Sceptimum

One sceptical mother (of two)

Archive for the category “TMI”

Completely the wrong sort of cow

Many new mums complain breastfeeding in public makes them feel like a cow. I recently had the opposite problem on a family trip to a petting farm. My eldest, Childzilla, was having a lovely time feeding the farm animals. Unfortunately my youngest, Bubzilla, was not having such a good time as he also needed feeding.

6c8bf58a70c737d7d2c1fed4fefa35b6_mad-cow-mad-cow-meme_640-492 (2)I considered sitting down to breastfeed on one of the provided hay-bales but closer inspection revealed a truly copious amount of chicken and/or goat poo on all of them and, with 2 kids, a dog and the state of Australian politics, I currently have quite enough shite in my life already, thank you.

So, leaving Childzilla with her Dad, I wandered off to a working-dairy exhibition area nearby. There were lots of empty seats as no show was on or scheduled. Perfect, I thought, as I sat down, whipped out my boob, and plonked the Bubzilla on.

But it’s not just cows and One Nation voters who blindly follow a leader. I must have walked with too much purpose because some people had followed me, and some other people had followed them and so on. Before long there was a full auditorium of people milling about, sitting down to chew the cud, and all staring impatiently at a bunch of idle milking machines waiting for something to happen.

I had decided to sit at the end of a row as I thought I’d have the place to myself – as there was nothing on – so I was now blocking off all those seats. As the space between rows was quite small, people couldn’t easily squeeze by me and Bubzilla. I tried angling myself but most people gave up and headed to another – and far more crowded – row.

Eventually one woman snapped at me to stand up and move. I told her I couldn’t managed it as I was breastfeeding and so she went stomping past me, all huffing and puffing and giving out about me to her friend.

So, yeah, that’s how I got chewed out of it for being the only working dairy-exhibit in a working-dairy exhibition.

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The adventures of the g-string fairy

Me: Childzilla was going on and on about fairies so Nana bought her a generic fairy doll

Himself: *patient look*

Me: It looks like reject Barbie and is shedding glitter everywhere and has a bodice and petal skirt and a g-string thong on for some reason

Me: When Childzilla’s first job is as an exotic dancer called Sparkles we know what happened

Himself: *patient but slightly strained look*

gnome

Why the inexplicable lack of proper pants?

Me: Anyway, Childzilla wanted a name for it

Himself: *enquiring look*

Me: And the only one I could think of was Twunterbell

Himself: At least it didn’t start with C

Me: Oh, it did, but I changed it

Me: So fairy is now called Billie

Himself: *cautious*

Me: Because she looks like Billie Piper

Himself: *mild approval*

Me: After half a bag of coke*

…I am really not sure who thought it was a good idea to leave me in charge of a child. And the dog. Or anything really.

 

*Have a listen to Horse Outside by the Rubberbandits. Partly as it might illuminate the joke but mainly because I like it.

 

 

 

Write your birth plan on your vulva, Mila (it might get read that way)

According to recent interviews Mila Kunis has firm views on who gets to see her in labour. She’s allowing her doctor and Ashton Kutcher, and Ashton is only allowed if he stays firmly away from the business end.

Mila - this is not the end of you most people will be looking at during your labour.

This is not the end of Mila everyone will be looking at during her labour.

“Two people are allowed in my delivery room. My doctor and my significant other. And he is staying above the action. He’ll be head to head. Not head to vag. Unless he wants to risk his life and see. But I wouldn’t if I were him. I highly doubt he wants to see that being ripped apart and shredded. Because it will be shredded. It’s just a matter of how badly.”

Many sites, including Mamamia.com.au where I saw this story, are asking if Mila should be worried about her partner watching her bits get “shredded”. I am mainly worried that she may think it’s possible to give birth with an audience of just two people, no matter how hilariously-presented and firm her birth plan is. And that’s assuming people reads the damned thing in the first place.

Her doctor will read their birth plan. It is, after all, what they’re paying him for. And perhaps Mila’s labour will be short enough (and her wallet large enough) to persuade her doctor to stay for the whole process. I doubt it though; doctors usually leave the painful tedious hours of cervix dilation to the midwives, and then rush in at the actual emergence of the baby. It will often be several different midwifes, even without shift changes, so the person sticking their finger up your fanjo to check dilation will often be a completely different person to the one who did it an hour previously. Will they all have read the birth plan? Will they bollocks.

So that’s probably your partner plus three people having a good long look at the business end. Want some mild drugs? That’ll be another person in the room. Want the good drugs? That’ll be an anesthetist and possibly their assistant. That’s plus five. Doing it in a hospital? Expect a nurse or five. And some catering and cleaning staff. And people to operate specialised machines. And, if you get really unlucky, some student nurses and doctors. That’s… that’s plus LOTS. There is a good chance there’ll be more people at the birth of your baby that at their first birthday party.

