Micah’s Birth Story

Welcome to Micah’s birth story! If you’re here for more comedy moments on gas and air, like Florence’s birth story (which you can read here), then you’re going to be disappointed. Sorry!

Matthew and I headed in to Raigmore for 9pm on Wednesday 25th March. Our temperature was taken when we arrived at Ward 9a, because #covid19, then we were taken to a bed, filled out the essential forms, and told the midwife would be in to speak to us after the changeover at 10pm.

I’m not sure how many times I checked the time in that hour! Oddly excited to be examined, to find out if I was ready to start the induction, or if I’d need the hormonal pessary to help me along. But sadly, when the midwife came we were informed that labour ward was busy and under staffed so none of us would be taken up that night, and they couldn’t give anyone the pessary in case it got labour going, so we weren’t examined. Sob. Furthermore Matthew was told he had to go home and would only be allowed to come back in when I was actually in labour. None of those things were what I wanted to hear. Not knowing when I would actually be induced, and the thought of sitting around waiting on my own in the hospital, rather than being at home with Matthew and Florence, was not pleasant. Matts headed home, and I headed to bed.

At 10am the following morning I was finally examined, and found out I was already 3-4cm dilated and could start the induction as soon as a room became available in labour ward! Yay! Even better, Matthew was able to come in and wait with me whenever he wanted! Hooray for rules changing regularly! He came in shortly after, without having had breakfast or bringing any lunch…and as there were a lot of women in the Highlands going in to labour naturally and jumping the queue ahead of me (so rude!), we were waiting quite a while, so he headed home again around 2:30 to get something to eat (and grab a few things for me as it turned out I’d done a terrible job packing my hospital bag!).

Shortly after 3 I decided to make the most of being child free and have a nap! Two minutes after I snuggled in to bed the midwife appeared to say a room was available in labour ward. Woooooooo! So I messaged Matts, only for a nurse to appear a couple minutes later saying an emergency had just come in so they couldn’t take me up, which can’t be helped, so I told Matthew to stand down and I climbed back in to bed. I slept for an hour, and once Matthew had stopped having snuggle time with Florence he came back in, but was sadly only allowed to stay for an hour as once again the rules had changed to partners only being allowed in for labour.

At 8pm I was told a room was available and a midwife from labour ward would be down to get me soon. I didn’t tell Matthew this time, in case it was another false alarm, but two minutes later the midwife appeared at my bed to take me upstairs! I was clearly so happy to see her as she said “Oh woaw, no one’s looked at me like that in a long time!”, haha! We headed upstairs and I messaged Matts saying “Go! Go! Go! I’m in labour ward!”. The midwife inserted my cannula, but didn’t hook me up to the hormone drip as I’d already been contracting on and off throughout the day. When Matts arrived she broke my water, and oh boy was that something! It literally flooded the bed straight away and they had to change the sheets as it went beyond the protective pads.

Breaking my water was enough to ramp up my contractions and it wasn’t long before they were pretty intense (and, once again, all in my lower back!). In that time there was a shift change and we got a new midwife. A lovely Community Midwife who usually attended home births (which were no longer allowed, because #covid19) and was in to help because so many labour midwives were off. Our first midwife was all for pain relief drugs, but our new midwife was giving off major Hypnobirthing, “do it naturally”, vibes so I felt like I needed to be brave and and power through without any drugs. She was wonderfully calm, softly spoken, and had a great technique to ease some of the pain of the contractions (firmly placing her palms in to my lower back). We roped Matthew in to this pain relief attempt, and I felt like I was giving him a workout, with the force he was using to push his palms in to my back.

After a few hours of labouring naturally, on my knees, leaning over the back of the bed, feeling nauseous and trying not to cry out with the pain, our midwife very kindly asked if I wanted some gas & air. Woohoo! Unfortunately though, I used it for a couple of contractions and it just made me feel even more sick, so I didn’t take any more, but it did give me the confidence to ask/demand an epidural. Our midwife suggested diamorphine as an alternative, as it’s less invasive, but I didn’t like the thought of it going in to baby’s system, and I just knew that once I had the epidural when I was in labour with Florence I felt so much more relaxed and it was just a wonderful experience! So I stood my ground and just kept saying “Nope, I’d like the epidural.”.

