Sleep is a Luxury

Okay,  so I’m not actually hallucinating…but I could be.

I am now 33 weeks preggers with our 2nd bundle and our first (little Miss Paige) is turning 2 years young in 2 weeks.  Not exactly sure where the last 2 years have gone but they seem to have whizzed past like The Flash (Marvel Comics).

This amazing miracle of a little boy (to be named James) growing in my belly is head-butting my insides so darn hard that I wake up at all hours, literally in pain.  When he does his signature right hook punch, my belly bulges at such an odd proportion that it looks like something from a sci-fi movie is about to burst from the side of my abdomen.  It is actually quite freaky.  He has been ‘sitting’ much lower than his big sister did at this stage and my hips & pelvic bones feel like they are going to shatter when I get up in the morning,  and don’t even get me started on the sudden increase of loo visits during the night – I’m pretty sure he does his own rendition of Lord of the Dance on my bladder.

I remember being a bit pooped towards the end when I was pregnant with Paige, but it is quite different this time around. I am SO TIRED all of the time!

I wake up in the morning (after a restless night of re-positioning and loo excursions) feeling what I can only describe as death warmed up, get dressed, pull myself together, slap on some make up, and a little more to cover up the bulk-buyer shopping bags under my eyes, pack a lunch then off to work.  I yawn all through the day, while doing my best to get through the daily deadlines I have given myself so that I am on track to hand-over when I go on maternity leave at the end of Feb (fear sets in at how soon that is).  Routine for hubby & I in the evenings (with weekends being a little more lax of course):

  • Start: around 17h30-18h00
  • Heat Paige’s dinner (I bulk cook this once a week and freeze in portions)
  • Paige sort-of-feeds-herself while I start our dinner and Terry feeds the dogs, and then between us we attempt to help Paige finish whatever she has flicked out of her bowl onto the table and in her hair etc
  • Terry bathes Paige while I continue with our dinner and lay out her pjs etc
  • Terry attempts to dress Paige in aforementioned pjs
    • scenario 1 – while she streaks up the passage and jumps onto her/our bed to hide between the pillows in a fit of giggles and then lies happily for Terry to nappy and dress her (20% of the time)
    • scenario 2 – while she streaks up the passage and Terry has to get her out from under the dining table, pick her up and put her on her bed while she kicks and screams and thrashes around like a fish on a hook (80% of the time)
  • We eat dinner
  • Heat bottle for Paige
  • Chill time together
    • scenario 1 – Paige sits with us quietly with a book or soft toy and slowly relaxes to the point where we can put her to bed calmly and peacefully (anything from 5-20 minutes)
    • scenario 2 – Paige leaps on and off of our laps, finds the one noisy toy that we missed during evening pack up, proceeds to bang it on the table and the couch and our heads, drops it on the floor, starts to cry because she dropped it and it is now lying one step away from her, leading to a tantrum of dramatic proportions, we ignore her and let the tantrum run its course until it boils down to a simmer, one of us scoops her up to calm her down until she eventually chills out and falls asleep (anything from 10 – 90 minutes)
  • Terry and I start watching a series that we previously recorded but then probably fall asleep, wake up long after it is over, go shower, then go to bed.
  •  Repeat the next day

I am truly so excited for the arrival of our little James, but oh my heck I am also petrified.  Paige is a busy toddler now and wow she can be hard work, and very soon we are going to have 2 to care for.  When I was preggers with Paige there was no one else to care for so I could relax and have a nap if I needed to.  And after she was born I could occasionally catch up on ‘Zzzz’s’  while she slept during the day.  How does one catch up on sleep with 2 little monkeys on different eat, sleep, poop schedules?

I know people have been doing this since forever, and I regularly remind myself that it will be fine, we can totally do this – BUT, my social life, personal grooming standards and time for myself to do hobby stuff and blogging are basically non-existent already, what is going to happen when there are 2 rugrats streaking up and down the passage after bath!

Seriously though, we made the choice to start a family, and I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever.  My amazing husband helps with everything that needs to be done around the house, and with Paige duty so I cannot even begin to complain.  These little buggers that we sacrifice so much for – I can’t imagine my life without them.

So we will just remind ourselves every now and then that “we made our bed, so now we must sleep in it”…or not, it depends on how soon baby James starts sleeping through the night.

(long, loud yawn)

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The Mighty Cesarean Section

I read an article online last night, which talks about the cons of having a C-Section.  Here is the link, have a read (it’s not very long) and then come back and read my response below…I am less than impressed by the author’s single minded comments.

Mothering:  The C-Section as Birth Control
http://www.mothering.com/articles/c-section-birth-control/ 

Okay, you read the article, here is my layman rebuttal…

What utter nonsense!  This is such a biased, narrow minded article.  The author and Mothering Magazine should be more careful when posting one sided views so recklessly.  Many women have traumatic experiences with C-Sections, but women who give birth naturally can also be traumatized by their experience.  There is no right and wrong way – it is a personal preference.

