Thursday, 31 March 2011

Birth of the Wombat

Last time I wrote about Seagull's birth story. Today I write about Wombat's.

While I was at peace with the way Seagull was born, I really wanted to have the experience of birthing without an epidural. I found out about Hypnobirthing when I was about 30 weeks pregnant. There are no hypnobirthing classes run near where I live, so I made do with buying the book and reading about it. It explains that the reason labour hurts is because we are told it does, so we fear it. When we are afraid of something, we become tense and the tension translates into pain. Long story short, the book goes through strategies to self-hypnotise so that you are able to relieve tension. You still feel what's going on, but because you are not tense, you're not in pain. I figured I had nothing to lose and a lot to gain, so I read on and tried to practice the things the book outlines, some aspects with more success than others.

At the beginning of my last week at work, I was 33 weeks, 3 days pregnant. I started to feel a bit uncomfortable during the morning. It felt like Wombat's head had dropped and I couldn't get comfortable sitting. I couldn't stand for more than a couple of minutes either, so I was alternating between sitting and standing every few minutes. I just didn't feel right, so I called my OB's office and asked to speak to the midwife. I was told that she was busy and that she would call me back as soon as she had a chance.

By lunch time that day, I started feeling cramping-type sensations. I was feeling really uncomfortable by this stage and the midwife at my OB's office still hadn't called back, so I decided to call the maternity ward at the local hospital, just to get some reassurance. They didn't like the fact that I was having regular cramping every 3 -5 minutes and tried to talk me into going to another hospital that was a good 50 minutes away as both of the paediatricians on staff at the local hospital were on leave. I started to freak out just a little at this stage. When I told them that I have a son in childcare and no family in the area to pick him up if my husband and I both have to go down to the other hospital and queried if my OB would be able to see me down at the other hospital, they told me to just go in there and they would check me over before deciding if they needed to send me to the other hospital.

I was in tears when I told my boss what was happening, but he was really good about it all. He told me not to worry about anything at work, that they would all be able to cover for me and to just concentrate on making sure that everything was OK with Wombat. I then had to call Thunder Maker to let him know what was going on and to let him know that I'd be coming to pick him up. It was a 10 minute drive to get to Thunder Maker's work and I was having cramps about 2-3 minutes apart the whole way there. He took over the driving and took me to the hospital.

When I arrived, I was hooked up to the CTG. After 20 minutes, I was told that I was having contractions that were 2 minutes apart. I really started to freak out at this point. When they did an internal on me and did some swabs, they said that my cervix wasn't softening, so that was a good thing but that they wanted to keep me in and give me something to stop the contractions. Just after all of this was done, the midwife from my OB's office called me, so I told her what was going on.

Thunder Maker and I were pretty worried that night. We didn't tell anyone other than a close friend what was happening and that was only so we had someone lined up to look after Seagull in case I went into labour. We figured there was no real point in telling anyone because we honestly thought that we would be ringing everyone in the next day or two to tell them that we had had our baby and I just didn't need the hassle of everyone constantly calling (mainly my Mum - love her to bits, but she worries a lot) and projecting their own stress onto me.

I had a nitroglycerin patch stuck on me later that evening which is meant to stop the contractions. It slowed them down, but didn't stop them altogether. It also gave me the worst headache I've ever had in my life. I was so crabby about it all that I felt like jamming someone's head up their backside. The patches have to be changed over after 24 hours and I really didn't want to put the second one on the next night, but got guilted into it by one of the midwives. Over the three days I stayed in hospital, the contractions gradually subsided until they stopped altogether. On my third day in hospital, one of the swab results had come back positive for a bacterial infection. The treatment was via antibiotic cream inserted "up there" via an applicator. Nice. Only a bloke could have come up with something so unpleasant. I got to go home on Thunder Maker's birthday. Seagull and Thunder Maker were both very glad to have me back at home.

I probably should mention at this point that I had never spent the night away from Seagull before, thus Thunder Maker has never had to get Seagull ready for childcare all by himself. Thunder Maker did an awesome job of putting cloth nappies together, making sure that Seagull had the right things in his lunch box and getting him dressed every morning. Seagull came to visit me wearing some very interesting clothing combinations, but I figured that the important thing was that he was dressed when he left the house.

