My Birth Story

My birth story began a week before it was ‘meant’ too. After a discussion with my OB/GYN and my husband we decided that due to hypertension that had begun in the last few weeks of my pregnancy it was best to get this guy out a week early. 

That decision was made at our 38 week appointment. Fast forward to May 17th, we spent the day preparing the house and spending time with our dog, Archie before we left him with our friend Kyra and would return to him with a new family member. Honestly, that day went so fast. We were due at the hospital just before 5pm, I had so many plans for the day wanting to just get everything I possibly could done before we had this baby. In the end we spent most of the day getting ourselves organized and walking Archie.

At 4:15pm we headed to the hospital, after arriving and filling in the necessary paperwork we were taken to ‘Birth Suite 1’ where we made ourselves comfortable before I would be induced later that evening. It’s actually really hard to get ‘comfortable’ in a hospital room. It kind of feels like somewhere you aren’t going to be for a long time so it took us a few hours to actually settle in. 

We ended up getting something to eat – provided by the hospital – before getting changed into some comfortable clothes before my obstetrician came in to begin the induction procedure. For my induction we went with the balloon method. For a little TMI the balloon method involves a water balloon being inserted and then filled with usually around 50mls of water in 2 different balloons to open the cervix. It was definitely not comfortable. After a while I forgot that it was there which was night and we tried to settle in to sleep for the night after being told that my obstetrician would be back at around 8am to remove the balloon, break my waters and get this show on the road. 

Monday night was definitely not the most comfortable night of my pregnancy. I still had to get up and pee constantly and the balloon was causing me a bit of pain. I was given some medication to help with the pain and to help me fall asleep to make sure that I was rested for labour the following day which is something I definitely appreciated. It was a long night for both George and I, there was also a little anxiety mixed in there thinking about what the next day would bring. 

Eventually we both got some sleep and woke up to a lovely hospital provided breakfast. At around 8am my obstetrician returned to remove the balloon and begin the hormone drip that would signal to my body that it was time to kick start labour and get this thing going. 


Throughout the day midwives would come in and increase the amount of the hormone in the IV which slowly helps your body dilate at a more natural pace. It started off really chill. I was playing Animal Crossing: New Horizon on the Nintendo switch and ended up having a great conversation with one of the midwives who has kids and was curious about the game. The progress was pretty slow, which was not ideal but I was trying to just stay as relaxed as possible to let me body do its thing. 

Around lunch time I started to feel the contractions more so George and I decided to try and distract myself from the pain by watching a movie. Obviously, being in labor I got to pick the movie. I thought something funny was in order, no one needs a heavy movie while they are experiencing contractions, so we ended up watching Thor Ragnarok. 

I don’t think I’ll ever forget standing in the middle of a hospital room wearing a massively oversized mens Tee from Kmart and disposable underwear while clinging to an IV pole and dancing through my contractions while watching Thor.

We progressed through lunch using heat packs and Thor to help with the pain, however when we hit around 2pm it started to all get a little to much for me and I asked to use the gas. Initially I was using it more intermittently, for when the contractions felt particularly strong. But as the hormone drip was increased I began using it more consistently for all the contractions. 

It became really difficult to push through the contractions. I honestly thought that I must of been at least 6cm, so when my obstetrician came in to check my progress and told me I was at 4cm I was not excited! It had already been a long day. It was 3pm and I’d been ‘in labor’ since 8am. It was a little disheartening to hear but I also knew there was nothing I could do about it aside from listen to my body. 

Throughout the entire labor my blood pressure was being closely monitored as it had been quite high for the last few weeks of my pregnancy. After laboring for that long my BP began to peak higher than it had all week. With that my Obstetrician thought that the safest bet would be to get an epidural. After experiencing back to back contractions using only the gas as pain management I was 100% ready. 

I didn’t really even feel the epidural needle at that point, I was ready for the edge to be taken off these contractions. Once the epidural was in i felt fantastic! I wasn’t in any pain anymore and I felt as thought I could crush this labor. With this second wind I prepared myself to keep going. Another hour passed and my Obstetrician returned to check my progress which was when I was informed that I was still only at 4cm. To add to that, I’d been monitored more closely in that hour to make sure my blood pressure was going down and during that monitoring they discovered that Hugo’s heart rate would drop significantly each time I had a contraction. Definitely not a good sign. 

