Wednesday, 3 February 2016

What I didn't expect when I was expecting.

When we were pregnant....

Sorry but I have a serious dislike for this phrase, it physically makes me cringe when people say "We''re having a baby" or "We're pregnant" erm no buddy, you may of helped get me here, but i'm pretty sure I'm the one with a tiny human growing inside of me. Of course your partner will be supportive, or at least they should be anyway. They will come to all your appointments, hold your hand, shed a tear when you look at that life changing first scan picture.They'll rub your back, massage your feet and run to the garage for Pickled Onions and Magnums at 2 am,  and they should do all of these things by the way, if they don't then you really should consider raising the tiny human with them.
What they do not get is everything else pregnancy brings; The morning sickness,the urge to pee 12 times a night, or suck on ice cubes. Backache, siatica, leaking nipples and if you're unlucky enough piles. Nor do they get to experience the pure and utter joy that is labour "We're expecting a baby together" Congratulations! That is always wonderful news, but unless you are physically carrying a teeny tiny human inside your uterus then "We" both sure ain't pregnant.

When I was pregnant we were ecstatic we had planned it and wanted it for a long time.
I started off by treating my pregnancy like my wedding; with a military like operation. I honestly made Monica from Friends look laid back, I must have read every single baby book that I could get my hands on the good ones and the bad ones.I went to ante natal classes, I researched birthing plans and prams and if pregnancy vlogs had been a thing when I was pregnant I'd have followed them all, in fact I'm pretty sure I would have done one myself.

When Seren was diagnosed with D.D.H  as a baby I read everything I could, researched everything I could find and joined the incredibly helpful S.T.E.P.S forum.

Nits going around the school? Well I can tell you, and in fact draw you the life cycle of the little critters, as well as every single treatment and old wives tale* under the sun

*F.Y.I I use my Granny's method, fill a spray bottle with water, a couple drops of tea tree oil and I spray on every day, finish off with hairspray( as apparently they don't like the smell)
 Hair up, and a load of cheapo conditioner and a nitty gritty comb about once a week. Ta -dah! Seems to of worked s far (quickly touches wood)

If we could afford it I would certainly take flying lessons despite being terrified of flying. 
You know why? Because somehow I'd feel I was in some sort of control in the giant metal tube hurtling through the air.

The simple fact is I feel as if I can 'cope' better if I'm prepared.

I have a big family and 2 much younger sisters, in fact I was 20 when my youngest sister was born so I was used to being around babies. I changed nappies, I made up bottles, fed them, winded them, dropped them (joking girls) and if I'm being honest?  Was a little bit smug about it all. Someone asked me if I was feeling nervous not long before I gave birth and I actually said  No as I already knew what to expect, because you know I had little Sisters duh!

God who was I kidding?!!

It turns out it doesn't matter how much you prepare, how much you read, how many classes you take (I actually didn't take that many in the end because you know, I knew it all remember). Certain things come along to throw you a curve ball. I'm just going to look at a few that knocked me off my pregnancy pedestal and those crazy myths I would never have thought would have turned out to be true. I just want to point out that these are my experiences and obviously not everyone will be the same, It's just a bit of fun, apart from piles of course. Piles are never fun.

1. Morning sickness

Exactly what it sounds like right? feeling sick/being sick in the morning. If you are lucky this will be you. I started off waking up every morning dizzy, lightheaded with an overwhelming nauseous feeling, like I was incredibly pissed but not having the fun of drinking. For some reason I couldn't actually BE sick though so instead would just retch over the toilet until my throat was sore. Fun! This changed to starting mid afternoon, and then carried on  until early evening where I would just give in and go to bed.
Luckily mine pretty much stopped altogether after about 16 weeks, but I've known people who were terribly sick and even hospitalised due to severe "Morning sickness" The truth is it just occurs whenever it pleases.

Of course you will always come across women who suffered with no morning sickness at all, and went through their pregnancy with nothing more than a light glow and ankles that don't balloon to the size of elephant hooves. Annoyingly they do exist *bitterly looks at pregnancy photos of myself resembling a sea lion*

2. You can prevent Stretch Marks. 

Nope I don't buy this one sorry, I was HUGE during my pregnancy, so big people genuinely believed I was carrying twins, however I have very few stretch marks considering.
I was so big I struggled to get out of the bath unaided to towel myself dry, never mind remember to put Palmer's Cocoa butter on my bump. I've read and seen other women who claim to of covered their bodies in all manner of lotions and potions religiously and yet the stretch marks still arrived, the buggers.
I honestly believe it's down to your skin type and genetics.

