What to pack in the hospital bag

I have to admit apart from baby’s first clothes and nappies I had no idea what to pack, this was something I had to learn as well. Also it might sound obvious, but you also need to pack something for mum as well!

Also I was expecting that because it’s a hospital bag I would be able to fit everything inside. Nahhh, so I’ve ended up having 2 hospital bags, one for me and another for the baby

For the baby

  • 100% Cotton Comfy pyjamas – yes you will need more than 1 as you’re still learning how to put the nappy or the baby might throw up like my little one did. I had a little bag called “my first clothing” with 2 pjs and a hat

  • Also consider when baby will be born, you might need a jacket to take him out of the hospital. My little one was born in summer so there was no need for lots of clothing
  • Nappies – It’s kinda obvious but yes bring lots of nappies
  • Muslins – I found them really handy to wrap baby and ended up using them almost as bed linen too. I had bamboo muslins which I totally loved. They are perfect to keep the right body temperature and they are really soft and light, so perfect for baby. You could swaddle baby with them. My little one hated being swaddled
Little Bamboo

Little Bamboo

  • 1 portable nappy changer – I found that the hospital didn’t had any, so I was changing her nappies on the bed… needless to say pee went all over the place a few times. I didn’t pack anything but I wish I had
  • Cotton Pads – I find these more efficient than cotton balls. I use Johnsons & Jonnsons ones because they are quite big

  • Waterwipes – I know I’m being very specific here, you can bring any wipes you fancy really, but I love waterwipes because they’re pretty much just water and no chemicals. Yes they are expensive but they are really worth it!

  • Milk – This is a bit controversial but some people pack formula in case baby can’t latch. What I would have done was to bring seringues and use the hospital pump to pump some milk in the scenario where baby wouldn’t latch. My little one was glued to my breasts as she was starving when she was born. If it makes you feel at ease, pack formula even if you end up never using it. Also, if you’ve managed to store some milk before baby was born, bring it with you. This will be quite important if baby needs to go to ICU.

And that’s pretty much it for the baby.

For Mum
Now this is where people tend to pack things they will never use. In my case I can say I haven’t use any food since I’ve ended up in emergency C-section without ever going into natural labour. Most people will pack cereal bars but labour makes you really thirsty so this is what I had packed:

  • Coconut water – as labour makes you sweat loads! You need something you can drink fast and helps with the heat as well
  • Fruits
  • Porridge – because provides a slow release of energy. I had the instant ones where you just need hot water
  • Big bottle of water
  • Cheap knickers- the disposable ones are not very comfortable
  • Maternity pads – believe me you’ll need them
  • Comfy clothing – for labour and when you are at the hospital. I had cotton trousers and t-shirts and a large dress
  • Nursing bras and breast pads
  • Toiletries and a towel – You will need a shower after all the hard work and don’t forget flip flops so you don’t go barefoot into the hospital bathroom
  • Lip balm and hair ties – again handy if you’ll end up in long labour and you’ll feel like you’re in the desert!
  • Hospital notes and plan…. although I would say my plan was really useless
  • Something for you to read – I had my kindle
  • Phone and phone charger
  • Ipod or music on your phone

For dad

  • Ensure dad knows your birth plans and knows how to assemble the car seat
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Lots of snacks as he won’t be getting any food while he’s supporting you and drinks too

The biggest tip I would say is, if you need to stay overnight in the hospital try to get a private room, otherwise your partner won’t be able to stay with you and help you out. My first night in the hospital was horrible because I could barely move, I was thirsty all time and I still had to manage to hold baby. On the 2nd night we went to the private room and at least he could stay with me and help me out a bit. Made tons of difference. You can have a female partner with you, so if you have a family member that can stay with you, that’s great.

It’s always handy to have the hospital bag ready as soon as possible, so in the case you need to run to the hospital everything is ready and you both know what you need to do.

