Monday, 26 November 2012

What I learnt last week...

- It is never too early to put a lock on your phone / iPad. Aside from helping herself to Peppa Pig episodes Mabel has also become partial to emailing / texting people randomly. A password to unlock it is currently beyond her which is good to avoid the inevitable strop with accompanying soundtrack of "Mabel's phone" (you can try and explain that it isn't hers but she continues with the mantra and drowns you out...good technique). And she has yet to develop the ability to say, "how the hell do I unlock this phone?" Unlucky. For now. 

- A quick snip with a large pair of scissors (I couldn't look but apparently it doesn't hurt them and he did stop crying very quickly) makes ones nipples much much happier - hoorah!

- We have a noisy baby. Not a snuffly baby, no no, a grunting little piggy. He is so loud. When eating he gulps, when pooing he strains so loud that it is almost embarrassing in public (I had to do an awkward smile recently as about 3 people glanced over at what was clearly the sound of a toilet visit) and when sleeping he snores. 

- Babies can smile earlier than 6 weeks, Mabel obviously just chose not to. I have been claiming to get the odd smile for a week or so now (G Kisby refutes this) and Granny finally confirmed my assertions when she got one too this week. There is nothing better and it makes everything worth while. It's just you G Kisby, he is obviously not partial to your David Bowie style singing. He is a boy of good taste.

- My lack of common sense gets worse with a lack of sleep (which is indeed a big worry). Mabel is currently obsessed with drawing. She spots a pen from a mile away and it is all she wants to do. Anyway, I do have a penchant for the 'anything for an easy life' way of parenting. First I let her draw on a small pad with a biro in the sitting room which resulted in a couple of, er, scribbles on the sofa. Then she wanted to take said pad and pen to the car which I eventually agreed to. What was the worst that could happen I thought? What aside from the fact she drew all over her hands and face? Or the fact that she kept dropping the flaming pen and getting ridiculously frustrated. Or the obvious choking hazard as I turned to find she was chewing the top of it as I went over a speed bump. Then came the final straw. Somehow, 'someone' let her roam free with a biro in the kitchen. G Kisby wasn't convinced that the large scale circular scribble all over one of the cream kitchen cabinets was indeed modern art.
Like butter wouldn't melt...

And finally, I may be biased but how gorgeous are these blocks made by my sister as part of her Chipper Nelly giveaway? Click here to see more and take part...

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Quite the whirlwind...

I'm not sure where the past 2 weeks have just gone. Felt a bit teary last Wednesday watching the clock around tea time and thinking about what was going on at the same time the week before, yep hormones well and truly all over the place. Luckily this week is much better. Wilf has just slotted right into our lives and I am less concerned about how on earth we are going to manage with 2.  

It helps that he is just ace, still getting his head round night and day (surely they should come out programmed to know this?) but we are already enjoying the fact he opens his eyes for more than ten seconds and like nothing more than him snuggled in after a feed when he is all milk drunk and content.

Mabel seems to be getting used to the change, though I realise we have more to come, especially when G Kisby goes back to work and she realises that my attention has to be divided. But currently she asks where he is regularly (though perhaps this is with the hope we might reply, "back to where he came from"?) kisses him and does her hand clench, "excited" when holding his hand and showing him various toys. We had one day of nursery where she started saying, "no go today" whilst getting dressed but since then she has run in every day as normal. 

Clearly the change has been tiring for us all, however!

The only really hard part has been with feeding. Wilf has pretty bad tongue tie meaning he can't latch on properly. We had an urgent referral to get it snipped (urgent meaning appointment a week away) but in the meantime I have had to persist with extremely painful feeding sessions. In fact so much so that I think labour was less painful. Aside from traumatised nipples he is also not draining my massive boobs properly leading to mastitis which I now have antibiotics for. I was literally crying with pain each feed until last Monday when I visited a 'feeding clinic' and they showed me some techniques to help in the meantime.

Could be worse though, the little troffer is still getting plenty of milk meaning we are not having to deal with a crying, hungry baby at the same time which I think may have sent me over the edge. In fact, the midwife gave me a little speech to prepare me for his 'inevitable' weight loss, telling me how this is to be expected for larger babies and the fact he is tongue tied may mean he has lost more than the usual 10% of his birth weight. Had he? No. In fact, after just a week he weighed in at 11.4lbs. G Kisby asked the question,
"Er when is going to slow down then? Are we going to end up with some sort of giant toddler"
Apparently they think I probably had undetected gestational diabetes which would account for his birth weight since neither of us are big and my BMI was normal. If we have another this will be monitored so no more whopping babies for me. On the positive he really does seem more settled than Mabel at this age (I am touching wood), you do wonder whether their size makes a difference?

