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.

Advertisements
 

Countdown commences Monday 30 June 2008

37 weeks tomorrow which means we can have our homebirth from then (all being well). The pool arrived today so a quick dash to the local DIY shop to find a suitable tap connector and we can have a test drive later on. Wriggler has definitely dropped down which makes breathing easier but walking harder – plus trips to the loo every few minutes as the pressure on my poor old bladder is constant 🙂

The antibiotics seem to be kicking in now but I’m still coughing and blowing gunk from my nose – yuk. It doesn’t really help with my breathing practice as I’m wheezing so doing the long slow breath in and out (used for contractions) is proving a bit tricky. Oh well.  The TENS machine arrived on Saturday too so we’re pretty much good to go. I’ve packed two bags in case of a hospital transfer – one for me and one for Wriggler and added in the energy bars. Our cupboards are now replete with chocolate biscuits and toast making ingredients to keep the midwife happy!

DH spent the weekend cleaning, tidying and doing DIY so the flat is looking good – we should be instructing our chosen estate agent today so it’s all go on all fronts. MIL will be coming down on Weds with the crib, baby car seat and baby bath that she’s had in her attic for us – just hope things don’t kick off whilst she’s here. Despite us telling her we didn’t want anyone around last time, she decided to turn up anyway which made us both pretty cross. I’m determined for it to be me and DH only this time, with our DD being the next person to meet Wriggler. Everyone else can just wait until we’re ready.

I’ll be seeing my midwife tomorrow so we’ll go through the birth plan and arrangements for a homebirth, then a counselling appt on Weds. As D-Day draws nearer, I can’t help but be reminded again of the twins we reduced and wonder what if…  I love them every bit as much as I love my DD and Wriggler, even though I never got a chance to meet them properly. They are still very much a part of me and will never be forgotten. I’m just so sad that we had to make the decision we did. I hope I can find some time to grieve properly for my two little babies, and that wherever they are, that they understand why we did what we did.  I’m not religious or even really that into ‘life after death’ type of thing but I hope they are kind of around and looking over us all. I know that physically they are literally a part of me having been partially absorbed and whilst that sounds a bit gruesome, it actually brings some small comfort. Emotionally the whole experience has impacted me greatly – a totally unexpected twist in our lives that has had to be incorporated somehow, and physically it’s the same I suppose (although on much less of a scale). But, life goes on and their brother is making his way into the world which brings happiness tinged with sadness. 

 

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!

 

Ummm Thursday 24 April 2008

Almost at the start of the third trimester (I think) and the physical uncomfortableness has started to kick in. My tummy/bump is tight and immovable making bending over, reaching and all manner of normal movements quite impossible. Even turning over in bed at night becomes an epic adventure as I battle with pains in my lower back as well as the effort of heaving the bump with me as we rotate through 90 degrees; if it wasn’t so uncomfortable, it would be most amusing! Heartburn is thankfully at a minimal level currently, the chalky Rennie tablets seem to be adequate for the time being, but the snoring and snuffling is coming on very well indeed – not quite at the snoring whilst awake level just yet, but I reckon a couple more weeks and I’ll be there.

Weight wise, I’m still a couple of pounds off of putting on a stone, despite best efforts to eat my way through every triple choc giant cookie that I find. Or choc doughnuts, or choc crispy cornflakes, or Double Deckers, or choc cheesecake (are you sensing a theme here yet?!). Roll on strawberry season – the ones in the shop currently are just not doing it – they’re too hard, sharp or distinctly un-strawberry like. Meh. Thankfully (I think) the weight I am putting on seems to be entirely bump and boob targetted – I’m already on my third bra size increase – a rather impressive 38E right now (I started at 34D, although for years as a young woman I was fairly small at 34B). I just hope that they don’t do that weird deflating thing after this pg and become like empty socks 🙂

Tempting fate, I have no stretchmarks so far (I didn’t get any last time either) but I’m slathering myself in The Sanctuary’s Mum to Be body butter and stretch mark oil just in case. Even if it doesn’t actually work, it smells delicious and makes my skin feel nice and soft.

