What i would of changed about my post natal care.

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

After having my son there are quite a few aspects of my care that i would of changed for the better. i felt neglected and although i had a few nice staff my care was pretty appalling. After talking with my counsellor and my mother the other day about aspects of my care i would of changed i thought i’d talk about some things i would of changed so people can feel somewhat comforted in the knowledge they should and can ask for more from their care staff. After all you expect the moments after your babies birth to be the most beautiful moments of your life but for some people it can and is the complete opposite.

So first of all the first thing i would change is the staffs introduction to you. In previous jobs in healthcare i have always been told to introduce my self and then explain my role to put the person i am treating at ease. This was not done for me and it was quite confusing when different heads constantly popped in and out. There was also no goodbye from the staff so i knew they had gone home. In shift rotations i expect to of been introduced to who was looking after me but i was not. This made me feel quite unsafe and scared at times as people would touch me without explaining who they where. The few staff who introduced themselves i remember and the others i do not and this is why.

If you are coming into my room knock. Do not just barge in and start touching me without speaking to me. Do not just presume i will be okay with strangers waking me from my sleep by putting a blood pressure cuff on me. For many woman this could cause great upset and also if you’re a victim of domestic violence or something similar it can really unsettle someone. In healthcare you are supposed to always explain you are about to touch someone and really its just polite to ask if you can do certain things.

Explain what is happening each step of the way. When coming around from GA after my operation i didn’t know what was happening and scared. Then i was taken to my ward and not explained to where i was going and still i was scared. I wasn’t explained to what checks where needed and how often and to my baby and i wasn’t explained to how to breastfeed exetera and just left to it after dumping me in my room.

If mum and baby are separated due to their baby being unwell please explain to them what is happening and make the effort to find out. I wasn’t told what was wrong with my baby and they couldn’t even tell me how he was. I sent James with the baby and was left alone with no answers and nobody to talk to sobbing. Every time i asked for a update they didn’t even know why he was downstairs in the first place. It is so important that staff familiarise them self’s with every last patient and their babies case so they can put them at ease.

Check mums regularly if in nicu. I missed meals, medications, observations because i was with my baby on the ward. I was forgotten about and i got quite ill from being forgotten about. The pain intensified as they forgot about medications top ups as i was forgotten about as i wasn’t in my room. They where always made aware i was downstairs and asked to call me for meals and medication and so on yet they did not bother.

To check on the mums mental health. Check they are okay and feel okay emotionally as well as physically. When a mum is going through hell with a complete change in life a little how are you feeling ? do you want to have a chat about your birth and how life has changed now would of made me feel so much better. A mums mental health can take a complete beating and how they are treated can worsen that experience even more. With one in ten mothers getting post natal depression it is really surprising there is no information available to mothers and fathers/significant others are not explained to what the signs are either. You just have this baby and your expected to know everything and sent into the big wide world.

Have a information point. To have someone or something to give out information. Such as leaflets or advice on practical things like breast feeding, bottle feeding, safe sleeping, basic first aid , basic care of your baby,numbers for support and the list goes on. Any number of mum knows the anxiety of taking a baby home knowing nothing and with internet causing panic of the risk of sids and so on these information sheets can be a godsend and put someone at ease having a little just in case to have readily available.

Overall there is much more that could of been improved in my care but i wont mention it all. I also completely understand the nhs is underfunded and understaffed but that is no excuse when duty of care is repeatedly failed and polices not met.But if you feel something isn’t write with your care please pull them up on it while you’re there. Don’t be afraid to talk about how your’e feeling and remember how you’re feeling is justified and completely normal. Giving birth is a crazy thing and getting used to being a parent straight away with no previous experience is a crazy thing. So be kind to yourself and remember your midwife and g.p are only a call away.

My first session of counselling.

My first session of counselling.

Today I went to my first proper counselling session. It felt odd but it was good. We touched on my upcoming surgery and how it’s causing me anxiety. We spoke about how I felt in my pregnancy and after my birth because that’s what triggered my worry about my upcoming abdominal surgery. We also touched on a few issues about childhood and my ability to block myself off and fall out with others.

