Why is it you get home with your newborn baby and for the first few days/weeks they sleep? This is easy as pie, you think 💭 feeling smug, I have struck gold with a “sleeper”. Then as the weeks tick by your baby tends to turn into a baby that no longer knows how to sleep. Then you think 💭 I’ve broke my baby 🤷🏼♀️.
So I learnt from lovely, fellow Mum Helen that there’s a reason for this madness…
MELATONIN – the hormone that makes us sleep. A baby doesn’t start to produce this hormone till about 8 weeks. When a baby is born they have their mothers melatonin in their system making them often sleep beautifully until it starts to run out. They then have to build it up again from 8 weeks, hence the 8 week sleep regression 💡.
Delphi is currently coming up to 8 weeks and we’ve had a fair few sleepless nights. Knowing this nugget of info though has made me realise that I actually haven’t broke my baby at all, she’s not the real child of Voldemort (if you know you know!) and that it’s not only just normal but there’s a reason for it.
The most wonderful thing I gained from yesterday was knowing that this early on there’s nothing that you can do to control your baby’s sleep💤 SO STOP TRYING!!! What I can control though is how us as a family deal with it and accommodate this little sleep thief. It goes back to – Control the things you can, let go of the things you can’t – which is one of my favourite birth motos.
This message was pretty revolutionary for me.
Join the conversation here 💯
Sleep knowledge credits to Helen at My Baby Sleeps
Photo creds Chui King Li Photography
This is a brand spanking new ANTENATAL WEEKEND that TBTBC Midwife team are offering to expectant couples of the Cotswolds and beyond. It’s a jam-packed weekend filled to the brim to totally prep you for birth and baby in a great country setting with scrummy food, surrounded by other like-minded, expectant couples.
This weekend is designed specifically for couples who find attending a weekly course challenging to fit around other commitments and who want the benefits of meeting other pregnant couples from a group course. We’ve built this course for you.
Being a midwife, I see so frequently how antenatal classes make a difference to women and couples, both in the delivery room and after with their baby. So I have put together this course with the goal that you…
✨Have an antenatal course from a midwife who SEES BIRTH and CARES FOR women and partners in the delivery room and the immediate time after. Who works in Gloucester so that all the information you will get is up to date and relevant to where you will be giving birth. So that the information given to you is real, honest with practical tips that really work.
✨Know what to expect with having a baby and as new parents. To know what is normal and what is not. How to keep your baby safe and well.
✨Have a tribe of mums/dads so that you can share the highs and lows of parenthood with and you have someone to message in the 2am club.
It will cover everything you need to know about birth from an active birth to cesareans and everything in between, all led by midwives who help expectant mothers and fathers during birth in their day to day work. Life with a newborn and those early days are also covered, from how to feed your baby, signs of a well fed baby, bathing, nappy changing, what’s normal and what’s not.
I’m keen to add to the social factor as it is so important to find your village. The classes are really chilled, so relaxed that we have lunch together as a group, two courses off Cowley Manors delicious menu. There’s also a bar at the venue, the partners usually make use of this to have a beer at break.
Remember if you want to add Hypnobirthing to your Bump to Baby Chapter you can do so with a 30% discount for booking an antenatal course with us too. You can also access our post natal courses for FREE when your baby is born, including Sleep, Colic, Reflux and Weaning.
Venue: Cowley Manor, Near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 9NL
Saturday 14th and 15th September 2019 (Due dates October- December)
Time: 10 am start both days – itinerary to follow- 4pm finish. (Overnight stay not included.)
To book, click here.
One thing I do quite regularly to check in on myself is think in years to come … what will I look back on this time and think of. On the more morbid days I think on my death bed, what will flash before my eyes. (Heavy for a Friday morning I know!) More often than not for me it’s to do with how much time I spend on TBTBC vs. my family time. A never ending battle for most working mothers I’m sure.
