Pregnancy Week 14

Week: 14

Baby:  A lemon (but sweeter!) – I’ve changed references for my baby sizes week to week, as I disagree with the one I’ve been using. In my mind, an orange is smaller than an avocado, and so this app and I have had to agree to disagree.

What I’m cooking:  Weight is again doubling, which may explain my increased weight (20g of baby equates to a kilo or two of Jane-weight, right?). The baby is also learning to swallow the amniotic fluid, which may result in hiccups in the next few weeks (super cute!)

Main symptom: Hmmm, some kind of bug hit me this week, so it’s been 5 days straight of headaches – not the greatest symptom, and I am particularly whiney with headaches. I find it very hard to concentrate on anything other than my hurting head.

What’s on this week: A bit of a getaway! We’re heading to the country for a couple of nights to catch up with family, which I’m very much looking forward to – with all the rush of the last few weeks, it’ll be lovely to rest up for a day or two.

Week 14 comp

Where did my bump go? It was right here a minute ago – well, a week ago – and now it’s gone! OK, so it’s still there a little bit, but it has deflated slightly. I’m putting it down to my digestion returning to a more normal state, and so the bloating has somewhat dissipated. I still have the hard tummy from the bellybutton down, but otherwise it once again looks like I just need to go for a run. Which I really don’t. Really. I had to break into a brisk jog the other day to catch a train. I jogged/power walked for about a minute, and I thought my uterus was going to fall out. It’s just extremely uncomfortable. I don’t know how the fit-preggos do it! I’ve been trying to psych myself up to do yoga for weeks, with zero success so far. Whoo! Go me! That explains the paunch…

On that note, I’m planning to try some prenatal yoga this week, as my attempts as documented above are pretty pitiful. I figure going somewhere and paying for the privilege might make me do it more…I’m meant to go Thursday night, so we’ll see how that pans out. If you don’t hear from me, expect the worst (yep – I’ll be on the couch eating pizza instead).

What else? Well, this week has brought constant headaches and a sore throat, which is just fab. I’m terrible with headaches, and having experienced migraines quite regularly until a few years ago, I’m always very aware when a headache might be taking a turn for the worse. I’ve been trying very hard to go the natural route – heat packs, baths, essential oils – but it just hasn’t cut it, so the paracetamol (the Aussie version of Tylenol) has made an appearance every couple of days. I’ve been told that it’s perfectly safe to take while pregnant, but it still makes me nervous taking drugs when I know my lovely little lemon-baby is kicking about in there.

Speaking of kicking about, I’m pretty sure I felt some flutters this morning – super light, and more like a muscle twitch than anything else, but it was there, and it wasn’t gas or stomach rumblings. Mr Nester has also said he thinks he can feel the little Grub squirming about, he must have a much more sensitive hand than I do, because all I can feel is my really quite obnoxious pulse. Move aside, heart beat, I want to feel my baby!

I booked in our 20 week scan today, which was very exciting, and not only because they didn’t tell me to drink a litre of water before the appointment! This will be the scan where we hopefully find out if we’re having a boy or a girl. I’m starting to doubt my strong belief that we’re having a boy, as I keep being told by other mothers that they were convinced they were having x, and they ended up with y (can you tell I teach Maths?). It will be so exciting to get confirmation, and not because I can go and buy pink or blue things (I hate that gender-stereotype shit), but just so we can start getting our heads around what life awaits us in about 6 months’ time!

I’m really hoping when I give you the update next week, it will come with a bump photo that has an actual bump in it, and more stories of my squirmy little baby.

Until then,

Jane xx

The First Hospital Appointment

My apologies at my lack of blogging – I meant to write this for you on Friday, but life got in the way! It hasn’t helped that work is crazy busy at the moment, and my body has decided that this is a perfect time to shut down and catch the latest virus going around. Sore throat, headache for 5 days straight, all the good stuff.

Anyway. I’m meant to be talking about Friday! We had our first hospital appointment, and as I said, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. We headed up to the maternity area, where I sat in a waiting room with some very pregnant women and waited for my name to be called. I also had to weigh myself, and unfortunately for me it seems the hospital scales are about half a kilo heavier than mine at home, so I look like I’ve really beefed up according to them!