I realised just how doped up on gas and air I must’ve been with Florence as I do not remember the procedure taking anywhere near as long with her as it did this time round. I went through multiple contractions, made worse by the position I had to sit in to insert the epidural, and was getting quite frustrated at how long the setup was taking. Thankfully the relief was instantaneous once it was put in. I apologised to our midwife, as I felt like I had failed her by not doing it naturally *face palm* She was very kind and supportive, reminding me that I had laboured naturally for hours, and actually agreed that the epidural was exactly what I needed as she could see the relief I felt.

Turns out I’d requested the epidural just in time! It’s common to be told that an epidural will slow down labour, but I asked to be examined shortly after receiving mine as I felt a really strong pressure in my lady bits, and wanted to try pushing. They examined me and didn’t think I was quite ready, but I kept saying the pressure was pretty intense, so our midwife said to try pushing in my next contraction. I couldn’t actually feel my contractions though so had to be told when they were happening. Both midwives were impressed at how well I was able to push despite not feeling the contractions, and I was only pushing for about half an hour. Due to my third degree tear with Florence, our midwife was very hands on this time round and when Micah’s head was halfway out she told me to stop pushing (it was pushing Florence’s head out so quickly that caused my tear last time)…even with the epidural I felt the burn (I don’t think the epidural was as strong as the one I go with Florence)!! Once his head was out she told me to rest again and let his body turn, the whole time she’s stretching my nether regions to help ease him out more gently. One more push and he slid right out, at 1:59am! I reached out and practically grabbed him and Matthew said “It’s a boy!”. We couldn’t believe we had a little boy! It was so wonderful to finally get him out of my pelvis and snuggle him in to my chest! And, like when Florence was born, I instantly new which name from our list I wanted to give him, and thankfully Matthew agreed.

I ended up with a 2nd degree tear, so I still needed stitches, but the midwife just did them there and then as I lay snuggling Micah in our room (and he pooped all over my wobbly empty bump). It was great not needing to go to theatre and have a further dose of epidural, not needing a catheter when I got my epidural, and not needing a 24 hour antibiotic IV! I was up and walking around within an hour of giving birth.

I felt great when the midwife on Ward 10 popped in to check on us later that morning, and she was happy to discharge us once Micah had been checked over by the Paediatrician. I was so excited!! But that excitement decreased as the hours passed by, waiting for Micah’s check up, and then being told that because he hadn’t had a wet nappy and wasn’t showing much interest in latching on for a feed, they wanted us to stay in for 24 hours. I knew he still had mucus inside him, as he was gagging throughout the day, and I knew once he got that up that he’d want a feed and would then have a wet nappy.

I hand expressed colostrum in to a syringe a couple times throughout the day, and hand expressed in to his mouth a few times, and eventually in the evening he had a good spew, then had a good feed, then did a wee! The second I saw the blue line on his nappy I asked the midwife if we could go home! The first one who saw us was a bit hesitant and came up with many reasons for us to stay, but I had a confident response for each one, and she realised she wasn’t going to change my mind. So she got the Charge Midwife who was totally chilled and very happy for us to head home, if we were happy to do so. Yay! So we headed home at 10pm, surprised my Mum who didn’t think we’d be getting home until the following morning, popped in to Florie’s room to see her sweet sleeping face, and climbed in to our wonderfully comfy bed with our new bundle of love sleeping beside me.

Ooft…that was a long post! Good effort if you made it to the end. I hope you enjoyed Micah’s birth story, despite the lack of gas and air comedy. I wonder if there will be a third birth story in a couple more years…

Day 297|365

Day 297.jpg
Settings – ISO 4000, 50mm, f2.8, 1/100sec

Today was Induction Day! Or so we thought. At 9pm, instead of sitting down to watch the next episode of The Apprentice, we were arriving at Ward 9A to begin the process of bringing our little girl (which we didn’t know at the time, but I’m writing this a week later) in to the world.

I was hooked up to the CTG, to check how Baby Mac was doing, and then I was examined to see if I was dilated enough to have my waters broken or if I’d need a prostin tablet inserted to dilate me further. We were delighted to hear I was at the stage where I could have my waters broken, but sadly the Labour Ward was too busy and we needed to wait until morning to go up. So, Matthew headed home at midnight, to get some sleep but have his phone on high alert on the off chance my waters broke naturally, and I nestled in for the night, waiting to hear the Labour Ward was ready to take me…

Come back tomorrow to find out what happened next!

Day 276|365

Day 276.jpg
Settings – ISO 200, 50mm, f3.2, 1/100sec

I realised the other day that I won’t be able to wear my big dangly earrings for much longer, unless I want giant holes in my ears from surprisingly strong baby grip! I feel a bit naked without colourful jewellery so I decided to look in to some baby friendly necklaces! Pebbles & Lace was highly recommended on a Facebook group I’ve recently joined so I popped a wee order through and my necklace arrived today, yay!