5 things I wish I knew about Breastfeeding

Once I discovered I was pregnant one thing became really clear to me: I wanted to breastfeed. It’s brilliant that in UK most midwifes really advocate for breastfeeding to encourage mums to go on. Some of my friends might argue that they’ve become breastfeeding nazis and don’t really understand that in some instances Mums have no choice but to go to formula.

Whatever your choice is: A feed baby is the important thing, regardless of how!

Anyway, I thought that breastfeeding was going to be a lot easy. When you watch in the movies everything seems to smooth and easy but it’s not easy at all. I went to a breastfeeding class, provided by the NHS so I thought I new it all:

  1. Nose to nipple
  2. Wait for the big yawn
  3. Push baby into the breast

Sounds pretty straightforward but it’s not

#1 You need a lot of support in order to start a good breastfeeding journey, from the moment baby is born
I was lucky enough to be followed by a private midwife (well, lucky that I could afford it), so they’ve really ensured that my breastfeeding wish was going to be met. I was still in “coma” and my baby was already at my breast having a decent feed. In my case it also helped that she was starving, as she had not been fed properly inside my belly for the last 4 weeks. She was born with only 2.5kg (5.5lb) and all she wanted was to feed. In fact, the first person to hold her was my other half and she went to search for his nipples. So whereas some babies, like mine, will be born hungry and wanting to feed in most cases they probably just had a main meal and are to amazed by being outside and are not interested in feeding.

Many mums will give up on breastfeeding because they don’t get the correct support especially in the first hours when they are still in pain.

#2 Skin to skin is crucial in the first hour of baby’s life
Even though it seems babies are born knowing exactly what to do, they need to be guided as well. One big piece of advice I was giving while pregnant was: “skin to skin”. As soon baby is born just go ahead and do it. Bond together for at least a good hour. The benefits are incredible for both mum and baby. Both will calm down and get used to each other. Oxytacin (the “one hormone” to rule them all) will kick in helping with the milk production. Baby will eventually follow the clues and start to search for the breast once he wants to feed.

#3 There are a few things that might complicate the whole journey…. tongue tie
Normally at the hospital they are supposed to check if baby has tongue tie, as it does complicate breastfeeding a lot, but in some cases babies are not diagnosed and then mum ends up in pain and baby feels frustrated because he can’t feed efficiently. My little one had posterior tongue tie and it was only diagnosed because my nipples were absolutely in pain and getting damaged. She ended up drinking blood and I was really struggling with the pain. To cope with it, I was using nipple shields, but nipple shields decrease the milk production. In the end, because she had lip tie she was checked by a private midwife, they’ve analysed how she was moving her tongue and there she was, she had it! Once she was snipped I’ve managed to get rid of the nipple shields. Tongue tie tends to lead to inefficient feedings and a lot of air swallowing which triggers colic and potentially reflux as well. So if no matter what you do baby doesn’t latch properly and you have sore nipples you might want to check for lip tie.

#4 Growth spurts might make you believe your milk is not enough
Here’s a thing I knew nothing about… growth spurts. Growth spurts are associated to development leaps. Typically baby will sleep a lot a few days before and then have a few days of eating all the time. Many mums will take this as a sign that her supply is not good enough or the classic: you’re milk is not nutritious enough for your baby. Growth spurts are precisely to increase supply. It takes around 2 days for mum’s supply to adjust to the babies needs, so babies knowing they will be needing more milk they ask mum in advance so production has time to catch up. It’s absolutely normal. You will feel really tired and exhausted but it will pass! The main ones are on the first days at home, 7 to 10 days, 2 to 3 weeks, 4 to 6 weeks, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months but each baby is different. For instance my little one has her first growth spurts earlier than the calendar above and I haven’t noticed anything around 4 months. But if you noticed one, don’t give up, it’s just your baby making a request for milk he will only need in the future.