At first I felt awkward, I found the woman quite condescending and being there stupid. But then I realised I’m defending myself and this woman is just nice and trying to work our why I’m here and help me. As the session went on it was a lot of me talking and her listening. She asked certain questions and it got me to respond and delve in deeper. She allowed me to feel safe and she seemed to give me time to feel, it felt like she was waiting for me to cry but I didn’t. I think I was to tense being my first time to fully let my guard down. I spent a lot of time looking at the door or at my cup of tea to try and avoid looking at her as it made me feel uncomfortable and like I’d cry.

I felt like I had a safe space to talk, I did not have to hide here as I didn’t know the woman. It made me feel oddly like I could open up. I think because I knew that’s what you do in counselling that it helped me. I’m not going to talk in big deal about what was uncovered today or overthought but I know that this was the first step. The first step to recovery is accepting help and I’ve done that. I’ve also accepted today that I have a lot of issues to work through and that I can feel better if I get it off my chest. Immediately after leaving I felt lighter. Emotionally and physically. I felt a bit more empowered. She helped me to decide to cancel my operation till I’m ready again and to allow myself to deal with that. She’s helped me realise that I’m not a bad person and that I’m not to blame for everything that happened to me.

I’m excited to see how the rest of my journey will go and how it’ll help me learn to control my thought process. I’m looking forward to feeling more in control and taking steps to be happy.

Did I enjoy trying for a baby?

Did I enjoy trying for a baby?

We always knew we wanted a child together and when we decided to try we where both quite excited. We did all the normal things people do when trying to get pregnant. Stopped my pill, worked out and lost weight. Ate healthy and took some fertility helping pills. Tracked when to try and tried all we could.

But did I enjoy trying? In some respects yes. It was exciting knowing we were trying to make a child together which was part of both of us and something we both wanted. I was excited to get fat and grow something inside of me. I enjoyed knowing aswell it was a decision and if I was to be pregnant it wouldn’t be a accident and something we’d panic over it was something we would be excited over.

I didn’t like the failure that can come with trying. I think a part of me expected to get pregnant immediately. I didn’t like taking pregnancy tests and them being negatives. It made me worry there was something wrong with me and made me sad. I would remember talking about how if I felt sick or tired that maybe I was tired and we’d both smile and say must be pregnant and I’d take another test and it would say I wasn’t. I didn’t like hoping I was pregnant and somewhat thinking I was because I’d hope so much at times to then have to see the not pregnant on the stick or a period.

When I fell pregnant I was quite lucky as we’d only tried a little while. I remember I peed on a stick and I could see the faintest line. James told me he couldn’t see it but I could I just knew i was pregnant I felt different I myself in ways I can’t describe. I went to the shops and brought a clear blue digital test which I did later and it said not pregnant. I was heart broken but meant I could still go out drinking for my works do.I had two drinks and remembered thinking no I think I might be pregnant and stoped and felt horrid. Something in me just new and luckily I’d barely drunk. 2 days later I was due and no period. I took a test with my first pee of the day and a slightly faint line again. I called my mum as she was a midwife and she came with more pregnancy tests and we did 3 more. Within seconds they all came up clear as day. I was pregnant. And I had known all along. I was In shock and so was James as we’d convinced myself I wasn’t pregnant. March the 11th 2017 was the best day of my life when I knew I was pregnant.

This was how thin the original line was which I thought meant I was pregnant. I was correct!

I loved trying because we where in control and we knew early on. I didn’t like trying because of the negatives and the unreliability of some pregnancy tests at times. I didn’t like being hopeful and let down all the time but I adored when we where finally successful. My hats go off to people who try for years and sometimes need ivf. It must be such a horrible thing aswell when people are told they are infertile and require intervention or adoption if they are to have children. My heart goes to all your mummies that aren’t mummy’s yet trying your best.

How going from being a working mum to a stay at home mum has affected me.

How going from being a working mum to a stay at home mum has affected me.

