Category Archives: Pregnancy

Welcome To The HerFamily Week By Week Pregnancy Guides!

If you are secretly pregnant.. congrats. (I promise your secret is safe with me!)

At Week 4 you might not even realise that you’re pregnant yet and are wondering if you’re so exhausted simply because you drank so much wine at the weekend OR because you are already mum to a small child.

I knew between weeks 4 and 6 that I was pregnant with both of my kiddos – I’m acutely aware of my body’s changes and ran for pregnancy tests as soon as my symptoms presented themselves!

Finding out this early means you have a VERY long pregnancy but you also get to keep a secret with your partner for ages too before you reveal the Big News in a couple of months’ time!

I recorded these Week By Week Pregnancy Guides with HerFamily and WaterWipes in January and I think they’ve turned out SO well.

There’ll be an update each week on their Facebook page and YouTube accounts and I’ll share them here too.

I hope we can share your exciting preggo journey together – this all isn’t making me broody at all, I SWEAR!

Got any nice pregnancy announcement ideas to share? We’d love to hear them so let us know in the comments on Facebook!


Maureen The Midwife Talks Vaginas (Or Does She?!)

One of my favourite things about working at HerFamily was bringing ‘Maureen The Midwife’ to life.

If you are or have ever been pregnant and attended an antenatal class at one of our nation’s fine maternity hospitals, then you may have encountered a ‘Maureen’.

She wouldn’t be great on tact, our Maureen, nor answering questions from nervous soon-to-be-in-labour mothers and generally speaking, would rather talk about the poor selection of madeira cake at the hospital canteen.

A ‘Maureen’ is an enigma in the Irish maternity services – one wonders why she’s allowed to be around expectant mothers when she clearly has no time for their nonsense nor questions surrounding where the actual fuck they might find their perineum.

Maureen would like you to give birth at the back of the green bin in your back garden if at all possible – whatever it takes for you to NOT RING THE HOSPITAL WHEN YOU GO INTO LABOUR.

You know who I’m talking about, don’t you?

Enjoy this comedy skit, my lovelies, there are lots more video to come!

*On a personal note, I LOVED my antenatal classes in Holles Street Maternity Hospital – especially when I went for a refresher day course when pregnant on Eva.

The lady who gave the class should actually have her own TV comedy show – it was around the time of the senior hospital staff salary ‘top ups’ scandal and she started the antenatal class with this;

“Welcome to Holles Street Hospital, where we are not allowed to ask for a coffee top up at the staff canteen any more. We must ask for a REFILL”.

I mean, you wouldn’t want to be heavily pregnant and in danger of breaking your waters, would you?

If you have any great antenatal class stories to share, we’d love to hear them over on our Facebook Page!

Pregnancy workouts? Me (expanding) arse

I came across this cool preggo fitness video recently; ‘Knocked Up Fitness’. LOVE. THE. NAME.

I didn’t do nearly as much exercise when pregnant with Eva as I did with Jacob. I would have liked to swim again, since it gives you the sensation of being something other than a beached whale, but I didn’t have time (or didn’t make time) what with the house move and the business and the jaysus toddler in the house.  I tried antenatal yoga for a spell, until they started pairing us off to help each other to stretch. No, no, NO. I was soooo not there to talk to other human beings! The smallest amount of quiet time, when there are tiny people who won’t stop talking, and (tbh) BIG people who won’t stop talking, around you constantly, is sacrosanct.

In reality, the most of my own ‘Knocked Up Fitness’ was giving up smoking and drinking (ps still not smoking, although hope to never stop drinking). However, if you’ve got any more energy than I do while carrying that tiny growing human around inside you – check out the link below to purchase the DVD.

Knocked Up Fitness on Amazon

(PS: The idea of pregnant workouts always reminds me of this hilarious video starring Christina Applegate for the Funny or Die website. Enjoy!)

[Like this? Check out My Birth Story: ‘The Supermarket Sweep’


My Birth Story by Suzette Meade

My first foray into the life changing event of childbirth for our son Liam involved being medically induced at 10 days past EDD (expected due date), being fully juiced up with epidural for the 17 hours of a slow contracting cervix – the pushing part was just 15-20 minutes.

