Thursday, 30 April 2015

Home remedies and spot stealing

I got in a shitty at work yesterday (long story, probably not worth going into) and decided to work more on my own (because I can harvest faster than the grumpy old people I work with when I use my own seriously, twice as fast).  That involved lifting and kicking my own bucket (which is actually a tray so much easier to kick).  That plus bending and all sorts popped out my intestines through that little weak spot in the stomach muscles I have had forever but forgot about before pregnancy, resulting in a golf-ball sized lump of guts protruding into my bump (I did make a few people feel it).  Anyway, my tray was taken off me but I kept working a few hours.  The car ride home was painful and made worse by slow drivers and me not wanting to risk passing on account of PAIN. 

I also didn't want to cook dinner.  My solution:  Indian take-aways.  Of course I only eat my curry hot (mild and medium are for wimps and Mooses). 


The guts worked their way back home, but at 2:30 am (8 hours after delicious curry) I woke up with the worst heartburn EVER.  Felt like the curry had come back up to sit and burn and torture me.  Gaviscon helped but only slowly, and even this morning there is some after-burning going on. 

My stomach muscles are sore still from the hernia, so at the Moose's insistence I agreed (quickly) to take a sick day to relax and let them heal. 

AND Toffs stole my comfy spot on the comfy sofa when I got up to go to the loo.  She is curled up in the exact center of the two seater, sleeping so peacefully and occasionally giving me trills as I perch on the corner of the sofa with my ass growing number by the minute!  I would take a pic of her, but I would have to get up to get my phone, and she knows the sound of a camera and will probably run.  Which means I get my spot back, but then again, we have so few cuddles since she hates me (expressing her bladder twice a day and all), so I want to leave her be and enjoy the moment.  She is so cute!!  Before I lost all feeling in my ass I could feel the subtle vibration of purrs through the sofa cushion (couldn't hear them over the radio...she purrs like a lady).

So...moral of the story:

Hot curry may cure a hernia but will cause heartburn.  Not exactly a great trade-off...but given the deliciousness of the curry...I am going to call it a good idea.

Also, cats take precedence over preggos with regards to sofas.  At least at 28 weeks.  Probably not at 38 weeks.  I hope. 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Shuffling slowly towards the inevitable shoe drop

Or at least that is what it feels like.

And hopefully, in writing this all out, the universe will have a look and think to itself ", I have better things to do."   

Also, I am writing this in the calm zen state of the post-glucose challenge test sugar crash.  I am not feeling any kind of anxiety at this exact moment (and to be honest, I don't feel like I will ever feel anxious again...I have crashed out like a 6 year old who snuck an energy drink)  (spellcheck tells me "snuck" is wrong...but I don't think "sneaked" sounds all that right either...and since spellcheck is also not recognizing "spellcheck", well, how do I know it can be trusted?). 

Here is how it feels.

I got a lucky pregnancy.  We were RE bound, and then we got a natural one that actually stuck, after two but most likely three early losses.  In the back of my mind, whatever caused those early losses is still lurking around (not that it will get me now since it seemed to like to get the early pregnancies only, but more like maybe in the future, if we try again...).  Anyway, we got lucky.

I have had an easy pregnancy.  In the throes of my first trimester nausea (which was never worse than moderate hangover), I would get comments from people who didn't know I was pregnant that I was looking well, and healthy and even glowing (I don't think they were being sarcastic either).  I have gained minimal weight, yet enough to not cause concern.  And I have done this eating naughty foods too.  I have avoided constipation and roids.  I have avoided urinary tract infections.  I have sailed through the second trimester with the only concern really being a small baby, and since those run in my family, it is easy enough to dismiss as genetics.  I will stop now, before other pregnant women can put down the pickles, preperation-H and puke buckets to go pick up the pitchforks. 

So...I got lucky and things have been easy.  For awhile I started to think things would carry on this way.  I really, honestly did.  But oh so slowly doubt has been creeping in.  Things have been too good to be true.  When is the other shoe going to drop?  Because seriously, how could I get so lucky??  Gradually watching my BP creep upwards when it should have been staying low, bubs continuing to measure small...these things have slowly wormed their way in.  It feels like the pull of the inevitable.  That shoe is hanging up there by a lace, and I am looking up at it and thinking shit.

