Saturday, 28 February 2015

GUILT



GUILT - we all feel it and it seems to me that Mothers feel it more.

 I've come to realise that my guilt stems from the pressure I had put on myself before I actually became a parent. I had all these grand ideas about how I would parent when I gave birth to my child and to be quite honest, the reality was extremely different. I had numerous big ideas about what was right and what was wrong about parenting. Most of these ideas were due to the ENDLESS do's and don'ts and the should's and shouldn't's that get drummed into us when we decide to have children.

A few examples of controversial ideas include the following:

- Birthing: Natural vs Caesarean? and with or without drugs?

Before we even give birth to our child we are conditioned to believe that natural child birth is the only way and it is often insinuated that if you don't do it the natural way your child will not have the best start to life. How much of a guilt trip is that? A natural birth was 100% my plan, unfortunately it didn't work out that way and I ended up having an emergency caesarian. That's the thing with childbirth and parenting, even though we may plan for a natural birth we may be forced down other routes. These other routes are often perceived to be wrong however, they are often necessary for the safety of both the child and the mother. As far as I'm concerned the safety of my baby is my priority. The same goes with medical intervention or pain relief, we are told that having an epidural is dangerous and harmful to our babies. Every woman is different, some have a high tolerance for pain and some don’t. Either way, birthing is tough no matter what way you look at it.  I had an epidural and a c-section, I was in labour for 24 hours before any of this and let me tell you, having a c-section is no picnic and the recovery afterwards whilst trying to deal with a newborn is not fun. My point here is that child birth is tough full stop. Why should women be made to feel like failures because they didn't "tough" it out and had an epidural or were forced to have a c-section, or even an elective c-section? Every women is different and it goes to say that every birth is also different. No way is the wrong way!

- Feeding your child: Breast is best?

This may be true but choosing to bottle feed doesn't make your decision wrong. Insinuating that your child may not develop as well as other children that are breast fed is wrong! Why is there the constant pressure to breastfeed? Some women can't or maybe some women just don't want to breastfeed. What is so wrong with that? As long as a child is being fed and nourished it shouldn’t matter how they are being fed. I felt so much guilt and felt as though I had failed when I decided to offer Ella a top-up with formula. Why? Because I'd always been told over and over again that breastmilk IS the best way to feed her. When I made the decision to bottle feed in addition to breast feeding, I felt as though I had failed her as my child and failed as a parent even though she was still going to be primarily breastfed. I felt awful.

- Immunising your child: To immunise or not to immunise?

This is a HUGELY controversial topic and I don't intend on starting a debate but the point must be made: Whether you choose to immunise or not that is your choice and I'm sure you've done your research into why you are or aren't going to immunise your child. Personally, I immunised Ella but after going through the 6 week immunisations I could seriously see the argument for not immunising, she was not a happy camper. Regardless of whether you do or don't immunise your child, the point I'm making here is that it's personal choice. Why should a woman be made to feel guilty for doing what she thinks is best for her child?

- To use Dummies or Pacifiers?

This may not be considered as something controversial, but the day I gave Ella a dummy I bawled my eyes out. Why? Because I swore I'd never give her one. There is so much negative press when it comes to dummies because of the apparent cause of teeth crowding and problems later on in life. I hate dummies but have reverted to using one for day sleeps.

The list of controversial topics goes on and on, swaddling vs not swaddling, the "cry it out" method, routine vs on demand. There is so much pressure on parents in every single facet of parenting that we end up placing so much guilt on ourselves when we decide to parent in a way that is seen as "incorrect" or "not ideal".

Parenting is stressful enough as it is.  At the end of the day, what works for one child and their parents may not work for another. If your child is growing and happy isn't that what should be the important thing? Should we really be torturing ourselves just because our way of parenting doesn't fit in with what society dictates as right?

