So sorry I haven’t updated my blog in the last few weeks but I’m sure some of you have already guessed – Baby C has arrived! He decided to make his appearance at 38 weeks! So, all of those little niggles I was complaining about at 37 weeks (upset stomach, nauseousness, pelvic pressure etc) were obviously little signs that little Harry was definitely on his way.
I went into labour at around 5pm on Thursday 24th May. We arrived at the hospital at around 7pm and I was already 5cm dilated. The midwife said that it was looking to be a nice quick labour – brilliant! However, by midnight my blood pressure had risen, the baby’s heart beat was dropping with each contraction and I hadn’t progressed past 5.5cm. By this time, I was in excruciating pain (make no mistake, labour IS excruciating!) and so crying out for an Epidural. The Epidural was amazing! I was even able to drop off to sleep for a little while! However, by 3.30am I still hadn’t progressed, baby was still struggling and due to my last c-section, the Doctors didn’t want me to labour for much longer due to the pressure on my old scar. The decision was made to take me to theatre and perform an emergency c-section (again!). I won’t lie, I was a bit disappointed not to be able to give birth naturally as intended but by this point all I wanted was a healthy baby by whatever means necessary and I was too tired to care!
At 4.43am, Harry Eric was born weighing 7lb 10oz. The first four minutes of his life were the scariest moments of mine. I felt them pull him from me and whisk him off to my left. A few seconds of silence passed and then I heard the midwife call out, ‘I need help NOW!‘ in a tone which I only recognized as shear panic. Suddenly an alarm was ringing and several doctors were bundling into the room and surrounding my baby. I could hear a midwife saying, ‘come on, breath‘ and the look on my husband’s face said it all. I can’t tell you what was going through my mind at that point – you can probably imagine the worst possible scenarios I was preparing myself for. My husband, usually the reassuring one, wasn’t even able to reassure me that it was going to be ok when I asked him if my baby was ok, and that was what scared me the most. The longest 4 minutes of my life passed and suddenly I heard a sound which will stay with me forever – my baby took his first breath and let out a cry. Thank God.
I was in hospital for 3 days but up and out of bed after a day. My recovery has been a lot LOT quicker than my previous c-section and I think this is due to it being a lower class of emergency and so the surgeons were able to take their time on me more – not to mention the fact that I wasn’t as ill as I was during the birth of my first son and so my body not as tired. Little Harry is just perfect and I have found my second baby a breeze compared to my first. In fact, it’s my toddler which is the hard work!
I will be back on here soon to tell you more about Harry, how my toddler is coping with the new arrival and all of the difficulties I am facing now I have two children to juggle, but right now, Harry is demanding to be fed and I have promised to take Sidney swimming so I have to go… I sure am busy now!
Bye for now!
This week has been a pain in the hips! Literally! I have been waking up in the morning with such achey hips and lower back. I’m thinking that this is probably everything softening and my hips widening ready for birth! (ouch!) Well, I have always wanted curvier hips so maybe this time I’ll get them? I have also noticed my skin playing up a bit this week. Do you remember me moaning about dry, itchy, old-man elbows a few weeks ago? Well, they cleared up after a few weeks by themselves. However, it appears that they are making an appearance again! I also seem to have an itchy red patch running down my leg too – and all this just as summer approaches and I get the chance to get my limbs out from under the thick winter clothing – just perfect.
Off to Butlins this weekend with my husband, son and parents. Will be a nice weekend break for me to relax and for my son to run riot and have fun with his nanna and granddad. I’ve been looking at all the activities and it seems he’s going to have a blast – Barney & Friends show, Bob the Builder show, toddler disco, messy play time, soccer tots, swimming and loads more for him to get his teeth into! I really can’t wait till he has a little brother to share all of this with. It will be great to see them having so much fun together.
The due date is feeling rather close now. I have begun packing my hospital bag and have written my birth plan – which isn’t really a plan at all seeing as you can’t really ‘plan’ how a birth is going to go, it’s more like a ‘wish list’ containing the pain relief I would and wouldn’t like etc. I have opted for gas and air as much as possible and chosen to avoid Pethidine (because it made me so sick and feel drunk (but in a bad way) last time) and an Epidural (because it slowed my contractions down too much last time and I didn’t like the feeling of being in labour but feeling like nothing was happening) if at all possible. However, I’m sure it’ll be a different story once I’m in labour and I’ll be screaming for it all! SO… should Baby C decide to arrive early, I’m pretty much prepared!
