Tag: second trimester

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!

 

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

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…

19 weeks pregnant.

And another week bites the dust!

I spent this week feeling stressed for non pregnancy related reasons, which was quite annoying. I felt really emotionally and physically drained, when I should have been feeling amazing. But I hope that next week will be a fresh start.

I am still getting used to calling my bump a ‘her’ or ‘she’. It sounds so foreign to me. I spent a long time calling the baby, ‘it’ haha. Probably shouldn’t do that anymore, considering there’s a creepy AF remake of the Stephen King movie out right now! Even saying the word ‘girl’ feels awkward. I guess that’s OK – I have a while to get my head around it! I am very excited but I think I am in a bit of shock. I never realised how used to the idea of having another boy I was. I just thought it would be an inevitability, quite honestly! I think maybe once my mum is around more and we can start planning fun stuff together, like decorating the nursery or going shopping for clothes together, I will start to feel more able to embrace the idea. I think maybe the stress I felt this week sadly overshadowed a time when I should have been adjusting to, and really celebrating, the good news a lot more.

This week, I also bought myself new bras. Up a cup size, y’all. Probably up two, but I got a good deal on bras from Big W so we’ll just go with that for now. Maybe I’m in denial haha. I think my next over the shoulder boulder holder purchases will probably be proper nursing bras, so I am holding off a little.

I had a doctor’s appointment this week. I was looking forward to it. Partly because I had some issues I wanted to ask about and address, and partly because it’s always a way to connect in some way to my pregnancy – I am always likely to have a scan or hear the heartbeat. It was good/important to have Mr Unprepared visit the clinic for the first time and meet the doctor. He’d taken a lot of time off work to get me through my fertility treatments and appointments and IVF, so making it to every appointment once I fell pregnant became a lot harder (although he hasn’t missed the important ultrasounds). I felt like he needed to connect with the process more and this was helpful, I think.

I had been worried about my itchiness (as mentioned in previous updates). I was finally able to show the doctor what my rash spots looked like. The bad news is that he agreed it could possibly be a re-emergence of the PUPPP rash that I’d suffered from during my first pregnancy, but the good news was that he was really knowledgeable, compassionate and pro-active about it. During my first pregnancy, I’d waited until it was really bad before telling anyone (it was embarrassing and it was my first pregnancy so I didn’t know what was normal), and then my previous doctor had been on leave (haha of course) and I’d had weeks of seeing random GPs who had no experience with the condition, and then I’d had to make my way up to the city for a dermatologist’s appointment, before finally getting help. By then everything had set in quite awfully and the mental and emotional damage had probably been done too.

This time was different. I was quick to mention my itchiness. The doctor was also quick to prescribe me some medicated cream and anti-histamines – all safe to take during pregnancy (please do not try these things without getting medical advice of your own). He explained that I am probably allergic in some way to my own pregnancy hormones/baby’s DNA. So that’s fun!

I immediately filled out the scripts and already felt better, mentally. It’s always nice to feel like you have support and a plan. So far the drugs seem to be working OK (not perfectly but OK). Some areas seem to have become 100% better and others are still a bit of a problem but haven’t got any worse. I will re-visit the clinic at about 24 weeks, just to check in and get any extra help if I need it. I am just glad that I am catching this condition earlier than last time. Maybe I can stop it from ever getting as bad as it was.

I cannot stress enough just how important it is to mention anything and everything when you see your care providers. If you’re uncomfortable in your skin or have an embarrassing issue, just listen to your gut and tell someone. The earlier you get help, the better it is for your mental health. Truly.

I’ve always thought I was huge (bump wise), although not as big as I thought I was when carrying the Little Mister, but I was surprised when the midwife measured my belly, to find out that its size was bang on between 19 and 20 weeks at the time of my appointment. While this can vary a lot in every woman and should probably largely be taken with a pinch of salt, I still felt a little relieved that maybe I wasn’t as massive as I originally thought (especially with my snacking being a bit out of control haha)! My mum reminded me that I was actually quite small (normal and healthy but small) when I was born – according to my adoption records and early photos. I felt relieved at the thought that maybe having a girl might mean she could take after me (Mr Unprepared was quite humongously big when he was born and while the Little Mister thankfully never reached that size it was close enough for my comfort levels I can tell you).

