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. :-)