acidicice

Co-sleeping Woes

It’s not secret that Babyice comes to sleep with us every night. At first he would cry and Rudi would go and fetch him, but he has graduated to running through to our room and standing on Rudi’s side of the bed to be picked up. We have a king size, so it’s a bit high for him to climb up without a little help. I’ve protested the situation on numerous occasions, but my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Rudi even suggested we put a step next to the bed for him so it’s easier for him to get up by himself! Bear in mind I am the sleep training champion in the house and Rudi is the ruiner. Rudi’s excuse all winter long has been that he is probably cold, despite being warmly dressed. The weather has certainly warmed up…and now I have to hear that he will just come to our room anyway. *sigh*. Look, I am not completely heartless. On the odd occasion that he *does* sleep through I wake up and wonder if he is okay and I miss him there. Once he is there it poses all sorts of problems though.

 

 

I am concerned about what will happen once PrincessIce arrives. You see, Babyice pretends he is a helicopter while he sleeps. He flips and flops and literally spins 360 degrees sometimes. Somehow his feet often end up in my face. I ended up getting a hiding the other morning. He kept kicking me in the face/tummy/back and after numerous warnings Rudi tried to give him a whack and ended up whacking me on the bum instead! Rudi was reprimanded for this later on. Babyice cannot control what he does in his sleep and cannot be given a whack for it! This morning I was driven out of my bed by the situation. Instead of going to sleep after being kicked in the face, instinctively I would lay awake waiting for him to do it again so I could protect myself. After realizing that I was the only one losing out on sleep here (he never seems to aim for Rudi!) I got up with my pregnancy pillow and went to sleep in his bed. After I woke up this morning I saw him sleeping peacefully, spread eagle on my side of the bed. When I told him in the car that I had to go sleep in his bed he looked very confused, oblivious to the happenings of the night before. What is going to happen when I am breastfeeding PrincessIce in our bed? We already don’t put him on the edge of the bed since the bed is so high, we wouldn’t dare put him in the middle and her on the edge…or visa versa.

 

 

 

I’ve seen more than one Nanny911/Supernanny episode on this problem. All she did was to take the child back to their own bed repeatedly, no matter how many times they got up. Of course the burden to do this would be on me, because I want it. I can’t pick Babyice up now though, so it won’t get done. Apparently the fact that I want to do it makes me heartless/too strict. I guess I’ll just have to keep on moving over to Babyice’s bed. That seems to make everyone except me happy and isn’t that what mommies do? Sacrifice to keep everyone else happy?

From Ashes to Forest…

Saturday was pretty uneventful, unless you live in my region and you are a rugby fan. Our team won the provincial championships (also known as the Currie Cup) for the first time in 11 years. I believe there was much fanfare and celebration afterwards. The only thing the rugby meant for me was that my landlord “couldn’t” come out to fix our leaking kitchen sink and would come through on Sunday.

 

 

On Sunday I woke up and made breakfast for the family. After eating my own breakfast I suddenly felt so completely drained that I didn’t even have the energy to get up and brush my teeth. I tried to get up a few times to get ready for church, but could not muster enough juice to do it. I was worried that I would not be able to gather the strength to go and scatter my grandfather’s ashes as intended. We decided to skip church and I lay down and rested for a while. By the time my grandmother phoned to find out why we weren’t in church and whether we were still on for later, I felt much better. I managed to get up and get dressed to head out to Newlands Forest.

 

 

We got a bit lost looking for Newlands Forest. Somehow we found it though and we set off. My grandmother can’t walk very far, definitely not uphill on a hiking trail. I was determined to be there though. My uncle said a few words and a prayer. He had us all in tears. My aunt decided to stay with my grandmother and my cousin did too. Lazy buggers. So off we went. We walked up to the path until we came to a stream. I thought about scattering the ashes into the stream, but apparently people drink out of it so we did not. I actually hope people don’t drink out of it because we saw a few dogs taking a lovely dip in there :P There were a LOT of people walking their dogs. We walked past a beautiful path surrounded by ferns, but Rudi felt we had not gone far enough and we carried on walking up to the first ‘gate’ into the forest. I didn’t see anything too promising up ahead so I suggested we go back to the beautiful pathway we had seen earlier. Considering I was the only blood relative other than Babyice on this trip, I kind of had the last say on it so we headed back down.

 

 

 

We walked back down to the pathway and headed down through the ferns. Before long I found a beautiful clearing overlooking the stream that had some mottled sunlight filtering through the trees. It was a gorgeous spot and I was drawn to it. We unscrewed the box and started scattering the ashes. I was very surprised. How many ashes do you think you could fit into such a small box?

 

 

Ashes

Bottom of the box

 

 

You would be surprised! We scattered ashes all around the clearing and before long everything was covered in ash and we still had half a box of ash left! We decided to scatter the remaining ashes up along the pathway between the ferns on the way back and even that took some doing! I think I said ‘Sheesh there are a lot of ashes!’ and Rudi replied ‘Well, there was a lot of Oupa’. I guess he had a point.

