancy.


Five things to know about the 3rd Trimester

third trimester

One. There comes a point in every pregnancy where you realise that you’ve stopped walking and started waddling. I used to be very conscious of my third trimester waddle but four pregnancies in, I’ve learnt to embrace it. Ok so maybe every time I take a step it looks like a cross between a beached whale and a butterball turkey but I hear it’s a thing now and like 4 million other women are doing it so here, this is me working the waddle.

Two. Two words: maternity pants. I think I’m in love with whoever invented maternity pants. If I could, I’d make out with the person who came up with the idea of putting supersoft stretchy waistbands on supersoft stretchy pants. I typically try to get as much wear out of my regular jeans (hello, denial!) with belly bands and other maternity contraptions until I just about give myself a hernia and then I’m all “this is ridiculous. BURN THE SKINNY JEANS AND GIVE ME MY MATERNITY PANTS!!” The feeling you get when you first put on maternity pants? There are no words to describe how amazeballs it feels. In fact, I’m never taking these pants off. Ever.

Three. On the topic of never taking off my pants, having to put on or remove my pants is now a terrible ordeal. You know how when you first saw a contortionist put her leg over her head and proceed to fold her body into two and you went home and attempted to do the same thing? Wait, what, you’ve never tried it? Well, you should because that’s how it feels when I try to take off my pants everyday.

Four. The best position for a pregnant person to be in is the horizontal one (which is how I intend to spend most of my time for the next 3 months) but you see, one does not just anyhowly lie down when one is pregnant. Mastering the horizontal position is an art and it requires much practice. The general rules are as follows:

Spend as little time on your back as possible because the baby will be pressing on your spine, causing backaches, hemorrhoids and impaired circulation, among other bad things.

Sleeping on your stomach will make you want to pass out, don’t even try it.

Sleeping on your right is ok but not ideal because of the placement of your kidneys or liver or spleen or something.

The optimum position is to lie on your left side until your left arm starts to lose all feeling, then slowly rotate to your back (briefly) before spending some time on your right, and then back onto your left.

Five. Welcome to the world of sudden shooting cramps up your leg while you sleep. There’s probably a scientific reason for this but if you ask me, it’s just mean. One moment you’re enjoying your delicious sleep and it creeps up on you like a ninja when you least expect it and you suddenly wake up in excruciating pain yelling “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME??!!!” and then you immediately punch the husband in the ribs to make him wake up and give you a leg message because we’re all in this pregnancy together and solidarity and all that.

In other news, third trimester yeahhhh! It means we’re nearing the end. That’s always a good thing.