Pregnancy Surprises

pregnant woman doing yoga text overlay: pregnancy surprises

I was one of the lucky ones. I had it really easy, with no pregnancy surprises. I didn’t have experience high blood pressure, gestational diabetes or Hyperemesis Gravidarum. You could even say that I enjoyed it. That’s not to say there weren’t a few things that surprised me about being pregnant.

Morning Sickness

For me, morning sickness was not what I was expecting it to be. I only actually threw up about 10 times, and only once did I throw up twice in one day. But I constantly felt sick, like I was going to throw up. This made it hard to want to eat or drink anything. After about week 20, the sick feeling began to fade but I still

Swelling

My oh, my! Nothing seemed to help the swelling in my feet. I sat at work with my feet up, only slightly elevated. I did work at a computer desk after all. I lived in a pair of compression stockings, like the ones you get after surgery or when flying. But they made no difference towards the end. My poor toes looked like little sausages.

Reflux

Some nights the reflux was that bad, I tried sleeping propped up on a few pillows. I was lucky that the medication I used did help. Although it was taken in a more preventative manner, rather than as a quick fix.

Constipation

I became constipated quite early on. I searched online for some solutions and decided to try pear juice. I managed to find it in the supermarket and gave it a go. It was really unusual to basically drink a pear. Pear juice did not quite do it for me. So I switched to an old faithful, Metamucil. For the last two or so months of my pregnancy, I was having a dose in the morning and another dose at night.

Week 39

By the time I made it to week 39, I had an insatiable hunger that just did not seem to be curable. My stretch marks had also been pretty mild but seemed to explode into being during week 39. They became agonizingly itchy. I was applying lotion several times a day just to get some relief.

Quote Monday #149

Reject your sense of injury, and the injury itself disappears - Marcus Aurelius

Things I Didn’t Experience During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is different for everyone. It’s even different with each child. Here are some of the common things women experience during pregnancy that I didn’t encounter.

Cravings

Sure I had cravings. But it wasn’t a case of “I must not stop until I get this”. It was more like a regular craving that would pass without having to give in. And while I don’t think it’s considered a craving, I found milk was often the only thing that would satiate my thirst. I would get up in the middle of the night and chug some milk.

Being warm

I did not experience being warm during my pregnancy. I was pregnant from February to November, so, for the most part, the weather was cold. I’d still wear a singlet, a top (often long or ¾ sleeve) and a jumper during the day.

Eating for two

I’m sure most of us know that eating for two is a myth. You only need an extra 200 or so calories a day.

Trips to the bathroom

I’ll be honest, I really struggle to drink enough fluids each day. I put in a lot of effort to drink more but didn’t find there was much change in my bathroom habits. Even overnight, I was only getting up once each night.

Kicks to the ribs or bladder

All babies have different movement patterns. I didn’t experience lots of movement. There were bursts of movement but it was never painful. And I certainly never got a kick to the ribs or my bladder.

Being tired

For the most part, I wasn’t tired. Only in the middle of my pregnancy did I notice being tired. I would crash on a Friday night after work around 7 pm. I assume it was just the week catching up with me.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things that I didn’t experience during pregnancy. But these are the main ones that come up with my friends.

Quote Monday #148

True life is lived when tiny changes occur - Leo Tolstoy

Breastfeeding Struggles, Advice, Success

breastfeeding-struggles-advice-success

I always wanted to breastfeed. But am ashamed to admit I honestly thought those that said it was too hard or hurt too much weren’t trying hard enough. How amazing is hindsight? I now know how hard breastfeeding is. I left the hospital with cracked, bleeding and scabby nipples. When the midwife visited, she was able to leave me with a loan great pump to see if that would help. After returning the loan pump to the hospital I borrowed one from my sister in law, and it was a godsend, especially when I returned to work.

Breastfeeding Advice

The best breastfeeding advice I received was from a friend with an 18-month-old. She told me it got a lot easier for her around the six-week mark. So that’s what I aimed for, hoping it would get better. Week six came and went but it didn’t appear to be getting easier. Then week eight hit and it was like magic. This is what it felt like when breastfeeding was normal.

Breastfeeding Struggles

It becomes all about the latch. My daughter struggled to latch properly but it did it perfectly when I visited a lactation specialist. They were able to suggest different holds for me to try because of her size.

I had several incidents where my daughter ended up with a mouth full of blood. To give my nipples a break I used nipple shields or the breast pump.

I suffered from nipple thrush more than once. It was really difficult to get rid of because I kept giving it to my daughter, who would then give it back to me.

I was unfortunate enough to experience a blocked milk duct on several occasions. But I was also lucky enough that I found a solution that worked for me, which helped me prevent it from turning into mastitis.

The first few times I breastfed in public was difficult. I couldn’t get the cover to stay on properly while I was getting myself organised. And I was really concerned about being covered so as not to offend anyone.

Breastfeeding Tips

Ask for and research advice if you are unsure about what you are doing. Join Facebook groups, ask your friends, watch YouTube videos and speak to your healthcare provider. I know I did all of the above.

The friend I mentioned above gave me a bunch of useful breastfeeding items at my baby shower. A tube of lanolin for chapped nipples, which can also double as a lip balm. I also received some nipple shields, which were an absolute godsend. By the time I was done with them they had big cracks and looked really worn out.

Having a breast pump allowed me to continue to exclusively feed my daughter breastmilk, even after I returned to work full time. If I had my time again, I would consider a double pump or a pumping bra.

The best thing that helped clear my blocked ducts was vibration. After some googling and not having results with massage or heat, I decided to try an electric toothbrush. The relief the next day was amazing.

