Babies, definitely not for the faint hearted!

All comical musings of excess hair growth aside, week 17 turned out to be quite harrowing and in no way helped my cause when it comes to eliminating grey hairs. As it turns out, I think I learned the direct correlation between blood pressure and stressful situations this week from personal experience.

With Monday came my midwife appointment at the clinic where I waited for half an hour after my appointment time to be seen by yet another new face and asked all of the exact same questions I was asked the previous week. Sigh! No I have not started smoking , changed my diet, gotten taller or become an alcoholic in the past seven days. Better ask me again next time though, in case I succumb to a life of vices in the next seven days.

Measurements were good, babies heart rate was strong and I managed to survive the entire appointment without turning into a feral four year old and having a tantrum on the floor of the consultation room. Barely.

The rest of the week went by without too much drama apart from business drama in regards to clients suddenly all forgetting to pay us…at the same time…and a particularly interesting smelling customer that had me revisiting my close bond with the porcelain bowl after she had left. I have said it before and I will say it again. Deodorant is not a luxury item, it is a god damn public service people. Get it on ya!

Thursday night came along and husband had a couple of big jobs to finish worth some big dollars when they were collected on Friday. I set him up for the night at his work bench with drinks and snacks and off I went home to cook dinner and look after our daughter. I was feeling fine, things were on track and silly me, I thought they were going to stay that way.

Midnight , right on the dot, I am sitting on my bed watching tv while my daughter slept next to me and I felt something odd down below. Off to the toilet I go, only to find when I stand up that my pyjama bottoms now look like they have been involved in a chainsaw massacre. I was sure they were blue when I put them on. Now they are red. Well actually, now they are in the bin. There was no saving them.

Freaking out is not a term that adequately describes what I felt at that moment, seeing so much blood at a time in pregnancy where you well and truly do not expect to see it. I bled a lot when I was pregnant with my daughter but never after 12 weeks. I remembered every time I rushed to the hospital feeling like I would bleed to death being told that there was nothing they could do , i was better off to go home and miscarry there.

Naturally, my first instinct was to go but not wanting to feel that sting of rejection for both myself and my baby I decided to call the maternity ward first. Seems 17 weeks deserves a little more attention and I was told to come straight up.

The rest of the night was a blur of blood tests, iv’s and the most excruciating pelvic exam in the history of the procedure. I kept a brave face. I had to. My daughter and husband were waiting just outside the curtain. The non sound proof curtain. The only evidence of my plight was the sky rocketing blood pressure and heart rate on the monitor and the cold sweat I was drenched in. Talk about stoic. I even managed to crack a few jokes during the ordeal so that my husband would think nothing serious was happening at that time. Whilst I was waxing lyrical about random subjects the nurse chuckled and the obstetrician used forceps to pull large blood clots from the surface of my cervix. Fun on a bun!

Another midwife arrived to listen for the babies heartbeat. We listened. And listened. And we got nothing. Looks were exchanged, brows were furrowed with worry and the midwife even tried to pass my own heart beat off as the babies to make me feel better but we all knew, myself included that this was not a good sign.

The obstetrician then had a conversation with me in a low voice, with a sympathetic hand on my shoulder that involved the word miscarriage more time than I care to count. He tip toed around the word, almost using only a whisper whenever he had to say it just in case I turned into a basket case at the mere mention of what we all knew could very well be the reality at this stage. My reality!

Then the worst part. I had to wait until 11:30 the next morning to have an ultrasound. That was nine hours away. That was cruel and unusual punishment. My husband and I barely spoke. The next morning we both went to work, as usual. Set up shop as usual. Just pretty much business…as usual until 11am when I quietly said goodbye and went off to the hospital.

My words to a friend , “it is what it is”. What could I do? I could not get caught up in a game of what if and if only. It helps nobody. I had to stay level headed. I could fall apart later.

My appointment time came and went and my bladder was full to bursting. Every woman in that waiting area did the same awkward little shuffle to her seat, the same little side to side shift and the cross / uncross of legs. Silently we suffered until I was the last one in the waiting room and I could suffer no more. There should be a law against keeping a pregnant woman waiting past the time of her ultrasound appointment. In fact when all is said and done i might make that my new crusade. Because you know, It is not like I don’t have enough on my plate right now.

