Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Sophie!!!

It’s my daugher’s birthday today and sitting here at 11.30am I remember at that time, 24 years ago, paying bills and making sandwiches for my husband to take to the hospital, in between contractions.

My labour started at 9am. Though at 5am I had woken and gone downstairs and remember my husband was sitting watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics so I have my suspicions it actually started then.

By midday I was getting very uncomfortable and decided it was time to go to hospital.

I was very relaxed and glad I had spent my pregnancy eating well, taking supplements, doing stretching exercises and had requested a natural birth.

When I got there they said I was 7 centimetres dilated and that it would probably only be another 3 hours before delivery, roughly one hour for every centimeter, which confirmed that I was right labour had started when I woke in the night.

Then it all went horribly wrong.

Because I had been admitted with pre-eclampsia a couple of weeks previously they immediately hooked me up to a drip and stuck a monitor on my baby’s head. In effect I was strapped down to the bed and unable to move as I had planned, to ease delivery and be able to choose the most comfortable position to be in.

I freaked and must have stopped the whole process as a result because I got stuck in the transition phase for four hours (that’s the time you’re fully dilated and ready to deliver and is also the phase when you start traditionally screaming obscenities at everyone!)

I remember how hot it was that day, steamy, humid, and I was completely naked and paced the tiny room while trying to drag the drip trolley thing around with me while staff kept trying to pin me back down in bed saying I would exhaust myself if I didn’t lie down.

It was more than I could bear, I had completely lost control, was in agony, and just kept screaming for pain relief.

Sophie was delivered at 10.13pm during a raging thunderstorm, a beautiful healthy, hungry baby. But that wasn’t the end of the torture.

During the actual birth there was a shift change, literally one midwife delivered the head and another took over to deliver the whole body. Then the wrong drug was administered and the new midwife yanked the umbilical cord too hard and it came away without the afterbirth so I had to have that scraped out of me with a huge metal spoon, without any anaesthetic and by a slightly tipsy doctor who had been paged during her leaving party! She also thoughtfully stitched me up without any anaesthetic either, saying it would just be one more painful procedure to have an injection there. That wound took 18 months to heal though obviously the wound of that whole day still remains very sore.

If I had had The Gentle Touch, Noesitherapy, EFT and EmoTrance then it all would have been very different. I would have had more control over my body and my emotions and would NOT have frozen and delayed labour making the whole experience more of a nightmare than one to cherish.

Which is why I am so glad I have put those four amazing self help techniques in one book and if it helps just one person to have a happy stress free labour it will all have been worth it :)

Alternative Pain Relief by Nicola Quinn

P.S. In my opinion ALL midwifes should be mothers themselves. They cannot know what it is like however many confinements they have attended unless they have been through it themselves. The lack of compassion and understanding from my midwives and constant admonishments to, be quiet, I was disturbing others, added to the horror of that day. That the joy of that day was cruelly snatched from me, I will never forgive them for. Not very holistic I know, but what can I say, I know many others out there feel the same…

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hot flushes/flashes, coffee and chocolate

There is a definite correlation between hot flushes, coffee and chocolate.

I hate being cold and it was over 6 months before I connected the wonderful warm surges I was getting periodically with the fact that this must be the onset of the menopause. Duh...

I don't get them routinely any more but when I'm feeling a bit chilly and want to warm up quickly I grab a fresh coffee and a piece of chocolate and hey presto, nice warm feeling.

The kick back is I get a bit of a restless sleep that night which again confirms the connection between the surges of energy and being wakened every 2 hours for years.

I used to spend time telling my body to stop it, there are no more eggs, stop trying to ovulate, which I'm not sure did much good but might have speeded everything up and certainly helped pass the time in the dark hours of night instead of thrashing around.

Anyway, the weird wonderful world of the change and a move into a whole new way of seeing and doing things, quite an adventure really.

And if you suffer from hot flushes and hate them try cutting out coffee and chocolate, I think you will be pleased at the relief you get.

Update: Just received a link to a nice little article by Christina Laun about increasing energy levels without caffeine. Check it out.

50 Ways to Boost Your Energy Without Caffeine

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Panic Attacks and Blood Pressure

I was thinking the other day about how people who suffer from panic attacks are constantly being told their symptoms, however unpleasant, can't hurt them.

And in general this is true but only because the impending feeling of death and unreal feelings of terror are nowhere close to the actual experience one is having at the time.

However, blood pressure is certainly affected, not just from the stress of the situation but with elevated adrenaline levels, and over time this must surely have an adverse effect so the first thing to do when having a panic attack is to try to reduce your blood pressure as quickly as possible and this can be done by simply drinking a glass of cold water. It hydrates the body and has a calming effect on the whole system.

If dizziness is experienced there is a good chance this means your blood pressure has dropped and to normalise this a glass of fresh juice would do the job nicely.

I've also read somewhere that having a full bladder while your blood pressure is taken can give an elevated reading so it makes sense that going to the toilet would assist in reducing levels too.

It's surprising just how ghastly one can feel with a slight deviation either way so if you do suffer from panic attacks try this and see what a difference it makes.

Better still is to stop having panic attacks altogether which my book Life Without Panic Attacks shows you how to do very nicely!

Common Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

Women are more likely to suffer the lesser known symptoms of a heart attack than men which is why they are often not diagnosed correctly and not given the right treatment quick enough which is essential for a better chance of survival and a life as close to normal afterwards.

For men, chest pain, with pain spreading to the left shoulder and arm together with shortness of breath are the most common symptoms of a heart attack.

Women too suffer this but are just as likely to have the lesser range of symptoms instead, including:

* Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
* Shortness of breath
* Nausea or vomiting
* Abdominal pain or "heartburn"
* Sweating
* Lightheadedness or dizziness
* Unusual or unexplained fatigue

When I look at that list I think, well yes, a lot of women may feel they have one or more of those symptoms most of the time! BUT in general women know their bodies pretty well and know when something is not quite right.

You can have these warning symptoms for quite a while before having an actual heart attack. If you start suffering any of these symptoms without apparent obvious cause this is not the time to take a tranquilizer and/or pain killer and just get on with things. This is time for action.

If it is a heart attack and you seek help in plenty of time there are many simple treatments that will save your life. And it if isn't then they will be able to tell you exactly what is going on that caused them.

Do not hesitate. Go to an emergency room. They will not laugh at you, or tell you off for wasting their time. Just do it.