Project 333 – ‘After’

Well I did it. I sorted through all the clothes in the wardrobe and came up with the 33 pieces of clothing that I will wear for the next 3 months (till April 21).

I have given myself a few extra dispensations:

– I didn’t count breastfeeding singlets (4) as I have the wear them under most things.

– I will have a ‘one out, one in’ policy – i.e. can replace something, but something has to go. In particular I have a pair of pants that desperately need replacing.

Here is the 33:

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And the empty cupboard next door:

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And the ‘lounge’ and ‘workout’ wear section, this is actually drastically reduced from what it was. My love of running over the years has lead to a collection of Lululemon tights that is almost embarrassing. I only kept 5 out 🙂

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And finally – the list!

  1. Grey tee
  2. White tee
  3. Black tee
  4. White 3/4 sleeve top
  5. Black 3/4 sleeve top
  6. Blue shirt
  7. White shirt with neon collar
  8. Bright pink shirt
  9. White short sleeve blouse
  10. Black layering singlet
  11. Chambray shirt
  12. Stripy tee
  13. Orange sleeveless shirt
  14. Black cardigan
  15. Snake print cardigan
  16. Denim jacket
  17. Coral skirt
  18. Floral pencil skirt
  19. Blue denim jeans
  20. Black jeans
  21. Black pants
  22. Black 3/4 pants
  23. Print shorts
  24. Ikat print skirt
  25. Floral dress
  26. Black wrap dress
  27. Black and white striped maxi dress
  28. Brown havaianas
  29. Silver thongs
  30. Brown and gold leather sandals
  31. Tan Leather sandals
  32. Tan wedges
  33. Black open toed flats

 

 

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The birth of Tiny Scarf – part three – the final one!

Eventually it was time to get into the car and go for the scan. I had told Ben I thought it might be better if he didn’t go to work because I wasn’t sure I could drive to the appointment myself. By the time we were in the waiting room for the ultrasound it was clear that this was a pretty good call. I couldn’t sit down by that stage, and was breathing my way through the contractions. I didn’t really stop to think if having this scan was a good idea, or even necessary. After all, the obstetrician said to go ahead.

I felt extremely sorry for the women in that ultrasound waiting room who were there for their 6 or 12 week scan. I was walking, breathing and bending over and was clearly very uncomfortable. They must have been terrified that I was going to give birth there and then. If only they knew…

After a 10 minute wait we went in and the technician started the ultrasound. The baby looked fine and heart rate etc is fine. Honestly I have no idea what the outcome of that scan was or what it said about fluid. She said she needed to do an internal scan to check the fluid which made me feel slightly nauseas but I figured that when I started really dilating it was going to be much worse so I should probably suck it up. I asked if she could see whether I was dilating and she said she couldn’t see any cervix. I figured that meant that there was a problem with the scan or something was in the way. Oh well I thought, the midwife will tell me.

As we left I made Ben pay as I couldn’t stand still and I really needed to go to the toilet. Bloody cocoa pops I thought.

Every few minutes I was feeling extremely uncomfortable and as we walked into the obstetricians office about 30 mins early (it was in the same building as the scan thankfully) the midwife saw me and told me to come straight in. She later told me she thought seeing me that I was probably about 5cm dilated.

I managed to get shoes and pants off and get up on the table somehow and she started to examine me. Hmmm she said, let me just get the obstetrician, I can only feel head and membrane. Righto then. Dr Rob came in and looked and me and told me that he had given me some bad advice earlier and that we now had to make a decision. We were either having the baby there, or we could try and drive to the hospital. He decided that our car was too far away but that if we all went straight to his car that we could make it.

I got in the back seat of his very nice car (on some blankets as I was now dripping as my waters had broken during the examination) and closed my eyes and breathed my way to the hospital. Dr Rob was on the phone to the hospital as we drove and they had a labour room ready and a wheelchair downstairs for me. At this stage the baby was in my birth canal and lets just say it was very unpleasant to be sitting in a car when all I wanted to do was walk. Ben says that Dr Rob was taking some liberties with red lights and stop signs, but we had the delivery kit next to me in the car so we could have had the baby kerbside if we had to.

