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Looking good when pregnant

2 Aug

I would like a pair of these now, thanks.

I loved being pregnant. Sometimes. Like when I could feel the baby kicking my hand in response to me pressing on my stomach.

But most of the time I felt like a bloated, beached whale. Add hideous over-sized t-shirts or too-small-can-see-my-stretched-to-the-max-stomach-hanging-out-over-my-pants tops to the mix, and I felt truly yuck.

Lucky for you, it doesn’t have to be that way anymore, and you don’t even have to break the bank to look and feel like a glowing

pregnant woman, rather than a beached whale in a burlap sack. The following post on maternity style is sponsored by ASOS. Let’s just say they had me at ‘purple maternity jeans’ (how I wish I’d known about them when I was pregnant…).

Maternity Style

First of all being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to lose all sense of style. There are so many stores
and online retailers that have (finally) realised the need for high quality maternity wear that doesn’t
just consist of oversized t-shirts and sweat pants. So here is some maternity styling advice from
ASOS.

When your maternity wardrobe is only going to be worn for a few months it is important to get the
basics right. A pair of black skinny jeans will suit most occasions from a trip to the supermarket to a
romantic meal for two. Dressed down with a chunky knit cardigan for chilly winter days this look can
be turned around with the adding on of a cute printed blouse and some low wedges.

A maxi dress will always be a perfect choice for pregnancy as the flowing material is brilliant for
skimming your ever growing bump and will be a gorgeous choice for formal occasions such as a
winter wedding. This one shoulder jade green dress from ASOS has an elegant Grecian feel to it and
will need minimal accessorising- it is a statement piece all in itself- just add on some flat sandals and
an envelope clutch and you will be ready to go.

When choosing your maternity wear it is important to think about what shoes and bags you already
own as you don’t want to be buying new accessories as well as clothes- well you could if you really
wanted- but when trying to be purse friendly this is something to consider. Neutral accessories in
colours such as black, tan and nude will go with almost anything but if you have a favourite handbag
that isn’t your average colour think about this when picking your new clothes.

I LOVE this

So for a maternity wardrobe that is as stylish as you are think about what you already have in your
wardrobe that you won’t need to change and build your style up from there.

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A story about stretch marks

22 Jun

I was really lucky, I didn’t really get stretch marks when I was pregnant. Well, I got some on my butt, but I’m pretty sure they are gone now. Maybe. I can’t see them, so they don’t really bother me. I have one little tiny stretch mark on my stomach, just under my belly button from the rambunctious, posterior Daniel.

People generally don’t like stretch marks. They don’t want them. They hate them when they have them. At least that’s what I though. Until I read this story (by Amy Neff, writer of The Neff Family Blog):

Age: 28
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: Baby #1: 2 years. Baby #2: 6 months

Here I am. Almost six months after the birth of my second daughter. Complete with stretch marks, sagging skin, extra weight, and everything just…misplaced, for lack of a better word.

I had two babies in less than two years, my second being rather large. To say I got stretch marks is an understatement. I have been drenched in stretch marks! I remember when I was pregnant with my first daughter and the stretch marks starting popping up and the weight piled on. As ashamed as I almost am to admit this, I was sad and upset. I remember crying as I was trying on maternity clothes, thinking about how my body would never be the same. By the end of the pregnancy my entire abdomen, hips and thighs were covered in stretch marks despite every effort by me, covering myself in every cream and body lotion I could find. Nothing worked. I was just predisposed to get these things. By the time my second daughter came along the stretch marks had faded. But she, being her strong-willed and determined self, added her own marks. While my first daughter decorated my stomach (now nicknamed her “old apartment” by my husband) with mostly vertical stripes, my second was much more creative. She added horizontal lines, squiggly lines, and extended the vertical ones even higher. She was much larger than my first daughter, so the saggy skin was greatly intensified. I would look in the mirror at my post baby body and cringe. I would think, how on Earth could my husband EVER find this attractive?!! But, oddly enough, he somehow does.

Something happened recently that has entirely changed my outlook on my body, my flaws, and my “ruined” abdomen. This story is very sad, but I wanted to share it because it was been so inspirational to me.

On Christmas Eve, 2010 my twin sister found out that she was pregnant. I remember her calling me just minutes after the two lines appeared on the pregnancy test. She was excited, and scared, and a little in shock, as most newly pregnant women are. Her pregnancy progressed well. Everything was fine and uneventful. I remember the day that she got her first stretch mark. She called to tell me about it, and she was EXCITED! She was actually HAPPY about it! She said that that stretch mark showed that her baby was growing. That was the most important thing to her. She was not upset in the least. She was thrilled that her pregnancy was progressing, and that her baby was getting bigger. She had been having premonitions that something wasn’t quite right, and that her baby wasn’t big enough. Everyone, her doctors included, assured her that everything was fine. To her, that stretch mark was just more reassurance that her baby was, in fact, growing.

Tragically and suddenly, at almost 37 weeks pregnant, my sister lost her baby. The details are incredibly sad, so I won’t share them all. She had to deliver her baby and say goodbye. It was, without a doubt, one of hardest things I can ever imagine someone having to go through. After she had been released from the hospital and was sent home, she was telling me how her abdomen had shrunk down so much. How strange that felt…that her pregnant belly was gone, and she was left feeling completely empty. She said that she still had just that one stretch mark. I asked her if it was hard for her to have to see it. She said no. She said that her one stretch mark would always be proof that her baby existed. Those words stuck with me, and will stay with me forever.

Now I look at my stretch marks and saggy, floppy skin quite a bit differently. I was BLESSED with the opportunity to carry my babies full term. I had healthy, full term pregnancies, and I was rewarded with two big babies. Sadly, so many women aren’t this fortunate, which I’ve now seen firsthand. I’ve realized that the sacrifice of my more youthful and skinnier body has been more than worth it.

My sister’s pregnancy was the only time she was given with her baby. I know that she will remember and truly cherish the memories of every kick, every hiccup, every elbow jab. Now I feel that because I was lucky enough to bring my babies home, feed my babies, cuddle with my babies, and raise my babies, the last thing I should do is complain about my less than perfect mid-section.

When I look in the mirror now, do I think my body is pretty, or attractive? No, definitely not. But this body has been through a lot in the past two and half years. Two births in 23 months, a combined weight gain of over 70 lbs, 18+ months of breastfeeding. It takes its toll, and I am grateful for all of it. I’m PROUD of what my body has done and, most importantly, what it has given me. My pregnancies were, by far, the most exciting times of my life. I often miss the moments of pure excitement and anticipation. I miss rubbing my pregnant belly, and bonding with my baby before she was even born. Both pregnancies were such specials times that I will always look back on with so much fondness.

My little niece, who I was never lucky enough to meet, and my incredibly amazing sister have taught me so much and inspired so many, and I wanted to share this story with you. These stretch marks are here to stay, and that’s fine with me.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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How to lose your baby weight

30 May

I gained an enormous 17kgs in both of my pregnancies. Yeah, that’s a lot for someone who usually only weights 48-50kgs! After having Hannah, it took me a year to get back to 50kgs. Right now, 9 months after giving birth to Daniel, I weigh 48 kgs.

There is a brand new website called How Moms Lost Weight Fast, created by the maker of The WordPress How to Blog to inspire and inform other moms trying to lose their baby weight.

Well guess what? I’m the very first mom to be interviewed for the site! How did I lose 19 kilos so quickly after having Daniel? Read the interview to find out.

Buy Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard, Double Rich Chocolate, 5 Pound

In other news, I have been getting an enormous amount of review requests. Lots of people want me to try and blog about their product. So, I’ve created a whole new blog, A Mom’s Reviews to do just that.  I still have a few products to blog about on this blog, as I was sent them specifically for review here. After that though, all reviews will be on the new blog. Well, most. On occasion, something really good or amusing or something might come up that I will blog about here.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… And if you are an email subscriber, clicks from your email don’t count.  If you would like to vote, please go to my blog and vote from there. THANKS!
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A 6 month birthday

9 Feb

Six months ago today my chubby, cheeky little man was born.  It’s crazy to think that just six months ago, he was posterior in my belly, kicking up a storm. Seriously, take a look, this was Danny boy kicking at 35 weeks. Watch it, seriously, it’s crazy:

Happy half birthday Danny!! I can’t believe how big you are (born 3.2kgs, now over 8kgs).  Well, I guess I can, this was me as a baby:

Fat little me with my brother

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The truth about hair loss

6 Feb

A couple months ago:

I was in the shower, combing the conditioner through my hair.  When I finished, I held the comb in front of me to rinse it off before putting it away.

I looked at the comb. I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my system.  I nearly screamed in shock. The comb was full of hair.  Not just a little bit. Full.

I ran my fingers through my wet hair.  Strand upon strand of hair tangled around my fingers, completely free of my head.  Oh. My. Gosh. WTFrick?

Then I remembered. It happened after I had Hannah too.  Only that time I had no idea having a baby can make your hair fall out.  At least this time I knew. Except I seemed to have pushed that horroble memory from my brain.

