Monday, 27 December 2010

Joseph's first Christmas.

Of course he didn't have a clue what was going on but he must have sensed something because he woke up and waited until the girls had opened all their presents before having his first bottle of the day and he didn't complain. He had some lovely gifts, mostly clothes and a few teddys but he also had an inflatable ring which he can sit in and play with toys. And he had a big blue elephant with crinkly ears which he loves. It also has a rattle on it's trunk and other bits and pieces, but Joseph just loves his ears so far.

My last post was 22nd December, on the 23rd I had to take Joseph to the drs because he couldn't keep a single feed down and he had terrible diarhorrea. The dr said he had gastronentritis but it was in the early stages and could either get better or much worse. Well, it took a while to get better, but he didn't really get much worse. I managed to keep him from dehydrating anyway. He hasn't been sick for just over a day now so fingers crossed it's over.

Also since my last post Joseph has had a tooth appear! It's a bottom front one, I thought there was two at first but the other one hasn't quite broken through yet so it doesn't count.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

No Teeth, No Food but a Little More Hair!

My little man is going to be fair like Leila. His hair is growing more now and it's really light. My eldest son didn't grow hair until he was nearly two years old but then it grew really thick and dark. I thought that maybe Joseph would be the same as he was born bald too, but I was wrong.

He's still dribbling for England and chewing his fingers but no sign of any teeth yet. So I thought maybe he was hungry and tried him with a little baby rice but he spat it back at me. I left it a day or two and tried again with some baby breakfast cereal but that didn't go down either. He's not ready yet so I'm going to leave it a week before trying again, or I might just wait and give him finger foods instead, maybe he's not a mushy/puree baby.

One big shock is that he is a thumb sucker! Five kids and this is the first thumb sucker I've had. The three eldest had dummies, Leila had nothing and Joseph refused a dummy so I thought he was going to be like Leila, but he's found his thumb and he loves it. Not sure how I feel about it. I've always found it easy to get my kids to give up their dummies, but I know it's harder to get a child to give up thumb sucking.

3 more sleeps and it's Joseph's first Christmas. Not one he'll remember but I will. Lucy and Leila are going to be real excited this year when they see that Santa has been, I can't wait to see their faces on Christmas morning.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

17 weeks/4months

Joseph almost slept through the night last night. He went to sleep around 8pm, I gave him a dream feed at 11pm and he didn't wake until 5am. I usually get up around 6am anyway. If he continues to do this (fingers tightly crossed because I'm fed up of getting up at 3am) then I might start dropping his dream feed. I'll probably have weaned him before then though.

I think he may be teething. He's constantly dribbling and chewing on his fingers, blanket or muslin. If he gets distressed it usually a little Dentinox rubbed in his gums that settles him. Leila cut her first tooth at 4 months so it won't be a surprise. Although I should have learnt by now that all kids are different and you can't make comparisons.

I was talking with Graham today and we decided that it was quite obvious which kids took after who, my eldest son takes after me, he has my mum's colouring and even looks like my brothers. So although he doesn't look like me he definately has the majority of my genes. My eldest daughter looks like me but has her dad's eyes and is very like him in her personality. Considering he left us when she was really young it has to be in the genes (score one for the nature side of the nurture/nature debate)
Lucy looks like me and acts like me, she has my temperament and everyone who knew me as a child says she is like me all over again. The  difference is her hair, it's definately from her daddy's side and so are her blue eyes. Leila is a trickier one, she's got my hair and eyes, but her personality is much more like her daddy's. So what of Joseph? We are split on this because he seems to change all the time. He looked just like his daddy at one point but now people say he looks like Leila. As for his personality, we have a long wait on that!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Weeks 15 and 16

My poor little man has been ill again. Last week there was a bug going around the whole family, Leila was off nursery all week, Lucy only went to school one day, even the grown-ups had poorly days. It was a miserable week. Then on Sunday Joseph got sick. I took the girls back to school on Monday and tried to get an appointment with the dr for Joe. forty minutes on the phone until I got through and all appointments were gone. They said the dr would call back but I had to call again to remind them as it was approaching lunch time and I'd still not had a call. The dr did call and told me to take him up during lunch time (the surgery closes for an hour) It was good because I didn't have to wait to be seen, there was no-one else there.
Joseph got penicillin for his chest, iboprofen for his temperature and kaolin for his upset tum. He's been taking them all like a trouper and now almost 4 days later he is looking much better.

