Saturday, 9 June 2018

Welcome to the world, baby Addison Mae!

I can't believe Addison has already been with us for one month! so it is time to crack on with the birth story! On Wednesday morning (9th May) I woke up with a rather dull ache in my lower back.  I mentioned to Byron that this could possibly be the start of something, since it's how I remember things happening with Ella's birth last time around.  He had to go to a forest in Peebles that morning (over an hour away) and so he said he wouldn't go just incase, but by about 10am the ache had gone away and so I told him to go for it and that nothing would be happening today! 

By about 3pm the pains had returned, and at 4pm when I collected Ella from nursery they were feeling more sore.  We popped to Sainsbury's to get some bits for dinner, and I had to stop a few times walking around Sainsbury's as the pain was stopping me in my tracks.  When I got home I remember I had to google what does a contraction feel like!! I thought they were a tightening of your stomach so wasn't sure what I was feeling in my back was even a contraction! (you would think I hadn't done this before!) We got home and I started cooking dinner, By got home at about 5.30 and I had decided it was time to put my tens machine to use.  I started timing my contractions and when they were 5 mins apart I called triage.  They asked if my waters had broken or if anything else had happened aside from feeling contractions and I said no so I expected them to tell me not to come in yet but was very excited when they said I could go to hospital! 

We dropped Ella off at her bestie from nursery Te Maia's house for a little sleepover! I was so grateful to my friend Jo for voluntarily asking me one day if they could help with Ella when I went into labour, because up until that point I had no clue what I was going to do with her!! I joked with By that I didn't know if Ella was more excited about an imminent arrival of a new baby or the fact she got to have a sleepover with Te Maia! I'm thinking it was the latter! She ran out the door so fast with her little backpack and sleeping bag, and I felt the strangest mix of emotions knowing that the next time I would see her we would be a family of 4! We dropped Milo off at our friend Rich and Jenny's house en route to the hospital and then we were off to have a baby! 

We arrived at the hospital at 9:10pm.  I had told them earlier on the phone that my last birth was a water birth so they had filled the pool in anticipation of my arrival.  They took us into the room with the pool in and did an examination.  I was only at 2cm so they suggested going down to the maternity ward until I progressed further (apparently the head midwife had originally wanted to send me back home at this point, thank goodness she didn't!) Amy, our midwife, then said that by the time she typed up my notes and since they didn't need the birthing pool for anyone else we might as well just stay in the room.  She said she would come back in an hour to check on us, so I hopped on my birthing ball and ramped up the intensity on my tens machine and Byron started looking up baby names on google and reading my out ideas between contractions!!

We were so sure that baby wouldn't be coming for a good few days that we really hadn't had a serious talk about names! We'd bounced a few ideas around but vetoed nearly all of them so it was time to really think hard! So By was busy making a list of potential boy names on his phone! At 10.30pm Amy came back into check on us.  I asked if I could get in the water now, and she said she really didn't think that was a good idea because it could slow things down and that we should wait a bit longer until I really needed to.  I told her that it was feeling quite painful and I did think it would help, so she suggested examining me again.  She was very surprised when she found I was at 6cm! and said that yes I could get in the pool which was a nice relief! 

The only downside of getting in the pool was I couldn't use my tens machine anymore, so I had to rely on Byron to rub my back each time a contraction came.  After about 10 minutes I said could I maybe use some gas and air, and again Amy said I should wait until I really needed it and use it when things got more intense - I said I did think I needed it and so eventually she let me! I still thought delivering the baby would be a long way off the way the evening had panned out and it seemed to me the midwives kept thinking I had a long way to go too! So at about 11pm when I felt the urge to push I thought something must be wrong and I told Amy I needed to push and she said that was fine and to go for it, so I did and I reached my hands down and felt some hair!! I couldn't believe this was actually happening already!

I gave another push, and the head midwife came in alongside Amy and they said they could see the head! Apparently the cord was wrapped around her head and so they said I needed to push the rest of the body out quite quickly.  A few more pushes and the baby was out!! There is nothing quite like the feeling of catching your own baby in your hands and bringing it up to your chest.  I was so wrapped up in the moment and feeling so much joy that I had completely forgotten that we didn't know the gender, the head midwife asked me if I knew what we were having and I said no!! so I looked down and said is it a girl?! and she confirmed that yes it was!!! (which I think I knew deep down all along...especially with all that pregnancy sickness!) Byron's list of boy names he had been creating was now obsolete and we realised we didn't have a single girls name!! 

So we had a gorgeous baby girl, with a skinny teeny little body and a big mop of dark hair weighing 6lbs 15.5ozs. She also had the most beautiful red rosebud lips that were identical to her big sisters when she was born! Byron asked Amy if she had any children and she said that she didn't, and that having her job didn't put her off having kids...especially if she could have a labour like mine! The head midwife said it was the best water birth she had ever seen! Her official delivery time was 11.15pm so I couldn't believe I was in the hospital for just 2 hours and 5 minutes before she made her way into the world! 

