Tuesday, December 30, 2008



As last time, the 2nd picture is "all sucked in", this time everything doesn't quite vanish, which I think is kind of a good thing, if the baby is big enough for me to feel movement then it should really be able to hide that well! Still not really a bump though, I mean, I know I'm not just getting a bit chubby, but there really isn't any shape to convince anyone else of that fact!

I weighed myself at the gym yesterday and I've managed to lose weight, which was a bit of a surprise as I think I've been eating plenty, though carrying so compactly does mean that my stomach is squashed, when it wouldn't usually be at this stage, or at least not so much, I feel full very quickly, so that limits the size of my meals. My dance partner commented it was pretty impressive to lose weight over the holiday season AND whilst pregnant!
Posted by Picasa

old spahetti factory

Woo Hoo, they had gluten free pasta, I was a bit worried when we decided to go there, we'd never been there before, so I had no idea whether they would have much choice of salad or anything like that, so when I found that you had the option to switch spaghetti for gluten free pasta I was really pleased and it was pretty tasty too and a pretty good price.

We ended up there because one of Andrew's friends said he was taking his boy to see trains in Seattle and he'd asked if Sausage Boy could come too, so we all decided to go, it was really good for me to get out, I hadn't been feeling great, but I wasn't feeling desparately bad either, but sitting around at home may well have sent me that way!

It was surprisingly fun watching trains, it was pretty cool to see Banana Girl getting excited about things, she's 3.5, but her napping habits and slowness to speak means sometimes it feels we haven't done all that much with her.

She has picked up a cute habit of saying Space Noodle, rather than Space Needle, which is funny and just like her habit of being able to spot planes even right in the corner of the sky, she was spotting the space needle as soon as it appeared from behind a building, sometimes leaving us hunting for what she was pointing at!

Feeling stressed

A discussion at the weekend suddenly made me doubt my birth plans, again! I'm now having to revisit the question of even if I feel good would a c-section still be a better option - and I feel that is probably a question without an answer, my combination of problems is just too unusual.

It doesn't help that I'm not feeling great physically today, it's hardly surprising as yesterday I had pilates in the morning and 2.5hrs of dancing in the evening. With the bad weather and holidays I've not done that much for a couple of weeks, so it's hardly surprising that I don't feel great, but it doesn't help my fear about the birth!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Feeling movement

I can't be entirely sure, but I think I was feeling some wiggles during church this evening, it's only a very vague fluttering sensation. Only time will tell, though this feeling is very familiar and if it isn't movement, then what on earth is it, it's in the wrong place for a muscle twitch, or gas pains.

yuck, cold!

I mean the virus type, not the weather type! All three adults (me, husband and sister), were sniffly yesterday morning, as the day went on it seemed pretty clear that at this point in time I'm worse effected. I think this is the worst cold I've had in a while!

The worst thing at this point in time is that my hip is now really hurting, I have painkillers available, but I haven't taken any in two weeks and I really want to keep that up and I was so pleased with feeling well enough and having the courage to take the step of not taking the baseline dose at regular intervals, that I really don't want to break being free of them.

I've just made myself a coffee, which is something I rarely do, recommendations about caffeine in pregnancy seem to keep changing, and I'm never quite sure if setting any given level as ok is more of a realism thing that cutting down is easier than stopping entirely, after all you can never really be sure that anything is safe. I'm getting a lot less caffeine by the fact that I've gone off tea - this is very odd for me, as my morning tea has always been such a pick me up for me. I've switched to a herbal one for pregnancy, it's basically peppermint and it's actually really nice!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thaw - or not?

Woke up to it snowing, as expected. As it started to turn to rain it also stopped falling, so though the weather forecast was pretty much guaranteeing us rain, it has actually been dry. The slight warmth has been enough to mean snow was falling in dollops of trees, but not enough for significant melting, so that fall just seemed to make everything deeper!

The main roads are pretty good, but the piles of snow at the side of them are about two foot high and getting to the main road can be treacherous!

We got safely too church, before DH had a silly moment and said he'd "just" park here, indicating a pile of snow, I yelled no, but it was too late, we were stuck. It turns out a church car park is a good place to get stuck as though we'd stupidly forgotten to switch our spade between cars, there were quite a lot of spades and men giving the car a shove quite quickly. We weren't the only ones though, DH stayed out to help and it was at least half an hour after the service started before all the cars had been unstuck. It was a relief for us to find that a large, high clearance vehicle didn't make you immune as a Ford Explorer got stuck right next to us!

Service was a bit bizarre, probably made me the most homesick for a while, as it was the opposite of any carol service in the UK, suddenly I longed to be at Eden, where they do basically do the traditional service of nine lessons and carols, though they do have some modern readings too sometimes. Afterwards, mince pies are served, usually they are contributed by many people mostly homemade, but some bought so it can be an odd mix and I remember if there are any left after everyone has been served, hunting down the ones that look like they have good pastry and plenty of mince!

I was starting to wonder if we'd been better off staying at home and listening to carols from Kings on the radio! Thankfully getting out the car park was rather better than getting in and we went to a sushi restaurant for dinner. Since going wheat free, restaurant dining has been less appealing with choices somewhat restricted, but sushi turned out to be a good thing, there are a fair few things fried in batter, but it was really an opportunity to try new things, which I did and enjoyed it. I think as time goes by I'm getting more into sushi, I'm starting to believe what they tell you about kids, that you have to taste something quite a few times to get used to the taste. The kids were eating pretty well too and trying new things, so it was fun for everyone.

Stockings have been hung, some Christmas dinner prep has been done, so now it's time to watch the rest of a Vicar of Dibley Christmas special that we hadn't seen since it was first broadcast after we left the UK.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

not feeling so good now

We ventured out again in the snow, in theory it should have been a bit warmer than yesterday, but maybe we have wind or something. The plan was to walk to Trader Joes, which is about a mile, we only got to the top of the driveway before deciding not to.

I did however manage to buy something for DH that I hadn't managed to get yesterday (daren't say more as he might read this!).

I had my scarf wrapped around my neck and lower face, but I've come back in with aching face and neck and the start of a headache.

More snow is forecast this evening and tomorrow, up to 6 inches! So taking the philosophy of using the car only if it is essential, then we're not going anywhere anytime soon! That's including the Christmas Eve service at church.

Monday, December 22, 2008

15 weeks, compare and contrast

They do say all pregnancies are different and here I am at 15 weeks, reflecting on how different this is - when you have a girl and a boy, the natural tendency is to associate certain things with boy pregnancies and others with girl pregnancies. On that basis, I'm having an alien!

Sickness has been wierd, there was a point when things were really bad, almost daily vomiting, I've never had that before, I felt very nauseous with DS, but was only sick twice the whole pregnancy and not in the first trimester. With DD it was more frequent, but never anywhere near daily. Thankfully it passed, though it did cause some worry as it was very early for it to stop.

Tiredness, you'd think this would be bad with narcolepsy and not on meds, but actually I'm mostly better than I was before I got pregnant and didn't take my meds one day. I also do seem to have picked up in the last 3 weeks or so, which is also early for me, it marks the classic 12 week point, but with DS it was 21 weeks before I started to bloom a bit.

Size, I think I'm destined to be smaller with each pregnancy, we flew to Korea just before Christmas when I was pregnant 2nd time around, I'm pretty sure I was bigger than I am now. I remember last time that being small didn't equate to feeling small, but I feel pretty good now, I only really notice when I'm lieing on my side, when suddenly things fall out!

Pain, wow, this is amazing, I have to put it down in part to going wheat free, I was definitely improving anyway, but the improvement since then has been amazing, to the extent I've basically stopped taking painkillers, other than the occasional paracetamol. This is fantastic, I'm hopeful that things will continue to go well, but either way, I'm positive. I have been feeling twinges in my symphysis pubis in the past few days, but only after being on my feet for a long time, 2 winters ago, when I wasn't even pregnant I didn't cope well with wintery conditions, this time, the conditions are way worse, but it's a none issue.

I'm due to see my cardiologist in January, I'm not too worried about that, but it would be silly not to ask if she has any delivery concerns. As I understand things the main risk seems to be IUGR, not delivery, but it's not a high risk and I don't think that can really change my risk much anyway, already being considered higher than normal risk due to it having happened before. However we talked to our midwives about this and they are happy to do appointments with just one of them if we do have any concerns in the 3rd trimester, I firmly believe that the monitoring of an experienced midwife is as good, if not better than serial ultrasounds, though ultrasounds definitely have a role after diagnosis, though more to check on the blood flow, not get further data on size.

