Saturday, 31 October 2015

Brooke's First Halloween

Even before Brooke was born I've always loved Halloween! I know it's not for everybody and is very American but that doesn't bother me. In fact last year I was lucky enough to spend Halloween in Las Vegas with work and it was in-cred-ible! Literally the craziest night out I have ever had - the Americans go all out for Halloween and I'd never seen fancy dress costumes like it.

This year is Brooke's first Halloween so we couldn't resist getting her some cute little outfits to mark the occasion.

Brooke's Nonna found this for her in a charity shop for the bargain price of £2!
It's actually size 3-6 months so I was expecting it to swamp her but it wasn't too big at all which is a little bit scary.

Today we've just gone for a casual My First Halloween babygrow which I picked up for £5 at Asda. It's actually really lovely quality and has the helpful fold over sleeve/mitt things which is always good because Brooke's hands get SO cold during the night!

We did actually get invited to a Halloween/birthday/fireworks party this afternoon but I didn't think Brooke was really old enough this year. All the other kids going are quite a lot older and will be able to enjoy the fireworks where we would have to stay in the warm and watch through the window/or be asleep so we turned down the invitation.
Daddy is at work today so me & B are staying in the warm & having cuddles tonight but I can't wait until she is a little bit older & we can go to parties or go out Trick or Treating!

Brooke's Nonna bought her these lovely little Halloween presents which I thought was so sweet! Even though the candle holder isn't really baby friendly as such I think it's great that we can get in out every year & light a little candle to "spooky" the house up. The little owl puppet book is just adorable and I'm sure B will love it by next Halloween and again it's something we can get out every year.

Are you doing anything special for Halloween? I'd love to see your baby's costume?

Happy Halloween everyone!

Me and Mine - October 2015

My favourite and actually the only photo of the 3/4 of us this month. This was just a random Sunday at my mum & dads and we thought it'd be nice to have a couple of photos of all of us <3

If you're enjoying our updates I'd love you to follow our story either here or on Bloglovin'
dear beautiful

Friday, 30 October 2015

Benefit "They're Real" mascara - Review

I know there are a million reviews for this product already out there but as it's probably my absolute favourite and most used product in my make up bag I couldn't not do it! Plus it's been a while since I've done a beauty review.

Benefit's "They're Real" Mascara was a total game changer in the beauty industry. I honestly don't think there has ever been such a big hype around a mascara. Everybody has either tried this mascara or knows somebody who uses it. 
Even the advertising on the packaging speaks for itself. 
- 94% of people saw dramatic length and volume 
- 90% of people saw base to tip curl
- 94% of people saw visible lift
- 100% of people saw long wearing results (100%!!!.... That is crazy!)

I completely and utterly adore this mascara and wouldn't dream of using anything else now.
I completely agree with every claim Benefit make. When I use They're Real my lashes are longer, more curled, lifted and this mascara really does last all day. If it can handle one of my 13hr flights at work then it's a winner in my opinion.
Even though it's super long lasting They're Real is still really easy to remove and a light swipe with a make up remover wipe will remove all traces.

The tube is gun metal colour and even though it contains 8.5g of product it still appears quite compact and delicate. The mascara just looks so stylish and sleek and would fit perfectly into any makeup bag. 
The wand is also perfect for the type of application I like. It is flexible enough but not too bendy. It has short spokes in a comb style, perfect for applying the product to the length of your lashes and then the sphere shape at the end means you can reach even the teeniest smallest lashes in each and every corner of the eye.

I've always used They're Real in the shade Beyond Black which is very very black which I love but it is now available in Beyond Brown and Beyond Blue aswell.

Above is my left eye with no makeup and the bottom picture is my right eye with just one coat of mascara.

They're Real mascara retails at £19.50 which is obviously a little pricier than your average high street mascara but I definitely think it is worth the extra spend. Benefit products are amazing quality and They're Real in particular lasts forever. 
If you haven't already tried this life changer of a mascara I highly recommend you do. It can be found at any Benefit counter or online here

I'd love to know what you thought of They're Real?

