Category: pregnancy

30 weeks pregnant.

The 30th week of my pregnancy was actually pretty awesome. I was so over the moon that it was the Little Mister’s last week of school for the year! Yippee! The school runs were really taking it out of me. I was spending all of my energy getting him there and back – the time in between was a struggle! The idea of getting to sleep in a whole 45 minutes longer each week day morning, and saving my energy for stuff I actually wanted to do seemed like the best idea ever!

I was so happy that it was the last week of school that even when my car was rear ended at traffic lights on the morning run of the second last day of term, I wasn’t even that phased. OK, so I swore a bit in front of my kid when I felt the bang, but shit happens and I had insurance. I was OK, the baby was OK, the Little Mister had a bit of a shock but was OK too. That’s all that mattered. Not to mention, you should have seen the other guy’s car. I actually felt a little sorry for him! Thank goodness our tow ball took most of the impact!

There’s nothing that reminds you that you’re pregnant like people fussing over you after a minor car accident! It was kind of nice, but trying to convince everyone I was OK was a challenge haha.

I will admit my nerves were a bit shot afterwards. Especially after I had a little fall two days later – slipping on a certain 6 year old’s broken snow globe (long story). I was starting to think I was cursed and wondered if it might be best to just wrap myself up in cotton wool for another couple of months!

On the last day of school, I surprised myself with how emotional I felt! I might have had a mutual cry with the teacher when I went to thank her for all that she had done for my Little Mister. She’d been so supportive and inspired him every day. I just hope he can be that lucky with the teaching staff next year too. I never thought I’d be the ‘cry on the last day of school’ kind of mum – I’m wondering if I can blame hormones? But I think it may have been a combination of things: relief it was all over, gratitude that while it has been a crazy year for me, the school side of things was made so much easier by these wonderful people, the fact that the next time I head to the school, our family will have grown and I’ll have a baby in my arms! Holy crap!

This week I also made the revolutionary decision to start using a larger handbag. While I’d once been so excited to buy a smaller bag when I realised the Little Mister was old enough to travel without us having to pack the whole house, it soon became clear that I would need to return to the giant handbag phase of life. So here I am. I got a cute enough hot pink number that has like 3 zip sections (and was on sale -yay). It can carry all of my gestational diabetes paraphernalia (and relevant snacks), a bottle of water, my steroid cream for my rash, a book (for all those moments where I’m sitting in a waiting room) etc etc. I hate to admit it but it’s made life easier. When the baby arrives, it will no doubt be full of random baby related stuff. Here’s to the next several years of carrying way too much crap haha.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there’s no major PUPPP rash update this week! Everything remained fairly calm! I know that at some point it’s going to attack me with a vengeance (there’s bound to be more flare ups as my hormones become stronger and I get closer to the end – not to mention the weather can be a big factor), but it’s been such a relief to not be straight up suffering. I still have to be careful and I am fighting some small areas, but it’s really made my life better. It’s probably a bit of a tall order, but man it would be good if it stays this way past Christmas so I can enjoy that time!

I slept marginally better and I know this is TMI but I was able to finally start wearing underwear to bed again. I am not a naked sleeper by nature. It wasn’t that comfortable for me. Putting my trusty Bonds back on probably helped my quality of sleep too!

This week, I did not have much success with controlling my gestational diabetes. My diet was still spot on and controlled everything except my overnight fasting readings – the one they worry about the most. I had to increase my night time insulin injection dose from 3 units to 5. It was a bit frustrating but I have started to come to a place of acceptance about it all. It is what it is. I just have to ride it out.

It was a big psychological boost to be in the 30s finally. Count down to the end is on!

29 weeks pregnant.

My 29th week of pregnancy was BUSY! I was really relieved that my PUPPP rash was so much calmer than it had been in weeks, which allowed me to keep up with everything I needed to do. I think the slightly cooler weather was an absolute godsend too. I had pretty itchy feet, wrists and a couple of patches on the backs of my shoulders but everything else seemed to be on the mend. I started to see clear gaps of skin on my legs (between my older scars that I am afraid will take years to fade) and I was getting some more sleep at night too. I don’t know if it was the weather, the steroid cream finally kicking in, or even my newly enforced low sugar diet, but it was nice to be able to get on with life a little easier.

