Definitely, Maybe…

Definitely, Maybe…

Fuck you Offspring, fuck you. I don’t mean my actual offspring, I mean that fucking TV programme where I end up in fucking tears every fucking week watching the gorgeous Nina deliver another slimy, screaming baby while my ovaries threaten to burst with cluckiness. Like now, glass of wine in hand, tears streaming, bewildered cats looking at me like I’ve totally lost my shit.

Yes, glass of wine in hand. A couple of weeks ago I ordered a case of it and booked a botox appointment within a seven minute window. It may have been a bit of a knee jerk reaction after I had the phone call. Not just A phone call but THE phone call. The one where the nice nurse calls and says lots of nice conciliatory things about the fact that she was holding blood test results to confirm I was definitely not pregnant. A fact I was already 99.99% certain of based on the indications of the five negative home pregnancy tests I’d already taken. Arse, bollocks, tits, fuckity fuck fuck, motherfucker, etc. In short, it was a bit of a bummer, and so I took solace in vino and vanity. Because I bloody well can.

The husband and I had many very adulty, pragmatic ’what if’ conversations before this point, we’d agreed wholeheartedly in a very mature fashion that if our lucky last embryo wasn’t actually all that lucky then we’d just count our two chubby, perfect little blessings and leave it at that. No more IVF, no more trying to make something happen that just doesn’t seem like it’s meant to be. Except I’m a woman, and as a woman it’s my prerogative to change my fickle female mind, which I may have done. Maybe. Or not.

Even though three kids was always the optimistic plan, now that pregnancy is no longer an imminent prospect I have to admit I’m actually quite enjoying the freedoms that affords me (refer to aforementioned booze and beautification). But while I revel in having ownership of my body for the first time in years there’s also part of me worried that maybe I’m going to find I enjoy all the selfishness a bit much to go back to the start with another one.

As the crying over newborns whilst knocking back plonk might suggest, I’m a wee bit conflicted, and by that I mean I really don’t know what the fuck I want. On one hand I’m basking in the uncluttered bench space where the bottle steriliser and drying rack used to be (hallelujah, praise be, crap be gone!), but on the other I turn into a weepy puddle sorting through baby clothes and relegating all the ridiculously teeny tiny decommissioned baby articles into storage until I can actually bring  myself to part with them. If I knew for sure I was ‘done’ then surely I’d be able to let them go more easily? Or do all mothers feel that wrench with putting the lid on that phase of life, even if they know for absolute certain they’re more done than a dinner with the whole baby business?

The thing is, it was very easy to say definitely, certainly, absolutely no more IVF when I was also definitely pretty certain that I’d absolutely get pregnant from one of the two embryos we had on ice. When that turned out not to be the case I suddenly reserved the right to be a bit less certain and reconsider that call. But getting back on that roundabout doesn’t guarantee a baby, a good chance yes, but there’s no certainty. We could go through all that drama (mostly related to me being a hormonal crackpot) for nothing except a bit of heartache. I know that might sound like a very cynical way of thinking but life right now with our little family is actually really good and as wonderful as another babe would be, I just don’t know if I want to mess with it (and my head) for something that might not happen.

So the one thing I have decided on is a time out from mission maybe-baby. A few months to drink the wine and eat the food and get the vanity injections (I said no more IVF, not no more needles because if I can’t be pregnant, dammit I’m going to buy me some pretty) and just chill the fuck out not furrowing my freshly paralysed brow in thought about it all. And I believe that is what they call the downtime, the me time, the not overthinking, overanalysing, self-tormenting time. And if after that there’s still a crying, pooping, spewing, sleep stealing, baby shaped hole in my life (and uterus) then maybe we’ll revisit that whole no more IVF thing after all…

Meanwhile, this beautiful little babe is the only thing I’m going to nursing for now.

