The yawn-worthy cesarean vs vaginal delivery debate. Let’s put it to bed.

So here’s a ranty post.  Things were getting strangely nice around here but luckily FB came to my rescue with an annoying item in my feed which got me riled up enough to get the creative juices flowing.
See, I just read another (there are millions of these right?) post from a blogger discussing her multiple cesarean sections.  She was discussing the social repercussions of non-vaginal birth, the ‘stigma’ and patronising glances she was subjected to.  The disappointment of long labour that didn’t bear fruit through the birth canal as one would hope.
Can I ask you something? Is this really a thing? Have you ever stooped so low as to judge a woman by how she gave birth?
I guess I’m just a bit over the ‘poor me, I had a cesarean and find myself a victim of an un-empowered birth’ line. 
Some births, I imagine, are empowering, wondrous moments, filled with a feeling of innate physical prowess and accomplishment – a real “we knocked the bastard off” moment of satisfaction.  But let me set the record straight, having a birth without intervention is no guarantee you are going to conquer your own vaginal Mt Everest.
I have never written my birth stories because I personally don’t need to.  Dwelling or reminiscing on details immediately prior to the MOST important events in my life serve no purpose for me and don’t really need to be rehashed, especially in the case of Nixon’s birth.
You see, Ethan arrived in a very textbook way I suppose.  18 hours of labour, epidural, epidural wore off, I screamed and pushed and he was born.  7 lb 12 Oz of sweet baby Ethan. Did I feel super proud of delivering him vaginally? Hell no. I was just glad I survived it and have never given it too much thought since.
Two of my oldest and dearest friends gave birth within the next year or two, both enduring such traumatic vaginal births that they were visibly uncomfortable talking about them, I’m pretty sure one of them was brought to tears when we were discussing future siblings.  They did not feel like the empowered, magical super heroes oft imagined by other women who have had cesarean sections.
8.5 years later I experienced my own horrendous, nightmare of a vaginal birth.  I WISH I had been offered a c-section.  You don’t hear that often do you? 10.4lb of Nixon showed up on D-day posterior and uncooperative.
We had plenty of warning that he was large.  I had insisted throughout the pregnancy that this baby was big.  The scans showed he was big and continually tracked above the 97th percentile.  My midwife paid no heed to my warnings, confident in her profound knowledge that every third trimester mother insists her baby is huge.

With every fibre of my being I wish I had a team of professionals that noticed he was posterior well before the 11th hour and said, “lets cut our losses here and deliver your 10.4lb baby via c-section?  Hmmm?  How about that?  We can save you the excruciating pain of having that jumbo head stuck upside down in your pelvis FOR HOURS, save your baby the trauma of being ripped out via forceps and save you the intense recovery and utterly demoralising consequences of literally being ripped in two – from your VAGINA onwards and inwards”.

Fuck, that sounds like a plan.  I would have said. Spare me a week in hospital and countless breakdowns at home wondering if feeling in my lower spine and continence would ever return?  Hit me with that c-section I would have said. 

I guess what I’m saying is, when you’re flat on your back and the doctors are looking at each other with their Holy Shit faces on; when the surgeon on duty the day your son was born comes to your room to repeatedly apologise for what happened in theatre, you really, really do not care one iota that you can claim victory over an ‘empowering, vaginal birth‘.  Pffft.

All that you should be doing is counting your blessings that your baby was born healthy, full term and full of fatty delicious chub to help him recover from the horror of his hugely violent and undignified entry into the world.  

Because, it’s not about me anymore anyway.

 

 

Wardrobe Wednesday | Breastmates Waterfall Drape Cardi

 

Cardigan : Breastmates

T-Shirt : My fave AS Colour Custom Mali Pocket Tee

Jeans : Levis Demi Curve

Watch : Marc by Marc Jacobs

Belt : Old Navy

Shoes : Sperry Bahama Sparkle Suede

Earrings & Necklace : Gifts from Dave’s India Trip

Next Thursday I will have been breastfeeding for a year!  So stoked about that, I’m totally crossing my fingers that Nixon will keep going at least until August when his pull-through operation will take place as it will help comfort him so much to be able to breastfeed when he is in pain and just wants to be held.  Ethan spontaneously quit around this time, but thankfully Nix shows no signs of dropping feeds, though he can easily go without if I’m not around.

Full term breastfeeding means I am still quite conscious of what I’m wearing and how easy it is to feed Nixon in a given outfit.  At this time of year layering is essential and a versatile cardi is a key piece that every Mama should have in her wardrobe arsenal.  The Breastmates Waterfall Drape Cardi ticks all the boxes and more for me.

