Birth story

Hello everyone! I am writing to you from my sofa wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of tea and with my son snuggled up beside me. I sometimes still feel so overwhelmed when I think that he’s ours and I get to be there for him forever. My son, I’m a mum! While he’s sleeping, I thought I’d tell you my birth story as nothing turned out to be as we initially planned.

I finished work a few weeks ago and I had a lot of things planned that I still wanted to do around the house before the baby arrives. I was so happy to be off work as even though I was feeling well, I felt the train journey to and from work was starting to exhaust me and my back was suffering the consequences of standing up for 30 minutes during the train ride. My due date was on the 28th October so I thought I’d have enough time to organise everything before I go into labour. Little did I know…

Towards the end of my pregnancy the doctor’s were getting concerned about the baby being slightly on the smaller side so I had a few additional scans. On my birthday (14th October) I had another growth scan at the hospital. After the scan they told me that I had 2 options. Either to have another growth scan a week from then and be induced on my due date or to be induced tomorrow. I wanted to wait as the baby was completely fine, just looking a bit small. The doctor said that was fine and asked me to wait for a report. A few minutes later the doctor came back and told me that he looked at all my stats and given my height, the baby is looking very small so I will need to be induced the next day.

Safe to say I was completely unprepared for that. We have moved a couple of months ago and I wanted to give birth in a different hospital that was closer to our new house. I called my midwife at the other hospital, explained my situation and asked if someone could see me at the second hospital to see if I could get an induction date with them. The maternity ward was very busy so I waited a couple of hours for my appointment (fun birthday, huh?) but when I was finally seen, they agreed with the doctors from the other hospital and asked me to stay overnight to be induced tomorrow.

induction of labour
The room where I was induced

I didn’t have my hospital bag with me or anything at all really as I was only going in for a scan. Most of my things were packed so my boyfriend picked up my things and met me at the hospital after work. They told me that my induction could take up to 3 days as this is my first baby and I still have 2 weeks until due date so my body is not ready. They were going to start the process the next day in the morning so I asked my boyfriend to go home and get some sleep.

9 months pregnant
Last picture of my son inside my belly which I took the day before I gave birth

The next morning at 10.15am they gave me a pessary which is the first step of the induction process. The goal of this was to shorten my cervix and have me dilated by 2cm so they can break my waters. When they brought me some lunch at midday I could feel pain in my lower abdomen that felt like period pain but stronger. It felt uncomfortable, but not unbearable. However, as the time went by, the pain was getting stronger and stronger. It must’ve shown on my face because around 6.30pm the midwife strapped me to the monitor to see whether the pain I was feeling were contractions or not. It turned out that I was definitely having contractions and having way too many than the doctors would’ve liked me to. They told me they had to remove the pessary not to distress the baby as the contractions were 1 minute apart. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night because the contractions were happening so often I didn’t really get to rest in between. The good news was that I was 2 cm dilated and ready to have my waters broken. The only problem was that they didn’t have a free delivery room and there were 3 women before me in the queue for a bed.

checking baby's movements
Making sure the baby is not distressed
contractions
When they realised I was having too many contractions

I asked for the pethidine injection to rest and gather my energy for what was to come once they broke my waters. I kept having contractions throughout the night, but they felt manageable. Around 4.30 am, I felt a pop and thought that the baby kicked me but as soon as I sat up I felt that it wasn’t my baby but my waters broke. And yes, it was as you see in movies, a big gush of water. My boyfriend helped me get to the bathroom to change and that’s when I felt pain that I’ve never felt before. Contraction from this point onwards were so painful that I struggled to speak, breathe or think. We called the midwife and she strapped me to the monitor to see how the baby reacted to my waters breaking. While they were watching the baby, I felt like they had to check how dilated I was as this definitely felt like the second phase of labour. I called the midwife for some pain relief, she said I couldn’t get an epidural as I needed to be 4cm dilated and last time they checked I was only 2cm. At that point I felt really frustrated because yes, what she was saying was true, but that was at 7pm the evening before and now it was 4.30am and no one has checked if anything changed. The midwife brought me a paracetamol instead. A few minutes later I asked my boyfriend to call the midwife as I felt like i wanted to push. She saw that I was really suffering at that point, so she took me off the monitor and checked how far along I was. Aaaand it turned out I was already 8cm! She immediately called some help and they moved me to the delivery room. As soon as they moved me ( which took maybe 1 minute) I asked for an epidural. They checked again and it was too late for any pain relief as I was 10cm dilated and the baby was coming.

