Sad but ok 

Got back from holiday yesterday and I went for scan today (had to go with my sis as M has developed chicken pox overnight so my husband had to look after her) sadly the baby hasn’t developed beyond 6 weeks. It’s sad but makes me think even more what a miracle Maeve is so I’m feeling ok. 

Bleeding 

I had a lot of bleeding episodes when I was pregnant with M but I still had lots of pregnancy symptoms. I started spotting yesterday not heavily and not really any pain but my symptoms are so mild now. No nausea, slightly tender breasts and a lingering metallic taste in my mouth.

We’re heading home tomorrow and now it can’t come quick enough. I’ll go to the EPU on Friday to see what’s going on. My gut instinct though is that I’m having a miscarriage. 

10 weeks and 2 days

Time really has flown. We are in Greece on holiday and technically I am pregnant but I am really worried when we go for the scan (we have 12 week scan booked for the 18th of June) that there will be nothing there. I just don’t feel pregnant. I had been feeling nauseous before we came on holiday and I had very sore breasts (not helped by the fact I am still breastfeeding M and being pregnant while breastfeeding can affect your supply and therefore make the baby nurse even more) I was completely exhausted (way more than I was with M) and had a metallic taste in my mouth. Since arriving here I haven’t felt sick at all and my breasts don’t hurt as much and my tiredness has seemed to subside. I just want to know now.

Is this happening?

So my period was late, I felt a little strange for the last 2 weeks and this afternoon I tested. Three times. All positive. I am in shock. I thought M would be our only baby.

Can this really be happening? 

   
 

First born

I’ve been watching some baby related programmes tonight, other couples going through pregnancy and labour. Even though I am acutely aware of how lucky we are to have a healthy happy baby I can’t help hoping and wishing that we could be fortunate enough to have another. I lament the fact that I have no time. At 42 it’s highly unlikely we’ll be able to have another. I truly loved being pregnant and without meaning to blow my own trumpet I think I’ve taken most things motherhood has thrown at me in my stride. Learning to breastfeed, soothe my baby, feed her solids, help her through all the growth spurts, love her like crazy. I love her soooo much. I would love the opportunity for her to have a sibling. I know my love would grow. In the meantime I have to say I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. When my baby looks at me and smiles my heart lifts. I feel privileged to be her mum.

She’s almost 8 months old now and has one tiny little tooth on the bottom. She’s trying her hardest to crawl and she changes and develops so much every day. She’s started giving me big wet kisses on the lips. She eats everything and anything. She does not sleep through the night and despite everyone having an opinion on how I should let her ‘cry it out’ I will NEVER do that. 

She amazes me every day and I can’t believe where we were two years ago. 





Finally Maeve’s birth story

Everyone had different views about when Maeve would be born: Dawn said the 12th of July (Northern Irish marching day) but Janis was sure she would be born on Julia’s birthday, the 11th of July. I thought she might be born on the 14th of July (the anniversary of the French Revolution). In the end she had her own timescale.

