7 Ways To Survive The Last Month Of Pregnancy

There comes a time, in every women’s pregnancy, when she reaches the ‘gatvol‘ stage. For my International audience – gatvol basically means ‘sick and tired’. Well, friends, I am officially gatvol. Like labour dilation, it happens slowly with a rush at the finish. I woke up on Monday, tired, puffy and exhausted, and by the time this morning had rolled around, I was 100% certified gatvol. If you aren’t sure if you are in the early stages of gatvolness or the late stages – here’s a simple test: Does the sight of another human being fill you with rage? If yes, you are at full-scale gatvol.

Full-scale-gatvolness tends to happen in the last month of pregnancy, and can be narrowed down to one thing. You have been pregnant for 11 years.

The only official cure is to birth the baby, so until then the gatvol-ness must be managed with a variety of lifestyle changes. Because as we all know, hard liquor, medication and murder are all top of the ‘pregnancy no-no’ list.

So, as my free-gift to you, I have come up with a list of several ways I can recommend surviving the final stages of pregnancy, until it’s time to become un-pregnant.

  • You aren’t sleeping, which is terrifically unfair, because you know that in a short few weeks when baby is here, you will never sleep again. Why aren’t you sleeping now, you ask? Because baby is literally sitting inside your bladder making running water noises and the slightest movement from either yourself or her sends you waddling to the loo. If you’re lucky, a little bit of wee will pass out. Enough to justify the use of a square of bog roll. If you’re not, you will convince yourself you have a bladder infection. This goes on all night. All fucking night people. The only way I have managed to help myself is to have a weekly cheat meal of soya sauce in a bowl. Drink it before bed and ensure you do not touch water. You must dehydrate yourself to the point of biltong if you want it to work. Then, with skin sucked in as tight as Zumas Shrek skull, you must go to bed and not move. Not a muscle. Your lack of movement, coupled with the extreme dehydration your are now putting your body against, will ensure a guaranteed 4-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

  • The heartburn in the latter stages of pregnancy will become so bad that you will wish sudden death upon yourself. Gaviscon will no longer work. Not even when drunk directly form the bottle (the large pink one) and downed with a couple chew tabs at the same time.Not even when your pillow nest is 4 granny-goose high and you are more erect than Bill Cosby after cocktail hour. The only cure, I’m afraid, is to stop eating anything with wheat, carbs, cheese, sugar, preservatives, spices, flavouring or milk. You must not consume anything that is actually food. Instead, if you feel faint to the point of collapsing, you may smell a piece of spaghetti and drink one glass of soya sauce in water. You might actually die from malnutrition, but the positive to this is no more heartburn, and a guaranteed good rest.

  • If you, like me, are waddling like an Internet gif, you must make alternative transport plans. I cant begin to tell you how little respect I generate when I walk int a boardroom looking like I’m birthing a penguin from my vagina. If the waddle is severe, you must break a bone and confine yourself to bed rest until baby arrives. A toe or foot will suffice. Remember – a break will hamper your time after baby – so think this one through very carefully before committing. If the waddle is only bad in the morning, afternoon, around lunchtime and at other times during the day, may I suggest finding a sturdy office chair to get you from point to point. Extra claps if you can find an attractive colleague to push you around.

  • It is very important to remove yourself from any situation where you may encounter a person with a stupidity disability. Sadly, hiding at home away from other human beings for 9 months is almost impossible, so may I suggest embarking on a ‘people purge’ for a while. Remove yourself from any and all mailing lists, politely decline any and all meetings and avoid 98% of men in the office who think their sexist jokes are funny. It is also very important to not answer unknown numbers, or emails that start with ‘TV licence’. Just yesterday I told a do not reply sender to go and ‘fuck their hand’. If your bullshit tolerance feels like it might break, then may I suggest also deleting your social media accounts until your anger hormones have settled. 12-99 months should suffice. Top Tip: Also try and avoid the following people: Car guards, telesales people, municipal workers, slow waiters, taxi drivers and slow-mall-walkers.

  • Do not allow yourself to be in traffic unnecessarily. I say this with peace and love in my heart, for I intentionally aimed my SUV at a silver painted mannequin man just last week. After a mind blowingly fun 2 hours in traffic. His juggling red balls were blocking the turning arrow, and for that I knew he must die. Luckily I had my son in the car, otherwise that silver man would have been so deeply ingrained into the tar of William Nicol that people old have mistaken him for a shimmery mirage.

