rmc28: Rachel holding newborn Nicholas (rmcf+nhf)
It is 14 weeks now, I should write it down before I forget any more.  Key differences from Charles's birth are that I remember the section fairly clearly, and that thinking about it hasn't made me cry.
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rmc28: (OMG)
So, Charles is now about 20 months old.

When he was about 1-2 months old, all the pain went out of my memory of labour. I remember remembering how it felt, but I have no direct memory any more. I remember the facts of the labour, but the details are all a bit hazy now (and I'm not sure I only remember the facts from having written them down and repeated them to people so much). It coincided with the c-section area finally stopping hurting.

When he was about 12 months old, all the angst went out of my memory of having a c-section. About this time last year, I sobbed over an article on normal birth after c-section. By December: no problem thinking about it.

When he was about 18 months old, all the aggravation went out of my memories of pregnancy. I remember that I greatly disliked most of it, but there's no substance to the memory any more - all black-and-white facts, the feelings all washed out and sepia-toned.

My guess is that the last point indicates when my body finally felt recovered enough to do it all over again. It coincides with when I asked to go back to work full-time and started stepping up my exercise level (all indicators I'm feeling stronger and better). But it is freaky losing bits of my memory like this. I am so glad I LJ-ed obsessively at the time, and that I have whim-proof contraception.
rmc28: (finches)
Since the middle of September, and the anniversary of starting my maternity leave, I have been having lots of little reminders of this time last year, waiting for Charles to arrive. His birthday is on Saturday, coincident with my mother's wedding. Hopefully I won't be awake for 60+ hours this year!

The oddest reminder of waiting-for-Charles was the arrival of mince pies in the local Co-op. My early labour was fueled with mince pies: small, calorie-dense and not too sickly, they made excellent small snacks during that long long day. Later on I got in the (bad) habit of eating them after nursing Charles. When I ate the first of this year's mince pies, the taste and smell brought back a kaleidoscope of impressions/memories, including Sue's presence.

The worst feelings about the birth have definitely faded away into acceptance, but I still find pregnancy unpleasant to remember (of course it lasted rather longer). I find I am delighted with my own little boy and get very excited about other people's tiny babies but still have no desire whatsoever to be pregnant again. So, as many people ask me when I might have another baby, the answer is always "not for some time". I used to want at least four children, and I do very much want Charles to have a sibling, but right now I am not sure I can make myself go through pregnancy even one more time. It will be interesting to see if this too fades into acceptance over the next few years. In the meantime, I have whim-proof contraception.
rmc28: (finches)
Reading matter over breakfast: an old NCT magazine from last year. Couldn't read the article on VBAC without crying.

Oh well, can't get pregnant, don't want to get pregnant, don't have to worry about this. And I did get to the end of the article.
rmc28: (rmcf+fcdf)
I won the GP appointment lottery despite not ringing until 20 minutes after the lines open. Charles was zonked for most of the morning so I could be a bit useful.

I caught up my calorie information: in the last 10 days (since I started tracking again) I've averaged 3600 calories a day, and had no change in weight. I'd like over the next few weeks to try to move some of those calories from high-GI things to low-GI things, to help protect against migraines. Chocolate has provided rather more than its fair share of my intake.

I ordered the pushchair, considerably slowed by having to soothe a suddenly-wakeful baby in the middle of entering my credit card details.

We made it into town in time to be only a bit late for lunch with Tony & colleagues, and then some time in the library. I managed to leave the library card behind but was able to borrow books by giving name and address and waving credit and uni cards at them. Perhaps I should move the library card into the wallet, as I'm using it much more often.

Then I went to the GP to discuss ongoing issues with my section scar. cut for TMI/angst )

In Boots to collect the prescription, I also gave in and bought some cute baby tshirts that were on half-price sale before we finally headed home.

Spent the evening feeding myself and Charles, roughly alternately.
rmc28: (glowy)
Cut for angst.
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rmc28: (fanf)
[livejournal.com profile] fanf at the keyboard, since [livejournal.com profile] rmc28 is currently offline.

