Birth Story of The Week – Lizzie and William

lizzie and willima

Since I was younger I’ve always loved babies and been fascinated by the wonder that is pregnancy and labour. If anyone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d always said a midwife and now i feel so so lucky to have experienced for myself such a wonderful pregnancy and to have our own beautiful baby boy.

William is a bit of a miracle baby.  I’ve never had regular periods (make that 2 in 2 years prior to getting pregnant) and had been diagnosed with Polycycstic Ovary Syndrome many years ago, so i was always apprehensive about how easy it would be to conceive naturally. Despite only just starting to “try”, I had conversations with the GP to explore options for help with natural conception, expecting it to take a while. However, Matt and I were so lucky to fall pregnant with William within about 3 months, and feel truly blessed!   Anyway, this isn’t a conception story but a birth, so ill get on with that….

My due date came and went without too much activity.  My Mum had me 3 weeks early, so in the back of my mind I was hoping that my final few weeks of back ache and what i then thought were sleepless nights of pregnancy (little did i know about real sleepless nights!!) would have been cut short.  However, my first twinges of real labour started when i was just over 41 weeks.  I’d had period type pains all week but then after my second sweep, where the midwife confirmed I was 2cm dilated, we had a little family drama which I think kick started my contractions. My sister was stuck without her car at the last minute, so called me to ask me if I could pick up her little girls from nursery. I was out at the time, so had to do my best attempt at running home (at 9+ months pregnant this is a challenge!) to pick up the car and then I drove like a racing car driver to the nursery, over what felt like endless roads of speed bumps! By the time i picked up my nieces and got home, surges were coming every 10 minutes.

This was on the Thursday.  I waited a couple of hours before believing that anything was really happened but then called my husband Matt to come home from work later that afternoon.  The surges continued and i paced the house with my hypnobirthing affirmations playing to help me keep as relaxed as possible. I tried my best to suppress the feelings on adrenalin that I knew would slow things down, but deep down I was so blooming excited that we were on the journey to meet our baby. I continued to pace up and down the length of the house, waiting for the surges to get more frequent and more painful, but it never happened.  I text my lovely midwife Mary before we went to bed that night and she was on standby ready to jump at my telephone call. We went to bed that night with everything ready, expecting that we’d be awoken in the night by me in established labour. Frustratingly, it just didn’t happen.

On Friday i already had a third sweep booked, so went ahead with that, hoping it would again kick everything into action. I knew I should be patient and let the baby arrive in its natural time, but was beginning to lose my patience. Mary confirmed i was 3 cm dilated and really helped to bring me back to reality and suggested Matt and i forget about the very erratic contractions and go out for lunch to take our minds off what was happening. This was the such good advice. In my head I’d been going a bit mad worrying I was faking the surges and getting frustrated by not knowing if they were the ‘real thing’ or not.  Matt and I walked to East Dulwich to get some lunch and the contractions started again, this time even stronger.  Still completely irregular though and by the time we got home  they had petered out completely.  So again, we went to bed on that Friday night expecting a middle of the night trip to Kings.   Again, it didn’t happen! Throughout Thursday and Friday I’d been listening to my hypnobirthing tracks which really helped to get me through the duration. Although I knew I should be patient and wait for my body and the baby to be ready for labour, after almost 48hrs of surges my body was tiring and I was getting impatient about meeting our baby.

By Saturday morning i was 41+3 and really ready to get some reassurance by delivering a healthy baby.  At this point in pregnancy, not only was I tired and frustrated at not knowing when or how labour would get started but also worrying that something could happen to the baby before I was able to deliver it safely. I’m sure it’s normal for all Mummy’s to be to have the same worries, but because I’d never really believed my body would be able to get pregnant naturally, I always had concerns in the back of my mind that it wouldn’t work out.

After talking to Mary on the Saturday morning, we agreed that I would go into King’s hospital to get my waters broken, in the hope of it getting the labour going. A big part of my decision making was that I knew my lovely midwife Mary was working that weekend, so if I waited any longer she’d potentially not be around to deliver my baby. Having had Mary visit throughout my pregnancy, Matt and I trusted her implicitly so we really wanted her there to support us through the main event.  On the way to King’s, Matt and I stopped at the supermarket and stocked up on a picnic we planned to have at the hospital whilst we waited for what we thought would be a long drawn out labour to begin.  Little did we know what was going to happen in the few hours ahead.

