Saturday 18 December 2010

The first two weeks

Well, we've had an interesting time with Elizabeth over the last two weeks. I had to spend the first couple of days in hospital so I could be monitored as I lost a lot of blood and had a low iron level. We eventually came home on the Sunday evening. Lovely!

As you would expect, it took us a few days to get used to having our newest addition around. The day after we were discharged (Monday 6th) we had a visit from the midwife as they like to make sure that the first night at home went OK. Both Elizabeth and myself were checked over and everything was fine. We then had to travel to Wycombe Hospital on Wednesday 8th for Elizabeth's 5 day check-up. They did a blood test on her and some other general checks. She was also weighed and had only lost 20 grams. Her birth weight was 3.4 kg (7lbs 8oz) and in the first two weeks, babies are expected to lose up to 10% of their birth weight.

Unfortunately I then got a bit sick and had to be admitted to the hospital on Sunday 12th. I was on IV antibiotics and had to stay in for two days. Not fun but I felt much better when I left. I had managed to get some sort of virus but luckily Elizabeth seemed to be OK. This meant that Elizabeth had her 10 day check-up at Stoke Mandeville as that's where we were staying. They weighed her and her weight had gone up to 3.5kg (7lbs 11oz)! She clearly wasn't having any problems feeding...

We then had another visit from the midwife at home to check that I was OK after my little stay in the hospital. Elizabeth was weighed again and this time she'd gone up to 3.62kg (7lbs 15.5oz). This was when she was 13 days old. Most babies are back to their birth weight at this point but Elizabeth likes her food a bit too much. That's a great sign though and we're really pleased with her development. She's even pretty good at holding up her own head. Scary...
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Friday 10 December 2010

Summarised birth

This is a much shorter post without all the gorey details, for those that still want to know how the birth went.

My waters went before I started having contractions so I was taken into hospital so that I could be induced. After 8 hours, I still hadn't dilated and was in a lot of pain so I had an epidural. My only form of pain relief up to that point was gas-and-air.

5 hours after the epidural had gone in I had dilated to 9cm but the baby started to get distressed. It was therefore decided that I should have an emergency c-section.

They wheeled me straight into theater but I had fully dilated so I had what's called an assisted delivery. A suction cup was attached to baby's head and I had an episiotomy. Whilst I pushed, the surgeon guided the baby out to safety. Elizabeth was born at 7.25 am.
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The birth

Wow! A whole week has passed since the birth of our baby girl. It's really flown by. I'm sure you'll forgive us for not doing any posts recently.

So I'll start at the beginning. Warning - skip this post if you don't want too much information...

We went to bed Wednesday evening and I woke up just after midnight for a quick toilet stop. For reasons which I'm sure are obvious, I thought that my waters (amniotic sack) might be leaking. I still felt like this the following morning so called the hospital, who suggested I pop in to get checked out. They confirmed my suspicions. As I wasn't having any contractions at this point, I was booked in to be induced the following morning at 8am. We were all hoping contractions would start on their own but either way it meant that I wouldn't be having the water birth that I wanted. We were sent home with instructions to get cosy and prepare ourselves for the birth.

At about 7.45 thursday evening, I thought there was a bit of meconium in my leaking waters. Another trip to the hospital and again my thoughts were confirmed. This meant that I had to be induced straight away as there was too great a risk to the baby to wait. They set me up with drips in both hands as I had to have various different fluids pumped into me throughout the process.

It took a while but eventually I began to feel the contractions that the machine said I was having quite regularly. After 4 hours I had started on the gas-and-air for some pain relief and the midwife checked to see how dilated I was. I wasn't at all dilated which was a huge disappointment. The drug they use to induce labour (synto) was increased and we would have to wait another 4 hours for my dilation to be checked.

By the time that next check came around, I was having 8 contractions every 10 minutes. I was in a lot of pain! There was no respite between the contractions so I didn't have a chance to get over one before the next one hit. So, the midwife (Kath) does her thing and I'm still not dilated at all! I decided to have an epidural.

Duncan, the anesthesiologist, came to us really quickly - at least it felt to me like it was quick. I think it then takes about 15 minutes to prepare everything. I sat on the side of the bed, patiently waiting to have a long needle stuck in my spine, whilst trying to cope with the contractions and letting Duncan know when they were coming. He needed to do his thing whilst I was absolutely still. 15 minutes after that the drugs started working and I had a rest. I'd been awake for a long time and hadn't really slept much wednesday night, due to worry.

My dilation was then checked again 2 hours later. I had got to 5 cm! I have no idea what happened during those 2 hours or the 2 hours after that, except that baby started to get a little distressed. A device was therefore attached to her head to keep a better track of her heart rate and some other tests were done to see if they could determine why her heart rate kept dropping. They then measured my dilation and I was 9 cm! Minutes later, we had the results and the doctor decided that her results were too low and they needed to get her out. I was wheeled to theatre for an emergency c-section (caesarean).

By the time we got into theater, I was fully dilated. It was decided that I would have a ventouse delivery (where they attach a suction cup to baby's head) and I also needed an episiotomy (cutting me). Elizabeth was then born at 7.25 am.
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