How Lauren Rose entered the world

Our youngest turns 2 today and I’ve finally written her birth story to share:-

When we found out I was pregnant with Baby Laville 2 I said I wasn’t telling anyone the due date this time. Our first was born 17 days after her due date and I was in hospital from 12 days overdue until the day after she was born. Whilst I appreciated all the texts, Facebook messages and phone calls asking where baby was, it was one of the hardest things ever to resist temptation to reply what I really was thinking!!!!

At our first 12 week scan it turned out I was actually only 10 weeks pregnant so straight away the due date was put back. Baby 2 was due on the 18th December 2012. When we announced our pregnancy we just told people the baby was due in December and should be here before the year was out. We got a few comments about how it was bad planning having a baby so close to Christmas and a few people pestered for the due date but I’d made my mind up. If I didn’t talk about a specific date I wouldn’t get wound up about it.

Just as I did with Taylor I had a relatively easy pregnancy, and at 36 weeks I was sent up to hospital for a scan as baby was suspected to be breech but thankfully this time was fine and there was baby, head down.

I was convinced this baby would be early so the week before our due date I started to get ratty. Why was I going to go overdue? I was going to give birth on Christmas Day wasn’t I? This was the only day that we didn’t want the baby to be born.

On the Friday evening before the due date I started with regular pains. I never really had it with Taylor so it was quite nerve racking as well as exciting. Because I’d gone in for an induction I’d never had the whole “when do we call the hospital?” saga and I didn’t know what to expect.

I went to bed about 11pm and I was asleep before I knew it and when I woke the pains had gone.

On Saturday and Sunday night the pains started again. On both nights they started around 7pm and continued at regular intervals until I went to bed.

The Monday was the day before my due date and I was not in a good mood. I could not believe I was going overdue again. I had a cry or two during the day as well as throwing a few tantrums!!

I spent the day doing all sorts trying to keep occupied I cleaned the house from top to bottom. I hoovered throughout, hoiking the heavy vac up the stairs, I lifted and moved a few boxes, went up and down the stairs countless times, took the dog on his usual walks….. I took a few evening primrose tablets and had leftover curry from the night before!! I literally did not stop all day…

7pm came and as per the previous 3nights the pains started. My husband plays pool on a Monday night and off he went as usual. Taylor was in bed so I sat on the rocking stool that accompanied my nursing chair and rocked side to side while watching the Monday night soaps. The pains didn’t worsen, nor did the gaps between pains get any shorter, but tonight was different. The pains didn’t stop.

I had downloaded a contraction counter app and it was showing various gaps between contractions. Never less than 7minutes but it could be up to 15.

I went to bed but couldn’t sleep. I ended up going back downstairs and watched tv so I didn’t disturb my husband who was to work the next day. I continued to log the contractions on the app and rock on my stool. There really isn’t much on the tv in the middle of the night and after exhausting all I had recorded, at 3am I decided I should try to sleep.
I dozed but the contractions were waking me every 15minutes. Just as I was dropping off the tightening would disturb me. I was a bundle of nerves but I knew that as they weren’t getting worse, nor were the gaps shortening, nothing was happening anytime soon.

Now was my due date. Could it really be that this baby was going to arrive on time? We carried on our day as normal. I took Taylor to playschool, I walked the dog and then Damian decided he wouldn’t be going to work today, he was due in later that day. He walked with me to playschool to pick Taylor up. It was a slow walk with many stops as I’d grab his arm while my stomach tightened. I tried so hard to disguise the contractions but I got some funny looks from the other parents whilst waiting at the playschool gates.

The pains started to get worse. Bearable but hurt more. And the gaps were occasionally shortening. Trying to hide the pains from Taylor – who was 2 and a half – wasn’t easy.

Early evening I rang my mum to let her know what was going on as she was the one who would look after Taylor while Damian and I went to hospital. Typically it was an evening she was out with her friends for a Christmas meal! She just said to call if we needed her. I warned her that I intended to call the hospital after dinner and I’d let her know what they said.

I cooked dinner and tried to eat but the pains were getting worse still so at 7pm I rang the maternity ward. I came off the phone crying as I got the standard response…. “No point coming in yet. Have a bath getting your whole bump under the water and take paracetamol”

Get my whole bump under the water?! How big did they think our bath was?!!

Taylor was ok but it was clear that mummy wasn’t great and this made her a bit anxious so she was quite quiet and tried to follow me wherever I went.

After having a tantrum I took paracetamol and got in the bath. I laid on my front of sorts so my bump was under the water and then laid on my side. Very quickly the contractions became extremely intense. Damian helped me out of the bath and I laid on the bed in my towels. Taylor sat with Daddy downstairs while I laid on the bed groaning through each contraction! I could hear her asking Damian what was the matter with me. The contractions were now coming every 5 minutes but I knew this still wasn’t good enough for hospital.

