5 Mum Hacks

Just a few that I have figured out for myself –

Net Laundry Bags – Genius Old Lady Gadget!

1. Net bags! Ok so bear with me I know this sounds like I’ve lost the plot. But when you’re washing 15 Velcro bibs a day, and god knows how many teeny tiny socks you get really sick of the carnage. The Velcro attached itself to everything and rips clothes apart – no matter how much you stick them together those buggers come undone! The teeny tiny socks, whilst adorable, also seem to wedge themselves into the crevices of the washing machine door and don’t get washed properly. Soooo net bags! Awesome awesome inventions.

Hanging Wardrobe Thingies – What are they actually called?

 

 2. Wardrobe hanging shelf thingies – mine are from Ikea and I luffs them! Means I can keep all my sons clothes in one easy to organise and reach place. When half asleep, covered in – insert baby bodily fluid here – or in a rush I can easily reach in and grab what I need as it’s all nicely organised and easy to keep up!

3. Gorilla Buckets – I honestly have no idea where my trusty yellow bucket came from but it’s a life saver. Got a poopey onesie that needs soaking? Gorilla bucket! Got a load of toys that need storing? Gorilla bucket! Got a load of washing to hang out but the washing basket is buried under a mountain of clean laundry you’re pretending is invisible? Gorilla bucket! I could go on all day!

Here we find my Gorilla Bucket in its natural habitat!

4. Silicone mats – not the cheapest really but I use them for everything as they are so easy to wipe down, they protect whatever is underneath and seriously good at holding spills! Underneath the prep machine where water was ruining the wooden top. On the high chair for early stages of weaning. Under the dogs food bowls on the carpet. Everything!!
5. Broken or smashed Tupperware – got an old lunchbox where the corner has smashed or a lid chipped or generally got a hole in it? It’s the perfect dummy storage! I found storing them in airtight containers made them a bit smelly. But just keeping them in a tub they attract dust like nothing on earth. The solution? Broken holey non air tight Tupperware!

Silicone Mats – Literally hold everything in place!

Now I’m aware that some of these aren’t necessarily hacks and more boring tips lol but I’m damned proud of myself for figuring these out! Especially with Mum brain!
Have you got any you want to brag about so that I can steal admire?
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I used to read books

I love to read. I am a total book geek. Seriously will gleefully start debates with film buffs about how film directors totally destroyed and missed the point of the book they’ve murdered. I have well over 600 books spread throughout my tiny house and god knows how many on my phone, laptop and kindle.

However, I’m a mum now. I’m a mum to an adorable 5 month old Squish who doesn’t like it when mummy reads. Squish likes to play with his toys with mummy holding him up because he can’t sit properly yet. Mummy must never do this one-handed or Squish will suddenly leap like a salmon and fly into the tv unit/off the sofa etc.

So for now I am currently halfway through rereading The Gilded Cage by Vic James so that I can read the second in the series Tarnished City. I also have a giant pile of books from Christmas and that I bought when shopping half asleep. You know how some people buy a load of crappy food when they shop hungry? When I shop tired I buy books, oh so many books!

I have to admit I am more than a little bit obsessed with getting to this pile of books but somehow just cannot manage it. Yes the baby sleeps during the day but only for 20 minutes at a time, but that’s another post all together! But when he does sleep I just cannot bring myself to get any reading done, when I try my eyes hurt from tiredness and serious mum brain means that absolutely nothing makes sense and I end up rereading the same paragraph an inappropriate amount of time.

I also did a big stupid and joined a few mum book clubs and online book clubs. That way I basically have a giant shopping list of books to buy an add to my pile of unread. On these groups I am in total awe of how much these people manage to read, I thought I was pretty quick at reading having completed a degree in English. But these people are amazing, managing houses full of kids and pets and still managing to read two books a week! So I am determined to keep trying, I may or may not end up with a pile of books big enough to build a house out of before I manage to finish my current book but oh well! In the meantime I suppose I should stop moaning about missed books and enjoy my salmon leaping Squish.

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5 Things I didn’t know about recovery

So there’s lots I could write about the joys of being freshly postpartum. Seriously so much. But I had to pick 5 so here we go!

1. The jaw ache – if you have gas and air then be prepared to live off soup and tea for a few days. I bit that thing so hard I don’t even remember my jaw clamping shut. The day after giving birth oh my god, my whole jaw, lower face and neck were sore as though I’d somehow had a gym workout all for them!

