The Value of a Good Midwife in Labour

For the last eight weeks I’ve been considering how to say thankyou to the midwife who helped me deliver my son at home in September. I’ve been thinking hard about the words that I could use to show my deep gratitude that would show what her assistance meant to me.

For me and many other mothers world over, giving birth is one of life’s great moments. I can firmly say that giving birth to both of my children naturally were the best days of my life. Giving birth at home tops it all. Still now, having had time to reflect, I am still in awe of that day.

The reality is, it would have never happened that way without Teresa, the experienced midwife on call for the day who guided me through it all. Awesome doesn’t quite capture how brilliant she was. I wish all midwives could be like her; experienced, relaxed, supportive and fun. I could not have ever felt more reassured during my labour.

She didn’t just take care of the physical things like checking the baby and telling me when to move into different positions, she focused a lot on the emotional things and enabled me too off load and get my head straight and focused. I always underestimated this side of labour, but now I know it makes a difference and am sure this is one of the big reasons I was able to labour quickly and smoothly (along with the calmness of being in my own home, and having self confidence and belief in my body’s ability).

The fact that by being at home, I had her full attention all of the time, made an even bigger difference. This for me is a major plus point of a homebirth.

So my message is that we should be valuing good midwifery more in society. Birth can be the most beautiful thing if you have the right environment and support.

And what a way to start a new life!

Late Pregnancy: Come on Baby

I’ve almost had it with being pregnant. Tomorrow I’m 38 weeks and wishing it were the end. Surely this kid is nearly done baking?

The latest development in suffering has started to tip the balance. I’m still sleeping well, but getting increasingly tired, and hence not relishing my time with Babe (my toddler) as much. We’re still having a ball, I’m just finding it much harder than a week and a half ago.

WARNING: Don’t read the next bit if you don’t want to hear about puke.

The arrival of the desire to puke when I lie down is really ticking me off. And it’s not from nausea but a feeling at the back of my throat like my food has not gone down properly. Yet at the same time I’m blooming starving! Just before bed I really need to chow down a bowl full of cereal to keep up my nursing prego mama carbohydrates, but after a chunder incident the other night, I’m airing on the side of no ‘supper caution’. Instead I slope off to bed feeling a little hungry with a cereal bar to shove in my drawer should I wake up totally starving in the night.

The general food thing is driving me mad too, I can’t eat much and then I’m famished again 30 minutes later. I need an all day buffet in my house.

Bedtime is also disturbed by baby Boyo and his evening excersises, it sometimes feels like he is doing ten rounds in a boxing rink and I’m the opponent, except it’s dirty fighting where anything goes – kicks, head-buts, the lot.

So I’m now talking very sweetly (ok, so perhaps not so sweet) to baby Boyo, asking him to get a move on with his fattening up and final lung developments, and then get the hell outta there.

I’d really like him to be a September baby, as I am myself a Virgo. But I’d rather he didn’t make his arrival on my birthday. Which might yet be the case as his due date is a couple of days before. If I were to choose, and I know I can’t, but if I could, he would be born on Friday.

Babe, my toddler was nine days late, I’m really hoping that the theory (or is it an old wives tale?) that the second one is often early, comes through for us. Obviously I don’t want him to be born until all development is complete, and I won’t be forced into early induction at 10 days post due, but all the same I’d like it to be over with shortly.

Come on Boyo the end is nigh, it’s time for our meeting. Please don’t be late, that’s just not polite.

Tandem nursing with a toddler and baby here we come

Photo borrowed from TouchstoneZ Parenting blog

Soon I am about to start my new breastfeeding journey of nursing a toddler and a newborn, which I’m sure will be greeted with another bought of skepticism from the righteous. But I’m used to fighting such battles and defending my corner, so it should be a walk in the park. I say this hopefully, knowing what new baby hormones and lack of sleep do to me. Then again, I also know that the net result is usually me becoming more stubborn (determined).

Babe, my toddler of two years and nearly nine months is still happily breastfeeding in the morning and evening. I have no intention to start planning an end date, it’s her call. With baby Boyo due very soon, for sure I will be breastfeeding them both. I’m really excited about this, as it has been shown to really help sibling bonding and minimise the negative feelings the older child may have.

There is part of me that is a little apprehensive, as I hear that sometimes the older child in response to the new baby and lots of milk, is likely to start nursing frequently again. How will we as a family manage this? How will visitors react? Yes, I am thinking, sod others, this is my family. But still I can’t help being a tiny bit bothered in such situations.

If truth be told I sometimes revel in being strong enough to step out of the mould and do what I believe is right regardless of social norms. But there is the other side of me which doesn’t like being scorned on by others. But I guess that’s being a mother, no matter what parenting choices you make.

I ultimately feel so privileged that I am going to have the chance to try out tandem breastfeeding. Some would love to, but for many reasons they are not finally able to. So I’m determined to make the most of it.

If there are any tandem mothers out there willing to share some tips, I’d really love to hear them. Thanks.

Mountain biking 2 year old on balance bike

Adrenaline junky? I think yes. This little girl of mine I’m sure is going to love mountain biking as much as I used to.

Today we took Babe up to the local forest to have a bash at some of the trails on her Islabikes balance bike. She’s defiantly an off roader kinda girl and was happy charging up and down dale over tree roots and through the brash. At just two and a half years old, I’m immensely proud, who’s mamas girl!

