Arthur's Mummy's Diary
Matthew's Belly Gallery
Nathan's Belly Gallery
Benjamin's Belly Gallery
My Fertility Friend Chart
Matthew has arrived!!! :D
Thank you so much for all the notes and messages! I just wanted to let you all know that Matthew has arrived! :)
He was born at 10.45pm last night at home (yay!). Wow, that's less than 24 hours ago! It feels like the longest 24 hours ever right now! I used no pain relief, just my TENS machine, which didn't feel like it was doing much but then I was too scared to try without it, just in case it WAS doing something! Oh my gosh, this labour was THE most excruciating pain I ever felt in my life. Okay so that's what I said last time, and it probably was as bad last time, but anyway! I called the midwife at 6pm-ish because I felt like things were hotting up a bit, contraction-wise. I was finding them harder to deal with and they were coming every 5 minutes by then. Right after I phoned the labour ward for them to page the community midwife on-call and get her to call me back, I went upstairs with Neil to try and put Arthur to bed. I figured if I could just cope with nursing him to sleep then he'd go down pretty quick and that would be done for the night, and then I could get on with labouring. But nursing him made my contractions unbearable so I had to leave Neil to put him to bed. It was so sad. Arthur KNEW something was going on. He kept wanting to hug me and look into my eyes and stuff, even breaking off from nursing to do so :( I kept reassuring him that Mummy was fine and to go to sleep, but he just knew. He was absolutely hysterical after I had to go back downstairs, and Neil rocked him and held him until he pretty much cried himself to sleep, my poor love :(
After that, my contractions were coming sometimes every couple of minutes and I was finding them very hard to breathe through and stay collected, so I phoned the labour ward again to ask them to hurry the midwife! She came a while later, and checked all my vital stats, which were all fine. My urine did have some ketones in, as I hadn't eaten much that day and she insisted that I sip water between contractions and start eating my glucose sweets that I had bought especially for labour. I didn't want to but I did it anyway.
I consented to an internal to see how far I was progressing, and was a bit downcast when the midwife pronounced me 3cm dilated with cervix not that low yet at 8.45pm. Worse still, she said that Matthew's head was posterior :( Perhaps that accounted for the back-labourish pain then? I dreaded a repeat of last time, with all the stalling and agony and so on, but she said not to worry because with second or subsequent babies, these things don't necessarily create delays like they do on the first baby. She also told me (in all seriousness!) that she NEVER looked after any woman who did not progress quickly! So she said to keep my spirits up, that she was going back to the hospital to do some paperwork, and she'd be back after she finished it at around 11pm. She said I could always call labour ward if I needed her sooner.
She left about 9pm, and man oh man I did not really deal with the pain well after that! Mummy and Neil said I did but urgh, it was awful, I could barely make it through each contraction! I mostly spent the time on the sofa which had a shower curtain and an old sheet on it. My waters hadn't broken and I'd had no show, so I wanted to protect things for when it did happen! It was all just horribly painful and all I could say during a contraction was how I couldn't do it, how it was too painful, and I kept on begging for help! It seems crazy now! But it just hurt that much, I didn't know how to ride it at all. Matthew was super active the whole time, wriggling and even kicking, and turning his head a bit. I WANTED him to turn from posterior, but his movements just felt like his normal vigorous evening activity. It hurt me beyond description when he moved like that during a contraction - I absolutely could not cope with the pain of it and just ended up crying and sobbing as it just totally overwhelmed me. I remember wailing into the sofa cushion, "He's hurting me! He's hurting me! Why is he hurting me?!" and sobbing over it till the next contraction started, just feeling absolutely broken like I couldn't understand why my own little boy would want to hurt me so much! Mummy kept telling me he didn't mean to, and obviously I knew that, but at the time I just felt too overwhelmed by the pain not to find it upsetting.
After an hour maybe, the sofa seemed too unbearable, so we decided I should try some different positions. The very thought scared me silly because it was already so unbearably painful that I was scared to find a WORSE position for the next contraction. I went on my knees in front of the sofa, and Neil put a shower curtain and sheet on the floor in case my waters broke. I leaned forward against the seat of the sofa, but that hurt just as much. I tried a few variations of the leany-forward position but it all just felt toooo much to bear.
