The baby chronicles #1: He’s here

Weeks old: 0.5
I love: Being held folded in half like I was in the womb, boobs, sleeping on daddy’s chest

So this is my first baby chronicle. I am not sure how frequent they will be. I think it’s going to depend very much on how much time I find and when I find it but I wanted to share the story of Little O’s arrival into the world before I start forgetting bits of it. I am pre-warning everyone that this post is going to be relatively graphic so if words like cervix and mucus plug make you cringe, don’t read this post. Just look at the pictures.

As I think most of you are aware, my labour was induced because of my gestational diabetes. Induction is the term used when your labour is kick started artificially. This can be done for various reasons but most commonly is when the baby is more than 13 days overdue, or earlier if there is a medical reason that might mean a full term birth is risky, which was the reason for my induction at 39 weeks.

There are various induction methods available but mine was the one most commonly used in UK hospitals where a hormone pessary is inserted alongside the cervix to encourage contractions and make your body believe it is in natural labour which then leads to the cervix dilating.

When the midwife put in my pessary in at 2pm she warned me that my cervix was still closed and because it was my first baby that very little was likely to happen. In fact I probably wouldn’t feel a thing, have a good night’s sleep and then have a new pessary inserted the next day to try again.

Initially she was right. Mr O and I had some snacks, played cards and chatted. Normally I would have been on a ward but the hospital was very full (according to the midwives this always happens on the full moon because all the babies want to come out and see it) so the only place they had to put me was a private room you would normally pay for. I was very, very lucky. At about 9pm with the midwife’s encouragement I convinced Mr O to go home and get a good night’s sleep. He was welcome to stay but there was only a chair available for him but I absolutely believed I was going to be going to sleep and that I was going to be in hospital for days… so off he went… reluctantly.

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When we thought the induction was going to take 3 days…

By 10pm I was starting to feel quite a lot of pain. The midwife came to check on me and said I was only 1cm dilated and since my contractions were irregular and varied in intensity there really wasn’t anything going on yet but if I was really struggling she would give me shot of a strong painkiller called pethidine that was very likely to make me sleepy. It seemed like a great idea so I agreed to it.

In the meantime my very good friend, D, who is practically my sister and who had driven us to the hospital, texted me to ask if I was alright. I said I wasn’t really. So she said she’d come by and sit with me for a couple of hours. She arrived at around 11 and was surprised by how much pain I was in and that the pethidine was barely even taking the edge off.

At this stage the midwife brought me some ethanox, which is a combination of gas and air you breathe in that helps with contractions and to regulate your breathing. She was still adamant that my irregular contractions meant nothing important was happening so she decided not to examine me but said I should let her know if there was any blood. Not long after there was quite a lot of blood so she told me to stand up so she could check if I had lost the mucus plug that keeps the cervix closed. Literally the second I got off my bed my waters more or less exploded. The midwife then decided that she better have a quick check and I was already 6cm dilated even though I still didn’t have regular contractions. I was extremely excited since she had promised me I could have an epidural if I got to 3cm. All through this D kept me calm and played me the birth playlist I had made, which is probably the only reason I didn’t have a nervous breakdown. She also called Mr O since the midwives were starting to panic that he wasn’t actually going to make it in time.

When Mr O arrived at about 1am, I had gone through to the delivery room, I was already 10cm dilated and I was ready to push. The promised epidural had not arrived because things had gone so fast but I was still very excited about the idea that it would be coming shortly. Both midwives who had come to deliver the baby were adamant that I could do it without. I was less convinced, but with the contractions coming thick and fast in the end there genuinely wasn’t time.

Little O was born at 4.19am on Monday morning after only 3 hours of active labour (although it felt a bit like 4 days to me) weighing 3.2kg (7lbs 1 ounce) and 52cm (20 inches) in length. The last bit took a little longer than the midwives were expecting because a certain cheeky monkey decided to keep his hand next to his face for his exit, which made it that much harder to get his head out. The last hour and a half was only possible because I had two such incredible birth partners. Although none of us had actually planned for D to be there for the birth it turned out to be exactly the right thing and she and Mr O were both an incredible support for each other and for me. And in the end I was very happy that I didn’t have the epidural because it meant that I was up and about almost immediately after Little O came out.

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Seconds after Little O arrived

I know it sounds like one of those cheesy things you hear in the movies but the minute they gave him to me and I held his little body to my chest I forgot every second of the pain I had been through as well as all the emotional turmoil I experienced in my pregnancy. All I knew was that he was perfect and that I loved him more than I thought it was possible to love anything.

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I might be biased but this is clearly the most beautiful baby that ever lived

Although my labour was very straightforward and I felt well pretty much immediately after Little O’s birth, we stayed in hospital another two nights. He needed to have his blood sugar checked over a 48 hour period to make sure my diabetes hadn’t made him hypoglycaemic. Although my gestational diabetes was well controlled there was some risk because my active labour was so quick that they only managed to test my blood sugar once, rather than hourly. On that one test it was very high, which is common in labour. They were supposed to put me on a drip to manage it but there literally just wasn’t time.

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Exhausted but sleeping means that I can’t stare at him

Fortunately Little O passed all his sugars because he was feeding well and I was able to give him some of the colostrum I had expressed. While the hospital care we received, particularly from the midwives was absolutely amazing we were super excited to go home because sharing a ward with four other little families was a bit tough. Some of them were lovely. Some of them were not. And it all became quite claustrophobic quite fast.

