May 31, 2011

loving little lottie!

A long break from the blogoshpere for me.  Excellent excuse though! 

A little over three weeks ago I gave birth to the divine Charlotte (or little Lottie as she is nicknamed).

She came a wee bit early – not being due until the end of this week, but is doing well despite a hugely traumatic birth for the both of us.

Many, many posts to come re the birth experience and the first few weeks enjoying our darling early bird (and also a few about the not so enjoyable bits – WHY didnt anyone feel the need to warn me about the extreme sleep deprivation?!)

But for the next little while am just going to take some time learning about the whole motherhood thing with my beautiful little girl.

Ciao for now.

April 30, 2011

i’m back, baby

Time to get back on the blogging bandwagon.  My oh my, what a busy couple of weeks it’s been!

Since my last post it seems like a million things have happened, way too many for one little post. 

But I have to start somewhere, right?

I thoroughly enjoyed a gorgeous baby shower, courtesy of the lovely girls I am lucky to know (thanks ladies, you know who you are!). 

This deserves a post all in itself, one which will be forthcoming soon.

As a few of my fellow bloggers have mentioned they weren’t so sure about the whole idea but it was such a lovely opportunity to catch up with everyone at one place and time it shouldn’t be missed (plus, who can say no to cake and presents?)

I’ve finally finished up work, for now anyway, and despite having already been asked to go back for a few days here and there it’s lovely to have a chance to focus on the impending arrival and get everything ready for baby.

That being said – one of the projects I was most looking forward to once maternity leave started was decorating the nursery.

However, while we have finally taken posession of our new abode, the nest feathering will have to wait, for now.

The initial plan was to put in a new kitchen, freshen up the paint and work out the rest later.

‘Later’ has turned out to be now, so we currently have a kitchen that is a shell (and by shell I mean exposed joints, no ceiling, no walls and patchy floor covering). 

Ditto for the bathroom, family room and dining room.

My earlier wishes to have the baby arrive early have not just flown out the window, they’ve packed their bags and headed overseas.

Painting didnt seem like such a major issue but because of the previous paint used, every surface has to be sandpapered – by hand (and while all the heavy labouring/reinforcement work goes on, guess who gets this job?).

I had thought that my heavily pregnant state would excuse me from a lot of this but lo and behold, a dust and fumes mask has been procured for me so I can work away (woo hoo). 

It would be tempting to leave it for someone else but with the sheer volume of work to be done, it’s all hands on deck.

Even the nest-feathering activities like selecting light fittings, tile and carpet colours and so on are leaving me a wee bit flummoxed.

I’m normally pretty good at making decisions so am putting this down to pregnancy hormones,  otherwise I have no way to explain staring blankly at a wall of tiles for over an hour the other day.  I’m surprised they didn’t ask me to leave the store.

To add to the workload we’re due to move out of the old place in a matter of days so after a long day of sanding, painting and numerous trips to the hardware (and burger shop) I come home for a couple of hours of sorting and packing (and to be honest, staring at the piles of odds and ends wondering what to do with it all).

Silver linings? 

In all my hurry to finish up with work, I forgot that I get bored FAST, so having a million things to do at once is a great way to take the mind off pre-labour jitters.

And having to move is the best opportunity for a spring clean/rubbish clear out.

I’m clutching at straws here, but doing some manual labour also means upping the ice-cream ante comes with a lot less guilt!

Today we had a much-earned break in the form of baby class (like the shower, this deserves a post of it’s own). 

Don’t think I could move a muscle even if I’d wanted to work on the new place so taking some time out to learn a few things about the upcoming big day was lovely. Highly recommended!

Time to get a bit of feet-up action before another big day tomorrow, so over and out – have a lovely weekend.

PS a big shout out to Velle who has an amazing blog which never fails to give me a giggle and/or inspiration.  You pregnant mamas should check it out:

April 20, 2011

off air

I’ve been a bit quiet on the post front lately but this time it’s no fault of my own – my laptop has finally died.  Boo hoo.

So this being my last day of (paid) employment I thought I’d take the opportunity to get online and let my dear readers know Ill be back soon – or at least as soon as I get the computer up and running again.

6 weeks to go!

April 12, 2011

burn baby burn

At this stage, I am well and truly feeling one of the more common but less delightful effects of pregnancy – heartburn (also known as indigestion or acid reflux).

Never having experienced before I truly feel for those who suffer from heartburn all the time, and don’t have the relief of knowing it will go away when the baby comes – as I expect mine to.

After having a chat with my doc about it, I’m at least relieved that nothing is wrong (and even more relieved that most heartburn relief/medication is in the safest category for medication during pregnancy).

He did say to keep an eye out for any additional pain in the right hand side of the abdomen, as this could indicate pre-eclampsia, but otherwise heartburn is a perfectly normal and safe side-effect of pregnancy.

So what’s with the ‘burn?

According to bubhub, food usually travels into the stomach where it is digested via stomach acid – luckily for (most of) us the oesophagus has a valve which closes this acid off from the rest of the body.

