Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Three weeks in...

I'm finally starting to emerge from the 'newborn fog' - but only just. I can scarcely believe that Baby Martini is already three weeks old - it goes so quickly! Put simply, it's marvellous. I'm not sure if this is because I'm much more aware that I should enjoy it this time, or just because I'm more relaxed - maybe it's a combination of the two. Either way, I'm loving it! Admittedly, I'm not loving the lack of sleep (I'd somehow managed to erase that from my memory) but other than that, it's great.

We had our first major trip out yesterday - shopping, naturally. Not for me, unfortunately (and not really much Christmas stuff either - that's for later this week) but for Mr. Martini - it's his birthday today. I'd also forgotten how many people want to talk to you when you have a brand new baby in the pushchair. Most are lovely, although I can do without the very helpful "Oh, she's hungry" (she's not, I've just fed her) and "Oh, she's cold" (she's not, she has three blankets on. She is tired and needs to go to sleep) comments, but generally, I've never been so popular. 

And so, to Christmas. Only 25 days to go. I'm mostly ready and so am looking forward to wandering round Westfield (simply put, the best place ever to go with a newborn) and just enjoying the festivities. I need to buy a beautiful dress for Baby Martini and outfit for Elder Martini to wear on Christmas day. Although this could be done in about five minutes flat, I'm going to do serious research. The truth is that the clothes for baby girls are just better - I'm hoping that the boys clothes improve as they get older. Otherwise, EM will be going to Hugo Boss far earlier than I'd like!

PS Loving the snow! 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A Child is Born (finally!)

After a very lengthy build up, I'm finally able to report that Baby Martini II was born on Monday, 8 November just after midday. I'm not going to lie - the ten days or so of 'false/early labour' were fairly horrendous, but (as you'd expect), when she arrived it was well worth the wait. 

Typically, I'd like to share my birth story - in the end, I'm rather proud of myself. However, if you're pregnant, you may want to hold off reading this post until after you've done the deed. Similarly, if you were in the Antenatal Day Care Unit at St. Thomas' at lunchtime on Monday, I apologise. You know why.

So, here we go:

5am - wake up with some minor stomach cramps. Nothing painful but can't go back to sleep, so wait around in bed until the rest of the family wake up.

7am - I get up with Mr. Martini and help pack Elder Martini off to nursery. Mr. Martini heads to work - "there's no point wasting time off - I'll call if I need you" - famous last words.

8.30am - call my mum to give the daily update that nothing has happened overnight. Minor contractions, but can talk through them - nothing doing. Hang up and decide to have a bath.

9.30am - contractions seem to have eased off. Make some tea and toast.

9.35am - can't eat. Seems a bit weird. Have a couple of majorly painful contractions. Assume it's nothing, take a couple of paracetamol and carry on.

10.30am - decide that even if it's a false alarm, I can't really deal with the contractions on my own any more. Call Mr. Martini and ask him to come home. I say that there's no rush, he can just jump on a bus.

10.45am - "a bus is not fine. Get in a taxi." The contractions are coming fairly regularly and I think about timing them, but haven't got a watch to hand. I figure I can wait until he gets home.

11.00am - Mr. Martini arrives home. He helps me with a couple of contractions and sorts out the kitchen - I never tidied away the breakfast that I didn't eat.

11.10am - my brother arrives to collect Elder Martini things. It turns out Mr. M. had called him on his way home. We decide that my brother should collect Elder Martini from nursery and head over to my parents. 

11.15am - horrendous contraction that actually makes me shout out. Mr. M. decides we need to go to hospital. I say that if I can still speak, we're not leaving. He ignores me and forces me out of the door. My brother mentions that he doesn't know how to get to the nursery. I say we can drive him there ("we have time") and then go straight on to St. Thomas'.

11.25am - Mr. M. takes my brother into the nursery to sign out Elder. He comes back to me practically crying in the car. Sitting down and having contractions is not recommended.

11.25am - 11.44am - drive to St. Thomas'. This is the longest journey in the world. I have four contractions. The last one is so painful we have to stop so I can get out of the car and stand.

11.45am - arrive at St. Thomas'. The car park is heaving and we can't find a space. I get out of the car and attempt to walk to the entrance. Mr. M. parks the car. After what seems like forever, he joins me at the lifts.

11.50am - we head to the 7th floor. I have two contractions in the lift. Surprisingly, no one is bothered by my pain, and the lift stops at every floor between Ground and Seven. I'm sure it wasn't a pleasant experience for anyone in the lift.

11.55am - the receptionist on the Antenatal Unit ushers us straight through to the midwives. Mr. M. has to book me in - now I can't speak. I have two really, really, really bad contractions at the booking in desk, in front of the whole waiting room. If any of the pregnant women in there had any questions about labour before I arrived, they certainly don't now. Apart from perhaps: is it too late to go back? Any first-time pregnant ladies have presumably been put off for life. Sorry about that - a less than ideal situation.

At this point, I have assumed I am in proper labour. I have also decided that there's no way I can do this for hours on end. I demand an epidural. Quite loudly. (Again, apologies to everyone in the waiting room). Funnily enough, most of the midwives ignore me - turns out they are sorting me a room and know full well I barely have enough time to get to a room, let alone have an epidural. I, however, have no idea whatsoever. Mr. M. also tells them I wanted to go to the Home from Home Unit (which doesn't do epidurals). I try to shout over him, but unfortunately, the contractions are stopping me from speaking.

12.00pm - I get wheel-chaired into the closest room. (Yes, this is why they are the professionals.) I want to go to the loo - my waters break. And then I have this overwhelming urge to push. Hmmm. It is the strangest feeling in the world. So maybe not enough time for an epidural then?

12.05pm - I get gas and air - which is highly recommended. That helped a lot. 

12.15pm - our baby daughter is born. 8lb 4oz and a total darling.

My discharge notes are hilarious. They say: duration of labour - 15min. Unbelievably, it took 40 minutes to deliver the placenta. Which is more annoying than anyone tells you - next time, I think I'll have the injection. 

We were home by 9.30pm. In an ideal world, the car journey to the hospital wouldn't have been so painful, and there would have been a parking space right next to the door, but all in all, it was a much better experience than the first birth. So - home birth for the next one? Let's not push it...

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Child number two - the story so far...

I'm actually starting to think that this is a phantom pregnancy - instead of a baby in there, I have, in fact, just eaten too much cake. It's almost embarrassing how bad my body clearly is at delivering a baby. To give you a quick run down:

Thursday 28 October (that's right, a week ago) - had some mild contractions during the night. Perfectly bearable, but was pleased to think the baby might be arriving earlier than scheduled. (Ahh, the irony.)

Friday 29 October. Had 40 week appointment with my midwife. I told her about the mild contractions. I had a few during my assessment - she confirmed they were proper contractions (not Braxton Hicks) and said that she thought I'd have the baby in the next few days. We almost didn't make an appointment for 41 weeks - but, as it now turns out, it's lucky that we did. 

Saturday 30 October. Contractions now getting more painful and increasing in frequency. After a very uncomfortable day, we waited until the contractions were six minutes apart and then headed for the hospital. "It's finally happening," I thought. Chance would be a bloody fine thing.

Sunday 31 October. Nothing. Big fat nothing. Contractions just stop, I get monitored overnight and nothing. To be fair to the staff at St. Thomas', they were lovely, telling me this is very common and to just be patient. So, we go home (via McDonald', for a nutritious, healthy breakfast, naturally), expecting things to pick up again that evening. They did not.

Monday 1 November. Some mild contractions, but essentially nothing. 

Tuesday 2 November. As Monday.

Wednesday 3 November. I have now officially begun to question whether or not there is a baby in there. And even if there is, will it ever come out? What is s/he waiting for? Christmas?

Today (Thursday 4 November) - as yet, nothing exciting to report. I've had some quite stomach cramps, but to be honest, I don't think I'll believe anything is happening until the baby comes out. Which could be problematic, but I'll worry about that later.

In short, I am bored. Bored of waiting for it to happen, bored of having to report to numerous people that "no, there's still no baby" and bored of being in mild pain. Yes, I've tried everything (and I do mean everything) to try and encourage this baby out, but I've come to the conclusion they want to stay in there. Obviously, they aren't going to win that battle forever, but for the moment at least, it seems it's 1-0 to the baby. I'll keep you posted.