This was something I was really worried about from the start. I knew 1 thing for sure and that was that I wanted an epidural to get through this. When they told me I’m going to have to do this without any pain relief I felt a bit scared. But hey, I didn’t have much time to dwell on it because the contractions kept coming and like it or not, I had to do this. I started pushing and it took me 2 or 3 contractions to figure out when was the best time to push and how to help your body to push more effectively. It was around 5.30am when the midwife said the baby would be here before 6am but I had to focus.

My beautiful son was born at 5.41am that morning and holding him in my arms for the first time was a feeling I will never forget. I would go through all that pain a thousand times to have my baby in my arms and to see that he’s healthy and to kiss him for that very first time.

My little boy
newborn baby
Our beautiful son Lucas
First family picture
He weighed 2.6kg when he was born and all his clothes were too big for him
Mummy and baby resting after delivery and daddy watching over us
Finally leaving the hospital and taking our boy home

If you have any questions about my birth story message me via facebook or instagram or comment below.

Love,

K. (and baby Lucas)

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Packing my hospital bag

Hello everyone! After preparing the house before the baby’s arrival, this week I finally have everything ready to start packing my hospital bag. I know we still have a few weeks to go, but given my obsessive planning nature I thought I’d feel more calm and relaxed if I had everything ready to go. I have decided to take 2 separate bags. One for me and one for the baby. If I’m too tired to explain to my partner where things for the baby are packed then it will be easier for him to look for them. My baby bag is all ready to go, but I am still waiting for some bits and pieces to be delivered for me. I have decided to create a list for those of you who are struggling with what to pack with you. After the baby is born, I will update this post with the things I didn’t need in the end and those I needed but didn’t pack.

Baby bag

baby hospital bag
  • 3 bodysuits
  • 3 sleepsuits
  • 1 sleeping sack
  • a pair of socks
  • mittens (most of our bodysuits have ‘built in’ mittens)
  • cotton hat
  • blanket
  • nappies
  • wipes
  • 2 muslin squares
  • snowsuit
  • car seat – not in the bag obviously!

My bag

hospital bag
  • phone charger
  • maternity notes with birthplan
  • buttoned nightie
  • headphones
  • snacks ( I bought some dried fruit and granola bars) and isotonic drinks
  • wash bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, soap, hair ties, deodrant, lip balm
  • maternity pads
  • towel – in case my waters break before I get to the hospital
  • dressing gown
  • flip flops
  • outfit to wear when I leave the hospital
  • cash – in case me or my partner get hungry
  • breast pads
  • nursing bra
  • nipple cream – all mums I’ve spoken to swear by this
  • nipple shields
  • socks
  • camera with extra batteries

I’m hoping that we will have a straightforward birth with no complications, but just in case we need to stay at the hospital overnight I packed some extra clothes for the baby. My partner will also have a bag of his own in case he stays with us. The hospital is a 10 min drive from our house so if there’s something missing or we desperately need something then he can also go and pick it up. I’ve decided not to pack a breast pump as they have them in hospitals.

I loved packing my hospital bag and I hope I have thought of most of the things that I will need, but if you think that there are bits and bobs that I have forgotten then please let me know! I know there will be things that will be forgotten when the time comes and that’s ok. After all, this is a first for me! 🙂

Love,

K.

33 weeks pregnant
33 weeks pregnant – excuse the face it was very early in the morning!
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Week 28

Hello everyone! 🙂 Some of you don’t know how far along I am or how much more I have left before due date. Well.. We are now in week 28 of my pregnancy and we are less than 3 months (!!!) away from due date! It’s crazy to think that I will meet my son in 3 months. We are wondering whether he will be an October baby like his mummy or if he decides to make a late appearance to be a November baby like daddy. Now that we’re not far off, I thought I would give you an update on me and the baby and how we’re doing. If you read my blog you have seen me at 13 weeks when my belly was still pretty flat – well… you’re in for a bit of a shock!

Baby

The baby is growing very quickly now and gaining a lot of weight. He weighs around 1kg and he is around 37cm long. He still has enough space in my belly to move around, although I think he’s too big now to be doing somersaults in there. However, he is definitely making the most of the freedom! He is very active, especially when I am laying down or sitting at my desk working. When I’m up and about he feels like we do when we’re in the car or on the train so that’s when he likes to sleep.

I feel like he is also more active when I eat. The amniotic fluid changes taste then so maybe he finds these tastes enjoyable or annoying. His lungs are developing and he has started practicing breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. The good news is that he would have a very big chance of survival if he was born now. However, I am hoping he will stay in there for a while longer!