My labour was a fast and straight-forward affair and there was still 13 people present in the room when my daughter was born. Waters broke at 6am, hit the hospital at 8am, c-section completed by 10am. It didn’t even encompass one change of working shift but I still had so many people packed in there it felt like student party in a small flat (complete with drugs and people freaking out). And all of them were having a good gander at the business end. If I’d written “hello, nice to meet you” on my vulva, I’d have saved myself most of the talking I had to do.

Honestly, I’m not even sure who half of the thirteen people were. There was me and my husband (in ridiculous little red hats to mark us out so no one would do something silly like pass us a scalpel or ask us to hold the intestines). There was my surgeon and his nurse, and my anesthetist and his nurse, and a midwife and some other midwife and that’s only eight accounted for… look, I don’t even know why the remaining people were there. They could have been vital medical staff. They could have been the cleaners. They could have been a tour group in from China and desperately lost on their way to the Opera House. I have no idea. All I know is that, for a significant amount of my stay in the hospital, there was a real chance that people would recognise my vulva better than my face.

I was told to write a birth plan. I didn’t. Thankfully absolutely no one checked or I would have been making excuses like “my early labour ate my homework”. I did discuss various options with my partner, so he knew what to push for if I was out of it, but I had nothing in writing. I have no regrets – long birth plans are, I am convinced, only recommended to stop pregnant women from nagging the staff about inconsequential details so they can get on with delivering a healthy baby. Want the father to catch the baby? Sure, if it’s possible. Want whale music? You’ll need to bring it and something to play it on and someone to press the button but whatever. Want your medical staff to read a five page document on how birth should work when they have already delivered hundreds of babies? And think you’ll only need one person present? On your fecking bike, love.

Look, this is not Mila’s fault. The general portrayal of labour and childbirth is as far removed from the reality as the Kim Jong’s family album is from coverage of them in the international news. Before childbirth, mothers-to-be are fed a shite load of stuff about choices and empowerment  and all this hoohah about how you can choose to push your baby out your hahhoo. And then the baby decides to arrive and you realise all your lists and ideas are useless and you may as well just roll with the punches. Honestly, it’s a good way to set you up for actually having a baby – they don’t read the damned plans either. Not even if you write it on your bits.

 

 

Times flies when strangers are probing you with wands

If anyone is wondering where I have been for the last couple of weeks, the answer is “being poked relentlessly by strangers dressed in scrubs”.

Not that there was any emergency (or I was up to anything kinky), it’s all just standard mum-to-be care complicated by a child as contrary as its mother. At around the 20th week in Australia they do a fetal anomaly ultrasound scan examining the fetus in detail, checking the heart and internal organs and measuring all the various bones including the spine. Normally this should take 30 minutes or so, unless your child is uncooperative and in wrong position the whole time.

Transvaginal ultrasounds are pretty much like this.

I’ve spent about 10 hours over the last few weeks at the doctor’s or in the hospital and the child’s nickname is now officially “Little Fecker” so you can draw your own conclusions as to their cooperation levels. Little Fecker has clearly inherited both my hatred of posing for photos and the bloody-minded sense of humour from both sides of the family.

To get most of the pictures they need the child needs to be lying flat and relaxed face-up or down, but Little Fecker apparently felt in a V with hands by feet was the correct way to pose. And, lacking a bribe of a lollipop if they behave, all I could do was bump my uterus around a bit in the hope of changing their position.

So began the 2-day St. Vitus’ Dance Disco Epic that was last week. I jiggled and joggled, walked, danced and pranced, all the in hope of maneuvering the child. No change. I sprinted up and down stairs. No change. The technician jiggled my belly so violently my glasses fell off. No change. I danced to Baby’s Got Back in the hospital bathroom completed with Beyonce-style butt-jiggling. The child moved to an even less suitable angle and started kicking me in the cervix.

After 3 hours, they tried the joy that is a transvaginal ultrasound which would have worked if Little Fecker hadn’t moved to sit on it, giving a wonderful shot of their arse. After 4 hours, they sent me home to come back in the next day. After 6, they called in the most expert staff member they had, who basically turned me upside down on a hospital bed, and punched my belly and other bits with the various wands until the Little Fecker finally let us get the angle we needed.

It took nine attempts at scanning from various angles, spread over 7 hours in hospital, to finally get the pictures that fdoctor needed. And the result, finally given to me after another 2 hours waiting in a doctor’s surgery where I used the wait to come up with ever more pessimistic and far-fetched reasons (“The child is deformed. The child is a quadruped. Oh fuck, it’s actually triplets.”) for the hospital insisting on the thoroughness of the scans?

