It's gonna be a long one.
On Friday 7th October we went into hospital with reduced movements. I was hooked onto the monitor and typically little man instantly started wriggling like crazy. They also checked my blood pressure a few times which was high so I had to go back the next day for profiling. Everything was fine and I was offered a sweep and then sent home. After the sweep I lost about half my plug but nothing else happened. Over the next few days I had pretty irregular pre-labour contractions and every time I thought yes this is it, it's finally starting they stopped. Like when you're trying to start a car but it's just turning but not catching.
My due date of 12th October came and went. It was one of the most uneventful days of my life. Except that my uncle's wife kept pestering me every single day to ask if we'd had the baby yet.
On Tuesday 18th October I had a sweep at 2pm. My blood pressure was high again so they sent me into hospital to be checked. By 2:30pm I started having stong tightenings every half an hour or so but didn't think anything of it. My blood pressure was fine and the tightenings increased in frequency, and by 6pm they were every 5 minutes. This is when I knew things finally started happening.
We put Isaac to bed as normal and at 9pm I rang the hospital as the contractions (by this time quite painful) were every 3-4 minutes. We inflated and filled the pool which was surprisingly quick. I used my Tense machine for the first hour or so but after that it got annoying and the pool was so inviting that I decided to get in. A minute later at 10:15pm the midwives arrived, 3 of them! They brought a student midwife with them and all were really lovely. The senior midwife (Chris) has seen a few home births but the second midwife (Rachel) and the student (Gill) had never seen one so they were really excited. They looked like they were moving in with all the stuff they'd brought.
We chatted and I was breathing through my contractions. Isaac woke up so hubby had to put him back to bed.
A 11:30pm I got out of the pool to be examined, I was 2cm and had another sweep. They told me to stay on dry land for a while to speed up contractions and let gravity do some of the work. After an hour I started to struggle with the pain so got back into the water and had gas&air. Oh the relief!
After a while contractions started to get really painful, pretty much on top of each other and were in my back so I had a suspition he's turned back to back. When I got the urge to push they just told me to go with it so I have no idea whether I was even fully dilated. They didn't intervene, just told me to trust my body which gave me a lot of confidence. Isaac woke up again so hubby had to run upstairs, in the meantime I nearly broke poor Rachel's arm. I started to panick a bit when the first canister of gas ran out but they quickly got me another one.
At 2:20am I had to get out of the pool to be examined. At 2:24am my waters exploded - literally! I heard a loud pop and the water shot out about 3ft, nearly got poor Chris right in the face. 3 minutes later the head was born and at 2:29am on Wednesday 19th October 2016 my beautiful boy Noah was born. On the sofa. Next to the pool.
We stayed on the sofa for a while and had lots of newborn cuddles. I didn't need stitches which I was thrilled about. Noah started feeding pretty much straight away - I'd forgotten what a weird sensation it was.
The midwives went and hubby tidied up downstairs and I went upstairs to have a shower. I then checked on Isaac and he was wide awake and had no intention of going back to sleep so I took him downstairs at 5:45am to meet his brand new little brother. By then two of the midwives were back to finish off the paperwork and Noah's newborn checks but they soon went home.
After a bit of Cbeebies hubby dropped Isaac off at nursery (thank goodness it was a Wednesday!) and then the 3 of us had a much needed nap.
Our beautiful sofa got ruined, despite having a shower curtain and lots of hospital grade puppy pads on it, it still soaked through. Luckily huby managed to clean it and save it - I knew cold water and salt got blood stains out but I never knew it was magic stuff and could get rid of this much blood! Even the inside and the bottom of the sofa could be cleaned, I'm so happy we didn't need to buy a new sofa!
Another midwife came in the afternoon to do some more checks, she was so rude and patronising it was unbelievable, didn't even introduce herself so I only found out from the notes that her name was Hazel.
Since then we had countless midwife visits (ones that are normally done while you're still in hospital) and I'v spent 2 nights in hospital with mastitis, refusing to stay a 3rd night. The silver lining is that they did Noah's newborn hearing screening while we were in so we didn't have to go back for that separately.
He's now been here 2 whole weeks - I can't believe it's been two weeks already, but then it's like he's always been here. He's such a chilled little dude, so different to what Isaac was like at that age and an absolute joy to have. Isaac is besotted with him, keeps wanting to cuddle and kiss him.
I won't say our family is now complete as we might try for another one in a few years time but for now we're happy as a family of 4, enjoying the newborn stage and all that is yet to come.