 

 

 

In the end if felt really good to put him to rest and to carry out one of his final wishes. Newlands Forest was one of his favourite places in the world. It really is beautiful and I can understand why he loved going there. I’m just glad we were able to find where he wanted us to be. It never occurred to me to take a photo of the actual place the ashes were scattered. I guess I got caught up in the moment…perhaps that is the way it was meant to be. So that he can rest in peace.

 

 

We found the right place :)

 

 

 

After our emotional morning we all went to the in laws for a braai. I had to leave to meet our landlord to come and fix our kitchen sink which had started leaking really badly into the cupboard underneath. He came and replaced all the pipes and the leak seems to be fixed now. As long as we don’t knock the pipes underneath the cupboard around too much. We store our pots in there so that might pose a bit of a problem, but we’ll be careful. Our extractor fan above the stove has also been giving us some issues. He reckoned that it needs a really good clean and hopes it will sort out the problems we have with it. Before I knew it he had the extractor fan under his arm and off he went!

 

 

 

We also had Babyice’s hair cut this weekend. Even though we gave him the medicine prescribed by the doctor again in the morning, he refused to get his hair cut. At one stage the entire salon burst out laughing when the screaming/crying toddler wriggled out of Rudi’s arms and bolted straight out of the door! Rudi dragged him back in, but we were having no success. Before long the owner of the salon grabbed Elijah by the hand and said ‘Come, let’s go buy an ice-cream’ and they did exactly that. The ice-cream distracted him enough to get the haircut started, but soon he started to become upset again. She then handed him a spray bottle with water in and soon she looked as though she had taken a dip in the pool! He enjoyed spraying all of us in turn and was laughing and crying at the same time. Somehow we managed to get it all done to the best of their ability. If the salon owner had not taken the time or been interested in helping us we probably would of walked out there sans haircut. I was very grateful to her. She even refused to put the ice-cream on the bill, although the haircut wasn’t cheap at R75.00 a pop. Maybe one day we can graduate to using the shaver on him again thereby stretching the time between visits. We didn’t even get to put a cape on him and the hair on his skin really freaks him out. He also get really hysterical when you’re anywhere near his ears. The hairdresser suggested he might have sensory issues (her son had and she used to have to sit on top of him when she cut his hair). I never thought about it before, but he did complain about a clothing label the other day, saying it was hurting him. Only a specific one though, he is fine with the others…so I don’t know. I’ll keep an eye on him. Anyone know of anything else I should look out for?

 

 

Otherwise I think I might have overdone it a bit hiking up into Newlands yesterday. The ligaments carrying my tummy are extremely tender.

Into the wind…

We are fast approaching November, or my “death month”. On the 5th of November it will be 4 years since Jamie died. Four. It seems like such a long time ago, yet still so recent. On the 17th it will be two years since my grandfather passed away. Sometimes it is like he isn’t gone. Sometimes I feel like he is just a phone call away, but of course that is not the case and I soon remember that.

 

 

 

Before he died he asked us to scatter his ashes in Newlands Forest. My grandfather was an avid hiker. Out of all the hobbies he took on in his lifetime, this was one that was consistent throughout. He loved nature and bird watching. When I was a little girl he often used to take me with him. He liked to tell the story of a trip we took when I was about 3 or 4 years old. We were walking a long a path and I was complaining a lot. He tried to ignore my whining for the longest time, putting it down to me being a toddler.  I continued complaining though and eventually he couldn’t take it anymore. He started looking behind him while we were walking (not a very safe thing to do on a hike!). Obviously I was a lot shorter than him, he was quite a tall man. After observing for a while he realized that he was brushing the bushes forward with his legs and they kept smacking me in the face! He laughed about this encounter until the day he died. Obviously I wasn’t very good at articulating why I was unhappy ;)

 

 

But I digress. On Sunday we will finally be going to scatter his ashes as per his wishes. Why did we wait so long? I’m not sure. There were times where we used the weather as an excuse and times my grandmother just burst into tears when we discussed it. Like she wasn’t ready to let go. Then there were times when our lives were just too busy. My grandmother  also brought it up often though. Rudi brought it up this time. He said to me yesterday that we’re having nice weather this weekend, why don’t we go to Newlands on Sunday? So I phoned up the family and suggested it and everybody is available. Rudi also suggested we all have a braai at our place afterwards.

 

 

I am not sure how far into the forest I will get. My back and hips have not been playing nice lately and sometimes walking can be painful. I hope to find a nice place. Can we pray for no wind on Sunday please? Don’t need my grandfather blowing all over the place and potentially ending up in my hair and going home with me and down the drain, you know?

 

 

I’ll be glad to finally put him to rest and to have his wishes fulfilled.