  • Do not divorce your husband while pregnant. Give the relationship a fighting chance and admit that even you – yes, you – may be overreacting at times. Sure, the sight, smell and sound of him may cause you irrational anger, but this too shall (hopefully) pass. They don’t mean the things they say and they are also probably truly sorry for being such assholes during your 40 weeks of suffering. Do not rise to the bait when they tell you about your pregnancy and feelings and do not, under any circumstances, let them know that the smell of alcohol on their breath makes you want to cut their face off. If possible, ignore them for the entire gestation and become a self sufficient martyr.**

  • In the last month of pregnancy it is important to not carry anything of monetary value. Buy a cheap pay-as-you-go cellphone and eat off paper plates. This means, should you ever drop anything, it is therefore not necessary to pick it up or retrieve it, because if you lean down to fetch it, the chances are statistically high that you will never get up again.

  • Invest in a pair of highly unattractive, yet functional footwear. I’m taking something with the word ‘Froggy’ or ‘Green’ in them. Your feet and ankles with grow so swollen with water that anything sharper than the prick of a blade of grass will surely make them explode. Your feet, in anything stylish, will expand and wrap themselves around the straps, and you shall be left with a Geisha like walk for eternity. Fashion be damned, buy those damn Crocs.

Now off you go, waddle with god speed into your 19th trimester, dear friend. Not long to go until baby is here, you can drink wine and see your toes again.

**If you still feel this way when your baby has reached high school, then it’s probably not a phase and you should get a divorce attorney in.

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The Ten Commandments of Pregnancy. For Men.

Pregnancy is a glorious time, a time when your body grows a baby, your skin glows and the future seems bright and rosy-hued.

It’s also a time when your boob sweat mixes with 3rd trimester milk, your baby is honest-to-god getting jiggy on your bladder and a full night sleep was last spotted around the half way mark. You are hot, irritable, annoyed and any sudden move from your partner may leave you feeling filled with murderous intent.

Which is why, at around 3 am this morning, upon returning from my 18th trip to the toilet and having found my husband had removed my 6th strategically placed pillow from the bed, I decided not to murder him in his sleep, but rather write a short, easy to understand series of rules for all partners of preggy women, to hopefully save them the potential wrath mine might have encountered last night.

*Disclaimer* I am not basing the below on anything my husband may or may not have done. Please still speak to him when you see him on the street. Unless he’s sleeping on the street. In which case I have kicked him out for doing something on the list below and you may throw rotten vegetables at his head. 

Just because your wife is now knocked up and on a diet of water and heartburn meds, does not now mean you have a designated driver (insert ‘hey boet’ and high five jokes) for the foreseeable future. Unlike Uber, we do not get to kick you out of the vehicle at any time, charge you actual money for driving you around or give you a rating of 1 – divorce stars after a trip. We also don’t have the 2 am tolerance you do, are more often than not interested in hitting a jol until the wee hours and pretty much hate everything about you when you’re slumped in the passenger seat slurring at us to ‘get pulled over babe! These metro pigs will be in for such a lag when they breathalise you!’.

Pregnancy is an expensive time. The medication, the scans, the checkups, the UIF forms, the future unemployment, nursery decor, meds and a thousand other costs mean that mom-to-be is probably now a walking insomniac stressing about how she’s going to survive. And then, the fact that she will be at home for 4 months (give or take) looking after the baby also means that she will need to get out and about and spend money on things – at the sake of her not becoming a recluse who last washed her hair 18 days ago. You made half this baby, and so the fact that she is carrying it shouldn’t let you off that financial hook. Get the fuck involved, T Rex, and whip out your wallet. Better yet, give her a credit card so she doesn’t have to beg and ask for your 50% of the Doctor visit money or half a pack of nappies. Step up, pay up, give her a break.

Remember that lekker few weeks before you got married, when all your mates convinced you that you were about to end your life and the only thing that could possibly save you from a life time of ball and chain blues was to go out, shag a stripper and get so drunk you didn’t come home for 2 days? Well, this is not the same thing. Having a baby means you’re probably mature enough to accept that your life is going to change, so it doesn’t mean you now need to drink away the fear like a frat student on payday. As much as your pregnant, exhausted, hormonal and smell sensitive wife loves it when you get home at 3 am and vomit in her rose bush, don’t do it due. For real. Grow the fuck up.

