42 weeks pregnant – it’s time to be induced

Yup that’s right. I reached 42 weeks, despite walking every day, having reflexology with the lovely Keah Lan, drinking raspberry leaf tea and eating pineapple and curries. Bubs just didn’t want to come.

I had a sweep at 41 weeks and 1 day, which is where a midwife will disturb your cervix by basically using her fingers to separate the membranes of the amniotic sac surrounding your baby from your cervix. This separation releases hormones (prostaglandins) which may start labour. It’s not pleasant but not as bad as it sounds. Anyway it didn’t work so I had to go to hospital on a Thursday and have a pessary  inserted into my cervix for 24 hours. This meant hanging around the hospital overnight on an induction suite hoping for things to happen.

Nothing happened in those 24 hours to be honest. I had a few niggles and period pain type pains but it wasn’t until 12am on Friday evening that I started having contractions and being violently sick – a common symptom of labor which apparently happens because your digestive system shuts down. Your body needs to conserve as much energy as possible.

That evening I went from 1cm dilated (I know!) to 5cm in a matter of hours. It was a huge shock to my body and I had awful back pain, sickness and just simply didn’t know what to do with myself.

At 5am I called the midwife and told her I’d had enough and didn’t want to do it anymore (the transition period). She examined me and said right let’s get you to a delivery suite straight away. Thank god. I needed drugs by this point – something that had never crossed my mind before.

Once in the delivery suite with my allocated midwife I said I wanted an epidural. The pain was so intense and I was questioning how I was going to carry on. By this time I was 7cm dilated so she agreed that it should be done quickly before I went too far into labor.

The epidural was ok. I was so scared if having a big needle inserted into my spine but it blocked the pain out pretty quickly and I managed to get three hours sleep after the hooked me up to a oxytocin drip to help strengthen my contractions. I was only having two or three every ten minutes and by this time they wanted four and they needed them to be stronger.

Three hours later they decided they still weren’t strong enough so they upped the dosage of the hormone drip and have it another hour. Again I took this opportunity to have a nap. The epidural was disguising all the pain and I needed to recharge my body for the next stage; pushing!

An hour later they woke me up and told me it was time to push. They would only let me push for an hour before calling a doctor to intervene.

The pushing is where all my yoga breathing and exercise came in. I knew how to breathe in and out of the contractions and I was fit enough to put lots of effort into the pushing despite now being in labour for 13 hours with no food in me.

Even after two hours of pushing she didn’t want to come so they called the doctor who had to do a episiotomy and use the ventouse to help get her out. It was very uncomfortable but sure enough she came and my bubba was born at 8:57pm, two days after being induced.

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As you can see I went through a long process. It was so far away from the water birth plan that I had planned and spoke about at my hypnobirthing session with Marisa peer but it doesn’t matter we got there in the end and I’ve got a gorgeous girl to show for it!

Here are a few things you can do to help you prepare for labor. It was NOTHING like I expected so if it helps prepare just a few people then I’ve done my job. Good luck and don’t forget that which ever way your baby comes, the most important is that she or he is healthy and that you are safe and well too. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Marisa Peer
Marisa is not only a great friend but a great hypnotherapist who has helped me overcome fears, food addictions and also helped me stay extremely positive when trying to conceive. Just a few months before my due date I saw Marisa for a hypnobirthing session. I listened to her CD every night before being induced and during my labor too and although my labor didn’t go to plan it did helped me stay relaxed and positive. Just knowing I was one step closer to my baby when the pains intensified made it easier to cope.
To book a session with Marisa visit http://www.marisapeer.com

H3O hydration
During labor you just don’t fancy eating or drinking and if you do, then you just sick it back up again. The problem is you need energy to get through it. Fancy doing a marathon without any food? This handy powder was great. It has all the minerals and ions essential for hydration at a cellular level to create healthy hydrated cells balanced my electrolytes and really kept me hydrated throughout the 23 hours that I was in established labor.
It’s berry flavour made it easy to digest and it’s Electrolytes and Hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water was great for hydration

Swiss ball
I had the worse back pain during labor. It was just someone was pushing into my bottom and it was just so uncomfortable to sit or lay. The best position for me was to put my Swiss ball up on the bed then lean over it and just roll the ball from side to side. It helped keep my hips moving (which encourages the baby to go down the birth canal) and also let’s gravity take hold. I didn’t talk to anyone just rolled side to side and breathed in for four and out for four.

Snacks
Although I didn’t eat much once the epidural was administered I did snack when I could during the labor. Bananas (well a nibble here and there), Nakd bars and coconut water were my saviours.

