Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Beatrix

Our beautiful girl is here.

Beatrix Ruby, weighing in at 6lb 9oz 

Background

I am blessed with easy, enjoyable pregnancies. I get the odd tummy upset but on the whole, it is very pleasant, for the most.

Except for the itching.

During my pregnancies I 'flirt' with Obstetric Cholestasis. It is a diagnosis of elimination rather then a firm result.

The itching is a good reminder to be mindful of babies movements.

Luckily, baby was very bouncy, until a week back.

I was sewing and Zara came and requested a baby cuddle. She commented that the baby didn't kick her. I went and had an icy glass of water and that didn't work. I tried poking and massage and even a shower. No movement.
After a worrying phone call to the Maternity Hospital we were in the car to head to town, and the baby kicked.

I was allowed to stay home but I had to start a movement chart and see the Health Nurse daily.

Fast-forward to Wednesday, at my check up, and the lovely Health Nurse was just not 'happy' with me.
When I told her baby had slowed its movements, she was very keen I ring Town again.

They wanted to see me.

Jed and I headed down and spent the day being monitored. We were prepared for this, every pregnancy has ended the same way.
Baby was fine, but the fluid around it was starting to decrease and the placenta was deteriorating . I was very very itchy.

An induction was gently suggested, that night in fact. I was 36 weeks.

I pleaded to go home, I had nothing for the baby, I had lent everything to my cousin and although it was all washed and ready to go, we had not picked it up.

I was given my wish but the onus was on me to monitor the baby and head back if I was not happy.

We headed home, picking up the tiny things.
Thursday, I folded and sorted.
I am not a worrier by nature but I will confess to being very stressed about monitoring the baby by myself.
I drank copious amounts of iced water and poked and prodded all day. I was very very worried.
Jed put the car seat in the car. We organised rides for Football and Netball on Saturday. We stocked up the fridge with vegetables and the fruit bowl with, well, fruit.
I got as much washing and ironing down as I could.
We explained what was happening, to the Fab Five and then tried to get some sleep.


Friday
We all had a lovely family breakfast together, the Fab Five hopped on the school bus and Jed and I headed to Town.

First up, blood works to check my bile levels and then another ultrasound.
Baby was looking good, approximately 7 lb, head down and ready to go.
unfortunately, the sonographer had a few concerns about the placenta, she said it was looking 'tired'.

More monitoring and then we waited to speak to my gorgeous OBGYN Sabrina.
After looking at all the facts, adding my age and my stress levels, we agreed to an induction.
Neither of us took this decision lightly but she knew my desire for a vaginal birth, if at all possible, and she simply could not offer me that if baby went into distress.

I was booked in at midnight for an induction.
Jed booked into a hotel and we spent a few hours cuddling and chatting about our new baby.

Saturday
We arrived at the hospital at 11:30, we couldn't wait, me clutching a big jar of my macadamia and white chocolate biscuits for the Midwives (I warned them, they would need the sustenance with me).

I settled into my birthing room ( more like a hotel) and waited. Jed was so very tired so I sent him back to the hotel, it was not like anything was going to happen and I was very happy to sit quietly and practice my breathing and relaxation.

At 1am, my first lovely Mid, Karen, arrived to administer my first lot of prostaglandin gels. She then sat with me and chatted as the foetal heart monitor was put on for an hour trace.
Baby was looking good!

I was too excited to sleep, so I lay quietly and focused on deep breathing and keeping calm. I felt very ready and very safe.
I will be honest and admit I was disappointed to wake to sunshine and a breakfast tray at 7 am.

As nothing had happened, a second lot of gels were administered at 7:30. These kicked in straight away!
After lying still for an hour for another foetal trace I was well and truly ready to get moving. Things were heating up.

It was time for Karen to leave and she introduced me to Cynthia. After running a very experienced eye over me, she suggested I get walking to keep things going. I completely agreed.

