Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Belated Baby Announcement! {... the busy life of a new mother}

I MUST apologise.

I should have made this announcement much sooner, but life has been busy, and opportunities, to have the 2 hands that I need to type, have been few! (I have already started this and not finished it, more than once...)

I am absolutely thrilled to announce the safe delivery of our 8th blessing.

Tabitha Hope Cordle

born 3/11/13 

weighing 7lb 12oz

at 3.28am

at HOME! 

We decided, after much prayer and careful consideration, to have our first home birth.  It stemmed from the question of what to do with the other children whilst I went to hospital, and Robert came up with the "home birth" answer! I had always dismissed the idea previously. Partly to do with my noisy labouring, and partly because our hospital births had been absolutely fine. On hindsight, they were nowhere near as good as we thought they were, but they were fine, nonetheless.

It transpired to be the BEST thing ever!  Firstly, we just left the children sleeping in bed, as my prayer was answered to have the baby whilst they would not notice!  We didn't have to get them all up, and bring them somewhere else, or call someone in at an unfriendly time of the night. 

Also, we had a tummy bug hit, just a couple of days before I went into labour.  We thought Daniel had maybe just been greedy, on Thursday night, but when Elijah was sick on the Saturday evening, as I was beginining to have some "proper" contractions, my heart sank.  I couldn't imagine having a baby in the throes of a tummy bug, but I soon realised that if God planned it that way, then there was no preventing it! We wouldn't have wanted to inflict illness on anyone else, so instead we just had the baby at home - no other people involved. (other than the midwives, who went straight to my bedroom, and had no contact with the ill child!) God knew, all along, that it would be the best plan to have a baby at home! 

So, do you want the story, before the pictures?? 

You got a picture already, so lets crack on with the story. 

Well, where to start?

To start off with, I had had a false start on the Friday morning, between 4.30am and 7am I had contractions every 5 minutes – then it all stopped. I had been having lots of show, and on Saturday morning, I had loads more. Throughout Saturday I had the odd contraction, but they were decent, noticeable ones. Just not regular at all.

By late afternoon, I was having a few more.  Then, disaster struck. As I already told you, my 3yo was sick. So, amidst floods of tears, I got my 3yo sorted, wondering how I could cope with having a baby if we had a tummy bug in the house.  I just figured, in the end, if the baby was coming, the baby was coming.

It transpired the baby WAS coming.  The contractions became more regular as the evening went on, but still only 7 minutes apart.  I sat on my bed, cross-legged, watching some TV online, to keep me distracted. I decided that maybe I needed to change position, to see if things would move along quicker. I switched to standing, and immediately my contractions came closer together – the time reduced from 7 minutes to 4 ½ between contractions! At this point, it was getting close to 1 am. I am rather glad that I ended up chatting to my friend, Leah, on Facebook instant messenger, as it means I have a time log of what then happened!  She suggested, as they suddenly got closer, that I should maybe ring my midwife. I had planned and hoped to have my own MW attend my delivery. She had been an absolute gem throughout the pregnancy. She had supported our whole decision to home birth and enabled me to be able to have the perfect delivery. So, I rang her. Except, her phone rang out! I had another little tearful moment. Robert was still out studying... my MW was not answering her phone... my contractions were getting closer together. I rang Robert, and suggested he came home. He “just had to print off his notes, and finish preparing”, as he was still due to preach the next morning (those who don’t know, my husband is a Pastor....). Leah got me to pull myself together (I had told her I was tearful, and struggling to stem the flow of tears... lol ) and suggested I phone the hospital MWs. I was still slightly reluctant.  I still had this thought that I was going  to call people out, and labour was not REALLY happening!! I have to laugh at myself! I think I was so relaxed in my own home, that I was coping well, really.  I started to have more discomfort with the contractions, and phoned the hospital. I had visions of delivering on my own at home, and didn't relish that!
I phoned the hospital, and the lovely ward supervisor chatted me through my contractions, whilst trying to get the on call MW.  She couldn’t get her, and I was trying not to panic!! She eventually got through to her, and Louise, the on-call MW, rang me. She asked if I would want gas and air (ohhhhh yes!) and said she would need to go into the hospital to collect it, before coming to me. She didn’t live too far from the hospital, but I knew she would have been in bed, and would need to get dressed, get to the hospital, THEN get back out to me!! It was going to be at least 30 minutes before she would be there!!!

