I’m delighted to say that our beautiful baby girl, Elsie, came crashing into the world, weighing 8lb 11oz, on Saturday 21st May 2016. 

After two days of mile contractions and symptom spotting labour signs I finally felt the real deal not long after going to bed on Friday 20th May. I woke up about 10:45pm and told hubby “it’s time!” and he got straight on to his Dad so he could come and sit with Florence as she was in bed and I called the birth centre. Matt jumped in the shower which I was most disgruntled about as I really felt quite panicky and wanted to get off ASAP albeit we had to wait for Matts dad anyway. 

I was shivering like it was -15 degrees and the contractions were coming thick and fast every 3 minutes or so. 

We eventually got on our way and arrived at the birth centre at 11:40pm. We were immediately shown to our room which had a birthing couch, sofa and birthing pool. The room was ensuite and was dimly lit with mood lighting and fake, flickery candles. The radio was on low volume and we were provided with ice water, straws, tea and coffee. By this point the contractions were around 1-2 minutes apart and the birthing pool was being filled, much too slowly for my liking! The midwife, Beth, checked my blood pressure and felt baby. I jumped up and had another contraction; Beth asked if I wanted any pain relief yet and I said “I don’t know” (duhhh!) I breathed through my contractions and as cheesy as it sounds I really did just think about those amazing moments immediately after delivery to get me through each tightening. 

After that contraction had passed I asked for gas and air. Beth provided it immediately and I stood by the pool swaying; waiting for the next pain. It came and I suddenly felt the sensation that I was wetting myself. It was the pressure. She was coming. I basically peeled my clothes off immediately and jumped in the birthing pool which was only partially filled. I kneeled down and puffed on the gas and air as the next contraction came and that’s when it all happened. The pressure was immense and I just pushed down with all my might. The next words out of my mouth were “the heads out!” followed by “the shoulders are there” and with any push she was born, at 12:02am-just 22 minutes after arriving at hospital! Thank goodness it wasn’t a Saturday lunchtime as I think I would have had her in the car!

The placenta took some time to come out, about 38 minutes I think my notes said. I had to get out the pool in the end and sit in the toilet. That sitting position seemed to get it in just the right place. It doesn’t hurt when you pass the placenta, just like a very heavy, spongey lump! The midwife then checked me internally, gas and air required, but all was in tact and just a small graze seemed to be the worst of my injuries. 

Finally it was time to sit and enjoy our baby girl whilst the midwife did her paperwork. I breastfed her and just stared at her in shock of how quickly life just changed. 

We stayed at the hospital until 6am and then headed home. Florence had only just woken up when we got back so you can imagine the shock on her face when daddy carried a baby into the house! 

I’m filming our first week, in parts, and I filmed some bits in hospital. I did plan on filming the labour but it happened so quickly I couldn’t get myself together to sort the camera out! I’ll pop it up here when I finally get around to editing it.

Elsie feels just as part of the family as Logan or Florence. Yes, we’re tired, my boobs hurt and our laundry pile has doubled, but we’re totally in love!

   
    
    
   

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I know I say it every week but wow – I’ve reached my 38 week pregnancy update! I can’t quite believe it. When I imagine my birth I feel quite emotional. Those moments following delivery where you don’t have the energy to speak and you just stare into those little dark eyes are what I’ve been dreaming of since March 2014.  It’s within touching distance. Actually it could be sooner than I think as this week has been quite eventful!

On Sunday I woke up with, what can only be described as, crippling pain just above my belly button. I called triage as something just didn’t seem right. As suspected I was advised to take paracetamol and rest for an hour.  I did and the pain lessened.  I called back and they suggested it was just torn/damaged ligaments in my stomach and perhaps the baby was lying in an awkward position which aggravated it.  I took some codeine which I had been prescribed for migraines and that did the trick; I haven’t felt the pain since.

Today, Tuesday 10th May, I had my 38 week midwife appointment.  It wasn’t my usual midwife which always makes me nervous but she was so lovely it actually made me wish she was my usual midwife! I told her about my pains and how I had been a little swollen in the heat and how today, particularly, I’d experienced back pain, discharge and general discomfort.  I forgot to tell her how my body had seemed to have a little clear out the night before too. The midwife said it all sounded promising and took my blood pressure.  It’s been steady for weeks but it was now elevated to 140/94. Once again the midwife said it might be the start of labour as my body starts working a little harder.  I really need to relax and keep my blood pressure low as I won’t be allowed to birth at the midwife led unit if it creeps too high.

