Emma’s Birth Story

I was asked to write this for  a local NCT publication so thought I would post it here as well.  Nothing very exciting as it was all a straight forward birth… but… here it is for those that are interested!

Emma, was born in the birthing centre at Stepping Hill on 23 February 2014 at around 04:25. She weighed 6lb 11.

My pregnancy with Emma had been pretty uneventful. My first pregnancy had seen me develop pre-eclampsia at 36 weeks, and so I was closely monitored during this second pregnancy and had extra scans. My labour with my son had been fast (just three hours) and I was told that things could happen quickly this time around and to plan a homebirth (as had been my plan first time around). This wasn’t to be as I discovered at 18 weeks that I carried Group B Strep. The advice was that I should have antibiotics whilst in labour to protect the baby from any infection, and so the birth centre was the choice.

The week leading up to my due date I was having mild cramps, and so knew that I was unlikely to go too far over my due date. The morning before my due date I decided to put my post pregnancy clothes in the wash and to pack up my maternity clothes. That afternoon I took a few hours out on my own, but knew that things were going to start so didn’t stray too far!

That evening we picked up our usual take away and I sat on the birthing ball, the only position I found comfortable and we watched some TV. The evening seemed to drag and I felt quite uncomfortable, which I suspect was the baby’s head engaging. I remember at one point my husband asked me if I was in labour as I stood up, I was only nipping to the loo!!

We decided on an early night, but as I found it difficult to get comfortable in bed I decided to come downstairs. At this stage I thought my contractions were around 30 mins apart. It was only when I started timing them I realised they were much closer at around 5 mins apart. I googled at what stage I should phone hospital and as they weren’t painful I decided that I’d sit and read instead to pass the time.

I spent the next hour or two chatting on twitter (around 2am) then decided I’d get a bath – I somehow though it was best to wait until a more reasonable hour! I woke my husband to tell him things felt like they were starting but I was getting a bath, and told him to rest as he’d need the energy!!

 

Contractions coming thick and fast...

Contractions coming thick and fast… the 48 minute interval is when I was in the bath

Some 45 mins later I suddenly felt some very tight contractions, and could feel I was going into transition. I jumped out of the bath, woke my hubby (who’d fallen back asleep!) and called the hospital. By this stage they were strong (I couldn’t talk through them) and were less than 90 seconds apart. We called my parents to come to sit with Daniel and at 4am we drove (very fast!) to Stepping Hill – at one stage I thought I was going to give birth in my hallway as I could feel the baby’s head pushing down!

We got to Stepping Hill and to the birthing centre and I explained I felt things were very close. The lovely midwife explained she would examine me (I was stood leaning over the bed) and next thing my waters went and the head came down. It’s all a bit of a blur at this stage but I recall the midwife asking my husband to press the button to call another midwife in (he later told me he was panicking in case he pressed the wrong one and it triggered an emergency response!!.  The midwife and my husband were telling me I needed to move my legs out more and to try to stay calm. Emma was born minutes later with the cord around her neck. There was an anxious few seconds before she cried, but when she did she made her presence known!!

I then got onto the bed and had that lovely first cuddle. I remember looking at her and thinking she looked exactly like our son.

My labour was very quick – from the strong contractions to her arrival it was less than an hour I think. I didn’t have any pain relief – It was only the last 45 mins or so that I found hard going but I was able to breathe through things, although I probably didn’t stay as calm as I should have!! Prior to the transition phase I would call the pain more an uncomfortable feeling to be honest; and a few people commented that they couldn’t believe they’d been chatting to me via twitter less than an hour before she was born!

After Emma was born and I was cleaned up etc we were given some tea and toast (which always tastes amazing!) and moved onto a ward with two other women. Emma was very keen to feed – we had skin to skin time immediately following her birth and she made he needs known by bobbing his little head around looking for milk! We are still breastfeeding six weeks on, although her weight gain is slow so we are keeping our eye on things.

As I had Group B Strep Emma had to be monitored for 12 hours following birth, to make sure there weren’t any indicators that she had picked up the infection. As she was born within ten minutes of arriving at hospital I hadn’t been able to receive the recommended intravenous antibiotics but we were back home later that evening.