We are home now and doing very well. Mr O and I are stupidly in love with Little O and he is honestly the most chilled baby… well so far anyway.

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Milk face

53 Comments

  1. Congrats Abbi! Looking forward to your baby chronicles! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I am loving it so far.

  2. Congratulations! I make that same milk face.

    1. Thank you! So does his daddy.

  3. Welcome, Little O!

  4. Congrats to the family! He looks perfect and definitely one of the most cutest babies ever!

    1. Thank you so much. I think he’s utterly gorgeous.

  5. Yahoo! Congratulations! What a lovely boy is Little O! I had my first son in Scotland, and I remember that “hormone pessary” like it was yesterday and not 31 years ago. I was shocked to learn that during the first month, babies don’t do much but sleep. Absolutely fabulous post, Abbi.

    1. I think it could be used as a torture device. Lol! But it certainly was effective on me! So far Little O has 4 settings – eat, sleep, poop and one we’re calling “wee fountain”. Lol!

  6. Congratulations on your beautiful baby! Happy motherhood Abbi!

  7. Congratulations! He is too cute!

  8. Ah, gorgeous! I love that little Buzz Buzz outfit, it’s adorable! Congratulations, and enjoy, and I really hope we get more of these posts, however frequent/sporadic they may be! Glad to hear Mr O made it back on time, too!

    1. Thank you so much. His grandad picked out his robot onesie. He has so many cute outfits he got as gifts.

  9. I have never had any children, despite three marriages. However, I have step-children, and step-grandchildren, and my one piece of advice is to make the most of this quiet time, before the tiredness and lack of sleep to come. I am very pleased for you both, and sure that you will be very happy with your little son.
    Only a lifetime to go…
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. We are trying to sleep as much as possible but the cluster feeding keeps me going pretty much non-stop. I’m sure he will sleep longer with time. Thank you so much for the kind wishes.

  10. Congratulations Abbi and Mr O! 🙂 I wish you and Little O all the very best! 🙂

  11. Oh, yay! Congratulations!!! : ) He’s beautiful, of course. And it’s very possible you’ll see this message soon even though it’s almost 1 am…. Lol 😉 So happy for you!

    1. Thank you! Miraculously someone slept from 11 – 3.30, which is when I saw this. Mummy can no longer smell colours!

  12. Awwwww! He’s here! YAY! Congrats!!! I hope you get some sleep soon-ish! Those first few weeks can be rough and wonderful all at the same time. Take care of yourself as best you can! And thank you for the update!!

    1. Thank you! I’m extremely lucky, while I feed Mr O does literally EVERYTHING else. So although I’m not sleeping much I am able to relax and catnap.

  13. Congratulations Abbi and Mr O, and welcome to the world Little O! Reading this with tears in my eyes! He is so beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much. I think he is an uncommonly beautiful newborn but I think all mamas say that!

  14. Every time I see a picture I think no picture could be cuter. And then I see the next kne. That last one is super adorable. I don’t think anything can top it but see above haha

    1. Aww thank you. I think he’s absolutely gorgeous but I know I’m biased.

      1. I’m not and he is 😊

  15. Congratulations, those pictures are lovely.

    1. Thank you! We’ve taken about 4,000. Lol!

  16. Awwwww! Welcome to the world Little O!! Thanks for sharing the wonderful story of bringing your new bundle of joy into the world, Abbi! Love your photo with Little O taken seconds after he arrived. Cheers!

    1. Thank you. I was a bit delirious in that moment but beside myself with joy. I am so glad Mr O captured it. It’s only looking at it now that I can see how blue he was!!

      1. Oh I think it’s just his head of hair that looks blue-ish on camera 🙂 It’s a great moment to be captured, so bravo Mr O!

        1. He was definitely blue. It’s on his chart that his Apgar was 9/10 because he was a little blue. He was pink 5 minutes later.

  17. MIB

    Congrats to you and Mr O and welcome the world Baby O! 🙂

  18. congrats Abs and Mr. O! Great to hear the story of how little O joined the world! May u guys only have joy and happiness from him and may he get into a normal schedule as quickly as possible for the sake of all of u! 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’m not expecting much of a schedule for a few months. It’s just eating and pooping right now.

      1. That’s normal… 😉

  19. Congrats! He surely is a beautiful baby. 🙂

  20. […] Firstly, congratulations to Abbi, who has given birth to the cutest little baby you ever did see! […]

  21. So so so so so so so sooooo happy and delighted for you!! He is just beautiful! Felt all emotional reading it all..thoroughly delighted for you and your little family!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Thank you so much. We are in awe of him.xxx

  22. congrats congrats congrats 🙂 🙂 So glad it all went well for you. Good luck in the coming months! 🙂

    1. Thank you! Looking forward to seeing how he grows.

  23. Aw congrats to you all Abbi, he really is the most beautiful baby ever! He is so gorgeous, thank you for sharing the pics with us. I hope you’re all well and having an amazing weekend 🙂 xx

    1. Thank you so much. I think he is beautiful but I know I have mummy eyes when I look at him. xx

      1. No, he really is beautiful! I am so happy for you and Mr O 🙂

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