December 18, 2008

The Birth of Felicity

Mummy, After Everything, originally uploaded by Munzerr.

*** Please note, if you don't want to know massive detail about my birth experience, please do not continue to read this post. ****

So, it all started on Sunday, or very early hours on Monday 15th December. Andrew and I had stayed up late, even though we've been meaning to get to bed early in preparation for our new babies arrival. I had videoed Cara earlier and wanted to upload a Birthday message for Alan's birthday. Anyway, we went to bed, and I could feel my tummy harden, I said to Andrew that maybe our baby would come tomorrow, that we needed to go straight to sleep just in case. Andrew went straight to sleep, and I tried. I did get sleep, but was woken throughout the night feeling contractions. They weren't too strong and definitely weren't regular. Early hours of the morning, I couldn't help but wake Andrew to tell him about me having lots of contractions, that this really did seem to be the day. We stayed in bed as long as possible, trying to rest, and then when we got up, Andrew arranged to miss his Uni seminar, and we warned Grandma that we may need a babysitter for Cara. However, the contractions seemed to ease, and it seemed that maybe they weren't proper contractions after all.

By early evening I was pretty sure that they were proper contractions, but they were still very irregular in timing. After putting Cara to bed, I decided to take a bath, but before long, I was uncomfortable and pretty sure we should start the process of getting ourselves ready to go. Grandma and Granddad came over to stay with Cara, while we went to hospital. I think this was around 8pm.

The midwife that was with us was wonderful. I really think that the midwife makes such a difference to how the birth experience is. I am so thankful for A.M. - thank you. Contractions were getting strong, and I had been coping by leaning forwards, but now I needed to be examined laying on my back and then strapped to a machine to monitor my contractions and baby's heartbeat (these are precautions because of having a previous C-section). I really didn't enjoy this, it seemed to make the contractions so much more powerful. I don't think it was long before the midwife suggested I use some gas and air. I wanted to have as natural a birth as possible, but I didn't mind using gas and air, I just hoped that would be all I needed. My initial examination showed that I was 7cm dilated. I was so glad that progress had been made despite my irregular contractions. Andrew was great at being positive and upbeat, reminding me that even though I was in pain, all was going to plan.

I did use gas and air when I laboured with Cara, but I didn't really use it that long before I had an epidural, and I really don't think I got it completely, this time I could really see the effects of this drug on me. It was such a weird experience to be in pain one minute and then just in wonder at what this drug can do to your body. When my contractions were really bad, I guess I was taking some pretty deep breathes and on a few occasions it really felt like I was having an outer body experience. My conscious mind was very active and felt real to life, but I could see my body doing things that I didn't necessarily ask it to do. A couple of times it weirded me out so much that I stopped breathing it, not because the contraction had finished, but that it felt too weird.  At one point I really tried to describe this to Andrew, but he said I sounded really drunk.

I could really feel the difference between this labour and that with Cara.  There was almost 2 years in between, and until it came to labour I didn't think I remembered how labouring with Cara felt, but when I started getting the really strong contractions and getting ready to push, I knew I hadn't felt this before.  I knew the moment that I needed to start pushing, although, as the midwife wasn't there at the time, I didn't want to push unless it really wasn't the time, and trying to indicate to Andrew to push the button for the midwife mid-contraction while breathing gas and air seemed like quite a feat in itself.  The mid-wife confirmed I was at the stage for pushing, and I was just amazed at how our bodies work.

I am so grateful for a mid-wife who really wanted me to respond to my own body.  She really wanted me to go with what my body was telling me.  This active pushing was such a different experience to when I was pushing with an epidural with Cara.  It hurt, lots!  But it felt right, if that makes sense.  Andrew and the midwife gave me lots of encouragment and told me I was doing great.  It seemed like it was taking forever, and with each contraction I was really trying to push with all my might, that maybe, this would be the one.  I could feel Felicity's head, although it did feel rather strange, not really like a head, more like a water-filled strange feeling balloon.  

When her head was properly out, I knew that it wouldn't be long now.  But it was really painful, nothing can prepare you for that pain and stinging, and the not so nice midwife told me to push, even though my body wasn't saying push.. so I did.. Felicity was born, but I ripped pretty bad, 2nd degree for any who know what that means, and I couldn't help but think if I had held on just a little longer, for the feeling to push, would my tear not have been so bad.. who knows?  Felicity did come out with her hand up by her head, so maybe it would have happened anyway.  I'm pretty sure there will always be moments during labour where you look back and think, what if?

***  A break in the commentary - above was all written pretty soon after the birth.. but then I forgot about my writing this.. and so this latter part was all written quite a bit later, so may not be so accurate ***

The feeling when Felicity was actually born, was the weirdest feeling ever - just a complete rush of warm slippery stuff, and such a relief to my body, and it wasn't so much smooth as a bumpy ride, if that makes any sense.  I think you have to experience this to really understand.  Felicity was pretty much passed straight to me, onto my chest.  That was great!  So, so different to when Cara was born.  It was great to have those first precious moments, and Daddy got to cut the cord.  Felicity was really strong.  She was laid on me pressing up on her arms and moving her head around.  One of my biggest reasons for wanting a 'normal' birth, without heavy drugs was that I hoped this would aid with breastfeeding.  I had seen videos just the week or two before of new babies, an hour old, moving themselves onto their mothers for feeding.  It looked like Felicity was going to be capable of this.. however, she really didn't seem to want to be feeding.  We tried for quite a while, but she didn't really seem bothered enough to actually feed.

This isn't the end of my labour story though.. my 3rd Stage of labour, deliving the placenta, wasn't as easy as I had been told.  I opted for the managed third stage, however the placenta was not coming away.  The not so nice head midwife, said that I may need to go into surgery to have it removed.  I couldn't believe it!  I had just had my baby 'normally' and avoided another C-section, but I'd still have to have surgery - I felt awful!  Cheated!  All that pain, for nothing.. I was thinking.. I'd always said I'd prefer a planned C-section over an emergeny one, and this is what ran through my head.  A whole day of contractions, and these last hours in hospital in lots of pain.. all to avoid surgery... anyway.. while she went out to prepare things, the other, much nicer midwife that had been with us the whole time, said that she thought I could help her to get it out.  She got me to push, and this hurt a lot, just as much if not more than Felicity.. but I did it.  I didn't need surgery - I was so grateful!

Apparently, I lost a lot of blood though.  One of the things I had to wait for before I was allowed home, was a blood test, as I was told that I may need a blood transfusion if my iron levels were too low.  They weren't, so all was good.

Wow - what an experience.. my next big blog post will probably be all about my experience with breastfeeding this time round.  Oh, and for anyone who is now scared of giving birth, just know that although it feels like the most pain in the moment, it is all completely worth it when you look back.  

Felicity Marie Munzer, born at 23:46 on the 15th December 2008, weighing just 6lb 6oz  :D

December 12, 2008

39 Weeks

39 Weeks
Originally uploaded by Munzerr
We finally got round to taking some good bump photos yesterday - with less than a week to go until due date. I'm very ready to not be pregnant, not so sure if I'm ready to be a mother of two, looking after a tiny newborn again.. or actually, before that, labour - here's hoping for a better experience than last time. Only time will tell.

I know I keep far too many seperate blogs for someone who doesn't update them all that often. I do plan on being a lot better.. but here's my latest one.. my blog for this new baby.

If anyone wants to check out any more of my blogs go to my blogger profile, they are all listed there.

September 13, 2008

My Birthday

I thought I better blog about my wonderful birthday this year.

I was awoken, after a long lie in, by my two most favourite people, Andrew and Cara - Cara was wearing a hat that said 'Happy Birthday Mummy', it looked really cute, but it didn't seem like she wanted to wear it for very long.  She did keep saying 'Birthday Birthday' though.. how cute.  They brought with them, breakfast, for me to eat in bed, which Cara enjoyed helping me with.

Next, I passed a folder, the first page said:

Helen's Day of FUN
Birthday 2008

The next page was titled - THE DEEP, and there was lots of information about this fun place that we were going to explore together.. it looked like lots of fun!  After all of that information there was a colourful page, which said.. A present worth waiting for...

Love from Andrew, Cara and Joe xxx

WOW - that really is a present worth waiting for.  It actually arrived yesterday, and it is sooo much fun.  Drums, guitar and a microphone  :D  

I want to scan in the pictures that Andrew drew of us playing Rock Band, but that will have to be added in later.

I might write a seperate blog entry on our family blog for our day at The Deep, but here's a couple of photos for now...

Cara and I watching the sharks.

Cara eating her yoghurt, very posh, with her little finger in the air.

Me and Cara at the top of the building - what great views!

And last of all, this is me and my new friend Andrew the Hammer Head Shark  :D

When we got home, there were still more suprises.  Grandma Widdowson was coming over to babysit, while Andrew and I went out with other family to have pizza.  Thank you all for coming to celebrate my birthday with me.  Steve, Chris, Ben, Joe, Jean and Randy, and what yummy pizza it was!

My other exciting present, that I have now bought with birthday money that I had been given - thanks everyone!  Is Wii Fit, I've only just started using it, but I love it.  Thanks so much everyone!  What an amazing birthday I have had this year.

February 13, 2008

Life and Prime numbers

A quote from 'The curious incident of the dog in the night-time' by Mark Haddon. I've only just started reading this, but this part got me thinking... what does is he trying to get at exactly?
Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.
Are there really no rules for prime numbers? or do we just not know them? What about rules for life?

February 06, 2008

Our Star

Short video of our little star.

January 29, 2008

My beautiful not so baby girl

My beautiful not so baby girl
Originally uploaded by Hedgen

I can't believe Cara is a one year old. It's just crazy how quick that has all gone. She's changed so much. Look how cute she's got. She's even better in person, just so happy and fun.

I Love you Cara!

January 28, 2008

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

This evening Andrew and I were able to go and see this film at the Watershed. Thanks to Alex and Tamara who played with Cara. Andrew managed to get us free tickets to the preview.

This is a French, subtitled in English, film, based on the book. I have read the book, and really enjoyed it. The film, although different from the book in many details was amazing. It was filmed really well, the acting was great, and it was very moving.

It is amazing how people react to different situations. This man did so much despite having 'locked-in syndrome' and the people around him that helped him were amazing also. It is interesting how those friends and family around him acted with the situation too. How would I react if this happened to me? or someone I know? or love?

January 25, 2008

The Hoxton Hotel

The Hoxton Hotel
Originally uploaded by ExperienceLA

So, it seems that Andrew and I will be going to London again for our Anniversary. I managed to get a room for a £1 in the Hoxton Hotel, and for the following night for £29 pretty good for a 4 star hotel in the middle of London.

I heard about their £1 sales a while ago, but I forgot to even try last time. This time I set a reminder on my phone, and then set everything up so that I could be extra speedy. It took a while, as their servers were busy, but we got it!

January 10, 2008

Spanglish - Film review

A really great film. Not as funny as I thought it would be, but an interesting look at different families, and the way that different people parent, and are.

January 01, 2008

The Nativity Story - Film review

I had been wanting to watch this since I saw the trailers for it, and it lived up to my expectations. It was really well made, and made me think about how it may have really been for Mary and Joseph. It was such a touching moment when Jesus was born, and then when the Shepherds and wise men came to show their respects. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone.