maternity series

The original idea was to have the three boys in the photo with me for this last instalment of the maternity series. But given my memory of how this particular photo shoot went, I knew it would be near impossible to do it in less than ten minutes, which is pretty much all the time we had between me waking up from my (very long and indulgent) afternoon nap and the sun going down. And so, I have a plant, a chair and a bag instead. I won’t go so far as to say that they each represent one of the three boys, but I will go out on a limb and say that this is probably what I’ll be wearing next Monday when I go into hospital to be induced. And that will be my hospital bag (well, one of the two bags I have packed anyway). But no, the plant and the chair shall remain at home – I’m quite sure I won’t be needing either of those things whilst in the throes of labour.

If you look carefully at the small footnote on the chalkboard this week, you’ll notice that I’ve pretty much lost track of what week I’m up to. It’s either week 38 or week 39, but honestly, I don’t care because our induction date is next Monday so either way, he’s coming out! These last few weeks have flown by so terribly quickly. I’ve been desperately savouring moments with the boys at home, and at the same time, complaining every night to Rick about how I can’t lie on my back and how it hurts to roll from one side to the other and how my hips are almost incapable of supporting me anymore and so on and so forth (seriously lady, get a grip!). But more than anything, I am just so incredibly excited to meet this little guy! I simply cannot wait till that moment when he is out and placed in my arms, all warm and gooey, for the very first time…

As for this man, he has been nothing but the world’s most supportive and caring husband. He’s been so sweet, especially this last week when I’ve been remembering Cameron’s birth and shedding tears. Even with a sermon to preach the next morning, he was happy to look through Cameron’s album with me on Saturday evening so that we could remember our precious moments with Cameron together. Next week on Monday, he will be my rock as he gets me through labour and birth, like he’s done every other time. Love this man so much.

Thank you everyone for following this journey of ours, and I look forward to introducing Edward bear to you next week!

(Top by Isabella Oliver; scarf by Lulu; belly band by Yummy Mummy; jeggings by Urban Outfitters; ballet flats by Wittner; canvas bag by Land’s End.)

More from the maternity series here.

So it finally happened yesterday. My very first leg cramp of the pregnancy. Oh. My. Goodness. It was every bit as bad as I remembered leg cramps to be. It took place at 7am in the morning, just as Rick was brushing his teeth and getting ready to leave the house for the early morning service at church. I could vaguely hear Angus and Pete in the hallway, chatting quietly to each other – mostly likely discussing the pros and cons of heading downstairs to watch ABC2 on television. I can only be thankful that Rick was still at home. “Help me! Help me! Help me…!” were the only words that I could scream get out. Within seconds, Rick was out of the ensuite and massaging the cramp out of my left leg (that sounds ruder than it did in my head). Unfortunately for me, my right leg decided to join the party so it started cramping as well – and not just in my calf, but all the way down to my foot! Yes, did you know that feet can cramp up as well? How fun! Luckily, between the two of us, we managed to deal with the entire cramping situation in a matter of minutes. I’m not quite sure what the moral of this story is, but let’s just say that I’ve been diligently stretching my legs for the last twelve hours, and I’m planning to eat a banana every day for the rest of this pregnancy. Apparently, they’re a great source of potassium and magnesium, which according to some medical experts, help to prevent leg cramps. These experts had better be right, is all I’m saying.

Apart from the leg cramp situation (and honestly, unless you have experienced them, it’s near impossible to understand just how evil they are), these last two weeks of the pregnancy have been going as well as I can hope for. I’m sleeping a lot better at nights, now that there are no more heat waves and I’ve finally gotten a handle on which sleeping positions work best for me. My pelvic girdle belt (so glamorous, right?) has been doing wonders for my pelvic pains, and this past week, I’ve even managed to keep my glucose levels under control – proof that a bit of discipline and self-control can go a long way.

We are definitely getting closer now. My induction date is only five weeks from today. This last part of the pregnancy is simply flying by. Before you know it, I’ll be packing my hospital bag, revising my birthing notes and taking out my EPI-NO. What’s that, you ask? That’s a whole other story, my friends…

(Dress by Soon Maternity; sandals by Tony Bianco; bangles belonged to Rick’s Aunty Al.)

