An Introduction: Baby Mango is HERE!

July 4, 2015 by Vicki

It’s time to officially introduce you to someone. The very reason I have been MIA for the last week or two from this space (and a pretty rad reason at that).1-DSC_0076

It’s been just over a week since we welcomed a new little Vicklet into our life. 1-DSC_0130Baby Mango, otherwise known as August (Augie) Quinn in the real, graced us with his (yes! another HE!) presence fashionably late, weighing a hefty 4.515 kg (9lb 9.5oz).1-DSC_0134Yes, he’s a whopper! (just ask my cha cha….)1-DSC_0138He arrived beautifully via water birth and has calmly fitted into our humble existence ever since.1-DSC_0230And so my destiny has been determined. I’m sentenced to a pack of boisterous, rough nut pranksters who think the best things ever invented are cricket and eating. A trifecta set.1-DSC_0097And I couldn’t be more pleased.

Vicki x

Preparing For Birth

June 23, 2015 by Vicki

heart bump{Photo source}

A first time pregnant friend recently asked me how I prepare for birth. She seemed a little bewildered and I don’t blame her. Heading into labour for the first time can be confronting with the multitude of options to prepare yourself both physically and mentally for the birthing journey and of course there’s always the just-wing-it style which so many of us opt to take. Is it something you just trust and go with or something that requires some kind of focus or training up for?

The truth is, with my third labour just ahead of me (hopefully like today even), this is perhaps the most active I’ve been in preparing for birth.

My first labour I opened a Hypnobirthing book and highlighted some key passages about three weeks prior to my due date, and assumed that would help me to easy birthing glory. I prepared a sound track and bought natural oils that were recommended and used absolutely zilch of them when it came to the nitty gritty. Needless to say, it was far from a calm birthing experience.

Second labour, I decided any kind of preparation was virtually useless. I was going with the winging it approach until I had two sessions of acupuncture post dates to try and induce labour. I found the meditation and visualisations that my acupuncturist did extremely useful and powerful. Whilst the treatment didn’t commence labour, I’m certain it readied my body and prepared my mind beautifully. I had a focus rather than letting anxiety run away with me.

Third time, I am back on the acupuncture band wagon. I’ve started earlier this time to prepare my body further. To relax, to soften and hopefully naturally induce the commencement of labour, to avoid the medical big guns which I’ve needed the last two times. I started this process at 36 weeks with weekly sessions and now I’ve reached full term I’ve vamped it up to two sessions a week.

It is said that acupuncture during pregnancy can boost immunity, circulate better blood flow to the uterus, decrease unpleasant symptoms associated with pregnancy, encourage healing post birth and promote relaxation and general well being. It can work it’s magic helping woman to conceive, by turning breach babies and inducing labour. Experienced acupuncturists have a great understanding of the human body and get how to work with it to achieve maximum results. So many people have raved about the results of acupuncture during pregnancy and indeed been one of the 80% of people who have birthed within 48 hours of an induction session. Not me. Yet. Still hoping.

I can’t deny that when I leave a session my body and mind feel completely at ease. Relaxed and all zen. I feel capable and confident about the task at hand. The promotion of positive thought and the power of the mind is transformational and it is that that I hope to take with me into labour again.

I also have been undergoing another experimental therapy. My friend Amy is a psychologist who performs hypnosis. I asked if she would do some hypnosis or hypnobirthing with me leading up to birth, and being the top chick she is, she agreed.

Since I was 35 weeks I have been having weekly sessions of hypnosis on her couch. At first I was a bit freaked out about hypnosis. What if she put me under her spell and made me tell her all my secrets (if I even have any)? What it actually turned out to be was half an hour of stillness and peace. She did the talking, I just had to listen. Sure I went into some kind of “trance” but I was never going to get up and walk around clucking like a chicken at her command. The “trance” was more of a deep level of meditation and stillness, a hyper sense of focus if you like, where the mind (hopefully) switches off the sub-conscious that is responsible for all the negative, self crucifying talk to we subject ourselves to. The talk that often tells us we can’t do something. During a session, Amy speaks to a deeper stream of consciousness that will hopefully over rule the fear presented by the self consciousness and promote a calm, confident experience during the normally intense throws of labour.

The freaky thing is, I often don’t recall what Amy has said to me during a session. She talks for an entire half an hour at me and I don’t really know what has been said. Apparently this is the way it’s supposed to work. It’s the deeper consciousness that is absorbing the good stuff and I just have to trust that. At times I struggle to believe that I will be able to drum up all the positive self talk that she has fed to my brain when it’s not re-callable in my normal state, but that is the experiment part of it I guess.

