Archive for January, 2011

January 31, 2011

on the move

A recent post on The Yummy Mummy Train made me think about my own experiences with fetal movements (a term I am loathe to use as it reminds me of something else entirely…substitute the t with a c in fetal and you’ll get my drift.)

It all started a month or so ago with what’s known as ‘the quickening’ – another term I’m not too fond of as it kinds of sounds like something old fashioned and a touch witchcrafty don’t you think?

The quickening is often described as internal butterflies and I can’t think of a much better way to put it (other common descriptions are corn popping or fingernails scratching your insides).

"Kicking" by Matthew John Lake

Just as I got comfortable with that fluttering feeling I’m noticing stronger movements, although I’m not sure I would describe them as kicks (perhaps they aren’t?).

The first obvious movement I’m feeling (and please excuse the horrible description here) is a kind of more intense version of the quickening, that I can only liken to that feeling you get when you’ve eaten something dodgy that needs to be evacuated, and fast (again, sorry for the description).

At first I kept thinking that was indeed what was happening, but it never did – so I’m guessing it’s the baby because its been going on a number of times a day for a couple weeks or so now.

The second feeling of movement is a lot more forceful, but I wouldn’t describe it as a kick either.  It feels like the baby has stretched its legs out and is pushing with all its might against the wall of my belly (when this happens I have to take a look – am positive I will see a big foot or head shaped bulge sticking out, but I never do).

This is a pretty uncomfortable (although not necessarily painful) experience and I’m hoping it doesn’t get much worse during the pregnancy as it kind of stops me in my tracks if I’m, say, walking down the street – luckily it seems to happen more when lying down.

I was a bit concerned about this feeling, and it’s a hard one to google – using search terms that include baby+pushing tend to generate labour related sites or (much more worryingly, premature labour sites).

I’d love to hear from others about their baby’s movements, or if you know what might be causing my baby to push out so hard!?

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January 29, 2011

lust haves…just add baby

The more I look at baby gear, the more I realise I need (well, want).

My newest lust-have is the ubabub nifty clear cot (the pod cot, also from ubabub, is pretty darn nice as well).

the nifty clear from ubabub

It combines two of my favourite things – well designed furniture and sleeping.  I just wish they made them for adults! 

Loving the clear sides so baby can look out and mum and dad can look in, rather than over & down.

The nifty clear doesn’t come cheap, but perhaps the fact that it converts to a junior bed (and is Australian made, super safe and ecologically friendly) justifies the hefty price tag? Yes, yes, yes!

Aside from winsome cots and change tables, the ububub site also has some gorgeous prints for decorating the nursery.

Next on the lust have list is the mini happle night light from the hip infant

happle light from the hip infant

My BF doesn’t understand my obsession with a) red things or b) apple shaped things (I also have a problem with stripes, but not sure a stripey red apple would look so cute). 

I say, what’s not to understand?  An apple a day…

Envisaging peaceful night time feeds is easy looking at the Nurseryworks Sleepytime Rocker (I found this on metromum). 

Another one of those items of furniture designed with the nursery in mind but one that I would happy with in pretty much any room of the house (even looks comfy enough for a night on the balcony with a cold cocktail).

sleepytime rocker by nurseryworks

The fact that’s its water and stain resistant makes it perfect for cocktails too.  I mean, feeding baby. Ahem.

I can’t leave out the owl family mobile (made from sustainably harvested bamboo), from state of green.

I’d have to keep it up high though so puss puss couldn’t decide it was his newest toy. It’s all a bit owl and the pussycat, really.

It can’t really get much cuter than that, although state of green has tons of great nursery additions (plus some extra items if you get sick of all things baby, like some jewellery treats for mum…hint hint).

So these are the items I’ll be buying next (right after I take that holiday I’ve been planning).

I’m sure there will be plenty of new additions to the list after another week of browsing.  And no, no one has asked or paid me to extol the virtues of my latest lust haves. I just love them that much.

January 28, 2011

maybe babymoon

I’ve been a bit flat out lately between selling a property, hunting for a new more family friendly abode, weddings (and associated hens parties etc), preparing for baby, catching up with friends and family, work etc etc etc – you know how it is.

As a reward – and who needs an excuse for a mini break anyway – I’ve decided that a babymoon is in order (although I haven’t yet given up my idea of a holiday after baby!).

Here are my picks to head to tout suite if we happen to get well over and above what we’re expecting from the property sale!

Pretty Beach House

Pretty Beach House (picture courtesy of Australian Traveller)

I’ve had my eye on this place since it first came across my radar a year or so ago.  It’s not cheap, but then a true combination of style and luxury never is.

Located in the Bouddi National Park on NSWs Central Coast, only three villas make up the accommodations here, each with their own plunge pool.

