Let’s face it, pregnancy has to be the most exhilarating experience a woman can go through….. apart from the morning sickness, the restless legs, the itchy skin, the needing to go to the toilet 36 times in an hour, the weird cravings, the walking up the stairs and feeling like you’ve ran a marathon just to name a few.
In my experience I loved being pregnant but the symptoms that came with it, we did not get along. The day I found out I was pregnant I was visiting my mum and my sister, I had a very slight incline I could possibly be pregnant as my cycle was late but my previous tests came up negative. As I walked up the stairs to go pee on a stick I felt this sudden wave of dread come over me, a sudden panic of what if I’m not a good parent, how do you parent? I took the test and there it was…….. Pregnant.
From that day you’re in constant parent mode, I rushed downstairs to tell my mum, sister and my fiancee the news. Im not going to lie, pregnancy was hard, I was expecting to be glowing 24/7, feel energetic every morning I woke up, start drinking green smoothies to make my body and the baby healthy. No, from 10 weeks onwards, I was sick, had 0 amounts of energy, I had itchy skin, I felt bloated and everything ached, I struggled to get out of bed before 9am and I moaned from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep. My fiancee must have been sick to death of the phrase ‘I can’t cope with pregnancy’.
I managed it, 9 months of pregnancy, I had finished work and started my maternity leave, (I am currently employed full time as a clinical support worker in a emergency department) and at 00.30 on Thursday 8th February the pains started, these pains were different to anything I’ve ever experienced, my fiancee started to time to contractions and they were lasting for a minute every three to four minutes.
We called triage at the hospital we planned on giving birth at at were told to take some paracetamol and have a warm bath. (At this point the language in my head was foul as I reminded myself I take paracetamol for a headache, not childbirth). I followed the midwives advise, took paracetamol and had a warm bath but nothing was helping so we called back and they advised my partner to bring me in.
After what felt like the most painful car journey I’ve ever experienced (baring in mind we live a 5 minute car drive from our local hospital) we arrived at the hospital. Pulled into an empty dark car park and made our way to the entrance doors, once we arrived at the maternity triage I was examined and the midwife informed me I was 6cm dilated. I was taken to a delivery room and told this baby was coming soon, suddenly reality set in, I was going to a mom, I was having a baby today.
Cutting a long story short I had stopped dilating, I had become dehydrated, my baby was back to back and I couldn’t have the planned water birth I wanted. I had my waters broke for me, put on a saline drip and a drip to speed up my contractions so it would help me dilate, I pushed and I pushed, it felt like my whole downstairs area was being completely ripped open and the final push I felt the burn, that burn everybody warned me about, that burn that will stay with you for eternity.
Finally at 15.45 on Thursday 8th February 2018 my whole world was turned upside down, sideways and back and forth, my beautiful baby boy was here……..
That moment as I’m sure all the fellow mummies reading this can say, the first moment you see, feel and hold your beautiful baby has to be the most amazing feeling on this planet. Seeing his beautiful eyes open, listening to his cry for the first time and looking at his long shaped head I knew that my whole life now was going to revolve around this little boy.
I must say that I had such a positive experience at this certain hospital and the midwives were absolutely fantastic!
The first night we got home, myself, my fiancee and this brand new baby sitting on the sofa looking at each other thinking how quickly everything had changed. That first night was the scariest night I’ve ever had, lying there in bed with the moses basket next to our bed just staring at this brand new little bundle. The whole entire night I did not sleep, I went as far as messaging on of the paediatric nurses at work to check when I have to feed my baby in the night and the best way to do it. I was relived when the sun came up and saw it was 7am, I could wake my partner up and I knew I had managed the first night. My partner told me I need to sleep, the baby is perfectly safe in his moses basket swaddled up like a little caterpillar inside a cocoon, but in the back of your head your always thinking what if this happens?.
We started using the Angel Care system which was a gift from my mum and I must say this item has been an absolute life saver, we have the under mattress monitor which if the baby stops breathing or the baby is picked up an alarm will go off. It tells you room temperature and has a lovely little night light so you can still see your baby whilst you’re in bed.
And that was that…. from the moment I saw the words ‘Pregnant’ on that stick up until I lay there in my bed staring at this beautiful brand new little baby boy…..
Make sure you rest lots, it docent matter if your baby was a delivered ‘normally’ or ‘through the sunroof’, you need to rest and take it easy, one thing I learnt was nobody told me the after birth contractions you get a couple of days after. In my experience I thought they were quite painful, little sharp pains. I tried to soothe this with just normal painkillers and rest. Then ‘boom’ theres the extremely sore boobs, these two huge hard rocks on your chest that feel like they are about to burst, I formula fed my baby so I was told by my midwife not to express otherwise your body naturally thinks you want more milk so produces more. Getting in the shower was a painful experience, leaning over to reach for the shower gel and shampoo was a task in itself. If you have a partner who is supporting you with your transition into parenthood, be sure to take it in turns to rest, when baby sleep, make sure you sleep. Also we were luck enough to have our parents visit us regular and bring dinner with them for myself and lee, which we feel extremely lucky to have had. Be sure to stock up on meals, even if they are micro meals and pot noodles, the last thing you want when you’ve just given birth is to go out food shopping.
One thing I found extremely useful was the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep, although my midwife did say that these aren’t recommended because they are unsure if the water boils to a safe temperature I found it to be an absolute lifesaver for those 3am morning feeds. I also thought that if the machine was not safe it wouldn’t have passed all the manufacturing tests and deemed safe to use. But yes we had this in our bedroom on the drawers with a pot of milk formula next too it with a couple of sterile bottles, (be sure to clean regularly and change the filter).
If you have similar stories or would like to share your experience please feel free to comment, thanks again for reading, will update soon.