I was given instructions for further appointments and tests (I am not looking forward to finding out if I have gestational diabetes or not) and I was on my way. It felt good to fill out my calendar with exact dates for once (after the relative unpredictability of infertility).

I don’t know how to end this post, so here’s a picture of my bump at 19 weeks…

Until the next update, see ya later! x

My Pregnant Kitchen.

So I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but there’s this hilarious youtube series called My Drunk Kitchen. It’s a simple principle really. A really funny chick gets absolutely smashed on booze, then cooks something – all on video! Now, I don’t normally condone binge drinking or the use of kitchen appliances (that are sharp or hot) while intoxicated, but seriously. That sh*t makes me laugh out loud. Like total LOL.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT46FV64dr8]

My favourite My Drunk Kitchen vid.

Which gets me thinking – what if you were a fly on the wall in my kitchen? Maybe I should start a series called My Pregnant Kitchen.

Today as I buzzed around trying to make about three things at once, I realised just how ridiculous I am.

Imagine making cupcakes, fresh bread rolls (for the first time ever) and a savoury mince all at once.

Timers going off everywhere. Flour on everything. Dishes stacked upon dishes. A crazy woman (that’s me) in a caftan while the heater is on (hey – it’s PUPPP rash friendly clothing) in the middle of winter.

At some point in the middle of all of it, I was tweeting. I was doing internet banking. I was watching Oprah (from another room – that takes skill). I was getting ingredients ALL over my bump (which sticks out a bit now that I’m in the 23rd week), because I realised I couldn’t get up as close to the kitchen bench as I usually would. Turns out there’s this extra spillage space created now. Every now and then I would stop, stare at the offending food particles, dust them off or sneak a taste because hey, no-one was looking.

I was kneading dough like a madwoman. I was that into it that it took me half the time the recipe specified to make it “smooth and elastic”. I was chopping vegetables frantically while browning minced beef on the stove. I was frosting cupcakes while baking bread rolls. I was a machine. I was washing dirty dishes so I could use them straight away again for something else. I was mentally planning out the week’s budget. I was mumbling to myself (but very quietly because the Husband Man was sleeping off a night shift) in a demented manner.

How the hell do I know if the milk is too warm or not warm enough? And when the hell is the yeast/milk concoction considered frothy? Is that frothy? It kind of bubbles when I tip it. This is so frickin’ weird. Is this going to turn out? I’m expecting an epic fail on the bread roll situation.

I was fielding emails and social invitations. I was reading recipes and then forgetting what they said and reading them again less than a minute later to remind myself (baby brain). At some point I wandered off and started folding towels from the pile of clean washing in the spare room.

While finely chopping onions I started to cry. And then I couldn’t figure out if it was really the onions or my crazy hormones. I really am elegant as f*ck.

You would have seen me remove the flour from the pantry. Use it in a recipe. Put it back in the pantry. Realise I needed it again for something else. Take it out of the pantry. Put it back in the pantry. Find out I wasn’t done with it. Pull it back out and use it. Put it back in the pantry. All in the space of about five minutes. I am a space case.

I swear I was even thinking about the meaning of life during this whole time. That happens sometimes. It’s called multi tasking, bitches.

And no, after all that I can’t actually tell you the meaning of life. I was too busy hoping my bread rolls would turn out OK and that my cupcakes weren’t going to end up like little rocks to pay attention to silly things like the meaning of life. Who knows? Maybe I even figured it out at some point, but forgot it again. Now we’ll never know what it is. I wonder how much wisdom is lost this way? I might be a spiritual guru and not even know it.

You know those pictures of ladies who look so serene, wearing their 50s pin up style immaculate hair and pristine dresses with the full skirts? The ones you see gently stirring a cupcake batter, while calmly keeping an eye on the stove?