When I look back at my "before child" self I want to slap myself in the face. I was living in a naive little bubble where I knew how I was going to parent and the so-called "right" way to do it. I ended up putting myself under immense pressure so that when I actually gave birth and realised that it wasn't so black and white I felt like a failure. There is no RIGHT way of parenting, every parent and every child is different. What works for one may not work for another and just because society says its wrong doesn't mean it is!

Monday, 23 February 2015

It's one of those days...


Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel like tearing your hair out, but for no apparent reason? Today is one of those. I don't know why but I feel a bit antsy and on edge. Ella has been grizzly and grumpy all day apart from about 20 mins. 

We have just begun the 3rd "leap, I've come to dread them, and it's taking it's toll. At the risk of being a Debbie downer and a moaner, some days though you just need a moan, life isn't always rosy and as I swore I would always be 100% transparent. Here goes.

Today, for me, has been a bit of a down day and Ella's mood hasn't helped. Recent events in my personal and family life have forced me to evaluate my thoughts and I feel as though my head is a bit of a mess, I've always been an over thinker - probably one of my biggest down falls aside from perhaps the grumpiness which my husband can attest too. 

Since I have had my baby though it feels as if my mind has gone into overdrive and I've become a sensitive, jealous and emotional mess. Nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming feelings I have towards Ella and the overprotectiveness I feel to the point of not being able to step back and let someone else look after her or feed her. Why? I have no idea and I can't explain it. 

I'm also suffering from extreme sensitivity and emotion, my poor hubby, if anyone says anything towards me I can't help but take it to heart and stew over it for days and weeks on end. It gets to the point where I even piss myself off, but I just can't turn my brain off and LET. IT. GO. 

All I know is, no one prepared me for this - the hormones and emotions! Can I still blame it on hormones? or am I outside the post-partem time frame for crazy hormones?

It's so frustrating to have days like this where I can't stand being in my own mind but I feel as though it's normal, healthy even, maybe I'm wrong but everyday can't be a good day and it's ok to feel irritated or down. Tomorrow is a new day and all that.

I feel like this post is a bit all over the place, much like my head, and it probably doesn't make any sense whatsoever but I had to get it down on paper - or on virtual paper as it were. 

The parenting journey so far has been filled with exhaustion, emotions, frustrations and numerous perplexities. That's normal though. No one said it was easy. 

 When you get moments like this though...

  

It's a reminder of why I decided to go on this journey in the first place. When she has grumpy days like today, even the smallest of smiles can make it a little bit easier. Tomorrow is a new day. I just need to remember to "keep calm and carry on".

Saturday, 21 February 2015

12 Weeks today

I feel like the 12 week mark is a bit of a milestone, where I can safely say my baby is no longer a newborn. The first few weeks feel like such a long time ago with the weeks following flying past in a blur. I'm feeling a bit more like I know what I'm doing in that I am able to anticipate what she wants, most of the time, to prevent any tantrums. Not to say that we still don't have those. I'm learning her signals and what she's trying to tell me.

Her personality is developing with each passing day, she's smiling regularly, cooing and starting to giggle a little. She's content with being on her own for small amounts of time and her first instinct is not to cry when she wakes up in the morning and I generally wake when I hear her fidgeting.

She's also growing at rapid pace, now weighing in at 6kgs from her birth weight of 3.660kgs. She's outgrowing 0-3months clothing and starting to fit the next size up.  It makes me sad to know that before long she will no longer be my little baby but I'm excited to watch her grow and develop and to see her personality shine through.








Tuesday, 17 February 2015

It's days like today where I can use a laugh, this video fits the bill nicely. I watched it about 10 times and laughed hysterically each time!


Monday, 16 February 2015

video

With Missy Moo (a nickname she has somehow gained for no particular reason) fast approaching the three month mark - excuse me whilst I shed a tear - her personality is starting to shine through she is smiling a lot, cooing and has the makings of a little giggle it's safe to say she's found her voice. 

I know every parent says this but I can't believe how quickly she's growing and changing right in front of my very eyes. Sob. Sob.