#5 Food restrictions
Whereas most mums can eat pretty much what they want as long as they try to maintain a healthy diet – which is hard considering you’ll be hungry all time and no time to prepare stuff, some of us have to be careful with the food. Cows Milk Intolerance or Allergy (CMPI / CMPA) is quite common, so if your baby has eczema, colics or reflux you might want to go 6 weeks dairy / soy free (since the protein is very similar anyway) to see if your baby improves. In the case of reflux you’ll have to cut all acidic food. You should also restrict coffee and chocolate consumption. I thought I would be able to eat pretty much everything once baby was born…. had no idea I would have to be so restricted but it’s for a good cause. Some mums have no other choice but to sweet to a specific formula.

So if you’re planning to breastfeed good luck!!! Hope you get the support your need.

You can find more information here and here. Also your health centre will also host weekly breastfeeding support groups.

Any experiences you would like to share? Was it easy for you?

Pregnancy Yoga

I wanted to do yoga for a long long time but I’ve never managed to set myself into actually do it. Once I’ve decided I had to start eliminating stress and take better care of the baby in my belly (and myself too) I’ve decided straight away to join Pregnancy Yoga Classes.

Photo from Yoga 4 You

Photo from Yoga 4 You

I have to say I loved them! It was great to take some time out and be able to stretch and learn breathing techniques. I totally recommend it to all mums, seriously. You won’t have that much me time left once baby is born, so make the most of it!

Main benefits for Mum

  • It teaches great breathing techniques which are crucial during labour
  • You’ll meet other mums in your area
  • It’s great for relaxing and learn good postures for labour and also to deal with the pregnancy itself
  • Lots of pelvic floor exercises which will also be key during and post labour
  • Helps to handle the pressure (and pain!) in the hips

Benefits for the baby

  • If mum feels relaxed baby will feel relaxed and nourished as well
  • A smoother labour for mum means it will be easier for baby too

I found a great article that explains the main benefits into more detail here.

Have you done pregnancy yoga? Did you enjoyed it? Tell me your thoughts. Once baby is born don’t forget there is Mum & Baby Yoga too!

Baby Reflux

Oh yes, my favourite topic, reflux….. I wish I knew nothing about this topic but it’s now a matter close to my heart.

What is baby reflux?
All babies suffer in some shape or form and it’s linked with the stomach maturity. Pretty much after a feed the contents travel back from the stomach and babies spit up a little bit, in some cases it’s mostly identified due to the amount of vomit after a feed. For most babies this is not a problem, it’s just means a bit more washing to do. For some babies though, there are other symptoms which make the matters worse because there’s a lot of acid coming up as well which burns the oesophagus and all the way to the throat.

Reflux and Silent Reflux
There are 2 types of reflux. The first type, which ends up being easier to diagnose is mostly identified by the amount of vomit. But there’s also Silent Reflux, where baby doesn’t vomit but seems to bring the contents up anyway and a lot of acid which causes a lot of pain.

Reflux is NOT colic
I get cross when people tell me reflux is normal. Yes, I understand it’s normal, but not when it causes so much pain to the baby. Most of the times parents don’t even know the baby has reflux (especially if it comes as silent reflux) because GP’s just say it’s colic and that it will get better. But this is not the case all the time. In some cases it requires medication and further support from a gastro paediatrician.

The best way I find to distinguish between colic and reflux is watching out the body. When it’s colic, babies tend to bring their legs up to their stomach. When they are suffering from reflux they get really stiff, you can’t bend their legs at all and they tend to arch their backs a lot and potentially starting to refuse feeds.

When is reflux a problem?

  • Regurgitation -If vomiting becomes more forceful (projectile), looks green or yellow-ish in colour or looks to have blood in it.
  • Exceeds one year of age – If you are still seeing reflux issues after one is over a year.
  • Feeding issues – If your baby can’t feed.
  • Losing weight, or poor weight gain – If he or she starts to lose weight or you see that the weight gain on your babies growth chart is poor.
  • Unusual changes?? – If you see any changes that worry you or anything gets worse.
  • Extreme crying – He or she won’t stop crying for long periods of time or is very distressed.

There are 2 ways babies start to handle reflux, either they start rejecting feeds because they link feeding with pain, or they do comfort feeding where they don’t stop feeding because the milk helps to neutralise the acid. But if they drink too much it makes matters worse.

