The arrival of Baby T

21:23

Happy new year everyone - belated, I realise since it's now February, but I've rather had my hands full! Our beautiful daughter arrived safely on New Year's Eve, weighing a very respectable 7lbs 5oz and so far, it's been a whirlwind. I've decided not to share photos of her, or her name, on social media, but her first name starts with an R so throughout my blog, I'll be calling her Little R. In this post, I will share the birth and her first few days.

The birth experience
Our baby was due on December 29, and there were no signs she was on her way, so we went to a friends for a takeaway and yes, I had a hot curry, and yes, I am a total cliche! At 3am on December 30 I woke up with stomach ache. I decided not to wake up my husband, in case it was a false alarm, but by 5:30am the cramps were coming regularly so I thought Mark had better know. We came downstairs and had breakfast, we watched Kung Fu Panda 2 (why?!) and I started using my hired tens machine. By 10am, my contractions were every 4 minutes and lasting for a minute. By this point, sitting down was just too painful, which I hadn't factored in when it came to getting to the hospital - thankfully, it's only a 15 minute drive.

For those who have read some of my other posts, you'll know that I suffer from migraines and often a side effect I have is fainting. By the time I'd got to the hospital, my contractions were coming every minute and lasting over a minute, so I wasn't having any 'recovery' time in between. I'd started passing out when I was having a contraction, so I was taken to a delivery suite, they started giving me fluids to help my low blood pressure and arranged for me to have an epidural. Unfortunately, I had to wait another 4 hours for an anaesthetist and being allergic to morphine, it meant I had to grit my teeth on paracetamol!

By 3pm(ish) the Anesthetist arrived, which meant I had to sit while they administered the epidural. This was the worst moment of the entire labour, including delivery, as sitting made the pain ten times worse and I only managed it because my husband grabbed me and plonked me on my butt while two midwives held me still! I'm most proud that I didn't swear at all during labour. And then about an hour later I was eating a jacket potato. Yep, like magic!

I hadn't planned on having an epidural as I was concerned it would make my labour longer that it needed to be, or that I wouldn't be able to feel what was happening and it would increase the risk of needing assistance during delivery. It's funny the things that you worry about - my whole concern was about making sure I could leave the hospital as soon as possible after my baby was born, as I couldn't bear the idea of being away from my husband with this tiny new baby. As it turned out, this choice was taken away from me.

Her first day
By 10pm, I was ready to start pushing and by 00:27 on New Year's Eve, she was here. No assistance required, the epidural was fantastic, I was still able to feel everything that was going on, I could even move around, it was no problem! Little R had a full head of dark hair, just like mine when I was born.

We were both checked over and then we were put in a room rather than on the ward. It was by far the most surreal experience of my life - my beautiful baby was finally here, and after being moved out of the labour suite, my husband was asked to go home (at 3am) and then my baby was taken away and admitted into the Special Care Baby Unit. It was, quite honestly, horrific.

For a couple of hours, various consultants, midwives and nurses were coming in and out of my room to tell me what was happening. They suspected she had an infection and she wasn't maintaining her oxygen levels. She needed to be in an incubator with oxygen and they started her on a course of antibiotics. Then they needed to do a lumbar puncture and take some fluid from her spine to check for meningitis. She was started on a secondary antibiotic. When my husband was allowed back in at 9am, I'm sure I looked like a crazed beast!

Little R and I were in the hospital for seven days and they were the longest seven days of my life. Thankfully, despite her only being in the incubator for three days, I still managed to feed her, but that alone brought its own problems...

Coming home
Feeding was beyond agony. It got to the point where I was crying every time she latched on. Breastfeeding IS NOT MEANT TO HURT. Every Pediatrician, Midwife and Special Care Nurse had commented on her tongue tie, but as it looked like she was feeding OK, it wasn't deemed severe enough to be referred to have it evaluated. It was excruciating. In the meantime, she did not sleep and she didn't really poop, and then she started losing weight: it's so obvious now I look back that something else was wrong.

Back in hospital
Five days after being discharged from hospital, I was home alone while Mark registered Little R's birth. I had just fed her, changed her nappy, and left her in her cot while I went to wash my hands. When I came back she, and her bedding, were covered in blood. She had vomited blood. I grabbed my mobile and dialled 999. A quick response unit arrived, followed by an ambulance and we were blue-lighted to the hospital (just as Mark arrived back at the house!)

After another day in the hospital, the doctors agreed that the blood had probably come from me, rather than it being anything to do with the antibiotics she'd had. The midwife saw us a few days later and Little R had lost more weight and after speaking to a Pediatrician at the hospital, the midwife wanted us to go back in. And that was it, I'd had enough! We found a private consultant and took her for her tongue tie to be assessed. She was 90% tongue tied. 90%! The consultant snipped it then and there and a week later, it was totally healed.

6 weeks today
Since all of that drama is over, I feel like we are finally getting to enjoy our beautiful baby. At her last weigh-in she was a healthy 8lbs 7oz. She smiled for the first time today too and every day I'm thankful that she's here, happy and healthy, even if I'm now horrifically over-protective.



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