A no show

Posted in: Baby on Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

It might be worth tuning out now blokes, this pregnancy stuff is about to get real.

Today I lost my show.

For those of you who don’t know the ‘show’ is it’s the mucus plug that blocks the cervix. I won’t go into any further detail. If you’re pregnant now or have been before no doubt you’ll know all about what it looks like, it’s colour variations and how much you can expect to see. Or if you’re planning to start a family down the track i’ll leave some of the beautiful feminine mystery for you to find out yourself. Or Google it and continue to be amazed by the female body’s journey through pregnancy.

Generally you lose your show just before labour is due to start, or it can be an early warning sign that things are ramping up for the big day. I lost mine this morning.

As I hurried back to the boat I just barely kept ahead of a giant crashing wave of anxiety, I’m not ready, i’m not ready, i’m not ready. Then rather logically, i’m not ready therefore i’m not in labour. Holy shit I’m. NOT. READY!. My game face completely crumpled.  Back on board and i’m on the phone to Ben who had just got on a train to work “i’ve lost my show, can you remember what they said at class? Am I going into labour?” queue the hormonal pregnant lady hysteria “i’m not readyyyyyy”  As usual he talked me back from the cliff where crazy people live and we decided I’d call my doctors after they open and find out what I should do from here.

Like any pregnant lady who might or might not be about to go into labour I decide to do the dishes and tidy the galley. Can’t have a messy kitchen. So I clean with one eye on what i’m doing, and the other on the clock. Somehow I’m managing to see what i’m doing through the tears that I have no idea why i’m crying. 8am rolls around but it turns out my doctors don’t open until 8.30am.  Knowing that another 1/2 hour will definitely push my sanity I decide to call my hospital (who will be delivering me) and speak to the midwife there. After lots of questions regarding my show and my pregnancy they asked me how her movements had been this morning and It dawned on me that i’d felt hardly any. “Okay then Sarah, we’ll get you to make your way in and we’ll pop you on the monitor just to make sure you’re both okay”.


Monitoring her heart rate and my uterine contractions

Monitoring her heart rate and my uterine contractions

So I sit on the machine for an hour during which my capricious girl decides that now I’ve come all the way into the hospital she’ll start doing her morning rumba practice. The Doctor and Midwife were certainly pleased to see her so active but it did make it harder to determine her baseline heart rate, so I spent some more time being monitored. During that time I had three tightenings, or what are known as braxton hicks contractions and some pretty sharp pains at my cervix.  All very normal and it was decided that I wasn’t yet in labour, and may not be for a while yet, or it could all kick off in a few hours. There’s just no way of knowing for sure. So they sent me back home to rest. I lost more of my show later in the afternoon. And I am trying to rest. But honestly, the floor really needed to be vacuumed and there’s the fact i’m feeling very emotional and my brain is not shutting down.

All I keep thinking is that I’ve read the books, I’ve worked on my head space and my mindfulness, I’ve watched the shows. I thought I had my shit together. That when the time came I’d be this calm, well informed birthing Goddess completely confident in myself and my body, a tower of Queenly strength. But I wobbled massively.  I’ve realised how easy it is to feel empowered and confident when the big day is still in the mystical future realm of a ‘few weeks time’. That magic realm in which pain, panic and fear don’t exist and you’ll be the shining vision of everything you want to be and things go to plan and everyone is smiley and happy. Oh and there’s rivers of chocolate and unicorns crap rainbows!

It’s completely different when you wake up to a relatively normal day and with no warning it turns into one that could end up changing your life forever.

Thankfully it would seem I have a bit more time yet. Although If today has taught me anything it’s that there’ll never be enough time and you can never really be ready.


The Joys of Pregnancy – 33 Weeks

Posted in: Baby on Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

By 33 weeks you’re well into the third trimester and by all accounts the most physically uncomfortable stage of pregnancy. They’re not wrong.

For me week 33 is definitely starting to feel like going through life with a 1.5kg watermelon strapped to your middle with at times depressing and hilarious results.

The joy begins each morning with the feat of perseverance that is getting out of bed. This is probably one of the few areas of boat life that makes being pregnant that little bit harder. How much easier would it be if I could just heave and roll out of my own side of the bed. Instead I have to employ an almost crab like, raised butt shuffle across the expanse of our double berth. Some days it’s easier to have my husband grab a leg and pull me delicately across to the end, then pull up while I push up and hooray i’m upright.

I can no longer see my feet and we’re fast approaching the point in my pregnancy and marriage where my devoted husband’s willingness to shave my legs will be tested. I assure him it’s just like shaving a really long neck but he remains to be convinced.

Then there is the fact that for the last few weeks my previously feminine way of walking has been devolving into a definite waddle with a primate-like arm swing thrown in for good measure. The effect is heightened when I try to ‘hurry’ anywhere. And the depressing thing is there is nothing I can do about it. If I do try and walk like a normal person the end result is something even John Cleese would find hilarious. Gracefulness of motion is simply no longer possible.

Which brings me to the sounds I now find myself making. So far bending over is still somewhat possible but sadly not without the involuntary release of grunts and groans similar to those you’d expect from a wallowing hippo that’s gotten a little stuck in the river mud. Even basic movements like getting up from the couch are no longer done in dignified silence.

And If I’m home alone and need something out of the bilge storage lockers, or any stowage close to the floor, I better bring a book or something to keep me occupied because once I’ve gotten down there following a careful three stage process, I will be down there a while. I simply do not have the energy to engage in the much lengthier six stage process of getting back up. The other day, my dear wonderful mother who hasn’t been below decks of our new boat actually asked me in a concerned tone if there was anywhere that I could get stuck or more accurately wedged. I laughed at first, but now I find myself seriously assessing the space I live in for choke points. According to my current assessment I should be fine.

Then there’s the fact I’ve been scanned, poked and probed more than an unfortunate victim of extra-terrestrial curiosity. My doctors can’t decide if my cervix is shortening or is in fact remaining stable so there is the medication i’m not taking orally (no, not that way either) which results in an increase of the joy that is pregnancy gas. Which quite frankly i’m surprised isn’t being sold in canisters for use in biological warfare. My poor husband has literally had his head wedged out a hatch gasping for fresh air. You definitely have to keep a sense of humour about you when you’re pregnant.

A love of science fiction also helps because at 33 weeks my ‘watermelon’ is doing some pretty weird and totally surreal things. Some times If I didn’t know any better i’d say my little one thinks the way out is through my belly button which is regularly being poked with feet, hands and elbows. We’ve laid and watched an arm or leg roll across my belly and my watermelon change shape before my eyes.

But through all the waddling, groaning and especially during the gymnastics sessions being performed inside me is the lovely realisation that our beautiful girl will soon be with us. In what feels like a few short weeks our lives will be forever changed and our cosy home aboard Runaway will be enriched even further by her presence. It’s a lovely realisation and i’m looking forward to it, I just need to survive the next few weeks of waddling, nightly reflux, the kicks to my bladder all while managing not to get wedged somewhere on board.




Baby on a Boat?

Posted in: Baby on Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

It’s the question on everyone’s mind.

How will you raise a baby on a boat? You don’t intend to stay on board now that you’re having a baby? What will you do with the boat, will you move back to land? Where will you put everything? Can I buy tickets to the show?

These are just some of the questions that get asked out loud. Goodness knows what goes through peoples heads, but their faces raise a lot more doubt and disbelief when they find out our plans to raise our baby on a boat.

Let them doubt and question. We know how crazy our plan sounds to others and we’re okay with it. Besides who isn’t a little crazy these days.

In fairness it does sound like a pretty crazy plan although we prefer bold, audacious, brave or even a little off beat.

We think the idea is just crazy enough to work. In fact we know it’s just crazy enough to have worked for others. And it’s those trail blazers, those crazy parenting pioneers that give us the courage to raise a child in a life less ordinary.

Welcome onboard

We knew even before we bought our beloved first boat that the long term plan for us would include raising our children in the cruising life. We also knew that we’d have to eventually buy a different boat for that to be possible. Those who know us or follow us on social media or read this oft-neglected blog will know that earlier this year we did just that. And in a happy twist of fate we fell pregnant not long after (the wonders of a proper size bed!)

For this plan of ours to stand the best chance of working our ‘baby boat’ had to meet specific criteria.

It had to have an aft cabin that would provide a separation of living and sleeping spaces unlike our old boat where living and sleeping were one and the same. The new boat had to have a better equipped galley with a fridge and freezer and an oven. It also needed to have a functional and functioning head with a hot/cold shower and toilet. It was important that Ben be able to sail it short handed and not least of all it had to have a space that could serve as a nursery for our little one.

What we found not only met all those expectations but far exceeded them. Runaway Moon is the perfect little home for our baby to spend her first few years.

We don’t know what those first few years will bring but we know that like any new parents be they land based or water borne we will face plenty of challenges. Some that are unique to us and the life we’ve chosen to lead and others that are universal to all new parents. Our little one will completely change how we live in our small space. She will push us to the edge of our patience not only with each other, but with her and with our boat. She will test the strength of our relationship. She will require us to sacrifice even more material things to make room for her.  But most of all she will fill the limitless space in our hearts to bursting, so that all of the above will hardly seem to matter.