Everything I learnt from my Pregnancies

NAUSEA

Or as they call it Morning Sickness and if you didn’t know it is not just in the morning, UGH. I had really bad nausea during my 1st and 2nd pregnancies which were both girls. I could barely hold down food during my first trimester with them. It was one of the worst experiences I’ve had… In my 2nd pregnancy with my daughter Wynter-Reign, I went vegan. I was already nauseous around meat and dairy wasn’t so great in my stomach either, also I watched “What The Health” and it made me want to try going vegan. So I did, this lasted me the last 3 months of my pregnancy. Spewing whilst pregnant was physically draining but bare in mind morning sickness can not harm you or your baby If you start vomiting blood or if you just cannot handle your nausea or keep spewing excessively, call your doctor/midwife.

What helped me?

Going plant-based did help me as I was nauseous around meat and dairy. butt it was a little bit hard. I had to plan my meals and do a lot of research into what was inside of the food I was buying. Not eating any spices helped me.

Also being cautious about lying down after meals, waiting for at least a good 40 minutes before lying down, otherwise for me, it would come back up. When I skipped meals, it made things worse. So it helped to eat small but frequently and always staying hydrated. I also ate whatever I felt like eating as I couldn’t stand eating certain food I usually love eating, I ate whatever my stomach felt like eating. Even if that was a lemon, lol. It’s important to listen to your body during pregnancy.

List of food I ate:

  • Watermelon
  • Lemon or anything with lemon
  • Anything that had ginger (Gingernut bikkies)
  • Crackers
  • Complan (Meal replacement drink)

MIDWIFE

I am going to explain my experiences here, with no names or anything. I truly respect midwives as they do such an amazing job but sometimes it is not always easy to find a good one and not many people talk about it.

The All-round Midwife

Having a midwife is essential, but having one that you are comfortable with is even better. I put this in because I have had my fair share of midwives. In my first pregnancy, I got the best midwife I could ever ask of. I was 16 turning 17 and clueless about what to do in my pregnancy. I knew that there was a school that catered to Teen mums, but I was too scared to go in by myself and my midwife asked me if I knew about it and I told her I did but haven’t been in yet. This woman drove me there straight after our appointment. She did everything she could to help me and I am so thankful for her. During my 1st pregnancy, I was clueless and always asked so many questions, texted asking questions she always replied or explained to me in our appointments – most of the time I’d write the questions in my notes on my phone and ask her at our appointments. This midwife was so calm and always made me feel so comfortable. I always recommend her to my West Auckland mamas cos she’s so good!

The Opinionated Midwife 

Unfortunately, not all midwives are the same, in my 2nd pregnancy I was living in South Auckland so I couldn’t have the same midwife. So I went to find myself one. 

Now, this midwife was completely different, she had her heart in the right place but said things the wrong way. She had told me I was overweight and needed to stop eating “Taro and corned beef” which I hadn’t even eaten in that pregnancy because I was nauseous during my pregnancy. So after that appointment, I felt so offended and told her I was getting another midwife. I moved back out west (coincidentally) and when I did I rang my old midwife and asked her if she could fit me in to be my midwife again. 

The Community Midwife: 

In my 3rd pregnancy, I was living in South Auckland so I had to look for another midwife. The community doctor appointed one for me, what I didn’t understand at the time was that she was a community midwife and they are different compared to Lead Maternity Carers. They work on-call. So getting a hold of her was a nightmare. I was bleeding and having cramps and couldn’t get a hold of her or the person that was her backup. I admitted myself into the hospital, when I got there they asked where was my midwife and kept calling her and nothing! It was shocking after that I didn’t hear from her in 3 weeks, no follow up or check-up to see how I was. So I didn’t feel the need to tell her I was finding another midwife. I just found another one and asked her to let the other midwife know that I decided to change. 

The Youngest Midwife: 

Now, this was the midwife I had for my 3rd pregnancy after the community midwife, she had just finished studying. She was a younger version of my all-round midwife. She was easy to connect with and always kept in contact with me. Pretty simple really, she was great! I can have long conversations with her about life and she also handled my Postpartum Hemorrhage really well. She was so calm and she made sure I was okay and I’m glad I had her as my midwife.