In saying that, this just left me some room in my brain to deal with my gestational diabetes diagnosis. This pregnancy thing is relentless, I tell ya! I saw the dietitian for a second time and it was pretty much concluded that I must talk to my diabetes educator and I’d likely be commencing with nightly injections of insulin. I just could not control my fasting blood sugar readings (the test you take each morning after waking). None of it was my fault – just bad luck. My diet was spot on and my readings were great throughout the day. I just needed some extra help overnight. I was bummed, but by the time I was handed the prescription, I was just ready to get on with it and relieved to have some kind of management plan in place. I was also really comforted after talking to my bloggy friend Leah who had been through a very similar experience when pregnant with her gorgeous daughter, S. If she could survive this, then I can too!

Of course there was a lot of running about between pharmacies due to supply issues with the kind of insulin I have to take, which wasn’t ideal, but I got there in the end. I had to start on a small dose (3 units) and report back to my educator the next week. All of this injection stuff started to give me IVF flashbacks and I was relieved that the needles used to inject myself this time around were much smaller. Phew! I asked Mr Unprepared to give me my injections as I was still a bit traumatised and didn’t want to be hesitating for ages before injecting the insulin into my belly. I was pleasantly surprised that he wasn’t worried about doing this (maybe he likes stabbing me hahaha) and that it didn’t really hurt at all. No more than those stupid finger pricks I have to give myself each day.

Sadly, the insulin did not seem to be making any difference at that dose, but knowing that soon it would be adjusted to help me more, made me feel OK about it. We’ll get there!

This week I also had a good doctor’s appointment and I even got to have a consult with a favourite midwife (who happens to be the mum of two lovely people I’ve had the pleasure to be friends with). We had a big hug and she was really helpful and kind (as all of the midwives at my clinic are).

I talked with the doctor about when I could deliver the baby and what my options will be. He talked to me about the insulin/diabetes thing some more. It was great to have some face to face time after he’d had to rush off to emergencies the last couple of times I was supposed to see him. I found it reassuring. I have so much going on with this pregnancy, that it feels important to be able to touch base quite regularly.

I got to hear my baby’s heartbeat again, as well as to find out my belly is still measuring right on track.

This week I also survived a dear friend’s engagement party! I was so relieved because I really wanted to be there for her to celebrate such a special time. We will be unable to attend the wedding (it is interstate and not long before the baby is due), so we wanted to be able to show our love and support. I wore a pretty dress that my mum and dad gifted to me earlier this spring (it hides most of the rash and the fabric is so comfy) and I was so relieved to not be so itchy that I couldn’t be ‘in the moment’. It was a beautiful afternoon/evening. I even managed to keep my blood sugar at the right level the whole time! I made the best choices I could, eating nothing but salads (picking the things with the least dressing on and enough carbs/protein/greens in the right proportions on my plate) and it paid off. I was so relieved. Maybe I can do this socialising thing. Let’s not talk about when everyone had the most amazing desserts and I couldn’t haha.

I wish I’d got a picture of myself all dolled up, but we were in a rush to get ready and I just didn’t think of it!

I got a lot of Christmas shopping done, attended the Little Mister’s school Christmas concert and ticked off a lot of admin, errands etc. I was so grateful to have a productive week after a few slow ones where I felt about as useful as a dude’s nipples.

28 weeks pregnant.

Oh, you guys. Let me just start by saying it was so great to realise that I was finally in the 3rd trimester! I don’t know why but it feels like I can legitimately whinge about being uncomfortable now haha. All the best pregnancy memes are for the 3rd trimester, don’t you know, and I felt like for the whole second trimester, I’d been carrying on like I was much further along – thanks to the PUPPP rash, mostly. The lack of sleep, the discomfort, the “I’M SO OVER IT” feeling. I mean, not that I haven’t done enough complaining (sorry not sorry – dedicated to keeping it real over here), but now it feels like I’m actually allowed to feel how I feel.

