Showing posts from 2014

Birth story part 3

...continued from Part 2

So to finish up, my midwife put the catheter in (my bladder wasn't as full as she'd been worrying) and we waited for the cord to stop pulsating before i pushed out the placenta. (by the way inserting a catheter without an epidural is not painful, just a bit uncomfortable for a few seconds). Cord took quite a while, at least half an hour. I think it was because my uterus and body were tired from the prolonged second stage. Finally it stopped and hubby got to clamp and cut the cord.

I wasn't feeling any contractions, but i tried pushing the placenta out. Nothing happened. My midwife had a gentle pull on the cord and said she thought the placenta had separated fine. I kept trying, but no luck. I asked if i should try an upright position so they helped me up to lean over the back of the sofa. At this point i told them i was quite dizzy, and i lay my head down over the sofa back as i pushed. They were watching me carefully after i said that... and good …

Birth story part 2

...continued from Part 1

My midwife tried to insert the catheter, but was unable to due to bub's head pressing on my bladder. No wonder i couldn't empty it myself! So we decided to focus on getting bub out and then the catheter in.

This is where my easy birth turned into hard work. I pushed on my side. I pushed on my back. I tried a few contractions on my knees but very quickly realised my back was the most comfortable and effective. I pushed with each contraction until bub's head was about 5cm visible across, but at this point i wasn't stretching any further. My midwife tried perineal massage, but there was a tight band of skin/muscle that just wasn't thinning and stretching any further. Bub was doing well, heart rate dipping as i pushed and recovering to baseline as the contraction finished.

After around 3 hours pushing out of the pool, my team were getting very concerned about possible bladder damage and a fourth degree tear - my perineum was getting shorter and…

Birth story part 1

I woke up at 6am when i was 40+3 days into my pregnancy with some mild infrequent contractions and some more show. I didn't know if this was it, or just more ramping up towards labour, so i continued my day as normal - took our toddler to daycare, chatted with the girls there about the xmas party later that day (where they joked again there might be a baby by that time - unlikely, i thought!), and headed back home. The contractions were regular and more frequent by this time - maybe 8-10 minutes apart to my estimation, but easily able to breathe through. I tidied a few things away, but was pretty pleased with my housework in the last few days to have everything ready and looking nice for a homebirth and the resulting photos. I cooked myself some eggs for breakfast and started drinking (water and coconut water) to stay hydrated.

Hubby came home from work at lunchtime after texting me all that morning and announced he was off to pick up the toddler immediately. No, i pleaded, let hi…

Labour watch

39+5: Really don't know if this is the start of anything or not, but i'll note it down anyway in the same way i did with my last pregnancy. Today i've almost constantly had Braxton Hicks. I think my belly has been rock hard more often today than not. Yesterday i had 2 cups of raspberry leaf tea, but i've done that most days so can't think that it can only be caused by that. Also, around 10pm i had discomfort like a cramp, but that went away fairly quickly.

Throughout that night, i had a stomach-ache level discomfort, no contractions. It stopped as soon as i got up the next morning.

39+6: Lots of BH and lightning crotch.

40: Nothing. Even the BH have eased up.

40+1: Just BH and lightning crotch. Feeling very heavy and as though my stomach is lower. However while driving home from daycare in the evening i was hit with very bad lightning crotch, sharp pains in my cervix and symphysis pubis, for the half hour drive home. Could barely answer the toddler's chattering…

Week 40


How far along:40 weeks - the big 4-0! Wonder how much longer now?

How big is baby: a small pumpkin.

What is baby doing this week: After months of anticipation, your due date has been and gone, and... you're still pregnant. It's frustrating, but lots of women find themselves in this situation.

Rest assured your baby is quite cosy where she is. She is getting a little heavier and may grow a bit more in length. The average baby is about 51cm long from head to toe and weighs about 3.4kg at birth. But if your baby is anywhere between 2.5kg and 3.8kg, that's a healthy weight.

Your baby continues to shed the greasy, white substance (vernix caseosa) which has been protecting her skin. If she shows no sign of making an appearance after another week, she may have slightly dry skin when she arrives.

Your baby has mastered all the skills she'll need after she's born. She can instinctively search for her thumb and suck it, just as she will search for your breast for a…

Salted pistachio Nutella cookies

Saw these on Pinterest and they looked so good i pinned them into my future baking board. It's taken me a few months to get around to making them though, but happily they use ingredients i always have in my cupboard so i didn't need to make a special trip out to the shops to get anything. I like recipes like that.

Original recipe is from Food Mouth, but their recipe is gluten free. As i don't have an intolerance (and also don't have all the flours they use) i've made mine full of gluten.