Lacie

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The in’s and out’s of Breast Feeding; Does breast feeding burn calories?

At 37 weeks pregnant, things are starting to feel very real now. I’m full term and starting to get very organised for the birth and beyond.

One thing that I feel I need to be really prepared for is breast feeding. I think you need to go into the hospital with a plan of action, as it’s more than likely that the midwifes will be very keen for you to breast feed or at least TRY and breast feed before you leave for home.

One thing that really appeals to me is that breast feeding can really help you to get your pre-pregnancy body back.
According to  WebMD, you can burn up to 500 calories a day through breast feeding. The exact number of calories depends upon how frequently you breast feed and how much milk your body produces, plus as you wean, the number of calories you burn through milk production will also decrease.

Medela.com also reports that breast feeding releases a hormone called Oxytocin, which is  responsible for the contraction of the uterus and therefore helps to decrease the size of the uterus after birth. Well needed after 9 months of being stretched I’m sure!

A few essential that I’ve come across when searching for the best breast feeding clothes and accessories is this awesome set of pyjamas by Anita. The last thing I want to be doing during night feeds is getting cold and having to strip off. This pyjama top is ideal for breast feeding and the bottoms are really comfortable with a supportive and flattering waist band too. Every little helps!

PJS

I’m also a HUGE fan of the Anita nursing bras. This spotty number is really cute, soft and ideal for breast feeding, thanks to its adjustable straps and a double layered cup for extra support and comfort.
bra

Both of these items can be brought from www.anita.com – the website is well worth a visit!  

Pregnancy Reflexology – the Wonderful Keah Lan

 

keah

I’d never really considered Reflexology until I met the wonderful Keah Lan, a highly qualified wellbeing therapist and reflexologist. She was at The Mermaid Maternity Retreat press opening day way back in June, when I was just 15 weeks pregnant. There she gave me a 20 minute taster reflexology session, which just simply wasn’t long enough! I wanted longer – she was fab! The things she could tell from my feet were amazing and the treatment itself was really relaxing.

Since meeting her, we have kept in touch on Twitter and she told me to come and see her when I was in the later stage of my pregnancy and ready to help prepare my body for labor. At 37 weeks, I’m more than ready, so I went and saw her, again at the Mermaid Maternity Retreat, which is based on the Kings Road. 

Before our hour-long session, Keah explained that she would massage certain areas on my feet to help stimulate pregnancy and labor organs and help boost my energy flow. Some of these points that she would be working on can help stimulate contractions, ease any aches and pains as well as release oxytocin, a natural hormone that is responsible for again stimulating contractions and labor. Keah specialises in reflexology for fertility, labor and the postnatal period, so I knew I was in good hands. 

The whole treatment was really relaxing. Yes, there was so sore points on my feet, especially the areas that related back to my lower back (I’ve been having lower back pain – the weight in my front feels like it’s pulling my back out of balance), my digestive system (I’ve been feeling quite sick recently – almost like I’m in the first trimester again!) and also the uterus zone, which is located near your ankle bone, and needs to be loosened slightly to help relax and of course stimulate labor. But although these were slightly tender I just practised my deep breathing (thank you Pregnancy yoga classes!) and went with the flow. 

After a good hour of TLC, Keah finished with a neck and shoulder massage and told me to get on with my day as normal but take it easy. She also mentioned that another session later on in the week would be beneficial. I did relax and met my mum for a herbal tea who was really worried and kept asking me if I was going into labor. Of course I  explained that if the baby is not ready to come, the it won’t – however, there ARE certain pressure points that can be worked on to encourage or ‘prime’ your body ready for labour. Reflexology is unlikely to start labour there and then, but Keah has found that a few of her clients have naturally gone into labour within a next few days after her treatment – pretty impressive eh!? 

I’m excited to see what happens over the next few days – will I get some Braxton Hicks? Will my back pain continue to behave itself? I hope so! 

Keah also gave me some exercises to do to help my back and open my hips like the;

* Cat Stretch – which helps stretch the lower back
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* Pigeon Pose – which helps stretch the hips and thighs
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and
* The Sitting Squat pose – which again helps open up the hips and relaxes the lower back.  
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I’m going to do these everyday as well as continue to do lots of walking and my daily gym workout. You may not feel like exercising when pregnant BUT it does help open up the hips and relax the pelvic muscles. It also gets those endorphins flowing, the calming and pain-relieving hormones that can be vital during labor. 

I’ll let you know how Thursday goes at my next session 🙂 

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