The last time I posted on my blog was way back in February after we had finished our nursery transformation, excited and ready for our little bub to join our family. I was 38 weeks pregnant and pretty convinced I was going to give birth any day, well before my due date. HA! How wrong I was as I was made to wait until I was 41 weeks and 3 days until we finally became parents to a little boy called Brodie. I say little… he was actually a whopping 9lb 6oz!
As we approach our son turning 9 months old, I have been reflecting on our time with him given he’s almost been out and in our lives as long as he was cooking away, all cosy in that bump of mine. This made me think of all the things we’ve experienced and learnt in the short space he has been part of our lives.
When I was pregnant I read ALOT of blogs about becoming parents and the journey we were about to embark upon, this then continued once I had given birth, so I have decided to start a little series of posts detailing our experiences. Our best (and worst) buys, some of the things we’ve learnt, travelling with a baby and in our opinion top tips for taking the leap from a married couple of two, to a little family unit of three.
To start this little series of posts off, here’s a summary of our pregnancy journey and the day Brodie burst into our world!
I found out I was pregnant on the 7th June 2017. I remember this date well as it was the day before the general election and I remember going to vote knowing there was a little peanut in my tum, that only my husband and I knew about. Those first couple of weeks were surreal. In fact the night we got the positive test we didn’t even really talk about what it meant… instead we ordered take away pizzas and sat and watched TV together, just waiting for the news to sink in.
We managed to keep the news to ourselves for a while, including for my parents 30th wedding anniversary party where I had to drink sparkling water and peach juice (not at all nice) to make it look like I was drinking bellini’s all evening. We told our close family at 6 weeks, much earlier than we would have done normally but due to an upcoming family holiday to Portugal where as soon I turned down a glass of sangria, I would have been caught out. I feel after 3 years of marriage a lot of people were waiting for an announcement from us!
I was very lucky that my pregnancy was a good one and a very positive experience. I had a couple of bouts of morning sickness before work at around 10 weeks but other than wanting to eat ALL the time (the hunger is very real! I mean painfully real.. as in having to eat every hour real!), I felt completely normal. In fact my skin was the best it had ever been and I didn’t ever have tiredness or low energy luckily. When I hit around 5 months pregnant I did experience rib pain and that didn’t subside until I gave birth and even then they felt bruised for about 3 months after Brodie was born. I carried very high and my giant baby was clearly squashed against them. Towards the end of my pregnancy I did get bad sciatica and really struggled to even walk down the stairs. Luckily I was on maternity leave at this point but it wasn’t pleasant and I spent 3 of my 6 weeks off work before I gave birth, pretty much house bound. It was a shame as I wanted to be out and about, walking as much as I could but my back pain was so intense I had to admit defeat at even trying to walk around the block. Then one day, around 40 weeks pregnant it completely disappeared over night! Baby had dropped and moved off the nerve he was squashing and I felt like a new woman meaning I could get out and about finally.
I thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy and made the most of our time as just two by going on a couple of holidays and getting away for a baby moon to the Fish Hotel in the Cotswolds. We loved spending our weekends shopping for everything we thought we’d need and decorating the nursery. It was a very exciting time and one I will always look back on fondly.
Then arrived my due date, the 14th of February. Throughout your whole pregnancy you can’t help but see this as an end date, and although I felt well again by this point, I was still very ready to give birth and meet our little baby. I felt heavy and sluggish (I gained about 2 and a half stone over the 9 months) and when my due date came and went, I started to get a little impatient. I was aware that there could still be another 2 weeks to go, but you spend months counting down to this magical date and for it to come and go with no baby is a little frustrating. The 10 days that followed before I finally went into labour were long. I can’t deny it. Somehow they just seem to go a lot slower. But my goodness was I proactive and in full on nesting mode. I cleaned out the entire kitchen, scrubbing every corner I could physically get to. I spent hours cleaning my bathroom with a toothbrush. I had 20 days worth of food to freeze ready for our first weeks with a baby. It felt like I was never going to give birth.
Then on Saturday 24th February I finally went into labour. I always said I wanted it to happen on a weekend, so the birth didn’t come out of Craig’s 3 weeks of paternity leave and my prayers were answered! Craig watched Scotland beat England in the Calcutta cup for the first time in 10 years as part of the Six Nations rugby, and being a Scotsman, he was SUPER excited. I remember him saying ‘the baby can now be born’ once the rugby was over.. and little did we know, baby was listening and I was in fact already in labour. I had been experiencing slight pains since about 3pm, and by 7pm I knew this was it and I remember asking Craig to download a contraction timer on his phone and I used it whilst we sat and watched Ant and Dec’s Saturday night takeaway. LOLL.
I was definitely uncomfortable, but was managing at home with breathing techniques. I used what I had learnt from this YouTube video and I hand on heart believe it was what made my birth such a positive experience. After breathing my way through the night, we finally made the decision to start the 35 minute drive to Oxford at around 6am on advice of the midwives via telephone. It had been a long night after going into early labour at 5pm the previous day. I remember not opening my eyes the entire car journey and just trying to be as focussed as I could be. I was beyond convinced they would send us home after being assessed at the hospital as yes I was in pain, but I wasn’t yet screaming or climbing the walls as I expected to be. We literally could not believe the midwife when she announced I was in fact 6cm dilated and was being admitted straight to a delivery room and ‘wouldn’t be leaving until we had a baby in our arms’. This gave me such a positive boost and once in our room I was so ready for what was about to happen.
I had to give birth on the Consultant led ward as I was deemed as high risk throughout my whole pregnancy due a heart murmur I’ve had all my life. It was just a precaution that meant a few more appointments and a fetal heart scan at 20 weeks. Being high risk meant our midwife stayed with us for the entire birth (except a quick lunch break!) and she was so lovely. We had so many laughs and I felt as though by the end of it, we’d really bonded. I couldn’t have asked for a better midwife to see me through what could have been a scary and daunting experience. I got into our delivery room at 8am and Brodie finally made his entrance into the world at 5.42 in the afternoon. As we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, Craig announced that we had a little boy as he was laid on my chest for our first cuddle.
I had such a positive birth, using just breathing techniques and gas and air to take the edge off when needed. My husband was fab, there was always a bottle of water next to me for when I needed it and he played the Greatest Showman soundtrack whenever I requested… which was definitely more than once! I still can’t believe that in that bump of mine was a 9lb 6oz baby, and to be honest, I am glad I didn’t know ahead of the birth as maybe I wouldn’t have been quite as relaxed.
We stayed in hospital overnight and given that there were no complications we were discharged at 5pm the next day, ready to start our adventure as a family of 3.