Sunday, 28 July 2013

Things I didn’t know about Labour and Childbirth

So now I have had the pleasure of bringing my daughter in the world. Once again I find that I have been bamboozled! Why wasn’t I told about all this other stuff that happens during pregnancy and labour? J

This blog gives you a taste of some of the important information that was not shared with me about childbirth and labour. Such as…

I didn’t know…

1.       That people were really telling me the truth and were not exaggerating when they said ‘You will know the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and the real thing’.

2.       I knew that labour pains would hurt but I didn’t realise they would feel like a 30 stone body builder stamping on and squeezing your womb!

3.       How many decibels my voice reached when the real labour pains kicked in but I know I was loud. Poor neighbours!

4.       How much I would want to do something really bad to the midwife who told me to go home because my contractions were only 7 minutes apart!

5.       That it could take 4 days to go from being 1 centimetre dilated to full dilation! That 4 days of excruciating pain!

6.       I could go from having regular contractions whilst in labour to having none in two hours. It’s not always textbook.

7.       How long the ground floor corridor of City Hospital was until I walked the full length in a bid to progress my labour. I felt like I was in the movie the Poltergeist when the corridor wouldn’t come to an end. When I did get there, it was like a whole new galaxy - it was bright, light and airy.  There’s a restaurant, gardens, I’m sure I spotted a few UFOs too.

8.       How great it would feel to have warm water streaming down my legs, knowing it wasn’t pee. I was on the hospital bed when my waters broke and for a few seconds, I felt like I was in a luxury pool located in a plush spa in Ko Samui.

9.       That the doctors could feel how much hair my baby had on her head before she was born.

10.   Until afterwards, that my mum and my aunt (who also happened to be my midwife in the hospital) found my facial contortions hilarious. So much so that they showed me what I was doing after the birth!

11.   I would have a tired anaesthetist put the epidural in the wrong place in my back which meant that I could have been easily overdosed. Which I was – twice! The first time my blood pressure went down and so did my baby’s heart rate. The second time, I had so much of the medical concoction in my system that my airways started to shut down! This was one of the most scary moments of my childbirth experience.

12.   That you could be pushing for an hour and a half and there would still be no baby. Instead you hear calls for a caesarean.

13.   Connected to the last point, I feel I can now understand and relate to drug addicts when they get their ‘fix’. As soon as I heard the word ‘caesarean’ all I could think about was getting that spinal injection that would take away all the pain! And it did!

14.   The doctors who performed the caesarean would be telling each other  jokes and listening to music on the radio whilst they did it.

15.   That during the caesarean operation (even though the doctors put a screen in front of you so you can’t see their actions) if you focus on the metal light fittings above you can see the reflection of ‘stuff’. I could see lots of ‘red’ but I was so dosed up, I didn’t have a care in the world!

16.   The first time I heard my baby cry from behind the curtain, that it would lead my tear ducts to start acting up and releasing water.

17.   The first time I saw my baby I would think ‘She’s cute but she looks like a Japanese Sumo wrestler’.

18.   How naturally motherhood would come to me, seconds after holding my beautiful baby.

19.   How grateful I would feel to my aunt and the rest of the medical team for bringing my baby safely into this world.

20.   That I would instantly fall deeper in love with my partner in the moments we first spent time together with our baby.

21.   I didn’t know I could get so damned sappy!

22.   When I recalled the awful days many moons ago when I lost a child at 5 months pregnant, when I thought back to the harrowing days of sickness,  when I looked back at my pregnant swollen face and my out of shape body I would think ‘My baby was truly worth all of it!’

It’s now 12 weeks after giving birth to our beautiful, healthy baby Jasmine and day by day I realise more and more what people have been telling me over the years: there is no greater gift than motherhood. Thank God I have been blessed with the honour of being my baby’s mother.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Things I didn't know about Pregnancy before I Became Pregnant

Now that I am 29 weeks pregnant I feel that I am qualified to begin to tell you about some of the surprises of being pregnant, you know 'the things they don't tell you'. Now, this post is not designed to alarm or over-hype, it is simply here to tell you how it is from my perspective. I will reiterate that last point, not all pregnancies are the same, so just because I might have experienced something, it doesn't mean that every other pregnant woman will too.

So here goes - Things I didn't know about pregnancy before I became pregnant:

I didn't know:

1.  How happy and excited friends and family would become after telling them our news.

2. Of 'Hyperemisis Gravidarum'. This is extreme morning sickness where personally I felt like I was going to die everyday and at its worst I vomited on average about 10 times. There was never any let-up. Every single minute of the day and night if I didn't vomit I felt like I wanted to vomit. This took place from 6weeks to 14 weeks of pregnancy.

