Friday, 20 July 2012

Post Natal DVT - What is DVT?

What is DVT?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot (thrombus) in a deep vein leading to the heart, usually in the legs but sometimes in the upper body such as the abdomen. The blood clot may either block the vein completely or partially.
It is more common in the pregnant, elderly and the obese. Also Post natal women for 6wks after birth.
Women are more prone to it.

What are the Dangers of DVT?
Blood Clots can form in superficial veins (called superficial thrombophlebitis or phlebitis) and in deep veins due to poor blood flow or stasis. Blood clots in superficial veins rarely cause serious problems.
Blood clots in deep veins (deep vein thrombosis) require immediate medical care. These clots are dangerous because they can break loose and then travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (Blockage of a pulmonary artery resulting in damage to the lung supplied by it).
A pulmonary embolism is often life-threatening.
Blood clots most often develop in the calf and thigh veins, and less often in the arm veins or pelvic veins.

(mine is in the Pelvic vein because I'm weird and like to be awkward!!!!)

What causes DVT?
Three major factors play a part in the development of DVT.

1. Venous stasis i.e. the pooling of blood in the veins. This may be the result of immobility, old age or heart failure.

2. Damage of the vein due to trauma or local pressure. Surgery or an injury can damage your blood vessels and cause a clot to form.

3. Increased coagulability (tendency of blood to clot) of the blood which is sometimes seen in clotting disorders, pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives, dehydration or in some cancers.

Sitting for long periods without exercising your leg muscles is a main factor. Passengers in first class seats in a plane have been known to develop DVT. Similarly, DVT has been seen in students sitting for many hours preparing for exams.
Blood clots can form in veins when you are inactive. For example, clots can form if you are paralyzed or bedridden or must sit while on a long flight or car trip. Some people have blood that clots too easily, a problem that may run in families.

What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of DVT include :
1.Pain and tenderness of the affected limb which may become worse especially when standing
2.Swelling of the affected limb
3.Redness and warmth of the area surrounding the blood clot.
If a blood clot is small, it may not cause symptoms.
These symptoms may not be present immediately the clot is formed.
Sometimes it may take up to 2 weeks before the symptoms became apparent.
In some cases, pulmonary embolism is the first sign that you have DVT.

How is DVT Diagnosed?
1. If there is any suspicion that you have DVT, you probably will have an ultrasound test within 24 hours to measure the blood flow through your veins and help find any clots that might be blocking the flow. Unless done within 24 hours, an ultrasound may or may not be able to detect the blood clot . However it is useful in measuring the blood flow through your vein.

2. A venogram is the most accurate of all the tests. However because it requires a doctor to administer it and is invasive unlike an ultrasound, it is only done if ultrasound results are unclear. A venogram is an X-ray test that takes pictures of the blood flow through the veins.

3. Other tests like a MRI will also be able to show the blood clot and the flow of the blood in the vein. Like the ultrasound , it must be done early in order to detect any blood clot.

How is DVT Treated?
Treatment must start right away to reduce the chance that the blood clot will grow or that a piece of the clot might break loose and flow to your lungs.

Treatment for DVT usually involves taking blood thinners (anticoagulants) such as heparin and warfarin. Heparin is given through a vein (intravenously, or IV) or as an injection. Warfarin is given as a pill.
Treatment usually involves taking blood thinners for at least 3 months (6 if above the knee.... like mine) to prevent existing clots from growing.

Anti-coagulants – these are agents which prevent further clot formation and thins the blood. Examples are Heparin injection, warfarin, Plavix, Ticlid, Aspirin
Thrombolytic agents – these are agents which dissolve clots that have already formed. Examples are streptokinase, tPA.

After this first course of blood thinners, your doctor may want you to keep taking a lower dose of warfarin to prevent deep vein clots from happening again. He may need to adjust the dose of your medicine or change the medicine to a lighter blood thinner like Aspirin.
You may need to have blood tests often to see how well the blood thinners are working. (Meaning every 3 days, then weekly, then fortnightly)

It is also recommended that you prop up or elevate your leg when possible, use a heating pad, take walks, and wear tight-fitting stockings. These measures may help reduce the pain and swelling that can happen with DVT.

Rarely a vena cava filter may be inserted into a vein to help prevent blood clots from travelling to the lungs. This device is usually only used if a person is at high risk for pulmonary embolism and is not able to take blood thinners. It may also be used if you have DVT that comes back again or you had a pulmonary embolism while taking blood thinners.

What is the complication of DVT?
Deep vein thrombosis in itself is not that serious. The danger occurs when the blood clot or a part of it breaks off and travels to the lungs where it can block an artery. This complication is called Pulmonary Embolism. It is a life-threatening situation and often ends in fatalities. Emergency medical attention is imperative.
Dislodged clots can travel to other areas and cause stroke or damage to organs depending on where they get lodged. DVT can also cause long-lasting problems. DVT may damage the vein and cause the leg to ache, swell, and change colour. It can also cause leg sores.

How is DVT prevented?
There are things you can do to prevent deep vein thrombosis.
Many doctors recommend that you
1. wear compression stockings during a journey or bed rest longer than 8 hours.
2. avoid sitting in a cramped position for too long
3. Wriggle your toes and move your ankles and knees
4. Massage muscles of the lower limbs
5. Don’t cross your legs or sit on the edge of your seat
6. Get up and walk around at least once an hour if you can
7. Wear loose clothing
8. Avoid stockings or socks with tight bands
9. Drink plenty of water
10. Avoid alcohol & caffeine
11. Don’t smoke
12. Wear special support stockings designed for travelling or hospital stays.

Whilst in Hospital: Make sure you are given support socks (I wasn't until I was in the Labour ward after 90+ hours of bed rest during induction). Make sure if you are at risk the nurses and doctors around you know

On long flights: Walk up and down the aisle hourly, flex and point your feet every 20 minutes while sitting, drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol and beverages with caffeine.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Post Natal DVT - 'This could have been Fatal'

So Yesterday my leg went purple I've not been able to settle or get comfy on my hip for days, laying, standing sitting all hurt, it was so frustrating... I just assumed my body was recovering from Labour and so I just got on with it.

My Mum's reaction...
This morning though, I phoned my mum in a panic as I wasn't sure it was just recovery any more I'd been in agony all night and it was getting slowly more and more purple. My mum, who I use like my very own NHS direct, would normally just calm me down, laugh at me and tell me something herbal like put a tea bag on it, but she sounded panicked! She said I had to go to the Hospital right there and then! She never sounds panicked, she's a nurse she's always seen and done worse, so she never panics like that, it worried me. I told her I would go to the GP first see what she said. I made an appointment and between then and the initial phone call to my mum she rang me 5 times! Hoff began to panic then too. Her words were 'Alice if you leave this and it is a DVT, which I suspect it is, you could die and leave Hoff as a single Dad'. I knew what DVT was. It's a blood clot that can start in the leg and move up and if not treated it could be a killer as it can reach your heart, lungs or brain. The words DVT and the thought of not seeing my kids again and leaving them with no mum, was enough to kick me up the bum. She had been discussing me with her doctor friends and they had said that I should have had injections whilst in hospital, as I was at risk of DVT due to being almost bed ridden throughout my stay! Especially during an 11hr Epidural! Also because my rib condition is an inflammatory disease and post natal DVT is in my family history. They said that it was negligent that they weren't given to me and that there was a lot about my whole experience so far that they'd have all done differently..... Jeeeees how ridiculous if it has been a slip up I will not be happy!

In the back of my head I was still thinking this was just nothing. I was used to them checking me for clots it was my 3rd time in hospital for the same sort of thing but in different parts of my body. This had been the only one that I was exceptionally worried about because it was obvious there wasn't much else it could be. BUT me being me I was trying to ignore it along with the pain. I was not going to panic properly until they say the words 'It's definitely a DVT'. The pain was in my hip and groin though, yeah my leg was swollen and heavy like a DVT but it was really the hip that was hurting, so I thought it was just a trapped nerve or even a fracture! That was getting me through the day.

