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The Guilty Mammy Blog

Blagging it badly

Month

April 2016

Pregnancy in the 1st Trimester, A Guide

You forget so quickly what being pregnant is like especially early pregnancy before you can tell anyone. Well let me remind you..

  • It’s boring.
  • Almost immediately upon taking a positive pregnancy test your body changes and you obtain what can only be described as a thickness around your midsection.
  • You can’t allow yourself to get too excited because its early days and you can’t tell anyone.
  • You feel fat – this feeling never goes away.
  • You think you look pregnant much sooner than anyone else thinks you look pregnant, this is down to wishful thinking. You just look fat.
  • You are perpetually bloated.
  • You have wind.
  • Your sense of smell is akin to that of a bloodhound.
  • Very quickly you realise that you are continually and unrelentingly hungry unless you’re suffering from nausea.
  • You’re suffering from nausea.
  • You’re going to the toilet.
  • You’re lying in bed wondering if you can get back to sleep without getting up and going to the toilet.
  • You’re pondering how you’re going to manage sleeping on your left hand side when that involves facing your husband all night and deciding when it will be appropriate to ask him to sleep in the spare room until after the baby is born.
  • You are so tired you are at risk of falling asleep anytime, anywhere. At work included.
  • If, like me, you swore you wouldn’t eat everything this time you soon realise that you have no will power.
  • Your gums bleed, probably because you are overusing them. They are constantly on the go with all that extra food you are stuffing into you.
  • There is a long stage where your normal clothes are too small for you but your maternity clothes are too big.
  • Your knickers no longer fit.
  • You only feel comfortable in men’s clothes.. tracksuit bottoms, pyjama bottoms, t-shirts. Hoody.
  • You get spots.
  • You don’t know if you’re allowed to lie on your front. You know you definitely can’t lie on your back.
  • You can go all day without going to the toilet.
  • You need to go to the toilet every 25 minutes during the night.
  • Sometimes you go to the toilet, get back into bed and immediately need to go to the toilet again.
  • Sometimes you need to go to the toilet and nothing comes out.
  • Sometimes you sneeze and wee comes out.
  • You’re going to the toilet.

Afterbirth – 5 things no one told me about having a baby

Whenever I speak to someone who is expecting they ask about the birth and as I have said before it’s all a bit of a blur but even if it wasn’t I still don’t think it’s all that relevant. I think everyone’s birth story will be different and in fact it’s only a very small part of motherhood.
For me the bit I want people to know about is the days and weeks after you get home from hospital. I went to antenatal classes, I never missed an appointment with my midwife and I read two pregnancy books in the 40 or so weeks leading up to the birth of my daughter. But I don’t remember anyone telling me how hard the first 6 weeks are. They told me there would be bleeding and I might be uncomfortable but I couldn’t have anticipated the pain for about 6 weeks after the birth.

Issue #1 – stitches

I had an episiotomy during my delivery after pushing for an hour. Once I was sewn up I asked how many stitches but was told they don’t count them anymore – no one told me any more about it. When I got home I could hardly sit down with the pain and as the days passed it got worse and worse. I couldn’t walk far because of the pain. The stitches pulled and when I went to the toilet I screamed from the pain. Eventually I got a mirror and had a look and what I saw could only be described as a gaping wound. I went back to the hospital and told them what the problem was. My stitches had partly come out and there was indeed an open wound down there. Which I peed into several times a day – you piss a lot in the days after giving birth… did you know that??

Top tip – Pouring water with tea tree oil in it over my bits when I had a wee made things slightly easier.

Issue #2 – bleeding

This bit I did know about – the bleeding – you can expect to bleed for something between a week and six weeks after giving birth. A super period if you will. Mine was 6 weeks. 6 weeks of non stop period. But you can’t wear a tampon so you’ve got a pad that is visible from outerspace between your legs. Eventually you can downgrade to a normal pad. But after probably a week in my case my vaginal was so itchy from wearing pads that I probably ripped out my own stitches just to relieve the itching. Long after I have forgotten the pain of the contractions I will remember how itchy my fanny was in those weeks.

Top tip – no. Can’t help here.

Issue #3 – nipples

My baby had no latching issues and wasn’t tongue tied but the pain of starting breast feeding was real. For the 2 or 3 days before your milk comes in it feels like baby is permanently sucking and nothing is coming out. It doesn’t take long for your nips to get cracked and bleed. Eventually the milk comes in and you think you’re on the pigs back. But no. Your new enemy is the pain at letdown. Yes, when milk is released it causes actual physical pain. This too passes. Not before you have been sitting in bed at 3am gritting your teeth through the pain of a feed. You know it’s bad when your eyes well up with the anticipation of the pain of a feed.

Top tip – lansinoh nipple cream

Issue #4 – tiredness

My baby wouldn’t sleep anywhere but in my arms for several weeks. People kept telling me this was a bad thing so I kept trying to put her down which made her cry and made me sad and anxious and stressed. So I held her and sat with her and let her sleep. But I couldn’t let myself fall asleep because that was apparently the most dangerous thing in the world you could do with a new born. Particularly if you did it on the sofa. My husband kept reading on the internet that co-sleeping was a dangerous game and should be avoided at all costs. Eventually I compromised by propping myself up in bed while she slept on me and I dozed for a few hours at a time during the night. Occasionally I fell asleep on the sofa and vowed never to tell my husband what had happened.

Top tip – If I could go back in time I’d give myself a massive break here. I’d sleep and sleep and sleep. I’d sleep on the sofa, on the floor, in bed wherever and whenever and I’d never give it a second though.

Issue #5 – the 4th trimester

Babies don’t want to be on their own, ever, when they are new born. Don’t fight it.
Top tip – If you want to get anything done buy a sling. End of.

Here we go again..

I’m back after an extended blog holiday. Things have been relentless busy and I’ve been pretty knackered. Probably due to the fact that I am 16 weeks pregnant with baby number two!

Who knew time would go so quickly second time around?! I cannot explain how exhausted I felt for the first trimester this time around. It’s been really hard work. First time around I usually fell asleep on the couch when I got in from work. I slept in at the weekends and generally had a lot of time for lounging and snoozing. Not so this time! It’s all go with a toddler AND working. Weekends of course are busy and an early night is frequently planned but rarely carried out. But I am now feeling so much better; the difference in the second trimester is tangible.

I didn’t particularly enjoy being pregnant the first time around. I felt uncomfortable and large and all that. But your body has a funny way of making you forget all that and before you know it you’re thinking about baby number two and how lovely it would be to be pregnant again. And in fact this time around I am enjoying it much more, so far anyway. It’s true that you start to show a lot quicker this time. Although my belly is only 50% baby, the other half is gluttony. So much for my promises not to eat everything around me second time around. It’s not all consuming this time around either – no asking in restaurants if the mayonnaise is home made, no boiling eggs to bullet consistency, no constant googling of pregnancy related material.

I have felt an almost permanent sense of guilt though. The toddler has no idea what is coming and our bond is so close that I feel like I am betraying her somehow. To her she is the centre of our universe and in reality she is probably right. How can she cope with another baby to contend with? How can I explain it to her? And how can I love another baby as much as I love her? I now feel sorry for both of them; there is no way the newbie is going to receive half the service the toddler has gotten. And standards the toddler has become accustomed to will surely drop. I have to remind myself that in time she’ll be glad she has a sibling, I can’t imagine my life without my brothers. Although looking around me I can see it could take quite a long time for her to appreciate the new addition.

There are so many positives to the second baby too though; I don’t have that sense of anxiety that everything is about to change this time around. I don’t worry about whether I am making the right decision. I don’t panic about the loss of my social life, I lost that ages ago. I don’t’ worry about all the stuff we need. I don’t have any illusions about getting really fit during my maternity leave.

I now also know that everything is temporary, every stage lasts a matter of weeks, although it may feel like months at the time. I know that they will sleep eventually, as will I. I know they will eat vegetables eventually, although they may have to be invisible to the naked eye. I know that one day they’ll crawl, shortly after they’ll walk and talk and all too soon they’ll be walking away from me and making their own way. And I know that you have to relish every moment you can, even the bad ones.

I’ve learned that there are so many people in the world who would give up everything for one more cuddle with their child. There are people in the world who have waited their whole life to hold a baby that never came. And now when my baby wakes in the middle of the night and calls for me I sit and I hold her for as long as it takes, I’ve learned that being able to do that is a privilege. And I know that when the newbie arrives I’ll do the same; and I’ll find a way to hold them both.

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