CHAPTER FOUR: Not even a little bit pregnant.

6th August, 2015

I’m feeling pretty zen at the moment. We’ve had a lot on in the past week with a disappointment for the Captain at work, me being really sick and off work for a week and generally just busy.

I do love that I have less time to be nutty when I’m busy. It’s been nice. Like a vacay from Crazy-Town,

Pleased to say I haven’t peed on a stick in nearly a fortnght. I’m calling that progress.

But I’m not pregnant. Sometimes I have that crazed, niggling thought that “Maybe I’m actually already pregnant!”. Yes, because about a million BFN (big fat negative) pregnancy tests and a decidedly mean period could be wrong.

Not even a little bit pregnant.

keep-calm-i-m-not-pregnant-8

B

CHAPTER THREE: I need to stop peeing on things.

21st of July, 2015

pee on sticks

I need to stop peeing on things.

Okay. So not things. Sticks. I need to stop peeing on sticks.

Trying to conceive has truly turned a corner into crazy. I knew it was starting when I found the ovulation prediction kits and peed on those. I think I got the information I needed out of them. And I think it made me feel a little bit less helpless.

But now that I’m in that awful wait where I may or may not be pregnant, I’ve started almost obsessively doing pregnancy tests. NOW, contrary to my actions, I’m not an idiot. I realise that this is the first month of us trying to have a baby. And that even really good pregnancy tests couldn’t pick up a positive yet. AND that realistically there is very little chance that I will be pregnant. It makes me feel slightly more in control.

I may or may not have peed on all the pregnancy tests I have. There were a lot.

They are all negative.

And that’s okay.

I’m okay.

There is always another month. I can pee on things next month.

Eww. And sorry,

Bella

CHAPTER TWO – TTC, BFN, OPK and other things I don’t understand.

The Preparing to be Getting Ready to Try – 1st of July, 2015

(AKA: how I’ll over-think my way to being pregnant)

Here’s a moment of honesty. I have not much of an idea about fertility, ovulation, much about the actual science of conception and how it applies to me.

It was literally this week that I had to admit to a friend that despite being a female for over thirty years, I have no idea on what my cycle length is. Or what day I ovulate. Or even if I ovulate at all. Erm, was I supposed to know this?

I freely admit that we didn’t have any trouble conceiving either of the boys. It was very much a ‘hey, let’s see what happens!’ sorta deal. Babies happened. Awesome.

But this time around I feel strangely stressed about it. I’m older (I’m 10 years older than when we first started planning our first baby!) and haven’t had a baby in about four years. And let’s be honest, I’m heinously impatient for most things in my life. This baby especially.

I started to google – yes – I know this is a mistake. Other than some weirdly graphic pictures and some advice about rituals with chickens I am pretty sure are not scientific, I nutted out the key terms that no doubt I’m going to live my life by for a while.

Pregnancy Abbreviations

So on the advice of my friend, I’ve started tracking my cycle. Which led to a brief moment of joy and a subsequent crash with a negative pregnancy test because my period didn’t arrive when the free app I downloaded told me it should have. Stoopid app.

But I’ve persisted. I deleted that app and got a new one with better reviews. This app is WAY intrusive in what it wants you to track, but hey, it wants to know all about your lady business for a reason I guess.

The second and better app I downloaded is called Ovia (http://www.ovuline.com/) and I have to admit now that I am over the constant questions, it’s pretty cool. I check it multiple dozen times a day. At least.

But then I got sucked even further into the conception rabbit hole. The app asks me if I’ve taken an ovulation test. HEY, I love tests! I’m great at tests! Let me start doing that!

So I bought tests. They are sticks you pee on that essentially tell you whether you are ovulating which indicates it’s time to get freaky. You know how I just said I love tests? More correctly, I love WINNING at tests. However, you cannot win an ovulation test. You cannot control the result. And if you google enough, you learn that even good quality ovulation prediction kits (or OPK as the cool kids say) are massively inaccurate and throw false negatives all the time. Awesome.

I feel the crazy intensifying. I know I need to chill out, but it’s almost laughably stressy in my head.