By the time I had my tracksuit on,  Jed had arrived, wearing the same rugby he has worn for every birth.

We set off.

Following the same path as I did with my last two births. Jed and I climbed the stairs to the top of the hospital and the all the way down again.
We walked each floor and then went outside and walked the block around the hospital. I assume this is a pretty common occurrence as no one seemed to take the least bit of notice of me stopping and breathing through contractions, the odd groan and once (embarrassingly) bursting into tears in a stairwell in front of a group of med students.
After an hour of this, we headed back for a rest and then repeated the exercise.

At this stage, I was not really sure if it was labour or just the gels 'tickling' things. I was getting pretty tired and the midwife was offering me pethadine.  I asked if I had really started and a quick exam showed me at 3 cm.
Things had started. It was about 10am.
I love my water and I am a big water drinker. This has been a problem for me in previous births as a full bladder can slow things down. Thus I try and keep it empty.
Unfortunately, a unique twist to this birth, was when I attempted to wee, the pain was excruciating!
Cynthia said it was not common but there can be nerve pressure from the baby bearing down. I would lock myself in the lavatory and try not to scream as I made myself pee. I couldn't even sit on the seat, only hover over the top.
Jed said the noises from outside were horrendous and he found that the most upsetting part of the birth.

I don't have 'movie birth' contractions, I have big ones, small ones, ones that run into each other, nothing for a few minutes and then no breaks for a block.
They also affect my legs, predominately my thighs, so I have to keep moving.
 I decided it was time for gas and air.
Unfortunately, my favourite mask is no longer used and I had to use a mouth piece thing, I was assured this was much better and I would not over use it.

Once I started on the gas I was not keen to leave it so I changed to a gown and stamped my feet and rocked my hips through the contractions. Jed let me lean on him during the pains and rubbed my feet in the down time.

Hours went past and Cynthia commented to me that Jed was looking a bit stressed. I think he found it quite hard watching me, so I suggested he go for a walk and get me some soft lavvy paper and look for a new phone charger. I had bonded well with Cynthia and was more then happy for him to go.

An hour later, it was the end of Cynthia's shift and Marley came on.
Marley was a dynamo!
She encouraged me to be less polite and be more vocal with contractions and I found it very empowering.

My OBGYN, Sabrina was very keen for me to have an epidural (if I wanted it). As I had experienced a bad time with my last birth, an epidural tap followed by an amoeba infection and a 12 day hospital stay, she was very keen for me to have a specialist do this, which meant windows of opportunity would have to be taken.
 Around midday, Jed came back and the anaesthetist arrived and offered to do my procedure.
I turned to Marley and said 'I think I am okay, I really think I can do this'
Marley was super enthusiastic and agreed we were doing so well and we could assess things again later.
'Yes, you are doing this, you don't need an epidural right now'

The day moved on, I ended up with a portable gas and air unit I could take to the lavvy with me so at least that became a bit easier.

At 4pm, Sabrina popped in and offered to do a check.
I was devastated to find out I was still only 3 cm dilated!
All that work and we had got nowhere.

Sabrina offered to break my waters and Marley agreed that it was a good idea.
Oh my goodness, that hurt so much!
I don't know if it was being made to lie down or if the waters were hard to break but it was very very painful.
The waters were good and clear and monitoring showed the baby in fine fettle.
I got stuck into the gas at this stage which was not such a good idea.

I stood up and tried to keep walking but the pains came thick and fast and I started to panic. I lost my breath and took too much gas, I felt myself losing control and I could see Jed was very upset.

I remember turning to Marley and saying 'I can't do this, I need an epidural'
The wonderful girl responded passionately.
'Yes, you have done enough, you get your epidural'
She just knew I needed that affirmation, what a wonderful girl.

It was an incredibly busy day so there was quite a wait. I had lost my careful use of the gas and air and was definitely using too much but when I tried to use less the pain was too much to handle.
I whispered to Marley that I was quite 'stoned' and would that hurt the baby? She assured me it was fine and she would be there for me.
Jed said he barely noticed a change. He is a good man!

