Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Story of Rhona and the Burmese GP, Sonograms and Blood Tests.

Quacks, Blood Tests and Sonograms!

Week of Pregnancy: 13/14 – Apparently we were a week behind according to our sonographer J
Fruit to Fetus Comparison: size of Lemon – approx 47g – and still growing! (Approx 10cm from head to toe)
Cravings: Nothing. I don’t want to eat. (Who are you and what have you done with Rhona?!)
Aversions: Meh – just don’t want to eat.
Husband’s excitement metre: Upping the scale – especially with the sonogram!

So this week’s excitement started with me getting a lot fatter all at once, and not from eating (although later it was from eating...)! Now my fat jeans won’t fit unless I tuck them under the ‘bump’ that is forming. Also, boobs are freaking massive. Justin somehow does not mind this new happening, however I find myself running into things and knocking things off tables at chest height where before I would have squeezed past with an inch to spare. Damn you hormones! 

Secondly, we are about to complete the first trimester, which ultimately means much less risk of miscarriage. Of course, this is awesome, but doesn’t stop me worrying. For a while I think ‘maybe I’m just getting fat and the baby isn’t really there anymore’ – from previous experience, miscarriages can be rather uneventful and it scares me how silent and unnoticed they can go for a while. But, as I’ve had no symptoms of miscarriage or anything else ‘wrong’, I choose to try and stay positive and not worry. Worrying makes you stress, and stress is not good for many reasons. 

I promise myself I will eat healthily over the school holidays. This does nto start well as we have fish and chips for dinner on Thursday, Thai for dinner on Friday (damned social obligations!! Haha), and (I’m ashamed to say) fish and chips again on Sunday. This is horrific. I blame the weather and my exhaustion, and conveniently leave out my laziness and the fact I don’t really want to cook.
Apart from my horrible diet (IT WILL GET BETTER! I SWEAR! Look, I’m getting out the dried apricots and walnuts!) a couple more exciting and frustrating things have occurred over the last week.


But I’ll get to that in a minute. First, the story of Rhona (NOT A RACIST!) and the Burmese GP. 

In order to see my obstetrician, I need to get a referral from the GP... so I make an appointment and toddle down to the practice on Thursday morning in my spare. 

I wait 50 minutes past my appointment time, am still not taken in, and tell the receptionist that I have to go back to school to, you know, do my job. Kind of understandable - these things can happen.

She makes me an appointment for 4pm, and I promise to return.

*Skip day of teaching wherein we find we have to move everything out of our rooms for painting and flooring by the next morning... but that’s another story*

At 4pm I toddle back to the GP, who only makes me wait 40 minutes this time (Score!!) he is a very nice man who happens to have a very thick Burmese accent that I find hard to understand sometimes (awkward!). He then proceeds to tell me I am a) 22 weeks pregnant , b) maybe I will need a blood test.

Sigh. This will be harder than first thought.

I politely tell him ‘No – I’m around 12 weeks pregnant – here’s my ultrasound from 6 weeks, and that was 6 weeks ago’
Dr: “It’s very small”.
Me: “WHAT? They didn’t say anything about it being small!”
Dr: “It’s very small for 12 weeks”.
Me: Sigh... That’s because it’s 6 weeks at the time of the ultrasound.
Dr: “Ah. Well then it’s fine.”
I quietly try not to blow him up with my mind.

Secondly, as I explain to him, I will not only need a NUCHAL SONOGRAM, but I will also need a NUCHAL BLOOD TEST. (Nuchal tests discern things like possibility of Down’s Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities quite early in the pregnancy – Justin and I both decided we want to know anything and everything as early as we can.)
Dr says that is fine, happily writes me a referral to my Obstetrician, referral for blood test and sonogram. Whew! Mission complete. (Though on my referral form he does put 22 weeks, and some other incorrect things)

Disclaimer: Not many GP’s – and perhaps not this one either – are complete imbeciles. Perhaps it was the language gap, perhaps he’d just had a long day, but he pretty much screwed up everything he possibly could. Please note – he is a lovely guy and I’m sure he’s done wonderful things for many people. Just not me.

Also Justin told me I was being racist because he was Burmese. I told him I didn’t feel comfortable with him, not because he was from another country or I couldn't understand him all the time, but because he seemed rather incompetent. We agree to disagree. I decide to see the other Burmese doctor next time, as perhaps he will be a lot better.

SO! Skip several days to ULTRASOUND DAY!!! WOO!
Got blood test on Friday morning (easily! Apparently being pregnant makes it easy to find my veins – one jab and six vials later I am a little less blood-filled.)
And go in to get my Nuchal sonogram, husband by my side.
After a 6 hour drive we toddle in to the radiology clinic looking a little bedraggled - less like Sunshine Coast Chic and more like Biloela Hick (PS: Biloelians are not hicks, just to clarify, we simply dress very differently to the Sunshine Coasters in their boutique slacks and fifty dollar thongs) and check in. She asks for my blood results, and I hand them over.

