Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Third trimester

Somehow with all the drama that has been going on here this past week, I seemed to have snuck into the third trimester. Woohoo! I love the sound of being in the third trimester. It means I am well and truly pregnant; I look pregnant; I definitely feel pregnant; and ti means that it isn't long till bubba arrives.

I am though starting to have a bit of a freak out about that last part. In about 70 days (depending on when the c/s is booked) bubba will be here. And we are SOOOO not ready. Our grand plans for having the new office built (and therefore make a new room for Charlotte and give bubba her room) has stalled. We have had such problems getting quotes and now with the floods it seems unlikely we will find anyone. So James is just going to have to get his tool belt on and get handy! Even that may prove difficult as our two local hardware stores got badly flooded. I do feel slightly more prepared now though as we did a bit of shopping last week and bought some incy bitsy tiny blue clothes as well as some blue wraps/towels etc. We really don't need much as we still have all of Charlotte's baby things but I just wanted a few boy specific things.

I will see the OB this week so I am hoping everything is still going ok. I seem to be managing my blood sugars ok without really changing my diet - just cutting out sweets. I've had a bad day today though and had some chocolate cheesecake so we'll see what that does to my sugars! I am struggling with food. Thankfully the vomiting seemed to stop a week or so ago although I am still nauseous during the day. I just don't feel like eating anything (except chocolate cheesecake of course) so it makes it so hard when every meal is just a battle. I've actually lost 1-2 kg these last few weeks which I don't think is a good thing. It means all up I've only put on 2kg the entire pregnancy.

I did have a mini-meltdown (well, maybe it was a bit bigger than that) today. Charlotte is really pushing my buttons and I'm struggling with her. She seems to think it is funny to run away at every opportunity and fight with me on everything. I don't have the energy to chase her or even to pick her up and make her do something. She was being naughty at lunch and I was feeling sick, so I lost it. I ended up only eating some chicken as the thought of anything else made me feel worse. And then I felt bad because Charlotte was sitting rubbing my hand saying "sad mummy". I think the heat didn't help me today either (it was 35 degrees) but I felt better after a lie down.

I just need to keep reminding myself - less than 70 days to go!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The great flood of 2011

This last week has been so surreal, but we survived the flood of 2011. The mix of emotions I've felt over the last few days has been unbelievable, and a little hard to explain. And our house was completely fine, I simply can't imagine what those who have lost everything must be feeling.

But here is my account of the last few days. It might seem a bit self-absorbed to write about this, but we were still affected by it. And for every person that was directly affected, there are hundreds affected indirectly. Plus it's good to record this for posterity. So we can tell the kids about the great flood of 2011 (as it is being called).

We first became aware that something bad was happening when the news reports of the Lockyer valley started coming. The images were just horrific, but we still didn't think it would become a big issue in Brisbane. Tuesday morning it became apparent that it would. By lunchtime they were talking about the flood waters exceeding the levels reached in 1974 when large sections of Brisbane were destroyed. James found it very hard to concentrate that day, we were already starting to think of friends who we knew would be affected and they had evacuated the CBD. That night James went to help some friends move things. He had difficulties getting there (they live on the other side of town) as low lying roads were already cut.

Wednesday morning was a wait and see time. Charlotte and I went and had a playdate with another friend who lives locally. We watched some of the footage on tv in disbelief. To see the images of boats and pontoons floating down the river was unbelievable. And for me, seeing structures like Coronation Drive (a major road) and Oxleys on the River (an iconic floating restaurant) literally disappear under water took my breath away. James had done a quick grocery shop and most stock was already gone. However it was only when another friend turned up on the doorstep distraught did things become scary. They had been holidaying out of town and came back that morning but couldn't access their house due to flood water. The look on her face was heart wrenching. She thought that their house was gone. Thankfully they found an alternative route and managed to get home and were all dry. Meanwhile we went to do a quick shop for them and was told that our local shops was being evacuated as they expected to get flooded. That's when I started to get a little bit scared. We can see the shops from our house, it's less than a 500m walk there. How close would it come to us??

