Saturday, 19 September 2015

Waiting for baby to arrive at 40 weeks

Today is D-day - the due date. The date date that's marked in my diary and calendar as baby's arrival date. The date that i've been counting down the weeks to. The date that I've spoken aloud hundreds of times when my friend, family member, work colleague, local shop owner asks, "What date are you due?"

Our beautiful baby at 20 weeks. It feels like we've
been waiting so long to meet you! 
Now the day has arrived and there's still no baby is sight! This is of course not unusual. Only around 5 percent of babies are born on their due date. I know it's an estimation but this entire pregnancy I have felt like this bub would come early. Perhaps because I'm measuring to date unlike my previous children and that this baby is also measuring larger than my other babies. However, it seems the baby is quite happy just to stay comfortably squished inside of me belly a little longer.

With every twitch and tightening  I get quite excited but each time after a couple of hours of early labour signs like intense back pain and strong braxton hicks coming in regular intervals it all fades away. It's a strange thing when you're wishing for pain to come. I had one strong contraction in my back last night and I said aloud, "Bring it on!" But then my body did not much else.

My obstetrician happens to be away today and she told me I was not to have the baby today so I think she must have spoken deeply into my subconscious!

Our entire family is very excited about meeting baby soon. Issy has been drawing little pictures of her and the baby in her diary,  writing little notes such as, "I love the baby." Fin has been constantly asking to look at my tummy and wanting to kiss the baby. He asked yesterday, "Is that the baby's breastmilk?" pointing at one breast. I replied, yes and pointed out that there were two breasts for breast milk. He replied by saying, "You have breastmilk, I don't have breastmilk, Daddy doesn't have breastmilk and Issy doesn't. One day when I grow up to be a girl I'll have breastmilk." Ha-ha. He's such a funny boy.

They have both been very loving to me and caring. They understand I can't chase them at the moment and that I'm a little more tired that usual. Of course Fin doesn't always get it that I can't carry him when he's tired but if he hasn't hit his wall he's fairly cooperative.

Luke took the kids out this morning and returned with a beautiful bunch of flowers to celebrate 40weeks of pregnancy. I was really touched. He has been so supportive and loving. I feel so thankful that I've married such a beautiful man. I really couldn't ask for a better dad to my kids. He plays with them non-stop when he gets home from work amidst doing jobs around the yard and house. He makes up the best games with them too. Despite the rain yesterday he entertained them for hours with an assortment of made up games.

Issy & I at her 6th birthday party.
I'm 38 weeks here. 
Speaking of yesterday, it was a special day as it was just our family hanging out all day with no other plans. Could have been a nightmare in the rain but we all just took it easy. I really enjoyed making cards with Issy for her friends and playing Sylvanian Families with her. I could tell that she really appreciated it. So often I'm too busy or distracted to spend large chunks of time playing but yesterday it was just perfect. The previous day I was also able to spend some great time with Fin as he rode his bike around the block and in the bush across the road. I've really cherished some special time with both my children before the baby arrives and takes up a lot more of my attention. We also went on a little adventure yesterday. Heading into the bush where there was a recent fire and exploring around a look-out. Already little flannel flowers were bursting from their burnt and charred seed pods, a beautiful reflection of life amidst ruins of charcoal. We then had some arvo tea at a little bakery and raced through the rain. Simple things bring such beauty to life.

This pregnancy has been so different to my previous pregnancy with Fin. I was so stressed with house renovations and Luke was busy most weekends working at the house and during the week he had stepped up to manage his department at work. It was full-on for both of us. I also had a lot of heart rhythm problems in the third trimester (this time it was mainly in the first) which were probably exasperated by stress. Our relationship was also a little strained due to the intensity of renovating, financial pressure, working and parenting a defiant, spirited two-year-old and trying to hold it all together. When Fin was born we also moved back into the newly renovated house two weeks later. It was crazy!! So this time it feels so different. I feel a lot more connected with Luke and the children. Luke and I have also been able to enjoy a couple of dates which have been nice too! It helps to have finished work four weeks ago and to just be able to focus on family and the baby. So nice :)

I feel so happy to soon welcome this new little life into our family. I love my family so much and to me there's nothing better than spending time all together. Sure, things will change with a baby. We're currently at a stage where it's pretty easy to go and enjoy a big day out together. However, it will come again. This babe will come along for the wild ride. I'm sure it will grow to be fairly resilient and use to noise, travel and chaos! Our home is certainly not a quiet one and life can be quite busy at times.

