Colbys photoshoot…

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that picking the right photographer for your baby’s newborn photoshoot is so important. I spent ages searching Instagram and Facebook to find the right photographer for us. Whilst looking for photographers I found some photos I loved and then others I wasn’t so keen on. I just wanted to find a photographer where I loved ALL their photos.

And then… I came across Capture The Light Photography and instantly fell in love with Emma’s stunning photography. Emma’s studio is based in Olney which is just over half an hour from us. I’m going off on a little tangent here but Olney is actually such a beautiful village! We stopped for lunch at The Cherry Tree and it was delicious – it was the sunny Easter weekend and we had a lovely table outside. So the point I am trying to make is, if you’re travelling to Olney for your little ones photoshoot, there is plenty of places for brunch, lunch or dinner!

On our initial enquiry, Emma was so lovely and answered any questions we had. Prior to our photoshoot, we filled out a questionnaire so Emma knew what colours and some of the photo ideas we had. I fully trusted Emma and the photos she would create for Colby but it was nice to be included in the decisions as well.

The Capture The Light Photography studio is inside Happy Days Toy Shop and it’s a nice intimate setting that isn’t too overwhelmingly big. Emma is also loaded with wipes, milton spray and plenty of extra swaddle wraps, blankets outfits etc for when your baby does an infamous poop.. It happens to the best of us! I’m not going to lie, I was so worried he would wee and poo everywhere as for quite a bit of the photoshoot Colby was naked. Emma is totally unphased by this.. she was just like if he poo’s he poo’s and of course told us some of the explosions she has experienced in her twelve years of photography. This had Michael and I laughing but secretly we were hoping for no poonamis! Colby didn’t pee – hooray! It could have quite literally gone everywhere if he did, we dodged the bullet there. And he didn’t do any giant poops but he most definitely ruined an outfit and blanket – we’re sorry Emma! Have I really just written a whole paragraph on poops?! Yes, yes I have.

Both Michael and I felt completely comfortable whilst Emma was manoeuvring Colby into the different positions, changing outfits and sets etc. She also soothed him if he stirred at any point which was really lovely. As much as we could have settled him if needed, it was nice that Emma took the time to do this rather than going ‘here’s your baby, sort him out please’. The way she spoke to Colby as she was swaddling, changing, rocking (whatever it may be) was so lovely for us to see and I knew we had picked the perfect photographer. Emma made sure we could see what was going on the whole time and checked everything over with us so we were fully involved in the photoshoot.

I believe that no two babies are the same and I know that Emma creates a completely unique experience for each baby she photographs.

We went back to the studio to view Colbys photos and I actually had tears in my eyes as we watched the slideshow. The slideshow had some music in the background that really added to the display of photos. It was a nice extra touch and I’m blaming the tears on the music – nothing to do with the fact the photos were simply stunning! That really is the only way to describe the images Emma has created. Colby looked just beautiful. I knew the photos were going to be amazing but they were better than we could have ever imagined.

When it came to selecting the photos, Michael and I were actually in agreement for all of them (other than one but let’s pretend that didn’t happen). What a result – imagine if we’d had a full on domestic in the studio. That would have been embarrassing! We had picked one from each set of Colby and then a photo of the three of us. Both sets of my grandparents have a house full of photos of all their children and grandchildren so I’m more than sure they will be making some space for Colby!

Overall, I cannot fault our experience with Capture The Light Photography and I couldn’t be happier with Colbys photographs. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Emma to anyone. If you quote ‘MummyDiary’ when booking you’ll get get 50% off your booking fee!

Website – https://capturethelightphoto.co.uk

Facebook – https://m.facebook.com/CaptureTheLightUK/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/capturethelightphotouk/

I’ll leave you with one last photo of my lovely little family! And don’t forget quote ‘MummyDiary’ when booking to get 50% off your booking fee 💙

Feeding so far…

So I’m going to open up a little bit…

As Colby was premature (born at 33 weeks), we didn’t start out as a lot of ‘term’ babies do. I was always very laid back about Colby being breastfed or bottle fed (formula) although I would ALWAYS have tried to breastfeed. However, it has become something that I constantly stress myself out about. I think deep down it’s because he’s a Preemie and I know all the benefits of breastmilk.

The first struggle was actually getting my milk to come in. I think it can be slower when you have a caesarean, let alone a caesarean and a prem baby. I was quite literally milking myself every three hours and sending my colostrum to SCBU. It was so tedious setting an alarm religiously to do this every three hours – especially when I didn’t even have Colby by my side. But.. I knew it was all for Colby and this kept me going when I just wanted to hit the snooze button at 3am 💤 Whilst Colby was at SCBU, I was lent a Medela double breast pump to use which was amazing. The rule was… you bring the pump back, you get to take your baby home – brilliant!

My milk then eventually came in after about 5 days so this was such a relief… Until there still wasn’t enough milk so Colby needed topping up with formula. This wasn’t a big issue and I’m not against formula in any way but for some reason I was beating myself up about it because I felt as though I wasn’t meeting his needs as his Mummy.