If we feel like meandering down to the beach (and a beautiful one it is, was lucky enough to be there on Australia Day) we can choose to be guided there taking a scenic bushwalk route, or can go solo (carrying thoughtfully packed, personalised Pretty Beach House backpacks.)

What really gets me though, are the all-inclusive meals designed by chef extraordinaire Stefano Manfredi.

A pregnant gal needs her vices and boy oh boy is mine great food – can think of nothing better than lazing around a lap pool in secluded bushland, sampling the delights of a renowned chef.

So why am I waiting?  Well, the price for one.  And two?  All inclusive means alcohol included – seems a shame to let specially selected fine wines go to waste, non?

Wolgan Valley Resort

Another pick that doesn’t quite fall into the budget category, at almost $2,000 per night (they do, however, have a some specials which brings the price down a tad).

This beauty is located in the Blue Mountains and takes around three hours to get to from Sydney (or just 45 minutes by helicopter if you want to dip into baby’s trust fund).

Wolgan Valley Resort (picture courtesy of Gourmet Traveller)

Again, each self-contained villa has its own pool and the price includes all meals and selected beverages.

One thing (apart from the price) that has me hesitating is that the resort offers some great activities like horse riding and mountain biking that sound perfect…for someone who isn’t pregnant.

Still, if we make a property market killing you’ll find me here (actually you wont find me, Ill be in my private villa).

Now if only they would put together some kind of babymoon package with pregnancy massages, ahhhhh.

Other honourable mentions have to go to Bedarra Island, Qualia and Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island. Yum. Yum. Yum.

Bedarra Island Resort...*sigh*

But – if it turns out we don’t get the money we were after from the property sale?  I’m more than happy to hotfoot it to any of these locales:

Bells at Killcare – comprising Stefano Manfredi’s hatted restaurant of the same name, and sister venue to Pretty Beach House.  I love the idea of the cook yourself gourmet breakfast hamper – maintain your privacy (ie walk around in your underwear) and feel like a Michelin star chef at the same time.

Artist’s Cottage @ Port Douglas – whimsical holiday rental in Port Douglas, for a self contained holiday that packs some heat.  Might be a goer when stinger season is over and bub, the BF and I need to get out of the cold Sydney winter.

If anyone else has some babymoon suggestions I’d love to hear from you!  Until then I’ll keep dreaming…


January 27, 2011

no visitors allowed?

Mia Freedman recently wrote about the dos and don’ts of visiting new mums in hospital (seems like it’s more of a don’t, actually). 

While it was a great article I admit to feeling more and more guilt as I read on, remembering the birth of my niece seven years ago.

She was my sister’s second baby and it was a quick birth but as soon as the announcement was made, I hopped on the bus from work over to the hospital to say hello to the hour-old darling girl.

I thought it was just fabulous playing the part of the proud new auntie, even having a bit of a go on the gas after handing the little bundle back to my (no doubt overwhelmed) big sister.

But now I feel terrible for gatecrashing the party after reading Mia’s article! Even worse, I’ve started to get karma-based fears. 

Instead of having some precious time for BF and I to get acquainted with our newest family member I’m fairly certain I’ll be hearing the pitter patter of big feet.

And if I do end up in that boat?  So long as they bring cupcakes (chocolate, please) I’ll try to grin and bear any well wishers, and be grateful to have family and friends around to share the joy.   

Who knows, I might be like the mums commenting on Mia’s story who enjoyed the visitor experience (fingers crossed!).

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January 27, 2011

the gender divide

The question i’ve been asked most in the last few months would have to be “do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?”

When we first found out about the baby to be my BF and I thought that maybe we would find out, but the closer we got to the 20 week scan and the opportunity to find out, the closer we came to deciding it would be more fun to wait.

Now that time seems to be standing still in this middle stage of pregnancy, it’s nice to have a little guessing game to play.

Sometimes I wish I knew though.  It would make the name game a lot easier that’s for sure.  Focussing on one gender name has got to be easier, doesn’t it?

And every time I walk past baby clothes I’d love to know if I should be ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the cute girly rompers or the car-emblazoned onesies (and while I don’t really have a ‘thing’ for dressing babies in gender specific clothing, it makes life a lot easier when you can guess a boy/girl from the clothes rather than correcting people constantly).

No matter how hard we try and guess, I figured the surprise will just have to wait because we have no more scans booked in (barring any unforeseen complications) and besides, I’ve heard that later in pregnancy the gender is harder to determine due to the baby’s position.

Or so I thought.
The Intelligender ‘boy or girl’ test


Yesterday, a friend told me about the urine tests you can buy to find out, one way or the other.  I was a bit sceptical (and in doing some research, remain so).

