A sign saying "keep calm it's a baby girl"

Eek, I’m having a girl! Here’s why I’m already a concerned mother for my unborn daughter.

So I’m 20 weeks (halfway through my pregnancy) and have discovered that the beautiful little baby growing in my belly, is a girl. However, to be honest, I had always imagined myself having boys, as I felt (perhaps naively) that it would be easier. I know parents-to-be aren’t “supposed” to suffer from gender disappointment, but secretly they do. People say “Why does it matter, as long as it’s healthy?”. Whilst I agree with that statement and at the end of the day no matter what, I will love that baby with my whole heart and soul, some people have their reasons.

My notion of wanting to just raise boys probably stems from the fact that I am one of six girls in my family. Having five sisters I know all too well the social dramas, hormonal changes, conformable pressures, pop culture influences and self-esteem issues a young woman is exposed to and really struggles with. Although I know and understand that boys too can also experience these things. I do feel that in regards to things like the media, which can have a major influence, girls are slightly more targeted and thus can be more exposed to, or pressurised by what certain marketing channels are portraying. In a world that is currently driven by glossy magazines, talentless reality “stars” and social media, I worry how I will help my daughter combat a world whose media is not only constantly promoting superficial beauty, but glorifying the sexual objectification of young women. 

Women are endlessly bombarded by all sorts of beauty products that promise to make them “look better”. Not to mention the constant stream of provocative images that are being flaunted by magazines, celebrities and music videos. These things alone are teaching our girls that there is a social standard of how women should look, and that sexually personifying your body can earn you kudos. I mean, we all know the negative body image ramifications these certain forms of media are perpetuating. How many teenage girls (even tweens) do you see on Instagram or Facebook posting seductive selfies? You see these poor girls that are scantily clad, posing with pouty lips, face slapped up with make-up to look like they’re five years older, just so they can measure how much people “like” them. These days you can even use different types of filters, apps and Photoshop tools to cosmetically tweak your photos, so that you don’t even end up looking like you. And yes, there are grown women out there doing the same, so it begs the question: Why are we so god damn afraid of people seeing who we really are?! In the good ol’ days you took a photo and what you saw was what you got. No smoke and mirrors to hide behind or deceive others. Young women these days are being taught to obsess over their physical image and be less authentic versions of themselves!

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I’m so over being pregnant!

38 weeks pregnant and about to hit my 39th. I had an appointment with my midwife early on in the week. She did her usual check-up and pronounced that the baby is ready to come out – “It could be anyway day now”. She could see that my tummy has completely dropped, could feel that my baby’s head is engaged and said I’m about two centimetres dilated. Not only that, but I have been suffering from a myriad of aches, pains and annoyances which all point to the fact that my bun is done. 

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Is it okay to have more than one baby shower?

shutterstock_baby shower37 weeks pregnant and one of my closest girlfriends organised a little baby sprinkle for me. Why a sprinkle you ask? Well first off, I wasn’t sure about having a second baby shower/celebration in the first place, as it made me feel a little uncomfortable. The fact that I already had one for my son (albeit 6 years ago) means I have a few of the essentials already. So I felt like having another might be bad etiquette, come across presumptuous, or may even be seen as socially unacceptable. 

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very pregnant woman holding yellow alarm clock with one hand and pointing at it with the other

The waiting game….

So I’m only a few weeks off my due date and haven’t bothered writing for the last couple of weeks because I haven’t had anything worth reporting. Right now I feel like I’m so close, yet so far. I think the fact that I had my son one week early at 39 weeks also makes me feel that this baby could be early too. 

Although there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to patterns in arrival time with subsequent births. Mothers I know have said, “I was one week early with my first child and two weeks early with the second” and “I was one week early with all three of my children”. My sister’s children came early too, but at 34 weeks with her first and 35 weeks with her second. I guess I just have in my mind that I’ll probably give birth a week early as I did with my son, or maybe even two weeks early. Another reason I think that is I have just seen my midwife, who says the baby’s head is well down and starting to engage. With my son, his head didn’t engage until I was in labour. I’ve also read that first babies are more likely to engage than following births. So the fact my baby’s head is starting to engage already (and she’s my second), makes me think she’ll be early.

