Monday, 30 June 2014

Benefits of Hiring a Doula

I am so excited and thankful to be working with a doula for this pregnancy. Kirsty came recommended and offered her services to us and for that alone I am so grateful. She has been a huge support these last few weeks of pregnancy alone. She came with me to my antenatal appointment and helped support me with the OB in the conversation I was dreading having with them. We have decided to have a homebirth and this Thursday my local midwives are coming to book the 'home delivery', I am hoping Kirsty can make it along for this too.

Benefits of Hiring a Doula

Having a doula support me in pregnancy means having a silent advocate I can rely on right now. She knows so many useful things which means for my homebirth I can rely on her to support me and allow Martin to be himself and mind Eva if that situation arises, you never know. I may give birth during the night and she could miss it all!

Right now, Martin and I are getting to know Kirsty and have met with her a few times. Martin can't wait to have her here to invite baby number 2 into the world. We plan to create a loving nest for me to labour in, and that's what I am most looking forward to. I hope to labour naturally and if needs be of course I will go to hospital and be treated there, however I think its important to think positively and aim for the outcome we want rather than focus on the whatif's or couldbe's.

Kirsty knows massage and runs infant massage classes, she has done her degree as a complementary therapist. She is a mum of two boys already so I know she understands the birthing experience. I certainly think we are on the same wavelength and she understands my needs in a way I couldn't even articulate.

Kirsty's blog post explaining more on what a doula is can be found on her infant massage website. I just love that I only had to put the thought out into the universe of my needs for a doula and she appeared. I am just so grateful!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Camping While 29 Weeks Pregnant

This weekend we decided to go camping as we have only been talking about doing this the whole 9 years Martin and I have been together. So this would be our first family camping experience! We went away for one night to Whiteadder Reservoir for a rough camping experience. We didn't have sleeping bags or blow up beds which meant this was going to be interesting, especially while being 29+3 weeks pregnant.

Eva with her headtorch on
Eva with her headtorch on

Eva and Dad, headtorch selfie #1
Eva and Dad, headtorch selfie #1

Eva and Dad, headtorch selfie #2
Eva and Dad, headtorch selfie #2

Eva drinking milk in the boot of the car
Eva drinking milk in the boot of the car

Our bedtime nest
Our bedtime nest

Eva and I at the tent
Eva and I at the tent
Grub cooking on a well used fire pit
Grub cooking on a well used fire pit

Eva enjoying her freedom
Eva enjoying her freedom


Several Sheep!
Several Sheep!
We enjoyed our burgers and BBQ sides and literally on our last few bites I felt a few rain drops fall! We legged it into the tent and continued having some fruit in there. By the time we were sure the rain had stopped the midges had come out. We were totally unprepared for them, if had the foresight we would have bought Avon Skin So Soft, as previous experience has taught us this stuff is wonderful for stopping them biting. Poor Eva and Martin still got bitten, luckily they don't go for me but they were still annoying.

Martin couldn't face leaving the tent after that as it seemed we were in a swarm of the bugs. By this point it was only 8pm and he decided to take to his bed, which meant all of us had to. I tried everything to get Eva to go down but she was far too excited being out of her routine. All she wanted was 'seebs' aka feeds.

It happened to be the 21st of June, the Summer Equinox or longest day of the year so it was pretty light in our tent until about 11pm. Unfortunately that was when some party revellers showed up and pitched their tent a few metres away from us. Some people had arrived at 8pm to set up but abandoned the place when the heavens opened and the rain appeared. The 11pm people didn't budge though, they seemed to be seasoned campers, had a fire roaring and their tent up in no time. They played loud music occasionally until maybe 2am. It was annoying as I wanted some sleep and Martin wasn't prepared to say anything to them as they were in such a big group.

Thankfully they were only using their car stereo and must have been worried about their car battery so they didn't party too long and we all slept. I got up every few hours to pee, which wasn't easy as I kept getting leg cramp trying to stand up in the small space.