Wine babe

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Lucky Last

Lucky Last

I’m sitting here having a jolly old conversation with my Baby Doctor. We’ve been discussing travel, good tipples and boganism among other things, it’s all highly entertaining I’ve even unleashed a very classy snort laugh, however I can’t help the feeling it might be more amusing if he wasn’t talking to me over my exposed vagina. And perhaps the stirrups could go as well.

Thank fuck then that it’s the last time I’ll be here chatting with a breeze on my clacker. While we’ve been conversing and cracking jokes my lucky last little blastocyst (that’s a five day old cell mass for the non baby-development speak initiated) has been shoved up my child-delivering channel in a glorified turkey baster and deposited into my uterus where it will hopefully burrow in and find a home for the next nine months or so. Hopefully, but not certainly.

The thing is barely more than a microscopic conglomeration of mine and my husband’s DNA but already there’s a lot riding on the poor bugger. Little lucky is our lucky last chance at a third child, or last realistic chance anyway. It’s not entirely impossible that I could fall pregnant naturally, but given the track record of my lazy offspring producing organs it is highly improbable. So in reality, this little blob is it. After five years of fertility treatments where I’ve been poked, prodded and drugged, injected things into me with little needles and had other things removed with big fuck off needles I’m calling it here, no more IVF for me.

I’m not usually a fatalistic kind of girl, I’m more a proponent of the ‘create your own destiny’ school of thought and action, but I kind of think maybe there’s a point where it’s reasonable to take the que sera sera stance and say whatever will be will be rather than trying to force it anymore. We’re lucky to have two gorgeous (well, sometimes when they’re not driving me totally fucking batshit) healthy, happy (unless I serve food on the wrong coloured plate, or glob forbid, drinks in the wrong cup) children we wouldn’t otherwise have had, and life is actually really fucking good. Yes, I’d love just one more squishy, sweet, delishy baby with all my heart but at the same time I don’t feel like my life will be incomplete if it doesn’t work out.

The thing is, IVF is hard work – physically, emotionally, mentally, not just for me but my poor eternally patient husband as well who has cheerfully borne the brunt of my hormone induced madness, and it feels a bit like we’ve been in a bit of limbo for the last few years while we’ve been focused on the business of baby making. There’s been so many ifs and whens based on the if and when of adding more little people to our family. So now I have to admit that regardless of whether there’s one line or two on those pee sticks (yes sticks plural, I will pee on many sticks over the next two weeks despite all the advice not to) I have a weird sense of relief to know that now we’ll get on with life one way or another. We’ll know if we can expect reinforcements to the ranks of small dictators (which would be amazing despite meaning we’d be outnumbered), or if we’ll maintain equal proportions of big to small – but still get walked all over anyway. And if that’s the case, I’ve made my peace with it and it’s actually, really truly okay. Probably. I think.

With every little milestone the kids reach life gets a little bit easier. Meal times are now a largely hands free affair, in as much as that I don’t have to feed either of them, how much actually makes it to their mouths is another matter but I assume it’s enough as neither has malnutrition that I can detect. They can actually play together nicely(ish) and entertain each for at least three minutes at a time which doesn’t sound like much but after a few years of constant holding, carrying and refereeing to make sure neither is killed or maimed, three minutes is a fucking eternity. I can make and smash back a coffee while it’s still hot in that time! Aside from the odd blips, nights are now largely undisturbed, I no longer go to bed with that slightly sickening sense of certainty that I’ll be dragged from my warm cocoon at least once before morning, no more night feeds, no more staggering about in a sleep deprived stupor the morning after. We’re done with formula and sterilising bottles, the baby vomit down the shirt day are behind us, we’re finished with lugging that fucking cumbersome baby capsule in and out of the car and the house no longer needs to be baby proofed to the nth degree.

Then of course there’s the totally selfish things; not having every little thing I ingest patrolled by the pregnancy police, free reign to eat soft cheese, cured meat, runny eggs, steak rare and bloody just as it should be, and of course the wine and coffee, I really, really like wine and coffee. There’s totally vain things that have been on hold while babies took precedence; the tooth straightening, botox and new boobs I’ve wanted for so long – say what you will but I’m totally in for a spot of shameless ‘self improvement’ and goddamit after all this shite I think I’ve earned it! I can train as hard as I want to at the gym without fear of what it might do to any unborn baby or my woefully low milk supply, and I can wear my skinny jeans without fear of having to work my way back into the fuckers – unless I eat myself out of them which is entirely possible.

