Sunday, 31 May 2015

My memory is in tatters and my house is a mess...

I'm sure a lot of new Mother's can relate to this - though I suppose you can't really class me as a new Mother anymore, Ella is now 6 months old after all. At the moment though, in all honestly I feel as though I'm like a fish out of water, floundering around, gasping for air.

* If you are not interested in brutal honesty or whining, I wouldn't bother reading on *

My memory is in tatters, my hair is falling out, my house is a tip, i'm always late, Ella has a cold, i'm pre-menstrual and have a headache, my great "new" exercise regime has already taken a back seat, i've lost the very first piece of jewellery my Husband ever bought me, i'm tired, always grumpy, perpetually irritable, exhausted and downright downtrodden.

I hate feeling like this. I can't remember anything I need to do and I keep losing things - I lost our only front door key and, as mentioned above, a piece of jewellery with huge sentimental value - I feel like everyday is a struggle to stay afloat and keep things on track. 

I've always got a million things on my mind so I can never remember anything else I need to do - it's filled with timings for feeds, what to cook for dinner, finances, dates for appointments, how to get rid of her nappy rash, things I need to buy at the supermarket but always forget i.e rubbish bags, birthdays, when I'm going to get a chance to clean the house and the list goes on.

I really don't know how to keep on top of everything. I only have one child and it's a constant battle. Let alone having two children or working a full-time job - I don't know how those Mother's do it.

I feel as though I never get any down time or time where I can just "switch off" and not have to think about anything. Sure, I've gone out a few times without Ella but my mind is still filled with my never-ending to do list. It's got my brain scrambled. It's like a haze, a mess of things that never goes away.

It takes me forever to get to sleep because I'm still thinking about all the things I have to do and those things that have been on the list since before time began and have never been completed - and won't be completed any time soon.

I just wish I didn't have to do so much. My head hurts.

I miss the days of just not doing anything or never having to worry about remembering things - because my mind was razor sharp. I miss not having to be so "on to it" all the time. I miss not being the one that's alway "in charge". I miss being a carefree young adult who's biggest worry was what I was going to wear out to the club. I miss leisurely mornings. I miss the days where the only thing I had to do was go to work, come home and do nothing.

* rant over *

I've toyed all week with the idea of whether I should post this or not because re-reading it I realised just how much I'm moaning, but then I thought - screw it! It's honest, we all go through days or weeks like this where things don't go right and it's just "messy". It's just part of life. It's part of being a Mother. I signed up for this.

But, you know what? I wouldn't change it. Oh yea, I could go for a break, or a cleaner, or a holiday but I still wouldn't go back. It's just life, no one said it would be easy, it changes from day-to-day and it will get easier and it will get better. Tomorrow is a new day and all that.

Being a Mother is tough, and sometimes? - it sucks ass, but I love being a Mother. It's the most amazing, most rewarding, most challenging, most frustrating, most exhausting thing I have ever done. I can honestly say, though, she is my greatest achievement.

So, with all that said and all that venting let out it's time to carry on. Someone's got to cook dinner right?

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Friday, 29 May 2015

Claire's Birth Story - Girl on a mission

I was pondering about what to blog about when this little gem popped into my inbox and solved all my problems - it's my latest birth feature! 

Claire is another fellow Kiwi Mumma who blogs over at Girl on a Mission. She gave birth to her adorable little boy Keaton on 22nd of April 2013 - which was also her birthday! So, if you don't follow her already I suggest you head over to her blog and say hello. You can also follow her on Facebook as well.

This is her story...

1. What was your due date?

My Due Date was May 5th 2013.

2. Were you early or overdue?

I ended up being 2 weeks early, I thought I would be overdue, so my predictions went well out the window.

3. Where did you plan on birthing?

Planned on birthing at the hospital – I was super scared throughout my pregnancy, so wanted to be at the hospital in case anything went wrong.

4. Did you have a birth plan?

Yes I had a birth plan – a few of the things I wanted were:
- Bradley to be the only one with me
- Normal delivery unless there were complications
- Would try and go all natural
- Bradley to cut the cord – he was really scared to do this, it     was rather funny.

I stuck mainly to it, except for going natural – lol, it was like give them all to me NOW!!!!!