We were taken into a triage room in the Labour ward and an Agency midwife introduced herself and started some checks on me. The usual, blood pressure, pulse and the baby’s heart beat. Being an Agency midwife, the poor lady wasn’t used to the machines at King’s and she couldn’t find our baby’s heart beat, despite two attempts on different machines. Obviously this is the last thing you need as parents to be, however, thankfully she got it, third time lucky.

The doctor came to break my waters at 11:45 and suggested Matt and I go for a walk in the corridors and walk the stairs sideways, in an attempt to get labour moving. I began to get dressed, with Matt and I deliberating on my outfit of a nightie and big furry Ugg boots. We needn’t have worried. By midday, 15 minutes later, surges were coming every 3.5 minutes. And they were strong! Who knows if the ones at home were real, but these were very different and I knew that this was really it.

The midwife could see things were progressing quickly, so we put on the TENS machine and I was given gas and air to use whilst taking deep slow brwaths. We also made sure the hypnobirthing tracks were playing loud and clear. At this stage I wasn’t really listening to the words in the hypnobirthing, but having listened so intently throughout my pregnancy, the music was so recognisable as relaxing that I didn’t even need to hear what was being said, to experience the calming result.

After 2 hours in the labour ward I was getting nervous that Mary hadn’t arrived yet and that we hadn’t made it to the Midwifery led unit.  I know you’re always told in pregnancy to keep an open mind about your birth plan, and although I thought I had, but at this point I knew that the birthing pool was what i wanted, and I was adamant that it would be the best place for me and our baby to get through the afternoon.

Just after 2pm Mary arrived and I waddled around to the Midwifery led unit, panicking about whether I’d get there in time before the next contraction, and in time to get on the gas and air.   We made it to the Woodland suit, wallpapered with a lavender field, and the midwives immediately started filling the pool. I tried kneeling and using the beanbags during contractions, but couldn’t get comfortable. Finally, I was allowed in the pool and it immediately felt amazing to have the weight taken off me and have the support and comfort of the warm water.

In the water I had a good set up, with a flannel on the side to rest my head, hypnobirthing affirmations playing and Matt to hold my hand. I didn’t go through one contraction after that point without holding Matt’s hand and really needed that support through every one, knowing he was there for us both.

lizzie hammond birth

Contractions didn’t really get painful as the afternoon progressed but occasionally my body convulsed and it automatically started pushing.  I had no idea that this would happen in labour. It was like a gagging reflex and completely took over my body (without causing pain) and I really enjoyed that feeling of my body being in control and working for me to get the baby on its way out. This felt like real progress! I could feel the pressure getting lower and lower and Mary examined me in the pool and I was 7-8cm. When Mary told me this I was proud of getting this far but knew the dreaded ‘transition’ was still to come. Luckily I don’t think I was effected by transition. I remember sobbing a little and thinking in my head ‘maybe I should have got an epidural’ but I didn’t ever say it out loud and knew deep down that what was happening was totally manageable and I could deliver the baby myself.

What felt like very soon after that examination the reflex pushing feelings got stronger and I said I could feel something much lower. Mary and Erica (the student midwife) used a mirror in the pool every time I had a contraction to check on progress and it was amazing when they started to see the baby crowning. At first Erica said she could see ‘something’ floating in the pool and it took her a while to realise this was our baby’s thick head of hair starting to appear! According to my notes, the second phase of labour was 36 minutes and this flew by. Although it’s a bit uncomfortable and I was nervous of any damage, I didn’t find this bit as painful as is expected. I’m sure the water helps but the fact that I knew it was productive pain and that the baby was so close, made it so much more manageable. I remember feeling the baby’s head deliver and Mary and Erica guiding me through little pushes to get its chin out. The head was now free and I just had one more push to meet our baby. At this point I couldn’t really feel contractions (that may have been the amount of gas and air I’d taken!!) but just pushed when I was ready to fully deliver our baby at 4:16pm.

