Peeps, it’s been a while. And I’m sorry. But I have been harbouring an enormous secret. And the time has come for me to announce what you may already know, may have been waiting for, or may not have given a second thought to (rude!)…Sprog 3 is on it’s way! We’re in the so-called safety zone and out of the bastard-first-trimester. Woohoo!
This post is little more than a pregnancy rant so I apologise in advance. Remember my first post childbirth post? (If not, feel free to refresh your mind here!). This has the same outraged overtone. It’s is my thousand word rant on how bloody awful the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are. It might not be 12 weeks if, like me, you found out at 5 weeks but my lord it feels like 12 years! In fact, my bad patch lasted until I was 14 weeks pregnant. It could be worse though, you may be one of those women that suffer for the whole 9 months. I salute you ladies, I don’t know how you do it. That’s only-child territory.
However there are also some of you arseholes (I mean lovely people – it’s the hormones!) that have no symptoms at all. I can’t even look at you right now and it is best we avoid one another. I need another week or two. Personally I like to embrace things fully. Which means I have been exhausted, nauseous, sad, angry, snappy, in pain, sore boobed….all of the things. All at the same time. All of the 14 weeks. Oh, and did I mention the migraines? Another delightful side-affect. It’s ridiculous.
My feeling-sorry-for-myself phase lasts for a standard first trimester only. This one though, felt particularly bad. I had days when I couldn’t get out of bed. I stayed horizontal for full 48-hour periods, excepting the two 30-minute round trips to drop off and collect my existing children from nursery each day. I felt physically horrendous, looked even worse and have emotionally been like a bag of teenage sisters. I spent 9 weeks with a pink eyed, blotchy cheeked white/green face telling everyone I’m fine.
But, having been through this twice (actually, three times) before, I know that this is all pretty standard for the first trimester. I can get over it. And I know it passes. I can even, after time, bring myself to be friends with some of you “no symptoms” people.
But there is one thing I cannot get past and simply cannot understand.
That we’re not supposed to tell anyone.
We are ‘supposed’ to keep this huge, enormous, gut-wrenching, tear producing, anxiety inducing thing a secret from everyone we know! It’s so….weird. If you tell people you are 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or even 11 weeks pregnant then you are met with Judgy McJudgerson face. “Oh. Well. We never told anyone until we reached the second trimester….you know….in case the worst happens…”.
“Yes, I do know.” I want to growl. Because the worst has happened. But surely if I would (and did) share with you my deep sadness at experiencing a miscarriage then it’s OK to tell you that I’m pregnant now?!
Some of our closest friends were more shocked by us telling them we were expecting our third child than the fact we were having a third child.
I have described previously how blown my mind was after I wrote about my miscarriage here. The reaction was astonishing, not just from a sympathy point of view but from the perspective of the staggering number of people who had been through similar experiences. This strange secret 12-week period seems to me one of the reasons that miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and a whole raft of other awful experiences people go through are not talked about more. And why it’s so much more of a body blow when it happens to you.
I can’t understand why it’s not OK to talk about pre-12 week pregnancy. Or why it’s not real news until you’re past 12 weeks. It is crazy because there is no less pain attached to something that wasn’t here as long.
Of course at the other end of the spectrum there are the its-not-my-secret-to-keep-so-I-can-tell-anyone people. Which is how my father-in-law found out he was to be blessed with a third grandchild! That’s not actually fair, it was an accidental blab, but he still found out through someone else not guarding our secret as a secret. Pretty much everyone I told once we were in the so-called safety zone already knew through someone else.
Is it a secret or isn’t it?! I’m so confused!
Lots of people questioned our decision to tell Girly no1 our secret when we reached ten weeks. But the poor child was in turmoil. Everyone was whispering over her head and I was either screeching at her for not being able to do a shoelace up (can any 3-year old?) or suggesting we spend quality time together then promptly falling asleep. It got so bad that she started playing with my eyelashes, I assume in a bid to get me to open my eyes? All she knew is that Mummy kept disappearing, spent lots of time in bed and wasn’t her normal smiley self.
We knew that once she knew, she would tell everyone she met. I’m not sure the postman or the Poundland cashier cared but it was beautiful. Watching her be excited about this big news for our family was heart achingly lovely. We enjoyed every moment and wouldn’t change a thing!
