Read Time: 2 mins (If you are child-free to be able to read it!)
Right … who is ready for a good old fashion mom-moan. I am currently knee deep in human life and these little azzies (assholes) have taken me down to China town over the last few days. I attempted to do a beaut activity yesterday morning; take my rats to the beach, have a little stroll along the promenade and maybe a brekkie post activity but nooooo the toddler (2yrs of terror and some change) insisted on a melt down over the jersey she was wearing. Obviously when life offends you that much it is necessary to scream your head off at any opportunity. My hand was itching but due to the public arena I opted at hissing at her rather, threw her little pink bike back in the boot and serial killer calm strap her back in her car seat … “Fun is over because you are being an absolute brat. This behaviour is totally unacceptable. I am highly cheesed off with you at the moment. No more treats for you for the next year!!” … what the azzie hears … “Fun, cheese, treats.”
Windows rolled up and the noise of the engine muffling (hate that word but it’s too late … it is in) the sound of the chaos. The toddler cried, the boy child cried, because he had now been woken up to hysteria, and I cried. With only 3 hours of sleep under my belt I thought it would be appropriate to join the sob squad, turn up the music so they couldn’t hear the profanity about to come out of my mouth, and scream “f*********ck!” into the steering wheel. Jeeeeez children bring out a childish side of us!
I fear that one of the biggest challenges of becoming a mother is learning to get a grip and dig deep when your children are administering some good ol’fashion Chinese torture.
Mothering is the skill of; learning to control an onset of sleep-deprived, zero-personal-space rage attacks that start to boil up from the epicentre. It is accepting that you may mot complete a sentence for the next 5 years while you cradle your cold hot beverage, thinking about the good ol’days. It is being covered in at least one patch of siffness (be it snot, puke or, heaven forbid, borsha (poo)). It is the art of lowering expectations on your To Do list – the success is now in completing at least half of one item on the list. It is the theatre of keeping your cool in front of other moms and then unleashing the fury when you get home.
Our mom tried to be sweet, … or funny, and put this picture up of a toddler in our WhatsApp group the other day. The caption read “ Two isn’t terrible, it is learning, and growing and exploring” or some bullshit to that effect. I am convinced that the person who invented the “delete for everyone” on WhatsApp chat is, in fact, a mother and she knew it would be imperative that we would, one day, need to be able to release the beast of feeling fury … aaaaand theeeeen delete! What followed after our mom’s attempt to be encouraging about our terrible twos, was a wake of This message was deleted and This message was deleted and This message was deleted from my sister and I. Neither of us wanting to have record of us calling our children names that should be saved for bad drivers and rashy husbands.
The trick really is in the coping, the repetition (e.g. driving home the please and thank yous) and even more so in the acceptance of it. If you fight it, the struggle of kids will bitch slap you so hard you won’t know whether you are coming or going. My sister always says that there are clichés for a reason and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to kids. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying take these little buggers lying down and let them run amok; they need discipline and boundaries otherwise they really do become unpleasant little azzies … for everyone! I’m talking about accepting the change that they bring to your life. Accept that they are going to drive you wild … and beyond, murder your social life … for a couple of years, test your patience daily … 2yr olds … hourly … and that they will rock the boat like no other … the ultimate shitstorm.
There will be days when you swear like a sailor, think thoughts that would give the devil a run for his money and moments where you think I honestly. CANNOT. do this for one. more. second!. And that’s when you need to let it kick in … the serial killer calm, the ‘bring it bitch’ attitude, the ‘I will take you down small human’ face. When my mates have babies, what follows my congratulations is always “Just remember you are physically and mentally stronger than they are”. The advice seems useless at the time but suddenly when you are experiencing ‘not so motherly, #blessed’ feelings that’s when the penny drops and you need to step it up a gear. Chaos attracts chaos so if you can whoooooosa for one short moment, you can get a grip and you are on your way to check mate.
You will always always always LOVE your babies there is no two ways about that so don’t beat yourself up for having moments where you don’t like them. I think I say this in every blog, but find mom friends who make you feel kiff about yourself, who will laugh with you when you are raging the pants off of your kids, who will support your decisions to smack or verbally try control them (I’m laughing inside at this one … toddlers are out of control and my verbal resort is the threat of speckled eggs never making their way into our house again!). But seriously, you need all the support you can get so dust the mates who make you feel judged. Mom guilt is so kak and the last thing you need are people adding to it.
Our OBB 4’s husband, while we are sitting around laughing at how dickish children can be, always says “Children are a heavy happiness” and then we laugh and laugh and laugh and then someone let’s out a good ol’ ‘ahhhhhh f*ck!.
Have a beaut weekend and to all the moms who need to implement the serial killer calm over the next few days just remember we are in your corner!
Read Time: 3 mins (Short & sweet because we have zero time these days!)
This one dude asked what it’s like to have a second baby and the dad replied ‘It’s like you’re drowning and then someone hands you a baby’.
So buckle up! This shitstorm requires a head-down, team-effort, brace-yourself, chin-up, light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel kinda attitude … enter the second child!
In this time, you will drop plenty WTF-have-we-done, several I-hate-these-bastards, the odd do-you-think-one-of-our-parents-would-want-them, and one or two I’m-gonna-drop-kick-this-one! And worst of all, it isn’t because of the newie (newborn), it is the two-ie (terrible two year old) that turns demonic.
Let me take it back a few steps, especially if you are about to have your second child and you are reading this and breaking out into a sweat. The birth of the second bubba is an absolute breeze in comparison. You don’t give a rat’s ass about the way it comes out (natural or Caesar – unless of course you are trying for a VBAC). You don’t over complicate what goes in your hospital bag, or spend a million rand on your baby’s room. You don’t fuss about the breastfeeding, where the thing is going to sleep or the freagin’ sleep routine. And all because you just don’t really have the time. In this way, it makes the second rat’s arrival a gazillion times less pressure, stress and anticipation. This is also the very thing that makes all the things you didn’t wax the first time (like breastfeeding), that much easier because you just put your head down and confidently wing it.
You also tend to cut out all the spoilings that made your first kid a bit of a pain e.g. sleeping in a dead quiet room, a room that is so dark that you have to silently feel your way back to the door, on your hands and knees, without breathing incase you wake it up. This round … “sleep where you are laid to rest, don’t ask questions and if you open your eyes and it is not ‘awake time’ you will be left to raise yourself”.
The first 3 months, the newbie just does its thing. Sleep, shit, sleep, boob, more shitting. And in this time, the two-ie starts firing up its bullshit and plotting its irrationality revenge for bringing this extra turd into the mix. Oh and a very important side note, they just seem to know that something is on its way when you are preggers; they act out, they stop sleeping through the night and just become general azzies (assholes) – just so you know … totally normal and the best advice I have is accept it and don’t ever under estimate the power of taking 5 deep breathes.
You often hear the phrase “terrible twos” but you could never possibly imagine how irrational these buggers are. It is a serious case of Katy Perry “You’re yes then you’re no, you’re in then you’re out, you’re up then you’re down”. With every melt down, and trust a girl, they start to come fast and furiously with a second child, all I can hear is Vicky Pollard’s, Little Britain, “yeah but no but yeah but”. Your toddler has no effing clue want it wants but it wants it NOW! They are completely and utterly offended by life and no matter what you do, you can’t win.
I read a really interesting article the other day about strong-willed children and the highlights package of it was; the strong buggers need to think that they have options so give them two acceptable ones so that they feel like they have a little control. After their choice, there is a consequence. So for example, the little punk won’t get in the car because she is jolling and you need to leave. The appropriate response in this situation would be to say “Ok sweet child of mine, you have two options. One you can carry on playing but then we are not going to swimming OR you can get in the car, I will take you to swimming and we can come back and play afterwards”. In a perfect world the toddler makes a choice and you carry out the consequence.
Most of the time you end up resorting to “Two choices – you can choose a hiding from the right hand or the left if you don’t get in the car before I am done taking my 5 deep breathes”. My hubby says his biggest problem is that he is not creative enough to come up with a second acceptable option when he is fuming at the unreasonable toddler (haha). Buuut having said that, with a little practice using this tactic, you can actually win … at least 20% of the time.