More from the maternity series here.

Maternity series, 32 weeks

Thanks for all your kind words regarding my gestational diabetes. I guess the hardest part is the memories it brings back about Cameron, seeing as that was the most probable cause of his death. And of course, with that comes extra anxiety for Edward. When you have experienced the worst, hoping for the best is not always as easy as it sounds. I do have confidence, though, in my doctors. They looked after me so well with Angus, Peter and James. And it definitely gives me hope that we have had three healthy boys since…

The exciting news is that we have an induction date booked with our obstetrician: Monday the 15th of April! That’s exactly seven weeks from today. How surreal is that? It didn’t seem like that long ago that I was complaining about my first trimester nausea and now, all of a sudden, I have less than two months to prepare for Mr Edward Mason’s arrival. It’s incredibly exciting, though. From the way he constantly moves around, I have this feeling that he’s pretty keen to meet us too, especially these brothers of his.

I know I keep saying it, but I love this man so much. He’s been so gracious in giving up three-quarters of the bed every night so that his pregnant wife can have enough room to configure multiple pillows and to ‘pivot’ from one side of her belly to the other. At least so far in this pregnancy, I have yet to wake him up by screaming, “Leg cramp! Leg cramp! Leg cramp!” Let’s hope that remains the case. (I loathe leg cramps.)

(Top by Leah Goren; pants by Urban Outfitters; heart brooch by Bando.)

More from the maternity series here.

Maternity series, 30 weeks

Well, we are into the 30′s! It sounds like such a cliche, but I honestly cannot believe how fast this pregnancy is flying by. With less than ten weeks to go, I suddenly feel utterly swamped with all the things I need to do (and want to do) before baby Edward arrives. For one thing, I have Pete’s 3rd birthday happening this month, and Jamie’s 2nd birthday next month. Despite my plan to keep everything as simple as can be, there still seems to be so many little things to think of and actually do to make it happen. We also need to pick up the boy’s new bunk bed, set it up and attempt to transition all three boys to the new room arrangement. What’s more, I was disappointed to find out that our closest IKEA doesn’t stock the bed linen that I was hoping to get for the boys, which now leaves me at rather loose ends. I’m after a simple stripy doona cover but they seem impossible to come by. If any of you can point me in the direction of an affordable brand, I’m all ears!

Pregnancy wise, I’m due for another GTT (glucose tolerance test) to see whether or not I have gestational diabetes again. I’ve had it three out of four times, so I’m at rather high risk. Part of me is resigned to the fact that I probably do have it, which will mean extra appointments with the endocrinologist and the added stress of having to inject insulin. Part of me is desperately hoping that maybe, just maybe, the stairs at our house will mean I’m slightly more fit than I have been in the past, which should help to reduce the risk of diabetes. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. I’d also been feeling very short of breath and quite lethargic in the last two weeks. Thankfully, when I mentioned it on Facebook, the wonderful Jodi suggested that maybe it was due to a deficiency in iron, and suddenly it all made sense – especially as I’d been deficient in iron in past pregnancies (not sure what’s going on in that brain of mine right now). Anyway, having taken just a few tablets these last three days, I’m already feeling a lot better, so thank you Jodi.

While Rick and I are not big on celebrating Valentine’s Day, it goes without saying that I love this man. He’s been so awesome with taking these maternity photos for me. He always does it with such patience and grace, even though I know he has a hundred things on his own plate as well. And in recent days when I’ve been particularly irritated, grumpy and moody due to the heat and my shortness of breath, I know he’s worked extra hard at being extra patient with the boys. I’m so thankful that he is the other half of our team, and I can’t wait for him to hold Edward bear in his arms.

(Dress by Soon Maternity; Cameron’s locket from my friend Kitty.)

More from the maternity series here.