I kept feeling like I had the biggest poo right in the way of things, and that if only I could poo I would feel so much better, lol! At 10.30ish I felt like doing a poo more than ever, in fact my body literally started pooing (on the sheet-covered shower curtain on the living room floor!). I could feel poo coming out (how nice and dignified!) so I didn't panic too much about the whole "maybe it's the baby's head!" thing, but then oh my gosh, I seriously never did such an ENORMOUS poo in my whole life before! Neil cleared it up and I realized with some anxiety that the feeling of pushing that poo out was just too overwhelmingly relieving and wonderful, so I wondered if Matthew might not be far behind!
Mummy phoned the hospital to say I wanted to push and the midwife set off. I moved over from where I'd pooed, but still on my knees leaning forward onto the sofa. I felt a bit sick with the contractions, but not actually like nausea, more like the contraction seemed to reach right up my throat or something. I asked for a bucket in case I needed to be sick but it passed within maybe 20 seconds, that's all. After that, every contraction felt like searing fire in my bits and I kept saying, "Maybe I want to push?" because I didn't know if that was what I was feeling, and I never had the urge to push at all with Arthur's birth, so I had no experience of it. It wasn't a nice urge to push, it was like my body was bearing down but my top half was trying to escape upwards! The weird and very unexpected thing for me was that I couldn't actually push with it, the overwhelming urge was to scream and scream rather than push! I can't believe I screamed during labour, but I tell you, I could not have stopped myself for anything. Not the shrill high pitched window-breaking type, just continuous primal waily thing that I couldn't even stop to take a breath in until the contraction stopped. The force of screaming bore the baby down, and it's like that was how I was made to do it. Though I felt kind of freaked out and out-of-control about the noise I was making, it really unnerved me that I was making it and I couldn't stop it. I could feel Matthew's head coming down and MAN it hurt like heck. I suddenly felt absolutely terrified, which again surprised me, as I have always been so confident about birth and my body's ability, etc, and have plenty of knowledge about it all. It just scared me that it was just me, Neil and Mummy - no midwife, and that I hadn't even conceived of such a thing happening in one of my labours! And on top of it all, I was totally unprepared for and scared by the sensations I was getting and how overwhelming it all felt. It wasn't anything like the typical descriptions of how the second stage of labour feels, and for some reason I had expected ONLY that, and anything else suddenly terrified me.
Neil delivered the baby! The midwife didn't arrive till about 15 minutes later. He was so wonderful - SO so wonderful, I can't even describe it. He stayed calm, and went to take a look at what was happening while my mum cradled my head in her lap (still on all fours on the floor against the sofa) and held me while I screamed my head off! He told me he could see about 2cm of Matthew's head between contractions. I panicked big time, suddenly it was ultra scary that the midwife wasn't there and I kept saying, "Oh God, what are we going to do, what are we going to do?!" But Mummy and Neil stayed so calm.
I had another contraction and my waters burst in a rather explosive way as I pushed/yelled it through. Neil said the 2cm of head instantly went to 2 inches of head. The next contraction was right on top of that one and his head started to crown. The doorbell rang and Neil ran, opened the door, and ran back, only to find it was my DAD (having no idea I was progressing that fast!) and not the midwife, which turned out to be great timing in the end anyway, as Neil called for my dad to bring soap and water (he'd just been eating pizza and wanted clean hands to deliver Matthew!). I kept saying I was tearing, as I felt sure that kind of searing pain had to be tearing. Neil kept telling me what he could see and that everything was going to be fine, and the next contraction would bring him out, etc. He was WONDERFUL. Next contraction his head was born and I felt his shoulders follow quickly (and painfully!). The rest of him stayed inside, and Neil said he had remembered things I'd once told him from my midwifery training, about keeping his hand on the baby's head to control its descent a little as it crowned, and about checking for the cord around the neck. He held Matthew's top half securely and just calmly told me to wait for the next contraction, whenever I was ready, and Matthew would be born completely then. I heard Matthew cry with some rattling goo sounds before the next contraction, and then I pushed him out and the IMMEDIATE relief was just so incredibly wonderful!!!! :)
They helped me turn over to sit on the floor with my back against the sofa and be careful about the cord, and then Neil put Matthew on my chest and Mummy covered us with a thick towel. My bits were stinging so much that I felt sure I had torn, but he was born SO fast that I didn't see how I couldn't have! Also I couldn't stop pushing/screaming while he was coming down so there was absolutely no control to his head being born.
