Monday, July 16, 2007

Nathaniel's birth

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Nathaniel Shaun
Was born in the early hours; 1.18 am on Friday 13th April 2007 at 36 Weeks & 2 Days gestation.
He weighed 8lb 6&1/2oz or 3805grams was 53.5cm long with a head circumference of 36cm. My midwife mentioned it was a 3 hour labour.
Nate was admitted to the Special Care Nursery after birth with Low Blood Sugar & a day later he presented with Jaundice. He was under lights for 48 hours.
He was finally released from the Special Care Nursery 1 week later on Friday the 20th April 2007.
Nate's original Estimated Due Date was 07.05.07.
My emotions during my pregnancy were very up and down but generally I loved being pregnant. I had always known I would love it as I feel it is the most amazing thing on earth – the creation of life. My only distress was actually having to look after the baby at the other end of it. But I have found the man I wanted as the father of my children and was 100% looking forward to meeting my beautiful Bubba knowing he or she was going to be well loved and very cherished and looked after. Being with my partner Shaun, my fears about motherhood had faded away. Even before we had “hooked up” Shaun and I had talked about what we wanted to name our children. We talked about our favourite names. We made a game of it – I could choose the girls name and he had the choice of the boys name. Surprisingly we actually came to an agreement! For a girl I had chosen Ella-T'e and Shaun had chosen Nathaniel. Ella was my Grandmother's sisters' name and my mothers' second name, and Nathaniel is from Shaun's favourite book/movie, “The last of the Mohicans”. Shaun thought it was quite fitting as I have American Cherokee Indian ancestry in my blood!
Shaun and I had been officially together for a year and a half when we moved from my 2 bedroom, 3rd floor flat into a 3 bedroom house with a huge backyard. Shaun felt he needed some space and a garden to look after and mow. We also had talked about trying to conceive in the upcoming months.
Just after we had moved I went on a small holiday to QLD to visit my mum for a few days and to NSW to visit my best friend and her family for her hubbie's 30th birthday. I had been feeling “strange” coming up to the holiday but I didn't really take much notice. The first thing I can remember feeling was a bit queezy when Shaun had breathed chicken chip flavouring on me whilst we were having a cuddle. I laughed saying I was probably pregnant – one of the first signs is going off smells! I had also been feeling queezy just before dinner time, but once I ate I was fine, so I shrugged that off too. Although when I visited my mum, I mentioned the queezy feeling to her and her response was; “Oh I felt just like that when I was pregnant with your older brother”. GULP!! Then, onto my best friends place in NSW where we were having a 30th birthday cocktail party. I voiced my concerns to her, asking if she thought I should take a pregnancy test. It was still a week or so away from my “Due Date” so we agreed nothing would show up so early, so I tried to forget about it and enjoy my cocktails! All the mums there were reminiscing about how much they had accidentally drank just before they had found out they where pregnant! Suffice to say I didn't really get drunk that night – I just had too much on my mind!
I returned home and day 29 of my usual 28 – 29 day cycle, my period had not shown up and we did a test, first thing, Wednesday morning, the 30th of August.
It was positive!

I was so scared I was going to miscarry. I honestly didn't believe it was true!
The day after I got back from holidays I also weighed myself. I was 75.0kgs.
Before I left, I was bouncing between 71 and 74. One day I was 73.6, the next I was 72.4, the next I was somehow 71.0. Then I bounced back up to 74.2. So I didn’t know what was going on!! I had guessed I might have been pregnant from the 'Opps moment' we had earlier in the month. We had fooled around the morning before moving out of our flat and it wasn’t till I checked my ovulation chart - that I had already moved to the new house - that I realised - Opps! I was on CD12 (Cycle Day) and would most likely be ovulating on CD14 so it was a very close call to be having unprotected sex……but it was already done.

I was pregnant with the best house warming gift ever!

Friday 1st September 2006 – Positive! The doctors blood test was positive! I was about 5 weeks pregnant.
By 7 weeks I had already bought the cot and change table/bath off Ebay!
By 9 weeks I had two cot quilt sets.
At 10 weeks I had my first bleed. My GP booked me in for an emergency scan – but everything showed OK.
My next scan was the scheduled one at 12 weeks and again everything was OK. Yet I was still sooooo stressed something was wrong. All I kept thinking was, when I can feel the baby move, I'll know everything is alright.
At 14 weeks I thought I felt the baby kick my hip bone – I was so happy!
My blood tests were all perfect: going by my age and 12 week scan alone, my results where 1 in 796 chance (of having a baby with Downs Syndrome) and included with my 10 week blood test it was 1 in 14,700! My GP said they were the best results he had ever seen. They also tested for a little known disease called Edwards Syndrome and my results were 1 in 2,400 and 1 in 100,000. So, very lucky!
At 19 weeks I had another emergency scan due to bleeding – but again everything was OK.
My final scan at around 19 – 20 weeks was perfect too.
By Christmas and week 21 I was feeling Bubba move and was beginning to relax and finally enjoy the pregnancy!
At 22 weeks Shaun felt our Bubba kick for the first time!
At 24 weeks (6 months) we had our last bleed scare. That was about the time we gave up sex. I tell you, I still cant wait for this 6 week wait after the birth to be over!! LOL
At 26 weeks I discovered I had milk! This delighted me to no end as I was so excited that meant I would have more of a chance to breastfeed. Shaun was not impressed. In fact it totally grossed him out. LOL
My glucose test at 27 weeks (start of 3rd trimester) was passable at 7.7. It was under 8 so I wasn't re-tested.
I worked anywhere up to 13 – 14 hour days, standing up, plus the 2 hour drive to and from work, up until I was 29 weeks. Then I refused to do it anymore and was moved back to the office to start training a replacement, once we eventually found one to stay.
By 30 weeks my hemorrhoids had flared up – JOY.
We bought a digital camera to take with us on our last holiday before Bubba.
At 31 weeks I had my long lusted after 4D ultrasound. I had wanted one since I saw it on beyond 2000 or a similar TV show when I was younger. I was so excited. Looking back on the pictures – they are perfectly accurate! I said it looked like a 'he' and 'he' had a pout. I was right!
By 32 weeks my Braxton Hicks contractions that I had been getting for most of the pregnancy had kicked up a notch and were starting to be regular enough to be timed the same as contractions, only with no pain. But boy were they annoying! Even to the point I contacted the hospital just to make sure I was OK.
By 33 weeks I was finding it harder to breathe.
My days were starting off like this:
*Sleep in half an hour by sacrificing my morning shower.
*Get up - go to the toilet.
*Rub moisturiser on my belly - go to the toilet.
*Brush my teeth, blew my nose, put on deodorant - go to the toilet.
*Put on some undies and a pad - Curse myself for needing to go to the toilet again and ignore it.
*Finish getting ready for work, drive to work, roll out of the car at work, turn on the lights, check the answering machine, turn on the computer, feed the fish, turn on the kettle - go to the toilet.
I had also developed some form of Carpel Tunnel in my wrists towards the last few weeks of my pregnancy and was having to bandage them up at night to stop my thumbs from cramping.
At 34 weeks I was highly spoilt at my joint baby shower with my Best Friend Mel. We had a blast! The day before I had been so close to being in a head on collision with a P plate driver. Thankfully they missed me but hit my next door neighbour who happened to be driving home behind me.
I also had very bad fluid retention to the point I could produce a huge hollow in the top of my foot just by pressing down into it. I was feeling fat, fat , fat!
At 35 weeks I maxed out our credit card shopping for baby stuff and getting my car serviced and new tires so Shaun could drive it safely and I could take over driving the Magna without feeling so guilty about having the better car. Once the tires where changed my little hatch felt like it had power steering! (Too bad it dosen't).

Week 36: Thursday the 12th of April was an uncomfortable day. I was at work and no matter where I sat or stood, I felt – uncomfortable. I would need to stand every so often and rock my hips, as my back was a bit sore and tight. My fluid retention, known as edema, was at it's peak and the skin on my feet, ankles and lower calf, felt stretched and sore. My fingers were puffy and I generally felt fat! My weight had peaked at 105.4 kilograms that morning.
I had been having “signs” that I felt labour was on its way. Even though I had guesstimated I would be overdue.
An increase in watery Cervical Mucous (I know - Gross)
Needing to pee more times during the night.
My Braxton Hicks were actually getting painful! I totally thought I was in labour for about 2 hours on Easter Monday night!
The week previous I had lost some Mucous Plug. But no more since.
I woke that morning with Heart burn for the first time ever.
Bubba's movements had really slowed down.
I felt as if there was no room left in my belly. Like there was no way it could grow any more.

I was honestly starting to think I was going to go early even though I had been born 2 and a half weeks overdue and my mother had been induced with all three of us kids. I was also certain I was going to have a big baby. I was 9lb 10&½ oz and one of my nephews was over 10lb! So big babies are in the family.
I wasn't dying for Bubba to be out. I was still really enjoying the pregnancy. I also would have been happy to have been 27 weeks pregnant for ever! I loved the kicks, I loved still being able to sleep well and on my back and I loved my baby belly! But at 36 weeks I was tired from all the late night trips to the toilet and having to wake up just to roll over and the pains in my wrists and the stretched skin aching on my feet.....I was getting very anxious to meet our Bubba.
I also wanted Bubba to come while my favourite person, my cousin, was visiting from the UK. She was leaving Melbourne on the 22nd April, only 15 days before my due date.
I was still working and I had 9 days left to go. I had the following day (Friday) off work for my midwife visit and I had a salon booking for a triple X wax and a leg wax. It was really needed! I was planning to finish work the day after Anzac day, Thursday 27th April, I had already scammed the next day (Friday again) off work for one of my final midwife appointments.

So I had been swaying myself all around the office most of the afternoon, and was clock watching from before 3pm. I couldn't wait to get home and relax. Finally 5pm came round and on the drive home I called Shaun. I mentioned to him I was going to stop by the hospital on the way home for a check up as I was starting to feel quite uncomfortable from the Braxton Hicks. I had a midwife appointment the next day but I was really feeling unsettled enough to get a check up. I had a small sore spot on my belly since my baby shower and that was playing on my mind too. I still don't know what it could have been.
So I gave the maternity ward a call and they said I was OK to stop by. I was put into a room on a machine for monitoring. I was told the numbers on the screen didn't mean anything so not to take any notice of them. The fat little midwife then left me there, on my back for half an hour while the machine monitored Bubba's heart rate, movements and possible contractions. I laid there beginning to writhe in pain from being on my back and Bubba lodging its foot into my right rib bones. I watched the machine vary from 0 – 25 in rhythmic motions. Eventually the fat little midwife came in and showed me the print out. “See – this is the baby's heart rate – its healthy. This is it's movements and here is where it would show if you are having contractions – there is nothing there!” Now to me, I was sure something was wrong with the machine, but she felt my tummy with her hand and still couldn't feel anything happening. When I said I had pain in my ribs she put it down to my gall bladder. Then she left to find a doctor. When she came back to the room, I was standing and swaying with the pain I had in my lower back and hip bones but all she did was laugh at me and say the doctor would be in shortly. She LAUGHED AT ME! I was so ready to cry! A lady doctor then eventually came in and did my first internal. She also did my Group B Strep Swab as I was scheduled to have it the next day at my midwife appointment anyway. She said my cervix was still firm but was facing forward. “Just as we expected” the fat little nurse said. The doctor then suggested I go home and take some panadol! “Would you like some sleeping pills?” She said. Huh! Thanks but no thanks!
I drove home in pain and cried on Shaun's shoulder about the fat little nurse not believing my pain and laughing at me. I then took some panadol. Shaun went down the street to buy us some dinner as it was going on 9pm by that time and I was in no state to cook tea. I was tired, sad and uncomfortable. I was sitting on the couch waiting for Shaun to return with the Red Rooster (Can you believe KFC was out of chicken?!) (Even though I didn't feel like eating). I heard him pull up the driveway and.....Oh ohhh! I felt like my bladder had given way and I could feel my pad filling up! I ran for the toilet. I sat down and water gushed a bit. Shaun walked in the door and I called out “Hunny, I think my waters just broke! His response was. “F*ck! I just bought dinner!” LOL. I called the maternity labour line, as I was sitting on the toilet – as everytime I tried to stand up I would gush again,. The same nurse answered my call... “Hi my name is Shawn....... and I think my waters just broke”. She replied by laughing. AGAIN! Grrrrrrr. “Oh well, I think you'd better have a shower and come in then”. She said. “It seems you knew better!”
Too right I knew something was happening you biatch LOL.
So Shaun and I jumped in the car as iI really didn't feel like a shower at that moment and drove to the hospital. Shaun started to freak out a little as I started to get stronger contractions. Then about 10 minutes from the hospital I heard and felt an elastic band snap! I actually jumped a little and it was like Bubba kicking me right on an internal bone with no water padding it! At that stage I had no idea what it was. I said, “Holy cr*p, what was that!!” Then - GUSH! It was my forewaters! The previous leak must have been my hindwaters. And I'd forgotten to put the towel i grabbed on my way out the door, on my car seat! Lucky the pad was a monstrous one and it lasted till I tried to clime out of the car in the emergency 10 minute parking at the hospital. Shaun walked me up to maternity ward. Well, he walked behind me as I didn't want anyone staring at the huge wet patch and the dribbles that where running down my leg and onto my thongs! Meanwhile I'm getting so damn excited! This was really going to happen!
In the same room as before they hooked me up to the same machine and then realised it was broken. Hell, I could have told them that.
Shaun went to move the car and called my two Best Friends then came back in and watched the screen with me. What was only reatching 25 before was now hitting 35 plus. My best friend Ed then arrived. She lives quite close to the hospital and we watched as my contractions went from 3 minutes apart to two minutes apart. They listened to me moan with each contraction about how gross it was, as with each one my waters would gush again! A nice midwife had just come on shift and advised me it was going to contine to do that until after the baby was born. JOY.
Eventually about 10 pm I was moved to a labour ward where I was able to take off my heavily soaked pumpkin patch yoga tracksuit pants and take a shower! It was here I discovered the pleasure of hot waster on my hip bones and lower back. Then I thought about the day's date. Tomorrow was Friday the 13th! What an awesome day to have Bubba! Shaun and Ed thought I was joking at first but then realised I was serious and we all made a joke about how long Bubba had to stay in there to make it till tonorrow. Only 2 hours to go!

I tried sitting on the bed with a heat pack. That hurt more. I decided to go back into the shower. I felt so bloody guilty abouth the water restrictions but the hot water felt so freaking good. My lovely midwife heard me starting to moan more with each contraction and got me the gas. Honestly it didn't do much apart from regulating my breathing. At first I was holding my breath through the pain, but as it progressed, I felt better monaing as I sucked in the gas. It made me a bit dizzy but as I hadn't had dinner and it was close to 11 – 12 pm, I was feeling dizzy and light headed with each contraction any way. About 11.30 my legs gave way and I had to kneel on the shower floor with the head of the shower nozzle rammed up under my belly being supported by it and my hipbones while I held myself up with one hand and beat the floor with the palm of the other hand while groaning and sucking in the gas. Ihad asked to take a bath but they wouldn't let me due to the progress I was making and my weight. I was too heavy for anyone to lift me out in an emergency – I guess.
Meanwhile Shaun and Ed are relaying to me how the nurse is running round like a chicken with its head cut off. “They think you are going too fast” Shaun and Ed kept saying. I was so happy to hear that! The pain was getting worse and worse and I could hear myself getting louder and louder! I must have sounded so funny going “Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouuuuuuuch!” LOL
So they were planning to put me on an antibiotic drip as my swab hadn't had time to be processed yet, but again the midwife didn't get time.
So again we clock watched waiting for 12am to arrive. It did and so did the midwife to do my first internal, as both the doctors where still busy with a Caesar. She had a quick look and a feel; said, “Hmm, can't feel any cervix and here is Bubby's head, you can start pushing if you want!”

I was so stoked with that! My first internal and I was fully dilated and ready to push! I hadn't had a crazy mad feeling to push but I had gotten to the point where I was kinda bearing down as it hurt too much not to! So I got into the typical lying on back position, hands up under my knees pulling my legs back. The midwife is telling me to push into my bum and all I could think was “Hell no! My hemorrhoids are going to kill me after this!!” .But thats what she kept telling me to do! She also said she gives first time mums 2 hours to push the baby out. I still have no idea why its only 2 hours but I was going to give it my best shot. Two hours of that intense pain in my hips was just too much to consider. So I pushed into my bum. It seemed to me like it wasn't working but she kept saying it was. Another midwife was in the room at some stages of the labour too and she tried holding up a mirror for me to see – but she was freaking hopeless! So that didn't last long. An hour later I'm still pushing and getting fairly tired by this stage. My midwife Martina is explaining to me that Bubby is starting to crown and soon it's going to feel very intense. “Like a really bad Chinese burn!” I said – “Only not on your arm!” That got a few giggles from the room! Poor Shaun and Ed where quite distressed feeling like they weren't helping me – so I was constantly reassuring them they where doing a great job just by being there for me! Shaun was wiping my face with a cool cloth and that was delightful! At one stage he gave me his hand to hold and I think he really regretted that! I kinda saw him dying from the corner of my eye, mid push, and I let go but he grabbed my hand back trying to be a tough man! LOL.

My midwife was constantly checking Bubba's heart rate on the monitor and that kept scaring me a bit – so eventually I got sick of her saying – “No everythings fine keep pushing”, that I really gave it my best go. I was totally BUGGERED by this stage, arms, legs, head, neck, body was all shaking from lack of energy but I did my best to get the three pushes per contraction that she was asking for! And I only really swore once as Bubba's head was slipping out cause it burnt like F**K! Then I had to pant....“ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouuuuuuuch!” while she turned Bubba's head, then I got to push the rest out! YAY!
He popped out, then I scored this real life baby on my belly. I was so freaking shocked he was real! I just could not believe the moment was happening to me!

That was the same moment Martina jabbed me in the leg with the injection (I think to stop you bleeding and help birth the placenta) but I didn't feel a thing – I was still burning from that hideous Chinese Burn Bubba had just given me!
Everyone forgot to check what sex bubba was! There was a sheet over him that they were using to rub him down, I lifted it up and had a peak and IT'S A BOY!
I knew it! I knew it ! I was right! LOL!

Ed then cut his cord while Shaun took the picture!! Shaun was too queezy to do it!

The other midwife took Bubba aside for the Dr to check him over, while I birthed the placenta. Martina was tugging on the cord and asking me questions that I don't remember. I was bleeding a bit too. But then out it popped. And Martina was pressing on my stomach to stop the bleeding – OUCH! Then that calmed down and I was able to hold Bubba and have a go at getting him to latch on which he did fantastically and another photo opportunity! Then because he was premmie they took him to the nursery. Ed stayed with my but Shaun went with Nathaniel. Ed and I were guessing what he weighed. Ed said 6 – 7 lb and I said 7 & ½ lb. Shaun eventually came back saying he was 3.8 kilos or something and he wasn't sure in pounds so we sent him back to find out. Poor Shaun he was so worn out and kind of in shock I think. He was like a walking zombie! He came back and we finally found out Nathaniel was 8lb 6 & ½ oz. That was the first time I heard - “Imagine if he had gone full term”! LOL.
I'm SO OVER that comment! I'm so GLAD he wasn't full term!
See – I knew there was no more room in there for him!!

So he had to then stay in the Special Care Nursery cause he had a Low Blood Sugar level, So I was able to sit for a while until I could move my shakey legs enough to stand and have a shower. I'm telling you that was the best shower of my life! I then got dressed in my awesome new “Little Miss Naughty” PJ's (I had major PINK mode happening in hope for a girl! LOL) and headed off to the SCN to see my little man again.

