We were at the hospital by ten to nine on Monday morning. The plan being that I would be monitored for an hour then induced by eleven.
Hospitals being hospitals, things happened and we ended up waiting around till 3pm for the process to start.
After being checked it was decided that I would have the twenty four hour slow release pessary as my cervix was still so thick and far back.
Like with Dylan we were told not to expect anything and yet within ten minutes I was contracting. I stayed hooked up to the monitor for just over an hour to make sure my uterus wasn’t suddenly hyper stimulated. Eventually we wandered off labor ward to meet my mum and Dylan in the hospital cafe for a drink. They left in time and went for a walk, searching for an ice lolly that we never ended up finding.
Ninety minutes later we were back on labor ward, I was contracting six times in every ten minutes (about every ninety seconds for forty seconds per contraction) and had started to feel minor pressure.
They checked me for the first time at 9pm. I was just about 1cm. I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed, I’d been contracting well and my body felt like it was progressing but apparently it wasn’t making much headway.
We went for another walk around nine, three laps around the hospital. By the final lap I had to stop walking every time a contraction hit me. They were lasting for a minute each time and hitting me every ninety seconds.
We got back to labor ward and waited another hour while they got stronger. When I reached the point that I couldn’t ride out the contractions in one position we called my midwife. Moving around through contractions was essential not helpful, it didn’t ease any pain I just couldn’t stay still.
I’d loaded the Harry Potter audiobooks onto my phone so I was pushing myself to handle the contractions silently, using the audiobooks as a way to focus.
After watching me for a few contractions my midwife decided to monitor me. I was moving around so much that most of my contractions weren’t picked up, those that were were measure the strength of the contractions of someone pushing. I wasn’t pushing though, not even close. It was 2.45am when they checked me and I was 2cm dilated.
This time I was genuinely devastated. The pain was hitting me in waves of agony and I was exhausted.
So against using pain relief, I wanted an epidural. I couldn’t go through hours and hours of this pain. I needed to sleep and I needed to keep focused.
Until I reached 4cm all I could have was codeine. The doctor prescribed it at 3am. It takes an hour to kick in, I checked the time every contraction waiting for time to pass, waiting for the possibility of a break. Harrison fell asleep in the recliner and I went to the bathroom.
Sitting in there I realised that my contractions we coming faster and with each contraction I was pushing. I couldn’t stop. It was just about to turn 3.15am, I was in the tiny bathroom of our room on labor ward.
I staggered out the bathroom and doubled up over a chair, shouting at Harrison that I couldn’t stop pushing. He called our midwife while I contracted and pushed and panicked.
It felt like such a long time but in reality it can’t have been long at all before Harrison decided that in lieu of the midwife turning up he needed to get someone.
He came back with a doctor who started asking me about my induction, whether my waters had broken and how things felt. Contractions were coming twenty seconds apart, my answers didn’t make much sense they were so disjointed. She checked me over and everything changed, I had to get in the bed NOW. “Your baby is coming and I cannot deliver her next to a bin”. I protested, arguing that I was only 2cm dilated so this couldn’t possibly be happening, yet my body was pushing and I couldn’t control it. I had my first contraction on the bed at 3.27am. Suddenly my mind was focused again and I could make sense of things, as bewildering as they were, through the pain. I don’t know if it was genuine or not but the pain lifted, only slightly, but I could control it unlike before when it felt like it was tearing me apart. The doctor had to reach and pull out the pessary between contractions. My waters hadn’t broken, I could feel feel them surrounding her like they were preventing her from coming out. At 3.30am mid contraction they burst (all over my strawberries) and I felt her almost slip further down as if they really had been obstructing her. Three more contractions. One, I reached down and felt her head. Two, I could feel her moving around, stretching her arms up to her face. Three, she was born, face up with get hands by her ears. At 3.40am. She was straight onto my chest while we left her cord intact till she’d got all the blood then Harrison cut it. All around me people were walking in, talking and cleaning, my midwife came back from her break, another midwife trying to clean the room that was never meant for labor and another bringing in the equipment to weigh Isla and perform the first newborn tests. But all I could focus on was her. This new life on my chest. And I was so amazed. Not even an hour before I was broken and then suddenly she was here. Living, moving, breathing and perfect. And so much like her brother.
And the pain that had been washing over me for hours and hours had gone. Cliches aside, the light, weightless sensation I felt was so alien after months of pain. And I couldn’t believe that this tiny human had moments before been inside me. I’d grown and nourished her for months and suddenly she was in my arms.
Anonymous asked: How do you pronounce your daughters name
Anonymous asked: Why do you refer to Isla as little bird sometimes?
The meaning of Evelyn (which will be her middle name) in Latin is ‘bird’.. In French it’s ‘little bird’..
The meaning of Isla is ‘river’ so I skipped the first name and went onto her middle name when finding a pet name for her.
Anonymous asked: So excited for you, Holly. And it looks like Isla will have the same birthdate as the royal baby :)
Yes I woke up to the news about Kate this morning.. So exciting x
Anonymous asked: You're going to get one of those special "same birthday as royal baby" coins
I know! That would be incredibly chic.
Irrational things I worry about pre-inducion
- what if it takes ages this time and we’re not home for the grocery delivery?
- what if it just takes ages?