If you want to breastfeed in public with a cover, practice at home. I wish I practised beforehand.

I found supplements to be more useful than the lactation cookies. Fenugreek seemed to be the ingredient that helped the most.

Breastfeeding Success

I last breastfed my daughter on Christmas Day. She was 13 and a half months old and I was very proud of our efforts. By then she was also having some formula as well. I was sad for that part of my life to be over but glad I was able to make it to a year, which was the last end goal that I gave myself. Less than a month after finishing up breastfeeding my daughter also gave up formula.

 

Quote Monday Redesign

Quote Monday Redesign
I have just completed a pretty big feat. I have just completed updating all of my old Quote Monday posts. Back in November, I decided that I should be using the same layout for all of my Quote Monday posts. By then I was already up to 110, so that meant I had to re-do 110 posts. It has taken eight months, but I am proud to say it is done. It wasn’t easy. There were so many steps to make it right.

Quote Monday Redesign

The first thing I did was go through each and every Quote Monday post and enter the details into a spreadsheet. I had columns for the date posted, the post title (number), the quote and the author of the quote. Another great use for my spreadsheet is to keep track of which posts have been shared on Instagram and Pinterest.
Now that I had a template for how I wanted my Quote Monday posts to look, it was simply a matter of duplicating it. Which meant copy and pasting the quote and the author into the template.
The template I’ve been using is set up in Canva, so when I am ready I need to download it to my computer.
Before I upload the new image to my WordPress library, I rename it. There are a few reasons for this. It makes it easier when I need to search my media library in WordPress. I can copy and paste the title detail into other sections like the ALT tag. And it helps with another step further in this process.

The next monster task was to update all the posts with the new images. My spreadsheet came in handy once again to help me find the right image for the right post. So I had to go into each new post, remove the image that was there and add the new one.
Once the image has been updated on the blog, I transfer the image to another folder on my computer. I feel that I should keep all my images, just in case.  I also add the post number to the beginning of the title, making it easier to find should I need it again.

And then

Now I can pin and Instagram until my heart is content because I know all my Quote Monday posts have the same look. Except if I find a spelling mistake. Which happened too many times when I was updating the post!

Quote Monday #147

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life Lessons From a 30-Year-Old

pink balloons. text overlay:Life Lessons From a 30-Year-OldLast year I turned 30, and in all that time I’ve learned quite a lot. Some of it important, like how to adult and some not so important, like the words to too many songs from the 90s. Most of these life lessons I learned in my 20s, but some are quite recent, like number 15. So here are my 30 life lessons from a 30-year-old.

  1. Have an outlet to relieve your frustrations; write, exercise, meditate etc.
  2. Prioritise by working out what is important to you.
  3. Stop spending your time on things you don’t enjoy. Hate a particular chore? Outsource it. Hate your job? Get a new one.
  4. Find your happy place. But be prepared, it might not be where your expect. My sister in law recently noticed that I really like it at the local strawberry farm. I feel comfortable there.
  5. You need to look after yourself before you can look after others. Sometimes you really do need to put yourself first.
  6. Get enough sleep, it really does make a difference to your day.
  7. Live in the moment and acknowledge what you are experiencing, especially if you have young kids.
  8. Really listen to people when they are talking with you. You don’t always need to say something in return.
  9. Never stop learning, whether it be for profit or pleasure.
  10. Give up judging people, it doesn’t do you any favours.
  11. Don’t be too afraid of making mistakes that you don’t even try.
  12. Learn from your mistakes, if you don’t you will probably continue to make those mistakes.
  13. Ask for help when you need it, you won’t get it unless you ask.
  14. What doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  15. If something won’t take long, just do it.
  16. Celebrate the wins, even if they are small. Sometimes they can be few and far between.
  17. If someone means a lot to you, let them know.
  18. Be grateful, the things that follow may surprise you.
  19. Ask for what you want. If you want a pay raise, ask for it. Don’t wait until it’s offered to you. You might not be offered one or it may be much less than you think you deserve.
  20. Never stop saving your money. Even if you are only saving $10 a week, keep saving.
  21. Make time for family. Take the time to catch up with your family members. I go to pretty much everything I am invited to. We also arrange a family Christmas party sometime in December just so we can all catch up.
  22. Take all the advice you are given. People are going to give you advice whether you want it or not, especially when it comes to parenting. Take it and do what you want with it.
  23. Do it while you can. My husband and I spent a month travelling the US for our honeymoon. In hindsight, it cost us quite a bit but it was an experience we will never forget. It’s also something we may not have the chance to do again.
  24. Learn and know your body. Take the time to learn what your body is telling you. Also learn to track your menstrual cycle, the stuff they teach you in school is just not enough.
  25. Done is better than perfect. You can waste your life away waiting for something to be perfect. The perfect partner, the perfect time to have children, the perfect job, the perfect blog post.
  26. Don’t be afraid to let your guard down. The moment I admitted to my friends that I had experienced postnatal depression, I discovered some of my friends were the same.
  27. Put yourself out there. For years I have been really concerned about what others thought of me. This blog has helped me put myself out there more. I was absolutely petrified when the first person I knew in real life found this blog.
  28. It’s ok to change your mind about friends, partners, jobs and your health.
  29. Don’t be ashamed of your flaws. There are many people out there that are likely experiencing something similar. And on the contrary, wish for what you have.
  30. Always have a carton of long life milk in the fridge or cupboard as well as a loaf of bread in the freezer. Have you ever run out of milk and really don’t want to go out just for milk?

Quote Monday #146

How often things occur by mere chance which we dared not even hope for - Terence

Quote Monday #145

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy - Guillaume Appollinaire