Giving Birth During Lockdown

Fifty Shades of Motherhood



  • Giving Birth During Lockdown

“Birth plan…ripped up…out the window” Today Carla is joined by first time mum and founder of Babber Box, Phoebe Mills, who talks about giving birth to her little boy in April during the peak of the pandemic. Phoebe discusses her last minute decision to move back up North, at 37 weeks pregnant, just before lockdown struck and how her experience was during these strange times.

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[00:01:32] Hello, and welcome to 50 shades of motherhood, uncensored, unhinged and unapologetic. Guilt-free real, raw mum chats with me, your host, Carla Lett over-sharer and founder of My Bump 2 Baby the UK’s leading pregnancy to preschool directory.

[00:02:08] This week, I am speaking to a Phoebe Mills and she is going to be sharing her experience of giving birth in April in the height of lockdown. I hope you enjoy this episode.

[00:02:31] Hello everybody. And welcome to this week’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. This week, I am joined by the lovely Phoebe Mills who gave birth during, lock down. So I’ve got about a million questions, Phoebe. So hello, Phoebe, how are you? 

[00:02:49] Phoebe: Hello? I’m very good. Thank you, Carla.

[00:02:53]Carla:  Oh, I’m looking forward to speaking to you all about this. It’s something that I’ve been reading about and just feeling like, Oh my God, it’s bad enough giving birth anyway, but then having to do it during lockdown when this nothing is quite certain, I imagine it was quite a scary time. 

[00:03:08] Phoebe: Yeah, absolutely. It was really uncertain. You know, we had no idea whether my partner was going to be able to come in with me. Um, the news was changing every day. Um, I was, you know, I transferred hospitals quite late on in my pregnancy, but you know, each hospital is, Oh, we’re doing this today, but who knows what tomorrow brings. So yeah, it was, yeah, it was quite scary. 

[00:03:30] Carla: Yeah. I mean, I think the thing is when you get pregnant anyway, everyone’s always talking to you about the birth aren’t they, just like, Oh, what you can have? Oh 

[00:03:39] Phoebe: yeah. 

[00:03:39] Carla: You just like, Oh my God, it’s bad enough. But now, you know, I might actually be on my own. So we’ll go back to your pregnancy. Cause obviously during your pregnancy, everything else was pretty normal, I suppose you were, were you able to do pregnancy classes and get to midwife appointments okay? And everything seemed okay at that time.

[00:03:59] Phoebe: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It was all kind of like running normally and I had my last scan just as like the news was hitting about Covid really. And I was starting to get a bit paranoid, but I went into the scan and I was like, like, um, everybody seems quite normal and it’s just crazy to even look back on it now. Cause obviously everyone will be wearing masks in any kind of hospital that you would go in, but at the time, and, uh, you know, the second week of March, it was not like that at all. Everyone was carrying on as normal. So I was like, Oh, well maybe it’s not something to be that afraid of. Um, but yeah, it was all I had an antenatal class and yeah, it was all kind of running as normal, even though it’s kind of, had just started to get a little bit, a little bit strange. 

[00:04:42] Carla: Oh, it was so weird. Cause I remember I was watching TV and I was like, what is this? It was like, you know, when you’ve watched like Independence Day and stuff like that. And you see like the prime minister, prime minister, the president or the prime minister coming on TV and they are like. Right. Yeah all about the country, you like, you can’t imagine it can you and you like it. It just didn’t feel real at the time. And I was like, surely this isn’t right. And then every night we kept having those kinds of updates didn’t we and all of a sudden it just went. I mean, you were you down South. Um, Phoebe initially, were you in London? 

[00:05:17] Phoebe: Yeah. Yeah. So we were living in London at the time 

[00:05:20] Carla: Cause that got it worse. Didn’t it? I think that was, was that hit worse at initially? 

[00:05:24] Phoebe: Oh God. Yeah. Yeah. It was really scary. And obviously like I was still working. I was working until I was about, I think to us 37 weeks pregnant. So I was just going to commute into work in central London every day on the bus. And I was starting to get really, really scared. I had my turtle neck jumper pulled up to my nose thinking that that would kind of work kind of, kind of probably did protect me a little bit. But obviously we just didn’t know what we know now then. And, um, and yeah, it was just, yeah, it was really, I was just very anxious all the time, really. Um, and just didn’t do anything 

[00:05:57] Carla: How far were you then, cause you must’ve been  nearing the  end of your. Well, the start of your maternity leave then were you? 