The article has focused on the women who had emergency C-Sections – key word: EMERGENCY.  Any sudden change to your birth plan at the last minute would be traumatic for anyone, but C-Sections should not be shamed to the corner so quickly.

I understand that there are complications linked with C-Sections, but hey, unless you live under a rock you will know that there are also complications linked to Natural births.  Having a baby is a massive strain on a woman’s body, and nothing goes perfectly all of the time.  Things happen that we can’t always predict and it then becomes an issue of how the situation is handled going forward.  We all know the potential risks of having a baby, whether you push that giant watermelon out of your va-jay-jay, or it is cut out of you like a tumor – either way it can be dangerous.  If you don’t know that, then you have no business having a baby in the first place.

Our first child was born Feb 2013 – a gorgeous little girl.  For majority of the pregnancy we had decided to go the ‘natural’ route, but a month & half before she was due the doctor advised that we should consider C-Section earlier due to how much she had grown in the last month.  It was the best decision we could have made because when she was delivered, her arm had been pinned in an awkward position, reducing blood flow.  If we had waited until full term then there was a high risk that she could have had permanent damage to her arm functions.  BUT, because of our decision, based on our discussion with the doctor, she was perfect and my recovery after the C-Section was (what I would consider) a breeze.  I was up and out of the hospital bed the next morning, having a much needed shower, and walked around the nurses station on and off during the following days to stretch out my muscles.  I experienced minimal pain for the first week at home and was pretty much back to normal and able to drive by the 3rd week (I use the term ‘normal’ quite loosely considering that a newborn = no sleep).  The scar is practically non-existent and guess what…I am about to do it all over again in March 2015, when our son will be born – also C-Section.

I am not scared or concerned about anything because I have total trust in my brilliant OBGyn.  I think that is the real difference between a great experience and a traumatic one – how did your OBGyn handle the situation and did he/she keep you and your partner informed on what was going on so that you could be as prepared as possible (I said prepared, not paranoid).

We can’t control everything, but if you have someone who is experienced and is able to keep you calm and give you the professional support that you need, then there is no reason why either option, Natural or C-Section, cannot be the best experience of your and your partners lives.  For me personally, the most traumatic part of having Paige was the breastfeeding (a story for another post).

Childbirth is a miracle – no matter which route you end up having to go.  As soon as you focus on that, then you can make the decisions that are right for you.  Don’t sweat the stuff that you can’t control, just do what you need to do to get your new baby safely into this world.

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Size Does Matter…

…when you are shopping that is.

Hahaha, I totally got you didn’t I – get your mind out of the gutter! vanitysize

Let’s just get one thing straight – I am not completely delusional about my body type and size.  I do not try and pull size 10 items off the rails when in fact I am much, much more like a size 14.  The truth of the matter is, I am probably (like many ‘voluptuous’ people out there) more inclined to pick up a size 16 rather because I see myself as being bigger than I actually am.

Clothes shopping can be a major confidence killer and retail therapy is an absolute joke – it’s more like a horror movie (which I wouldn’t watch if it was an actual movie because I don’t do scary stuff well – but you get the idea) 

Anyway, that is not the problem.  The issue I have is that the sizes are not consistent from store to store, and when I shop, I have to keep in mind where I am when choosing a specific size to try on.  It just puts me off the whole experience.

For international readers, the sizing here is kind of based on UK sizes and sort-of works like this:

size 8   = 32 = small
size 10 = 34 = medium
size 12 = 36 = large
size 14 = 38 = X large
size 16 = 40 = XX large
etc
etc etc

The frustrating part is that at any given time, I probably have at least three or four different sizes in my cupboard, which all fit me at one particular time.  It is utterly ridiculous that I have a size 12 top from Woolworths, size 14 top from Edgars and …wait for it…a flopping small from Ackermans! A SMALL! I have not fitted into anything resembling a small since I was in high school (and that was some time ago).  Clearly these stores need to get together to discuss where they are going wrong and try and create some kind of consistency between their sizing and measurements.

And it does not stop there.  Oh no!

My poor child, who is only 1.5 little years is already suffering the same fate (thankfully she has no clue that it is even happening yet).  She is quite tall for her age so I buy size 3-4 yrs instead of size 1-2 yrs because the small size fits her waist but the ‘long’ pants end up being 3-quarters on her long legs, barely covering her little calves.  She grew out of her 1-2 yrs costume, so I went to buy her a bigger size and came home with a 3-4 yrs which, when measured against the 1-2 yrs one at home, was actually smaller.  That makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever.  If someone can explain that one to me then please leave a comment below and we can chat about this a bit further.

