Time for Another

the diary of our quest for baby number 2

A rather delayed birth story!! Monday 4 August 2008

Firstly, thank you to those of you who have posted comments wondering whether our little boy had arrived yet. It still amazes me to think that people are interested in reading my blog – many thanks to you all!

As you may have guessed, I have had our little boy – he arrived on 16th July, a whole 6 days early, and he’s just perfect 😀  Here’s the story:

I woke up on Weds 16th July at 6am with tummy cramps, initially I thought I was dreaming then realised that no, they were in fact real. They felt different to the cramps I had been having so I thought I’d time them (whilst my husband snoozed beside me) – I timed them for a couple of hours until about 8am – they were coming every 15 minutes and were strong but not uncomfortable. DH woke up and I told him that he should probably stay at home from work. Then we set about thinking what we should do about our daughter. Unfortunately her nursery was full that day so we called up DH’s mum who very kindly agreed to come and fetch her. It’s a 2hr drive for her so we carried on calmly with the day – I showered and ate breakfast and loaded up http://www.contractionmaster.com on my laptop so I could keep track of what was happening. We then phoned the labour ward to let them know that things were underway, and they said to phone back when the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart or if my waters broke.

So, around lunchtime, some builders turned up to assess a problem with the brickwork, then MIL arrived to fetch our daughter, followed by the internet grocery shopping I’d ordered the day before!! All rather hectic and it sent the contractions a bit haywire – they felt a little less intense and came on and off. Once everyone had gone and it was just me and DH, we were able to relax and I got my rhythm back again. They were coming every 6-7 minutes and starting to increase in intensity and length. We laid back on the sofa and watched The Incredibles (well, I did, my DH snored all the way through!!).

At around 5pm we decided to set up the birthing pool and I lit my aromatherapy candle so the bedroom became a virtual spa 🙂 I moved into the bedroom as the lights were a bit less harsh and the mood was set. Whilst DH sorted out the pool, I lay on the bed and breathed through each contraction, feeling calm and a little excited that this was really it. By 7pm we decided to time things for an hour before calling the labour ward again. At this point contractions were coming approx every 4 minutes and lasting from 40 seconds – over a minute. I sat on the birthing ball and rocked side to side which made things feel much easier and DH gave me lovely soft-touch massage on my back, whilst we played the hypnobirthing cd to really really relax. At 8pm ish we called the labour ward again to tell them that we were at a steady 4mins apart with each one lasting an average of 1minute – they were handing over from day to night shift so got a midwife to call me back at around 8.30pm. She agreed to come out and assess me, bringing a student mw with her. In the meantime I decided it was time to put on the TENS machine…

Only to discover it was malfunctioning – the ‘boost’ button which you press when having a contraction didn’t work, and the machine randomly flicked from regular to ‘burst’ mode without any intervention. This was entertaining for a short while but ultimately useless for the job intended. Thankfully a friend had offered us the use of their machine so a quick phone call later, they dropped it off then about 5 minutes later the mw turned up.

They watched me for a little while and asked some questions then took my temperature, blood pressure (weirdly lower than for almost the entire pregnancy!!) and baby’s heartbeat. Then they did the internal to see how dilated (if at all) I was. The mw went first whilst the student waited in the other room – the mw whispered in my ear that I was 6cm!! This was so unbelievably good to hear – I’d only got to 5cm after 2.5days of labouring with my dd, I could have cried with happiness. The student then did her examination and they discussed how they could feel the membranes bulging as our baby’s head was pressing right down. I think they were quite surprised how far along I was because the hypno techniques meant I was incredibly calm – chatting in between  contractions and really just letting my body do its thing. The mw then said they would leave us to continue whilst they sat in the living room, and that they would come and check on my progress, and listen in to baby’s hb every 15 minutes (obviously if we wanted them before we could just call out). Anyway, I phoned my mum to let her know how things were progressing (about 9.55pm) and had 3 huge contractions whilst on the phone. I had one check then the contractions were coming thick and fast. They didn’t hurt but were starting to be quite overwhelming – I got DH to check when it was ok for me to get in the pool and was told whenever I wanted. So, DH took off the TENs machine whilst I had 2 massive contractions bending over the bed. I clambered into the pool, knelt down and despite being told that the water would probably slow the contractions a little, I almost immediately felt the need to push (well actually I thought I was going to do a big poo!) the mws came running in and reassured me that there was nothing to be scared about, that my little boy was coming! They got me to feel his head which was amazing, then a big push (unprompted and not forced) the waters popped and I delivered his head, a couple of minutes later and the rest of him followed. I brought him to the surface and I will never ever forget the sight of that perfect little face looking up at me. He was tiny but perfect. My DH says I looked euphoric and that’s pretty much how I felt. 10.37pm, our beautiful boy was born weighing 6lb 8oz.

I got out of the pool and waited for the 3rd stage (delivery of the placenta) which happened about an hour after the birth without any interventions. I’d done it. I had my home waterbirth with no drugs (not even gas & air), no forced pushing or being told what to do. My body did it all and I remained calm throughout. No pain, no shouting, no swearing – a little ‘lowing’ (as in ‘the cattle are lowing’) – it was exactly as my birth plan.

The 2nd mw arrived after the birth and missed all the action! So he made tea for everyone instead. Once they’d done all their paperwork and checks, we were finally left to ourselves at around 1am. I had a quick shower, and we put some clean sheets on the bed then we snuggled up on the sofa, DH with a glass of wine, me with some squash and of course our beautiful little boy. It was amazing to be able to relax and enjoy this special time – so different to the birth of my dd where my DH was sent home at 4am and I was transferred to a ward with 3 other women & their newborns, left on my dirty sheet, unable to sit up (because of the epidural) and unable to sleep. 

So, all my worries and fears about bonding with my darling son were put to rest. I had a tear or two just after the birth and whispered to him how sorry I was about his siblings. I have cried for them since but I am so in love with our little boy – the moment I saw that face coming out of the water I couldn’t help but feel that way and I’m so happy.

Nearly 3wks on and I’m still feeling great about it all. He’s a complete poppet; sleeping and eating well, barely crying. His big sister is totally enchanted with him and gives him kisses all the time which is so sweet and lovely – I’m a very lucky mama 🙂  I’ve had some physical problems since the birth – including an infection in my uterus so am dosed up on antibiotics and anti-infection medication, but mentally things are just dandy. Again, the difference between this and how I felt after my dd is astonishing. I’ve cried over that – I feel so bad that I didn’t feel the way I do now, about her when she was born. But, I can’t change the past and I know how much I love her now (and did then, the mask of PND just hid it from me).

The placenta sits rather unceremoniously in our freezer until we can plant the cherry tree somewhere suitable, then the twins will have their special place. Although, they already have a special place within me and my ds (rather gruesome a thought for some I’m sure, but very comforting to me).

And there we are – a family of four, mama, daddy, dd and ds. And the cat! What a journey we’ve been on these last 9-10mths. I’ll continue with this blog but probably not as frequently. I hope one day my children will read it if they would like to.

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The homestretch Monday 9 June 2008

It could be any day although the reality is more likely 4-8wks. We are ok for a home waterbirth from 37 wks (I’ll be 34 wks tomorrow) so I hope he hangs on until then. We have a small amount of decorating to finish before we finally get the flat on the market – I’m determined to have it for sale before we have this little fellow, because once he arrives, life will be manic and we’ll never get around to it.

Healthwise, I’m ok – we had a small scare a couple of weeks ago when I had a terrible headache and felt nauseous all day so we ended up paying a trip to the labour ward for monitoring. Thankfully pre-eclampsia was ruled out and we think it was probably just a migraine or virus. I’m now having fortnightly midwife appointments and last time we discussed what might be done with the placenta – I’ve been thinking more and more about this as the time comes to give birth. Initially I thought keeping the placenta was a bit gross, but the more time goes on, I think it would be nice to bury it with the twins’ cherry tree. It won’t be *just* the placenta but the twins will be part of it, along with their placenta – it’s some sort of closure for me to bury them together and have a resting place for them. Even though it’s still a bit freaky to think too hard about.  I’ve also had a call from the GPs counsellor who can fit me in for at least one session before my due date. I had wondered if I needed it, but now that it’s been offered, I feel it’s a good thing to go along. I’m definitely not over my grief and guilt of the reduction and in fact as I near the due date, the more it’s on my mind and I’ve had a few weepy moments. Interestingly over the weekend I ended up talking at length to a friend who initially I had thought would have reason to judge (she’s Catholic). However she was a great listener and seemed to understand that we’d been through hell and back and had considered every option possible before coming to the dreadful decision that we did. She told me of a quote from Richard E Grant about grief which goes something like this: ‘You never get over grief, but you do learn to walk around it’. That makes a lot of sense. 

And so as we reach those last few weeks, I’ve got my TENS machine ordered, hospital bag packed for me, baby’s one is prepared and needs putting in a bag (just in case of course!), vague plan of what to do with dd when things kick off, website bookmarked for the birth pool. Birth plan needs to be written up ready, a firmer plan for dd needs to be settled. The decorating needs to be finished and the flat on the market. But we’ll get there!

Other news: DD has potty trained successfully day and night – she’s taken to it like a duck to water, clearly it was the right thing to do to wait until she was ready. We attended our friends’ wedding over the weekend and it was great – beautiful weather, great service, lovely reception. I felt glamourous next to my handsome husband and dd looked so cute it was unbelievable!

 

30wks tomorrow Monday 12 May 2008

Another milestone about to be reached. Although 8-10wks to go still sounds like a long wait. We must start practicing the Hypnobirthing techniques, particularly as the course was so brilliant this time around. I’ve organised a basic hospital bag (something I didn’t do last time), know which birthing pool to order, have got the carrycot bit for our Xplory, washed all clothes and sheets and all we have to do now is find a name for the Wriggler. We hope that seing him a bit more clearly at the 4D scan on Friday will help a little, although he usually behaves very coyly at scans.

