Changing Nappies On A Train

keep-calm-and-change-my-nappyThis morning, I was reading and came across this article by Kelly-Rose Bradford. According to Kelly-Rose, changing your child’s nappy on a packed commuter train comes down to ”lazy parenting” and is ”disgusting”. Kelly-Rose is a mother, and a seemingly fierce one at that.

I have to wonder, when reading this article, whether Kelly-Rose has realised that whipping out a nappy on a packed train is less about being ”modern” and having a sense of entitlement, as she proclaims, and more about the mother weighing up 30 seconds of passengers feeling a bit uncomfortable versus a screaming infant for a lot longer? Does she realise that trying to walk down a packed train holding a squalling child of ANY age is a lot worse for everyone on board? I don’t think ANY mother realistically looks around at the fifty or so standing passengers and thinks ‘I know what will make this journey REALLY fun’.

I am that parent. I will change Sophie or Madeleine if I cannot get to a changing room/toilet. Sophie has chronic constipation and when she goes to the toilet, it’s twice the size of an adult stool and makes her scream the place down. The idea of trying to get to a changing room on a packed train with a hysterical toddler is just insanity. This doesn’t make me lazy, it doesn’t mean I feel like I have to bow down to Sophie. It DOES mean that logistically, walking a hysterical child down a busy train doesn’t work and no, for those thirty seconds I don’t care in the slightest what the public think. My line of thinking is that the faster I change her, the quicker she will calm down. People don’t have to look my way if I need to change her and let’s be honest, a smelly nappy is a lot less offensive than the stench of the doors opening on a train toilet cubicle.

The general public who use the facilities on a train either have serious issues with aim and pee everywhere, or feel that they are at home and don’t flush. So we all suffer!

I don’t understand where Kelly-Rose is coming from, when she brands mothers who do this as lazy? Parents cannot do right for wrong. If I didn’t change the nappy of my screaming baby, people would tut and think me a bad mother for allowing my child to disturb their precious time reading the Metro. If I did whip out a nappy and spend a few moments changing the baby, I’m disgusting and lazy for not stumbling through the train to the toilets. I couldn’t leave a buggy and everything on it on it’s own on a packed train either.

Generally I know I try and plan my day where feeds and changes may coincide with lunchtime, a nearby changing room or somewhere convenient. It’s not hard, I mean Sophie eats three times a day and Madeleine every four hours and a change every four hours on average. It’s all well and good and easy to say ”For goodness sake, a mother with a brain in her head should plan her day better and make sure the baby is fed and changed just before going out…it’s not rocket science, you know. Mothers over the centuries have managed so why can’t today’s mothers do the same…Also, today’s nappies are so super absorbent the baby hardly feels any discomfort if the little mite has to stay in a soiled one for an extra 30 mins or so..” which is what was commented on the article.

So I ask the person who said the above… Have you ever been on a packed train from Clapham Junction – Eastbourne, and your baby who was changed not ten minutes ago before you got on the train decides NOW would be the moment to have horrific diarrhea? No? It’s not fun. You watch runny, mustard coloured shit seep out of the sides of a baby grow with the speed of the train you’re sitting on. The smell is disgusting. The bottom of the pram, the baby’s outer gear and blanket are covered in yellow, noxious poop. The baby is uncomfortable and starts to scream. You can’t lift the baby without covering yourself with poop and the changing cubicle is on the other end of the train. What do you do?

You do what I did, when Sophie did exactly this at two weeks old! You grab everything you can from your changing bag, you angle the buggy so the baby’s bum is facing the wall of the train and not the strangers standing around and you clean them up as best you can with what you have, without losing your seat or leaving your belongings to the mercy of strangers. Babies don’t tend to follow an eat and shit schedule at all times. There are those times where you are in the most inconvenient of places and the worst happens. It’s embarrassing!

None of this makes me or any other harassed parent ”entitled” or bowing to their child’s needs. It makes us considerate – I know I would rather endure half a minute of stinkiness than a screaming child (including my own!) on public transport.

So, Kelly-Rose, before you open your mouth and judge other parents for making split second decisions, how about you hold your tongue and think about the ‘why’ before bashing.

Lipstick, check! Eyeliner, check! 10cms dilated, check!

An increasing trend in childbirth is having a mini makeover before pushing out a little cherub. Eyes, fake tan, waxed legs and bikini and highlights are all part and parcel for new mum preparation for a lot of women. This article was published in the Daily Mail today and having read it, I say kudos!

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Kudos to the women who remember to think of waxing before a midwife gets comfy between their legs! Personally, I was due in August, a hot and sticky month. I don’t usually wear make up in general as I believe it clogs my face and makes me spotty, so thinking of making my face up to give birth was a definite no no for me. Also, I anticipated a hot sweaty few hours and I’m that girl who puts on mascara and then forgets she’s wearing it, cue panda eyes! With make up on and pushing Sophie, I’d      have looked nothing short of a member of Kiss.

When I went into labour, I’d already shaved my legs from the day before. I wasn’t going to allow a scary beauty therapist near my lady bits with wax just for birth, as I figured I wouldn’t give a monkeys what I looked like, as long as Sophie was born safe and sound. I was right, I honestly didn’t care what I looked like. I was off my tits on gas and air and swaying to Hairspray songs. Nor did I plan for hospital photos so I definitely didn’t have to worry about a camera to get ready for. Most of the time women care about puking or pooping in labour (it happens, no one tells you) but this new trend is taking off!