For me, after two prior rounds I have learned more about what I need during labour so now I can more actively prepare for that. It’s very much a personal thing. I know where my fears lie and the pitfalls of my anxious birthing mind and so I can hone in on them, equip myself and aim for a confident birthing experience. I have come to believe that birth is about the two parties involved. The mother and the baby, working as one through the journey and feeling competently connected and equiped. Of course, we never really know what we’re in for when it comes to childbirth, no matter how many times we’ve experienced it but having some positive control and strategies to deal with your mind is surely a good entrance point.

How do you prepare for child birth?

Have you ever tried acupuncture or hypnosis?

{Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT}

Dear Mr Two

June 18, 2015 by Vicki

Dear Baby Vick,

Today you are two years old.

You are our little wolf. Our little wild child who completely perplexes us and shifts us off any kind of parenting pedestal that we might have lent on occasionally. You keep us guessing and make us feel like complete amateurs in this parenting gig. It is not uncommon for your Dad and I to just stare at one another in bewilderment with our mouths agape.

You catch us by surprise daily. Rules are optional and you write your own script. You take risks we knew not a child of your size would consider. You climb, you balance, you destroy, you mess, you jump, you throw, you bite, you attack, you ambush. It is truly like raising a wild animal.

You radiate cheek and spunk with your long blonde locks and wicked smile. You are a bit irresistible.

You’re fierce and yet you melt at the sight or sound of a baby. You can be such a contradiction like that. It gives me hope about you being upgraded to a big brother any day now. Can you tame your rough and tough antics for the love of a new sibling? Will I have to cage the baby behind a play pen permanently away from your clutches or will you be smitten, caring and gentle?

You are a stereo typical boy loving the sand pit, diggers, the moon, playing the drums and splashing the water in the bath everywhere. You have a love of water asking for a bath often morning and night and you’re a gun in your weekly swimming lessons.

You are a real Dads boy. I have come to accept that I am mostly second preference behind your Dad. He has a way of exciting, calming and negotiating with you (sometimes). You just seem to get one another. You adore him and it is a real treat seeing what a close pair you are. Your Dad has really treasured the bond that you two have grown too (and I’m blaming you for his desire to add to our brood), which has mostly been through growling, wrestling and general caveman like antics.

You and your brother are complete opposites and I know you get a fair dose of delight from wrecking whatever he has just spent the last hour building or making. He takes pride in doing things right and you just do as you want to do. No rules being your style. This makes for some combustive disputes in our house but it doesn’t stop you both running around giggling and yahooing like larrikins come bedtime. Mischievousness is the binding glue between you two. You being the unrelenting instigator on most occasions.

Of course, I can speak all I like about the things we find challenging about you but they’re exactly the qualities we’d wish for you to have particularly as you emerge as an adult into the wide world. You’re independent, strong willed, fearless and aren’t bothered by what others think. What an adventurous soul you make and I know because of this your life will never be one of routine and predictability. You will always surprise me. I will always worry about you. I will always admire you. You will always teach me so much.

Happy birthday my beautiful, free spirited blonde spunk!

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Love your Mumsa x

All The Pregnetness: Due

June 16, 2015 by Vicki

40 weeks

And so here I am. I meet with 40 weeks of pregnancy.

And so the waiting begins accompanied by an insistent curiosity about when exactly this baby is going to make it’s journey to earth side. Will it go as it has before? If that is so then I will remain this way for another 10 or so days before medical intervention steps in. Or perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised and experience a spontaneous labour as my heart desires.

The final two weeks of this pregnancy has not been as fun as I remember. My body has taken this pregnancy not quite so glamorously. I’ve had to try and ignore little burdens that I have not had before like pelvic pain and waddling like an old wombat everywhere. Last night, I sat minding my own business on the couch as Mango scraped around my pelvis in the most inconsiderate way. I was yelping and taken by surprise by every single grind. Mr Vick sat back comfortably sipping his glass of red and barracking for Mango, convinced it’s surely a sign it wants to get out. OH. HOW. EASY. IT. MUST. BE. TO. WATCH. ON.

Our house has been under a veil of illness these last two weeks. It’s really sucked balls. All my ideals about being relaxed and as well rested have been thrown to the poop. Both the Vicklets contracted the worst viral thingy I’ve ever seen attack little beings. The days were long whilst they fought through fevers, coughs, vomits, the works and of course the nights even more challenging with continuous running between them both and zilcho sleepo. It was misery all round. The viral infection turned into ear infections and it wasn’t long before this fatigued mumma would contract the ugly lurgy too. Days on, I just am left with the most forceful cough I have ever endured. I have busted my head from coughing, headaches are the norm, so how are my waters still in tact?? My pelvic floor has been taking a beating.

