Friday, February 24, 2012

As one chapter closes another one opens.

Alfie John Piggott was born at 8.50am on Friday the 17th February 2012. He entered the world and without him even realising, changed our world forever.

And so the last chapter goes..... I woke up on Friday morning at 3am to go to the toilet, just as normal, fed up of being so fat and peeing a hundred times a day. When I went to the toilet I noticed I was bleeding, this was my first sign that something was happening, I thought, this must be my show, and my next sign was my tummy was a bit crampy, like period cramps, very mild. So I went into the bedroom and told Steve that I though perhaps something was going on, but not to panic as it would probably be hours before anything kicked in. So from 3am to 4am the cramps got a bit stronger and by 4am I knew I was having contractions. At first they were erratic, but very quickly I had ran myself a bath and was in there keeling over in pain. The contractions were coming on so fast and so strong that I was now making quite a bit of noise. Steve got up and told me he was ringing the midwife, she asked how far apart they were, Steve said about 5 minutes, but really by this point everything was just going so fast that they had pretty much progressed to being about 1 minute apart. The midwife rang back about 5 minutes later and said "just come in, it sounds like its all moving fast", I then got out of the bath and my waters must have broken as I was leaking all over the bathroom. By now the contractions were on top of each other and we needed to move quick!!! Steve grabbed the bags and got dressed and I tried my hardest to get dressed, this was near impossible as I would have time to get a top out of the drawer and that was it, bang......another contraction, these were now super duper strong, they were so bad I was curled up on the floor for each one begging for help. I tried my best to breath through them but it was just so painful, and having no pain relief when this was probably when I needed it the most was pretty hard going. I finally got ready and left the house in a right state, bathroom covered in water, blood and also a bowl of vomit! delightful!.

Steve drove like the clappers to the hospital while I kept trying my best to deal with the contractions. We reached the emergency department car park and I said to Steve "oh no, I need to push", I felt the pressure to push and wasn't sure what the hell to do!!! this baby was coming. A nurse who was finishing her shift saw the commotion and got me a wheelchair, then Steve wheeled me in, funny moment was there wasn't a ramp into the entrance and Steve almost tipped me out as he wheeled me into a ditch! I think I even gave a wee laugh at that one!. An orderly came and helped us and helped with the bags and phoned through to the maternity unit, and just like that I was wheeled into a room and greeted by my midwife and a hospital midwife. They quickly checked to see how dilated I was and sure enough I was 10cms, so I was told I was allowed to push. I asked for some gas and was given some, but I only took a couple of puffs. I remember saying "its not working"!, I was sorted on the bed and told to push when a contraction came. This stage of labour was bloody hard, but I must say the actual pushing wasn't as bad as a contraction. I kept trying to get more gas but the hospital midwife told Steve not to give me anymore as it wasn't doing anything and was just going to distract me from the job of pushing, and apparently I didn't need it, apparently she thought I could manage without it! hmmm......well I wasn't so sure of that. With every contraction I pushed with all my strength but it wasn't working, I wasn't pushing for long enough at a time, he was moving down but then back up. I needed to take bigger breaths and hold the push for longer! how the fuck do you do that I was thinking!!! At this point the whole pushing process was taking longer than they would have liked, they didn't want it to go on for too long or the baby might become distressed. I started sobbing and saying "I cant do it, I don't know how to push anymore", I was given lots of reassurance and encouragement from the midwifes and Steve that I could do it and I will. The midwifes told me that I needed to push for longer or the doctors might have to come in and we may have to yank him out with forceps. No thanks!!! something must have taken over as my pushing got better and better and he was moving out nicely. I remember I was able to put my hand down and feel his head crowning, I wasn't too impressed as it felt like I still had ages to go. With a few more god almighty pushes his head was out and Steve took a look! how amazing. With another wee push and a bit of pulling from the midwife the rest of his body came out! He was born!!!!

He was laid onto my chest and just like that the pain was gone!!!! I was given a shot in my leg to release the placenta more quickly and with a small push out that came. Me and Steve looked down at our son!! wow! he was slightly odd looking, his head looked a bit blue but oh my goodness! he was perfect.

