Did you really just say that?

buy prednisone online uk 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.

source url 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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Fed Up February

As you may or may not have noticed – being that my only loyal fan is my husband – I haven’t written much recently. I seem to go through this every year at the end of January and February, I get fed up and give up for a few months. I get fed up of my job, of my company, of my colleagues, of my house, my car, my town, my hair, my dogs, my husband (shhh) and this year I can add trying to conceive to that – just everything. I’ve taken to calling it Fedupruary, I know snappy isn’t it!

Fed Up February

The thing is I have no real reason to be fed up of my life, I have a decent-ish job in a nice-ish company, a house that we own and not rent, my hair is just fabulous so shut your mouth, my dogs are gloriously cute little troublemakers and my husband actually isn’t that bad I suppose. However trying to conceive, that I just can’t seem to square off in my head and I think that is what is what is dragging me down so much this year. Because of this dragging me down I can’t seem to make any of the previous statements cheer me up, I just brush them off and come up with some crappy excuse.

Anyone who has tried to conceive will know that there are good times and bad, no matter the length or difficulty of your journey. We are coming up to our ninth cycle, although I’m praying it will be our last it more than likely will – with one early miscarriage, which was just frankly pretty darned shite. The last month or so I have really struggled to want to carry on with it all, of course I still want baby but to actually want to carry on with this shitty journey is something all together.

Fed Up February

So what do I do?

I can’t carry on feeling like this, I will only feel more and more crappy and eventually start to seriously damage my mental health. So I follow the lyrics of a Kelly Clarkson song that I clung to as a teenager –

“I’m forced to fake

A smile, a laugh every day of my life”

Depressing isn’t it? But I learnt a long time ago that the only way to I could get past things was to barrel through them, get up and put a smile on your face and go do the thing you really can’t face. It takes time but eventually forcing the routine helped me to start to feel like me again. So that’s what I’ve done.

MumsnetI’ve gone back to Mumsnet and to my lovely group of ladies that I chat to on a regular basis – all complete strangers that I feel I share this journey with so intimately I kinda missed them whilst I’ve been shut down and avoiding it all.

I’ve planned a trip away with my husband, I am so excited that I’ve spent a fortune on new clothes and shoes obviously. Lion King is going to be awesome! Although I haven’t picked an outfit for that yet… Hmm, more shopping?

Finally I’ve forced myself to write this sort of self-pitying and self-indulgent post and get back to writing!

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Well meant trying to conceive “help” and “advice”

As most people can attest, when trying to conceive, when you are pregnant and when you have kids is a joyous time. Your closest friends and family, work colleagues and even strangers on the bus will share their experience and know how with you – whether you want them to or not.

Have you tried? yep

We have not told many people that we are trying, however there are a few people in each of my social circles who have either figured it out or who I have confided in that we are hoping for our own little bundle of joy. In doing this I have learnt a lot about my friends and their hidden, secret selves, the secret selves who have a doctorate in fertility specialisms, who know everything about everything and you must listen to what they say and follow it to the letter! Or god help you as you will never be blessed with a child.

I’m sure you all know just what I mean… and have experienced just this!

Most people are happy and excited for you and as such eager to help see you on your way, others lean more toward the smug-I-know-better-look-at-me-and-my-perfect-kids end of the spectrum. (Can you tell I’m losing patience?) Angry OvarySome of the gems I’ve received have been hilarious! From advice on positions, technique, products to *ahem* enhance, diet, weight , personality types, drugs, even the fact that owning dogs makes your eggs shrink!

Some of the advice has been genuinely helpful, reassurance and relatable experience, however to my dismay most of it has been prescriptive and judgemental. The assessment of myself and my husbands every move, weights, dispositions, diets and general attitude to life. And this is help and advice which is not welcome, not helpful and just downright rude. 

But perhaps the most painful has been the criticism of how I am coping personally. As a type A organised personality I like to know what is happening when, organise it, plan it, prepare for it and god no surprises. But I know, trust me I know, that this is not possible when trying to conceive as it just doesn’t work like that. However, I am coping by understanding, reading, researching and tracking things, this is what helps me sleep at night and not stress all day. It’s great if relaxing and just enjoying a whole load of Russel Brand style sex helped you, honestly it is and way to go girl.  But please, don’t tell me off or make me do it your way and I won’t make you do it my way.