For the last four months she has been getting more and more confident on her balance bike. It really took off when we went camping three weeks ago.

Her ability to correct herself before a potential fall is brilliant. Much better than me in fact. Some people might recall a nasty face smash accident I had about six and a half years ago. Doh, stop looking at the sheep while on single track you stupid woman! I paid the consequences during my trip to A&E to have stitches in my face.

Yes I can’t deny it, I loved all the comments people made about the cute little girl as they rode or walked past. She already looks like a proper little mountain biker in her combats, red motorbike patterned Specialized helmet and off roading toddler bike.

Soon I’m confident we’ll have her riding down the ramps with no feet on the floor.

Who says this kind of stuff is just for boys!

What is going on with this toddler?

Hmm…me is grumpy? Why? Because for the last two days Babe has insisted on staying up until I properly go to bed. And last night she kept me up later…latched on, even after the Internet router had turned off for the night so I couldn’t even tweet and surf while I waited for her to unclamp and let me go.

She’s also been extra clingy, which I don’t mind too much. It’s the carrying thing that screws my back up.

The nose is a bit snotty but is that what it is? Is she under the weather? Or is it the talk of baby coming soon. Last night at one point she said “I don’t like Boyo”. Ooo I guess that’s a reasonable feeling. But still it makes me a bit sad when she says that kind of stuff.

When nursing her to sleep it takes ages, she just wants to stay latched on. It’s a delicate art slipping away while not getting bitten or waking the sleeping child. I’m usually good, but she has been putting my stealthy escape skills to the test the last few nights.

Today I got her up earlier and she napped earlier too, so I’m just hoping and hoping that she goes to bed at a reasonable time.

Camping with toddler while 31 weeks pregnant

Yes we did it! We ventured out into the not so wilderness of a delightful campsite in Devon to enjoy nearly three full days in the sun watching the rabbits a hoppin and listening to the birds a tweetin. It was fantastic but knackering for all involved, except Babe who just lapped up the whole experience.

Poor hubby is exhausted, we worked him hard. Being 31 weeks pregnant my active set up and pack down assistance is somewhat limited. My very loud pregnant snoring did not help the situation for him neither. My sleep apnea gets worse when I get fat…pregnant. It’s also worse when fatigued, as I was on the second night because Babe had woken me for a good two hours the night before upset because of her nettle stings.

Babe had the best time and we managed the trip without any arguments, despite the fatigue. Tantrums from every corner were almost non-existent, but we all joined in with Babe whining on occasions.

Toilet issues seem to be one of the most memorable aspects of the trip for me, for many reasons…

The excitement on the first day and a half meant that Babe forgot about going to the toilet until she had leaked a little. I only bought the bare essentials of underwear for her because I was behind on the washing. It soon got to a wash and wear situation, which made me particularly thankful for the good weather.

Pooing is a bit of a problem though. The rule is only to poop in the proper toilet, not our fab tent toilet. But that is easier said than done with Babe. It can take her a good couple of hours to work up to it, which usually requires many trips to the loo and dancing around in circles…the poo dance. So I spent a lot of time hiking back on forth to the toilet block for her only to get there and declare that she didn’t need to go after all. Luckily largely these trips were not wasted. Now baby Boyo is getting larger my bladder is feeling the squeeze and I would be seriously scorned upon by hubby if I were to use the tent toilet in the day, as he is the one having to do ALL the lifting and carrying at the moment, which also involves loo emptying (usually my job). I was already doing a good enough job of filling it up at night 🙂

Babe’s other trick was to be heading over to the on site toilet block for a pee, but to stop part way to pull her pants down and squat. Now I was super proud of her when out on a walk on Sunday and she managed to squat and pee in the bush all on her own “like a big girl”. But in the middle of the field outside this same couple’s tent (each time the same spot), I was not so proud.

The not so big rip off day out
The MIL recently told us that Babecomb Model Village was a great place to go, hubby also had fond childhood memories, so off we trotted for the day out. Cut that, that should read, morning out. We were fleeced. Paid nearly a fiver for four hours car parking of which we only used two. Then paid nine squid per adult for entrance. I’m not saying it wasn’t enjoyable, cause it was. But not nearly a tenners worth! Babe was also a bit young for it too, and got a little bored. So if you’re holidaying in Devon, my advice is give it a miss unless you have a massive desire to see a petrol station in miniature.

The campsite
If you are thinking of coming to the South West (UK) camping, the campsite we stayed at called Dornafield is THE place to book up for. No swimming pool but two playgrounds, massive plots, great facilities (won loo of the year last year and given how much I frequent them at the moment, that’s quite an important factor), nice on site shop and fantastic onsite wildlife (rabbits and birds). It’s quite expensive for tents, but electricity is included and it’s worth the extra.

So who else is off camping this summer?

31 Weeks Pregnant & Going Camping

We can’t resist, despite cancelling our big two week summer camping trip a month ago, we’re going to give in. Even if it’s just for a few days.

As the summer progresses and I hear about all my friends off camping, I can no longer fight the inner outdoors girl within me. We’ve got another week off and while our last staycation was fab, we just don’t have our hearts in it this time.

Then as soon as hubby and I started talking about it we realised how much it meant to Babe. She is sooo excited and it’s proved a great bargaining tool. So there is no turning back.

I’ve checked that I can get myself into my sleeping bag and will take lots of extra cushions, so let’s see how we get on.