Wednesday, 29 June 2005

First Smile

Wednesday, 29 June 2005
So all the books say the first smile comes around six weeks old but the Health Visitor told us it can be any time from three weeks onwards. I've been the one constantly saying 'it's wind' for the last four weeks when DBF and others have been cooing over DD 'smiling' at them and I certainly wasn't looking for the first smile yet (although it was in the back of my mind that she could any day).

So, it was a complete surprise when tonight, at exactly four weeks old she looked me straight in the eye and gave me the biggest grin!

My life now revolves around when she'll do it again and DBF is anxiously awaiting his turn. I hope over this weekend we can get some pictures and I'll certainly be posting an updated photo here, smiling or not.

Tuesday, 21 June 2005


Tuesday, 21 June 2005
Who needs it?

Not my daughter it would appear.....

Now I'm not stupid enough to think I'd have a baby and still manage a good 8 hours uninterrupted sleep a night but I figured she'd sleep enough during a 24 hour period that I'd manage to get about that much during the course of a day.

No such luck.

At the moment she's averaging about 10 hours sleep out of every 24 which means that by the time I've settled her down, fed myself, digested, had a shower, etc I'm getting about 6 hours sleep, some of which is in bed, some of which is on the sofa.

It also doesn't help that she appears to be able to sleep anywhere but in the moses basket - on Mummy or Daddy, on a cushion or pillow, in our bed, on the changing mat, you name it she'll sleep on it but the minute you move her to the basket those big blue eyes open and she's demanding food.

I guess I could forgo some of the additional activities I do so I get a bit more sleep but I have to eat and as we're currently experiencing a heatwave here I have to shower as having a hot little body next to you for several hours at a time makes one rather sticky and uncomfortable.

I guess you're wondering why I'm complaining but am also managing to blog right now. Well I'm eating too so multi-tasking - oh and I look at it as a means to maintain a bit of sanity by doing something totally unconnected to feeding or nappies.

Everyone keeps telling us that it passes and they settle into a routine but when you're in the middle of this initial sleepless stage and feel like you've given birth to a mini vampire that is awake all night slowly sucking the life energy out of you it doesn't really help to hear that.

But then, just when you're at the lowest point and feel like selling your child on ebay, she looks up at you with those big eyes of hers and it all seems totally worthwhile.

I'm off now for what is hopefully more than 30 mins sleep before she wakes for the next feed.

Wednesday, 15 June 2005

So here she is...

Wednesday, 15 June 2005

The Birth!

So, here's the first part of the catching up blogging.....

The Birth

I went into hospital on the evening of Monday 30th May in order to be induced. The induction process is done in three stages, first a pessary to open the womb, second your waters are broken artificially and third you are put on a hormone drip to start off the contractions. All in all induction can take up to three days depending on how you react to what's going on so as you can imagine I was a little stressed about what I was going to experience. My only real thoughts on the matter were that 1) it would take some time and 2) it was likely to be painful as everything I'd been told about induction pointed towards it hurting more than natural labour.....

So, about 7.00pm they give me the pessary (a drug called Prostin) and we then start what is supposed to be a waiting game. DBF and I were just in the assessment room at the delivery ward and we'd been told that I could possibly go home overnight if I wanted and come back the next morning to see what was happening. However, by 8.00pm I was having stomach pains so they hooked me up to the foetal heart and contraction monitor to see what was happening. Baby was fine but I was having contractions already!

According to those in the know, these were 'Prostin pains' as sometimes, in rare cases, women react to the prostin and the uterus goes into spasm. These are dry contractions as nothing else in your body is telling you that birth is underway so you get all the pain but none of the benefit from them. I was told that they should calm down as my body gets used to the drug but if not they could give me an injection to stop the whole thing, we'd wait and see what happened! This line was spoken numerous times over the next four hours but trust me, nothing was calming down as far as I was concerned.

At midnight they gave me the injection and some painkillers and the contractions slowed, but didn't stop. I sent DBF home at 1.00am as he was due back in at 9.00am for the next part of the induction. At 2.00am they finally took me off the monitor and left me in the assessment room to try and sleep. I don't remember much about the night except that I had to get up every hour or so to go to the toilet and that I managed to sleep for a while in between the pain.

