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Chris is beautiful. Sprocket is also beautiful, but he's not quite whole yet, so there is 1.9 of them.

On Wednesday, should he be born, he would be considered at term, so maybe I should start calling them my beautiful 2. This is the one time in life when a person can be singular and plural at the same time. The mind boggles.

Chris has been slowed. It's that extra .9 of a person doing it. She is warm, soft and rotund. Sometimes when I hold her I get the very strong impression that I'm holding the baby too. Sometimes he takes the time to remind me of that very fact. Sometimes I wonder if he's trying to hold me too. I hope he knows he is loved.

I am both terrified and impatient to meet him. To be able to hold him myself, so he can demand I return him to his mother ASAP.

It's still all to come....

And i'm sure i'll keep doing more of this style of posting before it does.
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According to THE SCHDULE (tm.) Sprocket is due to arrive in one month. I hope he waits at least that long, because I've got 2 more weeks of my block placement at Alexandra to go. So remember little one, After September 9, everything will be fine is our family motto at the moment.

So what happens now? Time has run short and it has run fast. Chris is practising meditation and relaxation exercises, keeping herself fit and doing a tonne of yoga. She's strong, and her strength leaves me gobsmacked.

After what felt like a lull in activity and a lull in change, in the last 2 weeks I became very very aware that my son is alive, kicking, bouncing and causing his mother increasing aches and pains. Corny as it sounds, if I could take one second of that discomfort on and spare Chris' lower back I would. I'm sure this sense gets stronger as you get closer to the event. I hope I can help.

Soon Sprocket's lungs will have to do their own work. He'll have to breath and eat all on his own. Of course he won't be able to do much else for that first little while, but he'll get there. He'll have songs and stories. Funny faces and games of "peek-a-boo" and whatever else.... He'll have cuddles and whispers. He'll have us making mistakes, getting things wrong, overdoing or underdoing things and blundering about until we find our own new equilibrium. He'll have (indeed he already has) the unconditional love of his mother and father.

He'll change us forever. He already has.....

Time....

Jul. 18th, 2011 09:21 am
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So...

I'm not sure if things are going really quickly or dragging just at the moment. I've been on uni holidays, so I've had a relative surplus of free time. I've spent the free time fixing things around the house, working extra shifts where I can and generally trying not to think about teaching. I've also read a book or 2 and played a lot of The Sims 3....

This sense of time struck me last week when I was talking to a colleague in the library who I hadn't seen for a while. She asked how Chris was. I told her where we were at and how things were going. She remarked that pregnancy seems to take ages, and it felt like the baby should already be here. I guess for a work colleague I see only once a week or so, it must seem that way. Mum also always guesses we're about 4 weeks ahead of where we actually are. So it's an odd place to be in right now. Chris is about 6.5 months along. There's 10 weeks or so left till the early due date, or 12 or so weeks till the later one (yay for ambiguous scans!). So basically by the end of my next series of teaching rounds I'll come home, and the baby will be 1 or 2 weeks away. Scary shit.

So is it dragging or is it flying past? I actually can't say..... It seems to be doing both at the same time. Maybe it's the uni holidays making time feel like it's running a little slower, for me at least. There just seems to be less of a sense of urgency about things at the moment. I'm sure this sense is all the stronger for [personal profile] mstakenidentity as the one going through the physical changes. Sprocket's growing. A lot. He's also dancing around a lot. While I know that [personal profile] mstakenidentity takes joy in both these facts, I understand it's making life less than comfortable, which probably contributes to making time drag. Oh, and then there's the lack of sleep from discomfort and bathroom visits that she gets as a special bonus. When she finishes work in a month or so, things will probably slow right down for her....

We've also done most of the running around for baby preparations. Or at least I think we have. Maybe. Kinda.... We'll find out in a couple of months I suppose, but we're no longer hunting for lots of things. We've got things for Sprocket to sleep in, things for Sprocket to wear, things to catch Sprocket's poo, things to transport and carry Sprocket places, things to wrap Sprocket up in, things to clean Sprocket up, spares of most things for when Sprocket covers whatever he's wearing in vomit and so on and so on.... So there's less urgency about that side of things.

