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)

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turning into a secret softie?

Those who read my blog often, know that I’m not the type of pregnant woman who gushes over her bump and finds the process of growing a baby to be some sort of divine experience. I’m more from the school of “can’t wait for the end product but could do without the being pregnant bit”.

I’m absolutely thrilled to be having a baby and cant wait to meet our little guy, but the whole being pregnant bit isn’t something I have really loved.

But I may have found one little part of it that I love.

It usually happens around 8.30pm each night.

I’ve usually had a busy day, running around for work and renovations and probably pushing myself harder than I should. I’ve usually just finished a quick dinner and finally sat down for the night to relax.

Within about 10 minutes or so, I feel it. It starts as a little nudge, usually on my right 5769573400_a7bdbf4f9f_zside. Then turns into an evening of rumble and tumble. My little dude trying to get comfy or find a way out through my belly button. Throughout the night he shifts and turns, occasionally kicking but mainly gently nudging, responding to the jingle of my harmony ball or the voice of his daddy through my belly.

Before I was pregnant, if another mother had spoken of being kicked in the belly by her unborn baby, I was a little grossed out. Even as my belly started to grow and I felt those first few kicks, I was a little freaked out by the soft flutters I would feel.  But soon, they became a part of my day; a lovely reassurance that my baby was doing well and getting strong. Going longer than a few hours without feeling a little nudge suddenly felt quite frightening.

Now, those moments at night when he rolls and rumbles inside my belly are some of my favourite moments of the day.

There’s something immensely connective about feeling your baby move, something that I didn’t quite understand before. It’s selfish, but also very warming to know that its something only you will ever feel. In a way, it’s the first real conversations you have with your child; a private moment that no one else can interrupt and take away.

So the hard woman in me may be softening. I wouldn’t say I’m going all “earth mother” on anyone anytime soon but I have definitely found one little aspect of pregnancy which turns me into a bit of a softie.

Sshhh… don’t tell anyone….

xx A

 

stranger danger

I feel like this post needs a disclaimer before I begin. So, if I know you, if we are friends, if we are family, I am not referring to you in this post. Don’t go getting all weird on me and taking offense. You are not the reason I write this.

So, now that is out of the way, lets talk about my belly.

Yes, I’m pregnant. Yes, I now LOOK pregnant. Yes, my “is it a food baby?” bump now looks like a dead set “up the duff” bump.

Its lovely, it makes people smile. I get it. The miracle of life and the glow and all of that, But seriously, stop with the uninvited touching!

cant touch this

Numerous times a day I come into contact with new people. Most of them are polite and charming and have all sorts of lovely questions about how I feel and when I’m due and all that jazz. Most of them keep their paws to themselves. Most of them are self-respecting normal human beings who know a thing or two about boundaries and personal space.

Then there are the gropers. The people who after a matter of seconds in my presence feel it necessary and reasonable to put their hands straight onto my bump and have a big old feel around. No “can I have a feel?” no “would you mind?” no preemptive questions at all. Without any warning – in they come, all grabby and intimate. Rubbing my belly as if I’m some sort of good luck Buddha.

I wont bring you good luck.

I wont bring you good luck.

Now look, I’m not a total cow. I understand that a pregnant belly has a certain force field attached to it. A force that apparently makes people suddenly loose their shit and think that my belly is a new toy. But is it too much to ask for permission before going in for the kill?

Some people even take it that one step further. Not just going in for a simple pat around the belly button area (a pretty safe zone for those playing at home) but taking it to the extreme and mapping out the entire width and girth of my belly with their hands, inspecting me in a way I’m only comfortable experiencing with my obstetrician or my babies daddy.

I wouldn’t dream of walking up to a non-pregnant woman and having a nice little feel around her belly. I wouldn’t really touch anyone I don’t know without asking first (Unless you’re John Stamos. In which case, watch out, I will probably feel you up in a totally uninvited and inappropriate manner).

I guess for me, a simple “would you mind if I touched your belly?” is not too much to ask? I’ll always say “sure, go ahead”. It’s not the touching I take issue with (remember to stick to the belly button zone though thanks). It’s the lack of permission sought by strangers that irks me.