[00:06:04] Phoebe: Yeah. Yeah. So I planned to go on maternity leave when I was 37 weeks pregnant. And that was basically when lockdown hit. So, um, me and my partner, he’s a teacher. So he was like, Um, you know, his school said as you know, pregnant women have just been told to self isolate or whatever. Um, you should not be in school either because you are a risk to her and the baby. So he got sent home and he was doing remote, online learning and, um, and yes, so we just packed up and, uh, and yeah, just. Left for the North to go and live with my mum, really, because we were just so anxious about it and we thought we don’t want a lock downs come. And for us to be stuck in our little flat in London with no family support, because we don’t have any family there either of us. And so we just had to make that call really, really quickly, like within 24 hours. Pack up all of our stuff and just get up North. So it was weird time, I was 37 weeks by then. So I was like, I could give birth at any time. 

[00:07:01] Carla: Oh my god. That is scary. So, so did you have to transfer hospitals then, how did that work? 

[00:07:07] Phoebe: Yeah. Yeah, it was actually fine. I mean, I just went to one, it was just kind of, I think I went to one midwife appointment on the Wednesday and I was just like, so they had said that they were going to stop doing water birth, which is something that I really wanted. Um, and they would close the birthing suite. So you had to give birth in the main hospital ward and I really wants to go in the birth suite. I just thought Oh, God, this is so scary. And also I was living in like one of the worst effected boroughs in terms of coronavirus figures. Um, so I was just like, Oh God, I was so anxious about giving birth. I was just in tears most days just worrying about it. Um, I just, uh, but it was really easy to transfer over to a different hospital. 

[00:07:49] Carla: That’s good. Could you think during times like that you, you think it would be a bit more difficult, but that’s good that it was because I don’t know about you, but when I’m with my mum, I just feel a bit more safe as well.

[00:07:59] Phoebe: Oh, my God. Totally. That’s exactly why we were just like, I just need to be with my mum. And I remember like getting up North that day after packing up all of our stuff and getting home and just being like, ah, you know, just feeling really looked after. And like, in my mum’s clean house, a cup of tea.

[00:08:15] Carla: Oh yes you can’t beat a cup of tea can you. Well, bless you. So that is frightening. I mean, gosh, I was a nervous wreck during the whole of lockdown and I wasn’t even  pregnant. I’m honestly,  every time I was going to the cupboard, you know, like, cause it was the height of hay fever time as well. Oh, I was just in that cupboard all the time. Sniffing coffee,  making sure I can  still smell. I was like, what are the symptoms? What are the symptoms? 

[00:08:41] Phoebe: Oh, holding breath. But, you know, over 10 seconds to check lung capacity. Yeah. It was a, it was pretty, yeah.

[00:08:50] Carla: It’s scary. So where, I mean, obviously once the lock down was announced, were you already up here by that stage or was it?

[00:08:59] Phoebe: Yeah just. Yeah, literally just, I think it was coming into effect on the Monday and we came on Thursday cause we kind of suspected that it was going to happen. A lot of people were in denial about it, but we were like, this is probably going to happen. Um, so yeah, we got up just in time before proper lockdown started.

[00:09:16] Carla: Oh thank God.

[00:09:17]Phoebe:  It was just like the biggest sigh of relief, especially considering that the baby hadn’t come, you know, on the motorway up North. 

[00:09:29] Carla: Yeah, that’s imagine that. Oh my God. Yeah. I didn’t even think of that. That’s like a panic in itself now. No I didn’t get my water birth, but you know, I got to car birth instead. Oh God. Wow. Okay. So, so the pregnancy side of things was fine and you managed to get your classes in, which is good because I know hypnobirthing and antenatal classes are massive. Well, they help with all that kind of birth anxiety. Don’t they as well. 

[00:09:56] Phoebe: Oh yeah, definitely. Yeah. I just did it all my hypnobirthing online. Actually, I didn’t even do any face to face been, hypnobirthing classes. 

[00:10:02] Carla: You didn’t need to really as well, because that’s another thing it’s going out isn’t it. During that time. And a lot of, um, a lot of hypnobirthing classes and anti-natal ones are online now, which is really good because I just think it makes it a lot easier for everyone because it’s scary when you’re pregnant going out and venturing out. Um, especially during a time like this. So what. I mean, how did your birth happen then? What, what week did you give birth?