Isn’t it cute? The colours will go with everything in my wardrobe, and it’s good fun for baby too! They can fiddle with it while feeding, hopefully saving me from tiny baby nail scratches, and when the dreaded teething starts they can nom to their heart’s content.

Might need to add a few more to my Christmas wish list!

Day 270|365

Day 270
Settings – ISO 160, 50mm, f2.0, 1/250sec

All the Airbnb guests have gone and Maggie is officially done for the year, so we can claim my favourite room in the house! Yay! This is where Matthew proposed, and I can’t wait to have family snuggles here soon. There will definitely be adorable photos of a little squisher in this spot, to accompany the engagement photos our Wedding Photographer Paula O’Hara took here two and a half years ago.

My Mum came up from Aberdeen this morning, and we bumped in to each other randomly at Simpsons Garden Centre whilst I was meeting a friend for lunch, and she was meeting her brother. Inverness is a small place! In the evening we went to the Theatre to see The Case of the Frightened Lady at Eden Court with Matthew’s Mum and my sister. It was lovely to have an evening with the ladies before baby comes along! *Spoiler Alert!* I’m actually quite surprised my waters didn’t break when we were shot at at the end of the play! Oh my lifey. We all jumped!

I knew who the killer was pretty early on, but there was definitely a curveball at the end. All in all an enjoyable performance!

Now that Matthew’s had his trip to London with work, and I’ve been on my theatre trip with the ladies, baby can come out whenever it wants to…preferably in the next couple days, while my Mum is already in town! Haha.

Day 267|365

Day 267
Settings – ISO 100, 50mm (24-70mm lens), f3.5, 1/250sec

Another eventful day, with a trip to Ward 9A. They’re a lovely, caring bunch here at Raigmore! When we were in on Friday night they mentioned calling me today to arrange another ultrasound, to make sure Baby Mac’s living quarters were comfortable. Sure enough, while my midwife was in for a visit to finalise my notes after my transition from Aberdeen to Inverness, I got a call from the hospital and an appointment was arranged for this afternoon.

I told Matts to stay at work, as I was happy that Baby Mac was fine, and this was just a routine check after the movements reducing on Friday night, and headed to the hospital myself. The Sonographer was checking the fluid levels around baby and making sure the umbilical cord had a good flow. All was well! I was then sent down to Ward 9A for the scan to be checked over…which resulted in another hour of waiting, not sure what exactly I was waiting for. Eventually a Doctor appeared and later came out to chat to me, and informed me I’d need to come back in a couple of days for another scan, as the Sonographer didn’t take growth measurements, which I’m told is another routine check when there’s been concerns a baby’s movements have reduced.

Baby Mac’s movements have well and truly been back to normal since Friday night, so I’m no longer concerned, and I certainly feel like they’re growing just fine! But it is wonderful to know the staff at Raigmore are looking out for me and the baby and doing all they can to make sure they come out fit and healthy!

After my afternoon trip to the hospital I sat down with a coffee and my homemade Millionaire’s Shortbread and filled out my birth plan. That was a hoot! Who knows if it will go to plan or not…I think the good thing is I’m pretty chilled about it, and just want to do whatever is best for Baby Mac!

 

Day 259|365

Day 259
Settings – ISO 1000, 35mm, f2.8, 1/200sec

Say hello to Matthew’s old crib and Baby Mac’s future home for sleepy sleeps *heart eyes* We were going to wait until things have quieted down in Fasgadh before taking this down from the loft, but we were on a roll with washing all of Baby Mac’s clothes and getting ready that Maggie decided to take it down this morning. Yay!

There’s still a few guests booked in over the next couple weeks so we’ll be nesting in Matthew’s room until we’re able to move in to one of the bigger rooms in October. Still no progress with selling our flat in Aberdeen, so this is going to be Baby Mac’s home for the first couple months, at least!

Day 257|365

Day 257
Settings – ISO 100, 50mm, f3.5, 1/250sec

Sarah and I popped to the shops this afternoon to get some final bits n bobs for when Baby Mac arrives. Yay! Feeling like we’re well stocked now for the early days, so he/she can come whenever they want! Sooner rather than later, preferably…I feel like they’re coming early, but perhaps that is just wishful thinking!

There’s still a lot going on in the Macleod household between now and the start of October, so it’s probably best they stay in until then…it’s crazy not knowing when they’re going to make their arrival!

