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A crazy little thing called love.

The ramblings of a 20-something year old mama

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baby, don’t take it personal

I usually have warnings at the beginning of my blog posts. Warnings of plenty of swearing, gory detail and just general brutal honesty. This time I’m not going to warn you, because let’s be honest you should just be used to my potty mouth by now. And if you’re not, then it’s probably a good idea to stop reading now ūüôā

So… I’m currently writing this post on my phone. Why, you may ask? Hmm, because my almost 6 month old baby WON’T FUCKING SLEEP unless she is in my arms. She has slept a grand total of 35 minutes today. 35 MINUTES!! Barely enough time to shower, tie my hair up in a ratty mum bun and stuff my face with toast. And coffee. Coffee is life now.

I had a feeling today was going to be average when I was rudely awoken at 5:30AM to the sound of an unidentified dying animal. I attempted to get the little creature back to sleep using a dummy, but to no avail. I pulled her into my bed and tried to nap in between her spitting her dummy out and grabbing at my pillow (little shit). It may currently sound like I despise my child, but I promise I love her to bits. We have just had a really bad day (like many others). I ended up getting her up around 7AM (our “usual” wake up time) to feed, change, feed, play with, then hopefully sleep.

Put her into her cot at 9AM…

At 9:30 after replacing her dummy about 5 times and listening to her squeal and roll around in her cot, she finally fell asleep. FINALLY! I could enjoy a nice hot shower, lukewarm coffee that I had forgotten to finish and make me some breakfast. 10AM rolls around and my smiley little shit has woken up while I’m in the middle of eating a piece of measly toast and trying to get organised to go out. Going anywhere now requires about 3 hours of preparation, if not more. I am not an overly organised person, so since becoming a Mum I have decided to sacrifice the time I would use getting ready/doing my makeup and hair and eating a delicious breakfast of poached eggs on toast, for feeding Sienna, packing her bag and entertaining her because let’s not forget I can’t walk away from her without her crying.

We’ve barely made it through half the morning, and we’re still nowhere near ready to go anywhere. Sienna has decided that I can’t put her down or she will get really upset, and if I dare walk away from her it starts a screaming frenzy. I managed to get us out of the house just after 12, after another feed and tying up my mop of hair into something that resembles a bun. She slept for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES in the pram, then woke up as soon as we got to SPACE group (kinda like a coffee group but better and way cooler mums) ūüėČ

Fast forward to now – 5PM, and I have Sienna cradled in my arms after her bottle, rocked to sleep after an hour of protesting and crying in her cot. One reason I can forgive her so easily is because I know she’s teething, and tooth no.2 only popped through yesterday so I know she’s sore. But also because when they are asleep, they are honestly heavenly. It’s like looking at an angel. You could never imagine them causing you the pain and stress that they do when they’re awake.

I don’t want to drag this out too much, but I just wanted to share a snippet of a day in the life of Sienna and I. She is the most cheeky, loving thing (when she wants to be) but can turn into an absolute little monster at the flick of a switch. She is ridiculously sensitive to unfamiliar people and gets really upset if people pick her up or go right in her face without warning (although aren’t we all like that? I can’t imagine being impressed if a stranger came up to me and just picked me up and cradled me in their arms – actually I’d be fucking shit scared!! Haha). I constantly feel like I need to explain to other people – I’m sorry – she just doesn’t do well in unfamiliar situations, she loves the comfort of her Mum or Dad’s arms. She is sensitive, and she is experiencing all these things that she has never experienced before. I think having such a high needs baby (I hate using this term but how else can I explain it – she’s very attached and finds comfort in the familiar) has made me more compassionate and made me think about how overwhelming it really must be for babies. They are processing brand new information every minute of every day, including when they sleep.

And for now, I’m going to try to keep telling myself that my baby won’t sleep because she’s a little genius and she’s just learning so much that her little brain can’t switch off.