Now:

My hair is still falling out. It’s slowing down, but it’s still going.  My pony tail (if I could make one) is about half the thickness it usually is. And my hair is thin anyway.  Most of the time my left ear decides to look ridiculous and poke out through my thin, stick-straight hair. No, never the right ear, only the left, no matter how I part it.

My hairline started to recede.  And let me just tell you, I have a rather unfortunate hairline anyway.  So much so, that my entire life, I’ve had some form of fringe/bangs.  When I was little, it was the straight across, grab some scissors and do it myself  bangs.  Fine, until I was 17. I was awkward like that.  Then and now, it’s varying lenghts of the side swept fringe.  All to cover my unfortunate hair line.

In my experience, getting my hair dyed makes it look thicker.  So off to the salon I went.  To be a blonde again.  I got a lot of length off and added layers so it would have some body and make me look not so bald, and cover that obnoxious ear. It looked pretty ok.  For a couple weeks.

But after a while all that hair starts to grow back.  All at once. Crap.  Sure it’s a good thing.  Except my natural hair colour is mousey/dirty dishwater brownish-blonde.  And right now my hair is dyed blonde.

Through my nicely blonded hair now pokes thousands of dirty dishwater brownish-blonde hairs.  Sticking straight up.  My hairline is a mass of tiny brownish-blonde hairs beyond the blonded line. Sticking straight down, all in my face and obvious.

They will continue to grow and stick out and up for months until finally they have enough weight to hold them down.  It’s like a poorly done I-kind-of-wanted-a-mullet-but-chickened-out-at-the-last-minute type thing.  It’s horrible really. Anything even remotely resembling a mullet is.

Last time this happened (after Hannah was born), I just put it in a ponytail and smoothed it all down with hairspray.  That seemed to hide it pretty well. Except for the little corner of hairline that shows where the side sweeping starts.

But my wrist is broken.  I can’t put my hair up.  Or do anything else with it for that matter. So not only is it sticking up everywhere, it’s also all tangly, not washed very well, and pretty much looks as if some birds had a wild all night party in it.  And my cast is starting to smell. Sigh.

P.S. Do you like my left-handed drawings? Had to do them on the iPad (which probably made it easier) since the graphics tablet still isn’t working.

Show some love to my new sponsor and check them out: Organo Gold Coffee.

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Yes, I had a baby

16 Aug

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right after giving birth

Hello Everyone!!  So as you’ve noticed, I’ve been absent for a little while.  I do have a good excuse, I promise!!!  Brace yourselves (because it’s not like you saw this coming or anything…)… I had a baby!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 8 August, I was trying to get some last minute things done (vacuuming, making some meals for Hannah to put in the freezer, etc.), when my water broke.  Now I’m not talking about just a little trickle.  No sir, this was like a flood.  I was standing there peeling an apple, and WHOOSH!!  Niagra Falls in my pants.  Without all the boats.

I ran to the bathroom, stripped my pants off and sat on the toilet.  It kept coming and coming.  Sigh.  My phone was in the kitchen.  Aaron had just taken Hannah to the park.  I grabbed a pad, held it to my nether regions and made a run for it, hoping and praying that none of the neighbours happened to be looking in the direction of my open window as I dashed around the house half-naked and leaking.

Back to the toilet.  I called Aaron.  No answer.  Crap.  I called again.  No answer.  Crap.  I called Grandma’s house.  She wasn’t home.  Crap.  I called her phone (that she wore around her neck vigilantly whilst awaiting this very call).  She was on the bus, but she answered.  She hopped off that bus, ran as fast as an 81-year old with a pinched nerve, arthritis, and shopping trolley full of stuff can, and got a cab straight here.

I finally got a hold of Aaron in the mean time and he came home too.  I still sat on the toilet, the liquid contents of my uterus leaking out.

The hospital wanted me to come in for a check.  Make sure no meconium (first baby poop) was in the fluid.  There wasn’t any, but they made me stay overnight anyway.  Baby Boy’s head had moved back up, and since my waters broke, the cord could prolapse.  I wasn’t even in labour by the way.  Just leaking and wearing 2 giant maternity pads in my underwear.  They were going to induce me in the morning, so I just had to go to the antenatal ward and sleep until then.

I woke at 12am to pee.  I went back to bed and started getting contractions.  I put my TENS machine on and went back to sleep.  Well, between contractions anyway.  I did manage to get some sleep on and off until 4, when I could no longer sit or lie in bed.  Contractions suck way more when laying or sitting.  I needed to walk.  Everyone else was asleep.  This was, after all, the antenatal ward.  No one else was actually in the process of having a baby.