After a discussion with George and I the Obstetrician recommended a C section, with how my body was progressing and now Hugo’s distress during contractions I was on board to get him out as quickly as possible to make sure his arrival was a safe one. With the decision made I called my mum to let her know and George got decked out in scrubs to accompany me into the OR. 

It was all such a surreal experience as this point. I definitely said “I feel like I’m on Grey’s Anatomy” out loud, which is definitely very awkward and I definitely thought I was thinking that as opposed to sharing it with a team of doctors. I was rolled into the OR and we waited for the Anesthesiologist to return as he was the only member of the medical team who had headed home for the day when the decision was made. The medical team was amazing, they really put me at ease about the whole situation, chatting with George and myself and reassuring us through out the whole procedure. 

Don’t get me wrong the adrenaline was pumping! But I definitely felt that Hugo and I were in the best possible hands. 

Just before 7pm we got started and my 7:19pm Hugo James had entered the world. It was so bizarre when they lowered the curtain for me to see him. It did not feel like he had been the little nugget that was rolling around in my uterus all these months. Even as they shifted him here there and everywhere he was quiet and content. He only began to cry when the pediatrician gave him his shots while giving him a once over. 

Once he was giving the OK he was bought over and placed on me. There he sat, content as anything looking around at the world. It is definitely an experience I will not forget! 

Overall, my birth experience was pretty good. Birth is something that you really have very little control over. It comes down to trusting your body to do what it’s made to and your medical team to assist you in that – or in my case assisting me when my body decided not to cooperate. The most important thing I took from this entire experience is the importance of finding doctors that you trust, be it a GP, OB or podiatrist. Trust is key. 

The Journey So far

Before I get into anything that may be a little TMI, just a disclaimer, this may be a little TMI, but I think it’s important to be open and honest about my experience with pregnancy. It is such an individual experience that no two people will be in the same boat, but everyone who is or has been pregnant can probably relate to some aspect in your own story. 

I must say that regardless of my experience I intend to stay optimistic and feel positive with how my body is and will handle this crazy experience. That is one thing I have learnt from becoming pregnant. Mindset is everything. You may read this and think that it’s looking at pregnancy with rose colored glasses but let me assure you that I am aware that experiencing these things can be awful and it is not all a walk in the park, but I appreciate that my body is doing an incredible thing and I want to appreciate its ability to do so. 

I also feel as though there is a lot of focus on the negative and not by the people experiencing them but by others inquiring about your well being. I’ve found that a lot of the time people are expecting a negative answer and are a little shocked when you say ‘feeling great! Have some morning sickness but what can you do’. Again this is a personal thing. To my closest family and friends I will say that I’m feeling exhausted and king of crummy but to anyone not in that little circle I want to be as positive as possible! 

Finding out

So we found out pretty early on. We were actively trying to get pregnant so I was able to track my period and see where I was in terms of if it was almost ‘that time of the month’. With that being said, I tried to wait until after the date my period was due before taking a test just to avoid disappointment. I am a highly emotional and sensitive person and definitely feel things quickly and intensely. 

This month however, I did not wait, I was too eager and ended up taking a test at 6:30 in the morning a day before my period was due to begin. I told myself it would be negative to try and ease my reaction a little. I was not expecting that second little line to appear and was in shock when it did. Not as much shock as my husband waking up to me walking into our bedroom saying ‘Um.. I think I’m pregnant’. This obviously prompted a trip to the supermarket to get a couple more tests. It is safe to say that I was cautiously optimistic the rest of the day. 

First Trimester

After finding out I booked in with my GP and began the first trimester blood tests and the search for an OB/GYN. After quickly getting my bloods done we discovered that my Iron and vitamin D were both much lower than Ideal and I began taking supplements to make sure that bub would get everything they need to grow. 

About 6 weeks in the morning sickness hit. When they tell you it’s not just in the morning they are not lying. This wasn’t the most fun experience, I was constantly rushing to the toilet at work and struggled to eat much at all. But I am so grateful I was able to eat something each day and know that i definitely had it easy considering the experience some people have with it. 

If you are someone that is experiencing morning sickness that is making you feel blah I can only recommend listening to your GP. For me that meant for me was eating small meals and snack throughout the day, drinking plenty of water, keeping it as bland as possible – I ate a lot of dry white toast- and avoiding anything that triggered the nausea,

Aside from the morning sickness my experience was limited to headaches, which a suffered from prior to pregnancy crazy levels of fatigue – meaning i Feel asleep at like 6pm every night- and my boobs got HUGE (well for me) 

We then hit 8 weeks and were about to finally get an ultrasound to see our little nugget. It was honestly the most exhilarating day. I definitely over filled my bladder taking the instructions to have a full bladder maybe a little too far. It was a little overwhelming seeing that little jelly bean chilling in there. 

With bubs discovery they also found a little bleed in my uterus. It sounds really scary when your GP sits you down and tells you that you have some extra unwanted blood in your uterus and tells you you need to ‘take it easy’. I genuinely googled the meaning of ‘taking it easy’ . I am not a person who likes to stop. But for the health of my uterus I tried my best. I had my husband lift everything and he did a lot of the housework. I was already going crazy! 

Overall I was blessed to experience a more low key first trimester and am so grateful for it.

Second Trimester

I definitely felt a lot of relief when I hit the second trimester. It was amazing to get to share our news with our family and friends. My first trimester symptoms dissipated slowly and I was still feeling some morning sickness until about 15/16 weeks. I definitely had a lot more pep in my step though with my energy slowly returning in about the same time frame. 

Now we sit at the end of the second trimester a few weeks away from the home stretch. I have had an Iron infusion already this year because apparently this baby is Iron Man and is absorbing any iron that I try to put in my body. I’ve also got a weird thing with eggs where I always get sick then I eat them so I don’t think bub is a fan at all. 

Overall I feel great. I am so grateful for the experience of getting to carry bub and start our family and I am looking forward with a lot of excitement and nerves for what the third trimester brings and meeting our tiny little human. 

Greece Travel Diary #1 , Mainland: Tour (Day 1)

So as you may or may not know (if you are following my Instagram, then you will definitely know) I was lucky enough to go to Greece over the June/July school holidays this year.
When I was planning my trip I was scouring the internet for photos and information to create the perfect itinerary for my fiancee and I. I thought I would help any travellers looking into a trip to Greece by adding my 2 cents to the interwebs.
So this series is going to be broken into 8 posts – Mainland Tour, Crete, Santorini & Athens – to make it easier if you just want to read/look at pictures from one part of Greece.

After we arrived in Greece, we spent one night in Athens before heading on a four day tour that was pretty much ‘the highlights’ of classical Greece. Now I was pumped for this. I find Greek history fascinating as well as their mythology so I was 100% down for the tour.

We were picked up at around 8:30am by our bus driver. They will pick you up and drop you back (after the 4 days) to certain hotels, I would definitely recommend booking at one of those as its SOOO much easier with luggage to hop on and off in one place and not have to worry about getting to your hotel.

Our bus driver was amazing! his name was George (Georgios in Greek, but I can’t say it) he didn’t speak much english, which was fine because George (my finance) can speak greek but also because he tried speaking english and I tried A LITTLE bit of greek. He was so friendly and helpful and an AMAZING bus driver.

corinthWe then picked up the other people on our tour -around 15 people- and our tour guide, Dimitra who was AMAZINGLY knowledgeable. We left from Athens and our first stop was Corinth Canal where we had a short stop to take some photos of the Canal and grab a coffee if we wanted one.

 

We then drove to Mycenae where we completed a walking tour with Dimitra, she was fantastic with the amount of information and was able to point out key aspects to the Mycenae era including the cyclonic walls – in the myths these walls around Mycenae were built by Cyclops (which I’m all about) – as well as burial domes.

 

We then drove (about an hour from memory) to Epidaurus one of the most well preserved outdoor amphitheatre’s in Greece that still has performances to this day. It was incredible to see how just building ‘seats’ into a cliff side in a semi circle can create a amazing about of sound projection from the stage. Honestly I was blown away! (I also cannot wait until next year when we head back to Greece and hopefully get to see a performance!) There is also a spectacular museum which has some amazing statues of Greek gods like Apollo!

Before heading to our first Amalia Hotel we drove to Napflio a gorgeous sea side town, where we were left to explore for a hour before we continued out drive. Napflio is stunning, there are buildings that are incredible colours and you are right on the ocean. It was so spectacular! It was also a great place to get to visit as my fiancee’s mum’s side of the family is from there! Honestly the photos don’t even do it justice!

 

after our timer wandering the beautiful streets of Nafplio we got back on the bus and were taken to our first hotel for the night, which was part of the Amalia chain of hotels which we stayed at each night. They were a great chain with rooms bigger than I expected. At each hotel we had a buffet dinner and breakfast.

Even after this first day we were honestly so zonked that we went to bed at 8:30pm!

– Useful Links – 

Tour
Amalia Hotel Olympia
Nafplio
Mycenae
Epidaurus
Corinth Canal

 

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Review: ‘Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold’ By Stephen Fry

mythos

Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold
By Stephen Fry

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 410
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: History Mythology
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

Synopsis

The Greek myths are the greatest stories ever told, passed down through millennia and inspiring writers and artists as varied as Shakespeare, Michelangelo, James Joyce and Walt Disney.

They are embedded deeply in the traditions, tales and cultural DNA of the West. In Stephen Fry’s hands the stories of the titans and gods become a brilliantly entertaining account of ribaldry and revelry, warfare and worship, debauchery, love affairs and life lessons, slayings and suicides, triumphs and tragedies.

You’ll fall in love with Zeus, marvel at the birth of Athena, wince at Cronus and Gaia’s revenge on Ouranos, weep with King Midas and hunt with the beautiful and ferocious Artemis.

Thoroughly spellbinding, informative and moving, Stephen Fry’s Mythos perfectly captures these stories for the modern age – in all their rich and deeply human relevance.

My Thoughts

I feel as though I am biased towards this book. Not only do I LOVE Greek Mythology an insane amount, but I also love Stephen Fry, so I pretty much knew I was going to love ‘Mythos’. I was not wrong.

Not only are the myths fantastically re-written with additional dialogue and great character building – I don’t even know if that’s actually possible, but still – and amazing depth of information.

I started reading my physical copy of the book, however as soon as I saw that Stephen Fry was narrating his book on Audible I knew that I needed to listen to it. I decided to save to for my travels in Greece, just to get more of a feel of the book – completely unnecessary, but also totally worth it – which was an amazing choice. I listened as we drove all over the mainland on a tour of ancient sites, many of which are mentioned throughout the myths and it was amazing to see these places as I was experiencing the story.

Fry adds great depth and detail, as well as opinions to his retelling to really give the gods and their stories incredible depth and dimension.

This is a book I will be revisiting again and again, listening to the stories of the Classical period in Greece’s history. (When I’m not devouring the Rick Riordan series that is)

My Rating

Plot: 9/10
Ease of reading: 5/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 8/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  5/5

 

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First Experience: Reading a Faerie Novel

I am a newbie when It comes to the Fae world and Faerie based novels. I know, I must of been living under a rock!

I can definitely say its been a great experience. Maybe it was the series I started with or maybe the Faerie world is one that really engages me. Either way, I’m here and all I want is more!

I really went into the whole thing blind. Mostly due to the fact that everyone had already read and reviewed ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ (which is the series I started with), so it wasn’t prevalent in my YouTube Subscriptions or on any book blogs that I was following. I read people mention the series in passing, adding it into a favourite book video or book shelf tours etc.

I finally decided to listen to all the raving and pick up the series. I knew small things about Faerie worlds – all of which I’ve learnt in the end of 2017/start of 2018. I discovered that there was magic involved, they can be unpleasant to humans; they are beautiful (usually); they can be vicious. So it was pretty much the bare minimum.

I jumped into ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ and I was hooked. I have genuinely not been so deeply engaged and eager to learn about a

I’m still working my way though ‘A Court of Wings and Ruin’ which is just as incredible as the previous books and that has given me even more understanding of Fae. From this series, as soon as I heard that ‘The Cruel Prince’ was going to take place in a Faerie world, I knew I needed it. I’m not a buy-new-releases-asap kind of person usually. but oh. my. gosh. I needed it. world since I discovered Harry Potter. I can chalk some of that up to the amazing writing of Sarah J. Mass. The detail and depth in the world has left me desperate to complete the books and to learn as much as I can.

I cannot wait to continue to read books in this Fantasy genre. My only problem… I don’t know of any other books that are based in a faerie world. If anyone has any recommendations I’d love to hear them!