My Pregnancy & Birth Journey Blog
There they are, those 2 pink lines! 6th of September 2019, I ‘m actually pregnant with our 2nd baby! Shocked, nervous, excited, surprised, we are actually going to do it all again! I had always felt so lucky to have had the opportunity to have 1 baby, let alone be pregnant again and have another. As a birth worker, I work with so many families and know how precious this little life is and how truly lucky we are. So many people have to go through so much, emotionally and physically to start or grow a family and sometimes it doesn’t always happen. Every day is precious and I never take it for granted. Such a miracle! A new chapter in our lives is about to start although if I am totally honest I’m totally shitting myself! The overwhelm of responsibility that I would be suddenly a mum of two small people to care for is real. How do you spread yourself? Can you be a good mum to two? I phone Rick to tell him and he asks me this happened ha ha. He sounded a little nervous but upbeat, positive but always the calm in my storm. We got this. Here we are, about to embark on a new adventure.
Sometimes I think about things and wonder if they will actually happen. Maybe negative or perhaps self preservation I guess. I’m trying to remain calm & tell myself it’s early days, which is tricky when it’s all you can think about. Mummy brain switches on and you suddenly start thinking about everything you are eating, drinking and doing to protect this new little life growing inside you. It feels obsessive but I guess mother nature has to do it so you make the right choices.
I feel tired, a little nauseous and I’ve only just missed period but I just know even before taking the test. A week prior my friend Jess had popped over for tea and she had a spare test so I asked her to bring it. I know it was probably to early and only one line appeared but i just knew. Always follow your instincts….. they are often right! When I look back at dates – conception time would have landed on our weekend away to Pennyhill Park hotel – can highly recommend btw if you want a spa break, it’s pure heaven.
Over the next week or so I’ve started feeling really nervous and anxious, I don’t know if it’s hormones, tiredness or nausea increasing but it doesn’t feel good. I’m doubting birth and feeling fearful. What?…. I totally trust birth, the process and what our bodies are capable of. Why do I feel like this? Was it because Evalyn’s birth was so beautiful and empowering that it might not happen this time? Is it some weird and unnecessary pressure of being a birth worker and the pressure to have the ‘picture perfect’ birth? Is it the visibility of social media and the transparency of my job? Everyone watching my journey & needing to document it? Or did I have to document it? Oh god do I want to keep my private life private? Shall I fake being fine? Oh no but I’m such an open honest person I cant do that, god how can I help my clients release fear if I feel like this? Oh shut up brain! It’s not going away. I’m feeling compelled to reach out for support, this feeling is uncomfortable and unexpected. Ok, so I’m contacting Zara De Candole (my doula) just offloading some thoughts and ideas, she immediately comes back with “I’m here with a listening ear, we can make a plan. I absolutely hear you, fears and concerns can creep in when they weren’t there before. It’s good to talk and chew it over and many birth workers can feel like this, we take it all in”. So…. we chew it over, for hours on the phone. I think being exposed to so many births in this job can be inspiring & wonderful but every single one sits in the subconscious mind. I think it depends how you work but I really support my clients on a personal level so perhaps take on more than I realise. I have to remind myself this is MY birth, MY story, just mine. I tell myself “don’t worry about what happens next, regardless of where or how you birth your baby it can be positive.
After almost having a BBA (birth before arrival) with Evalyn and having a straightforward, comfortable empowering birth, you would have thought I would be feeling pretty confident but I’m not. This really taught me that each journey is so unique and different, we cannot compare births, expect them to be the same and to just take it one step at a time. I understand now why so many of my clients would want support in preparing for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th baby. The value of that education and support each time you are pregnant & birthing, how vital it is to treat each pregnancy as a completely new and individual experience. One of my fellow Hypnobirthing teachers Laura Cook has kindly offered me a session of EFT at her home in Brighton. Have you heard of it? Emotional Freedom Tapping. A technique to help with emotional or physical freedom, to release and cope with anxieties. I take her up on it and drive my nauseous self down to Brighton armed with a banana milkshake, biscuits and sick bags in the car. Boy the nausea is raging this time round. With Evalyn I felt sick to the point I couldn’t even work some days but I was never actually sick. Learning the technique was amazing! A tool you can use wherever you are, whenever pain or anxieties creep in, to help redirect your mind and take you to a place of calm. It’s helped me rationalise any thoughts firing though my mind and I instantly feel better. I would highly recommend it! You stimulate meridian points by tapping them with your fingertips, tapping into your body’s energy to stimulate it, helping to restore balance. What a great tool to use every day in life, not just for pregnancy!
Next on my list and next anxiety to deal with….. going from 1 to 2 kids! So I’m doing some research and order myself a fantastic book – ‘The Second Baby Book – by Sarah Rockwell-Smith’. Grab yourself a copy if you are embarking on your 2nd pregnancy journey. To be honest even if you are having baby 3 or 4 this book would still be amazing! Check out her website www.sarahockwell-smith.com she has some incredible books for pregnancy, sleep and parenting – with a gentle intuitive approach. After reading just a few chapters I’m finding myself nodding and smiling as I recognise the emotions and concerns I was having were totally normal. What a relief. It’s also really helping me prepare for how to manage my time and Evalyn’s emotions once the new baby arrives which I will take forward & use. It’s a big transition for everyone.
I have also figured out that one of my fears is breastfeeding! Again, wtf? What? Why? I breastfed Evalyn for 2 years and 9 months! I now have breastfeeding qualifications that I didn’t before, I have knowledge, contacts, support….. I know why, we had a REALLY challenging start to our infant feeding journey. Evalyn had a mis-diagnosed tongue tie for 3 weeks, with 8 or 9 health professional missing it or not quite knowing what to look for (don’t get me started) and I can honestly say it was the most challenging thing I had ever been through, however the most rewarding. This is why I am so incredibly passionate about supporting others in reaching there breastfeeding goals whether that might be 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years. It’s not mothers or parents who fail, it’s the system, the education (or lack of), the support, access to support and lack of good support. This is why I run Mindful Breastfeeding Antenatal sessions. Equipping women, parents & families with everything they need to know before embarking on their journey, supporting a positive start & knowing where & when to seek support should they need it. Check out our our workshops here on the website. We ended up having a traumatic experience 6 days in at our local hospital where I was being pressured by paediatricians to carry out lumbar punctures and tests on Evalyn as her weight gain was a little slower than average and the colour of her poo wasn’t as expected on day 6 (poo colour charts – it’s a thing, you’ll learn about this in all our courses). Little did we know she has a severe posterior tongue tie and once released after getting the right help it was a game changer, we were on our way to success after reaching a point of breaking, almost having to stop. I realise this is an underlying anxiety that’s floating up to the surface, that I have been carrying and needed to let go of. This is why in our online & in person antenatal classes, we use Hypnobirthing. We spend so much time releasing fears and looking at what we carry in our subconscious mind. It’s key to release to be able to move forward.
So here we are, 6 weeks in to pregnancy, my baby is the size of a sweet pea growing little buds for arms and the nausea is ramping up! I’m sick, SO sick. This isn’t normal, this is HG!