We went home and immediately lost power (this was very fortunate timing as we have an electric garage door so if we had been a bit later we couldn't have got inside!). There was no afternoon nap that day so we went for a long walk around the neighbourhood. The water was already nearly up to Charlotte's daycare. We stood on the road with a number of people in collective shock as houses were inundated. We watched a school of fish swim up the road and a shipping container float across it. Our suburb was effectively cut off as anywhere you turned there was water. We had a chat to a bloke whose house had already been fully submerged. He just seemed to be in shock and didn't know what to do.

We had a sleepless night that night. Not least because we had no fans or airconditioning and that doesn't really work for a 7 month pregnant lady! But I just couldn't stop worrying. The birds went nuts at 4am (around the time of the expected peak) and I just thought that meant the water was everywhere. James went to have a look at 5am with the good news that the peak was less and the waters were already receding. It was only then that I finally fell asleep!

Thursday revealed the scale of the devastation. With the waters receding we were able to do a bit of a drive around (along with most of the suburb I think) and it was just shocking. It is so hard to comprehend how much brown water was everywhere. We stood on the overpass to the Centenary highway and you could see water in both directions. This is a major section of road, but the only people on it were the SES and the police who we watched motor up it in their rubber duckies!

Power came back on later that day just in time to save most of our food. We had to chuck some things. And painfully, we chucked quite a bit of IVF medication that had been left over and I guess I was keeping for a rainy day. Apart from the cost (probably about $100 or more) it was a big step psychologically.

Friday was a quiet day at home just keeping up with what was happening. I felt a real sense of helplessness but I knew that I simply couldn't help anyone even if I wanted to. James did help some friends who had a serious mould problem. They didn't get any water in but the sheer amount of damp in the ground and air had seeped into their home and caused some big problems.

It has been the last 2 days that the sheer scale of devastation has been revealed and is just so hard to comprehend. James drove just a few streets away and helped a number of houses rip out floors, kitchens, everything. He said the smell was overpowering. He did the same today in an area that doesn't seem to have had much volunteers. In that area, the water was over the rooftops. The people in these homes have lost everything. You just can't comprehend it.

So now we are feeling the need to try and get back to normal. I am finding it hard to watch the news. The last few days I have been glued to the tele as I felt the need to see what was happening. Most of our friends have been fortunate and only two were inundated (both insured) although one friend's business lost almost everything. There has been so much in our area that is affected. Charlotte's daycare and our shops were spared, but her swimming pool and my gym were completely covered (over the roof). I'm not sure if or when they will reopen. And then there is footage of other parts of Brisbane where we used to live that was completely inundated, and that broke my heart.

This coming week will be a little busy as I try to reschedule several appointments (including my OB and the dietitian) that I had to cancel as I literally couldn't get there. And sadly James is having a week away for business from next week which I am NOT looking forward to.

But there have been some good things come from this disaster. I feel like our friends have banded together and strengthened those relationships. It has also been great to share in the community spirit that has been shown. Not just with the volunteers, but all the emotional support, kindness and compassion that people have shown. To hear people say "are you alright, do you need anything" and genuinely mean it is so uplifting. I only hope that this attitude continues.

I'm sure the recovery will be long and it is just staggering what has to be done. It does seem overwhelming. But I do love living in Brisbane and I'm sure it will recover as will the rest of the state. At least I can tell our kids that we were there for the great flood of 2011.

Here is some footage that James shot today while he was volunteering:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Permission to eat revoked

Today I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD).

We actually got the call yesterday but were out all afternoon. My OB called me on the home phone and my mobile and sounded increasingly worried. She had already booked me into see the physician for today. So we went in to see him and my fasting glucose tolerance test showed a level of 10.9 after the 2 hours. That is quite high, particularly when you think I'm also on the metformin which is supposed to regulate my insulin levels.

