this morning i gave birth by c-section to our darling 5th child - a BOY!
Lachlan Bud Mason.
and here he is - my cute, worried old little man!
for those very close to me, you've been waiting along with us for the good news for some time. well its great news!
HE IS IN PERFECT HEALTH. 7lb 6oz. the largest of my 5 babies! he is so very sweet, a tiny bit of hair fuzz & fair like his 4 sisters. beautiful. and we are in love yet again.
anyway, now that the long wait is over and he is finally here, i want to share our wonderful news with everyone else. i've been so nervous the entire pregnancy but its all, so far, SO good!
these next few days in hospital will of course be a bit full on. already missing my girlies. jeff will spend most of his time at home with them, bringing them in just a few times for new baby brother visits, they all met him as soon as we came out of theatre/recovery today [pics to come]. and with a little help from our mums & my sister, jeff will also manage tiny visits for some father & son bonding but of course we won't all be together as a family of 7 for a few days.
because i'll be on my own [not like 1st baby days when dad stays in!] i'll have to make sure i'm getting sleep in between feeds to help get over my surgery as quick as i can. so i look forward to catching up with everyone else once we are home & settled, and to show off my new fave son of course [i can say that, i only have one son]. i really am very much looking forward to coming home & getting into routine from day one. time will tell how i go with that!
Bud... where does bud come from? well, this name has been on hold pretty much since Jeff & I got married and started working out names for our future children. Jeff loved it instantly because there's a train reference 'bud car' & he is a big train loving nerd. i love it because my dad has always called me & my siblings, mostly my brothers but at times, my sister and i too, 'bud' as an affectionate nickname - he only then needs to remember one name for all of us LOL. and of course bud fits in well too, with the middle name 'flower' theme that we have going on with our girls: poppy, daisy, bluebell & blossom and now our little bud. i suspect, lachlan and lachy will be quickly overlooked by all and he will be affectionately known as 'bud' to all. our littlest buddy, 'bud'. i think its adorable and will be a cool name for him at all ages & stages of his life.
lastly... i've been keeping snippets of our secret journey in my draft blog journal. finally now that he is here safe, i feel brave & reassured enough to publish, so here it is, for those that enjoy reading my ramblings....
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today i had an ultrasound. a special ultrasound. i have a little boy growing inside my belly. imagine that, a boy! my darling fifth and final human child, a boy! of course people say "never say never" but we are most happy, extremely busy already & will be very content with 5 children. through all the trials & tribulations i've had already in my life, health wise, to say 'my 5 children,' well i just never ever thought that could or would be possible. way way more than i ever imagined.
but here we are. growing number 5.
nobody will get to read this of course until after he is born and safely in our arms. i'm just too nervous & anxious to reveal our good fortune to whoever might be reading. a bit of self preservation i guess. i don't like walking through life with a huge weight on my shoulders in case things don't work out and i then have to at some point, come clean and share my pain & grief. i can't do that again. i announced my twin pregnancy after waiting until the appropriate & safe time only to find out the grim future of one of my babies. sharing that journey was important to do, it was good therapy but it was terrifying. we didn't know the end of that story. thank God, it ended ok. i'm just not sure i could have coped if it did not end positively. and of course my chelsea's story is not over, hopefully it continues to be a brilliant story for a very very long time, but her journey healthwise will always be an ongoing journey for her. we have just passed the initial big hurdles.
so here right now, its just my immediate family and a very few close friends [who I couldn't hide the enormous bulge from any longer] that are travelling this journey with us. i have successfully avoided being present publicly [apart from school] with the whole next layer of friends, crafty people, extended family etc.... i am certainly not trying to be sneaky, but just maintain some privacy. if everybody knows, then i know i will feel enormous pressure [more than i already put on myself] until the baby comes. will the baby be ok? how will my kidney hold up? the heart, this little boys precious heart.... will there be problems? well all of that is churning in my brain constantly. and thats enough pressure.