Just after 9.30pm it all suddenly stepped up a gear and the contractions were coming every 2 minutes. Just after 10pm I rang the hospital. The midwife said I sounded ok so she wasn’t sure I was ready yet. I cried and pleaded with her and she said I could go in but I had to understand that if I wasn’t dilated and in established labour I’d be sent home. I said I understood but I needed to see them. I called Mum and she said she’d be with us ASAP.

By the time Mum arrived the contraction were only 1-2 minutes apart and really painful. I was a noisy labourer and couldn’t help but moan with every contraction.

As mum arrived Damian and I literally just left. Taylor was in her bed but still awake, I think her worry for mummy was keeping her up. During the 20 minute car journey to the hospital every single bump and turn was agonising. I’m pretty sure that journey didn’t take as long as it normally should……

We arrived at the hospital at 10.50pm and we were put in a room. Funnily enough it was the room in which I started my induced labour with Taylor which made me quite happy.

I got undressed and waited to be examined. Damian and I both said we recognised the midwife and when she returned to the room she said she’d looked through my notes to discover that she was the midwife who was with me when my labour finally started with Taylor. She wasn’t with us for her birth though.

The midwife, Amanda, then examined me and it was so painful it kept having to be stopped and started because of my contractions. Then came the bad news. I was only 2cm dilated therefore not in established labour. The midwife said I should be sent home but she would go talk to her senior.

I could not believe it. How could I go home when my contractions were coming every minute??!

Fortunately the midwife came back in with good news. I could stay and see what happened. I started on the gas and air and from this point I don’t remember a great deal. The room felt like it was spinning so I had to keep my eyes shut. Every time the midwife came I apologised for having my eyes closed. I said I wasn’t being rude but I could not open them. Gas and air wasn’t cutting it so I had an injection of meptid. By now the contractions just seemed to be constant. The midwife came in and out to check on me but I constantly had my eyes closed and was either grunting through the pains or puffing on the gas and air.

I was determined this birth would be different to Taylor’s and I always had in my head that if I could help it I’d avoid an epidural, but lying on that bed knowing I wasn’t even classed as being in established labour, all I wanted was the pain to stop so when the midwife said how was I doing? I told her I wanted an epidural. She very nicely told me that I was doing extremely well so let’s not make that jump, just take the next step up. I just nodded in agreement. Looking back she must’ve known there was no time for an epidural.

The midwife left the room to get the drugs and in a matter of seconds I was shouting at Damian to press the buzzer as the urge to push was overwhelming.
With Taylor I hadn’t experienced this feeling so it was quite comforting in it’s way. The midwife was very quickly back in the room, and immediately pressing the buzzer herself before putting on her gloves. Someone came into the room to assist her very quickly. She gave me an injection and within seconds it was as though a curtain of calm had descended. I could have my eyes open, I no longer felt pain and I was silent.
I threw the gas and air mouthpiece out of my mouth towards Damian. I didn’t want it anymore and it was annoying me being near me. The urge to push was so over powering. Damian was stood at the head of the bed holding one of my hands and stroking my head with his other hand. The midwife told me I needed to push. I didn’t reply and Damian said “are you listening babe? You need to push.” I felt like I’d lost the ability to speak and just nodded in response as I attempted to push our baby into the world.

Within no time at all the head was out. It hadn’t at all occurred to me but my waters had not broken so the baby’s head was out with the water sac still complete around them. Damian said it was an amazing sight and I wish it was something I could’ve seen. We’ve read since that the baby is considered to be lucky in life if they are born with the waters still in tact. Let’s hope that’s true.

The midwife broke the waters and the baby immediately started crying, which in turn set the tears off on both me and Damian – our baby was here!The baby’s body was then delivered and the midwife held the baby up to Damian to see. He then told me we had another baby girl and gave me a kiss and a cuddle, whilst tears of joy ran down our faces.

Our newest baby girl was then placed in my arms. The midwife asked if we had a name. We agreed that yes, she would be called Lauren.

Lauren was born at 1.17am, just under 2 and half hours after arriving at the hospital. I’m so glad I wasn’t sent home as I’m pretty sure I’d have ended up giving birth in the car or at home if I had! According to my notes my labour timings were that I was officially in labour for just 1 hour and 16minutes. The first stage being 1hour 5, the second stage 7minutes and the third stage just 4minutes.

I don’t remember delivering the placenta but it must have been quick and simple as it was never mentioned to me at all. Similar to my previous birth.

Thankfully due to the cushioning of the waters still being in tact I had no discomfort at all and was up and out of bed within a very short time of giving birth. The midwives tended to frown at me when I declined painkillers over the next 24hours. This really was a breeze compared to my first birth.

Lauren’s body temperature was dropping so she had to be wrapped up quite well. When her temperature still didn’t rise she had to be placed in an incubator.

Damian went home to take over from a very weary Mum, as Taylor hadn’t settled at all. Fortunately she did sleep once Daddy was home and told her she had a baby sister.

I couldn’t have had a more different birth to Taylor’s birth. I was thrilled to bits that I hadn’t had an epidural and this time I actually felt like I had done something. I don’t think any woman should be made to feel inferior for having drugs, epidural, csection, because ultimately as long as baby and mum are safe that’s all that matters, but I know I personally did have feelings of failure from Taylor’s birth. Failed induction, drip, epidural, forceps delivery….. Everything was forced. My body didn’t do it. But with Lauren my body did. I’m not prouder of Lauren’s birth than Taylor’s as they were both so different, but I’m just pleased that second time around I got to feel things and know what it means to want to push, to feel those pains, to push that baby out.

I’m lucky. I know that.

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When those two lines show

Exactly 2 years ago today I found out I was pregnant with Lauren.

I wasn’t a POAS (that’s pee on a stick for those that don’t know) addict like some fellow friends that had spent god knows how much on ovulation and pregnancy tests over the years. I took 2 tests with my first pregnancy, and 2 with my second.

I admit we were lucky. Both our babies were conceived within 4 months of starting to try. We are the lucky ones.

With our first pregnancy I’d stopped taking the pill about a month before our wedding. A honeymoon baby would have been the perfect scenario right?! We got married in the May. In the September I’d started to feel bit sick, my periods were all over the place so I couldn’t say if I was late or not, and we didn’t want to get our hopes up. But after a few weeks we decided to take a test, so it was a Saturday morning and the first thing I did when getting up was take the test.

I left the test on the bathroom windowsill and went and got back in to bed.

“How long do we have to leave it?” A few minutes I replied, but my husband was impatient and went to the bathroom

“Was there already one line on here?”
What do you mean?
“Well was there one line as an example and then another one matches it? There’s 2 lines”

I shot out of bed and into the bathroom snatching the test from him. Sure enough there were 2 lines. Shaking I handed my husband the instructions to show him what 2 lines meant – with tears of joy springing from my eyes I looked up to see the same in my husband’s eyes as he embraced me and we stood there in our little joy filled moment in the bathroom!!

We kept that pregnancy secret until after our 12 week scan. It was so loved having our little secret and knowing our baby was growing inside of me.

With Lauren we had been away for a week with my mum so although I’d felt like I was pregnant I couldn’t test while staying with her as no one even knew we were trying. We got home from our break on the Saturday and I went and bought a test that afternoon to do the next morning.

As soon as I woke up that next morning I did the test and left on windowsill while I went to make myself a cuppa and get Taylor some breakfast. Damian was still in bed. I’d convinced myself the test would be negative so I was completely shocked to go upstairs and find 2 lines on the test! I woke Damian up with the news we were going to be parents for a second time and this once again a celebratory hug happened.
I went out to Asda that afternoon and bought a Clearblue digital which confirmed the result the next morning.
This time we told no one until 10weeks. We had our 12 week scan but were put back 2 weeks so we told our family once we’d had the scan, and broke the news publicly after 12 weeks.

I know we were lucky. We were fortunate to conceive easily, have two easy pregnancies and deliver two healthy daughters.

I can’t even describe the feelings that go through your mind when those lines show:-
Euphoria, relief, happiness, love, nervousness, giddiness, apprehension, ……

It’s hard to believe it’s highly likely I’ll never have that feeling again.

The big fringe question :- to cut or to grow?

I remember being about 10/11 when Mum finally allowed me to grow my fringe out. There was that awful stage of several clips and hairbands trying to keep it out my eyes as it grew. I’ve never had a fringe since.

My eldest daughter has a fringe. For a good 18months of her life she hardly had any hair at all, but now she has quite long hair with a fringe.

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Her hair grows so flipping fast that her hair always seems to be in her eyes.
I can’t bring myself to attempt to trim it so it has to wait until either my Mum or I are having our hair cut.

But now I’m starting to wonder when to grow her fringe out. We are all having our hair cut at 12pm today and I can’t decide what to do.

Do I grow it out or do we keep trimming it?

Milestone – First shoes

There’s something special about that moment you go and get your baby’s feet measured for their first pair of proper shoes.

We took Lauren Monday before last to the Clarks outlet shop for her feet measuring. Tiny little feet she has – size 3G. Unfortunately they didn’t have anything in her size that we liked so yesterday we went to a different Clarks outlet shop and managed to buy her first pair of shoes

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Now she’s got shoes on her feet and walking around in them – all be it rather clumsily at the moment! – it’s like a marker, getting those shoes means she’s no longer a baby

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When will I be able to let go?

In May our eldest daughter will be 4. Our youngest daughter is 13months old. Every single piece of clothing, blanket, shoe, toy, book …….. Everything they’ve ever had still is in our house.
I just can’t bear to let it all go.

When we had our first we stored everything as there was absolutely no doubt we’d be trying for a second child; so as things were outgrown they were stored in the loft.

Having a second daughter it’s obviously been a blessing as we’ve not had to and won’t have to in future buy a great deal. And it’s been lovely to see Lauren in clothes Taylor wore. But once again, as Lauren grows out of things they’ve gone back in the loft.

We only ever wanted two children between us but now we have two, I don’t feel like we are “done”. I’d have another baby in a heartbeat. But there’s so much to consider. Our car wouldn’t fit a third car seat in, as the girls and bubba grew we’d need a bigger house, the cost of living will increase, holidays would cost more, it’d put back further my returning to employment, we are getting older, it was tough and can still be tough having 2 never mind 3…………

I think if all those things were easily solved my husband would agree with my desire for a third, but as he is the sole wage earner in our house he is taking the practical, sensible view which is currently no third baby for us.

But I can’t part with anything. I can’t try to sell anything that the girls are outgrowing. We are rapidly running out of storage space and there’s probably other families that could make great use of our things if we sold them on, but I just can’t do it.

Will I ever be able to let the things go?
I suppose the answer won’t appear until there’s a final decision that number 3 definitely won’t happen.

A day in our life ….

Day 6 in blog every day in August is a Day in Our Life……

Due to my husband working a 3 week cycle of shifts our typical day changes depending on what shift he’s as his working hours means different patterns of when he’s here and isn’t here!

Lets take a typical morning shift day though….

Dame’s alarm goes off at 4.45am and off he goes to work. I sometimes hear the alarm, I sometimes don’t but I always wake slightly to say goodbye and give / receive a kiss. On the very rare occasion I haven’t woken for that kiss I do feel like I’ve missed out on something and it niggles at me all day!

As I fell back into the trap of co-sleeping I get woken normally by a little hand grabbing my face along with lots of cooing. What better way to be woken up is there?! This can be anywhere from 7am to 8am.

If Lauren doesn’t wake first the pair of us get woken by Taylor who pads through from her room and whispers “Mummy, Is it time to get up yet?” There has been a few times when this question has been asked at 2/3am and been met with a sigh and her gently guided back to bed.

As Taylor will tell you every day we:-

“Get up, have breakfast, get dressed, take Ashy walk, and then what mummy?”

As she says we get up, have our breakfast while watching whatever is her choice of children’s channel that morning, then we get dressed and take our dog Ash for a walk. Sometimes the walks a 20minute wander, other times a trip to the park which can be an hour or more. It is very weather (and my mood!) dependent. The dog walks are very important part of our day though I feel. We get fresh air, exercise, and I get to teach the girls about all sorts of different things.

We only have one car so when my husband is at work we don’t have a mode of transport. I haven’t yet been brave enough to face a bus journey with a pram and a 3 year old. As such morning shift weeks are spent at home. Every day is different.

I obviously have various housewifey things to do such as washing, cleaning etc but I admit these are not my main priority. My main priority is always our girls. So we spend time playing imaginary games ranging from schools to shops, we do puzzles, we paint, we draw, we sing, we dance, we read, we chase, we play hide and seek, we watch Monsters Inc for a million and one times (!) …………..

Morning shift days Daddy gets home around 3pm meaning smiles and excitement all round! Watching how excited both the girls get seeing their Daddy on his return home from work fills my heart with joy. I’ll never tire of seeing that sight.

Then the next few hours are a whirlwind of another dog walk (just me this time), dinner, bathtime, story time, bedtime then normally lounging about on the sofa with my hubby chatting and watching rubbish on TV!

Very boring really isn’t it?

She didn’t need me tonight….

We always have a bedtime story before our daughter tucks down for the night. We try to vary it but she does have a few she loves and we read over & over again.

We have noticed on several occasions that Taylor has the most incredible memory for her age. The things she can recall are astounding and she can remember all sorts.

Tonight I was laid in her bed during story time and she “read” to me. It was “We are going on a bear hunt” and we haven’t read it for a couple of weeks.

I say”read” as she cannot yet read but she did the whole book word for word, turning the pages at the appropriate time and following along the sentences with her finger just like I do when I read to her!!

As we got to the swirling whirling snowstorm I had tears streaming down my face. Good tears. I couldn’t believe how much she has taken in and how well my little 3 year old girl asserts her independence.

I look at her sometimes and I do literally feel like my heart is swollen with pride and love. And I frown in disbelief. How did this beautiful, intelligent little being come from me?