So you’re probably wondering ‘Where the hell is Evie?’ and ‘Why isn’t she blogging anymore?’ – well – you might also be wondering ‘has she had that baby yet?’
The answer to that is yes I have and I’m happy to announce the arrival of baby Milo Andrews who ‘shot’ (quite literally like a champagne cork) into the world on the 4th April 2012. He was due on the 14th of April but chose to come 10 days early weighing in at a healthy 8lbs and 10oz (so I’m quite glad he came early to be honest!!!).
And here he is – soon after being born…
Labour started on the Monday night and then subsided during the day on Tuesday and then started up again with gusto at 7pm after I got my ‘show’. Colin arrived home from work at that point and we weren’t sure if this was our ‘Thunderbirds are go’ moment or not – it turned out it was, although I was in denial about it for a few hours and finished off some work I was doing, as I had a meeting booked with clients the following afternoon (very optimistic of me).
I ended up spending all night at home using the TENS machine, periodically calling the hospital to let them know how I was progressing. I was admitted to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy at about 9.30am on Wednesday 4th and Milo was born 12 hours later in a birthing pool. It was exhausting as I hadn’t had much sleep for the past 48 hours and there are several hours that I have no recollection of at all – probably a good thing too. I remember the start and the finish, but the period in between is a complete blank. Colin did some sound recordings, and it’s been amazing to listen back to them, although I’ve not gone through all of them yet – I made some very primal sounds. I had to listen back to the final half hour as I was convinced I was swearing repeatedly and using every expletive under the sun, but actually I only used the ‘F’ word a few times and made mention of good old JC occasionally.
The final half hour was the most horrendous excruciating pain I’ve ever encountered, but it was bearable as it came in very short bursts and I had two midwives and Colin helping me through every second of it. I’d over done in on the gas and air (oops!) and so only had the hot water to help ease the pain, and even that wasn’t very hot as I had also overheated and they were trying to cool me down by adding cold water. Babies are meant to come out gradually and Milo started off this way, but in the end just came out in one big push and gave us all a shock. I think this helped to keep his head a normal shape – so many people have commented on the fact that he’s not got a torpedo shaped head like so many other newborns.
I cut the cord soon after birth – I was looking forward to doing that and it was quite a poignant moment – we wanted to wait until it had stopped pulsing but as I was so exhausted, the midwives were keen to get me to deliver the placenta and that’s when things went a bit pear shaped.
We both ended up staying in hospital for a further 5 days. I was under observation as I lost a lot of blood at the point of delivery and also with trying to deliver the placenta. It just didn’t want to come out and I ended up having to have a spinal anaesthetic and have it manually removed which was pretty horrible, but necessary. So I got post-natal anaemia and looked pretty transparent for a few days and had no strength at all. I was put on high dose iron tablets (horrible!) and gradually got my strength back, but the hospital food was so lacking in nutrition that I couldn’t wait to get home and back to Colin’s cooking. Milo on the other hand started having problems with his breathing soon after we got up to the post-natal ward the following day. Suspecting an infection, the special care unit thought it best to put him on a course of antibiotics and run a load of tests. In the next image below you can see he’s got a cannula in his right hand.
We got released on the following Tuesday evening and had the most horrendous first night at home as a family. The whole house was a mess because that’s the way it was when I went into labour and Colin had been really busy as he got nominated for the Margaret Tait Award that week and had to edit 4 pieces of work for his application and had no time to get things ready for us coming home. So we couldn’t find anything, didn’t have the cot ready, and were just really stressed out. Milo picked up on this and pooped all night long (we went through so many nappies) and wouldn’t latch on properly to feed or want to settle down to sleep. We didn’t know if he was too hot or too cold and felt we’d both dived into the deep end without knowing how to swim. I ended up in hysterical tears with him crying his eyes out as well. I think it’s the first time I saw Colin under duress but he coped really well and settled us both into bed to sleep and we managed to get a few hours and were able to laugh about it all in the morning when the community midwife arrived. Apparently this happens to everyone.
Our second night at home was a lot calmer and relaxed.
We’re into week 4 now and things are getting better and easier to manage, although we do feel we’re still making things up as we go along. I felt pretty crap for a while with zero energy, but have been on natural iron supplements since I left hospital and these have been easier to handle, as the tablets I brought home from the hospital had horrible side effects and I couldn’t wait to stop taking them. I pretty much stayed in my pyjamas for the first couple of weeks and only managed to venture out into the garden into the sunshine a few times. We soon had our first family outing down to the beach though and that was lovely and I’ve steadily been making it out more and more and feel pretty much back to normal now.
I’ll be having my 6 week check at the GP’s soon and hopefully I’ll get the go ahead to resume normality and start swimming again as well as ‘other’ things (ahem!).
Photos by Daddy Colin Andrews