BACK PAIN

Now this one is a killer if you’re like me and have babies that sit in your back. Your back is going to need some TLC during and after your pregnancy. It was so uncomfortable beig pregnant with all 3 kids that put themselves in my back, ugh… But let’s get into it.

Things that helped me

  • Osteopath – they were great, nice massages and helping relieve my pressure points and clicking parts of my body that needed a good crack. Osteopaths I prefer rather than chiropractors as they’re more gentle with the body and helped me a lot with my pressure points.
  • Pools – I wish I wasn’t working as much to go to the pools more often because I was 90 kgs heavy in a 56 cm body and when I’d walk into the water at the pools. Oh My Goodness! It is so relieving. You feel like you’re not pregnant at all. My body thanked me for this.
  • Heat Packs – I’d use this to fall asleep, sometimes it was hard for me to get to sleep cos lying down and feeling comfortable was non-existent. So I would heat one of these bad boys up before I would go to bed and prop myself up with the land of pillows and pop it on my back and fall asleep.
  • Massages – If you have a support person, family member or even kids. Try and get one. Unfortunately, my partner couldn’t massage if his life depended on it. So my 5-year-old daughter would massage my back in exchange for ice-cream or some change.

IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA

Most women have this problem, especially during pregnancy. Iron deficiency anemia is a condition where your body lacks sufficient amounts of red blood cells, which are needed to carry oxygen through the body. There are many symptoms but for me this made me feel extra tired most mornings I had to get up and get my kids ready and it left me no time for myself because I would literally sleep in getting extra z’s. I always felt tired, my skin was pale and I would get the worst headaches during my pregnancy.

You will know if you’re low in iron when you get your blood test done during your pregnancy. For me, my body did not take well to the iron tablets so I got an iron infusion or as they call it ferinject. It is so important to keep an eye on your iron levels as this may affect your birth. So if you’re reading this and you are pregnant please take care of your body and make sure you keep an eye on your iron levels.

HORMONES

Moodswings, Breakouts & Anxiety:

Not a great experience I had during my pregnancies, I couldn’t stop my feelings and thoughts. So if you’re feeling how I felt during pregnancy getting angry at things and then later asking yourself “why you pop off like that for?” I experienced a lot of CRAZY pregnant baby mama pop offs and by this I mean, I had no patience. I was easily frustrated, this was with my partner and my workmates. I work with males so you can imagine how many things got me annoyed. My anxiety was so bad that I’d stay at work late just to get things done because I had mad anxiety about it not being done and would not stop thinking about it if I went home without finishing something off.

Being stressed (well stressing myself out) also had my skin breaking out. I had more breakouts with my 3rd child. I do not know if it was because by then I had 5 kids and a stressful life & household or if it was because I was carrying a boy? I tried my normal skincare routine and it did not work for me at all. So I went to buy a package deal from Oxygen Skincare and noticed a result in a week it was definitely a worth-it buy!

SEX DURING PREGNANCY

Now, wait a minute, yes! I’m talking about s-e-x. As you get pregnant sometimes your hormones can take you into another direction, making your sex drive insane. Trust me, I’ve heard the “I’m scared I will hit baby’s head” laugh it off and explain to your man if he says this that, it is highly unlikely that, that would ever happen. Then there’s the awkward stage where you have a watermelon stomach and you and your partner are trying but you just can’t turn up the heat. Or you’re trying to bring on labor. Lube will be your best friend for this! And much more enjoyable instead of an awkward encounter. I have had my fair share of laughs because I honestly just felt too damn huge and a stomach in the way of you trying to feel any type of sexy lmao.

Dear Anonymous

You may not know me and I may not know you. Well, at least who you are now. I was young and naive, I was also in love with you at one point or at least with the way you made me feel sometimes. But this is not about us. It is about a little girl named Melody-Rose. She is more beautiful than any flower I have ever laid your eyes on (well let’s just say to me she is) There is something special about this girl and it may not matter to you but it matters to me.

Before you came along, I had no purpose. I lost all hope in a proper future and deep down for some reason I was so happy when I found out I was pregnant because I had something to look forward to, I was only 16 and yes I was scared but I had nothing. No ambition for anything, I dropped out of high school and it was all because I wanted to grow up and be a part of the real world. But ever since I fell pregnant I got my shit together and took my ashamed ass back to school, for the flower that was blooming inside of me.