But in pregnancy?  Firstly, an increase in the hormone progesterone – a relaxant (the same one that loosens up your limbs and multiplies your clumsy factor) – relaxes the valve that closes off the stomach.

This means the valve is less effective at stopping stomach acid heading up the oesophagus, going as far as the mouth.

The good news?  While heartburn may be uncomfortable for now, labour would be a lot less comfortable without the muscle-relaxant qualities an increase in progesterone brings.

Another more obvious reason for the ‘burn? A simple issue of space – the rapidly growing bundle of joy is pushing everything else out of position – including the digestive tract.

And while he advised they are generally safe (check with your doctor or pharmacist first though), to avoid having to take heartburn meds in the first place my doc recommended avoiding high fat foods (ummm…) and chewing extremely well so the stomach doesn’t have to work so hard (didn’t want to tell him you can’t chew ice cream).

Bubhub has some further steps to avoiding heartburn (after reading these, it seems that I might be the culprit here, and cant blame it all on poor old bub!):

  • Avoid trigger foods – some women will experience pregnancy heartburn no matter what they eat, but some foods are known to trigger an episode or make your symptoms worse. As a general rule, avoid fatty foods, chocolate, coffee and cola drinks. Alcohol and cigarettes should be avoided during pregnancy regardless, but they are also associated with acid reflux.
  • Eat in moderation – as large meals will put additional pressure on your stomach’s sphincter valve. You may also experiment with an elimination diet. An elimination diet is a trial and error process – remove one potential trigger food from your diet at a time and see if this helps reduce the incidence and severity of your heartburn. With persistence you may be able to identify which foods are the most problematic for you and eliminate them from your diet permanently.
  • Let gravity help – it can be hard enough getting comfortable with a growing baby inside, but try sitting and sleeping in a more upright position. Gravity will help your stomach acid and food stay where they belong. Try using an extra couple of pillows on your bed at night – it may only take a small elevation to put a stop to nighttime heartburn.
  • Watch your weight – keeping weight within recommended limits will further help reduce pressure on your digestive system. Speak to your health care provider if you’re concerned about your weight.
April 12, 2011

why do pregnant women always touch their bellies?

Like the author of this piece, I always thought pregnant women rubbing their bellies was a bit, well…annoying.  But her list sums up my (new) feelings about the issue.  Pretty much sums it up, really.

April 8, 2011

the sixth sense – babymoon take 2

Six Senses Resort, Con Dao

I’ve posted a few times on the idea of a babymoon, and even taken one of sorts not long ago – or so I thought.

Apparently, traditionalists say that a babymoon is a holiday you take AFTER the baby is born, not while pregnant (although according to our friend wikipedia both are correct).

Either way, looks like a great excuse to start planning another trip – babymoon take 2.

Well, you can’t blame me for wanting to try the Six Senses resort at Con Dao, Vietnam.

I mean, come on- every new mum needs some butler service!

Someone suggested rolling the babymoon and honeymoon into the one holiday – most insane thing I ever heard!  I think a repeat visit to Con Dao is in order and I haven’t even been there once yet.

Six Senses, Con Dao - Ocean View Room

April 5, 2011

on the a-list – celebrity pregnancies

I’m feeling well and truly on-trend and it’s got nothing to do with a new dress, hair cut or bag (although one of each wouldn’t hurt).

It’s because it seems as though I’m pregnant along with a whole host of celebs (not to mention other well-known folk who’ve recently become mothers).

So how are they tracking compared to us mere mortals?

Pink (due any time now) has been getting a lot of flack for her burgeoning frame, but I think she looks great – it’s a nice departure from her usual uber-fit, muscular look.

She recently tweeted about feeling clumsy after falling up the stairs – after several falls (and uncountable trip-ups over the past couple months, which have lead to being banned by the boy from wearing certain shoes, I can totally feel her pain.

Also up the duff (for the second time) is cutie Kate Hudson.

Apparently Kate gained around 60 pounds with her first bub so I guess she is hoping for a more restrained pregnancy the second time round (or maybe not, it’s her business after all).

What I love most about following in Pink and Kate Hudsons’s footsteps is that they make me feel a bit more normal – looking at recent pics of them they look like I feel.

A little bigger than usual, not all that comfortable and a little bit bloated. God love em!

On the other side of the spectrum are the celebrities who make being perfectly pregnant an art form.

Natalie Portman is looking radiant and apart from a delicate bump, not much different from her usual stunning self.

Of course it’s not her fault she looks so good – I’m just going to avoid looking at too many pics of her!

Toni Collette is expecting shortly and I can say from personal experience she is looking great.

Usually compared unfavourably with more glamorous actresses, I bumped into her in the ladies at the Eddie Vedder concert in Sydney and she looked divine – dressed for comfort but oozing style, with a wicked flash of hot pink lipstick.

Like everyone who ever spots celebs out and about, I must say she looked a trillion times better than I expected – she kind of has a dowdy reputation but next to her I felt like a bag of old potatoes.

A notable mention has to go to Rachel Zoe who recently gave birth to her first son, Skyler.

