Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Birth story with SPD for Baby 2


I had my baby girl in January and had actually written the birth story down at the time while it was still fresh. Then I sent it to the other ladies and felt a lot lighter in my mind. So I recommend writing out the birth story to everyone soon after you've had your baby. I wish I had done it with my first as that was a very traumatic birth for me and I feel it would've helped me with my post baby blues.

This birth, thankfully, was not traumatic. Although the pregnancy was. I developed severe SPD which many people are not aware of. I'll need a whole other post to explain that so watch this space. But in short, I had a surge of hormone which softened my ligaments and caused excruciating pain in my pelvis which prevented me from moving my legs. SPD can affect people at different levels so don't worry if you've been diagnosed. But for me, it was going to be a challenge to give birth if I couldn't move my legs so I knew I would be needing the epidural to numb any pain. I also had the option of being induced due to the pain. I did opt for this when I reached 39 + 4 days. So here goes my birth story. Look away if your squeamish as I don't hold back.

Friday the induction started 11am. I had intense contractions by end of day that I had the pessary removed to stop baby getting distressed.

Saturday was rest day. They make you rest for 24hrs so that the baby doesn't get upset. I was still getting some contractions every 5 mins which got me to 2cm dilated. But they died off.

Sunday I had prostin gel inserted at 8am. Some contractions started. Not regular but 
by 3pm docs sent me to delivery suite to get waters broken and get things moving.

In the delivery suite, the Midwife managed to break waters and contractions started. They were still not regular enough. I then had the midwife changeover. It was a very experienced midwife with a student who was excellent. They said I was not getting enough contractions and I would need to be put on syntocin drip to get things going. I requested an epidural first as the drip can get things going quickly and is more painful as you can't build up your contractions. The Anaesthetist came and was very thorough and very serious. He talked me through all the risks and this made me very nervous. 

So I was now linked up to epidural, to the drip AND given intravenous fluids. It seemed so medicated but I was happy I was getting somewhere.

I managed to go to the toilet once with the epidural, but the second time my legs were numb. I 
couldn't walk so catheter it was. So now bladder was empty, but I kept getting pains. So I was feeling contractions. The Epidural was topped up a few times to keep contractions at bay.

What they do with the syntocin drip is up the quantity going in very slowly so baby doesn't get distressed with too many contractions. But at some point when it was increased a little further, the baby became distressed. My birth partners were asleep at the time and I felt something was not right as I could feel a contraction that wouldn't pass. The babies feet were in my ribs n pushing up n I was trying to push them down. Midwife jumped up n looked at monitor. I started squirming from the pain and the Midwife woke my husband and calmly asked him to press emergency button. This happened with first baby so I knew what was coming. The room instantly filled with 2 doctors and about 10 midwives. All talking at once. I was really calm at this point as I knew there was absolutely nothing I could do. If I'd panicked, the baby would be more distressed so I just waited.  It's lack of control. My life was literally in their hands. 

I was told to lie on my side n I just waited for baby's heartbeat to pick up. Which it did thank God. They decreased the drip n left the room to us again. But this meant I wouldn't sleep. I was exhausted. But kept panicking thinking the baby would be in distress. So I had eyes wide open.

At some point my midwives went for their break. I think it was 3am ish on Monday morning so by now and another midwife came. She was very thorough and literally never took her eyes off the monitor. While she was there my contractions picked up and the epidural was wearing off.  The contractions were really strong and she wanted to examine me. She was sure I was fully dilated.
My midwives had come back by now and the contractions were in full force. I couldn't breathe through them. They decided to stop the epidural completely and said it would be better I felt all 
contractions now and that I knew when to push. My SPD was not a problem at this point. The epidural had numbed my legs and I was concentrating more on contractions than the SPD. 

As I hadn't felt any contractions with my first labour, I became nervous and unsure if I could do it,  but I had no choice as the epidural had stopped working anyway. But at least it had got me to fully dilated so I'd had some rest.

So they checked and I was fully dilated but they were going to give me 1 hr so baby could come further down and then I'd push. After 10 mins my controlled breathing through contractions changed their tune. My sister and midwife kept asking if I was pushing. But I didn't think I was. But the breathing becomes a groaning type sound. And I started crying and saying I couldn't do it. So they offered me gas and air to get through the rest of the hour. Big mistake. I'd taken it with number 1 and 
was fine but this time I think I took too much too soon. During one of the contractions I felt baby come down and with it came lots of air. So I shouted baby's coming down! And the release of air made me laugh. Not normal laugh. I started cackling loudly. My eyes closed I was slapping my thighs and clapping my hands with laughter. That gas n air is magical. I took one more puff for the next contraction and they took it off me! As it wore off, which is does quickly, I couldn't stop apologising and was devastated as I had lost complete control. The midwives were very normal about it!