It’s a type of stranger danger I didn’t know existed. People don’t warn you about this when you first get pregnant. There’s no memo sent out saying that “oh, by the way, total strangers are going to feel you up in supermarket cues and at the bus stop”. It just happens. And it’s annoying.

So, to all of you strangers out there. I know my belly makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Its lovely, I get it. But do me a favour – if you want to have a little rub, just do me the courtesy of asking me first. I promise I’ll say yes.

NB: unless you are weird and a bit dirty. In which case, this is awkward but no. Please go away.  

xx A

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up close and personal

We were given a wonderful gift from friends recently –  a session at The Ultrasound Nursery. So tonight, off we went to see our little dude in a fabulous up close and personal 3D/4D scan.

To start with little Mr Peanut was not at all cooperative. After a few attempts of coercing him to get into a good position, Doc suggested a walk around the block to get him wriggling. Luckily, that, along with a stern word through my belly to the little guy, seemed to do the trick and when we returned, he was camera ready.

It’s pretty amazing that we were able to see him in such detail. Talk about making the whole thing feel real. So, this post is my first ever total parental bragging moment. A totally selfish display of how cute I think my little dude is.

A few things that we learnt from todays scan:

  • He is extremely flexible! At the start of the scan, his foot was on his head. What the?
  • He loves a good ole chomp on his own umbilical chord. Kinda gross but hey – slim pickings down there for things to chew on.
  • He has a rats tail. A good sign for that long rock god hair we hope he has one day.
  • He has the perfect feet for a pair of soccer boots. Pretty sure dads having a pair measured up as we speak.
  • He is definitely a boy. We have a graphic pic for his 21st birthday to prove it.
  • He pretty much has the cutest nose in the world. Even the Dr thinks so. And he wouldn’t lie to me.

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Love him.

xx A

what’s more inappropriate?

This?

shorts2

 

or this?

medium_421171206

The first one is an image I am bombarded with every time I venture outdoors. Women, not just girls, with their arses hanging out all over the place in teeny, tiny, short shorts which it looks like they stole from their nieces dollhouse. Apparently its fashion. Apparently a lot of people dont have mirrors anymore.

The second, is a mother breastfeeding her baby. A perfectly natural and beautiful part of raising a child.

Disappointingly, todays news headlines in Australia once again speak of a woman being asked to leave a public space due to the fact that she was breastfeeding. On one of the hottest summer days we have experienced, this mother had taken her children to the local swimming pool. When her 11 month old required feeding, she did what most mothers would do. She fed her. Shock horror! Staff at the pool promptly advised her that she was required to “refrain from feeding out in the open” and was asked to either leave or go to the change rooms where no-one could see her.

Are you kidding me? This is a POOL. A public space where there were no doubt men prancing around in grossly misfitting speedos and woman in bikinis which only Miranda Kerr should be allowed to wear, yet this woman feeding her baby is what is causing offense?

Why is it that some people within society are so grossly offended by a breastfeeding mother? Now, I’ve never been a breastfeeder before. I will get to know the “joys” (or challenges!) of breastfeeding in a couple of months when my son arrives, but I can tell you, if anyone takes it upon themselves to ask me to “refrain” from feeding my son in public, I will find it hard to “refrain” from punching them in the face.

I understand that as with anything, a certain amount of common sense is required. I have no plans to flop the ole tit out in front of a bunch of school kids and let my son have a nice big free for all. There should be decorum and general decency in how you breastfeed your baby and how much you cover up. But at the end of the day, its a mothers choice.

Unfortunately a lot of the comments I have seen today regarding this story, reek of chauvinism and ignorance and a general belief that a mother breastfeeding her baby is a perverted site. Get real people. You want to know what is more perverted – having to see what the girl walking in front of me ate for breakfast because her shorts are so freaking short!

This story touched a nerve with me today. Maybe its fear that I will one day have to deal with what was no doubt an awful situation for the mother in this story. Maybe its fear that our society can be so backwards that this has once again made the news. Maybe I’m just sick of seeing inappropriate short shorts. Who knows. But to all you breastfeeding mamas out there – get your tits out girls. Screw those who are offended by something so perfectly natural. You feed your baby when and how you want to.

xx A

the news story can be found here

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he has ears

So I’m not sure how it happened but I’m now almost 25 weeks into this journey.  The time has gone so incredibly fast that I would very much appreciate it if someone could tell me where the last 10 or so weeks have gone.  If the last 10 have gone so fast, the next 15 are no doubt going to be over and done with in a flash. Then, we have a child.