Chocolate milks have been getting me through. Seriously, they’ve been the flavor of this pregnancy. I’ve just needed a little chocky goodness whenever I hit up the shops. Can you blame a girl?

There was a little moment of worry last week when Mango had a big sleep for a day or so which got the midwives in a flap. I was sent to hospital for monitoring only to be told all seemed perfectly normal but perhaps the baby had just changed position so I wasn’t able to feel the movements as clearly as I had previously. My acupuncturist took one look at my sacrum and told me that the baby indeed has engaged and locked itself into the birthing position a little stunt achieved since my prior visit the week earlier. Who would have thought one sacrum could be so insightful?

People have been asking me about my list that I wrote about here and if I’ve been able to achieve all the things. Well, I might have been able to if the plague didn’t cloud our household but I’ve reached the point where I am so pregnant, I don’t care. I am still plodding through the jobs but my priorities have altered and I’m letting go a bit. Not a bad thing?

Over the next few weeks I can’t imagine what will be demanded of me. I expect that I will either blog to relieve the anxious waiting for Mango to turn up or to escape the everyday demands of mothering three kids, OR I will be so brain zapped I won’t be able to string more than two words together. I’m thinking the latter, so bear with me. I will share when I can. I love sharing here and I love that I have a whole mini community coming in to bat for me during this journey. Thank you for those who have shared their well wishes and positive vibes. I’ve been soaking them all in.

Right, well I’m off to have a curry for lunch then. Catch ya xx

Anyone else battling the plague?

Waiting for a new baby?

{Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT}

A Letter Of Apology To My Vagina

June 11, 2015 by Vicki

V

Dear Vagina,

I’m going to be upfront with you.

I feel I ought to give you an apology in advance because very shortly you’re going to be really f*@king pissed at me. We will not be on speaking terms.

You know how I promised I would never ever put you through that horrendously, traumatic experience that I did just 24 months ago? And …. also almost five years back? Yep, twice, it happened twice and that was going to be it, but, ah…. shitballs, there’s no hunky dory way to say it… it looks like you’re up for another round sweetheart.

I know. I know, I know, I KNOW. I’m not so jolly and gleeful about the prospect of it either right now. It’s shitful, truly and you deserve better. I would hate to be my vagina too.

First there’s the thrush, the varicose veins, the swelling and that’s all BEFORE the labour even commences.

Ah shizzens, sorry, I’m being insensitive mentioning that word: labour. I know you don’t like it. Are you shaking now? I think I can feel you. Look, we’ve got this babe. We can do this. Hold in there with me.

Still, you are not the only one wondering what it would be like to have a dick right at this moment. How cruisy it would be to sit back and watch this medieval styled, tearing torture happening to our match and probably think that it can’t be that bad. Possibly even planning the next baby making session.

I know what this labour gig does to you. Really, I know. You get inspected by strangers and manhandled in the most ugliest of ways. It sure is no way to treat a princess. Then there’s this baby thing that has to eject it’s way out and insists on contorting you like you’re an old pair of stretchy underwear whose elastic can be easily replaced. It breaks you in all kinds of wrong and neither of us enjoys that ring of fire business. F*@k NO!

You get grazed, torn, stitched, swollen and then the big long neglect. How rude.

There should be some kind of intervention for this shit. Some might say contraception, or divorce.

I promise you, you will not have to experience this again. Cross me heart and hope to die, and seriously, I would die if we had to go through all this again. Or at least Mr Vick would.

If it’s any consolation I asked a friend who has an experienced birthing vage (3 babes ejected), to get her v-jayjay to telepathically send you some good pushing vibes. From one vage to another, ya know? I think it’s safe to say, the v-jayjay force is worth you.

Anyway, I’m sorry about all this. You can call me bitch face and slutty douchebag mole all you like. I probably deserve it.  I’m sure we will be on more friendly terms again one day when we will be able to have plenty of shits and giggles and carry on like a house on fire once again when this is all forgotten. How about I drop in in about six weeks or so and we’ll take it from there hey?

Yours, Vicki

Thanks to Raychael from Mystery Case for setting the challenge of writing like no one is reading. I was able to get my unfiltered self on x

Packing A Hospital Bag For Birth

June 9, 2015 by Vicki

How to

I’m 39 weeks knocked up, and so the time has arrived for me to pack a hospital bag and seriously prepare for this birth.

I’m no expert about what should be in a hospital bag but I sure can share with you what I like to take. My personal little comforts.

