Archive for August, 2010

Squishy’s Birth Story


I’ve been meaning to post Squishy’s birth story for ages, but everyone’s been ill & I haven’t got round to it! Today I had to tell someone the brief version of her birth (breech, quick) and I was surprised how gutted I felt when I didn’t get much of a response. To be fair it was an older man (the osteopath) and her birth wasn’t the reason I was there! But it brought home to me how proud I am of it…even though it wasn’t really in my control. I wrote this birth story when she was a day old, and I’ve just edited it a bit…this is how she was born…yes it was out of my control, but I’m proud of how I handled it.

Squish’s Arrival!

It was all a bit quick so it’s still a bit of a blur. Our daughter arrived yesterday at 4.41am. 7 lb 4 oz. Here’s how it happened…

I woke up at 2.50 with what felt more contraction-like than the mega-long brackston hicks I’d been having for a week. The next one came at 3am & was really quite strong, so I knew it was really happening. Remembering Twink’s birth when I got all excited & got up really early, I tried to go back to sleep, but at twenty past three my waters broke so I woke Hubby up to fill the pool (which I’d insisted we inflate the night before). Contractions continued every 10 minutes, but were WAY more painful than I remembered from last time. I finally called the labour ward just before 4am…& the midwife on call phoned me a couple of minutes later…& it was my named midwife!!! I was so worried about getting a midwife I didn’t relate to…never thought I’d actually get my lovely named MW for the birth…but anyway, I was a little distracted by the pain by this point to be grateful for that. I also tried to call my best friend who was supposed to be my birth partner, but she didn’t answer.

I got DH to put the TENS machine on my back as the contractions had suddenly gone to every 5 minutes…from this point they just sped up (I know all this because the iphone really does have an app for everything…including labour!), so at twenty past they were 2 or 3 minutes apart & I REALLY didn’t think I could handle it for much longer…the TENS was now just on boost constantly. At some point in the next few minutes I realised I was needing to push…so I started trying to convince DH. He blatantly didn’t believe me…was very calm…”yes dear, don’t worry, we’ll get the pool filled, I’ll help you in, your bff will get here, the midwife will get here”…I think he thought I was panicking. Which I was, but I was also right! I insisted he call the MW a few times to find out where she was & to hurry her up, but there was absolutely NO sense of urgency in him! He didn’t even tell her she needed to hurry! He got through to my bff at some point but he didn’t hurry her along either!

So I’m leaning over the pool (from the outside), staring at the water that half filled it. I really wanted to be in there as I knew it would help with the pain, so I felt a little sad about that, but I was distracted by trying to convince DH that the baby was going to arrive any minute, & that I could feel the head (so I thought!)…he didn’t even feel the need to check!! Still, he let me squeeze his hand to death each time I had a contraction (& pushed!). He kept trying to get me to be quiet as Twink was asleep…but it’s actually lucky I wasn’t quiet as my bff was outside having a last cigarette (naughty girl!) when she heard me & rushed inside (I’d at least managed to convince DH to unlock the door…that’s nearly a miracle if you know him…he’s a little security conscious!). According to my phone the last time we called the midwife was 4.36am, so my bff came in some time after that. She was a little bit shocked to say the least, but she did realise that the baby was about to arrive, & she got in place to catch it…next contraction had her screaming ‘it’s breech, call an ambulance’…DH just carried on having his hand squeezed to death!…then the midwife came through the door, & Squish was born with the next contraction & my bff caught her at 4.41am.

Sadly, although my bff can tell a bum from a head, she isn’t so accurate with the boy/girl thing…so we thought Squishy was a boy for the first few minutes of her life! Squish was screaming her little lungs out about the whole thing, & we were all a bit in shock (including my lovely MW…her first breech birth & she only got to watch!), but she had a bit of a feed after about 10 minutes, & we just sat & cuddled while I waited desperately for the placenta to be delivered. Except it took a long time to arrive…after an hour and ten minutes I decided to have the injection as it was apparently (sorry if tmi!) half way through my cervix & was VERY uncomfortable. By 6am I was in the shower & by half past I was in bed, leaving the MW to write up her notes (which were almost entirely a work of fiction…I could have told her when I was in established labour by my contractions as I had all the info on an iphone app, but I was lying in bed trying to sleep) & my bff & DH fighting over newborn cuddles.

