Friday, December 23, 2011

Tyler's birth part 2 - the accidental, unassisted birth!

You can read part 1 of Tyler's birth story here.

Thomas was born ten days 'late' on December 19th 2008. By my estimations I reckoned he was due around the 16th, but being a first-time Mum and not appreciating how much importance was placed on that date, I never argued with the midwives when they selected the date based on the 12 week ultrasound. It was only when we reached that date that I realised what a mistake that had been. Although willing to listen to my requests for no mention of sweeps or induction, I began to get pressured into agreeing to growth scans and was told that I only had two weeks and then my home birth request would not be granted. Two weeks took me to Christmas Eve, which I'm sure helped them decide to go off call for me :) Luckily for me, I went into labour on the 19th.

This time round I decided I wouldn't take too much notice of the 'due date'. I didn't tell many people what the date was, I had just decided that my baby would most likely be born in mid-December. Officially the UK date was set (via ultrasound) to December 10th; unofficially by my estimations I put myself closer to the 14th, and this is what my brilliant midwives agreed to.

As mentioned in part one, Thomas began to get more loving and more clingy towards me in the week before Tyler was born. I was very uncomfortable in my ribs and woke up a lot at night. I didn't want to believe something might be happening, because I knew how impatient I had become with Thomas! I also wanted to relish in the simplicity of our life as a family of three. More and more I was beginning to remember how much of a life change having Thomas was, and I just wanted to hold on to our life of peaceful evenings and family dinners for a little bit longer!

Mum and dad arrived on December 6th so we had a few days to take them around Frederick and introduce Mum to Target :)

On December 9th I woke up feeling crampy. With Thomas I had thought I was in labour two days before he was born which turned into nothing so I wasn't going to get excited this time round. We decided to go to downtown Frederick for the morning and by the time we got home, I was more convinced that things were happening although I wasn't in any pain. The cramping feeling started to feel more contraction-like around mid-afternoon but it still wasn't painful and I knew this kind of feeling could last for hours or days so at 6pm we went to the local Italian for dinner. I'd told David contractions were every ten minutes or so and got him to download an app on his IPhone as I was starting to get curious about the timings. We looked at the readings around half an hour later… 6 minutes, 6 minutes, 6 minutes, 6 minutes, 6 minutes… oh, maybe something was definitely happening! We came home and as my Dad went to bed, his parting words were "this baby isn't coming tonight".

I went upstairs to kiss Thomas goodnight and told him that when he woke up, his baby brother might have arrived. He was very excited! I took out my gifts from my Glasgow Blessingway, my bracelet and labyrinth and crystals and lit the candle my good friend Caroline had given me. I got in the bath around 9.30pm. The contractions were the same but I just felt like having a break and knew this early on that they would most likely stop. I was OK with that, I just really wanted a bath!

[very weird for me as I don't like baths!]

As anticipated, everything stopped. I got out and sent a message to Nannette (midwife!) to tell her that things were progressing but I still had a way to go so I was going to bed to rest. Off I went at 10.30pm.

I woke up at 11.15pm. The contractions were stronger now and I was having to breathe through them. They were still erratic though, varying from 6-8 minutes, never any shorter. David wanted to phone the midwives but I was sure it was too soon. We were lying in bed, me on all fours, breathing into the pillow each time a contraction came. I held Davids' hand. He stroked my back. Then I cried. I remember thinking "I've got hours to go, how can I do this?" (ummmm, hello transition!). It hurt but the gap between contractions made it OK. Thomas's labour had been ten hours of unrelenting back labour, with wave upon wave of contractions. This was so different.

Just after midnight a pretty painful contraction hit. David insisted on calling Nannette even though I was still unsure. She said she would come over and would be about 45 minutes.

