Tag 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!


The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Mucus…

funny-plumber-pregnant-woman-comicThat is the title of the opening number for my brand new musical – ‘Up The Duff’.

Other songs will include ‘There’s A Hole In Your Johnny, Dear Asshole, Dear Asshole’ and ‘If You’re Happy In Your Nappy Then Why The Fuck Are You Still Crying’.

Reviewers will say ‘This show will have you in stitches (oh my god did we say stitches?!)’ …because they are HILARIOUS.

It will be an outdoor event, held in the carpark of every maternity hospital in Ireland so that the smoking about-to-give-birth mammies don’t miss out. They are humans too, you know.

Doughnut-shaped cushions will be available for those who have just given birth or for those who now consigned to having 50-shades style sex only, in an attempt to feel desirable again after birthing 6 children.

Refreshments on offer will include nipple-shaped cupcakes, alcoholic breast milk with soda water.

For those enduring hot flushes and/or immense excitement at being out of the house, sanitary towels dipped in ice water will be offered in place of hand held fans (so distracting for actors, the delicate creatures).

Comments, during the song breaks or interval, on other people’s parenting choices are strictly forbidden.


Actually, I haven’t written that musical (yet), but I did come across this fun satirical video called ‘Postpartum – The Musical’. It’s really good until the advertising bit at the end – then I was like ‘Ahh RAGIN’!!!)

Watch Postpartum The Musical Here!


She That Is Without Children Among You….

I LOVE headlines like this: Nun Gives Birth To Surprise Baby

And I LOVE the other nuns in this story, surrounding the nun who had the baby, denying that she is in fact, a nun. Because the idea that she could be a nun and procreate AS WELL is so ridiculous.

And most of all, I love that they are called ‘The Missionary Sisters for The Love Of Christ’.



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 wetransfer.com to info@raisingireland.com 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 info@raisingireland.com**

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: 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’



Morning Sickness

I need to get a rant out of my system, and it’s about the greatest pregnancy misnomer there is: morning sickness.

I was in work one day, about 6 weeks pregnant with my first baby and feeling fine, when I was suddenly hit by violent waves of nausea. I lay down in a meeting room for a while, but eventually picked myself up and walked out of the office. I didn’t return for 10 weeks. Instead, I lay in bed quaking with sickness, consuming nothing but Lucozade and crackers. Vomiting actually brought blessed relief from the nausea, for a few minutes at least.

Think back to the worst hangovers of your life – you know the sweaty, fat-tongued ones where you’re afraid to move your head in case you puke down the wall, where you can’t even contemplate bacon and Coke, and the merest chink of light makes your eyeballs explode? Now imagine that for 24 hours a day, for weeks and weeks on end. This is what they daintily call ‘morning sickness’.

This offensive term is constantly used in the press, on parenting blogs, in books – EVERYWHERE – and is a complete load of bollocks. For a start, most expectant mothers I’ve known actually experience their nausea in the evenings, when energy levels are low and exhaustion takes its toll. Some women – Kate Middleton being a famous example – are even admitted to hospital suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum – or to use the technical term: dehydration from relentless spewing.

Yet some women don’t experience pregnancy sickness at all. There is no medical explanation for it, it’s just ‘one of those things’. I was simply one of the unlucky ones. What makes it even more difficult is that it generally peaks during those first 12 weeks when you’re not supposed to divulge your pregnancy to anyone, or when you don’t have a big belly to wave in people’s faces on the bus to get a seat. Most women have to just suffer in silence, getting by with an office desk drawer full of Ritz crackers and frequent trips to the toilet. One friend of mine nearly crashed her car en route to work as she screeched onto the hard shoulder, opened the door and barfed into the road. Amazingly, she wasn’t pulled up for drink driving.

But my main gripe is with the genius who coined this phrase and the massive disservice they have done pregnant women. It implies that those of us who couldn’t get out of bed, who couldn’t even walk into our own kitchens for fear of smelling food, are weak, maybe milking it a bit to get some attention and time off work. Believe me, I’d have loved nothing more than to feel good and enjoy my first pregnancy. Instead, I was forced to waste nearly one-third of it feeling like shite when I should have been out enjoying my last months of freedom.

So please, newspaper and magazine editors, people of the world in general, can we start calling it pregnancy sickness?

Did you suffer from pregnancy sickness, and what helped you cope? Do share with us!


Preggo Watch: The Labour Surrogacy Outreach Programme

You lot are great pals. You’re always there for me, clicking on my little links, being kind about the almost-nude preggo pics that I insist on posting online, humoring my articles such as ‘Is Smalltalk Really Necessary At The Gynecologists?‘ etc. I feel like your support knows no bounds…. doesn’t it?

If this is truly the case, then you might do me one last favour:  I am currently looking for someone amazing to take over this pregnancy until the baby arrives. You will need to know that there are either two OR five weeks left, depending on whether this is a Back-Of-The-Van-At-Electric-Picnic baby, or a Went-To-A-Charles-Bradley-Gig-Alone-Got-Hammered-Went-Home-And-Woke-Alan-Up-With-A-Few-Demands‘ baby. I’m sorry that I can’t be more specific, but really, my levels of irresponsibility with the taking of my contraceptive pill knows no bounds.

Your Number One duty as the new vessel for my baby will be to go through with the labour and birth on my behalf. Honestly, I can’t be arsed at this point because I am WAY too busy getting through the list of things that I’ve put on the longest of the long fingers. They include:

1. Finding the right pram (yes, seriously, I still don’t have one)

2. Deciding on what sling might work best for me, baby and my crockety back.

3. Buying a few nursing bras. Honestly, I don’t have even one.

4. Finishing off the paint work in our new house. The mixture of fumes and bending up and down repeatedly isn’t exactly working well alongside my preggo body so I’d like to get back to that please because the staircase that I started looks ridiculous.

5. Getting the car cleaned. I’ve genuinely only been putting this off since Xmas and I think the baby might prefer to come home in a car that doesn’t have melted ice cream stuck to every seat, soiled baby wipes shoved down god knows where or a humongous spider residing in the wing mirror.

6. Finish knitting the baby cardigan that I started for my nephew 4 months ago. (Although, to be fair, the kid might be better off without it. I might just go to the shops and buy one).

7. Put all the bills on standing order like a normal, grown up person, so that The ‘Has The Electricity Been Cut Off?!’ fear doesn’t hit me every time Alan simply turns off the lights in the landing when we go to bed at night.

8. Spending more time getting Jacob to stay in his EFFING BED AT NIGHT. Like, seriously, am I going to have to staple him down?!

9. Training Pearl to stop barking at the postman & black children as they walk past our house to school. Yes, her discrimination knows no bounds, although perhaps I should stop rewarding her with treats when she goes ballistic at the canvassers so that they move on to the next house.

10. Kegels. Kegels, kegels, kegels. I promise, if you take over this pregnancy, that I will do three rounds of kegels for you PER DAY. I just can’t be pregnant and do them at the same time, it really is too ridiculous an ask.

All interested parties, please contact Sharyn at info@raisingireland.com and I will arrange for you to take over my body at a time that is mutually convenient. Failing your interest in this position, there’s a bit of paint work in my kitchen with your name on it…. ;o)


‘This Body could Be Yours! No Fee, No Charge!!’

[Did you read the Irish Blog Awards Nominated Post: ‘Preggo Watch: Avoiding the Gaybours’? Read it HERE]