At the opposite end of the scale I have also heard of women being “ready” at 36 weeks pregnant and end up being overdue. Then a mum at my son’s school said she was 7 weeks early with her first child and 10 days overdue with her second. So I guess you just never really know! 

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The Babymoon

So as I’ve mentioned previously, I’m actually running a few weeks behind in terms of my pregnancy posts. So am trying my best to play catch ups and finally get up-to-date. Having said that, this week’s post is on the Babymoon Hubby and I went on at 34 weeks pregnant. 

The time where our family of three will soon be four is drawing near. So I organise a short trip away for just Hubby and I to enjoy some “Alone time” before baby arrives, otherwise known as a Babymoon. The word “Babymoon” has become quite the buzz word with expectant couples over the years and rightly so. Taking some time out just the two of you, before baby arrives is important. Besides, it could be quite some time before you get the chance to do it again! Hubby and I have always made sure that we spend time to focus on our relationship when we can. Like date nights and romantic weekends away – pending grandparents availability to look after The Little Guy. After all, this whole having kids thing started with the love we have for each other, so it’s important to keep the flame alive. Mostly for us, but we feel it’s important for our kid/s to see too.

I decide on somewhere close that feels img_0072“out of town”, but only a couple of hours from where we live. That way we’re not too far from home if there are any emergencies. The boutique hotel we stay at is “adults only”, which is just heavenly. Hubby and I spend the days just lazing around the pool, sleeping in, enjoy long leisurely breakfasts, lunches and dinners, reading books and magazines. My favourite thing was being able to go to the beach and go out deep into the surf with Hubby and enjoy the waves together. Usually you’re stuck in the shallows whilst you supervise your little one and you and Hubby go taggies on going in for a “Real swim”. Basically, we did anything we can’t do when you have a child constantly at your beck and call. 

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Stork making its nest

Nesting

33 weeks pregnant and I have the urge to get the rest of the baby things in order. Like set up a nappy change station, put together the pram, install the car capsule, assemble the bassinet and give our bedroom (where the baby will be sleeping) a good dusting. Apparently they call these urges “Nesting”. It’s actually quite animalistic and occur in a variety of species, with hormones being the trigger. Typically experienced by Mummas-to-be at the tail end of pregnancy, characteristics include sudden cleaning frenzies and the overzealous need to prepare your home for baby’s arrival. 

In my first pregnancy I  remember sitting up in bed at 5 am one morning, with a very urgent need to vacuum the baby’s room. After I finished the vacuuming I proceeded to go through the baby’s drawers and make sure all his clothes were folded and organised correctly (like they weren’t already). Then lastly rearranging some the nursery furniture to “Better utilise the space”. Hubby woke up a couple of hours later to find me in the baby’s room all bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and feeling very accomplished. I remember us both laughing at the situation, thinking that it was a little cuckoo and wondered where on earth my sudden burst of energy came from.

This time around I have not set up a separate room for the baby and instead have decided to just set up a couple of things in Hubby and I’s room. Looking back to when I was preparing for my son’s arrival, I probably had more than I needed. We also didn’t move him into his own room until he was 6 months old and sleeping right through the night. Being a first time mum you always think you need more than you do, besides you’ve never done it before, so how would you really know. 

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The excitement of becoming a big brother and 5 reasons why I’m glad we had to wait so long for baby number 2.

32 weeks pregnant and The Little Guy is getting increasingly excited about his little sister’s arrival. He learnt early on that when my stomach is the size of a small watermelon the baby will be ready to come out. While that’s still a little while off, he can clearly see my tummy is now growing at an exponential rate and it won’t be too long now. He loves grabbing my bare stomach, rubbing his little hands over my huge, round belly whilst declaring, “It’s just like a giant dumpling”. Then he whispers sweet sentiments into my belly button like, “Hello baby can you hear me? I love you”. Or at night before he goes to bed he hugs my belly and says, “Good night baby, have a good sleep, see you in the morning”. It’s a beautiful thing to see your eldest dote over their younger sibling, even if they haven’t been born yet. shutterstock_big-brother

Having a 6 year age gap between our fist and second born wasn’t exactly what Hubby and I had in mind. Unfortunately there were a couple of health issues that came up for me along the way that prevented us from being able to conceive. I know everyone has their own idea of what is a “good” age gap. I just think there are some significant benefits in a wide age gap and here’s why;

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Third trimester symptoms and feeling massively pregnant.

