Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bellies! Get your bellies here!

Yes, I'm slack in the posting photos department. Since I'm now scared of Manuela, I have done as she ordered, and got the belly shots off the camera. At considerable faffing-aroundness to me, I might add.

Here's Spudly at 16.5 weeks:

And as a comparison, today at 18.5 weeks:

It doesnt look like there's been much change really, but when I look closely I can see that my belly is bigger overall and possibly a bit lower, rather than having changed shape.

Although, when you look at big pudding from the front, it definately looks more pregnant than fat.

The pyjamas are most fetching, dontcha think?

And by way of something more pleasing to look at than daggy peejays and a big belly, alpacas that live next to the in-laws:

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Shopping and Snacks - the Thinking Woman's Prozac

Its truly amazing how much Retail Therapy helps make everything better. I took myself op-shopping yesterday afternoon and for the grand total of $22 found myself two pairs of pants that fit divinely (including a brand new pair of hipster jeans - god how I've missed jeans), 3 divine and sexy tops which accentuate the cuteness of my belly, and an adorable little fluffy purple coat for Spudly.

I got home to find Monkey Boy just pulling up, 2 hours early. He bunked off school so he could come home and make sure I was okay. I love that monkey. Even more so after he suggested snacks. Crisps and icecream blocks. Yummo. Love those "banana" flavoured Paddle Pops. Taste like no banana I've ever met.

I want to thank everyone who left me incredibly sensible and wise comments on my last post. You guys totally rock, and you're heartfelt expressions of care really touched me. Of course, after stepping back a little from the intense emotion of the other day, I can see that the right thing to do is look after me first and foremost. This is a novelty for me. Not something I've ever really done before, so it is an alien concept, but one I will do my utmost to embrace.

So enough wallowing in the mire of fucked parents! On to happier things!

Like Spudly movements! Which is a fair old indication that this baby is still alive. Alive, and most definately kicking. Last night I was trying to get to sleep and had to give Spud a stern talking to about the time and place for aerobics classes. So this might actually mean that everything is, you know, okay.

And boobs! Actual boobs! Boobs that will now hold a pencil! They had a growth spurt this week. By crikey, did they have a growth spurt.

And its less than a week until the ultrasound.

And the plastering in the front room will be finished today, which means we will have a NEW STUDY in 4 weeks time! I have been waiting for over 5 years to get this room finished. Its very exciting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


What is it about our parents that gives them the power to make us feel like we're naughty children again? Or is it just my mother?

I am all cried out this morning. Yesterday did NOT go well. Not that I expected it would, but I did expect to be able to get out of mum and dad's house without a screaming match. Stupid me. I managed to get away from there just before bursting into tears, whereupon I went and sat on my friends porch crying for an hour waiting for her to get home. The tears came again in the middle of the night after rehashing the events of the day and realising that yet again my mother has managed to make me feel like a horrible person.

I'm exhausted. Monkey Boy, who sat up with me and helped talk me through the anguish, is also exhausted. Spudly took the opportunity to start a bit of enthusiastic dancing on my cervix to let me know that he/she actually is still alive.

Apart from the usual crap that she spews forth in these situations (nothing wrong, not having help, blah blah) she also took the opportunity to let me know that:
  • If I hadnt left her at the supermarket that day she would never have had the fall and wouldnt be injured in the first place.
  • I dont care about her at all, I only care about my father.
  • I dont care about anyone but myself.
  • I'm an interfering, problem-causing bitch.
  • I've never done anything to help them before so why start now.
  • I should just go home and leave her alone and not come back.
Her behaviour, the tone of her voice, the look on her face, all took me instantly back to when I was 14 and she was going through menopause in a permanently psychotic state. I still bear the emotional scars from that period of my life. I didnt really need such a vivid reminder of exactly what it was like.

Dad's GP is very concerned about the situation, very concerned about mum's fall and the fact that she hasnt had any treatment, and very concerned about the level of care (or lack thereof) that dad is getting. But here's the thing: our wonderful health system seems to operate on the premise that the patient has to want assistance before they can receive it. Yes, that's right. Ask the crazy person if they're insane. Even if I could get an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) through the door, they will ask dad (with dementia) if he needs help, and ask my mum (lying, in denial, stubborn and/or suffering head trauma or complete breakdown) if she needs help. Neither one will say yes, so they wont get help.

And that is the bottom line. I could go to the Supreme Court to have the Medical Power of Attorney declared invalid. Which, it turns out, it is, since dad already had dementia when he signed it. Then I would have to apply for Guardianship of dad, if not both of them. And then what? I'm solely responsible for every single decision about my parents lives while trying to get through this pregnancy and deal with a new baby? Monkey Boy made it perfectly clear that even if I were insane enough to consider this option, he would put both feet firmly down and absolutely forbid it.

