Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Damage Done by Pregnancy

Nobody tells you about the damage pregnancy can do to your body. 

The physical exhaustion is nothing compared to the number of years it takes off your life.

I reckon I aged about 10 years in my 4 continuous years of 3 pregnancies. Even now, 2 years after my last pregnancy, I’m still recovering. 

I recently signed up for a course of cranial-sacral (CS) therapy, because I feel that my body is out of alignment, my muscles have tightened up (lost their memory, according to the CS guy), and I’m so stiff and sore all over. 

I feel that my body needs a lot of repair; I can trace back the brokenness to my second pregnancy, aged 36, when I really started to notice the wear and tear on my body. 

Granted, my age could have some bearing on it too, but I went from being quite fit to being an exhausted zombie not able to walk or talk properly. 

My hands became weak and numb and I could barely use them in the mornings. I had developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which is caused by pinched nerves and swelling, and made worse by pregnancy. This has progressively got worse since then and now I have to wear splints on my wrists every night.

My pelvis collapsed under the extra weight I was carrying and no amount of physio, chiropractic treatment or cranial sacral has managed to return it back to normal since; I’m told I have a sprained pelvis now and every time I lift the kids for too long it hurts again.

My brain turned to mush and I was constantly in a bubble during and after pregnancy - until I convinced my doctor to put me on a daily pill for under-active thyroid. It was a lightbulb moment. Within a week, the fog had lifted and I could think clearly again. It wasn’t just exhaustion, breastfeeding or depression – and I hadn’t lost my brain after all. It came back, clarity resumed. It makes me wonder how many women are diagnosed with post-natal depression when really they have a sluggish thyroid?

My hair fell out. This could have been something to do with the thyroid issue, but generally in pregnancy and breastfeeding your hormones are all over the place, as are your nutrient levels, so your hair thins and loses its lustre. Mine was always very thin to start with, so it thinned to very little on top – and never came back, even though I've tried expensive remedies since then. 

My gums receded and bled causing major gum disease aka pregnancy gingivitis, which cost €700 to fix! Your gums are more likely to become inflamed during pregnancy because of the hormonal changes that make them more sensitive to the bacteria in plaque. In the UK, they offer pregnant women free dental care, not in Ireland.

My belly turned to jelly and has never recovered tone or shape since. One big meal can swell the jellybelly to look 5 months pregnant. 

My nether regions became sore and sensitive because of tearing during birth and having to be stitched afterwards (more painful than giving birth in my experience).

My sinuses exploded during pregnancy as my immune system lowered and my hayfever/allergic rhinitis became unreactive to antihistamine. I tried acupuncture but that only worked temporarily. Then I found a cure

My sanity was stretched to the very brink by colicky babies, sleepless nights, hyperactive screaming kids and the incessant demands of motherhood.

The only thing that seemed to improve was my eyesight, which apparently is due to changes in the hydration of the cornea, so I don’t have to wear my glasses so much anymore.

Oh and I also developed the ability to remain calm in stressful situations and multitask like a demon on speed. That’s a big plus point. 

But even though I’m broken and battered, it’s all definitely worth it. Don’t let this put you off having babies – some people would give their right arm and eyeball to have babies, so I gave up very little of myself in comparison. 

What damage did pregnancy do to your body?

Post a Comment

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


One thing that has made my life much easier as a mum has been internet shopping. I don’t know where I’d be without mummy’s little laptop and the ability to order food and other goods after the kids have gone to bed.

How did mums ever cope years ago before the internet and the likes of Amazon, Tesco, Littlewoods and ebay?! I'd be demented!

I’m a big fan of online grocery shopping – it saved my sanity in the early days of brand new babies, especially when number 3 came along and the other two were a handful to chase around the supermarket.

So when Tesco emailed asking me to do a review of their online shopping experience with a €50 discount, I jumped at the chance. I have shopped online with Tesco before but not for at least a year, having been lured away by my local Supervalu’s online service offering free delivery and often usurped in my shopping duties by the husband who prefers Lidl/Aldi.

I took back control of the shopping this week. It felt nice. This way I got to include ingredients and things that I actually need, rather than bulk-buying of boring foods hubby thinks we need (stop buying pasta Tom, we've enough to feed an army!).

Because I’m already registered for Tesco, I didn’t need to bother signing up, but for those who haven’t tried it before, it’s pain-free and totally integrated with the Clubcard for ease of collecting points and keeping a record of all your favourite products. 

If you just want to go in and buy the same shop every time, you just click on your favourites and add what you need, plus a few special offers.

I'm a special offer junkie - I always start off with all the discounted products, viewing them all at once, then going through the categories such as Half price, buy one get one, etc so that I don’t miss any half-price bargains. Then I go to favourites to make sure I’m not missing all our regular staples. 

Using the Multisearch shopping list

Then I refer to the paper list that’s been knocking around the house for a few days, such as anchovies, dishwasher tabs and nappies, and add those to the shopping list pad on the right hand side, which gives you a really handy way of scrolling through your listed products by clicking ‘next’. If you’ve missed a special promotion, the system will tell you. 

My only issue is with non-intuitive search-spelling, try searching for Tesco own-brand Rice Crispies or Frosties and you'll be all day. There's so many cereals that going through the menu is not the quick option either. The reason: they're all called unusual things, such as Frosted flakes or Rice Snaps which don't turn up in searches for Frosties or Crispies/Krispies. Minor issue I know, but this could be solved by a being able to 'refine your search' by 'Tesco own-brand' - I'd also like to see refine by 'Price' as well please Tesco, given that we're all tighening the purse stings these days. 

I got there in the end with the snaps and frosted flakes

Then just review your list, tell Tesco if you want the picker to substitute if your product isn’t available (I used to say no, but now I say yes, because the pickers generally give you a decent substitute), and click checkout and pay. This is where you add in your e-coupons – one of which you’ll find at the end of this blog post - and ClubCard vouchers.  

Job done. Wait for the delivery driver to come the next day and it's like Christmas - loads of food delivered straight onto your kitchen table. The kids love this bit. "Tesco man! Tesco Man!" they scream, not dissimilar to the way they scream "Santa! Santa!". The only thing left to do is to put it in your fridge and cupboards - before the kids start raiding the biccies and my Ben & Jerry's ice cream (treat-to-self).

It's so much easier than driving to a supermarket, lugging products in and out of the trolley at the checkout, carrying bags in and out the car, not to mention the effort involved in trying to pacify kids every step of the way.

My verdict? Internet grocery shopping is essential for time-poor mummies desperate for every little bit of help they can get. If you buy a big shop online like I just did, you only need to pop to the local Spa shop for a few extra bits towards the end of the week. I find I can stretch out a big shop like this for almost 2 weeks!

You need at least an hour if you're a repeat shopper. Longer if you're new, as it takes a while to build up your list and learn to navigate around the site. 

If I'm pushed for time I'll chuck some favourites in the basket and then check it out. I then go back in later and add/edit products because it's easy to do this until the previous evening of your order. Next time, I'm going to try the iPhone app, which I only just discovered whilst writing up this blog post.

Tesco is always a brilliant shopping experience. The service is so efficient - our friendly driver Dennis arrived very punctually and cheerfully. Drivers work until 11pm on week nights so it really is very convenient. 

And now the good news, Tesco is offer Mama D readers a €20 off new customer code.
Tesco website:
€20 off when you spend €60 or more on your first online grocery shop at
eCoupon code: RXXF4NC
Offer end date: 10th October 2013
Full terms and conditions can be found at


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...