Thursday, 27 March 2014

Stretch Marks - How to Avoid Them

Ah stretch marks! One of the many not so delightful changes to a woman's pregnant body! Before you go running out and spending millions of euro on oils and creams and potions and lotions that will spare you from getting them, let me tell you what your first step is, in avoiding them! 

Step 1: Invite your Mamma over for a cup of coffee and a slice of gluten free cake - my Mamma is a coeliac. If your Mamma has no such dietry requirements, feel free to offer her normal gluten filled cake. The presence or absence of gluten is not important in this step. Once there's cake, your grand! 

Once cake, gluten free or otherwise, has been eaten, ask your Mamma this question; so, how's your tummy looking since bearing me for 9 months? If she says smooth as the baby's bum you are currently growing, your golden! If she says it now resembles a scrotum, well, you can still go buy the lotions and potions but it's probably a waste of time... I do realise that the above is a vulgar way to describe a post pregnancy tummy, but as vulgar as it is, it's effective!

I have been applying a certain oil, at a price of €17 a bottle, twice daily for the last 34 weeks. I have been having baths with baby oil in, I have even invested in some stretch mark specific cream that set me back €35. All in a vain attempt to avoid stretch marks. 

I thought I was doing very well. I hadn't a mark in sight. When I looked down at my tummy, it was lovely and soft and smooth. I was delighted with myself! Genetics, says I? I laugh in the face of genetics! Well, it turns out that genetics has had the last laugh. You see, from about 26 or so weeks, you can ONLY see the top of your tummy when you look down, your neck doesn't bend so that you can see under your bump. The only way to see under your bump is to have a look in the mirror. So imagine my horror when I looked in the mirror at about 30 or so weeks and realised that while, yes, the top of my bump was soft and unmarked, the feckin underneath of it wasn't! It resembled a cross between a London Tube map and a bloody brain! 

Well! Disgusted isn't the word for it! All that time dedicated to rubbing in the lotions and potions and the promises of those company's that I believed whole heatedly, and here I am with a tummy that resembles a brain!

I have been assured that all that tummy TLC will pay off once the baby is out and the skin returns to it's normal I stretched self. I really hope so!

realise that I should wear my stretch marks with pride. That they are my "tiger stripes" (read that in a quote somewhere once but can't remember the full thing), but I am a young(ish) woman. I had notions of once again being able to wear a bikini. Obviously, once I'd returned to the sevelt size 10 I've always imagined I could be... But with a tummy resembling a mans nether regions, well, suffice to say I wouldn't put the general public through such a sight!

So, ladies! My advice on avoiding stretch marks? Consult your genes, pray to the gene Gods that you got the no stretch mark gene and if you didn't, pray anyway!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Week 38 and I am impatient...

We are now at week 38. Two more weeks officially left. But, then again, I could also have four more weeks if this Baba is refusing to be cooperative!

Mother Nature is really fantastic! Let me take you back about 20 weeks... Back to a time when I could reach my feet to put my socks on, easily get off the couch and  never had to worry about heartburn.

Back then, my bestie was preparing for the big L. It was nearing her time and she had come through the "fear of it" stage and was now happily sitting in the "it has to come out so feck it" stage. I naively thought that I was also at that stage.

I am the kind of person that likes to know exactly what's coming down the track. When I got pregnant, I bought my What to Expect When Expecting book, downloaded all the apps and spent many a happy hour reading all the fascinating things that I was going to experience. (There's very little in these various materials that warn you of the need for a winch to get off the couch or that your shoes are probably not going to fit you!) Being of the opinion that knowledge is power, I decided that I was ready to find out what to expect when L Day arrives! 

I couldn't have been more wrong! I was not ready to know. Himself arrived up to the room to check on me only to find me lying in the bed hyperventilating with my book open on a page that described how to deliver the baby yourself in the event of an emergency and pictures of the various positions a woman can give birth in. I was having a feckin panic attack! Who knew that there were "options" for giving birth? I most certainly didn't! Himself took the book from me and we made a joint decision that, from that day forward I would employ a less is more approach. The less I knew the better and I'll just go into L Day blind! 

