Jack & the Bean
Watch this space…

A couple of people have asked me to continue with my blog, which is nice.

Once I get my act together I’ll post the new link here.

Xxx

It’s a hard life being three days old!

It’s a hard life being three days old!

Epilogue

Most of you know by now that Joshua Benxamin Davey-Castro arrived on Monday night at 7.40pm, weighing 6 pounds and 4 ounces.

He looks just like a mini version of Jack when he was born, although Jack was a hefty 8 and a half pounds. Joshy is nice and healthy and is already a feisty one. He’s impatient like his mummy so he had to drop into the party more than three and a half weeks early!

Turns out that going into labour unprepared wasn’t quite as bad as I’d have expected. Care at Gloucester Royal Hospital was nothing short of spectacular, both before and after (‘west country warmth’ says my husband). Because I had no official birth plan (and ashamedly, had left my hospital notes in London) I just went with what felt right at the time.

I went into labour at 8ish on Monday morning and we were at hospital by 10ish. Because there was a queue, I didn’t end up getting gas and air till the afternoon which meant my contractions had got the better of me by that point. I had the pethidine too, which I’d never planned on having but which relaxed me until I finally got my epidural when I was eight cm dilated. It didn’t kill all the pain like when I had it with Jack but that was good because I could still feel the contractions. As it goes, after an hour of pushing once fully dilated, he was delivered by forceps because the doc was worried about my caesarean scar.

I said ‘yes’ to the episiotomy - I probably would have said I’d prefer to be natural on my birthing plan but when given the choice… well you know my feelings on this.

The big difference between this and labour with Jack was that allowing myself to have the drugs when I needed them in labour meant that I was equipped to deal with my son afterwards without being a wreck. The past two nights have been all-nighters but there has been no anxiety or stress to go with it. Okay, the attention the midwives lavished on us both helped too.

I begged for a c-section during the labour and thankfully they didn’t give me one. The main reason I didn’t want one originally was because I didn’t want my milk production to suffer and this was a wise choice. I’ve tons of milk, and although Joshy being preterm has its own set of breastfeeding challenges (apparently the sucking reflex is one of the last to kick in) we’ve been managing fine. The other thing about not having the section is that I was immediately more mobile - newly acquired John Wayne swagger aside.

Jack is very excited about his new brother. His mother’s son, his reaction to the picture his Grandma showed him was ‘he’s so cute, he looks like me’. He bought him a cuddly red robot from mothercare which he gave him at the hospital and seems keen to involve him in future plans like insisting mummy, daddy AND Josh all take him in on his first day of school. Jack was a bit funny with me at the hospital and when I got back today but it’s difficult to tell if it’s because he has Grandma around so mummy doesn’t get a look in. Bit of both I expect. Anyway, not too worried, we can work on this - and started doing so already when I let him come into bed with me during a power cut earlier (yes, seriously. High drama in Gloucestershire this week).

So much for all of the nice toiletries, the clothes and other supplies that I’d bought for the hospital, currently sitting in a hallway in Kentish Town. The ikea wardrobe is still sitting flat-packed in the same hallway, to be built by proud daddy and grandad when we go back on Saturday. I never did get that cleaner to come round either. But you know what? After agonising about all of these things it all seems pretty immaterial now. There is so much else to look forward to now we are four. Xxx

Quick update as shattered - 36 weeks and 3 days

Waters broke at around twenty to two this morning. Gloucester Royal Hospital have just sent us back to Jim’s folks’ after examining me and checking Bean’s heartbeat (it’s now 5.10am) as contractions not yet started. Deja vu or what?

I have been given antibiotics as there is a greater risk of infection once waters have broken. Funnily enough, there was only one other mum admitted while I was there - and she was also from London and taken to hospital unexpectedly. I wonder if they just don’t have babies in the West Country or if their babies just come at sensible hours?

The hospital people reckon it could be up to 24 to 48 hours before I go into labour so suggest we go back to London (sensibly I don’t have my notes).