But on the other hand, in amongst those long shitty sleepless nights are some of my sweetest memories of late night (or maybe it was early morning, I was too deliriously tired to know) snuggles with a tiny snuffling little creature I grew inside me. And although we’ve made it to the other side of all those tiny baby stages I truly love the process of getting to know a new little person, all those precious little firsts, the smiles, laughs, words, steps and stumbles and I would really, really love to have them again, just one more time.

But for now I wait, one last time. From here only time (and multiple home pregnancy tests) will tell…

A Soggy Beaver, A Box of Tissues, Another Try

A Soggy Beaver, A Box of Tissues, Another Try

This morning I had a blood test. I cried on the way there, I cried while the blood was being taken and I cried as a Ieft feeling a little more empty that when I’d arrived.

It wasn’t the needle, I feel like there’s been about a million and one of those during this long baby making journey. I cried because I knew the test would lead to the phone call this afternoon confirming what I already know, that my body had failed. Again. Failed to sustain life, failed to do the most natural thing it is designed to do, failed me and failed my husband. Slightly irrational perhaps but emotion tends to have no interest in rationality.

Two weeks ago I had a very odd sort of date where a man who is not my husband  attempted to impregnate me then abandoned me, legs akimbo with a soggy beaver, a box of tissues and not even a polite goodbye kiss. Given the fact that the man doing the potential impregnating was my baby doctor not my baby daddy it would be a bit fucking weird if he did kiss me, but everything about this whole procreation via lab is fucking weird.

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Earlier that morning a nice sciency type at the clinic defrosted this guy, one of our two remaining embryos that was iced almost two years ago when one of its siblings was inserted into my body to take residence. Which is did, resulting in our little laughing bhudda boy.  Obviously the hope was that this one would follow suit.

embryo 2

 

One week ago, because I am an impatient-need-to-fucking-know-control freak, I peed on a stick. Two lines. Two perfect pink lines. Any woman who has ever been through the process of trying to conceive will know what a beautiful, stomach flipping, breathtaking sight that is. Those two little lines hold so much promise and potential and hope, the hope is the hardest bit because you want that teeny tiny little conglomeration of cells to grow into a baby so fucking badly.

Yesterday I peed on a stick again. I don’t know why, but I did. One line. Shock, panic, head-spinning nausea, denial. Three more tests later, and another one at 5am this morning all with one line. Heartache, sadness, resignation. I knew it was over.

So this morning I cried because I knew the result could, and perhaps should, have been different. Because there had been five days of secret joy and delight while I (unbeknown to me, mistakenly) believed that little nugget DNA was cosily nestled and growing somewhere deep in my belly.

From here there’ll be the inevitable period of hating on myself because clearly this is all my fault. Maybe if I hadn’t lifted those weights, or done that handstand, or eaten that steak that wasn’t entirely charred to oblivion, or had that sneaky sip of wine, or let that black cat cross my path, or slept with my feet facing the east, or if I’d made the tiny effort to jump over a broomstick backwards holding a hazel twig under the light of a full moon….maybe, maybe, maybe, who knows? The fact is I’m not pregnant

So today I’ll have my tears and I’ll hold my babies a little longer and squeeze them a little tighter as I inhale their marmite scented, snot covered softness. I’ll remind myself how lucky I have to have two perfect, healthy children when I could so easily have had none.

Of course I’ll be okay, I know that for a fact, but still it hurts and I still need to mourn that little loss a bit because that’s how grief works. You have to go through the sadness to get to the okayness and eventually the happiness to be brave enough to do it all over again. And we will do it again because although there’s a risk of failure there’s also a chance of success, and in my view potential happiness always trumps the threat of heartache.

