Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Preparing for your baby...preparing for a marathon

I know quite a few ladies who are 1st time expectants at the moment and the same questions keep popping up. Was it painful? Did you go overdue? Did you have a natural birth? Were you really as tired as people say you're going to be?

I don't always give honest answers, I try my best but this is the truth and nothing but the truth now.

Finding out - The pregnancy test
I felt like I was coming down with something, a tummy bug perhaps.  I left it a few days.  I was late, but I have always been late or early so thought nothing of it. One morning hubby and I were both in the office and hubby was about to leave to go on site a couple of hours away...I was moaning about feeling sick and he suggested I take a pregnancy test. So we said we would do that later on when he got home. 

He had got me thinking now and I am never one to wait, I am quite possibly THE most impatient person in the world and as soon as he left the office I dashed into town, picked up a test and returned to the office.  2 minutes later I was on the phone to hubby. We couldn't believe it, we were soo happy and not a worry in the world at this point...it all seemed a bit surreal.

I rang mum and asked her to meet me in town for lunch in an hour or two, I wanted to tell her there as a surprise.  Two minutes later I rang her back with the news...again I just couldn't wait even for an hour! I am so rubbish! She was ecstatic.

Then sitting there for that hour I googled EVERYTHING I could and started to panic.  Surely I need to go STRAIGHT to the doctors and check everything is ok..I rang mum again.  Ring your doctor and make an appointment she advised, I'll see you in an hour for lunch.  I rang the doctors and said I have just found out I'm pregnant please can I have an appointment...The lady was so calm and said ok how about tomorrow at 10am. I thought they would rush me in, this was a matter of urgency..I am surely the only lady to have ever been pregnant!

OH MY GOSH!!!!! I had almost a whole block of Stilton a week ago I thought to myself. Google says no blue cheese when pregnant! I panic over this for the following 8 months.

The First Doctors Appointment comes - They weigh me and take a sample so they can check I'm pregnant..THAT'S IT! I want to know my baby is ok, I want to be reassured the Stilton was OK to eat. I want to know everything.  We make another appointment.

Morning Sickness
Sickness set in VERY early with me, it was feeling sick that made me take the test and oh boy did it get worse! I had shipments from China of stock/clothes that had just arrived and the smell made me hurl, the smell of my stock room (which until then I didn't know had a smell) made me hurl, my packaging bags, cardboard boxes and even the tagging gun (??) made me sick..that was it fashion business CLOSED. Every morning my husband would give me a biscuit/cracker before I got out of bed or else I would throw up, he would spray air freshener around before I came down the stairs in case there was the smell of last nights dinner still lurking. Mum bought me ginger biscuits as they are supposed to help but after one or two they started to make me feel sick.  Pink Wafer Biscuits were all I could eat...I still love them :)

I can not even begin to explain in words how hard this morning sickness was, it effected everything, it was like constant car sickness but even worse. I couldn't be in a car for more than 5 minutes, I couldn't eat a type of food more than once. My hubby is an amazing cook but even his culinary skills were tested,

I was assured it would go or fade around 15-18 weeks and on week 16 it went....WOW! what a relief!

The Planning Phase
So with morning sickness gone I was FREE (aside from worrying about the Stilton) and my compulsive planning side was again functioning. I wanted a natural labour, I have always been scared of needles and wanted to do whatever I could to avoid them. I also hate not being in control and so again was going to do anything and everything to avoid it.

1) I started YogaBirth - Quite possibly the best thing ever, I will do a separate post on this at some point
2) Purchased Birthing Ball
3) Stockpiled Raspberry Leaf Tea (but for any expectant mummies reading this don't drink it before 32 weeks)
4) Bought lavendar and a TENS machine
5) The hunt began for the cutest labour outfit...I knew it had to be a practical (dark) colour but wanted it to be cute...CUTE haha I was SUCH a first timer! But at least for the first few hours it was a goodish investment :)
6) The Nursery...Cot, Moses, vests, sleepsuits, scratchmits, muslins. Muslins=You can never have enough.

I really treated the pregnancy from here on in like I was training for a marathon; I was so excited and had constant adrenaline running through my system! The thought of going into labour was like starting a race...excitement, tension, the unknown, I thrived off this.  I did my pelvic floor exercises every few hours, I did my yoga exercises and bounced on my birthing ball everyday to encourage baby to stay in the head down position. I went on an NCT short course with hubby...and fainted when going through pictures of labour stages!

Those last few weeks
My enthusiasm, adrenaline and energy were wearing very thin in the last couple weeks. I had a very tidy and neat little bump the whole way through until now...I knew this baby was not going to be a small baby anymore!!  I really didn't want to go over my due date.  Again my practical brain set in and I had to try everything in my power to hurry things up...I ate pineapple, I walked miles (after dinner every evening with hubby), mum booked me a lovely pedicure (foot massage is supposed to help) and I carried on drinking my raspberry leaf tea.

Baby Arrives!
In the end I went into labour 2 days early and so maybe all my prep and planning worked or maybe I was just lucky. I had an amazing labour, reasonably short for a first. You can read about the labour and birth here though if you are interested.

Does it Hurt?????
This is the thing all women ask but never really know because everyone copes with pain differently.

In short YES it is the most painful thing I have ever been through but like everything with me I saw it as a challenge. The initial contractions were dulled down with excitement and adrenaline and I have no recollection of pain at this stage. As they got stronger they started to hurt, and then they start to hurt a lot.  As long as you can steady your breathing through your contractions you can easily cope with each one as they come.  The thing to remember is they only last a little while and then you do have a break before the next one comes so breathe through it and then rest.

As the baby is making his or her way out I don't remember pain..honest truth!  Hubby says I was in agony but I think I had passed the pain threshold perhaps because I remember just pushing with all my might and that was all I could think about. I was so worried that the baby was in distress that I had somehow managed to block it out.  The pain I really remember was from the final 20 or 30 contractions just before baby belle was making her way out..these were a deep throbbing pain which took my breath away..gas and air helps because it helps you regulate your breathing and also gives you something to concentrate on.

So yes it hurts and yes I would be a tiny bit scared to do it again but at the same time I cannot wait to do it all again too.


  1. Great post - just done my second and last pregnancy - worth it of course but glad I don't have to do it again! Have a blue and a pink baby now, one of each, this lady's breeding days are OVER! Cx

  2. What a wonderful post for first time mums! I wish someone had told me all this...

  3. claire: aaw congrats! how perfect a boy and a girl :)

    A Modern Mother: Aaaw thank you, it was funny writing it, felt like it was just yesterday!

  4. you looked so glam when bumpy! I got (and get) the morning sickness thing too. Am going to do a post on it - can I get back in touch and get some tips from you on how to deal with it? No one who hasn't been through it knows how debilitating it can be - totally wipe-out, in my experience, for months on end. But, to coin a cliche, worth it in the end.

  5. This is such a great post and really makes me excited for what I've got to come! :)

  6. angelsandurchins: It really is awful isn't it! Of course you can get back in touch about it, would be great x

    Alice: Aaaw glad it does that, it was a very exciting time once the morning sickness had gone :) x

  7. OMG last 20-30?! That was not a reasonably short labour! I had about 20 in all for my first. The second one was like 3 pushes and it's over...I would rather get hit by a truck than go into labour again!