Postpartum Must Haves!

Postpartum Must Haves!

The first few weeks after giving birth were nothing short of a challenge, but like the birth itself, it was not as bad as I thought it would be! Don’t get me wrong, getting a baby earth side is no easy task, but it’s absolutely worth every second of it! I wanted to share with you the things I found helpful for both myself and Amelia after giving birth and navigating the first few weeks of motherhood, in the hopes that it helps you too. And just a warning, this may be a little TMI, but someone has to talk about it!

Things YOU will need after birth:

• Pads. This is kind of an obvious one. But I didn’t realise how many you would need! I bought two packets of maternity pads, one I packed in my hospital bag and one I left at home. I ended up going through two packets in hospital alone and have since spent a small fortune on them! Stock up while they’re on sale!

• Wipes, for yourself. I ended up carting the babies wipes to and from the bathroom every time I would go. It’s much nicer cleaning yourself with a wipe rather than some toilet paper while everything is still sensitive and tender down there.

• Ural sachets. These were a life saver. And no one had told me I’d need them! It wasn’t until I had given birth and was heading back around to my room when my midwife gave me a few and told me to drink them over the next 24 hours. I didn’t notice that they were doing anything until I’d gotten home. I went to the toilet to do my business without a second thought and oh my goodness, the burning was intense! You can bet the next thing I did was go and buy some more Ural! Tastes awful but works wonders!

• Breast pads. Another obvious one! But they’ll be your best friend, especially when your milk first comes in. I’ve tried the “New Beginnings” ones and the “Tommee Tippee” ones; the New Beginnings brand are much comfier. Oh, and hot showers, they’ll be your best friend too to relieve those hard and engorged boobies!

• Panadol and Nurofen. Remember to have some ready for when you get back home! I forgot to restock the medicine box which meant that the first night at home was a long and painful one!

• A large bottle of water, snacks and frozen meals. Every breastfeeding mama’s must haves! Breast feeding makes you super thirsty, super hungry and super tired. So having a large bottle of water (I love my Lorna Jane bottle) and some snacks close by at all times makes feeding times a little easier. Also having some precooked meals in the freezer was a massive help. The last thing you’re going to want to do it cook a meal at the end of the day. We asked a few of our relatives instead of buying a gift to cook us a meal! It’s a sad time when they run out though.

I’m sure there are many more things you’ll need for yourself but these are the main things that helped me. Remember to take some time to look after yourself, it’s amazing how good a shower and fresh pair of pyjamas will make you feel or when you’re feeling up to it, get out in the fresh air for a walk!

Things the BABY will need after birth:

• Terry Towelling Nappies. Now I haven’t actually tried using these as a nappy – but, they are the best thing to have beside you while feeding. Or at anytime really! Perfect for cleaning up spews, leaking boobs and another other baby bodily fluids. I have one in every room of the house!

• Love To Dream Swaddles. I used these swaddles from the second night Amelia was born and I’ve found them to be great! So much easier to zip and unzip rather than using a swaddle to wrap your baby!

• Copper Pearl Swaddle Blanket. When I choose to wrap Amelia instead of using the LTD swaddle, the copper pearl ones are amazing! They are super stretchy and a good size too. You can get a nice tight wrap to stop your baby from wriggling out of it. Plus they have the cutest patterns and matching beanies.

• Ribbed Bodysuits. I got two of these from Cotton On and I so wish they still sold them! They are so thick and warm. I have found them much nicer than the standard cotton ones. Fingers crossed they bring them back!

• Dummies. Lots of them. I’ve been very lucky that Amelia has taken a dummy, but it was the fourth style I tried before she happily sucked away! And once I did find a style she liked (Avent Ultra Soft Soother) I bought 8 of them! Probably a bit over the top.

• White Noise Machine. This has been a great help with sleep time and getting Amelia to self settle. I purchased mine from Baby Bunting for around thirty dollars!

• The “Becoming Babywise” Book. I roughly followed the advice suggested in this book and Amelia slept through the night for the first time at 5 weeks. She’s nearly 8 weeks as I’m writing this and she’s sleeping through every night now. Enough said I think!

Once again, there are many more things a newborn needs but these are just some of the things that have helped make things a little easier for me. If you’re in the first few days or weeks with a newborn and you’re feeling like you have no idea what you’re doing and you’ve got a million questions in your head, don’t worry. We’ve all been there. It doesn’t take long before you become more confident and you forget what life was like before you had a baby. The first few weeks are full of ups & downs – remember to take it easy and be kind to yourself! If you’re a new mama like myself, I hope this has been helpful to you!

Thanks for reading,

Shona Mimi xx

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My Birth Story | Positive Induction Experience & Gestational Hypertension

My Birth Story | Positive Induction Experience & Gestational Hypertension

Throughout my whole pregnancy I spent so much time listening to and reading other people’s birth stories. I became obsessed with it! Towards the end when I knew I’d probably be induced due to gestational hypertension, I narrowed my search down to induction birth stories. I know everyone advises not to do this, but my approach has always been to be prepared for anything that could go wrong! I read so many stories about inductions not going so well, and even the doctors told me it would make my labour harder and longer so I was prepared for the worst. When the opposite to that happened, I was pleasantly surprised! That’s why I want to share my own birth story, because it was so much better than I thought it would be.

I was booked in for my induction on Thursday the 17th of January. You can read my previous post about my third trimester to find out why I had to be induced. I arrived at the hospital with Cameron in tow at 8am. After some time on the CTG monitor, having some blood taken and a cannula put in, they inserted the gel to get the induction started. This was at 10am. I had planned to do everything I could to get the labour going, but both Cameron and I were exhausted. I was about a week into having a head cold and Cameron was also starting to get one, plus I had quite a bad sunburn on my shoulders and thighs. Not the way you want to feel going into labour! We only managed a 10 minute walk around the car park and back, so I spent the rest of the day watching Netflix, while Cameron slept on my bed! The nurses thought it was quite humorous that he’d kicked me off my bed and was snoring away! I didn’t feel much happening until around 2:30pm and the contractions were only very mild and sporadic. My Auntie (and midwife) Marilyn arrived at about 3pm and she put the CTG monitor on again. I was still having a few contractions but I was worried that I wouldn’t be dilated enough for the doctor to break my waters when they checked me again.

The doctor arrived at 4:20pm and thankfully I was just dilated enough for her to break my waters. The minute she did, it was go time! After getting up to go to the toilet I was having contractions lasting for 45-60 seconds and they were only 2 minutes apart. Going from practically nothing to contractions bad enough I had to stop what I was doing was really intense. Just as all this had happened my Mum had arrived too which I was so thankful for! We moved everything around to the birth suite and got settled in there. For the first few minutes there I was labouring standing up swaying my hips from side to side, and then I moved to sitting on the exercise ball and bouncing on that. I found that as long as I kept moving I felt okay. The doctor had asked Marilyn to also start the drip to get things moving but luckily I didn’t need it as the contractions were already well on their way! I was monitored again on the CTG and things were looking good there, but my blood pressure was getting quite high, it was around 160/100 if I remember correctly. I decided to get in the bath and that provided some relief and also helped to lower my blood pressure back down. I stayed in there for a while but my feet got sore after a while as the only comfortable position was sitting back on them. I still loved the feeling of the water though, so I moved into the shower next and had the hot water running on my back. At this point it had been 2.5 hours since my water had been broken. The pressure and pain was getting really intense and I was thinking about asking for some drugs. I kept thinking “just one more contraction, and then I’ll ask”. This probably lasted for 10 contractions until I finally asked! Marilyn checked me again and I was 6cm dilated. I found that quite disheartening as I didn’t think I could keep going for a few more hours! Little did I know it was much closer from happening than I thought. I think this was around 7:30pm. I knelt over the back of the elevated bed and clung onto the gas and air like it was my lifeline! I (and everyone else in the room) thought I’d still have a few hours to go until I was 10cm. The next 40 minutes brought the worst pain I’d ever felt. And the pressure caught me off guard, I can’t even describe what that felt like! But I knew I had to “surrender” to the pain rather than fight against it, which I think helped things move along so quickly!

It got to 8:10pm and I remember saying “I feel like I need to do a poo, and I know people say that’s when you’re ready to push so I don’t really know if I need to do a poo or if I need to push!” … So I started pushing, with Marilyn guiding me and Cameron and my mum both there beside me. I’ll never forget the feeling of excitement in the room when she started to crown. I was in shock that it had all happened so fast and I was about to meet my baby girl. It was only 10 minutes later at 8:20pm when our beautiful baby girl, Amelia Grace was born; her whole body came out in one contraction! The first thing I said when she I saw her was “she’s so cute!” She had her eyes wide open and was covered in blood and vernix. I scooped her up and turned around to lie down after Cameron had cut the cord. It was the most surreal feeling, finally getting to hold her in my arms. When I birthed the placenta, and again when I got up to shower, I lost over 1L of blood which was quite scary but thankfully I didn’t need a transfusion. I didn’t need to gave any stitches either which was a huge relief. The fast labour and blood loss was most likely due to the hypertension so I’ll be interested to see how things go the next time around!

The next few hours after she was born were a blur. I was totally exhausted, shocked and so full of love. My dad and sisters came in to meet her, and my mum and Cameron got her dressed. Marilyn did all of her checks; she was 2.79kg and was 47cm long. I attempted to feed Amelia but she wasn’t really interested while we were in the birth suite. After showering and getting packed up, we moved back around to the room. This time Amelia latched on well and had a good feed. She was a very sleepy baby though; she was only feeding every four hours and I had to wake her to do so. And she very rarely cried! I thought there was something wrong because she was so content!

Going to sleep the second night I was terrified, because everyone had warned me “second night is the worst” but the “bad night” never really came. We left the hospital on the Sunday afternoon. My milk was just starting to come in at this point. Another thing everyone warned me about was how emotional you get when your milk has come in and they were definitely right about that! I sobbed for the majority of the drive home. Poor Cameron didn’t know what to do with me but I reassured him it was normal! We settled in well at home and Amelia continued to feed well and was gaining weight like a champ. It’s now been 6 weeks since Amelia was born and things are still going really well.

If you’re still reading this – thank you! That was a long one. If you’re currently pregnant, I’m sending you lots of love and good vibes! You’ve got this mama!

I’ll continue to write some more blog posts sharing what motherhood has been like so far and what things I recommend for those first few weeks of navigating life with a newborn! I’m no expert but I hope that sharing what has helped me can also be helpful to someone else.

Thanks for reading,

Shona Mimi xx

My First Pregnancy | The Third Trimester

My First Pregnancy | The Third Trimester

34 weeks and 39 weeks

I can’t believe I have a three week old baby girl as I sit down to write this post. The whole pregnancy feels like a lifetime ago. I’m glad I took notes through it all because I don’t think I’d remember everything that happened if not!

So up until the third trimester I would say my pregnancy was smooth sailing. It kind of got a bit crazy though once I got to 28 weeks. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining; I know so many woman have to go through much worse things, but I still want to share my experience!

The first day of my third trimester I was booked in for a scan to check up on bub. At the 20 week scan there were some choroid plexus cysts present on her brain, so the scan was to check that they were gone, which they were! But the scan also showed that bub was measuring below the 10th percentile in size, which was about 2-3 weeks behind. We saw the doctor soon after the scan and we were told that they couldn’t see any obvious reason why bub’s growth was behind but they would do fortnightly scans to keep an eye on it. At each scan bub crept up in the percentiles and by the 38th week she was back up to the 40th percentile! The doctor just put it down to the fact that she was a small baby. It was still stressful nonetheless, especially those first two weeks after the first scan when we didn’t really know what was going on!

Another problem arose when I saw the midwife at 29 weeks. My blood pressure reading was 150/90. My bloods and urine tests came back showing no signs of preeclampsia but from then on I was monitored weekly to keep an eye on it. My blood pressure never got much worse but it never got much better either! It became mentally exhausting, all the appointments and not knowing what each one would bring. On more than one occasion a check up with the midwife in Smithton ended up being a trip to Burnie to be monitored for a few hours. I know it was all worth it to keep bub safe and healthy, but I definitely was sick of the hospital by the end of it! At 34 weeks the doctor put me on blood pressure medication which helped somewhat, but towards the end my blood pressure crept back up. I saw different doctors each week which meant I kept getting told different things. One doctor told me I’d be induced at 37 weeks and another told me I wouldn’t have to be induced at all! I ended up being booked in to be induced at 39+3 weeks. I was so glad to make it that far because things felt so uncertain at times.

As for the normal pregnancy symptoms, there were plenty of those too! I felt awful while I was still working. Getting through each day was a struggle. I finished working at 35 weeks and within a few days I started feeling great! And I did for the rest of the pregnancy! My body just really needed the rest. Some other symptoms I experienced include:

• Pelvic Bone Pain – This was awful! Most days I was so sore, I felt like someone had whacked me in the crotch with a cricket bat!

• Increased IBS – I’ve suffered from IBS since I was in high school. While pregnant, it was so much worse. Not sure if this was from the anxiety of everything happening or the pregnancy itself. Probably both!

• Lower Back Pain – I think this was definitely a given. The more weight that went out the front, the more painful my back was!

• Bad Circulation – I noticed in the last few weeks that all the veins in my feet and hands started to bulge, and my legs would go purple if I stood still for too long. I was definitely swollen all over towards the end too.

Sitting here now with my healthy and happy baby in my arms makes all this seem so insignificant, but at the time it did seem like a big deal. It sure is a relief to be able to hold my precious girl and not have to worry if she was okay or not while she was inside my belly!

My next post will be my birth story, which I am so excited to share!

Thank you for reading!

Shona Mimi xx

My First Pregnancy | The First & Second Trimester

My First Pregnancy | The First & Second Trimester

As I’m writing this post I am 37 weeks pregnant! Now that I’m on maternity leave I seem to have all this extra time that I haven’t had for a long time. I’ve decided to jump back on this blog and start writing again. This next coming year is going to look very different as I enter into the journey of motherhood with my little baby girl due on the 21st of January. I hope I can find the time to continue writing and sharing my experiences through 2019 and beyond.

In this post I’ll be sharing the first six months of my pregnancy, from finding out I was pregnant, finding out we were having a girl and all the fun symptoms that I’ve experienced! After the birth I will share what’s happened in the third trimester and hopefully my labour and delivery story too.

I found out I was pregnant on Sunday the 20th May 2018. I had taken a pregnancy test a week prior after feeling “off” but it must have been too early to tell because it was negative. The day before I got the positive test I had said to a friend I really thought I was pregnant because I was soooo tired and soooo hungry. My period wasn’t due until the 22nd of May so I was going to wait to see whether it came or not but when I woke up on the 20th of May I decided to take a test anyway as I was home alone and had no plans all day, so I could take the day to let the news sink in if it was positive… and positive it was! Cameron came home from work on his lunch break and I didn’t even wait for him to come inside – I ran and met him at the car and I think he knew what was going on before I even got to him. We were absolutely stoked.

I had a dating scan at 7 weeks, another scan at 13 weeks and then another at 20 weeks. Our baby was looking healthy and well at all three scans. At the 20 week scan we got the lady doing the ultrasound to put the sex of the baby in an envelope. We passed this onto a cake maker and later that week we got together with our families and had a “gender reveal” party. When we cut the cake open the middle contained PINK sprinkles! I wasn’t surprised at all; I’d had a gut feeling from the beginning I was carrying a girl.

I was quite lucky throughout the first and second trimester to experience nearly no sickness. I had a few days where I vomited but I never had a constant feeling of nausea, which I am so grateful for. Working as a hairdresser would have been so tough if I felt sick the entire time! Some other symptoms I did experience include:

  • Sore Breasts – This was one of the first things I noticed and it never really went away completely.
  • Bad Skin – I broke out on my chin and the skin went really itchy and dry. This cleared up by 28 weeks. The skin on my chest was also really irritated.
  • Dizziness – This lasted until about 16 weeks. Anytime I would put my head down or bend over I would get light headed.
  • Turned Off Coffee – Before getting pregnant I would drink 2-3 coffees a day. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t stand it! This only lasted until 14 weeks though.
  • Exhaustion – I feel like the lack of sickness was made up for in tiredness. I could have 10 hours sleep through the night and still feel exhausted. This got a little better after 20 weeks.
  • Leaking Breasts – My breasts starting leaking clear fluid at 23 weeks. This is certainly something I was not expecting!
  • Cravings – I didn’t have too many crazy food cravings, but I did eat a lot of honey joys, peanut butter on toast, coke spiders and national meat pies which I never really liked before being pregnant.

I’m the type of person who likes to know exactly what I’m getting myself into so as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I started doing lots of research. I read Bec Judd’s book “The Baby Bible”, I listened to every episode of the “Australian Birth Stories” podcast and I have watched plenty of birthing vlogs on YouTube.

The third trimester has been a little more full on, so I will write a post about that when it is over!

Thank you for reading.

Shona Mimi xx

Cameron & Shona | Our Wedding Day | 1.4.17

Cameron & Shona | Our Wedding Day | 1.4.17

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It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog, but I wanted a place to come back to with all of my wedding details and photos. I’m currently 36 weeks pregnant, hence why I am getting around to doing things like this!

We had our photography done by Tara Dunstan. She is AMAZING!!!

The entire wedding was held at Sandridge Estate in Boat Harbour, Tasmania. It was a stunning location and exactly what Cameron and I had imagined for our special day.

The Morning Of…

The Girls

The night before I stayed in a beautiful house at Sisters Beach with my family. I woke up early and watched Moana with my youngest sister Ellie. After some breakfast we started to get ready. All the hair was done by Gabbi, Jayde & Taya and the makeup was done by Mikaylah and Kenya. They all did an incredible job.

 

The Boys

Cameron and his family also stayed in Sisters Beach and spent the morning together having a few beers and getting ready for the day.

 

The Ceremony

Our marriage celebrant was Daryl Quillam. He also married Cameron’s parents. Some of my favourite photos from the day are the ones of Cameron with tears in his eyes as I was walking down the aisle. I walked down the aisle to the song “I Get To Love You” by Ruelle.

 

The Reception

The Reception was held inside the rustic barn at Sandridge Estate. We had so much fun decorating it and setting it all up. Cameron and I danced to “From The Ground Up” by Dan + Shay. Halfway through the song it cut into “Footloose” where we broke out into a choreographed routine!

 

Family Photos

 

The Two Of Us

 

The Details

Cake – Enchanted Cakes

Dress – Studio White Boutique

Bouquets – Flowers For Ever After

Fresh Flowers – Wedding Flowers Stanley

 

Thank you to everyone who came and helped us celebrate.

Shona Mimi xx

 

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