I rang Robert again at 1.15am... he had lost track of time (MEN! Lol ) and I told him I needed him home NOW!!! So, he said he would come straight away, and did. I ended my chat with Leah just before 1.30am, when Robert arrived home. Straight away, I felt more at peace, just knowing Robert was here as well. I got my music out, which I had prepared, and got myself into a “zone” whilst waiting for the MW. Robert busied himself, getting things ready for delivery, and getting the kettle boiled to make the MW cups of tea!! The MW finally got there at about 2am. Instantly, we clicked. She was LOVELY, and very friendly. Most of all, she wanted everything to be exactly as I had planned and hoped, and all by her suggestion, not mine! She suggested delayed cord clamping, and even *shock horror* a physiological 3rd stage!! For those who do not know what that is, it is when you deliver the placenta without drugs. I had NEVER done that before!! She was feeling “rebellious” so we decided to play it by ear, and if things seemed ok, to go for it!! She told me she was very “hands off”, and just wanted me to labour how I felt to be comfortable. She only did very basic obs – my heart rate, blood pressure and temperature, and listened in to baby. Everything was perfect, and we just chatted as my contractions intensified. Over the next hour they got stronger and stronger, and got to only 2 ½ minutes apart. Coming up to 3 am, she wondered whether she should call the second MW in. I had been thinking we should, but STILL didn’t quite want to believe this was IT.... despite the intense discomfort, and me starting to think about gas and air. I was just standing by the bed, rocking my hips, and breathing. (I had tried sitting on the ball, but that actually slowed down my contractions, so stood up again) As I had had no internals, we didn’t even quite know how things were going.  However, I was starting to feel a change in contractions – feeling it more in my low back and in my bottom. So, we discussed doing an internal, just to give Louise an idea of how things were going.  I was happy for that to happen, so we got on with it quickly, not having long between contractions, and lying down making them worse!! I was SEVEN cm! She tried not to disturb things too much, to try not to make things more intense, and decided, YES, we did need Karen, the second MW. Then, I stood back up again. BAM! Things kicked up a gear.  BIG time.  I was onto the gas and air when she did the exam, and I really needed it afterwards. The contractions intensified to the point that it was like one big, long contraction.  I could feel the head moving down, and the pressure increasing. I could tell the baby was coming, and yet I was only just told I was 7 cm!! How quickly things can progress!!! I can remember Louise getting the birth kit open, and telling me I was doing well, whilst my pain was so intense I could hardly bear it. But, I knew the baby was coming, and it would soon be over.  I very quickly felt the urge to push, and she told me to just go with what my body wanted to do, and not worry about what she had told me only minutes before!  I couldn’t help pushing, and before long my waters went, and I heard her say they were clear (it had been something on my mind, as I was told if they had meconium they would want me to go into hospital...).  Things progressed further, and the head began to crown.  It was my most “clear” birth, of being aware of what was happening. Through it all, I was gripping onto Robert’s poor hand, for dear life, holding the gas and air in my mouth with my teeth!! I was even aware enough to stop pushing, without being told, as the head crowned. Then, the head was out, and moments later the body came.  The funny part was, even MORE waters came when she was delivered! And it went EVERYWHERE! Because I wasn’t the one who put the sheet down, the sheet didn’t quite go as much on the FLOOR as I planned, and the waters got on all sorts of things – even as far as the notes lying nearby, and on my MW’s trousers!!  Oops. Next thing I knew, Louise was handing the baby through my legs, and I was lifting up my baby onto the bed!! I had DONE it! I couldn’t quite believe it! The cord had been around her leg and up over her shoulder, even though it was a short cord! I was unsurprised, as the little pickle had been such an acrobat in utero!
It was so lovely to just be able to hop up onto my own bed (I say “just”, but it was tricky – short cord, high bed!!), and then stay there!  Everything else that happened, happened in the comfort of my own bedroom, where I was peaceful and relaxed. No bright hospital lights, and staff leaving me on my own for hours!  I didn’t tear, so no stitches were required, and I delivered the placenta without drugs! I *DID* have a bit more blood loss after that, but my obs never dipped, so we didn’t worry.  We did have the injection, to speed up the uterine contractions, and prevent any more blood loss.  It soon settled, and the MWs were never worried. I think I was more paranoid because the medics had all implied I would have some dreadful haemorrhage if I delivered at home! I didn’t!

 Without doubt, it was my best delivery.  I was so much more relaxed, not having to go off to hospital, and meet people I didn’t feel comfortable with, in a clinical setting.  Nothing was medicalised, and I was allowed to do things in a way which was natural and comfortable.  In hospital, they would have wanted lots of monitoring, and IV access etc. None of that at home, and no pressure to do things in a way I didn’t feel happy with. The labour progressed smoothly, and very quickly at the end. The second MW didn’t get there until after I delivered the placenta, incidentally! I felt very much in control, and aware of what was going on. No lengthy pushing stage, either, which I had with my first 4 deliveries.
My main concern, which previously put me off a home birth, was that I am noisy in labour. Well, with it all happening in the middle of the night, the children slept through it all! Plus, I only had that for the last 20 minutes, or less.
=p-]], there we have it. I may have missed out some details, but as far as I remember, that was how my labour went! Relaxed, straight forward and beautiful!

One of the most amazing parts?... that my daughter had HAIR!! Lots of it, and dark!

Would I have another home birth?? Definitely! Would I be upset if I couldn’t?  No. Ultimately, we chose this route because it was easier than trying to get someone else to look after the children, and as it happened, it would have been even harder in the middle of the night! If I needed to go back to hospital birthing again, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.  Would I choose home birth over hospital. For sure.

 I am so thankful.  Thankful to the Lord for bringing about such a wonderful birth experience. Prayer was answered at so many different levels. Right from when I had that bleed at 13 weeks - when we were unsure as to whether the pregnancy would even continue - to the very moment of birth, and the prevention of excess bleeding. God's hand was upon me, and upon Tabitha, through it all. My heart is full to the brim - and overflowing - with thankfulness to the Lord for His goodness. 

If you know your Bible, you will know that Tabitha was a Bible character who dies and was brought back to life. I know that our baby never died - but, we went through a few days of wondering if the life of our baby had gone. God, in His grace and goodness, preserved her life.  The name Tabitha then held some meaning for us, and so her name was chosen.  The Lord very clearly gave me the word "hope", the day of our scan, after the bleed. I almost knew, right then, that we would have a girl.  I was unsurprised when we were told as much at the scan! So, there we have Tabitha Hope. 

I hope to get back to blogging, now that life is SLOOOOWLY returning to "normal". I had dreaded seeing when my last blog post was, and was relieved that it was "only" a month since my last one! I thought it would be far longer ago than that! 

Right, here are some more pictures, to finish off with.

Only a few minutes old!


Our first trip out... a walk to the post office. Most people didn't see her at first! I love my Moby carrier. 

All snuggled up, in Mummy's coat.

12 days old.

So blessed.   God is good.