3.  You will stick to your birth plan.

I thought I would, 
I really wanted to try and aim for a natural birth as possible, managing with just breathing exercises, a birthing ball and just gas and air.
I had my hospital bag packed for weeks and along with the obvious essentials I packed;
A soothing cd of music, my favourite cushion to make the room feel 'homely' - seriously I know WTF, soothing creams and lotions to help me relax, lots of healthy snacks and books. Yes books, because obviously whilst your trying to push something the size of a watermelon through your vagina, a bit of Bronte is ALWAYS a good idea right? 
Then my waters broke 10 days early, and my birthing plan? Well that pretty much went straight out of the window

I laugh now as I recall walking into the hospital with my pull along suitcase announcing "My waters have broke I'm here to have my baby now" If only it were that simple.
This was a Tuesday, our daughter arrived by emergency C-Section Friday morning, she is still always known for making quite the enterance.
There no was no gentle laughing as we listened to the CD and the cushion didn't make the room feel homely, My Mum, husband and myself were trapped in the same hot, stuffy room for almost three days sweating, cursing and grunting, like an episode of tenko.

I felt like a bit of a failure after I had Seren, an emergency C-Section just wasn't in the plan, I compared myself to friends, and other Mums on the ward who had a more straight forward birth and it almost felt like I'd cheated. Maybe they wouldn't think that I'd experienced the wonder that is childbirth after all?
 That first night though as I held Seren in my arms, I realised that in the grand scheme of things birthing plans don't matter, there are no medals it's not a sport! Competitive childbirth should not be a thing, getting your baby out into the world safely is all that really counts. 
If birthing balls and nothing more than gas and air does it for you great, if stabbing birthing balls, an epidural and a c -section is what it takes then that is fine too.

Picture of stupid birthing ball that hasn't been stabbed with a pencil, yet.

4. You always go over with your first baby, they never arrive on time.

I cannot tell you how many times I heard this, and I believed it too! Seren arrived a whole week earlier than her due date. I am very grateful S did come early, at 8lb 20z a whole week before she was due? I dread to think what she would have weighed had I gone two weeks over!

5. Pick a nice nightie/dressing gown to put on after giving birth you'll feel better.

If I had chosen a nightie this may have been somewhat true but I was not having a c-section according to my birth plan remember! So I bought a beautiful 3 piece P.J set from M&S. It was chocolate and baby blue bottoms, vest and wrap. However due to my  emergency C -Section I only got to wear the top half, couldn't get the bottoms anywhere near me due to the delight of having a catheter bag for 24 hours. I was so off my face for those few first hours post birth I honestly could have been lying there butt naked for all I knew, what a delight for the visitors.

6. Soothing music and birthing balls help.

I had a CD of soothing music I intended to listen to, I had the lotions to apply to help relax and calm myself but it turns out that after several hours of contractions you actually don't want the dulcet tones of Enya. You want silence, and drugs. 
The lotion also gave me a rash and it had to be washed off- so maybe try it before you pack it would be my advice.
As for the birthing ball? Well I tried to deflate mine by stabbing it with a pencil because it does not ease the pain of contractions, the bouncing does not distract you from the pain of contractions either. Contractions hurt actually. They do not feel like slightly more intense period pains, that is complete and utter bollocks. 

Oh and Nurses don't like you joking about whether you should try crack to help ease the pain either, who knew.

7. Craving Orange m
eans your having a girl

Well I craved Oranges throughout my pregnancy and had a girl!

My Mum craved petrol when pregnant with me so who knows, pretty sure my craving was safer.....

8. Heartburn means your baby will have hair. 

I actually think there is something to this.

I had no heartburn at all, not a touch of it and Seren was born with no hair, in fact she didn't get any hair until she was almost 2 bless her. Friend suffered awful heartburn, baby had a full head of hair. I've watched this with subsequent friend/family members pregnancies and those who suffered heartburn?Babies born with hair!

9. Never wake a sleeping baby

The episode from Friends was correct in every way, don't do it to let granny have a hold, or for Uncle Ted who has to leave and will be upset if he can't get a look at her. No put your foot down, you'll regret it if you don't.

10. The phrase" Oh you've been pregnant for ages" will make you want to punch someone

It does, it really really does because erm I'm making a human being here! So piss off!

11. Your belly doesn't go down straight away.

It doesn't. I was actually so shocked at how big it still was, I mean I wasn't expecting to get back into my skinny jeans right away but I wasn't expecting to still look well pregnant, less pregnant, but still pretty pregnant!
I'd packed a nice outfit to come home in,  put some make up on as feeling good and so glad to be home, I told myself that I actually looked alright.

That is until I got out of the car and a neighbour came out and said "oh have you not had the baby yet then" I burst into tears, and Mark and my Mum ushered me into the flat very quickly before I could reply in my hormonal state.

12. Curry brings on labour.

Well I had a curry the night before my waters broke so, worked for me!

13. You forget the pain of childbirth once you hold your baby for the first time.

This is difficult to say considering I was so heavily sedated but aww yes I'd like to think that's true.

And on a last note? When you're being rushed down to theatre with various Dr's and Nurses and your husband is crying, you do actually think to yourself "Ooooh It's a bit like Casualty"

Or is that just me?

Rach x

*Picture from internet - not me and birthing ball. There is a picture of me somewhere stabbing mine with a pencil, never to be seen....

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