Ultimately it is every couple’s decision when they tell but I think we should stop being so outraged at other people’s announcement choices and keep our Judgy faces to ourselves. For us, our measure was, and is, would I tell this person if I suffered a miscarriage or something else awful happened? If the answer is yes, then why wouldn’t we tell you before 12 weeks? It was nice not to be asking ‘will this person notice that I’m not drinking or smoking?’ like it was the first time around! With our Girlies, we try and be as open and honest with them as we can. The last thing we want to do is add to all of the confusion and anxiety that exists in the world. And when they’re happy, we’re happy!
This whole post may leave you asking why I didn’t tell you about this baby sooner. It’s not because I didn’t want to. It’s because I was too busy shouting at the Girlies from behind my bowl of pickled onion Monster Munch, hiding my wet cheeks and pretending my voice wasn’t breaking. Or I was asleep.
Until next time amigos!
If you have enjoyed this post, please feel free to share with your friends. Love you! Bye!
We all know it’s a bad idea to drink when you have to be up with the little people the next day. But we still do it. We all become the Hungover Parent. Not me of course. I’ve just heard the rumours…
5.45am Hear a faint rustling of sheets. Lift head. Owwwwww. Check time. Bury face and close eyes hoping everything goes away.
6am Hear rustling and gurgling. Close eyes tighter and pretend to be asleep.
6.05am Sick burp. Mmm jaegermeister.
6.15am Hear Baa Baa Black Sheep over the monitor. Shout into pillow. Faaaaaaaaaaaarck.
6.18am Hear Baby start stretching. Ask Husband “why two” in barely-there-voice. Husband growls.
6.30am Lie straight on edge of bed whilst being hit in the face with comforter. Wish you had gone on milk run.
6.32am Agree that Peppa Pig is a great idea. Search for 60 minute compilation on YouTube and hit play.
6.33am Lie down and close eyes. Smell something gross.
6.34am Change Baby nappy. Gag. Taste prosecco.
6.37am Sigh heavily at wee on the bed. Cover with a towel and lie on it.
6.40am Close eyes. Drift off to sleep to soothing sounds of Peppa.
6.42am Use wet wipe to clean baby sick out of hair. Retch at smell. Taste vodka.
6.43am Dry heave over toilet
6.45am Stare at Husband’s back imagining what it would be like to hurt him. Try to smile at Baby.
6.47am Clean off clogged up mascara. Put in eye drops. Successful on 3rd time.
6.50am Stare at Baby blinking lots. Try and snuggle in.
6.51am Turn over away from Baby scratching lips and kicking delicate stomach.
6.55am Turn back again to shush baby. Lie patting tummy and making coo-ing noises in gravelly zombie style voice.
7.32am Groan as Peppa finishes. Agree to one last one. Can only find 30 minute compilation. Smile inside and carry on patting Baby
8.02am Offer up stale Digestive in attempt to stave off breakfast.
8.05am Sit up. Take deep breaths. Tell Toddler you’re fine and try not to cry at how you ended up here.
8.10am Put Baby back to bed.
8.20am Pour cereal. Eat cereal.
8.22am Vomit cereal.
8.25am Pick Baby back up before head splits. Put Baby on Husbands back and leave the room quickly.
8.27am Clean up Toddlers spilt cereal.
8.28am Burn toast.
8.30am Eat toast with Toddler. Lie about not remembering the words to “5 Little Ducks”.
8.45am Suggest going to watch more Peppa
8.50am Doze off on sofa
8.54am Wake up being hit in the face with a cup. Provide more water. Down a pint for self.
8.57am Tell Toddler Mummy is fine, tummy just didn’t like the toast. Baby does it all the time, it’s ok.
9am Beg Toddler for cuddles
9.01am Bury face in Toddlers candy floss hair and cuddle round tum.
9.02am Cry when Toddler strokes face and says “I love you, Mummy”.
9.05am Feel guilty for crossly saying no more Peppa. Agree to watch Frozen to say sorry.
9.55am Wake up in panic. Where the hell is Toddler?!
9.57am Relief as see Toddler on kitchen floor surrounded by tubs and lids.
9.58am Annoyed at realise tubs contained rice, pasta and sugar.
10.05am Pause cleaning. More vomit.
10.10am Stomp upstairs to get dressed (and check on Husband and Baby).
10.12am Noisily sing “Let It Go” with Toddler.
10.14am Pick up Baby and snuggle. Smile smugly hearing Husband argue over clothes and relent on Scooby Doo costume.
10.30am Check clock to see if it’s time for Baby to sleep again yet.
10.35am Give Baby more milk to make it be quiet.
10.45am Frantically search for paracetamol and Barocca. Shout down to Husband for tea and crisps.
10.47am Make own tea and get own crisps.