And finally, after about a month of searching all the online maternity clothes shops, I have ordered myself a (hopefully) gorgeous dress to wear to a friends wedding in early June. It’s a halter neck one in emerald green from Picchu once it arrives and I make sure it’s as good on me as it looks in the pictures, I can concentrate on the fun bit – SHOES!! I’ll have the perfect excuse to have very high heels which I won’t be able to walk far in – being pg I can sit down as often as I like surely 😉 I do so love shoes and rarely get a chance to wear pretty heels – being more of a trainers or crocs kinda girl these days. It’s not easy to push a buggy or chase a toddler with killer heels on y’know!

Next week is all go on the appt front – I have my 28wk appt with the midwife where I have to do the glucose test (drinking lucozade then a blood sample is taken), not really looking forward to that very much. Lucozade tastes horrible and I really hate having my blood taken. Oh well. Then we’re off on our intensive weekend Hypnobirthing course – MIL will come down and babysit our dd whilst we spend all day Saturday and Sunday doing the course. We did a course in 2005 with a different practitioner and absolutely loved it so it was a no-brainer to sign up again. I started to practice the ‘Rainbow Relaxation’ technique a week ago and was amazed how quickly I was able to ‘go under’. It’s really incredibly relaxing so I’m looking forward to the ‘walking on air’ feeling after the course.

And, we’ve almost got a 4D scan booked for mid May with Baby Premier. I say almost because despite saying they have appts available on the date/time we wanted, I haven’t heard anything since. I’ll give it until Monday then call and see what’s what. Despite having to travel to London, they are still cheaper than the local one, plus I like that rather than sign up for a ‘package’ beforehand, you get to choose after the appt. During it, they record a DVD and take still photos, then depending on how the baby behaves or how much you like them, you can buy both, one, or neither for a reasonable additional cost (£30 for DVD, £20 for photos). I’m not bothered especially about a DVD – can’t really imagine watching it (a bit like a wedding video) but I’d love some pictures. The last few 2D scan pics have been awful – the last one looks like some horrible alien/skeleton which even my mum was repulsed by. Poor little fellow, I’m sure he’s as cute as a button really but right now the best idea we have is from the 13wk scan where he looks almost identical to his big sister.

Wow – this turned into a looooooong post. The Wriggler is practicing his favourite pasttime of bouncing on my bladder so must go before there’s a terrible accident 🙂

 

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 🙂

 

Good day Wednesday 23 January 2008

Filed under: 21wks,bleeding,blood pressure,consultant,maternity clothes,midwife,scan — timeforanother @ 12:50 pm

I’m feeling optimistic today and have a secret smile when I think about our little wriggler growing so well inside me. Yesterday I posted our scan pics from last week on to Facebook which feels like a big step forward. I’ve been so scared and nervous to get too excited about this baby, fearing the worst at every turn, but it felt like the right time to start being upbeat.

We saw the consultant on Monday afternoon and it was quick but good. Another scan (no. 5, we have the most photographed baby ever!!) and all is well. He didn’t tell me the CTR (crown to rump) measurement but he said he thought wriggler was looking big for the dates – last week it measured a few mm’s off the dates so who knows, I’m absolutely sure of my dates – I could refer them here couldn’t I? 🙂 The twins are now squashed together and look teeny tiny, with little or no fluid around them – weirdly it wasn’t upsetting or gross to see them, although it made me feel sad. But I’m glad they’re together.

