Tuesday 8 August 2017

She's here!

Yes, finally. After what seemed like the longest pregnancy in the history of the world Cora Olivia made her entrance at 7.02 on the 18th of July, five days early.

I don't know if any of you are as interested in birth stories as I am, but I'm going to share this one anyway so feel free to jump to the end if discussing dilation and stitches doesn't float your boat!

So, or the last three weeks of the pregnancy I was totally convinced that I was going into labour every day. I had all the same signs I had with the previous two, the cramps, the intense braxton hicks, the....dodgy stomach, and so every night I went to bed convinced I'd be woken by proper contractions within hours. But every night...zip, zero, nada. All that woke me up was the constant need to pee or the sound of myself snoring like a dying warthog. Fun times!

But then, after a weekend of lying in bed while Gavin took the kids out to let me get some rest because I felt more tired than I ever had in my life (looking back, this was probably my bodies way of forcing me to rest before the delivery) on the Monday, which was scorching, I decided I needed to mow the lawn and clean the house. On an incredibly hot day. As you do. Throw in wrangling the kids solo until after seven that night and I had a pretty active day, and late that evening the baby started kicking up an incredible fuss, but I went to bed and tried to sleep. She was having other ideas though and kept waking me up with her thrashing. I got up again at 12.30, slightly worried by now that she might be in distress, but by then I was having worse and worse cramps so I was pretty sure that this was it. 

I sat downstairs for a couple of hours and had something to eat while I waited for things to progress, and at 3 a.m I decided it was time to wake Gavin up and call his mother to come over to look after the kids.

We got to the hospital at 4 a.m, and I was only barely starting to dilate, but was having strong contractions. The midwife wanted to send me home but my previous labours progressed very quickly once things really got going so I decided to stay. Lucky I did. I walked the halls for a while and my waters broke at 5.30. The midwife checked my progress and I was 3 cm, then she checked me again 10 minutes later and I was 4 cm....so they moved me to delivery where I could finally have the life saving gas and air!!!!

I was only in the delivery room around 20 minutes when I started getting the urge to push, and as I was standing by the side of the bed the midwives prepared to deliver that way, but then I realised my dilation hadn't been checked since I was 4 cm so they had me hop up on the bed to check.....

I never did hear what the result of that exam was as the baby had her own ideas and a couple of pushes later (that I couldn't have stopped if my life depended on it) she arrived.....and pooped all over everything on her way out!

They had to cut the cord straight away because of this (I had wanted delayed clamping of the cord) and give her a quick check to make sure she hadn't inhaled any muconium, but thankfully she was fine, and the minute they handed her back to me she started to nurse like a pro.

Meanwhile they brought in a young female doctor to stitch me up while a young male student doctor she brought with her stared so intently into my nether regions I was tempted to ask if he'd lost something. 

The pushing stage of my labours has always been fast, and a bit...traumatic for the area. *shudder*. Getting the stitches has honestly been the worst part each time. I mean, that area needs a delicate hand at the best of times, and a human has just exited it, go easy for the love of god!!!!

So that was it, about three hours from first proper contraction to grand finale. Intense, but thankfully over so quickly that it didn't really matter, and they let us go home the next day.

We're all head over heels in love with her, and I don't say that because that's just what you say about your babies. She is my third, and I know that that intense kind of love doesn't always come straight away (and that's fine, and totally normal) but she has just come along with her chilled out personality and serious expression and turned us all into grinning idiots.

I have to admit I was worried. How would we cope with three? Would it be too crazy? Would Max and Em feel left out? Add to that the usual guilt about bringing another kid into the mix, using up more of your time and attention  and taking away some of your focus from the older ones and I was pretty worried. I pretty much hated being pregnant this time around, I had no energy and felt like crap all the time, so I already felt guilty about "neglecting" the kids, how bad was it going to be with another one in the mix?! 

But the kids have been great, in general, and with her. We just have to watch that they don't try and hug her when we're not looking but the initial obsession seems to be settling a bit and they're calming down so it's fine. Gavin was home for two weeks and did a great job taking them out and entertaining them so they didn't feel left out, and to give me a chance to rest at home with Cora. 

For some reason everyone has been very relaxed and happy since we brought Cora home, and given how overwhelming things were for a while after we had Max this has been a lovely surprise. Cora is a very laid back baby so far, great to feed, happy to be put down awake and left to nod off by herself....thus far. Fingers and toes crossed that this continues. And the older kids are just that bit more civilised than they were even a couple of months ago I guess, and much happier to play by themselves or with each other. All in all it's been great. Busy, but great!

I feel like I just did the equivalent of saying "I'll be right back" in a horror movie? Stand by for the next post where I've had to send them all off to various relatives cos I can't cope!

I am hoping to focus on the blog a bit more once the older two start school and montessori in September, so bear with me, and in the meantime if my posts are few and far between or I don't seem my normal, vivacious self, just know it's because I'm typing with one hand and breaking up a fight over shopkins with the other while breastfeeding an infant propped up on a cushion. Cut me some slack!! ;)


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