I never thought in a million years I’d give up work. I’ve always been a driven woman wanting to do my bit for the community but also get paid and have a ok living from it. That was until I had a child and even then I wanted to work. I wanted to be a good roll model I wanted to show I could do it, I could work and be a mum but it became impossible.

Childcare was difficult I had to rely on nursery two days a week as childcare and if Elijah was unwell I still had to pay the bill and take unpaid leave from work. It seemed he was always getting ill and with no alternative childcare I had to take unpaid or it was lucky I was on annual leave while he was ill. I had to keep taking leave as I had no flexibility to rearrange childcare to work different days so. In the end the pay wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth the stress of the job and the guilt of working for so little. I left mainly because of the stress and how it effected my mental health and I have to say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

I’m not saying run out there and quit your job because that would be silly. If it’s something you want to think about and discuss with your partner then do so but it’s not a decision to make lightly. We had always said one day I would stop working and it just came at a good time really.

James is self employed so he can go out and earn more money. As I left work James was in the process of taking on a lot of work and because I stopped working that meant James could start and finish earlier getting more jobs and more money. He was no longer doing the nursery run and was also visibly less stressed from not having to sit a car for a hour and half a day. We are financially better off. James has full flexibility now as I’m home to watch Elijah and it’s made such a big impact.

My mental health is miles better. I’m no longer on the edge waiting for something to push me off. I still have down days but they’re nothing like they used to be. I don’t stress about made up situations and scenarios in my head about work. I don’t worry about money. I don’t worry I’ll get fired if I or my son feels ill and can be there for my family when they are ill. I don’t have too much to worry about.

My relationships are better. I have more time to see my friends and too talk and I also communicate through texts more. My friendships are stronger than ever and I’ve even made more friends. My conversations are no longer me staring off into distance as I’m stressed wanting to leave because I’m exhausted and don’t have the mental strength to maintain or care about anything said to me. I’m able to fully input into a conversation and have some positive things to add into a situation. My family ties are stronger as I’m not so stressed, I’m not uptight as much and enjoy being in my family’s presence and making more time for it.

My family life is better. I feel like a mother. Not a part time care giver. I spend everyday with him now and have gone from sometimes not seeing him for 24 hours to not missing a thing. I’m not exhausted from work anymore so I have the energy to chase Elijah around, to play and teach him. I take him out more and it’s positive for both of us. It’s now we bond and learn together having fun every step of the way. Me and James’s relationship grows stronger everyday. For some reason I’ve found James is less stressed with me home. I thought it would be the opposite but he tells me it’s better and he doesn’t want me to work as he likes it. The house is tidy when he comes home now or little bits need doing so we have more us time. When Elijah goes to bed at 7 we have all night so we have more time to relax. We will watch a movie or tv series and cuddle on sofa, play a game or James will do work stuff at the table and I’ll read my kindle talking every now and then. Where was before we’d normally zone out and do our own stuff as I’d get home at 8 sometimes earlier and have to still do the clean up and cook and shower. I’d be exhausted and just flop onto the sofa with my phone and spend my perhaps hour of rest before bed ignoring life. We had breakfast together which used to be nice but it turned into a hulk it down so I could get ready for work while James got Elijah ready. Now we have time to be a family and sit down together it’s rare we don’t eat together now. James gets to come home and relax and we relax together. He still helps here and there but I try to get most of the work done and if we’re both exhausted I’ll offer to wash up the next day. The nicest thing is we talk more and on his days off have family time where we are all present in the moment not exhausted and thinking of other things.

The households more maintained. I have time to keep the house tidy and not just clean. I have time and energy to do decorating with James when we want to. The thought before of using my crucial time of to paint a wall made me feel physically sick. I cook more nutritious meals from scratch. I plan ahead and I’m now organised. We enjoy our home more than we used too. We also go out more too and have more guests over as I’m not embarrassed by my house.

