And back to normality

Paternity leave finished with a flourish yesterday as we added a giant puppy into the mix of new baby and our own dog. Gus, the Vizzla, is not a permanent addition but rather a favour to friends as the last NCT baby in our group was being born in London. Hey, we’ve had two weeks to get to grips with Monty and Finn, it was about time for a new challenge!

We headed to our favourite park in an attempt to tire the two beasts out.

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Today we will head onwards with Toby fully back in an ever changing landscape at work and I’ll do my best to be sole charge of the ‘boys’. I’ve got a long to do list to juggle with feeding and still a small amount of recovering to do myself. Nearly there though.

On Saturday I took the train to London to the civilised day part of one of my best friends’ hen party – which was great fun, I felt like I was on day release from my post-partum hell hole. My hero husband flew solo with Monty and Finn, this was pre-Gus! Finn our little terrier has been a star and watching how jealous he’s been today as Gus the invading dog entered his territory, I think Monty and Finn will be great mates eventually. Of course while Monty is small and unable to assert any sort of influence over Finn we have to be ultra vigilant and responsible as after all, dogs are dogs are dogs….and the horrific stories in the press are terrible but not surprising when you discover how lax people are sometimes with dogs and babies. Monty’s entrance to the world was hardly easy, not keen on making a replacement just yet!
I’m unsure of the appropriate level of detail when ‘birth blogging’ so will err on the side of caution and opt for non-gore.
Let’s just say it hurt in every sense and I was somewhat traumatised by the experience.

In summary, my birth plan of gas & air plus pool was going nicely up until 9cm, I was in slightly euphorically powerful searing pain as I neared the end of transition – a little afraid of releasing myself into the pushing phase and slightly irritated when my urine was tested by a nervy midwife who informed me I was too tired and dehydrated to continue without a drip to sort levels out. With one swift manoeuvre I was out of the pool, drip inserted (after 3 attempts), epidural in (after 4 attempts, apparently it’s a good idea for trainees to use first time mums as target practice) and everything had slowed. Fast forward another 10 hours and Monty was born with some rather brutal looking salad servers and a tactical 4″ slice made to ensure smooth delivery. Nice. I was traumatised twice when Toby left the room so he missed Monty’s heart rate crashing and a Casualty style scene of multiple doctors and nurses rushing in to ‘save the day’. As he sauntered back in with a Costa, “what did I miss” garnered some emotional exhausted responses. Needless to say he didn’t leave my side after the 2nd time. Convinced I was going to die and Monty too, anxiety levels were through the roof by this point. My birth plan hadn’t stretched to this level of stress and duration of labour. My mum and Toby made such a great team and kept me vaguely on this stratosphere.

Having had such a fabulous pregnancy, only getting a bit fed up at the latter hippo inflated end, I had approached birth with excitement and positivity. Perhaps a little unrealistically.

There was a point during delivery when I lost control of what was happening and changed from labouring woman to patient in hospital.

My own midwife has since been dissecting the process with me while fixing me physically and emotionally. She has been wonderful as after getting home I’ve been battling infection and the normal hormonal swings that come with a new baby and a traumatic experience.

It sounds dramatic, but it really rather all was.

Monty is amazing. Totally worth every minute of it. I’m not sure what finally enabled my body to start healing, something in the mix of double dose extended period antibiotics, twice daily tea tree baths, a mild painkiller addiction, iron tablets, application of an Arc Equine unit to stimulate healing (brill for horses and humans alike) or just time and patience.

I’ve found resting hard as I’ve got used to breast feeding (not easy when sitting down is painful!) and beating infection. I’m on the up and Toby is back to work today having survived paternity, marred by a somewhat over emotional and exhausted wife.

We are beginning to get into a routine and are definitely working as a team and now it’s time for me to get on with being a mummy to our little super baby.

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