Author: kezunprepared

27 weeks pregnant.

Sometimes I feel like I’m just one big bummer, posting these updates to depress everyone with. I have made no secret of the fact that I kind of totally suck at pregnancy. I fully acknowledge that things could be much much worse and I am so grateful that the baby is OK at this point, but it hasn’t been easy. I just hope that by recording how it really is in my own personal experience, that maybe I will make someone else feel less alone about it all if they are having an experience that is in any way similar to mine. I also don’t want to give the wrong impression. I want to keep it real. I want to look back on this time and realise that I was a super-motherfuckin’-hero. Getting through each of my pregnancies (and even the hard work it took to achieve this one) makes me realise I can get through just about anything. Well, in a privileged, able bodied person kind of way, anyhow.

My 27th week of pregnancy was pretty intense again. The weather was warm and I was suffering. It turns out that I have no ability to survive any level of humidity whatsoever. I was freaked out after a visit to my parents’ house, when I stood for literally 5 minutes in the sun while we said goodbye and got into the (probably a bit hot too) car. Because that was all it took for me to become unbearably, panic-stricken itchy. We got home and I had to literally sprint for a cold shower just to calm down. Holy shit!

The next morning I was meeting my bestie, Alice, for brunch. I was really nervous. Like sick to my stomach nervous. I was scared I’d freak out in public if the weather got to me again. Luckily for me, there was a stiff breeze in town (the day before had been so still that you could cut the humidity with a knife) and we had a lovely time. This really helped me to regain my confidence. Maybe I could still have a life? Kind of?

This week I felt really glad when my mum started to talk about supporting me with some of the Little Mister’s school runs. I have found them really challenging. It’s hard to get out of the house on time when you have so little sleep, plus a demanding rash treatment regimen. Not to mention a kid who takes ages to eat his cereal (although honestly he is just so good generally). I imagine in an ideal world, I would get up earlier and be all ready for the day, but sadly if I did that, I would probably pass out by 10am and that’s not really an option. Then in the afternoons, I have to get in my car in the heat of the day and wait at the school in the queue. I’ve tried to time it so I don’t have to wait long (and even then I have my car’s air con blasting), but it is the end of the day when I struggle to not itch in general. Having my mum offer to help with some drop offs and pick ups here and there made me feel so relieved. We are so close to the end of term and I am so excited about the holidays starting!

This week I had an appointment with my doctor…who had to run out of the building for an emergency at my exact appointment time. Like I literally watched him go. Oops. I saw a midwife, though, and she measured my belly (everything right on track even though I look huge), I heard the baby’s heartbeat and she arranged for me to get a prescription for a steroid cream instead of the ointment I was using, which was leaving me feeling greasy (everyone loves feeling greasy when it’s humid right?). I was really relieved to try something that might help me get ready quicker each day. Having to wait for ointment to soak in (which it never really does) was so difficult when I was always on the run in the mornings, or wanting to collapse into bed at night. This alone gave me hope that I might be able to improve my situation in a small way. It was really exciting to see that my doctor had prescribed me a generous amount – less chasing up at the pharmacy constantly. YES.

My PUPPP rash was really eating my arms and legs this week. It was trying to fill in every single gap that hadn’t already been ravaged since my 19th week of pregnancy. It was quite intense and hellish, to be really honest.

After being diagnosed with gestational diabetes in week 26, I went to a group meeting with the diabetes educator on Friday. We were given our glucometers (to measure our blood sugar levels), some general information and an appointment for week 28 with the nutritionist/dietician. I was really bummed to be going down this road again. While living healthier is always a good thing, diabetes or not, being so limited and worrying that you might not be able to control it on your own (without insulin and the requirement of having to have your baby in a different hospital away from home), sucks. We were instructed to fill out a food diary for four days and then report back our results. I walked out of there feeling a bit confident and cocky if I’m totally honest. I’d been through this before (in 2011) and aced everything. I’d controlled my condition entirely by diet choices and my baby had been a very normal size. I probably shouldn’t have been so sure about it this time around, but that’s a story for my next blog post!

 

26 weeks pregnant.

Let’s get the obligatory rash update out of the way, shall we? At the beginning of my 26th week of pregnancy, I felt pretty good. The rash was still there of course, but it was getting to a point where I could use less ointment & that was nice. Not being as greasy/itchy was a wonderful feeling! Of course, that was not to last! I then ended the week with some of the worst rash days/nights I’d had. Itchy all over, little welts everywhere. I don’t know if it was the hot/humid weather or what, but it was intense. I was learning that mid week is my worst time, generally. That’s when my therapeutic baths have become impossible, due to my routine with school runs and having the Little Mister etc. It’s the furthest point from any weekend where I can take it a little easier in the mornings or get a little more help from Mr Unprepared to rest/bathe etc. I recognise that I probably need a strategy for dealing with this time. I have no idea what to do yet, but I’ll figure it out before this baby arrives, I hope haha.

