At our 12 week scan I asked the doc to whisper in my ear what he thought we were having. I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous as when I opened the folded pice of paper he handed me after the appointment. I waited until Barry and I had parted ways and then opened it…
I was ecstatic! I have always dreamed of a little pigeon pair and was so excited (and terrified, because girls frighten the bejeesus out of me) that Carter would be getting a little sister. I wanted to surprise Barry so I pulled a typical Pinterest move and had some helium balloons hidden in a box. I arrived unannounced at his office and even though the ‘70%’ uncertainty was there, I revealed to him (and 13 inquisitive colleagues) the big news. The reveal itself was a bit of a dud. Barry was too busy talking and the balloons were too stubborn, but just one little ‘pinkie’ was enough to announce.
But, then I started thinking, and worrying. I mean – 70% is a pass mark, but it’s not exactly 100 is it? I began to wonder if I had put the gender cart before the horse, so upon the suggestion of a friend I went and bought a kit from Dischem promising accurate gender results. And whaddya know, it told me I was having a boy. Ha!
So, it was with much relief and joy this morning (and not that I was at all stressing, or woke up at 4 am riddled with anxiety or anything) when my Doc confidently told me if it wasn’t girl then he would wear the pink clothes I bought for her.
So, there you have it, Pip Rankin will be a little sister to big brother Carter.
Also, if anyone wants to give me girl-rearing tips I would be eternally grateful. Boys are simple man. Girls are complex creatures and I feel like we are in for a wild ride. Buckle your seat belts kids, this blog is about to become a lot more curse-filled.
It happened this morning. As I lifted my pyjama top off my head to step into the shower, I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, and there they were. My brown marie biscuit sized nipples in all their dinner plate glory. “Barry” I shouted “Fuck!”. “What?” he asked, from the comfort of the bed. I stepped into the room and within seconds his face, full of expectation, had changed to one of barely concealed horror. His wife had ‘turned’.
I remember this happening with my first pregnancy as well, I think I stared at my boobs for close to 30 minutes. Overnight they had changed from perky 34Cs to heavy swollen appendages. And the nipples. Oh my god guys. You would think I would have remembered the fucking nipples!
So, barely 12 weeks in and my body has already decided it’s going to fast forward into alien mode. I think with a second baby your body is prepped and ready to go, so you get less time to feel normal before the changes set in. This time around it’s also been rougher on me. Debilitating exhaustion – to the point where there were days I would get home from work and be physically unable to run Carter a bath. Nausea, which I didn’t seem to have with my first, was always there. Brushing my teeth is still a battle of the gags and the constipation could win some awards. Poo’ing is such a great achievement that I may even tweet about it. Also, the anger. I pretty much hated everyone for several weeks. Normal conflict averse Kate was telling people to ‘go fuck themselves’ and I could barely contain my eye rolls in meeting. I could visualise stabbing people and I got into such a bad altercation with a taxi last week that I though I was going to be murdered on William Nicol.
However, it’s such a freaking thrill to know that I’m growing a another human bean in my belly. Fondly referred to as ‘Pip’, I count down the days between scans and am already rubbing my little belly. I don’t quite know how I’m going to have the patience to wait to meet this little he/she, but what I do know, is that Bulldog farts, food aversion and hubcap sized nips aside, I am totally in love already.
It has been so so hard keeping this big (little) news from everyone for the past 12 weeks. You forget just how all consuming growing a little human can be, especially in the beginning. And middle… and end. And then for 21 years after 😉
Anyway, I digress. Barry, Carter and I are so excited to tell the world that we are expecting a new little Rankin in early March 2018.
The concept of having 2 kids has always been on the agenda, so we are thrilled that it’s going to become a reality. Carter is as excited as a 2-year-old can be and keeps telling us that ‘Pip’ as we have fondly nicknamed the baby, will be a ‘girl sister’.
This time round, the first trimester was not as easy going as it was with #1. I have felt nauseous pretty much every day. My skin has gone for a ball of shit (pimples on the lips, anyone?). I even have eczema on my eyes and neck, and the exhaustion has been truly humbling. I had to tell my boss really early on when, after sitting in a meeting that had gone on for several hours, I thought I was going to vomit from the hungernausea (patent pending). It’s also been really frustrating dealing with people stealing my (patentpending) hungernausea snacks in said meetings.
