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Sunday, April 28, 2013

The gender debate

The common belief amongst the older generations these days seems to be that finding out the gender of your baby is one of the last true surprises in life and thus it should wait until birth. However if you read anything about the young people these days (usually written by those aforementioned older generations) the common consensus is that we all want everything now. We need instant gratification and don't want to wait. I don't normally fit into the stereotypes for my generation, but in this case I do if not by accident.

T and I always knew we wanted to find out the sex of our baby. Not because we are impatient or don't like surprises, afterall it was a big enough surprise finding out everything worked and we infact managed to get pregnant in the first place. And well being impatient - I think I've done my fair share of waiting just to get to the pregnancy part so why drag it out another nine months longer. Admittedly they did make me wait five months to find out, but that's still better than nine.

I mainly wanted to find out because I want the baby to have an identity. I didn't want to go around saying it for months because it seems so impersonal like the baby is an object instead of a tiny little person. He or she sounds so much more caring. Also there is the added bonus of being able to go buy the correct clothes, which by the way are very gender specific these days. Its hard to find so called neutral clothes because even the white ones will have a lion or cat or something on them which makes them gender orientated. Gone are the days of plain white, grey and yellow clothes - good luck finding anything other than singlets and the occasional onesie in those colours.

Of course once you find out the sex of the baby and tell people (which I thought about not doing just for fun) then everyone starts telling you how they know someone who knew someone who was told it was a boy and it turned out a girl, or vice versa. Everyone seems to love to inject a little dose of negative thinking into pregnancy at some point. Seriously why cant people just be happy for you? One such comment did make me have a minor flip out and rethink everything I had just bought for the baby (and second guess whether the ultrasound tech actually had any credibility), but that's because the comment was made to me literally five minutes after I had just blown $100 on very gender specific baby items. The ultrasound lady was actually really lovely and assured me she had never got the sex wrong for any baby in the 12 years she has been doing her job. Considering shes the only one who can actually see inside my belly I'm going to back her over the numerous old wives tales and random stories of people who know someone who's cousins daughter was told the wrong sex. Just to be on the safe side though the cot, pram, car seat and basically everything other than clothes will be gender neutral (but moreso because I don't want to have to buy new ones if the next baby is the opposite sex).

If people are so judgemental about those who find out the sex of the baby then how come one of the first questions they ask is "do you know what you're having"? I guess so they can unleash their endless knowledge on the topic vaguely disguised as advice. At which point the polite response is to smile and nod and make general conversation about why their opinion is obviously right (this goes for all pregnancy advice not just gender related).

For the record I would of been happy with either sex because I'm so thrilled to even have the chance to have a baby of my own. The baby is soon going to have both of us firmly wrapped around her little finger, especially daddy. At least that's what the stereotypical old wives tales tell me.

Toni x
Thursday, April 18, 2013

The joys of pregnancy hormones

Having PCOS means that I have really low levels of hormones compared to other people (hence all my issues trying to conceive). So, T never really had to deal with my psycho emotional side, at least not that often. Well, I have to say going from almost no hormones to the overload of pregnancy hormones certainly changed all that!

When we were trying to conceive he kind of got a preview of what hormonal Toni would be like. The lovely little tablets they give you have fun side effects such as mood swings, headaches, cramps, nausea and tiredness (of course all of them lead to more mood swings). So it was a nice little precursor to what it would be like when I got pregnant. The only difference was when on the tablets I was aware of the fact that I would be a bit crazy and I could try and control it.

Once I got pregnant I really had no idea I was crazy. Seriously. And I have been quite crazy. We've had serious screaming fights where I would literally throw stuff all around the room all because of something trivial like not being able to find a pair of pants. Admittedly T did take it in his stride as such. He saw the funny side of it and thoughtfully recorded it on his phone so that I could watch it back at a later date when I was less crazy  and see the funny side of it (bastard). Although I probably seemed quite mental I did control my anger quite a lot - we still have a tv and he still has his xbox, both of which I imagined smashing on numerous occassions. Thankfully all of the crazy angry outbursts were confined to our house so to everyone else I could maintain the illusion of complete sanity.

Another interesting hormonal outburst saw me screaming my head off because I was in the shower and a cockroach came out of the drain and was in the bathroom with me. You have to realise I am shit scared of cockroaches and this was like the biggest one I've ever seen, and I was naked which makes it much worse and I was pregnant on top of it. The bastard cockroach was between me and my clothes and more importantly me and the exit of the bathroom. T came up to kill it and thought it would be hilarious to taunt me with it. There was a lot of screaming and eventually hysterical crying. In the end he killed it (after it had run up his shorts and tried to get in his undies - sucked in). Ten minutes later the police turned up at our door because someone called them saying there was a domestic disturbance. Apparently my emotional breakdown must have been quite loud. It was kind of funny and extremely embarrassing at the same time (the police were just as embarrassed as I was).

