Tag: pregnancy

Where’s my Glowing Complexion?

While I cannot wait for my little bundle to arrive, to see her little face, to show her off to the world, I can only tell you I cannot wait until this pregnancy is over. While blessed, grateful and very lucky to be able to conceive, I’m certainly not enjoying being pregnant. Third time lucky does not apply here.

I love looking at my growing bump in the mirror, realising there’s a person in there, feeling the warmth of flutters and kicks, and day-dreaming of what kind of person she is going to be.

I love when Frankie points at my belly when I talk about the baby. I love when Kayla sings nursery rhymes to her little sister, kissing and hugging my bump, ever so excited.

However, I’m hormonal, I’m tired and I certainly don’t have a glowing complexion.

I cannot chase Kayla in the park, I’m exhausted. I cannot jump on the trampoline, I feel sick. I cannot enjoy food because I have heartburn. And finally I cannot laugh, cough or sneeze because I’ll just piss myself, literally!

The last two weeks I was anxious and terrified I was leaking fluid. After a trip to Coombe I found out I was leaking, not the kind of fluid protecting my baby though, I was leaking urine. How glamorous! I’m spending my days practising my pelvic floor as I peel potatoes, hoover and go about my daily chores. Baby number three has really taken it’s toll on my body.

And then there’s all this nonsense about glowing during pregnancy.

I hate getting dressed. I feel fat, like HUGE, and shoving another sweet, cake or crisp in my mouth doesn’t help.  I have an awful sweet tooth. Healthy food just doesn’t satisfy me. I find myself excited putting the kids to bed so I can gorge on sugary foods.

Then the breakouts follow. My skin is dreadful from my recent awfully bad eating habits. It’s spotty, it’s dry and sometimes it hurts.

Hormones, did I mention I’m a raving lunatic? Kids are kids, they will spill, there will be crumbs, and they will act up at inappropriate times.

Everything annoys me. The way my partner sits on the sofa agitates me, the way Kayla spends a year closing the gate on the stairs bugs the shit out of me and the fact my dog Tinkerbell is my shadow and will be for the next few months is driving me utterly insane.

I love the sun. I love the outdoors. I do not like being pregnant, the sun and outdoors combined. I don’t like the rain, snow or wind either.

I know, I’m just a whingey cow! Oh look cake…

Anatomy Scan and Gender Reveal

Today we had our early anatomy scan, the ‘big’ scan most pregnant women have at 20-21 weeks because our sonographer found increased nuchal translucency at our ten week scan. While we accepted our babies increased risk of Down Syndrome, it was still a long stressful seven weeks waiting to find out our babies faith.

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Today we got fantastic news. Our early anatomy today was very reassuring, with no structural abnormalities and all fetal anatomy was visual and appeared normal. We even got to see our little baby in 4d. One of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen.

We were also very naughty at our scan today, we couldn’t resist temptation and we found out the sex of our baby. Kayla has wanted a little sister forever. Looks like she won’t have to wait long either…

Things NOT To Say To A Pregnant Woman

I’m fourteen weeks pregnant, enjoying the second trimester. I’m at the ‘eat what you want, as much as you want, do whatever you want’ stage. And so far there have been no hormonal outbursts, midnight snacking or endless toilet trips. Second trimester is treating me kind.

Some of the questions I have been asked by family, friends and strangers, my midwife or consultant didn’t even ask me. Here is a list of questions I have been asked in the past few months and things you should not actually ask a pregnant woman.

Was it planned?

Since when is it okay to interrogate someone about conception? FYI if not being on contraception means ‘planned’ then yes my little babog was planned.

Was there nothing on the telly?

Well considering half of Ireland is expecting in August, NO there was nothing on my TV in November…

Are you sure you’re not having twins?

Why don’t you just tell me I look fat! I’m pretty sure there is only one little person in there. I am NOT having twins!

I think you’re having a boy/girl…

Let’s get one thing straight you cannot guess by a person’s figure, skin, eating habits, piss or poo what gender their baby is going to be. FACT!

Are you planning anymore?

Would you ever let me push this baby out first! But if I’m honest I’m pretty sure the other half has booked in for a vasectomy.

I thought you were finished?

If I was finished having babies would I pregnant right now? No.

Can I touch your belly?

How about can I touch yours? No… Okay, you can’t touch mine either.

