Monday, 11 August 2014

It's a girl! Welcome to the world baby Isla!

One of the first pictures of my beautiful baby girl Isla
First of all, apologies for the late update, I know it's been a while but it's been a crazy few weeks. As you can see we now have a gorgeous little girl to look after and she's certainly taking up a great deal our time now. It's just been a real whirlwind and I haven't got around to writing an update until now. Luckily, the extra time has given me plenty of time to take loads of photos of her.

As some of you will know, we were planning and hoping for a home birth but unfortunately that didn't end up being the case. In the last few days and checks leading up to the birth, there were a few "warning signs" if you like that led to midwives/consultants advising that we go into hospital. Not what we wanted admittedly but of course we were going to take their recommendations if that's what they thought was best. We actually ended up going a little past the due date, 40 weeks plus 4 days to be precise and the staff at the hospital decided that they thought it was best for Issy to be induced. So we ended up getting booked in for Tuesday 22nd July. I think Issy was happy just to know that something was going to happen.
Issy and Isla in the post natal ward the day after the birth
So we arrived at the hospital ready for induction on the Tuesday at 12 midday. It actually took a few hours for the process to get started on the ward, although this was mainly down to Issy being unsure as to whether she wanted the induction in the first place. By 5 pm we had reached a decision and the process was started. Now, for some reason I had it in my head that I was going to be go home home that evening and return the next day. I had read that it is common, particularly for first time babies for the induction process to take 24 hours of more, but how wrong could I have been! By 9 pm that night, Issy's waters had broken and I must say there seemed to be quite a lot coming out for someone that wasn't meant to have much in the way of fluids!!
All strapped in and ready for the journey home
We then had to wait until 12.30 am for Issy to get transferred from the ward to her delivery suite; a wait that seemed like forever. Issy had also somehow managed to pick the hottest day of the year so far to give birth, with temperatures at around 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit). This wasn't helped by the fact the delivery room had no air conditioning. Apparently the new flashy delivery suites have it but that's only for ultra low risk women. I know the UK isn't the hottest country in the world but it can get fairly warm (if we get a good summer) and you would think that by 2014 a hospital may have at least installed A/C in all the birthing suites but there you go! According to the thermometer in the room it was actually still 27 degrees in the delivery room which seemed absolutely ridiculous!
Little Isla having a nap
From there on it was a bit of a marathon to get the finish. I certainly wasn't going to be home for bed that night! I actually managed to get a couple of hours sleep in the chair that thankfully did recline a little. I wasn't exactly trying to sleep but I just got to the point where I could barely keep my eyes open. It's hard work for us Dads too you know (just kidding.... sort of)! The worst part at this point for me was sitting there for hour after hour having to watch Issy suffering in pain, knowing there was absolutely nothing I could do and that she just had to get through it. They also would not allow Issy to have the intermediate pain relief, pethidine, as Isla's heartbeat was to steady and she was too sleepy already, which are pretty much the effects of pethidine on the baby anyway, and they just couldn't risk is. So apparently, it was an epidural or nothing. Poor old Issy battled her way through on gas and air for a couple of hours but after a while it just wouldn't cut it. Of course, we were also told that induced labour can be considerably more painful that naturally started labour too, so in the end Issy opted for the epidural. We also had to bear in mind that due to the induction, she was also to be given a hormone drip to regulate the contractions, but this can also make the labour more painful.
Issy and I with our baby girl
After waiting several hours for the epidural (due to a lack of anesthetist), Issy finally received the epidural, giving her some welcome pain relief, although apparently it only worked properly down one leg. Once this was all sorted, we could finally get on with starting the hormone drip and speeding up the process, making the contractions more regular. By this time, the sun had come up and we were well into the morning. In the end, Issy was physically pushing for around an hour and a half I believe. I'm not going to lie, the whole process felt a little traumatic (although what do you expect with child birth) but I was there for the whole thing. Issy actually did really well. Towards the end, Isla's heartbeat was dropping and they decided that they really needed to get her our of there fast. Issy was so close to the doctor having to intervene and use the suction cup to pull Isla out, but they gave her one last push while they were getting ready, and luckily she managed to get her out all on her own. Brilliant! Isla Ruby was born at 1.41 pm on Wednesday 23rd July 2014. It really was such an emotional moment I genuinely cried like a little girl and I never cry! I got to cut the cord too which was really nice! She was only little at birth and weighed in at just 6 Ib 2 Oz. 
Isla with our cat Pixie
That night we had our close family come and pay us a visit which nice and Issy had to stay in for 24 hours for observations. Sadly I had to go home not long after Issy and Isla had been transferred to the post natal ward. Although a full nights sleep was welcome, I was itching to get back and be with my new baby. After we got the all clear the next day, we got her straight into the car seat and we went straight home. It was brilliant to get home and I had two weeks off work to take it all in and help Issy as much as I could. I'm not going to lie about it, the first two nights were absolutely terrible. Poor old Issy's Mum ended up coming round to help us get her off to sleep (luckily she only lives a couple of minutes away). However, once we those two nights out the way, she's been pretty good ever since. We've been trying hard to get her into a routine and it seems to be working. She gets fed before bedtime at around 10pm, Issy's got the 2 am feed nailed and then she has another one at 6 am. Not too bad really. 
Fast asleep in her Moses basket
Pixie has also been really good with her which was a relief. She had a little sniff but mainly she keeps her distance. We've already had quite a few little smiles which is lovely and everyday she is becoming a bit more aware of what's going on around her. We're really looking forward to hearing her laugh and giggle! All of our family and friends have been great and brilliant to have around. I still can't quite believe how many cards and presents she received. I'm pretty sure I've never had that many for any of my birthdays! I'm also sure that she already has a bigger wardrobe than me. Maybe not Issy quite yet but she's definitely getting there! We're going to have to make sure we get her to wear everything before she grows out of it all. Especially seeing as although she's quite a small baby, she is very long. We were told they don't measure babies any more at the hospital as it is too inaccurate. Although when saw the health visitor at home for the first time, she measured her anyway and she came in at 50.5 cm. I thought I'd finish this post off with a few more baby photos, because everybody loves those!
Sleeping like a little angel

After bath time

What a face!

Cuddles with Mummy

 


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