Hospital Stay

Having a new baby makes doing anything (ok everything) more difficult.  Having three children, one at school, is an absolute hand full.  The day I came home from hospital, I was wishing that I had stayed longer, because they take care of things like meals and cleaning, and I didn’t have to do very much.

But then I remembered what it was like being in hospital.

For starters, labour sucked.  I mean, it was REALLY painful.  To be fair, that isn’t the fault of the hospital.  Mostly it was about me, and my inability to handle the huge amounts of pain I was in, partly from being already very tired, but mostly because, well, it’s a huge amount of pain.  I’ll spare you the details, but it felt a little like this:

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There is no labour, only Zuul.

Once that was all dealt with, and I had a wonderful, healthy little baby, I was still very tired.  Suddenly the little things that usually just irritate me, began to grate on my nerves at a whole new level.

There is the hospital attitude to linen.  I can understand with newborn babies, the need to swaddle.

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See? Makes sense.

New babies like to be swaddled.  New mothers, however do not.

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I’d press the call button, but I can’t move my arms.

As if being strapped down by bed linen isn’t bad enough, the toilet paper in my bathroom was installed to run down the far side of the roll, against the wall.  This is an abomination.

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YOU’RE KILLING ME!!

But the thing that stands out most is the interruptions.  I was there for about 48 hours, during which time I should have slept for at least 16 hours.  I think I may have managed 14 minutes in total.  I wish I was exaggerating.  It wasn’t because of any noise.  (Not like last time).  But because of constant interruptions.

There was the nurse who kept coming in to ask if I had been to the bathroom yet.

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She will lose that enthusiasm when I tell her what I think of the toilet paper situation.

Then the people related to the new mother in the next bed, who kept passing me by and peering in.

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They were super excited. And apparently unaware of the notion of peace and quiet. Or privacy. Or coloured fabrics.

The ritual of the breakfast tray lady, ridiculously punctual, serving breakfast at the crack of dawn.

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GOOOOOOD Morning Sunshine!

By this point I was trailing a sleep deficit of about 3 weeks, due to the end of pregnancy generally sucking and pre-labour going on for the two days prior to labour actually kicking off.  Eventually I cracked under the strain of fatigue.  I asked the midwives to take my baby to the nursery where they would mind her for a few hours, so that I could get a little rest.

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I want it back in one piece, you hear me?!

This apparently prompted more people to ooze out of the woodwork.  Like the nurse who came in 20 minutes later, JUST AS I WAS FALLING ASLEEP, and said “I’ll just give you this before you take your nap”.

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I named her “Nurse Deathwish”

Apparently word of my nap was getting around, because she was followed by another midwife who wanted to see if I needed any pain killers (paracetamol, sadly, not the cool ones) in order to help me sleep.

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Actually, yes, can I please have 500mg of Get The Hell Out Of My Room?

Curiously-Prompt Lunch Lady then came back.

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Seriously, is there a queue outside my door?

At which point the midwife brought back my baby because she was starting to get hungry.

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OH FOR THE LOVE OF – oh it’s you.

Well, that was thoroughly pointless.

Later in the day, a midwife asked how I was feeling, and I said “tired.”  I saw no reason to hesitate.  She said “we could mind your baby in the nursery for a while if you like, to let you get some peace and quiet.”  I said, honestly, “the baby isn’t the problem.”.  I did not take up the offer, I couldn’t bear to get my hopes up again.

However the day ended well, and eventually there was one interruption I was very pleased about.

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That sound you hear is my heart melting.

Although I never did get a wink of sleep in that hospital.

Nearing Due Date

I’m now 37.5 weeks pregnant.  This means when someone (aka everyone) asks me “how long to go?” I can honestly say “any day now!”  I even say it cheerfully, because nobody likes a downer.

But honestly, between the unending braxton hicks “practice” contractions and an element of apprehension while waiting for the “real” contractions, I have decided that the waiting game sucks.

Sometimes people say “you must be sick of it by now” (oh yes, indeed I am).  Usually women say this.  Women who have had children.  Because let’s face it, pregnancy does drag on for an insane amount of time.

I’m lucky that I am the kind of person who can keep myself busy.  But not this close to the due date.  I don’t want to start anything new, can’t really plan anything, don’t want to book myself in for anything, and don’t even really want to venture too far from home, in case I end up labouring in, say, a shopping centre, or a swamp full of gnats, leeches and crocodiles somewhere.  Or god forbid, a shopping centre full of gnats, leeches and crocodiles.  *shudder*.  (Well, this IS Australia.  Things happen.)

