Pretzels, Farts, and Perfect Breasts

Boobs

Gas. And wind. That’s what pregnancy is all about. Plus, you kind of faint a bit if you try and bend too much. Believe me, I tried to paint my toenails and my lungs had serious words about it. It’s actually a cacophony of noise inside my body. I have no idea how the precious little one gets any rest. It goes something like this:

Lungs: Back off toes.
Toes: But we’re ugly!
Lungs: It’s about to get real ugly if you don’t back the fuck off and stop trying to get everyone to bend down.
Brain: Huh? Does anyone need any… zzz…
Toes: Brain! Wake up! Lungs have gone feral again!
Stomach: Urgh, I hurt, I’m going to barf. Toes, get up, I need pretzels, stat.
Toes: Can’t, we’re being held hostage!
Stomach: Toughen up, princesses and get me to the kitchen.
Nose: I need a tissue. I’m miserable.
Vagina: Hey guys? Guys? Do any of you remember what I look like? … I miss myself, I’m bored.
Nose: Holy CRAP! What is that smell?
Stomach: I’m going to barf!!
Anus: Oops. My bad.
Nose: Jesus!
Anus: I said oops, give me a break. Blame brain, she decided to have curry again when all stomach wanted was crackers.
Uterine Muscles: Owwwww! It hurts! Oh the humanity, I’m melting!
Lungs: How friggin dramatic do you have to be UM? You’re not melting, you’re stretching. Deal.
Brain: Who’s UM? ….Zzz…
Ankles: Go back to sleep brain, but before you do could you organise that we lie with our legs up the wall? I’ve puffed up again.
Lungs: Fuck off ankles, no-body cares.
Ankles: Talk about Mr. Grumpy. Jeez.
Head: I hurt. Is Panadol seriously all I can have?
Back: I don’t wanna hear it, Head, not til you’ve walked a mile in my shoes.
Toes: No-one is walking anywhere until someone paints us, I’m not kidding.
Nose: OH MY GOD!!!
Anus: Sorry! My bad again.
Stomach: Yeah, go Bummy! That feels better! Woo hoo!
Boobs: Seriously, how can you all not be looking at us?! Look at us! We’re MAGNIFICENT!! Tra-la-la-la-laaa! [bounce bounce]
All: Oh WOW!!!! Did you feel THAT?! She kicked! The baby kicked!!
Toes: Boobs, do that again, bounce around some more! She liked it!!

And right at that moment, when you’re on the couch and the entire living room smells like fart and you’re shaking your perfect, big jugs around to try and feel the baby kick again, your husband walks in to see if you need anything. By now he’s acknowledged that things will never, ever be the same again, so you just smile and nod and ask for food and he stares at your boobs and goes off to the kitchen in search of pretzels.

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Published!

Marlowe between the baby bump and the pregnancy pillow… Zzzzz….purrr.

Marlowe between the baby bump and the pregnancy pillow… Zzz….purrr.

My novel is being published. Published. Published! What a year 2014 is turning out to be.

I wrote Beat six years ago. The first draft secured me a residency at Varuna in the Blue Mountains at the end of 2008, which, to this day, is still one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

Beat is an interesting novel. It’s short and hard to categorize. I think because of this it struggled to find the right publisher. Several publishers sent it back to me telling me they loved the writing but weren’t sure what genre it fell into. I wasn’t surprised. It’s filmic and medical and other-worldly… are you intrigued yet?!

And then, late last year, I found Animal Dreaming Publishing and they found me, and the fit was perfect and soon Beat will be in print and in bookstores and I’ll have birthed the two most important things that will ever happen to me – my first baby and my first published novel – hopefully in the same year! Wowsers!

In other news, Marlowe is slowly coming round to the fact that there is another creature inside me and seems content enough to commune with him/her in bed at night. Pre pregnant belly he often used to curl up into my side for a few hours, usually in the wee hours of the morning. Now, there’s not only my round belly, but also a round pregnancy pillow right next to it that meets the end of the bed, so he’s been presented with the problem of where he’s supposed to fit. It took him two nights to work it out, but he now seems to have two preferred positions. The first is to climb onto the pillow and then slide into my belly with his chin resting on my bump (cuteness in the extreme), the second is pretty hilarious and I wish I could get a photo of it. He basically curls up against my legs and sticks his chin through the gap in the curve between my belly and the pillow – aka the pic above. The other night he purred into the baby bump and then snored so loudly, CJ thought it was me!