I paced the halls, one hand on my sore belly (for some reason, the contractions were really painful on the bottom of my stomach, not my back as you’d expect in a posterior labour), the other holding my TENS machine for dear life, cranking it up during each contraction.  The staff asked me how I was doing, and were pleased when I told them I was in labour.  No induction needed, thank you.  I painfully paced the dark empty halls by myself for an entire hour, updating my facebook status between contractions (there was nothing else to do, and I had my phone with me).

At 5 I asked if I could call Aaron, the pain was getting quite severe and I wanted him there for moral support.  They said he could come at 6, but not before because everyone else was asleep.  Antenatal ward remember.  These ladies needed their sleep.  They tried to get me a delivery suite to pace around in instead (and so my husband could come), but none were free.  So I paced some more.

By 5:30, they felt sorry enough for me that they called one of the midwives and told me she’d be up soon so I wouldn’t be alone.

The midwife came up and decided to check me out.  There was now 1 delivery suite available and they wanted to keep it free for someone who may come in and urgently need it.

Ring ring.  Aaron wanted to know if he had time to stop and get some breakfast.  “Sure.” I told him.

The midwife manually checked my progress “call him back, no time for breakfast, you’re 8cms dilated.”

Oh my gosh!  I wasn’t expecting that!  We went straight down to delivery, shocking all the staff.  No one thought I was that far along. I hide it well.

I paced around my delivery suite for a little bit, Aaron arrived, then it was time to push.  I got on the bed with an exercise ball, leaned my torso over it, put my knees on the bed and waited for the next contraction.

Oh.  My.  Gosh.  Pushing is hard!  I Probably should have done my pelvic floor exercises after giving birth to Hannah.  I felt like my every ounce of effort was doing nothing.

I pressed on.  It seemed like hours passed.  Finally the head started coming.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  It felt like a giant red-hot knife was going to town on my nether region.  But there was no turning back, I had to keep going.  Finally the head was free.  One more push and out came Baby Boy, 22 minutes after I started pushing, 7 hours after my first contraction and only 3 hours after established labour.

They passed him to me between my legs as I grabbed him and turned around to lie on the bed for a cuddle.  We named him Daniel.  Our precious little Daniel, 7lb, 3oz (3.2kg), 50cm long.

They stitched me up and then I had a shower. I was covered in blood and poo.  Yeah poo.  Daniel did a poo as he came out and until then I hadn’t noticed it was actually all over me.  Ew.

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Come on baby, you can come out now!

5 Aug

I was going to do a proper post today, but you know what?  I can’t really be bothered.  I’m 40 weeks pregnant, extremely uncomfortable (probably because my posterior  baby has the giant back of his head pressing on all my insides instead of towards the outside world), tired, and want to spend my blogging time attempting to induce labour instead.

So, instead of doing my planned post, which would have been rather funny and included a drawing (that I haven’t done yet…), I’m going to sit on my couch, put the blinds down, and drink raspberry leaf tea whilst stimulating my nipples, and if I can find some in the fridge or cupboard, eat some pineapple as well.

We’ll see if it works!

 

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The long hug good night

15 Jul

Today is the last day we’ll have the internet for a little while.  Sure, I’ll have the internet on my phone, but I have enough trouble hitting the right buttons with my fat pregnancy fingers when just trying to type a text message.  There’s no way I can do a whole post from my phone.

Yes, we are moving tomorrow!  HOORAY!!!!!  I’m not going to think about the fact that the last people who lived there failed to clean the place.  The carpet hasn’t been vacuumed, kitchen floor not mopped, a years worth of dust is still chillin’ on all the window sills (sils?), the laundry sink has been drained and then left with a ring of crap around the bottom.  Sigh.  Nope, not thinking about all the cleaning I have to do at 37 weeks pregnant when it should have all been done before we got the keys.

Instead, I’m thinking about the shower.  The wonderful, more-than-a-trickle, you-can-have-hot-water-AND-water-pressure shower that awaits me in our new apartment.  The shower here is atrocious.  I dread showering every single day.  I’m not exaggerating at all when I say you can have a warm/hot shower, OR, you can have water pressure.  I opt for the warm, it’s like 2 degrees in the morning, I can’t have a cold shower!  Then when you get the temperature just right, it decides to burn you instead.  So then you turn the cold up just a tad, and it freezes you.  Mean while, the shower door is broken, so it doesn’t shut (letting out all that warm steam that usually keeps one warm whilst showering.  Since you’re only under a little trickle of water, one side of you is nice and warm while the other side, is hanging out of the shower stream and freezing cold.  Yes, I HATE that shower.