So to distract my terrible imagination from wearing me down, I try to keep as busy as can be.  I’ve done the usual things, assembled the change table and cot, washed all the baby linen (twice!), filled in endless amounts of relevant and/or outstanding paperwork for just about everything under the sun.  And now the urgent, difficult, relevant things are done.

This leaves me with little option but to FIND things to do.  Often far out of balance to what still needs to be done.  And at the expense of regular tasks.

Like sweeping the back yard concrete.

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Can’t remember the last time I swept indoors though. Huh.

There are times when my energy levels are so high I actually accomplish nothing, because I’m racing around manically, from task to task, my extreme-multitasking skills about as organised as a balloon in a tornado.

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Always followed by bouts of fatigue. So a *kind* of balance is achieved.

During the low points, I have trouble entertaining myself, because everything I do seems to trigger an oxytocin-induced sob-fest.  Even TV.  No, especially TV.

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Pictured: pregnant person watching advert for tax accountants

Generally these mood swings elicit the comfort response in others.  This rarely goes the way they expect.

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That’s right, Sunshine, back away slowly. And don’t come back until you have burritos.

Between all this, the usual functions of the day are also skewed out of recognition.  So much so that it’s like being back in the first trimester of pregnancy again.  Some days you can’t get enough to eat, others you do nothing more than play with your food.

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One of these two will NOT be getting any dessert this evening.

The main feature of the last few weeks, however, has been my renewed interest and energy in long-forgotten projects that have been outstanding since before we moved house.

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Never get so much done as when you forget you have kids.

But the due date looms closer and I am running out of distractions.  Which is probably just as well, because I am also increasingly dizzy as the days go by.

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I want to sit down, but I have forgotten how to chair. Or how to gravity, for that matter.

So I have my fingers crossed that this will all be behind me soon, because I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.  And I am fairly sure that the family are just as sick of it as I am.

So with any luck the next post will be about a brand new baby (girl or boy, we just don’t know).  Because it really is going to be any day now…

Sleepy

So very tired today.  Lately, one child won’t fall asleep, the other won’t stay asleep.  So I’m awake for countless hours of the night, exhausted and staggering about like the town drunk during the day.  So many things to do, and so little time left in which to do them!

Tomorrow, the kids are in day care for half the day, and I’m trying to narrow down my list to the essentials that I can’t do with the kids around, which is pretty much everything.  I’m also trying to prioritise what HAS to be done versus what I WANT to get done.

Obviously, toy shopping is a high priority at this time of year.

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Mental note: when sleeping on toy shelf, pick the one with the stuffed animals on it.

But I do worry that I’ve already done enough of that, and the remaining money could be better spent.  You have to draw the line somewhere.

So then I thought about how people always say you should do something for yourself now and then, and I usually forget that, and thought about getting a pregnancy massage.

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Ah, sweet mmmmmf zzmffmzzzzz.

But again, I worried about the expense.  So next on my list is cleaning the house, which is filthy at this point.  My floors are actually crunchy.

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Ah, sweet sleep sweep. My favourite.

Cleaning really should be a priority at this point.   Except that I can do housework any time, whether the kids are here or not, so it’s not really a good use of day care.  So I considered the things that need to be done, but can’t be done with the kids around.  Like driving the car to the mechanic for a check up.  I can walk back from there, so long as I don’t have kids with me.

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OK this is just plain wrong.

The downside of this option is glaringly obvious.  Also if it’s a warm day I probably wouldn’t even get so far as to start the ignition.  I would likely just pass out from cozy-warm-car-ness upon first contact.

So I thought about the things I would do if I wasn’t doing anything.  Generally, that means computer games.  Something along the lines of Sim-Civ-World Domination – Apocalypse Edition.

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When I wake up my face will look like a waffle.

Downside, time goes so quickly, and I am guaranteed to feel like I totally squandered my entire day.  So I thought about doing something not too expensive that I wouldn’t normally do, but that would be reasonably relaxing and rewarding.

What the heck am I doing. I don't even like popcorn.

What the heck am I doing. I don’t even like popcorn.

And I have reached the conclusion that ultimately what I need to do with my time tomorrow is take a BIG LONG NAP.

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YIPES!! What time is it?! When do I have to collect the kids?!

aaaand cue the pregnancy insomnia.