Saturday, 18 September 2010

Snowflakes birth story

While hubby is out wetting Snowflakes head, Cubling is in bed and HM Snowflake herself lying on my lap, asleep again, I've got nothing better to do but to update my blog and cover some of the gaps that come with long labour and longish hospital stay. Thank you so much everyone for all the well wishes, sorry I couldn't respond to them individually, as you can imagine we're still adjusting, but I was so happy to read every one of your comments!

As to the birth story to be honest, I don't remember much. I overdosed on gas and air (seriously, it didn't appeal to me last time but this time... OMG) and I really have labour memory loss. Mr Cartside had suggested to post the detailed birth story as a guest post and I panicked - I mean, I really don't know what happened and the thought of all my dear readers knowing more than I do is just not very attractive.

Well it went a bit like that - after a day outdoors at the Nature Connection Workshop (which was tiring on my legs, not being able to sit comfortably all day), I felt exhausted and very crampy. Lots of Braxton Hicks too. I went to bed early, 9am, but only slept a while later. At midnight, contractions started, and I couldn't sleep or even lie in bed, so after an hour I gave up and went downstairs onto chair and birth ball. Contractions were either intense and irregular or weak and regular and just after my in-laws arrived, they stopped. I went back to bed for exactly an hour and they started again. And so it went all day. On and off, off and on, irregular, strong, weak, never consistently beyond every 7 minutes. At 4pm I was getting worried that another sleepless night lay ahead of me. At 5pm the contractions picked up. At 6pm we left for the hospital who warned me that I may be sent home. I was 6-7cm dilated so bah. Talk to me again of Braxton Hicks.

The birth pool was filled, but unlike before, I didn't find it helped a lot. The gas and air did. Almost instantly I felt like bearing down, that feeling I never had with Cubling's birth. But nothing happened. We changed positions, and at maybe 9pm or 10pm I was definitely fully dilated, or something like it. I know I hit transition in the pool, I remember singing along to Coming Down and that felt good. Transition didn't and somehow I was on the bed on my side, later standing, and then for some reason that baby had moved up in the pelvis again, rather than down. Back to back labour all the way, she had turned sideways at least, but for all my pushing she didn't descend at all. I'd had enough at this point, and wanted at the very least an epidural. That wasn't given because the feeling was that it would make things worse with me not being able to help push with contractions. So we took it by the half hour. After some time I really had enough and considered 6 weeks of recovery versus another 30 mins of pushing and decided the former was preferable. Mr Cartside tells me that at no point it was clear that this was my view, I must have been talking to myself expecting mind reading from others.

Basically, midwife and consultant, in an attempt to keep to my birth plan, extended my suffering until really there was really no hope for any further progress. I pushed so much more than with Cubling, worked so much harder, and contractions were definitely harder to cope with, and yet it didn't yield any downward movement. Snowflake was doing fine though, and it was great that the consultant reassured me of this - we didn't have a baby in distress as was the case with Cubling.

So a c-section it was and I was totally ok with it. Shaking like a leaf, really scared I would bleed to death, but Mr Cartside told me stories and jokes to keep my mind off the knife, and Snowflake was born with a healthy cry, a healthy weight and a dimple that looks cunningly like a second poohole.

Snowflake breastfed within an hour of being born, I was so happy about this. She's been feeding great really, apart from day one when she was all mucusy and didn't really feed, but cried a lot with it. That also meant 3 consecutive nights with no sleep after which I started losing the plot, but I've since found it again. Snowflake sleeps lots and so far is an easy going baby, she feeds like a champ and above all she poos. I find this quite noteworthy because Cubling didn't. And if you're experience is of a baby who has one meconium poo in 4 days and then nothing for 10-12 days repeatedly, having 10 poos in 24 hours is a bit of a shock. Maybe that dimple is a second poo hole after all?

Cubling is absolutely delighted about being a big sister, she's so delighted that her enthusiasm knows no bounds, she hops, helps, and is hyper. She plays with her little sister but is also very intense in her own demands and all I can say is that it's great to have Mr Cartside around to ensure both kids are getting the attention they need.

Cue Snowflake is awake, looking for food and I'm looking for my bed.



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