Don’t freak out because I’m saying “they”, it is just one, that’s just how I’ve been referring to Baby Mac recently, rather than saying “he”, “she” or “it”.

Day 95|365

Day 95.jpg
Settings – ISO 160, 50mm, f2.5, 1/3200sec

Matthew and I had another trip to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital this morning, for our second attempt at a dating scan, to find out how far along Baby Macleod is. Our first scan, last Friday, was incredibly emotional; seeing Mini Mercleod moving around for the first time, but the little nugget was very stubborn and settled in to quite the snuggly position, making it difficult for the Sonographer to get proper measurements.

Firstly, my bladder was TOO FULL, so I had to go pee (calm down, everybody pees!). Then she asked me to jump up and down, to try get them moving, but that didn’t work, so she then sent us off to the cafe to have something sweet, but then, of course, my bladder was empty and that meant my bowels were in the way of the ultrasound (you’re welcome!).

So we were given an appointment for this morning to try again, and thankfully Matthew was able to get the morning off work. I drank some water and ate a Freddo bar before heading to the hospital (lucky baby!), but the little squid was still too keen for snuggles! This time the Sonographer got my to plant my feet on the bed, raise my hips and wiggle side to side. I didn’t realise ultrasounds included a morning workout each time! That didn’t do the trick (we have one snuggly baby, just like it’s Mama!) so next I tried lying on my side and it was quite funny seeing the little munchkin shift position, as if it had just rolled out of bed, ready to start the day! But then it just kicked back in it’s recliner, one hand in the mouth and the other behind their head. I hope it’s this chilled in 6 months time!

We got a much better selection of scan images this time round, and it was wonderful to see their little heart beating away again…now we just have to wait 8 weeks until next time!

But, enough about that! After our scan Matthew headed off to work and I headed down to Stonehaven for another wonderful afternoon with the beautiful blonde in the photo, and her family. It was such a lovely, warm, day! Perfect for a trip to the beach and a cheeky wee ice-cream. The oldies sat in the sunshine as the kids and the doggos ran free on the beach, throwing sticks and stones, and complaining about wet sandy feet. Classic beach trip! Jasper’s beautiful freshly groomed coat no longer smelt fresh and wonderful and instead smelt like smelly fish water. Haha, okay, it didn’t actually, thankfully. It’s a big relief to have his hair short again, making our upcoming trip to Lewis and all the beautiful beaches a lot more bearable with a dog!

Day 89|365

Day 89
Settings – Does anyone really care??

So…I’ve been keeping a secret from you all for the past couple months! Matthew and I are incredibly happy to say we’re expecting a mini Macleod in October! I’m getting a little emotional just typing this.

Announcing a pregnancy comes with mixed emotions. Obviously there’s pure joy and excitement (and a little bit of fear!) because our family is growing and we’re going to be parents! But there’s also sadness. I know the heartache of seeing a pregnancy announcement and not having a child of my own. When I left school I was not career driven, I wanted to be a wife and a mother! But, God’s plan doesn’t always line up with our own plans for our lives, and I had to accept that wasn’t happening in the immediate future, and I had to find a career! Then five years down the line God brought a younger man in to my life and he is more wonderful than I deserve, but again I had to accept that babies were not going to be on the cards any time soon! Haha. Another five years on and I’m in disbelief that the time has actually come!

I’ve spent the past two months living in fear that something was going to go wrong. I’ve seen many Youtube videos and blog posts from couples going through misscarriages and I know it’s more common than people think, but then I would worry that my worrying wasn’t good for the baby! Hormones make women crazy. We had our 12 week scan on Friday and it was incredible to see this tiny body appear on the screen, looking very active and healthy as far as we’re aware! It definitely made things feel more real, and relief came flooding over me, everything appears to be alright! I know there’s a long road ahead, but I’m thankful for every minute that I get to carry this child, and we believe that good will come no matter what lies ahead.

Day 31|365

Day 31.jpg
Settings – ISO 250, 50mm, f1.4, 1/2000sec

This adorable little munchkin, her wonderful Mumma, and Squishy, the coolest sausage dog around, joined Jasper and I on our walk at the park today. I’m so thankful for neighbours who become friends, and friends who are fantastic bakers so we get tasty treats! Yay! Haha. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of Poppy in her cute cream knitwear. She’s got such a perfect wee face!

Can you believe it’s already the end of January?? I hope you’ve enjoyed the first month of my 365 Project. Only 11 months to go, easy peasy!