Category Archives: Pregnancy

Birth story

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I wasn’t very good at updating this blog while I was pregnant.  I finished work at 35 weeks, the tiredness and sheer size of me was talking its toll.

The weeks went by, each of them bringing their own problems.  Swelling, cellulitis, reduced movement, increased heart rate…. I had a spell overnight in hospital due to mine and baby’s heart rates being too high.  I found the last few weeks very tough. Especially when I got too big to drive.

40 weeks came and went, and I was starting to get panicked at being left 12 days before getting induced. I’d even tried acupuncture at 39 weeks to bring labour on.  I think it started contractions but sadly not full labour.

At 40+4 I finally woke up to contractions. I’d been having them every day for the week prior, but they always stopped at night. I woke up at 2:45am with contractions 4-6 mins apart. I waited half an hour then woke Phil to help time them and help me put the tens machine on. They were only lasting 40 seconds. When they dropped to every 4 mins I rang labour ward. Moving down the stairs seemed to ramp things up, while I was on the phone with labour ward contractions went to every 3 mins and she timed them as lasting a minute.  Given that we live 25-30 mins drive from hospital I was told to call 999 for an ambulance.  The fast responder car arrived in about 2 mins maybe even less, then the ambulance arrived about 5 mins after. I took the tens machine off but unfortunately left it at home rather than take it to hospital. The paramedics got the gas and air going and then took me off in the ambulance.  I was upset because I was still in my scruffy PJ’s, and cos we hadn’t yet managed to get through to my parents to come for Daisy.

While in the ambulance the contractions went to every 2 mins but only lasting 30 seconds.  The trip up there seems so surreal now, knowing I was being blue lighted. The paramedics were lovely, helping me stay calm.  Sadly when I arrived and was examined at 5am I was only 1cm dilated! When they told me that I lost it and begged them not to send me home with contractions every 2 mins.  They agreed I could stay, but took the gas and air off me – which I wasn’t happy about. Phil arrived an hour after I’d got there, and I was moved to the antenatal ward.

I got re-examined at 8am and by then had progressed to 5cm.  Those hours in between are a complete blur. The pain was so intense, and remaining at every 2 mins.  When they’d examined me they’d found that baby was back to back, so the contractions were trying to get baby to turn.  I wasn’t coping with the pain, I lost it a few times and my midwife had to shout at me to bring me back into control. I could only hover about, I found it really painful to even get on the bed.

We’d agreed that I could have an epidural, so once I reached 5cm I was then moved to labour ward, allowed the gas and air back and then a while later was given the epidural.  Stopping the pain was like a fog had been lifted.  Prior to it I could only speak one word answers if anything at all.  Once the pain stopped I was coherent, and could speak and think clearly. 

Unfortunately I stopped progressing for a few hours, and nothing else happened till my waters were broken, then I progressed up to 10cm quickly.  I was given an hours rest before I started pushing. I knew at this point I didn’t have much left, and was very tired.  The pushing didn’t go well, baby was still back to back and wasn’t being moved at all by my pushes, so I was taken down to theatre for forceps.  It was exactly what had happened with Daisy so I wasn’t frightened.

I was told that my pelvis is a funny shape, so it was difficult for baby to get round.  An episiotomy and the forceps and me pushing managed to get things moving – I’m still not clear if they had to do the turn or not, but unfortunately baby’s shoulder got stuck, which caused more drama, but finally out baby came.

A girl!

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The next drama was my placenta not coming away, so I had to have a manual removal of that.  It seemed to be taking forever, I was expecting to end up being opened up to get it.

Finally I was stitched up and taken back to our room. I’d had a quick cuddle, then baby had been given to Phil, so he did skin to skin with her while I was still in theatre.  I had another cuddle with her while Phil did the ringing round and announcing of the name.

Phoebe Rose

At 8ib4 she was much bigger than I was expecting, I’d brought in tiny baby clothes!

We stayed overnight on the postnatal ward then was allowed home the next day.

The care we had at York was fantastic, the midwives I had during labour were amazing, working 12 hours without a break, and dealing with two of us having a difficult birth.

The last 3 weeks have flown by. Daisy is getting used to being a big sister, and we’re getting used to being a nocturnal household again!

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23 weeks

This pregnancy is absolutely flying by.  Whilst I don’t feel very big, people constantly tell me how big I am, and at this point they were hardly showing etc…well I am showing, but I don’t think I’m too big for gestation.

This last week I’ve started with pelvic pain, which I didn’t have first time round.  I knew with being overweight it was always a possibility, I just assumed from being pregnant with the Duck that I carried easily and I would do the same this time.  The pain started on Sunday, but became really severe on Monday.  I just assumed I’d pulled something in bed.  Monday night and Tuesday I was in agony with it, and finally decided to listen to what Phil’s telling me and slow down a bit.  Since then the pain has been there when walking, but it’s been manageable.  It’s worse at the end of the day, or if I’ve had a day where I’ve had to move about a lot.  On Thursday I admitted defeat, after we’d been to vote I popped into our local doctor’s surgery and managed to get a telephone consultation – that then led to me being seen on Friday.  I don’t think the doctor was too worried about it, I can still move, and it’s not the worst pain I’ve had – but thankfully she has referred me for physio.  I’m looking forward to the appointment and getting some strategies to coping with this better.

We’ve had some beautiful weather recently so we’ve made the most of it and had a couple of picnics with our respective families over at Temple Newsam.  We’ve played out in the garden a lot, been for walks, and when the sun got too much we stopped inside with playdoh and managed to do a bit of messy play with squirty cream in the bath.  Daisy found it hilarious to cover me in the whipped cream, so I ended up just as messy as she did.

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If I can get to the end of August, like I’ve planned, then I have 14 weeks left at work.  I’ve found it hard telling people that I won’t be coming back – everyone has said it’s such a shame, and I still feel like I’ve let my boss down.  My replacement starts in a week, so I have a good hand over period with him and can get him fully trained and ready to become the new me.  It’s unfortunate that the job I do couldn’t be done on an evening/weekend – I’d jump at the chance of being able to do that – but there’s no way I could stay on the same banding and not be available for meetings, or be available to help/train the rest of the team.  I hope I’ll be able to find some evening work within the NHS, and then I’ll be able to keep my continuous service for my pension, but if I can’t then so be it.  I made the choice to have another child or keep progressing with this career, there was no competition for me – I always wanted a large family, and I want to spend more time with the Duck before she goes to school.

The biggest thing for me is my loss of independence.  I’ll no longer be able to spend “my” money on whatever I like, I know I’ll feel guilty having to ask Phil for money to be able to socialise with my friends/buy clothes etc – I’m determined that I’ll have a little part time job to be able to keep that independence, but the loss of status from my current job will take me some getting used to.

Catch up

I haven’t blogged on here for a long time.  I’m still continuing with my quest to be healthy in 2014, more so after finding out at the end of January that I’m pregnant.  I’m now 18 weeks and enjoying this pregnancy much more than my first – not because it’s been easier, I actually think I’ve felt worse, but because I don’t feel anxious about this one.  I know what’s coming, we’ve done it before.

I wasn’t able to continue with Slimming World, but I will be returning to it once I’ve had this baby.

I’ve tried to carry on doing nice things with Daisy, playing out in the garden, going swimming, going out for lunch, going to soft play, making cards together for relatives.  She’s growing up so quickly, her speech is starting to come on, and she’s such a little character.  She’ll be a complete handful, she doesn’t stop for a minute, always busy with something.  It makes me worry how I’ll cope when the new baby comes, but I’ll soon adapt and learn how to look after two.

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I feel like I’ve got involved with Easter a lot more this year, I did Easter crafting with Phil’s niece and nephew , and made an Easter card for my parents with Daisy – I just seem to have been caught up in the general excitement of it all.  I’d tried to avoid Daisy having too much chocolate, and we bought her a table and chairs instead of an egg.  But she came and sat with me and helped herself to half the egg I was eating, and brought a little easter bag full of treats from nursery.

We’ve had a lovely weekend, Phil managed to get out on his motorbike on Friday, and I went to Blacker Hall Farm with my Mum and Daisy.  It was expensive for lunch, but lovely and clean with great facilities for babies/toddlers/kids.  Saturday we went to IKEA to pick up Daisy’s table, then had a relaxing afternoon.  Today we’ve had another relaxing day, I managed to try out a new cake recipe ahead of cake club.  I’m hoping for good weather tomorrow so we can get out for a walk somewhere, and Daisy can have a run about and enjoy some nature.

The birth story and first 2 weeks

I saw our Community Midwife at 40 weeks +1 day, on Friday 2nd November.  My blood pressure was high, and there was protein showing in my urine, so she sent us straight to LGI for monitoring.  When we got there I had my blood pressure done, bloods done and then left to wait while calls were made.  I honestly thought they’d send me home and tell me to come back on Monday for monitoring, so I was shocked when they told me the Consultant wanted to admit and induce me – right then!

