Category Archives: Pregnancy

Marlie’s Birth Story

Wednesday 28th September 2016 started out like any other day. An unwillingness to get out of bed for the school run, fighting with Miller to get his teeth cleaned and ready for school, a hectic school run, followed by a reflexology treat, work and errands.

I was doing extra work that week in preparation for my due date on 10th October. Little did I know my planning would be coming in extra handy!

3pm I picked Mills up as usual and we popped to the supermarket to get some food for the evening.

I’d been getting a few twinges through the day, but hadn’t really thought anything of it. I’d had acupuncture on Monday and reflexology that morning, so I put it down to that. But as the day went on the twinges were getting more intense and I started to think it could be the beginning of something. There were a few occasions while on the phone to work colleagues where I had to take a breath and when I picked Mills up I was struggling to keep up with the conversation at the school gates. Carrying the food shop to the car wasn’t very easy either. And looking back it’s all very obvious what was happening, but two weeks before my due date, I was oblivious.

4pm Home, entertaining Miller and dinner prep commences. But by the time Dave comes home at 6pm, I needed time out. The twinges were getting more intense and rushing around was making it worse. (I’d tidied the house, prepped for the next day, and set up my bedroom for the night ahead) So I figured I just needed to have a bit of a chill. I rang mum, who was on stand by to have Mills, to let her know I might be in the early stages. Cue excited squeals down the phone and my reassurance that it was probably a false alarm but to pack a bag just in case.

Dave took over with Mills and I went upstairs. I’d already set up my bedroom for a night of being in labour. Closed the blinds, set up fairy lights and candles, a bit of aroma, and my iPod (is it me or does that sound as ancient as a Walkman?) was set up with Hypnobirthing affirmations. I had a shower, shaved my legs (all the necessities!) and proceeded to bounce on my ball and listen to the soothing sounds of my Hypnobirthing CD, whilst repeating the affirmations to myself over and over again.

Now this is where it all goes blurry. Between then and Marlie being born, there’s calm, bouncing, affirmations, positivity, goodnight kisses, reassurance, visualisations, confusion, a lot of shit, (in hindsight downing pineapple juice to clear my system for a long night of labour wasn’t such a good idea!), 8pm a midwife call (Conversation cut short – me: ‘I think I’m in labour, but I’m not sure, there’s no regular contractions, but I’m getting some pushing sensations.’ Midwife: ‘OK, if you get the uncontrollable need to push, call an ambulance.’), 8.20pm 999 call (me: ‘I think I’m in labour, but I’m not sure. There’s blood. I think something might be wrong. I feel like I need to push but I don’t know whether I’m in labour? I’m so sorry if I’m wasting your time. Etc, etc. [still sat on the toilet thinking I need the mother of all pineapple juice induced shits] Operator: ‘OK, maybe get off the toilet and put some towels on the floor. It does sound like your baby is coming.’ [In the background ‘how much longer until the ambulance arrives?])

Three paramedics arrive to see me on my knees leaning over the bath, half naked, mucus plug gone, waters gone, baby coming, pineapple juice shits coming. Me ‘I’m so sorry about this. I’m not sure what’s going on.’ Paramedics ‘Your baby is coming, we just need to get you to hospital. After your next contraction, we need to get you into the ambulance.’ Once I knew I was about to give birth I was totally focused. The worry that something was wrong with the baby was out and I was in full on hypnobirthing mode.

[PJ bottoms on and I’m off down our steep stairs leaving the paramedics in the dust behind me.]

At this point I’ll fill you in on what’s going on in the background.

On the occasions that Dave has asked if I’m ok. I reply, ‘Yeah, I’m fine, Just sort Mills out, I’m pretty sure I’m in labour but its only just started so it could be all night.’ So Dave is reading an excitable Mills bedtime stories, all set up for a long night ahead. I’m silently back and forth from ball bouncing and ‘omming’ in the bedroom, to the bathroom thinking the pushing sensations are just the pineapple juice in action. On the final toilet trip there’s blood and a whoosh. Mucus plug and waters breaking are obvious now. And it’s then I call Dave (in my calmest, protective mother voice) who stands at the bathroom door looking shocked and disheveled (in his pants I might add) Me: ‘You’d better get dressed, I need to call an ambulance, tell mum to get over quickly.’ iPad comes out for Mills, Mother called [who is now rushing around packing her bag, which she didn’t do on the 6pm call opting to watch TV instead!).

Back to it. (around 8.30/8.40pm)

I’ve rushed down the stairs. (they’re ridiculously steep with no hand rail!) The paramedics are still upstairs ready to escort me down the stairs. In shock that I’ve disappeared. I stop at the dining room to reassure Miller that ‘Mummy’s fine darling. I think the baby is coming so hopefully you’ll get to meet it in the morning. Be a good boy. Nanny’s on her way. Love you see you in the morning.’ He’s looking a little shellshocked, but the paramedics have been wonderful with him so he’s not as scared as he could’ve been.

Another contraction in the hallway and out the door. No shoes. In my PJs. A street full of neighbours wondering why there’s an ambulance blocking the street. (it’s a stupidly narrow street that should be one way!) I dash to the ambulance, shouting behind me ‘Leave as soon as Mum gets here.’ to Dave. At that point, Mum arrives, having dumped her car down the street. Me: ‘Quick get into Miller. Send Dave.’

I’m now in the ambulance, paramedics have caught up and there’s another contraction. (I’m just hoping the neighbours can’t hear the groaning sounds I’m making)

The paramedics.

I can’t praise these three men enough. It’s a little off putting when you’re half naked, vulnerable, in a mess, shitting yourself and, unknowingly, giving birth in your bathroom. But that lasted a split second thanks to their amazing presence. All three had an instant calming effect on the house. Great with Mills. Reassuring me. I can’t thank them enough.

Blue lights on. We’re off. 80mph + on the short journey to the hospital. All the way I have one holding my hand giving me an encouraging ‘you’ve got this’ pep talk and the other helping me breathe through contractions to try and help slow things down.

Poor Dave is left behind in the dust. No idea why, but he wasn’t allowed in the ambulance, so he’s following behind in our car.

The journey seemed to last more than minutes and I could now feel a head coming down. So much so the PJs came off and the eyes popped out of the paramedics head, followed by ‘how much longer until we’re there?’ to the driver. I’m guessing Marlie’s head may have been on show!

We arrive at the front of the hospital. Thank the lord it’s a quiet, dark evening and hardly anyone is around. I get wheeled through to delivery as the baby’s head comes further down. (blanket hiding my modesty)

[Dave had lost us in the traffic – dam cars wouldn’t let him out – so he’s now trying to find a parking space]

The midwife is waiting at the door to the delivery suite with a big smile. A familiar face I’m so grateful to see. Me: ‘I think the head’s about to come out.’ Midwife: ‘OK, let’s take a look. Oh yes. No time to get you on to the bed, baby’s coming.’

On the ambulance bed I continue to push, with the help of the wonderful midwife. And, just as her head comes out, Dave rushes in [baby’s head hanging out, paramedics holding my hands, midwives rushing around] Then she’s out. 8.52pm. Screaming like a banshee, she’s put into my arms. I look between her legs. Me: ‘It’s a boy’ Midwife: ‘look again.’ [Umbilical cord moved] me: ‘It’s a girl. Oh my god.’

And that’s Marlie Mavis James Guscott’s birth story. All 7lbs 9oz of her early, quick delivery.