I had a very nervous wait for the next few weeks. First of all I was hoping that Wombat would at least wait until the paediatric staff got back from leave so that if he did come early that we could at least stay in our home town. Then when they got back, I was hoping that he would hang out until 37 weeks so that he would be full term when he was born. Then I got to 37 weeks and started trying to serve him his eviction notice by using accupressure points that are meant to induce labour and getting regular massage done and telling the massage therapist to do what she could to set me off. None of it worked.

I went to see my OB at 38 weeks, 3 days and started bitching and moaning to him that I'd had enough. He checked me out and said that I was 1cm dilated, but my cervix wasn't thinning. He got in and tried to do a membrane sweep, but couldn't really get in enough to do it effectively. I went home feeling rather down about it all.

Two days later, a friend who had just trained in how to teach hypnobirthing classes came to visit me to have a bit of a chat. She left me with a couple of CD's to listen to. I decided to listen to them that night in bed. My Nan (who was staying with my Grumps in their caravan in the driveway) told me to call them at 2am. I was really puzzled at first until I figured out what she meant, then I laughed and told her not to be silly. I went to the toilet to get ready for bed and had a show. I got really excited and got up to the hospital to be checked out. I wasn't in labour, I wasn't leaking amniotic fluid like I thought I may have been. They told me it would probably still be another couple of weeks away. I was given the option of staying in overnight if I wanted, but I figured if nothing was happening, that I'd be better off at home. I didn't want to talk to anyone when I got home. Nan told me that it would probably happen soon. I'd finally given up on it and told her that I'd probably end up going past my due date. I read some Terry Pratchett and went to bed.

I woke up at about 1:20am and I knew straight away that I was having contractions and they were for real. I went to the toilet, then crawled back into bed and breathed my way through them for about 30 minutes. They were about 5 minutes apart. I woke Thunder Maker up and told him that things were happening for real. We waited another 10 minutes, then called the hospital. They told us to wait another 30 minutes and call back if they were the same or any closer. They were still 5 minutes apart 30 minutes later, so we called back and they told us that we could come in. I had to call Nan at pretty much spot on 2am to get her to come into the house and keep an ear out for Seagull. She was pretty pleased with herself that she had predicted exactly when we were going to need to go to the hospital.

When I got to the hospital, I was 2cm dilated and my cervix was really soft. I concentrated on my breathing for the next three hours during contractions, got in the shower, got out after a while when I got the shits with it not working for pain relief and asked for an epidural. Nope, no epidural, I was 7cm. I got offered pethidine instead, which I accepted. I had three doses over about 5 hours and I think it became apparent to the midwife that things had stalled. She called the OB in and he had a look. Another midwife came in with him. I was still at 7cm and Wombat had turned posterior and lifted his chin so that the widest part of his head was presenting. I knew where things were heading at this point and I told the OB I didn't want a c-section. He told me that he'd organise for an epidural, break my waters (they still hadn't broken), give me an hour and see what happened.

After my waters were broken, the anesthetist came in (I was very pleased that there wasn't going to be a two hour wait this time) and started asking what felt like 20 questions. I have drug sensitivities and I get that she was trying to ascertain how that was going to come into play with the epidural, but I was having contractions so quickly that I was struggling to comprehend what she was asking and just wanted her to shut the hell up. What really took the cake though was when she told me that I'd need to sit up on the edge of the bed for her and lean forward. I felt like doing all sorts of nasty things to her at that point (which isn't fair, she was only trying to do her job), but settled for shooting daggers at her instead. There was no way that I was capable of getting upright under my own steam at this point, so Thunder Maker and the midwife dragged my protesting body into a sitting position.

Once I was where the anesthetist wanted me to be, she came toward me to place the epidural, but I started to have a really intense contraction. I was able to say "contraction!" and she told me to let her know when it stopped. Well, this bastard thing just didn't feel like it was ever going to stop. I kept trying to do my breathing exercises through it, but it just continued to get worse and worse in intensity. I got to the point where I started screaming down the room, and I'm sure they must have been able to hear me down the hallway in the maternity ward. Poor Thunder Maker was trying to talk me down from it, but he was talking too much for me to be able to concentrate on him and it was only making everything worse. I screamed at him to shut up and he rather meekly obliged.

