Boy or Girl?

So, we don't know whether this baby in my belly is a boy or a girl (if you ask Asher he says it's a boy) but we do know that it is very, very active. It's not quite 8pm here and it's kicking/headbutting/wriggling so much that I'm feeling a bit nauseous. Truly. I'm about to consult Dr. Google to see if there's anything bad indicated by this much movement. I'm not quite 23 weeks pregnant yet, I hope it gets a bit more squashed and can move less soonish, because if it's jackknifing at 32 weeks like it is now I really am going to puke. It's already disturbing my sleep (the dancing at 2:30am last night kept me awake!) and Sanjay can feel it's kicking from the outside - it's really full on!



I'm not really sure what to title this post but I'll try to think of something by the time I finish writing. In fact, I've been putting off writing this post for almost a month because talking about this subject makes me feel oogy. I'll just dive right in. Asher is starting to learn to read and write.

He is, in typical Asher fashion, doing it backwards, by actually learning to write, and in the process he's accidentally learning to sight-read the words he can write. Of course he doesn't have the manual dexterity to actually form letters with a pen or crayon yet, but he types. He loves to type. It's just because kids want to do what they see their parents doing, which makes me look like I use the computer as much as I wish I did. Anyhow, one way or another, he's obsessed with letters and words. We use typing as a bribe ("when you've finished your breakfast you can do some typing"). At playgroup he does painting but mostly so I'll help him paint his name (sometimes over and over again, when I'm feeling weak). Whenever we have some waiting to do I get him to point out letters and sometimes words - there are plenty of signs about, there are menus to read, even number plates when we get desperate. When someone asks him his name he tells them A-S-H-E-R. There are a few books that people have given him with his name in them which he will point out every time we read them. In short it's pretty full on, and it makes me feel strangely uncomfortable and even a bit guilty.

I know it's meant to be a good thing to have your kid reading early, right? Right? But because he's only two-and-eight-months I feel he shouldn't be learning reading and writing because he's just too young. I'm strangely terrified of being judged as a pushy mum - one of 'those' mothers who who do flashcards with their babies, lots of classes and structured learning and, in my mind at least, compulsively check 'milestones' and obsess about their kids 'keeping up' with the little kids around them. As far as I'm concerned, this couldn't be further from the truth - I reckon that kids develop at their own pace and different kids have different skills that come easily. I don't think little kids need much extra stimulation, I think they just need to see the adults around them doing normal stuff, and ideally spend a bit of time involved in that normal stuff - cooking, cleaning, shopping and interacting nicely with other people, that kind of normal stuff. It just happens that for me 'normal' also includes spending time on the computer, little kids are amazing learning sponges and perhaps my kid is wired to be able to pick some of the basic reading-writing stuff up pretty early. I actually don't think that this interest in letters, spelling and words marks him as being particularly intelligent (I do think he's really smart! I just don't think that this proves it).

I am proud of my boy, but even more there is a strong feeling of relief that it's unlikely we're going to have to really battle to help him to learn to read and write. I'm also really defensive, but I haven't examined why. I don't know why I'm so concerned about being put in the pushy mum box that I have been unwilling to talk to my friends about this, have been putting off posting here about it and instead just telling his grandparents, who already thinks the sun shines out of his footsteps.

So, as to the post title, I think I should swallow my discomfort and go with the obvious...


My Life in Point Form

So much going on and so little coherence here. I'm blaming the nasty cold Asher brought home from childcare for me, but really it's been going on a bit longer than that. In point form, but no particular order:

  • My brother and his girlfriend moved to Singapore. Email contact has been sporadic (phone contact even more minimal) but from what I gather things are good so far. I'm looking forward to hearing more detail soon (hint hint! Tim, get yourself together and email me!)
  • My dear friend E had her baby. A short labour, little girl, a month early and only 80g lighter than Asher was at birth. Mum and bub are doing fine, although the little one is taking a while to learn to suck.
  • I'm feeling lot's of movement from my little passenger - s/he is even kicking strongly enough for Sanj to feel occasionally, which is nice. I'm starting to get all broody and nesty, which is kinda funny, because it still feels pretty early for that to kick in (21 weeks). The other day I was asking Sanj to help tidy and organise something-or-other and he was sighing and reluctant. I suddenl;y turned into a shrew with a "D'you think the last 20 weeks have gone quickly?" - err, yes - "well the next 20 are going to go AT THE SAME SPEED! SO WE HAVE TO START ORGANISING THINGS!" at which point we both dissolved into laughter. I know all we really need is a box of newborn nappies and to wash a few newborn outfits - nothing that can't be dealt with in the few days I'm in hospital - but the nesty feeling, it's overwhelming.

  • I'm having a freak-out about having a newborn and a toddler/preschooler with no drivers license in winter. At the moment the wonderful Karen drives Asher and I around (or we catch public transport) but that'll be impossible with two. I'm having driving lessons, but I won't have my license by the time this baby arrives.

  • Asher is being a delight. Today he went to sleep with his arm over my neck, holding my hand, all snuggled up. I've decided that 2.5 is an age of contrasts, because two weeks ago he was making me more angry than I've ever felt toward him, just with normal, defiant, toddler behaviour. His language is just lovely (when he's not whining) and he's funny and kind - I love the way he strokes my belly so softly and talks to the baby. He absolutely freaked me out when he fell off the bed, from standing, onto his back today though. I have a sneaking suspicioun he had a very very slight concussion or black out - after I'd scooped him up onto the bed he went a bit grey and his eyes rolled back in his head, but he started crying when I screamed out all panicked for Sanjay to come NOW! (Sanj slowly sauntered in, assuming there had been a potty accident). We watched him VERY closely for two hours and he's fine, but this was the closest I've come to taking him up to the local ER.

...and that's the short list. I promise to write a post that isn't in point form within the next week.


morphology ultrasound

morphology ultrasound
Originally uploaded by karmakeda
The morphology ultrasound (18-20 week) was yesterday. It went really well, the foetus seems to have all the right organs and all in the right places. This baby is also measuring average so far according to the ultrasonographer, which is a really big relief. We'll see if that changes after 32 weeks when the little things are meant to really start fattening up, but it's a good start at least. The placenta is a little low but not actually covering my cervix, and they will follow that up in future ultrasounds. Placenta praevia is one of the things that would make me 100% on board with the idea of a planned c-section, but thankfully it doesn't look like that's where we are heading.

The tech was lovely, and talked us through the whole thing, unlike other techs in the past. She asked us beforehand if we wanted to know the sex and we said that we didn't, but we would be looking for evidence on screen and she was really fast and careful about not showing us anything near the foetus' nether regions. Despite her care we both thought we caught a glimpse of penis, but not nearly enough to be sure.

I was really unsure about waiting to find out the sex. With Asher we found out but tried to avoid telling people and that was OK. This time I thought that I would ask at a future ultrasound - one of the few joys of a slightly higher risk pregnancy and a conservative obstetrician is more looks at the growing baby - but this morning as I was waking up I started thinking about that moment straight after delivery and the cliched announcement and I got really excited by the idea. So it looks like we won't find out. Either way I'm happy - it looks like we have a healthy baby on board!