LABOUR UNCUT TAKE TWO – KELLAN TREVOR POHE PATTERSON’S BIRTH STORY

 

The day I was absolutely dreading because it was my second time round and I knew exactly what I was in for, the day we spend 40 weeks waiting for – Labour. Again, it will be honest and it will be raw so only read if you enjoy the good the bad and the truth behind labour, well my labour.

It was early hours of Saturday the 2nd of September. I had taken my massive pregnant self out to the lounge to sleep on the couch for a few reasons. I was super uncomfortable and the couch seemed like a better option, I had crazy insomnia and Ben’s snoring was next level because he had a cold.

I woke up around 4am and went to the bathroom for what felt like 100th time that night. However, this time I noticed I was starting to lose my mucous plug. I went into full panic mode. Last time with Harlee-Jae, I started losing my mucous plug and she arrived five or so hours later. So obviously, I thought that’s going to happen again! I went in and woke Ben up, stressing that I was not ready for this baby! I still had so much to do. I was meant to have three more weeks! Ben managed to calm me down and assured me I was not having a baby right then and there and we would sort it and he was right. No baby came and I could relax again.

All day on the Saturday, I was so uncomfortable. I quickly regretted wishing he would not come and thought how am I going to do this for three more weeks. I had no signs of contractions all day and had stopped losing my mucous plug; I thought it must have all been in my head.

I had not started anything to naturally bring on labour as I did with Harlee except drinking red raspberry leaf tea on the 1st of September. However if you do want some tips on what I have tried, head over to Harlee-Jae’s Birth Story to hear what I did try with her!

Sunday the 3rd of September had arrived – Father’s day! I had woken up and had diarrhoea and some slight cramping – very similar to the morning that Harlee came. I said to Ben, I think I may have a baby tonight. He thought I was all shit because of my meltdown in the middle of the night hah. I rang my mum who was heading to Palmerston North for the day, which is two hours away from where we live. I was in two minds about this, I wanted her to go because what if I didn’t have a baby but then what if I did go into labour!? I need my mum if I am having a baby today! However, I told her to go because I did not think he would come until early hours of the next morning.

It was Ben’s first father’s day so it was a chilled morning for us to just enjoy it as a family. Around 11am Ben and I kind of got the same thought and said we should get organised just in case this baby does come? So, that’s exactly what we did. They say we women nest but seriously, I believe Ben was nesting hah! My typical male partner, who isn’t into the cleaning scene whatsoever, was into it! He did the lawns, he cleaned out the laundry, he washed the inside and outside of the car and got little man’s capsule and base sorted into the car. While he smashed that, I smashed the inside of the house – Kitchen, bathroom, sheet changing, vacuuming, bag packing etc. We were on a serious roll!

I then rang my dad who would be on Harlee duty IF I were to go into labour. So, off I shot around to his house to drop off the porta cot, just in case. Dad had visitors who looked at me thinking naaaaaaa, she’s not having a baby today. It was about 2.30pm when I said to Ben, I think my contractions are every hour now. Funny how it was my second time around and I still was questioning if I was going into labour and if I was really having contractions!

My mum then text at 3pm saying we are leaving now. She rang and said to me, I just have a feeling that we need to come back now and that is when I said to her ‘Thank fucking god because this baby is definitely coming’. Ben and I got all bags packed and the boot loaded up. All of Harlee’s bags and other things were packed and her car seat was moved into my Grandad’s car and she was ready to go with him to my dad’s once I was ready to go.

4pm hit and I text mum telling her she needs to hurry up. I think I was in denial and my contractions were actually happening every 20 minutes at this point and things were progressing very quickly. I rang my midwife and because we had to travel an hour north to Base Hospital because of my history of haemorrhaging, she said I needed to let her know when contractions were 10 minutes apart.

This next hour waiting for my mum, was the longest hour of my life. I could feel my contractions getting closer and the clock was not going any faster. Finally, they arrived just after 5pm. We packed Harlee up and sent her off to my dad’s and little did she know next time she would see us, she would have a little brother too! I do think she knew something was up though; she was not having a bar of Ben and I and couldn’t have been happier to get out of the house.

Once she was gone, I finally sat down to time my contractions properly so I knew where I was at. I had figured they were around 8-10 minutes apart so on the phone I got again to my midwife and we were off to Hawera Maternity to meet her in half an hour.

6pm hit and it was kind of like dejavu! We arrived at Hawera Maternity. It was nearly a whole year ago that I was walking into this place with no idea what was ahead of me. Only this time, I knew full well the pain that was coming for me! Just like with Harlee, I walked in as normal as could be so the other midwife on said to my midwife – she is not in labour!

I was popped on the monitor for a while just to make sure baby was still happy in there. Then it was that fun time for an internal! And just like that, I was five and a half centimetres dilated – woohoo! My midwife went and sorted out the ambulance and brought me a MASSIVE pad to sit on. When I say massive, I’m talking like a bloody surfboard! But she had told me my waters were right there and ready to pop so the pad aka surfboard was just to help absorb it if my waters were to break on the ambulance ride! I got out of my clothes and into a hospital gown because I really could not have given a shit what I was wearing when I was about to have a baby.

Because of my postpartum haemorrhage with Harlee, I also had to have a IV line in, just in case. However, my veins are extremely hard to see, you would have more luck finding water in the Sahara desert! My midwife got a nurse from A&E to come down and tackle my veins to try to make it a reasonably fast process… She could have not been more bloody wrong! When the nurse first arrived, I heard her say ‘oh I will give it a go’. First off, her confidence was not there so she should have turned around and got someone else! I was already in labour with contractions hitting hard and fast and I really wanted to get on our way because I did not want to have a baby in the ambulance! So the sooner we got to New Plymouth the better!

