Sunday, November 28, 2010


Sorry folks, been a little distracted.
Introducing the peanut...her earth name shall be Quinn.
More blogging to come, but I'm afraid I get a little distracted staring, sniffing, smiling, crying, laughing, marvelling, gazing and adoring my very own little human.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Thursday was my birthday and my birthday wish was for the peanut to arrive before the weekend is out. It is 10.30 on Saturday morning, and apart from the now constant Braxton Hicks that accompany me wherever I go, it is showing no signs of obliging its mother’s request.
Why aren’t I using this time to write the next great Australian novel? I never have enough time to do all the writing I want, and here I’ve been handed the rarest of gifts – time to use however I choose – and I spend it doing online research into pressure points to induce labour, reading articles debating whether raspberry tea really works and whether or not nipple tweaking is a good idea. For the record, sitting on the couch playing with my nipples for hours at a time (as the study suggested) doesn’t strike me as a particularly good use of time. If however, you can incorporate it with another labour inducing suggestion of rigorous sex well then, that would be a fine way to while away the hours indeed.
All you parents out there are probably shaking your heads and thinking; ‘how frivolous she is. If only I had that time again I’d wash the curtains, alphabetise the dvd collection, and finally get around to crocheting that table cloth.’ Lucky for me we don’t have curtains, or dvd’s for that matter and I could only manage to crochet if I’d been locked in a room for a decade with no other stimulus provided.
I do walk. Ten kilometers in fact, and depending on where the baby is sitting, it can take anywhere from one hour to nearly two. (The lower the baby’s head, the shorter and more awkward my gait. I look like one of those old Asian ladies you see in 70’s films). The other day I even managed to jog. 
Jogging is defined by a period of time where both feet are off the ground simultaneously and while this wasn’t necessarily that comfortable, nor I am sure that pretty for those around me who viewed it, it felt fantastic. Abso-bloody-lutely fantastic. I cannot wait to get back out there again, the theme song from Chariots of Fire running through my mind as I stride (or more accurately plod I imagine) around the streets of Sydney, the sweat slicking off my arms, the sun cream mixing with the salt, the familiar burn in my calves as I force myself up the next hill.
Call me crazy, but apart from the obvious of falling more in love with the human we’ve created and getting to know it and spending hours just staring at it and all that, the single thing I am most looking forward to, is tying on my sneakers and going for a run. I’ve run probably on average 4 times a week since I was four years old. That’s a lot of distance. It’s my therapy. My anti-anxiety drug. And it works too – when I was desperate and poor in New York City, lonely in outback Australia, rained on in London, heartbroken in middle America, homesick in Santa Monica, everything was better when I got back from a run.
But for now, I’ll placate myself with a walk. A poor second but it’s the best I can do until this baby of mine decides to come out and meet its anxious parents. If you’re a runner, have a jog for me…

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I can now almost doze through the Braxton Hicks.
Braxton Hicks, for those of you who’ve asked, are fake contractions. Apparently all women get them and you can have them for months and months, but I only started to become aware of them when they started to HURT. Who cares what happens if I can’t feel it? 
Braxton Hicks are like a dress rehearsal before opening night. But I’m beginning to think my stage partner and I are dreadfully over prepared. We’ve had a couple of ‘ten out of twelves’ (ten hours of rehearsal in one twelve hour period) but Union rules demand that you can only have two of those, and we’ve had three at least and gone over ten hours each time. Where’s my compensation for that huh? We’ve also had several tech runs, and although I’ve assured the peanut that the rest of the crew knows exactly what they’re doing, it insists on re-running every detail, except – of course – for the main event. Costume fitting and dress rehearsal are done, (bags are packed and ready by the front door) tickets are sold out and people from the waiting list keep calling to see when they can come and I’ve turned down other contracts so I can really focus on this role.
Back on the Braxtons, it’s not the greatest sleep I’ll admit, when every few minutes you get awoken by a gradual tightening in your abdomen that runs from just under your boobs all the way down to your notcha (not your girls bits and not your back bits) or perineum if you prefer the professional term. A tightening that starts out seemingly quite harmless, but quickly makes you feel that there is not in fact enough room for the human inside, causing everything to press forward and down, compressing all internal organs and stretching any exterior flesh. My stomach feels like its trying to return to its previous non-pregnant size without accounting for the three kilo human currently residing there.
I told you, I am a professional pre-labourer.
I’ve tried it all – hot chilies, sex, walks, raspberry leaf capsules, pressure points, talking to the peanut…about the only thing we haven’t tried is castor oil and that’s because deliberately initiating diarrhoea amidst all the other bodily functions that now have a life of their own seems hazardous indeed.
Patience has never been my strong suit. Saying ‘any day now’ to a kid like me is the proverbial red flag to a bull. Plus I’m also starting to get…dare I say it…bored. I’m not a wait-er, I’m a do-er. And if we don’t do this thing soon…oh what am I saying, if we don’t do this thing soon, I’ll just wait longer. What choice do I have? I’m not the one in charge.


