Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Enjoying the beach
The seven month mark has come and gone and I've been a little slack with the updates again... oops!

We've been cruising along over the last few weeks - nothing new or out of the ordinary. Sproutling's still growing quickly. He has outgrown all his size "00" clothes and even the "0" ones are starting to be too short. They were supposed to last for another five months! He's going to be a tall one, that's for sure.

Sproutling has been munching on whatever food we're eating, including some interesting things like beef curry and fish (but no chips!). I haven't yet found anything that he hasn't enjoyed eating, but there's plenty of time for him to develop fussy tastes. He's a big fan of watermelon and mango, making a contented "mmm-mmmm" sound while devouring it.

Things started to heat up again, so to speak, over this weekend. The Sproutling had a fever and a bit of a snuffle on Saturday evening, but when we try to give him childrens' paracetamol he just projectile vomits it back up again. He went to sleep eventually but had a very restless night.  In the morning I went out and got some strawberry-flavoured Nurofen (ibuprofen) which went down much more easily, and the poor little munchkin was feeling better in no time.

I had been telling people he had a cold, since he was quite snuffly and sneezy. I didn't think to check his mouth until someone suggested that it could be a tooth coming through, as apparently that can often cause fevers and cold-like symptoms. Sure enough, one of his bottom front teeth is starting to make a break for it! No wonder the poor little mite has been so grumpy the last few days!

On The Move!
Besides being a little out-of-sorts with teething, Sprout has discovered how to propel himself around the floor. He has been getting up on his hands and knees for a couple of weeks now, rocking back and forth before flopping down again, but this last few days he's actually managed to inch-worm his way over to toys that were out of reach, and attempt to throw himself off the couch if he's sitting with someone. He'll also launch himself towards the TV remotes if he can see them - I guess those male habits start early, eh?

We're still enjoying our music lessons and now that the weather has warmed up we're going to start swimming lessons this week - something I'm really excited about since he loves splashing around in the bath. We also love going to our mothers' group meetings on Wednesdays and hanging out with the other mums and bubs!

There's only a couple of months left until I start work again now so I'm trying to enjoy this fun time as much as I can.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


The Sproutling is six months old now, which makes him a halfling. Here's the latest on what we've been up to.

Sprout's personality is starting to show through a little more now - he can be quite animated and noisy at home, but he's quiet and shy around people he doesn't know. Sometimes though, if they smile at him first he turns on the charm and goes into full-on cute mode.

He's just learned to sit on his own in the last week or so. It was quite amazing - one day he'd just fall straight over again, the next he would sit for about 10 seconds, and now he is able to sit for quite a long time without any support from me. Of course, every now and then he'll faceplant into whatever surface is nearby but I guess that's all part of learning to balance.

He still isn't rolling around much yet. In fact after a few times in his cot, I haven't seen him do it again for weeks. I guess he'll start doing it again when he's ready. He seems more interested in playing with his feet and sucking on his own toes. Still no sign of teeth.

Travel things
Thanks for all the suggestions after my previous post about strollers! We ended up just going with the cheap option of a Babylove Snap n Go umbrella stroller. We'll upgrade later if we think we need to but so far it's been just fine for pushing around the shops and around the block a few times.

Now that Sprout is 9.5 kg we've certainly outgrown the capsule! We've replaced it with a pre-loved Safe-n-Sound forward-facing seat, also replacing the mouldy old cover with a soft new one. Sprout seems to really enjoy facing forwards so that he can see me driving and look out the window a bit more.

About halfway through the month I couldn't stand the waiting any more and started giving him some baby rice with expressed breast milk. At first most of it ended up spat out again but he's learning quickly and now spoon-feeding is pretty easy. We haven't done a whole lot of spoon-feeding though since I'm trying out the baby-led weaning approach and just handing him bits of fruit and veges to munch on, which he is absolutely loving. We've tried a wide variety of fruits now but his favourite seems to be strawberries. Unfortunately we're just about to go out of strawberry season so he'll have to find a new favourite, but mangoes and stone fruit are about to start so there's plenty more to try! As you can see from the picture, watermelon seems to be a strong contender.

That's pretty much all there is to tell about Sprout's world at the moment! There's still lots of growing and learning to be done, but it's completely amazing how far he has come in just six months. I am so proud of my little Sproutling!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Eat All The Things

Another month gone... how the time flies!

Sproutling is five months old now and, while he hasn't learned any new skills in particular since the last update, he's getting better at those he already has.  He's more and more observant every day and his favourite thing is to grab all the things and put them in his mouth. Nom!

He seems much more interested in what we're eating lately, so I've been letting him nibble on fruit that I've been eating such as apple, pear, watermelon and strawberries. Today we even tried a bit of mango - the first in the season around here! I'm not planning on officially giving him solid foods to eat for a few more weeks, but I thought it would be good to let him try a few different tastes. By the way he grabs my hand to try to shove that strawberry in, I'd say he's just about ready already.

The last week or so has been a research time. We have been hiring a "travel system" Babylove car capsule and pram set from Hire for Baby for the last 5 months and it's almost time for it to go back. We acquired a car seat from a family member before Sprout was born so we've got that part covered, but we need to get a replacement pram or stroller in the next couple of weeks. Incidentally the Babylove travel system has been brilliant - I'll be sad to see it go.

There are so many strollers to choose from, and none fit our requirements perfectly. The "umbrella" type strollers look so lightweight and manoeuvrable, but they have very little space for nappy bags or shopping. On the other end of the spectrum, some of the big prams are just enormous! It's turning out to be a tough compromise - I have a feeling that we're going to end up with a big pram for full day trips and a small umbrella stroller for crowded places and around the shops.

If any of you lovely readers have any suggestions for a brand of pram or stroller you loved, please let me know! The Sprout will give a special Grin Of Cuteness to get you to spill the beans!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Nappy Hunting

Just a quick note tonight to let you know that the Great Nappy Hunt has begun for September 2011.

Aussies and Kiwis, just visit the Diaper Decisions site and register to take part, then go hunting for the icons for chances to win loads of prizes.  There are also plenty of discounts from all the sponsors during September!

There's also a North American version of the hunt - the Great Diaper Hunt.

Happy hunting, and I promise there will be a Sproutling update post soon.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Milestone Watching

It's been nineteen weeks now since our little bundle of Sprout arrived. Each day brings new wonder, new discoveries and gradual improvements.

The googling and gurgling has now developed into a range of sounds - it's fascinating listening to him trying out all the different sounds he can make. Last week his favourite new sound was an "rrr" sound, so he spent a few days saying "errrrr, errrrrrr!". There have been some giggles as well so I have spent more than a little while making silly faces and noises to try to get him to laugh!