After a little while (they were very busy), one of the midwives called my name and we headed on in. She was, in a word, lovely. Very chatty, positive, and kind. The (public) hospital we’re booked into has a range of options regarding the birth, from the standard hospital routine to shared care (you go to the GP for most appointments), to the option we picked, called Team Maternity. This basically means we’re put into a team of midwives, and meet a different one at each appointment. There are 8 in total in the team, and so the chances of one of them being on when I go into labour are pretty high. I can only hope the rest of the midwives are as lovely as the first. She basically asked me a bunch of questions about my medical history, asked for my weight, and chased up blood test results. She talked to us about the next appointment, what would happen then, and if I had any questions. I also then had to wander off and get some blood tests to check that all was still looking good.

That was it! Short and sweet, with the only disappointment being that the hospital was already full for my 20 week scan, so I had to book privately instead.

The midwife called me back later that day with my blood test results (quick service!), and let me know that my iron was quite low, so I’m back on the high strength iron tablets. So far no adverse side effects (they tend to block me up, and with pregnancy already doing a pretty good job of that I was worried about the double up!), and I’m hoping they’ll assist with my recent lack of energy.

One other area I’m still a little undecided about after the appointment is the antenatal classes. We spoke to both the midwife (very helpful) and the class coordinator (completely unhelpful) about classes, and while the hospitals used to offer them for free, they now incur a $150 fee. They seem decidedly vague, with 5 x 2 hour sessions covering what I presume most of the books already cover, except for the hospital tour. The midwife suggested CalmBirth classes instead, and while they seem fantastic (they focus more on pain management strategies and techniques rather than fear), they are also $500. Something I need to think about. I think if I don’t do the more expensive one, I’ll probably wish I had, but at the moment that’s a lot of money to spend on something that’s not vital.

So, a few things now sorted, a few more on the to do list, and yet still more to make decisions about. All in all though, it was a nice experience at the hospital and I’m looking forward to meeting the other midwives on my team.

Week 14 update coming shortly!

Jane xx

Pregnancy Week 13

Week: 13

Baby:  A kiwifruit – I know I said peach for Week 13 last week, but somehow a kiwi got caught up in the mix! That’s ok, peach is next week instead, so this week we have a lovely, slightly tart little Grub. (hopefully not a green one!)

What I’m cooking:  The intestinal organs (intestines, stomach, pancreas and liver) are all moving to where they’re meant to be, and baby is putting on some serious weight! From 14g last week, we’re nearly double that this week at 23g!

Main symptom: Still pretty energised, and also hitting some strange nesting-type phases – I cleaned the bathroom manically a couple of days ago, and spent all weekend cooking about 600 meals…

What’s on this week: Trimester 2! Enter the “easy” trimester! I’m so excited to have finally reached this milestone, as the chance of things going wrong is properly tiny now. Perhaps I can relax now… Also, our first hospital appointment is on Friday, I have no idea what to expect, but I’m looking forward to getting a bit of a rundown on how the hospital works at labour time, if I can have a tour, when I start prenatal classes. So much happening!

Week 13 comp

There’s that bump again! I’m a little in awe at how this seems to be developing, there’s certainly no question of whether this is a bump or bloat, unless it’s possible to have constant bloat for 2 weeks…

Last week was lovely and uneventful, especially since my energy levels seem to be returning to human levels, rather than sloth. I even got to baking on the weekend, making a peel-free marmalade for Mr Nester (I can’t stand the stuff!), two lasagnes (one for a friend who just had a baby), and a big Thai chicken noodle dish. Yum! I also managed to do some shopping, and bought my first real maternity clothes – jeans! And oh GOD are they comfy! That’s all I’m going to be wearing for the next, oooh, 2 years? So nice to wear something that fits. Last week I made the huge mistake of trying to wear an old skirt to work, with tights. Within half an hour I was in uncomfortable agony, by the end of the day I’d undone the back of the skirt so I could, you know, breathe. Apparently my waist isn’t as waspish as it never was!

