So here we are on day 7 of Jake’s little life in the world and what a whirlwind week it has been…
The night before his birth I did not sleep well. A mixture of excitement and nervousness caused me to wake regularly in anticipatation of what was to come. When it was eventually time to get up we awoke to a beautiful crisp frosty winter morning. Mum and Dad had stayed the night so they could help out as we hurriedly gathered our things and kissed our sleepy children goodbye knowing that today two would finally become three.
We had to be at the hospital early at 7.30 a.m. and on a slightly late arrival were shown straight to our lovely spacious room with ‘ensuite’ shower room, flat screen TV and gorgeous views. This was a world away from the old Pembury where you were given a bed on a ward. Your only privacy was a curtain to draw round you but all ‘personal’ conversations about your postnatal condition were there for all around to hear. Cringe..
I felt fairly relaxed as we watched breakfast television in between blood pressure checks and a visit from the anaesthetist whilst waiting for the midwife’s big entrance to tell us it was ‘time’. At around 10.40 a.m. she popped her head around the door and smiled that they were ready for me. We followed her down the corridor and into the lift, me in my gown and Brett in his scrubs. I was starting to feel nervous but tried to put any thoughts to one side and focussed on the excitement that the moment to meet our number 3 was finally upon us.
Once the anaesthetist had administered the spinal block I was laid down and taken through into theatre. It was a very strange feeling not being able to feel anything below my chest, reassuring on the one hand but unnerving on the other. For a few minutes at least I felt a wave of nerves and panic sweep over me and tears prickled in my eyes as I reached for Brett’s hand for reassurance. He held it tightly and talked to me calmly about when our daughter Grace was born and how wonderful it had been and how we were about to experience the same moment. I took a deep breath and tried to relax.
People say that having a c-section is like having the washing up done in your stomach. I can honestly say I didn’t actually feel a thing apart from perhaps some pressure and like someone was pushing a little on my chest. One thing I do remember clearly though is the moment I felt a weight lifted from my tummy which was the moment Jake was finally born at 11.38 a.m. weighing 7lb 6oz.
Brett did me proud by taking the first dramatic shot of him as he took his first breaths before he was weighed and swaddled for us to hold. These were very special moments and I am so glad we got to document them properly this time around.
The rest of our time in hospital was pretty relaxed. Brett came over early every morning and stayed all day and our parents brought the children late afternoon after school. The first time Joshua and Grace met their little brother was so moving to me. They were so incredibly loving towards him and tender. They had been waiting so long for that first cuddle and Grace asked if we could keep him! They adore him so much.
We left the hospital on Friday afternoon. It was a very grey, wet and cold day as we arrived home at the same time as my parents arrived with Joshua and Grace. I waited till everyone was in the house before making my entrance with Jake. It was lovely being home but as the children played boisterously around me I suddenly felt like the rooms had gotten smaller and I perched nervously on our ottoman clutching at Jake protectively, wishing I could put a glass box around us. Leaving hospital felt like leaving the calmness of the countryside and walking into the centre of New York!
On the weekend Brett’s parents visited and my lovely friend Lynette dropped in for an hour on the Sunday. I was grateful when Brett took the children to a play centre late Sunday afternoon so I could enjoy a few much needed hours of calm and quiet while Jake slept.
So far Jake is proving to be a wonderful baby. It’s early days and he sleeps ALOT. This works for me (!) and I am loving bonding with him with lots of cuddles, kisses and feeding. It’s safe to say I’m smitten and love how soft his hair and skin feels, how he smells and all the funny little noises he makes. We are muddling through. Brett has been amazing and pretty much does everything around the house for me and the children at the moment whilst I focus on the little man and making sure I still have time for lots of cuddles for Joshua and Grace.
I am really enjoying this time but am also wondering how on earth I will do it all once Brett gets back to work and I’m left to run the house, get the children to school and pre-school on time, feed them all, bath them, shower and dress myself, change all those nappies, wash all those clothes…oh and breathe.
I’m not going to worry about that right now though or I may well have a nervous breakdown thinking about it. So for now, I’ll enjoy what each day has to bring and look forward to Christmas as a family of five. 🙂
For an intimate portrait of our first moments with Jake click here: First moments