The birth!

The birth!

It’s a girl! I can’t begin to describe how elated we were when we found out our little baby was another girl. I’ve said all along in my pregnancy that it was a girl so I was relieved that my mummy instinct was right. Deep down I think we were both wishing for a girl but didn’t realise it until they arrived. I think we need more bathrooms in our house for the future.

This time we agreed to have the screen lowered during the section and watch our baby being born and it was wonderful. A really special moment that we will treasure forever as it also meant we could learn the sex ourselves too. This little one didn’t cry like the others which obviously panicked us no end but we were reassured that she was fine. Could this be a calm addition to our family? Hmm…I doubt it!

Our baby was here and she looked so tiny. She was much smaller than the others so I expected her to be 6lb something but L shouted over from the scales in the theatre that she was 2700g which is pretty much bang on 6lbs. The smallest of our babies by far. No wonder my bump kept measuring small. I should’ve eaten more cake.

She has a real look of both of her sisters. They certainly all have the same eyes but at different times of the day she looks like G then it will swap to the chaotic one.

L cut the cord and brought her over to me for some skin to skin and we got some amazing pictures with the two of us sporting the biggest grins I have ever seen. I love looking at that picture as each time I see it I feel the moment again and again and it is lovely. I still find it all a bit crazy that a time which can be the most special day of your lives can also be one of the most terrifying, but that’s my experience of having babies I’m sure others may feel differently.

There was a real sense of relief that our baby had arrived safely, that she was finally here after all this time. But not long after her birth I was told by the consultant that they had punctured my bladder and they needed a specialist from urology to come and look at it. I have no idea how but I was pretty calm about all of this. It was surreal me lying awake on the operating table my body open and us all having a general chit chat while we waited for another surgeon to arrive. To be honest I was trying to play it cool for L’s sake as I could see the panic and worry coming over her. It really was mind over matter for the rest of the surgery. I’ve never had to dig so deep to keep it together and have no idea where that strength came from. It also didn’t help much that the tiny one was starting to exercise her lungs and let us know she was hungry.

The surgeon arrived and it was like watching a tv show about yourself that somehow wasn’t real. He said my bladder needed dissecting as it was attached to my uterus which unfortunately is a common problem when you’ve had a previous section but in doing so I managed to get another tear in the bladder. To cut a long story short what was meant to be a 1 hour operation turned out to be 3 hours with my spinal injection wearing off but I was adamant I couldn’t be put to sleep mainly because I didn’t want to leave L on her own as I knew how upset she was and I didn’t want to come round all drowsy and not be able to feed our baby so I did the last bit of surgery on gas and air and talked a whole load of nonsense but it made L laugh so that’s good. Every cloud and all that. I was also told I would need to have a catheter in for 2 weeks before they could check if my bladder had healed but right then I just wanted to get through the surgery and I would deal with that later.

Finally when they had repaired me and stitched me up I was able to go to recovery with L and our little miss and start feeding her which she took to straight away. What a relief. The hardest part was done and now it was just a case of caring for this utterly perfect tiny human who I was already in love with and getting myself recovered so we can begin our adventures as an all female family of five.

Obviously I am gutted that things happened the way they did in surgery but I’m just relieved that we are all ok and keeping my fingers crossed that once I get my catheter out I’m not destined to a life with tena lady or avoiding the trampoline park with the girls. Here’s hoping it all resolves itself over the next few weeks.

L and I haven’t had it easy with 2 of our daughters births being pretty awful but I just keep thinking how I’m glad it was the last one that was complicated as if it had been chaotics birth then we would never have gotten to a third child. It also helps that we have each other to get through these moments and take care of one another. L and I can do anything together and this just proves it. Plus the hardest part is how we negotiate the hormones of having 5 females in the house. Hopefully we will survive that!

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Baby countdown: the wait is over!

Baby countdown: the wait is over!

Well that has to be the quickest week of my entire life. In my silly little head I had longed for slow days which are productive and relaxing in lounge clothes (since that’s all that fits me now) in front of the telly, maybe even starting a box set. But that was never going to happen as I’m so rubbish at relaxing.

