About Me

My photo
Currently growing one head, two hands, and two feet inside me, I am a Mummy In Progress. I am a registered nurse and run my own (very un-busy) business providing health education and consultancy at a community and corporate level. This blog aims to chronicle the trials and triumphs of my journey as a MIP, and help me connect with other MIP's and mothers out there!

Our Monster is coming...

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Pregnancy Prescience...

The other day I introduced you to the fur kids, my two little cats that I hand raised from teeny weeny, close eyed, squeaking little rats.

Back in September, before I knew I was pregnant, the Ginger Ninja, Harry Cat, started behaving a little oddly.
Harry Cat
He became uncharacteristically affectionate, when he wanted to be, and took to sitting on my tummy and kneeding and massaging it with his paws! This behaviour started suddenly and was highly unusual given his somewhat grumpy and bossy nature, but we just chalked it up to being another one of Harry's eccentricities.

In hindsight we realised that the behaviour started around the time that I would've conceived!

Only Harry will ever really know if he knew what was going on before we did, but it's kind of cool to think that he did!!

Another story of pregnancy prescience came courtesy of The Man's Master 5, the youngest boy in the gaggle. Last time the gaggle came to visit us was about two weeks after we'd found out that I was pregnant and we had made a firm decision that no one was going to be told until we were sure that the pregnancy was going to stick.

One day while in the car with his dad, cheeky Master 5 piped up out of the blue with "I think Yaeli's got a baby in her tummy!" When his dad asked why he thought so, Master 5 qualified his supposition with the arguement that "There's a baby in there because she's got a fat tummy!"
The Man countered with , "But maybe she's just been eating too much sushi mate." Which was met with a knowledgable and defiant "No, she definitely has a baby in there and it's going to be a girl", from Master 5.

We would've put it down as coincidence except Master 5 has a history of predicting babies and genders. He's now two for two after predicting his little sister a couple of years ago, and his little girl cousin earlier this year.

Given that we're waiting for the sprog to drop to find out the gender, it'll be another 6 months before we can confirm his prediction. But we were still expecting an "I told you so" when we broke the news to the gaggle on Christmas Day!!!

Do you believe in pregnancy predictions and foreknowledge?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

It's official...

So Christmas Day was the big day for making the big announcement about our monster.

We finally managed to get a hold of The Man's four existing monsters, who live overseas, to let them know, and then it ws open slather to break the news to the rest of the family, with mixed responses.

My mum seemed really excited. My dad sounded a bit confused and I think for a moment thought we were buying him a dog or something before the penny dropped and he realised what I was saying. The Man's parents were stoked. And my 95 year old grandmother told me not to get too fat.
Other significant people in our lives were also thrilled, which was great.

The general consensus seemed to be "Well done". I still can't quite work out what they mean by that... Are they congratulating us on knowing how to have sex? Or on getting it "right"? It kinda sounds like they think we put an wful lot of hard work and study into having a baby, as if we had passed an exam or something. I find it rather hilarious.

Unfortunately, yesterday, my mum rang and took the whole shine off the 'we're having a baby" thing by letting rip with both barrels about how selfish we were for waiting until 16 weeks to tell her, and how The Man was taking me away from the family to give birth in Melbourne (despite the fact that she lives in New Zealand and the only family I have left in Sydney is my father, and his wife, The SheDevil, who are rather useless in terms of support).

It's all a bit much for me to process at the moment and has left me feeling rather resentful that with any big annoucement in my life she seems to counteract with some kind of drama about how I'm letting her down.

But hey, it'll all come out in the wash. And hopefully she'll rein everything in in order to be involved with her first grandchild!

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas, and are looking forward to an exciting New Years celebration this coming weekend!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight...

Christmas cracker joke of the year:

Q: What did the martian say to the petrol pump?

A: Take your finger out of your ear when I'm talking to you!

Hope you all had a fabulous day!

What was your favourite Christmas cracker joke ths year?

Friday, 23 December 2011

Cloth Convert

Over at The Adams Family, SarahAnnah88 has been extolling the virtues of soakers over cloth nappies, and wonderful wool.

All of this nappy talk got me thinking... What was I going to do?

I suppose cloth nappying had always felt kind of natural to me, although in my experiences with other people's children I had experienced both. But to my mind cloth nappying was all about terry cloth squares, and washing and delivery services, and trying to keep the damn things white. All things that I thought were going to be difficult, nay, impossible, here in Vanuatu!

I kind of resigned myself to the fact that disposables would be easier for us when bubs comes along, especially given we won't be living in our own home, or even country for the first 2 - 4 weeks (all things going well). I'd also resigned myself to the fact that we'd have to ship in boxes of Huggies from Australia in an attempt to reduce costs by avoiding the sometimes obscene prices that we see placed upon imported goods here in a country where almost everything is imported!

But after reading SarahAnnah88's posts about wool and its use as a soaker, and a lovely comment from her about what brands of cloth nappies she uses, I decided to get Googling and quickly I discovered two great Australian companies who design and manufacture the most amazing cloth nappies that I never could've imagined!!

Both Baby BeeHinds and Greenkids have the most incredibly designed and patterned cloth nappies, but I think the Greenkids ones are my favourites!

The Greenkids design is made up of a waterproof outer layer, a wicking inner layer, and a pocket into which you insert an absorbant sheet made of bamboo cotton, hemp, or microfibre to absorb the wees and wet poos, ALL of which is machine washable!!!

Who couldn't resist popping their bubbies butt into something that looked this cool??!!

Greenkids Anytime Flames

Or this cute??!!

Greenkids Funtimes Flutterby

Or this AWESOME??!!
Greenkids Minkytimes Moo

I think I've just well and truly disposed of the idea of disposables!!!!

Does anyone else use, or want to use cloth nappies? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A tale of two kitties...

AKA: An introduction to the fur children...

On the 13th of January 2011, Cyclone Vania had just passed through Vanuatu waters and battered Port Vila, the capital city, where I live, with gale force winds as it passed south of us and headed off towards New Caledonia. The weather was miserable and the waves were pounding the sea shore like this...

This same day, while sharing cyclone stories with other locals at the favoured cafe, I bumped into a friend of mine who was working at the local vets. After chatting for a little while, she presented me with an unusual challenge. To handraise four 2 day old kittens that had been dropped off at the vets the day before.

I have never been a cat lover. I always hated the way they rubbed round your ankles when they wanted food, and I'd grown up with large dogs, like dobermans, alsatians and rottweilers. I was a dog person through and through. But upon hearing of these little pusskat's plight, and realising that I had nothing better to do with my time, I decided to give it a crack. Little did I realise that the decision would change me completely.

That day I went to the vets office, learned how to make hot water bottles, mix formula and bottle feed the babies, and within an hour I left with a box of four itty bitty kitties that looked just like this...

I took them home, much to The Man's horror and amusement, and set about feeding and toileting the squiggling, close eyed little buggers every two to three hours (even in the middle of the night)! They all shared a teeny little bottle that had a little rubber teat on the end with a pinhole in it which they'd suck on. In the early days 20 mls of formula was all that was required for each feed for ALL of them!

After a few days, one of the babies stopped sucking and her legs went a bit funny. After 24 hours of intensive care (and a few tears from the "I don't like cats" lady), the decision was made to put this poor little creature to sleep and send her off to kitty heaven... :o(

And then there were three...

Three gorgeous kitties who soon opened their eyes and started wandering around the house, and who began their journey with me, from crayons to perfume, so to speak.

By the end of the month the little critters were getting around looking like this...

And by the end of the second month they were ready to find homes. The white one was placed with a friend of mine who desperately wanted a white cat to replace her other cat that had been hit by a car. However, we ran into a snag homing the other two... Particularly after The Man picked up the Ginger Ninja, looked him in the eye, and told him "you're staying with me aren't you mate". Can't blame him though. Who wouldn't want a kitten that does this???!!!

So after divesting ourselves of the white cat, and The Man "bagsing" the Ginger Ninja for himself, we were left with trying to find a home for the slightly "slow" sister, who had always been a little bit behind the others and isn't quite the full quid.

In the end, we couldn't find a suitable taker for her, so she ended up happily staying with us and her brother...

The pusskats are much, much bigger now, and have each developed unique personalities of their own. I'm not entirely convinced that they know they're cats. They come to a whistle, sneak dog food out of the dog food bin, and do their best to be included in the human being meal times as if it's their birthright. But the most remrkable thing is that they've converted me. From being a dog person through and through, to loving (some, ok 2) cats.

After all the time nd effort that we've put into these little critters, I often say that I love them "as if they came out of my tummy". And while they may face some competition on that front in June next year, they will still hold the place of being my first "children".

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Follow up...

Yesterday I blogged about people lerning the gender of their babies and about my aversion to "gender appropriateness" or stereotyping.

From everyone's comments yesterday, it seems like most of us are on the same page when it comes to caring more about our children as human beings rather than caring about their gender, and most of us aren't keen to enforce gender stereotypes in our children's lives.

Thanks to everyone who posted their comments and opinions! It's awesome to hear how other people feel on the subject!

This morning, I logged on to my Facebook account only to see that a friend of mine had posted this link to a blog piece about how one teacher tried to combat gender bullying and stereotyping in her class in the US.

It is a fascinating read and ties in well with what I blogged about yesterday, and everyone's subsequent comments. I strongly urge anyone interested to read it.

It's nice to know that there are teachers out there who are committed to ensuring inclusivness for the students in their classes!

Let me know what you think about it!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Pink or Blue?

A popular topic at the moment on the expectant mummy forums that I read, Bellybelly and What To Expect, is finding out your baby's gender. It seems that the majority of Mummies In Progress out there are keen to find out ASAP whether they will be having a little boy or a little girl in 2012!

Today's post is inspired by Dennelle over at I guess this means we're pregnant, who tomorrow will be finding out the gender of her beloved little Bean! Her post today is, in part, about her excitement to be finding out her baby's gender tomorrow, her deep desire to be having a boy, how people judge her for having a preference for her baby's gender, and how people who say they have no preference are talking BS.

Her post really got me thinking about it all and prompted me to leave a comment long enough to be a post on its own. (Sorry Dennelle!)

According to the forums, The Man and I seem to be in the minority by choosing to wait until this sprog drops before finding out if it has boy bits or girl bits. We like the idea of a surprise.

For this pregnancy I have absolutely no preference on gender, and that's not BS. Although The Man seems to have a preference for another little princess to join his gaggle of children, I want a boy and I equally want a girl and, by the laws of reproduction, the odds are entirely in my favour to be having one or the other. Therefore, for this pregnancy anyway, the gender of my offspring is kind of a non-issue.

I think if I already had one child then I would probably have a gender preference towards the opposite of what I already had. But at the moment I'm just thrilled to be having something, rather than nothing!

I believe that the person that my child is and ends up being is much more important than what's between their legs. I'm not into the "gender appriopriateness" of colours or toys. If my boy wants to wear pink and play with dolls, I'm ok with that. Or if my girl wants to play football and tinker with cars with her dad, that's cool too!

By keeping our baby's gender a surprise, we are hoping too to limit the barrage of gender appropriate clothes, blankets, toys, etc. that I'm sure people will feel the need to purchase for us. Not being ungrateful, just noting that when a baby's gender is announced it tends to influence what kinds of presents people buy. I would rather have a closet full of green and yellow than blue and pink.

I want my child to be worldly and have a broad perspective of the world.
I want my child to be a good and kind human being, regardless of their gender.
I want my child to be more than just Pink or Blue.

What do you think? Do you, or did you, have a gender preference? Did you not get what you were hoping for? What's your story?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Home birth vs Hospital birth...

Last week I cam across this interesting and thought provoking opinion piece by Tara Moss in the Sydney Morning Herald. This piece was about the demonisation of home birth and the medicalisation of normal pregnancy and labour (which I have blogged about before).

The points that Tara raises in her piece have merit, and have stimulated a lot of thought for me regarding homebirth.

Given my geographical location, my journey to deliver my baby will be more complicated than some. Due to limited medical facilities and therefore a lack of what I personally view to be safe birthing options here in Vanuatu, I have chosen to have our baby in Australia (my home country). This means that I will be flying to Australia prior to 36 weeks, when the airlines will no longer accept a pregnant passenger, and then hanging out for a month or so until our little monster decides to drop. After which, we'll head bck to Vanuatu once Monster and I are fit to fly and Monster's passport is sorted out.

Due to these circumstances, and the fact that I don't really have  home to call my own in Australia, I have never considered home birth as an option for me. I have instead chosen to book into a family birthing clinic where I will be able to have as intervention-free a birth as I choose under the care of experienced midwives. The added benefit of this is that the clinic I have chosen is part of one of the foremost maternal and neonatal care facilities in Australia and therefore, should complications arise (touch wood they don't), there is every opportunity for my care to be escalated as necessary all without leaving the building!

The more I think about it though, if I lived in an urban area, close to emergency services and care, and I was comfortable in my own home, I think I would really quite like to have a midwife attended home birth! It think it would be incredibly comforting to be going through the birth process in my own "nest". However, as a nurse with maternal and infant care experience, I also have a healthy respect for needing to be close to emergency assistance "just in case".

Even since I was a nursing student, I have been strongly against the unnecessary medicalisation of normal pregnancy and labour. I believe in making an informed decision, and in there being a safe option for as many ways of thinking as possible. Information is they key to each individual chosing which option is right for them.

While I hope very much for an intervention free birth, I am not naive enough to think "that's it, there's my birth plan and I'm sticking to it!". I know that challenges and complications my arise, however I have faith in my chosen facility to give me as much information as possible to allow The Man and myself the ability to make the best decisions for us and our baby.

I know some of the ladies whose blogs I read are preparing for home births. What do you guys think of this piece? I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Liebster Blog Award

This award was given to me by Christie over at Ie Love, and it is superduper awesome because
  1. I totally never get awards, AND
  2. This blog has only been up and running for a couple of weeks and already someone thinks it's cool enough to deserve an award! WOOT!
Christie and I found each other through our June 2012 mummies forum on Bellybelly, which I blogged about the other day. Please head over to her blog and say g'day and check things out. She has a link to some really cool "cookie in a jar thingies" which have to be seen to be believed!

Anywho, this award, the Liebster Blog Award, is for bloggers with less than 200 followers, and in accepting it you are asked to do the following:

  1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
  2. Reveal 5 blogs you have chosen for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
  4. Request that people you have sent the awards to forward it on to their favourite bloggers.

My blog is still pretty new, but I do have 5 blogs that I would like to pass on this award to:
  1.  Not Going Gently - A blog with all sorts of sweet eclectic stuff including travel pictures, think pieces, chatter, and general awesomeness!
  2. I guess this means we're pregnant - An expectant mummy journey.
  3. Those darn Eckersons - The story of two newlyweds who have just announced their new addition is on the way. Oh and She posts some pretty awesome looking recipes!
  4. The Adams Family - A new mummy blog from a friend of the author of  "I guess this means we're pregnant".
  5. Love is all we need - Another expectant mummy blog by a cool chick with a 3 footed cat!
Please stop off and visit these blogs and say g'day! Nothing keeps the posts flowing like knowing someone's reading and appreciating them!

Fudge Fail

So, this weekend was supposed to be dedicated to lounging around in my newly Quartzoned pool (We chose the Sky Bay colour).
Who could resist an all day dip in a deliciously inviting cool oasis, to provide some relief from the relentless tropical heat? Especially when it looks like this?

It was absolutely glorious soaking my hot, gestating body in the cool water for hours on end! Pure bliss!

Unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be), I have experienced a bit of a resurgence in energy levels and motivation during the day! Yay for that, considering just the other night I fell asleep at 7:30pm on the tile floor of the livingroom, slept through dinner, and woke only long enough to drag my sorry butt off to bed!

Yesterday I got a bee in my bonnet about wanting to make fudge and gingerbread. The gingerbread didn't happen but the fudge came together ok. I used this recipe, which was a chocolate and condensed milk recipe, and I threw in some red and green lollies for a Christmassy feel. After overnighting it in the fridge last night I couldn't help but have a taste test this morning. End result, not bad. Tastes alright, but doesn't look like the picture on the website and I probably need to use more chocolate in the future as it's not particularly hard and seems to melt easily. And the lollies I used kinda sucked. :o(

On top of the fudge making and pool swimming, I also managed to get our Christmas tree up and decorated... Just in time for the cats to attack and kill it!

For the moment, all the baubles and my pretty angel are still intact, and only a little bit of tinsel has gone astray, but I'm not sure how long that will last. This year, we may just have to make do with a horizontal tree rather than a vertical one!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

I've come to clean zee pool...

FINALLY my pool is finished and filling with water!!! I have been waiting MONTHS for this moment!!!

I can't wait to submerge my fat, gestating arse in the cool, crisp water and escape this crazy heat!!!

This week we are averaging 30 degrees celsius with a crazy stupid humidity level. I am sure that this is unusually warm for December, even in tropical Vanuatu! It's only going to get worse. :o(

Bring on the beached whaleage!!! Woohoo!!!!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


I live in Vanuatu which, for those of you not in the know, is a Y shaped archipelago of islands in the south pacific, east of northern Australia.

In many places Vanuatu is best known for having been the location for one American series and two Australia series of Survivor.

I've been here nearly 6 years and, only half jokingly, tell most people who ask that "I came for the volunteering, but stayed for the men" (but that's a story for another day).

The population here is about 200,000 people spread over 83 islands. The expatriate population is signficantly smaller than that, maybe several thousand, mainly located in in Port Vila nd Luganville, the two main urban areas.

As a result of being an expectant mummy in what realistically is not much more than a small country town, there aren't all that many people to connect with. I have few friends of my own age, and few women seem to be busy gestating around here at the moment. This has led to me feeling rather isolated and I've found the last few weeks pretty challenging, trying to find some way to make connections with people who understnd what I'm going through. That is the main reason why I started this blog. I desperately wanted to "meet" other Mummies In Progress, and build something that resembles a support network.

I have also joined two websites for mummies: What to Expect (an American site) and Bellybelly (an Australian site). Over the past few days I have been as happy as a pig in poop, trawling through message boards, finding answers to all the questions I didn't know I even wanted to ask, and lamenting having to buy new bras due to the rapid and painful growth of boobs!

It's so nice to feel part of something and to realise that other people are feeling the same things that I do. Especially in light of the emotional ups and downs of the last couple of weeks, it's nice to be able to touch base with reality and see that I'm not entirely losing my mind!

I'm really looking forward to "meeting" more people through these groups. It's nice to feel a little bit of belonging.

Does anyone else out there use these, or other, sites? How do you feel about them? I'd love to hear about other people's experiences using sites like these! Tell me what you really think!

Monday, 12 December 2011

I cannae do it captain. I dinnae have the power!

I've been super committed to going to the gym since April.

Since April I have leapt out of bed to attend 4 - 7 classes a week, combining aerobics, circuit training, weights, dynamic pilates, and a little bit of martial arts into my routine.
Even finding out I was pregnant 9 weeks ago didn't throw much of a spanner in the works!

I was determined to maintain as much fitness as possible throughout this pregnancy, and continued with 4 or 5 gym sessions a week, albeit I becme a bit more flexible with my normal routine.

That was until about 2 weeks ago. Slowly over the last couple of weeks getting out of bed has become more and more of  a struggle, to the point where even the thought of going to the gym before midday fills me with fatigue.

I'm now down to 2 dynamic stretch sessions a week, even though I know I should be keeping up the cardio. I just can't do it! The only other time I have ever been this bone tired was when I had glandular fever years ago.

I really miss my endorphins, but I love my sleep more.
I'm hoping some of this fatigue eases off soon so that I can get back in there and get my fitness level back up!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Food, not so glorious food...

I am totally off my food.

The thought of red meat makes me feel revolting, and hot meals in this hot climate make me feel like i'm burning up and sick. The smallest amount of food seems to make me feel full and eating a whole meal most days is well and truely beyond my capabilities.

Clean and fresh flavours seem to work best on my menu. Soup has been pretty popular this week. And salad... Lots of salad.

I don't feel like I have morning sickness, but food is just not interesting me at the moment.

Last night I ate the largest meal I have eaten in weeks. Vietnamese Mien Soup...
The night before I ate a chocolate covered marshmallow Santa and a bowl of frozen raspberries covered with custard...
I may have a ways to go trying to strike balance in my diet!

Is anyone else feeling this way? I thought you were supposed to feel better in the second trimester!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Mountains and Molehills

Some days I feel like I’m totally losing my mind. I get tearful and stroppy and revolting, and I reach such a point of anxiety that I feel like I lose all perspective and can’t tell if my problems are mountains or molehills. I’ve had several entirely feral episodes over the past few months, that have left me feeling (amongst other things) isolated, angry, and generally dissatisfied with life.
On these days I find that the only solution is to completely drop my bundle, have a massive tantrum, and return to bed where, hopefully, I can fall asleep for a few hours. This technique works whether it’s 9am or 3pm. Regardless of the time of day, a tantrum and a nap seems to restore something that resembles equilibrium.
The other evening, someone that I considered a friend made a public dig at me at a social evening with other friends that angered and embarrassed me. The implication of the comments, in my view, was that I talked too much and as a result no one wanted to hang around with me and my presence at the gathering wasn’t desired.
In the end we left early as I rapidly progressed towards completely losing my shit. As we left, I swore that I never wanted to see that individual again and I had no desire to hang around with that group of people again either.
When we got home, The Man made the fatal mistake of suggesting that maybe all the baby hormones floating in my system were causing me to take the comments more personally than was intended. That was the final straw. I totally lost it and spent much of the next 24 hours in tears ruminating over what had been said and convincing myself that people didn’t like me, and then convincing myself that I was imagining problems, and then convincing myself that I was going insane… it became a vicious cycle.
In my desperation to find someone, or something to help me out of what was fast becoming a very deep and dark hole, I e-mailed a friend of mine in Sydney. She happens to be a psychologist. She is the wisest, most bright and shiny woman I know. She is the kind of friend who you may not see for months, or even years, yet when you catch up you still have the same connection and it’s as if no time has passed.
After reassuring me that I wasn’t as irrational as I had made myself feel, and disclosing that she had had similar feelings, not just during pregnancy but also through her motherhood journey, she then mentioned Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
My friend was introduced to MBCT through a seminar that she recently attended. As someone who has had her own emotional ups and downs over the years, and as a psychologist, she decided after the seminar to purchase some resources and undertake some MBCT for herself. She bought an audio book which came with some meditation cd’s and has taken to listening to her audio book in the car.
According to the MBCT website, MBCT is designed to assist people who suffer from repeating or chronic depression by combining the ideas of cognitive therapy with “meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness”. From what I can see it is part “getting in touch with your feelings” (so to speak), part behavior modification, and part anxiety and stress reduction.
In her e-mail, my friend went on to mention about the part of the audio book that she had listened to that she had listened to just that afternoon. What she had been listening to that afternoon was talking about the "doing" part of the brain - the bit that takes over and makes our mind race with problem solving ideas, and memories of the past to help to predict the future. While this may all seem rather clever, she said, it was actually a process that undermined us as, of course, no one is capable of predicting the future, and the process often caused us to dwell on negative memories of our own and others experiences.

I have to say that it sounds like the doing part of my brain has been in complete overdrive. Regardless of the reality of the problem, I do realise that trying oneself up in knots for hours on end, ruminating over how to change the past or control the future, is unfeasible and unreasonable, especially at a time when I should be focusing my energy on the little person growing inside me and how I can improve both theirs and my wellbeing.

As a result I have decided to give the MBCT a try for myself. As someone who has struggled with depression in the past, I am well aware of my risk for antenatal and postnatal depression, and I figure that giving this a shot certainly can’t hurt my, or my baby’s, wellbeing. I have downloaded a reputable e-audio book, and I will start listening to it this weekend. Hopefully it will help me find a bit more balance to my moods!

P.S. I have also enlisted the services of a local counsellor to help me check under the hood and make sure everything mental health wise gets back on track and running properly!

Has anyone else out there tried MBCT? Any tips or advice from others with similar experiences? I’d love to hear from you!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

More controversial than delivering a pizza!

At the end of November I noticed this article in the Sydney Morning Herald. The article is about the alarm within health circles, specifically in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, regarding the jump in induced births throughout the state, both in public and private patients.

According to statistics sourced by the writer from the Ministry of Health website, in NSW in 2009 34% of women aged between 20 - 34, having their first baby, had an induced labour! 34% of women who, based upon their ages, are generally a lower risk group when it comes to pregnancy and labour!

Many women and their partners may not realise, and according to the article they may not have been told explicitly by medical professionals, that induction of labour greatly increases the risk of a caesarean, vacuum, or forceps delivery. In light of this it is not surprising to note that while caesarean and forceps delivery rates have increased in the state, the rate of normal vaginal deliveries has reduced.