Breathe in, breathe out. Check an app. Repeat.

Bella

CHAPTER ONE – And so it begins

THE DECISION – 21st of June, 2015

Something strange and wondrous has been happening for more than a year. Something I didn’t expect and wouldn’t have predicted.

I was getting clucky for a third baby.

Yup. A third.

Family

Me with #1 and #2. They are aged 8 and 4 now!

We’d never even really discussed it, just assumed that Oz would be our last baby and just basked in the fun and craziness that is our two lovely boys. Oz was an easy baby in lots of ways, and such a happy-go-lucky soul that raising him is a joy. And Mr H is such a little man already at 8 and so smart and thoughtful that life is pretty easy. But somewhere in my brain, the thought of MORE babies was gnawing at me.

I thought it was just me. Just some of the ‘crazy’ that I’m happy to accept as part of my personality. I’ll always love tiny babies, the same way I freak-out with pure joy if I get to pat a puppy or hold a kitten. It never meant that I NEEDED more pets, just that I love them. But I thought it was only me.

It was The Captain who actually brought it up first. He’s an amazing dad. That awesome balance of stern and structured and silly and conspiratorial. And the thought had been gnawing at him in the silence too.

But kids are expensive! Especially when you value good education and good education (IN MY OPINION) is very hard to find cheaply. I spend a lot of money on it, because I value it. And that’s my choice. So what if a baby #3 meant giving that up? Do we not educate a #3 the same way we have H and Oz? Or pull everyone out to a cheaper education? ARGH – it hurt my brain.

But kids are AMAZING! We love our family. We love our boys. We love raising little humans into bigger humans. And what we kept coming back to was the over-arching thought:

In my elderly years, or on my death-bed, will I think to myself “Thank God I didn’t have more children. That money I saved was totally worth it.”?

Hell no.

So we decided that Baby #3 is a thing. A thing we are doing. At some point soon we are going to start trying for another baby.

And I am excited and delighted and terrified.

Pretty much just being a mum in a nutshell.

Stay Tuned,

Bella

Things I’m Loving: Cheeta Recovery Tights

Sooo, it’s not much of a secret that I live in gym tights. Between my own training, working in schools doing physical activities with children and training adult clients – it’s literally the only wardrobe choice that makes sense.

I did a wardrobe clean-out the other day and sorted my clothes. NINETEEN pairs of tights. Crikey. And how many of those went in the to-donate pile? One.

I clearly have a problem.

But you see, I’m fussy. Because I wear them A LOT, I need tights to be dependable. I have basic pre-requisites for my tights. These are normally:

  • Not insanely expensive. I pay for good fabrics but I swear some brands think their tights are made of unicorn skin.
  • LONG or 3/4. Being 5’10, most “full length” tights are 7/8th pants on me and I’ve learned to deal but I love my ankles covered if I can. I won’t even start on the 3/4 tights that are the weird knee-shorts length. Urgh.
  • Versatile. I break this rule OFTEN. Every time I’m buying tights I think, “I should buy tights that I can wear with everything so I don’t need to bother matching anything”. And then I get distracted by WHOA, tiger print, YEE-HAA, giant roses, HEYHEY funky graffiti. So yes, this is a rule but one I will break for the right tight.
  • The sheer-butt issue. This is pretty much a blog post in itself but I’ll keep it short. I’m a PT, whether I like it or not when I am supervising, spotting, coaching clients, I see a lot of tights and know which ones are likely to go see-through. No-one likes it. It’s a pain in the clearly-visible ass.

SOOOO, when Jon from https://www.cheetarecovery.com.au/ emailed me asking if I’d be interested in trying a pair of their tights – I ran it through the checklist.

  • Pricing – If I was buying a pair, the full length tights are currently $60. That compared really well to other brands I had been looking at.
  • I wouldn’t know the length until I tried them on but the measurements looked promising. The models used didn’t look like teen-tiny humans which is always a clue.
  • They are all black, with a simple small logo on one quad. Super versatile right?
  • Sheer-butt issue – the great unknown. There have been tights from GREAT brands, that I paid A BOMB for that have still gone sheer when I squat or bend. But for a road-test – I was prepared to risk it.