The GP...
So when I got to the GP she took one look and said 'uhhhh yeah that doesn't look right does it?!'. She is a brilliant GP, she doesn't make me feel silly or small and she listens and understands that if I am going to her I've tried the basics and they haven't worked, or I wouldn't be there, so she jumps straight in to the medical stuff. I hate wasting doctors time so if I feel the need to go to them then it's because I'm actually worried and have tried everything else before getting there. All my GPs in the past have been patronising, dismissing or just generally not interested so she's been a breath of fresh air. She is interested in all the weird and wonderful parts of medicine and so my Teitze syndrome has been more of an interest for her.
Anyway she looked very concerned and she decided after checking me over that I had to go to the DVT clinic at the hospital quite urgently. She said it could be an infection in my hip BUT she wanted to rule out DVT because she's pretty sure that it is indeed a DVT she asked if the hospital had given me any injections during my stay but they hadn't and she looked puzzled...... so my mum was right to be worried and right when she said they should've been giving me the injections whilst in there. Hmmmm had they just forgotten to give them to me? If so... was this all their fault?

But still I was thinking it was just probably an infection, strain or trapped nerve and I was wasting everybody's time but we made our way to the hospital.

The DVT clinic...
I hobbled from the car to the clinic whilst Hoff carried Rocky in the car seat. It's a good job Kyd was still at school or we would have been stuck with both kids in a very small and stuffy waiting room and it wouldn't have been very nice.
The DVT nurse called us in. She was lovely talked me through what they do, took one look at my leg and said 'YEP looks like an above the knee DVT to me, we will send you for a scan right now to see where it is and what we can do next BUT you may have to stay in'.... Oh my godddddd!!!! I am so sick of hospitals. Please god not another stay in. I wasn't willing to leave my 9 day old baby either so I told her I'd have to be put somewhere I could take him with me.... I knew this was a long shot but it was worth a try I'm not leaving him.

The Scan...
We hopped over to the X-ray department and Hoff was looking quite scared. We got there and they saw us quite quickly. She started scanning around my thigh and then my groin... nothing?! but that was where the pain was.... she moved further and further up my stomach and then she asked how old baby was, odd question I thought but she then said my uterus was still quite swollen compared to what it should have been that she'd note it but she thinks they might send me over to gynecology.... something more to add to the list! Joy!
She was rushing around my stomach with the scanner and she soon started doing measurements. She then stopped said it's definitely a DVT and you're really lucky to catch it as it's very high up already. I explained that my mum had used the scare tactic to get me there and she said I owed her a drink she'd saved my life!! She said the words 'This could have been fatal in less than a few days' IT WAS THAT BAD!!! OMG REALLY? The whole it's nothing thing had faded into the background and the panic had set in I looked at Hoff who looked petrified. She said Hop foot it back up there you need urgent treatment. Hoff hurried me out of the door and I sucked up the panic and decided to smile so not to worry him further. My phone rang and I had no signal, all I heard was 'is that Rhys' mum?....' then it went dead.... he was at after school club I thought there was something wrong. So when I got signal I rung them back, much to Hoff's disgust as we were told to go back asap so he was rushing me. Turns out it was Kyd's new Social Worker and she was arranging a time to come and see us, it could have waited after all. Hoff was mad at me for being so flippant with what I'd just been told but I was happy to take in the news slowly it was all happening so quick.

The Decisions...
So the DVT nurse saw me again. I had sent Hoff home to feed Rocky as I couldn't have him fed in a horrid waiting room and collect Kyd and so that I could deal with this in my head as I knew he was worried and that upsets me.
She looked at me smiled and said it's OK we can fix it. I was relatively calm actually, considering I'd just found out I could've died. She explained where the clot was and showed me on a picture. It wasn't far from my heart or lungs really and that sort of brought it home. She was so up beat that it was hard to be worried. She explained I'd have to have blood thinning injections in my stomach for a while until my INR blood levels were between 2 and 3 and that I would be on tablet form of Warfrain, another blood thinner in the form of a pill, for 6 months because it is an above the knee DVT. She informed me I'd have regular blood tests too to make sure my warfrain dose and INR levels are correct. My first blood test had already been done and my next was on Monday morning. She had said that due to the consultant saying there was no need to keep me in if the baby etc would suffer so I could go home. This was really good news but I was worried it was then up to me to keep an eye on my health and maybe the hospital was the best place for me.... but I don't think I could handle that mentally. I don't know what would've been best but I wanted my own house, bed and a cuddle with my boys so I wasn't going to argue. She gave me a canvas bag full of leaflets, needles and Warfrain and went through them bit by bit. She then went on to give me a list of things that I had to ring 999 for or rush to the hospital for.... the list wasn't as small as I thought, I began to get scared.

Injecting Myself...
I've had these before in the hospital when they thought I had a lung clot but I've never done them to myself. For the next few days though this was going to have to be my job.... I was going to have to inject myself!! I'm not squeamish, I don't mind needles or anything like that but to do it to myself made me want to be sick. But needs must... Hoff was in fact squeamish, so I didn't want to ask him to do it I was scaring him enough as it was.
She started the injections there and then so that she could talk me through it, watch me do it and the fact if I didn't I could die! So here we go, I told myself, I watched closely, she made me do it myself and it was quite easy and simple actually but it stang like a...... lol. it bruised quite quickly too but I could deal with that. I just have to do it again tomorrow by myself!!.... I'm scared I'll do it wrong but I have to do it. Man Up Baillie!!!!!

At Home...
So I rung Hoff and told him to come and get me and he rushed back over in the car with the kids in tow. He looked at me with these big eyes and all I could see was fear. He was just a normal man that had been nowhere near the hospital since he was born, yet in the few short years he had been with me he had become regular to the point he could tell you where most departments were. He had been scared to death so many times watching both Me and Kyd suffer and last week Rocky too. Labour was bad enough for him to watch but to hear the words 'this could have been fatal' cut him quite deep I think. I smiled at him knowing inside I wanted to cry and said 'It's fine, I'll be fine' I then distracted myself by talking to Kyd all the way home.

When we got in I went through everything the nurse had said to me. I explained each thing that we had to be aware of and each thing that would be classed as an emergency. He looked even more scared. I felt horrible like I was taking part of his heart out. People forget about the people around when news like this comes in, he was panicked, my mum was panicked and those I'd told that understood it, were panicked too. It can be treated but if we hadn't got to it in time, that's where the scary thoughts were. He had watched me through the most hideous pregnancy, then a horribly long and painful labour and then slowly losing my health up to this diagnosis...... and there was absolutely nothing he could do to help me either. I text a few people around us some info as to what was going on, as I thought they needed to know so that Hoff had help with the kids whatever happened, whether I was in hospital or not. I was going to be out of action for a while, much to my annoyance, so he needed some help. My mum is coming to stay again next week as Hoff was supposed to go to work Monday, his paternity leave is over and we can't afford any more time off, so at least I have someone with us.

I have to go to sleep now, if I can, but tomorrow is a new day...... the first day of the rest of my life.

Post Natal DVT - I don't want to shut my eyes!

I can't sleep.

I don't want to close my eyes.

I'm scared.

I'm in agony.

I don't want to die.

I don't want to leave my kids or fiance.
Or family
Or friends
Or cats..... however sad that may sound.

I don't want to leave my life, even if it is a bit complicated most of the time!

My baby is 9 days old!!!!! He doesn't know me yet he can't be denied knowing his mother! It's not fair. He might not even like me but he doesn't know that yet so it's not fair to take that away from him.
I don't know him yet either I haven't had chance to even bond with him my feet haven't touched the ground yet we've had only a few bloody days of normality in his whole life as we've been in and out of hospital etc.

What would Kyd do? I am all he has ever known. It has been me and him against the world for nearly 10 years. I couldn't imagine trying to explain to him I was never coming back and it wouldn't be me telling him. He wouldn't understand and nobody would understand him and his needs. Hoff knows most of the day to day stuff but his appointments etc are all down to me. He wouldn't have a clue.

I want to watch my kids grow up and get married to Hoff next year as planned. I don't want anybody else bringing my children up or for Hoff to be doing it on his own. I've done it on my own for years and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. He deserves to be happy. They deserve to be happy.... They deserve their mum and soon to be wife!!! However awkward I may be!!!

