The Birth of Hugo James

Hugo James – Tuesday 12th August 2014 – 9.49am – 9lb 9oz

I can’t believe it’s taken me four weeks to write this, and at the same time I can’t believe that four weeks has gone by so quickly.

I really struggled the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I was, to put it mildly, a moody cow. I was tired, I was hot, I was uncomfortable. I felt like an awful mum because it was the summer holidays and I was too big to fit behind the wheel of the car so we didn’t really go anywhere or do anything. My due date came and went, and I was STILL pregnant. I was starting to worry that my much wanted home birth wouldn’t happen and that I would have to be induced. I’d started ignoring the phone because I knew what the person on the other end would say: “Any news? Any twinges? Come on, get a move on.”

My midwife did a sweep when I was 40+2 and we got hopeful. She could feel his head and my waters bulging. We came home, we rearranged the living room to make room for the pool, I text Jay, our birth photographer, and got her on standby.

41 weeks came, and I decided I was going swimming. When I was pregnant with Zack, my waters went after going swimming, so I figured it couldn’t do any harm. I swam, I went home, and nothing. I bounced on the birth ball, I sent Neil to the shop for comfort food, I cried at Long Lost Family, and I went to bed.

I woke up at 5am, as I’d been doing fairly regularly, and was pleased that I knew my midwife was coming later to do another sweep. I came downstairs. Read the news about Robin Williams, read some of my book. I started getting twinges, but didn’t think anything of them, they weren’t painful, they weren’t regular, but I thought something might happen later.

Neil’s alarm went off at 7am, so I went back upstairs, and told him that I had a feeling today was the day. I had my shower and went back downstairs. Neil got his shower and got the boys up and dressed. They came down about 8am, and by then, I was fairly sure labour was in the early stages. I wasn’t in any pain, just uncomfortable. But I text Jay to give her a heads up.

Jay text

I was sat on the couch, and I felt what I thought (for about half a second) was an almighty kick, and then realised it was actually my waters. Cue, another text to Jay to let her know we were on.

Neil and Jake were inflating and filling the birth pool, and my contractions were still not following any regular pattern, and I was talking through them. I called my midwife at 8.30am (MY midwife – was so happy she was working that day!) and told her that she wouldn’t need to do the sweep, that my waters had gone, that I was contracting, but I was fine. We agreed that she would do the visit she already had booked in, and then come and see me.

My neighbour was on standby to have the boys for us, she’d been on standby for a few weeks, so we called her, and got no answer on either the landline or her mobile. We later found out that she was outside with some workmen and didn’t hear the phone. So Neil went a put a DVD on upstairs for the boys to keep them out of the way.

Jay arrived just before 9.30am. She says that I had “that look” on my face and that she knew it wouldn’t be long. It was just after she arrived that I made Neil call my midwife back and tell her that I needed to use the gas and air, so could she come please. She was here ten minutes later.

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it into the pool. It was full, it just wasn’t warm enough, and at this stage I was fairly confident that even if it had been, there’s no way I would have been able to get in. Louise got me hooked up onto the gas and air, and held my hand through contractions.

Contraction

She used the sonicaid to check his heartbeat, and it was then that I shouted “He’s coming!” It was quite comical, Louise said “If he’s coming, shall we take your knickers off?” Yeah, that would help, wouldn’t it?

A few pushes, and my gorgeous boy was born at 9.49am. 22 minutes after Jay arrived, and 9 minutes after Louise. You could say we cut it fine.

He's here

My first words after he was born “Oh I’ve made a mess of the carpet!” And I really did. We hadn’t planned for me giving birth on dry land, and even if we had, I laboured so quickly that I’m not sure we would have had the poly sheets down anyway.

The photo’s that Jay took are amazing, and prove that I am a crier. Neil says I’ve been the same now with all three births.

Yep, still crying

The fact that the boys were at home meant they got to come down and meet their baby brother when he was a few minutes old. It was lovely.

Big brothers

So, I didn’t get to use the pool, but I did get my home birth. I got my amazing midwife (who I now consider a friend), and a fabulous photographer there to capture it all.

Louise

Best of all, I got a gorgeous baby boy, who we all love very much.

Welcome to the world baby Hugo.

Roz Barnwell, Hugo James Birth Story, Worcester 120814 Roz Barnwell, Hugo James Birth Story, Worcester 120814 Roz Barnwell, Hugo James Birth Story, Worcester 120814 Roz Barnwell, Hugo James Birth Story, Worcester 120814

A very special thank you to Jay at Jay Emme Photography for capturing these amazing pictures that I will be eternally grateful for. Every time I look at them, I get so emotional. Go and check out her facebook page and give her a like, and tell her how much you like them.

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The One Where I’m Classed as Full Term

On Monday, I turned 37 weeks. Although I’m not technically due for another 3 weeks, I am now classed as full term, which means that if I go into labour (soon, please let it be soon!!) the midwives are on call for me and will attend me at my home birth. 

37 week bump

On Thursday, my home birth pack was delivered, and on Friday my birth pool arrived! I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I’ve had my pool from Water Baby Birthing Pool Hire. I haven’t used the pool yet, obviously, but if you are considering a home water birth and don’t want to buy a pool, I would thoroughly recommend this company. Emma is lovely to deal with, and for £90 you get your pool delivered at 37 weeks for 5 weeks hire and it includes all of the accessories you need, so you don’t need to buy them. You can reserve your pool at any point during your pregnancy and at 36 weeks, Emma will call and see if you are still having a home birth, and if you are she takes payment and arranges delivery. 

Anyway, the pool I went for is the Birth Pool in a Box Mini. We went for the mini as it doesn’t take as long to fill, or take as much water, and as I’m vertically challenged at 5ft 1in, I didn’t see the need to go for a bigger one. Neil isn’t coming in the pool with me (we are both fully agreed on that!) so it only needs to be big enough for me. 

We  had a test run of sorts on Saturday evening, where we went through the box, made sure all the accessories were there and inflated it, we didn’t fill it, just wanted to see how long it took to inflate, and how big it was so we knew exactly where we were putting it. 

PicMonkey Collage

Whilst we were doing that, I had a bit of a “moment”. Call it pregnancy hormones if you like, but I had a few tears. I couldn’t have a home birth with Jake, with Zack, we had that horrible scare and even the chance of using the Birthing Centre was gone. This time, my pregnancy has been pretty much text book, with no complications, no scares, and a different consultant who is much more relaxed. So this time, we get to do things the way we wanted to since 5 years ago. We’ve come so far since then, been through so much. Four years ago, I was still having chemo and had not long come out of hospital being treated for a bout of Pneumonia with a stint in Intensive Care. Never would I imagine that we would be here today. 

Not long to go now. We’re on the final leg!

*Disclaimer – I haven’t been paid or recompensed in anyway for mentioning Water Baby Birth Pool Hire- I just loved them so much I wanted to share it with you*

 

35 Weeks

I am now 35+1 weeks pregnant. I’m not really sure where the time has gone, it’s whizzing past, and I could quite possibly have my baby as in little as 2 weeks. This terrifies me more than a little bit!

I had my 34 week midwife appointment last week and all was well. I had bloods taken for thyroxine levels and full blood count (they like to check your iron levels towards the end if you are having a home birth). My midwife is booked in to come and see my on July 10th to deliver my homebirth pack, and I will get a call next week from Water Baby Birthing Pool Hire to confirm delivery of my chosen pool.

I’m taking Raspberry Leaf tablets in earnest and have started taking one Oil of Evening Primrose tablet in the morning, which I will increase at 37 weeks.

So how am I feeling at 35 weeks?

Huge (I think the words hubby used were along the lines of “freaking enormous”). Uncomfortable. Fed up of heartburn. Tired. I keep getting cramp when I’m in bed, and I’ve come down with a horrible cough, that along with loo trips in the middle of the night mean I’m not sleeping much.

Jake is getting excited. He’s telling the teachers what we are having and what name we are toying with. I say toying with. I mean name that Neil and Jake have chosen and that I’m not completely sold on yet.

I have my final growth scan next week, and all being well I should be completely discharged from the consultant which will be fantastic.

So it’s all go at the moment.

I shall leave you with a bump picture taken on Thursday (34+3) on our 8th Wedding Anniversary.

Image

29+4

So, somehow I have gone past 29 weeks and am into my third trimester. We have a girls name decided, and we are yet to decide on a boys name, Neil and Jake vs me, it would seem!

This pregnancy feels different to my pregnancies with Jake and Zack. With Jake and Zack, I was elated, excited. This time, I’m waiting for those feelings to kick in.

It’s not that I’m not happy. It’s just that I’m not quite where I was. And I feel awful about it.

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster.

We weren’t planning a third, so it was a bit of a shock. Then I was convinced I was going to have another chemical pregnancy, as I’d had before Jake and before Zack. I was sure that was just how my body works. I had early blood tests which showed my HCG levels had more that doubled in a 48 hour period, and we had a scan at around 7 weeks that showed a strong heartbeat.