There are no words to describe that rush of relief when that ultrasound shows a healthy baby, a healthy heartbeat and you realise you haven’t lost it. It is an experience I have now had twice in my life and it always takes your breath away. There was baby, kicking away. The sonographer said that my placenta was lying over the cervix which was more than likely the cause of the bleed but other than that the baby was normal and right on track.

So now, in order for me to successfully avoid another c-section, my disobedient placenta has until 32 weeks to move its ass upwards and out of the way. I had a feeling I was getting out of things too easily this time round. But all is well for now. I am taking it easy, no heavy lifting and I am going to have relax my standards about house tidiness but it will be worthwhile in the long run.

For now, here is the latest pic of the baby Sasquatch.



Girl? Boy? Or…Sasquatch???

The general consensus between my family and friends seems to be that I am having a boy this time. I have to say that I am inclined to agree even though it actually goes against what I thought was my destiny but I will explain about that in a moment.

Many reasons have been given behind their pick of sex ranging from gut feelings, the way I am carrying to the sheer fact that this pregnancy has been so drastically different from my last. I hate to tell them but it could go either way, I mean, the odds are fifty percent it is one or the other right?

At the risk of sounding a bit flaky I went to see a medium once and she told me quite certainly that I would have two babies without the need for fertility treatment. They would both be girls and the first one would be within the next 12 months. After ten years of no baby I thought, yeah whatever but then along came Daughter number one right on schedule. I became convinced that she was right about everything but I guess our destiny is constantly changing to stay in line with free will and the decisions we make in life.

The reason why I am starting to lean towards maybe carrying a boy is because of the sheer amount of hair that I am currently growing. For that reason, I must apologise that it has been so long between blogs. My daily tweezing, waxing and plucking rituals have gotten way out of hand and it is taking up way more of my spare time than I care to donate.

The PCOS has always kept things interesting when it comes to black, fast growing hair in weird and unwelcome places but this is a whole new species of animal right here. My expanding stomach has developed the loveliest black snail trail. Inch long, straight, thick and black. The very same kind of snail trail that might be coveted by some men with washboard abs. The problem here is that I am not a man and I most definitely do not have washboard abs!

My husband and I were spending a rare moment lying in bed together the other morning when he began to stroke my lower back. With his usual lack of discretion, diplomacy or even self preservation he asked me if pregnancy makes you grow more hair. I raised an eyebrow and told him that sometimes it did, why did he ask? I then proceeded to warn him to think through his answer very carefully before delivering it lest he experience what happened the last time he referred to me as ” preggo” . Needless to say, the bruises from that little slip up are still fading.

He had asked me because apparently I have a patch of hair growing on my lower back now that could sustain its own ecosystem and may explain why I have been feeling warmer than usual lately. The logistics of waxing, plucking or even threading my own lower back started to do my head in but there sure as hell was no way that I was going to go anywhere publicly to have it done. I decided that it would stay and I would try hard to embrace my inner wolf man.

In a rare show of speed and accuracy, I answered my husbands question and statement about my current rate of hair growth with a swift elbow to the exact same region where his bruise was from the last episode of ” how to piss off your pregnant wife in ten seconds or less”

I feel compelled to say that In no way do i encourage domestic violence but seriously people, who in their right mind calls a pregnant and dangerously hormonally imbalanced woman “preggo” and “hairy” ?

A dead man walking, that’s who!

For now, the question will remain. Does this excess hair growth signal the arrival of a baby boy? Am I just getting hairier with age? Or am I giving birth to the worlds first Sasquatch baby to be born in captivity? Only the 20 week scan will reveal the answer. Perhaps.

Until then……happy waxing.

The very hungry caterpillar

14 weeks in and a very familiar yet still very strange feeling has begun in my tummy. I must say that I have been most surprised by the subtle squirming I have been feeling from time to time as I had not expected to experience it yet although apparently it does happen earlier with the second baby or so I have been told.

These first few movements always kind of creep me out a bit. Oh come on, don’t act so shocked, when have I ever struck you as that eternally maternal mommy! I’m just telling you how I see it. The first movements are weird. It feels like a small alien is squirming around in there. I swear that if one didn’t know they were pregnant they would be certain that they had some kind of parasite living in their digestive tract.