This week, we’re off to the first hospital appointment. I have nothing to tell you on this one, as I haven’t the foggiest idea what it’s going to be about. Some have told me it’s very thorough and involves lots of tests, others have said it’s a basic, quick check up. Who knows! What a treat, another surprise! <insert more sarcasm here>

On another, sort of parallel note, I’ve started reading some new books this week. I’ve mentioned Baby on Board before, but let me say it again: this book is goooooood! It’s so nice to read a parenting book that doesn’t scold or condescend, and actually gives you background to the recommendations. A few million years of background, to be exact. I’m currently reading about the evolution of the human body to be able to give birth to more intelligent, and therefore larger headed babies, and all the knock on effects this had. Absolutely fascinating, and really well written. 

My other new read is Expecting Better, written by an economist who, instead of accepting verbatim the (often vague and extremely restrictive) guidelines given to her in pregnancy, decided to do the research herself. She talks through the reasons why certain foods are given the blanket ban, and highlights the issues with the studies and the conclusions drawn. It’s, again, fascinating, and refreshing to hear an alternative perspective. Some of her adjustments I’ll probably leave (she concludes that 2-3 alcoholic drinks won’t do any damage) – although her analysis is sound, there’s always an exception, and I don’t need to drink. Poached eggs, on the other hand, are back on the menu! And I feel far better about drinking coffee as well. It’s really nice to have some pressure taken off. 

Well, I think I’ve rambled for long enough, I’ll leave you be on your (assumed fantastic) Monday. 

Until Friday’s appt,

Jane xx

Recap: The First Trimester

I thought I’d throw in a bit of a round up of Trimester One, since I’m now officially in Trimester Two! So, to begin with, my photo progression. I started taking these shots in Week 6, and I’m now in Week 13 (last pic is from Week 12, keeping to the 1st Trimester theme)… Have a look!

Week 5 imageWeek 7 imageWeek 8 imageWeek 9 imageWeek 10 imageWeek 11 imageWeek 12 image

I think the biggest comparison is between Week 6 and 12:

Week 6 imageWeek 12 image

Look at that bump! I really didn’t think there was much going on yet, but it certainly shows in this comparison. Also, in total I’ve only put on 1.7kg (3.75 pounds) – I must be much skinnier in some other areas, because my boobs and bump are crazy big from Week 6! It’s quite nice to look at these two side by side, to see how far I’ve come. I really do struggle some days to actually feel pregnant, even though I have the image of our little tumbling Grub in my head from the last ultrasound, it still seems so unreal at the moment.

I can only imagine how I’m going to look at the end of the 2nd Trimester (that seems so far away at the moment!).

There’s my pic recap, I thought I’d also give a quick run-through of my experience with early pregnancy.

Weeks 1 and 2: all about hormones, injections, and ultrasounds to see how my follicles were developing for IVF. Then it was the trigger shot, the egg retrieval (and associated ouch!), the agonising wait to see how the eggs were progressing, and 5 days later the embryo transfer.

Weeks 3 and 4: torture, basically. Progesterone applicators (awful), and two weeks of not knowing if the embryo had implanted, whether I was actually pregnant or not. To make it worse, the progesterone creates many of the early pregnancy symptoms, so I drove myself crazy trying to decipher if what I was feeling was real or progesterone induced. Then, the pregnancy test. I cheated a couple of days before the blood test (I was so good for so long!), and it was positive. I was cautious, as this can be caused by the trigger shot, but each day the tests became darker and darker… Then, the blood test! I waited outside the doctor’s office in the cold for it to open, and then I waited panicked all morning for the phone call. When it eventually came, I nearly dropped the phone. The news was positive positive positive! I was pregnant!

Weeks 5 and 6: spend most of these weeks scared stupid that I would miscarry, checking frantically every time I went to the toilet, expecting to see blood. Also, I slept. A lot. I was a walking zombie.

Weeks 7 and 8: More sleeping, more exhaustion, some nausea (I’ve been very lucky). Still getting used to the idea that I was growing a person, and waiting for the changes to show on my body. Also, the first ultrasound! So incredible to see a heart beat in what was basically a blob, but it was my blob! Much more real, and I was suddenly much less stressed.

Weeks 9 and 10: Still very tired, now with added ravenous hunger! I ate everything in sight, cave-woman style.