La Leche League

After a recent blog post where I spoke about breastfeeding and how I am not sure what I will do this time around, someone on Twitter pointed me in the direction of @flabbymommy AKA Kim.

 

 

Kim read my blog post and immediately reached out to me and invited me to contact her regarding my concerns. I fired off a short e-mail to her and in no time we were exchanging really long e-mails speaking about my concerns, fears and past experience. She has been incredibly supportive and forthcoming with a wealth of information. Kim is a La Leche League leader:

 

 

La Leche League South Africa is a voluntary organisation which provides information and support to women who want to breastfeed their babies.

La Leche League Leaders are experienced breastfeeding mothers, trained and accredited by LLL, who are happy to help other mothers with questions and concerns about breastfeeding.

 

 

 

I haven’t even had my baby yet and she has made herself readily available for anything I might want to know or even if I just want to talk. Since I’ve started talking to her I’ve already learnt so much that I didn’t know before. She even sent me some videos of a how to latch a baby…at which point I realized I had never seen a properly latched baby up close in my life before and that Babyice had never breastfed properly. He never looked properly latched and I never heard him swallow while we were feeding. Kim invited me to a La Leche League group meeting at her home. It is recommended that you attend a meeting before you have your baby. I dragged my friend Sanita along (she actually wanted to go, so I didn’t have to do much dragging) and we attended the October meeting for the area. The meeting was attended by breastfeeding mothers who spoke openly about their experience and struggles. It is a really supportive environment. Moms are welcome to breastfeed at the meeting should they need to do so and one of the moms let me inspect her latch up close. Her baby looked so happy, he had been feeding for a while and was ‘milk drunk’. It was so cute.

 

 

I had heard about LLL when I was struggling with Babyice, but this was post birth and I was an emotional wreck. I felt like I would just cry on the phone and I was embarrassed that I was failing even after being helped by a friend and a clinic sister. I already felt like a failure and like I ‘couldn’t breastfeed’. What I’ve started doing now is building my support system (Kim) prior to birth and arming myself with a wealth of information. I’ll be watching more latching videos and Kim recommended I purchase ‘The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding’ which is almost like a manual – I think. I haven’t started reading it yet as it only landed on my desk on Monday morning. I ordered my copy from Takealot and didn’t even pay for it with real money since I could use my eBucks. Kim has also told me that she would be willing to visit me at home to help me should we encounter any obstacles. Apparently most breastfeeding problems can be resolved with a little help.

 

 

With Babyice I felt that the hospital interference contributed a lot to our breastfeeding problems. At the time I thought they had screwed it up properly and that it couldn’t be fixed. I had the absolute worst time trying to breastfeed Babyice. At one stage it also became really painful and after listening to Kim and other mothers I wonder if I didn’t also at some stage have thrush which caused the pain, or whether it was just the latching that was incorrect. Some of these questions will never be answered. You can read about the hospital interference here and what I tried before finally giving up here. These two posts give you a rough idea, but don’t even nearly convey the emotional turmoil I went through. How inadequate I felt and what a terrible mother I felt like. The hospital post also doesn’t cover one of the things that happened which I also believe interfered with our success. Babyice needed oxygen after birth and was taken away from me shortly after. Even though he had had sufficient oxygen, they kept him away from me for two hours because they had to wait for a certain nurse to come and clear him or something. During this time they asked for a dummy. With my limited knowledge back then, even I knew that a dummy could cause nipple confusion and create breastfeeding issues. I didn’t want to give it to them. My child was crying, I couldn’t get up and go to him or fetch him (I was still incapacitated by the epidural), Rudi was flustered and the nurses persistant. Eventually I relented and let Rudi give them a dummy. This is just one of the things I felt contributed to our issues.

 

 

Something that I took away from the meeting – breastfeeding is a learned skill. It is not something that comes naturally to all woman as we are so often led to believe. My mother, aunt, grandmother and great aunt never breastfed. I had nobody to help me or show me how to do it. In my culture touching another woman’s breasts or staring at them while they are breastfeeding is taboo. Women cover up, we look away. Please note I am not saying this is a South African thing, I am saying this is the way of my culture within South Africa. There are other cultures where this is really not the case and a lot of women have an abundance of support from their families or women in their community. That is just not my experience. I didn’t grow up with breastfeeding women around me to watch and to learn from. My experience of breastfeeding women is seeing an occasional mother in a mall on a bench. With this in mind, how was I supposed to know how to do it? How was I supposed to know we were not doing it right?

 

 

 

I am hoping with the guidance of the LLL, the support of Kim and other mothers we will be able to breastfeed successfully this time around. I am hoping I’ll be able to stand my ground in hospital and that I will be able to have skin to skin contact immediately after birth and be able to breastfeed immediately too. I realize that it is not going to be easy and I hope that I am not being over confident. The money saved on formula and the time and trouble saved washing and sterilizing bottles alone will make it worth it, not to mention of course the best possible food and mother’s love for my baby.