A couple of minutes later, another big contraction came and POP went my waters! I ran to the bathroom, shouting at David "My waters just broke! Wake up my Mum!". The next part is a blur. I was sat on the toilet and felt this incredible urge to push. I got off the toilet and squatted by the sink, moaning and panting, trying desperately not to have this baby.  This was an absolutely perfect example of the fetal ejection reflex at work!  David was putting the futon mattress down on the floor in the bedroom (nothing like being prepared in case of a quick labour!), my Mum was next to me saying "don't push, don't push", I put my hand down and I could feel the top of the baby's head poking out. I held onto it (haha, what a sight!) and waddled to the mattress and kneeled with my head on the bed. Another contraction came and I couldn't stop it, I told my Mum I was going to be sick, but out came the head instead. There was no pain at this point, that had stopped as soon as my waters broke. I felt so calm, so in control, I could feel everything. David looked down to see if he could see anything and said "the head's out!", whoops, seemed I'd forgotten to mention that! The next couple of minutes were incredible. I felt a movement and shouted at David to stop touching the baby! "I'm not!" he said. Then again, another movement - "DON'T touch him!", "I'm not!!". A few seconds later, and out came Tyler, into his daddy's hands, 12.48am - maybe twenty minutes since my waters broke. He had been moving himself, rotating his shoulders and turning in the birth canal, and I felt every single part of that journey. David passed him to me, through my legs, and I held him to my chest. My perfect baby, 10lb 3oz, 21.5 inches. My perfect birth. On his official 'due date', the day of the lunar eclipse AND a full moon. I am blown away.

The placenta came away very quickly, maybe 5-10 minutes later, and we saw the true knot in his umbilical cord. Tyler was already breastfeeding when Liz (midwife!) turned up five minutes later. I couldn't stop apologising, I was so sad that after all these months they had missed out on the birth! Liz just looked at me and said, "this birth happened exactly as it was meant to". I know she was right and I am so grateful they were there just after Tyler was born, to check him and to check me, and that they were there on the phone with David, telling him what to do while my Mum sat with me. Their help and support and aftercare were invaluable and I love them :)

My dad was downstairs waiting for the midwife when he heard the cries of a newborn baby :)

Thomas slept through the whole thing…

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tyler's birth part 1 - setting the scene

Everyone knows I'm pretty obsessed with all things pregnancy and birth. I spoke about it here, and it stems from Thomas's birth here. It led me on my path to becoming a doula and has resulted in me meeting some of the most amazing, interesting women who have shared my passion, increased my yearning for knowledge, and empowered me as a woman and a mother.

So, why do I need to start this story with that? It's taken me a while to really process what happened that day, and I'm sure that Tyler's birth happened the way it happened because I've been lucky enough to learn so much about birth...

Or maybe just because precipitous 2nd/3rd labours run in the family :)

I decided early on in this pregnancy that I wanted the minimal amount of interference this time round. The first battle came with the NHS midwives who got twitchy at the fact that I had birthed a 'big baby' last time and set me on a road of growth scans, gestational diabetes checking and constant monitoring. All this even though I had an uncomplicated labour and delivery with my 'big' first born. Lucky for me I knew I was leaving the UK so agreed to everything they said, took my notes and left Glasgow a few days later!

My knowledge of birth in the US up to this point was limited to websites such as Birth Without Fear, Mama Birth and the Unnecesarean, and I had hurriedly switched off One Born Every Minute US 10 minutes into the first episode. I thought the birth system in the UK had problems but, my goodness, the US was a whole new kettle of fish! Next I learnt that different states had different laws regarding the use of midwives as opposed to obstetricians. I knew I wanted a home birth and luckily we were moving to a state where home birth wasn't illegal. Coming from a country where every woman has the right to birth at home, I was amazed that such restrictions were still commonplace in a country the size of the US. So, you can legally birth at home in the state of Maryland... But only if you have a doctor or nurse midwife present. My next learning curve - there are different 'types' of midwives and the type of midwife who most frequently attends homebirths (a certified professional midwife CPM) is NOT licensed to legally attend a homebirth in Maryland. Lucky for me, through the power of the internet, I was informed of a couple of midwives who would be prepared to come to a home birth and I arranged to meet with them as soon as we arrived in the US.

