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!