Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why a Woolies Bag in a Tree Helped Me Stop At Three

See this? 

This is not just a remnant of a plastic bag stuck in a tree.  This is actually a remnant of my former life: my life of being pregnant, of being ridiculously sick, of being a mother of merely two, a woman whose backseat doesn't look like this.

It is a tangible reminder that I should definitely stop at three.  Because even though I have been willing it for the past few months, I haven't had that epiphany, that sudden dawning that This. Is. It.  And that scares me.

So why the plastic bag? 

This is one of many plastic Woolies bags that used to sit on the passenger seat during the first five months of this pregnancy.  Bags I would vomit into if necessary while driving The Curly Mop to daycare or The Blonde Bombshell to Kindy.

One day it blew out of the car and up into the tree, where it has been hanging, slowly disintegrating, over the past few months.  I should probably note that I hadn't vomited into this particular bag, because that would be gross. 

For the past four months I have been feeling great, maybe not quite the glowing earth mother, but certainly operating at a functional level.  Yet this bag has been a constant reminder that I wasn't always well, and there were days with this pregnancy when I wondered what the hell I was doing, and doubted I would make it to the end.

And so the bag has been quite useful in its way. As long as it is there, it helps me remember the parts of pregnancy that aren't so fun.  It would seem that women's bodies (and brains) have a knack of forgetting all the bad stuff associated with pregnancy and childbirth. 

We forget how ill we get, how sore we get, how our ligaments slip around, how things fall apart, how things fall out.

We forget all the fluids: how we pee a bit when we laugh, how every mucus membrane operates at maximum. We forget about the blood noses, the runny noses, the blocked noses.

We forget about the varicose veins in places we don't want to talk about, how we can't poo, how we can't breathe.  We forget the heart burn, the hemorrhoids, the fact that everything tastes like cheese.

We forget that we crave strange things like chalk and spam.  We forget that we cry and scream and get panicky - all over a McDonalds ad (and let's not even mention how we react to an episode of One Born Every Minute). 

We forget that we can't sleep, and if we do that we start snoring. We forget that we stop wanting sex, or if we do want it, it's at totally inappropriate times or with inappropriate people. 

We forget that we can never get comfortable.  That our favourite couch is now a death-trap, stuck for hours before someone comes home to pull you out.  We forget about the pins and needles, the numbness, the throbbing.  Bra's don't fit, undies don't fit, shoes don't fit: but to go around naked would be a crime against humanity.

We forget that a bottle of wine at the end of a bad day is a distant memory, that half the items on the menu are now on the 'no-go' list.  We forget that if we get sick or a headache, that the majority of medications are now on the black list: we are stuck with paracetamol while our man-flu suffering husbands are allowed a whole pharmacy of exotic and effective drugs.

We forget that eventually the baby has to come out somehow.  Of a Very.  Small.  Hole.

So while that bag remains in the tree, it will hopefully act as a reminder.  When I come home with my new baby, when I find myself hopped up on hormones, staring at its little face with complete love and devotion, that bag will remind me that stopping at three is a good thing. 

After all, there is no room in the backseat for another, and be damned if I'm buying a Tarago.


  1. LOVE it!! You write it so well, even if I am a newby to this whole pregnancy at only being 16 weeks. Good luck for the coming days, I wish you a safe and speedy labour :O) xx

  2. I just found your blog and got really excited when I realised you are a Perth mummy - most of the blogs I read are eastern states bloggers!

    Congrats on your third arriving soon... we are currently contemplating to three or not to three, to shamelessly plagarise an older post of yours!


    1. Thanks Pamela, good luck with your decision about Number Three. If it makes any difference, SO many people with three (and four and five) kids responded to my post The Brutal Truth About the Third Child and said that the third made their family complete. At least... no one wrote to say it was a disaster!

  3. Very funny and very true. (Yep, I'm not a Mum and haven't experienced most of the things you mention directly but I have been right there with my wife for the four pregnancies and births and breastfeedings etc etc.)It's a fricking crazy tough gig and completely freaks me out what women go through and how well (in the end) they get through it. I have had many 'what the fuck have I done to her?' moments over the four pregnancies. Good luck. Will keep checking in.

  4. Mum of a 6yo, 4yo and 2yo here that barely fit in my stationwagon. Loveing your blog!
    And as much as my family and friends don't believe it - damned if I'm buying Tarago too!

  5. I'm currently 33 weeks pregnant with my second child, and found your post so reassuring! I was certain that I was the only person who had entirely blocked/forgotten all the memories of her pregnancy! And it's great to know that I'm going to forget them all again... am just beginning to wonder how much of the babies first few months I have also blocked from my memory...

    1. The funny thing is, apart from how awkward you feel holding a new baby, I realise I haven't blocked much out of the first few days. The problems I have early on with breastfeeding have been at the forefront of my mind for months. I think I am getting on top of it. Forewarned is forearmed.

      Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

  6. Loved your last two posts - a friend sent me a link to your blog and it sounds like you are going through a similar, "oh my goodness, I'm having another baby" moment. 6 weeks to go and all anyone can say to me is: "How are you going to cope?". Well, the truth is I really don't know myself...

    Anyway, we just bought a Tarago, a very old one, but a bus nevertheless! There might be space in the car, but there will definitely be no number 4.xK

  7. Mother of two with tubes firmly tied.

  8. Mother of two, with request in for husband to get snipped! Love this.

  9. Mother of 3 plus one angel baby. Big giant 'what did I do' era from mid preg till the baby was about 8mths...she was very ill and most days I thought I had ruined all our lives. And you know what? Now, our lives are perfect and so much richer for her. And there will doubtless be a fifth at some to fill the 7 seater, right?!

  10. I am currently holding my beautiful baby number 3 asleep in my arms. Pregnancy was everything you wrote and worse. But she is worth it. Life got easier as soon as she was born and now 5 months in I am loving life with 3. With each one I have become a better mother to these three amazing little people who I am so lucky to have call me Mum.


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