Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I hope it happens soon...

The last couple of days have been unbearable. I've been so unnecessarily emotional - all over the place, more so than at any other point in my pregnancy, or ever for that matter. Its like the worst PMT multiplied by about 10.
I had my last supervision yesterday and very nearly emailed to cancel because I felt really on edge about leaving the house. Walking to the shop at the end of the road is fine, but I really didn't feel comfortable going al the way to uni. Luckily I wasn't there that long, and supervision went well so I'm glad I went. I slept all afternoon & then spent a couple of hours at the neighbours house, mostly laughing, but I had this underlying uncomfortable feeling. Its hard to put into words, but I didn't feel relaxed - like I could sense something was about to happen.
I spent most of the evening on the sofa feeling fed up and angry and a bit spaced out, like when you're coming down with something and you just don't feel right. Baby was moving SO MUCH which is great coz it obviously means its ok, but it hurts me now and I don't like it. The odd little twitch is fine, but when it feels like its using my insides as a hamster wheel it gets a bit tedious and I can't stand it. Baby pushes down on my cervix too which is very painful, makes me catch my breath a bit when it happens and scares me coz it sends shooting pains all round my bump which I don't like. I had a bath about 11ish and that made me feel a bit better - but then when I got into bed, I just cried, for about an hour and a half, for no reason whatsoever.

He was next door with his best mate having a 'last night of freedom' style drinking session and I was a bit annoyed at him coz I'd said I was feeling a bit weird and he didn't seem bothered. When he came to bed he didn't ask how I was and spent most of the night flailing his arms around, kicking out, moving around loads. He kept lying on my side of the bed pretty much pushing me out, he was snoring loads and talking in his sleep and every time I tried to roll him over, or wake him nothing worked. I tried pinching him to see of that helped, but nothing. So I had a very broken and disturbed nights sleep.

Then at about 5.30am I went to the loo and noticed evidence of 'the show' (where the mucous plug from the cervix comes away) which means that things could get going pretty soon, or it could still take 2 weeks to happen. I went back to bed feeling strange still - baby was moving so much it was impossible to tell if the tightenings in my tummy were contractions or just because of baby moving, but seeing as its now 12 hours later and nothing much has happened, I'm assuming we're not going into labour quite yet.

When he eventually woke up, I told him what had been happening and he said 'you can't be serious' before having a go at me and telling me he's too busy at work for it to happen now. Unfortunately, I can't control these things, and if it happens, it happens. I've let my student midwife know so she is now on standby just incase things get going. I'd really like them to - today was my original due date after all and it'd be great if baby could come soon as I'm so so so fed up of being grumpy and fed up and uncomfortable. I know I'm not going to get any sleep once baby is here, but the back pain will stop, the heartburn will stop, I'll be able to move around more easily and hopefully won't be feeling so on edge all the time. Its exhausting!

So everyone keep your fingers crossed that the curry I've just ordered, and the hot bath I'm having later start to get things really going and who knows, maybe His dad (who turns 50 today) will get a grandchild for his birthday.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Nesting Nesting

The past few days I have been EXHAUSTED. I've had really broken sleep, made worse by Him coming to bed late at night and snuffling his way through the night coz of a cold, and the fact that the bed is so squeaky any tiny movement makes a right noise. I have trouble sleeping anyway because I can't comfy, I have to lie on my side and after a while it starts to hurt whatever hip I'm lying on due to the extra weight of the baby so I have to wake up and carefully roll over, which usually takes about 5 minutes! Nightmare. I try and lie-in as much as I can in the mornings, but normally have to get up about 6.30-7ish to feed the cat as ignoring him results in frantic meowing and often my toes being bitten. Most days I nap for about 3-4 hours in the afternoon, as well as falling asleep on the sofa watching telly in the evenings.

However, today I am full of energy and most definitely nesting. Mum and Steve came round this morning to take the old washing machine to the tip - our neighbours are kindly giving us their old one tomorrow so it'l be great to have one that works again! Mum also took away an old chest of drawers and lots of crap thats been cluttering up the place which has meant that I can move lots of things round and do some major tidying. To be honest, I've wanted to do it for weeks, but I've not been able to as I've needed the big bits of clutter to be taken away, and for Him to give me approval on which bits of his I can move - he's very protective of his stuff. We've got cupboards full of boxes of his things thats he's hoarded for ages and I have no idea whats in them, I'm fairly certain he doesn't know whats in them either but he can't possibly clear them out to make space for baby things or at east go through them and reduce the volume - it's very frustrating for someone like me who likes to know what everything is and where it is and give everything a proper place - as long as clutter isn't visible to me or anyone else, I'm less bothered about it, but I do still wake up in the night wishing I could just throw it all away.

Anyway, I've moved the clothes rail out of the bedroom into the spare room so we've now got a space to put the babys crib. Once we decide baby can be in its own room, we'll bring the clothes rail back in the bedroom and make the spare room a study/nursery but for the time being, it makes sense to have baby stuff in our room, where it will be most of the time, and use the spare room as my study still, but as an overflow room for everything else. I have my dressing table in there and now all our clothes are in there too along with a nice rocking chair I can use for feeding and getting the baby to sleep and a toy box, which is already full of things given to us by friends whose kids have grown out of them.

I've sorted the chest of drawers in the bedroom so its got everything the baby will need - clothes, blankets, changing stuff, and theres lots of overflow nappies and wipes in the bedroom store cupboard. Downstairs is a changing box complete with mat so we can do nappies downstairs easily without having to get bits from the bedroom, and I've tidied all the shelves and cupboards so we can find things easily (I've even alphabetised the cd's, dvd and books). Swept, hoovered, mopped, bleached and scrubbed anything that can possibly be cleaned and I've got a whole pile of stuff for the craft business ready to go down to our office so it's not cluttering up my house coz to be honest, I'm unlikely to be doing any for a few months so I don't want it here. The only thing to do now is move the kitchen table back once the new washer is installed tomorrow and then get rid of the stupid old massive tv thats taking up half my kitchen. It technically belongs to our neighbour with whom we used to live but his house is too small for it and there nowhere else he can put it. I've given him another week to try and find a home for it and if not, it's getting left out for the scrap men to take because I don't want it here. The only place we can put it means that it blocks the passage way from the front room to the kitchen, and I know that when I'm in labour, I'll be walking around a lot between there and it'll drive me mad having the dam thing in the way. I can barely fit past it as it is. Even thinking about it makes me cross and I need to stay relaxed! I feel much better now that lots of things in the house are clean and tidy and things are ready for baby. The fact I've been nesting so much today means things could start happening quite soon - or not. It could still be a few weeks, but my original due date (based on periods etc) is this tuesday so it could be any day. I certainly hope it is!!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Reaching the last milestone

Today I am officially considered full term which means its 'safe' for us to have our home birth, and the baby is fully developed. It's crazy that we're at this stage now, where it's just a case of waiting for labour to start. It's the not knowing thats frustrating. It could be today, it could be next week, it could be another FIVE weeks!! I've spent that last few weeks panicking at every twinge and cramp, incase thats been the start of something, because its been so important to me to get to today so we can have the baby at home. Being in hospital was never something I wanted to do, it doesn't seem right to me, because as far as I'm concerned, hospital means theres something wrong, so getting to todays landmark has been just as important to me as having a healthy baby.

Bump is most definitely massive now...

It's getting tricky to get up off the sofa & to get out of bed. Rolling over in the night is particularly painful, especially since my hips and lower back click and crack everytime I do due to Pelvic Girdle Syndrome (you produce a hormone called 'relaxin' when you're pregnant to help loosen your hips for labour, but some women produce too much and it can cause a lot of discomfort in the pelvis). I saw the midwife on wednesday and she says that babys head is starting to engage, so the extra pressure of that isn't really making things any more comfortable - the waddling has started too because of babys position. Bump has changed shape as a result of baby dropping - its hard to tell in this picture, which was actually taken a couple of days ago and baby has dropped more since then. Before baby dropped, bump was quite high, right under my chest, and went out and then down so it looked more like a C shape, but now that baby has dropped, theres space between my chest and the top of bump, and it slopes a bit more so the whole thing is more of a teardrop shape. Its also much more forwards and right in the centre than it was. Baby is lying with its back on the left hand side of my bump, head at the bottom, bum in my ribs, so when it wriggles around, I can feel its arms and legs waving about on the right hand side of my belly. The other half was lying with his head on my bump the other day and he said it felt like baby was massaging his head because of the way it was moving around underneath him. Its really touching hearing him giggle as baby kicks him, I do exactly the same thing though. Baby knows when he's there - it'll suddenly wake up and start moving lots, and responds to his voice and touch much more than it does with anyone else (apart from me of course).

We've got pretty much everything we need for babys arrival now. I've spent ages washing all the clothes and neatly sorting them into the drawer....

My dad bought us a pushchair as our christmas present which he brought round a couple of weeks ago. The other half was even more excited about it than me and pretty much the minute dad had left, he was in the box getting the bits out to assemble it. I love it - Ollivander was very keen to try it out! We've been keeping the chassis folded up and the pram part upside down on top of a chest of drawers because otherwise Olli will sleep inside it all the time and we don't want it getting covered in cat hair - so instead he sleeps on top of it, which is quite funny. It's like he's a bit jealous of the baby already, either that or he's trying to get his scent all over the babys things so they can get used to each other. He still loves sitting on my bump and purring so baby kicks him - its nice that they're playing together already!

We also ordered our birthing pool a couple of weeks ago after the midwife had been round to check the house and talk everything through with me. We just have to make sure theres a route out of the house in case of an emergency, that theres a flat surface for them to put baby on in the very unlikely event they need to help it breathe, and we also need a little lamp so they can see properly incase I need stitches. We've started collecting up old towels and sheets to put all over the living room floor under the pool so we won't have any cleaning up to do - they'll all just go straight in the bin, and I've got some brand new really fluffy lovely towels to wrap baby in as soon as its born. We had to blow the pool up the other day so the midwife could come and check its size - its important its not too big so they can reach me/baby while I'm in there. It took about 2 mins to blow up which was great - the only problem is that the connector we've got to fit the filling hose to the tap doesn't fit and my mum has brought me two other universal ones which also don't fit. I'm going to get a square one and see if that works but if not, well be begging buckets, saucepans and kettles of all the neighbours!! We both got in the pool when we'd blown it up to see what its like - its actually really nice being in it. Quite intimate and cosy, and it's big enough for us both so He can get in with me during labour, or straight after baby is born if he wants to. I'm sure the cat will try and get in as well!

Yesterday I sent the latest draft of my upgrade document to my supervisors for them to look over and comment on. We've got supervision on the 21st where they'l give me some feedback to think about, but I don't plan on doing any work on it now until baby is a few months old and my brain starts working again. I don't have to hand it in until August so i've got plenty of time to make changes and edits as and when baby lets me. It's weird that I'm now officially on 'maternity leave' in that I have no more work to do, no more lectures to go to, no deadlines - although I'm not offically on leave according to the uni, because if I go on leave, my funding stops and we don't want that. I've deliberately worked my arse off to get myself 4 months ahead of where I need to be so I can take time out without it being a problem. I've proven to the admin people and the PhD coordinator who makes the final decisions that I don't need a suspension and because theres no maternity policy for students, I've actually been in a really good position to dictate what I want to happen, and they couldn't really say no. I can't quite believe I'm at this stage already though. It seems like only last week I was meeting with my supervisors to tell them I was pregnant and to discuss how to manage the PhD around my pregnancy and now I'm here, at the end of the working bit, waiting for the motherhood bit. Crazy.

Everyones started asking me if I'm nervous, or scared about the birth, and the fact that theres going to be a baby in my life, but in all honesty I'm really not. Him and I were talking about it the other day and I was saying that I'm just excited about what its going to be like, I don't see the point of being scared, and he completely agrees. We know whats going to happen, we're prepared for every eventuality, we know what to do when it happens, what we're going to do for the first few weeks after babys arrival and we're both staying quite calm about the whole thing, because thats a really important part of the birthing process. If i start talking about fear and pain and things like that now, I'm not going to be in the right frame of mind when it does happen. What I do know, is that I don't like waiting. Its the waiting and not knowing when its going to happen thats driving me mad. Every day now I get little twinges and feel uncomfortable and I think 'is this it' and when I realise it isn't, I actually get a bit grumpy and disappointed. He wants it to take a few more weeks, just so he's more comfortable leaving things at work for a few days to be at home with me and the bay, but he knows we don't really have a choice and it'll happen when it happens. He just needs to keep his phone charged and on him at all times so I'm not stressing out trying to get hold of him when I should be relaxing and enjoying labour!

I imagine, I'll blog quite a lot between now and the birth, mainly because I've got nothing else to do and I want to try and keep writing. I'm not sure how much time I'm going to spend away from the house - as much as I still want to be out and about doing things, I think I'd rather be at home when it all starts so I'm not concerning myself with getting back here and worrying about my waters breaking on the bus, or in the middle of a coffee shop. I'm just going to take each day as it comes, make spontaneous plans with people and relax as much as I possibly can - after all, I won't have the chance too once baby arrives.

Friday, 11 February 2011

The birth plan

When I was writing my birth plan, the biggest problem I had was knowing what kind of things to put. Of course theres obvious things like, I'd like a water birth, I don't want pain relief etc etc, but theres so many little subtle things that you might not think about until the actual day, or even afterwards, as hindsight is a wonderful thing. I was very fortunate in that we were given an excellent template to work from on our Mindful Mama course, and after talking to friends/family family and hearing all sorts of stories and 'I wish I'd known' I felt like I was in a good position to write something I felt comfortable with. Being a researcher, I had of course read loads of books and blogs, research articles and studies, forums, websites etc. You name it, I'd read it. When I sat down to write my birth plan I felt like I knew everything a person could possibly know about labour and birth without actually having gone through it.

In this blog, I'm going to share my birth plan with you, so those of you who are interested can see what one looks like, and the kind of things you might want to include. For some of the points, I'll explain why I made that decision, or why I decided to include that particular thing. The most important thing I can say though, is that this is the ideal. This is the perfect vision of birth I have in my mind and I completely accept that it might not go quite to plan so I've tried to reflect that in some of the statements that I make. The most common piece of advice I've had from every woman who's been through the birth process is to keep an open mind, and be aware of every eventuality - I think that's probably why I've read so much so I'm prepared for everything that could happen!! So, here goes...

We will be using self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques throughout labour.

I think I've probably covered why this is important to me in previous blogs. I will add that this decision was partly based on a wonderful book called 'Childbirth without fear' by Grantley Dick-Read and also on the 'facts' about birth I've learned as part of the Mindful Mama course and during my pregnancy.

We would like a natural birth and would appreciate a quiet, calm and dimly lit environment.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I didn't want pain relief. The idea of drugging myself up and being out of control never sat right with me, and the more I've learned and understood about birth, the more firmly I stand by this decision. This is why it was important for me to have a home birth, because I will be in an environment where I feel safe, comfortable and relaxed as opposed to one which is sterile, full of medical equipment and where I can hear other women going through the same thing. Having a natural birth enables me to remain in control of the process and to be able to experience every good and bad bit. Having a baby is such a life changing thing, and after 9 months of feeling every movement, every discomfort, every wriggle, every hiccup, why would I want to detach myself from feeling my baby being born?

In the event of a medical circumstance arising, you will have our full cooperation subject to having discussed things.

I felt it was really important to include this - at no point during my labour do I want decisions being taken out of our hands. We've spent a long time looking forward to this moment and although we hope nothing adverse happens, we acknowledge it is a possibility and would want to be involved in any conversations or decisions. This isn't because we don't trust that the midwives know what they're doing, its more to do with how we understand the process of birth and how our feeling may differ from those of the midwife. Rather than being told 'this is whats happening' its important for us to be treated as equals, after all, its our baby - and the evidence has proven that following an 'intervention' its likely more will follow. Interventions include things like, giving drugs to speed up labour, having a sweep or your waters broken, administering pain relief, using forceps, electronically monitoring the baby and of course, c-sections.

Throughout all stages of labour:

- I would like the lights to be kept low, the room quiet and plan to use a birthing pool.

Keeping the room dark and quiet will help me remain relaxed and focused on whats happening to my body. Ideally, only one other person will be in the room at any one time and thats purely to check I'm ok. Using water during birth has been proven to help with pain management, reduces the length of labour and the liklihood of tearing or needing an episiotomy (where they cut you to help the baby come out). Babies born in water have higher Apgar scores after birth and are often more placid, relaxed babies due to the fact they've had a relaxed entry into the world.

- Please address any questions or issues to my partner in the first instance with conversations taking place away from the birthing room where possible.

This is so I don't need to be distracted. I've given the midwife permission to check my pulse and blood pressure when she needs to, and to use a hand held sonic aid (with the sound off) to monitor the babys heartbeat when necessary. This means that if He wants to know how things are progressing, or the midwife has any concerns, I don't need to know and I can concentrate on birthing my baby.

- Anything not natural, we would prefer not to have (No electronic foetal monitoring, no internal examinations unless requested, no pethedine or synotocinon, no gas and air unless requested, no breaking waters and no time pressures)

These interventions are very common during labour. Quite often midwives will say 'oh its been 4 hours, not much is happening, maybe we should try and speed things up' which often has a negative impact on the womans frame of mind. I don't care how long it takes, I don't want anyone telling me it needs to be quicker - my baby will take as long as it takes to be born, thats the way it should be. Administering drugs to speed up the process often interfere with natural hormones that are produced during labour which could actually slow things down, or distress the baby. See my previous blog on internal examinations to see why I don't think this is necessary.

- I would prefer not to be offered pain relief at any time (even if I am transferred to hospital for any reason)

When a woman is in labour, her body produces oxytocin exponentially and this has an anaesthetic effect on the body. Administering pain relief stops this happening. Pethedin, the most common drug given, makes the baby drowsy, makes mum sick and prone to hallucinating and can slow labour down. The uterus is designed to contract in a way that will naturally push the baby out - administering pain relief numbs the muscles stopping them from working properly, inevitably making labour longer and it more likely for stronger drugs to be needed, or a c-section.

- As long as all is well, we are happy to wait and would prefer no inferences based on the passing of time.

- There is no need to ask permission to listen to the babys heartbeat

- In the event of an internal examination, I would prefer not to know the outcome.

In the second stage:

- please allow a passive hour to enable me to stay relaxed and listen to my bodys cues as to when to help the baby out.

During labour, it is really common for it to look like everything has stopped. This usually occurs in the 'transition phase' when the cervix is fully dilated and the 'pushing' begins. It's normal for it to appear that everything has stopped - this phase allows mum to rest and regain her strength and enables baby to move itself into the right position to be born. Too often, this is the stage when the forceps are brought out, or mum is encouraged to start pushing which inevitably won't work because her and baby aren't ready. It's very common for baby's heartbeat to dip slightly, as its resting too, but this is usually seen as a sign of distress and mum is rushed off to surgery. If after an hour or so has passed, and it looks like nothing is happening we would discuss the possiblity of transfer to hospital with the midwife.

- Please no suggestions that I should push

This is partly because I don't to be 'pushed' towards trying to get the baby out before its ready, and also because I trust that my body will breathe the baby out itself and I will intuitively know when this is happening.

- I would like to receive and sex the baby myself – My partner can cut the cord if he wishes. If not, I have no preference

This is really important for me. We've spent 9 months waiting for this baby, its been growing in my tummy and I've been forming an amazing bond with it, so I want to be the first person to touch it - and we want to be the first to learn if its a boy or a girl. Both my midwives have said how lovely it is that I've put this in the birth plan because so many women just expect that its the midwifes job to 'catch' and sex the baby that they wouldn't dream of doing it themselves.

- I would like the baby delivered straight onto my chest and a towel provided, but no drying or rubbing please.

Having the baby straight onto my chest is very important in helping us to bond, and hopefully baby will want to feed straight away (which helps the uterus continue to contract to deliver the placenta) The reason I don't want the baby rubbing is so the vernix covering its skin can be absorbed by the baby helping moisturise and nourish it.

- Please allow the cord to stop pulsating before cutting.

This is so all the oxygen in the placenta can be delivered to the baby, while its lungs are still getting going.

- Please leave an hour after birth before weighing/measuring the baby

This to help me and baby to bond, and hopefully to allow a feed to take place. Once the placenta has been delivered I would be happy for the midwifes to do their checks.

Third stage:

- I would like a physiological third stage please with lights kept low and skin to skin contact maintained throughout.

Quite often, an injection is given into the thigh almost immediately after birth to help the placenta detach and be delivered. As I am having a completely natural labour, it seems counter-intuitive to then have the last stage chemically enhanced. Keeping the baby close to me, and hopefully having it feed will keep my uterus contracting and should speed up the process. If after an hour, the placenta has not been delivered, I would be happy to have the injection, as the cervix would start to close by this point, and there is a risk that the placenta may not separate properly. In many water births, it the action of getting out of the pool that causes the placenta to be delivered.

In the event of transfer to hospital, we would prefer to keep things as natural as possible with one of us remaining with the baby at all times.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this and for helping us to have the birthing experience we are hoping for.

So there, you have it, our birth plan. It looks very different to one which is based on a hospital birth, or on the assumption that pain relief would be administered. Many pregnancy books and even iphone apps have templates assuming birth will be in hospital so had I decided to do that, I would have used one of those to guide me.

Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed that everything goes to plan - tomorrow I will be 37 weeks which means we will be allowed to have our water birth at home - I can't wait!!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Dealing with heartburn

As I'm sure you know by now, what has been a pretty uneventful and enjoyable pregnancy has been blighted for weeks by unrelenting heartburn and more recently, acid reflux and sickness. I can't remember exactly when it started, but it was definitely before we went to Barbados and that was when I was about 22 weeks, so I can say I've been suffering for roughly half of my pregnancy.

I thought I'd dedicate this blog to what its been like, all the solutions I've tried to help me manage it, and why I finally gave in and went to the doctors. To begin with, it wasn't too bad. I noticed it was happening after I'd eaten or drunk anything citrus based, so I stopped eating satsumas and cut out orange juice. Then I noticed fried foods were causing me some discomfort, so out went the fried eggs and KFC's in favour of scrambled eggs and grilled chicken. Interestingly, when we went to Barbados, all my symptoms stopped even though I was drinking orange juice and fried fish - so when we came back I recreated the holiday diet down to the last detail, but still my symptoms returned.

I read all my pregnancy books, checked various websites, spoke with my midwife and other people I know who had suffered with heartburn (pregnant or not) and began following the list below in an attempt to get things under control:

1. Food avoiding:
This is the first thing anyone suggests in order to deal with heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. Common foods leading to heartburn include:

- fried/greasy foods
- dairy products
- chocolate
- peppermint
- caffeine
- alcohol
- spicy foods
- citrus foods
- carbonated drinks
- black pepper

I cut out ALL of these. No chocolate, no diet coke, decaff coffee, I switched to soy products instead of dairy, no spice, no pepper, just bland boring bland bland bland. But I found it didn't matter what I ate, I was still suffering. Even dry bread caused immense discomfort.

2. Eat little and often
This is especially recommended during pregnancy due to the limited amount of space your stomach has. Linked to this is not eating and drinking at the same time in order to prevent the stomach stretching too much. I found that drinking a small glass of water first thing in the morning was making me sic, most probably because my stomach had shrunk so much overnight.

3. Leave 3-4 hours after eating before lying down.
This is another common solution suggested by doctors, particularly if you suffer from heartburn during the night as I was. The rationale behind it is that remaining upright prevents excess stomach acid leaking back into the oesophagus and allows gravity to help everything go the right way preventing discomfort. Surprise surprise, this didn't work for me and I would lie awake for hours, or wake several times in the night in absolute agony. I also tried propping the head of my bed up on a stack of books, about 6-8inches high, and elevating my upper body up on several pillows to try and keep gravity on my side, but this didn't seem to help either.

4. Antacids
Of course, I tried over the counter remedies, although my choice was limited a little due to the fact I'm pregnant and some antacids, particularly the stronger ones are unsuitable for pregnant women. I'm pretty sure that everything I could have tried, I tried. Gaviscon, Rennies, Tums, own brand versions, double strength versions, liquids, tablets, you name it, I tried it. NOTHING worked. If it did, it would give enough relief for me to fall asleep, but I couldn't get through the night without any pain, or it would stop the discomfort for long enough after lunch to let me do some work without wanting to be sick, or rip my insides out.

5. Lying on your left side
I have no idea what the rationale is behind this one, but I found that if I lay on my left hand side, my discomfort was reduced enough to allow me to drop off to sleep. Much of the time. I would wake during the night because I'd rolled over onto my right side which seemed to make things much worse.

6. Homeopathic remedies
Many people think this is a massive waste of time, but I was at my wits end, and wanted to exhaust every possible option before getting a prescription, as I was concerned about the safety of taking something for several weeks during my pregnancy. I consulted a homeopath who was recommended to me by the lady who ran our birthing course, and she spent over half an hour on the phone with me asking me all sorts of questions about my symptoms, my diet and lifestyle and my personality in general. She recommended taking something called 'Nux Vom' before every meal -a small sugary pill dissolved under the tongue and also sent me a flower essence (with Brandy as a carrier) and instructed me to have 7 drops morning and night.
I did this for 2 weeks and nothing happened. If anything, my vomiting got worse - I'm not sure many people can stomach drops of Brandy first thing in the morning - and having a sugary pill before my meals often made things taste a bit weird. It might work for some people, but it wasn't for me.

7. Proton Pump Inhibitors
This was the last resort - a prescription from the doctors. I was reluctant to go to the doctors until I felt that I'd tried everything and wanted to wait until as late in my pregnancy as possible because I was concerned about the effects of taking anything long term on the baby. At 36 weeks I went to my GP who had seen in my maternity notes that I'd been suffering for quite a while, that things had got worse and that all the advice and suggestions given to me by the midwife didn't seem to work. She was concerned that the vomiting was getting worse and was worried about the effect that may be having on me and the baby as we obviously weren't getting enough liquids or nutrition as it was all going down the toilet instead. She prescribed Rantidine. 1 pill twice a day, so I have one in the morning and one before bed. The first few days it was amazing. I slept horizontally for the first time in MONTHS, I ate dinner without being sick, I woke up and got through the day without vomiting once, I could have a drink with my food and it not result in agony or a trip to the bathroom. Those first few days I felt like a normal person again.

However, its been a week now, and I've noticed some of the old symptoms creeping back. Lying on my right side at night causes mild discomfort, as does drinking too much, having dairy products, or eating too much. Yesterday, I couldn't keep a thing down and I don't know why. My symptoms are no where near as bad as they were, I can sleep, I can get through the day without wanting to to cry or starve myself or pull out my insides, and theres not long to go at all until baby is here and hopefully everything goes back to normal. If it gets any worse within the next week then I'll go back to the doctor, but I know the only other thing she can give me is much stronger and possibly a little riskier. I'm sure I can stick it out for another 3 weeks or so!!