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Save The Children: #BlogitforBabies – The Movie

The Build it for Babies campaign is well and truly underway.  The launch of the virtual clinic was last week and this week we have made it to HollyWood with a #BuilditforBabies movie.

The leading lady, the one and only Annie Spratt, stage name Mammasaurus, tells us below why #BuilditforBabies is so important.  Go on, make yourself a cuppa, sit down and have a look!

You can also check out the #BlogitforBabies website for more ways to get involved.

Related Articles:

Save The Children: I’m building it for Babies, are you?

Save The Children: My Birth Experience #BlogitforBabies

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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Save The Children: My Birth Experience #BlogitforBabies

On the launch day of Save the Children’s virtual clinic (Build it for Babies ), I thought it appropriate to share with you my birthing story in support of raising £1m to build essential clinics in rural Bangladesh. Was my birthing experience really so bad? In comparison the answer can only be no.

In 2009, I was told that I probably wouldn’t have children.  Not the best news to hear when in you are in your early 30’s and assuming that the next chapter in your life consists of wedding bells and nappies.  This happens to other women, right? Not so.

My husband said we could get a dog.  He meant well. Today, we don’t have a dog but we do have a baby!! Mother nature decided that she would go against the grain and give us a helping hand.

After a fantastic Italian wedding just outside of Venice and a romantic honeymoon at Lake Garda and Verona, we headed home to London with me feeling a bit, well, ropey.  After telling my husband that my boobs felt like a butcher had hacked them off with a blunt knife he whispered to me from the across the room..”are you pregnant?”. We both just sat and stared at each other.  It was the best wedding present we could ever have wished for in all the world!

Bambina was due on 22nd May 2011.  The mediterranean in her had other plans.  The midwife told me that “it” (we didn’t find out what we were expecting) was going to be on the large side so I should probably leave the place that pays my bills a week earlier than planned.  I did.

With three weeks to go, I walked up to stairs, I ate curry, I had sex (if you could call it that!), I ate pineapple and I drank raspberry leaf tea until it was coming out of my ears! Bambina stayed where she was. The due date came and went and I walked more, up and down stairs, up and down hills.  I watched TV bent over on all fours and bounced on that flipping gym ball so much that I’m surprised I didn’t give myself concussion!

Two days late, five days late, eight days late. Still no sign.  I remember going to the hairdresser and I was HUGE. The girl asked me when I was due and went pale when I told her “over a week ago”.

If I lived in Bangladesh I would have been working in rice fields until my waters broke, fourteen hours a day.  But what if my waters wouldn’t break? What would I do?  There is no induction, no help nearby, no support or advice.  I would probably go so late that the child would die and be born still birth by the body expelling it.  Or, I may die too.

I went to hospital to be induced when I was ten days late.  The first time I was induced it didn’t work.  I had some pain but nothing worse than a period pain.  I was induced again six hours later.  That kind of worked, enough that I had to put on the tens machine.  Which, my husband decided to play with whilst it was still attached to me, cue electrocution by birthing tool! Six hours later I was induced for the third and last time. Other women had been and gone and I was still there, being electrocuted, as you do.

I remember the sweltering heat as I walked around the hospital car park in my pyjamas.  Could I have done that if it was forty plus degrees? If I was in Bangladesh I would have to. I would have to cope, to work, to continue to raise my other children, mourne the ones I had already lost, take care of my husband, look after my house, well, hut.  And we think that we multi-task!  All of this whilst trying to fight the fear that the child you’re about to deliver may not live in this world for more than an hour.

At 10pm on 3rd June 2012, I was taken to the labour ward to have my waters broke.  The pain started immediately but surprisingly it was fine. Doable. Bearable.  After a few hours I was really feeling it.  After having to forego the luxury of a birthing centre because I was so overdue, I was determined not to have drugs.  However, once six hours had passed I still hadn’t dilated so the registrar suggested that I consider and epidural and santonin drip to bring the labour on faster.

I agreed and as soon as the epidural went in it was like angels came and tickled their tiny gold dust fingers all over my body and with one gracious little poof, the pain was gone.  I slept until 6am when the registrar came back for a check up.  Great! I had detracted one centimeter.  I was going backwards!!

My husband let out a shriek and the registrar lifted my gown.  I had swelled. EVERYWHERE.  I could barely move my hands or feet.  My joints were triple the size.  They almost cut off my wedding ring but I was damned if I was going to give birth without it on!!

I had a choice to make; wait a few more hours or go to surgery.  It was a no-brainer.  My husband looked great in the blue overalls, all dark and mysterious under his little blue hat.  It has been a long long long night, or two nights, and I was having severe convulsions and body shakes from the epidural wearing off.  My legs had to be strapped to the surgery table.

The screens went up.  The tools came out and the nurse told me that I would feel some pulling.  it was totally harmless.  I couldn’t believe we had reached this stage.  Within seconds we would have the baby that mother nature gifted to us and we held on tight for the next few minutes. Then, with one last pull, the doctor announced that the baby was out and all looked fine.  I remember wondering why I didn’t cry straight away.  They held the baby up over the screen but I couldn’t see.

“It looks like me!!” the Italian shouted, excited.  “But what it is it?” I slurred.  “It’s a …It’s a giirrlll….” and with that the tears welled and be both cried.  I was exhausted, drugged, emotional but what I remember the most of those few minutes was how happy my husband was.  I don’t think I will ever forgot the expression on his face.  Its like I’ve bottled that expression and stored it away somewhere very safe.

The doctor wished us congratulations and leaned toward me and said “just so you know, there is no way you would have been able deliver this baby on your own.  She’s not small”.

In the recovery room, she weighed in at 10lb4oz.  At 7.55am on Saturday 4th June 2011.  Healthy, happy and here.  Wanted and needed more than the air that I breathe every day. Loved with every ounce of our souls.  She was ALIVE.  If she was born in Bangladesh, she might not be.

The women in Bangladesh don’t have the luxury of being induced or of having check ups at a local hospital or clinic.  They don’t have the luxury of birthing tools, pools or centres.  Worst, they don’t have the luxury of holding their baby in their arms and knowing, just knowing, that they are all well and safe.  That from that day forward, everything will be ok.  They don’t have that luxury.

Now, with the help of Save The Children Build it for Babies campaign, the clinics will act as a safe heaven.  These clinics are a life line to a next generation of stronger healthier women.

So, you’ve spent the last, what, ten minutes reading this post.  Extend that by a further five minutes to check out the Save the Children website to find out how you can get involved.  Then, get involved… do something to change this situation. NO CHILD WAS BORN TO DIE.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in London

 

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Save the Children: I’m Building it for Babies, Are you?

A few weeks ago I was reading through some tweets and came across something that grabbed my attention: a blogging conference being headed by Save the Children and Google.  And it was in London!  Right.  I was going to go.

As a new blogger I have been looking for ways to improve my writing skills and most importantly how to improve my blog on the whole. I thought I would go along to see what it was all about.

I was not prepared for what I saw!!

On Saturday 14th April 2012, the event mostly concentrated on Save the Children’s Build it for Babies campaign.   Build it for Babies brought mums and dads (mostly mums) together for the day to brainstorm ideas on how we bloggers can do a huge shout out to raise awareness about the campaign.  At #BLOGUP2012 I sat in awe, mouth open most of the time, as I witnessed the heart wrenching pleas of mothers in Bangladesh.  For most of the day, and I don’t think I was alone in this, my whole body ached to run home and give my beautiful, healthy daughter a huge kiss and a hug.

I sat and listened to the speakers recount their tales of mothers who had given birth in the most horrid conditions, lost multiple children and basically spent their lives nursing their sick children to their death.  At times it was hard to concentrate on what was being said as I my eye was drawn to the No Child Born To Die notice.

Stories were told about Shejali, who had given birth in total to 6 children,3 of which had already died.  Shejali is currently 7months pregnant.  Another mother had lost 3 children and her 4th was ill and requiring medical assistance that just isn’t there.

Most women in Rwanda don’t name their baby for the first 8 days of its life simply because it is unknown if the child will survive.  Particularly in rural areas where disease is rife, babies are known to die within the first few hours of life.  nutrition is also a catalyst in this.  The women don’t have healthy diets throughout pregnancy, living mainly off beans and not much else.  This creates stunted growth and development in babies and nearly all never recover from this if they do survive.

Looking at the picture of where Shejali was going to give birth made me shudder.  I immediately thought of my own birthing experience, as did most other women in the room.  As much as we complain and abate the NHS for its lack of this and lack of that, the truth is, we lack for nothing in comparison. We are so so lucky to have the health care, the support, the cleanliness, the attention that we have throughout pregnancy, birth and afterwards and that is why I am getting involved by blogging for babies!!

I could not imagine working in the fields for up to 15hours a day whilst pregnant with twins. I could not imagine being in the throes of labour and having to walk oe be carried by my fellow villagers for miles before I could get help – and that’s if I made it in time!  This, dear readers, is the reality for these women.  How lucky and fortunate are you feeling right now?

So thank Heaven above that Save the Children are campaigning with Build it for Babies.  The objective is to build 7 birthing clinics complete with equipment and trained staff whose salaries will be paid for the first year.  These clinics are a lifeline not just for the mothers but for the babies who have no choice but to be born into this world.  These clinics are a ray of hope, that sickness and death will no longer be a worry. That these mothers will be awarded the luxury of kissing their child as we are every breathing day.

The new clinics in Baniachong and Ajmiriganj will reach:

  • 21,500 women of child-bearing age with family planning services
  • 3,000 pregnant women with antenatal care
  • 2,190 newborn babies with postnatal care, breastfeeding support for their mothers and antibiotics when they become ill
  • 2,218 infants aged up to one year, by helping their mothers to breastfeed and wean them safely and reducing the chance of life-threatening diseases such as diarrhoea and the risk of malnutrition
  • 43,600 people in the area with information on how to stay healthy and where to get help if they do become ill.

If you want to know more or find out how you can get involved, pay the Save the Children website a visit here.

ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE IN:

30 seconds – follow STC on social media

Facebook | Twitter: @savechildrenuk and @savechildrenpr | Youtube | Google +

5 minutes – take a campaign action

Take our campaign action to break the chains of hunger

15 minutes or longer – blog it for babies!

Help raise awareness and build momentum for the campaign online – starting on the 23 April. You could tell the story of your birth, or the birth of your child through the social channels you love to use.  This is not,I repeat, NOT just for mummy/daddy/parent bloggers.  It doesn’t matter what blogging category you fall in to – travel/photography/cooking/crafting – if you have a child and this post has resonated with you… write a post and link it back to Build it for Babies..  it’s that simple.

Thank you so much for reading this post! Do follow in the coming weeks when I, amongst many other blogging mothers, will be supporting this cause.

x-o-x

 

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in London

 

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