I’d watched One born every minute repeatedly throughout pregnancy and cried at every scene when a Mummy was first given their baby to hold. Needless to say, I burst into tears as soon as I had our little baby in our arms. It might sound ridiculous given I’d had 9 months to get ready for it, but I was in shock that I’d actually created and delivered a healthy baby and completely overwhelmed. I kissed and cuddled the blue and slippery baby in the pool, whilst Matt reached over to stroke and kiss us both too. We were both in shock and in love! After over a minute Mary said ‘aren’t you going to check the sex?’.  It hadn’t even crossed my mind, despite months and months of guessing girl or boy throughout pregnancy. As soon as the baby was born all I cared about was that it was healthy. Unbelievably when I did check, we couldn’t believe it to find out it was a boy? Throughout my pregnancy, everyone had guessed my bump as a ‘girl bump’ and having 5 nieces we were pretty sure we were having a girl, so to have a boy in my arms doubled the surprise factor and was even more special.

lizzie hammond birth 2

After 7 minutes of delayed cord clamping, Matt cut the cord and took our baby boy for skin on skin with him whilst I delivered the placenta. Luckily it came away easily and was a doddle to deliver, in comparison!

I was completely shaky  and overwhelmed at this point as was helped out of the bath and onto the bed, where Matt lay with our baby. We immediately lay him on my chest and let our baby naturally root for his first feed. The midwives were amazing at helping me to feed and checking me over and I was in a really good place thankfully. They suggested we could go home that evening and when they first said it, I was still in a state of shock and overwhelmed by the previous 4 hours, so asked to hold off making a decision at that point. On reflection however, I am so happy we did go home.  We’d already decided on our final baby boy and baby girl names, so didn’t need to deliberate when we named him William Matthew Hunter Hammond. We made some phone calls to our parents in the bed in hospital and the midwives and Matt tried to force me to eat something, having not eaten since breakfast. It was the last thing I wanted but I managed to stomach something as knew I wouldn’t be allowed home if I didn’t.

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By 7:30pm we were discharged from hospital and I was wheeled down to the exit with our baby boy in my arms. I felt like royalty, with everyone smiling and congratulating me in the corridors. We sat William in the car seat and I sat in the back of the car with him for our journey home. It was unbelievable that only 8hrs before, we’d been walking up to the entrance of the hospital with our picnic expecting a long afternoon ahead. And now we were driving away as a family of 3.

When we got home Matt and I looked at each other and at our baby in disbelief. How could something so amazing have been growing in my tummy? We were in love immediately and if it’s possible, are in even more love with him today. In the first few days at home Matt and I were so overwhelmed with how adorable William is and occasionally caught each other cuddling him and crying of happiness whilst we looked into little face. The feeling of love as a Mummy is so incredible. I didn’t realise how intense and immediate the feelings would be, but William is the most precious and amazing thing in my life and I really do have an overwhelming maternal instinct to look after him and keep him safe and loved forever and ever. I just hope I have the same feeling as he grows into his terrible twos and teenage years!

Lizzie is a Hypnobirthing teacher based in London, check out her website here 

You can read about Lizzie’s adventures with William over at Maternity Leave Life.

Birth Story Of The Week – Katie and William

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As my youngest son turned 1 at the weekend, I remembered that high on endorphins and sleep deprivation, I promised Clemmie my birth story.  A whole year ago.  So, as I wait for this mythical ‘it gets easier when the  youngest is one’ thing to take hold, I thought I should probably get round to it now.  Here goes….

My delivery with my eldest son almost 3 years prior to William’s arrival had been a long and protracted affair.  Ineffective pessary, waters broken, then sent away for the ritualistic march up and down the stairs.  12 hours later, no action, so a lovely epidural and swift twist of the forceps and there he was.  Not traumatic or awful, but pretty exhausting and far from what you hope for, once you’ve gotten all of that ‘I just want a healthy baby’ business out of the way.

I was determined that it wouldn’t be that way for my second.  This would be a relaxed home birth.  I borrowed a pool, collected more old towels and bedding than I knew what to do with, and readied an army of babysitters to look after Albert.  Except William had other plans.  Due date came and went, no sign.  Daily sweeps told me that I was 3cm dilated with a ‘favourable’ cervix,  but it seemed that no amount of bouncing on a ball, long walks or vacuuming the stairs was going to move him along.  I was due to be booked in for an induction on 4th Feb, but decided, after a good chat with my midwives to leave him for a few more days to see if he fancied vacating of his own accord.  Still nothing, and with that, the chances of my homebirth disappeared.  I trudged into Kings on 7th Feb, only to be told that yes, I was still 3-4cm dilated, yes, my waters should just be broken so that we can get on with it, but sadly, they were extremely busy and had no staff or space.  I obviously reacted in the way that any massively overdue, hormonal woman  would do and cried, huffed and puffed at my husband, and then settled down to watch Homes under the Hammer on the ipad.

