So it has been just over a month since I last wrote anything on the blog or otherwise. Safe to say though, I have had a pretty good excuse for my absence. Pete and I welcomed our son Hunter Francis Boyle into this world at […]
Thirty-eight weeks today. It doesn’t seem real, while at the same time it definitely feels like the pregnancy should be over and done with. This last month has been the most challenging and the most incredible period of time for so many different (and completely […]
I am writing this post this morning from my favourite seat at the cafe. It is right by the front window which is wide open at the moment, the sounds of the morning streaming in. From this seat, I can see every single inch of the cafe that Pete created (you’ll have to excuse the random, romantic moments I am having – I can’t control them at the moment). These last few weeks of pregnancy have me feeling all of the emotions, and I mean all of them. Last night I burst into tears while watching Californication (and, speaking of Californication, I actually have more to say about that show but I might save that for tomorrow when my brain is less fuzzy and the sweat patches under my arms have receded), for no reason at all. Pete said softly and kindly, “Don’t be sad my love,” but I wasn’t sad, I just have no idea what to do with everything that I am feeling.
In bed last night as I wrestled between consciousness and sleep, our little man dropped even further, pressing down even heavier on my cervix. I breathed a deep breath with each movement that he made and felt every single millimetre that he moved. The last few nights have been close to torture when it comes time to sleep. I made peace a long time ago with the fact that my sleeping is not going to be great or consistent or even rejuvenating, but lately it has been a whole new kind of difficult. As soon as I lie down my body becomes really itchy, I become insanely fidgety and fall into this weird micro-sleeps that I jolt out of violently a few mere minutes later. It’s all okay and it doesn’t bother me that sleep seems a thing of the distant past, but it is definitely taking its toll on me during the many hours of daylight.
Having never done this whole ‘being pregnant’ thing before, maternity leave has also thrown me a bit of a curveball (as I kind of predicted it would). Every morning feels weird. I feel weird. I feel lost. I feel like I am just waiting which, when I mentioned this to Mum she answered with, “Well, you are.” Our son, as I have told you all, is fully engaged and he is RIGHT THERE, he is so very close to being born and yet there is absolutely nothing that I can do to make it happen any faster. I am at the stage where I am just waiting and my next challenge is to make peace with that. Being someone who always likes to be busy and pull my weight and contribute, I have really been struggling with how I should be feeling. Physically, this has been the most exciting period of the pregnancy yet but mentally, I am still finding my feet.
Not only that, but the hormones that are shooting all throughout my body are just so exhausting! I am so connected to my son and so desperate to meet him that my sheer WANT and DESIRE to hold him in my arms is literally all I think about, all day. ALL DAY. There is not a moment that passes that I don’t wish he was already here. I find myself constantly hoping for any signs of labour or contractions. I am silently (and sometimes not so silently) wishing in every moment for him to be ready to meet Pete and I. I want to smell him, and feel him in my arms, and kiss every inch of his beautiful little body, and change his nappy, and tell him how wanted and how loved he is. I have never experienced a want as great or as insatiable as this. Through my tears last night I blubbered to Pete, “I just love him so much.” I love him so much already that I have no idea what to do with it all, the love has nowhere to go except out of my eyeballs.
I am trying everything I can to distract myself from the thoughts and the yearning and the persistent, relentless NEED for my son. I am learning how to use royal icing, I am constantly cleaning the house, I am reading in every spare moment that I have and watching television series when I can’t be on my feet anymore. Nothing works. The ridiculous thing is that, even if I go to full term (which I still don’t think I will), his arrival is only 31 days away which is NOTHING and yet it feels like a fucking eternity (excuse my French). I know that when I go into labour, I won’t remember any of this or how I am feeling.
I don’t really have much advice or wisdom to impart today about this stage of pregnancy because I am still trying to work it all out. Maybe I will go and buy myself one of those colouring in books for adults today, or start the 1000 piece puzzle that my friend gave me, or sleep, or buy the John Ajvide Lindqvist books that I have been wanting to read so desperately. I doubt that any of these will work for an extended period of time, but they are worth a shot – right?
I definitely imagined that I would write this post far more succinctly and with more wit and structure, but the state of my brain coupled with the heat that is currently emanating from my body means that this is about as eloquent as I am going to get.
The collected works of Liane Moriarty, Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl;it seems as though the past few years the genre of domestic thrillers was born thanks to some truly epic female authors. I don’t quite know what it is about these types of books, […]
It is almost unbelievable to me that we are all now in the year that my son is to be born. I know that that is making the new year all about me, but for the moment, the imminent arrival of our little man is my world, my everything, my every waking moment.
