Pregnancy: hospital bag advice

I’ve had some time to reflect on my choices for my hospital bag, and in hope that it might help a mum-to-be here are some of my thoughts.

Some things I packed and was glad of:

  • Nursing nightie – I had this one from Amazon, if I’d had a natural birth, I planned to have this for hospital, as it poppers at the back in case you need an epidural, and poppers on the front for feeding and the holy grail: pockets! It was still great for breastfeeding, and gross but dark colours = no worries about blood stains. Sorry!
  • Clothes to leave in, comfy in case of surgery… I left in my first ever pair of sweat pants, it was so, so cold when she was born in Feb!
  • Fairy lights – I had a little string of battery operated fairy lights that I left on all night, so I didn’t have to have the full lamp on.
  • Room spray – chilled me out, reminded me of home.
  • Snacks – wouldn’t have made it through the night without these! Include some fruit juice boxes or something, you need to stay hydrated and water water water can get a bit dull.
  • Slippers – trips down the hall to the loo were made a little more pleasant, if you have them, slip on ones would be ideal as bending down is not so easy.
  • Giant pants  – if you have a c-section you don’t want low rise knickers as that’ll be where your incision would have been made. Also, the pads you’ll need after are blooming massive!

Some things I wish I had remembered:

  • Swaddle blanket –  I think this would have helped Edie settle, but I hadn’t even learnt how to swaddle. We now have some Aden and Anais swaddle muslins that I found in TK Maxx, which now she’s bigger have a further use of a breastfeeding cover if I want, or standard muslin mopping duties if shes wet through the ones I brought out with me.
  • White noise machine – We have the Ewan the Sheep, but lots of friends used the MyHummy (we stayed in a private room, I wouldn’t have used this on the ward)

    £29.99 from John Lewis, but a white noise app on your phone would also work a treat!
  • Water bottle – I’ve found one with a straw that you don’t have to tip really good, which is great as breastfeeding is very thirsty work. In hospital, obviously you’ll be thirsty during labour, or in my case after surgery as you have to abstain from liquid beforehand, but they give you a little jug and a little cup. A water bottle of your own, that you don’ have to refill nearly as often would be a huge help!

What would you recommend to mums-to-be? Have I missed anything?

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Birth story

We were scheduled for c-section as our little one was breech, a frank breech to be precise. But I started contracting three days before the scheduled date, in the middle of the night.

I am really glad that I had our hospital bags packed. Once I called the hospital they asked us to come straight in, as I had been timing my contractions for a couple of hours to be sure, using the Babycentre app and they were about 3-4 minutes apart. I let Jack sleep whilst I timed them for 2 hours, do I get an award? I woke him up at 5:30 to warn him I was going to call the hospital and encouraged him to have a hot shower and pop on some clean, warm clothes as we potentially had a long day ahead.

Speaking to the midwife on triage, she asked us to come in. Better safe than sorry is a good motto for any query in pregnancy.

We got into Hospital at about 6:30 am, after sitting in our driveway in the dark, waiting for our car to defrost. It was freezing out! I was popped on a monitor to track contractions and babe’s heart rate. Contractions had, as they typically do when you arrive on the labour ward, slowed right down to one every 10 mins. One of the midwives said she would examine me to see if I was in established labour, turns out I was and they booked us in for the first c-section slot of the day.

Waiting to go into theatre.

 

The gorgeous view of the south downs for our room on the labour ward.

Th surgery went smoothly, though it is the strangest sensation. And that moment when they lift your newborn up so you can see if it’s a boy or girl… pretty hard to see as the person below the screen, so in the end Jack had to tell me we had a girl.

Also, one thing I hadn’t considered is just how little space there is; they popped her down on my chest and she got nudge slowly closer and closer towards my face as they worked on stitching me up.

Recovering afterwards went as well as you can hope, things I hadn’t thought about is how long your legs are numb for after surgery, and bed baths, catheters and bloody wees. But when you’ve got your baby, you really don’t care!

We didn’t have any visitors to the hospital and I am very happy with that decision, I was a knackered mess and just wanted to enjoy our little new trio. Jack went home to get his last night of uninterrupted sleep and stayed up all night, totally lost of how to settle Edie to sleep.

The following day we left hospital in the afternoon, and she met her four grandparents that evening. We’ve been very lucky and the first couple of months have flown by, she’s such a good baby, pretty chilled.

Do you have any advice you’d offer new parents? i.e. me…

Breech baby

So, our baby is the wrong way up. Depending on how you look at things, I mean once it’s born it is currently the right way up for day-to-day human life, but for actual birth, it’s not ideal.

So in spite of hanging around upside down, to try and flip it naturally, we are booked in for an ECV later this week. I am nervous and trying to prep myself for it not working. For first time mothers I have been told it’s 40% chance of being successful. Meaning 60% likelihood of needing a planned c-section.

Wondering what an ECV is? Basically a doctor manually tries to flip the baby in a sort of in-utero forward roll. I have to be on the labour ward, just in case the babe goes into distress and needs an emergency c-section, or the procedure brings on natural labour. It’s certainly been quite a lot to get my head around.

Bit more info about breech babies can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/breech-birth/

Wish us luck!

Joys of Pregnancy: First Trimester

So, yes we are excited about the new growing addition to our family, and looking forward to the due date. I have however been slightly less than excited about the pregnancy symptoms I experienced in the first trimester.

I’ll be honest, I knew it wasn’t going to be all sunshine and smiles, but I wasn’t fully aware of what was in-store for me. And I’m a lucky one: very little actual vomiting took place early on (that came later), only a few days where I have been overwhelmed by it.

Hormonal Messiness

O, what a patient husband I have. I hope it wasn’t too often, and hopefully won’t happen going forward but there have definitely been moments where I have gone from 0 to 100 for no real reason.

Peeing

This has sort of  eased off as I entered my second trimester, thankfully. There have been a few car journeys that have been *even* longer than usual because I just need to go. And the night times. It’s got to be good pre-baby training for sleep deprivation and interruption.

Extreme Tiredness

Wow. This one. I was so incredibly tired weeks 5 to 9, it was like I’d taken sleep medication or something. Getting home and falling asleep on the sofa at 7:30, napping all weekend and most of the way through our two holidays. Sorry husband.

Hella Nauseous

With a small amount of vomiting. But like your are hungover and not sure if food with fix you or ruin you. I basically spent the last 3 months avoiding the food I love and any particularly interesting vegetables (not great for a vegetarian). And snacking on mini cheddars to the point where I now never want a cheddar again in my life.

Hungry but not

I am hungry, sometime ravenously. But I get about a third of a way through my meal and start giving up. I just can’t finish. That is not normal Laura behavior.

Constipation (yep)

All I can say is make sure you are eating plenty of fruit and grains.

Cystitis (again, yep)

Did you know you are more prone to cystitis during pregnancy? No? I didn’t either, until I knew. Also your immune system is apparently weaker, so it takes longer to shake off. Joy.

Water and cranberry juice,  and when that does work: filthy tasty medication from the pharmacy. Yuck.

The good news is basically all of those symptoms either improved or I’ve found a way to help them, and the main one of tiredness is much better (at the moment).

Do you have any tips for a first timer like me? I’m just at week 22 now.

I’m pregnant

So the give away is in the title really.

I’ll start with the obvious, we are both very happy about it. We  told our close family and a few friends before the 12 week stage, around 6-8 weeks depending on when we saw them, as if anything were to have happened so far these are the people we would lean on for support, but thankfully all OK so far.

So that’s my news, for the moment. I’ll probably share a post about how I found the first trimester soon, in my oversharing way : )