Posts from the “pregnancy” Category

Loss

Posted on 7 November, 2016

Yesterday I read an article online about how the grief of miscarriage. The author spoke about how common miscarriages are and yet they remain so hidden. When I had a miscarriage in June of last year I was surprised by how many friends and family had experienced the same thing yet had never spoke of it.

The line “I boxed this all up – other people seemed to navigate it without any public displays, I thought, and so should I” rang so true with me. That line was one I thought of into the night last night.

I often question the culture of sharing our lives online. It’s something I worry about whether I will regret elements of this blog in the future. Is it healthy to navel gaze?  Is a family experience shared an experience halved? I think in many ways the answers will unfold over time and for the moment I am (mostly) proud of what I write here ( a few dodgy posts about cleaning silver aside!)

One thing I am certain of is that when you know others feel what you feel or have felt there is a comfort to that. I remember searching the internet for stories of people who had miscarried at 8 weeks. The question driving my searches was “Is it okay to be this devastated when you’ve only held the baby in your womb for 8 weeks”? I was looking for the world to say it’s okay to be sad about this. Women I know beared their losses with such grace and I was a mess.  Now I look back and tell myself I can be as devastated as I need to be.

I still grieve when I think about the baby that would have been born on the 25th of January this year. I think how it happened on our holiday in London on the day we were due to fly back home. I think about us trying to decide if we should keep waiting to see the doctor or leave to get the flight. I think about the woman with flowers saying she had the worst day ever because the bank machines were broken. I think about the month I bled as I slowly passed my baby from me. I think about it all I grieve for the baby and for what could have been but I am okay.

In an attempt to not box it all up and to add my voice to the that of the thousands of women who have been devastated I will share with you a poem I wrote a year ago. There is something so naff and a little cringe worth about amateur poetry but at the time it made sense to write it. Letting myself be sad was the only thing I needed to do at the time. I am more than a little nervous posting this so please be kind and if you can’t be kind then please don’t say anything at all!!

 

A seed, a grain, a blueberry

I never needed a food size to know your being

I imagined you in me with clarity and certainty

I pictured you all the way into my arms

I knew you were coming and I longed for you

But my body never told me we were to be parted

Slowly but with intent she pushed you from me

She slid you from me and rid herself of you

Now, I curl my body to mimic your shape and I drown

I choke on sour thoughts and bile

All the while I grasp for a breathe that doesn’t come

I need you back my darling

I need you back

Too precious for this world, too cruel a thing to happen

I dream of blood and my throat feels the familiar tightening

Again I drown in tears that rise from nowhere and fix nothing

You are lost to me

and for now I am lost to you too.

_______________

I possibly should have warned you, it’s bloody miserable. A year later I remember the sadness as if it was yesterday. I still grieve, I still cry but now I live and love too.

Follow Me. It will be fun!

1st Pregnancy versus this time round

Posted on 15 March, 2016

As some of you may know I LOVED  my first pregnancy. As this pregnancy moves on (I’m 30 weeks now) I’m noticing some distinct differences between my first and second pregnancy.

1) During my first pregnancy I could have been categorised myself as a keen over-sharer. I would seek people out to talk to about being pregnant. When I exhausted my family, friends, colleagues and  neighbours with details of how I was feeling about everything pregnancy related I turned my attention to strangers. A stranger might innocently comment ” Oh when’s the big day?” Only to get greeted with a barrage of information” It’s the 18th of April. I’ve been feeling really well. Well, actually I had a bout of sickness at the start ( I was sick once and liked to tell everyone!) but I’m feeling much better. We don’t know the sex but for some reason I think it’s a girl ( I was wrong) We’re getting the room ready now. We’ve done the ante natal classes in the hospital and I’m trying out hypnobirthing too. Have you heard of it? No, well  let me tell you all about it…. “. The poor unsuspecting stranger who only popped out to Dunnes for milk got a blow by blow account of my pregnancy, my birthing plan and room colour choices.

This time around I’m struggling to remember I’m pregnant. Recently, someone asked me the same question”When’s the big day?”. My head raced, I’m not getting married, who is getting married that I know. Helen is. They don’t know Helen why is this stranger asking me when Helen is getting married. What big day, what are the talking about. Seeing the complete confusion on my face they asked “When is the baby due?” Once the penny dropped  I eventually replied “Ooohhh, The 23rd of May”. Despite the fact that it’s now the middle of March I’m still insisting that it’s ages away and that I have plenty of time to be thinking baby at some stage!

