Saturday, 27 December 2008

Before I write a blog post about Christmas I want to write one in more detail about Emily's birth, mostly for my own memories. The last one I wrote was so brief as I was rushed. I want to get it all down on here so that I can read over it in years to come.

Emily's birth didn't really go to plan. I'd had three natural births but was booked in for a caesarean section this time. In an ideal world I would have preferred a home birth, or a water birth, but my main concern was that both baby and I would survive the birth intact, with minimal damage. I was quite upbeat about the idea of the C-section. I didn't feel that I was missing out on much by not pushing her into the world myself, but I really wanted to be awake for her birth and to enjoy her first precious moments.

After an 8 hour wait I was taken into the theatre. It was a daunting place, so huge, so white and sparkling clean, so full of scary equipment with a table in the middle for me to lie on. It was odd to just walk into the operating theatre as a perfectly healthy person and to lay myself down on the operating table. Buzzing around me was the anesthetist, his assistant, and a few midwives. The anesthetist was a lovely friendly man who had already talked me through the procedure and all the risks involved. It was agreed that I would have a spinal block, which is similar to an epidural in that it numbs the body. Whilst I sat on the operating table waiting for the anesthetist who was opening hundreds of packets and laying equipment out neatly on trays, a midwife chatted away to me in an attempt to keep me calm and to distract me from the goings on.

Eventually they were ready to start the spinal. I sat on the edge of the table with my feet resting on a chair. They gave me a pillow to hug and I had to curl up around the pillow to arch my back, which is not an easy task when one has a baby in ones belly! The anesthetist kept trying to get me to curl further, to open up the vertebrae in my spine, and the assistant in front kept trying to lower my shoulders until I could get into the perfect position. It wasn't easy and it wasn't comfy. Once I was ready they put an injection into my back to numb it slightly, and then I had to sit very still whilst they passed a needle through to my spine. It was a strange sensation. I could hear popping and feel pushing. As soon as the spinal was in they quickly got me lying down, before my legs went numb.

I lay on the table with a sensation of pins and needles starting in my feet and spreading up my legs. My legs went numb pretty quickly. Then the anesthetist spent 20 minutes rotating and tilting the operating table to get the spinal to spread evenly across my body. He kept running ice along my stomach and asking if I could feel the coldness. I could feel no cold, just a touching sensation. Eventually they said they were ready to start the operation, and a midwife put up a screen around my chest so that I couldn't see what was going on. Another midwife said she would go and fetch Dan so that he could be with me to watch the birth.

At this point a surgeon turned up. I don't know who he was and had never met him before. He just winked at me with a scalpel in his hand! He started pinching my stomach and I told him I could still feel it. They seemed somewhat surprised and tried to convince me that I couldn't feel it. But I could. So the anesthetist said they'd make the first cut and see how it went. Right then I felt a scalpel draw a 7 inch long line across my stomach and felt the skin parting! I told them I could feel it and so they told me the spinal hadn't worked and I'd need to be put to sleep for the procedure. I was upset for Dan more than anything because I knew he wanted to be with me. A midwife went off to tell him that I was having a general anesthetic and he was taken to a room to wait for his baby.

Immediately someone was injecting something into my arm, and the anesthetist was holding a mask over my face. He held my head down whilst someone held my neck, then held the mask over my face and I started panicking because I felt so terribly claustrophobic. I told him that I couldn't breath, and he replied that I must be breathing because the balloon was going in and out. But what I meant was that I wasn't getting any oxygen, as I was hyperventilating. It's a good job that I fell asleep at this point because I was about to have a claustrophobic panic attack! The last thing I said before being put to sleep was "make sure you give the baby straight to my husband!" And I heard a "yes dear".

A few minutes later my baby girl was born, and I knew nothing about it whatsoever. Apparently she weighed 7lb 8oz and was healthy. I don't know if she cried, or what she looked like. I don't know how soon it was before they gave her to Dan. He was left alone in a room pacing back and forward. He says he walked the carpet bare waiting for news. A midwife came to tell him that he had a healthy daughter and he asked when he could see her. A few minutes later he saw another midwife and asked the same question. Then he heard two midwives saying "we better get that baby down to that Father pretty quickly". They brought her into him, wrapped in a towel, and left them together for an hour whilst I was stitched up.

The next thing I remember was the annoyance of being woken from a deep sleep. I was in the recovery room, but thought I was at home in bed. I remember hearing the voice of the anesthetist who was leaving now that I was waking, then I heard people calling my name and telling me to wake up. But I didn't open my eyes until I head Dan's voice saying "she's so beautiful honey, wake up and see how beautiful she is". Then I remembered that I was in hospital having a baby! I opened my eyes long enough to see that Dan was holding a baby girl wrapped in a towel down by my face. She was crying a little bit and didn't like being held at that angle, so he lifted her back up. A few minutes later I started to come round properly and although I had an oxygen mask on my face I was calling out "where's my baby? I want to see my baby? Is she ok? Is she healthy? What did she weigh?" Dan assured me she was healthy and lay her down beside me. She was beautiful.

After a while I was able to feed her, and then my sister turned up with Annabelle, Jimmie and Barney. They big kids had a little cuddle before heading back home for the night. Then eventually, hours later, I was taken up to the maternity ward.

It wasn't really until I got home that I started to feel a bit sad about missing the birth of my baby girl. Most of the time it doesn't bother me. But if I'm alone in the dark at night, feeding her, I start to wonder what it was like... what she looked like etc. I start to feel really sad about missing out on that experience. It's something I can never get back. I am glad that she is healthy, but I still feel like we missed something special.

She is too weeks old now and I have to say that she is the most content, happy baby I have ever met. She rarely cries. All she does is sleep, feed, and poop! She's just an adorable, happy, good natured little thing. And totally adorable too. Her big brothers and sister love her to bits, and theres always a queue for someone to cuddle her. She's very lucky to be born into a family with so many people to love and cherish her.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Dan and Barney made sweets

We thought it would be an excellent idea if we made some sweets today.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

One week old already

Time flies so much faster after pregnancy than it does in the build up to the birth! Emily is now eight days old already. I haven't had time to blog as much as I'd like (as you can imagine). I will have to catch up sometime. Emily has been a little darling, and I can't complain. She rarely cries and is such a good little girl during the night. Waking up for night time feeds is so much less stressing with a baby that doesn't cry constantly. She wakes, feeds ,then goes back to sleep.

Anyway, I just wanted to add a few photos to the blog. Theres a few photo albums on facebook which you can see by clicking on these links...

Emily day 1.

Emily day 2.
Emily day 3.
Emily day 4.
Emily week one and beyond.

The kids are totally in love with her, especially little Barney. He told me that he doesn't have enough room in his heart for all the love. He helped me with her first bath and was in charge of washing her hair, which he did very gently.

A C-section is certainly much harder to recover from than a natural birth. The scar, and my whole tummy, are still very painful and getting up from bed to a sitting position is extremely sore. The midwife put a big 20x20cm dressing across the wound but unfortunately I was allergic to it, and now i have a big rash (twice the size of the plaster) across my stomach, that itches like hell. They have put me on anti allergy tablets to try to stop the itching. Now I cant have a dressing and the wound is sort of just sitting there, a bit open and sad looking. I'm so grateful to have Dan at home to take care of the house and kids.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The birth of Emily Rose...

My baby girl was born on Friday 12th December by planned C-section.
We arrived at the hospital at 8am ready for our section but had to wait 8 hours before being finally taken to theatre as there were so many emergencies coming in. The waiting was torture.
Finally I Was taken into theatre and give a spinal block to numb my body ready for the c section. Unfortunately the spinal didnt work and as they cut into my belly I could feel it! Within seconds they had put me to sleep, which was a shame as it meant I missed the birth and also that my husband couldnt stay with me.
Baby Emily Rose was born whilst I slept, at 4.27pm, weighing 7lb 8oz and was given to her Daddy who was left to take care of her for an hour until I woke up. The first thing I remember was my husband telilng me "she's so beautiful", and then I thought "Oh gosh, I was having a baby!" and tried to wake up. I took a brief glimpse at her and then drifted back to sleep. Ten minutes later I woke up calling out "wheres my baby? I want to see my baby?" so Steve brought her over and I had a hundred dozy questions about whether she was healthy, and what she weighed.

I was sad to have missed the birth but delighted that she was safe and well. My three older children came to visit on the labour ward and all had a little cuddle before we went up to the maternity ward.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Enily - day two

Yesterday was a wonderful day. There is nothing quite like being at a birth of your own child. It’s the most wonderful thing in the world. To hold your own new born baby must be one of the most spiritual moments of anyone’s life, there is nothing quite like it. This is the forth time its happened now and it was just as amazing as the first time. The birth of a child is a miracle and every time it happens, its an over whelming experience that I cannot put into words, and creates such joy that cant be explained.

The day started at 6.30am when we woke up to be at the hospital for 8am. When we were checked in we found out that there was one person in front of us which was great. Soon after we found out that there were two emergencies and there would be very long delays. In the end Bree was not taken down for surgery until nearly 4pm which was a 8 hour wait. We were just happy that we were going to met our new daughter and pleased that it was not us having to deal with an emergency.

They took Bree to get her ready for the C section and get her all numbed before sending for me, but about 25 minutes later the nurse came to me and told me that they could not numb her enough and she would have to be put to sleep. We were told that this could happen and I just had to wait for word.

I have never felt more out of control in my whole life. I was going mad waiting, I wore out the carpet in the waiting room. 10 minutes later (seemed like hours) they came in and told me that a wee girl had been born. Well I already knew she was a wee girl and all I wanted was to see her. A few minutes later a different nurse came to see me and half way through her saying congratulations I stopped her and said ‘when can see her’ in quite and demanding voice (very unlike me). They took me to a different room and told me to take a seat. 30 seconds later I heard them talking saying ‘I think we better go and get that baby right now!!)

The eight hour wait instantly seemed like a few minutes now that I had my daughter in my arms. It was no price to pay and the fact that I had missed the birth no longer mattered as I had her all to myself for 40 minutes before they bought Bree back. Just me and our new born baby in a room on our own! it was magical. It was my job to take good care of her while Bree was sleepy. A wee girl that came from our American trip. A human being that now is alive because of us. Someone that generations could come from, someone that could invent the even longer lasting light bulb!.

She is beautiful, she is sweet, And I love her.

Well done to Bree for being amazing and a big thanks to all the babysitters that made the whole thing so much easier.


Mother and baby doing very well toady, more news to follow soon.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Emily Rose Mayger born 12th Dec 08 at 4.20pm - 7lb 8oz

I cant wait to get to the hospital so I will write a full account of the day later XXX

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Having a baby... tomorrow!

If you're reading this on Thursday then I'm having a baby tomorrow (if you're reading it after Thursday then I've already had it!)

Yes, today is my last day of pregnancy and I don't know what to do with myself to pass the time away. I went out for breakfast this morning with a friend, and will be up at the hospital this evening for a pre Caesarean check-up. In between I guess I shall finish packing my hospital bag, re-check things I may have forgotten to pack, tidy the house a little, take a bath.

This whole 'knowing what day the baby will be born on' malarkey is a new experience for me. After 3 natural births I am finding this experience rather odd. I haven't been waiting to go into labour, just waiting for the 12th to arrive. I'm not at all nervous about the operation, or the hospital stay. I'm just impatient and bored. I am slightly more anxious about life with another child, whether I will be able to cope with four kids, and no sleep!

Anyway, next time I write on this blog it will hopefully be with photos of little baby Emily. I can't wait to meet her, to see what she looks like. I wonder whether she has a full head of dark hair like Annabelle did, or gingery whispy hair like Barney, or whether shes a blond baldish baby like Jimmie. Dan is more nervous than me at the thought of watching his wife be cut open and his baby taken out. He's hoping not to pass out, poor guy.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Finally, less than a week to go until the C-section (unless baby decides to make a surprise entry into the world!) and typically our car has died, so goodness knows how I will get to the hospital if anything does happen!

I was starting to get very despondent and miserable during the week after having a nasty flu bug, but Dan managed to cheer me right up by taking us all out last night. Our last night out as a family of 5 (and possibly our last night out for the foreseeable future!) He took us to Ed's Diner in Banbridge, then onto the cinema to see Madagascar 2. Dan has been waiting 3 years for the sequel to Madagascar and was more excited than any of the kids! I think he may possibly have been more excited about that, than about the baby! But we had a lovely evening out, with yummy food and good company, which has left me with a bit more of a spring in my step to make it through this last week of pregnancy.

For anyone who wishes to see the latest family photos you can do so by clicking on the following links....

Winter 2008 photos
Autumn 2008 photos
Pregnancy photos

Other news this week... Dan and Barney made chocolate crispy cakes together which made Barneys day. Dan loves to do these things at the moment while he's not working as he never used to get much free time for it before. Today we put up the Christmas tree, far too early for my liking, but it had to be done soon as I will be in hospital next weekend. Barney enjoyed putting the baubles and lights on for me.

We were sad to learn of the death of Dan's uncle in England who had been unwell for some months. Dan was deeply saddened for his family and really wanted to be able to go over to England to be with them, but with the baby being born in a few days time it's just not possible. Our thought are with Dan's family at the moment.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Counting down the days

Eight days to go! And yes, of course, I'm watching every minute of every day tick by ever so slowly. I'm very impatient. Things haven't been helped by the fact that I had an awful flu bug all week and spent 4 days laying in bed, unable to move, eat, breath or do much else. Now I am left with a cough and cold, but hopefully they will both have cleared up by the time baby makes her big arrival.

I was very surprised that after laying in the same position for about 6 weeks, baby decided to completely turn herself around. She's still head down (as far as I can work out) but her legs are all over my left side instead of my right side. She must have put quite some effort into turning as she really doesn't have much room in there!

Little Barney has been on his asthma medication for almost 2 weeks now and is showing some great improvements in his health. For starters he is once again sleeping through the night without waking up with fevers, headaches, earaches and choking fits. He's still cold a lot during the day but is showing signs of improvement, which we are all relieved about. He will be back at the doctors tomorrow morning for a check up.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Poorly Barney

Poor Barney has had a terrible few months. Since starting school he has had one bug after another, which is to be expected when suddenly thrust into a world of unhygienic, snotty little children. But more than that, he was been very unwell, and hes just about had enough of feeling miserable. He's been missing 1 - 2 days a week from school on average, and I'm sure the teachers wonder if I just can't be bothered to send him in. About 6 weeks ago I took him to see the doctor who prescribed him antibiotics and sent him for an x-ray. The antibiotics cleared everything up for about a week, then it all just came back again. He has a constant cough, cold, blocked sinuses, headaches, occasional vomiting and diarrhea. During the day he is always cold, I mean frozen cold, to such an extent that he needs to wear thermals under his clothes and could really do with gloves and slippers, no matter how much we heat the house. His hands and feet just cant warm up. But then at night time he wakes every night with a burning fever, hot to the touch from head to toe and complaining bitterly that he feels unwell. We have tried every natural remedy we can think of, from steam inhalations, changing his bedding for dust mite proof bedding, getting rid of rugs and anything that traps dust in his room, giving him vitamins and a childrens iron supplement. But nothing makes a blind bit of difference.

So this week I took him back to the doctors. Firstly she told me the results of his x-ray. He has an abnormal rib, a congenital abnormality that he was born with. One of his ribs splits into two and sticks out at a a funny angle. Apparently its completely harmless and he's just unique. She drew him a picture of his special rib which he enjoyed. Yesterday I drew on his chest with blue felt pen to show him exactly what ribs are and how his are different. The doctor was puzzled by his symptoms and admitted that he probably needs to have some blood tests done. But rather than traumatize the poor lad with blood tests yet she wanted to try him on an asthma treatment to see if that would help. She is seeing him again in 2 weeks, and if there's no improvement it will be onto the blood test route. So for 3 days now he has been taking 2 different inhalers, and there has been not a tiny bit of improvement so far. Part of me doesn't want him to have asthma, but part of me wonders if asthma could be a darn site nicer than anything else that he could have. It's a waiting game now to see if theres any improvement. But the poor mite is just so fed up of feeling poorly and we are all feeling very sorry for him.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Metal Bellydancing for Charity!

Last night was probably the last night out I will be getting for quite some time! And the first night out I've had for ages as well. We went to the charity metal bellydancing night called 'Rock the Kasbah' at the Empire music hall in Belfast. The event was held to raise money for Marie Curie, and a lot of the girls I know from my bellydancing classes were dancing at it. The girls danced to live music by The Rockaholics, an amazing rock cover band who were totally awesome.

Our friend J kindly saved us seats at the invalids table (with me being heavily pregnant and her having just undergone surgery), which meant that we had a great front row view of all the dances. It was a very loud night and I'm sure little Emily wondered what was going on in there! I felt her moshing away to a tune by Led Zeppellin and I wasn't sure if that meant she liked all the noise or was trying to cover her ears.

We all bought raffle tickets as there were some really good prizes on offer. J didn't win anything despite spending £20 on tickets, but Dan was the proud winner of a bright pink ballydancing coin shimmy belt! We all had a laugh at him wearing it, and then he graciously gave it to me.