Best ever Valentine’s present

I’m a mummy!

Charlotte Iris Rogers was born at 7.56pm on Valentine’s Day weighing 8lb 6oz. I was lucky to have a very positive birth experience. My waters broke in the morning five days before her due date. Contractions started about an hour later and after an initial check at the hospital I laboured at home in the bedroom keeping nice and calm thanks to a mixture of relaxing music, movement and a TENS machine. At about 4pm I decided I wanted to go to the hospital. I felt that I could have stayed at home longer if I wasn’t scared about how I would cope with the contractions in the car. I’m pleased I decided to head in when I did as when I got to the hospital I was already fully dilated!

We were quickly moved from antenatal to the delivery ward and some it had finally filled with water
I got into the birth pool and had a lovely transition period during which I chatted to the midwife and my husband whilst working through the contractions and eating the best tasting flapjack I’ve ever had.

Unfortunately the pushing phase went on longer than the midwives wanted (they only like you to push for an hour at which point they become concerned about feral distress and mother’s exhaustion) so I had to get out of the water and have a monitor attached. They made me put my feet in stirrups to ‘open my pelvis’ which I was initially upset about as the contractions were considerably more painful lying on my back and I didn’t have any pain relief but a lovely (and firm) midwife insisted and I ended up give birth on the bed. Thankfully it only took about 20 mins and after the birth I announced that it was much more enjoyable than I expected and I’d happily do it again (obviously high on happy hormones)!

I had a second degree tear which needed stitching but that was relatively painless (with the help of a local anaesthetic and some gas and air) and completed very quickly.

Once I was stitched up Charlotte had her first feed before I had a shower and we were all moved to our own room on the post natal ward.

We were in hospital until the next morning and were then discharged by 10am on Sunday morning.

Charlotte is amazing. She’s cute, demanding, funny, sometimes angry, sweet and overwhelming all at once. It’s like every moment is a new learning experience and yet at 5 days old it’s as if she’s always been here.

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Just waiting

I’m almost 39 weeks pregnant and so I’m officially in the ‘waiting’ phase. If you’d asked me three weeks ago if I thought I’d still be pregnant now I would have said no. At 35 weeks I had the bloody show/lost my mucus plug and baby’s head became engaged. At that point I was told by two midwives that baby would most likely arrive in the next two weeks. This resulted in a bit of a panic when the boy and I realised that we weren’t ready at all. Since then we’ve finished the nursery, packed our hospital bag, fitted the car seat and generally got prepared for our forthcoming arrival. But so far, no baby.

I feel like I’ve had all the signs that the baby will arrive imminently. Bloody show – check; head engaged – check; bump dropped – check; constant need to wee – check; loads of braxton hicks contractions (even when sitting / lying down) – check; loose bowels and increased discharge (sorry for TMI) -check. So for now I’m just waiting. I really, really don’t want to be induced so I hope that our baby makes an appearance in the next few weeks. However, today I have a horrid head cold and feel rubbish so I’d be happy for baby to stay inside for a few more days as I’d rather not labour whilst feeling like this!

I still don’t think it has sunk-in that we are actually going to have a baby but I think that’s because it’s impossible to imagine. From talking to friends I think this is quite normal so I’m just going with the flow and hoping that I’ll discover some inbuilt mummy skills once the baby arrives.

I’ve been trying to stay active and still walk the dogs twice every day (even though it’s now more of a slow waddle). I also go to two yoga classes each week and I’m listening to a natal hypnotherapy CD every few days. I don’t know if these things will help with labour but they are helping me to feel more in control and prepared so I’m going to keep it up as long as I can.

Fingers crossed in my next post I’ll be able to tell you about the safe arrival of our long awaited (lucky number 5) baby (just writing that still feels completely surreal)!