We got to the hospital and the lovely midwives came and helped me off the pole that I had clung to when I got out of the car. At this point I started the ‘I can’t do this, give me drugs, make it stop, I want to go home’ thing. Everyone laughed at me in a generally caring way and kept me moving. Did I mention that I didn’t have time to put shoes on when we left the obstetricians office? What a sight… dripping, shoeless, panting lady. Classy 🙂

We got to the labour ward and they were asking me if I was feeling the urge to push. Not really I said, but by golly I needed to do a poo! Turns out that is the urge to push. Sweet – off I went. At some point someone asked me if I wanted to feel the head. Bugger off. I think I was slightly more polite than that but I was pretty clear. The baby’s heart rate dropped a bit and I got the hard word from everyone telling me to push really hard. I am nothing if not approval seeking so I pushed really hard and she was born within 2 further pushes and was crying before she came all the way out. That was 15 minutes after our arrival at the hospital.

The next bit was sublime. My baby on my chest (I was not in particularly labour friendly clothing so I had a sports bra pulled up to my neck) and relent from that god awful labour business. There was stitching to be done and the Dr suggested some gas. I took his advice and I maintain that it didn’t make much difference, but Ben tells me I was off my face for a few minutes. Sweet. About time I got some good drugs out of this childbirth gig.

All in all it turns out that my ability to delude myself (this isn’t labour!) was awesome in the context of childbirth. I’d probably rather not do it that way again, as I don’t really want to give birth in a 7-11 or on the side of the road, but it was really quite appropriate given how impatient our lovely Leila is 🙂

The birth of Tiny Scarf – part Two

So there I was having a delightful (intense, painful – in a good way) massage when the lovely masseuse (at Yummy Mummy in Clovelly pregnant Sydneysiders – go there!!) told me that I had a excellent pain threshold and that I would have a good birth. I agreed that I was clearly extremely hardcore and put my head down and whimpered silently as she got her elbow into my intercostals.

I noticed another couple of these funny cramps and for fun started noting when they were happening. I did after all have an app to record contractions and by gosh I was going to use it. I was imagining myself in a couple of days saying ‘jeez this pre labour can take a while can’t it!’. These cramps kept coming every hour or so, but a bit more frequently when we decided to walk down to Bondi for dinner. I even had to stop walking for a few of them. Wow – braxton hicks can be really strong hey?

We had some lovely pizza, and I was starting to think that this could be some labouring that was happening. But running through my mind was the rule that you don’t go to hospital until your contractions are consistently 5 mins apart, last for a minute, and this goes for an hour. So I was nowhere near that! By the time we got home I was finding myself focussing on my breathing during these cramps. I was managing pretty well and over the night I had these cramps every hour or so. Nothing like real labour would be. Right.

In the morning there was no choice but cocoa pops. I can’t explain this need but it was awesome. I made Ben walk with me to the service station at about 6am to acquire said cocoa pops and during the walk the cramps were coming between 6 and 10 minutes apart. We decided to call the obstetrician at the reasonable hour of 8am. It wasn’t urgent as there was nothing consistent about the cramps and there were cocoa pops to be eaten. These cocoa pops were truly the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. At least the first bowl was. You know how there is always a bit of milk left over? And you think that you will just top it up with a few more cocoa pops, and then there isn’t enough milk… and then the whole packet is empty? Well that didn’t happen in this case because the first spoonful of the second bowl made me suddenly extremely unwell. Combined with the (dare I say) contractions I was starting to have a suspicion that I might be in labour. Some would call me a slow learner. And I would probably agree with them.

I spoke to the obstetrician at 8am and he told me to go to my scan (to check the fluid) at 10 as planned and then to pop over to his office and the midwife would have a look and see if I had started to dilate. I had 2 hours to kill and by this stage I was letting myself admit that I was quite uncomfortable when these contractions came and would have to stand and walk through them. The shower helped and then I made Ben walk around the block with me again. This was probably when I started to think I was properly in labour. We had to walk pretty slowly and discovered all manner of things about our neighbourhood. One neighbour has chickens. At the furthest point from home when I paused to have a contraction I caught a glimpse of white on my jumper. Yep, I had been shat on by a bird. We have no idea when or how long I’d been walking around with it, but at that point I took the jumper off and put it in the bin. I didn’t plan on being pregnant enough to need it (a kmart special) for much longer. Plus it was really ugly.

