Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aerin's Birth Story

My birth story starts on a Saturday, 5 days before my due date of 8/8/2012.  Darren was home, after weeks away for work so, eager to meet my baby, I enlisted the help of some ‘natural prostaglandins’ to try and kick start the process.  All day Saturday I assumed the only thing it did to my body was make it hard to walk, and totally disengage the baby, who remained pressed against my ribs all day.  Sunday morning I was thrilled, however, to see the start of my mucous plug coming away.  Mucous plug failure, as Darren delightfully put it, was happening as my cervix started to get things ready. 

Monday afternoon, in a burst of energy, I walked to pick Bowen up from school, taking advantage of the time to do a little ‘gutter walking’ (one foot on top of the gutter, the other in the gutter).  This is meant to help move the baby down to a better position to kick start labour.  I had to be super careful not to roll my ankle on our curved gutters though!  Things definitely felt different afterwards, and I began to feel uncomfortable, with a pain radiating around my pelvis and back.  I complained to my mum about it, and she was certain I was about to go into labour, but I assumed I had just overdone it, as a sore hip had stopped me walking for a few weeks. 

Very tired that night, Darren and I went to bed at about 9pm.  I was still feeling uncomfortable.  I don’t think I slept at all, with strange pains keeping me awake.  I tried to stay in bed, deadly still, so I wouldn’t make a new pain start.  It didn’t work.  I got up, to see if I could time them, and to have some Panadeine in a vain attempt to get some sleep.  It was about 3am at the time, and I was watching the Olympics, sailing, I think, while trying to time contractions for the first time in 4 pregnancies.  They were all over the place, lasting the same amount of time but varying in distance.  One thing they were not varying in was intensity.  I pottered around, putting the last things in my baby bag, and then tried to rest again.

By 5am, Darren’s alarm for work had gone off and he found me pacing around, trying to work out if I was actually in labour or not.  My last labour had gone on for 30 hours before it ramped up enough for me to know it was time to go to hospital.  I called the hospital, and together we decided I was still probably in early labour.  I poo poo’d her suggestion of having a shower, it was too freezing cold!  Instead Darren and I decamped to the lounge room to sit in front of the heater and watch more Olympics.  We decided Darren wouldn’t go to work, and at 7am called my mum and asked her to come over. 

Mum arrived, and at 7.30 all the pains stopped.  I actually managed to get half an hours sleep, thinking I had overreacted and this baby would be late like the boys were.  That was until I woke at 8am with an almighty contraction which knocked me off my feet, and I announced we were going to the hospital.  I was having a baby!

I barely had a contraction on the car trip, and found myself again doubting if the baby was coming.  The parking, even at 8.15am, was diabolical at the hospital.  Darren ended up dropping me off, and, of course, as soon as I tried to get out of the car I was frozen again with a contraction.  Cars were lining up behind us, and Darren was telling me to get out of the car, but if people can’t cut a heavily pregnant woman in her pyjamas, at a freaking hospital in pain, some slack, when can they?  I waddled up to the delivery suite, and promptly burst into tears.  They weren’t expecting me, my records were actually at the midwife clinic where I was supposed to have an appointment that day, but I was ushered into a room straight away. 

My midwives were Rachel and Annie, one of whom was a student nurse.  They were both fabulous. 

I got changed and lay on the bed to be monitored.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t take the monitors off, and had to have a cannula as I was having a VBAC and it was hospital policy.  To be honest, I didn’t really want to move as any movement would give me a contraction!  I was examined at about 9am, and to my surprise, and delight, I was 9cm!  The baby’s head was still very high, so from then on it was a waiting game.  I made very good friends with the gas at this time.  I’d had it once before and didn’t like it, but this time, with a face mask instead of a mouth piece, it was fantastic, and all the pain relief that I needed.  I could breathe in through my nose the way I’d been taught in calm birth classes, counting in my head to distract me. 

After almost two hours of waiting, where I could literally feel the baby’s head descending, I wanted to get on my knees at the end of the bed.  The midwives decided it was time to break my waters to see if that would finish the job, but as I turned to let them do their thing, my membranes exploded!  It was like a water balloon.  I got a massive shock at the sound, as did Darren.  It was all on then.  There was no way I could stop myself pushing, and Aerin May was born 12 minutes later.  I think that gravity was my best friend at the time, as she was a huge improvement over my previous pushing efforts of 1 ½ hours and 45 minutes. 

It was not all smooth sailing.  Aerin was born with the cord wrapped tightly around her neck, and wasn’t breathing.  She was immediately taken to the little heater table for a good rub to get things going, but it wasn’t enough, and suddenly the room was full of people trying to get my little girl going.  In hindsight, it was terrifying, but at the time I was strangely disconnected.  I was sore and exhausted, and all I could think was that I’ve seen this on TV before, and it all worked out OK.  It wasn’t too long before we heard that amazing cry, and our baby girl was fine.  Her agpar scores were only 3 and 5, and she was taken, with Darren, to the NICU to be observed.  It was only a fleeting visit, and she was soon back for her first hold, and breastfeed.  She was a little shell shocked, and after some lovely skin to skin contact she latched on as though she’d been doing it for years. 

I managed to come through the whole event reasonably unscathed, with some 2nd degree tearing and stitches.  There was a lot of ‘back passage’ probing that I could have done without, but everything was fine back there.  I still had my beloved gas during the flu flu inspection, and it must have been turned up pretty high, as things got a little trippy.  It was like a bad drugs sequence in a movie, with everything spiralling around, and voices sounding like they were miles away.  The one good thing about gas is that it wears off really fast, so I was soon back to reality. 

All in all, my last EVER birthing experience went mostly to plan.  I’d said all along that I wasn’t going to be hanging around the hospital for long, and would only rock up when I was ready to push.  Big tick there.  I didn’t want to stay for long and was hoping for the six hour discharge, but we stayed overnight so Aerin could be observed after her birth issues.  My main motivation for not staying was that I didn’t want to share a room, but I ended up in one by myself, and was discharged at 10am.  I really don’t mind that I had to stay.  The food was pretty ordinary though.  The most important thing was that I got to leave hospital with my gorgeous, healthy daughter, with whom her whole family is besotted.

Aerin May Pearce
3.41kg, 7lb8oz; 35cm head, 52cm long.  Perfection.

Monday, March 19, 2012

We're having...

We're having...

one of these!

Such an ambiguous shot.  I am going for a private gender confirmation this week to get another look.  That could be anything!  Or am I just in denial...  The main thing, obviously, is that the baby is healthy and apparently happy, kicking me to bits.  My placenta is still at the front, and all my kicks are very low.  It's an odd sensation.

In other news, the fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and bloating that I had blamed on my poor foetus have finally been explained.  I had giardia.  There was a yucky parasite living in my intestines causing me a great deal of discomfort.  After putting off gathering a stool sample for two weeks (I can be up to my elbows in the boy's poo with no problems, but getting me to scoop my own is Gag City) I was finally brave enough and, as I suspected, it was full of unformed giardia cysts.  Gross.  I had mentioned it to the GP weeks earlier and was palmed off.  I feel vindicated, and 1000% better after just three days of antibiotics.  No one else seems to be suffering from it, and apparently I could have had them for a long time and the pregnancy just set it off.  Whatever, after a month I am better!  Hooray!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

17 weeks today

Wow, 17 weeks today.  Time sure flies when you are accidently pregnant and miserable. 

Actually, I am feeling less miserable as the days go on.  Perhaps my hormones are starting to regulate themselves, or I've come to terms with #4 a bit more, or maybe just getting rid of my sinus infection with some much-needed antibiotics has evened out my temper somewhat.  I can't believe how moody I am.  I'm surprised I have any friends, and that my relatives are still talking to me!

I'm not feeling my little one very much yet.  I think I've had a couple of pokes, but I have an anterior placenta that is creating a comfy pillow for the baby, but buffering any potential kicks. It's a bit of a bummer, but they'll soon come thick and fast and I'll be wishing for the bubba to fall asleep so I can get a rest from the internal tummy soccer.

On the outside, the boys are doing well.  OK, so Austin has started pooing his pants again, and bit a child at preschool the other day.  That I didn't see coming.  Riordan was a biter, but Bowen was the only one who was on the receiving end.  Austin is a very angry little boy lately, and it appears he is taking out his frustrations orally.  Riordan grew out of it, but I can't have my little man biting random kids at school.  Being the third of three boys can't be easy, there is so much testosterone swirling around the air I can see it sometimes, but it's no excuse for munching on people.  It's hard for me to reconcile the person he is at preschool with the little boy who still insists on his boobie before bed. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

There can't possibly be a baby in there.

Nearly 15 weeks into this baby-making business, and I still can't quite imagine my life with another child.  Darren is going away lots with work, he was away all last week (only coming home to annoy me on the weekend) and left this morning until Friday.  It's just me and the boys, and it's all a bit much while I'm growing #4.  I've never been so tired, I have an enormous belly that HURTS all the time.  It's so sensitive and achy.  Everything else aches too. 

Where will I find the time to fit the new one in?  I think I'll be breastfeeding while I am walking to school. 

I know that I've been spoilt by having my mum so readily available, and her working full-time is a big adjustment for me (and her, hence her actually considering retirement, but for how long is any one's guess).  My life is one big sook. 

Added to all of this is the fact that my house is falling apart around me!  We knew that moving into a 30 year old, unrenovated house was going to require some work, but this poor old this is not used to three active boys.  Among other little, trifling things, the middle rail of the banister has fallen off (due, in no small part, to having little feet climbing on it all day).  I am just waiting for someone to plunge off the side of the stairs.  It's come in quite useful to the boys and they just jump through it instead of climbing to the bottom! 

My oven also died.  I am a HUGE baker.  I adore it.  The kids are starting to really like eating my cooking (finally) and just as I was starting to find some yummy recipes for school lunchboxes, my five cent oven from eBay gives up the ghost.  It did it in a dramatic way, befitting it's final exit, by creating a huge flare and then quietly smouldering into death.  I think it's time to spend some money and get a new kitchen.  A kitchen, however, necessitates removing a wall, replacing floor coverings, repairing roofs...not straight forward at all!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

There's a baby in there!

My 12 week scan went off without a hitch.  There is a lovely little baby kicking around in there.  It still amazes me that something so tiny has all it's working bits.  We saw 2 little arms and hands; 2 kicking feet and legs; a rapidly beating heart; the tiny bladder; all the good bits.  The doctor doing the scan also had a guess at the sex of the baby, which was exciting.  I only have to wait 6 more weeks to confirm it!

I always thought that if I did have this last baby (back in the days where I was 'planning' it, rather than having it sprung on me in the manner it did) I would keep the gender a surprise.  It would also be the perfect ending to this 'surprise' pregnancy. 

I can't wait though.  The practical part of me knows a boy would be the best fit for our family.  He'd slip right in with uber-male Daddy and his testosterone filled brothers, and be out riding a dirt bike before he could walk.  The other part of me would love a little girl.  I'm still not entirely sure why.  Just 'cause.

Hey baby!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tired. So Tired

I'm exhausted.  The 4cm of baby inside me is just sucking out my energy. 

I am a husk.  I'm pretty sure that I actually like most of pregnancy, I have fond memories of it, so I at some point it must get better.  I'm having a hard time remembering when!

On another note, I think I am going to start having smoothies.  Maybe juices, but I don't have a juicer.  I have a blender, so I can do the smoothies.  Fruit and vegetables have been a massive turn off for me so far, but as I slowly emerge from the first trimester fug, my taste buds are also reawakening.  I have a pineapple to make pineapple and mint crush (oh yum, my mouth is watering just thinking about it) and I have some passion fruit and bananas, and some almond milk (which I discovered yesterday has so little actual almond in it that it may as well be water with a couple of nuts waved across the top.  Haven't tasted it yet, it may be delish.  I hope so, I love almonds) and heaps of ice to get all smoothied up.  I'm not sure when I should eat them, I'm thinking my afternoon snack. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Congratulations, you are now a foetus

10 weeks, and the embryo can be called a foetus now!

I still feel like poo, some days are better than others and I am eating mostly normal food.  Fruit is a big turn off, and I used to adore it. 

I am so grateful that it is school holidays, instead of frantically running around trying to make it to all our obligations on time, I can stay in bed, read my books and generally move at a slower pace.  Then, when school goes back, I should be back to normal (see, I planned it exactly this way on purpose!).  That's the theory.

The important appointments are made, 30th January for my NT scan, and 20th of February for my hospital booking in visit.

Ooh, I've also cut my hair and adore it!  I thought I would miss my long blonde locks, but the endless attacks from the GHD had done irreparable damage, and it was best for all concerned that I just lop it off.  It came out shorter than I had anticipated, but it's so healthy and I doesn't even need straightening.  It comes to about my shoulder blades.  I'm super happy with it.  I also ditched the pink-dipped blonde for a more natural colour.  Much more me.