You will never be ready, whether you’re induced or the contractions just come. Labour is something you can not just imagine. Many women, struggle with the thought of pushing out the baby through that teeny tiny little opening… No matter how many times people tell you- “calm down, women were designed for child birth.” You will still stress over it…
Now. My labour was short! Very very short.. I am writing this piece for future reference for both myself, and anyone else who would like some more ideas or advice.
My labour was induced on the 2nd of april at 7 am. We drove to the hospital quickly. (We were late.) My giant belly ready to burst. The security guard greeted us on our way in and wished me “all the best”.. as though he knew what i was about to go through… even i had NO IDEA. My waters broke and the contractions started 5 minutes later. “Lucky you” said the nurse, you’re 4.5 cm dilated and we haven’t even started! Little did i know, she was sooooo right! We hadn’t even started.
I decided to get off the bed while the contractions weren’t too strong, and we walked up and down the corridor, stopping every now and then to breathe deeply and smile at the passing people. Yes, I SMILED at them.. such a naive little girl! After about an hour of this, we got back into the room and my knees started buckling from all the pain. This was when i realised that I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING. My poor husband watched me in horror and held me up to stop me from crashing onto the hospital floor. The contractions were a minute apart at this point. Calling the midwife in, I asked (moaning in pain) if she could check how much dilation had happened. She poked and prodded and looked at me woefully (as though she almost expected me to kick her once she answered) and replied that i was now 5 cm dilated. 5 CM DILATED?! that was it?
The pain was bad. The nausea worse, and my emotions were spinning me all over the place. I sat on the chair under the shower, and sat, and sat, and sat. My contractions slowed and I left, in the worry that that would just prolong my labour.. boy was i right! There was no dilation. In 30 minutes. Nothing. STILL 5! I lay in the hospital bed as the contractions swept over me, gathering speed once again. Every wave had me twisting and turning into a whole new position. Every wave had me grasping the life out of my husbands hand.
3 hours from the induction and I was still 5. My heart rate was through the roof. My blood pressure was elevated. Sweat covered me as I moaned and groaned. The worst part was the elevated heart rate of my little one. The little thing i caressed and sang to for 9 months. The little human, i could not live without- my little gift. I had no idea how long the process was going to take… the midwife voiced her concerns and that’s when i made the decision to have the epidural. She suggested i try the gas first. HELL, WHY NOT! LET ME INDULGE YOU MY DEAR MIDWIFE! I took one puff, handed it over to my husband for a try and yelled for the anaesthetist.
LUCKILY, he was on duty. I got my needle in 10 minutes later, and shortly after that, the pain (as well as the feeling from my legs) blissfully disappeared!
4 hours from the induction and i could eat my lunch! It was delicious. A wonderful tray of sandwiches, orange juice and an apple. While we ate, my husband turned on the sports channel and i tuned out… I FELL ASLEEP! thats right..
6 hours from the induction my doctor came to check my dilation. He woke me up from my little nap and started poking around. Imagine my surprise when he comes up and tells me its time to push! Thats right, you read right… I dilated the rest of the way over the last 2 hours! The epidural relaxed me and my baby and everything started rolling forward!
The last ten minutes of my labour will never be forgotten. I had both legs propped up into my husband’s and doctor’s sides and with my chin down i was pushing through each contraction. Finally, i reached down and touched my little one’s hair. The first contact. So special and sweet… and then, pop. Another contraction later and her head came out. Another and out slid her shoulders. The doctor told me to grab on and pull.. Her tiny little body came slithering out and I lifted her up to my chest. Her cries were loud and so shrill- i was proud of my little soprano.
That was it. The rest is so cloudy in my memory. Cloudy from the drugs or love i cannot say. 🙂 I remember the swift and sure hand of my husband, cutting the calamari, almost alien like umbilical cord. I remember his tears as he first held her. I remember my failed attempts at feeding the little thing.. But most of all, I will never forget staring at her swollen head and smelling her full head of sticky hair. There is something so beautiful about the scent of a newborn. So original and chalky. IF ONLY I CAN BOTTLE THAT!
Four days later, we carried the seemingly oversized car seat to our waiting car. We showed her off to the friendly security guard and began our journey home.
Labour was quite a trial. You never quite recover. At least i haven’t. Not yet anyway.
something to the future daddies, from a daddy.
Recently, my husband and i started watching this series- one born every minute.
It’s quite an interesting watch, with quite a bit of educational value and even quite humorous at times! It will prepare you for all the different possibilities and decisions you may have to make whilst you’re in labour. 😀
It will also open your eyes to a whole new world of modern child birth and all of the wonderful options available to a new mum!