He's holding himself up really well now, it won't be long before he can sit alone. I've bought him a play ring to sit in for Christmas. I'd love to use it now, but I have to keep it for a few more weeks.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Weeks 13 and 14

Joseph has reached that stage now where he is utter cuteness but also makes you feel sad because you know those early baby days are gone forever, and I know I'll never have any more. When I start to feel low about this I just think of the wonderful things yet to come, sitting, crawling, toddling, his first words. Even as he leaves babyhood behind I get to experience playing games with him, his first day at school, and so much more for so many years to come. One of the things I am looking forward to is seeing some hair on his head.

Joseph's latest talent is laughing, he has the cutest most infectious laugh, absolutely adorable.

Next week it's his second immunisations. I should have took him this week but we've had a bug going around and I think it's better for him to be well before he has them.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Weeks 11 and 12

Last week was half term and I barely got five minutes to myself. It was nice not to have to rush around in the morning though and I got to see my girls lots.
Joseph was really poorly, he had a cold which wouldn't shift and a nasty cough and started being sick a lot. He was also off his food. So I took him to the dr and she said his chest was clear but he did have an ear infection, so she prescribed penicillin. I gave it to him for three days but he was sick every time so I stopped. He seems much better now though, but I have to see the health visitor tomorrow so I will mention it to her.

Joseph is so lovely now, he's always smiling and coo-ing. The only time he gets miserable is when he's tired and he generally has to have a cry before he will go to sleep. (Apart from when he wakes during the night.) We still don't have any type of routine but I think one is starting to develop now. He is also liking his bath more.

So now he is 12 weeks old, but not 3 months.... time to start thinking in months now!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Week 10

This week we moved on to hungry baby milk and it seems to be working so far. Joseph is now taking one less bottle a day and going longer inbetween feeds. I've also changed his bottle teats for a bigger size which seems to have improved his wind problems. He's still not sleeping through the night though, but I don't really expect him to. It is amazing how many others expect him to though, I'm always being asked if he sleeps through yet, and get sad looks when I say no. If I was younger and inexperienced I'd probably be worrying there was something wrong. There is something special about those middle of the night quiet feeds with just me and my little man, I'll be quite sad when they stop.

Today we went to a playgroup with my friend and her baby. I know our babies are a bit too young but it's still nice to get out of the house and mingle with other mum's. They do have a nice baby area with lots of pillows and baby toys, it won't be long before Joseph will be enjoying himself there.

I was supposed to have had Joseph weighed this week but Leila had an upset tum and was off nursery. I didn't really want to risk spreading anything amongst little babies, so we kept away to be on the safe side.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

week 9

We've had a couple of moody days with Joseph this last week and couple of really good days, but nothing really special or different to report so today I want to talk about Joseph's sisters.
It's been obvious from the start that Leila (3yrs) is jealous of Joseph. She's always been really close to me and now I'm spending so much time with Joseph she's feeling left out. On the positive side she does really love Joseph and doesn't try to harm him. She doesn't tell me to put him down but she will sit really close to me while I have him and is constantly looking for reassurance that I still love her too. It could be a lot worse, but it's something I expected and I think we are both dealing quite well. The rest of the family, however, are not so tolerant. She's constantly being told to leave mummy and Joseph alone, sometimes quite angrily. I'm worried that my hard work at being tolerant will be destroyed if no-one backs me up, but we have confliction ideas as they think I should be persuading her to be less clingy. She's not that clingy, she goes to nursery every day without any problems.

Lucy is completely different. She has barely taken any notice of Joseph since he was born. If he cries then Leila will run to him but Lucy doesn't even seem to hear. She hasn't played with him, or talked to him, she's just not interested at all. But, the other day I let Leila hold Joseph's bottle for a while and suddenly Lucy wanted a turn too. I think that was probably more to do with her sibling rivalry with Leila that her wanting anything to do with Joseph. Maybe she will take more notice of him when he's older?

Cassie has surprised me the most. She was barely interested in Lucy and Leila as babies but with Joseph she has been a little different. She's picked him up for cuddles and even says nice things about him. (She used to say some horrible things about her little sisters) I think she's started to mature a little.

Craige is Craige, what more can I say.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Week 8, Almost Two Months

Stop, slow down, time is flying by so fast and Joseph is growing by the minute. He's my last baby don't ya know, I want to keep him a baby for as long as I can but at this rate if I blink he'll be at school.