Watching for milestones is frustrating - Sprout might do something amazing by accident, such as when he first rolled from front to back and made me super excited, but then I've spent the next several weeks trying to encourage him to do it again.

Many websites such as have extensive lists of milestones that babies may or may not reach at certain times. I have to continually remind myself that the lists are only guidelines - that all babies develop at different rates.

Sproutling can now push himself up with his hands and his legs when on his tummy. Sometimes it looks like he is trying to swim, but he mostly just wiggles around in frustration. The milestone sites tell me this happens around the fourth month so he's on track with that one. But he also could be swatting and grabbing at toys, and he doesn't do that much at all. If I hold a toy out in front of him, sometimes he will reach out and grab it but most of the time he just stares intently at it. Of course, if something ends up in his hand it will thereafter end up in his mouth - he's got that milestone sorted out well and truly. I guess I just need to remind myself not to worry and let him take his own time to learn.

I know I keep banging on about sleep but there's something about becoming a parent that makes you realise just how precious sleep is!  Sprout has been a champion night-sleeper for a while now, but it's starting to get a little harder to get him to sleep in the evening. For one thing, he's more easily distracted while feeding. It also seems to take him longer to get into a deep sleep, so as soon as I put him down in bed, he wakes up again. Usually he will resettle himself without me picking him up again. Last night was the first time we actually put him down and left the room while he was crying - I hated it, but he did put himself to sleep after about five minutes of crying.

I still count myself lucky - I know there are plenty of people out there who have trouble getting their bubs to sleep and wake up constantly all night.

So, all's well in Sproutling's world at the moment. I'm in no hurry for him to start with the teething or on solids or, in fact, any of that rolling around business! 

Friday, 8 July 2011

Catching Up

I thought I'd better post a proper update, since if Aunty Apple doesn't get her squees, there'll be trouble!

Sproutling is about fifteen weeks old now and still.. well, sprouting! He's rapidly outgrowing most of the clothes people gave us when he was born, so I find myself having to make sure he's worn something at least once before the opportunity is missed.

Some lucky parents will tell you that their little one slept right through the night from an early age. I haven't quite been that lucky since Sprout still likes to wake up at least once during the small hours, but he is very considerate in going to sleep quite reliably between 6:30 and 7:30 each night. I wake him up for a dream feed before I go to bed at 10 or 11, then he'll usually be out until at least 3. I am carefully storing up my sleep since I'm expecting things to be a little more wakeful as teeth start to appear.

Sprout started to sleep in his own room at about the three month mark. Since we have two cats, we're keeping doors closed and relying on a baby monitor. We also recently acquired an old screen door and attached it to his door frame so that we can leave the door open during the day. This allows a bit of air and sound flow while keeping the cats from hairing up the room.

In all other ways he's just a gorgeous little boy! He smiles and drools a lot and is pretty much the cutest baby in the world.  At least to his biased mum, anyway ;)

Incidentally, Sproutling is currently co-starring in an epic adventure in the making over at the Wow-blog D/E the Tank - go and check it out for many squeees!

Sproutling deals with a non-internet dragon

Thursday, 30 June 2011


I've had the Sproutling in cloth nappies for a few weeks now so I thought it was time to try to sound like I know what I'm talking about with them.  Haha.

The range of types, brands, fabrics and colours of modern cloth nappies out there is truly staggering these days, dwarfed only by the numbers of websites selling them. Not only is there about a million different types and brands, there is an enormous range of paraphernalia that is sold along with them, but isn't really necessary.

I wanted to try using cloth nappies from the start, but I really wasn't sure where to begin. The amount of information out there is completely overwhelming! A friend of mine who is using cloth with her daughter showed me the different types she had in a bit of a lesson one day before Sprout was born, so I started to have a bit of a clue after that.

The next stage was taking part in the Great Nappy Hunt during March, which introduced me to a whole LOAD of sites selling different nappies and various baby stuff. It's a shame it was slightly early for me as there were some great specials on around the place during that time, but it's semi-annual so there will be another round in September. There's a Great Diaper Hunt for you American types too!

After Sprout was born, we decided to buy some cotton pre-folds and covers, since they are supposed to fit newborns better than other types. I found that they didn't fit as well as I thought. The covers we used prevented leaks but the pre-folds themselves ended up quite bulky and didn't look comfortable at all. I gave up for the time being and went back to disposables.

Pocket Nappies
In mid-May Sproutling was two months old and getting a lot bigger, so I decided to buy a few different types of cloth nappies to see what I liked. I decided to go for pocket nappies, which consist of a "shell" made of waterproof Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) on the outside and microfleece on the inside. The shell can be stuffed with cloth to suit your needs - more for night time or a long car trip, less for around the house.

I bought a few of a couple of different brands to try. In the end I decided on Blueberry One-Size nappies, fastening with velcro. Although these are a pricier option than other brands, I got them on a great special and they came with their microfleece inserts and boosters included. They're a lovely soft minky PUL on the outside in lots of different designs.

They fit Sprout really well and only leak around the legs if I leave it too long before changing him. Also sometimes when he sleeps on his tummy the wetness can wick out the top of the nappy a little bit - I haven't worked out how to prevent that just yet apart from trying to make sure he doesn't go to sleep wet. We're still using disposables during the night.

Aussies, I've bought a few things now from Baby Blossom and they were great. No, they didn't pay me to say that :) Shop around though, there are some amazing shops out there!

The Routine
Looking after the nappies is proving pretty easy so far. I don't have a dryer and my clothesline isn't in the sun, but if I get the nappies out there by lunchtime they usually dry before dark, except for the couple with bamboo inserts that take two days to dry in the winter. Including the trial nappies I bought to start with, I currently have 14 in my stash. I wash the dirties every morning on the "synthetic" cycle at 40 degrees, with a little sensitive detergent. Some people recommend pre-wash cycles or rinses - I haven't bothered so far and haven't had any stains or funny smells yet. This may change once we start on solids!

The Advice
All that was a bit of a wall o' text so I'll give you the low-down on what you'll need:
  • Buy enough nappies to get you through at least two days, in case you have wet weather or can't wash one day. The nappies do need to be changed more frequently than disposables.
  • Get a nappy bucket with a sealing lid for dirties, or a wet bag (like this one that Darcy suggests) for the nursery.
  • Cloth wipes are not a necessity but they do mean that you can just throw it all in the bucket and not worry about disposing of wipes seperately. We just bought some fleece from a craft shop and cut it into squares, but you can buy special microfleece wipes if you prefer. I have a spray bottle with water in to wet the cloths when I'm changing Sprout.
And that, my friends, is pretty much it! Feel free to ask and questions or tell me about your cloth experience!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Going Cuckoo

I come from a rather musical family, so I wanted to try to instil in the Sproutling a love of music from an early age, as my mum did with me. Now, I'm terrible at thinking up rhymes to sing to him so I looked around for a musical playgroup-type-thing we could go to.