It still feels too soon to do any real baby oriented organisation, I'm trying, though not very sucessfully so far to try and get life in general more organised, I may be feeling an awful lot better, but unfortunately I still do have trigger activities for pain, anything bending forwards is one, so folding laundry is a real killer - not good having just got back from holiday!

coming down with something

I feel really bad, we went to see a new baby yesterday and it's obvious this morning that Sausage Boy and I are coming down with something. We're blaming my sister bringing foreign germs. We washed her hands and I didn't touch the baby, we just gazed at him, though not for too long as he was asleep. Fingers crossed we didn't get too close to anyone and spread this thing around further.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

winter dramas

We have SNOW, quite a lot of it, the most I've seen outside of a ski resort in years. That was before another layer fell today!

Friends of ours had a baby 9 days ago (just before her due date, she'd been hoping to last an extra day and thus finish her "month" at work, she's an ER doctor and works shifts and by choosing them carefully, finishing December would have given her an extra month off!), we'd agreed to take them a meal today. Meal was cooked and ready to go, snow is falling, but DH has safely manouvered the car and we can see that traffic is moving fine along the main road. Thankfully I remembered to say "stick the spade in the boot".

We get lulled into a false sense of security as driving towards them, the roads were better, the main road by us was in worse condition than the fairly minor through street that passes their neighbourhood, this surprised me as whether there is any truth in it or not, I've always thought of their area as more affected by weather.

We'd not been to their house before and turning off the through street we were going too slowly, not realising there was a hill. Decide to park the car and walk as it's only a block or so. However foolishly, we park the car up hill of another car as downhill of it would be borderline too close to the junction.

Have a nice walk to there house, Sausage Boy really enjoying himself jumping in snow drifts. Go into the house, baby is fast asleep and happy and mum and dad are up and awake and seeming happy to chat (I'm always torn on this one, I remember some lonely spots in those early days and was glad for a chat, but there were moments I didn't want it too and it can be hard to tell).

I glance out of the window and the snow seems to have stopped, but by the time we get moving, the snow has started up again and it's pretty heavy, to be honest, even without the new snow, I don't think we'd have had the traction to reverse uphill, so the spade turns out to be handy, we get digging (or rather DH does the digging, I do a bit of sweeping and I think I had small effect). It was slow as despite attempts to have a clear spot and get momentum going backwards eventually we did need to clear the entire track going backwards, as we work, about 4 more cars got stuck nearby! After working away alone for about 40 minutes and being everso close to getting out, suddenly it appears the other people around give up on getting there own cars out and decide to "help", we were so close to getting out that this really amounted to no help, just lots of people feeling good, which is fine. I was pretty impressed with my manouver out of the space, particularly as I had several people telling me what to do! To be fair, they were all correct, but not information I was unaware of!

Thankfully after that we got home safely, the last main road was pretty bad, but whilst there was large volumes of snow, it was only a thin top layer that was untouched and there was grit somewhere in the mix. Earlier in the day we'd seen a car getting stuck turning into our drive, so I had to balance slowing down to get a look to see if there was anyone in the way (stuck or otherwise, we have neighbours with funny ideas about parking), but once I could see it was clear getting up enough speed to get through the snow drift, it worked out fine and the only hurdle to clear was getting into the garage - which also went really well, it's uphill and we hadn't cleared the snow, I was pretty impressed with my judgement there!

It feels like we have acheived so little today, basically cooking, wrapping the gift for the baby and delivering the food! I also feel totally unprepared for Christmas, with relatives all in different countries, we end up receiving gift cards, or money transfers and doing all the present buying and wrapping ourselves, I meant to order things on Thursday when we should have been home, it's now Sunday evening and nothing has been done. I'm hoping we can get to Target over the next few days and at least get something!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

All here safely!

We arrived home at 10 past 4 Friday morning! It was actually quite reasonable driving home at that time as we didn't have to share the road with anyone, but no new snow had fallen since the evening. The worst bit was a section of freeway between I405/I90 interchange and the next junction eastwards, fortunately we only saw one other car in that section.

We were glad for the gazebo covering our deck as the short journey between the garage and the back door would have been very cold and wet in the shoes we were wearing!

Friday was clear, no melting, but no further snow, my sister's flight actually got in early, though it took her a while to get through customs and immigration.

We had to head out to buy food today, unless we wanted to leave on some slightly random things in tins! The car park at the supermarket was horrendous, hard to find a space and some very crazy driving, there were several people who seemed to think the rules of the road didn't apply to them!

I'd intended to make christmas cake before we left as it does really need time to develop the flavour, but it didn't happen, so we set to work doing that - I stupidly set my sister to the task of lining the pan, apparently she never watch our mum do this, so attempt one was a disaster. So was attempt two by DH, though at least that paper was still useable for me to finally do it myself!

I bought gluten free bread mix at the supermarket, but after putting everything in the bread mixer found that the wiring to the start button must have got fried as all the other buttons worked, but start was something it would not do. Which now means I have bread busy rising, but an oven at a low temperature with a fruit cake in it, not quite sure how I'm going to get my way out of that one!

I've decided to make Monte Cristo sandwiches for dinner, we first had them in Korea, they don't seem that common a menu item, but they appeared on a few in Las Vegas, but given the wheat free thing, I couldn't have them, I've never been a big bread eater anyway, but this is the thing that has tipped me into attempting gluten free bread!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

leaving tonight - we hope!

Apparently the snowfall in Las Vegas breaks the all time record for amount of snow in December - at 3 inches! So it's understandable that they weren't prepared, but it was weather that wouldn't have closed most airports other than for the hour or so of complete whiteout.

It appears the main reason for closure was shortage of deicer, we met people who had been onboard planes, in a ground queue to go through the deicing process, but they ran out after a handful of planes!

We originally could only get rebooked for Friday, but after spending the night at the Flamingo, we called this morning and got booked on the last flight today - all flights to Seattle today seem to be running late, so it really will be late, they are currently saying 10:05pm. We are at the airport as there was only so much wandering around we could do.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Las Vegas - SNOW - flight cancelled

Well it's been a bit of a saga, a rare winter storm hit Las Vegas this afternoon, we had no idea at the stage we checked out of our hotel this morning, so of course when it hit, we're in our rental car, luggage and all!

Knowing how traffic can clog up quickly, but how rarely airports actually close, we headed to the airport. At check-in, even though later on we realised already flights weren't leaving, they reassured us things may be late, but would still happen.

However not long after getting to the gate area, our flight was cancelled, Andrew queued and surprisingly quickly we were rebooked on a flight that the plan was sat at the airport for and would go as soon as it got clearance. Our bags were already unchecked though, so Andrew had to do the long round trip to baggage claim and then to recheck them.

Things were looking hopefully as the snow had stopped, visibility was way better and things were obviously melting, but then it started to come down again and eventually they announced the flight would not be taking off tonight.

Andrew is now stood in line to rebook, hopefully on the first flight tomorrow, things didn't seem to be all that busy today, but maybe the original rebooking was so easy because the smart people had already rebooked for tomorrow, so who knows!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

this made me laugh


Word usage, of course pregnant women can eat peanuts, they don't suddenly lose the ability to pick them up and eat them the second they become pregnant, as I was actually doing when I saw the article title!

Friday, December 12, 2008

fake tan

One of those things about competitive dancing that I don't like is fake tan - I've nothing against getting dressed up and showing off, though it's not that normal for me in general. This comp is the first time I've actually got full details from our coach as to exactly which products and how to use them - I got a product called Pro Tan from a health store that seems to in reality be a store for body builders!

It's got a much higher percentage of the relevant chemicals than drug store fake tans - it's also got some colour in it so you can see where you are putting it. It's quite a thin liquid that you spray onto a foam brush to apply. It took a fair amount of time 30-45 minutes to do my whole body and required help to do the hard to reach parts, at first I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw, but as I got my whole body done it started to look ok, fake, but ok! However it will develop overnight and I've been instructed to do at least two, if not three coats!

