Saturday at 38.1 weeks- We had a little photo shoot by my best friend who took some gorgeous photos of my bump with Big Sister To Be Miss A. The Saturday before that at 37.1 weeks she took some photos of just me. I am so glad she was able to do them.
Monday- Midwife appointment at 38.3 weeks. Everything looked normal and midwife was happy with everything. I was measuring 38 cm fundal height (uterus measurements measured with the measuring tape) which was on par with my weeks. The weeks prior it was a bit smaller than the amount of weeks I was so the midwife was happy to see this weeks measurements. Baby was head down and 3/5 engaged (so part way down but not fully engaged). Next appointment was scheduled for 2 weeks time making me 40.3 weeks. This was 2 days later than when I had Miss A.
I thought it was strange that they didn’t want to see me at 39.3 weeks (my appointment’s were always on a Monday and my weeks changed over on a Friday). However I was told that this was normal for second pregnancies in low risk pregnancies. So off we went home. I kept saying to my partner, isn’t is weird they don’t want to see me? He even said if your concerned maybe call them and see if they can book you in? I decided no, it was fine and really there wasn’t going to be much that they could tell me at that appointment except yep baby is ok and your doing well, keep waiting and baby will come when it is ready. So I left it at that and accepted that was my last antenatal midwife appointment for the pregnancy. Another weird feeling as just like that I was likely to not be going back to the clinic this pregnancy.
When we got home from the appointment I said to my partner, “I don’t feel like this baby is coming anytime soon”. I had been having braxton hicks of an evening for weeks/months even but they were just uncomfortable tightening not painful.
Tuesday- we went to the playground with our friends on our usual Tuesday catch up. I was feeling ok and wasn’t too worried about being 20-30 min drive from home as I still had 10 days till I was due. I was thinking this is probably the last time ill venture too far from home just in case.
At the playground I felt uncomfortable. Baby was sitting very low and I was having a few pains. At the time I was just thinking “yep getting closer to the end of this pregnancy so bound to have a few weird pains”.
That night my tightening’s returned as usual however this time they felt a little stronger and more painful than just uncomfortable. I wasn’t thinking much of it other than ‘hmm this isn’t so comfortable hopefully they go away soon”. They were very irregular so I thought not much of it. I actually sat down after putting Miss A to bed and worked on blog stuff. I kept saying to my partner “I’m not really sure what these pains are but I hope they go away”. And I remember saying as the night went on “I don’t know if I should be staying up or if I should go to sleep”. “Am I having a baby soon or what are these pains?”
Off to bed I went eventually and the pains kept coming throughout the night randomly. By this stage I was more convinced perhaps they were pre labour pains as they felt similar (period type pains with contractions) but at no stage did I assume baby was near as I still had 10 days till my due date and 11 days till the same time that I gave birth to Miss A (40.1 weeks). Labour with Miss A started at 5 am and from the first pain I was having regular contractions relatively close together. Nothing like what was happening here.
I woke several times with pains and needing to go to the toilet.
At 3.45 am I was up again needing to go to the toilet and the pains were still occurring. I got up and went into the bathroom, lights off as enough light comes through the window. As I did a wee I felt a blob like thing come out during my wee, still half asleep I didn’t think to much of it. Wiped and had a look at the toilet paper and I saw a dark mark on the paper. “Oh wow whats that, maybe my mucus plug?” I got up and turned on the light to take a look. I had started to bleed!
I freaked out as you do at 38.5 weeks. This is not something you are expecting and it didn’t happen with Miss A. I called out to my partner who was fast asleep (he actually had earplugs and an eye mask on like usual which made it harder for him to wake up to hear me). I called out maybe 8-10x before he jumped up and came to see what was wrong. I told him I was bleeding and then I started to have a few tears as I went into shock and started to think the worst. I couldn’t feel baby move and the pains were still occurring- randomly.