My health is improved as I look after myself more. I don’t binge eat at work on lunch breaks from the chippy or Chinese with a dessert of chocolate every time I’ve had a shit day. I take time to look after myself. I have time to exercise. To take my tablets on time, to eat right and to be able to have time to relax and have a self care/ skin care regime too.

I do however miss my work. I miss colleagues and having a laugh with the girls. I miss having a career. I miss having somewhat a important role. I miss learning and adapting to change. I miss having me time on the way home from work and my lunch breaks. I miss being Charlie when everyone didn’t just ask about Elijah, they asked about me. I miss feeling proud to be a mum making her own money.

I don’t like asking for money. Christmas is going to be hard for me as I don’t want to ask for money to buy James his own presents. I feel degraded and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. James doesn’t mind but I hate relying on someone else and it gets me quite uptight. I also get defensive if I’m told no because I can’t just get it with my own money now. Rarely I’m told no btw and I’m not a gold digger so calm down If that’s what you where thinking.

My tired is a different tired. I’m exhausted from a child that takes every inch of my energy. He’s demanding as hell and although I love the time we spend together he can’t half be a pain in the ass.

I get lonely. If I don’t have plans for a few days in a row I get lonely. Even with Elijah I feel alone and like I have no friends even though I know I do. I also get bored easily and want to do something different all the time.

I hate the stigma that comes with being a stay at home mum. It’s like all the years of working have been for nothing. It’s like your worthless because you’ve decided to stay at home and look after your family. People don’t respect you. They think your lazy and have life easy. Having done both, working and staying at home I can say working was easier sometimes and work stops motherhood doesn’t. There’s no home Time when things get tough or calling in sick because you’re having a bad mental health day or chucking your guts up. There’s no lunch break and nobody to help.

Overall I am lucky to be given the opportunity to stay at home and to have such a loving, hard working husband to provide this life for us all. Sometimes I miss working, sometimes I don’t but for now it’s been the best decision we’ve made.

My struggle with weight gain after having a baby.

My struggle with weight gain after having a baby.

Everyday I look in the mirror and wonder why I haven’t woken up skinny again and how it’s just not fair. My body image is something I really struggle with and don’t think I ever will accept either. I never paid attention to my weight gain because it was too late. Illnesses, pregnancy and work related stress all contributed to this body that won’t just pop back into place.

I try to live healthy I can be healthy all week, exercise, eat right and then I see no weight loss and end up reaching for the just eat app or raiding my cupboards to put it all back on again. I’m a comfort eater and if something gets to me I instantly reach for food and it makes me feel better, chocolate, cakes, crisps and fried foods are my weakness and I’m not afraid to admit it.

It’s so hard to not gain weight after a baby. First of all you eat lots when pregnant no idea why but you do. After everything’s a quick instant meal when you can a takeaway here a chocolate bar there just so you can look after a baby and chase a toddler. You have no time to go to a gym or childcare. You can’t afford a gym pass either when you know you’ll go once a month if that. Taking the time to cook food is difficult when your toddler/ baby is screaming for attention. Your body can sometimes struggle to breakdown weight when tired and if not sleeping enough or suffering medical issues like me it’s even harder.

I’m constantly seeing posts from people who say love your post natal body! You’re body’s beautiful when these fake woman just want likes on their posts. You don’t love your flab, you don’t love your empty belly that’s still hanging away over your trousers. You don’t love your stretch marks that stretch across your body replacing your once soft and smooth skin. It is more than okay to hate your post natal body or if you can’t have children and have a jelly belly or stretch marks with no story to show it’s okay to. We let go and get comfortable in baggy clothes and eating to block out the pain but when is enough enough?

Today I decided enough is enough. After I’ve demolished my cakes and food this weekend I’ve brought I’m back on the diet and going to eat veg and healthy snacks when I’m feeling emotional. I’m going to exercise and wear and use the clothes and equipment I spent a small fortune on gathering dust. I feel good when I eat good and exercise my body just feels good.It’s gonna be hard work but I need to accept my body. I’ve done so well loosing so much weight that I’ve dropped 4 dress sizes which I’m proud of but the progress has been slow. I look at time hops and see how I used to look and I miss it so much when I didn’t worry about my weight and ate what I wanted. I accept my body. I don’t like it but I accept it and I will improve it. If not for me but for my health.

