I would love to preface this blog with a little forewarning! Its graphic and vulnerable. It's raw and real and it is my memoire only 1 week after my birth. I actually see it a lot differently now (one year on!), I have tried not to edit out anything only to fix typos as I want to share the true story. Now we are one year on I truely only remember it being absolutely beautiful and it was but it was also intense! Its amazing how the body and mind seems to dissolve so much. Almost as though your memory is painless. I think that's so we go back for more! All I remember is LOVE. So much love, love for my baby, love for my husband, love for the midwives who helped me on my journey. I Honestly am so excited to do it again one day. Though if I read this back I definitely feel a "Oh Wow" I remember now. Hahah! If you're a Mama to be, just know that its such a special journey and to give yourself time and space to absorb and work through your birth. It is a baptism of fire and an incredible path. Its a road where you completely lose yourself and then rediscover yourself all over again. I wish you all the love and joy on your journey and through the 4th trimester!
Without further ado....
I was 40 weeks and 3 days on May 7th. I was sitting in my lounge room with my mother in law, sister in law and my 6year old niece. I was feeling tired but so happy to have them there. I had been trying to fill each day since 40weeks with lots of love and good feelings to boost the oxytocin and get labour going. It was late in the afternoon, around 5.30pm, I was sitting on the couch when I felt a bit of a weird gush. Not huge but still it caught my attention. I almost couldn’t tell if I had weed. My head went from concern to excitement in about point five of a second. I didn’t move for a moment then politely excused myself to the loo, I didn’t want to get anyone excited just incase I had indeed weed myself (not something I usually did but you never know when you’re pregnant). I went into the bathroom and grabbed a handful of toilet paper to dry myself and when I relaxed it was soaked completely. It wasn’t a big gush but seemed to release when I fully relaxed.
I popped a pad in and kept thinking, "Is this it?" I walked back into the lounge room and smiling ear to ear said, "I think my water just broke, I don’t know if this is it, but it might be IT!!!" And did a little dance! I calmly ran (fast pace waddled!) to get my birthing ball so I could start doing some bouncing to open up my pelvis. It was a bit like the feeling you get before you walk through the gates of Disneyland or an amazing concert you’ve been anticipating forever. I think my MIL & SIL thought I was a little crazy since they had both been through labour. But I was so excited for labour. All my preparations were about to come into practice and I knew I was ready!
My MIL & SIL left so I could focus and I was so excited how close we might be to meeting our little human!
Come 8.30pm my contractions started. Not super intense, just like mild period pain. I rolled around my hips swaying on my ball and focused on my breathing whilst listening to my meditations from both hypo birthing and Nicola Laye. I decided to try sleep because (being my first pregnancy) I had this idea that I would be laboring for 30+hrs so laid down but I was just to excited to sleep. As the surges became a little more defined (feeling them begin and end). I told my husband Robbie that I thought this was it. I think up until that point the fluid and the period pain could have been passed off as normal pregnancy symptoms and Braxton hicks. But nope. This was it. I decided to use up some time, I moved into the shower with some candles and my positive affirmations and meditations on speaker. I focused on breathing and swaying my hips. I told Robbie to start packing the car so we could be ready. And that maybe we should watch a movie to take up some time.
I started timing the contractions at 9.10pm. I moved into our room to dry off. Rob packed the car and started cleaning the house frantically. Putting away washing and mopping the floors. I wanted to go out and breathe in the cool air outside and be under the moon so I stood out on our driveway taking it in. It was the night of the Flower super Moon and somehow that felt so significant.
As I breathed through contractions I was texting my mum and brother, who by this point had both insisted I go to the hospital because my waters had broken. Robbie and I were following hospital guidelines not to go to the hospital till I had 3×1min contractions in 10mins. But after receiving a screenshot of the hospital website from my brother, saying to go to the hospital if your waters break, we decided we should go. I really didn’t want to arrive to early to the hospital because its 30mins from our house and I didn’t want to be turned away to labour longer at home. Amidst contractions about 4 mins apart we dropped Daisy, our fur baby, off to my mums house (I wasn’t in a rush) and I listened to my meditations whilst breathing through them. During the car ride they become quite intense and by now, around midnight they were getting closer together. We got to the hospital car park had to stop a few times on the walk to the upper level door (not the main entrance)... due to Covid the door was locked. I laughed. And possibly cried because my slow shuffling had taken awhile to get there and surges were coming quicker. We pressed the buzzer and Robbie spoke to them and thankfully the security guard let us in. We presented to the labour ward and there was another couple there too. They nurses took the other couples temp and asked them all the Covid Questions (have you been in contact with anyone confirmed, have you travelled in the last 2 weeks, are you showing any flu-like signs of Covid). Next it was our turn. At this point I think my whole body that had been so relaxed and calm (and pretty excited) seized up. What if Rob had a temperature, what if he couldn’t come in with me. It was probably only 5 minutes but it was enough to take me out of my zone. We were all fine and our temps we fine. We passed the “test” and moved into the Maternity Antenatal Clinic (MAC) for them to assess me. We waited here for a little while whilst a midwife was called. I was connected to a heart rate monitor. By this point I was feeling a bit spacey. I couldn’t reign in my focus. The midwife was asking questions and Rob was answering for me because I was breathing and trying to focus. I decided to stop timing the contractions. The midwife was saying that if I was to be checked and wasn’t far enough along we would have to go home. I didn’t fully comprehend her questions but Robbie is a great translator and told me she was asking permission to check how far along I was. So she checked me and I was 4cm dilated and fully effaced. The surges were getting more intense. I had messaged Nicola (my breathing, birthing, and life coach! And all round amazing human creature) once the contractions started earlier. Right after I was checked she messaged to ask how I was going. At 1.40am in the morning she got out of bed to coach me via phone through the contractions. Moving from home to the hospital had thrown me a little and while I leaned over the bed in the MAC unit Nicola helped ground me down and breathe.
