How long should you wait to disregard other people’s feelings?

Having personally gone through (and still living with) the tourment of infertility and subsequently the IVF journey I understand how hurtful it is to see baby scans and pregnancy announcement after pregnancy announcement.

So when I became pregnant myself I tortured myself with the debate of posting my happy news announcement because I knew some of my friends were in a similar position as me.

It can become so exhausting worrying about what other people might think that at some point you have to tell yourself enough is enough. Yes, your little announcement might upset a couple of friends but true friends (and those in the same position) should be happy for you.

If not move on. You don’t need to be friends with the whole world nor do you need to be liked by lots of people. In the baby journey the only people that matter are you, your partner and the little miracle you’re growing. Ok immediate family as well and possibly your BFF but really you need to stop with the whole “oh what happens if Jens, uncles’ best friends jack Russel will get upset if I post a 12-week scan” attitude – move past it and live.

Then once that miracle is born share as little or as much as you want too. It’s your life, your rules.

Katherine xox

Bullying and harassment during pregnancy

Article on bullying and harassment relating to the treatment of pregnant women. Below are some of the comments, statements and feelings that I have either personally experienced during pregnancy or overheard on the train said to other ladies.

Bullying and harassment isn’t about ‘name calling’ it is a lot of things including how you treat someone. If the recipient does not like the statements or treatment this can be classified as bullying. Yes there are times when certain statements need to be made which are unpleasant to hear such as bad news – these aren’t bullying. Statements such as your fat even if you are overweight maybe factually correct but are unnecessary to be continuously mentioned especially if said in a nasty manner (even if the teller thinks their been funny). Remember there’s a time and a place for comments and we all have feelings. Pregnancy exasperates a lot of emotions so us ladies are more prone to feeling upset by things even if before we would laugh off the statement.

1. Been dictated too about what you should eat because you’ll get ‘fat’

There’s two sides to this one being based on medical advice i.e. BMI was high to start with so you should be careful not to put in too much weight on.

The other side is when people won’t let you eat even though you’re hungry because they tell you are fat. Husbands partners who constantly go on about fat instead of praising their glowing beautiful woman who is growing a miracle.

I read an article for partners of pregnant women which said how to make her feel good. On the list was numerous mentions of give her food. Surely that isn’t healthy advice! Yes we are pregnant and there may be days we are starving like our mouths were sewn up but it doesn’t mean you should force feed us. Also there are some ladies that suffer horrendously from sickness all throughout pregnancy and certain foods could make it worse.

2. Not involving pregnant women in activities that are still safe for participation just because she’s pregnant. Believe it or not pregnancy is not an illness and as long as we are physically able we would love to be invited to participate in events. Let us decide whether we can or cannot do something don’t just assume because we’re pregnant we can’t do it. There are some pregnant womenfolk who continue to body build up until they give birth!

3. Social avoidance (similar to the above)

yep a lot of pregnant women regardless of their stage of pregnancy tend to be deliberately excluded from social events. We can go on nights out and still have a good time. Yes we will be drinking virgin cocktails and probably have to get an earlier taxi home but it doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy your drunken company and a boogie on the dance floor. However, don’t use us as designated driver that just makes us to be a convenience factor for your night out.

Some women (and men) just generally avoid pregnant women. The reasons are unknown but it’s like they treat us like someone with a grossly contagious disease. You can’t can’t pregnancy!!

4 constant bump size comments like oh your having twins when your only having one or you look ready to burst and your only 16 weeks gone.

Whatever the reason for the comments why not stop and think before you speak. At the end of the day we are human and have feelings and our hormones make us even more emotionally affected by your comments. We take things to heart quicker after all we’re not made of wood!

5. Been told we shouldn’t expect or receive any special treatment because we’re not ill!

Ok I know I mentioned above pregnancy isn’t an illness but some women do suffer certain pregnancy related illnesses and conditions. All that extra weight you’re carrying eventually hurts your back. You become exhausted quicker, cannot get comfy even sat on the comfiest chair known to man. You’re constantly up and down to the toilet to pass a teaspoons worth of pee. So surely after a few months letting us sit down in the dedicated seats on a train isn’t going to end the world. Let us be able to sit and stand as we choose ie if we operate a till in the supermarket let us have a chair so we can alternate. If we work in an office and sat all day allow us more frequent breaks so we are not sat there 8 solid hours. If we drive for Business don’t expect us to be behind the wheel of the car for the whole pregnancy!