Maternity series, 28 weeks

The third trimester has officially started and the shortness of breath is back. I feel like I have to sit down every ten steps or so. It’s quite comical really. I’m also starting to have minor freak-outs about giving birth again. It seems that no matter how many times you’ve done it before, it still doesn’t sit well with one’s sub-conscious that one has to get something so big out of something so small. Yes, I tend to refer to myself as the hypothetical third person when I get stressed. That’s just the way one goes.

Do I look big to you? I look big to me. I can’t believe I still have another dozen weeks to go. One forgets how big one ends up getting. (There I go again.) The pregnant belly is truly such a beautiful thing; I’m thankful every day that I’m able to grow a baby inside of me. I pulled these maternity shorts out again recently in an attempt to beat the hot weather. They are not the most glamorous looking things around, but they suffice to get me through the summer. And nothing beats a trusty tank top that’s long enough to cover everything – even if it makes me look like a walking, talking optical illusion.

Despite the number of times I asked Rick to take and re-take this photo, I could not make myself look any less tired. Those sleepless nights have surely kicked in. And look at all that frizzy hair! If there was ever a picture of the gorgeous, glowing pregnant mum, it probably wouldn’t be me right now. No matter, it’s all part of the journey and totally worth documenting.

Love you Edward bear, can’t wait to meet you!

(Top by Soon Maternity; maternity shorts by A Pea in a Pod; sandals by Tony Bianco.)

More from the maternity series here.

Maternity series, 26 weeks

So I’m getting rounder. Much rounder. Not that I’m complaining. A pregnant round tummy is such a gift. I read today in The Pregnancy Bible that Edward now measures about 23cm from crown to rump. If we take into account his legs as well, he must be close to 30cm! (According to my maths, anyway.) That’s pretty impressive if you ask me. It’s incredible that I am nearing the end of second trimester and about to commence my third. Oh, you third trimester. How I am (sort of not) looking forward to thee. Be kind to me, okay? I can only handle that many leg cramps, trips to the bathroom and ‘fake’ contractions (with their not-so-fake pain). And please, oh please, don’t make me start waddling again…

Over the weekend, I took the boys to our local Domayne and placed an order for our very first bunk bed! I felt like such a grown-up. All three boys were so excited. I almost feel sorry for Jamie that he doesn’t get to sleep in it. Anyway, it’s due to arrive in about 8 weeks time – something which Angus simply could not grasp (“Why does it take so long to make a bed, mummy? Why is China so far away from here? Why? Why? Why?”) – at which point, we shall make the huge transition of moving Jamie in with his two older brothers, transferring Pete from his cot-style bed to a proper single bed and bumping Angus up a level to the top bunk. There will inevitably be tears (both theirs and ours) but hopefully by mid-April, we will all have calmed down and mummy can give birth knowing that at least 3 out of 4 boys will sleep through the night. One can only hope anyway.

I insist on including these cheesy head shots of Rick and moi because he is a huge part of this journey. Every day he listens to me, looks after me, cooks for me, humours me, loves me, cherishes me, is patient with me, bears with my fragile mood swings, makes me laugh, dries my feet for me after my showers and insists that I am not chubby, just pregnant. I am so very blessed to have him.

Thank you, dear husband, for all that you do. I love you more than I can say.

(Dress by Tree of life; sandals by Tony Bianco; Cameron’s locket from my friend Kity.)

More from the maternity series here.

Maternity series, 23 weeks

It’s slightly bizarre that this tiny one’s due date is now only four months away. Four months. Wow. It is so incredibly exciting. Already this little guy is keeping me up at night with his frequent kicks and punches, and I’m rediscovering the joy of re-arranging pillows around me about a dozen times a night. I love that he’s such an active little boy – I feel like I’m already getting a taste of his personality. And there’s no doubt about it: he already knows his daddy’s voice, as well as his brothers’…

Yes, there is definitely a bump now. I know this because I’ve started asking people to move their chairs out of the way as I squeeze my way through cafes to order my coffee, and for the life of me, I can’t remember what my waist used to look like. I’m also quite certain I’ve begun waddling again, but I might just ask Rick to confirm that to be doubly sure. In all seriousness, it is the most amazing feeling in the world to look down, see a round tummy and know that there is life inside. Being able to bear a child is truly one of life’s miracles, and I am thankful for this miracle every day, especially when I reflect on the devastating tragedy that has taken place in our world recently. My prayers and thoughts continue to be with all those families.