After the ten week mark I am happy to say the emotional outbursts settled down - apparently that's when your body starts to get used to your new hormone levels. So, I thought I was over all the hormone related fun, until I had a breakdown in a baby shop and started crying. It was all because I thought I was stupid because I was overwhelmed at all the stuff in the shop. I figured everyone else just magically knew what they needed to buy whereas my mind just went blank in the shop, so I freaked out.

Now my hormones just make me cry instead of getting angry. I cry at the news, stories about babies, songs on the radio and pretty much most other things and sometimes for no reason at all. I guess the joys of hormones are going to continue all the way through pregnancy. Oh well only fourteen more weeks to go! Thankfully the effects are now a lot easier (and safer) for T to deal with.

And yes, surprisingly enough those videos on his phone are kind of funny now.

Toni xx

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Is social media just a big popularity contest?

Social media is a huge part of our lives these days and I admit I would be lost without it. I cant even remember how I functioned before it existed. There are many arguments for and against it. In the past few weeks I have only just really learnt how to use instagram properly (who would've thought you could hash tag your photos? yea I'm that dumb) and its brought me to the question, is social media pretty much one big popularity contest? Allow me to explore this idea:

I do admit I am drawn to instagram because I love taking photos and well its essentially a photo editing app, so you know the two go together. I never really truly harnessed the social aspect of it though. I was just using it to make some cute photos a little cuter. My sister in law recently introduced me to the fact that you can hash tag your photos which shares them in groups with the same hash tag - which leads to more people seeing them and people liking them (if they feel so inclined). I am so out of the loop that I thought hash tags were just a twitter thing (and sometimes the annoying people do it in their facebook status too because they clearly cant speak real english). What do you know, when I use hash tags I get more people liking my photos. At first I got a bit addicted to this and was hash tagging like crazy, but now I'm thinking do I really like the idea of strangers seeing my personal photos? Apparently you can get followers too, which was another foreign concept to me - I just thought my friends were automatically added to my followers list when they joined instagram. I never realised anyone could follow me. And apparently the more followers you have the cooler you are. Or so the theory goes? It seems hash tagging and followers are the main point of instagram - and here I was thinking it was just a photo editing app.

So, if instagram is a photo editing app which combines the options of likes and followers, is it not just a popularity contest? Would it be anywhere near as popular or useful if it didn't have these options? 
I am by no means an expert on twitter as I don't even use it. I think I might have started an account once then realised I didn't care enough to use it. From what I understand twitter was originally created so you could follow celebrities? To kind of cut out the paparazzi and give people direct access to what the celebrities are doing or thinking (or whatever they feel the need to share). I'm pretty sure the idea is you follow people and people follow you. The idea being the more people who follow you the more popular you are? I personally don't see the point of using a platform that only allows you to update a status of 40 characters or less (when you can do that and more on facebook).

If twitter is all about following people and getting followers doesn't that just make it a popularity contest? Or am I just completely ill informed?

I do love facebook. I don't remember what I ever did before it existed. For me facebook is mainly a way to stay in touch with people who I don't see all the time. But it also does nicely combine the abilities of twitter and instagram (not just because they own it). Facebook is my favourite social media platform because it allows me to share whats on my mind through status updates, post my photos, comment on others, share my blog posts, stay in touch with friends, create events, remember peoples birthdays and play games amongst other things. Seems a much more productive use of my time (and an interesting way to procrastinate). However, it is still essentially focused around popularity I think. I mean look at all the ways you can measure your popularity against others - the number of friends you have, the number of comments on your posts, the number of likes you get.

If people did not comment, like or share your posts and photos, would you spend as much time on facebook? Do you compare yourself to your friends based on these things?

The common ground of social media is to share things between others. Obviously, because the premise of being social is interacting with one another. Sharing seems to be directly related to the amount of people who like your updates, posts, photos etc. In the sense that the amount things are shared is based on the amount of people who like them. So given this premise, does this not mean that social media platforms are essentially run based on popularity? Hence social media is a big popularity contest?

I should probably harness the power of social media more - if not just to promote my blog, but to be honest being popular is not high on my priority list. Yes I love it when people read my blog and I would love it if I was reaching more people, but its not the be all and end all. I'm sure there are numerous ways I could utilise social media more effectively to become popular if I tried hard enough. Perhaps you can all enlighten me on how to do this?

By the way feel free to share, tweet or pin this post as much as you like ;)

Toni x