Some good stuff happened this week. After a bit of a dry spell, socially, I was able to get out and see some girlfriends. I was off to an evening screening of Bad Moms 2. It was awesome. It took a fair while to get ready – I had to bathe in Pinetarsol (pine tar bath oil), then apply steroid cream, then get dressed when it was dry. But it was worth it. I felt like a human. I even felt pretty in my stock standard Target maternity dress, with a nice kimono. You have no idea how long it had been since I had felt pretty. It was so great to wear clothing that was NORMAL. Not weird muu muu situations I’d had to survive in during the heat of the day. I think that evening outings could be a very nice bit of relief for me in coming weeks, provided I have the energy. Of course, it was wonderful to see my friends and feel like a part of society. The movie was funny as predicted, also! I was even home before my usual bed time. Big wins all around.

This week my mum came back to WA after being away for a few weeks. It was so great. We’d spent a lot of time on the phone, but having her home was just the biggest relief. My mum even brought a gift, from her and Dad, back with her. A stunning dress for an upcoming party that she’d searched high and low for. Something that covers the marks my rash has given me. I tried it on and it was perfect. It was the icing on the cake. It means a lot to me. Having that extra little bit of physical support has been immensely helpful too. I am so grateful.

This week I had to have my glucose tolerance test (GTT) to determine whether I have gestational diabetes or not. I had prepared myself mentally and physically in the weeks leading up, by improving my eating habits. I wasn’t perfect (why should I be – I hadn’t been diagnosed with anything yet) but I was much more in line with the good habits a gestational diabetic person should be undertaking. I wanted any adjustments to my diet to not be a horrible shock like they were the first time I was pregnant (with the Little Mister)if I was diagnosed. I wanted to also help myself towards having a successful test (i.e. a negative result). Of course, the night before I had 2-3 hours sleep and I had been stressed too. Not a great start. Also, I felt like having to drink the whole bottle of glucose solution seemed unfair as I am possibly much smaller than a lot of people who have to undertake the test. So of course, I was a bit upset when I received the call that I have gestational diabetes for a second time. AGAIN, on the borderline. That fucking borderline, I tell you!!! It just feels unlucky! I cried on the phone for a minute – the midwife who had to break the bad news to me was so lovely. But then I just had to suck it up. I would have to wait until I spoke to the diabetes educator lady the next week. She told me that until I had that meeting and commenced testing my blood sugar daily, that I should just live my life as usual.

In all honesty, the diagnosis felt like nothing compared to the rash I’ve had. Changing my diet has nothing on feeling uncomfortable and unbearably itchy. I’m going to hate being bossed around (even if it’s done nicely) and I’m going to resent the strict testing (not to mention having to prick my fingers like 4 times a day), but still – if I had a choice, I’d take diabetes OVER the rash any day. If only I had the choice!!! It is pretty mind-blowing that this pregnancy is so much like my first.

This week, the Little Mister turned 6. It was really important to me that we celebrated it as a little family. It was the last time we would do that as a family of three. I was so proud of my little guy for growing up so much. Mr Unprepared and I were parent helpers in his classroom for the morning and in the afternoon it was gifts, tacos and cake. He was so grateful for everything and I knew when I tucked him into bed that he had thoroughly enjoyed his day. Not too long ago, the thought of my son turning 6 before he had a sibling devastated me, but today it makes me so happy. He’s going to be an amazing big brother and I can see the advantages of having a slightly larger age gap than anticipated. This was how it was meant to happen. That doesn’t mean the struggles haven’t been worse than anything I’ve gone through, but I am grateful that I can see the positives and that our dreams will be realised, even if we had to adjust them a lot.

I am a better, stronger, more resilient person for it.

25 weeks pregnant.

I found this week of my pregnancy to be rather overwhelming (forgive me if every week’s update starts out like this – not that I would notice because baby brain). I may have increased my weekly quota of mental breakdowns from one to two haha. I say ‘haha’ now but I wasn’t really laughing at the time. Eek.

The good news was that the weather started to dry up. I don’t know if it was the change in weather or just a combination of things I was trying, but my PUPPP rash started to feel a tiny bit better at one point. Some of the patches on my skin actually felt drier and tighter. I would liken it to that feeling when you’re slightly sunburnt. Without the sunburn of course (please be safe in the sun everyone). For a rash sufferer like me, this actually felt amazing. I’ve decided that wet, muggy weather is not my friend.

The bad news is that my body was mad at me for making progress and the rash started to fight back even harder. That’s the thing. I often have a couple of good days, followed by an utterly shit week. My legs were being eaten alive by this and my belly was starting to be affected. I started to feel like there would be nothing left of me. I’d just be a walking rash. This really badly affected my self confidence and my body image. I was especially worried about the rash on my right arm. It looks hideous. There are sores with soft scabs (not those nice dark dry ones that look clean even if blemished), red patches, the works. I thought people would think I was some kind of contagious, flea bitten leper or something. Hiding my arms was not as easy as hiding my legs. I got really down. The negative thoughts were as relentless as my rash.

A few deep and meaningfuls with my mum and husband were much needed at this time. I may have cried in the bath a few times too. I felt well and truly mental. And I don’t say that jokingly. I was really starting to think I’d need to reach out for mental health help (and I still might at some point).

It was probably a tough week because Mr Unprepared was going to be away for the whole weekend on a big bike ride. I was trying to be a strong, supportive wife and let him have that time out with his mates, but I won’t lie – it was really difficult. I needed my wind down time and I couldn’t have it. By the time he got home, I was an emotional wreck. It kind of set the scene for the rest of the week. Because Mr Unprepared was tired and recovering from his ride and trying to play catch up at work too, it was not easy. That was a wake up call for both of us, I think. I might not be in my third trimester yet, but I am definitely quite needy haha. Instead of being embarrassed by this, I really had to learn to ask for more help.