2) At 30 weeks pregnant in my first pregnancy babies room looked like this …

IMG_2636

 

Walls were being dry lined and painted. Vintage floor boards were sourced to replace the wonky ones. Nightly debates about colour palettes were part of the routine. We had more unisex baby grows than Mothercare, all ready to go into the newly purchased Ikea dresser.

With this pregnancy I have bought one adorable baby grow  despite the fact that for some reason we threw out most of Ewan’s old ones. This lonely baby grow  lives in the utility room under a bag of potatoes because we don’t yet have a drawer cleared for babies things. Baby will be sleeping in our room and we assume that all the pieces of the crib are somewhere to be found in the attic.

Despite the facts that we’re not in full throttle preparation mode and that the bump is significantly unphotographed in comparison to the first pregnancy I still get a little belly flop of giddiness any time I say “family of four!”.

For babies part he or she is making sure their place at the table  is being set in my mind. Wriggling, stretching,kicking and bouncing  his or her way through the day and night. Life is busy with a nearly three year old but the little life in my belly makes sure that they draw my mind back to them with their extremely athletic activities!

IMAG1518 (1)-001

Hasty 30 week snap shot!

Some news

Posted on 3 February, 2016

After months of biting my tongue I can now finally get back to blogging without the urge to blurt it all out! I am delighted to tell you that I am 24 weeks pregnant and eating constantly! We are thrilled and looking forward to the end of May with excitement and a big tinge of trepidation at the idea of suddenly being a family of four.

We had an early miscarriage at 8 weeks in June last year. It knocked the wind out of me and it has meant that I met the news of this pregnancy with worry clouding the excitement. But as time has gone on I have very slowly started to trust that it’s going to be okay. For the last few weeks I have started to feel confident in my body again.

Here are a few photos from when I was 19 weeks pregnant. I took photos then because I was having a good hair day! Plus I decided if I was going to brave maternity dungarees then I might as well commit fully and put the pictures on the internet!

IMG_3275 2

 

IMG_3277

 

IMG_3271

Ewan is fully on board (in theory!) When we first told him he came out with stories that I wasn’t going to have a baby I was going to have a fish. Or there was another version where he conceded I was going to have a baby but the baby would have antlers. Since then we’ve taken him to see a scan and confirmed there’s no fish or antlers. Now runs up to cuddle the bump which is both surprising and cute. He also has taken to talking to the baby in voice much like this whale voiceWe have no idea where that came from but it I hope he keeps it up!

IMAG1195

 

 

Follow Me. It will be fun!

Do or don’t love your lines

Posted on 27 August, 2014

15 days ago two mums started something that  makes me feel disgusting and like celebrating all at the same time. Love your Lines is an Instagram account with a tag line of  “Two moms celebrating real women, real bodies and real self love.”   It asks followers to send pictures of their lined body parts via email, and offers them the choice to remain anonymous or to give a caption with their photo.

love your lines

instagram.com/loveyourlines

The reaction to the account has been huge with the account gaining 40,000 followers in just over two weeks.  It’s being hailed as a revolution! While I’m not sure it’s a revolution it is a simple idea that does so many wonderful things.

In the weeks after Ewan was born I felt like nobody had stretch marks like mine. I had never seen other real life women’s stretch marks. When a friend tried to show me hers I struggled to see what I was looking at while mine shone in bright red.  Now, when so many images flood my instagram feed I start to feel more normal. When stretch marks are hidden and the only images you see are that of beautiful bikini-clad celebrities six weeks after giving birth you start to feel like the freak. I felt it was right to want to hide my body because it certainly didn’t look like the rest of the bodies I saw everywhere.

Even if my top rode up I would feel panic that someone might have glimpsed what lay beneath.  I know for certain that I would have felt less shocked if I had seen more images of stretch marks on real life bodies. Many of the images I had seen of stretch marks were “before and after” images. They were designed to show you the “nasty”  picture (which is what mine looked like) and the smoother “fixed” image.  Love your Lines offers me,and anyone interested, another view of women’s bodies. One that isn’t photo-shopped or false. One where women share their image as an act of confidence and even defiance to the mass media singular image of the ideal woman.

That’s all good, right?

So why do I feel a little disgusting?

