Baby Fenn – the 1st 10 days

My final bump photo with baby Fenn.

Today Fenn is 11 days old.

I can’t believe that we are nearly two weeks post partum already!

After the long and somewhat traumatic birth (see my previous post), Fenn was put onto my belly for 10 seconds while her cord was cut, and I managed to quickly stroke her head. She was then rushed straight to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) because she was struggling to breathe and had possibly inhaled the bloody amniotic fluid. They stabilised her and inserted the cannula so that they could start giving her antibiotics as a precaution. They took swabs from her nose and ears to grow as a culture to see if she had an infection. It would take 48 hours for the results, so we were in for a hospital stay of at least 2 days.
Once we were put into our little private room at 3am, we were left all alone. Me… alone with a baby! I immediately stripped and put Fenn onto my chest for skin to skin. She was so calm and quiet and it was wonderful.

Fenn in a milk coma on my belly. You can see the pin pricks from the blood tests on the back of her hand.

Fenn was born on the hottest day of the year (34 degrees in September) and it was so warm in the hospital that I kept worrying that she was too hot. I had no clue if she needed a blanket or not, long sleeves or no sleeves, fan on, fan off…aaargh! 
I hardly slept at all for the rest of the night as I was so worried about her. I struggled to get her to latch on because she was so weak from the birth, and when she did latch, she kept falling asleep on the boob after a few seconds. I asked the midwives for some help and they suggested expressing and syringe feeding her the extra, which I managed to do, 1ml by 1ml. Luckily my milk came in really quickly and really well.

My OH arrived back at 11am the next day and finally got to hold Fenn for the first time. He was a very happy Papa, in love with his tiny girl.

Whilst in hospital, we had to wheel her over to SCBU for her antibiotics every 12 hours. We took her together at lunch time, but I had to wheel her down on my own at midnight. Trying to navigate through the hospital on 1hr sleep with a tiny weak baby over the knobbliest flooring in the world wasn’t much fun. I did become an expert at  dodging the bumps after a while though.

Fenn was quite jaundice for a time whilst in hospital, hovering just below the treatment line. The best way to treat it is to breastfeed, so we really had to try and force as much milk into her as possible. At one point, she was so dehydrated that they couldn’t take any blood. It was so stressful knowing that your baby isn’t getting enough food or liquid, but doesn’t have enough energy to eat. It was a horrible catch 22 situation. We eventually worked out that if we woke her up every hour and a half, stripped her down and started to feed her, wiggling her the whole time and applying cold water on cotton wool to her back and legs to keep her awake, she would feed more. It sounds cruel, but she needed to eat. Combined with a top up with expressed milk, she started to get stronger. By Friday morning she was actually opening her eyes and crying! I have never been so glad to hear a baby cry. 

It took until Friday evening for the culture results to come back. The results showed a positive, but because the bacteria they found would have made her incredibly sick if she did that infection, and she wasn’t showing any signs, they decided that it was probably cross contamination. One more blood test for jaundice, which showed a small improvement and we got to go home! 

Fenn in her going home outfit. She might fit into it in a few months! 

Since coming home she has been a dream. She is the most laid back baby ever, making our lives really easy. She rarely cries as we feed her when she starts showing feeding signs, and when she does, the boob solves all problems immediately. This can obviously change at any moment, but long may it last! She was back up to her birth weight within 5 days, which is amazing considering she hardly ate for the first two days, and she is now officially a boob monster. 

The many faces of Fenn. 

I will do a post on how I am recovering post partum in a few days. 

36 Weeks Pregnant

Today we are 36 weeks and 1 day pregnant.

All has been quiet on the pregger front this week. No appointments or weird rashes. I did finish packing my hospital bag this week though, so everything is now ready for the go, go, go! We just need to get to 37 weeks and we can have the baby at the low risk birth centre and I can hopefully get my waterbirth.

We received two wonderful parcels all the way from NZ (my OH is a kiwi) this week.one was from my lovely Mother in Law, who sent us a beautiful sheepskin in shades of cream and brown, some really cool baby clothes and a book about Piwi, the lonely kiwi. The other parcel was from my Sister in Law. She is an unbelievably  knitter and had sent us a box of beautiful things. An amazing cable knit blanket, a tiny jumper, a hat, a pair of gloves for me and possibly the cutest bootees the world has ever seen! We also got a tiny All Blacks onesie and a Slinky Malinky book.

We had our ‘non’ baby shower yesterday!

I call it the ‘non’ baby shower as I hate the idea of traditional baby showers with the baby pink and blue, the hideous games and the gifts. Eugh. We decided to just get everyone over for a BBQ and have great food and drink. A last get together before the baby comes.

It was a great day (although exhausting) and we managed not to kill anyone with our food. Result! 

This morning the clean up bagan and I will need a nap in a bit!

How pregnant: 36 weeks.

How feeling: Still struggling to get comfy at night and so I’m still sleeping on the floor. The cat certainly enjoys having an extra sleeping spot. 

Any symptoms: The cub has taken to sticking its big bottom out on the right hand side of my belly first thing in the morning. It is quite painful and I have to almost push it back into the middle. Naughty nugget.

Any cravings: Carbs and sugar. 

Weight gain: Up 1 stone 7lbs from start weight.

Waist measurement: 36.5″.

Bump measurement: 40.5″.

Belly button: Outie. Still no stretchmarks at the moment. 

Looking forward to: A quiet week this week. Midwife appointment on Wednesday. 

33 weeks pregnant

Today we are 33 weeks and 1 day pregnant. 

I have been off again this week, and it has been filled with yoga, aqua aerobics, walks, naps and general relaxation. Lovely! 

We had our second NCT class yesterday, which was dedicated to breast feeding. We learnt a lot, and I think both the OH and I feel a bit more confident about it now. We are under no illusions that it will be easy, but at least we have a few tricks up our sleeves now. We all went out for lunch afterwards and got on really well, so I am hopeful that we will stay in contact once the cubs arrive.

How pregnant: 33 weeks.


How feeling: The rib ache continues. I can’t wait to not have to deal with this any more! Only 7 more weeks ish. The bump is feeling really heavy now; the cub weighs about 4.5lbs now and it is a struggle to turn over in bed. I need one of those slings they use to move whales and dolphins between tanks. 

Any symptoms: The cub has been very active again, but the hiccups are really consistant now. 2-3 times a day it will have a little bout of the hiccups. It is a good sign that it is exercising its chest muscles and getting ready to use its lungs to screech at us!


Any cravings: Anything naughty and highly calorific. 

Weight gain: Up 1 stone 3lbs from starting weight. 1lb up from last week. 

Waist measurement: 35.5″. No change.

Bump measurement: 39.5″. No change.

Maternity clothes: I am going to try not to buy anything else now. It may be only a few more weeks of pregnancy… worst case 9 weeks. I can cope until then with just a few outfits.

Belly button: Outie. No stretchmarks yet. I am using a combination of Palmers Belly Butter and coconut oil. Fingers crossed!

Looking forward to: A quick trip to Devon next week with my Mum to visit my Nan. I will take a basic hospital bag and my notes, just in case. However, if I feel weird or twingy at any time, we will head back home. 

31 weeks pregnant

Today we are 31 weeks pregnant.

I have finished work now and I am so, so happy! I have 3 weeks worth of annual leave to use up, and then I start my maternity leave on the 22nd August at 34 weeks. I originally planned to work until 38 weeks, but work issues have led me to leave as soon as possible (see my previous posts for the full story).

Having finished work, it is now starting to feel like the final countdown. Everything I read is now saying ‘in the final few weeks’ and ‘now that you are nearing birth’, so I feel like I should start putting my hospital bag together. 

I have read a lot of different lists, some better and less ridiculous than others. I have thought about what will work for me, and come up with the following selections. I may still tweak the contents slightly over the next few weeks, but this is probably what I will be taking, with the assumption that I will stay in for one night:

For me:

  • Maternity notes and birth plan.
  • The Good Birth Companion by Nicole Croft. I cannot recommend this highly enough!
  • Snacks, drinks with straws and fruit (I will grab this on the day).
  • A vest top to give birth in.
  • A sports bra (possibly for birth if I get my water birth).
  • Warm socks.
  • Breast pads.
  • Hairbands and pins.
  • Phone charger.
  • Change for carpark.
  • Slippers.
  • Pyjamas.
  • Massive, granny style brief knickers that come up to my armpits.
  • Massive sanitary pads to go in said knickers.
  • An old towel.
  • A change of clothes.
  • A bag for dirty clothes.
  • A scarf that smells of me and home that I can hide under on the ward to get some privacy (if I can’t get a private room).

Toiletries:

  • Industrial strength face moisturiser for my stupidly dry skin.
  • Deodorant.
  • Belly butter.
  • Face scrub (microbead free!) for my stupidly dry face.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Dry shampoo. I hate washing my hair and don’t plan to to it in hospital if I can help it.
  • Shampoo and conditioner for if it is unavoidable.
  • Face powder and tinted lipgloss as my bare minimum make up bag.
  • Micellar water to cleanse my face. and cool me down in labour.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Lip balm as apparently you get really dry lips during labour.
  • Cotton wool pads.
  • Nipple cream for breastfeeding.
  • Body moisturiser in trial size sachets.

For the cub:

  • Cotton wool for cleaning.
  • Biodegradable nappy bags.
  • 2 x body suits.
  • Coming home outfit.
  • 3 x pairs of socks.
  • 2 x pairs of mittens.
  • 2 x hats.
  • Nappy barrier cream.
  • 1 x bib.
  • Eco babywipes for extreme poosplosions (Don’t worry, they won’t be flushed).
  • A little fluffy bunny rattle toy.
  • 2 x cellular blankets.
  • 1 x pack of biodegradable newborn nappies. I will use reusable nappies at home, but I can’t collect used nappies under the bed whilst in hospital, so needs must.
  • 4 x small and 1 x giant muslin.
  • Car seat, but this will stay in the car.

I’m sure there are bits I have missed. Let me know if you spot anything obvious! 

How pregnant: 31 weeks.

How feeling: Still feeling good. Starting to get more cramps and braxton hicks. Also more muscle aches, especially the bloody annoying ribcage aches.

Any symptoms: Cub rolling around a lot.

Any cravings: Still nothing of note!

Weight gain: Still static at 1 stone up from starting weight.

Waist measurement: 36″.

Bump measurement: 39.5″. An inch and a half bigger than last week!

Maternity clothes: Nothing new. I finally get to try out my new smimming costume on Wednesday! 

Belly button: Outie.

Looking forward to: Getting everything sorted now that I am a lady of leisure!