DBF arrived on time and I was still having the pains. They hooked me back up to the machines and over the next few hours the pains got more frequent and stronger. Around midday I was visited by my consultant and when I moved so she could examine me my waters broke naturally. She assessed that I was 3cm dilated and said I should be moved to a delivery room. This was easier said than done as I was on gas and air by this point and the contractions were coming pretty much one on top of another so walking down a corridor was not the easiest thing I'd ever done!

I'd always said that I didn't think I'd want an epidural but I'd maintain an open mind about it as I had no idea what to expect. By 1.30pm I demanded one as I couldn't cope with the pain. The standard number of contractions towards the end of labour is four every ten minutes. I was having six which meant that there was very little time (seconds) between them so I was not getting any respite from the pain.

I had the most wonderful anaesthatist who got the epidural in despite it taking nearly half an hour as she had to wait for a break in contractions to do her job. I also had to curl up on my side as much as possible and that was the worst as the more curled up I was, the more it hurt.

Still, once the epidural was done and kicked in I was a happy girl. I was still having six contractions every ten minutes but I couldn't feel a thing so as long as the baby was fine (which she was) I didn't care! In fact, the only thing I cared about at this point was being able to clean my teeth :) Anyway, they started off the hormone drip so finally the contractions could start doing their job and I was left alone with DBF and a dedicated midwife, Jemmie, to let things take their course.

By this time DBF and I had lost track of all the Health Care Professionals we'd met so we started keeping count, Jemmie was number 22 (I reached 58 before I left hospital!)

I was checked on at regular intervals but it became clear that I wasn't really progressing any further despite constant reviews of my medication. I was really starting to not enjoy the whole process as I was hooked up to four drips, had the epidural in my back, a catheter and a cable attached to the baby's head to monitor her heart beat to make sure she wasn't in any distress. I couldn't move at all but the epidural wasn't strong enough to stop my bum getting numb lying in one position for all those hours.

By 10.00pm I was visited by another lot of medical people (the night shift) and when the doctor checked me out I was still only 4cm dilated with the baby only stage 2 engaged. The doctor did a scan at this point and we discovered that the baby was facing sideways. They told me that there was no way she'd come out like that as her head wouldn't fit the birth canal (babies should be facing downwards) but I was so determined that I didn't want a caesarian that they agreed to leave me another couple of hours to see if there was any change.

There wasn't.

So, just before midnight I consented to a caesarian. It turned out that the doctor was Greek so I had DBF (who is also Greek) check him out and then I threatened him with DBF's Grandmother if I didn't have a good operation and a neat scar. Only Greek men can properly appreciate the brevity of that threat but it worked, everyone who's checked my scar has commented on how good a job he did. LOL

The caesarian was not pleasant but all the Health Care Professionals were totally brilliant, especially the anaesthatist who did a wonderful job of calming me down and explaining everything that was happening. DBF was in with me as it's a local, not a general anasthetic. He sat next to me and held my hand throughout, talking with me and telling me it was all okay. For some reason I was totally convinced that he shouldn't look at what was going on and so all I really remember is telling him 'don't look' every couple of minutes. I have no idea why this was so important to me but I was determined that I didn't want him to see anything.

He saw plenty though (there was no way he wouldn't from where he was sitting) and so saw our gorgeous little girl enter the world at 00:41 on the 1st June and he got to hold her next to me whilst they did the hard part of stitching me up. Finally, about 1.30am they gave me my daughter and we went back to the delivery room as a family.

Sunday, 12 June 2005

I've got a baby!

Sunday, 12 June 2005
Apologies for the break in service but I was busy having a baby :)

She was born at 00:41 on Wednesday 1st June and weighed in at 7lb 15oz. She's fine and healthy with a shock of dark hair.

I had a bad reaction to the drug they gave me to start the induction process and ended up having a caesarian because she was lying in the wrong position (she tried to enter the world sideways!) but other than that it was plain sailing.....

I'm trying to catch up with all the details so there'll be a few postings that cover the whole event until I'm back up to date and can then keep on with blogging about day to day life with my new baby.

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