RELAX!

So, I say this with respect and gratitude, and probably for couples everywhere, I appreciate that you are excited for us and hopeful and want to help. But unless I ask? Please don’t give me advice or tell me the way that I am coping is wrong, I’m coping and getting on with my life and that takes strength every day of this journey.

( http://fieldandfire.com/portfolio/sesame-raisin/ Also I solemnly swear that when I’m a smug-I-know-better-look-at-me-and-my-perfect-kids you have permission to shove a sock in my gob!)

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Americans and Fat Me…

So after 12 days in Vegas my experience of Americans and fat me have varied greatly.

In preparation for my trip to the Capitol of fairy lights I got myself some sparkly fake nails, a wardrobe of 50s style dresses and some comfy ass sketchers pumps and flip flops.

I have to say my experience has been mostly positive. I have been complimented on my outfits at least once a day. And my sparkly nails? A complete hit!

However, what has stuck with me most is the rudeness of some of the other visitors to sin city.

I was called a pig by a French woman as she proceeded to commence a diatribe in French used me as an example to her two young daughters as to what a woman shouldn’t be. Luckily, or not so I have rudimentary French so I could understand and react so that she knew I understood. So many things wrong in that encounter I don’t even know where to begin.

Secondly I was called a whore by a slightly tipsy Texan. His assumption was that as a busty (and large, as he pointed out) woman in a low cut rockabilly dress dress I would be lucky to get a partner that would pay. Never mind one who would actually want me.

But finally the one that hurt the most? The final night I dressed up in the lovely blue and white number below, my trusty black sketcher pumps and my best string of pearls.

Saphy

Not to forget my grandmas vintage blue net purse and best lippy. In the lift on the way down to the casino I was feeling good, standing tall. However, a woman in a silk short and blouse set took a long appraising look. From my shoes to my legs to my dress to my cover up and bag to my hair and makeup. She smirked at me and then turned to face her husband and suppressed a laugh whilst nodding in my direction. This was so obvious and callous even my oblivious husband went into caveman mode and almost challenged them to a fight.

Whilst the last of these was the least confrontational as such it hurt the most and stuck with me the most. The calm calculated manner and the way in which she looked me in the eye as she smirked was just plain mean. Nothing else. I wish I could say I shrugged this off and didn’t let it affect my night, but it did. I found myself sitting that bit straighter and sucking my tummy in, using my cover up to disguise my width as I sat down.

So as I sit in my hotel the night before flying home to reality I have to ask myself, why did these people think it was okay to make these comments? Is it nationality? Difference in manners? Too many drinks? Either way I cannot deny that they affected me far more than I would have liked. Let’s just hope what happens in Vegas truly does stay in Vegas.

Now excuse me whilst I go enjoy my last cocktail… On the house of course!

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Assumptions. Make an…

This weekend I bit the bullet and joined my local gym, I got a discount due to being a Slimming World member for the gym, swim and classes. But, as I explained to the very nice man – I have no intention of using the gym. I have nothing against them I just personally would rather put nails in my eyes.

What I planned on doing was swimming two mornings a week and doing Pilates at least once a week, I enjoy this. I love swimming and Pilates is exercise which is strangely fun and relaxing. Weird I know?!

But when I went for my induction there were a lot of assumptions being made. Lots of phrases starting with;

“as a slimming world member you will need to be doing…”

“to lose that weight you need to do…”

“as a woman your size you will obviously want to be doing…”

Now fair enough, here I am joining a gym – in January – on the slimming world membership – they are bound to assume it’s because I want to lose weight and “drop the pounds quick”. And yet, when I explained that actually I’m not here for high intensity, sweaty and painful workouts I am here to do some exercise which I will enjoy and will help me increase my fitness levels. I own two beagles and work in a college with a lot of stairs, I am not unfit although apparently my size 18/20 body told them otherwise – and they said so. (To be honest someone guessing my dress size just added to my frustration!)

The point of all of this is for me to be a happier me! Cheesy cliches are encouraged today! Yea I may be bigger than what is expected of me, but I am finally okay with that. What I want to do is a bit of swimming, giggling in Pilates, improve my current fitness levels and have healthier eating habits. And that’s all- OKAY!?

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