Yeah, I’m nothing like that.

I’m more like a kitchen tornado. The anti Master Chef if you will.

I managed to serve up a lovely feed of fresh, hot rolls with savoury mince to Husband Features. His dessert was a set of cupcakes with I <3 U written on them (yeah how adorably corny and spew worthy). The dishes looked superb (while the kitchen did not), but I collapsed on the couch looking like I’d been dragged through a nightclub at 3am backwards. By a really big bouncer.

It’s hard work being a housewife. I think I’m doing it wrong. Maybe I’m too sober?

Either way, I’m kind of glad my nesting fever has come back 🙂

What’s your kitchen style?

Sh*t Happens.

Pic

Wow, things can really change in a week! Not long after I posted about becoming a sudden domestic goddess in the making, my nesting habits got a bit interrupted…

Sometimes there are things in life that you just can’t control. Things that you are Awesomely Unprepared for, despite your best intentions.

I am learning that I may be a little bit more of a control freak than I really like to admit. Me? A control freak? You must be talking about someone else

I hold myself to high standards, even though I know I shouldn’t. I compare myself to others, even though I know I shouldn’t. I blame myself for things that aren’t my fault when I know I shouldn’t. I expect that everything I do will turn out how I’ve predicted when really nothing ever goes perfectly to plan. It’s so much fun such a drag.

I guess I’m just human.

Now if there’s anything in life you can’t control, it’s pregnancy. Symptoms keep popping up and they have very little to do with you. Sure, you can stop doing hard drugs or chugging alcohol. You can try to stay fit and healthy and adjust your nutritional intake so it benefits the baby the best. But you aren’t going to be perfect at it (well I hope you stop taking hard drugs and drinking whiskey at the very least) and there are so many other things going on in your body that you really have no say in/control over! There’s something strangely liberating and exciting about that, but it can also be a little unsettling for a control freak.

We can’t stop stretch marks if we’re destined to have them. We can’t help if some pregnancy related medical condition pops up out of nowhere and needs dealing with. We can’t control the way our bump sits or how big it will get. We can’t help it if our skin doesn’t look like it’s glowing (even if everyone else’s seems to be) or if morning sickness decides to strike. We can only do the best we can to minimise any risks and leave the rest up to nature.

This “Aha” moment (thanks, Oprah – miss you already) came to me when I started breaking out in rashes all over my body lately. Itchy, unsightly and unbearably uncomfortable. I have never had a history of allergies, eczema or any other skin condition in my life. I have been using very natural (and pregnancy safe) products on my skin (and around the house) since I got pregnant and I have not changed my diet (other than a few stray cupcakes finding their way into my stomach – hey how did they get in there??) or anything else about my lifestyle. Yet, here I’ve been with these damn rashes and sleepless, itchy nights. At times I’ve felt like a leper. I keep hearing about/noticing how my pregnant friends (past and present) had/have perfect skin and look so great. I keep seeing those paparazzi pics of damn celebrities with their damn yoga mats looking radiant while up the duff. In my weak moments (aplenty) I’ve felt like a spotty, unattractive failure (even though my amazing husband – who values his life – keeps reminding me that he still finds me so beautiful).

I didn’t want to tell anyone about what I was feeling so I hid it inside for a little while. When people asked how I was feeling, I would say, “Oh awesome – so great – no sickness – tons of energy”. Sure, that answer was kind of true, but on the inside I’ve feeling down about my skin and worried about it. Stupid but true story.

It got to a point where it got too intense. I was sobbing in a cold shower (despite it being the coldest winter ever) in the middle of the night and scratching when I knew I shouldn’t. I told my family and I made the first doctor’s appointment of many. Finally, my discomfort overruled my shame/embarrassment.