In reality, she’s just like her mama and it can take a long time for her to relax and switch off from life’s happenings. That is something I can understand. I’ve heard all this talk about what my baby “should” be doing at this stage and trust me, I bloody wish she would do what she “should” but maybe she just needs a little extra help and extra cuddles at the moment – she just needs her Mum. Maybe it’s just a stage. This is literally only a tiny snippet into our lives. There is so much more I could go into but honestly I would bore you all to death, or scare you off of having children if you don’t already ūüėČ

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the bumpy ride to parenthood

Warning: this post contains a little too much detail about labour, birth and baby shit.

I wasn’t going to write a birth story, but if it helps anyone to be more realistic about their expectations (it’s almost never going to be what you expect it to be) then cool, awesome. And if it pisses you off because my birth was easier than yours, then I’m sorry. Regardless of this,¬†all birth stories are difficult, and painful, and emotional, and a freakin train wreck.

The last 3 months+ have truly been a whirlwind of shit for us, and I can’t remember every single detail of my labour and birth experience. Although what I can tell you is, it bloody hurts (and it is very bloody). Especially when you end up in labour for a full two days/48 hours. Isn’t it amazing what our bodies can do?! Like I grew this human for almost 9 months then pushed it right on out! What pisses me off though is the fact that in movies and on TV, labour seems to last for all of about two minutes and then BAM there you go, you have a huge baby that this woman has managed to push out and barely broken a sweat whilst doing it. I mean, it might be like that for some people, but it sure wasn’t for us.

I’ll try give you a brief (but gory) explanation of my labour and birth. So I went into labour at 38 weeks, pretty much as soon as I left my best friend’s wedding in Matamata, not knowing that these cramps were actually contractions. I went to their BBQ the next day, still not knowing that they were contractions. Well, I fully knew but I was trying to tell myself that they were just Braxton Hicks. I drove myself home to Hamilton, still denying the fact I was in labour but also shit scared that I might just pop a baby out on the way home. Johny was back home already as he was meant to work, and as soon as I was home I knew for sure that this was it.¬†Called the midwife, went in to have a check up (bloody horrible, don’t ask) and I was only dilated like 2cm or some small amount. Had fuck all sleep that night and went back into the birth centre at 8 the next morning.

More than 12 hours later… We had tried the bath, shower, some weird looking stool thing (picture below), the couch, a beanbag, the bed, different positions… Everything. It was awful, constantly having contractions while time was passing so painfully slow. This baby was adamant she wasn’t coming out but she was super happy to stay in her nice warm womb a bit longer. I was grumpy, short-tempered and hungry. Poor Johny got the brunt of it but man he was good at making sure I drunk enough fluid and letting me squeeze the fuck out of his hands. I started huffing on the gas late in the afternoon and it was a nice distraction. Most people say they don’t like the gas but I fuckin loved it. It made me all light headed and fuzzy.

Over 2 hours of pushing (do not even ask me what it feels like, it’s almost unexplainable and it’s the most excruciating thing I’ve ever experienced) and this babe was still being a stubborn little shit. Once we got to the 2 hour mark the midwife had already got all these other midwives in to monitor me and baby, there was poo and blood everywhere (my dignity went on a permanent holiday the second I started pushing), I was worried as fuck thinking something had gone wrong and wanting this baby to hurry the fuck up because I’ve never been so damn tired in my life! Midwife asks if I would be okay with her calling an ambulance to transfer me to the hospital in case they had to intervene, and I was like yep sweet as whatever just get this fuckin baby out asap!! At the same time I remember looking at Johny and he had the most worried look on his face. He couldn’t come in the ambulance with me because the midwife had to and he needed to drive my car there so we could get back to the birth centre afterwards. It upset me so much, I was thinking the worst but in so much pain at the same time that I couldn’t reassure him that things would be okay. Because even I didn’t know if they were going to be okay.