There is something about the account makes me squirm. Initially, I couldn’t pin point it but  I’ve realised I feel like a voyeur. Yes, the images are put up voluntarily but part of me can’t help thinking that I’m objectifying these women just to a different standard than how I objectify women in a magazine.

By cropping images to focus solely on stretch marks the woman is no longer in the picture. Her stretch marks are the object. Her head is removed , the  rest of body is removed, and while there may be a caption about how her marks came into being, her body and her marks are the objects of the viewers eyes.  She is reduced to her image and reduced further to the image of a small part of her body.

When I shared my stretch marks on here on the blog it didn’t feel like objectification to me because I shared those images here, where I share so much more about myself. They are not images on their own they are part of the wider picture of me.  I’ve shared the ups and downs of being a mum, my love of Arklow pottery, my misadventures with bluebells and my body is another part of that.

The images in Love your Lines are intimate but the women remain strangers, objects rather than active subjects. The pictures aren’t sexual but they are intimate. Intimate images flooding my feed, with or without stretch marks, makes me a little uncomfortable. But not so uncomfortable that I want to look away. So like a well trained voyeur I keep looking.

I’m a follower of Love your Line.  I clicked follow to feed my preoccupation with stretch marks.

As the days go by and I see more and more submissions to Love your Lines I am becoming less and less interested. At the start I would examine the images, compare them to my own stretch marks, read the womens’ captions. Now the marks are becoming more common place, I’m acquainted with so many different types of stretch marks that they no longer surprise me. The voyeur in me is no longer getting a jolt of surprise by the images and objectifying the women to compare them to me seems redundant when so many people have such similar marks to my own.

An exciting possibility of social media, and of sharing real life images on blogs, is that it might make bodies so objectified, so scrutinized, that it becomes insignificant. We might at some point see so many stretch marks that we no longer care, see so many post surgery bodies that we are no longer surprised, we might see so many #fatkini’s, #stretchies and #selfies that we become immune.

We might at some point have seen it all before and even stop bothering about what others look like. now that would be a pretty decent rebellion!

Follow Me. It will be fun!

Stretch Marks

Posted on 16 July, 2014

 

Yesterday I read this blog post about a woman who put up pictures of herself in her bikini. She describes it as “It was meant as a positive body image post … one that would hopefully inspire some of my readers to think blimey, if Kate has the courage to wear a bikini when she’s a size 18 woman who’s had 2 children, and she’s not ashamed, then maybe I will too.”

Her article was picked up by a larger forum and she got some great support and negativity. She wrote a response post to the reaction she got and as I read on it was this paragraph that spurred me to run upstairs throw on my bikini and write the post I’ve wanted to write for a while…

“We should all be talking about how we feel about our bodies, and encourage each other, not disparage and judge so, if I may … could I possibly ask the writers amongst you to think about putting down your own thoughts about this subject in your own blog post (or even just on paper if you don’t blog).”

You can read her full article here and her bikini post here.

So here it goes, my thoughts on my post baby body.

When Ewan was first born I was all the usual things of excited,scared, in awe, in love and mixed in with all that  was grief. I looked at my body and felt grief. Where was my other body, the one I had before. Someone had drawn lines all over this one I want my old body back. When I was pregnant I didn’t care about the stretch marks. I felt full, abundant and as the marks grew I knew my baby was growing. Once he was born and for months afterwards the marks were all I could see.

I  felt shamed, not shamed about my body but shamed that I was even thinking about my body. I had this beautiful baby boy. Any positive image posts that I read online about a post-baby body were centered around gratitude. You have your baby be grateful. Aren’t you so lucky? Bodies are amazing, be grateful. As well as the gratitude tale I came across the tiger stripes image, again and again. I hated this image.

stretch marks

Image source

The same image is also used in ads for surgery but without the text written across her stomach. I left the tigers where they were and started looking for creams, lotions, potions that would get rid of my stretch marks. I read hundreds of product reviews online, watched endless you tube reviews.

I have stretch marks nearly everywhere thighs, legs,bum. belly, hips,boobs. I felt that nobody else  had it as me, that I was the only one and comparison to other stretch mark images just made me more convinced. But I was also determined it wasn’t too late. The creams I had used during pregnancy were cast aside and I started squandering a fortune on more expensive creams with definitive statements like “Goodbye Stretch Marks”.

When these didn’t work I started to look into laser surgery. I would lose sleep over how I would rid myself of these marks.