The makers of the test, Intelligender, claim it’s 90% effective in laboratory conditions (around 80% effective in real life).

So how does it work?
This bit is unclear.  I had a look on the US and Australian versions of the Intelligender sites and all I could find was that it is NOT a pH test (as one comment on the Essential Baby post on the topic says), but a ‘proprietary mix of chemicals’.
There are plenty of testimonials on both versions of the website about the ease and accuracy of the product (overwhelmingly positive of course) but the comments on Essential Baby left me undecided – many saying they had used the test and it turned out correctly, but almost just as many saying the test had been wrong.
More blogs and informal polls tend to back this up – seems to have about a 50% success rate.
So not much better than tossing a coin!
I might give it a go just for fun, but wont use the results as the be all and end all.
If you don’t like the idea of the test, or don’t want to spend the dough (around $75 in Australia) Belly Belly lists some common gender determination myths – but if I go by these I’m either having one of each, or a half-and-half.
January 25, 2011

babes and boys

At my friends wedding over the weekend it seemed the topic of pregnancy and babies kept coming up over and over (and over and over) again.

Not that I minded, it was great to have a chance to catch up with so many other preggers ladies, and new mums and dads.

What really interested me though were the comments and suggestions I received from the men.

Generally they seemed to fall into two narrow (and in thinking about it, unsurprising) categories:

Boobs: how big they get when pregnant and how big they get once the milk comes in.  This topic proved to be a limitless talking point for the males.

Sex during pregnancy: what positions to avoid, and the seemingly universal fear that the baby knows what’s going on (or can, at least, feel it).  A surprising number of dads voiced their concerns that the baby would harbour resentment or anger at them ‘doing it’ with the baby’s mother.  Now that’s Freudian for you.

Most of the guys also mentioned the love they feel for their new baby and how their feelings amazed them, no matter how much they had prepared for it. This was really sweet to hear.

I was surprised at the number of new dads who wanted to do it all again, straight away (this was normally coupled by statements about how great it was to have a free ‘taxi’ for nine months).  Most of the new mums agreed but I must say they seemed a bit more hesitant, preferring to leave more of a gap between bubs.

Let me know if you have a funny story about what the men in your life have said about pregnancy or babies, or any men out there who have something to add – I’d love to hear from you!

January 20, 2011

baby body love versus my new beer belly

Am all set to be a bridesmaid this weekend, for the second time in my pregnancy.

The first time, at about 14 weeks, I just had what looked like a pot belly, easily covered with a bouquet.

This time I look more like I’m smuggling a sack of potatoes under my dress.  At least I have a good excuse, although am not so sure what the excuse is with the rest of my body!

Thinking that I’d feel better with a bit of colour, I went and got a spray tan this evening. 

One of the ladies at the tanning place gave me a mask and pointed at my belly.

“So you don’t breathe in too many fumes”, she said.

Rightio, I thought quite gladly.  At least I’m looking obviously pregnant now, even in my spray tan appropriate dark sack dress.

But then halfway through the tan, the child spraying me asked why I was wearing the mask.  “Because I’m pregnant”, I told her. “The fumes…”

“Oh! I didn’t realise”, she said.

Hmmmm.  This means that either she is quite stupid OR the rest of my body has caught up with my belly and she thought I just carried my weight ‘out front’ in the manner of an old, male booze hound.

I’m going to go with stupid, or the whole baby body confidence thing is going to go right out the window.

Nothing like calling someone stupid to make you feel a bit better about yourself!

Happy weekend everyone, hope you have a good one.

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January 20, 2011

PREGNANCY Q & A (via Reflection)

A little bit of light pregnancy humour (although I’d advise dad’s to be to avoid repeating a lot of these jokes – it’s like family, you’re allowed to criticise them but noone else can!)

PREGNANCY Q & A Q: Should I have a baby after 35? A: No, 35 children is enough. Q : I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move? A: With any luck, right after he finishes university. Q : What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex? A: Childbirth. Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational. A: So what's your question? Q : My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labour, but … Read More

via Reflection

January 20, 2011

c-section tension

Dawn Brown of Knees Up Mother Brown had a great post this week that really got me thinking.

She’s been advised that she may need to have a c-section if her baby’s position doesn’t change, and (understandably) has a few concerns:

“1) I hate the idea of a spinal/ edipural and not being able to feel my legs/lower body. This is probably my worst fear and it’s the one that gives me nightmares. I know if I have to have a c-section then it’s inevitable but I just hate the thought of it

2) I really don’t like the idea of not being able to sit up, cuddle and breastfeed the new baby as soon as it’s been born. Within minutes of Zara being born we were sat having cuddles and it was lovely, I don’t want the new baby to be wheeled away and I have to lie there being sewn up again etc before I see it again.

