Sunday, May 29, 2011

Zen and The Art of Being Overdue

I am writing this post as much for myself as anyone else, I may need to read it daily until this baby decides to make an appearance. After my last blog sharing how laid back and relaxed I was feeling about when baby arrived, my mood spiralled into the usual impatient and anxious state that everyone expects from women around their due date.

So, today I have made it a priority to return to my Zen-like state and I think I am getting back there, so I thought I would share with you my tips for remaining sane once that annoying due date has passed.

Avoid all meetings, phone calls, texts, answer phone messages with anyone who is going to ask you if anything has happened yet. For me these have included daily texts from my Mother about trivial, inconsequential rubbish, that she'd never normally send in an attempt to get updates without actually asking, my Stepmother enquiring if anything was happening after I'd just asked to borrow my Dad's electric screwdriver, as if I'd be making flat pack furniture whilst in labour and various people going on about pineapple, curry, brisk walks and sex.

Have a project to keep you occupied. However, make sure it's not too taxing and preferably something you can do sitting down. Today Mckdaddy and I have done some more work on our photo wall, which included finally putting some of the photos actually on the wall. It was a perfect choice as it is always nice to do something together and looking at old photos of lovely people and places just makes me smile.

Try to keep just the right amount of busy so you don't think too much. I have accepted that I am bound to be a little anxious about the unknown, about labour, about the baby and as there is nothing I can do about when and how I find it is best not to think about it too much. What will be, will be.

Do some yoga. Even if you don't normally practice yoga I would really recommend ante-natal yoga and towards the end is the time to use it the most. I have tried to make sure I do some each evening, even if it is only half and hour and I have found it helps the aches and pains, helps me sleep and relax and gives me a moment to be quiet and simply be with my baby.

Find the right people to be honest with. A quick chat with Mckdaddy helped loads this morning, where he pointed out how well I'd been doing at staying calm and patient and that I had to try and get back to that. A friend phoned on my due date and made me laugh and my lovely, honest Twitter friends have been great too.

Feel free to completely ignore this post. Throughout this pregnancy, even more than my last, I have learnt that you must do what is right for YOU. Everyone is different and everyone has a different pregnancy. Once you stop doing what you think is expected of you and listening to background noise. These are the things that I have found helpful, you may find a completely different way of remaining Zen and mastering the art of being overdue.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A break in the cloud

As I reach the last weeks of a pregnancy that I could never describe as enjoyable I find myself, surprisingly philosophical about when the baby will arrive.

Suddenly everyone I speak to assumes I am fed up and desperate not to be pregnant any longer. They put their head to one side and screw up their noses asking "How are you, bet you've had enough now?" I smile and shrug and tell them I really am OK and that the baby will come when it comes.

There are things praying on my mind, but they have nothing to do with our impending arrival. My Mum is going through a difficult and financially messy relationship break up, Mckdad has been applying for a job (which we found out tonight he didn't get) and thanks to an absess and stress-related cystitis for my cat (have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous!) I have been to the vet's surgery five times in less than a week. There are the usual nerves about the birth and until that baby is safely in my arms I cannot totally relax, but that is all normal and natural.

I am feeling, what I can only describe as, twitchy. Physically tired, yet itching to do things, while at the same time unable to settle to anything. I am not even knitting. However, as far as actually being pregnant is concerned I'm feeling OK, for probably the first time since the second line appeared in that little plastic window so many months ago.

I can see the end, or rather the beginning and yet am happy to wait until the baby is ready to come. Every day means another day to grab some extra rest, potter around the house nesting or enjoy the relative peace of being a mother to one child.

My due date is Friday and I intend to simply carry on as normal with no fuss. I am hoping that this new found laid back attitude is still around even if I do have another 2 weeks to go.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Sunny Future #passiton

In a few short weeks I shall be starting the year of vaccinations that accompanies every new baby in this country. I vividly remember sitting in the doctor's surgery with a six week old Mini Mck worrying about how his first injections would affect him. Would I have a sleepless night as he suffered a slight fever? Would he be sick? Would I be able to settle him afterwards? I was then livid that I was kept waiting for 40 minutes and remember thinking that newborn babies shouldn't be kept waiting as long as that.

This time, thanks to a fantastic Save the Children campaign, I will simply be thinking how lucky we are to live in a country where every baby has easy access to this basic, but life saving healthcare and how there are mothers on the other side of the world that would gladly wait for hours in order to get their child immunised. I will be thinking of the eight million children that die every year from diseases that could be prevented.

Three bloggers, including my lovely friend and fantastic writer, Chris at Thinly Spread will be travelling to Mozambique with Save the Children to help them with their No Child Born to Die campaign. They will be raising awareness ahead of Global Vaccinations Meeting that is taking place in London this June and is being hosted by David Cameron.

To support this campaign and help make some noise Maggie at Red Ted Art and Josie at Sleep is for the Weak are hosting a bloghop which I would urge anybody reading this to get involved in. In addition to this you can sign the on-line petition, it'll only take a matter of seconds and you don't need to have a blog to get involved.

The bloghop aims to get kids involved in thinking about their future. As he is only just two Mini Mck's future basically consists of when his next packet of strawberry yoghurty things is going to arrive and drawing anything that looks remotely like a person is rather beyond him. So, we created this for you. It's a sun, by the way.

He is my sunshine and I hope that his future, whatever he decides to do, is filled with as much sunshine as he has bought to mine.

If you'd like to get involved in the bloghop, this is what you need to do

1) Get your child to either draw or craft a self portrait of themselves now or in the future.
3) Sign the Save the Children petition and then pass it onto your friends
4) Write a blog post about it as soon as possible, including info about Save the Children and the petition. We want as many people linked up AND signed up the petition by Sunday 29th May 2011
5) Tag 8 fellow blogger friends
6) Come back and link up your posts, either at Sleep is for the Weak or over at Red Ted Art, so we can all see each other’s posts and if you have time, go and visit some other posts.
I am tagging the following bloggers, but if you haven't been tagged and want to join in please do. It's for a very good reason
The lovely Whimsical Wife
Karin at CafeBebe
Alison at Plus 2.4

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Girl Crushes in The Powder Room

I wasn't going to Cybermummy 2011, what with it falling a month after my due date, the thought of travelling to London and back in a day, with a newborn just seemed too much. The only way I would be able to attend is if I stayed both Friday and Saturday night and with a new baby the budget just wouldn't stretch that far.

As the date draws closer and it becomes clear that it's going to be even bigger and better than last year and so many of my friends and favourite bloggers are discussing where they're staying, what they're wearing and who they are meeting up with I am regretting my decision. I am DESPERATE to go, but it's SOLD OUT!!!

If only there were a beautiful Fairy Godmother to grant my wish and provide a ticket and two nights in a hotel......but wait, there is. The fantastic team at In the Powder Room have organised a Golden* Cybermummy Ticket AND 2 nights at the Hoxton Hotel and all they want to know is who I want to bump into in The Powder Room at the Hoxton.

The Hoxton is an achingly cool, boutiquey hotel in London, so who better to bump in to there than my Girl Crushes, who all absolutely match the venue's fabulousness with no trouble.

'Girl Crushes' are reserved for those women that you just know would be great fun on a night out and who you want to be like, you love the way they dress and wonder how they get their hair to be so effortlessly cool (and shiny). If you were that way inclined you'd definitely fancy them or if you're not and there was a male equivalent then you'd fancy him. You know that if you met them you would probably be all shy and tongue tied. Come on, admit it we all have them, don't we? These are mine:

Claudia Winkleman

Whenever Claudia is on TV I want to go for cocktails with her, convinced she would be funny, down to earth, happy to chat about frocks and shoes but equally at home discussing the arts and literature. She always manages to look cool and not fall over in ridiculously high heels and can really rock a fringe, something that I am trying and failing to pluck up the courage to do. Despite this, I get the feeling she could get an uncontrollable fit of the giggles at an inappropriate moment and I'll bet she knows some great morsels of gossip to share over a mojito or two.

Mary Portas

I know the Queen of Shops is not everyone's cup of tea with her forthright manner and the fact she is not short of an opinion or two, but I can't help it, I love her. My Dad successfully ran a small clothes shop for over 20 years and both of us agree that she knows her stuff. Most of her advice is fabulous and she is gutsy enough to get through to the clueless shop owners & workers who are failing so miserably. Again, she dresses fabulously, never looking like she is trying to be a teenager, just looking amazing & proud of her own age. She had a really unusual and challenging early life and I urge you to listen to her interview on Desert Island Discs, where she talks about basically raising her younger siblings before carving out a fantastic career in retail. She has that head girl air about her which just screams 'Girl Crush'

Miranda Hart

I realise she isn't your traditional 'Girl Crush' material. Not particularly poised or hip, but that's what I love about her. Self-effacing and charming and yet sharp and funny, who wouldn't want to be like that. She may not be the thinnest woman in the room or the prettiest or the trendiest, but you just know that she would be surrounded by people who would be entertained and in awe of her. Honestly I think part of her appeal is that she is just as likely to stumble down the stairs as I am and yet would handle it with good humour and a certain bravery that I don't possess.

So, there you have it, I've 'fessed up to my 'Girl Crushes'. I think they would all get on with each other well enough, particularly once I'd shared the bottle of champagne that In the Powder Room are including in the prize.

I can't be the only one with 'Girl Crushes', so tell me, have you got any you want to share with me?

*It's actually just a bog standard ticket and I don't believe it allows entry to any kind of chocolate factory.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Silver Lining

I have made no secret of my dislike of pregnancy and all it's horrid side effects. The raging hormones are at the top of the list but the early sickness, general tiredness and indigestion that you feel you are going to keel over from come in a pretty close second. It really does feel like a Nine-Month Cloud.

However, as I get towards the end of the longest nine months EVER (and yes, I realise that my moaning must have made them seem pretty long for you too) I have begun to see some silver lining to that cloud, just a few rather nice side effects and am focussing on these to keep my spirits up.

1) My skin is totally spot free and tans easily so I look thing as if I've spent 2 weeks in the Carribean. However, it does mean that people seem to think I've been sitting in my garden for hours on end which I assure you I haven't.

2) I can wear clothes that are tight around the middle. Usually the worst part of my figure is my too large and definitely flabby tummy, but at the moment it is a pregnant belly so therefore totally acceptable to show off. Such a nice change.

3) For some reason when I am pregnant I don't crave junk food. In fact, once again, my diet is probably better than usual and seeing as my biggest craving is ice, I am drinking tons of water. Of course I still consider cake to be a food group on it's own when I am pregnant and breastfeeding but other than that I am putting all good stuff in.

4) My boobs have grown. I think they are planning to stage their own lunar eclipse. I wasn't sure this next one was a benefit, but a quick twitter survey confirmed I should be pleased. Also from a totally non-appearance perspective it feels good to see them getting ready for the tough job that is ahead of them. It is reassuring

I really wanted to get to 5, these things are always in fives aren't they? I'm afraid I can't and yes, I know that most of them are shallow and based purely on appearance, but look back at my other pregnancy posts, the fact that I am seeing any positives is a huge step forward.

While I'm in this positive frame of mind, tell me what I've been missing. What did you love about being pregnant?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Can you see the Fairy Dust?

As an ex-bank manager I'm pretty good at budgeting throughout the month. We pay our household expenses from a joint account but both Mckdaddy and I like to have our own money and so each month we both get a certain amount of pocket money to do what we like with. His mainly goes on wine and snacks and mine is frittered away on coffee, cake and magazines.

However, each week I do try to squirrel some of my pocket money away to save for those luxurious things that, when I had a well-paid career, I would buy without thinking, such as luxurious beauty products, a manicure or some frivolous clothes purchase. Recently though we have had to tighten our financial belts and my rainy day fund is being saved for baby things, holiday things or most boring of all Car Tax.

So imagine my delight when the lovely Fairy Hobmother from Appliances Online contacted me, after I'd left a comment on Kate's blog Witwitwoo, to offer me a gift from Amazon. Appliances Online sell a range of applicances including washing machines, dishwashers and some gorgeous range cookers that I can only dream of owning and the Fairy Hobmother has been bestowing lovely gifts on lots of bloggers.

I knew I wanted to choose something that was totally for me. Something that wasn't practical or boring but a treat. I went for these gorgeous Mama Mio products. They are fabulous and smell gorgeous. The only downside is that they are small and I love them so much I can see myself re-stocking

So, thank you Fairy Hobmother for making my day. The good news for you lovely Mummy Limited readers is that his magic wand is still working. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post and you may get a lovely e-mail too. Go on, make a wish, tell me what you would like to receive.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Do you Like me?

At last I have found the time to get Mummy Limited into the 21st Century and finally have a page on Facebook. I think this is an on-line version of nesting.

My page is looking a bit sad, lonely and 'unliked' at the moment so if you have a moment why not pop over and 'like' me. Go on, you know you want to.

While you're at it you can find some other great blogs to 'like' by visiting Facebook Friday over at Ghostwritermummy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ready, but at the same time not ready at all

Having spent nearly all of this pregnancy wishing it to be over, last night a new panic suddenly gripped me. One I haven't been able to shake since.

As if they had been projected in large red letters on the side of my house the words "4 WEEKS TO GO" screamed into my head, followed by the even more scary thought that it may not even be as long as that.

I am not ready and by that I mean we are not practically ready for a new person to enter the house. Surely with only four weeks left some parts of my house should look as if a new baby is due, but everything is the same as it's been since Mini Mck arrived and the scariest part is that Mckdaddy has just had, what could be his last work break before D-Day.

Actually, things are not exactly the same. Mckdaddy has spent lots of time sorting out our garden while he's been off, we've done a couple of car boot sales and got rid of loads of stuff and we finally built some storage in the cupboard under the stairs, meaning that all the toys are out of site, with room to spare. All of which will be helpful and lovely when the baby comes.

However, we have not sorted out the new baby's room, there is a new carpet still to be laid, the freezer is empty and I haven't even thought about what to put in a hospital bag. Not that I plan on using one, as would really like a home birth, so from now on will only refer to it as a 'labour bag'. I can't even remember what I had in it last time. I seem to recall having lots of stuff I didn't need and not having things that I did need.

It is almost as if I have been so caught up with being pregnant that I have forgotten the reality that I am actually going to have another person to care for soon and I need to prepare myself for this new way.

Of course, you realise after having a baby that they don't need as much stuff as you thought, but you do still need somewhere for them to sleep in, something for them to wear and something to cover their constantly pooing and weeing bottom.

I guess it is an emotional, mental thing rather than a practical thing. We have a crib, which will be in our room anyway, so a nursery is not essential. It will be nice to have a full freezer, but it isn't vital. Still it feels as if these things need to be done.

I actually think putting my mind to some of this could be a good thing. Making lists and making it seem a reality could really help to get me excited, in a way that I've been unable to before. I long to see a line of teeny tiny babygros hanging on my washing line and have a room to wander into, imagining what is to come.

Besides, today I made a start. I bought two packs of newborn nappies....doesn't that make me virtually ready? What was the best thing you did or wish you had done to prepare for your new baby?