The reason I think Mother Nature is amazing? Well, here I am at 38 weeks pregnant and I can hand on heart say I have arrived at the "it has to come out so feck it" stage. I am no longer hyperventilating and if they tell me to stand on my head in order to get this baby out, so be it - although i do realise that standing on my head would be counter productive, gravity is apparently a great help during the Big Push.

So here I sit, bouncing on my pregnancy ball for the millionth time since 530am today, sipping on my second cup of raspberry leaf tea and googling ways to bring on labour in the hopes that it will prevent me being overdue! By the way, I wasn't up at 530am for any reason. I was just awake, uncomfortable and couldn't get back to sleep! So I spent nearly 4 hours crotcheting while waiting for Himself to wake up. And yes, I said crotcheting. Apparently, pregnancy has turned this wild boozey lady into a granny....

All prayers, lit candles, spells, voodoo and tips to bring this baby out into the world are greatly accepted and appreciated. Unless you tell me to be patient. In which case, feck off!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Things I am most looking forward to after Labour Day

With so much time on my hands, and nothing to do but knit, I have been thinking of all the things I am looking forward to once Labour Day is over..

Obviously the number one thing, and most important, is meeting our little one and finally getting to know if it's a she or a he and all the happiness that goes with it!

But, I am talking about other things. Pre pregnancy enjoyment that was taken for granted. 

So I have decided to list them..

10. Ability to move with speed

Granted, me and speed have never exactly been on the best of terms, but my current pace is ridiculous. It doesn't matter what I am doing, whether it's "walking" (I use that word lightly), moving from a sitting to a standing position or vice versa or trying to turn over from my left side to my right side during the night, it's all being done super slow and I can't wait until the baby is born and I don't even have to think about these movements! I'll be like Flash Gordon zooming around the place!

9. Bending down

Ah bending down. I have the fondest memories of being able to pick up something I dropped. These days if I drop something and I am alone, it stays there until someone comes along. Doesn't matter if it's a utensil, clothes or food. I'm not getting down there and getting back up. It's one or the other. And if I do happen to take my chances and bend to get whatever the dropped item is, I make this weird noise. It's a cross between a grunt and a sigh. It'll be nice to not make that noise.

8. My toes

My little piggies! And they look like little piggies right now. When I stretch out, I can see these pudgy little stumps that no longer resemble the dainty little hoofs I once owned! My size 4 shoes don't fit me any more and there is the last pathetic scraping of nail varnish applied a number of months ago that I can neither reach to remove or refresh! I look forward to being able to stand up and look down and see my feet.

7. No longer having heartburn

I am excited to eat a tomato and not have to chase it with a bottle of gaviscon!  And also excited to no longer have to carry around a litre bottle of the stuff like some bizzare indigestion treatment addict!

6. Being able to take any pain killer that is not Panadol 

I do realise that this is not exactly something to be looking forward to. Please don't miss understand my excitement for this as an admission to having an over fondness for pain killers. It will just be nice to be able to take something that works if I should require it!

5. Clothes 

I have some really lovely maternity wear. New Look has been a life saver throughout my pregnancy and a lot of the clothes are lovely and comfortable. But, I cannot wait to put on a pair of jeans that are not elasticated at the top and have actual working buttons that you use to keep them up! 

4. High heels

Sky high! I want to wear sky high high heels again. I want to totter around on them and have aching feet at the end of the night!

3. Sleep on my back

Oh that first night sleeping on my back! I cannot wait for it! It will be amazing. Right now if I do happen to roll on to my back, one of two things happens; the baby goes mental kicking and moving. I am thinking it doesn't like where it goes when I lie on my back, or, I dream I am suffocating because, well I am suffocating! I can't breath and wake up gasping for breath... Maybe that's why the baby goes crazy... 

2. Exercise

Believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to getting into a shape that doesn't require elasticated clothing! I can't wait to go back to my weight watchers class and start walking / running / feeling the burn!

1. Booze

I realise that this is not going to win me any Mum of the Year awards. But I don't care... At 36 and half weeks I can honestly say I am dreaming of having a pint of Corrs light! I can taste it as I think of it! I cannot wait for a night out where I get all dolled up and totter on my heels and have a pint of Corrs and glass of wine and a bottle of Corona... And then get poured into a taxi because my tolerance for alcohol has decreased so much that three drinks equals home time!