So all is serious again with next painful contraction and then they think I'm ready to push. The Midwife says it can take an hour sometimes and sometimes less. So with next contraction they asked me to do my first practise push. Much to everyone's surprise, the midwife sees the head! It took me 4 pushes in 5 mins and the baby was out!! Always amazing. Always extraordinary. They told us it was a girl and it was the best feeling and I was glad I hadn't found out in the scans.  

So midwife informed me I had no blood loss unlike the first labour and only a small tear which would heal itself without stitches. They finished their paperwork and I was left to hold baby n given my toast. I felt good, as last time the haemorrhage meant that I was out of it. So it felt amazing to watch what was going on. The baby was checked and weighed. Then these midwives were finishing their shift and next one came. By the time next one came, I was feeling sick. So she injected me with anti-sickness. But I was now feeling pretty dazed and out of it. The midwife kept saying it was tiredness. And she was in and out the room. As I kept coming round I was telling my husband to do something as I felt I was losing blood again. He told the midwife. She was checking n said yes lots of blood loss but I'd had anti blood loss injection too so she said it's cos I have full bladder so it's making me bleed more. I went to the loo but I couldn't wee so catheter again and I had a very full bladder! While she was there she decided to check my tear. She was taken aback as it wasn't a small tear at all. And after a second opinion they said they needed to stitch it. But because of my SPD they might need to take me into theatre to give me a spinal block rather than a local anaesthetic as I couldn't spread legs wide enough. Luckily I said I'd try in delivery room first and the midwife was an expert stitcher n she managed it. So once stitched, the bleeding stopped and I was sent to the ward to spend my night.

I'd had a great experience in the ward and delivery suite. I had compared it to the first time and it was a total opposite experience. This time, I asked more questions, and wasn't afraid to ask for help when needed. I was well researched in induction and SPD which helped lots. And most importantly, post labour, I rested very well. I wasn't in a hurry to move. I knew I'd get better and needed time to heal and this meant that any post natal blues were more controlled as I didn't tire myself out too much. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Tales from the Children’s Centre


Going from midwife care for nine months back to regular GP care is quite the crash back down to earth. During the last trimester of my pregnancy, I was in hospital quite a lot due to high blood pressure, and the midwives were always so amazing; from giving me sandwiches to hugs, I don’t know how I would've survived without them. The hole left in my post-pregnancy life by them has been kind of filled by health visitors…

Emphasis on the words “kind of.”

It just so happens that every appointment with a health visitor at our local Children’s Centre has involved some sort of bizarre, blog-worthy experience. Today, I shall share two of those with you.

The Breastfeeding Police

Let’s start with the very first appointment we had. In we walked (me, my husband and Baby K) and as we were settling down in the waiting room, out of nowhere a woman appeared in front of my face. I kid you not, it was if she had materialised out of thin air. Then this happened:

Woman: Hi there! Are you bottle feeding or breast feeding?

Me: Erm, bottle.

Woman: WHAT? Why???

Me: Erm, well—

Woman: Did you have any problems?

Me: Well, yes.

Woman: What? What was the problem? (At this point, she actually had a hand on her hip and a very stern look on her face)

Me: Hang on… Who are you???

Woman: (pulls out her badge and introduces herself as a “breastfeeding support someone”) Its VERY important that you speak to someone about this. What exactly is the problem?

Me:  Well… I've already discussed this with midwives and my GP…

Woman: (shakes her head in disappointment, totally ignoring what I've said) Your baby is probably used to the bottle by now, what a shame. There are things you could try. Was she latching properly?

Me: That wasn't the problem. And I’m not really comfortable discussing this in a waiting room full of strangers, WITH a stranger. Thank-you but please leave us alone.

(I’m probably remembering myself answering in a more confident and firm way than I actually did).

So harsh are the Breastfeeding Police that they almost make you feel like formula is poison. And almost always, they assume you could have tried harder to make it happen. Please. Take your condescending crap somewhere else.. Yes, we all know what the World Health Organization says, and “Breast is Best” and “Human Milk for Humans” and whatever other slogan you've come up with. Sometimes, however, there is no choice but to resort to formula. 

And when that happens, no woman should be made to feel any more guilty about it than she probably already does. We’re all doing the best we can.

An example of such guilt-mongering: 

Where do I even start with how smug and RUDE this is?! There couldn't possibly be anything more offensive to bottle-feeding mothers, could there? Oh wait, wait...

Yeah. These photos are real.

The Woman Hater

Moving onto our most recent appointment. Have you ever encountered women that hate women? I'm not talking about explicit hatred; I'm talking about the women that make constant unnecessary and snarky comments about you (or other women) to your face and especially if there is a third-party male present too.