So, when you're ready baby, we are here waiting for you.

We love you so, so much and are incredibly excited to soon hold you and love you.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Baby number three and me.

The last post I wrote was way back in January! It was centred on whether we should have a third child or not. At the time I wrote that I was actually pregnant with my third but had only just found out when it came to publishing the post on my blog.

So yes we decided to take the plunge and have baby number three! I'm so happy with our decision (so far  - haha) and I'm really looking forward to meeting our child. I look at my own two children and find it incredible that the one growing within me will also grow up, have their own personality, their own distinct look, likes/dislikes. I wonder who this baby will be...

It's been good to reach this dreamy state after a difficult first trimester of pregnancy. My heart rhythm was playing up very early on and my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) issues were quite intense. I also has nausea and a stomach bug during this time. It was also the time by daugher Issy started Kindy. It was all so overwhelming with a new routine, heart palpitations and a constant sea sickness feeling.

Thank goodness it didn't last!! I still have a few issues here and there with my health but I've been able to mainly enjoy the second trimester and just get on with life - as you do with baby number three!  My tummy is growing day by day and baby is having lots of fun kicking and playing within my tum. We found out the sex of the baby but we're keeping it hush hush. So far just one tiny smile which may have turned into a slip up!

One thing that has really helped me feel more positive about this stage in life is a boost in my career. I had been struggling with deciding to have a baby because I worried about not progressing in my work and also feeling like I wasn't achieving much. I'm not a career woman as such but I'm someone who loves to achieve, reach goals and have purpose beyond life in the home. I get miserable very quickly if I'm not achieving anything which can be a bit of a problem at times! I had quit my small business venture in November last year and started working just one day a week in my Dad's business. However, I wasn't really feeling very challenged in my role and back in March this year I started to feel myself sliding into depression again. Thankfully, I was the offered a contract for a new job via a friend. This job was in public relations / media publicity - a field I hadn't really worked in since I had children. The thought of this job excited me and overwhelmed me. It was just for 5 weeks, three days a week so I thought why not? It ended up being a massive five weeks but I'm so happy I made the decision to go for it. I've now had the contract extended and I've been hired by the company that originally arranged the contract. I have had a much-needed boost in confidence and have achieved things I didn't imagine I would be able to do. I can also work from home and just on the two days I have my son in day care. It's worked out so well.

I've also been able to conquer many of my fears that were anxiety related. With each fear I conquered I felt able to take another step forward in conquering another. It's just small things that most people would have no problems with at all, but for me they were big, overwhelming fears that were previously controlling my life. I feel like I've finally been able to get a grip of the anxiety that's controlled me too much in the past. In doing this I feel more confident as a mum, a wife and a pregnant woman. I feel stronger inside myself which is so important when things will soon be hectic with a new born baby.

I also feel like I can look forward to having a "break" when baby arrives. I will be ready for no work by then - I'm already starting to feel that way as I become more pregnant and tired.

This year has brought some lovely surprises and changes. It has taken me a little while to get use to the school routine but I do love having a little bit of structure to the day even though it's within such a tight time frame of 9am - 2.55pm each day. My big girl Issy is doing so well at school and I'm so proud of how she's made friends, and really wants to learn! Such a relief after a not-so-good experience at preschool.

Well, it's getting late and I still need to fold washing at 9pm. Sigh. It will only get busier but I feel ready to embrace it a little more now days. x

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Am I ready for a third child?

"Oh the pigeon pair!" the elderly lady said to me, admiring my two young children. "You can stop right there now. Your family is complete."

Complete? Is it really? How do I know? 

A family of four is so....nice. A mum, dad, one boy and one girl. It's a little too neat perhaps?

I clearly remember discussing the subject of children with my husband-to-be on our one year anniversary of "going out." He had asked me how many kids I wanted and I was a little stumped at first.  I was just 21 and I hadn't thought much about being a mum. I just thought about myself, really. I thought about my career prospects, future travel plans and hopefully marriage. Being a mum was something far, far off in the distant future (although it ended up being only three years later!)

After a little bit of thought I answered that I'd like no more than three children. I had come from a family of four and it was always hectic, noisy and stressful. I wanted a little less of that. And him? 10. Yes, 10 children. Which later, thankfully, dropped to five children after much discussion. Can you tell he's from a Catholic family? Every sperm is NOT sacred in my books!

