Archive for the ‘pregnancy’ Category


birth story

September 13, 2011

grammatically poor but emotionally strong?

My birth story: 4 hours from nothing much, to waters breaking, contractions 2 minutes apart, to birth.

Wednesday 24th August the midwife appointment I’d hoped not to reach, I was now ten days overdue: A very gentle sweep was done (cervix was still too high and posterior for more) and I got booked in for induction on the Friday. Still hoped something would happen before then, especially as the midwife got confirmation that induction and midwife led birthing unit don’t combine 😦

Friday 26th morning: Day of induction. Unit was v busy so had to head in later than the 8.30 start we’d planned. Arrived to find I’d been allocated a large side room to myself-HUGE bathroom. Eventually started the induction process (monitoring first and then the prostaglandin) mid afternoon. Got given a Bishop’s score of 1!!! Nothing happened that day, except that mum and I re-lived sitting in a hospital room together, getting the giggles and not being able to shut up.

Second lot of prostaglandin got postponed ‘til morning as I needed some sleep/rest at least.

6am Saturday 27th. Got my and bump’s obs taken and hooked up to the heartbeat (bump’s) monitor again. I asked what the green numbers relate to and got told they are the contraction monitors and are set at a baseline of 20. I lay back and let the machine do its thing. With nothing to do but watch the monitor, I noticed the uterus activity graph peaking and the “green numbers” going up to 90. They appeared to coincide with mild increasing of period pains that I’d had through the night (v mild, had asked if ward had a hotwaterbottle, but snuck 2  paracetemol when they didn’t). Midwife came to unhook me and did the internal exam. Cervix was still very high and posterior, but no longer closed, she could’ve broken my waters!! Instead she yanked (good!) cervix forward and gave me a sweep. She said she’d let the delivery unit know and they’d break my waters later and probably have to start syntocin before anything happened as contractions were obviously not really doing much (as not painful). I hadn’t realised that that’s how the cookie crumbled. I’d hoped that cervix sorting itself out, might mean waiting for natural labour to start. I got up and started  getting bits together and thinking about the shower and breakfast she’d recommended. In the shower, the “show” started  😀 Dressed, I phone hubby to ask him to bring me some alternative going home trousers as I wasn’t sure dungarees would be ok by then (no idea what made me think this!). I’d just put the phone down (7.20) and sat in my wheelchair to go and get breakfast when my waters WENT. Wow so messy. Rang the bell, texted hubby and mum and sat there giggling (possibly because in my thoughts of labour, waters breaking on expensive foam wheelchair cushion seemed the worst place)! I got brought some inco pads to sit on and got changed into yesterday’s knickers (I hadn’t hung on to my clothes bag as “nothing would happen” and hubby was due in at 8). I also got brought breakfast.

Went through several inco pads (big waffled flat sheets that sit on the bed) whilst trying to eat my breakfast-think I managed half a slice of toast. Spoke to mum in the middle of this, again, can’t remember why. I decided to move to the bathroom as my waters continually breaking was annoying me (going through pad, running off bed…pretty?). Stood in shower (over bath) and hung on to the rails for comfort, the period pains were pretty strong now. Got so sweaty as bathroom was v hot. Eventually managed to get to the loo, then back to bed to grab mobile and leave bathroom door wide open to let some air in. Went back to sitting on the loo. Notice mum and Simon are waiting at the ward door, waiting to be buzzed in (text, 7.55)-otherwise would have considered pulling call cord. They got there and I got my head hugged to mum’s chest and felt v reassured. Also got stripped out of sweaty tshirt and bra and fed water,  I couldn’t bear to put clothes back on. Simon started mopping up the room, but got told to press the call button as my contractions were coming 2 minutes apart! When (new) midwife arrived after Chinese whisper, I had to defend that that is all we said and not that I had a pushing urge! I also got frustrated with joke that the pull cords aren’t for labouring women, they’re for “real” emergencies. Via a couple of contractions on the bathroom floor, a few more on the room floor, I made it into bed and contracted kneeling up, hands on thighs. Midwife returned at 8.35 to say delivery unit would be ready for us in 20 minutes and to pack everything up ready. Simon somehow managed to do this, stopping for each contraction as any movement/noise was too distracting through the pain (1 minute contraction, 1 minute rest?). I get asked if I’d use my wheelchair or walk down to the delivery unit and that I’d want to cover up. Managed to get them to get a second person (Simon not allowed to) to push bed down as there was no way I’d get there otherwise. Had to lie down on my side though for safety, someone also tied a sheet around me (I couldn’t have cared less!). With my eyes shut, focussing on breathing I got wheeled down to delivery unit. (8.55) Love the sensation of the moving bed, really helped my breathing and relaxed state for some time even after the move down.