We had a great time for G’s early birthday celebrations and I even managed to finish the cake extraordinaire and felt pretty chuffed with it. There’s something so satisfying and heart warming with making your little ones birthday cake although the thought of knocking 3 up per year seems a bit daunting!! L doesn’t know why I don’t just buy one, but even she admitted I’d pulled it out the bag this time and it wasn’t a ‘nailed it’ moment. Whoop whoop! Totally high fiving myself here.

So somehow I managed to take a little tumble at the soft play party as I tried to avoid tripping over one of the little guests. Thankfully I managed to save myself from squashing my bump and avoid too much trauma but it did give me a fright. And that night, what I assumed was braxton hicks, started again. So the next couple of days with the lack of sleep and feeling that time was getting closer I just ended up weary and teary by Monday. It didn’t help that the chaotic one decided it would be good to start waking a few times a night for no good reason than ‘tickle me’! Full on psycho screaming and then you’re faced with that beautiful smile and those words. No wonder she gets her own way.

I was overwhelmed by everything on Monday. Felt like I had so much left to prepare on a never ending to do list and I was anxious I’d never get through it. It was all tiredness and me being absolutely moronic. Then the braxton hicks settled but I was in for another dreadful night with the tickle monster.

When Tuesday came around I knew the only thing that would be of any benefit was sleep. And that I did. When I woke up something must’ve clicked in my head and I had a super productive day getting through all of the jobs I had nagging away at me. I even had a good workout with Henry to give the carpets a right good seeing to. It was probably all of that which is why I ended up in hospital that night, or maybe it was finally me relaxing and feeling ready that yes now this baby can come!

I was admitted into hospital with tightenings which then became regular contractions. I’d driven myself there in the hope I’d be told it was nothing and they would send me packing with some reassurance and a “see you on Thursday” but that wasn’t the case.

After being admitted nil by mouth, with the possibility of doing the section the next day, I checked in to what I can only describe as a luxury holiday. It was peaceful and there was nobody I had to look after. L came to visit me the next morning and asked me several times if I wanted anything to eat whilst scoffing hula hoops and drinking tea. Always brilliant when nil by mouth but like she says she has to keep her strength up! Seriously though as always she’s done nothing but run around after us all over the last few days. She is my rock and I’m missing her now.

Finally the decision was made to wait until the planned section date the following day but to keep me in the hospital until then. So I spent the day listening to music, talking rubbish with L, I had a bath in peace and when I came back to my bed my dinner was sitting waiting for me without any effort on my part and no clearing up afterwards! Seriously why did I not check myself in here sooner it was absolute bliss.

L brought the girls in to see me and they gave the most lovely cuddles which brought tears to my eyes. I really hope they are going to do well with this massive adjustment to their lives. I felt so guilty for them on Tuesday I made them star shaped sandwiches for their nursery packed lunch. Hoping that the extra effort would go a long way to show that I loved them so much but I’m pretty sure they would’ve got flung to the side and favoured by some other lunch box item. This is motherhood guilt creeping in.

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Here I am now literally hours from holding our little baby, the final piece to our family jigsaw, and I’m thinking about the moment and how exciting it’s going to be but still a little bit sad that now the pregnancy journey has come to an end. L hates it when I get like this. She says I get all thinky and it seems all gloomy when I get to the end of anything but I’m not gloomy I just like to reflect on what’s has happened so I can look to the future for what will be next. She says it’s too deep. And yeah it is but we’ve come a long way. It’s not just the 9 months I’ve been cooking this little tiny human, it’s all of the discussions before hand, the IVF treatment, the donating eggs (I mean how excited must that family be about to have their first child after such a long journey) and then the miracle of being pregnant. Plus this has been the pickle of all three of my pregnancies which has certainly kept us both on our toes.

This will be the last time I have my bump and feel a new life competing for the gold medal in gymnastics inside me. I guess I am a bit sad that’s all over and apprehensive of what’s about to come, but once I’m holding that fresh little life in my arms, smelling its unique newborn smell you wish you could bottle and feeling their heartbeat on my chest I know I’ll be ready for the next chapter – when the Robson-Malone’s become a party of five!