We encountered one such health visitor just the other day. There I was, making sure I had my notes in order and holding a sleeping baby in my arms, when she called us in. Naturally, husband dearest picked up the baby bag as his hands were free. No-one cared or batted an eyelid; why would they?

Except the woman-hating health visitor that is. 

"Oh my! How strange to see a MAN holding a HANDBAG! Well, that is very strange indeed!"

She said this loudly, followed by awkward smiles from the husband and I.

First of all lady, its a baby bag, not a clutch that I could have stuffed under my arm and managed with. Secondly, it probably weighs much heavier than the baby itself. And thirdly, mind your own business!!

She then asked if this was my first baby (and continued to refer to her as a "he" throughout the meeting, no matter how many times I corrected her). I said yes and she said "I can tell from the way you're holding him."


The cherry on the icing, however, was when just a few minutes into the meeting, she decided she knew everything about us and declared "I can tell you're the anxious one here. Your husband is much more calm and relaxed but you're the anxious one."

And I promise you, I was actually extremely relaxed and not even anxious about anything at all till she said that.

More tales from the Children Centre to follow in future blog posts, no doubt. Till then... Peace and love to all, especially you bottle-bashing, women-haters out there!

Friday, 17 October 2014

My Sister's Story....


I've contemplated for a few days whether I should write this blog for a number of reasons. My cousin yesterday suggested I blog this, therefore I wanted to share this story with the permission of my sister. If in the future one of you experience the same thing then maybe this post can help you, i apologise for the long blog post.....

This post concerns my sister and here is a little background regarding her – she’s 32, the second eldest of my siblings, married for 14 years, most loved by the whole family especially my 7 nephews and nieces. They probably love her more than their own parents because she does so much for them. She was even was present for 5 of their births and became the birthing partner to my sister and sister in law. Unfortunately she does not have her own children yet, when she does she will be the most amazing mother ever.

About a month ago my sister received some devastating news that she was being tested for ovarian cancer....

In May we went to Pakistan where she went for a private consultation with a gynaecologist. Upon the tests that were carried out, one was a pelvic ultrasound which showed a small cyst on her left ovary measuring 3cm. Her gynaecologist in Pakistan suggested she goes back to the UK and to request re-scan to monitor if the cyst has gone away or reduced/increased in size. Upon returning from Pakistan in May, she went to her doctor and showed her all the medical reports and asked for a re-scan.

This ultrasound appointment did not come through till the end of August and it was not done at a main hospital but a scan facility within our town. During the scan the sonographer became quite alarmed and had to do 2 types of scans, one was a pelvic ultrasound the other was a vaginal ultrasound. The sonographer first wanted to check if the ultrasound was showing an actual cyst or if it was her bladder. The reason being in 3 months the cyst had grown from 3cm to 11cm in size. The cyst also showed a dark mass within it.

The sonographer referred her back in emergency to her GP and the GP broke the news that the scan is showing possible signs that this could be ovarian cancer.
The GP then fast tracked her to the hospital as an emergency referral to the ovarian cancer specialists at the hospital.

When she broke the news to us that she is being tested for ovarian cancer it hit the family hard but my sister is the most courageous person I know she took the news in her stride and told us all to stop worrying she will be fine. In her own words she said if its bad there’s nothing I can do about it but, in the meantime I am not going to worry about it till further investigation is done.

Fast track on the NHS means she had to wait another 2 weeks for the appointment to come through this has taken us to the middle of September. During this 2 week wait, my sister started to experience severe stomach pains, fatigue, and loss of energy and a general feeling of being unwell.

My sister also works at a doctor’s surgery as a receptionist. This proved really lucky for her because there was a whole team of doctors that were able to give her a second opinion on what her doctor has suggested and to ensure all the necessary tests were carried out. This was important as her own doctor forgot to carry out the main blood test for cancer CA125 which she was able to request during her hospital consultation.

Her experience at the hospital with the consultant

The consultant that she was sent to at the hospital was not the main specialist. The consultant took one look at her details and became quite annoyed that my sister was referred on a 2 week emergency referral. This was because, she was 32 years old and did not fit the NHS text book category of someone that could have ovarian cancer namely being 50 plus in age and we do not have a history of ovarian or breast cancer in our family.

When the consultant reviewed her doctor’s note she was not convinced with the initial scan results and decided to perform her own ultrasound. Up until this point my sister said she made her feel like she was wasting her time and was acting like a hypochondriac.

Only once she performed the 2 scans again, the consultant toned down her rudeness a notch but still she remained very abrupt and generally not very professional in the way she handled that consultation. i wish I was present at this appointment I would have bought the consultant down a few more notches. If she is abrupt I can be the Queen of Abrupt.

She referred my sister for a CT scan which took another 2 weeks for the appointment to come through.