On the nights of both the 29th and the 30th of December, out of nowhere and at the same time each of the nights, I was experiencing insanely powerful and almost unbearable stabs of pain in my left ovary. The pain shot down into my pelvis and all the way down my left leg until it reached my toes. The pain was akin to what I felt last year when I had a cyst on my right ovary that then haemorrhaged (when I went to emergency when that happened, the nurse said that the pain I was experiencing was the closest comparison to childbirth that they have been able to make). The first night it happened, I didn’t think too much of it – I knew that it meant that I had reached some new phase in the pregnancy (even though I had no idea what was causing the pain), and with the pain so similar to what I had felt the year before I found myself wondering, “Am I in labour?”
I breathed through the pain and about four hours of Bub moving really intensely, everything started to calm down. The following night at around the same time, the very same pains and rapid movements came flooding back – but this time, it was even more full on. My pain threshold has always been good, really good actually, but the pain was so severe that I yelled out in pain with each wave of it and then burst into tears. I managed to remain calm and breathe, but it was absolutely excruciating. I called mum and described the pain to her and she said that it wasn’t anything that she had ever experienced which, you know, made me feel just SO confident and fine and not at all concerned..
Once again, after about four hours and fifty-six different positions, Bub finally settled down and I was able to get to sleep. The next morning was New Years Eve and as soon as I woke up, the discomfort woke with me. Before Pete and I made the trek down to Clarke’s Point to settle in for the long wait for the fireworks, I called the birth unit at RNSH and told them about the pain I had been experiencing and described Bub’s change of movements. We got called into hospital.
Long story short, everything is fine – actually, better than fine. His movements were measured against his heart rate for about an hour and then the doctor came to give me an all-over check. The pain that I had experienced and the two nights of extreme movement was Bub getting into position to be born. His head is now fully engaged in my cervix, he is ready to be born. The movements are feeling more powerful and painful simply because of how strong he is and because of the different position he is in now they felt extremely foreign. The pain that I was feeling my ovary were his little fists and elbows ferociously punching my ligaments, muscles and nerves which is why I felt it all the way down my leg and in my groin. All very normal we were told. On top of that, to help him get into position I was experiencing waves of Braxton Hicks contractions and breathing into the pain actually allowed him to move. It was my first foray into what labour is going to be like and I tell you what – I am so fucking excited for it.
The new kinds of movements have been so exciting, the pain has been exhilarating in its own way and this whole new stage, the final stage, is the most fun, educational and magical time of my life so far. I also need to mention how amazing Pete has been throughout all of this. I may be the oblivious new mama, but he is just as oblivious. He is the oblivious new papa. Considering that he has never been through this before, absolutely everything that he has done over the past week has been absolutely perfect. He has allowed me to deal with my pain however I need to, helping me when I require it. He has reassured me that he is right there with me. When the discomfort has become too much he has lay next to me and rubbed my belly lightly, whispering to our son (more like pleading with him to let me relax). He sat with me patiently at hospital and always has the aircon on at home. Pete has been the most supportive, loving and understanding partner throughout this whole process and I could not be more grateful, nor more excited to see him as the beautiful father he was always going to be.
I feel that I have spoken about 2018 enough. Most of you can gather that it was a tough one – and it was so for a lot of people. It was a big year that was full of unexpected happenings and transformation. For me, this year has taught me more than I ever envisioned. I have been taught patience and trust, surrender and understanding. Last year I grieved the loss of a child and the loss of my sister-in-law. Last year I met my soul sister and watched her walk down the aisle. Last year I made two of the best friends I have ever made after landing the job I have been working towards my entire life. Last year I met my soul mate and he gave me the greatest gifts of all – love, understanding, laughter, some amazing bottles of whiskey and the gift of our beautiful, healthy, charismatic, adorable son.
Although we are only three days into this new year, for Pete and I they have already been three of the most wonderful days. Each and every day is different in our home and I have come to love that about our little family – him, me, our one-eyed cat, our goof of a dog and our over-active child who it seems cannot wait to escape my womb. This year has already brought its challenges too. Today is the first official day of my maternity leave and I feel way out of my depth and lost. I have had no motivation to write and what has taken its place is the pressure to write. When I was still working full-time, creating this website and filling it with content was such a pleasure, it was and remains my absolute world.. but now that I am without an income, it is so much more than that. I so desperately want The (Oblivious) New Mama to be everything that I have been envisioning over the past few months, and that in itself has been dangerous thinking because all of a sudden I’m not writing for pleasure or for my love of it, I am writing it with expectation. No, no, no. I have been working all day to come to terms with the fact that it is okay that I feel this pressure – I have never done the whole maternity leave thing before so it isn’t that surprising that it feels weird, right? Also the holiday period threw me, as it does everyone, and I have been rather preoccupied with the whole about to give birth thing. I know that I need to take the pressure off and write for the absolute love and joy that it brings me. I have loved writing to you, my audience, and I don’t plan on ever stopping.