I was so nervous about what to expect and went to 'interview' my potential midwives with a list of "please don't do these things to me". I could feel myself physically and emotionally relax as I went through my list and Liz looked at me, smiled and said, "well, of course we won't do that". I met Nannette the next day and her responses were the same and before I knew it, my prenatal care and home birth plan were sorted and I could focus on the enormity of moving to a foreign country rather than stressing about hospital birth and unsympathetic doctors!

My experience with the midwives and their assistants at Riverside Midwifery in Charles Town was like nothing I had ever come across in the UK. Liz, Nannette, Zaina, Shanna and Antonette made every appointment seem special. They never rushed anything, they were always willing to discuss anything and everything, and they all seemed genuinely excited as the weeks ticked by and December approached. I had a great pregnancy and felt at peace and excited as well as I waited for my Mum & Dad to arrive, praying that the baby would wait too!

Thomas was also getting excited as he had been told for months that when the weather turned cold, the leaves fell off the trees and Grandma & Grandad arrived, then his baby brother would be ready to come out and meet him...

In the last week of pregnancy, it was almost as if he sensed something was happening. He became much more clingy, very loving and he would stroke my belly and ask if his baby brother was coming yet. Little did we know how soon that would be!

You can find part two HERE.

Christmas card photo - two weeks to go! (Yes, it really was warm enough for t-shirts at the end of November!)

Little did I realise but this was taken the morning of the day I went into labour! I was moaning about getting too pregnant for pregnant clothes :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tyler's cord knot

As mentioned on Tyler's birth announcement, he had a true knot in his umbilical cord. My lovely friend Antonette did a placental encapsulation and dried the cord for me as a keepsake.

Here's a before and after photo for all those interested... :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Tyler Charles Welch was born into his daddy's arms (with Grandma on standby) at 12.48am on December 10th 2011. 10lb 3oz, 21.5 inches, with a true knot in his cord! Everything happened so quick in the end, the midwives arrived 20 minutes later!

Birth story to follow...

We're all a bit smitten :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thomas and the Christmas tree!

It's December! This means many many things...

1. The baby is coming!
2. My parents are coming!
3. Thomas turns three!
4. It's Christmas!

We are getting into the Christmas spirit in the Welch household and so up went the Christmas tree. It's not spectacular. It's actually a bit crap. I guess that's what you get for spending £15 in Ikea rather than $150+ here! But I don't care, because this year, for the first year, I got to decorate my tree with my baby, and he was so excited it made me want to cry a little bit!

And yes, brilliant lovely Scottish doula friends, my bauble is up! Bring on the baby!

[excuse the baggy clothing, 39 weeks pregnant and comfortable clothes are the only way to go!]

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Little Photos From Little Fingers

I've been tagged by the lovely Jenny from Mummy Mishaps in a meme looking at the photo-taking abilities of the little people in our lives. Instead of explaining in great detail, I'll let the photos taken by the very very talented Thomas, speak for themselves :)

Where do I look?

Baby brother!

Silly mummy

My foot is so beautiful...

Daddy is on the IPad again


Cheese daddy!

They really ARE beautiful feet!

Mr scarecrow

Mummy, daddy and the snowman on mummy's birthday!

Leaves are fun

The trees are losing their leaves which means my baby brother is coming!

Mummy, WHAT are you doing?!

To be fair to Thomas, I've got more photos of me with a bump than would exist without his snapping away! AND he takes better photos than his daddy...

If you want to take part, get your photos up and link back to Mamasaurus here!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Things My Almost Three Year Old Says That I NEVER Will...

The lovely Jenny at Mummy Mishaps has tagged me in a post and seeing as this NEVER happens to me, I'm just going to have to take part! So, here are five things Thomas says which I don't think I ever will...