I was then moved to the labour ward and we got ready.
Once we got to the labour ward it feels a bit like a beautiful blurry whirlwind. When we arrived. Robbie started to unpack and get out the things I needed. Our speaker for the meditations, my snacks (the bag was HUGE) the battery-operated candles... Robbie couldn’t work the candles so brought them in. In my misty eyed labouring I couldn’t work them either. Rob said there was no batteries in them, “but they’re new”, I thought. The midwife ran out to see if she could find some for us. Goodness I thought I was so prepared. I had purchased a whole box of faux candles and forgot to put batteries in them. It seemed so stupid at the time. But turns out rob had picked up candles that had been left in the birthing suite, thinking they were mine. Hahaha. Our candles were still tucked away in the birthing bag, never to be used! Hahaha! Oh dear.
I bounced on the ball for a short while and the midwife hooked up the gas I took the gas for a bit and then threw up multiple times. I then got in the shower to help take the pain away and laboured standing over a chair for a while. They then gave me a Maxalon shot to help with the nausea which it did and I was able to have the gas.
I then requested more pain medication, as the contractions were getting more painful. They offered me morphine, at this point the pain was increasing rapidly and I wanted anything to help as I thought we would have quite a few hours of this labour ahead at this intensity I didn’t know how long I could go on. Robbie reminded me what would happen on the morphine, that I would be out of it and that it does affect the baby (if born within 3hrs of the shot the baby will need help breathing). So I declined it and asked for the epidural to happen ASAP. They tested my urine and they found ketones, as I was quite dehydrated from being quite ill. So they then moved me to the bed to put me on a drip and to take blood for the epidural. I was so dehydrated they were unable to get the cannula in for fluids. Eventually it was in and I moved to all fours leaning on the back of the bed. I laboured here for what felt like an eternity but was only about an hr. The cannula was knocked out of my hand because I was moving quite a lot. The anesthetist was waiting outside on blood results and ready to go. At 3.30am I was checked again and was 9cm dilated.
The anesthetist came in and spoke to me. In a blur she told me that by the time the epidural works the baby will be here. I cried.
Rob then asked if I could move to the bath. It felt like decades for it to fill.
By this point I could feel baby moving down the birth canal. I felt stretched and was bearing down. I definitely felt a bit of panic in this moment. I didn’t have many fears surrounding birth but my biggest was if I felt the need for the epidural and it would be to late. My fear was here. The moment when they came in and told me that it was to late to have the epidural the fear took over me and I didn't think I could go any further. But I did...10 mins of pushing on the bed I got to move to my favourite place. The water.
When I finally got in the bath I felt a rush of relief and a feeling of coming home. Something shifted and I was able to get my breath back and felt a lot more calm that this was now our final destination and the baby would be here soon.
At this point I really focused on Robbie. He was talking me through my breathing and keeping me centered. He was amazing.
The baby’s heart rate was checked between each contraction and for 28 mins I pushed. My midwives could see babies’ head. They said to me that after the next contraction to put my hand down they’re to feel his head. Something I was not keen on at all but in the blur I reached down and felt. That was my baby. My little human was nearly here. It gave me that little bit of hope and exhilaration. The next few pushes his head came in and out. The pain at this point was incredible but it was the strength to push I was lacking. I didn’t feel like the contractions were long enough to push him out. I could hear them discussing moving me to the bed
I remember the midwife got my attention and made eye contact with me. She said on the next contraction I need you to really push.
I could feel there was something a little stuck. I asked someone to hold my leg to push against. On the next push my baby arrived at 4.50am. Gently he was brought up to my chest where I held this sweet beautiful tiny little body on me. A tiny little being I had made and now birthed in a beautiful body of water under the super moon. The midwife asked if Robbie wanted to check the sex. A boy! "We have a boy, I have a son" I remember saying. Tears steaming down my face as wave after wave of emotion crashed over me - gratefulness, awe, love, exultation, pain, relief, power, mind blowing wonderment, love, gratitude, love, love, love and more love. Love for this tiny human, love for my husband who had gotten me through this incredible journey of pregnancy and birth and life. Love for the midwives who were so absolutely incredible and attentive. And a big sigh of relief and love for myself. I did it. I pushed my body to the edge of the precipice and didn’t think I could push it any further. But I did. I faced my biggest fear and came over the other side. A Warrior. A Goddess and now a Mother. I am now a mother.
We have a son.
Wolfgang Sydney Adrian
The moment they put him in my arms. I felt the full weight of the last few hours. It was heavy in my heart. How could something so small and special cause such intense experience, your entire body working towards his arrival. Incredible and also hard. Incredibly hard. But so worth it.
All fresh, wrinkly and squishy.
Tears of joy and elation for our first feed. He latched like a pro and our breastfeeding journey was off to an incredible start - One year on he's still a bewb monstor!
NEVER . HAVE . I . EVER
Been so overwhelmed with so many emotions... Love, Pain, Sadness, Joy, Honour, Doubt, Guilt, Happiness, Fear, Growth, Power, Trauma, Pride, Exhaustion, Exultation, Fascination, Defeat, Defiance, Overwhelm and yet being completely and utterly over the moon..... They say you cannot prepare for the birth of a child. And gosh that is the understatement of the century. The incredible journey to get here has been one that started many many moons ago. The waiting and wishing and hoping to conceive over many months. The joy and excitement of those double lines. Creating, growing and carrying a human whilst suffering from crippling nausea and vomiting for 8 months. Then finally labour for which I have few words to describe. Physically ripping your own body apart to allow this little being to enter the world. Becoming a mother for the first time. The awe inspiring unconditional love and pain for this tiny little person you just met. And now to be a parent and to sift through and ignore the right, wrong, correct, incorrect ways of the world and learning to just trust your instincts. What a journey it has been and I am so incredibly proud of myself in this moment and so honoured to have created such a beautiful little being.
This little one is my one way ticket to motherhood! Still cannot believe it!
DEAR MAMA TO BE //
I feel your heart from where i am. I know you're being strong.
You're trying to hide your scared eyes and yearning for the media to be wrong.
You find yourself hiding away in your home. You long for a world that is safe.
To bring your baby into this world, but right now feels its just not the case.
Your shower is cancelled or maybe your plans to catch up with family and friends.
To love & to laugh, have them fawn over you and feel babies kicks with their hands.
Your baby moon is off & your birth plan amended to account for the new rules laid down.
You know its for your safety & your babies sweet life but you cant help but feel so let down.
Your body is growing this little human, so long awaited & there’s no possible chance you can pause.
The world is still turning & days are all passing with fear and unknown behind every door.
This moment was yours, this time in your life to enjoy all the good times to come.
The weeks before you become a mama where all of your heart & attention is diverted from your lives to their one.
But that is all dimmed & now locked away in your house where you distance yourself from the world.
Attending appointments alone or worse on the phone, what used to be joyful, all now feels so cold.
But you will get through this, this time in your journey, finding an unknown strength you have got.
Your baby will come right into this world & this world as you know it will stop.
The moments you spend gazing at them, hearing giggles and counting their little toes.
You wont even notice the world will melt away with all of its worries & all of its woes.
Take a deep breath in & remember you have more gumption and grace than any of this overwhelming fear.
No matter the state of the world & its grieving. You need not let that grief in here.
Don’t fret or be scared in this moment sweet mama. We're all in this together you know.
That through thick & thin we will do this together and through all of these hard times we will grow.
When all this is over & the sun comes in shining, we'll know in our hearts how far we've come.
I hear you, i see you, i am you beautiful mama we can get through this together as one.
Packing for hospital can be a little overwhelming. Not just because when you're around 35 weeks and you still haven't packed you're not sure if it's still to soon or maybe you should have done it ages ago. The whole not knowing when you're going into labour can be a weird limbo. I definitely recommend packing earlier rather than later. Put it all to one side in a bag and just tick off your list of things that are in there so if you go into labour early then you can (hopefully) quickly grab those remaining items you need before jumping in the car!
