Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Preparing for the new arrival!

The latest addition to our little clan is now overdue and we are all eagerly awaiting the moment she decides to leave the mothership......

This pregnancy has been a little unusual in that I decided to avoid all contact with doctors and gynaecologists.  You might wonder why and I do to.  I think the explanation is that in France when I was pregnant with Henry I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of appointments and tests that I had to go through despite having a normal low risk pregnancy.  Every month I had to go for a blood test, have an ultrasound exam at the gynaecologist’s office and have an internal examination.  On top of those appointments came the regular scans at 12, 20 and 30 weeks.  My gynaecologist was extremely concerned with the fact that I was not naturally immune to toxoplasmosis (most French women are and most English women aren't) and so scheduled extra blood tests just to be sure.  French gynaecologists are also quite concerned weight gain and my monthly appointments would generally start with a check to ensure that I had not put on a gram more than I "should have". 

All in all I guess I rebelled against what I felt was a bit too much surveillance and decided instead to do it my way.  I had a scan at 12 weeks just to check how many babies there were but other than that I was wonderfully liberated from the medical establishment.  

Births in France more often than not involve an epidural and water births are in no way the norm.  I found somewhere to have a water birth in Paris but found that I should have registered the moment I found out I was pregnant in order to get a place.  This all therefore led to me deciding to return to England to give birth in a Midwifery Led Unit like I did with Henry.  MLU's, as they are known, are like home births in a semi medicalised setting.  You get a midwife and access to a water birth but no possibility of having pain relief other than gas and air (something else which doesn't exist in France).

In order to be allowed into the MLU I have had to prove that this pregnancy is low risk which has meant a number of tests and appointments in the last few weeks but thankfully all is well and we have been accepted!

Henry's labour was 3 hours in total so I'm wondering if this time will be as quick or perhaps even quicker?  Either way though, being back in England with my family around is lovely. 

What about Sweden I hear you wondering??  Well I would have also loved to have gone to Sweden to give birth but water births were banned after a baby drowned during birth several years ago :(

So now we are waiting and enjoying life together each day in the English Countryside and wondering when we will get to meet our new addition.......our now overdue addition.......


  1. I wish you have a happy delivery. I also had to go through many things in order to give birth to my second child, Martí, in the way I wanted. In my case, it was at home, with the possibility of being a water birth. But as you say, it is not easy to find respectful health professionals who free you from monitors, scans, constant blood tests, etc. I wrote about Martí's birth http://aitanaimama.blogspot.com.es/2013/03/el-naixement-de-marti.html and about him being in breech position http://aitanaimama.blogspot.com.es/2012/11/my-name-is-cristina-and-i-am-breech.html ... just in case you don't know what to do while waiting...;)

    1. I loved reading your birth story Cris, I only wish I was as in touch wih my body as you are.

      I wanted to ask you something actually - do you remember several years ago you told me about hazelwood necklaces for teething? I bought one at the time but wanted to make my own for this new baby. Have you done that? Can it be any hazel tree?
      I also heard that hazelwood is great for children with allergies.
      Thank you!!

  2. SHE?? Do you know already? Wishing you all the best!
    You probably would have liked Germany, at least Saxony, they are great here! About toxoplasmosis though, I was the one bugging my doctor to get tested! I knew I wasnt immune and the disease can be really dangerous for the baby, so when there are risks it is better to check (I believe). My sister actually got it during her pregnancy (what are the odds), it was discovered soon enough and the baby was safe, but for two years (if memory serves) she had to have her daughter's eyes checked (blindness is one of the possible consequences) ... but apart from that I do agree that pregnancy is over "medicalised" in France and I certainly would not have liked to have my children there!
    Aaaaaanyway! Hope the last waiting moments are not too taxing and that everything will go smoothly.
    Thinking of you and looking forward to reading your next news!! xx

  3. Rachael, thanks for your kind comments. Regarding Martí being in breech position, I guess it was just a question of being honest to myself and admitting that I was afraid. And regarding his birth, it was an experience I will never forget. I felt connected, I felt really powerful. It was just Martí and me. I'm sure you will have a beautiful experience too and I hope you share it with us.

    I remember I told you about the necklace for teething, as an alternative to ambar.
    It's not hazelnut, it's elderberry. You must take a new branch, a shoot (sprout?) which has just developed. It's perfect, because spring is almost here! Then, cut nine pieces (1cm long, more or less) out of it. In order to make the necklace, you must use pure cotton thread and a gold clasp. I remember you had some concerns about elderberry being toxic if eaten. I can only tell you that I made my necklace with basting thread, which breaks easily if stretched. I also made it long enough to be comfortable for Martí, but short enough for Martí not being able to put it in his mouth. Martí has breaken his necklace several times and I always try to keep it between his onesie and in contact with his chest, so the pieces are kept there.
    Let me know if you have any doubts.
    I send you a big hug


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