We started going to Boppin' Babies when Sprout was nine weeks old. The group was only about six or seven kids of which Sprout was the youngest, ranging in age up to about two years old. A lady with a guitar sings the songs and we all join in, sometimes with rattles, drums and other instruments - it's a lot of fun! Sprout is still a little small to be joining in properly but he seems to enjoy the singing and watching the other kids play and dance.

I have also recently discovered thanks to Lathere (of Hots & Dots and My Little Sapling) that our local council libraries put on a similar Babies and Rhymes session for free each week. Sproutling and I went along to one this week and sang some songs and some little rhymes along with about 15 other babies of varying ages.

We learned a new song while there. It goes something like this:
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
(rock back and forth)
I’m a little cuckoo clock,
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
Now I’m striking one o’clock
(lift child in air)
(Repeat until as many o’clock as your back holds out.)

It was during this song that I looked around at the 15 or so women (there weren't any dads there!) shouting "CUCKOO!!" while waving their children in the air that I realised that something must crack in our brains when we become parents, switching off the care-what-others-think part and turning on the idiot-for-children's-entertainment part.

Thank goodness for that because I am having an absolute ball!

PS. No, Boppin' Babies aren't paying me to say how much fun we have there.
PPS. Once upon a time, Mr Ang and I were given a cuckoo clock for a wedding present. We opened it, said, "Ooooh, just what we always wanted!" then quickly relegated it to the back of a cupboard. 
PPPS. Yes, that is my MSPaint artwork :P

Friday, 10 June 2011

Out and About with Sprout

When the Sproutling first arrived, I was apprehensive at the thought of taking him out anywhere. There were so many things that could go wrong! I had visions of people frowning and tut-tutting at me as I carted my screaming baby around. What if there was a poo-splosion while we were out or he projectile vomited over a cash register or something?

My confidence in the matter wasn't helped by the fact that the first time I took Sprout shopping at about six weeks old, he had a complete screaming meltdown in the middle of Target and I had to drop the clothes I was going to buy and high-tail it out of there. Thankfully the "Parent Rooms" at Mount Ommaney centre are very comfortable so I was able to regroup after a big feed and settling him down to sleep.

Last weekend was my mother's birthday so my dad arranged a surprise dinner for her at a local restaurant (Turkish, mmmmm). Mr Ang and I decided we'd go along with Sproutling. Although he's been to plenty of noisy places before and also out at night-time, he'd never been to a restaurant so we weren't really sure how he would deal with it. Also he has been going to bed between 7 and 8 lately so this would be past his bedtime.

The restaurant was quite noisy inside. At first, Sprout was okay with cuddles with his Yiayia, but after a while he started to get a little restless. We were sitting in a corner so I tried to discreetly feed him, hoping he'd drop off to sleep, but it was too noisy and I ended up having to go outside and sit in the doorway of a neighbouring shop where it was quiet.  I'm sure it won't be my last breastfeeding hobo experience.

He did actually go to sleep for a little while after that and only had one other major crying episode the rest of the night, but it was so noisy in there that no-one really noticed. When we got home it was only about 9:30 but it took me at least an hour of sitting in a quiet, dark room before he calmed down and went to sleep.  After that he slept for about six hours in one go!

So I guess we now know that going out in the evening is possible, as long as there's somewhere quiet to calm him down if he gets upset and that we should expect overtiredness afterwards. We don't go out for dinner that often but it's good to know that we can.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Progress: Two Months

The Sproutling has now dinged two months and is growing like... well, like a Sprout! Now he actually fits into the Sproutfit I got for him before he was born! Here's a little catch up on what we've been up to.

We have been getting some smiles for a few weeks now, but he doesn't quite smile on demand so there is precious little photo-evidence. No giggles just yet while awake, but he's certainly vocal and chats away to us.

He is getting much better at holding his head up straight and looking curiously around at everything.  In fact while awake he is so alert and inquisitive that we have a hard time with him wriggling around so much! He doesn't quite reach out for things but does watch them intently.

Just this week I've noticed a bit of a sleeping pattern starting - if we get up early enough he will have a morning and an afternoon nap, but I have to actually go put him in bed when he's tired. If he goes to sleep on me, I have to hold him all afternoon or he wakes up and gets upset. I've actually started to put him to sleep on his tummy at night.  I know, it's not recommended and it's supposedly not safe, but he sleeps so much better that way! Just last night we had a 5-hour stint which meant only two feeds during the night instead of three - I woke up before he did at 3am and had to check to make sure he was still breathing! Hopefully this is the start of a longer night's sleep.

Each day is full of wonder at this stage, as Sproutling discovers the world around him and responds to Mr Ang and I as we try to make him smile. I wish this precious time would never end, it's completely adorable!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Nursery Tale

Furnishing a nursery is one of the most fun but also the most complicated parts of preparing for a new arrival. Not only is there a bundle of furniture to be purchased, but also colour schemes, decorations and all sorts of other random things to be decided on.

Sprout's nursery started out as our spare room. We weren't able to start putting it together until quite late because my sister in law was staying with us during February, but by the time she left and we got rid of the bed we already had most things stashed away around the house and we could just set it all up.

We were a little bit concerned leaving it all until the last minute but Sprout didn't come until the week he was due so we had plenty of time in the end. We didn't need to paint the room or anything - we're not intending to stay in this house for long so we're keeping the room neutral.

We were super lucky in that our friends and relatives gave us or are lending us a lot of items that otherwise would have added up to a fortune. We even managed to have most things matching!

Sproutling is currently sleeping in our bedroom in a bassinet passed down in my family, so at the moment the nursery is only used for changing nappies and clothes, plus the occasion when I feed him in the rocking chair.

Just after Sproutling came home
The cot is often the most expensive item in the nursery, but we borrowed this one from my cousin and bought a new mattress for it. My cousin also gave us a load of linen for the cot as well as a pile of wraps and blankets which have come in handy!

Made by my Dad!  Isn't he clever? It is mainly storage for the meeelions of stuffed toys Sprout has been given, but the fuzzy toys are a target for one of my cats so I'm not sure how many he'll end up being able to play with!