1. Wake up, it's morning time!

2. I've got a baby girl growing in MY tummy. Baby girls don't cry.

3. I'm just getting the porridge out of my nose...

4. It's just Mickey Mouse Wunderhaus Mummy (asking why Thomas is watching MM Clubhouse in German on YouTube on the IPad)

5. Porn Cops, Porn Cops! (asking what Thomas wants for breakfast - think he might mean Corn Pops!)

So would you like to take part?

The rules are simple and they are as follows:

Come up with 5 things that your 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 18 year old says that you never can even be things that your husband says. If your baby doesn't yet speak then you can make them up based on what you think they would say if they could speak. Then tag others to do the same

Then please link up your post to The Crazy Kitchen linky here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 A day in the life of Lindsey and Thomas...


Brrr! It's a cold day in Frederick today. The leaves have really fallen off the trees.

We stayed in waiting for the midwives to arrive for our home visit (only 3 more weeks until they go on call!). Thomas had his usual reaction to seeing the camera...

Midwives came and went, ate pizza for lunch, then we took the balance bike to the park for a playdate with some new friends.

Freezing cold, came home, curled up with raspberry leaf tea and Fireman Sam.


Brrrr, a cold day! I don't like slippers. How does this camera work?

Daddy stayed home while mummy had a visit from the midwives. The leaves are falling off the trees and Mummy says when they have all gone, my baby brother will come! I want to meet him now. His name is... (shhhh Thomas, it's a secret!). Sorry. How does this camera work?

The midwives left and Daddy went to work. We ate pizza and I sat on the big stool.

Then we went to meet my new friend at the playground. I love my balance bike! It was very cold but I don't like gloves. My new friend was wearing his winter coat AND gloves AND a scarf AND a hat. I don't need all those things, I'm from Glasgow! I made Mummy carry my bike some of the way home because I was tired. She's like superwoman, carrying me and the bike and my helmet. I love her and think she looks FAB for 8 months pregnant....

[OK, maybe he didn't *quite* say that, but I'm allowed to use a bit of artistic licence on my own blog :D]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

T is for...

I've not done the Gallery for a while as my timing is a little off now we're in the US! This week I can't resist though, with the prompt of "the letter T", how could I not post?!

T is for... Thomas. Of course, it could only be Thomas! Or maybe trees. Thomas AND trees?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Moving photos - before & after!

It's been two months since we moved to Maryland. Two months! Sometimes it seems like we've been here for longer and sometimes it still feels like yesterday. I'm settling slowly. I still don't really know many people but we're in more of a routine and that really helps. I'm trying to get out and about while I still can - only six weeks until my 'due date' and I'm starting to slow down...

I think I can relax a bit now the nursery is done. All Thomas's old clothes are washed, cloth nappies are clean, Ergobaby is fixed and ready, birth kit is prepared. Bring it on!

So, here is a small insight into some of the things we've managed to do in the last couple of months.

The house was hidden by the trees, it was so dark inside and looked so sad from the outside.

The family room - I still call it a lounge! It's so nice to have a space that isn't shared with Thomas's toys (well, sometimes anyway...).

The guest bedroom - luckily only one wall was papered!

Guest bedroom 2 - it feels so grown up to have a guest room!

The master bedroom - complete for now but looking a little bare! I want a chaise longue so if you see a turquoise one on offer anywhere, let me know!

The formal dining room became Thomas's playroom! It's just off the kitchen so really close to the family 'hub'.

The front living room - check out the darkness from the tree! This has become the room where the oddments of furniture go. We'll figure out what to do with it one day...

Thomas's room. It's so nice for him to have his own room for the first time!

The baby room. We never had one of these before either! We're planning on co-sleeping so it wasn't essential to do but now I feel I can hibernate a bit...

There you have it! Our beautiful house! It's a bit of a change from the two bedroom tenement flat we had in Glasgow. It's easier to keep tidy but harder to furnish as you need so many more things! It really feels like home though and that has helped me settle, and I'm sure it has helped Thomas too.

Possibly the BEST thing about it? No more alcoholic @rsehole upstairs neighbour!!! :D
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