Wednesday, 19 September 2007

It's a boy!

Sorry for the delay - baby arrival coincided with catastrophic internet disconnection. Baby stats as follows:

Leo Thomas, born at 4.45 a.m. yesterday, 8lb 7.5oz - 36 hours of labour (!) (!!).* Mother and baby both doing well - Ally was brilliant.

[Post written by B but guest-posted by Kitchen Witch courtesy of a bizarre internet collaboration and the aforementioned hideously badly-timed internet disconnection.]

*Asterisks are mine (KW). I feel this warrants them.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

red = stop, green = go, amber = go very fast

Three hours proper contractions in the night - every eight or ten minutes, for between half a minute and a minute.

Then everything stopped about five and I woke up at eight-thirty with not much doing again.

I'm too tired to try another round of foot massage and essential oils, so I'm just going to get as much rest as possible this morning and see what happens this afternoon - any labouring I've done in the night will presumably help the induction process along when they start it.

Ugh. It's never like this on the telly, is it?

Saturday, 15 September 2007

not quite yet

So, the baby and I have been on a monitor for forty minutes and it's all fine in there. It also showed that I am having intermittent contractions that aren't really doing anything.

I've had yet another sweep - not so painful this time though - and we have booked an induction for tomorrow at 2.30pm. We are now going to do some massage with clary sage to see if we can start things off. However, I feel much better about the whole 'going in to hospital' thing. Mel is right, it is a choice that we have made - not our ideal choice, but the best choice under the circumstances for both me and the baby. I am so tired that we are now walking a knife edge between me getting too exhausted to labour effectively and having a 'natural' birth.

It also sounds like B is going to be able to manage things so that he doesn't have to leave me at all in the hospital. No-one wants me to have a panic attack in the middle of the night because I feel out of control, so we think they might manage things so that he can stay, even if I haven't gone in to full-blown labour.

After all of this, we then went for a walk around Sainsbury's in Shrewsbury. Gosh, isn't it BIG?! And don't people who live in towns wear WEIRD, IMPRACTICAL clothes? And then we stopped at Pizza Hell (tm) and had a late lunch and a pint of cider each, which I am not sure was a good idea - I feel slightly sick and rather flushed.

During the drive home, I seemed to start contracting, every ten or twelve minutes. It's getting more intense, so we might beat them to it yet, especially if we get going with the clary sage in a minute.

For now, that is all - but whatever happens, in the next couple of days, we get to meet our baby.

Friday, 14 September 2007


The midwife has just left.

My waters broke in the night but I am not in labour. If nothing happens before 2AM, then the local midwifery-led unit has to hand my care over to the hospital. We have a 'trace' scan booked at midday tomorrow and after that they pretty much start trying all the different grades of things that they can do to induce me.

The midwife recommends doing stuff to try to get me in to labour - walking up the hill, curry etc - for a couple of hours and if nothing happens, then taking a couple of paracetamol and trying to get as much sleep as possible. No shagging though, because as there is a water leak there is probably a hole it is leaking out of, which is, of course, a route for infection to get in.

We'll keep you posted. Any good thoughts sent this way very much appreciated, as I am pretty terrified about handing control over to the sausage machine of the hospital.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

oh for goodness sake ...

Hey, guess what's happened now!

The person who is buying my little house that we have been renting out in S Wales, that is in-part enabling us to buy the new house, appears to be pulling out. On the crappy reason-that-isn't-a-reason that they have 'heard that the house was built in 1950 rather than 1900 and they want a turn of the century house'.

a) Shouldn't this have shown up on their survey, two months ago?
b) They apparently want to use it as a buy-to-let so what the hell does it matter when it was built?
c) What a shitty thing to do this late on in the process - effectively they are saying 'we've decided we don't really like the house after all' about three days before we were hoping to complete.

So not only are we £10k short because of the low remortgage valuation of our own house; we are now £x short from this, too.

Do you think the universe is trying to tell us something?

Still no baby.

I've very grumpy though.

And my tummy hurts.

We are trying to look on the bright side, but it's proving rather hard to find one. In lieu of that, we have just been dancing round the dining room to 'Keep on the sunny side' from the 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou?' soundtrack. Particularly apt because the only trousers I can get in to are my denim dungarees.

Sometimes only twangy music and cheap whisky will do.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

no passata today

Loading slowly was definitely a blogrolling issue - I've temporarily remmed out all my sidebar links and that seems to have sorted it for the moment. It'll be a good project to look at tomorrow to fix properly.

Fantastic Consultant has done a 'sweep'. Bloody hell, they hurt, don't they?! Apparently I have a very shallow, saucer-shaped pelvis, so although the baby's head is still three or four fifths mobile (or is it motile, I'm not sure?), it's actually wedged very tightly in there. This is a bit of a contradiction cleared up, because normally apparently one would expect wedging to be accompanied by a lack of mobility.

