A Mummys View

Telling it like it is

My Birth Story Second Time Round: The Aftermath

Three weeks has passed since by gorgeous little girl arrived into the world 5 weeks early and I can’t believe how time has flown! You may have read my birth story second time round, well here’s what happened after the birth and in the first few hours and days that have followed…

Once the immediate rush of the delivery was over I was stitched back up by the theatre team. I remember asking them if they could do a quick tummy tuck while they were down there but I was told that wouldn’t be possible (oh well, they say god loves a tryer!) I was wheeled back from the theatre to our delivery suite, where my husband was waiting with our daughter. It was then that I was able to have my first cuddle, hold her close to me and have the chance to feed her. She took to the breast immediately and I felt the most overwhelming sense of love towards her.

Hubby stayed with us until 4am and then headed home for some sleep and I was left to try and get some of my own. However at 4.45am a lady was brought in via ambulance to a nearby room and she was screaming. It went on and on and there was just no chance of any sleep! I had asked on returning from theatre if I could have some food as I hadn’t eaten since 11.30am the day before, but I was told because I’d had an emergency c-section I would have to wait. (Don’t know what the difference is between last time and this time, each time I only had a spinal and last time I was given tea and toast immediately.) As the morning wore on I asked a few times as I was feeling so weak and starving and finally I got something at 8.30am (almost 24 hrs after last eating).

I was wheeled to the post natal ward mid-morning, ironically to the exact same bay and bed I had been in when I had my other daughter, where the midwife from the labour ward did a handover. It was then that I realised exactly what the problems had been. I heard her mention placenta previa and the cord being pressed on my baby’s head and  it really hit home as I don’t think anyone had fully told me exactly what had happened.

Hubby arrived shortly after I had moved to the post natal ward and both sets of grandparents and our little girl came that afternoon at visiting time. Luckily I was in the bay on my own at that point as it was like an entourage had landed! lol! My little girl was quite good and came straight to see her “baby sister”. However I think she had most fun playing hide and seek! It really was a good job the bay was empty! It was very hard saying goodbye as she left each day as you could tell she was confused as to why I wasn’t at home. One day she even got hold of my hand and said “you coming too mummy” and it broke my heart. Hubby decided to spend the last two evenings at home with our daughter to give her some attention and a sense of normality, which made sense. One evening my sister came to keep me company and the other I just took time to relax.

As our daughter was born a good size and did well with her Apgar score following her birth, it was decided that she should be placed in transitional care, which meant she could stay with me but the midwives monitored her and fed information back to the Special Care Baby Unit, who then made decisions on the course of action / care she required. On the first day she was placed on a special heat bed and remained on this for 2 days until she was able to regulate her own body temperature. She also had heel prick blood tests for 2-3 days around each feed to monitor her blood sugar levels. Initially her levels were a little low and she did have to be cup fed some formula in addition to my breastfeeding to help her, but eventually they decided that her levels were acceptable and she no longer needed monitoring. The final thing she was monitored for was jaundice, to be honest she wasn’t that bad at all and didn’t require any treatment for this. By day 3 she had been released from transitional care and we just needed monitoring for another 24 hours by the midwives before we could come home. For a 5 week premature baby she did amazingly well!

I was in hospital from the Saturday afternoon till the following Wednesday and during that time the majority of midwives and healthcare assistants that looked after me were wonderful. One went way beyond the call of duty and was such an immense support. I was still confused about what had happened between me arriving that day and my baby being born and she took my notes away, read through and came back to me, spending a considerable amount of time talking to me and explaining everything, she even went through the monitor print out, showing me where key changes happened. I was also in a considerable amount of pain at certain points and she made sure everything possible was done to alleviate this and make me comfortable. The day after my c-section she and a healthcare assistant helped me out of bed and into the shower room and stayed by the door to make sure I was ok. I was unable to bend to dry my legs and dress myself (so dignified) and they both came in to help me. It was lucky I had buzzed them and they were with me as shortly after they entered I went shakey and passed out! I was wheeled out of the shower room naked, with only a sheet covering my dignity! At this point I had a new “room mate” who’s boyfriend had just arrived… how to make a first impression! lol!

