The one at the Cheltenham Birth Centre….

Here at The Baby Journey we love an honest and empowering birth story. So to kick off the month of February, here is the story about the arrival of a beautiful boy called Rory, from his Mum Kylie……..

I am a first time mum. I had all the hopes, fears and expectations that go along with that. I dared to hope I might have the ‘good birth’ but also had a strong dose of reality of what a first time labour might be like. I prepared as best I could…I went to pregnancy yoga (lotusbud yoga), I did the Baby Journey Antenatal classes, and I bounced on my ball at home whenever I could 😂 but most of all I remained relaxed and calm about what was to come!
On August 12th 2017 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy called Rory weighing 7lbs 13oz. I started contracting at about midday and arrived at Cheltenham Aveta Birth Centre at 18.45 in advanced labour. I was shown straight to a pool room, given the gas and air and helped into a lovely warm pool. But most of all….I was greeted with kindness,love and warmth by the staff and there was no internal examination to endure or twenty questions! They are the experts in normality and they knew that Rory was on his way without having to perform checks to ‘make sure’. After all first labours are always long aren’t they!!? 😜
Rory was born within 2 hours of arriving, in the birthing pool. My husband was treated with respect and the same care was extended to him. He was not a ‘spare part’.
We then spent time getting to know our son while the staff continued to care for us all and we left the following morning to begin our lives as a family of 3.
If you are lucky enough to experience a positive birth like I did and many others do, then please shout it from the rooftops, tell everyone you know (especially other pregnant mums) because the fear of birth and the shame in feeling like you had an ‘easy birth’ and so don’t have the right to share your story is what is perpetuating the fear for others. Trust me it wasn’t ‘easy’ but it wasn’t traumatic and it wasn’t horrendous and it wasn’t ‘something you have to just get through’. It was the most amazing, intense, life-changing moment of my life.
And definitely worth it!!

Neals Yard loveliness

We all get excited buying products for our growing bumps and new babies, many we realise we didn’t really need and some we have no idea how we’d cope without! When it comes to products to put ON our bumps and babies it’s usually best to keep it simple.

As Baby Journey Midwives, we are really big fans of the Seaweed and Arnica foaming bath soak. The healing properties of the arnica and the mineral rich seaweed are the perfect combination for your perineum after birth. It smells amazing and is good for tired muscles during the pregnancy too – so you might need more than one bottle!

During our classes we always look at lower back massage to help ease the aches and pains of late pregnancy and early labour. The NYR soothing massage oil is brilliant for this – so grab your birth partner and get practising. Use a small 10 pence sized amount and warm in your hand, the use small and firm circular motions at the base of the lower back, maybe try some shoulder massage too? Particularly good for easing tensions during those early night feeds.

We actually have 2 lovely consultants from Neal’s Yard Remedies to tell you about a few of the products that are great for both mum and baby, and as luck would have it they currently have a 20% off event running until midnight tomorrow. So if you’d like to order anything from the baby range or indeed any other NYR products, drop them a note telling them we sent you and they’ll also pop a little extra treat in for you too (whoop whoop!)

Over to you Katie, what are the essentials for Baby?

“Newborns need nothing more than NYRs Baby Balm to keep them free from nappy rash. If you like the idea of massaging your baby you can use the Pure Baby Oil.
When they are over 3 months old it’s nice to use the Baby Bath & Shampoo with a gorgeous blend of Chamomile and Lavender so super relaxing for the end of the day and also really good for their skin. You can keep it simple and stick to Baby Balm and Baby Bath & Shampoo. But if you like a barrier cream, they’ve got one of those two and you can be confident it’s full of good stuff. There’s also a Baby Massage Oil with a lovely blend of essential oils for a calming pre-bedtime massage and there’s a lotion too.”

Then Claire, What 3 things couldn’t you live without in your changing bag?