Oh how I love this little girl and her personality!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Valentines Day



We don't make a huge deal out of Valentines Day, but it was spent having lunch with Hubby followed by a baby wearing walk with my new Ergobaby Carrier which hubby wore for the first time. I was very spoilt, he gave me a spa treatment pamper package for next month, now to pluck up the courage to leave my baby for the first time!






Hope you enjoyed your Valentines Day!




Thursday, 12 February 2015

What's in my nappy bag...

Because we are all naturally nosy by nature, I know I am, getting an unrestricted sneak peek into somebody else's bag is something we'd all like to do - why? I don't know but I love watching these sorts of videos on youTube and because I have no idea what to write about today I thought I would do a "What's in my nappy bag?" post for a bit of fun.

B.C. (before children) I was never a handbag carrier more a wallet and keys carrier, I hated lugging around a handbag because it ALWAYS ended up getting filled with crap and never cleaned out. Now that I've had a child , much to my dismay, of course I have to carry a nappy bag and this one doubles as a handbag for all my own crap as well as hers.

The bag I have is similar to this one (but with white trim and zebra print lining) by Collette Dinnigan and comes with a changing mat:




It's a HUGE bag and holds everything bar the kitchen sink, the interior of the bag is wipeable for any spills or mess. It has two pockets for bottles, one big pocket and a zipped pocket on the inside. I love this bag as it can pass as a normal handbag and not necessarily a nappy bag.




The typical staple items that every woman with a baby or toddler carriers: Wet Wipes, I like using Water Wipes they are 99.9% water so no harsh additives, I got mine in a bulk pack of 4 from mightyape.co.nz. Nappies, I have some old Huggies Newborn ones, which she outgrew weeks ago, and a Huggies Infant sized nappy. Scented nappy bags, to store used nappies on-the-go. Disposable changing mats, these ones they gave me at the hospital.



Generally, you'll also find in here a change of clothes (in case of poonami's) a bottle, formula (if she's going to have a formula top-up) and a dummy I add these to the bag before I leave the house. I'll always keep a cardigan if it gets cool, there are 3 (goodness knows why) head bands and a pair of pre-walker Ladybug shoes. For Ella's entertainment we have, a "Glow worm" it's face lights up and sings a lullaby, she loves it! A plastic key teething toy and Elmo on a clip which I attach to her capsule.


For me, I keep an assortment of make-up, that I never get a chance to put on, NARS Sheer glow foundation, Revlon Lash Potion Mascara, NYX Lipglosses, a Wet n Wild eyeshadow palette and Garnier Moisture Match moisturiser. I keep my sunnies, Ray Bans, a portable phone charger, a pen and randomly a camera card.



My bag is actually a lot tidier than it normally is, usually you'll find receipts and all sorts of rubbish! Not a hugely exciting post today as I'm existing on only a few hours of sleep making my brain a bit slow. Luckily i've finished this post as Ella has just woken up after a very short 10 minute nap - oh joy! 



Monday, 9 February 2015

What I learnt after having a baby...


In my lovely, pre-baby, naive bubble I pictured myself holding my beautiful little bundle. What I discovered, very quickly, in those first few weeks after giving birth to my beautiful little girl was a bit of an eyeopener.

She is perfect and beautiful in every way but there are a few things I never knew about babies. So, here are a few things I didn't know about having a newborn:

1. The 2nd day, better known as “The Night of Terrors"

The day after birth is where, generally, baby can sleep for up to 12 hours or more as they recover from the birth. I remember thinking "Wow, she's a great sleeper!” Oh man was I wrong, along came day 2 and apparently what is called the "Night of Terrors" hit me like a tonne of bricks and my lovely, peaceful sleeping child turned into a screaming, feeding mess. It was a bit of a shock to the system! I feel like she suddenly discovered she was out of her cosy little abode and wasn't at all that happy to be out!

