Sunday, 30 January 2011

Chapter Two: Long hospital days and even longer nights!

So to finish the birthing story...

So following the birth of our baby girl everything seemed good. I obviously wasn't looking at my best but thought I was doing alright. That was until suddenly, and quite quickly, the world started to go blurry, everyone sounded muffled and I thought I was going to be sick there and then.
The midwife whipped my head back and legs up, started putting fluids into a drip and seemed to invite everyone she could find in to have a look, including a doctor who was handed what can only be described as a kitchen implement.
Luckily I was so confused I couldn't even think of what he was going to do with said implement nor be particularly worried about all the commotion. Turns out my blood pressure dropped pretty low - something the midwife told me afterwards she had been concerned about due to the level of blood loss (twice as much as normal apparently, I did wonder!)

So home time was delayed and I was unable to get to the toilet alone for the next 48 hours. Luckily labour pretty much destroys your dignity since someone holding you up on the toilet isn't pleasant. Mabel was a great baby and made it very easy by gulping down 3 feeds in the first couple of hours.

We were then moved to a ward and as G Kisby went to leave at 8pm, after setting me up with everything I needed, I did struggle to hold back tears. However, the first night wasn't nearly as bad as I'd imagined and the midwives were lovely bringing me hot toast with far too much butter and offering to help with my feeding at every opportunity. Again Mabel was just gorgeous, sleeping for good chunks of time with no tantrums, despite being woken by every other baby on the ward at regular intervals throughout the night - argh!!!!

We had a fantastic midwife Laura who looked after us throughout. Really caring and supportive. The following day since I still couldn't stand alone and the results of my blood tests showed low iron levels, the doctor advised a blood transfusion. I really wanted to go home but realistically knew that I would struggle to get to the car and needed to feel well enough to look after Mabel upon getting home. Actually who am I kidding, I didn't know this, I wanted to go home, but I was pretty much told so by G Kisby and a slightly crazy lady doctor.

Blood = brilliant. So strange, even after my first bag I felt better. So eventually, on Thursday afternoon, armed with some anti inflammatories, anti biotics and painkillers for my stitches, and further iron tablets, we were discharged (notably the midwife stressed that any alcohol with the antibiotics would make me very sick - you have to be kidding me, it has been 9 months!)

G Kisby collected the car seat, hugs for our lovely midwife, one last rancid hospital meal and we were off. It felt really weird, not really remembering coming in to the hospital, like a total dream.

How long did it take me to cry - first set of lights! Overwhelming happy emotions.

And then we were home. When we left, middle of the night and truly excited, we had no idea just what was about to happen, it was just the two of us. Then there were three, we were home with a teeny tiny bundle changing our lives forever.
The first 3 nights have not been too horrendous, though we are well aware that things can change in an instant. Mabel, though prone to having a little bit of a temper, is such a lovely baby.
She is now 5 days old and we can't stop staring at her:

We also had our first visitors yesterday, which I think, so long as they are the right visitors (i.e people you don't mind seeing you struggle to breastfeed and who know when to leave!) is a good thing. We realised on Friday that Mabel was tag teaming us, which is fine since she is still so new and is getting used to life in the outside world. But I can see how you can begin to plan your entire life around her movements when really that is not necessary. Visitors made us get dressed, I put on some makeup and for an hour or so regain some sort of normality.

Her new cousins were thrilled to meet her:

And we received some gorgeous gifts, including these blocks from Chipper Nelly (naturally) for her room and the blanket that Mum and I have knitted together for her. The colours look brighter on this photo than they are - they are going to be the colours of her room. We absolutely love it and will keep it forever!

Friday, 28 January 2011

So what happened on Monday night?

I'm going to have to back track now so that the story of Mabel's birth is complete.
So what did happen on Monday night?

After a long day of not very much we did indeed go to bed and watch 'Modern Family' for some light hearted relief from the waiting and in the hope that humour would help bring on contractions. After watching too many episodes at about midnight we finally decided that it wasn't going to happen any time soon and that we should try and get some sleep.

And, as is always the way when waiting for something, lights out, eyes closed, contractions started. At first nothing too bad but quite soon they became stronger and therefore I really struggled to get to sleep. Quite a tough call to sleep through contractions I find, although at this stage it could have been what is described as 'first stage' or latent labour I believe.
A couple of calls to the birth centre later, and following a bath and some pacing, at about 3pm I did utter the words, "oh my God, I have completely underestimated my pain threshold. If this isn't even labour yet I am really not gonna get through this". The birth centre kept telling me that we needed to wait as long as possible to come in, and asked me to try and get to 6am. G Kisby, as always, was brilliant.
However, I started to have some bleeding which was getting worse every time I went to the toilet. By about 4am this started to feel a bit wrong so I called the birth centre again who advised us to head for Calderdale. We always knew that the Spa wouldn't take us if we had any kind of variation on normal and to be honest at this point I was seriously thinking I would need pain relief at some point anyway.

So we head out about 4.45am. This time no shower for G Kisby. The drive there is a bit of a blur, I was fully concentrating on breathing and getting through each contraction (still semi panicking that this wasn't even active labour yet).

When we got there the midwives were absolutely lovely. They checked the bleeding and weren't too concerned, apparently it may have been Mabel pulling on the chord and this was showing since my waters had gone. That pesky baby always was a handful in the womb.
They also checked and found I was 4cm dilated so in active labour - thank flaming God. This made me feel loads better and more motivated again that I could do it. I also had a couple of codine tablets just to take the edge off. Unfortunately because of the bleeding and the fact that Mabel's heart rate bordered on the wrong side of normal, we weren't even able to go down to the birth centre at Calderdale so made our way down to a delivery room on labour ward.

Now, for those who aren't fully offay with labour timings, with a first baby you are looking at about an hour per centimetre and aiming to get to 10. So we thought we had a while to go. However, we get to the room, I nip for a wee and suddenly feel a massive urge to push. Turns out that in the space of about 25 mins I had got to the 10 and was at the final hurdle (I have since asked Gaz if he reckons I have a good uterus due to raspberry leaf tea - he said he wasn't sure how to answer that question) . Don't think I have ever been so pleased (and now looking back slightly concerned that if we had waited until 6am at home I think Mabel may well have either been born in the car or in an ambulance). G Kisby had a major rush to the car to get our bag just to stop me delivering Mabel in a little black jumper dress and leggings! Pretty much may as well have had my coat on.

And I won't go into too much detail of the rest. G Kisby needless to say made it back from the car in time, I changed into a more appropriate vest and Mabel was born at 8.20am after a very reasonable hour or so at the end. We had a lovely, if a little stern midwife who really helped me in a way she'll never realise.
I asked, "how much longer, how many more contractions?" - looking for some moral support / a bit of motivation.
She answered, "well that depends on how many pushes you get from each one" (I then heard her say to the student nurse, "she is currently only getting 2 so...)
ONLY getting 2. Suddenly my competitive streak sprung into action.
ONLY getting 2 you say, we'll see.
G Kisby relays that I then became obsessed in between contractions with asking how many I'd got and how good they were, including exclamations like,
"that one was good wasn't it!"
and "right, next one is going to be the best one you've seen yet"
verging on "how good am I"

So labour was good. The hypno birthing bits helped even if the exact circumstances weren't as we had wanted (no birth pool, lighting not quite as dimmed etc). The breathing definitely helped and I am 100% certain that the whole mind over matter and belief in my body's ability to do it made all the difference. Two codine tablets and a swig of gas - I'm pretty pleased with that . And also G Kisby's role in the whole thing, I don't think I could have done it without him. He was absolutely fantastic; supported me through every single contraction, reminded me to relax and breathe, told me how well I was doing and kept me drinking water. All of that despite the fact that he couldn't take his eyes off the wall behind my head or even turn towards where anything was happening. When asked if he wanted to cut the chord I practically heard him hold back a heave.

No-one can describe or even try to articulate the emotions you feel at that moment. It genuinely was for both of us the most emotional moment of our lives (our wedding we agreed is a close runner up but emotional in a different way since spread out over a period of time). I still struggle to talk or think about it without wanting to cry. Though notably I am on day 3 today so pretty much anything makes me cry. A baby girl, a beautiful perfect baby girl, who was passed to us making these little snorting noises and looking so scared to be out of her safe world. G Kisby couldn't hold back tears and I seem to remember my whole body shaking uncontrollably. 
I am almost, I say almost, sad that my labour has past, truly amazing.

On my lovely philosophy shower gel that Mum gave to me for Christmas it says,
'Have a baby if you no longer believe in miracles' - too true.

So that was how it happened. It was followed by a bit of a blood loss incident which then meant I wasn't quite as copus mentus to update the blog straight away. In fact, it did take a couple of bags of blood and a few days to get my iron levels back up to the level of not needing someone to accompany me to the toilet. 

We have some pictures of Mabel's first day at home which I will add tomorrow but for now, some more pictures of our gorgeous girl are below:

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Welcome home wee Mabel (not Mav after all)!

There has been a serious lack of blogging the last few days I realise. Turns out things weren't quite so straightforward on the birth day front. All good though (including the labour itself) so I will post a full run down tomorrow (ensuring G Kisby checks my level of detail prior as I know I am prone to saying a bit too much).

In the meantime I thought it only right that we put on a picture of of beautiful baby girl: Mabel Kisby, born on 25th Jan at 8.20am weighing in at 7.7lbs:

Plenty more pictures and stories to follow. Unfortunately G Kisby is currently having a bit of skin to skin with his little girl who has just attached herself to his nipple.
He is now telling our newborn that "Mummy is choosing her blog over you". Harsh. Must go now to provide a boob.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Did I mention how we weren't keen on the birth spa?

What a boring day man. Turns out that being pregnant once your waters have broken is even more restrictive than just being pregnant. And I didn't even have a decent box set to watch.
I tried a bath but even found that a little dull since with no bubbles (not allowed once waters gone apparently) and the smell of paint it wasn't too relaxing.

I have been researching induction methods and what our options are. I know that it is important to get our head round the fact that we may now not be able to go to Huddersfield and the most important thing is ensuring that Mav is safe and happy. G Kisby has even taken his jammies out the case, there are no sleepovers allowed for partners at Calderdale. I'm unsure if things like a water bath are even out of the question since I think we'll need to be on the labour ward - all questions we can ring and ask in the morning.

Time for a nice bowl of pasta and a cuddle on the sofa with some trashy tv. Ooh just think, only one more night of G Kisby falling off the side since I take up so much room but insist on snuggling. When I 'moped' my way upstairs and asked G Kisby how he was feeling he responded.
"I'm just excited since whatever happens we are going to have a baby in the next couple of days"
Puts it into context! Too exciting...

Pancakes, a nap and....

Nothing. A couple of random contractions but nothing at all in any rhythm or routine.

G Kisby landed on his feet today, a Monday off work with no whingey wife and a full english farm shop breakfast. I had a stack of pancakes drizzled in melting butter and syrup - yum. Funnily the lady serving us asked when I was due and we told her that it was Friday but that my waters had broken so it would be either today or tomorrow. She looked at us like, seriously? Then went into a full tale of how they wouldn't let you out of hospital after your waters had gone in her day and every time she passed with someones order seemed to be checking out if I was about to suddenly go into full blown labour on the floor there and then.
As we were leaving I heard her telling another table about it - I have obviously given her a story for the day!

So I have since used the opportunity to do some resting and listened again to the old hypnobirthing cd which always sends me to sleep. I've never got to the end of it awake so either I am missing out some crucial last part, which of course I will soon find out later when I suddenly get to the pushing stage and lose all control, or the crazy American lady does literally hypnotise me then fill my brain subconsciously with all the right things. Hopefully the latter. Either way another hour nap can't do any harm.

Two pieces of good advice given - Kirsty suggested to G Kisby he should get me going up and down stairs, "you've got to be cruel to be kind" (like it - Kirsty is my hypnobirthing idol giving birth on 2 paracetamol and then heading home a few hours later). Thinking I may try the move on the right also????
Also, Alison text, "remember not to use that contact lens pot again" - yes good advice, and I did think myself this morning, "dam it, I needed that pot, wonder if I could have asked for it back since I'm sure they just threw it away?"

G Kisby was due to do some glosswork painting when he returned home from work tonight and has so far given me the following excuses for not cracking on now:
a) I don't want to get all covered in paint then need to stop quickly if we need to go (didn't seem to be an issue with the old shower this morning and it is one pot and a brush!?!)
b) Should I not be staying and supporting you? (I am in absolutely no pain, sat on my bum eating pineapple and watching crap on TV whilst you look at Liverpool FC online. I think we both know the answer to that one)

He has just gone to get started. Off to do some jobs that keep me on my feet (not painting - don't panic even I draw the line there)  - come ooooon gravity...

Show time - literally!

At 1am this morning I went for my regular toilet trip and noticed quite a bit of dampness. Enough to wet my (or should I say G Kisby's - I have taken to wearing his sweat pants now since they almost fit) jammies. But not enough to warrant any kind of alarm I didn't think. Upon climbing back into bed I turned on the light and asked Gaz what he thought:
"Does this look right to you?"
"Can't see, I don't have my glasses on..."
Moving the jammie bottoms closer to his face (nice), "look they are a bit wet"
"Er yeah a bit, but if your waters break there is more than that isn't there?"
"Hmmm, yeah, think so. Let me consult the book" (look in book, doesn't say)
"Let's go back to sleep" (G Kisby, needless to say, has almost done so already)

At 3am I wake again and this time immediately feel that something isn't right so jump up and head to the toilet,
" Gaz I don't think this is right, I seem to be leaking" - I shout through whilst trying to get my clothes off,
"Over the toilet" I hear as he comes through (gotta love Gaz for that - always practical, and clean, which is useful since despite this seeming obvious I was actually stood in the middle of the room dripping.
Since there was no 'gush' we decided to call Huddersfield just in case and ask whether waters can come more slowly. They were absolutely lovely and suggested that we head in and bring the pad I was wearing so they could check. I relay the information to Gaz,

"Have I got time for a shower and shave, I haven't shaved all weekend .and look awful"
Love it! Leaking girl shoves on some clothes and manages to catch some fluid in a contact lens solution pot along the way - inventive I know. G Kisby is actually using a hair dryer at 3 in the morning.

The midwife, Dave, at Huddersfield was great. He checked Mav's heart beat and position, still making time to ask Gaz if he wanted to hear and if he had any questions.
He also said, not for the first time I must add, that I had very strong abdominal muscles which meant that my tummy felt tight like it would with a contraction even though there wasn't one.
Just thought I'd note that down again lest anyone forget

So we head home and got into a heavily toweled bed for some more sleep, and actually I had a good few hours of really comfortable nap time. Now we just need to wait. They have booked us in to be induced tomorrow morning at Calderdale if 'active labour' hasn't begun by then, so either way Mav will be born over the next couple of days.
Having got up this morning it feels a bit like a dream. We both have a mixture of nervous tummy and excitement.

To start Mav's coming out day in style and encourage labour we are now going for a walk round to the farm shop for some breakfast - full fry up out of the question???

Will keep updated with, hopefully, some more progress...

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Mav shows no sign of moving!

So the 21st of Jan came and went and Mav still shows absolutely no signs of moving. There are very few people left in the sweep stake now with Janet bowing out today. Granny Babs and Rob are the only ones left - 24th and 25th respectively. Clearly Mav has planned to defy us all and wait until he is forced out. Literally.

Had quite a subdued end to the week, no visitors and I decided not to drive anywhere too far just because it would serve me right if I soiled the family saloon and ended up giving birth in Wythenshawe after going on and on about my birth spa.
On Friday I walked with Michelle (new NCT friend) to the farm shop, ate my weight in chips and cake, then walked home. The walk was not nearly far or vigorous enough to work off the calories but I figured I am literally on my last few weeks of justification - particularly on the chips front, I would never normally just eat chips!!!
There were just 3 of us left from the NCT group who haven't had babies - that is now 2 since Amy had a little girl yesterday, 3 days overdue. G Kisby and I then went to see Katie and Colin's twins, who were absolutely gorgeous.

The weekend has been spent painting (I know - will it ever end). At least I was permitted to do small amounts (door frames and radiators) and with every window open and an industrial mask I did support the cause. Gaz worked really hard all of both days and I am pleased to say that it is now pretty much done. Odd bits of gloss work but we should be able to get the carpets down this week - hooray. This is good since I had another, "how on earth are we still doing this when we have known for 9 months" drama on Friday night. I think I uttered the words, "other women at 40 weeks are nesting by cleaning out some drawers, I am painting bloody spindles". And I am also now convinced that Mav is secretly thinking the same and staying put in protest.

On the positive side it has given me more time to look at nursery decor ideas online, practise my breathing exercises and for G Kisby get everything set up at work for his paternity leave (hormones you see making me slightly schizophrenic since I'm o.k about it all again today!)

I love the colours on this blog post, they are kind of where we are heading with Mav's room since we want it to be unisex (don't anyone even dare say we might as well wait now since we'll know if Mav is indeed a boy very shortly)
Also very much inspired by this blog which has some great ideas and beautiful nurseries before & after:

Watch this space for news of any labour signs!!!! 

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Leaving the 20's behind!

So the big day finally arrived - no not Mav's birthday but mine.
On Sunday we celebrated, all be it rather tamely, my 30th birthday. G Kisby was busy painting most of the weekend so it was nice to get dressed and do my hair and makeup to leave the house on Saturday night for a curry with 2 of our favourite people Fee and Al.

I received some lovely presents including these gorgeous porridge bowls from family Bryce-Clegg (in a goldilocks style we have one for mummy, daddy and baby bear), a Cath Kidston knitting bag and a computer package for making short films (one of the other hobbies I plan to start) to mention a few. Suddenly very aware that the presents are clearly representative of someone turning 30 as opposed to 21!!!

On my actual birthday we went for a walk (apparently good for bringing on labour), watched a trashy film and ate for Britain.
What else is one supposed to do when so restricted by pregnancy?

I do feel quite sad to leave my 20's behind but luckily there is too much else going on in my small head to dwell on it too much.
I did try to communicate some frustrations that Mav hadn't arrived to G Kisby last night who gave me short shrift. Something around, "he isn't even due yet" and "you have been amazing this whole pregnancy and haven't whinged once, don't start now". Harsh I felt but it did make me shut up.

Instead I did extra high jumps at my aqua class today (gravity surely???) and bought pineapple to eat (supposedly you need to eat an awful lot to have any effect but I will dig in anyway just in case).

Will update the blog if any of this makes a difference!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Don't try this at home...

So at 39 weeks I thought it was finally time to do a little housekeeping. I didn't want to peak too soon and have to repeat the process since I knew it was going to be neither easy nor enjoyable. But needs must so I swung into action.

Firstly, toe nails. For this procedure I adopted a sitting position with one leg bent out at a very odd looking angle to one side. Not the best painting I've ever done but they are now a nice deep plum colour so all is well.
I have kept my finger nails clear since apparently if you have to go into theatre they take it off anyway to check blood circulation. Quick and easy on that front.
Finally bikini line -arrh the thing I have been avoiding for some time.
Now I obviously can't see it, but armed with a tube of Veet (or Immac if you're old school) I went for the approach of 'no such thing as too much' and spread a load on there. Pleased with myself I even put on a face mask whilst waiting for the cream to do its job.
After waiting much longer than the time on the tube (I never find 5 mins long enough) I hopped in the shower and rinsed it off. From what I could see this was another job well done and I did wonder why I hadn't done it earlier.

However, once out of the shower and 'bio oiled' up like a slippery seal as always, I nipped through to the bedroom to check my finished work.
And this was when I realised the error of my ways and why it is always useful to see what you are doing. I had obviously spread the cream over where I thought was the top of my bikini line but actually was further down than I had realised, leaving a kind of uneven stripe. Things had obviously got pretty out of control down there over the past few months. What was even worse was that around the sides my work was also highly uneven creating bald spots and a look that can only be described as alopecia esq.
So I am about to put my bits on show and I just know the midwife is going to be thinking, "what the hell". Previously, fine, I'm sure midwives see unruly bikini lines regularly. Now, "what the hell". So I had to jump back in the shower (notably bio oil and water create some sort of oil slick effect) and get out a razor to try and neaten it all up. And we all know that shaving lasts for all of a day and results in really uncomfortable regrowth.
I have a regrowing, uneven, 'alopecia like' bikini line which is itchy. Great.

On a much more positive note we had Mum stay with us for the past few days which was just lovely. We went on a jaunt to Ikea and Mamas and Papas as she wanted to buy Mav his first cot. We decided on one from John Lewis which is being delivered this week (never knowingly undersold). Really could not establish what you gained for your money in paying £300 over £100 in terms of the actual cot itself. We did go for the middle matress option as I do understand why that is important. Mamas and Papas do a good summary of the differences with matresses on their website:
We also got the final thing on my list which was a changing bag. We went for a weekender style in black. Suitable for both G Kisby and I and a little more structured than the normal slouchy option (which I was having real trouble spending money on). It comes with the insulated bottle holder, changing mat etc but I would genuinely use it with or without Mav - still just clinging on to that last bit of credibility on the fashion front.

Really appreciated the company as still feels a bit odd just waiting and not being able to do much at home in the day. I also learnt a few more new techniques for my knitting which I am absolutely loving.

And finally, huge congratulations to our friends Colin and Katie who had their twins at 1.30am this morning. Ted and Oscar, lovely names. They were 6 and 7lbs respectively so thank God Katie did not go on any further. Too exciting and can't wait to meet them...
Your mates are out now Mav - there really is no excuse for you not to come out and play!!!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Mav puts on a show then stands his ground...

After another good Aqua Natal class on Tuesday I went to the midwife for what I am really really hoping was a final visit. Julie, the midwife, had a very young and pretty student nurse working with her and Mav (I am now fully convinced must be a boy?) put on a great show. He is lying with his back to the side so that the lump I keep rubbing thinking is a bum is actually a knee. In fact Julie used the words, "ooh that is a big knee" - o.k lets never use the term big in any context here. He also then responded to her touching the knee by squirming around like a trooper. The student nurse Sarah, who notably has been working with midwives for 8 weeks, had never seen such visible movement from an unborn baby and was absolutely mesmerised. Julie was trying to get her feel how the baby was lying but Mav would not stay still. In the end Julie had to say, "o.k let Helen get down now". When I mentioned this to Gaz did he comment on our wriggly unborn child? No. He questioned why the young student nurse hadn't been there when he came.

Apparently the lack of fat on my tummy makes it really easy to see and feel Mav move which is particularly useful for the midwife during labour who can easily monitor how he is doing and his positioning. He has also engaged his head a little further and is now not far off being fully engaged. Probably as far as he'll go now before labour actually starts.
So she was really pleased and asked me to book an appointment for 2 weeks in the hope I'll cancel it since by that time I'll be overdue.

Nothing as yet though, and I am getting a little impatient (which is a worry since it could be another 3 weeks). If I have to be induced then it would mean I couldn't go to Huddersfield birth spa.
It is a very strange feeling since on the one hand I am so excited about meeting our baby and looking forward to a good nights sleep (can't believe I've just written that - ha ha) and no longer being pregnant (ignore the middle point) but on the other I know that we should be enjoying every last minute of having no responsibility and having plenty of 'us' time.
I just get really frustrated by what I can't do. If I was on holiday from work I'd have whipped up the painting of the hall etc but with G Kisby and my mother on 'pregnant policing' I'm not getting anywhere near a paintbrush.  Argh! I'm not used to relying on others to get things done.

Anyway not long to go now and G Kisby is going to crack on with painting the baby room over the weekend so it may be we do actually have a finished room before Mav makes an appearance. Today was my guess on the sweepstake for Mav's birthday, his first act of defiance, hmm, hopefully not the first of many.
To quote Fee, "Come out soon Mav, it's fun out here..."

Monday, 10 January 2011

New family car - ooh!

After a lot of research we finally bought a new family saloon today.
We went through the usual debates which I think occur at this stage in life - practicality vs. credibility, solid investment vs. credibility, economy vs. credibility, blah de blah de blah.
We ended up going for a navy Passat, which I am pretty excited about considering that the Mondeo was well up there till the very last minute.
It means we retain a small amount of credibility whilst also accepting our changing priorities. And the boot looks so big I think i may actually get the pram in it without needing to fold it down?

I also met my lovely friend Alison for breakfast in Leeds, did a spot of shopping (mainly swapping Xmas items) and had my hair cut and coloured, bright copper is back!
I wasn't at my most active and my braxton hicks were inconveniently regular. I was slow man. Not helped by the constant toilet trips. Oh well, probably not too many more shopping trips in town for me now before Mav comes along.

This evening I have been working on a spreadsheet for tracking profit / sales on ChipperNelly - my big sister Fee's craft business which is on (link below)

I am hoping to give her a hand whilst on maternity leave, partly through doing some crafts but also through helping with the kind of thing above.
She also has a new blog which I have added to 'My blog list' - take a look!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Huddersfield 'birth spa'

This week we visited the Huddersfield Birth Centre for our midwife appointment and a look round the centre.

All was well with Mav - right size, good heartbeat, still head down - although he has now spun round again so his legs and arms are at the front. Unsurprising since he is such a wriggly baby. In the midwife's words - "there are limbs everywhere". Yep - that's what I am feeling too. She gave us a leaflet on ways to try and get him to turn round again but to honest he just moves all the time so I'm not overly worried. Although I am now finally having some issues sleeping and part of this comes I think from the kicking etc. so if he could turn round and lie at little more still overnight that would be great!

The midwife we spoke to, Jackie, was absolutely lovely. They are very much pro natural labour (which I suppose is a given since you can't have an epidural or much else other than gas and air there) and keen to intervene as little as possible. We talked through our birth plan and she was supportive of everything we discussed, even setting our minds at rest about any complications and what would happen if we did need to transfer to Calderdale.

The whole place felt so relaxed and calm and 'un hospital like'. Needless to say G Kisby didn't feel faint. The rooms are fab. You can have dimmed lighting, ipod docking stations, big birthing pools in a couple and even a shared kitchen with supplies of toast, cereal etc. You also don't need to move once you've had the baby and can stay as long as you feel necessary and your feeding is established. Within reason obviously, Gaz was almost suggesting we moved in for the week (they provide a pull out bed so Gaz can stay over too)

We both felt so so much better having visited, my only hope is that it isn't full when Mav decides it is time to make an appearance since then we would have to go to Calderdale (which, don't get me wrong, still looks fine). I even added an extra couple of bits to my hospital bag since I am now not so keen to get out of hospital asap. I would almost say, although perhaps not quite, I am looking forward to it...

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

'Maternity leave' blues?

Yesterday felt really strange. As G Kisby packed up his lunch, checked his emails and got his work clothes ready, I did some knitting. Suddenly felt like I was back in the 1920's.

As we got into bed, pretty early since it was a school night for Gaz, I started to waffle on about how weird it felt / what I was going to do for the rest of the week etc. Poor Gaz - as always I completely choose my timings. Genuinely felt a little bit uneasy with it all though. It also wasn't helped by the fact that I had agreed to go to Aqua Natal with a few of the girls from NCT and just before bed (again, true to form, last minute and completely unorganised) realised that without a car this would involve a bus then a 30 minute walk. Normally not an issue but even by my own standards I wasn't sure that an exercise class top and tailed with a decent walk was the right thing to do. But I didn't want to make G Kisby's first day at work any worse either.

Anyway I finally got to sleep and after waking during the night thinking we were being burgled (a small earthquake with its epicentre in Rippon I later found to be the cause) woke bright and early and decided to take Gary to the station. Why does getting up early feel so so much better when you don't have to go to work.
I actually ended up taking Gaz right into Leeds since he hadn't set his alarm early enough for a train but this was fine since when I got home I hopped right back into bed for a snooze.

And after that everything was fine. A little Jeremy Kyle (oh my God that is too horrendous to watch), Homes under the Hammer (love it) then off to do some 'light' (too light?) exercise with a load of other heavily pregnant women - kind of feeling like you have special needs when being told, "come on kick those legs up high" whilst lying back on a float like a, perhaps not beached but certainly floundering, whale.

We also then met the other NCT girls for coffee, one with baby in tow. Funny how every time we meet up now another one or two more of us will have a baby!

I seem to have plans for the rest of the week (including a visit to the Huddersfield birth centre for a midwife visit tomorrow) so I'm sure time will fly before Mav arrives. We also have the carpet fitter and plasterer coming tomorrow.

My last quick task of the day was to re-look at my hospital bag. 3 nappies - apparently not enough. 1 babygrow - ditto. And I had forgotten my bikini for the birth pool - how unusual it is to be packing a bag to go to hospital and taking along your swimmers, it practically feels like a holiday (aside from the disposable knickers that is, although, I guess that depends on your type of holiday!!!)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Ooh our baby is fully cooked!

At midnight we welcomed a very exciting new year and a fully cooked baby - which is great since it means that from now on we can go to a birthing centre rather than a hospital and hopefully Mav is just putting on the pounds but has everything he needs for the outside world.

With all of that in mind we were still pleased he chose to stay where he was last night, since I would have been getting a taxi, missing out on some great steak and he would have spent his entire life attempting to ensure his birthday was recognised amongst the NYE celebrations!

We had a lovely night with our friends Amy and Matt, quite low key but with some great wine (I had a wee sample of each type) and an hour of Jools Holland which included a spot of Kylie - what more can you ask for?

We even made it to 12.40 and watched loads of fireworks from our sitting room window right the way across Huddersfield before heading to bed with large glasses of water (it's all about avoiding the hangover these days - ahh another benefit of pregnancy)

It's very strange now to think that our baby could come any day but we don't know when. I don't really think it will be for at least another week, at least, but apparently there is as much chance from today as at 40 weeks (only 4% of babies come on their actual due date). I also suddenly realised that we are now really close to knowing what he/she will look like. Something you'd think I'd have thought about but obviously haven't. Inside my tummy now is a fully grown baby with all the features that we will see when he / she comes out, features that are there but we don't know yet - craziness. I think that idea freaks me out more than when we initially felt movements since then it didn't feel so real.

I had more work dreams last night - this time that we didn't have time to think through what the best options were around childcare etc. and that the 6 months were over. Not sure how keen I am on this lack of structure and certainty. Even doing the weekly shop yesterday was strange thinking about how we'll need to alter all of our usual routines. Sure we'll get used to it pretty quickly.

The other slight debate we are currently having surrounds the flu jab. Pregnant women are advised to have it but then I keep thinking it is probably a bit late now since I believe it takes 7 days for your body to make the anti bodies. But then on another website it does say that it might offer protection for your baby for 6 mnths afterwards as well - in which case maybe it isn't too late. Then, on another note, I know you can feel slightly under the weather after having the injection and I have felt so well this whole time that I am cautious about risking that.
We are due to see the midwife on Wednesday so I will ask her then...