[00:10:30] Phoebe: Oh, so it was, um, I was nearly two weeks overdue, so it was literally just a couple of days before I was due to be induced. Um, so yeah, I think it was the Thursday I was going to be induced. I think I must’ve been 11 days over. 40 Weeks. It’s hard to remember. Isn’t it? At the time you are so fixed on those figures and then afterwards you like what? 

[00:10:53] Carla: Yeah, I know because you’ve been through so much since, so, so we did your waters then at home or, or did you just go start getting contractions? 

[00:11:03] Phoebe: Yeah. So I kind of, I think had, had been having a couple of like feelings a couple of days before. And because I was living with my mum, you know what mums are like anyway, even if you’re not living in their house, they’d be texting you, ringing you. Any sign, any sign? Every morning I got up and she’d be looking at me going any sign? And I didn’t want to get her hopes up. So I think I’d been having contractions since about 3:00 AM that morning. And when she came down, I was like, Oh, you know, don’t get your hopes that just in case I kind of tail off, but yeah, yeah, this is happening. And I was determined to just kind of like get out for walks and just leave as long as possible before going to the hospital. And, um, Which obviously she was with me. So she was like, I think it’s time to go to the hospital. And I went upstairs for a little nap. And then as soon as I go into bed, my waters went, she was like now it’s time. I was like, okay. 

[00:11:53] Carla: Yeah, because everyone says don’t they leave it as long as possible. Cause sometimes once you get to hospital, it’s like you sent home or, and yours, yours was a bit of a drive to your local hospital. Wasn’t it? 

[00:12:04] Phoebe: Yeah, it was, yeah. So 

[00:12:07] Carla: Did you partner know that he could come or what, what was the situation with that? Cause I know a lot of women had to give birth on their own during that time. 

[00:12:15] Phoebe: Yeah, well, obviously I think that it was, I mean, the rules were just changing every single day and it was really, really confusing. And I don’t think even the hospital staff knew what was going on at that point. Um, but yeah, it was basically the rules were until you’re in established labor. You had to be on your own. Yeah. I don’t think I fully comprehended without meant at the time though, because obviously yeah. By the time I’d gone in, I, my waters have gone, my contractions were ramping up and I was just so convinced that I was like, nearing the end obviously is my first birth. So I had no idea, but, um, by the time I got in and got examined, they said that I was just only two centimeters, which was really deflating 

[00:12:56] Carla: Did you think you were futher? Did you feel like you were further cause of the pain and stuff? 

[00:13:01] Phoebe: Yeah, I did and actually, I actually think that, you know, hypnobirthing is all about, um, you know, Controlling that adrenaline and, you know, relaxing your body. Um, and I think because I was on my own, the adrenaline was so high, um, and that really affected my ability to control the pain. I was just really in bits, to be honest. 

[00:13:22] Carla: Were you on your own up to at first, then Phoebe? 

[00:13:25] Phoebe: Yeah. I just went in and obviously got examined and, um, yeah, she was just like, you’re not far, you’re not an established labor yet. Um, so you can either stay here by yourself or you can go home, but it was about half an hour drive home and she was a bit like, Oh, that’s not. Yeah. She was like Oh, I’m not really happy about you going home. And I was just like, please can my partner come in? And, um, and she was just saying, um, Yeah, no, the rules are that he can’t. But luckily because I was just not coping well at all. I was really in bits. Um, she let us stay in a room off the maternity wards together. Um, but she was like, as long as he does not go into the corridors, he’s not allowed to leave that room. And he was basically quarantines in there with me, but, um, I was so much more relaxed whenever he came in and she even came in and she was just like look at you. Doing so much better than you were. And I said, well, obviously, because having that person there, that support is so important for  a birthing person. 

[00:14:26] Carla: Oh Gosh. Yeah, definitely. I mean, it’s just having someone there being like, is this normal? Is this normal? Can you like check? But I guess he couldn’t even go out and tell them anything could he? So even if you needed them. 

[00:14:39] Phoebe: No absolutely not, he was just stuck in there with me. 

[00:14:42] Carla: Do they have to keep coming in and checking on you like really quite often then? 

[00:14:47] Phoebe: Yeah, they did. But then kind of like, not that often, really like maybe like once an hour or once every couple, you know what it’s like when you’re in that situation, the time just flies and you have no concept of how long has gone or it was just, I was just, we put our tunes on and I was just kind of like, you know, rocking myself through every contraction.

[00:15:08] Carla: Did you use the ball or were you on the bed mainly? 