There is a list in the back of my maternity notes (where my records are kept...I get to keep it, though the midwife has a copy and a few other things I don't have), and this list has all sorts of medical conditions, previous maternal history through pregnancy and labour to after the birth.  Next to each is an instruction for the midwife and patient if the condition warrants a consultation, a transfer, or an emergency.  Pre-eclampsia is a transferable condition, and the description given in the book for diagnosing it is as follows:

BP of greater or equal to 140/90 and/or relative rise of more than 30/15 mmHG from booking BP and any of the following:
1. proteinuria greater than .3g/24 hours; or protein/reatinine ratio of greater than or equal to .3, or 2+ protein on dipstick testing
2. platelets less than 150 x 10/9/l
3. abnormal renal or liver function
4. imminent eclampsia

My booking BP was 105/65.  My most recent and all time high BP was 130/80.  That is a difference of 25/15.  I only need that top number to go up by 5 to hit the BP part of the definition.  And since it seems to be creeping up each appointment, I honestly think I will hit that within the next month (I hope I do not).  Thankfully my urine has had no protein on the dipstick testing.  I have no idea about the platelets but may have had blood taken for that today.  My renal and liver function was tested today.  I can't imagine what imminent eclampsia entails but I am confident I am nowhere near imminent for eclampsia.  But I do feel like I am shuffling slowly towards an inevitable pre-eclampsia.  I am worried that that will be the shoe that hits me, because that is the shoe that has terrified me ever since watching an episode of ER.  And Downton Abbey.  Scary, scary shit.


I am being monitored.  My midwife ordered those tests because I have had swelling (which honestly does seem work related...3 days off and my feet were nearly back to normal).  I am being monitored.  If I develop this, we will catch it and it won't be so bad as it would be if we didn't catch it.  It won't be a picnic, mind, especially so early, but I think, I hope, I will pass these blood tests today.  Which is no guarantee that I will avoid this ugly shoe, but hell, maybe I can.  Maybe it will stay up there looming over me.  Maybe it will wait and drop at 39 weeks.  Maybe I will find myself in the hospital on bedrest next week with a likely very preemie bubs on the way.  Maybe I have imagined the shoe in the first place and there is nothing up there but blue sky.  I hate not knowing, but how can anyone know what the future will bring?

And so...I am going to ignore the shoe for now.  Let it hang up there.  I could worry myself sick about it, but I think I have obsessed enough lately to let it go for now.  I will be paying attention to the warning signs, of course, but I will not let it consume my mind.  I have other things to think about.

Warning:  Thar be F-bombs ahead.

On a somewhat related side note, I would love/hate to see what my blood pressure was Friday after work, when I got handed a pile of time sheets to complete for 25 people most of whom I hadn't been working with...and had about one hour to do them (half that time in the car, some of that time necessarily spent in the shower, and the rest on the way to the work party), reading off other people's chicken scratch, and sort out which vineyards got charged how many hours.  I don't think I said any word other than "FUCK" that whole time, and at one point, calling up my boss who handed me that lovely job to get me some white out for my cock-ups, my voice went up about an octave with each "FUCK".  I think I got my point across when I told him he was the top of the "People I want to Stab" list. 

So...I should say something about the glucose challenge test.  For starters, I am not the least bit worried about failing (which may mean I will fail, so I duly purchased some salted caramel sauce for my ice cream tonight...just in case I can't eat it tomorrow).  The drink was ice ice cold and clear and tasted like flat soda of some kind, but sweeter.  I was told to drink it quickly.  I pounded it like a frat boy at a party.  I was hoping for a complement on my chugging skills, to which I was going to reply "you should see what I can do with a beer when I am not preggo", but no complements were forthcoming.  Maybe because I didn't quite get it down in one (had to pause for a cold headache!).  The sugar hit and man I felt hyper.  Then I stuck my nose in a book and the calm zen like state settled in on me, and has lasted the past few hours. 

Cleo just got caught in a sudden rain shower outside, and came racing in with a trill and leapt onto the couch next to me.  Now she is wild as, attacking the couch.  And stalking Toffs.  Who is now stalking her.  Oh the shenanigans!!

Monday, 27 April 2015

28 weeks, midwife visit

Bubs is still measuring small.  "SGA" has finally appeared in the notes.  My fundus is 2 weeks behind so I get another growth scan.  This time I will not lay on my back for half an hour and puke. 

I've got lab orders for my glucose challenge test, and since I have had some hideous swelling (which I insist is work related) in my feet and a bit in my hands (still work related) I get to have some bloods drawn to check for preeclampsia.  Better safe than sorry but EEK!  FREAKOUT!  And despite my cleaning yesterday, and relaxing this morning, I had my highest ever BP (130/80), which the midwife said was a good number, and I know it is a good number, but I have never had it that high before (if this trend continues upward...).  The funny part was Cleo was sitting next to me as my BP was taken, and puffing up the sleeve really had her attention!  It was a bit hilarious.  More hilarious than Cleo deciding to climb all over the midwife's white puffy jacket (which she draped over the scratching post, so fair enough Cleo), after Cleo had been wading through the lake in the driveway (driveway floods every time it rains)(wet dirty paws...cats are a lot dirtier than many people think!  My floors can attest to this). 