6. Is it a boy or girl, have you picked names – why won’t you share that information

Some women don’t wish to share every detail of their pregnancy with friends and family let alone a total stranger so don’t presume you’ll be told. Also there are some ladies who (like myself) waited a long time to grow a miracle and didn’t want to find out the gender before the birth just to have that extra surprise. Also forgive us if we choose not to tell you the baby names we are deciding on because after all our little miracle might not suit the name and we decide to change it when we meet them for the first time.

7. Unwanted physical contact

Pregnant women are not your personal property! Yes, society in general becomes transfixed on pregnant women, we become the centre of wanted (and unwanted) attention. Strangers walk up to you and congratulate you, some open doors for you and give up their seat whilst others make snide remarks about weight or feel the need to touch your bump. Bump touching has a mixed response in the pregnant lady community some like it but most hate it. How would you like it if we touched your belly and said oh when’s it due when in fact your either a little overweight or have a hernia or something similar. Yes it’s crossing the unseen boundary of personal space yet some just assume that a pregnant woman is no longer entitled to that personal space.

If you are really desperate to touch the bump ASK first don’t just do it. A simple polite enquiry could result in you being able to share a kick from the baby or simply been denied the opportunity in a friendly tone.

8. Announcing the birth or details of the birth before the parents. Ok not directly pregnancy related more about the birth but still important.

The expectant parents have been waiting 9 months to meet their little miracle and have picked names and a going home outfit to dress them in. They may even have booked a newborn photoshoot so they have photos to share when they wish to announce the birth of their son or daughter then a member of the family or a friend announces the birth first. Boom! Magic has left the room, the expectant parents then feel rushed into announcing the birth sooner than they liked. In this modern society a lot of people demand to know every detail of someone’s live via social media the second it happens but a lot of us want to have a specially few days / weeks of privacy before letting the world know. Don’t take the experience away from the new parents even if you’re over the moon with excitement for them. It’s their child let them announce in their own time.

Oh and don’t demand every detail of their child’s birth or even a photo. If the parents want to share that they’ll tell you!

The above isn’t an exhaustive list but just a few items that are pet peeves to most pregnant women. Please feel free to share your pet peeves in the comments below.

Katherine xo

Birth announcement

For those eager eyes amongst you waiting patiently for news of our little miracle baby. Well today you are in luck. Yes it’s a little late (3 weeks late in fact), but we’ve been in such a rollercoaster since.

Our unicorn baby was born Sunday 26th November weighing 9lb 2oz – 2 whole pounds more than his estimate. Delivery was via caesarian section due to failed induction at 41 weeks gestation. Our little man was becoming quite stressed so the consultant wanted him born as soon as possible. The staff at Darlington Memorial Hospital were absolutely wonderful and looked after me and my husband during the whole process. They kept my spirits up and kept me informed of progress.

Our son is doing perfectly well but I’m not 😢 I’ve been quite poorly on and off with my gallbladder since the birth. I cannot thank the NHS enough for their help the last few weeks and I have more care to come in the new year.

Therefore, I shall continue to take a mini break from blogging for a few more weeks whilst I get to grips with been a new mummy (and recovering).

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Christmas is about love, family and friends so treasure each moment and make memories that last a life time.

Katherine xo

Common gripes of pregnancy

Congratulations you’re expecting a little miracle, you are either very very excited or super nervous (or perhaps somewhere in the middle).

Most books you will read will tell you how wonderful pregnancy is and how much you will bloom with ‘radiance’ whilst growing a tiny human instead your uterus. The books hint at some unpleasantries like ‘morning sickness’ but bad news doesn’t sell books. I’m not saying pregnancy is dire but there are a lot of gripes.

Below are some common issues you might have based many pregnant women experiences. I have tried to add some humour to lightened the subject so hopefully this will bring a smile to your face whilst you read.

Indigestion

It might feel like no matter what you eat or drink you’re suffering from ingestion.