So I agreed, and Jon sent me a pair of these:

Cheetarecovery

When they arrived I did the usual gasp – SO FREAKING SMALL. But they are a compression pant so unstretched and especially new, they looked tiny. The fabric is super soft but matte-finish which I like.

Things I hadn’t noticed on the website was the subtle seam-shaping through the butt and legs too. Also liked.

I tried them on and they are indeed super comfortable. I would describe them as a light compression style tight, certainly not the ‘spanx’ feeling that you get with some. Bonus was that you don’t get the squeezy muffin-topping that you can with those.

The waistband does sit higher on me than in the picture, but as a Mum of two with a c-section lower ab jiggle, I love that. The length was surprisingly good too. I won’t say they were super long but absolutely touching my ankle-bones which is a win.

But I can hear the screaming – Do Cheeta Recovery tights go sheer?? Well, do they?

Well, um, yes and no.

The proper answer is no. I am still wearing mine more than a month after receiving them. Happily training in them, wearing them to work and have even been known to layer them with dresses and boots on the odd occasion I was pretending to have clothes other than gym gear. And on all of these occasions, my butt was indeed not sheer.

But yes, while I was brutally testing them after receiving them, I COULD make the butt go sheer. In order to do that though I had to:

  • Pull them up high on my waist.
  • Pull the legs low down on my ankles.
  • Perform a full ass-to-grass squat or low stiff-legged deadlift WHILE
  • wearing patterned and/or coloured undies.

So really, no. Cheeta Recovery tights are not going to go sheer. I’ve seen much more expensive tights be sheer with far less provocation.

BUT – With all brands of tights, the simple steps for not baring your ass are the same.

  • Choose the right size – for me, this meant sizing up so that I chose tights appropriate for my height not my weight.
  • Put them on properly, like pantyhose (bunch them up, then inch them gradually up your legs evenly).
  • Wear solid coloured underwear.

To wrap up – I’m wearing them a lot, I love them and think they represent really good value. I wash mine 1-2 times a week on average and the logo is still intact (I don’t know about you but I hate the look of big peeling X’s on other tights!).

I train with both weights and spin classes in them a lot and haven’t had any issues with slipping or falling down either. They do have a drawstring but I honestly find the compression enough to keep them in place.

Certainly have a look at them and let me know what you think. I love that they have a money-back guarantee as well!

DISCLAIMER – Jon from Cheeta Recovery did indeed send me a free pair in order to have me road-test them but my opinion is definitely mine. If you’d like to snap yourself up a pair, check out https://www.cheetarecovery.com.au/ and feel free to use the promo code SAILORVEE to get 10% off. I don’t get a kick-back for that either – I just like making people happy!

Hope that helps in your shopping adventures!
Bella

The Paleo Problem (or why I’m being a #foodwanker)

We hear it all the time: you should be the hero of your own story. But most days, that’s easier said than done!

Today, take 5 minutes to imagine how you could rewrite the story of your health, starring you as the superhero. What would your hero costume be? Would you have special superpowers? Is there a way to start acting a little more like that hero right now?

jpeg

I have chosen to be a super food wanker! Pardon the crass term, but a friend of mine uses it to describe a near-secret faction of healthy-food aficionados and it appeals to me right now.

A #foodwanker puts intense effort into their food. There are clever, health-ful ingredients. There is artsy, fancy plating or presentation ideas. And there is lots of caring about what the #foodwanker is actually eating.

You see, I don’t really care about food. I haven’t for a really long time. If it on my list, I’ll eat it. But sometimes, if it just happens to be on my plate, or the kid’s plates or on a platter at an event but isn’t on my list, I’ll eat it too.

My challenge is to be more of a #foodwanker. Especially as my recent blood tests have indicated that my body is struggling to handle inflammation and insulin and I’m not super keen on being diabetic. Not even a little bit keen to be honest. Diabetes sucks.