The nurse came in and probably spent the next 10 minutes examining my veins, saying the same old thing over and over. She then thought she would give it a go in my right arm. She sat down, stole my pillow, got a chair and sat down. I was about ready to offer her a cup of bloody tea hah! She then prepped my arm and took her time flicking my vein and all sorts of other things. After wasting another 20 minutes, decided this arm was not going to work for her so moved over to my left arm and repeated everything all over again. Except this time, the midwives had come in and she had an audience! Obviously this did not help her confidence and she went straight through my bloody vein – that made for a beauty of bruise the next day! I could see her confidence was at an all time low and my patience was wearing very thin. Back to my right arm she went, taking her jolly good time all over again and refusing to put the big needle in, in case she stuffed it up again. Finally, after using the little needle rather than the big and wasting soooooo much time she got it in!

Finally it was time to get into the ambulance! On the bed I got, and all set up and ready to go. I quickly remembered how small an ambulance was and was determined to not have a baby in there! My midwife and Ben jumped in the ambulance with me and my mum and her partner followed very close behind.

Following Lacey up to Base in the Ambulance Sunday 3rd of September 2017 before Kellan was born

Ben and my midwife talked and talked the whole way up. It was great for me because the constant conversation was a good distraction. It was pitch black outside and I could not see a thing – thank god! I had no idea where I was so the whole time I kept my legs tightly crossed and got through my contractions hoping for no baby just yet.

I said to my midwife, I am starting to feel some serious pressure down there. She later told me we were only about 10 minutes away from the hospital but she didn’t want to tell me that then in case I wanted to push.

We got to the hospital finally around 8.30pm. My mum and her partner were already in the birthing suite waiting for me to come in. I went in and they could not believe how calm I was – that was the one thing I really wanted to do this time, I knew it would be a lot easier for me if I kept calm and did not stress. My midwife told them that I was so calm coming up throughout my contractions that you would not have even known I was in labour.

I went to the loo, we all just took our time to get settled in and then I knew it was nearly time. I asked for gas and I was determined to get it this time! I couldn’t figure out how to breath and suck on the gas when I had Harlee but this time it was bloody good! My contractions were super close and I was feeling ready to push!

I kept cool, calm, collected, and kept on chatting away to everyone. My midwife then said, your waters are going to break any minute now and probably hit that wall over there and then I will be catching a baby about here! Sure enough a few minutes after the tsunami otherwise known as my waters, it burst and after a super quick three minutes of pushing, out flew Master Kellan Trevor Pohe Patterson and 9.05pm on the 3rd of September 2017.

Straight away, I was hooked up to a machine for four hours of drugs to keep my bleeding at bay. There was no hesitation to whether I was haemorrhaging or not, they just got me all connected to be safe. I did not haemorrhage because they were super organised but I still did bleed more than your average person – so it was for the best that we made the mad dash up to Taranaki Base Hospital.

Just like that, our hearts had grown that little bit bigger. Our new addition was here 3 weeks earlier than we thought he would be but we would not have had it any other way! We all had cuddles and photos taken and before we knew it, it was nearly midnight. My mum and her partner headed back to Hawera and Ben was allowed to stay with me. I was running off adrenaline and could not sleep. After that long four hours of having drugs through the IV line, I was finally all good to be taken off and allowed to have a shower – If you have had a baby, you will agree that first shower is amazing and makes you feel so good! If you have not had a baby, trust me you will love the first shower, even if it feels like your vag is hanging down to your knees, hah!

As crazy as it sounds, the second time around was definitely easier than the first for me. It was absolutely petrifying knowing what pain I was in for but it also helped me know what to expect so it was easier to keep calm – this was my one goal this time and I think I did it! My midwife joked that I would be no good for students to come and watch my labour to put them off getting pregnant as teenagers, because I make it look far too easy, hah!

I hope you enjoyed my birth story, take two and remember you can also check out my first birth story here. Hopefully this hasn’t scared the daylights out of you if you’re expecting but I hope it has given you a little bit of an idea of how labour can play out – even though yours could be completely different! Check back in a fortnight to see the latest blog post, in the meantime come and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with us in-between blog posts!

Lace xxx

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HOSPITAL BAG MUST HAVES

Your due date may be quickly approaching like mine and you may be left asking yourself, what do I really need to pack? I know this was a big question of mine with my first pregnancy. Second time round, I am hoping to be slightly better with my packing so I thought I’d share with you all what my hospital bag must haves are.

I have narrowed down my packing into four different bags with also an extras list that may or may not suit you. Also have given a bit of a mum hack at the end if you want to take an easy way out of packing some of the essentials!

So let’s start with the beginning! Labour bag. Believe it or not, it is smart to have a certain bag packed just for labour! It doesn’t need to be massive, it will just contain a few crucial things.

  • Drink

Have a water bottle handy so you can keep refilling it as you please if need be. I also found I felt like some sort of juice so wish I had something like powerade on hand for the first labour!

  • Phone Charger

You may not need it but it is better to have it! Especially if you are due, a phone upgrade like myself and your battery dies after a few hours. You want to be able to let all your loved ones know when your bundle of joy arrives!

  • Snacks

I did not have time for snacks the first time round but who knows for the second time! It is also handy to have some snacks on hand for partner and whoever else may be present at your birth.

  • Something to labour in

I personally find it easy to just chuck on a hospital gown but I know some people would rather not. That will be what I do again this time but if you prefer your own clothing, pack something loose and comfortable. Even pack some bikini’s if you plan on trying a water birth.

