16 January 2017

Becoming a MUM!

Sitting here listening to the cute noises my daughter is making in her sleep I cannot believe it has been nearly a month since she arrived to meet us.    The whole experience has truly been amazing and I still cannot believe she came OUT of me.  There is NO way being pregnant for the first time prepares you for the arrival of your baby – even though you have had ten months of “being pregnant” you literally have NO idea until they are born how amazing it is to grow a mini person inside you and see them for the very first time.
I repeated the “I cannot believe she came out of me” line at least 10 times a day when we first brought her home when she was two days old.  She was just perfect and so cute and I just could not stop looking at her. It is so true what they say, all the pain and uncomfortableness is totally worth it.
The journey to become a mum has been a long one for us; we started trying a few months after we got married in 2014.  Initially it was just coming off the pill and then tracking the cycles and hoping we got pregnant.  2015 for us was a tough year suffering three miscarriages, which was such a tough time for us.  I blogged about my experiences as I felt it helped to get the weight of the losses off my chest and hoped that it helped someone out there who was suffering in silence to know they are not alone and we should talk about our children we don’t get to meet.
2016 was going to be a different year for us, we just didn’t know it yet.  We had somehow gotten stronger together through all the pain and the recovering from two “evacuations” and I decided to have a couple months off “trying” to get pregnant.  My headspace wasn’t quite in the place it needed to be and I could not do another two-week wait after ovulating to see if we had conceived. 
After three months I felt it was time to try again and that is when we conceived, on Easter Monday to be exact (TMI).   We had a friends wedding in Bali in the first week of April and we were looking forward to a few days away with friends and I put out of my mind that “we could” be pregnant and for the first time since we started trying actually relaxed, enjoyed myself with eating, drinking and having a great holiday/wedding celebrations.  I just didn’t want to be consumed anymore by getting pregnant; if we were I was happy to wait until we got back home to deal with it.  I wanted to be “normal” and enjoy the cocktails, beers and eating delicious foods that Bali has to offer.  It was the best time ever.
So after Bali I had the two-week wait to see if I got my period.  Normally I have to take the test the day I am due or a few days after for the hormones to be high enough for the pregnancy test to read it as positive.  I did it at 3am in the morning around 4 days before I was due – no idea why – just was awake and needed to pee and had the tests sitting there, I don’t know if I “just knew” or was being my usual stubborn and inpatient self (I would say a mix of the two)!  It was positive! Holy crap I thought, should I wake up Drew and let him know or wait until the morning?  Lets just say that was an early wake up alarm for him, he had NO idea ha-ha and thought it was all a dream – woke up a few hours later asking me “are we pregnant or did I dream that you told me you were?”
The first few weeks I had this strong feeling that everything was going to be ok, that it was our time to have a child and my gut was right as I saw the heartbeat flicker on the screen at the earliest ultrasound ever at 6 weeks 3 days.  My doctor wanted to get on top of things early and ensure all was ok this pregnancy, I didn’t mind and Drew didn’t come to this scan – not sure if he thought it would be too early or if he would just see nothing on the scan moving and it would be like losing our other babies all over again.   I think he needed reassurance that all was ok this time before he would go with me to a scan again, and I cannot blame him.  He came with me a week later to see the same flicker on the screen, our baby this time had a beating heart, we have never gotten this far before!
So pregnancy went well, felt like forever some days, but I really did enjoy being pregnant, even with the afternoon sickness, nausea and hormones making you turn from a mushy lovely wife to a narly cranky cow within seconds.  I embraced it all and just hoped that our little MJ (mini Jones) or babygirl as we called her (I just knew she was a girl) was going to be ok.  We had so many scans throughout the pregnancy because of my age and our history and it was all very reassuring.
That feeling when you see your little baby forming from a dot to a little person on your 10/16/20 week scan is truly the most amazing sight ever. Someone above was looking after our baby girl and us.  I felt her growing inside me and just hoped that she would make it to us ok and I was doing everything I could to provide a safe and healthy environment for her.
Our local gp and midwives at the Royal Hospital for women in Randwick looking after us, we had so many appts, blood tests to make sure all was ok.  I grew bigger and could not wait to feel our baby girl move!  Having an anterior placenta meant that I wouldn’t necessarily feel all her movements or see her arms/legs stick out of my belly as the placenta was in the way.  I enjoyed getting HUGE, I loved my body changing and was so happy to have a healthy and vital pregnancy.  Everything was going well.