- what if I tear this time?
- what if she comes out as a bald, white boy like my dream?
- is that possible?
- they won’t attempt to do a sweep will they? My midwife says they shouldn’t.
- what if she doesn’t latch?
- what if breastfeeding is horrendous this time?
- what if I poo?
Anonymous asked: Did you not want Harrison at the birth? (I didn't really want my s.a or family members to be there myself)
I do want him there.. My plan is for it just to be Harrison and I until we leave the hospital unless we’re there for visiting in which case my mum and Dylan. I don’t want anyone else till we get home.
Today we celebrated my youngest cousins twenty first birthday. Despite having two younger sisters its as if his birthday was a massive milestone for our family.
These two are the daughters of my two older cousins. For such a tight knit, small family it’s rare that we have all of us together.
It was a nice way to spend my last day before Isla comes. Seeing Dylan have fun and play with other children and to just chill out with all the family. My mum took him home with here when we left, the next time I see him he’ll be a big brother. We’re leaving at 8.15 tomorrow morning.
I’m twenty two.
It was strange taking photos and seeing a bump that would be gone in a few days but knowing it would be a lasting memory of my birthday.
It was also strange sitting in my garden surrounded by people drinking Pimms and not having a glass myself.
Today I have probably cleaned too much and rested too little. I have also worried more than usual about how much little bird is moving around. Birthdays make in incredibly anxious.
As everyone left they left with plans for the next few days. My mother with a bag of clothes for Dylan to see him through tomorrow night - Tuesday. Harrison’s parents with an idea of when and if Harrison will stay and when people can visit is. My grandparents with Dylan’s carseat for tomorrow (we’re off to celebrate my cousins 21st) and Islas for when my grandfather is picking us up from the hospital.
Tomorrow when Harrison leaves for work at eleven o’clock he won’t see Dylan again until my mum brings him to the hospital after Isla is born.
This week, Baby is the size of a: Swiss chard
How far along?: 37 weeks 1 day
Due date: 8th August 2013
Total weight gain/loss: I lost a pound making me 112.6lbs
Maternity clothes?: none
Sleep: non existent
Best moment this week: It will be giving birth (fingers crossed my labor goes well)
Movement: Really painful rolls and stretches.
Food cravings: Kiwis and ice poles
Food aversions: Food
Symptoms: Acid reflux, heartburn, sickness, fatigue, ligament pain, fire crotch, leg cramps,back ache, chest pain, palpitations, black outs,dizziness, bad skin, growing boobs and increased anxiety.
Labor Signs: braxton hicks and full blown contractions.
Belly Button in or out?: flat
Feeling toward Pregnancy: I’m so ready for it to be over now. I’m trying not to let it get me down because its basically over.
What I miss: Laying on my stomach.. Also, quite obviously, not being in constant pain.
What I am looking forward to: July 22nd - induction day!!
Milestones: Little bird is full term.
1. What did you want to be whilst growing up?: I always wanted to dance or draw.
2. Would you rather live in the country or the city?: I love the idea of living in the country, owning land and animals and being able to live naturally. But I’m such a city girl, I don’t think I’d cope.
3. Where did you grow up?: London
4. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?: Either fruit cider or champagne.
5. Do you like driving long distances?: Not in the slightest, but maybe that’s just because I’m pregnant.
6. How do you feel about tattoos?: I love tattoos, they’re a massive form of self expression for me. I’m planning two or three new ones at the moment.
7. What’s your biggest concern right now?: That I’m about to welcome my daughter into the world and I don’t know how our little family will adjust.
8. Where have you always wanted to travel to? (no more than 3 places!): Brazil and Texas
9. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?: I have no idea, probably something really stupid.
10. Favorite holiday and why. : Portugal in 2010. It was a complete nightmare of drama and irresponsible behaviour at a terrible part of my life, but it was also my only ‘girls’ holiday and my only holiday where I’ve felt properly free to enjoy myself.
11. What was the happiest moment of your life? : Watching the Spice Girls live.. Ok no, Dylan’s birth.. and Isla’s will join that.
My favorite pieces from Isla’s wardrobe.
Favorite outfits -
The all white one used to be Dylan’s, It was also one of my favorite things I had for him.
The other too are scarily pink, but the cats and cars are super awesome so I’m forgiving the pinkness.
Favorite dresses -
It took me forever to hunt down that party dress. It’s possibly a stupid buy as you can never know if there will be a party to go to, but it’s so beautiful.
The stripey dress was a gift from Amy.. I’m officially obsessed with it and can’t wait till it fits. Dylan had some nautical rompers from h&m so obviously I’ll take matching photos of Isla in this dress then frame them in a double frame.
Favorite sleepsuits -
Favorite tops -
I’ve instagram’d these jumpers so many times. They made me develop a serious obsession with baby knitwear.
The girl with the feather headdress is such a beautiful print to have on a t-shirt. Plus its not pink at all.
I developed this weird obsession with leggings, I have so many pairs the storage box wont close properly (I’m not kidding) the leaf print and animal print ones are by far the most awesome though.
Oh and the mini denim a suede jodhpurs may or may not match a pair that I have.
Favorite coats -
Ok so neither is a coat. In fact one is a cape and it is beautiful and I want her to wear it forever.