This is going to be a big post. I suggest slippers, a piece of toast and hot chocolate.
I’m so excited to tell you all about Holly and show off some of Toms amazing photos!! The last week has been a real roller coaster of emotions and happenings! So here goes with the Holly story…
Those of you that read our blog will know about the list we were working through with ’28 ways to naturally induce labour’. Well I can officially declare none of them worked. Not the chilli, or the galloping, or the running up and down the stairs.
I’ve got my own list now – with one thing on it.
Number One – Bake a Curly Wurly Cake (see below)
The evening before I went into labour, I spent a good few hours in the kitchen concocting and I made a beasty Curly wurly cake. This thing was so fattening I’m sure I could hear my heart slowing down as I ate it. But it seemed to do the trick!
On Sunday afternoon I started having what I thought might be contractions. Having never had them before I wasn’t too sure. But we went for our family dinner at my mum and dad’s anyway for a nice distraction. Tom – with his contraction app – had me start timing them. By the time we left family dinner that evening they were seven minutes apart and becoming increasingly painful.
I spent the whole of Sunday night propped up in bed timing them. It was far too painful to sleep!
And by Monday afternoon they were three minutes apart and becoming unbearable. The hospital just kept saying, ‘take paracetomol’ or ‘have a bath’. Neither of which helped!! So we went into LGI at 4pm on Monday afternoon. After a good few walks up and down the corridor with me stopping and grabbing the wall to ease the pain I was finally at the magic 5cm! Wahoo!!
I’ve realised you should always say what you mean to doctors. When they asked me about pain relief, I said I’d like ‘as little as possible’. Not quite realising they would take me literally and put me in a room in the hospital where you can’t have an epidural. But we overcame that barrier by making very firm friends with the Gas and Air. Which I am totally getting installed at home! The stuff is amazzzzzzzzing! It didn’t take away the pain, but the dizzy, distant feeling was slightly addictive.
The home from home room (which is suposed to be a nice room in the hospital, but just means you get a white door and curtians) we were in, had a huge 4 person bath that you could birth in if you so chose. I’ve never even thought a water birth was an option as it just seemed a bit hippy. But the Midwife ran the bath for me to ease the pain and I never got out! It was amazing to be warm and fairly comfy with my gas and air in a big deep bath.
The amazing thing about a water birth is that the midwives can’t really do anything apart from encourage you and keep an eye on the baby. So it was all down to me and Tom. Which was great! It felt really personal. So skipping all the gory details and some very close moments of ‘can I really do this?!’… at 9:27pm, Holly Elizabeth Arber was born, weighing in at 7lbs 9.5oz.
I’ve never seen anything more surreal than looking down and seeing our baby on the bottom of this big bath! It was incredible, and Tom captured the first time she opened her eyes on camera! He was under strict instructions the camera stayed in the bag until after the birth! But looking at all the photos now I feel so blessed he’s so skilled. We have some amazing memories of Holly thanks to Tom.
It’s been an amazing journey of highs and lows. Pregnancy was a real learning curve, but the last few days with Holly I must have learnt fifty new things a day. Thankfully, she’s the most content beautiful baby. Despite having a bottomless pit of a stoamach, she’s been really good to us and we can’t stop gushing about her!
Whilst I’m on the track of being thankful, I really want to thank everyone who sent us facebook messages and texts. We had to stay in hospital slightly longer than I wanted to and they really kept me going!!! The kindness hasn’t stopped since we got home either! We’ve had some lovely visits with people – especially my Grandma who came to see her third Great grandchild yesterday! And some lovely cards and gifts in the post, including the most beautiful boquet of sunflowers from Tom’s parents who are currently holidaying in America. Holly really is spoilt rotten.
I could go on gushing forever about the miracle of birth and life and parenthood. But I think the pictures below speak for themselves, We’ve included some quite personal ones as it just really captures the feeling of the birth and our journey. We feel so blessed to have Holly – and love the fact she’s on the ginger team!!
I’m sure there will be many more Holly posts to come. But for now… enjoy some of Tomo’s handiwork!
Love from The Arbers.