In the meantime my sister’s pain was getting worse and she was 3 weeks into her sick leave prescribed by her own doctor. The doctor surgery she works at also has a doctor who is a trained gynaecologist. This doctor was extremely frustrated with the whole process and called the main consultant at the hospital and asked him to take on my sister’s case. The consultant said he was not able to at this stage as his other colleague was dealing with it only if my sister wanted a second opinion after her consultations then he can take over the case.

At this point my sister my family and most of all I was extremely frustrated. We all made the decision to see the main consultant privately through BUPA. I remember my brother coming to my sister saying enough is enough; I will take you myself and pay privately to have you treated. That was the first time my sister broke down in sheer frustration my brother broke down too and I had to console both of them.

Following the CT scan results we were told the dark mass in the ovary is benign Alhamdulillah,. The cancer blood test also came back normal as well as a cervical smear test.

BUT the first consultant was still not willing to operate and sent a letter stating I have requested a re-scan of the cyst in 4 months. This was the icing on the cake for all of us.

My sister made the decision to go privately to get the cyst removed
The doctor at the surgery she worked at became very persistent with the main consultant at her hospital explaining to her the frustration at this whole situation and the way her case being handled. The main consultant then asked for a referral to him where he would take over the case on the NHS. He stated himself he can do the operation on the NHS paying privately she would get the same treatment he can give on the NHS.

In all this experience our saving grace was this doctor who pushed for the right tests to be carried out and who tried her best to help my sister. The first consultant was not willing to operate but there are major risks with this most importantly if the cyst bursts this could prove fatal.

My sisters symptoms were the following everyone is different and there are a lot of resources available on line which can shed more light on symptoms:

Bloating in stomach
Severe cramps during your periods
Irregular/heavy bleeding
Back pain

My advice to everyone is if you feel there is something not right please go to your doctor and ensure the necessary tests are carried out these are as follows:

Pelvic & Vaginal Ultrasound
CA125 Blood Test

These 2 are the main tests that can rule out ovarian cancer. If you are still not convinced then request a CT scan. Unfortunately we have become numbers to the NHS so unless you are persistent nothing will be done.

I personally was shocked at the waiting times from the NHS I have never heard 2 weeks to be the standard emergency wait time for something as serious as cancer.
My sister is very lucky as she had a lot of professional help available to her and she is even luckier that the mass in the cyst is benign.

I also came across this charity that is raising awareness for ovarian cancer research and reading the stories of those that did not survive it is heart-breaking. I will definitely be contributing towards their cause to carry out research.

Apologies again for the long post…..


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

We have a new addition to the babies in the group!


This has been a brilliant year for our group of friends we have had 3 new additions in the group! IR kicked of the year with the first baby our gorgeous Z, then HA had beautiful baby K and now JN gave birth to an adorable baby boy this week! After 6 beautiful little girls in the group we now have the first boy! All the babies are super special to me in the group but this baby and I have been super close in the last 9 months!

JN decided to get pregnant when we went to Dubai so when we came back, I remember her taking the first pregnancy test for this baby and it was a negative and she was a little bit upset.... I said to her don't worry there's always next month!

However during the course of the next few weeks she started to feel changes in her body which indicated she was pregnant and I kept forcing her to re-take the pregnancy test.

One evening I was round their house and we had a couple of other friends there who eventually left, at the same time, I was also getting up to leave when JN and her husband broke the news that they are pregnant! 

During her pregnancy JN decided to wait till her first scan and then she wanted to break the news to all family and friends and boy it was tough keeping the news hidden from the rest of the friends!

The highlights of JN's pregnancy for me were planning the baby shower, feeling the baby kick for the first time and going to one of the baby's scans.

Then last Friday me and JN had our final date night where we watched a movie and chilled out even JN's husband gave us alone time because, we both knew deep down that was probably the last time we would be alone together just sitting and relaxing. Although baby was not due for another week and we thought she may go over her due date little did we know baby was coming quicker than we thought!

 JN gave birth on Sunday to a beautiful little boy it wasn't an easy birth but I'll let JN give you all the details!

Yesterday I met our gorgeous little nephew for the first time yesterday and said welcome to the gang! Now I know when me and JN have date night again we will have a little addition who will be chilling with us!

Congrats once again JN you will make an awesome Mum just like the rest of the Mum's in the group!


Friday, 10 October 2014

Who said Accountants were boring?


If someone said to me ten years ago that my chosen career path would be accountancy I would probably have laughed my head off and ran the other way… little did I know ten years later this is what I do.

The old traditional view of accountants of being polite, boring, number crunching and are not very social or have any social skills were views that I had too prior to embarking on actually studying to become an accountant.

I worked in a transport company prior to this one and that was run like a concentration camp the manager was the office Hitler and the senior management were Hitler’s in training. I moved to a technology company where I realised not all workplaces were like the one before.

Where I was punished in my last company I was rewarded! I was so badly rewarded with a brilliant department to work in. Everyone was cool, chilled out and if you work in my office it consists of the following rules:

Never leave your computer unlocked – this will be raped by someone or another in the office, I did this once where I sent an email from my colleague’s computer to our boss telling him how much she loves him which popped up on his laptop which was connected to a projector screen in the middle of a meeting with the UK VP for Finance.

Never leave your phone unlocked – these are also subject to being raped by someone, on my phone messages were sent to different people on my WhatsApp, my profile picture was changed to me pulling me leggings up from my dress but looked like me pulling my knickers out instead. Also my name was changed to hoe.

Never get in close proximity to another colleague – someone will be waiting for you to be in close proximity and pictures will be flying around on WhatsApp and in some cases pictures will be printed and stuck around the office!

Items on desk - Will constantly be moved or changed these include the handsets from your desk phones will be unplugged, so if a phone call comes through it takes 5 seconds to realise they cant hear you - this has happened to me many time. 
Stationary will go missing and will turn up in random places such as a stapler in your handbag the hole punch in your laptop bag.
Food will also go missing, my strawberries i bought to work were found on the top of a filing cabinet - I in turn put K's cigarettes in the toilet waiting for her to locate where they are.

If you are still single we will pair you up with any new starters in the company. At the moment we are pairing up my colleague D with everyone who joins the company. if you are not single we will still pair you up with every colleague in the company!

Never do poses in the office which include bending forward and leaning into your computer you never know who will take a picture of your bum – you will see why as you read below.
Never leave your handbag in in open view – you will be subject to the following – hole punch paper being emptied in your bag, toy rats and spiders stuffed in there ready to scare you when you least expect it.

Let me tell you of my typical day at the office on Wednesday – I walk in between 9.15am and 9.20am my start time is 9am but I never make it on time. Neither does my manager or most people in the department so who will bollock us if we are late?

Then I worked for most of the morning at lunch took a 2 hour break as we were buying a leaving present for one of the VP's of the company. One of the present consisted of a chocolate slab with the following

Dear X
Thank you for leaving us you traitor
Love your colleagues at (A) oops (B)

(A Was our old company name we have recently been acquired and now we are B)

Then at 3.30pm my colleague K left her phone on her desk I went in and messaged a group chat that she was a hoe and in the meantime changed her WhatsApp picture to a picture of her bending down so her bum is on display and also changed her name to a hoe! (Btw I hacked her phone by watching her type in her pin not that she knows this she thinks she left it unlocked! Rape 2 of the phone will happen next week!)

In between all this got some more work done and now its 5pm so I thought I should start my next blog post!

So to clear you misconceptions of accountants – we are definitely not boring all we do is play pranks on other colleagues all day and in between get some work done!

Every accountant has a habit of swearing a lot, politeness goes out of the window as we draw closer to month end.

I am the most social person out of this group and if you ever are with me not a moment goes by without laughing!


Thursday, 9 October 2014

My Plight To Become Parent Governor


It all comes down to parent votes. I wrote my statement. Made myself sound ideal on paper. But it really is all about how many friends you have! I won't know the results til after this weekend but I'm not so optimistic as all my chums are on this blog!

So why did I apply? My daughters' just started school and I'd love to know what goes on in the background. If my daughter wasn't in the school I couldn't care less. How awful is that!

What have I done to make my case look better?  I've spoken to the teachers....a lot! Having to come out of your comfort zone is hard. SO hard! I hate talking to people I don't know. I'm one of those that goes in. Gets the job done and leaves. Don't make me talk! But one thing that happens when your child enters full-time education; you want them to be as happy as they can be and you will do anything to make sure of it.

If that means changing your accent to be more 'British', then so be it! Yes, I've done it and I'm not proud of it. But haven't we all 'poshed up' a bit to make ourselves look better.

Also I wear nice clothes on the school run. Wait til the results come through. I'll be in my lounge pants thereafter!

So to sum up how to become parent governor:

1. Talk
2. Posh up
3. Wear nice clothes

Let's see if any of this works.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Joys of Mums While On Maternity Leave


There's no home like your mother's home...

So im 38 weeks and 3 days preggers and yesterday was day 1 of my maternity and i promise my mother i will spend the week with her before the inlaws arrive in a week.

Monday morning - Day 1-  I finally get to sleep in as the husband FINALLY sees some sense in taking a bus to the station which means I don't have to get up at 7:50am and waddle outta the home with my big fat belly. Then at 9am i get a knock on the door and its my mum on her morning walk wanting to say hi. I invite her in and she first makes me boiled milk with crushed almonds, butter and sugar and 2 toasts. We then sit and have a catch up and suprise suprise she tells me the TV and skirting boards have dust and gets up and decides to clean them for me. I do tell her not to but mums OCD doesnt wanna hear it so i let her get on with it... Then she tells me to spend the week with her so i tell her ill get changed and come over.