Daniel is very interested in his little sister, and is keen to help out by bringing nappies for her, or bringing me her hat or blanket when we are getting ready to go out. There are 16 months between them, and I am sure that in a few months time when Emma can engage more and sit up he will be even more interested in her.

Emma’s birth is all a little boring; I had hoped to be able to use the pool and remember seeing the pool in the room I was taken to and thinking I should ask them to start filling it up! Obviously Emma had different ideas! I managed to avoid using anything for pain relief, but that was more due to the speed with which things happened and not really feeling in any pain until the last 45 minutes or so. I think I am just very lucky that thinsg go quite easily for me once in labour!

 

Emma just a few hours old

Emma just a few hours old

 

Pipe Cleaner fun

In another shameless ‘borrow’ from the fabulous Emma from they grow so quick… yesterday I set up a little activity for Daniel using a colander and some pipe cleaners…

 

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Daniel is a little young yet to be able to thread the pipe cleaners into the holes, but he had great fun pulling them out!!

 

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It was fun to watch him playing with the pipe cleaners, he enjoyed using them to make noises against the metal of the colander and the table top. He also enjoyed bending the pipe cleaners, and his favourite soft toy, Dino, had a few bent around him!

 

When he had finished pulling them out, he put them into the colander and pushed it across the table to me to set it up again.

 

A quick and easy activity to set up (and cheap too!). Daniel had great fun playing with and exploring the pipe cleaners, something which is pretty uninteresting to adults, but great fun for small hands that are learning to manipulate objects.

REVIEW: Funky Giraffe Bibs

Just before Emma was born, I was asked to review some Funky Giraffe Bibs. I’ve heard great things about these bibs, so was keen to try.

 

I took a look at the website, and chose a purple, yellow and brown bib. I chose these as they are gender neutral and also plain, so will go with both Daniel and Emma’s clothes.

 

Emma debuted the purple bib last week…

Wearing her purple FG bib

Wearing her purple FG bib

 

And Daniel wore the brown one today…

 

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the quality of the bibs is brilliant, and the fact that they fit a tiny six week old and an 18 month old is amazing.

 

They fix using poppers at the back. I find this much better than velcro which is found on most bibs. Velcro drives me mad as it catches on things in the washing machine, and over time loses its grip. the poppers won’t do either of these things. There are also two size settings which means that they fit both Emma and Daniel well.

 

The front of the bibs is made from what feels like a cotton stretch jersey type material, and the black is a fleecy towelling material. What this means is that they are super absorbent. Emma is a bit sicky, bringing up her milk yet the bib lasted all day without making the baby-gro she was wearing damp. Daniel is currently teething (well… it feels like he is constantly teething!!). The bibs withstood all that lovely teething dribble and again ensured that his t shirt remained dry. I didn’t have to change the bib at all today, which is fantastic!!

I have washed the purple and yellow bibs and they have washed really well. They have kept their bright, vibrant colours and the white fleecey back has stayed white too. In fact after three spins in the washer they look as good as new. I am really impressed. Bibs all too often get tatty looking and don’t last too long. But I can see already that these bibs will stand up to the wear and tear of sick, dribble and runny noses, from both a newborn and a toddler.

 

The variety of designs that Funky Giraffe offer is pretty outstanding. Every imaginable colour is available and there are other designs such as polka dots, stars, monkey, cars, trains etc. There are also some ‘seasonal’ easter bibs. There is guaranteed to be a choice for every baby and toddler. What I also love is that they are quite discreet. These would be the perfect bib for a baby/toddler who was smartly dressed for a wedding or other occasion. In both the pictures above the bibs blend into the children’s outfit without looking out of place, and they look like part of the outfit.

 

They are also really well priced, and the more you buy the cheaper they are. You can currently buy five bibs for £11 (and that includes delivery!). I have already had a look at which bibs I am going to order for Emma in the next week or two… I think I am going to order plain colours again so that they will go with anything she is wearing.

 

Funky Giraffe bibs truly live up to their name – they are VERY funky and the choice of design and colour that they offer really is second to none. I can see these bibs being a purchase for friends who are expecting babies soon… they are brilliant value for money.

 

***Please note I was provided with three funky giraffe bandana bibs of my choice in return for a fair and honest review. All words and opinions are my own.***