(The photo's have got all muddled up, the one below is from today and the rest were taken on his Birth Day)
Our son Sullivan arrived at 8:39am on tuesday 2oth November 2007. He weighed 8lbs 10oz, had dark blue eyes and pale auburn hair. Here's his birth story.
On sunday 11th November I had period like pains all evening, got excited that something was happening, went to bed and woke up on monday morning with no signs of labour at all and was quite disappointed.
My due date of 13th November came and went but all that week I had dull aching pains low down in my abdomen and lower back ache. On Saturday 19th Emilia was going to Paignton Zoo with a friend for his birthday, this is about 1.5hrs away from here so I was quite worried about letting her go but knew she would be alright. I also had a feeling that this baby wasn't arriving until my first baby was home and safe. She got home Saturday evening but baby didn't show any signs of arriving so we had a quiet family sunday.
Monday 19th November. Walked Emilia to school, and Maddie to preschool. Went home to await the arrival of my community midwife who was going to do a sweep. I wasn't too enamoured about this and didn't really want her to do it.
Well, she arrived and reluctantly I agreed as I was ready to have this baby. She told me I was 4cm dilated and that I had probably been in early labour since the previous sunday. Great news :)
DH went back to work after picking up Maddie from preschool and we cuddled on the sofa watching Cbeebies expecting to pick Emilia up from school at 3:30pm. 10 minutes later I had a twinge, quite painful so I heated up my heat pad and settled back down with Madeleine for another snuggle. These twinges kept happening roughly every 20 minutes so I presumed I was actually in labour. Jez kept phoning to make sure that I was okay and asked whether or not he should come home, I just grinned and said no.
At 2:30 I decided I couldn't walk to school so asked a friend to pick Emilia up for me. At 4 Mum arrived after a day long journey on trains from Cambridge to stay for a week. The pains kept coming but didn't get any stronger or faster.
At 8pm Mum (thanks Mum xxx) decided that Jez and I should go to Sainsburys as we had no food and the walking might get labour moving. We walked round Sainsburys in a bit of a daze, with Jez writing down each contraction on his PDA, giving each one a star rating for pain.
The food shopping didn't bring labour forward but at least Mum could eat! We went to bed and I was fully expecting to take Emilia to school in the morning as normal.
3am, Madeleine came into bed with us. 3:15am I got up to take her back to her own bed. Ouch. The contractions started coming thick and fast then. From 3:15 to 4am they went from every 15 minutes to every 6 so Jez rang the hospital to let them know we were on our way. I kissed Emilia and told her what was happened, she smiled, told me she loved me and went back to sleep. We let Mum know and then went to the North Devon District Hospital, Ladywell Unit.
4:30am, booked in and was told that all the pools were in use so I wasn't able to use one this time.
5am, I asked for pain relief and had half a dose of pethidine. I'm not sure it did much, but at one point I almost fell off the bed in between contractions as I was falling asleep! I started using gas and air which worked well and didn't make me feel sick at all.
7am ish I started pushing, the Midwife broke my waters to speed things up and I started to get tired....Jez had been doing a brilliant job rubbing my back with essential oils which really helped. I then got into a comfy position semi reclining and nothing and I mean nothing was going to move me! Not even the pain in my hips due to SPD. I made Jez squeeze my hand with each contraction as it helped take my mind off the pain.
8:15 am They had to put a monitor on me as I had been pushing for an hour, I remember being really irritated about it. I managed to allow myself to 'let go' and once I did the pushes became much more effective and his head moved down.
8:37 His head crowned and I was told to stop pushing - an instruction I didn't really hear and kept pushing. I'd got over my fear of 'letting go' at that point!
8:39 One more push and Sullivan George was born. They put him straight onto my tummy for a cuddle and Jez cut the cord. The midwives let me find out whether he was a boy or a girl and I wasn't shocked to find out he was a boy. I had a feeling as my bump was a completely different shape to when I was pregnant with the girls.
I had to have quite a few stitches as I had a second degree tear again. I asked the midwife doing them whether perineal massage would have helped prevent the tear and she was dubious.
Once everything was cleaned up and sorted they left Jez and I alone with our son, Jez kept crying silent, happy tears and I kept staring at our new baby in wonder and amazement. He fed well straight away and cuddled close to my skin. After a while they came back and weighed him, Jez dressed him and gave him a cuddle before going to get Mum and the girls as well as making numerous phone calls to family and friends to share the news.
While he was gone I had tea and toast (possibly the best meal in the world!) and a shower. I felt wobbly and strangely empty but exceedingly happy. The smiles on Mum's and the girls faces were wonderful when they met their Brother and Grandson for the first time. I was home by 2pm that afternoon.
Childbirth is such an amazing experience, very empowering and proof of how strong a woman is. I can't imagine never being pregnant again so hopefully I'll get to experience it again :)
Jez is a wonderful birth partner, husband and father - I couldn't ask more from him. I love you Jez xx
My only regret is that Mum wasn't there with us. I felt comfortable that she was at home with Emilia and Madeleine but I still missed her. Next time Mum...
Sullivan has continually given us all joy and smiles, he feeds well, sleeps well and has already perfected his flirting smile!
The staff at the Ladywell unit were absolutely wonderful. They gave me all the support I needed and were amazingly strong and positive. The labour room was clean, warm and large.
Mum stayed for a week after Sullivan was born which was an amazing help for us. She helped make that first week even more special. She made sure that the girls didn't feel left out and she cherished us all. Love you Mum and Barry xx