The best thing for me now is that he is more responsive to interaction. I can stroke or gently poke my belly and he reacts to that. He is also starting to hear and recognize our voices so my boyfriend and I try to talk to him when we get a chance. Sometimes I have to tell him off for kicking mummy in the ribs! 😀

Karolina Dziwiszek
He’s getting so big!
Karolina Dziwiszek

Me

I’ve heard from my friends about the difficult pregnancies they’ve had and mine has really been nice and easy. I’ve had no morning sickness, no persistent back pain or anything of the sort. Yes, the changes that pregnancy puts your body through are not easy (I may get into details with this in another post) but you need to remind yourself that a little human miracle is growing inside of you. In the third trimester my belly will be growing very quickly, roughly 1 cm a week. My weight gain has been constant and from the moment I became pregnant. I have put on around 6.5kg so far. The additional weight puts a slight strain on my back when I need to pick things up from the floor and I am much slower when moving around than I used to be.

I can feel that my sense of gravity has changed as well, which makes me a bit more clumsy than usual. Other than that mentally, I am feeling fine, I am still fairly active in my day to day life and still working. The longer this goes on for, the better. Sleeping is also becoming more difficult now as you need to move around at night to get comfortable. Nothing unbearable, so far, but I can’t wait to receive my pregnancy pillow!

This is where I’ll end my 28 week pregnancy update, if you have any further questions, please contact me via Facebook or Instagram and I will respond on here.

Have a great weekend!

K.

Karolina Dziwiszek
Karolina Dziwiszek
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Falling pregnant – part 1

Let me start by saying thank you for all the congratulations and sweet messages. I had my final year exams at uni this past weekend so I may have not responded to everyone yet. But I will! I just really wanted to focus on this as I can’t afford to fail any exams. I will be 8 months pregnant when I will be able to retake them if I fail. I certainly don’t want to and shouldn’t fly in the last trimester. Now that it’s all done and dusted I wanted to share with you the story and our journey of falling pregnant with our first baby.

The reason why I wanted to share the story of this pregnancy with you is because it is quite an unusual one. There is a reason why we consider this baby our little miracle. 🙂 A bit of a back story first though… At the age of 19 I was diagnosed with the polycystic ovary syndrome. Back then I had never heard of it before, neither did I know anyone who had it. I started researching, reading about it and many things suddenly started making sense to me. What was surprising to me was the fact that many women suffer from it, but none of my friends have ever shared this with me or spoken out about their problem. I knew I had a problem and that I needed to adjust and change a couple of things in my life if I wanted to be healthy. The crucial thing was changing my diet and exercising routine as this can really help with the symptoms. I stared reading about it and working on myself but believe me, this was a long process. Once I finally had this more or less in order and started taking regular contraception, which regulated my periods, the symptoms weren’t really affecting me that much. It’s true that my hair isn’t as thick as it used to and my skin can get oily but apart from that it is all manageable. I consider myself quite lucky in that respect.

Fast forward to January 2019, I went to the doctor for a regular belly scan and while he was doing the scan he was asking me questions which I found slightly bizarre. He started off by asking me if I was currently on contraception. I told him I was on the pill. He didn’t look convinced and asked if I had just started. I said that I have been on hormonal contraception for a few years now. Then he asked me if I recently had a break and started the pills again. Again, I said no, I have been on contraception for a few years now.  After the scan he told me that my body doesn’t look like I have been taking any contraception at all. My pills weren’t working and he told me I needed to change them as soon as possible. He also  said that my polycystic ovary syndrome was pretty severe and that I would really struggle to get pregnant and if I started thinking about kids we would need to start hormonal therapy and I needed to consider IVF.

It was a bit of a shock for me and a huge disappointment because if there was one thing I was sure about in this life, it was that I wanted to be a mother. I called my boyfriend and we had a long conversation about this because I also felt like in a way I was disappointing him because he did tell me he wanted to have children in the future. I’ve only briefly mentioned ‘hormonal issues’ to him before. He was very understanding and very positive that when the time was right the baby would come and he had no doubt that we could do this when we decided this was something we wanted. I sent him a few links to read about the syndrome that I have so he understood a bit better what we were dealing with and he was very much on board especially looking into the PCOS diet. We decided to finish the pills I had, I think I only had 3 pills left in that box, wait for my period and start taking different pills.

I will end here for today as this post has ended up being much longer than I expected. 🙂

If you have any questions about the above or have had the same problems, please know that you’re not alone. Plenty of women struggle in silence as the symptoms of PCOS can me embarrassing to some.

K.

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