So these are all the things that I am looking forward to and are keeping me going in these last few weeks! But mostly it's knowing that we get to finally meet this little one after so many months of imaging what he / she will be and what he/she will look like! 

See, I'm not all bad!

Week 35 nearly done

The finishing line is in sight!  There are 4 weeks and 2 days left and I am counting them down!!!

My knitting project is going well... I have actually completed my first ever blanket. It's not a very big one, but I made it and I am delighted! I even crocheted the edges of the blanket too... T'internet is amazing. You can literally learn anything on it!! Here is the completed product. I am now currently trying to crotchet a hat.. it's not going well.

So as I approach the end and my belly is getting bigger and bigger I decided that I would help the general public in dealing with the pregnant ladies by putting together 5 things you should NEVER say to a pregnant woman...

Here goes:

5. Was it planned? How long were you trying

What on earth do you want to know that for? You have  basically just asked me if I was having sex and, if so, how long was I having sex for.  It is the equivalent of me saying to you, Did you have sex this week? Was it any use? No normal person would ask that question so it is beyond me why someone would ask it to a pregnant lady. Especially one they barely know / just met in the supermarket.

4. Your in for a big shock / going to have your hands full

Whether your a first time mum or this is baby number 2 / 3 / 20, this is such an annoying thing to have said. I am a first time mum. I am aware that things are going to change. I am not an idiot. I know that my sleep is going to be disrupted and that the freedom I have been accustomed too for the last 31 years is about to be replaced by having to think of someone else.  But, I didn't make it to the grand age of 31 without getting pregnant, by accident.  I know a baby changes things, that's why I've spent the last number of years living it up, enjoying myself, hungover, going on holidays and doing all the things I want to do.  Now that I am about to be a mum, I have made the decision to make those changes so I think I should be OK with the shock, but just in case I do go into shock, why don't you make yourself useful and bring me some medicinal brandy...

3. Labour horror stories

I really don't understand why women feel the need to frighten the be-jaysus out of pregnant women with their labour horror stories.  Since I got pregnant I have had people tell me some humdingers.  There was this one woman and every time I saw her she had a horrible story to tell me.  It actually got to the point that I told her from now on, when she sees me, unless she has something nice to say to me, she's to say nothing to me at all.  I don't want to hear about how her organs were being shifted about the place during her C Section (like what? Did they go in through her mouth or something?) Or how I could end up having the baby in the car on the way to the hospital - I live 30 mins from it, I think I'm safe! People shoudl keep their war stories to themselves until the mum has a story of her own to share!

2. Your huge / other weight gain related comments

As the  grower of this human, I am perfectly aware of my expanding body parts. There is no reason for you to draw extra attention to this.  Some of the most body confident of women struggle with their changing shape during pregnancy. I, not being one of the most body confident of women, have definitely struggled. I am aware it is all in the name of growing this little person, but I still don't need comments from people about the size of me. I am aware, sure aren't I the one that takes 5 minutes to get off the couch these days! Just standing up is a work out in itself!

1. Are you sure there's only one in there

I think that, given the advancement of technology and experience of the medical team I have seen every four weeks for the last 35 weeks, its safe to say that yes, there is only one in there.  Instances of surprise multiple births have fallen dramatically in recent years. So if I haven't announced to you that I am having twins / triplets / quintuplets at this stage, you are telling me that I look like I am having more than one. See number 2 above.

Now, if you are interested in gaining brownie points and kisses from the pregnant woman in your life, here are 3 things you should definitely say:

3. Your glowing

Even if its only a glow from the sheen of sweat on her upper lip, caused by her trying to get up the stairs, say it and she'll love you forever. .

2. Pregnancy suits you

This is a lovely thing to say. Telling a pregnant woman it suits her and she carries it well will give her a pep in her step that will get her through the day. As I said, the most body confident of women struggle at some point or other with their changing shape during pregnancy. Growing a whole human is hard work. Compliments like these are so lovely to receive, damn sight nicer than 'are you sure there's only one in there'

1. From the back you wouldn't even know you were pregnant

Say this to a pregnant lady and you will be showered with kisses and hugs for the day.Sweeter words have never been uttered than these 10 words!

Why not find yourself a preggo today and try it out on her!!!