So after only 4 days of patiently waiting after my due date arrived, baby Braithwaite arrived into the world!
I went to sleep on the Thursday night and woke a few times during the night with a sore back which was pretty unusual because nothing usually wakes me in the night! I woke up Friday morning and there was still a dull ache there but I didn't really think anything of it. Byron said he needed to do a site visit quite far away that morning at work but he wouldn't do it if I didn't want him to, I said go for it and that the baby wasn't coming anytime soon! He dropped in back at the house an hour later to pick up his wellies, and I told him I wasn't sure but I thought maybe this could be the start of labour! He had a half day and so came home around 1pm, and made me lunch. By this time I was definitely feeling more pains, so I switched the tens machine on that my lovely friend Laura had loaned to me and I was good to go! The tens really took the edge of the pain nicely! By about 3.30pm I started getting contractions so I started timing them with the app on my phone, and when they were only 5 minutes or less apart we called the maternity ward and they told us to come in. So at 5pm we left the house, hospital bag in hand thinking this is it - it's really happening! but unfortunately when we got to the hospital the midwife who checked me over said yes I was having contractions but they weren't nearly strong enough and I would need to go home again! Soooo disappointing!
So we headed back home, I got back on my ball and kept using the tens to help me through the contractions. By 10pm they were way too painful so we headed back to the hospital again. This time the midwife checked me over and hooked me up to the machine and gave me a sick bowl because I hadn't been able to keep anything down since lunch! I told her my birthing plan and she started running the water in the birthing pool for me...but she didn't seem to think anything was going to be happening too soon. By her estimations of how far along I was in my labour, I should have only been having a baby by midday the following day!
I got into the pool at about midnight, with my trusty friend gas and air to help me through! It was quite relaxed. The midwife only really came in about 3/4 times to check the babies heartbeat or see how I was doing, the rest of the time it was just Byron and I and I was just chilling out in the water! We asked her at about 2.30am if she knew how long it was going to be and she said she really didn't, because I wasn't hooked up to any machines or anything I guess it's hard for them to know. By about 3am I started feeling like maybe I couldn't handle this birth thing with only gas and air and I might have to get out the water, but I had remembered the midwife in our parenthood classes telling us that usually there's a point when you think you can't handle anymore and then the birth is shortly after that...so I kept hanging in there, and next thing I saw the midwife coming in and putting an apron on and wheeling some equipment in so I started getting excited realising things were going to be happening soon!
At 3:28am I gave my final push, the midwife told me to reach my hands down to catch my baby! and there she was! I held her in my hands, speechless for a minute, until the midwife asked what it was!! I announced to the room it was a baby girl! She was weighed at 7 lbs 3.5 ozs, and she did not like being naked on that scale one little bit!
We were wheeled back to our room, and Ella got cleaned up and then we had our first official picture as Mommy and baby! This is when we decided our little bundle of cuteness should be named Ella!
We had some nice snuggles for around an hour, and we got to know one another before she fell fast asleep. I got wheeled through to the ward to try and get some sleep too but I couldn't stop staring at my beautiful baby girl so not much sleep was had!
By came back to the hospital at 9am which is when spouses are allowed back in, and his dad showed up a short while later and popped in for 5 minutes (ahead of official visiting times) to get a peek at Ella! Her first official visitor was her Gramps!
Around lunchtime Granny and Grandad Jones also popped in unofficially! to steal a quick hug, and then everyone came back at 2pm for the official visiting time!
By's friend Stu was up visiting for the weekend before he was heading off to New Zealand so he also got a hug in before he left!
I pretty much stayed in my pj's the whole of Saturday so on Sunday I decided I had better get dressed and look a bit presentable so Ella and I could have some more pictures!
Our first official picture as a family of 3! We got the couple who I shared the room with to take this for us, and randomly their baby girl was also called Ella!
Just incase their was any confusion, here's Ella telling the world she's a girl! We didn't have any brand new newborn or tiny baby clothes, the only ones we had were hand me downs from cousin Ellis and she was so tiny that is all that would fit her...hence the blue onesie! That cardigan was also newborn size but was still massive on her, we had to roll up the sleeves!
I love how red her lips were in the hospital, super rosy! and I love her squishy face!
One last shot before we were able to take her home!
A few days later, we took her to the registry office to make it official! Ella Kristyn Braithwaite...no going back now!
We didn't really see her eyes for the first few days all that much, she slept nearly all day long! so this was a rare pic we managed to take when they were open! You can see she was also a little bit jaundiced still, but it cleared quite quickly.
This was a newborn vest sent by auntie Mara, look how big it was on her! She was so teeny, and her cute bunny slippers that my friend Leanne knitted for her!
Mom had stayed with us the whole week which was amazing, she would take Ella during the day so we could nap and catch up on our sleep from the night before! and she also cooked and cleaned and generally helped us out so much! On the Wednesday we headed to Glasgow to pick up Mel and Ellis from the station so Ella met Ellis for the first time! She slept through all the excitement of course...because at this point she was sleeping through everything!
Her first little outing was to Whole Foods where we got some delicious lunch!
Auntie Mel was loving the new baby snuggles!
and we had to take a picture of the adoring Granny and her 2 grandchildren she has now! Exciting times!
I couldn't believe how big Ellis seemed in comparison to Ella, he'd always been the baby in the family and now next to Ella he seemed like a little boy! We like the way he's patting her head here, shortly after he got a bit more rough though and we had to end the photoshoot!! His being gentle with new babies awareness is not the best!
On Friday night Uncle Arne was able to come and join the fun and he got his snuggles in, he didn't remember Ellis ever being as small as Ella but he was! I think you just forget easily.
So in the first few weeks I made sure I took as many pictures as possible so I wouldn't forget any of it! She is such a peaceful sleeper, I found it hard not to spend all day starting at her sleeping! We have been blessed to have such a good baby!
A few days later Auntie Mara arrived, and got caught up on all the Ella snuggles!
and we took Ella on her first visit to a cupcakery, but again she slept through the whole thing!
When she was 10 days old, she had a little photoshoot!
How I love those little lips of hers, and her sticking up hair at the back!
This was probably the turning point for when she started to stay awake more! She was meant to sleep through the whole thing so that the photographer could manoevure her into crazy poses, but she was awake most of the time with us all trying to shush her back to sleep! I quite like this final pic we got though where her eyes were meant to be closed but she'd popped them open!
What a cutie pie!
We just couldn't be more happy, and we feel like she has always been a part of our family! I can't remember what life was like before her...although I do remember it involved a lot more sleep :)