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My Labour and Delivery With Baby Number Two

My Labour and Delivery With Baby Number Two

It’s been a whopping 7 months since I gave birth and in a typical, new-mum way, I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed! So finally, here’s what happened at the birth of Little B, our second baby boy.

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My due date, 20th September 2018, came and went.  Big B arrived six years ago at 41+5 Weeks, so it came as no real surprise that I was overdue again (despite friends, family and professionals thinking I’d be early!)  I started to second-guess every single ache or twinge after 40 weeks, but there were no signs of labour.  I was bouncing on the birthing ball regularly and ate a vindaloo among other labour-inducing myths, but it started nothing.  This baby had set up camp and wasn’t moving without a fight!

Last Antenatal Appointments & Failed Sweeps

At 40+4 weeks, I had a failed sweep at my checkup with the midwife.  My cervix hadn’t come forward enough yet for her to reach properly, despite the fact baby had been head down for months and she could feel around it. My body just wasn’t quite ready to give birth!  She made an appointment for a few days later before I was booked in to be induced, where another midwife would try for a sweep again.

…this time, she had concerns about his heartbeat

My 41 week checkup was possibly the worst day of my pregnancy. Before the midwife could try for another sweep, she did a routine check of my blood pressure and listened to baby’s heartbeat, which we’d never had any issues with previously. Except this time, she had concerns about his heartbeat, as she believed it was too fast, for too long.  The sweep wasn’t performed and she sent me straight to hospital, where they could monitor baby properly, for longer.

Crying is how I deal with things, so how I held it together while I got dressed and left the room, I don’t know.  I burst into tears on the phone to my husband when I explained what was happening, before my dad took me to triage.  In the end, I was kept in for an hour or two and we were both fine.  It was put down to the midwife misreading his accelerated heartbeat as his resting heartbeat, as he’d been wriggling about so vigourously.  I’d rather be safe than sorry of course, but a mixture of hormones and worry made me fear the worst that afternoon.

Going to the hospital

On the morning of 2nd October, I rang the hospital as advised, to check when I should come in for my induction.  The midwife I spoke to informed me that if I was low-risk (which I was), they’d be able to offer me an outpatient induction; I’d be given the pessary, sent home and come back in 24hrs (or sooner if it worked and I started contracting.)  That was news to me, as I thought I’d be staying in hospital waiting around, which I didn’t want to do if I could avoid it.

I took my hospital bags just in case though; and it’s a good thing I did, because I wouldn’t be leaving until I had my baby!

We got to the hospital at 10am and once again, we were both monitored.  There were concerns this time about my blood pressure (which had been fine throughout my pregnancy) and baby’s heartbeat again.  By lunchtime,  I had an IV of fluid to see if that would help us both.  That is, once they could find my vein! Two midwives tried and failed to put the cannula in the back of both hands and one of my arms, before a doctor managed to put it in the other. I honestly think a cannula hurts more than the epidural I had with my first baby!

I started to get a little emotional as I just wanted our baby to be okay and I was anxious about the unknown.  Everything was pointing towards having a caesarean, which I had wanted to avoid if possible.  The midwives and all the medical staff who saw us were lovely, but every time one particular midwife came to look at my trace, she’d shake her head and tell me, “This is really not good”, in the most unassuring way and didn’t expand on what she had seen. They are not the words a hormonal, anxious and overdue mum wants to hear! The doctor who inserted my cannula was reassuring though, as she saw the baby move around a lot and told me that an angry baby who’s not okay, doesn’t move like that.

I was essentially tethered to the bed because of the IV and the CTG machine that was monitoring us both and started to get constant backache, which would ease on the odd occasion where I was allowed to move around.

I’d wanted a relaxing labour and a water birth in the Birth Centre which was looking less and less likely as time went on

Induction

A delivery suite became available at 1:30pm and we were taken down there, despite me not yet being induced or in labour.  The machines they had down there meant I could be monitored for longer periods of time.  I’d wanted a relaxing labour and a water birth in the Birth Centre which was looking less and less likely as time went on, but I was happy to see a birthing pool in my delivery suite when we arrived.  I was given a hospital gown and lovely stockings to put on and hadn’t been allowed to eat or drink. No one ever came out and said that it was in case I needed to go to theatre, but they hinted at it a lot.

My blood pressure had come down and baby’s heartbeat was levelling out, slowly but surely.  It seemed like he was most comfortable when I was on my back, which was, of course, the most uncomfortable position for me, because of the backache!  Another doctor came along 45 minutes later and he tried to break my waters, but he was unsuccessful as I was only 1cm dilated.

By 4pm, I was really bored and uncomfortable.  I asked the midwife to take me off the machines just so I could go to the toilet, even though I didn’t need to go.  It just meant I could walk around and stretch my legs for a bit!  My blood pressure and little one’s heartbeat were looking much better now, so at 4:30pm, after over six hours in hospital, I was finally given the pessary to hopefully induce labour. We were still being monitored, in case either of our stats accelerated again, but after about an hour I was taken off and free to roam around.

Thank. God.

Contractions

Slowly but surely, the pain in my back started to get worse and I realised it was contractions I’d been having this whole time.  That was where they started with Big B too, so I suppose I should have known, but they really were nothing more than backache at first.  There’s no doubt that the pessary (and the failed breaking of my waters) accelerated my labour though!

A few midwives came in over the next few hours, but no one seemed to confirm I was having contractions, as I’d had the pessary in for hardly any time at all.  They had no concerns nor did they want to examine me at this point. The doctor I saw said hopefully we’d see baby that night, if not in the morning, so it felt like there was still a long wait ahead of us. I was able to speak through the contractions and breathe through the pain. The room was very warm though and I started to feel faint and queasy at one point, so I urged my husband to go and get a midwife to get me something to throw up into. He arrived with a bedpan just in time! My body cleared itself out like this for labour the first time around too, but I don’t think the heat and my empty stomach helped things either.

It was now around 6:30pm and I hadn’t eaten since before arriving at the hospital that the morning, so my husband went to get us both some dinner, as I was finally allowed to eat! He came back with a sandwich, crisps and a millionaires shortbread. I had half a sandwich and a few crisps, but they didn’t stay down for long either.

Gross.

I spent most of my time perched sitting on the side of the bed and rotating my hips constantly. I hadn’t done any hypnobirthing classes or courses, but I’d picked up a few techniques from others over time and remembered the breathing I did during early labour with my first born. I’d close my eyes every time a contraction started and concentrate on simply breathing in and out. I imagined the pain as a mountain I was climbing and the peak was getting further and further away, as the contractions got stronger; but once I heat the peak of the mountain and the pain, I knew there was no other way but down and the contraction would subside for a minute or two. I focused all my energy into managing my pain, so I didn’t make a peep of noise.

I was becoming more and more uncomfortable though, so I asked her if I could have gas and air, to which she laughed

It was now 8:30pm and by this time, my husband was timing my contractions using an app on my phone. They were lasting around 45 seconds and coming every two minutes, which the midwife was aware of when she came in to see how we were, but I don’t think she had any concerns as I wasn’t being very vocal and contractions can be close together when you’ve been induced, even if you’re not dilated. I was becoming more and more uncomfortable though, so I asked her if I could have gas and air, to which she laughed and told me that I could have that when I was in labour. I was absolutely horrified when she left the room and I told my husband I couldn’t do it if this wasn’t labour already. I seriously considered an epidural again, even though it went against everything I’d wanted for this birth experience.

I accepted her offer of cocodamol, even though I knew it wouldn’t touch the sides! At that moment, something was better than nothing. I just wanted the damn drugs.

Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure if it was a baby or a poo, but something felt like it needed to come out!

20 minutes later, I was still sitting on the edge of the bed, circling my hips, when I realised things felt different. It felt like I needed to push. Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure if it was a baby or a poo, but something felt like it needed to come out! With Big B six years earlier, I’d already had an epidural by this point, so I didn’t know just how strong contractions could get towards the end nor did I know what it felt like when you needed to push.

We were alone in the delivery suite, so I asked my husband to get the midwife and let her know how I was feeling. He was quite nonchalant about it, as was the midwife; and I don’t blame them, as I’d only had contractions for a few hours. I was quiet. I wasn’t screaming or complaining. She finished her paperwork and came in a few minutes later to examine me. As I stood up to sit on the bed, there was an almighty gush and my waters broke all over the floor!

It released some pressure, but now it felt like baby’s head was so low down I couldn’t close my legs or move. I had been so focused and in control of my body, but I felt like I lost that a bit at that moment, as I knew he was coming and I wasn’t prepared for it to be happening at this point.

