Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Birthing Time Has Begun

It's 10:40, Mum's asleep, and I think I'll leave her like that for now! Kanji finished work at 10 but is not home yet, so I am alone right now, being very quiet and relaxed, waiting for things to pick up. I've been having hard BH contractions all day, although that didn't stop me going shopping! We thought it was better I should keep moving.

I started to feel hormonal late in the afternoon, a bit moody. But it wasn't really until I put the girls to bed that I really felt it had started, because the hard tummy finally coincided with the back pains! I came back downstairs and had a nice long bath, and I have just finished doing a couple of puzzles. To those in the know, I had a bit of 'show' and the easiest visit to the toilet in months, if you know what I mean....that's a sign, they say!

I thought since I had a few moments I could do a little update, let you know how things are going. I might sit on my birth ball in a minute and listen to a relaxation recording on my iPod. Or lie down and sleep until Kanji gets home. And he's home! I'll let him eat dinner and we'll probably be off to the clinic soon! Wish me luck!

So it looks like she's going to be born on Corbyn's birthday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mum in Japan

Mum got here finally, after a long tiring flight and a major drama at Auckland airport when she lost her passport! It slipped out of its cover when she was shopping, and she nearly missed her flight. Luckily it was found in time!
Kanji went alone to the airport to pick her up, and they arrived back here by 11am. We had her favorite champon noodles for lunch, went to the park and then came home so she could put her feet up for a few hours, since she'd blown up like a balloon after all that flying and stress! We went out again in the evening with Kanji's mum to a barbecue restaurant, followed by green tea and ice cream at Baachan's.

Yesterday the kids were off from school for a public holiday, so we decided to go on a picnic. We spent the morning shopping - the most unproductive shopping trip I think I've been on, since we didn't get even one of the half dozen or so items we needed. We did, however, get tons of other stuff we don't need.

We came home and cooked a bacon and egg pie and made some sandwiches, then went up the mountain for the picnic. It was much cooler up there, with a nice breeze which made it much more like a NZ summer. It was very hot on Sunday, over 30 degrees, so Mum was really feeling it. Luckily just after our picnic finished, a thunder storm came over, so last night and this morning are much cooler.

Mum cooked a delicious chicken salad - a little different from the NZ version, I gather, since we could not get red wine vinegar or smoked chicken, but delicoius all the same. Today we are going to try to do the shopping again, and I hope we can make it to the onsen this afternoon!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Nearly Here!

Speaking of baby and mother, that is.

I had a bit of a worry last night when I got a sore tummy. But it wasn't a pain in my back, which is where my other labours were. I got a tummy rub (at one stage all three of them were rubbing me!) and lay down and then had a bath and felt all better again. No more painful contractions, but lots of painless ones.

I called Mum last night to see how the packing was going, and convinced her to swap a cardy for a sarong and a couple more t-shirts! I know how hard it is to imagine how hot/cold you are going to be when the real temperature around you keeps interfering, and I could tell the cold winter was making Mum worry about being too cold here!

But it really is still stiflingly hot here, though I had thought it would have cooled down a bit by the time she got here. But I spent yesterday morning outside at the 'Mini Sports Day' (regular school day full dress rehearsal for the real deal School Sports Day next Sunday) and that got me thinking about how hot it still is, and what a shock poor Mum is going to get, because it's still hotter than a NZ summer. I informed her that is has cooled down just enough that I now need - sometimes - to put a sheet on at night. And I don't need to put the air conditioner on until nearly lunchtime, as opposed to around 9-10am. I usually change my clothes at least once a day (making three changes counting pyjamas) just because I get so sweaty.

Kanji is all set to go pick up Mum. Mum was a little worried about what would happen if I went into labour while he is gone, and it is a concern. I asked Kanji and the only answer he had was to pray! Okay, so I'm not allowed to start until lunchtime tomorrow. I think I can hold on that long. The contractions continue, but my dilation hasn't changed at all. I think it's rather silly checking actually, since it means absolutely nothing.

I wasn't too pleased with the clinic visit this morning. I got a very sore back lying flat on my back for the non-stress test, a situation that was not helped by my believing such tests to be mostly unecessary and pretty useless. After all, it only tells me how she's going for that particular half and hour, and I don't usually lie on my back, so it's all wrong anyway. It's not so easy to endure discomfort and pain if you don't believe it's necessary. I hope they are lenient with the goddam monitor during labour! I know from experience just how much less it hurts to simply sit upright or lie on your side.