I actually thought she was due much later in the year because of her teeny tiny bump, but given her miniature frame I guess it’s not surprising she didn’t beef up too much (if I had a wardrobe full of Chanel couture maybe I would avoid the pre- and post-dinner ice creams as well).

Mariah Carey is expecting twins any day now with hubby Nick Cannon – she’s been given plenty of grief about her recent tweet including a pic of her expectant belly, complete with rolled-down trackie dacs.

Normally so glammed up, it’s a rare moment of ‘normal’ for the diva, and I like it.

Which other celebs can we expect to lose a whole lotta sleep pretty soon (if it wasn’t for the nannies and other help, of course)?

Victoria Beckham (baby number 4), Alicia Silverstone, Selma Blair, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Connolly and Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton.

Looks like I’m in good company! Let’s just hope they all refrain from ‘how I lost my baby weight in just 2 days and now weigh less than my baby’ type magazine spreads (I’m not holding my breath though).

Check out:   Essential Baby’s gallery of pregnant celebs, including Mariah, Miranda, Kendra and Britney.


March 29, 2011

cheap labour

As birth day fast approaches (8 weeks to go!) it’s about time to give some more thought to the labour process and more specifically, where it will take place.

For me, it’s the simple option – the local public hospital.

I chose this option because I had a good relationship with my GP and this, coupled with the fact that I didn’t forsee any problems due to my health, size or age, meant I didn’t think I’d need the specialist services of an obstetrician.

Cost came into it as well to a degree but it wasn’t a deciding factor – some time ago I did actually take out additional private health insurance to cover pregnancy and birth but in the end decided not to use it.

In hindsight I’m so glad I haven’t already forked out thousands (on top of my private health cover) for a completely straightforward pregnancy.

Perhaps if my local hospital (Royal Hospital for Women @ Randwick) didn’t have such a great reputation I may have felt differently.

If I could change one thing? I had wanted to go to the birth centre  (more relaxed environment, dedicated midwife care, less intervention) instead of the delivery ward but don’t like waiting lists, and for the birth centre there was a lengthy one.

I would’ve made it in there by now I think but wanted to be settled and know where I was going and also to receive continuity of care throughout my pregnancy rather than changing halfway through (that being said, I’ve never seen the same midwife twice and it hasn’t bothered me one bit).

A friend recently gave birth at the birth centre and couldn’t be more positive about it so there is a part of me that regrets not signing up!

Plus she was home the same day she gave birth which really appeals to me – I’m crossing my fingers that I can get out of the hospital and home with baby as soon as possible.

My concerns are nothing major though – at this stage I just want it OUT and healthy.

Writing this has made me realise how much I don’t know about how the whole labour day(s) thing will work, but I’ve got baby classes at the hospital coming up that should answer some questions (here’s hoping).

I’d love to hear comments from anyone with an opinion on RHW at Randwick, or the labour experience in general (in terms of type of delivery) – did you go public or private? Birth centre or delivery ward? How long were you in hospital after birth? Let me know, ladies!

For more information on birthing options, Huggies has a good run down on the topic.

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March 27, 2011

The Pram – part two, aka why I love the boy

After a near meltdown last weekend, I was dreading the next shopping expedition for baby gear.

My fears were unfounded however, because while I was hosting a little brunch for a fellow mum-to-be the boy went out shopping and bought not only the pram, but also a baby bjorn and some other much-needed odds and ends (he missed the bit where watching a child being born from the business end, for a partner, was described as like “watching your favourite pub burn down” – HA).

We have ended up with the babyjogger citi mini, which from all accounts is an excellent allrounder- hard to argue with a an average score of 4.62 out of 5. 

Aside from having almost all the bells and whistles I like (best bit being a one-handed one-step folding action), its looks will inspire me to get into some fitness with bub (hopefully that wasn’t darling fiances motivation for buying it!).

Am also getting sorted on the clothing front, by proxy. 

I’d ordered some gorgeous gear from seed for the guest of honour at brunch today but lo and behold the package didn’t arrive in time.  Looks like I’ll be keeping them for myself then (nice one).

And as I didn’t want to be empty handed this morning, I went out and bought some replacement gifts yesterday – of course I had to buy duplicates of everything I liked for my baby to be, so have ended up with quite a good haul.

Folding the little tiny darling clothes was such a joy (I understand this will likely become a chore, but for now am loving it).

All in all, feeling a lot more relaxed about the ever-shortening ‘to purchase’ list – it’s looking a lot more manageable all together.

Time for some feet-up and a cuppa – thank you darling boy for getting done what I couldn’t!

March 24, 2011

a little perspective… (via the rigneys)

not sure if this should make me feel better, or if it’s a bit depressing, but i like it all the same (and certainly empathise with the poor fishers)

a little perspective... The next time I find my pregnant self complaining about the exhaustion, the nausea, the backaches, the muscle cramps, the bloating, the stretch marks, the insane amount of heartburn, the restless legs, the lovely lack of bladder control, etc… I'm going to remember this sign that I saw at the zoo the other day… …and then I'm going to thank the good Lord above that I am not a female fisher. Nothing like finding a little perspective on your li … Read More

via the rigneys