I definitely started to hallucinate, possibly it was the fact that Jed was wearing the same rugby, but I started to flashback to my other children's births and Jed's grey hair was muddling me.

Finally, the anaesthetist Sinead arrived, but her lovely Irish accent confounded me and I thought it was my online friend Millie. I was very confused and  remembered the epidural I experienced with Matilda and started to panic.
I wanted to give the gas away so I could concentrate but there was now little break between the contractions.
I was not coping at all.
The wonderful Marley took me off to a calm corner and talked me down. She explained it was the gas, I was fine, she was there for me and no one was going to do anything I didn't want.

Jed spoke to Sinead who was absolutely brilliant!
She calmly talked me through what would happen, explained that what happened last time was not typical and should not have happened. That she would be far more careful, that she would stop at anytime, that it was my body.
She said I did not deserve what had happened last time, that epidurals were not bad, that I had just been very unlucky.
I have never been so impressed by a young doctor in my life.

Sinead started the procedure and again, I panicked. She stopped straight away and offered to remove what she had set up. She was just so kind and reassuring that she gave me the confidence to continue.

It was explained to me, that due to the blood patch I had after my last epidural, this one may be a bit patchy and I may still have some discomfit. I think every 4 or 5 contractions I felt a niggle but it was so much better.

I was absolutely exhausted and anticipating a long night ahead of us I tried to sleep.
Marley set up the foetal monitor and once I was settled she was able to pop in and out of the other rooms and lend a hand with the other birthing women.

I convinced Jed to set up the TV for himself (commercial telly is a novelty for us) and I dozed on and off for a hour or two.

To be honest, I would have been happy to see the baby by breakfast.

Around 9 pm Dr Geoff, (Dr Sabrina's partner) popped in to see how I was going.
He looked at the foetal trace and then glanced at my waters mat and declared 'I think we are going to have a baby soon'.
Marley and I looked at him like he was bonkers!
The epidural had been in for two hours.

He asked if he could examine me and I agreed. I nearly fell off the bed when he announced 'Lets get Sabrina in, you are ready to have your baby'

He left to ring her and I asked Marley to check me, she did and happily said she could not believe it, but, he was right.

This has happened to me with the last three births. I plod along until the epidural goes in and then 'boom' fully dilated in a few hours.

Louisa, my new Midwife had been popping her head in and out but Marley had stayed on with me. I told her she really should go home. She looked very tired. She said she would but made me promise to leave a note with babies name and what I had.
I promised.

After the charismatic Marley, Louisa seemed very efficient and business like. I started to feel a bit lost and sad. I was not excited at all and I just didn't understand why. I think I was exhausted having barely slept  in the last three days.

Dr Sabrina was there within the next half hour and we discussed how I liked to deliver. I was still quite floppy from the epidural and was still struggling to get motivated.
Either Sabrina didn't notice or she was not going to let me get away with this attitude. Her enthusiasm   started to win me over and as the epidural wore off, things started to get very real.

I delivered Lidia and Matilda, sitting, with the end of the bed dropped down. Gravity worked for me then so I decided to go with that.

The drip was turned off and my contractions slowed down to two to three in a ten minute block. I love pushing, it is my favourite part of birthing, but the baby was in a very awkward position and it was hard work getting her moving.
Louisa was a calm and caring support person.
When pushing, I prefer not to hold Jed's hand as I worry I will squeeze it (because I know I can) and use that precious energy I need for bearing down.
I found by holding Louisa's hand, I has support, but as I was worried I would hurt her, I didn't squeeze.

After nearly an hour had passed Dr Sabrina suggested that forceps may be needed. I was pushing baby down but just couldn't get it 'round the corner.
She rang for the anaesthetist to come and top up my epidural.

I was so tired I agreed.

The response was that she was busy in theatre but could be there in 20 minutes.