Personally, I prefer the more definite movements that happen later on. The kicks to the ribs and such. But then again I have always been a glutton for punishment!

I can’t help but think of my squirming baby as the very hungry caterpillar. I have a strong urge to eat one of everything that the caterpillar eats in the book to appease it. Maybe everything but the leaves. I try to steer clear of unidentified plant matter as a rule.

The good news this blog is that I have been nausea free for weeks now, thank you very much! The bad news is that this signals the return of my appetite and someone might want to pass on the memo to my brain that being pregnant is not an excuse to eat everything in sight.

On my recent holiday I ate way more chicken parmigiana than was socially acceptable. Even the mention of chicken parmy has my mouth watering as we speak. I am also experiencing a brief yet intense flirtation with mayonnaise. Which is disturbing seeing as I recently found out that it is one of the most calorie dense, bad for you, fat ass inducing foods known to man. And there is no 99% fat free Praise crap in my fridge. We are talking full fat, whole egg American mayo.

Great, now I want to eat a chicken parmy with mayo on the side. Hmmmm, breakfast of champions? I think not.

I also read recently that I should expect to put on between 11 and 16 kilos this pregnancy. Mostly in the next three months, second trimester. The same article also mentioned that regardless of that recommended weight gain, the actual weight gain during pregnancy seems to be closer to 20 to 30 kilos among women in Australia at the moment.

30 kilos, are you freaking kidding me! I am literally petrified at that thought. Considering that the birth of the baby will shed maybe 10 of those, that leaves an extra 20 to dispose of after all is said and done.

Holy biggest loser batman. I really have to get this eating thing under control now otherwise you will have to read my baby weight woes in about 6 months time. As of now, I have not actually put on any weight. Still the same as the day I fell pregnant so those parmy’s have yet to absorb into my ass cheeks. I may just go home and dispose of that jar of mayo however, before it is too late.

On a side note, next Monday is the dreaded checking in appointment at the hospital. “Shudder”
So I anticipate that I will be spending most of this week getting worked up and anxious about my return to the maternity ward from hell.

Wish me luck.

Size 15 & 3/4 – the curse of the muscle memory.

This winter I predict that I will be suffering from a major, season long wardrobe malfunction. My prediction is based on the current fashions on offer for the upcoming seasons. Hideous is not a strong enough word. It really isn’t. I am talking about the normal fashions too mind you. My brief and vastly unsatisfying venture into the maternity section had me gasping in horror at the slim offerings that I would not even consider using as pet bedding let alone actually wear them on my ever expanding frame.

Yes, I am only three months pregnant. Yes I am already looking at clothing alternatives and let me tell you why. Usually the phenomenon of muscle memory is a good thing. It means that a person who has previously built muscle mass at the gym and let themselves go can find themselves bouncing back to their former rippled glory much quicker the second time they go to shed the flab. Their slackened muscles remember the routine and jump back into their jobs of making that sleeveless shirt look fabulous.

Pregnancy does weird things to a lot of muscles, primarily abdominal ones. I got about half way through my first pregnancy before I had to consider maternity wear. This time I will not have that luxury. The muscle memory has kicked in and my body has started it’s expansion project, onwards and outwards.

Almost the moment I became pregnant, my body answered the call. It was all ” oh we know what to do here!” And to my dismay I am now finding that a mere 12 weeks in and my choices of apparel are shockingly limited. I actually look pregnant now. 2 weeks ago I just looked I had been hitting the maccas drive through on a regular basis but now I think it is becoming blindingly obvious that I have a bun in the oven, not a Big Mac.

Maternity wear had always been a bit of a bone of contention for me along with anything bridal. Those two niche markets have always given me the shits based on the fact that anything to do with either of them comes with a massively over inflated price tag for no reason other than that they can.

If I was a stay at home mum, I would be tempted to spend the winter in trackies and one of my husbands hoodies but we have the issue of work here. I need to look at least part way presentable. And that is so not going to happen thanks to the target maternity range of burlap sacks.

The thought of pumpkin patch maternity makes my wallet break out in a cold sweat. I would struggle to buy my daughter a winter coat there for under $100 so I shudder to think what a maternity one would cost. I really don’t want to have to take out an overdraft through the business to clothe myself this season. Is there anyway that this can be a tax write off? Nah, I didn’t think so.

For those of you who have never been pregnant and are suggesting that I buy normal clothes but a size or two bigger, let me diplomatically point out one of the many flaws in your suggestion. Pregnant women do not put on their baby weight evenly distributed across their entire body. Bigger clothes may accommodate the expanding tummy but will swim and look like tents everywhere else. No thanks.

So it seems I am in a quandary and I will put it out there to my readers in blog land. Any suggestions for perhaps online maternity wear that is presentable and reasonable in price will be most appreciated. After all, it only needs to last one season, we are not talking haute coture here!

Follow the yellow brick road.

Here we are at the magical 12 week point. Three months, one third of the bun baked and approximately 200 odd days to go until we hop aboard the roller coaster of bottles, nappies, sleepless nights and stress once again. I feel much more prepared this time mostly because I am under no delusions of how ” easy it will be” or how ” it won’t really change our lives that much” ha!

In the true fashion of ignorance indeed being bliss, I set myself up to fail with my first pregnancy with my laughable optimism. My husband and I threw lots of hilarious statements around our friends and families about how we were going to handle being new parents just fine. I was certain that my adorable little infant was going to sit peacefully in a rocker at my feet, looking up at me adoringly as I worked for hours on end without distraction.

My friends who were without children agreed whole heartedly with my delusions as it made them feel confident about their futures once they decided to get on the having a baby merry go round. My family and friends with children smiled indulgently and nodded their heads whilst mentally preparing some popcorn and a comfy chair so they could settle in and enjoy the circus once the baby arrived. They knew. And they didn’t tell me! Months later, sleep deprived and looking bedraggled, they would ask me ” how are you finding motherhood?” With that sly little half smile. It was then that I realised I had been punked.

The reality was harsh and stark to my happy little delusions. And it hit me immediately. There was no grace period. No cooling off period for me to ease my way into motherhood. One minute I was pregnant and confident about how things would be and the next I was a mother with no clue what the next five minutes would hold let alone further into the future.

I feel asleep in Kansas and woke up in Oz. Except in the movie, when Dorothy is in the tornado and there are farm animals flying around her, I had bottles, nappies and strangely possessed babies who never slept and vomited a lot flying around me. There was no yellow brick road, only the well worn path that we walked up and down the hallway in a desperate bid to get our daughter to sleep.

My life became a whirl wind of sterilising, bottle preparation. No I did not breast feed. It was and remains my choice and if it offends you are welcome to be offended elsewhere but I digress. Nappies and washing load after load of a million tiny articles of clothing became priority. Sleep was a mythical creature with only unconfirmed sightings by unreliable sources. Someone, somewhere was getting it, it sure as hell wasn’t me.

My daughter never sat in the rocker I bought for the purposes of being stared with adoration while I worked. She hated it. Needless to say, there was not a lot of work going on. Or cooking, or exercising, or socialising or romancing or any of those things I was so sure would be unaffected by the arrival of the tiny bundle of joy.

It was a shock to the senses. One that I struggled with immensely. I know a lot of first time mothers feel the same. Like we got duped. Like why the hell didn’t anyone warn us or try to talk some sense into us back when we maintained that we would be back at the gym five hours after birth because that’s how great we were going to be at this whole parenthood thing. Many many mothers feel this way but don’t say it out loud. The fear is that if we verbalise how much we are struggling or how this wasn’t at all what we expected then we will be perceived as weak or unfit to be mothers. So the vast majority keep it bottled up and soldier on. Some with the aid of anti depressants.

The truth is that it is not really a big conspiracy. It is not that our friends and family want to see us fail. It is just that if they did try to set us straight, we would most likely ignore them. The same way that parents look at a slightly older child misbehaving will tell themselves that their precious child would never behave that way, we tell ourselves that we will be different. Somehow we have this magical parenting skill that our friends and family before us lacked. Wrong , wrong, wrong. Your child will behave badly one day, they will embarrass you at some point. You absolutely will have moments in your new foray into parenthood where you will struggle, feel inadequate, unsure of yourself and like a failure.

