I realise I appear to have gone missing in action but rest assured I will be back soon! Having a newborn and a blog do not seem to be compatible. However when I figure out what the hell I am doing with this tiny person I will be returning. I really enjoy writing my blog and connecting with all of you who, like me, are battling infertility or rebuilding themselves after pregnancy loss. Until then, good luck to you all, D x
In parts of Asia, acupuncture has been used for centuries to jump-start labour. But does it work? Research is inconclusive. One small study at the University of North Carolina found that women who got acupuncture were more likely to go into labour without a medical “push.” The study included 56 women who were 39.5 to 41 weeks pregnant. Half of the women got three acupuncture sessions, while the other half did not. Seventy percent of the women who got acupuncture went into labour on their own, compared to 50% who received standard care. The women who got acupuncture were also less likely to deliver by cesarean section — 39% compared to 17%.
9 months ago, to accompany my IVF treatment, I used acupuncture. I found the process very relaxing and positive. It was calming and restful, in fact I fell asleep! So last week I decided to give it another go as there are suggestions that it can be a a safe natural way to help bring on labour. I was told to have two sessions which combined acupuncture and reflexology. The first was in week 38 to prepare the body for labour, and the second, scheduled for today, to induce labour. Watch this space!
I wanted to share this beautiful sculpture called ‘The Child Who Was Never Born’. As an art student, Martin Hudáček of Slovakia was moved to create a sculpture to draw attention to the devastation losing a child can bring. The sculpture shows a woman in great sorrow grieving the child she never knew. The second figure, the child, is created in a translucent material that adds an angelic presence. In a very touching, healing way, she comes to the mother, to offer comfort.
I have just returned from a lovely week of doing absolutely nothing! Nilch. Nada.
We disappeared to Cyprus for a week where we stayed at a lovely hotel and basically did sweet FA. Long breakfasts, reading in the sunshine, more eating, afternoon naps, spa treatments and a lot of Jack Bauer! It was exactly what we needed and certainly the most relaxed I have felt throughout the pregnancy.
Tomorrow we are at 30 weeks, and boy am I growing big! My tummy has really popped. With it comes some discomfort, however I just remind myself how lucky I am to be in this position at all. My husband bears the brunt of any complaints and has been generously providing back rubs.
So it’s back to work today and that well and truly ends the blissful relaxation. Back to reality.
How gorgeous do these pregnant ladies look? Now obviously they have stylists, unlimited budgets and custom made pieces but it has been hard to find anything decent to wear now my waistline has expanded. I don’t lose sleep over the clothes I wear and I can put up with looking a bit frumpy but it does make question why maternity wear is so hideous? Is the assumption that when pregnant you will cease to care about your appearance? Don’t get me wrong, I love being in trackies, but occasionally I would like to look semi-stylish. I have a wedding to attend in 3 weeks and I have just found a dress. But it was pretty slim pickings. If you have any pregnancy style tips please let me know.
The news that Apple and Facebook will pay for the cost of egg freezing for their female employees makes me shudder. Despite claiming that they wish to ’empower women…to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families’ I believe that enabling women to delay child bearing is extremely risky. The issue for me is that it adds to the illusion that egg freezing creates some sort of guarantee that having a baby can be postponed and planned. Of course many women wish to prioritise their careers ahead of stating a family, and that is a choice women are entitled to. But to perpetuate the myth that women can focus on their careers until 40 and then use their frozen eggs is dangerously naive. Based on my experiences, the journey to motherhood can be unpredictable, cruel and lengthly. There are no certainties. Ladies need to be realistic that having a baby using frozen eggs is extremely unlikely. It has a success rate of only 20 percent—and that’s if you’re able to freeze enough viable eggs, which many women can’t do. Instead of offering egg freezing, which is a PR exercise ludicrously praised as forward-thinking empowerment, they should try to be innovative in their attitudes towards on-site creches, flexible work hours for new parents, extended parental leave and a more balanced culture.
… Announce Your Pregnancy On Social Media?
This week in Grazia (yep I read very high-brow publications) I saw that in a poll they took 31% of people voted that yes they would announce their pregnancies on social media, leaving 69% in agreement with me and voting no. During this pregnancy I have been extremely protective of sharing our news, but even last time I never would have made such a personal announcement on social media. I would far rather share it in person with my close friends and family. I actually have spent the last 3 months deleting the random people who have made their way onto my facebook with whom I have no contact and, if I’m honest, no interest in. Lately I’ve felt that social media can become a boasting platform and when I know how painful infertility or pregnancy loss can be, I would hate to be rubbing it in anyones face. What do you think about social media announcements? Is your life an open book?
Kirsty Allsopp recently declared that ‘nature isn’t a feminist’ and inadvertently caused uproar on twitter. She was accused of being patronising and of telling ladies what to do with their ovaries. I disagree. Her advice, perhaps based on her experiences, have lead her, and myself to conclude that despite our efforts to fight time with modern medicine, yoga, positive thoughts and the latest diet fad the cold hard truth is that if you want to have children then you have a small window of opportunity. Women have made enormous progress towards gender equality in our life choices both in educational opportunities and career successes, but when it comes to fertility, nature sticks up two fingers at choice, options and power and entirely calls the shots. Men’s fertility does not have such limitations. Nature doesn’t care about feminism.
Jude Hurrell wrote in the Huffington Post that:
Yes it would be nice if having a career and having a child weren’t mutually exclusive. Yes it would be nice if we could find a way to lessen the impact pregnancy has on women’s careers and their employers. It would be nice if we could meet young families’ needs and spread the financial, practical and emotional demands of having babies across a family-friendly society. It would be nice if we could engage an educated, experienced and dedicated work-force of women in flexible positions without compromising their ambition or the needs of their children, but until that happens, let’s stop kidding ourselves. At the moment, having a baby involves making sacrifices. It’s up to women and their families to decide what those sacrifices are going to be.
Besides, saying women shouldn’t have to choose between a career and a family is another way of saying we can have it all, right? Don’t get me started on that one. Women are constantly bombarded with messages that we can and should have it all; a dynamic career, a close family, a happy marriage, a fit bod and a beautiful home, all in the name of girl power. But rather than being uplifting, this ideal just puts women under more pressure. Cos the flipside of saying women can have it is all is the implication that if they don’t they’re missing out, letting themselves and their families down. It’s ok not to tick all the boxes, all of the time.
What do you think? Sadly I think that women need to realise that each life decision has implications on other areas of their lives and couples who delay having children must be prepared for the risks associated with that choice.