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Letter to Luella: Welcome to the world

Fat Mum Slim /

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My sweet Luella Blue,

I loved you before I met you. You’re the little bub that I’ve been dreaming of for years, and to have you here in the world feels like magic. I just want to soak up every single second with you.

Today is your due date, and I wanted to write this before all the details become a blur. I never want to forget what it was like meeting you for the first time, what it felt like to hold your warm body in my arms and the days that have followed afterwards… mostly filled with lots of baby-gazing. You are very loveable.

So, let me tell you about the day you were born, my beautiful girl.

Tuesday 20th August 2013

I was woken by your big sister who wanted me to resettle her. So I woke, and waddled out from our carpeted bedroom to the tiled hallway where my waters broke {so kind to save it for the tiles, thank you waters}. With your big sister I had already experienced contractions and I felt a pop when my waters broke. This time there was no pain, just a waterfall. Being more than a week away from my due date, I was surprised but excited. I woke Dadda, called the hospital and then got ready to go in.

“You won’t be staying,” the midwife on the phone said so not to get my hopes up, “We’ll just check things out and then send you back home.”

I tried calling Gaga 3 times, but she hung up every single time. I later learned that she thought it was her alarm. Eventually I got in touch and she came to stay with Lacey for the night.

I was really nervous about going to the hospital, and started to feel sick as we pulled into the car park. I think having the early visit was just what I needed though. It familiarised me with everything and I got to meet a handful of beautiful midwives with each visit. Alinta was our first midwife that night, and it was so nice that she’d keep on checking in on us through our stay and eventually get to meet you.

We checked your heartbeat and you were happy inside. Alinta told me what was likely to happen and that we had about 72 hours for you to make your way into the world until we had to do something about it. So home we went.

As we walked in the door at 3am Lacey had just woken and was so excited that she was going to meet you. She ran to the car and asked, “Did you bring home the baby?!”

Sadly there were still a little more time to wait, but that time with just the three of us was pretty special.

Lacey and I stayed up that morning, together on the lounge watching TV. I glanced over at her, so aware that our time us just two was nearly over. I won’t lie, I cried.

We spent the afternoon back in the hospital for a check-up, and you were still happy inside. Just before midnight contractions started to happen, some were 6 minutes apart and others 15 minutes. They were pretty intense. I called the hospital to let them know things were happening but I wanted to stay at home. I had an appointment for another check-up at 7am, so I’d either see them then or hopefully before.

Sadly, not long after that phone call the contractions fizzled and I was only getting them half-hourly and then by morning just hourly. It wasn’t even enough to be called labour.

Wednesday 21st August 2013

I woke early, disappointed that the contractions hadn’t intensified but still content with how everything was going. Despite the contractions I’d slept quite well and was ready for whatever the day would bring. Your Mama is a planner so I thought I’d go to the hospital, then off to an acupuncture appointment and then be back in natural labour by dinnertime.

At around 6am I had a slight bleed {later I realised it was a ‘show’} so we headed into the hospital early and set up in a birthing suite to monitor you again. Again, you were very happy inside.

We knew that we had to make a decision, whether to be induced and stop the waiting game or wait it out. The midwife the afternoon before had told us the stats – how many people go into labour naturally within the first 24 hours, then the next 48 hours… and I’d been thinking about it overnight. I’d heard horror stories about inductions and it added to my already mounting birth fears.

We had until 8:30am to make a decision, as at that time the consultant would come in and we’d need to let them know. I went back and forth. Some decisions are hard to make. As always I asked a million questions, and really I just wanted someone to make the decision for me. As I spoke with various midwives I tried reading between the lines and guessing what they thought was the best way for me to go. In the end I didn’t know.

One midwife suggested, “If it worries you, order an epidural when you get induced.”

So that was my plan.

We decided that we just wanted to meet you, to have you in our arms.

The birth

The consultant and registrar came to meet with us, and although the decision was ultimately mine it was nice to hear her be persuasive with what she thought I should do. The midwives had forewarned me that it would be that way, that they’d just push for me to be induced.

“OK,” I decided through nerves, “I’ll get induced.”

It was decided. The midwife and the doctors chatted amongst themselves, and I immediately started to cry. Overwhelmed, excited, scared, nervous… a snowball of emotions just hit me. It was happening. I was going to meet you. Finally.

They knew that I’d had a traumatic experience with your big sister, so they assured me that this time would be much better. I knew that it would be.

I realised that we can plan as much as we like, but it’s not always going to go the way we want. I never wanted to labour during the day. I don’t really know why, but I just didn’t like the idea of the world going on around me while I was birthing. I liked with Lacey that I was delivering her as the world slept, and my family woke to the news of a new baby. It was peaceful.

Our birthing suite looked over the car park and being a small hospital, I could see the world busily happening below us.

And I never wanted to be induced. It was something I wanted to avoid. But here I was giving birth in the daytime, and it was actually OK.

The midwife, Courtney, started the drip and we waited for the contractions. I politely asked if we could call for the epidural, but the consultant had said she wanted me to have 4 contractions within 10 minutes before that happened.