Weeks 11 and 12: more of the same really, but with more physical signs – bigger, sore boobs and a magical appearing-disappearing bump. Then, the 12 week scan – seeing our human-shaped Grub bouncing around was beyond incredible. This is actually happening – we have a baby on the way!
And that’s the run through! Week 13 post coming shortly, but who doesn’t love a bit of nostalgia now and then?

Jane xx

Pregnancy Week 12

Week: 12

Baby:  A plum – hello, stone fruits! The different apps are thoroughly in disagreement about fruit sizes this week, and last week, and next week! Some have in order of size: fig, plum, lime; another is lime, clementine (!), peach; and yet another is lime, plum and then peach. I’m confused! Which fruit is it??

What I’m cooking:  Many organs are coming on board now, the spleen and liver are doing their thing, and the kidneys are processing baby’s first urine (awwww). The even lovelier bit is that the baby pees, then drinks it, then pees, and so on. Yummo!

Main symptom: A burst of energy! I can’t believe how different I feel after stopping Crinone on Sunday. I feel like I’ve woken up out of a daze. Sure, I’m still pretty tired by the end of the day, but it’s normal tired, not zombie tired. Much more manageable!

What’s on this week: The countdown to Trimester 2 begins! We had our Nuchal Translucency scan on Monday (I’m running a little late this week), which was pretty amazing. More details below.

Week 12 comp

Hello there! Sorry I’ve been slack this week, you would think that with more energy would come more focus to write my blog updates, but you’d be wrong. I seem to be revelling in my newfound energy by wasting it all on staying up past 9pm, watching TV. Oh the decadence! Well, that and apparently growing a massive bump. Where did that spring from??
I’m currently counting down to the end of the first trimester…yes, at the END of Week 12. There are so many arguments over this on the forums I read, and on the Internet in general, which basically boil down to the disparity between 9 months of pregnancy, and 40 weeks (the more used version when in the thick of it). The thing is, pregnancy is not 9 months long. It’s frickin’ 10 months, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Those who go by the 9 month model split it into 3 neat chunks of 3 months, which means that once you hit 12 weeks, you’re into the second block. The problem with this is it doesn’t work. 9 months takes you to 36 weeks, which is considered premature if you go into labour. So, the 40 week or 10 month model gets hauled out more often, and splitting this into 3 lands you a little past 13 weeks. So there’s my explanation. I’m going with still being in the first trimester, and I’ll count next week as the start of the second. So there.
Anyway. Let’s not argue. I had another scan on Monday! This one was a ripper. The repeat from last time (read all about that mishap here), with added pain from my ridiculously full bladder. Remind me not to have soup for lunch 10 minutes before I drink a litre of water and ban myself from peeing for 2 hours. Not fun. What was fun, however, was the scan. This was a lot more involved than previous scans, and the technician had a good look around my, um…egg basket…to check everything looked good. He was lovely enough to point out everything he was showing us, even when little Grub kept turning his bum to the screen instead of lying lovely and still for his measurements. He/she is a terror already! We saw all the features – the head, face (super creepy!), legs, arms, fingers, toes, stomach, heart and brain. He also checked my uterus, ovaries and kidneys. Quite thorough, but great to know that everything was exactly as it should be. The measurement that indicates an increased risk of Down Syndrome or other abnormalities was perfectly within the normal range, which was a huge relief.
Some pics of our little Grub, including the creepiest face image I’ve ever seen, so much so I asked Mr Nester if he had alien DNA…


the full body shot


look at that beautiful profile!


…aaaand the creepiest face ever. You thought i was kidding about the alien face, huh?

And that’s basically all I’ve been thinking about for the past couple of days. Well, that and all the things I have to buy. I’ve also just started reading a book called Baby on Board by Dr Howard Chilton, which was highly recommended by a lot of Aussie mums, and so far it’s great. The very beginning has a “stay calm” section for the first 5 days after bringing the baby home – you know, that time when you’re likely to be thinking over and over:

What the fuck am I doing?

