Freaking hell ….

 

I do think it is one of those situations where I am spread too thin and feel a little bit all over the show.

Trying to be good about keeping the blog up and alive is sometimes hard work.

I love blogging, but I prefer to write when I feel like it rather than when I have to.  The problem with “feeling like it” is that you sort of need to be in the zone, which right now I am not right now – the result is that I start posts and get a few paragraphs in and then lose the steam … and they lie there forlorn staring and me, begging to be finished. 

I need to still write the article for the magazine, so need to get into the head space for that (again a bigger deal for me than for them no doubt).

I need to still clean out my bag – as I get so frustrated every time I have to find something in there.

Today I got myself into a total tizz looking for keys, inside my bag.  After about 10 minutes of going ape-shit because I could not find my keys inside my stupid bag …. I then discovered them lying next to my laptop, on my desk ….. where I put them this morning …….so I would not have to scratch in my bag …. to find them.

I heard a radio article this afternoon as I got in the car, and the bloke was talking about being a responsible parent and that the best thing you could do for your child, was give them the gift of time.

I thought it was the gift of life, but I have been mistaken before.

Darryl, the presenter, went on to explain that you needed the time to sit and just listen to your child and hear what they have to say.

Which of course makes me feel all the more guilty as I really lack patience and often cut them off with a screeching: “just get to the point already…” ………….I mean seriously, how much crap must I actually listen to before you get to the part where you say what you need to!!

But on the more sane hand …..

I am really enjoying the photography part and the other blog.  

But that again takes a lot of work and of course more of my attention away from being able to listen to my children and even Kennith.  Trying to balance life and my hobby is challenging, and I have barely got started.

I am not a super-good photographer or even super-average, so I find the shoots quite stressful because I want to ensure that the “client” gets some good shots and I do not fek it all up.  I really get to be a totally stressed cabbage on the day.

Once the shoot is over, I am always excited to see the images – and more often than not I am more excited than depressed – probably because I expect so little ….. so that’s a good thing, low expectations and all, very hard to be disappointed if you start really low …… right?

I have been doing shoots outside which is much more difficult and requires more technical aptitude than shooting in a studio. 

There is shifting light, and usually a giant sun in the sky which is either creeping in to the shot, or creates such heavy lights and darks that it becomes almost impossible to get a good shot.  And  I am trying to take photographs of a child (and keep them unposed) so said child is running around like they are on E or something and that just adds to the chaos – I am thinking about taking along a little tranquiliser … not sure if it is for me or the children …. or the parents.

But that being said, I am really enjoying it and learning more each week. 

Could I do this for a living?  I am not sure, and I think there are too many people trying to carve a living out of it – so for now it is a hobby that I really enjoy, and let’s see how it goes moving forward.

On Saturday one my the friends, whom I hold most dear, Judith, agreed to let me do some maternity/pregnancy shots with her and her husband, Alistair.

Her baby Benjamin was due on the 25 March, and last week her GYNE said that the baby’s head had engaged and that he couldn’t even measure the head, which meant that it appeared that birth was imminent.

I was excited for her and disappointed that Benjamin might arrive and make the maternity part of the shoot a thing of the past.  (yes I realise how self-absorbed I am…)

But he hung in there and Judith and Alistair and I frolicked around in 39 degree heat to take some photographs.  It was so hot it was unbelievable.

I loved photographing her.

Sure I took a long time and took nearly a thousand photos, but there were so many nuances of her that I could see through the lens that I wanted to capture, that I ended up taking much too many.

Part of it was also that we were chatting and laughing in so many of the photos, that the results involved open mouths and silly faces, and some of my feet because I was laughing instead of focussing.

It was great.

Judith had her Benjamin this morning – and she said that she started going in to labour on Sunday midday.

She got through labour and by the time she asked for the epidural, they said “er, it is a bit late for that!” and then she panicked.

I put it down to her good manners.  She did not want to be rude by asking and thought she might just wait until they offered.  There is a lesson there regarding drugs and pain relief.

So my hero and deliciously gorgeous friend Judith got through labour on her ace, without so much as a headache tablet – how cool is she?  Very cool, much cooler than me.

I went to visit her earlier today and got to see Benjamin who was all of 7 hours old.  It is funny how new born babies make me cry.  They just do.

But I was so happy and overwhelmed for Judith, that she  had survived her day, and had pushed this guy out of her nether regions.