I’ve been keeping a little diary of Pips journey thus far. All 11 weeks and 4 days of it. I wonder if you would be interested in reading them? It’s a lot of swearing and venting about food-thiefs and general assholes (my god, you forget how much you hate everyone when you’re pregnant), but may be a fun way for me to recap this journey years down the line.
I’ll save the deets for how Pip came to be for another time, because it’s 12:26, and naturally, lunch trumps all right now.
But yay, I’m having a bay, and couldn’t be ill’er happier.
Guys, I hardly ever do the spa scene. I am truly the most awkward spa-goer there is. Firstly, I always wear the wrong things, I feel completely lame in front of the therapist and I generally lie there as stiff as a rod wondering if my feet smell from the pumps I was wearing that day. Don’t even get me started on bikini waxes – when suddenly my cellphone becomes the most important thing in the world while the therapist pulls and yanks things that not even my husband has seen. So, it was with slight hesitation that I agreed to accompany some friends for a Thai massage this week.
I’m so glad I said yes though – because Enmasse is absolutely amazing. It’s not your typical spa – all burning incense and humming dolphins. It’s beautiful; dark, stark and minimalistic – with modern music, a tea bar and extraordinarily friendly staff.
Assuming this would be the typical spa experience – where one emerges as oiled up as a Brakpan mechanic, I arrived suitably prepared with 3 day old unwashed hair. Awkies. One remains clothed and un-oiled the entire time. (Because, according to Enmasse, it’s not that kind of party). The massage process, for want of a better word, is neat and clean, there are no standing beds with head cutouts, instead the massage areas are partitioned off by white linen walls and patrons lie on the floor on fancy feeling duvets and pillows.
My masseuse, Thandi, was lovely – she didn’t even snort when I apologized for being fat. She simply made me feel totally at ease while she bent and manipulated every part of my body. I didn’t even worry about sweaty feet. Alas, the loser in me reared her awkward head at the end of the massage when Thandi left me lying on the ground. Do I wait here I wondered? Ya, I’m sure I wait here. So waited I did, as still as a plank. After 5 minutes with no return of the Thandi I started hissing for my friends. ‘Lauren!?” “Jasmine??”. “Guys?”. Eventually I stood up, only to find all the massage areas completely empty and made up. No sign of human life remaining. I skulked into the main parlour and found them giggling (not at me, they promised) on the couches drinking herbal tea, or ‘betrayal beverages’ as I now call them.
Check out their website for their offerings. They even do pre-natal massage which is something I desperately needed when I was preggers. Sadly, asking my husband for a foot rub didn’t quite do the trick.
So, even though I may have overstayed my welcome a tad, no-one made me feel uneasy. Not even when I dropped an earring under a chair and had half the staff on hands and knees looking for it. I am not kidding when I say I’m that person.
The fabulous owners at Enmasse would now like you to experience what I went through (minus the sweaty feet and awkwardness, of course). I’m giving away two 60 minute massages valued at R420 each.
On Sunday, this not so little baby bump will be 9 months old. Before y’all panic and wonder why I’m not sprinting shuffling towards the closest hospital, remember that one is actually pregnant for a whopping TEN months so I still have a good few weeks to go. Yep, 40 weeks gestation, just another mind fuck us preggie woman are confronted with during our baking sessions.
I always wondered why, when you asked a pregnant woman how far along they were, they answered with some eye-rolling inducing answer like “26 weeks and 4 days”. Really? why couldn’t they just say 6 months? I’ll tell you why, it’s because every day we harbour this little human in our belly feels like an achievement. I know that sounds terribly self-involved and a bit ridiculous, but it’s true. I have gone through the past 35 weeks (and 4 days) knowing exactly how far along I was – to the day – at any given time.
Pregnancy becomes this great countdown – There are the big events like the trimesters, the important ultrasound dates like the out-of-the -danger-zone-12-week-scan and the all-important ‘baby is as big as a cucumber!’ milestones.