I get to mums and i get the exclusive grandad arm comfy arm chair and a foot stool to put my feet up.... So comfy that i cant even explain! Then strict orders from mon that I must not move! I tell Mum... "im pregnant not disabled! But mum says nooo she knows best so i let it be.

And then it starts...

1pm - Roast chicken, Pilau rice with meat curry... Then 3:30pm tea time - big fat cuppa chai with buttered scones and chocolate biscuits and black forest gatuex... Then 5:30pm some snack time - hot runny halwa - then 7pm - spring roll and a meat somosa with chaat... Then 8:30pm supper time - meat curry and one chapatti... By the time i got home at 9:30pm what can say... Being over the edge is a understatement!! Did i have an uncomfortable night or what!! Vowed never again!!

Day 2 - breakfast at mums - 1 boiled egg, 2 buttered croissants, a slice of almond cake and 2 Viennese swirl biscuits with stove boiled tea. Lunch - cornflour chapatti with freshly crushed chillis and melted butter with daal. Tea time - cuppa coffee and some biscuits to dunk. Then knocked back a litre of pinapple juice in the hope it will bring on labour and not even a twinge! Then finally supper with boiled rice, daal, salad and popadoms!

Day 3 - 2 toasts with a glass of pineapple juice for breakfast and then a macdonalds fillet-o-fish meal with a coke and a hot apple pie.

By this time I'm on my hands and knees and I plead  to my mother "please mum PLEASE gimme a break from food!!"

Mothers hey... Ill call her a FEEDER but theres no love and care like that from your mother...

Job And Holiday Highlights


Hello! Wow time has really flown by we are now approaching the end of 2014 and our last blog post was in 2011!
I was really happy when IR said she wanted to re-start the blog I think it will definitely achieve 2 purposes for me

1 - HA has said my written English is not great as I don’t use commas and full stops. (Note, I used a comma and a full stop!)
2- I read back our posts from 2011 and I had a smile on my face and giggled to myself reminiscing over that phase in our life – NK was not married her post married blog will be a fun one to read! We also have 2 new additions in the kids of the group and 2 to follow very soon. If nothing else when I need a smile and laugh I can always come back and read our blog!

So these are the highlights from 2011
Qualified as an accountant – well what can I say, it was 3 years of hard work, tears, tantrums, mentally planning on ways I can murder the examiners, almost killing my husband and myself in the process! Had it not been for my lovely friends especially JN who has supported me so much since 2010 I don’t think I could have done it.
I remember saying to the husband 2 weeks before each exam – don’t talk to me, don’t ask me for anything, don’t even breathe in front of me because I cant guarantee I will reply to you in anything else but swears. This is why, when I qualified the husband has said no more additional qualifications please you not only ruin your time but you ruin mines too.

When I received my last exam results, I thought it was important to have JN with me. I remember frantically waiting in JN’s living room for the clock to strike midnight and wait for the results to be messaged to my phone.  JN’s husband grabbed my phone in case I smashed it against the wall if I failed.
When it came to ten past midnight me and JN were worried because no results had come through and were so nervous that we were almost screaming at each other why they haven’t come through yet that JN’s husband calmly said they are here and you passed!
At that point I can’t remember who screamed the loudest and I finally breathed a sigh of relief!
I still need to break the news to the husband that I am planning on doing the MBA next year LOL!

Travels – I finally made the trip to my dream destination in December 2013 the Maldives. It was also the year that I and the husband celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary. What can I say it was exactly what I imagined it to be if not better. We had a water villa which the husband insisted on when we arrived there and it was really private. I loved hearing the ocean before I went to bed. The husband hated hearing the ocean whilst going to bed and complained he couldn’t sleep, secretly he worried a tsunami might happen. The Maldives was perfect for 7 days it is exactly as you see on the internet I had some of the best food out there it was so peaceful and so relaxing. We were so lucky to have beautiful weather for all the days we were there no a single raindrop in sight. It was only the morning we were leaving did it rain heavily and we had some thunder storms apart from that it was beautiful! We also combined with Dubai for the second week of our trip and I love Dubai JN and her husband was there too and we had such a good time! The husband and I love going to Dubai last year I regretted not extending my stay to see New Year’s Eve in Dubai so this year quite last minute we booked Dubai again to experience New Year’s Eve there!
Originally we wanted to go to Mauritius I have found my holiday destination the Indian Ocean where I can completely relax. However, peak season means paying triple the price you would usually pay and so we decided to leave this for our wedding anniversary or birthday’s next year.  
Wow I’m shocked I can only think of 2 highlights since 2011! But as I remember more I sure will add to the blog!