Through out the whole process Steve was damn amazing! When we were at home he was calm but onto it, when we got to the hospital he just slipped into the role of a backup midwife!!! he was fantastic. He stood by my side the whole time, he held the gas for me, he gave me water, he rubbed my back, he told me to keep pushing, he didn't let up for a second. When the midwifes stopped telling me to push, he would start. He let me grab him, pull onto him, and fall apart, but he didn't fall apart, he remained in control and exceeded my expectations. There was lots of comments from the midwifes about how brilliant and hands on he was, when many husbands/partners are often over whelmed and a bit stand off ish.

I was then stitched up, as I had tore in two different places and one was quite jagged and awkward to get to, this took quite a while and was quite painful, but all was good. I continued to hold Alfie as I was stitched but then handed him to Steve. he got his first hold with his son, and to be honest I think his heart just melted there on the spot.

Alfie was weighed, he is a compact 6pounds 6ounces. And the labour was recorded as 4 hours 48 minutes from start to finish! not bad!!!  I then showered and my god, that was bliss!!!! I was given some maternity pads the size of a king sized mattress and the midwife helped me put these on and got me all sorted to go to my room. As Alfie's temperature was a bit low and I had previously tested positive for Strep B and we never got the time to get antibiotics into me to go through to Alfie, I was told to stay in over night so his breathing and temperature could be monitored every 4 hours.

We were moved into a shared room! damn it. the woman next to me had loads of visitors and was so noisy! but my midwife was great and quietened them down. We had Steve's parents come in to visit their grandson and they were just chuffed! Also luckily for us, one of the hospital midwifes came and told us we could get a single room as they are warmer and would help get Alfie's temperature up. Yah!!! so I got moved into a really comfy nice single room.

Steve stayed till 8pm and then had to go home. I was left with this tiny little person! and guess what, he was mine. Through out the night the midwifes came and checked on him and I got a bit of help with breastfeeding and latching him on correct. All in all it went well, we were up and down for most of the night but Alfie is really settled and the crying was very minimal.

Bang on 8am when visitors were allowed back in, Steve arrived to collect us. I was happy to see him and missed him. He was so excited to get us home! we loaded up our new wee guy in his car seat and off we went, ready to start our new chapter.

So far since Alfie has been home we have been getting used to breastfeeding, sleeping, and generally just having a new little person in the house, Our midwife has been visiting and taking very good care of both me and Alfie. I have found my back pain to be my biggest challenge so far in regards to my recovery, it makes doing stuff with Alfie a wee bit harder, picking him up and bending over has been a bit more of a challenge. I have been a bit sore with the stitches, but now a week on and they are getting less and less sore. Breastfeeding had been a real learning curve, getting used to being on demand has been interesting and my boobs are very leaky, I have far too much milk for our small wee guy, he is practically drowning in it! But as each day goes by I'm getting more and more confident with feeding and more and more sorted and I am getting used to it. I initially found it hard to adjust to this new wobbly belly, but as every day goes by and I lose more and more excess fluid and my uterus pops back into where its meant to be my belly is going down, I have lost 7kgs since Alfie's birth and have just 4kgs to go till I get back to my original weight before getting pregnant. I am not able to get into alot of my pre pregnancy clothes yet, so am sticking to the bigger looser ones till my tummy goes down, but as Steve keeps reminding me, its only been a week and he seems to think I look great regardless!
Steve has been spending the last week at home with me and again, just like the whole birthing process he has exceeded my expectations. He has done all the housework, he has cooked dinners, he has done all the dishes, he has held and changed and bathed Alfie and cleaned up his spew. he has helped me with breastfeeding, he has sat next to me in the middle of the night watching me feed and being on hand to grab anything I need. He has started to read parenting magazines and given out all sorts of handy hints. He has even made a batch of Jam and has just started painting the bathroom. He constantly asks me if I'm ok, how I'm feeling, and telling me how well I am doing. He is very hands on and more importantly he wants to be, He wants to do stuff for Alfie. He is absolutely loving having his son, and having him off work for the last week has been a real joy, I don't know what I would have done without him, especially since my back has been playing me up. When he returns to work next week I will be getting into a bit of a routine and have got some visitors coming and some appointments so will be very busy and then after next week, life just carries on, me and Alfie get into the groove of things and I will continue to enjoy my little treasure.