whilst i don't want to wish the time away, i am desperate to hold this little baby in my arms, know he's healthy and then proudly and with great relief, announce his arrival to the world [or my dear little reading group anyway]!
so until that day, i'll keep this post in draft and record snippets as we go along on our journey.... me, our new son, the girls little baby brother, this tiny new soul that will complete our family.
waiting to fall pregnant with georgia & carry her to term seemed to take an eternity. well i guess 8 years IS a very long time. but with 3 more after, in reasonably quick succession, we were almost expecting that this little jellybean would come quite soon after commencing fertility treatment again. it took 8 months. that 8 months seemed like 8 years... granted we were keeping my treatment a complete secret from absolutely everyone at that point and therefore lugging 4 kids by myself almost daily, at unGodly hours [before kindy] for bloods, scans etc every cycle for 8 months. it took its toll and made it seem far more an ordeal than all those years trying for our first. but just when i needed it most and had the least expectation since treatment commenced, we got that lucky phonecall. "congratulations, you are pregnant!"
* * *
first scan, so far so good. and only one. i would be lying if i didn't admit i would have loved there to be two again. twins have been a joy [although now they are 2yo, lets just say, they are always 'interesting & entertaining but a challenge'] and there are absolute efficiencies having 2 at the same time. knowing that this would be sensible to be finishing procreating at this point, to get an extra freebie would have been wonderful. the more the merrier - there's just something wonderful that i thrive on with a medium - large family. can't explain but those families in the same position know what i mean. anyway, the universe delivered one baby into my belly. well sort of the universe, lets just call him jeff and a baby wasn't really delivered but for the sake of this nice, G rated story, lets just go with that...
so, pregnant. great! bliss. now i could relax a bit and enjoy the wonderful pregnancy experience like i had always had previously right?
i felt tired beyond belief. and i do remember that tiredness that you experience being pregnant for the first time, like nothing on earth. but i felt worse this time. i guess i hadn't ever been pregnant at age 38 before and had 4 children, 4 and under with all sorts of other commitments along with a tight routine to manage. perhaps this would subside in the second trimester?
* * *
12/13 week nuchal fold scan & bloods. i'd had 1:30 and 1:100 down syndrome risk factors with my 1st 2 children, twin risk unable to be calculated accurately. i was fully expecting the risk factor, being even older, to be pretty high this time around. it was 1:2200. yes that wasn't a typo. it was 1:2200. basically for my age i was given an A++. i laughed nervously and asked them to re-check. i asked the head consultant to re-check. no i am quite certain, these numbers are correct he said.
i was gobsmacked. so i took my sick and tired but elated weary self back home and had the initial hurdle little celebration with jeff when he got home from work.
* * *
still feeling sick and tired. its 2nd trimester, supposed to be subsiding now right?
no. it isn't.
the ill feeling & tiredness continues.... we have broken the news to immediate family and a couple of besties... everyone sworn to secrecy.
* * *
we had a busy Christmas, the twins 2nd birthday and then my georgia started transition 4 days a week and charlotte started kindy pre-entry on that 5th day. so an early early morning routine alone [jeff long gone to work even earlier],
with showering and dressing,
brain food and all the usual stuff.
loading up the kids and heading off to school.
unloading the double pram and the 4 kids,
making our way into school,
the drop off,
back out to the car,
load up into the car again,
back home, unload again.
sounds labourious because in my elated but tired state, IT WAS. so there's my whinge, thats it, over. and yes, we chose this path, so too bad Kate, there's always someone worse......
20 week morphology scan & gender prediction. kidneys, brain, spine, other organs all ticked off. heart.... still on the small side but as far as they could tell, all looked good!!! they offered a repeat in a fortnight to double check. i got nervous but accepted. 2 weeks growth would give just that bit more detail i was told.
then they asked if we wanted to know the gender. of course we did!!!! we were bursting out of skin to find out! its a boy!!!!! oh my God, i totally freaked out. i did think it would be a boy, but i have thought that every time and of course been wrong. i immediately and nervously started yelling out, "oh my God, oh my God, what am I going to do with a boy? Jeff you are doing all the nappies!!!!" i was seriously in shock. anyway, it was delightful news and what a lovely final addition to our family. a big surprise.
so a fortnight later, we trundled in again for another scan. all clear. heart looked perfect. ok so that doesn't completely rule out 100% of potential heart problems but it gave us great reassurance that it looked like we would not be surprised by anything major. couldn't rule out little holes, but holes... we can deal with holes.
a huge relief.
