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C-Section Awareness Month: 8 Epidural attempts!

Me, when my first baby was born, it was an emergency cs and actually that night I couldn’t find any information or experiences…


So your first c section was an emergency. What led to it?

Yes my first C-section was an emergency. I had a lot of blood loss in the beginning of that pregnancy. It took me 6 months to be totally clear and not afraid to lose our baby. I always had a feeling that I was carrying twins and that I lost it partially. But after months  we could enjoy without [being] scare[d]. My contractions started and me and my husband walked to the hospital (because it was just next door). They kept us that night and saw that I didn’t have enough cm. Early that morning, my water broke and my contractions started to get worse. But the cm of my uterus [was] still 4cm after 14 hours of contractions, and with every contraction the heartbeat of our baby was so low and it got worse. So they gave me an epidural and before it even started to work I was in the O.R getting ready for cs. I could still move my left leg and felt everything on my left side. It was so hectic and terrifying but it had to happen. I was given a dose of morphine after my baby was born and [by] that time my epidural started to work. Our baby boy had his [umbilical] cord around his neck so that was the reason they acted so quick, and actually until this day I’m thankful for the emergency cs but at that time it was incredibly horrifying

That must have been so scary. I can’t begin to imagine not being fully numb for a c-section. I take it that it was due to how the first c section went that you were forced to have c-sections the next two times. Did your doctor think you could have a vaginal birth after that?

Yes, that was the intention for my second pregnancy. My second pregnancy went just perfect but eventually (she) stayed 41 +4 days. I did have an MRI scan to make sure that my waist was wide enough for her to pass through. And it was eventually, but by that time I was up to 41+3 days. I went to my gynecologist for a check up and complained about seeing stars (it’s like small fireworks in the [in]side of your eyes), that has to do with your blood pressure. He said that he would give me some pills to reduce my blood pressure  but that it could have an effect on my baby. So as I was already 41+3 days I said I would rather have a csection. I was lucky to have the top gynecologist in Belgium and he called the hospital and he planned a planned c-section the next day. Everything
went perfect. By the way, we didn’t know for any of my pregnancies what the gender of our baby was – it’s a miracle that is given to you by God. We were already happy knowing through ultrasound and blood tests that everything was perfect. But we are quite old fashioned.

Thank God for having the best doctors available to you when you needed them! Yes indeed, a healthy baby is the most important thing although I would have been itching to know gender –  I’m sure the suspense would break me.I’ve often read that when you have multiple c sections, you lose feeling in your abdominal area. Was that true for you?

Yes, that’s true! It really feels more numb than after my daughter (baby number 2), but I’m still recovering my last c-section. It’s now almost 10 weeks  ago so I’m still hoping on some repair. After the first c-section, I started to work out but to regain everything took me almost a year. Now I’m trying to have hope.
So we will see. At least 3 kids is a handful so maybe I don’t need to work out.

How busy you must be.  I hope you don’t have any serious pain left right now 10 weeks on…?

My last pregnancy went perfect and it was planned in the first 2 months. So we were ready but kept the date secret. We arrived at the hospital. In the O.R, I got my first epidural (it went wrong), then 7 other epidurals later it worked with a bigger needle. But I couldn’t take it any more and my husband was so scared for me and just couldn’t look. I just prayed during the epidurals. If I would have looked at my husband I would break out of the pain that I was having. Instead, I just
folded my hands and prayed several times, while tears falling from my eyes. Then the 8th epidural went how it should [have] and our baby boy was born. I still feel my back getting numb if I fold myself to breastfeed my baby. My doctor knows about it and also saw the bruise that was in the middle of my back to above my waist. It’s nerve damage that I hope will eventually disappear; but if not, I have to live with the pain.

7 attempts. What was that attributed to? Did they tell you why they had to try it so many times? The things our bodies go through for childbirth are just mind boggling to me.

