2 weeks in

This time 2 weeks ago, my son was born. My world was changed forever. I became Archer Flynn’s mum.

He arrived at 1.40pm. Much quicker than the doctors had expected. Much smaller than they had warned.  I had spent a few hours in a bathtub. Sucking on gas and air like a woman possessed, doing my best to work my way through contractions without needing to submit to stronger drugs. When it all became too much I listened to the advice of my amazing midwife and took the epidural that was on offer. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a needle in my life.

I’m not going to go into graphic detail but the long and short of it was that it seems my son is as impatient as his mum and was ready to enter the world a lot quicker than the doctors were prepared for. After about 4 hours in labour, he was here.

Perfection.

photo3From his tiny toes to his dark blue eyes, to the intricate lines that mark each knuckle on every perfect tiny finger, he is perfect. And he is ours.

I still can’t believe that we made him.

The first few days in the hospital are somewhat of a blur. A haze of bad coffee, amazing friends and family visiting and hours lost staring at our son.

Coming home was a wonderful feeling. It’s true that the world looks like a very different place when you have your bundle in the car for the first time. Danger everywhere!

Now at day 14, we are getting into our groove. A few stumbles along the way have seen the occasional tear from both he and I. The pure joy I get from staring at him makes it worth it.

My favourite moments are early in the morning. Just my son and I, in the haze of a pre sunrise feed and the warmth of a dressing gown. The world outside doesn’t exist and I can sit with him in total peace.

photo6His dad is totally enamored. I secretly listen in as he talks to him during a midnight feed, chatting away in their own little world. I love that they have their own secrets already.

It feels as though we have had him forever. Although it’s only been 2 weeks, I can’t picture my life or heart without him in it. There are three of us now and we wouldn’t have it any other way. My two best men and me. Happiness. Pure and simple joy.

2 weeks in. Can’t wait for the rest of our lives.

xx A

that wasn’t in the brochure….

Before I got pregnant, I thought I knew a thing or two about the joys of being up the duff. I was by no means an expert but I had witnessed numerous friends and family go through the process, so I thought I was pretty up to speed on what to expect when expecting. And I was. Except for a few little things that people had magically left off of the list….

Here are some of the gems that I have learnt along the way.

  1. medium_6832566733You’ll miss your vagina. Seriously, I haven’t seen it in weeks, maybe months. I miss it. I’m pretty convinced it needs some “tending to” (mental note to book waxing appointment asap)
  2. You might want to consider buying a dog. Much easier to blame those stinky farts that will haunt you for 8 months on a dog than a partner who knows it wasn’t him.
  3. You’ll share things with people like never before. Something about having a pregnant belly makes you community property. Not only will everyone want to share their story with you, but also towards the end, you find yourself having no concerns at all sharing your bits with whoever will listen. In the last couple of weeks I’ve had in depth conversations with other women about the state of my vagina and what is/isn’t normal this far along in my pregnancy – conversations I never thought I’d have.
  4. The boobs you always wanted might just piss you off. This was a real disappointment for me. I had always looked forward to the perks of perky boobs during pregnancy. But when I found myself carrying around a set of double D’s, they were no where near as fun as I had imagined. Disappointing for N too… am sure he’s been dying to play with them the whole time. Poor bastard.
  5. medium_2685851866Heels WILL become the devil. As much as I thought I was going to be “different”, I’m not. I don’t care who you are, being 8 months pregnant and wearing heels to anything other than a super special occasion is insane. I look forward to welcoming stilettos back into my life in a few months time but for now, they are the devil.
  6. People will touch you. A lot. Not only doctors, family and friends (all of which are fine), total strangers will have a good old feel around too. Stranger Danger has been a pretty constant issue for me.
  7. You’ll miss the simple things. Putting on shoes with ease, bending over in general, eating ham. Oh how I miss thee.
  8. It is possible to want to vomit AND eat, at precisely the same time. I was very lucky in the early days of my pregnancy and didn’t suffer a lot from morning sickness. But, who knew that at precisely the same moment, you could have the strongest desire to scoff a bowl of carbs AND throw up. Lucky for me, the carbs usually won.
  9. You will learn the meaning of true patience…. From your partner. Those poor boys. Seriously, I have a newfound respect for the patience of my man. Putting up with me for the last 9 months is something I wouldn’t want to do. Must remember to thank him for that with afore mentioned waxed vagina in about 6 months time. 😉
  10. You’ll pretty much be petrified the entire time. From day dot, I’ve been scared about something. The first few days were pure terror from the realization Fearfulthat there was no way in the whole world that I was ready to be a mother. The next 12 weeks were full of fear about being able to hold onto the embryo that I didn’t realize I wanted so badly. The next 6 months have been a constant balance of irrational fears about eating the wrong food, my baby not moving enough or in the right way, an upcoming scan and basically everything and anything to do with the health of this little person I am carrying. Then there’s the birth bit – you can read about the fear associated with that here.

