Tag Archives: mom

Surviving an international trip with a 4 month old

The Laynes, Brighton

The Laynes, Brighton

Rewind about 3 years and I was in Sydney meeting up with some English friends travelling through with their 4 month old baby girl… they were stopping in Sydney en route to Los Angeles from London… ‘Crazy!’ Is what I thought, I sat there in absolute awe of this couple who had either the balls or the stupidity required to attempt something like this!

Present day, I am a survivor… I honestly think I deserve a badge or plaque or something 🙂 We did it! Last Christmas my ridiculously good looking hubby and I slummed in on a 36 hour flight journey (and back), braved the wrath of fellow passengers, struggled with a jet lagged baby (our darling bubba Evie), slept in 6 different beds over 3 weeks, and all in all had a wonderfully memorable, exhausting and well worth it trip!

We planned, planned and planned before departing (well I did anyway)… I think I read absolutely everything on the internet which had anything to do with travelling with babies (which in turn made me freak one minute and feel calmly reassured in the next…. the joys of internet contradictions). So  naturally I need to add my 2 cents to this pile (although I do feel my 2 cents is worth a lot more…. 5 cents at least)

Read on for my 7 lessons learnt from international travel with a baby….. (phew)

 

1. Age is key!

As any parent knows, a baby literally changes before your eyes… they grow and develop at an incredible rate! So taking a 4 month old on a plane is going to be verrryyyy different to taking a 14 month old. For us, we found our little Evie was at a great age for long haul flying, at 4 months old she was happiest when being constantly cuddled, slept easily in new places and with noise, and only needed breastfeeding for sustenance. As babies go, she was at a low maintenance age.

Half way there

Half way there

2. Never enough nappies!

Someone suggested doubling the usual nappy/to hour ratio for when on planes and I’m glad I did. It must have something to do with the cabin pressure….. or maybe the hideous plane food travelling through to my milk, because I swear she has never ever pooped so much! You know those teeny tiny bins in the plane bathroom toilets?? I was terrified it was going to be overflowing with 5 hours of travel still to go.

3. When you gotta go….

While we’re on the subject of baby poop… There’s always one comical moment that you’ll joke about being the worst time for your baby to fill their nappy. Yes we joked, and yes we were not the last ones laughing. It was the beginning of our very very long journey home, 40 hours to be precise, we had settled into our seats, seat belts fastened as the plane started to taxi along the runway. My precious, delicate little girl was in my arms with her own seat belt fastened around mine…. she hadn’t pooped in 3 days…. as she gazed at me with her perfect big blue eyes she started to frown…. and go red…. and… oh god…. what was that noise?? Her little body actually shuddered for about 2 minutes as the most horrendous smell seeped through the cabin. The plane hadn’t even taken off at this stage so we were still confined to our seats for what seemed like years (and probably an eternity to the poor souls sitting nearby). It was what is know as a uber poo… filling every single layer of clothing and dousing mum just to be sure. As soon as that seatbelt sign switched off we run like Usain to the toilets. No item of clothing was salvageable, everything was binned. I’m sure somewhere on the net you will be able to find the horror story written from the viewpoint of our fellow passengers.

Me and my winter Bear

Me and my winter Bear

4. Jetlagged baby

Jetlag is a horrible horrible thing for anyone  afflicted by it and I have always hated being struck down with it. But while preparing myself for the usual middle of the night wakings, 3pm nodding off and general uneasiness, I just never even considered that my baby would be jet lagged too. And while adults have the ability to ‘push through’ mentally, bubs just have no bloody idea what is going on….. She would wake up at 2am bright as a daisy, getting more and more frustrated as to why mum and dad wouldn’t play with her, and the afternoons saw her getting ridiculously overtired and agitated. I’m not sure if I actually have any advice as to helping this, except if at all possible try and keep some kind of routine for them to get used to (pretty difficult when visiting and staying with different relatives every two days), and as much sunlight as you can find always helps the body clock.