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Baby by Chad Valley Deluxe Swing - Review

Before B was born I was pretty adamant that I wanted to buy a baby swing. It was one of my must haves! I wasn't fussed by a bouncy chair or playmat but I thought a swing would be a really useful product to have.

They seem to vary in price a lot ranging from around £50 right up to £200+ so being on a budget I was after a bargain. 
The swing has 3 different speeds, 7 different songs, is lockable whilst you get baby in and out, folds down smaller so it can be stored more easily, has a 5-point harness strap, has a head hugger for smaller babies and has a detachable toy bar complete with three animal toys.
Pretty much all the features that you could look for in a swing - in my opinion.

- It comes in turquoise green or cream so is unisex and perfect to keep for anymore babies
- the toys are really cute & detachable so can go on a pram/car seat if you want them to
- it folds down for smaller storage. Great if you don't have much space like us!
- secure 5 point harness
- it's the cheapest baby swing on the market which was a big plus for us
- simple controls
- swing motions are gentle but strong enough at the same time

- the green/turquoise colour is probably a little more on the blue side if you're looking for something truly unisex but it doesn't bother us
- even at their largest the arms straps seem quite tight. Brooke has to sit in an unnatural position for them to fit her comfortably so I don't strap her in very often.

Brooke says:
Brooke has a love hate relationship with her swing. Sometimes she loves it and sometimes she hates it.
I was hoping that the swinging motion would help to soothe her when she was upset but this isn't the case. She definitely just screams more if we put her in when she is already upset. 
BUT when she is already happy and content which is 90% of the time - we are very lucky - then she absolutely loves it. She will happily swing for ages and ages and it will quite often send her to sleep.
We've found it particularly useful for when we are eating dinner or both busy with something else and need to put B down awake for a little while.

I was more than prepared to pay full price of £43.99 for the swing but I actually really luckily came across the exact swing we wanted second hand on my local Facebook buying site for the bargain price of £15. Unfortunately this meant that the music has never worked but that's not necessarily a bad thing! Haha

Our rating: 9/10
Would we recommend it: YES

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

6 week checkup

Last Wednesday we went to the doctors for the first time so that Brooke & I could have our 6 week checkup (even though B was 8 weeks old by then!)

Our happy little lady was as good as gold and was babbling away to her new Doctor. She had her eyes, ears, heart, lungs and hips checked as well as being weighed and measured.

The little chunk is weighing in at 11lb 13oz now which the doctor was more than happy with. She usually screams her head off when she has to get naked to have her nappy changed or getting out of the bath because she hates being cold so I wasn't expecting the weighing to go well, but Brooke pleasantly surprised us all and was smiling away the entire time.

Our doctor was laughing at her because she wouldn't be quiet while he was trying to listen to her heart. She was coo-ing and chatting away to him for ages!
Overall our Dr was really pleased with B's development so far and says it's really good that she "talks" so much already and that she will interact and "talk back" when people speak to her. He said she is very aware of her surroundings and super curious which is lovely to hear.

My 6-week check consisted of 
"how are you feeling?"
"Any problems?"
"Are you healing okay?"
And that was pretty much it! I'm sure my doctor would have checked out my stitches if I had asked him too but to be honest I don't have any concerns. I feel 97% back to my old self now and I can tell everything has healed well and isn't infected.

How was your 6-week checkup? I'd love to hear if it varied a lot from ours?

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

What Brooke Wore #3

3 piece Dinosaur set - H&M

This was one of the first unisex sets we bought after our 12 weeks scan. Brooke wore it for a lunch date with our friends last week & everybody commented on how sweet it was. H&M do all different style 3-piece sets like this so I think I'll definitely get some more.

Star print sleepsuit by Ladybird - (pack of 3)

This outfit is part of a pack of 3 "Twinkle twinkle" themed sleepsuits. Theyre probably the only really bright bits of clothing that B owns so it's nice to see her in some colour for a change (that's not pink anyway!). I love all her ladybird sleepsuits, they are such good quality and wash really well.

