Posts tagged ‘baby’

April 10, 2013

Where is baby no. 2?

Well, back to the blogdom.  These posts are so infrequent that they are more like a very neglected personal diary, collecting dust on the shelf but that’s what happens when you’re a working mum (with a sloth-like tendency for laziness).

Anyway. I’m back to vent about my troubles TTC (that’s trying to conceive, for anyone who hasn’t been in this position before).

After having Lottie I wanted a reasonable break.  In fact, I distinctly remember saying for the first three months after she was born that I was never having another one. EVAH, and at the same time thinking that people who had huge families (i.e. anyone with more than one kid) was nutso. This is despite, pre-baby, always wanting at least three kids to call my own.

Then about 6 months ago that magical memory-erasing wand was waved over me where I forgot how hard little babies can be to look after and I decided I wanted another one – pronto.

So I went off the pill and thought, like with Lottie, a new baby would be on the way very shortly, with very little effort.

A couple of months (and a fortune in pregnancy tests) later I thought hmmm…where is this baby? And so I started doing some basic charting with a phone app, to work out the best times to do the deed.

A couple more months came and went and still! No baby. So a couple months ago I bought some of those ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), thinking this will be a cakewalk now.

Not so! This month will be my third go using the OPKs and if nothing comes of it I’m going to lose my head!  Now, don’t get me wrong – I know there are lots, and lots, and lots of people who try longer than I have, and there is no doubt that age isn’t on my side, but it’s so frustrating when it was so easy the first time!

And an adorable toddler just makes you want another adorable toddler (but I probably wouldn’t say at 5pm when adorable turns to excruciating).

It is made more frustrating by the fact that I am a Planner (yes, with a capital P).  I’d planned to have the baby by November, enjoy a nice Christmas with my new four-person family then when the littlest one was old enough we could all go somewhere nice and warm (with cheap nannies) for a holiday.

I also have a bit of a work-life secret that (so mysterious!) and, if it works out, it will simply not fit in with a newborn.

Argh! What to do!  Will just cross my fingers that this month does the trick. If not? Well, we’ll just have to keep on trying.  If anyone has any advice I’d love to hear it!

PS just realised I never followed up my travel to Thailand post…maybe one day!

August 10, 2011

baby essentials

A while ago I pondered what the most essential baby/nursery items were.  Now three months are up I have a better idea.

I have a feeling that plenty of mums would disagree with me on a few of these though!  Everyones situation is different, as is every baby.

The nursery – I busted a gut making sure the nursery was finished first during our renovations and now after three months Id say Lottie has spent less than an hour, total, in there. 

Same goes for feeding chair (in the nursery) – while of course feeding is an important time to bond, after 800 feeding sessions I’d rather chat to someone, flip through a mag, buy stuff from the etsy website or watch tv while doing it (maintaining frequent eye contact with bub, of course!)

Ditto cot/change table, although both are good storage places for now, and Im sure they will be used in future months once Charlotte progresses from the basinette into her own bed/room.

Speaking of bassinettes, it was hotly contested among my friends and family whether they were a necessity or not.  For me, yes.  There isnt the room in our bedroom for a decent sized cot, and having the bassinette means Lottie can sleep wherever I am.  This is especially important in a bigger house so you arent running up and down stairs to check on the baby every two minutes.

Pretty much everyone said wraps were a necessity but for us, not so much.

We tried them in the first few weeks but bub kept getting unwrapped or fidgeting to get her arms out.  Instead we used the Love Me Baby/Wrap Me Up swaddle from Love to Dream.

These are easy to put on/take off, and unlike a traditional wrap can be kept on in the car (there is a hole in the back for the seatbelt). 

The can be chucked in the wash, plus they make bub look like a cute little glo-worm.

My mother in law gave me a halo wrap which was better than a muslin sheet, or similar, but the velcro got stuck on everything. 

The main reason we didnt use that though is I had two of the Love Me Baby swaddles so could rotate (one in wash, one on) and only one halo wrap – I was too scared of getting dependent on the halo wrap and then not having a clean one to use in case of an accident!

The baby rocker has been a godsend – once Lottie passed the stage where she could be awake AND not crying at the same time she has spent hours in it, watching me clean up, cook, all the exciting things.

We have a Bumbo seat which is great for this too, but the position it makes Lottie sit in makes her chuck up if she has just been fed!  But babies look awesomely cute in a Bumbo seat.