Today Joseph had his 8 week check up and first immunisations. First he was weighed and measured and the little porker came in at 14lb 8oz which put him on the 91st percentile. Not much of a surprise, both Lucy and Leila were on the 91st percentile, and they were on the same line for length. Joseph, however, is a bit of a shortie, he only reaches the 50th percentile for length. So now I have to take him to be weighed every fortnight to make sure he's not gaining too much.

He was a good boy for his immunisations, the first he managed a little whimper, the second he did cry but not for long. Just four weeks and we have to do it again but I swear it's more painful for me to watch.

He's becoming more aware now, he loves to sit in his bouncy cradle and watch the lights on the playbar. His little hands are starting to reach out for things too. He's still not sleeping much but at least he is sleeping at night more than in the day. I've started to keep a record of when he sleeps and eats so I can begin working on a routine for him.

We are also getting a few gurgles from him now along with the smiles. He's becoming a real little person.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

7 weeks and smiling

Yes, Joseph is now smiling, he is so cute. Graham has taken a photo but on his phone, we'll have to try and get a good one on the camera. It's tricky though, he'll smile at you while you talk to him but as soon as you hold up a camera or phone he's more interested in looking at that and stops smiling!

We took him for another hip scan yesterday and he got the all clear. I just knew he'd be ok, I was shocked they thought there was a problem in the first place.

There is a pattern forming now, not quite a routine but hopefully the basis of one. Once Leila is full time at nursery (next week) I might start making life around him more of a routine and see how he fits in.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

6 weeks old

Time is going by so quickly and Joseph is growing so big already. I had him weighed at baby clinic last week and he was nearly 12lb. I've had to start buying bigger nappies and I've already started putting aside clothes that no longer fit him. Today I sorted out some clothes that are a size bigger as I think he'll be wearing them very soon. So he may have been smaller than my girls at birth but he's catching up now.

He continues to be greedy but I think he's slowing down a little. I'm getting used to his feeding habits and know when to give him a little more or a little less. As he likes feeding regularly I've reduced the amount I give him at each feed, but give in to him when he wants feeding. It's all new to me and I've worried constantly about how much I'm giving him. I never worried at all with the girls who were exclusively breast fed. Sometimes it seemed like they were constantly feeding but I never worried they were having too much.

I'm still waiting for that first real smile. He looks gorgeous when he gives a windy smile so I'm really getting impatient to see his face light up and him smile just for me. He is taking more notice of things around him. He follows with his eyes and even turns his head to sounds. He also likes a bit of kicking and punching.

His sleeping patterns are getting worse not better. He is sleeping a little (very little) bit longer at night, but he only cat naps for about 10 minutes at a time during the day. I'm hoping things will change once Leila is at nursery full time. With the girls away he should get a little more peace. I don't think I realised before just how noisy the girls were.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Five Weeks Old

Remember that hip scan last week that I was really not worried about? Well, it turns out that Joseph has an immature hip and we have to go back for another scan on 28th September. Fingers crossed it's ok by then, but if there is a problem at least it will be dealt with early.

Joseph has now almost entirely swapped from breast to bottle. The guilty feelings are slipping away but it's not the easy option. Getting up in the middle of the night and making bottles while he screams his head off is not nice at all. With the girls it was a quick pull into the bed and I didn't even have to be properly awake for them to get their fill and go back to sleep. He does sleep for slightly longer between feeds though. He's a greedy baby so I still offer him the breast inbetween bottles occasionally, but he's now showing a preference for the bottles and will get fussy nursing. I knew it would happen, I expected him to completely changed to bottles by now so why does it feel so wrong?

Monday, 6 September 2010

Four Weeks

Joseph looks so big already! The health visitor weighed him last Friday and he was 9lb 15 oz, he'd put on almost a lb in just one week. It's not surprising how greedy he is though. I've been increasing his bottles as he seems much more settled on them, and now he has four a day with breast feeds inbetween. I know that at this stage if it wasn't for the bottles I'd be nursing him almost constantly, I feel glad I'm missing that but still feeling guilty at not exclusively breast feeding for longer. One of the reasons for not exclusively breast feeding was so that his daddy could do feeds and bond more with him, but the novelty of that soon wore off, typical really.

Physically I'm feeling much better. I'm still a little bruised and sore. The wound is fine so long as I don't sit in one position too long, then it sort of sticks to itself and hurts when I move. The soreness is internal but it comes and goes, I'm not sure if it's normal but it's still only 4 weeks and It can take 6 or longer to recover properly.