Aaaaaand I’m Back!

Aaaaaand I’m Back!

Soooo, it seems I slipped off the radar briefly, or y’know, for a year or so. Not sure what happened there. Oh no wait, yes I do, I had another kid and entered some sort of black hole from which I’ve just emerged as child number two turns one. So what’s been going on? Well, here’s a brief abridged and abbreviated catch up

Broken waters,  emergency babysitter sourcing, screaming, swearing, at some stage in the process I *politely* asked the nurse for drugs now please, she laughed as she told me ‘it’s too late, he’s nearly out’. I was less fucking amused, and given the lack of painkillers, grateful for the mercifully swift arrival of baby number two. This was followed by the standard period of milk, nappies, milk, nappies, spew, milk, spew, nappies interspersed with negotiating hellfire toddler tantrums as child number one learned with a rude shock that she was in fact not the centre of the universe as she’d been falsely led to believe for all the 18 months of her life to date. Clearly this was our fault and as awful parents we were made to pay. Finally she realised that despite her protestations the small interloper was not going back from whence he came (not a fucking chance, that is definitely a one way street) so she gave up the fight and took to ignoring him until he could be of some use to her either as entertainment or a scapegoat.

And because we like to keep things interesting there were also more interstate moves from Sydney to Townsville and now the long awaited Home. Not home, home, New Zealand home but new home, Melbourne home, where for many reasons practical and personal we’ve decided to put down our tattered and travel weary roots. After two and half years of nomadic roaming, packing and moving and moving and packing, making new friends and leaving them this is where we stay. I cannot describe how good it felt chucking out all those moving boxes this time and Husband has been sternly warned that not another cardboard carton shall these hands pack or unpack. Unless of course it contains diamonds, or other pretty things or fun toys, exceptions to the no box rule may be made at the wife’s discretion.

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Sibling love. It’s a fine line between a hug and a headlock.

Parenting two kids has been an eye opening, and often eye watering rollercoaster. There are days when my heart bursts with so much love and adoration for these two beautiful, sweet creatures that I grew inside my very own body thank you very much. Then there are other days when I think my head will actually, physically explode if I have to fruitlessly battle one-fucking-more toddler tantrum or try to negotiate the day with the small one firmly attached to my hip, swinging off my hair. And between those days my thoughts swing wildly between, ‘YES, of course we should have another, maybe two?’, to wanting to punch myself in the uterus for even contemplating such fuckwittery. Like a fuckwit. But we will, or at least we’ll give it a try, because despite being my greatest source of frustration, these funny little conglomerations of our DNA are also my greatest source of joy. And also we have two embryos in the freezer which were actually quite hard work to make and being a total fucking tight arse I couldn’t possibly let them go to waste.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last year or so, not least that I’m capable of being a multi-tasking ninja. I can feed one child breakfast and dodge the missiles he fires back at me while feigning enthralment at the two year old’s random story (heard for the 17th time in the half hour since waking and likely to be repeated all day), drink my coffee (aka lifeblood) and scan the news (okay fine, social media) on my phone, all the while nodding and smiling as husband talks at me about adulty things which in all honesty I haven’t really slept enough in about two years to provide any intelligent input into.

Second time around parenting has been an entirely different experience for me. The persistent panic that the baby will suddenly die, implode or spontaneously combust has been replaced by a more relaxed ‘you’ll be right little buddy’ attitude. This is largely because I don’t have the time or energy to devote to unfounded freak outs, but also because I’ve become so much surer of myself as a mother. After sifting through all the advice (some welcome, some not so), opinions (and doesn’t ever random fucker have an opinion they want to share when you have a baby?!) and expectations that are dumped on first time parents, I’ve figured out what gels with me and managed to find my grove. And having kept one child alive and relatively unscathed for a year and half before the arrival of the next, I started to suspect I wasn’t actually completely shit at it and could maybe even be considered capable, a fit parent even.