He doesn’t seem bothered by the brown bleeding I’m still getting on and off and there doesn’t seem to be any obvious reason for it. I wonder if it’s old blood from having 3 implantations… The best news is that he asked when I wanted to see him again – I had thought they might decide to send me back to regular routine local midwifery care (which would mean no more scans until 21wks which is 14th March) but I said when did he suggest would be good, and we came up with a fortnights time. When we spoke with the mw there, she seemed to indicate that they were going to look after me until we get to 21wks, so fingers crossed I’ll be getting at least 2 more scans in between. It’s so strange – I know how lucky we are to get to see wriggler so regularly but even going a few days seems like weeks for us as it’s been such a stressful & eventful few weeks. I’m on a high having seen the wriggler waving it’s arms and legs but a couple of days later when the bleeding starts again and the cramps start, I’m back to being a mess again and worrying myself silly that it’s all ending. So knowing they are there to keep me sane is amazing. Hurray for the Royal Sussex, if I had the money, I’d be buying a new wing there!!

So after our appt I went to Mothercare to buy a pair of maternity jeans. I’d bought some Seraphine ones from ebay, but overestimated the size I needed and they are hanging off of me. I tried on a size 12 and they were a bit roomy, so I thought, well why not try a 10, thinking I’d never get them past my knees!! But to my absolute delight, they fit like a dream, making my bum look a normal size instead of a great saggy lumpy thing 😀 Amazing – fall pregnant with triplets and end up losing weight and going down 2 dress sizes (not something I’d recommend mind you). All in all a lovely positive day. Our daughter came with us to the scan and was saying ‘baby kicking!’ which amused the consultant so much he gave her a scan pic of her very own which she clutched all the way home. Now she keeps saying ‘hello baby’ to my tummy and saying ‘mama not sad, mama happy!’ – and that makes me happier than ever.

I’ve also contacted my local mw to resurrect my regular appts with her as I realised I haven’t had my blood pressure or urine tested since 8wks (I’m 14wks now). I’m now booked to see her in Feb when I’ll be 17wks and need to see my GP to do a quick blood pressure and urine test for me in the meantime as she’s completely booked up.

For now, everything is looking and feeling ok. Fingers tightly crossed.

 

Breathing a sigh of relief Tuesday 15 January 2008

Filed under: 2nd child,bleeding,hospital,midwife,scan — timeforanother @ 12:57 pm

After a fretful weekend where the fluid loss continued with the browny coloured blood, we tried calling our local hospital and King’s to no avail. Our local hospital were very sweet but explained that because they don’t do the procedure or see the after results very often, they couldn’t advise if the fluid loss was normal. The number we had for King’s rang out – presumably it’s an office hours number.

I called King’s yesterday afternoon – I’d been putting it off in case I heard the worst, but a nice midwife told me it was hard to say what was normal, the best thing to do was to arrange a scan at our local hospital to check the fluid wasn’t coming from our remaining baby’s sac. K the amazing midwife arranged an appt for me for 10am today so it was just one night to get through. I’ve started to not want to go to bed and sleep as it’s usually in the middle of the night that the fluid loss happens.

So a tiny loss in the middle of the night, followed by hours of inability to sleep again. Shaking like a leaf and feeling sick, we get to the hospital and wait for 5 minutes. The sonographers are so lovely as we explain what we can. Almost immediately they find our baby and its heart is beating, arms and legs waving, bouncing around just like our dd did. Plenty of fluid around it and it’s grown another cm since Thurs. It looks like the fluid loss is from the other two – there is minimal liquid surrounding them now, and their placenta is quite close to my cervix which may explain the brown bleeding. It may also cause problems with delivery if it remains there, but it’s early days and may move or disappear in the coming months. At this point that’s the least of our worries. We hope to have a homebirth, but honestly if they have to cut my legs off to get this baby out, I wouldn’t care.

We are still seeing the consultant on Monday where he’ll scan again to make sure he’s happy with how things are progressing, and then we’ll discuss how to proceed with antenatal care. I still can’t quite get over how amazingly supportive they have been to us. We also have our 21wk scan booked for 14th March. So strange to think that will be our 6th scan when usually it would be our 2nd.

We have 4 beautiful pictures of our bouncing bean – the profile is so like our daughter – the exact same nose. I had been thinking it’s a girl but today I’m not so sure. Again, I don’t give a monkeys – funny how when I started writing this blog, it was partially to document whether we could actively try for a boy. How things change.