It seems ridiculous now that I didn’t know I was about to give birth. But it all happened so quickly I just couldn’t work out how it could be it. I just felt disappointment at the start that I wasn’t coping as well with the contractions. When I gave birth to Mills I’d been in the water until the end and then had an epidural to push him out. My mucus plug and waters didn’t show until the end of an all day labour. So everything was new and different to what I’d experienced. I’d also been more mentally prepared this time with the hypnobirthing course and listening to the affirmations had worked even better than I’d imagined. (I’m sure it’s this that got things going so quickly) When I had my show on the toilet and I saw blood my head was so far removed from the fact I was giving birth, that I thought something was wrong with the baby. When I rang the ambulance it wasn’t because of the pushing it was because I thought something was seriously wrong. I also hadn’t experienced the intense pushing sensations with Mills so the feeling of needing to pooh didn’t feel right. (even though it’s how it’s described!) I had visions of the baby coming out the wrong way at the time. Hilarious now I look back. But I was seriously so far away in mind from where I was in real life, it was the only possible answer.

The whole thing was quite the experience and it’s a funny story to tell. But it took us all by shock. The fact she was two weeks early was another factor to my calmness. But the hypnobirthing course made sure I didn’t panic and really helped get me through the intensity of the situation. Yes it hurt like fuck, but I was able to focus on my baby moving down the birth path rather than the pain, which made all the difference. Thankfully, because there was certainly no time for pain relief. I had some gas and air in the ambulance, but I couldn’t concentrate on what I needed to do so I gave that up pretty quickly.

By 9pm my placenta was out, I was stitched up and we were on the phone to Miller telling him about his new baby sister. I was ready to leave the hospital right there and then, but it was a busy night on the ward and I wasn’t allowed to leave until Marlie had been seen by a doctor. Despite having to rush off to another emergency labour, I couldn’t be happier with the service we had from our hospital and I’m grateful everyday for our wonderful NHS. Thank you to all of the staff at Worcester Royal.

Thankfully Mills was allowed to come up and see us while we waited in delivery to be moved onto the ward. It was just what we all needed. Mills got to meet his baby sister and we all got to be together for the first time. A perfect moment that I’ll never forget.

After Birth Day Dreams – my post birth wish list

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At 37 weeks pregnant, my mind has started wondering to the post-birth stage and all I can think about is all the things I’m looking forward to after the baby arrives. Forget about the baby snuggles (that’s a given) I’m talking Mama indulgence and a few day dreams thrown in for good measure:

Eggs Benedict – creamy hollandaise sauce, runny eggs dribbling down my chin. *droool*

GBK Camemburger

Prosecco (I’ve been stocking up on my favourite Aldi ‘minis’)

Baked Gooey Brie / Camembert, M&S Fig and Walnut bread and a sweet sticky chutney.

Prawns – big juicy King Prawns cooked in garlic butter

Sushi – a shit load of sushi!

Coffee – Starbucks Spiced Latte

Food is playing a big part of my daydreams. My appetite has been crap throughout the whole pregnancy. I don’t fancy any food. I’ll eat whatever’s in front of me, but I haven’t fancied anything. I am so looking forward to getting stuck into some flavoursome food.

Plus…

Being able to get dressed, stand up, lay down, bend over, and move without the noises, aches and zombie-ness.

Seeing the toilet less than a hundred times a day

Actually fancying a food, rather than just eating because I’ve got to

Sleeping without pillows under every part of my body

Not having to move said pillows every time I have to get up to pee

Sleeping! I can guarantee I will sleep more when this baby arrives than I have since January. The night time peeing and hip pain has been unbearable and I am so over it.

No more Heartburn. From Water!!!

Drinking something other than water without it going straight through me

And the day dreaming has involved, a cleaner to keep my bed sheets fresh and the house spotless, daily deliveries of fresh fruit, veg and hearty meals. (Autumn Stews!)

Obviously none of the dreaming involves thinking about post-partum cramps, bloody, stale milk smells, puke, poo or crying. Leave me at peace in my day dream.

Pregnant ladies – what post-pregnancy day dreams are you having?

Bump Bonding – getting to know baby before it arrives

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How do you feel watching your bump grow, feeling your baby move inside your tummy? For me, this is my most favourite part of being pregnant. Without question. But I was talking to a friend the other day who didn’t get that natural bump bond. She found it strange to feel her baby wriggling around inside her and struggled to enjoy being pregnant.

