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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The tale of Joshua Alec.

So, 3.50am and I am awake again, a short yet refreshing nap, disturbed by Isaac and his tummy ache. Amazing how, after such fervant prayers on Friday night that as the boys slept they would be made wel, that the dreadful bug that had seen them vomint and expel at terrifying rates from the other end would leave, that the morning would find them well and healed, I prayed that neither H or I would suffer from this bug and that also, I would be able to see my grandbaby born. My prayers were answered, this morning everyone was well, happy and poop free, when I got home however that all changed...the bug is back it would seem
Saturday at noon, having watched the boys laugh and play, not a belly wobble to be seen, I got a text from Mel to say she was alone and that she had had a consistent and miserable abdominal pain and what should she do?
After I spoke with her and recognised the 'voice', that lower pitched close to possessed voice that only a women in true labour ever has, I called the midwife for her and the ball began to roll.
By 2pm I was with Mel and Jordan at home, 2 visits from the midwife told us that she was indeed in labour and that whenever she was ready, she could head for the hospital.

She sort of wanted to bounce on her birthing ball but ouch, maybe not....after Jordan had blown it up a bit more for her.


The contractions were good ones, but still amusing, still giggling when she stood, legs crossed oofing and yeeeowing, I knew that there was plenty of time but knowing the road we had to take was going to be horrendously slow and traffic ridden, I said that we should start out pretty soon, get to somewhere near the hospital and then wander around a while.
Now, our family is up for a laugh, pretty much most of the time and Mel fits right on in. So we drove to Mothercare which is a mere 5 minutes from the hospital, it is said that if your waters break in Mothercare they present the mother to be with a whole heap of goodies. The midwife told Mel that her hind waters had gone but the forewaters were bulging, oooooooooh BULGING! Maybe they will POP and BREAK if we wander around for a while. They didn't but we did laugh a bit and it filled in a good while before we went to the hospital and Mel was able to buy some new big knickers just for the occasion.
At the hospital all was very relaxed, giving birth in England is a treat, so accepted as a natural thing there are no drips, no monitors and no alien type garb for the midwives and unless specifically called for, not a doctor in sight. No gowns, no restrictions, just a bed, some reassurance and as much time as you need to birth yourself a young 'un.
Basic checks made, reassurance given and the all clear to do whatever felt right until such time as we needed extra help.
At 6pm Mel started to comment on how, actually this isn't bloody funny anymore and look, drugs...where are they? Ouch.
Gas and Air. Such simple words but such profound relief, so effective and yet immediately gone from the system once you stop breathing it in. You must know how to use it, forget just half hearted puffing, drag in great gobsfulls, one after the other, at least 4 before you begin to get the most bizarre feeling of pins and needles and then, only then do you feel that this stuff might be bloody fabulous and contractions? Pah! I laugh in your face oh pain of childbirth. Literally laugh in your face.
Mel was embarrassed and so Jordan had a go....

And she had a pathetic attempt when she didn't have a contraction, just to see what it was like and wasn't sure she was impressed, then another contraction came and she listened to me as I told her how to breathe and OH! Then she got it....ahhhhhh it works, hehe heh.hahahahaha....this is not called laughing gas for nothing.

Oh Nitrous Oxide, how we love thee. N2O to those of us who are really familiar with it, Mel laughed and she laughed and she proclaimed such love for it that she may have mentioned that she no longer had need of Jordan. Maybe.
She would get a pain, breathe, relax, stop breathing that gas and then she would laugh, we would laugh, much wheezing and off we go again.
She would drop the gas at her side in between contractions and say that she actually may not really need it because she couldn't feel anything and was just having a she would try not to use it and then see that OW! It hurts.
I mentioned that when she got a death grip on that gas contrapttion, when she spat and swore at anyone who even suggested she loosen her grip, then we would know that the time was getting close.
Jordan helped her, held her, stayed quiet unless asked not to stay quiet, I rubbed aching backs and whispered how well she was doing and reminded her that breathing was a really great thing to remember, out as well as in, so we could SEE she was breathing because that pain? It'll get you breathing so shallowly and teeny tiny puffs as you try to get the hell away from it. She was so good because although she was perfectly at ease telling Jordan to piss off and shut the hell up, she is so polite to me and she would say " I am breathing" and when I would say "but you have to do it so we can see it, BIG breaths in and FOOOOOOOOOOOf it out, try it and see how much better it feels" she would humour me and try it and then she would say " oh, OK, yeah" and then she got it. And it worked.
I might take just a sentence to boast about how the midwife said I should BE a midwife. I knew I would be pretty good at the whole doula/ birth coach thing and darn it if I was too.
So, from 6pm until 9, those contractions came thick and fast without a break. At 9pm I went to get the midwife ( who had been in and out, listening in to the heartbeat with that magical little wand, watching for a few minutes and then popping out again) after I went to tell the midwife that Mel was making the 'cow' noise and wanting to push, she examined Mel, found her to be 9cm and she broke the waters.
Pretty much right away Mel wanted to push and did once or twice and then the contractions stopped, frustrating except it gave Mel a break that she desperately needed, after sitting on a bizarre very low to the round ( forcing a squatting position) seat, rather like a half toilet seat, the contractions began again and after several pushes ( and that may have been when Mel may have been tempted to yell at me!) when I managed to persuade her that this baby was not coming out until she got so mad that she pushed against that pain until it hurt more than anything she ever imagined and if it felt like she was tearing then good, bloody well make it tear then...she did it, she got mad enough that damn it she was not going to stop until he was out. The midwife was great, she applied pressure right where it was needed and although Mel did get a small tear Joshuas birth was incredible, the immediate recovery and feeling of normality was incredible to see. No drips or catheters, a small running stitch to repair, no after effects of any drugs just an enormous feeling of pride and joy.
Such overwhelming love for that tiny little scrap of brand newness.


A new daddy who can't understand how any man can ever not want to feel like this,


A new mummy who feels as though this is what she was made for...


And a new Nana who feels something so extraordinary she can scarcely find the words. But sometimes, who needs words?


Such was my joy that when I returned home after midnight to discover that H had gine to bed, was fast asleep, with ear plugs in situ, having locked the door and left the key in the lock, I was well and truly locked out, well I only hated him for a fleeting moment, as long as it took Jordan to run up the hill and climb through the downstairs window that H had left open. ( there's something to worry about when I fly to Boston in 19 days time!! Must convince him that a burglar could just as easily get in that window and steal his laptop in a trice!)
Oh what a day we had.
I am a Nana. For real.



Blogger noname said...

Congratulations to Mel, Jordan and you, Nana! :) He's precious! So glad he's finally here and know you are, too. :)

6:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats Nana. Much love to all of you.

10:15 am  
Anonymous Sara P. said...

Crying tears of joy for all of you, Helen. Thanks for sharing Joshua's story and I am SO glad that you go to be there and be part of it. Impeccable timing on that baby boy's part. ;O)

10:48 am  
Anonymous Di said...

Oh Helen - Your post made me cry - happy tears! God is good :) Congratulations again on your grandbaby, Nana!

12:03 pm  
Blogger Erin~Leigh said...

Oh Helen what a beautiful story. Again I'm so happy for you and Mel and Jordan! Enjoy!!!

1:25 pm  
Blogger Julie Q said...

A great birth story Helen. Thank you for sharing so much of it with all of us.

2:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderfully intimate and personal experience with us. What a gorgeous birthing experience. Sending the biggest of congratulations your way.

2:29 pm  
Blogger TheAlbrechtSquad said...

I am so happy for you and your family. Congrats!!!

2:44 pm  
Blogger mom to three great kids said...

Congratulations to The whole family!!!...What joy you all have ahead of you....God Bless!

7:27 pm  
Blogger Aimee said...

Congrats to all! Your story and beautiful pictures made me well up with happy tears for you all.

8:03 pm  
Blogger sarah said...

congrats guys. he is beautiful...

11:55 am  
Blogger MamaTink said...

What a wonderfully beautiful birth story. Thanks so much for sharing it Helen. You should be so proud of yourself!!

I so wish I could have birthed my babes in England. I am quite certain I would have had a much better experience.

Love and Hugs!

12:02 pm  
Blogger mom of 2 said...

How wonderful! I'm so happy for all of you! I absolutely love hearing birth stories...thanks for sharing this one with us!!

3:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Helen, what a gorgeous family you have. Thank you so much for sharing Joshuas story. Congratulations to you all, especially you! Kaje. xx

8:37 pm  

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