Have you ever woken up and your Jack Russel, Roxy, has crawled into your bed and kinda shifted her way onto your left foot, and it’s all dead and you’re sweating a bit because Roxy is heavy and uncomfortable? Well, David, shame, because unlike you, who gets to boot poor Roxy off, we are stuck with a hot-Roxy in our stomachs for 40 weeks. Also, hot Roxy loves our bladder and is so large that she physically moves all of our organs up and away, like a Pixar movie. Hot Roxy doesn’t sleep when we do and loves nothing more than a midnight party in our uterus. This means two things – we wake up and have to wee because she’s bouncing on our bladder and all our food from the day before then erupts from our throats in a bilious volcanic explosion. This also means that we cannot get comfortable, like ever. It takes 12 strategically placed pillows for us to even consider getting into bed, so god help the man who then knocks the cushion fort down in the middle of the night because shame, he’s uncomfortable or has no space. A lesser human would kill you for breaching that safe haven, so don’t do it. If anything, offer her more pillows, my god man, buy out the whole of Coricraft if you must. Build her a fortress so large it could be a Kingdom on Game of Thrones. And if you’re really that bothered by watching your wife look comfortable for the first time in 7 weeks then maybe you should consider sleeping on the floor, or in the garden, or at your mate Steves house.

About anything. Yes, I know that sounds harsh but your wife/girlfriend/lover/one night stand now knocked up is going through a lot right now. She’s terrified, tired, exhausted and overwhelmed. If she does or says something that you don’t love, shut your mouth. Unless it is going to physically alter you in any way then rather bite your tongue and ask her how you can help her. Be the bigger, better person. Do not harp on pregnancy related errors she may make, pregnancy related smells she may poop or pregnancy related outbursts she may display. Trust me, she will remember them for much longer than you ever will. Don’t be a dick, be lekker.

The best part of any pregnancy, according to 99% of men surveyed, is the actual conception. Unfortunately, some of the stuff after that just isn’t as fun. Crazy hey? Things like admin and forms and booking beds and medical aid issues. These don’t all happen by the wave of a wand. There is a lot to do when prepping for a baby and most of the time the mom-to-be is lumped with the tasks fo prepping everything. Help her out – you will be making a huge difference and assisting her in a very important way. You will also be assisting your way to a longer life and therefore promoting a better future relationship with your unborn child.

“Hey Jimmy, where’s your dad?”

“Shame, ya, he’s dead. My mom killed him when I was in utero”

“Holy hell bru, why?”

“He didn’t paint the baby’s room when he said he would.”

If, like us, you are highly social people and tend to always have functions at your house, perhaps now would be a good time to re-assess your life a little bit. No-one, especially not your wife, enjoys making guests feel uncomfortable in her home, so she is going to be very reliant you to do that for her. Entertaining towards the end of pregnancy is awful for the mama-bear-to-be. She’s sober, exhausted and more than likely so deep into her nesting phase thats she’s wiping down the toilet seat everytime Brendan goes for a slash. She really doesn’t want people overstaying their welcome and is going to need you to understand that, and assist when guests overstay their welcome too much. Better yet, try cut down on the entertaining entirely and keep visits light and brief. I promise you, the ‘fun’ wife you had hasn’t died, she’s there, but she’s gatvol and probably just wants to fart in her home, alone. Bonus tip: Save the guest list and the good booze for when baby is here and she can join in on the fun She will thank you for it. I promise.

Your pregnant vagina: Critics are calling it ‘The Exploding Lotus’, The Loose Volcano’ and the ‘what the fuck did I just witness’. Please don’t ask for sex, ever. Unless your wife (and lucky you) falls into the 0.1% of females who actually enjoy intercourse while pregnant, just accept that she is sore and uncomfortable and making sweet sweet love to you is the furthest thing from her mind. Like ‘fun Sally’ your wife will be back soon enough. Grab a porn mag, find a free bathroom and stop your moaning.

So there you have it. Consider this your weekly public service announcement gents. Share with your mates to save them future pain, and while we’re at it, grab your wife a bunch of flowers on your way home. From work. Not your way home from the pub. You bloody muppet.

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Win With Nike Kids!

I made the mistake of going to the shops on pay day weekend, because Carter needed new shoes. Again. I know they tell you that these kids grow up fast, but no one ever told you that this is directionally proportional to the size of their feet as well. I feel like all I do is stripper throw money at clothes for my son.

I know I’m not alone, because by the time I actually get to the correct section of the store there is hardly anything decent left in his size. It’s a full on mom vs. mom war in there – age 2-3 tshirts being tug-of-warred between Betty from Boksburg and Katy from Killarney and 5 pack undies being hurled from desperate mom to panicked dad in a move that would make our Bokke proud.