Chest of drawers
Storage is the number one most important thing in the nursery. We bought some clothes before Sprout arrived, but that was nothing compared to the amount of clothes we were given as presents. I'm not exaggerating when I say that one of those small drawers at the top is dedicated to singlets and socks. Add to that blankets, wraps, linen, plus any cloth nappies and our chest of drawers is already full! This particular one was given to us by Mr Ang's parents who were moving house earlier in the year and didn't need it any more.

Current state of things
Rocking chair
While a rocking chair is not specifically required, a comfy chair is essential for feeding.  You're going to be spending a lot of time in this chair, it might as well be comfortable!

This beautiful rocking chair was an absolute score. My grandmother was visiting a friend of hers and happened to mention that I was looking for a rocking chair. Her friend was in the process of clearing out some furniture and had one that she could give me! It's perfect - just what I had in mind. Even though the "glider" chairs are more comfortable, I think the classic wooden rocking chairs look way better.  I bought the cushion and my Mum knitted the rug that is on the back of it.

Change table
A stand-alone change table is a luxury of space - I know a lot of people use ones that sit on top of the cot or a chest of drawers. Ours was one of the only items of furniture we actually purchased, and it's from Ikea. It has two shelves below the top which are great for storing changing paraphernalia. It's not quite visible in the pictures but it's also beech-looking and is against the windows on the right of the room.

Nappy bucket
With a lid that seals! We have two of these now - one for disposables and another for cloth ones when we use them.

Wall decorations 
This is a (hopefully) removable wall sticker set. There are loads of different types of these on Ebay and on shop sites, but I got the circus train one from Bella's Little Ones. Yes, I know it's not on straight!

It was good fun setting it all up, and I'm very pleased with the way it has turned out!

Friday, 29 April 2011


What do little babies dream about?

Considering that the Sproutling has had less than six weeks of life experience, we must assume that unless he's drawing on some previous lives (and who would care to speculate on those?), his dreams at the moment must be revolving around boobs, cuddles, cold wet feelings on the bum and a plethora of ever changing faces.

Just after he falls asleep, Sprout goes into a dreaming mode where he can wriggle around a fair bit, roll his eyes while they are closed and coo. Sometimes he smiles and even giggles in his sleep, something he has done a few times while awake but not regularly yet.

Dreams are very important for our brains to process the things that have happened during the waking hours. Babies spend more time in REM (dreaming) sleep than adults do and it's thought to be an important part of their brain development to try to make sense of a new and amazing world.

I'd love to know what it is he's dreaming of, but all I can do is guess. It's certainly cute to watch though!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


This breastfeeding business is hard work. I had been told this right through pregnancy, which had surprised me a little as I had always been told by my mother that it was the best and most natural thing for babies (breastfeeding evangelist that she is). I couldn't understand why anyone would choose not to do it and feed with formula. Now, I am starting to understand.

I've been lucky enough that the Sproutling is very good at it - right from the start he latched properly and fed well, but after three weeks I was starting to wonder if the feeding every one to three hours was ever going to get better. I haven't had more than three hours sleep at one time since he was born, although I am starting to get used to the broken sleep. I wondered if I was feeding him too much - and a little guilty if I put him on a boob every time he cried. I can't be away from him for very long at all, which starts getting tricky for showers and when I need to eat.

Then my mum sent me a link to an article, and suddenly I didn't feel quite so bad about feeding so often. The article is called Breastfeeding in the Land of Ghenghis Khan. It was written by a Canadian woman who moved to Mongolia with her small baby and is about the cultural differences in the attitude towards breastfeeding she found there. I'm not sure if I'd like to breastfeed the Sprout until he's six years old, but it's an interesting take on the people of another culture's way of childrearing.

On the same site, I also found an article called So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes, which explores society's need to impose control on the way babies eat and sleep. It encourages us to trust our instincts as mothers - if I feel the Sproutling is hungry however many times a day, I'm now going to feed him and I'll try not to feel guilty or pressured by anyone that what I am doing is not the best for my baby. I'm not going to try imposing a schedule on him, although we might soon start a bedtime ritual for my own sanity as much as Sprout's. I haven't encountered much pressure just yet since I am lucky enough to have a very supportive husband and mother, but we shall see as time goes on.

The article also has a section further down on a Father's Perspective on Demand Nursing - it's worth a read, you dads.

I wouldn't mind more than three hours sleep in a row though...

Image in this post is from

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The Zombie Cow Revelation

I apologise in advance for a whiny post today!

Yesterday was a bit of a turning point for me. For the last few weeks I've been desperately trying to catch up on broken sleep, feeling lethargic and basically crappy and sorry for myself, especially while feverish from the mastitis.

While the Sproutling is sleeping quite well at night most of the time, he does still wake up every 1.5 to three hours for a feed, which makes for a very long and broken night for me. Mr Ang, bless him, sleeps right through it all.

At the moment, there's a construction site across the road from us.  Its a large area taking up almost the entire block - it's a car sales yard that is being redeveloping into another car yard, from what we can tell. When they started demolishing the original buildings back before Christmas we thought, "Oh good, they should be all done with construction by the time the baby arrives." How wrong we were.

After flattening every building on the original car yard plus a block of flats and a couple of houses adjoining the site, they started digging. They didn't dig very deep, just enough to create mountains of dirt and rubble. Then they brought in some more mountains. Then they moved those mountains around from one part of the site to another, for three months.

Last week, we finally saw some progress. They brought in wooden poles - a LOT of wooden poles - and started driving them into the ground immediately across the road from our place.

Now, babies can sleep through just about anything, including two pile drivers, but mummies cannot. My already tired brain could feel every THUNK as if the machine were inside it.

Milking Time
It seems the Sproutling is having a bit of a growth spurt this week. Yesterday, his two-hourly feeding schedule went up to pretty much once an hour from about 4am, and I snatched micro-sleeps here and there during the morning feeling quite a lot like a cow being milked dry.

Eventually I gave up sleeping - I realised quite suddenly that this really wasn't going to get better very soon, and that if I didn't want to be stuck feeling like a Zombie Cow for the next few weeks then I might as well forget trying to play catch up amd just suck it up and get on with things. I felt so much better after deciding that!

Of course, as soon as I had come to that revelation and settled in at the computer to get on with things, the Sprout settled in for a three-hour nap.

Click here to hear the sound of my morning.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Home Sweet Home

We've been home from hospital for just over two weeks now. Mr Ang had two weeks off work and did an excellent job if looking after Sproutling and I while we rested. Well, I rested and tried to catch up on missed sleep - Sproutling just slept, fed and poo'd as newbies do.

