My blog - September 2009

Announcing the arrival of Joscelyn Eleanore Ots

September 10th 2009, 7:35pm

Most of you who read this blog may already know from Facebook that our baby has arrived. Joscelyn Eleanore Ots arrived safely on June 3rd, 2009 at 12 noon, 15 days later than her due date. She weighed 7 lbs 11.5 oz (3.475 kg) and was 20.5 in long (52 cm) at birth and is growing bit by bit. We kept waiting for her to arrive on her own steam, but when she was a week overdue, I went for a stretch and sweep (sweeping the membranes) to try and get things moving. The midwife thought it had worked well, and that our baby would arrive before the weekend, but scheduled me in to be induced for the following Tuesday in case it didn't. As each day passed, I figured maybe Stiggy was aiming to arrive on his/her daddy's birthday. Monday came and no arrival of our bundle of joy. So Tuesday morning we took me in hospital to be induced. Thank goodness we were able to leave the hospital and go outside to walk in the park and along the canal. Three pessaries of prostaglandins later, each six hours apart, I was only 1-2cm dilated and wasn't progressing into active labour, so the midwife suggested James go home.

After he had gone home to get some sleep (we only live 15 minutes from the hospital), I was put on the monitor for the umpteenth time that day. I was told they needed 20 minutes of monitoring and then I could go to sleep. Two hours later they finally had enough monitoring with the right data on it and so at 3 am I went to sleep. I woke up at 4 with contractions, but forced myself to fall back asleep. At 5 am I woke up with proper contractions that, despite my best efforts, kept me up, and I went to the midwives' desk at 5:30 to ask them to call James and have him come back. They put me on the monitor again at 6 am, and at 6:15 finally called James, who made it to the hospital in 10 minutes. The midwife wasn't happy with the baby's heartrate, as it kept dropping, so they left me on the monitor, which meant I had to stay laying down. If I didn't lay down, the monitor kept losing contact and not getting a readout. They gave me gas and air to help with the pain (lovely stuff, everything is kind of distant when you're breathing it in), which helped a lot, since I couldn't be mobile like I'd wanted. Eventually a doctor came by to check the readout, as the heartrate had continued to drop occasionally and we were told they wanted to move us into delivery from the labour ward and break my waters to try and move my labour along faster. By the time the midwife, Val, broke my waters, I was 3-4 cm dilated, so I was finally in active labour. Joscelyn's heartrate kept dropping, although making me lay on my left side seemed to help. As she was in distress, the doctor and midwife wanted to get her out as quickly as possible, but were willing to let her try and come naturally. They prepped me for a drip in case I'd need to be induced with a drip or have an emergency cesarean, which fortunately we managed to avoid. James kept everyone up to date on Facebook using Twitter and we had loads of people praying our baby would arrive safely and without further intervention. We finally got to the point where the baby was nearly there, but still in distress. Val told me that if I had a small episiotomy, I could have the baby out in 2 or 3 pushes, but if I didn't, they'd have to go in for her. Given that choice, I went with the episiotomy.

My labour was far from what I'd hoped for. I couldn't use the birthing pool, since Joscelyn was in distress throughout the labour. I had to stay on my back or side to be monitored and couldn't move around freely as I'd hoped. When it came time to give birth, I was on my back, and even had my legs in stirrups. I wanted to squat, but wasn't allowed to (I was told later this was because it uses different muscles to push and they didn't think they had time to teach me how to - if I'd known that, I would have asked for one chance to try it, and if I couldn't do it, to go back to my back). Val kept telling me to grab the back of my legs and pull them towards me, but I just couldn't get any purchase that way. I finally reached forward and grabbed the metal backs of the stirrups, yanked myself forward so I was hanging a bit off the bed (which surprised them, they didn't think it would work that way - James said one of them said they'll have to remember that for future deliveries) and Joscelyn was out in 2 or 3 pushes. Although my birth plan went out the window, I'm happy that our little girl arrived safely and that we avoided the cesarean and the drip. 7 hours of active labour altogether, which I'm told is good for a firstborn.

Joscelyn was born with the cord wrapped around her neck, which is why her heartrate kept dropping. She pinked up right away, which surprised the midwives and had an APGAR score of 8 straight off, and a 9 five minutes later. She was still covered in vernix and had some lanugo, which is unusual for such a late baby. Usually that happens with early babies, so Val asked if my dates could have been off, which they could have by a few days, but not by weeks. So Joscelyn is breaking the mold already!

We've had a little over a week with our little girl now. She seems to have a routine of her own which works nicely into an adult day. Hopefully she sticks with it, especially since she only wakes up once in the middle of the night! I've noticed she has as many feeds in a day as a hobbit has meals, plus one. Joscelyn's a good feeder and put on an ounce between birth and her 5 day check. My community midwife, Kathy, was impressed, since most babies lose up to 10% of their birth weight. Here's how an average day of feeding Joscelyn goes:

We still find it amazing that we're parents and are responsible for this tiny little person. It's strange how quickly you learn what sounds mean what. Joscelyn keeps us busy, but she's a wonderfully well-behaved baby and we're really enjoying all her little facial expressions and coos and gurgles. We've been kept even busier by the fact that we fly out to Canada on June 20th, and as Joscelyn was over 2 weeks late, we have a short time to get all her paperwork organised. So Thursday we added her name to the flight and Friday we went to Rugby to have her registered and get her birth certificate, which was the earliest appointment to have that done. Monday we had her passport photo taken and Tuesday we went to Peterborough for her passport application appointment. We'll get her passport back in the post on Tuesday or Wednesday and on Saturday we fly to Canada! Busy, busy, busy!

For those of you who've come to visit us or bring us meals, thank you so much! We love having people drop by, it's nice showing off our little girl, we're so proud of her! And not having to think about meals has been fantastic. For those of you who we'll see in Canada, we can't wait to catch up on the last 3 years. Until we see you next!

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3 comments - show comments

Comment posted by karina at 7:35pm on September 10th 2009

you are brave parents. :) i'll be praying for you this weekend as you travel and hope that everything goes really smoothly and that joscelyn just sleeps the time away :)

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