I am a Wellington, New Zealand based woman fresh in the world of motherhood currently 4 weeks postpartum. This blog is to share my journey through it all. Yup the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
I am a 26 year old wife who has been lucky enough to take a year off my full time job to stumble through bringing up my tiny human.
Here is a photo of the realities of motherhood, Greasy hair, no makeup, bushy eyebrows (haven’t had a chance to get them shaped recently) and knackered but all worth it for cuddles. Just be thankful I can’t insert smell but for a little bit of understanding here’s a quick explanation: off milk (thanks to reflux, meaning I am wearing most the milk I just fed my baby) crossed with morning coffee breath (from me, not from Bubs) and a bit of healthy BO to top it all off.
I took photos of my bump most weeks starting 16 weeks pregnant when I was first ‘showing’ a baby bump (yes laugh with me haha you can hardly tell) vs me at 36+1 weeks the day Mila was born.
Like many other Mums the first trimester of pregnancy was HELLA HARD. Who decided it was fair that whilst trying to keep my pregnancy quiet that giving me TERRIBLE nausea resulting in becoming a close acquaintance with the toilet bowl was a good idea?
I said good bye to my usually pretty healthy diet and heavily relied on hot chips and flavoured milk to get me through. My usual favourites like coffee, chicken and toast were now my enemies.
By 20 weeks pregnant, most of the nausea had passed (thank goodness) but then came the sciatica... My sweet wee poppet sat very heavily on my sciatic nerve. This meant I often had a shuffle waddle hunch type style of walking...very attractive.
I was pretty head strong that we were expecting a boy. I always imagined myself bringing up boys, however, we were pleasantly surprised to find out we were expecting a girl at our 19 week scan.
All in all the first and second trimesters were pretty stock-standard. The third trimester is when sh*t got real.
At my 27 week check up, my (incredible) midwife referred me to get a growth scan as my tummy was measuring small for the gestation I was. We didn’t read that much into it. I am 5ft and come from a family that don’t measure much past 5ft6. (My husband is over 6ft and his Dad's side is also tall, however his Mum's side are pretty small too) so we chalked it down to genetics and didn’t think much of it.
We had our scan (where we found out our wee cherub was also Breech) and booked in for our follow-up to check her growth 2 weeks later (so we could compare and ensure she was growing). Unfortunately it was at this scan that we found out she hadn’t grown in the 2 weeks. . .
I was referred to the Maternity Assessment Unit (MAU) at my local hospital straight away and put under an obstetrician for monitoring. At this stage it was fortnightly growth scans to ensure she was trending up in growth even if it was small.
At 30 weeks pregnant, I contacted my midwife concerned that I hadn’t felt much movement that day. I met her at the hospital to have a CTG where they monitored baby’s heart rate. This came back pretty good, however, they kept me in overnight for observation. They were concerned due to bub being small, a change in movement is not usually a good sign. All checks came back with a tick (yay) however, I had a steroid shot as a precaution and was discharged with the agreement to come back 24hours later for my next steroid injection. (Quick note the steroids are to help develop baby’s lungs and tummy in case she had to be delivered early).
When I went in the next day for the lovely stab in my bum cheek (the steroid injection). I mentioned I still wasn’t happy with her movements so back onto the CTG we went. Unexpectedly this showed I was having contractions so a swab test was done which showed positive for protein.. This meant I was in pre-term labour. I was rushed to Wellington hospital as they have an amazing NICU unit for babies born before 32weeks. I have never been so terrified.
A twist and a drop in the storyline i have just built up. My pre-term labour symptoms stopped by themselves and 4 days later, I was back to my ‘normal’ routine of working. My personal life was not so normal. With everything that had happened, I now had weekly scans (one week was for Dopplers -bloods to baby through the cord and to her brain - the next week was a growth and Doppler scan) weekly CTGs, weekly specialist appointments as well as my fortnightly midwife appointments. This went on for a few of weeks where we were able to see she was growing (small but good) and all other checks were satisfactory. The cheeky wee rascal stubbornly stayed breech the entire time.
At 35+6 weeks we had our final scan – although we didn’t know it at the time. The last 2 scans showed that the bloods to baby's brain were on the low side of normal. The obstetrician decided then and there that she would be born via c-section 2 days later. Gone was my dream to have a completely natural birth due to the risks involved. At this stage I just wanted to have a happy and healthy daughter regardless of how she was delivered.
On 14th June 2018 at 1.31pm our precious daughter Mila Kate was born a tiny 5lbs but extremely healthy.
This was a huge relief given the scare we had been through in the last trimester. She stayed in the SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit) at my local hospital for 8 days before we were discharged to begin our life as a family.
I wanted to share our story as an idea that not all pregnancies go as planned. However, I count my lucky stars that we have a very healthy baby and were so blessed with such incredible support in the last trimester. Words cannot explain how thankful I am for all the hospital staff, my midwife, my husband and our family who kept the humour up to get us through a challenging time.
I know, I know this has ended up a LONG blog (and the crazy part is that this is the short version). From here, I bid thee farewell, time to go and pretend I know what I am doing with this Mini-me I have given birth to.
Follow Kerryn's motherhood journey on Instagram: @__kerryn__ (two underscores before and after)
This is the first blog from Mumma-of-one Kerryn Hammington, mother to 4-week old Mila from Wellington, New Zealand as a part of the baby luno Mum Diaries. Kerryn will be blogging regularly as she embarks on her motherhood journey and we can't wait to follow.