But along with feeling more confident and self assured with the second child, I’m also plagued with a constant nagging feeling that I should be apologising to the first one for being my training ground, like ‘hey kid, I’m sorry you’re the crash test dummy, I’ve fucked up along the way, quite a lot I think’, but she seems to be doing okay with it so far.

Then of course there’s the parental guilt from trying to divide my attention between two small people. Are they both feeling equally loved and nurtured? Am I doing enough support both of their development or is one of them going to end up sticking us with the bill for years on a shrink’s sofa working through a bitterly neglected childhood? I’ve also had moments of sorrow over the fact that there’s no one on one time with either child, but at the same time as I’ve watched them grow together over the past year and become a funny little dynamic duo I’ve realised that it’s a pretty good trade off to have a partner in crime instead.

Being the second child Baxter has never known the feeling of being the sole owner and commander of parental attention and as a result it often seems that he gets so much less but gets away with so much more because he’s the small, cute one and my attention is usually distracted by the bigger, more dangerous child with disciplining preference going to the one who offers the most threat to life and property. But in the background there’s also the thought that despite hoping for another child, having already ridden the IVF not-so-merry-go-round for the two we have, there’s no certainty it will happen, and with that goes a quiet feeling that this could be my last baby. And so I savour his moments of mischievousness, and clinginess and squishiness and let him be my baby just a little longer. Until it’s 3:30am then that shit wears thin real quick and I contemplate how young is too young for boarding school…?

Between babies one and two my parenting philosophies have changed. From ‘I don’t co-sleep’ to waking up with two find two extra little bodies have somehow weaselled their way in to our bed during the small hours when I’m so fucking desperate to be lying horizontally with my eyes shut that I’ll take it however I can. Even if it means having a small foot rammed into my throat, an elbow in my ribs and hot breath in my face. From rocking Zara to sleep for almost every nap and bedtime of her first year to self-settling with Baxter because my time and attention is being demanded elsewhere. From making every baby meal from scratch with organic fruit and vegetables watered with the tears of angels to flinging a crust of toast in the direction of the baby in the high chair and assuming some of it gets eaten. I don’t beat myself up for any of this, instead I take more of a Darwinian standpoint and see it as an evolution driven by the need to survive and stay sane which we’ve all managed to do, largely….so far anyway…

I don’t know that any of that means I’ve become a better mother (better than what? O`r who?) just a different one. I think what I’ve really grown into is the same thing all parents become; a person who is trying really fucking hard to raise decent human beings who sometimes seem to want to make that job as hard as humanly possible. Every day is filled with so many moments of joy, frustration, laughter, boredom, loving, longing, contentment, yearning, achievement, guilt, doubt and hope. As parents we really fucking hope that we’re doing okay, or at least not just making a shitshow of it, because there’s no one right answer, there’s no pay rise or promotion for doing it well and I’m pretty fucking sure no child in history has ever issued thanks at bedtime for a day well parented. But maybe, hopefully, one day they will appreciate it all.

 

There’s No Pleasing Some (Pregnant) People

There’s No Pleasing Some (Pregnant) People

Don't be fooled, this belly is a very cleverly disguised and highly dangerous time bomb!
Don’t be fooled, this belly is a very cleverly disguised and highly dangerous time bomb!

A friend said to me the other day, ‘Wow, I feel like you’ve been pregnant forever’. Ha! That’s because I have been pregnant for-fucking-ever! I’m fairly certain that I’m carrying this child in dog years and I’ve now been in gestating for about 63 months.

The nigggle started around 30 weeks, I began to grow tired of growing another person inside me. At around 31 weeks the child became a proper fucking pain in my arse – literally – I developed some killer sciatic pain that had me damn near crippled and crying most days. As I limped into my obstetrician’s office I told him to forget all that hippie bullshit I’d said about going into labour naturally and begged him to book an induction on the spot. Thankfully a combination of acupuncture, massage and a shitload of yoga has relieved me of that fun arse-electrifying experience but now, at 36 weeks, I’m the official walking embodiment of ‘over it’. Seriously, wikipedia that phrase and you’ll find a picture of me being not amused. The hormone hazard stage from the early IVF days has been replaced by a persistent pregnant psycho threat – I’m basically a ticking baby-loaded time bomb.

