I’ve finished the 4th trimester!

My lovely daughter is now a little over 3 months old, which means I have officially completed the 4th trimester.  I believe that the 4th trimester is the hardest – who knew!?

The first two weeks especially.  Yes, there are sleepless nights and yes, she is crying and you don’t really know why.  But that was expected.  Rather it was the shear exhaustion from an horrific birth (I’ll spare you the details), the hormones and pain and then having someone 100% dependant on you who you have only just met.  I found myself turning into robot mode.  Wake up.  Feed.  Change nappy.  Get her back to sleep.  I sleep.  Repeat.

As the birth was so bad, it did take me a couple of weeks to say, “I absolutely love you and will do anything for you.”  And this really took me by surprise.

A friend of mine (who has two sons) asked me when my daughter was 10 days old, with a knowing glint in his eye – “so, do you love her yet?”.  I hesitated and then he jumped in and said, “don’t worry, it’ll come.”  It scared me.

My husband, however loved her within seconds.  Every time she cried he would pick her up and exclaim, “of course I’ll buy you that pony!”.  Oh dear.

I do love my little darling and she is cooing on the play mat right now – finding that a few toys hanging above her can provide minutes of entertainment.  I think I truly started to love her when she started sleeping through the night – ha ha!  Only joking.  But, that day was momentous and I think I celebrated it more than her actual birth!

Insomnia

Insomnia (Photo credit: schnappischnap)

Life does seem to feel much more “normal” now.  I can actually turn on my laptop and make a blog update.  I can plan social events and I can have a clean house and clean hair.

Will it be possible to start thinking about working from home again?  Can I do it and how will I adjust to this new life?  Time will tell….

 

 

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When to unfriend people on Facebook

facebook

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

As I’ve still got some time on my hands (I’m now 6 days overdue and counting) and realising that a week after I finally give birth, my husband and I will probably share something fairly private on Facebook – e.g. a picture of our first child, I decided to have a look at the list of people we would be sharing this with.

I have (or rather had) around 280 people classed as “friends” on my Facebook page.  Considering I invited 30 people to my last birthday party and we had a combined 150 guests at our wedding, 280 people is a lot.

Scanning through the list, I noticed some names where I can’t even recall how I knew them.  It was probably a tour where we got along for a few days and swapped Facebook names, or old work colleagues from a job I had over a decade ago.  Would they really care about the birth of my child?  Probably not.  I decided to unfriend all of these people.  There were surprisingly more than I thought!

I then went through this list again, and decided to unfriend everyone who did not fit the current criteria:

  • if I should see this person on the street, would I go up to them to say hello?

If not, unfriend.  Again, surprisingly more than I thought there would be.

This didn’t feel like a malicious or cruel exercise.  Not only am I saving myself from information I don’t really care about, but also on the flip side.  If I couldn’t be bothered to say hello to any of these people – could I really expect them to feel differently?  Also, would they even care to see my updates on their newsfeed?  Probably not.  Some people I decided to unfriend had well over 500 “friends”.  Surely they are just collecting and aren’t really interested in what everyone had to say.

I think it was worth unfriending people on Facebook for everyone concerned and probably worth having an annual clear out.  Like a spring cleaning for your social networks!  I would highly recommend!

 

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How to get labour started naturally

A pregnant woman

A pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am now 4 days overdue and am trying everything known to man to get my labour started naturally.  I am booked in for a membrane sweep with the midwife this Friday and I’ll be induced early next week if still pregnant, however I’m very keen to go into labour before hand.

So my life is now dictated by how I can incorporate as many items listed below as possible into the day.  If they work, fantastic!  I’ll be able to give birth naturally, if not – at least I’ve been kept busy during this waiting period.

My husband has said that this waiting is like sitting at an airport waiting for your delayed plane to be called or given a new time.  I think it’s like being a kid again, waiting for Christmas, only you don’t know what day Christmas actually is.  It’s certainly testing our patience – which should be good practise for the future.  We have learnt during this pregnancy that you can’t control everything with children especially after the 20 week scan (where our lovely child hid their genitals so we couldn’t find out what sex they were!)