But as time went on I needed my sleep more. Exhaustion kicked in and I just slept. When I was awake I was busy. Ewan was growing, I had set up this blog and the Etsy shop. I now spent my time thinking about whether or not to go back to work and wondering if it was it the right call for me and my newly fledged family. Life took over.

A year later the stretch marks are still there. I never got that laser surgery. I wish I had some feminist cry, I am woman, I love my stretch marks. Or maybe something catchier than that!

The truth is I don’t love them. I wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t there. But I also don’t hate them. I’m coming not to care. My body has squiggly lines on it, some are still purple, some are fading, both are okay with me.

I don’t regret obsessing about them. I do wish I was nicer to myself in those first few months after Ewan was born. I didn’t have to be ashamed that I was thinking about my body. I think I needed to look at them over and over. I needed to care for them by rubbing cream into them. I was, and still am, eternally grateful that I have a healthy boy  but that doesn’t mean the things that used to matter to me suddenly disappear. I am no less grateful because I worry about my body.

 The stretch marks became the part of me that was most cared for. I gave them attention and ignored the rest of me. They’ve had their time now. They can stay or they can fade but I’m glad to say I don’t mind.

If you’ve read all this way thank you.

I would have skipped to the pictures!

Let’s start with a very nervous looking me…

IMG_5183-001


IMG_5184-002 I’m still nervous but I’ve delayed hitting the “publish post” button long enough. Here we go…

IMG_5189-002

Follow Me. It will be fun!

Birth Story

Posted on 16 April, 2014

Firstly, let me say when I was pregnant I read a thousand birth stories, well maybe 50, but I read a lot. I was always a bit nervous when I would get half way through and things would take a turn for the worse. 

So before I start let me say that in this birth story there is unexpected blood, things do take a turn, what I expected to happen didn’t happen but it all ends well.

If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea or you’re heavily pregnant and want only read things about babies floating to the top of a birth pool after a few gentle breaths I completely understand, I can highly recommend closing the computer and having a ginger tea with a slice of lemon cake instead.

For those of you that haven’t clicked away here we go. Let’s get comfy.

16/04/2013

This day last year it was two days before my due date and I went for a run of the mill appointment at the midwife outreach clinic. The appointment started off like all the rest until they checked my protein levels, they then started to focus on my blood pressure and my swollen ankles. The midwife then called for a second midwife. They announced to me that they strongly suspected I had pre-eclampsia.

After a million birth stories and nine months of google I was familiar with pre-eclampsia. For those of you that aren’t wikipedia says

 “Pre-eclampsia or preeclampsia is a multi system disorder characterized by high blood pressure and significant amounts of protein in the urine of a pregnant woman…If left untreated, it can develop into eclampsia, the life-threatening occurrence of seizures during pregnancy… part from Caesarean section or induction of labor (and therefore delivery of the placenta), there is no known cure. It is the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications; it may affect both the mother and fetus.”

Everything I had heard was equally as blunt and negative. I was told I would have to go straight to hospital, do not pass go, do not collect €100. (I’ve added the monopoly reference, they were much more poker faced).


So off we went. I was regretting not having eaten before the appointment but other than that I was feeling pretty positive.


Yes, I possibly had pre-eclampsia but this is the end of the pregnancy, if I had to get it late pregnancy is better than early pregnancy. Plus they are not ignoring it, there are no unknown complications. They know what is happening and they are acting fast. Great, lets go.


So we went to the emergency room of Cork University Maternity Hospital as instructed. They did further tests, Steve and I had oat bars from the shop because everything else was closed and they confirmed I had pre-eclampsia. I was told they wanted to keep me in hospital and they applied a gel to try and get things started.


I was moved to the induction ward and we started the “wait and see if labour starts” game. I call it a game but it really just involves, walking when they make you, reading and chatting. Steve was sent home at 11 o’clock and I settled in to my bed in a 5 bed ward filled with beepy machines and extreme heat. I was a bit worried that I would have the baby before Steve could make it back. Ha, I really didn’t have to worry about that!


Steve came back first thing (17/04/2013) and we waited. I had some pains throughout the night and I was feeling very capable of managing this pain thing! They encouraged me to walk but not to leave the ward, so with ankles the size of small countries I waddled my way up and down the corridor. In between we sat and chatted, I preferred this part to the walking.