I feel like no matter what I do at this point, I am doing the wrong thing. If I do everything possible to help my parents, I'm putting my own health and Spudly's at risk. If I look after myself and Spud then I'm putting my parents' health at risk. If I accept that the system is fucked then I am condoning it, helping to perpetuate its fuckedness and letting down people who manifestly need help.

There is nothing I can do to help my parents without - ultimately - compromising the health of Spudly. Therefore the only thing I can do is walk away. And this sits very painfully with me.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Pre-emptive Euthanasia, anyone?

I made some phone calls yesterday morning about my father. Found out about the District Nurse who can come around to do an assessment as to what kind of care he needs and how bad the incontinence is and such. Then rang my mother to have a chat about it and find out if she was aware of the smell in the house the other day.

Go on. Guess how well it went.

Yep. Insert previous wailing banshee episode here.

I started off by asking her if she noticed the smell of urine on Tuesday. Yes. She had. She's been spraying air freshener around the house until Wednesday night until she couldnt stand it anymore, then told dad he stank and to go and change and have a bath. Well, he changed his clothes but he didnt wash. So, she put up with this situation for THREE DAYS.

Me: Fairly obvious he has an incontinence problem.
Mother: Oh no. He'd just run out of underpants because I hadnt done any washing.
Me: Running out of jocks does not make the whole house reek of urine.
Mother: All men dribble a little bit.
Me: This is not a little bit of dribble. This is very clearly an incontinence issue.
Mother: Dont be stupid. He's not incontinent. He goes to the bathroom.
Me: How do you know? I rang up the Aged Care Assessment....
Mother: (crying and screaming) NO! Just leave me alone! There's nothing wrong with dad and I wont have people coming into the house to take over. Just leave me to deal with it in my own way.
Me: But your NOT dealing with it, your ignoring it. (Gratuitous use of the f-word) I'm not going to let dad live like this, in his own filth, without any help.
Mother: (still crying and screaming) You cant take over. Just leave us alone. There's nothing wrong with him.
Me: (More use of the f-word and hang up.)

So I rang dad's specialist, who wants dad to see his GP to check it isnt something simple like an infection which has precipitated the incontinence. But he also believes that my mother needs to be assessed as she's more than likely not competant to make any decisions and that if she continues in refusing assessment or treatment for dad then I will have to apply for Enduring Power of Guardianship. At the moment, both she and I have dad's Medical Power of Attorney, with her as first Medical Agent and me as second. I discovered that if she refuses to act according to dad's wishes or in his best interests then I can override her decisions, which is obviously what is going to have to happen in the short term. But that of course means constant fights with her, probably to even get in the house in future.

In the immediate term, I made an appointment with the GP for Monday, at which I will not only get dad checked out but mention my mother's injuries and her mental state and see if anything can be done for her. I doubt it though. I had a long chat with a good friend of mine last night, who will go around to see them on the weekend. My mother likes N and since she is older than me and not her kid, we figure that mum is more likely to listen to what N has to say, even if it is exactly the same as what I've been saying to her.

I SO dont need this. My stress levels are through the roof. I woke up in the middle of the night last night bawling about this crap. Monkey Boy doesnt need it because he's now stressing out about how much its upsetting me and feels bad because he's on prac placement for 5 weeks and not around to help as backup. And Spudly sure as hell doesnt need all this adrenaline running through its system.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

We will now return to our regular programming

Okay, feeling much calmer and less likely to kill today. Monkey Boy came home bearing Macaroni Cheese, so how could I NOT feel better?

I've been meaning to do a few more pregnancy updates, but, um, havent. Here goes:

  • My blood pressure this week is 128/70. Nice.
  • My brain is on vacation, judging by the fact that on more than one occasion I hold my bag or purse in one hand and continue to frantically search for it. I've also put my box of muesli in the fridge. WTF???
  • I think I'm still getting occasional flutters, but now I'm just not sure if I'm making it all up.
  • According to The Books, Spudly can now hear and is able to detect light shining directly on my belly. We're going spotlighting for Spudly tonight!
  • Hormones...well you already know what they're doing!
  • Starting to get very antsy about the upcoming ultrasound. I want to have it very much, but not if there's any bad news a-coming.
  • Mostly I have more energy and the renovations are now progressing. The other day I got stuck into plastering until my arms ached so much I had lost the will to live. Pacing. I need to learn pacing.
  • I've been taking weekly belly shots, but am too slack to walk all.the.way.over.there to get the camera and faff about plugging it in etc. You'll just have to wait. Then I'll do a series. Wont that be exciting?
  • We now have baby stuff in the house that people have given us. Like a pram. And a baby sling/carrier dealy. And a high chair. And some baby clothes. Its too weird. I walk past the pram several times a day and wonder who the hell that's supposed to be for.

