In this article, we’ve asked gorgeous Bodylove Mama client and baby sleep consultant Francesca Kendall (@the.sleep.escape) a few questions about her birth story and her buba.
What’s your baby’s full name & why did you choose that name?
Vivienne Jean Fogarty. We knew we were having a girl so I think this forced us to find a name a lot quicker and with Vivienne, we loved that we could abbreviate it so many ways… we mostly call her Vivi (pronounced Vee Vee) but also Vivvy and Viv. We love how well it goes with her middle name Jean, Jean was also my Nan’s name who meant the world to me.
What time did you give birth?
What’s your baby’s star sign?
Capricorn. She was born four weeks early so during my whole pregnancy I thought I was having a little Aquarian baby, now I joke to my partner about how lucky he is as both Vivi and I are Capricorns.
What was the best thing about her birth?
As cliche as it is, the moment she was placed on my chest and cried was hands down the best moment of my birth and life. Being a NICU nurse, I was a little nervous that she would need some breathing support being born at 36 weeks so I thought she’d get taken straight to special care before I could hold her. Thankfully, she let us know she was very ready to be here, and cried straight away. The emotion I felt when I held her for the first time was something I couldn’t have ever imagined I would feel.
What was the biggest challenge about her birth?
My waters broke at 35 + 4 days and I think the uncertainty around that was the hardest part for me. My contractions started to reduce a few hours after they broke and at that point, I was allowed one more week before I was to be induced due to risk of infection. Every day that past or hour even, I didn’t know when was going to come or if she would be okay being born early. I was put on bed rest in the postnatal ward (which was actually so special as my sister had just had her baby boy so we were there together). My obstetrician was checking in on me twice a day and on day three, he asked me what my biggest fear was and for me it was the infection risk now that my waters had broken. From there, along with my obstetrician’s support, we made the decision that I would be induced on day four which was exactly 36 weeks so as much as an induction wasn’t in my plan, it didn’t feel like a negative as my Ob made sure he discussed my options with me.
What helped you prepare the most for your labour?
My partner and I did a birthing course with a close friend of ours Maddy who is a birth suite midwife at 35 weeks. We felt so informed and I felt this huge shift in my own confidence knowing that Sam now felt a lot more knowledgeable so that he could advocate for me when needed. We were so lucky to be able to learn from our friend as she knew exactly how to talk to us and prepare us on a personal level but I think doing a birthing course together is so vital so your partner is informed and you feel like a team going into it.
What was your first meal post birth?
Vivi ended up going to the nursery for low blood sugars for three days the next morning which I was semi expecting being born 4 weeks early, so we stayed in hospital for three days post birth and I had hospital food (which was actually much better than expected). As soon as I got home I had lots of slow cooked meat dishes and bone broth and my partner got me oysters as they are my favourite thing in the world.
What is your top birth tip?
Get as knowledgeable as possible but don’t have a set plan. Ask what your options are from your Ob or midwife so that, along with your partner, you feel like you were part of all the decisions made around bringing your baby into this world. Although lots of things were out of our control because of her prematurity, I still came away knowing I was part of as much as I could have been and I can’t wait to do it all over again…hopefully a little closer to my due date next time.
Francesca Kendall. is a Certified Baby and Infant Sleep Consultant with a BSc (hons) in Paediatric/ Neonatal Nursing and own and runs baby sleep service, The Sleep Escape. Fran used Bodylove Mamas’ 500 + on-demand prenatal pilates workouts from home to build strength in her body to carry her through her pregnancy, her birth and for her life as a mama. She also joined Bodylove Mamas for some postpartum pilates workouts here while Vivi slept to get strong again after birth and to know that she was in safe hands with Ali.