So with the second child you completely lower the bar, you refrain from judging other moms because suddenly your little azzie is not sleeping through and you have to feed him at midnight because your options are sleep or burn the midnight oil on your own; rocking, winding, dummying, singing, hissing and eventually crying. It’s a dark time this no-sleep zone and it slowly starts to chip away at your personality. I knew I was in for shit when I stopped being super polite to the toll gate people because I had no energy in me to say “lovely earrings you have on today”. Fatigue makes you not so kiff!
We are nearly 6 months in with the second little dude and we have slowly come up for air. The great news too is that hubster and I are friends again after a little team work. Holy smokes your marriage takes the heat round two because suddenly your hubby is experiencing what you had the first round. It is a total game changer because it is now all hands on deck. Your hubby goes from being a babysitter to a parent and it eats them alive. You have to SERIOUSLY remember to take a time out if you have the luxury of such things and do anything child-free otherwise you start to lose each other in the mountain of nappies, whining and crying and general siffness that comes with a double batch of lighties.
Another very important pearl of wisdom, don’t bank too much on the first rat being like the second because that’s when the frustration really sets in. My first kipped through the night from 8wks … this oke … not having any of it. We used the exact same tactics and yet they are completely different! Accept it and learn to make the most of it. For us, the buck stops at 2 and because we aren’t planning on any more, it is for this reason I have also tried my best to soak up the newborn phase. He gets sniffed, and loved and cuddled and it has been easy to love the hell out of this newie this time because you realise they aren’t as fragile as we make them out to be and I think we have a better sense of the time frame. Newborns can be soooo rashy but it isn’t forever! There are some other treats in the pipeline … like azzie two year olds.
Before I attend to the one screaming its pip off in the background of this blog, I wanted to leave you with some goodness. There are going to be days when you want to throw in the towel or strangle someone with it but if you can try your best to accept the shit you cannot change, the fight is not as hard. Try your best not to let your rats divide and rule and most importantly, laugh at yourself and laugh especially hard at your kids. They can be such knobs but they honestly get better and better and you just enjoy them so much more.
Give your first born a shite-load of attention. Their entire world has been rocked. They have gone from being the centre of attention to having to now fight their way past a suckling pig (breastfeeding infant incase I lost you there) and it is a serious serious serious change for them. And at the end of the day the little newie blob isn’t going to notice if you dust them on the couch for an hour or two while you try and make your two-ie feel like their colouring-in skill is their ticket to a tertiary education bursary. Try your best to stay friends with your husband, if only because there are two of those buggers now so it is safety in numbers!
You will rock this … fake it ‘til you make it. Be confident with your kids so they don’t smell the fear and together, you and your partner, will take them down.
Read Time: This is a longie but worth it – 7 mins or so.
OBB: 4 (newest member to the kitty) – Sleep Tactic: “The Zuma to our Gupta”
Mother of: 1 | Age: 2
We’re one child in and have what you would categorise as a good sleeper, amazing in fact. She started out as a cluster feeding newborn from hell but after those first three months of apocalyptic exhaustion, she settled into being a great sleeper and napper (even once sleeping through our burglar alarm going off but then so does our dog).
For those of you who haven’t already thrown your phone across the room in disgust, I know that there is every chance the next one will be feral or this one will turn feral when the next one arrives one day or that the sleep gods will smite me for daring to put this in writing but, well, this is where we are right now.
We have had patches where she hasn’t slept well (teething you evolutionary fail you) but have managed to get her back on track and here’s how we did it (oh sleep voodoo please spare me).
We decided on a routine and stuck to it from the get go. And you have to be on the same page as your husband with this, don’t let those little buggers divide and conquer. Put your game face on and decide what the rules are before the toddler even starts their warm up.
Now none of it is military level, it’s just so she understands that there are certain steps and they lead in sequence to that holy grail that is bedtime (cue angels singing, personal space, being able to put things on the coffee table…) We also explain to her what step is happening next as we’re going so she’s prepared. Toddlers like to think they’re part of the process and making consequential decisions but really they’re just the Zuma to our Gupta.
First it’s supper followed by a bath because, as you could tell from her cluster feeding roots, she doesn’t mind some grub and it usually winds up all over her. Then it’s pjs, brush teeth etc followed by a story which she gets to pick (see Gupta reference). Then it’s good night kisses and bed. We have a little music machine that we put on so she knows when she hears the music that means it’s time to sleep (thanks Pavlov). Then we walk out. And she sleeps. And we lie on the couch enjoying the sanctity of Peppa Pig-free adult time. Nothing makes you love your kids more than when they’re sleeping.
Bedtime is usually between 6.30 and 7 and she wakes up between 5.30 and 6. And no, putting her to bed later does not make her sleep later. Scientists should be working on that.
If she does fight it or cry or get out of bed, we just go in (calmly, like serial killer level calm – seriously, they smell fear) explain to her that it’s time to sleep and put her back into bed. And that’s it.
Consistent routine works for us but even as I type it I realise it sounds like one of those things parents say just before they’re hit by the 5 ton truck that is the terrible twos or the arrival of a sibling. I’m only playing in the first half here so hold the oranges…
OBB: 2 – Sleep Tactic: “White lies! All white lies.”
Mother of: 2 | Ages: 2 and 3 | Age Gap: 13 months
My first born was literally sent from the heavens; the clouds opened up and dropped a small angel into my arms. She has slept through from 4 months old and, to this day, nearly 3 years old, I can literally say I can count the number of bad nights she has given us, on my hands! Yes, yes … I hear you … “eff off mother with zero problems!” but hear me out …
She set the bar so high and made our other babies who followed, look like such assholes. I 100% stuck to the steps of our OBB4 (*Oh Baby Boss 4 – newest member) above and sailed through the nights, waking up fresh and feeling calm – much to my friends’ disgust. I kept on thinking at some stage this would all change as it was waaay too good to be true! Not even teething made this mamba-sleeper wake up in the night – bliss, pure bliss.
And then the second rat came along! She also kicked off on the good foot and I followed the steps above. Things were going well until … dun dun dun … TEETH. The devil of all that is child-raising.
I was then faced with a “normal sleeper”. Suddenly, my opinion on sleep took a beating and I had to change tactic: –
When it comes to sleeping just do what works and try not over analyse things too much. Don’t fear a future full of kids still sleeping in your bed at 15 years old or worrying about the effects of a dummy making your child’s teeth look like a muscle cracker. Don’t stress about over loving them to get them to kip or, the extreme, letting them cry it out. Hells bell girlfriend, do what you need to do to get that kid to sleep!
Everything is a phase with parenting, nothing is permanent. Just when you think you have it waxed those suckers will mix it up and you’ll be back to square one so try not over analyse.
I am now at the stage where my two rats are kipping in the same room. I must admit I put them there from quite early on against my husband’s wishes. He was of the opinion that they should sleep separately until they were older. I couldn’t admit it to him then and, don’t judge me for this one now, but I was kind of hoping that the angel first born would do some of the leg work for me in the night; maybe help a brother out and put a dummy in once in a while to get ol’knobby-no-sleep sleep trained.
It kinda paid off … when I can actually get them contained and settled in their room.
I heard them the other night chatting away and left them to their own devices because I was so stuck into the series I was watching. Eventually I thought, “No ways, these buggers have been chatting for far too long now”. I marched in there like a matron. A potent combo of Vicks and baby powder hit the ol’nostrils. Fearing the worst, I switched on the light. Holy smokes, the entire room, top to bottom, head to toe, was COVERED!
Luckily for our children, my sister and I were brought up in a home of dealing with most things with a sense of humour, so I laughed hard, lined them up, got out the vacuum cleaner and suctioned their beds, linen, hair and pjs, wiped down the walls and tossed them back into their beds.
So here is my advice for kids that fight going to sleep …
You know we were brought up to feel like dickheads if you told a lie?! Well, I have to believe in the exception to every rule and this is how I use this one. A little false sense of hope on a few more minutes of being awake, should have you back on the couch, watching series and sipping on vino in no time.
Just as you are about to get asked for one more back tickle, one more story, one more nursery rhyme – gooi this tactic at them.
- The key is to tell an Exception White Lie (EWL) with conviction. Don’t EVER forget that these little bastards can sense fear so confidence is the name of the game.
