I am finally back after a loooong break. I am not going to apologise for my overdue post, purely because there is nothing more important than creating life and settling in to the new start for the little one. My whole view and perspective on life has changed and I needed to get my feet on the ground with motherhood before I could think about blogging again and 6 weeks later.. here I am 🙂
My blog has always been nothing but honest so I will say it has not been easy and definitely the biggest challenge to date, which I wasn’t naive to as your whole life is turned upside down and this human is solely dependent on you. Saying all this I can say with the utmost confidence that I have never felt such pure contentment and happiness which I realise sounds like a juxtaposition but honestly there is nothing quite like it and although I saw/heard mothers say it, you cannot explain the feeling until you experience it. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and to be honest, although millions have babies every day, I do have to count my blessings as I found my soulmate in my 20s, got married and made a miracle together, I know that doesn’t happen for everyone. I am now more in love with my husband which I didn’t think was possible but seeing him as a father is beautiful.
I am not going to blog my whole birth story (unless people really really want it?) my reasons are that I think it is unhelpful to people about to experience birth, if I tell you I had a wonderful experience – that’s great but doesn’t mean you will have that and if I tell you it was awful, that still may not happen as it is not your story, it’s mine and everyone has their own story, no matter how hard you think its going to be, you never really know. So I have decided to list the things that really helped me through my experience and I honestly believe its what helped me to have a good, strong labour.
- Birthing Partner
I honestly don’t know what I would of done without Sam. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a birth partner but one you know you will be able to work in a team with you and will be able to give you the support you need. The below points include Sam a lot and he knew what I wanted in my birth plan so he was able to help me in that direction.
- Write a letter to your birth partner
Just because I know Sam was preoccupied at work and my sole focus was the birth on the lead up, I wanted to ensure he knew and remembered all the points I had in my birth plan. Instead of writing a stringent birth plan agenda which you will just be annoyed if it doesn’t go to plan, I wrote things for Sam to remember but also to give him something to feel useful, which by the way he really was. It had points such as ‘if they give me a student midwife with no senior – refuse and find a senior’ ‘help me to focus on my breathing’ ‘put on some music when I need distracting’ ‘plug in diffuser with lavender drops’ etc etc. Just little things for him to think about which might slip my mind during labour.
Sam and I went to a prenatal birthing workshop (keep an eye on here for workshops if you’re in the north London area – North London Yoga) We learnt a lot of massage and breathing techniques to get through the labour. There was lots of different ones you could choose what worked for you. Sam did so many massages during labour that he even complained about his hands aching after I just gave birth…you can imagine the look on my face.
There was a massage where he would move up my back during the contractions in three stages until the contraction was over, I preferred this to using the tens machine which helped for a little bit. Another one I liked was his hands firmly on my lower back just to know he was there to support me, this is great if you don’t like a lot of talking in your ear during contractions or surges as they are now called. This was such a helpful course and kept Sam and I as a proper team throughout, I felt so connected with him and made it an incredible experience that I shall never forget and for the right reasons!
Again have a look at North London Yoga for prenatal yoga courses. Jackie was my teacher and was so incredible, it was also a great course to meet other mummies to be too, I actually was put in a room next to one of the girls after I gave birth in the hospital which was hilarious and so good to see her and catch up post birth, we now talk regularly.
Yoga helps to relieve any anxiety, keep a strong mind, strengthen your core and pelvis for a strong delivery and keep fit with gentle exercises. Not only that but it was also great to ask Jackie about birth and get her to answer any questions as she has a lot of experience behind her including 3 different birth stories herself.
- Breathing Techniques
Like the massages there is many breathing techniques to choose from and it is whatever works for you. I had a few I thought I would use but actually during labour I only used straw breathing which is literally what it says on the tin. You breathe through a straw to slow down and focus on your breathing, breathe in through your nose – not the straw and just breath out slowly through the straw and hold your hand at the end to feel the air. When I was 9cm dilated (unknown to myself) I kept almost loosing my head and Sam would say breath, breath breathe – focus, focus, focus and this is what got me through. Its easy to remember and you don’t have to think about anything else.
I actually used the other breathing and meditating techniques I learnt when I was told I needed to be induced as this was not in my birth plan and it sent me into a bit of anxiety, I used the techniques and was able to shortly get back on track and have a strong mind for my birth.
So that’s it, thats all the points I have, not too many but I honestly believe its all you need and if you have a strong mind you are able to have a strong birth. I know this won’t apply to everyone and unfortunately things happen which don’t go to plan but try these to at least give you a good chance. I think if you loose your head, your body listens and that’s when things can go wrong.
Getting monitored just before the contractions started!
Below is the start of my contractions, straw in hand. I think this was the last photo of bump!
Sophia Annabelle Woodward
It is honestly true what people say, you forget everything once you have that beautiful baby in your arms, it is the most incredible feeling in the world.. I really mean that, nothing can feel better than that.
She is the most perfect thing and obviously I know I am totally biased but I say to my husband, I am pretty sure we have the most beautiful baby in the world, I have never seen something so beautiful and I have seen some beautiful babies. I also say to him, we might have a hideous looking baby and be completely blind as I think everyone finds their own baby the most perfect but who cares as we are completely and utterly besotted.
My hair was such a mess but I had no make-up on so I strongly recommend getting individual eyelashes if anything. I don’t really like the made up look after giving birth, its such a natural beautiful thing.
6 lbs, 4 oz of perfect.
This was around a couple of hours after giving birth, I had so much energy for the pushing (out in half hour) and my labour went very fast which gave me the energy I needed but after it all, it hit me!
Lots of love,
Izzy & SOPHIA xxx