Which, with Mr Unprepared’s help, led me to the awesome gesture by my inlaws to have the Little Mister on Friday afternoons, in that time after school but before he plays cricket. It was all proving a bit too much for me and everything was at an awkward time. Now I get to claim a couple of hours a Friday for myself. I am guaranteed a bath and a moment to just sit in the quiet. Mr Unprepared gets to have special bonding time with the Little Mister at cricket. Everybody wins.

I also made the commitment to take part in the #100happydays challenge because I want to see out the rest of my pregnancy with as much positivity as possible. This should take me to the baby arriving (and maybe beyond if I have my way haha). Even if I don’t get to finish the challenge, I think it will be good for me. While I don’t want to create a fake memory of this pregnancy or give the false illusion on social media that everything is fine when it’s not, I do want to remember the good things too. While the shit times are real, the good times are as well and I shouldn’t disregard that. I’m trying to help re-wire my brain. It might not solve everything but I do know that I never want to feel like I did this week again if I can help it. Sometimes there’s a fine line between not coping and coping. This is just one of those little things I can put in place.

At least my arm didn’t photograph too badly. It just overwhelmed me in person. My usual instinct would be to stop looking at myself in the mirror if it upsets me but that’s hard to do when you literally have to inspect your whole body for rash sites twice a day to apply ointment. I found that frustrating. 

 

Taking Stock: November 2017.

How is it November?! I’m not complaining, though. I need this year to fly by! I want to meet my baby and I want my rash to go away! Not going to lie. It’s been a bit rough. But I’m here and I’m fighting. Most of the time. I mean, occasionally I have a cry in the bath and feel like my whole world is caving in, but I have a support system second to none and I am very grateful.

It’s time for me to take stock again (as I do every couple of months). Here’s where I’m at…

Making: social plans for the next couple of weeks has made me feel a little better, mentally. I’ve sort of had a lull in my calendar – sometimes just bad timing and other times my PUPPP rash  exhausted me too much. I hope I can strike the right balance between trying to do too much and doing not enough. I need to be out in the world, keeping perspective, limiting my (literal) navel gazing time and feeling like a social creature who doesn’t totally suck at life!

Cooking: healthier dinners lately. I probably still need to cut down on carbs a little, but overall, I am striking a pretty good balance between protein and veggies, cutting out more sodium and sugar. I am trying to clean things up a bit in order to prepare myself for what I fear will be an inevitable diagnosis of gestational diabetes after I’ve had my glucose tolerance test (GTT) in another week or so (I had gestational diabetes the first time around with the Little Mister). I’m not perfect, though. I can’t quite totally quit chocolate or ice-cream. I know. I know.

Drinking: water.

Reading: In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park – it’s about a North Korean woman’s journey to freedom. I am so fascinated by those stories. Admittedly, I am reading this book super slowly. It’s kind of the thing I read when I can’t sleep but I don’t want to keep myself awake with social media or Netflix or something. I’m not saying the book is boring and puts me to sleep of course, haha. It’s just a soothing way to pass time until I’m ready to snooze! Because North Korea’s plight is so relaxing…SHUT UP, KEZ.

Wanting: what I can’t have. Normal skin. To not be itchy. But I have to accept that this is not my reality. I really have to work on that.

Looking: like a hot mess lately. But I have a nice hair cut. So I have that going for me.

Playing: Instagram stories, while lying on my bed under the air con, has become my favourite ‘time out’ thing to do.

Deciding: on where to meet a friend for brunch in a couple of weekends.

Wishing: there were more clothing options for me these days. I need soft, non irritating, flattering, non-rash revealing, maternity friendly clothing that doesn’t require difficult bra situations. Not a big ask, right? Wrong haha. WHY CAN’T I BE NORMAL?

Enjoying: The Good Place on Netflix. I have the HUGEST girl crush on Kristen Bell, by the way.

via GIPHY

Waiting: for the weekend.

Liking: quirky earrings. I want to become on of those people who collects them.

Wondering: if my rash will ever calm down enough that I can get through an entire week without a mental breakdown. That would be nice.

Loving: online shopping. If only my bank account loved it too. Biding my time until I can splurge next!

via GIPHY

Pondering: on things for too long tends to drive me crazy at the moment. I have got to think less.

Considering: putting my dog inside for a while. She’s so bloody cranky and barks at everything she hears outside of our yard. I’m constantly policing her. She’s old and gives no fucks. But I give them. I worry about her pissing the neighbours off.

Buying: broccolini a lot lately. I am obsessed. OBSESSED.

Watching: a lot of chick flicks lately. When Mr Unprepared can’t watch our favourite Netflix shows with me, it’s all I have to fall back on! 

Hoping: I can find the motivation/energy to finish the baby’s nursery before Christmas. I really want to be able to relax and enjoy the festive season, knowing it’s all done. I have a colour scheme all decided on – I just need to put it all into action.

Marvelling: at how term 4 of the school year is just about halfway done. It’s crazy how time flies. I am so excited to spend the holidays with the Little Mister.

Cringing: at the mess on my bedside table. I keep dumping stuff there. I really need to sort it out.