You are not a failure, you are a normal, functioning human being albeit with hormone levels still out of whack but normal all the same. So when you get asked the inevitable question of how you are finding motherhood, don’t feel like you have to front. Answer honestly. Motherhood is complex at first, terrifying, exhausting. It can be a struggle, confusing, contradicting and thankless. The hours are long and the pay is terrible. You will never be offered a promotion, a company car or an all expenses paid business trip to Vegas.

But it is also rewarding, in the end it is always that. The first three months are going to feel like the longest of your life while you are living it and once your baby is older, you will feel like you blinked and you missed it. Just another one of these motherhood contradictions at play. Just remember that you are entitled to feel how you feel and it is nothing to be ashamed of. We all start off clueless and you just have to listen to your gut instinct and do the best you can.

Even though it seems impossible at the beginning, your confidence will grow as your baby does and things you once found such a struggle will seem so easy you can do them in your sleep. Ahhh, sleep. That magical word. You will get it back. Some sooner than others but you will sleep again I promise. You will learn things about yourself, your partner and your baby that will surprise you. You will find an inner strength that you never knew was there. Along with the strength you will find endurance and instinct. You will learn to communicate with your baby in ways that transcend words.

Beyond all of those things and the countless other ways that being s mother enriches your life, you will discover a capacity for love like nothing you have ever felt before and the powerful and fierce protectiveness that only a mother can have for her child.

The bad is short lived, the positives outweigh them in the end. Hang in there momma, things are gonna get better. Oh, but I’m sorry to say, they pay is always gonna be shit!

The sunshine after the rain.

Picture me standing atop a mountain. The grass is lush and green and the sky is an amazing blue. My head is back, I am soaking up the sunshine and breathing in the crisp fresh air. Sounds too good to be true?

Well yeah, it is. The reality is that it is dry as shit here, the whole town is a dust bowl. My husband insists on repeatedly washing the car only for it to be covered in a fine layer of new dust on the way home from the car wash. There is no green, lush mountain. The sky is hazy from the heat and the air is about as crisp and cool as if I had stuck my head inside my fan forced oven set to 180.

It is still hot as hades with no relief in sight. Won’t someone tell the damn seasons that it is time to change? My little opening visual is not all a lie though. It is how I truly feel at this moment. Because finally, even in spite of the crappy long summer, finally, my morning sickness has passed.

Thank the gods, I can eat food again. The nausea has left and on its way out the door it seems to have given my ass and midsection the green light to start expanding. I am now officially ten weeks pregnant and already it is starting to show.

I am currently in the confusion stage as I like to call it. I am not confused, I know exactly why my pants aren’t fitting as well as they did a few weeks ago. But everyone else is suffering. Haha, good. Sorry, I am just a little sadistic like that.

Everywhere I go and in all if my interactions with people I see a pattern emerging. We talk, their eyes glance quickly down to my tummy. They look back up, looking a little puzzled. Am I pregnant? Or just getting fat? Do they ask and risk the horrible embarrassment that inevitably follows being told that no, I am just packing on a few extra pounds? Or is it safer to just say nothing and wait and see.

Of course it is safer to wait and see, but they can’t. Curiosity is a killer and I have to smirk a little as they start to squirm. I know they are dying to ask me but won’t. It is just too risky. I have to admit that I don’t make it easy for them either. After all, for the last four years I have been bombarded with that presumptuous question ” when are you going to have another baby?”

I had made it quite clear that it was highly unlikely that we would have another. When the questions became very personal and intrusive, I was forced to cut off the Gestapo style interrogation by letting them know that due to medical issues of a personal nature that it would be very difficult for me to have another baby. Hence the added mind fuck ( pardon my French, or is it le fuque?)

I drag the conversations out just ever so slightly longer than they need to be so I can revel in their discomfort just a bit longer and then just as I am walking out the door I casually drop the bomb that I yes, I saw you repeatedly look at my tummy in confusion and that yes, I am expecting.