Very helpful. And already starting to assuage some of my fears. You’ll notice I’ve skipped right over the birth, and have gone straight from reading pregnancy books to newborn books. No reason for that, no, none whatsoever…

On that note of enormous denial, I’ll leave you be. Until the second trimester (!!),
Jane xx

Pregnancy Week 11

Week: 11

Baby:  A lime – we’re out of the nuts and berries phase! Into the fruit with a vengeance. A lime seems like a pretty decent size, even if my pic this week seems to show less bump, not more…where is that little lime-baby?

What I’m cooking:  I’m officially growing fingernails this week, and the placenta has kicked into gear, which means the symptoms should start lessening soon, and I should be able to hopefully start sleeping for less than 18 hours a day…

Main symptom: ZZZZZZZZZ. That is all.

What’s on this week: Not a great deal, although I’m starting to creep closer to the end of the first trimester! Oh, and the best part of all – last week of Crinone applicators! (See here for all the horrors…).

Week 11 comp

Last week was a biggie – as I mentioned in my post last week, we were heading off for the Nuchal Translucency (NT) screening, and we were telling the family and close friends that we were expecting. Well! Most of that happened…Let me explain.

On Thursday, Mr Nester and I headed off to get my First Trimester screening blood test – all good. Not long after that was the scan. It was booked in for midday, and the receptionist had told me when I booked that one hour before, I had to drink 1L of water in 15 minutes. So, at 11am, there I was staring at a litre of water. Now, I drink my fair share of water, especially since I’ve been pregnant. I reckon I would quite easily drink 1.5-2 litres each day. 1 litre in 15 minutes however was another story. Especially with a pregnant lady bladder. I managed to force it down, and I swear it was lapping at the back of my throat as we drove off to the ultrasound clinic. Not a nice experience. But hey, didn’t matter because I was about to see my little bean again! Wasn’t I?

The scan itself should have been fairly straight forward – I had booked in a month or so ago, and had given the receptionist my due date. She said nothing. So I was expecting everything to run smoothly. I arrived at the clinic, waddled into the scan room, and lay down on the bed. The technician asked me what my due date was, I rattled it off and looked toward the screen, waiting to see the little wiggling baby within. Before they even put the gel on my stomach, there was a hesitation.

“When did you say your due date was?”…errr, 22nd November, like I said when I booked.

“Oh, no, you’re too early. You need to be 12 weeks for this scan.”

But my GP had said between 10 and 12 weeks! And I told the receptionist when I booked what my due date was, and she said nothing!

“Oh, no, they can’t work out the due date every time, you have to tell them how far along you’ll be.”

Sorry? The receptionist, who must do ONE THOUSAND bookings for pregnancy scans every month, can’t work out how far along I’ll be? Could she have ASKED ME THEN?

At this point, as you may have guessed, I was becoming slightly vexed. I had taken the day off work for the scan, and I was basically being told too bad, come back in 2 weeks. Mr Nester was looking  more and more wary of his increasing furious pregnant wife, and told me later he nearly whispered to the technician that pissing me off right now was not a great idea…!

Thankfully, the technician then suggested we “have a quick look anyway”. Good thinking, technician man – top tip for instantly calming a pregnant woman: show her her baby moving about in her uterus. This scan, although brief, was completely amazing. I gasped watching the screen, as my little bean performed a full-body jump while we were watching. Incredible. Here’s the slightly blurrier still from the scan, looking much more baby-like than our Week 7 one!

Just incredible. And so anxiety-reducing to see our baby moving about, and measuring ahead of where he/she should be! (Measured 11 weeks exactly, and I was 10 weeks 4 days at the time). Phew. Big phew.

That night was “ring-around time”. We called all of our parents, and our siblings, and told them the news. No-one was expecting it after what we’ve been going through with Mr Nester, so the shrieks of surprise were pretty fantastic. We had a lot of joy through the phone and Skype that night, it’s so lovely sharing such happy news.

Friday I told work, another big weight off, as now I don’t have to hide my (mainly bloat) bump anymore. Plus I can tell people what’s going on week to week, which has been so hard to keep to myself!

So, like I said, a big week last week. This one should be less action-packed, and next week we have the re-booked NT scan, so stay tuned for that one. Even if it is an inconvenience, we get to see our Grub again! 🙂

Jane xx

P.S. Not long now until I hit the 2nd Trimester! How exciting!