You may think these are all reasonable things NOT to say to a pregnant woman but I have heard them all, in this pregnancy and in less than fourteen weeks. So just to be clear, tell me I look amazing, tell me I’m glowing and tell me I’m looking radiant. DON’T TOUCH MY BELLY and we’ll all be friends.

First Trimester – Pregnancy Sickness – Is there a CURE?

What is Pregnancy Sickness?

Pregnancy sickness is the painstaking suffering of nausea and vomiting all day long and not only in the morning. Since for some women the nausea and vomiting is the worst in the morning, the common term is ‘morning sickness’. Pregnancy sickness can differ from feeling nauseous to feeling so nauseous that you have to vomit. Pregnancy sickness seems to be caused by a mixture of all the hormonal changes that occur in the female body due to the pregnancy and the sensitivity to certain smells.

I’ve previously sailed through two pregnancies by-passing the dreaded sickness smugly, never even the slightest touch of queasiness. My little babog swimming around inside has changed all that. I’m wrenching at almost all foods, the odour, the texture, the taste. Snots, nappies, slurping, chewing and munching, it all REVOLTS me. Why can’t people just chew with their mouths closed. Like ewh! I have nausea and vomiting all day long, not only in the morning. I feel shit all day, everyday!

I’ve been spending my days hovering around the bathroom, hibernating indoors trying to hide any existence of my pregnancy. I’m struggling to conceal myself from my four year old shadow who currently thinks I’m dying. She has watched on in horror as I gag and puke.

I researched and researched and RESEARCHED for the cure. There is no magic cure. There is no magic pill. There is nothing I can do but ride it out.

I have eaten and snacked before getting out of bed to keep my energy levels up. I have tried to eat ginger biscuits, they repulse me. I’m sipping hot water with a slice of lemon in the mornings and I’m drinking water by the gallon to keep hydrated. I have eaten smaller meals and snacked more frequently not allowing myself to get hungry. I’ve nibbled peppermint sweets when I feel the faintest queasiness come on. I don’t eat and drink at the same time. I’m also eating bland foods such as crackers and dry toast and I’m taking plenty of supplements.

Did any of it work? Eating smaller frequent bland meals kind of helped. I also picked up a vitamin spray which helped avoid gagging over large vitamins. It’s such a horrible experience. Stupid hormones.

 How women go through a whole pregnancy feeling like this is inhumane. I like food. No I love food and I was slowly drifting into a depression watching my little family devour all the beautiful foods I would chef up at dinner time whilst stubbornly nibbling on a cracker or dry toast.

The fog is finally lifting, I’m starting to feel myself again at almost twelve weeks. I just hope I don’t get any weird cravings like the last time.

Things I've Learnt Being A MAAAmmy

1. You will no longer laugh at the parents of hurricane hell raising children on Channel 4.

2. Counting to three will be your most commonly used phrase.

3. You will spend most of your days with a howling resident on the bottom step of your stairs.

4. You question how people in bungalows discipline their children.

5. You prefer cuddling and kids movies to hitting pubs and clubs.

6. Your home will be covered in valuable pieces of artwork that didn’t cost you a thing.

7. You will sneak sweets like it’s a contraband substance, soon mastering ramming anything that tastes good into your mouth and be able to exchange conversation with your small normally.

8. It doesn’t matter how many books, magazines and articles you read about caring for your child, every child is different and they all progress at their own pace.

9. Everything you do is an adventure.

10. Showering with a locked door behind you is a luxury.

11. Children do not understand why a mammy would ever want to have any privacy.

12. You will inherit ‘shower schizophrenia’, a constant belief your baby is crying whilst you shower.

13. You often finish up showering with only one leg shaved and have you will have a frequent presence of unwashed conditioner in your hair.

14. You may have an audience whilst showering, shouting the most awkward of questions.

15. You will never wear white again.

16. Children have one level of volume, LOUD!!

17. You are easily manipulated by puppy-dog-eyes.

18. Your washing basket will never be empty.

19, If you mop the floor, it’s guaranteed they will spill something.

20. You will spend most of your days threatening to throw away their toys, if they don’t clean them up.

21. It is perfectly acceptable to sniff a childs butt in public.

22. You can do almost anything with one hand.

23. You will re-define “sleeping-in” to any time past 7:30am.

24. You will have impeccable packing skills.

25. That it’s very rewarding to have a purpose other than yourself.

26. You will realize how amazing it is to watch children grow. Observing the confident-creative little people they become.