The specialist explained everything but it wasn't anything I didn't know already (I do have a bachelor of science with a minor in medical biochemistry - some things do stick in that brain of mine!). He even showed me an insulin pen and tried to tell me that the needle was really small and you could hardly see it. The pens are really similar to the IVF pens so I just replied that I had done 8 rounds of IVF, I know all about those pens! I have to admit I was getting a little annoyed with him. Maybe its the background that I have but I did know what he was talking about. Nevertheless, I had a little cry in his office.

So I know how to test my blood sugars 4 times a day, and need to see a dietitian as soon as possible (which is proving a little difficult with people on holidays). If I can't keep my sugars down with diet and exercise then I will need to go on insulin, but given the high reading that is likely anyway as the pregnancy progresses. I don't really know how I can exercise as my pelvis is just killing me and gets worse if I walk. I suppose I will have to force myself to go to the gym and swim in their pool.

The things I don't know are how to manage the diet. I know I can cut out some treats, but the day to day diet just seems overwhelming. Particularly when I find so much food makes me feel sick. And that varies from day to day too. Yesterday I was eating a ham and cheese sandwich and could only eat half of as I instantly felt sick.

So I have been feeling quite upset and emotional all day. I know it is a relatively common thing and quite easily managed, but it just feels like one more thing to pile on. I feel a bit better now than I did earlier as I managed to do my first glucose test before dinner. That was stressing me just trying to work it out. And of course it is one more expense. The glucose meter and the strips today alone cost me over $100 but hopefully I should get quite a bit back from our health insurance.

But we did manage to get out yesterday. We spent the afternoon at White water world and Charlotte had a ball. She LOVED the kiddie sized water slide and went on it again, and again and again. The wave pool scared her at first but she loved swimming in the water. They also had a big bucket of water that filled up regularly and tipped over and she was a bit wary of that. However today she has been going "bucket, swoosh" so I guess she did like it. Tomorrow we are planning on going to Underwater world which I know she will love too. I just hope my pelvis holds up as yesterday really made it flare up.

There is one positive thing about the GD. They generally don't like you to go over about 38 weeks as it can lead to big (and potentially sick) babies. As I can't be induced that means that we will definitely have the c/s. It is only 10 weeks until I'm 38 weeks. That is just over 70 days. Wow. I guess I should probably start planning then!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What I'm looking forward to

Ok after yesterdays very negative post, I should say that there are some things that I'm looking forward to and also one or two things that I enjoy about pregnancy.

I love feeling bubba move. Even when he is kicking my bladder, I love knowing that he is snug and warm in there. I also love the attention that you get. I know this sounds very self centred, but I do like people talking to you with that look of joy in their faces that only having a baby seems to bring. I really don't mind if people rub my tummy - all of this reminds me that it is a special thing. And I am constantly amazed at the connection that women share when they are pregnant. I have made some wonderful friends just because we happen to be pregnant at the same time.

But I think that is all I like.

I am now starting to look forward to having a new baby. With Charlotte I didn't really have any idea of what to expect and so I don't think I really had that sense of excitement. Now I am looking forward to:
  • holding that tiny tiny baby in my arms. When they snuggle in because they don't know what else to do.
  • those first few hours. I am so hoping that I am not sick like last time as I really want to have those first cuddles.
  • breastfeeding. I was terrified of this with Charlotte which probably didn't help me get through those first few weeks. I am hoping that bubs actually is a better feeder, but even if he isn't I know that I can get through and keep trying. I am prepared for the pain this time.
  • late night feedings. There is something so peaceful about being the only one awake at 2 or 3 am. When it is just bubba and me in the quiet and the darkness. Even though it was hard, I always liked this time with Charlotte.
I am also looking forward to the day when I don't vomit, my hips don't hurt, and I don't have to take any more medications!

It will get better when...

I have heard this alot over the last few months. It will get better when... you reach 12 weeks; 16 weeks; in the second trimester; by the third trimester... A friend said the third trimester just the other day but it was a bit tongue in cheek as she knows full well that it won't.