Emotionally I'm up and down which is to be expected. The more sleep I get the better I can cope with things, and at the moment sleep is something I'm really lacking so I'm pretty moody most of the time. I'm feeling really down about the birth, I just can't get over it. I miss being pregnant and I wanted to feel my labour and birth, I feel as though I've really missed out. I know that the most important thing is that Joseph is here safe and well but it doesn't help much really.

Lucy is back at school now and Graham is helping out by taking her and picking her up, and it's much easier with just Leila around. Leila should be starting nursery next week, we find out on Wednesday. I'm going to miss her so much.

Tomorrow we have to take Joseph back to the hospital for a scan on his hips. This is a normal procedure for a breach baby so I'm not worried. He didn't turn breach until the last minute anyway so I'm pretty sure his hips are going to be just fine.

Monday, 30 August 2010

3 Weeks Old

The last couple of days have been really difficult. I've not had much sleep - I wasn't worried about that because I've not had much sleep for years now so I figured I would be used to it, but combined with the hormones and not having much time to myself, it's made me a little tetchy. I'm finding it so hard to look after all three of my little ones, the girls seem to be playing up more than ever before and Joseph is just so time consuming I don't know whether I'm coming or going. I know things will improve, Lucy goes back to school in a few days and Leila starts nursery in a couple of weeks so it will be a lot quieter at home. I know the girls are bored and that's why they are playing me up, normally I'd have time to give them, I'd find them activities to do or take them out for the day, but it's so much harder with a little baby demanding my attention every ten mintues or less. I need help and although Graham has been great I can see the novelty wearing off already and he's doing his usual disappearing act whenever he can. Also, he's still staying up really late and not getting up until late morning, which may not seem all that bad but considering I'm getting up around 5am I feel as though I'm having to deal with so much on my own for so long. I just keep telling myself that if he was working I wouldn't get any help so I just have to get on with it. It still eats away at me though knowing he's sleeping upstairs while I'm trying to do everything and getting nowhere downstairs.

The combined feeding is going well. I wouldn't advise anyone to introduce formula this early but as I wanted to swap from breast feeding to formula anyway I was ok with losing my milk if that had happened. I started introducing a night time bottle when he was just one week old. He started sleeping a little better at night. Then at two weeks I added a lunch time bottle, this one was to give me a little break after Graham got up, he feeds him while I get around to showering, eating and such like necessities which I've not already managed even though I've been up around 6 hours already. Now, I've started adding a bottle in the morning, this one is to make it easier to get the girls ready for school, it could be tricky getting ready if he's demanding bf when I have so much to do and have to go out, at least with a bottle he will be fed at a particular time and I don't have to worry about him being hungry. Of course he's bound to have exploding nappies or such like just as we are about to leave the house. In between bottle he is still breast fed on demand. At present that is from around 2pm to 10pm and 2am to 7am. So far so good, it seems to be working. I'm thinking now that it would be nice to be able to keep in a couple of breast feeds rather than exclusively bottle feeding, but I don't know if that will work, especially as I've gone through this so quickly. Only time will tell.

I think the bottle feeding is also adding to my hormonal guilt trip, I feel as though I'm letting him down by not exclusively breast feeding and feel guilty that I can actually enjoy a little space when he's being fed by his dad.

I also feel low about the birth. I know it went well but the recovery is getting me down, I'm fed up of not feeling myself and being able to do much. It seems like a long time, even though it's still only 3 weeks. I feel sad that I missed out on the whole labour and birth, this is my last ever baby and I was really looking forward to the delivery. I know it's really painful but it's something I've always taken in my stride. I love the anticipation of not knowing when it's going to start, and the build up to labour as the excitement rises. Then the actual birth itself, always and completely amazing experience and worth all the pain. Somehow, lying on a table and feeling nothing at all doesn't compare. And the pain afterwards is so much worse, I really don't understand women who prefer sections. And I'm really sad that my last ever baby had to be delivered this way. I never even got to use my TENS.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

2 weeks old

Joseph is now 2 weeks old and today Lucy celebrated her 5th birthday. What have I done? I'm going to have such expensive summers from now on, there's Leila's birthday 27th July, Joseph's 9th August and Lucy's 24th August, 3 birthdays in 4 weeks!!! And my eldest daughter's birthday is in June too.

Little Joseph is doing fine, his jaundice has almost gone, fingers crossed it will be gone completely when the midwife comes on Friday. He's going through a bit of a growth spurt at the moment seeing as he is hungry all the time. At least he's sleeping a little better at night. He looks so tiny in his crib, and I thought his crib looked tiny before he arrived. You forget how small they are when they are born.