115g butter, melted
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar (i used raw caster)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup Nutella
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
220g dark chocolate
1/3 cup pistachios, shelled (about 3 handfuls unshelled)
Salt to sprinkle


Mix butter and sugars together in a large bowl, then beat in the eggs and vanilla (using a spoon is fine). Melt Nutella in a bowl in the microwave for about 20 seconds then pour into the bowl and mix thoroug…

Week 39

It looks like my belly is all mottled around the navel from the front view photo here - but doesn't look like it in the mirror or looking down. What it mostly is is the lines from my elastic Tubigrip, darkened by the more obvious veins on my belly.

And, here's the comparison pic from 9 months pregnant, last pregnancy on the left and current on the right.


How far along:39 weeks.

How big is baby: mini watermelon (eep!)

What is baby doing this week: It's all about watching and waiting now, as your baby could arrive any day. Your baby could be up to 50cm long, and weigh about 3kg. But that's only an average figure. As soon as your baby is born, your midwife will weigh him, and it's only then you'll know for sure how much he weighs.

Your baby is shedding the greasy, white substance (vernix caseosa) which has been protecting his skin. This turns the amniotic fluid, which was once clear, pale and milky. The outer layers of your baby's skin are also sloughin…

Week 38

Edit: forgot to add the weekly montage!


How far along:38 weeks

How big is baby: a leek.

What is baby doing this week: If you don't know already, can you tell if you're carrying a boy or a girl? One hint may come from the size of your baby – boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls. Babies at week 39 weigh between 3kg and 3.2kg and continue to build the fat stores that will help regulate body temperature after birth.

Your baby's organ systems are fully developed and in place, but his lungs will be last to reach maturity. Even after your baby is born, it may take a few hours before he establishes a normal breathing pattern. After he's born, he'll have a series of brief tests which will measure his health on what's called the Apgar scale.

Wondering what colour your baby's eyes will be? Most white European babies are born with dark blue eyes and their true eye colour – be it brown, green, grey or blue – may not reveal itself for weeks or months. The co…

Week 37


How far along:37 weeks - full term!!

How big is baby: swiss chard.

What is baby doing this week: Your baby weighs close to 2.8kg and may be about 48.6cm long from head to toe. Your baby's head is now cradled in your pelvic cavity – surrounded and protected by your pelvic bones. This position clears some much-needed space for her growing legs and buttocks.

Many babies now have a full head of hair, with locks up to 3.5cm long. And then, of course, some babies don't have any hair at all. Speaking of hair, most of the downy coat of lanugo that covered your baby from 26 weeks has disappeared, and so has most of the vernix caseosa, the protective whitish substance that also covered her. Your baby will swallow her lanugo and exterior coating, along with other secretions, and store them in her bowels. These will become her first poo, a blackish waste called meconium.

Total weight gain: 57kg, 400g more than last week and 10.2kg sinc…

Week 36

And, a comparison photo between my last pregnancy - breech, diastasis recti, no belly support, and this pregnancy (right) - cephalic, diastasis recti, wearing Tubigrip 24/7 (except for showers, obviously). My belly measurements are similar both pregnancies so i expect baby #2 to be about the same size as #1. I've also been going to the chiro throughout this pregnancy, and you can see the improvement in my posture.


How far along:36 weeks.

How big is baby: a crenshaw melon (don't think we get these).

What is baby doing this week: Your baby is still gaining weight – about 28g a day. She weighs nearly 2.7kg and is about 47cm long from head to toe. You may begin to feel an increased pressure in your lower belly and notice that your baby is gradually dropping. This is called lightening or engagement, and your lungs and stomach will finally get a chance to stretch out a little – breathing and eating should become easier.

However, walking may become increasingly uncomfortable.…

Week 35


How far along:35 weeks.

How big is baby: a honeydew melon (yep, we've definitely moved into melon comparison territory now... just wait for the watermelon!)

What is baby doing this week: Your baby now weighs about 2.4kg and measures around 46cm from head to toe. His elbows, feet or head may protrude from your stomach when he stretches and squirms about. Soon, as the wall of your uterus (womb) and your belly stretch thinner and let in more light, your baby will begin to develop daily activity cycles.

This week, your little one is sporting full-length fingernails and toenails and has a fully developed pair of kidneys. His liver can also process some waste products.

There's much less amniotic fluid and much more baby in your uterus. You've probably put on between 11kg and 13.6kg and your weight gain has hit its peak. Even your belly button has got bigger and has popped outward. You may be feeling breathless and get indigestion now that the top of your uterus is up und…

Week 34

Oops forgot to post my pregnancy progression photo - weeks 31-34.

Nice steady belly growth, but quite a difference between the first and fourth photo.

How far along:34 weeks.

How big is baby: a cantaloupe.

