Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Boy is here!!! Zach (middle names still undecided!!) was born at 0941 on Tuesday 21st April at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. To say that we are all ecstatic and completely in love with him would be an understatement. I am currently still feeling rather like an unfortunate extra from a slasher movie, but am still smiling and shuffling about so I thought I had better get his birth story down in writing before full on nappy brain and sleep deprivation take over and I forget it all.

Our story begins slightly ahead of schedule, on Monday 20th April at around 8pm.

Everything was ready for baby boy's arrival, I had cleaned and tidied to within an inch of my life, all the beds were changed, the clothes for Teya laid out for her Dad and Granny, the fridge stocked with food, my hospital bag done, the moses basket in place, bod was shaved and prepped and all ready to be scrutinised under theatre lights. Kev and I had decided to order a fancy indian takeaway and have a small glass of wine, before settling down to watch Hells Kitchen and then get an early night. Ha the best laid plans and all that.. At around 8pm and just before the curry arrived I got up to go for my umpteenth wee of the day, nothing untoward about that - until I realised that this wee was quite different, there was blood present. Staying calm I came out of the bathroom and told Kev, who immediately looked panicked (an expression that became etched permanantly on my poor hubby's face for the next 24 hours!) I said not to panic and called the maternity ward - they asked if there was a lot of blood, I said no, they then asked if I had any contractions, again no. Phew, I was to rest up at home and call again if anything changed - if it didnt I would see them in the morning.

About halfway through the curry I felt it - oh yes it may be 5 years since the last one but you do not forget what a contraction feels like !! I asked Kev to get timing, 10 minutes and pang another one. How sodding typical, the night before I am due to have my baby taken out of me and he has other ideas! So, back on the phone and an hour later, my Mum has arrived to look after the blissfully unaware Teya, I have burst in to tears due to the blasted hormones and we have arrived at the central delivery suite. After being strapped up to the monitor and having a rather rough handed consultant shove his paw up my fandangoo (thankfully this time round that is the last time my girlie bits get any tampering with!) it is pronounced that yes indeed I am in labour, but my cervix is only very slightly open, and with no head down to speed the process up they dont think they will need to operate that night. Crikey. Then much to my dismay my poor scared hubby is sent off home and I am taken to the ante natal ward - just in case my waters go in the night. Boo. Not the way I had planned to spend my last night as a Mummy of one - I was hoping for a long cuddle with my hubs in our clean tidy bedroom, and what do I get instead? A room with 6 other heavily pregnant snoring groaning women, one of whom was in early labour and sounded as though she was orgasming her way through the night, much to the disgust of the woman next to her who huffed puffed and tutted the whole night through! I dont know which disturbance was more condusive to my lack of sleep, but needless to say when Kev arrived at 6am the next morning I was exhausted.

Anyway, on to the actual story! At around 7.30am the Midwife came in to see us and brought Kev his scrubs, my gowns and sexy stockings and talked us through the schedule of events for the next few hours. We both changed in silence, loaded up our empty cot with vest, hat, babygro and camera and then sat back to chat and wait our turn to be called. Turns out we didnt have to wait too much longer, at 8.30 we were collected and walked across the hospital with our cot full of paraphenallia - me as white as the hospital walls and Kev quieter than I have ever known him. The young maternity assistant who walked us down couldnt have been a day over 18 but she was so calm and lovely, in fact I would just like to take this opportunity to say that all of the staff who looked after us all during our time at Frimley Park were absolutely fantastic. So, at 9am we arrived at the theatre and by this time I am so bloody scared I could be sick. The theatre staff welcomed us through the scarily official looking doors and completed all of their checks. I sat up on the bed shaking like a leaf and trying not to look at Kev who looked as though he was about to cry. The anaethatist nummed my back with a local whilst the girls all made small talk to occupy me, but all I could think was 'i really dont want to do this - but i have no sodding choice' the fear of the unknown is hugely powerful and I can honestly say that I havent felt so scared for as long as I can remember. The anaethatist put the spinal in and first time hit a nerve so my back involuntarily spasmed - god that was horrid, but the second time she did it it went painlessly in and I felt a rush of warmth all down my left side 'Is this supposed to feel as though I am peeing in a wetsuit?!' i ask - laughter ensued and indeed, it was agreed that yes the two feelings were very similar. Very quickly I began to lose feeling in my legs and they tested out the level of sensation by spraying me with a cold spray. I really cant begin to describe what it feels like, you can feel everything - every touch, the pressure but NO PAIN AT ALL. When they put the catheter in I was convinced that would feel uncomfy but nope, not a thing. So odd, and so not pleasant. I hate to feel out of control - christ I dont even like to have anaesthetic before a filling so being partially paralysed was not good for me.

Once the staff were happy that I was suitably numb I was wheeled in to the brightly lit theatre and it was all systems go. My gown was hitched up and pinned on arms in front of my face to make the 'screen' Kev sat next to me as the surgeon began - I felt the tugs and pulls for what seemed like an eternity - Kev held my hand and watched as much as he could bear in the reflection from the light above my head - he gripped my hand tightly as I started to cry - I felt sick and I wanted my baby - the anaethatist tried to calm me down and added what felt like 2 litres of anti nausea drugs to my IV - where was my baby? At 0941 Kev started to cry as he saw our son lifeted from my tummy, I kept repeating 'is he OK is he OK?' and the next thing I remember is hearing my baby cry for the first time and everyone rushing to reassure and congratulate us, and both of our tears of tension and fear turned immediately to immense relief and euphoria. I was then handed my beautiful (if very purple!) baby in a towel and I held on to him as tightly as I could manage, I then felt the tugging as I was stitched up and passed him to his Daddy for his first cuddle. Wow, we did it - terrified and feeling quite frankly horrendous despite the lack of pain we were wheeled in to recovery where my beautiful baby Zach was placed on my naked chest for pretty much the whole time. I didnt even notice when my blood pressure dropped so low that the crash team were put on standby.. Nothing really felt real - the only thing that I could think about was how incredibly lucky I was to be holding my beautiful, perfect and longed for baby boy.

Well done if you have got this far! It was a bit of an epic and I am crying now as I finish writing this. Honestly the emotion of the whole experience has been overwhelming and I am so glad that it is all over and we are home safe and well. I was in hospital until the Thursday morning and was glad to get home to my gorgeous family, all of whom have been incredible.

Just a last note before I finish, now that I can say I have experience of the two opposite ends of the birth spectrum (if there is such a thing) if anyone wants my opinion as to which to go for, the no pain relief, full labour and natural memphis belle bomb doors or the sunroof option? Given the choice, it would be the bomb doors everytime. Oh and incedentally, the consultant who delivered Zach was the same chap who booked me in for the c section - the one who acted as though he didnt quite believe my midwife for saying Zach was breech - well after the operation he informed us that even if all had been normal and baby was head down, the umbillical cord was too short and my labour would have ended in c section anyway...

Welcome to the world Zach, words cannot describe how much we all adore you already.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ah the joys of hospitals! On Thursday I had my pre op appointment to discuss all the ins and outs (pardon the pun!) of my c section. So, 15 minutes before my scheduled appointment time, Teya and I made our way to the hospital, her announcing that it looked like 'Scrubs' inside, and over to the waiting room at the ante natal clinic, to sit and patiently wait to be seen along with numerous other couples/women/ families from all over the county.

One thing that I continue to find fascinating is the sheer variety of carachters that one sees when in such a place as an NHS hospital. People watching, I am sure everyone agrees, is a thoroughly fascinating passtime - and happily for me, I got to spend quite sometime doing it due to the fact that my appointment was so delayed.

As Teya and I sat we were joined in the waiting room by a variety of sights, from all walks of life - to my left were a veringontheelderley hippie couple, she who kept grumbling that they were having to wait, and him who just looked bemused at the whole experience. To my right an Umbro shorts and matching tracksuit top and trainers combo chap and his Thai bride, him looking frankly pretty ugly but rather pleased with himself, and her rather resembling a rabbit in headlights, who almost looked as though she couldnt quite grasp what was going on. Across from me were the stereotypical chav family, brash noisy large goldearring wearing grandmother grappling 3 snotty nosed kids whose ages varied from around 1 -4 while the mother heaved her none so small frame around the room looking bored and uncomfortable, but totally oblivious to her children's behaviour.

Over in the far corner of the room were a couple who were clearly on their first child, probably at around the 20 week mark looking at her little bump, who sat very quietly, husband with hand on pretty wife's knee, looking around them in horror at (well in particular the 3 I have just mentioned) kids racing around the room - almost in disbelief that this might be something they had signed themselves up for! Lastly over in the other corner sat a very large and very young girl, having a very loud and not so intelligent arguement with her camo clad boyfriend , who proceeded to get up and leave halfway through her verbal attack.

I was eventually seen after about an hour, firstly having my weight and other vitals taken by the midwife, baby boy was checked and my urine sample screened (much to Teya's disgust!) Next it was on to see the anaethatist (sp?) to discuss the implications of the spinal, and the details of the operation itself, all of which I will spare you here you will be happy to hear. I was also given pre op meds to be taken the night before the section, and the very sweet chap advised me not to drink any thing past 10pm that night - no problem say I - and then felt the ground open up before me as my daughter announces that 'well Mummy drinks wine in bed!' to which both the anaethatist (who couldnt have been a day over 25) and I blushed a deep shade of purple whilst I tried to protest that actually at 9 months pregnant I don't.. but out of the mouth's of babes hey?! She seemed pretty pleased with herself, and I left 30 minutes later after having more blood extracted and generally feeling more terrified than I have done to date.. No matter what, this boy is coming out feet first on Tuesday 21st April!! As we left the building Teya looked up at me and announced that she didn't want to have a baby taken out of her tummy - ever - so she would NOT be getting married, end of story.. Awww - I shall have great pleasure recounting that story in years to come...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Count down to baby boy's arrival has begun!

Last Thursday afternoon I tentatively made my way over to Frimley Park hospital to discuss the next steps for Baby Boy's birth. The long and the short of it was that after a brief scan to determine that yes the baby is still breech (I was rather under the impression that the consultant didn't 'believe' my Midwife's observations, and also that I rather regarded myself as a yummy Mummy who was too posh to push...) but yes, if I was not keen on trying the ECV, which I am not due to the fact that my Midwife has said that she is unsure how sucessful it would be given the boy's comfort and also that at any complication an emergency C will be undertaken, I should be booked in for a C Section at 39 weeks. The con called to his colleages for the 'Section Diary' and within a couple of seconds a tatty A4 collins-a-like book was thrust in to his hands, and the date of the 21st April was turned to. This was the first date without a myriad of white stickers (the high tech way in which the NHS differentiate between the 'patients') so I was 'stuck' in! I then had to sign a rather scarily detailed consent form, which listed all of the possible complications with the procedure - before being sent on my way, clutching my notes and an equally scary leaflet all about what to expect from your elective c- section.

So, as I type I am still rather in denial about the fact that this time next week, I will God willing, have my baby boy in my arms. I am both over excited and highly terrified about the whole thing, but mostly I am just going to enjoy the last few days of being just Teya's Mummy and the rest of her Easter holiday. My to do list is, with the odd exception, all done - and we are all ready for the beginning of the summer term and for the start of our next chaper...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Death of a Motorcyclist

Those of you who know where I live know how notorious this road can be for people speeding, but for those who don't, I am lucky enough to live in a very pretty village, but one of the drawbacks is that the bikers love it too.. it is a great area to ride around..

Not that I am saying that in itself is a bad thing, but it is a 40 MPH road yet no motorcyclist ever seems to go below 80, they can go round the first corner then it is about 1/2 mile straight past my row of cottages and they bomb it down here.

Today has been a beautiful warm spring day, I almost had the hood down, but wasn't actually driving far so didnt bother! Around 2.30pm I was driving back from the post office, ebay run, turned the aforementioned corner and was met with a scary sight. A biker had misjudged his line (I guessed) and there was a lot of debris across the road.. cue 10 minutes later the air was filled with sirens, the area was cordened off by police and the air ambulance arrived. It didnt leave in a hurry, and I overheard one of the policemen remarking, as he made his way back to the car, that as that was now the 4th fatality in under a year, maybe the council would lower the speed limit.

It is tragic, I hate the way the bikers speed down my road yes, but even worse than that I hate to see the piles of tribute flowers a few days later. It breaks my heart, I just wish they would take more care, but i guess that even with lowering the limits, that will never happen. Who buys a bike to drive about at 30MPH? Sadly, no one.