2. The donut cushion – I don’t know why I didn’t think of this but I’m so glad my mum did. As I arrived home in my favourite armchair was placed a brown hideous inflatable donut cushion. Oh how I laughed. Until I tried to sit down without it. Embrace the donut cushion. Even the softest of armchairs are going to put way too much pressure on an area that right now should not have more pressure on it than a passing cloud.

3. The muscle ache – this one was definitely stupid. You literally pushed an 8lb human out of you. It took basically every muscle in your body. You are going to hurt! I didn’t think about that though until the midwife laughed and said “yes dear we call it being hit by a train syndrome” – they were not exaggerating

4. Lack of dignity – now this one I sort of expected after being poked and prodded throughout pregnancy. But literally I had no shame. My mum helped me out of the bath after being sewn up in the hospital and a healthcare assistant came in with some toast to me in all my naked glory. I gave no shits. I just wanted the toast. In the following weeks the midwives who came to check my stitches at home again no shits crack on love!

5. The hormone high – once Home I expected to be exhausted sore and broken, and I was. But then the hormones hit me like a brick wall. I was superwoman! I could look after the baby perfectly and cook tea and do the washing and serve our spring besotted guests tea and biscuits. I could lift and carry and run round all day. This went on for 7 weeks! Then I crashed and boy did I crash. 5 months on and I’m still going to physio to fix the stuff I broke by doing too much. I should have listened, my husband was right (shhh!) and sat the fuck down!

So that’s my 5, may seem obvious and there are far more tips and whatnot I may write about later. But that’s my 5 things I didn’t really know or understand to expect. What

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Love letter to my Perfect Prep Machine

I have been no way paid or encouraged for the following post (would be nice if someone did though lol). But I really have to say this!

Tommee Tippee. Thank you. You saved my sanity!

During the early days when I didn’t know what half the baby stuff was actually for you were always there. Simple. Steadfast. Reliable.

During the screaming fits because I hadn’t quite figured out my baby’s routine yet. God knows how I would have waited half an hour for a kettle to cool!

During the night feeds when honestly I fell down the stairs more than I walked down them due to pure exhaustion. The reassurance of smacking the big round button and hearing you happily roar to life.

During the days of reflux and CMPA and everything going wrong. There you sat. Always ready to do as you were told with no arguments.

Other gadgets will come and they will go. But you my friend. You will always have a special place in my heart.

I love you Perfect Prep Machine. I’m not ashamed to say it. I love you.

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Ouchy! My Labour Story

Disclaimer! I wrote this a couple of weeks after giving birth but never had the guts to post it, now? Oh sod it!

When I was pregnant my need for information and understanding of labour was far more extreme than ever before. I have always been one of those people who copes better when they understand what is going on, with all the possibilities and potential problems. It helps me when I cannot control what is going to happen and in pregnancy and labour you DEFINITELY cannot control what is going to happen. There is also this element of the unknown and the secret fear that shrouds childbirth, like periods, you cannot talk about it or shouldn’t talk about it in “pleasant company”.

Any who, I spent a lot of time researching and reading the many possibilities for what could happen during labour – I encouraged other women to tell me their stories as well as reading stories online. I know that the idea of this is terrifying for a lot of people, why would you want to know all these scary stories? But for me it helped to know this stuff, for example learning about other women’s experience of tearing and cuts helped remove some of the unknown and the fear. I also learnt that the doctors can work for 45 minutes on a baby before there is a definite risk of damage (apparently, not sure if true but a doctor friend told me that). I also learnt much more!

So, with this in mind, I thought I could write my own story for anyone who in the same frame of mind as me. But also because I think it may do me good to write it down and get it out there!

Here goes!

I was due at the end of October and Mr Fat Girl was most definitely hoping for a Halloween baby but unfortunately I was overdue by 11 days and missed his desired dates. Oh was I sick of being pregnant at this point, I was fed up of everyone asking if there is movement yet and twenty thousand messages a day. The thing that seemed to bother me most was when everyone asked if I was looking forward to my baby being here and I couldn’t answer anything except no! I was so fed up of being pregnant, I was so uncomfortable and in pain I just wanted it to be over with already. I wasn’t excited for my baby, I couldn’t think that far ahead and I felt like everyone judged me for feeling that way – how could I not be excited? I don’t know what to tell you, I wasn’t depressed I just really hated being pregnant.

Baby boy had been head down from around 30 weeks, back to back and seemingly ready to go. I had been having Braxton Hicks for about a fortnight before they changed to real contractions (whoever said they weren’t painful were either a man or totally stupid). I was sick of everyone telling me I would know when they changed to real contractions, but unfortunately they were right! Things just changed slightly, instead of a stabbing pain that felt a bit like a stitch the contractions felt more like heavy period pains accompanied with back pain and a sort of squeezing feeling in my stomach. This was irregular for about a day, on and off about 20-30 minutes apart, then they started to become more regular at about 15-20 minutes apart and the intensity definitely stepped up. Oh boy did the intensity step up! I spent more than a few hours rocking on a rocking chair, rocking in the bath, rocking on a yoga ball – basically rocking around the house wanting it to bloody hurry up and get it over with. Unfortunately this stage took two days – TWO DAYS! God I was tired.

By the third day things had really really stepped up, yep the contractions were really starting to make sure that I couldn’t do anything without regularly yelping like a kicked puppy. It was at this point that I rang the hospital to ask for advice, they pretty much just told me that until they were 5 minutes apart or I couldn’t cope then to “take two paracetamol and have a bath”. That yonks old advice, the magical paracetamol and bath oh how fabulous they were… Or not! Things continued to get more intense and regular, by this point I had been recording my contractions on my list app – there are plenty of pregnancy apps which do this for you but I just chose to write them down as a list it was the easiest way for my tired and broken brain to cope. I had over 200 entries, 200! I could have cried at that alone.

At about 8.30 that night I really had had enough and couldn’t cope with the pain anymore, I rang maternity triage and asked for advice. I was pretty much told that there was no point but I could come in and get checked if I wanted – I did want! So we packed the dogs, hospital bags and car seat into the car (it was at this point that we realised we’d bought the wrong isofix base for the car seat, ffs!). Off we zoomed to leave the dogs with my step-dad, picked my mum up and threw her in the back of the car and then onto the hospital, oh what a jolly bunch we were. At the hospital I waddled slowly into the world’s most ancient lift and made it to triage, where they kept me waiting because I was still ranging from 8-15 minutes apart obviously I wasn’t a big priority. To be honest I really felt dismissed and patronised in triage, although I was obviously in a lot of pain and very uncomfortable, upon examination I was only 1cm dilated so I was dismissed and told I had a few more days to go at least and sent home. Home, where there were no drugs. Home, where I couldn’t demand an epidural. Home, not where I wanted to be!

The car ride was horrific, possibly one of the worst parts of being in labour because of all the little bumps and leaning around bends. I was having to sit on a pillow as the pressure down through my cervix now was horrific and I couldn’t sit properly. I cried most of the way home with my mum hugging my shoulders from the seat behind me. By the time I was home I was five minutes apart and in so much pain I could have screamed at the stupid triage midwife – days my arse!!! Like a dutiful good girl we didn’t turn around and go back, we rang and asked permission only to be told “nope, stay at home it’s not happening any time soon – wait until you are two minutes apart”. SERIOUSLY?! Stop moving the goalposts, this bloody hurts.

Less than an hour later I’m at 2 minutes apart and literally screaming, now if you know me you would know that I don’t scream. I have an okay pain tolerance, but I am definitely a much more of a hold my breath and swear repeatedly kind of woman – so for me to be screaming is a big deal. Damn those fuckers were really horribly painful. I’m not going to lie I couldn’t control myself at this point and was shouting at my husband to get me back to the hospital. My mum who had been sent home to get some rest was zooming back to my house to come to the hospital with us and my husband was on the phone to triage AGAIN. Guess what? They were still telling us to wait, because I couldn’t possibly be that regular when less than two hours ago I was only at 1cm. I think my exact words were “I don’t give a flying fuck we are coming in now!” and by words I mean I screeched them at my bewildered husband who also had a midwife telling him off down the phone.

By this point my mum had me halfway across the back garden on the way to the car. If any of my poor neighbours would have looked out of their windows they would have seen what look liked a heavily pregnant woman being kidnapped; me being ushered out in my pjs and my mum begging me to stop screaming. The car ride back to the hospital was possibly more painful than most of the actual pushing. All I kept thinking about was my husband’s jokes throughout pregnancy that when I was due they would chuck me in the back of the car and go for a bumpy ride – just like they used to do with the horses on the farm when he was growing up, god do I feel for those poor horses.

FINALLY I was now on my way to my own delivery room, although I had to walk from the triage room which did make me cry – even though it was only about 20 feet. Once in the room they first hooked me up with some gas and air and then to the belly monitor bands, this wasn’t easy as baby boy had decided now was the time to start spinning, literally spinning like a top in my stomach – this did not help with my contractions so yeah thanks kid! My mum helped me into the nightie I had carefully picked out to deliver in, light and comfy and something I didn’t care if it got grotty; but honestly at that point I couldn’t give a shit what I was wearing. The gas and air was lovely, it didn’t stop the pain by any stretch but it took the edge of and helped me to relax. What did it feel like? Thats a question I would have asked myself at this point. Have you ever been drunk but not to the point of sick or falling over? Just buzzed to the point the world is a bit hazy and although you know what is going on nothing is wrong with the universe. But hallelujah! The anaesthetist and his accompanying nurse arrived to do my epidural, I liked him, he was my friend, he was happy and joking and really lifted the mood in the room. So with my gas and air and belly bands I was manoeuvred sideways on the bed, with my feet of one side; a table and foot stool were produced and I was leaning over the table with my feet up in order to put me into a curved position. My husband was given the enviable task of holding my gas and air as I was face down on the table, I wasn’t allowed to for some reason, needless to say when he moved it away from my gob I may have bitten his hand to get it back – sorry love!

But now my spinning top of a child had moved away from the heart monitor so my poor midwife was having to crouch under the table very close to my *ahem* area as I was now sat like a cowboy from all the pressure down there. The midwife fidgeted and pulled but she could not get the heart monitor to work again so all the faffing had to be undone and I was put back on my back in order to break my waters and attach the clip to baby’s head to monitor his heartbeat. I know before I gave birth I was very nervous about having my waters broken, my mum had regaled me for years about a big german midwife attacking her with a crochet hook to break hers. I didn’t want the crochet hook. Nope. However, at this point the midwives were great and were explaining what needed to happen and helping me to feel as comfortable as possible. They didn’t spring anything on me, warned me before everything was done to help me get the gas and air ready. I felt them examine me and a quick sharp pain followed by a huge gush of warm water and that was it, not so scary after all.

So now the palaver of having to get me back into position began again. My lovely doctor was laughing and joking and his nurse was making sure my daft husband didn’t move my gas and air too far from my mouth again, not sure if that was for his safety or my benefit though… But as the doctor began to check my back and find the spot I announce to the room that “I feel like I’m going to push out a really giant poo, I really want to push the poo out”. At this point the nurse and midwife chuckle a bit and say do I want to be checked or for them to carry on? “I really want to push it out” so back I go again onto my back, god I’m getting sick of this I just want the good drugs now please! But nope, too late, they can see his head, he is coming, now is time to push. Its time to push.

Oh god, I wasn’t ready for this. I wanted my epidural, id read about it and researched it and been judged for wanting it, but I wanted it and now I couldn’t have it. The midwives (suddenly there were two of them where did the other one come from?) were really positive and talking me through it and encouraging me that I could do it. Then it was all go, those evil fucking contractions had taken over, this was no longer my body, all I was became those contractions and the need to push. I had the gas and air clamped beneath my teeth so hard my jaw hurt for at least a week afterwards. I vaguely remember my husband trying to take it away from me again, you are supposed to breathe normal air between contractions but apparently I wasn’t doing this, needless to say he wasn’t successful!

One of my mum friends had said the best thing I could do at this point of my labour was to just let my body take over, go into my own little world and let the urges take over. God bless that woman, that advice was suddenly in my head and I followed it. So yes it hurt like hell, the gas and air helped take the edge of and I was lovely and loopy. My mum (I only knew it was my mum because she was on my left and had been the whole time) produced a wet flannel and was mopping my neck and forehead and supplying sips of water between contractions, god bless that woman. Those little things were sweet relief and broke through the pain and helped to keep me as comfortable as possible. My poor husband on the other hand had me squeezing his hands for dear life and still had nail marks for weeks afterwards.

I can’t really explain the feeling to push, it was just there and I had to let my body do it. I clamped my jaw around the gas and air and sucked in as much as I could, held my breath and pushed as hard as I could through my bum – like a big poo! I remember having a delirious moment and saying that this was just like a bad IBS flare up only a lot worse, so much worse.

By this point I had been pushing for about an hour and baby was so close, his head was right there but just wasn’t coming out and then the scary thing happened. They pulled the big red buzzer and people flooded the room. I don’t know how many people suddenly appeared but they were fantastic in that they all seemed nice and calm and explained to me as much as possible what was happening. Baby was stuck, right at the end, he needed a bit of help to get the last bit done. So, with a quick explanation they gave me an episiotomy and I’m not going to lie that fucker hurt. It felt like what it was, I can’t think of any other way to explain it other that being cut with a pair of scissors; a very quick sharp pain. Another push and his head was here, then another and his shoulders. At this point it felt like a huge relief, I could tell the worst bits were over although I’m not sure how as I was still high from the gas and air and not completely aware of what was going on.

So from there, baby boy was put on my chest, dad cut the cord and all the usual photos and cooing ensured – I’ll do another post about all that later as this is already a small book.

Finally I had a “managed” placental delivery, meaning they gave me the injection. They asked first which I would prefer and at this point I was so exhausted I just said get it out as quick as possible. After what seemed an age of waiting for something (19 minutes to be exact) it felt like I needed a really big poo, so hello gas and air my old friend and a few more pushes and here it comes. surprisingly easy in the end and out it came.

From there the midwives faffed around measuring and checking and then started setting me up to get cleaned up and sewn up.

It took a surprisingly long time for them to sew me up, well I didn’t expect it to take that long but I still had my gas and air to help. Husband was over in the corner giving baby first feed, getting him dressed and being helped by a nurse, meanwhile my mum was still stoically stood by my side holding my hand and helping me. This part was painful, felt like I was being pulled and tugged at and seemed to go on forever but eventually that too was over and I could just relax for a minute.

So this is where I will leave it, I hope like others helped me my story helps you in whatever way. Overall, it was scary and painful but when the midwife joked 5 minutes after my son was born that I wouldn’t be doing that again a hurry I still said no I’m having another one!

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I’m going to write…

So, I was going to blog my motherhood journey. I was going to write whether it made sense or anyone read it. I didn’t care. I was going to write, because then at least in a few years I could look back and remember all the little things I had forgotten. I was going to memorialise the good, the bad and the ugly of being a new Mum.

I was an idiot.

I like to think in general I’ve been quite down to earth and honest with myself about what to expect from myself once becoming a new Mum. I wasn’t going to expect perfection, or to get made up or even showered every day. I wasn’t going to expect crafting and breastfeeding and daily educational fun activities. I wasn’t going to expect my baby to have the perfect routine and be happy all the time.

My goals were as follows –

1. Ensure baby is fed and clothed successfully each day

2. Ensure that I was clothed in at least pjs and managed to eat at least one semi-meal per day (graze snack pots count as a meal)

3. Try to make one Mum friend

That was it my goals. Oh and WRITE ABOUT BEING A NEW MUM!

What on Earth was I thinking? Little Squish is now 5 months old (ish) and this is the first time I’ve even had chance to have a fully formed thought about writing a post never mind doing it. It’s not just the constant attention a baby needs, even with a “good” baby. It’s the fact that you are totally fried, Mum brain is a real thing, the exhaustion is nothing like you’ve ever dealt with before and to be honest I now think those women who do manage to blog and Instagram and blog and whatever the fuck else is going on in the world of social media are either robots, high on uppers or simply a different breed of human to me. Because, whilst as a mum you’re never supposed to say this – I cannot do it all. I just can’t.

But I really want to try. So I’m going to try. I may not get onto my instagram or my Twitter or anything else but I’m going to try.

Wish me luck!

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Did you really just say that?

One of the things that surprised me about being pregnant the most wasn’t the swollen ankles, constant sickness or any of the other fun and slightly gruesome symptoms. No, it was other people and in particular middle-aged men – oddly enough.

From the day I began to properly show and it became obvious I was definitely pregnant and not just a bit more portly than usual, people began to make the most intrusive and ridiculous comments. The fact that strangers make comments and ask questions was not a total shock as there are plenty of blog posts, comedian’s sketches and references in general pop culture about this. However, the fact that the worst culprits were middle-aged men who were complete strangers was not something I was prepared for.

A few examples?

A male cashier in a supermarket asking if I was married or if I was a girl in trouble.

A male colleague asking if I plan on breastfeeding whilst making squeezing motions with his hands against his chest.

Another male colleague saying that I was selfish if I did breastfeed as my boobs should only be for my husband. 

Asked by a man in a hospital waiting room if I was planning on using curry or sex to ensure baby arrives on time.

