Throes of Labour

This time last year, I was in labour.
I had already been sent home by the midwife at the hospital because I wasn’t in established labour. I was in pain and getting hacked off.

It seems so surreal to remember it. It almost feels as though I’ve made it up and I wonder if my memories of it are somewhat skewed.

I remember laying in the bath, and after 45 minutes being to uncomfy to stay in there.

I remember it being incredibly painful to lay down, but my contractions were in the top of my legs, so standing up was impossible.

I remember The Husband telling me to eat and drink. I only wanted chocolate and blackcurrant squash.

I remember every bump in the car on the way to the hospital.

I remember being told to stop screaming by the midwife as I was scaring the other ladies in the triage ward.

I remember being helped down the corridor whilst heavily relying on the wonderful gas that was making me slightly spaced out.

I remember thing the anaesthetist how much I loved him after he cited my epidural and then apologising to The Husband.

I remember the rest of the time being quite relaxed and peaceful.

The midwives were lovely.
The doctors were lovely.

Then I had to go to theatre.

A year ago today.

Cannot believe my baby is almost 1.

They don’t stay little forever.

8 Essential Hospital Bag Items for Expecting Mamas

When I was pregnant with Emma, there were a lot of questions. This is normal, considering I am a first time mama. I suspect I was a bit of a nightmare pregzilla (is that even a term?) because I am a person who likes to know the ins and outs of things, I like to be prepared and organised, and most of all I like to PLAN. Unfortunately you cannot plan a birth; babies arrive when they feel like it. Most of the time anyway.

You pack your hospital bag weeks in advance (just in case) and it sits by the door gathering dust (unless you’re a clean freak). In fact you’ve researched what you need to take in, and by the time you’ve done packing, it looks like you’re off to Majorca for a week.
In many cases, most mamas are only in hospital for an overnight stay, and at most a couple of days following a C-Section, and all being well, Mama and Baby are home within 3 to 4 days.

So what do you actually need in your hospital bag?

After I packed my hospital bag for the 6th time, my husband went through it, and pointed out that I was not going on a holiday and re-packed it for me. He pointed out things like “Do you really need enough underwear to last you 2 weeks? Are you planning to change your underwear 6 times a day?” and “why have you packed a pair of jeans, you’re not going to want to wear them if you end up having a C-Section are you?”

So, here are my essential needs for a hospital bag for first time mamas.

Big and Cheap Comfy Pants

Not only do you want the cheap ones (think pack of 5 for £2.50) you want them in black. Childbirth is a messy affair, and black pants means it’s easier to hide the blood. Believe me, there will be lots of it. That first shower, will look like a serial killer had a frenzied session in the shower. And if they need to be thrown out, then at that price it doesn’t matter if you chuck them in the bin.

Arnica Tablets

Remind yourself that you will be birthing a child, through your vagina. There WILL be some bruising; there may be a tear or a cut. Get yourself some Arnica tablets. Arnica is a homeopathic remedy said to help with strains, sprains and bruises. Anything that can help has to be a bonus.

Flip Flops

When you go for that first shower, think of how many other women have used it. Yes it gets a very good clean afterwards, but unless I’ve cleaned it myself, it’s not *really* clean. Flip Flops will make sure that you don’t pick up any nasty bugs, like the verruca virus. So you can shower in them and not worry about picking anything nasty up.

Shares with Always

Your midwife will tell you to pack some maternity sanitary towels. Don’t Bother. Get yourself some shares with Always, because for the next 6-8 weeks you will spend a small fortune on these products. You will change your sanitary towel every 2 hours (approximately). Consider this, you’ve not had a period for almost 10 months, so once that baby is out, your uterus has a lot of shedding to do. For me, I got the super absorbent night-time towels, with wings. Often you can get these on bulk buy offers, which will save you money too.

Slipper Socks

These take up less room than a pair of slippers, and the non-slip grip on the bottom will mean you shouldn’t go tits up whilst walking down the corridor at 2am when you’re bleary eyed and can’t remember which door is the one for the toilet.

Reusable breast pads

Whilst they cost more than a pack of 80 breast pads, they are reusable. You will be washing a lot of babies’ clothes, so you can chuck your breast pads in the same wash. They are super absorbent, and in the long run will save you money, AND they will take up less space.

A Camera or Camera Phone with charger

You will want to capture your babies first moments. A photo as soon as they are born, the photo of them on the scales (proof 20 years down the line when you child asks “how much did I weigh?”). I have no less than 250 photos of Emmas first few days. Every moment was captured. First wash; first outfit; first cuddle with dad/mama, grandparents and so forth.