At least my urine was clean.  Although, it is getting hard to pee on that damn stick now that my belly is starting to get in the way (it is sooo growing!!  I swear!! ...ok...might have been the cake...)...

Bubs is also in breech position.  My bladder could have told the midwife that one!  Oh well, plenty of time to turn, and if I am only measuring 26 weeks, well, plenty of room still to turn!!

We talked a bit more about skin to skin, natural pain techniques, and preventing the Moose from passing out at the sight of blood and fluids and grossness.  If bubs remains breech, it will be a c-section.  If other complications arise too, I suppose.  It will be what it will be.  The goal is to get through it alive with a healthy bubs at the end.  What road the journey takes to that destination...well...doesn't really matter.  I say that now, but of course I want the world's easiest birth!!  No tearing, no traumas, just a few pushes and voila, baby!  Without breaking a sweat or getting too much blood and fluids and shit everywhere!  What woman doesn't want that??  Of course, I recognize that will not likely be the case, and thus I say it doesn't really matter.  In the middle of labour, I bet I will have a few choice things to say about the whole journey...but a healthy bubs and a healthy me are the goals.  

Whooping cough vaccine and flu vaccine for me and the Moose!!  Will try and do that this week.  The Moose doesn't like needles, so this should be fun.  Maybe if I promise him an ice cream after, if he is brave...

So...28 week notes...

Having a weekend off work has reduced the swelling in my feet, and my hands.  See, work related!

After losing weight (from 91kg to 89kg) I am back to 91kg!!  Thank you cake!!  And ice cream!!  And chips!!  And pizza!!  And fizzy drinks!!  And definitely not the swelling!!  (I also eat healthy foods...but I have been eating more unhealthy things more frequently...just, you case I end up with GD and can't, then at least I will have had this time with all the yummy, naughty things).

Nausea has made a return the past few weeks.  Forgot to mention that to the midwife.  Menstrual cramp type pain too (probably ligament, probably from work).  My sister cursed me with gas this past week by mentioning it.  Getting up at night to pee is getting more challenging, and a wee bit painful (the getting up part, not the peeing part).  Discharge (yuck) is copious but normal.  I have no stretch marks, no linea nigra.  My belly is a bit furry though...just the soft, light coloured hair because I am a mammal not a wolf.  My boobs have started to get that burny feeling again, so I suspect I will go from 18DD to 18E very soon.  No wonder my bump looks small, it is still over-shadowed by the GIANORMOUS BOOBIES. 

Doing Kegels whenever I think about it...have stopped leaking when I sneeze...or at least the past few sneezes.  MUST KEEP DOING KEGELS.  Quick flick kegels are bloody hard.

No other symptoms to report.  The Moose felt some kicks a few nights ago for the first time.  That was cool.  He had his first "oh shit our lives are going to change forever!" moment too.  It was cute. 

So tonight starts our antenatal classes.  I am not overly excited about this.  I like the idea well enough, but I am an introvert, especially around people I don't know so well.  I am worried I will be the oldest woman there, and I can say with some certainty that the Moose will be the oldest man.  Not that age should matter.  And the class goes from 7pm to 9pm...and from about 8:30pm on most nights I can do little more than keep my eyelids open as I sit drooling on the couch too tired to go to bed.  The more annoying part is that on Mondays when I have to work (which will be every Monday after today excepting Queen's Birthday...Elizabeth...not the band...but maybe it should be the band, really), I will have to record Game of Thrones (I am a nerd and a the books though, they are awesome and of course way better than the tv show and I recommend them for anyone who likes well written fiction regardless of genre).

Also, the woman who does the antenatal classes is the nurse who drew my betas once (I think for this pregnancy, not for one of the miscarriages), and while doing that she told me some great and no doubt very scientific truths about all the things that cause sleeping within so many feet of a digital alarm clock.  My alarm clock anxiety is such that there is no way I could have it across the room from me, even if it did cause miscarriage.  Seriously, is there a worse sound on the planet?  I wake myself up usually 10 minutes before it goes off so I don't have to hear it (sometimes, Cleo does this for me...she shares my sound anxiety).  On that note, I also can't put a new battery in a smoke alarm.  Can not do it.  Just thinking about the smoke alarm makes me feel panicky.  So I guess I don't know who is weirder, me or the nurse.  Guess I will find out. 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Long Weekend

Trying to write a post that doesn't come off as whiny is hard.  I think I have complained way too much lately, and while it is cathartic, I think it also misrepresents me a bit.  I am not quite that whiny in real life (maybe just a little).  But honestly, it is hard to think of anything to write about just now!!  And I can always think of stuff that is bugging me!

We have a three day weekend thanks to ANZAC day, and harvest is winding down too.  Life will soon settle into a slower pace.  Which means it is time to get stuff done!!  This weekend is supposed to be pretty rainy, so inside work it is!  I will finish sorting the crap upstairs, and of course clean up the rest of the house.  Might get some outdoor stuff done today, if the rain holds off long enough for me to feel less lazy.  Right now sitting on the sofa with my poor swollen trench foot infected feet up on the coffee table is pretty awesome.  (I don't really have trench foot, but after two long days of working with wet boots and wet synthetic socks, the skin on the bottom of my feet is tight and irritated and bloody hurts!!) (Also, the feet are on a pillow on the table, not actually on the table...but from someone who leaves her FRERs on the kitchen counter...well...I guess it is to be expected).

I will also pry the credit card out of the Moose's hands so I can do some internet shopping for bubs!  We are going to take a stab at cloth nappies, and while I have collected about 6 pocket nappies, I need to hunt down some trial packs of other varieties.  They say to get a few of each and see what works best, and I am quite keen to get a few fitted ones, as they are apparently the best containment method for newborn poonamis.  We have been trying to cut back on our household waste anyway, so cloth nappies will be great if we can find a system that works for us.  Plus, our garbage gets picked up only every second week, and I don't want a smelly bin.  And I have an amazing washing machine (I spent double what the Moose approved to buy a nice one...which may be why I am now supervised while shopping...).  We don't have a drier, but if I can dry a pair of jeans in less than 24 hours (outside in the summer, upstairs if we have the fire going, and in the hot water cupboard if we don't), I am sure I can dry the nappies.  And I don't mind doing laundry every day or every second day.  I do anyway during harvest, and much of summer for our work clothes. 

And I think we need to pay some attention to the cats.  They need a good play.  They have lately taken to chasing each other around the house.  It is hilarious, but poor Cleo is almost always the chased one, and she has taken to hiding under the sofa, which seems to be the safe zone, and I feel a little sorry for her.  She can't seem to tell that Toffs just wants to play...but then again, it always starts with Toffs just wanting to play and ends in some good swipes, and sometimes some growls or hisses.  Poor Toffs is sleeping on the other sofa right now and has no idea that when this post is done, her bladder is getting expressed.  I've got on a thickly lined bra.  I am ready.  And hopefully claw proof.

Monday is the day ANZAC day is observed, so it is a public holiday, but even so I have an appointment with the midwife and the antenatal classes start (I'll probably have more to say on the classes later).  My blood pressure has been a concern to me for awhile now, since it keeps going up when it should have gone down or stayed low (according to the interwebs).  Here is what it has been up to:

7.5weeks:  105/65
12weeks:  120/65
16weeks:  130/75
20weeks:  130/75
24weeks:  120/70 (me: "whew, it went down!" midwife: <unconcerned> "yeah")

Now, I know these aren't bad numbers...but seriously, I am always around 105/65.  And if pregnancy lowers your blood pressure in the first 20 weeks...

Anyway, I am NO LONGER concerned about it.  Because I have figured out why my blood pressure is getting up.  Since the midwife comes to the house (every appointment except the first one), I always spend an hour or two in the morning running around like a crazy thing cleaning.  And I have usually just downed my daily cup of coffee just before too.  I feel a bit like a dunce.  I have worried myself stupid over a potential preeclampsia future for nothing.  So I will clean the house like a crazy thing on Sunday night, roll out of bed at 8am for the 8:30 appointment on Monday morning, and have my coffee after!  This might drop me back into my normal range. 

And I suppose my glucose test must be coming up.  Everything online said they do those sometime between 24 and 28 weeks.  So mine will be after 28 weeks anyway.  I have made the most of it by consuming all the things I won't be able to eat if I fail.  Cuz that is logic.  Actually, my logic goes like this: harvest made me lose weight, I am going to eat cake.  Probably not the best thing to do.  I will have to do better. 

Dammit, the Moose got up and went in the kitchen, so Toffs got up too (in case of treats, naturally).  Now I will have to chase her down to express her.  Laziness never pays off, I guess.