By 7./30am the next morning we had woken up and were ready to leave. We were all too tired to start a fire and other people had turned up. I did say to Martin this is what would happen as its the very reason we were attracted to the site, as it was so easy to access and we could park the car right by our tent it meant it was attractive to others for the same reason.

Still, we will do this again, not while I'm pregnant I'm afraid! Definitely next Summer when we have airbeds, sleeping bags, midge repellent and Avon Skin So Soft. Right now, its 2 days after the camping and I'm still sore. Mums with SPD beware, don't go camping while pregnant!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Possible Ban on Placenta Encapsulation By FSA - Help Save Placenta Services!!

I was outraged to learn that the European FSA are re-classifying placenta as a 'novel food', putting it into the same category as cloned animals and GM foods.

Novel food is defined as being;

'A type of food that does not have a significant history of consumption or is produced by a method that has not previously been used for food.' According to the FSA


On 11th June 2014, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) classed human placenta as a novel food under EU Council Regulation (EC) 258/97.  

"The Agency is not aware of any evidence for a history of consumption of such products anywhere in the EU before May 1997 and we are therefore minded to view them to be novel foods, which cannot legally be sold until they have been formally authorised.  Any operator who wishes to market foods containing human placenta in the EU will need to apply for an authorisation under Regulation (EC) 258/97.  Such an authorisation would require the submission of a dossier to one of the 28 EU Member States, demonstrating that the ingredient (a) does not present a risk to the consumer; (b) does not mislead the consumer; and (c) is not nutritionally disadvantageous compared with other foods that it might replace in the diet. 

Under Regulation 258/97, a novel food or ingredient is defined as one that was not consumed to a significant degree in the European Community before 15 May 1997.  Novel foods and food ingredients may only be marketed if they have been evaluated and authorised under the procedures defined in the regulation.  Human placenta and products derived from human placenta have not been authorised under this regulation."  
FSA Dr Manisha Upadhyay  Novel Foods Unit, Food Safety Policy view full letter from FSA

Look at the history books FSA! Human placenta has been recorded as being consumed since history began. Humans are the only mammals on the planet who do not regularly consume their placenta but that doesn't mean a woman's right to consumer her placenta should be taken away like this.

I had planned to have my placenta encapsulated by an IPEN specialist once I'd given birth, but it looks like as if she will be breaking the law by doing so.

I had a horrible time following the birth of my daughter in 2012 and really wanted the benefits of placenta consumption to try and help in any small way.

Help SAVE Placenta encapsulation services being banned by FSA
Help SAVE Placenta encapsulation services being banned by FSA

Please sign this petition by IPEN to help save placenta services.

You can do so here.

I wrote;

I want to have my placenta encapsulated because its a part of my body and i want the right to do what i want with it. Placenta regulates your hormones for 9 months and it takes your brain a full 6-8 weeks to take over that function properly so i need to be able to have my placenta encapsulated so i can take my placenta and regulate my hormones until my body takes over that job again.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

28 Weeks Pregnant With Baby Number 2 - Fetal Growth Scan Tomorrow!

I hope to write about my pregnancy every two weeks, otherwise it can get a bit much. Haha. I think I might post a bit more come nearer the time but right now I don't feel much change to warrant a post every week.
Comment if you want more though!

I can't believe that's me in the final stretch. I think nesting has hit in a big way, if you read my last post you'll remember I wrote about rearranging the patio space and clearing out the house, well we finally took a car load of stuff to the skip yesterday and it feels so good having all these places in my house good to go. However, Martin if you are reading this, there is a lot more to do. I felt I stretched myself quite far and was pretty darn sore on Tuesday, I had to call the osteopath and she said I was quite out of allignment. My left hip was lower than my right, and since then it feels like the opposite to me, now my left hip feels high!
28 weeks pregnant with second baby
28 weeks pregnant with second baby
28 weeks pregnant with first baby
28 weeks pregnant with first baby
Haha, don't think I was having a good week in the picture above!