* * *
i'm now 26 weeks. less than 12 weeks until our little man will be delivered by planned c-section. i'm booked in. and i'm nesting big time. there are a million projects going on around here right now. georgia & charlotte have been sharing a room for 2 years now [i think its been 2 years] so that has left one spare bedroom in our house. the twins will be moved into that room this weekend. its a big move.
we then will be getting our sons room ready. our son. still feels so strange to say that. getting very excited and trying to enjoy my pregnancy but still most anxious and now in addition to the extreme tiredness, i have swollen feet, hands and carpal tunnel. great! useful when i have many home projects on the go whilst trying my very best to still paint for enjoyment and take care of the other graphics work, heartkids commitments, + of course care for my kiddies & prepare meals - actually that is possibly the hardest - cutting fruit & veggies. but its ok. hope the swelling & carpal tunnel is not an indication of pre-eclampsia or early onset labour or high blood pressure. we'll wait and see. i am now considered a geriatric mother apparently! how rude!
one of the girls response so far, to their baby brother...
georgia who has insisted for some time that she'll never marry, wants to live with mum & dad forever etc, has recently changed her mind. now wants to marry her brother LOL i wonder if she'll still feel that way in 2 years time!?
charlotte is completely loving in a physical way & rubs my belly almost daily. she likes to feel for kicks & she often talks to her brother. she is very maternal & loves smothering my belly with huggles & kisses. so very cute. she was like that with the twins from memory.
* * *
I'm now 30weeks. still tired but trying to elevate my feet every afternoon while the twins are sleeping. swelling is controlled. carpal tunnel surely is a pain but really if thats my only complaint, its totally no big deal. i dropped a whole batch of pasta in the sink because my hands are weak & gave way but you know what, that's 8mins lost and maybe $1. so no great tragedy.
glucose testing: perfect. blood pressure: perfect. no early signs of pre-eclampsia.
he's kicking me like a soccer professional. seriously, i have never been kicked this much in my life. he wakes me with kicks and i yell myself awake! particularly on our recent holiday to canberra on the 2 day drive there and 2 day drive back home. i guess he was cramped a little and so the kicks were painful and often. i was constantly moaning while i slept [is there anything better than sleeping in a car on a long road trip?] and i'm sure i sounded like a wounded cow.
so little buddy, now that i have this written down, i will be able to recall the terrible pain you inflicted upon me before you were even born LOL. you know, i am almost positive he stands vertically with his big soccer kicking feet on my bladder. he stomps and kicks and somersaults. can i also say, i am so very reassured by all this movement. there is nothing like it. i love the unmistakeable reassurance that there is indeed a live child in my belly and he seems SO strong!!!!!!! but geez, lets ease up a little now huh? mummy knows you are here and very very proud of your soccer skills. but enough. now. ok? enough. go to sleep and we'll meet in 8 weeks. ok?
* * *
31 weeks: ok so its not all roses here. things are getting tough. he has put on 5 kgs this week i am sure. i feel heavy and my feet are killing me. i am going to treat myself for the first time in my life and book in for a hand & foot massage.
georgia started fulltime reception @ school this week and charlotte started fulltime kindy [4 half day sessions]. and so that means 5 early mornings getting myself [hard work] + the 4 kids all ready for school & kindy drop off. then there's two additional drop off/pickup times for charlotte on top of that.
