Tuesday, 17 December 2013

1 week old

Wow what an amazing/tiring/quick week it's been (or should I say 13 days)

Baby M & I spent 2 days in hospital following his birth and I couldn't wait to get home to Mr M.  Our first night home was awful, baby M wouldn't settle. We tried feeding him, winding him and nothing seemed to work. At 4am we phoned the ward who were brilliant and gave us lots of reassurance, they said that it sounded like baby had very bad wind.  They gave us some tips and said they would phone us back in 2 hours, which they did.  It was so reassuring to know they were only a call away.  They also stated they would ask the midwife to come see us for our visit first thing. 

Our visits from the community midwives haven't been very positive experiences to be honest, there has been conflicting advice, one was just plain rude and another made me feel awful as she arrived as baby was crying.  After 2 seconds in the house she was making judgements about us and made us feel rubbish.  

On a positive note we were discharged from the midwives to our lovely health visitor as baby has gained weight and is doing well. 

One thing I am getting fed up of people asking is "are you in a routine"!!! Really?!? How is a week old baby supposed to have a routine???! Also people are obsessed by how much sleep we are getting.  Some nights are good & he's up every 3-4 hrs for a feed but other nights he won't settle until 4am.  Although we are both shattered I'm not worried, how does a new baby know the difference between day & night?!? We are just going with the flow and taking the lead from baby.

Some people are being pushy about visiting us too, we've been firm so far with regards to a visitor ban but people have ways of making you feel guilty. 

I feel things are going really well, baby seems happy & the fact he has put on 5oz in 5 days shows he is eating well.  We will just continue taking each day as it comes & enjoy our new family


Wow!!! What a week it has been!!!

This time last week I was waiting to find out whether I would be able to have a vaginal birth or whether I would be having a C section.

Last Monday as I was settling down to write my blog posts on being 39 weeks pregnant and whether you can bring on labour, I started to get twinges.  Being a wimp I thought these were just bad Braxton hicks but I had the urge to walk around so I did.  After an hour and the "twinges" getting worse I phoned my mum, I don't think at first she thought anything of what I was saying but as I started to pant down the phone she said she was packing her bag & coming down (my parents live 2 hours away just over the border in Scotland). 

Another hour passed and my pains were beginning to get worse, I phone Mr M at work and told him not to panic or come home but to let his boss know he might not be in tomorrow.  45 minutes later he appeared home.  Neither of us knew what was happening and the internet was a little confusing so we phoned the hospital.  They told us to time the contractions and phone back if they got unmanageable. My mum also text Mr M to say her & my dad were on their way.

I tried walking around and sitting on my exercise ball to help with the contractions, sitting was agony.  I tried lying on my side with Mr M massaging my back - it worked for a while.  My contractions were becoming more painful and more regular and although I wanted to wait for my parents I didn't think I could, at that moment they arrived and we phoned the hospital who told me to come in.  

When we arrived we went to the midwife led unit, I was checked and was 4cm dilated, this baby was coming!! The midwife (Jenny who was amazing!!!) ran the water in the pool & I got in with the gas & air. I had to eat before hand as I had started feeling very sick & hadn't eaten since lunchtime, I nearly choked on the scone my mum gave me.

I found the pool really relaxing and the gas & air helped, my contractions were getting worse but I could manage, although I did want to push.  After 2 hrs in the pool my waters broke, bad news the baby had pooed - not to worry he might not be far off being delivered.  30 minutes later no baby so we get transferred to the delivery suite - everything went downhill from then on.

Once at the delivery suite my contractions were unbearable I was in so much pain, I was given a spinal block - wow it's odd not being able to feel anything from your breasts down!!! 2 hours later I was given an epidural.  My epidural didn't end up being 100% effective as I felt like I had a very bad stitch on my right hand side.  Good news I could start to move my feet and legs again!!

7am (18 hrs after my contractions started at home) the contractions started to slow down.  I was 10cm dilated but the midwife thought baby was in a "funny" position.  The consultant was bleeped.  Following an examination I was put on a drip to get my contractions back to what they were and told they would be back in 2 hrs to check whether baby had changed position.  2 hrs later I was told to start pushing - which was odd as I couldn't feel my contractions so was reliant on the midwife telling me to push but also because I couldn't feel anything down below and I had no idea whether I was pushing right.

Following 2 hrs of pushing I was examined again - bad news baby was still in a bad position and wouldn't be delivered naturally.  I was told I would be taken to theatre and they would try to deliver him via forceps, however I might have to have a C section.  I signed all the paperwork and we were taken to theatre.  My dad's face was one of pure panic and we left him and my mum.  

In theatre everyone was lovely but efficient.  Mr M had to gown up and they gave me another spinal block - there go my legs again!!!! They examined me and decided a forceps delivery wouldn't work so I was having a C section.  Mr M had to leave the room whilst they got me sorted then came back in, he looked like he was going to pass out.  I tried to reassure him that everything was going to be ok.  