The super soft Modal/Spandex blend was thicker and warmer than I had expected, with the added benefit of being the MOST comfy thing to wear ever!  The asymmetric hemline is so on trend, but unlike other cardigans I have seen in this cut, the back is the perfect butt-covering length.  The waterfall drape is a perfect, built-in nursing cover.  Nixon is too huge and too old to enjoy being covered up while feeding but this would be such a lovely addition to a new Mum’s wardrobe or any Mum with a younger baby who prefers a bit of privacy when nursing – without the added hassle of a separate wrap or cover.

This is a really, lovely, quality addition to my wardrobe and is something that I will continue to wear long after my breastfeeding days are done :::::sob:::::.

I saved the best for last.  The price.  $39.90. I would pay twice the price for this.  No joke.

Available online now from www.breastmates.co.nz

wpid-2014-06-22-02.52.25-1.jpg.jpeg

wpid-2014-06-22-02.55.35-1.jpg.jpeg

wpid-2014-06-22-02.50.44-1.jpg.jpeg

wpid-1403423389399.jpg

The cardigan was provided free for editorial consideration, but the opinions expressed are my own.

 

Maternity Leave | Day ………….

All the people with all of the places to go have left.  Dave has gone to his new office on the second day of his new contract, Mum has gone to work, E has gone to school – excited about the Matinee performance of the Operetta in which he has a starring role!

I’m still pregnant.  About to start my daily routine of cooking dinner, cleaning the house, yelling at the dogs, cursing my girth and seeing as it’s Tuesday I will visit my midwife.  Again.

Yes, it’s a bit of a pity party around these parts today, I’m so tired from carrying this gigantic bump around but I can’t sleep.  I dread bedtime with a passion as I have to roll from side to side quite frequently and I really need a chain & tackle system hanging from the roof to complete this awkward shift with ease.  It’s a miracle Dave hasn’t been bounced out of bed yet.

Nothing works to get a baby out that doesn’t want to come out people.  I have given up on all of your remedies, expensive natural therapies and suggestions, because the kid doesn’t care.  The only comforting thought is that there is an end date, I just don’t know when that day is.  Every day I am one day closer.  I feel shit complaining, I’ve had an easy pregnancy, had only two sick days off work in 38 weeks and have enjoyed this second go around for the most part.  At this point it’s just the physicality of actually carrying this baby around that’s getting me down.

And I’m done.

In other house-wiferly news;

  • The Potato, Bacon & Leek soup I made yesterday was amaze {recipe here}.  I’m a recipe meddler, so I just did everything in the one saucepan, never removed the bacon, added more potato, left out the cream, completely pureed it and added a splash of milk to blend at the end.  Delicious.
  • Dave split his shin clean open on Saturday whilst skateboarding.  Every morning he has to rip a massive dressing off his HAIRY leg.  It looks the worst leg waxing experience ever.
  • I washed the exterior windows
  • A big box of Ikea amazingness plus quilt #2 arrived from Tara last week!!!!!  Hello ranch dressing.
  • Tonights dinner is roast chicken with Pea & Feta Risotto {recipe here}

Wardrobe Wednesday | The Final Edition – 39 Weeks

39_weeks_pregnant

This is the final hurrah, my last Wardrobe Wednesday in what I’m sure will be a long, long time – measured in kilograms! And perhaps seasons lol.  Somehow I have gotten still larger, and somehow despite all predictions to the contrary I am still pregnant, due next Wednesday.
I sat in the salon for 3.5hrs yesterday so don’t fret, those 2.5″ roots are gone, pregnancy definitely sped up my formerly  s l o w  hair growing ability, quite a shame to have spend so much money on getting my hair done only to have it fall out over the next few weeks!

See you on the other side!

39_weeks_pregnant

39_weeks_pregnant

Hippo’s Nursery | Colour & Light

39-ish weeks ago I started a Pinterest board for this room and I have been collecting ever since.  The only hard and fast rule was that I didn’t want anything matchy-matchy.  Ethan’s nursery in America reeked of co-ordinates and was totally themed floor to ceiling from Babies-R-Us.  Eight years on and I took my time, mixing colours and patterns until this little room began to feel just right.  I love it in here, the light is amazing, it’s warm and it’s full of personality.