So, how to get labour started naturally:

  • Eat a hot curry (not too much as you don’t want heartburn as well!)
  • Eat pineapple (particularly the middle core)
  • Drink raspberry leaf tea (in moderation)
  • Go for a walk – to stay vertical (or for a waddle, which is my case)
  • Or get horizontal (interesting positions must be found with your partner to actually have intercourse while 40+ weeks pregnant, if you can muster up some energy for it!)
  • Nipple stimulation (you actually have to mimic a baby breastfeeding where you massage the areola)
  • Caster oil (I haven’t tried this one, as it tastes horrible and I don’t think I want the runs as well.  Some have said this is an old wife’s tale so perhaps not worth it)
  • Reflexology (this is my favourite as it’s so relaxing, especially for your swollen feet!)
  • Acupuncture (I’m not a fan of needles, so we’ll see how much later I get before trying this one)
  • lightly bouncing on a birth ball (similar theory as going for a walk)
  • take evening primrose oil capsules (although I think you need to start this at around 38 weeks)

Hopefully I can get my labour started naturally and meet this wonderful baby very, very soon!  Please do let me know if you can add to this list at all!

 

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Hypnobirthing – a painfree birth?

Childbirth

Childbirth (Photo credit: popularpatty)

Today I am 3 days overdue and I’m actually quite glad, as I’ve had an extra few days to gather my thoughts, in particular about my chosen birth plan.

Six weeks ago, a friend of mine, who is also pregnant, mentioned that she is going to try hypnobirthing.  I had never heard of hypnobirthing before and I confessed to her that I’m absolutely petrified of the birthing day of my child and that all I want is drugs, drugs, drugs.

My friend listed the benefits of hypnobirthing, which included a pain free, drug free birth, a shorter labour and a calm mother and baby during and after the birth.  These benefits looked almost too good to be true, so I decided to do a bit of research.

In general, hypnobirthing is about eliminating fear around labour and birth and therefore, eliminating pain.  By ensuring that your muscles are relaxed, your mind is relaxed and allowing your body to do what it’s supposed to do, while deeply breathing in a calmed state, your contractions are very effective, your baby also remains calm and there is no need for any drugs due to little or no pain (assuming of course the mother and baby are healthy and there are no complications).

If the animal kingdom are able to give birth so easily, why can’t we humans?

As if fate had something to do with it, my prenatal Pilates instructor emailed me a list of helpful websites of which one was a hypnobirthing consultant who lived nearby.

So I signed up to this hypnobirthing class and since then I have been practising my breathing, relaxation techniques and meditation daily.  This method of birthing makes sense to me and I think is certainly worth attempting.  As I’m a first time mother and don’t know what to expect then I am still a little anxious of the unknown however I am no longer petrified and I am actually looking forward to the birth of my child.

Over the past week, for some reason, mother’s have told me about how painful childbirth can be and all of the complications that they or their friends have had.  This has not been helpful and I started to question whether birthing without an epidural was wise and whether or not I would be able to handle it.  I don’t know why people like to tell their war stories to someone who is about to go to “war”.  Especially when they know that I’m planning a natural birth.

So with these extra few days, I have been able to reread all my course notes and 100s of examples of mother’s who have successfully birthed their child using hypnobirthing methods and experiencing no pain.  I have to stay strong and remind myself that this is the best course for both me and my baby.  I hope that I am able to stay in this mind set, up until and during the birth of my first child.

I’ll let you know.

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David and Goliath (Tecoma and McDonalds)

David and Goliath is a favourite story of mine and sometimes it feels that the world is full of David and Goliath stories but perhaps without the happy ending.  I’m hoping that this story of Tecoma and McDonalds, is not one of those.

On the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, there are some mountains called the Mt Dandenongs.  They are covered in thick rainforest, native animals such as the kookaburra and winding roads with independent café’s, galleries, antique stores and shops.

It’s such a peaceful and stunning place.  Great to go for a lazy weekend drive or hike.

I grew up at the base of these mountains and every time I visit Australia I spend some time “up on the hill” and breathing in the fresh air.

One of the small towns on the Mt Dandenongs is called Tecoma.  This is a lovely quiet town that is full of independent retailers and is pretty quiet and not much happens after 10pm at night!