11am Change pooey nappy.
11.03am Vomit up crisps
11.05am Check clock to see if it’s time for Baby to sleep again
11.10am Feel guilty for refusing to do jigsaw on bathroom floor with Toddler.
11.15am Lie on bathroom floor covered in towels pretending to do jigsaw.
11.20am Ask Toddler if she’s tired yet.
11.30am Break out in sweat as doorbell rings.
11.31am Argue with Husband about who’s going to answer door.
11.32am Freeze as hear front door open.
11.33am Run to shower on hearing in-laws voices.
11.34am Make “aaaah” noises in steaming hot shower.
11.40am Continue to stand in steaming hot shower.
11.46am Continue to stand in steaming hot shower.
11.47am Cry after Husband rubs bum against glass and shouts “Here’s Bummy!”
11.50am Start getting dressed really slowly.
12 noon Start countdown. 7 hours til bedtime.
12.10pm Wake up in bra and jeans on bed. Curse under breath.
12.15pm Cough lots to make voice normal. Clean teeth for fourth time.
12.17pm Fake happiness to see everyone. Excuse self to wretch in toilets.
12.30pm Steal cheese from Toddlers lunch. Frantically search cupboards for Mini Cheddars and Coca Cola.
12.35pm Tell everyone hangover is gone.
12.40pm Excuse self to put Toddler to bed.
12.50pm Lie down on bed as new wave of nausea hits
2.07pm Wake up to Toddler shouting “Mummy”. Hear faint baby crying. Groan. A lot.
2.10pm Try and think of reasons not to go to the park.
2.30pm Shiver on bench at park. Text in-laws and apologise for earlier disappearance.
3pm Countdown. 4 hours til bedtime.
3.25pm Argue with Toddler over leaving park.
3.30pm Watch Todler rubbing face in mud in tantrum. Rub face a lot as realise it’s bath night tonight. Then pizza…
3.32pm Drag Toddler by foot back into pram.
4pm Countdown. 3 hours til bedtime.
4.30pm Assume Baby jiggling position. Feel sick again.
5.25pm Defrost Toddler food.
5.30pm Eat half of Toddler food. Half-heartedly argue over ice cream for pudding.
5.32pm Give Toddler ice cream.
5.35pm Day dream about Dominos.
6pm Start move towards stairs muttering about pyjamas.
6.15pm Sniff baby and toddler. Confirm with Husband that baths can wait til tomorrow.
6.25pm Argue with Husband that you’re deserving of giving Baby milk in rocking chair in dimly lit room.
6.30pm Complete journey upstairs
6.40pm Let Toddler run around naked.
6.50pm Agree that Elsa & Ana probably don’t have to clean their teeth every night so we’ll do them twice in the morning.
6.51pm Read stories in best auctioneer voice.
7pm Collapse in exhausted heap on sofa.
7.13pm Accept offer of beer.
7.15pm Wonder why didn’t have beer at 6am.
7.20pm Order Dominos Meal Deal for 4.
8.15pm Devour 2 persons worth of Dominos.
8.25pm Complain about bloating.
8.27pm Pass out on sofa.
10pm Wake up in extreme state of confusion. Climb stairs on all fours.
10.05pm Stare at bed and remember dirty bedsheets. Feel for wet patches.
10.07pm Shrug and get in anyway.
Sound familiar?! Are you a hungover parent?! If so, please like and share on Facebook or Twitter (@makinglittleppl). More blog content here.
This list is Things You Might Feel in the First Year. You might not feel them but I sure did.
5 mins post delivery: Elation, disbelief and tears. Shit. A human just came out of me. Did anyone else see that?! Other than the 45 people that were in here at the time?
30 mins: Exhaustion, awe and gooey mushiness. Look at it. Just look at it. Wow.
3 hours: Disbelief. Slight concern that Baby won’t be quiet and I don’t know how to look after it. Where’s the thing you press to call the midwife? Can she come home with us? Feed it more. Pain killers wearing off, down below feeling a little bruised.
6 hours: Uncomfortable. Fanny and arse on fire, can’t sit down. Shifting uncomfortably from left bum cheek to right helps. Want to go home.
12 hours: Drained but excited. Babies in ward waking up constantly. Mine slept, I got 5 hours! I’ve got this Mum shit down! Can’t wait to get home.
12.5 hours: Embarrassed. Just been told off for not waking Baby up every 3 hours. How was I supposed to know?!
1 day: Impatient. Still waiting for going home papers. Still can’t sit down.