It was very strange having people in my stomach trying to get baby out, there was a lot of pushing and pulling then finally he was out and crying - Mr M and I burst into tears, he was here and he(sounded) ok.  The pediatrician checked him over and gave him the ok, Mr M cut the cord and they wrapped baby in blankets. 

We were so happy that our little bundle of joy was here!!!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Baby Melton has arrived

Apologies for the lack of posts but baby Melton has arrived a little earlier than expected.  He arrived on 10 Dec 2013, 6 days early, following 24hrs labour. 

Due to some issues (to be shared & discussed in another post) baby M was delivered by C Section. Due to the fact I've been unwell in hospital & now home trying to figure our little bundle of joy out I haven't had a chance to post.

I may still be quiet whilst we work things out but I shall be back!!!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Pregnancy Myths - can you bring on labour?

I was actually writing this post when I went into labour, I thought I would still write it though as I'm still not sure whether you can bring on labour.

As your due date nears many people give you advice on how they brought on labour.  

Eating pineapple was a popular method I was told, I ate quite a lot of pineapple with no effect, other than I got quite bad heartburn.

Hot curry is another favourite, again I had 2 hot curries in the 2 weeks before I gave birth, the only effect was that Mr M (who can't really manage his curry) was sweating buckets!!! 

People tell you that sex brings on labour, it's all to do with the chemicals in sperm (apparently!!).  I sure a man came up with this as (personally) I wasn't in the mood for sex and also positions were difficult. There's a huge bump in the way!! 

Raspberry leaf tea is another method, I'm not sure whether this had anything to do with my going into labour 6 days early or not.  I purchased some raspberry leaf tea on the Saturday, I didn't have my first cup until that evening as we had tickets to see Sarah Millican that night at Winter Gardens & I didn't want to miss it so had a cup when we got back.  (Sarah was hilarious by the way I would recommend going to see her shows!).  I had 3 cups on the Sunday then one cup the Monday morning and my contractions started 3 hours later.  This could all be coincidence I know. 

So is there any way to bring on labour?!? I'm still not sure but if I was to get pregnant again I would try the raspberry leaf tea again (I have nearly a full box which someone might get use out of as a few of my friends are pregnant). Is it psychologically or is it just the baby is ready? Who knows!! 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Beebies Baby Store Wish List

With bump's arrival imminent and (hopefully) before Christmas we have been looking at what we would place on a wish list.  Beebies Baby Store is a one stop shop website with a variety of must have items for any parent or parent-to-be.  The great thing is you can find lots of different things you need in one place.  They also offer free delivery which is an added bonus as some websites can charge a fortune to send you items.

So where to start our wishlist?!? There is definitely a great choice of items to choose from you can easily spend hours pondering what to buy (if you're like me!!)

Firstly I would choose Original Poodle Pod - Night owls which is £29.99.  I have only recently discovered Poodle Pod and think they are a great idea.  Baby looks so comfortable but also well supported.  You know that baby is safe (although you would never leave the baby alone).  I love the owl print, I think it is something a little different and something I think bump would enjoy.

Next on our wish life is the Parent Kneeling Mat, which costs £13.99.  We rent our house and the bathroom floor is not very pretty and it's tile.  In the middle of the floor there is a mosaic (don't ask!).  I can see it is going to be very uncomfortable kneeling on the floor to give bump a bath.  This kneeling mat would help solve that whilst also giving us a little height to be able to reach bump easier.  I love the multi-coloured look too, makes it a little more exciting

I love the Koo-di Sleep Sack (small), which is priced at £21.99.  I love the bright colours.  Having read alot of information about where/how to sleep baby I think this would be a great investment.  A Sleep Sack means he won't be able to kick of the covers and get himself tangled up.  2.5 tog is a good all year round tog meaning baby won't need any other layers.  As he will be born in the winter he will get good use of it.

We have been looking into letters for the nursery.  Our favourite name for bump is quite unusual and we won't be able to walk into a shop and buy things with his name on.  We want the first letter of his name for the wall, the Decorative Letter in Funky is just what we are looking for!!  For £10 I think it is well worth it!

Although bump won't be going into his cot initially (we have a moses basket) when he does we want it to be an area in which he can relax and sleep but also where he can entertain himself if need be.  The Caterpillar crib and cot toy costing £12.99 fits the bill.  Bump will be able to see himself and play with the toy but it isn't too big or stimulating that it will disturb his sleep.
No Christmas wish list would be complete without My First Christmas bauble (£4.99).  The great thing about this bauble is that even if bump is late we can use it next year.  I really want to buy him an outfit but that will have to wait until he is here.  We can keep the bauble as a memento and will have it on the tree every year.  My parents still have my first Christmas bauble on their tree!! 