27. You will be wiping butts for eternity.

28. There will be a never ending trail of mush, crumbs and spills.

29. An early night is going to bed the same time as your children.

30. You will use baby wipes to clean almost everything from random spills to your whole bathroom.

31. You will have perfected the straight that’s-not-funny face when it’s actually quite hilarious.

32. You will never judge a stranger on their child’s behaviour. If anything you will sympathize.

33. Bedtime will become one of your favourite times of the day.

34. You need caffeine to get through your day.

35. Children get inhuman bursts of energy at bedtime

36. Silence is not golden. Never trust a quiet toddler.

37. Your food always looks tastier.

38. You wouldn’t change anything.

The Sibling Rivalry

So today Frankie wails that ‘pain cry’, that noise that hits the bottom of your spine. You drop whatever is in your hand and proceed like Usain Bolt to comfort, to nurture, to investigate what the happened. You find your eldest jump back in fear, muttering ‘I dunno, I was just giving him his soother’. At this moment, I now know to check for marks, bumps, scratches or teeth marks. Yes you read it right, teeth marks. Why you ask? Because Kayla is jealous of her baby brother, the sibling rivalry has landed.

Kayla was one of the first people to meet Frankie, this was important to me. Frankie was supposed to be Katie. Katie was the name Kayla chose for the baby in mammy’s belly. To some extent Kayla did not like Katie. She was the one preventing mammy from jumping on the trampoline. She was the one who made mammy tired and sleep all the time. She was the one who made mammy a hormonal raving lunatic. Everybody assumed I knew the sex, a girl obviously. Kayla would point at bump and announce mammies having a baby, her name is Katie.

In matter of fact, Katie was a boy. Me and my girl-friends were super sneaky at a re-date scan and told no one, not even Dadog. We shopped blue on the sly, stashing in random no go areas around the house. My friend Sue also had an imaginary cousin who just had popped a boy that weekend to be exact. I cannot remember if we named this baby. Anyways we bought him a lot, he was spoilt.

As any mam would, I tried to prepare Kayla. She was having none of it. She already has a brother, why would she need two, she would reassure me. Her father and I are separated and he had a beautiful little boy Charlie last year
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I explained to Kayla about the approaching birth, I got animated books in the library, the arrival of siblings, the big sister, how to help mammy. I encouraged her to feel baby kick, talk and sing to my bump. I had never ending headaches with the amount of times she sang ‘twinkle-twinkle’ into the micro-phone (my belly button). Katie would summer sault to the sound of her voice. As my belly grew, I involved Kayla with everything. Getting my hospital bag ready, putting the crib together and even brought her along to my combined G.P visits.

Unfortunately I had a few complications, I have thrombocytopenia. I hemorrhaged which led to a couple over-night stays in hospital. Kayla did not like when Katie did this to me. Kayla did not like the idea I was not at home with her. Kayla started to resent Katie.

Then one day in March, two -weeks early Katie became Frankie. Kayla was excited to come see me and her new brother. She had a cuddle but we knew she was disappointed. She suggested swapping him with a mammy in my ward.

I became an over protective mummy, I snapped be gentle, whispered be quiet, pulled her away from hanging over the moses-basket as she almost knocks it down. She accepted her new sibling. She helped with all the nappy changes, picked out his outfit for the day and helped make bottles.

Kayla was involved in everything so I’m rather shocked when she ha sudden bursts of aggression. Frankie clearly did nothing to physically hurt her, emotionally she was broken. She did not deny his existence. She enjoyed the special attention from visitors. She enjoyed having mammy home all day, every day. But unfortunately I could see cracks and slight resentment creeping in. Frankie got to sleep in my room. Frankie got lots cuddles. Kayla did not have my full attention anymore. Kayla was no longer my only baby.

Naturally I tried spending extra one-on-one time with her. We made jig-saws, watched girly movies and went through photo albums of her as a baby and toddler. I let her unwrap any present Frankie got. Kayla is spoilt rotten and everyone dotes on her, I think she got more presents than Frankie in his first week.

