I will admit that before I had Hunter I did hold some judgment around parents who fed their babies formula. Further still, I did nothing to help the stigma of bottle-feeding babies, even if the bottle was filled with breast milk. I don’t know where […]
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 […]
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.
Sixty-three days?! That’s nothing. I have all the feelings.
I am thirty-one weeks today and oh boy, do I feel it.
Generally speaking I am doing well! I feel healthy, I have enough energy each day to get me through until about 1.30pm and although I don’t sleep through the night, when I am asleep it is a deep sleep (before my bladder or my son wakes me up).
We had our baby shower last weekend and it was such a beautiful day. We were surrounded by friends and family and there was enough food to feed our entire suburb for three weeks and alcohol was drank and our little man, Pete and I received some beautiful gifts. Since moving into our house, a lot of what we have been doing around the place was not only in preparation for the arrival of bub, but it was also in preparation for hosting our baby BUB-beque. It was the first time Pete’s and my family were meeting, and the first time that we were introducing ourselves to everyone as a little family of three in our home that we created together. We couldn’t have wished for the day to go any better; all of our family and friends introduced themselves to one another if they hadn’t met before, every room of our house was filled with conversation and laughter and the backyard smelt of delicious meat cooking on a coal barbeque.
At thirty-one weeks I only have two more hospital appointments before my due date. I only have two weeks of work left. It really does feel that the next two months are going to absolutely fly by and before we know it, we will be holding our son in our arms and weeping over how perfect he is.
I am getting bigger with each and every day that passes – and this is confirmed over and over again by my family and work colleagues – and so is Bub. He is so big now that by just resting our hands on my belly, Pete and I are able to feel his head, his feet and his legs; we are able to feel our son’s body and it is positively surreal. Not only is he big, but my god is he strong. I was sitting at my desk yesterday and he was kicking the hell out of me and it hurt – it really, really hurt. I had to press my hand quite firmly into the right side of my stomach to keep him away from what I sure are some of my vital organs. I tried getting up and walking around in hopes that he would shift his position or go to sleep, but no. Up until last week, I could only really feel him kicking or moving when I was sitting or lying down, but now it doesn’t matter where I am or whether I am standing or sitting, I can feel him constantly. He is my active little companion and he makes sure that I know it.
Pete and I were sitting on the lounge last night watching Vikings – and, holy shit, if you haven’t watched it, WATCH IT. I didn’t think I would like it, but I am obsessed. And Travis Fimmel is a bloody dreamboat – literally bloody. I never thought that I would find someone whose face is spattered with blood so damn attractive but I DO. Now I sit on the lounge and demand more battles scenes just so I can see this:
So we were sitting on the lounge and once again I got an overwhelming surge of love and adoration for our son. He has so much personality already and I love that he and I know each other already – because we do. I can’t describe the connection that I feel with him because it is so intimate. I love that he and I have to work together to get through the day. I love that everything I do is with him in mind – what I eat, how I sit, all the visits to the bathroom (which, by the way have increased once again). He is the biggest part of my days and my nights, my little companion and I truly cannot wait to meet him.
Pete also picked up the last piece of furniture for Bub’s room which was a Boori chest of drawers to match the cot and the change table that we got a few weeks ago. Pete is away this weekend and I am going to get our son’s room all set up for when he gets back. I am going to wash and fold and put away all of his clothes, and buy nappies to stack on the shelves beneath the change table and get out all of the picture books and set them up. Bub already feels like a part of the family and, once again, I am finding it difficult to describe what it feels like getting all of this ready for him. Pete is so proud of the room that we have created for our son and he said last night, “Our little man is going to love his room, and he deserves it all”. And he does.
I realised the other day that I have almost forgotten what it is like to NOT be pregnant. It’s weird. A colleague and friend of mine said to me, “I have never not known you pregnant” – and she hasn’t because I found out I was pregnant the day before I started this job. She then went on to say that she actually doesn’t know much of my back story either which got me thinking. I went through some old photos and almost didn’t recognise myself. Women are pregnant for ten months all up, almost a whole year, so I guess that it’s pretty normal to forget how you used to look, how you used to feel and even what you used to wear before growing a human. But even more than that, I realised that I will never be that person again. Ever. My body will forever bear the marks of having been pregnant and having a child, and I am in no way saying that as a bad thing, not at all. I just found myself really stopping and thinking about how I used to look and who I used to be, and wondering who I am about to become.
I have to say, I am excited to find out.
I am also excited, I will admit, to wear my normal clothes once again and not be restricted to a handful of comfortable items of clothing that I wear in steady circulation. I didn’t realise how trendy I was before everything stopped fitting me. Though I may not feel comfortable wearing the crop tops and short skirts that I used to wear (I am a mother now, after all), I am looking forward to having options, having the energy to accessorise and pretty myself up and to just feeling like myself again but in a new way. I am looking forward to feeling sexy again!
Overall, I can’t remember being happier than I am now. I can’t remember ever being more in love in my relationship, more settled and grateful for my home, more inspired to create or more ready to face whatever the future holds. My son and Pete are the catalysts for those feelings and every morning I wake up grateful for Pete’s arm around me and my son’s kicks against my belly.
I’ll leave you with this:
I have never found gift-giving particularly difficult. Those that I buy for, I generally know pretty well whether it be a family member, a partner or a friend. I actually love the lead up to Christmas and writing a list of ideas for presents for […]
Whether you are going all out and hiring a venue and catering and the whole shebang, or if you are doing something at home with a budget, your baby shower can still ooze fabulousness, instgrammableness and loveliness! I have always loved hand-making as much as I can, mainly because I love doing craft but also because when you make something yourself it is often cheaper and incredibly unique. Of course, not everything can be handmade (that would be the dream!) and heading into parenthood is expensive. Pete and I have managed to cut some corners without skimping on quality goods for us or bub, so I do hope that even SOME of these ideas help for those of you throwing a baby shower on a budget!
Our BUB-beque is this Saturday. We are having it at home and there are about forty people coming over for lunch, drinks, nibbles and frivolity. More often than not, the baby-to-be’s godmother will throw a baby shower for the mama-to-be but that isn’t something that I wanted for myself. Instead, I wanted to be surrounded by friends and family and mot importantly, I wanted Pete by my side. It just so happens that it is Pete’s birthday in mid-December and getting everyone together can be so difficult that it was yet another great excuse to simply throw a party.
That doesn’t mean that our house won’t be all about BABY, though. Oh no.
Last weekend, Shari and I went shopping for the big day and surprisingly we didn’t spend nearly as much as I thought we would (or could have). Everything that we bought for the BUB-beque (except for alcohol and meat) was bought from Kmart, Aldi, Coles or Big W and for a lot of what we got, you wouldn’t guess it!
A few posts ago, I wrote about how we are turning our dining table into a huge grazing platter for the day. There are cheaper options for food which would include salads, bakes and perhaps some meat however, just because of the size of our house and the amount of people that we are having over, a grazing platter for us was definitely the best option. I also don’t want to be running around trying to make sure that everyone is fed on the day, this option means that all of the food is there and ready to be devoured and I don’t need to think about it again.
Having said that, where I could be frugal, I was.
We went to Coles first to get all of the antipasto elements of our grazing table including cheeses, olives, fruit, nuts, pickles and a myriad of other things in jars with oil (pickles, etc.). For the cheeses, we chose a few really nice ones that were a tad more expensive, however the majority of the cheese we bought (we bought a fair bit because there is no such thing as too much cheese) was the Coles brand! I have bought their brand of cheese before and it is just as delightful and creamy and heavenly as their branded counterpart that is triple the price.
The fruit that we bought wasn’t too expensive, and fresh produce is something that I choose not to skint on anyway. We bought a lot of blueberries and strawberries (they were on special), as well as grape tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and a variety of other fruits and vegetables to freshen up the table. Of course if you want blackberries and figs and the more exotic fruits, then yeah, your costs will go up a fraction, however like I said – fresh produce deserves the best.
The same thing applied when selected our antipasto favourites. We bought Coles brand olives, both kalamata and stuffed green, semi-dried tomatoes and dried fruit such as sultanas and apricots. When then filled in the gaps with some branded goods such as mini gherkins and cheese-stuffed peppers. By way of dips, I can almost 100% guarantee you that one brand or another will be on sale on any given day. Although my favourite dips are the Red Rock Deli variety, the line of Mercer Valley dips were half-price so we loaded up on them instead! The flavours that I wanted were exactly the same, and in that one decision alone I saved over ten dollars. Plus, all dips are delicious anyway..
We went to Aldi to buy all of the crackers and chips and although these elements are cheap in Coles and Woolworths and most shopping chains, that dollar or two that you save at Aldi for these staples add up as well (especially when you are buying in bulk).
We didn’t buy the meat, the bread or the seafood elements last weekend as I want them to be as fresh as possible. So, on Saturday morning I will be heading back to Coles to their bakery and their deli section to pick up the remaining elements of the grazing table. It is only very recently that I discovered the Coles deli section whereas I used to just walk along the refrigerated section for all of my deli meats. Not only do you get to choose the exact quantity you want over the counter of the deli section, but the meats are far higher in quality (the prosciutto is always freshly sliced in front of me) and a hell of a lot cheaper than buying multiple packets. For the bread, I love the Coles brand french bread sticks and their olive sourdough loaf. They are a couple of bucks each and go a long way!
By way of sweets, treats and desserts – I spent all of Sunday baking personalised baby shower cookies! I also went to Big W because their confectionery section is legit – they still have Yupi and Trolli lollies so I was all over that. I also bought wafer biscuits from there because for some reason they are always on special at Big W. I will also be making fairy bread with blue sprinkles because fairy bread is life (and cheap). For our cake, I am lucky enough to have Mum and the incredible team at Unwritten baking our cake. Having said that, if that wasn’t an option, I would have made my own cake. I find that homemade cakes (even when you suck at baking) are far tastier than ones that you have to order weeks in advance. Again, I am a fan of the homemade, but if saving money is what you’re after then spending that little bit of extra time making things will result in a fair amount of savings!