  • Copy of your birth plan

It’s a pretty stressful time and things can be forgotten when you are having your baby. This may or may not bother you. I personally do not have a birth plan; my only plan is to have a healthy baby and me. If you do have more of a structured plan, make sure to have a copy to ensure you can do what you have planned as well as possible.

  • List of who to contact once baby is born

Might sound silly – like, you wouldn’t forget who to contact but believe it or not you probably will! I am so glad I had this planned out before I had Harlee and then Ben and my mum could contact everyone who was necessary without pestering me.

  • Camera

If you are like me, the last thing you want is photos of yourself but trust me it is nice to have photos to look back on, especially of your new little bundle of joy.

This stuff may not even get used during your labour but it is super handy to have. I found that my labour was so quick we never had time for snacks or time to even go on our phones but I know of people who have been in labour for over 24 hours – which is a super long time so all of this would come in handy!

Everyone may not need this next list. The Dad bag. For anyone who lives in a small town can probably relate to this. We have to travel an hour away from home for my labour but will hopefully be back to recover in Hawera Maternity. However, this also means your partner will need a bag that can live in the car if he plans to stay close by! I won’t go into too much detail with this bag, I’ll keep it pretty simple.

  • Clothes

Males are pretty carefree when it comes to clothes, well Ben is anyway – Hah. Just have a couple of comfortable outfits for him. Don’t forget UNDIES and SOCKS!

  • Toothbrush

Because who doesn’t like to brush their teeth and feel nice and refreshed!

  • Phone Charger

We all know how important this is, you want to be able to contact each other when he isn’t able to be at maternity.

Very basic list but a lot of people forget about their partners! Some people may require more but like I say Ben is super easy and does not require a lot at all.

Next is the most important bag! Mum’s Bag. If you are a new mum you will probably be stumped on where to even start and in all honesty, even as a second time mum, I didn’t know where to start! However, here I am now giving you my list!

  • Clothes
    • Comfy, loose fitting pants. I am taking comfy, harem like, type pants. I found these the best after I had Harlee. The warehouse have some great ones for only $20 if you are looking for something comfy yet nice.
    • Loose tops. Loose tops for many reasons, a couple being – one, to hide the new acquired mum tum and two, a top that makes breastfeeding accessible and easy.
    • Maternity bras or/and sports bras. If you are breastfeeding you may also find taking maternity singlets helpful. Number one priority is comfort for me though!
    • PJ’s! We all love pj’s so don’t forget them! Whether you’re a nightie gal or a shorts and singlet gal, make sure its nice and accessible for breastfeeding.
    • Comfy undies! The last thing you want is uncomfortable undies when your vag is all swollen and feeling like its hanging down to your knees – haha! Some people prefer the bigger the better but I found bonds boyleg did the trick for me!
    • Socks and slippers. Always need a couple of pairs of socks on hand!
    • Some kind of Jersey or cardigan. I found Maternity really bloody hot but I will pack a couple of loose knitted tops just in case.
    • Going home outfit. This may or may not interest you. However, I wanted to look half decent in our photos for going home so I have some trusty stretchy ‘jean’ like pants that still fit at 37 weeks that will be my go to, going home pants with a nice top!
  • Toiletries
    • Shampoo and conditioner. Bonus points for travel size!
    • Body wash/soap. Something sensitive is probably a bit better for the downstairs apartment.
    • Facewash
    • Facial wipes
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Make-up. As much or as little as you prefer as everyone is different. I will most likely stick to the basics – Foundation, eyebrow kit, eyeliner, mascara (waterproof for the baby blues days :P), blush and maybe a lippy for going home. This is my everyday make-up and I find it helps me feel half normal after pushing out a baby!
    • Deodorant
    • Body, face and hand moisturisers come in handy but it is up to you which ones you actually need/use.
    • Lip balm – your lips will most likely be dry as the Sahara desert.
    • Nipple cream – there are plenty to choose from but I found good old Bepenthen worked best for me!
    • Hairbrush, hair ties and bobby pins. You may even be a headband wearer!
    • Breast pads
    • Maternity pads. When I say maternity pads I mean anything that resembles a surfboard for your undies because you will need it!
    • The hospital do have these but I am a bit funny about using these on my face because one, someone may have wiped there fufu with it and I don’t care if its been washed, I still don’t want to put it near my face – hah! Two, the ones at hospital aren’t nice and soft like my ones from home!
  • Medications and supplements you may be on

I will be personally taking some Panadol and Spatone – for my iron levels and some vitamins. I may even look into something to help with my breastfeeding!

  • Pillow

Nothing beats your own pillow and the ones at hospital suck!

  • Phone charger

I did mention this in the above list for labour but it is better to mention it again then forget it! I will also be taking my apple watch charger if any of you guy’s need this too!

  • Snacks

Hospital food sucks in my opinion so make sure to pack yourself a few healthy and unhealthy snacks :P.

That is my rundown for mum’s bag. The next bag is the second most important bag. The Baby bag! All that brand new baby stuff you have brought can finally be packed into a bag all ready for your bundle of joy!

  • Clothes
    • Singlets
    • Merino all in ones
    • Bodysuits
    • Sleep gowns
    • Knitted cardigan
    • A couple of outfits – keep it simple, but just in case you do feel like dressing him/her in something other than bodysuits.
    • Socks and booties
    • Mittens
    • Hats
    • Going home outfit. Obviously this isn’t a necessity but I like to have a going home outfit which will be an awesome keepsake once they are older. Yes you want it to be cute but make sure it is still practical!
  • Muslin wraps and/or swaddles
  • Bibs and burp clothes

You may end up with a reflux baby who likes to spew everywhere like Harlee was!