Jobs for next week – order a baby bouncer chair and get the crib down from the loft!
Lots to report on this week! I had an antenatal appointment yesterday and it seems that baby C has spun around and so no longer has his back against my back! I thought this may be the case because my lower back has been feeling a lot better the last couple of weeks – it appears all that work on my hands and knees has paid off! Also, that pressure on my cervix was as I suspect – baby is 3/5ths engaged! (which means the top of his head has started to drop into my pelvis ready for the big day!) This makes it all seem so close now!
This week I also attended the ‘Birth Choices Clinic’ where I sat with a midwife for an hour and we went over everything which happened during the birth of my first son in order to try and make a decision on whether to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian) or a caesarian section this time. I found it really helpful actually. The midwife had all the notes from the previous birth and so could see exactly what happened and give me all the pros and cons of each choice. After a discussion with my husband that night, we have decided that I am going to go for the VBAC if I make it to the due date with no other problems. It was made quite clear to me that at any point during labour, if my blood pressure rises and I am worried, I can request a caesarian (providing I’m not ready to push of course!). This has given me a lot of reassurance. Also, the midwife told me that she has never seen a woman go through pre-eclampsia during two labours – apparently it’s quite rare to happen the second time around. Let’s just hope I’m not the exception!
My conjunctivitis has now cleared up (hoorah!) but I have been left with a blurry right eye! (oh bugger!) Oh, and now I have come down with a cold! Will I ever be clear of sickness?!
We have been living at my husband’s mother’s for nearly two weeks now and though we are made to feel very welcome and there are no real problems I know of, I am struggling to settle with the idea. My maternal instincts are battling against me and screaming, ‘you need to get you and your family in your own house!‘ I am really really trying to compress and hide these feelings for the sake of my husband (who seems quite happy there) and for the sake of our savings, but I feel it slowly eating away at me the closer the arrival of my second child gets and I’m sure he can see it in me. I am still working three days a week at the moment so am not there a great deal, but I’m so scared that in three weeks time, when I’m on maternity leave and so there all the time, that it will drag me down and become obvious. It’s only been two weeks so I suppose I’m still settling in – maybe in a few weeks I’ll feel differently and start to feel more at home? I just miss my own space, my own furniture, my own little family hideaway. God I miss that.
This week , I had another scan. In the UK, you normally only get two; 12 week and 20 week; but because I am classed as ‘high risk’, they gave me an extra one called a ‘growth scan’. I arrived and the first thing the sonographer asked me was if I had any problems. I mentioned my terrible lower back pain (which is getting worse!). After a minute of scanning my bump, the sonographer smiled and said, ‘that explains the back pain then – your baby is in the occipito posterior position‘. This means that my baby’s head is down and its back is against my spine instead of facing the other way round. Apparently this causes extra stress to the mother’s back. So no wonder I have been feeling a lot more achey than I was when I was carrying my son! It’s not just because I am two years older after all! Ok, so the baby facing the wrong way and causing me temporary back pain is all very well, but how does this effect the birth if he hasn’t spun round by then? After some quick Googling, I have found that babies in the OP position mean a slower, longer and more painful labour! Oh God. So maybe a C-section may be on the cards after all. I have until 35 weeks to make a decision, let’s hope he spins around. I have been advised to get down on all fours and wash the skirting boards to help encourage him to turn round – fat chance of that happening the way my back feels at the moment!
We move house on Friday so lots of packing and sorting out to do over the next few days. Can’t wait to put all the baby clothes into his set of draws actually. At the moment they are all just sat in a vacuum pack bag on the floor, ready for the move. I bought a cute little coming home outfit for him a few days ago – a blue and white stripey all-in-one romper suit with matching hat. It’s so tiny! He will be here before I know it!
Pics above are obviously of the scan – pic 1 shows side profile of Baby C with his thumb in his mouth. Pic 2 shows Baby C with his head turned to face the camera. Not as clear as the 20 week scan pic but I guess this is because they can’t fit him all on the shot now he’s so big!
This week I have been feeling a little more energized. The antibiotics have obviously done their job as my cough has gone and I feel altogether so much better! Thank God for modern medicine!