Bump bonding doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But it started me thinking about how I bond with my growing baby and I thought I’d share with you some of the ways I connect with my bump during pregnancy.

Chitter Chatter

I talk a lot. I’m pretty sure I talk to myself when I’m not pregnant so talking to my baby doesn’t feel strange at all to me. I sit on my own, hold my tummy and talk to the baby. I ask it how it is and tell it how much I’m looking forward to meeting it. When you write it down, it does sound a bit odd. But for me, it’s part of being pregnant and what I love. A secret connection that only baby and I have for 9 months. And also a rare moment of not having someone answer me back.

Touchy Feely

I take good care of my bump and my night time routine is part of bump bonding. Massaging in coconut oil, stroking and giving a little prod to a kick, it’s all part of the communication with my unborn baby.

Breathe Deeply

I’m doing a Yoga class and Hypnobirthing class – both of which pay particular attention to bonding with baby. Giving visualisations and breathing techniques to help you bond with baby. I’m listening to affirmations and visualisations that help me to get into a deep relaxation, all the while thinking about my growing baby, birthing my baby and holding my baby in my arms. Visualising your baby’s arrival can really help you to picture that real baby inside your tummy.

Share The Love

Don’t keep those special movements to yourself. Get your partner and kids involved too. Miller is a bit bored of feeling baby kicks – unless it’s kicking his head of course – but I think it’s a really important part of bonding and helps the important people around you to bond with the baby. Other than the movement they don’t get to experience any other part of the pregnancy process, so let them in. I’m all up for sharing the love. I love feeling other people’s baby’s kicking inside their tummy so it’s all hands on tum for those special moments. However, I draw the line at strangers!

Take A Snap

With Mills I took photos every week from the moment I found out I was pregnant. Oh wasn’t it lovely to have that much time on my hands and I brain that actually worked. This time, I haven’t done that, but I’ve been taking plenty of snaps and capturing kicks on video too. I still love looking back at Miller’s bump. The thing I didn’t do when I was pregnant with Mills was to have pics of me, it was just bump. I regret that so this time I’m snapping myself too. In all my puffy pregnancy loveliness.

These might be a daily part of your pregnancy, but if you haven’t thought about talking to your baby yet, give it a go. It doesn’t mean you won’t bond with your baby when it arrives, but for me it makes the pregnancy journey so much more enjoyable.

How did you bond with your bump? Come on over to my Facebook page and share your pregnancy journey. I’d love to hear from you.

Choosing a Private Scan – with BabyBond UltraSound Direct – keeping our first born included

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When I was pregnant the first time I spent the first 12 weeks worrying constantly. I didn’t have any pregnancy symptoms, no bump to show and I couldn’t get my head around how I could be growing a healthy baby if I wasn’t suffering for it. The wait was too much for me, so I opted to have an early dating scan at 7 weeks at BabyBond. I could barely make out the little embryo’s heart beating, but it was all I needed to keep me going for a few more weeks before my 12 week scan.

At 11 weeks, I started to bleed. I was bleeding and I couldn’t get an emergency scan for another week. I couldn’t wait a week to know if something was wrong with my baby. So I booked another BabyBond scan. It was the first time I’d seen my baby kicking and wriggling around and the relief was just fantastic.

This time around I’ve felt so ill and had very early movement so I didn’t have the same worries as I did the first time around. However, I remembered from our scans at the hospital, how serious they can be and how clinical the environment is. I wanted Mills to be involved in every stage of the pregnancy, but I was worried about the environment of the NHS scan.

When we were pregnant with Mills the sonographer we had was very serious, didn’t give us much information and didn’t try to make the experience very special. I totally understand that they’re not there to make the parents feel good, they’re there to make sure that little fetus is developing as it should be. Great, I get it. However, when you have a 4 year old you want involved in the whole situation, you want them to feel at ease and excited about meeting their brother or sister for the first time.