3. That you could vomit through your nose.

4. It doesn't matter how sick you are, the A & E department of the hospital will still make you wait 4 - 6 hours like everyone else.

5. That when my bump got bigger, I would sometimes forget it was there as it didn't feel heavy or full like your stomach after you've eaten.

6. Linked to the last point: I didn't realise you could be so unaware of your bump that you could actually iron it. Yes, I did. I was ironing my clothes in my underwear and inadvertently ironed the skin on my bump. I was worried about having a permanent scar until my sister nonchalantly informed me that is nothing compared to what the baby will do to my stomach area afterwards.

7. Well, I did believe this but I didn't want to: that it doesn't matter how much you oil your bump with Bio Oil or Coco Butter, if you are destined to get stretchmarks, you will get them.

8. How out of breath you become once everything inside starts pushing against your lungs.

9. That after a while painting my toe nails or moisturising my feet would become a distant memory. Luckily I have some spray oil for my feet, as my family love to point out the person with dry crusty feet - pregnant or not. :-)

10. Although I knew babies kicked, I didn't realise you could see various body parts sticking out. I find it fascinating.

11. That babies flip inside and you can feel EVERYTHING!

12. How happy I would feel when I felt baby kick for the first time.

13. That if you train your baby, you can get kicks on demand. I love this, I feel like we are communicating already.

14. That some well-meaning other mums like to try and scare you into motherhood by saying things like: Oh you wait 'til the labour pains kick in or do you think you'll ever sleep again? Mwah ha ha ha! I might be becoming a new mother but I am not ignorant to these points.

15. Of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. This is when you get pain in your hands or wrists due to a reduced blood flow. This all would have been typed a lot quicker if it wasn't for CTS.

16. That some men would still lust after a woman when she is pregnant. I had one hospital porter say to me "Pregnancy suit you is a shame!  You look good! Any time you around come see me, alright dear!" After hearing that, I waddled down the corridors of City Hospital so fast that passers by would have just seen a blob flash before them.

17. That perverts would take advantage and purposely brush past your breasts whilst going to rub your bump without permission!

18. I know this sounds ignorant but I didn't know that male midwives existed. I didn't like my male midwife, he wasn't very empathetic or even sympathetic but then why would he be? I know this is possibly a controversial statement but it's how I feel.

19. That people would be shocked and disappointed when you tell them you are going to find out the sex of your own baby.

20. Baby could kick you in your bladder so much that you feel like if you looked where the sun don't shine you would see your bladder looking at you.

21. How uncaring some young people can be when they know you are limited in your movement and tired (this comes from a supply teaching perspective).

22. How kind and accommodating most people are when they see you are pregnant.

23. How many people would secretly tell me about them being pregnant at the same time.

24. That Jordan AKA Katie Price was pregnant until this morning (24.02.13).

25. I didn't know of 'pregnancy trolls' women who pretend to be pregnant for a variety of reasons. I and many other women (on a pregnancy group I am a part of) had the displeasure of coming into contact with one who pretended to be pregnant with twins and then pretended to lose them. Very shocking!

26. The extent my other half would be supportive, caring and loving, especially through my sickness. I knew he would be but the levels of which have just astounded me. I am very grateful and blessed.

I really could go on and on but I will leave it here for now. Perhaps I will add more to this once our little one has arrived - that's if I can possibly find the them time before her 18th birthday. :-)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Scared to sleep for fear of the Exorcism

I’m 10 weeks pregnant today. I should be happy that I am closer to the point where the morning sickness or Hyperemesis Gravidarum  (extreme morning sickness) in my case, decides to make its exit. However, more immediate matters cloud my mind…

I know I have to get up early to teach a whole day of dance (yay! Not!) to some Year 10 pupils but I’m scared to go to sleep. You see night time has reared its ugly head once again and as has been the case for the last 3 weeks, this is the time when my body decides it wants to puke its heart out.

