Parenthood, Friendships and Socialising

It’s funny. When you’re pregnant and then when you become a mother, you discover who your friends really are.

There’s that saying, “good friends are those who you don’t see regularly but when you do see them you can pick up and carry on as if no time has been spent apart”

The moment you tell people you are pregnant, there’s a hubbub of congratulations and excitement. Then people seem to think you’re fragile and things change.

Beforehand you’d get invited to nights out. Weekends away. Dinners in semi-fancy restaurants.

Then it stops.

It’s as if being pregnant means you’re no longer allowed to do such things.

Instead whilst your friends go out and have fun, not inviting you (mainly because they assume you won’t want to go, they assume you’re feeling sick or tired) you troll Internet pregnancy and parenting boards looking for people in the same situation as you so that you can bond.

So for almost 9 months, you slowly begin to lose touch with those friends.
You see Facebook statuses, tweets, photos of their “adventures”. You wonder why you weren’t invited. You feel a bit upset, hormones are raging, you have a cry and then you feel angry. Then? You stop caring. At least for a little while.

Then d-day comes and you have your baby. You make your birth announcement and all of a sudden everyone comes out of the woodwork.

You get lots of congratulations and excitement, lots of messages asking when people can come and visit. People wanting to come and hold your new baby.

The same people who only weeks/months before simply stopped involving you in their social life/circles. Who only rarely sent you a message to see how you were. Who very rarely responded to your messages.

The first few weeks of having your new baby is a flurry of visitors. People invite themselves to your home for new baby cuddles. Then it tails off again. As the weeks go by, you get less visitors, less messages, less phone calls.

These same people carry on with their lives. You carry on with yours, getting to grips with a new baby.

Again, you don’t get invites to go to the pub, out for a meal. Instead you see photos from nights out, Facebook statuses, tweets.

When you jokingly say “where was my invite then?” People uhm and ahh, unsure of what to say and then finally come out with “I didn’t think you be able to because of the baby”.

You don’t get invited because people assume you are too tired/ can’t go because you have a baby now/ don’t want to go.

As if having a baby, being a mother means that you can now no longer attend social functions. As if being a mother suddenly means you are no longer an actual person. With feelings.

Well, here’s the low down, from a new mama.

It hurts.

Just because I am now someone’s mother and have the responsibility for a child, doesn’t mean I am not a person, who on occasion needs some adult conversation, interaction and occasionally a glass of wine!

Don’t stop inviting me out because you think I can’t/don’t want to go. Don’t assume. You know, your assumption may be correct. I may be too tired and not want to go. I may not have a baby sitter and so cannot go. But I’d like to be asked. To be invited, instead of feeling excluded.

Remember that. Remember to continue to treat your friend like a friend after she announces her pregnancy and has a baby. Otherwise you may find that one day she won’t be your friend anymore.
Eventually she will stop trying, will decide to stop asking herself what she did to be treated the way she was, and she will just walk away.

B12

Emma is 16 days old and I’m getting to grips with limited and interrupted sleep.

I’m getting to grips with breast feeding and being peed on and explosive projectile poo.

I’m getting the hang of this mothering business.

After having Emma, I was told I had to take Iron tablets, as well as antibiotics (2 lots!) and the many pain relief tablets, not to mention daily injections to prevent DVT and PE (for the next 6 weeks!)

It was a pretty easy labour and birth (thanks to my epidural) however I lost a litre of blood. Which is apparently quite a lot to lose. However months and months of taking prenatal vitamins meant that my iron stores were very good and despite losing a litre of blood my iron count was still 10.9 after delivery.

Even though my iron count was still pretty good, I had to take the iron tablets (standard if your level is 12 or lower it seems) and then have a follow up blood test 2 weeks after the birth.

I had my blood test yesterday morning. This morning my doctors surgery sent me a text message asking me to make an appointment as my results showed a B12 deficiency which required further injections for me.