On the one hand, it makes absolutely no sense to paint a face on and look stunning for labour – it is a sweaty, tearful time which as we all know can undo any hard work. When you have doctors/nurses/midwives periodically checking in on your foofy the last thing they’re looking at is your face!

On the other hand, why the hell not?? This is probably the hardest and most physically exhausting time for a woman. After 9 months of heartburn, aches and pains as well as the sexy vomiting stage, why the hell not paint a face to look beautiful after birth? I think every woman looks gorgeous after birth no matter how hot and tired she is, because she’s just successfully brought a life into the world. I also know people who ensured they had gorgeous hair for their photos and they look amazing. Why not feel good about how you look when you’ve spent nine months huffing and puffing and being sick?

bikini-wax-for-childbirthSpas and salons are catching on fast to this new trend, and have started offering pre-delivery packages to women looking to look their best in childbirth. Self esteem is one of the things we’re stripped of as our bodies change in pregnancy. It’s true, there is a time and place to doll up and labour just isn’t one of them, however, I completely get why ladies do it!

Pregnant Women Mustn’t BREATHE

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This morning I was informed about a news article making the rounds about things pregnant women should avoid. You can read it here.

This article states that pregnant women should not do the following:

Do not paint the nursery

Do not use non stick frying pans

Do not use shower gels

Do not use moisturiser

Do not use sun cream

Do not use shower gels

Do not use anything in a can

Avoid new cars

Of course, pregnant (and non pregnant people here!) women SHOULD be very careful when painting a room as inhaling the fumes isn’t the best and smells horrid. Based on this article, pregnant women should be burnt, risk skin cancer, be smelly, be dry skinned and don’t ever use baked beans or sausages. Reading this just made me laugh.

The report provided a long list of what pregnant women should not be doing – yet has little evidence that any of it can harm the unborn child surprise surprise! All through my pregnancy I was told I mustn’t eat raw fish or cold cut meats, or have a McFlurry from McDonalds or eat nuts or stand up too fast or raise my arms above my head in case I strangle the baby. I couldn’t have too much coffee and junk food was poisonous and should be avoided.images

REALLY?? You spend 9 months being told you must keep yourself sterile and eating the healthiest of healthy food (except fish and nuts, so basically transform into a rabbit and eat leaves) and then you must not use any pain relief when you’re pushing your 8lb human from an opening the size of a lemon in case you make it dopey or harm them in any way. I guess if we are going to follow this logic, pregnant women should be fitted with oxygen tanks so they don’t breathe polluted air lest it go into the bloodstream of their unborn sproglette? Oh no, you can’t do that, because another conflicting report will tell you that being in a sterile environment and eating pure sterilised food will mean your child will die of the plague because you never exposed them to germs and got their little immune systems ready for earth.

What about the neurotic first time mums (I don’t mean those like me who worry about choking or SIDS) I mean those who panic if they even eat one sly almond, or have a little bit of salt, or forget to eat their daily apple. They will read this stuff and feel terrible and guilty if they’ve dared used their Radox shower gel after a dinner they cooked on their new Tefal pan. I suppose the funny thing, is that NHS websites tell mothers that if they smoke, quitting outright cold turkey is actually bad for you as you can go into shock, thereby stressing out the baby and harming it. They say a glass of wine a week is ok too. So let’s get this straight, you can have a drink and a smoke with midwife support but if you use a shower gel it’s bad?? Ha!Baby_Chalupa

We’re told to avoid stress during pregnancy – do the idiots who write these ‘reports’ realise that reading stuff like this stresses out mothers?? In my first trimester, I threw up so often that the only thing I could keep down was two McDonalds 1/4lb burgers with the bun taken off. So I was literally eating 1/2lb of processed meat and ketchup every day. I drunk Sprite and Coke to keep my food down. My darling little baby bud rejected (and I mean projectiled) any attempt at vegetables or fruit for the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. I ate what I could which mostly turned out to be junk food and mashed potatoes! I changed my shampoo from Herbal Essence to Tresemme because the Herbal Essence smelled like puke to me. I carried on using my Dove shower gel because I was able to smell like something other than burgers and vomit. I made fried and runny eggs and mopped up the yolks with buttery toast. I ate a McFlurry a week (oo or a sundae) because it was summer time and I was a hot, sweaty pregnant woman and ice cream is delicious. Especially with dairy milk on top! I had a healthy girl born naturally four days before her due date, and heck yes I sucked down gas and air because despite her small size, I was not going to push out a human with no pain relief. Yes, yes it was selfish, images (1)but I had just given up my right to my body for nine months which is decidedly UNselfish of me!

If pregnant women listened to and adhered to every single report out there we would never eat anything other than salad (no dressing) and water and would not be allowed outside. These reports do not consider that when a baby is born into the world, they’re not kept in a sterile pod. They get messy and dirty and eat worms in the dirt and find the most microscopic bits on the floor to eat despite how much we hoover. They think licking menus or trolley bars or anything outside is great fun. Mum’s cannot sterilise the world!

Our mothers did a fine enough job bringing us into the world without all these ridiculous reports. We can do the same!

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See…totally normal!!!