Anyway, too tired to think about it now. Hoping Bean will let me sleep and have a hearty breakfast before anything else happens…

Labour

I’ve spent the past couple of days lounging round while my in-laws - well, my mother-in-law specifically - watch Jack.

Truth be told, he has absolutely no interest in me when Grandma is around and I like this just fine. I had a lie-in till midday today and came back to bed to surf the net and plan baby stuff just after 2pm - WITH NO INTERRUPTIONS!

Which means I’ve had a chance to start thinking about the L word properly, and it’s started to scare me.

Throughout the rest of the pregnancy I’ve tried to push it to the back of my mind, but with the whole thing looming, I can’t really do that any more.

I know I’ve already experienced it once, but like many things in my first pregnancy, it wasn’t quite textbook. I remember vividly at the antenatal class they said that when your waters break it’s not a big gush like in the films…

Well I beg to differ! It was a week after my due date and I was fed up. I’d tried everything to make Jack come - cumin, pineapple, curry- everything except sex because quite frankly I wasn’t letting Jim go there again after what I was going through.

Anyway I decided to straighten my hair was so I could at least look good in the hospital. So I put a cushion down on the floor, plonked myself down on it unceremoniously and was privy to what can only be described as a small waterfall.

As a result, the contractions didn’t start for ages, although we still had to make our way to the hospital, only to be sent back to mum’s, only for the contractions to start proper once we’d got there! None of this chilling out with a snack and a DVD while timing contractions for us, oh no. And I never even got to straighten my flipping hair in the end either!

The other thing that will be different this time is that I’ll be hooked up to all sorts of shit to monitor Bean’s heartbeat and how my scar is doing. With Jack I spent an awful lot of time in the birthing pool (amazing, thoroughly recommend) but I can’t this time. So as well as having to find other ways to kill my time and other methods of pain relief, there are also practical implications, like having to get through all the maternity towels, clothes and underwear that were packed but not used last time. Yuck.

Something I hadn’t thought about till my research just now was snacks for labour. I think I still need to be careful and take nuts and birdfood because Bean could be born hypoglycaemic if I gorge on carbs. Hopefully he’ll have the sense to start the ball rolling just after breakfast or lunch and make it quick (as opposed to with Jack when I went into labour gone 10pm and was still going the following afternoon).

Whatever he decides to do, one thing is certain. I’m packing a GIGANTIC bar of Dairy Milk for immediately after the birth. Sod the calories!

Pampered poochey

I’ve managed to go from feeling sorry for myself to feeling very special in a couple of easy steps.

My hubby bought me one of my favourite perfumes (Chanel Allure) for our anniversary and my work colleagues bought me an Aveda voucher as a ‘going on maternity leave’ prezzie!

Now to decide whether to spend it on a pedicure, a massage or a Brazilian (yes, I am still umming and aahing. My thinking is that somewhere like Aveda might be less painful because it’s posher than my usual beautician!).

P.S: Work colleagues, if you are reading this, I’m really sorry I didn’t open the voucher in front of everyone. I got shy and nervous and forgot that this was the done thing. I honestly can’t tell you how appreciated it is though - exactly what I wanted! I think I will go for something luxurious like a pedicure or massage. Be a bit wrong otherwise, don’t you think?

There’s a lot to talk about…

…as I’ve not been arsed to blog for a while. I’ve just been so tired that any spare time has been spent lounging. Saturday was really bloody busy so Sunday I was zonked.

Today I took the spontaneous decision to start my maternity leave a week early, after I spent most of the morning in tears for no apparent reason. It means that this Thurs is my last day instead of Friday the week after, whoop whoop whoop!

A small part of me feels like a loser for not sticking it out to the end but mainly I feel relief. I’ve got a lot to do over the next few weeks - not just baby related but getting Jack ready for starting school on the 12th for example.

Having next week off means I overlap with Jim being off for a week which means he can watch Jack while I plan stuff like hiring a carpet cleaner and getting someone in to clean the house.

Changing the subject slightly, if any of you suffer from pregnancy cramp in your calves at night, I’ve discovered the most amazing thing… Don’t go to sleep pointing your toes and if you feel like you’re going to cramp up, flex them instead, or put your feet flat on your bed with your knees bent. I had cramp really badly a couple of days last week and was in so much agony I googled what to do. Surprisingly those pieces of advice worked and I haven’t had it since!

This week is free of doctor’s appointments but on Thurs 1st I have a scan. It’s a pretty important one as it’s the day before I hit 37 weeks and they could decide whether I need an early c-section. I’ve not noticed my sugars being particularly bad recently - aside from after chinese food on sat where they were a whopping 11.6 (to put this in context, fasting has to be less than 5.5 and an hour after my meal is supposed to be 7.5. Even when I’ve been ‘naughty’ it’s rarely been more than 8). Hopefully this means Bean is still healthy and we can continue with this whole natural shizzle.

Although, I am terrified of childbirth. The thought of enduring it all again, without even being allowed access to the birthing pool this time (have to be monitored up because of previous c-section) frightens me. And I’m genuinely sickened by the thought of ripping. I’m just going to have to take it a step at a time and deal with it in the moment because otherwise I’ll never be able to go through with it.

Otherwise, I’m really looking forward to cuddles from my new monkey. I probably will be bitching about the lack of sleep just over a month from now but in reality it’s a small price to pay for another little treasure in the family.

The following post may cause offence…

A number of you have enquired after my perineum’s wellbeing of late, which is always nice.

Truth be told, we’d been avoiding each other so hadn’t caught up properly. I bought some Mothercare perineal gel as a peace offering the other day and thought it was about time we cracked it open and got to know each other again.

I have to say that it wasn’t the most successful of reunions. I tried to look up instructions on my BlackBerry immediately beforehand but my smartphone obviously found the whole thing too exciting and flipping crashed. Then I decided to make it up - after all, I remember the vague principle, how hard could it be?

Except of course my belly is now so big, I couldn’t really er… reach over as it were…

So I had to grab the pillows and position them so I was propped up - and again I tried. It took me a while but eventually I found a suitable angle.

Now, I’ve read that you and your partner can turn this into part of your ‘lovemaking’. This is the most unsexy thing I could imagine, especially as you’re supposed to feel a burning sensation if you’re doing it properly. But then some people might be into that sort of thing I guess.

Anyway, I fumbled around for a bit, not really knowing how long to sustain it for, and perhaps not even massaging the right bits.

I’ve given up for today but have done 50 pelvic floor exercises as demanded by my midwife instead. I’m terrified of the consequences if I don’t continue with the massages but it really is an uncomfortable faff. Maybe I will ask for that c-section after all?

You know that pregnant ‘waddle’ what pregnant women do?

Well, I’ve got it down to a tee now. One of my work colleagues actually said she felt sorry for me yesterday and gave me a hug because I looked so ridiculous waddling along! I seem to have gone from this apparently lovely vision of womanliness to circus clown in less than a week!

Anyway, the bump is cooking nicely and seems to have tripled over the past few weeks. My friend Christina very sweetly brought round a bump casting kit yesterday so we could remember the bump for posterity.

My mum who is into all things arty farty is beside herself with excitement at casting my belly next week. In the meantime, I am trying to think of ways that I can hoik up my very sad boobs for the casting as they have really seen better days.

My diabetes is all under control and I’m actually quite positive about it now. When I started the pregnancy I had very real concerns about the amount of weight I would put on -with Jack I put on about 3 stone. This time I’ve actually lost some weight and I think I may even be lighter than I was at this stage in my pregnancy with Jack.  So whoop-de-doo for me.  I am the best.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Jim DID go and buy wrapping paper and a card on Saturday. Sisterhood 1 - Jim 0.

Pirate Jack