By Alice Young
Alice is 19 and is mum to Amelia, who is 3 months old. In her first post for VFTS, she tells her birth story.
I was in my first year at the University of Brighton studying Geography when I fell pregnant. I managed to get through the year before moving back home to Bournemouth! Being pregnant at 18/19 was scary, nothing any of my friends had been through but I was extremely lucky to have the support of my parents, sister and my friends. I could not have got through it without any of them.
Obviously being pregnant changes your body a lot and I didn’t look like a model but I didn’t look too bad before. Fortunately I really didn’t put much weight on and my bump was still quite small even right at the end of my pregnancy. I got many comments of “oo what a neat bump”, and these even continued to a week before Amelia was due when the midwife didn’t even notice I was pregnant sat in the waiting room and was looking around for someone else.
Women are under so much pressure throughout pregnancies with foods they can and can’t have or shouldn’t have and weight they should gain and how they should look. I mean most celebs don’t step out in front of the cameras again until they don’t look like they ever had a baby! I’m not entirely sure what I weighed before I was pregnant but the morning I went in to have Amelia I was 11 stone and the day I got home 10 stone, so a whole stone was baby and fluids etc.
The NHS say the amount of weight gain depends on your weight before you become pregnant.
Weight gain in pregnancy varies greatly. Most pregnant women gain between 8kg and 14kg (17.5lb to 30lb), putting most of the weight on after week 20.
Much of the extra weight is due to your baby growing, but your body will also be storing fat, ready to make breast milk after your baby’s born.
Putting on too much or too little weight can lead to health problems for you or your unborn baby.
I think however it is difficult to know what you should weigh, but as long as you and your baby remain healthy throughout that is probably the best option to go with!
For the first couple of months I wasn’t very happy with what I looked like, although back in my normal jeans I still had weight I wanted to lose. I don’t like diets, I like to eat chocolate and I won’t stop eating it just to lose weight so I started doing more exercise; naturally with a baby you wander around more and I started walking more with Amelia and my dog and went on a few runs with the pram (such a mission) and have managed to lose some more weight which now I’m really pleased with.
One of the biggest things I had to deal with during my pregnancy was knowing from quite early on I probably would be having surgery to have Amelia. She was round the wrong way, head right up under my right ribs which was so painful! My midwife recommended that I try Moxibustion to try and turn her; it is a form of acupuncture heat therapy that is supposed to increase fetal movement therefore encouraging the baby to turn around.
I did this for seven days burning the sticks at a particular angle toward my little toe for twenty minutes a day…sadly this did not work but it was something to try! I was then booked in for an ECV (External Cephalic Version) where a consultant attempted to physically turn the baby with different pushing and hand motions on my stomach. This was horrible!! I would probably feel really different about it if it had worked, but sadly after an hour of trying with many tears and a few contractions the consultant gave up. It was extremely painful and not something I would ever do again. So that day I was booked in for a Cesarean Section to be 39+4weeks. My due date the entire time had been the 18th August which then changed to the 15th!!
Although very daunting knowing I was going to be having surgery, the hospital were brilliant, they had me in to meet everyone a few days before and went through the procedure and it was quite exciting knowing an exact date I was to meet Amelia!!
15th of August arrived, I had taken all my pre-op tablets and got to hospital at 7am and didn’t go into surgery until about 11ish.
It was a long morning waiting but finally I was in the room having my epidural put into my back and getting prepped! Years of ballet must have paid off as the consultant took about forty minutes to get through my “very strong stomach muscles” and eventually they got her out at 12:34pm. It was a very surreal experience being awake for surgery and feeling my stomach being yanked around, but once I had Amelia out I didn’t even think about it.
Amelia was healthy and after a few minor complications with myself we were eventually allowed home 4 days later. I couldn’t wait to get home. It took me a while to fully recover from the surgery but I would say about a month later I was probably not noticing the scar and didn’t have any pain which I guess isn’t too bad! Was quite an ordeal but 100% worth it!
Looking back at the year is crazy cannot believe how much has changed from being a University fresher and now a mum; polar opposites! Fingers crossed if I can transfer to Bournemouth University I will be going back to Uni in September either part time or full time depending on how many contact hours I’ll have. It’s so great though having this first year just completely free to be here all the time and not miss a second of Amelia’s development. Can’t wait for mine and Amelia’s life adventure and just to think this has only been 3 months of it is crazy!!
To any young mums, ignore the stigma attached to being a young mum and enjoy being pregnant and having a baby. Ignore anyone that says otherwise because I love being the age I am and having Amelia now. I’ve been extremely lucky in the support I’ve had from friends and family and hope my story will inspire someone that having a baby doesn’t mean your life stops; carry on with your goals (mine being finishing my degree) and just enjoy it! Everything happens for a reason and this is just my everything!