Saturday, 16 September 2017

Dot's labour story

My labour story banner

After trying everything we could to start labour naturally, I was booked for induction on Wednesday 17th August. I was desperately hoping to avoid being induced this time, as induction with Squidge was really horrendous and long. I was also nervous as just 2 days later, 19th August, is the anniversary of my mum passing away, not something I want to think about on his birthday each year.

I went to the induction ward and was briefly offered the bed I'd been in when induced with Squdige, but were quickly moved to a different bed. The whole ward was different this time, much quieter and calmer, we seemed to be getting off on the right foot.

After monitoring me and doing all my base stats and confirming I was still 2cm dilated, I was given the first pessary about 1:15pm on the Wednesday. Contractions started up pretty quickly (I'd been having them off and on for about a week anyway). Hours went by and hubby started feeling ill, like he was coming down with a cold, and started resting up on the recliner.

Dot's first pictures

Then hours later, thing started to feel a bit weird. Contractions were stronger, and I was starting to shake. I called the midwife in who suggested waiting for a while and having some paracetamol, but I asked to go on the monitor straight away as things didn't feel right. After a few mins of being on, we kept losing the baby's heartbeat, so I called her back and she could see it wasn't right. When the heartbeat came back, it was low (about 90bpm instead of around 150). She quickly whipped out the pessary and rushed me up to the delivery suite. This was pretty surreal, it was like something out of a movie, I'm there, lying in the bed, my whole body shaking pretty hard (shock and adrenaline) and I see lights flashing by as they whizz me down the corridor.

In the delivery suite they whip me up to the monitoring, and confirm all is well with the baby. They think he may have grabbed the umbilical cord and squeezed, which affected his heart rate. Very scary - I could see they were getting read to give me a c-section and get the baby out fast. But luckily all was well. After about an hour, they put a new pessary in to progress things. 12 hrs later, still having contractions, I was still only 2cms.

We had 2 options - if they could reach my waters, they could break them, or they could give me the pessary gel and I go back down to the induction ward. I opt for them breaking my waters - luckily they could, but oh my gosh, that was painful!

We're told to walk around the hospital for 2 hrs to try and get things progressing - bear in mind, at this point it's 1am. Hubby is feeling awful, so I spend the 2nd hour walking around by myself while he tries to nap. At 4am I'm back on the monitor and it's now Thursday. All is well, so they put me on the drip to try and force things along as they'd broken my waters. As is the way with the drip, the contractions were really strong, but Dot was coping really well. I was struggling with the pain and the gas & air wasn't helping much, so I ask for an epidural.  This was tricky, it took the anaesthetist 3 attempts with the needle to get it i the right place, he kept hitting bone (vertebrae) with the needle - that was a horrid sensation! 

Dot, just a few hours old

Hours pass and it's about midday. I'm examined and I'm 6cms, I was gutted! My midwife goes off to make a call, as I still have a way to go. About 5 mins later, I feel like I need to push! I push the button to call the midwife back and tell her I need to push. She examines me and yep, I'm 10 cms! I've gone from 6-10 in just a few mins! But as I have an epidural, I have to wait an hour before they'll let me push.

An hour later and I start pushing. Not much progress, but the midwife informs me he is coming forwards down the birth canal. All together I'm pushing for about an hour and a quarter I think (it was definitely over an hour) and it's just the 3 of us in the room (me, her and hubby, who by the way is feeling super ill and is mostly in the chair as he's feeling feint with the nasty cold he has). The midwife takes off the apron and gloves and goes to write some things down, with that I shout out that the baby is making his way out, she runs back and there's his head! I pretty much didn't have to push, my body did the work and out he came in 2 contractions with a super duper thick umbilical cord!

Sadly I didn't get to do the delayed clamping of the cord as he didn't cry enough and needed suction, so she had to whisk him away, but he was back in my arms in no time. I only lost a tiny bit of blood, 200 ml I think it said in my notes. But I did tear, a pretty big tear too - 2nd degree... they were stitching me up for quite a long time (close to an hour I think).

So there you have it, all in all a much better experience than with Squidge, much shorter, and much less dramatic (when Squidge was born there was about 20 people in the room! You can read his birth story here), and not born on the 19th Aug, thankfully :) 

Mum with me, and me with Dot <3 
Mum with me as a baby, and me with Dot
For what it's worth, the next day I came down with that nasty cold too - and to this day we're still battling it!!!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Introducing Dot

Dot newborn photography banner

Well, this post has been a long time in the making. Dot (as he'll be known online) arrived on the 18th August 2017 at 2:45 pm, weighing a whopping 8lb 10.5oz. This is pretty much the first opportunity I've had to get on my laptop, not even kidding! Today, he's 4 weeks old, and identical to his big brother as a baby :)

I don't even know where to begin! Becoming a mum of two has certainly been challenging, but so incredibly wonderful. I'm managing to successfully breastfeed (something I didn't manage with Squidge, which I feel more guilty for than ever) which is fantastic, I'll write a separate post on our journey with that.

Dot newborn photo in fox hat

He's really thriving too. After he was born, about 3 days after I think, his weight dropped to 8lb 4oz, and about 4 days after that he'd increased to 8lb 5oz after days of cluster feeding. They re-weighed him a week later, and boom, he'd gone up to 9lb 6oz, a gain of over 1lb in a week! He hasn't been weighed since that, but I'm convinced he's over 10lb now already! He's a really long baby too, 92nd percentile I think for height (just like his big brother), taking after his tall Dad.

In preparation for his arrival, I'd bought a range of vest and babygrows. Sillily, I'd thought he might be small as his big brother was when he was born (6lb 9oz), so I'd bought lots of newborn sized clothes, but alas, most of them didn't fit him! He's already in size 0-3 months, and they're not massive on him. He's also going to be growing out of his moses basket soon, which is insane, he's only 4 weeks old!

Dot newborn photo with pixie hat

I also can't believe how much he can do already. He's holding his head up pretty well, and has already (I can't believe I'm actually writing this) rolled onto his side and back a few times, OMG!

He's just so perfect, and so different from his big brother. Squidge was quiet in my tummy, and cried a lot as a baby (part of this I think was being formula fed, so when he was hungry he'd be waiting a good 15 mins for a bottle), Squidge loved the car seat and being in the car too. But Dot... constantly wriggled in my tummy, doesn't cry much at all, hates the car seat and hates the car! Dot's happiest place is lying on his tummy on my chest, he could spend all day there, and I love it :)

Dot newborn photo with wolf hat

I'm going to write up my labour story separately and publish that hopefully in the next couple days if I can, before I forget it all! I mentioned that he's identical to his big brother, well I'm not exaggerating - I feel like I've had twins, 3 years apart - just look at some of Squidge's newborn pics to compare!

Squidge newborn pics

Anyway, that's enough for now, I just wanted to welcome him to the blog and introduce him :D
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*Photo credits to Cross-Jones Photography - taken during a newborn photoshoot we paid for
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