20th may 2014: birth story

20 years on from the last day my mum was alive. ……

On monday 19th May my mother in law was discharged following a stay in hospital. My husband said to bump “nanny is home now you can come out whever you are ready.

Tuesday 20th May i woke up at the normal time, the alarm was going off and i felt the need to wee as per normal. Imanaged to get up with the usual struggle as hips were painful. My knickers felt wet, but not soaking…. as i limped to the bathroom a trickle dipped down my leg, i got to the loo and had a puddle in my knickers. I sat on the loo and went for a wee. I returned to the bedroom and told Ryan that i suspected my waters might have gone, but i wasnt sure….. i dont think i had wet myself, it didnt smell like wee and i had still done a wee on the toilet which surely if i had just wet myself i wouldnt have been able to do? I wasnt having contractions so asked ryan if he could take my son into school so i could relax but that he wasnt to worry and could go off to work just keep his phone on and dont go too far.

Ryan left on the school run at 8:30…… at 9:05 i sent him a text letting him know that i was having mild contractions that i had had 6 in the past hour.  I rang midwife to come and check me over….she arrived at 9:45 and confirmed i was in labour. I had my inlaws and my dad turn up, sent father in  law and my dad out to get the dogs walked. I sent Ryan a text at about 10am to let him know that i was in labour….. and he came home.

My midwife left as contrations were irregular and manageable….. however within 45 minutes Ryan was phoning her back. Contractions were less than 5 minutes apart, lasting more than a minute and i was breathing through them. I was sat on my ball watching dennis leary but the need to poo was quite intense.

I went upstairs to try and empty my bowel with no luck, but could not make it back downstairs. Midwives arrived as i was coming out of the bathroom. Ryan had set up bedroom with shower curtain on the bed, got the home birth box out and put my wise hippo birthing tracks playing through the sonos.  I went into my bedroom and lay on my side on the bed with a pillow between my legs and entered into my relaxing place. Midwife examined me and i was 5-6 cm with bulging front waters, meaning that it was my hind waters which had ruptured.

I was using my tens machine and my hypnobirthing. Ryan was amazing, crouched down next to the bed in front of me, he was soothing me through my contractions, keeping me centred and allowing me to doze off between contractions.

After a while i became aware that the midwife seemed restless. She started talking about me not progressing and nothing happening and that she wanted me upright and moving around. I told her that contractions were alot more intense and that the pressure to push was there. She seemed to dismiss my comments as i “looked so relaxed”.

Fortunately Ryan was supportive of what i was saying and was able to insist that they examine me again before insisting that i wasnt progressing. They had tried to argue that normally they would not examine again until 4 hours and it had only been just after 3, but if they wanted me more mobile then they needed a reason. 

Upon a further examination i was found to be 9.9 cm. Waters were still bulging like mad with every contraction. We were waiting for waters to rupture.

Josh got home from school and came running up the stairs to see me, he had expressed that he wanted to be present for the birth. The following contraction saw my waters break with a gush. They splashed everyone and spread all across the bed, 5 minutes later Nicholas Lloyd Gray entered the world at 3:45 after a 4 hr 55 minute 1st stage. Weighing 8lb 15.9oz. We are convinced he was waiting for his big brother to arrive. He wantd his full audience.

I lost more blood than was ideal but not enough to warrent a transfer luckily. I managed with no gas and air, we delayed the cord and were able to use our cord ties. Ryan cut the cord and i was able to have a natural 3rd stage in 30 minutes.

All grandparents were just downstairs so were able to come and meet him straight away with his brother and sister which was lovely. He was surrounded by so much love in the room.

I felt very lightheaded after loosing so much blood…… Ryan had to help me get in the bath later in the night.


The following 3 days i had smoothies made with the placenta.

Frozen mixed berries, banana, peanut butter ice cream, milk and several inch cubed chunks of raw placenta. Some people are grossed out by this but i honestly think it aided my recovery. I have 3 small pots with little chunks of placenta still in the freeser so that if i need a boost then i can have it.

Little Nicky has unilateral talipes as we knew, at 2 days old the referral was sent from Watford to stanmore so we are now waiting to hear from stanmore to begin treatment.