When she was halfway through the process of blooming inside of me. You had to leave me and her for the first time because of your poor decisions earlier in your life. I was heartbroken because I was scared of being alone during my pregnancy. I had to experience the other half of my pregnancy alone. I did a lot. I became a qualified barista and had a few other qualifications thanks to the school I was attending and the headteachers there that helped me.

Around the end of my pregnancy, I was scared that I would not be able to connect with my baby or that I would struggle. So I had a place provided by my case manager as support to help me. My mum did not accept my pregnancy at the time, she was scared that this baby would kill me and I was a baby having a baby, I understood that my mother was upset about me having a baby at such a young age so I just hoped that she would come around when I had my baby.

Sounds of my little flowers heartbeat, the kicks through my stomach, the uncomfortable nights tossing and turning to get comfortable, walking turning into waddles, wearing maternity clothes, baby belly rubs, antenatal classes, and baby scans. I had to experience this all on my own and try to support myself. Let me just quickly note that I have had people help me along the way but it was you that I wanted next to me, supporting me. But I kept moving forward doing what I needed to do to get ahead with my future.

When I gave birth to my flower, I was in complete awe. Honestly, nothing and I mean NOTHING mattered but her. She was so beautiful and I was so in love with this beautiful creation I had only just met. Crazy right? It was the most insane and liberating feeling meeting my beautiful flower, although her face was scrunched up. I was in love with this child.

1 week old

You came back into her life when she was discharged. I thought it was a miracle because we were not expecting you to come home until a month later. But, it was hard because I kept expecting you to love her the same way I did and be in complete awe of her but I just guessed that you were inside, we fought about how to look after and parent her because I had my own way before you came back. A few weeks later, I realized the most annoying thing that comes with parenting with someone who is only 50% there. Parties and drinking. I did not want to party, but you did? Always wanting to go out? And I could not comprehend why. I tried to party with you once. Biggest regret ever, the party was shit and so were you for letting me leave by myself for our flower. I was so young but so in love with my baby flower, she was only a month old and was enjoying her, even more than house parties in west Auckland. But hey, I let that slide right?

Your relationship with our flower was okay when you felt like it. Everyone saw you as doing your best with her, but behind closed doors, you were almost the worst with her and this was only in my eyes. I felt like I was a single mom even though I had you around to be a father to her. I’d wake up and get her ready for school, take her into daycare. Go to school get my shit done and do extracurricular. Come home and was so exhausted but still look after her and the house we had. Most nights I was completely knackered and just wanted a proper rest. All I did was for us to have a better future. I did see you try a bunch of times, but you’d slip up every time and I am a very forgiving person so I kept the faith and held it down. Paid the rent, paid the power, paid for the internet, paid for your phone bills. I made sure there was food in our cupboard.

This is where I insert the song B + H’S – Jhene Aiko

     “You live in her home, eating all of her food, she be paying your bills, buying all of your clothes and she pay for your phone… “

Even after all that, I still had you lying to me. In my last year of school, I was in polyfest and trying to finish level 2 & 3 and being mum taking her with me. YES, I took my little flower with me to my practices for Stage challenge and Polyfest. It was so shit having a none existent partner. No show for my fiafia night cos you were busy at pokies spending the money that is supposed to feed our family. No show for my performances as you had better things to do than to support me. After all, I supported you when you needed but that was not enough. One thing I regret was buying him a watch for over 1K. Never again…

Eventually, I gave up. I lost my temper. I’d get pyscho, I LOST MYSELF. Everything in my life revolved around you, I couldn’t hang with anyone but you, even though you told me what you were doing, this made me get controlling and had given me so many insecurities. I knew you were lying but just couldn’t be fucked anymore. So I settled for god knows what reason? Maybe because I was so comfortable or just was so scared because of the words you’d say to me whilst intoxicated, mentally abusing me. The mind games we both played on one another. From one fight to another until finally I had to fight myself to let go of you and you did not give up to try and hold on to me. But it was best for both of us to split because We both had different agendas and to be honest it was quite a bipolar relationship, when things were good they were REALLY good. But when things were bad it was really bad. A toxic relationship that was not beneficial for our child.

We never did week to week. He always said he would but never stuck to his word. I was never ever scared of going to court for her. Just never found it necessary. (This was a text from 3 years ago) it’s disgusting reading how I used to talk to him. But no filter that was how angry I felt at the time.

When I let go the hardest thing of it all was realizing how important it was for you to be a part of her life. I tried to make sure she kept seeing you. But it was you who kept pulling away from her. Then came the one million excuses and promises to be a more present father. As you slowly stopped seeing her as often. Why is it that as a mother I had to ask or beg for him to see his child? I’d come over with her needing you to watch her so I could go to an event and you would just tell me in the pettiest way you’re busy even though I look after our girl 24/7 NO BREAKS. This officially made me that ‘Crazy Babymama’ I became that bitch, I got so over your promises to her.

He did see her after this, but honestly at this point I stopped caring after the disrespect he’d give me if I’d ask him to look after melody last minute and I only asked once.

I moved on with my life and accepted the part of you being a part-time dad. Cos it was out of my control what you did in your personal time. But then came the emotions of my baby flower becoming more inquisitive and wondering why dad is not around. Knowing your name and I wondered if she would remember your face. What also began was petty messages between the two of us. I was so angry that you didn’t pick up your side of parenting, I worked my ass off for my flower. So many people helping out to babysit or look after her, a lot of people put their hands up to help except you. This is where I needed the 2nd parent to help out. It was so damn hard being a single parent, but you know what? I did it! With amazing support, I did it.

Now let me tell you about the number of times I had to deal with her emotions, she was confused about where you were. Asked me about you. What was I supposed to tell her? For the sake of my daughter, I sugarcoated why you weren’t around. I always told you that she will always be yours and wouldn’t ever let her call anyone else dad. But one day I met someone, I met someone who fell in love with me and picked up the pieces of fatherhood where you left off. At first, he told her to call her by his name when she would accidentally call him dad as he didn’t want to interfere in that relationship of her biological father. Soon that faded, he didn’t mind it and she freely called him dad. He was there for her, he helped me support her. She had a father figure someone who taught her what it’s like to have a father.

Early days of my partner & Melody

As he came along, you stopped showing up for her, every time you were supposed to come and get her, she would wait for hours. After seeing the effect of Melody being upset when you wouldn’t show up I stopped telling her you were coming around. I couldn’t deal with telling her that you weren’t coming to see her. Slowly she stopped asking for you. Then I stopped trying to get a hold of you. Soon you got yourself into trouble with the law and ended up going away. Now I was mad, how could you be so irresponsible? How could you not think about changing your life for our child?

That was 2 years ago. It’s been 2 years without you in her life, she has a family and has so much love from her blended brothers and sisters and from my partner’s family. I couldn’t be more thankful! I have a blended family that genuinely cares about Melody-Rose. Now people may get mad and want me to keep the contact between you and her. But here’s my brutal truth, I wake up every morning to look after and support her, so does my partner. When she is sick I am there, when there is a cost… You guessed it! I am there. When she needs me. I’m there, I could make dumb decisions but I know I have her to think about. You could have been here with her and see her glow and grow, but you had a choice and you chose your fate and I can’t feel any sympathy for the choices you made.

So I am going to end it here. I am choosing to not have her in contact with you until she is old enough to speak for herself and ask me. Other than that, she is the happiest also the most dramatic girl who loves performing arts, princesses and unicorns. She used to have a speech impairment but now shes a confident talker. She has a big loving family that will always be there for her. I hope one day you can read this with a clear mind that one day you can change and become a part of her life. But that’s just something we will have to wait a long time for.

From,

Your crazy babymama

Angel Soul

BEFORE YOU START READING: This will contain content involving miscarriage and un-diagnosed depression. If this triggers you please stop reading! Another story I’m putting out to the public and please respect it as it is not an easy subject for me to talk about. But it’s my raw thoughts and darkest moments I’ve ever had in my life. This is me coming to terms with my loss and accepting it and moving forward. 
If you are struggling with a loss, please reach out to someone, or even myself. No one should ever feel alone in a time of loss. If you need support there are also a bunch of support services listed below: 
FOR NZ SERVICES 
  • Skylight – 0800 299 100 for support through trauma, loss, and grief; 9 am–5 pm weekdays.
  •  Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
FOR AUS SERVICES 
  • Beyondblue – aims to increase awareness of depression and anxiety and reduce stigma. Call 1300 22 4636, 24 hours / 7 days a week.
  • MindSpot is a free telephone and online service for people with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood or depression. It provides online assessment and treatment for anxiety and depression. Call 1800 61 44 34 AEST, 8am-8pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-6pm (Sat).