I closed my eyes for a few minutes.

I woke to a huge contraction and just thought 'Bother this, I have had enough' and started pushing.
I held that push for 15, 25, 35 seconds and I felt the baby shift.
With the next tightening I started to give another huge push only to be told to stop and breathe.

The next second, all in a rush, my baby was born.
Our beautiful baby girl was born at 11 pm.
And we are all in love.
Trixie took to the breast well and I felt fantastic with no tears or abrasions.
We discharged the next day and by 6 pm Sunday night I was home by my own fire.
We had a lovely week together as a family. Unfortunately, my blood pressure went up and Trixie became jaundice so we headed back to Town for a weekend of nurturing in hospital.
At no time was I 'pushed' out of hospital, it was my choice for an early discharge.

Beatrix's birth was fantastic. It was a great way to finish my child bearing story. I didn't achieve it without an epidural but the excellent one I received laid a lot of ghosts to rest for me.

I am very very blessed.
I hope you enjoyed Beatrix's story and I hope you will excuse any spelling and grammar errors due to my tiredness.

xx Nicole

54 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story, thank you for sharing!!

    She is absolutely adorable! Wish I could be there to get a snuggle in . <3

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  2. Thank you so much Lotta. I can't wait to share her with all her 'Aunties'. I love watching each others children grow up.

    I truly wish you could have a cuddle too.

    xx N

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  3. Such a lovely birth story Nicole. You did so well, and Beatrix is absolutely divine. Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you so very much for commenting Marisa.
      I am so very pleased with Trixie's birth and she is the sweetest little girl. She finishes our family perfectly.
      xx N

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  4. Congratulations to you and your entire wonderful family. What a trooper you are and thanks for sharing your story. The stories of our births never gets old. I only had 4, but it sure is work, right? We don't have the gas option here in the states, but walking and epidurals, yes to both. what work we women go through and so very worth it. enjoy! she is gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you Brenda, I love reading birth stories too and I am so glad I got time to write up Trixie's whilst it was still fresh in my mind.
      It's definitely hard work, I guess that is why it is called labour, but still a very empowering process.
      I am very happy that I got to be as active as I could be, after all, she was forced to be born a month early.
      We were very lucky though, the placenta had broken down terribly and it was said if we had left it any longer she would have had to be delivered by c-section.

      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment.
      xx N

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  5. I'm teary. Thank you so much for sharing this special event. xxx

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    1. Thank you so much for reading it Peta.
      I am so lucky and so very very happy.
      xx N

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  6. Oh my, I feel like I was there. What a lovely story.
    Off to get some tissue…….

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    1. Thank you Deb, it is already starting to fade so I am glad I wrote it down.
      It wasn't a prefect drug free birth but I am very apply with the fact that I did my best and I have a beautiful healthy baby girl.
      xx N

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  7. Thanks Nicole for sharing your beautiful story! I felt like I was right there with you :) I had pretty scary epidurals with both my babies and know how you can be a bit scared of them. I'm so glad all worked out well and your beautiful girl came out healthy and strong. (oh, I had my waters broken with my first and it was a painful and gross experience!)

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    1. Thank you Kristin.
      I had a perfect epidural with Lidia. After 12 hours of labour, I had it put it, quickly and painlessly. I could walk and push but was relatively pain free. It was awesome.
      With Matilda, I let a trainee have a go, she started before her supervisor was there. Her over confidence left me with a nasty legacy.

      In a way, I am glad I had another one done with Trixie as I it went so well and confirmed that they can be a great tool.

      As for the waters being broken, I have and that done so I barely noticed it, and then so painful I ran backwards up the bed!

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.
      xx N

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  8. Love love your story - You're so brave and she's such a lovely baby!
    I had epidural with my 2 boys and it worked incredibly well (no pain at all). Yet to be honest, with Maria I didn't make it on time (she was fast and we barely made it to the hospital...) and I still described it as a perfect birth (painful, but in a good way).