My labour progressed quite quickly but the contractions were fairly bearable up until about halfway through the car ride, so i did have a bit of time to pack everything I needed but as it goes we forgot plenty! Or at least I had forgotten where I had put things in the bag. Even though I was crazy organised I thought I left my phone charger but it was in my camera bag ("Electronics"!) and we totally forgot the birthing ball, but the hospital had one. The candles I had packed Robbie (husband) didn't see and he was trying to work the candles that were left in the birthing suite... They didnt work. But my Birth Story and Adventure, well, that's for another day! But ultimately whatever you forget you will make do. The hospital generally can provide what you forgot until you can find or get what you need.
Because we were unsure if we would be staying at the hospital when we first arrived (I had no idea how far along i was!). We left the suitcase in the car and just brought the birthing bag. I think this worked out well because we weren’t overwhelmed and carrying things in that were just for the birth. Particularly helpful if you’re bringing your own birth ball (so much to carry!). The only thing I didn’t pack was a onsie in the birth bag for baby to wear after birth! These were in the suitcase so I’ve popped it on the birth bag list!
BIRTH:: Packing a separate birth bag gives you a less stressful experience when trying to find things you need. I definitely recommend going through this bags contents with your birth partner because it’s likely you will be sending them to grab everything out!
SUITCASE:: A wheelie suitcase is the best way to bring everything in for your stay. I used a carryon size with 2 separate halves (one for bub, one for mama!) I also used packing cubes to separate categories (nappy changes, Baby clothes, Mamas PJ’s and comfy clothes etc.) and then within the cubes used Ziplock bags to separate little outfits (onesie, hat, mittens) for baby!
Pre prepare anything for your birth announcement (if you’re doing one) like Welcome plaque or outfit and put their separately too. If adding a name to the plaque add a pen to write with in there as well.
Birth Plan/Preferences – Your birthing wishes are such an important part of the process. Things simply cannot be planned but having your preferences can help your birth team navigate your ideal birth.
Hospital “Blue Book” (or the likes) – The book or paperwork you receive when you begin visiting your hospital of choice.
Battery operated candles
Headphones/ear pods/Speaker & playlist – We had a speaker as well as earpods so I could play relaxing meditation music but have my birth affirmations in headphones
Laminated Affirmations/Birth Prompts – Laminated means they will stand out and easy to find in your bag. Also waterproof!
Heat packs/ Water bottle
Swimwear (if water birthing)
Bra/Underwear (stretchy & comfortable)
Dress/Nighty or Robe for labour
Snacks for Both You & Partner – I packed so much thinking we would be there for hours in labour (we weren’t labouring long!) but they ended up being great for the hospital stay
Water bottle + Straw – A straw allows you to stay in your zone and not have to think about tilting your head or moving.
Juice poppers &/or Coconut water! – Sugars & Electrolytes
Lip balm – Necessary! Your lips can get so dry, especially with dehyration
Essential oils (If allowed) – A lot of birthing suites don’t allow clary sage but you can bring lavender for calm and relaxation or a peppermint for alertness. There is also rules around having a diffuser so make sure you check with your hospital. I took a few cotton balls to soak a little oil in and hold to my nose!
Onesie for baby upon arrival!
Birthing Ball – If it is your preference to use one! (Great for opening up the pelvis and getting baby into a good position! The hospital does have a few but if you’re set on having one its best to take your own
! x Pair Comfy Pjs (feeding friendly) – Classic pants and shirt PJs are great with buttons!
1 x Nighty (feeding friendly)- I bought a really stretchy oversized soft cotton nighty which was perfect
1 x Comfy Robe – I got a leopard print nighty and robe in case of any unwanted stains would be hidden!
2 x Nursing or Regular Singlet – I found that just regular stretch singlets were great, Im not a lover of bras when Im trying to sleep (even the soft ones in nursing singlets) but I lived in THESE for the first 6 weeks PP.
1 x Cardigan or Jumper – Something cosy but not too bulky so you can sleep in it if you need a little extra warmth but also can feed in it
1 x black tights – Black tights and Singlets became my mum uniform for the first 6 weeks It was Winter so I added a cute coatigan (long cardigan) so I would always be comfy enough to sleep in it but if someone arrived at the house or we had someone over for tea I was still reasonably dressed for 3pm in the afternoon! I just purchased 2 cheap pairs of THESE
1 x track pants - Warmth
6 x Black knickers (high waisted)
2 x pairs socks – Especially in hospital it can get a little chilly!
1-2 soft stretchy or maternity crops – I loved the triangle pull aside crops But the clasp bras are great too.
Going home outfit – Make sure its feeding friendly and something you feel beautiful in!
Shoes for going home – because the shoes you arrive in in the throws of labour may not be ideal!
Thongs for shower
Shampoo/Conditioner – That first time you wash your hair post labour is like an island holiday!
Shower Gel & loofah – Something natural without harsh chemicals and something that smells divine. I love (Love this one - https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/productdetails/813638/?googleshop=true&store_code=woolworths_supermarkets_2512&cmpid=smsm:ds:GOOGLE:Woolies_8458_BAU_Shopping_LIA_All_WW-0001:PRODUCT_GROUP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5aGo6ObW6wIVViUrCh15QAqWEAQYASABEgIc9PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds)
Face Moisturiser – I was completely obsessed with Rosehip oil during and post pregnancy. I lathered it on twice a day and it made me feel hydrated and human!
1 Pack Maternity Pads – Have 1 pack in your suitcase but also 2-3 packs waiting for you at home!
1 Pack Depends Disposable underwear – Trust me! These are amazing! Comfortable on stitches or C-section wounds but also comfortable after all that has gone on “down there!” – I would wear these with a pad inside for extra protection and just change the pad regularly and underwear as needed.
Lansinoh Nipple Ointment – Amazing! Pure lanolin so safe for baby to suck on (don’t have to wash off before feeding) I also got a REALLY dry nose in hospital and would use this on my nose and lips.
Spray Bottle or PUMP bottle – To spray your privates while weeing, either that or a quick shower after each loo visit.
Reusable Bamboo breast pads – These are fantastic for when your milk comes in! Don’t want to ruin an outfit!
Haemorrhoid cream – If you’re having a natural labour you may need it! You don’t want to be caught without it if you do need it!
Car seat Installed – Definitely worth installing your car seat from about 36weeks pregnant! You can DIY install or usually baby stores or mechanics can do it for a small fee
3-4 x New born Onesies – My little man was 3.3kg and was in 00000 for quite a while– I recommend taking a few in 2 different sizes depending on how your baby is tracking weight wise! If unsure bottoms and tops will generally fit more sizes/lengths! Also keep in mind the fit of a 00000 will differ from store to store (eg Bonds Onesies are LARGE! Kmart I found to be regular, Seed was fairly average, Best and Less are large but their Baby Berry range is smaller)
2 x Singlets – Particularly for winter babies to wear under onesies
Going home outfit – Something cute and comfortable
20x NB Nappies – Generally 7-12 Nappies a day in the early days
1 pack water wipes – I love these because they are 99% water and only 1% essential oil
1 x Warm Blanket
1 pair Booties/Socks
1 pair Mittens
1 x Beanie
2 x Bamboo/Cotton Swaddles – Swaddling in the early days is fantastic, I also love the Love to Dream Sleeping bags.
Soft Toy (optional) – We love out little Jellycat Bunny (https://www.davidjones.com/brand/jellycat)
Phone & charger – An extra long cord is great if you can get one, so you can stay in bed on your phone!
Wallet (Cash, Change, Id, Medicare Card)
Camera, Charger & SD card – Make sure you have all batteries charged and an extra SD card
Cosy Pillow & or Blanket – Something that feels like home and makes you feel cosy
Travel Coffee Cup - The little Styrofoam cups just don’t quite cut it
Breast Shields (optional)
Ice packs – Nipple and Perineum icepacks are a godsend
iPad & charger – Great for video chats and watching Netflix
Clothes for Dad/Birth Partner – Don’t forget a warm jumper for the air conditioning
Swimwear for Dad/Partner (Waterbirth)
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SUPRE Black Leggings (2 for $20, Bargain!) / APPLE Air Pods / KMART 3 Pack Ultra Smooth Seamfree Hi-Cut Briefs / BRONTE Wet Bag / KMART Seam Free Cami / LANSINOH Nipple Balm / SCHMIDTS Rose + Vanilla Natural Deodorant Stick / BONDS Wire Free Maternity Bra / WATER WIPES / Announcement Plaques / JELLYCAT Bunny /
Also check out my blog 5 Things To Know Before Labour
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You're starting to get that thrill, the excitement of your baby soon to arrive but also a little niggling of fear and doubt as to how your baby is going to arrive.
I've had some beautiful women ask me how I prepared for labour and birth. Having shared so many of this with close friends who are about to give birth I wanted to share this with you too in hopes it may help you in some small way!
A few things I found incredibly helpful and a few things I wish I had have known before
1. REST WHEN YOU CAN
Get as much rest before birth and labour as you can but the biggest thing I would stress is sleep as soon as you can after labour.
It's so hard because there's so much adrenaline and excitement coursing through your body. But post birth your new baby is going to be exhausted after that big journey into the big world and they will sleep. Turn off your phone because all the well wishes will be there as soon as you wake up. If you don't get a good stretch of sleep post birth it's likely you may not get a good sleep for a long time.
It's really important for recovery and healing to get good rest and sleep and this is a good time! Which brings me to my next point
2. TAKE TIME FOR HEALING
No matter how your baby comes into the world you are going to have to heal.
Be kind to yourself and don't over do it. Be it a vaginal birth or c section your body has been through battle and its important to remember that even though you're looking after your new human, your body is going through some HUGE healing. So take it easy! Just because you've left the hospital does not mean you're ok to run around at home. You still need bed rest and time for your body to heal.
3. PREPARE FOR LABOUR
You can't plan for labour but you can prepare.
So many people kept telling me that you can't prepare for labour. To an extent I believe you can't plan it. But you can absolutely prepare for it. Education is so important when it comes to anything for me, particularly a journey like birth. You enter the hospital as a woman and leave a mama. It's like this incredible right of passage and it's a battle within those walls that you have to fight and win. And you will! Preparing for the fight, I think, was incredibly beneficial to me. Learning about pain management, the different stages of labour, your preferences for both you and baby.
Whilst I was still met with some big challenges, having knowledge around labour helped my husband and I make calculated decisions in the heat of the moment and also doing lots of work on breath and meditation in the lead up allowed me to relax and be in my body for the (majority!) of my labour! I worked with an amazing woman, Nicola Laye, who I met when I took her pregnancy pilates class in my last trimester (helping baby get in optimal position and learning birthing positions) she also specialises in breath and meditation and I worked with her coaching me in birth and breath during the last months of pregnancy during multiple sessions releasing fears, preparing and learning. She also mentored me during my labour (at 1am in the morning!) and it really helped to ground me and relax. She offers some really incredible breathing classes and workshops for pregnant and non pregnant women and couples! You can read more about her offerings here: https://www.nicolalaye.com
4. BIRTHING WISHES
A birth plan isn't about planning your birth, you simply can't plan it. But it's about educating yourself on your options and expressing your wishes or preferences for your birth. From pain management to environmental elements your wishes can be met to a certain extent. I found it so valuable to educate myself on all the ways labour can go. I loved listening to Australian Birth Stories podcast to hear all the ways women birth. It's not for everyone, some women feel the fear more when they hear bad stories but for me education and knowledge is power. Learning what can go wrong isn't to scare you, its empowering to understand the terms and procedures and what roads might lead to where. What practices you can implement if your birth doesn't go to plan and also knowing what's possible and your rights and options within the space you have chosen whether it be hospital, birth centre or home-birth.
I planned and wanted to give birth at the hospital, particularly for my first baby because it's where I felt my baby would be safest, should anything be wrong (a personal feeling and the right one for me). I found the hospital very flexible in regards to my wishes. Even though I had researched and requested quite a few wishes there wasn't any that were not met (including delayed cord clamping which is now standard practice, a calm, dark and quiet environment, the use of water as pain management in birthing pool and shower etc) usually around 28 weeks you discuss your birth plan with your midwife but there is so many great resources available online to help you write yours.
Also it's great to go through your birth preferences and plan with your birth partner so they can advocate for you.
5. PACKING FOR HOSPITAL
Have TWO seperate bags for the hospital - a birthing bag and a hospital bag - and go through your birthing bag with your birth partner and explain what each item is for. (I spent part of early labour kicking myself for not having batteries in my faux candles, turns out rob was using someone else's left in the birth suite 🤣) I've put together a list of my must haves for hospital and labour. Everyone swears by different items but this is a list of my essentials including a few must haves. HERE
*NOTE* - To a Friend, That's You, Mama to Be...
Birth and labour is such an incredible journey, no matter how your baby arrives into this world the ultimate goal is to get them here safely. Empowering yourself with the tools to take it on can give you a wider view and more confidence in your journey no matter what that journey entails. Birthing my son has been the most incredibly empowering and courageous thing I have ever done. The female body is beyond incredible and women have been giving life for thousands of years. Our bodies were designed for it, the biggest piece of advice is to trust yourself, trust your body and listen to it. treat it kindly pre and post birth and surround yourself with all the loving vibes. You've got this mama, I believe in you!
I'd love to hear if you have any extra helpful tips or comments you have that might help make the next Mama to Be's journey just a little bit better or easier! Please leave any special words of advice in the comments!
Celebration in the Sky.
Celebrating the impending arrival of a sweet bundle of joy has to be one of lifes greatest parties! We wanted to keep the gender of our baby a surprise (for us and the world!) so we creeated the perfect gender neutral baby shower with an "Up in The Sky" theme. With a palette of soft blue, white with a mix of neutrals with a pop of Gelato colours in the balloon garlands. Featuring soft white roses, dried florals and leaves with the added fun of our colourful “Hot Air Balloon” cake table, hot air balloon lanterns and fluffy white clouds! Such a fun way to celebrate amongst the clouds!
Captured beautifully by the amazing Kaitlin Maree Photography, each little element came together so beautifully. It's amazing how it can be so easy to create a really beautiful expensive looking themed event with a little thought and preparation. The key for me (being rather pregnant and of course being a host) was to have everything as ready as possible ahead of time (ays or weeks ahead) so that it could all just come together on the day. It was a week and a day of crazy rain so we were very grateful to have some amazing helpers (brothers, husbands and friends) help on the morning.