Why not check out Beebie Baby Store yourself and see what you would like, why not create your own #AVeryBeebiesChristmas wish list

38 weeks midwife appointment

Today we had our 38 week midwife appointment.  Was hoping to hear that bump was engaged!!

As usual the appointment started off with her checking my urine (all fine) and doing my blood pressure.  At first she used the machine, which I don't trust.  I've had too many odd readings throughout my career that I always do it manually.  When my BP came up on the machine as 130/70 I was a little concerned, thats high for me! I then explained my distrust of the machines and she did it manually, which came back as 90/50, much more like it.

I explained all my niggles - the feelings of pressure and pain between my legs, my swelling feet, etc.  I also voiced my concerns that although I have had some braxton hicks I haven't had many and those I have seem to be during the night.  My midwife reassured me that this is all normal at my stage of pregnancy (phew!).  She then felt bump and commented on the fact he seems to be all on my left side.  She then stated that maybe due to the pressure and weight on my left side I am compensating with my right leg and this is why my right foot is swelling.   My midwife checked to see whether bump was engaged - NO!!! He's still sitting on the brim of the pelvis.  I honestly could have burst into tears at that moment.  She tried to reassure me that once contractions start he could move down or as soon as he moved down contractions will start.  I was still disappointed.  Bump didn't like what she'd done to see if he was engaged as he then wouldn't stop wriggling, it took her a while to find his heartbeat but once she did she assured us he sounded fine.

We then discussed my next appointment and a sweep.  There were no appointments left for 2 weeks time so she asked whether I would come at the end of the clinic for a sweep.  I asked whether it would be possible for me to have one earlier in the week as I will already be 4 days over by that point.  At first she appeared reluctant but then after probably seeing the begging look in my eyes and after checking her diary she stated she could come and see me at home on 17th Dec then discuss with me then about going again after the clinic on the 19th.  I could have given her a hug!!! I agreed that sounds like a good idea.  She will phone me before hand to check a suitable time with me. 

I'm glad that everything is ok with bump and hes obviously very comfy where he is.  Hopefully I won't need the sweeps but its peace of mind that I know when they will happen.  

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Nursing Bras - how do you choose?

As I want to try breastfeeding I thought I should buy myself some nursing bras, but where do you start??!

There are sooo many to choose from!! And such a difference in price as well from about £9 to over £30 and that's for one bra!  Do I want to spend that much when I don't know if breastfeeding will work??

During my student days I worked in a well known lingerie store so have been trained in measuring bras.  It is definitely worth going to get yourself measured for your nursing bra as your breasts will get heavy and sore and you need to make sure you are well supported by a well fitting bra.  It is recommended that you get fitted for your nursing bra between weeks 36-37 as this is apparently when your ribs are at their widest.

You need a bra that you can unfasten easily and isn't too fiddly.  You need to make sure that your breast is easily accessible once you have unfastened the bra.  As with maternity bras it is recommended that you get an non-wired bra as underwired bras can cause your milk ducts to get blocked.  I also thought about getting bras I can wear during the day as well as sleeping bras for the night.

I scoured the internet looking into all the different bras there are available and decided that I didn't want to spend too much money due to the fact I wasn't sure if breastfeeding would be a success.  I decided to buy 2 day bras (one black and one white) and I bought a sleeping bra (nude).  I also won a bra which is more of a sleeping bra so will use that too.  If breastfeeding is a success then I will definitely be investing in good quality nursing bras. 

I have put one of my nursing bras in my hospital bag ready to be used after birth.  The dilemma of nursing tops has also caused me to spend hours scouring the internet but I have decided to buy some vest tops in big sizes to wear under tops I already have and my mum has given me some shirts of hers to borrow.  Again, if breastfeeding is a success I will invest in some tops that I can wear for breastfeeding as I am normally a dress girl and don't really own anything suitable.  Money is tight and I don't want to be buying things I don't end up using.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Breastfeeding Support

I have been really lucky in the support I have been offered from services throughout my pregnancy.  I had a home visit from the breastfeeding support nurse, I was supposed to go to a group that she runs but due to my hip and back pain it hadn't been possible so she said she would visit me at home

Firstly the nurse seemed lovely!!! I felt like we got on really well from the start, which I think will definitely help when bump arrives.

The nurse brought along a breastfeeding doll and asked me what my main worries or questions were.  I explained my main worry was whether he would latch on and what position I am supposed to hold him.  We discussed the first hour after birth and how this is important to get baby feeding.  We discussed the kind of birth I am hoping for.  We then went on to discuss skin to skin contact and what ques bump will give that he is hungry.  Apparently baby can swallow mucus during labour and this can fill their belly, as it tastes horrid them might not want to eat.  When I notice bump nodding his head this is a cue he is trying to find the breast (like a bird pecking at the ground for worms).  I was shown how to move baby onto my breast and to ensure he is firmly attached.

