From 1 to 2, 2 to 4

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Going from 1 to 2 kids was hard!! I would say harder than going from none to 1. With one you have all the time to rest, you only have yourself to feed and no urgency to getting dressed most days.

Suddenly with 2 you have a school run to perform EVERY day and even when you’re not doing that the little darling enjoys his early mornings.

When you no longer have one in a pram its like playing that game where you have to hit the lights and they are always opposite ends of the board! Mix in sleep deprivation and its like a mini workout daily.

Going from 2 to 4 kids was in some ways easy. I got this, I’m not worried if you don’t sleep or eat. I have learnt patience and I know this won’t last forever. Even the fact we’re officially outnumbered is fine. We got this.

But going on to have 4 children knowing my 3rd isn’t with us has made this a unique experience.

I worry more about death, I worry more about the speed in which time passes and I feel guilt at wanting some time to myself like I can’t miss a single moment.

Best bit my partner is no longer phased when I say one more?

R’s Birth Story

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R is our 2nd rainbow baby after having a stillbirth at 27 weeks then ruptured ectopic 10 months after.

He is understandably very special after an anxious pregnancy full of confusion, grief, happiness, fear and worry. Much more than L’s pregnancy.

I developed gestational diabetes also so they wanted to not allow me passed 40 weeks. However due to my overwhelming anxiety they agreed to induce me at 38 weeks.

We went on Sunday for the first stage. We arrived at 10 but didn’t get seen till 11. I had to have half hour monitoring and a cervix check then the first pessary went in. This was called propess and had to go in for 24 hours.

I had a few niggles but nothing major and by following morning we knew it was looking at long process. After more monitoring and another pessary I wanted again. My partner at this point went home.

The second pessary was a gel that only lasted 6 hours as soon as it was in I felt a burning sensation which continued. I went off for walks and bounced on a ball to keep the waves coming which they did!!

4 hours in it all stopped. I had cramps but nothing else no amount of walking was bringing them back on. I reluctantly agreed to a second pessary after asking for a csection. It was choice of try it or wait the night out without so i agreed.

They took me to a private room to get a breather but turns out it was the post care room i had stayed with Elva so i went back to the ward

Come morning after getting no sleep with pain through my hips and noisy ward sharers i was more insistent on either getting a section or going home. By now it was Tuesday and my 3rd day there.

. Again I insisted I needed to be home so a consultant came and agreed a 3rd pessary would do no good and we would try to break my waters then go on a drip. He noticed my previous stillbirth on my notes and in 3 days was only one to acknowledge the effect that was having on me…. I cried ….. a lot!!!

I was again checked and was now a 2-3 cm so the pains did something!!

Waters broken i had 4 hours to show progress or they’d pop me on the drip to really crank it up. By this point my partner was back and I felt calmer that we were being proactive.

Still though contractions weren’t cranking up so on the drip I went. That was pushed up twice and still not a lot was happening then we lost the trace on his heart.

He had done a big kick so assumed he had moved. After them checking and making me lie down to find it again they suspected we hadn’t lost it due to movement and he infact had a rather dramatic heart rate dip.

I was checked again and a hand not a head was felt. Baby wasn’t pushing his head down so no wonder nothing was happening. The consultants felt it best to go ahead with the csection at which he apologised after persuading me to go ahead with breaking my waters and the induction process.

They spotted my cannula for the drip had blown up my hand and I think contributed to it not working properly. At this point for whatever reasons the signs were there labour couldn’t happen and things like baby’s hand in the way and drip not working were stopping it going full flow.

Off we traipsed to the operating theatre. They gave me a spinal block that worked better in one side than other so was slight delay getting started.

As they cut through i was breathing deep to overcome the sicky sensation the tugging about gave me. I felt baby lifted out and they said he was fine and just needed a clean.

All of a sudden a little cry sounded out and I burst into tears. My partner was beaming and because they wanted to check his apgar scores I was shown a picture of his face.

As he consultant had read my birth plan he allowed the cut to be left long so my partner could still cut the cord, i was also allowed skin to skin.

I then got to hold him and the feeling of holding a breathing baby after years of grieving a stillborn one was amazing. He instantly calmed when he was put on me.

He was born at 5:08pm so i only went and missed my dinner!!! I was looking forward to that strawberry mousse.

L’s Birth Story

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L is my second born and he followed an early miscarriage so is classed as a rainbow baby (baby born after a loss).

I wanted a homebirth with him also despite suffering severe PGP (pelvic girdle pain) I felt I could do it. Around 28 weeks he was confirmed head down and healthy.

By 32 weeks he was transverse (laying sideways). At this stage it wasn’t an issue we had time and we had a plan. Some exercises from spinning babies (see useful links page) and we were confident. By 36 weeks baby had done a full 360 but was still not head down again.

My midwife at this point realised I had excess water but needed a scan to confirm both babies position and the amount of water present. My scan was booked for Monday.

All day Saturday I had awful back ache which I suspected was early labour but by 9pm it fizzled out. I woke around 6am to a weird pop then I wet myself!!! My waters had gone…. well some of it.

As baby was transverse it’s considered risky as cord would come before baby and risk babies life and as I am only driver in household we had to ring an ambulance.

Now we lived 2 minutes away, you could see the hospital from the window but still we needed help. They arrived and essentially laughed at me telling me it was ok to be upright. I found out 4 years on its really not ok!

We arrived around 7am and a midwife checked where baby was laying. Still transverse.

A scan was ordered so a plan could be formed. 8am a scan showed baby had turned head down finally so the plan for vaginal birth was going ahead. I was no longer allowed my home birth due to risk of baby moving again.

We were sent to a ward to allow labour to come on. 10am and not a lot had happened and baby was checked and well.

Around 7pm that night we had seen noone all day not been checked over and labour wasn’t really going anywhere. I then started shivering. We were given a blanket and left to it again.

Around 9pm I’d had enough of being on a noisy ward and ignored. I said I was in pain and wanted more pain relief. They took us to delivery suite to be assessed.

As I had lied they soon said you’re not in active labour so will need to transfer you back. I asked for heart check as hadn’t had one in 12 hours.

I was put on a trace and asked to press when baby moved. They didn’t believe I wasn’t feeling him until the trace showed signs of distress. At this point a doctor was called in to examine me and more water went.

A senior midwife appeared next and spotted my shivering I said I was freezing. She said you’re burning up and may have infection.

I was moved to a delivery room and put on paracetamol to lower my temperature. Due to lack of progress in 10 hours it was suggested I have a section. I agreed.

L was born silently at 2:35 am which was scary. I was convinced he had died after a few minutes we heard him scream and I cried harder!

He then silently surveyed his environment from his dads arms which is only time he’s been quiet in 4 years!!

J’s Birth Story

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J is my first baby and was something of a shock. I knew early on I wanted a home birth as I was scared of being in a hospital environment.

I mentioned it to my midwife around 28 weeks after swapping midwives and meeting a new one. She was all for it and so the plan began.

I collected shower curtains for my floors, found old beach towels to lay on top. I was so sure of this plan I didn’t pack a hospital bag (I wasn’t that cocky again)

At 38 weeks the midwife brought round a homebirth box and tank of gas and air in preparation. I was given a list of on call community midwives to ring should I go into labour.

At 38 weeks and 4 days my midwife spotted my blood pressure was up. It was agreed I would get it checked next day and if still up I’d need assessing at the hospital.

Next day, Tuesday, it was still up so an appointment was booked for me for the Friday.

That night I experienced bleeding and clots with a few cramps. I went to hospital to be checked but was left waiting nearly an hour to be seen. Once i was seen a cervix check was done plus palpitation (manually feeling a womans stomach).

They requested 24 hour monitoring but I went to say I refused I didn’t want to stay in or I wouldn’t have opted for a home birth.

They informed me, not asked, that I was being induced!! Instantly I said no you’re not. A doctor was sent to see me and requested i lay flat she half heartedly felt my bump then towered over me insisting I was risking my baby’s life. I asked why I was being induced they said because we don’t know whats going on.

I felt that wasn’t good enough and we assumed we were being pushed as she felt us too young to make the right choice. I was 22 but looked a lot younger.

We went home but agreed to come in following day for another check up. By now I was 38 weeks and 6 days and it was. A doctor that day agreed to scan to rule out placenta abruption and confirmed baby was well and she felt I didn’t need inducing.

We went home only to wake around 3 am and i was uncomfortable so I had a bath. By 6am i knew it was labour time. As it was early we waited till 8am to ring and chance had it our on call midwife that day was my antenatal midwife!!

By 11am I was only 3cm so my midwife left. I don’t remember when she came back but it took another 13 hours to start feeling the pushing urge.

I had spent most my labour on all fours or hanging over my ball.

As I started pushing he was getting lower and lower till I was finally pushing him out. At this point my waters hadn’t gone and the midwife could see the waters. 2 more pushes and they popped they could then see baby had his hand by his face and was the reason he kept bobbing back.

The midwife pushed his hand back in and he started to crown. I pushed for around 45 minutes and he was born with a scream 2:45am on Friday meaning on my living room floor.

We waited for cord to stop pulsing which in turn made the placenta arrive and my partner cut the cord. He then did skin to skin, helped weigh and dress baby.

By 5am everyone left and as first time parents we were petrified and lost.

I went through 3 canisters of gas and air but I did it relatively drug free because gas and air only serves to make you giddy.

My shower curtains were used as were the towels and best part the midwives cleaned everything up.

 

What NOT to say to someone who is pregnant

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  • You got a baby now you shouldn’t be upset
  • It could be worse you could still be trying
  • Well you’ve only got the pregnancy to worry about I have the rest of the baby’s life to worry
  • You’re not allowed to complain
  • Think positive it’ll be ok (you can’t know this)
  • Never tell them of the person next door, or the daughter of the person you worked with who lost a baby EVER! we know people lose babies………
  • Well I tried longer than you
  • Oh I’m not going to do that as may harm baby but you go ahead
  • Infact just say nothing except congratulations… it’s easier
  • Do you feel silly for thinking you’d never have a baby now?
  • Do you feel ashamed for being so upset whilst trying?

These are all things said to me in the past! Shocking really

Good things to say are

  • How are you feeling?
  • If you get scared or worried I’m happy to listen
  • Do you need anything? A shoulder, an ear, a driver?
  • Be positive act like they never lost a baby but also don’t brush it off if they bring it up or seem concerned
  • Be there, check in often, be open
  • Don’t pretend to know what to say but don’t ignore them or pretend they don’t exist either

 

 

What NOT to say to someone trying for a baby

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  • It’ll happen if you just relax
  • It takes time
  • Well I know someone who took years to get pregnant
  • Oh my sister only took a couple of months
  • Have you tried….. (yes and more!)
  • Take these vitamins/herbs/foods so and so got pregnant doing that
  • You should be lucky you don’t need IVF
  • You should be lucky you can ttc some can’t
  • You should be lucky you have kids already I have none
  • Why are you getting so upset
  • It’s not the end of the world if doesn’t happen
  • Kids are annoying anyway… get a dog/cat/bunny instead
  • They only grow up
  • Don’t try it’ll happen (ermmmmmmmm)
  • Give up that’s when it’ll happen
  • Stop thinking about it (ever tried to tell yourself the sky isn’t blue? you don’t believe yourself do you?)

Yes people say stupid stupid things. yes people think they have the solution and yes they are prob right about the first one but have you ever tried to not lick your lips after a doughnut? It’s nearly impossible! So is relaxing purely because someone said to do so.

Best way to help is comfort them, tell them you have hope it’ll happen for them and they should keep going because you are right there for them!

Rainbow-