5. Prepare for lots of luggage

Plan to be comfortable wearing the same outfit A LOT! Because something a whole lot more deserving of valuable luggage space is all the baby stuff! so so so much stuff! Pram, car capsule, capsule base, pram winter cover, pram rain cover (it was England), winter clothes, winter snow suit, so so many baby blankets, baby wipes, nappies, nappies, nappies, bottles, breast pump, breast pads, dummies (pacifiers), teething rusks/medication, comforting blankets/toys, familiar toys…… oh the list goes on and on. Tips are …. use your pram to wheel all the crap around, gate check your pram if your airline allows it, get a GREAT baby carrier to use in airports or while on the plane (safer than walking the aisles with no spare hands), beg borrow and steal baby paraphernalia from your contacts at the other end, and just be ready to spend a lot longer than usual juggling all of your stuff in the airports…. it’s not going to be glamorous or fun… I’m sorry.

Christmas day walk

Christmas day walk

6. Don’t expect relaxation

If we had planned this trip to the other side of the world with expectations of a grand European adventure I am pretty sure I would have been bitterly disappointed. 3 weeks is way too short a time to fly that far, expect a baby to adjust, adjust yourself, and take in exciting sights every day. Although we enjoyed ourselves across England, Holland and Spain, our primary reason for the whole trip was to see our family and introduce them to the newest member of the family. The highlight for me was the entire extended family getting together to celebrate Oma’s 96th birthday in Holland…. incredibly priceless and worth all the jet lag and travel problems in the world. After the whirlwind journey we came home utterly exhausted and entirely in need of a post-holiday holiday.

Oma's 96th

Oma’s 96th

7. Prepare for after

Which takes me to my final point…. prepare for afterwards. If you can swing extra days before returning to work (or return on a Friday) and plan to just recover you will thank me! Bribe family and friends with overseas treats to bring you healthy food for a few days, help with your laundry and make sure you don’t sleep all day…. but only invite people you’re comfortable with seeing you in all of your blood-shot, panda-eyes and pyjama-wearing glory. It took us a reeeaallllly long time to adjust back and recover. Healthier food, sunshine, gentle exercise, fresh air and rest will be your best friend. Which is very easy to say but hard to do when all you want is unhealthy amounts of coffee, hot chips in gravy and a week of staying in bed. And prepare yourself for your little one needing to adjust as well, it took Evie a good two months to get back into her pre-holiday sleeping routine.

So be brave and tackle the dreaded international travel with a baby thing! But for me, I’m staying local for relaxing getaways, the long haul is for family only with little’uns.

Have you survived any big journeys with your baby? What are your sanity-saving tips and tricks?

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Nursery Feature – Oli’s Monochrome Big Boy Room

We all have them… those stunning friends with impeccable taste, who’s awesome little one’s could put North West or Cruz Beckham to shame. And the nurseries and playrooms belonging to these lucky offspring are always STUNNING! My beautiful friend Angela, with the help of her handy hubby Ant and little mister Oli, have created this awesome monochrome big boy’s room and been wonderful enough to share it with us!

Read on, enjoy and be inspired. xx
Bed scape

Dresser Corner Bedside table

Oh the places you'll go... Table

Dresser wall

 

Ang, how would you describe your styling choice for Oli’s Room?

It started with me just wanting to create a retreat for Oli…. not just somewhere for sleep but play as well, his own little room. It’s quite fresh, a little edgy and timeless… something he’ll (hopefully) still love for years to come. Although knowing me, I’ll want to change it up before that! Apart from the monochrome trend in the room, we wanted to fill it with encouraging quotes and travel inspiration, something that we’ve loved sharing as a family.

 

What’s your favourite piece in the room?

The bed! We bought it second hand for just $50!!! Was originally bright pink but became a labour of love as Ant and I made it work together. And I just love how it’s all come together style wise. The quilt (made by Oli’s Oona) and lightning bolt cushion (handmade by me) have sentimental value and I’m so happy with the results.

 

What design rule would you swear by when creating a new room?

Timeless! Especially for a kid’s room, stick to things they won’t grow out of in two years.

 

What was your splurge buy for this room?

Table and chairs! They’re replica Eames and I completely went all out on them!

 

Being a beautifully stylish mumma, who do you recommend following on Instagram?

Oh wow, where do I start!? So so many…. this list might be quite long.