Needing: sanity. Anyone got some to share?

Questioning: myself. Constantly. Against my better judgement.

Smelling: like an old man who has just sat by a campfire, when I get out of the bath these days. I have to soothe myself using this stuff called Pinetarsol and it smells weird but usually works – unless I’m too stressed. The key is to not get too stressed before I soak myself. I laugh at the fact that half of the bath oil’s name is pretty much ‘arsehole’.

Wearing: a Target maxi dress. Remind me to put my bra back on before school pick up, please.

Following: some really great kids’ clothing brands on social media.

Noticing: that the inside of my left arm is starting to get itchy *eye rolls*

Knowing: that there will be a beautiful baby at the end of this rough fertility/pregnancy journey makes it worthwhile.

Thinking: about all the amazing things that are in store for my little family in 2018 is really exciting.

Admiring: people who can find the humour in anything.

Sorting: nothing out haha.

Getting: cool (and therefore less itchy) under the air con is my new favourite thing. I am scared of what our power bill will be, but honestly, it’s a small price to pay for my sanity (or some semblance of it at least).

Bookmarking: Christmas gift ideas. I’m secretly stoked that Halloween is over because now I am allowed to fully embrace the fact that Christmas is coming. I mean, I won’t decorate anything until December (I mean GEEZ – CALM DOWN) but I do love to think about it and plan stuff.

via GIPHY

Coveting: any clothing that will make me feel attractive, when I’m feeling the least attractive.

Disliking: idiots. Self explanatory haha.

Opening: up about my more difficult feelings during this pregnancy has been really hard. I’m working on it. It’s not easy being vulnerable. Even with the people who have got your back the most. Yesterday I had to actually send my husband a messenger message to tell him how I was struggling because I couldn’t make my mouth work to say the words out loud.

Giggling: a little on the phone with my mum today was really healing.

Feeling: depressed and anxious lately. It’s been rough. I think I went from the trauma of infertility, the stress of IVF, straight into pregnancy, and then that pregnancy got difficult before I could process anything. I shouldn’t be surprised, really. All I can do is take the best care of myself and let others do the same for me too. I am strong. Only way is through!

Snacking: on Top Deck chocolate is my weakness. Remind me of this when my gestational diabetes diagnosis comes in.

Helping: myself by letting others help me is the lesson of the week for me.

Hearing: my favourite music always cheers me up.

24 weeks pregnant.

I will be really damn honest here. I have taken a while to write/publish this post because I really did not have the most amazing week. There were actually some great little moments, but I did feel like my 24th week of pregnancy was overshadowed by my struggles with my PUPPP rash. I’ll just get that shit out of the way right now, shall I?

So, the weather SUCKED for it. People assume that rainy weather must be my favourite, because that usually means the weather isn’t bright, hot and sunny. Turns out this is not accurate. Because the moisture in the air makes me feel all squirmy and yuck in my skin. It also means that I have to dress weather-appropriately, which means more fabric rubbing against me all day long. I was kind of in hell. This led to me being tired, which led to me feeling like one hot mess inside my head. I was honestly struggling to think positively.

The rash was absolutely attacking my arms. It was also taking a big fight for it to calm the eff down on my feet and legs too. My skin was ANGRY. I was constantly greasy from steroid ointment or feeling uncomfortable from the humidity. It’s really annoying in the mornings when you never have enough time to apply the ointment and let it soak into your skin before you have to get dressed and get on with your day. In the evening, there’s never enough time between applying it and wanting to hop into bed without rubbing it all off on your bedding. Not to mention the amount of time it takes to carry out these vital routines is quite extensive! I was going through so much of the stuff (there’s a lot of surface area to cover) and I felt like I was stuck in some kind of hellish eternal loop of never winning the battle (even though I know that realistically you can’t win the battle because the baby is still in there).

Yeah. Not my finest hours/days.

I had a couple of pity parties, truth be told.

I think maybe it was also a difficult week because there were some changes in routine. Mr Unprepared was getting ready for a big bike ride with his buddies, which meant each evening (like literally every evening of the work week) he was home a bit late after work – he had to run lots of errands to prepare. I realised quite quickly that a) I am a fricking awesome wife and he’d better appreciate that (to be fair he did show me this), and b) those few extra minutes/hours in an evening where he could be there for adult conversation and support were really really important to me.

One cool thing that did happen was that the Little Mister got to feel the baby kick for the first time. It was quite the feat, because he tends to jiggle about and talk constantly, so getting him to quieten down and just feel my belly was a challenge! Not to mention because of all his jiggling, I think the baby was probably put to sleep a few times haha.

When he did feel her, he was quite cool with it. Like super non phased about it. Like, I kind of had to prompt him to react a little. Hilarious. You know – no big deal haha. One day a long time from now, I will remind him that he got to feel his little sister while she was still in my tummy and maybe he’ll care then!

This week, I had a hair appointment, which was actually pretty great. I got to freshen up my hair colour and cut and it made so much of a difference! Everything is sitting better (it was getting rather drab and flat) and has put a little pep in my step. I also loved that I could relax and be pampered in a public place. That sounds really weird, but sometimes when I try to ‘relax’ at home, I just get itchy because my guard is down. When I was in the salon, I felt good because I could physically chill while still having my social mask on, with stimulation happening all around me – which meant I was distracted from being itchy for a while. I feel like I should just live there until February, mmkay?

