Saturday, December 26, 2009

Willow Tree

Yesterday was Christmas Day and Hubby and I celebrated by hosting a lunch for his immediate family and my sister. We had a lovely, relaxed time eating the obligatory prawns (if I had not provided prawns my brother in law would have seen to it that I did not make it to New Years alive) and enjoying such timeless Christmas traditions like playing Guitar Hero. In the midst of it all we received a funny text message from friends of ours down south saying “Enjoy your last peaceful Christmas!” and even though the thought of a screaming infant is never fun, it brought smiles to both our faces.

Tricky was on my mind all day, with Hubby even wishing my tummy a Merry Christmas first thing in the morning. I wore a dress that best showed off my still pathetically small bump and had the latest ultrasound pictures ready to show the family.

So they all arrived and we exchanged gifts and I felt very spoiled. My sister in law, K, gave me a beautiful statue. To truly understand my affinity for these particular little sculptures, we have to go back a bit though...

A long time ago (Hubby was called Fiance then) I told my sister, P, how much I adored Susan Lordi's Willow Tree sculptures by showing her a piece titled “New Dad” and saying how I'd love to give it to Fiance one day, possibly as a way of breaking the news that I was pregnant.

For our wedding, P was my maid of honour and her help and support in the lead up to and on the day of the wedding were invaluable. Because of all the effort she had put in I didn't expect a present – her time had been her gift, or so I thought. But she had other ideas and presented me with a fantastic Willow Tree “Promise” statue which now sits next to my bridal bouquet in our lounge room, right next to the TV - because lets face it, that's where everyone looks.


So yesterday K gave me another Willow Tree called “Cherish” (she had seen my other statue and had made a mental note when I was going on and on about how gorgeous they were one day when we were shopping) which is a beautiful sculpture of a heavily pregnant woman. I was so overjoyed to receive it, and immediately placed it next to the original one.


The Willow Tree range is so simple and elegant. The website explains much better than I ever could how the “forms reveal their expression through body gestures only... a tilt of the head, placement of the hands, a turn of the body. Emotions are left to the viewer to discern” as they have no facial features. This enables you to see who you want in the sculptures – unlike my Amish doll that doesn't have a face because the Amish believe a doll with a face is a 'graven image' as 'only God can make people'.

So now I have two of these lovelies and can't wait to add more. I still really want to get Hubby “New Dad”, even though I missed the boat with the whole announcing the pregnancy thing (I showed him the positive test result), hopefully I can organise it for him for the birth of Tricky. Our little statue family will grow as our real one does.

"New Dad"

Gender Bender

According to a highly scientific gender prediction quiz on I have an 82% chance of having a girl.

The quiz is made up of 23 old wives' tales including such gems as “A baby girl steals her mothers' looks” (which would explain the lack of Glow) as well as some I'd never heard of before like “If you pick up a mug by its handle you'll have a boy, pick it up by the body of the mug, you'll have a girl.” I went and picked up a mug to check and I pick it up from the rim – does this mean I'll have an intersex baby?

Its the question I get asked on a daily basis (the gender, not if it'll be intersex). People want to know two things; when I'm due, and if its a boy or a girl. At the moment I'm still two long weeks away from being able to tell, but my answer of “its too early” is met with “are you going to find out?” This is the bit I'm struggling with. The thing is I can't decide if I want to know or not. I'm the type of person who has to know everything, and I hate surprises (birthdays and Christmas bring a mixture of emotions for me) but I'm seriously toying with the idea of not finding out.

I'd like to think knowing wouldn't affect the way I decorate the nursery or dictate the colour of the jumpsuits I buy. Gender-neutral is becoming a buzz word in this household because of my belief that a child should be able to grow up in to the adult it was meant to be, not what society forced on it. And yes, I know painting walls pink or blue has almost nothing to do with the adult psyche, but it has to start somewhere! So by not knowing I'm forced to stay gender neutral and I'll be less likely to be swayed by the 'adorable frilly dress' or 'oh so cute sailor outfit' (do they actually exist?).

I've already started referring to Tricky as a he, purely for ease of conversation, and I'm afraid if I have a girl, for the first three months I'll refer to her as he, just through force of habit.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Listeria Hysteria

According to Wikipedia and the thousands of brochures stuffed in my hand from both GP and Obstetrician, Listeria is a bacteria that causes all sorts of horrible things including the biggie that no pregnant woman (Glowing or otherwise) wants to hear, miscarriage.