Children of the Tribe @childrenofthetribe

FromZION @fromzion_

AURA Home @aurahome

Petite Vintage Interiors @petitevintagebel

Jr. Cooper Australia @jr_cooper_

Beau Hudson @beau_hudson

Zilvi | Interior Decor @_zilvi

Little Urban Apparel @littleurbanapparel

Leo and Bella @leoandbella

Hello Little Birdie @hellolittlebirdie

They’re all great for inspiration (and building that wish list)

 

Thanks Ang for letting us peek into this amazing room update! Maybe you can come and style my house now? 😉

 

Item details

Table and chairs – Replica Furniture

Bed – bought second hand from a friend

Bookshelf – Ikea

Baskets – Ikea spray painted yellow

Yellow Basket Bedside Table – Willow & Bird at Cotton Tree, QLD

Lamp – Home Secret at Kawana

Triangle garland – homemade

Zebra Print – Farrah’s Stone

Quilt – homemade by Oli’s Oona

Lightning Bolt pillow – homemade

#Awesome pillow – Ruckus from Adairs

Black crochet cushion – Ikea

Wall decals – McKnight Signs 

Stag Head – Typo

 

Baby Wearing Part 1 – my story

My family and I after conquering our 'mountain'

My family and I after conquering our ‘mountain’

I know first hand that the ‘Baby Wearing’ world can be intimidating, confusing and a little bit scary (pictures of strongly opinionated, pram-haters come to mind)…. I’m giving my story and helpful (professional) tips across two posts. Part 1 being my blah blah blah of how I don’t really know much about Baby Wearing (thus giving me a great non-bias or pushy perspective) and Part 2 being the actual informative, helpful advice from interviewing  Jessie and Carley at Wear Your Baby.

As with many things parental, I tend to learn in hindsight. Little Evie is now one year old and even with an intense whirlwind International trip to the other side of the world for Christmas, we have barely touched our baby carrier in the last 12 months. If I’m honest, I never quite got the hang of it, Evie’s chunky thighs always got caught and it was a horrible strain on my neck and shoulders. Convinced I was doing it wrong, the carrier never received much love.

Only recently a friend lent me her carrier as a last minute saviour for some Sunday afternoon ‘hiking’ (don’t mistake me for anything resembling fit and active…. was an hour return trip up and down a hill sized mountain….. still enough to render me breathless and on my knees more times than I’d care to admit). Hubby carried Evie up the mountain (hill) and I carried her down… was enough to open my eyes to the world of a properly worn carrier! No neck and shoulder strain, super comfortable and Evie even had a little nap in it.

So started my foray into interpreting the Baby Wearing world. Each to their own, but I wasn’t keen on 24 hour attachment to my bub. One reason (for me) being that we do want a large-ish family and I feel like there’s probably a limit to how many babies/toddlers can be permanently strapped to me… But I have certainly learnt that in different seasons (teething, sickness etc) it’s ok to overdose your child with cuddles and affection, they generally need it in the crappy days. And lots of Baby Wearing contact would be soothing and comforting for bub while still giving mum two hands to fold laundry, bake Martha Stewart cakes and sew adorable baby outfits… OR make coffee and buy ridiculous amounts of things through Mummy Instagram shopping….

After my initial scoping, I had a bit more of an idea as to what we (Hubby and I) wanted.

  • Black – soooo easy to dress up or down 😉 …. and hide dirt and stains so I won’t need to wash as much. YES!
  • One with a forward facing option, because my one year old gets so bored facing my chest for too long that she actually tried to pull my collarbones off the other day. (educated note: the benefits of chatting to Baby Wearing professionals, forward facing is not the best ergonomically for babies, especially newborns, so should only be for limited amounts of time)
  • One with a hip/waist band – to limit strain on shoulders and neck

Feeling super in-the-know with what I wanted I wandered into a (nameless) Baby store…. after fumbling with the demonstration models, trying to interpret the backs of the boxes and looking ridiculously awkward for about half an hour, I left probably feeling a bit more overwhelmed than preferred.

Then most of my online searches for help tended to churn up mountains of strongly opinionated (and opposing) points and ‘rules’. My head started to hurt…

And then I hit gold! Perfect timing moment! Just when I needed clarification and help most, a beautiful friend from years back started an online Baby Wearing store!!! Beauty!… I barely gave her time to settle into the new business before pouncing with a request for an interview! Surely other mum’s have found the whole Baby Wearing deal a bit daunting and in my own (selfish) information seeking journey I could only hope that it’ll help others as well.