At the other end of the scale there were two nights where I wasn’t impressed.  I had been told on my first night to buzz to ask for help in getting my baby out of her cot to feeed as I had a catheter in and couldn’t move or twist sideways to reach her. My little girl was cluster feeding as she was so small so as fast as I was feeding her, she was falling asleep and unable to wake her or stir her to feed her more I was having to put her back, then within half an hour max, if not sooner, she would wake again. Therefore I was buzzing quite a bit during the night, but had no choice. However I overheard one of the midwives complaining that I was “buzzing every time the child made a noise” which I felt very unfair. I have had a baby before and I know how to settle a child and when a baby is just stirring or actually hungry. I did wait and try to settle my little girl before buzzing but the fact was she was hungry. It made me feel like I couldn’t buzz for help. On another occassion I was trying to get myself to the toilet but my tummy hurt so much I was unable to move and had got stuck at the bottom of my bed. My room mate buzzed for help and the nurse (at least I think she was a nurse or a healthcare assistant of some kind) that came in just looked at me in a perplexed manner. I had to ask her to help me and explain to her that I needed to get to the toilet and needed support. She didn’t even know how to support me and frankly I felt like I was holding her up more! I then had to ask for her to help me get back to my bed! It was unreal.

However I am pleased to say that the positive experiences once again outweighed the negatives.

By the time Sunday evening came I was desperate for sleep as I had only had 3 hours sleep since going to bed on the Friday night. However my baby had other ideas and for the first two nights cluster fed continuously! I think if I was lucky, I managed 2-3 hours over the two nights and by the Tuesday I felt totally washed out and my body was shaking. The midwife that had been so great felt that I might be anaemic so took some bloods and sent them off immediately to be tested, they came back within a couple of hours but I was told I was fine, I was merely exhausted!

Tuesday night, as previous nights, saw another bout of cluster feeding and I have to say I was looking forward to getting home the following day! After waiting for final test results for my little girl we were given the all-clear and headed home at lunch time to start the next chapter of our little family life! (Not before my husband nearly drove me into the side of an ambulance in my wheelchair though! But that’s a different story!)

Check back to see how my first few weeks home have been.

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Baby Essentials – Part 4

This is the final installment of my Baby Essentials posts and this time round I am sharing my medicinal and general must have’s!

When babies are small they can’t have an awful lot but once you get to 2 – 3 months there are a few more offerings. Here are just a few of the products that I have stocked up on.

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1. Nurofen Baby 3 months+, 2. Anbesol teething oil, 3. Cow & Gate first infant formula, 3. Cow & Gate first infant cartons, 5. Woodward’s Gripe Water, 6. Amber teething anklet 7. Calpol 2 months+

I breastfed but did give an evening bottle at two and a half months and moved onto formula from four and a half months. I initially used Aptamil, however I found this costly overall and changed to Cow & Gate, a well known family name and never had any problems. Gripe Water is great for treating babies with wind and I have always used Woodwards. I did try using Infacol but always forgot to give her it before a feed! I used Nelson’s Teething Powders (I have forgotten to add an image above but can highly recommend!) and Anbesol for teething but also heard about Baltic Amber Teething Anklets from another mum so did invest and have to say we didn’t appear to have many teething problems, this could have been luck, this could have been down to using the anklet, I really don’t know but I would recommend! Baby Nurofen and Calpol are must have’s for any family medicine cabinet too and if you want any more tips on how to keep bugs at bay then check out my post Keeping Winter Bugs at bay and Having Peace of Mind.

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My Birth Story Second Time Round

VLUU P1200  / Samsung P1200

As you will have read, my gorgeous little girl arrived 5 weeks early on 20th January not long after midnight. I have to say it was a real shock as we had just “popped” to the inlaws for the night and I basically didn’t come home for 5 days!

In the days running up to the birth I had awoken at 4.30am every morning (like groundhog day) with period like pains in my tummy. However they disappeared each time after a couple of hours and didn’t seem to have a regular on off pattern. After calling the midwives I was told it was probably just Braxton Hicks. (I had no experience of labour as my first little girl was born by an elective c-section so just took their word for it.)

There was really bad snow forecast for that weekend and I have to say I was very apprehensive about travelling to my inlaws, who live over 40 miles away, but having been reassured by the midwives and not wanting to disappoint, I got in the car on the Friday afternoon and we headed off.

That night, whilst having dinner I got the tummy pains back and ended up having to leave the table and go and lean over my mother in laws sofa! The pains lasted for 10 minutes or so and wore off so I headed back to the table but no longer had I sat down, than I had to stand up again and resume the position as they came back. However after 10 minutes they went and that was that for the rest of the evening… until that was 4.30am again, when I awoke in so much pain that it resorted me to tears. I ended up sat in the living room with my mother in law looking at me rather concerned. After an hour or two they wore off again so we got washed, dressed, had some breakfast and decided to head home. I just wanted to get back to my home town and the comfort of a hospital I knew, as well as my family.