Unfortunately, alcohol is alcohol. Aside from shopping around at different stores and grabbing things while they are on special, alcohol and drinks will always be one of the most pricey elements of a get together. Pete bought all of our alcohol from Dan Murphy’s and I bought some non-alcoholic sparkling wine from Aldi as well as a bottle of Seedlip for those who aren’t drinking alcohol.
I saw this idea on Pinterest and absolutely loved it – a Mum-osa Bar.
Shari and I bought a cheap metal container from Kmart where there will be bottles of champagne sitting in ice, as well as four plastic jars that we will fill with fresh fruit and three glass bottles filled with different kinds of juice. I bought a cheap frame from Kmart and designed and printed a little size to slip inside it, as well as wooden swing tags and twine that I will write on to identify each juice! We also found some stunning champagne glasses (as I didn’t have any) that came in boxes of six. I bought two boxes and then a packet of glittered plastic champagne glasses in case we needed any spares. The disposable ones from Kmart are actually really pretty and photograph really well, so if you didn’t want to spend the extra money on proper glasses, these are a great option!
We also bought boxes of canned soft drink on special from Big W!
Once again, Kmart and Big W provided the goods when it came to Shari and I choosing the theme and buying the decorations for this weekend. Like I have mentioned, we are going for a very rustic and natural colour theme with pops of blue throughout. To start things off, I handmade a Woodland Creature Bunting as well as a cake topper both of which only took about an hour all up (and cost next to nothing!).
At Kmart, they have a wide range of buntings that are insanely cheap! I went for the hessian flag bunting as well as two of the DIY blackboard buntings that come with chalk. I chose these two because it ties in with our theme and the DIY buntings means that I can dedicate one to our baby boy, while the other will be a birthday one for Pete!! I am planning on having the buntings layered throughout the house, rather than just stringing each of them up against a wall!
We ordered the balloons for the baby shower from Big W. I ended up going for two bouquets that will sit on the floor instead of table-top ones. The balloons are in metallic green, pearl white and some really pretty clear latex ones, some that are being filled with rose gold confetti and others that aren’t. I personally didn’t want any balloons that said ‘boy’ or ‘baby’ – however there are a number of cheap options available on eBay that you can purchase and then get filled with helium closer to the day! We also bought some really creepy looking plastic babies that are meant for a baby shower game called “My Water’s Broke” but 1. I don’t do games and 2. I thought that they would be great to dot around the table.
When my mum and I hosted my godmother’s baby shower for her baby girl, we bought a number of toys that we used as a part of the grazing table. Not only did it look great they were also some extra presents for her to take home at the end of it! For our little man I bought some Hot Wheels, some Lego Duplo and a few plush toys. If you are having a baby shower where you don’t know the sex of the baby, there are some great neutral toys you can get including teething rings, fabric books and neutral soft toys all of which are available at Big W and Kmart!
Also for the table, and for around the house and on top of the cake, Mum is going to Sydney Markets on Thursday morning to pick up some Australia native flowers. If you want to include flowers as a part of your decoration for your baby shower, I strongly suggest hitting up the markets. The flowers are always incredibly fresh and SO much cheaper than they are at the florist. It does get hectic at the markets and it can be a pain, so if you can, get there early in the morning! Again, these suggestions are all to save some cash and although it will take that little bit more time and effort, the flowers will be fresh and vibrant and lovely.
Back at Kmart again, Shari and I managed to find some really sweet napkins! I originally wanted simple napkins, however when we saw these three options, we knew that they would work together and play off the theme nicely. We have the pop of blue, the rose gold lettering matches the champagne glasses and the ballon and the black, white and gold ones suit everything! I found it difficult to find nice looking plates.. but we landed on these silver striped zig-zag kinda’ ones. We found them at Big W in the party section and they were also available in rose gold and standard gold. Most of the plates that we came across were really bold colours and flimsy plastic. These are sturdy enough that if we wanted to, we could wash them and use them again – though I doubt that we will do that..
I also bought some hanging decorations from Big W – just those white crepe-papery ones – they come in packets of four or five and you need to pull them out and make them yourself. They are extremely cheap but if you can get creative and intertwine them with a few different types and colours, and maybe some smaller balloons then you will have a really pretty (AND SUPER FANCY) decorative feature goin’ on!
After the weekend has passed and we have celebrated our little man with our family and friends, I will be sure to post photos of everything that I have mentioned here, as well as things that I probably missed! Also, just a little side note, you will have to excuse me if this post seems rambly or doesn’t make sense – I am still adjusting to the third trimester and it is hard and I am big and constantly hot (so much so that I think I may evaporate) and tired and have reflux so my brain is a tad foggy. Apologies.