They couldn’t find the correct place to inject. It was said before that my back was not straight by my first cs, but by my 2nd and 3rd cs, it was just perfectly normal. I think I had a student anesthesia or a not so experienced one. Anyway, if I have any nerve problems or damage, I will still file a report to the anesthetist that treated me. I’m still in jeopardy about it.

It just sounds so terrible that they would let the same person try over and over again like that. Thank God you got through that experience but it is definitely something to complain about if you have any remaining damage down the line.

Esther, Belgium
@essy_okey

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Notes from a FTD

Andy
IG
Derbyshire, UK

When did you become a daddy?
On 21st August 2018 at 8.21pm.

What do you think you do to offer the most support to your partner?
I do what any good partner would do. Help with our daughter when I’m not at work. Do my share of the household chores. Let my wife stay in bed at a weekend 

😁

What makes you a good father?
I love my daughter and would do anything to protect and support her!


Do you think men are given sufficient support in the uk socially and institutionally to be good fathers?
Yes, I think so. I’m pretty sure most workplaces provide paternity leave. Mine certainly did. I think the support socially in the UK is good. Changing tables are often placed in disabled toilets which helps when out and about
what would you tell any first time dad to expect in the first month? Well obviously expect to be tired. You might feel stressed or overwhelmed by the whole situation. It’s OK to feel like this. Make sure you talk about how you feel and don’t bottle it up!


Your family’s been doing some travelling! What’s been the hardest and easiest part of travelling with a baby?
The easiest has to be the fast track at the airport. We skipped queues for bag drop, security and boarding which is a massive help. The hardest was the amount of things you have to take. You have to plan ahead when travelling with a baby, definitely no last minute packing!

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How to be taken seriously at work

Despite what some people may say, being a woman in the corporate world can be challenging. I could tell you some horror stories of colleagues and friends being treated in the most outrageous ways in the workplace. They were usually left wondering what they might have done or said to make people think they were easy targets. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for people to think they can disregard anyone but it’s important to handle it especially well in the workplace.

As I said in a previous post, I’ve moved around quite a bit. This means that I’ve had the opportunity to observe the way that women – including myself – are viewed in the various places I’ve worked in. I’ve learned a few lessons about how to attempt to be taken seriously.

Things you should avoid
  • Sucking up. To some extent, asserting yourself at work can look like sucking up but there’s a big difference. While this may get into the good books of a certain kind of boss, the more emotionally intelligent individual may well be put off by it. Some of your colleagues, even if they’re amused by it, will also probably find you annoying because of it. Even if they’re doing it too. It can be very easy to see when someone is being false to get in their boss’s good books.
  • Mixing business with pleasure. Certainly it’s important for team building to get to know your colleagues on a bit more than a superficial level. Yet, you have to draw a line! Don’t get drunk with your colleagues if you can help it and absolutely don’t go sleeping with anyone you know you’ll have to see at the desk next to you at 9am tomorrow morning! Unless you’re already married to them…
  • Saying yes to everything. People will respect you more if you’re able to respectfully but firmly decline tasks that mean you overbook yourself. It’s all part of time management and prioritisation. As much as it feels good to agree to help everyone with everything, it’s also unrealistic. Also, be willing to ask for help when you feel overwhelmed.
  • Excessive displays of emotion. Okay so this is very subjective. I’m a bit cautious with this one because I’m against anyone stifling their feelings. I’m especially against women stifling their emotions for any reason. Perhaps the key is rather to be careful with how you communicate your emotions.
  • Gossiping. It’s so easy to get drawn into this. Especially if you like a bit of chin wag or are genuinely chatting with people in small groups in an effort to figure out the dynamics of a new job or team. It helps to keep in mind that if they’ll gossip with you, they’ll gossip about you! If you have issues with anyone, take it up with them directly and privately.