He called the hospital and they asked to speak to me, at first I didn’t want to talk (before he rang) but calmed down a little and spoke to the midwife who was fantastic. She asked was baby moving and I said I am not sure. As we continued to talk bubs kicked and I felt at ease again! They said to organise for someone to come and mind Miss A and come in to get checked. This had been my biggest stress for the months leading up to birth. Our parents both live away from Sydney and we were hoping my parents would be down in time ( they would have been here a few days before my due date). I had a few friends who had offered to mind her but there were complications with that depending on the time etc we needed to go to hospital.
4am!!! Who the hell do I ring, and man…they will be sleeping how can I call them at this hour?
Margo to the rescue! Miss A adores her and I knew she would be fine being left with her. So I called Margo. No answer, that’s fine she told me to keep calling if she didn’t answer. 1 min later and she msgs me asking was baby coming and was I ok? Thank goodness she was up feeding her son and I hadn’t woken her. I explained the situation and she said she would be there as soon as possible. 20 min later she was here to come mind Miss A. What a champion.
I showed her where everything was and just as I was about to walk out of Miss A’s room she woke.. Dammit. Do I talk to her? give her a cuddle? Explain where I was going? Or just run away and hope she doesn’t see me? Margo said go go I’ll sort her out. 4.30 am and she was not going back to sleep. Poor Margo!
Unsure of what the day was going to end up like, off to the hospital we go and the pains continue randomly. I felt normal and fine between each pain. The bleeding continued.
When we arrived at the hospital Margo asked could she take Miss A back to her house as her kids had also woken. No worries I said, “What ever makes it easier for you as your doing us a HUGE favour”.
On the way to the hospital I began to feel emotional. I was messaging Margo about Miss A and she mentioned about how she felt when she went to have her second baby. This made me cry. My partner looked at me and said whats wrong? I couldn’t even talk, so I just said “It’s ok don’t worry I am just being silly”. I continued to think about it all. That could have been the last time I see Miss A before her sibling arrives. How did I feel about that? Honestly at the time it hit me like a sack of potatoes and I felt pretty sad. Mummy daughter times where it was just the two of us could be over. I wasn’t ready for that. I thought we still had some more time. Had I given her the last cuddle before going to have this baby? Was this all a false alarm? Had I prepared her enough for what was about to happen? Had I prepared myself enough?
We parked in the car park and walked up to the birth unit. So different to how we arrived at the hospital with Miss A’s delivery. The midwife who we had spoken to on the phone greeted us and took us into the assessment room. She was so lovely and made us feel very relaxed.
They ran a few assessments to make sure baby and I were ok. I was on the monitor to check babies heart rate and all was fine with baby. Thank goodness. Next the doctor came in and did an ultrasound to make sure the fluid levels were still ok as they thought perhaps my waters had started to leak as there was a lot of fluid/blood on the pad. Perfectly fine. It was actually ridiculous as the doctor who had come in had also checked up on a few things in my final weeks of pregnancy at my midwife appointments. At my 37.3 weeks appointment (second last midwife appointment) she said to me “I am going to be at your delivery” I said what makes you think that? and she said it was just a feeling. Thinking not much of it as I would have to have had my baby early for that to happen as she was going away before my due date. So when she walked in we both looked at each other and said this is crazy! You were possibly right! She told me if I had a girl I should name it Emily after her.
They did an internal check like a pap smear to see what was happening and to see why I was bleeding. This was not very comfortable. There were a couple of little clots that she removed and then she checked to see if my cervix had dilated or if anything was happening. Nothing. Cervix was still closed and no sign of it opening anytime soon. This was a little disappointing to hear as at my 40 week appointment with Miss A I was 2 cm dilated that morning (day I had her) so I was expecting similar outcome this time. However my contractions were SO different this time. They said the blood was my ‘bloody show’ and that baby was fine. They sent me home as they were confident all was ok and said baby would come sometime that week. So off we went home.
Contractions came and went all morning. Some close together and others not for 30-40 min. I ate some toast, lay about on the couch, walked around the house a little and wasn’t really sure what to do with myself. Was it today, tomorrow or in days time that this baby was coming? Do we go and get Miss A or do we wait it out a little?
Miss A having a wonderful day with Margo and her kids 🙂
I said to my partner we might as well put this double pram together as we had not yet done that. I had to stop a few times when contractions occurred.