Of course I got to lie on her hospital bed as we were screaming with laughter as she was recanting the tales of the “labour ward” – I love the fact that motherhood has not changed her …. much……yet.

While there, the nurse came in to ask if she wanted to be part of the “bath demonstration” today or tomorrow.  Jude thought about it and opted for tomorrow. 

For those who are not familiar, basically the “bath demonstration” is when all the moms who have just had babies go and sit around – usually with very pained expressions on their faces – in the nursery area of the Maternity Ward and watch how the Matron bathes a baby with absolute skill and does it in about 7 minutes.

You then get to repeat the procedure.  Problem is that your muscles are exhausted, you are highly emotional and you have a tiny wriggly person who you are afraid of breaking.

So you go through this process and it is awful.  You pretty much spend 45 – 60 minutes trying to bath and dress this baby.  By the time you are finished, you are so traumatised and exhausted and feel like such a pathetic mother that you need an ante-depressant and someone to pat you on your hand.

The problem is that you compare yourself to the Matron, who does this with about the same feeling as you do to change a toilet roll.

Anyway I made that mistake when I had Connor. 

Unfortunately I also did it on day 4 or what ever and I was seriously in a case of “baby blues” or affectionately called the “warm up to full blown depression” and I tried to bath this little wrinkled child and dry him, and get the nappy on and the special outfit I had chosen.

By the time Kennith arrived to collect me, he might as well have put me into the wheel chair and pushed me from Maternity straight to the Psychiatric wing.

By Georgia I learnt my lesson, and asked them if they could just bath her – for all three days I was there.  I figured I would learn when I got home.

With Isabelle, well clearly they stopped asking at that point!  But they did ask to use her as the “demonstration baby”  – even better.

So my wisdom that I imparted to Judes today was to ring for the nurse a bit later and say “please can you bath my baby, I had him this morning and he has not had a wash…” and then proceed to ask them to do it each day.  I said that if they looked at her like “well honey you need to learn” she should just tell them that her mom is a widwife and staying with them, and she will have plenty of time to learn at home.

Judith, welcome, welcome to this little band of demented people who call themselves mothers – here we are – some of us more sane than others.

If you thought life was a bit strange before, wait until you can sit and discuss the colour of your child’s faeces over dinner, and think nothing of it!  There are even forums that chat about this.

It’s a brave new world chick, it’s a brave new world and welcome to it.

You have already set the bar high by going through what must be one of the hardest test of endurance without drugs (albeit not by your own choice) – and chick you survived.

But I did like the way you said…”next time straight c-section!”

 

Have you seen my perineum?

I belong to a forum that generally chats about mommy related issues.  Sometimes they speak about driver’s licences and domestic workers wages, but that no doubt, is another story for another day.

The one very contentious subject which keeps coming up is the vaginal birth versus a c-section birth.  This one gets the guns smoking in no time.

No matter how the question is posed, or the reason for the start of the thread – and there are literally dozens –  it always ends up the same way.  Someone says something stupid, and then someone wants to give them a cyber-space bitch slap.

The conclusion that always seems to be formed is that c-section moms are judged for having c-sections – no matter how subtle the judgement.  I am not an overly sensitive person and I to tend to tread where angels fear to go and all that, but I have noted that the more threads I read, the more apparent this feeling.

The reason for why you have chosen a c-section is always prodded, like there is something wrong with you and you need to defend yourself.

The c-section moms often explain the trauma of the birth process that they have been through.  The risk to the baby.  They make it clear, that they did not choose this route, but ended up having to have an emergency c-section.  Usually they are bashfully apologizing “I tried natural but ….” I can almost hear the desperation in their voices.  Pleading not to be shunned by the vaginal-birth crowd.

There are a minority – at last count two – but no doubt more who just have not commented who elected to have a c-section.

We have no history of complications.  We chose not to go through a trial of labour.  We consciously elected to have c-sections as our choice of birth method.

It was not chosen because we are “too posh to push” – it was chosen as a healthy method of bringing our baby into the world – alive – without limited (if any) risk to him or her.

At 8 weeks pregnant – first scan, I looked at my OBGYN and said “I’d like to have a c-section.” He said “okey-dokey” or something of that nature, and that was the end of the conversation.

I felt no pressure to defend my choice with him, and the choice felt very natural to me.   We had the birth date set, and then the questions (almost accusations) started.

Some of my family thought there was something wrong with me.  Why would  I choose to have such a hideous invasive surgery done when I had a healthy v-jay just waiting to spring into action.