  • Blanket
  • Dummies and bottles

Obviously not all people will be willing to take bottles but I am a firm believer of fed is best and if breastfeeding doesn’t work for me I will have my bottles and formula ready to go this time around!

  • Nappies and wipes
  • Baby bath stuff

We personally prefer using Ecostore baby products so I will be taking this brand of the following-

  • Baby sleepytime bath
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby moisturiser
  • Baby Nappy balm
  • Breastfeeding pillow or tri pillow

This helped me so much when I was feeding Harlee so will definitely be doing it again!

  • Capsule and capsule cover

That should pretty much cover everything you need to know for your little bundles bag! Keep in mind babies sizes can vary so much! I had packed nothing but newborn for Harlee and found a lot of it didn’t fit! So just have a few varying sizes to accommodate a big or really small baby!

The next little list I am going to cover is just a few extra things you may like to pack. Definitely not must haves but they are things I will be taking and figure they may be some other mama’s out there who would too!

  • A gift for an older sibling from the new baby

It can be a whole new ball game for an only child who is getting a sibling so a nice way to make them feel special is to give them a gift from there new brother or sister! For Harlee, I have just purchased a book from Kmart called ‘You’re a big sister!’. She is still young so I didn’t want to spend a fortune on something because she won’t even understand! This book was only $4 however! Bargain!

  • Hair straightener and Hair drier

I may not even use these but I like to have them on hand!

  • Milestone cards
  • Cuddly, baby shusher, lulla doll or some sort of comforter

All of these are definitely not needs but I’m all for trying things to help settle babies so we will be trying the baby shusher which worker wonders for Harlee. Ill also take the lulla doll which was Harlee’s but she didn’t like it and a sleepy tot teddy!

So, that is my lists, I am well aware that we are all so different and tend to find different things important so I have tried to keep it as generic as possible! I do quickly want to tell you about how I am going to be a bit of a cheat this time around though. I am not sure if you have heard of this awesome NZ business or not which has recently been started this year – Bundles for Bumps.

Bundles for Bumps specialises in pre-packed hospital bags! Bundles for Bumps was started by a fellow NZ mama, Shelley. She has three girls of her own and wanted to take the stress out of packing hospital bags! They come with all the essentials and offer all natural and organic products which is a total bonus!

She sells things for mum and for baby and even for the rest of the family, I recommend you go and check them out! Let me just point out that this is in no way sponsored, I genuinely love this idea that I have gone and purchased my own pre-packed hospital bag!

I have purchased the Mum essentials – pre packed hospital bag. I am actually really slack and have only just purchased it so haven’t received my bag as of yet but I know I will love it just from reading about it and I will do an update on my Instagram stories once I receive it so make sure you check it out later this week sometime! And never fear if there are things I do not love about it, I will be sure to share that with you too! This bag contains the following-

  • Tom & Luke Snackaballs 70g x2
  • The Moa Body Range Miss Foxy 100ml (Great for massage during labour)
  • Ruby Blue Hair Ties x2 (Can also be worn on the wrist as a reminder which side to breastfeed off next)
  • Wotnot Natural Face Wipes with Travel Case and Mirror 25pk
  • Ecostore Beeswax Lipbalm 4.5g
  • Sorbent Travel Tissues
  • Terry Cotton Slippers
  • Jockey Cotton Full Brief Black x2
  • Jockey Ankle Socks Black
  • Ecostore Essentials Mini Pack (Shampoo 35ml, Conditioner 35ml, Body Wash 35ml Moisturiser 35ml)
  • Bamboo Hairbrush
  • Mama Bear Bamboo Toothbrush
  • Grin Natural Toothpaste 100g (Allergy warning: Contains Propolis)
  • Tankis Natural Deodorant 70g
  • Haakaa Natural Breast Pads 36pk
  • Natracare Maternity Pads 10pk
  • Manuka Health Breast Gel Discs (Store these in the fridge when not using during feed times, and when you reapply they are like magical cold drops of bliss for sore and cracked nipples )
  • Purelan Nipple Cream 7g
  • True Blue Organics Hand Sanitiser 60ml
  • A list of additional items you may like to pack from home

You also may choose to receive your package in a Bundles for Bumps Calico drawstring bag or a Herschel Novel Duffle Bag. They are both different prices depending on which you choose. If you want to know more details head over to Bundles for Bumps here for more info on pricing and all there other awesome products!

So, I have just gone and knocked a few things off my packing list because of my awesome pre packed bag on its way but either way my hospital bag must haves will hopefully be helpful for you! It may be the perfect list for you or maybe just a helpful guide but I hope it has helped you in some way! I hope you all have an awesome week and come back and check the blog out next Sunday!

Lace xxx

THIRD TRIMESTER UPDATE- WEEK 35!

 

Just like that, we are at week 35! Five bloody weeks to go. In just over a month, we will have not one, but two tiny humans to care for! Super exciting but yet super scary! I have an app on my phone, which happily reminded me I have 33 days to go. When it is said like that, it really does not feel like that long! So, since I am nearing the end, I thought I better give an update on pregnancy and life in general!