Everything then got much better and my milk production increased and we started breastfeeding. We were managing about two feeds a day and this gradually improved (although some days better than others). We then introduced a bottle as Colby has some vitamins he has prescribed that need to be mixed in with milk – Colby takes his bottle really well.

Next little worry… Colby went down to 4lb 14oz from 5lb 2oz and again… what do I do? Beat myself up about it because I feel like I’m not giving him enough! I was reassured it’s just because he’s having to work harder to feed now his tube is out but I can’t help but feel disheartened and actually a little bit guilty. Now I know that’s the reason that Colby had a drop in weight but some days I can be more positive and then other days I don’t want to listen to any other opinion.

It has now been recommended that we give Colby an extra bottle (expressed breast milk) a day which I thought I was fine with but deep down I can’t help but feel a little bit upset about this. I was really kindly gifted a Lansinoh Double Breast Pump which has been an absolute life saver. It saves so much time being a double pump and it can also be used on batteries which means I don’t have to be constantly glued to a plug! I still need to actually do my Instagram story review about the pump – I just haven’t got around to it yet! One thing I have realised is that the days just go ridiculously fast with a newborn. I have a list of things that I need to do (amongst the cuddles, visitors and feeds) and then I don’t end up getting them done. I still haven’t sorted my maternity allowance and told them that Colby is already here – oops!

I also reduced my expressing from eight times a day to four when we started exclusively breastfeeding. This weekend, I reduced it to twice a day but I’m now going back up to four because I don’t want my milk supply to slow – especially as Colby is now having two bottles a day.

I also got in a flap yesterday because Colby was really fussing before one of his feeds, I actually just thought I’ll just give you a bottle (and I did). I’m going to try not to do that today and be more patient – I need to remember (all the time) that he shouldn’t be here yet! But equally I know he needs to gain weight so it’s a bit of a catch 22! I think it’s more of me being a banana about the whole bottle situation.. I just take it personally that he’ll chug a bottle down but it takes sometimes 15 minutes for us to get into a comfy position on the boob.

So yes… that’s my Mummy struggles so far! I bet these crazy emotions aren’t going away any time soon either eh!

I just want the best for Colby and I think I need to relieve some of the pressure I put on myself. I need to remember that actually, I’m doing a pretty amazing job!!

Ps I’m also a little bit annoyed I started writing this because I could have had an extra hours sleep… Mum fail haha! I started writing a post for Insta and then I was out of characters and didn’t want to waste my words 😜

SCBU…

So tomorrow Colby will be two weeks old or 35 weeks – whatever way you look at it! He really is going from strength to strength and it’s been amazing to see him get stronger and stronger each day.

I’ll never forget the moment when the doctor held Colby up over the caesarean sheet and we heard the cry, it was just incredible! We had been prepared that he may not cry and may have to be rushed straight off to NICU. He didn’t get rushed off straight away which was a relief for us. After the caesarean, I was wheeled back over to lilac ward and I had the horrendous wait to go and see my baby. I had to wait until I could hold my weight standing to get into a wheelchair to go across. All I could think about was seeing Colby. Everyone had advised that I use the time to get some rest but I just couldn’t – I’m so impatient and I just wanted to see my little boy. After a couple of hours I could bend my legs so I’d called in one of the midwives and Michael to say I was ready to go over. Oh god, I absolutely wasn’t! I managed to get my legs off the bed and then I literally just couldn’t stand. It was the weirdest feeling ever, my legs were just dead! I had tried to say that I definitely was ok to go over but it was advised that I should wait a little longer. Back to bed it was…

When I finally went over to see Colby, I just couldn’t believe how perfect he was. I just stared at him thinking how have Michael and I created something so perfect?! He was and is just beautiful!

The first week was a little bit hellish for me on a personal level. I was struggling with my emotions and I think I literally cried every day! It was so hard to see Colby wired up and the CPAP machine in particular was horrible. We couldn’t see his face and he was almost foaming at the mouth when he was breathing making a terrifying gurning sound. When you have a caesarean the mucus from your baby doesn’t get squeezed out so we were told this was pretty normal. He was also under the blue light for his jaundice so he just looked so vulnerable and poorly. It also was killing me that he wasn’t strong enough to come out for a cuddle. When you fall pregnant you just don’t think for any moment that you won’t be able to cuddle your baby for three days. I can’t lie, it was really tough.

As some of you may know, Michael and I are both self-employed. This has been tough because if we don’t work, we don’t get paid. Michael has been having to work during the day so we have been coming up to the hospital for 8am and then Michael heads off about 10:30 ish and gets back for 4:30pm. This has been really tough because all I (and Michael) want is for him to be able to spend as much time with Colby as possible but unfortunately this hasn’t been possible every day. Had we been at home Michael would be around all day but under the circumstances he has had to go home to work for a couple of hours. I have been managing my emails whilst Colby is sleeping and my team have been really incredible. They’ve sorted props, costumes and even prepared the breakfast packages that I usually have to do (thanks Victoria and Alissa!).

