This time round I'm more nervous! Why? I should be old hat at this surely.
3rd Full term pregnancy(we lost one earlier this year, My mind and body were in turmoil with all the uncertainty of my Dad, It just wasn't right)
4th baby surely I shouldn't have any worries Right? Wrong?!
I never had the worry about birth 1st time round, I was confident in my body and its capability.
I didn't attend any antenatal classes/birthing classes, I was too busy with my career, which at that stage in my life came first and I was out to prove that being pregnant and a new Mama wouldn't impede on my ability to do my job to my full potential.
I had a good pregnancy, although I missed my 1st scan and tests as we were travelling around Cambodia, Vietnam etc for our honeymoon.
The birth was great, although I was turned away from the hospital twice in 6 hours, I returned a couple of hours later having fully laboured at home in the bath.
The baby's head was showing, and they had enough time to run the birthing pool...45 mins later my 1st beautiful baby girl was born.
As I has no medical intervention, they decided not to give me anything and let me have a physiological third stage(deliver the placenta naturally) Well....that bugger took longer to deliver than my baby and got stuck!!
I won't go into too much detail, but I was on could nine and playing the joker and has several of the nursing staff in stitches(no pun intended)
Finally after 55 mins of agony, I was able to enjoy a relaxing bubble bath in the pool where I has previously given birth, with our chill out music on and candles lit whilst Daddy had cuddles with our babe.
A fantastic experience and one I knew was down to my positive mind set.....
2nd time round
After the excitement and realisation of 'shit we're having another baby' subsided I felt an enormous amount of guilt. Guilt of why wasn't my Moli enough for me...I was worried that I didn't have enough love for another baby, How could I? I loved M so much that it consumed me, there wasn't any room in my heart & soul to love another this hard.
How would my Babe feel?
Would she feel rejected by me, her Mama?
How could she understand? she was too young!
These feelings didn't go away throughout the whole pregnancy.
This time round I didn't cope too well with the sickness. I lost so much weight people were starting worry about me, I couldn't even hold water down.
Then from 7 weeks I spotted most days and new years eve/day I had heavy blood flow.
We ended up in A&E, not the best start to 2013. I was examined and sent away with a suspected miscarriage.I asked for a scan but they didn't want to give me false hope. I was sent home empty and scared to deal with this alone.
My fabulous Doctor wasn't happy and sent me to the early pregnancy unit for a scan.
Obviously I was expecting the worst.....not what was about to happen. On 9th Jan 2013, we found out that I wasn't having one baby, I was infact expecting two!
To say we were in shock would be an understatement and we pretty much stayed in shock throughout the pregnancy(and beyond if Im honest)
Throughout the pregnancy I felt sick, and ended up with SPD or PGP(pelvic gurdle pain) which is very unpleasant. I also had an iron deficiency which made me very breathless and dizzy, but apart from the above I felt relatively unscathed.
This time, like before it was new, giving birth to two rather than one.
Deciding how you'd like to give birth, and knowing if you have a vaginal delivery with the 1st twin & the 2nd doesnt come out within the hour medical intervention is needed as there is an increased risk of death to the 2nd twin.
All my head could think of was having to recover from a vaginal & C-section delivery, whilst trying to breastfeed two NB and look after my toddler... that didn't sound like much fun!
I nearly opted for a C-section, but once again put faith my body to deliver.
At 37 weeks I was told I would be induced, if I made it that far, I did of course and the consultants booked me in for induction of the Monday 1st July(2days before my bday!)
The date arrived and we were turned away as they were understaffed, the same thing the next day.
I was asked why I was booked in as they don't usually see twins mums until 38+ weeks and asked to call back on the Friday. As long as I can feel movement they were happy to leave me......now any twin Mama knows that you can feel movement, but you can't say if its one or both twins.
I was distraught, I felt I had been left and that if anything was to happen it would be my fault!
When I questioned their decision, I was told they follow NICE guidelines (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) and they don't see anyone before 38 weeks, baring in mind the consultants that booked me in worked at the very same hospital and follow the same guidelines???? I even had a letter to say that after 37 weeks if I hadn't gone into spontaneous labour an induction will be booked as the mortality rate increases beyond these weeks.
We tried to carry on as normal and decided to go for an early Birthday lunch, just the three of us and enjoy some last min retail therapy.