Baby countdown – A week to go!

Baby countdown – A week to go!

That’s it I’ve all finished work now until around December. So I have a week to kick back and relax beginning with a solo visit to Costa which is a real rarity. I might even pamper myself. Ha ha! Yes who am I kidding we have two kids who are super needy plus we have G’s 4th birthday party this weekend. How is she 4 already? Well she isn’t really as her birthday is a few days after the new arrival but if we are not keen on soft play now a few days after delivery is literally my worst nightmare and I couldn’t leave L to go solo with it. Imagine her having to mingle with other parents and be at soft play. She would hate me for that.

My mind is focussed on creating some spectacular masterpiece for G’s cake in the theme of trolls! L is concerned it’s going to end up as a “nailed it” on Pinterest after a previous episode involving some Mike wazowski cookies when I was nesting before G was born. I made her take them to work where one of her colleagues almost broke his tooth on them! But I’m determined to prove her wrong. You should’ve seen her WTF face the other night when I roped her in to the production line creating brightly coloured flowers for the decoration, needless to say she’s not offered to assist again.

The pregnancy insomnia has kicked in so at best I’m getting 4 hours sleep a night and that’s interrupted by at least 3 wee breaks thanks to the baby using my bladder as a punch bag and pillow. So not that thrilled when people keep saying get as much sleep while you can as if I can bank a few extra hours in a special little box so when I’ve been up all night feeding the tiniest human in our family and I’m exhausted I can just make a sleep withdrawal. You know maybe only an hour at a time, I wouldn’t be frivolous with it, and then suddenly I’d feel smashing and less zombie like!

I’m lying awake thinking about how I could be working on the cake or things that must be done before the baby arrives as if time will stand still! Last night I was wide awake thinking about a conversation I’d had with someone when I thought I could’ve dealt with it better, maybe even educated someone. I was asked yesterday if the chaotic one was my partners child. Now with that I assumed they meant did she carry her and give birth to her so I immediately replied “no she’s mine”. The response was “oh so you’re going to have three, that’s a handful”. I smiled a bit confused.

If we have three kids but L carries them doesn’t that mean they are still my handful? Or if L did carry her does that mean I would be let off of parenting duties? That maybe I could’ve actually got sleep in the last two years? That I wouldn’t have to feel like I was negotiating with a terrorist just to leave the house this morning because we only had the red wellies and not the yellow ones! Coincidentally chaotic does have the attitude of L but that’s just pure nurture!

I’m kicking myself as normally I’m pretty good at correcting people on these conversations but perhaps it’s the slow motor skills of a baby brain that stopped me from feeling like I answered that the best way possible. Hopefully no one at the hospital next week will ask if L is my mum again then I’ll be pleased.

So our last weekend before the madness begins I’m hoping for a cosy Friday night with pizza treats since L did awesome at Slimming World this week and after the soft play extravaganza we are heading to a burns night celebration! Can’t wait to get up and do the highland fling and belt out a little Auld Lang Syne in my most patriotic Scottish accent!

Our Christmas miracle

Our Christmas miracle

Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel like you’re having an outer body experience watching a situation unfold and then you realise that it’s real and it’s totally happening to you?

That’s what it felt like when  we went along all cheery and excited to see another picture of our little baby a few days before Christmas expecting it all to be routine, straight in and out, we weren’t prepared for there to be complications.

We were expecting a simple date for the diary for the planned section and off we hop home to pick up the girls but unfortunately it wasn’t the case. First we were told that the baby’s growth had dropped off the chart. So it had fallen below the 10th centile and it would need to be reviewed in 2 weeks. We were told that if there was still low growth then we would be having the baby almost immediately which would mean about 34 weeks old. Crikey. My head was buzzing about what this would mean for them and how they would be but we were reassured that they would be fine at that term and given all of the information about what they would do etc.