Everyone in the induction room went to have their babies. I waited. New people arrived and they too went to have their babies. I waited. The midwives were lovely and everyone was very calm. I was feeling giddy but I wanted everyone else to stop leaving to have their babies. They reassured me that the baby was doing really really well and we all waited. 


Later that morning I started to feel a few more pains, stronger than before but still very manageable. As the pains increased I felt more excitement. We talked with the midwife and agreed that I would have a shower sitting on the birth ball for a while and then move to the birth pool.  In Cork Maternity Hospital they don’t allow you to give birth in the birth pool but you can labour there as long as you agree to come out when they tell you too, no messing! Strange and false advertising with the name “birth” pool but either way the idea of a shower and the birth pool felt like heaven. 

As I stood up to go to the bathroom Steve noticed that I had bleed on my dressing gown. We called the midwife and she said it was a small amount of blood that it was fine and she would go to get the birth ball for me to sit on in the shower. Great. A little scare but okay the plans are still the same.

I then went to the bathroom and a very large clot of blood came away. Now I was frightened. I called Steve. We both stood over the toilet bowl looking at it. We debated whether or not we should call the midwife to look or flush and tell her. I decided to face the weirdness head on and Steve called the midwife. The three of us stood for a second looking at the toilet bowl. 


Then the midwife moved quickly. “Wait there, I need to get someone”. Steve and I stood nervously waiting. She arrived with more midwives. Then they all the midwives moved quickly. They decided a doctor was needed. Now the doctor, three midwives, a junior doctor, Steve and I were gathered around the toilet bowl. 

I was moved back to the bed and hooked up to machines for monitoring. The shower dream was gone. 


I was then told they needed to break my waters. This was done very badly. I was frightened at this point. What was happening? They were focused on moving things on but I wanted to know what was going on? The doctor who did the sweep to break my waters was ill-mannered and she took several abrupt attempts before managing to sweep my membranes. She did not explain why this was suddenly urgent and she was not gentle at a time when a little care was needed.


I told her that she had hurt me, gave her a stern “oww” and my trademark evil eyes. If you have ever been on the receiving end of my evil eyes you’ll know what I’m talking about! I never saw her again. 


So with my waters broken the birth pool dream was gone and the machines beeped on. 

The wonderful midwives explained the situation to me at this point. I was in a bit of a head spin so I don’t recall exactly (Steve is much the same but recalls that things suddenly seemed serious rather than just slow).


The gist was my pre-eclampsia wasn’t going away and while baby was doing great for the moment they would be happier if things were moved on. Bleeds like these happen but they can’t be sure that everything will remain okay for the baby which is why they prefer to move things on. After they broke my waters we waited. I was trying to stay relaxed at this point. 


I had read so much about the ideal gentle birth, the nasty big hospital interfering in what should be a natural process, doctors scheduling unnecessary caesareans so they could leave in time for golf games. I think this gave me a prejudice against the doctors. When the doctors were around I felt things were serious. I felt at risk of being whisked to theater when there wasn’t a real needed because the hospital would prefer if I moved on. 

The reality was that this wasn’t a nice and easy birth. It wasn’t horrific by any means but I needed to be in hospital. I remember thinking that if I had seen that blood clot in my own bathroom while I waited to get into a birthing pool in my sitting room I would have completely freaked out. I was glad I was in the hospital. When the midwives were around I felt their confidence, I felt their experience, I heard their reassurances, they explained how well the baby was doing and slowly I started to feel safe again. 


As the theme of the story is waiting, we waited. It’s still the 17/04/2013 some time in the day. There were more pains. I insisted that Steve count aloud to five for five in breathes and again to five for my out breath through each contraction. I’m pretty sure this made us the most hated people in the 5 bed induction ward (oh yes we are still there) but as everyone kept leaving to have their babies I had little sympathy for them! 

The pains were increasing but there was no progress other than that so after a few hours they hooked me up to a drip of synthetic oxytocin. I was hopeful that this would be the final push needed. Prior to the drip I would say I was in intermittent discomfort. They were definite labour pains but they were very manageable.

Once the drip started the pains got much more regular and stronger.They were no definitely pains not discomforts. I thought well this had to be it. This had to be the real deal. They left me alone (hooked up to monitoring machines) for a few hours and just looked in every now and again. This was reassuring .I thought the bleed panic had worn off and we were back to waiting and seeing (while being monitored and hoping the drip was going to do it’s job).

