‘But when is your actual due date?’: The EDD and intervention obsession.

I have a half written blog post along the same lines as this. Everyone is soo obsessed about EDDs despite knowing that less than 5% of women give birth on that day.
I’m pretty certain that everyone that knows me know that its a subject that really gets my goat!
If and when I go overdue with this baby I will be refusing all offers of sweeps and induction unless there is some indication that baby or I are unwell. Its been proven that some people just cook babies longer than others.

Tales from the Mother Side

Copywrite: Emma Tunbridge Photography

Close friends and family know that this is close to the top of my list of ‘bloody irritating questions’, along with a) ‘Is he/she a good baby?’, b)’How is he/she sleeping?’ and c)’When are you going back to work?’ (Answers: a) What the chuff is a ‘bad’ baby?! b) Like a baby and c) If/when I want to/have to.)

I shouldn’t get so riled, I know – I mean, think of the cortisol, for God’s sake – but WHAT is this obsession with a singular date in what is actually a five week window, between 37-42 weeks? At best, it’s a lucky dip of one number out of a possible 35. At worst, it makes women and their partners obsess over one date and, once that date arrives, along come ‘those’ messages from friends and family. Well intended, of course, but there’s only so many times you can open a…

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Pregnant – Again!?

Folk have certain expectations of what you should do with your life – and when.

When you’ve been with your partner for more than a month or two everyone starts asking when you’re going to move in together. Five minutes after you’ve managed to make that momentous leap people start questioning when you’re going to get married. “Do you want to get married?”, ” “Isn’t it about time you got married?” “When are you going to make an honest woman of her?” etc. etc. If you succumb to all this then the second you’ve exchanged rings – or even before – folk start quizzing you about starting a family. We broke the rules here and whilst we did get engaged we had a baby before getting married. Shocking I know. Only shortly after we got engaged people started asking us about babies. This question in particular is soo thoughtless. I was once asked ‘isn’t it about time you two stopped having fun and started having babies?’ What the lady didn’t know was that I’d had a miscarriage a couple of months earlier. I very nearly told her but decided to spare her blushes by joking about how much we love wine and travel. Well, that’s no joke. We DO love wine and travel.

It seems that the questioning about children goes on and on until you have one. We were lucky and managed to have a baby girl not too long after. But that wasn’t enough. Our baby was less then a week old before people started asking if we were going to have another. Seriously, the stitches were still fresh! This went on and on with people telling us that it wasn’t fair on the child to stop at one and that we shouldn’t leave it too long. Whenever I went out and didn’t drink or was a bit bloated people would say things like “ooh is there something you’re not telling us?”. It seriously felt like all eyes were on me. Watching, waiting, expecting.

Instead we got married which only seemed to add to people’s insistence that we should be having another baby soon. As it turned out we did have another baby about a year after our wedding and then something strange happened. This time the questions stopped. We had obviously achieved what was expected of us in life. University, mortgage, marriage, babies (not in that order). It seems like that’s it. Nothing else required.

So when people heard that we were having a third baby the reactions were quite different. More like “you’re having ANOTHER baby!?!?” and “oh my god! You’re pregnant AGAIN!” or “was it planned!?”. My favourites for ultimate cheek were “did you get drunk and forget the contraception?” and “Oh dear, I bet that was a shock!”. Three children it appears are not expected. Two. You’re supposed to stop at two. Ideally one of each flavour around two years apart. Anything else seems to be considered a bit of a failing. I hate to think what is said to people who have FOUR children or twins or worse ……….none! Its just totally assumed that everyone wants to have children so if you break this norm and don’t have any rather than just leave it those same people either keep asking or after a while start speculation that there is something wrong. As though its unfathomable that anyone might choose not to have children.

I realise that often there is no ill will from these nosy parkers. Some people are just keen to share their thoughts with everyone or are only trying to make conversation but I really do wish that they would consider the impact of what they’re saying.

Hospital bag packing

So I thought I'd have a quick go and throwing things in a bag ready for Birthing Day and here's what I came up with. ….

Hair bobbles, hair band and brush

Hot choc and decent tea and coffee (I'm British so I want a good cuppa post birth)

Face wipes

Toothbrush and paste

Shower gel and body lotion (I'm kidding myself with the lotion but they match)

Chemical free deodorant

Cleanser ( kidding myself again but I'd like
to think I'll cleanse my face rather than use wipes)

Illuminating balm for the day we leave hospital

Lip balm to keep lips soft during all that panting

Maternity pants – of course I'm hoping for a straight forward natural delivery like last time but an emergency c-section could happen.

Maternity pads

Breast Pads – I have reusables for when at home which I prefer because they are comfier and don't make loads of noise but you don't know when you'll be home to wash them

Headphones for listening to hypnobirthing

Toasty socks – I get cold feet during and after labour

2 sets of pyjamas – just some cheapo ones from ASDA. I only took nighties with my first baby and felt very self conscious around visitors with my massive pants and pads on.

Clothes to go home in – leggings, nursing vest and cardigan.

Nursing bra extra big pants!

I think I'm missing:

Nipple cream,

Chocolate buttons

Phone charger

Anything else?

Naked Memories

Well, I’m always encouraging people to be comfortable in their own skin!

If there is ever a time to flaunt your naked form it has got to be when you’re pregnant. No?