The first few days at home were a challenge as we had to keep the Sprout attached to the biliblanket, to treat his mild jaundice. This meant being tied to a power point all day and night, and having a flat covered plastic glowing mat shoved up the back of your shirt all day can't be a comfortable experience.

We had visits from midwives each day as well as a pathologist the second day to take a blood test.  The bloods had to be taken again on both Saturday and Sunday, to check Sprout's bilirubin levels. Unfortunately the pathology mob don't do house calls on the weekend so we had to make a couple of trips out to get the bloods taken. By the end of the weekend the poor little guy's feet had been pricked so many times that when someone took hold of his foot he started crying because he knew what was coming!

Happily, after the blood test on Saturday we had a call from a paediatrician to say that his bilirubin levels had come down enough that we could stop using the biliblanket, so with a sigh of relief we turned off our glowbaby and were much more mobile after that.

The rest of the two weeks have passed in a jumble of nights with broken sleep, multiple visitors all bearing beautiful gifts and telling me to sit down so they can wait on me hand and foot (which I really haven't objected to). Sproutling is still growing, is still feeding every 1.5 - 3 hours and occasionally I get to sleep for more than two hours at a time.  To be honest, I'm starting to get used to the broken sleep. I know it will get harder in a few weeks when settling him is more difficult and sleep deprivation starts setting in.

In general the Sproutling has been a good little boy. He rarely cries except sometimes when hungry and the worst habit he has so far is managing to pee outside his nappy every now and then - something which baffles Mr Ang and I.  No matter our bits-arranging, he still manages a leak once every couple of days. Perhaps when he gets big enough for the cloth nappies we have for him it won't be a problem.

The hardest part of the last couple of weeks has been the last few days. I started feeling a bit flu-ey and thought I was coming down with a cold, but when I started getting fevers, my mother cried "Mastitis!" and packed me off to the doctor.  Sure enough, the doc pointed out a red, slightly lumpy patch on one breast and gave me some antibiotics to try to clear it up. I've been having fevers off and on still, but I'm told the best way to get rid of it is to keep feeding as much as possible, so I am.

We're nearly up to three weeks old already - it seems like such a long time but at the same time, the blink of an eye.

See, he does have eyes!

Monday, 4 April 2011

The Early Days

The Sproutling was born at 2:20am, but it wasn't until about 5:30 that we were taken up to the ward to our twin-share room.  After a few happy phone calls, it was time for Mr Ang to head home to get a bit of sleep, and for me to try to work out what on earth to do with a newborn.

I was lucky enough to be the first person into the room, so I got the window bed complete with a very nice tree'd view. I felt sorry for the lady I ended up sharing with - with her curtain drawn the whole time she didn't get to see the sun at all. On the whole she was a good roomie to have - although our little ones took turns at waking each other up.

The Sproutling and I spent four nights in hospital, including the night the he was born. It would have originally been three, but due to the risk of infection from the long time between my waters breaking and delivery, the paediatricians decided that the Sprout should have a 48-hour course of antibiotics so we would have to stay an extra night. I wasn't too upset about that at first as it would give me an extra day of enforced rest, but by the end of the third day I had changed my mind.

I was already being given antibiotics through the very inconveniently-placed cannula in the crook of my right arm which hurt every time I bent it.  I was so happy when, by the third morning, I had bent my arm and jiggled the cannula about enough that it actually accidentally came out. Thankfully they decided to stop my antibiotics rather than insert another cannula.

Poor little Sproutling also had a cannula inserted into the back of his right hand and had a little foam surfboard strapped to his forearm to keep it in place for the 48 hours. Mr Ang went with the midwives into the treatment room when they inserted it and said the poor little munchkin screamed the place down. Sprout spent the next couple of days alternately sucking on the surfboard or using it as a pillow - it must have been terribly uncomfortable.

The days and nights passed without a lot of sleep - hospitals are never quiet places and the bed was far from comfortable, but we had plenty of visitors to pass the time and the food was actually really delicious. The midwives were really friendly and helpful - we learned to change nappies, have a bath and got practical help with breastfeeding.

By the third day Sproutling was starting to look a bit yellow - the onset of jaundice. That night the pathology test results for infection came back all clear so his antibiotics could be stopped and the cannula removed. We were all excited about the prospect of going home the next day, but we had to wait for one more blood test result to make sure the jaundice wasn't serious enough to need treatment. They kept us hanging all morning and it wasn't until after lunch that we received the all-clear to go home, as long as we took a biliblanket with us.

So, out into the big wide world we went...

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


While you're pregnant, there are a series of predictable responses people will make while talking to you. After the generic "Congratulations!" and later the ubiquitous "Do you know what you are having?" (I generally tried to avoid replying with "A calf, I think"), the conversation will go something like this.
  • Non-parents: 
    • Most women "Ohhhh Squeeeeee! Cluck cluck cluck!"
    • Most men: "Oh wow, nice!" (end conversation)
  • Existing Grandparents: (Faces light up in utter joy) "Oh how wonderful! What a wonderful, special time!" (ie. they have completely forgotten what its really like)
  • Existing Dads: "Oh right, enjoy your sleep while you still can."
But existing Mums, without fail, will give you a sympathectic look and commence the horror story:  "Well, when I was in labour, ..."

I believe it is the prerogative of mums to tell their horror stories but to be honest, I still went into it with very little clue as to what to expect. My mum had always told me that she was in labour for 24 hours with me, so I assumed that meant there had been agonising pain for all that time. The fact is that the agony, while still several hours worth, is only part of that so it's not nearly as terrifying as everyone makes it sound.

As I wrote previously, my waters broke early last Sunday morning. Once we returned from the hospital, I puttered around all morning and even managed a sleep for a little while. Contractions started in earnest at about 1pm, starting out quite mild but gradually increasing until we decided to head to hospital at about five o'clock because I couldn't face the idea of having a really nasty one in the car.

On arrival at the hospital they took us into a room in the pregnancy assessment unit to assess whether I was progressed enough to go into the birth suite. 3cm dilated meant that I was, but before we were moved I had my first pain-relief - sterile water injections in my back, either side of my spine to help ease the pain there.  When they tell you this stings they are completely right - I felt like I'd been stung by four wasps on my lower back! The stinging only lasted a minute or so though and when it faded, the contractions were much less painful, at least for a while.

The birth suite rooms at the Mater are quite comfortable. During the time there we were looked after by two different midwives - the first lady I don't remember much about since she was only there for a couple of hours and I was pretty out of it, but later the lovely Iraqi lady who was to later be with us all the way to delivery started her shift. She had some brilliant stories about fathers passing out, but thankfully Mr Ang made it all the way through in an upright manner.

I tried both pethodine and the nitrous oxide gas to try to help the pain, but the pethodine just made be feel very out of it and didn't really seem to dull the pain at all, and the gas certainly didn't make me giggly or distract me much at all.  In the end I asked for an epidural because I was already exhausted and could only see the hours of agony stretching ahead. Once the epidural was inserted and working by about 10pm, the pain gradually melted away and I was left with a very numb right leg and partially numb left leg.

The remaining few hours were relatively calm. I had been fitted with a cannula in my arm and was being drip-fed with the chemical to help contractions along, so Mr Ang and I just chatted and waited. At about midnight the midwife decided it was time to start pushing, and 80 rather exhausting minutes later, the little sproutling was born.

At first, he didn't cry much and they took him away from me to suction some fluid from his lungs. I couldn't hold him again for ages because they were worried that he was in respitory distress - he was lying in a humidi-crib whimpering for at least an hour and had a low-grade fever. There was almost a chance that he would be taken to the special care unit, but thankfully he calmed down and we were all taken up to the ward by about 5:30am.

Sproutling was born at 2:21am, weighing 3.074kg (about 6lb 12oz) and 50cm long meaning he was very long and skinny. His head was a normal size though which explains the long pushing phase - I have no idea how people make it through that without pain relief, but I am not sorry in the slightest that I asked for the epidural despite my intentions of a natural labour! I also feel completely pleased with myself that I was able to control things so I ended up with no tears and no stitches at all - something which is apparently quite rare in first-time mums.

In all - not the most pleasant experience but the prize at the end is so worth it!

Friday, 25 March 2011

The Sproutling

I'm very happy to announce that the Sproutling has arrived!

Matthew was born at 2:21am AEST on Monday March 21, weighing 3.074kg (that's about 6 lb 12 oz the old fashioned way) and 50 cm long. While he is quite long and skinny, he still has a respectably-sized 37cm head.

We stayed a little while in hospital since we were on antibiotics, but we came home yesterday and are now enjoying a bit of a rest before the visits start in earnest.

If you can't tell, Mr Ang and I are proud as punch and think he's completely adorable, as do all the doting grandparents and great grandparents who have been visiting in the last few days.

In the next few posts I'd like to record some information about the birth and first few days in hospital, so if you're not into the TMI aspect feel free to skip ahead. I promise to return to the cute soon though!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Stand By

I was woken up at about four this morning by one of my cats, as they do if we don't lock them out of the room. I got up to kick him out, and.. my waters broke. A lot.

Actually, reading that back it looks like they broke all over the cat - they didn't, it wasn't until I actually got out of the bedroom!

I then had a complete mental blank and couldn't remember whether I was supposed to ring the hospital or not, so I did anyway. I'm glad I did because they asked me to come in right away. From our place at that time of the morning it only takes about 15 or 20 minutes to get to the hospital so we were there in no time, hooked up to a heart monitor and being generally checked over.

I wasn't aware until today but apparently only about 1 in 10 women have their waters break before labour actually starts. I hadn't had any contractions up until then and even while at the hospital I only had a couple of gentle squeezes. The main risk with the membranes breaking early is infection - without its protective coverings the baby is much more vulnerable. I was told I could either be induced right away or go home and wait for labour to start naturally, so we decided on the latter.

At this stage - three hours later - I have only had a few mild contractions so things are still going slow.  It's going to be a long day.

I'm in good spirits, I had a great nights sleep and am pretty much ready whenever Sproutling is ready to come, but I am also completely terrified.  Not so much for the pain - I know that's coming and I'll take the pain relief if it gets too much, but its more that I realise now that no classes or books have prepared us for what is to come.  I still have no idea what I'm doing, and I am terrified I'll be bad at it.  I know this is something that all new parents go through, so I'm trying not to let it worry me too much and focussing on my excitement about meeting Sprout very soon.

In the meantime, I am trying to keep this generally quiet and not telling our parents just yet - I don't want them to worry and call me all day!

Anyway, stay tuned.  More Sproutling action in the next day or so! Wish me luck :)

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Spike Healing

Acupuncture is a branch of Chinese Medicine which is used quite widely these days in treating many conditions, but also fertility problems, pregnancy and childbirth.

During a treatment, fine needles are inserted into the patient's skin at certain points on their body, called acupuncture points. In Chinese Medicine, energy (or Qi, pronounced "chee") flows around the body through pathways called meridians. Blockages in these meridians are believed to be the source of pain or physiological problems. Inserting and stimulating needles at the acupuncture points is supposed to help relive these blockages and get the Qi flowing again.

Of course, acupuncture is an ancient practice, developed well before conventional medicine was researched. According to the wikipedia page I linked above there is currently insufficient evidence to suggest that acupuncture is more successful at treating conditions than other treatments. There's a pretty strong case for the argument that what patients are experiencing is a placebo effect - that is, they believe they are getting pain relief, therefore they experience less pain.

Trying it out
I was always curious about acupuncture, coming from the "I'll try anything once" school of medical treatment, but the thought of having needles stuck in me was really off-putting so I never really considered actually doing it.

In one of our ante natal classes at the hospital recently, the midwife taking the class was discussing the procedure used for inducing labour at the hospital. It sounded horrific - you are drip-fed chemicals gradually in increasing doses until you are well into the second phase of labour, which often brings on contractions much more painful than a natural labour. Then, if the baby is distressed at all, they just turn off the chemicals and have to start from the beginning again!

She did say though that she had met many people who had used acupuncture to induce labour instead and it had quite a good success rate, sometimes after a few treatments but usually getting things going before a medical induction was required.

The idea of having extra options before having to go though what sounded like a traumatic procedure really appealed to me, so the next day I made an appointment at a local acupuncturist recommended by the midwife. The first appointment was for general pregnancy maintenance, which is for general relief of back, hip and joint pain. I think for that appointment there were about 5 or 6 needles inserted into my hip, foot and leg, then I had to lie there and relax for about 15 minutes on each side. All I felt was a tiny twinge when a couple of the needles were tapped in.

It was great! I think the forced lying still for half an hour did wonders to relax me, but it fired up the Sproutling who kicked and wriggled all afternoon. That night I had a great night's sleep and the following morning my hips and back felt a little better too - certainly a better outcome than the bruises the physiotherapist had given me previously!

Once I found out that Sproutling was breech, I went back to my acupuncturist for two breech sessions. These were slightly different in that they also used Moxabustion.  I was sitting propped up on my back so I was so comfortable I almost dropped off to sleep in these sessions, even though Sprout was kicking like a champion.