What can you do to deal with reflux
Before you go down the medication route (which I have avoided for a long time) there are a couple of changes you can try to introduce:

  • Try to feed in upright positions
  • After a feed ensure you burp your baby (this is valid for colic too) and keep him upright for at least 30m. Yes, at night too!!! (I can tell you this is so hard because it breaks your sleep completely)
  • Raise your cot so your baby is sleeping at an angle. There are some pillows too such as the wedgehog which are placed bellow the mattress. As my cot is round, it’s not easy to raise it up by the feet so I use a wedgehog. This helps the acid not to come all the way up while baby sleeps
  • Avoid changing nappies after a feed (during the first 30m) and when doing so, try to keep baby at an angle. This is really hard if it’s a poo, because then you have to decide whether to change immediately and baby to vomit a lot or to try to hold on the 30m.
  • Dress light clothing and be careful around the belly area

If you are breastfeeding be careful with your food too. Avoid any acidic foods such as tomato, oranges and so on.

What if the steps above are not working, what else can I do?
If none of the steps above are working, I would look into Cows Milk Intolerance or Allergy (CMPI / CMPA). This tends to be one of the culprits from reflux. If you are breastfeeding you’ll have to cut all dairy from your diet for 6 weeks and believe me, there’s milk everywhere!!!! Some babies will also react to Soya as the protein is very similar. If your baby is in pain and you’re not sleeping believe me it’s worth the try. If you are formula feeding, try to find a dairy free formula.

If cutting dairy doesn’t help, the next step is to try a thicker. A lot of the GPs will prescribe Gaviscon, but it’s quite common that it will cause constipation, hence baby will have pain anyway. But there are other thickeners such as Carobel or Thick and Easy. I would try a normal thickener before trying Gaviscon.

If nothing else works and you need to ask for medication, I would film your baby and show it to GP, as GPs tend to ignore reflux and dismiss it by saying it’s colic. You know your baby best, if you believe it’s not colic keep on fighting for it.

Reflux Medication
In UK at least, the following medication is available:

  • Omeoprazole (PPI blocker) – stops the acid production at the stomach. It seems to work with a lot of babies whereas others react to it. My little one seem to suffer from stomach pain. Other side effects are sleep disturbance. This is weight dependent, so as your baby gains weight the dosage will have to increase. There is a liquid version of it, which makes it easier to give it to babies.
  • Ranitidine (H2 blocker) – There are several compositions of ranitidine. Ranitidine acts as an anti-acid and helps to deal with the acid pain. Ranitidine is also weight dependent. The simplest version of ranitidine (the 5ML / 5mg) seems to have less side effects – mainly diarrhoea – but it’s also quite expensive. A bottle of 100ML costs around £100, so GPs are quite reluctant to prescribe it.
  • Domperidone (Zantac) – This one accelerates digestion, which in turn helps to reduce the amount of food that comes up. Unlike the other 2, this can’t be prescribed by GPs as it can lead to heart problems. If you have heart issues in the family it’s not recommended.

Each baby is different so some babies might need a combination of the meds above. I would say that whereas you might need the meds to help your baby to cope with the pain and eat better, you should try to understand what’s triggering your babies reflux. In many cases it’s linked to food intolerance, allergies and you’ll require paediatrician support to get there.

I’m still fighting to get somewhere with my little one, as she refuses feeds and struggles to sleep – and I’m a zombie mum – but hopefully will get to the bottom of it all. All I can say is good luck if your little one has reflux and trust your gut. Keep on fighting until you have answers!

If you want to know more about reflux please check the Living with Reflux community. There is also a facebook group which is really supportive!

Pregnancy – Hypnobirthing

I don’t know about you but I can tell you that one of the scariest things for me was actually labour. Because I had strong pain during my periods and had fainted a few times in the past, especially in really hot days, I was really scared about the thought of going into labour and being hours in pain.