So, it is with great delight that I am giving one lucky parent the chance to avoid suicide hour (at the mall atleast) for a short while, and potentially walk home with a kids clothing hamper from Nike.

If you believe your child is a ‘Nike Kid’ then let me know why he or she should get an awesome clothing hamper from this iconic brand, valued at R1500.

The Nike kid has an insatiable appetite for play, an unrivaled desire to be inspired and an unfaltering confidence to dream… and the apparel to allow them to do so.

Carter is a Nike kid because he has all of the above traits – an insatiable appetite full stop, an unfaltering confidence ( I mean, who else can pull of Crocs better than a toddler?) and the confidence to dream with him is strong too – he still truly believes that he’s getting strawberry milkshake in bed instead of dinkum cows milk.

So, if you have a child aged between 2 and 7, let me know how they are the epitome of the perfect Nike kid, and you could be winning him or her a trendy new clothing hamper from Nike!

The Ts and The Cs

  • Your son or daughter must be between the ages of 2 and 7
  • Winner will be drawn randomly on Thursday 6 July
  • The prize is not transferable for cash
  • You can enter on behalf of a friend
  • You must like the Rupert Approves Facebook page and subscribe to this blog

Good Luck!

 

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Brace Yourself. The Terrible Twos’ Are Coming.

I remember watching a friend of mine battling with being a mom. Her vacant haunted eyes terrified me and I never knew how to help her. She made parenting seem awful, and hard and I was terrified that one day I would find myself in a similar situation.

Then Carter was born, 2 years and 11 days ago, and he’s been a 99% wonderful human. All conscientious charm and manners. He slept well, ate well and basically made life pretty freaking easy for us.

Until 2 weeks ago when – true to the textbooks – he turned 2. Holy hell in a hand basket, it has been rough AF. Not only did he start potty training, he moved into a new bed and also decided that to get dressed in the morning was not for him. And not in a ‘no thanks mum, this isn’t for me’ way. In a “I will beat your motherly compassion out of you with a hockey stick until you want to strangle me” way.

Guys. I am at my wits end. I spent the majority of my 90-minute (because also, fuck you traffic) drive to work in guilt-ridden state. Never mind the 2 hours this morning just trying to actually get him dressed for school. Will I ever be on time again? When I dropped him at crèche this morning I was truly happy to palm him over to anyone who wasn’t me, and up until about 10 minutes ago I would have very happily left him there for a week. Because I actually don’t even know if I’m cut out for parenting, let alone parenting a 2 year old.

Newborns by comparison are possibly the easiest you will have it. I’m sorry to break this to you. It gets really hard, like really hard. Granted, it’s adorable when they start to talk and engage and participate in real-life activities – but the down side of their newfound abilities is the realisation that they have an opinion, limbs and a really, really strong will.

Keeping him in his bed at night (which entails 4 stories, strawberry milk, 75 pickups and bed put-back-ins and about a gallilitre of wine), getting him dressed every day, taking him home from a fun environment and trying to prevent volcanic meltdowns on a daily basis – along with juggling two demanding jobs and trying to also not look like a heroin addict have me absolutely farging exhausted at the end of every single day.

It also doesn’t help that t’s been a pretty rough year culminating in my Mothers Day ending with me leaving work (because yes, money doesn’t grow on spouses nor trees) and being hit by a taxi. Not only did he hit my car but he then proceeded to verbally assault and intimidate me, along with several of his charming taxi driver buddies. It was a horrific and terrifying situation and by the time I got home from the police station, shaken and drenched in rain, I was determined to emigrate and leave this ‘hell hole’ of a country.

I am so angry lately, and I suspect that my son is picking up on my emotions. But then he screams like a hadeda with a grammar phone and wrestles me with his 18 limbs and I can’t help but get more and more stressed out. I’m surprised I’m even able to make conversation at the moment. And I have only one human, only one. How are the moms of 2 or more actually coping?

I’d like to point out – one page into this rant – that I desperately love my son and that he has only been like this for 2 weeks. And he’s also only an asshole for a few hours a day. The other 22 he’s a delight, and then I forget about the asshole phase and go ‘let’s make another one!’. So no, I’m not really going to actually take him to school naked, or throw him out with Pickitup, but I do need to know, from other well oiled and experienced moms that this too shall pass. And before you come to me with your tricks, I’ve tried them. They don’t work

  • Bribery
  • Putting him to sleep with school clothes under his pyjamas
  • Naughty corner
  • beating Smacking
  • Ignoring
  • Hugging
  • Shouting
  • Wine
  • Distraction
  • Protein laden snacks
  • Mommy groups
  • Vodka
  • Rescue Remedy (for him)
  • Xanax (for me)

Help. Please.