- Give them some options on what you may be returning with. Toddlers love to feel like they are in charge.
Then for the EWL:
- “Cool night, night you guys. Can I call Dad for you to come and scratch your back?”.
- Daddy ain’t coming girlfriends – he is busy drinking a beer and catching up on cricket.
- “Would you guys like a bottle?”.
- Leave the room and go make yourself some tea.
- “I’m going to call Dad now to read you guys another story”.
- Moonwalk outta there and go put your feet up.
It is a win win; you go and relax at the end of the day and they fall asleep waiting for something awesome.
OBB: 1 – Sleep Tactic: “I say f*ck it”
Mother of: 2 | Age: 2 and 3 months old | Gap: 20 months
Oh my sack, as per my previous blog with my shitstorm of a sleeper all of a sudden (the 2 year old), I am of the opinion that children are relentless so lower your expectations and this, in itself, becomes one of the best sleep tactics you get.
Kids sense when they are unwanted and being hurried into doing something that, in their minds, is completely unreasonable. On that note, it TOTALLY pisses me off that we have to try and convince these things to sleep. What the actual F. That should be built in to their systems; end of the day comes … whoop there it is … off button … she be gone … night night child of mine whom I love and adore and sometimes could easily strangle and smile about it.
So the added pressure to my panda eye balls and blurry vision (from no sleep) is my little newborn. I have decided not to over complicate this one. He sleeps when he is tired, he sleeps in noise and he goes places. I bundle him up in the car seat and whip him off to socialise. Some nights he wakes once and I feed him, love him, change him, stick him back in his bed. Some nights he wakes up every two hours and seriously I just roll with it and try and fill the need e.g. Are you hungry bugger? Have a boob!
I know this doesn’t really sound like much of a sleep tactic but hear me out; with two kids I have realised that the acceptance of the lack of sleep makes your lighties that much more enjoyable. When you are lurking in their room like a bad smell at 2am just accept that they are waking up because something isn’t hundreds and the more you fight it, and resent it even, the more they feel that rashy, needy urge to want to destroy your life.
** If you are at the boobing stage, midnight feeds are the hardest but if you put your back into a little bit longer and they get that extra bit of a top up, it will save you having to wake up sooner.
I’ve tried it with my toddler, the tactic not the boobing, and she has got a gazillion times better, waking up once every third night or so. When it comes to bedtime, I don’t rush her, I just start the bedtime routine earlier. Bad genes … she suffers from FOMO like her mother so an earlier start gives her a sense of ‘burning the midnight oil’ and you get her into bed at a reasonable hour. When she calls in the night, I leave my bed saying “oh for f*%k sakes” and by the time I get to her I have taken a couple of breathes and it’s all “yes my baby, I’m all yours”. So far so good, the sleep struggle has definitely lessened.
Maybe we shouldn’t have ended with mine … maybe pop up to the top and read that section again and stop reading when you get to “I say f*ck it!” or when you have a bad night and you are up … think of me, take a few breathes, smile at your offspring and whisper “God help you if you are a dick tomorrow because this is love of the highest degree!”.
Sleep be with you.
The things you think are kiff to do with a toddler but end up as a total f*%k up. Watch this space – it is coming seriously soon and trust us … the list is loooooong. Break out the baby wipes.
A friend of ours sent us a brilliant book “Go the F*%k to Sleep” by Adams Mansbach. Read it. You will love it!
Pre-baby we had a dip at it and killed ourselves laughing. Post-birth we found ourselves saying the catchphrase on such a regular basis that it starts to become part of your everyday chitchat. It is like the cheerful “good morning” when you greet your friends and family but only through your teeth, at your child who just wants to jol over normal sleep hours.
Karma is an absolute bitch that bites you in the ass with genetics. If it hasn’t hit you yet … it is coming for you!
Just when you thought you could never experience more rage then what a button-pushing-sibling brings on … you go and have a child. My sister and I once had the biggest, and most embarrassing, fight on the planet, in a campsite to make matters that much classier. It was such a ‘badie’ that our mom had to just pretend we didn’t belong to her.
Once described by a school photographer as the sister that clearly “ate all the cupcakes at home”, I knew I had no chance when I made a run it for it from my younger, athletic machine sister. I had just made it to cover to seek asylum, when she rugby tackled me into the center of a neighbouring tent. My only defense was a fly kick to the ribs, run like hell and just scream “mooooooooom”! Did I mention I was already 17yrs old … blind!
So take that kind of rugby-tackling, fly-kicking, survival-screaming kind of feeling and roll it all into a small explosive package called “My kid just won’t sleep”. It is a combo of terror (will this ever end), pain (I can’t physically pin it down every night), exhaustion (and more exhaustion) and frustration (the teeth-grinding kind).
You soon realise as a parent that when you strip away all the challenges you face with a newborn (wind, boobing, formula, poonamies), your biggest is yet to come … SLEEP! It is your ultimate goal because it is something you can’t function without. It also has a serious knock on effect; your patience dies, you lose your personality and your partner takes the heat for it, which causes them to lose their personalities. And as we limp around like the Walking Dead, we often say, “if your kids weren’t cute … they would be tickets!”.
Our family hit a serious luck with all our babies. There was the odd night where we would be walking up and down the passage shaking the child like a cocktail mix, in the hope that it would sleep. Only to remember that 20 minutes prior, it could have done with a nappy change and been dusted earlier but now you have wound it up so much that it is completely over stimulated.
** Side note: NEVER underestimate the power of a nappy change – it sneaks up on you and sometimes even trumps the dreaded ‘wind’. Read about all this shizzle in our next blog.
Most of our babies were seriously great sleepers and I never really fully empathised with the Walking Dead squad of moms whose rats still hadn’t slept through the night after 10 months… until 3 months ago.
4 weeks to go before our second born arrived, obviously our child decided it would be a great time to dust the camp cot, hit her big girl bed and just never sleep again because now she would be free from the physical constraints of the mozzie net and pen of neglect (camp cot). HOLY EFF … did we shit off.
It screamed, we screamed, it cried, we cried, it called out “mooooooooom”, we called out “heeeeeelp”! I smacked, we over loved it, we left it, we went to it, we ignored it, we rocked it, we shook it, we pinned it down, we gave it a bottle! F*$K … go the f*&k to sleep … tag team with the hubby … he gave it stern words, he smacked it, he hovered at the foot of the bed … shorter period of patience … tag team me back in.
Oh and then of course every blog you read, the highlights package is “don’t blady lie with it! Let it know who is boss”. Don’t lie with it?! … we would never! More so in fear of smothering it in frustration but shit did we fight the urge because lying with it takes 10 minutes while fighting the shitstorm of the free world adds years onto your face like Magda from Something About Mary.
Well, our rat took us down to Chinatown. She showed us who was boss for the first 3 weeks. We nearly lost our minds. I ran out of physical strength eventually, with 2 weeks to popping, and just had to hit the bench and offer moral support; “Hubster; you are stronger than it, you can take it down, good game on Saturday, good luck out there, tight lines!”.
4 weeks into the darkest patch of life, and minutes to the due date, my hubby hit a 20 minute record with putting our girl child down and it was; the light at the end of the tunnel, the quarter slice of orange during a school hockey match, the perfect soft boiled egg.
We hadn’t won yet but shit did it give us renewed faith in the long battle of getting our perfect sleeper back into the game. We even went as far as taking our child to have her ears checked (which incidentally is a good idea anyway) in the hope that it was something we were missing and not her just being a pure asshole about sleeping. With her ears in hundred percent working order (a mix of emotions knowing it wasn’t something to be cleared up with our good old Empaped suppositories), we just had to ‘vys byt’.
What we do want to insist on if you fall into the category of zombie moms and your child is beating you into submission, is that you put your heads down and find a tactic that works and go great guns with. The fix is definitely not over night but the repetition is the trick. Don’t change tactic too many times within a 5 day period, let the game plan sink in with your competitor and if you find you still aren’t winning then try something new for the next 5 nights. Stay friends with your partner at all times and do the 20 minute tag-in so that you don’t lose your cool. As soon as you turn feral, they know they have you and the game is over. Creepy calm and stern voices also seem to terrify them to sleep too.