During the next hour of feeding and skin to skin time, the midwives left us alone with our baby girl and we discussed some more names! Byron was reading out lists of names and he read out Addison and we both said ooh we quite like that one! but then carried on to the next names.  Byron went home to get some sleep, and I went onto the ward.  

Thanks to a few screaming babies in the other cubicles I was wide awake at 4am! So I looked up the Scottish birth records for last year, where you can download and see every name for every child.  I was scrolling through them for inspiration when I came across Addison again and really loved it, and I also saw only 1 baby had been named that last year so I loved how original it was! When Byron came back in the morning he tentatively told me that he thought Addison had become his new frontrunner - I told him it was mine too! So it was a done deal! I had also been browsing names to do with spring at 4am and came across Mae - a french name, with the meaning 'goddess of spring growth'. I just loved that, since it felt like all the cherry blossoms and bluebells and rapeseed fields were all just coming into bloom the week she was born and so I wanted to recognise that in her name.  We have since found out that Byron's Great Grandmother was called Mae! so that was a bonus! 

The real icing on the cake was the next day at 2pm when visiting hours began...and big sister came running in to meet the new arrival! She had been told she had a new baby, but not what it was! I wanted to be the one to break that news to her.  She came dashing in and the first thing out of her mouth was 'is it a boy?' I said no it's a girl!! and straight away she came and planted a kiss on her head - it was so adorable, and tear jerking! The love and excitement for Addison was instant, and hasn't showed any signs of dying down yet! 

She couldn't wait for cuddles! 

and I'm thinking this was the second of probably over a million kisses that have happened since! 

She was thrilled when Addison wrapped her teeny tiny fingers around Ella's finger! and she likes to say that Addi likes to hold her finger the best out of everyone!!

and then there were smiles all round as she got to open up her bag of prezzies from lil sis! which contained an LOL doll, a lush bath bomb and some unicorn tights - how did Addi know all her fave things?! she was delighted! 

Cuddles with proud Daddy! 

and then Granny and Grandad arrived from Shropshire for their cuddles! 

which was good timing as they were able to snap this pic for us as we left the hospital - our first as a family of 4! 

Right under the blossoms, with our little goddess of spring growth! 

Cuddles with Grandad as we arrived home...

and the sister loving continued!! 

Could she be any prouder?! Even in the days following Addison's arrival every shop we went into she would tell anyone and everyone about how she was a big sister now - it was the cutest! 

and that's a wrap! I still can't get over what a miracle babies are! From their ten little perfectly formed fingers and toes, to their little froggy legs that stay all curled up in their newborn days, to the delicious little milk spots on their nose, to their cute little noises, and the way their skin smells so amazing! They are for sure heaven sent, and I'm so grateful that Addison was delivered safely and that she was 100% healthy.  It was such a blessing how everything turned out and the blessings have just continued as we have got to know her wonderful little personality! 

I couldn't be more thankful to be her mom! 

Saturday, 12 May 2018

39 weeks...and the countdown is over take 2!

I wrote a blog post all about my happiest 9 months last time around when I was pregnant with Ella so thought it would be fun to do the same for baby B this time around! You can check out the last one here

Last time, Byron and I took the test together...but this time since we had been trying for such a long time I didn't want to get his hopes up incase it was a no go again and so I took the test by myself.  I really wasn't expecting to see anything so kind of just put it down and forgot about it (rather than the frantically watching for the line to appear that I would usually do!) I picked it up again and thought that maybe it looked like there was a super faint line, but it was so faint I thought I could have been imagining it! I really didn't know what to do, so I sent a message to my friend Milah in California - she got it at 4am! and excitedly messaged back saying she thought she saw a line too even tho she was half asleep! but I still decided I would wait before telling Byron for sure and would take a test in a few days time to double check!

So that night Byron was working at forest in Northumberland and asked if we wanted to tag along and then have a bbq on Bamburgh beach - it was such a beautiful sunshining evening (in late August), and it felt so exciting knowing I had this secret! (I think that's why I'm smiling extra big!)

 I was really tempted to tell him then on the beach but I still wanted to know for sure! 

So the next day we went away camping to Kielder Forest for the weekend, 

enjoyed some more amazing weather, and met up with friends for some mini golfing by the waterside

 and some feasting at the food trucks!

I was riduncuously happy to find shaved ice! just like the good old Vancouver days! 

 and when we came home on the Saturday night I took another test.  This time the line was definitely visible and I knew it was the real deal! We had put Ella to bed and were settling down for the night for some Netflix and Toblerone (of the coconut variety, thanks to my friend Lizzie who had brought us some from duty free!!) - so I pulled the chocolate pieces out of the cardboard Toblerone tube and put the pregnancy test in there, made us some hot chocolates and then excitedly took the Toblerone and handed it to Byron! 

He opened it up and just looked a bit disgusted and was like 'gross, why is there an old pregnancy test in here'!!! I told him it's not old! and then the penny dropped! there were tears, and so much joy! and that was how I broke the news to him! 

Initially we were both worrying it was twins! With Ella I only really got a visible bump around 24/25 weeks of being pregnant! This picture above was me at about 8 weeks pregnant! already wearing the maternity leggings!!! 

and this protruding bump was 12 weeks! I felt like it would have been really hard to hide it from people but luckily we don't know that many people in the Borders so it wasn't too tricky to keep a secret in the end! 

So when we just saw one baby on the screen at our 12 week scan it was a relief (although I secretly think twins would be super fun too!!)

The next few weeks we shared the news with some of our closest family and friends, but wanted to wait before announcing it to the world because we had our South Africa trip planned in November and so wanted to tell Byron's Mom and grandparents in person! 

We headed to my parents one weekend in September to break up a trip down south we were making to Reading.  My mom greeted us with root beer floats and lemon drizzle cake! Little did she know we were going to be toasting some baby news with those floats so it was a fitting arrival! 
We didn't know when we were going to next see my sisters in person, so as we drove down to Reading the next morning I scribbled this sign on a scrap of paper and got Ella to hold it and sent it to them in our sisters whatsapp group! We still hadn't told Ella at this point so she had no idea what she was holding but was an obliging model anyway! 

Then we spent another gorgeously sunny weekend in Reading catching up with my 2 best friends from uni - Lucy and Tash, I tried to tell them the whole weekend but with Ella always around there never seemed to be a good time.  So I just had to run out as Lucy was leaving to go back to Birmingham and tell them both at the car our news! 

The weekend before we left for South Africa was Bonfire night, we were staying with Byron's dad in Bedford so we went and caught a firework display in Cranfield and then headed to Smashburger after for the best shakes and that's where we broke the news to Byron's dad and brother!

We shared the news with Byron's mom in the car heading home from Cape Town airport on our first day arriving as we were too excited to wait, and then with his grandparents a few days later when we stayed with them in Cape Town.

We were also able to share it with Byron's aunt Claire and his cousins Loren and James too...

and then also with my aunt Di and my cousin Marc and his wife Tanya when we stayed with them in Simons town.  

It was nice to share with so many people in person, and since all my tricks of revealing the news seemed to go wrong last time around with Ella we just kept it simple this time!! haha!

This was one of our first beach days at Hermanus, and I really felt like my bump was obvious here, but now looking back I can't really even tell! I was worried people on the beach would think I was just fat and letting it all hang out so I kept rubbing my bump to try and make it obvious it was a baby in there!! 

We had also planned on climbing Table Mountain, this was always my number 1 thing I wanted to do in Cape Town (I just didn't know I was going to be pregnant when we did it!) so I'm not going to lie, it was pretty hard going! and I smiled when this Rasta guy who had passed us on the way up cheered as I made it to the top and said 'hooray for the baby maker'!! Hooray indeed!

We took some announcement pics right at the top after being reunited with Ella - she had caught the gondola up with Granny! It was so busy with so many people walking along behind the camera that we got lots of congratulations from passer bys which was sweet!

The next day we went to Fishoek beach, which is where my mom grew up.  Her house was one of the ones in the background behind Ella and I! I have heard my mom talk so fondly of her childhood literally growing up on the beach and seen pics so it was super fun for us to be there and Ella loved frolicking in the water!

It seemed so full circle taking a bump picture on the sand where my mom had walked as a child! 

Up until now everything had been pretty normal with my pregnancy, I had experienced quite a lot of 'morning' sickness (whoever called it that must have been a man because mine is always all day sickness!) in the weeks preceding our South Africa trip but I anticipated this as it had happened with Ella's pregnancy too.  I thought all would be well once I got prescribed some anti nausea medication but actually this didn't seem as effective as the awesome one I had been prescribed when we were living in Vancouver so I still didn't feel great on it. 

However the worst was yet to come! In the early weeks of December my sickness really reared its ugly head and it was probably the most ill I've ever been in my whole life! Not to sound dramatic, but not wanting to sugar coat anything either and have this be a true representation of this time in my life - for about 2 straight weeks it was just throwing up 50 times a day from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep. It was awful, it was beyond awful.  I did experience this briefly in my pregnancy with Ella but that was only when I ran out of anti nausea medication on our West Coast USA road trip and so spent 2 awful days in Orange County being beyond sick until I sucked it up and paid crazy prices to go to an American doctor and get a new prescription of the tablets! The difference was Byron was by my side all day, and we were staying with my lovely cousin Stephaney who was trying every ginger trick in the book and trying to ease the sickness too and so it was pretty different this time around - being so far away from family and friends and having zero help, whilst still trying to run a baking business, run a household and look after a 4 year old!!! They were some dark dark days! Some days I would even wonder if I could shout on the post man to come in and get me a drink of water because I literally couldn't move from the sofa! I felt like I was never going to be well again! I ended up being admitted into the hospital because I wasn't able to keep anything down and nothing was stopping the sickness.  I was kept in overnight and let out the next day, and Byron had to pull over on the drive back home for me to throw up again! 

I had to snap this, because you know you're in Scotland when they are offering Haggis on the menu at the hospital! 

So the next day I was readmitted again because nothing had changed and the sickness was still ongoing, this time they kept me in for 2 days until everything had calmed down and I was able to hold down fluids and food again and then I was let home.  So the whole of December seemed a bit of a blur - I felt like I didn't get to do half the fun festive things I had planned for us because I had just been so so unwell, but we did have our 20 week scan on the 22nd December which was something to look forward to! Byron and I had attended the 12 week scan on our own, just incase all had not been well, and so Ella was crazy excited to be joining us this time! 

She even insisted on wearing her Big Sister top that our lovely friend Milah had posted to her from California! 

and all was well with baby B! I had been worried during all the sickness that the baby perhaps wasn't getting the nutrients it needed since I definitely wasn't, but the nurse reassured me the baby is like a parasite and will basically suck everything out of you that it needs so even though I was not doing well baby was thriving!! 

So I kept taking my anti nausea medication - not daring to try and come off them because I just didn't want to go back to how bad it had been! but I finally came off them about 4 weeks ago and have just been feeling amazing ever since! I am definitely in the blooming phase, thank goodness!! and I have not had any other problems or issues these past few weeks.  In fact I don't even feel like I'm going to have this baby any day since I still feel so mobile and just so well within myself! Everyone keeps freaking out when I tell them I'm due this week and I keep getting told how neat I am and how well I am looking which is just what every fat preggo lady likes to hear! So I'm crossing my fingers that this small neat bump makes for a nice small neat baby that will pop out ;) 

It has been all go, getting the babies room ready, organising hospital bags, getting as much baking in as I could before I stopped for maternity leave last week and now it's just a waiting game! Ella came 4 days past her due date so we will see what this baby will do!   

We had originally said we weren't going to get a nursery ready just yet, because the baby will probably be in with us in its Moses basket in our bedroom for the first 3 or 4 months anyway, but I think I've really felt this time around that everything has been much more low key than when you were pregnant with your first.  Less excitement, less celebrations - alot of it is just circumstance and where we find ourselves living, but I didn't want the baby to feel like we weren't as excited for its arrival because we are beyond excited! 

so in my head I felt like giving it a nice little room would make up for some of the being forgotten about this time around!!! 

Ella loved walking into the babies room when it was first done and kept saying 'it's just so beautiful' 

and she loves to go in there and read the baby books, and play with the cuddly toys, and pull on the star that plays lullabies beside the cot! I keep telling her one day soon there will be a baby in there sleeping beside her (because her bedroom is next door) and that is very exciting indeed!! 

 We also had some family photos taken, because it has been something I have wanted doing for so long - but have just struggled to find outdoor family photographers up here! Our one actually came from Portugal! but I thought it was a great moment in time to capture for our family, before we become a family of 4! 

I loved how they turned out! and despite it being a freezing cold minus degree day that day up Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, and we even had some snow, I can still feel the warmth of the love we all have for this baby joining our family! 

Had to include this snapshot I took one day.  Ella and I had sat down to read a stack of books, and the baby really started kicking like crazy, I said to Ella 'the baby must enjoy Charlie and Lola books too!' and she reached down and gave the bump a kiss - too precious! I can't wait to see the sibling relationship unfold on the other side! 

and here are just a few bump shots I tried to take along the way, I felt like I didn't take as many pictures as I did with Ella and I definitely wanted to remember this special time so here are the ones I managed to capture! 

29 weeks, and chilling with the snowdrops in Peebles!

31 weeks, and chilling with my girl on Mother's Day!

37 weeks, and chilling with the buttercups in Roxburgh

39 weeks, and chilling with the rhodos at Bowhill House in the sunshine! Ella captured this bump shot for me!

Almost 40 weeks, and chilling with the bluebells just in the woods behind our house in Kelso (baby arrived later that evening!!)

and that's it, 9 months of pregnancy in a nutshell! Well done if you made it to the end of this beastly post! Next post will be sharing all about our exciting arrival!!