[00:15:12] Phoebe: Um, I used the ball, but mostly I was just kind of like stood up just like rocking, like a bit of a mad woman.

[00:15:20] Carla: It’s like if you could go back in time and see yourself. You’d be like, Oh my God. I know I would. Oh gosh. It is scary because you just don’t know. And also it’s like, you don’t know what to expect, especially because your little boy was your first as well. So it’s like, Oh, and you’re hear with people being in labor for days and stuff like that don’t you. Did you, did you have to bring your own food and stuff like that? Or how did that work? 

[00:15:47] Phoebe: Um, they actually, they provided the food. I think it’s a pretty standard thing to provide food for the mother, but not the dad, but I am. I shared cause I’m nice like that. Like I kind of, I thought that I’d be the kind of person in labor to be like eating those as snacks. I brought loads with me, but actually I was not, I actually just needed some water and that was it really. And, endless cups of tea and stuff. So, um, but yeah, we, you know, they provided food, which was good, but we were in there for nearly two days, it was really long going.

[00:16:22] Carla: Oh gosh. It’s scary that. Yeah. So, so with the actual labor, then, did you get any pain relief for anything? Could you have it or what was that like? Did they offer it. 

[00:16:35] Phoebe: Yeah, they offered it to me. Um, I think I took like some paracetamol, maybe some monetary, I don’t know the codeine I’m not sure. Yeah. Yeah. So had a bit of that right at the start, but I was really adamant. I was, I didn’t want anything. I don’t want anything and I can breath through it. It’s fine. And then whenever I was in established labor, I went into the birthing suite and, you know, with the water pool and stuff it was amazing.

[00:16:59] Oh they let you do that did they in the end.

[00:17:01] Yeah yeah they were still operating that in that hospital, which was amazing. And, um, but yeah, yeah, I think they ran the pool about three times and I’d read that if you get it pool, sometimes you can be quite relaxed and it can naturally stall labor, you know, the progress. Um, so I was like, I’ll hold off. I’ll hold off. I’ll hold off. Um, yeah, and I think it was ran about about three times for me. And then I did actually end up getting in it because. Um, they examined me again after, probably for like the fifth time and I’d actually regressed. So I was actually less far along than they thought previously. So then I had to go to the ward and I had to be induced and it was just like, you know, birth plan, ripped up out the window, but yeah. Just the way it goes sometimes. 

[00:17:47] Carla: Is it is. And I think the thing is with the birth plan side of things, I think it’s important not to dwell on that too much because it can go out the window just as simple as that. And, you know,

[00:18:00] Phoebe: rather than a plan, you know, you’ve just gotta, you’ve got to accept the fact that it does take twists and turns that you can’t accept, but it’s all about, you know, having your little coping mechanisms in place to ensure that you are going to cope with whatever happens the best to your ability. 

[00:18:17] Carla: Exactly and it’s all about keeping you and little baby safe. Isn’t it. And Oh yeah. And that’s it. So, so what, so you went back up to the ward then. Did you have him in the ward instead of the water birth then? 

[00:18:29] Phoebe: Yeah, well, I was induced and I was put on a drip and at that point were like have some gas and air, in which case I was like, Oh my gosh. Yes, please. Um, which was such a relief after, you know, a day and a half of, um, slogging through it. But, um, yeah, so I, you know, I was on a trip there, and then eventually I got to, you know, fully dilated. Um, I was trying to push for two hours and they were like, Oh, that’s not really, nothing’s really happening here. So yeah. Yeah, so I had to be examined. And then they found now that the baby was, um, he was facing the wrong way. My pelvis. So head was basically sideways. So he couldn’t have come out, even though I was trying to push him out, I just couldn’t push him out. Um, so I had to then have a theatre delivery so with, um, yeah, they had to use forceps to turn them around so I can push him out. Which, uh, yeah, I mean, by that point, you’re just like, whatever I have to do , I will do. 

[00:19:27] Carla: Yeah, exactly, I bet you are shattered by that two days. 

[00:19:31] Phoebe: Totally, I was totally shattered, but you just get through it. The hormones are amazing aren’t they. 

[00:19:36] Carla: They are definitely. 

[00:19:39] Phoebe: Looking at my partner. He was just looked so knackered. Um, but I somehow just managed to keep my energy levels up. 

[00:19:47] Carla: It’s crazy. It’s crazy how you can do that. And the adrenaline just lasts so long. So, so obviously then he came little man safely arrived. So did you have to stay in the hospital for long afterwards? Or did you have to have any coronavirus testing or anything?

