Dear Emily, (14-15 Weeks)

IMG_6724.JPGI’m writing these over a month in arrears, and as I read my notes I think wow, I had it relatively easy… A lot has changed Emzy, you are definitely giving mummy a run for her money now (at nearly 5 months).  But in the essense of keeping to the time frames in the title , I’ll take you back in time….

You did a full nights sleep, yay!!!! If only mummy had a full nights sleep to, I kept checking you were still breathing. I thought the anxiousness would have gone away  now, but oh no it’s still there . You’ve also started going down for naps now in your crib. It takes me 20 minutes of pacing before I can put you down, and when I do I literally drop to the floor army style and crawl out of the room. You generally wake up and cry straight away, I leave you for 5 minutes (as it’s a tired cry, not a scream) and stare at the monitor and timer generally you have stopped by 5 minutes and you conk out. Your such a content little girl, quite happy to just lie on your Matt.

This works well when we’re at home, but routine and contentment went out the window when we went away to oxford for mummy’s birthday. Mummy’s money also went out the window because oxford is near Bicester village 😬 I don’t know why I bought you so much Ralph Lauren because I know you’ll grow out of it in a few months, I’m justifying my purchases and hoping you’ll have a sister who can have all your hand me downs.

Back to oxford – We went out for dinner and guess what happened? You started crying as soon as the food came out. Dad and I took it in turns to pace with you (as this seems to be the only thing that calms you down) but you weren’t having any of it. There was a family next to us, and the father of this family kept giving me evils and tutting. It’s funny because I’m not the type of person to let someone get away with that, but I did, and I felt really embarrassed and wanted to get the hell out of there. It wasn’t even a posh place, it was a burger bar! Your dad doesn’t understand why I care and either do I really, but when you cry in public I feel myself going red and start feeling really anxious and people like that stupid man really doesn’t help!

This is a pretty short entry because In terms of development nothing has really happened the last few weeks.

Until next time when things get a little more interesting x

 

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This one is all about mummy!!!

Why aren’t I a size 8 already??!!! Oh wait I was never a size 8 before I fell pregnant & putting on 4 stone certainly doesn’t help me get there. I honestly thought while I was pregnant, I’d be this person who would loose all the weight, and be super chilled. And what the hell is this mummy pouch I’ve developed?! That bit of skin that sags over your trousers… I feel like a kangaroo.

I stupidly started slimming world 4 weeks after giving birth. I lost 2 1/2 stone, but lunches & cakes are getting in my way. No one wants to be ‘that’ person who refuses cakes. Plus I’m breastfeeding so that means I can have an extra 2000 calories a day surely?!!! 😬

Well clothes shops would tell me differently. ⚠️ Do not go shopping when you’re not happy with your size!!! Just buy bags & shoes. We were in Brighton and Dan very kindly gave me £100 to buy myself something nice for our night out, he took Emily and off I went. Well for his kind effort he was greeted to a moody tearful wife. (This is not something that’s unusual)

You think when you’re pregnant you’ll be able to start exercise straight away, but it often takes longer than you think. If you do start exercise I recommend getting a health check, or learning how to check stomach separation before starting exercise again. FitMummy do a fantastic course to help you rebuild your muscles after having a baby. I also do mummy&me Yoga & Pilates through busylizzy, the above classes are great for your pelvic floor.

I also thought when I was pregnant, that I’d be this totally cool mum who could just go out and leave her baby, no problem. I thought I’d only breastfeed for 3 months and then I’d get my life back. I definitely wouldn’t be one of those who post lots of baby pictures on Facebook.  Then reality happens and you have this little baby, you don’t want to leave them & when you do you cry and spend half the night calling to check there ok. And I don’t need to tell you all how much I love a good Facebook pic haha. I would have taken the piss out of the person I’ve become, but you don’t really care about getting your life back because this is now your life. The type of mum you think you’ll be totally changes.