My Mum has been an absolute godsend, she’s come up everyday for a couple of hours whilst Michael is working. I really couldn’t have got through this crazy whirlwind without her. She’s been bringing me up lunch and dinner and has just been a huge support. Although, she forgot my dinner for tonight – how rude! I’ll let you off Mumma B seeing as you took home three loads of washing to do for us 😜 I’m only winding Mum up as I know she was whittling about forgetting it! Mum always knows the right thing to say and I’m so grateful to have such incredible parents.

Michael has been fantastic, he’s been up sterilising everything so I can express during the night. I haven’t minded expressing because I know it’s all for Colby. I was always wanting to try breastfeeding but I was also laid back about using formula if needed. However, the majority of my crying has been over my milk! I think it’s because Colby was premature and I know how good the benefits of breast milk are. It took soooo long for my milk to come in and I wasn’t keeping up with his needs so the nurses were having to combination feed with a bit of formula for a couple of feeds a day. As ridiculous as it sounds now, I really thought I was failing him and couldn’t give him what he needed. I can say that now I’m a milking machine 😜 I was tired and stressed anyway which doesn’t help your milk supply and I was pumping 8 times a day as recommended so I just didn’t know why it wasn’t happening. Patience isn’t a quality I have at the best of times and I just wanted everything to be working. One moment I will never forget was when I spilt a bottle of the milk I’d expressed. It was like the world had ended (dramatic I know). I literally sobbed like I never have before and one of the lovely nurses, Nicola comforted me and then made me laugh by saying ‘There’s no point crying over split milk’! I wonder if that’s where the saying comes from?! 🤨

Mum gave me the idea to make a note on my phone of all the milestones reached daily because everything does sort of just blur into one. I didn’t start until the 24th March but it’s been so nice to look back at.

Colby was due to move out of intensive care and into the nursery on the 28th March (all being well) but obviously the little tinker wanted to move a day earlier. We came in on the 27th March and had been told that Colby had pulled out his cannula in the night! He only had 12 hours left on his drip so they decided not to re-cannulate him and just take his drip off. I’m taking it as Colby was ready to move out and wanted to let everyone know! I was secretly happy he’d done this (when they told us they were going to take him off).

Michael is so good with Colby. We were having a giggle last week because I could tell Michael was really worried about picking him up or changing the position he was in. Michael wouldn’t hold Keegan (my best friend Hannah’s little boy) when he was first born, he waited until he was about 10 days to hold him where he was a little bit more robust. I mean Michael didn’t have much choice in holding Keegs as Hannah just planted him on him ha! When you’re in the ‘nursery’ you pretty much do everything that you would do at home like feeding (tube or breast), nappy changes and unlimited cuddles too! Michael is now an absolute natural and seeing him with Colby makes my heart so full. Although, he’s not a fan of a shitty nappy! Oh my god, they smell!! I said to one of the Mums does …’s poops smell awful? And she was like not really no! So I was thinking it was a newborn thing but actually it’s just a Colby thing… He’s such a boy already eh!

Colby is still a little bit jaundice but apparently this is quite common in breastfed babies. He’s been off the photo therapy light since the 26th March and I’m hoping he doesn’t have to go back on it. He’s had a urine sample that has come back to say he hasn’t got an infection and he’s having some blood tests tomorrow to see if anything else is picked up as to why he’s still jaundice. Hopefully it just rules everything out and it’ll get better with time. His level is so close to the treatment line and he keeps dipping and rising.

On the 27th March we tried breastfeeding for the first time, this was a really special moment but by golly was I awkward. I couldn’t get the positions too well because I was so worried because he was tiny and I was worried his head wasn’t supported enough. I had brought my Lansinoh breast feeding pillow to SCBU and this helped massively. The second attempt was much better, I was on my own so I think I was just a little more relaxed. Colby latched really well but wasn’t able to sustain it for too long. We’ve now gone from strength to strength and we managed a tube free night last night – he was breastfed the entire night. Well not literally, could you imagine haha! This was incredible although I think it has tired Colby out as I have had to tube feed him a couple of times today as well. I want to go at Colbys speed as really he’s still meant to be in my womb so we’re doing an amazing job to even be breastfeeding now!

The SCBU staff again are absolutely amazing! They are not just looking after my baby but I actually feel really well looked after too. I’ve been supported when I’m crying and I feel like they are part of our special journey. We have been given a memory box to collect lots of bits from Colbys NICU journey and I have become the Mum that wants everyone. I can’t believe I’m admitting this but I’ve actually kept the bit of his umbilical cord that came off (well Colby actually pulled it off). Please tell me I’m not the only one?! If you’d have asked me four weeks ago if I’d be keeping a crusty belly button I’d have snarled at the thought! It’s true what they say, everything changes when you become a Mum!

The birth story…

So basically, I don’t even know where to begin! I have to regularly check what day it is at the moment and the past 2-3 weeks have been an absolute blur!

You may have seen already that our gorgeous boy, Colby, was born on 21st March at 10:19am via emergency caesarean. He is honestly just perfect. No words can describe the love I feel for our son. My heart is absolutely bursting. I could just watch him all day, well I pretty much do between nappy changes and my daily cuddle (now cuddles).