Unfortunately Sproutling was determined to stay in a comfy head-up spot and didn't turn until forced to (see earlier post), but I'm still a convert to acupuncture if only for the relaxation and temporary pain relief part.

Labour preparation
This afternoon I'm going back for another labour preparation treatment. This type of treatment is meant to help ripen and prepare my cervix and uterus (sorry, TMI) for labour. Apparently people also report having easier and less painful labour after these kind of treatments, so I'm all for that. I'm also looking forward to a bit of pain relief since my hips and lower back have been aching badly the last few days.

If Sproutling hasn't decided to join us on the outside by next week, I'll book in for an induction session. From what I can gather, the treatment involves the needles being hooked up to some kind of mild electrical current to increase their stimulation.  Sounds... interesting and slightly Frankenstinian but I'm willing to give it a go.

The funny thing with acupuncture is that as a trained scientist I am willing to accept that the effects are probably all in my head, but right now I am happy to keep my options open and Believe it's working.

About Fertility
I just thought I'd add a quick note for anyone interested in using acupuncture to boost fertility. Acupuncture is usually used in conjunction with IVF treatment and has quite good success rates based on studies that have been done.  Of course, it's difficult to assess the results since most research is either carried out by the conventional medical profession who are quite sceptical, or pro-natural remedy groups who are all for it.

Treatments are carried out at certain times during the IVF cycle on both the man and woman and are thought to help both with the quality of sperm and the condition of the uterus.

More information:

If you're thinking of giving acupuncture a go, make sure the practitioner you choose is accredited with your local professional body, such as the AACMA in Australia.

It's generally not recommended to have acupuncture anywhere that doesn't use sterilised disposable needles. Reused needles can carry risk of infection of blood-borne and other diseases, since the needles are actually penetrating your skin. In almost all cases though, acupuncture is a very safe and gentle treatment that can be used on anyone.

So, dear readers, have you had experience with acupuncture during pregnancy or to help induce labour?  I'd be interested to hear your story!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Cute overload

After a very busy weekend, things are all quiet again.  Sproutling has continued to grow and be generally uncomfortable, but I haven't had any more false alarms or worries. I am not good at waiting.

In any case, I thought I'd share with you some of the gorgeous clothes we've been given or bought so far. The stuff we bought has been pretty much all white or neutral so far - I'm expecting the pink or blue to come in thick and fast once Sprout makes an appearance though.

The quilt the clothes are lying on was handmade and given to us by Mr Ang's aunty. We've been given quite a few beautiful handmade things now - our friends and family are so clever!

On with the squee!

We have a few of these, in different colours. It's like they were made just for us!

Oh my gosh, the cute, make it stop!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Old Wives Tales

As soon as anyone finds out that you're pregnant, one of the first questions is usually: "Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?"

Our answer all along has always been that we don't mind as long as it's a healthy one, but that doesn't stop people from giving their opinion depending on various old wives tales.

Here's a few of the tales... and the possible outcome based on my results. There's a poll on the right side of the page - do you think Sproutling will be a girl or a boy?

Tummy shape
There are a couple of different variations to the tummy shape method - are you carrying all out front? Then it's a boy.  More rounded to the sides?  Girl.
Or, carrying high means a girl, and carrying low means a boy.

For me: I have carried mostly out front the whole time:  BOY
However, I have also carried high up until this last week when Sprout dropped:  GIRL

Sweet or Savoury
Craving sweet things for a girl, savouries for a boy.  I might mention at this stage that I was looking forward to seeing what odd or interesting food I had cravings for, and I have to say that I haven't had ANY.  I am disappoint! I have however been eating more sweet things, but.. I think that's just because I like to eat sweet things!

For me:  Craving more sweet things:  GIRL

Wedding ring
If you dangle your wedding ring, suspended on a chain over your tummy, the way it moves is meant to indicate the sex. Round for boy, back and forth for girl.

For me: Back and forth:  GIRL

So this is a new one I recently heard, but if you get pimples while pregnant then it's a girl, if not, a boy.

For me: I have had pimples like I haven't since I was 16:  GIRL

In utero, a normal heartrate varies between 120-160 beats per minute. If the baby's fetal heartbeat is above 140 bpm, it's a girl. Below 140 bpm, a boy.

Here's a chart of Sproutling's heartrate over the eight visits I've had at the clinic.

For my Sprout:  Average heartrate = 139.6 bpm: BOY(?)

Gut feelings
Of course, everyone has a general feeling about how things are going to go. My mother is convinced Sproutling is going to be a boy, while my grandmother has picked girl.

My gut feeling: BOY
Mr Ang's gut feeling:  GIRL

But at the end of the day, who cares? As long as it's healthy!

What do you think?  Are there any old wives tales you know that I haven't taken into account?

Image on this page is pinched from

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Journey So Far

Pregnancy is a remarkable journey in itself. When Mr Ang and I first found out the exciting news way back in July last year, we looked at those 8 months stretching away in front and wondered just how quickly or slowly those months would go.

I have to say it's felt like such a long time for me, but I have been remarkably lucky in the way my pregnancy has progressed. We have quite a few friends who have had trouble falling pregnant or have had to go through months or years of IVF treatments to get there. Thankfully, it all happened quite quickly for us.

The first trimester
During the first few months, I was lucky enough not to have any morning sickness (in fact I haven't thrown up at all), but I had a scan at just five weeks due to some quite severe cramping on one side. Happily, it wasn't an ectopic pregnancy as I had been afraid of, and the little bean was fine in there. I did continue to have the nasty cramps up until about eight weeks though which made working fun as the only way I could get rid of them was to lie down and relax. I had a good excuse to give though - I had been on a work trip to India not long previously, so I just told everyone I had Delhi belly!

At twelve weeks we had the Nuchal Translucency ultrasound, where measurements are taken and combined with blood test results to determine the risk of the baby having Down Syndrome or other chromosomal defects. I am so glad that we didn't have to make any terrible desicions from the results of that scan, since everything came back low risk and everything was healthy in there. After that scan we took great pleasure in being able to tell everyone that we were expecting!  Of course our parents already knew a few weeks previously and were (and still are) completely over the moon.

One more scan at 18 weeks confirmed that bub was growing into a healthy little alien. Head and body are way out of proportion at this stage, but knowing that it's going to have the right number of arms and legs is always a plus!

