|The thirteen week scan|
|Daisy on the inside|
|The first picture that doesn't contain me, covered in blood!|
|Mum and baby Daisy|
As any expectant mother will know, going overdue is a real pain in the backside - a week or so before your due date, everybody and their dog begins the endless round of texts, Facebook messages and Twitter messages, enquiring politely as to 'how you are' and whether you're having any 'twinges'. Irritating enough before the baby is even due, more annoying once you've gone over by a couple of days, positively infuriating once you get to 40 weeks and 9 days. Which is exactly the point I was at when Miss Daisy decided to make her appearance.
At 41 weeks, I was a week overdue, and headed off to see my midwife for a stretch and sweep, which is known to help things along a little - she told me I was already 1cm dilated, which meant I left feeling far more positive than I arrived. My Mum and I went on a long walk, wandered round the shops, and then headed home - I was half expecting her to arrive that evening, simply because that's what happened with the Boy. So you can imagine my disappointment when, after a few niggles, I went to bed and nothing else happened. Friday arrived, and still nothing - we filled the day with activities (which you can see in this post - what is more cheering than yarn and beach huts?), and although I had a few contractions throughout the day, they were manageable and not terribly regular. By that evening, I was feeling thoroughly fed up, so we watched some television and went to bed early. By Saturday morning, after two days of stop-start contractions, all I wanted was to be left alone, so the Husband took the Boy to the park and then round to see his Grandparents. I'd had exactly the same experience with my son, so was loathe to believe that even the regular pains that started that evening were anything to pay attention to - so desperate was I not to have a labour that was a repeat of the last one, that I ignored them and went to bed instead.
Two hours later, I found myself wide awake, hanging onto the bedhead with every contraction, and I finally gave in and admitted to the Husband that things might actually be moving along. He went to pick up my Mum, and after a lot of persuasion, I rang the hospital - they told me to come straight in (second babies apparently have a habit of just suddenly 'appearing'), so we all piled into the car, and headed off. I'd decided to have my Mum as my birth partner (ooohhh, controversial!), as she knows me better than anyone, and is far more of a relaxing presence than my Husband (who tries, bless him, but was utterly hopeless when the Boy was born...), so she came up to the ward with me, while the others went home and back to bed.
I was shown to my room, and met my midwife, whose first words to me were, "I'm Sandy, now, what do you want, and what don't you want?" I instantly felt relaxed, and told her that I was concerned I wasn't actually in active labour yet - she told me she'd been a midwife for over twenty years, and could promise me that I was. Sure enough, when she examined me, I was 5cm dilated - I immediately felt better, and realised that this was a different baby, and subsequently a different labour, and that it might actually not be as long or terrible as the first one. I ended up standing, leaning on the bed using gas and air for the first couple of hours, with the lights dimmed and some music on - the whole experience was incredibly relaxing and far, far better than anything I had imagined. When I was examined again, I had only reached 7cm - I felt despondent, but Sandy was fantastic, and said that anything could happen. When I told her the gas and air wasn't working as well, she offered me a shot of pethidine, which I happily accepted, and suddenly felt like I could cope again.
What seemed like ten minutes later (but was actually an hour, or so I'm told), I felt the distinct urge to push, but was concerned I wasn't dilated enough - Sandy told me to have a little go, and then to my absolute joy informed me that she could see hair when I did. I was given the green light to start pushing, and thirty minutes later, Daisy arrived into the world. Sandy was amazing - she gave clear instructions and remained motivational throughout the whole experience, and despite my wee one weighing in at a large 8lb 11, I had only a couple of stitches.
The whole labour and birth was everything I wanted it to be (despite a stubborn placenta, and problems with a racing heartbeat and light headedness afterwards) - calm, relaxing and safe. Sandy was simply amazing - any lady who is in her care should consider themselves extremely lucky, and be assured that she knows exactly what she's doing, and will do everything she can to make the whole experience as positive as she possibly can.
Daisy is an extremely placid baby, happy to both sit in her bouncer while I clean, or sit and be cuddled up close - I'm exclusively breastfeeding (which is going well so far - something else that was an utter disaster last time!), so we have lots of bonding time as well. She sleeps well at night, only waking once or twice for food, and settles herself down again afterwards - the whole experience is so different to when the Boy was a baby, it's hard to believe they're even related!
It's safe to say I'm thoroughly in love, as is her brother - he smoothes her, kisses her and tells everyone about her, and although we're having some behaviour issues with him at the moment, I'm staying confident that he'll settle down soon.
Welcome to the world, little one!