I find it so crazy how fast; this pregnancy is going/has gone. I think I almost feel bad for this little babe because I cared so much with Harlee and was super organised but I guess it is not that I don’t care about this pregnancy it’s just that I have got a nearly one year old keeping me on my toes constantly. With your first, you kind of spend your days in the last weeks waiting and waiting, this is definitely not the case this time. I still have plenty to do! Here’s just a few things on my list off the top of my head-

  • Little mates nursery is still not finished! I do have most of the necessities but the room itself is nowhere near done but hey, as long as he’s got clothes and a bed we will be right – hah. I do plan to get most of his room sorted over the next couple of weeks so fingers crossed I stick to it and once it’s done I’ll do a little blog post on it! Well hopefully!
  • I haven’t even thought about my hospital bag yet! In my head I’m definitely going to make the 40 week mark so I haven’t been stressing about this too much. However, we all know things don’t necessarily work out the way we think, especially when it comes to babies – hah. So, I’ll get onto packing that bag in the next couple of weeks too, just in case! Again, I do plan to do a blog post on this too, to try take away the hassles and the ‘have I got everything’ questions when packing your hospital bag!
  • NAME! We still have no idea whatsoever what this little guy is going to be called! We get ideas of what we think we like then a few days later one of us goes off the idea. I always knew I liked Harlee for a girl so always had my heart set on it. Her name was so easy, I expected it to be just as easy this time but I could not be more wrong!
  • House renovations. For those of you, who know us; know we have been renovating our house! We have ripped out two walls, put in a completely new kitchen, put in new bi-folding doors in our lounge, repainted all the bedrooms and had a supporting beam put in where one of the walls was taken out. We have accomplished a lot but we still have a lot to do! We still need to build a ‘fake’ wall around our pantry just to give it a nicer look, gib over the new beam and a tiny bit of the wall, rip the rest of the wallpaper off, and repaint ceilings and wallpaper. In the perfect world, this would all be finished before the baby arrives however, this may not be the case! We will try get as much done as we can but between Ben being a shift worker and my dad being a shift worker (who has been helping us) and just life in general, we are running out of time!
  • Harlee-Jae’s first birthday is just around the corner! In fact only 10 days before her brothers due date! So, on top of all of the above, I’m also planning a first birthday! We are keeping it pretty chilled for her first birthday. It’s more of just a gathering of family and a few close friends but even this requires preparation! I think I’m doing pretty well so far though, most things are organised for the party side of things and I have most of her birthday presents sorted! Lets just hope baby brain hasn’t let me forget anything major!

That is just a little run down of a few of the big things that are left to do. On top of that there is still all the little things like birthdays – august is an extremely big month for us with birthdays! Getting the house sorted and ready for baby life again and just life in general! It feels like one day I had six months to go, now I have practically one month to go!

If you read my labour uncut blog post, you will probably remember me talking about haemorrhaging with Harlee. If not I will just give you a little bit of a run down. My mum is a known bleeder and my midwife was also her midwife so she was pretty on to it with my labour and wasn’t willing to take any chances! I had an IV line put in my arm about an hour before Harlee was born and lucky I did because as my midwife thought, I did haemorrhage. From what my midwife tells me, it was pretty bad, although I never realised this because she remained so calm and got it under control pretty quickly. I did know something wasn’t right when every doctor at our little hospital came running in but didn’t think too much of it!

However, I recovered well and everything was good! Until I got pregnant again and I found out it is likely for this to happen again and generally the second time is worse than the first. As you can imagine this has made me pretty dam nervous for labour. Labour is nerve wrecking enough on its own, minus complications! My mum bleed extremely bad with her third – my brother and this makes me pretty nervous. I have a tendency to follow my mums footsteps, problems and all. I have to give birth at Taranaki Base Hospital this time just in case they cannot stop the bleeding. So, if worse does come to worse I can be taken into theatre to stop the bleeding. Our little hospital in Hawera does not have these sort of facilities but I am hoping everything will go smoothly enough for me to come back to Hawera Maternity because I do not really fancy being an hour away from home!

I even contemplated asking to have a caesarean but my midwife was quick to tell me I can still bleed in a caesarean, and quite badly too! The worse thing about it with a caesarean is if they can’t get the bleeding under control then they will give you a hysterectomy and that’s not really a decision I want made for me! So the plan is to go in with no plan – Hah. If I have him naturally, cool. If I have a caesarean, that’s cool too. All I want is the best option for a healthy baby and a healthy me! I’ve decided to stick to that plan because I’ll be honest, its freaking me out a lot! I could be freaking out over nothing because I may not hemorrage but then again it is likely I will. I just have to keep positive!

My pregnancy symptoms this trimester, have consisted of low iron = meaning no energy, excruciating back pain, nausea and indigestion! My iron levels are extremely low! So low that my midwife was contemplating me getting an iron transfusion, mostly because low iron levels mean more likely to haemorrhage and more likely to haemorrhage worse. So as you can imagine getting on top of this is very important! Iron tablets are not my friend though. They make me extremely constipated which make me get the worse sore tummies which don’t make pregnant life any better. I have found an alternative called Spatone, which is great! The only downfall is that it is about $38 for 28 sachets which works out a hell of a lot more expensive than iron tablets that are subsidised!

That awesome excruciating back pain I talked about in my second trimester blog post has been back in full force! Ben has even had to take days off work to stay home and help me out because I was not able to lift Harlee! I don’t even know how to explain the pain but it is my lower back and it sends shooting pain down my legs and through my whole body. It really is not much fun at all! The only things that I find that help are my back belt and a hot water bottle. Even these two things aren’t great but they are better than nothing.

My indigestion has come back with vengeance in this pregnancy also! I think it may be a little bit of acid reflux as well, it’s not great but luckily my old mate gaviscon is up in the cupboard ready to come to my rescue everyday – Hah! The old wives tale is that indigestion means a baby with lots of hair which was very true for miss Harlee so hopefully that’s what it means for this one too!

The one thing I didn’t experience with Harlee’s pregnancy that I have in this one is getting morning sickness again in the third trimester! It hasn’t been extreme morning sickness like some people get but, it has been enough to put me out make me feel pretty blah! The only thing I have found to help is to take it easy! Put all the house chores to the side and save all my energy for Harlee and rest when I get the chance. Oh and a bit of ginger beer always seems to settle my tummy too!

