Wednesday, 30 November 2005

And suddenly... there she was

Well, all of a sudden its all over and we have a daughter!! Since we thought we’d have another 6 weeks to debate the matter, she doesn’t have a name yet, but she was born just after noon on Tuesday and weighed in at 2.19kg.
Nicole’s waters broke just after 7pm on Monday evening and there was some bleeding, so the hospital told us to come straight in. She was contracting every other minute for about a minute when I got there after dropping her off and parking, and they moved her to the labour ward to keep an eye on her and baby. She was about 1cm dilated at that time. The contractions calmed down after a while and I left her there to come home and drop off the car and fetch some extra panties – there was a lot of water coming out of the woman!! She was almost exactly 34 weeks, so they thought that everything would be fine, but they gave her a steroid injection which will help the development of the baby’s lungs.
We spent Monday night in the labour ward, and by mid-morning Nicole was having painful but irregular contractions – her blood test had revealed an infection of some kind and so they decided to induce in case it has passed to the baby. They put her on the drip at 10am and I decided to go home and have a shower and get changed as the doctor reckoned that she would take 10-12 hours to deliver, and that they would re-assess in 4 hours. Nicole called at about 11:30 to say that I needed to come back at once as labour proper had started (she’d gone from 1.5 cm to fully dilated in less than 90 min!!!!). Unfortunately, baby was born while I was stuck on a tube outside Kennington – bum luck!! There was a bit of a scare when her heartbeat couldn’t be located, so she was delivered by ventouse to get her out ASAP. Her chord was wrapped around her neck and she was apparantly VERY purple, but she started breathing on her own and seems to be happy and healthy. She’ll be kept in for at least 48hrs while various tests are done and antibiotics administered. Nicole tore a blood vessel and needed several stitches, but her perineum is fine. I was there for the stitching and that was bloody and painful enough – perhaps being stuck in the tube was a mixed blessing :-)
That’s enough for now – more details about the first few days to follow later.

Monday, 14 November 2005

A small scare

Coming back after a week’s holiday was a shock to the system! Not least because everyone at work kept commenting on how suddenly my bump has enlarged. So here’s a photo (32 weeks), just to confirm that actually, I’m not that large (although I feel ENORMOUS!). (I’m not smiling cos I’m in pain… see below.) As the measurements go, I’m right on target.
Baby is now head down, although not engaged, which explains why my ribs are getting the beating they are: it feels like she already has a diploma in kickboxing! Apparently weeks 30-32 are the ones when babies are most active, at around 470 movements a day. Hers all appear to take place between noon and midnight, and mostly into my ribs! Let’s hope that once she’s born she’ll change her routine and be more active in the morning and less active at night.
I’ve started feeling some Braxton-Hicks contractions, which can be rather uncomfortable. At least I know that everything is working normally though and my uterus is exercising for the big day.
Drumroll please……. After much deliberation and thought we’ve finally decided on a name… ‘Oi! You!’. Only joking! We’re no closer to choosing a name for her actually. Although we had a brief spell of agreeing on one potential name, none of my current favourites even hit the page for Graeme. So it’s back to the drawing board I guess. In worst case scenario, I guess ‘Oi! You!’ could work…. after all, some poor kid we know of has been given R2D2 as his middle name! And in other news today I discovered that some poor child of a celebrity star was given the first name of ‘Moon Unit’ – no kidding. (Can’t remember which celebrity, though I think the surname was Zapper….)
Last week coincided with a rather bad piece of news: Graeme’s gran died rather suddenly. She was 91, and in frail care following a serious fall, but had been making good recovery. We had hoped she would live till March, which is when his family was gathering back home for a wedding, and would have been the first time the baby would be introduced to them. It would have made a lovely photograph to have her holding her first great-grandchild. Sadly, ’twas not to be. Thankfully we know she’s in a better place now, out of pain, and we know that she lived a full and happy life and had a ‘good innings’. Right to the end she was other-centered and uncomplaining – such a challenging witness to all of us from the ‘Now’ and ‘Me’ generation!
Today we had a bit of a scare. I’ve been getting odd little pains at the top of my stomach, which I put down to the baby kicking. Last night, however, it became excruciating. Today was better, but still rather severe. So I took myself off to the local hospital (not the one I’m booked into) for a check-up. At first they couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat, which was scary enough; when they did, she then decided to show off by going through an entire gym routine for over an hour! What a show-off, even at this tender age!!
Then they thought I was going into prem labour, at which point I thought I handled it all rather calmly and made a few jokes to cover my panic! When they did an internal exam though (and took a quick smear – OW!!!) they realised I wasn’t. (Phew!) The docs then thought I must have fibroids (small benign tumours in the uterus) so did a quick ultrasound scan. They were wrong yet again.
So the good news is that all is well with baby. The bad news is that they haven’t got the foggiest clue why I’m pain. I’ve been given a course of painkillers and told to keep an eye on it at home. It’s just “one of those things”, I was told. Thanks for that! That’s really going to help me sleep better tonight. Still, it could be worse – I could have gone into labour. I’m grateful that the baby is fine, and at the end of the day, I don’t really care about how much pain I’m in, as long as she continues to be okay. (I’m definitely turning into a mother!)
Hey! Did you read in the news today that wrapping up warm – especially noses, heads, hands and feet) really does stop you getting sick? (Well, it’s not quite as straighforward as that, but the outcome is the same.) So my Mommy was right after all! I think I’ll definitely become a fussy mother now…. “put your jersey on Love, I’m cold”.