In my opinion, all of the clothing manufacturers who determine sizing are a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket, and should all be taken out back and shot (okay, maybe not shot – but should definitely be given a stern talking to).

There are so many people – yes, men and women – out there who struggle daily with body image issues and who are already self conscious about their size and/or shape.  And along come all of these clothing stores with their supposed “standard” sizing charts, which just make everything worse for your self confidence when the jeans you bought last week are a size 14, but now all of a sardine your find yourself not squeezing into that size at the store, but instead the sales assistant brings you a size 16 or 18 to try on.

To all of the clothing manufacturers and retailers out there – Thanks for making me feel great about myself.  (Note: that is me being utterly sarcastic)

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Sober Pregnancy

 

We had my first OB GYN appointment on Monday.  It reminded me of the main thing I look forward to at each appointment during pregnancy – the little heartbeat.  It really does get me every time.  Seeing that little flicker on the screen just fills my heart with so much love for this little bean.  8 weeks along and Dr H says everything looks great with strong heart beat and pretty much “normal” across all checks.

Now onto the point of this post…drinking booze while pregnant.

Morning-Sickness

My personal take is that while it is considered safe to have a glass of red wine every now and then, I would rather just avoid it completely.  It really isn’t that hard and I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I actually really wanted a drink during my last pregnancy – and even then the feeling passed quite quickly.  Never mind the fact that I am one of the lucky ladies who gets to experience all-day-sickness during all three trimesters of pregnancy, and I think that dehydrates me enough without adding liquor to the mix.

The funny side to all of this is how people seem so sad that you can’t drink.  Why?  You are not pregnant.  Nothing is stopping you from boozing it up, and there really is no need to apologise to me when you order a beer or wine or shot of something na-sty while I am waiting for my lime and water.   It’s not like I got knocked up by a random or anything, that this was done to me without my consent.  I made this choice with my hubby, this is what we wanted, so obviously I accepted all of the terms and conditions that go along with pregnancy before the ‘seed was sewn’ (as they say – I don’t know who ‘they’ are but ‘they’ say it).

I think it is because they are worried that I will not have as much fun, that every time we are out I might get bored or something because I can’t get drunk off my face.  Or that I will want to go and crawl into a corner to fall asleep.  Let me just clarify though – I will not fall asleep because I can’t drink and am bored, I will fall asleep because I am pregnant and I have a little parasite (that we love of course) restricting all of my energy like Escom during loadshedding.  (it’s a South Africa thing)

The reality is, I have always been able to have just as much fun without alcohol as with it.  It really doesn’t bother me.  I am actually quite proud of the fact that, even before we started our little family, I was fairly drinking fit but I have always been able to have a jol until all hours of the morning, completely sober, if that is what I wanted to do.  And the biggest plus side – I didn’t wake up still drunk or hanging like a half dead bat the next morning!

Anyway, morning sickness is kind of like a hangover but without the fun of drinking beforehand, so if you come and hang out with me the morning after your drunken night out of debauchery then it will be like we are experiencing the same after affects – just with different causes.

Awesome friends of ours just got hitched this last Saturday and we were there until just before the venue closed, and the weekend before that I was away for an overnight girls escape for the bride’s 70’s Disco themed hen party, and I stayed up just as late as the die-hard drinkers.  I got dressed up and danced the night away and had an absolute blast – completely sober…Yes you naysayers, it can be done.

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My Top 10 Dead Giveaways…

…that my life is being run by my toddler (sometimes anyway)

patience-624x414 (babble.com)

  1. The word NO does not mean “stop” or “don’t do that” anymore.  It now means “sure, carry on, don’t mind me, I’m just pretending to try and stop you from chucking your toys out the window where the dogs can eat them” or “by all means, continue to hit me in the head with the TV remote – it feels great.”
  2. I can, at any given time, pull out a snack or toy or wet wipe from my handbag. Even when there is no kiddie in sight.  (You don’t realise how handy snacks and wet wipes are until you become a parent)
  3. If hair clips go missing, check the couch.  My theory is that there is an invisible magnet down there that attracts them, so if you can’t find any it means that it is time to dig between the seats and initiate project clip rescue.
  4. Your toddler always wants a bite or spoonful of what you are eating, and you can remind her ’til you are blue in the face that she doesn’t like it, but she will not give in so you might as well just give her a piece, and get the broom and dustpan so you can sweep it up after she spits it out in disgust.
  5. You find yourself walking around the office humming the theme song for Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Sofia the First (toons on Disney Junior), which is downright embarrassing when someone stops to ask you what that song is.  I usually just look confused and say “was I humming?” and then quickly walk away.
  6. When your child is asleep you enjoy the quiet time, but when she is awake, you fear for what is taking place in the menacing silence.
  7. Going to the bathroom alone is a luxury which doesn’t occur very often.
  8. Every time you see a dog you find yourself saying “hello doggy”…even when you are alone.  Passers-by must think I am a few sarmies (sandwiches) short of a picnic basket.
  9. When you are visiting a friend’s house with toddler in-tow you immediately scan the room for breakables that can be destroyed in the tornado that is your child, and you lift them to a higher surface.   There we go friends, I now offer free re-decorating whether you need it or not…sorry.
  10.  My car is no longer purely for transport.  It is a portable storage unit for a pram, extra blankets, clothes, toys and whatever else Paige leaves in it when we go on outings.

