On my journey to become mum… again! - Follow Kelly O'Hanlon's Journey, Chapter 1

Hello, first things first, let me introduce myself. I’m Kelly, I’m 33 and I am mama to Ethan, 5, and to Peanut, baby number two due around 8th December 2018. I started my blog, To Become Mum, almost six years ago, when I was pregnant with Ethan, as a way of documenting my journey to become mum for the first time around. Since then, it’s become somewhere I share family updates and things I love, from parenting to beauty, days out to food and interiors. And of course, with a new bundle on the way later this year, I am sharing my journey all over again.

Being an ambassador

I am really excited to be an ambassador for the Natural Birthing Company. Even though I have been through pregnancy, birth and baby before, every time is different, there’s always something new out there to try or learn and I feel new to it all again somehow. I am all about being prepared, so working with this lovely brand is a great way for me to do things a bit differently, see what works for me and of course, share my journey to baby number two with you!

My first baby

I was lucky when I was pregnant with Ethan; everything went to plan, pretty much, and I enjoyed every stage. I didn’t really have morning sickness and apart from my aversion to giving blood (I always have a funny turn when they do it!) it all went along well. My labour experience wasn’t as positive, unfortunately; I was kept and monitored for high blood pressure for several hours as the contractions strengthened and in the end, needed an epidural which then led to the need for assistance so a quick episiotomy and forceps delivery brought Ethan safely into the world. 

What I wasn’t fully prepared for was how I felt afterwards. I was keen to get home and well enough to be discharged in the late afternoon and stumbled into the blur of having a newborn – and stitches ‘down there’ to care for. In the first week, along with sleep deprivation, which later brought on hallucinations, I knew the discomfort I was feeling couldn’t be right and took myself back to the hospital to find that my wound had an infection. Antibiotics and three dips a day in a bath with tea tree oil drops in helped things to heal nicely after this point, but I won’t ever forget how I felt within myself during those early days.

Preparing for baby 2

Fast-forward to now, and I will be honest and say that I do have some anxiety about labour. I loved being pregnant before and I am really embracing it again – not least because we had a miscarriage this time last year, at 13.5 weeks, and because ever since Ethan found out he was going to be a big brother, his excitement, care and attention have been so wonderful to see. I want to do more this time around to prepare myself mentally, physically and emotionally for the journey ahead and for bringing this baby into the world.

I know that things will work out, but the more I read, try and prep for, the better I feel, and working with Natural Birthing Company will help me discover new ways of approaching this whole having a baby thing.

The thin blue line and first trimester

The date of my last period was 1st March and as hubs and I had been trying for a baby, and I had been keeping records for months via my Cycles app, we knew within two weeks that we were expecting. I took an early pregnancy test before my period was due as I just couldn't wait (and have done so most months since last autumn) and it was positive, but I still didn't get too excited as I knew there was a long way to go. When my period didn't arrive, I took another test, then another a few days later just to be sure. THEN, we started to feel excited and hopeful for the next stage.

Due to the miscarriage, we had last year, we knew we couldn't wait until the NHS 12 week dating scan to know that things were ok and progressing as they should.

We had an early pregnancy scan at the eight week stage and again at 11 weeks; the first time, I sobbed when I saw the tiny heart beating and the second time, I just had the biggest smile on my face.

After that, I had my booking-in appointment with the midwife, where they ask 101 questions about your medical history, followed by the NHS scan at week 12 one week after this. They did the anomaly scans and I gave four doses of blood for them to send off and do their thorough tests on, and everything has come back as clear, which is obviously a relief.

At my booking-in appointment, I got very emotional when talking about my pregnancy and labour with Ethan. I didn't really expect it (those hormones!) and I just couldn't hold back some tears. It's clear that I have some anxiety over the whole labour thing, and last year's events are always in the back of my mind too, so I am planning on seeing a head midwife soon to discuss support and so on.

So, my first trimester has been a real mixed bag of emotions, anticipation and nerves. The weeks seem to take forever to pass by whilst you are waiting for ‘official’ confirmation of your baby-to-be and it’s a time where you really want to be excited, but feel apprehensive too.

Despite my concerns, I have enjoyed the first trimester and would recommend booking early scans for peace of mind. I have been feeling good although from around week six I did start to feel nauseous in the evenings (so the idea of ‘morning’ sickness really doesn’t apply here!). It was nothing too bad, but I would feel unsettled and kind of like I was full of too much water, but lying down and getting rest were the best things to do. My appetite has been fine for the most part, and I’ve been trying to eat a good balance of foods, as well as taking my supplements every day.

My next midwife appointment is booked in for 16 weeks, and the 20-week scan date has also been booked in, so, the second trimester is where it’s all going to start getting into full swing. Bump is starting to make an appearance, with my tummy and other internal bits being pushed upwards it seems, so I have a rounded profile and made the switch to maternity trousers early on. I’m keen to start using Natural Birthing Company’s Bump Envy Soothing Stretch Mark Oil as a daily treat, as I can see some silvery lines starting to appear because of course, my body has been through this before.

I am excited about the next stage, feeling those first wiggles and really starting to get myself ready for the journey ahead. I hope you’ll join me!

Love From 

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