April 2011-kicking back drinking lactulose cocktails and riding the maternity surfboards

(979 Posts)
Petalouda Thu 31-Mar-11 21:27:29

Post-natal thread for all the antenatal April 2011 Family! grin

Share the birth stories, the baby blues and everything else.

OP’s posts: |
Poodle82 Fri 01-Apr-11 14:56:51

Well done for starting the new thread Petal.
Hopefully lots of the April family will be over soon with their stories of their little ones.
Me and Joshua are both doing well. He's now 8 days old, and has been home for 6 days. I seem to have recovered really quickly from the caesarian, as had expected to be in loads of pain and unable to move around for ages. Just need to stop myself doing too much but am impatient to be properly out and about. Gradually been introducing him to family, friends, and neighbours, who all say the right things about how lovely he is!

Petalouda Fri 01-Apr-11 17:56:30

Glad to hear you and Joshua are doing well.

I can't wait to get out and about with Felix, really felt like it this morning, but glad we didn't as since I sent DH out to mothercare on an emergency bigger-bras run, I've been an emotional wreck! Which, on day 4, is what I expected!

I'm impressed you've been out so soon after a cesarean - I'm still walking very carefully around the house, feels like my insides will fall out! But everything is starting to settle down.

Isn't it amazing how people love newborns - for something that just eats & sleeps, they're just fascinating and so lovely! oh dear, there I go again...!

OP’s posts: |
MrsWajs Sun 03-Apr-11 17:48:05

Happy Mothers Day to all the April mummies

chillikat Mon 04-Apr-11 18:14:11

I guess we've all been a bit busy with babies to post much on here yet but things are going well with me and Megan. We had a bad night with wanting constant feeding when i felt I had nothing left for her but a call to the midwife reassured me this was normal and she was just encouraging my supply. She's putting on weight so I'm happy it's ok.
We had our first family outing yesterday too, just a sort walk for brunch but was good to get out.
And talking of feeding I think it's that time again....

Petalouda Mon 04-Apr-11 18:40:38

OK, so while we wait for more people to pop over to join us, I thought I'd tell my birth story. Get it out of my system and generally share my experiences.

So, last sunday afternoon (about 3ish) it all started with a show - green snot-like stuff. No blood, just green gunge! Shortly after that, I got a persistent back ache.

I found an online contraction timer and sat on the yoda ball trying to see if the aches had any definite start/finish time. They did, and the pains (low in my belly & back, definitely different to BHs) were coming every 3 minutes and were lasting 30 seconds.

I went in the bath to see if they'd go off, or continue. The water felt amazing! But I couldn't stand lying back and instead sat cross legged, sideways in the bath (rather wedged in!) listening to my natal hypnotherapy cd. The water took the edge off the contractions, the hypnotherapy cd helped me think about my breathing etc.

After about an hour in the bath, I got out, accidentally discovered while picking up my clothes that squatting felt really good! I called DH home from work, rang the MLU (who confirmed it most definitely did sound like labour, and to hang on until the contractions were lasting longer before coming in) and then got bouncing on the yoda ball again!

My concept of time went out the window. The contractions got more intense, although at the time I couldn't recognise that, as I could only focus on the present one, and had already forgotten about the previous one. This made it hard to explain to the MW that I felt I needed to come in (I wanted to get in that birth pool!). DH arrived home, tidied the house up a bit, made some pasta and got the last few bits together.

We went down to the MLU and the MW started making noises like she thought we should go home. She examined me and found I was 2cm dilated. I think things then proceeded relatively quickly (i.e. quicker than the 1cm per hour). I wasn't allowed to get into the water until I'd got past 5cm dilated, so I spent a couple of hours knelt on the floor leaning on the bed, breathing through the contractions. Apparently I was doing well. However, the contractions were so painful! I was whining and whimpering all the way through, generally complaining that it hurt and I didn't want to do it! DH was amazing. I felt bad that I wasn't doing the hypnotherapy stuff well enough, as it still hurt. Looking back, I think I actually was doing really well. The pain was unreal, focussed at the front under my bump.

I was eventually allowed in the pool after being examined (around 8pm I think? I was definitely in the water by the time Wonders of the Universe was on!) and being found to be 7cm. I stayed in the same position - I found being up and walking was actually really uncomfortable, and lying on my back even worse. On my knees, head resting on the side of the pool during contractions. (The next day I actually had a red & peeling forehead where I'd rubbed it against the edge of the bed/towel on the edge of the pool! But it helped at the time).

I started feeling the urge to push before I was fully dilated. Pushing was happening anyway, I couldn't stop it, but there was a lip of cervix at the front (what had been causing that intense white-hot pain) which wouldn't budge.

My waters finally went in the pool - I could see they looked dark and had a feeling this meant I'd have to be transferred to hospital. I wasn't worried, I could hear the doppler each time the MW checked his heart rate, and it was all fine. I knew this was old meconium (I swear I'd felt a farty feeling under my ribs the week before!). The MW wasn't convinced, and I stayed in the pool a little longer. The next time I had to get out to be examined, some more liquor came out and she confirmed the meconium. Policies stated I had to go to the big hospital ~30 miles away. It was about 12:30-1am ish by now.

As if by magic (my perception of time was completely warped by now!) two ambulance men arrived and strapped me to a trolley. I lay on my side, which felt awful, and had a strap around my legs, keeping them together. Going into the ambulance was ok, it was nice to feel the cold air outside! They gave me gas & air in the ambulance, I don't think it touched the pain at all, but gave me something else to think about in the ambulance. With hindsight, it turns out that I was in transition in the ambulance. DH following behind says they suddenly went from a nice sedate 80 mph to 95+! He panicked! But I think they just realised that this baby was on it's way.

We got to the hospital, I was hooked up to a monitor, but was allowed to stay on my knees. The monitor kept losing his heart rate, and I was aware enough and rational enough not to let the fluctuations worry me. I just knew he was ok.

By this point, the pushing was on, the pain had almost completely gone. It was just this monumental physical effort. Strangely satisfying. The midwives kept complaining that I wasn't in the best position for them to see. I have to say that I didn't really care! I compromised a bit, tried their suggestions, and eventually ended up with DH sitting on the bed, his knees in my armpits while I squatted. The pushing seemed to go on forever - I could feel his head coming down, sometime in a contraction I'd feel that sweet spot in the push, but when I had to breathe I could never get that back. His head would stay for a few seconds, and then I'd feel it slip back. This seemed to last into infinity.

Then all of a sudden (the MWs were quiet, I think I'd expected a running commentary like you see on discovery channel!) I felt him right there. I remember saying "so that's why they call it the ring of fire!". It stung, it really hurt, but I knew why and I knew this was not the time to panic!

I tried to gently squeeze his head out (which took a lot of effort still!), and then looked down to see his blue little head sticking out of me. I expected to see his head turn, I waited, then another contraction came and he didn't turn. I pushed him out how he was - with his fists up by his face! Because he didn't turn, his shoulders were in the wrong plane. You'd think you'd stretch whichever way he came, but apparently not. I didn't feel it at the time, but apparently I tore as his shoulders came through.

All of a sudden, this bluey blood & gunk covered baby was passed to me. And I thought of the lady on OBEM! ("I've just had a baby!"). It was surreal - I really had forgotten why we were doing this! And amazingly, the pain did stop, I was back in the room & with it, whipping my (DH's) t-shirt off to hug this gunky little thing. He looked at me and started to scream (it turns out he's a bit of a screamer!). Because of the meconium, they'd called a paediatrician - who took him as the placenta was delivered. I'd originally planned to have a physiological 3rd stage, waiting for the cord to stop pulsating, but because of the meconium he had to be examined quickly. So I was injected (MW: "sharp scratch" Me: <Whatev! - did you see what just came out of me?!>) and the placenta was gently pulled out. I was surprised at how big it was. It was fascinating!

So then, back on the bed, comfortable on my back for the first time in months and thinking "brilliant! I really do feel so much better!", I was snuggled up with Felix. The hormones really are amazing! I felt so elated, so alive, so awake! And they told me I had a nasty 3rd degree tear, and I'd have to have surgery to fix it!

So a couple of hours later, DH looked after his son for the first time, while I had a spinal block (which was amazing! I'd totally have one of those again!) and several people pulled concentrating faces at my downstairs for a while while I attempted to chat up the anaesthetist!

So, all in all, it wasn't the hippy hypno birth I'd 'planned' - I did feel pain, I would consider an epidural next time - but I did it all, bar the 20 mins in the ambulance, without any pain medication at all. And as a result Felix scored 9/10 on the APGAR at birth, which made it worth it.

The tear wasn't that bad. The stitches aren't that bad. The catheter I had for 24 hours after wasn't that bad.

It's amazing how quickly my memory has faded. I know it hurt, I know I didn't like it, but now it doesn't seem so bad. Already I'd consider doing it again!

So, new April mummies, how was it for you?

OP’s posts: |
MrsWajs Tue 05-Apr-11 14:41:26

Love your story Petal actually had a wee tear in my eye!! Really positive despite it not being what you had planned! Hope I can be as upbeat when it's my turn to tell the tale!

Cyclebump Thu 07-Apr-11 10:54:49

Well done Petal. I agree, hormones are bloody amazing.

So for me...

DP and I started watching a film at about 7.30pm on Monday night. I couldn't get comfy on the sofa and starting bouncing on the yoda ball. Then I realised that I was having period pains so I started timing them but didn't tell DP. Over the course of the film they got to about every four minutes and were distinctly uncomfortable.

I rang the labour ward and they said to wait until I was every 2-3 minutes. DP ignored my insistence that it couldn't possibly be labour and started timing for me. I got into a warm bath and it didn't help at all with pain but I could turn more easily so lay on my side curled up moaning. We then realised the window was open blush we'd hit 3 mins so I insisted DP wash my hair and I got out. This made me realise the water birth idea might not be the best.

Rang labour ward again and called mum to drive us. Got to hospital at about 12.45am and was examined about 1am. I was 5cm and promptly told to get into my labour gear.

Put a TENS machine on and walked around, time lost all meaning and I decided to give the gas and air a go. To me, time started to speed up and although I tried to get into various positions I couldn't even get on my knees. They'd strapped monitoring stuff on early in labour and refused to take it off. At this point I ripped it off after it slipped for the millionth time. The cables meant I could reach the gas and air or walk around.

I was left alone with DP and my mum for the vast majority of the time.

Reached 9cm and got on the bed. I was desperate to push and started to panic. DP was amazing, he sponged me down and talked me through while remaining totally calm. Was offered an epidural and decided not to have one as I was frightened of the spinal needle being used if a contraction started. Suddenly two people walked in without knocking and I was informed they were taking over. Unlike the first mw they introduced themselves and the mw (the other was a student) explained exactly what I needed to do and why. Only at this point did I feel safe and supported.

I ended up pushing for nearly two hours and they prepared for a possible episiotomy. The mw's really encouraged me and DP kept me calm and cooled me down. Just as they were about to make the cut I got his head out, one more push and DP said he 'shot out like a rocket'. The relief was amazing and he was put straight on my chest. DP cried, mum cut the cord and I got some time with baby as they delivered the placenta.

They took baby and after checking him gave him to DP to hold while mum held my hand for the stitches. I knew I'd torn but it had felt worse than the second degree tear it apparently was. I gulped gas and air while mum described DP holding baby to distract me.

Then he was there, and he was gorgeous. He was born at 8.07am, about 13 hours after labour began. I was euphoric and really did forget the pain quickly.

I will talk about the horrendous lack of after care at some point but I have to admit that I'm not too bitter. The birth was ok, he's healthy and I was lucky to have both DP and mum to take care of me but I'll be lodging a formal complaint about what happened on the insistence of a mw we know.

Liv77 Thu 07-Apr-11 13:40:01

hello ladies,

sorry I missed that we'd started on the postnatal thread, and my birth story is on the AN thread.

We're off to collect DS from preschool now and we're taking new DD along as well as his teacher wants to have a cuddle smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 07-Apr-11 21:26:04


How are we all doing?

Liv I loved your biscuitbiscuit description of BFing nipples - so so true!

Mine got in a horrid mess a few days ago, I have really flat nipples and when my milk came in DS2 just couldn't get a good latch and they got utterly shredded. I've been feeding and expressing alternately to give them a chance to heal up, and things are definitely on the mend. I've managed to feed from both sides today - lovely to sit BFing in the garden while DS1 pottered about

Cycle - I'm also planning a formal complaint after I had a nurse from neo-natal a) try to pass herself off as a Dr, and b) express surprise that I was rejecting a formula top-up for DS2 because, and I quote 'if you express, will there be any milk left for when you need to feed later'.
I sorely regret not challenging her to her face on that, but by the time my jaw had come up off the floor she was gone. I am really shocked and saddened that someone who works with sick/prem etc babies has so little understanding of the mechanics of BFing. If I had been a first-timer then I might have believed her!!

I measured myself for a nursing bra earlier. 38I - that cannot be right! hmm

Petalouda Thu 07-Apr-11 23:00:24

Ali & Cycle - Sorry to hear you had bad experiences. I feel really lucky that I had a lovely experience, despite having to be transferred to the hospital I really wanted to avoid.

I measured myself for a bra last week at peak engorgement, and the chart I used was saying something like 34B. Yeah Right! They were even more massive than when the mothercare lady said they were 36DD. I must've been doing it wrong.

Had the 10day sign-off today - MW asked what method of contraception we were planning to use, to which I replied "stitches" - she laughed, then said that since she'd just seen them, she didn't think that would stand up for long! Which I suppose is a good indication! I haven't had a look yet, but the area feels pretty good. (am I really discussing my perineum on the internet, again?!)

I am wondering if I brought the tear on myself for resisting any kind of perineal massage/epi-no action. Geek in me wants to do an April-Ladies survey!

OP’s posts: |
Cyclebump Fri 08-Apr-11 08:43:10

I'm having massive bf woes too Ali. got no support in hospital and feel utterly lost. Supply isn't coming in and it's all a bit horrible. Will persevere though, I can only try!

Petalouda Fri 08-Apr-11 09:35:10

Cycle, when was H born? F was born on the monday morning, home by tues night, milk properly came in on Thursday (and I thought it had done on the weds, but there was more!). I don't think F was weighed till the thurs either. So no idea of the rate of loss between birth & day 3.

I've had about 3 copies of that yellow leaflet shoved at me as some kind of oracle. And generally we can do it during the day time, but there's no one around to help in the wee small hours is there?

As for feeding in the hospital, it struck me yesterday how ludicrous that is, when there's no milk till day 3 or 4+.

F has just projectile vommed all over the bed. Yet he is still hungry! I don't get it!

OP’s posts: |
Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 08-Apr-11 10:27:28

Cycle I had supply problems with DS1, which we overcame but it took a fair amount of effort. I was more prepared this time and I was expressing colostrum at a furious rate between DS2 feeding the whole time we were in hospital.
Maybe put a post in feeding, or tell us on the ante-natal thread? A few of us are experienced BFers and JKS is doing some peer supporter training so hopefully we can help

We aren't signed off yet, I think they will want T back at birthweight before that. My own midwife weighed him yesterday, which was day 10, and he had gained since day 7 so that was good. He lost 9% of his birthweight by day 3, but that is pretty normal for big babies and he is feeding really well now so I'm not worried. She is coming again next Thursday.

chillikat Fri 08-Apr-11 11:41:40

Time to write up my birth story before it's feeding time again. I did get part way through the other day but accidentally hit the back button and it disappeared

After a 1am wee on the Saturday I found I still needed to wee, but barely made it to the bathroom. I spent half an hour or so in denial that my waters had gone, even though I kept leaking but after a couple of contractions (pretty far apart) I decided maybe I should wake up DH who tried to leap out of bed and head to the birth centre immediately. A 3am call to the birth centre later and I was told to stay at home an come in for 11.30 next morning. As contractions increased I called again at 5 to be recommended warm bath, paracetamol and TENS, still staying at home. I had doubts whether I'd last til 11.30 but did as instructed and slumped on the sofa while DH tried to get more sleep.
After the worse car journey ever to the birth centre I was told I was on the cusp of staying or being sent home. To avoid the car again I elected to stay. The rest of the day was spent more or less naked (other than dressing gown) bouncing on the yoda ball with the TENS machine to ease the pain. Unfortunately baby seemed to be blocking my tubes and I found it impossible to wee - a catheter was an enormous relief to clear it! However my contractions would increase but then reduce again and when mine and babys heartbeat increased it was decided about 8.30pm to transfer me to the hospital so no water birth for me
The ambulance to the hospital seemed to go via most of the north of England but fortuantely contractions had more or less fizzled out. I was then hooked up to drips for fluids and to increase contractions and spent the rest of the evening as I had the day bouncing on a different yoda ball and still having to have my bladder emptied by catheter. As the clocks were due to go forward I expected baby to arrive then just to confuse matters, but nothing. I eventually was told I was 10cm about 5am and told to push even though I felt little desire to push. So I pushed for 2 and a half hours with no result I did feel some movement but nothing significant even trying different positions. About 7.30ish I was told they would take me to theatre to do a more thorough exam and work out how to get the baby out - forceps or c-section. All the time I'd just been using the TENS machine for pain relief but for the spinal block I had to remove it - contractions wehile they were doing the block was awful and it took a few attempts, when it worked though it was amazing (again I highly recommend!) but really weird sensation. DH got into threatre scrubs too and was sat at my head. After the exam it was found baby was back to back, cord over face and too high up for forceps so c-section. I did feel them take baby out - got a feeling of lightness, I was told I had a beautiful baby - "Boy?" no, girl - I was surprised as there are so many boys in the family on both sides I expected this to be a boy. DH then got to hold her while they sorted me out.
I spent 2 days on the ward and contrary to what I'd heard from others who'd been in I had fantastic breastfeeding support. DH did lots of firsts as I ws laid up for the first day - nappy change, etc and he's continued to do most changes.
Although it wasn't the water birth I'd planned and a c-section was the last thing I wanted after a weekend in labour and pushing to nowhere I was just glad it was over and I had a baby. The section wasn't half as bad as I feared it might be and every member of birth centre and hospital staff was brilliant. Especially the ultra chirpy team leader in theatre who kept me fully informed about what was happening and the midwives on the post natal ward for all their help and support. After having heard bad reports I'm just full of praise for my treatment.
Have been home for a week and a half now and I think Megan should be back up to her birth weight when she gets weighed today. It's not all been easy but that can wait for another post!

ecuse Fri 08-Apr-11 17:25:44

Thanks chilli and congrats again. Hope you already-mums don't mind me lurking here, but fascinated to read the birth stories and imagine that some permutation of this will be me soon. Hope all of your lovely snuggly babies are doing well envy.

NotAnotherNewNappy Fri 08-Apr-11 21:09:47

Just marking my place - thanks for sharing your stories and hope you're all recovering as well as poss.

Petalouda Fri 08-Apr-11 21:41:36

Hi ecuse! Of course you're very welcome here pre-baby, everyone is! It's just a separate place to post birth stories and other woes that some folk might not want to read just yet!

NANN - by way of a reply to your mention of recovery - I would like to say that my stitches are healing wonderfully! I'm dead impressed. I haven't had a proper look yet, but had a little feel, and it feels really tidy. I've also given up the lactulose, and things are still all good. Hope that's good and positive for anyone else who joins in the experience!

Looks like Little-F is going to do his continuous feed pre-midnight tonight, which is brill! I've even got a wine on the go! Lush!

OP’s posts: |
Cyclebump Sat 09-Apr-11 05:14:54

Wow Chilli, sounds like you had a bit of a time of it. Glad to hear you're both ok and that your support team were good. X

Thanks to everyone for the emotional support with regard to feeding. I just had to post to tell you that I have an exhausted baby sleeping on me after a hugely successful latch!

Still had to start him off on a bit of formula but he stayed on the breast for AGES and fell asleep on there, which has never happened before as he usually just attempts a few sucks before giving up when supply isn't strong enough. Highly recommend La Leche support line, they too encouraged me.

Never thought I'd be so happy to see I'd produced enough to get a bit of spit up!

Take care ladies smile

Cyclebump Sat 09-Apr-11 05:17:43

Oh and thanks too to whoever recommended dried apricots as good post birth food to mitigate first poo trauma! Fear was worse than the event and itdefinitely helped.

Hmm, something tells me I've gone and lost my final frontier of TMI recognition.

Petalouda Sat 09-Apr-11 06:02:47

Well done Cycle, so glad you're feeling better.

It is lovely to have a little sleepy thing on your chest, even if he is snoring so loud he's woken the cat!

OP’s posts: |
chillikat Sat 09-Apr-11 12:16:56

We had quite a night of it last night - almost non-stop crying between 10 and 3. Megan kept rooting for food so I kept feeding but it wasn't settling her, Dh was pushing her in the pram downstairs which helped a little, changed, etc. Eventually realised she might be too hot so removed the vest and just back in a sleep suit. Not sure whether that was it or she was just cried out but we had 3 and a half hours sleep after that
It's heartbreaking when she's crying and you just can't work out what's wrong. I'm not even sure she knew what was wrong - I think she only knows hunger so roots for food. Think an afternoon nap may be on the cards, after a trip to mothercare for some better fitting bras...

Petalouda Sat 09-Apr-11 13:20:06

Tough night Chilli - Felix does a similar thing where he just wants constant feeding. It's deffo not temp related here, our house is quite cool (although the nursery thermometer says 18-21C so warm enough) compared to some environments (hospital, DSis house - who said our house was too cold, colder than outside, when she visited last!). F Just seems to want to have a constant, 4-hour feed at least once in any given 24 hour period.

I've found it works better to just go with it. Thursday night was 11:30 - 3:30 (so Friday morning, technically!), and then last night from about 8-midnight. By far the worst slot is the midnight-4am one, but we found the other night that putting him in bed with us and offering him my little finger to suck seemed to settle him down (although, that could be coincidence too!).

People have said something about feeding between midnight & 4am being prime production stimulation time, so it could be that they're programmed to do this to make sure the milk keeps going, or increases in line with upcoming growth spurts? What great little science projects these dudes are!

FWIW, I couldn't cope with the night-shift without the internet on my phone. So if you're up, Chilli, post on here, I'll probably be around to keep you company!

OP’s posts: |
JustKeepSwimming Sat 09-Apr-11 15:53:59

Hey April-mums-on-the-other-side

Firstly, can I just say well done to all of you trying/persevering with feeding

Secondly - the advice really is to wait to weigh for 10days, so if there is a bit of weight loss before that try your best a) not to stress & b) not to let other people stress you out about it.

Re the feeding then puking up, apparently it can be a way for the baby to up your production whilst they don't really need it so that in a few days when they do, the milk is there.

And definitely night-time is peak hormone/milk supply production time. Which is why substituting night feeds for a bottle is actually the worst thing for your supply (if you want to mix feed).

Can't wait to join you all, though have PIL here for the afternoon so not just now thanks! No audience required!!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 09-Apr-11 16:25:38

Argh I have got a sodding blocked duct. Lovely red patch on my left boob. I'm working hard to clear it, really don't want to need ABs for it unless absolutely necessary due to the increased risk of breast thrush and also what it will do to DS2's digestive system!

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