Minnie Mouse dressing gown and slippers - Peacocks

My ultimate favourite thing in Brooke's entire wardrobe! <3 no words necessary!

Best & Dungarees set - TU at Sainsburys

This set was another hand me down but I love the cute polka dot vest!

Manchester United vest -
Cardigan - BHS
Velour tracksuit bottoms - Mothercare

Again B obviously had to dress up for the big match on Sunday - unfortunately she didn't bring us the same luck as last time!

I can't believe all of the items in this weeks post are age 0-3 months now (apart from the red cardi in the last pic), my little baby is growing up!!


A Slice of My Life Wales

Monday, 26 October 2015

2 month baby update

I just can't believe that our little princess is whole 2 months old today. Time is flying by so crazy crazy quickly and I feel like my teeny tiny newborn has slipped away right before my eyes and is fast becoming a little lady.

Day 1/7/14/21/28/35/42/49/56

We are so so lucky that you sleep amazingly well and always have done. You easily go from 10pm to 7/8am every night now which is a dreeeeaam! Once or twice you haven't even woken for your 10pm feed and slept right through 6.30pm to 6am. I'm trying to start a little bedtime routine now, bath at 6.10/6.15, bottle at half 6 and then you're usually asleep by 7. We change your bum before we go to bed at about 10/11 so if you wake up properly you have another bottle then but if not we let you sleep. This has been going really well but the past few days you've been a little bit unsettled and come down with your first cold so sleeping is out the window until you can breathe through your nose again!

You are still very much mummy's little piggy. You LOVE your milk and literally get excited when you see the bottle coming your way and pull all these cute little faces. You're now having 6oz bottles  5 or 6 times a day and pretty much drain them every time. We even gave you your first 7oz bottle yesterday (but you did leave a little bit)!

The health visitor came round last Friday when you were 7 weeks 2 days old and you were 11lb 9oz - a whole 3lb heavier than when you were born, and don't we know it! You're definitely much heavier to carry now & I can feel it when you fall asleep on me in an awkward position for too long.
Then we had your 6 week checkup on Wednesday (8 weeks old) and you were 11lb 13oz!! 4oz gain in 4 days!!! That's what's we're dealing with! Haha
We're starting swimming lessons next month and you have to be 3 months old or 12lbs and silly mummy was worried we'd have to miss the lesson because it's a few days before you turn 3 months old but you're going to be 12lbs by the weekend at this rate so I don't know what I was worrying about.

You smiles properly for the first time at around 5 weeks old. I'm sure you used to smile at me before that but we can't be sure it wasn't wind. The last 2 weeks or so you are just full of gorgeous smiles the whole time you are awake. You don't want your dummy anymore because you'd rather be chatting away to everybody. As soon as anybody shows you any attention and talks to you, you don't stop smiling and chatting back. I love it and you're so so cute!
The last couple of days you've really started to discover your hands and constantly shove them in your mouth to suck. You've also started grabbing any blanky nearby & pulling it up over you're head.
For the first time yesterday you actually started pulling on the toys that dangle above your playmat, and boy once you've got a grip nothing escapes! Haha

Big smiles today!!

This week I've finally admitted defeat and moved you into 0-3 month clothes. I was moaning for ages that you hardly had any clothes to chose from because everything was miles too big and I was determined not to buy anymore newborn bits but I take it all back!! It broke my heart packing away all the teeny clothes, far too many of them ended up in your special memory box because I couldn't bare for them to be packed up for the loft or even worse....sold! :(
All the 0-3 clothes are still pretty baggy, especially vests but the way you're going I'm sure it won't stay that way for long! I stupidly bought your Christmas outfits in 0-3 thinking you were growing slowly but I'm sure they will be to small by then.
You're still in size 1 nappies but will be moving up to size 2 very shortly. We are just using up the last pack of size 1's now.