So yes, I suppose there's a lull in activity for us. Not so much for Sprocket himself though. He's going bananas. And I imagine in the next few weeks [personal profile] mstakenidentity will start to feel like this whole pregnancy thing has gone on long enough.....

We start some classes soon. July 26th is our first session, then they happen weekly after that for 3 weeks. Appointments with midwives are getting more frequent. I have a feeling time will start to speed up again really soon...
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On Friday afternoon, at about 2:40pm I was in school, just logging into the library PCs to check on stuff when I got a phone call from Chris. She explained she was in emergency at the Royal Women's and wanted me to get there ASAP.

I flew out the door, and I mean flew. I had no idea I could get my shit together so fast.... Fortunately my placement school is Uni High. It's literally on the same block as the hospital. I was there in 15 minutes. Chris was in pain. She was really concerned that she was about to miscarry, but the initial assessment by nurses/midwives at the hospital had shown that she wasn't. She was okay. Sprocket's heart was still beating normally, but they needed to find out what the source of the pain was.

I sat with her. Assured her things would be fine. Asked her if things were getting worse/better, and generally did my best to make myself useful as some hours passed by. The passing of time isn't anyone's fault. Chris had been seen and assessed quickly. There were women coming in in labour fairly regularly and taking priority.

We got into the ED at about 4pm or so, and chris got a bed. She described the pain as cramps across her lower back, and there was also pain in her tummy. It came and went, and felt crampy. Chris' first thought had been "Oh crap, it's contractions", but examinations had show otherwise.

Chris was seen by a doctor at around 6pm. Unfortunately she was unable to give an immediate diagnosis. Some blood tests were ordered chris had some physical examinations while the doctor poked around for any physical signs of distress downstairs. But nothing came of any of the tests they ran. Time was flying, and Chris remained a mystery... We started playing "Word With Friends" on my phone to pass the time.

After 3 different tests/examinations, an Obstetrician finally arrived at about 8:45. Poked around, inspected Chris and quickly concluded she was suffering from "Pelvic Instability". Her diagnosis didn't involve anything invasive and took about 30 seconds. Of course, without the preliminary work done by the other doctor, it's quite possible the specialist would have still done physical exams and ordered blood tests.... But it looked as though it took 30 seconds for this doctor to tell what was wrong after we'd waited around for 6.5 hours to see her. But them's the breaks on a Friday night I suppose.

Pelvic instability occurs in some women during pregnancy as the ligaments/tendons/whatever that hold together the bones of the "Pelvic Girdle" loosen to make way for childbirth. In some women they loosen more than necessary, and cause lower back pain as the bones drift apart and put more pressure on other muscles.

So Chris is seeing a physiotherapist today. She may have to wear a belt or something, or do exercises to strengthen the supporting muscles in the area.

So that's the down....


The up can be summed up in 1 sentence:

Yesterday I felt my son kick.

Reality melted at that moment. The world froze and faded to black in my mind. I looked around the room like it was on a movie screen. Like it was a cardboard theatre set and had ceased to be real-life. My other senses numbed for a time, and the only thing that was real was the feel of Chris under my hand, and the warmth of her skin.

And just as the world was starting to fade back in.... he kicked again.
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[personal profile] mstakenidentity hit 20 weeks over the weekend. For perspective that means there is less time left in the "pregnancy schedule" than has now passed. October 8 looms large in our lives. We found out sprocket is a boy last week. We also found out many more facts about our son that are much more important. He has 2 arms and 2 legs, there are 5 digits on each of his hands and feet. He has a properly formed stomach and bladder. 2 kidneys. A heart that isn't leaking and is pumping fluid like it us supposed to. A tiny tiny brain that is taking shape. He also has a nose.

Time is flying by. Chris is showing more every day. She looks beautiful. She's tired a lot. She's hungry frequently. She can feel sprocket fluttering about, before the outside world gets the chance to.

I find it hard to concentrate on other things in life right now.... Uni is boring. School is challenging, but even it still seems like a petty distraction from the real business of living at the moment. In 3 weeks semester is over. I'm going to put the cot together. And the bassinet. We're going to get the carpets at the house cleaned, and the study will start to convert to a nursery.