Bronwyn the lovely receptionist: Are these your only blood results?
Me: Yeeees... (confused)
Bronwyn: Hmm... well, your doctor has ordered you first trimester bloods, rather than nuchal. I can’t do the nuchal scan.
Me: WHAT? (Actually do try to blow up GP with my mind)
Bronwyn: Wait – let’s call him and see if I can get a referral for another blood test – you can go next door – and then we can do the sonogram.
Me: (Pretending to be calm) Sounds great. Thanks so much for your help.

I give Justin the ‘I told you I wasn’t being racist, that GP really is a Quack’ look. He rolls his eyes as a gesture of surrender (or at least that’s what I make of it).

Bronwyn: Also, he hasn’t ordered you a nuchal scan, he’s ordered you a vascular and uterine ultrasound.
Me: What are they?
Bronwyn: For veins and uterus. Not pregnancy.
Me: (Plotting GP's murder) Okay... So where does this leave us?

Bronwyn agrees we can still get the ultrasound done. I jump for joy inwardly, as I am rather tired at this point and all these ‘bad omens’ are not pointing toward a good ultrasound. My superstitious side sometimes gets out of control, if I’m completely honest.Thank God they don't allow black cats into the radiology clinic.

GP sends through form, I get another blood test (whoopee?!) and we go in for the ultrasound.
All the screw ups, the waiting, the blood tests and the stress are worth it. 

We see little Mini-Muffin looking like an actual person – not an alien – and he/she is moving around like a little jumping bean!


I have a little cry and Justin squeezes my hand tightly, though he swears he didn’t tear up at the sight of our 14 week old unborn child. Too early to find out the sex, but our lovely radiologist tells us he/she looks healthy, good size (for 14 weeks! Woops! A week behind!) and very unlikely any abnormalities. 

Mini-Muffin jumps for joy, rests his/her head on hand, pushes up against the side of my uterus with his/her little legs to stretch out. I think it has Justin’s nose, but he disagrees. 

For 20 minutes I couldn’t take my eyes of the screen. I laughed a lot, which didn’t help and made the poor thing jiggle around like it was on a rollercoaster, but it was just amazing.
Here is the little face that made everything worth it:

Rhonie xxx

Sunday, June 24, 2012



Week of Pregnancy: 12 *YAY* Nearly finished First Trimester!
Fruit to Fetus Comparison: Large Plum
Cravings: Darrell Lea Red Licorice... but this used to be a craving before I got knocked up....
Aversions: NOT MEAT! YAY! Capsicum/onion/spices – Uber heartburn.
Husband’s excitement metre: Close to Nil, but his sympathy metre is nearing the top about my fatness and incompetence at keeping my tear ducts in check.

So, last week my nausea stopped, which is great (see previous post for freak out on that), but heartburn and bloating has increased which sucks. Gained a kilo then lost a kilo (WTF? Not complaining though...) and have been eating horribly (Fish & Chips, Subway, red licorice – up to half a packet a night – and cakes, courtesy of my amazing staffroom) But eating horribly comes with the territory of Reporting/Marking weeks at school unfortunately.

This week has been hectic – our entire art room (and staff room) had to be cleared as we’re getting a new floor and the walls are getting painted, reports had to be done by Wednesday, Trying to hand stuff out to kids, but half of them took the week off (lucky bludgers!) and then, of course, our house looks like a bomb site and our kitchen smells like a dump. I feel like a disgusting human being right now, and a horrible home-person, but it’s kind of a given when you have very little time. Also, kind of craving a glass of Moscato; my inner alcoholic is getting the shakes. Instead, have been demoted to designated driver.

In amongst this I had a doc appointment (DISASTER – more on that later), a blood test, and frantically rang around trying to get a booking for an ultrasound on Monday and Tuesday of next week (FAIL! Ended up calling in a favour!) If there’s one thing I’m already regretting, it’s deciding to go to an Obstetrician who lives on the Sunshine Coast, when we live six hours away in Biloela. Smarty-pants me thought this would  be fine, as surely we wouldn’t have to go down too often. Neglected to think about where we would stay (with my lovely brother in uni-housing? Nuuuuu thank-you, or with my parents... no, wait, theyve’ sold their house and jet-setted to Scotland. Good for them!) so our lovely family friend offered us a room! 

So, down to the nitty gritty – What is the general consensus of Week 11/12?
I AM A HORMONAL WRECKING BALL!!!! (as stated in title)
"How did this come to be," you ask, “You’re such a stable, normal, person” 

Lol, Jks, I'm a psycho.

