So Monday 14/1/2013 passed fairly pleasantly occasional twinges on and off, I took the girls to ballet but Nana drove us which was lovely and much less tiring for me! Dot loved it again, and went into her class by herself (without Petal helping her out) and did really well again.
The evening was interesting - Roo and I watched Only Connect, then a programme on ancient South American civilisations that we had been looking forward to, but I soon became... Well, uncomfortable I suppose. It wasn't so much that I was having strong twinges - I wasn't - more that I was having huge squirling hormones and intense ... feelings, for want of a better term. Rather than get all worked up and start pacing and huffing and puffing, I zoned out and 'went to my happy place'. So I listened to the programme with great interest, but didn't actually see any of it as I had my eyes tight shut, keeping myself in a sort of self induced trance!
I knew there was no point getting het up as things weren't going fast and strong enough for baby to actually arrive any time soon, so after Roo had gone to bed I went in a nice hot bath, and lay and chilled while Papacrow sat with me. Things calmed down nicely as I hoped they would, so I went to bed, hoping to sleep through any beginning twinges that might happen as I hadn't had much sleep the night before.
This worked like a charm, and I slept from about 11.00pm to about 6.00am, only being woken up briefly a couple of times by a stronger twinge.
At 6ish I ended up getting up as I could no longer sleep through it, and came downstairs to rock on the rocking chair, and watch the clock - twinges were approximately five minutes apart and lasting a minute, but still not strong enough, fast enough or 'all over' enough in my opinion. By the way, top tip - rocking in a rocking chair really takes the edge off moderate twinges - no idea why, but it does!
About 6.30 I texted to Papacrow upstairs to ask him to run a bath, as I was getting rather uncomfortable. He came down, ran the bath, looked at me and diplomatically suggested he ring the midwife!
I got in the bath, the midwife arrived at about 7.30, 7.45 I think,and just about had time to say hi - she was new to me, but turned out to be lovely, calming and extremely sensible, all I want in midwife! I remember she took my blood pressure, then was sorting her stuff out when the twinges seemed to be pushing down, although still not 'strong enough' compared to my previous births, and certainly my body wasn't spontaneously pushing.
Still, I tried a small, experimental push and my waters broke. I looked down and there was CLOUDS of miconim, much to my sorrow.
I think at the back of my mind, when it began to be clear he was coming in the morning, I did wonder - my only other baby who came in the day rather than near midnight was Fluff, who also had miconim in the waters. But I put the morning arrival down to my going to bed the night before so slowing it down slightly.
My immediate reaction wasn't annoyance, more I was so sorry that the poor baby was unhappy! Then I looked at Papacrow with awful realisation, because although my babies usually come pretty immediately after the waters break, I still wasn't having big, strong or fast enough contractions so I felt it was going to be ages. I was going to have to go to hospital, give birth out of the water, and it was going to HURT!
I don't know WHY water has such an analgesic effect, but it really does. I changed position shortly before my waters broke which necessitated coming out of the water momentarily and oh my GOODNESS that made me realise just how much sensation the water relieves!
The midwife came to look, and I told her I was scared to get out of the water. She was totally calm and reassuring telling me that was fine. Another twinge started, and I remember saying 'I can't stop'.
Now I don't know where those words came from, or what they meant - my body wasn't pushing, they weren't the strong rolling, close together contractions that usually precede my deliveries, never the less, I found myself saying that. She replied that was fine, and stepped outside the bathroom to ring the ambulance.
I was then astonished to find his head coming down, really right down between my legs!
I had a nano second to process that and made the decision that the best thing would be to get him out, out now, out all in one - not the head, then the body on the next contraction like normally happens - but out all in one go and that out of that miconim filled water asap.
I kinda WILLED the head out, I don't remember straining that much although Papacrow said I looked like every cell in my body was pushing! I remember clearly hearing him saying -'Oh my god, the head's coming! Its really coming!' in a slightly panicky voice.
Then I pushed a bit at the end of the contraction, and thank goodness the baby didn't have hands in the way or shoulders that were super wide, because the rest of the body was coming too, and then the Midwife was rushing back into the bathroom and I gasped 'Help me!' at her, meaning - 'Please could you make sure he comes out now and get him straight up and out of the water?!'
Luckily she got the jist and did just that and got him straight up and out.
He was soon in my arms, and the panic seemed to be all over after that. He was a lovely healthy pink colour from the beginning, although he was a bit vocal about how he felt about it all, and still producing miconim all over the shop! One of the first things the midwife said as she passed him to me, was 'Oh, he's got a tongue tie!' and he did, it was easy to see. That confirmed for me, the decision to agree with hospital admission - I felt it should be dealt with asap having heard plenty of horror stories about how tongue ties effect feeding and how difficult it was for the baby to ever learn to latch and feed properly if it was left too long.
He was a little bubbly and choky initially but that soon cleared and passed, and we had a nice cuddle. The second midwife arrived and was the one who'd been mostly looking after me during the pregnancy which was nice. We sorted the cord and delivered the placenta which was remarkably neat and healthy looking, considering he was 11 days over!
I'm not sure at which point all the kids woke up and came downstairs, but they apparently hung out in the front room and watched TV while all that was going on... Good job I wasn't shouty, as I certainly swore once or twice. Most of them came in and had a cuddle and look, Dot in particular wasn't worried at all about the midwives and was delighted to have a baby at last.
He was 8lbs10, my waters broke at 8.03 and he was born at 8.05 apparently, unsurprisingly I bruised my tail bone although I had no tears, just a graze or two and minimal bleeding, which started to worry the 1st midwife a bit (you can't win!). Luckily the 2nd midwife had been at Petal's birth and could confirm that despite me having had several children, I didn't gush!
Papacrow got the rest of the kids all dressed and happily off to Grandma's and Granddad gave us a lift into hospital, where as I had come in from giving birth in the community I automatically got a private room with its own toilet, which was lovely. Bubs then proceeded to pass all his checks with flying colours, including his temperature which had been a little low but soon recovered in the well heated hospital. The tongue tie was snipped that afternoon - he mostly slept through it to be honest, luckily there are very few nerve endings in the frenulum. He then began moving his tongue around, including sticking it out of his mouth, and Papacrow and I immediately realised that he hadn't done that before - he hadn't been able to! Although his latch had been pretty good already, he was definitely feeding more efficiently straight way as my after pains were much stronger, even after I'd had painkillers.
Papacrow went home in the later afternoon to feed and bed the rest of the kids, I had a lovely visit from my mum in the evening and not an awful lot of sleep in the night as he was a bit gassy and yacky and miserable. Then a frustrating wait the next day for discharge as the ward was very full and busy and understaffed, and no-one contacted the paediatrician to see us, or tell us that's why we were waiting. Eventually it was resolved, and it was agreed we could go home and have the normal GP check, which is what we were initially told! Grrr!
It was lovely to get home on the Wednesday afternoon, and that night was MUCH better and calmer.
Today, Thursday, has been chilled and relaxed. I've been a bit stiff and sore but am feeling much better now - thankfully I heal pretty quickly. We've had a midwife visit (all fine) lots of visitors, and things are all finally quite and sleepy again.
If you're interested, here's my husband's version of events (which paints me in rather glowing terms!).
So there you have it, we're all up to date, if in a somewhat rambly fashion, and I rather think I hear my bed calling...