So when it came time to start trying for number two ( 7 months later) we got lucky the first attempt (whoops!). We both were hoping it was a girl cause at 39, I wasn’t keen on trying again. No ultrasound reveals with either pregnancies – we prefer Kinder Surprise.

Not keen on another 42 week pregnancy (especially suffering an immobilizing sciatic nerve issue from 36 weeks – with a non walking 17 month old toddler) I started acupuncture from 37 weeks and taking evening primrose oil capsules (not orally) to soften my cervix.

At my 39 week check up my midwife seeing me hobble in to the office told me she was going to give me a stretch and sweep straight away. Jane didn’t make any promises and in fact informed me she had very short fingers and probably wouldn’t be able to reach that far up my Va-jj. As she removed her lube laced latex hand with a grin on her face she announced she found one of my evening primrose capsules but more importantly she felt the babies head and had stretched me from already being 2cm to 3cm.

3:30am Two days later, I woke (for the 7th time that night) around 3:30am feeling uncomfortable . I made my slow waddle to kitchen to get Panadol and by the time I reached the cupboard the pain stopped, so I turned around to head back to bedroom before it appeared again… hmmm that’s strange I thought. Plonked myself on the sofa in the loungeroom and opened the contractions app I had downloaded months ago and proceeded to time the cramps, by the 4th contraction arriving every 3 minutes I realized this must be it. Killian woke for work at 6am – promptly called the birthing unit to advise of our impending arrival. We woke my mum (who had just arrived 4 days earlier) and Liam and got ready for 10 minute car ride to hospital, as my husband doesn’t have his Drivers License we ALL made the trip in. Mum driving that stop/start way taxi drivers do when you are holding back ten pints after a session, my 6”2 husband in the back seat jammed between the two baby seats. Breaking the tension was our toddler mimicking my escalating moans as I ohhed and ahhed through contractions that were breathtaking now (and I don’t mean in a Cillian Murphys eyes way).

815am – Arrive at the birthing suite
Placed into the observation room while administrative pandemonium ensued about having two separate patient IDs from my maiden name from my sons birth to my Mrs. moniker.
After 25 minutes no staff had come in to introduce themselves and by then contractions were crashing on top of each other, I was pressing that red call button like it was hopefully going to administer epidural relief.

9am – Finally arrival of Lillian the Teaching Midwife (that was her name badge) – she gave me an internal, waters gushed and she calmly announced that I was already 8cm and this baby will be arriving in the next half an hour. I responded with one word “EPIDURAL”. Only to be told there was no time, in fact there were no birthing suites free and I would be giving birth in the observation room where there was in fact not even any gas an air installed- so I guess no point getting that typed birth plan out my midwife forced us to prepare!

Lillian quickly ran off to gather a tray of sterilized goodies and the baby warmer station, and returned with another midwife (in training).

A second internal check and midwife pushed the last 1/2 cm of cervix over babies head and told me to crack on with pushing. To make it all more vivid (sans drugs) Lillian was giving running commentary on what was taking place downstairs so the training midwife would understand the stages of labour….
It was like a verbal mirror for my husband who has been given a ban on looking at the business end. To say it was different after an epidural birth was an understatement, actually feeling this mass opening up the lower end of your body was almost an out of body experience. Certainly wasn’t prepared for that sting of the 36cm diameter head forcing its way out, there was no ladylike heehooheehoo from me, more like “ that’s effing stinging, I am splitting, it feels like you are effing cutting me – can I push that’s killing me.

That final overwhelming release of pressure and gush as a new life emerges from inside you is indescribable. Amongst the rush of arrival and setting up the makeshift birthing suite we managed to instruct the two assisting us with the birth that we wanted Killian to announce the sex of our baby, and as the screaming slippery new person was placed on my chest all warm and musky smelling I turned to Killian and said what did we have? He joyfully replied “ A girl, we have a girl”
An hour and 45 minutes after walking through the automatic doors of the hospital we were holding our new daughter and Liams new sister, Matilda Alice.

Checked and cleared to leave the ward at 4pm that same day. My Mum to nervous driving car with newborn so I drove us home just 6 hours after giving birth – and we stopped via fish n chip shop on the trip home, it was Friday!