One specific time though, when this deathbed tactic massively helped me was when I was considering getting a birth photographer for my fourth baby. I nearly didn’t do it as I was nervous that some of the other midwives wouldn’t get it. I felt extremely diva ish 💁🏼♀️ rocking up to my birth (the place where I will be going back to work!) with a photographer. An imagined fear of being judged. I nearly didn’t do it as Rob openly didn’t get it, he thought I was weird 😆. Anyway, I obviously checked in on myself and thought of myself in my elderly years and knew that the captures of one (of four) of the greatest moments of my life would be far greater than any judgement I would get from anyone else. So I did it, and now thanks to Chui King Li I have one of my greatest achievements in life to look on (which I do on the regs) and cherish for ever. The only regret I have is not doing it with all of them!!
Anyway, my point of this story is that birth matters. The reason why I like looking back on my photos so much was because that day mattered. I brought my baby girl into this world on that day. It was an incredible day. Birth is not just a means to an end. It’s the mark of the end of a pregnancy and the start of being a mother. It’s just as, if not more important as your wedding day that you spend thousands of pounds on and months sometimes years of prepping. In years to come it will be a day that you will remember, you will want to share what happened with your children just as your own mother tells you. Why do you think mothers tell their birth stories so much when they’re together… because it’s important to them. How they felt on that day is important to them. When you’re elderly you will remember your birth and how it made you feel more so than the colour fabric of your baby’s pram or the colour of the walls in the nursery or their first outfit.
Birth is so much more than one day. Birth matters.
Join in on the conversation here.
Get birth ready here.
Fayes birth story.
So…. We didn’t have a birth plan we were just happy to go with the flow and it’s a good job we did! My due date had passed, and I was starting to feel a tad inpatient so I had a bath with a ‘sex bomb’ (bath bomb from Lush!) which was recommended to me by a new mummy friend I had made on the Bump to Baby Chapter antenatal course. I even had to go to my mother in law’s for the bath because the previous week I had got stuck in our bath due to the taps being in the middle!!
I was 5 days overdue so my partner and I went out for a thai curry at lunchtime, again in a bid to get things started. By 4pm that day the contractions had started…. 10 minutes apart and not very consistent however it was all starting to happen. My partner went off to five-a-side football at 5.30pm and when he returned at 7.15pm they certainly felt stronger and were more like 7 minutes apart however still not always consistent.
I had a tiring night, however I managed the pain using my hypnobirthing breathing and visualisations, paracetamol and a tens machine. Sleep was tricky though because well… I was a tad uncomfortable and I was needing to time my contractions. By 4.30am the following day it was time for us to make our way to the birth unit at Gloucester Royal, things seemed more consistent and my pyjamas bottoms suddenly appeared wet! My partner drove us to the hospital saying ‘this is it!’, it reminded me of that early morning trip to the airport when you are feeling a mixture of excited and nervous!!
We arrived at the birth unit and after being assessed I was advised I was 3cm dilated and only part of my waters had broken, therefore diamorphine was recommended to me so that I could rest and catch up on some sleep for the day that was ahead of me. They also started me on some IV antibiotics because I had Group B strep.
Several hours passed, my waters hadn’t broken naturally, I felt super relaxed and drowsy and I hadn’t dilated anymore. I felt at this point a little frustrated and waved goodbye to any hope of a water birth because I needed to be looked after in the delivery suite and have the rest of my waters broken. It was at this point that I was started on the hormone drip to try and increase the intensity and frequency of the contractions (or so I thought this was).
The level of hormone drip changed throughout the day, and by 10pm that evening I was 6cm dilated, this felt so wrong to both my partner and I at the time after such a long day. However, earlier that night we had a wonderful surprise when Beth came on shift and was assigned as our midwife. Seeing a friendly face was just the best we could have hoped for and my partner was pleased because he could straight talk with Beth! I was shattered and was only using gas and air as pain relief, otherwise I was managing with my hypnobirthing techniques. I remember feeling really quite insular and just focussing in on my breathing. A cesarean was offered and discussed at 11pm however we declined this suggestion on the basis that I didn’t want the recovery afterwards. Albeit, I was very tempted and did ask whether they could guarantee our baby would be born in the next hour so that it’s birthday could be the 16th of the month the same as her dad- barmy I know!! My partner laughed at this reasoning, in my head it was justified given the day I had experienced! Instead we were advised the hormone drip would be increased and we would be assessed again in 2 hours.
Those two hours I remember being really tough, however both Beth and my partner were very supportive and I remember them both being really positive. Finally, at about 1.30am I was more or less fully dilated, however (there are lots of ‘howevers‘ in this story!!), our baby’s head was facing 10 o’clock as opposed to 6 o’clock and therefore I needed some help from a doctor to move baby into a more optimum position for birth. I have also learned since that her heart rate was also creating an odd pattern and I wasn’t in any fit state to take instructions on how to push because I was attached to the gas and air for comfort and was exhausted! Therefore, the next part of the story involved signing a consent form and going to theatre. The two options I had were forceps and C section- both of which I had prayed I wouldn’t need so I remember feeling like a failure. Given our feelings about the recovery after a C section, we opted for forceps first.
I recollect being in theatre feeling like I was on Holby City- surrounded by lights, legs in stirrups and lots of clinicians around me including an anaesthetist trying to get a spinal block into my back however I couldn’t sit still due to the contractions. I recall him getting more and more cross and frustrated with the situation and perhaps me due to my lack of cooperation (not on purpose I might add!!). Once the spinal block was in, the process started and the one doctor could not turn her head, nevertheless I was lucky enough that another doctor was available to try. She was successful, however our little baby turned back! At this point, I remember Beth saying ‘you are definitely having a girl because she is being a right diva!’ this made me smile because we didn’t know at this point what we were having. The same doctor managed to turn her again and very much gave the impression that this was my opportunity to push my baby out. Beth was monitoring the baby’s heart rate and feeling my tummy for contractions, when a contraction came I was supported, encouraged and motivated to push as hard as I could three times. I am pretty sure after 3 lots of 3 pushes our baby was born! Forceps were used to help direct her out and I had an episiotomy.
Beth told us we had a baby girl and I was ecstatic because my partner already had a boy so I secretly hoped for a girl! Unfortunately, she was born very startled and with a slightly disfigured chest so was whisked off to the corner of the room for checks. My partner recalls how anxious he felt at this time, nevertheless within 15 minutes of being checked over by the doctors, her chest had recovered and all was good in the world. Well for her anyway… I on the other hand was still lay on my back, legs in stirrups feeling quite uncomfortable whilst the doctors manually removed my placenta which got a little stuck, hence my 1.7 litre blood loss. Due to this loss I started to feel more and more unwell- shaky and sick. By now, our baby girl was in my partner’s arms having lots of lovely cuddles and I couldn’t control my shakes whilst in recovery so had to opt for looking at her and stroking her hand for the first hour and a half of her life. Once I felt better I made up for it with some skin to skin contact and a good feed. Holding her for the first time was just the best medicine for feeling better and this is how I have decided to remember her birth.
Moments in the birth room are moments to be remembered. Here are just a sample of 10 of my favourite captures.
1. The support given from your partner.
(Huge photo credits to Chui King Li who was my birth photographer.)
2. The Lion King moment- During a cesarean when the drapes are dropped and you first set eyes on your baby.
(📸 Monet Nicole)
3. The Moment you catch your baby.
4. Your partners face when you catch your baby. This Dads face is priceless.
(📸 Monet Nicole Births)
5. The cord being cut. This is one being trimmed after a cesarean birth.
6. Baby’s first checks such as weight and head circumference.
7. The first family photo.
(Sam and Rich ❤️ when 2 became 3)
8. Those tiny fingers and tiny toes.
(📸 Chui King Li Photography) Cheltenham
9. Midwife and Baby- If you’ve had a good relationship with your midwife, one of your baby and your midwife is a popular one to take.
(📸 This is myself with gorgeous Casia. Her Mama Lucy’s blog is a good one to read.)
10. The going home photo-
(A Bump to Baby Chapter papa taking his new baby home ❤️)
These are my Top 10. Have I missed any special captures out? I’d love to see yours in the comments…
We love, love, love a good birth photo. Have you seen our Instagram account. It will give you all the birth feels I’m sure 😬❤️