I’ve got the ball rolling on some attempts at controlling my skin problems and while I haven’t got a solution (or even a way to keep things manageable) yet, I should have done this ages ago. I also realise I am not afraid to speak up about it anymore. So what if I have this ugly rash? I have a healthy baby boy inside me and everyone is different. It’s not my fault. I can’t control everything. It’s not even contagious. Therefore there is nothing I could have done differently other than not get pregnant (which I wouldn’t trade for the world). I AM NOT TO BLAME. I AM NOT A BAD PREGNANT PERSON. OK, so I won’t be having any glamour belly shots for the family album. I probably will cover up reaaallly well if I give AquaBump Aerobics a try (so as not to scare anyone). I will probably take a while to get rid of the marks the itching has given me. So what? I have other things to be grateful for (family, friends and the most supportive husband). And on a shallow note, I have a glowing complexion (my face has thankfully been spared) and I haven’t sprouted 15 chins yet. From the outside I look perfectly pregnant – which is kind of why I wanted to speak up in this blog post (and be all vulnerable and sh*t). I want other people out there to realise we never know what’s going on under the surface. Things aren’t always what they seem. Don’t beat yourself up or feel inferior over a mere perception of other people’s supposed perfection (that kind of rhymes – I should write lyrics for Panic! At The Disco or something).

I’ve got to step up and become less about my insecurities (and worrying about the things I can’t control) and more about the safety and happiness of my baby. I’ve got to get mentally strong even though this skin condition (whatever the hell it is) has a way of making me into the craziest lady. And I mean CRAYYY-ZEEEEE.

When’s the last time you had to be mentally strong? How did you find a way to cope? Seriously, I’m going to be taking notes…

Edited Update: I have been diagnosed with PUPPP or Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy (feel free to google it). I am now using an ointment which seems to give some relief, although it won’t actually cure it. Thanks for your comments and support x

I used to think “nesting” was a myth.

Pic

Seriously. I thought nesting was just some excuse for already crazy clean freaks/domestic goddesses to get their OCD on during pregnancy. I thought there was little to no chance that I would ever succumb to such a thing. We’re talking about a lady who thinks using a “just add water” muffin mix counts as baking (and is oddly proud of this). Someone who thinks scrapbooking and crafts are lame-o. That doing dishes is optional (or only a requirement if something’s gonna stink or there aren’t any clean forks left or visitors are coming – even then, meh). Same goes for ironing. Let’s face it, I am not by any stretch of the imagination any kind of 50s housewife. In fact, until recently I wouldn’t have even considered myself a housewife at all. I probably was more the stereotype of a slobby bloke in disguise, much to the bemusement of my domestically capable husband.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fleeting episodes of Spring Cleaning Madness or house proud moments. And I won’t let things get Hoarders/How Clean is Your House cray cray. But I’ve never really enjoyed doing housework or catering for people. Those things are just activities to keep you from catching diseases or losing all your friends.

Right? Right.

So when I entered the second trimester of pregnancy (the first one was terribly tiring and I had no appetite), boy did I start making up for lost time! I’ve been baking at least twice a week. Trying new recipes, making things *gasp* from scratch. Cooking for other people and loving it. I even have a baking ‘kit’ with all the basic ingredients I could ever need – just in case I get the urge to create something delicious! I’ve been ironing clothes I might not even wear that day! I even undertook a crafts project for my dad’s birthday present – I was so obsessed with putting together a scrapbook style photo album of Mum and Dad’s recent holiday to Bali that I spent roughly 8 hours on it one evening (in between baking cupcakes and getting the husband to and from a work function of course). I have paint colour samples adorning the nursery wall and fabric for curtains all ready to go (and by ‘go’ I mean to my mum’s house where she will inevitably end up doing all the hard sewing stuff because no matter how much I might be nesting – I will never LOVE/LIKE/BE GOOD AT sewing). I’ve even bought a couple of cute jumpsuits for the baby and I’m actually getting super clucky. What is going on?!

AND? The cupcakes I made the other day were amazingly pretty, tasty and not hard as rocks or sad looking or anything. Just so you know.

I’ve mastered home made sausage rolls, choc chip cookies, choc chip and banana muffins, banana and sultana bread, self saucing chocolate pudding and cupcakes galore. Probably not a big deal to the average super-human home chef, but a massive deal for a pleb like me!

Last week I even enjoyed shopping for a new fridge and I am excited about researching good washing machines. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

I’ve started to watch (and get sucked into) Masterchef for the first time. Ever. I know.

I always hoped I would turn out like this one day (despite turning my nose up at this kind of lifestyle out of fear of becoming a mini van driving soccer mum). I mean, it’s kind of nice Getting Stuff Done. My whole attitude has changed. It kind of makes life easier! I’m sure it will all go to sh*t when the baby arrives but I like feeling Capable and Motivated and Creative when it comes to my home life. It isn’t just the place I crash in after spending most of my life out and about,  and food isn’t just something I have to convince myself to make. It’s something I like to create.

I’m still no super Domestic Goddess (you don’t want to see the state of my bathroom on a bad day), but I’m definitely a clucky little bird fluffing about in her nest 🙂

Are you a Domestic Goddess/God or a Hot Household Mess? 😉

FAQ: Halfway, already?!

Pic

I get asked these questions a lot lately – here are my answers 🙂

So how pregnant are you? I can’t keep track!

Today I am 19 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I enter a new week of pregnancy every Friday. I like that. Fridays are always awesome (who doesn’t love a Friday?)! Everything’s going by so quickly at the moment! I feel like I blink and another week has gone by!

How are you feeling?

I’m feeling pretty good! Apart from the occasional lack of sleep, I am quite well! I am fairly comfortable (although very aware of my growing bump) and I’m fairly energetic. I have to listen to my body if I get a bit tired, but I feel quite normal! The only thing that bugs me is I get hot spots on my body (in the logical places which would be TMI to discuss here) where I can feel a bit itchy and irritated. I definitely notice that my body temperature is a little elevated (to a healthy pregnancy level). I am glad to be pregnant over the winter!!

Have you had your 20 week scan yet?

Yep – yesterday! It went really well. The baby is growing at a healthy pace (measuring about a week ahead – uh oh) and everything looked great. It’s always wonderful hearing the heartbeat again too. In fact, that feeling after a good ultrasound is the most amazing thing in the world.

Do you know the sex of your baby?!

Yes.

Are you telling anyone the sex of the baby?! Boy or girl?!

We really can’t keep the gender of our baby a secret. It would kill our family (and friends) if they didn’t know! Besides, it might get a bit obvious when we start buying things for the nursery!

Meet our baby boy 🙂

He’s a bit shy, but this photo is so cute. Definitely my favourite. Of course we got five photos printed out and a DVD 🙂

Most people thought I’d be having a girl so this might be a shock! I had a gut feeling it was a boy. I don’t know how I knew, but I just did.

Look how big your bump is!!

OK, so more of a statement than a question…and perhaps I say it to myself mostly…but with the bub measuring a week ahead, it’s no surprise now that I know this information! I have had a big appetite lately (trying to be nutritious but baked goods have been an issue – let’s not lie), but I don’t appear to be gaining too much weight so far.

Yesterday I found out from my mother in law that the Guy I’m Married To (and Impregnated By) weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces when he was born. This almost made me faint. I mean, he grew up all normal sized but FAR OUT! Is our son going to be the same?! I do not even want to think about that…

I’m only little!!!!!

Also, on a side note: Please don’t jokingly ask if it’s twins or keep telling me how huuuuge I am getting? It makes me feel a little self conscious.

Do you have any names in mind now that you know it’s a boy?

We’ve been poring over a massive book of names and we’re only up to names beginning with K!! We have a couple of boy’s names we’ve already put on a shortlist, but we’re not planning on telling anyone what they are until the birth. With so many people we know being pregnant (mostly with boys) at the moment, we want to eliminate the chances of duplicate names in our friendship groups/families and see what unfolds. I feel like this way those in our circle who are further along than us won’t feel bad for choosing a similar name to us and to put it bluntly, we’ve heard of people being inspired by others’ choices, taking the name for their own child (who is born first) and making it difficult to scramble for a whole new name at the last minute. We also want to meet the baby in person before we set a name in stone – what if he doesn’t look like the name we originally picked out?!

So, I’m sorry to the curious folk – we’re staying “mum” on that one. It’s nothing personal – just a precaution!

Have you gone nuts buying stuff for the baby?

Nope. Haha. My inlaws have generously bought us a cot for the baby – it’s beautiful! I hope to go pram shopping with my mum at some point too. Other than that, we have bought zilch! I’m excited now we know what we’re having – I feel like I can really have some fun now 🙂

I don’t think I’ll just buy everything blue in sight – just like if we had a girl I wouldn’t have gone overboard with the colour pink. Just a hint will do. There are some really creative boy’s clothes these days – can’t wait to dress up my little man!

We’re hoping to set up the nursery first – fun fun fun! I can’t wait to get creative.

Any other questions?? You can also ask anonymously through Tumblr or Formspring by clicking on the Ask Me Anything tab at the top right hand corner of this ol’ blog here 🙂

Holy crap – we forgot the baby! And other weird pregnancy nightmares.

Pic

I have always been quite the off-the-wall nocturnal dreamer. I’ve always thought that my dreams really make for some awesome viewing. If my dreams were movies they would be artsy masterpieces woven with intricate meanings and kooky humour (or just an episode of Family Guy). I think Ellen Page would play the main character in all of them.

In the last couple of weeks, I have lost the ability to sleep deeply. This is partially due to my husband taking up the awesome new hobby that people like to call Snoring (don’t even get me started). It is also to do with me being a little uncomfortable some nights (belly squishing ahoy!) and I think there’s something else going on. Something that keeps me in an eternal limbo between being half awake and constantly dreaming. A Kez’s Subconscious Movie Marathon of sorts. I’m adjusting, but it’s a little odd. I thought this stuff wasn’t supposed to happen until later? I never got the memo about this.

ARE MY DAYS OF SLEEPING BLISSFULLY LIKE A LOG OVER?! Mums, don’t answer that.

One thing I was told to be prepared for is strange dreams. Pfft, I thought. I’ve got this in the bag. I already dream about weird stuff – I won’t even notice the difference. I own that sh*t.

And then the other night happened. I dreamed that we had the baby (it was blonde and looked suspiciously like the baby on the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special we had just watched before bed – yes Christmas special). In the dream I basically forgot we had a baby, went out for dinner and realised I didn’t know where the hell we’d left it and whether or not we should go and check on it. Of course I panicked a lot…pre-parental anxiety anyone?

When I woke up, Husband Features listened to me recount the dream, put a comforting arm around me and said, “Don’t worry – I know that when we have a baby you won’t forget it.”

That’s reassuring, that is!

After that I had a dream that we had moved a strange housemate in and that she would be living in our bedroom. I didn’t know if that was a good idea or not (didn’t seem great for privacy reasons) and wasn’t sure if I should offer her the TV remote.

My subconscious rocks.

Then I had a dream that made me panic. I was still pregnant in this dream, but I was returning to work after a long hiatus. I was going to have my old job back. Only when I got there I was handed a course outline (like you get given at the beginning of a new semester of university) and told about my assignments and study plan. Assignments!! I was devastated. DIDN’T MY EMPLOYERS KNOW I HAD DONE THREE HARD YEARS OF UNI AND GRADUATED ALREADY?! I WAS NOT GOING TO DO THIS SH*T ALL OVER AGAIN!!!

In the dream I was almost bawling with frustration. I can tell you now, I was stoked to wake up and realise that it was all a figment of my messed up subconscious! Phew!

A lot of my dreams seem to feature me dealing with looking after a “third” person or a vulnerable little life in some capacity. Like pregnancy book advice 101. I’m so textbook.

What have you been dreaming about lately (pregnant or not)?