My labour story.. baby number 3.

I was sat watching Eastenders one evening when the very familiar feeling of regular contractions began.. ‘lasting longer than a minute and at intervals of every five minutes or so’. As a first time parent they tell you at antenatal classes that this means you are most probably in early labour, and to then take action when you get 3 in 10 minutes. What they don’t tell you is that early labour can actually last for hours, if not days, or in my case this time these early contractions lasted a whole WEEK..

Every night once the boys were nicely tucked up in bed at 7pm, I’d sit down to relax and these regular contractions would start again, they would continue until the morning, and would remain mostly regular. And then, like clockwork, once the boys would wake, they would fade out. I joked that I was only relaxed when the boys were not around and as a result my labour was not progressing. I googled my signs obsessively and decided that I was experiencing false labour. This continued for a week and it felt like I was never going to actually progress into ‘real labour’.

After experiencing this for a week, on the Wednesday night at 7pm once the boys were in bed, I started to feel contractions that started in my back. I was familiar with these types of contractions from my first labour, where my eldest monkey was back to back. So I instantly knew this must be the start of my actual labour for sure, although they were extremely mild and bearable.

They continued all night, and kept coming regularly but had still not intensified. So I got on my bouncy ball in the morning and kept bouncing through them in an effort to get things moving quicker. I didn’t move of the ball for three hours, but eventually got up to use the loo at around midday. Just as I was walking back to the ball, I thought I felt a small a trickle down my leg.. so I went upstairs to get dressed and it happened again.

I called the maternity ward to let them know my waters were leaking, they asked me to come in to be examined. As soon as I got to the hospital the contractions calmed down and become further apart! A change of environment can do that, it didn’t help that I was then there for almost four hours while they passed me from midwife to midwife between the midwife led and consultant led unit. Each time explaining my situation from scratch and being asked what I was doing there ๐Ÿ˜‚! I was there as they had asked me to come in but as I had no ‘evidence’ of my waters breaking and they couldn’t confirm that they had from an examination they believed I may have just had an accident, great!

Either way, I would need to be induced by midday the next day due to the infection risks of my waters ‘maybe’ breaking. The final midwife that I saw kindly checked if there was a bed available for my to be induced that evening, as it would happen the next day anyway and my contractions had completely slowed down I decided to come back at 7pm and then stay to be induced (it was already 4.30pm by this point). I’d always said I’d never unnecessarily opt for an induction but I was well and truly fed up and didn’t want another night of no progression but still experiencing contractions.

As soon as I got home even more of my waters had leaked and this time I got the evidence they wanted on a good old pad, so the scan they wanted to do was no longer needed :).

I said a quick goodbye to my boys before they went to bed (by this point grandma had made it down to look after them, so they were in safe hands). I left my husband at home also and took my sister back with me to the hospital. By this point my waters were constantly leaking as well as my mucus plug, but the contractions had not intensified, just continued every 5-8 minutes a part.

I was examined as soon as I got to hospital and was told I was 2-3cm already, so I was given a pessary but no further induction as I could wait to have my waters broken. However I was told that as it was now the night shift staff it would unlikely be until the morning as they were short staffed. I didn’t want to wait until then so bounced on my ball and walked up and down the corridors until 1am before giving up to get some sleep. The contractions were a lot more regular and slightly more intense now, but I was managing with my good old Tens machine.

I managed to sleep until around 5am but was in a really light sleep and could feel the contractions, I would press the button on my tens in my sleep every time a contraction came. My sister bless her managed to sleep on the chair next to my bed for a few hours.

At around 10am my husband swapped with my sister and we walked around the hospital for about an hour. While I was walking my contractions were a couple of minutes a part and hurting a lot more but still bearable. But I was disheartened when I was examined at 11am and I was still only 3cm! I was in ALOT of pain by now. My sister arrived back at this point and I sent my husband back home as no signs of baby yet. The pain I experienced in the next hour was insane, I could no longer walk and felt like I had no energy left.

I begged my sister to ask the midwife to examine me again but I was told no as nothing would have progressed so quickly yet. By 12.30 I was DYING so my sister asked again, reminding them that my active labour was super quick last time. I was so relieved to hear I was now 8cm dilated and I could move to the delivery suite and finally get some gas and air ๐Ÿ™‚

By this point I was so exhausted I decided to finally lie down and just use the gas and air for awhile to manage the pain. My husband had returned also, and spent the next few hours snacking, sipping his tea and watching the horse racing on his phone, but I didn’t even have the energy to be annoyed with him! I was so chilled the midwife said afterwards that she couldn’t believe I was actually in labour. It took until around 3.45pm to be fully dilated and then I was told to wait half an hour or so before I started to push so that babies head could move down slightly. After about 15 minutes I couldn’t wait any longer as the urge to push was so strong so we started pushing.

But I had completely exhausted myself over the last couple of days, I had no energy left to push and mentally I had no energy left either. So after a few minutes I ‘gave up’. The midwife suggested calling a doctor in for assistance and I agreed straight away (very out of character for me). The doctor came in and after looking at me and hearing this was third baby and both previous babies were born naturally, she gave me a little prep talk and told me she wouldn’t be assisting me as I didn’t need it..

It was the motivation I needed, as only a few minutes later at 16.08pm we welcomed our beautiful little boy (7 pounds exactly) into the world. The first thing I did was look down to see the gender, and I wasn’t surprised at all that baby had been a boy all along!

It’s the best feeling in the world having your brand new warm and cuddly baby placed onto your chest straight after they arrive. I remember feeling so relieved that he was finally here and after having initial skin to skin the adrenaline kicked in and I didn’t even feel tired. This was cut short so that I could be stitched up so it ended up being nearly two hours later that baby had his first feed and I finally got a proper look and hold of him.

As I had lost a lot of blood and my iron levels were low I had to stay in hospital that night and as soon as I was settled onto a ward I had the best 2 hours sleep of my life and it wasn’t until the next morning my three boys met for the first time ๐Ÿ’™

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Whatโ€™s in my hospital bag..

Third time round you’d think I’d be a pro at packing a hospital bag, but this time round I have left it SO last minute (I finished it yesterday at 38 weeks), and I’ve packed a little more this time as I’m anticipating a slightly longer stay this time, (previously only stayed for 24 hours with both of the boys)..

So what’s inside??

I actually have two bags!

I’ve packed my grey Pacapod nappy rucksack for the babies essentials, and a small weekend trolley for my things, and this is what I have packed:

My bag:

  • Breastpads (supermarket branded)
  • Maternity pads
  • Disposable maternity briefs (mine are from Tesco but most supermarkets do them as do boots!
  • Cotton dressing gown
  • Maternity pjs from Jojo Maman Bebe
  • Spare pjs
  • Maternity leggings x 2 pairs
  • 2 baggy tops
  • Nursing bra
  • Nursing dress from Lily & Ribbon (for leaving the hospital)
  • Nursing top
  • Socks
  • Hairbrush
  • Lansinoh nipple cream
  • Face towel
  • Mini toiletries of everyday essentials including toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hand, face & body wipe
  • Hand gel
  • Shower cap
  • Flip flops
  • Carrier bags for dirty clothes

For labour:

  • Spray bottle (to spray water on me if I need to cool down)
  • Lip balm (gas & air can make your lips dry)
  • Hair bands

To grab on the day

  • Snacks
  • Phone charger
  • Hospital notes
  • Tens machine (I’ve got the Mama Tens which I brought from amazon, but you can also hire them from mothercare, and local pharmacies/ websites).

So whats in the baby’s bag:

  • 3 x muslins
  • 5 x unisex sleepsuits
  • 5 x vests
  • 3 x cotton hats
  • 1 x blanket
  • 1 x cardigan
  • 12 nappies
  • Water wipes
  • Nappy sacks
  • Child’s farm nappy cream
  • Disposable nappy mats (so handy for changing baby on your hospital bed)

I live about a five minutes drive from the hospital so if I have an extended stay I can just get somebody to grab me more from home. Feel ALOT more prepared now everything’s packed! Just a waiting game now!

Baby number 3 is coming.

Okay so it’s been almost a year since I updated my blog, life with two little monkeys kinda got in the way, and you may have guessed it from the title, that baby number 3 is on its way.. in 2 weeks..eeeek!

My little monkey turned 3 this summer, and his little brother just turned 20 Months. So we have exactly the same age gap as before and we are super excited to meet our new baby and find out if it’s a boy or a girl!

Here’s the last 9 months worth of bump pics ๐Ÿ˜

Breastfeeding in pregnancyย 

Disclaimer.. this is ANOTHER post about breastfeeding, so if you have no interest in the topic feel free to skim past this one! 

Yes you read it right, breastfeeding and pregnancy can go hand in hand. Before being a mum, I wouldn’t have had a clue about whether it was possible to breastfeed when pregnant. And it’s unsurprising as so many people believe this myth to be true, even health professionals! In fact, even my mum thought this to be true, as advised by her midwife at the time. So, when she fell pregnant with me when my sister was 3 months old, she too stopped breastfeeding. 

It’s widely assumed that your body cannot provide the right nutrients for both baby in utero alongside your breastmilk. This is infact false, and many women feed their babies throughout their pregnancies and beyond and eventually tandem feed. 

Tandem feeding didn’t appeal to me whatsoever. And so when I fell pregnant with his brother when he was just under 1, I had to reassess my aim to feed him until he was 2. I just knew it wasn’t for me. Perhaps this was due to the mental and physical demands breastfeeding required, but also I just couldn’t imagine having two babies so dependant on me, and the logistics! 

And so I knew I wanted to stop feeding my eldest before his brother arrived, but I didn’t put a time limit on it and I wasn’t ready to stop to begin with, and neither was my food refusing nearly 1 year old. Yes that’s right, at 1 he was still yet to eat a full meal of anything, so had been relying on me 100%.. (see what I mean about it being demanding)! 

So I decided to just go with the flow. And my baby decided more and more that he would feed more and more than ever before which made no sense to me as he had previously only been feeding at naptimes (twice daily), bedtime, and for night feeds. But I kept at it nervously as it seemed like I would actually end up tandem feeding after all! My monkey just showed no signs of stopping, and it felt cruel to take away his only nourishment as he still wasn’t eating or drinking anything else. 

But then it started to get painful. REALLY painful, sore, cracked and bleeding nipples. But I still soldiered on, sometimes crying through the pain. For anyone that’s ever experienced the pain of early breastfeeding whilst your milk supply and babies latch is being established will know how bad this is. Only there was no end to this. Then, at around 20 weeks pregnant, my baby wanted to feed EVEN more, sometimes 3 or 4 times an hour and all night. It had become unbearable. But at 14 months old he had finally started to eat some solids. 

And then it hit me. The constant feeding but him never being satisfied, the pain, and the frequency, led me to the realisation that my milk had turned back to colostrum. And as he wasn’t established onto solid food or any other liquid, he was getting more and more frustrated as even though he was feeding more, he wasn’t getting what he needed. 

I managed 3 months of feeding him through the worse pain ever and and I was now 5 months pregnant. It all become too much, I needed my body back for a few short months before it all started again, and I needed a rest, and definetly some sleep. And so when my monkey was 15 months old I decided to stop breastfeeding him. It took 3 days of offering cuddles and snacks instead of milk, no tears and no fuss. I was shocked! But I also truly think it was a lot easier as he had not been getting any milk for weeks, maybe months and was actually just getting frustrated and fed up by this. 

I hadn’t actual decided to night wean straight away, I was still going to continue with one night feed until I was ready to tackle it, but I was shocked further when after day 2 he stopped waking for his night feed and slept right through.. which was of course a bonus! 

So yes, breastfeeding and pregnancy can go hand in hand, but just like breastfeeding in general, it will not be an easy ride and it takes a lot of effort and dedication. I was proud to feed my baby for as long as I did during my pregnancy but I was also so thankful for the few months break I got in between, and the sleep! 

I’d love to hear other mums experiences of feeding whilst pregnant, or if any of you were fabulous enough to tandem feed. Was it worth the pain and preserving or like me are you glad you stopped when you did? 

Post baby diet starts NOW

Okay so I’ve been saying for some weeks now that the healthy eating has started, BUT after weighing myself last week and realising I have put on 4 POUNDS after losing the initial baby weight, this time I’m really really going to try. 

I only put on a stone with this pregnancy but I still had a stone to lose from pregnancy number one when I fell pregnant, so in total I am just over a stone larger than I’m used to. Breastfeeding makes me super super hungry and lack of time and preparation leaves me reaching for sugary snacks. I have consumed probably a dozen packs of digestive biscuits in the last 12 weeks, it’s actually embarrassing! I’m going to be realistic and hope to lose up to half a stone, as I know my appetite is crazy as a breastfeeding mum. 

We have so many summer weddings and events that I really do want to do something about it now. So I am writing this post with the aim that it will motivate me to stick to it and update any progress. So, as I write this I am 9 stone 7 pounds.. wish me luck! 

Fruit taken from my fruit bowl which is almost rotting due to non consumption ๐Ÿ˜‚