The hardest thing about all this is that in August I'm doing a teaching placement in the country. I think I can still make all the birthing classes. I worry about not being around for those 4 weeks. I worry about what I might miss. I worry that we made the wrong decision several weeks ago when I confirmed my commitment to the rural placement program.... But just because the short term is pressing, the long term doesn't disappear. The experience will be invaluable, and may effect our future profoundly.

So yes. It looms large. Larger with each passing day. I remain excited, overjoyed and terrified. And, from what they say, the real challenges are yet to come.
shamo: (Default)
So, Chris is now 15 weeks along this apparently 40 or so week journey. It's both going fast and slow at the same time. It's joyous, exciting confronting, terrifying and at times heart-wrenching all at once.

There are a bunch of guide-books out there for dads to be. I've been avoiding them mostly because they will say things like "So, you've gotten her pregnant, well no more strip-clubs for you then!", or "Time to give up on restoring that Holden out the back" or some such crap.

So here's my attempt to use words to give an honest appraisal of the experience so far:

It's hard. It's kind of bewildering and it can feel like you're blundering around in a haze that's a mix of anxiety and euphoria. You have no idea what's going on most of the time, and all you know is that the person you care about most in the world is on a journey you can never truly understand.

But, truth be told, your partner's probably not got that much more of an idea of what's going on than you do. They're just in the unfortunate position of having to deal with all the changes from the inside while you run off to get chocolate milk, open doors, carry things and try your darndest to make yourself useful because you know you can't really bring them any real relief from what they're going through.

That's the hardest bit. Feeling useless. Knowing that if there's pain, you can't relieve it. You can't even comprehend it. You're a passenger on this ride. She is too when you think about it, but at least she's sitting in front seat.

In my heart of hearts, I'm loving it. Granted, I'm am a slightly insane paternal cluck-monster. It is a beautiful thing, nonetheless. In spite of the vomiting, in spite of the pains, in spite of the tears it's beautiful. It's beautiful the way you watch your partners abdomen with a kind of bizarre impatience as you wait for it to "pop". It's beautiful when you see the 12 week old foetus dance around inside your partner as it tries to get comfortable. Seeing a picture so clear that you can make out a tiny brain forming, a brain that will one day have all the capacities and complexities of yours, probably to a greater degree. It's beautiful taking the time to think about what it is and what it means. It's beautiful hearing the excitement in the voices of future grandparents. And it's beautiful standing awe-struck by your partner and what she and her body are working on.

Anyway I'm out of words. Words stop working in the face of experiences that are too massive. I wish dad was here sometimes. But he isn't. So I give him the news in my dreams.
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I have had a splendid weekend.

Utterly splendid.

We had a night at the Langham Hotel on Southbank (with a random upgrade from a Club Room to the Corner Spa Suite). Saw Thyestes (brilliant piece of theatre, not event appropriate, but still brilliant theatre (more on this in a later post... but have a quick look here for an idea: http://theatrenotes.blogspot.com/2010/09/review-thyestes.html).

So yes, fun, frivolity and opulence.

Very spoilt, and very lucky.

I'll see many of you Friday!
shamo: (Default)
Today:
  • Hot Poppy Breakfast
  • Watch DVDs and fold programs
  • Go check on the bowls club
  • Wait for florist to drop off button holes at home
  • TO THE GUILD!
  • Get married
  • Take photos
  • Get a rickshaw to the bowls club
  • Dance, eat and be merry
  • Go to the Hilton at Melbourne Airport

Today Good!!!
shamo: (Default)
Our wedding rings arrived today.

That is all.

Looksie!

Mar. 16th, 2010 10:21 pm
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It is done )
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I haven't blogged at length about the fun weekend that was the weekend away of awesome....

So here it is in a nutshell:

Friday: Get crap together and get in the car!

In the car, driving, Chris says "look in the glove box" and I do, and I find out the details of the plans she has made for the weekend. I'm going to the Grampians. A place I haven't been to since I was about 16, and a place that I still go on about as one of my favourite places.

Chris does all the driving up, we have a wonderful time, I get to admire the scenery. We stop for lunch at The Vines in Arrarat (eat here if you're in Arrarat, it's amazing and surprising at the same time!). Afterwards we stocked up in Arrarat (closest , and discovered that Aldi now shares wheelchairs....