It was a number of hours later (late evening on the 17th of April ) and they decided to see how many centimeters I had dilated. The pains were strong and I was extremely hopeful. I had moved from discomfort on the night of the 16th all the way through the night to now strong pains late on the 17th. I would have guessed, never having a baby before that I must have been about 5 cm. The midwife checked and announce I was 1 to 2 cm. 

I dismissed the one cm announcement that was clearly a lie! But only 2. My heart sank. I was exhausted. I was now awake for over 36 hours. Sleeping with the contractions now was not an option. I was happy to hold out if I felt I was nearly half way but at 2cm (ignoring the possible one) there was no way I could stay awake long enough to get all the way to ten cm, particularly if it all went this slowly.

From that point on I tried every pain relief they offered. Gas and air, sure, pethidin sure, tens machine, sure. Thinking back I was choosing the epidural but I didn’t want to be the first one to mention it. I wanted to sleep so badly. The thought of the epidural would wave over me at every contradiction but I didn’t want to say it.

I had said I was open to whatever way it would go but when it came to it I wanted to be the bravest of the brave, I wanted to have my baby naturally, I worried that as soon as I had the epidural they would decide that I should have a caesarean section. I wasn’t in the birth pool like I had hoped, I hadn’t even showered like I had wanted to, the monitors beeped constantly and as I looked at my hands and legs swelling even further I didn’t want to be the one to say hit me with the good drugs please. 

But sure enough another a few hours later and 40 or so hours of being awake they came to measure me again and I was still 2 cm. Eventually, another while later they offered me the epidural. I looked at Steve and asked what he thought. Whatever you want was the answer and I thought yes I really really really want the epidural. 

And then it happened. It didn’t hurt like I had thought it would and suddenly no pain. We were moved to the delivery suite, finally goodbye to the 5 bed ward with beepy machines I’m off to have my baby!

Well not quiet but either way I was out. I was assigned a midwife, so there was no more sea of faces. Gerti was my lady. She was my gal. Having never met her before I came to trust her completely. She was a lay everything out and get everything ready just in case kinda gal. She brought me iced water that was like the nectar of the gods.  We talked and she relayed our agreement “we don’t want a caesarean but if the baby or you gets in trouble we may have to”. I signed forms to say yes do whatever you need to do. She explained how the pre-eclampsia might effect the baby and explained about how I was doing. 

In summary baby super good but this can change fast with pre-eclampsia. As for me well my blood pressure was high, I was swollen like a balloon but nothing was too worrying but they were keeping a really close eye.  She was as straight up as they come. No dancing around the issue with Gerti. She was also warm and encouraging.

It was now the wee hours of the 18th of April and I could get some sleep. Sweet sweet sleep. I went to sleep and I was dilated 4 cm. I woke up many hours later to be 8cm. Great Gerti said “let’s get ready to have your baby”. She prepped the tray for surgery just in case.

I thought you had to be 10cm I exclaimed thinking that she had forgotten this important fact. “You will be by the time we are ready”.

Yikes it’s go time.

Steve had slept on the most uncomfortable seat beside me but had been revived by the tea and toast Gerti had brought him. So we were both ready. We looked at each other in that raised eyebrow, wide eyed let’s go kind of way and it suddenly it all got exciting again. More midwives arrived. One for the baby another for the post baby stuff and of course my Gerti. Gerti told the doctor that the baby was doing fine so we were going to try and do this without a caesarean but the surgeon should be ready. The doctor was happy to follow Gerti’s lead and left us to it.

All of a sudden it was pushing time. Gerti asked me to put my hand on my leg and push. I remember looking at my swollen arm and leg and being horrified. I had been swollen before but suddenly I looked like I was hooked up to a helium machine. Trying to ignore my giant rugby legs I pushed as I was told. I leaned into Gerti and I squeezed Steve’s hand. Gerti was incredibly supportive and when one of the midwives returned and asked how I was doing she said amazingly, she is a fantastic pusher and it’s all happening nice and quickly. 

I was elated. Whether or not she meant it I thought I’m doing it right. I’m doing it right! 

And so in what felt like ten minutes (apparently an hour from the first push) there he was. A beautiful baby boy. Cleaner than I thought he would be, not a girl like I thought he would be, making a little cry like I longed to hear. 

Now a year later I am welling up with tears but at the time I didn’t cry at all. This is from a lady who cried at a baton twirler in Britain’s Got Talent!