“Whether you are a first time mummy or you are an expanding family, we all need a few top tips for handbag essentials.
Energy remedies to roll – perfect for giving you that little natural energy boost for your pulse points.
The Bee lovely balm – amazing for those dry lips, just a little bit and you feel ready to face the day.
Hand defence spray – A natural, quick drying, gorgeous smelling hand spray – perfect for yours and little toddler hands too. My girls LOVE having this sprayed into their hands before snack and so do I! “

Katie is mum to 3 year old Leo and 6 month old Nina, and Claire is Mum to 4 year old Charlotte and 3 year old Katie. Both are Independent Consultants who work for themselves with NYR Organic, (you might be interested in doing the same, so could ask them about that too).

To contact Katie on FB – Or Insta –

To contact Claire on FB – Or Insta

Huge thanks to the lovely ladies from NYR for those top tips and product recommendations

Meet the team – Becca

As part of our meet the team , here’s 10 Questions with the lovely Becca….

1. Crayon- yellow. Happy colour. Useful for the sun and stars and bright cheery things!

2. 90’s jam- strawberry! 😉
TLC- no scrubs. Used to know all the words and put on shows at break time!!

3. Animal- Dog probably! If had good owner- good walks, comfy bed, lots of cuddles- being loved despite being a pain in the arse sometimes!!

4. Inspiration- Different things! Current book- positive parenting. Buddhist ethos of positivity.

5. Fight- batman- he’s batman ffs! Way cooler than Spider-Man.

6. Crisps- barbecue beef hula hoops!

7. Holiday- langkawi. Truly beautiful and exotic.
Devon is pretty good in good weather too!

8. Best mummy bits- unconditional overwhelming love! Laughter, cuddles, pride and being a family.

9. Worse mummy bits- Tiredness! Mess! Headspace! Constant whining!

10. Mantra- hurry up!!! Feel myself saying it enough to be a mantra.
Or- find a solution! Works quite well in lots of ways.

Meet the team – Hannah

10 questions and 10 answers with the lovely Hannah

*You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?

Red. Yellow. No, green. Maybe white. I don’t know. This is a really weird question. I love colours, is this some kind of strange psychological test?

*What’s your favorite ’90s jam?

Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit.

*If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?

A labrador, because I am loyal, and I love a cuddle and a stroll round the park.

*What inspires you?

My amazing parents and sisters; my wonderful husband; my beautiful children who teach me to see the world through their innocent joyous eyes; my lovely friends and fabulous business partner; all the incredible mothers and mothers-in-waiting I have the privilege to meet as a midwife and at TBJ; all the knock-out mumpreneurs I meet.

Oooh and Sarah Willingham, Karen Brady, Clemmie Hooper, the Innocent team and Barack Obama.

And the sea.

And coffee and chocolate and a bit of a chat.

(In fact, let’s have a party on the beach and enjoy the magic)

*Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?

Batman. Obviously.

*What is your favourite crisp flavor?

Salt & vinegar. Cheap ones, posh ones, flat ones, ridgy ones, love them all.

*Best holiday destination ever?

Adored the Amalfi coast. Love Devon. Planning a trip to Paris. Daydreaming of taking Mr H to New York and the Maldives.

*Best thing about being a Mummy?

The beautiful hilarious little things they say in their tiny voices. Seeing them learn and flourish, and be proud of their own achievements. Watching their kindness. Feeling empowered to do anything because of the strength motherhood brings. The moment they reach for your hand with theirs and hold on. Their utter unconditional love for you just the way you are. Them whispering “I love you Mummy” as they cuddle you goodnight.

*Worst thing about being a Mummy?

Not being able to help them when they are in pain or somebody has hurt their feelings. The relentlessness when you want to press pause. Second guessing every choice you make and still feeling like you’re probably getting it all wrong. Feeling lonely but never alone.

* What’s your daily mantra?

Action not perfection.
Just keep swimming.
Be grateful and enjoy this.

And breathe…..

And breathe……

Here at TBJ towers, we are big fans of pregnancy yoga. We have all taken part in classes, but most recently Jules attended Ann Carrol’s Lotus Bud yoga.
Initially…. If I were being totally honest, cards on the table type honest, I wasn’t sure pregnancy yoga was for me, thought I’d struggle to relate to it…… I was very, very wrong.