I hadn’t, however, banked on the appearance of my midwife at 10.30pm on a Friday night.  She breezed in to the ward, rolled up her sleeves, and very kindly instructed me that we were ‘going to meet this baby.  Tonight.’ I’m a big fan of the gung-ho approach, so completely went with it.  She found a delivery suite, settled us in, and promptly broke my waters.  She found a mat and a blanket for my husband and instructed him to have a nap because he ‘wasn’t going to be much use yet’ and left me to get on with it.  Brilliant.

The room was lovely and calm, and the lighting was pleasant – not hospital like at all.  There was a docking station, so I bravely left my iPod on shuffle and out of reach.  The fear that the next song could be Wham kept me going to be honest….  My contractions started pretty immediately after my waters went and became regular quickly.  I was on my feet and moving around the room, stopping to lean on furniture and hum when the contractions came.  After around 90 minutes, and still on my feet, the contractions were getting much stronger, and had moved downwards into my lower back.  Humming had turned more into growling and I wasn’t so much leaning on the furniture as clinging to it at this point.  My midwife asked how I was doing, and the words that came out of her mouth surprised me as much as her – ‘I think I need to push’.  ‘Hmm, you’d better take your pants off then’ came the reply.  By this time I was scorching hot, so thought it a good opportunity to strip off every last stitch.  Amazing what those hormones do to you.  My husband made himself useful with cool flannels and encouraging words, and I was examined – I was 8.5 centimetres, but still had work to do before I could push.  To be honest I thought I was heading for a repeat of my last labour and was starting to feel disheartened – I didn’t want a ‘medical’ delivery this time, and had felt like it was all going well up to now.

My midwife advised me to try lying on my side on a mat on the floor.  I was dubious at first – grasvity didn’t seem to be on my side here, but that shows what I know.  Contractions started coming along thick and fast, and I had some gas and air to take the edge off.  I’m not entirely sure that the gas had much effect, but the mouthpiece and regularity of using it was a useful distraction from pain and focusing on breathing.  What felt like two minutes later (but was actually about 40) the urge to push returned.  This time I got the green light to push and a delighted voice from the other end told me ‘I can see the head!’  This is where Vanessa really came into her own (as if she hadn’t already!) – we had already ascertained that he was a big baby, so hurrying this part could have been disastrous.  I followed her every instructions about pushing, stopping, puffing – to be honest, if she’d told me to stand up and do the Macarena I would have – and a few minutes later Williams head emerged.    A couple more pushed and the rest of him followed, all 9lbs 5oz of him, with not a single tear, graze or stitch.  There was a calm sense of amazement in the room afterwards – I was staggered that my body had done what it needed to so efficiently after a slow start, and we were all a bit dazzled by this enormous (and beautiful!) baby.

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I was the last person who was ever going to describe childbirth as ‘amazing’ or ‘relaxed’ or even ‘calm’.  However, my delivery with William was all of those things.  Although I was in a busy hospital, it felt like there was only me, my husband and Vanessa in the world, and then William too!  It was calm, I was calm, and William’s welcome into the world was calm and overwhelmingly happy.  The whole process took 3 hours from start to finish, and I was home and introducing William to his big brother 2 hours later.  If you find yourself having an induction or hospital delivery that you didn’t hope for, don’t despair!

Birth Story Of The Week – Chloe and Rory

I’m back! It’s a funny old thing having no internet. On one hand being totally cut off from Instagram, Twitter and checking the Showbiz section of the Daily Mail online (oh come on I know you all do too!) is quite liberating. But on the other hand you don’t realise how much you use the internet for searching pretty much everything. We’ve just moved into our new house. Yup we are home owners for the first time, totally broke, totally clueless and too nervous to hang a single picture just in case it cracks the wall. But feeling a little uninspired creatively I felt lost without Pinterest and it was almost impossible ordering a new washing machine without going online. Even when Sky failed to turn up to install the rooter and phone line they suggested tracking our progress……….online! See impossible. And of course there was no Birth Story Of The Week last Monday. But alas! Here is today’s wonderful story from Chloe who’s blog is so beautiful I have serious photo envy, but then she is a photographer. I feel a bit connected to Chloe’s birth as I gave her my old birthing pool to use in labour.

Blog: Sorry About The Mess

Twitter: khloeee

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7AM

I wake up on a gloomy May morning, three days past my due date, and for some reason I am in denial that I am in labour. I have been having irregular contractions since this time yesterday, and as I wave Sam off to work, I remain oblivious to the fact that they are becoming a lot more regular.
 