En-route the pains started again and I was so uncomfortable I was holding the passenger side handle of the car whilst ringing the hospital. I was told I could either go home, have a warm bath and see how I felt or come straight in to the hospital. I had a gut instinct that something wasn’t right so we dropped my daughter at my mum and dad’s en-route and headed for the hospital. I felt awful as it was all so rushed and when I gave her a kiss and told her mummy would see her later I didn’t envisage it being the following day in a hospital bed!

We arrived at the hospital and headed for the labour ward. As I stood deep breathing through another set of pains in the packed lift I think I freaked a few people out who possibly thought I may give  birth there and then!

On arrival at the delivery suite I was placed on a monitor to see what was happening and after a short while I was told that it did look like I was going into premature labour as I was getting mild contractions (tightenings). However at this point baby looked fine so they decided to give me a drug to stop the contractions and give me chance to have two steroid injections to help the baby’s lungs develop should the worse case scenario happen and she be born early. The first injection was given to me then and there and the second was to be given the following morning, so I was told I would need to stay in over night. (Good job I had packed and taken my hospital bag with me!)

I was examined and told I was 1cm dilated and would be on the monitor for a couple of hours and then moved to the ward. After a 2-3 hours a doctor came in and told me the drugs to stop the  contractions didn’t seem to be working and that they were going to stop them and let things take their natural course. The doctor then started really selling the concept of a natural vaginal birth to me instead of a c-section. She was telling me she saw no reason why I couldn’t deliver naturally and it was better for baby. This did confuse and upset me as all my life I’ve been told I can’t have a natural birth and I would need a c-section and the decision had been taken for a c-section last time after consultation with my orthopaedic surgeon and examination. However the doctor still sold the idea to me and I was left to “have a think about it”. Hubby had gone to get himself some tea (I was told I wasn’t allowed anything to eat in case I had to go to surgery) and on his return I explained what had happened and both of us were equally confused and perplexed. To be honest it wasn’t something I needed at this point and was quite out of the blue.

Over the coming hour things started to change and after asking when I would be going to the ward I was told I would be monitored for another couple of hours in the delivery suite. The midwives then started asking me to lay on my side in order to to get a better trace for baby and after at least a couple of hours of turning from one side to another a doctor was brought in to check the reading. The atmosphere in the room was certainly changing and hubby and I were told that the accelerations and decelerations in baby’s heart beat weren’t as they wanted. Apparently they should be quite erratic showing large fluctuations and that’s what they like to see on a perfect trace. However mine were becoming flatter and flatter, despite trying different positions to wake baby up more and get a better reading.

A new doctor had come on by this point and he kept telling the midwives to give it another half an hour but after a while and at least two “half hour”  responses the midwives seemed agitated and we overheard them telling the doctor that he needed to make a decision and call my consultant. Next thing I know he’s talking about me having no more fluids (which I knew meant nil by mouth) and there was a hive of activity in the room. I was having fluid pumped through my arm, I was being prepped by an anaesthetist and being asked to sign consent forms and told of the risks surgery could have. All the time the midwives were saying that it was to get me ready just in case my consultant decided I needed to go to theatre. Despite having an elective c-section before I suddenly felt very scared, I’d only been finished work a week, my baby wasn’t due for 4-5 weeks and I didn’t feel ready. I was also petrified that something bad was going to happen and I could lose her.

Within half an hour my consultant had arrived from being called out at home, he took one look at the trace and within 5 seconds said “right lets get to theatre”. I was being wheeled out the room as I was signing a disclaimer and hubby was left in his scrubs waiting for them to give me a spinal and call him in.

As I looked around the theatre room the atmosphere was a lot different to last time, there was a more serious tone and there was double the number of people there had previously been. I was bent forward having my spinal put in place whilst being introduced to special care baby doctors who were already in position to receive my little girl and I could see my consultant and other doctors and nurses scrubbing up in a side room.

Within 10 minutes of being wheeled down the corridoor I was laid on the theatre table with hubby by my side and the screen preventing us from seeing anything in place. There was a Black Eyed Peas song on the radio “Meet me half way” and I remember saying “ooh I love this song” when my consultant asked for it to be turned off and for everyone to concentrate. It was at this point it felt very very real and I began to feel the tugging sensation on my tummy.

I don’t know exactly how long it took but I know it wasn’t as quick as my daughter’s delivery. However when I felt a pull and my tummy become lighter I knew she was out and it was only a short while before I heard her cry. It was the best moment and hubby and I looked at each other with a look of relief, exhaustion and emotion and it wasn’t long before our new little bundle was amazingly handed to us. She had passed the Apgar score and was doing well on her own, as well as being a good 6lb+ in weight, so the Special Care baby team decided that she could stay with me and be monitored through transitional care. I cried with relief and happiness.

Having arrived at the delivery suite around 2.30pm on the Saturday afternoon it was now after 12.30am in the early hours of Sunday morning, a whole exhausting 10 hours later, but we had welcomed our premature baby girl safely into the world and that’s all that mattered.

It turns out I had had an undetected placenta previa that had been missed on the two scans I had had and the cord was pressing on my daughter’s head potentially restricting oxygen at various times. Had I not followed my gut instinct that something was wrong, had I not had a previous c-section and therefore needing to be monitored longer, the whole story could have had a very different outcome for both me and my daughter and that doesn’t bare thinking about. In my consultants own words “You would never have made it to 39 weeks”

The last week has been very emotional, I keep getting flashbacks and shedding a few tears about the experience and what could have happened, but most importantly the overwhelming emotion I feel is sheer love for my little girl. I had been worried prior to having her that all my attention had been focussed on my daughter and I was scared that I might not bond. However this couldn’t be further from reality. It is true there is more than enough love to go round and both my girls mean the world to me. My daughter has been great and keeps wanting to see and hold her baby sister, you can definitely say that we are currently one very happy and relieved family! I love my new arrival with all my heart and just want to hold her close all the time.

I’m just looking forward to a full recovery following the surgery and being able to get out and about with both my girls. Hubby and I both agree however that after my first daughter came at 37 weeks and our new arrival at 35, we won’t be going for a third as this may be pushing our luck! We are quite happy with our gorgeous girls.

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Baby Essentials – Part 3

This is part 3 of my Baby Essentials posts and this time I have chosen to share my favourite baby toys.

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1. Play gym, 2. Buggy toy (Some of our favourites have been from Lamaze), 3. A car seat toy, 4. hand and feet finders, 5. That’s Not My… books, 6. Teething rattle / toy, 7. Fabric books

Babies don’t need a huge amount initially but the above items are some of the essentials you might need for the first 4 months. We love the Lamaze range and my little girl was bought quite a few pieces for her first Christmas, which we still have and will be using again. I love this Lamaze pay gym too. I have also read to my little girl every night since she was a few weeks old so can’t recommend books enough. Fabric books are great for them to explore and it doesn’t matter if they chew! The “That’s Not My” series are also ideal for encouraging them to explore textures and concepts. You can never go wrong with teether toys either!

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Baby Essentials – Part 2

Last week I shared some of my “Baby Essentials” thoughts for clothing, bathing and changing. This week I wanted to share some of my suggestions for essential products in the nursery, home and travel

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1. Moses basket, 2. Gro Egg room thermometer, 3. Baby comforter, 4. Gro sleeping bag 5. Blanket, 6. Tommee Tippee Sangenic nappy disposal unit, 7. Fitted sheets, 8. Flat sheets, 9. Nursery furniture sets

My nursery furniture and moses basket all came from Mamas and Papas, we did shop around and looked at a wide variety of sets but felt that the set we chose from Mamas and Papas offered a long-term investment and would last our daughter well through school. The cot converts into a cotbed and we will therefore between my daughter and the new baby get several years out of it. the wardrobe is a good size too and not as small as some of them out there so will enable the growing clothes sizes to fit (some seemed so small you couldn’t imagine fitting anything beyond toddler clothes in). I am glad we bought the Gro Egg too, a friend had one and I thought it was great then, so went out and purchased one myself. You can see at a glance the temperature in the room, it moves between three colours, blue (cold), orange (correct temperature) and red (too hot) and also acts as a nightlight. My daughter was bought lots of comforters and two special ones have remained by her side faithfully every night, as well as one at grandmas for when she’s there. They offer kids a little comfort so will definately be hoping for more for the new baby.

I used basic white flat and fitted sheets and blankets from Mothercare whilst my little girl was in her moses basket. (I also found a swaddle I was bought from Pumpkin Patch great as my little girl was too small for sleeping bags initially and did start kicking covers off so the swaddle provided an alternative. As soon as she was old enough I moved her into sleeping bags and can’t rate them anough, so simple, you can get some great travel ones too that enable you to strap your baby into the car seat without disturbing them.

The Tomme Tippee nappy disposal unit was one of our best purchases too! It saves you having to go up and downstairs with smelly nappies and keeps all the nasty smells locked away. Cassette’s aren’t cheap for it but worth it and can be bought in bulk for cheaper.

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1. Tomee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles, brush and steriliser unit, 2. Lansinoh nipple cream, 3. Britax baby safe SHR II car seat, 4. Tommee Tippee healthcare set, 5. Baby Jogger City Mini Double pushchair, 6. Mamas and Papas bouncer, 7. Tommee Tippee Breast pump set, 8. Lansinoh breast pads, 9. Babystyle Oyster travel system

I breastfed my daughter until four and a half months but did introduce bottles after this and an evening bottle at two and a half months and I chose to use products from the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature range as I read reviews and parenting magazines and heard they were the closest to breast feeding. I have the steriliser, breast pump and bottles. I was also bought the Tommee Tippee healthcare set when I had my little girl and this included  nail scissors, nasal aspirator, baby hairbrush and thermometer to mention a few things. However I don’t know what I have done with a lot of the bits from it so may have to invest again! I did recently write a post about Keeping Winter Bugs at Bay where I noted some helpful tips as well as products I have used (including various thermometers and our humidifier) so please do stop by to find out more about some essential baby healthcare tips

I can’t recommend Lansinoh nipple cream and breast pads enough! I tried a few different brands but these were the best in my opinion, I woke up wet in the night with some of the other breast pads but these were great so I have stocked up again. We are huge Britax fans and have FOUR Britax car seats in our family. I will be using them all again, first off the baby safe SHR II (however I do need to get the handle checked on it which is a little wobbly, probably through extensive use!), followed by the Safefix Plus, which my little girl is currently using. you can find my thoughts and review on our Britax car seats here. I bought the Babystyle Oyster travel system for my little girl  as it was very lightweight and our Britax baby safe SHR II car seat easily clipped on and will probably still use it to some extent. My review can be found here. However a double buggy like the Baby Jogger City Mini Double is also in play for when I am out and about with both my girls.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and no products were received to test for this post. All the views are entirely my own.

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Special delivery

Just a quick line to let all my readers know that I got an unexpectedly early special delivery this morning in the form of my new little girl!

She arrived 5 weeks early by emergency c section and although in transitional care is a good weight and allowed to stay with me, being monitored for a few things
but so far so good.

Further updates to come but I may be offline for the next week or so
Xxx

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Baby Essentials – Part One

With baby number 2 on the way I’ve been digging out all my little girl’s baby bits and compiling lists of everything I might need so thought I’d share some of my thoughts and ideas with you as to what I see are my “baby essentials”

First up it’s basic clothes, bathing and changing

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1. Nappy Sacks, 2. Wipes, 3. Cotton wool balls, 4. Hats, 5. SS  Vests, 6. Bibs 7. Pampers New Baby Nappies, 8. LS vests, 9. Scratch mitts, 10. Muslins, 11. SnuggleBundl Lifting blanket, 12. Booties, 13. Sleepsuits

When nappy changing I used cotton balls for the first few weeks and then moved on to wipes but opted for the likes of Huggies Pure or Pampers Sensitive. You can get some fab baby clothes from a wide range of retailers, some of my favourite are Next, George at Asda, Mothercare and Jo Jo Maman Bebe. I tried both Huggies and Pampers nappies and preferred Pampers, however as my daughter grew up I did start using Asda’s Little Angels and Pampers Pull ups too so will probably do the same again. I am thrilled to have won a Snugglebundl lifting blanket recently in their competition, as I am due to have a c-section so no doubt this will come in very useful indeed!

Other must have’s include…

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1. Top and tail bowl, 2. Ergonomic bath and Mothercare Supabaths, 3. Cuddledry apron robe, 4. Bath seat, 5. Johnson’s baby lotion, 6. Changing mat, 7. Johnson’s bedtime baby wash, Johnson’s bedtime baby bath, 9. Johnson’s baby shampoo

I found the Mothercare Supabath a god send after my c-section, because it sits high on te bath it was great for me as I couldn’t bend too far, I then moved on to the ergonomic bath seat and the bath seat. I can highly recommend all three! The Cuddledry robe is fantastic! I bought one before my little girl was born and it was great after my c-section as clips round your neck like an apron and enables you to scoop your baby up and wrap them against you, giving you a free hand to stand up too. I always opted for Johnson’s products when my little girl was a newborn as they are a known and reputable household name and will probably do the same again, but I do also use other products such as Asda Little Angels with my little girl now she is older. I LOVED this changing mat I came across when compiling this. I have just bought a plain one but may have to invest in this one too! made me smile!

In future posts I will also share some of my nursery, toy, feeding, travel and health must have’s so do keep posted.

If you have any suggestions of what made life easier with your little one I would love to hear!

x

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and no products  were received.  All the views in this post are entirely my own.

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