Around this time is when you start feeling movements.  At first, it's just like a little fluttering - like you have gas or like heart palpitations but a little further down.  It's an odd sensation and you never really get used to it! After a while you can actually tell when there is a big roll going on in there, or when you are being kicked. Some women say they get kicked awake during the night - I'm pleased to say I've only had that happen once!

Healthy stuff
I didn't follow any special diets or exercise regimes while pregnant - in fact I just ate whatever I wanted really. I found that it wasn't hard to stay away from the forbidden foods - soft cheeses, cold meats, sushi, pre-prepared salads, reheated leftovers, bay-marie-type foods. I missed them but I managed without, mostly by eating loads of sweet things. My bad eating mustn't have hurt me that much, because last time I checked I think I've put on about 17kg since the start.  I'm told that's within a normal range - hopefully I can get rid of it afterwards without too much trouble.

I did do some great exercise classes run by the physio practice at the hospital once a week.  It was sort of a combination of stretching, light cardio and a bit of relaxation, and if it didn't help out my body that much it did make me feel a lot better after each time I went along.

Later, I started to get some pain around my pelvis and tummy muscles. This was the hormone Relaxin doing its part to loosen up the ligaments ready for delivery, but good lord, it made my muscles hurt in compensation. 

I visited a physiotherapist at times to help with the muscle pain but I have this theory that physiotherapists were all torturers in past lives and take great delight in inflicting pain on people.  I decided to try out acupuncture instead and it was a wonderful, very relaxing experience that did help with the pain, at least for a few days after each treatment.

During the hot weather here in January and February, I had quite a lot of fluid in my feet and ankles. That has somewhat gone away now that it's a little cooler, and was helped a lot by swimming. What has not gone away is the fluid in my hands and wrists - my knuckles hurt a lot, especially in the mornings.  I guess this is what arthritis feels like.

Sproutling is going to come into the world at the Mater Mother's Hospital. Our insurance didn't cover private maternal care (for various reasons), so I am going through the public system which so far has been perfectly adequate. I don't seem to go for as many visits as some of my friends have done, but if I needed to the help would be available. The midwives I've seen have all been lovely, the classes were very informative and the facilities look top-notch, so I have no worries at all about what the next few weeks will bring.

My visit to the midwife at 36 weeks brought me some interesting news - Sproutling was in extended breech position, with head up, bum down in my pelvis and legs stretched out to one side. Hospitals no longer like to deliver breech babies as it is quite stressful for both baby and mum, so I was told that I should either opt for an elective caesarian, or book in to have an ECV, where a doctor would attempt to turn the baby in a non-invasive procedure. 

The breech position was probably brought about by a combination of bad posture and stress (there are plenty of other possible causes but we'll never know the full story). I sit at a desk all day at work and then play games most nights at home, so my posture is pretty bad at the best of times. My work has been quite stressful since Christmas as well - we've lost a staff member and had to redistribute his work, and on top of the baby things I've had on my mind I was getting pretty stressed out towards the end there.  After about the 35-week mark where I actually burst into tears in my managers office, I knew I was going to have to try to finish early and just chill out. So I did.

My acupuncturist gave me two sessions to try to turn Sproutling - a combination of acupuncture and moxabustion, which consists of burning a roll of material (not sure exactly what is in it but it stinks!) close to the acupoint on the outside of each little toe. It doesn't hurt at all, just stimulates the area. Despite having loads of movement from baby (I swear it felt like a party going on in there), the little one didn't actually flip over.

Mr Ang and I went in to the hospital on Monday morning the 7th for the ECV procedure. I had been secretly hoping that Sprout had turned during the night and I wouldn't have to go through with anything, but the first ultrasound showed that bub's head was definitely up and bum down.. 

The doctor said my fluid was a little low but he had a good chance of being able to turn the Sprout. He went through how the procedure would work and the risks involved. There is basically no risk of injury to the baby, but if anything else was damaged in there such as the placenta, if my waters broke, if bub became distressed, then we would have to have an emergency caesarian immediately. 

First we went into another room to have an ECG machine strapped to me for a little while, so that they could make sure Sproutling's heartbeat was regular.  Everything was fine so I was taken back into the ultrasound room and a drip inserted into my arm. They injected some ventolin with some saline stuffs and in about 20 seconds, my heart began to race and I couldn't help but breathe more heavily.  It was a rather unpleasant sensation to begin with, but then the doctor started to push into my belly, to try to get the baby's head out from under my rib.  He was pushing pretty hard - it hurt in some tender spots! After only about a minute he had managed to get the head downwards, but the scan was showing there was a foot down there in my pelvis next to the head! He asked me to get up and go for a walk around for 10 minutes, then come back to see if the foot had moved. I was really shaky and my hands were all cold - probably from shock more than from anything else.  My heart was still racing and I felt dreadful, but Mr Ang helped me wander up and down the corridors a bit and things improved before long. 

When we got back in for another look, the foot was still down there but the doctor was sure that it would be pulled out of there - how could the baby be comfortable like that?! I had another ECG monitor to make sure Sprout was still happy and then was free to go. The whole procedure only took about 3 minutes not including the monitoring, but in between all the busy-ness at the hospital and waiting for each step, we were there for almost five hours.

That night I attempted to sleep sitting up since the doctor had suggested not lying flat to make sure bub didn't try to flip around again. The next afternoon I had a midwife appointment, so I popped into the Fetal Medicine area for them to quickly scan me - this time the head was properly down and the feet off to one side - Hooray!

Sproutling being head down is not quite so comfortable as the breech position was! Now I have extra pressure on my bladder and pelvic floor and my centre of gravity is different again so I hurt in different places. But at last, I can relax and not have to worry about going into labour with a breech baby.

False Alarm
Being moved around must have made the Sproutling a little uncomfortable because I woke up at 4am yesterday morning with the worst tummy cramps.  At first I thought I needed the toilet, but nothing was going on there so I had to admit that it could well be the start of labour!  After a while, the cramps started feeling more like period pain with my back involved. They weren't coming too often so I didn't wake Mr Ang up, but by the time he was awake at 6-ish the cramps were about 10 mins apart. We were so excited - we started packing bags and making lists of people to inform, but by 8am I was feeling pretty sleepy again so I decided to go lie down and rest while I could. Somehow I went to sleep, and by the time I woke up, the cramps were gone. I felt occasional squeezes through the rest of the day and was pretty sore all around, but it was definitely only a false alarm. It was kind of disappointing after getting all excited in the morning! 

In any case, things are happening!  It could all happen any day now, and I am soooo looking forward to it!

To sum up, there's two weeks (give or take) to go, Sproutling is in the right position now, we don't know if it's a boy or a girl and we can't wait to meet the little one!

Week 38