That ambulance ride was awful. It was so bumpy that I felt as if our baby was gonna fall right on out (spoiler: it doesn’t work like that unfortunately). They were making me huff on the gas to stop me from pushing baby out on the way there, and I was getting really pissed off because I could feel her coming out. The minute the ambulance stopped I remember telling the midwife in my haze of huffing gas, that I could feel Pikelet’s¬†head. I was thinking fucking hell Johny’s going to miss the birth like all these stories I’ve heard about dads missing their babies births (hello Dad, yes you who didn’t miss my birth but managed to sneak off to an all-important rugby game that afternoon). They managed to get me up to the maternity ward with about 5-10 minutes to spare. All Pikelet needed was a bumpy fuckin¬†ambulance ride and maybe she would have arrived 16 hours earlier!! So my active labour was 16 hours all up. I thought I was going to have this beautiful water birth and feel so happy and amazing and all that bullshit. Oh man, birth is not beautiful. Well, it is. But not in the literal sense of giving birth to a tiny human that makes you feel like you’re doing the biggest poo of your life whilst being stabbed in that area multiple times. That doesn’t do it justice. The feeling of giving birth is the weirdest, most painful thing I’ve ever done. I was extremely lucky to get away with some grazing rather than tearing etc etc.. And you DON’T want to know about the horrific haemorrhoids that I could have almost named because there were that many and they were THAT bad. Don’t do it kids, don’t have sex, don’t get pregnant and don’t have babies. Have babies but maybe just adopt one¬†or steal one or something (don’t actually do that, stealing babies is probably not an appropriate thing to do).

We made a human! We created her, and now she was really here. We were no longer just Stacey and Johny, we were now Mum and Dad. Parents. Johny totally dropped her (he was meant to catch her when she ‘popped out’… Apparently she was slippery) and the midwife had to come to the rescue. 10 and 10 on the APGAR scale (that’s a really good thing, meant she was super healthy and alert as soon as she came out) and there we had it. Sienna Marie Voschezang was born at 12:11AM on the 30th January 2017. The most unforgettable day of my existence.

Johny cut the ugly umbilical cord after Sienna spent about an hour on my chest. Holding your own baby in your arms for the first time is the most surreal experience. There are no words except that you almost have to pinch yourself because how can this baby have come out of THERE?!?! Sienna wouldn’t latch onto my breast at all, so the midwife had to milk me (great experience) and feed Sienna the colostrum in a syringe. That was just the very beginning of our adventure with breastfeeding.

And then the placenta had to come out. EWWWWW. Had to have the injection thingy to make it come out, then it was plonked in a nice big silver bowl for the midwife to poke and prod. She popped it in an ice cream container to keep for later. Why we kept it I am not sure. Great story to come about the placenta, too. I’ll save that one for next time ūüėČ

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a side of baby-brain word salad

Warning: this post is a mixture of thoughts jumbled up into one… Better¬†known as word salad thanks to¬†Johny and his love of Boston Legal.

So, now is the part where we move onto the second trimester as I covered most of the first tri in the last post. This is where things got real and we got to see our little baby on a screen again. This time we were at 20 weeks and we got to find out whether we were having a girl or a boy. I think I would have reacted the same way regardless of the outcome, but I cried and had this weird overwhelming ‘holy shit this is our daughter’ feeling.

The second trimester was definitely the easiest for me as this is when things calmed down a bit apart from intermittent morning sickness and just generally feeling tired. Some people apparently get a burst of energy in this trimester but that definitely didn’t happen for me! I guess growing a human is pretty hard work on our little bodies!

I’m going to skip through this bit as it’s not overly interesting and the third trimester is where¬†all the fun shit happens. One thing that they don’t tell you is that you have weird ass¬†dreams throughout pregnancy, and I’m sure they’ve gotten worse during the last leg. Mine have gone from being a character¬†in the Harry Potter movies (don’t ask), to Johny and I breaking up, to friends dying, murderers chasing me and all sorts of horrible and¬†out of it labour/baby scenarios.