Last Tuesday evening (19th March) I ended up going back into hospital as I started having some fresh blood when I went to the loo (not like a tap dripping but it was there kind of thing). Michael and I were in Jaguar picking up our new car. I had been discharged from hospital on Saturday and Tuesday I had decided I’d like to go with Michael to pick it up. I had gone to the loo and got in a pickle because the whole time I was at the hospital I was told not to worry unless the blood is red. Well of course, I went into panic mode because this was red. I had called Michael and he came into the ladies to come and check as I felt like I needed a second opinion, I didn’t know if I was just over panicking and worrying. Michael had agreed and we then phoned the hospital. I really was against phoning the hospital because I felt like a right annoyance (I wasn’t made to feel this way AT ALL, but I couldn’t help it). They said to see how I am for the next couple of hours and keep an eye on Colbys movements. He was moving around as always so this was my reassurance. However, it got to the evening and I was about to get showered and I just didn’t feel comfortable. I phoned the hospital again and they said for me to come in for a spectrum and monitoring.

I’m really trying to do the whole story without being too graphic but it’s just bloody hard… oh god the jokes are awful still (some things never change). I’ll try and be as appropriate as I can but the whole thing is based around me bleeding!

After being checked over, they had said that the bleeding was ok and nothing to worry about. They said they wanted to keep me in just to be on the safe side but I had got Michael to say that I was happy to go home as I’d felt much happier having been checked. The doctor said I’d have to sign a form to say i was going against medical advice so I obviously decided to stay. It’s safe to say it’s a good job I did! The fresh blood still continued and on Wednesday the midwives just didn’t feel confident to send me home.

And then it started… my tightenings were coming stronger and more frequent but I wasn’t in labour and my cervix was closed. This pretty much meant that a big bleed was soon to happen! At this point, I had been seen by several midwives and the doctor. I was texting Michael telling him that they were thinking I may go into labour or something was going to happen, I just knew it. I hadn’t got any reply and this was stressing me out. We had a little Whatsapp group with my parents and in-laws as we’d been updating in this during my time at hospital. My Mum, Dad and Heidi picked up the messages and knew I was getting a little bit flappy that I hadn’t heard from Michael. My Dad (being the best Dad I could possibly ask for) drove round our house to wake Michael up at about 11:30pm. I bet you’re thinking why on earth would he go to bed with his phone on silent whilst his wife is in hospital?! Well I was thinking exactly the same. But it turns out Michael is the deepest of all sleepers and actually slept through all my texts and calls – not ideal haha! As soon as Dad had got to ours, Michael was right up the hospital and very apologetic! My last message to the group was 12:58am saying ‘Just had another bleed, Mike is on his way’. I had to check my messages because I genuinely can’t remember the order of everything!

I had got up to go to the loo and then whooosh, like a tap the bleeding had begun. I pulled on the emergency chord about 5 times and then panicked that it wasn’t working so resulted into shouting ‘help, help, help’. I was honestly terrified. How dramatic of me to scream help but I genuinely didn’t know what to do. A midwife came straight to me and calmed me down and called several other midwives and the doctor. It’s quite good that I was doing my text updates because I’m now flicking back and able to give the timings without it being a blurred mess.

I was whizzed over to labour ward so I could get the one to one attention needed and about 2:30am I was stable again – hallelujah. I just remember feeling worried that it was going to happen again. I knew in my body something was going to happen, I just knew it. Michael updated the parents later saying I had just had another big bleed. It went on and on like this until about 7:30am and then by 9am Michael was scrubbed up – we’re going in! He also had a really sexy hat on but unfortunately it didn’t make it into the picture – I wonder why…

Me being me had made a lovely and also quite uptempo labour playlist for ‘the big day’ so as Michael was changing we were listening to ‘I’m Coming Out’ by Diana Ross. Despite all the trauma we had a smile and a giggle at this.

The caesarean…

The weirdest yet most amazing experience ever. We had the loveliest team of doctors, nurses and Charlie (the midwife on shift). There was a student doctor there and it was her first ever caesarean so that was really special too! We’ll be remembered forever 😝 So the spinal was interesting… try not to flinch – what did I do FLINCH. Oh god, it’d be just my luck that I end up paralysed 🤦🏼‍♀️ My legs were first to go numb and then it slowly worked it’s way up my body. They use a cold spray to check that you can’t feel anything so they sprayed my legs and I couldn’t feel it. They then sprayed my stomach and I had said that it still felt cold, when the doctor went away I then said to Michael that I wasn’t actually sure if it was cold I was just scared of being cut open 🤣 Because of this they gave me a couple of extra injections to numb it further.

My Auntie Vicky has had a caesarean and I always remember her saying it feels like someone’s doing washing up in your tummy – you can feel it but it doesn’t hurt. She was so right. I could feel my tummy being opened, tugged around and Colby being pulled out but there was no pain – so bizarre.