And like every pregnant women in the last few weeks, sleep becomes a distant memory! I am a tummy sleeper so getting comfortable is extremely hard! I also feel the need to pee 10,000 times a night and seem to have really bad insomnia. So any sleep is good sleep at this point – hah! I also feel massive this pregnancy! I constantly find myself feeling uncomfortable and in some sort of pain – especially at bedtime! I don’t remember being this uncomfortable with Harlee until I hit the last couple of weeks. So, five weeks is actually still sounding like a long time to feel this way! Even the most simplest tasks, like getting off the couch are so bloody hard – hah.

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Photo on the left is 36 weeks with Harlee-Jae. Photo on the right is 34 weeks with little man.

So despite all the unenjoyable things, the end is near! I complain a lot and say how much I dislike pregnancy but one day I will probably miss it! I hope that was a good little update for you all and I hope to do another one closer to my due date! If you have any questions about anything, do not hesitate to ask me! I am an open book! Catch you all next week or head over to Instagram and give us a follow and keep up to date with our days on Insta Stories!

Lace xxx

MATERNITY LIFE TO HOME LIFE

You have done it! You have made it through the long nine months of pregnancy. You have got through labour, which you can read about here. You have got through the first 24 hours of mum life which you can also read about here and now it might be finally sinking in that your life has officially changed forever!

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Some people love staying in maternity wards – others hate it. I wasn’t really either, I didn’t mind the first couple of days but I was definitely ready to go home by the end. I still class myself as lucky because I am not sure all maternity’s are like what we had. Our town is small so sometimes you are the only one in the ward, which means the midwives are more than helpful! They do not make you feel like you are a pain and always happy to come and assist you.

I was in the maternity ward for four nights, five days. This came down to the fact that breastfeeding was not happening for me and it was better I stayed until I had got feeding locked down because they did not want me to go home and struggle. However, we did turn to bottle feeding by the end but I will talk more about my experience in the future on the blog!

For me the second night was more of a realisation of what I was in for because my midwife took her for the first night to let me get some rest. This was the first night of the four hourly wake ups but I think I handled it okay. I learnt what the drill was going to be and made a plan of what I would do, so when we got home we had a better idea. I was super lucky that my midwife was on the night shift while I was in the ward! She would happily come and help me, stay, and just have a chat while Harlee would wake up. I think it definitely made me feel not so alone in there. I personally think that your partner has just as much right as you to stay with you. You are both new parents and it is a daunting feeling winging the whole mum gig by yourself for the first time. I think it would just be nice to have them there for support and reassurance but unfortunately, they are not allowed to stay.

If you do not personally like staying in the maternity ward I highly recommend allowing as many people as you like to visit! Visitors make you feel less lonely and make the days fly by a lot faster. Although, I was pretty cautious and overwhelmed as a new mum so I actually limited my visitors. Not to annoy anyone but because I was learning about the new person I had become as a mum and also learning about my new little baby. I had only family and my best friends visit – I was just more comfortable with this but everyone is different! Even though I limited who came to visit until we got home, I still felt like I always had people around.

Food, food, food. Pack yourself some snacks! I think a lot of us forget about ourselves and what to pack, I highly recommend that food is on your list. For one I hated the hospital food and I am sure that most people do. I don’t think I ate one dinner… Never fear though, it was not wasted because Ben will eat anything and always polished it off for me! I lived on takeaways and some home cooked meals on wheels from good old Mumsy! Snacks were

super helpful though, I’m not sure if I was just bored or actually hungry – hah, but it was good to have some back up snacks there!

Third day blues – it may hit you or it may not. I am not even sure it is a real thing, Hah! However, I have talked to a few people including my mum who have experienced this! Your hormones have taken a real hit over the whole being pregnant gig so I think it’s completely normal to have these days. On the third day, I got the so called blues. I think a lot of it came down to the fact that I couldn’t produce enough of my milk which was distressing my little baby and I was starting to feel like I was never going to be able to go home! This particular morning felt like forever before the visitors started to roll in and Harlee would not settle – most probably because she was still hungry! Finally Ben arrived and we decided to top her up with some formula and boom! Sleeping baby! Crazy how fed seems best right? I didn’t spend the day alone which meant I didn’t feel too bad. However, night time rolled around and the thought of Ben leaving was making me feel upset and uneasy so I pushed it out as long as possible. Obviously the time had to come eventually where he would have to go home. I remember getting pretty upset but not even having a real reason apart from me wanting to go with him. He left, I had a little cry but I got over it and fell asleep! Don’t feel like you have to hide your feelings once bubs is here. Have your go to person and talk to them. It will make you feel a lot better knowing you have someone to turn too.

Finally the day had come! We were allowed to go home and start our lives as a family and our fur-st(first) born fur baby was about to meet our baby girl! For me it was a mixture of emotions when leaving the maternity ward. I was so happy to be going home but being in the maternity ward with well-trained midwives gives you some sense of security that you don’t have at home.

As soon as Ben arrived, I was super ready to go! We started packing all the gifts and things we had accumulated over the last few days, so many gifts! I sorted myself out and got some make up on to take the token going home photo! My mum also came to help us with anything we had to take and to help us settle in at home. Around lunchtime, we were off. We were starting our new chapter and I was super excited but super nervous at the same time.

