Elodie - Motherhood Journey
Next on our Motherhood Journey Q&A series is Elodie! Elodie talks about her fertility and pregnancy journey, birth story and how she healed her postpartum body.
HOW DID YOU FIND THE JOURNEY TO MOTHERHOOD WITH YOUR BABY ALICE?
My husband and I met when we were in our early twenties. As we migrated to Australia and had so much to discover in this beautiful country, the clock didn’t start ticking until we were in our 30s.
I remember waking up one day and it was like all the cells of my body screaming for a baby!
However, it took us a year to fall pregnant. It’s only when you really want a baby that you realise it’s not always that easy! After 6 months of trying, I was diagnosed with PCOS and had to undergo cycles of hormonal treatments to finally get that extra magic line on my pregnancy test!
HOW DID YOU REALISE YOU WERE PREGNANT?
As I was under hormonal medication, every cycle my body was changing, giving me pregnancy signs and I truly felt I was pregnant every single time, only to get disappointed when my periods came.
The month I fell pregnant with Alice, I just felt all planets were finally aligned: my husband changed jobs, we were about to move to our new apartment, I enjoyed my new work, I got my fallopian tubes flushed and a new hormonal treatment.
We were 100% ready to welcome a baby in our family!
HOW DID YOU ANNOUNCE YOUR PREGNANCY TO YOUR HUSBAND?
He was on a business trip when I found out. I tried to find an original way to announce my pregnancy to him. As we were closer to Christmas, Nutella had a personalisation booth in a department store - my husband used to have Nutella with his toast most mornings, so I decided to label a pot: “Papa” (Dad in French). Except I couldn’t wait until the Morning for him to pick up the pot so he had nutella toast late at night!!!! Funnily enough, I was craving for Nutella toast and a glass of milk my whole pregnancy!
HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THE BIRTH OF YOUR BABY?
As I was trying to fall pregnant, I joined a few forums to get support in my PCOS journey. Once pregnant I followed a few people from a Baby Centre forum and joined a group of 300 expectant mothers with the same due month. I learnt so much from this group from pregnancy tips to what to expect at birth to postpartum care and grandmothers’ recipes to heal my body.
Also my husband is a knowledge freak, very early on in my pregnancy he read many books, articles and blogs and recommended we do a Baby but also a Calm birth class.
I can’t thank him enough for giving me this knowledge. Learning how my body will likely react during pregnancy and how to prepare for my baby girl birth truly empowered me.
HOW WAS YOUR BIRTH EXPERIENCE?
I had the most incredible birth experience. I make it a point to tell my story to as many women as possible as you often hear more scary birth stories than good ones!
I decided to have my baby via the midwifery program. I felt really confident in my midwife and I think my body knew it! I was in labour for 38hrs with Alice and in active labour as soon as my midwife's shift started!
I managed my contractions with a Tens machine, godsend during the 30+ hours of contractions I had.
My water started trickling on Tuesday, I went to the hospital on Wednesday evening to check but got sent back home. At 10pm that night contractions were getting really close and I was in serious pain, screaming for an epidural. I couldn't get out of bed. I can still remember my husband's face thinking he will have to deliver the baby himself!!! In between contractions, he managed to make me stand up and then everything became blurry as the oxytocin hormones started to kick in. I remember feeling like I was in a bubble with contractions becoming much more manageable. Didn't even ask for the epidural I was screaming for a few minutes prior! I was just laser focussed on the "waves" bringing my baby to me.
We arrived at the hospital around 10.45pm and Alice was born the next Morning at 6am.
MOST EXCITING OR MEMORABLE BIRTH MOMENT?
I remember the little feet wiggling in my body when I gave the last push to get my baby out. My husband picked her up with the help of the midwife. Finally having my baby girl on my chest was the most memorable experience!
WHAT DID YOU FIND THE MOST DIFFICULT TO ADAPT TO?
Having a baby stuck onto me for the first 3 months was a shock for the independent woman I am. I was breastfeeding and Alice didn't take a bottle until she was 7 months old.
I just learnt to babywear with a wrap first then an Ergobaby so I could keep going for walks or do things around the house!
Also I learnt the lack of sleep is a real form of torture! With my 1st, I was worried to co-sleep but with my 2nd, I was so exhausted I just "breastslept". Best sleep I've ever had!
WE LOVE OFFERING UPLIFTING ADVICE TO NEW MOTHERS - WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WISH YOU KNEW OR FIGURED OUT A LITTLE EARLIER (MAYBE SOMETHING SURPRISING AND LESS DISCUSSED)?
I feel something less discussed in all baby classes or even amongst other Mums is the postpartum recovery.
I was 100% prepared for the pregnancy, the birth or how to look after a newborn but much less prepared about the aftermath of giving birth: the pain of the tear even months after, the swelling, the blood and blood clots even a few days after giving birth.
My advice to Mums: prepare for tearing, make sure a good doctor or midwife is in charge of the stitches, pack Ural in your hospital bag and anything to help clean your most sensitive parts. Noonie, Cleanse & Soothe spray will help provide relief keeping the area clean, coupled with the ultra absorbent and instant cooling pads, new Mums will be in good hands to return home to their body and really connect with their baby! It's about time Mums get the postpartum care they deserve!
TALKING ABOUT CONNECTIONS, DID YOU CONNECT STRAIGHT AWAY WITH YOUR BABY?
I connected with my bub straight away but I remember true love coming a few days after. I just looked at her in the rear-view mirror while driving somewhere and I felt my whole World was suddenly revolving around her and I'll do everything in my power to cherish her and give her the best life possible.