I got one hours sleep that morning. I dozed off at 6am and awoke at 7 am when I began texting everyone I knew! (Sorry I missed you Jadey! Forgive me on one hours sleep??!! ;) Then the responses came think and fast, but I was too keen on seeing my little man again so I headed back to the nursery straight after breakie! I was STARVING! I eventually came back to my room and my poor room mate mentioned the hospital phone beside my bed had been ringing off the hook, poor lady – I didnt even realise there was a phone there! LOL. And I had 12 txt messages! Suffice to say I ran out of credit fairly fast and started using my work mobile which I hadn't had a chance to give back seeing I was still at work the day before!
Then my visitors started. My favouritest cousin in the world showed up at 8am! She snuck in saying I had called her! LOL I was so stoked she was my first visitor! She got to see my baby before she left to back to the UK!! I was so so happy. Then one after the other for the next two days I had visitors and flowers coming out my ears! It was the time of my life! I have been spoilt rotten with all our gifts and flowers and I even got flowers from my work's main head office, the International Head Office in Sydney! I was so stoked by that!
So Friday night (13th) Bubba ended up under the lights for Jaundice, he also had a high temperature. They tested him for possible infection but he came back OK. He had eye swabs for a gunky eye but that came back OK. I started getting some milk in and on top of his formula feed, his blood sugar picked up and they stopped pricking his poor baby heals for that. He was finally retested for jaundice on Sunday arvo after I was released from the hospital and he was out of the humidi crib the next day. Of course I cried seeing my boy finally released.

My hormones were still going crazy. I could feel I could cry at the drop of a hat so I'm really glad at how i held myself together in that SCN. I got different advice 3 times a day – every time the nurses changed over – I even had a girl who wasn't even a midwife – she just helped out in the SCN trying to tell me what to do. So towards the end of our weeks stay there I was at my wits end! I was in there from 7am till 9 – 10 pm each day.

Then I'd get home to a tonne of people wanting me to call them and I just wasn't mentally capable of talking to them. So of course my Grandma was pissed I hadn't called her! Grrrrr. (I have now and all is ok! LOL) But when I was finally told I would be rooming in with him in the children's ward, I didn't believe it! I still didn't believe it would happen until they where wheeling him into the ward! I was so happy. But I wouldn't let myself believe he was going home. Everyone kept asking when he was coming home, but all I could say was; fingers crossed he will be able to come home soon. I kept thinking he wouldn't gain weight and they would keep him in again. But we coped OK and I heard in the morning the nurses changing over and telling the new nurse how I changed his nappy every feed and how good and confident and loving a mum I was and I would be going home with him today. I was so freaking happy! I couldn't wait for Shaun to turn up and take us home. Then they stuffed around with my paperwork for a while so I had to hang around while I fed him, then we finally left. What a great but shit scary feeling it is to be handed over your baby! I really felt like he wasn't really mine. That he belonged to the hospital! We then got him into the car seat. Thats a new challenge! And took him to Big W where we bought a few last minute things. He got grumpy for his next feed and started crying in the store – in his new pram!!! and we had to come home. I heard some lady saying to her child – “Hear that? Thats a real little baby somewhere crying. A brand new one!” Then I had to take him out of the pram in line to calm him down and I realised he still had his name tags on and everyoe was having a gawk. It was kinda cool! Even the sales lady congratulated us as we left the store! LOL.
So Friday the 20th April; Nathaniel came home!

That night I took him to the local La Porchetta to say goodbye to my cousin before she left to go back to the UK the next day. He was so well behaved. Sleept soundly in his pram until he needed a feed. I chickened out breastfeeding him in front of most of my family! But my cousin got to feed him and all the ladies had a hold... and still he was sound asleep apart from drinking his bottle. He was even quiet on the way home which is almost disturbing! I keep thinking I'm suffocating him in his car seat cause the straps might be too tight – but I check him every chance I get in the traffic and he is fine! I really need one of those mirrors so I can see him in the rear view mirror! But when I eventually got him home he ate then he wouldn't sleep due to wind pains then he wanted to eat again and this progressed every 2 hours or so until about 4 or 5 in the morning when we eventually both got some sleep! Nathaniel's half brother was also spending the weekend with us – and he LOVES his little brother! He even wanted to hold him and touch him and pat him I was so surprised, I seriously thought he would be jealous. But he loved his Spiderman outfit gift from his new little brother. Although he didn't want to go back to his mummy when Shaun dropped him off on Sunday night. He understands Shaun is both their daddies and I am Nate's mummy but I don't think he understood why he had to go home and Nate didnt. So he was fairly upset! Oh well, I just hope that means one day he will prefer to come live with us! That would seriously make Shaun's day, week, life! Fingers crossed – one day!So we have been to the park and to the shops. He had a little bit of day night confusion at first but we try to keep him as awake as we can during the day so he will sleep better at night. Anyway – my little man is stirring for some boob, so I best leave it here! Hope you liked our story!

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