It’s a fantastic experience, and totally worthwhile….even if you are planning all the drugs on offer during the birth, or your being induced… yoga will still help you during the pregnancy, birth and beyond. I think that there is a common misconception that by choosing yoga, then no pain relief will be offered during labour. Or that medical inventions mean that yoga will no longer be useful, in reality, the 2 can work really well together.

I really looked forward to my yoga classes each week, they became a peaceful opportunity to totally absorb all things positive, thinking solely about my growing baby. Classes would start with the chance to just clear your mind of all the activity from previous days, leading into comfortable stretches. My body went from tight, achy and broken… to supple, bendy and strong.
As busy working women, we don’t often get the opportunity to focus on what baby is doing, yoga allows you the time to think about babies movements, their positions and their gorgeous little faces. Ann always encouraged us to ‘smile’ at our babies, an unusual concept that I came to love and practice. When I smile at Bertie now, and he smiles back… it’s just how I imagined it would be. Perfect.

The fear of childbirth is ever present in society and in our own minds. A miserable grey cloud coming across the sky, creeping up on you when you least expect it. You’ll be happily putting on your mascara in the mirror one morning, when all of a sudden you’ll think ‘my babies head is huge, how am I going to get it out my fanny?!’ and this little bubble of fear and anxiety starts to rise upwards. Midwives get it too you know!

All the ‘helpful’ and often unintentional comments of previous women come to the forefront of your mind. Reminding you how awful it could be, how you’ll never have sex again afterwards and you’ll never cope because you’re too tired. As your resting heart rate starts to rise…… that’s when the yoga thinking comes in. The power of the positive thought can squash those nasty bubbles of fear and anxiety. Reminding you that your body was made to do this, you are strong and your baby knows how to be born. Remembering that your body has done a fairly amazing job so far…….

So how did it help on D-Day, well the amazing ‘Golden thread’ breath helped me to focus – even having the syntocinon drip to start the labour off. I felt in control in a situation that was very much out of my control. I felt him moving, focused on that little smiling face, remembered that he knew how to be born and that I was strong enough to do this.
Breathing techniques learnt at yoga can help with a range of scenarios, those hours in early labour at home, vaginal examinations, stitches, even painful breastfeeding.
The different positions and stretches that we learnt, showing how capable your body is. Making you more confident in labour that you could find a position that would work for you. Practicing them at home amused my husband no end, when I would suddenly leap off the sofa and start stretching during the advert break of location location location – encouraging him to join me!

There is something really empowering about sitting with other pregnant women, comparing bumps, ailments and worries. Sharing funny stories, thinking collectively about labour and motherhood. 2nd and 3rd time mums sharing their experiences and 1st time mums absorbing all that they can. Feeling excited when one mum has her baby and everyone sharing the news.

So whatever birth you are planning, whatever path it may take from being in the pool to being monitored… yoga can help. It can make you feel more positive, empowered and ready for whatever Baby Journey you go on.
There are lots of options for yoga in Cheltenham. We love Ann Carrol at Lotus Bud Yoga (look for her on facebook or tel: 07973 892 404)
And Emma Whitehouse at Mini Moments, you can find them on facebook & website or tel: 07966 160817

Namaste – Jules x

Why are newborns so noisy?

Why are newborns so noisy?

Whoever said the sentence ‘Sleeping like a baby’ clearly never had one, or slept in a bedroom with one, or even a house with one.
It seems to be that there is a massive chapter missing in all the baby books, or maybe it’s just a huge big secret and someone at GCHQ will be knocking on my door next week… but I’m going to say it anyway, ready…. Newborn babies sound like truffle pigs. There, I said it. And I’m not afraid of the consequences.

It’s actually totally annoying and paranoia provoking. For those of you who are yet to produce your bundles of joy…. Here’s an insight into a common scenario across bedrooms all across the land.

The snuffly newborn has just fed, then been winded, thrown up a bit, been fed again, pooped its pants, been changed, thrown up a bit more and then fed again. Finally, the little darling has nodded off into the land of dreams.
You then have this pressure to fall asleep as quickly as humanly possible before the miniature human wakes again (anywhere between 1-4hrs later)
So you quickly have a wee, change sanitary towels and breast pads, grab a glass of water, check the room temperature, stare at the baby and feel a bit teary at how cute they are… then feel completely knackered with dry and itchy eyes and jump under the duvet. Dad is probably already snoring next to you at this point.