Colby came out crying which was everything we had hoped for! I will never forget that first look at him – he was perfect and my heart was so full. Michael and I looked at each other eyes filled with tears – our boy was here! Michael also cut the umbilical cord, I was really hoping he would but he’s a bit squeamish so I wasn’t sure if he would end up doing it. Mum has said to me I shouldn’t pressure him into doing it if he doesn’t want to so I did (sort of) take her advice with the hope he would.

Colby was then taken to the SCBU and Michael went with him whilst they finished sewing me back together (quite literally). Michael had asked how much longer was left, I think we’d both thought it’d be another 10 minutes or so but they advised it’d be about another 45 minutes. Jesssssus! The doctor with me was so lovely and she kept me occupied the whole time and just spoke to me about anything and everything. She was also 16 weeks pregnant! I was joking with the caesarean team saying that they have to sing Happy Birthday to Colby when he comes out and one of the nurses actually did – day made!

It was quite good really because I didn’t have time to get worried or stressed about the c-section because it all happened so quickly. It didn’t quite feel real! Fun fact – I lost more blood the morning prior to the caesarean than during! I am however now extremely anaemic and look a bit like a ghost because of the blood loss 👻

I will post all about our first week (maybe two by the time I get writing) separately as this will be wayyyy too long otherwise!

So to summarise, the last couple of weeks have been an absolute rollercoaster. I wonder how many of the staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital have seen my nooni over the past two weeks 🤷🏼‍♀️🤣 I’m not even joking when I say I think at least 30 😳

I couldn’t be happier to have such a beautiful son. I am so in love. Colby is doing amazingly and getting stronger and stronger every day and we just hope he continues to thrive. The past week has been an emotional rollercoaster, I am what some would describe as mentally unstable / psychotic but I think I’m allowed to be for now!

Oh and one word of advice, if you know someone who’s had a caesarean please try not to make them laugh – OUCHIEEE 🤣

It’s ok not to be ok…

‘It’s ok not to be ok’ obviously I’ve sung that in Jessie J style… just because! It’s not even a well known song so feel like no ones going to get that ha! Any how, as much as strong, brave Amy doesn’t want to admit it, the statement is true.

I’ve been a bit emotionally all over the place since I came out of hospital. I didn’t sleep great Saturday night which was annoying. I was hoping to sleep like a baby (pardon the pun). I must have just been a little bit worried having had the comfort of being in hospital for 5 nights surrounded by midwives and doctors. Having said that, I did sleep amazingly Sunday night. Sunday was a funny day for me.. I literally didn’t want to do anything or see anyone, I didn’t leave the house because of the ‘what if’. I lazed in my pyjamas and had a nap too which is fine but just not like me!

Sunday night I made a pact with myself to try and do some little trips out on my own without going too far! I went to my midwife appointment – literally love Leila. I’m so lucky to have such a nice midwife as you do hear stories about people’s not being as caring as you’d hope. After my midwife appointment I took my wedding dress to the dry cleaners. I’ve just written that and it’s reminded me I need to phone them back – I missed their call today (oops). I also popped to the little Tesco for some milk. We’re a nightmare for offering a cuppa then realising that we have no milk – always embarrassing! Then my Nan and Grandad popped over (hence the milk) and Nan had made us an apple pie which was just delicious. There is no better apple pie than my Nans! I’ve also put in an order for some steak pies to freeze before Baby C arrives, as they are also amazing! We also went to our NCT class which was a breast-feeding session and it was brilliant. We had such good fun and it was also really informative. Michael had everyone in stitches and had way too much fun! Here’s a picture of him… Yes, it’s a knitted boob and a pretend baby. No, the instructor hadn’t asked the men to do this but Michael was so into it he really wanted to get stuck in! All in all Monday was a great day and I was feeling much happier.

I was then woken up early hours Tuesday with really strong and quite frequent tightenings. I woke Michael up as they were really uncomfortable. All I could think was.. here we go again! I managed to nod off after about an hour so they must have calmed down. I could feel Baby C moving so that was my biggest reassurance. We then had the excitement of going to collect our new car, this had been delayed a bit due to all the drama of last week. Initially I wasn’t going to go as we had to go to Cambridge to collect it but I thought 1) it’s not actually too far and probably more importantly 2) I’d rather be with Michael than at home on my own. I then had a little bit of a scare in Jaguar (all was ok) but I ended up phoning the hospital for a bit of reassurance. Michael drove home and then mentioned about possibly playing golf later on today. Well that was it, it was the end of the world, the tears were flooding and I couldn’t stop crying. The golf course is only five minutes from our house but I just didn’t feel comfortable to be on my own. I’m a people person normally (apart from Sunday ha), I’m not one to love my own company, but it was just the thought of being on my own that I felt terrified at. Michael decided not to play golf and be a top husband although I know he was a bit gutted. It didn’t even need to be Michael, I just didn’t want to be in the house on my own. It was bitter sweet, I felt bad that Michael didn’t play golf but equally (and probably selfishly) I was pleased I wasn’t going to be on my own. He’d already missed out on going to Cheltenham and he’s also missing his friends stag-do in Portugal this week. I know that everything going on isn’t my fault and I shouldn’t feel bad but I can’t help it. This could maybe be why I’m feeling extra emotional?!