I really wanted to celebrate this great milestone, but unfortunately life got in the way. Our family had a sudden fur baby loss (it wasn’t our dog but my parents’ who we loved dearly and who was the litter brother of our own dog – we’d bonded with him as if he was our own and it was tough on everyone). This was also the first day I was supposed to measure my blood sugar levels because of my recent gestational diabetes diagnosis. Of course I measured off the charts, thanks to the stress of the day and then I got more stressed seeing those elevated readings. I felt like I was just spiralling. Also, my rash was being particularly aggressive and resistant to my treatments, so I was really struggling that weekend. I had to cancel all of my social plans that I had really been looking forward to and I sadly had a couple of anxiety attacks that left me feeling woozy and faint. I knew that I couldn’t go on like that for the sake of my own health and the baby’s. I had to send Mr Unprepared to everything with the Little Mister on my behalf and park myself on the couch, under the air conditioning (or in the bath).

I felt frustrated that my GD (gestational diabetes) diagnosis had actually assisted in making me feel more unwell than before. Psychologically it was stressing me out, and it seemed to be showing in my blood sugar readings. If I hadn’t had the diagnosis and had been ignorant, I would have stayed much more stable. While I know it’s important to monitor it in the bigger picture, I still felt resentful. It just seemed so unfair.

I was unable to control my fasting readings (the reading you take right after waking) and I probably face the real possibility of having to go on insulin. Which means that then I am deemed as having a high risk pregnancy and might have to deliver an hour away from home in a better equipped hospital for that kind of thing. Like I needed another thing on my plate! I don’t want to jump before I’m pushed – I haven’t seen my doctor about it yet (that’s probably a story for next week), but I fear that it isn’t looking good, despite the fact that I am entirely able to control the condition with my diet alone during the day.

All of my selfish whining aside, I felt for the first time that I might have to worry about the health of my baby. See, PUPPP rash does not affect the baby – just the poor itchy mother. And GD can mostly affect the mum but can often be controlled, without having a really big impact on the baby. But now I faced the fear that maybe my baby would be at risk at some point. And that scared the shit out of me. I was really upset about it. I might struggle, but I would choose myself to take all the hits over and over if I could be guaranteed that my baby would be OK. I’m a grown woman who is learning to become a fucking warrior, but a baby is just a tiny little thing who needs all the good health they can get.

I could not care less about not being able to have hot chips or chocolate or whatever (OK so I care a little bit – I’m only human). It’s just overwhelming when you add it to the stress of my rash. My pregnancy is quite the full time (or is that over time) job. I’m surprised I get out of the house with all the hours I spend researching and preparing the perfect meals, testing myself at the exact perfect times after those perfect meals, writing in a food diary and applying cream to most of my body – that’s an ever expanding amount of surface area – before having to put on the perfect outfit to hide some of my rash and not irritate it! 🙄

Anyway, I know I’ve lost some followers because I’m not having a wonderful, glowy time (and have been outspoken about it). Maybe people feel I’m ungrateful, but the truth is that I am so grateful. You can feel two very conflicting feelings at once. I learned that during my infertility struggles. You can feel so overjoyed for someone who is pregnant, while being so sad because you are not. Right now I feel overjoyed to be pregnant, because my family is finally going to be complete and while I hate my pregnancy, I love my baby so much. The moments when she’s kicking me are what keep me going, because I know she’s there and she’s OK. I cannot wait to meet her. We’ve been on quite the journey together.

This week I learned to go easier on myself. I adjusted some of my expectations of myself. If my baby has a plain, but comfortable and fairly inviting nursery when she’s born, then I will be OK with that. The Pinterest Utopia of All Best Nursery Ideas dreams I’ve had might be a little delayed, but that’s OK. I will enjoy Christmas and the school holidays with my little family of three and everything will turn out OK when we become four. The Little Miss won’t notice for a while (also she won’t be sleeping in there for a while at first). Anything extra I manage to do before her birth will be a great bonus (I still hold out a tiny bit of hope for a sudden nesting mania moment towards the end haha).

Also, this week I started to bathe in bi carb soda instead of Pine Tar bath oil, so that’s big news. Bet you’re glad to have tuned in for that! It makes a big difference – I was SO sick of feeling greasy in this warmer weather.

My bump popped out all of a sudden (more than it already had) some time this week too. The Little Miss is certainly using up as much space as she can (and there’s still quite the way to go)! She must be using some pretty rad IKEA furniture systems in there to save on storage space haha.

I laugh when I can feel her body parts really sticking out at the front of my belly. I actually can’t picture what I’m going to look like by the time she’s cooked well enough to be evicted safely, despite having done this once before!

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. 


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

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.