Suzette and the beautiful Matilda

Suzette and the beautiful Matilda


Breastfeeding Is Back

There is a marked difference in attitude, between when I had Jacob in 2011 and having now had Eva in 2014, so far as breastfeeding is concerned.

In 2011, I was uninspired, underwhelmed and slightly badgered by midwives and public health nurses about breastfeeding. It was just something I ‘should’ have been doing, and if I didn’t master it, I was a bit of a disappointment. Aside from that, I didn’t really feel like I had anyone around me who I could talk to about the whole process of breastfeeding, who was like me and who would offer practical advice.

As a consequence, I put my head in the sand about it and after about two and a half weeks of miserable breastfeeding attempts with Jacob, I fucked the breast pump across the room (narrowly missing Ass Monkey’s pretty head), smashed it against the kitchen sink, and that was the last my boobs and I spoke of it.

But in 2014, things have changed. I mean, there was still this conversation with an ole bitch at the maternity hospital when I was registering my pregnancy:

Ole Bitch: And do you plan on breastfeeding your baby?

Me: I do.

Ole Bitch: Did you breastfeed your first child?

Me: I did.

Ole Bitch: For how long?

Me: For approximately two and a half weeks.

Ole Bitch: (disappointed stare) What happened exactly?

Me: (already texting Ass Monkey to get into the room before I punched the head off her) EH I STOPPED BREASTFEEDING???

Regardless of Ole Bitch’s attempts to put me off forever – just to spite her – I’m happily combination feeding Eva boob and bottle, five weeks in. I still have absolutely no idea how I’ll breastfeed in public without having to take all my clothes off like I do at home, but for the moment, that’s fine with me because I’m not planning on going anywhere.

The difference is that I have much more positive and practical support this time. I now know about nipple guards and the best creams to use to ensure that I’m not in pain (because seriously, why would you put yourself through that? The sleep deprivation and the emotional roller coaster with a new baby is enough to contend with), and I also know SHIT LOADS OF AMAZING WOMEN WHO BREASTFEED.

Isn’t that the trick? That there are people we can all relate to who are showing us the way? (Who can forget ‘role model’ Jordan saying that she didn’t breastfeed her kids because ‘Boobs Are For Sex’? NICE ONE, ASSHOLE). That’s why I think this ‘Breastfeeding Buddy System’ from Friends of Breastfeeding is great. It is currently in the experimental stages but they will pair you up with someone who will support you through the whole process of breastfeeding, from getting comfortable doing it at home, to getting outdoors and breastfeeding in public for the first time.

If you’re interested in reading about it, or finding out how to sign up, click the link HERE

***It’s really important to stress that breastfeeding is not for everyone, and that’s ok. For many women, it isn’t ‘the most natural thing in the world’ that lots of people say it is. Whatever works for you is all that matters, make your own choices for you and your family and remember you are an Amazing Parent ;o)

Sharyn x


The Best Moany Preggo Video…EVER!!

As you are all well aware of how much I pissed and moaned during my pregnancy (thanks millions for putting up with me), we thought it might be fun to catalogue some of our most ridiculous comments and outbursts when we’re up the duff… and to record it forevvvvvaaahhhh.

So we want to make a cool video called ‘Sh*t Pregnant Women Say’ – featuring YOU!

If you have some funny phrases, one-liners or gripes that you have said while pregnant, simply put yourself on camera and send it on. Then you could star on our hilarious compilation of pregnancy moaners!

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

1. I’d love some pate….or a smoke.

2. I haven’t had sex in 8 months.

3. Sorry I’m late, I’ve been throwing up all…month.

*Send your video file via to by August 30th. We can’t wait to see how pissy and moany you all are!! 

My Birth Story: The (Supermarket) Sweep

When your pregnancy runs overdue, a few things go by the wayside. That mani/pedi you paid for and thought would get you through to the labour and beyond chips away. The ‘last clean’ of the house before you’re gone into hospital for a few days becomes a distant memory as everything gets grubby again. The grandparents that have been on high alert for a month to help with your toddler start getting bored and threaten to start booking holidays. All of the precision planning and bouncing around on that fucking fit ball all becomes a bit… pointless.