8 Things No-one Tells You About Having a C-Section


Coming up is an important milestone for me, which will mark three months to the date that I went through two life-changing events: 1) on 16 July 2014 I was blessed with a daughter, Baby K; and 2) I had a cesarean.

I have to differentiate between the two things and treat them as if they are entirely unconnected, because my feelings towards both are completely opposite. Baby K finally entering the world was the most exciting, emotional and overwhelmingly happy moment of my life so far (as I’m sure any mother will say of their child’s birth), but on the other end of the spectrum, going through a c-section was the most scary, painful and overwhelmingly shocking experience of my life so far.

I have wanted to write about the latter for a while now, because no-one talks about cesarean births in the way that they talk about natural births, do they? We hear in graphic detail about contractions, tearing, who took what pain relief, etc. I attended three antenatal classes and left feeling so well-prepared and positive about going into labour, but not once were cesareans discussed, even though according to the NCT approximately a quarter of births are by c-section. It may not sound like a lot, but to put this into context, the NHS Maternity Statistics covering 671,000 births for 2012–13 showed over 75,000 were by c-section. So we’re talking about a whopping 75,000 women that year that I would be willing to bet money felt as surprised at how little they knew about what they would subsequently go through, as did I.

But it’s not just the women that go through it that need to know; it’s everyone else they may interact with as well, because I have heard some real, tactless gems in the past few months. My favourite is this: on my way home from the hospital, I had walked to the car with great difficulty just four days post surgery, only to discover I had completely forgotten how to strap in Baby K’s car seat (and no one else knew either!). So there I was, clutching on the seat to keep it steady during the drive, in pain from walking a distance more than the ensuite bathroom and with high blood pressure, gritting my teeth every time we went over a speed bump, when a close friend called to say congratulations. She then told me I was lucky, at least I didn't go through the pain of natural labour, and had the baby taken out for me with no fuss.

So, here are a few things I’d like to share with anyone else that might also think a cesarean is easy, and that I wish I had known too. Mostly, this post is for all those out there that have been through this too, as a sort of *virtual-high-five-sister* (please note some of it is pretty graphic, so if you’re pregnant, easily scared or simply don’t want to know, turn away now):

1. You feel everything:

Unless you are rushed to surgery in an extreme emergency, you will not be under general anaesthetic. You will most likely be given an epidural (an injection into the back that numbs the lower half of the body), and while that means you don’t feel any pain, you can feel everything else that happens during the operation. The sensation of being “unzipped” when they cut into you, the stretchy, pulling feeling when they open you up to take the baby out, and the feeling of the baby’s limbs travelling out of your body… everything.

You don’t just lie there as if you are on a massage table in a spa while all the “hard work” is done for you. The operation theatre is cold (I shivered throughout the operation. And I mean the teeth-violently-clattering type shivering), and not for one second do you switch off or forget that half of you is currently cut wide open.

2. You will need a LOT of pain killers:

Until the effects of the epidural wore off, I enjoyed some indescribable time with Baby K. We stayed in a small recovery ward, skin-to-skin and it was the most precious and emotional time. And then the epidural wore off.

Nothing, no blog post, could ever describe the pain. I still don’t know if it was the pain of post surgery or the uterus contractions every woman gets post partum (when your uterus begins “shrinking” back to its normal size) but I cried. I told my midwife I was going to pass out with pain. She gave me paracetamol and told me to try and relax. I did. It didn’t work, and I insisted they do something, anything, and eventually they gave me the maximum dose of morphine that they could, intravenously.

And a few hours later when the morphine wore off, I went through it all over again. I just couldn’t understand what was happening. The c-section was over, Baby K was out. Why was I in even more pain than before? FYI, I had also gone through 16 hours of contractions before the operation. But this was something else.

BUT here’s the thing: if I had known that this might happen, or if I knew that there would be a lot of pain coming, I would have coped much better. I would have been mentally prepared, and as only you can know your own pain threshold, I would have asked for pain relief earlier or possibly even in advance. My pain threshold is so low and I just kept thinking, it’ll get better, but it just got worse. And if I had known that, I would have insisted on the morphine straight away.

3. You have layers of stitches:

Around eight days post-partum, I had my third home visit from my midwife. I asked her (rather naively, in retrospect) why I felt so much pressing pain in my wound. She put her hand on mine and told me it was time to know what exactly the operation had involved; it would be difficult to hear, but she assured me that I would feel much better being in the know afterwards. She was right.

Contrary to the idea that a c-section involves one horizontal cut, baby out, and you’re closed back up and that’s it, you’re actually cut and stitched up layer-by-layer. There is skin, tissue, and muscle before you even get to the uterus! I understand the number of layers can differ, but in my case (and in most) there were SEVEN layers of stitches!

As my kind midwife informed me, having a tumour or appendix removed would be less painful. A caesarean is major surgery. Again, had I understood its magnitude from day one, perhaps I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself for still being in pain only eight days later!

4. Even laughter hurts:

Any activity that involves engaging your abdominal muscles is quite painful for a good few weeks. Mostly, this can be managed by minimising such things like getting up, walking, bending over, etc. But what always caught me off-guard was the pain I felt doing something so natural such as laughing! Similarly, how do you stop yourself from sneezing or coughing—both equally painful?

Later, I read somewhere that if you hold a pillow against your abdomen when sneezing, coughing, laughing, whatever, it hurts less. This means I should’ve kept a cushion/pillow handy at all times (maybe one that could double up as a baby feeding pillow), but once again, I just had no idea.

5. You still experience post-partum bleeding:

Despite not giving birth naturally, women that go through caesareans are often surprised to find they have to go through the same post-partum experiences as those that do. This includes post-partum bleeding and a noticeable need for pelvic floor exercises (no need to elaborate on either, I think!)

6. You might put on a lot of weight during your post-partum period:

I wrote “might” because I’m not sure if this is true for everyone, but was certainly true for me. I put on a lot of weight during recovery—more than I did throughout the entire pregnancy. The reason is simple: you need to eat a healthy diet of 1,800–2,000 calories whilst recovering from this major operation, and at the same time, you can just about walk to the bathroom and back (i.e. you’re eating more than ever and not burning any of it in away).

It wasn’t until I was three weeks post-surgery that I was able to manage slow and short walks of about 10–15 minutes. Now, almost three months on, I still cannot imagine being able to do any type of exercise other than walking.

This is not to say I haven’t tried… just two weeks post-partum I went to Westfield (shopping centre). And more recently, I ran through my local supermarket in a rush. Both times, I suffered for days afterwards.

This point probably links the most with the next one.

7. You are more likely to experience the baby blues:

Everyone, to some extent, goes through a dip in emotions at some point post-partum. Looking back, however, I can now see and acknowledge that I went through more than a few dips and was most likely slightly depressed. In fact, research has shown that women who have a caesarean have a six-fold increased risk of developing postnatal depression. After nine months of waiting for your baby to arrive, and looking forward to being “yourself” again, you suddenly find yourself feeling worse than ever before.

For me, the moment I realised I wasn’t feeling quite right was when feelings of guilt kept creeping into my mind. Yes, guilt. Can you believe I found myself feeling guilty for not giving birth naturally? Of course, I knew that it was not my fault; the c-section likely saved both mine and Baby K’s lives. But I could not help but feel like it made me less of a mother for not having given birth the way nature had intended. Though she was fine, thank God, I felt as though I had somehow failed my daughter.

Luckily, I was well aware of the signs and symptoms of post natal depression, having witnessed a friend go through it just a few months previously. I recognised pretty quickly that was I was feeling/thinking wasn’t true and kept telling myself it would pass (as did my husband) which is why I think I did not slip into it fully.

Emotional support is crucial. If you already know exactly what to expect and are fully prepared, but have no emotional support, you will struggle. On the other hand, even if you have no idea what to expect (like me) but have a good support network around you, you will be ok… eventually! So make sure you don’t hesitate to reach out to your loved ones, your partner, your friends, whoever you want; most likely they want to help but don’t know how! By turning to them yourself, they’ll be relieved that you’ve done so and will step up.

Finally, I want to say something every woman that has had a c-section told me, and whether or not I believe it, I have repeated it to myself like a mantra every single day: you will feel better, one day, you WILL feel better. (Here’s hoping).

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

We Are Back!


Drumroll please! The girls are back in town. Suffice to say we are a lazy bunch when it comes to blogging. It's not like we have nothing to say. But alas...we are back and I think this is something we all need for our wellbeing. HA was the original lady who gave birth to the beingus blog. So thank you  HA. 

We have been very busy since the last blog post back in 2011 I think!

SK has qualified as an Accountant! Please post about those sleepless nights SK!
NR is working full-time while juggling two beautiful daughters. I would love to hear about how she manages all this.
SSL won't stop travelling. Road trips are her middle name. She will no doubt be posting about driving through Europe with a toddler and a husband!
JN is pregnant and is literally about to pop so watch this space as she will have many stories to tell.
NK changed her first name??? Yep! But she's still NK to us. She's also pregnant and very apt at describing the intricacies of pregnancy in her unusual way. So we all hope to hear more about that.
HA had a beautiful baby girl not so long ago. I won't tell you more as she has already started her post,  and as she described it, she found it extremely therapeutic.
IR that's me. The current admin of beingus. I also had a baby girl at the beginning of this year. I wrote my labour story while it was still fresh in my head. So I shall post that soon too.

I hope you all enjoy are catch ups and daily grinds as much as we enjoy writing them! 
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