27 Week Gynae Appointment

WARNING: I talk about peeing in cups here. If that is TMI for you, stop reading.

 

 

I had my 27 week gynae appointment on the 10th of October. I made my appointment in the late afternoon so that Rudi could finally join me for an appointment, sans interference from his boss. I was so happy to have him there.

 

 

After my last failed attempt to pee in the ‘cup’ at the gynae I was stressed ALL day about offering them a sample at my late afternoon appointment. The ‘cups’ are really no bigger than a pill container so if you don’t have enough pee to move it around and catch some, you might just not get any in there at all. I had a strategy. Last pee at 14:00 and then start drinking like a mad woman to fill my bladder before we go. I got a 650 ml Super Fruit smoothie from Kuaui and had a glass of water after getting back to the office. If you know me, you know I am very bad at drinking anything. I don’t like to drink. I’m not a water drinker. Even at gym I seldom drink water. For me to consume almost a litre of liquid in 2 hours, you know I’m determined. By 16:00 I still didn’t feel like I needed to go to the loo urgently and I was still a bit worried.  We toddled off to the hospital and arrived to a waiting room FULL of patients. Usually everyone sitting there when I arrive still needs to be seen. I relaxed a little as I realized I could give all the liquids a little longer to filter though before having to attempt to submit my sample. I grabbed an extra container from the basket and snuck it into my handbag. I’ll be damned if I will be stressed all day again next time. I’ll just pee in the receptacle at my leisure and stow it in a ziplock bag in my handbag till my appointment.  Eventually I felt like the urge was strong enough for me to attempt it. Embarrassingly I had even Googled pictures to see where the best place would be to hold the cup. I didn’t know as much as I thought about my anatomy, in spite of watching the Oprah episodes with the diagrams of female genitalia. I waddled off to the loo…and I aced it. I could of filled 2 cups! In fact, I needed to go to the loo again before we got a chance to see the gynae at all.

 

 

There were a few couples in the waiting room. In particular a couple expecting their first baby and a woman who had come on her own who isn’t pregnant. This lady was talking the hind leg off a donkey! She was dishing out a lot of birth/parenting advice to the expecting couple (none of which I particularly disagreed with) and by the time it was their turn to see the gynae their eyes were as wide as saucers. I think she might have scared the cheezits out of them. Eventually we were left alone with her…at which point she divulged the story of her daughter. Her poor family has been through so much. Her daughter was born 2 months prematurely and at the age of 4 months suffered a severe heart attack. Only then did they realize that she had been born with no chambers in her heart. Her stories about ICU and living in the hospital unfolded and eventually I was sitting there in tears. She wasn’t deliberately trying to upset me, but her story was so heart wrenching that I couldn’t help but feel for her. In the end the story has a happy ending, her daughter is now 2 and half and they constructed chambers for her heart from bovine heart muscle. Apparently she will need a valve replacement at a later stage in life, but otherwise she will have a normal life and even be allowed to partake in sports. We had almost been there for 2 hours when we finally got called into the office…

 

 

They gynae called us in saying ‘Come on in, before you two need to order breakfast’. He was in a very jovial mood considering he was running two hours behind and had obviously had quite a day. He asked how I was doing and I reported that everything was going well and that things had improved since I last saw him. Then, as is my custom, I asked him about his recent success rate with epidurals. I then had to wait for him to stop laughing. He knows every time he sees me the subject will be raised. Apparently he is still running on a 100% success rate and he feels good about his chances to administer a successful epidural for me. He then told me about another patient who is the other extreme and insists on having no epidural, even if she asks for one in a ‘moment of weakness’.  He had a look at PrincessIce and we’re happy to report that she is doing well. She is still average size and at the time of my scan weighed about 1 kg. That’s two blocks of butter! She is very active and he still thinks she’ll only make her appearance in 2013, even if it’s the very first day. He said we should be ready for her anywhere from the 1st of January. As long as she comes after the 27th (when my gynae gets back from leave) I’ll be happy. I really don’t want to give birth with his scalpel-happy partner. He doesn’t foresee any problems with me being able to give natural birth again and said that it is much less likely to tear with a second baby. That’s good news, although, she might just have a big head.

 

 

I must say that I am really enjoying this pregnancy a lot more than I did with Babyice. I am a lot more relaxed, not only about the outcome of the pregnancy, but the birth as well. Not being fraught with anxiety certainly has its perks. Sometimes I just stop in the middle of whatever I am doing, look down at my bump and have a surge of humility and gratitude. I can then be seen with a stupid smile plastered across my face. I am more inclined to talk to PrincessIce and am definitely forming much more of a bond with her while in the womb than I ever dared to with Babyice. I am a little sad that I wasn’t able to have the same kind of experience with Babyice, but I understand that it was completely natural for me to feel the way I did when I was pregnant with him. That pregnancy came about just six months after we lost Jamie and all that fear and grief was still very raw. I can tell Rudi is bonding a lot more too. He actually picked up a pregnancy/birth/baby book in the gynae’s office and read some of it! This is very unusual behaviour for him. He also often wants to feel her kick and seems a lot less distant than he was with the previous pregnancy. I never felt that the loss of Jamie affected him deeply like it did me, but it is very apparent to me now that he felt it just as much as I did and that he was also fearful of the future with Babyice.