The child is in great shape. The little fecker.

What You Should Never to Say to a Non-Mother of Childbearing Age

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Yes, this! I get that pregnancy and having kids is hard but some Mums make it sound like it’s actually ruining any happiness they have in life.  I’m pregnant and not exactly all gung-ho-go-go-happy-baby-hormones about it, and every article I read on having kids makes it sound less worthwhile and more like torture. Luckily I’m also very hard of hearing so I’ve decided to just stop reading the prophets of unending poo and doom and slide out the batteries in my hearing aids when they decide to bend my ears on it.

Also, I have discovered the best reaction ever but it’s not for the faint-hearted. When people start getting their schadenfreude on by giving absurd examples of how your life will change with mountains of poo and lakes of wee and permanent penury and NEVER sleeping again just look horrified and say, “Oh wow. I had no idea. Are you saying I should abort?”

 

“I wish I could be pregnant forever and ever and ever…”

…said absolutely fucking no-one ever.
"Oh, see if you can get Jazz FM while you are up there?"

“Oh, see if you can get Jazz FM while you are up there?”

We went for our first scan on Monday, which was interesting. The scan was all fine and good – it looks about the right shape (like a small alien or a kidney bean, let’s face it) and has a decent heartbeat going on at 168bpm.  Even better, they were able to get a decent reading from the outside of my abdomen and we didn’t have to go with a trans-vaginal scan which is no fun whatsoever.

(A trans-vaginal scan, for those of you fortunate enough not to know, is when they get a white wand, cover it in gel and jam it right up there and give your bits a good thorough jabbing until they have a decent image of what’s going on. Or get the signal for Jazz FM, whichever comes first.)

An outside scan is still not completely pain-free, even if your cervix doesn’t get shunted about your abdomen like bumper car being driven by a boy racer. In the movies, they always show the scan gently gliding across the belly on a screen of fairy dust and sparkles. In real life the gel is fecking cold and the screen is angled away from you and the ultrasound operator has to give a good hard press down on the abdomen to get a decent pic so it’s less glide-y and more pokey pokey.

Also you have been told to drink 2 litres of water in the previous hour (I cheated and drank about 1.5ish as I am not a fecking camel and started to feel ill) and are not meant to pee for 2 hours before hand (again, cheated and peed with an hour to go) so they are effectively hammering down on your full bladder as you try desperately not to pee on them. The woman operating the scan was very reassuring; she must have used the words “normal” or “good” at least 10 times in 3 minutes so I suspect she gets a lot of very nervy patients when people are at this stage. Perhaps making them less nervous makes them less likely to pee on her?

It all went well but, according to the measurement from crown to tip, I am wee bit less preggers than I thought, so my due date is now Aug 22-ish. I had originally calculated for the 15th, then the doc said the 18th, and now we are at the 22nd. They keep pushing it back. By the time we get to the third trimester, it’s probably going to be pushed back until October sometime, probably pre-Christmas, or definitely 2014 at the outside.

I am going to be pregnant FOREVER.

Don’t ask

Forget all the stuff I said about it being sensible to keep quiet about early pregnancy until worst of the chance of miscarriage has passed. I have a new theory. I suspect the main reason that women in their first trimester are advised not to talk about being pregnant is that no one wants to hear about the most pressing thing that is on their mind all the time – what the fucking fuck has suddenly gone wrong with every single aspect of their body.

Yeah. This.

From my exhausted brain to my sluggish digestive system, everything appears to stopped working properly. The fact that few people know I am pregnant has so far spared the world from my unending stream of biological complaints. If I’d been feeling more forthcoming, my answers to a polite “how are you?” could have been:

  • Fuck off. I’m sleepy.
  • Bulgy with cranky overtones.
  • None of my pants fit and your perfume smells like catsick and I want to throw up on your shoes.
  • Nauseous but starving.
  • Really very nauseous. Pass the two minute noodles.
  • Yeah, and a second packet.
  • Fat. Knackered.
  • Ugh. Nauseous and can’t poop. Going to nap now.
  • Awake. Tired. Still can’t poop.
  • Worried that I haven’t pooped in so long I may explode in public  like the world’s worst pinata.
  • Pooping again. You have no idea how good it is. Still fat though.

Eating. Sleeping and waking rested. Crapping with ease. Putting on my pants and being able to close the zipper enough to satisfy my modesty and the restrictions of NSW’s indecent exposure laws. All things I didn’t realise I was taking for granted until that second line appeared on the pregnancy test pee stick.

So, you’ll have to forgive me – between the fatigue and the nausea – if I am a little vague at the moment. If I don’t really seem to be paying attention, and answering your questions on how I am with a vague “mmm” and change of the topic as opposed to a full answer.

Because, trust me, really? You don’t want to know.

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