5. Did your birth go according to plan? Tell us about your labour and birth.

Well, I went into labour on the 21st of April (a day before my birthday) – from the moment I fell pregnant, my husband said that I was going to have our baby on my birthday. Anyway, I woke up with contraction’s that were very far apart, and called my midwife to give her the heads up. My parents were in South Africa as my sister had had a baby two weeks before, so they had planned on being with them for four weeks, and then coming back the day before I was due, to be with us.
My cousin was with us, so we went to the shops because we were going out for a work dinner that evening. I felt fine, and was timing my contractions the whole time we were out, we even stopped at the cafĂ© for some chocolate cake. As the day progressed the contractions became closer, but not painful, I called my aunt, and she and my cousin came over. The evening approached, and we got ready to go out for dinner. We got to the restaurant and I lasted about half an hour, the contractions suddenly came full one, and we had to leave. I got home, and jumped in the bath to try and manage the pain. Around 8.30pm the contractions were so bad, I called my midwife and she said to go to the hospital. We got there in record time (I think Bradley had been waiting for this “tv moment” for years – he drove like they do on TV – I just remember telling him to stop going over bumps.

Once in the hospital – I was in such a daze, the nurses at the hospital said to get on the bed, so I got on there and I stayed there. I probably should have walked around and tried different positions, but I think I was so exhausted, I just wanted to lie there and do nothing. I was 5cm when I got to the hospital.

My birth plan stated that I didn’t want any medicinal help if I could help it, well that went out the window – I had a bit of everything, although the Gas made me actually vomit, so I stopped that pretty quickly – Bradley however found much joy in having a few breaths of it. I eventually had an epidural, and that helped, until I realised that it had not taken on my left side completely, so I could feel stabbing pains at every contraction.

It finally came time to push – and I pushed and pushed for two hours. I was so exhausted. Turned out Keaton had his hand on his face and was at a funny angle, so would not come out naturally, and had to be delivered by a ventouse delivery. That was super easy, and with one push he was out.
We didn’t know what we were having, and we were all convinced it was a girl, so when he came out and Bradley said it’s a boy, I was super shocked, I said “ are you sure”, I was shown that he was in fact a boy! Born 2.50am, on my birthday, weighing 3.107kg, and 48cm.

6. How do you feel after the birth?

I was completely overwhelmed after the birth. I didn’t cry when he was born, and I felt weird about that. I think I was in shock because later that day when it was just Keaton and myself in the maternity suite, I just looked at him and cried and cried. I felt great after the birth, I could not pee though, so they would not take the needle out my hand until I had, that eventually happened. In all honestly, the episiotomy was more painful than anything else.

7. What are the top five items you packed in your hospital bag that you couldn't have done without or wished you had packed?

- Water bottle
- Snacks for Bradley
- Phone charger (had to keep taking pictures)
- Breastfeeding tops (Keaton slept the first few nights inside    my top, so these were a life saver)
- Nipple shields – only got these on the second day, and wish I had them from the get go. It took a while for Keaton to be able to suck on my boobies without them, so a definite must.

8. What's one piece of advice you could offer to any Mum preparing for childbirth?

You can’t prepare for something like this. Be open to change your mind. The emotions you go through are crazy. It’s the best thing that will ever happen to you, and you just can’t plan for it.

9. Is there anything you would do differently next time?

I would probably try more positions next time to manage the pain, try to go without meds, but I guess I will only be able to plan for that when the time comes.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Time to lose my Mummy tummy. My current weight, measurements exercise routine and goals.

It's time. It's been 6 months - it's time I started to do some exercising. I'm not looking to lose weight but I do want to tone and, hopefully, lose my mummy tummy.

My Dad just so happens to be an ex-gym owner, gym bunny and all round fitness freak so... who better to write me an exercise programme to slowly get me back in to exercising then him?

Before I became pregnant I was super fit, relatively toned and happy with how my body looked. Fast forward 13 months or so to now and I'm not so happy with how I look. Obviously, I've had a baby and when you've had a baby, naturally, your body changes and stretches in order to accommodate said little human. Not only do you physically change but it can also affect how you feel about yourself. 