Monday, 20 April 2015

27 weeks and two years

After a long and grueling day of running around like a crazy thing and leading another picking crew on my own, I was conspired against!  The end result, a day off!!  Woo hoo!

The Moose and another supervisor told my senior supervisor that I was having the day off, and he was fine with it.  There are more than enough people to do what needs done today anyway!  So I got up about 10 minutes before the Moose and made him some thank you pancakes for breakfast.  He had the choice between pancakes and an omelet, but since I don't like omelets, he opted for pancakes (even though I was fine with making myself some porridge).  What a sweetie!  Hopefully he doesn't have too long of a day ahead of him.

So...27 weeks.  Third trimester (according to some...28 weeks according to others).  Time is going by so quickly.  I feel a panic coming up which will inevitably result in an internet shopping spree, or another trip to the city to buy stuff for bubs.  Because OHMYGOD I.AM.SO.NOT.READY.

I did discover something cool the other day.  I was staring down at my still on the small side bump, and I swore I could see it ripple.  So I hopped into bed, exhaled, held my breath, and it did ripple!!  Pretty sure it wasn't caused by me, but I couldn't feel bubs making that movement either. 

It was two years ago that I stopped taking the pill.  I don't remember the exact day or anything, but it was probably two years ago about two weeks ago.  Towards the end of harvest I got insanely burny stabby boobs.  Strong smell aversions.  Generally feeling off.  I had an idea that my cycles were 27.5 days from having always marked it on the calendar the last time I had been off the pill (after my divorce when I was still far from the Moose and trying to save money).  My period was 4 days late, but I never got a pregnancy test to turn positive.  Of course, I bought just a standard one (don't remember the brand) because I didn't know about how awesome FRERs are.  I am still convinced that was early miscarriage number one.  The symptoms I had were too strong to be in my head, plus I didn't know what symptoms to have.  I didn't know anything, except that of course I would get pregnant in 3 months tops.  Which didn't happen.  I was so confident that each month would be the month. 

Which still makes me wonder, what the hell?  If I was pregnant that first time, it took a year to get in a family way again for the first "official" miscarriage.  There were no other cycles with any sort of symptoms.  I don't even think I had any other late periods that year.  The doctor thought my weight was an issue (maybe causing some hormonal imbalances), but I weighed nearly 10 kilos less when we started trying than I did at the time of that first "official" miscarriage (which actually contributed to me losing and keeping off 4 kilos...go figure).  When I started charting, I was ovulating.  And after starting to chart, I got pregnant 3 times in about 6 months, two of those ending in early miscarriage.  I don't get it.  I don't understand what was going on in my body, and why this pregnancy has survived to make it to the third trimester.  From what I could read online, it isn't all that likely that there was something chromosome related three times in a row.  And yet if it was immune or blood related, how am I still pregnant?  Could it be endo related, if I do indeed have endo?  The not knowing is hard.  I want answers to questions that will probably never be answered.  And what implications does this have for the future?  If we choose to have a second bubs, can we?  Unless we go for Irish twins (and get lucky enough to get them) (we won't be trying for this), I will be advanced maternal age by the time we start trying for another, and the Moose is inching towards retirement.  Fertility treatments would have to come entirely out of pocket since we got pregnant naturally, if we couldn't manage to do it again.  So, could we do it again? 

None of this matters at the moment, of course.  I don't know that we would try for another child.  I think the Moose leans towards no, I lean towards yes, but ultimately we just don't know yet.  But it is something I wonder about, because I don't know if it is even possible.  I think, regardless of whether we try again, I just want to know what went wrong so many times the past two years.  I want a name for it, to be able to read about it and understand the biological processes behind it.  And I guess I just have to accept that I will probably never know. 

And on a totally unrelated note, when I expressed Toffee's bladder this morning, she managed to claw me in the nipple through two shirts.  OUCH.  From now on, protective padded bras must be worn at all times when attempting to manhandle that cat. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Harvest Ramblings (rantings, really)

My least favorite time of the year at work.  Usually I get through it on pure adrenaline- work as hard and fast as I can, force myself to at least appear to be in a good mood, and hope for early finishes or maybe even a day off.  I think last year we worked 23 days in a row.  But some of those days were short (four hours), mixed in with the long ones (10 hours).  I haven't done anything close to 23 days in a row this year.  I think tomorrow is 7 days in a row...but honestly, it is too hard to try and remember.  This year seems harder.  More long days without any short ones, maybe. 

