23 May 2015

I'm back - and I've given birth!

It's been over a year since I've posted on here. Blogging mojo lost; no computer at home; inspiration drying up: yadder, yadder, yadder. Well, I'm currently off work and more obsessed with blogs, social networking and the virtual world than ever. It was my birthday this month and Mr W kindly bought me a Chromebook, in part to encourage me to blog again. And as for inspiration, well, Dexter continues to go from strength to strength, defying expectations, and we have added to the Wayne clan with the very recent arrival of our little girl.

Whilst I have no intention of attempting the madness that was the daily blogging mission of Brighton Ramblings, I am feeling inspired by the newest family member/lack of having to go to work, to do a bit of over sharing and capturing some of the snippets of daily life - the very reason I started this blog.

Well then, where better to start than with a birth story? *sound of laptops being snapped shut*
Don't worry, it's not going to be that graphic: I teach teenagers remember. A push-by-push account of my second-born's arrival into this world definitely does NOT feature on this crazy government's latest curriculum update. However, I love a birth story and given that Dexter got a whole year of his life immortalised in writing, the least Little Lady Wayne deserves is an account of how she graced us with her presence. Ten days on, it's still remarkably fresh in my mind...

Baby Wayne's due date was 18th May 2015. However, Baby Wayne was a bit of a madam in utero and, after a straightforward time, I developed obstetric cholestasis at 34 weeks. Basically, my liver (despite extensive stamina training in the form of a pre-pregnancy nightly glass of wine) objected to pregnancy and failed to process bile effectively, resulting in itchy skin and a monitored pregnancy and subsequent hospital birth. I was required to have weekly blood tests and monitoring from a consultant. I was lucky really and it was nothing more than mild itching and equally mild inconvenience. In some ways, the additional monitoring was reassuring - I had a late scan for one thing - plus, I knew I was never going to be allowed to go beyond full term. Given I was the size of a small water buffalo towards the end and I'm generally rubbish at being preggers, this was no bad thing.

What proved to be my final visit to the consultant on Tuesday 12th May, saw me being booked in for induction on 15.05.15. - a terribly pleasing numerical portent in my book. My consultant was also prepared to, ahem, give nature a helping hand. I am not going to go into detail here, suffice to say, for five minutes that afternoon, I was a human chimney...

Well, that seemed to do the trick. I left the hospital feeling more than a little odd and distinctly queasy. By the time I got home from collecting Dexter from nursery, I was in considerable discomfort and lay on the kitchen sofa groaning whilst the poor boy entertained himself with his extensive train collection.

Fast forward to later that evening and I felt almost certain I was in early labour. By about 8pm, I was sobbing on the phone to the labour triage midwife who was insistent I wasn't ready to come in to hospital but invited me in to shut me up. Having sorted out childcare with a lovely friend who came round, we drove to the hospital. I was on all fours in the back, lowing like a cow. Poor Mr W had to drive and attempt to rub my back in between changing gear. 

I remember hating the bright lights and sterile atmosphere of the hospital: like any 'labouring' woman, I wanted dark, warmth and cosiness. The triage midwife was firm but kind and, with hindsight, proved to be exactly what I needed. She examined me, gave me painkillers and sent me home, despite my best cat from Shrek face. She was insistent I had to eat to keep my strength up: there followed an impromptu stop at our local drive-through McDonalds - which itself followed an earlier impromptu stop for me to throw up outside someone's very grand house: Codeine and I are not friends. Having managed to eat exactly three McD's fries and half a chicken nugget, I made my nest in the dark and warmth of the guest bedroom, tucked away at the top of the house. The husband bedded down with me and we spent a wretched night of sleeping for ten minutes at a time interspersed with pretty rabid contractions, more bovine lowing and enforced conjugal back-rubbing. Dexter slept through the entire thing - thankfully. 

At about 4am, I flew into a blind panic: I hadn't felt fetal movements for ages. In reality, I was probably distracted by the contractions to concentrate on it. However, Mr W phoned the hospital and they said to come straight in.

Thank goodness we did as what followed was very quick. Arriving back at triage at 5am, I was immediately strapped up to a machine which monitored the baby's heart rate. I remember the midwife saying the baby was 'liking the contractions' - what, like some sort of thrill-seeking ride at Alton Towers?! I also remember vom central again when I was given more painkillers. At 5.15am, my waters broke - this could have all been happening at home remember. I was ushered very quickly onto the labour ward by our lovely midwife, Clare. All I wanted was gas and air - I'm a massive fan. A few big swigs of that and I stripped off, clambered onto the bed on all fours yelling, 'Right, let's have a baby!'

I am a hideous, attention-seeking show-off at the best of times, but hook me up to a massive cannister of Entonox and I'm a complete maniac. I have vague memories of dissing the government, blessing the NHS, declaring I was 'off my tits' and being very suspicious of the student midwife and doctor who had joined us in the room. I was draining the gas & air so much that I lost a veneer; thank goodness for that maternity dental exemption card.

Poor old Mr W had to put up with this monster on the bed before him (still insisting on regular back rubs) and with the slightly frightening moment baby's head delivered but body got stuck. A senior midwife was quick to arrive and I was 'McRoberted' (look it up) - and had to push for my life...

And out she popped, at 6.26am - all 8lb 3oz of her. I was so off my face at this point that even as she was handed to me, I asked if they'd got her out. Mentalist.

She looked exactly like Dexter as a newborn: to quote their father - 'Our children look like tiny Korean dictators.' Hopefully, she'll grow into her looks like her brother. We had the best tea and toast and I had a lovely shower. We were discharged later that evening. I had opted to go to the local birthing centre for some post-natal care and some help with feeding and thus began a slightly more dramatic chapter in the life of Baby Wayne. But that's a whole different post.

For now, Delphi Nel Wayne had arrived!

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