So I am doing 30 days of paleo eating and the worry I have about feeling restricted to no dairy, no gluten, no grains, no sugar and no alcohol for a month needs a way to be alleviated or I’ll go nuts. Activated nuts.

So my super power will be to care more deeply about food than I ever have before. Beware the foodporn and ridiculous hashtags!

Of course, the flip side to Paleo and any lifestyle so heavily focussed on organic, leafy, grass-fed, patted-twice-daily, holier-than-thou produce is that you can come across looking a bit, well….. like a smug ass-hat.

I am trying super hard not to do that. Because I am not in anyway smug (or even a foodie) and have already had a laugh that I might ever be considered a #paleofoodwankermum. However, #kid2 stole most of my chia custard and liked it so I gave him one #cleaneatingkids #notoxinsformybabies #bettermumthanyou (oops, perfect example of smug ass-hat moments!)

PS – if you don’t already, come follow me on Instagram. I’m very cleverly registered there as @bellafountain

Chia and Coconut Custard topped with blueberries and Chopped Almonds

Chia and Coconut Custard topped with blueberries and Chopped Almonds

A jar full of salad - tres #foodwanker!

A jar full of salad – tres #foodwanker!

Sorry in advance,

#foodwankerBella

Decide to be lucky

I have a friend who is working through a divorce at the moment. I say ‘working through’ rather than going through. Because it is and has been, an amicable separation and now legal divorce. No yelling, no hating, no ugliness. When I heard them speak about it though, they mentioned how lucky they are to have things work out so well.

I agree and I don’t.

In many situations in life, we make choices that affect our ‘luck’. In that particular end of a marriage, there are two people who are making choices about their behaviour, their mindset and about working together. So it’s ‘lucky’ that they both feel the same way about it, but not that it’s actually coming together this way.

I often tell myself that I am so lucky to have met The Captain and to have a lovely husband and a strong marriage. But that luck in meeting him was totally steered by the fact I had no desire to hang out with guys who were less than good people. The fact was that I was purposefully aloof and would always prefer to be single than the girlfriend of some ass. Even if they weren’t an ass all the time. So when I met The Captain, and time after time he demonstrated his amazing character not just about or to me, just the way he thinks and the little glimpses into his moral compass, it was no surprise that I fell madly in love. So yes, it was luck that this meeting happened when I was so young, but not that I married someone with the same values that I have. It’s not at all perfect, but we mark thirteen years together and ten years married next week, and it is amazing.

One area where I do feel true luck is with the conception, pregnancies, birth and beyond of my lovely boys. As someone who had been less-than-healthy in my teens and early twenties, I fully expected to struggle to get pregnant, and maybe that I wouldn’t be able to have children at all. The fact that I did really is luck. I see that Michelle Bridges is ‘being slammed’ (there’s a few irked facebook comments) for saying the healthy lifestyles of herself and her partner Steve contributed to the luck of them falling pregnant at her age (she is 44). In the article (you can read it here) she repeatedly uses the word lucky. Like me, the couple had assumed that a contributing factor in their lives might hamper getting pregnant, they had even gone so far as to book IVF appointments, but with luck, fell pregnant naturally. Had they steered their luck by being uber fit and healthy? Maybe. And when you finally take the plunge to start or extend your family, the constant worry about how things will turn out sometimes make you cling to the choices you CAN make, rather than the flipping of the universe’s coin. Even now, when I think about taking the plunge one day to expand our family, I think I couldn’t possibly be this lucky again.

luck quote

Because realistically, there are people out there who do ALL THE RIGHT THINGS who struggle and even fail to be able to fall pregnant, carry babies to term or have their children born with health or developmental struggles. I was lucky as was Michelle. I truly don’t think her comments are offensive to people who are trying to fall pregnant who aren’t as fit and healthy as she is. Because it was luck. And even if it took her a year, and IVF and sixteen lab-coats, it would still have been luck.

So where I think I’m at with luck is that a lot of what we feel is luck is actually mindset. We choose so much of our future without even realising it’s in the little choices we make all the time. Stick to your goals, and beliefs and the rest really is pure, dumb luck.

Heads or Tails?
Bella