He cried lustily and his chest sounded clear. He was pink almost immediately and seemed fine. Arthur woke (amazingly he hadn't woken while I was screaming!) a few minutes after the birth, and Neil brought him down to show him Matthew. Matthew was already latched on beautifully at the breast and Arthur didn't want to join in, he just wanted to watch. He looked absolutely in awe, bless him! He didn't seem remotely phazed by anything he saw, and looked unafraid and confident.
The midwife turned up and delivered my placenta - Neil cut the cord just before that happened, as it wasn't pulsating any longer. It hurt as the placenta came out so I felt even more sure of having torn. In the end they found I had a second degree tear (ow!), the same as with Arthur. It seemed to take forever to get all the checks done and my stitching (which, THANKFULLY they were happy to do at home). The midwives didn't leave till nearly 2am! My parents left just before them, and Arthur was just this little live-wire of adrenaline racing about the house from 10.50pm till 2am! He was so angry about having to go back to bed! But he was such a good boy, and my parents were great looking after him. My mum held my hand while I got my stitches, as Neil was getting Matthew dressed and into his first nappy (a kissaluv, like Arthur's was!) upstairs.
The midwife ran me a bath and helped me get upstairs and into it. Once I was up there I felt SO horribly weak and drained and shaky and breathless. I had to wee to show them I could (!) and that stung a lot, but it was okay. The midwife pretty much put me in the bath, washed and dried me, I just felt so weak. She tucked me in bed and Matthew was already fast asleep in his Moses basket, lying in the cot-bed next to my bed :) He had fed for maybe 40 minutes right after the birth, which I am so happy about!
So there we have it! Matthew turned out to be smaller than Arthur, even at 41 weeks! He weighed in at 7lbs 11oz and measured 49cm long (just under 20 inches I think). Arthur was 8lbs 1.5oz and 51cm long. He is so lovely! He doesn't look like Arthur, though I can see the resemblence in parts of him. He has completely different ears and a different nose I think. His eyes are dark blue and Arthur's were always dark and murky (they're mostly brown now). They couldn't do an Apgar score for him until 10 minutes as there weren't any midwives here! But he had a score of 10 when they were here to do it :)
Today we are doing okay. I got no sleep last night at all, as I just felt too adrenaliney, which was annoying as I was just so completely exhausted! Matthew made little snuffling sounds in his sleep constantly and I kept on popping my head up to see him every time, I just couldn't help myself! He slept all night and woke sometime after 6am. Arthur didn't get much extra sleep as Matthew's crying woke him, but he has taken a little longer than usual for naps today. I hope he'll sleep through tonight (Arthur, that is) because he reeeally needs the sleep.
Arthur amazes me - he is so wonderful with Matthew. He has never even given him a wary glance! He just beams and smiles and grins and squeezes himself with a gleeful expression, every single time he sees Matthew. He wants to touch Matthew a lot, and climbs up next to me all the time to see him closer. He says, "Ahhh-yo!" (hello) after he climbs up and peers into Matthew's sleepy face :) He spontaneously keeps giving him kisses, and blowing him kisses if he can't be up next to him at that moment. He pats him ever so gently through the cotbed side, and the sweetest thing he keeps doing is that he tries to play with Matthew! He has done this a zillion times today already, and I don't know where he got the idea from, because nobody showed him. He gets up close to Matthew, takes hold of one of his little mittened hands (he has really long nails that I haven't got around to cutting yet!), and puts it over Matthew's face. Then a second later, he whips it back (not too hard though, he is quite gentle), saying, "Boo!" to Matthew, and then he giggles, as though he is trying to encourage Matthew to find it funny too. He's the sweetest thing, I love him so much. It is amazing me how well he has taken to Matthew so far, and he doesn't bat an eyelid when I am breastfeeding Matthew. I ask him if he wants milk, but he's too interested in watching Matthew. Today I tandem nursed them for the first time, for about a millisecond! Arthur took 2 sucks on the side that Matthew wasn't using, then popped off, craned his whole body and neck so that his face was inches from Matthew's, said, "Ahh-yo!" and kissed Matthew soooo carefully right on the tip of his little nose while he was feeding! Then he climbed down and ran off somewhere else!
