Thursday, March 24, 2011

Welcome Baby Anabel Joy...

What a wonderful relief! Our precious baby Anabel Joy was born on March 16, 2011 at 3.45pm. She was slightly heavier then her sisters, weighing 7lbs but with the same length of 48cm. So much for my and Juan's predictions of a lighter skinned, lighter haired little girl - Anabel is darker and has more black hair than we could have imagined! She is just such a beautiful baby. She lets us know what she needs and she loves cuddles and kisses. I just cannot get enough of her, I am totally addicted to her in every way. Her cheeks just BEG to be kissed, and when I hold her to my chest she snuggles into my neck and makes a little noise that says "Ahh... I'm with my mummy.." I felt such a special bond with her from the moment I looked at her, and from the moment she was placed in my arms she was calm and knew that I was her mummy. Much to Juan's dismay I am still the only person who can settle her - at last, a Mummy's Girl! ;-) As for the delivery, this was definitely the most dramatic, but for different reasons than the others. With Vettoria the whole experience was very emotionally and mentally overwhelming and I thought at the time, physically terrifying. But it wasn't until I had Eadith that I fully understood what physically terrifying actually entailed. With Anabel, the experience was just crazy.. I'll give you the run down but promise to TRY not to go into too much detail! I was at the park with some friends from our ward Mother's Group when the contractions started. They were about 10 minutes apart but I wasn't too concerned because I had been having them for weeks. But by the time I left the park they were down to about 8 minutes so when I got home I called Juan to warn him he may need to leave work within the next few hours. Within another 15 minutes they were down to 6 minutes apart and that was when I realised things were not slowing down and it was all happening too fast for them to be braxton hicks. It had only been about 30 minutes since I had arrived home. So I called Alisha to come and take me the hospital, as Juan was not going to be able to get home in time to drive me. Meanwhile my parents made arrangements to pick up Juan from work. The contractions were now less than 3 minutes apart so I called the hospital, Redlands, where I was planning to deliver to let them know I was on my way there. While on the phone I breathed through the contractions and that was when the midwife timed that they were actually less then TWO minutes apart. By the time Alisha arrived at my house I couldn't walk more than a minute before feeling the pain. Poor Vettoria had no idea what was going on and all I could do was try to comfort her and tell her everything was fine. The hospital then told us to call an ambulance which Alisha did, and spoke with them as I sat and tried not to freak out. I called Juan and my mum answered. By now the pain was so intense I felt myself losing some control and I just wanted to ball my eyes out at the thought that I was going to have my baby in my lounge room. My mum got on the phone and sternly told me to "Calm down! You have to breath. I can hear that you're losing control. You need to keep calm and keep breathing!" I really needed that, and I tried harder to breathe and maintain that control. Meanwhile the ambulance people on the phone to Alisha told me to remove all my lower clothing and lay a towel on the floor as they were still quite a few minutes away. So Tori went and got me a towel from the bathroom and I tried to remain calm as I crawled on all fours on the towel placed on my living room floor. That was when my neighbour peeked her head in through the open front door and I realised not only was she looking at me in my half-naked glory, but so was my street! But instead of caring I told her I was ok and FINALLY after like 20 minutes, the ambulance arrived. I was so relieved that professionals would be there if necessary to deliver the baby. But thankfully she didn't come just yet, and the ambulance guy helped me up and I made my way to the front door. That was when he said "Let's just put the towel around you before you go out...". I flippantly wrapped it around my legs, but now it is only in hindsight that I realised I was fully prepared and ready to walk out onto my driveway for the whole street to see, completely naked from the waist down- No joke! I was so out of it I honestly wasn't even thinking. So, thank you Ambulance man!! The ambulance took me to the nearest hospital down the road which was not my original plan, but I really didn't care. Once there everyone expected the birth to be quick, most likely within the next 30 minutes. But after checking my dilation and seeing I was still only 8cm I asked for the epidural. As I was at a new hospital they had to order all my tests, pregnancy details, etc, so the process took a lot longer than normal to get the epidural process started. An hour later I still didn't have it in, and I was worried that Juan wasn't even going to be there for the birth. About a half hour later he arrived and he and the midwife helped me breathe and prepare. I was definitely handling this one better then my first two deliveries, nevertheless I still begged for that epidural, as I was STILL only 8cm dilated and I knew pushing was the hardest part of all. Finally the anesthetist arrived and began the preparations. Twenty-five minutes later I was asked to sit on the side of the bed with my legs resting on a chair in front of me. I was told to sit "very still" as the local anesthetic was put into my back, which I did, as hard as that was during a contraction that felt like her head was crowning... And then he said "now I need you to be VERY still" as he prepared to put in the epidural. But just as he was putting it in I felt the need to push so bad that I couldn't stop! All at once, Juan, the midwife and the anesthetist all began yelling at me "Don't move! Don't move!" but you try not moving as a baby's HEAD literally comes out and makes you rise off the bed you are sitting on! That's right, as I screamed out in pain and while everyone was telling me NOT to move, the baby's head came out onto the bed under me. Thankfully the epidural was not able to go in all the way, so I was able to position myself better for the final push and out came our baby girl. It was such a beautiful moment and for a minute we just enjoyed our new precious daughter. But then as doctors began rushing into the room and as I felt the extreme pain in my stomach I knew something wasn't right. That was when I was told that I had not fully dilated and my cervix was still only 8cm when I pushed out the baby, so part of my cervix was actually pulled out with the baby. This meant I was hemorrhaging, and also that my uterus was not contracting as it should have. So the doctors got to work manually contracting my uterus - FYI, SOOO PAINFUL!!!!! - and after about an hour of massaging and pulling and poking and prodding they hooked me up to an IV that manually brought on contractions to help my uterus do what it had to do. I was attached to the IV for about four hours with constant contractions before I was well enough to be moved into the mother's area. Thank heavens! Overall, I was really happy with my hospital experience, despite having to share a room with six other new mothers and their babies... now I fully understand how lucky I was to have my own room at my original hospital! But the staff at Logan Hospital were awesome and I was very pleased with the advice, help, and service I received from all the staff. I also was given great breast-feeding advice which I had not been given before, and it has made ALL the difference for me with my breast-feeding efforts. By this time I was an overwhelmed milk-engorged, teary-eyed mess with both Tori and Eadie, but with Anabel I have been able to get through the same trials and I am a lot more confident with my ability to successfully breastfeed. So, thank you Logan Hospital for making my birthing experience such a positive and uplifting one! Speaking of breastfeeding, guess who is drinking my abundance of expressed milk? Eadie! She loves it, and I am really hoping it will help with her bowel issues. Does this mean I can say I breastfed TWO of my babies??? ;-)
It is now 8 days later and Anabel is growing beautifully and we love her every minute of every day. The girls can't get enough of her - as FRUSTRATINGLY wonderful as that is - and she is eating and sleeping well. Don't get me wrong, she sometimes wakes up almost every hour for a feed much to my sleepy horror, but she is so darn cute even at 3am I just kiss her and place her tiny little body back in her cradle and just thank heaven for her; of course in the same prayer I also pray she will be out til morning! Meanwhile she has already put on almost 300g and people are already commenting that her face is changing and even her legs are "filling out". Could we have another Eadie McGreedie on our hands? Time will tell! To be perfectly honest, I'm really tired, my house is a mess, and the girls have been acting naughtier than ever. So right now I am making a big effort to give individual attention to both girls as their day now revolves around trying to get my attention one way or another (usually through being cheeky or fighting with eachother), which is often taken away from them as I feed, change and clean my way around the house with the baby. As easy as looking after a newborn actually is for me now, it's everything else that makes the day complete and utter chaos from start to finish. Now more than ever, from the moment the two girls run into our room at 6am, to 7pm when we threaten them to stay in their beds at night, it is non-stop. I really didn't appreciate how many hours I would have to dedicate to doing stuff for the baby when that time would normally have been dedicated to them. So I really feel it is important to make special time for them so they don't just see mummy running around frantically all day and telling them what not to do again and again. So I'll keep you updated on our special mummy-daughter adventures!

Meanwhile gradually I am getting myself out and about with trips to the shops or hanging out with friends. But as I discovered with my sister today, I am pretty much DONE and over walking by the first hour. I'm not getting any younger, and it has certainly shown with this pregnancy and birth! I am really looking forward to exercising and especially jogging again, so I await the day I'll feel well enough to walk faster than a tortoise, with great anticipation! Meanwhile, I am still hobbling like a pregnant woman, and make-up is still for those special occasions I want to look half decent. :-)

Seriously, being a mum is great. It's stinking hard work a lot of the time, and crazy chaos the rest of the time, but as every mum knows, you wouldn't trade it for the world. And little Anabel is just so gorgeous she makes all the poo, milk, and fatigue all worth it. Welcome home sweetheart!


  1. She's GORGEOUS Rani!!!! How incredibly special. And hahahahhahahahahaha about almost walking out of your house half naked!!!! That's hilarious! Isn't it funny how our normal inhibitions just fly out the door when we're having that baby - being naked was my worst fear first time around - but yep, I got naked! hahahahhaa. And what an incredible experience - so so glad you are ok and well and enjoying your time with your new little bundle. She's gorgeous and your gorgeous and don't worry about the house - it will all come in time. Just enjoy your girls and this flies so so quickly doesn't it. Lots of love to you all, hopefully we get to have a peak at gorgeous Anabel soon. Ps - LOVE the name! xxx

  2. my goodness! glad that ones down! Sounds like another full on story to add to the "you wont believe what happened" collection of yours :-) Its all about good stories... and who doesnt want a fun birth story.. just to top it all off. Glad she made it safe and sound though (and daddy made it for the birth). What a gorgeous bundle!