Monthly Archives: December 2010

Good Bye! (for a while)

There’s more to say in Will’s birth story but Will, H and I are off to New Zealand for the next four weeks. I won’t be updating and probably won’t be reading blogs either (oh god my reader will be full when I get home!).

I hope you all have very happy holidays.



Filed under Uncategorized

How Will made his entry to this world: The third installment

So, an emergency c-section it was to be. My doctor made the pronouncement and somehow, despite knowing that I hadn’t dilated at all over a total of 16 hours of  labour, I was still surprised.

I waited for the doctor to leave the room before I cried on my husband’s shoulder.

I was scared – not about the operation itself, but about the implications. I was devastated that I would miss that initial skin-to-skin contact with my bub; I was worried about the impact it might have on breastfeeding; I was concerned about the effect recovering from surgery would have on my ability to care for my child.

I let myself feel sad for about a minute – about all the time I could afford. The baby’s heart rate was just starting to show signs of some distress, and within twenty minutes of the decision being made I was being wheeled into theatre. I accepted things for what they were – I sure as hell wanted to meet this baby, and a c-section was the only way it was going to happen. At this point my earlier decision to have the epidural seemed like great wisdom. All they had to do was top it off and then break out the scalpels! I joked with the anaesthetist, told H that he wasn’t to take his eyes off the baby for one moment until I was reunited with them, and frantically reminded him to take some photos, and then… a cry. A wonderful cry. I was so intent on listening to the sound of my baby that I totally missed hearing the sex being announced. I had to ask H who told me it was a boy and instantly I thought “of course, I knew all along that it was a boy”.

As soon as we saw the baby we thought two things. (1) He looked remarkably like H, and (2) he looked like a William. And you know what, the whole experience wasn’t that bad. Yes I spent 90 minutes away from my baby while I was in recovery, but gee I needed that rest! Yes, I underwent fairly major surgery, but I recovered remarkably quickly and had few issues with pain. And Will and H had some wonderful bonding time together.

When I left recovery I was wheeled into our room… and I saw my stoic, manly husband holding our child while tears ran down his face. In the ten years I have known H I have never seen him cry.

Best. Moment. Of. My. Life.

Later, when the dust had settled, H and I thanked our stars that we were in a situation in which a c-section was readily available. Had we faced this situation a few hundred years ago or today in some parts of the world, neither Will nor I would be here today. What a sobering thought.


Filed under Baby Stuff, Labour/Delivery, Photos

How Will made his entry to this world: The second installment

Where were we? That’s right….

We arrived at the hospital and were shown to our room. Our midwife strapped the monitor on for a check-up, and then H and I went downstairs to get some breakfast. By this time the contractions were noticeably stronger. I was still managing them very well with the TENS machine and some gentle breathing, but by the time we were in the hospital cafeteria it was difficult to keep a straight face and remain still during the contractions. I wasn’t all that keen on moaning and groaning around all the early morning breakfasters so we headed back to our room as soon as H had eaten – and I’m sure all those people trying to enjoy their morning caffeine hits in peace were grateful! The contractions continued and with the TENS, breathing, and rocking my pelvis or sitting on the Swiss ball I coped with them very well. My doc arrived about 9am and examined me. I was 1cm dilated. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. I didn’t want to be unrealistic but I’d had such regular contractions ever since my water broke that I thought I might be 2, 3 or even 4 cm dilated. I was still expecting to be a mum by that afternoon.

Unfortunately over the next couple of hours my contractions slowed down and eventually stopped all together. H and I paced the corridors and whispered encouragement to my belly and I rocked on the Swiss ball all to no avail. At midday the decision was made to start me on an Oxytocin infusion to augment labour, with the aim to increase the dose until I was having four contractions every 10 minutes. My doctor warned me that it was going to be a long night – not the words a labouring woman wants to hear! This is the point at which I stopped enjoying the labour process. I had to be continuously monitored. I was lucky that they had a portable monitor so I didn’t actually have to be connected to the machine with wires, but the bands across my belly were uncomfortable and inevitably every time I changed position one of the sensors would shift and the midwife would lose the trace. And by this stage I was needing to change position almost constantly. The augmented contractions were very different to my natural contractions; they quickly became much more intense and uncomfortable but something in their nature changed too and made them difficult to manage. I think I big part of the discomfort at this point was that I had a definite sense that my body wasn’t controlling this process but that rather these contractions were something that was being done to me.

I started using the nitrous gas. I had been concerned that the gas might make me nauseated but thankfully it did not. I’m not really sure whether the gas helped the pain or not – but it sure make me feel tipsy! H even had a couple of quick puffs to try it out. I was still able to relax and crack jokes between contractions but I was finding it more and more difficult to stay relaxed during the contractions and really had to concentrate to stop my whole body tensing up. The afternoon progressed much the same way, but with the contractions becoming quicker and more intense and me becoming more and more exhausted. There were no more jokes. In fact, I morphed into every woman you’ve ever seen give birth on television. “Uhhhhhhhhhhhg. I can’t do this anymore. Uhhhhhhhhhhhg. Please make it stop!”.

I’d wanted to avoid an epidural if possible because I wanted to remain mobile during labour and I didn’t want a urinary catheter, but by mid-afternoon my every thought was centred around whether I should ask for an epidural. At the least I wanted to be re-examined before I decided what to do, because if  I was 8 or 9 cm dilated I was sure I could find the strength to get through the last few hours. Unfortunately the contractions continued to intensify and 5 pm appeared before my doctor did. I gave in and asked for the epidural. To be honest I did feel minimally like I had failed somehow by doing this, but the contractions were so intense that it was definitely the right decision, and if I’d waited past 5 o-clock the anaesthetist would have had to be called in after-hours, significantly increasing my wait. I’d been in labour 13 hours and just couldn’t do it any longer. Luckily for me the anaesthetist appeared within 5 minutes, and I was blissfully comfortable within 10 minutes more.

All of a sudden I felt like I was hanging out at a fancy hotel rather than sitting in a delivery suite. I sat up in bed, channel-surfed, laughed with H, and had dinner delivered to me. The monitor showed that my contractions were coming on top of each other, with basically no break in between and even the midwife commented on how powerful they were. Luckily I was feeling nothing but blissful comfort but with contractions like that surely there was some real action going on downstairs? My doctor arrived to re-examine me: still only 1cm dilated.

I had made exactly no progress over the last 14 hours.

At 7:40 pm the decision was made to proceed to emergency caesarean section. By 8:40 pm William had arrived.

To be continued (and hopefully completed!) in the third installment.

Comments Off on How Will made his entry to this world: The second installment

Filed under Labour/Delivery, Photos

How Will made his entry to this world: the first installment

Even though I’m in the midst of trying to organise for our trip to New Zealand, as well as trying to encourage naps from our babe who hates to sleep during the day, I have decided that I’m loooong overdue posting about Will’s birth. Seriously overdue. And my memory of the event is probably already fading, so I need to put my pen to paper (in a figurative sense) before it becomes nothing more than a hazy dream. I have no illusions that I’ll get this story written in one sitting, one day, or possibly even one week. Starting it is the important part; eventually it will get finished, and posted.

I was due to give birth on October 30. I knew that meant that I may well deliver in early November, but as my pregnancy progressed I was really hopeful that I’d go into labour around my due date. I was very keen to avoid induction – my mother had two inductions both of which became c-sections, and I knew labour could be more painful if I needed to be induced. As keen as I was to avoid induction, I was also ready to get the party started. That last week of being pregnant felt like a month! The funny thing is that even a few days after Will was born, pregnancy felt like a distant dream. I have to look at photographs to remember how big my belly was.

I got my wish to avoid going overdue and went into labour early on October 29. I’d felt what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions that afternoon, but they’d been short-lived.  H and I are both night owls (and subsequently very bad early risers!) and I’d gone to bed at 1am. H, who didn’t start work until 3pm the next day, didn’t come to bed until 4am. I woke up when he got into bed, and was aware of a couple more BH type contractions, and then one which felt slightly different – a little more intense. To be honest I didn’t think much of it. I got out of bed to go to the toilet, but only got a few steps down the hallway before I noticed that my pyjamas were suddenly wet. I’d had no continence issues during the pregnancy so didn’t think it was likely that I’d wet myself, but somehow I couldn’t quite believe that my waters had broken. The leak quickly became a gush however, and it was pretty obvious what was happening. Poor H had barely had 5 minutes in bed before I called to him from the bathroom telling him that he had to get up again! He was a little grumpy about it until I told him why! At this point it all started to feel a little surreal. Within a minute or so I was having semi-regular contractions, but I wasn’t timing them. I called the delivery suite while H packed his hospital bag (no amount of nagging had managed to get him to pack it any earlier! And so he of course forgot some important items – like his pyjamas!). I took a shower and then H taped the TENS machine to my back. By 5.45am we were on our way to the hospital. In the car I started timing my contractions and they were 2 to 3 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds. Once I realised how close the contractions were I was glad that we were on our way – part of me thought I might end up with a very quick labour.

Oh, how wrong I was!

To be continued…

1 Comment

Filed under Labour/Delivery

Mummy Freak Out Number 847

I’ve had plenty of freak outs since the babe came home. Do I have enough breast milk for him? (Yes). Should he sleep in our room or his? (His). Is he warm enough? (Hard to know, but he hasn’t developed frostbite yet). Is he too warm? (Probably but there’s not much I can do about stupid 35 degree days – that’s celsius, before you conclude that I have clearly lost my mind worrying about overheating my baby in 35 degrees F).

Today I added another one to the list.

My wee man usually only cat-naps during the day. He’s generally a pretty good sleeper at night, but in the last few weeks he rarely has more than two or three 15 – 40 minute naps during the day – and it can be struggle to even get him down for that long.

Today, surprised at how long he’s been quietly hanging out in his crib (he went down at 10:50, woke briefly at 11:45, and is currently still asleep at 13:15) I felt the need to creep into his room to make sure he was, ya know, breathing and all that.

He was.

In fact I didn’t even need to creep right up and try desperately to see his little chest moving under all his blankets (it’s bizarrely cold today, for summer). The wee man was clearly dreaming about meal-time and was making the most adorable sucking faces in his sleep.

If he’s dreaming I figure it’s safe to assume he’s breathing, so I got the hell out of there before I accidentally woke him up.


Filed under Baby Stuff

Six Week Check-Up: A surprise and a chance encounter

At my 6 week check-up this week my O&G brought up the issue of contraception. His advice? Our chance of unassisted conception is so low that “if it was me, I wouldn’t bother with contraception”. Huh? Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t honestly planning on starting the pill, messing about with condoms, or considering any other method to avoid pregnancy other than the inevitable exhaustion that comes with a new baby. But I expected my doctor to tow the party line and advise me that we should use contraception anyway. I was pleased on the one hand, but I discovered that I’m still not entirely immune to the sting from a reminder of our infertility. To be honest I guess I still haven’t entirely given up the hope of one day being able to give H the news of a genuinely surprise pregnancy, rather than us both knowing weeks in advance the exact hour I’ll be peeing on a stick.

After my check-up I went to the post-office, carrying Will in a sling. Behind me stood a pleasant woman in a burka, who admired Will and told me how lucky I was. I recognised that edge in her voice and didn’t want to her feel like she was the only woman in the world to whom motherhood didn’t come easily. Before I could decide whether or not to allude to the circumstances of Will’s conception, this conservative-looking woman standing in the middle of a very busy post office told me that she was about to undergo her second round of IVF. Maybe she just needed to get it off her chest – I myself have suffered from a pathological need to share information about our struggle to conceive – or maybe she too sensed that we had something in common. In either case, it gave me the opening to say that the baby she was admiring had been conceived with the help of fertility treatments and to sincerely wish her luck at the conclusion of our conversation.

I will probably never see this woman again, but I will always wonder if she achieved her dream.


Filed under Doctors, Infertility

I’m the world’s worst blogger…

I know, I know. I still haven’t even posted about Will’s arrival into this world yet. But I will, I promise.

In the meantime, here’s some gratuitous cuteness.


Filed under Photos