Oh how we feel for you sleepless mammas. We want to hold you, cuddle and swaddle you and tell you that it will all be ok, all while we pat you repetitively on the back, and it will be ok … “in 13 years when your children go to boarding school”, says our 87 year old gran.
Be mentally and physically stronger than them and just remember while you hover in the dark, grinding your teeth and whispering over and over again “shush shush … sleeeeeeep my baby (in a sweet but creepy calm voice and then under your breathe “you little mother f ….”)” – we are 100% with you and somewhere in a dark room on the verge of losing your shizzle, we will be thinking about the countless mumsecutors in the same boat who have sacrificed wombs for these little assholes and all they can do is fight the best and most natural thing in the world (sleep – in case I had lost you at this point) … we are 100% with you!
We are also working on a list of some solid tactics for you to try with your non-sleeper so we will post this as soon as we get a chance this week or the next.
Read Time: 5 mins.
Boobing … who knew it would be such a blady complicated event?
OBB1 | Nailed it but mentally couldn’t crack it past 5 months.
The best advice I ever got was from a lovely little angel that appeared out of nowhere in hospital with an infrared light to laser my nipples on the second day of boobing. She so rightfully said to me, “breastfeeding is actually not as easy as it looks – most women think it is innate but it is definitely something that needs to be learnt and perfected”.
Now, if you are sitting with noombies like mine you will know the struggle is real. Over the pregnancy, they absolutely exploded. Porn star would be an insult! And when the milk came in … holy smokes, my child’s head looked like a tiny gem squash in comparison. So I loved the idea of being shown how to breastfeed off each boob, with its own uniqueness. While the right stood straight, confident and leaked like a tap at a beer festival, the left had dropped slight in a South Westerly direction and started taking shelter under my armpit. Ol’leftie was affectionately referred to as “The Dud” and I had to learn how to breastfeed using the rugby ball position.
Not much of a sportswoman myself, how would I have ever had known that if I hadn’t been shown? Boobing definitely comes with its own set of skills and maybe thinking you will nail it straight off the bat could potentially be fatal for your boobing adventure. To state the obvious too, boobing is also a huge mental game, so here is my (OBB1) take on it.
The first few nights, after the milk had come in, I had so much of it that I had to sleep with newborn nappies in my bra because I would wake up drenched in siffy boob juice if I used breast pads – real story! Aaaaaaah I hated it and on top of it, I had had a Caesar so I was rocking that gross bandage across the bottom of my stomach and of course changing those ‘surf board’ pads (maternity pads) like I was handing out freebies on the beach in December.
Boobing also comes with MAJOR hormones and I honestly can’t stress this enough. The crying surges that come on for no reason are totally irrational, exhausting and depressing but the best thing you can do is ride them out. To know that they are TOTALLY normal, incredibly common, and also out of your control, makes them easier to manage. Hit the bath, shower, take a baby-free time out or go for a walk and just cry them out. I would often phone my sissy (OBB2) and say “Why the f*%k did you not warn me about this? I would have taken unprotected sex a lot more seriously!!”.
There were so many times that I wanted to chuck in the boobing in the beginning. The one night I totally lost the plot and reversed out of the driveway in search of formula at 10pm. I drove over everything in my path; dog dishes, water bowls, flowers, and nearly into the fence. As I skiddied out of my driveway, on what felt like two wheels, I realised that all I actually need was to calm the eff down and do a little adult activity so I drove for 30mins, went back to the house, apologised to my shellshocked hubby who was desperately rocking a screaming baby in his arms and plugged that sucker back on to the boob (the baby not the hubby).
The mental challenge of it was HUGE for me. I hated the feeling of being so trapped and alone with caring for my rat. It was solely my responsibility and I wanted to dick slap my hubby every time our child cried and his knee jerk was “maybe she is hungry!”. Are you f*%cking kidding me? All she has done today is suck the life out of me while I dream the day away of pooing alone, washing my hair and having a little look-see on what condition my ol’vagina was in … child-free.
In the early hours of the morning, when I was boobing, I did soooo much online shopping it was a joke. I also sharpened up on my Zulu vocab while I lay in bed, plugged into human life. Staring at my snoring hubby, I thought ‘I could definitely squirt breast milk into your open mouth if I aimed right’. Shitters, as I type I am reminding myself about what I am in for in 4 weeks time with round two. While I waxed the boobing, I just could not express. As soon as I watched the nipple get sucked into the void of the bottle, I would start crying like clockwork. The irony of it was that I was a diary cow but mentally it took its toll because I am also a socialite and the idea of being confined to the 3hr cut-off for feeding completely sent me over the edge on some days. So my backup plan was to just strategically leak the one boob straight into a container / bottle while the other was nourishing the mini me.
OBB2 | Struggled with round 1 but mentally was prepared for war on the milk supply.
My first rat was born at 35 weeks and I think this definitely played a role in the boobing struggle. Although she was a decent sized prem baby she battled to latch. Boobing for me was by far the biggest challenge of having a newborn.
I was absolutely DOGMATIC about the fact that I would breastfeed my baby. I was going to feed that kid via tit, come hell or high water. After her two week check up, I was told she needed to put on more weight and I should supplement with the F word (formula). I had my first mental break down; complete and utter failure as the first primary motherly job – breastfeeding – you soul destroying wanker. To top it off, my hubcap (hubby) just didn’t get it, “Give her formula, what’s the biggy?”. The “biggy” is I will literally kick you in the dick! The pressure to boob is huge – you are literally soley responsible for keeping your rat alive and to be told that what you are doing isn’t quite good enough is devastating. So for the first 4 weeks of her life I expressed like a crazy lady even with guests in my house. I would tap into the double breastpump, a friend had lent me, drink tea and chat over the monotonous suctioning sound of the pump giving it stick. Look it was slightly awkies for my chommies who came to visit; watching milk squirt out of my boobs while we discussed the weather and details of how I was coping with a newborn. But as I said, I was taking no prisioners, “come hell or high water”.
Oh and then of course I had to tackle two of the Soul Destroyer’s best mates:
1. Norman Nothing-To-Show-For: I had been attached to the pump for half an hour and when I looked down; a dismal 30mls of milk out of each boob! Cooooome on!
2. Ol’Spiller Maloy: After I had expressed a whopping 70 mls – someone rolls in and knocks the white gold over. One of the signifcant moments in my mothering where the life would drain from my face and what would return in its place would be the urge to murder!
With a top up of 100mls of the F word every night, nipple shields, skin-to-skin, not leaving the house (literally) for 2 weeks solidly, expressing every chance I got to stimulate milk supply, slotting fenu greek tablets like they were jelly beans and drinking way more Milk Stout then what was recommended, I eventually got the boobing waxed only to discover that my 3.5 month old baby, who was lacthing like a champ, had a little sister on the way.
I fed her for the last time at 5 months. With morning sickness, my boobing time had come to an end and there was not a stuff I would even attempt to tandem feed like the paed suggested (Amazing that our bodies can do that though).
Our advice on the boobing front.
Set yourself realistic goals for boobing and honestly take it day by day! The convenience of it is also insane and the better you get at it the easier it is to do. The benefits for your new human are also quite phenomenal so challenge yourself a little and when you are ready to give it up … try it for one more week. Before you know it, you might have pleasantly surprised yourself and reached the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 6 months.
Don’t go out and buy a breast pump that you might not even use. Test a mate’s out first and see if it is something you could rock first before you go and blow potential post-boobing jolling money.
Cut yourself some slack because it isn’t an innate thing, in our humble post-boobing buggeredbreasts opinion. So maybe get someone to teach you the ropes or show you a few techniques like lying down and boobing, or rugby balling that rat for the boobs that are a little squiff and hang off in a fish-eye direction.
Best is breast for sure but also don’t beat yourself up about it if you can’t cut it as there are many perks to formula too like assisted feeding or topping them up. Hopefully, if you are more chilled about boobing and know that it is something that you need to get your mind and body in the game for you, it won’t be as much of a challenge the first time round.
Your diet plays such a big part of it too and while your ass might take a beating on size for awhile, eating properly keeps your boob juice quality rocking and rolling.
Every child is different so roll with that and do it confidently.
TWO POPULAR FAQs
So the one question we get asked the most, and for blady good reason haha, is when is the best time to ‘phuza’ (drink alcohol) when you are breastfeeding?