It was a hot day, but still too early in the season for the water to have warmed up to any comfortable degree. I was so cold my hands hurt, but I think I stayed in so long because it felt fabulous to be weightless.
On the down side, I may have shocked the peanut so badly it now figures that if this is what it's like on the outside, it is staying exactly where it is thank you very much.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


What do you think of this posting people?
Personally, I'm so proud of my enhanced mammary glands, I'm going to bust 'em out any chance I get. Even if the peanut isn't hungry.
And it's summertime folks, perfect for low cut tops and plunging necklines.
Maybe you can't relate, but you're dealing with a girl who (up until now) barely made it out of training bras.
This is my time people, myyyyyyyyyyyyyyy time!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


“Are you a natural redhead?” asked the woman in the shoe shop. I nodded my reply. “You’d better be careful then. Redheads have difficulty clotting. I nearly bled out and had to have three transfusions when I gave birth.”
WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? What part of someone’s brain thinks; ‘gee, this woman looks ready to pop. I could':
a/ignore her pregnant state since she is a total stranger and I’ll never see her again in my entire life anyway.
b/offer words of encouragement, or tell her she looks great even if she more accurately resembles a bloated, puffy, fluid retaining whale or
c/consider scaring her stupid with my tale of childbirth, which is slightly embellished because I’ve already told her how I’m still harbouring some resentment over having to give up a career in marketing to be closer and more accessible to the kids who caused me to haemorrhage in the first place.
I know, I’ll pick c.
My husband calls me a conversation igniter and while sympathetic to my experience, feels that if I could just stop encouraging the dialogue and shut people down before they got going, I wouldn’t end up in these conversations in the first place.
But who says things like that anyway I ask you? Have they no sensibilities at all? 
Some of my friends have opined that as it is most likely the single and greatest endurance event these women have ever been through, they feel the need to relive their glory (or gory) day with anyone in or about to join the club. 
Now I’m not dismissing the difficulty of this upcoming activity, in fact, all these horror stories are beginning to destroy my optimism that I will make it through at all, but I would just like to point out that over 75% of women in the world give birth completely unassisted and with no medical support whatsoever. 
Although, on closer consideration, I’ll have to find that statistic again, because now I’m not sure if it had a clause about redheads…

Monday, November 8, 2010


“You know when you smoke a joint,” says a woman to me in front of her two children at the local cafĂ© this weekend, “that’s how you’ll feel twenty-four hours before you go into labour. That’s how you know you’re going to have your baby.”
Has absolutely anybody else in the universe experienced this twenty-four hour utopia? Because not a single, solitary person has ever mentioned it to me apart from this complete stranger. And I looked it up in the books too – doesn’t exist there either. Now, I’m not saying she’s wrong, every woman’s journey is their own, (I learned that in baby school) I’m just wondering if, now that she is the mother of two, she remembers her childless days only as a hazy, euphoric wonderland in comparison to the sleep deprived, demanding, relentless existence she currently inhabits.
Not that it sounds bad mind you. After the peanut’s second practice run, I would quite prefer twenty-four hours of chilled-out bliss in comparison to the pacing, breathing, exhausting efforts of two nights ago.
Whatever happens, we are following the peanut’s agenda. As I suspect we may be for quite some time…

