This started as a pregnancy blog when I fell pregnant in May 2009 after four years of finding a donor, doing all the counselling / paperwork / tests and trying.
And now, thanks to a 4WD which skidded onto our side of the road, killing our baby daughter at 34w and injuring me, my partner and two of my stepdaughters on 27 December 2009, it has turned into something else. We didn't want this something else, but apparently it is all we've got to go on with.
Funny dreams again last night - including one that we somehow knew that Halloumi was a girl, and that an old friend of mine who lives overseas had come back, and told me, "come here, I've got something for you". We were suddenly in the house where she grew up, and she went into her old bedroom and pulled some huge soft toys from the top of the wardrobe - one was an enormous plush white bunny, and the other was a huge spongebob character. They were really great - but I was just wondering, how am I going to fit these in our house?
I've finally made it to the 2 week non-teaching break, thank god! I had gone into week 9 hanging-in there by my fingernails mode, being just too busy to think, and for the first time in this job (2.5 years) feeling really unmotivated. I guess it had to happen sooner or later, and I think it is more a factor of so much stuff (work, personal, gestating, etc) going on at the same time, rather than about my job per se.
So it is really good to get a breather - not exactly a break, because I still had my business law teaching yesterday, and I'm on deadline for finishing an article which is being submitted to an edited book - plus trying to write a marking guide and start thinking about marking 40 student papers... but at least I'm not teaching at the main campus for two weeks.
And last night I cooked my first proper dinner in what feels like weeks (not counting quick dinners like pasta etc) - salmon with soba noodles. so good!
In Halloumi related news - I had a total stranger suggest on Sunday "When the baby comes - which can't be long now...." I was a bit agog at that - didn't realise I looked so huge! But apparently my mum was big pretty early on with her pregnancies too - I guess my body is just giving Haloumi an olympic sized swimming pool to play around in, and Haloumi will gradually grow into it. I also got a copy of the report from our 19week ultrasound, and apparently Halloumi was measuring at about 20 weeks 2 days - so only slightly above average size for dates.
I'm getting lots of recognisable kicks now - it happened the other day on the train, and I just sat there grinning to myself - such an amazing feeling. And Halloumi seems to get particularly active in the evenings - and has been known to kick El Prima in the back.
Don't worry, Halloumi does in fact have arms & legs, even if it doesn't quite look like it in this pic. In fact those legs were kicking pretty strongly, and at one stage (when the ultrasound tech was trying in vain to move him/her out of the way in order to get a good look at my cervix) poor Halloumi put his/her hand to her brow in a very "woe is me" kind of way. Poor thing - getting poked like that!
This one makes me wonder if Halloumi is all set to inherit my overbite. A work colleague reckons Halloumi is pouting in this one.
There's also a very spooky shot of baby skeleton face, but I won't frighten you with that one.
Scan went really well - we saw a beautiful halloumi spine, heart, organs, brain, little feet,little hands clasping the umbilical cord, and a little face snuggling into the wall of my uterus. All healthy and very active! Feeling so so lucky and even more excited than before.
Apparently my placenta is high (which is good), but a far edge of it comes a little bit close to my cervix, so we'll have to have another scan at 34 weeks to check that it is far enough away. But the ultrasound technician felt very confident that by then, with a bigger uterus, it would be well away from the cervix.
We're scheduled for our 19week scan tomorrow afternoon. I'm a bit nervous - mainly because we opted out of the 12 week nuchal translucency testing - but mainly excited to actually see what this little halloumi looks like. Especially now that we've been feeling movement - even el prima has been kicked! From the squirmy and occasional tracing sensations in my belly, I'm imagining some kind of little spider-monkey.
But we're not going to find out the gender. This is something el Prima and I have always agreed on - that we can find that out when we meet this little person face to face. And el Prima's theory (well-tested with her three kids) is that not knowing provides extra motivation to keep going through a tough labour. I'm usually a very curious, impatient person, but at the moment I just want to enjoy imagining who this halloumi might be without putting any presumptions about gender into the mix.
Apparently we get a DVD of the action - presumably edited so that we don't get any accidental glimpses of any boy/girl bits. Save that one for Halloumi's 21st!
I finally found the camera! It was exactly where I left it, but it took two weeks to remember... So I can now post the belly shots.
My sister did take some photos around 7wks, but they've disappeared - or more likely, they were taken on a different photo... maybe the one we left with our kayaking friend. Hmm apparently we're quite careless about where we leave our cameras!
More odd dreams! One, terrible sad one, in which I dreamt that our donor and friend, J had died - I can't remember what happened or how, but just the weeping and feeling distraught. El Prima means this can mean some sort of change - I guess our relationship to him is changing dramatically now that halloumi is taking shape.
I definitely have a belly now - no amount of sucking it in can make it less obvious. I tried to look at my tattoo yesterday, which is just on the inside of my hip bone on one side, and there was a bump in the way! We are taking photos - but need a decent chunk of time to sit down, download them from the camera and post them.
Random people are now treating me like a "pregnant lady". Eg "Don't get between the pregnant lady and the icecream!" This is lovely and odd at the same time. I feel so lucky to have gotten to this point - and to have others recognise the pregnancy as "real". But much of it feels like a real or over-exaggerated wariness - as though I'm a ticking bomb which they need to be careful of. According to the more pregnant women in my yoga class, this only gets worse. One had a guy say to her at the service station "Looks like she's about to blow!" It is funny having your body "speak" for you - and disconcerting having people make assumptions about you as a result, but I guess that is what people with visible disabilities, or physical characteristics unusual among the community they live in have to put up with all the time. And at least most of the assumptions people tend to make about pregnancy are positive - at least for white women in their 20s & 30s.
El Prima - my *ex* partner & aaineh number one. Yep, she's a lady. And so am I. Scandalous. Even better, she's Lebanese - and not just in a euphemistic way.
"the girls" - El Prima's two teenage daughters, Snacky & Snazzy, who live with us, and put up with my poor attempts at stepmama-ing. Her eldest daughter is 20 and living in another city. Snacky moved up to Sydney to study in Feb 2012 after finishing high school. Snazzy still lives with us (or at the house, with El Prima) and visits me and Ali where we are staying with friends,
Z - (aka Haloumi or khallila) our baby daughter, who died from placental abruption at 34w in the car accident on 27 December 2009.
Ali - long awaited little brother to the girls and to Z, born in May 2012
*edited on 13 July to add*
[where did my ticker go? It broke - I guess pregnancy tickers don't magically transform into "x days since our baby would hypothetically have been born, had she not died 6 weeks before" tickers. And I'm not sure I need a little program to tell me anyway.]
*edited on 11 Jan 2010 to add*
I think the reason why I'm leaving this ticker up here is because it is important to my mourning right now. We've had a funeral for our beautiful little girl, but in accordance with El Prima's faith (and my wishes) we will have a further, more public, ceremony around 40 days after she died. In some kind of wierd coincidence, 40 days was almost exactly how many days were left until her due date at the time she died. (I think that counts as irony of the saddest kind)
So while the significance has changed so radically, we are still counting down to something, even if it is not what we expected.
The fine print
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