How Mummy & Little Me Retreats Helped Mary-Kate
Admitting my worries and how Mummy & Little me has helped.
If you've read my last two blog entries you will know that I am pregnant for the second time. During my first pregnancy I wasn't worried about labour itself and it sounds silly but to be honest I hadn't really even thought about it until I went into labour even then somehow I managed to stay calm.. Maybe too calm! I had high blood pressure during my first pregnancy, put on 5 stone, had terrible headaches, protein in my urine and was very swollen... Hands/face/feet.. So when I went overdue by 3 days my consultant told me I was going to be induced - it was Friday 13th! I went up to the ward and had a sweep done and I will be honest that hurt me a little but I expected it to and I was very tense which I think made it worst. Then I was told to go home, have a shower, some dinner and return with my bags. I returned just before 7pm but waited until the next day to actually be induced - why didn't they let me stay at home and get a better night sleep? (Any sleep would have been good). The next day they were very busy so I waited hours until the time to be induced came, I was really scared by this point & I think all the waiting around gave me more time to worry. It hurt but oh it worked! Really soon after as I was walking around I could terrible pains that were fairly regular.. I told the midwife but she said its fine you're not in labour yet just keep walking, so I called my mum (who's had 8 babies) and told her what it felt like - she was my birthing partner but not allowed there until I was in established labour. When I am in pain I don't scream, I go quiet because I was just that scared but I think because I was so quiet the midwife didn't believe I was even in labour. (Note to self - make more noise next time?) The midwife came to check me and said "oh you're 5cm already we will see if theres a bed for you on delivery, would you like gas & air?"... "Yes!" I asked the midwife to help me put my tens machine on but she didn't know how to so I waited for my mum to arrive to put it on for me. Finally I got to the delivery room and before I knew it the contractions were very regular and I felt worn out, at about 3:30pm my mum asked the midwife how much longer she thought it would be until I had the baby and the midwife said guessing about 12 tonight. I said I can't do this without something stronger so she gave me an injection of pethidine which I am convinced just made me very sleepy. She then checked me straight after the injection and seemed a little shocked that I was already 8cm dilated, very soon I got to 10cm but after every contraction I was falling asleep so I spent a long time pushing... Then I woke up to the midwife holding a pair of scissors asking if she can give me an episiotomy.. No no you cannot, so she didn't. I won't lie I hadn't looked this up, I didn't know what it was and she scared me. I had a baby boy called Oliver at 4:05pm, weighing 8lb 14oz he didn't cry but he was fine, he had little eyes everywhere, completely bald and looked very sleepy. I had the injection to make the placenta come quicker however it didn't work for me and it took me 2 hours for it to come and I had to have help from 2 midwives to get it to come out, luckily on my last try before being taken to theatre it worked. I then had to have lots of stitches, which hurt at first so she had to give me another injection. After this I was allowed some tea and toast but what I really wanted was a shower so a health care assistant helped me have a quick shower - I wasn't allowed to be alone.
Then when I returned to the room I was moved to a recovery room next to theatre and had a heart monitor put on because my labour was so quick and blood pressure was still high I think they were a little worried and that's where I stayed until the next day.. Mums come and went but I stayed so I had a midwife in front of me. So it's safe to say my labour with Oliver has left me with worries about this labour and my midwife appointments so far have not made me very confident or answered many questions, so when I heard about the Mummy and Little me retreat with an expert midwife there I knew I'd love to be able to attend.
When we arrived at Champneys Spa we were welcomed by Vicky, Runa and Alison and handed an information pack before being checked in by Champneys staff. We were shown to our room to change into our robes and comfy slippers provided by the spa, given a tour of Champneys and told that we can borrow testers over night to try and then return to the shop in the morning. Then it was time for a workshop which is where we met other guests and introduced ourselves to the group, explained any worries we had, mine were pretty similar to my partners.. High blood pressure (mine not his hehe), being induced, quick labour and placenta. Other people's included long labours, getting too hot and home births. Alison - expert midwife who works on the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's hospital was very lovely, she went through all of the worries raised and covered even more than we had expected her to. She explained the different stages of labour and told us when it's the right time to go into hospital - being induced last time I was already there.
Then we had a lovely little treat of Hollie coming to our room to take bump photos, she was very friendly and spent a while getting the photos just right. As well as the workshops you get a one-to-one appointment with Alison in private so you can ask any questions you may not feel comfortable asking in front of a group, we were amazed at how much she knew and how down to earth she is. We asked lots of questions about breast feeding which is something that I struggled with when I had Oliver and she answered them all even letting us have a look at a magazine she had which was very good. She answered questions about being induced, keeping active in labour, water births, home births... I wish I had recorded the conversation.. Oh there's an idea if you have a one to one with Alison and are suffering from baby brain like me! Record it or take notes, have other half with a pen and paper :) Then it was time for dinner, Mummy & Little me had booked for us so nothing to worry about just tun up! if you attend this event on your own then the Mummy and Little me ladies would welcome you to sit with them if you wanted or even if as a couple you wanted to sit with them I'm sure that would be ok. Michael and myself got there early and decided to sit just us.. It was also our anniversary. The food was delicious and the next morning after a very relaxing lay in the breakfast was lovely too! After breakfast it was time for a other workshop, I loved this one - it was about feeding your baby and we both walked out of the room having learnt so much about breast feeding and I feel so much more confident now.
Then I had a lovely pregnancy massage, again Mummy and Little me had booked it in so I just needed to turn up at the time stated on my personal timetable. This was amazing and the Champneys blissful bump range is now one of my favourites. Michael had time to go for a lovely swim instead of just waiting for me which he really enjoyed because usually swimming involves keeping a 4 year old safe. The men can also book in and pay for treatments but Michael was more than happy with spa facilities. Then we had a lovely lunch and for the first time I think I ate more than Michael did! Ive said this before and I will say it again the only problem is we had to leave! I genuinely think this retreat is worth every penny, whether you're single, in a couple, first/second or third time parents no matter your age you will walk away from the weekend relaxed, happy and more confident about having your baby.. I already feel more confident so I'm going to enjoy my pregnancy much more now. It's not every day you get to have a one-to-one with an expert midwife, meet a very great doctor (Dr Runa) or be able to ask Vicky from Mummy and Little me about maternity and baby items. As well as being pampered and fed like a princess not forgetting the bump photo shoot and a goody bag with £75 worth of lovely items. It's a fantastic treat and you mummy to be deserve it! ( I'd love to go again! ) If you do go I'd love to hear what you think about it afterwards, Mary-Kate x