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    1. Thank you Ana Sofia.
      Epidurals, done well, are a fabulous thing!

      I do wish Trixie had been a wee bit faster and I may not have needed it, but we were making the poor thing come very early!

      I know what you mean by a perfect birth, Trixie's was hard but so wonderful.
      xx N

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  9. Congratulations to you all and thanks for sharing Trixie's birth story.

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  10. Thank you for sharing your birth story, Nicole! What a great birth! I could see you were treated with respect and surrounded by supportive family and medical professionals. You're a superhero, lady: induction is no joke! It doesn't happen to everyone, but for some women, the epidural allows them to relax and allows the dilation to happen much more easily! I didn't have an epidural, but I took a dose of fentynal with Joe when things seemed overwhelming, and in those 20 minutes it was effective, I dilated from 4 to 9 cm! WHAT?!! It was just what I needed to stop fighting the powerful forces of labor and let my body do its thing.

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    1. Thank you Inder and thank YOU for sharing your own experience with me.

      I really wanted to do it without a epidural this time, but I appreciate your reminding me, I did make her come early.

      I have always been induced and it is always pretty full on, I have wondered if my body 'fights' the pain rather the letting it do its job.

      It was still a fabulous birth and I am almost a tiny bit sad that it will be the last one.
      xx N

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  11. Oh I am a bit teary too Nicole... brought me straight back to my last birth just like that. Like I was in that birthing suite all over again. A wonderful story and a gorgeous little bubby at the end of all that hard work! You did an amazing job- birthing babies is hard work! xox

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    1. Thank you Virginia.
      I devoured birth stories when I was pregnant so felt I must share!

      My favourite girly nights are sitting around telling birth stories. All of them, c-sections to born in the car! They are all wonderful to hear.

      xx N

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  12. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and personal story, it's very special to be "let in" like that. I love that Jed has worn the same shirt for all your babies. And I love that Millie got a "cameo" :) Trixie is a gorgeous addition to your lovely family!

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    1. Thank you Susanne.
      I wish you could have a cuddle with her!
      xx N

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  13. Wow, thanks for sharing Trixie's birth story, Nicole! I love that Jed has his own 'birthing uniform'. I wore an old t-shirt of Andy's (with Zebedee from the Magic Roundabout on it) for all my births. Gosh birth is a brutal but amazing experience isn't it. I thought you had a bit longer to go and then suddenly there was little Trixie - now I know why!

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    1. Jane, I had the best laid plans of popping in to see you!

      I had no idea he had packed that rugby, he must have popped it in last minute, sentimental old fellow.

      It was a full on birth and I was jolly tired but so worth it. I am sure if we had not done all the walking she may not have come as quickly as she did.

      xx N

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  14. Oh wow, congratulations, I have tears in my eyes reading that account. Reminded me of the birth of my eldest, not easy, but so worth it! Glad everything went well & wee Beatrix is gorgeous. Been following your blog for a while now, (think I found it googling the Lisette Portfolio dress) and I have to say you amaze me how you make so many clothes for all your family. Very inspiring!

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    1. Jen, thank you and I am so honoured that you commented.

      Birthing, no matter which way it happens, creates such a bond between women, doesn't it?

      xx N

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  15. I, too, appreciate you sharing your wonderful birth story, thank you, Nicole!
    I'm so glad this was a better experience for you with the epi. Mine wore off before the real pushing began but it did give me the relief I needed to relax and dilate -- I can take the pain but I found it difficult to give in to it which is what my body needed to get on with it :) You've conquered your fears and made peace -- good for you, girl!
    I can also sympathize with the itching. I'm scheduled to have my gallbladder removed soon and bile itching is one of my GB failure symptoms. Ooof! The indignity...
    On a completely frivolous note --I love your bassinet. It's beautiful, just like your new girl.