When everyone left the room I looked at Dadda and said, “I know what they’re doing. They’re going to get me so far in the labour that I can’t have the drugs. I’m not stupid.”

We laughed. And then we waited. We had two midwives throughout the morning and there was lots of laughing and the vibe in the room was lovely.

At 11am the contractions started, and they didn’t stop. I don’t really remember much. It was contraction on top of contraction. Dadda held my hand through it all, and as they intensified my grip got tighter. Once a rather painful contraction had finished Dadda complained, “Do you mind not squeezing so hard, my finger is kinda sore from weeding yesterday?”

I mustered up a laugh, and vowed to continue squeezing as hard as I needed, weeding injury or not.

At 12:15pm I’d dilated to 6cm and the contractions were close together so I asked for the drugs. I need the Anethetist. Pronto. The labour was intense and painful.

I think he’s just outside Dadda assured me. I knew that I wasn’t getting the drugs.

“I need to push,” I declared. Quickly followed by, “Where are the drugs?!?”

The Anethetist came in and sat beside me. And that sounds lovely and calm like we were about to have tea and scones. But it wasn’t. I was breathing through contraction on top of contraction, and all I could see was a guy in a white coat come in. He began to tell me how epidurals work, and how I wasn’t going to be able to have one. In my head I remember thinking, “I know how they work, I’ve had one before. They’re bloodying AMAZING.”

At this stage I couldn’t muster any words. Anytime anyone would talk to me, I’d just give a blank expression. In my head I was responding, but in reality I was just getting through the contractions.

While the Anethetist was rattling off other drug options and information, I just grabbed his hand and made him good for something. I squeezed his hand hard through the next contraction and may have also let out a scream. He quickly left after that.

The second midwife, Lydia, was called back and it was time to give birth. In my head as soon as I realised the drugs weren’t happening I had to change my mindframe. I went from being filled with self-doubt to being empowered. I told myself, “I can do this. I can.”

An old light fixture hung on the wall, it was of a waterfall. Despite being plugged into the power it hadn’t worked in forever. Apparently it used to make little bird noises. How tranquil. Placed over the walls were random photos of frogs. I don’t know why. Lydia told me to pick a frog to look at it. In my head I laughed, in reality I gave her a dirty look.

“No more fun and games here then,” she laughed.

I’m not sure if it happens for everyone, but contractions make everything intense for me. If someone is laughing, it’s quite possibly the most annoying noise ever. If Dadda was accidentally touching my leg, it was like he was bearing his whole weight on me. In those last few minutes of labour I wasn’t the nicest person. Thankfully I think I was forgiven. {The midwives promised I wasn’t bad at all, after I apologised a gazillion times}.

So I looked at that broken waterfall picture and I pushed. In my head I muttered ‘ouuuuccchhh!’ but in reality {Dadda told me} that I let out three primal screams that will stay with him forever. I looked at him and I could see he was starting to cry. In my head I urged him to ‘toughen up buttercup’ but in reality I looked straight back at that waterfall and pushed.

After just 1.5 hours of labour, you were here. Your sweet little body was placed on my chest. The cord had wrapped around your little neck so you were purple, but within minutes you were back to normal. I was in such a state of shock that all I could mutter was, “I did it. I really did it” over and over again.

Despite the birth being fast and intense, it was beautiful and peaceful. You were so calm on my chest, like you’d never been away from me. Like we’d always been together. Love filled that room right then. It was consuming and wonderful. That moment when we met, is just magic. Seeing the way Dadda just turns into a gooey mess of loved-up man is something I want to remember forever. Feeling those feelings of overwhelming instant love is something I’d love to bottle up and keep for eternity.

A few hours later your big sister came to visit, and that moment was pretty magical too. Oh boy, the whole day just was. It was all kinds of wonderful.

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Just the four us spent some time together, before anyone else came into see us. Lacey loved you instantly. We gave her a little gift that you’d picked just for her, and she was beyond excited. She says thank you. The next day she said to me, with completely amazement, “I have a little sister! And that makes me a big sister!”

Yes, that is true.

You are loved, my little girl. You are loved with all our hearts. And, by the way, that’s a whole lot of love.

♥♥♥

It was up to me to decide on a name for you, and I couldn’t for a few hours. I went back and forth between two names, eventually deciding that you were my little Luella Blue.

Luella is a name that I’ve loved forever, and it just suited you. And Blue, well that’s special. There’s a man that you’ll sadly never get to meet, who would have loved you to the moon and back if he were here. Your PopPop, Bluey, would have been one of your most favourite people in the world, but sadly he passed away a few years ago. We’ll tell you stories, show you photos and videos and Lacey will show you how his star shines right above our house each night.

Luella Blue, the world is more beautiful with you in it. Thank you for making me a mama for the second time. I promise to smother you with love and kisses every day for the rest of my life. You are the sweetest little being who I can’t get enough of. The midwives urged me to put you into your bed at night, but I couldn’t. “She’s just the sweetest, most chilled thing,” I gushed. They rolled their eyes, smirked and let us be.

Luella Blue, I love you,
Mama. xx

Welcome to the world
Luella Blue
August 21st 2013 12:39pm
3.095kg
48cm
{& super cute!}

@Fatmumslim