A bird crapping on you is good luck right? Or is that only if it is on your head?

 

Project 333 – the Mama Scarf version

Now I am not what you would call a hoarder. I frankly LOVE purging. The sensation of cleaning the decks and having space and getting rid of things that I don’t love or use. However I am an acquirer. I am the demographic. I am the marketers dream. When shopping I can convince myself that the absolute perfect white t-shirt will change my life. After all, imagine the amount of things in my wardrobe that a crisp white tee will really finish off! Invariably I will get home and curse those damn flattering department store mirrors that they position on a slight angle to make you look skinnier than you are…

As a result I have too much stuff. Too many white t-shirts that frankly don’t fit that well and certainly don’t make that floral pencil skirt look better than it actually is… And that don’t quite hide this post-baby muffin top that I’ve got going on…

So I am going to embark on the Project 333 – a commitment to go for 3 months with 33 items of clothing. I actually typed 333 just then which I believe to be an entirely more accurate slip of the freudian variety. This appeals greatly to my desire to have less stuff, to buy less stuff and also to challenge myself. There are a bunch of rules and exceptions – for example – this doesn’t include PJ’s or workout wear. However you aren’t allowed to wear workout wear when you aren’t actually working out, which will be a bit of a challenge to me. In fact I caught myself wearing a pair of running tights and a sarong wrapped around my top the other day – can anyone say ‘breastfeeding mama’??

This is probably the best timing for this kind of challenge as I don’t have that many clothes that I fit into that are suitable for breastfeeding so the cull should be reasonably painless.

I will post back with some photos of the ‘chosen few’ but in the meantime – here is what I am currently working with (bearing in mind that there is also a huge amount of pre baby clothing in the top of the wardrobe and all the work and dressy frocks are in baby Scarf’s room…)

(gosh this is ugly – I could have at least tidied them up before taking the photo!)

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The birth of the Tiny Scarf – part 1

I mentioned previously my obsession with googling birth stories so I thought I would post one to reassure pregnant women that it is indeed possible to have a great birth. I mean it is still going to hurt like f**k at the end but all things considered this was an awesome birth.

My husband and I were pretty naive when it came to childbirth. I was vaguely hopeful of having a natural birth, and my husband was more than vaguely petrified as he had only seen childbirth in the movies which is invariably a traumatic montage of puffing and shouting and man hate (love you babe!). Honestly I did tell him not to touch me at one stage, but with as much kindness as I could muster with a baby sitting in my vagina (admittedly this is not a huge amount of kindness, but surely past kindnesses must be attributed to me? some karmic credit perhaps?)/

Anyway – I booked us in to a course (Calmbirth) that I decided would be good for us and Ben reluctantly agreed to attend this hippy dippy weekend workshop with visions of kaftans, incense, talking about feelings and probably some hypnotism or something. In fact we were both pleasantly surprised and came away from the workshop with a shared view that the birth didn’t have to be traumatic, that he was able to help, and that my biggest job was to relax and get out of my own way. To let me body do its thing. We got some great breathing and meditations techniques which we did together exactly once (husband gets very sleepy as soon as guided meditation commences) but I did my breathing exercises most days.

About 8 days before my due date I had a whole bunch of appointments – obstetrician in the morning, acupuncturist for my horrendous pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome, and my holy grail of pregnancy massage – someone who does a proper firm remedial massage AND has one of those super pregnancy pillows you lay on with a hole for your belly so you can lie on your stomach. Bliss!

Unfortunately my obstetrician was a bit concerned about my fluid levels so had me book in for a scan the next morning to check it out. He mentioned that if it wasn’t great we might have to do an induction. Eek. I didn’t want one of those so when I went to the acupuncturist I told her and asked her to start the ‘get labour started naturally’ acupuncture. She agreed it was way better not to get induced so she went hardcore on the needles. Seriously this was some intense acupuncture, but in hindsight, pretty effective… This appointment I was very careful to check my butt afterwards as the appointment before I got home and discovered a needle STILL IN MY GLUTE!!!! Didn’t hurt at all, but the very idea of that sends shivers down my spine.