Hypnobirthing and our experience.

Hypnobirthing and our experience.

Hypnobirthing was something my Midwife’s recommended and I signed up for a the start of my pregnancy. We started our classes at around 30 weeks and we had 4 two hour classes over the next five weeks out with a weeks break in the middle.

What is hypnobirthing? Basically it’s preparing your self for birth. It’s sort of like getting yourself into a state of complete relaxation as a couple while in childbirth. It’s using the mind to relax. You’re given scripts and a book to practise at home where you talk through the scripts and relax sort of in a state of hypnosis.

Every week we’d begin with being talked through stages of labour and understanding it. We where talked through any questions we have by the midwife who taught the course. We then would have a break and then she would make the room dark we’d sit in a comfy area and do a script. In some scripts our partners would be in charge of stroking our arms to a pattern to relax us, hole our belly weight with a scarf and various other things. The voices would be quiet whispering and you’d use your imagine to drift off.

The scripts worked really well and I really enjoyed the class. I drifted off into complete relaxation and the scripts helped me at home to relax. It made me think of things to get like massage oil, Lavander essence, Led tea lights and lot more to use in labour.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to have my natural labour but I definitely would of used it and it really helped me relax and feel more in control when doing it. The best thing for me was though the one couple we spoke to turned out to become one of our best friends and a bridesmaid at my wedding.

A Caesarean section is NOT the easy way out.

A Caesarean section is NOT the easy way out.

Let me break this down for everyone there was NOTHING, NOTHING easy about me having a c-section. And when someone says it was the way way out it boils my blood and makes me furious to the extent I see red. Today somebody said it was the easy way out to me again and i wanted to scream. This may trigger some people who have had a stressful birth.

I had a section almost 2 years ago now. There was nothing easy about it. The anxiety I was going to die, the procedure itself, the recovery, the struggle to breastfeed, the struggle to bond just everything was not EASY. It has been 2 years and I still feel pain when I lift something to heavy or move into a funny position, when I stand completely straight or wear tight clothes I feel like my csection scar is going to rip open and my muscles feel pain like they’re being ripped apart again.When people want to make competition out of their child birth it sickens me a bit. So what you had a baby naturally and did something that’s been done for millions of years but it does not give you the right to judge others for choosing what is what is best for them and their baby. Having a baby with no complications naturally you can go home the same day and start your life. You can walk around and carry on life as normal.

With a csection you cannot just get up straight after having your baby to settle them as they cry because you’re paralysed by the drugs and pain at first. The first time you get up you require two staff members to help you out as you SCREAM in pain as your stomach muscles awake to the fact they’ve been ripped apart and it feels like it’s happening over again with no pain relief. The first time you stand up your blood gushes down your legs. Oh yeah, you bleed and hurt down below it’s not just you natural birthers that get the blood and pain as your body reacts to the baby leaving. We also get pain when peeing and pooing too. Oh yeah and imagine your first poo and pee but you’ve had all your stomach muscles ripped open aswell! Ha is it easy now to imagine pushing out a poo when your in so much pain you might just throw up too? Walking is agony, your breathless and exhausted from the surgery you stand up straight and it’s agony in your stomach. Weeks after you’ll struggle to sit up, cough, laugh or walk. You’ll struggle to breath sometimes it hurts so much. You’ll get severe back pain from the medication and ginormous needle they shoved in your back which you can feel on a cold day or just sitting years and years later you can feel exactly where the medication and needle was pushed in. If you had spd you don’t heal as quickly from not having a natural childbirth. You mentally never get over not having a natural birth and if you had to get put to sleep you never, ever get over missing your child’s birth. So the next time you want to say “too posh to push” or “the easy way out” you better count yourself lucky you never had one and hope you never have to. Most importantly keep your backwards judgements to yourself because of that csection and medical intervention mum and baby survived and without it they probably wouldn’t of.