Twink was pretty oblivious to start with when he woke up…he just ignored her. But before long, he gave her a couple of kisses, & even included her in the family nose check (the nose was the first body part he could identify, so every now & then he insists on touching his nose, then mine, then DH’s…it might be silly, but the fact he includes Squishy, really makes me feel that he knows she’s part of the family). Today he’s also started to come up & cuddle her when she cries…so utterly adorable!

Phew…sorry it’s so long…think it took longer to write than it actually took…& if births get quicker each time, I probably won’t even have time to get out of bed next time!!

Squishy’s birth was much more intense than Twink’s, and as she was breech, the number of things that could have gone wrong makes my mind boggle, but I’m still glad I was at home & I will still plan to be at home the next time I give birth. With established labour only about 20 – 25 minutes long, there wasn’t enough time to settle in and enjoy it like there was with Twink…I had to concentrate very hard to cope with the contractions. I know birth is just one day in a child’s life, but you know what? I am still bloody proud of my body for delivering my daughter safely at home, with no help other than the TENS machine and my husband’s hand to squeeze.

Still wish I could have had a swim in that pool though!

8 Things


OK, I’ve been away again…still haven’t got the photo thing sorted & spare seconds for myself have been few & far between. I’m crap. Deal with it :D

Alternative explanation: after Twink recovered from chicken pox, Hubby came down with something random that looked like it might be his appendix, so off he was sent to hospital (& I HATE hospitals), where he stayed for 3 days before being told it was probably a viral infection & was sent home. They said he would take 2 or 3 weeks to recover fully…so almost a month since it started. He lost a couple of stone in a week. My darling man was not well. I am not made for nursing people (not enough patience…not nearly enough patience!), but that’s what I’ve been doing forever. Well, anyway, we’re all home, we’re all feeling relatively human and I thought I’d ease myself back in with a meme I was tagged in ages ago by the fantabulous Skip over at Skippedydoodah. I knew what I was going to write the day after I was tagged…but pesky life got in the way…sigh…I’m over it…really…karmically we’re due a really big break, any minute now *taps foot impatiently*.

Here we go:

1) When were you most relaxed – and I mean so chilled you couldn’t move?

My honeymoon. I can shut my eyes and I’m back there – in the spa listening to the chilled music with a background of running water, hydrotherapy pools bubbling and the ocean lapping at the beach. The entire island (in the Maldives) smelled of the scent they used in the spa as they had little oil burners scattered around. I don’t think I was so chilled I couldn’t move in the spa though…perhaps in the bar, drinking cosmopolitans & (shh!) smoking a strawberry flavoured shisha while (wait for it…my honeymoon was nothing if not fast-paced) playing Uno with my new husband! The bar was built on the beach. Or maybe the beach had invaded the bar…at any rate, my bare feet were able to wriggle in the sand while we chilled in the warm, reddish light & they brought us cocktail after cocktail. The dry martini Hubby ordered was particularly memorable…the only liquid I have ever drunk that left my mouth dryer than it started. Weird! He stuck to cosmos with me after that. When the bar shut, the shisha was finished, and we’d had 5 or 6 cosmopolitans…we wandered the island. It was our first night and we hadn’t adjusted to the timezone. At about 3 am we ended up in the hammock next to the pool, watching the bats wheeling about in the treetops, putting the world to rights. Not sure where everyone else on the island was, but we might as well have been alone.

2) Who in your life has changed you the most? (for good or bad)

This could easily descend into an unadulterated love in…so I’ll be brief. My husband. Without him I would never have even begun writing my novel, I would be living some ridiculously shallow, alcohol-fuelled life & I would be miserable.

Actually, in a more basic way, an ex changed my life: if I hadn’t had a boyfriend when I went to uni, I couldn’t have split up from him just before my final year, I wouldn’t have spent my final year getting drunk and er….moving on…;-) so I wouldn’t have failed my degree (well, I got a third…pretty useless), so I’d never have started temping, and I’d never have worked at a Ford dealership & got a taste for the motor trade, so I would never have sent my CV to the new local Merc dealership, never have got a job there & never met Hubby who then changed my life :D Follow that? No? Stick to the first answer then!