I then ended up phoning the hospital again at about 8pm and they suggested I come in for some monitoring and a spectrum to check everything over. I should have added … after sending some very disgusting pictures to my Mum, Hannah and Amy 🤣 Sorry girls (that’s what friends are for)! I was fully reassured by the doctor and midwife and I then felt instantly better. They wanted to keep me in so they can keep an eye tonight so I’m currently back on the lilac ward. I actually only have one bed to stay in until I’ve been in all the bays – how ridiculous eh! I’ve certainly got around the hospital 😝

My whole dilemma at the moment is I don’t want to feel like a pain in the bum phoning the hospital, but equally I’d much rather be safe than sorry. At the end of the day, we have the number there to phone for a reason and I don’t think I’d ever be made to feel like I’m wasting anyone’s time. I know for a fact I would much rather be safe than sorry!

Every time Michael drives me to the hospital we always say ‘it’s so strange to think one time we’ll drive to the hospital and come back with a baby’. It’s such a surreal but exciting feeling!

I know pregnancy hormones are a bit crazy anyway (they have been for me especially in the third trimester) but with the trauma of last week I just think everything seems a bit more heightened to me. Honestly, you could say boo and I’ll burst into tears. It’s just not like me AT ALL and it’s really horrible. I am also learning that that is also ok! It’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be worried and it’s ok to be a bit all over the place! For now, I’m going to try and get a good nights sleep and tomorrow is a new day!

Hinchingbrooke Hospital…

I can honestly say that the past week has been the most traumatic of my life so far. Whilst I tried to remain positive throughout my whole hospital stay, I did also have lots of tears and wobbles. I was almost going to be sent home yesterday but they decided to keep me in another night which I was surprisingly really pleased about. I wasn’t ready to go home because what if anything happened.. I wouldn’t say I’m an anxious person normally but I think with what has happened it’s going to make me on edge a little bit more. I guess that’s understandable given the circumstances. I have been reassured that the hospital are only a phone call away and I know all the possible symptoms and signs I need to be wary of.

I always think people are so quick to complain but don’t necessarily give positive feedback on positive experiences. Maybe I’m wrong but I actually want to take the time to thank all the incredible staff at Hinchingbrooke hospital. I honestly cannot wait to have our baby at Hinchingbrooke and I actually feel excited about it. The team are absolutely amazing and I know that I’m going to be in safe hands whether I have a natural delivery, planned caesarean or with any other curve balls that (hopefully won’t) get thrown in our direction. Saying that, I would obviously like Baby C to continue cooking until much nearer my due date but if anything was to happen sooner than anticipated I don’t feel as fearful as I maybe would have before my stay.

I’m not going to lie, everything sort of merged into a big long day. I didn’t know what day it was most of the time and I couldn’t remember the days and times things had happened either. It was all a bit blurry. However, one thing that I can remember was how safe I felt and how the staff went above and beyond for me to feel this way. Not just the midwives, the doctors and my consultant (Erik Leyva) to. Given the hierarchy of the hospital, I saw my consultant twice in the five days I was there, it could have been chance but I hadn’t expected this so it was nice to see a familiar face. When I have my appointment with him Thursday, it’ll be nice for him to remember me and know what I have been through because he has been there at key points of my stay. I’ll just have to try and forget that he’s seen my nooni twice when I have to look him in the eye. People say your dignity goes out the window when you have a baby, although I don’t have the baby here yet, I definitely lost just a little bit of dignity ha! Not in a way that I was made to feel uncomfortable, it’s just that you go beyond caring who see’s what and when I guess!

My sister-in-law Charlotte, is going to university in September to train to be a midwife. I was obviously telling everyone this because, well, why not eh! It’s exciting and I know she’s going to be amazing! I also know she would love a placement at Hinchingbrooke so I was trying to do my bit and tell anyone who would listen haha (sorry not sorry). Charlotte also volunteers at a breastfeeding support group on a Tuesday so knows a couple of the midwives. Charlotte had let her friend Debbie know that I was in hospital and Debbie took the time to introduce herself and come and see me. If that’s not exceeding any expectation, I don’t know what is! How nice of Debbie (and Charlotte for letting Debbie know I was in)! She took the time to answer all of the questions we had and even drew us a diagram to help me understand my placenta situation a bit clearer. I also met Lynne who teaches the first years at Anglia Ruskin university who was also lovely, she spent loads of time with Michael and I. I also, had to tell her about Charlotte and said how much she’d love to be placed here haha!! I mean Charlottes probably going to die of embarrassment when she starts because all the staff will know her – all thanks to me 😝

I also met Dr Nick from the NICU unit (I know I mentioned this in my last blog already). This again was so nice to meet the Doctor who could potentially be caring for our baby. He didn’t scare me with anything he said, he was just very reassuring that if he was to come early that he would be in safe hands. He also cared for Claire when she had her little boy premature so i had mentioned Claire and he knew who she was straight away. Claire is one of my friends (Vicky who is also pregnant) friends but we have met several times now. Also, a thanks to Claire for sending lots of advice whilst I was in hospital. It’s been nice to speak with someone who has had a bumpy ride with a success story! So yes, it was top service for sending Doctor Nick over, so thank you. The ten minute chat really reassured me and made a difference to the worries I had. Although, we don’t hope to meet him again ha – sorry Nick!

