Tag Archives: hospital

My life as a mummy of two!

My life as a mummy of two!

So settling into being a mummy of two has been challenging. Loving it, but challenging.

Experiencing the love all over again, smelling and absorbing my new born and still being everything I can be for my 2 year old.

My 2 year old has been a little jealous and understandably. He has had his mummy all to himself for the past 2.5years, now all of a sudden he has to share his mummy and it hasn’t been an easy adjustment for him.

Throughout my pregnancy I was trying to help him adjust, I bought books about becoming a big brother, books about expecting a baby and we would chat about how he is getting a little sister and that it’s very special for both him and her.

I thought he would be a little jealous but I guess I wasn’t prepared for the huge change in him.

Firstly my little man used to be a fairly good sleeper. After night nurses and reward charts I had managed to get him to go down approx 6pm in his own bed, we would read 3 books then it was lights off. My little man would then sleep through in his own big boy bed until approx 6am the next morning.

Since I was in hospital for over a week my husband and mother were looking after my little man. His routine wasn’t really followed and for a few weeks he didn’t like to go to bed and wasn’t sleeping through, waking multiple times per night and insisting on sleeping with me and leaving his bedside lamp on.

The first few nights I was really strict and walked him back to his room, comforted him and helped him to go back to sleep but after 5 nights of the same behaviour I began to feel bad and allowed him to come into my bed and sleep with me.

Mainly because it’s a huge adjustment and in between feeding my little girl every 2.5 hours I have been pretty tired. Also secretly I love snuggling with him and he is my little man, my first born and always will be.

This phase only lasted approx 3 weeks though and now he is happy to go to his own bed, he isn’t sleeping through every night, however most nights he does, and if he doesn’t he is only waking once or twice and I carry him back to his room and he goes back to sleep.

He is really sweet with his sister and is quite protective and loving towards her. If he hears her cry he will come straight to me and tell me she is upset and he also runs to her room and says in the sweetest little voice ‘you ok Mila?’

He also loves to help me change her nappy and I allow him to choose her outfits. I want him to feel involved and part of her life. Although he is only 2.5years old I think that by allowing him to be a big part in the decisions around her will help him to adjust and accept her more easily and not have him be as jealous or feel left out or pushed aside.

My little girl though is a different story, she sleeps very well and I actually wake her to feed. During the day I’m feeding every 3 hours however of a night I let her sleep and she wakes me. She is only 3 weeks old though and I anticipate that this may change.

The dynamic in the house has also changed, it feels complete now. I feel like I’m whole. My little man and my little princess have completed me, of course with my husband. 🙂 I was once told that to have one child of each sex is a ‘gentleman’s family’ or a ‘pigeon pair’ which is apparently quite well looked upon in the eyes of some. I feel blessed that I have been able to create this little family with my husband and also be able to give him a child of each sex.

Being a parent is a constant lesson, I’m always learning more about myself but also about my children. I’m feeling very blessed at this stage in my life.

I’m sure with each step and change in growth patterns with my 2 children things within our home will change also with dynamics and learning. I look forward to sharing these moments with you.

She is here!

For all my loyal readers I want to apologies for my lack of posts lately.

I’ve been a little pre occupied of and I hope that you understand why, my little princess arrived 3 weeks early!

It has been a whirlwind of emotion and I am yet again besotted.

I thought I knew what love was when approx 2.5years ago I welcomed my gorgeous lil man into this world.

Today I feel absolutely besotted, proud, fulfilled and over joyed with love and happiness all over again.

My lil family is now complete.
Two precious little cherubs to love, adore, enjoy, watch grow and protect for forever more.

Let me take you through my journey.

I had been on weekly ultrasounds and checkups with my midwife as my little miss was measuring small. On the lower 10th percentile on the growth chart which had our midwife and obstetric is slightly concerned.

Now hubby not myself are big units however our amazing little man was born 3.53kg and 53cm long. Our lil miss was measuring approx 2.3kg. Quite a big difference.

After my ECG – where they turned my little princess successfully she engaged straight away, I was displayed though however at that time, I could have dilated easily as my cervix was apparently ‘ripe’ and ‘soft’.

Going back to those past 2 weeks, I had my regular weekly ultrasound on the Tuesday followed by my midwife appointment on the Thursday. After the appointment I had a CTG which is a monitor that listens to the baby’s heart. My little miss had a strong healthy and regular heart beat which was reassuring.

She was still measuring small so I then went onto daily check ups. So with my little man, packed up for a few hours we were in the hospital room. Mummy hooked up to these monitoring machines to check little miss and my little man – who was so well behaved, watching a DVD and snacking.

After being monitored for 6 days straight we were advised that our little miss hadn’t grown within 2 weeks, not gained any weight nor had her head or stomach circumference had changed and that the best and safest option would be an induction.

The induction was set for 3pm on Wednesday. I had my bag packed my little miss’s bag packed and my mother had came to stay with my little man.

I was filled with various emotion as id never left my little man before for any longer than 10 hours. So leaving him over night I was heart broken. I was however exited that the time has come to meet my little girl.

After getting the brief on how I was going to be induced I was feeling very nervous.

The obstetrician decided that cervadil was going to be the better option as its a slow release. Releasing 2mg of the induction drug every 6 hours over a 12 hour period. A long process but as my lil miss was small they didn’t want complications and wanted it to be as stress free as possible. Well that didn’t really happen….

After the cervadil was inserted approx 2 hours later my contractions started.

They were quite intense and were lasting a few minutes each time and approx 15 minutes apart. With this I got cramps down my right leg and in my right bottox cheek – very painful. The contractions were coming on closer and closer then at 10pm after 5 hours of fast intense contractions my little miss was distressed and her heart was beating irregular.

They had to stop the labor and calm her. They took the cervadil out and I was put on a drip and given morphine to stop the contractions as I was also still not dilating. I was told to rest over night and they would try again in the morning.

I was quite exhausted and tried my best to sleep but was being constantly monitored and slept with the CTG machine on me which also limited my comfort level but that was nothing as I wanted what was best for my little girl.

The next morning the midwife and obstetrician decided that perhaps the best thing to do would be to break my waters and see how my body reacts and if I dilate that way.

Well at 9:25am my waters were broken and within 15 minutes I was in full on contractions again.

The contractions were lasting over 3 minutes and were only 2 minutes apart. Very fast and very intense. They became faster and longer and closer together. The whole labor only lasted 2 hours as my little miss was born at 11:25am.

As the contractions were so intense I had no time for pain relief. I had gas only. Which helped a little but as the contractions were so intense I struggled to breath and catch my breath so was also ‘blacking out’ due to the pain. Within the 2hours that I was in labour, my husband recalls me blanking out 4 times.

I also hemoraghed and lost a great amount of blood that required me to have 6 bags of fluid administered via a drip followed by a iron infusion that took over 6 hours via a drip. They considered a blood transfusion but we’re hoping that the fluids would work, which they did.

My little miss was born at 1.88kg and 44.5cm long. Teeny tiny but healthy! Yay!

I was exhausted and felt completely out of it, my little miss was also exhausted as she was so small she was tube fed for the first 3 days. I expressed my breast milk and it was syringed into a tube that went down her nose.

I felt relived that she was ok and born strong and healthy however also was upset that she was tube fed. It was for the best though and did only last 3 days.

After 5 nights in the hospital we were discharged and allowed home. Back with my little man and husband. Back into my comfort zone and able to settle into my family of 4.

I feel so complete and in love. I have these 2 amazing children whom I love more than imaginable. No words to describe the happiness or fulfilment that I have for these 2 little people.

Since being home my baby girl has had continual weight gain and is now 2.14kg her 00000 clothing is too big but she is going to grow into them.

Stay tuned and I promise to write again soon.

Dilation

So I have approx 19 days until my little princess arrives. Well her due date is 19 days away 🙂

As I get closer to my due date I’m getting lots of questions, are you dilated? Are you having contractions? Are you experiencing labour symptoms? etc

With my first child (little boy) the labour was only 5 hours and apart from being posterior then needing vacuum and forceps, it was pretty straight forward. I actually didn’t know that I was in labour.

So this time around, I’m really not too sure what to expect so of course, I’ve been doing lots and lots of reading!

An interesting read that I came across is the article below on ‘dilation’ not sure I’d check myself however if your expecting and as curious as I am, have a read.
*************************************************
Dilation – How To Check Without Checking

Recently I have noticed a few blogs writing about dilation and it’s benefits, as well as how to do it in other ways besides simple vaginal exams. This is my take on the subject, modified from the hand out that I have available for my clients.

Why Check?
One of the biggest repeat questions a doula/caregiver can hear during labor and birth is ‘how far along am I’. Some women would prefer not to know, some women could care less, and some women desire this knowledge almost habitually.

As with any intervention in labor and birth, cervical checks carry risk. The risks include: increased risk of infection, PROM, false readings (i.e. human error), and regret/disappointment at any ‘lack’ of dilation.

Regardless of women’s reasons for wanting to know their dilation, it is helpful for a doula/care provider to have more than one trick/way of knowing where mom may be, beyond timing contractions.

Some methods that can help a caregiver or doula know how dilated a woman is during her labor include:
Teach self exams
Sounds she makes
Smell of the room/mom
Show
Emotions
The bottom line
Physical Make-Up
Fundal height
Symphysis Crease
Mexican Hot Legs
Pressure
Methods

All of these methods are generalities. It is important to remember that women are not textbooks, they are organic, living, evolving organisms that there are many exceptions to every rule. Each of these cannot be applied to all women.

Self Exams
I have found that the best explanation of self exams can be found from Gloria Lemay. It is a practically applicable explanation that gets good results.
“The best way to do it when hugely pregnant is to sit on the toilet with one foot on the floor and one up on the seat of the toilet. Put two fingers in and go back towards your bum. The cervix in a pregnant woman feels like your lips puckered up into a kiss. On a non-pregnant woman it feels like the end of your nose. When it is dilating, one finger slips into the middle of the cervix easily (just like you could slide a finger into your mouth
while puckering for a kiss). As the dilation progresses, the inside of that hole becomes more like a taut elastic band and by 5 cm dilated (5 finger widths) it is a perfect rubbery circle like one of those Mason jar rings that you use for canning, and about that thick.” – Gloria Lemay

Sounds of Birth
A non-vaginal indicator that can help to detect progress is notable sounds that a woman makes in labor.

Usually, early labor (0-4cm) means little to no ‘birth’ noise; mom can talk with little to some effort through a contraction.

Around 4-5cm dilation (for a primip) talk with be rather difficult to near impossible, noises may still be quiet, but consistently open voweled or a resonating hum.

5-7cm will typically be presented with louder noises, near to completely impossible to talk through a contraction, and sounds may become repetitive or staccato.

If a woman is a silent laborer, a good way to get a handle on her vocal indicators is to explain what you are about to do… then wait until a contraction starts, and ask a question that necessitates a sentence-long answer. The way in which she is able or unable to answer you during a contraction should be rather reliable.

Smell
Many birth professionals have spoken about the smell of birth.

Birth smells come about around 6-8cm dilation and are a very good indicator of good active labor. When a mom says that she wants to transfer to her place of birth around 6-8cm, I typically will go by smell and mom’s emotions.

The active labor smell is not so much the earthy/wet smell of amniotic fluid, and is not the sweet smell on a woman’s breath during labor (ever notice a laboring mom’s breath always smells sweet?)..

Instead, this smell is deep, dusky (not musky), heavy, familiar… the smell of deep and ancient work. It is something that is hard to explain, but something to definitely be on the look (smell) out for until you have familiarized yourself with it and can use this as a good indicating factor of active labor.

Show
A woman may or may not ‘show’ any bloody or mucousy discharge at the onset of labor, but blood and mucous often come in copious amounts, usually during contractions, when a woman is around 6-8cm. If a woman’s water broke earlier in the labor, you may see a second gush around 6cm.

Emotions
Early labor (1-4cm, oftentimes) often means mom is in the “this is it” stage – happy, excitable, a good sense of humor, perhaps even denial that she is really in labor.

Moving into active labor (4-6cm, oftentimes) often means that mom is still smiley and may even laugh at little things being said between contractions. Moving in and out of conversation as her contractions go and come.

Active labor (5-7cm, oftentimes) generally means she is more irritated at commonplace conversation or people trying to distract her with quips. It may take her quite awhile after a contraction leaves to become ‘re-acclimated’ to the room, or she may choose to simply remain in her birthing space and not interact with the room. (an aside, the room should be acclimating to her, although it is not always the case, unfortunately).

Around transition (usually, 7cmish) even between contractions, a woman can become doubtful, unable to make concrete decisions (“I don’t know” in response to questions), or irrational, a good indicator that mom is on the homestretch.

This method can be tricky, though, as this ‘emotional mapping’ can be skewed from a babies position or a woman’s labor make-up.

If it is from baby settling in a ‘malpresentation’, a mom might experience both an early transition (anywhere from 2cm to 4cm dilation, depending on if she is a primip or multip) and a later transition.

Depending on her labor make-up, some women can have an ‘early transition’ (4-5cm), especially for long-latent early labor patterns with discomfort disproportionate to her cervical dilation, but it will often still mean rapid dilation to complete.

Bottom/Purple Line
A study conducted and published in the Lancet hypothesized that the purple line that ‘grows’ up the natal cleft can be a great indicator of cervical dilatation. The line begins at the anal margin at the start of labour and rises like a “mercury thermometer”.

When it reaches the top, the woman is fully dilated. The authors propose that an “increase in intrapelvic pressure causes congestion in the … veins around the sacrum, which, in conjunction with the lack of subcutaneous tissue over the sacrum, results in this line of red purple discoloration”.
The best way to describe this is, looking at the anus, a purple line will appear and, throughout labor, move up the natal cleft (butt crack for us laypeople)
The picture shown at right is a fully dilated woman and her purple line.

Physical Make-Up
Many women will find that, as they get very close to the pushing stage, they may exhibit signs similar to the flu. If a mom suddenly feels the urge to vomit or complains of nausea, has a flushed face and feels warm, and/or begins trembling uncontrollably, mom may be at the cusp of second stage. Vomiting alone can be emotions, hormones, or fatigue alone. Flushed face is a good sign of 6-7cm, when noticed alone. And trembling uncontrollably, alone, might mean fatigue or fever. These indicators are most reliable when 2 or all 3 are noticed together.

Other physical indicators of 6cm and beyond:
involuntary curling of toes during contractions, even when the rest of her body is loose and relaxed (6-8cm)
if standing, instead of curling her toes, mom may stand on her toes while leaning over something (6-8cm)
goose bumps on her bottom (buttocks) and upper thighs (9-10cm)

Fundal Height
Anne Frye’s Volume II of Holistic Midwifery speaks of the fundal height of being a very reliable indicator of mom’s cervical dilation.

When the uterus contracts, it swells upwards and pulls the cervix upward with it, causing more dilation. Around 40 weeks, you can get around 5 finger-breadths of measurement between the fundus and the xyphoid.

As mom dilates, the distance from the xyphoid to the fundus decreases at a rate of about 2cm per fingerbreadths. This way of measuring is not as reliable in primips, but much more reliable in multips. When there is about 1 finger-width or less of space between the fundus and xiphoid, mom is near to at 10 cm dilation.

To do this, have mom (or partner) ‘mark’ her measurement at the first thought of labor. Taking into consideration her starting point (from prior VEs (Vaginal Exams)), use this as a start point.

Unfortunately, this assessment during labor must be done at the height of a contraction and mom must be on her back. Using the chart below, determine fingerbreadths (fb) between the fundus and xiphoid:
5 fb = no dilation
4 fb = 2 cm
3 fb = 4 cm
2 fb = 6 cm
1 fb = 8 cm
0 fm = complete

Symphysis Crease
Late dilation can be measured by watching the symphysis crease. It’s visible mostly in mom’s who have lower BMI prepregnancy. As labor progresses and babies shoulder’s descend along with dilation, a line/crease will become visible directly above (parallel to) the symphysis. It will become wider latitudinally as labor progresses.

Around transition, it will be about 3/4 of the way across. If the line is nearly all the way across, mom is most likely pretty close to, or already fully, dilated and will probably start pushing soon.

To do this, check right above mom’s symphysis (pubic bone). If there is a line at all, mom is probably at least 5cm. If you are working with a woman who is intent on laboring at home as long as possible, the crease may be a good indicator for her labor, a drawback is that it can also mean ‘too late’.

Another drawback to this is if baby is riding high throughout the early and active labor stage (aka a ‘late descender’).

Mexican Hot Legs
As the birthing woman’s body works harder, blood is withdrawn from the extremities to be utilized by the womb. Thus, the woman’s legs get progressively colder from the ankle to the knee as labor progresses. At the start of birth, the whole leg will be warm. At around 5cm, the leg will be coldre from the ankle to around mid-calf than it is above the calf. Once the whole leg feels coldre up to the knee, then the urge to push should shortly follow.

This technique is less reliable if the woman is having an epidural, as the drugs will also affect the temperature of the hands and legs. If a woman is birthing in water then she’d need to be on dry land for around 20 minutes to allow the temperature in her legs to be measured accurately. – Kath Harbisher

Pressure
As baby descends, pressure will be felt at different levels on her back. This will not necessarily give dilation information, but will help in determining position/station of baby within the pelvic outlet. This pressure will move from the rim of the pelvis all the way down onto the coccyx (tailbone).

As doulas can tell you, as mom continues to dilate, and baby continues to move down the pelvis, the pressure she feels will go lower. This is why back massages turn into butt massages turn into tailbone massages. 🙂

By the time that mom is 8-10cm and 0 to +1 station, the small rectangular spot of mom’s buttocks (tailbone area) will bow outward as her pelvis makes room for babies decent. This usually means that, if you are at home and mom was planning a hospital or birth center birth, you very well may have waited too long.

Another indicator is that, if mom is feeling pressure between her legs, vomits, and her water breaks simultaneously, she is probably 7-8cm or more.

A final indicator is, regardless of dilation, if a mom is passing stool involuntarily with her contractions, whether she has the urge to push or not, she is either holding a posterior baby, fully dilated and about to start pushing, or baby is at a low station (more common without full dilation in multips).

In Conclusion
Dilation of the cervix can tell us how far open you are, but not how close you are to the destination of birthing your baby. Listening to your body and the cues it gives can help us know where you are at in your journey though. Some women’s journeys take them through jogs and shortcuts, while others are mountainous day-hikes.

More than anything else, these tools can help women to plan their next steps on their birthing journeys; when to move to their expected place of birth, when to enter the birthing pool, what their labor pattern might indicate, what is true labor vs what is practice.

Morning sickness!

Morning sickness!

For anyone that has suffered, I feel for you. With my first pregnancy I thought I had it bad. Vomiting, headaches, constantly tired, achy limbs, swollen ankles and that’s just what I remember.

This time around it’s worse! How could it possibly be worse you ask? Well it is. I’m vomiting all day, mostly bile and being graphic it also helps itself out my nose! Still all the body aches and headaches and super tired but hey, I’m growing a baby inside!

So yes, there is my announcement, we are pregnant and although I’m feeling absolutely rotten, I’m blessed and exited and extremely happy that I am having another child. Extending my family and giving my little guy a sibling.

So throughout all my morning sickness I’ve tried multiple remedies and let me say, not much has worked for me.

I’ve tried the dry crackers beside the bed first thing of a morning.

I’ve tried sipping sparkling water.

I’ve tried ginger tablets.

I’ve tried sea sick and travel sick tablets.

I’ve tried sucking ginger.

I’ve tried taking the morning sickness tables.

I’ve even tried maxalon!

Over tried dry toast.

I’ve tried black tea.

Nothing as worked for me.

So what causes morning sickness?

Below is an article by Victorian health that explains why we experience morning sickness and how we can try combat it!

I found it an interesting read, as most of you already know and understand, Morning sickness is caused by the hormones in your body adjusting and growing another little person inside you and with all the change it causes havoc in some women.

I’d love to hear your remedies or morning sickness stories.

Email me – noordinarymummy@gmail.com
Search:
For most women, morning sickness begins around the fourth week of pregnancy and generally goes away around the 12th to 14th week. However, bear in mind one in five pregnant women will suffer morning sickness into their second trimester, and an unfortunate few will also experience nausea and vomiting for the entire duration of their 9 month pregnancy.

In most cases, morning sickness doesn’t harm the woman or the unborn child. However, severe morning sickness that includes weight loss and dehydration needs prompt medical attention. This may also require a drip or even hospitalisation.
Some Symptoms of morning sickness can include:
Nausea
Loss of appetite
Vomiting
Psychological effects, such as depression and anxiety.

The myth of hysteria and morning sickness

Unrelenting morning sickness can have a profound effect on your quality of life, preventing you from working, socialising and looking after your other children.

Pregnant women enduring morning sickness report higher levels of psychological stress, including anxiety and depression. This prompted the false belief that morning sickness is purely psychosomatic, which means that the woman’s fears and anxieties trigger her physical discomfort. However, there is no research to support these claims.

Possible causes of morning sickness

The cause of morning sickness remains a mystery, but it is thought a combination of physical and metabolic factors play a significant role, including:
High levels of hormones, including oestrogen
Fluctuations in blood pressure, particularly lowered blood pressure
Altered metabolism of carbohydrates
The enormous physical and chemical changes that pregnancy triggers.

Morning sickness and your baby

Some women are concerned that the action of vomiting may threaten their unborn baby. Vomiting and retching may strain the abdominal muscles and cause localised aching and soreness, but the physical mechanics of vomiting won’t harm the baby. The fetus is perfectly cushioned inside its sac of amniotic fluid.

Numerous studies have discovered that moderate morning sickness is associated with a reduced risk of miscarriage. However, prolonged vomiting (that leads to dehydration and weight loss) can deprive your child of proper nutrition and increase the risk of your baby being underweight at birth.

If you have nausea and vomiting that will not stop, contact your doctor or midwife.

Severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum)

Severe morning sickness is known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), and can affect around one in 1,000 pregnant women. The symptoms of HG include repeated vomiting, weight loss and dehydration. Treatment usually involves hospitalisation, and the administering of intravenous liquids and nutrition.

The possible complications of untreated hyperemesis gravidarum include:
Electrolyte imbalances
Extreme depression and anxiety
Malnourishment of the fetus
Excessive strain on vital organs, including the liver, heart, kidneys and brain.

Managing morning sickness

Suggestions for coping with morning sickness include:
Don’t take drugs of any kind, unless your doctor knows you are pregnant and has prescribed specific medications.
Eat a few dry crackers or plain sweet biscuits before getting out of bed in the morning.
Don’t eat anything that you suspect will make you nauseous. In general high-carbohydrate meals are well tolerated.
Eat small meals regularly, as an empty stomach tends to trigger nausea.
It may help to avoid cooking or preparing foods.
Drink as much as you can manage. Sometimes sips of flat lemonade, diluted fruit juice, cordial, weak tea, ginger tea, clear soup or beef extract drinks are helpful. If none of these are bearable, try sucking on ice cubes.
Vitamin B6 supplements can be useful, but doses above 200 mg per day can actually be harmful. Follow your doctor’s advice.
Consider acupressure or acupuncture on the wrist.
Wear loose clothes that don’t constrict your abdomen.
Moving around may aggravate morning sickness. Rest whenever possible.

Seeing your doctor about morning sickness

Always seek medical advice if your morning sickness is severe, if you have lost a lot of weight quickly, or if you feel depressed or anxious. Treatment options can include drugs that won’t harm your developing baby.

Where to get help
Your doctor
Maternal and child health nurse

Things to remember
Around half to two-thirds of all pregnant women will experience morning sickness.
Possible causes include high levels of hormones, blood pressure fluctuations and changes in carbohydrate metabolism.
Severe morning sickness, called hyperemesis gravidarum, may require hospitalisation.
Symptoms of morning sickness may be relieved by eating a few dry crackers before you get up in the morning, avoiding foods and smells that make you nauseous, drinking plenty of fluids and choosing high-carbohydrate and high-protein foods.
Better Health Channel

mobile desktop
Terms & Conditions Privacy
© 2014 State Government of Victoria

What to pack in your hospital bag?

What to pack in your hospital bag?

Ok so my little guy is now 21 months and we are trying for number 2, however many of my friends are already expecting their second arrival – literally within a couple days / weeks.

My recent play dates have bought up the old conversations of ‘Are you prepared?’ ‘Have you packed your hospital bag?’ ‘Is your nursery ready?’ And many other similar questions. Which has made me think, what is it we really need to pack for our impending arrival? After the nursery is all done and the car seat is installed. What else? What do we really need to pack whilst we are delivering or staying in hospital after the baby arrives?

My bag was overpacked. I thought I needed ‘everything’ which basically meant I packed ‘everything’ which I didn’t actually use.

A few of my tips on what to pack, and what I think are essential are below. You may want to pack a few extras but next time round, I certainly won’t be taking a huge overpacked bag.

My first suggestion is 1 bag not huge but make is large enough for a smaller bag inside for bub. We do need things for them also 🙂

1. Comfy big undies.
Yes big full briefs undies. No g strings or Brazilians required. If you have a c section you need something that won’t sit on your cut, make sure they are not low cut. If you have a vaginal delivery you don’t want a g string incase you are cut and have stitches. You will also bleed so will need to wear sanitary pads so having underwear that caters for these is mandatory.

2. Sanitary pads.
Preferably with wings to keep them in place. Also I suggest thin ones that you would use on a heavy cycle. This is because you can bleed a lot and don’t want ‘leakage’.

3. Loose fitting and comfortable clothing.
Leave your skirts and dresses at home. If you are breast feeding, you don’t want to be lifting your dress up or pulling it down to feed. I found the loose elastic waste pants very comfy and I wore t shirts or button front shirts.

4. Maternity bras.
If you are planning on breast feeding, these are very useful. My breasts were huge! Underwire was very uncomfortable and with huge breasts you need support. Unfortunately that means wider straps and wider back clasps to help elevate any back pain but also provide comfort and support. Not very sexy but your body will thank you.

5. Snacks.
Yes you will be waking for feeds every few hours and you need to keep eating for energy levels in order to care for your new baby. I once heard that going through labour and giving birth is like running a marathon. You need to replenish your body. I packed nuts, jelly beans, muesli bars, protein bars and a drink bottle. I prefer to drink water but if you want to pack electro light drinks go for it. Pack what you will eat as you don’t get room service at 2am.

6. Thongs / slippers.
Comfy but practical shoes are essential. Nothing that you need to tie up or bend over to put on. You may be sore and swollen, best to be prepared. I found slip on shoes easy, ballet flats, thongs whatever you find comfortable. You may want to go for small walks within the hospital so wearing something on your feet is essential.

7. Toiletries.
Your usual toiletry bag is fine. Remember toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser, deodorant – just the usual. Again pending how you deliver will depend on when you can ‘freshen up’ I have birth at 5:21pm and was showering approx 9pm after my epidural wore off. I longed for a shower and moisturiser!

8. Nappies.
Yes some hospitals provide these but not all. Best pack your own just incase. Remember newborn size. I packed 10. You never know how many you may need to change. I was also only in hospital 2 nights.

9. Singlets or clothing for bubba.
Again newborn size. Remember the baby will be wrapped in a blanket which the hospital will provide so no fashion statements needed. You may want to pack some warm onesies (all in ones) if your due in winter but make them practical. The baby is wrapped so no one will see their ‘outfit’. You will need a ‘going home’ outfit though. Again keep it practical.

10. Book or magazines.
Yes I know, rest when the baby sleeps however after your guests leave you may not be tired, you do defiantly need rest though and sometimes reading and browsing magazines is a form of resting. Just make the reading light hearted.

Ovarian cysts!

Ovarian cysts

My husband and I have been trying for a new baby. Very exciting news. I’ve always wanted 2 children and having a gorgeous little boy who is my world and whom I totally adore has been the best gift ever to me.

As most know, I had various issues with falling pregnant with my little guy and since trying for another I’m experiencing similar issues.

A few weeks ago I went in clomid to assist with ovulating. No luck 🙁 I went to have a blood test to just make sure things are ok.

Unfortunately they are not. I have high levels of testosterone and am not ovulating. I was then sent for an ultrasound. This came back with more horrible news. I have am ovarian cyst the size of an egg on my right ovary. Along with the continual blows, I inly have 14 follicles on my left Fallopian tube and 7 on my right. Most women have hundreds.

So here we go again with fertility issues.

Since finding out all this information I’ve been doing research on both ovarian cysts and follicles. Below is what I’ve found.
Ovarian Cysts and Tumors

The ovaries are two small organs located on either side of the uterus in a woman’s body. They make hormones, including estrogen, which trigger menstruation. Every month, the ovaries release a tiny egg. The egg makes its way down the fallopian tube to potentially be fertilized. This cycle of egg release is called ovulation.

What causes ovarian cysts?
Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form in the ovaries. They are very common. They are particularly common during the childbearing years.

There are several different types of ovarian cysts. The most common is a functional cyst. It forms during ovulation. That formation happens when either the egg is not released or the sac — follicle — in which the egg forms does not dissolve after the egg is released.

Nearly 60 Percent of Uterine Cancer Cases Preventable: Report
Other types of cysts include:

Polycystic ovaries. In polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the follicles in which the eggs normally mature fail to open and cysts form.

Endometriomas. In women with endometriosis, tissue from the lining of the uterus grows in other areas of the body. This includes the ovaries. It can be very painful and can affect fertility.
Cystadenomas. These cysts form out of cells on the surface of the ovary. They are often fluid-filled.

Dermoid cysts. This type of cyst contains tissue similar to that in other parts of the body. That includes skin, hair, and teeth.

What causes ovarian tumors?
Tumors can form in the ovaries, just as they form in other parts of the body. If tumors are non-cancerous, they are said to be benign. If they are cancerous, they are called malignant. The three types of ovarian tumors are:

Epithelial cell tumors start from the cells on the surface of the ovaries. These are the most common type of ovarian tumors.

Germ cell tumors start in the cells that produce the eggs. They can either be benign or cancerous. Most are benign.
Stromal tumors originate in the cells that produce female hormones.
Doctors aren’t sure what causes ovarian cancer. They have identified, though, several risk factors, including:

Age — specifically women who have gone through menopause
Smoking
Obesity
Not having children or not breastfeeding (however, using birth control pills seems to lower the risk)
Taking fertility drugs (such as Clomid)
Hormone replacement therapy
Family or personal history of ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer (having the BRCA gene can increase the risk)

What are the symptoms of ovarian cysts and tumors?

Often, ovarian cysts don’t cause any symptoms. You may not realize you have one until you visit your health care provider for a routine pelvic exam. Ovarian cysts can, however, cause problems if they twist, bleed, or rupture.

If you have any of the symptoms below, it’s important to have them checked out. That’s because they can also be symptoms of ovarian tumors. Ovarian cancer often spreads before it is detected.

Symptoms of ovarian cysts and tumors include:

Pain or bloating in the abdomen
Difficulty urinating, or frequent need to urinate
Dull ache in the lower back
Pain during sexual intercourse
Painful menstruation and abnormal bleeding
Weight gain
Nausea or vomiting
Loss of appetite, feeling full quickly
How do doctors diagnose ovarian cysts and tumors?

The obstetrician/gynecologist or your regular doctor may feel a lump while doing a routine pelvic exam. Most ovarian growths are benign. But a small number can be cancerous. That’s why it’s important to have any growths checked. Postmenopausal women in particular should get examined. That’s because they face a higher risk of ovarian cancer.

How do doctors diagnose ovarian cysts and tumors? continued…
Tests that look for ovarian cysts or tumors include:

Ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create an image of the ovaries. The image helps the doctor determine the size and location of the cyst or tumor.

Other imaging tests. Computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) are highly detailed imaging scans. The doctor can use them to find ovarian tumors and see whether and how far they have spread.

Hormone levels. The doctor may take a blood test to check levels of several hormones. These include luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, and testosterone.

Laparoscopy. This is a surgical procedure used to treat ovarian cysts. It uses a thin, light-tipped device inserted into your abdomen. During this surgery, the surgeon can find cysts or tumors and may remove a small piece of tissue (biopsy) to test for cancer.
CA-125. If the doctor thinks the growth may be cancerous, he might take a blood test to look for a protein called CA-125. Levels of this protein tend to be higher in some — but not all — women with ovarian cancer. This test is mainly used in women over age 35, who are at slightly higher risk for ovarian cancer.

If the diagnosis is ovarian cancer, the doctor will use the diagnostic test results to determine whether the cancer has spread outside of the ovaries. If it has, the doctor will also use the results to determine how far it has spread. This diagnostic procedure is called staging. This helps the doctor plan your treatment.

How are ovarian cysts and tumors treated?

Most ovarian cysts will go away on their own. If you don’t have any bothersome symptoms, especially if you haven’t yet gone through menopause, your doctor may advocate ”watchful waiting.” The doctor won’t treat you. But the doctor will check you every one to three months to see if there has been any change in the cyst.

Birth control pills may relieve the pain from ovarian cysts. They prevent ovulation, which reduces the odds that new cysts will form.

Surgery is an option if the cyst doesn’t go away, grows, or causes you pain. There are two types of surgery:

Laparoscopy uses a very small incision and a tiny, lighted telescope-like instrument. The instrument is inserted into the abdomen to remove the cyst. This technique works for smaller cysts.

Laparotomy involves a bigger incision in the stomach. Doctors prefer this technique for larger cysts and ovarian tumors. If the growth is cancerous, the surgeon will remove as much of the tumor as possible. This is called debulking. Depending on how far the cancer has spread, the surgeon may also remove the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, omentum — fatty tissue covering the intestines — and nearby lymph nodes.

Other treatments for cancerous ovarian tumors include:

Chemotherapy — drugs given through a vein (IV), by mouth, or directly into the abdomen to kill cancer cells. Because they kill normal cells as well as cancerous ones, chemotherapy medications can have side effects, including nausea and vomiting, hair loss, kidney damage, and increased risk of infection. These side effects should go away after the treatment is done.

Radiation — high-energy X-rays that kill or shrink cancer cells. Radiation is either delivered from outside the body, or placed inside the body near the site of the tumor. This treatment also can cause side effects, including red skin, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue. Radiation is not often used for ovarian cancer.

Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation may be given individually or together. It is possible for cancerous ovarian tumors to return. If that happens, you will need to have more surgery, sometimes combined with chemotherapy or radiation.

The ovaries contain eggs (which formed in the ovary during childhood) and these are matured by the ovary (usually one at a time) in follicles which then come to the surface of the ovary and burst to release the egg into the top of the fallopian tube.

Thus if multiple follicles have been detected in an ovary, that ovary is developing more than one egg at a time – this can result non identical twins.

Usually only one follicle is developed to maturity at a time but it is possible to stimulate the ovary to produce more (using hormones) as part of interventions relating to infertility treatments.

Antral follicles are small follicles (about 2-8 mm in diameter) that we can see – and measure and count – with ultrasound. Antral follicles are also referred to as resting follicles. Vaginal ultrasound is the best way to accurately assess and count these small structures.

Many fertility specialists believe that the antral follicle counts (in conjunction with female age) are the best tool that we currently have for estimating a woman’s remaining fertility potential (or ovarian reserve). Ovarian volume measurements (also done by ultrasound), and day 3 FSH and AMH levels (blood tests) are additional studies that can help.

Presumably, the number of antral follicles visible on ultrasound is indicative of the relative number of microscopic (and sound asleep) primordial follicles remaining in the ovary. Each primordial follicle contains an immature egg that can potentially develop in the future.

In other words, when there are only a few antral follicles visible, there are far less eggs remaining as compared to when there are many more antral follicles visible. As women age, they have less eggs (primordial follicles) remaining – and they have less antral follicles visible on ultrasound. Therefor lower chances of falling pregnant.

 

Heart attack, it’s a big deal.

Heart attack, it’s a big deal.

So 2 weeks ago my mum had not 1 but 2 heart attacks. My mum is a nurse and works very hard in a hospital over an hours drive from the small town where she lives. She had arrived at work early on the Friday morning complaining if chest pains and shortness of breath, one if her colleagues insisted on taking her pulse – which was racing. Her colleague also insisted on an ECG straight away only to find out my mother had suffered a minor heart attack.

She has been suffering sharp chest pains for a few months but thought nothing of them, passing them off as indigestion. Turns out she was wrong.

I found out that my mother had a heart attack at approx 4pm that afternoon after she had it at 7am. The hospital had informed her husband who failed to contact anyone else to raise the awareness. Needless to say I was fuming. This is my mother, this is her health and this is very important.

The way I found out is not ideal, I was on a play date with a friend and our two boys and received a calm from my older sister asking if I had heard from mum. My reply was no as I hadn’t. I asked her why? He response that she received a weird text from her but had tried calling mums mobile only to have it ring out or go to voice mail. She was taking her 3 children to the dentist and asked me to keep trying.

I decided to call the hospital where our mother works. To my shock I was transferred to the emergency department where a nurse informed me that she had was unable to talk as she had a heart attack and they were running tests to work out why.

I called my sister to inform her and she rushed to the hospital which is 1.5hrs away ASAP.

The hospital staff were concerned after running tests so sent her via patient transport to a larger hospital the next day. I of course travelled to that hospital on the Sunday morning with my toddler for a visit. I received a call from my sister earlier that morning saying she had another heart attack earlier that morning.

My mum is young 54 to be exact, how can this happen to her? Why has this happened to her?

After many tests, cardiac ablation )which required nodes to be removed from her heart) and an angiogram it turns out the heart attacks were caused by a condition called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Which basically means the sufferer has emotional stress. It’s also called ‘octopus heart’ or ‘broken heart syndrome’.

Now before the shock set in I was thinking, mode removed? Why? Doesn’t she need those?

Nodes in the heart are what basically pumps the heart, nodes create the electrical conduction for the heart to pump. Normal electrical conduction in the heart allows impulses that are generated by the sinoatrial node (SA node) of the heart to be propagated (stimulate) the cardiac muscle (myocardium). The myocardium contracts after it’s stimulated. It is the stimulation of the myocardium that allows contraction of the heart, allowing blood to be pumped throughout the rat of our body’s.

My mum herself is a highly trained nurse and has been for many years, yes she has a stressful life but to hear this diagnosis is a little shocking.

I won’t go into her personal life details but there are many confirmed reasons as to why she is suffering ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’. Now it’s up to her and our family to try and eliminate these stresses to ensure that she is around with us for many years to come.

After much research into this I’ve found the descriptions below from a Harvard Health publication.

It’s named after an octopus trap — and that’s not all that’s unusual about this reversible heart condition. It occurs almost exclusively in women.

Years of gender-based research have shown that in matters of the heart, sex differences abound. One striking example is the temporary heart condition known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, first described in 1990 in Japan. More than 90% of reported cases are in women ages 58 to 75. Research suggests that at least 6% of women evaluated for a heart attack actually have this disorder, which has only recently been reported in the United States and may go largely unrecognized. Fortunately, most people recover rapidly with no long-term heart damage.
Features of takotsubo cardiomyopathy

Chest pain and shortness of breath after severe stress (emotional or physical)

Electrocardiogram abnormalities that mimic those of a heart attack

No evidence of coronary artery obstruction

Movement abnormalities in the left ventricle

Ballooning of the left ventricle

Recovery within a month
What is it?

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber, usually as the result of severe emotional or physical stress, such as a sudden illness, the loss of a loved one, a serious accident, or a natural disaster such as an earthquake. (For additional examples, see “Stressors associated with takotsubo cardiomyopathy.”) That’s why the condition is also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome. The main symptoms are chest pain and shortness of breath.
Stressors associated with takotsubo cardiomyopathy*

Sudden drop in blood pressure

Serious illness, surgery, or medical procedure (e.g., cardiac stress test)

Severe pain

Domestic violence

Asthma attack

Receiving bad news (such as a diagnosis of cancer)

Car or other accident

Unexpected loss, illness, or injury of a close relative, friend, or pet

Fierce argument

Financial loss

Intense fear

Public speaking

A surprise party or other sudden surprise

The precise cause isn’t known, but experts think that surging stress hormones (for example, adrenaline) essentially “stun” the heart, triggering changes in heart muscle cells or coronary blood vessels (or both) that prevent the left ventricle from contracting effectively. Researchers suspect that older women are more vulnerable because of reduced levels of estrogen after menopause. In studies with rats whose ovaries had been removed, the ones given estrogen while under stress had less left-ventricle dysfunction and higher levels of certain heart-protective substances.

Takotsubo symptoms are indistinguishable from those of a heart attack. And an electrocardiogram (ECG) may show abnormalities also found in some heart attacks — in particular, changes known as ST-segment elevation. Consequently, imaging studies and other measures are needed to rule out a heart attack. To get a definitive diagnosis, clinicians look for the following:

No evidence on an angiogram of blockages in the coronary arteries — the most common cause of heart attacks. (The coronary arteries are also not blocked in microvessel disease, a more common cause of heart attack symptoms in older women. Microvessel disease results from abnormal dilation of the blood vessels feeding the heart.)

A rapid but small rise in cardiac biomarkers (substances released into the blood when the heart is damaged). In a heart attack, cardiac biomarkers take longer to rise but peak higher.

Evidence from an x-ray, echocardiogram (ultrasound image), or other imaging technique that there are abnormal movements in the walls of the left ventricle. The most common abnormality in takotsubo cardiomyopathy — the one that gives the disorder its name — is ballooning of the lower part of the left ventricle (apex). During contraction (systole), this bulging ventricle resembles a tako-tsubo, a pot used by Japanese fishermen to trap octopuses. Another term for the disorder is apical ballooning syndrome. (See “Apical ballooning and the tako-tsubo.”)

Heart attacks can be caused by many factors of our lives and can occur at any age or any fitness level.

If you are suffering any type of stress or tightness in your chest, please see your doctor. No life is worth losing.