So at 8 days overdue, I decided to take matters into my own…em…vagina. I was already scheduled in for an appointment with my consultant that I thought I would never be attending in a million years. But as that date drew closer, there I was, still preggo and still waddling up to the maternity hospital to see him yet again. My consultant was one of those older male doctors, somebody’s da, possibly somebody’s granda, so I planned to ask him for a Sweep to get things moving along, and I had no problem with that.

A Sweep, in case you are wondering, requires your participating ‘sweeper’ to stick a couple of fingers up your hoo ha, to give the neck of the cervix a good ole stretch so that it might help the process of labour along. My maternity hospital didn’t exactly offer that as an option, so you have to request it. So yes, essentially…you’re begging someone to finger you.

When I arrived at the hospital, armed with this plan, I discovered to my horror that my old fogey consultant was on holidays, and was replaced by a 30-something handsome doc from Limerick. OF COURSE HE WAS. I was fucking mortified and nearly didn’t ask him for the Sweep for fear of actually enjoying it. (In the end, it’s actually more like getting fingered for the first time by some 17 year old who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Say, behind a tree in the woods… but perhaps I’ve said too much).

Anyway, my awkward first date had a positive outcome. I started feeling a few pains as early as going home in the car that afternoon.  At 1am I woke up with one big intense pain, and we called granny around to stay over with Jacob so that we could go to the hospital. One of the cautions the doctor had given me with the Sweep was to watch out for bleeding that was continuing 12-15 hours after the fact, and I was. I also hadn’t felt the baby move for a little while so called the hospital who advised we come straight in. Needless to say, I was crying and worried that I shouldn’t have had the Sweep at all, and that something was wrong.

But as Ass Monkey sped onto the north quays after the O2, and I remarked how beautiful & calm the city is at night, I felt the baby move for the first time since I’d woken up at 1am. There were a few more tears of relief then that everything was going to be ok. (On enquiry at the hospital, I am told that the ‘show’ I had been waiting for can sometimes separate, so you can pass either blood or mucus separately, and not just together. Great to know after the fact… ahem)

Got to the hospital for around 2.30am and was admitted straight away. We were brought to a labour room and met Sheeba, the coolest Indian woman and midwife in the world. Ass Monkey gently let her know that his life wouldn’t be worth living if I didn’t get the epidural, so she booked it in straight away (he’s clearly too handsome to lose so young ;o) ). We were all in good spirits and had a little stroll up and down the corridors to keep things moving before The Drug Man would be allowed to see me (I was only just beginning to dilate – and you can’t get the epidural until you’re at least 1cm dilated) . The dude in question actually passed us by on the corridors as I was strolling around, and Sheeba pointed him out.

‘Where is he going?!’ I asked, alarmed. ‘Don’t let him leave the hospital!’

Sheeba laughed. ‘The deal is – if you can catch him, you can have the epidural’.

Brilliant. Can you imagine twenty or so heavily pregnant women in a race around a maternity hospital to score their painkillers? I SO CAN.

Once I was properly dilated, things started to move pretty quickly. I’m not entirely sure of the time frame but we could be talking 4am-4.30. My contractions were now coming every 2-3 mins and were getting really intense. As I am a complete wuss when it comes to pain, I started having a meltdown. I wanted Ass Monkey to hold my hand, then I wanted him to leave me alone, then I started crying, then I started wailing ‘Help me… Please help me….’ (Yes, seriously).

The Drugs DO Work

The Drugs DO Work

The Drug Man arrived – thank fuck – and Ass Monkey literally had to hold me steady while I sat on the side of the bed and endured the contractions. I don’t know how he did it because I was totally freaking out. And obviously, you really don’t want to move an inch when someone is trying to get a needle into your back.  It’s SO worth it though. My contraction pains got less and less difficult to deal with over the next half an hour until I stopped feeling them at all.

And then I had a snooze. Yes, seriously ;o)

We all kept chatting and Sheeba monitored me over the next couple of hours until the baby was ready to make an appearance. This waiting time can be a little bit frustrating as you feel like you’re ready and you’re so dying to meet the little person. I kept asking ‘When are we doing this? Now? Half an hour? When?’ And Sheeba just smiled & told me she’d examine me in another while….

