A NEW NORMAL
As I write this wind is lashing at the window and the sky is the gloomiest early March can muster. This time last week, it was the last day of the weird February heat wave and I was walking around the garden faffing about hanging up laundry as my contractions got steadily closer together. A week can make a whole lot of a difference. Nice though the sunny skies were, this week I can tie my shoe laces again, and smile at this round little face.
One week ago our newest little bundle of baby cuteness arrived at about ten past seven in the evening. Having been waiting, certain that she was about to arrive on a few occasions over the previous couple of weeks, it wasn't until my contractiosn were definitely every couple of minutes that I was really convinced it was all happening. Off we trotted to hospital and a lovely midwife hooked me up to all the machines to check baby was a-ok (Sally had to be delivered by emergency c-section as her heart-rate kept crashing so constant monitoring was a must) she was all tickety-boo and we just had to wait it out for a couple of hours until my body switched over to get this baby out mode. Labour is a super-weird thing. I've done it three times now, and it is just a bit odd. A certain point it reached and there is really nothing you can do except push and then a baby comes out. Ok, not always quite so straightforward, but this time it was.
The lovely midwife checked on everything at about 6.30. At 7cm dilated, I was under the impression it was going to be a little while yet. Then she told us that the evening staff came on at 7.00, so another midwife would probably be delivering my baby, I remember there being joke that that gave me 14 minutes to get the baby out - most unlikely. But then suddenly, all crazy seemed to break loose, I'm not sure if baby heard the 14 minutes as a challenge, but she made her bid for freedom and was snuggling up on my chest when the evening crew arrived. According to my notes, labour was 15 minutes.
All this helter skelter hilarity did take a little bit of a toll though. I'm not sure if the little darling had her elbows out or some thing, but she did manage to gouge a bit of a hole on her way out and by the time all the stitches were in they reckon I'd lost about 1.5 litres of blood, the side effects of which became abundantly obvious when I tried to have a shower and almost passed out. This meant I had to stay in over night - a maternity ward is a hilarious place at night. If I were being fascitious, I would question why they bother putting light switches in at all, the nursing staff come and wake you up every hour or so (they took my blood at 2am) and there are other babies crying and alarms going off all over the place - the notion of sleep seems a complete anathema. But in the end I did manage to get a couple of hours sleep with my new baby curled up against my chest before my beautiful number one girl came to see me on her way to school.
She was so excited, it was lovely. I hope it is a memory that she keeps, that she got to meet the baby first. She has actually been really good with baby Cleo (blog name I think?) she cuddles her really gently when I put her in her arms and she hasn't got cross about the amount of time I've had to spend feeding baby and not playing with her. That's not to say everything has been utterly plain sailing - both kids are clearly a bit unsettled by the arrival of baby three. Sally oscillates between being utterly charming and refusing to do anything we ask (although, you could question how different to normal that is!) and Pip doesn't want to eat anything except for cake and yoghurt and has become maddeningly difficult to get dressed!
This is what our new normal seems to look like. Three beautiful children and no where near enough sleep. But everyone has remained fed, there has been lots of laugher and cuddles and I know what not enough sleep looks like, and I know that actually Cleo is being very good at the moment.