[00:20:04] Phoebe: No, there was none of that, which really surprised me actually. Um, but yeah, I’m sure it’s probably changed since then. It was quite early on. Well, is that actually the, a peak really in April, but, um, Yeah. So there was no testing that I needed to have done. And obviously everyone was all masked up. Um, and we we were masked up, which I think is pretty standard procedure in theatre anyway. Um, but yeah, I just, my partner was not allowed on the ward with me afterwards. So he. Whenever I was wheeled out of theatre. He was allowed to stay for a couple of hours in which he was just basically on the floor, under a pile of coats sleeping. I was just looking lovingly into my new baby’s eyes. But then I just got put on the maternity ward and he had to kind of leave me in the corridor, or I was just on my own, um, just for, just for a night. Um, I got to go the next day. So it wasn’t too bad, 

[00:20:57] Carla: Oh thats good that you got to go home the next day then. So yeah. I suppose with the hospitals the way they were as well, they would probably want people out as quickly as possible. Don’t they? 

[00:21:07] Phoebe: Yeah. Yeah, I think so. And I think it was because, um, he so my waters are broken and it had been over 24 hours since, uh, you know, the water’s breaking and then him coming. Um, so they wanted to keep an eye on him. So very keeping, you know, monitoring his heart rate and stuff. So that’s why I had to stay in that night. Um, But yeah, it was actually, it was fine. And then once they’ve done all the checks and stuff, I was just able to go the next day. So yeah, it was, yeah, it was, it wasn’t too bad. And like I said, I didn’t know any difference. So I was just kind of just, yeah. Positive about it. Just happy to have my little baby, so. 

[00:21:47]Carla:  Yeah. Yeah, because I think during that time you hear that many horror stories during the coronavirus, like pregnant women are more likely to get it pregnant, women, this, that, and it’s just, Oh my God. I know. I was just, yeah, it was frightening for everyone. But let alone, like if you, your due to give birth around that time. So, so what was it like then afterwards with the midwife support and stuff, did you find that you. I mean, you just moved were you’re still at your mum’s I’m guessing for a while? 

[00:22:14] Phoebe: Yeah. Yeah. We’ve actually only just moved out and he’s nearly six months old. So we were there for a really long time. It’s crazy to even think about it, but, um, yeah, the after support was not, I mean, I feel really sorry for some women, I’m lucky that I have my mum there to help me. Um, but it was just pretty much nonexistent, which is really you like awful to say that it was, you know, I heard I read in the books and stuff that you would have a midwife appointment within 24 hours. Is that normal? So I expected that, but I didn’t have anything. I had a call with a midwife or the health visitor. Sorry. Um, And yeah, she’s just kind of like ticking off the list. Just checking I was all right. Um, and I, I think I had quite a couple of complications afterwards cause, um, you know, with my stitches and stuff, I was just really, really sore. So I had to keep on going back into the hospital, which wasn’t ideal in that situation. And as you know, after you’ve given birth, you just don’t want to be travelling around. Um, so it was kind of like very much, uh, if you need obviously I needed to be seen, so I had to go to them, but then I felt like I was putting myself more at risk. And at that stage, nobody was even wearing masks in the corridors and stuff. So it was just me on my own with a mask hobbling through the corridors to be seen. Yeah, 

[00:23:36] Carla: No. And then, and then you worry then, and then you’re going home to a little baby and stuff. 

[00:23:42] Phoebe: Yeah, it was a bit of a nightmare. Those kind of like first few weeks afterwards. But the health visitor, did come after about a week and weighed him and did all the normal stuff. And she was just really happy with his progress. And obviously I had to take him in to get checked over and get him weighed before that anyway.

[00:24:00] Carla: Yeah i was going to say about that. How did you go about getting him weight and stuff? Cause normally you have to go every week I think? 