I'm not interested in dropping tonnes of weight I just want to feel happy and more confident about myself and be comfortable in my own skin. Yes I know, I need to go easy on myself and be proud of my body as it created something incredible but it doesn't mean I can't exercise, be healthy and tone my new baby body - let's face it physiologically somethings change permanently - I am embracing it but I still want to improve it and therefore, hopefully, improve my self confidence. 

So, blogging about my journey to losing my Mummy tummy and "feeling good about myself" seems like a good way to keep myself motivated and maybe help other Mum's to kick start their journey into feeling good about themselves too.

So, here goes...

My "before" pictures.

My current weight and measurements:

Weight: 57.3kgs
Hips: 90cm
Abdomen (belly button level): 87cm
Waist (narrowest part): 85.5cm
Thigh: 51cm

My goal weight: 54cm (what I was pre-pregnancy)

During my pregnancy I suffered from severe Diastasis Recti (abdominal muscle separation) with up to 10 - 12 cm of separation. Now, it has decreased to 1 cm but that 1 cm is just not decreasing any further and so, my other goal is to try and get my ab muscles back to normal.

My Dad set me a program to start me off and is aimed at slowly easing me back into exercise without putting to much strain on my body. It's designed to target all of my "problem area's" and will take a maximum of 30mins every day or every second day - depending on what sort of day Ella and I are having.

The programme is as follows:

Swiss ball squats
Push ups
Dumbbell Rows
Dumbbell should presses

Dumbbell curls
Chair dips
Side planks


The aim is to start with 1 set of 12 for each exercise (for the first week) and increase up to 3 sets by the third week. Alternating legs with abs or arms so as not to isolate one specific area which allows those muscles to have a break while you focus on other areas.

Here is a little video of me doing a few of the exercises. I am hoping to upload a blog post at the end of the week with how I got on during the week and pictures of me doing each exercise. 

This post was meant to go up yesterday but due to computer issues, again, I had to upload it today. I started on Monday!

I really hope I can stick to this programme as I really want to get back into exercise and begin to feel good about myself and my body again. Having a 6 month old means everyday is different and I can't plan for anything but I will try and exercise as much as I can.

So, fingers crossed and wish me luck!

Disclaimer: I am not a trained professional. This fitness regime is tailored for me and I just wanted to share it with others. I am not suggesting that you MUST do this or that by doing this you will lose weight. I take no responsibility for any injury caused by anyone who chooses to follow these exercises.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

You know you're a Mum when... PART 2

Being a Mum - each day is a new discovery! Not only is Ella making new discoveries as a little person but I am making new discoveries about myself as a first time Mum.

After my last "You know you're a Mum when..." post I have continued to learn new things about myself and about Motherhood which I think other Mother's could relate to and perhaps find quite amusing so here is PART 2 of "You know you're a Mum when..."

19. You stand in your baby's nursery staring at them while they sleep, marvelling over the gorgeous creature you managed to create. Until... you're overwhelmed with love and affection, so you decide to bend over and kiss them on their cheek. When then start to stir, you silently shit yourself and stealthily hurry out of the room before the gorgeous creature awakes and ruins your precious alone time.

20. When your baby is finally asleep *hurrah* for the night you, literally, let out a huge sigh of relief! Let the alone time begin!   

21. When you finally have your alone time you face the daily struggle of "do I go to bed and catch up on sleep because I'm exhausted?" OR "do I stay up and have some much needed alone time?" Generally, the latter wins and you end up staying up WAY too late because you're enjoying alone time so very much. You instantly regret the decision in the morning and promise yourself you WILL go to bed early that night but end up doing the same DAMN thing all over again. It's a vicious cycle.

22. Alone time during daytime naps is just as much of a struggle of wills as it is at night. When your child eventually does have a nap, alone time becomes a battle of "do I do the mountains of washing and vacuum the carpet?" OR "do I finally try and get rid of the Mummy tummy by doing some much needed exercise?" OR better still "do I sit on my arse, eat some chocolate biscuits and watch T.V?". I don't need to tell you which option wins.