So I sat down with the wonderful Jessie and Carley from Wear Your Baby…. our multiple little ones scooting around our toes (and destroying their magazine collection)…. and picked their brains for how to simplify the different types of carriers, what suits what, the basic simple rules to remember…. and came out feeling so much more prepared.

And at the end of it all I’ve come away with a wonderful carrier that I love, have used multiple times this week already (so has Hubby), and a lot more confidence in being a Baby Wearing mum (albeit definitely part-time).

Part 2. including the wonderful advice and help I received from Jessie and Carley will be up on the blog within the week.

Let me know your thoughts ladies! (and men)….. how do you go baby wearing or not baby wearing? Would love to hear your tales 🙂

xxx

Business Feature – Incy Interiors

Kip Cot

Kip Cot

One way to tell that an interview has gone ‘well’ is how many notes you’ve actually made…. And how well the conversation stays on track…. I have never had a more fun, informative and off topic interview with anyone! Kristy Withers of Incy Interiors had every reason at this years Life Instyle/Kids Instyle exhibition to be time poor. Launching Incy’s ridiculously successful collaboration with Kip & Co and coping with the constant, excited enquiries and orders would put anyone out.

So naturally I was thrilled to secure a moment of her precious time to chat about this new range and everything Incy. It was honestly the greatest chat I had with anyone at the exhibition that weekend, we ‘yarned’ for over an hour, constantly rambling off topic, forgetting what the original question was…. and I was given a beautiful glimpse into the mind behind this amazing brand and now love it oh so so much more 🙂

Kristy Withers INCY Interiors

Kristy Withers INCY Interiors

At the end of the day I got in touch because of the recently launched, incredibly fun and refreshingly different Incy Interiors and Kip & Co collaboration. Featuring Kip Beds (one boy, one girl) and a unisex Kip Cot, these are bright, fun and a beautiful balance between stylish and ‘kiddy’. They can be the focal point in a pared back, clean lined room…. or the starting point to go absolutely crazy with colour and fun! My two opposing design sides are at war with each other right now. 🙂 Have a look, you decide, how would you style these beauties? And read on below for our yarn with Kristy (sorry the entire hour long chat remains in my mind.. I’m selfish like that)

 

Kristy, in four words how would you describe this new range?

Colourful! That’s it! Only one word needed!…. Maybe industrial colourful? This is our sixth time at Kids Instyle and has undoubtedly been our most successful. The range has been received so well! People’s ideas and changing and they are embracing new and different looks for kids’ interiors. Some of our oldest, most traditional stockists have even identified this, snapping up the new range.

Incy has really been on a design journey since starting, initially we leant towards being Australia’s answer to Pottery Barn… but now it’s really me! We’ve really started to come into our own. Starting off a new business is so overwhelming, but now I feel we have nothing to prove.

Kip Bed - Girl

Kip Bed – Girl

How old is Incy Interiors and did you ever imagine it becoming what it is today?

Never, ever imagined it becoming this! We started up three and a half years ago when searching for a ‘big boy bed’ for our boy Oscar. Once I have a goal, I become incredibly focused and obsessed with it. I searched everywhere in Australia for what I wanted, looked at importing from overseas, and the option of having it manufactured myself. I lacked the confidence needed to really start a business on my own, but I luckily have a business minded husband who gave me the push needed.

 

Do you have a favourite product?

The Oscar bed still holds a lot of sentimental value for us. He’s definitely due a bigger bed now but I’m clinging on! It’s really nice actually how attached they are to design and their own rooms. He recently chose the Kip & Co Pizza bedspread for his room, was his favourite! Of course it doesn’t match anything but he loves it. Oscar’s and Polly’s rooms are being redesigned… Bel from Petite Vintage Label and Jacinda from Hide & Sleep have both done design boards for them. The rooms needed a new look, they were all mismatched!

Oscar Bed

Oscar Bed

Tell us more about your collaboration with Kip & Co?

When Kip & Co launched, we had just released our coloured bed range. We noticed that everyone bought them together. Any images we saw of one product almost always featured the other. We also worked together a lot in shoots, using each others products and so on. We always got along well and had fun, and one day thought ‘we should do something together!’ This range was really a lot of fun, and we have another collaboration coming out in about four weeks. Completely different again!

