Esme Rose Muir was born on Thursday, February 5 at 5.44pm, weighing 7lb 11.5oz.
With my due date being Sunday, February 1, I spent every day rocking on my birthing ball and munching on pineapple and curry, in the hope that I could coax her out! I highly doubt that it made even the slightest difference, but I was going to try!
As soon as I hit my due date, every day after that leading up to going into labour, I fell victim to the extremely annoying braxton hicks, which kept making me think that labour was just around the corner!
On the Monday night leading into the early hours of Tuesday morning, the contractions were regular and so severe that I asked Al not to go to work in the morning, but by 11am, disappointingly, they stopped.
Then, on Tuesday night leading into Wednesday, I had a repeat of the night before and found that this time, my waters were leaking.
A visit to Withybush Hospital on Wednesday morning confirmed my suspicions of the leak and I was booked in to be induced at Glangwili Hospital at 8am on Thursday morning. However, I was warned that I could go into labour at any time between then and now.
That night, I lay in bed with the same contractions as the previous two nights, except this time at the height of a contraction, I felt (and I swear I heard it, too) a definite pop in my belly around 2.30am.
My waters had broken.
Upon leaping out of bed and running to the bathroom, I found my waters had meconium in it. Al and I grabbed the essentials and drove up to Carmarthen. I couldn’t believe how much water there was – I thought there was a little gush and that would be it!
On the way up in the car, I didn’t notice anything because I was sitting down, but as soon as I stood up, it looked like I’d sat in a puddle! Every little bump in the road on the way to Carmarthen sent an ache through my body, and I was really trying to stay calm!
It was a nervy drive and Al did extremely well and kept a cool head (as always), and from the moment we arrived up until the time we left, the three of us received the most amazing care!
I had to receive a hormone drip to bring on the contractions in order to get Esme out sooner. However, this meant I could only have gas and air or an epidural, and the contractions would be more painful as my body wouldn’t be expecting the sudden change in hormones.
I was advised on having an epidural, but I wanted to see how I could cope with the pain. However, I didn’t realise how intense the contractions are early on in labour – I was expecting to have really painful contractions toward the end, and not the whole way through!
So, at 3cm dilated, I was struggling and demanded an epidural (after writing in my birth plan I didn’t want one!). After that, the birth was an absolute breeze! I didn’t feel a thing, and when it came to pushing, she was out in ten minutes.
Due to having the epidural and having a risk of a caesarean, I wasn’t allowed to eat during labour, so after she was born, the midwife brought me some tea and toast, although I really could have done with a KFC or a McDonald’s. I felt starving having not eaten in 24 hours!
I really wanted to come home that night, but because Esme was a meconium baby she had to have observations for the next 24 hours.
Al left my side around 10pm and I was left with my first night as a new mum. I had no idea what on earth I was doing and just did what everybody else was doing! I barely slept that night and spent most of my time staring at Esme sleeping in the cot beside my bed.
Al came to see us in the morning and spent the day with us until we were allowed home. The health visitor wanted to keep me in another night, but due to feeling extremely emotional and just wanting to go home, I started crying so I was allowed to leave that night!
So far, life as a new mum is great! She’s so quiet and loves a cuddle! She has a grizzly period for a few hours at night just when mummy and daddy want to go to bed, but any other time of the day she’s fantastic!
However, when she’s too quiet, I do have to stare at her chest for a while before I give her a little nudge or rearrange her blanket, just to make sure she’s okay!
Being first time parents (however, I’m sure it’s the same for all parents), we’re constantly obsessing over how much she needs to eat and trying to keep the rooms just the right temperature for her, which always seems too cold for us!
Then, once the thermometer says it’s 18 degrees, we obsess over whether the blanket she has is making her too hot or not!
Sleep has been hard to come by, but Al is absolutely fantastic with her and I couldn’t ask for more.