July saw my newly started Operations Manager role made redundant at nearly 5 months pregnant and September we were advised that the owners of our unit were selling the property and we had 90 days to move out and find a new home.  They say everything happens at once, I took this as a good sign (gosh I can be SO darn positive sometimes).  I must admit it was a little stressful, but we managed to just take each day as it came and looked at so many different properties every weekend.
Working on a temporary contract at the Powerhouse Museum was perfect for this pregnant mamma to be, great people, friendly and the hours were flexible and the role not too stressful and on top of that we found a nice house (yes house, with grass and no stairs) in the inner west that we moved into and we were back on track.
I could not believe at how fast (and sometimes it felt slow) the year was going.  I was moving slower and walking to and from the train station took me 23mins each way (normally takes 10mins).  I started catching the bus to work and then the train home so Drew could pick me up.  The waddling was hilarious and I could not believe at how slow I had become, I am a fast walker, one of those annoying people that walk so fast they over take everyone on their way past….. the only people I overtook were old ladies with their walking frames and one day I overtook another pregnant woman (yes I did feel bad for feeling awesome for that, she was ready to pop and about 32inches shorter than me)!
Working up until the end of November was perfect my temporary role that started out as a 4-6 weeks lasted me four months! I had a week to myself before my parents arrived from Perth to make sure they didn’t miss the arrival of their FIRST grandchild, in case she came early (I was a prem baby arriving at 32 weeks) and having my folks drive me around was great, especially on those hot days where we would just go and sit in an air-conditioned coffee shop for hours (mixing retired parents with a pregnant woman)! Was great to spend time with them before baby girl arrived and I was hoping she would come early in December and not too close to Christmas.
Being an AMA pregnant mamma (Advanced Maternal Age) meant that the hospital would want me to be induced and not go over my due date to avoid any risks of being an older first time mum.   This was not my choice but I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks.  I hoped and prayed that she would come on her own and when she was good and ready.  She was due on the 20th December and was born on the 20th December after being induced at exactly 40 weeks to the day.  I had been in hospital for two days prior to her being induced to prepare my cervix for delivery as it was NOT ready at all. 
I never wanted to be induced, I hated the idea that my I would not be in control and my body wasn’t going through the birth when it was ready and naturally.  But I embraced that my body is stubborn and I didn’t want to put any risks on either of us and just went with the flow. Babygirl was very happy inside, good to know the environment I created for her was so comfy she just wanted to stay there a bit longer!
After having two procedures – the gel and a balloon catheter to “ripen” my cervix I was finally ready to go to delivery suite from the antenatal ward on the day she was due.  My waters were broken at 815am and I had a couple hours of horrendous contractions coming at irregular times as the midwife Jo tried to control them with the oxytocin drip (synthetic version of the hormone the body produces to go into labour).  I had never felt anything like contractions before and they were not fun at all.  I could not get comfortable and in a good position to prepare for them as they were so irregular being controlled by the drip in my arm.  Jo tried to get them under control but I didn’t want to take it anymore and told her to get the epidural ASAP.
 Three hours was enough, I was only 4cm dilated (2cm had been from the earlier two procedures) and I did NOT fancy doing that for another 10hrs.   The gas made me sick and I didn’t feel in control.   Drew was being amazing support to me and even an assistant to our midwife, helping her with things she needed to prepare me as well as feeding me water and putting cold compresses on my head.  It was nice to feel the effects of the epidural take place and we could both have a rest until it was time for me to deliver our daughter.  So glad I made that decision.  Things got quiet and no-one was stressed, our daughter was getting ready to make her appearance.
It was a bizarre feeling being told that I had to push and I was numb as from the waist down.  I could not believe that in about 20mins I would be meeting my little girl.  Seeing her come out was truly amazing, seeing that little head and her being placed crying on my chest only to be comforted by my warmth was the best thing I have ever experienced in my entire life.  She had gunk all over her but was perfect. 

