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one born every minute

28 Aug

Heather Francesca here, we were
lucky enough to feature on this series of ‘one born every minute'(our episode
is on Wednesday 11th january) and I have been wanting to spread the word on my
amazing experience of child birth, yes, thats right, i used the words
‘amazing’ and ‘child birth’ in the same sentence! some of you mothers
out there might think I’m mad but that is honestly the experience I
had! So here goes my story…..

My husband and I run a fashion and styling business called daniel
francesca and have been runnung this for 10 years, as you would expect
in business, its not easy and we have been constantly busy since day
one. We never had time to consider a family of our own until the penny
dropped in late 2010 when we realised that we are in control of our
future and ‘we’ decide what kind of parents we are going to be!

We were told by doctors 3 years ago that it might be difficult to
conceive as I don’t have a menstral cycle, we had all the tests etc
done and no-one could explain why I had no periods, my husband and I
were not worried in the slightest as we knew that timing is always
perfect and that no medical expert is going to dictate our dreams of
becoming parents one day, so we remained positive and December 2010
we conceived, I went the first month without a clue that I was
pregnant,then one day,as I’m sure alot of you mums can relate to, I
just ‘knew’, I told my husband, who rushed out to get a pregnancy test
and sure enough that solid blue line appeared,
shocked,emotional,happy,sad, every emotion you can think of consumed
my body but the overwhelming sense that anything is possible if you
dare to believe was one that will stay with me forever!!

We wanted to take our positive attitude into my pregnancy, so the
first thing we did was write a list of every single little thing that
we were expectant for, from no morning sickness to maintaining a good
sex life( the little things are important)hehe! We had 28 things on
our list that we wanted to see happen and this was a great goal and
test of mental strength not only for myself but in our relationship as
future parents!

So, the first few months breezed past and by our 20 week scan
we were so excited, for years we had always spoke about our little
girl and we were both convinced that I was carrying a little princess,
sure enough as the sonographer hovered around over my tummy, she
turned to confirm our initial thoughts ‘ it’s a GIRL’ funnily enough
this was the same room that years earlier we were told it might never
happen!

With another thing ticked off the list( yes,I know , it may sound daft
but we put we wanted a girl on our list) but if you don’t ask then you
don’t get eh? We found ourselves in the hands of our amazing
midwife,Alison, who whilst taking my temp and blood presssure asked
if we wanted to go on the one born every minute show, ‘yesssss
please’ shouted Danny followed by ‘hold on a minute’ from me, ‘ I
don’t want the world seeing my bits’, Alison then went on to explain
that it is non invasive and that she thought we could help alot of
expectant mothers out there and show that there is another side to pregnancy
that it can be very pleasant, so we agreed and within a few days the
producers were over at our house.

The last trimester was my favourite, knowing that as every day passes
I am one step closer to meeting my little miracle, the week before the
due date the one born every minute team came to do our interviews and
it all suddenly became so real that any day now I get to meet her,I
remained calm and relaxed about labour as my attitude towards
pregnancy had worked so far so why should labour be any different,
then the night of the 16th September the twinging in my belly
started, Danny packed the bags and got into his favourite outfit
declaring ‘i’ve got to look good for tv’ I told him hang on a second,
it’s only a twinge,we’re going nowhere yet!As the night passed, the
contractions became more intense, then at 8am the next morning we
decided it was time to go in! I got my heels on,did my hair and make
up and off we went!

We arrived at Leeds general infirmary and was quickly miked up by the sound crew, we then headed to the delivery suite to be greeted by
several of the crew who at this point i considered extended family
members, we then met our midwife who had to have a double take at this
women standing before her claiming to be in labour whilst wearing high
heels with a full face of make up on,we proceeded to the water
birthing suite where I was examined and found that I was over 4cm
dilated!!ahhhhh

Were goin to be mummy and daddy any time soon I said to Danny, we knew
that this was it, that everything we had hoped and prayed for over
the previous 9months was soon to become reality, although the
cameras were in every corner of the room with crew members in
the gallery watching I felt completely alone with Danny as if it were
just us, then at 3.34 pm On September 17th 2011(on her due date) I
gave birth to my precious angel, Eivissa Cali Greig weighing 7lb7oz,
my labour was amazing and I didn’t require any drugs or gas and air
which again was my wish from the beginning!

Not only did we manage to conceive but I went through the whole
pregnancy with no sickness, pains or anything to complain about, our
attitude towards pregnancy and labour was one filled with positivity
and a sense that if you believe something so much then that really can
come true!!

Looking back, it still brings me to tears thinking about the amazing
wonder of child birth, i am proud to be a woman and proud of all the
other women out there that have been through or are about to go
through this beautiful experience, i commend you and we all need to
celebrate one another, no matter what the experience!!

The message I want to share to all the expectant mums or the ones who
are told that ‘they can’t ‘ have children is that ‘positivity and
knowing your own mind, can get you anything you want and not to let
the fear of disappointment stop you from believing it can happen’

Thanks for taking time out to read this!

Kind regards

Heather Francesc

Www.heatherfrancesca.wordpress.com
Twitter @heatherfrancesc
Facebook heatherfrancesca

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Me, Danny and Eivissa with the brilliant one born every minute team.

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This month’s magazine features (February)

21 Feb

More Magazine

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Chat Magazine

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East side Magazine

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My birth story by my midwife

24 Jan

The birth of Eivissa by Jayne Moore

Heather and Danny arrived on the delivery suite in the morning and as I had been informed before their arrival that they were planning on a waterbirth I had begun preparing a room for them. Heather was contracting every few minutes and was very quietly breathing through them. I read their birth plan and noted their wishes, one being for minimal internal examinations. We discussed this together and agreed on an examination to diagnose established labour. There was no rush to do so as all was well in the antenatal assessment and Heathers’ contractions were not yet expulsive so I felt the birth was not imminent.
Heathers’ cervix was found to be 4cm dilated so I began cleaning and filling the birth pool and Heather stayed mobile around the room supported by Danny. Once in the pool Heather and Danny focused on each other, listening to music and breathing and the next few hours seemed to go by quickly. Maternal and fetal observations remained normal so I had no need to do anything but wait for the time being…
As Heathers’ contractions became more intense she regularly changed positions standing and rocking both in and out of the pool. The waters were still intact and the bulging sac was visible underwater for some time, Heather stood up for several contractions and ‘pop’ the waters broke spontaneously when they were ready to and I was hopeful that the baby would follow soon after.
Heather knelt back in the pool and although she remained quiet her breathing changed and she began feeling the pressure of the baby getting lower. I kept observing for signs of the babys head and reassurring all was well, whilst Danny and Heather stayed focused on eachother. Then the top of Eivissas’ head was visible and born soon after. Often with the next contraction the rest of the baby is born with the arms close alongside the body, but one of Eivissa’s arms delivered towards Heathers’ back and the other arm went in front as if she was crawling out to be born, which was beautiful to watch…and then she was in Heathers arms.
After the cord had stopped pulsating it was cut and Danny held his daughter for the first time whilst Heather was assisted out of the pool. Heather and an alert but settled Eivissa had skin-to-skin whilst the placenta delivered without the need for any drugs, then Eivissa had her first breastfeed. I am always overjoyed when a baby arrives safely and it was so rewarding to assist Heather and Danny in achieving the birth they wanted.
I hope all continues to go well

Jayne Moore

*the above is not intended as medical advice or diagnosis, please speak to your midwife or health care professional’

I would like to thank Jayne for taking the time to write this. Jayne truly was an answer to prayer for me and Danny. She respected our wishes and did everything she could to create the atmosphere and calm we wanted during the birth, whilst still making us feel safe that she would know exactly what to do if a problem arose. She is a great example of a wonderful midwife. We need lots of midwives like Jayne delivering our babies.
Thanks so much Jayne, here’s to another 10 years!

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Jane and us in the studio on channel 5’s ‘Live with Gabby Logan’, Jayne assisting with the delivery of Eivissa

When private goes public (how it felt to be on one born every minute)

12 Jan

Sorry its taken so long to get this blog up, today feels so surreal, I have been going through the many responses I have had from all you wonderful people reading this, I wanted to share with you all how it felt to do the most private, intimate thing known to nature live on national television.

Some of my friends thought I was a little crazy to do this and as 9pm approached I was starting to think the same, nervous would be an understatement, as the first scene appeared with me walking into the hospital in my heels I thought, ‘oh dear’, why did I sign up for this? I was soon put at ease by the many encouraging texts and i started to watch my birth unfold just as you did,

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Getting ready to watch the show!

The theme running through last nights episode was pain and the contrast the the same experience can bring, the editors had purposely choose the two extremes of child berth,one been pleasant and the other quite difficult, personally I think Kerry and Renne did an amazing job and their little baby’s were sooo cute,

A few minutes in we all witnessed Danny taking a suck on the gas and air, I remember him doing that and in my head I was talking to him but the words were not coming out of my mouth, funny to think that although I was in control of my body, my words were clearly elsewhere, in my head I was telling him to not to get drugged up because i needed him.

You may have noticed that Danny and I were listening to music through our iPod, we decided to do this as I wanted Danny to be as relaxed as me’, sometimes if your partner stresses it can cause you stress, we choose some very calm gospel music that would put us both in a relaxed state of mind, enabling us to stay focused on the task in hand.

As my contractions got more and more intense I knew that I needed to push, I was convinced that the baby was coming out of my bum and the midwife kept having to reassure me that it most definitely was not, the next moment after a few big pushes I looked down through the water to see my beautiful girl looking up at me! ‘that’s what you look like, so nice to meet you at last,’ A few pushes later she was completely out and in my arms, I thought was shouting for joy at the top of my voice but again, that was all inside my head!

You will have noticed that Danny played an active roll in supporting me, his love, care and constant encouragement made our moment truly special, the fact that he wasn’t afraid to show his emotions confirmed to me how good of a father he will be, that he will love and dote on his little girls forever.

All in all, I thought the show perfectly captured my experience and I hope the love that we have as a family came across in good light( even tho Danny was made to look slightly camp), we did have a good laugh at this tho.
I was so glad I got to share my experience with you all and if I did it again I would do it exactly the same, and I would recommend everyone to get a ‘glabour’ outfit, perfect for modesty! Hehe

After the show, tucked up in bed and began to read the hundreds of messages sent by family, friends and complete strangers, overwhelmed doesn’t do my feelings any justice, we began to sob, reading that my birth has inspired people and completely changed there views on child berth.

when I started this blog, I had one aim, one thing that I stand by passionately, that was to ‘help’ change womens attitude towards pregnancy, I often wonder how can ‘little me’ help, I mean, I’m just a normal girl, no different to any other mums out there, I don’t see myself better than anyone else but I have been very fortunate to have an amazing experience and why shouldn’t I share it, too often the horror stories are told and it’s so easy to apply that to your own experience, especially if that is all you hear, I think it’s about time that we start celebrating great birthing experiences, we women should stick together and empower one another, celebrate the fact that we get to do this together,
Like I said, I was very fortunate to have a great experience and I know alot of people reading this may have had a torrid time, I want to say to EVERY mother out there that no matter what your experience,you did an amazing job and the thing we all have in common is the fact that our outcomes were exactly the same! I solute all of you!!

if you have been following my blog you are probably aware that my conception was a miracle in itself, i was told that having children may prove to be difficult as i hadn’t had a menstrual cycle in 5 years, however, I am now the proud mother of Eivissa, the day I found out about my conception was the day I vowed to never take anything for granted, women are told everyday that it might never happen, and who am I to complain, i consider myself very lucky and to all you women out there that are told it might never happen, keep hope, even if it’s the tiniest bit, you just never know!

Thanks to all all the midwives at L.G.I(especially Jane) the nurses,doctors, producers of one born, the mother, fathers and all the beautiful children that get to create this fantastic show! Brilliant job

I would love to hear if I have helped you in any way, I want to hear your birth stories and be able to share your kind words with everyone who reads this, please send your stories to the email address on the contact page

Thanks

Heather Francesca

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Some of my best friends watching the show in London! Apparently pubs weren’t showing it! Ha!

one born every minute, media

6 Jan

so, here are some clippings  from the media!

clip from tv and satellight magazine

one born article, tv times

interview on calendar news, 4/1/11

The write up on channel 4 website of our episode.

tv section of heat magazine

dragonfly the amazing production company that put one born together

yorkshire evening post article 6.1.2012

follow me on twitter @heatherfrancec