I decided that as I don’t intend to be pregnant again, now is the right time to capture what I look like in ‘full bloom’. My daughters take the odd shaky picture of me and my husband will hold a camera begrudgingly with one hand if asked to, but other than that if i wanted to have some decent photos of myself to look back on I knew I needed to get a professional to help out.

Of course when the day arrived for me to get starkers in front of my chosen trusted photographer and friend I turned out to be feeling awful with sinusitis. Typical. It was important to me to use a female photographer who is also a mother so that she could understood how a heavily pregnant woman can and can’t move and the insecurities that  I might feel.

I am pretty comfortable with being naked. Its not that far on from being in a bikini is it? I spent a good couple of hours of my labour with my second daughter bobbling about in the bath at the hospital totally naked. All that said its always going to be a bit strange taking your clothes off for someone to take photos of you. I need not have worried though. Kay worked really hard to make me feel at ease and as a result I didn’t actually feel at all self conscious when whipping my clothes off. I felt relaxed throughout and my belly bean did lots of wriggling about for the camera too. Not wanting to miss out on the limelight.

Having two small children to care for already meant that I had little time to ‘prepare’ for my photo session. I painted my toenails, had a shower – during which I blindly used my bikini trimmer to have a little tidy round downstairs – then rubbed a little Weleda Stretch Mark Oil into my tummy and thighs after getting dry. Once dressed I put on a bit of make up and that was it. Done. No time for anything else!

I’m looking forward to seeing my whole gallery of pictures. I know from my previous pregnancies that once you’ve had baby and your tummy has disappeared you struggle to believe that your tummy  and boobs were once sooo ginourmous!!!

Ultimately, the most important thing about these photos is that I had them taken for me. They’re not for anyone else’s benefit. I could have bought myself a new handbag or had a spa day but what I chose to have some pictures that I can keep forever and show to my children and grandchildren one day.

 

Festival Baby

My littlest bean at her first festival 😍. The weather was glorious at Barefoot Festival in Loughborough that weekend. We camped for two nights with her and our then two year old.
Yoga, gong baths, children’s theatre, burlesque shows, bands, rum.

Small, friendly festivals are my favourites.

We’re now regulars at This event although I’m not camping this weekend but only because I’m waaaay to pregnant to carry and set up the kit.

Pucker up for International Kissing Day!!

But what is on your lips? And even more importantly therefore what is in your tummy?

​These days I find shopping for beauty products rather a lot like shopping for food. You really have to look at the ingredients list because there is an awful lot of false advertising and greenwash. A couple brands that I had thought were safe to use on myself and my daughters actually had lots of petroleum by products in them despite their ‘green or eco’ packaging.

No one wants to eat Petroleum products and I’m even more certain that you don’t want any vulnerable people like children or the elderly eating it either. One time saving way I’ve found of checking how kind and safe a product is, is by looking to see if its NATRUE certified. If it is I instantly know that there will be no mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, or parabens in the product. A good start.

NATRUE-standard products are certified at three levels, all highly respected benchmarks:

  • NATURAL COSMETICS – genuinely natural ingredients (preferably organic) and production processes, with no GMOs, synthetic ingredients or artificial additives allowed.
  • NATURAL COSMETICS WITH ORGANIC PORTION – at least 70% of the natural ingredients must come from certified organic production and/or controlled wild collection.
  • ORGANIC COSMETICS – at least 95% of the natural ingredients must come from certified organic production and/or controlled wild collection.

So whilst I’ve been nosing into which lip balm is safest for my daughters and I to use (and i’m sure my husband borrows it occasionally to!) it seems as though those lovely people at my favourite skincare brand Weleda had been reading my mind! Whilst shopping for a few baby bits i picked up one of their new tinted lip balms. Happy me! They cost £6.95 and come in three nice subtle shades.

img_0053For those of you who are interested in seeing which other brands out there are also kind and safe here are a few others which are also NATRUE certified:

Dr. Hauschka Sheer Lipstick

Dr Haushka subtle lip stickA light and creamy composition delivers subtle colour with mineral pigments, beeswax, argan oil and
medicinal plant extracts such as rosehips and rose blossoms to keep lips soft and supple.
Available in six sheer colours
01 Majalis 02 Rosanna 303 Muskrose 04 Florentina 05 Zambra 06 Aprikola
RRP £17.25 2g

trilogy lip balm

 

 

Trilogy Rosehip Oil Lip Balm

is an ultra-moisturising, petroleum-free, natural lip treatment. Quickly absorbed, it provides lasting moisture and protection for dry lips.
The careful blend of pure natural plant oils, including jojoba and certified
organic rosehip, cocoa butter and shea butter,makes it highly effective in combating the dry, papery texture of dehydrated lips.
Lips respond immediately, becoming soft and conditioned with the
added bonus of a subtle matte gloss. A touch of peppermint essential
oil also makes this lip treat delicious to use and exquisitely kissable.
Trilogy Rosehip Oil Lip Balm (7ml) RRP £11.50

Lavera glossy lips

 

Lavera Glossy Lips (6.5 ml)RRP £9.90Offers reflective gloss and shimmering care. The innovative flock applicator allows for precision application creating  brilliantly glossy, soft and unmistakably expressive lips. The soft texture is created with organic butter made of rose, hollyhock and limetree blossoms
Available in eight shades in four colour ranges

 

 

There are over 400 Natrue certified lipcare products out there so there are plenty to choose from and no excuses to keep on swallowing those nasties!