How far along? 28 weeks and 1 day!

Total weight gain/measurements: No idea, as I said before I am not tracking it. I still fit into my regular size 16 maternity clothes.

Maternity clothes: all the time, now the weather is a bit warmer I am also wearing maxi dresses as skirts! 

Stretch marks: I have this huge deep one from my last pregnancy that is agony! Using everything under the sun to moisturise it and stop it itching. I find Vaseline really helps. Lol, Martin think its sick when I tell him I need to moisturise my crevace. :)

Sleep: OK,still waking once at night. Eva has had the cold for the last few weeks so sleep has been pretty disrupted for everyone. I am napping when I feel the need. Luckily I can sleep when she sleeps!

Best moment this week: Yesterday, getting stuff taken to skip and visiting Martin's nana. Then coming home to have our new favourite meal of Basil, bacon and peach baked brie. 

Miss anything? My hips are aching these days so I can't wait for that to go. I know if I take it a bit easier than I have been I should feel better.

Movement: Loads, whenever I relax. I try to relax often during the day so baby gets a chance to wake then and not at night and hopefully encourage good sleep habits!
Food cravings: I've been craving funny things, like Oreo, marshmallow and white chocolate ice cream. Luckily Ben & Jerry's baked alaska and oreo cookies mashed up works!
Ben & Jerry's baked alaska and oreo cookies
Ben & Jerry's baked alaska and oreo cookies

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope.

Gender: Girl. Should get confirmation of this at tomorrow's ultrasound.

Labour signs: None.

Symptoms: Stretch marks, pelvic girdle pain, slight back ache at times, swollen ankles and hands, tiredness, dry eyes (can't really wear contacts :( ) 

Belly button in or out? In, doubt it will pop, didn't last time!

Wedding rings on or off? Off, still have fat, swollen fingers lol!

Happy or moody most of the time: Generally happy, though I feel I am nesting lately so things are making me more emotional because their not done and I want it done yesterday.

Looking forward to: I am and I amn't looking forward to tomorrow. I am because we'll see our baby again, but I amn't because I need to persuade the OB  to let me have a home birth.

My reasons to have one are mixed and complicated. At the end of the day its my choice, and I will have a happier birth if I'm supported to give birth in my own home. 

Going to ask the OB and heamotologist to please support my decision and not to coerce or judge me. 

They can lay out the facts and we can have an open dialogue. 

However, I am this baby's mother and my baby and my own safety are paramount to my decision. There is no one more aware of the risks yet I think the benefits of home birth outweigh any risks. 

I don't want to be made to feel isolated or threatened by these doctors, or be told I am putting my life and my baby's life in danger for my choice to give birth at home. 

At the end of the day that kind of judgement borders on bullying. 

My decision might be out of the box but it would be really helpful to have a discussion on how to safely support me rather than dismiss my wishes.

Wish me luck for tomorrow, I still feel extremely overwhelmed by it all. It seems like everything I'm somehow doing is focusing on this baby's birth and it would be nice to forget about it all and simply go with the flow. It doesn't help having the hospital treat me like a lab rat. 

I should have refused this fetal growth scan anyway, it adds more stress on to me and the baby which isn't helpful for anyone. From what I can gather the ultrasound is such a bad tool in guaging fetal weight anyway so if they start mentioning that to me I can only divert them to discussing the whole reason for this scan, the placental function?? Also, the research I have read says its impossible to check placental function through a scan. 

To be honest, I want to trust my body to do the best for my baby. I have one healthy child already yet that fact is dismissed. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Coping Techniques For a More Relaxed State of Mind

I read a really insightful blog post a few days ago. It was a bit of an eyeopener and has since given me a deeper insight into myself, and into things I hadn't considered before and had always tried to change about me.

That blog post was 15 tips for the highly sensitive parent from You need to go and read this post and see if any of it applies to you, I think for everyone there will be some small thing they can take away from it to enhance their coping abilities at the very least.

I thought I should share some of the things that make me feel better. I realized I am a highly sensitive person in many ways and to get the most from life the only person I can expect to change is myself, because even though my problem is with the external world, its internally that this information is processed and I can change how this affects me!

I took this short test by Dr. Elaine Aron, and got 16 out of the 27 checks to see if you are a highly sensitive person. From the rest of Megan Zietz post I began to take note of the coping techniques that work for me.

So, since that short time has passed that I first read the post I've had a bit of a time trying to make the changes to my life to make things more harmonious. I think nesting might also have something to do with it too!

I gutted my outside patio space where Martin has been parking his motorbike, his tools, and loads of recycling and the rubbish bins. I did that on Friday afternoon, and set up our BBQ, table and chairs so we can now enjoy the space like our outdoor living room which I have always had in every house I've lived in. Not having that here has made me feel rather cooped up though I still need to get a fence up to feel truly private.

Eva enjoying bbq'd food

Martin getting his grill on

Over the last few days the inside of my house has received a similar treatment, and I feel so much more free and relaxed. There is so much more SPACE in the house and outside. I planted up my hydrangeas and moved some other pots so I can see them from my kitchen window. Also I moved my herbs to the table right under my kitchen window, A for the scent and B so the slugs don't eat them!

Here are a few of my coping mechanisms that I felt compelled to write down as soon as I had read Megan's post.

My Coping Mechanisms

1. Nature - I love it, I didn't realise before how much I had brought nature into my home already but its there in a big way, from my leaf print living room curtains to my rainforest mural in my bedroom, and I re-appreciated what I have and enhanced it further.

2. Relaxing smells - namely Ylang Ylang and Lavender, I got my oil burner on straight away and used a few drops of my favourite scents to make me feel instantly more relaxed.

3. Privacy outside - I enjoy being outside in my garden so much but since moving a year ago haven't gotten round to ensuring all and sundry can't see in. That's changing now come July, thank you understand fiancee of mine. :)

4. Less whining - OK, Eva hasn't been 100% and we were all a bit run down. After a couple of days of it though I could feel my resolve waning. Generally we have creche support twice a week right now, on Monday I do aquanatal so Eva attends creche at the pool and Thursday she goes to the creche where I attend PND counselling. I've also asked my Mum to take her this coming weekend and she always says YES, I don't know why I didn't ask sooner.

5. Enough sleep - Martin put our blackout blinds underneath the curtains yesterday evening and I slept for a few solid hours thanks to that. I also set the mood, at 9pm stopped what I was doing and had a cup of tea, then up to bed at 10.30pm and enjoyed the Lavender and Ylang Ylang drops I had put on our bed sheets, almost instantly I was asleep and its the best I've enjoyed in weeks.

6. Don't overwhelm myself - Since having Eva and being a full time Mum, I like to keep our schedule filled with things to do. Over this weekend though, I cancelled several things that were getting too much.

7. Clean, tidy house - my greatest annoyance is a messy house. Thanks to this post - 'How to make your house feel clean even when you don't have much time' , that's not an issue and following these simple steps helps me feel better, and the MIL is happy when she comes too!

8. Tasty, good for the family meals - I have had a proper internal battle raging lately on what to do about cooking when the baby comes and I knew my energy levels would start to wane in my third trimester. In truth its happened sooner than the third trimester but I've come up with simple, yet effortless meals to cater to my families needs.
Bacon and Cheese Baked Potatoes and Salad
 Bacon and Cheese Baked Potatoes and Salad for example.

Please share any of your tips to make you feel better and cope with the demands of life, a problem shared is a problem halved so they say!

Eva and I enjoyed our Sunday afternoon with Granny checking out some beautiful gardens in Inveresk's garden open day.

 Spot the child?
Eva and granny