31 weeks pregnant and my belly has popped way out there. A few people have even asked “Where did that come from?”. My maternity clothes are starting to feel snug too. Wonder if they’ll still fit in another 6 weeks? I’ll probably be waddling around in nothing but muumuus by then. Otherwise there’s a small tent in the garage that might do the trick!

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My burgeoning belly has brought on some very unwelcome symptoms. Sleeping is becoming more and more difficult  as my hips ache during the night and I’m currently being woken by painful headaches. I’ve been using a full pregnancy body pillow, but it doesn’t seem to be keeping me as comfortable as before. Not to mention the other night I had quite the rude awakening – my first leg cramp. I woke Hubby with a fright as I screamed out in pain for help. I growled at him to “Grab hold of my leg and stretch my calve out!”. Dazed and confused he did so at an annoyingly delayed pace, but eventually managed to make it stop. I’ve read leg cramps are more common in the third trimester, I just hope I don’t suffer another – it hurt like a mofo!

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Getting excited and ready for baby.

30 weeks pregnant and the realisation of just how close D-day is sets in. When I think about how far I’ve made it, it brings tears to my eyes (I’m still hormonal, just not as bad). Compared to how my last trimester went, the Hyperemesis Gravidarum, gastritis and depression I was going through, was enough for me to hang up my oven mitts and swear off bun baking forever. Now with the end approaching I feel like how I should, excited, happy and not in a world of hurt. Sure there are the normal ailments; sore back, sore feet, and finding it impossible to get a good night’s sleep. They’re minor side-effects, compared to what I had been experiencing. 

Now I can really concentrate on baby’s arrival and the things I need to organise before she gets here. Even though I have kept a lot of my son’s babies clothes, I’ve gone out and splurged on some super cute “girls stuff” (of course non of them practical). We never kept the pram we originally had for The Little Guy, so I end up doing like 203 hours of research online for a new one. I also decide that I needed to find the perfect baby capsule. So I punch in another 300 hours of online time and scour the crap out of the internet for “the one”. It’s amazing how obsessed a mum-to-be can get over finding the “right” baby product! Thankfully we kept my son’s cot and that’s one less major ticket item I need not obsess about! Sure there’s all the other really practical (boring) things like bottles, bibs, wraps, change matt, multiple singles and onesies, nipple cream, nappy rash cream, nursing pads, nappies, wipes, maternity pads etc I still need to get. I’m just doing the fun, exciting stuff first :). 

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photo of three day old baby lying on parent's chest

Remembering reality with a newborn.

29 weeks pregnant and I’m starting to think about how long it’s been since I’ve had to take care of a newborn. I had my son almost 6 years ago and am afraid I’ll be a bit out of practice. I mean what will it be like this time around? Do I even remember what on earth I’m supposed to do with it? I definitely remember all the good stuff! Like the loved up days I spent right after my son was born, just staring at him. Hubby and I would cuddle on the couch together with him in our arms for hours. We would sigh in awe of this tiny human that we had created and talk about how lucky we were to blessed with such a gift. At the time I often wondered if my heart might literally explode with all the emotion and love I was feeling. 

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Abdominal separation in pregnancy

I’ve finally hit my third trimester and at 28 weeks am on the home stretch. I can’t believe I made it this far in one piece! Definitely at the stage where I’m already wishing this baby out of me. My pregnant belly is not as big as I thought it would be at this point in time, in fact people keep commenting on how “small” I am. Of course every woman is different. Just like we all come in different shapes and sizes before we fell pregnant, so too do our growing protruding bellies. Although, having said that, I still feel like I’m being stretched beyond belief!

Lately I’ve really been suffering from ligament/muscle pain in the sides of my stomach – especially under my rib cage. Some days I get pain down just the one side of my belly, running from my rib cage all the way down to my pelvis. The sensation I get is as if the muscles are desperately trying to stretch to accommodate my growing baby, but my body just won’t surrender. Previous to falling pregnant I was at the gym regularlyabsep (loved working on my abs) and also attended yoga at least once a week. So I feel that due to the outward pressure my expanding uterus is internally placing on my abdominal muscles, it has caused the two sides of my ‘six pack’ to separate, rather than stretch like they’re supposed to. I have come to learn this is known as ‘abdominal separation’ or ‘diastasis recti’.

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