Pregnancy update - 26+ weeks

I spent this afternoon all nesty, sorting through Asher's old clothes. I was meant to be studying but instead I went through the built-in cupboards in both Asher's room and the baby-to-be's room. My back is so sore that I want to cry (have just had some paracetamol) but at least I know why I found it so hard to dress Asher in those first few months. He had SO FEW clothes, just 4-5 newborn sized outfits, with a few more sets of tops and pants, most of which he couldn't wear because the pants would just drop off him (er, yes, he was rather skinny!). I have no idea why I didn't buy a bunch of size 0000 Bonds Wondersuits but... well, I didn't, and it means that I'll be buying a bunch of teeny outfits for this bub, as soon as the winter clothes really start to hit the shops. I will, however, restrain myself until I know what sex the baby is and also whether s/he is measuring small - it's surprisingly hard to find decent plain white/gender neutral baby clothes. If it's looking like I'm going to have another small baby I will buy one or two outfits in the larger premmie size.

Which brings me to the actual pregnancy update. I've been getting really sore in my lower back and my hips and nothing much helps, except acupuncture. I'm also meant to be taking things easy (which means not carrying boxes of clothing around, or sitting on the floor sorting and folding) and hanging out in the almost-weightlessness of water to stop it escalating, but it's really hard. I have tests coming up - blood tests this week to check for I-don't-know-what (but I did ask to get haemoglobin checked as I wondering whether I'm a tiny bit anaemic), an ultrasound on the first of April to check the baby's growth (s/hes really active, so I'm not worried about it's health but the auto-immune issues mean an increased likelihood of intra-uterine growth retardation - IUGR) and then the horrible glucose tolerance test the week after. It's weird that I have no hesitation or concern about the blood draw, but I'm dreading drinking sugary stuff and sitting for an hour.

That's enough for tonight - time to eat chocolate mousse and lie on the couch...



Yep, the nesting has begun! A few weeks ago we went to Ikea and brought home the Poang chair for breastfeeding in. Originally I wanted to get a lovely squooshy rocker/glider but they are all so monumentally ugly that I decided against that. Then I was thinking I'd find a mid-century modern armchair on eBay and get new cushions and get it re-upholstered, but I really wanted to sit in the chair before I bought it, and I wanted something that would move a bit. So I settled for Poang. I did get a nice cushion as well to shove under the 'feeding arm' so the babies head is less likely to get bumped on the wooden chair arms.

I've been stalking eBay and recently got a sweet little cabinet for our kitchen (I'm still looking for the perfect low bookshelf for the baby's room) so we have re-organised our kitchen cupboards. I wanted to put a whole lot of crafty type junk that is currently in the baby's room into the cupboard but it fit best in the kitchen and Sanjay has spent rather a lot of the last two weekends sorting out kitchen stuff and moving it around. I was slightly irritated that he was so busy re-arranging things until I realised that it was just his way of nesting. Now all our kitchen stuff fits in our kitchen, but I still don't know where I'm going to put the junk from the babies room. When that goes somewhere then I can sort through Asher's old clothes and toys - and then I'll know what I actually need for this baby. I remember having barely any clothes for Asher when he was tiny, having to struggle to make sure I did laundry every day so that stuff would be clean and dry for him to wear. This time will be different. In all likelihood this will be my last baby, so I'm determined to buy him/her a few nice things and I'm hoping for more hand-me-downs now that more of my friends have kids (last time I got some great boys stuff from the incomparable Aprill, but most of my other friends were either using their baby clothes or didn't have kids).

Apart from sorting, tidying and re-organising I would really love to paint the house, but I can't see that happening in the next three months or so. I'll have to satisfy myself doing a few things to pretty-up the baby's room - again, something I didn't do last time. I am seriously considering making a mobile, dying some sheets (and maybe the Poang chair cover!). Any other ideas?


The Sleep Thing

It's the sleep thing again. Asher has been taking a long time to go to sleep, then waking a few times most night recently, and it’s been driving us all pretty crazy. The going to bed routine now consist of teeth brushing, nappy, PJs then Sanjay reading a story, me going in and telling a story (I’ll have to write down my version of the three bears sometime!) then I have to leave and Sanjay has to go back in again. Sometimes that is just a last cuddle, sometimes Sanjay has to stay there until Asher drops off to sleep. After all that palaver Asher’s getting to sleep between 8:30pm and 10pm which means that he’s often tired the next day and Sanjay and I have very little grown-up time together (…and then there is food to be eaten, cleaning up to be done, Sanjay has work to do and we end up tired and grumpy with one another – but that is another post for another time). When there is only one parent present it is often a bit easier, but that doesn’t really solve the problem. When I'm putting him to sleep during the day I'm also noticing that he's practising 'counting' on his fingers - Sanjay has shown him how to hold up one, two, three, four and five fingers but the manual dexterity required means that Asher has had to practise. Maybe part of the sleep disturbance is a developmental change - just like when he was six months old and his sleep was really disturbed just as he was learning to crawl.

When Asher wakes up in the night Sanjay, bless him, usually deals with it. Since nobody sleeps very well when a kicking, fidgeting, toddler is in our bed we tend to escort him back to his own room as soon as he’s calm. Sometimes it’s as simple as going to the kitchen for a glass of water (“with a piece of ice!”). Either way, when it happens occasionally it’s fine, when it’s multiple times a night it’s just not on.

I was too busy trying to ‘fix’ what was obviously broken and didn't stop to wonder what was going on, whether there was a cause. I tried encouraging him to go to sleep by having one of us sleep in his bed next to him (not effective) and I tried being stern and spending less time in the putting to bed routine (even less effective and unpleasant for everyone) and I tried re-framing my thought about how ‘putting Asher to bed’ should be (no one got any more sleep, but I was more relaxed). So the other night when, just before bed, Asher asked me if there were owls at night I absentmindedly told him that there were, and that they flew around outside. Sanjay added that the owls didn’t come inside people’s houses, that they were shy and liked it outside by themselves and then I twigged. We had been reading Beatrix Potter’s ‘The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin’ a lot, particularly at bedtime and it seems that the part where Old Brown the Owl comes very close to skinning and eating naughty little Squirrel Nutkin was just too scary for poor Asher. Unfortunately, instead of Asher choosing a different book or asking me about the story or about owls he just kept requesting the book ("I want my new book again!") and I, not realising that anything was amiss, kept reading it, and making it even scarier with each reading. I had even read, and laughed with sympathetic amusement at, this blog post from Finslippy so you would think I would have twigged to what was going on earlier. I think being 'in the moment' is so necessary in parenting, but conversely you can't be a really thoughtful, 'conscious' parent without removing yourself a bit sometimes.

So, now we are limiting bedtime books to things like Green Eggs and Ham, The Magic Beach and Where's Wally and things are getting a bit better. The night wake-ups are minimised (he has a cold and has woken up snotty a few times, but that's different) and we are going to look at the bedtime routine gradually. I'm going out tomorrow night and might suggest Sanj heads out on Saturday night or early next week so we can try putting him to bed as solo parents in the hope that decreases the amount of neediness at bedtime.


Luna Park

Having fun!!!
Originally uploaded by karmakeda
Yesterday Sanjay had to work at an expo at Luna Park for a few hours in the morning and as part of the deal he got a free passes for Asher and I to use while he was there. We had a great time - I got a coffee and Italian pastry from a nearby cafe first and we headed down, picked up our writbands and then went on some rides. We treid out the big ferris wheel first and after waiting 10 minutes or so we were just about to get on when Asher told me he needed to go to the toilet. Now, I was doubtful that he needed to go, but you ignore a toilet training toddler old making those kind of claims at your peril! Anyway, the very nice ride attendants let us go out and then come back without queueing so I felt like a VIP and Asher still doesn't 'get' that you need to queue before you get to go on rides.

Apart from being exhausted to the point of weeping by the time we caught the train home, it was a really lovely morning. It really feels like he's my little side-kick when we go and do stuff like that - lot's of fun. I'm reminding myself that it won't be long before we'll be a family wherever we go, it won't just be me and my little friend which makes me both sad in a nostalgic kind of way, and stomach-clenchinly anxious about how the hell I'll cope. I'm putting plans in place to help me cope, but the anxiety level is still pretty high.