So, what has made me more of a psycho than usual? I shall tell you: freaking progesterone. SCREW YOU PROGESTERONE! 

So, on Sunday, Justin told me a sad (but uplifting) story about a lady who went through a bad trauma, something I normally would feel sympathy to, but have the rationality to brush it aside as a tragic accident. Not today. Not if Progesterone has anything to say about it.

Justin: (tells story)... but she’s fine now and has a whole new life.
Me: ... THAT”S SO SAD! *Wails with loud heaving sobs into the pillow*
Justin: Wtf?! I said she's fine now!
Justin: (pats shoulder) Okay....
Justin: Nothing’s going to happen to Ewan.
ME: And... And... AND I MISS MY MUM!!! *Wails*
(Just for the record – my mum is safe, healthy and happy – but currently in Scotland visiting family.)
Justin: (Unable to keep it in any longer and laughs) Ohhh boy, this is hilarious.
ME: (Semi crying semi laughing and sounding like a crazy person) I KNOW!!!!!!!! I... Can’t... Stooooopppp... CRYING!

This continued for about an hour. Then I got a headache because of the crying and felt worse. Then I had a long nap.

Sunday complete.

Skip to Tuesday Night. I am browsing the internet, procrastinating doing my reporting, and someone posts on Facebook a link entitled ’21 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity.’ Check out the horrifying cuteness here:

Me: Oh, Hey, this will be nice and happy and cheer me up. Doobee doobee doo...

First picture is of Christian people apologising for bigotry against gay people. Eyes well up.

Me: That’s so NIIIICE!! People are so NIIIICE! I love people! *crying*

Picture is of two guys rescuing a sheep from the ocean. Almost have to be rescued from my own ocean of tears like a horrible emo.

Me: AWW! They risked their lives for a SHEEP! Humanity is AMAZING!!

Come across pictures of guy rescuing kittens from a flood - flood of tears continues. Then picture is of a fire fighter rescuing a dog from a fire. Crying gets louder and wetter.

Me: That poor dog!!! I hope he’s okay!!! *wail*

And so on and so forth until all 21 pictures are complete.  Crying then refuses to cease for another 30 minutes as I attempt to regain my dignity.

So, to answer the question I’m sure you’re all wondering – am I more overly sensitive, or is my crying-trigger on edge. Answer: Both. Probably. However, I can totally tell I’m being an irrational idiot, thus making it worse, as I irrationally cry about being an irrational idiot.

Tune in next week for more stories of Rhona the irrational crying buffoon (complete with pot-belly - watch her cry about getting fat!)


(PS: Also - totally share those pictures! They are so lovely! I hope you enjoy them!)

Less Nausea and More Worrying That My Baby Will Turn Out Like a Square Watermelon

When not wanting to vomit makes you want to vomit...
Week of Pregnancy: 11
Fruit to Fetus Comparison: Small Apricot
General feeling: Less bloated, but feeling an actual protuberance from my lower abdomen – possibly uterus? Who knows these days. Feeling fat regardless.
Husband's excitement rating: ‘Meh’ but actually suggested a couple of baby names this week – so perhaps excitement is growing? Still peeved about my addiction to pregnancy apps on the iPhone.

So, apparently, the more nausea you have during pregnancy, the healthier the baby (according to several of my friends), which was great... until all forms of nausea ceased one day and never came back. Now I’m having a small freak out and actually wish I was feeling sicker. Yeah, I’ve gone wrong somewhere along the line, but the nausea was a factual happening that encouraged me to believe I really was pregnant, not just fat (that, and the pregnancy test, and sonogram). Now that it’s gone, I kind of wonder whether I still am pregnant. I know, weird, as I still have the cravings and aversions (to a lesser extent- trying my first steak tonight!) still get horrible heartburn that I’ve never had before, am still exhausted constantly and sleeping up to twelve hours when given the chance, but I guess not wanting to throw up has really got me worried.

So I googled it.


Half the websites said it was fine and normal (Yay!), and the other half told me something was horribly wrong. HORRIBLY! YOUR BABY MAY HAVE THE UGLINESS GENE! The sicker the mother, the healthier the baby! Your baby must not be very healthy! OMG LOOK OUT IT COULD BE AN ALIEN!

Stupid mothering board. Not to mention a lot of the mothers that use those boards are bitches. Seriously! I wonder if you just grow a bitch gene because you become a mother. Well, soon to find out! (Honestly – I know plenty of mothers in real life who are lovely and total non-bitches! Just a lot of haters on the internet!)

So I learned my lesson. No more internet mothering-boards.