I had thought I had been in early labour the previous Sunday. 10 am found me face timing Jennie, Janis, etc. in Portstewart bouncing on my birth ball, having fairly regular mild contractions, later in the day as Sean finished writing his Sunday story I began to feel a lot of pain but it was lasting way longer than a contraction so I didn’t really know if I was or not. The pains started again the next day but didn’t really get going. Just shy of 41 weeks we were admitted to St Thomas’s Hospital in Westminster for induction of labour (pauses while I go and get Maeve up from her nap) (false alarm she is lying quietly). We arrived Tuesday 15th of July at 2pm to a hectic labour ward. They weren’t ready for us so we were sent away to have a wander along the South Bank (ok she’s really awake now) (5 days later cont…) We had dinner at Wagamama’s then returned to the hospital. My sister was working that day and showed us into a room in the ‘Home from Home’ area which is the natural child birth unit. I was put on a monitor and quite soon after the baby’s heart rate fell but quickly went back up. Because of that they decided to keep us in and just get started. We were welcomed by a lovely midwife called Anna who turned down the heart monitor and said that she didn’t want me to be distracted by it as I should be feeling like a queen (or words to that effect). She left at the end of her shift saying that when she came back in two days she would see our lovely baby girl. We were both quite shocked at the idea it would take so long. Anyway a bit later another lovely midwife came along and gave me the propess gel and told us to relax for the night. It was supposed to be in for I think 24 hours but it turned out mine had come out and been flushed away so we had to have another put in (oops). Neither of them did the trick and the next day on the Wednesday the midwife broke my waters which wasn’t as bad as it sounds, just a little uncomfortable. Sean and I went out for dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant and waited for things to get started. I did start to get mild contractions but they didn’t really progress so we had to pack up our stuff in the natural childbirth unit and head to the Birth Centre where they keep the drugs and the heavy equipment. I met my lovely midwife Katrine and her student midwife assistant. I knew from the start I wasn’t going to be a hero if they had to use Syntocinon so I opted right away for an epidural. First a doctor came and tried to put a cannula in my hand but this failed and the anaesthetist had to come in and put it in instead in the other hand. Once that was in they moved me onto my side and I had to lie very still while they inserted the epidural. The sorest thing was just the sharp scratch of the local anaesthetic, the placement of the epidural didn’t hurt at all but I did feel the cold liquid going into my spine, which was a bit weird. They kept checking it had worked by spraying my legs with an icy spray and asking me if I felt it on a scale of 1-10. Eventually they were satisfied it was all ok and they started the Syntocinon drip. I started to contract straight away but things got a little dramatic as the baby’s heart rate dropped from 140 to 60 and stayed down there for a little too long. This happened two more times, on the third time the midwife looked a little panicked and pressed the alarm button. In a few seconds lots of people started to come into the room including Dr K who explained to me that they may have to do an emergency C-section. Another doctor examined me and I was still only 2 cms dilated and although according to the monitor I was having strong contractions they decided enough was enough and the baby had to come out. The midwife was incredible and I will never forget her looking me right in the eyes and saying in a strong French accent ‘Don’t you worry I am not going to let anything happen to your baby’. Sean was given a surgical suit to put on and within a few minutes we were in the operating theatre. There must have been about 12 or 13 people in there with us. There was a lovely anaesthetist at my head who was so kind and lovely and engaged me in a chat about time she had spent in Belfast. She explained everything that was going on and at some point I said have they started yet and she said yes the baby is almost out. It took 12 minutes to deliver our beautiful baby. When they pulled down the fabric shielding me from the operation that was going on we had our first glimpse of our baby. In the light of the operating theatre and with the fluids that were covering her she looked golden or bronze. I couldn’t believe it. I had a golden baby. I turned to look at Sean and he had such a look of disbelief on his face. The baby was perfect. They took her briefly to give her a wipe and wrap her up and they brought her to us. They had said Sean could go and see her over at the side but he chose to wait to see her for the first time with us. The pictures show our first glimpse of our baby who from the first moments was very alert and watchful. They laid her by my head and I got to gaze at this incredible little miracle. The whole process of delivering her took 12 minutes. My sister, a midwife at the hospital, came to the operating theatre door and we were able to tell her the good news.

Soon after the birth they started to put different things in my drip: antibiotics, pain relief (diamorphine) and I was whisked off to recovery. The next few hours are a bit of a blur as I was completely off my head on morphine. I do remember being really starving and my sister bringing me a sandwich which I ate then begged for another which I promptly threw up everywhere into what seemed like about 14 of those cardboard bowls. I drank so much water too as I was so thirsty but again I threw that up too. I didn’t regret having a C-section at all and I was so happy that I hadn’t had to go through hours of labour to then have a C-section anyway. Lots of people came by while I was in recovery: my midwife V, my consultant Dr A and the consultant Dr K who delivered our baby. It turns out, as I found out later that he is one of the best surgeons in the UK and famed for his ‘baby removal’. He told me that I would most likely have had to go back into surgery anyway as I had what is called Velementous Insertion, a condition in which the umbilical cord grows, unprotected outside the membranes. This could have been very dangerous for both the baby and me and I was glad that I didn’t know about this until after. I felt extremely well cared for by everyone and it was overall an amazing experience. So, in on Tuesday and eventually at 10:23 am two days later on Thursday, Maeve Alexandra finally came into the world. This has taken me ages to write and Maeve is now over four months old. The love I feel for her is completely incredible. I don’t have words for it. My heart swells every time I think about her and I am so incredibly proud of our baby. I hope she always knows how much I love her and I become the mum she so deserves.

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Smiles

I never get a second to write anything but here’s a few pics of our beautiful daughter Maeve Alexandra. People said you won’t have a minute and I naively didn’t believe them!
I love her more and more everyday and I can’t fathom how much.

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She’s here

And I’ve never felt as much love and need to protect in all my life. I’ll post more details but for now I’m getting some sleep as she has finally fallen asleep after almost 7 hrs of on and off feeding!!
Meet Maeve Alexandra

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40 weeks+3

I am now 3 days past my due date. I am having so many ‘maybe it’s the last time’ moments. Last time having lunch just my husband and I, last trip to the greengrocers to say ‘no baby yet’ (pretty obvious from my massive bump!) and even small things like last time I wash my hair and take a shower not being a mum. I am feeling so totally grateful for this chance and I truly can’t wait to meet our daughter. A year ago my husband and I were going through a really tough time and it just makes me amazed at life, at how much can change. I NEVER thought we would get pregnant naturally. 

Despite the bleeding in the first trimester (and the tremendous heartburn) I have had a brilliant pregnancy. I’ve been really well cared for and I am so appreciative of the NHS. I feel great. My husband and I (despite a few hiccups) have got closer and I feel really supported by him emotionally (clearing the spare room and putting a few of his guitars in the loft was a different matter altogether. I guess he just lacks the nesting instinct).

I haven’t written on here for a while. Not because I have been busy at work or anything as I have been off on maternity leave since the 3rd of June. I was supposed to go off on the 23rd but after thinking about it I decided to start it a lot earlier. I am so glad I did. I have long ago left all the stresses of work and even stopped checking my work emails. I usually find it quite hard to adjust to being on holiday – thinking about going back to work and all that I need to do before that. It was so great to just leave and really not be able to do anything to prepare for my return. I am taking a year off – that’s the plan so far. It has allowed me loads of time to prepare and to relax. Our house is more or less sorted for the baby’s arrival. 

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A lovely friend of mine lent us this bed nest which allows you to co-sleep with the baby. My husband has been sleeping with the toy bunny next to him so it smells of him. Hopefully our baby will recognise his smell when she comes out.

The baby will sleep in our room for the first 6 months but I have cleared out a nice space in the spare room as a little baby space to hang out in. 

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A spare bed at last!

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My lovely friend J threw me a surprise baby shower which I never expected.

All in all I have had a lovely time just expecting the baby. I don’t think anything can truly prepare us for the amazing adventure we are about to embark on. I’m really aware through following people’s blogs that others have had their miracles too but it makes me so sad to think of those who are still waiting for their babies to come. A close friend (who lent us the bed nest) has just received some really bad news about her pregnancy at the 12 week scan and she just told me that they probably won’t be having their baby as planned in January. She already has a beautiful, healthy 26 month old girl and I don’t think it even occurred to her that there would be anything wrong with the baby. Life is so unfair. I did feel very guilty as I had been begrudgingly happy for her when she conceived after only trying for 3 months and I really wish I could take back those bad feelings I felt and she have a healthy baby growing inside her. I can’t imagine how she must be feeling. 