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Post partum body

A strange strange thing has happened. Something I never expected to be saying.....
I actually feel more confident with my body since having a baby!

Yes you read that right! Don't get me wrong my body is far far from perfect, it always has been and probably always will be but for the first time in a really long time I actually feel happy in my own skin which is definitely not an emotion I would have predicted to be feeling when we first found out we were going to have a baby.

I'm afraid the picture above isn't me, it's just a google image from the NHS website because even though I am feeling fairly confident in myself at the moment I'm not quite that brave.
I didn't get any stretchmarks through the majority of my pregnancy. I'd say they started to appear very lightly at around 37 weeks and were still pretty mild and then almost seem to have gotten worse & way more defined since Brooke has been born. The picture above is the closest I could find to my own tummy, the stretchmarks are literally all congregated to the area below my belly button and that's it! Which I thought was strange because that's the bit of my tummy that was flabby & fat to begin with so surely it stretched the least? It was the underneath of my bump so I couldn't reeeaally see the damage until after I'd given birth but all in all its not too awful. Obviously I was hoping not to get any stretchmarks, surely every woman is? But that was unrealistic and I know compared to some people mine aren't too bad at all.

I was really really lucky and throughout my pregnancy I didn't gain too much weight. Only 18lbs in total and Brooke was nearly half of that so by the time you took out all my excess water, blood, placenta, milk and all those other lovely things I was actually 1lb lighter than before I fell pregnant when Brooke was just 2 days old. Which I know I am so so lucky to have experienced because a lot of ladies really struggle and believe me I was expecting to be one of them!! In the past I have tried every diet/healthy eating plan going and find it SO difficult to lose weight. I only need to look at a chocolate cake and put on 3lbs!
2 weeks post partum I was half a stone lighter than pre-pregnancy, probably because I didn't have time to eat if I'm honest which definitely isn't the healthiest post pregnancy diet.
Please don't take this post the wrong way or as me showing off because I honestly don't mean it like that at all, I may have lost my extra pregnancy weight but I am still hugely overweight and need to lose 3 stone + to be within a healthy BMI range, something I am just looking to approach now assuming that my 6 week (actually 8 week) checkup with the doctor goes okay tomorrow. I really thought I'd be obsessive about losing my baby weight and toning my tummy because I am so paranoid about being overweight but I honestly honestly don't care! Our baby girl is, quite rightly so, taking up all of my time and attention at the moment and that's how I expect it to stay for the foreseeable. I lost a lot of blood during delivery and had to have a huge episiotomy so was advised by the doctor not to exercise for at least 6 weeks anyway - not that I could have if is wanted to. I could barely sit down for the first 3 weeks!
I've put on a couple more pounds now and am probably back up to my pre-pregnancy weight - I'm too scared to look on the scales to confirm this!
But I can't help but feel proud of myself, even though I know I haven't even done anything!!

I was never happy with my body, in particular my tummy, before I had Brooke. It was flabby, it's where I hold most of my excess weight which is the unhealthiest place to do so, I never wore tight fitting clothing, would live in Spanx for a night out and I haven't worn a bikini for years. I've always felt pressure to look a certain way and be a certain weight and would forever compare myself to my thinner friends. I'd always feel like people would judge me for being overweight.
Now all of a sudden it's like a cloud has lifted and a huge weight has gone from my shoulders. 
Even though I'm the same weight as before and my tummy is even wobblier than before, now somehow it doesn't matter! 
People expect my belly to be like that and expect me to be overweight because I'm a mum and because I've just had a baby and I LOVE it! Everybody has been telling me how great I look and how I look exactly the same as before I had a baby, which obviously I do because I'm the same weight and it's lovely for my confidence to hear but I think I'm forgetting that being back in my pre-pregnancy jeans isn't actually that much of a positive when they were a size 16-18 to begin with and I still have a long way to go.
I know that's the strangest thing to say and the weirdest way to feel but that's the best way I can think to describe it. It's bizarre!!

I so so don't want my body insecurities to pass on to Brooke so it's really something that I'm trying to work on before she's big enough to pick up on any negativity. I'm hoping to start Weightwatchers and focus on losing weight healthily and slowly over the next couple of years. 
I going to try & document my weight loss ups and downs so keep your eyes peeled for that.

How have you felt about your post partum body? I'd love to hear your stories and any tips for weight loss/fading stretchmarks.

If you're enjoying my mummy updates I'd love you to follow our story either here or on Bloglovin'


Monday, 19 October 2015

What Brooke Wore #2

This week we actually remembered to get some full length outfit posts so here we are...

Hat (pack of 2) - George at Asda
Zip up jacket - TU at Sainsburys
Jogging bottoms (pack of 2) - Primark
Shoes (pack of 3) - Mothercare

Now the temperature seems to have suddenly dropped I'm trying to make sure Brooke always has a hat on when we're out and about. I think she looks so cute in them, like a proper little smurf!

Romper sleepsuit (pack of 2) - H&M

This is actually the first item of 0-3 clothing that B has worn. Up until now everything was so big for her that it looked pretty silly but this week I've finally accepted that her newborn bits are getting a bit snug and popped her in this.
I love the romper style to this because most sleepsuits have enclosed feet and seem more restrictive. Brooke was extra happy wriggling around in this.

Snowsuit - George at Asda

Again this is 0-3 but B's been wearing it since she was born on all our trips to the park to walk Marley. It's so snug & cosy and finally starting to fit her properly. It was a hand me down from my friend Lucy and her little girl Betsy & I know they've already got the same suit in 3-6 to pass on to us as well so that'll be fab for winter.

Babygrow - The Disney Store

This was the outfit that B wore home from the hospital when she was born and it swamped her at the time. It was one of the first unisex bits we bought after our 12 week scan & definitely one of my favourites. It's velour type fabric and so so soft!

Long-sleeve vest - Mothercare
Dungarees - vintage

 Not that you can see in the photo but the vest says "Daddy's Little Cupcake" on it and was part of the Easter range at Mothercare and was a gift from Brooke's godparents.
The dungarees were actually mine when I was a baby. I've really struggled to find any pink dungarees that I like so was thrilled when my mum passed these on to me. It's crazy to think first I wore them, then I used to dress my little dollies up in them and now my little girl is wearing them! So cute!


A Slice of My Life Wales

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

1 month baby update

I really am becoming pretty useless because this update is late as well (you'll be 7 weeks old when this post goes live!) but here's your 1 month update!

I really really don't want to jinx us but you're still sleeping like an absolute dream! Since 2 days old you have only woken up once each night, usually around 4 or 5am but this is slowly getting later and at 3 weeks old you slept through the night for the first time 10pm-6am and do this at least once a week - usually when its daddy's turn to get up in the night, little monkey! 
After early morning milk you happily go back to sleep in your crib for a few hours & we usually finally get up and dressed for the day at around 10am.
You tend to have about 4-5 naps during the day but you're definitely staying awake for longer now which is lovely.

At 4 weeks old you're having 4-5oz of milk every 3-4 hours. We tend to just let you have it when you're hungry rather than waiting exactly 3 hours but that does mean sometimes you're too tired for bedtime milk at 10pm and skip that one all together!
You still guzzle all your milk happily and rarely sick. Unfortunately you seem to get particularly windy at about 7pm - we like to call it the 7 o clock scream fest - because you scream & scream and nothing seems to help. It breaks my heart! Luckily it doesn't seem to last very long and you're quickly back to you're happy self but we've started giving you infacol before your afternoon & evening bottles.

We took you to be weighed at 4 weeks old exactly and you were 9lb 13oz - little chunk!

I'm sure you are starting to smile and it's not just wind anymore. You are just the cutest!!
You babble to yourself a lot, especially when we put you in your crib at bedtime. The whole time I've been typing this you've been chatting away to yourself. You've started pulling my hair which isn't fun and flap your arms around all the time, often punching poor Marley in the face or grabbing his fur.
You pretty much hold your head up by yourself now and hardly need any support.