I hate hospitals every since I know myself. Again I’m the fainting type. The smell of the different products, the lack of fresh air, needles and blood makes me feel really dizzy, so I was scared the moment I’ve discovered I was pregnant.

Then I did something that made the matters worse, I’ve started reading hospital reviews (UK) and got even more scared. It felt it was a matter of luck if you were going to have a good support or not. On my first ante-natal appointment and because I have been throwing up a lot, I was really week and feeling dizzy, so I’ve asked to lay down while the midwife was doing my bloods. She answered: “I don’t have all day you know?”. I’ve ended up getting out of the room almost about to faint to try to find some chairs so I could sit down. If I was concerned before, now this was the peak of it all. I wish I was stronger but I’m not, it’s just the way I am.

At around 5 or 6 months I’ve decided to get a private midwife to support me through pregnancy and the first days with baby. (I’ll write about my overall experience in a different post)

One of the things she advised me was to look into Hypnobirthing. I had no idea such a thing existed.

What is hypnobirthing?

“Hypnobirthing is a complete birth education programme, that teaches simple but specific self hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for a better birth.”

You can find more about it at hypnobirthing.co.uk

Why I found it useful?

  • It explains all you need to know about labour, how your body reacts, how the hormones play such an important role throughout pregnancy and after
  • It also goes through positive birth stories (normally you only ear about that friend that was in labour for 3 full days in agony)
  • But it also tells you what can go wrong and what you can do to deal with it

Overall I found that most of my fear around labour was directly related to my lack of knowledge. I knew nothing about pregnancy or babies. Zero. Throughout my reading, I started to relax a lot more because I knew what to expect.

I’ve bought this one at amazon and really liked it. Really informative

The book also comes with relaxation techniques and exercises, but I’ve ended up not doing them as much as I was doing meditation daily and also having the yoga classes. I just couldn’t focus 40m in doing the daily exercises. But loved the book.

As you’ve probably read on my planning story, everything went away from the plan, but at least by knowing what to expect I felt really relaxed in my final stages of pregnancy and I’ve ended up making the most of my last Me time in a long long while.

Have you done hypnobirthing before? Did it worked for you? Were you afraid of labour as I was? Let me know your stories and your thoughts 🙂

Have a lovely weekend,

6 things I’m jealous from other mums

Yes, that’s right. I admit it with all letters, I’m jealous!

#1 – Mums that can change nappies as soon as the “mustard” comes
Most of the times, she has a mustard drop (yes, it does look like mustard both consistency and colour, at least while the solids don’t kick in) after a feed. Butttttt, after a feed not only I need to burp her but I need to keep her upright for at least 30m. Then I have a decision to make, either I change her, or she’ll vomit most of the feed. I end up always trying to wait until she cries loads. I even change her nappy at an angle, so she has her head higher than the rest, but still no use.

#2 – Mums that can breastfeed in bed
Ah, those lucky mums that can lie down in bed, side by side with baby and let the baby feeds as he wants while mum relaxes in bed and falls back into sleep. The first is that she can’t co-sleep with me because she needs to sleep at an angle as well, so she sleeps on a “next to me” type bed.

This is the bed I have which I really love, from BabyBay

The mattress has a bamboo cover, so it’s perfect for baby. Unfortunately I seem to enjoy her bed more than she does

The  2nd aspect is that, even if she would feed side by side laying down, I need to keep burp her and keep her upright after the feed. So every time I feed her at night it’s around 50 awake plus the time it takes me to fall asleep again. Zombie mum here

#3 – Mums that have babies that smell baby
My little one smells like Eau du vomit. There’s vomit everywhere all the time. I have to bath her quite often and change her clothes loads of times during the day. After 5m she already smells vomit. Gotta love reflux!

#4 – Mums that can do stuff while baby naps
She doesn’t nap…. she only naps on my arms and then I can’t move. I need to walk her within the house or sit on the yoga ball until eventually she falls asleep, so I can’t do anything. To do basic stuff like go to the loo or have a shower, I have to let her cry which breaks my heart but it’s the only way. As I write this post, she just had diarrhoea so I had to wash her clothing and mine straight away while she was crying a lot because she was sleepy and wanted me.