[00:24:06] Phoebe: Yeah, well, I think it was less, um, then that, so I can’t remember exactly, but, um, after a couple of days you have to go maybe like three days, I had to take him in to get him weighed. And then maybe after a week to check that he had, you know, put on weight because they always lose a bit of weight don’t they at first. So, um, Yeah. And I just went into hospital to have that done. And then the health visitor was so, so happy with his progress that she didn’t check in with me again, really ever. Um, so, but I think they basically said to me that if they were kind of happy at that meeting, that you were coping well, the baby was doing well, then you probably wouldn’t hear from them, but it isn’t very reassuring 

[00:24:52]Carla:  Yeah, that’s not good. I mean, the thing is your hormones are everywhere after birth and God, I spent , a long time convincing my midwife that I was fine and I knew I wasn’t. Um, but like at that stage, you don’t know if you’re not, you don’t know if you’re just having a bad few days or you don’t know how you feel. So I just think, I mean, with zoom and all that, I mean, there’s no real excuses to not be able to catch up with, with people that have just had babies really 

[00:25:21] Phoebe: Yeah. I did have one zoom with her. Um, but yeah, it was just, it was all very fragmented and I wasn’t really sure what was happening when, but I I’m pretty sure that’s a normal thing. Anyway, you just had a baby, you had to go all over the place. Um, but yeah, it’s just, yeah, the support was really like, yeah. Minimal and. Yeah and, like you said, you just, your mood is all over the place and you’ve had a baby. You can start the day feeling great. And then by the end, you’re in tears for no reason.

[00:25:49] By 10o’clock I was 

[00:25:50] Carla: in tears. 10:00 AM. I was in tears for no reason. Honestly. It’s so hard. Cause you it’s like your whole life has changed. Hasn’t it that you’ve also like, obviously had too get a baby out your fairy and it’s like, you know, everything, then you’ve got your stitches and, and then it’s the sleepless nights and stuff luckily like you said, you had your mum there but there’s a lot of mums out there that will feel like they haven’t had any support at all. And I just worry what is going to be at the end of this with the terms of like, you know, um, postnatal depression, and mental health anxiety, et cetera. It’s quite scary. 

[00:26:25] Phoebe: Totally. Yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, I, I, I worry about that too. Cause I just think, you know, women who don’t have that support, they just, yeah. We’ll just have to see, won’t we, but yeah, thankfully I felt quite supported at home, so. 

[00:26:42] Carla: Yeah. It’s so good that you were with your mum there. Um, that’s so good. So I bet she helped with the night feeds did she? 

[00:26:51] Phoebe: No, she didn’t. Well, I was breastfeeding anyways. Um, so yeah, it was just me. Um, which actually he was actually a really good sleeper when he was a newborn. Its actually since taken a bit of a turn and now he’s waking up every two hours for a feed. Which is not very fair. I didn’t think it would work that way round, but apparently it does.

[00:27:11]Carla:  And how old is he now? 

[00:27:14] Phoebe: He’s nearly six months. Yeah. So nearly at weaning time, but  yeah, it’s just, yeah, it’s been such a blur, but yeah, I’m so lucky to have had my mum’s help out with him. And I think because we’ve been around so often, like my, you know, my partner, he was off work. He was teaching remotely and, um, you know, for so many people around my family home that he was spoken to so often that I actually think his speech developed quite quickly. Like he was very like quick to make cooing sounds and bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. So yeah, I’ve got to keep up that level of interaction, even though its just me in the house now on my maternity leave. 

[00:27:54] Carla: I know, so is your partner, did you say, sorry, he’s gone back to work now. 

[00:27:58] Phoebe: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. He’s a teacher he’s gone back to work and. Yes. 

[00:28:04] Carla: Have you managed to get, I mean, you can’t really get out and watch much at the moment, but you managed to do, any baby classes or anything like that.

[00:28:11] Phoebe: I have actually just started a swimming class, which is so good. It’s so nice to do something that actually I thought that I would be doing on maternity leave. Um, so it’s just, yeah, it’s a small class. Obviously you can only allow the six people in, so it’s just six of us with their babies and, Oh, it’s just a bit of fun really. And just to get him out and just do something a bit different. It breaks up the week because you know how you know, you’re on maternity leave the week and you, yeah, your partner’s at work and you’ll just start there thinking, right. What should we do today? 

[00:28:44] Carla: I know. And sometimes unless, I mean, for me anyway, unless I got out before lunchtime, we just wouldn’t go out because it looks like I, my energy levels were just, so I was so tired by the afternoon. That, all my energy was like in the morning, so we managed to get out then. Um, but it can be a bit, a bit of a lonely time. Um, After you’ve had a baby. I mean, you’re lucky if you’ve got friends that are off at the same time, but it’s a long time to be alone with a baby. Isn’t it? 