 

Incy Interiors collaboration with Kip & Co was a huge hit at Melbourne's Life Instyle

Incy Interiors collaboration range with Kip & Co was a huge hit at Melbourne’s Life Instyle

What trends do you see emerging at this years Kids Instyle?

Colours, I suppose this is always popular with kids wear. Copper is continuing on, in general homewares as well as kids. And monochrome is having another peak… it kind of diminished but is returning again I think. I love monochrome and really wish I had the restrain to be able to pull it off. This is why the house is such a mismatch of styles, I get attached to too many styles and objects.

 

As a mum and business owner, what has been your biggest learning curve?

As a mum it is all about balance. I know everyone says that but it’s true. And just getting through each day.. I probably get it right maybe 50% of the time. The last few weeks I’ve been working evenings and weekends, usually after the kids are sleeping… which is stupid, because then I don’t sleep.

Regarding business I really believe in working hard and being nice to people! And be humble. It’s so hard to work with anyone who isn’t nice. It immediately drags you down.

Kip Bed - Boy

Kip Bed – Boy

Well you have certainly achieved both Kristy! You have worked crazy hard, deserve all the amazing success you’re having, and stay refreshingly humble and nice to the people around you. Thank you thank you thank you for your precious (and fun) time.

xxx

http://www.incyinteriors.com.au  you can find a local Incy stockist from the website

instagram icon @incy_interiors @theincystore

pinteres icon incy interiors

Business Feature | Sapling Child | Perfect pieces from a beautiful lady

It’s a very rare day that you find stunning, beautiful products that have an equally amazing company and founder behind them. In the mummy-small-business world I have had the pleasure of meeting and being inspired by so so many caring, hard-working and lovely women.. and Peta Stinson, the wonder that is Sapling Child, is the Pièce de résistance….

Peta Stinson – Sapling Child

She has worked ridiculously hard at this, smashing any small-mummy-business glass ceilings along the way! And after working alongside Hollywood A-listers and reaching enviable success, she has remained refreshingly down to earth, open and just plain lovely to chat to!

and the products… oh the products!!….. 😉

These perfect, soft and snuggling pieces are booming in popularity around the world (even Prince George’s nursery holds a plentiful supply), are made from 100% Organic Cotton, and are wonderfully affordable (yes!!)…. in fear of sounding like an advertisement, these are PERFECT for gifting a mummy-to-be (and for spoiling yourself….. and for midnight online shopping…)

Dusty Pink with Heart pants

Owl on Branch Unisex Romper

Rose Petal Snuggle Wrap

For a lovely glimpse into the Sapling Child world, read on…….

 

Peta, did you imagine Sapling Child growing into what it is today?

No! We always hoped it would, but didn’t focus too much on that as a goal. We try to take things one thing at a time. It is amazing though. We are super excited about everything that’s been happening, and to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing and inspiring group of people makes us so happy!

 

What was your biggest lesson learnt in the early days of Sapling Child?

We quickly had to learn how to turn the ‘No’s’ into ‘Yes’s’

Owl on Branch long sleeve bodysuit

 

How do you stay motivated in what can be an overwhelming industry?

It’s pretty easy, I don’t follow and keep up with big labels, because it distracts me. I try to keep my head focussed on what feels right to me (in terms of design), instead of always trying to follow a trend. I think that would be exhausting. I also have an amazing group of IG mumma’s, and coworkers who are always motivating me on so many levels.

 

Name your top inspiring people to follow on Instagram or Pinterest (we know you’re a Pinterest addict…. aren’t we all)

Gosh, I do love Pinterest! My Pinterest account (Peta Stinson) is more of a ‘me’ thing and not much of a ‘Sapling’ thing so a lot of my pins are pics of amazing clothes and interiors. I love following Lisa Brauer for interiors, and Courtney Amber and Sincerely Jules for fashion….amazing taste those ladies.

My favourite IG mummas would have to be @notsomumsy, as her feed is just as beautiful as she is. @theinstashopper, who always makes me laugh and who has the most gorgeous bubba. And @warnjai as she works the light in her pictures like noone else.

Seaweed Baby Snuggle Wrap

 

What exciting things are happening in the near future of Sapling Child?

