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Articles tagged with: Birth

Goodbye Bump...Hello Baby.

on Monday, 04 March 2013.

On the 10th June 2012 I sat down on the toilet and did one of those cheapie internet pregnancy tests.  We hadn't even really started trying for a baby as we were waiting so I could have a few drinks on our holiday in the middle of June, but we had been being 'less careful.'  Imagine my surprise when a very faint line appeared.  I shouted to Mr E 'Can you see a line?  Can you see a line?'  He said maybe but it was very faint.  Cue a mad dash to Sainsburys to buy a 'proper' test and me being so impatient, couldn't wait so I did another test in their toilets.  Classy.  But another faint line appeared.  

And just like that my pregnancy journey began.

We had an interesting situation to begin with where a doctor told us we weren't pregnant but in the end it was confirmed that we were indeed expecting a new addition to our family.  

We announced it in a way that I will remember forever.

And my bump grew.  And grew.  And grew some more.

We found out we were having another little girl.  I couldn't have been more thrilled.

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And then after months and months of waiting and waiting we finally got to hold our new little bundle in our arms.  And it was totally worth the weight.

At 39+3 weeks my little lady came into the world.  

And just like that my bump went and all of a sudden there was a pink, screaming baby in it's place and I was left with a sort of deflated beach ball tummy.

I don't know if anyone else feels this way but the first few days I couldn't help but stare at my tummy then stare at LL, and not quite believe that she was inside me just days before?  How was this tiny human actually in my tummy?

Pregnancy most certainly is a miracle.  Our gorgeous children who mean the absolute world to us, start off as a mass of cells the size of a poppy seed and grow and develop until they are fully fledged little humans.  I find that mind boggling to think that is how we all started off.  

I am so thankful for my body that it has served me well and safely grown my two children.  I am a huge worrier in pregnancy and every little cramp, niggle and soreness makes me panic, especially in those early days.  It truly is a miracle that our bodies can grow something so special, and I feel so thankful that my body seemed to know what to do and we didn't have any huge problems in conceiving or sustaining our pregnancies. 

And now I have these two little girls to show for it.  

Yes I also have a belly button that has seen better days due to a huge amount of over stretching, and a tummy that will never quite be the same again.  Yes my belly is a bit 'loose' and Yes I no longer have a waistline and I dread to think what my boobs will be like after breastfeeding for a second time...

...But I grew my children safe and sound.  I may have suffered back pain, and with both of them such bad rib pain, and I may have got the odd leg cramp, but really in terms of pregnancy I have been very, very lucky to feel surprisingly good.  And even if I hadn't it would be totally worth it.

I don't think we will be having any more babies, I don't want to go through another pregnancy where I worry, plus after my last c-section I would be worried about the scar tissue as the surgeon said it seems I had an infection after my first section, so looking back on these bump shots is very bittersweet for me.  It makes me feel nostalgic to think that I won't feel another one of my babies kicking me on the inside, a truly special feeling that only you know about.  

However I now get cuddles on the outside.  And that is a million times better.  

I am so grateful to my body for growing these miracles.

I will treasure my bump photos forever.

Pregnancy is a truly incredible thing.

(My full bump diary posts and pregnancy posts are here.)

 

 

The First Time I Held My Babies...

on Friday, 22 February 2013.

When I was younger I had a doll called Jessica.  She didn't really look like a baby doll, more like a toddler one, she had long blond hair and I used to brush it for hours and put clips in it and make it into a plait.  I would make my Mum buy her clothes from Mothercare, and I would constantly change her outfits and make her look pretty.  I was quite old by this point, probably around eleven, and probably a little too old to be playing with dolls, but I loved Jessica and being her 'Mummy.'

Looking back I wanted to be a Mummy from a very early age, I definitely had that maternal instinct.  My sister is ten years younger than me, and I used to constantly mother her, I loved changing her nappy and showing her off to all my friends.  I dreamt of having a little family of my own one day.  As I got older I always thought I would wait until my thirties to have children, I went to university, got drunk most nights and partied hard in my early twenties- life was one big adventure and I wanted to work hard and party harder.

