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)

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

Advertisements

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.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

Round 2

I recently found myself thinking about trying for a second little bean.  When is the right time? How do know if you are emotionally/physically/mentally/financially ready to start all over again?

A simple answer has occurred to me…you don’t know.  There is no right or wrong time that can be used as a guideline for the gazillions of parents out there thinking about having their 2nd or 3rd or 4th or…no more! Please! That is just too many mini-me minions!

I don’t think – no matter how ‘easy’ it was the first time around – that you are ever really ready to do it all again.  The constant cycle of feed, burp, sleep, cry, change, rinse, repeat..pretty much every 2 hours! I mean really, that is ridiculous!

We are all a bunch of nutters actually.  We just get past the 2-hourly feeds and the colic and sleepless nights, and the completely useless stages of a baby, then our baby becomes a toddler, and starts walking and babbling and becomes fun.  And then what do we do?  We say to ourselves, “Hey, life is just starting to get a little normality back again so I have a great idea – let’s have another baby and start all over again”.

Why do we feel the need to punish ourselves?  I’ll tell you why.  Because through all of the zombie days without makeup and bad ponytail hair, we learn about a love that cannot compare to any other feeling that exists in, or beyond our world.

Our daughter Paige is 17 months and 1 week – so in simple speak, she is almost 1.5 years young.  My husband and I have been talking about maybe trying for round 2 towards the end of this year.  Things don’t always work according to plan though.  Stuff happens in life, and one night you find yourself sitting in bed, with time ticking away to midnight, and your eyes are puffy from crying about crappy news regarding the health of a sibling, and your uncle is in hospital fighting for his life, and you look at each other and think the exact same thing, as if your thoughts were from one mind…

“What are we waiting for?”

We want our parents to dote over their grandkids, and our grandparents to at least cuddle their great-grandkids, our siblings need to know their  niece/nephew, and our extended family must meet the next generation of our bloodline.   We are family people and it is important to us.

So, here we are, 5-6 weeks later, with the recent fantastic news that I am about 4-5 weeks pregnant.  We couldn’t be happier about anything else right now and at the same time we are petrified.

One was hard enough to look after.  How the blooming heck are we going to care for two little terrors?!?

Answer:  We just will.  Because you find an inner strength that you never knew you had and the mommy/daddy gene just kicks in and somehow, through all the crying and pooping and spitting up (the baby, not us – okay so maybe we will cry a little), you know what to do.  And it will all be okay.

Picture1

 

It is still early days and baby no.2 will only be due around April 2015, but I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to share my personal pregnancy experience.  I’m going to blog about the good, the bad and the downright uncomfortable, so if you want the truth, without the frills and white lies, then stay tuned.

Don’t get me wrong, being pregnant is a pretty amazing experience, and the end result is obviously worth it, but wow there are some awkward and occasionally embarrassing moments.  (Sometimes it helps to share and laugh about it together)

I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

The Pregnancy Truths – Part 2

My second trimester carrying Paige can only be described as the calm before the storm.

The bump had grown all of a sudden and instead of just looking like an fatty version of myself after  consuming 10-to-many cakes, I actually looked pregnant! Which made me feel better about this whole drawn out process.  After all – how can one glow when no one can even tell you should be glowing?

I was (thankfully) able to sleep quite well at night, and had not experienced any adverse side affects of carrying a little being in my belly (other than the persistent morning sickness, and even that had mildly improved), and the heartburn had also eased off.

Still no weird cravings and the smell of coffee did not send me running to the loo to upchuck anymore – but wow, it still tasted AWFUL.  I tried a few more times to drink it but my taste-buds just refused to co-operate, and the once smooth taste of caffeine had now become a liquidised piece of burnt toast…yum.

One of our favourite parts of the second trimester was (at last) finding out what we were going to be blessed with…and no, we were not one of those couples who wanted to keep it a secret and be surprised ourselves when “it” finally arrived.  Instead, we wanted to be able to refer to “it” as “he” or “she”, so that it didn’t sound like I was going to give birth to an unknown creature that crash landed with a meteor from space.

We found out at our 16 week appointment – well, Dr H thought it might be a girl but he didn’t want to say so in so many words as he was not 100%.  She was a wriggler.

The 20 week appointment confirmed it though! We were going to welcome a little bundle of “sugar and spice and all things nice”.

We began talking about names, which was a monumental task in itself.  Until you are about to have a child of your own, you don’t actually realise the thought that has to be put into coming up with a name for someone that has not even arrived yet.  They have to live with your choice for the rest of their life!

Terry and I basically each wrote a list of names that we liked, and then swopped, and then scratched names of each other’s lists, then swopped back to see the edited versions.  There were a handful of gorgeous girl names that we had both written down so clearly our choice would be one of them.  A brilliant idea was to run a few of our maybe options past some of our friends and if they came up with any horrid nicknames then it was scrapped…immediately…and our friends are quite a creative bunch.

And so by the end of the second trimester, we had already settled on a name for our daughter-to-be.  Now when we spoke about “it” we could rather say “she” and “Paige”.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

 

 

The Black Hole…

…that is my brain.

brain_blackhole

 

I have said before that during my pregnancy, while carrying Paige, I suffered terribly with all-day-sickness for basically the entire pregnancy.  I also said that it was totally do-able and I would repeat in a heart beat for my next pregnancy, if it meant a healthy bundle again.

The one side affect of pregnancy that i (literally) could not get my head around was the mushyness that was my brain.

I can be quite a messy person in my personal life (what I refer to as organised chaos), but at work I am usually a picture of order and everything has (had) its place in my office.  There is a clear system that I have worked hard to put in place so that – should I get abducted by aliens or run over by a steam train – the person who picks up my job will be able to do so with as little fuss as possible.

*SLAP* – there went that idea, right out of the door, and sucked into the black hole that had become my brain.  The first trimester was fine, then the occasional forgetfulness would take over with minor things in the second trimester, but wow, the third trimester was a whole different story.

All of a sudden, my well structured systems at work made absolutely no sense.  It was as if someone had sent my body an email, and when my brain opened it – *ZAP* – it deleted as many files as possible, never to be recovered again. And speaking of emails – I was literally sending myself emails with reminders and checklists of basic things that i needed to do – it was ridiculous.

You hear of silly things that pregnant women do during this forgetful stage, and you think to yourself – that isn’t so bad, I can handle that.  But you can’t.  People lie.  It is way worse than anyone is willing to tell you.  And there is no external backup that you can just plug into and restore what was lost…there totally should be though.

I lost an entire file at work! One day I was working on it and then I left it on my desk to continue the next morning, but the next morning…it was gone.  Where did it go?  Is it with the mis-matched socks on that mystery island? Or do items lost due to preggy-brain have their own island?

All I know is that I once made tea without boiling the kettle (gross), I put the sugar in the fridge and I locked my keys in my car (for the first time EVER I must just say), while I was at a shopping centre gettingg groceries – Terry had to leave work to bring me my spare set of keys.  And this didn’t happen every now and then…no…things would be forgotten and mis-placed on a regular basis.

It was probably the most frustrating part of being pregnant! Thank goodness my brain went back to normal after Paige was born.

Well, kind of normal anyway.

Oh, and if anyone ever does discover a mysterious island with random household and office items just lying around – feel free to get in touch with me, because I never did find that file.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

The Pregnancy Truths: “Morning Sickness”

morningsicknessecard

I mentioned in my last post that I suffered with “morning sickness” all day, almost every day, for my entire pregnancy.  It was definitely worse in the first trimester though.  I would wake up each morning feeling great…for a second…and then the nausea and uncontrollable urges to toss my tum would quickly take over, causing me to briskly walk to the loo to blow whatever chunks were left from dinner the night before (usually nothing).

I tried everything that experienced moms, grannies, aunties and strangers could suggest – ginger tea, crackers, sipping water all day, etc etc etc – nothing worked and most of the time when I did eat or drink something within an hour of waking up, it would end up in the toilet anyway, so what was the point.  The most annoying part about it was that I spoke to all the ladies in my immediate family (mom, gran, sister, aunty) who had already had their kiddies, and not a single one had experienced morning sickness, not even for a day or a week or a month, in any of their pregnancies.

For my first trimester I would basically dry heave each morning and then feel better for enough time to get dressed, drive to work and check my emails, dry heave again then have some breakfast and tea at around 10am.  The nausea would stick around for most of the day and some nights I would feel so green again that all I would manage for dinner was some marmite on a slice of toast.  I lost around 8-10 kilograms in my first trimester – who would have thought that being a little chunkier to start would have helped me get through those first 3 months.  Dr H was not too concerned about the weight-loss and he said that the bean would take what it needed, and as long as I wasn’t fainting all over the place from lack of nutrients then it should pass in a few months.

Well it didn’t.

My second trimester was just as eventful.  I would have good days where I would only have nausea and then a few times a week I would also be physically ill on and off during the day.  For a few weeks my diet consisted of 2-3 crackers in the morning, a mashed banana for lunch and the ever-trusty marmite toast for dinner, with a few peanuts and raisin nibbles during the day.  It reached a point where Terry put a tupperware container next to my side of the bed, containing cream crackers and marie biscuits, so that I could nibble on one before I even sat up in the morning – that would help a lot.

The third trimester was better, with more days of just nausea, and less days of actually being sick.  And I must just add that a few of my girlfriends thought I was completely batty by now as their questions about how I was feeling would be answered with “I wake up, I throw up, I brush my teeth and I get on with my day – it has become part of my routine”.

By this stage though I was completely off eggs, mince, pork sausages, anything too saucy, butternut & gem squash, almost all forms of dairy except for lactose free milk and don’t even get me started on how bad coffee smelled and tasted – considering I was an enthusiastic coffee drinker prior to the bump!  My mom and sisters used to tease me and say “you always have to be different – instead of craving food, you are hating food”

Well, on the day of my c-section (will explain about this another time) I was scheduled for surgery at 7h30 am, and could not eat or drink anything for roughly 12 hrs beforehand.  The kicker is that another preggy lady came in with an emergency and so I got “bumped” to about 9h30 am.  By the time they rolled me into theatre I was feeling so ill from morning sickness that I had up-chucked three times!  The nurses kept telling me it would be fine and I didn’t need to be nervous, and Terry and I kept telling them that it wasn’t nerves, it was “all-day-sickness”.

The thing is, there are baby books which tell you all about how things normally go, based on an absurdly small average number of pregnancy experiences around the world, and just because you mom or sister or aunty had a “textbook pregnancy” it doesn’t mean you will.

Just to be clear, the “all-day-sickness” was awful, but I would choose to have the same again in a heartbeat if it meant that everything else went well and that I would be blessed with a healthy, happy baby again.  A little up-chucking here and there for 9 months was a fair trade for having zero complications.

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da

The Pregnancy Truths – Part 1

having-kids

My husband, Terry, and I decided it was time to add to our family, so early 2012 we started “practicing”.   In May/June 2012 we found out I was pregnant and that news put idiotic grins on our faces for weeks.  We did our best to keep it all hush hush for the first trimester but were just so ecstatic that after 3 weeks we told EVERYONE – and I do mean everyone!  We told our immediate family and gave our moms the go ahead to do their “yellow pages” duty and spread the word to relatives spread across the globe.  We told our close circle of friends at a braai, but a few of them said they had already become suspicious because I had not been having my usual 2…3…4… drinks with them in past weeks.  And we announced to the rest of our distant friends and family on Facebook.

Needless to say it was an exciting time and we received so many well wishes.  The general feeling for Terry and I was that of possibility and an adventure into the great unknown…even though gazillions of people before us have successfully brought a baby into this world.

At 4 weeks it was all rainbows and sunshine and everything was going great.

At 9 weeks I was experiencing the well know phenomenon known as “morning sickness”, except I was getting it on and off all day long, every day, from the time I woke up, ’til the time I fell asleep at night…*awesome*.

On the plus side, I had my first OB/GYN visit with Dr H, and Terry and I were like a couple of little kids going to our first circus.  Seeing that tiny bean for the first time made it all real, but hearing that steady little heartbeat was a life changing experience for both of us.  Dr H used the scanner to poke and prod my mini-belly (which kick-started a few giggle outbursts on my part) and announced that everything looked great and he would see me in a month.

At 11 weeks the headaches began and the feeling of “ghosty” period pains seemed to come and go as they pleased.  It was right around this time that Terry decided that there was “no time like the present” to search for and purchase a cot.  We found the perfect one in our local Toys & Babies R Us, which was priced at R3000 – apparently a good deal – so Terry and I, being the practical people we are, began scouring the 2nd hand baby goods sites, and Gumtree found us a winner.  The exact same cot, pre-used, for half the price – SOLD!  We phoned up the seasoned mommy and met her in a shopping centre parking lot, paid the car-guard R10 to help Terry move it from one bakkie to another, and we were on our way.

At my 12 week scan the tiny bean had grown some, and definitely looked more like a baby and less like a bean.  It is the most amazing feeling, seeing the scan of what is going on in your tummy, and knowing that you and your partner are responsible for the creation of life, and then your mind takes a small step towards the realisation that you are responsible for a life.

And so it begins…

5265f7f7012c8e27b3ea03899e21f0da