What is baby doing this week: Your baby now weighs more than 2.2kg and is 45cm from top to toe. She's filling out and getting rounder – she’ll need her fat layers later to regulate her body temperature once she's born.

If you don't already talk to your baby, this is a good time to start – at 35 weeks her hearing is fully developed. Don't feel ridiculous if you're already chatting in baby talk. Some evidence shows that newborns pay closer attention to high-pitched tones.

If you've been nervous about going into premature labour, you'll be happy to know that 99 per cent of babies born at week 35 can survive outside the uterus (womb) – and most have no major problems. Although your baby's central nervous system is still maturing, her lungs are near…

Week 33


How far along:33 weeks.

How big is baby: a pineapple.

What is baby doing this week: Your baby now weighs about 2kg and measures up to 44cm from head to toe. She may already be getting ready for birth by turning upside-down. Her head should be pointing down, ready for her journey into the world.

Your doctor or midwife will be paying careful attention to your baby's position in the coming weeks. Some babies do decide to turn back round again.

Your baby's skull is still quite pliable. The plates of bone that make up her skull have not completely fused. This is so she can ease out of the relatively narrow birth canal, the passage between your cervix and the opening of your vagina. But the bones in the rest of her body are hardening. Your baby's skin is also gradually becoming less red and wrinkled as fat builds up underneath.

If you're a first-time mum, your baby's head may move into your pelvis this week and press firmly against your cervix. This happens for ab…

Toilet training a toddler - part 2

Continued on from part 1...

Toilet training during naps:
Our first attempt at this resulted in him staying dry during the nap, but when he woke he sat up and wet his pants before calling out for us. We have a great waterproof bamboo mattress protector under his sheets, so it was just a matter of throwing it all in to the washing machine (and the protector into the dryer once washed, as we only have one). Not a big hassle.

The next day he stayed dry, although i think he woke from his nap with a nightmare as he only slept for an hour and woke crying and calling for me. I raced him to the toilet but he actually didn't need to go. Daycare are putting him in a nappy for his naps, but they say he mostly wakes dry.

I'm finding it easier to put him in a nappy for naps at home though, as he's often reluctant to go to sleep, and it's while he's calling out for me and pottering around his room playing that we get the accidents.

Update on toilet training:
It's been 4 weeks…

Week 32

Just remembered I'm now 7 months along, so here's my belly comparison with my first pregnancy - huge difference in my belly! 2 years ago on the left, current on the right. I thank my Tubigrip for the improved shape this time round. I do feel rather 'stretched' in the tummy when i take it off for my shower - it's actually a relief to put it back on.


How far along:32 weeks.

How big is baby: a large jicama (had to look this one up, it's a Mexican yam. We don't get these in Australia to my knowledge).

What is baby doing this week: Your baby now weighs about 1.7kg and is around 42cm long from head to toe. Although his lungs won't be fully developed until just before birth, your little one is busy inhaling amniotic fluid to exercise his lungs. From 32 weeks, babies born early have good chance of surviving and thriving. His skin is becoming soft and smooth as he plumps up in preparation for birth.

Some babies have a head of hair already, others have only…

Week 31


How far along:31 weeks.

How big is baby: Four navel oranges (i think they're running out of fruit comparisons!).

What is baby doing this week: Your baby weighs about 1.5kg and looks more than ever like a newborn. He measures about 41cm from crown to toe. His arms, legs and body continue to fill out – and they are finally proportional in size to his head.

Up until now, your baby's movements have been gradually increasing. But from now until the end of your pregnancy, the movements will probably plateau. This doesn't mean that they should slow down, but you may notice that the type of movements your baby makes change. As long as you can feel him squirming and kicking, you'll know he's just fine. Believe it or not, he still has plenty of growing to do. You can expect him to gain at least 900g before birth.

Your baby's organs are continuing to mature and he is passing water from his bladder, which is good practice for the weeing he'll do after he's bo…

Week 30

And a shot of my belly progression from weeks 27 to 30. Can really see it filling out above my navel.

How far along:30 weeks.

How big is baby: a cabbage.

What is baby doing this week: Your baby now measures a little more than 39cm from crown to toe. Her growth in terms of her length will soon slow down but she will continue to gain weight until she's born. She probably weighs about 1.3kg at this stage.

Your baby's lungs and digestive tract are almost fully developed. She continues to open and shut her eyes. She can probably see what's going on inside your uterus (womb), tell light from dark and even track a light source. If you shine a light on your stomach, your baby may move her head to follow the light or even reach out to touch the moving glow.

Some researchers think baring your stomach to light stimulates visual development. But your baby won't be able to see much when she's born. Newborns can see a distance of only between 20cm and 30cm. Children with n…