I felt quite strongly that for me, this was the safest route.  The only risk I could ascertain would be carried by me – the mom.  My baby – barring other complications – would come out of the birth process, pretty much risk free, subject to the correct EDD calculation (early c-sections clearly have their problems, but that is another subject).

I had Connor more than 8 years ago, and then I knew very few people who had experienced a c-section through choice – most were emergency or medically advised.

I had researched the topic and weighed up the pro’s and con’s of a vaginal birth versus a c-section.   I was open to either at the beginning of my research.

As I looked and delved in to the subject, the decision to opt for a c-section had fewer risks for my child.  There was also a good chance that my perineum would continue to separate my wee area from my poo area for eternity – which a vaginal birth could not guarantee, and listed as a possibly complication.

I had unfortunately read one too many reports of women who were experiencing serious problems in their nether regions following a vaginal births.  I realized that it was not everyone, but there was a risk of trauma to my perineum tearing which did fill me with a bit of concern.  Sure there are good tears – aren’t there always, but it was the bad ones that did raise my eyebrow a bit!  Again, nothing could be guaranteed it was more wait and see decision making.

One of the main motivators for my final decision was the control aspect – the one that tipped the scales shall we say.  I knew where it was going to be, I knew who would be there, I knew pretty much everything that was going to happen on that day.

The option with a vaginal birth is that there were a lot of “let’s wait and see how it goes” answers to my queries.  Not having a list to tick off causes me huge anxiety, and stress.  I need a list and I need a pretty ink pen to tick things off – that is the way I am programmed.

As time has gone by and I have gone through the process three times, the feeling of “attack” by the vaginal birth crowd is becoming more apparent.  There really is a feeling of two camps on this issue.  You are either for the one and against the other.  There does not seem to be much in the way of fence-sitting on this subject.

Things started to bother me – as I became a little more jaded and maybe a little crabbier, and maybe a little more inclined not to suffer fools.

Vaginal birth was always referred to as “natural” while c-section was well, just a c-section.   By one being natural, surely it would make the other “unnatural” …

The vaginal set seemed to laud the fact that they did not take drugs for the pain or preferred not to take any pain relief. They were really proud of it, and sort of announced it to all and sundry, like a Girl Guide equivalent of pain endurance.

I have yet to hear a vaginal birth mom say “listen it was so much fun, no pain, it was brilliant – my fanny feels great after that!

At the end of the day they do admit that squeezing a +3 kilogram mass out  of your v-jay-jay, no matter how cute the mass is, can get pretty sore.  Even once the endorphins have worked their way out of your system, it is still pretty sore.

The labour preceding the actual pushing seems to be excruciating too, and I have seen many women lose thier sense of humour during the 12 – 36 hours of gritting thier teeth through that.  They are always quick to say “it was all worth it.”

So why no drugs? And why is it a badge of honour to not take drugs or some pain relief?

There are a lot of things which are “natural” which are not good for you.  Naturally occurring elements such as arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium are toxic in various concentrations to both plants and animals.   No one seems to have a problem with avoiding those at all costs even though they are natural.

As humans there is stuff that happens to our bodies that are natural – teeth rot, we lose vision, we develop a bit of Alzheimer’s, we might even develop a bit of leprosy or gangrene if left out in the Amazon for too long.  Rabies is pretty natural too last time I checked.

Medical advances has given us some wonderful options to prevent us going through all this rather excruciating trauma.  Either taking anti-biotics (not natural) or having operations (not natural) to relieve us of this pain, or even to make our lives better seems to be the way to go, judging by the amount of time we spend at doctor’s offices.

And here is the rub for me …..

We do let medicine intervene in lots of things that make us feel better, or reduce our pain.  But why – oh why – do women insists on going through child birth, which no one disagrees is really painful, without medication, and then announce it like it is a badge of honour that they let their fanny stretch to all time size without asking for pain relief!

If that same women went to the dentist and had a filling or root canal work done and opted to not have medication and then proudly announced it afterwards.  Her family and all her friends would view her as a freak and have her committed to the nearest psychological observation clinic post-haste.

But all this birth and no drugs viewed as natural – puts all this pressure on soon to be moms to think that this is what they must aim for, anything less is well just not good enough.

I realize I am not being as eloquent as I should regarding this subject, but it is one of those things that baffles my mind, so I am just having a little vent here.

But tune in later as no doubt I will have a similar vent at a later date.