3) I really don’t like the idea of having to rely on midwives, nurses etc having to come and help me to lift the baby etc I’m really independent and I want to be capable of going and picking up the baby if it’s crying

4) I worry about how long it will take to heal afterwards, especially when I will also have a 15 month old toddler as well to look after, if I can’t lift anything or can’t drive then I’m going to be pretty much useless and it will drive me insane.”

I’m 100% behind Dawn here.

While of course all anyone cares about is a happy and healthy baby, the delivery method is such an emotional one for many mums to be.

Even before looking into it much, I knew I didn’t want an elective c-section as I kind of thought it was cheating.  In my eyes, it was like skipping the trek and getting dropped to Everest’s summit by helicopter.

Bear in mind I have no medical reasons whatsoever to even consider a caesarean and I don’t feel that other women are ‘cheating’ if they have one, for whatever reason.  For me though, it wouldn’t have felt right.

This is not to say that I didn’t always harbour hopes that I would be told a c-section was necessary and I’d get to bypass a long and painful natural birth on doctors orders – in my mind it’s different if you have to have one! I guess like attempting to climb Everest and only stopping because you broke your legs, not because you got tired or couldn’t be bothered with the trek.

However the more I discover about the (serious) operation the more I am running scared from a caesar.

For the reasons Dawn lists, and others:

My mum’s experience:

My mum had five kids – four ‘normal and one caesarean (that would be me).  Many, many, MANY times over the years she told my sisters and I how much worse a c-section was.

Much of this could be attributed to the fact that 1) it was 30 years ago and they are probably done differently these days and 2) it was an emergency Caesar so the scar (massive, muscle severing) was a lot bigger than you would find in an elective c-section.

She stressed to us how hard it was not being able to cough or sneeze properly for weeks, no being able to pick anything up easily (including baby) and even once she had been given the all clear it took ages for her to relax around anything that made her use that part of her body.

She also stressed how much longer the recovery was for a c-section compared with vaginal birth.  This however could have something to do with me being a late ‘surprise’ baby and her being a lot older than when she gave birth to my siblings.

The epidural:

Not so much being numb from the waist down that bothers me, more the needle into my spine, ugh – have long held a fear (probably unfounded) that if they slip Ill be paralysed for life.


Enough said.

The ‘repair’:

Stitches or staples, I don’t want either on my belly, thanks.  At least if I need to get them from a natural birth they’ll be out of sight, out of mind (or so I tell myself).

Regardless of these fears, I have plenty regarding a ‘normal’ birth as well!  Best not to think about it all really and just stay focused on the end prize – whatever happens it will be worth it.

January 18, 2011

the name game

Growing up, I always loved the idea of getting to name my child.

In reality, it’s turning out to be a nightmare!  BF and I just can’t agree.

My picks are generally traditional, ‘proper’, non-made up names (he says boring); his preferences lean to the (he says) unusual, I say tacky.

The current trend for traditional monikers has thrown me too – while I love most of the names in the top 20, I also don’t want my child to share its name with five others in the class.

Another issue is ‘copyright’ – most people wouldn’t want to choose a name a close friend or family member has chosen.  But what about a friend of a friend, or an old work colleague you’re unlikely to see anytime soon?

Then there’s the names that, technically, are perfect – not too popular, suit for either traditional or ethnic origin reasons, work well with baby’s surname…but also belong to a girl/boy you knew way back when who was nasty/mean/otherwise disagreeable.

Yet another problem I’m having lies with my generally fickle nature – I can lust and lust over a handbag, pair of shoes, item of jewellery – but when I’ve finally saved up enough to buy it I just don’t like it anymore.  What if I give the baby a handle I can’t stand in five years time?

And what about the rhymes, or unfortunate celebrity connotations?  I’ve always had a soft spot for Camilla, but when I mention this I either get “what, Camilla the gorilla?” or “Camilla Parker-Bowles, ugh”. 

Chatting to a mate about this I brought up the old chestnut about ‘just knowing’ the name once the baby’s born.  A new mum herself, she just laughed and said when her baby came out, covered in blood, vernix and other ‘stuff’, no name would have suited him.

My favourite (today) is Imogen, or maybe Elsa, but am yet to convince the BF.  For a boy, we both (magically) like Joshua (little Joshie), but seeing as it’s been the second most popular name over the past ten years, so does everyone else.

Now I’m resorting to any source I can for inspiration – movie credits, work databases, books, eavesdropping on strangers on the bus…

Fingers crossed we can come up with some names that we both agree on or it’s going to be ‘baby’ for a long time.

See 2010’s most popular baby names in NSW here.