07 August 2006

The Fetus formerly known as the Tadpole #16

Pensive, apprehensive and hypertensive.
So much can happen when you haven't blogged for a while. Since last time I wrote, I have started maternity leave, had a baby shower and two check-ups and washed a bunch of cot sheets! So now I'm a professional housewife with some gorgeous new stuff, a full linen cupboard and a new bottle of tablets. Let me explain...

Barefoot, pregnant and unemployed in the kitchen
It was a strange feeling, leaving work a couple of Fridays ago. It shouldn't have been, really - I have now 'left' the same employer three times - once at the end of a contract that quickly got renewed; once to travel around Africa for four months; and now, to sit at home and await Fetie's arrival. But this time I'm not on holidays, and I don't have another paid job to go to - for the first time since I was about 17! The strangeness doesn't mean I'm not enjoying the break between work and bub, though. If I was any more relaxed, I'd be asleep. And to be honest, a lot of the time I am asleep. Sleeping is much more enjoyable than daytime telly. I would like to thank my unborn son for not arriving the day after I started maternity leave. He's reached 37 weeks of gestation, and I'm only just starting to feel like I'm ready to have him 'on the outside'.

Aunty Jo's Event Management
I'll be plain. Anyone out there who thinks they've got a better sister than me is wrong. Apart from providing a very convenient 'before' image of what I sorta looked like before I got all round and crazy, my lovely twin pulled out all stops for a baby shower two Sundays ago. She provided her house, an obscene amount of food and almost all the entertainment. While some women might think they're making an effort by bunging on a pot of coffee and a few pastries, we dined on fritatta, savoury tarts, little lamby-yoghurty polenta thingies, salmon dip with crusty bread and little rolled-up prosciutto and capsicum morsels. Thanks to Jo for all the incredible work, to all my grouse rellies and mates for showing up and bringing pressies (and not giving me the 'flu), and to Robin for being the comedy relief during the quiz.

Cramping Mummy's style
In-between last week's ante-natal appointment and yesterday's, I had an odd night of abdominal cramps that came and went for hours and hours. I decided to time them, just in case they heralded Fetie's arrival. After several hours of checking the clock and making notes, I realised that there was no regularity or change in severity whatsoever, so I went to sleep. The morning shed some light on the affair, when I got up, went to the loo and greeted the nearby kookaburras with my own special, cacophonous symphony. I think it may have been a by-product of the lamb tagine and couscous that I had for dinner. That little arrival is doing well and bears an uncanny resemblance to its father.

Apparently I'm not perfect, after all...
Yesterday's clinic visit was the second of my now-weekly appointments. And unfortunately it wasn't as dull as the previous ones. My blood pressure has shot up from 130/80 last week to an all-time-high of 150/100! Stella the Lovely Irish Nephrologist and I chatted a while before testing it again, trying to stick to relaxing subjects like visiting France and Italy next year with the family, but it still stayed high enough to warrant further attention. So I was whisked across the hall to bleed into a vial and wee into a cup again, then taken to the Fetal Medical Unit around the corner. There, I was directed to a very comfy reclining chair (which I'm thinking of stealing) and sat with a Foetal monitor strapped to my belly for over an hour while midwives Zoe and Kathy kept an eye on Fetie's movements and heart rate (note to Mother: I'm aware that I have been throwing around the alternative spellings of 'fetus' and 'foetus' willy-nilly - I haven't decided which one I like best yet). It was all very calm and serene, and it was lovely to hear Fetie's heartbeat loud and strong. They gave me an apple juice to drink, to get Fetie rolling around a bit. And he most certainly did. The verdict: a happy baby with a persistently hypertensive mother. First bit good. Second bit bad. So Stella gave me a script for some anti-hypertensives and asked me back on Friday for another episode of being strapped into the Smokey Dawson Chair. Stay tuned...

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