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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Preparing for our baby’s arrival

Heyyyy guys! This week has been super exciting for us as we have been preparing for our baby’s arrival. As soon as we found out that we were having a baby, we started questioning whether the apartment we were renting was the best place for our growing family. I will be on maternity leave for a few months, so we decided it would be best to move out of central London. We decided to look for a place where there are more parks and green areas. It will be easier for me to go out for walks with our little boy.

After a few weeks of looking at different areas we finally found a house with a garden in a lovely area. It had everything we were looking for and we were really happy with it but it came unfurnished. This is why, since we have moved in, we have been busy furnishing it. We’re still waiting for some bits and pieces, but it’s almost ready for us and the baby.

As the baby is due in 9 weeks we have recently been going through our list to make sure we have everything ready for the baby. Those of you who know me will know that I’m a planner. Always have been. So I wanted to make sure we have everything bought and packed by the time I am in week 32. Not sure about being packed by then, but we will pretty much have everything (we think) we need.

preparing for baby
Teddy waiting for his new friend to arrive

We have already put together a cot which will be in our room for now. Eventually we will move it to the baby’s room.

baby cot

My favourite part was washing, folding and organizing baby clothes (over and over again). We feel like he has more clothes than Aleix and I put together! But then again, he will be growing out of them pretty quickly. I’m sure it will be a big turnaround.

karolinad.com
karolinad.com
karolinad.com
baby clothes
baby clothes
baby clothes

I can’t wait for our first Christmas with him! We have tons of Christmas outfits for him as it is by far my favourite time of the year!

baby Christmas clothes
baby Christmas shoes
I mean…

We have also created a little baby corner for him in our living room. All his toys and books will go there eventually. I don’t want to buy a lot of toys for him just yet simply because he will be way too little for interactive toys in the beginning. We bought a few cuddly toys for him and we feel like this will be enough for now. I have plenty of books for children in my parents’ house so we may buy a few here and there, but we will have more than enough when we pick these up. I will be reading to the baby in Polish and my boyfriend will be reading to him in Spanish.

baby storage shelf unit
timmy toppee nappy bin
Nappy bin – I heard this Tommee Tippy one is great and very affordable

We also have a baby bouncer, a baby gym and a baby carrier as we will be able to use these pretty much from the very beginning.

baby gym
baby bouncer

Last but not the least, we have finally received our buggy. We went for the 3in1 option so we don’t have to worry about buying anything else in the next couple of months. It’s crazy to see this little car seat and imagine that our boy will be coming home with us in it. We will be going into the hospital as Karolina and Aleix and leaving as a family.

baby buggy
Excuse the grass.. It wasn’t too happy about yet another London heatwave!

We will keep preparing for our baby’s arrival, but if you see that we have missed something then let me know! Once I go on maternity leave I will create our newborn checklist. If you missed the 28 week update, you can find it here.

baby bump week 31
baby bump week 31
Mama’s growing. Surely I can’t possibly get bigger than this, right?

Have a great weekend!

K.

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4D scan

Hey guys! Those of you in London – what is going on with this weather, right?! It feels like it’s October not the middle of summer! Can’t say that I’m complaining too much about the cooler weather. I felt really sick on the trains during the crazy heatwave. Anyway, I was off work on Monday, so my boyfriend and I went for a 4d scan at Window to the Womb to see our baby! I was so excited about this appointment and was counting down the days until I see my baby again.

The reason why we decided to go for this scan is because my last scan was in week 20 and my next one will be on week 35. 15 weeks is a long time and we couldn’t wait this long to see how he was doing. This is not a regular scan that the NHS provides, we had to pay for it but it was definitely worth it! The scan we went for costs £165 but there was a discount so we paid less than that and got digital copies of 56 pictures, the video of the scan, 8 printed copies of the pictures we chose and 2 key chains with the baby’s pictures.

The scan itself took around 10-15 minutes and the doctor made sure he looks healthy, that his heartbeat is strong and what his current position is. He is already facing down, which is great and something I was worried about as I was born via c-section because I was breech. Hopefully he will stay in that position. Once he confirmed our boy was looking we tried to take some pictures of his little face. Unfortunately, he was sleeping and covering his face with his hands. I tried coughing and moving around, but he is one stubborn boy and wouldn’t work with us at all!

The main purpose of the scan was checking if he was healthy. However, we were also really curious who he looks like. Nothing has changed, we still have no clue! But it’s ok, I’m sure that he will be changing on a daily basis. I am just happy that I will be there to watch him grow and develop his own features.

If you’re thinking about a 4d baby scan I would definitely advise you to do it. If have any questions regarding the scan or my so far pregnancy, you know where to find me. 🙂

K.

karolinad.com
karolinad.com
We have no clue who he got the big lips from. Neither of us have big lips! It could be that they look big now because his head is still very small.
karolinad.com
karolinad.com
That yawn was everything <3
karolinad.com
He wasn’t happy to be disturbed and wanted to carry on sleeping.
karolinad.com
His little hand
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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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Gender reveal party

Gender reveal party time! Is it a boy or is it a girl? We have been asking ourselves this question ever since we found out I was pregnant. As it’s our first baby we had no preference, we just wanted a healthy baby, but we couldn’t wait to find out! Here in London you have a scan at 20 weeks and that’s when they tell you whether you’re having a little boy or a little girl. 20. Long. Weeks.

However, we were supposed to find out a little bit later as our friends wanted to arrange a gender reveal party. The plan was to ask the doctor to write on a piece of paper what we were having but as usual things don’t go as planned. At the scan the doctor told us that they were not allowed to write it down for us. They can tell us in person there and then or not at all. We did not want to wait until the delivery to find out so we asked them to tell us at the appointment. We were not prepared to find out that day, but when we did it was a bit of a surprise for us.

I couldn’t control my tears, I started crying because this baby suddenly felt so real and I could picture us three and our future together. My boyfriend thought I was crying because I wasn’t happy, but it was the contrary, I was so happy. Just overwhelmed with the fact that this was actually happening.

We decided to tell our parents and closest family straight after the appointment as they were desperate to know. They were all but my partner’s sister, on team girl. Now all we had to do was to organize a party and celebrate with our friends. My best friend and I were responsible for the decorations and the boys were responsible for the BBQ. In the beginning, we asked everyone to vote ‘boy’ or girl’ and most of our friends voted girl. I think there were only 2 people who thought it was going to be a boy.

Finally, it was time for the reveal and… it’s a boy!!!! We were both shocked when the doctor at the scan told us. For some reason subconsciously we both thought it was going to be a little girl, but no, we are going to have a son. I’m going to be a mum to a little boy! I can’t wait to meet him and see both myself and the man I love in him. There is one thing I am sure of and it is that this boy will be so loved. Both our families are so excited for him to join the crazy mix of a Polish – Spanish family.

Love,

K.

Mummy’s getting big!
IT’S A BOY!!!
Mum & Dad <3

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Finding out that we were going to have a baby

Hello All,

Hope everyone’s having a great Friday. Time for part 2 of the story I posted last week. Today I’ll tell you about how and when we found out we were going to be a baby, our initial reactions and the first changes to my body.

Like I have mentioned previously, we have decided to finish the contraception I was on and change after my period – that must’ve been early to mid January. However, those of you who have PCOS know that your periods can be very irregular so I wasn’t sure when that would happen. I have booked a surprise Valentine’s trip to Budapest for us earlier in the year and I remember looking at myself in the mirror in Budapest thinking ‘damn my breasts look huge, my period must be coming soon’. After we returned to London I booked an appointment with my GP to get the new pills as I was convinced it was coming any day now. For some reason they didn’t have an appointment that worked for me so they finally booked me in for mid March. I remember talking to my mum and telling her that my period is taking forever again, but I didn’t think twice about it giving my PCOS.

Then, in the beginning of March I was speaking to my best friend telling her how long it’s been since my period and she asked me if I took a pregnancy test. That hasn’t even crossed my mind and I’ve never ever in my life done a pregnancy test. I know, I’m weird. I told her it was impossible, but she convinced me to do it just so we can rule pregnancy out. On my lunch break at work I popped out to the shop to get a test, went to the bathroom, peed on the stick and within 3 seconds I saw it. The line.

karolinad.com

I was so shocked I had no clue what to do. It had to be a mistake, but I suddenly felt like I couldn’t breathe. I went back to my office trying to keep it cool and let me tell you one thing – I was faaaar from cool. My first thought was calling my boyfriend and telling him, but he was away in Brussels with work so I was on my own with this. I obviously told my best friends because I had no clue what to do. Am I really pregnant? Could I really be pregnant? Do I call the doctor? Do I need vitamins? How far along am I?

I wanted to do another test just to be sure that the test wasn’t a false positive or broken so I started drinking litres of water. Took another test and the same thing happened.

karolinad.com
karolinad.com

Now I was pretty much speechless. I was desperate to go home, but I still had a couple of hours left at work. My best friend said that she would stay with me and she would pick up some digital tests on her way to mine as they’re supposed to tell you how far along you are. I then called my GP and said I might be pregnant and they asked me about my last period. When I told them it was in the end of December they said that it looked like I was 11 weeks pregnant. Ummmm… Excuse me? They booked me in for a midwife appointment and scan a scan a week later. It all seemed very unreal to me, but I was coping. I had a lot of questions, but I started thinking about my boyfriend and his reaction. I felt really anxious about it because it wasn’t something we planned or were thinking about in the near future. For some unknown reason this is what made me panic the most.

I spent the evening with my best friend and although I couldn’t sleep at night, the next day I felt ok and in my head I started thinking in the categories of… could I? Could I really be pregnant? However, there was another hurdle – telling my partner. I had no clue how I was going to do it. It wasn’t going to be one of these – ‘our dreams came true, we’re having a baby’ moments. He was coming later on in the evening so I got home from work, started cooking dinner for us as I haven’t seen him on over a week and really missed him so we planned a nice dinner together. While I was cooking I completely lost it. I started crying, terrified of what his reaction was going to be. I also realized that the smell of parsley that I was using was making me feel violently sick so I was crying and gagging – charming.

Before he arrived, I managed to calm myself down, sat him down on the sofa and almost threw the test at him. He went pale and we started talking about it and the difficulties we were going to face. I’m not going to get into details here because it took a while for him to come to terms with it, but no, it wasn’t a movie-like reaction. At all. We went to the scan a week later and we heard it – the baby’s strong heartbeat. It turned out that I was only 6 weeks pregnant rather than 11 which made more sense to us.

karolinad.com

It took us a while to accept what was happening and how our life was about to change forever. We didn’t expect this baby, but life knew exactly what it was doing. I’m a big believer in the saying that ‘everything happens for a reason’. I was blessed with a baby – something I wasn’t sure would ever happen to me. It was my miracle and I will forever be grateful for it. I can’t wait for this baby to come into our lives.

I am going to be a mum to my perfect baby. 🙂

karolinad.com
karolinad.com
8 weeks pregnant
karolinad.com
13 weeks pregnant

Lot’s of love,

K.

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