Imagine running a marathon – you have 42.2 kilometres ahead of you – and the only way you are going to cross that finish line without dying or faking a sprained ankle is to plan the race…every step of the way. You go in well fed, pre-race pooped, fit and with the right kit. You know that to reach the 21km mark means you are half way (20 weeks!) and that every 3 kilometres there’s a water point (baby ultrasound days, yay!). Closer to the end you find a burst of energy (OK, so this never happens in pregnancy) so by the time you cross over that finish line you are still alive, albeit slightly bruised and battered. (Your vagina).
So, forgive me for celebrating this very big milestone that is Sprouts 36th week in the womb, because it’s ended up feeling like a very long 36 weeks, and as anyone who’s ever had a freshly squeezed kid will tell you – the last month sucks, a lot.
You may remember, I wrote a blissfully glowing report on things I had learnt in pregnancy. Well, friends, that was in the first 12 weeks when my skin glowed, I maintained my weight due to some delicate food aversions (read – sobbing over a fishcake) and every single thing about growing a human child was a novelty.
Fast forward several months and I am pretty much 100% over it. So, an update on things I have learnt (later on) in my pregnancy:
EVERYONE will give you their advice. At first you suck in it like kitchen roll, fascinated by the stories, the anecdotes, the remedies. That shit was liquid gold. Until, it’s not, and you just want everyone to shut up and stop telling you all the things all the time. OH, you think it’s best if I get natural birth? Thanks very much. I’ve never once thought about how I’m going to get this baby from the inside to the outside.
The weight gain is all cool, until it’s not cool and one day you wake up with a fatter face, fatter arms and the inability to shave your legs without seeing cellulite in your ankles.
You are hot, all the time. I really didn’t battle with this until a month ago when the cooler weather set in, resulting in office heaters on full blast, and me melting in my desk chair covered in boob sweat.
Your tolerance levels for pretty much anything drop to a winning low. This hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing for me, Mrs-Hate-any-sort-of-conflict, and I now find myself directly confronting issues and people I have issues with. Just the other day I sent a scathing email and didn’t even add a smiley face to the end – I mean, that’s telling ‘em right?
People can and will say stupid things. Just a few pearlers from the last few weeks:
“Do you have a special Doctors note that allows you to still be at work?”
“Are you having natural or a Joburg special smash and grab?”
Are you going to be a real woman and have natural?
‘I’ve noticed you’re gaining weight, and not just in your tummy”
“Are you sure you’re not carrying twins?”
You walk slow, and with a duck like waddle. I used to be one of those woman in the mall, who walked sofastallthetime and would roll my eyes in passive aggressive irritation at dawdlers and window shoppers. I am now that person causing 4 body pileups outside of Edgars, and forcing people walking with me to step backwards every few minutes so as not to leave me in their dust. Try as I may I cannot go faster than granny pace, and If I do I’m convinced my baby is going to physically fall out of me.
Reflux and heartburn are the devil spawn. I constantly feel like I have food rising in my throat and wake myself up most night by vomiting pure bile in to my mouth. On good days I can’t sleep, swallow or lay my head lower than a 90 degree angle. On bad days I think about this
At night your bladder turns into a vindictive little girl bitch that fills up rapidly and insists on being emptied, every half an hour, one pitiful teaspoon at a time. It’s cystitis on steroids.
Nesting takes on a whole new level. Just last week I found myself walking around the house, wiping down the plants with a dishcloth and coconut oil.
Every movement, pinch, jab, roll, kick and pain makes you assume that you’re in labour. THIS IS IT! you think, as the tiny ferocious child inside you smashes his head against your womb for the 18th time that hour. It’s not.
All the moans and groans and aches aside, I seriously still need some time before our little man makes an appearance. There are very important things that need to be done still, like packing his bag, packing my bag, and locating my nether regions to get them waxed.
One of the most exciting things about having a baby is knowing that you get to create a space, just for them, in your home.
I have never been one for ‘themes’ and always envisioned a calm, neutral and tranquil space… which mean that the 1980 pink terracotta floors that came with the house had to go! Working in client service, I get paid in smiles (and the occasional pat on the head) so sadly the budget wasn’t there to re-floor the entire house, but we did manage to save enough to put laminate flooring down in the guest bedroom and study (turned nursery).
It made a massive difference!
We inherited some pre-loved furniture – a cot and compactum – which, after serious amounts of elbow grease, sanding, priming and painting look almost brand new.
Being the frugal DIY’er I am I made the mobile and my hubby applied the stickers to the walls.
I sometimes wondered if this room was ever going to come together, and even though there are still some things left to do it’s pretty much complete and I just adore it.
Walking around the room last night to take photos I said to the husband “It still feels like something is missing…” to which he replied “Yes, a baby”
So, minus 1 x baby, I present to you #BabyRankins nursery:
You know I’ve mentioned I’ve had an easy pregnancy right? Well, I really have. Despite the vomit inducing heartburn and occasional I-want-to-punch-your-dumb-face in mood swings, it’s been smooth sailing all the way.
Until Saturday that is.
Every few weekends, whenever we can, we take part in the Lonehill Park Run. I walk it, husband sprints Tom Cruise style and comes in 2nd place. That kinda thing. This week, as I approached half way I suddenly felt all the muscles freeze in my backside, and my legs lock into place. Terribly embarrassing, considering it was in the middle of the track and I was the cause of an almost domino effect of neon clad runners as they had to very quickly skirt and bypass me.(Quite like skirting and bypassing a beached hippo). I imagine I let out a delicate yelp and bent forward, partly due to the athlete who nearly rear ended me and the absolute excruciating pain running down my arse. It was at that point that a concerned jogger ran up to me and asked if I was in labour. “Nope, I don’t think so” I replied “I just have a very sore bum”.
A very sore bum! Oh my god. A very sore bum implies a hot curry was consumed the night before. No, this was daggers and juggernauts (I don’t know what a juggernaut is, but it sounds like it would be sore if in my glute, so work with me here).
A little while later, whilst in Baby Shitty putting together my registry, the same pain explosion occurred. You can imagine the horror on the moms faces while they tried to push past me with their laden trolleys and screaming toddlers in expensive prams. “Sorry” I kept saying, whilst laughing hysterically, because I just could not move. I was one foot under Disney, back somewhere near a bottle sterilizer and a few toes away from disposable breast pads. My friend Amy ran to fetch me the security guards plastic chair (turns out the security guard at baby City is just as friendly as all the other phlegm snorting staff) for me to sit on.
So there I was, sitting in baby City on a plastic lawn chair contemplating my slow painful death.
Later that day, at my nieces first birthday party, I lost the use of my limbs at the exact moment sweet Emma tasted her first piece of cake. Of course I was standing infront of the photographer at the time.
I won’t bore you with the details, but by the time 8pm rolled around and my husband was peeling off panties and shoes whilst trying to coax me into the bath I had lost my sense of humour along with the ability to walk in forward steps.
Turns out, what I thought was sciatica was a simple case of ‘very common in pregnancy’ Locked TIJ. I don’t know what it means, but if you look up “overweight red face woman writing in agony whilst performing movements similar to that in a game of Twister’ you would find it.
Typically, Monday rolled around and I could urinate without assistance – so it seems that I’m making baby (the pun, intended) steps in the progress department.
However, should you spot me somewhere down the line, flat faced on the floor and twitching like an electrocuted squirrel, do me a favour and help me up. Just don’t ask if I’m in labour.
This happened about 5 minutes ago as I was rummaging through my bag for a post lunch stick of gum. Do you think I can ask my gynae for a R30 refund on my exorbitant bill?
A bill so so worth it through. As any mom or mom to be understands – ultrasounds during pregnancy are one of the most exciting things that can happen. My doctor today even jokingly asked if I knew the exact gestation date. I did. 25 weeks and 2 days. Except when sprout came up on the screen…. all ONE POINT ONE KILOGRAMS of him, his estimated age was reading at around 29 weeks. “That’s one big boy you have in there” Dr D noted. “At this rate he will just walk right out of your womb”
So, yay, baby boy is healthy and happy and oh so very large. He was also clearly terribly bored by all the attention that was on him as we captured him mid-yawn.
Side note – If anyone was planning on buying us cute newborn clothes, perhaps its best to fast track to the toddler aisle.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I donwloaded every pregnancy app out there, bought all the books and subscribed to every online newsletter available. I tracked my daily progress, hungrily devouring the information that was provided to me. I lived for Sundays, which was the fetus’ ‘birthday’ and on those days I would shout out at my husband while he was in the shower “Babe, today it’s the size of a grain of rice!” and later “Oh my god – its a whole grape love!”
Fast forward to 24 weeks (boom – hello 6 months!) and our big little man is supposedly weighing in at an impressive 600 grams. Still a while to go, but it’s bizarre to think I have something the length of a ruler and the weight of a margarine tub just chilling out in my belly.
I’ve said it before, but I have had an easy pregnancy. However, nothing is without even its small issues, and as the time goes on more and more textbook symptoms are cropping up. Trust me, not much is fun about those, and as much as you try your damnedest to avoid the fateful aches, pains and marks of pregnancy, they are just sometimes unavoidable.
Never fear, I’ve kindly taken lab rat to a new level and experimented with a whole whack of options to cure these issues. Hopefully, if you are on this gassy glorious road to motherhood too, you will find value in some of these solutions.
1. Baby on bladder and other wee issues
I’m fine during the day, but the second bed time comes (around 6:30 pm these days) my bladder fills up faster than a nightclub bar on student night. I have my bedtime routine down to a fine art now; Wee, brush teeth, wee again. Get into bed and read for 30 minutes (get up to wee twice during reading session). During the night its a few more wees, and then a grand wee at around 5 am, bypassing the need for any sort of alarm clock. Ladies, sorry to break it to you, but there is no cure for this – the only thing that has slightly helped is to drink all the water you need during the day and then go H2O cold turkey from about 6 pm. Don’t even be tempted to swallow a little bit when brushing your teeth, no ma’am, even the smallest amount will top up your bladder faster than you can spell w-e-e.
2. Purple marks are the highway to hell
The other morning, while lifting my pendulous bosom from its resting position on my belly, I happened to catch my reflection in the mirror (lately that’s the only way I can see past my neck. Need a bikini wax? There’s no way of knowing unless staring directly into a reflective surface.).
I digress, I caught my reflection in the mirror and let out a howling wail – the underside of my now-no-longer-belong-to-me-boobs were covered in purple stretch marks, and not be too TMI about this, I’ll leave it at that – but let’s say I sobbed all the way to work that day.
Stretchmarks are sons of bitches, and apparently the boob ones do go away after baby is born. The only solution for this is to accept it, move on and dream about the boob job your husband is going to buy you to say thanks for carrying his child for 40 weeks.
As for other stretch marks – I swear by Bio Oil – I use it twice a day, on-top of a Palmers (designed for preggy) body lotion and combined with Palmers preggy body butter. By the time I’m done applying cream in the morning you could squeeze me through a keyhole.
3. Back be damned
A combination of orthopedically un-approved office chairs and a burgeoning belly are a recipe for disaster when it comes to a sore back. No position is comfortable and by the end of the day it hurts to even breathe. Apparently working from bed isn’t an option, so the next best solution is to discard said office chair (burn it if possible) and sit on a gym ball or chair not made from Satans tool box. Getting up during the day also helps. I found myself at one point going outside with the smokers for a bit of a break, until I realised that was probably worse for me than the chair…
4. Your shoes are laughing at you.
As is any form of home pedicure, foot cream or sock. Unless its a shoe you can slip into (praise you dear Havianas) just about any shoe is going to cause an unnecessary amount of bending and uncomfortable contortionism. The other day I walked into the office with one sneaker unlaced. My lovely colleague Lucy kindly tied it for me, as she will be doing for the next 3 months. Thanks Luce!
Top tip – fuck office wear and buy flip flops. Also, pay someone to paint your nails. Someone who isn’t a 3 year old or your husband.
5. If you sleep on your back your baby will die
… is what I told my gynae I’d read online. Which is when he replied with “Kate, imagine all the dead babies scattered around from woman who accidentally fell asleep on thier back!“. Mortified, he had a point – don’t take everything you read online as the gospel. That being said, it’s actually not advisable to sleep on your back. It’s impossible to sleep on your tummy and its pretty uncomfortable to sleep overall. My darling husband bought me a preggy pillow which I used once, and which is now dog bed v2.
I find spooning a regular pillow, and sleeping next to bed hitler (Kate you’re sleeping on your back again!*) helps tremendously.
* And when he calls me Kate I know I’m in kaak.
