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.