Tag: pregnancy

Welcoming baby Delphi- My Birth Story

Birth StoriesNew mumNewbornPregnancyThe Great British Birth Off

I don’t really know where to start with the labour. I could potentially say I was in early labour for a few days, contracting on and off throughout the days and evenings prior to the birth with it not amounting to anything. For the sake of time, I’m writing this whilst the baby is sleeping, and to save your boredom I’m going to fast forward to when it finally and thankfully stepped up a gear. This was Friday evening. The evening started like all the other evenings before, me bouncing on my ball in front of the TV. Rob had gone to football and I was contracting as I usually did in the evenings. It got to 11pm and the contractions were coming regularly. I said to Rob tonight is the night, he rolled is eyes and carried on watching 8 out of 10 cats does countdown, as I’d cried wolf every day already this week. From how ‘stop and start’ my contractions had been this week I had lost all faith in my ability in judging whether it was happening or not. I went upstairs to take a shower and to have a word with myself. I was probably not going into labour at all.

Half an hour in the shower I rang my friend to come over. The contractions were becoming stronger and staying regular, I was still not totally convinced though and prepped her that it may all stop. I rang the birth unit too and said the same to them, “I don’t think I’m in active labour, but I think I may be getting there.” Being a fourth baby, I knew that being in active labour (from 4cms and regular contractions) to having a baby wasn’t going to be long and I wanted to be in the hospital as I bled last time. They invited me in.

This is probably a good time to give you a bit of background. My 3rd baby was born prem at 34 weeks and I lost more blood than deemed normal. So the advice for me was to have my baby on a consultant led unit as I was “high-risk” of bleeding again. I looked at all my options though and chose to go against this advice after having a conversation with the lead midwife on the birth unit. My last birth, I had polyhydramnios, prematurity, a suspected infection and the cord snapped on the placenta all things that mean you’re more likely to lose more blood. This pregnancy, I had normal waters, a normal size baby and was full term so I didn’t have the same risk factors. With this in mind I chose to give birth on the midwifery led unit and I was supported in this choice.

So back to that Friday evening… I was in the shower. I had my birth ball in the shower too. It was on the bath so that I could lean onto it to have the water on the bottom of my back. I used my breathing here that I’d learnt from hypnobirthing. Counting my in breath and my out breath gave me something to concentrate on and kept me relaxed. Things were going great guns, I was calm, comfortable and getting into the swing of the contractions. My friend arrived and so I got out of the shower and myself and Rob made our way to the birth unit.

It was about 00.30 when we arrived to the birth unit. My midwife was Brenda, she showed us into our room Poppy. It was dimly lit and the pool was half full. I again said to a Brenda that I didn’t think I was quite in labour but knew my contractions were getting there. They were coming every few minutes at this point but they felt manageable. She brought me in some essential oils – Bergamot and Frankincense- on a taper and I got back into the shower leaning over onto the birthing ball. Chui my birth photographer arrived at this point. My only concern here I remember was what happens if this all stops, what happens if I’m just in early labour and I’ve got my friend at my house and Chui’s here. I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time! Silly really looking back as it was obvious I was in labour!

I spent a good hour at least like this in the shower. The next thing that happened was at 02.30 when I had my first vaginal examination. I know it was 02.30 because Rob text Emily at this time who was home with the kids. I still wasn’t sure at this point that it was it… I remember saying to Brenda, what happens if I’m just 2cms. If this was going to be the case I didn’t want to know! Brenda thought that would be unlikely and she was right. It’s funny how much you lose your ability to rationalise in labour! As a midwife, I should’ve been able to recognise the signs but I still had in the back of my mind that I may not be dilating at all! I was 8cms. Happy days! I got gas and air at this point which is when all of the fun started.

Brenda filled the pool and I got in. The water was instantly comforting. It was here that I remember really wanting to take it all in. As pregnant mothers, we are so desperate for this moment, desperate to feel the contractions and to know that after 9 months we are finally going to meet our baby. The labour and the birth we prep for, go to classes, pack 3 suitcases for which is more than what we’d take on holiday, we play it out how we want it to be in our minds but the reality is that it’s all done and dusted in a day. That moment in the pool was a nice one, I really appreciated what was going on, that what I’d been waiting for was actually happening that very night. These thoughts were helped from the fact that I was high as a kite too! I actually told Brenda all of this between contractions. She probs thought I was cuckoo!

It wasn’t long after I’d got into the pool that I’d started to transition. I remember saying “I can’t do this anymore!” Whilst thinking that’s a textbook ‘You’re just about to have a baby comment’ whilst uncontrollably pushing. I can’t remember “mooing” here but Rob assures me it happened! This feeling was overwhelming, I had this full feeling, which would have been her head coming through my pelvis. The only thing that helped this feeling go away was to push. All the signs were telling me I was just about to meet my baby and a few pushes later she was born under the water at 03.31. I got to bring her up out of the water myself. Holding her in front of my face, seeing her scrunched up face, feeling her skin, hearing her little cry and knowing that she was here safe in my arms was the most incredible feeling ever.

All went well after – no bleeding!🙌🏼 and we were back home by 7.30 am for when the other 3 children woke up.

There’s a couple of things that I’m so glad that I did.

1. Getting a birth photographer– I felt like a bit of a diva doing this but now I wish that I did it for all of my births. For me, remembering the birth is so much more important than say a wedding day, yet a wedding photographer is something we see at every wedding! The photos that i have are priceless and Delphi is lucky that she gets to see her first moments in the world. Thank you Chui 🙂

2.Hypnobirthing– Through teaching hypnobirthing I have inadvertently been practising the techniques for a lot longer than my 9 month pregnancy and boy did it pay off. Reinforcing that everything in your birth is a choice, learning the importance of keeping your mind calm and how to control pesky negative thoughts like fear and doubt that always seem to enter our minds meant that this birth was by far my most empowering, calm and magical experience. I could live it with such clarity and for me that was I really wanted, I wanted to be able to remember every minute of it and enjoy it! I’ll write another blog on what techniques I used that were most helpful.

3. Writing it down- this little story completes it for me, it’s something else that means I’ll remember what happened that night.

For me sharing birth stories is important. I want pregnant mothers to know that birth isn’t always the fear-filled, ear- piercing shrieks and painful experiences that you see on TV. It can be empowering, calm and beautiful. My births are by far my biggest accomplishments in life. I look back on this birth especially, and it was everything I wanted it to be and I would happily do it all again in a heartbeat.

“My body knew exactly what it was doing and I remember thinking, ‘my body can do this. I was built to do this’.” Danni’s Birth Story.

Birth StoriesThe Great British Birth Off

In 1982 my mother gave birth to me with the assistance of hypnobirthing. She told me the birth experience was beautiful and she was in control throughout. 30 years later, I was in labour with my first child and I thought my experience would be similar to my mums. That I would be in control. That I would enjoy the experience of bringing a new life into the world. Well, the birth was awful. I felt I was not in control of my body. I was terrified. I kept my eyes shut throughout. I demanded all drugs going and completely lost all faith in myself. It took me a long time to recover physically and mentally. Hence, the long gap of five years before we decided, it was time to try for another.
 
Determined to be stronger this time and take control again, I was recommended a taster session in Hypnobirthing. I only did NCT previously and didn’t look into Hypnobirthing properly. The course was incredible. I talked through my first experience with other mums and the wonderful Beth from Bump to Baby Chapter. I came away from the meeting feeling empowered and ready to go.
 
Between the hypnobirthing course and yoga classes, I learnt how to breath, relax and focus. I also met some absolutely fabulous women. I felt that I was stripping back everything medical thrown at me and remembering, as a woman, my body is built to grow a human. An actual human AND its built to give birth. That I should not be scared of the birth, my body will know what to do and I just need to breath, focus and work with it and my baby to get through labour.
 
9 months and 3 days later, I woke up, got my daughter ready for school and felt a ‘twinge’. The period cramp kind of twinge. The ‘oh yes its finally happening…oh sh*t its finally happening’ kind of twinge. I was meeting a friend for coffee that morning, but as I got to her house, the cramps stopped.
 
I cracked on with my day as usual, but let the husband know that things might be on the move soon…at some point.
 
I demanded a curry for tea. But I couldn’t eat it. Not like me at all to refuse food. 9pm came and the cramps returned. We called ahead to my parents who live an hour away, to get over quickly to help look after my daughter. They arrived just after 10pm. I sat bouncing on my ball, visualising, breathing, eating (to keep the energy levels up). Had a few cat naps and by 3am, I was ready to head into hospital.
 
We arrived at the birthing centre in Gloucester and I explained to the midwife, I wanted a hypnobirth. At this point, everything was manageable. VERY uncomfortable, but manageable. I walked about the room, had a bath and ate some more. But not much was happening with the contractions. They were remaining at the same constant, manageable level of pain. At shift change over we had another midwife. She asked if it was OK to examine me. I agreed. Unfortunately, I hadn’t progressed any further. She gave me another stretch and sweep and said I had two options…. Go home or go out for a few hours. I felt a complete failure and just wanted to go home. So we packed everything up. Walked out of the birth centre door and WHACK a MASSIVE surge. I stopped, cried, breathed and walked further….WHACK….another surge. This happened all the way to the car park. My husband asked what I wanted to do, but I said I had been told to go home, so we were going home.
 
The journey back to Cheltenham was interesting. I cursed every road bump and pot hole.
 
As we pulled onto the drive, I thought the baby was about to pop out. I made it to our downstairs toilet, goodness knows how, but I made it. I had a quick wee and then said, HOSPITAL. Well, I screamed HOSPITAL at my husband. I didn’t want to go back to Glos and to be honest, I felt like we wouldn’t make it.
 
We headed straight to Cheltenham where we were greeted by a midwife at the front entrance. Lisa was incredible. She was the calming, soothing, chilled out midwife I needed. My husband set up the music, so I could listen to the tracks from my yoga classes. I plonked my massive (I was massive) tired body in the birthing pool and I cried. The water was so relaxing and relieved my body straight away. I don’t think I have ever felt such a sensation of relief. I felt, safe.
 
The contractions remained intense, however, things progressed slowly. I was in the water, on my side out of the water, leaning against the wall, leaning against the husband, on the loo…everything. It was now the afternoon and I was exhausted. My breathing techniques were being helped by gas and air, but I had reached my limit. I asked for my mum…which I never do. I needed some time to recoup ready for the final leg. So they gave me diamorphine. It took the spikey edge off every surge. I was able to have a snooze in between the waves and my hubby even managed to eat a chicken sandwich. Which, I wasn’t aware of.
 
When the final moment came, I was led on my side, legs, arms, bum entwined with midwife and hubby. I felt like I needed a massive poop. I didn’t experience this sensation in the birth of my daughter, as I had an epidural and by this point had my legs in stirrups in the operating theatre. She was stuck and needed a little helping hand to get out. But, this time round I could feel everything. My body knew exactly what it was doing and I remember thinking, ‘my body can do this. I was built to do this’. Lots of banshee screaming erupted (I had been vocalising my surges most of the birth, but this was on another level of loudness) I could feel the head coming. It didn’t sting. It didn’t hurt. It felt like a HUGE relief, finally I was at the end of this. I was finally going to meet my baby. One last push and out my gorgeous baby came. All 9lb 9 of him! No wonder he had taken so long to get down the birth canal.
 
My midwife, lisa was such a special lady. She helped calm me down and remind me I can do it in moments when I lost my positive thoughts. She understood hypnobirthing techniques and even had the music we were listening to on her phone. It felt like we were meant to give birth in Cheltenham in the midwifey unit. This was the birth I wanted first time round.
 
The birth was amazing. Long, painful but amazing. I had given birth to an absolutely beautiful baby boy. I did it naturally (apart from the diamorphine pain relief, which I think helped to save my husbands blood circulation to his hands. They were squeezed a lot during labour) The hypnobirthing along with meeting incredible women, reminded me of what I had achieved with my daughter and what I CAN achieve. Our bodies are incredible, we have got this. 
  

Photo credits Chui King Li Photography

Birth Partner Groupies

Pregnancy
You will find the line surprisingly long for your birth partner volunteers with offers from your mother, sisters, mother in law and close friends all wanting a front seat of the action, to have the opportunity to play Jenny from Call the Midwife and tick watching a baby being born off their bucket list all in one day.
Whilst this is all so very flattering with your nearest and dearest desperate to watch YOUR baby being brought into the world, it can make your decision quite a tough one. Yet, deciding who will support you through your labour and birth is an important choice. You need someone who can help you feel relaxed and supported. Dads get such a hard rep from the clever editors at One Born every minute showing clips of Dads making inappropriate comments and showing them more interested in their Monster Munch than massage, more feet up than foot rub and more running away than running a bath. Although, thankfully this has not affected their choice to be in the delivery room with most women choosing their actual partners, in fact about 97% of fathers now attend the birth of their child.
As the birth of my first child became imminent, the decision was a no-brainer for me. My mum and partner would be with me. I’m lucky enough to have an excellent relationship with my mum and I really couldn’t have got through it without her. My partner was also a great help and they were both able to support each other and take breaks without me being left on my own. There were times when I asked them to be quiet (or something along those lines!) but on the whole, they were fab.
Women have supported women in child birth for thousands of years and most hospitals are happy to allow two birth supporters. 3Choosing a woman who has gone through childbirth herself, is an added bonus, as long as she doesn’t talk about her own experiences whilst you are at your most vulnerable. You could choose a female family member; a sister, cousin, aunt etc. Or if you have a close friend you feel relaxed with, why not ask her?
Some women prefer to choose a professional to support them through this time, often from the start of the pregnancy through to the birth and postnatal period. You can choose an independent midwife or a doula. Its best to do your research when choosing to pay privately for birth support. There’s a wealth of information out there, a good place to start if you are thinking about having a doula is Doula UK (doula.org.uk).
Above all, whoever you choose, make the decision that is right for you and not to please others. Plus make sure they are there on the front seats with positivity and not just front seats with popcorn.

SMLXL

 

Reflexology- Pregnancy & Fertility

Complementary TherapiesPregnancy
Reflexology is a non intrusive complementary therapy based on the theory that all our organs, structures and glands in the body have a corresponding reflex in the feet. Pressure is applied to these area which encourages and triggers the body own healing mechanisms, boosting the immune system, improving circulation and stimulating the lymphatic system to release the bodies toxins. It also encourages homeostasis particularly in relation to the nervous and endocrine system.

The benefits of reflexology may also improve your sleep pattern, energy levels and sense of wellbeing. It gives you some “me time” which we all need in our hectic lives!

 

Reflexology in Pregnancy

Maternity reflexology is a specific form of reflexology aimed at women during any part of their pregnancy journey. It works by supporting the body (and its hormones) to maintain a state of balance, reducing stress levels and targeting any niggling symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, muscular aches and pains, changes in posture or heartburn.

Studies completed in Denmark and UK have shown that reflexology can be associated with drastically speeding up labour and reducing pain.

 

Fertility

Getting pregnant is not as easy for some couples as it is for others and they can find themselves in a very stressful and emotive situation which in turn may create a vicious cycle. Reproductive reflexology is very helpful in supporting fertility. It can be used as a stand alone treatment to enhance your natural fertility or alongside various IVF treatments.
Members of the Association of Reproductive Reflexology Association are specially trained to work alongside medicated cycles using treatment protocols that we believe works to enhance the medications efficacy.
Kathy is a member of the Association of Reproductive Reflexologist, Association of Reflexologists & CHNC. She has been a registered Reflexologist for 10 years, specialising in fertility. She works from the comfort of your own home. Kathy has two daughters, Emily and Charlotte. She likes cooking, going to the gym and holidays in Greece.
If you would like to know more about reflexology with Kathy then please contact her on 07731445394 or kathryn.woods1@btopenworld.com

Your Baby’s Kicks Count

Pregnancy
In my third pregnancy with Nancy, I was so busy. I would work 12 hour shifts asking other pregnant mums, “Has your baby been moving well today?” only when I would get 5 minutes to drink tea and eat cake (so never), empty my bladder (also never!) or get home would I ask myself the same question. I would take myself to the bath, with some cold water, chocolate or ice cream and concentrate on her movements. She would start kicking her little legs when that freezing cold ice cream would run passed her little toes. It became a nice daily ritual. It would be an opportunity to have a bit of bonding time with baby bump and also have a little check in on her to see if she was all good in there.
With my first pregnancy I remember going in with reduced movements only for the midwife to put her hands on my tummy and be met with a kick. I felt like such a time waster. Now I have been the midwife, who puts my hands on a women’s bump to be met with a kick and never have I thought a second was wasted. As a midwife I feel relief, as I have also been the midwife to feel for baby’s position to be met with no kicks, to listen in to baby to hear no heartbeat, to be present at the scan to see no flicker of a heart.
Why do Kicks Count?
A baby that moves and kicks is a healthy baby. If a baby is under stress for whatever reason in the womb then the first thing a baby will do is to stop moving. Movement uses energy, so a baby under stress will stop or reduce movements to conserve its energy.
Shocking facts:
The UK has one of the worst stillbirth rates in the developed world. Currently ranking 33 out of 35.
Two out of three women who had a stillbirth noticed their baby’s movements had slowed down or stopped.
How to count your kicks…
There is lots of mixed messages about how to count your kicks, some mums to  be may count episodes of movement or numbers of kicks within a certain episode. Either way is fine as long as you remember one thing, baby’s are little human beings so bare in mind they are all different. There is not a one latex glove size to fit all. Your baby might be really active in the morning and in the evening, but you only feel little movements the rest of the day. Or your baby may make smaller movements but more regularly throughout the day. Whatever is normal for your baby is what should be your baseline for what is normal movements.
Our advice
Don’t assume that your baby will move less as you approach full term due to ‘less space’. Your baby’s movements will increase from your first kicks (between 16-24weeks) and then baby should be moving the same amount daily from about 32 weeks. The movements may be different. Instead of feeling a summersault feeling you may feel a wiggle or an elbow move but never settle for ‘your baby has no room’ as a reason to why he/she isn’t moving.
Don’t worry about phoning. As a midwife we would much rather you phoned every day than go days at home worrying about your baby’s health. It is important for us to know if your baby’s movements have stopped or slowed. Even if you are still worried about baby’s movements shortly after a check-up, you should still see your midwife straight away.
Don’t use hand held dopplers or any home device to listen to your baby’s heartbeat. Just because you can hear your baby’s heartbeat doesn’t mean that he or she is healthy. Midwives will use a continuous fetal heart monitoring machine to see a pattern of your baby’s heartbeat. The pattern of the baby’s heartbeat is what will be used to determine the health of your baby if you are worried about movements.
Kicks Count is a charity that provide information on baby movements but also they create an awareness to empower mothers to have the confidence to trust their instincts when they suspect something is wrong and to contact their maternity provider. The charity sell wristbands as a reminder to pregnant mums to ‘count your kicks’, plus to create an awareness to other expectant mums that Kicks Count.

Pregnant and over the limit

Pregnancy

Going out for coffee has to be one of my favourite things to do. It feels like a little mid morning treat especially after a sleepless night with Noodle. It means I get to stock up on my daily caffeine fix, and as Noodle is still a baby, she is very portable and normally just sleeps the whole time whilst I get to catch up on the latest revelations from my care free, child free friends.

 

And now not being pregnant, I can enjoy a coffee guilt free without worrying about the effects it may be having on baby bump. So, according to the NHS website when your pregnant it is advisable to drink no more than 200mg of caffeine a day. But who knows what that means??!! When you go into your local coffee shop you can see how many calories are in your grande caramel latte but not how much caffeine your happily going to be sipping away.

 

But a coffee is a coffee I hear you say. No no sista. A lot of recommendations advise that 1 cup of filter coffee will keep you within your limits. Whilst this may be true, you can enjoy your smooth Flat White from Starbucks, comfortably staying within your limits with 150mg caffeine. If you ventured over the road for the same coffee drink and catch up at Costa, it would put you over your limit by 77mg, with a massive 277mg of caffeine.

 

Here are a rundown of the differences between other drinks (all medium sizes)…

 COSTA  vs. STARBUCKS 

CAPPUCCINO    277mg vs. 150mg 

LATTE  185mg vs. 150mg

MOCHA   287mg vs. 175mg 

For more info or to find out the caffeine content of your fave coffee then check out the sites below.

Here are some of our other caffeine containing comforts…

a mug of tea 75mg

a can of cola 40mg

most 50g bars of plain chocolate have less than 25mg

most 50g bar of milk chocolate have less than 10mg

 

 

There has been lots of research into caffeine and pregnancy. With the current research advising to avoid caffeine within the first trimester due to risk of miscarriage.

 

After this time, it is to stay within 200mg p/day. The risks being miscarriage and/or fetal growth restriction, resulting in low birth weight babies, which has been linked to higher risks of health problems later in life.

 

So, I’m not saying ditch your favourite drink and avoid all high street coffee shops. But if you are lucky enough to have coffees out regularly check the caffeine content with the supplier. And if in doubt decaf it out.

 

STARBUCKS

http://globalassets.starbucks.com/assets/9b09abcb336d40cb8315c5806fb3c07e.pdf

COSTA

http://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/costa-coffee

 

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/limit-caffeine-during-pregnancy.aspx?categoryid=54&subcategoryid=130

https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/news/rcog-statement-on-fsa-guidance-on-caffeine-consumption-during-pregnancy/

Barre, Pilates & Pregnancy Fusion

EventsPregnancy
Sunday 20th November 3-5pm the Acorn Unit Wholefoods Cheltenham is having an all female takeover.
Join me, Lottie, (I’ll be 20 weeks pregnant at this stage eek!) for an hour of Barre and Pilates fusion specifically designed for us preggos to take part and enjoy. After an hour of exercise we will then be treated to a live Cooking demo from the fabulous foodie, trained chef, and barrister (!) Lottie Elvidge who will add a Christmas theme to proceedings with a Christmas canapé bake off. There will be lots to try and beautiful scents to fill the room. Please feel free to invite husbands and other hungry mouths along to join us at this point!
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Next, Boston Tea Party have laid on a delectable feast of gluten free chocolate brownies, scrumble and flapjacks and Wholefoods will provide goody bags to die for.
So… if you fancy an afternoon of health and indulgence, meeting like minded women who are all going through the same thing as you then book your ticket now. Tickets are £22 and are strictly limited, so please book quick to avoid disappointment. Bring a friend or make new ones, it’s a very sociable and friendly afternoon of fun and feasting.
image3-2
To book your space email Lottie Keble-Wyatt directly at llkeble@hotmail.com or if you have any questions drop me a line or call me on 07771587053. I also provide personal training and group work to help strengthen ready for birth and to make you feel a little bit more like you again!
Do checkout my website www.keblewyattstudios.com to find out more.

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The Bump to Baby Chapter

Winner of 🌟The Best Pregnancy Support Service in Gloucestershire 2017🌟, The Bump to Baby Chapter has something for everyone. 🌟For expectant couple wanting to know all you need to know about labour, baby and those early days we have midwife led antenatal courses. 🌟For a second or third time mother wanting to birth without fear after a negative birth experience. There’s hypnobirthing one day classes for the busy Mum. 🌟Free blogs with tips on birth and baby for all 🌟Buggy walks in Cheltenham for new mothers to bring the sisterhood in motherhood. So whatever stage of pregnancy and whatever number baby have a look at the page, website and get involved 🌟
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Hospital Bag Items.

Here is a few of my faves ....

💡Lip balm- Gas and air can make your lips really dry. So can hospitals with their dry air.
💡 Earplugs/Eye mask- This one is useful if you need to spend any time on the antenatal maternity ward eg. induction of labour. Ear plugs are definitely not for after you’ve had the baby!!
💡Flannel/water spray/mini fan - You can get HOT in labour. Also hospitals 🥵
💡Socks- if you have an epidural or spinal. When it wears off your feet can feel cold!

💡 Always pack an extra bag to keep at home for a relative to bring in if you unexpectedly need to stay in for longer

💡 Dads/Partners- Pack yourself a bag too. Think change of clothes, food, toothbrush, food, drinks, food. Paracetamol is also a good one for you to have, hospitals can’t dish out the drugs to Dads and lack of sleep and hospital air can mean headaches.

What were your most used items in labour/birth? Midwife buddy’s - what’s your tips?? Or any pregnant mothers have any hospital bag Qs...

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