6. R200 for a belly band? I’ll take 2!
Possibly the biggest life saver during pregnancy has been the ‘belly band’. An overpriced stretchy piece of material that allows you to extend the life of your pants. These little miracle workers have allowed me an extra 6 months in my skinnys. I’ve also found that randomly flashing my unzipped jeans and belly band to colleagues on an almost daily basis more than makes up for the hefty price tag. They just love it.
I have more, but let’s save those treats for months 7 through 9, shall we?
1. The first 12 weeks, when no-one knows (and just think you ate all the pies) are when you feel the absolute worst. Want to throw up on your keyboard? Sure, just make sure you do it quietly.
2. You may not gain any weight but shit gets bigger and looser. I have a Kardashian sized bum, with none of the perks
3. Most people, upon finding out say “well done“. I swear, getting knocked up was the easiest praise I’ve ever received. If pregnancy was a promotion, I’d be President right about now.
* Side note – one person when finding out actually asked “How do you know?”. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer that one.*
4. You go through this awkward phase of part bloat, (small) part baby and (large) part fat. When I say ‘go through’ I mean it seems to last forever. Even now, with my news out in the open I find myself walking into a room of strangers defending the boep while screaming “I’m not fat, I swear, I’m just pregnant!”
5. You may be a 10 times Comrades marathon winner, but a few weeks in, you are so tired, so nauseous and so dizzy that the thought of climbing into your car seems like a chore, let alone going to gym (I refer to point 2.)
6. You gauge time by Doctor appointments, And every-time you have a scan you are surprised that the baby is still there. It’s true – for the first several weeks – apart from feeling like you’ve been roofied, there is nothing that makes you feel like you are really with child. Conversations with my gynae have gone as follows:
Me (naked and vulnerable on the bed, large camera dildo inserted): “Oh, cool – it’s still there!”
Doctor: “What do you mean it’s still there?”
Me: “Well, I don’t know, I didn’t really feel pregnant this morning”
Doctor: “Kate, you’re very much pregnant. The only thing that can kill your baby is me or nature”
Me: “Oh, so is it OK if I gym then? (this was clearly before I felt like I did in point 5).I mean, I skip and everything”
Doctor: “Honey, if skipping caused the baby to fall out, then everybody would be going to Virgin Active for an abortion”
7. Your food moods will change every minute. One night I made fish cakes for dinner. I count even take one bite before I burst into tears. When husband asked why I was crying, I cried even harder. In hindsight I think I was more sad for the money wasted on Woolworths salmon, than I was for the fact that I couldn’t touch seafood for the next few months.
8. Telling people is a treat, and probably deserves it’s own post, but I’ll summarise. When we told our respective folks, we wrapped up boxes of “Ouma’ rusks for the moms and “Grandpa” headache tablets for the dads. Firstly, let me tell you that the penny did not drop, and secondly we must have the politest set of parents in the history of parents. My mom, upon opening her (23 Rand) rusks must have gone on and on for over 5 minutes, gushing about how much she loooves rusks, and how delicious, and lovely and thoughtful of us to drive all the way over to their house and give them to her. You get my point. My dad, takes one look at the headache pills and says “I cant use these”.
My grannies weren’t much better. What we did for them was to wrap up the same box of “Ouma” rusks, but write “Great” on-top – as in “Great Ouma” – get it? She didn’t. After about 10 minutes of reading the box out loud, I had to eventually tell her that I was Pregnant.With.A.Baby. Only then did she look up at me, laughing, and say ‘Oh, Katie, I thought you just wanted to tell me how great I was!”
9. Preggy brain is a thing. I doubt it’s supposed to happen so soon – but twice now I have left the bathroom tap running after washing my hands. Thank god I have a spouse with a good ear.
10. You know when you’re younger and you meet a guy or girl who you really like? You cant stop yourself from saying their name at any and every opportunity. “Oh, you had a bikini wax today? Mark has a sister, I’m sure she also goes for bikini waxes”. It’s embarrassing, and obvious, and you can’t stop the verbal diarrhea. The same thing happens when you are pregnant – you want to talk about it all the time and have to physically stop yourself from mentioning your fetus in every conversation. (As I type this I have duct tape across my mouth to avoid boring my poor desk mate Lucy)
11. (I know, I said 10, but this is important). You are so excited you could pee! You also do pee, alot, but that’s because of increased blood flow, and not necessarily excitement. You’re not a dog for gods sake.