July 2013

Summer sun and swollen ankles

images-7Us British have a talent for talking about the weather, and it is never more worthy of comment than now.

We are in the midst of a heatwave. Really. It wasn’t that long ago that I still had the heating on now and again (trying to dry ten loads of baby washing is impossible in rubbish weather). And now here we are, hotter than honeymoons and set to continue.

I have noticed that everyone feels like they have to enjoy it, and appreciate it, revel in it even. We must not say that we are too hot – that would be very ungrateful and the weather fairies might punish us by making it rain until next July. But I think maybe, just maybe, we are not all enjoying it all of the time. Work is suffocating (dear old blighty is not set up with air-con ready for this weather), we are full to the brim with barbeque food, the shops keep running out of ice cream, and going to sleep is very sticky. I giggled when someone said she’d laid on her lawn starkers at 1am just to try and cool down. So, today I give you permission to have a little moan, you can say it: “I’m too hot”.

Poor pregnant ladies, who have an inbuilt hot water bottle, are not set for this tropical weather. Faces are rosy, ankles are swollen to tremendous proportions, skin is tight and stiff, every step is a big effort and the fainty queasy tiredness just seems worse. So ladies, you don’t have to be strong and stoical today – you can have a little moan. Sit inside in the cool and the dark, put your feet up on a big mountain of puffy pillows to help those ankles, whack the fan on, drink gallons of lovely iced water, get your refreshing facial spritz out your hospital bag, send your fella down the shop to get you a big ice lolly and relax. Today is all about you, and whatever you want. Today The Baby Journey declares it is “Too Hot to be Pregnant Day”, and so you should be spoiled and pampered!

And don’t worry girls, before we know it the rain will be back!

x x x


The Birth Plan – that didn’t go to plan…..

This month we feature our very first feature blog written by YOU! And on the first Monday of every month we will post a new reader’s blog – written by one of you guys about your story of becoming a parent, or pregnancy, or birth, or babies, you choose! But now, it’s time for us to be quiet, and hand over to the lovely Sarah…….



” Home birth?! Are you mad? Is that not dangerous? Is that allowed? You’re brave!  All of these were very familiar responses to my decision to have a home birth for my first baby.


I have never been a big fan of hospitals; well actually that’s a bit of an understatement…. I can’t stand them!  So a home birth felt like the right choice for me and it was a choice my wonderful community midwife, Linda, supported.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a total nutcase (although some might say otherwise…!), I was never going to be one to stick to my ‘plan’ at the expense of my health or the health of our baby.  But I was up for giving this home birthing a go, after all my great-grandmother managed it seven times, so it can’t be that hard….right?!


From the day I found out I was pregnant I was always ‘planning’ and ‘researching’.  I could tell you the top-selling breast pump and justify to my husband why the most expensive play-gym was worth it by the 5 star reviews it had received, so naturally I had a birth plan and I researched it.  I did find that many of the birth plan templates were written by people who had ‘researched’ things even more than I had (shocking I know), they contained information about pulsating umbilical cords I had never even heard about, so I decided to leave some of these finer details out….


My birth plan was centred on my home birth and at the end had a few statements under the heading ‘should I go to hospital’, however this was not part of my plan, so I didn’t think about it too much.  My labour started very much as ‘planned’, at home, supported by my husband and a fabulous team of community midwives.  I had a birth pool inflated in the kitchen, (naturally I researched this to death and decided that buying an inflatable one was the best idea), I had my playlist lovingly created playing in the background, surrounded by fairy lights and practicing my ‘yoga breathing’  (with a little bit of help from my new best friend gas and air…) Things were most definitely going to ‘plan’, however our son had other ideas….


After 12 hours of labouring, I was stuck half way down the ‘washing line’ (TBJ graduates will understand…) and was going nowhere.  Eventually the words were uttered ‘you’re going to have to go to hospital.’  I have to admit at this point, although really disappointed, I just wanted to get to the end of that washing line, whatever it took!!!  I was taken to Gloucester Royal in the back of an ambulance, most definitely not part of my ‘plan’, nor was two ambulance vehicles turning up outside of my house with their lights flashing – ‘turn your lights off, the neighbours will talk.’ I seem to remember saying in between my drags of gas and air!!


A few more hours in labour and a couple more pegs down the washing line, I ended up in theatre and our son, Felix was delivered with the assistance of forceps, needless to say he had a bit of a headache from the experience and to be honest, I’d definitely had better days…. There we were, sat in hospital, nothing had gone to plan and he was screaming, very loudly!!  I shed a few tears about the way things turned out (partially attributed to being a hormonal mess…) and people often ask me, ‘don’t you think it would have been better to go to hospital in the first place’ and I honestly answer ‘no.’ The best part of my birth experience was labouring at home and if I ever get drunk enough to decide having a second baby is a good idea, I would definitely opt for a home birth again.  The care I received at home was very personal, relaxed, centred on what we, as a couple wanted and all in the comfort of our own home.


I like to think Felix had other plans to teach me an important lesson, no matter how much planning and research you do; nothing can EVER fully prepare you for becoming a parent!!”


Thank you Sarah for a fab blog!

If you would like to post your story then just e-mail it to us at hello@thebabyjourney.co.uk, we’d love to hear from you. x