Well we have a collaboration coming out with Jessica Alba and the Honest Co in October, along with our new range. Then we have Jaime Kings collection coming out in Feb….and it is AMAZING! So excited to debut it!

SisiliaPiring_000040169

 

What has been the most jaw dropping moment for you in the last year?

We haven’t told anyone this yet, but last month we decided and are now funding an orphanage in India. It’s a small orphanage, only 25 children, they are either orphans or their parents are unable to care for them. They are all provided an education as well, which was such an important thing for us. It’s amazing that we are at the point where we can do things like this. We look forward to opening/sponsoring many more orphanages around India.

 

After a ridiculous day, how do you recharge?

I go to the gym. I love to just work it all out. If it’s been particularly stressful, there’s nothing quite like boxing!

Owl on Branch Short Sleeve bodysuit

Flamingo Vine Lace bodysuit

 

What 3 things could you absolutely not live without?

My family, my bed, and my face moisturiser.

 

Do you have a quote or motto that never fails to pick you up (or just make you giggle)?

“Breathe it all in, love it all out” I don’t know where it came from, but it’s become my Mantra. When things are stressful or challenging, I think to myself breathe it all in and exhale out love. Seems to work for me!
You should try it!

 

Thank you so much Peta! SO good to hear from successful mum’s who not only work hard but keep grounded at the same time. XX

Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post, I just absolutely love this brand and this woman is AMAZING! 🙂

Keep up with Sapling Child and Peta….

instagram icon  @saplingchild

pinteres icon Peta Stinson (Sapling Child)

www.saplingchild.com

 

6 tips for handling the avalanche of advice while pregnant

6 Tips for handling unwanted advice while pregnant

In hindsight I can see that this post is actually just advice on how to take advice. hmmm…. advice about advice. Oh the irony. 🙂 But I’d still love to share some of the lessons I really learnt on my journey.

One of the numerous pregnancy joys is the incredible influx of advice that suddenly becomes warranted from absolutely everybody. A simple grocery run turns into a mammoth educational journey with colic warnings from the old lady by the pineapples, ‘breast is best!’ acclamations from someone pushing a trolley filled with kale (warning: stereotyping) and the overly helpful shop assistant filling your basket with prunes, mattress sized sanitary pads and castor oil.

When you add increased hormones to these scenarios it can quickly become very overwhelming! I personally became terrified of unknowingly doing something ‘wrong’ and embarrassingly being pulled up in public. I remember at one work function helping myself to some crackers and cheese when one colleague shouted across the room, grabbing everyone’s attention, ‘STOP! CAN YOU EAT THAT??!.’….. Me, stopping mid mouthful thinking, ‘do I spit it out?’.

At the end of the day, this colleague is a beautiful, caring woman who honestly had no ill intentions, and most baby/pregnancy/parenting advice that you’ll come across will be said with the best of intentions. But it is important to establish, for your own sake, how to handle all of this advice. I’ve outlined a couple of my tips below…

  1. Choose your mentors. Great business men and women are never without them, and all parents should surround themselves with other/older parents that they look up to.  My hubby and I are ridiculously blessed with some great families that we both admire (and who’s brains we pick annoyingly frequently). Once you’ve singled out who’s opinions really matter to you it makes it so much easier to smile politely, nod and switch off from any unappreciated incessant advice.
  2. Decide with your partner what is right for your family and what you both value the most. Sit down and chat with them, you might be surprised on how strongly they might feel about feeding, sleeping preferences and labour choices. And have this chat waayyyyy before labour starts…
  3. Appreciate people’s interest and excitement. I’m not a fan of unnecessary ‘pregnancy entitlement’. Don’t excuse away being a b#@ch to a sweet old lady who might be a bit forthright. She probably just swears by her advice as it worked like a dream for her. You’ll soon learn the desire to shout from the roof tops absolutely anything that helps navigate the crazy days ahead of you.
  4. Be flexible. Regardless of how much easier it would make it, your little baby has not read all the books! For many people (myself included) preparing for parenthood is all about over education! ‘Read everything and talk to everyone!’ was my motto 🙂 But once my unique little Evie was born, the only one who knew everything about her was her! Thankfully we weren’t too set in our ways and quickly adapted.
  5. Don’t let people (or google) mess with your head. I know I said don’t be a b#@ch, but that doesn’t mean let people walk over you. If people are offensive, upsetting or rude… literally walk away…  while visualising a baby vomiting all over them! And the same goes with Google, it is an incredible source but if you are vulnerable never ever ever be left alone with it. I do admit to googling a lot while pregnant, but generally things along the lines of, ‘is heartburn from the devil?’, ‘is out-farting my husband normal?’ and ‘how the hell do pregnant people shave their legs???’. Don’t turn to the internet for serious concerns or worries because regardless of your symptoms you will be soon convinced that death is imminent.
  6. And above all, you will learn what works for you. Absolutely everyone is different and each journey unique. What works for me might be your idea of a nightmare, don’t take anyone’s advice as the gospel truth.