Things you should do

  • Speak up about inappropriate behaviour towards you. If you are certain it is inappropriate. Use your common sense and be discerning but don’t be afraid to let people know if you don’t appreciate some attitudes or actions towards you. Stand up for yourself.
  • Please don’t be that chatterbox at work who goes on about each and every thought that enters your head. Honestly, I’ve found such people entertaining at work but not everyone does. You’ll gain more respect if you speak more when you have something valuable to say. Watch what you say and who you’re saying it to.
  • Be quick to take up any opportunities for employee development. It shows your possible dedication to the organisation and makes you a valuable employee as you’re constantly building on your skillset.
  • Look professional. Even on a dress down day, don’t go to work looking like you just got out of bed.
  • Find a mentor. Look for someone who’s at thee level that you want to get to and figure out how they got there. Better yet, get them to teach you how.

Do you have any additional tips? Or have you had any experience with not being taken seriously at work? What happened and what steps did you take to change things?

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My C-Section experience: Part 2

Thank God everything went well and I only had to spend two full days in hospital. The first for the delivery and the second because it took an entire day for them to discharge me. For no apparent reason really except that they were understaffed so only a couple of doctors were doing the rounds. I suspect it was also partly for another reason that has to do with a certain midwife but that’s a story for another day -_-.

How long did it take for me to feel normal?

On the morning of my discharge day, I felt myself start to itch. Badly. I think as whatever medicines they gave me wore off and I was gaining back all the feeling, I was feeling no pain at all. Only severe itching. I would have scratched my eyeballs if I could have! They gave me some Piriton and told me it would go away within a few hours. The doctor who eventually discharged me said it was a reaction to the anaesthesia I had been given. The itching certainly reduced after I’d had a long warm shower at home and taken another Piriton but it didn’t completely go away for another few months. I couldn’t keep popping Piriton as I was breastfeeding so I learned to live with it.

I’d read online about mums saying they didn’t stop bleeding for up to six weeks after birth. I also have a friend who only bled for a few days after birth. Six weeks sounded horrific to me and I prayed I’d go maximum 2 weeks. You know how long I bled for? Eight weeks. My doctor and health visitor couldn’t figure out why. When it finally ended, I felt like I had all whole new lease on life! 

The incision healed fairly quickly I believe. Every doctor who saw it said “oh how neat” so I assume it really must be neat. However, I couldn’t stand straight for about a month. I had a pain in my abdomen which got progressively worse for weeks  even though internally I was healing as I should have been. Maybe this is normal. I’m not sure. I only know that by week 8, I was able to stand straight again even though it still hurt a bit. Applying a wet heated towel to the incision area a few times a week may have sped up the healing process a bit but don’t quote me on that and don’t try it without speaking to a doctor please. 

I’d lost a lot of blood in surgery apparently. I don’t remember exactly how much but it was probably the reason why I lost so much weight pretty much from the moment my baby was taken out of me. I became skinnier than I had been in high school. My weight went from 66kg during pregnancy to 48kg. Some would say this should have been an upside for me but it wasn’t because it very obviously an unhealthy loss and I’m still working on it today. The only thing I’m happy to have lost so much of is my belly which, as I breastfeed, continues to go down each day. I know I’m going to have to sign back up the gym ASAP. I only have breastfeeding as a weight management technique for so much longer.

Overall, my C-section experience wasn’t an awful one. I’d do it all again if I had to and that’s a big deal coming from me who is so scared of pain and never imagined having a surgery of any kind. My little girl came out healthy and strong and that’s all that matters.

Have you had a C-section and what was the worst part of your experience? If you’ve had more than one C-section, was your healing process the same for each? 

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Job hopping: is it such a bad thing?

I’m getting my CV and my mind ready to get back into the job market. Looking over my CV, I’m reminded of how many jobs I’ve had and how unmotivated I was to stay in any of those roles for very long. Infact, except for one of them, I really couldn’t get out fast enough! I haven’t been in any job for up to two years before *shock…horror*. Pretty sure that makes me a job hopper.

I was doing a bit of reading and it looks like women are more likely to be job hoppers than men. That makes sense as women can go through a variety of life changes that makes it necessary for us to redefine our lives. Pregnancy and childbirth being prime examples, as I would well know. According to Robert Half, 64% of employees think job hopping is a good thing. I don’t know who was surveyed (where they were based, how many there were and which generation they were from).

I haven’t gone into any role planning to leave but I have looked forward to leave a few roles shortly after starting. Thinking about it really hard, I’ve always had the problem of knowing how bored and unmotivated I will be in the job that I’m going into but hope it will be a while before I reach that stage. I’ve also moved because I didn’t like my working environment and once, for more money. Unfortunately, the money didn’t stop me disliking the role any less than I did. I’m sure that last one is the reason for most job hopping.

Why do people job hop?

  • Better money. Like in my case, it was an easier way to get a higher salary. I took the experience I’d gained with me and slotted myself into another role that required the skills I had but paid more. Sometimes this is quicker than waiting it out for 3-5 in one role in the hope of promotion or getting a pay rise.
  • No feeling of loyalty to your employer. Millenials are probably most guilty of this. Seeing the economic crash and being aware of how easily employees were let go after dedicating lifetimes to their employers may have taught us that no employee is indispensable to a company. You have to look out for your own career first. Your own livelihood. We’re generally different from the generations before us who saw value in starting and growing with an employer for twenty plus years of their lives. Then again, maybe employers are less loyal to their employees now than they used to be back then.
  • When the economic situation is good, it doesn’t take you being an expert in a niche field for your skills and experience to be in high demand. It’s in those good times that searching on sites like monster.com and indeed.co.uk will bring back a thousand results regardless of your field. You might start to wonder why you’re staying in this job you started six months ago when there are many of the same opportunities out there that will pay you almost twice your current salary.
  • Disenchantment. After being in a role for 3-6 months and getting to grips with the basic structure of the company and the role itself, it’s not difficult to become disenchanted, disillusioned with the tasks that may now feel mundane.

Moving around so much not be to your benefit, as you can imagine, and here are a few reasons why:

  1. Employers will undoubtedly question why you’ve moved around so much. That might lead them to wonder if the training they will provide you, should they employ you, is worth their time and money. They might not even get past your CV because they may not think an interview is worth their time.
  2. How secure will your job be? In the event of any job cuts, I’d say employers are more likely to get rid of the person who’s there 9 months and hasn’t stayed at any previous job longer than a year or two. Surely it’d be him/her over the employee who does a mediocre job but has been at the company for seven years…? I suppose that’s only true if you think companies are loyal.
  3. You won’t get the opportunity to be put forward for promotions or make use of any employee development programmes. Such programmes make you more valuable to the company but also contribute to your own growth and employability.

Despite the three points above, I do think that a bit of hopping about is absolutely necessary in extreme circumstances where your management treats you badly, for example. I really do think that it can even be a good thing. I believe it largely worked in my favour in the past because I was gaining a fairly varied set of skills but focused within a specific section of the industry I’ve worked in. It can also be a good thing because it gives you the opportunity to expand your network. Also, it’s not just better money you might get elsewhere. It’s also better benefits or a better job title. A better job title as manager or team leader, for example, would stand you in good stead for your next role.

Job hoppers like myself would typically be advised to take a step back to evaluate what we want out of a career, where our passions truly lie. Argh. I must say I struggle to think of ways to live comfortably off my passions. Honestly. And well, you know, I have responsibilities. Do I just say, life is too short to be miserable or just okay in a job or do I chase what makes me happy and hope I can survive off it? How happy can you really be if you’re broke? I imagine these are questions that most 9-5ers have battled with.

There is a lot less to consider by way of loyalty, etc. if you own your own business…but entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted.

Okay. I’ve written way more than I planned to. It’s just all my thoughts on this issue tumbling out here as I try to sort them out.

Sources

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/business/job-hopping-rise-should-you-consider-switching-roles-make-more-ncna868641

https://www.themuse.com/advice/heres-the-truth-about-how-jobhopping-affects-your-career

https://www.fastcompany.com/3058996/why-women-job-hop-more-than-men,

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-04-04/livable-wages-working-families/gender-pay-gap-could-lead-to-job-hopping-for-ore-women/a57119-1