Next bomb to land on us was that my placenta was still low (placenta praevia) I know this means risk of blood loss at anytime but then they said there was a chance it could be placenta acreeta. Never heard of that and didn’t realise acreeta was one word until I googled it. Thought they were say “a critter” whatever on earth that was. Anyway supposedly that’s when the placenta has embedded onto the previous c section scar. This would cause problems with the incision to deliver the baby, high chance of major haemorrhage and then afterwards as the placenta can’t be removed without the risk of major haemorrhage likely to be a hysterectomy. Wow! All that information all given at once. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes but somehow trying to think logically and ask the necessary questions plus I knew that L would be almost hyperventilating hearing all of this so I had to try and be the calm one taking the information in. We decided we didn’t want anymore children when we went through this IVF but being faced with someone telling you that you can’t is a different feeling altogether.

We left the hospital with our heads spinning and in silence as I didn’t know what to say and L wouldn’t want to talk about it as she would be freaking out. Obviously the next 24-48 hours we started to understand it all, sought advice from those in the know for some much needed reassurance and also scared ourselves stupid thanks to the power of Google. I was weepy at times convinced things were going to be really bad. That our baby would be really early and need special care and that I was going to have a massive bleed and either be seriously ill or not make it at all. Christmas was a very quiet time. The girls enjoyed every minute of it with pantomimes, parties and presents from Santa. They even got to eat sweets a lot! But L and I were different. We just had to look at each other to know what we were thinking and there was a feeling of worry and sadness. I was teary a lot especially during the lovely moments as I was terrified what the next few weeks had in store. It felt like the longest two weeks ever.

Then in one short scan appointment with a foetal medicine specialist our whole world was turned back upright the way it should be. It’s very unlikely I have “a critter” they won’t know for certain until they open me up but the consultant has been round the block a bit so knows her stuff- phew! And even better little pea head has grown more than a pound in the last two weeks. L has paid special attention to fattening us both up over Christmas and it’s worked out. They are now more than 5lbs in weight which is a lot more than they anticipated and doing really well.

So now here I am with a date set for the delivery of the 3rd Robson-Malone child in less than 3 weeks and all I want to do is to enjoy some time with my wonderful family before the chaos begins.

We just need some low key time soaking each other up. The house is finished, the nursery is ready, both G and chaotic are sleeping through in their super bunks just G’s birthday party to go then time to meet our little baby.

Thankfully, from some sort of Christmas Miracle and lots and lots of praying, the only thing we really need to be thinking about is a name for the new arrival.

Our First Nativity

Our First Nativity

We had our first nativity last week. L was like “one of those parents”. You know the ones you eye roll at and think get a grip it’s only a 3 year olds nativity.  She was almost nudging people out of the way to get the best spot at the front so she could capture the slightest movement or even blink of G in action! This is so not her.

I on the other hand was an emotional wreck. I had free flowing tears which I couldn’t hide and saw the whole show through a wet blur of happy emotions and deep pride in my first born baby. Thankfully I had the chaotic one to cuddle into and try and disguise my hormonal mess. Totally playing it cool NOT!

G was so confident and stood so tall in her Angel Gabriel costume. This was enough to shock us since she hates dressing up at home and never likes to be up on stage or anything like that. It’s a testament to her nursery and the time the staff have invested in her to help her grow, especially with her speech development. She was joining into songs with words I didn’t even know she knew. It’s was beautiful! Then there was the chaotic one who decided to join in when it was over running up and down the pews. Luckily she was the cutest shepherd I’d ever seen which is how she gets away with pretty much everything.

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All in all its been a humbling week reminding me of the things we need to be thankful for. I know how easy it is to get caught up in silly little day to day niggles which in the grand scheme of things don’t really mean anything but that’s life. This week I had that reminder that life is fragile and in a second it can literally change good or bad. I found a lump on my boob a couple of weeks ago and although expected it to be nothing I was pretty taken aback when I was referred for a scan by the GP. The “what ifs” started going round in my head, thankfully the two kids and our hectic life kept them at bay most of the time but there was still the odd few moments where you do wonder what could happen. Anyway I was lucky enough to be told I just have a lumpy bumpy breast by the consultant which was great news still I knew that in those few minutes in that room it could’ve changed everything. I’m so relieved but it’s a good wake up call to have as so many people are not as lucky and you never think it will happen to you but it can so please please please check your boobs!! And if you’re unsure go get it checked out it will only make you feel better and put your mind at rest.

