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Moving house while growing a human

Moving house while growing a human

I posted the above photo on my social media channels this morning. At first I wasn’t going to – my eyes are all squinty and I look as exhausted as I feel. But then I looked more closely at the photo and saw the peace etched on my face, the happiness in my smile and the girth of my stomach and I realised that this is a REAL photo of me, as I am, amidst all this change. I may be tired in ways that I have never known before, but I am also experiencing such fucking happiness that it trumps all else that is going on.

I am sixteen weeks today and the days until our due date seem to be disappearing at a rapid speed. It feels like it was only last week that there were two-hundred-and-something days left.

Perhaps a more pressing countdown at the moment is how many days there are until we find out whether Bubba is a girl or a boy – twenty days, people. Pete and I both can’t wait to find out. There is the obvious reason of just simply knowing what we are having and getting excited accordingly – but there is also the fact that we can then start calling Bubba by name, correctly referring to Bubba as ‘he’ or ‘she’, and the fact that we can then purchase things for Bubba and home and life.

And a countdown that has all but ended? The days until we move house? One. Tonight is the last night that I will be spending in my apartment. It seems very fitting that the weather is dark and dreary and wet and grey – not because it’s a sad day, but because this is my absolute favourite weather and I would not want it any other way for my last night in the unit. The excitement levels are high between Pete and I around this move. Like anyone, I’m sure, this move signifies the change that is taking place in our lives. Moving while pregnant is not ideal, however a lot of women I have spoken to have their own moving-while-pregnant stories.. and I guess that that kind of makes sense – you find out you are pregnant, you may need a bigger place, you move.

I have moved houses almost more times than I can count (or remember) in my life, and each time has thrown up its own challenges. I moved so many times in one year not too long ago that I considered myself quite the expert at it. I was like a little energizer bunny – carrying boxes up and down multiple flights of stairs well into the late hours of the night, I have moved from one side of Sydney to the other with multiple round trips of over an hour each way, I have dismantled furniture and carried awkward pieces of furniture through even more awkward stair wells. I am a confident mover. This time around was very different.

Last weekend I was in charge of packing up the kitchen. It only took about four boxes to get the bulk of my kitchenware and belongings packed. It only took packing those four boxes for my back to swell and pulse in pain. Noises came out of me that I have never heard before every time I bent down to move something. Meanwhile, poor Pete was ferrying all the furniture from my top floor unit down to the garage and there I was, doubled over in eighty-year-old-man arthritic pain from a mere half an hours work. Pitiful, really.

Now, I know that every single mama out there will have a different set of circumstances – some of you may be experiencing your pregnancy without a partner, others may be without the support of any family, some may not have a big pool of friends to call on. I totally get that each woman will have their own, very unique set of challenges and situations heading into motherhood, but all I have to go off is what I have experienced and I hope that even one single thing in this post will help you through your move.

Moving when pregnant

1. Go slow

I am a big rusher. I want things done bloody yesterday. But something I have learned thanks to Bubba is that I simply cannot hustle right now – and that has been a really important lesson. Normally, I would have had the entire house packed up before signing the next place’s lease and will move in the same day that we sign. Nope. No can do. Instead, as soon as Pete and I decided that we were going to start looking at places, I got my hands on some boxes and started packing little things here and there, every night. We signed our lease a week ago and are moving in tomorrow, giving us an extra week to take our time packing, spending an hour each night moving boxes downstairs ready for the removalists. It has made a world of difference.

2. Ask for help

Again, not something I have ever been good at doing. I had multiple breakdowns every day leading up to this move because the idea of packing up the apartment and getting everything cleaned while pregnant was really fucking overwhelming. The to-do list only seemed to grow even when I ticked things off. Pete was amazing and is naturally a let’s-just-get-this-shit-done kind of guy which was such a blessing through all of this, but I also reached out to my grandparents for help. They brought over boxes and packed up a whole room for us. Even them just boxing up one room helped me sleep better at night, and they loved being a part of this journey with us.

3. Cull

Throw away all the shit that you simply do not need/use/remember you even owned. I cannot stress how important this is. Not only does it make packing that little bit easier – simply because there will be less things to physically pack, but it is also incredibly liberating. I threw out old t-shirts, shoes that I haven’t worn in years, old handbags that I will never again use, my entire collection of Frankie magazines that I have been collecting since I was fifteen, my collection of cooking magazines (but I went through them and ripped out the recipes that I love). It felt freaking excellent. And there really is nothing like stepping into a new home – and a new life – with only the things that you need, love and want.

4. Hire professionals

Pete is the handiest of all the handymen ever. For instance, last night he moved an entire bed down three flights of stairs by himself last night. And it isn’t the kind of bed that you can take apart with an allan key. It was a queen mattress and then one of those bases that are just one big chunk of whatever with legs. Yep. By himself while I cooked steak. Now, no matter how handy your man/woman/partner/brother/friend/sister is, nor how willing they are to help you move, organise removalists. Pete was all set for us to move everything ourselves with his brother and his trailer, until his boss (and friend) graciously offered to organise removalists for us. It wasn’t until we received the confirmation of them coming that we felt the waves of relief wash over us. Moving and unpacking even small boxes takes its toll on you on moving day, let alone all the lifting and heaving and grunting of when it comes to moving the fucking fridge. Eliminate all avenues of stress, I say.

5. Embrace the chaos

It is well-known that moving is just kinda crappy. And sometimes, being pregnant can feel kinda crappy too. But I found that by simply acknowledging that yes, you are going to be completely exhausted and overwhelmed and emotional, makes it all kind of okay. Don’t try and do things on top of growing a human and moving, just allow yourself to wake up, eat, work, pack and collapse into bed. Nothing more. I also found that it helps to imagine what that first night in the new house is going to be like – all the new sounds and sights and feels. Mentally put all of your furniture in the new place and get excited about decorating your home (if that is your kinda thing). Also, rest in the knowledge that even if you can’t picture it, the move will take place and it will all be over and done with.

6. SLEEP

This may seem like an obvious one, but sometimes it takes someone else to remind you of the importance of sleep to really get through to you. My boss was the one that did that for me. She also helped me with 5. Embrace the chaosShe demanded that every morning before work I stay in bed for half an hour longer than normal. She demanded that I not expect anything more of myself than to only be able to work and pack and sleep. It took her giving me permission to rest in bed for me to really understand the importance of it. So if you are someone who needs reminding, let me help, “You are growing a human and it is okay to be tired. Right now, all you need to focus on is packing what you can, when you can, and resting. You are doing really well.” “Also, eating”.

7. Celebrate!

Having something to look forward to is sometimes the one thing that can see you through those really tough times. For instance, in those moments (that are now very few and far between) where I am still overwhelmed with the move and figuring out when the fuck I am going to have time to unpack and sort our new life out before Bubba arrives, I simply think of the cheese and antipasto platter that I plan on making for myself and Pete on Sunday afternoon. There will be wheels of cheese, and crackers, quince paste, strawberries, prosciutto and salami, ham and salmon. There will be bourbon for Pete and perhaps a glass of champagne (with blueberries in it {if you haven’t tried that, you must}) for me. We will collapse on the lounge in our new surroundings, clink our glasses and exhale heavily.

So – cheers to all of you mamas out there who are heading into a new home and a brand new life. Take a deep breath, take it slow and know that there is always support out there.



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