Monday, 29 July 2013

Ophelia's birth story

Friday 19th July neither of us slept very well, due to the cat being her usual naughty self throughout the night and keeping us awake.  So when I felt a few tightenings at 8am Saturday, I bet callum that our daughter would decide to make her appearance, bearing in mind she was supposedly 40+2 at this point.  My alarm went off at 830am but by this point I was already aware labour was on its way as I had already been up to the toilet with bowels literally 6 times in as many minutes.

The morning was spent rather cheerily, I made Callum and I coffee, breakfast and lunch in between contractions and occasionally bounced on the yoga ball.  At this point there had been no plug, nor had my waters broken.  We started using a contraction timer about 9:30am little did we know we were timing them wrong though (you re only meant to time the very peak of the contraction, when you can't speak) and at first I found it hard to know quite precisely when the contraction started and ended.     

About 4pm the contractions started getting too much to bear and I spent pretty much all of the next 7 hours sat on the toilet, bracing myself using at first Callum's hands but as the pain progressed it moved to arms then legs. I also occasionally used the basin or bath, I also had a bath around here and my mum turned up as we had asked her to be our lift to the hospital and look after Inara. 

By this point I started asking Callum to call the hospital because we thought the contractions were 3 minutes apart and 30 seconds long (turns out they weren't).  Callum said the hospital sounded so reluctant each time we called and so he kept trying to put me off calling again.  they recommended paracetemol, which did nothing. 

About 9pm Callum called the hospital as the pain was getting too much for me and they reluctantly said we could come in but we thought they mught turn us away so we held on until 11pm. The show then appeared and the contractions increaed after this, plus I was sick a few times.  It was at this point we decided to go in.

My mum didn't know how ti get to the hospital which I think was partly due to being stressed, so Callum directed.  I'll point out now that the contractions were so strong by this point I couldn't talk.  Callum was trying to help me through contractions, time them, hold the sick bowl AND direct!This explains what happens next! We drove past the turning for the most obvious way to the hospital, which I remember thinking was a bit odd but knew there were other possible routes.  In his stress, Callum took us the one way we couldn't get to the hospital- down the road for busses and taxis only- at this point all I could manage to say was "NO, NO!".  Mum then drove on the wrong side of the road, as cars were coming towards us and then nearly ran over pedestrians!!! I was convinced we were going to crash! We eventually made it to the hospital and got to triage, where they said they had been waiting a while for me and congratulated me for being 4-5cm dilated!! I remember being so proud that we had got that far along and stayed at home.  She proceeded to pull lots of plug out, it was pretty gross- really bloody and thick gunky. TMI?!

My Mum then turned up, i'm not sure why as we had said that she was to go home, i think she was just worried.  It turns out that the ward was quiet, dead some might say! I was the only one there! We were taken to a room and I remember immediately being struck with the panoramic view; overseeing the city with the pier and Brighton wheel all illuminated  The room also felt welcoming, with a yoga ball, bean bag and chairs.  I didn't use the ball as I had found it uncomfortable and unhelpful when at home.  I tried leaning over the hospital bed at varying heights but I didn't feel it helped.  I was at this point keen for drugs after labouring for 15 hours with no pain relief.  The midwives understandably wanted to try lesser pain relief first and also recommended the pool.  Whilst I was pregnant I had liked the idea of a water birth but after contracting in the bath at home and realising it did nothing, i wasn't sure the pool would help.  How wrong I was! Before getting in the pool I tried gas and air,but I really struggled to get on with it in regard to regulating my breathing and the pain was so horrible I was close to tears and requesting an epidural lol.  My lovely midwife somehow managed to convince me to go try the pool and we managed to get me using the gas and air successfully. Together this made for the perfect combination and I spent the next four hours floating around with iced sanitary towels on my face (there is photographic evidence!) high as a kite, babbling utter nonesense whilst Callum and my Mum fed me gas and air/gave me water.  The pain was near enough gone whilst in the pool (until towards the end), so you can understand I was reluctant to get our when the Midwife wanted me to go sit on the toilet a few times, everytime I did this, the pain returned.

After  four hours the midwife examined me for the fist time since triage and I had not dilated any further! I was so disappointed because everyone was saying how well it was going!   I then had to come out of the pool as a senoir midwife wanted to see me and I had some pethidine.  I didn't feel the pethidine worked but Callum tells me it seemed to take the edge off the pain.  They  then decided to break my waters, which I remember being vaguely painful and like someone was going to pull my insides out.  They soon realised that darling daughter had pooed and the midwives were lovely in keeping me informed what was going on, gently mentioning that lots of people may enter the room.  Incidentally at some point they did, but I never felt worried or intimidated.   I don't remember much in detail after this except the tempo seemed to amp up.  They tried to monitor baby but couldn't get the clip to attach to her head (i also found this very painful!), instead it was attached to my cervix so they put something around my midrift instead.  During this time, there were several people prepping and prodding me; I had the midwives at the vag, another one trying to fit a cannula (which then squirted blood all over the place, luckily the drugs made me feel like I was watching it happen on the tv), another midwife trying to fit a catheter and the anesthetist trying to fit the epidural.

The anesthetist was great, making sure to talk me through the procedure and how it should work.  Unfortunately baby was not happy if I sat up (which is the best position for the epidural to be inserted for it to work), so the anesthetist had to try to fit it with me laying down on my side.  She was so patient, trying to wait for the contraction to pass and carefully put all the things in my back. Poor Callum was watching all this happen whilst my Mum either looked out the window or leant on his shoulder because she was worried.  He had to see masses of blood and blood soaked sheets be changed every few minutes, then had to mop blood of the floor!  They gave me a few goes of the epidural but things progressed so quickly from when they broke my waters that there wasn't time for it to work properly.  They sprayed stuff on me to work out where I could and couldn't feel it but I could still feel it pretty much everywhere.  I was by this point getting quite tired and talk began to go towards heading to surgery for forceps or the proviso of an elective c.  It was at this point that they thought I was still about 2 hours from delivering her so they were starting to get concerned.  I had other ideas and just started pushing, much to the midwives' surprise and apparently they had never seen anything like it, sheer determination which came from nowhere.  I had got to the point where pain relief hadn't worked so I just wanted it over and done with as soon as possible.

I found the pushing really wasn't that bad, it gave me something to concentrate on and be an active part of, rather than the contractions which made me feel like a slave to them and unproductive! I was worried that the way I was pushing wasn't right and that it'd go wrong, but apparently instinct kicked in and every push was efficient.  We needed a bit of help via the kiwi and an episiotomy but she was soon born at 8:22am on a sunny Sunday.

Overall we were so very lucky with our experience and the people who took care of us, which we are very thankful for!  Oh, also, it turns out that she was in fact 42 weeks old (the placenta's deterioration gave this away), so the first appointment at the GP was infact the right due date-5th July! No wonder I was struggling so much by the end!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Baby Outfit of the day

Here is Ophelia's first outfit of the day! We were very lucky to receive mountains of clothes (I have the smallest amount of clothes out of our whole household!) so I thought I would use my time to post some photos of Ophelia wearing her favourite outfits.

Stripey top George @ Asda
Flower leggings  George @ Asda
Bib: Funky Giraffe

I love this outfit! I particularly love the bib which was given to us by some friends.  They gave us lots in a variety of colours so perfect for lots of different outfits! We had been putting Ophelia in sleepsuits all the time, but I decided to try an outfit today and am so glad I did.  I found it so much easier to get on and off come change time! Her legs are like frogs and she has really strong limbs so this makes it more straightforward and less stressful for her.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

21st July 2013

Our daughter decided to make an appearance a 822am on Sunday so i'll be off the radar whilst I literally have my hands full with her.

Friday, 12 July 2013

39 Weeks

Great photography skills again, with an intruder added in for good measure!

This week has been a tough one, although from all my moaning I think I make it seem like every week has been! The pains getting out of bed have got even stronger so I can't get out of bed without moaning anymore! Coupled with the fact that the sun has finally decided  to make a semi permanent appearance and you have one grouchy mumma! I have for this reason tried to spend as much of my time in my pants as possible! Having said this, Callum had three days annual leave this week, so it was nice to be able to enjoy the sunshine together! We took a walk into town every day, went to the cinema and went to a few pubs that we had been meaning to visit for some time. On Thursday Callum had a job interview so I spent some time in the sunshine on the Old Steine, even though I was surrounded by foreign students it was quite peaceful and relaxing.  Usually, despite getting up numerous times a night, I sleep fairly well and easily, tending to fall asleep in a matter or minutes, but last night was very odd.  I went to go to bed around midnight, as I usually do, but I felt suddenly really energised and could tell I wasn't going to sleep.  I decided to try to force myself anyway, because I knew I would regret it otherwise.  When I lay down I started feeling some tightening around my pelvis which I had experienced on a smaller scale previously but not as consistently.  I tried not to panic and instead just lay there.  They carried on consistently for five hours but then stopped.  So goodness knows what that was about! COME ON BABY! 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Bump Update: Week 38

GETTHISBABYOUTOFME pretty much sums up how i'm feeling about now!  
  • Bump size: Well the bump size is apparently bang on the measurement it should be at this stage, although it does feel massive! Thankfully, people continue to tell me that from behind I don't look pregnant but the weight of baby is taking its toll.I find it particularly uncomfortable being in bed or trying to get up from the sofa.  Turning over in bed has gone from uncomfortable to downright painful on both the bump, my hips and my pelvis. 
  • Leg cramps: Strangely the leg cramps APPEAR to have decreased in regularity although remain present, however they have not been every night.  Having said that, i'm so uncomfortable that this could be taking the brain space over leg cramp head space?!
  • Heartburn/acid reflex: This last week has seen a dramatic increase in the sick-in-my-mouth situations so a few times i've just taken my Boots replica Gaviscon to prevent it happening.  Unfortunately I've still had a few times where it's worn off in the middle of the night
  • Toileting: I have noticed a big increase in my weeing habits this last week.  It first became apparent when I walked to town (a 30 minute waddle) and I had to stop four times! Since then, I seem to need to go every few minutes! Still no constipation.
  • Movements: She continues to be a fidget quite a lot of the day! The last few days she has been particularly active at night time! She also decides to move her whole body from side to side, one day lying head down facing to the left but on the right side and then before I know it she has switched over to the left! Should make labour fun !! 
  • Boobs: They don't seem to have grown much but continue to leak. ALL. THE. TIME.  It'll be a miracle if there's anything left by the time baby comes!
  • Mood: My mood has become noticeably irritable and frustrated this last week, whereas before I was managing fairly well to control my stress over money/Callum's possible unemployment/my discomfort/anxiety over the birth  etc etc, now, I seem unable to stop these things getting to me.  I also don't think i'm coping with maternity leave particularly well! I have managed to have plans every day so far and still managed to nap sometimes or lay in, but I think having so much time on my hands on my own has led to me getting frustrated re her arrival quickly.