We turned to the La Leche League on this one. They are some strict mofos on boobing but this made perfect sense to answer the question.
“La Leche League’s The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding (p. 328) says:
The effects of alcohol on the breastfeeding baby are directly related to the amount the mother ingests. When the breastfeeding mother drinks occasionally or limits her consumption to one drink or less per day, the amount of alcohol her baby receives has not been proven to be harmful.
La Leche League’s The Breastfeeding Answer Book (pp. 597-598) says:
Alcohol passes freely into mother’s milk and has been found to peak about 30 to 60 minutes after consumption, 60 to 90 minutes when taken with food. Alcohol also freely passes out of a mother’s milk and her system. It takes a 120 pound woman about two to three hours to eliminate from her body the alcohol in one serving of beer or wine…the more alcohol that is consumed, the longer it takes for it to be eliminated. It takes up to 13 hours for a 120 pound woman to eliminate the alcohol from one high-alcohol drink. The effects of alcohol on the breastfeeding baby are directly related to the amount the mother consumes.”
Read the full article here: http://www.llli.org/faq/alcohol.html
When is the best time to pump?
“Pump in the morning. Many moms get the most milk first thing in the morning. Pump between breastfeeding, either 30-60 minutes after nursing or at least one hour before breastfeeding. This should leave plenty of milk for your baby at your next feeding.”
If you need to know more, take a look at the full article: https://www.ameda.com/milk-101-article/when-and-how-long-to-pump/
*Obviously the above, and anything said in this blog or website is our opinion and should not be taken as medical advice.
Read Time: 5 mins
Are you stuffing kidding me? You have carried this rat for 9 months, suffering through all the heartburn, morning sickness, kankles, stretch marks, burping and farting and now it’s finally in the world and you have to deal with “mother’s guilt” – WTF!
OBB 2 insightfully described Mothers Guilt (MG) as the modern day mother having to be a “Leatherman Mom” and just blady do it all; work full time, mother full time, socialise, get your body back, be cheerful and make motherhood look like a #pieceofcake #blessed #youcompleteme.
Honestly, we, here at Big Girl Panties Headquarters, are of the opinion that as mothers we are our own worst enemies. We all seem to be experts in situations we know nothing about and the lack of empathy amongst us towards each other can be quite cruel sometimes. To name a few; colic when your child hasn’t suffered from it, bribing your lighties with sweets because your patience is paper thin, caving in to every nagging whimper when you haven’t slept for days because it is easier than a fight or using a strong combo of dummy, Panado and suppositories to stop the whining.
We need to start supporting each other more and culling the judgement so that we feel like we are all rock stars no matter what stance you take on things like boobing your child until it has teeth, or whacking it on formula from the get go because you couldn’t think of anything more parasitical. Our main focus should be on not breeding assholes and making sure our kids grow up to do things great with their lives, be loyal mates, incredible parents and life partners and if there is time … be really smart because that will help a great deal with the education bursaries.
So, to scratch the surface, we thought we would kick off with the contentious issue of working and mothering.
The societal eye, rolled up in the pressures of MG looming over our heads, the Leatherman Mom needs to thrive: –
1. YOU NEED TO WORK, BUT NOT TOO MUCH THAT IT BORDERS ON NEGLECT.
The Working-From-Home Mom:
I, OBB 1, as a working mom from home, feel that sometimes work is a little bit of freedom and a great way to use your brain on something other than Incy Wincy Spider and the boys. Oh, and of course, to have your own “ice-cream money” – winner!
MG then rolls in and kicks you in the teeth when you can hear your small rat having a jol in the garden and the seed of guilt starts to grow.
Am I missing out on serious opportunities to shape my baby’s mind and personality, teach her about nature (even though I can’t garden for shit and feel that small feather-winged creatures are pigeons and anything oversized is a Hadeda). Taking the time to teach her to respect animals, appreciate great music, socialize and share with her maatjies.
Mom’s Middle Ground:
The major perks of working from home is that you can take a tea break with your rat and spend some beaut time catching up with the morning’s events like the siff grubby stone collection that has been started up or marvel over their finger painting that has taken on the distint identity of someone having chundered up their breakfast onto paper.
It is also impossible to be productive with a rat running around so make the decision to bin the guilt, be a little more hardcore and actively be “away” from your home environment when you are in your home office. So, if you can have the best of both worlds – make the most of it … guilt-free.
2. YOU NEED TO BRING IN THE DOSH, BUT ALSO BE A SUPER INVOLVED MUMZIE
The 9 – 5 Mom:
Working your backside off for extra loot to set your lightie up for good schools, amazing opportunities and also to contribute financially to your households, some moms just don’t have any other option. The moms that choose to go back to work full time also might just be better moms because they don’t loose themselves in the, sometimes boring and repetitive activity of raising human life. The sacrifice of a hard-earned career can be a huge beating on the sense of self and I think one of the biggest challenges of motherhood is seeing your independence and identity slip into the depths of chatter about the colour of your child’s poo this week and whether or not they are teething or just being complete assholes.
MG then rolls in and punani-punches (fanny slaps) you because there are other mothers out there doing such kiff and educational shizzle with their babies, taking them to little classes and glueing stuff to crafty boxes. You start to wonder whether or not your kid is going to be the doffy in the class because you haven’t awarded them the opportunity to stick macaroni noodles to a piece of paper or paint the window with shaving cream.
Am I giving up my rat’s childhood for the sake of having a fatter wallet or am I being super selfish in the case where I don’t actually need to work but I choose it because it frees me from loosing my mind or making mates with other moms who just seem to have it waxed and can throw their body and soul into mothering.
Mom’s Middle Ground:
Some moms love working, I know I do! It is just apart of their genetic make-up and they get excited about it. It keeps their mind right and gives them the vooma to face parenting because they know that when they are spending quality time with their rats, they give it a full go. If you are a working mom because you have no other choice … well then you are wasting the energy on guilt because the decision has been made for you so head down and know that we support you.
3. GREAT THAT OUR CHILD CAN COUNT TO 10 BUT COULD YOU STOP SPENDING MONEY ON COFFEES YOU AREN’T “WORKING” FOR
The Stay At Home Mom (in this case chooses to work part-time for some sanity):
I, OBB2, am a Stay At Home Mom and I work two mornings a week. I don’t for one second think that it isn’t a privilege. I have been raising my two little people on a farm and have the time to teach them that there are definitely other birds out there other than Pigeons and Hadedas. It is a major treat shaping their day activities and watching their minds soak everything up. To avoid going over to the dark side of boredom, I have chosen to cruise into town twice a week to work, stimulate my mind and and make a little bit of “ice-cream” money.
MG then rolls in and bitch slaps you with a bill that you may sometimes feel you aren’t contributing financially to. If you are working just a little, like I do, your job doesn’t bring in nearly as much loot and you feel you probably should be spending it on the household or your family.
There are times when you just want to be kid-free, go and have coffee with mates and dust your rats with any respectable looking human willing, able or keen. The guilt sets in that you are spending bucks on yourself and your mind wonders to your partner slogging away at graft. It is also super sucky thinking that they may throw it back in your face in the next heated argument.
Mom’s Middle Ground:
You would have to be blady superhuman (or mad!) to think you don’t need a break or to do something adult and care-free. Hats off to you for the sacrifices you have made to dedicate your days to your kids – it is hard and not for the faint-hearted, something partners who aren’t with kids all day will never understand (but that is a moan for another blog). So don’t think your position / job in the household doesn’t give you a right to go and treat yourself- it is a job in itself. Especially if that is the deal you have made with your partner! You both wanted them and I’m 100% sure there are days where you would swop places in a heartbeat.
Look, let’s be honest you are never going to rid your life of MG (welcome to momhood) but most of the time it is a f*%king waste of an emotion. There is already so much to worry about in a day, like keeping your child alive, and if you throw that bastard (MG not your child) under the bus, when you get up in the mornings you will find that decision-making and getting things done without it are like a breathe of fresh air. You will also learn to live in the moment and actually enjoy life, and parenting, a lot more- there is no stronger mood killer then feeling guilty.
Your best bet is to surround yourselves with like-minded moms and cling to those suckers with all your might because those are the friends you want to be able to vent to without them fuelling the MG fire. Focus on the good shizzle, like raising them rats right.
