She Has Arrived

There are no scheduled Caesarian operations on Saturdays – only Mon to Fri –  but I was advised that mine would happen at some point that day and to be prepared to go to theatre at 9am in case I should be taken first. Weekends are reserved for emergencies.  So I psyched myself up for a potential delivery in the morning, which could be pushed back anytime into the rest of the day.

Showered and fasted, I walked with a nurse to theatre to the floor below before 9am whilst the porter put all my belongings on my bed and wheeled it behind us. My sister was arriving at 8.30 am at the house to let my husband come to the hospital. We are lucky in that we live only a few minutes drive away. My husband arrived and was asked to change into theatre clothes as I was getting wired up to monitors, blood pressure machines and being given step by step information on the spinal anaesthesia procedure. The topic of C-sections had been covered at one of my ante-natal classes so I was comfortable with the process.

Once the fluid was administered into my spine, the anaesthetist stated that I would feel my bottom getting warm –  a sign that the epidural was starting to work. In a few moments I sure did feel the warm heat travel through my bottom and then I couldn’t feel my legs.

Everything then happened very quickly… a large screen went up, and off they went. My squeamish husband sunk low into his chair afraid he might catch a glimpse of the operation taking place on the other side! Whilst I, on the other hand,  had noticed that if I gazed up into the lights I could see about twenty small mirrors reflecting the procedure and my curiosity got the better of me. I could see in miniature what they were doing to me but all I could feel was a slight tugging! Strange!  Then the pressure in my stomach lifted and I said to my husband “She’s out”. Only a few minutes had passed by since the first incision.

Then the glorious sound of her crying loudly could be heard behind the screen as she was taken over to one side of the room to be checked and weighed. My husband was asked to cut her chord (which I knew he wanted to do but would find it grotesque at the same time!)

The midwife exclaimed that the baby had peed on her hand. “Well both her lungs and waterworks are in good working order”, I thought.

As the doctor sewed me back together, the baby was wrapped up and brought over to us. Small, adorable, healthy, perfect……a precious gift. Weighing in at 6llbs 7oz, she was like a delicate doll.

I couldn’t hug her as I was still strapped up to monitors with both my arms outstretched, but the nurse put her head next to mine and I felt the warmth of her cheek against my own and a tear stung my eye.

The dream I dared not dream had come true. The hankering to have my own child, although abated over the years, did not truly go away, and I had held the vision and belief that it could happen for me one day. She has completed our family. I love my adopted children. They are ours and are part of us. This little lady has arrived to cement the team and, although only early days, has brought so much love and excitement into our family unit, it has made me so proud to have held dear my conviction to have a baby …. it’s just that it happened for me later in life !




Ready Steady…..No Go!

On Tuesday, the Consultant advised that the best way forward was to come in to the hospital later in the week to be induced. The baby’s growth had slowed down slightly and since it was near my dues date, why not help the little lady along! Also, because I was an older mum I would not have gone past my due date anyway (which was the following week).

Well, I had had no twinges or signs that she was ready to come into the world but I trusted the process and assumed that was the best way forward.

We explained to the children that mummy would go into hospital on Thursday afternoon and the likelihood is that their little sister would be born some time on Friday afternoon or evening. How excited they were!

With a little intrepidation my husband and I set off to our local hospital, checked in, so to speak, and settled down to listening to  a sonography recording of the baby’s heartbeat. This was to establish a baseline heart rate of the baby before any drugs were administered to induce labour.  My husband left to pick up the kids from after school and I settled down to the comforting sound of my baby’s heartbeat which echoed round the ward of 4 beds. Except my little one didn’t like the strap round my tummy nor the echo it made around her in the womb, and she certainly didn’t stay still. So much so, she moved, kicked and jumped so much that instead of a 20 minute data gathering exercise, I was strapped to the machine for over 2 hours as nurses and a doctor peered at my readings trying to work out the baseline line as she wasn’t for settling down!

Eventually I was good to go, and a kindly nurse administered the first pessary so deep inside, she could have tickled my tonsils. Time went by and I was asked if I wanted any painkillers. Indeed I had no need of any. Six hours later I was back on the sonography machine. “It can take up to 3 attempts before your body is ready to deliver the baby”, I was advised. This time a rather burly nurse who, I can only describe as having hands like a builder, administered the 2nd pessary with such force she brought tears to my eyes as her thick fingers pushed deep inside to position the drug at the back of my cervix. That was unpleasant!

Well attempt number 2 did not work (administered around midnight) nor did number 3 (around 7 in the morning, by Nurse Builder Hands!). When the doctor suggested I could try a 4th time, I felt my eyes water at the very suggestion of it and declined. I deduced that if it hadn’t worked at this point, it ain’t gonna work at all!  My next option was a C-section which could be carried out the following day.

As I lay on my hospital bed, between Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning, two ladies had given birth naturally from  my ward and I was privee to their intimate groans and weeping as their pain took over before they were wheeled swiftly to another part of the building to deliver their babies. The sound of nearby newly borns crying echoed around the wards in the wee small hours.  The sound of short bursts of activity in the corridors as women were wheeled to the labour suite throughout the night moaning or crying out made me feel like my little girl was never going to come out naturally. Nor was she ready to!

I knew I would not have a good night’s sleep for a long, long time.



Head – Engaged!

Less that two weeks to go and finally her head has settled in the downwards position. In the post, so to speak. Preparing to make her appearance. I guess this is what they call the ‘drop’. The baby has shifted to my lower regions, nestling comfortably on my bladder. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been experiencing tightening Braxon Hicks ‘contractions’ on an adhoc basis, most noticeably in the supermarket mid-shop last week, which then lasted for the rest of the evening bringing nausea as a companion. However, no major side-effects that I’ve not experienced before. Heartburn is not so intense now. Happy days!

I continue with my light exercise Mon-Fri mornings, including my Body Balance classes. These are so good for stretching and balance. No matter how run down, tired or ‘out of sorts’ I feel before a class, I feel great by the end of each session. For me, fitness has always been part of my life and I’m determined to keep it up to the (messy?) end 🙂 of my pregnancy. No doubt to the concerned looks of my fellow exercisers!

The thing is,  I’m supposed to be taking a daily ‘baby’ Aspirin to reduce the possibility of clots and pre-eclampsia, so this is my way of keeping the circulation moving! Whenever I took an aspirin tablet in the past I had nose bleeds early morning which I’ve never had before, so, to me, aspirin is not required. My blood pressure is excellent and no swelling on feet or hands.

Running around after 3 children (11, 8 & 7) is also a good way of keeping active! The food doesn’t shop for itself, neither does the washing, ironing or housework kindly arrange to be completed without manual intervention! Kids clubs and hobbies continue as usual and my husband and I are often going in opposite directions to deposit a keen swimmer, footballer or dancer at their chosen clubs!

Anyway, life will change forever shortly. And the little kicks on my right hand side below my ribs remind me it won’t be long now.




Bunged Up!

I’m not a vain person but I had been wondering lately when I should book a wax appointment prior to the birth! I’ve got roughly 4 weeks to go before the main event and looking more like Chewbacca from the waist down every day!

I’m sure when I’m actually in labour these trivial thoughts and vanities will be instantly dismissed. However, seeing I’ve still got headspace for a prep list prior to hospital, then why not indulge myself! I booked an appointment for the following Friday!

My Plan B was to keep a new tube of VEET handy to splurge on my hirsute form if I was caught out, with the hope I would be able to stand long enough in the shower to wash it off before heading to the hospital!

Well, Plan B was put into action at the weekend late into the evening when the family, including my husband, were sound asleep in bed. I was tapping on my computer when the urge for the loo took hold. I felt I had to evacuate my bowels and the pain and contractions were so strong I ended up on my hands and knees for some relief!  In fact, I would have stood on my head if  (a) I was able to and (b) it would have helped!!

I wasn’t sure what to do…. call Triage for some medical advice….I could be early stages of labour? Or rush up to the bathroom cabinet, slap on VEET and defuzz as best as I could between the painful bowel contractions and the (slightly relieving) Child’s Yoga Pose!

The latter was carried out in military fashion – yes – despite having to hit the floor in Child’s Pose on several occasions to relieve the pain.

At this point , I wasn’t caring how even/ uneven the spread of hair removing cream was deposited, only that it was distributed thickly where required!

Time passed slowly and painfully  before I had one of the most excruciating bowel movements, certainly in my recent history!

Ah, labour seemed not to have started at all. I was, in fact, very bunged up!!

The iron tablets prescribed  in Week 28 had brought a side effect I had ignored on the leaflet. My penchant for sweet , usually chocolate, nibbles had added to the condition.  My aversion to green vegetables due to my many months of nausea with a dash of a sour, metallic taste in my month had contributed to one very sluggish digestive system. Of course, the baby would be comfortable sitting on top of it, adding to the pressure put upon my enlarging gut!

Ouch! Constipation. Relieved I went to bed. The family none the wiser! My legs mostly hair-free!

The evening’s activity had now introduced another ailment which I had avoided up to this point! One that might require the use of a rubber ring when sitting! However, to keep some of my diminishing dignity intact, I’ll keep THAT one to myself!

Oh  –  Must remember to cancel my wax appointment for Friday!


Heartburn for Two

Sometimes there is no elegant way to let out the trapped air that builds up in the small nut sized stomach space left by the bump. Belching like a navvy is no way ladylike but it’s gotta come out somehow. The sound effects are worse when sitting so any activity involving standing is light relief. Hence, the impressive amount of ironing I’m getting through these days! I’ve also mastered eating meals standing up.

It’s when you rift in public not having realised what you’ve done, in that moment,  and carry on as if this is normal behaviour.  The scary thing is part of me doesn’t care whilst one half finds it amusing and the other is somewhat shocked at my uncouth behaviour 🙂 Oh, how dignity slowly ebbs away in this natural state of motherhood.

Rennie’s do help me, and the orange ones give me a sweet buzz! For a while.

Still, I count my blessings!  Major nausea may have subsided at week 28 for heartburn and indigestion to take their turn, but I pride myself on having no back-ache or swollen extremities. Luck, genes or the adherence to a light fitness schedule, who knows, but I can still balance on one leg and perform a downward dog without too much bother! And the chilled out  music played during classes is just loud enough to mask the emitting air forced out by the gentle movements designed to stretch and balance various body parts.

Sweet release. Inner smile 😉


Really? It’s Taken Till Now?

Hope, visualisation, sheer determination or foolhardiness

I didn’t give up hope of having my own child. I knew it would happen. I’m very optimistic , spiritual and stubborn (the taurean in me), so I knew it would …. one day.

Despite the years fleeting by, the failed fertility interventions, the frustrating holistic therapies which didn’t seem to work but may have helped in the long term (we live in a ‘want it right now’ society and are disappointed when we don’t get it handed to us on a plate), messages from beyond the grave (yes, my Dad advised, through a recommended medium I saw a couple of months after he passed nearly 8 years ago, that I would have a birth child), I played the long, waiting game. Because I had to.

As I write this, I feel her little kicks inside of me. I know she is there. She tells me. The hospital scans tell me. The 6 months of nausea shouted it at me. The indigestion and heartburn now scream it at me. But it still feels surreal.

She is due to arrive next month. I’m told my bump is petite – although it feels like a hard beach ball ensconced under my rib-cage  – and growing nicely, keeping within the right parameters set out by the NHS.

So, I’m really pregnant and expecting a baby girl. Who would have thought it. Certainly not my friends, colleagues or neighbours. Even my hubby was taken aback. And to be honest, I didn’t really expect our agreed final attempt at IVF to work back in the summer, when I had come so close (positive pregnancy results!) only to fail in the past.

So this is the start of a new chapter in my story…fit, fabulous, fifty and with child.

First at fifty

Observations of life as a first time, full term pregnant 50- something, fit, fab, femme!

Little Kicks Inside

Well, as humans, we like to share our views and ideas with others and we also have a natural curiosity to know how others live their lives… media allows us to  dip in and out of others’ realities looking for inspiration, advice, hope or just a good chuckle! My blog is now ‘out there’ sent with my good intentions to do just that …… inform, amuse and/or horrify (if you are of that disposition) of the realities of having my first bundle of joy at the ripe old-ish age of 50. Whilst juggling life, of course.