I am now a mum! I have the most precious girl in the world and she is worth all the growing pains, stretch marks and sleepless nights.  Looking into her eyes I feel so much love, more than I ever could imagine I would feel.  She is our little angel. 




20 October 2016

Feeling very grateful today!


Most days, life is pretty great! No matter what you are dealing with at the moment, remember to stop and appreciate the simple things in life that make you smile. Take time out to just be. Spend time with those who make you smile, eat the chocolate, sleep in, drink all the wine and remember life is what you make it.

At the moment I am going through one of the biggest transformations of my life, being pregnant. It encompasses my everyday with my protruding bump arriving minutes before I do, reminding me of the precious life growing inside me (especially when I misjudge something and bump into things, bump first, sorry little one)! I cherish each day, every movement she makes, the aches and the pains, the sleepless nights, but I also am so very grateful to be pregnant at 42 and being able to grow and nurture our daughter inside me. It really has opened my eyes to life and what is important for me, right now. I cannot imagine what it will be like when she arrives in about 7-9 weeks from now. I know I am happy right where I am, I don't feel like I am missing out on anything as I have truly had the best experiences in life for the past 42years. Ok i might miss sashimi, wine & running yolks.. but they will be back on the menu soon.

I have started noticing many things as my fast walking pace has been replaced by a very, very slow waddle. On my waddles around the place I do notice as people overtake me (frequently) that everyone is all so busy, rush rush, heads stuck in our phones. Obviously I have to be more aware of my surroundings as people just walk into you without looking and this allows me to people watch more (one of my favourite pastimes).

I have noticed children playing, laughter, heard conversations between people walking past and really find it amazing the things I pick up now that I wouldn't of before as I too would of had my head in my phone and my music on to block everything out. Everyone doing what they need to do each day. I recognise the familiar faces I see daily from the buskers in the tunnels at central to the same people I manage to be at the coffee shop with at the same time each day and the friendly faces that smile at me as I huff and puff along.

I was sitting on the train going home the other day and there was a gorgeous sunset and I think I was probably the only one in my carriage that was appreciating the gorgeous skyline and didn't have my head in my phone. I didn't reach for my phone to take a picture either to share on Facebook or Instagram (I know shock horror), I just sat there smiling at the gorgeous red skyline. Truly amazing.

23 September 2016

Overthinking is not good for you!

What goes on in our minds everyday as women!! Sheeesh we seriously have to watch our thoughts!!  Well I do....  Myr thoughts should be monitored, because most of the time they are worrying or stressing about things that are either out of our control or haven't even happened or will not happen.....ugh.  

Blaming the pregnancy hormones I have been a bit anxious this week as our baby girl starting moving quite a bit and I got super excited, so when she didn't move as much I started stressing like nothing else (which apparently is not good for you either ahem).   So I spent a couple nights this week just obsessing with my large tummy begging her to move.  She moved when she normally did when I was lying down sleeping around midnight and 5am but apparently I wanted MORE and made a special trip to go see my GP today to listen to baby girl's heartbeat.  Which was perfectly fine, strong and LOUD.  I knew somewhere in my gut that all was ok, so why didn't i listen to that and to the voice in my head that was making me super anxious.

After some happy tears (from Dr Z and myself) and a big hug I left the GP with a prescription for my asthma medication (because it is in a box somewhere after our move last week) and made me feel like I had a reason to go see my GP hey.... she said come everyday if you want and I will be more than happy to listen to her heartbeat!  Aww bless.  

So I am normal apparently. Being nearly 7 months pregnant I have connected with my little girl and of course I was going to worry if i had just an inkling of something could be wrong. 