[00:29:14] Phoebe: Absolutely. And I mean, it’s even, obviously it’s even harder now because we’re in lockdown and, um, I don’t have these kinds of people around me. I can’t invite them over for a cup of tea because I don’t actually have anyone who lives locally and also because of locked down and not allowed to anyway. So yeah, it is. I mean, I’m all about kind of. Yeah, I know how it feels as a new mother to not have that support. So, um, you know, trying to actively, you know, with my Instagram and my new business, I’m just trying to, um, you know, promote that kind of support for new mums and you know, that kind of self care aspects of your mental health really, because it is it’s tricky at the moment.

[00:29:58] Carla: So were you going back to work then, or have you changed career since  having your little one? 

[00:30:03] Phoebe: So I’m still on maternity leave. Um, so I am a marketing manager for a coffee company. Um, but whilst I’ve been on maternity leave, I have used kind of like a bit of my free time. I mean, I say free time. Baby’s naps, yeah. Um, to start my new business, which is called Babber Box. So it’s, um, a monthly subscription and one off gift box service for mums and babies. Um, and basically I know how difficult it is. You you’re lacking that support at the moment from other mums, and you’re not sure what products to use or so, you know, you know, the best things for your baby. So I’m kind of using tried and tested products, um, in these boxes, um, all natural, all ethical backgrounds, um, and yeah, kind of lovingly curated little gift boxes for new mums that people can buy. Um, and also the monthly subscription for mums who need that kind of level of self care and something to look forward to every month, which you obviously do. When you are in lockdown with a little baby. 

[00:31:05] Carla: Oh definitely self care. That’s what it’s about. Isn’t it definitely I love that. So do they just come through, come through your letterbox every month? Do they? 

[00:31:14] Phoebe: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So at the end of the month, we’ll send it and it will be, obviously it changes every month, but there’s always going to be about three or five little items in there. So there’ll be something for the baby. Um, and there’ll be always be a couple of things for the mum as well. So you’ll have some lovely, essential oil smells cause you know, how important is to kind of like how essential oils can really uplift you and relax you. I think that’s really important. And then also like something a quick beauty fix. Cause I know that, you know, some of these subscription boxes whenever I was. Um, given one, whilst I was pregnant from my mum, I just had loads of little like samples in it, which was nice, but I was just like, Oh, like, you know, I’d like full time size things. And, um, I know I was quite surprised when I saw the price of it as well. Um, so yeah, and I thought, I didn’t really have time to be kind of experimenting with this like face cleansing oil or this, I just kind of want like a face mask that I can just put on 15 minutes later, feel like I’ve done something for myself. Um, and just something easy peasy that I know how to do. Um, so we’ll always include at least one thing that kind of ticks that box in every single box. And then, um, yeah, either. You know, a couple more of those things or, yeah, it’s just a surprise every month, but it’s something to look forward to, you know, something coming through your door, just for you and the baby, obviously, because who doesn’t love buying cute things for  the baby.

[00:32:37] Carla: Oh 100 percent.

[00:32:40] Phoebe: So, yeah, that’s all the thinking about it. It’s just been me, you know, in lockdown having a baby and not having that support around me. 

[00:32:48] Carla: I think a lot of, a lot of people kind of look to start businesses after they’ve had a baby. Cause you see a bit of a gap don’t you? Sometimes. I mean, that’s how I started My Bump 2 Baby. It was, um, a bit of a gap where I was like, Oh God, there isn’t anything for that. Or like you you’ve recognised self care so important after you’ve had a baby. And I think sometimes, well, all the time. That I know mums tend to put themselves to the back of the queue and it’s like, Oh yeah, I’ll have a bath. If I can get time or I’ll do a face mask. If I can have time with something. And sometimes if it’s placed right in front, I think it’s like, right. That’s for this week. Right. I’m going to do that. I’m going to do that. 

[00:33:29] Phoebe: Yeah, it’s about taking that time for you and just kind of like, you know, why not buy yourself a little tree every month? Thats something that’s just going to come just for you that you can just really enjoy and relax about. I know what you mean though. Cause I like will sometimes have a bath of the baby and that’s my bath for the night a lukewarm bath with the baby. 

[00:33:48] Carla: Yeah, I’ve kind of done it, but I think the thing is though is so hard because by the time baby goes to bed, you’re so tired anyway. But sometimes your energy you’re like, Oh, I’m not going to bother doing that. I mean, it’s like me recently. I’ve been like, just, I just can’t be bothered with anything. I think it’s because I’ve been eating so much during lockdown. I like, I’m like, Oh God, I’m going to use twice the lot of fake tan. If I need, if I tell myself, you know, I’m going to wait until I get thin. But it ain’t happening this year now. Now it’s like, you know, it’s Autumn. It’s getting a bit cold. I’m just like, what’s the point now going on a diet, I may as well just carry on, but I think I need to actually set myself a bit of a target as well for like a regular kind of self care, you know, evening, or just even just a few minutes a day.