I’d love to hear your thoughts as to how you handled advice…. we’re all a part of a great big community and it would be horrific to ever feel alone in it. Oh and thank you everyone for your visits to the blog, I hit 1000 views today and did a little happy jig 🙂

10 Things to remember when telling your birth story….

This is not going to be a mum-slamming, guilt-tripping post! Please take everything I say with a grain of salt and a side of good humour 🙂

This topic has come up multiple times for me in the last 6 months or so. I’m not sure if it’s just me but I feel like absolutely EVERYONE is reproducing these days. To the point that I worry outsiders look at my friendship circle and conclude there’s some underground breeding program going on.

But I do love it, I would personally struggle if I was going through this crazy chapter on my own.

But bulk breastfeeding posse aside, we have noted and developed (mainly through error) the fine art that is telling your birth story.

  1. Choose your crowd – You should be ridiculously proud of yourself for surviving this epic battle, but please, for the sake of 15 year old register boys worldwide, not everyone needs to hear the tale.
  2. Beware the heavily pregnant – It happens so so often! As one mum describes every honest detail with vigour, the blood drains from the poor soul in the corner as she stares terrified down at her massive bump! I personally remember several times wondering how many ‘Hail Mary’s’ I needed to do to miraculously remove this baby from my belly….
  3. Don’t get sucked into ‘winning’ the best/worst birth story. Competitive mums hold your tongue!!!! You’ll get caught out one day when your story has grown from a 5 hour labour to a 35 hour marathon.
  4. Everyone’s story, pain, triumphs are relative to themselves. You cannot tell the mum who had a Ceasarean that she doesn’t have a ‘real’ birth story. It seems ridiculous but I hear it way too often. They are all different and they are ALL incredible.
  5. Queasy stomachs look away. It may surprise some people but the consistency of a Mucus Plug is not always a complimentary detail to your story….. even writing that term makes me cringe….
  6. Remember the ‘Compliment Sandwich’! Often used by my husband when I’ve left my clothes piled up on his side of the bed, the basic method is to ‘sandwich’ an ugly detail or reprimand with two compliments. 🙂 Surround your description of the 18 hours of pushing, 5 metres of tearing and 20 litres of blood loss with ‘I was so ready to get this baby out’ and ‘as soon as I looked into that teeny squished face, the pain literally faded away’….. little white lies can be the salvation of keeping the world reproducing
  7. Pick specific friends that get the whole nine yards. It is so important to identify particular people who are your confidants. You can tell them every detail, where you’re struggling, where you’re wonderfully proud of yourself and where the details are foggy from too much gas (though the crowd of student doctors huddled around me in the shower asking me ‘if it hurt’ is clear as day).
  8. If you’re dying to shout your story from the rooftops, become best friends with an online community. I’m one of ‘those people’ who read as many birth stories as I could. Join an online forum and include every detail, because if people don’t want to listen…. then they don’t 🙂 but please please please beware the ‘compulsive opinion-ator’. Never give a second glance or thought to a complete stranger that attacks your journey.
  9. If you don’t feel like sharing….. then don’t! For everyone it’s a personal thing and it is entirely your prerogative if you want to keep it to yourself.  But don’t bottle up any fear or anxiety…. this is a natural and common after effect of child birth. Talk to your doctor, midwives, birth partners and close friends if you are worried about anything that happened.
  10. Don’t be offended if someone won’t listen. They will either have a great reason or a crap reason. Either way, shouldn’t bother you! Never look for someone else’s response to validate your experience. At the end of the day there will always be people like me, reading millions of stories online, just waiting for you to add your tale to the pile 🙂