All the pains etc I am experiencing, as Mel says, are indicative of a very drawn out early labour. It's boring. But Fantastic Consultant recommended keeping pottering round, doing things like dead-heading the roses. I said that I thought it was a bit too late to plant roses and she said that some gentle cleaning out of the chickens or picking of tomatoes would be fine.

She also warned that not much was happening cervix-wise and not to expect too dramatic results from the sweep, because they work best when ones cervix is a bit squishier than mine was. Apparently squishy would have equalled less excruciatingly painful as she shoved her finger through it and in to my uterus. However, she's given it her best shot, felt inside the womb to check the forewaters are still intact (they are, so any leak is, as expected, a hindwater one, which is less of a problem as far as infection is concerned) and now it's down to me and B. She has recommended (and I quote directly) "a good shagging, because spunk will soften the cervix". If we were both less exhausted then we would be taking her advice RIGHT NOW; but we came home and went to sleep instead.

B has had a really shit day - not only have I been Mrs Emotional From Emotional Town, but he has been co-ordinating two jobs remotely over the last two days, one of which he should have been on in person. Both end-clients (ie, the clients of our client) have complained about the crew.

Job One, yesterday, because the client reckoned there weren't enough people on it - which was possibly true as two people had to go off site mid-job to collect the pyro kit and then were delayed getting back, and everyone else got roped in to putting up enormous amounts of truss that we hadn't really planned for them doing. I don't think that was too dramatic or anything, as the job itself went okay apparently. But Job Two, yesterday and today was a bit more serious. B was supposed to be doing himself and had to sub someone in at the last minute when the whole liquidity scan thing came up for us. The client has complained about the subsitute's 'attitude'. He isn't someone we've worked with before but he came very highly recommended by another company that we do a lot with. As the job is still going on, we haven't yet managed to work out what has gone on; but it is possible that the end client won't pay our client. Which means that we won't get paid, which means that we won't be able to pay the people we subbed him in from. This would be bad, as they also give us work as well as doing work for us. There are no excuses in this business if you get it wrong, if the client is unhappy, you just don't get booked again.

It's all been rather stressful, hence we got home from the hospital this afternoon and just collapsed on to the bed to make up for the three or four hours pacing we did in the night. Oh, and coming up through the village, the Hateful Shiny Four-By-Four in front of us clipped a squirrel's back legs in the road and then just DROVE OFF and left it there, scrabbling in the middle of the white lines. B was so shocked that he swerved to avoid it instead of towards it to finish it off, and I couldn't bring myself to ask him to turn round so that I could nip out and do it. Horrible, horrible people.

So, there you go. No passata post. I will put it up tomorrow if nothing more interesting happens :). Now, I am going to try to persuade the chickens to go to bed early with a judicious use of corn, so that we can collapse in to bed as well.

more of the same

I've had a night of backache coming and going and gradually increasing in intensity, ditto the 'fake' contractions - I spent about three hours walking around in the middle of the night. My belly is like a snare drum and I've still got a leak.

I'm going to have a bath and then we're due to see the consultant at 12.30.

Also, is everyone else finding that the blog is taking *aeons* to load? I think it might be a blogrolling issue.

More this afternoon. If no more news re the baby I have a tomato and passata post I've been meaning to put up for ages :).

Tuesday, 11 September 2007


No induction, because there's no 'conclusive evidence' that I am leaking 'liquor' rather than, er, anything else. The baby's head is wedged really low in my pelvis, which is potentially stopping the waters coming out even if they have broken (Rhys, you SAID you thought I'd be tasteful. Let me know when I cross your personal line). This explains why it is so excruciating to move, particularly from sitting to standing.

I've still got backache, cramps in my lower belly like the worst kind of period pain and the 'tightenings' have come back again. All good. I'm going for a sleep now - this is all shatteringly exhausting. Apparently more like a second or third baby rather than a first one. Sorry it's dragging out - NOT good blogging material, as it's rather repetitive :).



Monday, 10 September 2007

moving along

We have just come back from seeing the midwife - I may have what they call a 'hindwater leak' - ie, my waters have sort of broken but not properly. They are coming out to look me over again at 4pm to see if there is any more going on; and then if things don't move along, tomorrow we go for a scan at the Dreaded Shrewsbury Hospital to see if the liquid levels in the womb have decreased. If they have, apparently we discuss induction because if you are leaking, the baby becomes at risk of infection.

I don't really WANT to discuss induction, as it means that I won't be delivering at home in my nice comfortable bedroom with my candles and essential oils on the burner, but in a scary ward with the scary midwife person.

However, in a way, it would be nice to get it all over with.

I texted Kate to let her know what was happening and she phoned back to ask me to fix her email.

That was quite stressful.

Dad is better in himself by the way, although still on powerful antibiotics and a drip. However, the ward he is on now has a sickness and diarrhoea outbreak and you have to dress up in an apron and gloves to visit anyone.

I am going for a little walk up the hill now to see if I can jiggle the baby out.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

drat and double drat

Okay. So. Things seem to have stopped. I am still sleepy, thirsty and having contractiony-type things, but nothing is moving along. So having slept all day, this evening we have had a hot chilli, tried that other thing that everyone keeps suggesting (Mel - we didn't exactly need a hoist. But it was a close thing); and then visited my Lovely Friend Diane for a reflexology. Now I'm going to go to bed and stop worrying about it all.

I think that it's probably stress that has stopped things. We got all the redemption figures for the various mortgages and remortgages and valuations in the post this morning.

Because the valuer who came to our current house to value it for the temporary buy-to-let remortgage (until we sell) valued it at £10,000 less than we paid for it, we are £10,000 short in our figures. It is such a small amount in the Monopoly Money Terms of house-buying figures; but such a HUGE amount in 'raising it out of no-where' kind of terms. And it is particularly frustrating because when we sell this house, even if that is at the reduced amount the valuer thinks it is worth, everything will balance out.

The valuer will not shift his opinion. Neither set of parents can lend it to us. We don't have any mysterious elderly relatives who are prepared to suddenly pop their clogs and leave us a legacy. We don't do the lottery.

So unless the person who is dealing with our finances for us can pull a rabbit out of her hat this week, we are, effectively, screwed.

We are both so far through stress and worry that we are, actually, quite sanguine about it. There is literally, nothing we can do. In a way it's quite liberating. Either things will sort themselves out and we will be able to move. Or they won't and will have to stay here; in which case we will lose the 'new' place and have to start from scratch.

I have shown B how to post to the blog using Scribefire, so if the baby does arrive (or I spend the next week sitting under the table with my head in a bag), he'll be able to keep it updated. Except if the broadband gets cut off - the phone isn't working as last Wednesday I asked them to transfer it because we thought we were moving. And it was too late to stop the transfer when B spoke to them on Thursday.

Now, I'm going to bed.

slow progress

It's still all going rather slowly - no established labour yet. I am bored. Can anyone recommend any good books or card games?

Friday, 7 September 2007


Still nothing very much happening - contractions still intermittent (about twenty minutes apart) but getting a bit stronger and more painful. I'm VERY sleepy and thirsty and have just been for a walk up the garden steps to say hello to the chickens to try to move things along. B is going to massage my feet in a minute with lavender essential oil - apparently around the ankle is now the place to concentrate on rather than avoid.

Kate and Vic are here helping us to pack (well, packing for us, if the truth be told), whilst I concentrate on this and B tries to sort out the two huge jobs he has on next week so that he doesn't need to go on them himself.

Dad apparently has yet another infection. But they don't want to prescribe antibiotics until they know exactly what the best thing to give him is. So he's confused and sleepy again.

Surprisingly, I am much calmer today. Aren't hormones great?

Thursday, 6 September 2007

and another thing

1. Has anyone EVER got posting by email to work on blogger?
2. Our solicitor is off sick and her oppo is not prepared to complete tomorrow.
3. Thing #4576 not to say to your wife when she is crying because she is experiencing painful phantom contractions and cannot get out of the bath: "Try to say centred and cheerful"
4. I think I'm probably actually starting labour now - I've had a 'show'. But the midwife says it could be a couple of days.

I cannot believe that after all the pushing everyone has done to get it sorted, we are NOT going to move this weekend, just because the STUPID oppo doesn't feel confident enough to go ahead. I feel absolutely devastated and that the world is collapsing around me. Now, I'm going back to bed to rest while I can.

and then God said, there will be no broadband for three weeks

Just testing to see whether I can actually post anything sensible by
email - because of course, I have been so disorganised that I only rang
the utilities people yesterday and if we DO move on Saturday, which
looks like it might just happen, it will be three weeks before the
broadband is sorted. Which is, actually, stressing me out more than the
idea of going in to labour.

Talking of which, I think *things* might be happening. I will not share
them with you on the grounds of good taste, except to use the word
'show', which anyone who doesn't know can go and Google if they really
want to.

We went to Ikea yesterday. I was kind of hoping that my waters would
break in-store in the hope that we might get vouchers; but no luck. If
anyone can recommend anywhere else that might be a good shop to go in to
labour in, NOW would be a good-time to say :). Then we came home and I
had hysterics in the bath for half an hour. Not stressed at all. But
feeling better this morning.

Off to try to hire a van for Saturday now.

Monday, 3 September 2007


Me: Still boringly pregnant.
Baby: Wriggling like mad, CLEARLY ready to come out.
B: Insane with work / wife / baby / moving / family stress.
Moving: This Saturday. With birthing pool. Provided the mortgage people get their collective arses in to gear.
Pa: Weak and not at all mobile, but the dual infections seem to have been cleared up by the virulent antibiotics. So we are all holding our breath. Thank you all for the comments and support - particularly Exmonkey and Hedgewizard.
This week: Work, packing, maybe a little labour if the baby feels like it.
Blogging status to be expected for rest of week: Patchy I should think. Apologies in advance.