I have to admit that once you're on the dance floor, untanned actually looks white and ghostly and tan looks good - but I'm jealous of those people who racially don't need to do this because they are already a colour that looks good!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Las Vegas

We left Sea-Tac late afternoon yesterday and arrived in the evening, all in all it was a smooth journey, we used a park and ride very close to the airport that was cheaper than one we've previously used and it seemed very fast, check-in was speedy too. We'd purposefully left enough time to get something to eat before we got on the plane, which ended up being Burger King, so I got to sample burger without the bun!

On the plane the air hostesses were really sweet, particularly with Banana Girl who was in the aisle seat, they'd even learnt her name and drink preferences by the end of the flight - when Sausage Boy asked to visit the pilot, who must have been in a very good mood as he let them both sit in the co-pilots seat and answered loads of questions.

Thw worst bit was arriving at the hotel, we stood at the front of the check-in queue with no one attending to us and a rapidly growing queue behind us, they eventually checked in and assigned us a room, I didn't realise until we got there that it was in a completely different part of the hotel to where we booked, so it was a long trek. However it has what we call "airport view", much to the delight of the children who have unbelievable tolerance for standing at the window counting planes taking off!

At the entrances to the hotels I've noticed signs saying under 21s are not allowed in the gambling areas, this rule must either have some very strange definition of this, or not be inforced at all as it would actually have been impossible to even get from the plane to the baggage collection without passing very close to the machines, let alone move around the hotel.

We popped down to the competion check-in/ticket desk and found out that kids were half price, though they then took pity on us and decided that such little kids really shouldn't have to pay and wondered off to find someone with the authority to ok that, which they did! Which means they all get to come Saturday evening, we also found my Saturday evening admission was included, which is a useful saving of $40, I still have to pay $20 for each daytime though. Turned out programs were $25, steep, but they kindly let me look through it to see how many were entered in each of our heats, then I decided to buy one anyway! We are the only couple entered in most of our events, this is a competition mostly aimed at amateurs who dance with a professional, so we will dance at the same time as male amateurs with their teachers (usually) who are at the same level, which for one dance includes the wife of our standard teacher. For a couple of dances there are some other amateur couples, but in older age categories. Apparently this doesn't give us first place automatically, they can still mark us 2nd if we, say, are very out of time with the music, I don't take much pleasure in places that mean nothing, but it may well be a positive thing in taking the pressure off.

For the Latin events we are doing, at open level, there are 9 couples in one and 12 in the other, being Silver when Open is above Gold, nothing is expected of us. It seems like you can't win either way, we were encouraged to enter these because of the likely lack of competition, but now we have the pressure of wanting to fit in, honestly, I think if we present ourselves and feel confident we will be fine. I'm renting a costume for this as costume rules are strict in syllabus events and for this I get to put everything on display! At a minimum we will dance 5 dances in a row, if we qualify for the finals they are straight afterwards, so it could be 10 in a row!

Andrew decided to take the kids to the library whilst I chilled out a bit, my hip was pretty achy after 5 or so hours wondering around. I just called them and the kids sounded really happy, but they are going to be pretty late back, I hope this means they might fall asleep more easily, but it's past nine and we still have to get dinner!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Heard the heartbeat!

We saw the midwife today and listened to the baby's heartbeat! Everything seems to be fine, other than that Sausage Girl now thinks we are having a dog not a baby, as the sound is rather like a "woof woof" sound!

After my paranoia, I was feeling more confident today as the past couple of days I've felt like I "popped", it's not popping that suddenly makes things obvious, in fact when I'm standing with good posture it pretty much vanishes, but I can now easily feel when I move that there is something there!

We're off to Las Vegas tomorrow, which also marks a 1/4 of this pregnancy, we'll have known for 9 weeks, which seems both very short and very long all at the same time. 8th October feels a very long time ago!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Right now I want to do nothing but go to bed, but I'm acutely aware that if I go to bed now, I'll regret it at 5am, or maybe sooner. I hate lieing awake in the early hours, I also hate getting up to a dark, quiet, cold house. So that means I have to force myself to stay up for another hour or so.

I just looked at the calendar and realised how little time I have to get organised before heading to Las Vegas on Wednesday. Monday evening is taken up by dancing and Tuesday afternoon is taken up by appointments. That should be plenty of time, but as always, stuff expands to fill the available space and there an awful lot of things on the ought to do list, but not on the absolutely necessary list, I'll regret it when I get back if none of those get done!

One thing I really don't have time to do is stand in line at the post office. I've decided that if it comes to the crunch, the I can take the bits and bobs to finish the photo albums I'm making for various relatives with us and work on them whilst we're there. I've no idea what the last posting date is, but if I get them in the post on Friday, it can't go desparately wrong.

I am however coming to the conclusion that Christmas cards will not happen. Given the number we get and the variability in whom they come from, I figure we're not the only ones with this approach to life! I can attempt to convince family members that their photo album in fact IS a christmas card, just with a year round theme!

Winter fun!

Each winter, someone puts an ice rink under a large marquee at the local park. We went for the first time last year, when they only had boots that went down to size 11, just about tolerable for Sausage Boy, enormous and heavy for Banana Girl. However they still seemed to enjoy it and after some fun rollerskating a few weeks ago, it seemed like a good idea to make sure we didn't wait until the last few days of the season to go, so we headed there this morning - someone has had a brainwave and made small skaes with double blades available for hire, they were sooooo cut in a size 8, I should have taken a picture of them not on her feet!

I'm sure some doctors would have a fit at the idea of a pregnant woman going ice skating, why take unnecessary risk they would say. Well, I went last year 2 months after hip surgery, that was probably a lot more risky, I chose to take that risk, so this time it was a no brainer. As I first stepped out on the ice, I discovered I was inclined to push of my left leg (the one which had surgery) and balance on my right leg. There is no obvious difference in strength between them when looking at large movements, but when I asked my PT a couple of months back, apparently fine muscle control takes longer to return and requires specific work, at 13 months post surgery it's obvious when doing something like ice skating that I still need to work on this. I could manage fine, I just had to think about it, I ended up making myself skate full laps only pushing with my right leg, so getting a reasonable chunk of time balancing on my left leg.

Unfortunately Sausage Boy managed to fall and twist in an awkward way and catch the inside of his lip with his tooth, he had a good cry and it was obvious that it really was painful as it quickly swelled up quite a lot. We asked for ice, but the had none (oh, the irony!), but I hit on the solution of buying a can of drink, so we let him choose and he spent a while holding a can of apple juice to his lip. At first he didn't want to go back out on the ice, but I hit on the suggestion that this was ok, but we would be coming again in future and he would be quite free to watch if he wanted to, which instantly had him back on the ice!

Rather frustratingly since this afternoon I've been feeling rather nauseous and it's a version I find particularly unpleasant where the sensation is in your mouth, rather than your stomach, it really does feel right on the edge of where you're about to lose it. Usually when it gets to this point it means I have to find a bathroom, FAST!

how not to stay wheat free!

I'd been doing well, I'd done 7.5 days and it was no big deal, it included eating out and making careful choices. Then last night we had a dancing show, which had buffet food, every single item but the veggie tray contained wheat and I only realised once I'd put a couple of things on my plate. Oops. I decided this would be my trial, I'd been feeling better, would this make me feel worse? Yes and I think some of that remains today, back to wheat free living for me!

Friday, December 5, 2008

is it the wheat or not?

Who knows, but I've done almost a week completely wheat free and I do feel better, I've not suddenly got masses of energy, but my body does seem to be at least keeping up with my brain. Afternoons are still hard, I do need to get some rest, but it's the getting going again after I've had some rest that seems to be tricky, but that's in my head!

Other things that wheat might effect seem to be moving more smoothly ;-).

Wheat free baking has been fun, so far I've only done pastry and given that's not something I'm very experienced at anyway, it's hard to tell if it's the type of flour that is making the difference. Just at this moment I have a batch of 24 mince pies in the oven, this time with brown rice flour!