I feel round and ridiculous and awkward and uncomfortable and frankly, fat. Husband reminds me wearily, patience growing thinner each time, that I’m not fat, I’m pregnant. That may be true but I’m still weighed down and overbalanced by this big belly full of baby with his little limbs poking out like a freaky alien, his little body displacing my internal organs, fighting for stomach and lung space –  eating and breathing are so overrated right?  And although I’m not fat I’m pregnant, I still groan when I heave my growing girth off the sofa and have to take a moment to find my constantly shifting centre of gravity before I waddle off on my complaining way.

Nights are also a laugh riot. Husband comes to bed to be greeted by a barricade of pillows, punched and pummelled into a strange giant nest that takes up most of the bed. And there’s me in the middle, looking at him like a territorial pterodactyl, beady eyes following him as he tries to negotiate his way in and then batting his intrusive limbs away. Incubating a small human means I’m constantly radiating crazy-making heat; I don’t want him all in my space, getting body heat all over me and for fuck’s sake get that blanket off my side (‘side’ being 7/8ths) of the bed before I spontaneously combust or die of heat exhaustion. ‘Sleep’ is a combination of tossing and turning, waking up to the demands of bladder or belly punches, then waking up again to the dulcet tones of my own snoring if I fall asleep on my back. Many a 3am has been spent glaring resentfully at peacefully dozing husband who is blissfully not peeing, not being kicked from within and not snoring like a porky piglet.

Of course despite all my pissing and whinging about being pregnant I’m also not sure I’m quite ready to have a newborn again and be a mother of two just yet. Yes, I know, there’s just no fucking pleasing some (pregnant) people! I have to admit that yes, I feel pretty impressed with myself for keeping one child alive for 19 months, but the idea of being responsible for two of them is a whole different, bigger, scarier ball game!

People keep reminding me to enjoy these last few weeks as a mum of one and make the most of the one on one time that Z and I have together. While I know this is very sage advice sometimes it’s easier to implement than others. When she is an adorable, cheeky little ball of laughing deliciousness my heart bursts with love. It’s then that I also feel a pang for the kid – she hasn’t the slightest inkling that her world is about to be flip turned upside down (thanks Fresh Prince of Bel Air) and she’s going to discover she is in fact, not the centre of the universe. And then of course there are those ‘other’ times, like when she lies down in the filthy street and has a full noise kicking, howling tantrum that makes my head want to burst, it’s then that our ‘special’ time together feels a little less precious and a little more punishing. Maybe she does have a sixth sense about the looming changes after all…

I tried to introduce the ‘baby’ concept to her by giving her a doll to bathe at playgroup. She held it under the water while she stared me down. Seems we still have a bit of work to do there yet then.

But moan though I may (and do) it is (mostly) in jest. I know prego discomfort is temporary and I am really excited to meet our little boy in the bubble, to see what he looks like and watch his little personality develop as we have with our little pocket rocket Z. After all the hard work and heartache over the years dealing with fertility issues and riding the IVF merry go round (that is in fact not so merry) I am incredibly grateful to be carrying a second, healthy child and adding to the family I sometimes feared we might never have. I’m also sure that once she gets accustomed to the idea little Z is going to be a fabulous big sister and the idea of little mischief making apprentice will please her no end. It’s their poor parents I worry for and our ability to deal with two little tyrants!

What Do You Mean I’m Not Superwoman?

What Do You Mean I’m Not Superwoman?

superwoman-1

18 months, three major cities moves including one trans-Tasman, the birth of one child, one round of IVF, the impending arrival of another and no idea what, or where, next. Piece of cake, you hardly have to be Superwoman to handle that right? I certainly thought I could.