At 10 weeks, I had a small bleed and some cramping, so had another scan which showed that everything was still fine. The 12 week scan went absolutely fine. We then announced our pregnancy, and had some negative reaction. Heaven forbid we have a third child!

We chose to have a private gender scan at 16 weeks and found out what we were having, but at 20 weeks, found out we were having something else. So we had started to bond with what we thought we were having, and then had to bond with the other.

When I was 23 weeks, my Dad got rushed into hospital with heart trouble, and got a diagnosis of Unstable Angina and spent a few days in CCU. When I was 24 weeks, Dad went back into hospital, spent some more time in CCU and had an angioplasty. When I was 25 weeks, Dad went back into hospital and spent yet more time in CCU.

Also, when I was 25 weeks, Mum failed her memory test at the GP and is being referred to the hospital, and will have some more tests done. I strongly suspect she will end up with some kind of dementia diagnosis.

To add to that, we have been going through some social worker assessments, not for us, but for my brother with learning difficulties to try and get him some extra support, as the support he was getting has now gone away due to lack of funding. Thank you Mr Cameron. The first assessment said he wasn’t eligible, and was factually incorrect, so we put a complaint in, and had to start the process again. We’ve just been through the second assessment, and are waiting for the outcome, although I feel it will be a lot more positive than the last one. It helped that this social worker was older than 12.

So with all of this going on, I’ve not had much of a chance to get ready for this baby. And I think that’s what I need to do. Once the baby clothes come out, the cot gets assembled, my growths scans are ok, I think I will start to feel excited about meeting the new member of our family. I know that once s/he is in my arms, I will fall completely in love.

 

 

Today, you are one

Dear Zack

Today you are one year old! Where did the time go? It just feels like yesterday that we were in hospital, waiting to bring you home.

You are a very special little boy. I don’t want to call you my miracle baby, because I don’t believe you are a miracle but I do want you to know how much we ached for you. You see, mummy was very poorly before you were even a twinkle in our eyes, and we didn’t know if we would be able to have any more babies. The day I found out I was pregnant was such a happy one.

Having you meant I could finally move on and start to put the past behind me. Towards the end of my pregnancy with you, the doctors were worried that I was poorly again, and I had to have lots of appointments and tests, and scans to see what was going on. I was heartbroken. If I was poorly again, it would mean that I wouldn’t have been around for the few few months of your life because I would be needing more treatment to make me better, and you would have to be born early, and someone else would be doing the bonding with you that I should have been. I cried when I found out it was all a false alarm and I was fine.

You arrived a week early on April 1st 2012. You share a birthday with your Aunty Cary, which she is very happy about.

You are so, so loved. Mummy, Daddy and your big brother Jake love you so much. You are such a gorgeous boy, so smiley, with so much dark hair. Everyone says you look like me, sorry about that! You are growing up fast, and it won’t be long before you are walking, and then we will be in trouble!

I promise, to both you and your brother, that I will always love you, I will always be there for you, and I will always put you first. I will be there for every big event (and even the not so big ones) and I will love you until my dying breath. All of this, I promise you.

I am so lucky to have you. Thank you for bringing sunshine and smiles into every day.

Brandon

You brought a ray of sunshine

When all around was grey

I don’t know what would have happened

If you hadn’t come our way.

You put a spark of love and hope

In our hearts filled with grief and pain

You made us laugh, where once we cried

Made us want to live again.

Now you fill our days with love

And happy dreams at night

You came, a gift from up above

Our special guiding light.

K.L. Murray

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There is no pause button

On Monday, Zack will be one. In May, Jake will be four. He starts school in September. It’s going far too quickly.

Sometimes, I wish there was a pause button. To soak up these times. To enjoy them being small for longer.

My boys are my world. I love them with all that I am. And I know that they are MY boys, and I am supposed to love them with all that I am, and treasure the time I spend with them. But I struggle to understand why other people can’t make time for them. Not when they have time for everyone else.

Jake, he understands things. He understands broken promises. He remembers that we are going to Thomas Land soon. He understands we are going on holiday to a farm. He understands that soon, Daddy is going to take him camping. He understands these things because I talk to him about them, so he remembers.

But just as easily, he forgets. If he doesn’t see someone for a long time, he forgets them.

Zack, he’s nearly one. He’s crawling, he’s walking around the furniture, he has a personality. He throws a strop if he doesn’t get his own way. But he’s so smiley, and happy. And he’s growing, so fast.

And I can’t pause it. There is nothing I can do to slow it down. But I’m here, I’m watching, I’m drinking it all in. I’m not missing out.

There is no pause button. They grow. They change. There is nothing I can do.

There is no pause button.