So without further adieu … let’s try our very best to keep the MG to a minimum. We are all carrying our fair share of it around but let’s lighten the load and support each other through the things in parenting, like working or not working, that make it such a turmoil time for us. You are doing the best blady job you can do for you and your family and at the end of the day, your best should allow you to cut yourself some slack.
So the ‘natural birthers’ out there set the bar blady high for the rest of us squiff-cervix, baby has a fat head, little sucker’s breeched or run out of amniotic fluid, emergency Caesar kinda gals. Hats off to them though because any birth is not for sissies, and I have to agree with OBB 2 on the previous blog – whichever way your baby leaves the comfort of your womb (natural or Caesar) – there will be pain whether it be before or after … and real pain not #pain.
Because my little sissy had sneezed her first born out, I thought “I’ve got this!” and prepared my vagina’s mind for a natural birth. That faithful Sunday arrived, a week after my rat’s due date (which happened to be a leap year, 29 Feb 2016, so no wonder she stuck it out for so long) and I had my head in the game.
Contractions started 6am with 3 minutes between each one and I thought: – Ok, so antenatal classes have sold us a lemon – these are not 10 minutes apart, ‘pack your bags and wobble on over to hospital’ kind of contractions – these just ‘boyah-ed’ us with some speed and regularity and my waters hadn’t even broken yet. So, I had a quick shower, said farewell to life as we knew it, left home and headed to hospital to meet the Doula whom, in our minds, would whisper the baby out of my vagina and into the world. #shittershownaïve.
So here’s the highlights package; a week overdue, a 4kg fat baby, traces of meconium (baby drops one (poos) in the womb and then there is danger of it ingesting the meconium), aaaaaand a squiff cervix – there was not a stuff that rat was leaving through the main bomber doors but rather via ejection seat.
We weren’t going down without a fight though. Oh my eff did we walk stairs in that hospital; up down, up down, up down, stopping on each contraction to do a sort of strange hula hula motion while I hung desperately off my hubby’s neck. He stood awkwardly looking around while I groaned and whispered out the odd “ooooooooh my f%*k”. All this, in a futile effort to get my waters to break on their own before the nurse launched the crochet needle up there to get things cooking with gas. With this forced water-breaking, came contractions that were ready to kill a man and at one point I remember thinking … death … that would be nice.
On the topic of having a Doula – look, I’m not the biggest hippy out there; I wear shoes, brush my hair and shave my pits on the odd occasion so her purpose was to support two totally shit-scared soldiers in battle and that she did! She was absolutely amazing, even post Caesar, and both my conservative, non-hippy hubby and I would recommend a Doula for a first birth. (Topic for a later stage).
One very memorable moment for me was when our Doula suggested we hit the hospital shower to relieve a bit of the pain. Butt naked, on all fours, facing away from the running water, mock charging up a storm, the odd projectile vomit and contractions taking me down to China town, I looked back. There sat my loyal, incredible husband, in his baggies, under the hot, running shower. As he stared into the ‘abyss’, he squeezed my pelvis together every time I warned that a contraction was about to beat me into submission. The purpose of this exercise was to relieve some contraction pain but as soon as he heard the warning he would squeeze and then either move to the left or right juuuuust incase the chocolate starfish started talking to him.
With your first pregnancy, everyone and their cat has the best advice to bring on labour; eat a hot curry, drink Pineapple juice, stimulate the koek with olive oil – yes I know, I laughed at that one too, pomp (sex) … pomp some more. And the whole time you are thinking – shit, that’s what got me into this mess in the first place so it is ironic that it is now going to fix the problem. One thing I can say is that despite all the efforts to bring on labour your baby will rock and roll when it is ready and that is the best advice I could possible give.
Trying to rush it just makes you anxious and impatient. I know how heavy going it is, especially when you are a week overdue; the water retention is killer – feet that look like you have blown up surgical gloves, double chin on your existing double chin, back pain, piles – siff siff siff but seriously rushing the baby does nothing for your mental state. So anyway back to the point of this blog …
So picture this … it’s Sunday afternoon, I am 7cms dilated, no epidural and eyeballs deep in contractions. With every breath I manage to muster up, I let out a “Please can I have an epidural”, contraction, “I want an epidural!”, contraction, “Give me an epidural”, contraction, “Epidural hello!”, contraction, “Epi.effing.dural!”. And obviously because it is late Sunday, anesthetists have their own shizzle to do other than jabbing me in the back to bring back my soul from a dark place.
On the 7th phone call they managed to bring in the saint that took my breathe away. That epidural was like a million orgasms rolled into a thick needle and I would have married her on the spot! The timing of it was horrendous though because as I settled in to deep breathing again and I finally opened my eyes after an hour, our gynae walked in, checked the cervix, dropped the bomb that we were blown and we were on our way to testing out a new kind of birth … emergency Caesar.
My cervix had swollen down to about 2cms and the rat was trying to push its way down a badly angled tunnel – it was over. “Book an emergency Caesar this baby needs to come out right now.” And all I could think was, ‘I wonder if we can get hold of this epidural over the counter’.
Now I don’t want to scare you about a Caesar so I will refrain from any gory details as I maybe possible be one of the more squeamish folk so even typing about it makes me swoon at the desk. The point of this blog wasn’t really to yack on about how chaotic birth can actually be it was more to acknowledge how hard I found it in the beginning having had an emergency Caesar after wanting a natural so here goes …
The pressures of having a natural birth are as real as they come, and for good reason. Not to say a Caesar is a secondary kind of birth but there is a lot more to the recovery time, post your little rat busting out into the world – I actually think it may be the harder of the two. As I mentioned, I am also squeamish so major abdominal surgery did not suit me in the slightest and for about 4 weeks after the birth, I was still pushing panamor suppositories (pain meds) up the ol’bumholio so it just added to the one million things you are already having to multitask with like nothing on earth.
It took a few weeks to actually get over an emergency Caesar, physically and mentally, and for some moms they never get over what they see as “failure”. But it’s not failure. And to be totally honest, at the end of the day, no one reaaaaallly gives a shit how it comes out because your battles to come are SO SO SO much bigger than your child’s entry into the world. To name several of the life changing fights; sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep. So if you can just take that into consideration when you relive the missed opportunity of natural birth and the feelings that you harbor for a long time post-birth, that latent disappointment is REALLY not worth the kak feeling nor is it worth the energy. You need to tackle your newborn head on and when your mind is feeling weak, your body follows in close pursuit. You end up battling to breastfeed, you’re tired and your head just isn’t in the game which makes you unconfident with your child – trust me. So if you are an emergency Caesar story and you are carrying around that sense of “what if I had a different gynae”, “what if I had stayed at home a little longer or walked more stairs or pomped once more” – bin those thoughts RIGHT NOW and get a move on with the bigger picture. Your baby needs you, your hubby has no clue what the eff has just hit your lives and most importantly you need to know that you have absolutely rocked it to get this rat into the world!
I am up for round 2 at the end of November and this time I am electing to have a Caesar. The thought of going through labour again, only to have a Caesar makes my vagina want to close up for life. I think the biggest thing about birth is managing your expectations and when you say ‘you aren’t fussed about the way it comes out, as long as it is healthy’ – do your very best to actually believe it! And as my parting words of advice, and introduction to our next blog post, you are stronger and smarter than those suckers (newborns) so don’t let them take you down. Sleep be with you!
Birth Story – 3min read
OBB 1: “Words by OBB 2 who sneezed those suckers out.”
OBB2: “Shit, ja the longest, most painful sneeze of my life!”
I have always been a sucker for anything birth, babies and pregnancy related! From a small rat, my mother relayed that I was drawn to pregnant ladies, their baby boeps and babies. To date, I am that creep that loves to touch a preggy tummy (obviously I’ll suss out the vibe first and not just go in for the kill), and the one that wants to listen to every detail of your birth story down to the minute you thought you were in labour. I am also that person that can’t wait to give your baby a cuddle and that loves the challenge of settling your new born if it is fussing. So, when the time came for my own birth story, I was ready to rock and roll with a natural birth.
12 April 2015, I was re-enamelling our old-school bath, as you do at 35 weeks pregnant. Prior to starting the preparation for the bath, which took about 2 hours, my hubcap (husband) and I had just had a huge barney (fight) over the blady thing.