3) What gets you up on your soap box – finger waving, rhetoric spouting, red-faced, passionately standing up for what you believe in?

Oh, practically everything! I love a good rant! Lately lots of parenting issues get me fired up…anti-breastfeeding comments, formula adverts with stupid white print at the bottom you can barely see, etc etc. My latest finger waving rant (& I really did wave my finger!) was about mums being so unsupportive to each other and basically making each other feel guilty for absolutely everything. But I don’t restrict myself to parenting issues…I’ll join in a good debate about practically anything…nobody would ever say I’m short of an opinion!

4) Which book/s have you read the most number of times (and are likely to read 100 times more)?

There are a few. When I was little I read The BFG (Roald Dahl) & The Magic Faraway Tree (Enid Blyton) more times than you would think humanly possible…and then I read them a few more times. As a teenager 1984 (George Orwell) was a favourite, but before I left school I discovered Ian M Rankin and ‘The Player of Games’. I love his science fiction books, especially ones about the Culture, & this one is my favourite. That’s not it though, I have also read all Asimov’s sf books more times than is healthy, and Arthur C Clarke’s The City & The Stars is wearing a bit thin too. The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind has also been read repeatedly. I don’t think I could pin down one book that I’ve read most…just lots of books that I’ve read lots of times. Here’s a few more: Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber, Wild Swans by Jung Chang (everyone should read that book…I’ve sadly lost my copy or I’d be reading it again!), The Northern Lights Trilogy by Philip Pullman. I’ll stop now…I read a lot, and I have a useful gift of forgetting the end of a book once I’ve finished it…so I can read it again!

5) Where is ‘Home’? The house you grew up in, the house you’re in now, or the house in your dreams?

Home is wherever I am. Currently that is the house I grew up in, which is also the house I am in now…& the house my children were born in. When I go on holiday home is the place I go back to in the evening. I’m not fussy. But I’ve lived in this house since I was a week old. When I went to university I lived in halls, so this house was still my real home. Hubby & I bought a house together where we lived for 2 years, but Mum died before we moved in & left me her house so we always knew we would be moving back here. I don’t know how I’ll feel when we buy the house of our dreams (it will happen!) and move out of here…not sure I’ll ever feel comfortable selling it.

6) What attribute of yours would you most like to pass on to your children?

Probably the one that got me into trouble most…my sense of right and wrong. Even as a young child, if someone was behaving unjustly, I was never afraid to tell them so…even if they were a teacher and as such ‘ought’ to be respected. Respect has to be earned in my opinion…or at least deserved. I got in so much trouble when I pointed out that my games teacher in Prep school had blatant favourites. Thankfully my parents agreed with me – perhaps a 10 year old shouldn’t have told a teacher off like that, but I had a point! And as for the teacher in secondary school who thought the best way to teach was to scare most pupils, and humiliate a few in order to get a laugh from her favourites…well, no, I did not agree!

7) How do you organise your life? Are you a list-maker, a scheduler or a “we’ll see when we get there” kinda person?

I’m a compulsive list-maker who ends up just ‘seeing when we get there’. I have lists everywhere but rarely get to tick everything off (usually because I lose the list). I am always late for practically everything, and almost always forget to take something I need…last time I went somewhere I forgot to take the birthday present…the birthday in question was in May & this was on Wednesday…I’m that crap!

8 ) And finally, because this one’s been bugging me for a while now: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Let’s work through this:

Assumption – woodchucks CAN chuck wood.

x = quantity of wood a woodchuck can chuck (this is the number we want to calculate)

We need more information to solve this. We need:

t = the amount of time the woodchuck will spend chucking wood (in minutes)

s = the rate of chuck (number of bits of wood chucked per minute)

Then x =st

This assumes there is an unlimited supply of wood and the woodchuck can chuck wood at a constant rate without taking any tea breaks or breaking a nail.

Sorry…channeling my inner mathematician ;-)

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