on sunday, s and i flew up to sydney for a little holiday. we’d planned a couple of days of fun, and were looking forward to it as out last just-the-two-of-us holiday before fruiby arrives.

we decided that since we were only going to stay for a couple of days, we’d do it in style. we checked in to the hilton, where our lovely room was on the 35th floor with a beautiful view of the town hall.

 view from our room: town hall and queen victoria building.

self portrait in hotel room

we had tickets to see bell shakespeare’s julius caesar at the opera house so headed down to the harbour for that.

s and the bridge

in retrospect, that’s where i started to feel a bit strange, but i put it down to general pregnancy weirdness. s noticed that i wasn’t feeling super well, and we weren’t very impressed with the production (portia was chewing the scenery, caesar had the weirdest fake accent, and the rest of the cast were generally underwhelming), so we decided to duck out at interval. we’d planned to go to food society for dinner, but s was worried that i looked to pale and unwell, so we went back to the hotel, ordered room service, played cards, and watched a couple of movies. it wasn’t an exciting night out, but it was very relaxing and enjoyable. and since s and i are total nannas, it suited us very well.

i never go anywhere without a deck of cards

the next morning we partook of the hilton’s amazing buffet breakfast. i bloody LOVE a fancy buffet breakfast, and this one was particularly good.

fortified with danish, fruit, yoghurt, juice, and whatever else we could fit in our tummies, we boarded the monorail (how could i forget to take a photo of the monorail!?), and headed to the powerhouse museum for the harry potter exhibition.
it was absolutely brilliant.
there were hundreds of costumes, props, and set pieces from the philosopher’s stone, to horcruxes, four-posters from the gryffindor common room, beauxbaton & durmstrang uniforms, collections of items from different staff members’ classrooms (including lupin, umbridge, snape and sprout), quidditch memorabilia, books, wands, sweets – there was so much to see. i took a couple of photos, but they in no way do the exhibition justice.

buckbeak and a baby thestral 

‘weasleys wizard wheezes’ products, and educational decrees 

fawkes and some sweets 

me, sitting on an armchair in hagrid’s hut. s had to help me out of it!

there was a store at the end, and i was hoping to get fruiby a stuffed hedwig or crookshanks but they didn’t have any plushies at all. the merch was actually quite limited, which was surprising given the many, many things they could have had (time turners, stationery, marauder’s maps, all kinds of sweets, books, etc). we picked up a few things though:

a quidditch tee shirt for fuiby (probably for when he is about 18mths…), some chocolate frogs, some bertie bott’s every flavour beans, and a hogwarts tea towel.

after the exhibition we had some lunch, then went for a little wander around the shops. i don’t have a lot of energy at the moment, and my feet swell up to alarming proportions at the drop of a hat, so we didn’t do heaps of shopping, but we did have a good look around in kinokuniya, the MOST wonderful book shop. i was particularly excited by their range of stationery and art/design books

 a tiny portion of the stationery at kinokuniya

i tried not to go tooooo crazy. i bought some small stationery items (including washi tape, some letter-writing sets, and a bunny stamp), and the japanese version of cath kidston’s ‘stitch’…

… and a few books for inspiration in my sewing designs

we were both thoroughly exhausted after that, so we went back to the hotel, where s had a nap, and i had a pedicure

crimson toes

then it was time for a late dinner in luke mangan‘s restaurant ‘glass’.

s’s dinner: poached marron, corn-fed chicken, garlic cream, heirloom carrots, puffed quinoa, ginger jus gras
e’s dinner: darling downs 200g beef fillet, cauliflower custard, caramelised fig & endive
s’s dessert: coconut and mango bombe alaska with lychee salad
e’s dessert: chocolate and tonka bean bavaroise with peanut ice cream

the next morning we had another delicious buffet breakfast (only better than the last because this time we knew which were the most delicious things!), and went for a look around the shops. i was having to stop pretty much every ten minutes for a brief sit down because i was so tired and my feet were so sore, but it was fun to look at the pretty things.

when we got back to the hotel to collect our bags, we sat down in the foyer to have a drink and wait til it was time to head off for the airport. as i sat, playing a game on my phone, i suddenly started to feel very strange. my head felt like it was expanding, and i got very hot and sweaty. s tried to talk to me, but i couldn’t really respond, and i felt very vague and woozy. the feeling only lasted for a minute or two, and i felt ok again, so i decided i was fine, but then ten minutes later it happened again.
i decided to call one of our midwives back in melbourne to tell her what happened ask her if she thought it was wise for me to get on a plane. she said i should definitely see a doctor before flying, so s went straight to the concierge who contacted their in-house doctor.
the hotel staff sent us back up to our room, where i lay on the bed for a while until the doctor arrived. she asked a lot of questions about how i was feeling, said ‘oh dear’ a lot, then took my blood pressure, which was 160/120. not good. she sent us straight to the royal hospital for women with a letter explaining what had happened so far.
when we got there, they admitted me pretty much straight away. they took some blood, did an ecg, and put bands around my belly to monitor fruiby’s hart rate. they also took my blood pressure again, and it had dropped to a much better level.

monitoring fruiby 


the doctor decided that she wanted to keep me overnight, which we weren’t happy about, but we knew that they were just trying to be thorough about checking everything. the staff were all so nice, and they even gave us a private room so that s could stay with me rather than having to find a hotel. we were extremely grateful for that, because i was there as a public patient and they were not under any obligation to be so kind and accommodating.
we were pretty well set up for an overnight stay, as we had all our holiday luggage with us. we had pj’s, toothbrushes, etc., so we were able to make ourselves comparatively comfortable. the food was appalling (hospital food of the most stereotype-fulfilling proportions), but the nurses gave us their folder full of take-away menus and we ordered thai food. we entertained ourselves playing cards, and messing about on our phones/ipad.

take away on the antenatal ward

we both slept surprisingly well that night, in spite of s’s bed consisting of a fold-out mattress on the floor, and my needing to be woken for various tests at different times. the next morning they did sever al more tests on me, almost all of which came back clear. my ecg from the previous day was the only exception, showing that my heart is enlarged, and that i have a murmur. the doctors told us that we would need to have that checked with further tests back in melbourne, but that it wasn’t serious enough to stop me flying.
we had a serious of ultrasounds to check on fruiby (one of which was internal, which i was less than happy about – i had really hoped to get through this pregnancy without one of those!). he looked good, though they showed that he is a giant, in the 97th percentile for his gestational age (i’m now even more pleased to be having a caesarian).
the doctor wanted to make sure his heart rate and activity levels were textbook perfect before giving us the all clear to fly. this meant that i had to wear the belly bands again, and wait until we had a steady baseline of heart rate with regular spikes of movement.

waiting for the right read-out

for the first few hours fruiby was really active so we didn’t get a baseline. i lay there getting more and more sore and uncomfortable while that little boy danced a jig in my belly. then one of the midwives suggested i sit up to make myself more comfortable, and he essentially went to sleep – we got that perfect baseline, but no movement spikes. it was so frustrating. in the end i ate a bunch of chocolate, drank half a bottle of coke, and poked him a lot to try to make him move, and that seemed to do the trick. we were finally given the all-clear to go, but had to wait for the resident to come and do the discharge paperwork. nobody could find her and she wasn’t answering pages so we sat there for three hours waiting to be let go. we were so tired and overwhelmed by everything, that this last long, pointless wait was particularly hard to take. we were finally free by about 5:30, and got straight into a cab to the airport. we were prepared to wait a while for a plane, but the man at the qantas service desk took pity on us and got us on that was due to leave in about an hour. when we got on the plane, i asked s to show me a face that demonstrated how she was feeling about everything…

s is VERY happy to be heading home

j and j (fruiby’s oddparents) picked us up and bought us home, which was so incredibly lovely of them, because we were just so exhausted and strung out and not having to deal with catching a cab was a relief. as soon as we got in the door we had showers, fed the pets, and tumbled straight into bed.
so i think we can safely say that our lovely little getaway didn’t turn out quite as expected, but we’re all safe and sound, and that’s the main thing.