We decided to go for a walk by river and to coles. Contractions kept happening randomly.
We came home, I lay about on the couch a little to rest. I tried to catch some sleep and then was woken by a painful contraction. “well that was rude”. There goes to sleep idea. My partner went and lay down for a few minutes. I didn’t know if I should lay and rest or stand and keep things moving as the more I stood the more regular contractions became. But what if this was going to take takes?
I thought why not lets watch TV I
watched that silly show ‘yummy mummies’ on catch up TV as nothing was on. Eating my crumpets and watching away then bam my waters broke. No sign of contractions to go with it so it really took me by surprise. I called out to my partner and woke him again. Crazy thing was it broke in the exact same place as it did with Miss A ( on the couch- thank goodness I had a towel down) and at the exact same time (just before 12 pm). Thank goodness I had one of the HUGE surf board maternity pads from the hospital on as it soaked up a lot of the water. I got up and had a shower while my partner called the birth unit.
Off to birth unit we go. Again this was so different to Miss A’s labour. Contractions still coming and going and I was feeling normal between them. We parked in the car park and I walked back into the hospital and up to the birth unit. It was MUCH busier than when we arrived that morning at 4.30 am.
I was taken into the day assessment clinic up in the birth unit. The midwife we had was so lovely and caring. Up on the bed and the monitor back on to check babies heart rate. All was good. Contractions were still very random, they confirmed yes waters had broken and said they will see if they keep me in or send me home. I was not going home again. More for the fact that I didn’t want to be sent home again. Even after my waters broke I was not convinced baby was close. I think because my contractions this time around were so random and irregular compared to the racing one after the other ones I had with Miss A.
Bubs heart kept dropping during contractions which was a little scary. The midwife was very calm about it and monitored it closely. She became a little more concerned as it kept happening and called the doctor in to make a call on what to do next. I began to feel a little nervous as I wasn’t sure exactly what was happening or why babies heart rate was dropping like that. It was all explained and they assured me that baby was being closely monitored. Doctor requested a vaginal examination to be done to determine if I was dilating or not otherwise I was going to be taken in for a c-section. They assumed that the heart rate was dropping during contractions due to it’s cord being trapped and squished each contraction stopping blood supply. Had this continued to occur or stayed low for too long each time there is no doubt I would have been off to have a c-section.
The midwife did a vaginal examination and felt where babies head was positioned and to both her and my surprise I was 4-5cm. Wooo. This was great news as it ruled out a c-section for now as I was making natural progress. She told me that her examination should also help encourage contraction to become a little more regular now. They began to pick up and become regular.
It was now about 1-1.30 pm and this is when they classified labour to have started. Up until now I wasn’t in too much pain and like I said between contractions felt completely normal being able to have a conversation and move around pretty easily.
There was a change over in midwives and I was now being looked after by a midwife and a student midwife. This was really cool as everything was explained to the student midwife so we knew exactly what was happening and learnt a lot.
Off to birth suit number 13. A large room, with big windows over looking the car park and entrance of the hospital. This was great as I was able to look out the windows during contractions and keep my mind off them. I walked the room for awhile while they monitored bubs heart rate. I was lucky and was able to be connected to a wireless monitor allowing me to move around. As bubs heart rate continued to drop I had to be monitored whole time.
The contractions were very sharp and uncomfortable in my back. This was a problem with Miss A’s labour also but more when I sat or lay down. This time it was every contraction and no matter what position I was in. Each contraction really hurt my back. I was on the fine line of do I need something for this or do I just push on and see how I go?
Eventually I opted for a shower as back pains were killing me. The shower was a great pain relief with Miss A. Shower helped a bit this time but still very uncomfortable in my back. Even putting my hands on my hips/back was incredibly uncomfortable. I wanted to have my hand there to apply pressure to help with the pain but it was so sensitive and such sharp pains that it just made it worse.
It was around 3 pm when I opted to get in the shower. This time around I was very aware of my body and was determined to wait until it was ready to push. With Miss A I had a mild prolapse and took 7 months to heal. I did not want this to happen again so I was determined to wait it out until my body was completely ready. I started to push in shower but had to get out as bubs heart needed to be monitored and the monitor kept slipping off my tummy. I was disappointed as this meant my ‘pain relief’ was about to disappear. It wasn’t even working that well compared to last time but it was a slight distraction from the pain I was in.
The student midwife dried me off and helped me back to the bed. Slowly I made my way back as I wanted to push and was disappointed to be heading to the bed. I got to the side of the bed and babies head was crowning by this stage. One push as I bent over the bed. “Come on Clare up onto the bed and lay on your side your baby is almost here”. With the help of the wonderful midwives I got up onto the bed. I remember saying “this really sucks” and that I didn’t want to get up onto the bed. They wanted me to spread my legs while on my side to make way for the baby. I tried to do this and I just felt like I was going to get a bum cramp in the leg I was lifting up. They told my partner to come and hold my leg for me.
“One more push Clare and your baby will be here!”. Out came the head! This was incredible. SO different to Miss A who shot to the floor in the shower. Baby was posterior- no wonder my back hurt so much during contractions. Babies face was facing upwards instead of the usual downwards. Another incredible thing! The cord was loosely wrapped around it’s neck! Scary considering the heart rate kept dropping throughout labour! It opened it’s eyes (only the head out as I tried to push shoulders out slowly). Wow not even fully birthed yet and it was looking up at Daddy and the midwives! Incredible. I was able to see this happen also from my view. Small short breathes more as a coping thing but also what I was told to do to get the rest of baby out. Minutes later and I had my second baby! Daddy saw the whole thing, I saw it best as I could from my view. Amazing. Just like that the pains disappeared.
They put baby up onto my chest. “What is it?” I said? The midwife told me to look. I looked at this tiny little person who was laying on me. “How the hell do I pick you up?” After carrying a almost 2 year old I was unsure how to hold this tiny little person. I picked up my baby and had a look….. another little girl!!!! My partner and I were so thrilled! Two little girls! I was genuinely surprised for either gender. I had 99% of people telling me that I was going to have a boy and when she came out a girl I was just thrilled. Miss A has a little Sister!!!! A beautiful little girl. Tiny thing. Born at 38.5 weeks.
Daddy cut the cord, 3 attempts to cut the cord. Tough little thing. The midwives gave me the injection in your leg to encourage the placenta to come out easier. Then they tugged it out. I was more aware of it this time. Once they had the placenta out I was fortunate enough to see it and learn all about it.
I really wanted to see it this time as I didn’t get to see it with Miss A. Again having the student midwife meant that I was able to have a good look at it and get it all explained to us. What an incredible organ. How does that allow my baby to survive for 9 months inside? Just a chunk of meat. Looks like a liver or something similar. They showed me the bottom where they check to make sure it is all in tact. Then the turned it over and showed me the sack attached to it where baby had been growing. they even showed me where the hole was that was created from when my waters broke! AMAZING!
A doctor came in to stitch me up. I was sure they were going to tell me that I had torn to pieces as pushing her out felt like I was ripping apart. To my surprise they told me I had 1 first degree tear and that was about it! What? wow! Few stitches and she was done!
Miss C latched really well first time and we fed for almost 1.5 hrs! She just kept going!
After a feed it was time that she had her measurements and injections done. I then went and had a shower and freshened up and got dressed. I felt really good. There was no issues sitting or even going to the toilet to wee. After Miss A I tried to wee and couldn’t do anything for ages. I could not believe how well I felt.
However the contractions after birth were really intense and painful! Way worse than my first pregnancy!
We were in the birth unit for almost 4hrs after birth as Miss C had a lowish temp for a while and had to go under the heated light to increase her temperature.
I will put together another blog about our hospital stay and they first few days at home soon. The two pregnancies were different in the way of side effects caused by pregnancy, The deliveries were very different and how I felt after was VERY different. Amazing how you can have such different experiences.
NOTE: It is now more than 2 years since I wrote this. Life has been busy and I never got to publishing it. Miss C is now 2.4years old. A crazy, cheeky, fun loving girl.