 

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A Family Photo Shoot

A few months ago I was lucky enough to win a shoot with Robyn Davie photography, through the Rattle and Mum blog. As most of our weekends then were spent training for Half Iron Man, we decided to push the shoot out to July when we had a bit more free time. And I’m so glad we did – even though it was rather chilly – the light, the grass, the crisp air and the gold leaves were all perfect for the relaxed shoot in Delta Park.

Robyn is awesome – she is all about capturing the lesser spotted family in their natural habitat – relaxed, un-posed and roaming free. I adore how our photos have turned out, and am so glad she captured Carter’s cheeky grin and toothy smile.

You can find Robyn on her website, Facebook or Instagram.

Tell her I sent you!

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To Kate, On Your 32nd Birthday.

Dear Kate

32 today. I know when you were younger, you always thought that by the age of 32 you would have achieved so much. There were visions of holiday homes, your own company and enough cash floating around to never feel like you couldn’t breathe. I guess the reality is that even though you have none of these things, you really still have achieved a lot.

You are married to a man who still thinks your post baby boobs are sexy, you’re happy, and you live in a home that you love. It may feel like those 1980 pink terracotta floors will never turn into the Italian porcelain tiles that you want, or that the crack in the wall will ever be fixed. I know you want so much for your space, but you’ve taken the first step towards changing it – buying that house.

You have a car that gets you to work, is new enough to not cost you anything and a job that is fulfilling. A bigger salary would be nice, but you can afford to put food on the table, and send your child to crèche, right?

And your child. Your beautiful, incredible, hilarious happy full-of-sunshine 8 month old baby. You made that. Can you believe you made that? You’re a very good mom – you sing stories, and play games and insist on cooking organic meals even though he would rather eat peanut butter on toast or something from Woolworths. You keep him nourished and happy and you’re raising a well-developed and confident little man. Well done.

Of all the hundreds of birthday messages you received yesterday, so many of them alluded to the fact that you are a nice, kind funny person. I think that’s something wonderful. It’s a great thing when you can make other people smile.

I know you often wonder what you’re good at. I see you doubt yourself on a daily basis, questioning everything you do and everything around you. Let me tell you that so many people would kill to be able to crack jokes like you do, write rambling blog posts or tackle challenges and tasks head on. You may not have a degree or feel like you are worthwhile, but you are. You are very worthwhile.

Aren’t you lucky you have a family who doesn’t stop talking, laughing or worrying? That they are all healthy and capable and living their dreams. You have people who love you, and who you love in pretty much every corner of the earth. Your brother is drinking sake in Japan, your parents are relaxing in their bush house and your two grannies are tagging you on Facebook and berating you for answering your phone while driving, even though you’ve told them a hundred times about Bluetooth. You have in-laws who would go to the ends of the earth for you, a sister in law who loves your child like her own, and two nieces and a nephew who prove that love comes in tiny packages.

I’ve seen you let people in traffic and get screamed at by people who felt inconvenienced, I’ve seen how much people’s attitudes can make you sad, but I’m so proud of the way you still always do the right thing, anyway.

I’ve seen your boards on Pinterest – the ones that range from 6 pack abs to 6 stick butter cake recipes. Make that cake, get those abs, then visit every destination you can. Fuck the exchange rate.

I’m so glad you’ve saved all those nice bottles of wine and champagne – but for the love of all things delicious, please open one this weekend before its gets old and corked.

Drink that wine, write that book, buy that Polar watch you’ve been talking about for 2 years now.

Happy birthday Kate, you’re doing just fine.

Love, me.

joy

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I Hate Being Fat.

 

Its 36 degrees in Joburg, and I’ve just declined another swim. I’ll sit on the edge of the pool and joke about how “nobody wants to see a whale in their water”, and that “no costume in the world is big enough for this arse”, but I’m sweating while I joke, because it’s fucking 36 degrees outside, and I really want to swim. More than that, I really want to not be fat anymore.

Pregnancy, as easy as you were, you were exceptionally hard on me in one way. My body. I have never felt this out of sorts, this alien and this uncomfortable in my own skin. I don’t think I’ve lost a kilogram of baby weight, in fact, I feel like in the last 8 months I’ve simply gained and gained. I hate being fat. I hate it so much that I’ve decided, come what may, I will lose 10 kilograms by 1 May. I will be back to my pre baby self for my child’s first birthday.

In order to stick to my new plan, I need to be accountable, and I need to grow a set of lady balls and actually have the willpower to push through what is possibly going to be a very tough 4 months. So, with a 10 kilo goal in mind, what better way to remind myself of why I’m doing this, with 10 reasons why I hate being fat.

  1. When I make a joke about being overweight and people respond with ‘I see’ or an awkward ‘Ya…’. That’s when you know. You know you’re big when people don’t even pretend to be kind in their replies. A new colleague said to me the other day “You were thin? I suppose I’ve only known you this size’. Ouch. I hated that.
  2. I don’t fit into anything from before I had a baby. My gorgeous skinny pants, slinky vests, blazers and even bras have been chucked to the back of the closet. Replacing them are the size 12 jeans I bought on a 2 for 1 sale at Edgars, loose shirts, leggings and sports bras with added stretch. Not being able to wear anything that makes me look and feel good? I hate that.
  3. The way people look at me – people closest to me, like certain family members. I feel their eyes on me whenever I take a bite of food or when I put on another pair of too tight pants. I hate the way they make me feel. I hate the guilt, I hate the shame. I hate feeling like I’m being judged for having the body I do. I hate that.
  4. The sweat. I am always sweating. Being overweight means boob sweat, head sweat and feet sweat. It’s gross. I hate it.
  5. I don’t feel like I get taken seriously in the work place. Silly hey? But still, I hate that.
  6. I don’t feel like socializing, seeing people or going out. I no longer want to be the person sitting under the umbrella while everyone else swims or the one in the long maternity style maxi dress when everyone’s lying in a bikini. I hate that.
  7. The way I feel at the gym. Physically I’m still gloriously strong, and I train 3 days a week. I can smash a spinning class, I’m building up my running resistance and I can probably lap most people in the pool. But the way I feel people looking at me in the gym? Like the token plump girl? I hate that.
  8. Shopping. I love clothes, and fashion. I love beautiful things. I’m tired of buying gorgeous garments for ‘when I’ve lost the weight’ I want to wear them now. The fact that I have items with their tags still on, and clothes from pre-baby tucked away at the back of the closet, because I’m simply too fat to wear them? I hate that.
  9. As if having a baby and a full time demanding career weren’t stressful enough on my marriage – try throw in body shame and self hate. I really don’t want to feel un-sexier than I do now. Changing in a locked bathroom so my husband cant see? I hate that.
  10. Other moms who lost the baby weight. Especially those who did it from ‘breast feeding’ or the ones who did nothing at all (the weight just “fell off” and then apparently on to me) I hate you. And I hate the fact that I hate you which means I hate me even more. I hate it. (Side note, there are a few ladies on Twitter who have spoken me off a cliff more than once, and helped my confidence so much – I hope you know just how lovely your kind words are, and just how much they’ve meant to me).

There it is. The raw brutal honest truth. It’s out there on the Interwebs now, which means I’m accountable to me, and all of you. Please help me in this journey, and if possible share your own stories of postpartum plumpness. I promise I’ll be nice to you even if you were one of the ‘lost the weight straight away’ ones 😉 – hell, maybe you can even share some weight loss secrets with me.

In the spirit of starting fresh, of turning over a new leaf, and learning to love who I am. Happy New Year. Here’s to having the body of a (20)16 year old!

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May 2015. The day before I gave birth.

 

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June 201. Fat. Uncomfortable in my own skin. This is one of the few photos I have of me and my child where Im fully exposed. I’ve become a pro at snapping pics of him with anyone but me, and when I am in the photo I manage to hide my body.
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November 2013. I’ve been happy with my body once. I just need to get back there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Baby Stages – Newborn Vs. Not

I can feel my sister in laws eyes on my child, and I know exactly what she’s thinking: “Please don’t ever let my baby get to that age”. She’s thinking that because she has a 3 month old. A 3 month old who lies where she’s placed, mewls instead of shrieks doesn’t grab, tug, pull or play, and still naps for most of the day. As much as it saddens me, I get it. I thought that too when Carter was that age. I used to meet friends for coffee on maternity leave, and while my son slept in pretty much any position he was placed in and would stare at nothing for hours, other (older) babies always seemed exhaustingly busy.

I’ve said it before, but having an almost-8 month old is 100 times harder than having a newborn. It’s also 100 times more rewarding. The old ‘I hope my baby never grows’ up Kate is so relieved he did. However, there’s a small part of me that misses the newborn phase, and here’s why.

Newborn Mess. Sure, when your baby is a tiny infant he or she will undoubtedly vomit, shart or urinate over you. The thing is, it’s never a daily occurrence, and when they’re that small and ingesting only milk nothing really smells. It’s all very innocuous. Mess with a new born means delicately dabbing yourself and your baby with an embroidered, monogrammed cloth.
Baby mess. My son is eating fruit, meat, grains, egg, ants, the dogs feet and every flip flop lying around the house. His turds are Dr Phil worthy S shaped and the smell is no different to a grown mans. Solids entail 30% of the food being ingested by him, and 90% landing on me. (I get that number doesn’t add up, but that’s exactly how much excess food there is after any given mealtime). Crawling means black crusty fingernails, scraped knees and (unless you’re Martha-bloody-Stewart) dust, everywhere. Basically, you will never be clean again. I implore you, if you are OCD like me and thinking about starting a family in 2016 – stop showering for several months to prepare your body for the offensive odour it will permanently emanate once your child turns 6 months. Just to further drive my point home – last week I was changing my sons nappy. Apart from the usual excrement inside, I found a piece of chicken, a squashed wedge of paw paw, a block of cheese and a white slimey suppository shaped biltong stick. Mess with a baby means dabbing yourself with a cloth, then stripping down and hosing both you off with a pressure hose.

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It is NEVER clean.

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Newborn sleep. Oh Lord, is there anything more incredible than a newborn sleep? Sure, they wake up a lot for food but when they’re not drinking they’re pretty much sleeping. Carter could nap anywhere. I took that kid everywhere on maternity leave and he would nap in shopping trolleys, restaurant floors, peoples beds, carry cots, travel cots, car seats, laps, dogs tummies and concrete floors. I used to watch funny videos doing the rounds on Facebook – of parents ninja dropping and rolling to avoid their alert baby noticing them exit the room – and smugly praise myself for being the BEST PARENT EVER.
Baby sleep. I am now that parent dropping and rolling to avoid my baby noticing me exit the room.

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I’m just gonna nap here on dad’s chest. No biggie.
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Watch me whip, watch me nap nap.
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Not even the rancid breath of a hound shall stop me in my sleep mission.

Newborn noise. When not eating or sleeping, a newborn will occasionally grace you with their attention by making one or two adorable grunts and mewls. Heart melting, 1 x new mom would invariably whip out a video camera of sorts to capture said adorableness on video. Even a newborns cry is quiet – I’ve had dogs toys that squeaked louder.
Baby noise. There’s nothing better than your baby’s first laugh and giggle, and when it becomes a guttural belly laugh you think your heart might pop from excitement. Sadly as your baby grows in size, so does his vocal abilities, and according to the unwritten rule book of an almost-8 month old, the best time to screech like a goat on one of those Youtube videos? In a restaurant, in the quiet of a game reserve or anytime between 2 and 4 am.

Newborn stimulation. Feed, burp, rock, sleep. Every now and then you try in vain to get them to grab a toy or make eye contact with a plastic mobile.
Baby stimulation. Things they don’t really love: 200 brightly coloured balls and inflatable ball pit. Coloured spaghetti, water tables, blocks and boards, wind up toys, wind down toys, toys that sing, ring shout and offend. Books, teddies age appropriate overpriced toys or anything from Fischer Price. Things they love: Small insects, jewelry, smartphones, swimming pools and edible boxes. Basically, the more potential an item has of killing them, the more they like it.

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Newborns. Happy as a pig in sink.

My son is almost 8 months, so I know there are moms reading this who are snorting quietly (because they don’t want to wake their 2 year old who just passed out from tantrum induced exhaustion) and thinking ‘Just wait’. I know this, because I’m one of those moms who see your 2 year old throw said tantrum and thinks “please don’t let my child ever get there”. But he will, and when he does I’m going to remember my once-almost-8 month old and just like I did his newborn memories, think just how much easier it all was.

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Older woman aren’t really his thing.
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Carter as a newborn next to his 4 month older baby friend. Clearly not thrilled.
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Oh, What A year!

Last year this time I was sitting on a beach in Port Alfred, admiring my 5 month swollen belly and dreaming about just what this year had in store. One year later I’m sitting on my couch in Johannesburg rubbing my still fat post baby belly and thinking back on the year that was.

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Birth. Our life got turned upside down, inside out and every other direction with the arrival of our baby, Carter James. I remember the 5th of May like it was yesterday. Watching them pull you out of me changed the way I view the world forever. Words just cannot express how loved you are, and how much you have completed us.

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Job. After a long 2 and a half years I was given a promotion at work. A promotion that I busted my lady balls for, and still do. I am exceptionally proud of myself. Any working mom knows just how hard it is to manage both a family and a career, and harder still, managing people’s expectations of you in the work place. I cannot tell you how many times I was met with comments such as “don’t worry about that issue sweetie, think of your beautiful family” or the “half day?” chirps when I left at a decent time to go fetch my baby from crèche. I have a long way to go, and women in general have an even longer way to go, but this is one small step for mom, one giant leap for mom-kind.

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Everyone stayed alive. We had no deaths in our family. Everyone is living and well and that’s pretty much the greatest result to a year that one could hope for.

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Balance. Like an athlete with an end in sight, I refused to lose myself amidst the madness of baby, career, family and friends. I feel I did a pretty awesome job at juggling multiple balls. As with all circus acts, someone will always get eaten by a tiger, and I’ve lost a few relationships along the way – but it was bound to happen. I feel better for it.

People. With loss comes gain and I have met some rather superb mommy friends along the way. Ladies I can drink wine with and talk about pureed chicken and green poo without fear of the pained eye roll from my non mom friends. (And that eye roll is perfectly Ok might I add, I still do it, often)

Money. I made none. But I also made no less, which is something, right? Right??

Body. 2015 can’t be all peaches and fluff now, can it. I may not have lost myself emotionally, but physically I’m a big fat wreck. My body has not recovered from having a baby, despite the gym, despite the eating and despite the pleas’ I make with the devil, I still hate the way I look and the way I feel. 2016 is the year of sorting out whatever issue is holding me back from (still) fitting in to my pre-baby clothes.

Marriage. Having successfully ticked off our 2nd wedding anniversary in style, I can happily say that marriage gets easier, and with a baby to boot. My husband, he can stay. (Plus, in my eyes, he’s father of the year).

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Clifftop Lodge Relaxing

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Skills. I took it upon myself to undumb this brain of mine and completed a photography diploma as well as a digital marketing diploma – both with a 99% pass rate. So whilst I still leave the tap running, and put the milk in the cupboard and the coffee in the fridge, I cling to the fact that there is still a brain hidden in there, somewhere.

Travel. Nothing to see here. Moving swiftly along.*

You. Rupert Approves readers. You’ve helped me grow this little blog project into something that’s actually something. I don’t think I will ever not get a little thrill whenever someone mentions my blog or I see my posts shared across the interwebs. Thank you for putting up with my offensive language and brutal honestly about tampons and stretch marks. You’re all fucking lovely.

Happy Christmas, Merry New year and everything in-between. I really cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store, for us all!

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I Love You. But You're Being An Arsehole.

Human beings can survive many things. In South Africa we survive just by surviving, but lack of sleep? That has got to the fastest sense of humour killer out there.

My child. My usually happy, smiley and content almost 7 month old has been displaying signs of what I refer to as ‘close to adoption tendencies’. He will not sleep, he will not eat and he moans at pretty much everything. When he does eat, he projectile vomits (his hand blended lamb and vegetables) minutes later and when he does sleep it’s when I’m wide awake at 2am wondering if I’m a terrible mother for calling my baby an A-Hole.

I can’t remember when last I wasn’t bending over his cot, shoving any form of pacifier or drug into his mouth to make him stop moaning for just one minute. Short of swatting him against a wall like I would a mosquito guilty of the same annoyance (and also, who has time to clean up all that 7 month sized blood anyway?) I find myself praying with the gods above to please just let him close his fucking eyes and sleep.

(In other news – I take back all the judgey judgeroo thoughts I ever had around moms co-sleeping, drugging or doingwhateverthefuckittakes to get your baby to nap)

Before you get all waggy finger in my face and ‘calling Childline on you’ I get that babies are tiny and helpless and teething happens and fever happens and they feel sore and yuk and miserable, and if I could, I would take away all the shitty pain that growing teeth presents, because it shatters my heart to see my small child in constant pain. Sadly though, teething in babies seems to be the equivalent of genital waxing in grown men, and Carter is feeling the effects more than any male salon go’er I know.

My lack of sleep, all consuming work load, loss of interest in anything and general ‘eff you’ mood has left me with one simple conclusion: You cannot have an easy newborn and an easy half year old. The world does not work that way. If everyone’s experience with raising a baby was a constant joyful affair, then even the most hard core anti mom would be walking around rubbing her engorged belly and picking out cot linen and hospital pads.

So, whilst I love my child with all my heart, I really don’t like him (lately) between the hours of 6 and 6. And that’s OK, right?

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