At whole foods, I bought some tea for expectant mothers, it's a blend, including red raspberry leaf, but also peppermint and a few other bits and bobs, I'm loving drinking it in the mornings, I used to drink English tea with milk, but for some unknown reason I've really gone off it this pregnancy, but I don't really go for any other hot drink, at least not first thing in the morning. But I've been really enjoying sipping this tea!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


After I got home tonight, DH announced he'd sent me an email, I was bemused and he pulled up his sent items and this is the picture that appeared, along with the text 'This evening, Sausage girl spontaneously decided that gymnastics should not be restricted to her class on Friday mornings, but should be practised with gay abandon in the most unsafe of environments’. That says it all!
Posted by Picasa

house tasks

Ok, I'm finally putting pen to paper and writing a list of the things we need to get done in the house

* change all the heating thermostats (depending on how we decided to do this determines whether we can do this ourselves, or if we need to get an electrician)

* convert both showers to shower heads on hoses (fixed heads are never a good idea imho)

* remove shower screen from bathroom and replace with a curtain

* get kitchen tap fixed

* get some kind of organiser for our shower

* install shelves anywhere (or most places) there is space (we'll probably get a carpenter to do this, we put up large shelves in a study in the UK and it was a big job, we have 2 or 3 places we need 2/3 long shelves)

* get carpets professionally cleaned and consider replacing them (the entire upstairs has pale carpets, not good for the kind of use we give them)

* install hooks near laundry area

It's a long list! I don't think either of us are that great about figuring out how to make a house functional space wise. Our house is basically twice the size of what we had in England, but it really doesn't feel like it. This doesn't make much sense as we have barely increased the amount of furniture, literally we've bought bunk beds for Nathanael (which coincided with dismantling the cot, so it barely counts), I bought a table/storage unit for quilting, it's at a height so you can stand and cut at it and then just a couple of weeks ago, I bought a book case. The children also have a toy kitchen that is large enough to count as furniture, but we did also remove other large toys.

I think this house is not so well laid out as our other one is, part by design and part because we very carefully bought furniture to fit the last one and have moved it here. I particularly feel our lounge area is poorly used space, because downstairs is open plan, one side of it is essentially a corridor and that wall has a coat cupboard and a wet bar. Another wall is taken up with two large windows and a fireplace. We have an upright piano in there, which is so out of tune it's painful to play (must add that to my list). We have the inevitable TV, which is just sat on an old table (my grandparents had it when they got married, 53 years ago), it only now occurs to me that there is a big chunk of space there that could be used way more effectively, I must look into that.

I'm very concious that we'll have to really think how we use space if we're not to all feel on top of each other for the next few years, currently the kids have most of there toys downstairs and there are only a very few items that Nathanael has to store our of reach of Ada, that is going to change, soon almost everything will have to be out of reach, which probably means rearranging things to have more toys in their bedroom, which means we'll have to investigate storage options as currently there is only clothes storage.

This is all seeming rather overwhelming!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

resting heart rate = 148

Which is not good and explains why my chest hurts, I assumed it was because I'm coughing a lot, time to take some pills I think (apparently medication is safer than my heart rate being this high).

I just realised...

...that if I want to send things to grandparents for Christmas, I actually have to do it in the next few days.

Hmmm, I may have to be a bit less ambitious. Photos are desired, particularly by great grandparents who haven't seen the kids for over two years.

Due to my various laptop traumas over the past year I've been very behind on downloading and organising photos. Our cameras habit of resetting it's date means most of our photos claim to have been taken in January 2005 and in downloading them, they seem to lose the ordering they have on the camera, so everything is interleaved. I've got them vaguely organised now, which means I can upload them somewere and get a whole lot printed out, all of which takes very little time, then I'll have to get off my backside and actually do something with them.

The worst bit of all will be going to the post office, for some reason, our local post office is almost always queuing out the door and it's worse at holiday times, I've still not found any time of day when you can go and reliably expect to not queue for ages.

So far so good...

This wheat free thing seems to be working, though if you spend the entire afternoon eating popcorn, it doesn't really matter what it contains, you are going to feel full!

Shopping is a bit more time consuming as I can't just throw anything in, but I went to Whole Foods today and got a couple of packets of wheatfree biscuits and plenty of rice cakes, so I should always have something simple on hand.

The unfortunate side effect of going to Whole Foods is they sell a local brand of caramel popcorn that is very yummy, but I've now eaten too much of it.

I'm at almost 4 days now!

Sunday, November 30, 2008



Well there is definitely something changing there, even if it's not clearly a pregnancy bump! It's pleasing to see some definite progress since 8 weeks as I've been paranoid the past week or so that really I'm not pregnant at all. I had DH take a picture of me using my abs and "sucking it all in", useful proof that that is still possible and it's not all in my imagination. Hopefully next time we do photos it will really be a bump, but if this is anything like past experiences it won't be!
Posted by Picasa

Wheat free pastry (=mince pies)

I spotted some wheat free all purpose baking flour in the supermarket at a fairly crazy price, but decided I had to try it. When I got it home and actually read the packet it suggested xanthan gum be used in certain quantities as a binder, which I didn't have. I figured I'd give it a try anyway and used a supremely simple recipe containing flour, icing sugar, butter and a bit of water. I was impressed, no complaints about the pastry at all and our lunch guests who had never experienced the British tradition of mince pies seemed to enjoy them. The pastry was on the flaky side, but no more so than many mince pies are and it was pretty light. Next time I will try another recipe that takes a little more time, it has an egg in it, so the binding thing might be less of a problem.

How to tell the sex of a baby?

I asked Sausage Boy this today. His answer was so funny, he said by the length of their hair, boys have short hair, girls have long hair. We explained to him that if this was the case, he was a baby girl and Banana Girl was a baby boy. We asked what he has that Banana Girl doesn't and he provided us with the correct answer, but seemed entirely bemused that the same might apply to a baby, so we asked him if he had grown any other body parts since he was born, had he produced any new fingers or a nose perhaps, this resulted in lots of giggles and he's now all set to determine the sex of the baby after birth!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Going wheat free

There, I've said it, I really am doing it!

This is a fairly surprising move for me, I wouldn't say I'm a disbeliever in food allergies or intolerances, as quite obviously they do exist, but I generally tend to feel that they are not as common as people make out.

Last week I was saying to DH that it felt like my body wasn't metabolising food properly, that I felt I was eating enough, yet my muscles still felt fatigued after very little activity - I can only recall having felt like that once before, which was after having flu aged 14, which is 15 years ago now! This time I had no illness to blame and it felt different and beyond the fatigue I've experienced in previous pregnancies.

Then I was reading a book that is quite extreme when it comes to managing pregnancy with the aim of the best birth outcomes, it's mostly based on Indian traditions. Amongst many other dietary restrictions, avoiding wheat was mentioned, the reasons started to ring bells in my head as to how I was feeling, so I've been mulling it over and have finally decided to go for it.

I don't know how easy of difficult this will turn out to be, I'm not a big wheat eater anyway, in terms of obvious wheat like bread (which I barely eat at all), but I'm finding it crops up in all sorts of processed foods. Thankfully we live in an era where plenty of wheat free alternatives are available, I've found some really good crackers that are really tasty, much yummier than the mainstream alternatives, I have a horrible suspicion that they fill you up less as both yesterday and today when I had them for lunch I was grazing all afternoon!

The most frustrating is going to be Christmas food, I love some of the traditional British items, particularly mince pies and christmas pudding. I'm sure there are wheat free pastry recipes out there, but it will be an experiment for me and I know bad pastry can ruin a mince pie. If it comes to the crunch I'll be eating a serving of mince in a bowl with a squirt of cream! I haven't searched for a wheat free version of christmas pudding, I suspect if I did, then it would require suet, which doesn't seem to be available here. Christmas cake bothers me less, but it's so much of a tradition that I feel I do want to make it, putting the marzipan and icing on is a faff, but it's part of the run up to Christmas!

Eek, I just realised, I really have to sort most things out by the middle of next week. We are going to Las Vegas for a week, leaving on 10th December. We get back, have one free day (full of preschool/kindergarten stuff) then my sister arrives. I suppose I might be able to convince her to watch the kids so I can take a shopping trip and then rope her into wrapping presents in the evening!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


This is really silly, but in the last week or so I've become really paranoid that I'm not pregnant, or that this pregnancy is not viable, but hasn't miscarried of it's own accord. By this time in both my previous pregnancies I'd had an ultrasound, it's my choice not to have had one this time and I stick by my reason to make that choice, which is that we have no doubt over dates, being fractionally more accurate isn't necessary and also that routine ultrasound has been found my many large studies to not improve pregnancy outcomes and potentially to worsen them and it has been suggested that this is due to stress caused by thinking there might be a problem and then having to wait to have it confirmed that it isn't.