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The peanut ran another practice session last night – unrelenting Braxton Hicks from 5pm until 6am whereupon its mother fell into a restless sleep until 8.30 before fronting up at the hospital for our midwife visit. Encouragingly, the midwife said all this practicing could make for an efficient labour, and that the effacement (that’s headbutt in the clacker for us laymen) is a good sign the peanut is getting ready to move out. She also said I did exactly the right thing in dealing with them - all I did was breathe and try to rest which wasn’t too hard since they are the two activities I would have been doing at three am had the peanut not interrupted me anyway. And so we continue to wait – we are on peanut time – and I have given myself the project of finding us somewhere to live. That’s right folks, we will be moving with a newborn…or else living on the streets with a newborn, as our lack of credit and nonexistent rental history (owing to my extended time away and Gregory’s foreign status) are proving a little problematic. Not even turning up pregnant and waddling seems to be getting me the sympathy vote. Hopefully the two eviction notices – ours and mine to the peanut – will not arrive simultaneously. May you all be having more success with your schedules than we are with ours!


I wrote this at the beginning of this marathon towards motherhood, and it was published on an internet magazine this week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Stand by for updates. That’s how I finished my last blog. I certainly hope you haven’t been doing that literally, or you’d have very tired feet by now. The peanut is showing no further signs of imminent arrival than it was the other day. On Monday the professionals told us ‘any day now’ which I’m sure is to make sure people like us scurry about the city, madly installing baby capsules, purchasing mattress protectors, cleaning the house and getting their eyelashes tinted (that was just me actually, because red heads don’t have eyelashes so we need a little artificial assistance. Normally I go for a bit of mascara, but after what could be eighteen hours of labour, I sincerely doubt there will be any left on my lashes, and forever immortalising me with black streaks down my entire face in the first pictures of the peanut’s life is not going to look good now or at the peanut’s twenty-first birthday).
Apparently the peanut is just practicing. If this keeps up, I’ll be an expert for my first labour before I ever go through it. I can now walk ten k’s with constant Braxton Hicks, eat through nausea, (lets face it, going into an endurance event on an empty stomach is just foolish) and sleep through extreme back pain. I am a professional pre-labour-er.
Is this an indicator of the peanut’s personality? Is it a planner? Someone who can’t do anything spontaneous because it hasn’t been rehearsed. Or maybe it’s a joker, someone who likes to mess with your head and let you know who’s in charge. It could be a nervous Nelly and just needs to feel reassured it has done everything it can to prepare for the event. Perhaps it has trust issues already and doubts its mother’s ability to bring it through. Or maybe it’s a stickler for details and is following pregnancy protocol as finitely as if it were reading one of my books.
I don’t know. Though I suppose I will soon enough if I believe the professionals. So far they haven’t steered me wrong. It's just that ‘any day now’ is a bit too ambiguous for a redheaded Scorpio like me. Fiery, passionate, impatient and determined. That’s us. We like to be the ones in charge. The thing is, if the peanut arrives within the next few weeks that’s exactly what it will be too…

Monday, November 1, 2010


Have any of you ever been head butted in the vagina? 
I have, and despite it causing you to stop what you’re doing and cock your leg at an awkward angle like a dog over a bush, it is still preferable to doing your taxes. I know, as of yesterday they’re overdue, but surely if anything gets you off having your taxes done on time, it’s impending childbirth. And I really doubt the Australian taxation office is going to chase down someone who earned below the poverty line. Again. I have more in claims than I do in earnings.
Doing taxes is so excruciatingly painful for me, that half the time I can’t even be bothered putting in all my deductions because that just makes the whole process take longer. I will willingly miss out on money because sitting in front of a computer, adding up how much I spent on stationary causes my eyes to water then glaze over entirely, my brain to cease any independent thought and I hear a low humming in my ears.
I would rather go through labour than do my taxes. And that’s a wish that just might come true rather sooner than we thought apparently. The baby is engaged, (hence the head butting on the clacker) the Braxton Hicks are more present than not and gathering momentum as I type, and several other less savoury systems have kicked into action too. (It’s messy this childbirth gig. Lots of leaking and unidentifiable liquid presenting itself at inopportune times and making you rather nervous you might embarrass yourself in public).
The bags are packed…sort of. I’ve got some clothes sitting out on the couch with sundry other items like wheat packs, dried prunes, (constipation after pushing a human out from between my legs sounds like something I’d rather avoid if you don’t mind) enough sensible undies to supply a private girls’ school and a charged camera. I’d say we’re ready. As ready as we’re ever going to be given that no one is actually qualified to raise a human. Stand by for updates people, the peanut is getting closer.
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