ordinarily jeff will do the 5 afternoon after school pickups but what do you know? this week he's had some extra work commitments resulting in 3 days of me doing the afternoon pickups too. i've had to wake tired & grumpy twins from their afternoon nap to do those pickups so the whole exercise has not been pleasant. did i mention the twins are 2? so for anyone that hasn't had the [cough cough] pleasure of having a 2 year old, lets just say, they can be a little unhelpful & uncooperative. sometimes they contort their bodies in a such a way that they cannot be lifted, and of course they don't want to go in a pram or hold hands, so crossing the road without getting squashed by cars is hmmm, interesting, and no doubt quite a spectacle for onlookers. oh and did i mention there are 2 of these 2 year old humans? yes, so a fun week.
oh and did i also mention that road transport decided to [once school holidays finished of course] to close off 3 roads around the school and allow cars to use the only remaining one but make it a no through road this week? oh yes, parking was a treat. i ended up parking a long way from school and walking with those interesting and cooperative short humans of mine. fun. not!
ok end of whinge. i am sure next week will be better. oh yes, jeff and his brothers & father are off to Melbourne for 3 days and 3 nights. yes i am sure next week will be much much better.
oh and the chloasma [brown patches of pigmented skin that occur during pregnancy] has returned on my cheeks so i look fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!! not.
all right, i know i am being grumpy & whingey and really how can i be because i feel like the luckiest woman on earth to be blessed with an amazing life full of wonderful gifts but please just one week of whinginess and i'll be back to positive upbeat kate next week. ok?
* * *
nearly 33 weeks & feeling surprisingly good. the big girls started ballet this week, so cute. and i had my first delivery of shopping through coles online! jeff has been away the last 3 days in melbourne on holiday with his dad & a couple of his brothers and so i've been on my own with the kids since friday morning, its now sunday night. my feet haven't felt too bad since the reflexology foot massage i had a week ago. i've been pacing myself with kiddy activities, been pretty patient with the girls and i must say they have been SO good for me. i've worked ahead to make sure i had easy to prepare meals for them, put myself to bed early with laptop for 2 of the nights so i've been able to continue with my work in comfort and then just close the laptop lid beside me & fall asleep when i've needed to flop, and 2 of the nights - pretty early for me. the middle night i had my sister, niece & cousin over for some movie watching, snack eating & blythe doll playing. i let george & charlie stay up, they totally loved it but fell asleep in my arms. too cute.
anyway, another massage tomorrow afternoon while jeff at home with sleeping twins and the big girls at school & kindy. feel like i am spoiling myself but its totally worth the money and very much helping. i have just over 5 weeks to go and need to make sure i be good to myself through the final stage. i am thinking everything will be fine. just need to stay focussed, keep up some rest when i can, pace myself with the girls & their busy schedule and book a few massages between now & baby being born for some extra feel good relaxing mummy time.
* * *
i have only 24 sleeps to go - thats a little over 3 weeks! but 24 sleeps at this point sounds better so 24 sleeps it is. last week i had my regular check-up with my renal physician. i have this whole team surrounding me & monitoring my progress so i feel well cared for. thank goodness for private health, i could never risk being without it, for my babies or for their mother [that would be me!]. anyway, blood pressure a little high that day. its about that time of pregnancy where it does rise for me & no doubt within a fortnight or so, meds will start, to control it. that should see me through to my 38 week c-section. needs to be checked again next week by obstetrician & it'll be her call on meds starting if blood pressure still high.
the kicking.... well last week he was unusually quiet. it had me worried of course. i talked to jeff about it & he reminded me that baby is doing so much growing right now and that its getting cramped. he also reminded me that i have said this same thing every. single. pregnancy. so far. he knows me well. i felt instantly better.
on saturday we were out shopping and the kicking started up so furiously that i was doubled over with pain & could hardly push the trolley. i got tired very quickly and had to cut short our family shopping trip & go home to rest. it subsided for a while but returned that night. feels like he is SO cramped and moving his entire body into another position, again and again and again. will be speaking with my ob/gyn about this for sure. what is he doing? i'm reassured he's moving, but I'm in pain.
rest little bud, its time to rest & grow.