So that was my 24th week of pregnancy, in a nutshell! Hopefully the next instalment will be a little more positive? I hope so anyway x

23 weeks pregnant.

This week, I felt like my bump suddenly pushed itself out into the world – more than it already had been!

I felt the baby’s hiccups. It made me smile so much, because the Little Mister used to hiccup a LOT in utero (still does) and the thought of his little sister taking after him in that area was kind of sweet.

She also decided to tap dance on my bladder a lot. I don’t really remember the Little Mister doing this so much. I must say it’s the most uncomfortable feeling! It makes you want to pee but you know you don’t have to. It’s kind of annoying in all honesty haha.

My PUPPP rash was frustrating this week (I mean duh it always is but there are some moments that are more irritating than others). I was getting a handle on it, when it came to my torso, but then it decided that it needed to attack everywhere that was safe from my prescription ointment at the time. I was getting little bumps on my feet and legs. Some on my arms. This bothers me for vanity reasons if I must be honest. The rash scabs up – either from me scratching in my sleep or just from being irritated – and while I have hated it on my sides and backside, at least I could take comfort in the fact that nobody can see those parts of me. I worry a little that if it consumes my legs and arms, I’ll feel hideous in the summer weather.

I think I have got it kind of under control (as much as a person can with PUPPP) but I know I’ll have scars for a long time to come. It’s really hard to deal with the week long cycle of attacking each new area with ointment. It takes a whole week to control a new outbreak. So you can imagine how relentless it feels when you start treating one area, knowing it will be a week before you feel relief, and then another area starts up. That’s a whole other week to go of applying the greasy ointment and praying for the best! This will not stop until I have the baby. And that’s if I’m lucky. I read about women in my support group who have not ever completely rid themselves of it! Eep! I just have to try to stay positive and not freak out about how long I have to go.

In other news, I had a dream run with nesting this week. Was SO AWESOME. I’ve alternated between sloth-tired and too busy to be at home enough, throughout this pregnancy. Getting time in to really feel accomplished around the house has been challenging. But things seemed to settle down this week and I was really excited to fulfil an adulthood dream. Yep. I took the plunge and purchased a *wait for it* DYSON CORDLESS VACUUM. OMG. If you’re nodding along and thinking, “YAAAAASSS,” then you are one of my people. You get it. Amazing. Amazed. My carpets and floors have never been so happy. Even Mr Unprepared is stoked with how easy it is to use. And how deeply it cleans the carpets. It is freakin’ embarrassing what came out of our carpets the first time I used the Dyson. My old, haunted vacuum cleaner with the missing wheel, was not doing its job, I can tell you that much.

I was sorting washing and smashing out ‘been putting it off’ tasks like a mofo. I hope I can repeat this weekly now that I’m in some sort of routine. Just don’t tell me about how long it is(n’t) until Christmas and I won’t hyperventilate, OK?

This week I had an appointment with my midwife. She was lovely and helped go in to bat for me to get a new prescription for my rash ointment. I’d been stressing out about lack of supply. That afternoon, I was stoked to pick up an ongoing script that will most likely last for my whole pregnancy (and then some for good luck). I was so relieved. I know I will use it responsibly and I just needed to know that my doctor would think so too. I was getting anxiety never knowing if I’d run out all the time (the tubes are tiny). As you read above, this condition can be relentless. You can’t ever just ‘skip a day’ without being in a whole world of itchy hell. I feel so good knowing I won’t have to worry about that side of things anymore.

At that appointment, I also got to hear the baby’s heartbeat. She’s grown so much she can’t hide from the doppler anymore! She sounded strong and it’s always so nice to listen to her. My belly measured at 24 weeks (I was just 3 days shy of 24 weeks at my appointment) which made me happy too.

Hope you’ve had a good week – chat soon! x

Teeth.

There have been some big developments in our household recently. You see, the other night, the Little Mister lost his first tooth. It had been wobbly for quite some time and we were all in suspense about when the first visit from the tooth fairy would be. He really loved the idea of being so grown up – he’d seen some of his school friends’ gap toothed smiles and he wanted to experience it too!

He is such a good kid. His tooth came out before he fell asleep the other night and instead of jumping out of bed and yelling for us to come and celebrate his big news – the event he’d been waiting for – he did the ‘right’ thing. He put his tiny little white tooth on his bedside cabinet ever so gently and went to sleep. He waited until 7am the next morning to tell me. That shit right there absolutely melted me. I would not have minded him breaking bed time protocol the night before for such a big milestone in a five year old’s life. I really wouldn’t. But he wanted to show how grown up he was and he went to sleep. I am amazed by him. I don’t know how we got so lucky.

So last night, the tooth fairy did her magic. Mr Unprepared googled to find out what the tooth fairy does with the teeth she collects and found out that she apparently gives them to babies who still need to grow their own. I am not so sure I’m down with that explanation (if you overthink it then things get gross) but it satisfied the Little Mister so…there we have it haha. Recycled teeth! It’s almost as funny as my mum’s theory that the tooth fairy takes the teeth and makes them into dentures for old people. Still gross!

Anyway, last night I managed to intercept the tooth fairy and grab a hold of that tiny little tooth. As I held it in my hand, I couldn’t believe that I was sentimental. I thought that was just for creepy mums who keep every tooth in a jar and then hide it away somewhere. I was only just recently shocked to find out that my own mum kept the first teeth that my brother and I lost! I never pegged her as the ‘keeping weird biological remnants of your child’s early life’ type. You learn something new every day haha.

Some women have placenta, breast milk, leftover IVF embryos, hair from the first hair cut. All kinds of things. The mind boggles!

I’m not really judging (well I am a tiny bit but in a joking kind of way – you do you) – it’s just not my thing? At least I thought it wasn’t.

That tooth has been with my baby since he was a baby. It took a lot of hard work for him to grow all of those teeth. Hard work for all of us! Those teeth have taken a journey, y’know?

I told my husband, “I cannot believe I am saying this and it is so not who I thought I was, but I think I want to hold onto this a bit longer. I don’t know if I’m the keep it forever type, but I am not ready to let it go yet.”

I marvelled at how much our little guy is growing up. He’s 6 in a couple of weeks. WTF.

I also thought about how lucky I feel. How amazingly fortunate to have another baby on the way (who will inherit some busted up second hand tooth fairy teeth hahaha). How I was able to feel that beautiful bittersweet feeling that comes with feeling sentimental that your child is no longer your tiny baby with the new baby smell, but gosh you’re so god damn proud of them for growing up and excited for what life may bring them. There’s something so pure about that feeling.

See, before I got pregnant with his little sister-to-be, every milestone he encountered was more bitter than sweet for me. I was so so happy for him, loving and celebrating him through every new development, but privately I also felt a deep sadness as I was afraid I would never be able to give him a sibling. That we would never get to go through that again. When he had his first year day of school, I was a mess. I saw the potential age gap getting wider and wider. As he grew older and more amazing as a little person, I cried for the potential littler person who was not to be yet.

I told Mr Unprepared that as I held that tiny tooth, I was overcome with gratitude that I would get to experience this with our little girl one day. That instead of being consumed with overwhelming emotions that come with secondary infertility, everything felt right. I felt so (sorry I’m going to say it without a hint of irony) blessed to be able to sit there smiling to myself instead of bawling my eyes out. I am finding pure joy again and it’s amazing.

I love my little family and my little man is doing so well. Let’s just hope he takes after his dad in the tooth department and not me – I had too many adult chompers for my little mouth and I spent a lot of time at the orthodontist’s growing up!

No matter how much my family grows (and believe me I think we’re stopping after this haha), he’ll always be my first – the kid who made me a mum. I love him so.

22 weeks pregnant.

This week started off in quite an emotionally draining way. While I usually revel in the school holidays (getting to lie in bed for longer and no school runs or lunch boxes to prep), by the second week, I was looking forward to school going back. I needed a routine and I needed time to myself to tick a lot of things off an ever increasing to do list. I’d truly enjoyed the Little Mister’s company but I was starting to get a bit stressed.

Hold up…rash update coming! 😜

I spent the first half of the week having to talk myself down from freaking out about my PUPPP rash (yep – that old chestnut). Exhausting. I felt like I was fighting for my mental health. I was winning but the fight took a lot out of me. I had been stressed to be slightly under-prescribed the ointment I needed and there’s a little story about me not being too happy with the local pharmacy too but we won’t get into that. Little inconveniences like that can really set me back – the anxiety is not far from the surface, when it comes to my condition. When managed well it can almost seem like a non issue, but when there’s a fear of not having enough medication or being able to keep things under control, my nerves can feel shot to shit. Care-givers, please be aware.

One night, I let myself have a good cry and whinge about it for 15 minutes before bed. I was worried I was losing the plot after fighting so hard to not give in to my self pity, but it turned out to be a good stress release. I actually felt better after. I figure I probably need to let myself have a short pity party once a week, just to let it all out. Can’t bottle it up!

Luckily, the second half of the week wasn’t too bad. The steroid ointment was starting to work on the sides of my body (I’ve figured out that there must be about a week’s lead time in applying it twice a day before significant improvements happen) and I had figured out that good sleep comes from wearing very little to bed (a little easier during the school term because the Little Mister is less likely to disturb me in the mornings as I get up before him). Sadly, this rash is aggressive and not curable while this baby is inside me, so it is now trying to attack my legs and feet – not a very attractive look when a girl just wants to wear a shorter skirt/dress. I am getting onto it as fast as I can with treatment and I am hoping that the roughly week long lead in required with the ointment will kick in sooner rather than later.

This week I got myself prepared to clean up my diet and exercise more. I am well aware that in a month or so I have my glucose tolerance test to determine whether I have gestational diabetes for a second time around or not. While I may not be able to sway my results (if it’s in your genes it’s in your genes), I am hoping I can improve my health and therefore my test readings. Even if I am cursed with it for a second time, I want good habits to already be a part of my lifestyle when that diagnosis arrives. Makes the transition to diabetes friendly living easier, both mentally and physically. I want it to be on my terms. The stubborn rebel in me hated being treated like a child and told what to do last time. I want to pretend this was all my idea anyway haha. Never any harm in having healthy habits.