The sounds of ” congratulations” meet my amused ears followed by the sound of them sagging down behind their desks in relief that they had been let off the hook without any humiliation on their part. Breathlessly they tell me how they weren’t sure and didn’t know whether to ask or not.

Quite simply people, the answer is hell no. Do not ever ask someone if they are expecting. Ever. Full stop. Period, end of story. It is simply not worth it. You have a fifty percent chance of getting it wrong and forever being the bitch that pointed out the fact that they need to run their ass around the block a few times. Just bite your curious tongues and wait, the answer will reveal itself to you soon enough.

I know some of you are thinking that I am either sick or twisted or an equal combination of both to take such pleasure in the discomfort of others. I will just say in my defence that these people in question have been giving me the absolute shits for four years now and sometimes you just gotta dish out some payback any way you can. I would never do this to my friends. Then again, my friends knew I was pregnant approximately thirty seconds after I knew so they have no need for guessing games.

I guess that is another lesson for the nosy majority. If you have to ask that is because I am either not pregnant or I haven’t told you yet. If I haven’t told you yet, that is because it is actually none of your concern. So be as nosy as you like, but beware, I will not let you off the hook quickly.

So, back to the topic of my ass and its massive land grab. I had heard of muscle memory before. After years of training and weight lifting, I was aware of the term and what it meant in that context. I had no idea that it would apply to pregnancy.

Apparently my body caught on that it was pregnant and said ” oh, we’re doing this again are we?” And pop, out came the tummy. Then bang, ass cheek left and right both started their abnormal growth patterns. Finally, massive supersonic boom….. My boobs have exploded from a not too shabby double d to what I can only assume is an F cup. I say assume because I am too terrified to go to the bra shop yet. What if they haven’t finished? I mean, I just don’t have enough money to have a bra in every size and we all know the bigger the bra the bigger the price tag!

I miss training. A lot. I think that if I was training more then I would feel like the ever expanding belly, bum and boobs were more controlled. After a year or so of diet, exercise and control, I feel like I have none at the moment. I almost wish I had signed up for the latest round of 12wbt. Even if I had not followed it at all, just having those plans in place and delivered to me weekly would have felt safe and secure.

Oh we’ll, maybe next round hey? For now I am just going to enjoy not feeling sick and messing with people’s heads for a little while longer.

Could it be?

2 days and no nausea. Could this be the other side of the nightmare? I so badly want it to be true but I am sitting here waiting. Every twinge, flutter, bubble and gurgle that emanates from my stomach causes me to panic briefly while I wonder if my brief reprieve from hell is over.

Today I actually got so much done it blew my mind. Housework, washing, shopping, all of the stuff that has fallen into disarray over the last few weeks. I even very nearly made Adriano Zumbo brownies but decided at the last minute not to push my luck.

No exercise happened because of this damn heat and also due to the fact that I had read recently that exercising while pregnant is fine as long as you don’t raise your heartbeat over 129 bpm. Ordinarily my polar heart rate monitor would be a big help in ensuring that I kept this in check but during my ride yesterday it had a bit of a malfunction. I am pretty sure that it needs new batteries, either that or I have a serious cardiac condition that causes my heart rate to soar to 260 bpm whilst resting. I think that particular condition is called death and seeing as I am fairly alive, must be the battery. I have entrusted the polar to my husband to change the batteries so I should have it back sometime in the next 12 months!

The absence of sickness is doing strange things to my head. I should be more elated about feeling more like myself but instead it is causing a little bit of anxiety. I am struggling to stop my head from going to a dark place. There is a small scary voice saying that if I am not feeling sick then maybe I am going to miscarry. I know that I have nothing to base this fear on but that is the funny thing about fear, it doesn’t rely on truth, science or rationale to survive.

I never thought that I would find some strange comfort in feeling so unwell. Simply put, if I had morning sickness I must still be pregnant. Now without the nausea, the uncertainty creeps back in. I should probably not think too much about it, I may wake up sicker than ever tomorrow and this whole post will be moot.

Ha, anyone reading this must think I am terribly bi-polar. One minute I am whinging about feeling sick then the next I am whining about feeling better. To answer your question, yes. I am most certainly certifiably crazy aka pregnant. For the next seven months I cannot be held responsible for anything I write or think or say. My apologies in advance.