After having a feel of my tummy and a listen to the baby the appointment was over.  I always love getting out to the car and having a read through my notes.  I saw the baby’s heartbeat was only 128bpm which alarmed me a little as it hasn’t been less than 140bpm throughout the pregnancy.  She did say during the appointment she thought baby must be asleep so I guess if she’s not worried I shouldn’t be either! Most excitingly of all the baby is engaged! I know this could change as it’s not my first baby and the head could easily pop back out but my notes suggest the baby is 2/5 engaged and todays symptoms seem to reflect that.

It’s difficult not to get too excited after 38 weeks of waiting.

The following day I had back ache all day again and got my hopes up that I was in early labour after reading an NHS leaflet about the initial stages of labour.  You’d think after two kids I’d have some idea wouldn’t you?  Anyway, today (Thursday 38+4) I feel fed up and emotional.  I almost cried for no apparent reason when Florence gave me a hug this morning. There were workmen blocking the end of our cul-de-sac (how dare they) and I’m walking like I’ve got a bowling ball in my rectum.  I know – I’m irrational and irritating. After I’ve finished up this post and tidying the house it will be time to pick Florence up from school.  I am going to bite the bullet and waddle down to the park with her, lets hope it gets things going.

If you missed my 37 week update you can read it here and you can also read my birth plan here.

38 weeks pregnancy update

 

38 weeks pregnancy bump

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It’s called a birth plan for a reason.  It’s a plan.  It’s not set in stone, it might not work out but it’s a plan of how you would like the controllable factors surrounding your birth to be.

I didn’t really have a birth plan with Logan.  How can you when you’ve never been through labour? My plan was to have a baby.  Having been through that thoroughly horrendous experience I had a much better idea of how I wanted my labour and delivery with Florence to be. It was almost all for nothing when my bump stopped growing but thankfully I got the midwife led birth I wanted.

In fact, the whole experience was so fantastic I want a replica birth with this little baby inside me – perhaps a little quicker. I am once again booked in to delivery my baby at our local midwife led birthing centre.  They don’t provide epidurals or caesareans. It’s a unit for low risk women to deliver their babies in as natural way as possible.  Every aspect of the unit is geared up for relaxation and the rooms are like homes from home where you, your partner and baby can all stay the night (if required) in the same room, on a sofa bed.

In terms of the labour I’d like to stay home for as long as possible.  If I do end up at the unit in early labour I would love to make use of the essential oils again by having Matt rub my lower back (sorry slave boy).  Once I feel the pain is becoming a little much I’d like to slip into the birthing pool and last as long as possible before hitting the gas and air.  Ideally I’d like to use the gas and air just for the pushing stage but we shall see. I don’t know if it helps with any kind of pain relief but it does give you something to think about and ‘do’ whilst things are happening downstairs.

The birthing pool was a massive form of pain relief for me. I didn’t have any of that ‘burning’ of the first labour.  There were no stretching and tearing skin sensations.  I had to deal with the contractions and the general pain but that was all.  It really was the burning that I couldn’t cope with previously.  The idea with the birthing pool is that you keep your bump underwater the whole time, stay upright and the warmth of the water keeps you relaxed and supple.

Assuming that all goes to plan with the birth, I’d like Matt to cut the cord and have some skin to skin whilst waiting for the placenta to be delivered.  Whilst the midwives take baby away to be weighed and checked I’ll shower and clean myself up.  I’d love Matt to dress baby girl and then we can all sit down and relax whilst little lady has her first breastfeed.  I’ve put a whole outfit including nappy and personalised bib in a small duffle bag on top of the changing bag so Matt can just grab it and know what baby girl is to wear.

It all sounds too perfect and I will be lucky to experience another labour like Florence’s. The one thing I can’t control is when.  Florence has been quite ill the last week and is still off her food and tired.  She’s been napping on the sofa which is totally out of character for her.  I’d hate for something to happen during the night and have to disturb her, she needs all the rest and routine she can get at the moment.  As much as I want to meet our new family member I really want the children I have to be happy and healthy.  If only to make me feel more relaxed about leaving them.  I was out the house less then 24 hours when I had Florence; we left home at around 4pm and got home around 9am the next morning.  Being a low risk birth unit, we were allowed to leave within about six hours but opted to stay overnight just to recuperate. This time, as we have Florence to think about I will want to leave as soon as we are given the all clear.  Even if I get home and head straight for a nap.  At least I can nap at home, in my bed with my kids around me.

A nap? Who am I kidding?!  I’ll have a newborn baby who wants feeding every hour and lets face it, I won’t be able to take my eyes off her.

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