1.5 days: Panicked. Just had midwife spiel on all the things you should and shouldn’t do, the appointments you have to make, the legal requirements you’re supposed to remember. What have I done? Who thought this was a good idea? Lower half of body in excruciating pain after jumping up to gather leaflets in eagerness to demonstrate how good a mother I’m going to be.
1.7 days: Delighted. Walking (shuffling) through the double doors out of the hospital with sleepy little baby. This is going to be marvellous!
1.75 days: Sluggish. Wondering who drove a bus into your vagina and whether you’ll tick over to 24 hours parking since that’s how long this 200m walk to the car is going to take.
1.8 days: Overjoyed. Home! Back into gooey mushiness and gazing wonderment, especially as all it does is sleep! I love it!
2 days: Terrified. What the fuck? Who let me bring this thing home? I don’t know how to look after a child! Why does it keep making that noise? Oh….the Baby has gone green. It’s covered in poo. That’s ok. I can handle poo even if it does go from ears to toes. Cleaning is fine. Pretend it’s a dirty frying pan. What’s next? Don’t worry about what’s next. One thing at a time. Deal with the shit.
3 days: Worried. Unable to remember the last time I closed my eyes and that high pitched wail didn’t pierce my ear drum. Arse and fanny swollen to the size of a house. Just want to sleep for 12 hours like before it got here.
4 days: Tearful. Boobs swollen to watermelons. Wondering when I might not feel like I’ve been run over by a bus forwards, backwards and forwards again.
5 days: Mortified and Irritated. Wet patches on my top. Milk keeps seeping through in front of my father in law. Sick of the smell of flowers, they keep making me sneeze. Baby sleeps on all visitors then does nothing but wail for me. Go away! It’s my Baby!
One week: Annoyed. Thought “sleeping like a baby” was a thing?
Two weeks: Shit! Got a cold. Fanny stinging constantly and only relieved when crab walking naked round house. Found all the leaflets from the midwife and haven’t done any of it. So, so tired. And Husband is a dick.
Three weeks: Amazed. 4 consecutive hours sleep last night! New. Woman. Still feel like eyeballs have been sandpapered but can survive on this. Only 40 minutes late to friends house today. Winning! Bits are itchy but bearable. Love Husband, he’s so great.
3.1 weeks: Disappointed. Aaaaargh! Must have been a one off. Back to 3 90 minute blocks of sleep. Why hasn’t stupid Husband got boobs?! Think I might die of sleep deprivation. Cuddled the checkout boy in Tescos by accident. Call mum begging for her to take the Baby away. Call back 10 minutes later to cancel, guilt set in. Such a bad Mother. Didn’t mean it. Promise. Missed doctors appointment altogether as caught in a poo-eat-sick spiral. Begged for new appointment. Fanny relief came in the form of a cream. Why didn’t they send me away from the hospital with this?!
4 weeks. Defeated. Can’t take this. Babies shouldn’t have such stupidly small stomachs. Whose idea was it to have a baby anyway?
5 weeks: Elated! Baby smiled! Love it so much! It’s so cute, look at this!
6 weeks: Hopeful. Black clouds are clearing. Last 3 nights had 2 lots of 4 consecutive hours’ sleep. That smile…
6.5 weeks: Delirious. Doctor talked about sex at 6 week check. Laughed all the way home. Then cried when saw Husband. Please don’t run away with Hot Receptionist with her stupid in-tact fanny.
8 weeks: Furious. Why the fuck are you stabbing my baby with all these diseases? I’m not coming back for the next set of immunisations, this is ridiculous.
9 weeks: Ashamed. Tried that thing the doctor said about. Fanny is a cave. It will never be the same again. Cried during sex. Husband will never touch me again. Just take him Hot Receptionist…
11 weeks: Satisfied. Tried “it” again in spare bedroom after Baby fell asleep on our bed. It was ok. Bit like being 16, but ok. Will leave handcuffs and lingerie in the drawer for a while longer yet.
3 months: Knowledgable. Researched immunisations and decided to go back. Resisted punching doctor. Gave advice to another Mum in docs waiting room. Feel like a hero. I know stuff! Feeling brighter. Accepting of new life. Wish I could get back in my jeans for date night.
4 months: Organised. Routine established. Days have structure. Baby wakes up at 3am then 7am. Do-able. Joined gym. Have the occasional thought about going back to work, throat swells up.
5 months: Confused. Weaning? Is like weeing? Thought potty training was ages away. Must talk to other Mums.
5.5 months: More confused than ever. Buy blender. And bananas. And rice. Basmati?
