Actually, I Am Good Enough

I haven’t talked about my writing course a lot this year, just in my post I’m Not Good Enough, where I realised that I was going to need to toughen up if I wanted to improve.  I knew going into the course that I was going to receive constructive criticism.  The main reason I decided to do the course was so that I could become a better writer, which involves being open to receiving feedback, what I didn’t anticipate was how the feedback was going to affect me.  As I described in the post, I was emotionally shattered by the critique and annoyed at myself for reacting this way.

From that day forward my confidence in my writing went downhill drastically and I found myself over analysing every single word I wrote for my assignments.  While I was still enjoying the course and learning a lot, I dreaded homework and found myself spending hours going over every piece with a fine tooth comb looking for things to fix.   I worked some of my pieces to death and writing stopped being fun.

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It wasn’t a good feeling.  It’s part of the reason I’ve been blogging only once a week for most of this year, even though my blog writing and fiction writing styles are completely different.  Blogging is easier.  For me it’s like a journal and you can’t really have rules for a journal.  ‘Show don’t tell’ doesn’t dominate my every sentence during blogging which definitely makes it a less daunting task, but I still let it be affected.

Yesterdays class was one I’d been particularly dreading.  We’d started taking turns to be workshopped and yesterday was my turn.  Each week, one person had to send through around 5-10 pages of their writing and have it critiqued by the rest of the class.  The point of the workshop was for everyone.  It was to teach us how to look at others work objectively and offer helpful feedback and for the person who’s piece was under scrutiny it was a chance to see it from potential audiences eyes, to learn what was working and what wasn’t.  Something I’ve learned from all these sessions is that all of us struggled with similar aspects of our writing and while we could see room for improvement in others writing it was often hard for us to see the same ‘issues’ in our own work.

I’ve been trying to write a book for a while now.  Well, for as long as I can remember, but for a number of years now there is a particular story I’ve had in mind that I just keep going back to.  It’s had lots of chapter ones, each started with a flash of inspiration only to be rubbished not long after because it just wasn’t working.  I know exactly what the story is about and how it is going to go, I’ve just had difficulty getting it out of my head.  What I needed was feedback, but I was too scared to get it.  I didn’t want anyone to read it and yet I wanted to finish it and maybe even get published.  I was afraid of people opinions.  I wanted it to be ‘perfect’ before people read it, the irony being that to make it ‘perfect,’ I needed critiques.

I decided my workshop was the time to get this story out instantly started freaking out.  First, I had to write a chapter that I wasn’t going to bin right away and as with every other draft I’d attempted, it just wouldn’t write itself.  I decided the best way to do it was not to go over it too much but just to get it out and let my classmates make the suggestions.  When I write I have a tendency to edit as I go, which is a bad habit and I often end up spending ages reading and changing one paragraph only to delete it when I finally get around to finishing the story.  So I just wrote and if I felt like editing I’d put the laptop down and walk away.  This was incredibly difficult and I did cheat a couple of times, but I managed to finish the piece without too much fuss and while I wasn’t happy with it, I sent it off on Tuesday.

The rest of the week it was always in the back of my mind.  I wanted to rewrite it, but it was too late.  I’d hit the send button and now all I could do was wait.  I waited nervously, getting more fearful every day until yesterday morning when I was freaking out so much that I didn’t want to go to class.  Anxiety exacerbated my feelings, however based on discussions with my classmates after their own workshops, I think it’s also pretty normal to feel nervous about these sorts of things.

Anxiety and I fought yesterday.  It told me to procrastinate getting up, to take a longer shower, to sit on the couch instead of getting dressed.  It was in my ear telling me not to go to course at all.  I let it win with the first three, but ultimately I had to face my fear and go.  Plus if I hadn’t they would have emailed me the critiques anyway so there was no point in not going.

I spent the first half of class a nervous wreck, trying to join in with the subject we were discussing, but mostly worrying.  When the workshop finally began I got my notebook out, determined to listen, take notes and to NOT FREAK OUT.  And as with most events that anxiety has worked me up about, it was better than expected.  In fact, I enjoyed it.  For starters, everyone liked my chapter (which surprised me as it was a pretty raw and emotional subject I’d written about), but the suggestions I received were fantastic.  I wasn’t allowed to talk while the feedback was being given and there was also a group discussion afterwards that I couldn’t join in on, but at the end I was able to thank everyone and agree with much of what they had said.  I was smiling.