The sweep I had 48 hours ago couldn’t possibly be responsible for this. I have been warned so many times that second labours can often be slow to get going, that it’s often very stop/start, that the latent phase can last longer. So, the birth pool remains deflated in its bag, toddler overnight bags remain unpacked, and plans for the day are made.
 
8.30AM
All of a sudden, everything is hazy. The contractions are coming on top of each other, and I know that this is definitely happening. Sam has been at work for just half an hour, and I need to call him to come home. It takes him probably 45 minutes, during which time I call him every five minutes because I can’t remember how long he said he’d be. I call my midwife. No one is here (the toddler doesn’t count!) and I can’t focus on managing the contractions. I feel panicky, dizzy, and sick.
 
10AM
Our midwife arrives. Sam is busy dismantling our dining table to make room for the pool, inflating the pool, putting sheets on the floor, etc. I am 4cm and disappointed. The contractions had been so intense and everyone tells me that second labours are quicker, I was hoping to be told I didn’t have long to go.
 
2.30PM
The hours pass in cycles of pacing, squatting, and moaning about how long it’s going to take. I am 7cm dilated. The midwives inform me that this is not as much progress as they would typically expect for a second labour. There is talk of breaking my waters if I’ve not progressed much further in the next two hours.
 
4PM
I am definitely reaching my “I’m too tired to keep doing this” point. I am reluctant to start on the gas and air (it became somewhat of a crutch during my first labour), but I still have the pool to try.
With Arlo, the pool had made me feel hot and faint, and due to having hard sides and base, it wasn’t all that comfortable. This time is a completely different experience. I’m not too hot, and an inflatable pool is so much more comfortable. Contractions seem to slow a bit in the pool and not last as long, but I am so much more comfortable that I really don’t care. In fact, I become a bit scared to leave the pool and face strong contractions again. But it is time for another examination.
4.30PM
I am 9cm and everyone is happy. We decide there is no need to break my waters at this stage.
Knowing I am almost there, I have a new-found sense of optimism and enthusiasm to keep going. This is probably the most relaxing part of the whole labour. I am happy, chatting and joking with Sam and the midwives (our second midwife had arrived by that point), thinking “it is amazing that I am so lucid and ‘with it’ at this stage during labour”. Not having gas and air really made a difference for me and I remember everything so much more clearly than with Arlo’s labour.
I seem to cope so much better with this transition phase of labour than with the earlier stages. 4-8cm has definitely felt like the hardest point during both of my labours. I don’t know whether it’s the boost from knowing it won’t be long, or the fact that during 8cm-10cm my contractions slow a bit, giving me more of a break between each one. But with both labours I’ve found that stage to be a quieter, almost relaxed time.
6.30PM
Why am I still here?? Why am I not feeling at all ‘pushy’ yet?? Despite being ‘almost there’ two hours ago, the baby is posterior, and needs a little longer to get his head in the right position to get past that last lip of cervix in order to be born.
Contrary to what I was told during Arlo’s labour, this time the midwives don’t think there is a problem with me seeing what happens if I push despite not yet feeling those uncontrollable urges. They say that some women find they need to push to help the cervix open up that last bit. Just as with my first labour, it seems that we are just waiting for my waters to break and then we’ll be straight into the second stage.
6.45PM
I decide to see what will happen if I really push with the next contraction. I feel a pop. My waters. From then it is very quick. The midwives are not able to see a head at all, then suddenly the head is being born.
The head is out, but nothing is budging with the next contraction. I move from my crouching position onto all fours for the next contraction, but still nothing. Everyone springs into action very quickly and I know I need to listen to the midwives and do everything they say at this point. I get out of the pool (with a head between my legs!) and am told to lie flat on my back. Sam is at my head and the midwives are holding my legs up to my chest. I push with all I have for the next contraction. I think there is one more contraction before things start moving and the midwives can help pull his body out.
6.55PM
Born in the doorway between our kitchen and dining room, I catch that first glimpse of my baby as the midwife lifts him up and onto my chest. He is a boy, and he is much bigger than we were expecting (9lbs 4oz). Now it makes sense that it was a bit tricky to push out his chunky shoulders!
I would have loved to have had the whole waterbirth experience and ‘caught’ my baby myself. Or at least to have been able to see him being born. I also didn’t get to to the nice bit and have our first night together at home in our own bed, as we had to transfer to hospital shortly after his birth due to meconium in the waters – they wanted him to have 4 hourly obs in case of infection (he was fine in the end).
But labouring at home was completely the right thing for me, and it made such a difference. I’m really happy with the way Rory’s birth went, and how I managed the pain. Half way through my labour I do remember having a little chuckle at myself for being so silly to think that perhaps the pain would be different or easier because I was at home – the pain is exactly the same, hospital or no hospital. But being in my own surroundings definitely helped me feel more grounded and in control of my labour.
There is a definite sense of achievement that comes with giving birth in your own house… that ‘I can do anything’ feeling. But most of all, it’s lovely to have the daily reminders of welcoming Rory into the world under our own roof. Every day, I walk through the doorway where we became a family of four.
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What To Do If You’re Over Due

5 days over due

5 days over due

If the supposedly ‘official’ due date for the Royal baby was the 13th of July, then in medical terms Kate is late. Poor old ‘weighty Katie’ is now over due. The bun has well and truly cooked and the world will carry on waiting to hear the news that she is in labour. So in light of this here are my top 10 Tips of things to do if you go over due.

(I have this reoccurring thought that maybe she has in fact already given birth. That maybe she birthed calmly in her own home with 2 supportive pro normal birth midwives. In the pool using her hyponobirthing techniques and now she is blissfully enjoying her baby moon back at her parents house in Berkshire. Just a thought)

Your EDD.  The date which you have had etched in your mind since you first found out you were pregnant.  The date the sonographer changed at your 12 week scan and made you less pregnant than you originally thought, and then changed again at your 20 week scan. You gaze at your diary counting down the days until you finish work and maternity leave starts.  But as it is estimated that only as little as 5% of babies are born on their due date, and the majority of first time pregnancies going over due by a week, no wonder women get totally fed up when there is no sign of baby.

So I have decided to make a list of all the things you should do to keep you busy and stop your mind going crazy when you receive the 10th text of the day from yet another friend asking if you’ve had the baby yet??  (Um let me just check my vagina, nope still no baby yet).

  1. Don’t tell the whole world when your actual due date is. Or constantly update Facebook and Twitter with ’39+6 tomorrow we will get to meet our baby’.  Because as I’ve just said you probably won’t have your baby on it’s due date unless you fall in the 5%.  Just say ‘Oh some time next week’ and add a few days.
  2. Meet your work mates for lunch. And remind yourself how brilliant it is that you don’t have to worry about stressful deadlines and work related politics for at least 6 months, a year if you’re lucky.
  3. Read Birth Without Fear By Grantly Dick-Read. It’s peaceful and empowering especially if you’re feel a little freaked out as every person you meet in the street decides to tell you their horror birth story.  Yeah thanks, really helpful.
  4. Put all those ‘How to Put You’re Baby into a Military Routine’ and ‘How to Be the Perfect Mother’ books back on the shelf.  It’s not worth reading them yet, your baby certainly hasn’t read them.  Maternal instinct is an amazing thing and has guided women Motherhood since Eve had Cain and Able.
  5. Unpack your labour bag and get your partner to re pack it.  That way he will know where everything is and you won’t have to show him where your hair band is in the throws of labour.  See my post on Labour Bag Essentials.
  6. Go to the cinema with your partner/best mate/sister. You’ll probably won’t go again until your baby reaches it’s first birthday.  And anyway you’ll be so tired you’ll fall asleep half way through and miss the big reveal.  I’ve never seen the end of Atonement.
  7. The same goes for that book sitting on your bedside table, finish it now or you’ll never finish it.  I started reading again when my first was 18 months old, it was a big achievement not to be reading a 5 page ‘Lift the Flaps’ book.
  8. Have a pedicure. Mainly because it’s nice to look down at your toes after the baby has been born and not at your saggy tummy.  I went for OPI Big Apple Red, it was bold and daring and made me feel a bit glamorous when I really felt like I had been up for 3 days at a warehouse rave.
  9. Clean your kitchen floor, on all fours.  It will look shiny and clean but more importantly it will get your baby into the best position for birth.  See my post Star Gazing Babies.
  10. Have sex with your partner.  I know it’s the last thing either of you want to do but it’s nice to be intimate.  I think ‘Spoons’ is the only practical position to try when carrying a huge bump.  But more importantly oxytocin (the hormone that controls you contractions) is released during sex especially if you have an orgasm (bonus!) and semen contains prostaglandins which can help to ripen and soften the cervix.

What did you do to keep yourself busy when going over due?