5.6 months Wrong rice. Return it and buy Baby rice.
6 months: Exasperated. Routine lost. Spend all day feeding. Shit stinks.
6.5 months: Betrayed. Dada?! Are you kidding me?
7 months: Trepidation. Err….it moved. WTF? This house is a danger zone.
8 months: Anxious. Why must everything go in the mouth?! You can’t eat Babybel wax! Wish it would lie still again.
9 months: Heartbroken. “Keep In Touch” day at work. Cry on train. Cry in toilets at work. Call home seven times. Run back to the train station and snap heel on new shoes. Don’t care. Don’t let go of Baby for 3 hours. Re-do finances and research working at local nursery.
10 months: Pained. Back killing from holding baby upright so it can walk. Can’t you just crawl again?
11 months: Focused. Spend all day on knees with arms around Baby making a cage to stop it falling on face. Bump on head from last week. Am waiting for Social Services to knock on door. Finally able to do button up on pre baby jeans. Now to lose muffin top.
12 months: Proud and Reminiscing. Made it to a year! Baby is so big and so clever! More so than every other baby at nursery. It’s gone too fast! Remember how cute it was? Remember that sniffly noise it used to make? Big sigh. Maybe we could go away for the weekend and drink and lie in like grown ups. Remember when we used to lie in? Remember how much fun Friday nights were? Remember when parents used to say all those cliche things and we’d roll our eyes but now we know they’re all true? Don’t care….love new life.
Recognise any of these as things you feel in the first year?! Send yours in via the Making Little People Facebook page or on Twitter (@makinglittleppl). More blog posts available here.
Is your new baby causing some tension in your relationship or family? Try one of our top 6 parent games for some light relief. Share your own games with us via Twitter (@makinglittleppl) or on the Facebook page.
1. Curry or Poo (multi-player):
Impromptu game best played in first 6 months of baby life, when baby poo and curry have been present on the same day (which should be at least twice weekly in first three months)
Objective: Be the first to call “curry or poo” and avoid being the taster.
Instructions: Identify specimen and call “curry or poo”. Name the taster (whoever you hate most in the room, often likely to be your partner). Taster calls it while everyone else hopes it’s not curry.
2. Sniff the Wet Patch (multi player):
Works with any wet patch.
Objective: To avoid sniffing the patch
Instructions: First to spot the patch calls “sniff”. The loser has to name it and clean it up.
3. Breast Milk Roulette (2-3 player optimum):
Requires frozen breast milk. For health & safety reasons, we recommend milk is no older than 6 months.
Objective: To avoid the consumption of sour old boob juice.
Instructions: Defrost frozen breast milk (best done in 1oz cubes). Take it in turns to taste milk to see whether it is “off”, you will know because it will taste like cat sick. Loser is anyone that tastes an “off” one.
4. Poonami Rumble (for one player, personal challenge):
Best played in first year when poo consistency and frequency are unpredictable.
Objective: As few nappy changes as possible in a 24 hour period.
Instructions: Use child’s chalk board to record number of nappy changes achieved each day. Note that for health and safety reasons, nappy must be changed at least every 4 hours between 7am and 7pm (this is par). On hearing the Poonami Rumble from your child (sounds like blowing down a straw into a milkshake), decide whether to wait for more poo and risk seepage, or to change there and then, adding to your nappy count. Best played over a 30-day period. Reward PB’s with prosecco.
5. Who Can Pretend to be Asleep for Longest (2 players):
Traditional new parent game most frequently played in the first 12 months of life. Nobody knows the history but it is estimated it was invented with the dawn of civilisation.
Objective: To stay in bed from 11pm to 7am
Instructions: On hearing baby or child make a noise, both lie as still as possible for as long as possible while maintaining sleeping breathing pattern. Loser is the first one to jump out of bed growling.
6. Sick Patch (multi-player):
Good game for breaking tension in the first 6 months after birth. Provides opportunity to inflict revenge on another player so choose competitors carefully (e.g. partner, mother-in-law, neighbour).
Objective: To find the source of the sick smell and have another player clean it up.
Instructions: Pick one player to call “ready, steady, SNIFF”. All other players sniff all fabric items (including carpet if relevant). Winner is first to shout “Sick Patch!” without gagging (any spittle/bile leaving the mouth disqualifies player). Winner selects cleaner (loser), who cleans it up or does washload, as appropriate.
So there you have it. Our top six parent games for bringing laughter back in your world. Share your games with us via Twitter (@makinglittleppl) or on our Facebook page.
More blog posts available here