So it was ok to worry a little (hah a lot) and so glad I went in and checked things out to be on the safe side and now I feel so much more relaxed and after the nice walk back from Hyde Park, I treated myself to a delicious beef burger (from Create cafe at the Powerhouse museum) and a banana milkshake - because they taste effing amazing & I am sure there is some goodness in the milk that will be absorbed by Jones Junior! You know calcium for strong bones and all that jazz......

So, happy mamma means happy bubba -  back to my yoga breathing and meditation each night to relax myself and control the thoughts, because they are not good for you.  I need more peace and calm in my body.  Trusting the gut is imperative and I would never ignore something major if it happened, but good to know that I have my gp on my side and a very supportive hubby who lets me just be me, all large, swollen, achy and hormonal and he still loves me! 

Winner winner chicken dinner.   



14 September 2016

Going with the flow!

Life surely is bizarre.  I am a big believer of everything happens at the right time and this year has been no exception.  Pregnant for the fourth time with our first viable pregnancy is bloody exciting, tiring, scary and effing amazing (all can be experienced in one day).  The last 26 weeks surely has been a roller coaster ride whilst growing our baby girl #jonesjnr, filled with interesting cravings, plenty of nanna naps, emotions, hormones and morning/afternoon/evening sickness.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

2016 started off with a new job, moving out from the EA space and moving into management. Was an exciting time, working for a fundraising company and had two staff reporting into me and was excited to be learning new skills and put my highly organised skills to the test to see how I could be the best Operations Manager I could possibly be.  Six months into the role, it was made redundant due to restructure. That is cool shite happens right, everything will work out and to be honest in hindsight probably was the best thing to happen as I am now working at the Powerhouse museum in a great EA role temporarily and I am feeling relaxed and less stressed than I was before, which can only be good when one is growing another human inside her hey? My gut told me it was the right thing, I learnt so much and I look forward to exploring that space again after the arrival of baby Jones.

We had talked about moving house when we found out we were pregnant back in April, then decided to stay put because we love our apartment and the area and were already so settled and coming up to four years in our place..... then the owners wanted to "pop-in" and have a look at the property.......................... alarm bells ringing please, you only do that if you want to SELL! Bingo two weeks later we were given 90 days - so a temporary job and having to find a new place whilst pregnant at 42, yes this is how I imagined my life in my 20's, haha, bring it.

So we have literally JUST moved, we found a great HOUSE with a backyard and NO stairs (why did I think stairs would be good at our old place hey, in denial I was) and I am just going with the flow.  Trying to pack up the house when nearly 7 months pregnant was not fun at all, so tiring and I was extremely frustrated at how LITTLE I could physically and mentally do.  Thank god my husband has taken it in his stride and just got things done, what a legend. Definitely won the lotto there peeps. I of course did the admin side of things with moving Foxtel, AGL, changing our addresses on bills and ensuring our first food shop is delivered to fill our fridge and pantry with food noms. Normally I would of unpacked the kitchen and gotten all my clothes organised - last night I ordered thai for dinner and made the bed (after sorting out the fur cat in the spare room). That was plenty and off to bed I went at 8:30pm!  Even today I am not overthinking what I need to do, just will see what I feel like doing.  What is going on! 

2015 taught me that shit happens and you just have to go with the flow the universe gives you. It has reminded me that yes change happens and it can lead to much better things, to never look back and ponder "what if" and to deal with the card you are being handed right this very second because you never know where it may lead you.    I have a feeling this will come in handy with a newborn also - as they aren't able to be project managed and organised!!  I look forward to see how that pans out in 3 months time!  

Less stress on oneself is important, lower expectations and just do what you can :) sometimes is the best approach. It feels good.


6 September 2016

Spring is here & a smoothie recipe to try!

If the sneezing hasn't alerted you, spring is here!  I do love this time of the year, when you don't feel the chill in the air most mornings/evenings and the sun feels so nice and warm, but not too hot on your skin. You can sleep with a window open a little and you may even think about swapping the duvet or your wardrobe over to summer attire (that might be getting a little ahead of myself), it is only day SIX! 

