Love coffee, but gave it up during your pregnancy? One mum tells us how dreaming of a cappuchino motivated her through labour pains. Cathryn Wood, 23, lives in Suffolk with her husband Dion and their daughter Edith, five months.
I’ve always been a coffee-lover, especially cappuccino. Pre-pregnancy, hardly a day went by when I didn’t order one from our local café or make a cup or two at home.
I was overjoyed to be pregnant, but it immediately dawned on me I wouldn’t be able to indulge in my favourite drink.
How much coffee can you drink during pregnancy?
I read the guidelines stating that 200mg a day is fine for pregnant women, but I didn’t want to do anything to risk my baby’s health.
Giving up was hard, but when temptation struck I’d imagine the day when I could take our baby to the café. The thought of how good that first cappuccino would taste kept me going.
I was six days overdue and feeling fed up, when I was woken in the night with mild period-like pains. It was 3am and I was too excited to try to go back to sleep.
When I called the hospital at 9am they advised me to stay put and have a bath. As soon as I got into the water the sensations disappeared. I was distraught. All I wanted was to meet my baby and to have that longed-for cappuccino.
All I wanted was to meet my baby and to have that longed-for cappuccino
I was already booked for a sweep that afternoon. The midwife said I was 2cm dilated, although my contractions still hadn’t ramped back up.
That evening I had an early night, but woke at 11pm with an intense pain in my back. ‘This is what a proper contraction feels like,’ I thought. They came regularly after that. Dion drove me to the hospital at midnight, stopping to pick up my mum.
For the next few hours I paced the floor, rocking through each contraction. With each one, I knew I was one step closer to meeting my baby.
‘Not long until that cappuccino!’ Dion joked, which helped keep me focused.
‘Not long until that cappuccino!’ Dion joked, which helped keep me focused
Finally, at 8am I was told I could start pushing. Lying on the bed, I followed my body’s instructions to bear down. Mum was on one side, holding my head up; Dion was on the other, whispering encouragement. He kept mentioning that cappuccino, and in between pushes I imagined having my first sip. It was a great motivator!
After 45 minutes of pushing, I was given an episiotomy [small cut] to help the baby out. It worked. I felt the baby’s head moving down, then a huge pressure. In two more intense pushes the head, then the body, came out. The midwife handed our baby girl to me.
‘Is she really mine?’ I gasped. Dion and my mum were crying and I burst into tears.
That first cappuccino in 41 weeks tasted amazing!
Baby Edith was healthy and we went home the following day. Our first family outing was three days later – to the local café. That first cappuccino in 41 weeks tasted amazing! I’m sure that imagining that moment helped me stay mentally strong during labour.