2. Cluster Feeding.

I knew babies fed a lot, I had been told during antenatal classes that newborn babies could feed for 12hrs or more per day. I thought I was prepared however what I didn't realise was that she would end up feeding constantly for several hours at a time and switch from boob to boob at a dizzying rate. Apparently, cluster feeding is how a baby tries to bring on and increase the milk supply. Cluster feeding happened, for us, every afternoon and evening for 8 weeks solid. My poor boobs didn't know what hit them.

3. "The Witching Hour"

Another unknown for me. From about 4 or 5pm until about 10 or 11pm everyday my little girl was incredibly unsettled and fussy and nothing seemed to settle her. She would cry or cry for no apparent reason until a certain point when she would suddenly stop and go back to my placid little girl. There are endless theories as to why the witching hour occurs. One particular theory relates back to pregnancy which is when a mum is usually at her busiest and therefore so is baby. This carries on as a part of your baby’s routine even once they have been born. I'm not sure what the actual reason behind this is but what I do know is that it is very draining and disconcerting, especially for a first time mum!

4. Bonding with your baby.

I feel a bit guilty for admitting this but I really struggled to bond with my baby in those first few weeks. I expected, when my little bundle was placed in my hands, to instantly feel a bond and a connection with her. That wasn't the case. Oh, I loved my baby instantly, but at times when she wouldn't stop crying and nothing I did seemed to satisfy her I felt as though she hated me. I think a bond strengthens with time, maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think a bond is created instantly and as time has gone on and she's started to smile at me, coo and giggle and respond to me the bond between us has strengthened.

I asked my Hubby what he didn't know about having a newborn. His response? Everything. It's quite true really.

Being first time parents we were about as prepared as we could be. Through antenatal classes and talking to other parents we soaked up as much information as we could but nothing can prepare you for when you actually take your baby home. There is no manual or set way to handle situations. It is a skill that is learnt with time and experience and through the use of common sense. I knew having a baby would be tough but I didn't realise just how TOUGH. 

It's the unknown that's the killer. When you've tried EVERYTHING. She's been fed, burped, changed and she's not sick but she's STILL crying and the helplessness that comes with it. The feeling of I must be a bad Mum because I can't soothe her or help her.

If I can offer one piece of advice to all those expectant first time parents? It would be to not expect anything - why? Because you just can't plan anything. Babies don't understand plans and not every baby is the same.

Don't put any guilt on yourself when it comes to trying new things. For example, I hate dummies! Like seriously hate dummies. The day I gave in and gave Ella a dummy to help settle her for day sleeps, I bawled like a baby. I felt huge amounts of guilt because I had always sworn that i I would never give my baby a dummy. When I gave her a formula top up in the evening because i was lacking in milk because of cluster feeding, I bawled like a baby because I had sworn I would only ever breastfeed. The preconceived notions of how birth and parenthood would be drastically changed over time as i realised that what works for one parent and baby may not work for me.

There is enough guilt placed on Mother's as it is because of the choices they make, there is no need to make yourself feel guilty! Consider these things as tools for survival - if it works then don't feel guilty!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

What NOT to say to a pregnant woman!




It seems to me that pregnancy is one of those great joys in life where people will give you their opinion whether you ask for it or not. This certainly rang true for me in my pregnancy where I found that everyone from family members to strangers felt the need to comment on my size or weight gain.

I was never a hugely confident person anyway so this took a huge toll on my self-esteem, as mentioned in my previous post, I knew what I looked like when I saw it in the mirror and I most definitely saw it on the scales when I dared to weigh myself. Especially at this time of my life I really didn't need other people commenting on the growth of my ass or the size of my bump.

I don't know what it is about pregnancy but people love to comment on the size of bumps or in some cases the lack of. I don't know why this is or why people freely express their opinion but it doesn't make an already difficult, sensitive and emotional time any easier.

So below is a list of things not to say to a pregnant woman if you value your life..

1. "Wow, you’re so big!"