I am pretty sure I could extend this list quite considerably because I thought of more tell-tails this morning, but let’s just leave it at that shall we because I think my preggy brain is starting to kick in already and I just can’t remember them all.  You get the idea.

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Social Life…What’s That Again?

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I could not be happier.  Since Paige was born, my hubby and I have realised just how empty our lives were – and I don’t mean that we were wondering around aimlessly, I mean that we thought we knew what love was…then BAM, Paige arrived and we realised that what we knew was just a fraction of what was actually possible.  Cool hey.

That said, being a mom is tough.  Never-mind the endless little chores and responsibilities that come with having a kid, but I feel the ability to have a semi-normal social life slipping away (at an alarming rate I might add).

I acknowledge that it is most definitely (partly?) my own fault, and I am sure most moms out there can relate, whether you are a full time mom or a working mom – it is tough going either way.

I am extremely lucky that I have a hands-on, fully capable husband because we both work full time and I would be nuttier than a fruitcake if had to do it all by myself like some single parents out there (gold stars for all of you by the way).

The point is though, that I feel my social-butterfly self crawling back into its cocoon and I am finding it really hard to claw my way back out.  Partly because by the time the weekend comes I am pretty flopping (I was thinking of a stronger word) exhausted and just want to veg on the couch in my pjs, and partly because none of our immediate friends have kids.

It is actually quite difficult, and lonely at times, to be the only couple in our immediate group who have reached the ‘family’ stage of our lives.  Fair enough, it’s not their problem.

The challenge I face is the age old, well known fact that if people ask you to join them over again and you decline (for whatever reason) more than a socially acceptable amount of times, they eventually stop asking.   The thing is, that my reason for declining is a 17 month little tot who demands majority of my time, and if she is sick or hurt or fighting her sleep routine then I am sorry, but I can’t come out to play – no matter how badly I want to ditch the baby and escape the house for a few hours.

People without kids generally don’t understand this.  Not because they are insensitive or uncaring, but because that isn’t their life and while they can sympathize, they cannot empathize.  They didn’t sign up for this…yet.

When Paige was still a baby it was eezy-peezy.  Put her in the car chair and she would fall asleep on the way and most likely only wake for a bottle, then go back to sleep and we could stick her in the corner or under the table and nothing would wake up that little monkey.  Now though, she is a walking, sort-of-talking, little whirlwind who needs to be constantly watched and entertained.  She is chasing cats and climbing up stairs and being a normal, curious little terror…um, I mean toddler.

Last minute plans that were once no problem are a thing of the past – it takes time to get yourself and a toddler ready to go anywhere.  Have you ever tried changing a nappy on a tot that just wants to run around butt-naked after bath time, and who kicks and screams when you pick her up to lie her down so that you can put the new nappy and pants back on – it’s so much fun (note the sarcasm).  If you are leaving the house for more than half an hour with toddler in tow then you need to pack a bag.  A lot can happen in 30 minutes – cranky ‘cos she’s hungry/needs a nappy change/needs a nap/spit up and needs a new shirt/is teething and needs Panado…etc etc.

Oh the glamorous life of being a mom.  My grown-up thoughts are constantly being invaded by little minion concerns that require planning to factor in when naps, snacks and nappy changes need to occur during the outing.

BUT, please don’t take any of this as me complaining!  That is most definitely not the case and if given the choice over again, knowing what I know now, I would still choose a life that has Paige in it.

All I’m saying is that it is hard work raising a little being, as any parent can agree, and it is also a challenge to maintain friendships with people who are going out for drinks on the town, when all I can afford (time and money) is a coffee or lunch date in the cafe down the road.  How do I catch up with what my friends are up to you ask?…I stalk them on Facebook during my lunch half hour at work.

My current social life is borderline non-existent.

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Glitter & Glue

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I read a little blurb last night, from an overseas blog that I follow, and I thought it was great so I wanted to share it with you.

If moms are the glue that hold us together, then dads are the glitter that make everything fun.  When daddy comes home there are squeals of delight and tickle chases that make the house ring.  Dads know the perfect fix for everything from flat tires to monsters in the night.  Cheers to all those guys that make our lives so much brighter!

How Does She?

I’ll be doing a Father’s Day post on the weekend, written with a few of the ‘dads’ in my life,  so keep an eye out for that.

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