And did I tell you? His name is Edward. Those who know us personally will have already worked this out, because each of our boys’ first names have been carried over from their older brother’s middle name: Cameron Angus, Angus Peter, Peter James, James Edward, and now Edward (his middle name is yet to be made public). Just for fun, we’ve been calling him ‘Bear’ for short. Edward Bear.

Hey there, little bear, we can’t wait to meet you…

(Cardigan by Sunny Girl; dress by Isabella Oliver; sandals by Tony Bianco; necklace belonged to Rick’s late Aunty Alison.)

More from the maternity series here.

The big reveal…

Kudos to family photographers everywhere. Rick and I discovered today it is near impossible to get three kids under four to do what we need them to do without a bit of bribery. Thankfully, we had a party bag filled with lollies that came in quite handy….

So there you have it, my wonderful friends. You’ve waited long enough to find out: Our fifth little boy is on his way! Of course we wish Cameron were here to celebrate with us, but how hilarious are these other three? We love them all to bits.

Thank you for sharing this incredible journey with us. It means the world to me.

(Dress by Soon Maternity; sandals by Tony Bianco; photography by Rick.)

Maternity series, 17 weeks

These last two weeks, my energy has returned and my nausea has disappeared. It is the most wonderful feeling! I just adore the second trimester. With the nausea gone, I’ve actually been able to return to a somewhat healthy diet (in contrast to all the junk that I’ve been filling up on these last two months). I’ve also started enjoying my morning cup of tea again, as well as the occasional cappuccino at the local cafe. I am over the moon about this. It’s always the simple things in life that make all the difference.

It is now only eleven days before our week 19 ultrasound in which we can hopefully find out if we are having a boy or girl. Every morning I wake up and think – one day closer! I simply can’t wait to start calling our baby by his or her name. I just hope the little one is co-operative on the day of the scan.

As for this guy, he is the love of my life. Every day, he loves me, supports me, listens to me, understands me, cherishes me and makes me laugh. He is also the most wonderful father. Our boys are so blessed to have him. All three of them think the world of their daddy, and I know this new little one will too.

(Maxi dress by Sunny Girl; t-shirt by Miss Shop; and Cameron‘s locket was a gift from my dear friend Kitty.)

More from the maternity series here.

Maternity series, 15 weeks

On Wednesday, I saw my obstetrician for my second antenatal check-up. I was nervous before the visit, but thankfully, we heard Newbie’s heartbeat and we even saw him/her moving on the ultrasound. It was such wonderful relief, and I left with amazing joy in my heart. Driving home, I couldn’t help but be filled with excitement at the thought of meeting Newbie. Another baby. Another child. What an incredible blessing.

These days, I am slowly regaining my energy, and my nausea is gradually improving, though it’s still hard to figure out what it is I actually want to eat. The boys have been so sweet, taking it in turns to say hello to the baby in mummy’s tummy, especially Angus who always has the same greeting: “Hi baby, it’s Angus, your older brother!” It is going to be fun watching them grow from a team of three to become a team of four. Just tonight, I was picturing our meals table being full at dinnertimes, with Angus and Pete on one side and Jamie and Newbie on the other. (Oh boy.)

We are also counting down the weeks till we get to find out whether we’re having a boy or girl. Seriously, we cannot wait. We’ve always found out with each of the four boys, and we’ve never regretted it for a moment. We’ve always had names picked up early in advance, and we’ve loved being able to call each child by their name throughout the latter half of the pregnancy. I secretly think it’s another little boy (and I’ve been right four times so far), but who knows! Either way, it will be amazing.

(Dress by Soon Maternity; cardigan by J Crew; necklace by Elk Accessories; and photos by my wonderful husband.)

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