Monday, 10 January 2011

Rosie Posie - Part One: Pregnancy and Birth

**Edit** I have decided to write this is 2 parts as it has become incredibly long! 

As I mentioned in my last post I am the proud new(ish) owner of a teeny baby girl called Rosie. Rosie is the product of me and Thomas and I wanted to give you guys a little insight into our first 10 weeks together. 

I will begin by giving you guys a bit of background info. I first met Thomas way back in 2005 when I was a sprightly 20 year old. We were together for about 6 months before I had some sort of young adult breakdown and decided to move down to Newcastle. So we went our separate ways. I had 3 and half fantastic years down south and met some amazing people and two of my best friends. The fun kinda stopped once I was let lose in the real world and I began spending more and more time back home in Scotland. 

On one of my trips back home in the summer of 2009 I happened to bump into Thomas in a bar. We had not seen each other since Sep 2005 and had only really talked through a handful of texts. As cheesy as this sounds as soon as I saw him I felt a jolt of excitement in my stomach and after a couple of hours of banter and laughter it became apparent that we still connected. However off I went back to Newcastle and nothing really happened until a couple of months later when I was back up for my birthday. I was feeling pretty low on my birthday as it was a weeknight and I had no plans for how to celebrate so assumed I would just spend the night in front of the TV. However during a conversation with Thomas I jokingly suggested we meet up for a couple of drinks, surprisingly he agreed and that night became the beginning of our relationship (again). The first few months were really hard as I was still living in Newcastle and he was up in Scotland but we got through them. In march 2010 I moved back up to Scotland and me and Thomas got the surprise of a positive pregnancy test. After the initial shock of it all we became excited and nervous at what lay ahead. We kept it to ourselves until I was around 14 weeks as we were extremely nervous about telling our parents. As it turned out we had no reason to be nervous at all and both sets of parents took the news brilliantly (after a bit of initial apprehension)

The Pregnancy...
I was lucky enough to have a very easy pregnancy. I had very little sickness however as my sense of smell heightened I went off my favorite scents and even some of my fav foods. My main problem was my worrying. No one really talks about the worrying during pregnancy but I found myself worrying all the time and over every little niggle. I never really felt like I could relax. Our first scan was amazing and so very surreal. It kind of confirmed that there was something inside me as I had no bump yet and couldn't feel movement. 

The 20 week scan was also brilliant as we discovered we were having a little girl. I was over the moon about this, before I knew I wasn't really fussed but when I found out I couldn't wait to but little girly clothes. I was also having lots of kicks and movement at this stage which was so amazing. It is so hard to describe and it does feel a bit weird but at the same time so wonderfully reassuring. 

The rest of my pregnancy flew by without any hitches and luckily I didn't seem to get that big at all and didn't put any weight on apart from the bump and my boobs.

Here is a picture of me at around 22 weeks: 

and here it is again at around 36:

The Birth...
I was due on the 10th November so around a week before I began drinking raspberry leaf tea, going for long walks, eating spicy food and also did the ol' deed. On 31st October me and Tom decided to go for an extra long walk to try and get the bump to drop as I seemed to still be carrying high and at my last midwife appointment she had had said baby was head down but not yet engaged. Whilst on the way back I felt a pressure down below and actually thought my waters may break. Luckily we made it back to the car and the pressure eased. At around midnight I woke up to some niggles but just put it down to the baby moving around and went back to sleep. I woke up another couple of times but didnt really think much of it until around 5am when I noticed they were becoming more frequent and had grown more intense. At 5.40am I began to time them to find out they were actually coming every 6 mins and I realised they were actually contractions. I didnt want to get too excited as I was not due for another week and knew that labour can often start and stop. At one stage they were coming every 4 mins so I phoned the maternity unit to be told to stay at home until they were every 3 mins or so. I carried on my day and at one point my two friends came round. They were both mummies and  informed me I was def in labour. My mum and dad came round around 7ish and mum though I was still a long way off as when I had "real" contractions I would want to bite down on a wooden spoon. They had actually increased in intensity a little more and were now quite painful but I felt that if I walked around of lunged or bounced on my birthing ball I could get through them. They were also quite sporadic - sometimes 4 mins apart and sometimes 7mins, so I didnt feel the need to go to hospital. They carried on to get stronger and stronger and although I was shattered I couldnt sleep through them so when Thomas went to bed I stayed up so I could walk about or get into a more comfortable position. At around 1am I put a heat pad on which helped a lot however I didnt feel like I needed to have a warm bath yet and was dubious that it wouldnt slow the labour down and I had now been contracting for 24 hours. I passed the time by watching you tube videos and reading blogs whilst bouncing on my birth ball. At around 4am, whilst bouncing, I felt a sudden "pop" and then a gush - my waters had finally broke. My experience then changed!! The contractions started to come every 4 mins regularly so I called the unit and told them we were on our way. We chucked all the bags in the car, along with the car seat and made our way there. The Journey to hospital took about 15 mins but it felt like an age and by this point I was in some pain - but still controllable. When we got to the hospital the usual route was closed off so we spent another 15 mins trying to get to the unit. The weather was awful - really windy and belting down with rain. By this point I couldnt sit in the seat when having a contraction and just wanted to get out the car so I could walk around. We finally made it into the unit and were greeted by a lovely midwife who took us into a side examination room and told me she needed to do an "internal" to find out how far along I was. I was dreading the "internal" but the midwife put me at ease and although it was uncomfortable it was not as bad as I imagined. The worst part was having to stay lying down during a contraction, by body just hated that position. However the midwife announced I was 6cm dilated which was a lot further than I thought I would be (you normally begin pushing at around 10cm). She also announced that she didnt think she was feeling a head but in fact a bum and that she needed to send me for a scan. I just kept on thinking "nope its defo a head, i have been told baby is head down  since I was 24 weeks". I had planned on having a water birth in a midwife unit but I had to be transferred to the labour ward as a consultant needed to scan me. So off we went with all our bags. 

Gas and Air...

It felt like we were waiting for the consultant for a life time and all the while the contractions were becoming quicker and quicker. I felt the best position to be in was kneeling on the floor, holding Toms hands and leaning back. Like some elaborate pilates pose. Until I was given gas and air. Oh my. Gas and Air gives you a very strange feeling, you have to breathe it in at the start of a contractions or it has no effect. I was a bit rubbish at this and couple of times didnt have any benefit from it as I wasn't using it properly. However when I did use it correctly it was absolutely amazing! No pain at all!! But it makes you go very very light headed, gives you tunnel vision and time goes so so slow. 
Eventually the consultant arrived to scan and delivered the fantastic news (not) that the baby was actually breech and I would have to have a c-section. I didnt panic and actually felt a bit relieved at the c-section news but I was scared that I would feel the need to push before I got to theatre. The consultant insisted that we get into theatre straight away - however it still seemed to take forever to get prepped up and taken down there. It is also all a bit hazy, I think I signed a good few forms and had blood taken. I also had to get my nail polish taken off!! Finally I was into theatre. At this point they changed by gas and air mouthpiece from one that you put in your mouth to one of the mask ones. This panicked me a bit and I found it hard to breathe correctly unfortunately this timed with a massive contraction and that I had to straighten out and remain still for the spinal injection to go in. I felt myself shout out in pain - if only I had breathed in a the right bloody time!!!!! From that moment in time everything changed from a rushed state of fear and panic to absolute calm and painlessness as my lower body went numb. They put a screen up in front of the bump and the section began - it was amazing!!! Totally pain free but I still had the feeling of pressure and tugging. But the whole time I was calm and chatting to Thomas about how thirsty I was and that I would love a drink of coke!! Then I heard them say the baby is out and heard a crying and Rosie came into the word. At that point both me and Tom burst into tears of happiness. I hadnt seen her as they had taken her off to be cleaned and to carry out tests but Tom said she was beautiful. After a few moments they brought her to Tom and it was amazing to see this little tiny baby stare up at her father with a little frown on her face. It was 7.29am and she was 7lbs 8oz.
Tom held her whilst I was sewn up and then she was placed on my chest whilst we were wheeled up to the recovery ward....

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