Then one day, I left her to mind Frankie, for two minutes, while I went upstairs to get a blanket.  I thought I could trust her. Whatever she did to him, it hurt. I never heard a scream like it from a baby in all my life. He was six-pounds in weight, not an ounce of fat to be seen. She tried to reassure me ‘he just started crying’ until I exhausted all options and checked his nappy. There it was, a red raw mark on his thigh. The fury, the angry, the utter disbelief raged through my body. I almost wanted to hold her down and do what she did to him. I wanted her to feel the pain she occurred to Frankie. I obviously could not do that, so I asked what really happened.

I encouraged her to tell me how she felt. I gave her as much attention as I possibly could. I involved her with every aspect of bringing Frankie home, to helping out, naming and even bathing in the first few weeks. She had a hidden streak of jealousy that only arose when left alone with my little man.

Just as I thought she was adjusting, learning to trust her again. Boom, like a happy slap to the face – she bit him, in the arm this time. The cry melted my heart. The incident melted my brain. Why would she do such a thing?

At this stage Frankie is smiling, cooing even sharing a bath with her. She just gets these sudden urges of being in control and hurts him, for no reason, whatsoever. When I’m feeding Frankie, I feel she is trying to hijack all my attention. Don’t get me wrong, this has only happened three-times, although once is enough. She just gets these sudden urges to hurt him. Whether it is attention seeking, power or sudden outbursts of jealousy I shall not be leaving her alone with Frankie until I can trust her behavior has changed. It’s an unfortunate fact of life, the sibling rivalry has landed.

30 Things I Would Tell My Best Friend About Having A Baby

Having A Baby | Thing's I Would Tell My Best Friend

Having a baby is the most beautiful natural and wonderful process in the world but not many tell you the truth of what really happens during and post pregnancy. Whilst some lucky mums-to-be are blessed with a ‘glowing complexion’, bypass on the heartburn and get no strange weird cravings at 3 am. There are some things your friends and family forgot to tell you. We normally only share all the pretty things about being pregnant and having a baby so here is a list of things I would tell my best friend about having a baby.  (more…)

In Hindsight

My reflection on how I coped during both of my children’s first few months.

Isn’t it interesting how with every baby we have, we have different ways of raising them? I look back on my first born and I wouldn’t let anyone cuddle her with the fear she was going to crave attention. I bought everything brand new, not a second-hand item in sight. I gave her warm bottles as I was told it was better for her tummy. Woke her religiously every three-to-four hours for the first six weeks. I ran to the doctor with a sniffle. I didn’t do proper research my buggy and ended up buying a new one at 24 weeks old. Kayla never had tummy time, to be honest I didn’t know what tummy time was. She’s so picky with her foods now, as I never experimented with flavours and textures. She won’t eat most vegetables and it’s my own fault!!

During my pregnancy on Frankie so many people offered clothes, blankets, swings, sterilizers etc. This time I wasn’t too proud. I accepted anything and everything bar his cot. I bought Frankie four sets of clothes during my pregnancy and I have only bought him three outfits since he was born. He’s fourteen-weeks-old now. They live in baby grows for the first six-weeks. Friends and family buy you so much, mainly clothes. If I didn’t like them, I exchanged them for something I did like. I always give a credit note for this reason. We don’t all have the same taste. I spent hundreds on Kayla, money which I didn’t have on little dresses that were not comfortable on a new baby.

Anybody who offers any hand-me-down baby items now, I jump at the chance. I though on Kayla, no way. The thoughts of hand-me-downs reminded me of my childhood. Money was tight, most clothes came from family, friends and charity shops. Hems were lowered, trousers cut into shorts. Now I just think gimme everything you got. A wash, an iron and as good as new. Why waste money on something that is perfect?

Cuddles? Hmmm, I was told ‘don’t have that baby in your arms she’ll just get use to it, wait till your on your own’. I don’t know if I didn’t bond with Kayla at first like I did Frankie l, I just fed, changed, put her down. My pregnancy on Kayla was a shock. I was sick one month, pregnant the next, then all of a sudden I was responsible for this little person. It was all so quick and to be quite honest, I didn’t know what I was doing. Force feeding Gripe water and infacol, telling everyone she was colic and had bad reflux, but to be honest looking back, I don’t think I was winding her properly.

If I remember correctly Kayla was on five antibiotics the first year of her life. I ran to the doctor with a sniffle, sneeze or a cough. I’m pretty sure I left the surgery one day thinking ‘how stupid she’s just teething’. Frankie had a cough a couple weeks ago. This time I chose to let his immune system kick in. A baby should not be on antibiotics at six-weeks-old. My determination worked, he was perfectly fine after 2-3 days.

I never want to see a warm bottle ever again. Running though the Square S.C, looking for a microwave or praying the bottle would heat up quicker sitting in a tea-pot of hot water. Dragging my feet down the stairs during night feeds just to warm a bottle up. This time it’s room temperature. Best tip anyone has every gave me. Makes life so much easier and the night feeds quicker.

I’m certainly no chef. Although I make a mean vegetable soup. Kayla eats potatoes and gravy. Gravy, potatoes and cold sausages. Beans, potatoes and gravy, oh and did I mention potatoes? The odd fish fingers, pasta and soup of course. She’s such a fussy eater. She’s allergic to eggs and is lactose intolerant aswell.

I’m currently looking at magazines, books and websites for new adventurous recipes to make for Frankie. Butternut squash, sweet potato, cucumber, hummus and sweetcorn. All things I would never dream of giving to myself never mind a baby. It’s all changed now. I won’t be freezing my mam’s left over stew or casserole. I’m so excited to experiment with all these new foods.

If I remember correctly I bathed Kayla almost every night. In products I knew nothing about just because they advertised them with a picture of a cute baby smiling. She ended up with awful baby eczema and nothing seemed to stop the flare ups. Why do we choose to use creams, lotions and potions on our babies? Warm water is perfectly fine, without parabens, preservatives basically adding crap to our children’s baths. I choose wisely this time. Infacare ultra mild. It’s light, moisturizing and you only need a drop in each bath. A bottle should do six months.

I never accepted help. I thought I have to prove to everyone I’m a good mam. I need to do everything for myself. So stupid of me. I was exhausted. I came home from the hospital with Frankie, sat on the sofa and I didn’t move. Anybody who said if you need anything done, want me to take Kayla for a few hours, overnight, make bottles, hoover your floors etc. I held them to it and took up their offers. I spent the first two weeks looking after myself, bonding with Frankie, enjoying his first weeks.

On Kayla I was up out, window shopping, anything just to get out of the house. Looking for a job when she was only three months old. Now I’m thinking, gosh I’m back to work in less than four months. Six months just isn’t enough time.

All I remember is Kayla crying, her getting sick, the tiredness, exhaustion, applying for jobs. Some family and friends disagree with me on Kayla’s first year.  They felt guilty feeding her as she fell asleep whilst drinking bottles, that she was one of the best babies ever.  So why don’t I think that? Makes me wonder… Did I have post natal depression? I am one for pretending everything okay when it’s clearly not. Did I know? Did I try mask it? Did I lose some of the most precious first moments of my babies life?

I lived at home with my mam, dad and little brother, sharing a room with Kayla for her first year. My mam is so particular with her home, she’s house proud so I felt I was stepping on toes a lot. My dad was up for work at five or six and with Kayla’s two night feeds, until she was eight or nine months old, I can imagine he couldn’t wait until I moved our to get a good nights sleep. Then I had a hormonal brother preparing for the leaving cert too. It was a lot of pressure to try keep everyone happy.

I couldn’t wait for ‘me time’. I’m pretty sure other people had her more than I did as she got older. She spent lots of time with her godmother, her parents, my cousin, my Aunty, my mam and her very fraternal nana. Basically anybody who answered the phone to me. I just wanted time to be Kellie again, even if just for a few hours. Maybe that’s why I started looking for a job again when she was only 3 months old. I think my pregnancy was such a shock that I wasn’t prepared for motherhood. This all changed after settling in to our new home. I wouldn’t dream of leaving Frankie with anybody right now, maybe I am finally ready to be a mammy.

All I can do know is take it as a life lesson, do everything different. Learn from my mistakes. Me and Kayla are best buds. She’s my little sidekick. Where I go she goes. We both have our moments like everyone. I’ve made up now with what I lost when she was so small and cherish every moment I get with her now.

I hope you get some advice from this blog, its very personal to me. Not many people believed I struggled with Kayla as a new baby. It has taken me four years to actually open up about it. If you have any worries, concerns or feel like you can’t cope, please speak to a family member or close friend. I hate thinking someone out their is hibernating their post natal depression. Speak up, get help and be the person best you can be.