Continued to labour on my side, deep ins and deeper outs breathing-coached throughout by mum. (9.10) between contractions focus on midwife for first time and ask her to repeat her name. She’s surprised I’m smiling. Get fed water (straws were the cleverest thing to make it into the birthing bag) and hang on to Sy/mum sat next to me during the peak of contractions-which I feel in my bum-my legs bicycle at this moment and I tell myself that this is the peak and it’ll wear off soon. 9.20 First obs done. 9.40 violently sick out of nowhere, Sy and mum had just switched position, but somehow mum managed to dodge it! Internal done at this point and get told by midwife: “head’s just there, you can feel it if you want.” Mum: “hmm yes I thought she was in transition” Me: “Simon, have a look during the next contraction”. I can see “clean and dirty end” thoughts crossing his mind and call him a wimp. But he does look and runs with it from here on, fascinated.

Delivery pack got opened at 9.40 and at 9.50 midwife said “I’ve got a plan: go like this for another hour/10.30 (can’t remember which) then if you haven’t had the urge to push, we’ll get you to push”

10.20 active pushing started. The first few pushing urges left me with the biggest grin on my face. Had the back of the bed raked up and had my knees bent-a sitting squatting position. For each push I’d push down with my arms to anchor myself. Learnt quickly that my weak left leg needed to be stretched out and relaxed between pushing uges as it was shaking. The pushing urges had no build up like the contractions so I had longer to relax between them. The midwife did mention that she’d have preferred my pushing urges to last for longer, but that nothing could be done. At close to crowning, the second midwife got called in. 5 pushing urges before birth, episiotomy was mentioned as well as lignocaine round my vaginal opening to persuade baby out the last bit. The latter didn’t work and then there were a few issues finding baby’s heartbeat. So 2 pushing urges before baby was born the episiotomy was done, 2 more pushing clusters and out her head came. Think body took another two(?) pushes… Cord was wrapped round her neck twice (unlooped first one in head out position) and she’d pooh’d in utero at the last bit too… Cuddling my purple baby with meconium and blood is one of the best things I’ve ever felt though!! At this stage I was losing a fair amount of blood (1/2 pint at this stage more later) and midwife was looking concerned, my mum gave the go ahead to cut cord and use Syntocinon to deliver placenta (we’d discussed this eventuality before hand). Baby was pinking up. Photos were taken, and the biggest grins didn’t leave our faces.

Another midwife came in to stitch me up and asked if I’d used gas and air during delivery, if I had I may want to use it for the stitching. My midwife then said: “I forgot to even offer it!” (there’d been NO time and I was fine without, same goes for the stitching!)

The second midwife asked if we knew what “this one is going to be”. We replied, this is our first and no-she was shocked it was my first labour.

Other  comments  from midwife that happened somewhere in the haze :

“you’re doing this all by yourself, you really don’t need advice from me!”

“what sort of third stage would you like” (physiological was my reply-ie no drugs/pulling, cord left to pulsate before cutting)

Everyone was shocked when Jessica weighed in at 9lb 14oz. We had skin to skin in that room from 11.30 til close to 3-I got showered, got brought toast and tea and mum and Sy ate their sarnies (ok, I pinched half of mums). Back on the maternity ward I fought the system and got discharged (there was no doctors about to do baby check, but a midwife was found on the birthing unit who was qualified!)

I came home to bubbly, a home-made stew (thanks to dad for meals on wheels) and my own bed, with our not so little girl!

Since then my stitches have misbehaved a bit (gaping/popping) Jessica has oral thrush which caused a blocked duct in my breast (poor attachment) and I have an infection somewhere requiring antibiotics and a visit to a non-human out of hours GP. So there have been quite a few tears of frustration through the smiles of happiness. Here’s to a more settled second part of our babymoon-Simon is a natural!


confessions and no photos

August 22, 2011

The first confession I have to make is that I was convinced that the baby would be early-ie 38 weeks – possibly 40 but definitely not late. Am now at 41+1 and although the head is fully engaged and am getting painless tightenings, no baby. On Wednesday I will be booked in for induction on Friday-hope baby gets a wriggle on before then!

Second confession is my love of spreadsheets. I am by no means an expert in creating or manipulating them, but I love them as a basic summing up tool/analysis. I keep track of our finances in a way that makes sense to me but when looking at the baby name popularity statistics I forgot to see how the numbers the spreadsheet provides actual translate into real life. I’d ruled out several names as they were “too popular”. Yet on closer inspection, ie taking total number of births and then comparing them to the number of kids with that name, the incidence of the names are often in the 1/100 range, which means that in a school year there really aren’t likely to be tonnes of name X running around! Cue rethink 😉

Sleep is getting increasingly difficult-waking up feeling so very sick along with the bladder emptying issues. But there are laughs too especially when out for a picnic and I thought I would lie on the grass-ha, I couldn’t get up!