At the time I remember feeling really calm and confident. Much like when we found out first that I was pregnant. I didn’t feel the cinematic rush I just felt secure and strangely practically minded. Here we are the three of us. Great, let’s do this family thing! 

After a bit of time of him lying on my and me and Steve staring intently at him they took him to weigh him and make sure all was well. They weighed his 8 pounds,9.5 ounce body and counted his fingers and toes out loud which I thought was very cute!

In a flash he came back to us wrapped in his crocodile baby grow with his tiny baby hat ready for us to stare at him intently all over again. About twenty minutes after he was born I breast fed him and luckily he was enthusiastic about his food and it all went well.


There were no Devandra Banhart Lp’s swirling in the background, I didn’t give birth in a birth pool in my sitting room, there were no doula’s, there were plenty of machines, there were drugs and a catheter yet somehow it all felt so natural. 

I was unlucky to be a little unwell but I was lucky enough to have a team of people at hand who cared for me and my baby who were willing to wait but acted when they needed to.

Gerti’s shift was finished but she waited around to make sure everything was okay before she left. She was amazing, a force of confidence and I’m forever grateful for her support. But not as grateful as I am to have had my ever calm Steve by my side and a new baby Ewan who waited until it was exactly his due date to greet us. When the panic set in the outside world he just stayed calm and waited until I was rested before making his entrance. 

The perfect gent from the start, just like his Dad.

Follow Me. It will be fun!

Baby Series

Posted on 28 February, 2014

 

121313161718 192020212223 232424232528 26272728

 

Click here to see the full Baby Series.

 

After much indecision I decided to share my baby bump photos.I feel very self-conscious about the collection because I took them ever before I thought of having a blog. They were only meant for me and I considered keeping them that way.

When I was pregnant I really enjoyed looking at maternity series. In the series I choose to follow the women or their partners were photographers and the beautiful women in them looked so perfect with wondrous hair, a glowing tan, toned arms and shapely legs.

Looking at their photos was my way of eagerly anticipating the fullness of pregnancy that was yet to come but sometimes the perfection of the women and their images left me feeling lacking.

So I thought I’d share my less than perfect photos, snapped in supermarkets, car parks, in front of the bedroom mirror, at a fancy dress party and anywhere I remembered.

They are random photos ranging from when I was fascinated by the size of fruit or vegetable the baby was, all the way to pre-eclampsia ending in the best outcome I could ever have hoped for, beautiful healthy baby Ewan.

Click on any of the images above for the full set (apologies if it doesn’t work so well on a mobile!).

Follow Me. It will be fun!

I LOVED being pregnant

Posted on 16 October, 2013

Recently a friend asked me if I liked being pregnant. I enthusiastically answered that I LOVED it. I absolutely loved being pregnant. This is not unusual, a lot of people love it but I never thought I would. As I teenager, and even in my twenties, I insisted that I was never going to have children, never ever. If I managed to stretch my imagination to having a baby I thought of pregnancy as a phase to be endured, something that women just had to put up with.

So once Steve and I decided to try for a baby I started to worry about how I would feel if I actually got pregnant. Would I still feel enthusiastic if it was a reality rather than an idea?

Well, the answer came when I did a pregnancy test while we were on holiday in the camping site bathroom in Cape Clear, a little island of the south west coast of Ireland.

It was a miserable day, we weren’t sure if the ferry was going to run as there was a heavy storm the night before. But the ferry did run and we bounced across the sea for 45 minutes. We piled our stuff into the yurt and I went straight to the bathroom with my pregnancy test in hand.

When I came back to the yurt I waited with Steve for the result. When it read pregnant I felt … calm.

I was thrilled, of course, a little disbelieving ( a second test was done) but overall calm, peaceful even. As I mentioned before I’m a worrier. So I would have guessed that news such as this would have sent me into a tail spin of worry and “what if’s”.

But it didn’t. It all felt right, really right.
.

When I made the big announcement Steve, who was still recovering from sea sickness, he said “great, ah sure we knew that though didn’t we” and with that he put the kettle on for celebratory cuppa tea. (I am still confused by how he was so confident).

We lit a fire (yes, the yurt had a stove, it was amazing!) Steve and I sat for the evening with the rain bashing against the yurt talking about what it would all be like, growing a baby, the sleepless nights to come, how our collective poor vision means our child would definitely need glasses,  were there any twins in our families, all the important things:)

And so began being pregnant and I loved it,.