Being asked what pain relief I plan on using so many times – being told an epidural was overkill and made me pathetic – being told that I was going to rip myself a new one and would need everything going – being told that if I took anything I would be being selfish and damaging my baby. All by men, who, coincidentally had NEVER given birth.

And my personal favourite;  whilst enrolling a man’s son at the college I work at the father asked me if I planned to deliver vaginally… and if so would I “be making” my husband watch? He then went on to explain that if I did I should expect him to cheat on me because it was “messed up” to expect any man to deal with that and not stray… Needless to say this man’s son and I were both sat with our mouths open and looking totally confused by his comments.

These are just a few examples of the top of my head, the ones that stuck with me the most. Now you may ask why I have only picked on the comments made by men? Because there were definitely unwelcome comments from women as well, ones that made me stop in my tracks and my jaw drop. But the reason I am picking on the ones from men is how they made me feel, I will try to explain this.

Firstly, when a woman makes a comment generally I felt happy answering back in whatever tone matched my mood at the time. Also when a women made a comment it had usually followed a conversation with them about childbirth or rearing, so I assumed it was made from a place of concern or interest in being helpful (I know this is not always the case).

Secondly, when a man-made these comments it was always completely out of the blue – I had never preceded these events with a conversation about being pregnant. Why did they feel like they had the right to suddenly ask extremely personal questions?

The scariest part is that when these men made comments or asked questions I was alone, or the only other people around were with the man. This made me feel very vulnerable and in a few situations a bit scared to respond without receiving retaliation.

Surely, by now, people are starting to understand that it is not acceptable to ask personal questions or judge extremely personal things about another person. I mean, what if I walked up to the security guard in my local supermarket and asked him what sexual position he preferred most? Or if I asked a male colleague whether he preferred to hang his penis to the left or the right in his boxers? Or perhaps asking a bus driver if he intended to make his wife go with him to a painful and invasive hospital procedure for support, and if he was then explaining why he was a selfish twat. Do you think this behaviour would be acceptable to these men? Do you think that they would just smile sweetly and change the subject for fear of my reaction? No, I don’t think so either.

So WHY is it still seen that pregnant women are almost public property? Why do you have the right to ask what I plan on doing with any part of my body? Why do you have the right to judge me for choosing one painkiller over another? Simply because I managed to grow a human inside me does not equate me to a vending machine that you get to poke and prod and input commands to your hearts desire in order to get a yummy goody out of me.

So from one woman to all the men (and women) out there, please, please do not ask or make invasive comments about a pregnant woman’s body or what choices she may make. You may not be so lucky and get one who is be brave enough to bite back and not just whimper and run away. ALSO (and more importantly) you have no right to make those judgements or ask for that information.

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Pregnancy Kicked My Ass

So, obviously it has been a while since I last posted and that is simply because – PREGNANCY KICKED MY ASS!!!

Sorry if that offends anyone, but seriously it is so true.

I’ve tried and tried repeatedly to get myself writing but it has just not happened. I have been so tired and exhausted and literally dead on my feet EVERY day that it was barely possible for me to function as a basic human never mind anything further.

Now that it’s over and my little man is finally here I am so grateful that I am not pregnant any more. I feel awful that every morning I wake up and think “thank god it is over!” I know that I should be thankful that I managed to conceive, carry and birth a healthy happy baby – and believe me I am. Yet, I reiterate – PREGNANCY KICKED MY ASS!!!

Line Severinsen’s book of comics about pregnancy is hilarious and worth a look.

I struggled with Pelvic Girdle Pain, horrific heartburn, sickness throughout my pregnancy, sheer exhaustion and oh just being ridiculous uncomfortable. By the end of my pregnancy I was attending weekly physiotherapy sessions for my PGP and basically living on the sofa as any movement at all was horrifically painful.

Basically I am writing this post as a bit of catharsis, because I know how lucky I am to have my baby boy here. However, I feel really guilty for feeling so awful and hating pregnancy so much. I feel like I am mocking women who aren’t able to get pregnant or have happy healthy babies of their own. But I need to remember that by hating pregnancy, I am not mocking them or minimising their experiences. I need to remember that I am entitled to acknowledge that I was uncomfortable and I really couldn’t wait for the experience to be over. I need to remember that every woman’s experiences of fertility is valid and not to be ignored.