 

 

 

I am now 28 weeks already. I gave birth to Babyice at 38 weeks and 5 days. In no time at all our baby will be here. I find myself extremely broody when seeing other little babies. It’s very odd. On the one hand I am impatient to be with her and on the other I want to savour this last pregnancy.

Weekend Away

I’ve been bottling up this blog post (and 3 others) for over a week now. Work has been SHIT crazy busy and I barely have a chance to eat lunch, much less write a lovely blog post about my *cough* exciting adventures *cough*.

 

 

If you’ll remember we had a trip booked to Avalon Springs in Montague with the in laws. Even though I was afraid I would suffer from altitude sickness like I did the last time I was there, I tried to envision myself in the hot springs/jacuzzi relaxing my tail off and had a positive attitude towards the getaway. I was very excited about going away and was also determined to book myself a preggy massage for the ultimate relaxation experience.

 

 

On the Friday I packed our bags. That is always a stressful experience for me. I am always afraid I will forget something important. I usually pack way too many clothes and we end up with loads of baggage. I managed to fit everything into one suitcase and a nappy bag though, so I think I did pretty well. We departed from the in law’s house and somehow the trip seemed shorter than last year, despite the roadworks we encountered along the way. When we got there I was dismayed to find our mountain chalet was up 3 flights of stairs, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like extra exercise ruin my weekend. I quickly unpacked our suitcases into the cupboards provided and changed into my bathing suit. To be honest I wasn’t sure that my bathing suit actually still fit as I haven’t worn it since last summer and my stomach has grown exponentially since the last time I had it on. Thank God for lycra! It fit and we all headed down to the hot pool.  We spent some time wading around in the warm water and catching Babyice from the edge of the pool which he insisted on jumping from repeatedly. I ordered myself a mocktail and sipped it at leisure in the jacuzzi attached to the pool. Once we had all had our fill of swimming we went back to our chalet for a family braai.

 

 

 

Upon checking in I requested a pamphlet for the spa treatments on offer. The pregnancy massage was priced at R320! I’m quite selfish about spending money on myself and decided I would leave the massage. I must say in September I bought myself some new clothes and MAC make up. The guilt left by the indulgences still stuck with me. That night, however, I dreamt about getting a massage and when I woke up my shoulders were stiff. I determined that we don’t get away EVER and that I would be wasting an opportunity by not going for the massage and making the most of our weekend. Hell, I didn’t just want a massage, I needed one! So I booked myself one for Saturday morning. I was NOT sorry! It turned out to be a full body massage (including face and head), 55 minutes long! The lady doing my massage knew exactly how much pressure to apply and did a wonderful job. So much so that I ended up giving her a tip on top of the R320! I was a bit embarrassed. I had put on my bathing costume as I intended to go directly to the pool afterwards. I was told to strip down to my panties and of course I wasn’t wearing any! I really must remember to tell them before the time it is quite alright if they don’t massage my inner thighs.

 

 

 

The rest of the weekend was peaceful. My in laws from Durban and Rudi’s parents left on Sunday, taking Elijah’s 3 year old cousin and play mate with them. He had had a blast playing with her all weekend. He didn’t act up too much after they left, only asked for her a few times. On Sunday evening I got sucked into watching X Factor for hours on end. I don’t have satellite at home so I never get the opportunity to watch it and they had a marathon on. Rudi and my brother in law and his girlfriend had a braai outside while I watched aspiring stars have their dreams smashed to pieces/come true. I might of come across as anti-social, but I did mute during the advertisements to contribute to the conversation.

 

 

The best news is that I didn’t have a hint of altitude sickness the entire weekend! It really did ruin the entire experience for me last time. It was nice to feel well while we were there. I did feel a bit nauseous after my massage, but was warned about this as the massage releases toxins from your muscles into your bloodstream. The effects where short lived and I was able to enjoy my weekend to the full. It was with a heavy heart that I left the resort this time. I would of loved to be able to stay longer, but work and regular life beckoned.

 

 

I wasn’t too bothered about taking photos, but I did manage to get a few shots:

 

 

 

 

 

I still have 3 blog posts I want to get out. Hopefully work will settle and I’ll have time to write those soon.

Things My Kids Say

While I was getting undressed to shower last night:

 

 

Babyice: ‘Mommy, I like your boobs. Come let me touch them.’

 

 

Again this morning after I was already dressed ‘Mom, I like your boobs.’

 

 

At least someone does :)

Gratitude

Another week has flown by. I was on leave for most of last week after having worked the weekend, so I didn’t have much time for a blog post in between.