7am was Go Time. Ass Monkey was instructed to grab one leg, Sheeba had the other and she gave me my instructions.

‘One big deep breath, then push, push, push, down into your bum. You ready?’

I was. I was so ready.

‘Ok Sharyn – take a deep breath (I did), and…’

The door to our room opened and a voice called out over the screen between it and my bed.

‘Sheeba do you have a spare set of keys?!’

Our Sheeba looked amused. ‘Em no I don’t!’ she replied.

‘I don’t either!’, I chipped in.

‘Yeah, me either’, Ass Monkey threw in his two cents. ‘We’re a little busy here!’

The three of us went into meltdown and couldn’t stop laughing. The timing couldn’t have been any better because we relaxed entirely.

‘Ok, no laughing’ Sheeba tried to get us all back in the game. (It took another minute or two). ‘Take a deep breath, and…push’

The little baby’s head was visible (to them anyway) after two pushes, completely out at 3 (‘I can see black hair! – Ass Monkey. ‘I keep calling her a she, I don’t know why’ – Sheeba), and the body was out on 4 pushes plus a few of those little short breaths they tell you about in antenatal class.

Each of us looked down immediately to see what little present we had been given – a girl! A GIRL!! Wait, a girl? How do we have a girl? We only picked out a boy name and Jacob thinks he’s getting a little brother and – OH MY GOD WE HAVE A GIRL!!!

When I say we cried, we really cried. I’m still crying a little bit every day. The joy, the euphoria. A gorgeous little baby girl xxx

A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born

**Would you like to share your birth story with us? Send it to**

Preggo Watch: A Holy Show

Preggo Promo Shot For The 'Up The Duff' Show 2011

Preggo Promo Shot For The ‘Up The Duff’ Show 2011

I didn’t have a ‘show’ with Jacob. Well, I did, but that was in The Sugar Club when I was 5 or 6 months’ pregnant and ‘Shazwanda’ was singing songs about only getting knocked up for the sake of the free buggy, free nappies and instant listing for social housing that she could get her hands on. Especially ‘coz she was a single mudder an’ all…

I have also made a holy show of myself before & since, but of that, I’m sure, you’re already well aware.

I am told that one must have a ‘show’ in order for labour to begin and take place – that if that mucus plug doesn’t dislodge itself and slither away, then how will the baby find it’s way to the light at the end of one’s, erm, tunnel?

As I did not bear witness to the departure of my mucus plug when I went into labour with Jacob, and as there is still, as yet, no sign of one on this pregnancy either, I have a few queries that I feel I need clarification on:

1:   There is a lot of stuff going on ‘down there’ at the moment – A LOT. And mostly, due to the enormous size of my 41 weeks pregnant tummy, I can’t see what the fuck that is exactly. When I now go to the toilet, my main priorities are A) to try not to break the toilet seat with my fat arse, and B) to wait patiently until I assume I am done ejecting whatever my body is getting rid of at the time. And let me tell you, there has been a vast amount of ejecting lately – so how am I supposed to distinguish between super sonic pregnancy vaginal yuck and this Labour-Has-Begun-Show yuck? It’s all yuck to me.

2:   If I use SuperValu’s own brand Blu Blocks in my cisterns (which I do, because I’m a clean freak and I don’t want to see what the toilet is really supposed to look like on any given day), then is it possible to LOSE the show underneath the sea of blue cover-upness, therefore assuming that it has never appeared?

3:   Why do I assume that my ‘Show’ will only make an appearance when I go to the loo? Is this the most common place to locate the arrival of one’s show, or is it possible for it to make an entrance (or exit) with sparkling tiara and jazz hands at, say, the checkout of your local supermarket?

If anyone is brave enough to share their ‘Show’ stories, I’d love to hear them. Me, I’ve always been more partial to the Broadway kind of shows, but I’m willing to wager that I’ll be even more excited about this preggo one than I was about seeing Matilda (which you should totally go see btw; it’s amaaaaaazing)

Peace Out.