Finally, the contraction started to subside, only for another one to start again moments later. This time, I urgently needed to go to the toilet. I tried to get up from the bed, only to have the midwife grab my arm and ask where I was going.
Me: I'm going to the toilet, I need to do a poo.
Midwife: No you don't, sit back down.
Me: Yes I do. I'm about to poo myself.
Midwife: No you're not, please sit back down.
I started pushing involuntarily at this point. I was super embarrassed that I was going to drop it right there and then, but I had no choice in the mater and I took a perverse sense of satisfaction that she was going to be cleaning it up. Serves her right for not letting me go to the toilet.
Midwife: You're not doing a poo, you're having the baby.
Shit! I can't be having the baby. I'm only 7cm dilated and he's in the wrong position. I immediately tried to stop pushing. You know that feeling when you need to go and you're trying to hold it in until you make it to the toilet, but you can feel it creeping down anyway? That's what it was like when I tried to stop pushing.

The midwife encouraged me to lay back on my side and asked the second midwife to get the OB back into the room to have a look. He must have only been next door, because he was back in a matter of moments. I was now fully dilated (had gone from 7cm - 10cm during that one bastard contraction) and Wombat was now anterior and had dropped his chin (looks like he had turned as I had been dragged up to sit). I was good to go.

During contractions, I made a concerted effort to bear down, rather than push to the point of straining like I had with Seagull. I ended up with internal haemorrhoids after having Seagull and I did not want a repeat experience, thank you very much. I went right into myself. These contractions were nowhere near as bad as being in transition was. I just tuned everyone and everything else out and concentrated on bearing down. I could feel that I was making good progress. In fact, I didn't notice any pain associated with the contractions at all, just the actual contracting sensation.

About 10 minutes and 6 contractions after being given the go-ahead, I was told that Wombat's head was nearly through. Yeah, you reckon? 'Cause I wouldn't have known that if you hadn't told me. I gave it a little more effort on the last contraction because I just wanted to get his head out. Once it was out, I could rest. Finally, the head was through. Then the OB started tugging on Wombat's shoulder. Damn, he hadn't shot straight out like Seagull had. I don't want to push any more. Just give me a moment to collect myself, then. No? OK then, I'll muster up some energy and push - I don't want to be torn to shreds for the sake of a shoulder. I gave it one last push and Wombat was out.

I was exhausted, yet elated and so at peace with myself. I had birthed my baby without an epidural and I hadn't needed a c-section. He was handed to me and I was immediately struck with how different his nose looked to Seagull's. He was crying away and I cuddled him to me and told him that it was OK. He squawked a little more, then settled down, snuggling into my breast. I cuddled him for about 10 minutes, then I offered him to Thunder Maker for a cuddle. They had a cuddle for a while, then Wombat came back to me and snuggled back into my chest. About an hour after he was born, he started nosing around, looking for a feed. I teased his lips with my nipple and he immediately latched on perfectly.

I've always said that Wombat didn't want to come out via a c-section any more than I wanted to have one, so he decided to cooperate and come out the way nature intended. He was born at 10:20am on 27 Oct 2010, weighing 3.58kg (7lb 14oz) and measuring 50cm.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Birth of the Seagull

I've been thinking about writing up a couple of blog posts about the birth of my beautiful boys for a while, and I figure what better time is there to do it than while they are both having a nap. I'll start off today with the birth of Seagull and post up Wombat's birth story another time.

I woke up one fine Saturday morning when I was about 28 weeks pregnant with Seagull to find that my wedding and engagement rings were digging in to the point of cutting off my circulation. I figured it was time to take them off and after sucking on my finger a bit to loosen it up, the rings were off. I put them away in a safe place so I would be able to find them again at a later date. Seriously, my house is like a black hole. If you don't make a conscious effort to remember where you put something, there's a good chance you won't be finding it again any time soon. I had an appointment with my OB the following Monday and he noticed that I had taken my rings off.

As my pregnancy progressed, so did the amount of fluid retention going on in my body. My blood pressure also started creeping up. I started to put on a ridiculous amount of weight. For the first time in my life, I had a double chin. I was absolutely mortified. Thankfully, people were kind enough to notice that it was excess fluid.

My work makes us go on maternity leave at 34 weeks gestation. By about 32 weeks, I was falling asleep at my desk by 2pm. I tried to sneak in a lunch time nap one day. My boss found me and kindly told me to go home for the rest of the day, where I promptly acquainted myself with my pillow for the rest of the afternoon. When I started to fall asleep again the next day at 2pm, I decided it was time to pay a visit to the doctor. My doctor was really good about it and told me that I probably just needed to be taking it a bit easier. He gave me a medical certificate to say that he only wanted me to work half days until I went on maternity leave. Work were really good about it and we got a good arrangement in place.

I was so relieved when I finally finished up at work. It was getting harder and harder to drag myself out of bed every day. It was early December and starting to get warmer. My house doesn't have air conditioning, so if it all got too much for me, I would drag myself down to the local shopping centre for a while. Mostly, I just sat on a seat and enjoyed the air conditioned comfort. Sometimes I ate an ice cream. Sometimes I went for a wander around the shops looking at things. I also did a lot of sleeping back at home.

In the week leading up to Christmas, I started having weird sensations in the wee hours of the morning that weren't settling, but weren't regular. I wasn't sure of what was going on, so Thunder Maker called the maternity ward at the hospital and they suggested that I come in so they could check me out. It turns out that I was having Braxton Hicks contractions. While I was there, they asked for a urine sample so they could check for protein and I tested positive. They gave me the option of staying in hospital until my OB did his rounds that morning or going home, then attending my scheduled appointment with the OB for that day. I went with the going home option.

At the OB's office, I spoke with the midwife there and told her about what had happened, and specifically the protein in my urine, so she did another test that also came up positive. The OB thought at first that I would be showing a positive for protein because of the midwife at the hospital doing an internal examination. When I told him that I hadn't had an internal examination, he organised for me to do a 24 hour urine collection.

I don't know if you've done a 24 hour urine collection before, but it involves collecting EVERYTHING that passes out of your bladder for a 24 hour period. You don't realise how often you actually go to the toilet until you have to collect every drop. I know that it was summer and I was nearly 37 weeks pregnant, but I'm sure I went to the toilet more times than what was normal for me at that time. Thunder Maker asked me if I wanted to go for a swim with him down at the local pool that day. I actually thought about it until I realised that I was going to have to take my urine container with me. No way in hell was I lugging a container of pee around with me. I was so relieved when I got to drop it off at the pathology lab the next day.

A week later and I was back visiting my OB. The results from the urine collection had come back in and my protein levels were elevated. By this stage, my blood pressure had also increased a fair bit. It was at the very upper end of the normal range, but my blood pressure is normally quite low. My OB did an internal exam and told me that my cervix was 1cm dilated, was softening and he doubted that I would make it to 40 weeks, even if left to go into labour spontaneously. In light of what was happening with my fluid retention levels, my blood pressure and the presence of protein in my urine, he told me that he wanted to induce me. I was so relieved to hear it. I'm sure my blood pressure dropped, just knowing that it was all going to be ending soon.

Thunder Maker and I showed up at the hospital the next day at the scheduled time and the OB met us there shortly after. I had Cervadil tape applied to my cervix, then we sat back and waited. Cervadil is a tape that contains prostaglandins. The way it was explained to me, in some women, it is enough in itself to induce labour. My OB was hoping that that would be the case for me. Otherwise, it is meant to ripen the cervix enough to make an induction more favourable.

At about 5:30pm, I started to get some mild contractions. OK, I thought to myself. I can do this. They were getting a bit more intense and a little closer together through the late afternoon/early evening. The midwife sent Thunder Maker home because she didn't think anything was going to happen that night. I was offered a sleeping pill, but declined. I figured that I didn't want to be feeling drugged out if something did start to happen. By 11pm, the contractions were 5 minutes apart and I was starting to regret not having taken that sleeping pill. The midwife suggested that I go have a shower so I went and had a shower. It felt really good and the contractions were feeling less intense. I got out, dried off and went back to bed. The contractions started to pick up in intensity again. The midwife offered me a TENS machine. I was a little worried about putting something on my back that sends electrical shocks into you. As an electronics tech, I've kind of always avoided doing things that involve electrical shocks. Eventually, I decided to give it a go and it actually helped a bit. After a while, I pretty much had the thing maxed out and it wasn't doing much for me anymore. At this point, the midwife suggested that we move to the labour ward because I was getting a little noisy. She called Thunder Maker back in because I wanted him with me. Thunder Maker had only been asleep for about 30 mins because he had stayed up watching TV and walking the dog.

