Wednesday, 29 January 2014

A Birth Story - Phoenix.

Wednesday the 29th January was like any other 'overdue date' for me. 

I was three days over & that morning I woke up feeling exactly the same to the previous day and the others before that, not to mention rubbish sleep from feeling very uncomfortable - PGP is horrid. On the whole I felt:

- Heavy - I have the tendency to look like i've hid a pumpkin up my top that pokes out ridiculously,
 with no other weight anywhere else.
- Anxious - A natural feeling, as you just want everything to go well & baby to be healthy.
- Excited about meeting our baby!

In all honesty, I was half expecting to go late. My first pregnancy was 5 days late, and second was 9 days late. So the morning was a normal one, I took Yve's to pre-school until 11:30, these last few days I did feel like I was treading on thin ice doing the driving and walking into the school knowing it could happen at anytime, and especially the speed my babies like to come out like! but the show must go on...I was experiencing mild 'period' type cramps throughout the morning on & off but nothing to think much off as they we're pretty similar to the braxton hicks I had been having from about 20 weeks (this also happened in the previous pregnancies). As the day went on, the only thing I did notice was that some of them made me feel like a needed a poo, but nothing regular or lasting much at all. 

A short while had passed, I then actually went to toilet three times, then I just had a feeling that today was the day, not sure on a time but I have a 'feeling', mothers instinct? maybe. but I knew I wanted to be checked over that everything was ok for baby & myself. I rang Ty to see if he could come home from work just as a precaution as I was home alone with the girls, he asked if I could ring his sister to see if she could pop in just so he was sure. (she was also my second birthing partner for previous two births). Kei popped in for a cuppa, I was still plodding along and she said "no, not yet, you're too calm!". I felt more at ease knowing she was there, just to express any concerns and to have a natter. I still wanted to get checked over, so she had to sort her children out from the school run etc, I waited for Ty to get home, we then waited for Kei to pick us up and off to the hospital we headed for a check while the girls were being looked after at home by Grannie & Auntie Skye. We didnt want to worry them so they were being entertained in the living room, all still being very relaxed on the way to the maternity unit.

We arrived there around 6:00pm, and got seen by a midwife by about 6:45. The ward was quite busy so we waited around for a bit, I then had an internal check to see if any dilation had occurred. The midwife then said I was 3cm dilated having had no pain, only the strong tightenings. I mean everyone's pain threshold is different, and I would have described myself at this point being relaxed with period type aches.
The midwife then offered to perform a membrane sweep - now i've had these before in this pregnancy, and the previous ones, but this time - IT HURT. Maybe it was because I was already 3cms dilated, She said that baby was slightly more the back-to-back positioning. Baby also kept literally spinning in my tummy after the sweep, visible for all of us to see in the room. it was incredible - normal for me but even my sister in law (kei who has birthed four boys) couldn't believe her eyes. The tightenings then carried on as the usual pace.
The midwife said to take a walk, grab something to eat as she didn't think it would be any longer than the next day until our baby would be born. All three of us then walked over to the main hospital to get some food ( lucky we did, little did I know baby would be here sooner than we thought!). Ty had curry, I had a good staple meal of jacket potato with cheese, beans and a side of tuna...by this point the tightenings were growing stronger , but bearable. We walked back over to the MLU at 8:45pm, I was now contracting every 6 minutes but they were lasting less than 1 minute. The midwives also said that I seemed very relaxed, too chilled to be in established labour, to go home & keep an eye on contractions but she predicted that I would be back in the early hours of the next day. We did explain that once my body kicks in, by experience it goes quite rapid, but off home we went...got home at 9:25pm.

Tightenings began to heighten, and I had the urge to go to the toilet, I got upstairs and had a contraction, wiped and saw that I had a huge 'show'. Now, I didn't have these with my previous two so this was a new experience for me. I just shouted Ty and said "I think we need to go straight back up there", showed him what I saw and he agreed. Got downstairs, the girls were in the front room with Grannie & Auntie Skye still but fortunately asleep by this point. Ty & Kei were making a coffee, but I said again "look, we really need to go!" - the contractions were intensifying & regulating and I just knew it was time. My mind switched into a kind of zen, calmly pacing, deep breathing and counting each contraction. We got in the car, made our way there whilst listening to the song by Trey songz - trumpet? awful but it sticks in my brain! & Tyrone was sucking on some blackcurrant throat lozenges which I kept smelling to take my mind of the pain. With each contraction, I was feeling the baby getting closer, I just kept deep breathing, squeezing onto Ty's hand (may have dug my finger nails in, whoops!) and it's just like something takes over me - in a positive way. I cry when I stub my toe, but when in labour I am surprisingly so in tune with my body, and I am so proud.

Arrived at the MLU, Kei parked the car whilst we walked up. We looked at two rooms available as the water pool wasn't available. This happened with my previous labours too, talk about bad timing!  So we checked out the Burcot room, which is the same room that I gave birth to Yve's in, or the sensory lights room. I decided on the Burcot as it was En suite, I did have a little worry as with Yve's birth (which was great) but I had a panic shortly after hers when I fainted and suffered a post partum hemorrhage of 1000mls, lots of rushing, panic and observation for suspected retained placenta, but all was fine in the end.) Anyway, into the room we went, the midwife was still wondering why I was so quiet and calm, but I just said that's my coping mechanism, to just zone in and breathe. She explained that she wanted to check me in an hours time - it was 9:50 by this point. I asked if she could please check me now as I didn't feel I had a lot of time.
I asked Ty to pass my nightie and help me get it on, and for Kei to find the camera, I was checked over and was 8cms! Within minutes and a few contractions I felt the urge to bear down and push. I got on all fours on the bed leaning over a comfy beanbag, the midwives gave me a sheet to put over it as I was sweating where I was breathing so deep and it was leather - hot! I started having small amounts of gas & air but didn't find it of any use, but I was just holding the plastic mouth piece instead - just another distraction I guess. One thing I found very useful was when Kei was massaging lavender oil into my back, the smell was such a soothing technique and the massage was slightly easing the back pain but overall, another distraction method, something to focus on was the smell of lavender! Tyrone was also making sure I stayed hydrated with vitamin water drinks, all these things helped wonders.



I found myself so empowered by what I was doing, you kind of zone in and think 'wow, its really happening, i'm going to meet my baby in a moment!' I was pushing so hard with the very strong contractions, my waters then broke on their own (this didn't happen with Yve's until she was almost out, and Halle they were the very first sign of labour when asleep at home in bed!) so this was yet another new experience and wow, what a relief! the midwife then turned me onto my side ready to deliver baby's head. to be honest, I didn't find the 'crowning' as bad this time around, maybe I was breathing better.
The midwife then asked if she could hold a warm flannel around whilst I was pushing the head out as she didn't want to run a risk of a big tear (I opted for a natural tear in my birth plan - I had a 2nd degree tear with the girls.)

So at 10:33pm we welcomed our darling baby into the world.


Baby was then handed straight onto my chest, greeted me with a huge wee, and a little poo all over me!

"Lets see what you have!"...."You've got a boy!" shouted Kei. 

We waited until the cord had finished pulsating to make sure baby had the optimum amount pumped back in to him, Daddy cut the cord & I tucked baby up my nightie to keep him warm whilst waiting for clean towels. I just kept staring at him in complete bliss. and I knew right away that he was a big boy, bigger than the girls who were 8lb9 & 8lb1.5.

While I was having a snuggle with him, I was waiting to birth the placenta which is always a worry for me as stated above, but all was fine. The midwife showed me in detail how it all works too but was amazing.
I also fed baby boy as he was showing signs of suckling already, so he did. I was being stitched up by this point, it didn't hurt but its not the most pleasant feeling. Then we weighed him.


8lb 14oz!

"What's his name" - now we had never told anyone our names list, so it surprised everyone when we said we had the same name planned for a boy or a girl. I mean we did have a big list, but this one just had a lot of meaning and we loved it from the middle of the pregnancy.

His name is.... Phoenix! :)


Daddy had his lovely skin to skin then made lots of phone calls to tell everyone as I was eating some well deserved Jam on toast with a cup of tea, regardless of rubbish hospital food, you honestly can't beat the first bit of food after birthing a baby i swear! So as we were swooning over our new baby boy, we were waiting to have a room, Ty wanted me to stay in for the night to try & get some rest (as if, ha). We were fortunate enough to get a single en suite room, settled in, had a shower, its so bizarre standing up once you've just given birth isn't it? so unbalanced! then Ty expressed how proud he was of me, we cuddled and embraced one another whilst holding our sweet baby boy in our arms in complete amazement. Him & Kei then went home.

I fed my little boy a few times throughout the night, getting to grips with breastfeeding again even though I had only not been doing it for the past 5 months. I definitely should've slept more when he did, but I just kept gazing at him. Not wanting to miss anything. I did manage to get a couple of hours sleep in the end, I watched the sun rise that morning as my baby boy was nursing, such a special moment. I was also then itching to see my little girls. I was wondering how they would react, but they we're so happy. When they came back up, Yve's was smitten right away, and Halle came in to give me the biggest cuddle and kiss, and said "Love you so lots Mummy" - I cried!

Once they had all gone home, I was then waiting for all paperwork to be done for our baby boy & I to be discharged. Auntie Skye took us home, to welcome our beautiful boy to his new home sweet home.

ps. click on this image for my maternity self-portraits.









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4 comments

  1. Oh birth stories always get me broody. I know weird but they do. Something so powerful about giving birth. I felt it with both of mine. I was two weeks late with Buba and a month early with MM but they were the exact same size and length and delivery time. Love all your beautiful photos too. I never took but one each time and I am sad about that now. Birth is where it all began and if I ever had another I would be more prepared to have someone snap more for me. lol Lovely post. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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  2. Oh this is GORGEOUS and it made me tear up a bit. It sounds like such a serene experience and Phoenix was such a beautiful newborn. x

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  3. Wow! What an amazing story. Sounds like you were absolutely right to listen to your instincts and your own body... Mama knows best! x

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  4. How stunning are all these beautiful pictures? they capture so much emotion. Three gorgeous children. My first was seven hours and my second was three hours, so when I have a third I bet it is going to be so fast! For some reason I don't cry in labour either, but I do remember saying "Help me" in the most pathetic voice to my husband with number two! I kind of wish I'd recorded it! Haha xx

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