Why the hell is this happening to me. I have tried so far to not play the woe is me card but I can't stop crying. Hoff is asleep next to me Rocky is on my chest and Kyd is in the next room. I daren't shut my eyes. I daren't go to sleep in case I never see them again. I can't deal with it.

I've ruined Hoff's paternity leave he's not had chance to bond and settle because he's been looking after me! Most of his first week was spent watching me not give birth and the other was watching Rocky not put on weight and then this! He's spent more time in hospital than most of the patients in there have. I feel like I've ruined his first few weeks of being a dad. 

Is this Karma? All those times, when I had PND after having Kyd, that I tried to take my own life after thinking he deserved more... is this pay back? now I want to be alive and I am happy they are going to throw it back at me. Is this my fault then? If this is karma then I deserve everything I get. I took life for granted all those years ago after having Kyd and now they want me to understand how much life really means....

Well I know now! You've made me suffer enough. Please just let my family be happy and me to enjoy the rest of my life and I promise I will appreciate every day of it. I promise.

I will lie awake all night and stare at them. I don't want to lose them. I love them too much.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Rocky: Day 7 - A week ago today!

Can You believe it has been a WHOLE week since you were all sat on Twitter and Facebook asking what the hell was going on?! Why was it taking so long?? and for some it was probably Who the hell is this woman Blogging and Tweeting during her labour across the internet???

Well it was me and it was in fact a whole week ago!!!

A WHOLE week!.... to me it feels like so much longer than a week but then again it has gone by so quick in some ways!

Things are looking up!...
Rocky has put on more weight, so we are slowly heading towards his birth weight. He is waking himself up for feeds now and we have seen his eyes more than once! He is more alert too, it is so lovely! I think the hump is well and truly jumped over now we just need to keep it up!

Things are getting worse!!.....
This has been as crazy as last week, although with a few more smiles than before. I am in agony and I'm not overly sure why now. I know it's only been a week but this ache in my lower back and left hip is getting excruciating. Surely it's supposed to get better rather than worse? Or is it the whole, it gets worse before it gets better thing? Either way I'm not happy AT ALL, I can hardly walk. My ribs on the other hand are a lot better but still painful. I think it's just the bruising now though so the tablets will kick in soon I hope.

Looking back on the last few weeks it's strange to think he was ever inside me but I am so pleased he's not. I love his little face and his odd little field mouse noises! I love that he's as much trouble now as he was inside me but I must admit I prefer it now. I am really freaked out still about the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing and that something is bound to go wrong because this is me BUT I am trying to put that in the back of my head and think of the positives.... nothing else could go wrong surely?! Even I'm not that unlucky.

Here's to the next few days and weeks and months and years.... Welcome to the family Rocky we love you lots xxxx

Monday, 16 July 2012

Rocky: Day 6 - Welcome Home..... Again!

Today I was slightly in a better mood. He had woken all by himself for a feed TWICE! He had taken the full 50ml too on all of his feeds last night. I was sure he'd put on weight this morning but we had to wait and see!

The nurse then came in and weighed him.... with baited breath I was staring at her, praying in my head that she'd say 'You've done it'.... and then she said 'Hold on I'll check.... Yep he's put it on.... not much but he's put on what he lost yesterday!'....... OK so I didn't expect him to have put on a stone or even a whole lb but I expected more than he had done! Boo Hiss.... Anyway a little was more than non I suppose! We were told that we could go home tonight IF he fed well today.... then we would be seen tomorrow by the midwife to check his weight again!

The rest of the day went as follows....
Daddy & Kyd arrive,
Kyd goes to hospital Play Room,
Kyd has my dinner,
Repeat the N, W, F, S routine until we saw the doctor.

This was going quite well, It was boring but it went well! He was waking to feed, latching on to me.... eventually, even if he did drop it a lot and then getting more sleep because of it I THINK WE ARE OVER THE HUMP. But waiting for the doctor wasn't helping my fear that we weren't going home tonight. I decided that as Kyd had school the next day and Hoff had to take him home, we'd need to know asap, as if he left he couldn't come back to get us because Kyd would be in bed! SOOOO I took matters into my own hands and asked the lovely nurse... who we just so happened to know..... and asked her to chase the doctor up on a decision!

DOCTOR'S DECISION... You can go home!! Just keep up with the feeds and ring if there is a problem.

I have never been so ready to leave anywhere so quickly I literally was out and home within 25mins of that decision! We have just got home at 8.30pm.... We had to ask nicely but we got here. I am in agony now I can hardly walk! I HATE CAMP BEDS........ and maybe Labour too! lol I can't wait to sleep in my bed!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Rocky: Day 5 - Hospital part 2... *Yawn*

He doesn't DO being woken up! FACT!

We have tried so hard to wake him enough for him to feed but have hardly got anywhere! He has 5 mins on and off the breast and then he gets frustrated and falls asleep! Then we have to wake him again to give him his top up, which takes the best part of an hour and he only takes about 20ml of the 50ml prescribed and that takes an hour to give him....... By this time he has an hour or less to sleep and we have to start all over again!!! I don't get the full hour either because once I've sorted everything out again and actually fallen asleep I get less than 45mins and I am back on it.....

I was knackered before but now it's a joke! The nurse and I tried everything to wake him to the point we were getting him naked, changing clean nappies, tickling his feet etc etc and I even resorted to flicking a tiny bit of cold water in his face (made me feel evil).... NOTHING!!! If he would just wake enough to feed we would be OK! He could sleep longer undisturbed then and be happy but it's like catch 22 at the moment! My whole body aches! I have had no time to recover from my ridiculously long and painful birth and my 9 months of sleepless nights from rib pain, so my body is crying out for a break. It hates me! It wants me to slow down! I can't slow down, I don't have the time. My back is hurting from this camp bed already and my hips feel like they're trying to squish back into shape! I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be aching this much but according to my friends it's normal..... obviously it is I've just given birth derrrrr.

Hoff Watch...
He feels useless I can see it in his face. At home he had a place in the routine. He knew what to do and we had got into the routine of, I feed, he changes the nappy...... gave him something to do!! Although nappy changing is still available to do during the day and he can feed him the bottle top ups now, he is feeling useless that he has to watch as I am so bloody tired and he can't be there at night in here to help. I feel for him as after watching me give birth and literally scaring him half to death he is now watching me stress out about not sleeping. He looks worried about Rocky too but I keep explaining to him that this is nothing and we'll be back on track eventually.

More Loss??
OMG he's lost more weight!!! Only a little bit of a loss but he's not gained anything!!! He's been eating constantly because we have had to keep waking him up. Yeah OK it's been hell getting it in him but we've done it! The nurse looked as beaten as me! We had tried so bloody hard! Grrrrrrrrrr

Another Night....
KILL ME NOW! Another night in here?!?! On this camp bed? my back is killing me now and my body is slowly destroying itself. I want to cry but I know it's for the best. I just can't see it being any better than last night even though he's eating slightly better today and waking more.Oh well stop with the defeatist attitude... Bring It On Rocky!!

Completely Unaware....
Poor Rocky is completely unaware of just how much his love of sleep was destroying me! Just laying there so peaceful and cute. I should be loving the fact he likes to sleep really, as non sleeping babies and screaming are the biggest complaints of new parents surely! Oh well I'll remind him of it when he's 18 and mentally torture him until guilt turns into money!.... this is a joke by the way I'm not quite that evil..... just yet!

Home Tomorrow?? I bloody hope so!!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Rocky: Day 4 - Back to Hospital for Rocky!

Today the midwife was coming round to weigh his lordship but we don't get told when they're coming as it's a between 9 and 5 type of appointment almost like an Argos delivery lol. We waited all day but we managed to do so much. We had the house back to normal and spick and span, my mum had done all the washing that week so didn't have to worry about that. We had my uncle's birthday gathering this evening, where my family would get to meet Rocky and my Dad was coming to visit too so we had all that to look forward to. Busy evening ahead to make up for missing out yesterday because of  my trip to the hospital.