He is an absolute sweetheart, gorgeous. I cant stop looking at him. He is feeding well, a right little booby monster. In his first week he only lost 2.9oz, which the midwife was very happy with. He is currently in disposable nappies to allow me to recover and us to establish a routine before we move to cloth……

He does love the ring sling though. We have been out baby wearing a couple of times already he seems much happier being worn than he does in his pram….. and he is co sleeping. His bedside crib makes and excellant table to hold nappies, wipes, drink, breastpads etc for easy access through the night, he gets held. There is nothing like waking up to his lovely face.


cheeky baby

cheeky baby

My favourite photo from our 3d scan of baby sticking its tongue out. We had to let the sonographer know that we did not wish to know the sex before the scan started so that she could find babys face before turning the big screen on for us.

Babys bedroom

Babys bedroom

Babys nursery, painted and good to go. Worked on by the whole family. Daddy and big sister alana painted the hills, mummy and grandad painted the trees and mummy, daddy, alana and big brother joshua all helped with the placement of the stickers……..

Expecting a baby : thoughts, feelings and plans the whole 9 months.

Ok, so I have decided to blog about this part of my parenting journey. I suppose i need to start with some background information.

I am 29, mother of 2. I have a daughter, Alana who is 12 and a son, Josh who is 9. I breastfed and co slept with them both. Though my parenting has always had an attachment feel i would say i was more of an accidental attached parent. I co slept because i was single and because it was easier, and because a couple of times i fell asleep while breastfeeding on my bed and this scared me into ensuring that if i was going to do it then i was going to do it safely. I breastfed because to me it seemed easier than worrying about sterilising and mixing etc…..

I am very happy with most of the decisions that i made and how my children have grown up. They are both strong willed, intelligent and independantand we have avery close bond as a family.

When i got married to my husband in 2012 and we decided that we were going to try for a 3rd baby to complete our family i was already decided that i would want to opt for a home birth, we also agreed that we would not find out the sex of the baby etc…. All other decisions were made during pregnancy.

In June 2012 i got a bfp, we were over the moon. Very sadly that baby was not meant to be and i miscarried at 7 weeks. We continued to try and it took us until september 2013 before we got another bfp. This one was totally unexpected.

I had been diagnosed with PCOS and had managed to convince myself that another baby was not to be. I took up pole dancing as a hobby and worked on my physical fitness with boxercise, pole and kettlebells and weights. On september 14th I took part in a charity skydive to raise money for the Hospice of st francis. I signed the health form confirming that i was not pregnant and off i went. It was an amazing experince. The hospice means a lot to my family. My mother passed away there 20 yrs ago this coming may and my husbands nan had passed away there in may 2012, so i was proud to be able to take part in raising so much money for them.

On the 23rd September, I had a terrible day. From start to finish! Horrible wake up forever to be known as the day of the hornet (sitting on the loo to then see a massive hornet flying around bathroom when you already suffer from big phobia of flying things = not at all good) and it went bad to worse at work, then at home….. basically by the time my darling husband arrived home i collapsed into tears. Ryan simply commented that i must be “due on or something”….. and i remember feeling so unsuported and frustrated that actually i had just had a terrible day! my tears were not hormone related!!

The following day it occured to me that actually maybe he was right, i checked, i had been due on the week previously and had missed a period. On 24th september 10 days after my skydive we discovered i was pregnant!!

Next came the news of due dates…… 25th may! Mums birthday would have been 24th May and my mum had passed away on 21st may… this would be the 20yr anniversary…. more was to come, it was the first weekend in may that we had been told my mum was terminally ill…..the second week in may ryans nan had passed away….oh my, all these dates!!! It became something for us to laugh and smile about as i informed my dad that ity was clearly mums way of telling him that 20yrs of being miserable in may was clearly long enough and he needed something happy to focus on again!

So thats how we have come to look at this baby. A gift from my mum to say enough is enough, smile!

During the pregnancy i have researched and have made the decision to try my hand at cloth bumming and baby wearing as well as co sleeping and breastfeeding. However at our 20 week scan baby was found to have unilateral talipes which will likely need treatment……. I have researched into this treatment and plan to continue my plans for attached parenting even if it may be more difficult.

I plan to keep this blog of our journey as a family so that others can share my thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Love and hugs.