I'm healing more each day but still not completely recovered. I hate not feeling myself and not being able to do things still, (like lifting and stretching) I get really frustrated and tearful, although that's probably down to hormones as well.

The last couple of days I've really missed being pregnant, crazy I know, but I'm sad because I know I will never be pregnant again. I was so looking forward to giving birth and even though the section wasn't a bad experience I can't help feeling I've missed out. I missed the excitement of going into labour and giving birth, I keep telling myself that the safety of my baby and myself is most important, and I've even tried to convince myself that it was likely to have been a problematic birth with my fibroids even if he hadn't been breach. But I still feel sad. I guess I'll just have to get over it, Joseph is here now and that's what is important.

Monday, 16 August 2010

He's Here!

My little man has arrived. Joseph Frederick Sweet was born on 9th August 2010 by elective caesarean section at 9.50am. He was 8lb 10oz and is absolutely adorable.

I went to the hospital at 7.30am on the Monday morning where I was taken to a room with two other ladies booked in for sections. We were given the usual obs. blood pressure, urine test etc and gowned up ready for our operations. Then the midwife went off to find out which one of us was first. She came back and said me. I was happy that it was going to be sooner than later but also completely terrified. So we went down to the theatre and I went in while Graham was being gowned. I started to panic straight away, operating theatres are scary places and it seemed very crowded with staff. They got me to sit on an incredibly small operating table and put my feet on the chair ready for the spinal block. Then Graham came in and I was so relieved to see him I started crying. I was soon calm though and the the block was administered. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't pleasant either and looking back it was the worst part of the operation. I was then quickly manouvered onto the bed in lying position before the anaesthetic started to work. The anaesthetist kept spraying me with a freezing cold spray at intervals but soon I couldn't feel a thing. Everything happened quickly then. A screen was put up across my chest and the surgeons began their work. The aneathetist kept reassuring me over my shoulder and Graham was there holding my hand and talking to me. I couldn't feel a thing, not even a tugging which I'd been told to expect.

I could hear the surgeons talking and they became excited when they could see my baby, it was lovely that even though they must perform hundreds of such operations that they still got excited when baby was about to be born. As soon as he was out they popped him up over the screen to show him to us and I'll never forget that first glimpse of my gorgeous baby. Graham went over to cut the cord and came back beaming. Then I got to see Joseph close up and gave him a kiss and a stroke before he was whisked off to recovery and I waited to be stitched back together.

During this time the anaethetist talked to me as Graham had gone with Joseph. He told me that the operation had taken a little longer due to my fibroids getting in the way. Apparently one was quite big and covering my cervix which may have caused problems had I not had a section. My midwife had been correct all along. I guess I'm lucky Joseph decided to turn around. I will be speaking with my GP at my 6 week check up about what I should do about my fibroids.

When they'd stitched me up and administered painkilling injections into my stomach they sent me to recovery to be re-united with Graham and our new baby.  I nursed Joseph and spent some time getting to know him. It's not easy when you can't move from the chest down but it's better than having a general anaesthetic and having to 'come round'

It seemed no time at all that we were moved up onto the ward and Graham went off to fetch the girls to come and meet their new baby brother.

So that's it. I was scared but the operation was lovely, very relaxing and just as special as giving birth any other way. I did miss the whole labour thing, and it was quite novel giving birth painlessly. However, given the choice, I'd still go for a vaginal birth. The last week has been awful. Maybe I'm a wimp but I've found the pain I've suffered since the birth almost unbearable. My stomach is one big purple bruise and I feel like my insides are screaming everytime I move. I've hated not being able to move much and getting on with stuff. Sleeping is still an issue, not just because of Joseph, but because it's impossible to get comfortable.

I can feel improvement every day though, and just one week on I'm feeling more mobile and can even get up from sitting down without feeling like I want to howl in pain. Luckily I've had no problems with my wound, it's healing nicely and has barely felt sore. I've had lots of help from Graham and the big kids helped a fair bit during the first few days too. I suppose a week or two of pain isn't much to bear, but I'd rather have a few hours of intense labour and bit of soreness any day.

Now, how about some photo's? I've yet to upload my camera photo's which I'm hoping will be better quality but these were taken on mobile phones so you can get a quick pic.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Stop Start Labour Pains

I was rudely awoken at 4.15 am with a really strong contraction, and had around 5 more before getting up at 6am. Then as soon as I was up they stopped. The same thing happened when I was having Lucy, but they started again at lunchtime and she was born at 8pm. No such luck this time though. They started again around 7.30am and have been going all day but not getting any stronger or closer together. It's getting me down now, I just wish they would progress or go away. I've only got a few days left anyway, but I'll go mad if this continues all the time.

He's still breech, I can feel him kicking me in my 'bits'. In fact it feels quite obvious that he doesn't want to come out yet. But still the pains continue. Positive thinking isn't working, what's the point of me thinking this is my bodies way of preparing me for a quick and easy labour when I'm having a section anyway?

ouch ouch ouch here we go again

phew, they are lasting well over a minute, but staying around 20 minutes apart!

Oh well, time for some more paracetamol and maybe I will put my TENS on later and get some use out of it.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Booked in For ELCS Next Monday

I went back to the hospital today, had another scan and found out that my little man is now breach.

The consultant gave me 3 choices;

Deliver breach, which he advised against. I really don't think with all my other problems that I could cope with a breach delivery so I was inclined to agree with him. Maybe if I'd been 20 yrs younger :-(

Have baby turned, which he advised against. Again, something I'm not sure I could cope with and with the success rate being so minimal I think the risks outweigh them, for me anyway. :-(

Have an elective section, the safest option for both me and baby.

So I'm booked in for a section on Monday, baby's due date. He wanted to do it sooner but couldn't fit me in. If I go into labour or my waters break before then I have to go straight in.

I was really upset at first. I had my first baby by emergency section and it was a terrible experience, I didn't bond with him for ages, and had loads of problems after the birth. I know that this time it will be different as it's elective and I have time to prepare. I also realise it's for the best, I really don't want to take any risks. So I have to put my disappointment aside and think of the positives.

So this time next week I will be with my little man, whichever way he arrives it doesn't really matter.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Getting Fed Up Now

Ok, this pregnancy has gone really fast and I was quite happy to go to full term, but now suddenly I feel like I've had enough. I still love my huge huge bump and feeling Joseph wriggling about inside, and I know I'll miss that when he's out, but I'm just fed up now and want to get on with it and meet my little man.

It might be because of the problems I've experienced, I'm really fed up of going to the hospital and now we are on the 'final countdown' it seems I'm there even more than ever (two appointments this week and the next booked for Monday.)

It might be because I'm fed up of feeling tired and uncomfortable and just want my body back so I can see my feet again, bend down, pick up the girls etc etc.

It might be because I have suddenly developed this incredible fear that something is going to be wrong, or go wrong and I'm so scared I just want it over and safely.

All pretty typical for someone that's over 38 weeks pregnant.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Another Appointment

I was back at the hospital today to see my consultant. I don't have an infection so he wants to make sure it's not diabeties. I have to go back to the hospital first thing in the morning (before eating or drinking) for a blood sugar test. If I do have diabeties then he wants to induce me straight away, but if not he said he doesn't want me to go over my due date, so little man Joseph will definately be here within 14 days !!!

Tomorrow is Leila's third birthday, I'm a bit fed up that I have to leave her to go to the hospital but  as it's only a blood test I'm hoping I won't be long. She is having a playhouse for the garden so fingers crossed for some sunshine tomorrow. We are not having a party but she is having a few little friends over for lunch and birthday cake. I can't wait to see my girls in their new dresses too.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Growth Scan and other things

First a catch up! Joseph has been kicking and moving like a trouper since my scare last week, little tinker just had a couple of days off but now he's back to his footballing ways.

Also, my rented TENS machine arrived. I've give it the once over so I'm familiar with it. It's a bit different to ones I've used before but no more complicated. This time I've got a MamaTENS, it's a lot smaller too which is nice, just hope I don't lose it.

As I said last week the midwife sent me for a growth scan and that's where I've been today. You don't get to see much at this stage (37 weeks) as everything is so big. We did see his head and his leg, and the sonographer showed us his heart, kidneys and bladder. All was well and he was measuring about 7lb 6oz which is pretty big! Then the sonographer checked the placenta which was fine and the liquor, which was not fine as there was too much. So I was sent to see a consultant at the clinic.

Clinic procedure is to first check blood pressure (fine) and urine which had protein in. It was getting late and all the drs had left so I was sent to triage to be seen. It's becoming like a second home to me now.

I had to have blood tests and I have an appointment to go back on Monday. They are not sure what's wrong but they suspected either gestational diabetes (too late to test me now) or an infection. I came home very late and feeling very deflated again. I was so looking forward to seeing Joseph again but every time I have an appointment there seems like there is something new to worry about.

I guess it would be best if he came out sooner rather than later as it looks like my body is about to give up. But I've got this far so surely I'm not that bad.

FollowFriday on two-become-four

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Ante Natal Blues

Had my 36 week check up today. First problem occured when they came to measure baby. My chart is all over the place, first he was big, then he didn't grow, then he caught up, then 2 weeks ago he was measuring 36 weeks and now this week he's only measuring 33 weeks. The midwife explained that it's an unreliable way of measuring (fundal height) but because of the differences she's sending me for a growth scan.

Then she asked about movements and I had to tell her there had been a reduction. In fact yesterday I got worried when he didn't move all day, then around 3pm I had a glass of really cold water and he rewarded me with a few kicks. It was the same today, he didn't kick me or move all night and this morning I felt a little movement but then nothing up until my appointment which was at 2pm. So midwife sent me off to triage for monitoring. No soon as I was hooked up to the machine he went bonkers and barely stopped moving, he kicked the monitor off twice! I swear all babies need to get them going is to be hooked up to a monitor. Of course when I got home he didn't move again until just now, he's having a little jiggle. They said at the hospital that unless he starts moving more regular then I'll have to go in for daily monitoring. No thanks, move little man, move, move move.

I'm just waiting for my TENS to arrive and the school term to end then he's very welcome to come out and meet us.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Too Old To Breastfeed

Ok, I've been debating whether or not to post this but it's something that has been on my mind since I first got pregnant. I've had loads of time to think about it and I've made up my mind what to do but I thought maybe it was time to share my feelings, because you always feel better when you share.

I've breastfed all my kids, no1 not for long because I had loads of problems and when I got mastitis on top of already having a cyst I just gave up, the pain was too much. My three girls have all been breastfed until 6 months old. The last two exclusively because that's how it's done now, you don't start giving anything else until then you know!

My last little girl wouldn't take to the bottle so I carried on breastfeeding her. Soon it became just a way of life and the feeding continued past her first birthday. After about 18 months the nursing (As it was no longer feeding really) continued but just for sleep times and first thing in the morning. I was sure we'd be finished by two years but no we carried on, she depended on it like other babies depend on their dummies or bottles, and to be honest I didn't mind. I felt a real bond with her, one I didn't especially want to hurry to break. Then I got pregnant and I thought she'd be put off my milk as I believe it tastes different, but she wasn't. By this time we were nursing at bedtime only but it carried on and it didn't look like I was ever going to be able to stop. Finally I decided I'd had enough and I was prepared to stop I just had to convince her. It was April and we had a little holiday planned. During the week we were away she didn't ask to be nursed once and went to sleep unaided. When we got home she wanted to get back into her routine but I told her no. We had a few tears the first night and again the second but that was it. She's been fine ever since.

Now, I believe this baby deserves the best start in life just like all the others so I am going to breast feed, but for a few weeks maximum. Then I'm switching to formula. It feels like a dirty confession. Not because I have anything against formula feeding mum's, I know that breastfeeding isn't for everyone, and everyone has a right to feed their baby in whatever way they wish. But, because I'm a breastfeeder, I'm experienced, I can do it with ease and apart from first son have never had any problems. So why should I just give up on this one?

Honestly, I think I'm too old. There I've said it. I'm 44, going on 45 this year, I'm too old to be having babies really. To have to breastfeed in public, no matter how discreet I can be, is an idea that is mortifying me, and I know from experience that unless I decided not to leave the house for 6 months it would be something that I would have to face. So, you may say, why not express? Well, that's a good one, I've tried with all my babies to express but it's something I've never gotten the hang of. Plus, I think it's darned hard work just trying to fit in expressing time when you already have a big family and a newborn to look after. No thanks, not for me.

Also, I still have my two eldest living with me and they don't like me breastfeeding. Up until now I've just told them to deal with it, but it's always been a bit of a nightmare. I just don't think I can deal with it this time. I don't want to hide away, I don't want to do it in public, I do want what's best for my baby. So the best I can come up with is a few weeks of nursing then on to the formula.

Monday, 5 July 2010

35 days to go!

Today I am exactly 35 weeks.
I think I'm prepared, well almost. I've decided that today it's time to get Joseph's bedding sorted out. I'm using a moses basket that I had for Lucy but I have a new rocking crib too. All the baby clothes are washed and now I'm in that panic stage, do I have enough? I have loads of babygro's from tiny baby to 3-6 months size. Covered in every event :-) I don't have many outfits but then I don't usually bother until baby is at least few weeks old. Especially in the summer, babygro's and bodysuits will do fine. It's going to be weird buying boys clothes, it's been 22 years since my last son was born!

My hospital bag is packed. I travel light, just the bear essentials. I post on a forum and I can't believe the size of some of the lists people have posted. I'm planning on a one night stay (depending on time of arrival). If it's any longer then Graham will have to come home and fetch more stuff. I have one medium sized bag and won't even take my handbag, there is a large pocket I can fit my purse and phone in. I will pop in some snacks this time though, I've not done that before and I know you can hungry waiting for the hospital to feed you.

Every day now I'm getting twinges, the braxton hicks get pretty strong at times, but I'm old hand at this to know when it's the real thing or not. I'm quite excited about the labour and birth, it's something I love doing. Oh, I know it hurts but it's one of those things you have to endure because the results are just so amazing. I don't mind pain when it has a purpose. I'm just waiting now for my TENS to arrive, it will all seem so imminant then.

Will Joseph arrive early like his sister Lucy (38 weeks) or on time like his sister's Leila and Cassie-Ann....or because he's a boy maybe he will be late like his big brother Craig? I have a feeling he will be early....who knows? Que sera sera

I just know I can't wait to meet him now :-)

Friday, 2 July 2010

Introducing Baby Number Five

Hi there, I'm currently 34 weeks and 4 days pregnant with baby number five and thought it was time I gave him his own blog. Well, it won't just be him I write about because I do actually have four other children as well :-)

I had two of my children in my 20s then I had a little break of 16 years before having baby number three with a new partner. Soon after came baby number four and that's where I was planning to stay. After all, time was catching up with me and I knew too well of the risks of pregnancy when your older. BUT, one day I said my partner, if we got the girls (baby no3 and 4) a bunk bed we'd be able to fit another bed in there.....ooops, I was pregnant within a month!!!

Let me introduce my 'babies' to you.
First along was my son Craig, now 22 yrs
Second was my daughter Cassie-Ann now 21 yrs
Third was my daughter Lucy Rose now 4 yrs
Fourth was my daughter Leila Jean now 2 yrs
Five is another boy and we are going to call him Joseph Frederick, he's due on 9th August, 38 days from now.

So, as I said I'm over 34 weeks now and time seems to have flown by. I found out I was pregnant just before Christmas. I'd been decorating the living room all week and it was wearing me out. I couldn't understand why I had no energy. Then at the end of the week I realised I'd been so busy I'd missed the non arrival of my period and I was 5 days late. As I'm never late I sent the other half out to get a test and it was positive. We kept it quiet until after Christmas but soon had to start telling as I started showing pretty early on, about 11 weeks! That's what happens when you have loads of kids your body just kind of gives up, saying here we go again and pop goes the belly.

Fist concerns about the pregnancy begin when I had the triple blood test at 12 weeks. It came back high and we went to the hospital to talk about further testing. We decided against it as we wouldn't terminate anyway.

Everything then went smoothly up to my 20 week scan. With my girls I'd had a fraughtful first trimester with loads of bleeding, but this one was plain sailing, I didn't even have morning sickness. Then at 20 weeks baby looked absolutely fine and we were told he was a boy. Then they spotted a fibroid rather close to my cervix and said it may cause problems. The sonographer fetched someone else to look who then spotted that my cervix was funneling (opening and closing at the top) The consultant told me that I was at risk of miscarriage at any time. I came out feeling really distressed.

The next day I woke up feeling really ill and ended up back at the hospital. It turned out I'd got a UTI and I was given anti-biotics. I was offered a cervical stitch because of the funneling but I declined as I thought the risk of the stitch was higher than my risk of miscarriage. Then even though I was really ill for a few days I managed to regain my positivity.

I didn't miscarry (obviously or I wouldn't be writing this now) and things seem to carry on quite smoothly. At 28 weeks I was taken off high risk at the hospital which meant I could have my ante natal care with my local mw at the end of my street. At 31 weeks the mw was concerned that baby hadn't grown since 28 weeks so she had me back two weeks later to check. He was fine, he'd caught up again, but then she spotted my fibroid had grown so sent me to the hospital again. The consultant was very dismissive and said it was unlikely the fibroid had been felt by the mw and it was pointless scanning because they wouldn't find anything. So now I just have to wait and see what happens at the birth.

And there we have it, a long first post but it's been a long time. Soon I will be meeting my little man and I want to share the journey.