As much as I Love being a mum, things are not always rosey. There are times I’ve wanted to cry with tiredness & fustration. I’m so fortunate I have some amazing friends who offer support and reassurance and I’d just like to say thank you! Without you all things would be a lot tougher. Its amazing to send a whatsapp message at 3am and get multiple responses because you know other people are feeling your pain 😘😘😘

Dear Emily, (12 & 13 Weeks)

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13 weeks & still loving your bouncer chair 😍

So you’re 12 weeks now, time we start to put you to bed rather than waiting up with mummy & daddy. We have started your routine which consists of:

6.30pm – Bath (We use child’s farm bath & shampoo every other night, & just water the other night)

7pm – Formula bottle (Aptimal 1, Munckin Latch bottle) I’m still breastfeeding you, but I’ve heard such good things about formula filling babies up I thought I’d try it. You still take about 40minutes- 1hour to do your bottle 😬

8pm/8.30pm – Up to your crib (You’re still in our room). We use our Motorola monitor which has a video, you are mummy & daddy’s entertainment as we just watch you haha 😂

You are now sleeping until about 4-5am.

Now I wouldn’t have thought of doing this without the help from my NCT ladies. I cannot stress how important it is to have other mummies going through what you are at the same time. It’s amazing how quickly you forget things. It’s so hard to know if what you are doing is right. I’ve learnt there is no right or wrong, it’s whatever works for you & this routine works for us.

On another note swimming is going really well. You are now going under water, you have a little cry but you love swimming. Your head is getting stronger and you are also becoming so much more alert. Your laugh is so big now, it makes mummy want to cry with happiness.

Talking about mummy’s happiness, I went on a night out to London and had a few drinks (7 to be precise) whilst grandma looked after you. I was a nervous wreck, my anxiety is starting to kick in, I’ve been nervous about leaving you for about 2 weeks. It’s not that I don’t trust other people, I just can’t help but worry. I think mum worry is a condition!? Anyway I went and had a great time. I’m still breastfeeding you, so I took my electric breast pump and expressed in the Waldorf toilet. I wasn’t wearing a feeding top so I ended up being half naked in the toilet. The pump makes such a loud errrr errrr errr sound, people must have thought – what the hell?! But needs must. Apparently when you have a drink it takes 1-2 hours per unit to clear from your system. So I had to wait about 12 hours before I could feed you next, luckily I expressed lots in advance. For the first time Daddy did the early morning feed! Result!!!

Now enough about mummy, back on to you. You might remember me telling you about your big head circumferences  and us being referred to Worthing hospital? Well turns out it’s hereditary (mummy has a mentally big head, but we will blame that one on daddy) and the doctor said it’s nothing to worry about. Oh my little one, you have come so far since your days on the special care unit. At 13 weeks you are now a healthy weight of 13lbs1oz and 61cm in height. I couldn’t be more proud!

All my love

Mummy

Xxxx

Dear Emily, (8-12 Weeks)

0D1DFA9A-4C67-43DE-8470-F7B9B17F2245.jpgHorray!!! I can finally put you down for 15-20 minutes. I love you more than the world, but it feels so good that I can put you on the play mat without  you crying. You also now love the vibrating chair you have. Bad mum alert! You love being put infront of the TV, I think it’s the bright colours but you find it mezmerising. Before I was a mum I swore that I wouldn’t let you watch TV & here I am 8 weeks in putting your chair infront of it. Ekkkk 😬

Now you might remember I told you about only taking milk from the right boob? Well mummy got that sorted. We went to a craniosacral therapist, and he fixed you. When you came out of mummy, you had your arm up by your head, apparently you had dislodged the opposite shoulder and had a pulled muscle??? It’s all sorted and now mummy has two droopy boobies rather than one. (Well at least there even now) Talking about feeding…. At 10 weeks we decided to give you a formula bottle at night. I’ve heard so many others talking about formula knocking their baby out, I thought I want some of that. True to its word, it does. Since having it you sleep a good 6 hours!! Result!!! 👍🏻

I do think formula has affected your poo though. You now have explosive poos. We were in Guildford, and you had the biggest poo. So I went to house of Fraser to change you. OMG! It was everywhere!! Stupid mummy forgot to bring other clothes, so I had to try and wash your clothes and I had to put them back on you. I ended up going straight home. Note to self, always pack spare clothes.

Although that outing wasn’t great, generally you are much happier out and about. Everyone comments how chilled you are! Why aren’t you like that at home? It’s like you put on a little show for everyone. We are out so much though, to be honest that’s fine with me. We just signed up to busy lizzy in Horsham. We do baby massage & baby karma. Mummy tried mummy & me Pilates but you were having none of it, it wasn’t enjoyable having a screaming  baby for an hour. So we will try that in a month. You also stated swimming at 10 weeks, you love the water. I was never a strong swimmer, and it’s really important to me that you are. We do keep busy, plus we go to lunch or coffee at least 3 times a week with friends. Daddy says we do too much but it helps my sanity, and you like it so why not. Now don’t get me wrong, when we have a day of nothing we lie in mummy’s bed until about 11!

I love our little life, I’m not even fussed about going out and drinking (yes I love you that much). But it’s not always peachy! When you scream for hours (generally between 5-7pm) I literally want to cry. I shouted ‘SHUT UP’ the other day and I felt so guilty afterwards, I didn’t want to put you to bed because I wanted you to know how much I loved you. Speaking to friends apparently it happens to them too, which is nice to know I’m not the only one.

You are changing so much already, slow down please xxxx

 

Useful Purchases in our First 3 Months!

My new favourite hobby is shopping. I had a problem before, but now even my neighbour has commented on how many parcels I get delivered 😬 For all you new mums out there, here are some items that were useful for us. All babies are different, so what works for some, may not work for others. By no means am I an expert and I’d love to hear what worked & didn’t for you.

Sleeping

We started off with a Moses basket but Emily was having none of it! Dan didn’t want me to buy a sleepyhead as he said it was too much money. Funny, when you get no sleep you are willing to pay anything for a nights sleep. So after 3 nights of no sleep, he caved and told me to order it and try it. For the first week the sleepyhead was in our bed. Then we decided it was time for a crib. The Chico next to me was expensive but made me feel at ease knowing I could see her. At first we attached it to the bed. At 9 weeks I was ready to put the sides up. Sleeping Bags are also a god send! Emily didn’t go into hers until about 4 weeks, but you can buy newborn ones which are smaller from JoJo Maman Bebe.

Chicco Crib Next To Me – £169 from John Lewis.

Sleepy Head – £120 from John Lewis

Sleeping Bags (recommend buying 2) – £15 Mamas & Papas

Monitor – £114.99 Motorola Video Camera from Argos

Ewen the Sheep – £29.99 Amazon Prime (Now this didn’t work for us, but really worked for a few friends).

Night Light – £13.99 Amazon Prime (Good for Night feeds)

Feeding

The pain when you first start breastfeeding is tough! It’s not as easy as NCT make out so be prepared. At about 8 weeks the pain stoped for me and it became a litter easier. Right from the start, I expressed and Emily had 1 expressed bottle a night. It made me feel more comfortable knowing how much she had. Plus it’s really nice to get Dan involved. At about 10 weeks we introduced a formula feed at night time as it seems to fill her up more which means more sleep for me! 😀👍🏻

Lanolin – £10 Any pharmacy/supermarket. This cream really does help soothe your nipples. Everyone I have spoken to found it useful.

Munchkin Latch Bottles – £14.95 Amazon Prime  ( We started with Teat 2, as Teat 1 was too slow) Great bottles for breast fed babies. Emily wouldn’t take tommee tippee which are a much cheaper alternative.

Sterilising Bags – £10 Amazon Prime (when you only need to do 1 bottle a night , this option is way quicker)

Medala Pump – £99.99 Amazon Prime (you can also get a double pump which is quicker)

Perfect Prep Machine – £59.99 Amazon Prime (only needed for formula)

Storage Bags – for milk

Breast Feeding Pads – Any pharmacy/supermarket

Rocking Feeding Chair – ? I borrowed this from a friend.

Washing & Changing

First few weeks we just used cotton wool and water.We started bathing Emily twice a week after a few weeks. Then about 8 weeks everynight, but more so for the routine. We didn’t use any products until about 10 weeks and now we use them every other bath. Things like clothes (you’ll want newborn & 0-3 months), nail scissors, change mat, Nappy bags, sudacrem, cotton wool balls etc are standard.

Pampers Premium Protection – I tried Tesco, Aldi & Sainsburys and pampers were the best for me.

Yippie Toes Bath – £13.99 Amazon prime It still took me 8 weeks to let go of her.

Water Wipes – £17 Amazon Prime (buy in bulk.)

Childs Farm Sensitive Baby Wash – £3.99 Any supermarket or Pharmacy (Apparently Johnson & Johnson shouldn’t be used on newborns because it has chemicals in??)

Tommee Tippee Bath Thermometer – £9.99 Amazon Prime (I didn’t buy one until recently, & everytime I bathed her I worried the tempreture wasn’t right. This just eases my mind. It also shows room tempreture.)

Non Bio washing powder & Comfort Pure fabric softener .

Grape Seed Oil – £5.99 Holland & Barrett. Great for baby massage & dry skin .

Dentinox (For cradle cap) – This was recommended to me, but I’m yet to find someone who sticks it. I’ve tried everywhere.

Change Bag – £65 Jojo Maman Bebe. Get a back pack one , sooo much easier.

Braun Thermoscan 7 – £38.99 Amazon Prime

Toys / Development

First 8 Weeks they don’t do much and we really let Emily do as she wished. By 8 weeks Emily really started enjoying the toys people had bought her. In hindsight I would have done more tummy time early on as we struggled with it to start with.

Tummy Time Roller – £14.99 mothercare (OMG – Amazing! Really helps neck & chest strength. Tummy time is much more enjoyable.)

Soft Toy & Rattle – £7.27 Amazon Prime

Playmat – we got given this, but I recommend one that goes in a triangle at the top.

Wrist & Feet Rattles – £12.99 Amazon Prime

Sensory Light – (Present)

Bouncing Chair – Mamas & Papas

Baby Mobile – We didn’t get one because I was scared of it being over her. Big mistake! I’m getting one this week. Get one that can hooks on car seat and play Matt.

Baby Sparks App – £22 for the year (gives you development information & activities to do every day)

Other

Car Seat – £ Isofix , Maxicosi  (From a family member)

Mirror for car (Present)

Pram – £450 Bugaboo (2nd hand, from Facebook sight. However it was a friend of a friend, so we knew it was in good condition)

I’m sure as soon as I post this I’ll think of other stuff, but for now I hope this helps new mums X

Dear Emily, (4-8 Weeks)

To be honest not a lot really happens during this time. I thought by now , I’d be back doing exercise and you’d be taking interest in stuff… Yeah right, you don’t even like being put down. All these toys are wasted on you, as you’re just not interested in anything other than cuddles. You are really clever though as you know exactly when mummy & daddy are eating because you wake up and want food too. And forget a feeding routine, you’re the boss in this household and what you want goes!

We are however trying to get you in a sleep routine, because humans can’t live on 2hrs sleep. At about 5 weeks you were ready for a sleeping bag , which is by far the best thing we have bought. Since being in it you sleep from 11-3, 4-7am. It also helps that I express about 140ml of milk, which knocks you out. Although I quickly learnt not to be smug about anything because nothing lasts. For about 3 weeks I thought mummy was in charge – but don’t worry you soon put me in my place!

The only thing Mummy is in charge of is worrying. On journeys over 20 minutes I’m a bit of a worrier, I end up pulling over and check you’re still breathing. Never thought I’d worry about things like that. I can’t even bath you on my own (you love baths by the way) as it’s tricky to splash water and hold you.  Turns out I’m also a bit emotional when it comes to you. I went out for the first time at 6 weeks and left you with grandma, and I actually cried! I was only gone 3 hours. I would have royally taken the mickey out of one of my friends for doing that.

We had your 6 week check up! Who knew that you had criteria you had to pass?? Apparently you’re meant to smile, follow things and have a stronger neck. You failed all of the above, & to top it off you have a big head!? So we are being referred to Worthing hospital. The same week you puked up blood, I’ve never been so authoritative with a doctors receptionist. Turns out it’s common and was your stomach lining, it went the same day with some medicine.

Until next time x

 

 

Aftermath of Birth

So your pregnant for 9 months (or there about), go through labour and have a new born to content with. On top of all of this, your body feels like you have gone 10 rounds with Tyson Fury.

There were things that I was excited about …(I’m 10 weeks on and still no chance)

  • Sleeping on my front. – unfortunately my boobs had other ideas.
  • Getting out of bed without rolling sideways.- I can’t even get off the floor without help.
  • Loosing weight and getting my stomach back. –  You guessed it no chance!!!

I think I had unrealistic expectations.

To top it all off, 5 weeks after giving birth I suffered a prolapse. The midwife says ‘are you doing your pelvic floor?’ you smile and say yeah of course, do it once and then forget.. I had been on a long walk in Brighton and all of a sudden I felt a drop down below…. The reason why I am writing this, is because when it happened I felt so alone, I had never heard of anyone else this had happened to. I put off going to the doctors for nearly a week, because I was scared and embarrassed. No one talks about the downstairs area, and yet the poor bugger goes through a hell of a lot it deserves to be spoken about. People ask you how you’re recovering and you just smile and say yeah fine. No one expects you to say, ‘oh yeah actually my vagina fell out’. When I first found out, I of course googled it and oh my god I needed a hysterectomy! Google is not my friend when it comes to medical conditions. I won’t get into detail, but if this happens to you and you want to talk, do contact me. With exercises you can reverse the prolapse, so don’t leave it too long before seeking help.

Its hard to know if you are doing your pelvic floor exercises right, so here is what I got from the doctors.IMG_6438.JPG

 

Dear Emily,

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Well your first month has been a learning curve. First of all I have no idea how people with 2+ children do it! You don’t give me longer than 3 minutes to shower or even have a poo! This is my excuse for having hairerier legs than your dad. You will not be put down, you love cuddles too much, but as your so cute I’ll let you off. I tried putting you in a sling but that didn’t work, your head is too floppy. Although, when you do sleep longer than 5 minutes I panic, check you are breathing and wake you up. This also applies at night time too, your first week at home me and your dad did 2 hour shifts watching Vikings on amazon prime on our tablet. I also bought a lot of things we probably don’t need. Then my grandma reminded me that I will be doing it all on my own soon and would need to get you to sleep. Easier said than done! The next few weeks I was like a walking zombie, and living on about 3 hours of sleep, whoever says sleep when your baby sleeps obviously doesn’t know you.

Now feeding you is another topic! NCT, make out that breastfeeding is easy, not painful and the most natural thing in the world. Sooo not true! Most people I have spoken to have had some kind of problem. Sore nipples, the baby not latching, not enough milk just to name a few. A lot of people have had to top up with formula, this is not uncommon. The worse thing is mums feel like they are a let down if for some reason they can’t breast feed their child, and they shouldn’t feel this way. In my experience around 70% of people I know had to top up with formula or stop feeding by 2 months because it was just too painful. We haven’t had it too bad, although your weight in your first month wasn’t going up as much as the health visitor wanted. I was told to try and feed you on demand, I never knew how daunting getting you weighed is. You do have a little quirk, you only like mummy’s right boob??? Whys that – not a clue! So I express from the left, so your dad can do a couple of feeds. My biggest pain is that I can’t drink as much prosecco as I would like (whoops bad mum alert haha), if I time it right I can sneak the odd glass.  Feeding you in public is something we are just not good at,  you swing your head and my boobs are so big  at the mo I have to lift them up to help you out and prevent suffocation. All that going on under a breastfeeding sheet is not easy. Between us we don’t make it work, so I try and feed you before we go out, so much easier.

Question – How to people buy parking tickets? I get you ready before I buy the ticket because I don’t want to leave you in the car, but what happens when you have a brother or sister? Also the amount of times I’ve left loads of space to get your seat out and then some idiot goes and parks so close to my car I can’t get your seat in. Car parking spaces are too small. I really don’t need this stress on top of a complicated buggy haha. Well it’s not complicated, I just have ridiculous baby brain. It seems every time I take the pram out I have an issue or forgotten how to do something. First time taking you out, it took me 40 minutes to take it down and put in the car. Things are a little scarier without daddy around, but now I have done it a few times I am getting the hang of it and more confident.