And we’ll have the place all to ourselves.  No waking up in the middle of the night to pee (side effect of being 37 weeks pregnant of course), only to find someone else in there and have to pop a squat in the freezing cold backyard in the rain while trying not to fall over or knee myself in the baby.

I can arrange my pantry any way I want.  No one is going to put a can of pasta sauce in the tuna row.  Or flour on the snacks shelf.

Yes, I can not wait!!!

Moral of the story though, we haven’t arranged the internet connection yet, and these things usually take way too long in the first place.  So, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to post again, but I will be back.  Maybe with a baby, maybe still pregnant.  I don’t know, but I’ll be here, surely with plenty of amusing stories when I’m back.  In the mean time, please keep voting for me, and I’ll try to keep my legs crossed so baby boy doesn’t make an appearance on moving day.

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Never say to a pregnant woman….

11 Jul

We were all sitting down to breakfast: eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans for those who don’t think they are uber disgusting (like myself)….  It’s winter, but sometimes it gets a bit hot.  Well, sometimes I get a bit hot.  Probably because I have my own little personal furnace in my belly that gives me hot flushes like a menopausal woman from time to time.  Yes, the joys of pregnancy.

I took off my jumper (uh…that’s sweater, for those of you who don’t speak Aussie).

“Your arms look big.”  Grandma told me.

My eyes grew to the size of saucers.  I was mortified!  Visions of old ladies with masses of loose skin and fat dangling down when they hold their arms up filled my head.  I didn’t know what to say.  Yes, I was lost for words.  What does one say when someone is causally saying that your arms are now jiggly lumps of jelly (jello)?  I sat there, jumper half on, half off, staring at her in shock.  Aaron stared at me.  YaYa stared at me, both wondering what on earth I was going to say.  Hannah continued singing twinkle twinkle little star to herself whilst eating her porridge.

Grandma must have noticed my mortification. “I’m just not used to your arms being that big,” she told me “I’ve never seen them that big before.”

“You’re just digging yourself a hole Grandma!”  Aaron told her.

“Ok, I think I’m just going to put my jumper back on and never expose my fat arms again…”  I told everyone, still mortified.

“You can’t tell a pregnant woman that she’s fat Grandma.”  Aaron said.

“I’m 81, I can say whatever I want, I don’t care!  I didn’t say she’s fat, I said her arms are fatter!  You’ve put on fat everywhere, your boobs, your butt, your face…”

I would have curled into a ball and hid under a rock had it not been so funny.

“Hold on, I have to get a piece of paper and a pen, I have to write this down!”  I scrambled off to write everything down, word for word.  “This is definitely going on the blog!”

“You’re just digging deeper Grandma.”  Aaron told her.

“What?!  You can’t blame the baby for all that fat, it’s not gonna be 10 stone!  It’s not even gonna be 10 pounds!”

By this stage, everyone except Grandma, who still maintained that she had said nothing wrong, was hysterically laughing.  Totally not the point that I’ve gained over 16kgs (35lbs) so far.  As of a couple of weeks ago anyway.  I haven’t been game enough to weigh myself since then.  Sigh.

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The reason for lack of posts

9 Jul

As I said before, I was doing something far more important in my during-Hannah’s-nap free time.  Well, I was trolling the internet for houses/apartments for rent.  As I said before, three grown women, all moms, all thinking they are the mom of the house (FYI, I am the mom, I am the one with a small child….), all strong willed, stubborn, and butting heads all of the time, doesn’t work.  So, Aaron, Hannah, and unborn Boy Baby and I are moving.  Relief sigh.

Yeah, I’m 36 weeks pregnant.  So maybe we’re a little crazy, but it’ll be better for everyone, and I’ll be way less stressed when the baby comes if we have our own place before hand.

Hannah said she already has a house and doesn’t want another one.  It nearly broke our hearts.  But then we took her to have a look at some places and she ran around them all excited-like and said she liked them and she’d like to live there.  She also said she wants to share a room with Baby Brother, which is good, since we’re moving to a two bedroom apartment.  Bit of a change, but we can save for a deposit and get good loan benefits on our own place that way.  Plus, we like it North of Sydney and North of Sydney is expensive.  Houses out there cost a million dollars plus, so we’ll have to buy an apartment if we decide to buy out that way.  Going from a 2 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom in a way nicer area will be a big step up.  Going from a house with a yard to an apartment would not.  So it makes sense.  To us anyway.

We’ll be moving next Saturday, so I’ll be attempting to pack and not go into labour before that.  Blog posts will probably be sporadic before and after then (gotta unpack too, and get the internet hooked up when we get there!!), but I’ll be back to regular posts before you know it.  At least that is the intent.  Of course I am about to have another baby, so….

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