#5 – Mums that sleep!
This is a killer and I feel I’m subject to war torture. She doesn’t sleep much in a row, not because she’s hungry but because of the reflux. I can only have 1 decent night per week and by decent I mean 4h in a row and wake up twice at night. Most times it’s like she sleeps 2h30, whereas it took me 30m to fall asleep and 2h later I’m up again. After that she might sleep another 2h and from there every 30m and she’s moving and up… During the day I have zero changes of sleeping as per points above. Definitely zombie mum here

Photo from Confessions of a chronic depressive

Photo from Confessions of a chronic depressive

 

#6 – Mums that can breastfeed in public
At first I was afraid, I was petrified…. (nah not going the song route), but I’ve managed to overcome my shyness and I’ve done it. Trouble is she doesn’t feed enough, even at home each feed is a battle, so I’ve given up on breastfeeding while I’m out. I have to express and then give her by the bottle….

Are you jealous of other Mum’s? Anything you would like to share?

10 things no one tells you about being a new mum

AH! I could write a whole book by now around what society says about being a new mum,  but will try to focus on only a few.

1 – Sleep when baby sleeps rubbish

Every one was telling me, sleep when baby sleeps! I couldn’t take it anymore and was starting to have rage attacks. Even if baby is having a nap during the day, probably mum needs to eat, go to the loo, have a quick shower. Meeting basic needs is a challenge! And some mums still need to cook and do basic shores. Also, it might be that you actually try to sleep and you can’t. For instance in the first week I’ve suffered from insomnia. I went to bed, closed my eyes and couldn’t fall asleep. At some stage baby would wake up anyway.

2 – Breastfeeding is hard

You get lectured as soon as baby is born on how to breastfeed: head back, nose to nipple and then push baby’s head to breast. If they don’t latch is because you’re an idiot! I’ve attended classea before she was born and it was really hard! I didn’t care about the latch, I just wanted to feed her. Ended up with lots of bruises because she had lip tie. So rather than making us look like failures, midwifes should be more supportive. It’s really hard to breastfeed at the beginning! No wonder so many mums give up because there’s no support.

3 – sleep torture

At war they use to torture people by sleep deprivation. Guess what a new mum faces? Waking up every hour or more often is a killer, seriously! And it can last months or even years. Some lucky mums have babies sleeping a lot in a row since 7 weeks. At 12 weeks my little one was still behaving like a newborn. So it’s ok to ask for help, either a friend or family so you can have rest. Mum is the most important person for baby, so if you collapse your not doing anyone a favour.

4 – you will look rubbish

Yap. No time to pumper myself. Even a quick shower feels a luxury. You might see lots of mums that look gorgeous and seem to have everything under control whereas you don’t even remember last time you’ve brushed your hair!

5 – leaving the house will take forever

You know the moment you believe you’re finally ready to leave, baby decides to do a massive poo and needs changing. Or vomits everywhere or both combined. Forget it, you can’t control time anymore, just be ready to be late all time and start preparing before you think you should.

6 – eau du vomit

That’s my new perfume. Most people used to say babies smell amazing. Well my one smells vomit and so do I. I’ve given up on being clean.
7 – you’ll miss your old life

Oh you will, loads and it’s ok. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby (there’s loads of positive stuff like baby giggles) but you’ll wander all the time about this person that used to be you. Learning to leave the house with baby ia hard. Yes you need to learn it and feel confident. You’ll love the fresh air on your face and if you close your eyes you can almost taste your old life with a smiley or sleepy baby.

8 – you will despair when baby cries non stop

It’s so heartbreaking to see our little ones in pain, you will feel like running to the hospital all the time. Trust your gut! As I’ve learnt the hard way, gps and health visitors only care about weight. If your baby is putting on weight everything is fine and it’s normal for babies to cry. While that is true it’s not always the case. Colic is just one of the things that might impact your baby. There’s stuff like reflux / silent reflux where baby will arch in pain day and night and you’ll feel ignored by the health professionals. Follow your gut! You know baby better than anyone, if you believe baby is not ok don’t give up until you get help. You might have to fight… Literally!