I made calls to my parents – neither answered! And then made my way up to the delivery suite.  After some more monitoring I had a pessary inserted to induce me – and was told it was likely to take 3 days for anything to happen.  So I sent Phil off to have tea with the boys.  As soon as he left the pain started – but I assumed it was just early days, and the pain would be getting worse.  I was up out of bed trying to walk the pain off, and was ending up doubled over on the bed with the intensity of the pain – I managed to wait it out an hour before I went and asked for some paracetamol – the midwives then decided to examine me. Luckily my parents arrived around this point, and my Mum was rubbing my back to try and ease the pain.  I had to get back into bed to be examined – which was agony – and then suddenly my waters broke.

I’ve never experienced anything like it, I ended up in tears because I was in my new pyjamas and not my giving birth nightie, and the waters just kept on coming, just when I thought it had finished then there was another rush of it.  I started to get a bit panicky that Phil wasn’t there and things were progressing so quickly, so my parents got in touch with him and told him to get straight back.  (We’re still waiting to see if he gets any speeding tickets….).

I’d been determined that I wasn’t having any pain relief other than gas and air – that went right out of the window as soon as I was in labour, anything they offered me I took.  If I’ve remembered rightly they gave me diamorphine, and things are a bit blurry after that.  I don’t remember my parents leaving us, and only vaguely remember moving rooms into a delivery room.  Then the next thing I remember is it being night, we had a midwife with us all night keeping an eye on me – she was brilliant.  I know it took 5 hours to go from 1 to 5 cm dilated, and then 4 to get to 10cm dilated.  During this time I was given an epidural, and I used gas and air.  I think this part of the process took it out of Phil more – it was hard for him to see me in pain, and then being out of it.

I was told in the morning that I’d be having a 2 hour break, and then pushing from 9:45 to 10:45am – and if I didn’t progress enough by 10:45am then intervention would be needed.  At 9:45 precisely I started pushing, I could feel the contractions, and pushed, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough, and at 10:45am I was told to stop and then taken into surgery for either a forceps delivery, or a C section if the forceps weren’t possible.  This was the really frightening part for Phil, but I just wanted the baby to be delivered – even though an episiotomy and forceps were exactly what I didn’t want to happen, it just didn’t seem to matter at the time.  I had to have the epidural topped up, it wasn’t taking on my right side enough and I could still feel things.  It seemed to take ages for it to start working but in the end it did and the doctor got hold with the forceps and gave a tug.  She told me that one tug was all she needed to do and I did the rest by pushing – but I’m not sure if she just said that to make me feel better!  I felt the baby come out and start crying, and I kept asking what is it, what is it, they then showed me.  A girl.  My little baby girl.  She was popped onto my chest, and I’m sure I remember someone saying she was weeing on me.  I started shaking at this point, which just got worse and wouldn’t stop – to the point I didn’t feel like I could hold her properly.  She was taken away for cleaning up and weighing etc, I was so surprised when we were told she was only 6Ib10 – I was expecting a 10Ib baby!

I was stitched up and then we were taken to recovery.  I don’t remember much about that, only that I couldn’t stop shaking, and had no feeling whatsoever in my legs.  I can’t remember when my parents arrived but they did at some point.

After I’d given birth Phil had asked me what we should call her – the girls names we had picked were Seren (Welsh for Star), Grace and Daisy.  We were torn between Daisy and Seren, but Daisy suited her the most.  Baby Daisy was born at 11:36am on Saturday 3rd November.

We were taken down to the ward and then my parents left for a few hours to go and get something to eat.  So then it was just me, Phil and Daisy left.  We had a couple of hours just us and then visiting started again.  The visitors all left by 8pm, and then Phil left about 8:30pm to go and get some well deserved sleep.

I started to get worried because I’d not fed her, and tried to get her to latch on to breast feed – she just wasn’t interested and wanted to sleep.  I tried again a bit later, and had help from different midwives, but we couldn’t get her to latch on.  At about 3am I ended up expressing some colstrum with a midwife having to help me, into a syringe and that was given to her, but by that time I was really stressed out and upset.  I also found being on the ward really hard – it was really noisy, and having people so near me made it hard for me to sleep.  I tried again in the morning to express but couldn’t get much out by myself.  I really started to get worried that she wouldn’t latch, by the end of Sunday we’d tried several times to get her to latch, I’d seen two breast feeding counsellors, and still couldn’t do it – we made the decision to give her some formula.  She wasn’t much interested in that either!  I was getting really stressed out about having to stay in for another night, and just wanted to go home.  My blood pressure had been high all day, but a doctor had seen me and said I could go home – but the midwives wouldn’t discharge me.  We were told that if we could get Daisy to have more formula and I accepted the fact I was leaving but could be readmitted if my blood pressure was as high on the Monday.  We were really annoyed that nobody had told us earlier that we couldn’t leave until Daisy had X amount of formula – if we’d known that we would have been trying to get her to feed more.  It was so confusing that while they thought I was trying to breast feed it didn’t seem like a big deal that she wasn’t hungry, but then as soon as we said we were going to give her the formula that nobody had communicated that a certain amount needed to be had.

In the end they discharged me, and we got home at 10pm on Sunday 4th.  I was absolutely exhausted.  We went straight to bed, put Daisy in her Moses basket and managed to get a few hours of much needed sleep.  She woke in the night and I ended up with her sleeping on me for a few hours because she wouldn’t settle back in her Moses basket.

Last week flew by in a blur – I was given iron tablets by the hospital, it took me till Friday and seeing my GP to be told that they can cause upset stomachs – I’d barely eaten a thing all week, having felt sick the whole time.  I then started with a chest infection, so was given antibiotics by my GP – by Sunday those had disagreed with me too – so on Monday this week I decided to stop everything.  I’ve felt a huge amount better since stopping the iron tablets.  I also had “milk flu” which started midweek, we bought a breast pump and I’d been trying to express so we could also give that to Daisy, my midwife advised me to stop expressing if I wanted the flu symptoms to stop.  I found it very hard to give up on breastfeeding – I feel like a failure as a woman because I haven’t been able to get her to latch on.  I’ve had 9 months of breast is best forced down my throat and feel utterly devastated that I’m formula feeding.  But it’s more important that Daisy is fed, and that I stop being so stressed out about breast feeding not working.

This week has been tough – Daisy has started with Colic, which has been hard to deal with, we’ve had loads of tips from friends/family though and things are starting to get easier with it.  We’ve managed a few trips out, but they’ve been learning curves – I think I’ll need to gain a bit more confidence before I dare go out without Phil!

In the last 2 weeks my life has completely changed, I now have this little person who relies on me solely to look after her.  I’m now responsible for someone else – it’s scary!

39 weeks – the one with the false alarm

I reached 39 weeks on Thursday, and on Friday morning I woke up just after 5am in pain, then it lessened, then I noticed it started again.  These pains felt completely different to other pains I’ve had – much stronger, I could feel them starting, increasing in intensity and then wearing off.  I started to time them, wondering if I should wake Phil up.  They timed at 10 minutes apart.  Then they moved to 7 minutes apart.  Phil woke up and I told him what was happening.  But then the timings changed and it went back up to 10 mins apart.  Phil held off from going to work, neither of us knowing if this was the real thing or not.  I also had a pain like a stitch in my right side, which never went off.

At 8am I went in the bath, and then noticed that the contractions were stopping.  They’d completely stopped by 9am, after we’d rung our community midwives, and also Maternity Assessment at LGI. I was more worried about the constant pain in my side, but Maternity Assessment eased my worries by saying it was likely to be the way the baby was laid.  The pain didn’t stop for all of Friday though.

I sent Phil to work and managed to sleep for a few hours in the morning.  Then spent the rest of the day waiting to see what would happen, but felt very sick all day.  Contractions started up again as I was going to bed at 10pm, I ended up getting up and going downstairs to bounce on my birthing ball to see if that was finally it.  But by 1am they’d gone off again.

I’ve had more tightenings over the weekend, but nothing regular.  I’m now worried I won’t even know when I do go into labour, because I’ll be expecting them to stop.  I’m not going to know for sure until my waters break.  I had horrific back pain on Saturday and felt sick and washed out all yesterday.

We’ve tried just about all the old wives tales over the weekend.  Everything apart from pineapple – I don’t like pineapple.  Plus I’ve read you need to eat about 19 pineapples to get it to work… I’m sick of the taste of raspberry leaf tea, and that birthing ball does nothing.

So here I am now, still waiting.

38 weeks – waiting

We saw our midwife on Tuesday, and after telling her some of the developments of the weekend, and seeing how low I’ve dropped she surmised that the baby would be coming “any day”.  But that’s probably what they say to everyone, to stop them getting fed up.  But I’ve been monitoring everything that’s happening with baited breath waiting for the arrival.  Nothing yet.  (Obviously).