The food we consume changes as the months get warmer, swapping stodgy warm comforting meals for more fresh fruits, salads, smoothies.  I feel like my body craves foods it hasn't eaten since last spring! My current craving is watermelon! I cannot get enough :) I have it with yoghurt, on it's own, in smoothies, delish!  So refreshing and the daily weather hasn't even gone about 22 degrees yet for more than a day at a time! 

I look forward to sharing some spring recipes I have been wanting to try and some other nutritious yummy healthy foods as the month gets warmer!

Normally I would be excited to exercise more outdoors and start planning all the fabulous walks/runs that Sydney has to offer during the warmer months, but with baby Jones due in 3 months time I am intrigued to see how the warmer weather treats my body & mind in the coming weeks.  I am excited the outdoor pools are now open so I can transfer my swimming from inside pools to the great feeling of an outdoor pool.  Ahhh. I have my maternity bathers at the ready!  Walking will be more an earlier task than later due to the warmer weather and carrying around a watermelon shaped tummy!

Looking forward to more beach walks and yoga classes outdoors as bump gets bigger and I ensure I keep my body moving to help with the arrival of Baby Jones. 

Here is a recipe that I am super keen to try - sounds delish!







2 September 2016

#ilovebeingpregnant

#ilovebeingpregnant is my hashtag for today – I jokingly say this when I am tired, cranky, moody and just want to go home and curl up in the foetal position, eat something with cheese in it and watch trashy tv,  I am loving being pregnant nonetheless just having a loooong day/week. 

I have joined a couple Facebook pregnancy forums and they are fantastic for asking those questions that you don’t want to trouble your partner or others with and everyone has a good chat, says their opinions and you all don’t care as you are all fat, hormonal and in the same boat.  Bizarre club to be in, but loving it all the same. 

The one main thing I have noticed creeps into the discussions all the time is weight gain & weight loss in pregnancy (oh I havent gained anything this pregnancy and am so happy etc).  I thought since we are growing another human inside us “most” of us wouldn’t be too worried about the weight gain, especially for those who are having second or third children, but there is still that bloody stigma attached to “how much weight” is being gained in the pregnancy and when baby is born time to drop the “baby weight”.    I feel this is a very unhealthy state of mind, so much attached to getting back to your perfect body after baby - you have just grown a full size person in there.... what do you expect?

There is definitely a healthy weight gain in pregnancy and unhealthy range for sure – but I feel some are trying to drop weight whilst they are pregnant which is just dumbfounding me.  Unless you are cranking it on the scales, risking gestational diabetes etcand eating like nothing else, than let your body just do its thing.  There is eating well when pregnant but also just eating what gets you through the days sometimes is OK! 

I understand that your body is now not entirely your own to do as you please – I get that and some ladies feel like they aren't ready to make the changes with eating and exercising etc! My body  has changed so much it is amazing, I am in awe of the way my boobs have gone from a small C to nearly a DD and how my hips and waist have totally expanded to grow our little girl.  I still feel so blessed to be carrying our child and I really am not thinking too much about the weight gain side of things or making sure I eat super “clean” all the time.  When you are feeling nauseous trust me the last thing you want is broccoli or something healthy, you want toast and you want it NOW!!  Salty chips from McDonald’s for about five weeks I needed at least twice a week to keep my afternoon sickness at bay. 

I have for the first time in my life EVER reached triple digits on the scales and am not an obsessed diet/exercise mess.  I am probably the calmest ever about my weight.  I feel (majority of the time) healthy and happy, despite some aches and pains that are associated with growing a mini me, I am feeling content being 101.5kgs. I am very happy with the 6kgs I have put on in 24 weeks, baby is right on target growth wise.

