Louisa Claire

Read more posted in January, 2008

Preparing for Birth

I am currently 28weeks pregnant and starting to think about ‘the birth’. The whole experience of being pregnant has really taken me by surprise. Despite having worked with young children and their families for the past couple of years and watching dozens of women go through pregnancy I really had no idea what it actually involved, or more specifically, what my body would start to do!

Up until this point I haven’t given very much thought to the labour process, something which continually astounds my husband who has been petrified about that part since the beginning!

I’ve heard that it can be good to write up a birth plan so after a long, humourous chat with a friend – a mother of three who always has me in stitches when sharing her labour stories – I have come home, started to do some research and get thinking. This is what I have come up with so far:

Birth Preferences – an Active birth

I realise that things don’t always go to plan so these are just my preferences for birth. The only thing I would like to be non-negotiable is that the Happy Husband be present for the duration of labour and post-birth.

  • I would like to be able to move around and don’t want to be restricted to giving birth lying down on my back on the bed.

  • I would like to be able to access the shower for pain relief.

  • What other non-invasive pain relief tools will be available? e.g. Fit ball

  • Will a TENS machine be available or will we need to hire one ourselves. Where can we do this?

  • I would like to avoid an epidural but if necessary would prefer that it not be turned up so high that I can’t feel anything and participate in labour.

  • I do not want to take pethidine.

  • I would really like to avoid intervention e.g. Being induced and ceasar. If I HAVE to be induced then I would like a split-membrane induction rather than full induction. I would not want to consider this until I was 2 weeks overdue (April 28)

  • Unsure about episiotimy.

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How awesome is this picture???

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Good News

I came across this good news a little while ago, but as I sat here tonight having some dark chocolate with my cup of tea I thought I’d better double check. The news remains good and I thought I would share it for all others who might be looking for a ‘bright side’ to the pregnancy experience (besides having a baby, of course!)

Chocolate in pregnancy keeps baby happy

Expectant mothers can take heart this Easter. Tucking into chocolate eggs is good for the baby, according to a study of over 300 women – especially if you are feeling a bit on edge.

Katri Raikkonen at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and her colleagues asked pregnant women to rate their stress levels and chocolate consumption.

After the babies were born, they looked for an association between the amount of chocolate their mothers had eaten and the babies’ behaviour. Six months after birth, the researchers asked mothers to rate their infants’ behaviour in various categories, including fear, soothability, smiling and laughter.

The babies born to women who had been eating chocolate daily during pregnancy were more active and “positively reactive” – a measure that encompasses traits such as smiling and laughter.

And the babies of stressed women who had regularly consumed chocolate showed less fear of new situations than babies of stressed women who abstained.

The researchers point out that they cannot rule out the possibility that chocolate consumption and baby behaviour are both linked with some other factor.

But they speculate that the effects they observed could result from chemicals in chocolate associated with positive mood being passed on to the baby in the womb.

Journal reference: Early Human Development (vol 76, p 139)


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I wonder if Rumple can see his future in this picture??

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In case you were wondering…

Somehow I have lost all the images that were linked to my previous template. I have been wanting to update it for some time now so while I work on that I am going to use this standard simple blogger template.

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When things don’t go as you plan.

This is a picture of the Happy Husband taking his ‘babies’ aka 6 computers down to the recylcing place in Boorondara on our last day of holidays.

It was a HOT day and he and I (yes, me at 6months pregnant!) had collected them from around our house and the church (I only carried the lighter parts not the screens) to be gotten rid of.

The computers were donated at the start of last year for the church. It’s a story of some frustration for us as they were donated, HH got them ready to go, we told the right people (or we thought they were the right people) and nothing happened. They sat in our house for the better part of the year while we waited to find out if anyone wanted to use them and would get them working for the church only to finally try and find out that they weren’t going to be suitable. So here we are, 12 months later, after many hours of work on the Happy Husbands part getting rid of them.

It’s a story of frustration that’s not unique in the church, and it got me thinking: how do we respond when things don’t work out the way we plan them? Worse still, how do we respond when our efforts go seemingly unappreciated or acknowledged especially when we have gone ‘above and beyond’?

We didn’t have to think too hard on this one, for this is the sight that greets us anytime we walk into the front room of our house:

Piles of gifts: a cot, baby clothes, rockers, playgyms, baby clothes and wraps – I could go on. All generously given to us by families at our church and by our own families (thanks again mum & dad for the pram and baby bjorn)! How grateful we are when we see this and realise that not only have people kindly provided us with so many of the necessities, but that our baby will be blessed to have other more luxurious toys that we wouldn’t otherwise buy. I could also take photos of the drawers of my dresser – full of other gifts we have received as people have celebrated with us over our pregnancy. We are overwhelmed by people’s kindness and generosity.

HH can smile in that first photo because we won’t ‘get down’ over the computers. It didn’t work out the way we had hoped, but we won’t stop doing our part because we know that church is a community – a family of faith, and as believers we are called to love God and serve His people in whatever way we can. It may not always work out, our offering may not always be received and sometimes, painfully, they may not even seem to be acknowledged – but we don’t do it for human gain or recognition but as an act of worship.

We gratefully acknowledge God’s continual kindness and provision in our lives and humbly seek to respond with grace and generosity.

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