So to avoid contact with this contemptible little sucker there is a list of foods to avoid. Sorry did I say list? I meant epic novel only a few pages short of Tolkien's Ring Trilogy. Now some of the foods on the list are not hard to avoid, things like raw seafood and raw eggs – that stuff just doesn't turn up in a meal without you knowing, but some of the others are sneaky little buggers that just make lunch time in a food court as annoying as finally finding a parking spot only to see that some bonehead has parked their motorcycle in it. These foods are the Listeria Ninjas, lurking where you least expect them.

Lets wander in to the food court and see what's to eat, shall we? OK so the awesome curry at the Indian place and the fried rice at the Chinese place are out because its highly doubtful the food temperature is above 37C (Listeria's magic number). Actually that's gonna take out most of the places in even the better food courts, so I'm already screwed. Maybe something a little healthier? Like a salad perhaps? Um No. Any pre-prepared salads are a big no-no because even in a fridge, Listeria can grow. Salad leaves have to be kept under 4C which makes for some very chilly and black lettuce. Everything has to be washed immediately before eating. I'm worried that if I went up to the counter saying “How cold is your fridge? Could you re-wash that please?” I'd end up with a special sauce of saliva on my meal – can you catch Listeria from spit? And before you suggest I take a sandwich or salad myself I'd have to find somewhere to re-wash it all before eating it. Mmm soggy just washed sandwich, my favourite.

So the Ninjas are also lurking in other foods; ham, salami, cold chicken, smoked seafood (who knew smoking was bad for seafood too?), raw vegetables, soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert and worst of all... soft serve ice-cream! Nooo! Say it isn't so! I'm confident that the McDonald's near my house is experiencing a drop in ice-cream related revenue thanks to my delicate condition.

The only option left is chips from the standard junk food establishments. And people wonder why pregnant women get so fat. Eating for two? Not really, just only allowed chips. Hail to the deep fryer – the killer of Listeria.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where's My Glow?

You heard me, where is it? I was promised Glow. Get pregnant, get past the icky first bit and *bam* you'll Glow. Well I've passed it and now I'm bloody well over it. I don't look pregnant yet and my expanding tum could easily be attributed to either having just finished a big meal or putting on a few Christmas kilos a couple of weeks early. And the pimples? Don't even get me started on how spotty my face has become. I can see the look of delight in school children's faces as they see mine and think "a human dot to dot drawing, awesome!".

I'm now 17 weeks pregnant with "Tricky" and whilst I was prepared to feel awful for the first trimester it was all with the constant reassurance that pretty soon I would start to feel a bit better, start to enjoy being pregnant and LOOK PRETTY! Sure I was told the horror stories about friends of friends who were sick the entire time, but it was always followed with a "but they were different and I'm sure that won't happen to you", accompanied with the obligatory pitiful smile.

But I've gotten ahead of myself, lets go back to where it all began. Well not where it all began because that's too much information - and yes I'm looking glaringly at certain members of hubby's family right now.

I found out I was pregnant at what I though was 4 weeks but after a trip to the doctor turned out to be 8. I'd heard of this happening to people and had always thought "surely you'd know?!" and convinced myself that these women were morons who had no idea what their bodies were doing from one day to the next. You know the ones - the type that wake up with a baby on the bed and say "I just thought I was getting fat". Well turns out I'm one of those morons. This was quite some relief though because the thought of having to wait sooo long before telling people was already eating me up inside and as if by magic I now had 4 weeks less to wait! High fives all round!

The following ten weeks were full of constant nausea which I believe doctors call 'moring sickness', limiting it to just one small portion of your day, just so that the human race doesn't die out. Morning? How about all friggin day sickness. Its like a hangover that doesn't go away ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, without the fun shenanigans the night before to compensate in some small way. I only threw up once the whole time I felt like this, and luckily this was at the bus stop one morning in full view of about one hundred motorists as they drove by all smug in their non-vomit filled cars whilst hubby rubbed my back (obviously in shock that I had actually thrown up after threatening multiple times a day to do so for what seemed like ages now) told me the bus was coming, and did I want to catch the next one instead?

But it was the constant tiredness that really threw me. I'm the type of person who likes to sleep in and thinks whoever invented the Nanna Nap should be up for sainthood, but come on, sleeping for 12 hours straight and then being completely exhausted after only an hour or two of doing practically nothing? How do women with high powered jobs do this? And how on earth do women have more than one child? Is there some memory impairing hormone that is excreted the moment you give birth so that the icky first three months is wiped from our brains? (I'll get back to you on this one if we have another one).

I know the Glow exists, I'm sure I've seen it - or was that just in the movies? Perhaps I'll get it when my bump is noticeable? Maybe that's the key to the Glow? Or maybe its just a bit of bullshit invented to make pregnant women feel better about have little furnaces churning away inside them- "no, I'm not Glowing, that's just sweat on my brow".


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