Love Sharyn ‘One Week Overdue WTF?!’ Hayden

[Have a click on ‘Preggo Watch: The Labour Farce’. It’s a pretty good read ;o) )







Preggo Watch: The Labour Farce

So I’ve been in labour for a month now. Not medically speaking, obviously, but mentally, emotionally and sometimes – psychologically induced, of course – vaginally.

The worst thing about being unsure about your conception dates is that is makes you suspicious of your due date too, and so every single twinge that I’ve had for the past five weeks have been huge dramatic events, resulting in declarations of ‘We’re going early!’ ‘Are the bags in the car?’ ‘Seriously, why the fuck are the bags not in the car? We’re having this baby NOW!!!’.

(It should be noted that a pain in the lower back/butt area can often mean that one just needs to poo).

I have cancelled nights out, lunches, trips to the half-an-hour away shopping centre alone, for fear of getting caught with my pants down (like that’ll ever happen again), my waters breaking at the Benefit counter in Boots, or being unable to drive home and forced to have my baby in the carpark at Lidl.

Now that I am FIVE DAYS OVERDUE (morto), I am raging that I’ve spent so much time in a house-and-immediate-area-bound panic over nothing. My ‘labour mani/pedi’ that I insisted on having done weeks ago are completely chipped, the valeted car is manky, the Immac job that I did on my nethers is a distant memory and even if I wanted to…. I can’t fucking reach it now to give it another go anyway. The cookies that I baked? Eaten. That last house clean before Granny & Grandad come to mind Jacob when we go to the hospital? Needs to be re-done. The work that I finalized and parked ‘for a few weeks’? I’ve picked up again BECAUSE I’M SO FUCKING BORED!! Dearest Baby – Where Art Thou?!

On the up-side, I am making the most of having some quality time with Jacob which, deliciously, also includes joining him for his midday naps. I lovvvvve napping. Oh, and eating three ice pops every day. And sleeping in my nudies. And wondering if we’re having a boy or a girl. And looking forward to seeing who it is that we’ve created this time.

(FYI I’m holding out for a ginger girl….)

The GREAT thing about having a ‘Due Date Deadline’ is that is makes you get shit done. It hasn’t been a bad 41 weeks, all things considered….


[Pssst: Don’t Miss ‘Preggo Watch: Flight of the Bubble Gee’!!





Preggo Watch: Flight Of The Bubble Gee

CONFESSION: I once lived in Lusk, North County Dublin for, like, two years.

I’m really terribly sorry that I kept it from you, but you see, I was MORTIFIED. The fact is that when you grow up in one village in North County Dublin (and I grew up in Rush), Town Loyalty states that you must vow to always, always hate your neighboring village and it’s inhabitants. This includes claiming superiority in all areas of village life, such as: the ridieness of your local GAA players; the presentation of the town square Xmas tree, accessibility and cleanliness of public toilets in the local pub and finally, control that the female population keeps over their Bubble Gees.

In case you are wondering, the ‘Bubble Gee’ can be found on a body, starting from the actual gee area itself and extending all the way up to some place in and around the sternum. They are also referred to as ‘The Gunt’ in slightly more rowdy company, and honestly? There is nothing I love more than a good Gunt.

When I lived in Lusk, I constantly referred to the dedicated bike and walking path which circles the village as ‘The Bubble Gee Walk’, due to the body type I normally encountered along the way. I also generally assumed that these fabulous creatures were in charge of protecting the village, a theory which has now been compounded by the addition of County Council-donated outdoor gym equipment at the side of the road. Not only would I not fuck with a person in possession of a Bubble Gee, but I most certainly would not fuck with someone in possession of a Bubble Gee on a CROSS TRAINER.

Due to my hyperactive nature and genes inherited from my mother, I have not ever had a bubble gee, the absence of which has made me question both my abilities to live in Lusk (Result of Questionnaire: NOT ABLE) and also my ability to protect a village should the need arise.

Although now… NOW I could be on to something…. check this Gunt out & send me some inter-village warfare to deal with


Bubble Gee



[If you like this, you’ll love ‘Preggo Watch: The Labour Surrogacy Outreach Programme’