Youre still pretty dinky and in your newborn clothes which I'm loving! I want you to be this small forever!!! We've tried 0-3 clothes a couple of times but they still swamp you. Still in size 1 nappies but I think when we run out of the packs we already have we'll move you up to size 2's now.


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Mummy and Me - September 2015

I can see I'm definitely going to have problems just choosing one photo each month....still this month I'm managed to limit it to two so better than August!

This was during the Man Utd v Liverpool match. The little vest is 0-3 months so miles too big for Squish at the moment but we couldn't resist!
12.09.15 (17 days old)

My sleeping baby - possibly the cutest thing ever!!
14.09.15 (19 days old)

If you're enjoying our updates I'd love you to follow our story either here or on Bloglovin'

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Monday, 12 October 2015

Labour and birth story

Here we are nearly 6 weeks on and to be honest it's taken me up until now to feel normal again & properly get over giving birth to our little girl. I thought it was time I put pen to paper as such because amazingly I'm actually already forgetting about aspects of my labour! 
I know everybody tells you that you forget about the all of the pain the instant your baby is in your arms but I 100% did not believe that was possible - but it definitely is!

So Tuesday 25th August (40+6 weeks pregnant) I went to see my midwife for my second stretch and sweep. The first had been done at the hospital when I was 40+3 and the nurse said she couldn't really reach my cervix properly yet so unsurprisingly it did nothing. So to be honest I wasn't expecting much from this second one either. It was a little more uncomfortable than the first time, my midwife said she was able to have a good sweep and that my cervix appeared favourable so all good signs....& off I went on my way.

That evening I had mild tummy aches, less than period pains & I'd had the same after the first sweep so didn't think it necessarily meant anything. Then at 3am I woke up with stronger tummy pains. At this point I still wasn't 100% sure whether they were contractions & whether this was actually it but I couldn't get back to sleep - out of pure excitement and hope I think because the pain wasn't bad at all - so I told G I thought maybe something was happening, that I'd come get him if the pains kept getting worse and got up, went downstairs to watch some telly & eventually started timing what I realised they were definitely contractions.
I used the Pregnancy+ app on my phone which was fab, looking back at the history now it was 3:45 when I started timing and contractions were lasting less than 30seconds and coming all over the place, sometimes 6minutes apart & sometimes 15minutes apart.
At this point I told G this was definitely it, Squish was definitely on her way and rang the hospital to find out what they wanted us to do.
They told me to ring back when contractions were coming 3 every 10 minutes and lasting for over a minute each time - or if my waters broke.
By 5am the contractions were coming as frequently as they said they needed to be so I rang back. I was basically told there was no way I was in established labour because I was far too calm so that I was welcome to go down to the hospital to be checked if I wanted to but id probably be getting sent home again.
In my head I was so set on staying at home as long as I could possibly manage and getting sent home was not an option, so I agreed to stay at home abit longer. Don't get me wrong the pain had got stronger but it was still totally bearable & I was coping well. In between contractions I felt completely normal & wasn't struggling yet. About this time I got in the bath to help manage the pain but again I wasn't struggling too much so I just had a little relax and took time to realise this would be my last peaceful bath for a while! G called his mum to come round & collect Marley, she only lives 2 minutes round the corner so didn't mind.
I then rang the hospital again to say could I come in because the contractions were still coming frequently & getting stronger and was told again that I was far too calm so must be in very early labour so again agreed to stay home a while longer.
By this point it must have been about 6am & we sat up watching Ex On The Beach (loving this series by the way!), then I was suddenly aware I was very damp and that my waters had broken. There was no huge gush like you expect, I just felt like I needed to go to the toilet all the time & kept getting G to pause the telly so I could go sit on the toilet again and again.
After this went on for a while and id got through 3 different pairs of knickers, pads & pyjama bottoms me & G both agreed it was time to go to the hospital. They'd told me to ring & let them know I was coming & I said to G "you're going to have to ring & speak to them because they don't believe me that I'm in labour". Looking back it's ridiculous that the midwives on the phone made me feel like that, just because I was dealing with the pain well and could hold a conversation without screaming like a banshee they shouldn't assume that nothing much was happening yet. So at about 7:30 off we went....