Baby bumps, books, cute kitties. It’s all good :)

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Taste of Motherhood

pregnant-woman-avatar-cartoon

My husband CJ was a ten+ pound baby. I’ve already had a chat to the Bean and suggested that that was not an option for them. Not much else has been going on really, and certainly nothing glamorous. I’m sleep deprived already so I guess I’m in training. No-one tells you any of this stuff though. I mean, it’s in books, sure, but reading it in a book is far removed from your girlfriends actually telling you stuff. Like how I had to sleep for two hours sitting up last night because my hip was horrendously aching from lying my on side all the time. No-one tells you this stuff. Like birth – all you seem to hear is ‘mother and baby are both doing well’. But what does that mean exactly? Ultimately it just makes me think one of two things:

  1. It was plain sailing and after an hour or two of ladylike pushing, a baby fell out.
  2. It was so horrific it can’t be spoken about.

I did bring this up with a friend recently who is pregnant with her second and she said she experienced the same thing with her first – where are all the shared stories? So she shared her birth experience with me and I was SO grateful. Hers was also a good experience which was great to hear because basically all the women close to me have had emergency c-sections, and they make me a bit, you know, terrified.

In other news:

  • I recently spewed pink spew all over our front garden after eating porridge and raspberries and then doing Pilates. I just made it home before losing the lot on a bush in front of a surprised husband who happened to be taking the rubbish out at the time. To be honest, I think he was impressed my spew was so feminine.
  • My breasts are seriously fabulous – big, perfectly round orbs of lusciousness that many women pay thousands of dollars to try and replicate. I’m constantly running late for work because I can’t stop staring at them. I guess I should take photos before they turn into huge, veiny milk-wagons….
  • I was told I’m carrying small (I sucked in the bloat as much as I could) for 17 weeks this morning and I could have kissed her. Because 10 pound baby husband.
  • My mother-in-law is in a knitting frenzy already. This is going to be one warm, soft, lucky baby!
  • Marlowe has completely abandoned me. He can see the bump, and no-doubt his extrasensory-cat-sensors told him long ago his rival was on the way, and he’s now totally and utterly CJ’s cat. The love-affair they have going on is ridiculous quite frankly, and I’m jealous, but there’s nothing I can do about it. What a traitor. I spent many weeks at home every day when he was a tiny kitten, making sure Bronte didn’t eat him, and this is the thanks I get. If this is a taste of motherhood I’m seriously concerned.

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Kind of Glowy…

pregnant-runner-272x300My belly has popped, which would be cute, if you could actually see it under all the bloat that’s going on on top of it. Pregnancy so far has been less the splendiferousnesses of wonder and delight I thought it would be, and more about gas. A lot more about gas. Sure, I feel joyous – how could I could I not? It took six years, four years of IVF, two surgeries and lots of money to get here. Despite a midwife girlfriend telling me off recently for daring to ask if I could do something, anything, to make the bloat go away (how long have you tried to get here? You’re not allowed to feel miserable!), I do think I’m allowed to have the odd miserable feeling… You know, just those times when I’m so bloated I can’t breathe, none of my clothes fit and I’m only 14 weeks pregnant, I’ve slumped my head over the sink in anticipation of a surprise spew, and I’m so tired at work I actually fall asleep in a meeting with my boss who asks me if I need a pillow and I seriously consider saying yes. How do pregnant women with a toddler DO THIS and LIVE?!

I’ve had plenty of time to picture me pregnant. It looked something like this:

Garlands of flowers in my hair, walking through a sun-dappled field, then skipping home to both the time and intense bursts of creativity to write a best-selling novel in nine months, taking writing breaks to sip on freshly made vegetable juices as I lie my head on Hugh Grant’s lap on a park bench in a romantic garden, my belly looking adorable while the rest of me is skinny…. really skinny.

Well….. PFFFFT.

It’s been challenging to go from this vision to the reality of all-day morning sickness and tiredness so overwhelming just the thought of my best-selling novel sends me into a coma. I’ve stared at people I’ve worked with for more than two years and wondered what their names are. And Hugh Grant and my skinny ankles are absolutely no-where to be seen.

On top of that, my cat Marlowe is conspiring against me. I found this in his diary yesterday:

Dear Diary

I’m beginning to fear all is now lost. My Mistress wanders around in what looks like a daze of silly self-satisfaction and none of it has anything to do with me. Can you imagine? My attempts at making her morning sickness worse by breathing tuna breath in her face as soon as she wakes up isn’t working like I thought it would. It makes her gag, sure, but she still seems kind of… glowy.