Following that I’ve definitely had more than a fair share of my time with the NHS this week. I clearly had a fever as I wore pyjamas and Ls polar bear onesie in our house where the kids are running round in just their pants because it’s so tropical with L still insisting 26 degrees is the optimum temperature. Next day within 30 minutes I had seen my midwife, checked on the baby who was absolutely fine just taking all the good stuff from me and leaving me to feel like utter crap, then saw a GP who confirmed I had tonsillitis and sent me off with a cocktail of paracetamol and penicillin.  Rockstar life me. So the last few days have been  a blur of me trying to sleep as much as possible, our amazing nursery sorting out all of the childcare, including transport in the mushroom car as the kids call it, and being tucked up in bed by 7pm each night. Although L did stay up until about 8pm one night after watching a train show with Judy Walters! Geepers we are so dull. I was invited to a party this week which we were considering going to but then I realised it started at 930! I mean for a second I thought they meant 930am and thought yeah that could work but 930 pm. That’s almost the middle of the night!

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This week we also moved the girls into the same room as we’ve got them these super cool bunk beds with stairs and we are conscious we still need a spare room for one of us to catch up on sleep when we have the newborn non-sleeper. Gulp! Chaotic has just started sleeping through thanks to the healing hands of the magic chiropractor so we were a little anxious to say the least. One week in and they are both sleeping really well and thankfully it doesn’t seem like this is the worse thing we have ever done. They’ve even stopped by and given the baby a check up with their medical kit. Too cute. It’s just nobody needs a non sleeping 2 year old in their lives.

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Slow it down!

Slow it down!

The countdown has really begun now, and not just for christmas, it’s less than 10 weeks to go until we meet our little baby.

My head is telling me to enjoy these last week’s as much as possible and soak it up but my body is saying it’s hard, I’m tired, I’m fat and I can’t wait for the time to pass. Hate wishing my life away though. 

I’ve never had any problems in any of my pregnancies so it gave us both a real scare when I had a bleed last week. Everything with the baby and I are absolutely fine now but it was a real wake up call that I need to slow things down and realise I’m now in the 8th month of pregnancy as if this giant Christmas pudding sized bump wasn’t enough of a reminder. Slowing down and taking things easy are not really sentences that I use in my hectic life where everything tends to be full speed ahead. How can it be any other way with two active little ones and working!! I even felt bad for L this week as I haven’t managed the housework! Not that she cares it’s just me being an idiot. If somebody has the magic answers to balance it all please send them my way.

Meanwhile we are fully immersed in festive events with the girls who are super excited for christmas. This is the first year when they have shown any interest in this season and it makes it so magical. We’ve been doing something Christmassy every weekend I think that’s probably why the time is going so fast. Isn’t it great using the elf and Santa as an extra bribing tool. We got G to eat shepherds pie the other night playing on the fear that Jupiter the elf would tell Santa if she didn’t. Who knows what we will do in January.

Last weekend the girls had festive face paints, a trip to see Santa and then put the Christmas trees up. Obviously we’ve designated a kid tree and a good tree (for in the good room) so that we don’t get antsy about how it’s decorated. We also made Christmas cards with their hand and footprints to give out to family and my work as I was hosting an afternoon tea for the elderly this week and I wanted it to have a really personal touch. The girls loved doing them and I think I handled the mess of the paint all over our lovely kitchen quite well. Not neurotic at all. Little chaotic one was so cute trying to clean G’s foot. It was a real warming memory swiftly followed by a bold reminder never to leave them unattended with some bright green paint on our new wooden floor. Not even for 30 seconds.

The afternoon tea at work was really wonderful and one of the reasons I love my job so much. We had 30 elderly folk over at the station for a ridiculous amount of cake and tea followed by a Carol service. They all seemed to enjoy themselves and it felt so good to give something back to the community especially at this time of year when some people feel very lonely and isolated. Although I totally overdid it and I’m feeling it today, I’m still beaming from them telling me I only looked 25 and was too young to have 3 children. Might need to recommend they get their eyes tested.