We created centrepieces from faux flowers and dried pampas, bunny tails and a few sprigs of dried wheat which I think set the scene beautifully. This meant that on the day they were ready to pop on the table and I didn't have to worry about running around for fresh flowers. Propping them up on top of these centrepiece stands (which can be purchased on eBay in gold) I spray painted these white to match the theme. I wanted a bit more of a formal seating arrangement so we had cute little place cards made with little wooden clouds on each plate. (matching white plates purchased from Kmart for a bargain at 75cents!) The table cloths are also from Kmart and were perfect as they were extra large with a linen like texture and their length and width meant they cascaded beautifully to the floor. Chair covers really can tie the entire look together and give a uniform and blank canvas for the theme and table setting to just POP! They can be hired relatively cheaply from a Party Hire and we went with the amazing Elite Weddings and Events who have such a great range and cater to small and large events!
The gorgeous Sky Themed cake was created by ever amazing The Sweet Society Co and all were just as incredibly delish as it looks!!!! The cake looked absolutely perfect underneath our gorgeous HOT AIR BALLOON! This was created with an extra large round wicker basket, a few wooden dowels from Bunnings and a gorgeous Gelato balloon arrangement put together by my sister in law & I!
A little drink station put together by my mama with a little Signature Cocktail of hers (alcoholic and virgin available!) kept us all smiling. Add in some champagne and bottled water (all essential for any event really!) My amazing bestie put together some fun party games and event favours of delish Melting Moment cookies in little cloud themed gift boxes. They were so cute and all the ladies loved taking a little taste home.
My hair and makeup was done by the ever amazing Bella Brides! Unfortunately the rain and humidity did nothing nice for my hair but the makeup stayed put ALL DAY! Given I was 29 Weeks pregnant these ladies somehow made me feel like a total queen. And of course my little sequin dress was Begitta, I love this dress created in our Soleil fabric with a soft nude underlay. It showed off my bump and I felt like a rockstar!
I absolutely love an event! I love planning and creating a mood board, I love dreaming up how to style a space and adding fun DIY ideas. So when it came to my baby shower that I had been dreaming up for so long I knew I would have the time of m life with the theme. After being so ill throughout my whole pregnancy I felt I had lost some of that excitement and joy that I had expected during what I had anticipated would be a beautiful blooming time for me! So my best friend and I planned it together so I could find some joy in putting together the celebration and it was such a beautiful day amongst all the women I hold most dear!
Special thanks to some incredible people who helped make this day amazing - all the amazing women and brothers/husband who assisted on the day
Photography: Kaitlin Maree Photography
Hair and Makeup: Bella Brides
Cake & Tarts: The Sweet Society Co
Chair Covers: Elite Weddings and Events
,A long awaited story of our journey to our double lines! If I am honest, I was a bit apprehensive to share our story with the world, I was scared that something might go wrong or it would all be too good to be true. But now I am so excited to share this little glimpse of our journey.
Growing up I always dreamed of having a beautiful little family. I've always wanted 3 kids. So funny when you’re 13 and you picture your life, I wanted to have met the love of my life by 21, be married at 23 & have 3 kids by 28 with a house. HA! Well at 23 I dove into the world of business. I worked as a freelance stylist until I could save enough to follow my passion to Paris to study Fashion, Specifically Haute Couture (High Fashion). Which I did with a short stint studying in London as well. I made my way home and started my business. Since then I have worked endlessly creating my dream world in business. Working with some incredible people and along the way met and married my Prince Charming in our dream wedding, on a beautiful September day, fit for a story book! Now In my early 30s that 13 year olds idea of life was a bit off, but trusting the timing of my life has worked out pretty well so far!
My beautiful husband Robbie and I wanted kids straight away. We wanted a honeymoon baby and to start building our family as quick as we could. Rob wants 4! Eeek!
Our honeymoon was amazing and to be honest we thought we would get pregnant fairly quickly. Don’t we all! I haven’t ever taken contraception, I am relatively active and eat well and healthily and I don’t drink much. For some of the lucky ones it does just happen in one month but for us it seems, we weren’t those people.
In the first few months of our marriage we opened a business with my parents. I became the worlds greatest juggler running both my successful business and helping to build up a new one. We worked our butts off, dealing with both business and family issues. A long road we had not foreseen would be quite so rocky. Months went by and each and every month when my monthly cycle would reveal itself I was disappointed. At first Rob was a bit confused that it didn’t just happen. I knew that it would likely take maybe a few months. But each month got harder and harder as what felt like a lifetime went by.