You have been such a lucky girl, you have been given soooo many presents and had lots of visitors.

To be honest their aren’t many milestones in your first month, you don’t really do much apart from sleep (only on us), poo, wee and eat. Mummy on the other hand has been really productive and I am nearly on season 3 of Gilmore girls on Netflix!

 

Dear Emily, (your first week)

Writing about your first week of life is heart breaking, because it was probably the hardest week of my life and here is why….

When you came out you were silent, you couldn’t cry and were grunting which apparently isn’t uncommon. The midwife tried to put you on me as that helps, you let out one cry but that wasn’t enough. The alarm was sounded & in came a doctor, she took you off to the special care unit. I wasn’t really sure what was happening, as it was all happening behind me  as I was giving birth to your placenta, so wasn’t allowed to move. Then in comes another doctor, I remember trying to concentrate but I wasn’t really taking it in . It was like a film when everything is in slow motion. He said you had an infection, fluid on the lungs & you weren’t breathing properly. He was saying all this when my legs were up in stirrups being sewn up. I remember telling your Dad to go with you, but the doctors wouldn’t allow it. My baby was all alone & I hadn’t even got to hold you properly.

Eventually Dan was allowed to see you and I followed after my stitches had been done & showered the blood off. You were in an incubator with 100 tubes going in and out of you. The Doctors said they had done some X-rays that showed you had a shadow on your lungs, which they thought was because of the fluid. They were putting you on antibiotics for an infection but they didn’t know any more at this stage. You were on a CPAP machine to help you breath & clear your lungs. I wasn’t allowed to stay with you, I was shipped off to another ward with 7 screaming babies at about 2am. Your Dad slept on the floor. I didn’t really sleep and at 4am I was walking the corridors of the ward crying because I wanted to be with you. One of the nurses let me in the special care unit, I wasn’t allowed to touch you but I just sat next to you watching you. I thought labour might be tough but nothing prepared me for seeing my little baby like that.

The next day – When we had a chat with the doctors they said they were going to try and take you off the CPAP machine and give you air instead, they did and for a few hours you seemed ok. We were so excited , but your little lungs couldn’t cope and you had to go back on it. Our emotions were like a yoyo. I still don’t think we really knew what was going on.  Your dad asked one of the nurses ‘Is she going to die’,  I remember looking at him thinking what the hell, you dying hadn’t crossed my mind.  It had obviously been playing on his mind, but he didn’t want to worry me. Thankfully the nurse said no, that wasn’t going to happen. Plus you were my little fighter.

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Day 2 – They still couldn’t find out what the infection was, then they said they wanted to test you for ‘meningitis’ ! My eyes started welling up, they would need to put a big needle in your spine and it’s very traumatic so best we weren’t around. I just wanted to get out of there as I started to uncontrollably cry. The doctor kept asking do we have any questions, we never did and waited until the doctor left and then asked the nurse 100 questions because they translated everything into simple terms for us. I was finally allowed to hold you, but I was so worried about pulling a tube out. Things were looking up, you were off the CPAP machine and onto air.

Day 3 – You were finally being taken off the air machine, and taken out of the incubator. Writing this I can’t believe this happened on the 3rd day because it seemed like this took forever. I was allowed to try and start breast feeding you, before this you had been on a glucose drip. Previously me and your dad had been manually pumping the colostrum for you. I include your dad because he was massaging my boob and syringing it up, we were so excited about getting 0.5ml :).

Day 4 – You were moved rooms, and we were told we would only have another day because you were making such good improvements. The meningitis tests they did had a bit of blood in, so weren’t 100% but pretty sure that all was ok. They still weren’t sure what the infection was but the antibiotics had cleared it all up (still a mystery to me).

Day 5 – At 7am the nurses from the special care unit wheeled you into me, it was a surprise as I didn’t know you were being released so early. I was so appreciative and thankful to the nurses, again the tears started flowing. We were finally going to start our life with you, and get you home.

So your first 5 days we had a lot of help from the fantastic nurses at Worthing hospital, however I would have given anything to do it all my self. Sleeping on a ward with about 7 other babies whilst your baby is on another ward is heart wrenching, all I could think about was you.

The next few days were prepping for and having Christmas. We didn’t get much sleep, and we were totally knackered but we didn’t care our baby was finally home!

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Emily, (Your Labour)

Well nothing quite prepares you for labour!

I honestly thought that if I kept healthy, exercised and did my pelvic floor exercises that labour would be a piece of cake. No more than 3 hours, and out the same day was my prediction. That’s what happened to my mum and sister so surely it would be the same for me, right?! Ummmm, not so much, you took 19 hours, and I was in hospital for 5 days after you were born.

Before I begin, first let me praise your Dad. That man was my angel, and makes me want to well up thinking of it. He was my complete rock, very calm and counted me through each contraction, there is no way on earth I would have got through 19 hours without any pain relief without him. I don’t think men get as much credit as they should, yeah I know I was the one in pain but your Dad had to sit through seeing the one he loves in pain knowing there wasn’t a great deal he could do about it. That must be really tough.

I had so many misconceptions and questions about labour, and now I know a few of my own answers – one day  (I hope) you will give birth, and perhaps this will help.

How will I know I am in labour?

  • Don’t rely on your waters breaking. I thought that everyone’s waters broke and was shocked when mine didn’t. Mine didn’t break until an hour before you were born. Chatting to people this is quite common, so don’t always think waters breaking comes first.
  • I had diarrhoea the week leading up to labour, apparently this is a sign as it’s your body clearing you out (Apologies)
  • Contractions feel like you have really bad diarrhoea and it’s sharp shooting pain. You will know! People’s start out at different strengths, mine were painful but some are more mild. Mine started about 10 minutes apart lasting 10-20 seconds and within about 6 hours were 3-4 minutes apart lasting for about 1 minute. You will need to time them as when you ring the hospital they will ask you.

My contractions properly started at 3.30am and after having 10 hours of contractions & projectile vomiting 3 times, I finally got to 3 minutes apart lasting 1 minute. It’s time to go to hospital.

Why I didn’t have an epidural

I wasn’t allowed in the birthing pool, until I was 7 centimetres dilated as apparently you can regress. So by 3.30pm, after the midwife telling me she thought I still at 8 hours left I was determined to have an epidural. I thought there is no way on earth I can have this pain for another 8 hours. (Before I continue, let me say that I in no way say don’t get an epidural this is just me). Your Dad gave me the motivation to carry on without pain relief and here is why…

1.) There is a chance that an epidural doesn’t work, or only works on one side. Once you have an epidural you are stuck to the bed. The way I deal with pain is walking & moving, there is no way I could be stuck to a bed in pain if the epidural didn’t work.

2.) I had planned a water birth, I only had a few more hours until I could get in the pool. Why not try that first? I then had a new target of only 2 hours rather than the 8 the midwife had said.

I know lots of people who had epidurals and everything went fine, if you want an epidural you do whatever is right for you.

Waterbirth

Finally at 6pm I got in the pool, at first I didn’t like it. However after a minute it was so relaxing (as relaxing as could be). I would definitely recommend a water birth as pain relief for contractions. Although the contractions themselves were still horrendous, the small time in between was relaxing.

That being said, when you are ready to push, get out! I was pushing against the water, for about 1 1/2 hours and it wasn’t really getting me anywhere. When I got out, we really started seeing progress, 40 minutes out of the water and you were born.

Pushing you out

After 19 hours of labour, I gave birth to you standing up and squatting to get you out. If you can stand or go on all fours, instead of lying down do it. Your coccyx is able to move if you don’t lay down and gives you an extra 26% room to push out baby, .

You were 9lb and born on the 18th December. You were perfect! Then the scary bit came. You were grunting and weren’t crying. You were rushed to the special care unit without mummy or daddy, but I will tell you more about that in your ‘first week of life post’.

xxx