Even as a nursing student I had pretty strong beliefs against the medicalisation of normal pregnancy and delivery. During my student clinical placements and employment in some of Sydney's leading private maternity units, I became increasingly wary of the way interventions were advocated during what were otherwise normal, low risk labours and deliveries. To my eyes it wasn't so much the midwives who were encouraging intervention, but the obstetricians. Inductions were common place in the units in which I worked, as were elective caesareans.

Just to be clear, I am NOT against medical intervention in pregnancy and labour if it is medically necessary. However, I feel that the increasing trend of medical intervention during NORMAL, low risk, pregnancies and labours is concerning.

I feel concerned about it for several reasons, including:
  • that the medicalisation of pregnancy and labour discourages women to have faith in their bodies and what they have evolved to do naturally over the millennia. I want to be able to trust my body to do what it does naturally. I don't want to be told that my body is inadequate for the task simply because medicine has a "better" way of doing things. It is my firm belief that, when it comes to pregnancy and delivery, unless my body is medically incapable of performing its duties, medicine will only ever be able to compliment, rather than out do evolution.
  • that people may be agreeing to treatment without fully understanding the procedure and the benefits and risks involved. I am a huge believer in informed consent, and I don't believe that people can truly and honestly consent to a procedure or treatment without entirely understanding the ins and outs of things. I also believe that in a hospital setting it is up to the medical professionals to provide enough comprehensive and unbiased information for a person to give informed consent, regardless of the procedure.
  • that people may be opting for "convenience" to fit in to their own, or other people's schedules, and risking their own health, their child's health, and their chance to fully experience and enjoy the process of pregnancy and giving birth.
The day this article came out I posted it to my wall on Facebook. A 29 year old nursing friend of mine, who has recently had her own first baby, read the article and posted a very interesting comment about her own experiences with an induced labour. She was very regretful about her decision to agree to an induction, but felt that because her whole pregnancy had been medicalised (she had undergone IVF to conceive), she had to accept an induction. She said her experience with the Syntocin was "AWFUL!!", and wished she'd had more information before she agreed to an induction, especially after realising that the risk to the baby at the time was minimal. After an epidural and a forceps delivery she is now the proud mother of a beautiful baby girl. However, she is adamant that next time around she will make sure she is more informed before being forced to make crucial decisions about her labour and delivery.

The week following the release of this article, NSW Health released a set of guidelines for use in the states public hospital system regarding the induction of labour and the administration of Oxytocin during induction. These new guidelines clearly outline an Oxytocin dosage protocol to be adhered to by medical professionals, guidelines as to when induction is and isn't appropriate, as well as clearly stipulating that women being offered an induction must be explicitly informed that induction can increase the risk of caesarean, vacuum or forceps delivery.

It is an admirable step toward reducing the amount of intervention in normal pregnancies and reversing the alarming trend of normalising interventions in pregnancy and labour.

I am really interested to hear other people's opinions about this. What do you think?

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

In the beginning...

It's been nearly 9 weeks since I found out I'm pregnant. Nearly 9 weeks since I peed on that little stick.

9 weeks of not drinking "due to a tummy bug".
9 weeks of being too tired to do anything "due to a virus".
9 weeks of "June sounds like a great time to come over for a holiday, but maybe wait until after Christmas to make the booking".
9 weeks of baldly lying to people's faces.

I'm starting to wonder when the penny is going to drop for many of them.

The Man and I were thrilled when we found out. This was a planned pregnancy after all.
He thought I would've conceived faster, given what super sperm he thinks he has. I thought it'd take longer, given my body had only been clearing a decade worth of birth control pills out of my system for a couple of months.

It would not be unfair to say that The Man is probably even more excited about this pregnancy than I am. He's done this all before, four times in fact! I on the other hand am more reserved in my pleasure given my apprehension at being a first time mother.

Hence I have decided to take to the blogging skies and put my stories, ruminations, and rubbish out there in the universe in the hope that other women may find my blog amongst the multitude, and come forward with support, advice, sympathy, and stories of their own to help assuage my fears!

At 13 and a half weeks gone there is plenty of journey ahead of me both between now and June 2012, and beyond!

Now, and I suspect even after this sprog is dropped, I can't escape the fact that I am a Mummy In Progress.