I may never get the ‘dream' birth I want, but I am lucky to have had the best outcome both times. Two beautiful boys. And nothing beats holding your baby in your arms for the first time does it? Time stops still.
As most of you know, they discovered I had gestational diabetes a couple of weeks ago. After another growth scan last Thursday, baby was still measuring big and I was advised an induction was the way forward. I really wanted to go into birth naturally but equally took on board the doctor's advice. So I was booked in for Monday 24th June. So that weekend I was eating hot curry, bouncing on the ball, drinking raspberry tea, tweeking my nips – doing what I could to try get baby out (not all at the same time). I’d had a sweep on the Thursday and my braxton hicks were becoming stronger, I lost my mucus plug and I felt like my body was close to go into labour – if not already in the early stages. But I had accepted that I was going to be induced and felt positive (thanks to hypnobirthing and general excitement to meet baby). Rang up the hospital in the morning and told to go in for 12. I cleaned the house again (obviously), had a shower attempted to shave my legs and finished packing my bag. I’d been up since 3.30am in discomfort so in hindsight I should have just slept! It was surreal to go into hospital to have the baby – but not be in labour. But both husband and I were excited/couldn't quite believe it. Got to hospital and shown into our room and it was lovely this time round as because everything happened so fast with Rafe (went into labour natually), my husband and I were able to spend some time together, do some random quizzes as you do and talk about everything and nothing, which made everything more calm. I had some student doctors come in to try and hear baby's heartbeat in this old school instrument (scientific word for it I’m sure) and seeing their faces light up when they did was pretty magical to be honest. I was having mild contractions at this point so was quite nice to be distracted. I was popped on the monitor and they could see I was having regular tightenings and at this point a plumber came into the room to fix a tap!! Which made me and Chris piss ourselves laughing (me almost literally). Not quite the hypnobirthing experience I had in mind, hearing a drill and watching a tap get fixed, but it made everything even more calm - surprisingly. At about 3pm, they inserted a pessary to see if they could kick start labour. They explained could be 24-hours, may have to do another pessary, or may be able to break waters. Either or - I expected a long wait. Then about an hour later my contractions were getting closer together after a little walk round the hospital, then an hour after that they were becoming quite painful. I was put on the monitor and they were coming thick and fast. I couldn’t believe how intense they were and I wasn’t even in the second stage of labour yet. Was checked and was still only 2, almost 3cm dialated so was really disappointed. My midwife went to speak to the midwife in charge and they thought the pessary had overstimulated me and that my body was already in/ready for labour so basically I had two lots of hormones in my body that were causing the really painful contractions. So they took the pessary out and could see they could break my waters to try and ease the pain a little and give me a break. So that’s what they did. It was quite painful so I remember squeezing Chris's hand hard. Then I heard the midwife say to the midwife in charge – “the cord.” She didn’t hear her so she said again, “the cord.” And just like that everything moved at rapid speed. A button was pressed, my bed was tilted down and a team of people rushed into the room. My midwife had hopped on the bed at this point, kneeling over me with her hand still inside me. I could hear the doctor saying they needed to get the baby out now and I needed a c-section. I just nodded and was being wheeled along while an anaesthetist was asking me questions and explained what was going to happen. I was trying to stay calm and everyone else seemed calm and in control. But I kept looking at my midwife who still had her hand inside me and was thinking what the fuck is going on? Is my baby ok? I found out after it all happened that her actions saved my baby's life. The cord had come out of my cervix (cord prolapse) when my waters broke so she was holding the baby's head away from the cord as the baby would have squashed it and then would have lost its oxygen supply. Someone asked me for my verbal consent for the c-section, but basically said if you don’t - your baby will die. At that point I trusted every single person in that room. I had oxygen on my face and the anaesthetist said I would be going to sleep soon and would wake up in an hour. I was looking up at the big light above me and I remember my last thought being of tremendous fear that I wouldn’t wake up ever again. And I wouldn't ever see my Rafe or meet my new baby. I think that light and that thought will never leave me. Everything happened in seconds, I can't explain how fast it was. But while I was 'knocked out', Elijah Austin Copp arrived at 7.20pm, all 9Ib 4oz of him and that’s all that mattered.