Frederick Charles David Finch was delivered by cesarean section at the Rosie this morning at 09:22. He weighs 4.7kg or 10 lb 6 oz. Mother and baby are fine. They are in the Lady Mary ward, where visiting hours are 14:30-16:30 and 19:00-20:30. There is a limit of two visitors at any time.

The first stage of labour (dilation of the cervix) lasted until about 05:00 this morning, which was a bit slower than we hoped, but all seemed to be going well. The midwife joined us at about midnight with gas & air and a sonicaid baby monitor, both of which were heavily used. Rachel's mum retired at about 03:00, but we kept going together.

At 05:00 the second midwife arrived with student in tow, and we woke Rachel's mum again so that she could witness the big event. There was lots of yelling and pushing, but the baby didn't budge, and by 06:30 Rachel was utterly worn out. The contractions were not coming frequently enough that Rachel could preserve during the time between them any headway made during the contractions.

At 07:00 we gave up on the home birth and took an ambulance to the Rosie. There they tried to examine Rachel and the baby to work out how to do the delivery, but Rachel was in too much pain. Hence Rachel went fairly rapidly to theatre (at about 08:40) where they could administer seriously effective and fast painkillers by spinal injection. This was a bit too much for Tony, so Rachel was accompanied by her mum. They did an exam to decide between an instrumental delivery (forceps or ventouse) or c-section. The baby was too high for instruments, and the head was mal-presented which was perhaps the cause of the problems.

So at about 09:00 they started on the c-section. Tony saw Charles through the theatre door soon after delivery, and after Charles was cleaned and checked, Tony got to cuddle his new son for about 20 minutes while Rachel was being put back together and moved to the recovery room. Rachel came out much happier than when she went in - no more pain :-)

Some family pictures.

Tony is now going to sleep for a bit.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I started feeling like I couldn't quite manage - contractions getting closer together and less time between them to rest and relax. So I called the midwife and she came out again. I consented to an exam which found me only 3cm dilated. I thought it would be more than that. At roughly another 1cm per hour to full dilation then maybe another hour or so for second stage. And it will only get harder. She suggested I try to wait to use the entonox until the last few cm, so I don't have nowhere else to go if everything gets too much.

She helped me get the TENS unit set up but after an hour or so I've given up on it. At least twice it seemed to make me feel worse, and turning it off made me feel better. So Tony helped me remove it and packed it away. So I am back to movement, position and breathing to manage the contractions, and they are now more like 2 minutes long and powerful. I can see why women find epidurals appealing right now, even though I can still hang on to all the reasons why I don't want one.

The midwife assured me she is on duty all night and is happy to come back when I really can't manage with just my own resources any more. I spent a bit of time feeling very down and grumpy and unsure of my ability to get through this. Tony made me cheese on toast and maybe that helped, or maybe as I continue to keep meeting each contraction as it comes I'm gaining in confidence. I am withdrawing into myself and getting more incoherent; Tony is typing this to my dictation because I can either assemble the words or type, but not both.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I rang the community midwife on duty (not my own, but very nice). Contractions are about 5-6 minutes apart, 50-60s, I can talk through them if I want to. Baby moving a lot. She advised me to rest, eat if I can, get waited on as much as possible, and to call them again when I feel I'm not coping so well and want professional help.

Likely to be hours yet. Mum should be here any minute and Tony has woken up. Sue is being a complete star - packing stuff up and leaving space in her room in case we want to use it (a bit more convenient for bathroom etc than the living room, if smaller). I've got a small bowl of cereal and I'm going to put more Mitch Benn on - music I actually have to listen to is really good right now, great for distraction through contractions. I'm feeling a bit dozy, will be intermittently near internet (either my PC or the laptop) to respond to email/LJ comments/irc while things are still going easily but probably not going to update much again until it's all over.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I lasted until about 3:15 lying down in bed before it simply got too painful during contractions. Then I got up, rearranged pillows, put a jumper on, and spent from then until about 6:30 trying to doze sitting up. Now it's getting light I'm fed up of that game (and it really is much easier to cope sitting up properly on the chair downstairs) but I guess I have had some useful rest.

Mum should be here about 9am. I'm letting [livejournal.com profile] fanf sleep, as he was up writing until 3:30am (fair enough - when do you think he's next going to get a chance to write like that?). Currently I'm having another hot chocolate and paracetamol, and I'm going to either spod or watch Life in the Freezer until either it's gone 8am and I can ring my midwife or something changes. Contractions still about 40s long, strong enough to distract me slightly but easily bearable. Also I need to let my housemates know what's happening as they get up.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Went to bed about 10:30 and got lost in a rather good book. The third time I had a period-pain like cramp, I twigged that something might be going on.

I am now downstairs, sitting upright, reading email, sitting on #labour on chiark and timing the contractions to get an idea of how far apart they are so I have something to say to the midwives when I call. Looks like roughly 5-10 minutes apart, rather than the (estimated) 15 minutes apart while I was reading, and definitely easier to cope with while upright than when I was lying down.

The house is cold now I'm not under my duvet. We've put the fire on low in the living room and I'm currently dressed (but in distinctly *not* my nicest clothes).

Hmm, that's two in a row 5 minutes apart. Time to call the delivery unit (between 10pm and 8am they cover first-contact calls for the community midwives).

Edit: The duty midwife says it's too early and the contractions aren't intense enough to do anything. She recommends taking some paracetamol, a hot drink and a hot bath and trying to get some sleep, rather than staying up all night being excited and timing contractions. I'll skip the bath (I had one earlier this evening) but the rest of it sounds sensible, if a bit dull.
rmc28: (glowy)
Yesterday:
TMI )
I thought/hoped things might kick off in the night, and went to bed early just in case. I did wake up at 3am, but it was because I was desperately thirsty with the tail end of the cold. I spent about an hour drinking lots of water, eating a mince pie, doing Hanjie and wandering around the living room a bit. Then I realised I was too cold and went back to my nice warm bed and slept in late this morning.

The GP said the rash could be anything, probably not to worry, could take antihistamine but best not for baby's sake, and took a blood sample to rule out problems with liver function. I had a hot salt-water bath last night which seemed to soothe it but it was worse again this morning. I had a bright idea that it might be the new sheets we put on the bed on Sunday - I didn't wash them between buying them and putting them on, so they have gone in the wash today and the now-washed ones they replaced are back on.

Routine 40-week visit to midwife this afternoon. I want to discuss how she feels about big baby and home birth and be sure she's still happy with me delivering at home. I tried out the new 50p bus fares with university card yesterday and it seems to work ok, also my pelvis is definitely much more tolerant of walking than it has been. So I should be able to meet [livejournal.com profile] fanf and colleagues for lunch and do a couple of minor errands in town before meeting the midwife. Walking to get the bus got me out of a foul impatient mood yesterday afternoon, so I think I should try to do as much gentle walking/getting fresh air as my pelvis can stand.

Three Mitch Benn CDs arrived today, hurray.
rmc28: (glowy)
Braxton Hicks galore but nothing more.

The cold seems to be getting better. I woke up about every two hours in the night to have a drink but feel fairly rested. Here's hoping it's just my body trying to get it out the way before venturing into labour.

Yesterday I developed an itchy rash on arms and legs. I managed to remember to ring my midwife this morning (I was going to yesterday but forgot), who said it didn't sound worrisome but I should probably see the GP. So I rang them and they were on triage because of registering new students - however the GP triaging decided I was worth seeing today. So that's something to get me out of the house today.

I'll be there again to see my midwife tomorrow afternoon, subject to continued non-arrival of baby.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
I developed an annoying cough yesterday, although [livejournal.com profile] fanf makes a good hot toddy. There was an exciting moment on the way to the pub when I had to stop walking because of a stitch-like pain in my side. We wondered if it was the start of real contractions, but on later reflection it was probably just a stitch because I haven't walked that far in ages.

More mucus came out in the night, still unbloody. On Saturday I started having a great many more Braxton Hicks contractions and this is still happening. In general I have a feeling of "things are moving" and I'm not going far from home. I do wonder if the cough is holding things up and am hoping it goes away soon. Occasionally I get an urge to walk around, and pace up and down whatever room I'm in - I may go outside for a short walk later to see if that helps.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
But I did get a reasonable night's sleep.

For people in Cambridge, Tony & I are intending to go the Carlton for Sunday lunch, from about 2ish, anyone wanting to join us would be welcome.
rmc28: (mybaby 20wks)
I just had a show. cut for TMI )

I just double-checked my memory against Google and this could mean labour is imminent, or could mean it is still a week or two away. I'm going to attempt to get some sleep now (I've been in bed most of the afternoon/evening dozing or reading), and will give my midwife a ring at a sane time of day tomorrow, assuming nothing exciting happens in the meantime.
rmc28: (glowy)
Yesterday I got the following done:

Mission 1: local shops
Posted the accumulated pile of letters.
Photocopied marriage certificate to get yet another name change done (they still turn up).
Bought drinks cartons, cereal bars, yoghurts, fruit juice, bendy straws & large tissues from Co-op, clearing a significant number of outstanding 'things we need'.

Interval: rest, lunch, rest

Mission 2: driving-distance shops
Bought tarpaulin, big cotton dust sheet and bucket from B&Q.
Disposed of large bag of charity things to charity shop opposite John Lewis, bought two big baggy tshirts.
Bought mattress protectors, and extra bedding from John Lewis at Tony's suggestion (if nothing else we'll be laundering more often so a bit more slack in our bedding would be useful). Also flannels from home birth list.
Failed to find any slippers I liked in my size (was size 7, appears to be size 9 now with the swelling).
Bought a small pack of 24 disposable newborn nappies from Boots, for an astonishing 99p. I don't really want to know how they achieve that.
Ran into my midwife unexpectedly, had a brief chat.
Looked at change bags in Mothercare, hated them all.

I got back to the car feeling very strange, despite sitting down a lot on the way from Mothercare. After some thought I decided not to go to some planned drinks, or to pregnant-swimming, but instead went home - I didn't want to be stuck somewhere in charge of a car if I got any worse. I think I was just tired - a rest, some water and some biscuits revived me enough to spod from bed, and later on Steph and Cormac came round to chat for a bit and eventually I dragged them to the Carlton for dinner. I was tired again by 10pm though, and went home then while still safe to drive.

Both times I got home I was too tired to empty the boot of all my loot. Cat has taken the car to work this morning, so I won't be able to now until she gets home this evening, but I don't think there's anything I really need in there (unless I go into labour in which case I can call her). We now have everything from the home birth list, with the exception of slippers for me, food in the freezer and food for partners/midwives. I'm not that worried about slippers, and we have food shops very close by, so we're pretty much there. I just need to do things like actually pack the hospital bag, and actually sort out the pile of baby clothes in the moses basket and actually finish the labour playlist.

I'm still tired this morning, though slowly waking up. I have a promised lift to Babies R Us today while Steph & Cormac buy a car, so I can see if I like any of their change bags. As I already have a good change mat and waterproof bag from the Nappy Lady, I don't have to stick to "official" change bags, but it's a place to start. I want something to carry on one shoulder comfortably, with multiple compartments, and ideally with a convenient pocket into which my own cruft (wallet, keys, railcards etc) can go. If I find one I like today, I can pack baby things in it, so we have separate hospital bags for me and baby. In the scenario where we end up in hospital, that makes it easier for someone else to find baby things without throwing my knickers around.
rmc28: (glowy)
Taken from the Home Birth Reference Site, and the NHS book on pregnancy, and edited for personal preferences.

Things we still need to get in bold, cut for length/dullness.

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rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Rachel Coleman

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