I was actually 35 last week. 35! I don’t know where time is going. I hope I make it to 99 like one of the men I met at the tea party. L really struggled with my birthday as she felt really limited on what we could do. It was the weekend I had been in hospital so since I was meant to be resting she cancelled the sky diving and cocktails! I think she was more disappointed about it than me as I really enjoyed the day beginning with the girls opening my presents then a special meal out just the two of us. Supposedly she has BIG plans for next year when she is excited that she “will have her Katy back”. What she is referring to is me being pregnant at my 31st and 32nd birthday, breastfeeding on my 33rd and pregnant again on my 35th. It’s been a few years dedicated to child rearing but it has absolutely flown by. Excited to see what she has planned but got a pretty busy year before now and then!!!

Allow Sperm to perish…

Allow Sperm to perish…

That was one of two options we’ve just been given from our fertility clinic. Either that or pay to continue with sperm storage. There could be more pleasant topics of conversation, since we are both sperm dodgers, but we had to consider our options. 

In all honesty I would’ve preferred not to have to even think about this right now and wait until our baby is here (or a few weeks after that as postnatally I’m a hormonal disaster from cheerful, grateful new mum who is coping well to uncontrollable ugly crying, snot faced mess who can’t remember my name or if I’ve changed my underwear) and discuss it rationally and logically and then pass on our decision, but the timing is based on when we originally put that sperm in our online shopping basket and every year we have to decide if we want to pay to keep it frozen or not.

On the positive, discussing it did make us realise that we were both thinking the same thing and we both agree with our decision. L has been avoiding the subject for months as she wants to get rid of it and she was worried I’d feel otherwise. She even suggested selling it at a car boot sale as long as we don’t keep it. I don’t blame her I mean it’s premium sperm – look at the beautiful babies it creates!!! Obviously I’ll take a bit of credit for that too.

It opens up discussions no-one would want to have right now. I’m almost into the 8th month of pregnancy and our baby isn’t here yet. The awful thoughts of what if something went wrong now would we want to try again? Would we ever feel like it was the right thing to do? It doesn’t bear thinking about. IVF was so much hard work so I definitely wouldn’t be up for that again, plus if something bad happened with this pregnancy neither of us would fair very well. We both would like to have 3 children and that’s what we have right now. This little baby inside of me says hello every single day reminding me they are there when I’m too preoccupied with work or hectic times with our family, so to me they are here. I know them a little already and I’m sure it’s a girl. We’ve even started referring to the bump as a she and have only managed to agree on a girls name which is another thing we need to discuss. So we do have the 3 children we wanted. Decision made.

One thing we are certain of is we definitely don’t want 4 tiny humans. L would not entertain that idea. I would be divorced before I knew it and I’m feeling so worn out that it’s simply not an option. In a way it’s good for me to get that clear in my head now as after the birth each time I’ve felt an overwhelming need to have another baby. It’s like mother nature going crazy on me and that my duty as a women is to simply create these tiny blond-haired, blue-eyed babies. I put it down to the hormones as even now life is getting easier with the girls (well apart from chaotic not sleeping and hitting terrible two’s with a giant thud) but they are getting older, and understand more, so even this baby will be a shock to the system for us both. Admittedly, in the back of my mind, I do wonder if I’ll feel differently once the little one has arrived but I need to remind myself that there is more to me than just being a baby allotment and a mum. Which is easier said than done as for the last 5 years I’ve been  pregnant or breastfeeding parts of each year so it’s become my norm and my comfort zone. L wants me back to being Katy and not just a mum and so do I. So I’ve just got to work out how to be both. 

So that’s it. The confirmation has been sent and we’ve agreed to let the sperm perish. So, thank you donor sperm you’ve been amazing and helped us create some beautiful tiny humans but your job here is done. No more Robson-Malone babies after this one. I’m not sure the world could cope with another one of these characters. And my uterus is definitely closed for business from 2018.