You’re supposed to cry I thought to myself. But I couldn’t bring any tears out of my eyes, why? At this point, I thought it’s all my fault! Maybe I wished it too much, or maybe I couldn’t carry another child again. Hearing my sonographer tell me “There’s no cause from you, sometimes these things happen” didn’t help my guilt. Because I did wish to lose baby when I first found out I was pregnant. 

I was in a position where I was just getting on my own feet and living a care-free year. I wasn’t in a relationship with the father. In fact, I never saw us ever being together. At the time I was not interested in being in a relationship as the last relationship I was in was so controlling and emotionally draining for me. It took me so long to gain confidence back and that haunted me from getting into another relationship. 

When I found out, I went home laid in bed and wondered what I should be feeling… I only felt tears roll down my cheeks and felt a stinging pain in my eyes when I texted the father of our lost child of how I was feeling. It was more emotional for me to talk about my guilt. Maybe if I was less selfish I wouldn’t have miscarried. But I received a text back from him saying “maybe this baby had a purpose to bring us together” and then something hit my chest, it felt like my chest was getting tighter as I was trying to breathe and cry. 

I tried having a shower later that day to try and think, I’m a Pisces so I like to be near water as it helps me think and reflect. But at the time I was staying in Mount Wellington and there were no beaches nearby to sit and think, as I used to. So there I was standing in the shower trying to figure out what was going on. As the days went on, my partner and I found ourselves fighting all the time, arguing over the grief of the baby we had lost. Fighting all the time I got sick of it. I was over the fighting we had just started dating officially and lost our baby, most couples go through the honeymoon stage but we weren’t in that stage at all. We were constantly fighting over the dumbest things. 

A few weeks went past and my bleeding from my miscarriage had stopped and I felt like things were okay but still rocky in my relationship. I remember we had a big event that weekend. But came home and my partner wanted to break up with me, he was sick of the fighting too, I begged him. YES, my dumb ass grabbed his t-shirt and asked him not to leave and told him that things could get better. He broke me inside by saying what he did that night. He was also very drunk. In the end, I told him that I will always care about him and let him go, as I know that you can’t make a man love you. So I laid down in my bed and cried while he packed his things and you know what, he walks back into the room asking me if he can sleep on my bed! I’m fuming because he just finished breaking up with me and telling me he was leaving and now he wanted to kick me off my bed?! Yup, you read it right, he was too drunk to even realize what he was doing or saying to me. 

I told him “Nah, this is my bed if you want to sleep on it I’m sorry but you’ll have to top and tail with me or sleep in the other room, I am not moving” and then he lies down top and tail with me *insert rolling eyes* but I was still hurt that he did what he did. Drunk or not there are no excuses to do something like that, or play mind games. He woke me up the next morning like nothing happened the night before, calling me babe telling me to get up because we had an event to set up together. I shrugged him off and told him to go and find another girlfriend and then he asked me if I could help. This event was an important event to him, so I got up got ready and did not speak to him the whole morning, we just sorted out this event. 

Later during the day as we were waiting for our ride, it was just me and him standing there awkwardly. He apologized for his behavior and we talked about everything that has been happening between us. I was reassured but still concerned with our relationship. A month went on and I felt like we were just existing. Nothing great, nothing bad just felt like there was an expiry date on this relationship. Until my partner and I decided to go away with friends for new years and honestly it was the best thing we have done. 

Getting away from Auckland and all the drama, having a break and re-kindling our spark and reminding ourselves that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it was just a process for us to grieve the way we did. We fell in love when we left our troubles and spent proper time alone together, it was almost soul cleansing for the both of us in another place road trip around mother nature and laughing with a couple of great friends. We came back with our hearts full and ready to tackle the new year together. 

We soon found out a month later that we were expecting another baby and we were so happy! Unexpected, but we both were so happy, everything happens for a reason and our baby we lost was a part of our journey together. As hard as it was I learned so much from losing this baby, I learned that everyone grieves differently. Sometimes it will take time, grief can make you feel or do a lot of things you wouldn’t usually do. Even though I had lost a baby, we gained a rainbow baby our little Miss Wynter-Reign. 

04.11.16 – Our biggest blessing and lesson

Never forgotten little one.