Monday, 10 October 2011

Grace, Daisy and Bliss

So Grace and Daisy have a new little sister - or Blister, if you prefer.

Bliss FINALLY arrived on the 1st October. I so wanted to go into labour naturally, but it was simply not happening. After much hysterical crying the hospital finally agreed to induce me at 41 weeks rather than 42, even though my cervix was still "hostile".

I was hopeful that with one whiff of hormones I would start labouring away like a trooper. What a fool I was. I was given my pessary at lunchtime, mere moments after the young girl next to us. By 3pm, she was complaining she had pains coming and going but I had nothing doing. How unfair. It was her first baby. How dare she go into labour before me? At 9pm I was still no further along so James was sent home for the night. The boyfriend next to us did not have to go, as his girlfriend was moaning and groaning. I contemplated doing it too so James could stay, but he had beaten the last person's top hangman score on the hospital console so I knew he had run out of things to do and was keen to go home.

Minutes after he left, the girl next to us demanded an epidural and I decided enough was enough. I rang the bell for the midwife and told her my pessary was obviously broken.... five minutes and a fiddle from her later and I was back on the phone to James mooing for him to come back at once. By the time he returned I was contracting loudly and proudly (the girl next to me knew she had lost at this point. All moaning and groaning had stopped and her and her boyf were having a row instead, I think it was because each time she had a (fake) contraction he poked her in the tummy and said "does it hurt" then laughed... Very different to an hour before when they were merrily trying out baby names "Fletcher? Painter" he suggested "lovely names babe" she replied while James and I texted one another insults about them on the other side of the curtain.

So anyway, we went up to the delivery ward where I got on a giant bouncy birth ball and put my headphones on. As a contraction ramped up I started to wave my hands about.. as it peaked I bit the end of my TENS machine whilst thumping the bed and as it ended I did lots of head shaking and nodding. The lovely Irish midwife was very impressed with my "spiritual" technique. She thought I was listening to the whale music, or the Dalai lama... "No" said James "It's ACDC"

After about an hour I felt James tentatively tapping me on the shoulder to tell me I had to get off the birthing ball. "No thank you" I said, but apparently I had no choice. The baby could not come out if I was on it, so it got rolled away and I had to grip the end of the bed instead (quite hard as my legs were KILLING me from all the bouncing and my waters had broken so it was hard to get any purchase on the floor) ... then I had a contraction, and a head appeared between my legs.. I had put my headphones back in so did not hear the midwife telling me I needed to get on all fours to get the rest of the baby out... and I did not hear her saying to James "She is not listening, you get hold of one of her legs and I'll take the other" all I knew was one minute I was standing up slip sliding about, and the next minute I was being rugby tackled to the ground by James and Kerry.. in the middle of a massive contraction, full of more of my waters breaking, so we all slipped over in a heap, and somewhere in the middle of it all Bliss flew out, eyes closed, fists tucked under her chin.

"I did it" I screamed, "It's a girl!!!" I bellowed (Note: I still had my headphones on) "Sorry about the mess" (At least I think it was in this order.. might have been the other way round)

And so Bliss was born. I did it all by myself with not even a sip of water to get me through, just ACDC, The Ramones and various other musical heroes of mine. It was possibly the best thing I will ever do in my life. I felt amazing, incredible, superhuman - and bloody starving. Seven rounds of toast, two hot baths and five mugs of tea later - I was back on the post delivery ward getting ready to go home.

As I stood by the lift with Bliss in my arms I looked at James and said "Well that's it. Our family is complete. No more trips to the labour ward." What an idiot. I was back within 24 hours as I could not wee. Jumbo Bliss' speedy delivery had put my bladder into spasm .. so after all that hard work and drug free labour, I ended up being catheterised for 24 hours.

But it was all worth it. Even the jumbo piles. Yes that's right. I have piles and I'm proud. As I should be. They have been cited as one of the worst cases ever seen by the various doctors, midwives and surgeons who inspected them. One medical expert even did a to-scale diagram of them on my birth notes, in colour. One was shaded darker than the rest and had an arrow pointing to it with the note "exquisitely tender" written below. James looked at it and said "I call that one Chardonnay". It seems he had become so familiar with them he'd named them all after different types of wine grapes. "It's simply more of you to love" said the sarcastic sod. The midwife took him seriously of course and swooned off to make him a cup of tea.

Grace and Daisy have been excellent with Bliss. I thought Daisy would be very jealous whenever I held her but she could not care less. I think she would have preferred I bought a puppy home instead though. She has a baby book with a photo of a dog in and she keeps finding the page with it on and bringing it over to me and James saying "dat dat dat" then pointing at Bliss, as if we can do some sort of trade in.

The first time Daisy saw me feeding Bliss she pulled her own t-shirt up and patted her "nickles".. when nothing happened she went to the cupboard and got out two bottles so her and Grace could have some milk as well.

Grace is being very sweet to Bliss, but displays "challenging" behaviour in other ways. She has recently started watching a new cartoon with Captain Hook in it... and now responds to the most simple of requests, like "Grace please put your shoes on" with a dramatic "No NEVER!" in a pirate voice.


And Bliss pops? She is everything her name suggests. She sleeps 90% of the time, waking only to feed and then hiccup. Even that exhausts her. She falls back asleep in between each one. She is heartbreakingly helpless, and she smells lovely. Having had two babies before and seen how quickly they grow up and stop liking you being all over them all of the time I am making the most of cuddles and nap times with Bliss. It's my last time. No really, it is (see aforementioned para re: piles)

James has been amazing. Having four women to look after is no easy job. He has cooked, cleaned, changed countless nappies, applied creams, packed lunches, done school runs, played princesses, folded baskets of laundry, inspected piles, been covered in my amniotic fluid, made late night dashes to supermarkets for medicine and chocolate (breastfeeding is ACE. You can eat what you like, and you don't get heartburn) and he has done all of this without complaining once. I have seen him looking at log cabins and taking measurements of the back garden however. I think he may be planning something.

In the meantime he has gallantly given up his side of the bed to Bliss for a while, being as my baboon bum means it's hard for me to keep getting up and down.. ..

At least I thought he was being heroic... but then one night last week as I was doing the 2am feed I heard giggling from the spare room. Of course my first thought was that he had a fancy woman up there. ENRAGED and fuelled with irrational post pregnancy/sore-bum hormones I shot up the stairs like a fat wobbly rocket. What I found was even worse than a fancy woman. ...

James was watching Inbetweeners, and ENJOYING it. Something we had vowed we would never do. We once tried watching the first episode, but as soon as they called that poor boy a briefcase w*n*er we turned it off, tutting. We had a pact. Swearing was not funny we both said. "Crude!" James said. "Puerile!!" I cried.. and now the filthy turncoat was up there in his seedy bedsit crooning away at it....

And it gets worse, he is on that flipping 24 series now. Apparently it's so "addictive" and "amazing" he just can't turn it off. He watched three hours of it back to back the other night. People keep asking him if Bliss is a bad sleeper, he looks so tired!


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