Once in the labour ward, the midwife offered me some gas. I took about five sucks of it and pushed it away. It made me feel sick. I got back in the shower, but the water temperature kept alternating between cold and scalding hot, so I went back to using the TENS machine. The midwife offered me some pethidine, which I gratefully accepted. For the next two hours, I was sleeping for the five minutes in between contractions. Whenever one started, I'd hit the button on the TENS machine, ride it out, then hit the button again to lower the intensity. Once the pethidine wore off, I asked for more, only to be knocked back. The rest of the early morning passed in a bit of a blur, in that I don't really remember what happened.

The next morning, the OB came in to see me and said that I was about 3cm dilated. He suggested that it might be a good idea to have an epidural as I had been awake with contractions all night and it was only going to be more intense once he induced me. I agreed and he went ahead and broke my waters, then administered the syntocin. As soon as my waters were broken, the contractions became more intense. The OB went to get the anesthetist. He came back after about 20 minutes to tell me that the anesthetist was in emergency surgery and that it was going to be a while before he could come to administer the epidural. Great, I thought. Why didn't he check this BEFORE inducing me. I spent the next two hours hinting at the midwife that I really wanted something to help relieve the pain. I think she was being deliberately dense. :) Finally, I said "I can't take this any more, please give me something" and she gave me some pethidine. Right after she gave me the pethidine, as I was sitting on the end of the bed feeling lovely and woozy and being supported by Thunder Maker, the anesthetist walked in.

To be honest, I'm glad that I had just had the pethidine as I was at the point where I was starting to panic because of being at that level of pain for that long. When I get to that point, I actually tend to tell anyone who wants to give me medication to relieve the pain to piss off because I get paranoid that what they are going to give me will make me sick/worse/die. Irrational, I know, but anyway... As it was, I was able to sit there, listen to the anesthetist through my haze, answer his questions reasonably coherrently, tell everyone that I was going to be sick, throw up into a sick bag, then lay down on my side and tell the anesthetist not to use me as a pin cushion and that he gets one go and one go only. Fortunately, he only needed one go.

Not long after the epidural was administered, I fell asleep for a couple of hours. When I woke up, I asked where my lunch was. Thunder Maker told me that he'd eaten it. I asked why and he told me that the midwife told him to eat it. I told him that I was hungry and he offered to go get me a sandwich. Just after he left, the midwife realised that I was awake. I told her that Thunder Maker had gone to get me a sandwich. She told me that I wasn't allowed to eat. "But I'm hungry!" I wailed. She wouldn't budge. No sandwich.

After about 20 or 30 minutes, the midwife started having difficulties picking up Seagull's heart rate on the CTG. She also made a comment about how my contractions were no longer regular and started talking about failure to progress. I was a bit worried about this and asked if I could be checked to see how dilated I was. She said that, yes, it was about time to check anyway (apparently they check every four hours), but it was only 10 minutes to the shift change, so she would get the oncoming midwife to check.

When the oncoming midwife checked, not only was I at 10cm, but Seagull's head was half way down the birth canal. She said that it was time to turn the epidural off. Apparently I would be able to feel what was going on, but not be in pain. As I couldn't feel anything, she was telling me when I needed to push. After an hour, my OB came in (he'd actually been delivering my friend's baby) and told me that we needed to get my knees up higher. I'd moved them as high as I physically could, but with a bit of assistance, I had my left foot braced on the midwife's hip and my right foot braced on the OB's hip. Thunder Maker was sitting at the non-business end giving me sips of water in between contractions and generally making soothing noises and telling me how well I was doing, etc.

After another hour, I was finally being told that Seagull was crowning. He'd actually crown while I was pushing, then slip back a bit when I stopped. I decided that I needed to try to push just that little bit harder during a contraction to get him far enough through that he wouldn't slip back. With the next contraction, I gave it everything and Seagull's head came out, followed by his body. I was expecting to have to push his shoulders out on the next contraction, but he came out all in one go. Of  the whole thing, the only thing I actually felt was Seagull being born, followed by the umbillical cord rushing out.

Seagull was handed to me, crying away. I said "Shh, shh, it's ok mate" and he immediately stopped crying. He looked up at me with this look on his face as though to say "Oh, so you're my Mum". It was just the most magical moment.