Boys NurseryNursery_1

Mum and I had been searching for The Cot Quilt for a while and were stumped, everything handmade we were seeing at markets, although beautiful, was a little too traditional for this room, and everything in the retail channels was just too steeped in the ‘baby’ themes I was trying to avoid.  I wanted something that would grow with bubs, and bring some modern, bright solids to break up the white furniture.  A wallpaper post on Facebook gave me the inspiration I needed and I put a request out via Instagram – could my wallpaper vision be turned into a quilt?  Two amazing ladies replied.  The quilt pictured was a commission by Christchurch master quilter Deb Robertson {find her Felt store here} and it is seriously amazing, I can’t even imagine how many of these she could sell in Auckland’s trendy home decor stores.

The second offer was from our dear friend Tara in San Diego {who actually will be Baby Hippos God Mother – Surprise Tara!}.  I’m not sure if she has ever quilted before but she and her Mum made a quilt which is currently winging it’s way across the world!  So this lucky baby will actually have two super cool quilts, I’m thinking one for a play mat and one for his bed.Nursery_2

Modern_nursery_quilt

Ecclectic_Nursery

Day 2: Maternity Leave

Obviously I outdid my self with my kitchen exploits on Thursday, you know, pumpkin soup and homemade bread rolls for dinner so I kept it real and decided on Pizza Hut for dinner and once again had dinner organised by 9.30am!  I am amazing.

Work cut off my public email so I was unable to do any work from home aside from what came through my new internal email.  It was a strange feeling, not having to do anything…………..but the floors.  I vacuumed and mopped the floors once Dave had left for the office.  One day of trying to work from home around nesting stir-crazy wife was obviously enough to send him running for the ‘normal’ people with desks and lanyards!

I did manage to leave the house yesterday to do the after-school pick up – freshly showered and dressed.  I’m going to admit to a bit of paranoia here, I found a rogue nit in E’s hair a couple of weeks ago so the kid has been fumigated in the shower multiple times to avoid an outbreak {there have been no more sightings thank god}.  So, after my morning cleaning-athon I jumped in the shower and thought I may as well treat my own hair just to be on the safe side you know?  Off I go to school, wet hair {somewhat stylishly I hope?} tied up in a top knot, positively reeking of nit shampoo.  I was sitting in the truck waiting for Ethan when one of his friends Mum’s comes over to see how things are going.  This lady and I are acquaintances at best, we share small boys and rugby in common and she was chatting away leaning in the drivers side window positively choking I’m sure of it, on the pesticide-like fumes emanating from my wet hair.  I could have died.

But then she invited E over for a playdate next week so maybe she just thought I had a pestilence problem in the truck or was really into huffing fly spray while pregnant.  Embarrassing.

wpid-2013-06-22-14.38.55.png

One of the many things I have checked off my  l o n g  before-baby-to-do list was order some bloggy business cards.  I cashed in on one of Vistaprint’s trillion offers and my cards arrived yesterday.  Considering I spent 10 minutes on them and they cost $10 they are just fine.  BTW, I have no idea if lifestyle blogger is the correct terminology, it was all my addled head could come up with in the 10 minutes between dinner-ing and shower-ing the small child.  Next up is the Media Kit.

In other housewiferly news;

  • I am still pregnant
  • I am seriously considering washing the windows
  • I have run out of chocolate
  • It is International Go Skateboarding Day and Dave went skateboarding but couldn’t skate, too rainy, now he has sad face

Day 1: Maternity Leave 38 Weeks

I made it. I survived nine months at work with only two sick days! I enjoy my work and have had a trouble free pregnancy so the decision to keep working for so long was not a big deal.
Today was a different story though.
My first day at home.
By 9.30am the washing was hung, the pumpkin and other veges were roasting in the oven for tonight’s dinner of pumpkin soup, the bread maker was kneading dough for the hot rolls to go with my soup, E’s bed was made and ours stripped ready for washing load #2, Lou was booked in for a grooming so I decided I could squeeze in an hour of work from my Remote Desktop.

In other housewiferly news;

  • It hailed four times today and like everywhere around New Zealand it is freezing.
  • Dave went to the American store yesterday and returned with a bounty of corn tortillas, Almond Joys and Tootsie Rolls, just what fatty-preggo needs!
  • I got my nails done today for hopefully the last time, the money I’m spending there really needs to be channelled to more fruitful pursuits such as getting my terrible roots done.
  • My ankles are now in a permanent state of swollen.
  • I walk like a 95 year old hillbilly with a cane and a peg-leg.
  • I think this baby is making plans to come out!!!!

Mall-Walking

Have you ever heard of mall-walking?  No?  It’s what old people do in the sweltering climes of America when it’s too hot to power walk outside.  They don their shell suits and head inside for laps + air-con.  I couldn’t fit in a shell suit if my life depended on it and we need sheltering from the rain and cold rather than the heat but Dave decided today that I needed to ‘GET OUT OF THE HOUSE’ and ‘GO FOR A WALK’ {his loud american self even louder than usual}.

So, I put up little resistance inwardly laughing at the naivety of the man – did he really think he would escape the mall with just a walk?  A free walk.  Too funny.

It was actually nice.  E had decided that the lesser of two evils on offer today was to visit his great-grandmother instead of going to the mall so Dave and I were rolling solo.  I don’t know why but being out in public and huge and preggo without Ethan makes me self-conscious.  Strangers ignore you when you’re towing a surly 8yo, they don’t force conversations and ask ‘when the twins are due?’ or ‘is it my first?’.  I’m not sure why it bothers me if people think Dave and I are expectant first time parents, but the assumption really doesn’t go down well.  Though in saying that, we were out as a family and the Friendly Stranger assumed that Dave must be my ‘new’ husband and not Ethan’s Dad, simply because of the obvious age gap.  People are lovely aren’t they?

So back to the mall, we were able to finish shopping for E’s bag of gifts from his Little Brother that we will take to the hospital with us, I crossed a couple of weird purchases off my mental list such as buying a regular 2 button mouse for my Mac because I simply can’t abide by NO right mouse button any longer.  I got my eyebrows waxed which was awesome until the technician started some after-wax threading which is so damn painful it made hippo recoil!  We found Ethan two pairs of Vans for $70!  I loved them so much we bought him a size up for next year too;

vans-kids-old-skool-v-suede-skate-shoes-dress-blue-stv-navy2

A little peek into Country Road resulted in this win;

Country_Road_Cowboy_Shirt

I had been coveting this shirt online for ages, it was in the SALE with an extra 25% off! {shop here, $48.65}  Obviously this is a post-hippo-purchase {PHP if you will}, but I’m thinking button-ups with a breast-feeding tank underneath are going to be my new wardrobe staples in the coming months.

So, mall-working for preggo-exercise; 4 out of five stars.  Dave wasn’t done though, round two involved Pak ‘n Save laps and shopping for food which wasn’t nearly as much fun :  (

Things I’m Loving: Bloggers & Georgie Pie

Two of my favourite things came together yesterday in an unplanned symphony of awesomeness!  I had allowed myself Friday off work as I attempt to wind things up (and use a couple of leave days here and there before maternity leave kicks in!).  This enabled me to finally enjoy morning tea with some other Auckland bloggers at The Parenting Place Cafe in Greenlane.  Working 5 days rarely allows for such social engagements, so the occasion really gave me a sense  of the ‘big’ change that is coming soon {{{SOON HIPPO, SOON!}}}.

I crocheted, enjoyed a spirulina and a to-die for plum and white chocolate brioche.  That pastry alone was worth the rush hour commute of 1 hour!!!  It was such a great, relaxed morning, catching up with some of the ladies that I had met briefly in Christchurch as well as meeting some new faces.  Loved it.

And then it was lunch time.  And I just happened to be parked in the HUGE Greenlane McDonald’s parking lot.  The stars were aligned, somehow I managed to drive home with this hot little beauty untouched in the seat next to me.

Georgie_Pie

The resurrection of Georgie Pie’s classic Steak and Cheese is nostalgia in a paper bag.  Yes, it’s over-priced at $4.50 but I figure that’s a pretty small price to pay for such a picture-perfect walk down memory lane.  I enjoyed every second of this pie; the familiar paper bag, the slightly over-browned pastry, the rare glimmer of ‘steak’, the liquid cheese………it was amaze.  Have you back-tracked 15 years and sampled one yourself?  Are you going to?

The whole day was a red-letter day in fact.  Next Friday I’ll be a free-agent, finishing paid employment in expectant anticipation of a much-smaller and cuter boss.  I.  Can’t.  Wait.

Nursery Sneak Peek | There’s art on the walls…….

I had to wait a while for some prints to arrive from the states, but now they are hung I’m feeling like the nursery is done…enough.  The light in this room is amazing, it has East and North facing windows so stays bright all day and the plaster/concrete block combo of the exterior suck up the sunlight and keep it nice and warm.

There is a little bit of bubba’s new laundry to put away, his hospital back to pack and we are all ready!  I can’t wait to meet him {and also reach my toes again!}.  To put it bluntly, if I go to 40 weeks I’m pretty worried about how big he and I are going to get.  I got home yesterday afternoon, dropped E at rugby then came home and was in my pjs and asleep by 4.45pm.  Carrying this guy around is wearing me out.

Nursery_mobile_art

Nursery_bunting_and_art

IMG_5329