On a housekeeping note: my gmail account has been playing up, so if I dont answer your emails for a while its not because I hate you. Its because gmail is being stupid dumb and gay and wont let me open any mail.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Family Update

Lets start with the crappier family update story, so we can finish on a high note. How's that sound?

Went to see my olds yesterday. I walked into the house and it absolutely REEKED of urine. My dad reeks of urine. His bedroom reeks of urine. His clothes were filthy. WHATTHEFUCK???

Can my mother not smell this because she lives with it or is it yet another case of "Oh, I cant deal with this so I'll ignore it?"

I didnt talk to mum about it yesterday because I didnt want to embarass dad. Much easier to do on the phone, because then he's not hanging around trying to listen to what's being said. Dad's specialist appointment is not for another 4 weeks. I'm thinking that if things have progressed to the point of obvious incontinence issues that maybe staying in his home is no longer an option.

His condition continues to deteriorate, despite the medication. It would not surprise me at all if he is continuing to have minor strokes. I left the room for ten minutes yesterday to go to the shops and when I got back he didnt remember that I'd been there at all.

I really dont know what to do. Phone calls need to be made. Advice needs to be sought. I need to find some way of not stressing radically over fixing this.

Now on to the happy family matter:

Monkey Boy has been estranged from his parents for just over two years. They didnt come to our wedding. There was a huge falling out when we started planning our wedding, which appeared to come out of the blue when we changed our plans and they were "not approved of" by the old folks. Hurtful things were said. Monkey Boy threw some poo-covered bananas. I felt like I wasnt a welcome addition to the family and it was all my fault.

In hindsight, these things never come out of the blue, and it actually had nothing to do with me. It had nothing to do with the wedding. It had a lot to do with the expectations they had of Monkey Boy, and those Monkey Boy had of his parents. They were each expecting the other to behave in ways that were unrealistic. He couldnt see who they were, and they couldnt see who he was. (It probably didnt help that his mother was going through menopause at the time.) So Monkey decided that for his own sanity he couldnt deal with them. He had to break ties in order to break the really negative patterns that had been present his whole life.

Best thing he ever did. Monkey Boy figured out who he was, and that he wasnt responsible for everyone else's happiness, and that it was okay to do what you wanted to do and that wasnt letting anyone else down. He got his shit together. He started living HIS life, not what someone else thought should be his life.

Then, unexpectedly, a few weeks ago, his father rang. They agreed to meet up for lunch to talk stuff over. Monkey Boy told him about Spudly. His father told his mother about Spudly. His mother immediately rang home and was incredibly happy for us. They decided to put the past behind them and make a clean start.

They do actually seem to have changed. They both seem much calmer than they were when I met them 3 years ago. They seem much more accepting of me, and of who their son is. I'm not sure what has brought this about: whether its the honeymoon phase of having their only son back in their lives, whether its the space apart to reflect upon the things that happened, whether its HRT, whether its the promise of the first grandchild. I dont know.

I am just very relieved that this background stress is no longer hovering around us, that at a time when I feel like I'm losing my family Monkey Boy has regained his, and that there can be at least one set of grandparents for Spudly to grow up knowing.

Hormones Are Not My Friends

I have to bitch.

Not because I want to. In fact, I have thought a lot about posting on this, because the person concerned may read it. But post and bitch I will, because really, its not about her, its about me. And I need some feedback. I need you guys to tell me I'm not a horrible person. Only if I'm not, mind. If I am, then please let me have it.

Friend, whom I shall call Britney for the oh-so-clever "Oops I Did It Again" reference, did a drive-by "up-the-duff" announcement yesterday. Her second. Neither conceived whilst "trying". Both conceived ridiculously easily.

But wait. there's more. On the basis of peeing on a stick three times she is telling her employer this week. No hcg test. No second, third, fourth hcg test to check levels are doubling. No panic-induced ultrasound to rule out ectopic etc, only one to check dates because she doesnt know when she conceived.

Just assumes that its all normal and a pink line means in 8 months you get a baby.

Must be bloody nice.

I hate her.

Well not really hate. Okay, I hate the fact that she can get pregnant without trying and has no bloody idea how lucky she is, and I hate the unfairness of our situation in comparison and okay so I hate her.

I hate the fact that in the time its taken us to conceive Spudly, with all the tests and medication and loss of dignity and regimented sex life and loss and heartbreak we've got through, she's had one child and is now expecting another. I hate the fact that she's known for a few days and assumes she will get a baby out of this. I'm 17.5 weeks and I dont expect a baby out of it. Not really.