9 – you might have to give up on your favourite foods..

I thought I was only restricted while pregnant but no… Because of the reflux I’ve cut out dairy, soya, tomatoes, chocolate also avoiding red meat and I’m hungry all the time. It’s really hard! There’s lots of stuff with hidden milk. Eczema is another reason why you might have to restrict your diet. I miss my Mediterranean diet

10 – everyone believes they know better

Either its your own mum, your mother in law, the neighbours… Everyone will come with advice on how you should treat your baby. Again follow your gut and just ignore them. Some of the stuff I’ve heard even from strangers in the street

  • Your milk might not be strong enough, you should give formula (my mum’s generation was told this by doctors!)
  • You shouldn’t carry your baby all the time she will get spoiled (reflux hello????)
  • Swaddle your baby.. My little one hated it since day 1

There are lots of positive things but I feel expectations are not set correctly and mum’s feel like a failure because they are tired all the time or baby is not growing according to the lines… For any mums out there, you’re doing great! Scream if you need to, we’re only human!

Anything you would like to add to the list? Feel free to share your thoughts

Planning

You know when I’ve said that I wouldn’t just be doing maternity related posts? Well, it seems I’m struggling as I’ve been doing 24h baby, so don’t have much time for any other random thoughts. Although I’ve managed to write a bit a few weeks ago. Normally if baby sleeps I’ll stop everything and will sleep too (there are not many of those opportunities)

Anyway, one of the things I’ve learned during pregnancy is that there is no point in planning. In this particular case I’m talking about labour. And I have no shame in saying that to me labour was always a frightful thought, just the idea of pain for hours (maybe days) and hospitals….  but I’ve decided not to panic and real all about labour.

I’ve also read about hypno-birthing, did pregnancy yoga and was doing meditation.

Hypnobirthing is a complete birth education programme, that teaches simple but specific self hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for a better birth.

this is not how most women feel at labour!!!!

this is not how most women feel at labour!!!!

Because I’m the type that faints in hospitals, I wanted a birth in the natural birth centre ideally in the birthing pool. You are encouraged to write all the details of your birthing plan, as if that was going to happen. I was already expecting it wouldn’t be going to be as per plan, but you always hope….

What I had was a roller coaster. Even on my due week (40 weeks), I was still going for walks, had a small belly (looking like 6 months) and went out for nice tea in the afternoon. After being measured by the midwifes, they’ve said baby wasn’t growing so better to do an additional scan. Based on the scan it was confirmed, baby had stopped growing. So was booked for a c-section for the next morning (they’ve also said she was breech (head up as opposed to head down), which I found surprising.

So I had less than 24h to get used to the idea, no natural birth, it was going to be a c-section. But it was for the best right? At night I guess I’ve started to feel more relaxed, although I’ve ended up not sleeping. Next morning at 06a.m I was already at the hospital. After speaking with the doctors, who’ve explained all the procedure I was ready to go for it. Then they’ve decided to do another scan, and as she was head down (as I was expecting!), they’ve said it was better for me to be induced so she would be born naturally (I wouldn’t be able to use the pool anyway because of her size). I’ve argued a bit, as I was already prepared for the c-section and it would be easier now. As the doctor said, it would be better for baby induction, I’ve decided to go for it.

While I was being prepared for the induction, her heart beat decreased, so the emergency alarm was triggered and I was being sent to the magic room. I was so scared for the baby. Although the journey was really short, I never felt so scared in my life. I remember seeing loads of people in the operation centre and then waking up and not being able to focus, but I knew there was a baby in my arms. So yap, not at all according to plan and it was so stressful that I’ve started to suffer from insomnia and had panic attacks the next 2 weeks….

Not to mention that the recovery is quite a slow one…. still in recovery mode 2 months later. So the conclusion is, whatever you’re about to plan, plan the opposite!