Solution: The good news is Gaviscon and Rennie are safe to take during pregnancy as I’ve already mentioned. Again similar advice to trapped wind. Try to eat little but often. The further along in pregnancy the less food you find yourself able to eat at any one sitting.

Burping like a middle aged man

Yep, it’s very common to experience ‘wind’ and a lot of it during pregnancy. Whether your Donald Trumping in bed with your hubby or burping like a bloke after eating a dirty donor kebab and chips. You will inevitability succumb to wind at some point during your pregnancy. Trapped wind and bloating is caused by the hormone Progesterone. This hormone helps to regulate other hormones keeping baby safe. The side effects are it also slows down your digestive system to allow for better extraction of nutrients to your unborn child.

Solution: try to avoid / limit windy foods like beans. Eat slowly and have little bit often meals rather than big ones. Also Gaviscon and Rennie are safe to take in pregnancy.

Constipation Vs Diarrhoea

Not a great movie title but once again a fabulous issue pregnant ladies suffer. One minute you’re desperate for any relief to go to the toilet even it’s it’s just some rabbit pellets in the toilet bowl but then in the next heartbeat it’s like lava pouring out uncontrollably. It’s so very glamorous that every stomach twitch you’re left thinking is that the baby / wind or do I need to run-wobble to the toilet.

Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal of products available to take. You must avoid senna products at all costs during pregnancy which rules out a lot of constipation tablets. Try keeping a well balanced diet with high fibre and avoid foods that give you an upset stomach.

Grapes and not the edible type

If your one of the unfortunate women to suffer from ‘grapes’ ahem hemorrhoids. You can appreciate just how chuffing uncomfortable these can be. Best thing is to speak with your midwife as they can hopefully prescribe you some cream. Probably best to wear soft panties and perhaps made of cotton to help minimise discomfort.

Try not to strain too much when you are on the loo especially if you are constipated. This is how the majority of cases are caused. Straining also puts pressure on the heart and it has been known for people (mostly men) to die whilst straining for a poo. (what an awful image)

The revenge of the eye bags

There is no escape from those dark bags under your eyes (ok there’s makeup!). Early pregnancy you literally sleep for England and wake from 22 hours feeling like the world owes you a favour for lack of sleep. Then pow late second trimester / third trimester proper tiredness arrives. You tend to be shattered during the day for the near constant trips to the toilet that you’ve even contemplated making camp in the bathroom. Yes, I’ve wondered whether turning the bath into a bed would be a good thing or even investing in adult nappies ha-ha. Oh you laugh at the latter but I did find nappies for pregnant women on eBay of all places 🙈

Solution: well apart from using a bit of concealer the best cure is to try and sleep as much as you possibly can. Whether you can get 20 mins at your desk at work or a catnap as soon as you get home.

Remember though towards later pregnancy despite tiredness been common it can also be a sigh of low iron levels. Your midwife will schedule to undertake blood tests to determine your levels around week 28.

Pain pain go away

You might be a lucky woman and not have any pain until the day you deliver. However, for the majority of us mere mortals every day our pregnancy progresses another issue arises. Back ache, leg ache, shoulder ache. Itchy feet, swollen ankles, sore eyes.

Shoulder pain is often associated with trapped wind so try Gaviscon or Rennie so see if that helps. Sometimes (but not always) in late pregnancy shoulder ache can be a sign of early labour.

If you have horrendous back pain you can always self-refer to see a physiotherapist on the NHS. Just pop into your doctors and ask to complete a self-referral form. If it’s really really bad and paracetamol does absolutely nothing depending on which trimester you are in you can sometimes be prescribed Codeine. This is all based on speaking with your GP first.

Leg twitching and cramps

You’ve finally got comfortable in bed after the millionth trip to the toilet. Baby has stopped kicking enough to let you close your eye then pow your leg starts twitching. This is involuntary and can be somewhat painful. (Oh joy another painful thing to endure).

Sometimes this is caused by the way baby is simply laid and other times mineral / vitamin deficiencies. Remember, you’re little miracle is taking practically every nutrient you’ve consumed so you’re left with the bare minimal.