The other thing was, the doctor started to tell Kanji about how long they'd let me wait to go into labour naturally - while I was in the next room getting ready for the (useless) dialtion check, no less. Lucky I heard through the door. Medical personnel ALWAYS do this to us, and I have come to prefer not to have Kanji there, so that they will make an effort to communicate with me. Usually the doctors, although shy of using English, do know the technical terms, and are much better than Kanji at explaining things to me - he not only just nods and agrees whether he understood or not, he then forgets half of what they said. This is not a good way for me to get information about my health! Not to mention he is unlikely to - god forbid - ask questions or disagree.

So I had him promise that 'on the day' he would ask them to direct their questions, explanations etc, to me. He's quite happy to do that! He knows he can't relay it all to me in either language, and I think it makes him extremely nervous when they do start telling him stuff, as he knows he's going to get questioned intensively by me later on!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Still here

I'm feeling very relaxed and not too tired today, enough energy to do a few light jobs, sort through some papers, get some last minute baby things organized. Maybe because the kids stayed with their grandparents last night, making for a very quiet and gentle morning here! Today is a public holiday in Japan, so no school. No school means no getting up to make lunch and rally the children to get ready on time - but also means a constant battle to keep the place relatively tidy!

The baby has no bed yet! We'll probably just sleep downstairs on the floor, and I have a daybed, but I just set it up, and it doesn't look too secure. I have one I can borrow off a friend if need be, or get a Moses basket. And I've just embarked on getting the carseat organized. Last night when we dropped the kids off I remembered about the baby carseat - it's been waiting upstairs at Kanji's parents' house since we came back from New Zealand when Lena was one! So it needs a bit of a clean. The cover is now soaking in the very last bit of Napisan and the shell is waiting in the kitchen for me to get around to scrubbing it.

I also finally got around to buying some nappies yesterday, and some baby soap. And I finished packing my hospital bag. So I guess I'm all set. Hurry up Mum!

But for now, I'm probably going to search for a nice photo of me for facebook and send off a few more emails.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Any Day Now...

The race is on to see if my Mother or my daughter get here sooner!

I'm a few cm dilated, and having strong braxton hicks contractions constantly. I'm suddenly ravenously hungry, while at the same time unable to produce more than a tablespoon in the lavatory, which means the baby's head is engaging. I'm exhausted and all the last-minute 'I wanna just do this' things have all been sidelined. NOW, if I suddently start cleaning things, you have my permission to call it nesting.

Friday, September 14, 2007

sick, sick, sick

Amy's turn. She over there on the sofa today, moaning away. She is having trouble breathing and has a sore throat, so I will probably take her back to the hospital. I have to decide soon, as I have to be there before 11am to get an appointment.

I finally figured out the system. I have to go to get an appointment before 11am. That means bringing the kid then and seeing the doctor then, NOT making a booking for later on. So I decided yesterday that I just had to see the doctor we had been seeing before, so I went at 10:30 to make an appointment, after doing several other jobs, but realized finally that I should have brought Amy with me to see him now. So I rushed back to school, parked by the entrance nearest her classroom - only to find that they were in the hall at the other end of the school! Raced down there, fetched her, then back to the hospital where I had to park miles from where I wanted to go, of course, raced back in and got to see the doctor.

And completely exhausted myself. I spent the time in the waiting room wondering if my waters were going to break, because I kept on having Braxton Hicks contractions. I took Amy back to school, did one more important job and was almost in tears as I drove home because I was SO exhausted! I rushed inside, drank half a litre of water (I realized as I ran around doing my errands that I had had nothing to drink all day, and only about 1/4 of a cup of cereal, since we had run out of milk) and scoffed about 8 pieces of chocolate for quick energy replenishment!

Kanji was busy getting his licence renewed, and couldn't pick up Lena so I had to do that too! But once she was home, it was over for me - I had a TWO HOUR nap, waking briefly only when Amy came home.

I feel a bit more normal today, and a more determined to take it easy. We may have to go back to the hospital - she's still heaving and moaning over there - but I won't be rushing anywhere. I have to go to the clinic this afternoon anyway, so we'll see if those braxton hicks contractions are doing anything!

Gotta go, her breathing just gets worse!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Above: Baby's face. I know people find it a bit hard to see at first, but once you can see it, it really pops out at you! The whitest part is her forehead above her left eye. The eyes are closed, the dark curve beneath the whitest part is her closed left eye. You can see the nose to the left of that, and just a hint of a mouth at the bottom, approximately in a line with the red dateline. This one is self-explanatory! See how nice that new nursing bra set is! Only I forgot to clean the mirror first...might have another try nearer the time with the red set.
Another face shot, this time in profile. She is facing the left. The tip of her nose is approximately parallel to the '20' of 2007, a rounded cheek to the right of that, and the black line above is her closed eye.