Travelling is great! Who doesn’t love a good holiday?
Now that your pregnant things get a little bit more complicated..
there are so many more things that need to be taken into account.
The best time for travelling is in your second trimester. Your risk of miscarriage is less than it was in your first trimester, and you’re not as big as a house yet.. 😛
Choosing a place to travel to is difficult enough when you’re not pregnant, with glossy magazines advertising your dream escape to the white sands and clear waters of fairytale lands. Now choosing a place involves more thought processes..
Things to keep in mind:
- Will you be at a health risk? (remember that vaccines should not be administered during pregnancy.)
- Have you had problems in previous pregnancies? (ectopic pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, miscarriage, premature labour?)
- Are you having twins or more?
- Are you over 35?
Booking something not too far from home is advisable in all stages of pregnancy, but if you must travel a while, there are some things you need to think about and plan for.
Things to think about when you’re travelling long distances:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) -avoid dehydration and do leg exercises.
- Make sure you’re within flying range. (most air companies won’t let you fly past a certain point in your pregnancy, and will expect you to have written permission from a doctor on you. check these out before booking your flights.)
- Check the fine print in your travel insurance. (some policies don’t cover pregnancy.)
Some general travel tips:
- wear your seatbelt under your bump.
- stretch when possible, or wear support stockings.
- keep your fluid intake up.
- If you have contractions see a doctor as soon as possible. if you’re flying make sure you have paracetamol with you. They should slow down the labour process.
- Wear loose fitted, comfortable clothing.
- avoid rushing/ stress. (give yourself plenty of time to plan)
Activities to avoid:
- scuba diving
- saunas and hot tubs
- horse riding
- mountain climbing (over 3,000 m)
So, now that your pregnant, it’s hard to stay active.. up until recently, i’ve been super naughty and just lounging around. After experiencing a lot more back pain, knee pain and just more muscular pain in general, i decided to start doing some pregnancy yoga. This one is my favourite. she does it slowly and talks you through everything. this is a series of 10 minute work outs.. if the first one is too “easy” for you, don’t run away.. each video focuses on different things, some harder than others. Doing 10 mins of yoga a day is pretty nice. Practice your breathing, learn about your body and strengthen some muscles (pelvic floor, ladies!) before going into labour.
When you look in the mirror, you see your bright new stretch marks, the new layer of cellulite that spans across the backs of your thighs and slowly drooping bottom. You see your sagging breasts and growing belly. You see the “new” you.
There is no pregnancy glow everyone keeps telling you about. Your hair is limp and oily. Your skin is starting to resemble your high school pizza face photos. Does this sound familiar?
If indeed it does, i have great news for you… YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY NORMAL!!
I spent years and years dreaming about falling pregnant. I couldn’t wait to feel that first kick, and to (finally) buy the bigger bra to accommodate my new growing breasts.
As I progress in my pregnancy, I love to read about what is happening to me and my baby… of course, i am bombarded with pictures of beautifully slim women with the perfectly round and spotless belly. Gosh, I wish i could look like that… but the truth is- the chances of you, me or your neighbour looking like a pregnancy model are so slim they are almost non existent… just like our waist lines! 😉
As women, we spend too much time thinking about what we look like. We forget that pregnancy is about bringing a baby into the world. A HEALTHY beautiful baby should be our priority… not our growing behinds.
Ever since moving away from australia, i am disgusted with the amount of women who starve themselves during pregnancy to achieve that “perfect” magazine pregnancy image. These nine months should be spent eating, enjoying and getting ready for the new addition to your family. There is nothing worse, than seeing your newborn for the fist time and realising its malnourished because of you.
So, that being said here are some facts-
+ an extra layer of cellulite is a natural gain. This is supposed to happen. You will lose it after you give birth!
+ stretch marks happen to almost every woman. Embrace them!
+ rashes and ppups. Not fun, but much more common than you think!
+ brittle nails and hair? quite normal.. try taking some extra calcium/magnesium tablets!
+ new skin tags? don’t stress, they will most probably disappear after birth!
+ patchy skin? try taking some extra folic acid. studies show, pigmentation changes can stem from a folic acid deficiency.
We are so lucky to have the opportunity to have kids, I think we often forget it.
so, try to enjoy all your new body changes. ITS NOT PERMANENT!! 🙂
Hopefully you feel slightly better about yourself! Keep smiling and eat some chocolate… get the endorphins flowing!