Me: “Bub, I have been putting this off for weeks. I just want to get this bath done before the baby arrives and I run out of steam.”
Hubcap: “I just want to relax and watch the Masters … please!”
Eventually, he felt bad, looking at my big boep, and offered to help but by that stage, my preggy rage had kicked in and I was sooooo stubborn and decided to do it myself. I slugged away at the bath and half way in, I stood up to mix more paint … my water broke! Not just a trickle, a movie-stylepuddle- at-my-feet kind of water breaking.
Hubby, who was having a nice little dos on the couch, woke up to me screaming down the passage “BUUUUUUUUB … I think my water has just broken!”. The look on his face when he saw me with a mask over my mouth, roller brush in hand and water at my feet was priceless and, I must admit, I quite enjoyed the “I told you so” feeling that came over me. I could see he felt really terrible for not helping me with the bath but smugness aside – we were both pretty shocked.
I could not stop worrying about my bath enamel drying out before I had a chance to finish it! So, I resumed my position in the bath and carried on painting. Hubcap came in with absolute disbelief and snatched the roller out of my hand. “Are you nuts my Best? Go and pack. I’ll do this”. I still claim my half of the bath looks much better then his.
Obviously we had no baby bags packed yet and I can confidently confirm that the advice of having a bag ready is a solid piece of info. The panic was absolutely nothing like in the movies. I bathed. Hubby made himself some coffee and watched the rest of the golf. As we calmly cruised around the house, got organised and left for PE, we had very little knowledge that in a few hours time the birthing reactment would be in full swing; swearing, weird animal noises and ugly tearless crying face.
1 cm dilated and I still wasn’t really feeling any pain. The sensation was ‘ants walking on my belly’. Settling into the labour ward, we waited in disbelief that we were going to potentially meet our baby in a few hours, a whopping 5 weeks before it was due. Ignorantly, we thought “BONUS”. There are obviously a few risks of having a prem baby and things got a bit real when they gave me a steroid injection to develop the babies lungs.
Hubster was taken on a tour of the NICU, just in case our prem baby needed to stay there for a few days. I slowly started to make peace with the increasingly pressing contractions which felt like the “period pain” sore (a definitely downgrade from the “walking ants”).
I looked over at Hubster, who was torn between the t.v, watching the last few holes to see who had won the Masters, and frantically reading the baby book I had been asking him to look at for months. I killed myself laughing: “Boet, I think it’s a bit late for that!”.
The contractions were now starting to let me know who was boss so I breathed through each one. The midwife checked again and I was 5 cms dilated. The pain, at this point, was sore but still manageable and I was offered an epi dural on a silver platter as if I was ordering a cuppaccino. On the back of the advice the midwife had given me, saying this was the tip of the ice berg and it was only going to get worse, I said bring on the epi!
By the time they had moved me to the birthing room- things started hotting up. The contractions were getting fiercly stronger and I was doing my best to get my head in the game. It is the strangest thing having no control over what your body is doing or the freaking strange, animal-like sounds and swear words that come out of your mouth.
Rolling like a mad woman on the pilates ball, I looked up at a shell shocked Hubcap and pleaded in a high pitched, goat-like voice “heeeeelp me … heeeelp me … kill meeee”. My one arm was stretched out towards him like Jack from Titanic on the floating door and my wide-eyed Hubster let out a very desperate “Oh my F*%k!”. Being a goat and sheep farmer, I could see for a minute he was thinking about doing the honourable thing; reaching for his leatherman and ‘slagging’ (Afrikaans accent) my throat rather than letting me suffer. The midwife entered timeously and the leatherman was returned to the holster.
The acceleration was ridiculous. Where the eff was the anthetist with the good shit?! Things were looking dire – I desperately needed to hit the toilet because I was seconds away from ‘parking a coil (poo)’ on the pilates ball. I had nightmares of taking a turd on the delivery bed. It just seemed like the final scrap of dignity being striped away. While I had previously expressed to my gynae that I REALLY, really, really was freaked out about the fact that I might poo on her, she laughed and calmly said “be cool with the poo”.
Through the panic, the bleating and wails of “I’m going to poo, I’m going to poo”, I could hear the midwives laughing but in agitated whispers to our gynae, “Where have you been? We’ve been trying to call you for half an hour?!”. Her casual response was, “ Oh was that you guys?”. She cruised in with a “Hop on the bed and have a poo”. I was already 10 cms dilated.
There was no turning back , no epidural and no relief from the urge to push. The baby’s head was coming down the birth canal and this is what causes the “pooing urge” feeling. Hubby at my side, midwife next to me and gynae down below, they were cheering me on. “Push my Best … Come on … Push!”. For a fleeting moment, I looked down at my gynae and blurted out “No ways I can’t do this”. “Too late,” she cried, “how do you think it’s going to come out?”.
At that point, the midwife thought she would give one last encouraging nudge and said, “Give me your hand and you can feel the head. It’s right there”. I snatched my hand back, “JUST GET IT OUT!”. So here is a little pointer for the soon-to-be natural birthers out there … The last stage, before you push your baby out, is one painful sensation! It is as though someone has taken a lighter and set fire to your koek (vagina). As if the pain wasn’t bad enough! In the medical world, this is colloquially termed “The Ring of Fire” – blady appropriate in my experience.
Last major push and straight through the Ring of Fire … hello world … my little 2,6kg healthy baby girl. One stitch inside the koek and I got up 15 mins later and had a shower.
I was ready to be a mom to this little thing I had miraculously grown in my tummy for 8 months and pushed out all by myself. I felt like Super Woman – it was honestly one of the most indescribable, phenomenal experiences I could have ever had.
The highlights package: Natural birth is the hardest but the best thing I have ever done in my life and I can compare it to nothing! Sometimes things don’t work out the way you had planned but, in my humble opinion, at least give yourself the chance to experience the absolute wonder of natural birth. However, birth is birth and there is always going to be pain. There is no easy way around it; natural brings pain before and during, and a Caesar, afterwards. So whichever way it goes for you just know this, the whole birthing process becomes rather insignificant when you hold your perfect little creation and your baba is in the world!
A 1000 apologies for the delay in blogging. We have recently discovered that OBB1 has been knocked up again so we thought it appropriate to send out one or two lines on getting prepared.
We will be sure to revise this list closer to the time of arrival as I’m sure our memories will be jogged.
Also coming up next month; birth stories (natural and Emergency C-section) and also the process of falling preggers with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
Our humble opinions are as follows:
OH SLEEP BABY
You can purchase this beauty from Dischem and may be one of the best things you buy. They make use of it right up until 4 or 5 months. The purpose of these little gems is to stick it on them at night for a bit of extra weight / pressure on them – makes them feel like they are back in the womb; all squished up. If you are battling to imagine it – they are like mini beanbag blankets.
As you will soon discover, a newborn hates a car seat so the weighted blanket seems to just take the edge off as there is a little bit of weight on them and they don’t feel so exposed.
This will save your life! Buy 2, learn how to use them and strapped that baby up. This item is amazing for socializing and/or in times when you need your rat to dos (sleep) and it just won’t. The technique of it is a serious ‘ball ache’ but once you get it you are ‘A for away’. BEST THING EVER. If the house was burning down, we would rescue these!
OH BABY BABY will be stocking these soon soon so keep an eye out.
A baby carrier works just as well and will definitely be easier for the dads to use.
10 x baby grows long sleeve & 10 x pants
Pants are a winner because they are so much easier to change them without actually disturbing them. At night, if you have them in a full baby grow, often you end up having to unzip, unclip, unlatch to change their nappies. The less you can take off them the less chance you have of making them cold and waking them up. Rule of thumb – waking = shitstorm.
Even when they look like they are uncomfortable and are waving their hands about – resist the temptation to free them. They sleep when they are squashed up!Swaddle for as long as you can – I think we hit 3.5 months but you could possible go longer. If you have a bubba that just has to have a taste of freedom, then let one little hand free and make sure their nails are clipped.
Cotton linen & muslin cloths
Monitor with a Camera
We suggest camera if you have a bit of extra dosh, because then you can see if the noise is just them wriggling around in their sleep or if they are actually awake. This means fewer dummy runs to check on the baby.