[00:34:40] Phoebe: Yeah, that’s all you need really just a little bit of time just to yourself as it is. Like, it’s crazy though, isn’t it? Because like you say, if I went for a little run, I’d feel guilty. I would feel like I was missing the baby, like, you know, missing out so it’s just about kind of, you know, not satisfying that mum guilt, by being in the house being close by, but just having 50 minutes, half an hour, an hour, just yourself so important.

[00:35:07] Carla: Oh, it is. It is. And sometimes I think what we, what I’m guilty of as well is like using my spare time too obviously when you’ve got a business and you’re on social media at the time, you can end up. Being on social media a lot. And really, I don’t think that’s real, true self care. Even if it is with a cup of tea or something, I don’t feel rejuvenated to be honest most of the time I felt worse. I’m like bloody hell that mum’s got a shit together. I’m just sat here. I’ve not brushed my hair. Oh. 

[00:35:34]Phoebe:  Social media can be a real negative thing actually. And you know, as a, as a new mum, I’m kind of aware of that. Like how much time I spend on my phone. I don’t want my baby to see me looking at the phone quite a lot, you know, so I, if I’m doing work, I try and do it on my laptop. Um, just, just to kind of like, just so he doesn’t see me staring at my phone all the time. I don’t want that. 

[00:35:55] Carla: I’ve actually started trying to read a bit more and get back into reading a bit because I just think that is a good way to kind of, you know, focus on something else and just have that bit of time reading in the bath is always a nice one. 

[00:36:09] Yeah, definitely. I mean, I’ve got a massive pile on my to read list, but by the time I get into bed, I’ll read one page and I’ll be a fast asleep. So yeah, trying to just stick on like onlines and little blogs and stuff that I can just, you know. Read a quickly before your eyes close.

[00:36:30] Phoebe: Exactly.

[00:36:31] Carla: So is there any advice you’d give to any mums that are at the moment about to go into, um, Like, well, I’m about to go into labor about to give birth or any mums that are pregnant at the moment. 

[00:36:45] Phoebe: I just say like, obviously you’re not going to do it anyway, but I would just say, just don’t worry about it because I, you know, I spent so long stressing about it and getting really upset. And then by the time that I was actually in labor, I knew where I needed to be. I needed  to be in hospital. I needed to be looked after by midwives and they are just doing their job. Just getting on with it they are not worried. They’re just, you know, cracking on and they’re such that so supportive and it actually is all fine. Like it will always be fine no matter what twists and turns your journey takes. Like as long as you, um, come out of it and you know, it’s just. I just wouldn’t change it for anything. Even though I would have preferred to go down the natural birth route and you know, it just didn’t work out. I still would not change it. And given birth in a pandemic, you know, it has its stresses, but, um, it is fine. Everybody knows what they’re doing they’re there support you and, you know, You won’t know any different when you are there, I’m pretty sure, but you just kind of getting on with it. You’re just leting your body do what it needs to do. And, uh, and yeah, it will all be fine.

[00:37:58] Carla: Brilliant. I love it no brilliant. I love that good bit of advice. So Phoebe, thank you so so much. And what we’ll do is we’ll put the links to everything we’ve spoke about, um, on the show notes as well, uh, for the Babber Box and everything. So thank you so much for being our guest today. 

[00:38:15] Phoebe: Well, thanks for having me on Carla , it’s been lovely.

[00:38:17] Carla: Oh, it’s been lovely chatting. I love a good chat on a weekend.

[00:38:20] Phoebe: Mother to mother I was deprived of that interaction. So 

[00:38:27] Carla: Especially at the moment, I know we can’t see anyone. Can we, so it’s quite nice to break away and have a bit of a chat with another mum. So thank you 

[00:38:34] Thank you very much thank you. 

[00:38:38] Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode of 50 shades of motherhood. My aim is to support free chat around motherhood’s uncensored unhinged and  unapologetic mum chat. If you like this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe and tell all your friends about it. The more listeners we get, the more subscribers we get, the more chance we’ve got of getting series three down.

[00:39:07] So I look forward to speaking to you next time and keep your eyes peeled on our social pages to find out who our next guest is. I’m sure you will love it.

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