I’ve had pains, they feel a bit like tightenings, so I’m assuming they’re Braxton Hicks.  I’ve felt sick as a dog on Friday and then again today – yet another sign of early labour – or just plain bad luck?  But nothing else seems to be happening.   I’m now just about giving up the expectation of a pre-40 week delivery and am accepting my fate that it’ll be taking a bit longer.

I feel ready.  I’m not scared any more.  I want to meet our baby, but I don’t feel impatient yet – I’m not at the “get this baby out of me” stage.  I’m possibly not far off – I’ve had a couple of bad nights of not being able to get comfortable, being too hot, then too cold, it hurting like hell when I turn over, and the back pain…. well it hurts. A lot.  But giving birth is going to hurt a hell of a lot more, so I won’t moan about things too much, just yet.

I’m ignoring the chaos of the house. I’ve spent the weekend at my parents to get away from the dust, and the non-working bathroom situation – it’s been a nice break.  I overdid things a little yesterday, going to a wedding and then going camera shopping.  I was on the verge of tears at my back pain in the camera shop – just holding it together by a thread.  But I managed to “man up” and keep it calm, hobble down to the market to get my Salted Caramel Brownie, and some treats for the kids (we won’t tell them they’re from me, they’ll think I’ve gone soft).  Phil was an angel (as always) and went to get the car while I did that, so he could pick me up and we could get straight off.

37 Weeks – Spin me right round, baby right round

It’s been a busy week for us this week.

On Monday I had my vaccinations, one for flu and the other for whooping cough.  The vaccinations themselves were fine, over and done with in seconds and didn’t hurt at all.  But oh my goodness, the pain from the whooping cough one after a few hours was terrible.  I ended up with a huge, sore, red lump – I couldn’t lift my arm and anything at all that touched it would have me in agony.  Even today I can still feel a small lump from it!  I’ve never known me react as badly to anything.

On Tuesday work started on our new bathroom, so I decamped to my parents to get away from the stress.  We also had our presentation scan at LGI on Tuesday.  I’d noticed a lot of movement over the weekend from baby, and quite a bit of pain on Sunday night and Monday morning, so I was hoping that the baby was going to decide to behave itself and turn the right way.  We’d both had a good feel of my tummy over the weekend and neither of us could say for sure if what we were feeling was baby’s head – or a bony bum!

I took a half day at the office and we trooped down to LGI, found our way to the Antenatal day clinic and had my blood pressure and urine checked before going through for the scan.  The good news from the scan was that baby is head down, and boy what a big head it looked!  The bad news was my blood pressure was sky high and my urine was showing white blood cells in it.  I was sent off to phlebotomy for my bloods taking and then had my blood pressure taken another three times before they were satisfied we could go.  I ended up hooked up to a monitor checking the baby’s heart rate, where I had to push a button each time I felt the baby move.  My blood pressure dropped after about half an hour and we could then get on our way.  We were both very relieved that the baby isn’t breech.

Wednesday and Thursday were fairly non-eventful, I stayed at my parents and work slowly got carried out on our bathrooms.

Friday was my last day at work.  I thought I’d feel quite tearful from it – but I was cheerful throughout the day and stayed busy with work till the end.  I got a card, a £50 voucher for Boots and a crocheted baby blanket from work – very generous, and I popped out for a goodbye lunch with my team.  I’ve been apprehensive about finishing work, feeling a bit like I won’t be useful any more – no matter how many people look at me like I’m certifiable and tell me I’ll be doing the most important job in life in a few weeks time.  Right now being a Mum isn’t something I know what is going to be like – so I have no idea if I’m going to feel useful or not.  I’ve left a job I’m good at, with a team that rely on me and I have all those months before I go back stretching out before me to fill.

I had been worried that my replacement would be “better” than me, but after a two week handover I can see that in reality he isn’t some kind of superhuman whizz, so the months he’s there he isn’t going to make a better impression and contribution than I’ve done.

Yesterday was a tiring day, we went to IKEA, Toys R Us, Mamas and Papas and Next getting various bits of shopping and baby things.  We have a stupidly expensive baby monitor now, with a camera, so we can watch baby sleeping without needing to come and disturb it.  It was an extravagance, but I’ve saved in other areas and have quite a bit of second hand stuff, so I don’t feel too worried by what we’ve paid.  The cost of things for the baby has completely stopped shocking me, I can see why it’s such a lucrative industry – I’m so focused on getting everything that I’m told that I need that I don’t even care how much I’m paying – I just NEED to have it.

Today I’ve had a much needed restful day, lie in this morning, spot of baking this afternoon and now a laze on the bed with my laptop – I don’t think I’ll have many more Sunday’s like this!