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Looking back, I realise that I wasn’t so much anxious about the feedback, but how I would react to it, based on my freak out after the first time I read out a piece in class.  I realise that I must have grown enough in the past few months to take feedback for what it is, opportunities for improvement as opposed to personal attacks.  I’m now really looking forward to taking what everyone has suggested and making this story work.  Who knows, I might even be able to finally finish it which would definitely be a dream come true.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

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The Pregnancy Countdown; Six Weeks To Due Date

I’m now in my 35th week of pregnancy and man this time has flown by!  In just over a months time my world is going to change dramatically.  What seemed like a lifetime away when Zombie and I first decided we were ready to start a family is now literally just around the corner yet for some reason still doesn’t quite feel real yet.  Our house is filling up with baby related items such as clothes, a breast pump, a hi-tech baby monitor with video to keep my anxious mind at ease, toys and all sorts of necessary things we might need and there is still so much to do before baby makes his or her arrival, yet I’m feeling the most relaxed about it that I have throughout my pregnancy.  I do however feel like the baby has already got and is going to need more stuff than both of us put together which is saying something considering that Zombie is a bit of a hoarder!

My belly has become a giant bump and it’s now become a regular occurrence for strangers to approach me to ask me about my pregnancy.  It also comes up in most of my conversations and I’m quite pleased that I’m usually not the person who brings it up (anxiety makes me worry about being self absorbed).  It also won’t stop moving for anything.  Zombie has finally been able to experience the constant movements himself and one of my favourite pastimes is to sit and watch my stomach as it jumps about all over the place.  Some of the movements are so strong that it physically jolts my entire body!

The iron tablets are becoming less effective and my nap frequency is increasing again.  I knew to expect this the more pregnant I got and also think it might have a lot to do with the fact that it really hurts to sleep now.  Probably one of the stranger things I’ve experienced in my pregnancy, it’s now at the point where nothing can take away the ache I get in my thighs when I lie down for an extended period (I usually wake up every 40 minutes to an hour needing to turn over to relieve the pain) but luckily this pain goes away not long after I get up.  I don’t get to sleep in anymore because it’s just too painful, but then having children means sacrificing sleep ins so it was only a matter of time, plus I don’t feel guilty about napping during the day so I really have nothing to complain about, especially since I haven’t had a single complication at any stage of my pregnancy.

We’ve been attending antenatal classes for the last few weeks which has been really informative, but also incredibly gross.  All the questions I had regarding what would happen during labour have been answered and some of them too much so.  The other week they showed us a video of a birth.  Watching was optional, but no one in the group backed out so of course I couldn’t either.  Luckily, the physical birth part happened behind a closed door and we just saw the build up and what happens after the baby is born but it sure got my heart raising when I thought I was going to see a baby physically coming out of a woman!  We’ve seen pictures of placentas, pictures of c-section surgery, everything and I still maintain that I didn’t need to see these things.

On the other hand, I have learned so much about labour (and breast feeding and everything that comes after birth) that I now have a birth plan and am very confident about all my choices.  Obviously it’s a loose plan as I have no idea how the actual event will pan out, but the antenatal classes have confirmed that I absolutely do not want an epidural (the thought of a massive needle in my back and being unable to feel my lower body while pushing a baby out scares me more than the thought of giving birth and I’m not afraid of needles) and also made me more confident about not using drugs during the labour.  I don’t know how I’ll feel on the day, but I know so much more about how these drugs affect the babies now and my main priority is my babies health.  Sure, it’s going to hurt, but I will be surrounded by midwives who have assisted women through childbirth countless times, plus I’ll have Zombie, my mother and my main midwife, all who are amazing there with me.  I’m going to be in very good hands.

I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about birth in the last few months.  A lot of women want to share their stories and one thing I’ve noticed is that a high percentage of them want to focus on the negative parts which I think for a first time mother is something that they should have the choice whether or not to hear.  I’ve been incredibly grateful to the women who agree with me that labour, while painful and difficult, is only a small part of having a baby because I feel that my focus shouldn’t be solely on the labour, and it’s not.  The baby has to come out, it’s far too late to back out now, even if I wanted to, which I don’t, so there’s no point dwelling on it.  It’s after the birth that I’m more concerned about.  No, not concerned, but I feel that that is going to be the hard part; actual parenting that doesn’t come with a manual and constant supervision, compared to a couple of days out of my life that are going to hurt.  I’m still going to need help once the baby is born of course, after all it takes a village to raise a child, but for the first time in my life I am going to have someone who relies on me 24/7 to keep them alive and that’s definitely a little mind blowing.

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I’m really looking forward to meeting our baby and I get more excited about it every single day.  I’ve got four weeks left at work and have started training the person who is going to cover my leave, which while being stressful, has helped me a little with the reality side of what is about to happen to my life.  Loose ends are slowly being tied up and I’m taking more time to look after myself, such as resting when I need to and asking for help with all the tasks I’m used to being able to do unaided.  I’m feeling really good about everything (aside from stress at work of training someone how to do my job to my standards) and can happily say that I am really enjoying these final stages of pregnancy.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

The Age Of The Keyboard Warrior

Something I worry about a lot when I imagine my baby growing up is internet danger and cyber bullying.  Young people can be so naive and trusting, add recklessness and their habit of believing they’re bulletproof: it’s a worrying mix when it comes to the internet.  I know what I was like, surfing the net and chatting online to strangers ‘before it was cool.’  I was still in high school and internet access wasn’t readily available, so I used to go to internet cafes on weekends to get my fix.  I had no idea who I was talking to, but I thought it was boys my own age.  I had so much trouble socialising in real life it was nice to finally have someone to talk to and boys no less!  Online I was popular, boys liked me which was something I didn’t have in real life.  Looking back, I realise the only reason I was popular online was because I was a young girl, but at the time it felt amazing.

Nowdays, the internet is everywhere.  Primary school age children have access to online games every day most of which have a chat feature.  We teach them stranger danger but I’m not sure if every child understands that people online are also strangers who could bully or harm them in real life; I sure didn’t.  I want my children to have the freedom to use initiative and make their own decisions, but I also worry about what they will be doing online when that time comes.  Monitoring use is all good, but I believe it will be vital to keep communication open when it comes to this topic, to keep them safe.

As adults, we use the internet for everything.  Facebook with our friends (and some strangers), Instagram for showing the world just how awesome we are, we read news online, find recipes, study or learn how to do almost anything from YouTube.   If we don’t know what something is a quick visit to Google will often answer our question (not always correctly).  The best (and worst) part about the internet is that we can share our opinions with literally anyone, whether they want to know or not, like I do on this blog.  Almost everything has a comments section, which is where the Keyboard Warriors come into play.

This week saw the final of the second season of The Bachelor NZ on our screens.  I don’t watch a lot of reality TV anymore and I’ve never really watched The Bachelor, but the bachelor they’d selected was a person I went to primary school with and who I’d kept up to date with on Facebook for many years, so I watched every episode.  Sure, I haven’t seen or talked to Jordan for years and had little to do with him in school, but  remember him being a really nice guy and I saw this translated into his adult life on Facebook.  From what I saw on the show he seemed like exactly the same guy as well, just older.

There was a lot of discussion online about how boring he was.  I disagreed, but each to their own.  After the final episode aired there was the usual discussion on social media about how he made the right choice, the wrong choice, or about how lame the show was.  A couple of days of radio and TV interviews went by and it looked like everything would run it’s course and we’d stop talking about it after a while.  Then the news hit that Jordan had ended things with the winner, Fleur, just two days after the final.  They had spent seven weeks since filming finished only contacting each other by text or phone, and one date in person due to the extreme secrecy needed for the final episode and unfortunately for Jordan the euphoria he felt during filming waned during this time.  I was confused at first, but realised it was hardly surprising considering the surreal situation and extreme romantic dates he went on and the fact that he was suddenly in a long distance relationship with a woman he barely knew.  It happens and I commend him for not leading Fleur on for months, instead ending it before she got invested.

New Zealand, it would seem, did not share my view.  The internet exploded into a mass of negativity.  Fleur’s video explaining the breakup went viral and was bombarded with comments of support for her and name-calling for Jordan.  The media went crazy with articles and opinion pieces popping up left and right, receiving the same flood in the comments section.  Even the controversial outspoken runner up copped it, being told it was her fault and called every woman-hating name under the sun.  Some people felt ripped off after viewing the entire season.  Others called Jordan a coward.  It became popular opinion that because he’d done a tiny amount of acting in the past that he was put on the show as an actor and got paid thousands.  These were the tame comments.  He got called every nasty thing you can think of and some people even went as far to comment that he needed to die.  Really?  He needs to die because he broke up with a girl?  The only difference between this breakup and a breakup after a few dates for any other man was that his was publicised.  After he released his own statement about the break-up even his poor family received death threats.  What kind of person thinks it’s okay to threaten a persons family?

There were a few comments of support, but for the most part, everyone seemed to hate Jordan and think him the scum of the earth.  Plenty of people took it upon themselves to self-righteously proclaim how they would never watch such drivel, which was ironic since they took the time to comment about it.  A few of his friends took to social media to condemn the bullying and were met with bullying themselves.  The media continued to release article after article and the bullying just got worse.

After a couple of days people calmed down and the news became today’s fish and chip paper so to speak.  Now there are only a few stray comments here and there regarding the situation.  This kind of public backlash is not new, it happens all the time, all over the world, but this was the first time I really paid attention to it and it scared me.  The majority of people making these nasty comments had profile pictures of them with their children.  These adults, worrying about cyber bullying and internet danger were hypocritically hiding behind their keyboards and offering their negative and dangerous view on a man that they knew very little about, just a small snippet of his life they saw on a TV show.

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Do as I say, not as I do appears to be the policy in this case, or are these people even aware of how disgusting they are being?  Some people pointed out how unnecessary all the negativity was, only to be shot down themselves with retorts that if someone puts themselves in the public eye they deserve this kind of slaughtering.  I think that keeping our children safe begins with our own actions and while I don’t have to like or agree with everything I see, I do not think this behaviour is okay.  Ever.  Whether it’s online or in real life, especially when my hopes are for my children to not have to experience this themselves, but also to not be the bullies.  Is it too much to ask for our negativity to be kept to ourselves?

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

My Own Stigma

Stigma, unfortunately is everywhere in today’s world.  People have stigmas over race, religion, gender, hair colour, mental health.  You name it, there is probably a stigma for it.  It’s a huge part of the reason that we’re years behind where we should be as a society (accepting of each and every living being) and the way things are going it’ll be a long time before stigma does become a thing of the past.

We all have stigmas, or at some point in our lives have had them towards something.  It doesn’t necessarily make us bad people.  A lot of stigma is plain naivety, lack of education, ignorance.  The simple fact is a lot of people just don’t know any better.  Of course there are people out there who do know better and refuse to see it, but they are another story.

I’d like to talk today about the stigmas that I have placed on myself, which I think is something that we all do, whether intentionally or not.  Whether it’s due to societal pressure, pressure from family and friends, even imagined pressure, I think to some extent we’ve all put stigmas on some aspect of our life and try to hide them away from the world.  The need for a house to be tidy for guests is quite a common one, when most of our guests couldn’t care less if our coffee table is covered in junk.  If they are truly our friends, then they came over to see us and not to check out the state of our house.

I used to have a stigma about my mental health.  I was ashamed, felt useless, abnormal, afraid and I didn’t want anyone to know.  I told a few people that I trusted, but that was it.  I tried to hide it by over compensating.  I had an old workmate discover my blog and email me to tell me that in the two or three years they worked in the same office as me, they genuinely had no idea how much I struggled and that I hid it well as for the most part I seemed exceptionally happy.  I thought I didn’t know anyone else who suffered from depression (at the time I didn’t know my constant worrying was anxiety) and even though my doctor, my counsellor and ads on TV said that I wasn’t alone, I truly believed I was.  The most ridiculous thing was that I had a lot of friends who were also suffering in silence, I just couldn’t see it.

Obviously, since I am out and proud as far as talking about my depression and anxiety to anyone taking the time to read my posts, I am no longer ashamed of my mental health, in fact I am proud of it.  It has helped shape me into the person I am today:  Far from perfect, but willing to constantly work on myself, do my best to help others and with a drive to get mental illness into the spotlight in the hopes that one day, stigma towards it will be a thing of the past.  Of course this isn’t something that happened overnight.  I hit rock bottom and could no longer deny what was going on with me and also started seeing people talk about mental illness more.  It was and still is a hugely stigmatised issue, but people bravely opening up to the world gave me the strength to talk about my experiences publicly.  I hope that my sharing gives others strength to share or reach out for help also.

For years I had a stigma about my weight.  I was the chubby kid at school and this continued into my adult life.  I’ve blogged about it a lot, the endless self hate, the endless diets that started on Mondays and finished on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, the mornings spent crying before work because my uniform was getting tighter every day.  I judged other larger people as well.  If I hated myself for my weight then they deserved my disdain also.  It was stupid.  Some of my best friends were overweight and I used to obsess over whether or not they were bigger than me.  I know some did the same to me.   We would swap clothes and it would lift my spirits hugely if a girlfriends clothes were loose on me.  I had some friends lose weight and while I was happy for them and proud of their achievements, I also found it difficult to hide my glee when most of them inevitably put the weight back on.

Let me say this right here and now: This is not something I am proud of.  It is a thing of the past though.  Last year when I lost all the weight and kept most of it off until becoming pregnant (I make jokes about it, but pregnancy is not and never will be fat, despite the bump insecurity I experienced earlier on in my pregnancy), I learned a lot about weight that I was blind to.  I learned that part of the reason I was overweight was because of my diet and some of my conditions such as PCOS, but the most important lesson was learning that I was overweight was because of my attitude.  I held myself back with all the stigmas I put on myself and others.  I wasn’t mentally capable of putting in any real effort towards losing weight.  I also learned that being healthy was more important to me in the end.  Sure, I loved that I was smaller, loved the compliments I got (didn’t so much love the jealousy I received but I probably deserved it based on how badly I had treated people in the same boat in the past), but most of all I loved how amazing I felt, inside and out.  I was healthy mentally and physically something I’d never been able to say before.  Once I have my baby I do intend to lose the weight again, but this time it’s about staying healthy and fit so that I can be the best mother to my child instead of about fitting into that pretty dress I haven’t worn for months.

My current stigma towards myself is about my pregnancy.  Something in me needs people to know that this baby was planned.  Not an accident.  I can’t explain why, simply put, I don’t know.  Yet so often when people talk to me about baby, I will bluntly state that we planned this baby.  I don’t however have a stigma against people who have unplanned children.  I know plenty of people who have had unplanned pregnancies who are now some of the best parents I know.  I have family members who weren’t planned and I certainly don’t judge them for it.  I’ve read articles about girls who fell pregnant at 16 and are now making their mark in the world years later because they took full responsibility, raised a wonderful child and also got an education themselves so that they could provide the best possible life for that child.  Some of these women are better role models than parents who planned their children after buying a house and getting married so the reality is, it makes no difference whether a baby is planned or not.

And yet I still often find myself telling the story of how Zombie and I decided together that we were ready to start trying and that our little Asskicker (our babies nickname, after Judith on The Walking Dead) was 100% not an accident.  I often even talk about how we set a date to start trying so that we both had time to prepare ourselves.  It’s not that I think people even care, I just have this huge urge to make sure that everyone knows.  I’ve made countless mistakes in my life and I’ve been judged to no end for it.  I had a reputation for getting myself into sticky situations for a while.  I guess subconsciously I just want to prove that I did something right for once, that it wasn’t just another typical Katie stuff up.  Because of course I’m the only person who’s ever made mistakes and I’ve never done anything right.  All ridiculous and completely untrue reasons, but I’m pretty sure that Anxiety has a hand in all of this.

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Like all my previous self-imposed stigmas, I don’t how to get past this one.  I do believe I am handling it better than my mental illness, weight or other stigmas I’ve put on myself over the years, because I am not dehumanising others to make myself feel better this time around (yay for growing up), but of course I still would rather not have this stigma at all.  I so often remind myself that nobody cares that my baby was planned, they are just excited for me and yet the words ‘we planned this’ come out of my mouth so often.  Focusing on what’s important helps, I know my baby is healthy and developing well, I know that Zombie is going to be an excellent father, I know that Asskicker is going to be loved by many, family and friends alike.  Like I mentioned above, I have a feeling Anxiety is sticking it’s oar in to give me this stigma so I’m hoping that like all the other worries Anxiety has given me over the years, this one too will fade away.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

I Don’t Know My Baby’s Gender. So What?