The midwife turned up at 2,30pm not too bad we thought, as she had come before we had to go out. Only issue with this is that when she weighed Rocky he had lost A LOT of weight. 12.8% of his birth weight to be precise. They usually lose up to 10% of their birth weight by day 3 but anything over is worrying and you are referred to the GP then the Peads assessment unit for tests..... BACK TO THE HOSPITAL WE GO.

I went along thinking they'll set him up a feeding plan and we would be able to make my uncle's birthday and see my dad too... we were then referred to the peads assessment unit. I tried ringing my dad to tell him but his signal was down so I couldn't even leave a message. I was then in a no signal zone too and so I couldn't even text him. I was trying so that he could just go home instead of making the trip all the way to Reading for nothing. I managed to get a message to my uncle and sent Hoff and Kyd over to them so that Kyd didn't miss out on his cake. He loves birthdays and it wasn't fair on him to miss out again so I was on my own and couldn't go and find signal! Dammit! My poor dad appeared at my house with nobody there as Hoff had no signal where he was either and I couldn't get to him to tell him to inform him. He was there for an hour and a half and just sat in his car before he decided to go home.... I bet he was fuming! He isn't now though as I've got hold of him and explained.

Meanwhile in the hospital.... Rocky was being drained of his blood. They tried in his tiny tiny veins in his hand but nothing much was happening apart from a big bruise. So they attacked his heel with a good response. Non of this phases me as I am used to it with Kyd and this didn't go unnoticed by the nurse. Funnily enough both the nurse and the doctor were ones that Kyd has seen many times so they knew who I was..... We had a much better chat about my history with Kyd this time though and they were gob smacked at the age I was when I had had him. I have had a few issues with the nurse in the past as she is very blunt, ignorant and rude..... but I quite like her now I think she thought I was a moron but now she seems to have respect for what I do with him. Rocky on the other hand now hated her for causing him pain it was the first time I'd heard him scream like that since he was born. I was really pleased Hoff wasn't there actually as he wouldn't have dealt with that very well, for most it is distressing, for me it is normal. All the bloods were then sent off and then it was another wait on my hands.

They asked me if I minded them feeding him a formula top up as this was going to have to be on a diet schedule from now until he puts on the weight. Although apparently there was now some discrepancy about how much weight had actually been lost as the hospital scales were different to the midwife's! I'm not really sure what was going on there but there we go. I completely agreed to give him the formula as in my eyes if he needs it he needs it.... but lets take you back to Day 1..... I said then I should give him top ups after each feed did I not??? How fricking frustrating!! If I had done what my gut had told me we wouldn't be in this bloody mess!!!!

Kyd went from my Uncles to Nana Hoff's house as we weren't sure just how long we were going to be and we didn't want him getting bored, worried or scared. off then came back to the hospital to hear that we were having to stay in!

His bloods came back that his Sodium levels were too high due to not feeding fully and that they'd have to keep him in and he would have to have regular obs and a strict 3hr feeding plan......  easier said than done.

So off to the Kid's ward we go! Strange coming here without Kyd! This is his stomping ground and I was hoping Robin wouldn't have to have any trips here any time soon. I did have to beg for a camp bed and luckily they found one. They don't have many and we were late on to the ward so I was very impressed with the nurse for finding one as I had only given birth 4 days ago and my ribs hadn't quite gone away even if they'd died down a lot since having him. I was really grateful although I do think the hospital should provide beds for all the side rooms with cots in in the kids wards as they are quite obviously going to have mummy or daddy with them and a hard upright arm chair isn't really that brilliant for them whilst feeding is it?

Anyway I better go and sleep a little now as we will have to be up soon for a feed.... watch this space!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Rocky: Day 3 - Busy Bee

So today has been sooooo busy! We had Kyd's sports day in the morning as well as Breastfeeding clinic then the GP, a trip to town to meet Aunty Siobhan, then we had another trip to the hospital for me... We don't do things normally in this house! Relaxing doesn't bode well!

Bye Bye Nanny Annie...
So my lovely mummy was heading home after her trip to save me from the slow and negligent doctors in the hospital. She has been on hand for Kyd sitting and been a brilliant help. We were sad to see her go but Kyd especially. We will see her again soon. She needs to go home and sit on the seafront and show the fishermen pictures of her new grandson..... I am slightly jealous.

Sports Day....
So we had to go to sports day obviously as Kyd was so excited. He was over the moon that his little brother was watching him.... on the other hand he was not impressed with the mud caused by the heavy rain the night before. He had slipped up and although he was ok he was not happy at all about being mucky and so was doing a Balotelli (footballer) strop on the field. He got half way through a race and just stopped and said 'nope it's too mucky!!' and walked off to the side! We laughed but his team were not impressed! After showing everyone his little brother again and letting them coo over him he got on with his games..... the ones not in the mud that is. We had to leave slightly early to go to the Breastfeeding clinic but he didn't seem overly bothered.

Breastfeeding Clinic...
We were asked by the midwife before we left the hospital to visit the clinic so that they could check his tongue tie. We went along and had a bit of a wait although it was nice as I got to listen to the other mums and the advice and problems they were having and take it all in. The care assistant just happened to be a local at the pub Red runs so that was really nice, as it meant I was comfortable.... although her staring at my boobs and telling me I had good feeding nipples, felt odd at first. They assessed his Tongue tie and said it wasn't too bad but could cause problems in the near future. We were told that a Dummy (I hate dummies) would help him with his sucking action and would also stretch his tongue at the same time. It feels weird as Kyd had the opposite problem his tongue was too big and floppy and so we had to push it in to strengthen his muscles...... now we are encouraging Rocky to stick it out! Over compensating for each other I think! We were given some advice on latching on with Tongue tie but he wasn't interested. He just likes to sleep and they didn't seem too concerned by that even though I was slightly worried about how much he was getting because he wouldn't wake for food and he fell asleep at the nipple after a few sucks. Bless him I should be pleased he likes sleep surely!

To the GP we go....
So yesterday the Midwife had told me that my Bladder issues since labour weren't really that normal and that she was worried because they didn't check me over before I left the hospital. So she told me I had to go to my GP today and discuss my leakage with her. So today I went to see her.... I wish I hadn't as she told me to go to the hospital again... I'd had enough of that place I did not want to go back and I did not want them to keep me in. I was knackered and petrified of what they were going to say so I put it off. I had plans for the afternoon and the evening and I knew that the evening was now ruined as I'd be there so I was going to make sure that I made my afternoon plans with my sister because I'm stubborn.

Meeting Auntie Siobhan!
Auntie S is a very busy lady, with a very busy job and she was beginning to get upset because she hadn't met Rocky yet. So we took Rocky to her office/prison cell. She was very excited to meet the new arrival to the point that she then went on a tour of the building intruding on everyone she works with. She was much happier knowing she'd managed to see him and we were happy to be out and about with him in our Joolz for the first time! (plus I managed to fit in fixing my lashes.... priorities and all that!)

Back to the Hospital...
So here we are again, I am sat in this bloody room in DAU, except this time I'm not sat plugged in to a monitor as I have the baby sat here with me. It's getting really late and they've not really done much with me because guess what..... the doctors are busy in surgery...... STORY OF MY WEEK SO FAR! I don't mind really as my bladder was nothing compared to a dodgy labour that needs urgent seeing to as lets face it I was there only a few days before... except the doctor was to busy to see me then too and got there just as I managed to fix it myself! Useless lol. Anyway I'm pretty sure they aren't going to do much with me but tell me to do what I've been doing anyway i.e pelvic floor exercises. I have been getting quite upset about the fact I have no control over my bodily functions but I'm not sure they'll be able to do anything about it. I have put it down to the fact I had a Catheter and an Epidural and it might take a little while to gain feeling.

Right well it's 10.00pm and they've said I can go home. They want me to see a physiotherapy on Monday just in case it carries on but other than that I have to... you guessed it.... pelvic floor exercises.