But while we're on the topic of stupid people: Who invented half of these pregnancy apps you can get on your phone. Granted, I have about five (no joke! I want to be prepared - I check them daily while eating my morning toast) but they all contradict each other!! Eg: Week 11 - baby size: 5 cm, 7cm, 3cm, 5.4cm, the size of a small apricot.  I went with the fruit measurement as it felt tastier. Then, they have things like :

To Do List:
1 - schedule blood test (Check)2 - Get massage. (Uh... okay... is this compulsory? Do all expectant mothers get massages at 12 weeks?)
3 - Spend five minutes a day thinking about your baby. Are you freaking kidding? It is constantly on my mind 24/7 - the worries, the excitement, the bloating, the nausea, the lack of nausea! I'm lucky to get 5 minutes of not thinking about it! 

In saying that, I'm a bit addicted to the apps, and will not be deleting them unless they get really stupid. Also they show me 'what your fetus could look like' which is quite exciting. It's looking less like an alien and more like a small monkey right now :)

Next: All of my clothing (except my fat jeans & hoodies) is slightly too tight. Have been wearing a lot of stockings due to cold weather, and constantly have small freakouts that because they come up to the belly button (granny stockings) my uterus somehow won’t grow outwards and my baby will be long and thin. Irrational, but something to ponder. Is this how they create square watermelons?

Finally (I’ll shut up in a second) I can’t eat like I used to. I used to be able to (on a hungry day) put away a whole foot-long sub from subway no problems, and simply feel full after. Now I have to take it in sections, a quarter every half an hour. I am still determined to eat it (pretty healthy after all and I’m too busy to cook much at the moment!) but it takes a while. All our home cooked meals I’ve halved my portions. I thought you were meant to eat more while pregnant? Apparently this will be like a diet for me... for now!! Now that I can eat meat again, I plan on having a couple of steaks before the week is out.


Edit: Successfully have put away two steak and veg dinners (not the whole lot but a good portion) and two healthy hamburger lunches over the past few days. Thanks to those who didn’t give up on my carnivorous nature. I love you guys!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Goodbye Steak, Hello Refried Beans

Goodbye Steak, Hello Refried Beans

So, you hear from the get-go about the nausea and food aversions you are likely to come across now that you are growing a placenta and other formidable things, however nobody really tells you (can they?) what it feels like. For example, steak. Yes, one of my favourite, carnivorous indulgences – the rear of a cow, done bleu (or for those non-steak-lovers – extremely rare!) but of course warm through the middle; this strange steak-love is brought to you courtesy of my Dad, who has instilled in me from a young age the importance of having your steak moo-ing. Usually I would be hoeing into a steak once a week at minimum, but since getting knocked up, two things have happened.

1: I am no longer allowed to eat rare steak, therefore rendering my love of steak incalculably less than originally thought.
2: The smell of meat (Steak, ham, mince, chicken, pork roast, bacon, rissoles, freaking ANYTHING that used to be alive) makes me want to vomit. 

So my question to the world: WHYYYYYYYYYY?!?!

Why, when we are told that iron and protein are invaluable to our diet when we are growing another human, does our body reject all that is good? And, furthermore, why does it have to be STEAK?! Why can’t I be hating on celery, the food that taste forgot?

But it didn't stop there, no. As soon as my aversion to fresh meat kicked in, it’s like my hormones thought... "Aww, we feel so bad for taking away your reason to live, we’ll give you another food fetish to tide you over..."

Enter, Refried beans (sans chilli).
I have been eating them on EVERYTHING!!!! On plain corn chips, on baked potatoes, in soups, in curries, in tacos, basically, anything I can replace meat with, refried beans has done the replacing.

One morning, when I realised I wanted to eat refried beans on toast for breakfast, made up a little ditty;

I like my beans both here and there,
I like my beans upon the stair,
For breakfast, lunch, and in-betweens,
I must, I must, eat refried beans!

On baked potatoes, mashed with peas,
Instead of steak, instead of cheese,
For horrible, hormonal scenes,
I must, I must eat refried beans!

It pains me to say I have changed my diet from healthy meat, potatoes and veg, to turning each meal into something that looks like poop. Awesome. Thanks, hormones, you only make life better. (Strangely, I suppose, refried beans have quite a bit of protein in them, so at least we’re getting some form of healthy alternative and I’m not craving doughnuts.) 

On another note; told my fabulous hubby I was feeling gross and could only stomach potatoes, and he brought home curry and doughnuts. Bless his little cotton socks for trying, but neither of those things will make it down my oesophagus. At least, they won’t stay down there for long.

So, Steak, for now it is Ciao but not goodbye, for I will see and eat you in the future and I will enjoy it like the carnivore that I am. To all you cows out there, consider this the eye of the storm.

Peace xxxx

Baby Mini-Muffin Timer

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers