But hang on, you’re not Blueberry now, you have a proper name. So…. hello Jaxon.
Today, you’re 1 Week Old. Already??? Haha.
You arrived into the world last Wednesday at short notice – I guess technically I got up in the morning and by bedtime, I was holding you in my arms.
But it didn’t start that easily…..here’s the story…..
On Saturday when my contractions were getting closer together and I thought “this is it” I started noting down what was happening. Mainly it was things like what medication I’d taken and when I had last eaten/drunk and what had been for either of those along with other TMI bits just in case I was asked when we arrived at the hospital (especially if I couldn’t answer and Chris had to answer on my behalf).
(This picture is from the app on my phone. How I ended up with contractions less than two minutes apart I’m not sure but the baby was coming!!)
Well, this is the attempt at some form of a birth story, I started forming the notes into actual sentences on Friday when we arrived home from the hospital. My in-laws were in town collecting Chris’s sister so they popped by to meet their first grandchild and delivery some goodies.
Anyway so while it’s still fairly fresh, I understand my notes and my brain hasn’t been totally stolen by a new baby I thought I’d get our birth story down on paper so to speak.
It would later become clear why my labour had started so early and why things weren’t happening in the way it was on TV or in the books. But early labour started and stopped for five days. By medical terms, you’re not actually in active labour until you’re 2-3cm dilated – which means that although it sounds like I had a really long labour it actually only probably started around Tuesday morning or possibly even sometime Wednesday. (So if you’re an expectant Momma or trying don’t panic!!)
On Saturday evening I got in the bath, I felt more relaxed so got out the bath but that was when things got fun, my stomach started contracting and after 3 or 4 I was sort of like “okay this is it then”.
Except it wasn’t it REALLY wasn’t.
I had back ache and contractions on and off pretty much all the way through the night, this was the first time this week that I’d seen the sunrise, or at least the sky getting lighter! By about 3 am my contractions were about 6-8 minutes apart and I needed advice, clearly they weren’t close enough together to go into delivery but I was in pain and discomfort and I wasn’t sure that the paracetamol I was taking was doing anything.
At 4:20 I spoke to the delivery suite at the hospital. Nope, they were too far apart and there wasn’t really anything that could be done other than paracetamol and a warm bath. Okay, this makes me sound like a wimp and I probably was given what was supposed to follow but I was frustrated, tired and seriously achy so that wasn’t helping with my mood.
By 6:30 am (Sunday) I gave up with going back to sleep and decided to potter around some more. Chris woke up and got me some breakfast. It ended up that I had chocolate spread sandwiches, half an apple and a glass of water but there was also Lucozade in case I needed a quicker boost of energy.
By 8 am, I had been in the bath again and the contractions were slowing. I got dressed and walked to the petrol station at the supermarket. I was still contracting so sleeping was a challenge but needed to get out of the house. I got home and they’d almost completely stopped so got back into bed. I woke up around midday having slept most of the morning. Turned out the boys hadn’t gone to church either, Chris wanted to make sure he was on hand for me and Our Sidekick had an upset stomach so stayed in bed too. (Funny maybe this was God’s way of preparing us all for the crazy that was about to kick off)
Around 4 pm the contractions started again. I took some painkillers and carried on doing what I could. My Mum and Dad came at about 11 pm as the contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart and we thought they were getting closer so wanted them on hand in case they needed to look after Our Sidekick. Mum and I went for a walk round the block but this slowed the contractions down instead of speeding them up.
We spoke to delivery at about 2 am who said that the contractions weren’t close enough and as I would figure out as I could answer all the questions without pausing for a contraction they weren’t painful enough to be admitted.
That was Sunday, Roll on Monday…
By Monday evening, my tether was getting shorter – I like to think I’m pretty chilled but I was getting worked up. It wasn’t just the sleep I was missing but the aching muscles too. Everything hurt and I just felt rubbish. Not physically sick but sore. The best way I can describe it is when you’ve been out in the garden and get up the following morning and discover just how many muscles there are in your back!
The contractions started up again around 2 pm so by 7 pm I’d taken paracetamol and had two baths. I broke down in tears and we decided to call delivery. Even if they couldn’t take me in we hoped they could at least give me something to try whether that was stronger pain meds or some other form of self-treatment. Mum and Dad arrived around 11 pm to look after Our Sidekick and we all got settled into the idea they I might not be home that night.
There was a delay to be seen as I picked the busiest night lol. I was hooked up to the blood pressure cuff and then the baby monitor. The midwife examined me, the result was – baby isn’t coming now, you’re 1cm dilated.
The midwife was able to prescribe me co-codamol and I was sent home again. It was a little disheartening but the wonder of co-codamol was that it made me sleep like a log and by the morning I had a new “lease of life” to carry on with what was going on.
We got home, played musical chairs/beds and that was Monday.
I slept on and off through the night but it was blocks of sleep rather than dozing in and out like Saturday night.
Dosed up on co-codamol, I got dressed and walked to mum’s house. I was getting a bit stir crazy and figured that rather than pacing the living room I’d walk to Mum’s and then walk back. She was working from home so I’m sure if I’d have felt like I couldn’t manage the walk, she’d have brought me home in the car and if I’d been heading towards labour she’d have taken me to the hospital. I had a couple of odd twinges but nothing that was going to send a baby out.
In comparison, Tuesday was the calm before the storm.
By Wednesday morning I was feeling sore as my muscles had now been contracting on and off for four days. I sat in front of the computer and commented on blogs, played on Facebook and bits and pieces to try and keep my mind off things.
The contractions started again around 10 am so every time one came I’d get off the computer chair and potter round the living room. When it was finished I’d sit down again. By lunchtime, the contractions had moved and rather than just being in my back or like a bad cramp I could feel it in my hips too. They were more painful than they had been over the last few days.
I had an appointment to see the midwife at about 3 pm so I kept track of my contractions and by the time I went to my appointment they were around 6 minutes apart, again still too far apart to go to delivery but at least if I saw her she might be able to give me an update. She had a feel of my tummy and thought that baby might be back to back as various markers she was looking for weren’t in the right places. She had a listen to baby’s heart (when she found it) and that was fine so she didn’t have any concerns. She explained about not booking my induction yet as I was dilated and she thought that baby could come soon. She explained what to do anyway so if the baby hadn’t arrived by 41w5d then I’d be induced.
Following my appointment, Chris and I went to get lunch. Technically it was almost afternoon tea but actually in hindsight it was a good idea.
By 7 pm I was in a lot of pain and my hips were really hurting, to the extent that I spend most of the 2-3 hours we were home standing up because I couldn’t get up from sitting but also struggled to then sit down from standing. Chris was amazing and spent a couple of hours rubbing my back and getting me drinks and things like that.
While I was on the phone to delivery Chris told Our Sidekick to get his stuff ready as he was going to go and stay with my parents overnight and would go to school from their house in the morning. I got a contraction while I was on the phone and kept apologising to the midwife because I couldn’t answer her questions, I think Chris might have had a sore shoulder because I’d gone from resting my head against his arm to almost head butting his arm.
She thought I was in active labour and I should head to the hospital. That was easier said that done, I managed to fold myself into the passenger seat of the car but every bump in the road magnified contractions and was making me feel really ill.
When we got to the hospital, Chris dropped me off at the maternity wing and went to park the car. By the time I was on the ward and waiting to be seen my contractions had started to slow down so I was worried they were going to send me home again. I had a lovely student midwife called Carla and a midwife called Helen. They both checked me out and were concerned about a few factors so Helen did some extra exams and went to speak to the doctor.
Chris arrived and was sat in the parent’s room next door. He was texting me through the wall and heard that I was 4cm dilated and could hear the midwife and doctor discussing doing a scan. He texted to ask if he could come in so I asked Carla to go get him so he didn’t miss it.
The doctor arrived and did the ultrasound. Although Jaxon had been the right up for a normal delivery for most of the last few weeks at some point he’d turned and so he was presenting as a breech – I think the spot on my tummy that I thought was his bottom actually turned out to be his head!
After chatting to the doctor and offered various choices it was decided that he was going to be delivered by elective C-Section. We were going to meet Jaxon before bedtime and I wasn’t being sent home. How exciting!!
At this point most people would freak out, I thought I would have freaked out but I was actually really calm. Chris and I had a discussion and I explained where I thought I stood on it. He then called my Mum and had a chat with her while Carla did some extra tests on me. He then handed me the phone and I chatted to mum (again this would be a freak out moment and it wasn’t). I’m sure either way she would have respected my choice but something about knowing my mum was on my side made me feel reassured that I was making the better/right decision.
Over the next two hours, we chatted to various people including the surgeon and were asked lots of questions about injections (Vitamin K) and did we know if you were a girl or a boy and did you have a name. The surgeon went through the risks and possible complications like if it was bad I might have to have a hysterectomy and because of the spinal injection, there was a tiny risk of temporary or permanent paralysis and things like that. (Again no freaking out here).
We were moved from triage to another room then we got ready to go to surgery. I had to put on a gown Carla helped me get out of my clothes and into my gown. (By the end of the three days we were in hospital, any kind of dignity had gone lol).
I met various other people and was asked lots of questions but they also talked me through what was going to happen. Laura the midwife came to check me over before we went to surgery and told me that Chris could go put on scrubs and come in with me. She stayed with me nearly the whole time or was in the room. Rosie the anaesthetist’s assistant was super friendly and kept me calm especially when the anaesthetist was putting the local injection in my back followed by the spinal injection to make my legs go numb. She and Chris kept me talking and both held my hands while the injections were going in. I was doing okay but one made me jump and whimper.
Chris and I talked about names while I had the injections and while the surgery team got ready around us. There was a group of like 6 or 7 people and they’d all got a job and were all so friendly. Even the surgeon stopped at the end of surgery and took the time to say hello to Jaxon.
My friend once told me how she’d decided what she was going to call her daughter then when she saw her after delivery she changed her mind. Chris and I had been talking about names on and off since we found out that we were having a baby but it was only when I was having my injections that we were like “we need to make a choice!”. It was sort of funny. Once Jaxon had been delivered I saw a brief flash of him as he was taken from the surgeon to the baby bed behind my head to be checked over. He started crying and then settled. Chris came and showed him to me and somehow I knew without even speaking to Chris that you were Jaxon.
Chris was armed with his phone and snapped lots of pictures. We were wheeled into recovery and Jaxon, Chris and me got to hang out and get to know each other. Laura looked after us and helped me to start feeding Jaxon. It was a sort of strange sensation at first but then it was completely normal and natural (so why the hoo-ha about feeding in public??)
We spent the next two days ish in the hospital. On Thursday after school, my Mum and Dad brought Our Sidekick to meet Jaxon. He was so excited, he brought Jaxon a teddy and some other goodies.
On Friday morning I was seen by various different people who checked me and Jaxon over and got us ready to go home. We got the all clear to go home at 3 pm but had to wait to see one other person. At 7 pm we were still waiting for that person to sign us off properly. I think she was rushed off her feet so I was trying to be understanding but I wanted to put my pyjamas back on, I wanted to curl up in my own bed and wanted to take you home and get you settled.
I wrote about it on Saturday but to reiterate I am grateful beyond belief for the midwifery team at Bedford Hospital. They were all super helpful and caring.
Snapped this one of Chris just before having my injections, so it was a challenge given all the wires and tubes attached to me but it came out okay. McDreamy or Clooney? Hehe. Then again maybe that depends on your “generation”.