My posts are usually written with tongue firmly in cheek and are mostly about taking the piss out of myself and my situation, y’know ‘cause you’ve gotta laugh or you’ll cry and all that jazz. Except sometimes what you actually need is to cry. Sometimes you need to just stop and say actually I’m not laughing, I’m not okay and I need some help with that. And it needs to be okay to say that. I’ve lost people I loved immensely to depression and mental illness, and I’ve seen many more people suffer through it and thankfully, come out the other side. It’s a brutal, unforgiving beast that pulls no punches. Recently I’ve also seen people I have huge admiration and love for doing incredibly brave and inspiring yet personally challenging things to help raise awareness of the issue, and I wanted to take a moment out of my usual irreverence to show a bit of solidarity for the cause.

While I’m empathetic and sympathetic (or at least I’d like to think so!) I don’t do pathetic. I have a low tolerance for sulking and self pity in others and absolutely zero for it in myself. I’ve never found it easy to accept help and nigh on impossible to ask for it but I know this is ridiculous because I have an amazing network of friends and family who would readily give it, if they knew. If I could get over my ridiculous pride and ask.

I’ve always been fiercely independent and single-mindedly determined (although others may use the words pig-headed or stubborn) but I’d never realised how frustrating these characteristics could be for those around me until I started seeing them in my daughter who, at all of 17 months old, is quite frankly, at times, a stubborn little shitter. Heaven fucking forbid I dare help her onto the swing at the park lest she rain down a torrent of independent tantrum upon me. And help her eat a meal so she actually gets more than a quarter of it in her mouth? Well that’s just inviting disaster. I could also offer to help unscrew the lid from the jar that she is deadset on removing with her teeth but that would just be obvious, and clearly stupid. Instead it’s apparently my job to stand by and watch her work herself into a frustrated frenzy at the height of which she may actually allow my distasteful interference, but rest assured it will not be met with an iota gratitude! It drives me batshit and slowly it has dawned on me how my own approach to life may have affected those who have watched me struggle though my own challenges ‘stoically’ shunning the support I could have clearly done with.

As mothers and parents our needs are often shunted to the bottom of the list of priorities, it seems there is always someone else requirements are more urgent, and not just in the physical sense. Far more importantly our emotional needs are often trivialised and neglected, and it’s not until something snaps that it becomes a very real issue.

That’s exactly what happened to me recently. I hadn’t appreciated what a toll all the moving and resettling and trying to establish some semblance of normality was having until I found myself in floods of ugly hiccuping tears much to poor husband’s astonishment. I hadn’t realised how lonely and isolated I was feeling, or how much I missed having friends and the comfortable familiarity they provide. Not just acquaintances I can have polite but reserved conversations with, but real friends, who I can relax and be my foul mouthed self with, who won’t require any explanations and who’ll make me throw my head back and laugh that soulful restorative laughter that makes everything seem easier. I was so focused on trying to be a great Mum (whatever the hell that entails) and supportive wife that in my head that didn’t allow room for whinging and wining (although damn I’d love some of the other sort of wine-ing right now) surely I just needed up bit of the toughen up princess treatment. Except I was wrong. A bit of a boo-hoo was actually exactly what I needed and while an emotional outburst wasn’t an instant cure it was a much needed release and a reminder that I’m not in this alone.

And that’s something we all need to be reminded of, that we never have to be in it alone. Everything doesn’t always need to be rainbows and fucking lollipops, sometimes it really it a whole lot of shitty thunderstorms and sour lemons but know that you can share, speak out, shout, kick, scream and cry if you need to. It’s totally okay to not be okay sometimes, because with the right love and support, it will be.

There’s a Wanger in My Womb

There’s a Wanger in My Womb

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That’s right, a tiny male and his teeny member in my belly, my uterus in fact. In what would probably be my most feminine of all places I am growing some decidedly unfeminine male genitalia. This is a very bizarre and somewhat surreal thought. In my first pregnancy I had moments of feeling a bit strange about the fact I was harbouring another living creature in my body like some sort of alien parasite but the fact that this one also has a penis is bordering on sci-fi territory. I mean, I know I’m obviously not the first woman in the world to grow a doodle attached to a little person but it’s a first time for me (although husband had a smutty and not-to-be-repeated comment to the contrary about having a dick in me)!