One example of this is a not insignificant number of pregnancies, about 3% are found to have a cyst in the baby's brain called a choroid plexus cyst, they are much more common in pregnancies where the foetus has Down Syndrome (and possibly other triploidies), but the numbers work out such that a finding of this alone in the 2nd trimester isn't an indicator at all, but it is enough to worry you! It turned out that Banana Girl had these, but we weren't told, the scan that found that was done in Korea, we knew there was something as they called a doctor in and then another, but when they eventually told us everything was fine, we believed them.

When we moved back to the UK I got copies of my notes, but the writing was small and I never read them in detail, everyone in the UK seemed content with our verbal communication that things were ok so no one spotted it whilst she was still in utero. I stumbled across the notes when she was a few months old and found the info out and googled for more info, well at that point, it was obvious she was fine. I was tempted to feel angry with the doctors in Korea, but in the end I was glad, it confirmed to me why I'd planned not to have ultrasounds, I'd had them because I'd been suffering quite a lot of abdominal pain (turned out to be from my kidneys), so there was a reason for it.

On balance I think I still do want to know everything, I don't want my caregivers to shield information from me and I will be asking for copies of any test results. My theory is, that if I have a test, then whilst at that time I'm happy to know the results are normal, a month down the line if I'm experiencing a particular symptom, it's useful to be able to look back and say, oh, that number was quite near the end of the range, maybe this symptom is caused by that now being out of range. I've had occasional blood tests say I'm anemic, so for me being told it's normal isn't all that helpful, it could be that it's a tiny bit in range and I still need to keep a close eye on what I eat, or it could be well into range and I can relax a bit.

At this stage of pregnancy, when there is no day to day feeling of the baby, even having heard or seen the heartbeat once isn't a complete reassurance each day, of course there is no such thing as certainty and I can see why people do end up renting or buying their own doppler so they can keep checking, even though the medical people advise against it. One thing I can rest on is that God is in charge, if things go bad I can trust He is doing it for a reason even though I know I would find that very hard and probably be angry with Him for a while.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bump - 8 weeks


There is nothing good to say about this picture! At a little past 8 weeks, I've lost my toned stomach and old stretch marks are standing out a mile. I certainly think I'm justified in feeling fat and frumpy. I'll photograph again at 12 weeks (which is actually only 8 days away I was so slow posting the picture), but I think it will be at least 16 weeks before it's a bump not a fat tummy, and maybe not even then.
Posted by Picasa

Sausage Boy dancing!





Their white ribbons are third place - which in there heat was last place, they danced against a couple who looked at least a year older, maybe two and a brother and sister couple who looked around 9 or 10. Sausage Boy is 5 and a half and his partner is not quite 5. Looking at the pictures I'm reminded of a feeling I had, but was unable to verbalise, which is that they look like they are in the right place, they look so comfortable dressed up and with their hair done. Things didn't go great on the dance floor but they weren't stunned by the space and the bright lights either. Currently they are being coached by the uncle of his partner, who's 18 and with his dance partner is youth regional champion. Sausage Boy adores him, which is great as he is a good role model as a dancer AND as a gentleman.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 21, 2008

Feeling low

I'm not having a good day today, I can't stay on task at all and as usual am exhausted. This really affects my mood and all of a sudden I'm verging on the point of thinking there is nothing good in life.

I did manage to cook dinner, though with a few splutters and completely managing to waste the first packet of sauce mix I used. I used tinned salmon, which I haven't done in years and it was pretty tasty, different to what I remember from the UK, it's Alaskan Sockeye, so that's hardly surprising. The tin was trying to tell me that it had lots of good omega 3s in it, so I might add it to my repetoire slightly more often.

I have 2 packets of fresh mince in the fridge and my mind did a total blank on what you can cook with mince, other than lasagne and I really didn't want to do that. If I get round to it I should start off the meat in the morning in the crockpot, then finishing the bits off to turn it in to lasagne shouldn't be so daunting. I have a vague recollection of making lasagne about a week after Sausage Boy was born, but then again my memory is I felt a heck of a lot better then than I do now! I was probably getting as much sleep, if not more and no one expected anything of me. Today looked more like me being a disaster for not dragging myself out of bed, then taking Banana Girl to gymnastics, heading to a store where I was looking for an item I found impossible to describe so I couldn't ask where I might find it, somehow ended up buying a bookcase for a space that when I got home I discovered was imaginary. Then heading to Sausage Boy's school for a Thanksgiving meal his class had prepared. Hardly surprising that by the time I get home cooking dinner is the last thing on my mind, 5 and a half years ago cooking dinner was the only thing on my mind, the only thing to gauge the success of a day by!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


We had a frustrating weekend, we danced well, but placed badly - and by badly, I mean last! My partner has more experience of competivite dancing and our coaches are saying the same thing, which is that sometimes, when you are judging and ranking things in order you do get bad days. It worked out for us 3 weeks ago at regionals, there were 2 judges that didn't like us, but 3 that placed us fairly meant we got an ok result. This week we were out of luck, 3 judges out of 5 didn't like us, 1 was still lower than we hoped and the other gave us 1st place in 2 dances and 3rd in another - which was one we mucked up in the middle of and that I certainly feel weakest on.

We have class tonight, so we'll have to see what our coach says, our next competition is out of town, which might be good for us, different judges and different couples to dance against. At the moment I feel my dancing is still getting better, I have less energy, which affects practice, but when the adrenaline is flowing at a comp I seem to get through fine. There are still a lot of technical improvements I can make, but at some point my altered shape will start to make that harder.

Sausage Boy competed for the first time and it was the cutest thing ever, I haven't downloaded the pictures yet and they don't really capture it, but despite being the worst dancers by a long way (the next youngest couple was probably at least a year older and has been on the competition circuit a year or so), they got the biggest clap or anyone when they collected their 3rd place ribbons. It was a real lesson to me as how much things can deteriorate on the dance floor, which I've not really accepted before.


Andrew had some good emails today, some bad, one was telling him he got a promotion and thus a slight pay rise (good!), the other was asking him if he'd be able to spend 2 weeks in India no sooner than May, which forced him into announcing that I was expecting.

I wonder if we/he will ever make that trip to India, for all sorts of reasons, a lot of work he does gets transferred over there eventually, then there is a cross over where he is working with people there and it can be challenging communicating with the time differences. Him taking a trip has been discussed several times and taking us with him has been agreed, however I'm not that sure I'd want to spend a month in Bangalore!

One sixth!

If I got my calculations right, it's 6 weeks since we found out I was expecting, which assuming 36 weeks of pregnancy means we are 1/6 of the way there, which is a pretty good number in my book! It's also potentially getting closer to when sickness and exhaustion might relent a little bit.

I'm coming to the conclusion that a little bit of caffeine may well be better for me than trying to avoid it completely. Not that I was trying to avoid it completely, but as tea was making me sick, I've cut out that (very wierd as tea was my lifeline in both my other pregnancies). I'm not a regular coffee drinker anyway, though it's not making me sick this time. My other caffeine source was an almost daily can of coke, not great and I was already working on cutting down and was at roughly every other day.

A recent article on the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7705319.stm was urging pregnant mothers to cut down on caffeine, this is a tough one for me as the problem it causes, low birth weight, happened with Sausage Boy and it's hard for me to rationalise whether I did anything to cause that, or was it just random.

Before I got pregnant, I'd bought a supplement that contains berry extracts and caffine, so it's supposed to give you energy and when I tried it I found it did help. I decided last night that I'd take it this morning and I've gone from the typical dead on my feet feeling to ready to face the day. I don't want to do this every day, but I think it's going to be better on balance for the whole family if I take it at least some days.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dead in my feet....

....would be a good description of how I feel right now. Fair enough tiredness is normal at this stage, but it does make me feel guilty about how that impacts the rest of the family.

We had brunch at woman's bible study this morning and a couple of people shared testimonies, both of them were born into horrific family situations, it's amazing to see how God has work through that and brought them to where they are now, but I could help but hear the devastating effect actions of their parents and possibly grandparents impacted the next generations. It would be easy to get all cosy and thing well at least I'm not an alcoholic, but I flipped to thinking the opposite way, how much is my behaviour now, and in the past, effecting my kids? Apparently one of the women had seen Nathanael last week and asked him how Mummy was and he had just kind of shrugged his shoulders.