To get an idea of what it is like, imagine being on your feet all day out in autumn weather (cold mornings, hopefully warm afternoons).  Working with your hands at about hip to waist height (but sometimes lower) if you are short like I am (if you are tall, you have to bend or squat).  The hands just have to cut the fruit off (without nipping fingers) and drop it in a bucket or tray at your feet.  As you move along, you kick or nudge or pick up said bucket to move it with you (standing back and throwing fruit often results in missing the bucket all together).  Then, when said bucket is full, you heft it up to about chest height (if you are a short ass like me) and push it through the vines to the tractor (which, by the way, is idling along nearby, blasting you with noise and exhaust).  Someone takes it, dumps the fruit in a bin on a trailer behind the tractor, and gives you back your empty tray or bucket.  You walk past several people doing the same to the next available vine and start again. After a couple of days I modified my job.  Now I don't take buckets, I just pick into other people's.  Most people seem ok with this, a few are less than happy about it.  Honestly, I don't care.  It is about self preservation.

Now, as we harvest along, there are people getting grumpy for various reasons (probably mostly to do with being tired and bored and badly needing a day off).  Most of these complaints are extremely petty (someone didn't take the full bucket quick enough, or left too many vines for you to pick, or too few vines for you to pick...I once got yelled at when I helped an older gentleman by taking his fruit to the tractor for him- clearly a capital crime from the amount of yelling directed at me).  A lot of the complaints get personal.  There is lots of snippy talk about who runs the best team, who doesn't know what they are doing, who heard who say what about who.  It gets downright nasty.  Right now I have one woman (a returning employee who is barely fit to work and is in her 60s and hopefully only here for the harvest) who decided after one day that she didn't like me, and has since been talking shit about me behind my back while spending half her time trying to be my best friend and the other half giving me the very obvious silent treatment.  For my part, I would like her to pick a personality and fricken stick with it.  She may not like how I run a crew, but dammit, I run a crew the best I can given my condition.  I run my ass off.  Seriously.  As in I have not gained a pound in the past month and I should be since I am PREGNANT.  And within a day or two of entering the third trimester. 

Which brings me to the bosses.  Usually I like these guys.  But I told them early on I didn't want to be running a crew this season.  I can't guarantee I can make a full day at work (I have so far...but there have been times when I have been close to calling it quits).  I can't stick with a team as often as I should due to the fact that I need to sneak away to pee at least once an hour.  Too much walking or bending and round ligament pain strikes.  Or back pain.  Neither is fun and then I spend the rest of the day hobbling around.  And it is really hard for me to duck under the rows to help out/fix problems (we pick 4-6 rows at a time and the pickers have to move at an even pace on each row or problems).  And yet they have dumped me with a crew to run three times so of which was a 10 hour day!  10 and a quarter, actually.  We worked until dark.  Arg. 

So, main reasons why I hate harvest:

1.) Grumpy people and their dramas.  Seriously, I think some of these people just don't feel like they have lived a day if they haven't engaged in some amount of drama or at least some grumbling about stupid things that don't matter.  And they all complain about each other all the time.

2.) Long hours.  Nothing like getting home after 7pm, racing around to get dinner sorted, get the gear cleaned for the next day, a quick shower and into bed.  Start all over when the alarm goes off at 6am.  There is no time for anything except work and survival.  For about a month.  Everyone complains about this after a few long days in a row.

3.) Sticky everything.  Ripe grapes have enough sugar in them to get wasps and bees dopey, and to guarantee that your gloves and clothes will stick to everything.  And the steering wheel of the car is worse.  And all that juice from the grapes will get everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  I complain about this.  I hate being sticky. 

4.) Angry/grumpy bosses.  They are under pressure.  That works its way on down the food chain.  Supervisors don't generally have time to complain about this (even being on the receiving end), but everyone else will (cuz they cop it too).

5.) Working in miserable conditions.  Rain, frost, snow...if the fruit needs to come off, we keep on working.  And get soaked and cold for the effort.  Sometimes we luck out and the fruit can wait, and then we get an unexpected break!!  Yay, time to do laundry!!  Someone will complain about the weather.

6.) Nobody knows anything.  As in the plans change so often, that even if you think you have heard the latest plan, odds are good it has changed.  And if you tell anyone what you know when they ask, it is guaranteed to change. And someone will complain about it.

On the bright side, there is sort of a camaraderie of having survived another harvest together, and commiserating about long days and fuck ups of the past.  And at some vineyards the owners or managers shout of us (treat us to drinks or food).  The wallet also gets a healthy boost from working 60 hour weeks.  Some days it can almost be fun (I think that this usually happens about the time we should all be fitted for straight-jackets). 