Seagull was born at 4:57pm on 31 Dec 08 weighing 2.87kg (6lb 5oz). He was actually the last baby born in our local hospital for 2008. Within minutes of giving birth, the dinner cart came around and I was finally able to eat something.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Why pancakes have eggs in them

Lunch time pancakes are a favourite in my household. I couldn't be bothered getting up earlier in the morning to make them, so we tend to have them for lunch about once a week when I just can't stomach the thought of eating yet another sandwich for lunch. Well, actually, I don't like eating sandwiches very much at all - 13 years of eating crappy sandwiches every day for lunch at school tends to put you off them for life. To be fair, I made my own lunch every day since about year 2, so I can't blame anyone but myself for the crappy sandwiches, but anyway...

I've run out of eggs and I forgot to get some last Thursday when I did the grocery shopping. Of course, I really wanted pancakes for lunch and I couldn't be bothered to load the kids up into the car to go down the street just to get eggs. Besides, Wombat was having a nap and I figure that it's best to just leave sleeping Wombats to lay. I came up with the brilliant idea of searching the net for a recipe for eggless pancakes. "How different can they be?" I thought.

I found a recipe that the comments assured didn't taste any different to normal pancakes, printed it off and got to work. When I ate the first one (I eat as I cook), I decided that the cinnamon was too strong and the vanilla wasn't strong enough, so I added a little more vanilla. The next one also tasted funny. It was at this point that I realised why pancakes have eggs in them. It's because they taste like utter crap without them. I cooked up the rest anyway. Let's face it, I'm not going to waste food when I have a Seagull who will finish it for me. I shoveled down as much as I could stomach, then saved the last three for Seagull. He was excited to be getting pancakes for lunch and hooked in with great gusto.

Next time I want pancakes, I won't be lazy - I'll go and buy some eggs first. And some flour. I used the last of the flower making the eggless crap-cakes.

On a side note, Wombat figured out how to roll onto his tummy on Saturday evening. He's been trying for weeks and was getting really frustrated that he couldn't get over. Now that he can get over, he gets really frustrated that he is stuck there because he can't roll back and hasn't quite got the strength in his arms to hold himself up for more than about 30 seconds.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


I've been filled with an ever-increasing sense of dread for the last few days. I made the mistake of letting myself fall behind in the first week of uni and have madly been trying to play catch-up ever since. I'm studying a human anatomy subject and a physics for health sciences subject.

Ironically, it is the physics subject that I'm up to date with as far as study goes. That's mainly because I have to complete a multiple choice quiz that counts toward my final mark at the end of each week. I also have to do a tutorial task each week that also contributes to my overall mark. This is on top of three assignments and the prac work that I have to complete at residential school.

Human anatomy is the stuff that while I find it easier to read about and comprehend, there is so much content to cover that I feel like I'm drowning in it. It is now halfway through week 3 and I've only covered about a third of the week 2 stuff so far. I've been trying to work on it through the day, but with two children, it gets hard. I've taken to going outside, spreading out on the table under the patio and letting Seagull run around the yard while Wombat sits in the pram next to me. I still get interrupted constantly, but less so than if I tried to study inside.

Yesterday at one point, I looked up from my study to find Seagull grinning at me with a black mouth full of ash and a trail of black down the front of his vest. Thankfully he was wearing the vest, so I was able to take that off and leave Seagull in his t-shirt after washing his hands and face under the garden tap. When I went to investigate where he could possibly have found ash, I found Thunder Maker's small pot belly heater around the corner that he had been burning old sticks and leaves in. In order to get some peace and to try to keep Seagull relatively clean, I sweeped up all the ash on the ground, threw it behind a bush in the garden, then relocated the pot belly heater to the garage.

I thought that today would be a good time to smash into some study/tutorials while Seagull is at childcare, but apart from doing this week's physics tutorial, I haven't gotten much done. Even having one child around is somewhat of a distraction where study is concerned. It's also amazing how much more time you can find to procrastinate when you only have one child to look after.

Anyway, I should go eat some cake now, then get back to the books while Wombat is sleeping. Wish me luck!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Flying by the seat of my pants

Man, have I had a hectic couple of weeks. I've been meaning to get on here and write another post, but I've had too much stuff to do. Now that I feel like procrastinating some, I figure that I may as well have some much deserved blogging time.