After acupuncture I decided I needed a chicken burger at Nandos across the street. About halfway through my mildly spicy burger I felt a bit of cramping and thought – crap, maybe I should be avoiding the spices and finished the burger and headed to my massage. The cramps continued throughout the massage and I was pretty impressed that my braxton hicks were getting more intense since the acupuncture. I figured that boded well for having the baby before my due date a week later.

…. more of the story tomorrow – I’m off to do my 11pm dream feed and then get my interrupted 4 or so hours of sleep. Hurrah!

 

My pregnancy in google stages

When I was pregnant I went through stages of google-mania. When I was trying to get pregnant I trawled for articles or blog posts or forum comments that listed the physical symptoms people had in the very first moments of pregnancy so that I could convince myself that this slightly odd sensation in my stomach was cramping due to pregnancy, or that the spotting was implantation bleeding and not the start of my period.

In the first trimester I was obsessed with what size the baby was. Was it an apple seed or a small blueberry? And could that really be causing the slight bump that I was developing or was it more likely the hamburgers I was eating under my (mostly) subconscious pregnancy eating dispensation? I also googled every strange sensation to assuage my fear that something was going wrong. It turns out that Dr Google is only good for amplifying paranoia and not subduing it.

In the second trimester I was relatively normal, but developed and unnatural attachment to the strange fruits and vegetables that my baby app told me corresponded to the size of my baby. Rutabaga anyone?? Clearly not an Australian app! And what happened in week something-or-other when the baby was the size of ‘4 navel oranges’? Come one app developers – you found a fruit or vegetable for every other month! I would also compulsively look at blogs of women a week or some further along than me to watch what was happening to them. Lets not get started on the bump size comparison that I would do on google image search. Let’s just say my husband’s patience started to wear thin when I would show him photo after photo and ask whether my bump was bigger or smaller than theirs.

In the third trimester though I started to search for birth stories. I thought I was reasonably well equipped having watched every episode of ‘One Born Every Minute UK’ (very different to the US which is more about family dramas rather than the gory details of childbirth). It turns out I wasn’t. I fell into a vortex of horrifying stories that all started with long pre labour, slow dilation, intervention and finally c section. After attending a CalmBirth workshop I got wise to the ways of google birth stories and added the term ‘positive’ to the search. Phew. Admittedly these were all home births and those people who find childbirth to be ‘sensual’ and ‘enlightening’, but it was better than detailed explanations of tearing and the phrase ‘ring of fire’…

Since the tiny Scarf was born my googling has been much more mundane. I have googled ‘is this poo normal’ (there is an illustrated website for that), ‘will I ever sleep again?’ (are you kidding you have a baby so you should lower your expectations is always the answer), and ‘my baby wants to watch tv all the time, will she turn into a meth head?’ (no).

Next post I’d like to put my birth story up to add some middle ground to the content out there on the inter webs. Until then I have to go and google this strange rash I’ve got…

 

 

 

First post!

Thought I would set up a place to share a few photos of our little munchkin when she is born, and my rambling whinges in the lead up.

Today we are 2.5 weeks off due date. As someone at B’s work suggested – we are officially in the ‘drop zone’. Signs of this are:

– B freaking out every time I call him.

– I get less cranky when people say ‘wow you must be about to pop’… because rude though you may be stranger, you are now close to correct.

– Strange and unusual late term pregnancy ailments that I have avoided thus far – ie carpal tunnel syndrome.

– Very usual late term pregnancy symptoms – hormotions getting the best of me, can’t sleep, attention span of a goldfish.

– Have nearly packed a bag – so there must be some sense of urgency. I say nearly – there is a pile, the baby stuff is sorted, but I keep getting distracted before I finish packing my…

– Easily bored of things – is this list long enough now?

We still have a few things on the ‘to do’ list but nothing urgent. We have a place for Babe Scarf to sleep, a correctly installed car seat, a place to change her nappies, a bath and PLENTY of clothing. I have not done my tax return or finished my filing. Nor have I updated the firmware on my ‘i’ devices or replaced the doorknob that has fallen off our bedroom door. But the basics are done and most importantly, B & I are beyond excited to welcome little Olof* into our family.

*No – this will not be her name but is what we have called her since she was the size of an Olive. Calling her Olive seemed strange when one of our favourite Icelandic singers is called Olof (Olof Arnalds) – here is a beautiful song of hers about being pregnant (which I did not know until I found this link!):