My next memory was waking up with someone trying to put a tube in my arm and I turned my head and saw this bundle in a purple blanket. My baby. I can't remember if I asked or whether I was told – but it was a boy. A beautiful baby boy. My husband came in and I was just really out of it to be honest. I kept grabbing all the theatre staff saying thank you. It is a surreal moment to go into labour, still be pregnant, then wake up with your baby next to you. The midwife and my husband (who was outside in scrubs, he wasn’t allowed in as I was under general anthetestic) said that Elijah screamed the place down when he came into the world. Which was a relief for both and my husband said it was literally minutes after I went into theatre. It is hard to know I never heard his first cry. Or I wasn’t the first person to welcome him into the world, or hold him, or to comfort him and wrap him up warm. Chris wanted to wait to find out sex with me and they wanted to keep baby with me in case I woke up and thought the worst. But after waiting for an hour, he caved and the midwife told him, “you now have two boys" – and he burst into tears. He met him while I had just woken up.
I think after what happened with Rafe's birth, I am naturally worried I will struggle after what happened as it was terrifying - and traumatic. And I don't think any of it has sunk in yet and I can't really put it into words. But for now, that is my birth story.
I can't thank the staff at Northumberland Specialist Emergency Care Hospital enough. Their calmness and their care was outstanding, without sounding overly dramatic, they saved my boy's life. And I now feel like the luckiest (most exhausted) woman in the world.
Thank you so much for all your messages. Means so much. Two boys! 💙
P.s We chose the name Elijah Austin as we just love both names and my grandad (dad's dad) was called Austin, a lovely man, so a tribute to him - I think he was looking out for us.
Day 3 - 2 under 2....
Oh hi there. Just on day 3 with 2 under 2. This is my reality right now. Milk is in so currently feeling like a cow. Nipples are so sore. Boobs are massive. Still look about 7-months pregnant. So emotional. Feeling guilty Rafe feels left out - though he is being amazing. Can't pick him or do bedtime so have to hear him cry for 'mama'. Just coughed and my insides fell out. Is there anything more scary than coughing after a c-section? Yes, having the first poo. Terrified.
But how I love my boys and husband is a hero.
#2under2 #3dayspostpartum #newborn #toddler #breastfeeding #mumguilt #mummyblogger #milkingcow #mumofboys #clusterfeeding
When Rafe mef Elijah...
Both lads at 2 days old. 💙 Rafe has met the 'baby' (see video on Facebook or Instagram!) which was beyond emotional. My heart is full. My eyes are bleeding from exhaustion. You do forget that newborn stage so quickly! Hoping to get home today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your messages and well wishes. Feeling very lucky. ❤
#mumofboys #2daysold #thelads #brothers #2dayspostpartum #breastfeeding #2under2 #exhaustedmummy #newborn #toddler
Welcome to the world Elijah Austin Copp. 💙 Born yesterday, (24th June) at 7.20pm weighing 9Ib 4oz. Made quite the entrance into the world (crash C-section) but we are both doing well. And he has certainly found his lungs!
#mumofboys #newborn #feelinglucky #willisleepagain
Mini update from Corporal Copp. So I've been poorly all week with a fever and cough. Was up all last night with a high temperature, vomiting and cough and had to go see GP this morning who sent me to hospital as my respiratory reps were high and I was struggling to breathe a little. Back on my inhaler again for 5 days. I have a chest infection - viral of course. Isn't everything viral?
At the same time I was in hospital my mum was upstairs having a growth scan to check on my brother or sister. Baby still measuring big according to scan and also my mum's glucose levels have been a range of normal and high so they talked her through the risks of leaving nature to do its course with gestational diabetes - and the risks of an induction. She is booked in for an induction next week as feels like that is the right thing to do - though not what she wanted to happen as wanted to things to happen naturally but as long as baby is ok, that's all that matters. She had a sweep there and then and hopes to go into labour in the next few days. 🤞 She says, any tips to get things going? Hot curry and bouncing on the ball is on the agenda tonight. Think my dad had something else on his mind.
She said she is feeling very, VERY emotional about just 'me and her' time 'ending', even though she can't wait to meet my brother or sister. And is worried about leaving me potentially for a few days especially when poorly. But I'm a Royal Marine so I keep telling her I am tough!
Lots of love, Rafe xxx
Happy Father's Day to my husband – and all the other amazing dad’s out there. A poem for you. (A little something I wrote and shared last year).
I won’t always want to build sandcastles, or make angels in the snow,
I won’t always want to hold your hand, but please don’t let go,
I may not want to follow in your footsteps, but please stay by my side,
I may get lost along the way, but I know you’ll always be my guide.
I won’t always want a bedtime story, or adventures in the park,
It won’t always feel like I need you, but keep being my eyes in the dark,
I may not always want to listen or hear what you have to say,
But don’t stop trying dad, always find a way.
I won’t always want a cuddle, but please keep wiping my tears, even when I'm tall,
I won’t always need my shoe laces tied, but keep picking me up when I fall,
I may not always want to play make-believe on a Sunday afternoon,
Slow down, let me play, don’t let me grow up too soon.
But I'll always love you dad, I won’t ever let go of your hand,
Keep me safe, show me the world, let me make my own footprints in the sand.
No lengthy blog post this week. Just a little update! I had my baby shower yesterday. ❤ Wasn't going to have one but just had close friends and imediate family and laughed so much I almost went into labour! If you don't talk about shitting yourself during labour or your husband scooping poo out of the birthing pool - is it even a baby shower?! Made me feel very lucky to have such amazing people in my life.
I had to go for a growth scan this week as midwife thought baby was breech and bump hadn't really grown in 2 weeks. Had the scan...not breech 🙌 but measuring big! Though I know these scans aren't an exact science, they said baby was 8Ib 3oz already. And baby's tummy was measuring big which could be a sign of gestational diabetes. Was quite shocked to be honest. I have to measure my glucose levels for a week and see a consultant on Wednesday. And keep in touch with specialist midwives. Had a wobbly/hormonal moment where I started to worry, was it something I had done but I know from other people that even if I do have it - it isn't something to panic about. And these scans can be way off. I will be monitored which is not a bad thing, it doesn't necessarily mean longterm diabetes at all and baby probably won't be 15Ib! Just feel like it's one thing after another with this pregnancy sometimes. And I still need to deep clean the house....But feeling positive, despite Rafe having a full on dirty protest on his high chair this morning. Will spare details. 🙈 Till next week x
Naps, remember naps!
Nursery sorted by now
Hospital bag almost done
Everything bought in preparation…
Erm, what day is it?
Feeling pretty exhausted right now. Can’t believe I am almost 36 weeks pregnant! Where has the time gone? Two weeks left of work, although could easily have packed my laptop away now. I’m also in full on nesting mode and desperate to deep-clean the house! I’m pretty OCD about cleaning so it ramps up a notch when pregnant. Anyone else the same? Last time I had my husband pulling everything out the kitchen cupboards to clean...Just feeling quite unprepared in every sense of the word really. I held my nephew the other day who is 8-weeks old and thought – how do I look after a baby again?! A baby and a toddler?! The Braxton Hicks contractions are ramping up now, pretty much 24-7 but just trying to think of them as good practice/fucking annoying...As well as the slight panic, nesting taking over, exhaustion – I am feeling more excited every day. Just not quite sure what day it is….
As I mentioned last week – Rafe has had hand foot and mouth. Which for anyone whose child has had – will understand how awful it is. Even more awful when for days, although I knew he was a bit off and had been sick one night – I thought he just had a stomach bug/was teething. I noticed what I thought was a midge bite on his hand, he had been chirpy and seemed better, took him to nursery – only for them to ring a few hours later and say they thought he had hand foot and mouth. He had spots on his bum and they noticed them on his feet – and when I got him home I noticed he had ulcers on his tongue. Just felt so bad for not realising how poorly he was and that he had hand foot and mouth. He wouldn’t eat much – apart from ice lollies and yogurts and was really clingy for days. The ‘nee sleep routine' went out the window – he just wanted to be cuddled and to hold my face. Was a pretty exhausting week, husband was away and I needed a few wines to be honest – but he is so much better now. And running around like a tornado! He is obsessed with lions and runs around or points at his lion teddy saying ‘rara, rara!’ Which just brightens up any one’s day. Even after 2 hours sleep with a him holding on to your face...
Getting Rafe to sleep has obviously been a difficult task so the week before of trying to get him down without cuddling has gone out the window. So starting again now he is better. Some nights he will go down after 10-15 minutes – but wake-up and need settling within the hour. And screams and screams - which is a laugh a minute. But then the other night, he went down within 10 minutes and slept through. PRAISE THE LORD! So a Russian Roulette at bedtime but isn’t it always?!
Now he is on the move, he needs entertained even more. Try and get him out and about as much as I can but when we are in the house, he gets bored so quickly. We have mountains of toys – and loves books – but just want some ideas to keep a 19-month entertained in the house, both fun and educational?! Any good Instagram accounts to follow for ideas? Any good games? Good books/toys? Want to try and get him to say more words too. He understands so much but is still limited with words. He can give you all the noises of any farm animal, lion (his fave), car and motorbikes noises etc – he can master those. But actually saying dog – rather than 'woof woof' he does not do. Only 'real' words he says are mama, dada, hiya, yeah yeah (when he is singing to The Beatles!) and randomly bear. The rest are all sounds of what things make - or his own babbling. It's hard not to compare (and I really make an effoet not to) but there's a boy at swimming, a few months older than Rafe who is saying so much – and basically copies what his mum says - it’s amazing! But he is not Rafe so just need to remember that. And all kids develop in different ways. He understands a lot of what you are saying and asking him to do – and is vocal, just not quite putting a huge amount of words together yet. I mentioned this a few months' back and was reassured - think once again, I just need to stop worrying about everything!
So from one exhausted and worried mum to another – till next time!
No blog post this week as this little champ has had hand foot and mouth 🖕 and we are both well and truly pooped. He is on the mend though. 🤞🙌❤ See photos below! Me on the other hand. CAN'T WAIT FOR WINE!!
Note to self: Do not try a new ‘getting toddler to sleep’ routine when it is 100 degrees, still light at 10pm, when you are 8-months pregnant and beyond hormonal and emotional….
Also, this week: PREGNANCY RAGE is back with a vengeance. I thought I may have bypassed the angry letter to McDonald’s stage – or that time I almost killed my husband for walking so slow round Asda with the trolley. But oh no – it’s back….
So yes, as I mentioned last week, I was at my wits end trying to get Rafe to sleep. Thank you so much for all your advice – massively helped. I think I really just needed to bite the bullet and try something different but on the most part – I just felt like I didn’t have the energy to do it on my own. But equally, don’t have a choice! So I wanted to try a mix of what I have done before – and also follow other people’s advice and cater to what I thought would suit Rafe. So on Monday night, we followed our normal routine of bath, milk in my room, a couple of pages of a story – then I popped him in his sleeping bag and instead of staying to read more of the story – and then rocking to sleep in his room, we went into his room, I sat him on my knee and we read more of the story. We then went and said goodnight to his teddies and then I gave him a kiss, said goodnight and put him down. Then all hell broke loose. He was hysterical – which made me get really upset. But I left the room and timed for 5-minutes, went back in, picked him up and cuddled him and tried to calm him down. He literally forced my hands around him and every time I went to move my arms, he wrapped them back round him, which was bloody heart-breaking. So once he calmed down, back in cot and back out for 5. Basically repeated this for an hour – until he went down – sobbing. Which was just fucking awful and hard work. The next night – the same thing, but took half an hour, still sobbing as he fell to sleep. The following night – before I had even put him down he was hysterical. And again took half an hour. That night, I noticed when I went in, he was holding on to Ewan the sheep for dear life. He has never been bothered about a cuddly toy but thought I’d get one of his smaller teddies for him to cuddle – which did seem to settle him a bit. (But then I got paranoid about him having a teddy in his cot…!) Those first three nights were really tough - I think me going back in to settle him by picking him up was actually making him worse - he was getting a cuddle, but not as long as he wanted so was getting even more distressed I was leaving again. It’s just awful to see your child cry like that and all he wanted was a cuddle. And then to hear him basically sobbing while falling asleep is just emotional as fuck – and even more so when pregnant. Then the mum guilt came in as I just kept thinking about the years to come when I wish I could cuddle him to sleep. But also kept trying to remind myself – that when baby number 2 comes, it’s just little old me doing bedtime – apart from when husband is home. Which could be every weekend for a while – or he could be away for months and months. I physically won’t be able to sit for an hour or more to cuddle him to sleep – and it will be good for him to be able to settle on his own. And once he is down – he is on the most part – sleeping through. So it is working in that sense. Just broke my heart to be honest. The following nights I have tried the same routine – but not picking him up, just patting his back, reassuring him and saying ‘night, night Rafe’. Maybe cuddling him once if he really isn't happy. I took the teddy out on Friday night as the night before, he was unusually hyper and just talking to it for an hour. But at least he wasn't crying! Friday night took 20 minutes to go down. But when I went to check on him, he was cuddling Ewan the Sheep so I introduced teddy again last night (fucking epic I know!! My head is boggled writing this!!) - but snuck in and took it off him when he settled. Am I being too paranoid here? Just read so much about safe sleep but thought now he is 19-months, a small teddy would be fine??? So back to last night - I had to go in once to calm him down and took 15 minutes!!! So we will see how it goes. Just been harder than I thought, especially 8-months preggers and doing it on my own. (Get the violins out!) But it has got better and can see progress and light at the end of the tunnel! Hopefully by next week I can put him down and he goes straight to sleep - no tears. Fingers crossed....Who would have thought you could write an epic novel on getting your child to fucking sleep...
It’s just been one of those weeks to be honest! I had to go in and be checked over to make sure I wasn’t in early labour as I have been having Braxton hick’s contractions for a while (never had them with Rafe) but last Sunday, I had them for basically seven hours in the end. They weren’t stopping, whatever I did – and contrary to what I had read and thought – they were actually really uncomfortable and had a regulatory to them. I didn’t think I was in labour but equally just needed reassurance. I was monitored and midwife could see tightening’s but they weren’t regular and said not enough for her to check me out internally and was just BH. I felt silly for going in but as she said – it is better to be on the safe side. And now at least I know they can go on for a while – and be uncomfortable. They have been really persistent most days now. And although I’ve had back pain these past few weeks, I have had days when if I sit down for longer than say 15-minutes, I find it hard to actually walk and am in quite a bit of pain. And feel really heavy down below. I don’t know whether it’s pelvic girdle pain or just stiffening up but seeing midwife on Wednesday so will check. Second pregnancy – whole different ball game, everything is so much more intense! Anyone else have strong BH contractions?
I had pregnancy rage throughout my last pregnancy – towards anyone and everyone but mainly my poor husband. I’ve had some irrational, very hormonal moments but not a huge amount of rage. But this week, my poor dog and a random dog walker got the rage in full force. I took Yankee out over my lunch break, it was roasting outside and obviously I decided to wear all black so I was sweating like a MF and generally couldn’t walk faster than a snail. I was also having quite strong BH contractions. Yankee stole another dog’s ball and decided he wouldn’t give it back. So I was screaming like a banshee – which he obviously thought was a game. Eventually when I caught up to him, he refused to give the ball back, despite me sticking my hand in his mouth. “I AM NOT IN THE FUCKING MOOD!” I shouted. Only to realise the dear old dog walker was behind me. I said sorry – and finally got the ball back. And Yankee ran off – loving life – (no animals were harmed during this rage incident) and tried to steal the ball again. Cue banshee scream and old man leaping to get the ball from Yankee in fear of his life from the hormonal pregnant lady. I think I may need to avoid that field for a while….Please tell me I am not the only one with pregnancy rage witnessed by total strangers!
So yes, quite a week. Hoping for an easy peasy week next week – full of blissful bedtimes, a calm and well-behaved golden retriever – and baby number 2 behaves him/herself too…..
Till next time.