Oh really? Is that what happens during pregnancy? I hadn’t noticed. There is no need to point it out, a pregnant woman is well aware of her size. Being told you’re big is NOT a compliment and it does not help when people follow it up with "Oh, you poor woman.” A pregnant woman is most likely already having heart palpitations at the thought of labour and giving birth without you reinforcing it!

2. Now on the opposite end of the scale, "Oh, you're so small!”

This is no better than the first option. More often than not, a woman is sensitive about having a small bump so whatever you do DO NOT follow it up with "Awww, is there something wrong with your baby?" I could never imagine why you would ever say this to someone or an individual would ever think this was an appropriate comment. The fact that someone thinks something must be wrong with someone’s baby because they have a small bump is ridiculous and makes no sense at all. I have heard about someone I knew being asked this and it appalls me!

3. "Was it planned?"

This is neither your business nor should you ask it! Whether it was or wasn't a planned pregnancy is irrelevant, no matter what the baby will be loved and cherished. This is another question I never thought a pregnant woman would get asked but apparently it's happened!

4. Aren't you scared?

I was asked this by a supermarket checkout operator. "No, I'm not scared" was my reply. Why? Because I'm trying to stay positive, not think about it and not listen to stories from other people like her. As I said in the first point, the concept of birth is scary enough as it is without somebody making you think you ought to be scared!

5. DO NOT offer a pregnant woman "a birthing horror story"

Why? Every woman is different and every birth is different! Just because you had a horrific birth doesn't mean you need to share your experiences with every other woman facing birth! Why not try to remain positive and re-affirm the fact that she can do it, will do it and she will get through it. My motto during pregnancy was "ignorance is bliss.” I didn't find it necessary to google, ask others about their experienes or watch youtube videos as I figured that I didn't need to know the gory details of other people’s births. I would find out in my own time and whether i was scared or not, the birth was going to happen regardless! 

6. "I fit back into my jeans a week after birth"

If you can fit back into your jeans a week after birth then I am jealous and I commend you. I definitely couldn't fit into my jeans just after giving birth, I still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans at 10 weeks postpartum without killing my hips and without my muffin top hanging out. This would be a real shot to the self-esteem of many a pregnant woman and is one of the reasons why so many woman suffer from low self-esteem. The pressure that is put on women to get back into shape so quickly after birth is totally unfair and uncalled for. The last thing I wanted to think about so shortly after birth was trying to squeeze myself into my old clothes and why would i bother tormenting myself?

I think alot of people could do with installing a filter on their thoughts and thinking about what they say before they say it regardless of whether a woman is pregnant or not. Even more so if you dare to say something similar to any of the above to an emotional, hormonal and sensitive pregnant woman.You’re just asking for it and deserve whatever response may be thrown back at you!

It's hard enough as it is carrying a child, watching your body change, seeing the increase in weight and the ever present stretch marks without complete strangers or even friends and family pointing it out. Knowing full well my body will never be the same again is punishment enough I think.

My favourite newborn/baby purchases.



For me, the first six weeks after giving birth to my little girl was tough not only was I recovering from a c-section I was also totally unprepared for how challenging having a newborn is. I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn't realise how tough!

Here are a few of my favourite life-saving purchases for surviving the first six weeks with my baby.



 
Love to Dream - Love to Swaddle suit.

 If you, like me, have a very wriggly baby you need one of these. No muslin wrap or blanket kept Ella's arms in, within 5 minutes of wrapping she was out. She also liked to sleep with her arms up which is why the Love to Swaddle was totally perfect for us, it stopped her from startling herself awake but also allowed her to keep her arms where she liked them. I purchased mine from The Sleep Store for $39.95.




Maxi-Cosi Mico AP Capsule and base

A good capsule is not only a need its a must. I wanted a capsule with a base so that I didn't have the faff of trying to secure it in the car with a seatbelt each time. The Maxi-Cosi Mico comes with a base unit that can clip into the car using iso-fix. I purchased this at the Baby Show from Babycity.