My mum had sorted us some lunch so we came home and sat down to eat but I had this weird feeling of what do I do with my baby when I want to do something – like eat? I guess it is just little things you over think because you have only ever had to worry about yourself and now there is a little human who solely relies on you taking care of them. It was definitely different coming home with her but she fit in just perfectly! All that long awaited baby stuff I had ready months was finally in use and it was a matter of just figure out where, what and when we would use it all. My advice for going home would be to not overthink it too much. It is not as bad as you can work yourself up to think it is and you will get through – even if it is hard. Do not hesitate to accept help. If someone’s offering, let them help! I know this is a lot easier said than done as I am not big on accepting help but have people you can trust and allow them in! I was very lucky to have my mum that I would always feel safe to leave Harlee with. It’s definitely easier having that trusted person!

The first night at home may sound scary but it is really not! You have done this for a few nights now and you know what you are doing. Pretty quickly we had a little middle of the night routine sorted. Once I would hear Harlee waking I would get up and flick the jug on, go back and grab her and do a quick bum change, go and quickly make the bottle then sit down and give her a bottle and bring up her wind. As soon as we done this it was straight back to bed and with minimal lighting as possible to try keep her nice and sleepy. Eventually I got faster and better and we could smash out night feeds pretty quickly!

Before you know it, you will learn the ropes of how you and your baby work. There will always be hard nights and hard days but there is always light at the end of the tunnel! I know all of these first days can be a rather daunting thought and it all seems really scary but you’ll be surprised how your body can adjust and will pull through. I hope this has been some helpful information and that it may ease some of those burning questions you have! Again, don’t hesitate to message me either by email, facebook or Instagram! I am always happy to listen and hopefully help with whatever you are wondering! Catch you all next week!!!

Lace xxx

SICK BABIES, HOSPITAL STAYS AND FEELING LIKE A BAD MUM…

Getting sick, it is horrible but it happens. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent it sometimes. What is worse than ourselves getting sick though? Our babies/children getting sick. Especially if they are little babies who are still so helpless. This is my experience with a sick newborn baby!

After having Harlee-Jae, I got the flu and ended up with a chest infection. We put it down too my body being so run down after haemorrhaging and having a pretty fast labour. Harlee was around a week and a half old when she was starting to show signs of getting a cold too – this was my worst fear. My brand new tiny, helpless baby was getting sick and it was my entire fault. She had obviously caught this off me so I was feeling so guilty but how else was I meant to prevent her from getting sick? I did everything I could from washing my hands a thousand times a day, I wouldn’t breath or cough on her, I wouldn’t even kiss her but no matter how hard I tried to keep some sort of ‘distance’, she was a new baby and she needed her mum. As a first time mum, this was my worst nightmare. All I wanted was my baby to be healthy.

As soon as we started noticing signs of the flu we took her to the doctors asap. However, it was not that simple (We have since changed doctors because of this experience). I rang and explained my situation but was told ‘sorry all of our doctors are too busy, the best we can do is to send you to see one of our well trained nurses’ – which we did. While there, she looked and observed Harlee and pretty much told me, I was over exaggerating being a first time mum and that newborns very rarely get sick. Of course being a new mum and knowing no different, you believe what they say because they know best right? Well no, that was not the case. I distinctively remember her testing Harlee’s oxygen levels, which were floating around the 96 out of 100 mark, she told me this was fine and it was not until later on I found out it was not.

The next day I could tell she was getting worse and no better. However, Ben and I thought that this well trained ‘nurse’ knew best so believed her. That night, Harlee was breathing funny and was definitely sick. Being the worried first time parents, Ben and I stayed awake all night, taking shifts, just to make sure she was okay. We got through the night and the next day she seemed slightly better. Things were looking up, so I told Ben to get out of the house and go to the rugby with his mate and I’d go stay at my mum’s with Harlee. Off he went that afternoon and by about 7pm that night, Harlee had gone downhill again. She was worse than the night before so we took her to a&e.

I let Ben know, but still wanted him to enjoy his night out and told him not to worry and I’d keep him in the loop. They were amazing at a&e, we were taken straight in by a nurse to observe us and check Harlee over. She also checked Harlee’s oxygen levels, which were sitting around the 88 out of 100 mark – she immediately let us know it should be at least 98. It wasn’t until now when I told her my experience with our previous ‘doctors’ and the lady that checked Harlee over, when she told me she was no way qualified to be checking over a new baby and should have referred us to a&e if an actual doctor couldn’t see us. My heart dropped because I knew in my gut she wasn’t okay but yet felt as though I couldn’t speak up after being told I was over exaggerating as a new mum. Never will I EVER, do that again. We are their mothers and we do know best. If you ever feel uneasy about something please do not feel the way I did and not speak up! It is your right to keep your baby safe and healthy, do not leave the doctors until you are 100% satisfied with their care!

A&E were super-efficient and we were seen by a doctor within half an hour of being there. I do not know what your A&E in your area are like but ours is usually ridiculous! You usually wait for hours on end! I think Harlee being so new; they were not willing to take any risks. She had no temperatures just a bit of a raspy cough and her oxygen levels were not good. This was enough for the doctor to not be happy with Harlee so he sent us to Taranaki Base Hospital where we would spend the night. Off we went home to quickly pack some bags and head up to New Plymouth – an hour drive away. Luckily the rugby was in New Plymouth so I rang and filled Ben in and he was ready to meet us as soon as we got there.

Everything happened pretty quickly, I still hadn’t really had a chance to think about it. On our trip up to New Plymouth, Harlee was getting worse and I was getting scared she wasn’t breathing. I ended up getting my mum in the back of the car with me so we could both monitor her. We finally made it and straight into a&e we went – which was not quite as efficient as Hawera. However, we were put into a room to wait, where we waited for a good four or five hours before going to the children’s ward!