I did some research (I was a bit rusty after being 6 years gestational diabetes free) and I made a plan. I bought all of the foods that would keep me snacking healthily. While I haven’t been a perfect angel (why should I – no diagnosis yet!) I have significantly changed my habits for the better which I am very pleased with myself about. I was giving into a few too many sugary/carb loaded cravings beforehand – oops! The improved diet isn’t actually that different to what I was doing as part of my Kez Gets Physical efforts before I was pregnant so I am not finding it as hard as last time.

I enjoyed a little retail therapy this week. I was worried about finding clothes that were rash, maternity and summer weather friendly all in one. The weather has finally started to heat up around here (well it has its ups and downs but mostly I think spring has arrived). I was thrilled when I headed into Target and found some fantastic, light weight, flowy maxi dresses that fit me! The same design comes in like 4 different gorgeous prints so I bought 3 of them – yay! Big confidence boost to know that I will have something nice to wear every day. I might even go back and buy a second one of each if they haven’t sold out (I predict they will – fast). The great thing is that they are not maternity dresses so I can wear them after I’ve had the baby in the heat of summer too! YES! This successful shopping session got me thinking about maybe putting together a blog post about affordable maternity style hacks for those of us who can’t afford the inflated prices of maternity wear in the popular boutiques, or who do not live near the big name specialty maternity retailers (as much as internet shopping is THE BOMB sometimes it can be good to be able to try something on first or we might need something in a hurry). We’ll see. I won’t make any promises but the idea is brewing away!

The Little Mister informed me that we should name the baby Butterfly when she’s born. Because butterflies are beautiful and nobody else will think to name their baby Butterfly. I don’t know if I’d be sold on that one, but I thought his sentiment was very lovely. Maybe we can nickname the bump Butterfly (if for no other reason than to ditch Mr Unprepared’s very annoying nickname for it which I will not even dignify with a mention here)!

Here I am at 22 weeks…

Fellow mamas, don’t ignore your mental health…

I just realised that it’s world mental health day today. Which feels timely for me because I’ve been thinking a lot about my mental health lately. See, being pregnant has not come easy to me this time around (you may have read all about the emotional roller coaster I experienced with secondary infertility and IVF which was thankfully successful). And pregnancy itself is sadly not all unicorns and rainbows for me either. I experience a severe and at times distressing rash known as PUPPP and last time I was pregnant, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes – something I am trying to mentally prepare myself for this time around. I also can become more anxious than usual, because that’s what hormones do to me.

Being pregnant for a second time around has really made me reflect on how things went last time (all the way back in 2011), compared to how I hope things will go this time.

A couple of times throughout pregnancy, most Aussie women will do a short quiz to help with the detection of depression/anxiety symptoms. Last time I was pregnant, I made a big mistake. I lied.

I was feeling stress in my relationship, I was suffering awfully from living with my rash and the gestational diabetes diagnosis just felt like the icing on the cake. I was depressed. I was feeling a horrible horrible guilt for some of the dark thoughts I had. One of those thoughts was wishing everything would just go away – pregnancy included. Of course I did not mean that one bit. I loved the Little Mister before we even conceived him and I knew I loved him while he was inside me – not every single moment was awful. I knew I would love him when he arrived earth side. I just felt so distressed and down that my mind said mean things to me sometimes.

I was desperate and crying a lot.

But when I walked into my appointment with the midwife, I lied. Because I didn’t want to deal with it. I felt overwhelmed at the idea of having to talk to someone about what I was feeling. I already felt like I was busy enough growing a human and trying to survive the day by day. I knew what they were looking for in that quiz so I manipulated my answers just enough that I wouldn’t be confronted with offers of further support.

When the midwife told me that I was showing some signs of depression, I lied and told her that it was just the rash getting me down – everything else was fine. She had to take my word for it. I was an idiot.

If I had accessed support groups or counselling or even medication, I might have fared a bit better for the rest of my pregnancy and what was to follow.

While being a new mum, having a slightly traumatic birth, feeling a bit like you have no idea what you’re doing, you’re so tired and the hormones are wreaking havoc is part and package of being thrust into new parenthood, I now know that the almost crippling anxiety I suffered from after the Little Mister was born, was beyond ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’ – for me. I felt that my husband didn’t know how to support me emotionally either (in fact even he will admit he was terribly unhelpful in that area), which made it worse.

So this time I will be honest. I have already had some pretty tough moments. It’s really hard work staying chipper and positive all the time. I’m constantly having to talk my anxious side down. It’s a hard fight and it can be exhausting trying to keep yourself strong. When I take that quiz again, I will be brutally honest with myself and with my caregivers. That is my promise to myself. I will also reach out if I am struggling after the Little Miss is born. I will do what it takes to be a healthy mum to my kids –  it’s what they deserve. I won’t pretend I’m fine if I’m not. I will not make excuses about why my mental health needs to come last. I will not let my fears of what other people may think influence my choices as a parent. Even if that means having to make myself vulnerable and put my hand up and say, “LITTLE HELP OVER HERE, PLEASE.”

I want to enjoy these special moments and while I was lucky to share such a strong bond with the Little Mister from the beginning, which helped enormously in getting me through, I know I did cheat myself out of having the peace of mind that comes with looking after your mental health for almost the whole first year of his life. I agonised over so many little decisions as if they were all life or death (they weren’t) and I isolated myself more than I’d like to admit. You can imagine how exhausting that was day in and day out.