Overwhelmed and tired....
I know that he is only a few days old and most mums feel like this but trying to feed him is a real struggle I am up and down with a few minutes sleep in between he just sleeps all the time. Trying to wake him is like hell he isn't interested at all. I'm sick of that bloody hospital and never want to see it again. I'm in pain but that's just my body recovering and the fact it's not getting any recovery time because we are non stop trying to wake him and then feed him more than a tiny bit, isn't really helping. I had a week of hell after months of hell and I thought it'd be easier after he was born. Not in a niave way though I was expecting no sleep but I assumed that would be because he was crying and hungry not because I was trying to wake him up. I don't think I've really seen his eyes yet. Anyway I'm going to bed, I won't be sleeping but it's worth a try.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Rocky: Day 2 - Hofficially a Royal!

On day 2 most people are relaxing on the sofa with a cuppa and settling in to life as a family... NOT US!!....

Today after the midwife popped by to see how things were going, we registered our baby as a Royal at the Madejski Stadium! (a Reading FC fan not part of the Royal family... although he was born in the same hospital as Kate so he practically is! lol)

The lad in the booth asked for his name and then his date of Birth.... He then looked up shocked as we said 10th July 2012... he said 'what 2 days ago?!' We said Yep! lifted up his car seat and they said 'ahhhh'. We then went to the Club Shop and bought his first Reading FC merchandise a lovely little blanket! (see above). Whilst we were in there the lady from the club took a picture of him to put on their Official Twitter... he's so his Brothers brother!!! Fame at the club already! :rolls eyes:

It was important to us to have him registered as a Royal from day one/two even though he isn't even registered as a person yet lol. Football is a huge part of who we are and we know it will be a huge part of his life too. His namesake Robin Friday is a Royals legend, His family are all Royals, Kyd is a fanatic Royal and Hoff and I met through Football (and the pub)..... so it just had to happen. He had to be lead up the right path in life right from the start, we can't harbour a non Royal in our household I think Kyd would blow up with rage. Uncle Dan would try his hardest to make him a Leeds fan too!! That is just child abuse so now he's registered he has no choice!

Uncle Geepers agrees! He is a Royal through and through and popped by to say Hi to the newbie earlier! A truly Royal orientated first full day at home...

Welcome to the Club Rocky!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Rocky: Day 1 - We get to go Home!!

Look at my beautiful baby! I can't take my eyes off him! Is he actually mine? Someone is going to take him and say 'Hahahaha Gottcha!' in a minute aren't they?!

So yesterday was hard work! Last night wasn't much better. He didn't seem to want to feed, he had a few seconds on the breast then fell asleep. I put it down to him being prem and the fact he must be as tired as me, but the midwife had other ideas. Turns out he's tongue tied! Only slightly but enough for it to be a problem. I had to express my colostrum from my breast into a syringe then drip it into his mouth so he actually got some... this was easier said them done! Obviously at this stage my milk hadn't yet come in so it was just the thick colostrum coming out and there isn't much of that anyway so trying to hand express it then catch the tiny drip into the tiny syringe was more trouble than it was worth! He was latching enough to get a little bit so we just put him on my breast more... I asked the midwife whether bottle feeding would be as hard with a tongue tie and she said no so I thought to myself is this worth it? Should I bottle feed until my milk comes in at least then I'd know how much he was getting. I began to worry about it but was told that breast would be fine if I hand expressed then drip fed at the same time... So I did.

When we got home I decided to top him up with some formula anyway, as I was sure he hadn't eaten enough. I dripped it into his mouth and he wasn't that excited by it but I knew he'd had a few mls more than he'd had breast so he and I were happy. I think I'll start again with the breast tomorrow see how we get on. It's no biggy if he has both breast and formula as long as he's getting enough down him.

When Batman met Robin...
So kyd came into the hospital first to see his new baby brother. He had first dibs on cuddles (although Auntie Lu had sneeked in after her night shift for a quick peek). He took to it like a duck to water. He had a huge smile on his face. After all this time he now had the chance to actually see him in the flesh. He laid down and asked me for the baby, I laid the baby on his chest and he said 'Hello Bobin'. He was so excited. He told me to shhhhh and said he was sleepy so I had to be quiet. I don't think we have much to worry about..... as long as the novelty doesn't wear off!

Going Home...
So we are now ready less than 24hrs after labour to go home!! I was over the moon! After the week I'd had I was ready to sit on my sofa and chill with a cuddle. I had people coming over. Grandparents and family and I was happy enough to let them come and coo over him now as it meant less visits the next day when I knew the adrenaline had worn off and the tiredness had set in. My mum was at home waiting for us as she'd come to help with Kyd. I was so excited about leaving the hospital I was almost bouncing down the hallway. Shame it was thunder and lightning and pelting it down with rain! Is this a sign? Is something going to go wrong? Nahhhhhh..... I'm so superstitious, I annoy myself sometimes!!

It's just so nice to be home! I just want to curl up in a ball and stare at him forever... well until I fall asleep!

Bring on the rest of our lives... As a family!

Introducing Robin Daniel Michael Hassall

Robin Daniel Michael Hassall

Pregnancy Diary: 10/07/12 - Labour - The final push!

OK so obviously I'm writing this after the occasion but this is a run down of the final stage of my labour!

Nearer the end, my epidural had worn off in certain parts so I was in pain. My legs had gone to mush and I was relying on Hoff to move my feet. I was uncomfortable as I felt like I had been sat for too long in one place so my lower back and bum were tingly and numb. I was freaking out a bit about having no control and I was getting more and more frustrated at the fact I was still in bloody labour so long after my waters had broken.

I had my waters broken at 8.30am the midwife said to me 'I think it'll be a quick one, you'll be done by lunch'... lunch time came and nothing was really happening. The hormone drip was making me have contractions and the epidural was masking the pain but other than that I was quite happy.

Progress? What Progress?...
At 1.15 they checked my progress, I held my breath, I thought they were going to say you're nearly there.... NOPE they said 'you're only 2-3cm dilated'... 2-3 what?? Are you serious?? Jesus! I was so disappointed, I held back my tears as much as possible but by that point my brain was in pieces, my ribs were giving in and my body was ready to give up. I tried so hard not to cry but the fact I was nowhere near the end made me feel sick! How the hell was I going to have this bloody baby! They said I had to wait until 5.15pm before they checked me again. I was not happy about waiting what seemed like forever as I had been there since the Friday before after all. At that point demanding a C-Section was looking overly tempting but I don't think it was on offer! So I plodded on regardless.

Unbearable Pain....
I started feeling this pain in my lower belly as the epidural wore off. I tried to hold it back and wait for the next top up but I'd only just gained the feeling in my legs back, even though it was just slightly and was enjoying being able to move them on my own. Only problem is this pain began to get worse. Then not only did it get worse it didn't go away after the top up. Epidurals sometimes miss parts and this just happened to be the part in which the baby was due to sit in for the whole time I was trying to get him out!!! Typical!! It wouldn't go away and it bloody hurt soooooo much!! I started on the Gas and Air and the midwife was starting to get worried by the degree of pain. I wasn't due to be checked out until 5.15pm but it was nearly 5pm and I was getting irregular contractions again. The midwife said they'd check me over earlier than planned and so at 5pm and in agony the midwife looked at me and said 'OK so you're 9.5cm dilated no wonder you're in pain!'

9.5cm dilated!!! They were only expecting me to be 5 or 6cm not almost there!! They told me I had to wait an hour to let him settle and move down a bit more and then I could start pushing! Wuhoo the end was near!

Breathing who needs it?...
I was so relieved but I was also starting to not breathe properly. The pressure on my ribs was beginning to become unbearable. They'd managed to numb the lower part of my ribs with the Epidural but the top half was just as painful as before I went into labour except with the added pressure of the deep breathing. The Gas and Air wasn't working well as I couldn't breathe in too far and I was starting to become breathless with trying.

Less than an hour came and went and I was beginning to freak out about not breathing. How was I going to push with this cracking feeling going on in my chest. It was like being stabbed over and over whilst being stepped on by an elephant. I began to cry and that obviously didn't help. I tried to calm down but it just didn't help. The midwife decided I should start pushing earlier than planned as they planned to start me at 9 but I couldn't wait that long. So there it began.