Today when I picked them up from preschool/kindergarten, it was all I could do to stay awake driving the car. By the time we got home, I was in no state to start thinking about the contents of their school bags - get there coats hung up, lunch bags in the kitchen and school bags in their homes was about it. Thankfully Sausage Boy announced he had only one piece of paper in his bag, it was a letter from a girl in his class, at which point I did have the sense to ask him to show it to me and it really was just a note she'd sent him, it could have been an invite or something, but Banana Girl's bag is bulging - I do feel her teacher is sending home a bit too much paperwork, the arts and crafts she's done is fine, but she sends home a full newsletter every week (Banana Girl is only there for 2 days!), which might have some essential information buried deep within it. Add in that we get fundraisers (we always get two copies), school newsletter (same problem), homework (for BG, not SB) and I'm really losing the plot and feeling like a bad parent!

One of the activities Banana Girl got sent home was all about propositions - great, of course she should learn those, but personally I don't think formal learning is the way to teach that to a 3 year old, but by continual repetition of them in day to day activities, despite being a late talker, she knew them all anyway, I don't feel the need to cut out pictures and have her stick them places to prove that!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Natural C-sections

In the UK there has been some press about an obstetrician who calls his c-section technique "natural". In my mind there is nothing natural about a c-section, I'd prefer the word optimal, but as natural is the phrase he coined, I'm using it so the connection is made if anyone wants to search for information about it.

Here is an article from The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2005/dec/03/health.medicineandhealth, as you might expect in the press, it focuses on the experience not the medical facts. However there are lots about the experience which would suggest that the medical facts are also an improvement on the typical situation post c-section.

The real big one for me is delaying cord clamping - the number of things that have been associated with immediate cord clamping is scary, to the extent it's not just a bonus if you have a healthy full term baby, but something that other than in very rare circumstances is NECESSARY for premature and sick babies. However there are still not many hospitals doing it routinely and I wouldn't be surprised if there are many doctors who haven't even heard of it.

Sadly there are some aspects of birth that are dismissed by doctors as mad desires of those desiring natural childbirth. However I'm coming to see that delayed cord clamping and to a lesser extent some kind of skin to skin contact is as helpful to the prospects of the baby as the existance of medical treatments to help when there are genuine problems. According to Nick Fisk some of the problems that require the baby to be admitted to special care can actually be prevented by his methods, yet the conventional wisdom is to whisk the baby away in case these problems happen.

One of the problems I can foresee is that the perceived wisdom is that giving drugs to separate the placenta from the uterus and to cause the uterus to contract down, which is essential at a c-section, require the cord to be clamped. This is in fact a myth, however just right now I'm struggling to find the indepth medical information on this, which I know exists, I've read it before, but didn't bookmark.

I'm planning to put together a document with all these details that I can hand to a doctor to explain why I'm asking for it, I hope that by providing the information with the links to peer reviewed papers in reputable journals I can make them rethink the ideas they have probably had since medical school, rather than see me as some crazy woman who wants to turn a c-section into a natural birth type experience. A good experience helps, but it's not fundamentally what I'm looking for, I'm looking to reduce the chances of all sorts of things and give my baby a good start in life, in particular I want to reduce the chances of it needing to go to the NICU.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I'm having a really dilemma right now about care for this pregnancy. In the end it comes down to probabilities, which are almost impossible to put a finger on.

I know two things, I have absolutely no intention of having a vaginal birth in hospital, this is both a psyhcological thing and a personal view of birth. First of my last hospital birth was so horrific, I think I'd freak out and lose the plot and the very idea of birthing in hospital, let alone actually doing it. I also feel that going into hospital and exposing yourself to things like continuous monitoring is opening up a big can of worms unnecessarily.

Problem is, I've planned homebirths twice before and both times ended up in hospital, which leaves me not all that confident of it working out this time and I'm fearful of putting all my hopes on to that, then something changing and that not being an option and having to transfer to an unfamiliar hospital, unfamiliar doctor etc.

On the otherhand, I really do not want to get prenatal care from a doctor, I don't like all that medicalisation and don't want to have to fight battles all the way about not getting lots of the tests they want. Even if I was certain now this would end in an elective c-section I still wouldn't want prenatal care from a doctor. However there are variables when having a c-section, I really want to have the opportunity to express my opinions on those and discuss them with a doctor, rather than take pot luck at the end - all of which is rather a clash of needs and I'm completely stuck as to what to do.

I think in the end, that for now, I have to put this on hold, progression of the pregnancy will probably give me a better idea of the chances of a good outcome and I don't need to have these things settled now. It's just had for me to stick to that, I generally like to fix things to know what is going on, to have my plans all worked out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


It's obvious that as this pregnancy progressed I will have some readuced mobity. Some people do us a scooter in the house, but I think that is too restrictive. So I'm thinking of getting a wheelchair, self propelled by me, stairs will be a challenge unless we are able to get some coverage under insurance. I suppose crutches will be the first thing, I'll wait until I need them, but I don think it will be long. Actually sitting in said wheelchair will be the embarrasing bit will talk about that later

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Yuck, I thought I was starting a migraine yesterday, but it never got bad and was gone by the evening, I think I'll declare that to be "just a headache". Particularly in comparison to today, the headache started mid afternoon, I don't really have much aura but I'm feeling really nauseous, and oddly enough, it does feel different from pregnancy nausea.

When things are like this, I am completely non functional, I can barely sit up to type this, let alone stand up and be up and about. Thankfully I have nothing on this evening and nothing tomorrow that needs preparing for.

However, I am now completely and utterly bored out of my mind, I was dozing earlier in the day, but I'm now wide awake and will be until bedtime. I don't want to try caffeine as it's only an hour and a half away.

Thankfully I very rarely still have a problem the next day, I generally seem to sleep them off, which I know is not average, but it is one blessing!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

more on achy legs

I realised I forgot to explain my theory on achy legs, I think what might be going on, is that I'm not consuming enough protein to cope with pregnancy and muscle repair after working out, dancing etc. When I move around my legs are very definitely behaving as if they just don't have any fuel to make them move. Not sure exactly how to deal with this, at lunch time I was trying to think of things I could eat, but everything I came up with repulsed me, so it was back to noodles and satay sauce, which must have moderate amounts of protein in. What I really want is a steak, but I don't want to deal with cooking it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

achy legs

I read somewhere recently that you don't need any extra calories in the first trimester of pregnancy, though I don't recall seeing that anywhere else I've read about nutrition in pregnancy.

My theory is the typical tiredness must come from somewhere, it's probably some kind of indication of the work our bodies are doing.

I also read an article yesterday about people who find it difficult to put on muscle bulk, despite working out. In someways I fall into that category, any greater muscle definition I've gained in the past few months comes from losing weight I gained post hip surgery, despite the fact I've been doing quite a lot of exercise. Not that I've been aiming to gain muscle bulk, but it was interesting to read how you could see if you fell into this category and what the potential reasons might be. Fundamentally it seems I probably don't eat enough, or not of the right kinds of things.

Having had one growth restricted baby, I do want to make sure to eat well throughout, growth problems in the uterus aren't well understood, later on it's thought to be a placental problem and the baby simply can't get enough regardless of what the mother eats, but early on the placenta is still being formed and if eating the right amount of stuff can influence that, then it's something I want to do. But when you're feeling sick a lot of the time, getting enough to eat is challenging, particularly as high protein foods are some of the least appealing for me right now.

I've never been a big milk drinker, but one of the things I did when expecting DD was finding ways to sneak milk into my diet, back in the UK, I ate a lot of Angel Delight, it's an instant dessert that you whisk with milk then leave for 5 minutes. Right now I'm going for hot chocolate with whipped cream. Another advantage to this is that we have vit D enriched whole milk.

There is one caveat that I only just realised, with Sausage Boy, I stuck to my usual very low milk diet (about a half pint or less per week) and he's had no problems with milk. With Banana Girl, she's borderline intolerant to the stuff, we never had a problem when she was breastfeeding, but she gets very mucousy when she consumes too much, but as it's not a complete intolerance or allergy it's not really a big deal, she has soy milk on cereal and occasionally to drink and doesn't appear to miss regular milk, she sometimes has chocolate milk, but doesn't seem to like it that much, just does it to copy big brother. Milk that's been processed such as cheese doesn't seem to bother her. You have to wonder if this is connected, it does seem anecdotally that it's often the mothers who are big milk drinkers who have babies with milk allergies!

Friday, October 31, 2008


Before I went to Cambridge University, I did realise that the chances were that I would come into contact with people who would do really important things and possibly a few who would be famous in the general scheme of things.

This has turned out to be true, I was at college with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hattie_Morahan. Rather ironically, I had loved the drama she starred in in 1996 and not known it was her when I met her at college, to be fair she was someone I barely knew, but I think she was part of the same group of friends as my room mate in the first year.

A good friend of my husband's father had won the Nobel Peace Prize the year before and was considered some kind of security risk.

There were many people we knew who were so friendly and level headed that you'd never know of their great acheivements, it took me years to realise the connection between and algorithm I'd learnt and a lovely old man I'd chat with at coffee.

For quite a while I had an office across the corridor from the guy who invented iris recognition and who was also some kind of advisor to my husband for his final year project. Again, you'd never have known from him what he'd acheived, nor by how he lived.

Somehow at Christmas 1999 one of the easier versions of the eternity puzzle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternity_puzzle appeared at our house and we all found it rather tricky and pretty much laughed at the idea that anyone would solve the full puzzle and win the million pound prize. Turned out that the solver, only a few months later had been a fellow of my college and supervised me for two years, he'd left a few months previously "to do other things" it seemed he had no real plans and this piqued his interest. How quite such an intelligent guy could appear to be quite so scared of a group of 18 year old girls, I don't know!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I spoke too soon about not feeling sick last week, in the past few days I'm not only feeling sick, but actually being sick too, not my idea of fun, there was one day last week where I only kept down popcorn! Not exactly the ideal diet, but not really any worse than any of the other dry easy to swallow options I could think of!

I had breakfast with my dance partner on Sunday morning, I had to ask where the nearest restroom was, then run!


I love to dance. As a child I was sent to dance class age 4 and just kept doing more and more until I went to college. I went to college in the UK, unlike in the US you can't get credits from multiple departments and even if you could only a few places have anything in the performing arts. When I got there I took up Scottish country dancing and occasionally some other folk dancing. I also did a 4 week crash course in ballroom dancing. I intended to audition for shows, but lacking confidence in singing, I only got round to doing one, which I didn't get through. Gradually I threw my energy into other things, mostly rowing and I got unlucky picking up injuries and mostly couldn't dance anyway.

But dancing is in my blood, I was destined to come back to it and finally last year I did, I took up ballroom dancing at a studio close to our home and I'm loving it. I've even started competing! I do International Style - what the rest of the world would know as ballroom dancing it's only in the US they have to distinguish between International and American style. It's split into two style "Standard", which includes Waltz, Foxtrot etc. and Latin American i.e. cha cha, jive etc. Of the two I prefer standard, though ironically at the moment I seem to be much better at Latin, standard is all completely knew to me, I have to relearn how to use my body. Latin is different, but a lot of techniques from Ballet and Modern are useful.

The problem is, at some point I have to tell my dance partner that I'm pregnant and this is going to muck the partnership up, but right now I'm attempting to live in a dream world where at dancing I'm not pregnant!

I've also been taking some ballet classes recently, which I'm loving, I hope I can carry on with them for quite a way through pregnancy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I'm going to try and remember to take pictures right through this pregnancy. Previously I've only managed it once or twice. I'm already feeling self concious about my tummy, this is silly, but it is losing some tone, but it was pretty well toned for a mother of two, particularly with the amount of stretch marks I have, my skin isn't doing me any favours, it's all genuine tone!

Andrew took this picture on Sunday night, so 6 weeks precisely, I'll probably try and settle for multiples of 4 from now on!

I had a random thought tonight, assuming delivery occurs by 40+3, that would mean from finding out to delivery is 36 weeks. Tomorrow we'll have known about it for two weeks, meaning 1/18 of the way! Fractions help me, it's like ticking something off, it feels like acheiving something.

I've not felt as sick today, I hope this doesn't mean anything, I'm crossing my fingers it's more of a sign that I know what to do, so instead of waiting and seeing how I feel, I eat at certain times because I know what will happen if I don't!

I have an appointment with my physical therapist (physiotherapist in English!) tomorrow, it will probably be the last one, I saw a physiatrist last week, they are doctors that specialise in management and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal issues, mostly back problems. As well as everything else I've had two severe impact injuries to the same spot in my mid back, the 2nd was 6 weeks after Banana Girl was born and it's possible that time actually included a break of one of the vertabrae, with all that going on, it's hardly surprising it's a long term on off struggle with pain in that area, this PT has worked wonders with my neck and other bits of me, but the mid back pain hasn't changed. The physiatrist thinks it's time to try something else and has suggested another PT who specialised in a particular type of massage which might help me. I think I'm a difficult case as my spine is very mobile, so one joint being slightly stiff is a big contrast which causes muscle spasm and tension, when the same injury in someone else wouldn't be such a contrast with normal. Treatment has to attempt to get things moving at my normal range not average normal range, which is also tricky. Obviously I'll also be telling her I'm pregnant - this is a topic that has come up in conversation, so it will be interesting to see how she reacts, bizarrely it's not that long ago since she actually did ask if I was pregnant as it seemed like everyone around her was!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 18, 2008

yuck, sickness

This sickness is hard - though I'd exchange nausea for some of the pain I experienced last pregnancy any day, but even so it's still hard, the worst bit is the feeling that you might actually lose it an throw up simply via gravity, bending over to fold laundry was not good!

The lack of control isn't great either, as well as nausea, I seem to have lost control of my body temperature, this has happened in my other pregnancies too. This afternoon at dance class, I came over all funny, like a hot flush and feeling nauseous too, I chose to try and cover it up and push through it, when really I wanted to go and stand outside. Given it was a joke at the studio that made me realise getting a pregnancy test was a good idea, I wasn't risking another potential "well you know what causes sickness....".

Sausage Boy has been doing a good job at keeping quiet, though apparently one of the older girls at dancing asked him something about did he have a baby in his family and he didn't know what to say as he seemed to feel neither yes or no was correct and he said something about her having to ask his mummy if there was a baby in her tummy, I wasn't there, but the next class he pointed her out to me and thankfully it isn't any of the girls that I know or would cross paths with, or as far as I know someone who's friendly with anyone who knows me as anything more than a random face. There are a few girls there who do know me as not just Sausage Boy's mum, but as a dancer and might put two and two together.

Banana Girl doesn't have the conversational skills to share the information, though she's clear on the fact there is a baby in my tummy, however she seems to think there is one in hers too, so how much she really understands is hard to tell!

I'm trying hard not to think about the birth too much, there is a heck of a lot of fear in my head surrounding that and I think in part how the pregnancy goes will effect a lot how the birth unfolds, but there is still a lot more information that I could find out, but it's hard to draw out the facts, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome does have an effect on expected outcomes, premature rupture or membranes is more common for example, as is damage to the pelvic floor and related structures. Most current medical advice is that if you have anything more than minor damage down there to have a c-section anyway, because their is a risk of making things worse, particularly if it turns out to be a difficult second stage, but it's still fairly small and as far as I can tell it's only details about actual tears that have been studies rather than longer term functional consequences, I had a neat 2nd degree tear, but have damage and function more comparable to a 3rd or even 4th degree tear, as I understand it, because the tissue underneath was torn but the outer skin mostly stretched, so it wasn't connected to the surface and thus not diagnosed, or repaired at the time - repair or 3rd and 4th deg tears is about long term function as much as it's about short term wound healing or infection control.

But given a c-section would be recommended anyway, it's hard to tease out if based on the Ehlers Danlos Syndrome that would be a stronger or lesser recommendation and there are a heck of a lot of factors to consider. I know that if it were only this type of damage to consider, that without EDS, on the information available to me, I'd not choose to have a c-section, which would be atypical, but as others who've made the same decision have said, they'd rather take the 10-20% risk of things getting worse than the guaranteed major surgery - but I might make a different decision if 10-20% was 50% or another number.

I don't even know who can really help me with this area, I had seen a physical therapist who worked with me on these issues, even before I got pregnant I'd been wondering about going back to her as I had felt things were worsening, she might be able to help me wade through things. I also saw a reconstructive gynaecologist to get a full diagnosis of what was going on, even though I didn't mention more children she said I should have a c-section, but because I wasn't thinking of having more I didn't quiz her much, so I don't know if based on exactly what she saw that was a very conventional medical view, or whether she thought my current damage was bad, or risk higher or anything. I could go back to her, but I don't really know if she could tell me anything more.

I also don't want to make any decisions early as I want to be open minded about this and be able to stay with my midwives, I think they are going to be a lot better for me for pregnancy care than an obstetrician, but if I decide early on we're going the c-section route, it would be hard for them to keep me, they know already that I probably wouldn't risk going into labour with a baby anything but perfectly positioned and have access to doctors for if that situation occurs, but want to work with me right through the 3rd trimester to make sure that doesn't happen.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Still not telling!

I'm not sure that should really be "still" as it's normal not to tell at this stage, I'm not even 6 weeks along yet. However I feel so sick, it feels really wierd attempting to go about normal life with no one around you knowing what is going on inside you!

I already feel enormous, though whether my slightly rounded tummy is due to baby, or simply my increased appetite is debatable. What is very clear though is the increased size of my breasts!

The midwife called yesterday to say my vitamin D was extremely low, which is a surprise as though the PNW isn't out of the zone of concern, it gets a lot more sunlight than the UK and I'm fairly sure I've been tested and just not shown a concerning result. I think it was tested around March time, when a test showed I was mildly anemic. I looked up vit D deficiency and there is some kind of loop with iron and zinc, but my brain wasn't working enough to work it out!

I have a vague recollection that vit D supplementation has been suggested for chronic pain, so I need to track those references down. I've been feeling so tired I haven't called the midwife back to get the exact numbers, she wants me on supplements which I am fine with, just curious as to how I got to this point - vit D comes from sunlight (well it's rather more complex than that, but getting out in the sun will make your body produce more) and I've not been out in the sun less than usual, I'm not a big sun person and I do protect myself. It's also in milk, fortified rather than naturally, I barely consume any, but that isn't a change from usual either.

I'll probably just pass it off as one of those things.

I've been feeling twinges in my symphysis pubis (where the bones join at the front of your pelvis), which worry me, I'd hoped to get to the 2nd trimester before that becomes a problem, but it also reminds me what a horrible pain it is and I know realistically I will suffer with it for a good portion of this pregnancy and that is scary.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Reassuring chat

I took the plunge and called a local midwife, I'd had this horrid fear that I'd somehow be ineligble for midwife care, there isn't so much a notion of shared care as there is in the UK and there are circumstances where a midwife pretty much has her hands tied over consulting a doctor and that can be troublesome.

In the UK a midwife has what is known as "duty of care", they have to care for whatever they are presented with, even if that person is completely non compliant, so someone could present with a situation that clearly needed more intervention than a midwife could give but refuse to transfer to the hospital, the midwife would probably inform someone to make sure her views were recorded independently and probably a few other things too, but ultimately regardless of when the situation presented, they'd still have to give care.

In the US a doctor can "drop" a patient - it's sadly not that uncommon to hear of a variation from normal, such as a prior c-section, being promised they could try for a VBAC with a particular doctor or group of doctors, only for them in late pregnancy to told the doctor was no longer willing to let them to that and in some states it would be illegal for a midwife to offer care, so it's possible to be left with no care.

There is a midwife in the UK, Mary Cronk, who is highly respected both by mothers and midwives (and hopefully doctors too!), she has several handy phrases to be used to point out to a doctor (she calls him Mr Hi-and-Mi-ti) that it's not his position to allow or not allow a woman to do anything - sadly that fundamental truth doesn't apply in the US, if the doctor says get induced and you say no, you could find yourself in a bit of a fix, there are some requirements in the law to care for a labouring woman as part of the requirement to provide emergency care, but it would be definitely suboptimal and you'd have to go to an emergency room and take pot luck.

All this was causing me some distress, the chances of me agreeing with a doctor are fairly slim, I don't respond at all well to orders, I want to know what each and every blood test is for (and if I remember rightly, last time I concluded that two blood draws with very basic tests was useful, but I'd do nothing more unless medically indicated) etc. and I need to be respected if I say no to things - especially anomoly screening type things, but there is other stuff that is routinely tested for that when you dig deeper the benefits of testing are unclear.

These things are all reasons that scream "find a midwife", but I'm not a trivial case, I'm not high risk, but not clear cut low risk either and there is stuff that will need management through pregnancy and getting to the end of pregnancy and deciding a c-section is the best option isn't an unlikely scenario and I didn't think it would be possible to go into midwifery care with that as a possible outcome. But I had a long conversation with a midwife today and it appears that it is, that at the end of a pregnancy the doctors they have relationships with will accept patients for elective section. Another thing that helps this particular midwife pairing is that one is also a natropath - which means they can fulfil some of the requirements to consult a doctor on certain issues without going outside.

It's such a weight off my mind, the only thing that does concern me is that having researched a bit into how to have the best c-section for both mum and baby there are a few things that I consider very important that aren't routine practice currently. Hopefully as the pregnancy goes on I'll have a better idea of the chances of me going that route and thus how much thought I need to put into it, or if it's a bridge I can cross when I get to it.

Where I'm at

Physically I'm sat on my bed, fairly wide awake at 2:49am. I'm a night owl anyway, but this is crazy, I'd like to be asleep, but sleeping tablets at this stage of pregnancy are a no no. Narcolepsy is a funny thing, people have usually heard of it in that context, a medical reason why some people fall asleep in odd places at odd times. But the truth is, that's not a true representation of how narcolepsy effects people, even a lot of doctors don't realise that a significant proportion of people with narcolepsy have problems sleeping at night time, I'm often asked why I take sleeping tablets by doctors other than my primary doctor and sleep specialist. I take them because if I don't, I don't get much sleep and since I started meds to combat the day time sleepiness, I've needed them even more.

So now I can take neither, which means I don't have many weapons against the tiredness I'll feel tomorrow (or today, in fact!), particularly as I'll try and avoid caffeine to give myself a fighting chance of sleeping tomorrow night.

The worst thing is, when I'm tired, I'm irritable, I become the world's worst mum, I try and get them to stop talking even when they are talking quite pleasantly simply because I can't process all that information coming at me! Then I hate myself for it.

I do have an idea, I realised I don't allocate time just to listen, I'm listening as a drive, or as I make lunch, I really ought to be able to figure out time to just listen, I'd also like to carve out time for individual time with each child. I naturally get it with Banana Girl because she's only in two day preschool, but given she has a tendancy to dedicate some of our mornings to screaming because she's not at preschool it rather spoils it, but I'm finally noticing that since Sausage Boy has started kindergarten, we're not getting much of that, I think I need to arrange a date with him!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why mumprime?

How do you choose a name for a blog? Do you concatenate a few words about your life and hope people will remember exactly the order, spelling and where the underscores are? Possibly, it's not a bad way to choose a name - but the blogs you remember are often the ones with snappy names, but of course all the snappy names around common subjects are taken!

I'm a Brit living in the UK, so my kids call me Mummy, but they haven't quite realised the difference and at preschool tend to produce works of art with me labelled by a kindly teacher as Mommy.

When my husband realised "Mummy" was free as a license plate number, he pretty much insisted we got it when he discovered how cheap it was - you'd think people would get the idea, but apparently the general opinion is that I'm some kind of Egyptian fanatic!

So why mumprime? Well, I have to confess, I'm a bit of a geek, though I've kept out of the loop for the past few year, but prime in my head will never mean anything but an indicator that differentiation has occurred. Being philosphical I could say that represents my acknowledgement that motherhood is something that changes through time and those changes are probably rather more interesting than a chronical of the day to day existance of being a mum.

Prime can also imply "prime number", so it acknowledges that things being as they are I have a prime number of children, both now and hopefully in nine months time (so can you work out how many I have now)? That all sounds a bit reminisant of the BBC Radio 4 program (oft repeated on BBC7) "The Consultants".

Then there is the obvious, prime meaning first or best - I don't think I'm number one mum, a long way from it in fact, but I do happen to believe that God is in control of my life and my kids life and that for know that means I am the best mum for them and will be as long as I live and they live.