The one with the birth story

 So after watching One born every minute, wiping away the tears of relief (that i never have to do that again) and shrugging off the ever so slight pangs of broodiness I decided to share my birth story. I’ve read so many birth stories, some of my favourites on the Gas and Air blog  by lovely Clemmie or @midwifeyhooper as she’s known on the social media scene or Sian at Quite Frankly she said shares lots of beautiful birth stories. 

Before I start the actual birth but let me just fill you in on my pregnancy, it was a much wanted and waited on pregnancy. We took two years to concieve then spent the first 26 weeks of the pregnancy worried about a few niggles, bleeding and fetal growth. By the 3rd tri my body had finally got used to being pregnant and my little bean had decided to do some serious growing.

So my actual story begins on a Wednesday afternoon in June 2015. I’m 37+3 and feeling pretty relaxed. My maternity leave had begun and the weather was glorious. I had a friend over for lunch, we scoffed tea and biscuits and I showed her my maternity leave project- an old pine ottoman that I was sanding down to paint white for a toy storage box. She was giggling as I shovelled biscuits in my mouth with one hand and frantically sanded this box with the other. “You’re going into labour tonight and that box will never get finished” Ha! I laughed, and reminded her that after 2 long years and this being my second pregnancy that I knew my body pretty well and this baby wasn’t making an appearance any time soon. That night the other half was working an overnight shift, his last one he’d promised until after the baby as I was worried about going into labour at home alone with my son. So off he went and I went to bed. 3.10am the following morning I woke to the warm trickle, the momentary panic that my pelvic floor had finally given up the ghost and I was actually just wetting myself subsided and I realised my waters had broken. There was no pop that some people speak of, no massive gush. With my first son my waters were broken for me so I never knew what to expect. So I snuck out of bed (son was sleeping next to me as he often did when daddy was on overnights, more for my comfort than his own I think!) and called baby daddy, he got home and off we went to get me checked out. I was having no contractions at this point but the water was still coming. 

I’d toyed with the idea of the birth centre, only off put being the lack of epidurals! But the midwife reassured me the labour ward was literally across the way so I could move if I decided. So I was examined on a beanbag type thing on the floor, all lovely and very non-surgical but I wasn’t sure if it was for me. I kinda like the security and glamour of hospital gowns and stirrups. The midwife decided it was not my waters at all and that I was just having “increased discharge” (sorry for that, I even cringed typing it) We left feeling pretty deflated with advice to wait and see. I was pretty sure I knew the difference between  water and heavy discharge (sorry again). At home I got into bed with my son and we watched 2 or 3 movies back to back. I was suddenly very aware that these were our last moments together as just us, a family of 3…and lazy movie days with him may be a thing of the past, at least for a while. By 7pm with still no pains I managed to convince A to take me back to the hospital. The water was still coming, I was going back and I refused to leave without a baby this time. On examination they decided and agreed that yes, In fact it was my waters that broke (almost 24 hours ago) and now I was at increased risk of infection they were inducing me there and then! Now I must admit, there was a whiff of “I told you so” in the air.

So off I went to the ward, phoned home to say goodnight to my eldest and delight at the possibility of a new baby sister in the morning! They didn’t have a bed on the labour ward for me yet so we patiently waited for one to become available. All the while I was aware that my waters had been broken for near on 24 hours. We waited and waited, 3am came and went. After this I had to sign some sort of release form stating I understood that my labour had not been started within the 24hours and the reasons were beyond their control etc…all a bit of a blur to be honest! By 8am I was on the labour ward and the induction was started. I had actually started having mild contractions on my own but was so ready to get this going properly. I was exhausted!

Epidural in (amen) Drip going, I managed to relax a little bit. As I was an infection risk I had two midwives by my side the entire time, God bless them! A couple of hours went by and my contractions weren’t progressing as they’d have hoped so they upped the dosage on the drip and we waited some more. They were hoping for 3 contractions in 10 minutes but my body was maxing out at 1-2 every ten mins. It is procedure also to keep internal exams to a minimum when waters have broken early so they’d examined me once at the start and decided once my contractions were more regular they’d examine me again! It was around 11.30am when my lovely lady broke the news that they were struggling to monitor baby’s heart rate so may have to put a clip on her head, now I’d seen this little metal fish hook like contraption in my NCT class and was so not up for this! But I understood it was for the best. We decided to wait another 10 mins or so and then push on (excuse the pun!)

Lying there, tired, dazed, and suddenly very nauseous I proceeded to vomit all over myself and the midwife who passed me a sick bowl just one second too late. Mid-vom my other half poked his head around the corner- “oh my god!” He declared. This was echoed by the two midwives who then hurriedly lifted the sheet covering my legs to reveal a little brown haired, blue skinned baby! Yes ladies and gentlemen, I vomited out my baby. Literally, threw up and out popped my little daughter. Just to set the scene- sick bowl in one hand, baby in the other, legs still all over the shop and blood everywhere. But for the second time, I had found my happy place. The final piece of our puzzle. My other half delighted in telling people that our daughter literally “fell out” but that’s another story.

The following few hours are a blur of visitors, nausea and constantly asking people “am I acting weird?” Convinced all the drugs had sent me to another dimension and everyone was looking at me like I had two heads. My lovely midwives could not get over how my little bundle had arrived and said they had never ever experienced a birth like mine, I vaguely remember telling them I was going to sell my story to Mail Online (lol)

So there you have it, Baby I fell into the world -26th June 2015/12.27pm/7lbs5oz to complete our little family.
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Admission Impossible

 

So the time is looming and I feel nowhere near as prepared or capable as I should be for the challenge. My 10 year old is about to enter his last year of primary school. You know, that cosy, familiar, nurtering bubble. Well that will soon be swapped for a school bag the size of a small car and a blazer ten times too big, bustling halls and public transport. My big fish is soon to become a very very small fish in a bloody huge pond.

I think he’s far more prepared than me, he was sold on the “massive playing fields and swimming pool” at one of the schools we viewed. Glad to see he’s got the fundamentals right. But for me, as for all parents facing the same its so much more than that. This is my baby, my first born about to embark on the next chapter. Secondary school is a huge stepping stone, one that in my opinion begins to mould the person into the type of adult they may become. Shits about to get serious.

So besides getting over the emotional, letting my baby fly the nest stuff (OK, he’s only starting secondary school..not leaving for Afghanistan!) I’m also extremely conscious that living in London puts huge pressure on finding and bagging a place at a decent school. TES.com states that London has the highest proportion of oversubscribed schools – 69 per cent – compared with 52 per cent in South-West England. Read more on this here. Bloody brilliant. My sister lives in Surrey and literally just applied for the local secondary (which happens to be amazing) and her twins got in, along with the other 28 kids from the class. London is fiercely but subtly competitive. I’ve been told to prepare for parents avoiding eye contact at the school gates, not wanting to disclose which schools they’ve applied for, rumours of cash incentives and inside knowledge. Not to mention, being Catholic means a lot of “hoop jumping” to ensure we meet the criteria. I find this a huge pressure as it takes away from the real reason we should be attending church.

We have 4 schools on our wish list, and to be honest I’d be happy with either of them. 3 are single sex schools with great history and reputation but also hugely over subscribed and the fourth is a co-educational, new school. One that was heavily campaigned for by our governers and will practically be a feeder for our current school.

My thoughts range from what if he gets a school none of his friends get to what if we choose a school based purely on an amazing reputation and it just doesn’t get him. Although the “choose” bit of that is a bit of a lie, the only choice we have initially is what schools to write on that bit of paper. That actual choice is made by boards, panels, governers. Anyone but us. Despite how it may sound, I am trying to stay pretty relaxed about it. Ultimately, what will be will be and I’ve said to my son that whatever happens, his happiness is paramount.

What are your thoughts, is it worth the hassle and hoop jumping for a “prestigious” school that looks good on a CV? Or should we get out while we can and move to the countryside?!

A Mum Track Mind