Lena's off kindy sick today, she's finished watching Harry Potter and is just starting to get bored, she's taken the box of cards out of the toy closet, and is sitting there humming a song and sorting through the Charades cards. She's still in her pyjamas, because she thinks they look cute. She's wearing long-sleeve pyjamas again after a long hot summer.

It's finally cooled off a bit, enough to require some covering at night anyway. It's 11:25am at the moment and the air conditioner is on. I've totally finished work. It's strange but relaxing to have no set schedule. I'm giving myself lists of things to do...I have to finish marking some tests today, clean the bathroom (hands and knees is actually quite a comfortable position!), visit the 100yen shop, clean up at least one of the shelves in here and repair some broken things.

Two weeks to go! I can get tons of things done in two weeks, I suppose, but I'm still not calling it nesting, because I'm not restless, I'm feeling quite lazy, and I might just go have a wee nap after lunch!

Amy is not too well either, although she went to school. I should have taken her back to the city hospital where she was being seen, but I didn't want to brave the red tape and fight staff who seem to make it their goal in life to make things as difficult as possible. But we took her to the pediatrician, but he was away and we got the spare, who is a bit of a doofus, and just gave us ten days of cough meds. Well, if all this practice for the school sports day gets her asthma really bad again, I guess I'll just have to brave the city hospital's wacky way of organizing things!

Monday, September 03, 2007

baby news

Well, I'm onto weekly clinic visits, so I guess I'm on the home stretch! Born this month! Luckily I'm getting so huge and heavy that I'm looking more and more forward to getting it out of me! I'm doing okay still so far, but I can see myself getting to the end of my tether very soon.

So I'm having a weekly ultrasound and here are the latest pictures, which are very good. She looks like her sisters. She doesn't look quite real to me though, the wriggling thing in my tummy is the real thing. I can make out a bony bottom, I tickle her feet, her head squishes my bladder, I think I felt hands fluttering in there the other day. I am also having non-stress tests, which I think are rather a waste of time, but they don't hurt so I go along and practice hypnosis. Next visit is Saturday, and I will be getting my information for check-in then. Which means I have to bring up my birth plan again. With the size of this baby I am getting worried about the episiotomy again, and I started worrying about them putting the baby in the incubator for this or that flimsy reason, and can I veto that, and will Kanji side with them or with me?

The doc is estimating 3.6kg, which sounds very big to him but not so big to me. I have to keep reassuring him that a big girl like me can fit out a big baby like that! I don't have a Japanese lady's bottom! Ultrasound assessments can be out half a kilo either way though. But it feels big to me too - my guess was 3.7. Kanji is going for 3.6, born Sep 23. Hurry up Mum!

I'm still sleeping, but less well. My sink-in-the-middle bed is quite convenient because when I lie on a flat surface the heavy tummy sinks to the ground, and pulls on the muscles on the other side. So when I am on the bed, the slight angle gives my tummy somewhere to rest. I remember laughing at Becky for stealing airline pillows - who on earth would want an airline pillow! But guess what, that airline pillow has come in very handy for propping up my tummy when I lie down on the futon.

So on my bed, I have five pillows and only one for my head, the others are piled up on either side of me so when my hips start to hurt on one side, I can just roll over and throw my leg over the other pile of pillows and not have to move them. There's no room for Kanji of course, although I supposed I could throw a leg over him.

During the day I am getting more tired. This morning the girls started school/kindy again after the summer holiday, and I tried doing what I normally do and spend the time between waking up and them leaving cleaning, but I had to take a break when I got a painful braxton hicks contraction! I had to have a wee rest on the sofa. Almost every place to sit in the house is less than ideal, including my computer chair, the kitchen table, even the sofa! The best place to sit is actually my car seat!

But I am getting things done, bit by bit. I have about half the shed finished. I piled up Kanji's books today for him to go through. And next on my agenda is cleaning up the pool. I might call Erin to come over and help me. The girls are finishing school/kindy early today, then Lena's friend comes to play, then swimming lessons, and finally a lesson at 8pm! I have four more lessons this week then it's all over. I'll be keeping busy tidying the kitchen. Don't tell me I'm nesting, because I've been nesting since January.