We proceed to this little idyllic little nook tucked away in Pomonal at the foot of the Grampians:

http://www.borokadowns.com.au/

The website is an accurate description of what you get there. It is opulent, highly civilised, luxurious, close to nature and miles from anywhere all at the same time. An amazing, private retreat with a comfy bed, wood fire, spa bath and lots of yum!. At the same time the property is a wildlife sanctuary. Plenty of birds, a mob of roos (or two) and a mob of emus (collective nouns are correct!).

We enjoyed the facilities immensely, spa bath every night, fire going and movies for after dark. It was cosy, and at the same time in the middle of rolling green hills at one side, and sheer granite rockfaces on the other.

There was a plan for minigolf, but we didn't end up going due to rain. Instead we had a spa bath with champagne and chocolates on the first night! Magical. Magical....

After a good nights sleep, we went to Seppelt Great Western to see a unique bit of cellaring. The winery has been built in a gold rush town. The gold rush apparently lasted about 5 seconds. The winery thought "lets use the out of work miners to get them to dig us some underground cellars", and so the winery has about 3 km (I think that was the figure) of tunnels about 15m under ground in the winery. http://www.seppelt.com.au/vineyards/greatwesternwinery.html. Turns out they do weddings at the winery, and underground dinner functions as part of the touristy stuff they do. There are also some spots down there where a few public notables have a private collection stored down there. We had a tasting at the end of it all, bought a few bottles and then drove back towards the grampians.

Lunch was at the Brambuk Cultural centre http://www.brambuk.com.au/ for a look-in and lunch. We had the bush foods tasting platter and liked it so much we bought a stack of sauces and condiments by "outback Kitchen".

Next stop: The Gap winery in Halls Gap where we were treated to a cheese platter and we chilled with a glass of very good desert reisling! The lady at the cellar door there was super friendly, very knowledgeable and gladly sold us some wine! It was lovely. Rain was intermittent while we sat inside and supped on fine dainty dishes.

We went home and got dressed up for my birthday dinner at The Quarry in Halls Gap. It was very nice! I had a pile 'o' meat, and a slice of cheesecake! We were highly classy individuals.

Then we went home and had (you guessed it) a spa!!!! And then sleep.

The next day was our last full day up there, so we went to the zoo! Decked out with a picnic hamper and a desire to see aminals (as Chris called them) we tropped off down the road to the Halls Gap Zoo where we saw many things. Highlights inclduing: monkeys, psychotic (or speed-addict) marsupials in the nocturnal exhibit, kangaroos that were tame enough to feed, deer, wombats!!!! and tiny horses.

We ate our picnic (good lord there was a lot of it!). And turned home, going via a small lavender farm nearby (we bought condiments), and an olive patch that was also nearby and sold olive oils - which we also purchased (I think we helped sustain the local economy while we were there).

Then we went home, watched 2 movies, drank a bunch of the wine and went to bed! We forgot the spa because we were a bit tipsy....

We woke at a ridiculous hour that night and observed that the sky was clear! So we got a glimpse of the heavens in the country, and it was amazing.

On our last day (Monday) we arose, and finally got our chance to go play mini-golf on the way home. So we tidied and packed, bid a fond farewell to Baroka Downs (it was a lovely way to spend a weekend - really it rocked. Worth every penny. To Chris. She shouted me the whole weekend).

Mini-golf was fun! There were 2 important issues with it though:

The course was confusing - we skipped 2 holes by mistake, but went back to play them without any problem...
The course was slippery - Chris fell down 3 times.

The second issue was more of an issue than the first...

So we survived mini golf!

And then went home, via Dunkeld and ate at the Royal Mail Hotel. Brilliant dining! Really really wonderful. Pigeon Pie! I hate pigeons, so I'm glad I got to eat a few of them.

And then it was onwards to Melbourne via Ballarat.

We got home, greeted the kittens (thanks Penelope for seeing to them!), and was relaxed, revitalised and spoiled rotten.

I was speaking to dad about it later on and his first question when he found out it was the grampians was 'did you go rock climbing?'

I coyly answered 'it wasn't that kind of holiday dad....'

It is done

Jul. 17th, 2009 05:22 pm
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it is now where it belongs )
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This is it.... )
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Somewhere in a workshop in Adelaide.... )
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