I’ve constructed this list based on a minimal stay in hospital of perhaps a night or two. If you stay longer then you will need to adjust the quantity of each item:

For You:

Medical notes/pregnancy file

Something to wear during labour – long tshirt, leggings, nighty or bathers if a water birth is an option

Maternity pads

Black underwear x 4

Dressing gown or warm cardi or hoody

PJ’s x 2

Tops that you can breastfeed in  x 2

Pants x 2. I personally like to take trackies or slouchy pants for maximum comfort

Hair ties & headband for labour

Toiletries

Lip balm

Camera

Phone charger

Heat pack – great for those early niggles

Magazines- the birthing gig almost always isn’t instant. I have a history of needing to be induced and there is a whole lot of sitting around. Entertainment is required for distraction, if nothing else. Nerves often make it hard for me to concentrate on a novel. A magazine is a chilled option.

Chocolate – I crave energy immediately after birth. I can barely wait for someone to make the trip to the vending machine so I like to take matters into my own hands.

Grape juice – It has a high content of natural sugar which can provide a good energy fix, making it a great option to sip during the labour.

Tennis ball – for a labour felt in ones back, particularly if the baby is in posterior position. Get your partner or midwife to press the ball into your back at the point of pain to keep baby off the spine.

Luxury item – something new and something just for mum post birth. I’m taking a favorite hand cream.

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For baby:

Nappies & wipes – I’m on the disposable team because I’m lazy like that.

Jumpsuits x 4 (A couple of different sizes can’t hurt)

Singlets x 2

Mittens – to stop those mighty claws getting at that sweet face

Beanie x 1

Cardigan or jacket particularly for the journey home from the hospital

Muslin wrap or sleeping bag x 1

Blanket x 1

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 When do you think it’s the ideal time to pack a hospital bag?

What would you add to this list?

A Winters Tale

June 5, 2015 by Vicki

Winters arrival was very timely this year. June the first brought a cold snap which has lasted this entire week. The sunshine has been very shy.

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We have been holed up inside our little humble home with the heater permanently blowing warm air to keep us comfortable and cosy.

Days are spent snuggled under blankets, reading, colouring, playing Lego, doing jobs and watching movies.

I have made a conscious effort to make healthy soup most days for lunch. With the Vicklets coughing, and a baby readying to be born, a dose of liquid nutrition seems a good way to build our strength. There is something nurturing about home made soup on a bitterly cold day, is there not?

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When I’m not slurping soup, I’ve been sipping on chai tea sweetened with honey which is even better shared with a favorite person.

I have come to savior the sunshine which billows into our bedroom during the middle of the day. The warm glow on my skin is a natural pick me up, when I can keep my eyes open. Afternoon snoozes are a popular thing.1-DSC_1383-001

This pace and hibernation set by the season has made a perfect pre-baby coma. We’re all suspended in time, awaiting, and yet savouring the final moments of being a family of four.

Are you a winter fan?

What do you enjoy about the colder months?

All The Pregnetness: Holy Watermelon!

June 3, 2015 by Vicki

Little Vick is stoked. Baby Mango has finally grown to be the size of a watermelon.

He has been following the growth of the baby on an app since day dot and awaiting for the watermelon moment. Here’s how I feel about it:

watermelon3

{source}

That means Mango will be ready to launch itself right on out in a matter of weeks, or days. Whatever the little soul pleases.

Being 38 weeks knocked up, and classified as full term, it’s time to finalise all the things. Change is lingering more heavily in the air and will seize us at any unknown moment so car seats are being fitted, the pram is being detailed, the freezer is being filled, bills are being paid in advance, lingering household chores are no longer delayed, I’ve packed my hospital bag and washed up some teeny tiny baby things all in preparation.

All the little things are delightful and it’s hard to not get a bit maternal and gushy spying them on the washing line or whilst folding them. I marvel that there is a human so teeny inside of me who will be there, and then here, in any decided moment.

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Little Vick sighs in amazement over the tiny things too. It’s so nice to be sharing this with him now that he has some concept of what is happening. He is all talk about how helpful he is going to be when the baby arrives. I’ve told him I will be just happy if he can put his own jocks on in the morning.

The thought of labour is niggling away at me this week. It’s getting a bit real for comfort. No amount of experience can ease my sense of dread towards it, but I know that I have to man up pretty quickly to front up and do it. I got this, right?

I was moseying around the supermarket yesterday, Vicklet free, enjoying the attention my bump was bringing me. The onlooking stares didn’t exasperate me for once as I checked out all the newborn things on the shelves. In that moment, with the rising sense of change and a swell of excitement, I felt …. happy. It surprised me to be honest. I mean sure, I was tired and my pelvis was yelling at me and I had sixteen hours of washing to fold, but I felt happy. I was able to snatch the moment in and reflect at the beauty, the beauty of being on the edge of this precipice.

I think I’m ready to tip in.

Any last minute advice for this mumma-to-three-to-be?

Do you get gushy over a cute little newborn cardi or jumpsuit?

The Bikini Wearing Basketball Lady

May 26, 2015 by Vicki

Friday is our swimming day in the Vick household.

It’s usually a family affair and we’re usually late and rushed to get there despite it being apart of our routine for a good while now. I don’t expect this will ever change. Hopeless through and through, we are.

The Vicklets relish a good ole fashioned dip. It’s a bit of bonding time for us all, that is until I can no longer stand being splashed in the face going on the 103rd time. Then, it’s all over red rover. Shower time and in the car before you could say fruit tingles bejingles.

I have not been deterred by swimming whilst pregnant, nor wearing my usual bikini attire. Let’s be honest, the one piece option is (stretched) out.

Oh how people like to gawk. I give them good reason I guess. I’d have my eyes on my pale, tiger stripped basketball belly too because it is something of a freaky spectacle.

This was me heading to the pool at 24 weeks:

24 weeks baby 3

This was last Fridays headed-to-the-pool snap of the 36 week bump:

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Yep. The basketball look is in.

I would say after 3 months, I have grown a bit, sure, stretched a bit, sure, but not as much as some would think. I just put it all out there right from the very start. Hence the ole twins one liner from strangers since about 20 weeks that is just so fun, I can’t stand it.

Anyway, this is my lazy Tuesday post for #IBOT this week because clearly I am too busy caning Mr Vick for not keeping up to my nesting schedule.

Tell me, the bump hasn’t grown in HUGE proportions has it in 3 months?

Did you swim during pregnancy? In a bikini?

Five Years On: From Knocked Up & Abroad to Knocked Up Suburban Mombie

May 21, 2015 by Vicki

So I wrote this and then fell into some kind of knocked up coma and forgot to publish it. Seven weeks on, I know present to you….

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Five years ago, I was also in a knocked up condition. The difference between my first and third pregnancy is nothing short of being completely juxtaposed. Saying they are worlds apart would be quite an understatement.

Right now, I am 29 weeks pregnant and my reality looks somewhat like this:

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Hello sleep deprived, fashion-less woman stuck in a suburban existence of average cooking skills, constant cleaning, regular assaults inflicted by child driven drum sticks, relentless child wrangling and where going on a big trip is considered to be a solo excursion to the supermarket for a big stock up.

Five years ago, at twenty nine weeks pregnant my life looked like this:

Louis in Paris

I was glowing in Paris, visiting my mate Louis. Shortly followed by afternoon strolls through Venice. As you do.

Vicki in Florence

Bit of a contrast? Wee, frickin’ wee. From knocked up and abroad to knocked up suburban mombie.

I’ve been reflecting the last couple of weeks on just how much my life has changed in five little years, from the start of my motherhood journey till now. I feel a bit mixed about it.

For my newer readers, my European dream trip probably should never have happened. Pregnancy was not the only factor that could have kept me bundled up at home. Mr Vick’s mother was also in her final days battling terminal cancer. I have never wanted to be in two places more in my life but Mr Vick was one of my biggest knocked up, travel advocates that there was. He told me I needed to go ahead with my dream trip so that I could come home and be the best mother that I possibly could be. I have always been so grateful for that completely selfless encouragement and advice. He was right. Regret is a strong emotion and I’m so glad that I will never have to look back at my first pregnancy and feel that pang.

Being knocked up and abroad was an adventure and an education. It was the best soul food although it required me to find strength and courage (I often traveled alone throughout the six weeks away), both of which held me in good stead for the adjustment into motherhood.

Now, third time around, I give myself a lot of credit for the inner strength I have built. The foundations set in that first pregnancy on that trip, no doubt.

When I look at those knocked up travel pics, I see a girl. Pleased and somewhat liberated, if not vulnerable and definitely naive. I was completely unaware about what lay ahead. What would be asked of me. What I would need to learn. What I would need to give. What I would be taught.

Now, I look at that third pregnancy picture and I see stacks and stacks of crazy, boisterous love flowing out in every direction. I see a woman who has grown (metaphorically as well as physically). Sure, she’s struggled, almost daily in fact but boyo, has she loved. Loved like she never knew she could and I will never need to move off my couch to get that again.

What life differences were between your pregnancies?

Have you ever traveled pregnant?