(stepping away from laptop to have a mild panic attack about that – be back soon)

Ok, so I’m back. Lets stop thinking about the impending arrival of this little person and get back on topic.

According to all of the pregnancy related crap you are supposed to read whilst growing something inside of you, my baby now has ears. This is awkward – for more reasons than one. But mostly – I swear. A lot. Too much many would say.

medium_712869704It’s no surprise to anyone that knows me that, as much as I can be a bit of a princess, I tend to have the mouth of a trucker. A pretty pissed off, drunk on cheap beer trucker.  It’s not something I intentionally do and to be honest I don’t think I even realize I’m doing it most of the time. There is no denying it though. I’m a total potty mouth.

I don’t use all of the swear words. You could say I’m a snob when it comes to my swearing. The C word is totally off limits and I will judge you if you say it in my presence. The F word however, is pretty much a staple and the S word, well, that’s not even a swear word anymore is it? Oh, it is. Well, the problem may be worse than first thought.

I don’t tend to swear with malice and I try to curb my swearing when in the presence of children (not sure if I have been successful but I’m sure my friends will let me know). I do my best to keep the swearing at work to a minimum, but I don’t think I’m very successful at that. My relaxed relationship with my parents makes it hard to watch my language around them, although Dad does still tell me off (never too old hey!) and I try to not swear within 5 minutes of meeting someone for the first time.

Even with all of those things in mind, I’m still a drunken trucker most of the time.

But now HE can hear me. I’m not silly enough to think that he can understand my words, but the knowledge that he has tiny, perfect ears that have never been exposed to the foul mouth of a drunken trucker, makes me want to keep them that way.

So mission number one in the quest to preserve my little guys ears – STOP SWEARING.

Well, cut down at least. Shit, lets be realistic, you have to run before you can walk.

xx A

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great read – had to share

I had to share this hilarious article I came across today. Must be popular seen as Scary Mommy shared it too (thanks Scary Mommy!).

I loved every word and its given me some inspiration. I’m thinking about writing a letter to my post pregnant, with-child self. If you wrote yourself a letter, what would it say?

http://www.scarymommy.com/a-letter-to-my-pregnant-child-less-self/

xx A

welcome back denim

A few of you may remember a post of mine from a month or so back entitled ‘a sad day for denim’ https://thetruthbehindtheglow.com/2012/11/15/a-sad-day-for-denim/. It was a tragic day. A bleak day in my pregnancy journey. A clear winner if we were playing a game of highs and lows.

But today, I would like to declare, that with great thanks to an inventive little contraption, denim is once again a part of my life. Welcome back denim. I’ve missed you and I’m sorry I discounted you for as long as I did.

Let me introduce you to the Belly Belt…. photo

I’ll admit, it’s not the most attractive piece of fashion I’ve ever encountered, but it has done something fabulous to my life. It’s given me my jeans back. Not even my “I’ll squeeze into them” pairs. I’m talking my go to, fabulous butt giving, would wear them every day if I could pair.

I remember seeing these little belts back in my past life as a Bras and Things sales assistant. Part of me pitied those poor women whose pants didn’t quite do up and I remember smugly thinking to myself “not me. I’d never wear that”.

Well, let me tell you – anything that allows me clothing options apart from leggings at this point in my life is a welcome gift and Belly Belt, you are my saviour  It’s a very simple concept really (insert jealously that I didn’t think of it first!). It adds a couple of centimetres or inches to your waist band and buttons, depending on how big that belly is getting. Add on a long top to cover up the obvious fabric flap and waa-lah, denim returns to my life.

photo2

I wont be winning any awards for sex appeal when my long top is removed but hey, the man in my life has seen me in much worse states and I’m pretty sure my good butt providing jeans are a welcome sight for him as well as me. After all, leggings don’t win you any sex appeal awards either.

So today, denim and I continue our love affair. I don’t care that it’s a hot Australian Summer outside. I’ll just up that air-conditioner and sit here in comfort knowing that my jeans and I are back on talking terms.

Welcome back old friend, welcome back.

xx A