 

I have learnt that my children love to defy me, even from within the womb. I blogged that PrincessIce doesn’t kick me on my bladder like Babyice used to. Not two days after I posted that she started doing it. She is a strong kicker too, so it’s even worse this time! I have to find a way to turn this baby! Babyice used to make me a liar on my blog too. Specifically when I was blogging about the sleep training. If I would say he has slept through for a while, he would start waking up and visa versa.  I know it’s completely irrational since they obviously cannot read my blog, but this is something that consistently seems to happen. Perhaps it is a universe thing. Unlike ‘The Secret’ I’m getting back the opposite of what I put out there. That’s the best I can do about coming up with a theory :P

 

 

 

I really enjoyed and treasured my pregnancy this weekend. At week 25 I’ve finally hit the ‘honeymoon phase’  that is supposed to come with your second trimester. I am quite emotional and hormonal. I cry at the drop of a hat. I was a little sad on Saturday. I lay on our bed feeling PrincessIce kick and suddenly felt really sad that this will be my last pregnancy and that it will be over soon. I know I may have said at some point that I love being pregnant, but that is easy to say when you’re not actually pregnant. I hated the symptoms of the first trimester, even while in awe of the miracle growing inside me. When I reach this honeymoon phase though, it is a beautiful thing and this is the part that I love. I never really got to experience this much with Jamie. Even though your second trimester starts at around 13 weeks, I only hit my ‘happy place’ much, much later. They discovered the problems with Jamie at my 20 week scan and from there on out it was just a nightmare. With Babyice I definitely got to enjoy parts of my pregnancy (also around this point) and now with PrincessIce too. I definitely do not want more than two children though and unless we have a HUGE accident, this will be my last pregnancy. As the thought struck me, I started to cry. Eventually I realized I was being silly. I’m still pregnant. Suck it up and enjoy it. I even caught a glimpse of myself and my bump in the mirror and couldn’t help feeling beautiful and smiling. That never happens to me. So while I’m in this appreciative mood I can overlook all the other discomforts and just be grateful for this opportunity and blessing.

 

 

 

Over the weekend we made a turn at Baby Boom. Babyice has been struggling to fit into his car seat properly and weighs enough for us to convert his car seat into a booster seat. Neither Rudi nor I had any idea how to do this though, so it was best we go to the experts. Car seats are like freaking rocket science to me. I don’t get how to install them and hate taking them out of the car. I am super paranoid about car seats. I am very insistent on the safety of my child in the car and will not let the car move without him being belted in. So having a car seat that isn’t properly installed is a huge no no for me. This lady who I have known from shopping at Baby Boom since I was pregnant with Babyice came out to the car to help us and started unscrewing things and whipping belts out, etc. I am super glad we didn’t try to do it ourselves. Even watching someone with years of experience baffled me! Now that all the fiddly belts are out of the way and we can just strap Babyice in with the seat belt it is super easy though. The seat belt just threads through one hole and Babyice and the seat clip in. You really can’t mess it up. It will also make it MUCH easier to move the seat from one car to another when the need arises. i.e. when Leebeesa takes Babyice while I am having PrincessIce. I cannot believe Babyice is big enough for a booster seat! My baby is gone, forevermore :( I was going to buy another car seat for PrincessIce, but realized that someone with porridge brains shouldn’t make decisions when the Baby Boom assistant pointed out I just need a new booster seat for Babyice and that PrincessIce could use his current car seat. Duh. It would be much cheaper to add a booster than to purchase another car seat that converts into a booster. What was I thinking?!

 

 

I am quite looking forward to this weekend. We are going away with the in laws to Avalon Springs to stay in the luxurious mountain chalets. We went there last year as well, courtesy of the in laws’ time share. I felt ill most of the time while we were there though. I thought that I had altitude sickness and thought I would take meds along if we ever went again. Now I’m pregnant. Fail. Arkwife googled for me though and apparently pregnant women very rarely suffer from altitude sickness because the extra blood in their body provides more oxygen than normal. I was very happy to hear that. I plan to spend more time in the jacuzzi and hot springs than I did last time we were there. I also plan to make use of their spa facility to have a pregnancy massage. I even phoned ahead to make sure they offer it. Someone asked me last week who would be joining us and I suddenly realized that ALL my in laws would be there. Even Rudi’s brother from Durban and his wife and daughter will be there. The whole family including kids. I don’t have problems with my in laws and don’t dislike them at all. I suppose it is normal for me to feel like an outsider in that situation though, isn’t it? They would never intentionally make me feel that way, it is very likely something I do to myself. I’m not even the last one married into the family, so I really should just get over myself and have a good time :) We’ll be leaving on Friday and coming back home on Monday. Luckily this time I won’t have to hunt for swimming nappies for Babyice like I had to last time. It really is a very small town and none of the ‘major retailers’ had them!  I’m sure that Friday will arrive in record time and I will have loads to blog about when we get back :)

 

6 months down…

I’ve been suffering from bloggers block. I’ve been uninspired to blog because I’m not really sure what I want to say. I guess there are a lot of different things I want to talk about, to put out there, but I haven’t been able to organize my thoughts in order to write them down. So this might all come out in a mess and there might be more or less than expected.  So here goes…

 

 

 

I hit the 6 month mark in my pregnancy today. I can barely believe how fast the time has been going by. It still feels like 3 weeks ago that I was waiting for the 3 months mark and my second trimester to kick in. I still suffer from nausea now and then and still get sick in the morning sometimes, but it is much better than it was in the beginning. My tummy has grown enough for me to be obviously pregnant and to make me feel quite stretched in that area.  I have heartburn occasionally, but at the moment I manage to cope with it without Gaviscon sometimes. I only opt for the Gaviscon if I’m trying to sleep and it is keeping me awake and I’ve only had to do that twice. It’s still early days though and I’m sure the heartburn can still come back to bite me like it did with Babyice. As far as I remember the worst part of the heartburn is eating while you have heartburn, because it is always there, it becomes an eat or starve situation. Having it while you’re trying to sleep is also the pits. Perhaps PrincessIce will be gracious enough to spare her mommy that. We’ll have to wait and see ;) She is kicking a fair amount now and it really is my favourite part of being pregnant. She has skillfully avoided painfully kicking my bladder like Babyice used to and I am really grateful for that. I’m sure she’ll find an unpleasant place to kick me at some point though ;) I’ve already picked up 7 kg! I’m not sure how this compares to my weight gain with Babyice, but I know I only picked up 15 kg with him. I’ll have to ask my gynae to check at my next appointment.

 

 

 

I’ve been thinking about breastfeeding and what I am going to do this time around. With Babyice I was determined to breastfeed and I really did try my utmost best. It turned into such an emotionally destructive process for me (and possibly him) that the entire experience left me feeling traumatized. He was always hungry and unhappy. I tried to feed him sufficiently and failed. He lost too much weight or didn’t gain enough. I distinctly remember the day I decided to stop. I was gutted. I cried and cried (I know the hormones didn’t help). I felt like a complete failure, despite giving it my best effort. I just couldn’t take it anymore and switched him to formula. The difference was like night and day. He was *much* happier and when I finally got over myself and my feelings of inadequacy, I was too. I know breast is best. I know it is better for your baby. I would also love to not have to wash and sterilize bottles and bond with my baby in that way, I’m just not sure that it will happen. I do not want to go through all of that again and I’m not sure if I have the courage to try and fail. I had support last time too, a friend did her best to help me. She even took me into her home so that she could be there for me during the night if I needed her. She took me to a clinic sister who also tried to help. We tried pumping breast milk, we tried nipple shields…we tried everything. He just wouldn’t latch correctly, resulting in him just getting foremilk and not getting the nutritious hind milk which he required. He would drink for an hour or more and still not be satisfied. The clinic sister said the only reason he was falling asleep while drinking was because he was exhausted from trying so hard. I dread this. I really don’t know what to do. I doubt we can afford to employ the services of a lactation specialist when our baby arrives. The clinic sisters in my area were not of much help last time. I could just opt to formula feed. I know a lot of people do, but somehow I’m torn about it. If I do decide to do that I will, of course, give the initial feed of colustrum in hospital. I still have a couple of months to think about this, but I have been thinking about it for a few months already and still have not gotten very far.  I am now for the second time further along that I ever got with Jamie (by two weeks). This gives me hope, but I still take nothing for granted.

 

 

Leebeesa seems to think I’m as big now as I was at the end of my pregnancy with Babyice. I beg to differ:

 

 

24 week bump (PrincessIce)

 

 

39 week bump (Babyice)

 

 

Looking at the picture now, it looks like I’m carrying quite a bit lower than I was with Babyice. Perhaps PrincessIce is still ascending. Only time will tell I guess.

 

 

 

I never posted pictures of Babyice’s haircut! I actually think he looks better when we shave all his hair off, but we’ll save that for summer and when he is a little braver at the hairdresser. All neat again:

 

 

Haircut

 

 

My Evil Mother popped up again recently, trying to establish contact. After ignoring her first ‘How are you all?’ message, she sent me another claiming she was moving to another province and then asking if I wasn’t even going to say goodbye. See that? Bait and guilt. I ignored that message too. She was meant to leave yesterday, but nobody has heard anything from her. Her story is, once again, fishy. She has claimed that she is going to move to this same city before because her husband has a job opportunity there. They never left. This time around she told my grandmother she is going alone. I am really not going to let her hook me in. I do not need her toxicity in my life. I need to remain calm and zen and grow my baby. That is my primary concern and I will do my best to circumvent people who work against that goal. Unfortunately I cannot avoid everybody that makes my blood boil, but I can control exposure to MEM.

 

 

Well, just 3 more months to go before PrincessIce arrives…I best not blink.

Butterfly World and Hair Hallelujah!

We decided to take Babyice to Butterfly World on Saturday. It really was a beautiful spring day. Their website advised to visit on a sunny day as the butterflies are more active then. We promised to take him before winter already and lately he has been mentioning it, so we decided it was a great idea to go.

 

 

I must say that I was disappointed by the butterflies. There were a lot of one sort of butterfly. Ones with transparent wings and I only spotted 3 other kinds. None of the butterflies were fluttering around. They were all just sitting around. Babyice didn’t seem interested in them at all and I think the lack of movement had something to do with that. He did enjoy pointing at the koi fish swimming in the pond though. Luckily Butterfly World has many attractions now so there were lots of other things to see. The highlights of the trip were probably the marmosets and the iguanas.  It was quite funny actually, we were at the iguana exhibit and neither Rudi nor I could locate one. We kept looking and suddenly Babyice said ‘Mommy look! A lizard!’ and these HUGE iguanas were right in front of our eyes the whole time. Very well camouflaged! One had also escaped the exhibit and was sitting on the pathway. Babyice was quite scared and so was I…it even moved as I walked past it and I squealed. The creepiest part was, of course, the insect section. Eek! On a side note, I don’t recommend the hamburgers at the restaurant. I only managed to force down half of mine before donating it to Rudi. Our photos from the day:

 

 

 

 

Then it was time for the dreaded haircut. I was more than nervous. His appointment was at 14:00, but we arrived at the salon at about 13:10. Before we left the morning we gave him the antihistamine recommended by the doctor. We went to the salon straight from Butterfly World as it is on our way home. I told Babyice that we were going to cut his hair and he still refused…’No. Not cut my hair.’ This didn’t help for *my* anxiety. I went in, asked if we could come in and sit there for a little while to help him feel more comfortable. The receptionist agreed. He didn’t want to go in at first. At some point I asked him to come and sit with me on a row of ottomans in the centre of the salon. He didn’t want to, but I picked him up (yes, picked up all 16 kg of him), took the 3 steps to the ottomans and sat down with him on my lap. He was nervous, but I spoke to him calmly, telling him nothing is happening and everything is okay. I then pointed out the ladies having their hair cut. He looked and said ‘Mommy, look! The aunty has papers in her hair!’ By papers he meant foils. So cute! The hairdresser allocated to do his hair came to say hi and asked if he would come sit by her. She got him a ‘big boy’ chair (a high chair). I put him down on the chair. He looked like he wanted to bolt, but she distracted him with a spray bottle with water. This was good. We hadn’t even gotten him into the chair at the last place. She showed him the kiddies cape and he let her put it on. The owner of the salon brought him some hair rollers to play with. He wasn’t much interested in them, but I offered him Angry Birds to distract him from the scissors and he was happy for it. He doesn’t seem to like the feel of the comb against his head and he gets especially nervous when the hair around his ears is cut. He dodged the hairdresser a few times around that area. There was no screaming, no kicking, no tantrum and no crying. I was so happy and relieved that I didn’t even mind being covered in hair. The owner of the salon said ‘I thought we had a performer here?!’ That is how well behaved he was. She said she used to have to sit on top of her son while someone cut his hair! Babyice looks SO much better now! I’m amped I managed to get his hair cut before the Huggies event this weekend. I am going to try and take him regularly to get him used to it. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to try it without the antihistamine though.

 

 

Today, I spoilt myself. I have been in need of some new make up for a while and after buying a MAC concealer I’ve really been wanting to try their foundation and powder. I went to Edgars with a friend today and marched up to the MAC counter. I told the assistant there that I need a foundation/powder and eyeliner. She sat me down, took off my make up and proceeded to apply a primer. A primer?! I wasn’t even aware that you wear something UNDER foundation. I mean, really. What is my face? A wall?! Apparently the primer hides any pink/red pigmentation. She applied complete make up for me, save lipstick since I’m already wearing my Very Berry Revlon lipstick today. It’s the really dark one that draws so much attention. She also spritzed my face with some or other water that sets your make up, hydrates your skin and has a bit of a glimmer in it. Including that I have 4 layers of make up on my face! It does look nice though and a few hours later the foundation still looks good. Strangely enough I walked out of there with the 3 products I intended on buying when I walked in…it still set me back eight hundred rand O.O Yep. R800! I really want to get their mascara as well, but it is R200 and psychologically there is a huge difference between spending R800 and spending R1000. I also bought myself a pair of hoop earrings and a ring I liked (they were cheap):

 

 

 

MAC made my day :)

 

 

While my wallet is still crying…I’m smiling because I really do get excited by new make up! While I was paying one of the other MAC ladies complimented me on my lipstick. I can’t get over how many compliments I am getting about it. It just shows me that you really need to get out of your comfort zone sometimes. It pays off!