People may complain about the NHS, but that’s pretty good going, having a blood draw yesterday and then getting the results back the very next day.

I don’t like the fact that I have to have more injections, or the fact that if my body doesn’t manage the deficiency and resolve itself then i’ll be on these injections for the foreseeable future.

My pregnancy at the start was OK, the sciatica was a bitch, the middle it got a bit more difficult, what with the increased sciatica and the itching, and by the end I could hardly walk on most days, my skin was scabby from the blood I’d drawn scratching my itches and I was ready to be a mother, ready to stop vein pregnant.

Labour? Well, they reckon that you don’t remember the pain. Ha! It’s 2 weeks on and it’s still fresh and clear in my mind. I certainly won’t be forgetting it and neither will I be in any hurry to experience it again.

The best part of my labour was the moment my epidural was cited and the pain went away. The gas and air was pretty awesome too.

By the end of it, I had this pretty awesome teeny weeny bundle of amazingness.

She’s worth every pain and medicine and cringey moment where I have to inject myself.

Still not too happy about the B12 deficiency though.

40 weeks

40 weeks today!

I’m still trying to get my head round the fact that I’m carrying a baby. It’s a very surreal experience that every so often throws me into a wobble.

A magical surreal experience, with genuine Oh My God moments.

Flump is due today, however only 5% of babies come on their due dates.
When I found out I was pregnant on July 13th 2012, the first thing I did was tell The Husband and then I went on to the Internet and calculate my due date. The internets informed me 22nd March.

On July 18th we saw our doctor, who double checked, yep, still the 22nd of March.

We waited (impatiently) for our first ultrasound scan on September 16th and again was confirmed as an expected due date of 22nd March.

From the moment I saw/heard the 22nd March I automatically knew I wouldn’t be on time and instead instinct told me I’d go 2 days overdue. Flump would arrive on March 24th, which is my own birthday.
Just like instinct is telling me that Flump is a boy.

It seems we only have a few more days to find out!

Today was potentially my last midwife appointment. It was rough and brutal.
After all the checks were done, I had an internal examination, cheerfully known as a “stretch and sweep”. Does what it says on the tin people. Stretches and sweeps your cervix to get those hormones that trigger your labour to flow freely.

The midwife was surprised, as most first time mums aren’t quite ready on their due dates. They have firm and unyielding cervixes.

Mine? Well it’s soft and thin and stretching quite nicely. Hell, you could buy it dinner and drinks and it would probably let you take it home on the first date!
Its basically doing what it should, 1cm down and only 9cm to go.

The midwife also managed to get a feel of Flumps head. She double checked babies heart rate afterwards, and it was a bit higher, poor little bugger was probably freaked out that someone had touched his head! Flump hates been palpated during appointments so god forbid his reaction with someone physically touching his head. Surprised I didn’t get a few broken ribs.

My next appointment is the 28th, however midwife doesn’t think ill be attending that appointment, so we should have an actual baby soon!!

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Baby on Board – A Royal Waste of a Badge

Several times a day I open my Sky News app to see what’s new in the world.

This evening Sky News had a story on Kate Middleton being given a “Baby on Board” badge.

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Really Sky News? Really?! That is NOT news.

Lots of pregnant women are given “Baby on Board” badges. Hell, even train companies have them. I have 2!

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Paul Harrison, Royal Correspondent says “The Duchess of Cambridge has been presented with her own “Baby on Board” badge which allows pregnant passengers access to priority seating on the Tube.”

Clearly Mr Paul Harrison has never truly witnessed what these badges get you when travelling on public transport. Which is absolutely nothing.

These badges DO NOT allow pregnant passengers access to priority seating on the tube. They should do, but they don’t. People look at you, with your pregnant belly, they look at your “Baby on Board” badge and then they IGNORE you. It is actually very rare that someone gives up their seat for a pregnant woman.

A friend of mine is pregnant, she also has SPD and has to use crutches to help her walk. Yet despite being clearly pregnant AND on crutches, she was often ignored, or pushed past by others scrambling for seats and once she was even shouted at by a man because she was sat in “his” seat and he demanded she move. She was so upset, distressed and scared that she moved so he could sit down. No one offered her a seat, no one stood up for her.

I’ve written about this several times. I had to start my maternity leave early because I couldn’t cope with the commute. The number of times I’ve been ignored on a packed train despite my 2 “Baby on Board” badges is unreal.

I am so glad that I don’t have to commute anymore. I have 2 days left until Flump is due (ha ha ha) and my Baby on Board badge has been retired.

Final Countdown

We are in the last week (or maybe not) of this pregnancy.

Anytime from now until the next 3 weeks (maximum) will see me having a baby.

From the moment I discovered I was pregnant and I calculated my due date, and then the GP confirmed it, then the Midwife confirmed it and then the scans confirmed it, I KNEW that I’d have a birthday baby.

Flump is due on March 22nd. I was born on March 24th.

I may still be wrong of course.

Either way, I’m ready to not be pregnant anymore.

All we need now is a cot mattress, which we tried to buy yesterday but Mothercare refused to accept our monies.

Lets hope kiddo is 2 days late, so at least we have time to get the mattress so Flump has somewhere to sleep!

38 minus 7

I took a bump photo today. The plan with all of the bump photos, scan photos, photos of us prepping for Flump will eventually be made into a book, along with a few of the posts I’ve written here whilst pregnant.

I think it’s a lovely idea of something Flump can look at as he/she grows older and will be a great keepsake along with the baby book that The Husband and I are putting together.

After I took my 38 week bump photo, I compared it to one 7 weeks ago when I was 31 weeks. It’s scary that I look ever so slightly smaller this week than I did 7 weeks ago!

Granted I’ve lost a bit more weight since, a grand total of about 17lbs has been lost since I became pregnant. Seriously, had I know I’d have lost weight whilst pregnant, I’d have done it years ago!!

A few of my pregnant buddies have said that I look as though baby has dropped slightly. Dr Google and his Cronies said that towards the end you start to lose a bit of amniotic fluid and your baby bump does appear smaller.

Who knows what it is, but all sources point to, baby will soon be here!

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Privacy

It was reported yesterday that HM the Queen was having to bow out of a function today in Swansea because she was suffering a bout of Gastroenteritis.
Couldn’t her PR basically just say “HM is unwell and as such is unable to attend”?

The poor woman is 86 and now the whole world knows she’s been vomiting and basically gracing ones private throne several times a day.

Why does the world have to know exactly what she’s unwell with?

I know she’s The Queen and as such everyone wants to know the ins and outs of her life, but holy hell, a bit of privacy should be given when ones got the shits, surely?!

Not a few months ago poor Kate Middleton was hospitalised with HG, a very unpleasant pregnancy related illness. The media camped outside her hospital, with some going as far as to impersonate HM the Queen and Prince Charles to try and speak to her.

The world loves (or hates) the British Royal Family and it seems the media is all too happy to report on absolutely every bloody thing they do, even shit, or so it seems. Just like the world loves a bit of celeb gossip and the media has to report on every single little thing.

I guess it’s a downfall to being famous, having no privacy.

Funnily enough it seems the same is said of pregnant women, although not quite in the same way I suppose. It’s definitely a much smaller scale.

People seem to think they can ask pregnant women practically anything, regardless of how private it may be.

Such as;

Did you conceive naturally?
You don’t *LOOK* pregnant, are you sure you are?
How’s your discharge been?
You’re not old enough to have kids!
You’re too old in my opinion to have kids!
When are you due, because you’re huge, do you want me to break your waters for you?
How much weight have you gained?
Do you pee a lot?
Are you still having sex?
How much weight have you put on?
Are you being sterilised after this one?
Are you still with the dad?
Was it planned?
Have you considered all of your options?
Are you keeping it?
Do you plan to delivery vaginally?

The list goes on!

To note, these are a series of examples from pregnant ladies across the UK, all from complete strangers, not to mention the odd one from the in-laws.

It seems that the moment you tell people you are pregnant, it becomes the norm to be asked inappropriate questions. Don’t even get me started on the Belly Touchers. Ugh!

So you go through almost 8 months of inappropriate questions and then you lose your dignity when D-day comes.

Pregnancy, it’s all glamour!!

Impatient

With only 4 weeks to go (maybe less, maybe more) I’m finding myself very impatient. Not only am I achey and sore and so full of hormones that I could probably siphon off and donate some, but I’m also starting to experience that Pre-labour stage.

Lots of cramping and full aches that feel like Aunt Flo is on her way to visit. Constant bathroom trips, plus other delightful signs.

Not to mention that Flump is so low down into my pelvis, I’m pretty sure I could probably rub his/her head if I so wished to try (don’t worry, I won’t!)

Right towards the beginning of my pregnancy I wrote this post and it got me thinking about all the things I’m impatient for.

I’m impatient to see Flump and not be pregnant anymore.

I’m impatient for cuddles and kisses and to experience the first emotions that you get when you give birth.

I’m impatient to see what my baby looks like and sounds like.

I’m impatient for Sunday mornings, with the Husband, snuggled in bed with Flump.

I’m impatient to see that first smile, and I don’t even care if its wind.

I’m impatient to see the Husbands first moment with Flump, to see Flump snuggled up with his/her daddy.

I’m just impatient.

Seeing Flumps face at yesterday’s growth scan and the fact that Flump has chubby cheeks has made my impatience grow by 100%.

I can’t wait for that first skin to skin moment, that first cuddle, first kiss, the first time my baby looks at me and wonders “what the hell just happened”.

I can’t wait for the first time I see the Husband and Flump together, two of my most cherished people snuggled up.

I can’t wait to see Flump snuggled against daddy in our bed.

I just can’t wait.

So please don’t keep me waiting too long Flump, I’m impatient to meet you.

Breast feeding : strictly over 18s only!!

On Tuesday we went to our antenatal class, run by our midwives. The talk turned to breast feeding your new baby and she told us about this lovely video on YouTube where a newborn baby, about an hour old shuffles over to its mothers breast to feed. On its own. (Minimal help from mama)

Her point was that new babies aren’t as helpless as people believe. Put them on your chest and within 35 – 60 minutes they will have located your boob and start to try to get to it so they can feed.

The video is sweet and around the 3 minute mark I did laugh, little grunty sounds from babies are cute!!

So I sent it to a pregnant friend of mine using WhatsApp. She is due about 10 days before I am. Quite pleased with myself for sharing, I was a bit stunned when she responded with “what dodgy video have you sent me to watch?! Lol”

Dodgy?!

I quickly typed back “it’s a Breast feeding video my MW told me about!”

It turns out that YouTube gives you this warning when you try to view the video on a mobile device.

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Say what YouTube?!? Are you for real?!

(Spoilers)

It’s a one hour old baby and a nipple. Baby moves to nipple and begins to latch on and feed! Why do you have to be over 18 to watch it?!

Breast feeding is natural. It is not sexual, it is not some kind of pornography. It’s a mother feeding her baby!

Whilst I appreciate not everyone is on the Breast feeding “bandwagon”, I actively searched for this link to watch it, so I know roughly what to expect. I didn’t expect to be told I had to confirm I was over 18!

(I did get this notice, but I just clicked passed it without paying any attention to it…..oops!)

YouTube, it’s not like I searched “skinny man banging a big boobied lady”, that I could understand carrying an Over 18 warning label. Besides, doesn’t your T&Cs prohibit videos of a sexual nature?! So I’d not expect to find sexually explicit videos on your site. (Not that I’m looking mind you!)

To those who flagged this as “inappropriate” – SHAME ON YOU!

But a Breast feeding baby? Come on now!!

Here’s the video