One of the times I was on the labour ward, I had the lovely Karen as my midwife. She was so attentive and checked up on me all the time just to make sure I was ok! Apart from when she popped off for an hour or so to deliver a baby… how dare she ha! No just kidding! I almost forgot I was on the labour ward and that is the purpose of being there – having a baby!! Again, Karen answered all the questions we had and spoke through everything so clearly so we understood. She also came to wish me good luck at the end of her shift. I know that seems so small, but I thought it was so lovely of her to come and say goodbye rather than just switching over and leaving which I guess is normal protocol. I’m going to call it five star standards, that’s for sure.

I also can’t go without saying a thank you to Kira, I went to school with Kira and I knew she worked at Hinchingbrooke. She’s really good friends with Paige (bridesmaid Paige) so it was lovely to see a familiar face. I had joked to Paige previously saying it’d be just my luck that Kira ends up down my lady parts delivering Baby C but actually I would totally be fine with that! Kira looked after me when I was moved back over to the labour ward yesterday (or the day before oops) and it was so lovely to have a bit of a catch up in general. She really made me feel at ease and it was lovely to have a little life catch up – it really took my mind off of the stress.

Last night (15th March), I was really emotionally wobbly and the poor midwife (Lucy) came in to introduce herself and I had a mini melt down – oops! She sat on the end of the bed and spent so much time speaking to me and reassuring me. I literally aired my worries about going home, feeling like I was just waiting for something bad to happen etc. I was also worried because of how active Baby C was, I know it sounds ridiculous but I was worried he was distressed. She said something really lovely that I will remember forever. She firstly reassured me that a moving baby is a happy baby and then went on to say that Baby C probably knows I’ve been having a rough time and is just being extra wiggly as if to say ‘Don’t worry, I’m ok Mummy’. Oh god, I’m tearing up writing this. But how lovely was that, what a lovely way to look at it. She also said that if I’m worried, we can put a plan in place to try and reduce this – even if it’s just popping in to be checked and monitored. It felt so nice to voice my worries and I had the best nights sleep. I really can’t thank Lucy enough, to her she may just be doing her job, but to me it was exactly what I needed at that time.

So Hinchingbrooke now don’t offer a hospital tour (I think they were one of the only ones that were still doing them anyway) but I think we certainly had ours! I think I visited four rooms in the labour ward and I had three bays in the lilac ward – all in 5 days! It’s nice to know I will feel completely safe having Baby C at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and I think I’ve probably met half the staff there already ha! I’m feeling really happy (and ready) to be home and I know that the hospital are just a phone call away.

I have a midwife appointment Monday with the lovely Leila and I’ll be seeing my consultant on Thursday. I want to find out if I’ll have another scan before my one at 36 weeks because I would like one. With the amount of blood I lost, I want to make sure Baby C is still growing as he should be. I also have to go back in for the rest of my iron transfusion on Thursday. That also totally sounds worse that what it is, it’s actually fine and I’m not nervous for it. It was either that or a blood transfusion and I know what I’d prefer! As long as I can stay away from the magnesium drip for a little bit longer, that’ll be fine ha!

So really, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the NHS for making a truly terrifying time, that bit less terrifying.

I’m not sure if there is anywhere (a bit more official than a blog post) I can write a letter of thanks to, please let me know if there is?! Or a midwifery body or something – I don’t know?! I really feel like high standards deserve to be recognised!

Hopefully I won’t be back in the Lilac or Labour ward soon but if I am, I know I’m in safe hands!

Here’s our scan picture from Tuesday, he’s a pouter just like his Mumma. We love you so much already – our little fighter. Just keep doing your thing and try to stay put baby boy 💙

 

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3:58, 12th March 2019…

So I’m writing this from the Lilac Ward at Hinchinbrooke Hospital at 3:58 on the 12th March 2019… I won’t post this until I have a bit more information about what’s going on though.

Should I be sleeping, yes I should but the cannula in my arm is really irritating me! It should be the least of my worries really.

I can hear a lady being monitored because I can hear her baby’s heartbeat. She seems really uncomfortable and it’s not nice to hear at all. She has a midwife with her who seems to be really reassuring. I couldn’t hear a midwife earlier and was half tempted to go and check she was ok. Not sure if she’d appreciate that or think you are crazy woman!