On the way home from shopping I was very uncomfortable(earlier I had walked into a bollard with the pushchair - not recommended)
The pains stopped and I was looking forward to my Birthday celebrations with my Family the next day.
Roll on a few hours & a few toilet trips later, at 3.30am I could be found pacing the bathroom waiting for my husband to notice I wasn't in bed.
He finally came and found me at 4am, he ran me a bath and called the hospital, to let them know we were on our way. he then called My Mum at about 4.10am to come and look after Moli.
As He frantically ran around getting our stuff together, the baby decided to come as I hovered over the toilet. She was caught by her Daddy as she came out.
Moli had woken and we brought her in to introduce her to her little sister! It's amazing, how calm & in control I was, I even remembered to ask hubby the exact time, so I knew what time to put on her birth certificate 4.25am
My Mum arrived shortly after and was in shock & slightly worried as she knew the 60 min window was ticking by.
I then started contracting again, the hospital was made aware of the situation and the midwife and ambulance was dispatched. We waited an hour and half for anyone to arrive, I just sat on the toilet covered in a towel waiting.
The ambulance were the first to arrive, but didn't intervene. Then the amazing community midwife arrived and took control of the situation.
They made my bedroom delivery ready but discovered twin two, although head down, was stuck behind twin 1 placenta with an arm and leg over the head(for good measure!)
The midwife decided to get me to hospital as she didn't want to cut the cord, as twin 2 was in perfect position for delivery and if I had delivered twin 1 placenta, it may have altered the position of the baby.
Off I walk naked(ok I had my dressing gown over my shoulders, but I also had a baby attached to her short umbilical cord(theres no dignity when having babies, haha!)
We were blue lighted to hospital, and my midwife explained there would be a lot if rushing and confusion when we arrived, but to take no notice and focus on her....she reassured me that We were fine, and the unborn twin was fine!
Upon arrival I was given a spinal block ready for theatre, but I had made it this far I wanted to try a few more times.
The lead consultant arrived and with a few adjustments to the baby position I was allowed to try and push, Of course not being able to feel anything(its the weirdest sensation) it made the birth so much harder for me.
I managed to give myself a talking too and push her out 2 and half hours after her sister!!
It may sound scary, but I was happy with how it turned out obviously, as it could of been much worse.
The only part I would change in that whole scenario would be the length of time we waited for an ambulance/midwife.
I never had a birth plan- As I'm too anxious if things aren't followed, Im much better at going with the flow, (as I know I haven't failed if there were no set plans) Or in fact planned to labour without drugs, I would do whatever it takes to deliver the babies safely.
3rd time round....
My worries this time are different, I didn't have the panic of how I would cope with two ( I don't know whats its like to have two) or how I would cope from two to three.
I went from 1 to 3 ALL under the age of TWO!
My worry isn't how will my girls feel, as they are old enough to talk to me and express their worries & concerns. My worry isn't how I will cope with 4,
How will the baby fit in?
Is the age gap too big?
Will they have the same close bond, as the age gap is bigger?( I know this gap will close when they get older, but its so magical watching these 3 play together and have no need for anyone else in their gang).
Now its, will I be able to get them out of the house on time for school(I don't do a very good job of that at the minute) Before I had no where to be, no set times nothing to get out for if I didn't want too.
I don't want to be so wrapped up in breastfeeding that I can't help my babes with the seam on their tights or pour the milk for their cereal (although they'd love to do that themselves!)
My worry is, am I strong enough this time round to rely solely on my body. Is my mind capable of being calm?
The 1st time it was new & exciting, 2nd time it was new & different, this time I know whats in store....Will I make it to hospital in time?
I labour quickly. I'm miles away from hospital, will my last birth be in a lay-by(not that it really matters, as long as it arrives safely).
My last thought or feeling, which makes me sad is how do we as women get our head around the fact that we will never do this again?!
Some may not like being pregnant, or like labour or birth, But it is amazing what our bodies can do & the thought that me and my body will never do it again saddens me.
I know I am VERY lucky, I never imagined I would have loads of children, especially at my ripe old age, but for me it's an end of a (reproductive) era. I'm not too good with change, especially if I don't feel its beneficial to me.
I'm a sentimental soul, Or is it a sign that I am in fact old, I'm unsure?! but I am however excited for this big change that is about to happen and excited as ever to meet this miracle babe!