So how do I feel now that I've been through IVF and now I'm on the other side? Well Its amazing. I am living proof that IVF works, that hard work and perseverance and lots of hope and faith will get you there in the end. As I have always said throughout this blog, don't give up, no matter how many brick walls you hit, you can always get back up if you want something bad enough.

Even though Alfie is only 1 week old today, I just look into his little eyes and think "my goodness you are the cutest little baby I have ever seen", I cannot believe he is mine yet at the same time I feel like I cant imagine not having him now. When he was first born I don't think I had that instant immediate "i love you so much" type feeling that some mums talk about, and I think this could partly be because it all happened so fast and was such a shock. But I think it didn't take long, I am so so in love with him now, I worry about him, I worry that he's not comfortable in bed, I worry is he too hot or too cold, I worry is he happy, is he scared. When he crys in the middle of the night for a feed and I'm tired, I think "oh god, I'm tired" but I don't think "oh shit, I don't want to get up, go back to sleep", I just want to help him out and settle him and feed him and keep him happy. He is so delightful. He is a really settled wee baby, well so far!!! time will tell. He seems to have slipped himself into a little routine, not sure how we managed that! he doesn't really cry unless he has wind or is doing a poo, or hungry, otherwise he just gazes up at us, as we gaze down at him. He settles into his bassinet well, he is happy to be put down awake and just stare at the wall and nod off to sleep himself. Aren't we lucky! I could go on all day! My heart is happy not broken, its fully mended and boy does that feel good.

So as I close this chapter of our life, our chapter of making our son, I now open a new chapter, a happy chapter, a chapter that starts something like this " The day he entered our life, was the day our whole world changed, the day we knew everything we had done was worth it, the day we will remember forever, and the day we realized dreams really do come true.

Lots of luck and good wishes to all infertile couples still fighting the battle.
Catherine and Steve


  1. Congratulations on your beautiful little man and thank you so much for sharing your birth story as well as your whole journey with us. Enjoy him:)

  2. I just checked your blog last night, because I was afraid maybe I missed something in my reader!

    Congratulations! Alfie is a beautiful boy!

    I am glad IVF worked for you! It did for me too. We're lucky - it doesn't always work out for everyone, no matter how hard they try or how much they want a baby. We were successful because we fought hard for it AND our bodies agreed to work with us. Not everyone's bodies are so accommodating.

  3. Just saying congratulations on the arrival of Alfie! I too was lucky enough to have IVF do the trick for us as well; my living proof is two and a half years old.

    As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months, I can tell you this from experience: the marvel of IVF's success will continue to amaze you. And yes, he will make your heart melt, over and over and over again.

  4. Congratulations! What a beautiful baby boy.

  5. Congrats Catherine and Steve! Hard to believe just one short year ago you were sitting in a baby tub with yogurt on your lady parts! Look at us now...Mommies! How wonderful that your labor progressed so quickly, I always dreaded a long drawn out labor! Congrats again! Alfie is just adorable!

  6. I am so happy for you!! What a beautiful exciting birth story! And!!!! He is gorgeous! I am not just saying that! He really is!! hahah! Seriously! So..I am starting a fun new blog about the world of my son...are you doing that. When I get it up and ready..I would love to blog with you!! We can blog about being moms!

  7. What a beautiful birth story,,, you make a perfect family and Alfie is dam cute!!

  8. Congratulations :)) Your little man is truly adorable... and so wonderful to read your story :)) So so so happy for you all and looking forward to hearing all your adventures... you've inspired me to keep fighting SIF :) xoxo

  9. A huge congratulations on the birth of your gorgeous son! What a great birth story! Would love to know how you are getting on now, a month on?

  10. my new mommy blog is DO you have a mommyblog now?

  11. oh my goodness! i haven't been online in more that 4 months and i missed this post completely!

    a very belated congratulations! i am so so so happy for you. i've been following your blog for a very long time, and have prayed for you to have a successful pregnancy. your baby boy is absolutely beautiful! congratulations once again ♥

    much love!