But life doesn't always go the way you think it will and fate often has other plans for you.  I walked into a bar one day, got a job as a part time bartender and promptly fell in love with the most wonderful man. 

And just like that life changed.  Not instantly, we still had a good few years of living the high life in Leeds and in London.  But then we moved back to Cambridgeshire and slowly it all started to fall into place.  Engagements, Marriages, Mortgages.  We got married in December 2009 and went on honeymoon to Mexico.  Just like that it hit me.  I wanted a baby.  To start a family with my new husband.  I felt such a deep desire for a baby all of a sudden that it was almost overwhelming.

And we got lucky.  We fell pregnant pretty quickly.  We saw a little heartbeat flickering away on an ultrasound screen, my belly grew, our spare room became a nursery.  We found out we were having a girl and I sobbed like a baby.  Those long nine months waiting and waiting, cherishing every kick and waiting for our little girl to arrive.  I liked being pregnant but I worried and I just wanted our bundle here safe.

And on that cold Friday Christmas Eve morning in 2010 our lives changed forever.

A baby girl.  My daughter.

I lay on the bed in that operating theatre, the room awash with surgeons and supporting staff and I willed my little girl to cry.  My heart was pounding so hard I thought it was going to explode.  I gripped Mr E's hand so tight and prayed with every single fibre of my being that my baby would be born safe.

And she was. 

Oh to go back to that moment again.  That indescribable, overwhelming and euphoric moment when I heard Mads first cry.  Here she was.  That baby that I had dreamt about for many many years, before I even realised that I wanted her.  

I was a Mummy.  I was her Mummy.

Because I had a c-section I had to wait.  Wait for them to check her over, watch my husband cuddle her and report back to me what was going on.  

Then just like that they handed her to me.

How do you describe that feeling to someone?  To someone who isn't a mother?  

You just fall in love.  But not just lightly.  You fall in love hard.  When you reach out your arms and take your child for the first time, the love you have is overwhelming.  And terrifying.

The love you have for this little person staring back at you with their blink blink blinking black eyes takes your breath away.  In one small second you realise what it feels like to experience unconditional love.  To realise you would die for someone else, to realise that life will never be the same again, life will be incredible, life will be downright scary and life will be all that and more.

I fell in love hard on that cold winters morning and I thought that no one could capture my heart in the way that Mads arrived into the world and stole it in a millisecond.

But they could.

Two weeks ago, we were in the same hospital, in the same delivery ward and those anxious thoughts came back.  Will everything be ok?  Will she cry?  Will she have ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes?  The same hospital I was born in twenty eight years before, my Mum lying in an operating theatre exactly the same as I was, albeit with scarier circumstances as she had serious preeclampsia.  It is incredibly poignant to me that my babies were born in the same place I was.

We all took our first breathes in the world in the same place.  On the start of our journeys.

And I gripped Mr E's hand tight again, the familiar 'boom boom boom' of my heart racing in my chest.  Waiting.  Wishing.  Praying.  Studying every single detail of the theatre staffs faces to check if they looked worried.  Willing them to hurry up so I could hear that sound again.  It took longer and it wasn't quite as relaxing but then just like that I heard it.

Her first breaths in the world.  My second daughter.

 The one I had been waiting for.  

The one to complete our family.  The tears fell down my face and I couldn't stop them.  She was here.

They pulled her out, all gunky and bloody and took her to check her over.  Again I watched Mr E cuddle her and then it was my turn.  I got to hold my second baby.

And I fell in love hard once again.  The heart I thought didn't have room for any more love, just like that, expanded and let our little lady in.  

We stared at each other, those same blink blink blinking black eyes, and we fell in love, my second daughter and I.

We stared at each other, sussed each other out, and silently bonded in that busy operating theatre.  There was at least six people busily rushing around, but I didn't notice anyone.  Not even my husband.  

Just her.  And me.  My Daughter.  Her Mummy. 

It was a different kind of feeling to the one I felt with Mads.  I fell in love with her instantly but it was all new.  The feelings, the emotions, being a Mummy.  But with our little lady, it was just overwhelming.  I knew what I was doing, and I knew she was the missing piece in the jigsaw.  The final piece to complete our family.

The feeling of holding another one of my babies for the first time.

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How I wish I could go back and relive those moments over and over again.  Bottle it up, and whenever I find motherhood or life stressful or tough, I could open it up and relive how it felt to become a Mummy to these two little people?

That incredible and overwhelming love that takes your breath away.

With our second little lady, the feeling was even more intense.  It was the last time I will experience that incredible moment.  Our family is complete.  Never say never, but we are almost 99% positive that we are blessed and lucky, and that two beautiful girls is more than enough for us.  

It is time to pass the pregnancy baton to someone else and let them experience that rush of love.  

That feeling of becoming a Mummy.  That feeling that everything you have done in your life, however rewarding, up to this point, just doesn't matter.  That this is your proudest moment.

My heart is raw, and full of emotions when I think that my days of lying in a hospital theatre room and waiting for that first precious cry are over.  Not in a sad way, more of a poignant, bittersweet way.  And now I get to experience lots of different adventures along the way.  

Growing, learning and loving as a family of four.  

That this is just the beginning of our story.

My two little girls who have changed my life and made me a better person. 

And who gave me those most incredible moments that I will cherish forever.

The moments when I first held my babies.

 

 

 

 

 

The Story Of My Little Lady...

on Monday, 18 February 2013.

On the 11th February 2013 I awoke with an excited and terribly nervous feeling in my tummy.  Today was the day we were going to meet our new little lady.  We got ready, dropped Mads off at her Grandmas and headed over to the hospital for 8am.

We arrived on labour ward and booked in with the midwives.  They took us to a two bay room where there was already another couple in there.  We knew that two c-sections were taking place that day, and it was luck of the draw as to which one was first so we silently kicked ourselves that we hadn't arrived before them!

There was a lot of waiting around in the morning, the consultant was late because of a car accident on the motorway, so we nervously paced up and down our little bay, not quite relaxing enough to read a magazine or even talk properly.  We found out that we were indeed correct and that we were scheduled in second.  We heard the couple next door get ready, and go down to theatre ready to meet their baby.  Their section took quite a while and eventually at around midday they arrived back in the room with their baby in their arms.  

By this point I was incredibly nervous and they began discussing the section in graphic detail which didn't really help!  I put on my gown and Mr E put on his scrubs and the midwife came and got us to walk us down to theatre.

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Last bump shot!

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Mr E playing doctor!

The walk down to theatre was incredibly nerve racking and walking in there to be suddenly surrounded by people in scrubs is quite a surreal experience.

I was made to sit on the bed while the anaethetist put a local anaesthetic into my hand.  He then went to put in a cannula and he couldn't get it in so managed to spray blood everywhere.  He was getting them in but they weren't staying so he kept taking them out and it was making me feel more and more dizzy.  He tried a few attempts on each different arm before saying that all was fine and it was in.

They then sprayed my back with freezing cold water and put another local anaesthetic into my spine.  It didn't hurt as much as the cannula.  I then had to sit forward with my head on my chest so he could put the spinal into my back.  He put it in once and again had to take it out again and try again in a different place which was making me feel quite nervous.  Eventually he got it in and I had to lie down on the bed.  By this point the room was awash with people getting on with different things., all the while chatting to us and making us feel at ease.  

The anaesthetist kept fussing over my cannula and I heard something about 'vein tissuing' which made me feel sick and before I knew it they were taking it out again and putting it in the other arm, all the while fussing over it.  It tipped me over the edge and I started to feel really sick and dizzy.  They gave me an oxygen mask to breathe into and the surgeons got to work, the blue screen covering me so we couldn't see anything.

I just kept feeling so sick so the anaesthetist kept giving me anti sickness drugs but they weren't working, and eventually Mr E had to hold a bowl down to the side so I could be sick into it.  I felt really funny and no where near as relaxed as I was last time during my c-section with Mads.

The inital cutting took a lot longer as I had some more scar tissue and I was getting more and more on edge.  Eventually we heard them suctioning my waters which we knew from last time meant they were nearly ready.

They really had to pull her out and were frantically tugging for ages, before shouting 'forceps' which again scared me as I didn't realise they needed forceps for c-section deliveries.  The assisting staff, especially one lady were lovely though and kept telling me not to worry and she would be here any minute.  

And then just like that we heard it.  The most magical sound.  Her gurgling cry, just once at first quietly, before getting louder and louder as she took her first breaths in the world.  I burst into tears- I didn't cry with Mads apart from a couple of tears but I think that it was just complete and utter relief that another of my babies had arrived safely into the world.

The little lady that I had been thinking about every single day was here.

The midwife held her up for me to see before taking her over to the other side of the room to check her over.  Mr E was allowed to go over there and watch before coming back with her to cuddle.

Both times he has got to cuddle our babies before me, but I wouldn't have it any other way. There is something so magical to me about lying in that operating theatre with all the activity going on around me, and just watching Mr E cuddle the little person I have prayed for every single night for nine months.  It is like an out of body experience and a completely surreal moment.

My husband and our babies.

The surgeons delivered my placenta and the midwife said that it was huge, just like it had been with Mads.  Our Little Lady went to be weighed, have her cord clamped etc, and Mr E got some wonderful photos that just like with Mads are just a bit too personal to share.  I lay there feeling on a complete high and just took every single second in.  I could half see what the surgeons were doing in the big theatre light above me so that was a little bit off putting.

And then it was time for our first cuddle and it was most definitely worth the wait.  I of course felt instant love with Mads but when they handed me this little lady the love I felt for her took my breath away.  I felt more in control, less nervous and just completely head over heels in love with both my girls.

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Eventually I was all stitched up although it took a good half an hour, it turns out I had lost a litre of blood which means I am on iron tablets for the considerable future.  They also put a catheter in too.  They transfered me from the operating table to my bed and then placed our little lady on my chest ready to transfer us back to recovery.

She was a lot calmer than Mads who screamed pretty much non stop for the first hour, in fact she just seemed to be taking it all in.  Her tiny little bluey black eyes, still with gunk in them, stared and blinked frantically at me.  She was staring at me and I was staring at her, she looking at her mama and me looking at the little girl who had just instantly captured my heart.  We were sizing each other up, soaking each other in.

We went on to recovery where we took turns in cuddling her, and attempting a bit of skin to skin before I eventually tried to breastfeed her for the first time, she didn't instantly latch on but we got there in the end having a few tiny little sucks.

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First feed.

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Mr E bought both our girls a rabbit on the day they were born- a special toy from their Daddy-  here she is with hers.

 

We eventually after a few hours of observations and the most incredible toast of my life, got transferred to the post natal ward.  I was on a bay with the lady who had been in the previous bay with me.  She was harmless enough but not really my type of person and she kept chatting to me, however when you are feeling a bit lonely at 4am, anyone chatting to you is nice.  She did however snore really loudly which was so frustrating.  

We stayed in hospital for two nights and I found it a lot more bearable than last time, although I hardly got a wink of sleep, even though she slept lots in the first two days!  On Tuesday night Mads came to visit and blew us away with how caring, kind and loving she was towards her little sister.  

But that is a whole different story...

And just like that, the little girl that we had been waiting nine long months for, finally arrived in the world.

At 12.52 on Monday 11th February our little lady arrived, and promptly stole the remaining bits left in my heart.  

We were no longer a three but a four.  And it couldn't have felt more right.

 

Welcome To The World...

on Thursday, 14 February 2013.

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She's here!

Our beautiful little lady arrived on Monday by c-section.

It all went well, and I will no doubt write my birth story shortly.

Our two girls met on Tuesday, and Mads blew us away with her incredibly beautiful nature and her instant love for her little sister.

We came home on Wednesday afternoon and have been enjoying the time together as a family of four, with the obvious extreme tiredness that comes with a newborn as well.

More photos to follow but in the meantime I need some sleep!

 

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