You lie there with your eyes shut (tight) thinking ‘I must sleep, I must sleep’ but next you is the worlds noisiest sleeper (& we don’t mean Daddy)

Babies make so many different types of noises whilst they are sleeping, here are a few that we have discovered:

Snuffles – snorts – hiccups – sighs – grunts – straining – gurgles – squeaks – weird little giggle noises – farts – hums – weird throat clearing noises….

PLUS – they have a habit of changing their breathing rates, sometimes they speed it up… sometimes they slow it down. This is what leads to new parents frantically turning on the light and checking baby is OK. They remain fast asleep during all of this, getting quality kip, whilst you are lying there, exhausted and unable to sleep through paranoia and been kept awake by the cute micro piggy in the cot next to you.

Just as you have nodded off….. the piggy wants feeding!

Welcome to Parenthood……

The 1st Winter

Loving the first flush of spring after a long winter of baby illnesses? Welcome to our latest guest writer’s blog! Thank you Frankie for sharing your story and all the fun of poorly baby-ness that comes in the first few months. We hope that the springtime banishes the bugs and we’re in for a lovely healthy snot-free few months ahead!! Take it away Frankie……



In the last 3 months it seems that snot is the new buzz word in our house. How can somebody so small produce such a large quantity of ickyness.
The cold sneaks up on you so quickly there is no time to prepare. One sneeze and bam you’re off on a journey of sleepless nights, sore noses and coughs that sound like they are coming from a 20 a day smoker.

8 months ago I did not think I would be sucking snot from my babies nose – with an aspirator I hasten to add, not my mouth; although that would probably be easier..
The older she gets the more she seems to dislike it, I can’t wait for the day she understands the words “blow you’re nose”

The cold seems to linger for weeks and just when it seems to be retreating and you’re giving yourself a big high five, you hear a new sound, what is it? A wheeze! Up to the doctors you go, they say all these scary words like nebuliser, inhaler, asthma, antibiotics. “How can this be” you ask yourself, she’s just a baby. She seems to cope far better then I do, but I’m not the one getting the yummy banana medicine, maybe they should prescribe a bottle for the parents too. She seems amused by the mask on the inhaler, spending the whole time licking it. The steroid tablets aren’t a lot of fun , Trying to mix them with as little amount of water as possible so you can fit it in a syringe, it’s not easy I can tell you. You spend 10 minutes trying to dissolve them and get the water into the syringe, just for her to then dribble and spit it all back out within 30 seconds. (Grits teeth)
A week or so of meds and puffing away on inhalers and daily nebulisers and she’s on the mend.
Or is she?


Let me introduce you to RotaVirus. You thought poo was bad? Ha diarrhea is a whole new level, and this then leads to a raw little bleeding baboons bum. Changing nappies every 30 minutes, even through the night.. We get prescribed more antibiotics and cream that you put on so thick it looks like you’re icing a cake. Bring back the cold you think to yourself. (am i the only one that loved when one nappy started been enough for one whole night sleep?!?)
After 10 days things return to normal. Warning – when re introducing solids, be prepared for more poo then ever, as can cause irritation to the already sore gut, bleurgh!

Suffice to say my little bear has been through the illnesses, yet still she manages to smile and giggle her way through most days.
Were on 1st name terms with the doctor, Isla always has a beaming smile waiting for them, I’m sure by the end of the winter I’ll have a platinum loyalty card, if there were such a thing..

As I write this I’ve just received a bite to the boob (ouch) by the 2 new teeth that are trying to disturb the blissful non illness peace we have been enjoying for the past few weeks. To be continued.


Thank you lovely lady – we can totally sympathise with the *joys* of poorly little ones. If you’d like to find out more about first aid for infants (or baby massage or new mum’s fitness) why not book on to one of our new baby workshops?