We never did come to a firm agreement on the number of children we'd like to have. Once we married I just hoped it would sort itself out. we are today, two children later. My husband would love at least another two more and I'm adamant that one more would be enough. But even one more is a massive thing for me. It had led me to ask myself, am I ready for a third child? 

There's a lot to consider.

So, to help me decide, I've put together a list of the positive and negatives to help me (and maybe you) work this one out. 

Negatives of having three children:

1. It costs more - emotionally & financially

2. We will need to go through the baby stage again. Sleepless nights, leaking boobs, slouchy female bits, and poo avalanches.

3. We may need to buy a new car or tightly squeeze into your current model.

4. According to research (which is based on a survey of 7,164 U.S mothers) transitioning from two to three children is overwhelming as parents become outnumbered. But we're bigger aren't we?

5. Nearly every body tells me that two was easy and three is a real stretch on your physical/emotional/mental/financial resources. Three is not just a crowd, it's a circus.

6. More clothes washing. Enough said.

7. There will be a middle children who may be vulnerable to middle child syndrome. The children will either need to all play together or one will be left out. Maybe four children then?

9. We will miss out on all the "family deals" aimed at two parents and two children.

10. We will be replacing both of us and adding another human to this already overpopulated earth (that one is courtesy of Dick Smith).

11. More children to drive around to various friends' houses and after school activities once they grow up. Many parents with children from around the age of 12 to 17 tell me they are part time taxi drivers for their children.

12. Less "me time". I don't get much of this anyway but at least I get time to myself at night and the occasional day out by myself. This will all end while the baby is young.

13. I will be putting my career prospects on hold yet again. I've working in various part-time and casual roles since having children but I haven't progressed or found a job I particularly love.

14. I will have to go through pregnancy, birth and the dreaded postpartum period again. In the past two pregnancies this has included battling a daily heart arrhythmia during and after pregnancy, postpartum thyroiditis, and a long and unpredictable labour. Then there's the good old changes to your body: spider veins, droopy bits here and there, and leaky plumbing. Oh the joys!

Positives of having three children:

1. Two just doesn't seem to cut it. There feels like there's someone missing and that we aren't a big enough family yet.

2. With more children, surely one of them will take care of me and save me from going into a nursing home when i'm old! (Please!)

3. The more the merrier (so the saying goes). More beautiful little people to love and get to know. One of the most wonderful things about being a parent is discovering your child's unique personality and nurturing their character. It's also about accepting the things you can't change but still guiding them in the right direction. It's a privilege.

4. My kids are now a little older (they will be at least 3 and 6 if we have another baby) and will be able to help out and possibly not be so jealous. It's a bit different compared to 3 under 3!

5. Although there are many hard things about the baby stage, there are also so many wonderful things about little squishy toes, soft baby hair, button noses and sweet milk cries. Feeling clucky yet?

6. Three is a crowd  and with five of us in total it would be like our own little party/circus/club/team.

7. I grew up in a family of four, my husband in a family of seven. Although there were some negatives in growing up in a big family, there's now a lot more positives since we've become adults. When we all get together at Christmas, birthdays etc we really enjoy each other's company and our family have become our closest friends. We love that the kids have lots of aunties, uncles and cousins. Family gatherings are busy, loud and fun!

8. When I'm old and grey I would find so much pleasure in knowing that I have a family that will continue growing. I would love to one day have a home full of my children, grandchildren and even their children celebrating Christmas or birthdays together.

9. Two children may seem like enough for now but how about in ten years? Twenty or thirty? Will I ever wish I had more? Will the family seem too small when we are all adults sitting around a table for dinner?

10. Children are blessings! They bring great purpose to our lives, they bring more fun, more wonderful memories and more challenges which we can grow and learn from.

I was able to list a number of negatives but I think they are all outweighed with the fact that one beautiful, little life could possibly be created and enjoyed. New life is a miracle!

Raising kids and bringing them into this world is tough but there will come a time when they are adults that we can count them as friends (i hope!)

So how about you? Did you make a decision to stop at a certain number of children? Why? Maybe it wasn't a choice and you would have loved more. Sometimes we just need to count our blessings whether they be 1, 2, 3, 4 or more.

I wonder how many I'll be counting...