The baby has been booting me left, right and centre this week, paying particular attention to the time when I want to go to sleep! I am sure that this will be something which will carry on through to the early months of life as well no doubt. Oh well, at least I am well prepared for the sleepless nights which will soon follow. I was only saying to a friend the other day actually, I think that I am looking forward to the birth of this baby more so than I was with my first. With my first, everything was the unknown – I had no idea what to do when it arrived other than what I had been told or read! Babies don’t come with instruction manuals and so although I was excited, I had a lot of anxieties about everything. This time, I know what to do, how much (or little) sleep I’m going to get and my life has already adjusted to being a mum. The shock I felt when my whole life suddenly changed, has already happened. I am excited but in a whole relaxed kind of way this time!
I have been working on a little project for the new baby this week. I know a lot of you are going to think that I am really sad because this is not a hobby which many women partake in until they are at least sixty, but I have been having a go at crochet. A baby blanket to be more precise. My friend and I saw a class being advertised at a toddler group we attended and so decided to give it a whirl! I haven’t got that far yet but you can see from the picture that I’m getting there. It’s quite satisfying creating something so esthetically pleasing from four boring balls of wool and a hook!
After last weeks post, my husband and I have had a long discussion on my birth choice. I hadn’t realised just how concerned he was actually feeling about it all. I think I sometimes focus too much on how everything is affecting me and forget that my husband is part of this journey, with his own worries and anxieties, as well. We have decided to attend my next appointment with the consultant together, so that we can raise our concerns and then think about the options a little more before making a final choice.
This week I finally went to the doctors about my cough which I have had for 5 weeks now. It turns out that I have a chest infection and so they have put me on antibiotics. Now I have a cold – just great! Fed up of feeling run down all of the time. I thought this was supposed to be the ‘blooming’ period of pregnancy?! I just feel blooming rubbish!
According to my iPhone app, my baby now has a 70% chance of survival if it were born today – the odds are rising each week! I watched a programme called ‘Maternity Ward’ Tuesday where a woman went into labour at 25 weeks. I was amazed at how big the baby actually was once it was delivered! I don’t know what I was expecting considering the size of my bump now? Anyhow, there’s a pretty fair sized baby inside of me now!
I had an antenatal appointment with my midwife today. All seems to be fine! My blood pressure is low (which is much better than high apparently, although explains the tiredness) and the baby’s heartbeat is regular and strong. It was lovely listening to the heartbeat again.
One topic which has had me thinking this week has been my birth choice: vaginal birth vs elected c-section. It started when I had an interesting conversation with a friend over the weekend. She told me that she thought I was being selfish by choosing to opt for a natural birth instead of electing to have a c-section based on my past experience (where I suffered severe pre-eclampsia during labour – see this post for details). I was quite shocked by this view and it has been bugging me ever since. She seemed to think that I should opt to have a c-section in order to eliminate any risk of pre eclampsia arising during this labour as she thought that I was risking my life and the life of my baby unnecessarily. This is kind of the same opinion that my husband takes and I strongly disagree! My consultant has advised me that there is absolutely nothing to say that I will suffer with pre eclampsia this time round and a c-section carries risks of its own (mainly being infection). Therefore, by choosing to have a section, I may be going through major abdominal surgery for nothing. They have assured me that I will be closely monitored at all times and so the minute I happen to experience higher blood pressure, I would be taken into theatre anyway. So where’s the risk? There are reasons (call them selfish if you wish) for me wanting to have a natural birth; for one, the recovery time is far quicker – it took me a couple of days to even get out of bed and walk when I had a c-section before, I was in pain for weeks and couldn’t drive for over a month. Now I have a toddler as well, this incapability would be a nightmare! Also, yes, as I have mentioned in a post before, I do want to experience a natural birth if there’s a safe chance. Call me strange, but until you have been pregnant, you can not pass judgement on this as you have not developed these feelings. I know of many women who have had c-sections and feel exactly the same – like they have missed out on something. Saying all this though, if my consultant were to sit me down and advise me to have a c-section for the safety of me or my baby, I’d do it in a flash! The safety of my baby is and always will be paramount.
What does anyone else think here? Is there anyone out there who has faced the same decision? What choice did/would you make?
Wow, only 15 weeks left now!