I am sure there are other things, but I feel I have complained enough :)  Today was luckily a short day for me, so I managed to get the housework done and even sit here and relax and write a post.  I feel a bit guilty if I don't put something up every few days.  Even if all I have is a rant or a nonsense post or some other randomness.  Honestly, my brain is fried.  Hormones and harvest, dangerous combo. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

26 weeks and snow!!

Snow on the mountains!!  It is butt-ass cold outside too.  Work has been delayed by one hour, but should be pretty full on once we get started.  Snow on the mountains means any clear nights will be frosty, and that frost will kill the canopy (leaves) on the grapevines, meaning we need to get those grapes off the vines quickly.  I doubt we are half-way through harvest (maybe close to it, though??  hard to say), so I think the rest of the week will be dawn to dusk days.  Except maybe today.  We should get more snow later.  That could send us home.  Or we could work in it.  All I know is that I will have layer upon layer of thermals and fleeces on!!  And a fire when we get home, and beer cheese soup (the only way I can have any beer, I figure!!) (and yes, I am from the midwest, how did you know?).

So, 26 weeks today.  Last night I dreamed that I was in labour (full term but the same size I am now).  I got to 4cm with no pain and not really aware of it, and was checked in to the birthing center, and was all relaxed and happy...and then nothing happened.   So I had to walk, and walk, and walk...anyway the alarm went off while I was still walking so I have no idea if I would have ever progressed any further in that dream.  But my dreams have turned more and more towards bubs and less and less towards zombie apocalypses and alien invasions. 

I've had some swelling, which I blame on work (9-10 hour days).  My poor feet.  Even my hands are getting in on the action in the mornings (which is normal for me during the pruning season).  I've even had to take my wedding band off a couple of times, just for a few hours, until the swelling went down.  I had a panic earlier in the week because my eyes were puffy too...but I think I was rocking a sinus thing.  I had a sick day anyway (crook guts, blech), and the rest helped. 

Bubs did that thing where she turns and pummels things I can't really feel, so I was a bit nervous for a few days ("was that a kick?  Or gas from cabbage soup?"), but she turned again and proceeded to kick the shit out of my bladder, and has been mostly doing that since.  Not sure if it is hard to feel her elsewhere because she is measuring small, because I am a bit...fluffy...or because of the partially anterior placenta...or maybe a combo of all.  But so far, I can't really feel the movements from the outside, there are no body parts sticking out, and everything on the interwebs reckons there should be (along with more painful blows to far bubs can give me a bit of a start but no pain)...but I guess on the bright side I still have an innie with no signs of it turning outie anytime soon. 

The next midwife appointment is in two weeks, and after that I will meet with her every two weeks, I think until 36 weeks when it becomes every single week.  Also we should be hearing about the antenatal classes soon...though I may have to email the lady again.  I am getting a bit antsy to start putting the nursery together, but I kind of want to save that for later.  Especially when I still have some cleaning/getting rid of some stuff to sort out first.  And then there is the shopping.  I thought we had a ton of stuff...and then I sort of realized there is a lot more that we will be needing.  Eek.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015


Either I had my first Braxton-Hicks last night, or I dreamed I did.  I honestly don't know which.

I overdid it at work, with lifting, walking, bending, everything.  Sadly it was chubby thigh rub induced chaffing that nearly took me out (not anything pregnancy related...just something that has always been a problem for me, even when I have been skinny).  But 10 and a half hours working outside, doing a physical job...perhaps a bit much.  By the end of the day, most the ladies were telling me off for any little thing they felt I shouldn't do.  Something which has carried over to today. 

Anyway, I slept so hard that I really don't know if it was real or a dream.  I remember only it was a bit uncomfortable, and my whole stomach turned pretty hard.  And my reaction was, "huh...Braxton-Hicks...".  

Untangling from the snoogle for multiple trips to the loo has gotten more challenging, which isn't helped by Cleo sleeping between my legs up against the snoogle.  Every time I turn over the bones in my hips or lower back pop very loudly too.  And I have been putting my arm to sleep which wakes me up, and of course then I think "well, at least I don't have to pee" <rolls over> "Dammit!"

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Killer Cleo (another cat post)

This little killer got her first mouse last night.

She brought it in the house.  So the chase was on.  Cleo dove under the sofa.  I moved the sofa.  She crawled along to stay underneath it.  She went one way, I followed, she went back around.  Around and around the damn sofa.  Needless to say this went on for awhile before I managed to pin her down (I should mention that the entire time she had the mouse in the house she growled at dog "don't mess with me or I will cut you" growls).  She dropped the mouse, which was still moving a bit, much to my horror.