The midwife told me I had to get on the bed, but I kept telling her I couldn’t do it. I could hear the urgency in her voice and my husband’s too and I somehow go myself onto the bed on all fours. I don’t remember it, but I’m told it was at this point, she hit an emergency button and shouted for a delivery pack. I got myself on to my back and my husband told me they could see our boy’s head and he had lots of hair. I couldn’t believe he was suddenly almost here!

I was pushing for just a few minutes and then at 9:02pm, our little baby boy was here. I’d done it. I’d given birth, with no epidural as I’d wanted! I’d delivered on my back on a bed, rather than in a pool as I’d hoped for, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Had I been examined and told how much I was dilated, I’m almost certain I would have panicked and taken more pain relief. I certainly would have taken the gas and air at the very least! It was mind over matter though and because I thought I was only half way or so, the pain seemed more manageable as I thought there was worse to come. As it turns out there wasn’t!

I had lovely cuddles with my baby and quite frankly got off my tits on gas and air while she stitched me up, in places I didn’t know you could tear or graze, to be quite honest. That first wee did sting like a bitch, but the long hot shower I had after was the best, especially as I’d never been allowed a shower the first time around with my epidural with Big B! My husband fed me the millionaires shortbread I’d not got around to eating earlier, while I squeezed my warm, little, wrinkly baby, before we were taken to the postnatal ward at 11pm.

I had tea and toast, while Ashley settled us for the night and went home to get some sleep himself. I didn’t sleep a wink that night, even though I could have; I just stared at Little B and cuddled him until the morning!

Welcome to the World, Little B

Welcome to the World, Little B

On Tuesday 2nd October at 21:11, my world changed again when I gave birth to another beautiful, baby boy.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@helloaimeemarie) then you’ll have seen him already on my stories and my profile, so his arrival won’t be news to you! In fact, I started this post ages ago, but I was interrupted before I could finish it.  The story of my life right now!  I thought, “Ooh, I’ll finish that tonight” and well, here we are nearly four weeks later. Oops.

Little B is six weeks old now.  As cliched as it may sound, it feels like he has always been here.  Life before him, though still memorable, seems distant  (as does a full nights sleep.) Needless to say, we are all absolutely besotted with him!  I can’t believe how much he’s changed in this short time. We’ve learnt so much about this brand new human already, quirks and all.

Less than a day old Newborn cuddles

Upcoming posts and videos

If you’ve read anything about my pregnancy, you’ll know the end of it draggedBeing overdue is not fun!  Subsequently, I’ve dragged my heels a little with my content.  Despite wanting to film and write,  I still have a few pregnancy posts to complete and videos to edit, such as ‘What’s in my hospital bag’ and a chatty one about the labour and birth itself.  They will be available shortly, as I try to get bits done while he naps!

16 Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant

16 Things No One Tells You About Being Pregnant

I’m 39 weeks into my second pregnancy now, so I’d like to think I know a thing or two about carrying a child and all the things that can happen, that no-one really tells you about!

I feel like I should make a little disclaimer if you’re a first-time mum reading this; pregnancy is a journey and it’s different for everyone. For me, I LOVE being pregnant. For all the little, funny, perhaps less enjoyable things I’m about to tell you about, there’s nothing like growing and carrying your child. A small human being that you’ve made! It’s special and honestly, seems like a miracle at times. So, I guess what I’m saying is – don’t let this put you off!

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I’m Pregnant! The First Trimester (and Beyond!)

I’m Pregnant! The First Trimester (and Beyond!)

At the beginning of the year, we found out that we’re expecting baby number two this autumn! The first trimester has involved being tired, queasy and very much focused on growing a human being. Some days I’ve barely had the energy to peel myself off of the sofa and away from Netflix, let alone exercise my brain and put a post together that makes sense, which explains the unannounced hiatus I’ve taken here ever since, too.

I’m now at 21 weeks and— I hope— past the worst of the sickness and exhaustion. I can’t quite believe we are already half way. So far, it’s definitely going quicker this time around; I’m not sure why, but it’s absolutely zoomed by, despite feeling as rough as I did in the early weeks!

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We are all thrilled to be expecting a little baby to complete our family this September. Myself and Ashley have always wanted a second child, when the time was right for us. B has longed for a baby brother or sister for a long time too; in fact, for the last year or so, he has talked about “When I have a baby brother or sister…” frequently, so he is absolutely ecstatic now that it’s on the cards!

There were fist pumps and big grins when we took him for dinner and showed him the scan photo at 13 weeks, to let him know that he was going to be a big brother. He is already so in love with ‘Twinkie’ (as he has affectionately nicknamed him/her) and regularly likes to talk to my bump, kiss it and feel for kicks. He’s six now and is very much in tune with what’s happening; I’m so glad we waited until he was a little bit older. He’s already talking about all the things he wants to do with his sibling, from helping me feed and bathe them, to sharing toys when they’re older. Naturally, I’m sure the novelty will wear off slightly once they’re here and he realises that they’ll demand a lot of my time (and cry and poop a lot) but I think he’s going to be the best big brother, ever and I’m already so proud of how he’s been looking after me and understanding the situation.

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I’ve had no consistent cravings during the first trimester and beyond, but a lot of the things so far that I have been fancying, have been beige. Fish and chip shop chips; chicken chow mein; egg mayo on a baked potato; salt & vinegar rice cakes; Wotsits; and specifically, my mum’s roast potatoes on a Sunday afternoon, with mint sauce.  No imitations will do!  Over the past month, my appetite has improved as the morning sickness has subsided and I’m back to eating a rainbow of colours, which I’m sure my body is very happy about.  The only thing I do have an aversion to still, is tea.  A good milky brew is something I usually love, so it’s very hard to get my head around that it just doesn’t taste right, right now.  I’ve really fancied iced coffee over the last fortnight, so perhaps I’m a coffee drinker now?

I have been documenting my pregnancy so far for my YouTube channel, where you can hear more about the trials and tribulations of my first trimester and the following weeks!

 

Having Fun (and Relaxing!) During Half Term

Having Fun (and Relaxing!) During Half Term

The last half term holiday seems like a distant memory now. Quickly approaching though, is the Easter break; I can almost smell the chocolate Mini Egg Shredded Wheat nests! Mmm. The last school break was the first one since starting school in September, that I had the whole week off with B too. I knew we’d both want to get outside, have some adventures and visit some new places. I also knew that I didn’t want to go back to work feeling like I’d burnt the candles at both ends, having missed the opportunity for me to relax too.

And that’s the trouble with being a working parent. Unless you have a term-time only job, even the most generous of holiday allowances at work doesn’t cover all of the breaks that children have from school. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never take a ‘random’ week off of work anymore. It’s always going to be well thought out and planned around school holidays. I could take a week off during term-time. But that would be one less week with my son and that’s not something I want to give up.

The week leading up to half term, was spent brainstorming places we could go and things we could do. I wanted to get this fun and adventure vs. relaxing and chilling equilibrium, just right. I read my favourite parenting blogs for inspiration, Googled local places and made lists. Before I knew it, we had an abundance of places we could go to; city farms, soft plays centres, London parks, museums, attractions et al.

As it turns out, we didn’t use the list much. I realised that we didn’t have to spend money and go further afield to have fun; there was much more that we could do that was on our doorstep. It’s no secret that we don’t get to do much together Monday – Friday, as I don’t get to do the school pick-up. There’s lots of simple things we did over half term that many people would normally do during the week. Perhaps they may take those activities for granted, but for us, it was perfect.

Simple Half Term Activities

Joining the library. We read lots of books together at home. B will always get some for his birthday and Christmas. Now that he’s able to read, I thought it was time to strike while the iron’s hot and get him his own library card. He loves books and learning new things right now! It took a matter of minutes to sign-up. I can remember a librarian visiting our class when I was at primary school. She told us that libraries were one of the only things in the world that were free and that really stuck with me!

Leicester Square. After watching a documentary about the new Lego Store in Leicester Square a few months ago, we (my mum, my sister and I) thought it would be the perfect time to take B to explore it. As it turns out, so did lots of other families, as there was a queue to get in at 10:30am! Luckily it moved quickly and B spent most of his time looking at a crane that was working on a nearby building or being placated with food (parenting rule #no.1: always come armed with snacks.) B spotted the Nickelodeon Store and M&M World opposite, so no prizes for guessing where we went after lunch at Jamie’s Diner? We all spent too much money on M&M’s and marveled at just how many things you could get SpongeBob’s face on. Plates, bowls, bags, hats, onesies, t-shirts, purses, lunchboxes, water bottles, dressing gowns, straws…

The Cinema. A trip to the cinema is a half term must. We went to the first showing of the day to see the Lego Batman Movie. That meant it was only half full and those that were there had kids around the same age, so I didn’t feel guilty about B talking or rustling his popcorn! (And, surprisingly, I enjoyed the movie too!)

Ice Skating. For the last month or so, something (on Netflix, no doubt) has sparked an interest in ice-skating in my nearly five-year-old son. He has been wanting to go for weeks, so we finally booked tickets. B thought he’d be able to “just push, push, glide” but it was a lot trickier than he thought. We hired a penguin for half an hour though, which meant he could use it to steady himself, or I could whizz him around on it. We managed a few laps just holding hands after our time with the ice-skating aid was up. Much to my surprise (and fear for those little fingers!) he only fell a couple of times!

The rest of our week was filled with trips out for coffee, playing games at home and going out for lunch or visiting the park. Here’s to the next half term (and hoping I can achieve this balance again, like a boss!)

7 Questions To Ask Your Child At The End of The School Day

7 Questions To Ask Your Child At The End of The School Day

We’ve been doing this whole school thing for approximately six months now and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in that time, it’s that children rarely give anything more than one-word answers about their school day.

I’ll pick B up from his grandparents after school and our conversation will usually go something like this:
Me: How was your day?
B: Good.
Me: What did you do today?
B: I can’t remember… And don’t say ‘But you’ve only just got out of school’ because I haven’t, silly!

He’s too smart. (And sassy.)

Their attention span may be short, but five year-old’s can hold on to more information about their school day than we give them credit for; there are an abundance of things that B will talk about regularly that have happened months ago.  And if it’s something he’s excited about, the boy will chew your ear off for a good hour on one subject (and his favourite thing at the moment? Bullet trains.) However five year-old’s can also be super lazy. I’ve found I can get much more conversation out of my son if the questions I ask him are little more direct, to spark further conversation.

Questions to ask about the school day

  • Who did you play with at break time?
  • What games did you play in class?
  • Did anyone make you laugh?
  • Tell me about something you learnt.
  • Did you learn any new letters / words / diagraphs today?
  • What did you eat for lunch? Who did you sit with?
  • Tell me about the best part of your day.

I try to vary what I ask or how I phrase the question, otherwise B is too smart and will always second guess what I’m going to ask him at the end of the school day!

“Isn’t It About Time You Had Another One?” — A Second Child Rant

“Isn’t It About Time You Had Another One?” — A Second Child Rant

I’m not sure when it became anyone’s business about the future activities of my womb and if it’s going to house second child, but if I had a pound for every time someone has asked me this in the last year or so, I could give up my job.

I appreciate questions around motherhood, or being a working mum, or how my son is getting on at school. They’re current. That’s where we’re at. And I love being his mum. Persistence around the whereabouts of baby number two in the future was almost sweet at first, but after a while hearing “When are you popping another one out then?” becomes an annoyance. I’m happy to share that I’d love another baby one day. But people wanting to know when? It’s an intimate, private and personal topic, that not just anyone is going to be privy to.

Having a Second Child

The continuous interrogation started when B turned two or three, but with every milestone over the last year— applying for school; accepting a place; his fourth birthday; starting school; and now approaching the fifth anniversary of his escape from my womb— I’ve had “Isn’t it about time you had another one?” or “When’s baby number two going to happen then?” or my personal favourite, “Ooh, you’d better have a second one soon! You don’t want a huge gap!” ringing in my ears, from the mouths of acquaintances. Not family or close friends. Acquaintances.

It’s on par with people touching your baby bump when you’re pregnant without asking. It’s so intrusive and assuming, and potentially applies a lot of unwanted pressure on a situation that may already be stressful for some couples. People assume you don’t want a gap over five years between your children. They assume you are able to conceive, because you’ve already had one child. They assume you even want a second child! That’s not to say any of those things do or don’t apply to me, but as a couple, we have our plan and that’s it. It’s our plan. If and when we decide to create new life, it will be shared!

People’s obsession with knowing stuff

It all starts when you reach a milestone with your partner, be it a long time together or engagement, marriage, or moving in to your own place. People assume the pitter-patter of tiny feet is on the cards. Once a smoker, but decided to give up? Must be pregnant. Not drinking on a night out, because you’re driving home? Don’t lie, you must be pregnant! Throwing up because you’ve caught a stomach bug? No no, that must be morning sickness.

Having a second child is not a race nor a competition. For some couples, it’s not what they want. For others, they want it but they can’t. So next time you see a mother with a toddler on her hip or holding the hand of a preschooler, don’t make assumptions about the plans for the future of her family.

The whispers of, “I wonder when they’ll have a baby?” started before I’d even taken my wedding dress off!