G drove me to the hospital (he doesn't have a license and just drives my car as a learner with L plates and me present so it was always a dodgy situation). To be honest I probably could have driven myself because the pain still wasn't unbearable but it was definitely hurting more and I may have had to pull over during contractions. When we got there I actually parked the car so really didn't feel too bad.
We were greeted by a midwife quite quickly and shown to an examination room up on the antenatal ward at about 8am. She was very patronising telling me just to remember that the uterus is only a muscle and it was only contracting and that it was still very early days so I shouldn't be getting too worked up - bearing in mind all I was doing was scrunching my nose up & pulling faces every time a contraction came. Still no noises or screaming but I never thought I'd be that girl to be honest.
They left us alone in the room for ages and finally got round to examining me at 9:20 where we discovered I was already 8cm dilated!! I have honestly never been so relieved in my life as when the midwife uttered those words. Those were the words that reassured me I wasn't crazy, I was in established labour and this did hurt! I wasn't being a drama queen. And I was also amazed with myself for getting this far & feeling pretty okay - I always thought I had a horrendously low pain threshold so who knew?
After this is was like my midwife had a personality transplant! All of a sudden she couldn't be any nicer to me if she tried, I was a hero & she couldn't believe how amazing I had been & they never would have been able to guess I was 8cm from the way I was acting because I was still calm and holding conversations like normal. I was then rushed down to a delivery room pretty quickly and passed to the loveliest midwife ever called Ali who we actually had looking after us for my entire labour from this point.

She examined me pretty quickly, confirmed I was 8cm and said basically they wouldnt be examining me again for 4 more hours. When you are in labour for the first time they expect you to dilate half a cm per hour so she said they would give me 4 more hours of labouring naturally before they would need to talk about any interventions (if nothing further had happened) and obviously if I got the need to push before then we would crack on with pushing.
I was given gas & air which worked well for me. Beforehand I wasn't sure whether I would like it or whether it would make me feel sick. The first few "puffs" (is that what you say?) made me abit lightheaded but I was good after that. I wouldn't say it helped with the pain massively, people say it just takes the edge off but I wouldn't even say that. I don't think it made much difference to the pain at all but it gave me something else to focus on during a contraction and helped with my breathing.