I promise you that there are things in the works, there are draft posts sitting in the backend of my website and ideas scrawled all throughout my notebook. This year is going to be a big one, and though I cannot expect anything from my writing (it doesn’t deserve that kind of pressure), I am expecting big, great, wondrous, inconceivable things to happen this year.
So, from my lounge where I sit right now with both a fan and a portable air conditioner pointed at me while I continue to exist about seven degrees hotter than anyone else I want to thank you all for making my 2018 so healing and humbling and I look forward to connecting with each and every one of you in 2019. And even more so, I cannot wait to introduce you to our beautiful baby boy.
Tomorrow is my last day of work before I not only finish up for the year, but also before I head off on maternity leave. It is a weird feeling. I mean, I think that finishing work for the end of the year always feels a bit strange, but add the fact that I am not coming back to my workplace and that in a short seven weeks I will be giving birth to a baby boy – well, I think it is definitely fair enough that I feel a little out of sorts.
People have started to ask me what I plan on doing while on maternity leave and it left me feeling both excited and a little bit wary. My boss says that I will find that I will sleep a lot – especially in the afternoons. Everyone has been telling me that from now on I should sleep whenever I can because soon enough, I will be up with bub. Honestly though, the idea of being up with him and not having consistent hours sleep doesn’t phase me in the slightest. What I am coming to understand though is that I will be sleeping for a lot of my leave. It gets to 2pm and all I want to do is close my eyes for half an hour or so – and I have NEVER been a keen napper. Ever.
I am excited for leave because it means that this next phase has well and truly begun. Pete and I have reached the final stretch of the pregnancy and are all but waiting to meet our little man. All the hormones are also making me want to just nest. Leaving my house of a morning is hard simply because I want to be home, and doing anything outside of work is near impossible for me to get excited about because all I want is to be home. I can’t even explain why or what it is about home but I have been reassured several times that it is completely normal at this stage to rarely leave the house – which totally works for me.
I am also excited for maternity leave for the obvious reasons. It is almost summer and I can spend my days doing the bay walk and going to Drummoyne pool and the beach and eating ice cream at Darling Harbour or Circular Quay. I am actually SO EXCITED for ample cleaning time every day and I realise how lame that sounds but I do love cleaning our house. I am looking forward to learning how to make and use royal icing and extending my cookie making and decorating skills. I plan on experimenting a lot more in the kitchen and making use of the extra meal preparation time I will have. I really want to nail a miso eggplant recipe above all else. So good. I am keen to read a lot of books – including some children’s ones out loud to the little guy because I am starting him young – and also attempting to make my way through the seemingly endless list of television shows and movies people have given me ahead of maternity leave.
The (Oblivious) New Mama is going to be able to be my main focus for the next month and a half and I am finally going to have the time to do and create everything that I have wanted to for this site, but haven’t had the time or the energy to do whilst working. If anything, that is what I am most excited for – really making something of this website, of my words and sharing as much knowledge, baked goods and book reviews with the world. I am absolutely determined to make this a successful and profitable endeavour. I want to live and work through my passion and I am able to run this site from anywhere, and I can do so whilst still being the hands-on, available and attentive mother that I have always wanted to be.
The only thing that I am a bit anxious about when it comes to maternity leave is the fact that it will be the first time in my life that I am not earning an income. I have some money saved for my own spending and we will be receiving the parental payments from Centrelink as well, and financially, we will be fine, but it feels so weird and foreign. I do feel that I will experience a fair amount of guilt while I am off during the weeks before bub arrives. I think that surely, that’s natural for first time mothers? I know that I will need to find a way to make peace with those feelings and really lean into the comfort and safety of the fact that I am in a committed and loving relationship and that this is all part of it. It is also why I think it is so important that I remain focused on my little side projects (that I believe will eventuate in a full year’s salary eventually) as well as everything that makes up who I am. I don’t want to lose my identity. Instead, I want to use this time to really flesh out my passions, throw myself into them and make them into something really special. I want to do all of this first and foremost for myself, but also for my son and for my family.
Bring on maternity leave, I say!
Also, it’s really hot at the moment and everything is harder. So yeah, it will be nice to spend some days on the lounge, in front of the fan with a bowl of watermelon and nowhere to be.
And no clothes.
I was insanely excited to read this book; as soon as I learned of its existence, I was intrigued. Non-fiction, autobiographies and memoirs are not something that I read often, nor are they what I enjoy reading (which sometimes I think is a bit strange […]