So why am I here?! We had come in Sunday as I had a bit of bleeding (not fresh) so they wanted to monitor me for a while. All was ok and I was discharged and said it’s only a cause for concern if it’s fresh blood. I woke up about 1am Monday evening (Tuesday morning actually) to go to the loo and I had a massive whoosh of blood. Sorry to be graphic but the bathroom could be said to look like a murder scene! I literally screamed for Michael to call the hospital straight away. I had to tell him where my maternity notes were. Lesson 1, make sure you tell your husband where they’re kept! I called the hospital as I knew exactly which number to call and they obviously said to come in immediately. I went into panic mode, I was shaking and I couldn’t think straight at all. My Michael… I cannot fault him. He stayed so calm which was exactly what I needed given that I was going into meltdown.

You should have seen the state of me… I was wearing a casual maternity dress with slippers and a coat and blood splattered all down my leg – wow not a good look! Michael ran me in and then parked the car and caught up!

I’m now writing this on 13th March reflecting back at what has happened so far. It’s been an absolute whirlwind of two days but I’ve had a great 12 hours with no more bleeding!

So I was initially brought over to the labour ward and then moved to the lilac ward. I then had another big bleed at about 4:30am, I had sent Michael home at this point so as soon as the midwife was in and checking I phoned him immediately to come back. It happened as I got up to go to the toilet and then it just gushed so I screamed and pressed my red buzzer until the team of midwives arrived. I was then seen by the doctors who made the decision to send me back to the labour ward where I would be closely monitored with one to one care. I then had another two sessions of bleeding and the doctors came to let me know they had blood ready for a transfusion if required. Just to add, Baby C was showing no signs of stress and was coping amazingly – our little fighter!!

I was given my first steroid injection when we first arrived at the hospital (I think) which was to help with Baby C’s lungs should they need to deliver him prematurely. I had another 12 hours after. If anyone had ever had these injections, I admire you completely!! Literally the most painful injection I have ever had. Obviously, I don’t care about that really. Stab me, prod me, poke me, I couldn’t care less. Keeping our baby safe is the most important thing.

The midwives and my consultant thought that the bleeding has been caused by Placenta Previa but this was ruled out at my scan (good news). My placenta is borderline low and not completely covering my cervix which means I will be ok to have a natural delivery. I’m not going to lie I think in the past 24 hours I had just come to the terms I’d be having a caesarean but looks like that’s not the case (although things may change). We also were told that Baby C’s estimated weight was 3lb 13oz which because of the circumstances we were just thinking – the bigger the better!!

After the scan, I started having contractions and the baby’s heart rate started to dropping a little after them. At this point, I was given medication to stop/slow the intensifying contractions. I have had two more doses since. The doctor was then called to take a look at my cervix to see if it was opening. It wasn’t, it was firmly shut (phew) but my mucus plug was coming away and I had a clot on the cervix too. I also tested positive for the test testing if I am likely to go into labour in the next 24 hours or 7 days (I know it’s a big jump but I can’t remember which of the two). The test can give false positive in 25% of cases so I think they mainly do this in hope of a negative reading.

My consultant then said about putting me on a drip to help with Baby C’s neuro system should he come early. It would be an intense 12 minute drip and then a slow 24 hours. Well, let’s just say intense is one way to describe it! I had the biggest hot flush ever and felt so light headed and nauseous. I had Mum fanning me with anything she could find and Michael holding the blinds up to let the wind gush through. I don’t think I would have coped for longer than 12 minutes!! I screamed how much longer and it was only 50 seconds to go. Longest 50 seconds ever but thank god it was coming to an end!

Michael and Mum were amazing yesterday, I really needed them. Looking back, I can’t believe I was in such good spirits. I kept telling myself that stress won’t help me or the baby. My friend Darryll has such an amazing positive mental attitude so I was thinking of her! Having said that, I did have a couple of cries in the middle of the night. My cannula was soo painful and I only managed to sleep for 5 hours. My cannula has now been moved closer to my hand so it’s much less painful! But again, don’t care about me – just Baby C. I had my drip changed every four hours and my blood pressure checked every hour so it was difficult to zone out.

Baby C has been head down since 28 weeks and was head down even yesterday at my scan. However, today he’s decided he would like to be a breech baby – thanks son. I’m not worried about this and nor is my consultant or the midwives so as long as you’re content baby boy, that’s all that matters to us for now. Also to add, I have stopped bleeding!

I also met Doctor Nick from the NICU who answered any questions I had and reassured me that there is ‘room at the inn tonight’ if needed! He was so lovely and really reassured me.

I’ll be staying in the hospital tonight but may be moved back over to the lilac ward opposed to staying on the labour ward which is good I guess. Although, I do rather like my private room, shower, tv and toilet haha! We’re just taking each day as it comes and I’m trying to remain positive. So here’s a picture of me with no makeup, greasy hair, ginormous bags but still smiling. I couldn’t give a 💩 what I look like as long as our baby boy is safe.

You deserve a medal if you made it to the end, it’s a bit all over the place but I think I got all the key points in!

Another huge thank you to Mum and Michael because I couldn’t have done yesterday without you – I really couldn’t!

I also want to add that I honestly cannot fault the staff at Hinchinbrooke hospital, they have been incredible. Every question has been answered and we have been involved with every decision made. I feel completely safe here and if I’m honest I feel like I’d rather stay here than go home currently so here’s to another night here being looked after.