I’m now in my 37th week which is considered full term so basically could give birth safely any day now until about 42 weeks. This is why¬†due dates are irrelevant, they should just give you a due month because let’s be honest that’s way more realistic. I’m not looking forward to updating everyone every fucking second once we get to the due date (everyone seems to think that babies are likely to be born on their due date which is a load of crap coz every single birth/pregnancy is so different). Babies come when they want to! I have learnt to accept this as she could arrive well before the due date or even two weeks after, there’s no reason to worry unless your midwife or doctor or whatever says there is. I¬†have been REALLY bloody lucky to have a relatively cruisy pregnancy. When I say cruisy I don’t mean sitting on the beach sipping mocktails with my feet up. I just mean compared to other pregnancies I have heard of or seen then I feel¬†pretty grateful.

Talking about mocktails, I didn’t even think twice about not drinking for the most part of this pregnancy. It’s only been since Christmas/New Year that I’ve felt like I’m missing out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wishing I could be getting smashed right now (although I’ve had dreams about getting wasted whilst heavily pregnant!) but hell it would be nice to enjoy a cold beer or wine with everyone else. It’s fuckin hard sitting there with people drinking all around you while you sip on your water and have your ribs squished by this little human squirming around whilst contending with a sore back. Comfort becomes a thing of the past in the last few weeks of pregnancy. You really don’t realise how much of a toll it takes on your body till then! And don’t get me started on sleeping,¬†that’s a logistical nightmare, especially combined with the need to pee every FIVE FUCKING MINUTES.

There are so many things I could rant about but one of my (our)¬†huge adjustments has been trying to keep our social lives alive in the midst of the biggest changes and challenges we will ever face. It’s really hard when the majority of the people around you don’t have kids/haven’t been pregnant because it honestly feels like you have entered a different world to them. I guess in a sense you are in a completely different phase of life, like hey, now we have a tiny dependent human living in my womb and sorry but we can’t do everything that we used to do. I’ve found that the best type of friends are the ones who you can go for coffee with or sit and play board games with for hours on end. And the ones you don’t have to talk to every five seconds because you have this¬†mutual understanding that life just gets hectic at times.

It’s harder to explain to people who haven’t been through it, but being pregnant really makes you feel like you’re the outsider. I know even Johny has struggled with this, wedged between wanting to support me and wanting to go out with his friends. Your priorities just completely shift when you find out you are going to be parents. Because it’s no longer about you, it’s no longer about your partner, it’s about “us” as a family – this wee helpless creature will rely on us for everything for quite some time. Even though we both want that change it’s still fucking hard (and will only get harder) to adjust.

On a lighter note though, this is the point where I’ve finally let myself get really excited about the fact that we get to bring our little babe into the world! Johny has been excited since day dot¬†but I have struggled to get to that point because of a mix of things – challenges of pregnancy, worrying about how everything is going to pan out, worrying about money, our relationship and challenges, anxiety and depression escalating and ending up with me on medication (no judgements please¬†– I tried everything before resorting to meds). But hey, we are almost there now and this baby is going to be our pride and joy! It will literally be the hugest challenge of our lives but as we’ve been told it’s the most rewarding challenge you could ever face.

I’ve been full on nesting, like there’s pretty much nothing left for me to do at home which was probably a shit decision on my behalf but I got too into it and set everything up within about four days. People say you don’t need to have baby’s room set up and blah blah blah because they won’t be in it for a while but I would rather have it done now than leave it till when our daughter is screaming the house down for the boob or a poop explosion¬†and we have no time to get anything done haha.

Anyway this has become a full blown ramble so I’ll stop here… Next time I’ll talk about all the fun shit that you learn about in antenatal classes like bloody shows, diarrhoea and baby’s first poo (which is basically like tar). So if you don’t want to read about that then here’s your trigger warning well in advance ūüėÄ

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one small step for pikelet, one giant leap for pancake.

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Warning: don’t read if you don’t want to hear about sore boobs, nausea and¬†urine.

So. We found out that I was pregnant on the 6 June last¬†year. I was none the wiser, but Johny commented that I had been constantly¬†complaining about sore boobs for weeks and suggested I should take a pregnancy test. I was all like no way, I barely get my period anyway so I can’t be pregnant, it’ll just be one of those things. A few hours later, I was sitting on the toilet peeing on a stick (actually it was into a container then syringed onto the stick, which is kinda gross). I impatiently waited for the result to come up as negative.

No such luck! Pregnant. Positive. Boom. I went into a weird, shocked kinda state and started shaking. Nope. Can’t be. Don’t believe it. So off we went down the road to buy another test. Not long after… Yup. Still positive. HOLY SHIT WHAT HAVE WE DONE!!! Johny was smiling from ear to ear while I went from smiling to getting teary-eyed to WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!!! Holy shitballs we made a baby. This can’t be real. And I still didn’t believe it until I went to the doctors to get the blood tests and all that, and surely enough yep, still pregnant. I was about 6 weeks pregnant by this stage, and started to feel REALLY guilty when I realised I’d had a big night out at about 3/4 weeks. To make things worse, I’d had a car crash at the very beginning of the pregnancy when I had no idea, so I thought for sure this little baby/embryo thing¬†wouldn’t make it.

I was in my state of shock for most of the first half of the pregnancy if I’m honest. I was in denial, almost didn’t want to be excited because I was so nervous and just had no idea what I was in for. I literally didn’t know a fucking THING about pregnancy, let alone babies or being a parent! So Google has been my best friend (and worst enemy, thank you leaking nipples). Honestly looking back I would say I was actually a bit resentful about the whole thing. I felt guilty because I thought I should be feeling all these lovely, excited, hormonal, motherly feelings but I just didn’t. I felt scared, nervous, anxious, sad, and pretty damn unhappy with the way my body was changing and the way I felt. I had morning sickness on and off (not major but a lot of nausea) as well as feeling dizzy and just generally tired and hungry all the time. My body was like what the fuuuuuck is going on here mate, I want to sleep at breakfast time (literally fell asleep while eating breakfast one morning), oh nah just kidding I want to cry about cute animals on TV, oh look there’s a tub of ice cream, why don’t you just eat the whole thing?!

I’m kinda disappointed that I didn’t get any whacky cravings like dirt or chalk. I just wanted copious amounts of ice cream, seafood, potato chips, fruit, and whatever else popped into my mind at the time. Poor Johny was doing ice cream runs at stupid o’clock just to avoid me being hangry (fair call coz that is NOT a pleasant sight) and also putting up with me crying at the drop of a hat or spending all day in bed because… Just because.

I will admit it now, I am fuckin lucky to have Johny. I have no idea how the hell I would have made it to this point without him. So many people talk about their partners going out on the piss all the time and leaving them at home alone, or just generally being a compassionless¬†fuckwit and not helping out with anything. Johny dived into the whole ‘support person’ role pretty quickly, and although I know he would probably love to have some time away from me, he has been super understanding of my anxious self who can’t stand being alone at night time. Don’t get me wrong, he still goes out when he has something on, or drinks when we go to family events or whatever, but he’s been pretty damn amazing when it comes to being supportive and loving no matter what emotional rollercoaster I happen to be on.

There are so many things that people don’t tell you about being pregnant. Unfortunately I have probably forgotten some of the initial things I found out by now, because pregnancy brain is a real thing. They don’t tell you that you have to find a midwife online (what the fuck?) but I got lucky in that department and called a couple of different ones then decided on mine because she sounded so lovely and warm even over the phone. They also don’t tell you that your boobs FUCKING HURT and especially your nipples, they’re a no-go zone for basically the entire pregnancy. Oh and how about the fact that if you’re a relatively small person, you just look like you have a weird tummy pouch until you’re like 20 weeks pregnant, and probably for even longer than that. I didn’t have a proper bump until about 28 weeks, but I had expected people to kinda be able to tell that I was pregnant without the awkward “is it a baby or is it a big mac?” vibe.

I’m totally not helping those of you who haven’t had a baby yet. There is so much more I could add to the list but honestly, I’d be here all day writing it. People say that pregnancy is so beautiful and magical and wonderful and I’m over here like… Fucking bullshit, the only magical thing is the fact that we literally made another human being but apart from that, pregnancy is fuckin gross and uncomfortable and downright not pretty. This is just my experience and opinion on it though, so I’m fully stoked for you if you had a wonderful, beautiful, magical experience with pregnancy but come on guys, really?

Oh, you’ve probably guessed by now but I have a serious potty mouth. Sorry not sorry ūüôā

 

Note: Johny wants everyone to know that he came up with the title for this post, because he thinks he’s a fucking genius.

self love.

an amazing blog post i found:

https://themighty.com/2016/09/self-care-how-to-take-care-of-yourself-when-you-have-depression/

a crazy little thing called love.

thumb_img_6207_1024So I sit here reading through my old blog posts and I’m thinking what the actual fuck was I going on about, so I’ve deleted them. My past is important but it’s not the be-all and end-all of my story. I decided to give my blog a revamp and get some honest, raw posts going to help get it all off my chest and hopefully to make other people realise that they’re not¬†crazy (or maybe we are but it’s totally normal).

I’m almost 25 weeks pregnant with my (our) first baby. To give you a bit of background, my partner Johny and I got together a couple of years ago after becoming close friends, but¬†we have had some super rough patches in between.

We went through some serious shit to get where we are today, and we have now been back together since¬†the beginning of the year and are better than ever. It took a while¬†to sort our shit out, to get back on track, and to get to a point where we couldn’t actually fathom living without each other. I am more than happy that we made the decision to make it work, and a fateful last-minute reunion early this year¬†brought us back together.¬†We realised that we had both made the mistake of trying to let the other go, and moving on just wasn’t working for either of us.

I can confidently say now that we are solid as a rock, and we understand each other more and more as time passes by. We still face challenges since getting back together, but as each challenge comes we manage to get through it better than the last. One huge thing has been finding out that we are going to be parents, and honestly it could not be a happier time in both of our lives. I think back to this time last year and we were so rocky, and don’t get me wrong we still have our moments, but at the end of the day we both know we’d much rather fall asleep content that the other feels¬†happy and loved. Another huge thing has been a combination of anxiety and depression between the both of us, and although not a lot of people know it, we have both struggled over the past couple of years.

We are going to be parents!! As in, someone’s Mum and Dad!! Someone’s whole life and heart and soul (and she will be ours). I cannot wait to meet her. Pregnancy has been the biggest rollercoaster but honestly I know it will be worth it once Pikelet arrives. (Side note: yes, Pikelet is her nickname – for some reason Johny calls me Pancake and so baby became known as Pikelet).

I feel sorry for Johny¬†knowing that he feels helpless while I throw up, or get dizzy and nauseous, or cry because the bacon stuck to the bottom of the fucking pan or because I can’t fit into my favourite dress. He doesn’t know how to make it better (because he can’t) but he helps all the same with a hug and all the reassurances in the world. I know that he will still find me beautiful when I’m¬†in labour, huge and sweaty and horrible and an emotional wreck. He will still manage to tell me I’m doing great and that I look pretty even when I¬†have given birth and could not give two fucks about¬†my hair or the fact that I have a saggy weird looking belly and boobs.¬†I already know that he is going to be the most loving, caring, beautiful father to our daughter and I know that my heart will ache and the tears will flow when I finally get to see them together. It will make all the gross, difficult, teary, emotional moments worth it. More than worth it. In fact I will probably say I would do it all again just for her (but I totally wouldn’t because fuck that – just kidding).

Life changes so quickly, and it is so different to where we were at a year ago. I am so, so grateful that everything is working out for us. We have a healthy little baby kicking around inside my tummy, we have a roof over our head, and we have love in our hearts and souls. I can’t wait to meet you, little Pikelet. You are already the best thing that’s ever happened to me, alongside your Dad who helped make¬†you a reality.

I can’t believe how soppy I just got… Trust me, it doesn’t happen often. But I think the prospect of growing a mini human that will call us Mummy and Daddy has softened me up a hell of a lot.

So this is just one part of my story, and I guess I will have to fill in the gaps from earlier in pregnancy since we partly kept it a secret until the 12 week scan.

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