The most valuable thing people dont tell you is that you are stronger than you think. Through all of the panic and sometimes uber uncomfortable parts of pregnancy, you’ll be fine. You’re tougher and more resilient than you ever gave yourself credit for. Mentally AND physically. That’s why women get to do this bit. Men would crumble.

What surprised you about your pregnancy journey? I’d love to hear from you.

Xx A

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/i-am-rebecca/6832566733/”>i.am.rebecca</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaparral/3333789812/”>Chapendra</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/cowbite/2685851866/”>cowbite</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

taking away the fear

Yesterday was antenatal class day. A day that I had predicted was going to be painfully tedious and awkward and that was a little frightening, as it signifies how close to the end of this journey we are getting (ie: holy crap, we’re actually having a baby – soon!)

Up until this point in my pregnancy, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted my birth to play out.

Healthy baby. Save my vagina. Don’t shit the bed.

I had no grand birth plan or divine script of how I wanted labour to be, except for one thing. Epidural – GET. IN. ME.

medium_3289103242My thoughts on the matter hadn’t come from any research or reading on childbirth. It hadn’t come from any drawn out thought on pros and cons. I think they had come purely from FEAR. The fear of the unknown and the fear of the pain that is obviously going to come with pushing a watermelon out of your body.

Couple that with my allergy to a quite a lot of pain relief and anti nausea drugs, the thought of going epidural from the get go was quite appealing.

Then I did the class.

Now I have a plan. A real plan. One that makes me feel strong and ready and most importantly, prepared for what is going to happen at some point over the coming weeks.

The class was not what I had expected at all. I had gone there thinking it was going to be a huff and puff class. You know the ones, sitting in a circle with your partner learning how to breathe through the process, huffing and puffing as if it was the real thing.

It wasn’t. It was a day full of empowering information about choices and about truly explaining the process my body is about to embark on. It was extremely liberating and calming and to be honest, is probably the most valuable thing I’ve done since being pregnant.

The midwife running the class was neither for nor against drugs or no drugs during labour. She provided equal information about both options and remained extremely vigilant in making sure we knew what our options were and that either way, we would be supported. She made sure that we understood the stages of labour and what our body was going to do.

Most importantly, she reminded me that our bodies are meant to do this. I can do this. I am designed to do this. This is not as scary as I thought.6081060-plan-a-and-plan-b-on-a-blackboard

Now I’m not saying that I’m going all “earth mother” and taking a no drug stance during labour. Not at all. It’s just that my friend the epidural is now a last resort as opposed to a first resort. An “if I need it” rather than an “I’m definitely going to need it”.

Thanks to the education of the lovely midwife Gaye, I now have the right information to make an informed choice. I now know, with some degree of certainty, how I want this labour to play out… it’s simple and short and it goes a little like this…..

  • Stay at home as long as possible (within reason!) by using a Tens machine to distract some of the pain.
  • Once in hospital, pop myself in a nice warm bath in our room and add some gas and air into the mix.
  • If needed, jump on board the pain killer wagon and see how I go. Add in a new anti nausea drug that I have discovered I’m not allergic to (miracle!) and hopefully I am almost ready to meet my little guy.
  • As a LAST resort, an epidural is there as an option.

All sounds a bit more mature and thought about than “don’t shit the bed” right?

The biggest take away from the class for me was options. How empowering it feels to have options presented and to feel informed about something that was previously so unknown. Take away the unknown, take away the fear.

I know it’s going to hurt like a bitch. I know its probably going to be one of the hardest things my body ever has to do. But I know now I can do it. I know I have choices and I know what I can do to help my body do its job.

I have a plan.

A birth plan.

And it feels better.

xx A

(Disclaimer: I’d still like to save my vagina and not shit the bed…. Any tips welcome)

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrentunnicliff/3289103242/”>ĐāżŦ {mostly absent}</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;