A set of loose and comfortable clothing to wear home

A set of loose, comfy trousers, or leggings, as well as a loose top and a cardigan. You don’t need to dress up. Make sure it’s comfortable for the drive home.

Those are my 8 essential hospital bag items.

Don’t forget something to sleep (ha ha ha) in, a nursing bra and toiletries. If you do happen to be for a while, then your partner can always bring more stuff in for you, as and when it’s required. Don’t weigh yourself down with heaps of stuff, because you may not be there for long, and if you are there for a while, you’re likely to change beds/rooms at least once. They don’t have a baggage trolley in the postnatal ward.
Now that I’ve experienced it, I know better for next time, maybe.

Mommy Wars 2.0

Well. If you’re in the blogosphere, you know all about the Mommy (and Daddy) wars.

What started off as Stay at Home Moms vs Working Moms, has changed to Older Moms vs Younger Moms, Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding, Fluffy vs Disposable, Pro-Vax vs Anti-Vax, Cry It Out vs Don’t Cry It Out, and well, everything in between. Basically anything parents can and will disagree on gets labelled as a “Mommy War”.

Well, there’s a new Mommy War, which to be fair, is expected when you stick 180+ women in one Facebook group whilst pregnant.

Which is where I found myself last October when looking for advice on one of BabycentreUK’s birth boards, being added to a Facebook group with a load of other pregnant women all due around the same time as me. It was fabulous. Full of first time mums, and second time mums, and mums with three, four and five kids, mums with pets, single mums, and well, all sorts of mums. And then it went to shit. Which wasn’t surprising with 180+ women who are all roughly 6 months pregnant.

It went to shit, and well, I got the blame. Because I asked for a group that had guidelines and more administrators to manage the dramas that unfolded. And well, the administrators, added 2 more people to their team (great) and then implemented a load of very strict guidelines, which then exploded into a lot of arguments (not great).

One of the new rules was that members were only allowed to post about pregnancy or baby related things, and therefore anything Off Topic must be kept to a minimum and that repeat offenders would be given a warning, and therefore 3 strikes and you’re out.  Well this didn’t go down too well. Especially not after closing the group to new members and then having a new member added who was notorious for OT posts elsewhere. It ended in people being nasty and mean and accusing people of bullying and then all of the admins resigning off the group, including the groups creator. When that happens, Facebook automatically shuts down the group. So, that happened.

So, one by one, Facebook threw all of the members out, and they lost all of their scan photos they’d shared, and bump photos they’d shared, and the stories of when they got their BFPs (Big Fat Positives) and all the other stories.

People tried to gain access and couldn’t, the administrators of the group blocked all of the people who disagreed with what they did. Included yours truly. I was blocked because I told them to do what they did. Apparently.

Isn’t it odd how people interpret what you say. To justify their actions and the consequences.

Me asking for guidelines CLEARLY meant that whatever guidelines were put in place meant that they obviously read my mind and plucked the exact wording out of my heavily hormone ridden brain. Brilliant how pregnancy affects you isn’t it? Did you know that being pregnant means you can read the thoughts of other pregnant women? No? Ha! Me either! But apparently it’s true. Which is why I found myself blocked by 3 silly women who blamed me for their own actions. Who then proceeded to tell everyone and sundry about what I did, omitting the part where they did anything wrong, and causing me to be blocked my more women who’s hormone saturated brains couldn’t stop to think for themselves or take the time to remember that every story has two sides.

The best part was I’ve still got all of the original messages. Sadly I didn’t think to take screenshots of the drama that ensued.

And boy was it a drama! One admin accused one lady of sending her an abusive Private Message but when asked to provide proof, refused to do so and instead kicked the lady out of the group and blocked her! One lady then tried to explain why this was an issue, by saying that anyone could accuse anyone of anything by saying it happened, but it doesn’t mean it actually happened and people shouldn’t be so quick to believe it without actual proof. She then get kicked out of the group too and blocked as well. It was like an episode of Harry Hills TV Burp, when Harry Hill says “Well I like this pregnant lady but I also like this pregnant lady, but which is better *and not a fucking liar*, there’s only one way to find out…..FIGHT”

<there was meant to be a photo of fighting pregnant ladies here but I couldn’t find one to use that I didn’t have to pay for, so you’ll have to use your imagination>

So in the process of this group falling apart and chucking everyone out and losing everyones photos (which some hadn’t backed up), I started another group.

I selected a few ladies to add, and quickly told them to add everyone who they could recall in the original, barring the administrators who’d blocked me and had been pretty nasty to quite a fair few of the ladies. Sadly we couldn’t recall everyone, and people were still being added 2 weeks later. Someone else also had the idea of starting another group and so we ended up with two groups with most of the same women in it. Then someone else made another group, and eventually there were 5!

And then after 4 months it all started again.

But I’ll share that another time. So stay tuned!

 

 

Healthy Living Tips While You’re Pregnant

During my pregnancy, I really didn’t know what to expect, what to do, or which changes I should make! All I knew was that I was growing a baby inside of me and I had to make smart and healthy choices. After becoming pregnant, I decided to live healthier and to make smarter choices when it came to my everyday eating and exercise routine. I never realized just how many artificial ingredients were in the foods I normally ate on a regular basis. I also never re-examined my exercise routine and made some small changes.

Getting healthy as someone who is expecting might seem like a difficult task. You’re probably nervous and excited about your new bundle of joy and don’t think you have the time or funds to eat healthier and exercise more. Or, you may just be tired! The benefits of living healthier far outweigh any disadvantages that come with it and studies have shown that working out while pregnant may increase energy levels. These healthy habits you develop during pregnancy can also go with you after you give birth and are caring for your new baby.

Eating and Purchasing Organic Fruits and Vegetables

There are a couple of things you should do if you’re trying to get healthy for yourself and your baby. One thing you can try doing would be to buy organic fruits and vegetables. Visit your local supermarket and specifically look for labels that state a food item is organic. You might notice that the sticker on a piece of fruit says that it’s organic or that the label on a granola bar package says it’s organic.

Budgeting for Healthy Food and Household Cleaners

It is not a myth that organic foods and natural household cleaners are more expensive. There are a few ways that you can afford buying these products to promote better health during and after your pregnancy. One way would be to visit local farmers markets in the area. These markets normally have nothing but organic produce, but the price will be far less and a lot more affordable in the long run.
If you are still having issues buying organic and natural products from your local store, you can try using coupons for these things. Just look up the manufacturer’s name, visit their website and request coupons. You can then receive coupons in the mail for anything from cloth diapers to organic cleaners for the home. These coupons can help you to save a lot of money if you have enough of them and are willing to use them every single time you go shopping!

Exercising While Pregnant

Before starting an exercise program while you’re pregnant, make sure that you discuss options with your doctor. My doctor was able to advise me on everything pregnancy related (from cord blood banking options to stress relievers!) When I was pregnant, I decided to start walking again. It was a little habit I had when I was a teenager but stopped doing when I started working a full-time job and couldn’t seem to find the time. Walking has so many benefits that can truly be an advantage in your life.

Making small changes throughout your pregnancy can truly help promote a wonderful life for your new bundle of joy. These few tips can make for a very happy mom-to-be and baby!

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26

B12

Emma is 16 days old and I’m getting to grips with limited and interrupted sleep.

I’m getting to grips with breast feeding and being peed on and explosive projectile poo.

I’m getting the hang of this mothering business.

After having Emma, I was told I had to take Iron tablets, as well as antibiotics (2 lots!) and the many pain relief tablets, not to mention daily injections to prevent DVT and PE (for the next 6 weeks!)

It was a pretty easy labour and birth (thanks to my epidural) however I lost a litre of blood. Which is apparently quite a lot to lose. However months and months of taking prenatal vitamins meant that my iron stores were very good and despite losing a litre of blood my iron count was still 10.9 after delivery.

Even though my iron count was still pretty good, I had to take the iron tablets (standard if your level is 12 or lower it seems) and then have a follow up blood test 2 weeks after the birth.

I had my blood test yesterday morning. This morning my doctors surgery sent me a text message asking me to make an appointment as my results showed a B12 deficiency which required further injections for me.

People may complain about the NHS, but that’s pretty good going, having a blood draw yesterday and then getting the results back the very next day.

I don’t like the fact that I have to have more injections, or the fact that if my body doesn’t manage the deficiency and resolve itself then i’ll be on these injections for the foreseeable future.

My pregnancy at the start was OK, the sciatica was a bitch, the middle it got a bit more difficult, what with the increased sciatica and the itching, and by the end I could hardly walk on most days, my skin was scabby from the blood I’d drawn scratching my itches and I was ready to be a mother, ready to stop vein pregnant.

Labour? Well, they reckon that you don’t remember the pain. Ha! It’s 2 weeks on and it’s still fresh and clear in my mind. I certainly won’t be forgetting it and neither will I be in any hurry to experience it again.

The best part of my labour was the moment my epidural was cited and the pain went away. The gas and air was pretty awesome too.

By the end of it, I had this pretty awesome teeny weeny bundle of amazingness.

She’s worth every pain and medicine and cringey moment where I have to inject myself.

Still not too happy about the B12 deficiency though.

40 weeks

40 weeks today!

I’m still trying to get my head round the fact that I’m carrying a baby. It’s a very surreal experience that every so often throws me into a wobble.

A magical surreal experience, with genuine Oh My God moments.

Flump is due today, however only 5% of babies come on their due dates.
When I found out I was pregnant on July 13th 2012, the first thing I did was tell The Husband and then I went on to the Internet and calculate my due date. The internets informed me 22nd March.

On July 18th we saw our doctor, who double checked, yep, still the 22nd of March.

We waited (impatiently) for our first ultrasound scan on September 16th and again was confirmed as an expected due date of 22nd March.

From the moment I saw/heard the 22nd March I automatically knew I wouldn’t be on time and instead instinct told me I’d go 2 days overdue. Flump would arrive on March 24th, which is my own birthday.
Just like instinct is telling me that Flump is a boy.

It seems we only have a few more days to find out!

Today was potentially my last midwife appointment. It was rough and brutal.
After all the checks were done, I had an internal examination, cheerfully known as a “stretch and sweep”. Does what it says on the tin people. Stretches and sweeps your cervix to get those hormones that trigger your labour to flow freely.

The midwife was surprised, as most first time mums aren’t quite ready on their due dates. They have firm and unyielding cervixes.

Mine? Well it’s soft and thin and stretching quite nicely. Hell, you could buy it dinner and drinks and it would probably let you take it home on the first date!
Its basically doing what it should, 1cm down and only 9cm to go.

The midwife also managed to get a feel of Flumps head. She double checked babies heart rate afterwards, and it was a bit higher, poor little bugger was probably freaked out that someone had touched his head! Flump hates been palpated during appointments so god forbid his reaction with someone physically touching his head. Surprised I didn’t get a few broken ribs.

My next appointment is the 28th, however midwife doesn’t think ill be attending that appointment, so we should have an actual baby soon!!

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Baby on Board – A Royal Waste of a Badge

Several times a day I open my Sky News app to see what’s new in the world.

This evening Sky News had a story on Kate Middleton being given a “Baby on Board” badge.

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Really Sky News? Really?! That is NOT news.

Lots of pregnant women are given “Baby on Board” badges. Hell, even train companies have them. I have 2!

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Paul Harrison, Royal Correspondent says “The Duchess of Cambridge has been presented with her own “Baby on Board” badge which allows pregnant passengers access to priority seating on the Tube.”

Clearly Mr Paul Harrison has never truly witnessed what these badges get you when travelling on public transport. Which is absolutely nothing.

These badges DO NOT allow pregnant passengers access to priority seating on the tube. They should do, but they don’t. People look at you, with your pregnant belly, they look at your “Baby on Board” badge and then they IGNORE you. It is actually very rare that someone gives up their seat for a pregnant woman.

A friend of mine is pregnant, she also has SPD and has to use crutches to help her walk. Yet despite being clearly pregnant AND on crutches, she was often ignored, or pushed past by others scrambling for seats and once she was even shouted at by a man because she was sat in “his” seat and he demanded she move. She was so upset, distressed and scared that she moved so he could sit down. No one offered her a seat, no one stood up for her.

I’ve written about this several times. I had to start my maternity leave early because I couldn’t cope with the commute. The number of times I’ve been ignored on a packed train despite my 2 “Baby on Board” badges is unreal.

I am so glad that I don’t have to commute anymore. I have 2 days left until Flump is due (ha ha ha) and my Baby on Board badge has been retired.

Final Countdown

We are in the last week (or maybe not) of this pregnancy.

Anytime from now until the next 3 weeks (maximum) will see me having a baby.

From the moment I discovered I was pregnant and I calculated my due date, and then the GP confirmed it, then the Midwife confirmed it and then the scans confirmed it, I KNEW that I’d have a birthday baby.

Flump is due on March 22nd. I was born on March 24th.

I may still be wrong of course.

Either way, I’m ready to not be pregnant anymore.

All we need now is a cot mattress, which we tried to buy yesterday but Mothercare refused to accept our monies.

Lets hope kiddo is 2 days late, so at least we have time to get the mattress so Flump has somewhere to sleep!