So I got in touch with BabyBond again and booked us a scan so we could take Miller to meet the baby in a nice, calm and peaceful environment. When I told BabyBond about what I was doing, they very kindly gave me a free scan in return for my honest opinion of their services on here. So of course I snapped up their offer and we took Miller, and my parents, to see baby.

Our local BabyBond centre is at Barbourne Medical Centre in Worcester. On arrival we were greeted by Melissa, who talked us through the procedure, took some information and lead us into the scan room.

The room was cosy, warm and softly lit, with soothing music playing. She continued to talk us through what was going to happen and talked directly to Miller about what she was doing to Mummy’s tummy and what he was going to see on the screen.

Then came the jelly! Well, this has got to be worth paying privately for if nothing else. I clenched, waiting for the ice cold jelly to touch my tummy, but to my surprise it was warm! Warm gel on my tummy. Which felt rather lovely.

And then we got to see baby on the big screen in front of us. And Melissa talked us through what we were seeing, where the baby was laying, and what she was looking for. She gave us a sneak peak at a 4D view too. It was crazy seeing our little one like that. It had its hand up to its mouth and kept turning its back to us. It wouldn’t play ball, but after a quick toilet break, I came back and we got some wonderful photos of our little baby. It was a very special moment to share with Miller and the Grandparents. The first time my Dad has seen a scan IRL, so he was super chuffed he got to see it.

At the end we were presented with a series of photos in a little wallet, with all the size information and est DD, included. It’s a lovely keepsake and I’m so glad we have them for both Miller and this one.

Because we’d already had our 12 week scan by this point, and I’ve been feeling regular movement, we went into this scan completely relaxed and just excited to get to show Mills his little brother/sister. Which made it a lovely experience for us all to share together, without the clinical formalities getting in the way. And because it’s private, we got to share it with some of the family too, which isn’t possible at the hospital. On our letter for the 12 week scan we were asked not to bring any children and for only one other person to attend the visit with the Mother. Which, of course makes total sense for the environment and the information they have to get. You can’t have the whole family huddled in a small room getting in the way.

We loved the 4D scan so much, we’re thinking about going back at a later date to get it done properly. But we don’t want to know the sex, so we’ll need to make sure there’s no spoilers.

I would throughly recommend BabyBond UltraSound Direct for a private scan. Whether it’s because you’re a first time parent and just need the reassurance that you’ve given up the wine and runny eggs for a good reason, or you’ve got to wait until after 12 weeks for a scan. Or you’ve got older siblings that you want to share in the moment with. It’s a really lovely moment for you all to share. And the quality of the scan images is just fantastic. There’s no rushing you in and out so they make sure they get a good picture for you to take away.

We are keen to make sure that Mills is included in every stage of this pregnancy. I don’t want him left out at all. He’s 4 now and very aware of the effect Mummy being pregnant is having on us. He’s been amazing, but we have to keep explaining what’s happening so he’s aware of why there are changes and what it means for our family. He came along to the 16 week scan and heard the baby’s heartbeat and whenever we talk about the baby, we talk about it being our baby. Not Mummy’s or Daddy’s but all of ours. That we can all get excited about. Now I’ve got a bump and there’s lots of movement, it’s lovely to see him bonding with baby already.

Once we get closer to due date, I’ll get him to choose a coming home outfit for it and I’ll get him to help us set up it’s bed, and prepare its clothes etc. I’m sure we’ll have some issues to deal with, it’s not going to be easy for him to accept a new baby taking up so much of our time, the time he’s had all to himself for 4 and a half years, but we’re doing everything we can to make sure he’s involved where he can be and he’s not left out.

If you’re interested in a private scan with BabyBond – you can visit their website ‘here‘ to find your nearest location and if you’re in Worcester click ‘here‘ to go to the Worcester site which has all the information of the prices and the types of scans available. Prices range depending on the type of scan you want and the package you go for, so take a look and see what they’ve got to offer.

We were very lucky to get given our latest scan for free in return for our honest opinion of the service, but we paid for our first scans and would gladly do it all over again. It’s a wonderful service that I’d thoroughly recommend.

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