A while ago, McDonald’s applied for a 24/7 store to open up in Tecoma, right next door to the local primary school and kindergarten.

The local residents were not happy (9/10 residents do not want a McDonalds in their town) and objected to the local council about the application.  Due to this overwhelming protest, the council then rejected McDonald’s application.

Unfortunately, as McDonalds has lots of money and high powered lawyers, they appealed this rejection in the Melbourne courts and were granted the rights to open a store in Tecoma.

The local residents were furious and since then have held peaceful protests at the building site, created online petitions, appealed to the government and media.

So far, much of the global and local media has been on the Tecoma residents side, they have collected over 40,000 signatures and last weekend nearly 10,000 protesters turned up in this tiny town to show their support to the local community.

And yet McDonalds still persist.  They have sued some of the protesting organisers for loss of income and have hired non-unionised builders to still carry on.

The fight is not over yet.  The media continues to publish articles about Tecoma. People from around the world continue to support the locals and hopefully McDonalds will finally do the right thing.

Please show your support by signing this online petition (it will only take you 30 seconds), like the Facebook page or support them on Twitter and if you have the time, visit this website and show more of your support.

David needs to beat Goliath sometimes in this world…!

Protest logo.  Democracy and 9/10 residents don't want McDonalds

Protest logo. Democracy and 9/10 residents don’t want McDonalds

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Finding motivation to work at home

Working from Home

Working from Home (Photo credit: edgeplot)

Working from home, or rather finding the motivation to work from home is almost a job in itself, especially when heavily pregnant!

I currently contract 4 days a week and the day before my long weekend I have a list as long as my arm as to how I can work on my website, keep up to date with all of the social media and keep up to date / find relevant networks for others out there in the same position as me.

Then the 3 day weekend arrives and by the end of it, I found that I haven’t completed ANYTHING on my list!  This has happened for the last 3 weeks and I fear it may be a continuing trend.

Yes, I know that I’m now over 7 months pregnant and that I should be using this time to relax, as I won’t get this opportunity to do this again until my children are at university / working themselves but at the same time, I also won’t have time to spend hours on the internet when I have a baby around.  Not at least for the first 6 months (I think).

How can I try to do both?  Or is that just not possible?

It hasn’t helped that summer has finally arrived in London – which I would usually jump for joy like everyone else – but sitting on a sofa, sweating and swelling isn’t a great motivator.

Anyone have any good tips on how they remained motivated and essentially “got things done” when working from home?  I would love to hear your thoughts…!

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Enjoy Glastonbury, honey!

English: View over the Glastonbury Festival, t...

English: View over the Glastonbury Festival, taken on Wednesday 24th June 2009 Category:Glastonbury Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I woke up with a slight shade of green tinge to my skin.

I’m not the type to get envious very often, in fact it’s usually only reserved for friends who are about to embark on an extended holiday somewhere exotic.

However, today I witnessed a huge benefit to being a man.  While your wife is pregnant, you can embark on – wearing normal clothes, eat all the brie and drink a bottle of wine and more importantly today, head off to your “last child-free music festival” for a while.

As much as I will enjoy the house to myself for the next few days where I can potter around to my heart’s content, have all the girls over every day if I want and catch up on the TV shows he hates such as Fashion Police (Joan Rivers is evil and hilarious and the show is like indulging on a glass of French champagne, reading a fashion mag and wearing stupidly high heels that you can’t walk in all at the same time) – I too would have loved to go to my last child-free festival such as Glastonbury.

As I got pregnant very quickly (no complaints there) – I never thought to or got the chance to do things one last time.  I know life doesn’t end when you have a child and it’s very, very important (I believe) for a mother to try and hold onto her own identity and interests once children are born, however it would have been nice to really indulge in some of these now forbidden pleasures.  Also, knowing it would be the “last time for a while” would make these pleasures so much sweeter.

So, this morning, I lay in bed as I watched my husband get his camping gear, clothes, food and cowboy outfit (I’m not joking) together and then head off to the train station to Glastonbury festival where the headline act is the Rolling Stones and try to remind myself that in 9 weeks’ time, it will all be worth it….

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