So, I went to see the endocrinologist nearly 2 weeks ago now. I had a very lovely friend offer to look after Seagull for the day (thank you K!) while Wombat came with me. The endocrinologist is in Richmond and not being native to Victoria, let alone Melbourne, I spent ages beforehand looking at online maps trying to figure out the best way to get there and where the best place to park was. Of course, I happened to have a mother moment and completely forgot to take coins with me to feed into the parking meters. Luckily, as I started to drive off to find somewhere to get money, I happened to come across a street with free 2 hour parking and there was a vacant parking spot! I parked the car, got the stroller out, changed Wombat's nappy and walked to the endocrinologist's rooms. By the time I got upstairs, I realised that I hadn't been to the toilet in about 3 hours and was positively busting. The toilets were key locked and there was no one in the endocrinologist's office (they were out to lunch and I was early), so I had to go to the orthopaedic surgeon's office next door and borrow their key to use the toilet.

The endocrinologist I saw was really lovely. We had a good chat about everything, we did some measurements (weight, height, etc), he had a feel of my neck, did a few other things then explained that as my thyroid is only very mildly overactive, that he didn't want to put me on medication and that we would monitor my thyroid function with blood tests for now. Apparently, it's not that uncommon for transient thyroid conditions to come up after having a baby and the endocrinologist is hoping that mine will settle down without the need for medication. He wrote me a referral to have a blood test done the next day and another one for early April. If the tests show anything that he is concerned about, the endocrinologist will get me back in. In the meantime, I just have to suck it up and push through the tiredness (my words, not his).

Uni also started up again a fortnight ago. I wish I was more up to speed with it, but I had so many appointments and things that had to be done in the first week that it's put me a bit behind where I wanted to be with things. It doesn't help that the uni has started using a new student portal system and the lecturers hide some of the material in the weirdest spots on their subject pages. The way the actual courses are structured and the way in which we are being assessed through the term is also different to what I am used to. Between having a life outside of study and having to do things in a different way than I'm used to for uni, my mind is boggling. I keep meaning to catch up over weekends, but seem to spend all my time sleeping instead. At least I am more or less caught up for one of my subjects. No excuses, I'm going to have a really good crack at the second one tomorrow. I have assessment tasks due soon and I need to get some work done so I know what I'm crapping on about, rather than leaving things until the last minute and winging it. Which is my usual mode of operation.

We had family photos done yesterday afternoon. The photographer thought that Wombat was a lot older than he is and asked me to put him on his tummy on the ground. Rather than pushing up on his arms like the photographer expected, he just lay there like a fat puddle. He managed to turn his head to one side so he could breathe and that was about it. Once it was established that Wombat is only 4 months old, we lay him on his back and managed to coax Seagull into laying down next to him for long enough to get some nice photos.

Prior to the photos, I took Seagull to have a haircut. Seagull has beautiful curly hair, but it was getting quite long and girly-boy looking. You know that when you feel like saying "Get a haircut, you hippy" to your 2 year old and little old ladies tell you that he's too pretty to be a boy, that it's time for a visit to the hairdresser. Oh, and when it starts to get a bit of length in it, it knots up a lot in the back and the knots stay out for all of 5 minutes when I brush it. We're seeing a different hairdresser in the same salon as our usual one because our usual hairdresser is at home with her new little baby girl. Our new hairdresser didn't realise that Seagull's hair is of the type that is going to stay curly and didn't want to take too much length off it because she didn't want to cut his curls off. When I explained to her that it has been cut so short in the back before that there isn't enough length in it to curl and it goes curly again once it has some length in it, she was happy to take a bit more length off it. Last time we had his hair cut, the only way we could get Seagull to sit still was to let him drink spoonfuls of his Dad's coffee. This time around, I gave him the fishies to play with and he was reasonably compliant. I had to sit him on my lap to finish the last bit, but it was a much less painful experience for all involved.

On the way back to the car, Seagull pointed to a puddle on the footpath and said "Water!" I said something along the lines of "That's right buddy, water. Come with Mum, please" and walked on for a couple of paces. When I realised Seagull wasn't following, I stopped and looked back to find him bending towards the puddle with his tongue hanging out of his mouth. I was absolutely mortified that Seagull was about to drink out of a manky puddle. Thankfully, we happened to be right outside a sandwich bar, so I went in and bought a bottle of water for us to share. Obviously, where there is a Seagull involved, sharing is more along the lines of me having a quick couple of sips while he squawks away, then I hand it over and he gets the rest.

Anyway, that's my last two weeks in retrospective. I really feel like I've been flying at a million miles an hour by the seat of my pants.