I tell you where it does make a difference - his eating habits. Off to feed our little porker his breakfast...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

When is a braxton hick not a braxton hick?


When it is very much the real thing! Here is your birth story baby BK...

I made a bit of an error of judgement on Wednesday, but in my defense I don't know how you are supposed to know. Although perhaps false labour is a little less likely when you are 3 days overdue? Maybe I do just like a story a little bit too much...

So after my swim on Wednesday I felt absolutely fine. I did have a few strong braxton hicks late morning but I have been getting those for the past few weeks and nothing different to usual. I had a nap late morning, walked to the post office and got some lunch. Afternoon likewise. 

Now I do remember thinking that whilst watching 'Escape to the Country' 2-3pm (nice houses, never really like the people viewing them) that the pesky braxtons were back and again a bit uncomfortable but nothing out of the ordinary. At about 3 I decided I might make a note of how often they were coming and spent 3-4pm on Google asking, "how do you know if  you are having real contractions" etc. I kind of thought I would from last time but with Mabel my waters had broken. Things like, 'they should go if you have a cold drink and move around', and 'will remain the same strength and not get any more regular' came up. They were about every 12/15 mins but not getting any stronger or more regular and I also read that they could last up to an hour anyway. I discounted them as braxtons and got set up for an episode of 'America's Next Top Model'.

Unable to concentrate on Tyra Banks I rang G Kisby at 4.20pm to check he was on his way home. I wasn't panicked at this stage, I just kind of felt I didn't want to be on my own. We agreed that when he got home we would make a decision on whether to call Granny over 'just in case'. I rang him back 20 minutes later since they were now getting a little more painful to say that I would indeed ring Granny.

4.50pm I rang Granny and asked her to come over, "just in case" explaining that it was probably false labour but we could get a takeaway and at least she would be here in case anything happened. We chatted for a bit then suddenly a huge pop and my waters broke. Luckily I was on the toilet at the time. Granny set off to come and look after Mabel.

I then rang G Kisby in tears. I had a sudden realisation that I was in real labour and on my own which felt a little scary. He was about half an hour a way and kept me calm telling me to ring the hospital and explain the situation, which I did. They basically told me to pop along, they would check that it was my waters then we could come back home again for a while until 'labour was established'. This led me to think there was no rush.

Downstairs I tried to work out how to attach my tens machine (G Kisby had done it last time) and checked I had everything in my hospital bag. But the contractions started to get worse and by the time G Kisby got home at 5.30pm they were getting much stronger. I have recollections of our gorgeous girl getting in from nursery and running over to see me but really struggling not to look in pain. She was looking at me wide eyed as I tried to reassure her through gritted teeth lent over the side of the sofa. G Kisby again was brilliant and logically asked me what needed doing and attached my tens machine. Realising Granny wasn't going to get here in time I called our NCT friend Michelle who was amazing and despite having a toddler herself dropped everything to dash round in about 10 minutes.

He told me to ring the hospital again to explain that with traffic at rush hour it was going to take us too long to get to there,
"But they will ask me about how regular the contractions are and we haven't even timed one yet" I replied
"O.k lets do one now then" he suggested
 We did. It was just 2 minutes apart. I kind of realised then that this was not good.

In the meantime a flaming Asda shopping delivery arrived so I went upstairs to get out of the way. 
"Sorry mate you're just going to have to dump it there, my wife's in labour," G Kisby explained.

By the time he got upstairs I had rang the hospital who, despite me saying they were 2 mins apart, suggested I still tried to get to Huddersfield birth centre instead. I know that they must have people arrive far too early in labour all the time but surely an error of judgement? I was all set to get in the car and was just looking for a jumper to put on when my contractions changed and I realised with complete panic that I was at pushing stage.  

5.50pm and I am sat in our spare room,
"Oh my God babe it is too late, I think I am at the pushing stage" I shouted to G Kisby who promptly decided we were ringing an ambulance.
At this stage I was very much still expecting to get into said ambulance and go to the hospital. G Kisby phoned 999 and was talking to a lovely calm operator who reassured him she would talk him through the entire process.

"You need to lie down on the floor" he told me
"I can't babe, I need to sit here" I replied
"No you need to lie down, they are telling me you need to lie on the floor on your back"
I did as I was told (a first there I thought, credit to me)
"Right clean towels" he repeated and grabbed the pile of white (yes white) sheets from the top of the wash bin. They had just been taken off our bed that morning (G Kisby informs me afterwards that he didn't actually think a baby was going to be delivered on them, they were just to keep me comfy). The lady at the end of the phone must have smiled as I chirped up with,
"Er babe I think we need to use clean towels, get some out of the cupboard".
Somehow we still ended up with white ones, not ideal but we hadn't really planned for a home birth.
She also asked him to find a safety pin (?) and get me to undress from waist downwards
"Any ideas?"
"Er no" I replied
"Don't think we are at that stage yet..." I heard him respond to a question she must have asked. All I was thinking was,
"Oh no, this is not good. And I was thinking my yoga poses weren't attractive. I really do not want G Kisby having to go down that end during labour"
But at the same time,
"Not really sure I have much choice here. This is bad. This is really bad. This is taking my lateness to a whole new level"

"How long until they get here?" was all I remember saying repeatedly, sensing that every contraction was getting scarily close.

G Kisby, still in his work clothes, started to roll up his sleeves (oh my God) and replied to the question,
"Er no I can't see the head"
He was stood at my knees and glanced down.

"How long? Are they close?"

6.05pm. I hear 2 paramedics coming up the stairs,
"Oh o.k are we delivering? Get the mat pack Ian..." I heard one shout
I think it was only then I realised that we were definitely not getting to hospital.

6.15pm a gorgeous (if a little larger than normal) baby boy is placed on my tummy. G Kisby was TEN minutes off delivering our second child. Still in a white vest top with a non maternity bra, lay on our bedroom floor. One of the most surreal and amazing experiences of our lives. He was a little blue so they did some nose sucking and a few cries were soon then replaced with contented little noises (is there any sound more gorgeous or unique than a newborn's little murmerings?) The shock / shaking of labour first time around was replaced in this one with a massive sense of relief and complete adoration. I had worried it wouldn't be as special and it was different but not in a bad way. I enjoyed those first moments more because I could, first time you have the shell shock and 'first timeness' which is so unique, second time you can properly relish the moment and strangely I was less scared. I remember G Kisby beside me saying,
"We have a baby boy. Babe we have a baby boy" in complete amazement.  

The room was dimly lit, the floor may have been uncomfy but it was our floor (I have no idea how but there wasn't a mark - G Kisby's towel laying OCD came good) and the paramedics were absolutely brilliant. The midwife since told us that they were probably panicking inside since this is not something that happens as often as you'd think but outwardly they were so calm, so reassuring and just brilliant. I remember apologising as they walked in and then asking if they had every delivered a baby before,
"Oh yeah, you are absolutely fine" they replied whether true or not. 

We had to wait for an hour or so for the midwife to then arrive so we all sat around, drinking tea, they were like some sort of double act. Certain things make me smile about it all now, like G Kisby asking after one went to grab something from the ambulance,
"Is everything o.k downstairs?"
To which one replied,
" I don't know I haven't really checked. It seemed o.k though"
He clarified,
"Oh no I meant downstairs, you know in the lounge, we have a toddler down there"
Ha ha. And yes, in answer to the question, everything miraculously is o.k downstairs. I have no idea how because our baby was a huge 11lbs.

I gave birth to a flaming toddler. 

And afterwards I had a bath. Mabel was able to come in and meet her baby brother, give him a bedtime kiss and have her Daddy do her bedtime as normal. We got pizza takeaway (Granny arrived after a ridiculous 4 hour journey on the M62 so it was lovely that she was there) and spent our first night together as a little family rather than stuck in a hospital.

Yes I realise there are a lot of 'what ifs' (not least the fact that most 11lb babies don't come out so easily so it could have been really bad) but I would now definitely recommend a home birth. Which, lets be fair, is pretty much gonna happen again if we have any more since I clearly labour quickly. 

I'd go so far as to say that being late and unprepared was yet again not a problem...(I joke Mum, obviously)

And everyone loves a good story.

Welcome to the world baby Wilf...we are so glad you are here and love being a family of 4!
(More pictures and apparently G Kisby's version of events to follow...)