Baby on board…

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As promised, the full story of our rather more dramatic delivery…

My husband and I, on Monday 30th June had dinner with my Dad who was up from Brighton in preparation for our planned C-Section the following Tuesday 8th July. I made us a dinner of steak, stuffed mushrooms and crushed new potatoes and we half watched a 2014 World Cup match between Germany and Algeria (Germany won 2 – 1) and we chatted about how strange it was that only one week from the next day we’d be meeting our baby. I list these seemingly meaningless details because in years to come, they certainly won’t be the first things that will come to mind about that evening.

All day I’d been feeling uncomfortable with an increase of pressure all over and so we headed home about 9pm that night and we were both restless. My husband had spent that day really blitzing the house, cleaning it and finishing up the nursery as I had spent a couple of days in hospital the previous weekend and was on bed rest and it was the first day off he’d had since. The place looked sparkling and the nursery was amazing, we stood in the middle of it in a bit of a daze, in 7 short days, we’d be meeting our baby and there was now officially nothing left for us to do before her arrival. We finally went to bed at about midnight and went to sleep, after having a conversation about how impossible it would be to sleep the following Monday….ironically.

Around 2am, I woke suddenly, feeling a sudden release of pressure and then a sudden gush of fluid between my legs. It was a real shock and two things came to mind…I’d either developed a really severe and sudden onset incontinence problem, OR (and to save my embarrassment I was sort of rooting for the latter) my waters had just broken. And I had always thought they broke and that was it. Not so, they broke and seemed to just keep on going. (At this stage I should apologise for the details, I can only hope you’re not eating your dinner whilst reading this..!)

I woke my husband with the not at all dramatic, “oh my God my waters have broken, the baby is coming, I’m so sorry about the sheets!” (I’ve put punctuation in that statement when in fact it came out in one rather loud and frantic yelp.) We stared at each other for a few seconds and then went into slightly dazed action stations! We grabbed the hospital bag, maternity notes and then after calling the hospital to ask what we should do (and being told to come straight down) we then just held onto each other for a bit. It was 2.30am in the morning and we were about to have a baby!! There was such a wave of emotion, and we both welled up…before realising that with our situation, a baby trying to be born naturally was quite a dangerous outcome for us and Mummy and Daddy had to get their act together!

We got in the car and arrived at Gloucester Royal just gone 3am and I was hooked up to a machine that measured contractions. It went very quickly from, ‘ok so the Dr’s busy at the moment but once she’s free she’ll come up and we’ll assess the situation and go from there,’ to, ‘right we’ll go through the procedure in the lift and the Dr is going to meet us in the operating theatre and if your husband wants to follow me, we’ll get him into scrubs.’

Now, apart from a brief glorious first sighting of my husband in scrubs and a quick nervous joke about how I didn’t realise he was part of the surgical team; we had no time to really think about what was happening. We’d managed to send off two text messages each, to each set of parents and our two siblings which amounted essentially to, ‘waters broken, going into labour, baby on way.’ But apart from that little bit of communication, after stepping foot in the hospital, we had absolutely no control over what was happening. And thank God for that!

Before we knew it, I was having an injection in my spine, my body started going numb and the anaesthetist went through very speedily what was about to happen/what our specific choices were and told us to ask him if we had any questions. I had a hundred questions, I just couldn’t remember any of them. There was then a little bit of a tugging sensation and in what seemed like mere minutes (probably because it was a mere ten minutes later) the surgeon held aloft this tiny purply coloured creature who, at her very first cry, had the two of us utterly in love with her. It took a further 45 minutes for me to be sewn up and sorted (we discovered after that I’d lost a bit too much blood but apart from subtly getting my husband to hold the baby instead of me, we had no idea anything was wrong) and within that time we both held our baby for the first time. The emotion of doing so is utterly indescribably euphoric, baffling and amazing all at the same time. We both cried, laughed, smile, stared, we didn’t really know what to do. We’d woken at 2am at home and at 5.57am, we were holding our baby girl.

We were led into recovery and had our first minutes alone. She has my nose and mouth, and my husbands colouring and, for now, a full head of very dark coloured hair and we couldn’t get over how tiny and beautiful she was.

We spent the next four days in hospital in a whirlwind of breast feeding efforts, visitors, nappies and getting our heads round what had happened; and on Friday afternoon our mini family were able to head home. Scarlett Lois Lade Jordan turned one week old on the day we were due to have our C-Section. The last week has been seven days of staring down at her beautiful sleeping face, doing any manner of things to stop her crying, and getting used to sneaking in half an hours sleep when we can. Add to that, the apologising to visitors for whatever state the house or we are in, and realising quite how quickly a one week old can go through nappies! But I can honestly say that it’s also by far, the happiest week of my life. The recovery for a C-Section is 4-6 weeks and the first week has definitely been painful, and the sleep deprivation doesn’t help. But it’s a small price to pay and I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband (not to mention endlessly generous and supportive friends and family) but even more lucky to have been absolutely blessed with a healthy, happy (in the daytime at least!) baby girl.

The pregnancy wasn’t straightforward, and in it’s hardest moments we had frank discussions about how we would have to seriously discuss going through it again. However, even just a few hours after the birth, we both said that absolutely every second was worth it and I think all parents would agree.

Whilst eating dinner that Monday night which now seems like a lifetime ago, we had no idea how quickly our life was going to change. Tuesday 1st July became a huge landmark date in both of our lives and it brings the pregnancy portion of our story to a close. And I cannot wait for the next chapter of our ‘Bumpy Ride.’ The journey of parenthood continues as we try our best, inevitably make our own ridiculous mistakes and bumble our way through helping Scarlett become whatever she wants to become. Thank you to you all dear friends who have been part of the journey so far and I cordially invite you to join us for the next chapter as I continue to blog the ups and downs for Scarlett’s first year; we still don’t know what we’re doing, we’re still learning along the way, and we’ll still be sharing it all with you, but now comrades, there’s a baby on board…

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