If you have a story you would like to share we would LOVE to hear it. Send us your words at

x x x


Breastfeeding trophies

Hello beautiful readers, welcome to this month’s guest blog, one lovely new mummy’s story of her journey along the path of breastfeeding. Thank you for sharing your story Rachel…….



“I think we all deserve a trophy…

It seems that each of us mums have had a hurdle we have had to leap over, a battle we’ve had to fight or a mountain we’ve had to climb, where finally we get through it and really should be quite proud of ourselves. Maybe it was pregnancy, or just getting pregnant, or birth, or P.N.D, or inlaws, or weaning. Well for me, it was breastfeeding.

I’d read all the books, I was aware of the benefits and I was surrounded by boobtastic breastfeeding friends. I knew it wasn’t going to be a doddle and I was ready for sore nipples but I knew breastfeeding was something that I wanted to do, just because I wanted to do it. But let’s start from the beginning because to be honest, I feel like I want to buy myself a trophy!

After over an hour in surgery after a less than enjoyable birth I finally got to feed my hungry new baby boy. And to my surprise, he knew what to do. He immediately latched on and had his first suck. Wow! I loved it, I felt like a mum. Until probably 2.5 seconds later, when he suddenly didn’t have a clue what he was doing, licking away like a toddler with an ice pop, and that was pretty much the story for the first 3 months of his life. So I hand expressed those precious drops of colostrum. All was fine, I realised this was normal and was ready for a bit of perseverance (even though I felt like a bruised, battered, knackered, hormonal, terrified new mum).

Over the next few days in hospital and then at home, I managed to get the hang of the feeding (I thought). It was sore and really tricky and was one of those things I always thought I really could have done with practicing before I had a baby! I had all sorts of advice floating around my head…’nose to nipple’ Jules and Hannah had said whilst holding a doll up to a knitted boob. But getting that technique was hard, never mind that I looked like Dolly Parton, leaked all day and all night, and was still trying to get use to clipping and unclipping my nursing bra. But it really was getting very sore. In fact I would dread every feed. I started to realise the sore nipples that I was persevering with had progressed to some seriously hardcore damage.  My nipples had cracks the size of the Grand Canyon across them. They were red raw, bleeding, and looked like my baby had just chewed them off. It was pretty horrifically painful.  I spent many a night just weeping in pain. Basically, I didn’t have the latch right, and the damage was just getting worse every feed.

I tried to keep my spirits up because I knew I didn’t want to give up. I had nicknames to get me through. I fed more often with Baddy Boob (on the right) rather than Killer Boob (on the left). I had to clamp down on a muslin in my mouth, I allowed the odd swear word to creep out and wiggled my toes until I got used to the pain each feed. I tried nipple shields, fed in different positions, expressed, but it was all so painful and worse, a total head screw. I was glad to use the odd bottle of formula in the night to give myself a rest. Yes I used dummies, bottles and shields whilst trying to get my latch right, probably not advised but stuff that, in my eyes those people didn’t know the pain, I just needed to get through each day! I saw my friends who seemingly had no problems with it at all, and I desperately wanted to continue but I worried my boy wasn’t getting enough milk and I just didn’t know what to do to change it.

Thankfully I had amazingly supportive friends who gave me hugs, nipple shells, demonstrations etc. After one of those nights where you kind of want to send your baby back (or was that just me?!), a beloved friend came round (3 month old in tow), gave me breakfast and shoved me into her car and took me to B.A.P.S (Breastfeeding and peer support group). I will always remember the love from my friend, and the care from the ladies at B.A.P.S. I left with fresh determination. I knew if I could just make it to each Tuesday morning, to B.A.P.S, then I’d be ok.

To be honest, I didn’t see much improvement for a long time. I still felt like giving up, I still cried with pain during most feeds, I still longed for the day I could get out of the shower and wrap a towel round me without avoiding the nipple area, and for when I could put on my bra without taking in deep breaths, or put on a jumper without leaning forward to avoid nipple contact! But, I stuck at it. Not particularly because ‘breast is best’ or because I felt pressure to, but just because I wanted to. And do you know what, it got better.