Yes, we’re baby sex finder-outers. For years when the idea of having kids was still a one day thing I said I wouldn’t need to know, that I’d be happy with a surprise. But let’s be honest I’m a minor control freak with no patience so if someone is going to stand in front of me offering information I find it very hard to say no. Add to that the fact that husband is a medical man of science who likes hard facts and between us, there was very little chance of getting through nine months without accepting the intelligence available. With the whole alien/ parasite thing going on I like knowing the sex, I feel like it gives me a better connection to the little creature growing inside me. I like to be able to say him or her, not it, and I like to be able to plan more accurately for the next arrival (translation: get sucked into buying cute little things at more than cute little prices).

Neither of us honestly had any preference about whether we had a boy or girl, we both just want to add another little person to our family and sex was a largely irrelevant factor, but I think husband had a secret high five with self when he found out the male numbers in our house would be bolstered – doesn’t every Dad want a little dude? I, on the other hand, was honestly a bit weirded out – excited and delighted of course but with a healthy dose of weirdness. The thing is I’m a girl, I get girls, I know how they work and what to expect, girls bits are all nice and tidily tucked away and I know what they do. Boys on the other hand with their balls and bits all hanging out there, I know nothing about. Well, not quite nothing, obviously I have a basic working knowledge and some selective first hand experience, but that’s about it, in general I’ve elected for a stance of happy ignorance – until now. Since having the sex of our impending arrival confirmed I’ve found myself on a research mission to uncover the mystery of the man/boy bits and the mental workings of their attached persons.

As far as I’m concerned, doodles are strange creatures and I have to admit to being slightly immature about them. Even saying the word penis makes me a bit silly (supressing snigger as I type), and yet, in a matter of months I’m going to have to deal with a small but fully functioning one (yes, mini stiffies and all!!) several times a day. I have enough friends with who are mothers to little boys to know that this is fraught with danger. My experience with grown up willies has taught me they’re unpredictable buggers that can’t be trusted, but it sounds like weeny weeners are even wilder cards. It seems every mum of a baby boy has been the recipient of more than one unexpected golden shower copped on the head during change time, small they may be, but deadly accurate apparently!

In my hunt for knowledge preparing for the penile arrival I’ve become a bit of a playground stalker; observing little boys in their natural habitat, watching them run around exerting their mini-maleness wielding sticks, shouting and punching strangers on the arse (yes, mine!). I’ve also been asking other mums potentially strange questions about mothering little men-people – it’s just lucky I have little z there with me or I’d almost certainly be suspected as some sort of child predator.

One thing I do already know on the male matter is that they all seem to have an innate obsession with their appendages, they’re forever adjusting, tugging, scratching, holding and juggling their junk around. At each obstetrician appointment I’m convinced I’m going to see our little guy hanging onto his little fella in the scan, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the penile preoccupation starts in utero. What I don’t understand is the drive behind this behaviour, the apparent constant need to just checking it’s all still there, I mean you don’t really hear of that many cases of dicks just dropping off at random do you? It’s not like we’re always tripping over the damn things in the street. It seems to be a universal thing that has no connection to age, race or social standing; I feel like I’m forever telling my 30-something-year-old, intelligent, well educated husband to ‘leave it alone for fuck’s sake’ and if he won’t listen to me how am I going to get a little person to?

As it turns out though, testosterone and wild willies aside, when it comes down to it little boys are not so different to little girls. You can be assured that they’ll all poo and spew and drive you to the brink of insanity with sleep deprivation and oh-my-god-I-don’t-know-what-you-want screaming fits, but at the same time they’re also all so impossibly squishy and delishy and will fill your heart to bursting with the fierce type of love that before little people was incomprehensible.