Today’s post is the best post I have ever written. Maybe not to you but it is to me, because today’s post is all about my beautiful baby boy, Caleb.
After weeks of willing him to hurry up, he finally arrived on May 1st.
I’d gone to the hospital for a membrane sweep (not as gross as it sounds, but suuuuper weird) on April 28th, when I was 38 weeks and 1 day. I’d begged to have the sweep because my fiancé – that still feels weird to say, good weird though – only had a certain amount of time to be in the UK before he had to go back to the States for work.
We went home where I spent the next few days sitting on a birth ball, watching Hannibal and by the Saturday night I had started to get cramps so I took some paracetamol and went to bed. I thought it meant the baby was coming but I still thought it would be a few days away. However, by 3 o clock the next morning I was in a lot more pain. I kept having hot baths until about 6am and still thought I was days away from giving birth.
Even though I was in labour and didn’t realise I was in labour, I’d had the strongest feeling that my baby would be born on May 1st. I knew he was coming early and I knew he would be born in May and part of me thought he’d be here on May 1st. I think it was my mother’s intuition!
My friend is a midwife and we’d arranged for her to be my midwife when I gave birth, so I text her and asked her to come and check me over before she went to work.
By the time she arrived I was on the sofa, breathing through the pain and still unable to believe that my baby was actually coming. Bermon was fast asleep and had no idea I’d even left the bed! My midwife (I won’t share her name in case she’s not allowed to be in blog posts) went upstairs to fetch my hospital notes and tell him to get up as we were going to the hospital! What a nice way to be woken up on Sunday morning!
When we arrived at hospital at 8am, I was 3cm dilated and expecting to be there for a while. However, by 10am I was 7cm and in active labour!
I always get cramps in my back so I knew I’d get back labour, thankfully I was able to borrow a tens machine from the hospital. I love tens machines and recommend them to anyone with back labour. I swear, it relieved me so much that I was sitting on the floor, drinking tea and munching on biscuits while I was having contractions!
When my waters broke, I was convinced that I’d begun to wet myself. It didn’t even cross my mind that it would be my waters, I was just horrified that I was (I thought) peeing myself!
By noon my nana had arrived and I was in the birth pool puffing on the gas and air like it was the only thing keeping me alive. In terms of pain relief, I’d had a bath, a tens machine, some gas and air and a water birth.
I’d been desperate for a water birth because I like baths when I’m in pain and I would recommend them to anyone!! Just be careful, I rested my head so hard against the bath when I was pushing that I had a bruised forehead for a couple of days.
t around 3pm I couldn’t fight the urge to push anymore and at 4.39pm our son, Caleb Carter Norwood, came into the world weighing 7lb 15 ounces (warning ladies, contractions aren’t anything compared to pushing a baby’s head out)!
I had taken my mum’s photograph with me to the hospital and it had been resting on the edge of the pool all day. Once Caleb’s head was out, my mum’s photo flew into the pool with us. Think what you will, but I truly believe she was with me. When I felt like I couldn’t push any more from pain and tiredness, my mum’s face appeared in my head and I found strength I didn’t even know I had to get him out.
Bermon cut his cord but Caleb wouldn’t cry. He kept making grunting sounds, but he just would not cry. I was so loopy from the gas and air that it didn’t register to me, all I was concerned about was getting photos and if I had definitely had a boy.
We had an hour of skin to skin and I was told that the baby needed to cry or he would have to go to intensive care. Unfortunately, he continued to grunt and couldn’t get a cry out. The hour passed too quickly and before I knew it my new baby was being wheeled away from me. I was too out of it to realise at the time, but thinking of it now makes me want to cry.
I had to stay behind and be sewn up, get showered and have something to eat before I could go and see him.
Eventually, at around 7, we went into the NICU and saw him in his cot, covered in wires. He was hooked up to oxygen, a feeding tube and had a canular pumping antibiotics into him. We don’t know why but he had been born with an infection and was struggling to breathe alone.
He had to stay in the NICU until the Thursday and then he was allowed to come into my hospital room.
Bermon had got us a private room and was allowed to stay with me, thank goodness. That week was one of the best and worst. It was so worrying being brand new parents with a poorly child, but we also got time to be together without life getting in the way.
A week after Caleb was born, we were allowed to bring him home. He’d got a touch of jaundice still and a small hole in his heart (which will heal itself), and had lost over a pound in weight but his infection was gone and he was breathing all by himself!
Now, a month on he is healthy, gaining weight nicely and a far cry from the poorly baby who was hooked up to those wires.
He’s beginning to take in the world and knows what he likes and what he doesn’t.
He likes his daddy, he likes milk, he likes baths (he didn’t at first), he likes being held and he likes to hear my voice.
He does not like to have his clothes taken off, his hair washed and he HATES having his nappy changed!