It was the hardest thing I think I have ever done and it took well over 3 months before the pain began to go and I healed, but I got there. 7 months on and I am still going. I am so proud of myself. And I tell you what, it took so long to get here, I’m not stopping any time soon!!”


Would you like to share your story? We would love to hear from you and feature a guest blog every month – please send it to us at

Love H&J x x

The joys of vomit & champagne buckets

Hello again beautiful people, and welcome to the September guest blog, written by Carolann and looking at the joys of morning sickness, or as we like to call it – all day sickness. Enjoy!


“There is nothing quite like seeing that little blue line, who knew peeing on a stick could be so exciting! You have done it, you have made a baby! This is how I felt for about the first seven weeks of my pregnancy. I felt amazing, bigger boobs, no sickness, still had my figure it was all good! In fact it was so good I thought I would have at least ten children if being pregnant was this easy! I had heard about ‘morning sickness’ and to be honest I was feeling quite smug that I had no symptoms. However, that smugness was not to last.


It started with a pain in my right side it was so bad I was seen at Cheltenham hospital. They explained that it was probably nothing but to reassure us they would arrange an early scan. Then followed an agonising twenty four hours, as I thought I was losing the baby, we saw it! A tiny pulsating black dot! Apparently that was the baby and the baby was all good! I have to confess that neither me nor my husband could ‘see’ the baby but we were trusting the scan lady, she knew what she was doing. The pain disappeared and we went home.


I woke up the next day throwing up in my sleep. Now I should point out that I am a primary school teacher, I can cope with snot, blood, wee even poo but sick is a big no no. So to wake up being sick was an experience I was not keen to repeat! My ever helpful husband said that this was good! ‘A sign of a healthy pregnancy’, where he got his information from I don’t know but it was reassuring none the less. I had started reading all those pregnancy websites so I knew what I needed to do, EAT! That will stop the sickness and make me feel better. I couldn’t stop being sick to eat, I couldn’t stop being sick to move. I couldn’t stop being sick.


After two days of being sick all day and all night I decided that maybe a trip to the Gp might be in order. They were nice enough but to them I was just a neurotic pregnant lady with ‘a bit of morning sickness’ ‘try ginger’, ‘try travel sickness bands’, ‘have you tried acupuncture’. ‘It’s very rare for the sickness to pass twelve weeks, you’ll be fine after that…’ Twelve weeks came and went by week fourteen I was losing the will to carry on. The sickness was relentless and it wasn’t just ‘morning’ it was all blooming day! Another trip to the Gp and this time I wasn’t there very long, she took one look at me and picked up the phone I was being admitted to Gloucester Royal hospital. They explained that they were worried about dehydration, the baby would be fine but perhaps best to get me fighting fit. That was when I first heard the words ‘hyperemesis gravidarum’. I wept for two reasons really. One I thought I was going mad. I had never known anyone to have morning sickness like this or heard of anyone having morning sickness like this. It wasn’t just the sickness either, it was the exhaustion that goes with being sick ALL THE TIME. I was miserable I couldn’t go to work and I couldn’t see anyone as I didn’t want to be sick in front of them. I had lost weight and quite frankly looked like death. This was not the glowing pregnancy I had read about! Secondly, friends and family thought I was being a little melodramatic, surely it was just a bit of vomit! If I couldn’t cope with this how on earth was I going to give birth or cope with a child! To be able to label what was wrong was the best thing the doctors could do for me. For me it was enough to know I wasn’t mad!


Lots of lovely IV fluids and drugs were pumped into my body, another scan and this time the black pulsating dot had turned into an actual baby! Much better to look at! Then the nurse brought me a sandwich and I can honestly say it was the best sandwich I have ever eaten! And it stayed down! Surely this was the answer? I would just eat hospital tuna sandwiches for the next six months? Discharged and home with my lovely husband, who had bought waitrose out of tuna and bread I felt empowered to carry on. I could do this! I was going to be fine! Hang on I still felt sick…


I was sick. Up to week thirty two to be precise. Looking back I don’t know how I did it. I had to finish work early. I talked to the dog a lot! I got very good at brushing my teeth quickly so as not to throw up and ruin my hard work. I took a champagne bucket everywhere. If you are going to be sick you might as well do it in style! Friends and family got used to me throwing up mid conversation and my husband was amazing! Yes it was depressing and at times I genuinely thought it would be easier to not be pregnant than to carry on but it did end and wow the prize at the end was AMAZING!”