So I have a few days left to go on my own as I have an induction booked for Tuesday. I would love for the baby to come under her own steam but I’m aware that there are some risks of going over term at 42 years old. I did meet with the consultant obstetrician about it and he said that as the only thing about my pregnancy that was high risk was my age that I didn’t have to be induced at 40 weeks as I had thought. Last week’s scan revealed a healthy baby, with normal growth, normal amount of amniotic fluid, and expected weight of 7llbs and 6 oz. I grew a baby! me and my 41/42 year old womb! Take that acupuncturist! 

Here’s her little (?) foot at 34 week scan. She was hiding her face so we couldn’t get a good look at her. 

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Here’s a pic of me contemplating motherhood!! I’ll miss my bump. 

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I so can’t wait – come on baby girl hurry up!!

 

Almost 25 weeks!

Time is really whizzing by and I never seem to have a chance just to sit down and write something.

Things are good with the little one in that I can now really feel her kick and reposition herself regularly! It’s such a strange feeling when she does that, like a ball turning in my tummy. My husband can now feel her kick from the outside too. I’m totally loved up with her already and with my husband. It has brought us so much closer. After the last 2 yrs plus of IVF and countless disappointing months we both are glad not to have that pressure anymore. Only coming out the other side you realise how much of a toll it takes on a marriage. Anyway he’s being such a great support – long may it continue and hopefully even through the craziness of becoming new parents. I’ve been discharged from the premature clinic as continued to test negative for Fibronectin and my cervix is still nice and long (who knew?) my next scan is in a week to check she’s growing ok, so fingers crossed for that.

Today I’m in bed with a really bad throat virus. I’ve not felt this sick in literally decades. My throat aches, my ear aches and all I have to battle it is paracetamol and honey/lemon hot water mix. Work has been so busy with art exams I just couldn’t slow down but have now been forced to. I longed for a duvet day but now all I want to do is get out an about again. I didn’t realise how pregnancy literally floors your immune system.

Amongst other things I’ve become so weepy and emotional these last few weeks. Up to now I’ve been weepy thinking about how lucky we are. Now I am weepy thinking off any terrible thing that could happen to this baby or my husband or worrying I’m not meeting my professional development targets at work (?!) I know it’s just the sickness and feeling run down that is doing this. I hope to get back to crying on the tube with happiness when I’m listening to random songs as has been the case up to now. I guess it’s all part of the fun!

Physically I feel fine (apart from being sick this week). My bump is really big and I love it! Weirdly I’ve only put on a few pounds I was probably a bit overweight to begin with so the baby has taken some of that (thanks baby!) my boobs are definitely much bigger (a recent visit to John Lewis proved they didn’t actually have a maternity bra that I wanted in my size – G! Shocker!) I had to get this horrible one called ‘Doreen’ that old ladies wear. Quite comfy though! I’ve not got any horrible constipation or piles that the women at my yoga class are complaining about. Yet. Pregnancy has taught me not to be smug. I was just thinking the other day I hadn’t had a cold in years then bam I feel like crap! Heartburn is probably my biggest niggle and I have a bottle of Gaviscon in work and at home in the kitchen and the bedroom (sexy!) Did you know Gaviscon even have a Facebook page? It seems to strike at any time with no rhyme or reason although I’m learning to eat little and often and it seems to work. Another physical thing is I am hungry ALL the time! I am not that organised so have been trying to sort out snacks to carry round. I’ve learned that I need to eat every few hours at the very minimum otherwise I feel sick.

What else now? I’ve got a growing urge to nest but no time (or too sick) to do it and a very laid back husband who I am sure thinks he can do it the night before. I need to start thinking of all the things we need.

That’s about it for now. All is good the way I like it! Here’s a bump pic and a pic from 20 week scan but I think I grew even since then which was a week ago.

Looking forward to hearing how others are doing.

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