Not sure if it’s the heat but he has barely stopped moving over the last couple of days, which is nice in some ways but also quite tiring. I nearly fainted in the kitchen yesterday – just because it’s hot and the oven was on. DH came to the rescue 🙂 Today my hands and feet feel swollen and tight and all I really want to do is lie in the cool and sleep; the chances of that happening are about as good as odds on pigs doing a fly-by passed the window!

Can’t remember when I last posted or in fact what I posted… so sorry if I repeat myself. I got signed off from my consultant last Tuesday as the pregnancy is all developing as it should. It’s only really in my head where the ‘problem’ lies. I still can’t shake off my feelings of deep guilt and sadness about the twins. There isn’t a day goes by where I don’t think about what we did and whether it was the right choice. There are now at least two ladies on Bounty who have announced triplet pregnancies (and of course, they are going ahead) and I can’t help myself but read their stories. A tiny bit of me wants to hear that things don’t work out which is pretty sick to admit, but if they are successful, it’s just another smack in my face, proving that it can be done, and relatively easily.

We got around to buying a cherry tree the other week, and the recent sunshine has seen it sprouting lots of greenery on an otherwise lifeless looking stick. Signs of spring with bittersweet undertones.

Decorating has been more off than on, but the carpenter and his dad came back today and finished hanging the doors and sorting out of the laminate floor edging (well, some of it). Also, the underfloor heating which we installed at least 3yrs ago, is finally connected to the electricity supply. On the hottest day of the year so far. There must be some irony in that. Our latest plan is to sell up asap, pay off our debts, hopefully keep a chunk of money for a deposit, then rent for 6mths-1yr locally. It doesn’t matter then if prices rise, fall or stay the same – we’ll still be in a better position than when we started out, despite not having the flat as an asset. Initially a little scary, but the more we talk it through, the more appealing it seems. Plus, we’re planning a 3wk holiday over Christmas and New Year, somewhere warm, with a kids club so we can escape the usual shenanigans, and be somewhere far away from the memories that will surely return as the anniversary of discovering the triplets approaches.

Enough for tonight, time to sleep.

 

It’s a … Thursday 7 February 2008

Filed under: 2nd child,cherry tree,consultant,midwife,MIL,names,scan,trying for a boy — timeforanother @ 1:46 pm

I had a scan on Monday with our wonderful consultant and all is fine with the wriggler. The twins are looking so tiny in comparison, gradually being pushed to the side of my womb. I asked about their placenta and if it was going to cause any problems for the birth, but it’s too early to tell. It’s not like a regular low-lying placenta either because it’s not actually functioning any more, so who knows. I really hope it’s not going to get in the way, we’d still dearly love a homebirth, or at least a waterbirth at the hospital – really keen to avoid a c-section unless absolutely essential.

He didn’t take any measurements so I’m not sure what the CTR length is but it definitely looked bigger than 2 wks ago. I tentatively asked if it was too early to tell what sex it is and he moved the scan thing a little bit to get a view between the legs – “it looks male to me” I waited for the but… but it never came. He then showed me the legs and pointed out the inner thighs and there was definitely ‘something’ inbetween! When I got home, I notice he’s actually put the male symbol on my notes so I’m pretty certain we’re having a boy, although I’ll be having a very good look at the 21wk scan to see if I can see for myself. Lots of people have said their babies were really obviously boys, whereas I would never have known what we were looking at if he hadn’t pointed it out – the view was not a particularly clear one (to me anyway). Still, I trust him – he’s been an obstetrician for 20yrs 🙂 I’m pleased and nervous – I come from a big female family and don’t really know much about little boys – oh well, I’m about to learn I guess! My husband, mum and MIL are all over the moon about it which is fantastic, especially after all the ups and downs we’ve had.

Still no news from the counsellor about when we might start with her which is a little disappointing, I feel like we’re over the worst and it was hard managing that on our own – we could really have done with the professional help during that time. But I also know that I’m far from coming to terms with the reduction. I still cry most days about them and the horrible situation we found ourselves in. It’s just that I tend to cry a little and privately on my own now. I think we’ve decided to go with a flowering cherry tree to remember the twins by – not only are they really pretty, but cherries come in pairs which is kind of nice and symbolic.

Back to see the consultant in 3wks (it’ll be a different one as mine is on holiday), local mw on Tuesday (first time since booking in at 8wks!), then 21wk scan on 14th March. Still not sure if we’re going to finish having consultant care or not at that point, I’m hoping it will continue throughout the whole pg now, but obviously if it’s not necessary I’ll understand.

Now we have to decide on boy names – girl names are so much easier. I think we already have the middle name sorted, so I’d best go and dig out my baby name books again 🙂