Looking at the discussions about pregnancy and women’s experiences you can see that it is fraught and difficult. Firstly because it is a difficult experience, not necessarily a bad one for every one, but the process of getting pregnant, carrying to term and birthing a human being is complicated no matter who you are. Secondly, because of the way that people treat women regarding their fertility – from constantly asking “so when are you going to pop one out” right through to treating pregnant women as public property (something I’m going to go more into). Finally, the way that the woman feels about the whole process is something no one can quite quantify and yet is judged and picked apart at every stage.

Anyway! I am now three weeks postpartum and I am currently juggling my laptop, bouncing the bouncy chair with my foot and repeatedly sticking the dummy back in my little boy’s adorable gob (why has dummy sellotape not been invented?!). As you can tell if you have got this far, my writing is rusty and my brain a bit like mush – but – I am glad to be at least giving it a go!

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What on earth is that?

So I’m determined to think and write about the funny things I’ve experienced in pregnancy so far. I know 15 weeks in I have much more to come but here’s just a few for starters. I am starting to feel more like myself and being able to find humour in things again, so here’s my list…

(Quick heads up some of these may be a bit nsfw)

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Itching PowderSeriously, itchy doesn’t cover it. If someone offered to turn my office chair into a cheese grater I’d take them up on it, purely so I could scratch scratch scratch. I’d sort of read about this on the apps and in the books but they did not prepare you for the reality of sitting in a traffic jam trying to itch your backside on your seat. There have been mornings where I’ve seriously considered that my husband may have put itching powder in my clothes, to the point I’ve gotten irrationally angry and searched his bedside drawers to make sure there was none hidden. Although the highlight has to be slathering my entire body in cream and standing butt naked, legs akimbo, elbows high and holding my boobs up (no one wants boob sweat mixed with body lotion). As ridiculous as I felt, oh god the relief was indescribable.

I’d like to make a quick note here that extreme itchiness is a sign of some nasty stuff in pregnancy so if you at all relate make sure you mention it to your midwife.

http://wildwooddesigns.com.au/tag/coastal-furniture/ 2. Whose boobs are these and why are they stabbing me?

Being a bigger boobed gal, with a family history of cancer, I have become very well acquainted with my boobs over the years. Thanks in equal measure to many occurrences of standing in front of mirrors and trying to self-measure for bras as well as regular checks for lumps. That is why I can safely say, these are not my breasts. Nope. They were one of the first things I noticed a change in, not only did they start to get bigger but they changed shape! Like seriously dudes I’m 27 don’t start going all weird on me now! I thought we were friends. So now my favouritist comfy bras no longer fit as well as they used to, plus those fuckers are expensive and I challenge you to find a pretty 36GG sized nursing/maternity bra. So for now I’m suffering along with sort of comfy bras.

As well as a new shape and size my nipples are a thing to behold. I was always quite proud of my nipples, bizarre I know,  but they were a good size and a pleasant pink – not any more. They have ballooned, ballooned I tell you! Not only the areaolas have gotten bigger,  but the actual nipple itself – to the point that I am wondering if I do decide to breast feed how these things will fit into a baby’s mouth. It gets worse, the colour! I distinctly remember ringing my best friend and screaming down the phone “why the fuck are they fucking brown?!” My best friend being childless was completely nonplussed and freaked out just as much as I was. Apparently this is normal,  but I am not a fan.

But, aha, that is not all! The pain! There is the stretchy, full pain, the stabby someone’s just poked you with a hot poker pain and my personal favourite the just-been-tasered pain. Now I know pain is normal, but again why does it strike at the most ridiculous times? Driving on the motorway, in meetings with students and their parents at work, in a room surrounded by only men. You get the gist. But I defy you to not flinch or react or suppress the urge to grab your boobs and swear.

http://paterson-associates.co.uk/property-search/?location=troon 3. Gas, gas and more gas

Now I’ve had IBS for around a decade and thought there was little more my Fartnot so little backside and its accompanying organs could do to surprise me. Oh boy was I wrong. Gas is a thing of insanity, it has literally had me crying from laughter at the noises coming out of my backside all the way to crying in agony clutching a hot water bottle from the completely ridiculous amounts of pain. I don’t know how anyone could have prepared me for it, but I wish they had tried. Somehow the baby books just can’t convey that feeling of I’m about to explode, like literally my chest and stomach are about to explode like something out of one of the alien films. It has been horrible and I will never again say to someone, “why not just force a fart, I mean surely it can’t be that bad”. I apologise for my previous utter stupidity.

