I met Kevin on tinder a week after my 39th birthday. For me it was love at first sight. We moved in together a month before I turned 41. We decided to try for a baby when I turned 41 as we thought "it's now or never". It worked within a month or two and we were amazed! The pregnancy was a real joy. I had the usual symptoms of tiredness and tears but overall we felt it was a blessing and it was fascinating! Sensations I remember towards the end - lack of sleep, tears, heartburn, needing the bathroom a lot, and the wonderful sensations of kicking. I felt like my universe changed too - people cared for me, chatted to me, got up for me on trains and buses! Each day I talked to our little baby.
In the final few weeks we found out our baby was breech and they tried to turn her by ECV at Kingston Hospital where all care we have received at every stage has been amazing. An ECV involves manual hands on the abdomen - a process they are spot on in saying is uncomfortable but not painful and feels like a Chinese burn on the stomach, accompanied by monitoring of the baby. We had our first ECV on Monday July 31st, my dad's birthday, and she did not turn and I was super proud I was so relaxed throughout and they complimented me on that. We also tried acupuncture and reflexology that week and met wonderful people through that - they are said to work for turning babies. We then went in for a second ECV on the Friday and, again, they could not turn her. These days they do not generally deliver breech babies naturally, though they did used to, but the art has been lost, further to a study a while ago. At the second ECV on Friday August 4th 2017 a foetal specialist obstetrician happened to be conducting it and she spotted something to do with the placenta not giving enough to the baby, and that perhaps her growth rate had slowed down. She personally took us to conduct a scan to check that indeed the baby's recent growth pattern was not as it should have been. I remember the morning of the second ECV - I had woken in tears, as I was not managing to keep up with social commitments in my latter pregnancy weeks and worried about this, and the hormonal emotions come full tilt! I just remember the whole morning saying to myself "don't cry, don't cry" whilst talking to all the hospital staff. And nothing to do with the ECV, just that morning's feelings. Kev and I did loads of deep breathing and affirmations which we had learned at birthing classes! Kevin also promised me a slush puppy and a pizza afterwards (ever the nutritionist, it was he who put that aside and showed me photos of slush puppies as we waited so I could stay on track). They said she would need to come on Monday 7th August, delivery by C section ie two days away. A lot to prepare for over the weekend, and the day she would be born would be the day after Kevin's 40th Birthday.
On Monday 7th August we came in for the caesarean, me clutching the notes from our Active Birthing workshop with Rhian at Kingston Hospital. "I fully relax and turn my birthing over to nature".