Holiday Ponderings… AKA Thoughts by the Pool

Stevie is fast asleep. She was in the pool from about 8.30am until about 45 minutes ago. I knew Pisces children were ‘fish,’ but I honestly didn’t take it that seriously. I’ve learnt my lesson – and I’m VERY glad we have a pool fence at home. Otherwise my pregnant self would be having a heart attack every half an hour.

Holiday may seem like a strange time to write a blog post on the state of your pregnant body, but when I’m the only one in and I’m alone by the pool in a bikini with my ridiculously hot sister-in-law as my company, it’s natural I start thinking about it.

My job has made me possibly more conscious of my body than usual, and this time, second pregnancy, it’s interesting to note how different things can be.

We all know no two babies and pregnancies are the same. I’ve said before that I put on more than 20kg with Stevie – but that 20kg number was after she was born. Tall people can possibly carry more, but even so, for someone with a low BMI (if you believe in that sort of thing) the recommended maximum amount of weight is 18kg.

Pregnant with Stevie at 28 weeks – I’d been eating all the food for a while here. You just can’t see my enormous behind!

This time, I’ve been determined to do things differently – and I can already feel (and, thankfully, see) the difference. I can still fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans – if only actually closing them wasn’t such a big deal for me! I can take a photo and not worry about looking like a different person – which was the biggest deal in my last pregnancy, for me. I didn’t look (or feel) like myself.

I’ve been working out (gently) throughout. Now we’re on holiday, I’m in the pool with my little fish every single moment. I have a tan, which obviously helps. But the main thing is – I’m eating exactly the same as I did before I got pregnant!

Generally speaking, a pregnant woman does not need any more calories in the first trimester than usual, and she only needs an additional 340 calories a day in the second trimester (where I am now). That’s the equivalent of a large smoothie, or half a bar of chocolate – not a lot, when you think about it. In the third trimester, that goes up to 450 calories per day, which equates to a large snack or an extra small meal. So much for the ‘eating for two’ I did in my first pregnancy!

In other news, my bump is enormous and I’ve got terrible reflux. I’m fairly sure the two are connected (reflux occurs when baby pushes all the organs up towards the diaphragm). Is my bump bigger because I’ve put less weight on this time? Possibly – but every pregnancy is, after all, different. Maybe this baby is bigger? Who knows – we’ll find out when he/she arrives!

What do you think I’m having? Has anyone had suck hugely different pregnancies before? Let me know – I love feedback!

A little bit ‘taboo’

So here’s something only my friends know about me…

I’m still breastfeeding my toddler. Yup, you heard it right, my two-year-old still latches herself onto my (sore, swollen) nipples every night before bed. Now, she doesn’t fall asleep on there anymore (apart from last night, since she’s poorly), she just has a 5 min comfort suckle.

Why does nobody know about this, you may ask? Because it’s still, somehow, taboo.

Baby needed boobie, apparently

Just this week, I’ve had judgement. Mostly, it comes from people who are ‘concerned’ that Stevie is too old for her boobie. Well, in the words of my lovely hubby, if she was too old, she wouldn’t have it any more. These are the worst kinds of people. There is no basis to this claim, other than it makes them feel uncomfortable. I do have an issue with this – Stevie only feeds at bedtime, these days, and barely then, so who, exactly, is it offending? It’s nobody’s business how I put her to bed.

The other type of people are genuinely concerned about the safety of breastfeeding whilst pregnant. Some people, not incorrectly, are curious whether I still have milk left for her. Well the straight answer is ‘no.’ My body has been producing colostrum since 13 weeks (I travelled for a job, so had the luxury of seeing what I expressed). And it’s perfectly safe to feed whilst pregnant, as long as you have a healthy, low risk pregnancy. I have been very lucky, both times now, to carry children with ease. Long story short, if you can have sex, you can breastfeed.

Stevie’s first latch

Breastfeeding was the most wonderful child-rearing tool for me, with Stevie. It’s something just she and I have to share, it’s all ours, and I hope to have the same experience with the growing babby. It also helped me to lose all my breastfeeding weight and be back in shape by 6 months post partum.

6 months PP

I’m sharing this story because it was World Breastfeeding Week recently, and I wasn’t sure how to say what I wanted to. But here it is. I’m proudly breastfeeding a toddler while I’m pregnant. So there!

All breastfeeding information can be found on the Kelly Momand La Leche League websites.

Little rant…

I'm thinking of numbering these rants – what with all the pregnancy hormones whizzing around my body, there'll be a few…

Here's the latest:

The Pigeon Pair

I understand that, 50 plus years ago, having a boy was important to the family. It was pivotal that the family name was passed on. And, because you had to wish for a boy, there was the wish for the girl afterwards, so a parent could 'experience both.'

But this is the 21st century. If Princess Charlotte had been born before Prince George, she would've been queen of England before he was king. So why is everyone still so obsessed with whether another family then their own is having a boy to go with their girl, the 'perfect pigeon pair?'

I grew up the eldest of three sisters. Due to complications in childbirth with me, which resulted in an emergency section, my mum had scheduled Caesers with my sisters. When the surgeon delivered my youngest sister, he apologised, as he handed her to him, for her lack of penis. I paraphrase, as it's just from memory, but it was something along the lines of
"I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Holmes, but you've got another girl…"
My dad always said that he had to work not to injure the poor man, for apologising for a healthy child. He asked to see her ten fingers and ten toes, and said he didn't care because he had three perfect (yes, the man was nuts) healthy children – and we all just happen to be female.

The primary question, when we tell someone we're expecting our second, has been
"Oh, you must be dying for a boy!"
Well no, actually, I'm not. I would be so genuinely, genuinely happy with either sex. I have my reasons for being excited for either, but I don't feel I have to justify them to anybody. Men, generally, say to Pete that he must be keen to pass on the family name. Cue eye roll. Women, with sons or without, tell me I just must experience a son's love for his mother. Well, as one of three girls, I can tell you, is be surprised if any boys love their mother than we girls love ours.

But what really gets my goat, really gets on my nerves, is people who don't believe Pete or I when we tell them, honestly, that we don't give a s**t.

We do not live in the dark ages any more. The sex of my baby (which we don't know, by the way, and won't until he or she comes to greet us) is none of anybody else's concern. But even if someone did have a deep, vested personal interest, it is awful to think that our friends would be less excited for us because our baby doesn't match THEIR own expectations.

So, when someone tells you they're expecting a child, don't ask them the gender straight away. Congratulate them, tell them you hope everything goes well, wish them luck, and, if it means that much to you, lament their lack of a pigeon pair in your own time…