While not much ‘playing’ has been done on her playmat, it is also a godsend – she is happy to lie on it kicking about for a fair while (that being said, she would prob be happy kicking about on the floor, without the mat).

The baby bath is another item that divides people but for us its been an essential – quick to fill up and easy to drain.  We put it in the big bath so it is a bit hard on your back bending down, but then so it would be in the regular bath.

One item I bought and didnt think was necessary, but sooo is, has been the nappy bin.  Especially since Lottie has been on formula which makes for some stinky nappies!

This bin magically seals the nappy into a plastic compartment/bag ready for disposal into the regular bin once the nappy bin has been filled up.  I would say if you have a small apartment/house this would be even more important.

For some bizarre reason, I find it quite fun to use (oh, the little joys!)

Baby Bjorn carrier was a priority on our shopping list, before Lottie was born, but after three months she’s only been in it once.

She was too little for it to begin with, so we went out and bough a sling (Mini Monkey) which has been awesome.

It took a little getting used to but has been used almost every day.  Apparently you can use it til toddler age but I think if you did that youd need a chiro on speed dial as it gets hard on your back (although I might need to re-read the instructions again for how to wear it).

Our pram (City Jogger) has also been an essential and Im pretty happy with it – same pram Miranda Kerr has after all! Excellent one-handed close function and plenty of other snazzy options (it is a bit on the light/flimsy side but you cant have everything and the good points far outweigh the bad).

I’m sure Ill need to update this post after another three months – in any case our little one will outgrow her bassinette and baby bath soon and we’ll be onto new solutions. 

I hear Charlotte stirring so better get a feed on, ciao for now.

August 10, 2011

the three month mark

After what seems like both an eternity and a blink of an eye, Charlotte is now three months old.  And just like everyone said, it has gotten a lot easier.

That being said, I estimate that Ive done around 800 feeds, 800 nappy changes and close to 100 baths in these first three months, so I should be getting the hang of some things by now!

It seems like she is getting so big, but while she has doubled in size since birth she is still a wee little poppet.

While I love putting her in the 000 outfits that were way to big for her as a newborn, I also feel a little sad that she is growing so fast – almost makes me want another baby already (almost, but not quite).

So what have I learned?

I’ve learned you can wake a baby up in a number of ways – sit down for a minute (especially if you sit down with a coffee/tea/glass of wine/piece of cake).  Put dinner on the table. Try and have  a nap (although I must say despite everyone telling me to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ Ive managed three naps during the day since she was born).

Conversely, if you want a baby to go to sleep the best way to go about it is invite visitors over who want to see her awake. Or have a doctors appointment that requires her to be awake.

Perhaps, like her mummy, Lottie is just a contrary little thing and wants to do what she wants, when she wants to.

More importantly Ive learned a lot about patience (doing stuff quickly, especially getting out and about, is a thing of the past).

And Ive learned, more than anything, about the joys of putting someone elses needs 100% before your own.  While this can be testing at times, there is definitely a certain joy in how motherhood forces you to become less selfish, and more tolerant.

Ive learned that while Obama et al might survive on 5 hours sleep a night, I do not (not well, anyway).

These days I dream not of shoes and handbags, holidays in exotic locations or a night out on the town, but of more than 3 hours sleep in one block.

Ive also learned, for future reference, not to plan on doing renovations with a newborn baby in the house.  Or at least six months either side of the estimated due date. Living in a construction zone/campsite did not make the first few weeks any easier.

All in all this has without a doubt been the hardest three months of my life, but also the most beautiful.  Now, when will I get my sleep?

July 1, 2011

formula for success (bye bye nipple shield)

As of today, I am (mostly) pleased to say I am no longer part of the breastfeeding fraternity.  Or rather, sisterhood.

Of course, I would rather breastfeed, happily for at least 6 months.  But just like Lottie’s birth, things dont always go to plan.

It all goes back to the first few days after the little one was born.  For her first few days in the nursery, Lottie was tube fed, as are many premmie babies. 

Then just as I was feeling about ready to commence feeding after she was born, on the second or third day, I ended up with an obstructed bowel (apparently this happens frequently after abdominal trauma, and was compounded by the fact a doctor told me to drink two litres of water in two hours, before anyone had confirmed my bowels were working properly after he surgery).