I know this diary is about Matthew at the moment, but oh my goodness I just love Arthur so much. He is being the most wonderful big brother already. And he doesn't seem any bigger or older to me, like I had thought he might. He's still just as much my little baby boy, in so many ways. Becoming a big brother hasn't aged him at all. Today I have managed to nurse him to sleep for his nap and bedtime, and that has just been so lovely. Matthew is nursing LOADS so I'm not worried about him getting less colostrum than he should with Arthur nursing too. I hope my milk won't take long coming in, because Matthew seems very hungry! He is really enthusiastic about breastfeeding (nothing like Arthur was at first!). The only little thing is that his mouth is so delicate and tiny, and my nipples seem sooo big in comparison. I am finding it hard to get a wide enough latch for him to take in enough of the areola to get a good "milking" action going. It's too easy for him to end up sucking on the nipple and that is juuust beginning to make me a little sore. Plus I get worried that it means he's not getting as much colostrum as he would if he was better latched. But he's peeing lots, has very wet nappies, and has done at least 4 meconium nappies so far (including one seconds after birth, all over himself and my legs!).
The midwife came today and pronounced everything fine for today, and I see another midwife on Saturday. They are still waiting for the blood results on whether Matthew is rh positive or not. If he is, they'll come back tomorrow to give me an Anti-D injection. I passed a huge clot this morning that got me worried enough to phone for advice, but the midwife looked at it when she got here (how nice!) and said it was fine. I haven't had any more since, and my bleeding is normal. It's heavy but it's already starting to wane a little, which is a relief. I hate the messy bit afterwards! My stitches hurt a lot, but they are okay. The afterpains I'm getting are worse than with Arthur (as I was warned they would be!) and some are bad enough to have to breathe through, but I'm taking paracetamol and it's all going to ease off in a day or so anyway, so it's fine.
My parents came today and helped with Arthur, but I am SO sad because they are getting the overnight ferry back to France as I type this :( I felt like the bottom dropped out of me (perhaps not an appropriate phrase to use right now, hehe!) when Mummy told me they were booked on a ferry TONIGHT. I just thought, how are we going to manage tomorrow?! I am so tired and weak and sore, and we haven't had chance to get any sleep yet, and Arthur is such a handful in the day, energy and activity wise. Matthew has become increasingly mucousy (as in, vomiting it now and then) and generally uncomfortable in his tummy, so it is already feeling quite hard to juggle both boys when we are tired and I am incapacitated. Mummy did some supermarket shopping for us today, but I just wish she was staying a day or so more. I feel like we might be better prepared to go it alone after that, but not after less than 24 hours! I feel so sad and vulnerable knowing she's gone and isn't coming back any time soon. Arthur will miss her terribly and ask for her, as he does every day before she gets here, and that will just break my heart, as I miss her so much already.
Okay I don't need to get tearful and hormonal right now! So I'll stop about that, and just finish this entry, as I'm so tired out I feel dizzy. Matthew is napping on Neil's chest while he watches some football right now, and then we're going to bed. He's waiting for me to finish this diary entry.
Here are some photos! The first one is me, Matthew and Arthur (with my mum at the side), about 5 minutes after I gave birth, right after Arthur woke up and Neil brought him down to meet his new baby brother. Matthew was breastfeeding. Arthur wanted to touch Matthew's head and kept reaching for it saying, "Ank-yoo, ank-you, ank-you" which is "thank you", which he also uses for "please" when he reeeally wants something, bless him!
Here is Matthew about to be weighed in a bright bots terry towel (!) while I got stitched up :)
Here I am with my new boy, first thing this morning after finally eating something!
And finally, here are absolutely totally UN-set-up examples of how Arthur has been with Matthew since he first laid eyes on him:
The last two were when Arthur wanted to say goodnight to Matthew before he went to bed. Matthew got a spontaneous bedtime kiss :) I love my BOYS!!! I have boys! I have TWO children! I can't believe it, it still feels so surreal. And scary. I'm not sure how my emotions are about it right now, as mostly it still feels overwhelming, but there are already moments that make me so excited for the coming months and years, and I'm so delighted to have two such sweet little boys!
I'll update again when I can - thank you all so much for your support lately! xxxx