This post is some what delayed, but hey aren't all my blog posts!! But as lots of you will already know our baby girl arrived safe & sound on 30th October 2013 at 9.28pm weighing 8lbs 2oz. So welcome to the world Niamh Seraphina Beatrice!
Her arrival came as a bit of a shock in the end. At 4 days overdue we had gone into hospital for monitoring as the baby had stopped moving. An examination revealed that despite not being in any pain or having any regular contractions I was 4-5cm dialated. It was then decided that seeing as the baby wasn't moving very much & my body seemed to be ready to labour we would break my waters to get things started.
It was such a bizarre experience waiting in the waiting room to be moved up to labour & delivery. I wasn't in active labour so didn't have any pain to distract me from my nerves. Would it all be ok? Would I cope with labour as well this time? How would we cope with 2 children?! Ken managed to calm me down which was lucky as I really started to talk myself into a bit of a panic!
Here I am just before a midwife came to take us up to Delivery ward:
I was quite upset not to be labouring in the midwife led unit as I had hoped, but I soon recovered when we were shown to our room which was the same one I had delivered Henry in. I was quite overcome with all of the memories & happy that my babies would be born in the same place. My waters were broken & I was told to stand up to help gravity work it's magic....well gravity did it's job pretty well as within minutes I was experiencing mind blowingly intense contractions that had me questioning how I had coped last time!!
I know you forget a lot about labour, but I really didn't remember the pain being as intense in my first labour. I couldn't bare to be touched & the contractions were coming every minute. I was given gas & air which didn't seem to ease the pain, even though it had been a great help when I laboured with Henry. I could feel myself starting to push as the pain got worse.....but the midwife didn't seem to think I could be ready to deliver yet. At this point I begged for an epidural as I really felt like I might lose my mind if the pain didn't ease up soon. My midwife calmly informed me it was too soon to have one as it would slow down labour to which I responded "Pleeeeeaaaassssseeeee!!!!" I wasn't above begging at this point! She said she would need to examine me before requesting the epidural so forced me to move from my crouching positing on my knees on to my back.
This move was not a welcome one & I think this was the point that I started to throw the F word around at top volume! Over my swearing the midwife informed me firmly that I wouldn't be getting my epidural as I was 10cm & the baby was crowing. I appear to have lost my mind slightly at this point thanks to the shock of how quickly things had progressed. I had only been in labour for an hour, there was no way I was having the baby yet! So I refused to push until I had an epidural....yes that's right folks, I announced I wasn't doing it anymore & clamped my legs shut! A completely rational reaction I'm sure you'll agree! Luckily at this point there were two midwives in the room, so between them they managed to prize my legs apart & shout at me to get a grip! Luckily I listened to them long enough to push 3 times & after a whirlwind 1 hour & 15 minute labour baby Niamh was born.
Ken says that I looked totally shocked & confused when they placed Niamh on my chest. She looked exactly like Henry had when he was born & I wasn't entirely sure that I wasn't hallucinating. It really had been an intense & crazy hour!
The midwives told me that Niamh had been back to back which can cause very painful contractions & slow labour down as the baby is born facing up towards the sky. It's nice to know there was a reason it felt more painful this time but I hate to think how quickly she would have arrived if she had been in the correct position!! I'm really not sure how she managed to be in the back to back position as I had spent weeks avoiding the lure of our comfy sofa in favour of bouncing on the birthing ball & long walks. Oh well!
I didn't get much time post birth to cuddle Niamh as I required stitches & had a lot of blood loss. I was hooked up to a drip & had lots of people working on me. After Henry's birth I had suffered with retained placenta & had a to have an emergency ERPC when he was 4 weeks old due to an infection & extreme blood loss. Nobody wanted a repeat of that so they were very careful not to let me go up to the ward until my bleeding had eased. However I was still in total shock & hadn't really had any time to bond with my baby who had been busy cuddling with her Daddy. After Henry was born all I remember was feeling totally euphoric & cuddling him constantly. There was no euphoria this time, just shock. I don't think I registed that she was really here & mine until the next day!
So although Niamh was born at 9.28pm we weren't transferred to the ward until 4.30am by which time all she & I wanted to do was sleep. I had managed to breastfeed her twice amidst all the post birth chaos but she was quickly taken off of me afterwards to enable the doctor & midwives to continue working on me. There were no post birth cuddles for us which i am still a little sad about. However the next morning as we waited for Ken to arrive back at the hospital to take us home I finally got the time to cuddle & bond with my baby girl. Breastfeeding came easily again to us both which helped build the bond that we hadn't managed to establish at birth, but even so it took a few days at home together as a family before I felt that huge flood of love that had come so quickly with Henry. I know people think a quick labour is ideal, but I really wish my body & mind had a little longer to adjust to what was happening before giving birth as the shock of it all really knocked me for six & stopped me from really experiencing how amazing my baby girl was.
Niamh is now 5 weeks old & despite her love of staying awake all night she is wonderful! I love being a mama to two children, it's mind blowing to think I made these two perfect & amazing little people. Don't get me wrong, it's not a walk in the park.....it's exhausting trying to give them both all the love & attention that they need sometimes, but to be honest most days they're both very patient with me and make it as easy as possible. I'm much calmer than I was when Henry was born & enjoying having both a newborn & a toddler much more than I thought possible! I get to carry a snuggley baby around in the sling whilst having funny & very entertaining chats with my toddler, what's not to like?! The washing & housework can wait for a while right????