I am not afraid of mice.  I think they are cute.  I used to have pet mice.  But I hate hate HATE having to put an animal out of its misery.  I hate making the decision to do it or not nearly as much as I hate the act of doing it, or the thought of the poor thing suffering a long lingering death.  But as slow as the poor thing was moving, it didn't appear to have any actual injuries.  I thought it had a chance.  I put it outside in a wee nest I made in some tall grass and we kept both cats inside with treats and catnip for awhile.  Neither one brought him back into the house.  But the poor little guy didn't make it.  I just went to check on him and he is nearly where I left him.  Maybe a cat or dog got to him, but he probably just didn't make it.  Cleo must have played with him for awhile before she brought him into the house, so his injuries, even if I couldn't see them, were probably pretty bad.  

Ack.  I love my cats.  But sometimes, they can be real assholes.  And I am so not looking forward to these sorts of chases when I am 9 months and HUGE.  


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Saturday Randomness

*Harvest was cancelled today, so unexpected day off for me!!  Of course, I didn't find out until I got to the vineyard (half an hour away), but at least I had time to duck into the pharmacy to pick up my iron supplement (midwife wrote it out when I mentioned I was struggling with fatigue).  It is hard to find time to get any errands done during harvest.  Being a small town, most shops close pretty early (the pharmacy closes at 1pm on a Saturday), and we sometimes work until dusk.  The Moose, unfortunately, has to work today and tomorrow, up and down a steep hill (which is why I joined a different group for today...not sure a steep hill is doable for me...might survive it, but probably would be in a bit of pain and totally, well, I am a clutz).  I might run to the supermarket and buy some cake or something and bring it out to him and the other guys (my usual crew).  (Yes, the Moose and I work together...not sure how it works but it does...)

*There was a good thunderstorm over the mountains to the east last week.  Nearly constant sheet lightening.  It didn't come near us, but I sat upstairs and watched it for quite awhile.  I miss thunderstorms.  I am a huge weather dork and totally missed my calling as a tornado chaser.  If we ever move back to the states, we are moving to Norman, Oklahoma.  I swear they get hit at least every second year.  The Moose thinks I am crazy and says no to that, by the way.  But I have been obsessed with tornadoes since I was a little kid.

*Speaking of tornadoes, last night I dreamed we were in Australia, flying in a small glider plane type thing over the beach and ocean, and these amazing waterspouts were whipping up as we were trying to land.  We had to climb above them and go around to land the plane, but they didn't last long, and I never took any photos of them because I couldn't stop staring at them to turn my camera on.  They were amazing!  (On a related note, I have been dreaming about tornadoes ever since I was a little kid...seriously obsessed).

*Sometimes instead of getting songs stuck in my head, I get words or phrases.  Right now, it is "Peaky Blinders".  It is some show on tv, there have been plenty of adverts for it.  Something set in the 1920s maybe, with a gangster type theme??  Not sure, but I can't stop saying "Peaky Blinders" in my head.

*Cleo got really wild the other night and attacked her scratching post.  She nearly toppled it over, and then it swung back and fell on top of her.  She just lay on her back and continued attacking it.  It was hilarious.

*Big Ginge has been coming back.  Three times in one night.  The food has been locked away for over a month now, so I don't know why he is being so persistent.  Maybe he can smell it?  I can smell it (damn pregnancy super-sniffer).  But there have been no fights, apart from Toffs diving after him and giving him a hurry up (which surprised me, I didn't think she had it in her).  I wake up as soon as Cleo moves from the bed, or Toffs starts making noise in the living room.  But my days of jumping out of bed without totally taking the snoogle and half the bedding with me and ending up sprawled on the floor are getting numbered, I think.  Still debating whether to try to trap him and give him some water boarding.  He is awfully big.  And I am not getting any faster.

*Last night I made a vegetarian pumpkin, silverbeet and pesto lasagne and it was amazing.  I ate half the pan.  Yum.  That makes up for the disgusting pasta bake I made last week.

*This morning I left an element on the stove on.  I could hear this clicking, but I didn't believe I had left it on, until I finally decided that nothing else clicks like the damn stove, and sure enough, after taking my porridge off, I left the bugger on. 

Ok, that is a pretty random assortment of things.  Time to stop procrastinating.  Might go see if I can pick up the Moose's book at the library, since he won't be able to do it.  Not sure they will let me, but worth a try!