We then discussed expressing, both by hand and with a pump.  Whilst I won't be expressing to feed bump until breastfeeding is established I might need to express a little if my breast gets full or to use a little breast milk to get baby interested in feeding.

We then discussed massaging the breast and what to do if I have have any lumps, this sounds painful!!

I then got my feeding pillow out and we talked about other positions that can be helpful, using the doll.

Some of the advice given to me:

- if you don't feel comfortable being topless after the birth wear a baggy tshirt or very loose nighty so you can put the baby on your skin whilst maintaining dignity.

- whilst you are in the shower get your partner to have skin to skin contact.  Again if he doesn't feel comfortable being topless make sure he has a baggy tshirt or shirt

- when in hospital if baby stirs try and put them on the breast - don't ssshh them to sleep

- don't hold the baby as you would if you were bottle feeding, have them facing you and make sure their nose is level with your nipple and they tilt back their head with a wide open mouth

- if you use a feeding pillow make sure it doesn't put the baby to high on your breast, push the pillow away from you a little if it does

- if you need to express use the heat of a bath or shower to get the milk flowing.  Heat compress also works

- as soon as you notice any redness or lumps massage these out of your breast, the longer you leave it the more painful it gets

I was then given a website with videos on to have a look at.   There is a group on a Friday morning which is for mums to get together, talk about breastfeeding but they also have people to come and talk about various topics.  It sounds really interesting and a great way for me and baby to get out and meet other people

I felt that the hour flew by and I learned loads and feel reassured that there is support available for me.  I am going to give it my best shot and see what happens

Monday, 2 December 2013

38 weeks

Today I am 38 weeks pregnant, only 2 weeks to go!!! I keep giving bump pep talks to tell him not to be late!

Apparently bump now weighs about 3kg, he will not grow anymore in length but will continue to put on weight and build his fat stores.  He is about 50cm long (which is the same as a leek).

I think that my bump has definitely grown over the past week!! This was reinforced when I met 2 different friends who both commented that my bump was much bigger.  I also think it is rounder and fuller at the bottom, hopefully this means bump is making his way downwards.

I have been experiencing more Braxton Hicks, these seem to be more in the evening and night than any other time of the day.  I have also been experiencing a swollen right foot, this seems to ease when I have it elevated so I'm trying to keep mobile to get blood flowing but when I am sitting down put my foot up.  I am also drinking lots of water.  I am trying to use my exercise ball when I can to tilt my pelvis to help bump engage.

My sleep is still pretty rubbish, I now have to sleep upright in bed which isn't the best.  I can feel bump moving around but his movements have changed from forceful kicks to wriggles, probably due to the fact he has much less space to move about. 

We have the midwife on Thursday so I am hoping she will tell us he is more engaged and I had a visit from the breastfeeding support nurse today (see tomorrow's post).  Things are definitely moving along, I just want him here!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

With a little help from my friends

The past few days I have been really grateful to my friends for their help, support and understanding.

People say that their friends and family can be a hindrance throughout pregnancy, don't get me wrong I have had some try to give me helpful/preaching advice which makes you feel like they think you aren't going to manage but in general my friends have been a great support.

Some of my so called friends have vanished off the face of the planet since I told them I was pregnant, their choice not mine, I have tried contacting them with no luck, its sad that something as exciting as a new person coming into the world can make people decide they don't want any contact with you anymore.  Most of our friends have been super excited, some even more than family members!!

One of my friends lives nearby and has been great support with relation to what is available in our local area once bump has arrived, she is even going to go to some of the groups with me when she can with her little girl.  She has also been great for advice and support with things we might need and things we haven't thought of.

My friend who is overdue has also been a great sounding board, with us both going through pregnancy at the same time there have been many messages and conversations about how we are both feeling and giving each other reassurance. 

My friends are also aware of my worry about getting to the hospital if my mum isn't here as Mr M can't drive and many have offered their services to take us if needs be (although I'm still not convinced people will appreciate a 2am phone call!!)

On Friday my right foot went very swollen which caused me to go into a panic.  I hadn't noticed it before and whilst Mr M did his best to reassure me and try and keep me away from Google an internet search got me in even more of a panic with words such as blood clot and preeclampsia popping up.  I turned to my friends for advice and support and they didn't let me down!!  Within minutes they were giving me advice and reassurance and telling me of tales from their own pregnancies.  I decided to follow their advice and if there was no change I would contact the hospital.  Obviously their advice worked and my foot went back to normal.  It has continued to swell on occasion but having it elevated and drinking fluids has helped it go back to normal. 

I have my midwife appointment this week so will mention it to her.  I feel so lucky and grateful that I have such a great network of friends and I can't wait for bump to meet them all!!!