So my message to all my pregnant or ‘new mum’ friends out there is to be honest. Speak out. Don’t try to be perfect, like Mrs Snootybitch over there on Instagram. Don’t be afraid to let someone know when it’s all too much. I know there’s a lot of judgement and stigma out there, but we can only beat it if we keep trying. Keep looking for your tribe – I promise we’re out there. Use resources such as beyond blue. Speak to your community nurse at your baby’s check ups. Your midwife. Your doctor. Tell your partner when they’re being really fucking unhelpful (you might not want to use those exact words ha ha but you need support so ask for it – a baby is the quickest way to highlight issues you may have already had in your relationship so maybe you both need some help together).

Please don’t make the mistake I made my first time around. Look after yourself. You’re the heart of your family. It is so important that you do what you need to do to get better. Make time. Speak out. If you’re surrounded by arseholes, then find people who make you feel good about yourself and don’t expect you to be perfect. Don’t put yourself last – mum guilt is not an excuse. What Carol Whatsherface on Facebook said once about selfish parents or parents who give up on breastfeeding or mums who struggle a bit harder with becoming parents for the first time, is not a good enough reason to not ask for help. Carol Whatsherface is a fucking moll.

I am sending so much love to everyone out there who has struggled with their mental health at some time or other. Take care of yourself – you’re not alone.

21 weeks pregnant.

This week felt like a mixed bag of emotions! That damn rash I’m experiencing got me down a bit. I realised that I should be kind to myself and acknowledge that it can be really draining when your body is constantly fighting itself. I was a bit embarrassed at how tired and big I felt. I mean, come on – I’d only just passed the half way mark and I was carrying on like I was about to pop! I was wishing time would speed up because I was already SO over it. Which is dumb because I have SO MUCH stuff to do before the baby arrives and also, I felt guilty for not enjoying things more after wanting this for so long.

But then I realised that I have wanted a baby for so long. I have wanted the end result. The completion of my family. So what if pregnancy is not a perfect experience for me? It’s worth it in the end and I would never not have signed up for that. The Little Mister is proof that eventually the scars (and the itching) fade and it’s a blip on the radar of my life – even if a very significant and memorable one. It’s definitely a marathon and not a sprint for me! I just keep striving to keep perspective.

In saying that, I think that should we have everything go well and the baby arrives healthy, this will be my last pregnancy. FOR SURE. I mean, you can say ‘never say never’ but right this minute I know I will be glad to see the end of worrying about pregnancy and fertility. I will love my family of four fiercely, enjoy my two as they grow and that will be that.

Speaking of the rash, I cracked and called my clinic. I spoke to a lovely midwife (who I know personally also) who helped me to get a prescription for a slightly stronger steroid ointment (the same one I used last pregnancy). It felt good to be proactive. I think I could do with a lot more (the tubes are TINY and I don’t want to have to chase it up every time I run out) but I think it’s helping? In all honesty, it’s kind of hard to tell at the moment. I think the rash itself is spreading down my legs a bit but the symptoms are manageable. I still get a bit distressed in the late afternoon and in the evenings but I can get about during the day OK.

I had a lot of down time this week. I slept a lot and this was good. I needed it. But it was also difficult because quiet days, no matter how much I need them, mean itchier moments with less distractions. More difficult thoughts with no distractions – it really does your head in. Trying to find a balance! I don’t recall being this uncomfortable at night last time. I think because this rash is on my sides where I sleep, whereas last time it was mostly on my front. You win some you lose some, I guess.

Anyway, I should probably just rename these weekly blog posts “RASH UPDATES” but hey. I’m trying to give an honest account. Sadly this consumes me a lot. Maybe when I’m clucky after this baby is born, I can read back and think OH HELL NO. NEVER AGAIN. Just a little reminder to future me haha.

Some other stuff did happen, though!

I started to get slightly leaky boobs. Yep. Little drops of colostrum! I thought that I was a freak having this happen early, but apparently it seems to be kind of common at this stage of pregnancy. It happened with the Little Mister too! Sadly, last time my breastfeeding efforts were kind of thwarted when he was born, but I like to think that this could mean a good supply this time around, should I be able to avoid too much trauma during birth (and the antibiotics didn’t help either).

The Little Miss (yep – she’s got her own moniker already – very original as you can see) is already being showered with gifts. I bought her very first book this week. I am so excited to teach her about inspirational women and encourage her to be a strong, confident and awesome little rebel (in all the good ways).

I feel like it’s important to balance out all of the fairy tales where the princess waits around to be rescued by a prince. I hope this book can be a great keepsake for many years to come.

I also felt so happy when I received a surprise package in the mail from a lovely friend.

It contained a beautiful little outfit – the shirt has a unicorn on it. What more can I say? OK, besides it being so cute, I was really appreciative of this gift. It came on a day when I was feeling quite flat and a bit dejected because of the…yes I am mentioning it again…rash. This picked me up at the exact right time. I am so grateful for the love the Little Miss is receiving already from the people in my life.

The baby’s kicks are increasing and sometimes I can even see my belly bounce ever so slightly when I feel one. Mr Unprepared has been able to feel them even more and that’s been lovely.

Also, my t-shirts which seemed SO oversized at the beginning of my pregnancy are starting to look ridiculously short on me. I might need to do a little more shopping for maternity wear once school goes back – any excuse, right?

Here’s me at 21 weeks…

Thanks for reading! x