I prepared my body by nourishing it with good food, prenatal vitamins, I stopped drinking alcohol completely, I visited the naturopath and took herbs to ensure a regular cycle. I eliminated toxins in our house and made all natural cleaning sprays (chemicals can mimic hormones in our body! Did you know that?). I began to track my cycle with ovulation kits and ensuring I knew when our fertile period was. I was doing everything right, or at least I thought I was. But each month when my period arrived I was so disappointed. The first few months I expected it but as time went on I got really down. Each month Rob would say something supportive; “it’s not our time”, “try not to overthink it”. Trying not to overthink it while doing everything right is like trying to drive a car blindfolded.
The year began to roll by, February, March, April…. May, June,… Nothing. Plenty of phantom signs of pregnancy. Sore breasts, campiness, headaches. People would make comments. Family and friends who knew we wanted to start a family would mention babies and I would feel pretty useless. Beginning to doubt my body and my abilities as a woman. You really don’t want to let those feelings in but boy do they infiltrate your heart and mind. I ran into a girl I went to school with a few grades below me, pregnant and beautiful and glowing. I said Hi and was genuinely happy for her. But the moment I turned away from that conversation I had tears in my eyes. I wanted it so bad. July came and went and I basically just said “Fuck it” I don’t even think I want this anymore. I have big plans for the next 3 years of my life and business and a baby isn’t going to fit anyway! HA!
Robbie and I had some holiday time in August available to us. I wanted a holiday that we didn’t have to think about anything. Just eat, drink and enjoy sun and sand. So we booked a cruise to get away from life for awhile.
We had an amazing time, I threw all my cares out the window. I drank too many cocktails and ate all the glorious foods and desserts. We nearly got left on an island because we hiked up a mountain Rob was desperate to scale (after a $70 steak it was the last thing I wanted to do!). We met some really lovely people and had a lovely trip. Until the last 2 days sailing home! It was 4-4.5meter waves and I was sick as a dog! I don’t really get seasick usually but our room was at the front of the boat and boy I got hit hard.
Upon returning home I was still walking with a sway for a week. I was suffering from vertigo and had a headache and vomiting about a week later. Then thankfully the sea-legs wore off a little but something still felt off.
I woke up early one Monday morning (Rob Usually sleeps in till late on a Monday because he works nights Thursday-Sunday). At this point my period was a day late but I really didn’t think much of it. I decided I would do a test. I had a few cheap eBay test (like 30 of them! HA!) so I used one of those. I showered, brushed my teeth and hair and washed my face. I was about to walk out of the bathroom when I remembered the test.
I took a quick look… What?! No…. Theres a REALLY faint line there! By this point I knew that any line even small as a positive can be a positive especially in early pregnancy. I took it outside into the sunlight, I kept saying to myself don’t get excited. It’s a false positive. Or it’s your eyes. I really didn’t want to be let down yet again. Especially when last month I had literally had said “FCUK it all! So I dipped a First Response (a real test I said in my head) and there it was 3 minutes later. An unmistakable second line. Darker than dark. There-r than there! I cried. I danced. I didn’t want to believe it.
I took my time to breath. I looked at myself in the mirror, looked in my eyes and said out loud “You’re pregnant”… “We’re pregnant”! I really could not believe my own words.
So I sort of floundered around… I actually felt like I was having an out of body experience. I wanted to laugh, cry, run to Rob and jump on the bed. But No. I had to tell him in a special way. So I put together a little box. Inside the box I put a little romper suit (I had purchased because it was adorable, even if a little pre-emptive!) the pregnancy test, a little handkerchief for happy tears and I wrote on the inside of the lid “Hello Daddy”. I then sat around for what felt like years until he woke up. Ok Ok I jumped on the bed a few times to wake him and tried to get him up. Between trying to wake him up I made myself a tea and some toast and the FINALLY he was awake! I hid my camera and made him come into the room where I said I had an early Wedding Anniversary present. He opened it and I think he was a bit awestruck. We hugged and we just so over the moon excited.
Have a peek at this little video - I secretly filmed telling Robbie, I cry every time I watch it!
The beautiful thing was we were to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary that weekend! Such an exciting thing to share joy in over a weekend Celebrating a BIG year!
In hindsight a year really wasn’t the longest time to hope to conceive. I know that for many couples it can take years and years. But the entire journey has truly opened my eyes to how hard the ‘Trying to Conceive’ (TTC) journey can be. For all the women going through that monthly roller coaster cycle. The ups the downs the optimism, hope and excitement shortly followed by disappointment, doubt, shame, sadness. I want to say to those women that I am here. To support you and to understand how incredibly hard that is. My story isn’t as hard as some but it certainly took me on a journey I was not prepared for. I am so grateful we have been so blessed and honoured to be able to conceive and I have been able to carry a child. We’re so excited to be parents!
- Our Family Christmas Snaps -
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