Zombie and I don’t know the sex of our baby and we won’t until the day we are graced with his or her presence, hopefully in around about nine weeks time.  This was my decision and something that I’ve always wanted to do since I was a child, dreaming of one day getting married and having eight children (that dream thankfully changed as I grew up).  I really like the idea that after however long my labour lasts not only will I get to meet my baby, but also have the surprise of finding out if it’s a girl or boy.  Zombie wanted to know and I was happy for him to find out, but he didn’t think he could keep a secret that big so he decided to stay in the dark with me which I thought was pretty cool of him.  We have nicknamed the baby Asskicker until it’s born, after Judith from The Walking Dead which is a fitting nickname for us.

The simple fact that we don’t know the sex has brought about some interesting reactions from people.  The majority of people like the fact that we don’t know what we are having, a lot of people claiming that it’s rare these days which makes it cool.  There are people who are in awe that we don’t know and will freely admit that they couldn’t do it themselves (one person even described themselves as too much of a control freak not to know).  There are people who are super excited that we don’t know (my mother and midwife included).  People like to guess, there has been a Facebook poll amongst some of my friends, sometimes people just throw it out there and I even had someone tell me it was a boy because of the way I was walking (I had a sore foot so I’m not putting much stock in that guess!)  Most people respect our decision to not find out, just as we respect anyone who decides they do want to find out the sex of their unborn babies.

And then there are the people who are pissed off that we don’t know.  Some people get so fired up about it, you would think that we were doing it just to spite them, despite the fact that some of these people are strangers.  These people will ask me if I know what I’m having only to give me a strange look  (sometimes even a scowl) when I reply no.  A common question I get asked is, ‘but how do you know what to buy?’ To which my response has become, ‘baby stuff…’  I’ve been called silly and misguided among other things for choosing not to know and I even almost ended up in an argument with a work mate over it, although I managed to keep it limited to a somewhat heated debate.

Zombie has been told that we can only buy white items as that is apparently the only gender neutral colour but as far as we are concerned colour isn’t gender specific.  I told someone a while ago that if I have a son who on his seventh birthday wants a pink butterfly cake, he will get a pink butterfly cake.  The person was horrified and told me that would make a boy turn gay.  That’s probably the most ridiculous response I’ve had seeing as you can’t make a person gay and at the end of the day, if our child does turn out to be gay neither Zombie or myself would be bothered.  It’s a non issue.

I’ve gotten into quite a few discussions about colours for babies recently and there are so many differing opinions on the subject.  One person looked at me in disgust and told me that there was no way in hell they would dress their son in yellow which I found really interesting as I’d always thought the only colour people would really have an issue with on boys would have been pink.  It’s all just stereotypes though.  Babies can’t even see colours until around five months of age, by which time they’ve probably outgrown most of the clothes they had been wearing previously.

Yesterday Zombie and I went to a baby themed market, which was full of all sorts of baby related items and definitely opened my eyes to even more things that I am going to need.   We also found an amazing stall selling baby and toddler clothes and toys for children of alternative parents.  There were Zombie onesies, adorable stuffed toys with skulls for faces, little backpacks claiming the wearer to be the future of metal, so many amazing items that Zombie and I spent much of our time at the market rifling through this stall and chatting with the owner about how awesome everything was.

Zombie decided to buy Asskicker a cute little stuffed toy rabbit with a skull for a face and it just happened to be pink.  We had already told the owner that we didn’t know what we were having, yet she didn’t even blink when we purchased a pink item for an unknown gendered baby, she just kept chatting to us about how much she loved the rabbit as well.  We did end up in a discussion about the fact that it was pink and some people might have an issue with it if we have a boy, but as Zombie bluntly stated, ‘the baby won’t see a problem with it unless some judgemental twat living in the past tells him that pink is only for girls.’

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I don’t understand why people get so annoyed at my decision to leave the sex of my baby a surprise, but I find it quite funny just how heated people get about it.  So far, not one of these naysayers has managed to convince me that there is a genuine need to know the sex of my baby before it arrives.  Zombie and I don’t have a preference, we don’t need a boy or a girl, we just want a healthy little baby which with how everything is progressing so far, is exactly what we have.  Our child will grow up with toys and clothes of all colours and themes.  There will be animals (there will be lots of giraffes as they are my favourite animal), zombie themes, music and sports themes, there will be trucks and dolls, Lego and Barbies, construction toys, pretend cooking toys, it doesn’t matter.  As far as we are concerned gender does not define a childs personality or abilities and that’s the way it should be.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie