Galway Now Maternity Feature Expect The Unexpected May 2016

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I can see the light at the end of the tunnel as I have reached week 39 of pregnancy. I have spent the past 10 days in hospital for the reason being that I have a condition called polyhydramnios, which equates to excess amniotic fluid around the baby. The result is that although I am not due until next week, we will have our baby a little earlier than expected (by three days time whether it happens naturally or with a little ‘help’ from the doctors). The excitement of meeting this little person is getting too much for me now that I have a definite date; I am counting down the hours to whatever way our baby makes it’s first appearance in to the world!

NOTE TO SELF: Quick, Google time! How do you swaddle a baby? Is a soother a no-no, or what harm can it do? Oh no, not the breastfeeding debate, this is leaving me more confused! Why didn’t I look in to all of this over the past 9 months!

My ‘stint’ in hospital has been a good experience so far! I can’t help but feel like I am starting to resemble Brooks in The Shawshank Redemption movie – I am becoming “institutionalised”! As Red famously said ‘These walls are funny. First you hate them, then you get used to them. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That’s, institutionalised’. I couldn’t have said it better myself! The world outside has become a scary place! I am not allowed to leave the hospital, however I boldly went on a stroll to the shop the other day but ended up scared out of my wits that my waters were going to break whilst on my mini adventure (which would not be a good thing with polyhydramnios). The world outside seemed bigger and colder than I remembered; there was a scary giant boxer dog barking aggressively at me, a group of intimidating people on the street corner eyeing up my bag, and next the sky opened with an unexpected bucket of heavy rain as I waddled across the road! Was the rain a sign of waters breaking I skeptically thought? I had enough by this stage, and once I reached my goal of the shop I promptly returned to my safe grounds of the hospital like I was returning to my captor!

NOTE TO SELF: Must get a Rita Hayworth poster and a rock hammer!    

When I was admitted I had my hospital bag in the car, but there wasn’t enough clothes in it to last me this length of stay, so I asked my husband to bring in more of my maternity clothes. The next morning, my husband arrived with clothes, and what is the first thing I take out of the bag? A bright purple black tie maternity dress! I kid you not! I am not sure where he thinks I would wear this in the hospital, not to mention I don’t think it will go with my slippers! Men! On seeing this, I quickly seized the baby clothes bag and put a yellow post-it note on the first outfit for the baby! Otherwise I can envision the baby being dressed in Tiny Tears Doll clothes or something similar!

Now just because I am in hospital, it does not mean that I can’t get my shopping fix. If anything, it has allowed me more time to shop – thank you online shopping! Within the four weeks of having the baby I will have my sisters wedding, my two nephews’ Christening Day, and my other two nephews’ Communion Day. From what I hear I will not have the energy for traipsing around shops when the baby is born, so to prevent this I am currently ordering dresses online that have a minimum 28-day refund policy so I can decide what to wear after the baby is born when I see how my shape is and send back or change sizes as needs be. I am ordering clothes a size or two up, and I am opting for items that flow or have space around the tummy area, which would be suitable for a ‘new-Mom-tummy’.

The title ‘Expect the Unexpected’ could not have been more fitting to my experience over the last 9 months. And again, with not knowing how this baby will make its appearance in to the world, the doctors have told me to ‘Expect the Unexpected’…which seems quite fitting! The next time I speak to you I will have a new little baby in our lives! Wish me luck!


Siobhán McHugh –


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