In this time, Harlee was due for a bottle. I went and asked a male nurse for some boiling hot water to heat it up – he took this opportunity to remind me I should breastfeed and this would have probably prevented her getting sick. Well big fat middle finger to you I thought. He did not know my reasoning for not breastfeeding and as if I was not feeling like a shitty enough mum as it was! I will not talk too much of this because bottle vs breast is a blog post to come! Luckily I didn’t have to deal with him ever again after this!

Finally, the doctor came to see us. He informed us that our precious little baby had Bronchiolitis – The condition starts like a common cold. It progresses to coughing, wheezing and sometimes difficulty breathing. Symptoms may last for a week to a month. He also let us know that the worst was yet to come, he believed she was still in the early stages, so would get worse before she would get better. I was so tired and overwhelmed and then was told that only one of us could stay with her. Obviously, I was not leaving my newborn baby but I really wanted Ben there for support.

Off we went, transferred to the children’s ward early hours of the morning on the 24th of September. The day Harlee was also two weeks old – two weeks old and back in hospital! It was not a nice feeling at all. Little did we know we would be spending the next six nights here with Harlee on oxygen for five of those because she was struggling to breathe so much on her own.

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It was some crazy hour of the morning and it was a pretty scary sight watching the nurse hook all of these different tubes to Harlee. She had like a butterfly shaped sticker oxygen mask on her cheeks and little prongs up her nose; this also had another tube connected to it so it would send warm air rather than cold air, as babies hate cold oxygen being blown into their nose. She had an oxygen monitor attached to one of her little toes and a sleep apnea monitor attached to her tummy. This made holding her extremely difficult – although I was a pro after a day! She lived in sleep gowns as it was just a lot easier with all these cords and tubes running off her.

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The first night was not as bad because I was so tired. I went straight to sleep. However, it was only going to get worse. It was so easy to fall into an emotional state, especially being there alone at night! I would make Ben stay as long as he possibly could but the odd nurse would kick him out after a while. I hated that, it is such a vulnerable time and you should be allowed your support person to stay too. I was still a new mum who was still learning the ropes of motherhood. I was now doing it alone, in a hospital, with a sick baby. This was not how I pictured life in the first few weeks of being a new mum!

We were lucky to have many visitors during our time there. It really kept me sane. You start going a bit crazy looking at the same four walls every single day. It was the longest week of my life. I felt like we were in hospital for a month and every day they would try to take her off the oxygen was another day of being let down and told she still needed it. It is scary; you just want your baby to be okay and breathing on her own.

Nights were extremely hard; I was getting a max of four hours sleep most nights. Between Harlee waking and not sleeping, to the amazing nurses coming in and checking Harlee every couple of hours – sleep was unheard of. I am sure all you mums will agree that lack of sleep is no good for your emotional state! Now I think about it, I do not know how I pulled through. Most nights would end with me getting very upset every time Ben would leave but we had to do, what we had to do.

We were not allowed to leave until Harlee had been off oxygen for a full 24 hours. Finally on the 29th of September she was off the oxygen and my baby was getting back to her normal self – well for the normal from what I had gathered from her first two weeks of life! Minus the big red marks on her cheeks from having the oxygen mask sticking to them for a week.

There was a massive light of hope that we were okay to go home the next day, I was starting to feel happy again – not 100% because I knew there would still be a slight chance of staying. On my hoped to be last night I thought a lot about my experience and this is what I’ve learnt-

  • Sometimes babies get sick and it is beyond your control – Despite your efforts of keeping them 100% healthy, sometimes they just get sick. It is life and we just have to deal with it the best we can. It may not be pleasant but you can get through! If I can, anyone can!
  • Trust your gut – You are the mum and you know best. If you feel like something is not right, your motherly instinct is always right! That is one regret of mine, not following my gut the first time round with Harlee. I would never have forgiven myself if something happened. Don’t feel bad, you want the best for your child so push until your happy!
  • You are not a bad mum – I know how guilty I felt and I know I wouldn’t be the only one! Its easy for me to sit here and say don’t blame yourself, don’t feel guilty. The truth is we will always do it, I know if there was a next time, I would too. However, try not to focus on that too much because you are a good mum and you do only want the best for your child and would have never purposefully made them sick! Try not to beat yourself up.
  • Hospitals suck, but it is the best place for you – I know how much I hated it and most people do but the main thing is to remember it is the best place for you and your baby! If anything bad was to happen, it is 100 times better to happen in hospital rather than at home. It feels like a lifetime in there but I promise you will go home soon!

That is just a few of the things I took away from being in hospital for a week. Do not get me wrong a week is nothing compared to some families with very sick children and I truly admire them after watching my parents in starship with my sister for three months. I have a newfound respect for families whose whole lives revolve around hospitals. You guys are your own kind of superheroes! I have written a blog post To the mum’s who are hurting on Mother’s Day… If you you would like to read this.

Finally, on the 30th of September, we were allowed to go home! I was super happy! Finally, we could be back together as our little family. I was also scared because I was told she still had chances to stop breathing while sleeping. The only thing that seemed logical to me was to get an angelcare sound and movement monitor! Best decision ever – I still have it on Harlee’s cot and it has been such great peace of mind every night. I definitely sleep a whole lot easier!

30th Sep 2016

Hospitals suck, being sick sucks and watching your helpless newborn sick is the absolute worst. This was one of the worst weeks of my life but we got through and she got better! She is now a super healthy 10 month old who has only ever had a minor cold since this! Part of me thinks being sick so young has given her such a strong immune system, especially because there was nothing we could do or give her to help, we just had to wait it out and let her little body fight it!

I hope that this has given all of you insight of what can happen and that you will get through if your little baby gets sick but I also hope that it will be a reminder that you are not alone if you are in hospital! Please feel free to message me if you have any questions or just to tell me your story! I would love to hear them. Until next week mates!

Lace xxx