I have a photo that was taken at 38 weeks I want to upload and then some more recent ones that I need to see whether I’ll share, but getting this written is achievement enough for today!


I’m still waiting ;)

August 16, 2011

The bras fit, but are still waiting to see if boobs do anything strange post birth. Bought some dead cheap-2 for 13.50 + free item from Mothercare bras (34G) nursing bras to add to the stash.

Lovely body threw another bout of TMIs at me shortly after… 2 stone weight gain are obviously making my bowels object-specially when head went from free floating to engaged (YAY!).

Last weekend in July I thought I was tempting baby to arrive as we had ordered 9.2 x 2.7 meters worth of decking to be laid-but it stayed put! Every day since August 1st we’ve had reasons baby could be born today, from “it’d share Sy’s birthday” to “it’s a cool date” to “it’s my duedate” but no baby. I’m waking every 1.5-2 hours in the night to pee and turn over (and before anyone says it, yes good training!). SO yep, am waiting-many people say not to, but I need to make sure I don’t use up my energy on the day that I may go in to labour!


nursing bras

July 21, 2011

The other week I thought I should start investigating nursing bras. My breasts have changed considerably over the pregnancy. I’ve gone from a 32E to a 36FF in “normal” bras. After delivery I know that my cup size may well increase, but at the same time my backsize will decrease. I therefore ordered a Bravado Body Silk and a Carriwell Seamless bra, as these are meant to be multi-size comfortable bras. Think I’m between sizes/used to too much support from my bras and also used to not feeling like I’m wearing over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders/granny bras. They really weren’t for me. (I’d ordered these bras online, now faced posting them back)

So mum and I headed into her local town on Sunday, only to find the store we’d planned to check out bras, didn’t stock them in that store!! (I enjoyed the retail therapy of buying my 5 year old niece a birthday pressie though!) Came back via a village location bra shop where I found a GORGEOUS bra. The Elle Macpherson La Mere bra. The “A frame” that supports the bra when the cup is down for nursing is lacey and doesn’t dig in/flap about. It was truly beautiful. I walked away without one as my size wasn’t in stock (34E needed in this brand and style)

Monday we headed to another town as we had 6/7 stores lined up there. The saga starts!

House of Fraser (we’ll ignore the access!): No longer stocked the Elle Macpherson in store, but stocked Royce. Found a bra that fitted well and looked ok. That is until I tried the drop down cup. It didn’t drop completely. To feed I’d have to drop cup, hoik boob out and boob be compressed for the feeding duration-not ideal at all! Engorgement likely!

Jojo Maman Bebe: Stocked the Elle MacP, but not in my size. Their own brand I couldn’t get anything below a 38″ back to close and then the drop down cup section (single strap not A-frame) didn’t drop away completely again and dug in to the side of my boob big time.

Debenhams: 2 nursing bras in stock, at FLOOR level in the bra section. Not in anything near my size-walked out.

M+S: not floor heigh display, but still minimal choice in sizes. walked out again.

Mothercare: see M+S.

Independant bra shop: Stocked HotMilk. Very comfortable, probably more supportive than the Elle MacP 3 hook vs 2 hook fastening (6 hook adjustability on both). Cotton lined cups (most A frame support) VERY pretty (maybe verging on too fussy in some styles) Size needed in this brand: 34FF. Not in stock, unfortunately.

Exhausting much?!

I have ordered 2 Hotmilk nursing bras from nursingbra-shop which have arrived today. I ordered these 2 as they were reduced (£50 for 2) but have yet to try them on. If they fit, might well be chopping off the rosebuds and diamente detailing-that is after waiting to check they still fit when baby’s here-the shop has a 45 day return policy!! ETA they fit!!! the A frame is less tight on Elle MacP but bra is £10 more-hmm…



July 12, 2011

There’s a lot going on locally. Pretty much every weekend recently there’s been an option of going to a show or something similar going on. It was the last week of the Sculpture show this weekend, so as my TMI symptom was easing considerably we decided to ditch the house and head out. Packed my waterproof and intended being back in time to make bread for lunch. We weren’t expecting much having not been that impressed with the sculptures at Gloucester cathedral incl Hirst.

Walking through the village where Simon used to work was strange-never knew it was so big/pretty. We paid our £2.50 entrance fee and shelled out for the map and info booklet too (a very helpful woman told us how to access the sculptures the other side of the river!). Within seconds we were impressed. SO much crammed in, you really couldn’t blink or you’d miss something/trip up on something! (the head in the photo below for example is the last in a stepping stone sequence) The live toad on one of the sculptures was causing quite a stir and my knitting photographed in front of a knolly ball was mistaken as being part of the exhibit by a couple-that is until I whisked it up after photographing it!