I am nearly into the third trimester (never thought I would say that) and I am struggling. The last few weeks have been really hard physically and emotionally. Even with Mum and Dad here it has been really tough. Mum is fantastic at helping with Charlotte and did heaps of dirty nappies, bathed her, entertained her so I could sleep. But it still didn't help me feel any better. I am still vomiting every day, sometimes just the once, other days up to 3 to 4 times. I am so drained by it as it really controls your life. I am really sensitive to smells so Charlotte's nappies are guaranteed to set me off. Yesterday James was cooking sausages and I was fine until that point when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I also had a bit of a vertigo attack just after Christmas which was really disconcerting.

I think the heat and humidity is making it worse. The trouble is that all the rain has made the pool very very cold to swim in. I also feel quite down when every day is a grey sky. I should be grateful as all this rain has made things a tiny bit cooler but it has also put the humidity up (it has been close to 30 degrees with an average of 70-80% humidity). So now my feet are puffing up too which of course makes me worried about my blood pressure which is up slightly (puffy feet can be a sign of pre-eclampsia). I've also got restless legs at nighttime which is driving me crazy. And of course my pelvis is still painful everyday. Some days it is worse than others but trying to sleep at night is just an ordeal.

Emotionally I've lost it a few times. Christmas morning was bad as I tried to have a rest before family showed up but couldn't then had to vomit anyway. I felt that I can't give Charlotte and James the attention and love that they deserve. I also had a cry on her birthday. Not only do I feel sick all the time but I can't get on the floor and play with her. She says "sit down Mummy" but I just can't. We gave her a train set for her birthday which she likes but doesn't really get just yet but I can't help her with the track and other bits and pieces as even if I get on the floor I can't move much. So we have put that away for the time being.

So I'm struggling with everything. It doesn't matter what anyone says, I feel like the worst mother in the entire world. I am really wondering why I have done this to our family, especially when you think that really I've been on drugs and hormonal for 11 out of the last 12 months. I am slowly coming to the acceptance that I can't do this again. James and I have talked about this a bit as I would like to try for a third, but he doesn't want me to go through any of this again. I'm slowly coming to that realisation that I probably can't, but it just breaks my heart.

James (finally) has a few days of holidays for the rest of this week. We are planning on a few day trips which will be lovely. I need to do fun things to remind myself that I can have fun. Pity it looks like rain though.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I have a 2 year old!

I realise its been a few weeks since I've posted. This time of year obviously brings lots of distractions but I've found the last few weeks really hard physically and emotionally too.

But I talk about that later, as we now have a 2 year old! It was Charlotte's birthday on New Years Eve and we had a little family gathering for her. She had a great day, although she refused to have a nap before her party. Unfortunately this is becoming a trend for her which is driving me bonkers. She loved her presents and it was so lovely to see her playing with her new toys. I have to admit that I got a little emotional watching her with her tea set and new toy kitchen. She is really growing up!

Of course the most important part of the day was the cake and I hope that she liked what I did. It was a moon cake, but with little cupcakes around it so that it made the nursery rhyme "Hey diddle diddle". All day long she had been saying "cake, cake" but when it came to eating it she just licked the icing off!

We ended the day with a swim and she literally crashed out not long after, so we put her to bed and she slept right through until 7am the next day! Bliss.

Amidst all of that I kinda forgot that it was New Years Eve and that people actually go out or do something. It was actually quite nice being able to sit on the couch (with a very small glass of champagne) and watch the 9pm fireworks, then go to bed!

So we now have a 2 year old. Her language explosion is already starting and we are seeing a new word or two every day. She is beginning to have more 2 and 3 word sentences although her current favourite saying is "go away mummy" or "sit down mummy". Such attitude for one so young! Oh and we also have a naughty toddler - I just had to wipe crayon off the bookcase and put her in the naughty corner! She is now saying "naughty, naughty". Bring on the rest of 2011!

The cake. I made the dish and the spoon (tried to make a fiddle but it didn't work) and the cat, cow and dog were just bought sugar decorations).

Blowing out the candles (with some help from Mummy)

My gorgeous girl

Happy Birthday Charlotte! (And happy New Year to everyone too!)