Solution: continue to eat a well balanced diet. Try drinking tonic water before bed this sometimes helps. Cramps can also be helped by adding a little more salt into your diet (don’t pour the entire contents onto some chips that’s not healthy). Avoid sitting with crossed legs during the day. You could also try having a pillow between your knees at night to see if that helps.

Oops I wet myself again

Cannot really see Britney singing this mind but yet another common dilemma. Whether you’ve just literally been for a wee and stood up you might dribble a little or sneeze and wish to god you were wearing a panty liner or some big ass tenner lady knickers. Many people will tell you to do your kegel exercises etc – yeah cheers I already know that but when you have a bowling ball resting on your bladder and you sneeze there is bugger all that kegel exercise is going to achieve at that very moment.

Solution: always wear a panty liner (tenner lady). You can continue your kegel exercises and then again more so after birth. From speaking to some mothers the majority of us get our bladder function back but a tiny amount of us still have issues. Not to panic though that’s why tenner ladies were invented. Don’t let it ruin your life.

Is that a gorilla?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought what the? Yep pregnancy can make hair grow faster. Sounds fabulous for your head but no where else. You might start to see the odd black hair on your chin, a dark line of hair growing on your tummy from your pubic region and then your legs which you only shaved this morning seem to resemble your man’s stubbly beard than smooth skin. It’s like going through puberty all over again.

Solution: if only there was a solution to slow or stop hair growth. Unfortunately, shaving, waxing, epilators are the only method of choice unless you want to go au-naturel of course. There is very little evidence to state whether laser or similar is safe in pregnancy.

Insane sex drive

You might suddenly develop a crazy high sex drive during the first trimester. Sounds great to some but it can be an absolute arse! Your poor partner might back off a tad because they can’t keep up with your ‘come on we’ve only done it 6 times today let’s go again’ attitude.

Then there’s the opposite. You might want sex but it’s becoming uncomfortable. You have your partner enter you only for your lovely unborn child to kick you in the groin (fanny daggers). Honestly until this happens you will have no idea what I’m talking about but let’s just say ouch!

Solution: get it on when you want but if your feeling really frisky and your partners a little out off you may have to do a bit of self love. As pregnancy advances you may have to experiment a little with your sex positions as the good old fashioned missionary position may be a tad too uncomfortable. I’m no sexpert but most pregnancy women swear by the doggy position with a pillow underneath bump for support or alternatively spoons.

Superhuman sense of smell.

Eeeww B.O. No not you personally but your sense of smell goes through the roof to the point were you’re convinced it’s you when in fact it’s the bloke at the other end of the train carriage.

You develop an almost inhuman sense of smell during pregnancy. In the early days this can contribute to your morning sickness. I actually felt sick at the smell of chocolate (my once favourite food). You will also smell things your partner can’t – like the dog which was bathed only this morning still stinks or your convinced someone is stood next to you smoking when their actually over 300 yards away at the other end of the carpark.

Solution: sorry there isn’t one unless you want to walk around with a respirator. Good news it does wear off after pregnancy. For some it’s days / weeks unfortunately for most it can be a couple of months. Some women even find they still love smelling certain things they didn’t before pregnancy like freshly cut grass or painted sheds.

Sick as a dog

Literally sickness or nausea is so very common in early pregnancy.

Then there’s the fact your immune system is next to non-existent. You may feel like you’ve caught every cough and cold going round and your right.

Skin like a teenager

So you had wonderful blemish feee skin and now you’re pregnant. Your skin may become itchy, sore, flaky, covered in blemishes etc.

Solution: invest in a good skin creme for your face. E45 does wonders too for itchy and flaky skin. Alternatively, why not use your baby’s products like Johnsons baby oil after you’ve had a bath followed by Johnsons baby lotion. It’s not just for baby’s it’s great for sensitive skin – I should know I’ve been using it for years.

Headaches and then some

You are more likely to suffer from headaches or migraines

Solution: You can take paracetamol during pregnancy but if you’re looking for a non-medicinal item try one of the following;

  • 4head stick
  • Cool patches
  • Upping you’re intake of water

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article. If you have an issue that isn’t listed please share your pregnancy gripes below in the comments.

Katherine xo