 “So vomit and get it over and done with!” I hear you cry. I wish I was blessed with the skill to make it come at will but I am not.  Instead, I will do what I have done for the last 21 nights. I will go to bed lie upright, writhe, twist and turn in discomfort ‘til the wee hours of the morning. Then, just as my body starts to relax and wonder off into a deeper level of consciousness, I will feel that all-too-common churning of the stomach. I will get feverishly hot and my limbs will go void of energy, leaving me feeling weak and faint. It is then that I have to use all my remaining strength to take the 4 whole steps it takes to get from my bedroom to the bathroom. There, I will lean over the bath (yes the bath. The toilet is in another room and I prefer to be by the taps where I can splash cold water over me – no judgement!) and wait for the vomit to flow through my body like the an exorcism. As tonight’s dinner greets me on the way back out, I am treated to the putrid smell of bile which further adds to my nauseous state and causes me to retch some more. With each retching action, I can feel a hot tearing sensation in my throat, like someone has taken a molten-hot dagger and sliced the flesh of my oesophagus.  With each regurgitation, my eyes have such pressure behind them it’s as if someone is trying poke them out from the inside. My body continues to convulse and purge the contents of my stomach until it has wrung every last trace of the meal I had so lovingly prepared earlier on. And then…

As I stand there panting, waiting to see if the exorcist has left the building, I look at the rainbow of colours in my bath. Not even Lush baths bombs have blessed (or cursed) my bath with such an array of vivid colours. It would be beautiful, if it was so damned disgusting!  

When my other half isn’t working nights, he loving takes the bowl and washes away the cause of my sleepless night, as I wash my face and place my eyeballs back in their sockets. However, tonight he is not here so that will be my job. After which I will climb back in bed and fall asleep for (if I’m lucky) 2 hours, by then my unrelenting body demands ‘FOOD NOW!’ So I drag my body out of bed and make my way downstairs. I heat up a bowl of cereal. I switch on the TV and put the spoon to my mouth. Mmm...! It tastes so… Owwwww! It’s then that I feel the burning sensation as the food passes the sore spot ‘f***ing bile!’  I miserably and reluctantly finish the bowl and climb back upstairs. I get into bed, sigh and look at the clock. Great! I have to be up in an hour!

It’s now 1.22am. I have a long night ahead of me. L

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Preggers is Confused!

So this is my first post as a pregnant woman and boy has it knocked me for 6! I am 6 weeks and 6 days pregnant (tomorrow baby will be 7 weeks old - hey!). So  bet you're thinking, "So it was an accident right?" Well actually it wasn't thank you very much. This baby was very much planned. However, being infuenced by other women's stories, I had convinced myself that it would take a year to two years to fall pregnant. How long did it take in reality? Err less than 2 weeks!

My original plan was to start thinking about how life would change as we were having fun trying. I'm a fitness instructor (on a self-imposed 2 year sabbitcal from being a drama education practitioner) and I knew that having a baby would eventually lead me to stop teaching (at least temporariliy). But because I thought it wouldn't happen for now, I didn't quite finish - well let's be honest I didn't START thinking about what I would do with my career once I got pregnant.

So now, here we are: my breasts are growing heavier and bigger by the hour (literally - why do I have to fight to get my sports bras on this week when I had no problem last week?), I constantly feel nauseous - that's fun when you are trying to make out you are a happy go lucky fitness instructor and more than anything I am confused as hell!

All I am certain about with regards to the future is that there will be lots of change for ME! I have to be real  I'm terrified. I'm Miss Control Freak - I can tell the oven when the bun's baked before it beeps! (No pun intended - ok, maybe it was). Now, I am faced with a beautiful baby to look forward to and a fantastically supportive partner to share that with - but it's all new and I'm scared of what new will look like.

I'm used to getting up when I want to, going clothes shopping on a whim, spontaneously deciding to take a trip to London, etc... Basically just doing me. Then there's work, I had huge plans for my fitness career and though I realise a baby doesn't not have to stop me, I am questioning whether I want to continue down this road in such a huge way, as my former plans involved me travelling the country and then the world! Do I want to do this with baby in tow? I already know I'm not leaving her (I have a feeling she's a she).

So this is where I am today. Next week I may feel completely different and next month different again. Therefore, as I am such a confused, hormonal, pregnant wreck at the moment, I thought it best to get these thoughts down. One day I will look back at this and laugh my head off at the silly worries I had as my partner and I sit on our yacht in the Caribbean, sipping on virgin pina coladas and singing Jamaican folk songs to little bambino. :-)

In closing, I will address one point which some of you maybe thinking: Why is she writing this before her 12 week scan? Well, you see I believe in the power of 'thoughts become things' (believe it or not)and as I can already see that I am going to give birth to this wondeful baby, there is no need for me to worry about whether she will pass that stage or not. That would be an unnecessary negative thought which I do not need to entertain.

Now I know that puts this whole 'being confused thing' into question but even gurus have their off day.

So until next time...     Chaow!