Although… she did spew before lunch today and it happened because she was preparing a tuna wrap. Tuna. See? I waited about ten minutes and then spewed on my carpeted cat tree. Her stomach wasn’t quite settled yet and she’s a little funky getting cat vomit out of carpet at the best of times, so she had no hope really. My plan worked because she spewed cleaning up my spew. Not so glowy after that.

So what if my cat is conspiring against me? I am kinda glowy. Wait til he meets the new crying, pooping hairless cat in July – his furry little head’s going to explode.

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Bun in the Oven

bun_in_the_ovenSo… I made this big announcement about blogging again and then didn’t, you know, blog again. Embarrassing. But, you see, this time I have this whole other reason than the tired old tortured writer thing.

I have a bun in the oven!

Yup. For six long years my oven refused to bake a bun, but now there’s really an honest to goodness bun in there, so I figure I can write about, you know, vomiting and swollen ankles and nipples and stuff. Take a break from Proust and Voltaire and focus on the minutiae of life. Okay, okay so I’ve always focused on the minutiae of life. But this is literal this time. Plus, Marlowe has a lot to say on this baby matter and is keen to get his paws on the keyboard now we’ve gone public with it.

Before Marlowe attempts to reiterate the pecking order in the soon to be updated Michelle-Wells household, I thought I’d start off with a letter I wrote to the little Bun eight weeks ago.

24 Nov 2013

Dear Little Bun

I am four and half weeks pregnant with you. I still don’t quite believe it. I think maybe my tears brought you into being. And now I find myself in this strange place where I’m afraid of every negative thought, of every tiny ache and pain, because you are still so tiny and fragile, and the more years I waited, the more precious you became. And yet, I can feel you. You are undeniable. Your energy is more grounded than mine and I can feel it. I feel I need to be more connected to the animals and the sun and the wind and the rain because that’s what you need, what you like, who you are.

            I peed on a stick yesterday, just to confirm to myself that you really are still real and I didn’t dream you up. I have my six week scan the week after next and I bought six pregnancy tests to get through the wait. Don’t be worried, Little Bun, or anxious, it’s just a ritual I made up to help myself be less anxious, less afraid. You’ll come to know that when you’re older, the games we play with ourselves, the rituals we create for our sanity and our dreams. We love rituals, you see. They help anchor us in our dreams and hopes and visions. They connect us to the things we can’t see, but which we know are undeniable, and vital, and sacred.

            Like you.

            I can feel you, in my being, Little Bun, and I love you. Already I love you immeasurably.  Isn’t that something – that you are not even a centimeter big and I love you already? I did tell you, before you chose to settle in me, that I would have all the love you would ever need to grow and be strong, remember that, Little Bun? It was my incantation to you, my siren song to convince you to finally drop roots and choose me.

            I’m glad you did. I’m so very glad you did. Snuggle deep, Little Bun, snuggle well. Mumma loves you.

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Today

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Today I stared at a giant green frog for inspiration.
He stared back.
Today I received several compliments on how I looked
and for each of those moments I stopped criticising myself.
Today my computer beeped at me like it might explode.
It didn’t.
Today I walked through an empty hospital ward
soon to be filled with sick babies.
I felt inspired and upset.
Today I thought how amazing my sister is
and I missed her.
Today I wanted to hug a friend who needed hugging.
Today a colleague drew some boobies on my work pad.
It made me laugh.
Boobies are funny.
Today I wondered what the other me’s are doing in their alternate universes.
I hope they’re planting trees and swimming across oceans.
I hope they’re living in full colour.
Because today I don’t think I lived to my full potential.

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Marlowe and the Minion

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Marlowe’s Sunday

I’m bored.
I need a ball.
A blue ball.
I had a blue ball.
I lost it
under the fridge.
I keep standing at the fridge door
but my humans put me on a diet.
I don’t want to be on a diet.
I want my ball.
I’m bored.
I found some sparkles.
I ate them.
They didn’t taste good.
I found Bronte and bit her on the neck.
She flattened herself into pancake.
She didn’t taste like a pancake.
I wish she did.
I’m bored.
I pulled all the blankets off my humans’ bed.
I dragged them down the hall and into the kitchen.
I think I have very strong teeth.
I’m bored.
I fell asleep and dreamt I was fighting a dragon.
When I woke up I vomited.
It had sparkles in it.
Bronte looked impressed.
Only pedigrees vomit sparkles.

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