Anyway, the bowel obstruction was painful.  And having just been through labour pains, I can say it was ten times worse than labour and therefore spent the next couple of days dosed up on morphine and in no state to feed.

During this time, they began to give Lottie bottles (without my knowledge) which meant that a few days later when I was able to try breastfeeding again, she wouldnt latch on to my bare nipple.

Several midwives tried (and by tried I mean jammed her head against my bosom, giving me different order as to what I should be doing, depending on who was on duty) to no avail.

On the fourth or fifth try, one of the midwives gave me a nipple shield to use.

For the uninitiated, these are thin, flexible, silicon shields worn over the nipple to be used in situations like mine and also for women with sore, cracked or inverted nipples.

Finally, success!  Lottie latched on, thinking my nipple to be more like the bottles she had already gotten used to.

My happiness was short lived though, with all subsequent midwives who came to view my breastfeeding attempts telling me I should never have been offered one because it would be more difficult to wean bubba off them later on.

At the time I didnt see a a problem – she was feeding from my breast, relatively happily.  Isn’t what they all wanted in the grand scheme of things?

By the time we left hospital I was still struggling with the feeding but figured it would all get better once we both got the hang of things.

Fast forward a few weeks later and I was still struggling.  Lottie was grumpy, when she was awake (which thankfully wasn’t that often).  Darling boy kept telling me to feed her more, or offer formula, but I kept telling him ‘Baby Love says hunger is not the problem for unsettled babies’, then I’d get grumpy at him for insinuating somehow me, or my boobs, were at fault.

Turns out nipple shields are a boon for women who need to use them temporarily (for exmaple, a bout of cracked nipples) but using them in the long term can reduce your supply.

The fact that I had a traumatic birth and blood transfusion didnt help either as this can reduce your supply as well. That I didn’t get to feed Lottie for a few days after birth made matters worse.

So I ended up with a pathetic supply.

What to do?  I visited a lactation consultant at the hospital twice and was given a simple, yet physically hard routine to follow to increase my supply which involved 10 feeds of 40 minuts each a day, with 20 minutes of expressing after each feed.

This meant that each feed, expressing session, subsequen sterilising of equipment and settling of bub took around 2 hours, then in hour or less it was time to start again!

I was struggling, exhausted and frustrated, and bub was still grumpy. 

I tried fenugreek seed, I tried cashews (not that I minded that).  Nothing worked.

And to top it all off?  The expressing sessions alone kept me pretty house bound, but I was also loathe to feed in public with the nipple shield which meant I really had to get a boob out and attach a screaming baby to it.

Oh, how I envied the women in mothers group whose calm, happy babies latched on easily for a beatiful and discreet nursing session.

After all the feeding, expressing and so-called milk enhancing foods/herbs, at my last visit to the pediatrician he told me he wasnt happy with Lottie’s weight gain – while ‘adequate’ it was at the low end of the scale, so he suggested I top her up with a bottle of formula for one or two feeds a day.

Bub sculled the first bottle I offered her with gusto, and for the first time looked happy and content while awake after a feed. 

The doc also suggested I visit Possum Cottage, a local day stay centre for mothers experiencing breastfeeding and settling (among other) issues.

Off I went, wondering what I could learn that hadnt been covered by the lactation consultant.

First thing I was told was NOT to offer the bottle of formula instead of a feed, as it would further reduce my supply.

Instead I was to offer additional formula after every breast feed.

I was never keen on this idea as, like the expressing milk, it dragged out feeds to an hour and a half (an hour of feeding, then a bottle. then sterilising) but I thought I’d give it a go – if it worked, it worked.

For the first two feeds, it worked, Then Lottie stopped taking the boob completely.  By this I mean 40 minutes of screaming and thrashing about at the breast, only to be sated with a nice bottle of formula.

Understandably this made both of us upset and frustrated every time feeding rolled around.

So I did what most midwives would have you believe is a devilish act and gave her a full bottle of formula.  Next feed?  Same again.

And now a coulple days later I havent looked back (although I am giving her expressed milk when I can rustle up a bottle).

Darling bub is happy, content and alert.  I am happy, content and alert.

It might not be the ideal resolution to the problem, but for us it is working.

As an added bonus?  Today I had all the coffee and chocolate I could handle, with no worries about it contaminating my milk.

I thought I’d feel so guilty about this decision but I’ve given it a good shot for 8 weeks, sought help from the experts and done everything recommended in my well-worn baby books.

All I want is what’s best for my darling, and if formula makes her happy and well fed, formula for her it is!

(and here I need to plug a brilliant book called Staying Mum by Mara Lee which chronicles her somehwat similar story – even if your new baby experience is nothing like mine or hers, it is a good read for any new or expectant mum).

June 20, 2011

sleeping like a baby

Whoever coined the term ‘slept like a baby’ to describe a nice, long, deep sleep was surely on crack.

While my beautiful bundle does (thankfully) have a few periods a day when she sleeps like the proverbial, it’s short lived (especially at night – poor mummy!).

And much like her birth, how and where she sleeps is the opposite of what I’d hoped and planned.

I’d envisioned an ‘unspoilt’ child that slept in her own room/cot from day dot.  I would be the loving, yet somewhat strict, mother who fed her at predetermined intervals, and getting much needed beauty rest in between (or perhaps lunching with friends – tennis anyone?)

Then I read about the link between SIDS and sleeping in a separate room to your baby, and thought it best that Lottie share a room with us.  Cue quick trip to Baby Bunting to pick up a bassinette.

But who knew babies could be so damn noisy?  Ours sounds like a gremlin on steroids.  Grunting, sneezing, snoring, mewing and occasional cries – all this before the 2-3 hourly real cries for more food.

Darling dad jams his ear plugs in (and awakes the net morning asking if she slept through the night because he didnt hear a thing) but thats not an option for me.

So to get some sleep?  Ive ended up sleeping with Lottie on my chest.

This apparently also brings with it an increased risk of SIDS, the very reason I didnt want her in her own room to begin with.

But there is now way I could put her in a cot on her own now that Ive met the little beauty (maybe she would be ok with it, but I couldnt bear it).

Theres nothing better than snuggling up with her little body next to mine on these cold nights, and we both end up getting a better, longer sleep.  Less wakefulness and grunting from her, less in and out of bed for me.

Am I worried?  Not at all.  I wake up after sleeping like this in exactly the same position, reinforcing the notion that a mothers natural instinct will prevent her from rolling over on her bub (unfortunately dads dont have the same instinct so I cant share the duty/responsibility).

Im sure many will disagree but I feel like this is the most natural way for us to sleep, and also safe considering the other precautions I take (wrapping her up separately to our bed linen, making sure she cant fall off the bed if she were to roll off me, not wearing loose clothing, not going to bed drunk – are you kidding? I dont have time to drink! etc).

My dad gave me a bit of grief (the male prespective), making some thinly veiled comments about ‘not forgetting my husband’, the marital bed, cough cough etc but I think he comes from a less inventive time – you can find other times/places to do the deed (and to be honest there isnt that much of that going on, baby in the bed or otherwise – apologies if that’s just way to much information!).

I do worry that it might one day make it harder for her to transition to sleeping on her own but for now, it works for us.

This early phase is a special time and wont last long, so I want to make the most of it.  There will be plenty of time for my baby to spend hours alone in her room when she’s a teenager!

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 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 23, 2011

The Pram – part one

I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front lately, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been taking it easy in preparation for bub’s arrival.

Well, not all the time.

In between liaising with the designer for the renovations to the new abode, sourcing appliances and furniture, deciding on paint colours for the nursery and the house at large and getting ready for the move, my lovely partner in crime and I finally took the long-awaited babymoon.

Kewarra Beach Resort - babymoon perfection

We spent a beautiful few days at Kewarra Beach Resort near Cairns relaxing, swimming and eating (and of course leafing through renovation mags).

If you like eating – what pregnant woman doesn’t – you can’t go wrong at Kewarra, the menu was an absolute joy to work through and the meals were a perfect punctuation to our heavenly days lazing on the beach and on our beachfront balcony.

Most importantly, the beautiful boy popped the question so there will be an easy answer when bub is asked “who’s your daddy”.

It was all very lovely and romantic, and we couldn’t be happier.

It’s lucky I love planning, checklists and research because now not only do we have baby’s arrival and renovations to plan for, but a wedding on the (far) horizon as well.

Good news and renovations aside, we decided last weekend to really make a start on getting all the required baby gear sorted.

Easier said than done.

Armed with a list of must have (and nice to have) items we hit the baby megastores, ready to go.

What did we get?

A car seat.  That’s it.

And while I’m loving the car seat (too scared to do any research on it now in case I see something bad), I’m feeling totally overwhelmed by everything we need, and all the choices out there.

After doing what may have been too much research, I had a list as long as my arm of requirements for The Pram.

Bassinet or capsule attachment, reversible handle, not too wide, not too flimsy, not too small but not too big, great for walking but manoeuvrable for city shopping and coffee shops.  Also stylish, not too mumsy OR space age, and a reasonable price (I had to add the last one after I found a emmaljunga pram that ticked most of the boxes but came in at a hefty $2200).

BF (sorry, fiancé!) and I stood there like deer in headlights, staring at the rows and rows of options, before hotfooting it out of the store into the safe and comforting arms of Ikea (that should give you some indication of how bamboozled we were, when a trip to Ikea seemed like a walk in the park).

Everyone keeps saying “just get one that will fit your lifestyle”. 

Oh, OK.  If only I knew what that was going to be!

Not knowing the area we’ll be moving to it’s hard for me to judge how much time will be spent walking (outdoors, in parks, on pavements or in the mall).

And while I have fantasies of shopping, heading to the gym and enjoying a coffee with friends – all in a morning with baby – this might be far from the reality.

Think I’ll have to take the advice of one wise friend and expectant mother – “you aren’t going to get a pram with everything you need, so compromise where you can and if you end up hating it, there’s always eBay”.

Will keep this in mind when we attempt The Pram – Round 2 on the weekend.

So what am I looking at?  As of today the top contenders are the mountain buggy and baby jogger, any advice from mums out there will be warmly appreciated.

(Don’t even get me started on cots).

HOT TIP for any budding investors out there – buy shares in ACP because I am buying up magazines in previously unheard of quantities. 

Along with reno mags, pregnancy mags and my usual fashion and gossip titles, I can now add wedding issues to the mix.  If you don’t hear from me in a while I am no doubt buried under a pile of glossy pages.

March 8, 2011

a real side splitter

I was keeping myself busy the other day, doing sit ups.

OK, I wasn’t doing sit ups, I was trying to recline by the pool (besides, you’re not meant to do exercises lying on you back after week 16 or so, depending on what you read).

Anyways, I was in a kind of half sit up position and noticed a pretty unpleasant looking bulge in the middle of where my abs should be.

It was about the size of a baby’s head, and that what I thought it was, until I read about the separation of abdominal muscles, or diastasis recti, that occurs normally during many pregnancies, especially at later stages.

According to birth.com.au, “the internal organs in the abdomen are covered by two large muscle sheets (known as ‘Recti muscles’). These muscles cover the belly and run from the rib cage, down to the pubic bone. They meet in the middle of the abdomen, in line with the belly button. Towards the end of the pregnancy, it is normal for these abdominal muscles to separate, to allow the belly to accommodate your growing baby.”

Ouch! Well, not really.

In fact, I wouldn’t have even noticed if I hadn’t been looking, and many women don’t notice at all until a check-up after birth (if then).

Apparently it usually fixes itself once your body slowly returns to normal (ish), particularly if you get back into regular exercise and focus on strengthening your core after bub is born, although some women need assistance in the form of a health professional (physio etc).

So how do you know if this has happened to you?

Birth.com.au suggests the following test:

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Have you head lying flat as well (no pillow).

Raise your head forward, tucking your chin into your chest.

Hold this position, while you gently press your fingertips above and below the belly button, (vertically up the middle of your belly).

You are feeling for a 1 to 5 centimetre gap, or a soft bulge. You may even be able to see it.

While it isn’t a major issue, if this happens to you, befitmom.com offers some tips on movements to avoid.

  • Movements where the upper body twists and the arm on that side reaches backward, such as during a tennis serve. 
  • Exercises that require lying backward over a large exercise ball.
  • Yoga postures that stretch the abs, such as “cow pose,” “up-dog,” all backbends, and “belly breathing.” 
  • Most traditional abdominal exercises that work the exterior abdominal muscles, such as crunches and oblique curls. 
  • All exercises that cause your abdominal wall to bulge out upon exertion. 
  • Rising from a supine position by rolling up and twisting at the same time. Instead, roll first onto your side, and then use your arms to help push yourself up to a sitting position. 
  • Lifting and carrying very heavy objects. 
  • Intense coughing while your muscles are unsupported.

Oh, the joys of pregnancy! Just more motivation to hit the gym after I meet the baby.