Silver Cross Surf 2013 Buggy

I think a good pushchair is a must have, regardless of the make or model. We've got the Silver Cross Surf, it's so easy to manouver, collapse and fold. Because I'm so short I didn't want a buggy that would dwarf me and the Surf fits the bill perfectly. I love it and was totally worth the money. What makes it even more worthwhile is we purchased adaptor clips so the capsule can be attached to the buggy without having to get her in and out. I purchased this at the Baby Show from Baby on the move.




Baby Bath Stand

Makes bath time so much easier. I had an unplanned caesarean so having the bath at waist height made bath time so much easier. No having to sit on the floor to bath. I got mine on nzsale but you can find similar ones (like this one from Mothercare) elsewhere.




Moby wrap (or similar)

Whenever Ella was particularly grizzly or was fighting sleep, generally, the Moby wrap always won out! A stretchy wrap is recommended for newborns and is useful when you can't put your baby down without fuss and gives you free hands to do the vacuuming or even just to eat! I purchased mine from The Sleep Store.



Wash cloths

You can never have too many! I have so many of these and I am always finding them in unusual places in my house. These are invaluable for cleaning up the endless inevitable spillage, from both ends, that come with a newborn.





I'm sure there are a number of things I could have posted as invaluable tools for dealing with those trying early weeks of having a newborn but currently my baby brain is chronic and i'm struggling to think of anymore! If there is anything else I've forgotten or you think might be useful to me than let me know!



Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Wonder of the Wonder Weeks App!





You need it! That's basically all that needs to be said about the concept of Wonder Weeks. The Wonder Weeks app has to be my sanity saviour of the moment.

Here's why:

The theory of Wonder Weeks was developed by Dr Franz Plooji and suggests that the difficult fussy periods ALL babies go through is connected to the major "leap" in a baby's mental development. Now, the concept of Wonder Weeks is alot more in-depth than what I just explained so I suggest you check out The Wonder Weeks website for further information and FAQs.

Anyway, The Wonder Weeks app, download here,  tells you when your baby is due to make a significant "leap" in mental development through the use of calculations based on your baby’s due date. Each leap is mapped out on a chart which you can follow as your baby grows and develops.

Although this app is amazing there is a downside which is that if you decide to look ahead on your babies chart you are bound to get a tad depressed. Why? See all those blue lines with a thundercloud above it? (See the chart below) Well those are the "fussy" periods which show how long your baby is likely to be fussy for. If you look at Ella's chart, the little baby icon, you will see we are currently in the middle of a stormy period - lucky me - or a leap as it is known. Don't get disheartened though, this too shall pass, there is light at the end of that stormy tunnel and the sunny patches, the wonderful icon with sun above it, is when you can expect your baby to be alot happier once he or she has gone through that leap! The app also provides tips on how to deal with the "leaps,” what stage of development your baby is in and how to encourage that development.






If you, unlike myself, manage to exercise self-control and not torment yourself with the HUGE leaps charted then you'll be fine!

All jokes aside though, this app is an amazing parenting tool and I am glad I found it so early on in Ella's life because whenever I'm on the verge of pulling my hair out, all I need to do is look at the app and remind myself that it’s just a phase. 

It's amazing how accurate this app is, in my opinion, and how each fussy period Ella goes through seems to directly relate to a "leap" in her mental development. Whenever I wonder what the heck is going on with my child and why suddenly she's gone from a placid, calm baby to a screaming mess, the "leap" alarm goes off to remind me. It's also nice to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the leap will finish and my happy baby will return!

So if you’re interested in finding out about your babies mental development or you’re after a little bit of reassurance and support for when your baby is going through an unexplained fussy period, I suggest you download The Wonder Weeks app ASAP!








Sunday, 1 February 2015

5 things I didn't know about pregnancy




As to not offend anyone on my second ever blog post, I just have to add a small disclaimer. The things that i have listed which i experienced during my pregnancy may not be what others have experienced during their own pregnancies. I have been very blessed to be able to carry and give birth to a healthy, beautiful little girl and I love her more than life itself. So I apologise if what I am about to say in this post offends anybody as that is not my intention.