 I don’t know if it is the fact that I put on most of the weight last year after suffering three miscarriages and my body went through something I would never wish upon anyone, hormones and depression, this led me to go from a healthy 78-81kgs to 94kgs when I got pregnant this time is the reason why I am not letting myself get too obsessed with crazy diets.  I was tired, lethargic and couldn’t imagine going to the gym after my third loss and majority of that was the depression and feeling so empty and lost. I was in a dark place and just wanted to hide away from the world.  Having a few months off not trying was great, I got back into swimming, walking and yoga and then Easter weekend fell pregnant with our little #jonesjnr.  I was probably the strongest mentally I have been in a very, very long time. Obsessing about weight is time consuming and draining.  I had come to terms with the fact I was heavier than I had been and that is ok.

I will say I admire those who have the energy to keep going to the gym and training throughout their pregnancy as I have definitely relaxed in that department and I do wish that I could have gotten to a lighter weight before getting pregnant again, but here we are. I love my bump. I love that my body can grow a person and just as I thought I would, am enjoying being pregnant. 

The posts on the Facebook group made me realise just how content I am.  My eating habits have changed so much and I don’t have to stress or think about what I am eating, I am just enjoying eating a range of foods and exercising daily.  Some days I walk for over an hour, I have gotten back into doing yoga a couple times a week and LOVING the swimming pool.   

 I look forward to continuing this healthy journey through the rest of my pregnancy and into motherhood.


2 August 2016

20 weeks today!!

Had my 20 week check up with one of the Doctors at the Royal Hospital for Women - I am able to go back to my midwife for the next appointments, yay!! No concerns from the doctor (who reminded me so much of Nina from Offspring). Heard the heartbeat today which still amazes me! Cannot wait for our little girl to start kicking me!

140 days to go apparently until my little bundle is due to arrive and meet us.  To get this far in the pregnancy is truly amazing, it is everything I thought it would be and I am loving my bump so much.  Even during the nausea, afternoon sickness, all day heartburn phase I was so happy. I would feel miserable but have a smile on my face (most of the time anyways). Because those signs meant I was having a healthy pregnancy.

We have had five scans to date. The first one was at 8 weeks as my doctor (god love her) was paranoid about how things were going after our three miscarriages last year.  When she suggested getting a scan I thought it would be a good idea to ease my mind also.  We had decided not to tell anyone, not even family, until we saw a heartbeat on the scan.  Well I saw a heartbeat at the 8 week scan, and we had another one booked for the week/10 days after so Drew could see the heartbeat also, was so amazing to see the little flicker of life.  We had quite a harsh Russian sonographer who was not happy at all that I was getting another scan in such a short timeframe as she was concerned I wouldn’t see anything else due to the scan the week before, once I told her it was purely so Drew could see the heartbeat she had a big grin on her face and showed us the flickering signs of life.

Then we continued on with normal scans at 12, 16 & 20 weeks.  NIPT testing at 16 weeks (for Down syndrome and chromosome testing which included finding out the sex of our little girl), all came back good.  Morphology scan at 19 weeks (for 20 weeks) to check the heart, brain, lungs, limbs, spine & kidneys etc, a very thorough scan and it was truly unbelievable to see the valves in the heart working, all four chambers were perfect.   Love that our sonographer showed us everything as she checked our little girl, still love that sonographer (told her I loved her at my 16 week scan) am sure I am not the first to do so.  I just loved how the sonographer would give our little girl a nudge to move her into the position she needed her to be in to complete her checks.

Nothing prepares you for seeing that little bundle up on the screen.  To see her all comfy and moving her arms and legs around, we cry every time.  It is just so beautiful to see our little creation and I still find it hard to believe she is inside me, even with my protruding bump!  We are waiting ever so patiently to feel our little girl’s first kicks, I cannot believe I am waiting to feel something kick me from inside!  I have felt small flutters and movement but nothing that can be felt by touching by belly. 

We have enjoyed sharing our baby news on social media with a little “Coming Soon” piccie and a few scan piccies too:

13 week scan

18 week bump shot

19 week ultrasound scan

 Our announcement on Instagram/Facebook