We ran into an ex colleague of Sy’s a neighbour, chatted to lots of strangers including a lovely couple who I quizzed about their Babasling. They were so positive about all things to do with their 7 week old. Silly us aren’t tuned completley into baby speak protocol though as we didn’t ask baby’s name! BIG oops. One slight moan about chatting to some people is that some didn’t realise I’m pregnant! 35 weeks pregnant wearing dungarees!?! (I mentioned that by next show we’ll have a 2 year old toddler with us, they shocked, said ooooh when are you due!)

A photo collage of some sculptures, including some that weren’t created by a sculpture-yes those tights-too gorgeous not to photograph! Click to see larger image


We weren’t back in time for lunch, but luckily a local coffe shop (7a coffeshop) were doing the catering so we were in for a treat!) We also definitely didn’t need waterproofs in fact we went slightly pink!

ETA: last post I wrote Tim Hart not Ralph McTell. The latter sang Sally the Seal on Alphabet zoo, but Tim Hart’s nursery rhymes come highly recommeneded too!


a little low

July 8, 2011

So this week hasn’t been the easiest. DH has had some medical investigations (investigation stress more than d/x stress) and then I had an antenatal appointment with the Dr instead of the midwife.

On my antenatal notes, plastered right across the top is Group B Strep. I had a positive test to group b strep IN my kidneys 16 years ago. At the beginning of the pregnancy the dr said “oh you’ll be offered antibiotics during labour”. I don’t do drugs well with my M.E. so I was a bit perturbed by this and after a bit of further reading questioned him again as my infection had been so internal and had never reoccurred “oh well it likely will during pregnancy” was his reply. Since then every time my midwife opened my notes she went “ooh group b strep” which was really beginning to annoy me, especially as reading up on it, it is a bacteria that a large proportion of the population carry asymptomatically and the risk of newborn infection and then death is VERY low and that antibiotics do not hugely reduce this risk and in fact carry further risks to baby (such as good gut bacteria being killed off, yeast infections making feeding hard, antibiotic resistant infections etc). So I wrote in my notes about how long it’d been since the infection, where the infection was and no reoccurance since. This stopped the midwife going on about it at all appts, but it still wasn’t clear if I’d be “offered” anti-b’s during labour, where I could labour… The midwife said it was a matter for the Dr.

The night before I printed off the research I’d found (shout if you want links-they are nicely scientific) and highlighted the areas (oh yes I’d already given a copy to my midwife, who understood from that that I really wanted a birthing unit birth and no antibiotics). I was a bit of a wreck, what with low energy from the previous few days, pregnancy (incl the tmi symptoms**) and was also playing a childhood favourite CD (well we had it on LP when I was a kid, but just got the CD ready for bump!). Tim HartRalph McTell’s Sally the Seal had me sobbing!!

I felt calmer on the morning of the appointment and enjoyed knitting in the waiting room, watching some toddlers play (cars are universally the favourite toy there!). Went in to the dr who it turns out was seeing me to ascertain an M.E. update, check my left sided weakness stuff again… I apologised about writing in my notes, but explained why and then I asked if this meant I could not birth on the birthing unit (instead of the medical unit-which incidentally is 1 floor down!) and was told that there was NO reason not. He did say I’d be offered anti-b’s but when I said I’d prefer not, he chipped in that it wasn’t a foolproof system anyway (wish I could remember his wording!). No fight needed, no presenting of research needed. It’s my choice. He did later put a few “what ifs” at me, but when I said that of course if there are complications that I would weigh up the issues then, he complimented me on being open minded and pragmatic!

I get to see him again next week, nothing to do with the above, but because he thinks baby may be breach. I am having a scan to see… I don’t think it is, but if it is will just wait and see… Am going to have to make sure the sonographer knows we still don’t want to know the baby’s sex!

I finished baby’s second “baby leg” (legwarmer) today 😀 … so that’s 2 pairs of socks and 1 pair of baby legs. I plan on starting a sweater for it over the weekend.

😀 typing this has been quite calming 🙂

** a side note, almost literally. To avoid aggravating the piles, I am spending a lot of time lying on my side instead of sitting. Lying on my back is out as I feel too ill (pregnancy). i can browse the internet/read/watch tv in this position, but cannot type/knit/write which has led me to be very bored indeed.

ETA: another low was seeing a photo of me and bump sat in my wheelchair. I just look fat 😦 -photo was taken at a choir performance which I didn’t particularly enjoy though so…