Here goes nothing. Call me naive but why did nobody warn me about how not fun pregnancy is? When imagining carrying my child I seriously underestimated how uncomfortable and unpleasant it might be. I know there are probably a lot of woman out there who enjoy being pregnant and giving birth but I am most certainly not one of them! I had a fairly easy pregnancy so I shouldn't be complaining but honestly, I didn't realise how much I wouldn't enjoy it and the following are some of the slightly embarrassing  reasons why:

  1. Everything hurt! - I knew it wouldn't be comfortable but I didn't realise just how much. From my legs to my back and upwards everything ached including my "you know what" - ahem. I can understand why though, everything is stretching, softening and loosening in preparation for child birth.
  2. Gas - Ok, this one is a bit embarrassing, I suffered from uncontrollable gas! More often than not I accidentally let one rip and there is only so much you can blame on the dog.
  3. Drool - another glamorous, strange symptom of pregnancy. This one came as a bit of a surprise, I mean who would know that pregnant woman can often produce 3 times more saliva than normal? TMI ahead, the number of times I woke up from sleep with pools of my own saliva on the pillow was ridiculous. Not to mention the fact that if I happened to have my mouth open for an extended period of time I'd end up drooling like a dog. 
  4. Breathing difficulties - this affected me the most in my third trimester. Breathing became so laborious, (Excuse the pun), that it got to the point where i'd be awake until the early hours of the morning tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable so I could sleep. You know that feeling where you are continuously trying and trying to take a deep breath but just can't? Well that was how it was when i was trying to sleep!
  5. Rude comments from total strangers -  I think this had to be the most difficult thing for me during pregnancy. I'm 5ft1 and there is very little space for a baby to fit so I was VERY out front (i'll post a picture). In total honesty, I felt huge - think beached whale proportions - which was made even worse with passing comments from complete strangers. The amount of times I got an "Oh my god are you having twins?" got very old very fast. Every time i would respond with a definite “Nope” i’d receive an instant "are you sure?" in reply. I would never dream of speaking to a stranger the same way that i had been spoken to on numerous occasions throughout my pregnancy. I knew what I looked like, I saw it in the mirror everyday and I most certainly didn't need a complete stranger gasping at the size of my baby bump. This aspect of pregnancy was extremely difficult and definitely did not help with the way i saw myself and most definitely had a negative impact on my self esteem.


I know everyone experiences pregnancy differently but in my personal experience these were five aspects that contributed to a not so enjoyable pregnancy. I ummmed and aahhhed about posting this because I didn't want to come across in a negative light. On one hand, no I didn't particularly enjoy being pregnant but on the other hand, yes I would 100% do it all over again because the gift I got in the end made it all worth it!

Hello!


I'm Tegan, a married 25 year old first time mum living in New Zealand. I spend most of my days either sat on the couch with my 9 week old daughter Ella attached to my boob (excuse the bluntness, you'll see a lot of this if you decide to follow me), doing endless loads of washing or, and I'm sad to admit this, glued to the computer screen checking Facebook and chatting to fellow mummies whose babies were due in the same month.


Being a first time mum I've discovered a lot of things about being pregnant and having a baby that I wish I had known before giving birth to my gorgeous girl. So, over the past couple of weeks, whilst sat prone on the couch contemplating where I could better spend my time, I decided to document my day-to-day thoughts and the endless discoveries that come with the joy of having a newborn. Whether anybody actually chooses to read this or not I am uncertain, but it will hopefully give me a place to channel my energies (not that there is a lot of energy left mind you) and to hopefully share the things I have discovered with other new or expectant Mothers.



So, if you decide to come with me on this journey, I thank you in advance and I also must warn you now the posts that follow are bound to be filled with TMI and will be generally pretty blunt in nature - I am not one to sugar coat things!