Thanks Carolann, we are always impressed by how resourceful ladies are in the face of adversity – a champagne bucket is the new must-have accessory for pregnant ladies everywhere!


If you would like to write for our monthly guest blog then send your piece over to, we publish it on the first Monday of the month and would love to hear your story.

Birth, Beyoncé and a bad choice of bra

Yippee yippee it’s time for our monthly guest blog, from YOU – our favourite people. So for August sit back and enjoy the always-fabulous Kate’s story………


“There is a photograph of Beyoncé that was released shortly after the birth of her daughter, Blue Ivy. She looks beautiful, composed and blissfully happy – every inch the Most Fabulous Woman in The World. There is a photograph of me in recovery an hour after my son, Oscar, was born. I look like Beetlejuice in a cheap nightie and that’s being kind.

Things started off in a very simple fashion. My first trimester was uneventful apart from a ropey fortnight, when all I could eat was Sugar Puffs and Hula Hoops and developed a strong aversion to men’s deodorant, narrowly avoiding vomiting over several colleagues. The second trimester was a breeze and by this stage I had convinced myself that I could just ‘crack on’ with birth and armed with a pragmatic attitude towards pain, I would emerge the other side as a serene superwoman.

Unfortunately my body had other ideas and the third trimester never quite felt right. As D-Day neared, we were spending an increasing amount of time in Triage. I think I knew deep down that the final act was not going to be straight forward but I kept nurturing the ideal. In the end, labour and birth was a blur of Pethidine, gas and air and panic. All I can really remember is regretting the decision to wear an extremely ill-fitting bra and trying not to laugh as I was instructed to pose like an ‘angry cat’ to enable the insertion of the spinal anaesthetic. As each of the theatre staff politely introduced themselves, I silently willed them to hurry up with the C-section and get Oscar out.

I didn’t expect to be spending almost a week in hospital and naively had no grasp of the fact that staff would not be aware of the difficulties surrounding Oscar’s birth. The first time I had to ask a midwife to help me care for Oscar because I was unable to move, the look she gave me left me feeling like Mariah Carey, demanding that the cubicle be decked out with crystals and white doves. I soon learnt that clear communication was imperative and I had to be upfront about what I needed and why to preserve my own sanity and that of the staff.  Five days’ worth of beige food later and we were allowed home.

I had pictured myself post-birth, strolling through the park for hours on end, looking and behaving pretty much like I did before. The reality was that the first time I left the house I could barely make it round the block. I subsequently undertook similar trips with poo on my leggings, wee on my top and vomit on my shoulder. On one particularly frenetic occasion, I accessorised with all three on the same day.

I didn’t anticipate how much I would need other people and the positive impact of their love and encouragement: the fellow mummies I met through The Baby Journey with whom I have laughed like a drain over poo mishaps and the insanity of sleep deprivation; the long-term friends who have reminded me of who I was before; the family members who have told me not to be so hard on myself; and the husband who tells me that I am the best mummy in the world.

I had many preconceptions about birth and motherhood and I don’t regret having unrealistic ideals. They have faded now that Oscar has brought me moments of happiness that I never could have imagined. I didn’t envisage singing Oscar songs about stars and snot. I didn’t picture myself looking at leaves with him in the garden and then going back inside to read a story about monkeys. I had no clue as to how big and utterly immeasurable mama love would actually be. I am no Beyoncé in either looks or talent but when Oscar smiles at me, I feel like the Most Fabulous Woman in The World. I didn’t anticipate that and my heart feels like it will burst, every time it happens.”


Gorgeous! Thank you Kate. And for the record ladies – you all look radiant after your babies arrived, Beyonce’s got nothing on you!

If you would like to share your story then just pop it over to us at, we would love to hear from you.