Now this is always a contentious issue but you won’t be sorry when you need something to pacify them or when they start teething so I am pro dummy but you make your own mind up about that. My rat loved an Avent dummy because they seem to be a bit straighter and don’t push up into the palate as much, but again preference is yours. We are strong believers in raising non-fussy babies because it comes back to bite you in the ass when you want to change brand or try something new.
OH BABY BUMS
Bepanthen x 3 200g / Sudacrem
These are winners – two of the best at the end of the day. Bepanthen is super steep so if you can get peeps to buy it for your baby registry, hit it!
A Million Wetwipes
Can’t get enough of these – seriously you will be buying them until your rat is about 12 years old haha. So stock up. In the beginning, it is nice to use newborn ones but then from 2 months on … good ol’Clicks works for the wallet and does the trick perfectly.
Scented Nappy Bags and Nappy Bin
Best idea to carry these nappy bags around with you. When you breastfeed you could get a 7 in 1 or a 1 in 7. 7 poos in 1 day or 1 in 7 and this is totally normal but better be prepared that luck may not be on your side, you will be glad we told you about these scented nappy bags.
On the bin front – a proper bin with liners will make you feel happy when they get onto solids and no amount of love can get you used to the poo!
OH BOOBIE BOOBIE
There are days where you just can’t handle holding it (the child) one second longer so suction it on to the noombie and load ‘em on the pillow and you are hands free –it is like Bluetooth breastfeeding.
White Toweling Nappies
Definitely not for their bums … ain’t nobody got time for that. This is for general survival of the shitstorm, breastmilk, chunderfest that is coming your way. Buy 20 of them and sling one over your shoulder to protect yourself from the baby bad weather on its way. We would use these stukkend and often be washing about 10 a day. They are fuss free and multipurpose and a much better, more practical size, then those tiny little burp cloths they sell.
Bottles x 6 to start & Sterilizer or Milton
All shapes and sizes. You need newborn ones for formula / expressed breast milk and then one size up (Size 1) for when they start sucking faster and need a breather pipe like when we use to strawpeedo … ahh the good ol’days. We preferred Avent for the newborn bottles and Tommee Tippee (TT) for later. TT have some nifty gadgets that you can attach like; a manual breast pump (which is on the list), little handles for when they are bigger and want to hold their own bottle, lids for expressed milk or storing containers. We weren’t very good steriliser but we are from farm stock so we are not against it, we just weren’t fanatical about sterilising. Buy yourself a microwavable sterilizer or just a bucket and some Milton both do the trick.
Breastmilk Bottle Containers and Ziplock Bags
Don’t waste loot on getting the fancy breastmilk bags because you can just use a trusty old ziplock. Just make sure you write on the bag the amount (mls) and date so you can use it from oldest to newest and you know how much is in there.
Here is another handy tip – don’t go out and burn tin on a breastpump until you know you can wax it. I could breastfeed like a machine but couldn’t express for shizzle with an electric pump. Manual – any day, all day but an electric just didn’t work for me soooo borrow one first and test it out. If you do buy, a double pump is a winner because you save half the time and you only have to listen to that horrendous milking sound for a short while. In the manual pump department – this is worthwhile because they are only about R500 and when you are stuck in a car and can’t pop a boob over into the car seat – express straight into the bottle and put a teat on it.
If you have leaky noombies like I did – breastpads, breastpads, breastpads.
Maternity Pads & Brooks
Whether your baby comes out the front door (natural) or the sunroof (Caesar), you are going to need plenty, what we like to call, ‘surfboard pads’. You use them for roughly 6wks. Don’t be shocked if after 6wks your good old friend “period” arrives back – all we can say about this is PROTECTION!!! We have heard horror stories about people falling preggers shortly after this.
On the maternity netting brooks department – they are quite handy for the first wk or so but then you would rather whack on an old pair of granny panties so your call on those (not the granny panties – that is a MUST).
100% Lanolin Cream
Saves the nipsies (pipple) here. You can put this on after every feed to avoid cracked nipples and the baby can have a dip at the boob with it on so it is harmless.
I got the added treat of getting thrush on my nipples and it is a hardcore little catch 22 thing because you breastfeed, the baby gets thrush, and then you re-infect each other. So I would wipe my nipsies with some surgical spirits afterward a feed or use wetwipe just to avoid any bacteria lingering and then stick those boys in the sun. Too much bra time and leaky boobs is a deadly combo for thrush.
You don’t have to wipe after every feed but just remember the surgical spirits trick if you run in to thrush issues. Sounds gross … and it is! Haha. Nystacid is who you call on in this case of thrush.
OH CRY ME A RIVER
Baby Panado & Calpol
Doomsday prepping is key with small children. Pack for every occasion and always have some kind of ‘pacifying drug’ on you; Baby Panado & Calpol are goodies for temperatures and fevers.
Telament Drops & Gripewater (with alcohol).
Telament Drops for the dummies – it is like pudding, they should take the dummy no probs with a little encouragement from our friend Tellies.
Gripewater is super old fashioned and that is why we love it. It has been around for years, will still be here for our children’s children and for this we promote it for unsettled tummies and general “I don’t know what the eff to do with this child and it’s screaming” kind of occasions.
Earbuds, cotton pads, syringes, Milton, surgical spirits for that siff little soggy biltong tag that hangs from your child’s belly button. By the way – breastmilk works even better than surgical spirits so give them both a go; on to the cotton pads and soak the biltong string (umbilical chord) and clean around it close to the skin.
Baby towels with the hood
OH PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC
Play Mat / Baby Gym
So helpful this one because half the time you have no clue what to do with them while they are awake and they use it for a long time. Car Shizzle Comfy seat cover and little mirror facing them so you can see them in the rearview.
Pram, baby base for the car, and baby seat
If you can get these as a unit – WINNER! Because then they click out and click in and you don’t have to wake the sleeping bear at any stage of your shopping trip or coffee date.
OH YOU SAY THOSE ARE HOW MUCH
This is more of a luxury section so if you can find one to borrow then it is suggested as you may need more baby wipes when you see the prices of some of these things.
Great for days when you have run out of activities with a creature that doesn’t really give back at this stage.
We borrowed one of these for 2 months and it was such a beaut. Little bed on the go. Ok that’s it for now. We don’t want you to run out of steam and be scared shitless on this list. One thing we can say is that the less your baby relies on to function in this world the easier your life will be going forward so try not to introduce too many luxury items because the day you forget it behind you will know about it!
Give us a shout if you have any questions on the above. We know that sometimes they way we
Firstly; a brief introduction to who we are.
Yes we know, we know – you have a baby and then the first thing you do when you come up for air, from the shitstorm of children, is go and start an online baby store! Well, give us a little chance and we may prove to be quite useful to you, first time moms, and for those of you who are on round 2 (and even round 3 – mental!, and 4 – we salute you brave soldier) hopefully we provide you with a little entertainment along the way.
The Oh Baby Baby team is fashioned from three unique chickitas, in different stages of the baby game, who aim to give you the low-down and facts on raising human life with your big girl panties on. Oh Baby Baby (OBB) Boss 1 is a mother of 1 and has successfully managed to keep it going past 13 months. OBB Boss 2 is a mother of 2 and “left the safety catch off” when her first was 4 months so now has a 13 month gap between her rats (insert big eyes here!). OBB Boss 3 is soon-to-be-married, en route to the baby front and amazingly has not been put off by her two besties – insanity we tell you.
We promise we won’t mince our words, nor will we leave out the things that have made us want to, at times, drop kick our children. So if this vibe just isn’t for you, then please “call it a day”, let us be and avoid dropping unnecessary comments on our blogs and social media pages – there is just far too much judging going on in the maternal realms already and we don’t want that to ruin our vibe. On the other hand, if this sounds like it is right up your street, then follow us, like us and stick with us while we, not only commiserate with some of the most annoying, frustrating and hostile times of your life with laughter and entertainment, but celebrate in the things that make it so kiff to be a mom.
Our online store will be sprouting in 2018 and it is just a place to buy a few things that we have just found to be invaluable. The kinds of things that, should the house be burning down, you will be risking singed eyebrows to rescue.
Over and out
Oh Baby Baby squad.