Push it, Push it, Push it real good!...
I tried to push and I felt nothing. Like I wasn't doing anything. I tried again. Still nothing. I wasn't even sure I was doing anything. Was it even working? Was all this pointless? I asked the midwife and she said that I was doing really well but still I felt like I had got nowhere. I was crying my eyes out and was telling Hoff that I was wanting to die. My chest was going to explode with each push and in my head the baby wasn't going anywhere soon. I held on to the handles of the bed and used them to push. I remember thinking I can't believe I'm doing this' and trying to convince myself that it was going to be worth all the pain. I was trying the positive thinking thing but it wasn't really working.

Hoff Watch...
Hoff was being really good and supportive despite me sticking my fingers up at him whilst he was doing it. I felt for him really. The look on his face was like he felt so useless. I thought he was going to cry too at one point but I think that was more because I was squeezing his hand slightly at one point. He did quite well out of it really, I had promised him I was going to batter him both physically and verbally and so far I had been really nice to him. I think that was worrying him a little bit though like it was the calm before the storm.

No feeling...
I was still pushing and feeling nothing apart from the pain in my chest and the part of me the epidural had missed. I was beginning to lose faith and after a very long time I just melted. I was crying hysterically because I was struggling to breathe. My chest was disintegrating! Think of the pain you might feel in your chest whilst having a heart attack and then the pain you might feel being stabbed in the chest several times whilst your ribs are being cracked from the inside out..... this is what I was feeling at this point. It is hard to imagine or explain and I pray nobody I know ever feels that pain ever in their lives!! It was HELL!! I remember her saying she could see the head and at that point Hoff said 'Is it Ginger??' hahaha I laughed a bit at that point and began to calm down for all of a few seconds. Baby was stuck in that position for a long time too because I couldn't push him out and so the midwife again went to find the doctor. She was busy with another lady so I was in limbo (story of the past week for me really ay?!). I couldn't push any more as my chest was exploding and I could actually feel the head a little bit from what I can remember so it was so frustrating not to be able to help myself and do it properly.

The Final Push....
At 8.30pm I was crying so much the Care Assistant came in to help me as she was worried. Hoff explained to her what was happening and with a big smile she willed me on. Out of nowhere I began to push a little more.... and a little more. I had just had enough of waiting. Waiting for doctors. Waiting for the baby. Waiting for my chest to crack. Waiting for this day to actually come. I looked at Hoff and he looked so scared I felt like I was letting him down not being able to do this. So I just went for it. The midwife was amazed and the care assistant was egging me on, Hoff looked petrified and I was just relieved when I heard the words 'The heads out' then the words 'that's it you've done it!' shouted from the end of the bed. At that moment the doctor put her head round the door and said 'do you need me?'... too bloody late I'd done it myself!!.... again Typical!!

'That's a baby!!'...
As I looked down the midwife was holding the baby in her hands, my tears dried up, my pain in my chest was released in one swift movement and I just couldn't believe I'd done it. I looked at Hoff and said 'That's a baby!!' he smiled and said 'I know!!!' and as he cut the cord my smile grew wider and a final tear rolled down my face. This was it, this was the start of his life and ours as a family. I soon had this amazing baby on my chest. A baby I never thought I would have and one that had defied all genetic odds. I was so happy at that moment that I failed to even notice the fact that I still had no control over my body or that I had failed to even breathe through that last hour or so.... all I could see was this perfect little bundle... and this MASSIVE cord! The midwife was laughing saying it's the biggest she had ever seen! Double the size of a normal baby's cord.... must've been all that bacon. He was a big baby too considering he was 2.5 weeks early! He was put on the scales and he was 7lb12!!! Imagine if he had been on time he'd have been huge!! The midwife just couldn't believe I'd done that last bit on my own she said she didn't understand where it had come from. I amaze myself with my stubbornness sometimes.

So at 8.42pm..... 4 midwives, 1 doctor, 2 anaesthetists, 1 care assistant, 7 epidural top ups and nearly 12hours later.... I managed to produce a baby! Hurrah...

An introduction to the ever awaited #Baihoffbaby will be on the next post....

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 10/07/12 - Labour - Epidural

Day 5 - 8.30am

So he's done the Epidural now.... It wasn't that painful really, awkward and uncomfy but not painful. My ribs on the other hand.... Want to break!

Now it's not unusual for women to have an Epidural during Labour, 30% of them have one during or after. I however, have had to have it done in an odd way.... there is a theme here, nothing I do is ever normal. I had to have mine done whilst laying in an odd position so it would numb my ribs as well as my lower body. This has worked really well so far as much as it was a little bit of an experiment on the Anaesthetists part. I can still feel my ribs but they are in nowhere near the amount of pain as they were an hour ago....

The epidural has worn off several times and I've had several top ups. But now part of it has worn off and hasn't been topped up. Sometimes part of the body is missed by the epidural top ups. This has taken effect in the lower part of my belly where the pain is no doubt the worst.... TYPICAL!! It bloody hurts!! A LOT!! I can feel the contractions and the gas and air is not even touching the pain but it is making me feel slightly better but it's more of a placebo I think.

After Birth Conclusion!
By the time I finished giving birth I had a whopping 7... yes 7.... top ups! I had the Epidural put in 12 hours before I gave birth. I couldn't feel my legs at all and they were so heavy I had to get others to move them. I was really uncomfy and numb like I'd been sat for too long in one place... mainly because I had been... I felt very uncertain about not having any control of my body too it was quite a scary feeling! It did help my ribs and it did help with the pain until the lower part wore off but I wasn't really that thrilled when I realised I had no control at all... I think I was just freaking out due to the drugs etc.

Here is some info about Epidurals taken from

What is an epidural?
During an epidural, painkilling drugs are passed into the small of your back via a fine tube. It is a regional anaesthetic, so the drug is injected around the nerves that carry signals from the part of your body that feels pain in labour. It will numb your belly and provide you with very effective pain relief

How is an epidural given?  
An anaesthetist will give an injection in the lower back and then guide a hollow needle between the small bones in the spine. The needle goes into the space between the layers of tissue in the spinal column (the epidural space). A fine tube (catheter) is then passed through the needle and the needle is removed. The tube is taped up your back and over your shoulder.

Injection with top-ups
Painkillers are injected into the tube to numb the lower part of the tummy, and the contractions should no longer be painful. As the epidural begins to wear off, you can have top-ups which last between one hour and two hours.

How does it work?
The anaesthetic deadens the nerves which are carrying pain signals from the uterus (womb) and cervix to the brain. Most hospitals use low-dose epidurals which contain a mixture of painkilling drugs, usually a local anaesthetic, bupivacaine or levobupivacaine, and an opioid (fentanyl). A low-dose epidural may allow the patient to have some sensation in the legs and feet. However, only a mobile epidural, which requires extra staff to monitor, allows the patient to move about.

When should you have it?
You can have an epidural at any point in your labour. Most women request it when their contractions are getting strong, often when their cervix has dilated to about 5cm (2in) or 6cm (2.4in).
You may be offered an epidural if your labour has to be speeded up with a Syntocinon drip. This is a synthetic version of the hormone oxytocin, which makes your cervix dilate and your contractions intensify. You may need extra pain relief, because this can make your contractions difficult to cope with.
Once your epidural is in place it can stay in until after your baby is born and your placenta is delivered. It can also provide pain relief after the birth if you need stitches.

How might an epidural affect my baby?
If your blood pressure drops, it may affect the flow of oxygen to your baby. Before starting your epidural a small tube (intravenous cannula) will be inserted into your hand or arm. This is so fluids and drugs can be fed through if your blood pressure falls later on.
Epidural solutions contain the opioid fentanyl, or a similar drug, which can cross the placenta. In larger doses (more than 100 micrograms), these drugs may affect your baby's breathing, or make him drowsy. 

 For more info about the Pros and Cons of Epidurals take a look at the Babycentre website here.

Pregnancy Diary: 10/07/12 - DAY 5 - Today's the day!

Day 5 4.15 Get called down to labour ward. 6.15 Complications with breaking waters. I was only a 1cm dilated still and technically I needed to be 2cm. The doc did say to me yesterday it might be hard to break them and that they were quite far back but the midwife today looked worried. She even suggested if the doc tried and couldn't do it that we would have to have another pessary and wait 24hrs AGAIN. I told her to sod off, in a nice way obviously. I said I wasn't leaving here without a baby even if it meant a c-section. She said that was an option I said DO IT! Hahahaha I'm not going backwards. Sod that!!! Anyway scrap all that the doctor did it, it hurt but she did it. It was like turning a tap on. Hoff said 'who said there was a hose pipe ban?' which made me laugh.... And with the laughter came more water. Hoff looks freaked out. We've changed the pad so many times they've had to get more supplies. It just doesn't want to stop. I casually called my mum during all this to make sure she was waking Kyd up for school. She wasn't phased by the fact I said 'I'm currently leaking' lol. 8.15 I'm on the drip. It's up to 16 which means nothing to me. Monitor is looking good though contractions are getting stronger and stronger. Anaethetist is on his way to give me an Epidural..... This is all really happening now ay!!!!! Alice xxxx

Monday, 9 July 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 09/07/12 - Labour Day 4 Part 2

Day 4
9.30pm... 86hrs in!!!!

The Final Countdown.... we hope!

OK so we don't no when 'next' really is but it's better than knowing there is a queue and not knowing who or what is in front of you in the queue!! It is, in my head, PROGRESS!

A Rollercoaster of Emotions
I think if this was a few days ago I'd have been bloody nervous about going down to have the waters broken but tonight I seem to have this air of calm about me. I have gone from overly nervous and happy on Friday, to irritated and disappointed Saturday, to positive and happy to anxious and irritated and damn right annoyed on Sunday, to this calm and collected human being who is just happy that the end is near today! I think by the time I've finished and left this hospital I'd have ticked every box on a list of emotions. I expect that after the birth I will be overwhelmed and extatic about my new born baby boy and in pieces and exhausted all at the same time. A rollercoaster of love... not quite, a rollercoaster of pain that ends in love is more like it. It's like adding the love tunnel at a fair ground to the beginining and the end of the Saw ride at Thorpe Park and making the Saw bit last for the best part of a week. I feel sick with misery and torture but overwhelmed with love at the thought of holding my baby at the end....... does any of that make sense to anyone other than me? If not just ignore this paragraph and move on to the next!

The New Waiting Game
So today saw a new waiting game, we weren't waiting on the doctors we were waiting for a slot to open up in the delivery suite so they could break my waters. These slots have been like gold dust this weekend apparently so in a way I'm glad I'd been held back until now (i'm not in any way glad but I'm trying to be nice). There were a few women in front of me waiting and then all the emergancies would obviously take priority over us. It seems like it could be a long wait but I was told an hour ago I was now 'front of the queue' so we need to pray that no other women have come into the ward downstairs needing attention so I can jump into a bed when someone pops out their baby. I'm going to admit, I know that I'm not going to be able to help but but think 'selfish bitch' when I see/know of a women jumping in a bed in front of me in the queue but they don't know how long I've been waiting.... I'll happily tell them though 86 HOURS!!! and counting!!! It's like waiting in line for the last few tickets at a gig then someone famous pops up and gets moved to the front of the queue and then they sell the last one to the person infront of you so you don't get yours.... I know that is a little in depth but this is how I see it lol.

We are still going to be waiting for a while but we will be ready and waiting for them what ever time ofnight it is!! BRING ON THE WATER RIDE!!

The Plan
OK so we've now waited 86hrs for this monkey to be born and this process to all happen. The whole point of me being induced was because I needed to ease the pressure on my ribs and therefore ease the pain I was in. I needed a plan of action for when the time came for the pain and the back up plan for if my ribs couldn't take the pressure of the child birth. We didn't seem to have this until this morning and guess what the aneathetist said was the plan...... 'we just need to wait and see what happens and deal with it as it comes'...... are you serious woman? I could've built that plan up myself in fact I think you'll find that is my original birth plan. Apparently they won't know what will help until they do it as they don't know how the ribs will react. I do..... they'll bloody hurt and the pain killers will bypass them like they normally do and I will struggle to breathe through the pain.

I know I'm a rare case but these people are so contradicting of themselves its amazing. It's amazing the difference between the changes of shifts, one says this the next says that... they all say nothing much really. Each doctor has had no idea what it was I had or how it effected me but all thought they've known best by just guessing. Both aneathetists have known (one more than the other) but contradicted what eachother has said in terms of help at the time of child birth and in general. One told me to steer clear of Opium based pain relief as it wouldn't help me as it would bypass the pain because the cause of it is viral and if taken regularly before birth it would harm the baby. The other was insistant that although it wouldn't take the pain away it would take me away from the pain.... but never once suggested it would harm the baby. One said an epidural would help as it would numb part of my rib cage and the other said it wouldn't do anything. They also didn't really make much sense as one said it was going to be hard to deliver him without it being overly painful and that I was amazing for getting to the point I did without demanding they got the baby out earlier. Today the lady said to the midwife that it can't be too much of a bad case as I would never have made it through the past few months without further problems.... I'VE HAD LOADS OF PROBLEMS I JUST KNEW THERE WAS NOTHING YOU COUL DO! Why did she not ask me if I'd coped? Why did she only make that comment to the midwife away from my ears? I'd have told her what I'd been going through and happily shown her by hitting her hard in the ribs with a sledge hammer and standing over her proding it constantly for 24 hours a day! If she whinged I'd tell her she was boring me and it couldn't be that bad and then see what and how she feels about it....... Is that a bit harsh? It might be a little bit but to be honest she annoyed me! I liked the first bloke he not only wnet into detail about it he put in place something for afterwards and talked me through it. She has just written the plan as 'go with the flow' billiant..... let's do that shall we! I can't see why not? *rolls eyes*

Hoff Watch
When asked how he was feeling he said 'I forgot my swimming shorts'.... lol he's a geek. He is excited and nervous and worried about the not knowing when it will happen. It could be any time during the night he said.... I think he's worried about his sleep more than anything! I think he's pooing his pants a little but he's going to be fine. He needs to be more worried about what I'm going to do or say to him in the pushing process than anything else. Poor boy isn't going to know what's hit him.... well he is it'll be my fist! hahahahahaha (just kidding I'll try and use something sft if I get the erge to punch him).

Pain Rating
Out of 10 right now is about an 8 or a 9. I have an ice cold nurses glove laying on my rib for pain relief and I am staring at my codeine as I really need to take it really before I ge told off. The wird thing is I know this will be a 10 as soon as we go down to the labour ward so I'm embracing the ease of this pain in preperation for the horrid rise to a 10!

Right time to get some rest I am hoping and praying that the next time I update this I'll be in the labour ward trying to istract myself or I may even have the baby in my arms whilst typing..... You never know!!

Pregnancy Diary: 09/07/12 - Labour - Day 4


What a morning!!
Turns out during the night my mum rang up the ward and had words with the staff. She is a nurse and was actually on a night shift herself in Scarborough when I text her in pieces explaining what was, or to be better put wasn't, happening. She tried to ring me but I'm no good at talking when I'm crying I generally can't be understood, so I told her as much and so she began to worry. She decided to phone up the ward and work out for herself what was happening..... She wasn't happy! She told them what for I think as they have been scarily attentive this morning Super grANN (her name is Ann). I woke up at 6am had my obs done as usual and took more codeine as usual, nothing new there. The midwife told me my mum had rung the ward etc which made me laugh a little. I was still puffy eyed from crying and I still felt really down. She reassured me that she had spoken to the doctors and today I'd be seen for definite. It had been 48 hrs after all and this was not on really, however busy they had been, it was technically patient neglect.

Breakfast Buddy
Kyd had been staying with family and was being dropped off here before school. I got to have breakfast with him in the breakfast room with the other mums and tiny babies! and i got a well needed cuddle. I'd not seen him since Friday afternoon and that was only briefly. I missed his fat little face and his cheeky grin. The only comfort I had was the little gruffalo teddy he'd bought me in on the Friday. He was happy as Larry, whoever Larry is. During breakfast the midwife appeared and said 'doctor is coming to see you bang on 9.30am and is going to examine you, so be ready' I was so relieved to hear this!!!! 'Whoop progress' I said to the mums on the the table and they all laughed. Hoff then appeared ready to take Kyd to school and was told to be back before 9.30 or he was done for lol.... He had to rush then poor bloke.

Mad Rush
In between him leaving and coming back I had my obs done again, the midwife listened to baby and a doctor appreared to do my ECG the anaesthetist had asked for on Saturday. It was like they were coming at me from all angles all of a sudden. I had a wash got changed and was ready for the doctor to FINALLY examine me for the first time in 48hrs.

Doctor arrives (only 21hrs late)
She was a grumpy woman but she got the job done. She explained that she would do another pessary if necessary but she hoped she'd be able to just be able to send me to labour ward for them to break my waters. I tell you what, it bloody hurt when she examined me. She was having a good old rummage in there and I couldn't breathe as it was but that and the position i was put in wasn't helping. She did a stretch and sweep and said although my cervix was no further dilated she had pulled it forward and it was possible to break my waters BUT it would be really difficult and quite painful as it was very far back. We agreed it was worth it as the only other option was another 24hrs with a pessary which may not work again.... Uh I'll man up and take the pain if it means being further on in the process as after all we were in hour 74 of being there..... The words that came next worried me though. 'Don't get too excited you may be ready but you are in a queue and the women in front of you have been waiting ALL WEEKEND!'....... WHAT?????? FFS are you serious!

Looking forward
Well something is better than nothing I suppose and lets face it yesterday I wasn't even in the queue!!! Hopefully we don't have too much time in the queue but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.... Or rather the baby can see the light at the end of his tunnel!

Still more updates to come.
I really wasn't expecting this to be such a long drawn out experience for you all so I apologise now if it's boring you.... But on the bright side it's not you going through it so you can't complain!

You can get your live updates via Twitter at #BaihoffBaby

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 08/07/12 - Labour - Day 3 Part 2

DAY 3 - PART 2

What's the point of being here A whole 12 hours after the doctor was supposed to do his ward round, examine me and put another pessary in and I'm still waiting for him to turn up. I know these places get busy and I know it's not their fault and for the first 10 hrs I was quite forgiving of them because of that. I even felt sorry for them. Now however I'm fuming. I was made to wait 24hrs after the first pessary failed to work even though my consultant had quite clearly said we need to get him out ASAP to ease the pressure. I was annoyed at that but my confidence and patience with the professionals said go with the flow, so I got on with it. I gotv on with bit thinking I'd have the next pessary put in this morning so all was good. I woke up full of confidence, full of positivity and faith that today was a good day and that this pessary would get us somewhere.... I think it would've done if they'd actually put one in!! The midwife said she was the only one on duty for the whole ward as the others were called to help in the delivery suite. I felt really sorry for her she lookedv panicked. I understood that the ward round might be late as the registrar was also down there. So I waited and waited and waited..... Eventually I asked what was going on and they said they didn't know but he'd be up shortly. So I waited and waited and eventually I asked again..... He was up then went back down again and we aren't sure what's happening. I was in agony by this point and was in no mood to argue so went back to my room and cried. Why could the midwife not examine me herself and see if I was far enough gone for my waters to be broken. If not she could put the pessary in with the say so of the doctor by phone. He knew he had no time to come up so instead of making everyone else suffer why couldn't he delicate to the other competent staff who do this regularly anyway? But no they hadc to wait keeping me and many others on the ward in pain or agony waiting. Even the midwives couldn't understand it.

Losing my plug
My plug went just after lunch which excited me as I thought this meant my body wash getting ready naturally and I'd be far enough gone to have my waters broken when next examined..... NOPE false hope. Hours later a new midwife on duty stomped her feet and was able to examine me and others herself on the say so of the doctor. I was no further dilated than on Friday morning at 7.30am meaning the past few days had been wasted and pointless just as I'd suspected. 'we still can't break your waters' were her words and 'we will have to wait for the doc to do another pessary and we don't know when that will be'.

Losing my faith
I broke down in tears. I was screaming in my head. what a waste of time and effort. If he had put the 2nd pessary straight in this wouldn't have been a problem. It even says in my notes to do that but he said no. I was happy to wait on his say so but only on the understanding that one would be put in in the morning.... It was now 8pm. She insisted he was coming straight up after a c section he was doing so would be 40 minutes. I knew it would never happen so why promise it. I've lost all faith in this system now they. Have no idea what they're doing.

My body is ready to give up and despite my best efforts with positive thinking etc today I'm now a complete wreck again. I have knives being stabbed in my chest with every breath I take, every move the baby makes you can add another knife blade and every contraction you may as well be hacking me open from the ribs down. I've smiled through this for months and I've now got to the point my body is saying no more. I don't expect people to understand or even sympathise but I do expect a medical professional to at least read my notes before making decisions about why I'm there. This is not a normal induction and as the anaesthetist said yesterday this is a rare case that could teach them all something new to look out for. It's hard to say what they should do when nothing is written down to help them but maybe listening and doing a little research may be part of your job as a doctor! Just a quick glance at my notes or a quick google search for the registrar would have given him a slight understanding of what was going on but instead he left me to suffer more through pure ignorance to the situation. I may as well have been at home and not started this whole thing at all and got on with the suffering in silence.

A glimmer of hope
Whilst writing this the midwife I've had each night I've been here came to do my obs and give me my codeine. She asked why I was crying and in my cryey voice I explained my frustration and anger. Its almost as if She had gone home and googled Teitze Syndrome so that she understood it enough to treat me. She said from what she understood that I was holding in the pain and that she was going to suggest some things to the doctor. She rung him to ask him to come up at any time in the night and have a word about the next step for me and that she thought that the pressure involved in child birth would be too much for my ribs so c-section was surely the answer. She said she couldn't see them leaving me much longer but tomorrow was a new day and she would fight my corner. I love that she had gone away and done something about it, she was at least trying to understand and for a short time I have stopped crying. I am going to try and sleep now my whole body is exhausted. I sleep in hope that they wake me and tell me what I want to hear.... We will get him out and fix you now.

Hoff watch
I've sent Hoff home to get some sleep he didn't want to leave me but I hate crying in front of him and I couldn't stop. He will get a good nights sleep at least and he will feel better for it in the morning. It's been a long few days for him too and feeling useless and unable to help me is a horrible thing to go through. I feel for him. I am praying tomorrow is a better day..... But I doubt it.

Pregnancy Diary: 08/07/12 - Labour - Day 3

Day 3 -

Day 3 in the Little Brother house and baby is still soundly sleeping whilst his parents try desperately to move the little blighter!....


I'm feeling very chipper this morning, no idea why either, I should be stressed or worried or anxious.... But nope the only word to describe my mood is 'chipper'. Last night I woke up on the hour every hour to change position because of my ribs but in between that I slept soundly, without drugs. I definitely needed it and I needed to feel in control this time as the night before I felt like anything could've happend and I wouldn't have had a clue. I was in pain but I felt like I could manage it better mentally as I was in a better frame of mind.

Positive mental attitude
I woke up this morning and felt like today was a new day. Today was the day where anything or nothing could happen..... A bit like yesterday and the day before really but today I was prepared for it. I woke Hoff up from his rather uncomfy chair and told him I was ready for this. He looked confused and dazed and whispered something about his back hurting and then looked at me waiting for a death stare or a snarky comment, but I just smiled and said 'that almost makes me feel better' he smiled with an almost 'welcome back' smile and kissed me on the head. I think what has helped is that I know the professionals on duty today knew what was going on and I have every faith that they'd see me through. Where as yesterday I felt quite alone and confused as to why nobody really understood.

Wise words
A reader said to me on a comment last night that baby will come when he and his surroundings are ready and that baby obviously knew that nobody was around that understood before, so he decided to stay put until there was. I like this idea. It made me smile and think yeah you're probably right after all this was my baby and like me he will do what he wants when he sees fit.... Stubbornness runs in the family.

A wise old wizard once said to me 'everything happens for a reason and at its on pace and in its own time, fate can not be rushed' (you know who you are wizard)

So now what?
Well now, I eat breakfast. I've got up, rearranged the room, had a wash, re applied my make up, done my hair, smiled a lot and generally felt better. Ward round is at 11am as its Sunday so the new and exciting day starts then when the new 'working' Pessary is put into play..... After that? Who knows??? Let's just go with the flow he'll be here soon enough.