From this point on things went pretty downhill. They let me labour on and obviously the contractions got stronger and more painful. By 1pm I was 10cm when they examined me but to be honest I think I had been for quite a while before that because the pain had increased a lot. Squishy was low down all through the end of my pregnancy but back to back, so looking up towards my tummy rather than down towards my bum (if that makes any sense at all?!) Ali said she had started to turn so things would probably be okay and probably be able to push her out with no problems naturally. And then Ali took a lunch break.....
The midwife that covered her for an hour was a total witch, she kept telling me off, was sooo patronising and kept getting really close to my face with her horrid bad breath which was not making me feel any better! During this hour I really started feeling the pain a lot to the point where I was sure something had to be wrong. I know my body and I had dealt with the severe pain up until now pretty well and I knew this wasn't right. "Witch" midwife examined me again, confirmed I was 10cm and said the baby had turned and was now in the right position so I would be able to push whenever I got the urge and get her out no problem! Easy peasy right?
This carried on for a few more hours. I was really really pushing and really really in serious pain!! I couldn't control the urge to push anymore, with every contraction I had no choice but to push but nothing seemed to be happening and Squishy wasn't moving down enough. My contractions started becoming less and less frequent so less efficient with helping me get Squishy down the birth canal. They weren't sure whether Squish was getting distressed at this point because her heart rate was going a bit funny so they cut the top of her head to take blood and be sure of the state she was in.
About now I'd say 4:45pm, they examined me again - finally - told me that "witch" midwife had got it wrong and that Squishy hadn't turned round into the right position at all which is why I couldn't push her out. She was stuck and because of the position she was in it would have been physically impossible for me to push her out. The angle at which her head was sitting was too large to come out first. She was also a pretty big baby (not that we knew this for sure yet!) so probably a little bit too large for me to get her out naturally which didn't help plus my contractions were faded away so all the odds were against me,
Luckily I had managed to push Squish down enough so they said I would be taken down to theatre but able to deliver her naturally just that I would need assistance with forceps, but if she hadn't been low enough for them to reach her I would have needed a c-section for sure. At the mention of forceps & going to theatre I literally freaked out. I was imagining absolutely ripping to shreds and feeling all sorts of horrendous pain. I had no idea that they would actually give me a spinal so I would be numb from the waist down and not able to feel a thing. They quickly ran through all the possible risks etc with me & got me to sign a consent form whilst G went and got changed into some scrubs. Absolutely terrifying to think about what could go wrong but you don't really have much choice do you?
We had the loveliest team of doctors all reassuring me that everything would be fine and that I was still going to have to do all the work and push Squishy out they were just going to help me. Before I knew it the spinal was going in - I remember panicking and making them wait until a contraction had just finished because by this point I was in sooo much pain & squirming around all over the place when contractions came and I was petrified id end up paralysed or something if I squirmed mid-spinal being administered.
I became numb pretty quickly. The doctors kept spraying ice cold water on me to tell whether I was numb enough yet and eventually I was numb all the way up to my chest which was the strangest feeling! I remember trying to cough & sneezing a couple of times & it felt like I couldn't do it because I couldn't feel the muscles to make them work - bizarre!

As soon as I couldn't feel the pain from the contractions anymore I felt absolutely fine. I could have laboured on for hours more after that. Luckily I didn't have to though at 5:40pm...two contractions and two big pushes later our beautiful baby girl was here. All 8lb 9oz of her!
Without a doubt the most amazing moment of my life!

Unfortunately because of the circumstances G didn't get to cut the umbilical cord and Squish didn't get placed straight onto my chest which are two things I really had hoped for but by this point I was so happy and relieved that she was here and healthy nothing else mattered.
The doctor lifted her up over the sheets so I could see her and then she got taken over to the little unit where doctors and midwives check the baby over. Probably only 3 or 4 feet away from me but because I was lying down and numb I couldn't really tell what was going on. G went with her and helped to get her all wrapped & cosy in a towel and had first cuddles before she was brought over to me and snuggled in my nighty for some skin to skin.

I just remember cuddling her for ages and ages while the doctors stitched me up. Again because I was numb I knew nothing about it, or delivering the placenta for that matter - both of which I'm relieved about. I later found out I'd lost over a litre of blood which is quite serious so I'm pleased I hadn't realised at the time because I would have panicked for sure!

We then got taken back to our delivery room and got Squishy properly dressed in her first little outfit and nappy. We picked out a plain white babygrow with baby pink hearts all over it. Even though Squishy was a pretty big baby all her newborn clothes were still too baggy for her with loads of spare room.

Luckily because I'd given birth quite later in the afternoon/early evening we got to go home the next morning. We had to have quite a few checks through the night both Squishy's blood sugar levels (because of the blood pressure medicine I had been on at the end of my pregnancy) and my iron levels because of the amount of blood I had lost. Thankfully both were fine and we were discharged and set off ready to start our new adventure as a family!

I'm so sorry this post has turned out to be somewhat of a novel - it's so hard to shorten these birth stories isn't it? I wanted to make sure I got all the details down to look back on and remember because believe it or not I am already forgetting some of it!
If you got this far congratulations! And thank you for reading!

I'd love to read your birth/labour stories and experiences so please link below