23. Breakfast becomes lunch, lunch becomes dinner and dinner disappears.

24. Having a shower becomes a luxury not a daily necessity. A luxury that doesn't happen as often as you would like!

I asked some of my favourite fellow Mumma's to hit me with some of their funniest "You know you're a Mum when..." quotes and I wasn't disappointed. They're downright hilarious and I can totally relate to most of these.

25. When you buy treats and eat them in hiding.

26. When throwing a towel over baby vomit in your bed and going back to sleep becomes totally acceptable. Same goes for wee and breast milk leakages.

27. When getting peed on is just part of everyday life.

28. Sniffing your baby's bottom, through the nappy, and then sticking your finger in the side to feel for poo becomes common practice.

29. When a nasal aspirator just doesn't do it and you end up sucking boogers out of another human's nose. *bleugh*

30. When you can use the baby puke in your hair to tame fly-aways.

31. When you realise the carpet designers of the 50's inadvertently created carpet patterns that could disguise any of your baby's bodily fluid.

32. When you realise, after the fact, that you made your morning coffee in baby's bottle. Then you sigh and drink it anyway.

33. When you are out of the house without your baby and you start swaying from side-to-side when you're waiting at the checkout. Same goes for when you start pushing the trolley back in forth like you would the pram.

34. When you realise you've had your boob hanging half out for the last hour - and you're walking around town.

35. When you finally get to go out for a girls night, you forget to pump and ended up lactating over a handsome young fella in a white t-shirt - leaving two big, round wet patches.

36. When you'd rather catch poo or spew in your hands then risk having to wash the floors all over again.

37. When you've managed to go all day with a yoghurt wrapper lid stuck in your hair. I'm talking a trip to the local four square, turning down Jehovah's at your door and talking to your workers kind of day.

38. When popping down to your local shops is like organising 007.

39. When you tell your partner that you're bursting for the loo when in actually fact you just really want some "me" time.

40. When 7am (or 8am) is considered a sleep in.

These are all such gold, I have so many more of these to share so I think I'm going to have to do a PART 3! I think , maybe, they all loved to get these off their chests - sort of a confession if you will.

Thank you lovely ladies you are all amazing - and you know who you are!

So, my dear readers - what can you relate or admit to?

Stay tuned for part 3!

Monday, 18 May 2015

What we got up to in Wellington

As some of you may know, if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you will know that last Monday we flew down to Wellington for my little sisters University graduation - it was also Ella's very first airplane trip.

Just before take-off

Wondering about what's going on.

I never realised how much stuff a baby needs until I had to pack and transport all her stuff:

- Pushchair
- Capsule
- Nappy bag
- Portacot
- A shit tonne of nappies
- A shit tonne of clothes - in case of emergency
- Baby food with bowls and spoons etc
- Formula and bottles
- Ergo carrier, for ease of use in the airport

The list goes on and on, luckily Jetstar Airways allowed us to take the pushchair and capsule etc for free as part of our checked baggage. By the time we checked everything in and boarded the plane I felt like I had run a marathon.

Luckily for us though Ella was so good on the plane, we gave her a dummy to suck on for take-offs and landings, she fell asleep mid flight and slept for most the short 1hr flight.

The next day was the actual graduation ceremony which started at 6pm and finished at 8, so we had to have dinner afterwards, it was such a long day for Ella and to top it off a super late night. She was such a little trooper though and pretty much put up with it amazingly, apart from the odd grizzle due to boredom/ tiredness - I don't blame her though, I could totally relate!

The University faculty

The orchestra
My little sister graduated from University, after a 3 year degree, with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Criminology and Political studies and will graduate again next year after completing Honours this year. I am so very proud of her, she's always been a smarty pants, I have no doubt she will go very far. She is so intelligent, mature and knowledgeable for her 21 years and she could do anything she sets her mind to.

Both my parents and Grandmother travelled down to Wellington for the ceremony in what was a very proud moment for all of us!

During the day there was meant to be a parade for all the prospective graduates in the city centre, a Victoria University tradition. Unfortunately, due to torrential rain the parade was cancelled - which also turned into terrible flooding just after we left Wellington. So, in order to kill time and stay dry we opted to visit the Te Papa Museum where the "Gallipoli: The scale of our war" exhibition was being displayed in honour of the 100th anniversary of ANZAC in the battles of Gallipoli.

One word - AMAZING! The exhibition sent chills down my spine with each incredible display and brought home just how tragic the war was with the tremendous loss of life on the battlefields at Gallipoli. It was truly humbling to read, a few, of the stories from the soldiers and to try and understand the terrible conditions and the horror they experienced. I can't even begin to comprehend what they went through but this exhibition offered a small insight and understanding into the experiences of the ANZAC's. 

The huge models of the soldiers, created by Weta workshops, were incredibly detailed and life like to the point where you almost expected them to come to life at any moment.

Just a few images of the exhibition as I seriously suggest you check it out for yourself, the photos really don't do it justice - the detail and sheer scale is just incredible. The Te Papa Museum in itself is a great day out and it's also free of charge. So, if you ever happen to be in windy Wellington, check out the Te Papa Museum. The Gallipoli exhibition is being displayed for four years.

All in all it was a great trip to Wellington, seeing my baby sister graduate and Ella's first plane trip was amazing. It was a busy trip and we all came back pretty exhausted and it was good to be back in our own beds! As you can see, Ella couldn't wait that long and what better place for a snooze then Dad's arms.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

LIFE UPDATE + The best things about being a Mum

Life update - 

The last few weeks have been absolutely hectic for me which accounts for my lack of blogging and presence on social media. My Husband has had a bit of a promotion through work which means he will be flying back and forth to Sydney, Australia for a week at a time - which means I'm flying solo. In betweens trips to Sydney he's been working 12 hour days, so I have my hands full trying to look after Ella and trying keep the housework under control - which is a bit of a fail. He had a three day trip for training last week and leaves for his first full week on Monday. 

In amongst all that, you may have seen on Facebook or Twitter, we flew down to windy Wellington for my little Sister's University graduation - I'm so proud of her! 

Next week is my Grandmother's 80th birthday, my Aunty and Uncle fly over from Australia a couple of days before her party - I've also decided to try and make a birthday cake with fondant roses - crazy much?

Phew! and to top it all off? I've started working part-time once a fortnight for a chartered accountant - just to keep my mind ticking over!

So, in order to keep on top of my blogging and maintain my presence in the big bad blogging world i'm going to start blogging to a schedule with the aim of posting every Monday, Thursday and Sunday.

Starting with today's post, a little late in the day but better late then never - right?

I've written about the things I never knew about motherhood and generally the theme of those were more along the "not so flash parts of Motherhood" lines , so in order to not scare off any potential parents with my posts about the gruesome parts of parenting I though I would write about a few of the best things about being a Mum.

1. Shopping - an excuse to go on frequent shopping trips. Baby needs clothes and I'm more than happy to oblige! There are so many cute things to buy!

2. Outfit planning - before baby I used to plan my outfits way in advance, I even used to daydream about them - oh the spare time I had! These days I love nothing better than to plan the outfits Ella will be wearing on a day-to-day basis.

  3. Baby smiles - no matter what sort of day you've had, or night, no matter how "challenging" your little angel may have been as soon a they flash you a mega-watt smile it's enough to melt your heart and make you forget whatever problems you may have been having.

4. Milestones - Each day is different and each day something new is learnt or achieved. Watching them begin to see the world and learn new things as they begin to become little individuals is so rewarding - from making new sounds to rolling onto their tummies - each milestone is exciting.

5. Being needed - one of my favourite things about being a Mother is knowing that this little person is completely dependant on me ,for everything, it feeds the maternal instinct in me and I love to be nurturing and care for her. It's also what can make Motherhood seem daunting - being responsible for one tiny little life.

6. Giggles - there is nothing that beats the sound of baby giggles! Especially those very first ones.

7. Cuddles - not that Ella is a very cuddly baby but when she does cuddle into me - even for just a minute - it's enough to reduce me to a melting mess.

8. Automatic entrance into the Motherhood club - having a baby is like getting a special "invitation" to join the Motherhood club. Socialising with other Mums and their bubs is a great part of being a Mum, when other people get sick of talking about babies and bowel movements you are guaranteed to find another Mum who is more than happy to. 

Monday, 4 May 2015

Fun things to do in Auckland - A trip to the Auckland War Memorial Museum

It's been years since I took a trip to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, I think the last time I went was as a fresh faced pre-teen at primary school. So, when looking for something to do on the stunning autumn day that was last Monday, Hubby and I decided to take a trip to the Museum!

Entry is free for Auckland and New Zealand residents so it makes for a great, informative day out if you're on a budget. Quite alot has changed at the Museum over the last few years with a number of refurbishments carried out to increase the Museum's floor space by 60% and offering new spaces such as an event centre, visitor services and a theatre.

Here is a selection of my favourite exhibitions from our trip around the museum, but I seriously suggest you pay the museum a visit - it's a great, educational day out if you are on a budget!

He Taonga Maori - Maori Court

Containing over 1000 Maori artefacts from around Aoteoroa dating back to the arrival and settlement of Maori in New Zealand.

The Ocean's gallery

Life sized replica of the sea shore and inter-tidal zone around New Zealand's coastline and models of various sharks and underwater creatures.


Of course with Tom being a pilot and all round plane fanatic we had to check out these wartime planes.

War Memorial -

Seeing as the ANZAC was remembering 100 years since the battles at Gallipoli and with ANZAC day fast approaching it was only fitting to visit the memorial at the Museum. A piece of New Zealand history that is very near and dear to my heart the war memorial is one of my favourite exhibitions at the museum.

 A great day out, it was nice to do something a bit different for a change. I highly recommend paying the Auckland War Memorial Museum a visit - if you happen to be in Auckland of course!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Ella's 5 month update.

I am: 5 Months old, on the 30th of April 2015.

I weigh: 8kgs, up from 3.660kgs at birth!

I am:

- Eating solids, once a day (moving up to twice a day next week) and I love to eat! So far I have had pumpkin, sweet potato, pear and apple - I especially love pear and apple.

- Rolling onto my tummy, I did it for the first time on the day I turned five months.

- Laughing, when Daddy tickles me.

- Smiling - a lot!

- Squealing, cooing and talking to myself and my toys.

- Dribbling - a lot! I still don't have any teeth though.

- Sleeping great at night from 7.30pm - 6.30pm but not so good during the day.

- Sleeping in my own room in my cot.

- Waking up really happy in the morning.

- Growing out of my capsule and moving into a proper carseat.

- Outgrowing my 3 - 6 months clothing and starting to wear 6 - 9 months clothing.

I love:

- Everybody!

- When Mummy waggles her fingers in front of my face.

- Being tickled by my Dad.

- My food, especially pear.

- My toys.

- My jolly jumper.

- The T.V.

- Chewing my hands.

- Blowing raspberries.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Charlene's Birth Story

After some internet issues this week I was forced to take a few days break from blogging. So, today I am back with this weeks birth story from Charlene, a fellow kiwi Mummy blogger, at Teacher by trade - Mother by nature.

This is her story...

1. What was your due date? 

24th February 2014

2. Were you early or overdue? Any predictions on your due date and whether they were accurate or not?

I was 9 days overdue - induced labour. I did have a false labour the weekend before - that was a horrible experience!

3. Where did you plan on birthing? I.e Hospital, Birthing Centre, Home etc

Hospital - based on recommendation from midwife due to the size of my baby.

4. Did you have a birth plan? If so, tell us a bit about it.

I wanted this birth to be different to my first ( it was a long labour & birth and I had all the drugs). As recommended by midwife (due to the size of my baby) I wanted to labour in the birthing pool & deliver on the bed. Skin-to-skin contact for as long as possible & the cord to be cut after it stops pulsating. To take the whenua (placenta) home for burial.

5. Did your birth go according to your birth plan? Give us a brief overview of your labour and birth.

After a false labour the weekend before, two stretch & sweeps, and my daughter's birthday on the 8th March), I chose to be induced at 9 days overdue...Here's what happened on the 5th March 2014.

We arrived at the hospital at 7:30am - I was hooked up to the monitor to check baby's stats and my midwife performed an internal exam. I was 4-5cm dilated, and with my consent, she broke my waters. There wasn't much fluid, when my waters broke, just a bit of a trickle (you do hear stories of gushes). I wanted to be active, so I walked up and down the hospital entrance hill a couple of times, then hit the stairs (bit of a workout that's for sure).

At 10:30am I returned to the room and was given Syntocinon (through IV drip), once the contractions began, the rate of the drip was increased. I got comfortable sitting on the swiss ball, because I didn't want to be on the bed (well not just yet). I was moved to the Delivery Suite and started to feel the contractions more and more. I had a goofy smile on my face - feeling really positive about everything, just taking it all in my stride and enjoying the experience.

12 pm - Contractions started getting closer & closer. I was getting a lot of pain in my back (due to baby being back on back). Thankfully my partner and parents were there to rub my back through each contraction.

2pm: Not so smiley now, the syntocinon was cranked up quite a bit and the contractions were coming hard and fast - a few actually made me cry - YES they were THAT painful (note: contractions are painful :)). I should note I have had NO pain relief whatsoever - with every contraction I just closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing (self-hypnosis), swaying my hips and rocking on the swiss ball helped a lot too.

3pm ish: It was time! I was ready to push! I hopped on the bed and held on to the hand rails because these contractions were not very nice. I should mention I had my partner, my Mum & Dad, Midwife and a student midwife in the room with me.

3:55pm: After 45 minutes of pushing - Our son, was finally here! There was not a dry eye in the room, everyone was so happy - hugs, kisses and high fives all around. I looked at my son and instantly fell in love. I looked at my partner and fell in love with him (again) too!

I had skin-to-skin with my son for just over an hour, my partner cut the cord once it had stopped pulsating and the placenta came out not long after. Master M took to the breast like a pro too. After an hour of skin-to-skin, it was time for the weigh in. Midwife knew he would be a whopper (in the 10lb range), I was thinking (and hoping) 9lb something, and everyone else had similar guesses! Boy, were we wrong!

Weight: 10lb 14oz!
YES 10 POUNDS 14 OUNCES (just shy of 11 pounds). He was the midwife's 2nd biggest baby she delivered in her career (by only 20gm). I was in shock, saying "Are you kidding me?" "Really", "OMG" "Are you sure?"...I gave birth to a 10lb 14oz baby boy with NO PAIN RELIEF! I was super proud of myself. I knew our boy was going to be big, but not THAT BIG! He was our 'Gigantor' baby (nickname since I was 6 months pregnant).

When it was time for me to get up and have a shower, I stood up very slowly and had to sit straight back down and lie down because I got really light-header. My body wasn't quite ready to move. The midwife told me that it is totally normal, "you have just given birth to an almost 11 pounder and your lungs are in shock!" (that makes sense). So I waited another half hour before trying it again. This time I managed to get up and walk to the shower. I couldn't walk upright and it felt like I had smoked two packets of cigarettes! It felt really weird not carrying all that extra weight! I had my shower, and felt like a new woman - clean, feeling refreshed and wearing my new pajama pants, bought especially for this occasion (it is really the simple things). We were moved to the Maternity Ward shortly after. My partner and I just sat and admired our son! Still in shock about his birth weight. We were in awe - Master M is the "Definition of Perfection".

6. How do you feel after the birth and did it go according to plan?

I am so proud of myself for giving birth to a 10lb 14oz baby boy naturally and with no pain relief! I was told I'm a 'legend' and I actually felt like one. It was a truly positive experience for me and completely different to my first. I gave birth to a very healthy baby boy, so yes it went according to plan.

7. What are the top 5 items you packed in your hospital bag that you couldn't have done without or wish you had packed?

1. Camera

2. Comfy PJs/pants

3. Shampoo & conditioner (I felt like a new woman after my shower)

4. Triangle pillow

5. Granny undies (they are a 'must-have')

8. What's one piece of advice you could offer to any Mum preparing for child birth?

Be positive! Listen to your body and enjoy the experience! At the end of it all, you are going to be Mum and that trumps all the pain! Congratulations & All the Best.

9. Is there anything you would do differently next time?

No, I wouldn't change a thing. It was a very positive experience for me. I had the best midwife and an amazing support team!

Thanks so much for sharing you birth story with us Charlene! It was a great read - you did amazingly birthing naturally with such a big baby!

If you would like to share your birth story on the blog you can contact me