I also hate the fact that I feel this way. I wish I could just be happy for her. I'm fully aware that how easy or difficult it is for someone else to have kids makes no difference to my experience and outcomes whatsoever. I'm also fully aware that there are going to be people out there who will be thinking "Just shut the fuck up, you're pregnant. What the hell are you bitching about this crap for."

I'm jealous as hell that it happens so easily for some people, that they can pop out kids without even blinking, and that they can do it over and over. Since Spudly is a statistical marvel, I'm not holding out any hope for another "natural conception." Which means, as we know, once infertile, always infertile, and back to The Clinic we would have to go. More than likely, if Spudly hangs around, this will be our only child.

Its not fair and I want to pout and stamp my feet.


*stamp stamp*

Hello hormones, my old friend,
You've come to help me kill again....

Friday, October 14, 2005

Another Vox Pop

Since my hormones have overtaken me and I'm now getting the "round ligament pain" in my lower pelvis, which bloody hurts, I'm not feeling particularly sociable nor talkative.

I have, however, put up a new Poll to settle an ongoing argument in the House of Panda: can you look at something you cant see.

Think carefully about this one. It will require a thought experiment or two. Think about air, or individual molecules, or men who are staring at their keys and still cant find them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

16 week Update

Okay, so I didnt get to update you all as soon as I would have liked, but as promised I came back and am ready to spill.

Firstly, the Poll. I won the first. Monkey Boy won the second Poll. Which leads me to believe that y'all are FUCKED and completely inconsistent. HOW can the majority say that next Saturday is the one in the following week, but the Monday in the following week is THIS Monday? HUH??? (Assumes Pauline Hanson accent). Please explain. Monkey Boy and I have been arguing over this for the past two years. He has weird-ass conceptions of how time is divided up, and I maintain that time is divided into days and weeks and months and years and seasons and its a fairly useful construct to stick with because then everyone knows what the hell you're talking about. THIS monday is the Monday of the week your currently in. THIS Saturday is the Saturday of the week you're in. NEXT monday or Saturday would thus be referring to the week after the one you're currently in. Why dont people get this?????

There endeth my rant.

Now to the Spud.

  • Far exceeding my wildest expectations, I made it to 16 weeks, developed a very nice and obviously-not-peppermint-icecream-belly and STARTED FEELING FLUTTERS!!!!! Oh my god what a weird sensation. Like a cross between a twitching muscle, butterflies in the tummy and gas. And that Spud can really move. Probably will turn out to be hyperactive like its father. Oh goody.
  • The nausea has pretty much stopped, although occasionally the gagging still happens, usually after eating and then engaging in any sort of movement.
  • I'm not as tired as I was in the first trimester, but I did spend the entire weekend in bed, so I dont know where that leaves the previous statement on the factually correct continuum.
  • I need to pee continuously.
  • I have headaches every day, which sucks.
  • I need to eat continuously.
  • My digestive system is...sluggish....shall we say.
  • The skin on my face has plumped up and some of my wrinkles laugh lines have disappeared, as has the acne. Woohoo!
  • I have peach fuzz on my belly. No-one ever warned me about peach fuzz. I'm wondering at what point do I have to start waxing?
  • I have stopped worrying about Spudly being okay and replaced it with worrying about getting the house finished in time and about the whole childbirth thing. Two nights ago, I woke up about 3am in an absolute panic about how Spudly was going to come out. So I woke up Monkey Boy and informed him that he had 5 months to figure out some sort of alternative Spudly Transportation Device that did not involve it coming out of either my fanny or my abdomen. I am leaving it in his capable hands.
  • Next scan is November 1, which happens to be Melbourne Cup Day. I will thus place my bets according to the outcome of the scan.

I'm sure that there's more stuff. The pregnesia hasnt improved any, so there's bound to be heaps that I've forgotten. I have a belly pic on the camera that I will indeed post once the camera is charged again. There's also some family stuff to report on, but that's needs a post all of its very own.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I Am A Bad Bad Panda #2

Okay, okay. I'm sorry. I truly am. I knew that there would be people starting to freak out, but I didnt expect to have 52 emails in my inbox when I got online again!


I'm slack and too stupid to remember to pay my ISP account on time, thereby having no internet access for two weeks, but other than that, perfectly okay.

I do want to say, though, that I am very touched indeed by everyone's concern for my well-being and I find it amazing that people I've never met can care so much about me. So thankyou and big soppy internet hugs to everyone who expressed their concern.

I also want to say that you dont want to get on Manuela's bad side, because she WILL track you down. Crazy bloody Canadadians.

Right. Now my aliveness has been confirmed, I'm going to read what everyone else has been up to.

I will be back. Soon.

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