4. Where do you think you’re going?

Bone movement! That one I was definitely not ready for. My pelvis slowly turning was one of my first symptoms, I literally felt like a very slow pin up girl rotating my hips towards the adoring crowds of sailors. Very odd but not too painful thankfully, right now I’m praying it stays like that and the dreaded SPD stays away. But, ladies and gents, we come to the one thing I have not shut up about – my ribs! What the actual fuck? Why have they moved? I am not happy with that! My lower ribs have literally moved apart, by quite a significant amount. My clothes sit funny now, my waist shape has changed – with no bump to blame – when I rest my hands on my chest it feels like someone else’s body. And let me tell you, that process hurt like holy hell and resulted in a snot and tear filled 3am phone call to my mum to find out if this is normal. It is apparently.

how old to buy claritin 5. Going to the toilet will never be the same 

Now this one isn’t totally restricted to pregnancy, it’s been a factor since we started trying, but I’d hoped it wouldn’t carry on once I got that second blue line. I have not been able to go to the toilet and wipe without then double checking the tissue. And by check I of course mean have a good old inspection like some creepy scientist. I know I know it’s totally disgusting and I wash my hands really thoroughly but I can’t help myself. Apparently this is not uncommon, but I can’t quite figure out if it’s driven by fear and worry or something else – either way I hope the compulsion goes away soon!

And on that delightful and pleasant note I’m going to leave it here for today! If you’ve got any symptoms you fancy sharing I would love to hear them.

Lucy At Home
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What’s happened to me?

I’ve been trying to write a post for over a week now. Having loads of ideas about the books I’ve been reading, the funny things that no one tells you about pregnancy, doing my best not to have a massive political rant etc etc. But it’s just not been coming, I can’t get the words out and I think I finally know why. I can’t seem to find myself and my voice because I don’t know what’s happening to me, as in my mental health “me”.

Pregnancy Mental Health

I’m finding each day a chore, struggling to put a smile on and enjoy things I normally love. Struggling to find interest in my work or hobbies. Struggling to properly interact with people without having to put a fake face on. Now that the secrets out of the bag I’ve had so many friends and well wishers getting excited for me and wanting to share in my joy, but the thing is I can’t find the joy? I can’t seem to find the excitement? Where is it…?

I have worried that maybe I’m getting a bit depressed, I’ve had depression in the past and working with teenagers all day I definitely know the markers. But I don’t think it’s quite that bad yet, I’m just not me and I really want to know why and get back to it. I want this pregnancy with every fibre of my being, I want to be excited and coo and squeal and stare longingly at miniature sleepsuits. I want to check my 9 pregnancy apps every day to see what if anything has changed. But I’m just not.

A few people that I’ve confided in have been really helpful and reassuring. My husband is fantastic, looking after me despite being exhausted and stressed himself; letting me sit quietly when I need to, encouraging me to sleep properly, making me laugh and distracting me when he can see it’s getting too much. My very northern best friend has given me the “be reet” chat and helped to cheer me up and distract me with the oddities of house sharing and a new relationship. My mum friends have reassured me that this is normal, just to remember the insane amount of changes going on not only in my body but the baby’s too. Not to mention the many many hormones pinging their way around my body, it’s bound to have an effect. And then there’s my friends who haven’t understood why I’ve been hiding in the house hugging hot water bottles and avoiding all contact. The ones who ignore my apologies and don’t even bother replying, that hurts and then sends me right back to feeling not “me” again.

So what to do now?

I’m determined I’m not going to let this feeing overwhelm me, I’m going to make myself do the day to day things. Try and smile and take joy in the stupid and inane things that cross my desk each day. Try and look at the baby books and apps, get excited about names and size of the baby and of fingers and toes (I’ve got a kiwi sized little one right now).

I’m also doing my best not to let the negative things cause more problems; the friends who don’t reply, the things that go wrong at work, money worries or stress, just anything. Water off a ducks back – that’s my goal!

Anyway. I think I’ve now got these rants/thoughts out of my system. Hopefully. I know the feeling isn’t going to go away just because I will it, but I’m stubborn and I’m not going to give in. I also know where my line is and I know when I need to ask for help – luckily for me I have a fantastic support network.

If you’ve read this to the end, thanks for sticking with me and if you’re feeling this way yourself – please talk to someone and don’t try and struggle on alone!

Lucy At Home
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