The New Arrival

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I’ve been quiet over the last few days, and I’m sure you can imagine why!

On the 19th December at 5:12am, a full 13 days after her due date, we welcomed the latest addition to our family, who will henceforth be known as C. She’s pictured above tucked up under the Jones household Christmas tree, an early Christmas present even if she arrived somewhat later than we had hoped!

It’s customary at this point to share slightly too much information about the miracle / trauma of childbirth, so without being anywhere near as explicit as my husband’s blog on the birth of our first child, here goes!

(This is going to be quite long, so feel free to skip if you’re not interested in the details!)

11 days after baby’s due date, we were booked into hospital for induction. Now with more than a little leaning towards natural / slightly ‘new age’ childbirth, I was loathe to be induced, particularly prior to 42 weeks (despite common misconception, you aren’t technically overdue until past the magic 42 week point), but also because it’s generally agreed that intervention in kicking off labour has a tendency to spiral into further interventions, ending up with my worst possible scenario, an emergency caesarean section (let’s just say I’m not good with hospitals!).

However, given all the signs were that this would be an even bigger baby than our firstborn (all 9lbs 15ozs of her), I was as keen as anyone to not leave her to grow too much more.

Despite a slow start which left me wondering whether the whole process would be a waste of time, labour eventually kicked in during the early hours of Thursday morning. With the midwife confirming I was already 4cm after just 30 minute of contractions, there was a quick call to wake up the other half.

Then it REALLY kicked in, so that with no need for further intervention I was soon encouraging the midwife to transfer me downstairs to the delivery suite despite it being somewhat busy, apparently thanks to that week’s full moon.

Downstairs at last, and asked if I wanted to try gas and air to help with the pain, my answer was an immediate “hell yes!”, and I think I actually snatched the mouthpiece off the midwife. The gas helped both to take the edge off the contractions and to give me a focus for breathing through them, as by now they were coming thick and fast. And thankfully unlike my last labour – where the gas sent me off into my own little world where I was barely aware of what was going on – I was able to stay ‘with it’ throughout.

(I say thankfully, but perhaps given the ‘mildly traumatic’ nature of my labour with G it might have been just as well!)

They say that labour is expected to progress at around 1cm dilation per hour until you reach the necessary 10cm, so I doubted it when I started feeling the urge to push just 3 hours later. The midwife confirmed I was ready to go but encouraged me to take my time, and so it was than an hour later C made her appearance.

A little shocked at first, she was clearly none too happy at being wrest from her cosy hideaway. So much so that she made her first act out of utero the gift of a huge poo all over, well, just about everything. Let’s hope this isn’t a sign of things to come.

We always knew she was going to be a good sized baby but nonetheless we were all a little surprised when she tipped the scales at a hefty 5.15kg (11lbs 5ozs). In fact the midwife exclaimed that C was the largest baby she’d ever delivered!

A few hours later, with paperwork and other necessities completed (I promised I wouldn’t go into graphic detail after all!) the full impact of delivering an 11lbs 5ozs baby hit me when I realised my back and stomach muscles seemed to have given up completely, and it was another hour or so before I was able to get to my feet with a lot of help. Quite how ladies manage after a c section is beyond me!

3 days later, and back home at last, we’re slowly heading towards some sense of normality (if normality includes all night feeding sessions, which apparently it now does…). But I still want to update my Christmas list for Santa.

Let’s just say that now I’ve got my baby safe and sound, all I want for Christmas is the safe return of my pelvic floor.

Don’t suppose anyone has seen it recently?

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Are you sure it’s not twins?

Some things are inevitable when you’re pregnant.

But it’s not just the obvious things – it’s the morning sickness that doesn’t stick to its designated morning slot, the inexplicable weeping at anything vaguely heartwarming (Christmas adverts it appears are amongst the worst culprits), and the way that suddenly a growing bump becomes public property; open for anyone to touch, coo and comment over at any opportunity.

It’s enough to make you think nobody has ever seen a pregnant woman before, and the exchanges become increasingly predictable from about 26 weeks onwards:

“So, when are you due?”
“Not for a few months yet!”
“Really? You’re huge!”
“Uh…”
“Are you sure they’ve got the dates right?”
“Yeah, pretty sure…”
“And there’s definitely just the one in there?”
“Yes, definitely just one…”

Seriously, when has it ever been acceptable to tell a woman they’re huge?

And don’t get me started on the people who say “wow, you’ve grown!” – er, I am growing a baby you know, that’s kind of what’s meant to happen?

Whilst I’ve come to the conclusion that most people just don’t know how to speak to someone who’s pregnant, my sympathies start to crack when it comes to those who’ve clearly been through it themselves – the latest being a lady pushing a newborn baby around Asda exclaiming to me “blimey, I thought I was big when I was pregnant!”.

Er, thanks for that love.

You would think by the time you reached the ‘one week to go’ milestone people would ease up on the “really? You look ready to burst” retorts, but it seems only now that I’m overdue do you start to get a bit of actual sympathy.

Of course, now I just have to learn to cope with the new, inevitable, conversations:

“Yikes, I’m impressed you’re out and about!”
What, I’m supposed to shut myself away in the house until baby decides to rock up?

“Well don’t go into labour here!”
Like if it was in my control I’d choose to drop in the middle of a supermarket! Though then again there’s all those rumours of free groceries for life…

“Should I call an ambulance?”
If I needed one I sure as hell wouldn’t be stood here counting out loose change. And you do know that childbirth is nothing like they show it in the movies, right?!

And the classic, usually delivered by text, or occasionally posted on Facebook walls…

“Any sign of baby yet?”
Yeah, I had her last week but just didn’t bother to tell anyone…

Yep, some things in pregnancy are inevitable. And at this stage, now officially ‘overdue’, the one inevitable thing I’m holding on to is that this baby will be coming out, sometime soon, one way or another.

And no amount of wondering, worrying or text messages will have any impact on when that is!