* * *
very last scan & all good. plenty of fluid pockets around my boy. he is head down & engaged ready to go. weighing an estimated 6lb6oz's at 36 weeks. so looks like he may be the biggest of my babies. heart, kidneys, stomach, head all looking good. seems to still be a boy! not feeling quite as much kicking pain this week, guessing that because he is engaged he is more comfortable & not prone to the complete somersaulting shenanigans that have been happening these past few weeks.
blood pressure was plum perfecto @ obstetrician visit this week - surprising AND wonderful!! obstetrician very happy & only one more visit left provided my blood pressure does ok next week. no meds! woo hoo!
an otherwise huge week with as many appts as I could cram in - just to have them this side of baby, rather than later juggling 5 kids to various places. so off we all went to the GP for various referrals + charlottes immunisation. a paediatrician check up for georgia & chelsea. chelsea goes annually to assess for all things not heart related - just for general well being & development milestones [which she is now blitzing], georgie was having a 5 year checkup which i was advised was basically a good thing to do especially considering my kidney health history - she was in great health. we had chelseas opthamology appt [an optic nerve issue & some evidence of short sightedness], she's just being checked annually, no action right now....
we had usual ballet lessons. jeff worked a couple of nights overtime so i had extra school runs to do. of course i had my scan & obs checkups too. oh and georgie had 2 birthday parties to go to and charlotte celebrated birthday dinners with masons & whelans on sunday & mondays nights!
oh and we've all been sick! but now on the mend. phew!!!!!!!!!!! glad that week is behind us! marching on to the next one....!
* * *
baby is imminent! only 9 sleeps to go. bought some toiletries yesterday for hospital. need to get baby & my clothes ready & packed for hospital now. funny how with baby #5 i'm a bit relaxed about getting my bag ready. perhaps some new jammies are in order?
last obstetrician visit before birth day today and everything perfect. blood pressure perfect so no meds required whatsoever. heartbeat beautiful. given the all clear to ditch my last appt for Tuesday next week considering c-section booked for Thursday. and otherwise feeling pretty good this week. back holding up & hips, whilst operate best with support belt, are actually feeling pretty ok.
only 5 more days involving school & kindy runs and apart from that only one chiro appt, a blood test, one ballet lesson & one birthday party to go. the rest is all at home; maintaining the house, doing meals, finishing arty deadlines & getting the last of my graphics done. possibly my last baby diary entry before THE big day as i'll be working down to the wire as i usually do & if not working - feet up RESTING!
guess i should take some photos....
* * *
well here i am up late as usual on the eve of my new baby's arrival. tying up all the loose ends. last minute bill paying. replying to emails. writing lists. sorting stuff. the kids clothes are all laid out for the coming week. my bags are packed. the cameras are charged although i do not have even one pic of me being pregnant this time. terrible! hope jeff and i have time for that in the morning in the minutes before theatre.
time has just totally escaped me. it seemed to be going so slow then all of a sudden a few weeks of sickness for all the family [colds etc, nothing major], a flood of 5 year old birthday parties for Miss G, a tooth abcess ordeal for me [pain i tell - extreme PAIN!] then all of a sudden we are here. i had planned & scheduled to get every commission & art deadline off my desk by tonight but I have not accomplished that. some commissions are done, just awaiting approval. an online class project made, waiting for notes etc to be written up....
so i guess that is life. my minutes have been few and far between and now i have to have some time out to welcome my darling son into the world. well thats pretty exciting now isn't it? yes, it surely surely is. he can feel my anxiety & nervousness and excitement tonight - he is going crazy in my belly and i am soaking it all up. the last time i will ever have that reassuring and blissful feeling of a brand new life - a life i have grown all by myself [ok so made with jeff, but grown by me!], jumping around inside. i adore it. i will forever miss it. but next up, even better, i get to hold that baby in my arms. cannot wait my little bud. i'm off to shower then try catch just a few zzzz's before our big date in the morning. sleep tight little fella, its a big tomorrow - you'll meet the world!
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ok so thats all for the pregnancy diary, you know how the story ends. you can go back to regular programming now...