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    1. Thank you Christine.
      I am surprised but very pleased to hear other women found the epidural helped their bodies labour quicker too.
      I am glad I had that extra 20 minutes for it to completely wear off so I could push.
      I do feel very content now and would happily recommend an epidural, done correctly, they are marvellous!

      I hope you recover quickly from your surgery. I have been told that will be in my future as well.

      I adore my bassinet. I spotted it in a shop when Liddy was about 3 and Jed bought it for me. At that stage I was still trying to convince him to let my have another baby.
      I figured that was a yes....

      xx N

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    2. Christine, I have just been diagnosed with GB, how did you get on?
      xx N

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  16. Thank you for sharing this story, Nicole. I am so very happy for you and your family. Now, pass Trixie over to me for a cuddle!

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    1. Thank you Sandi, come on over, I will put the kettle on!
      xx N

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  17. What a fantastic story Nicole! A wonderful final birth and a beautiful beginning. The last picture of her asleep, I can see Jed in her in this one. So glad she's here safe and sound.

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    1. Thank you Tamara, we are so glad she is here.
      xx N

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  18. What a great birth story, it's so good to record the details because they do fade a bit with time. I'm so glad that you were well supported and looked after, and that baby Beatrix is here safe and well.

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    1. It was a great experience Suzy, I am busy making wee gifts for all the lovely Mids that took such good care of me.
      Thank you for reading our story.
      xx N

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  19. Wow that is a full on strong mama story, Nicole! Congratulations on baby number 6. I always find birthing stories so fascinating. I was holding my Mums hand ten years ago for her fifth baby (I was 16) and that was a real eye opener (probably best contraceptive for a teenage daughter). It was a home water birth though and I swear we got the call around 4 or 5pm ish to come home and it was all done before 9pm. Made it look easy.

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    1. Sundari, thank you!
      Your comment means so much to me, particularly as you witnessed a home birth.

      I am happy with my birth as I was so well supported and my opinions were respected, even when I was not really making a lot of sense.

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave me a message.
      xx N

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  20. Oh Nicole, what a beautiful story. And how wonderful to have it all written out so that you wont forget any of it. She is beautiful, and you are a rock star. Loves! xx

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    1. Britters, we are both Rock Stars!

      I can't wait for our babies to grow up together.

      xx N

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  21. Bravo, good job, you had such a long and tiring day. All so worth it in the end because look at your beautiful result!

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    1. Thank you Rachel, I was exhausted but it all vanished once I saw her tiny wee face. I am still waiting for the bubble to burst.
      xx N

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  22. A lovely story and such a beautiful, perfect angel of a baby! xxoo

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    1. Thank you Rachel, Hazel is just divine too.
      Congratulations on your birth, did you write it up? I would love to read it.
      xx N

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  23. Nicole, congratulations!! She is just beautiful, and that is QUITE a story! What a trooper you are, and a lovely family to show for it.

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    1. Masha, I have missed you!
      It was a long story I just kept thinking of more to write!

      Thank you, we all adore her so.
      xx N

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  24. ....oh, thank you Nicole. It made me teary too, and also made me relive my births again.
    Beautiful baby Trixie, I look forward to seeing you grow!

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    1. Justine, thank you for all your support leading up to and while I was in hospital. You were a brick and continue to be so whilst I am establishing my feeding.
      xx N

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  25. Congratulations, Nicole, on her safe arrival! She is gorgeous but her arrival story had me squirming!

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  26. Thank you!
    You make me laugh, squirming, birth stories can do that!

    I hope you are keeping well.

    xx N

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  27. What a beautiful record of Beatrix's birth! I'm so glad that she is safely here and that both you and her are doing well.:)

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  28. Thank you Cindy, no matter how that arrive, I think birth stories are marvellous
    We are week, thank you so much.
    xx N

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  29. I had to come back and read it again :) You wrote it so wonderfully and that beautiful little girl you got at the end makes it all so worth it! I'm getting a bit nervous this time around (despite it being number 4!!)... birth just never gets old or easy though does it? xxxx

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