Thursday, 26 January 2017

Welcome to the World, Katherine Alexandra

I am pleased to report that, after weeks of cajoling, Katherine Alexandra graced us with her presence on 11 January at 2:20 in the afternoon. She was 9.5lbs and 22.5" long. She is now two weeks and a day (almost exactly as I write this) and she's already outgrown her newborn clothes and is wearing 0-3mos. 

On the evening of Tuesday the 10th, having been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a week that we're finally starting to gain in coherence, and thinking my waters might have begun leaking, I went to the labour ward to be checked out. The midwife couldn't tell if they had ruptured or not so I had to wait for the doctor who didn't get to see me until midnight and even though she was certain the membrane was still intact she wanted me to stay overnight (and me without so much as a toothbrush). In the morning the next dr did the rounds and "as long as we have you here" wanted to rupture the amniotic sack to see if that would trigger labour. Folks, if you're a week overdue and you go to hospital, they will not want to let you leave without having your baby.

The midwives (I had a senior midwife and a student midwife - student midwives are wonderful and gentle and doctors are not) ruptured my waters around a quarter to 11, suggesting that I walk around the ward and if nothing started within two hours they'd need to chemically induce. I hadn't even finished standing up when my contractions started, hard and fast. I had texted Chris to ask him to come and bring my hospital bag and he got there just in time for the active stage of labour, pushing. Less than four hours after I went upstairs I was holding my baby and while I remember the events, the memory of the pain started fading immediately. Second babies are, even at 2lbs and 3" bigger than first babies, easier. 

We spent one night in hospitals together before getting kicked out in the morning (the talk of needing my bed started after I said I wanted to be discharged). Kristina was fine without me, except when they'd come to visit and had to leave me there. She didn't want to, loudly. But she seems to be dealing with having a baby in the house quite well, though we'll see how it goes when grandma goes home on Sunday and she no longer has a substitute parent at her beck and call.

Katherine and I had a bit of trouble the first few days when my milk hadn't come in; she lost over 10% of her body weight and was screaming all night in hunger, so under the midwife's supervision we supplemented with formula for a few days until it did. She bounced back almost from the word go and now we're getting on as smoothly as any new addition can.

Yesterday was Kristina's fourth birthday and today is Chris' 50th.

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