On Thursday 14th June 2012 at 3.35pm we welcomed Alyssia Honour into our arms.
At 10 days late, I woke up at 4.30am and knew something was different, so off we went to hospital at 6am… I was going to be induced the day after anyways, but was so glad we went in. I wasn’t in labour, just needed reassuring re: baby movements etc.
By 9am a midwife asked if I knew the plan of care: I didn’t. They were going to break my waters, start me on a drip to get labour started. (At this point I was a little worried they’d say go home ’til contractions start – but they didn’t!) Sadly, they couldn’t find my waters. Unfortunately, to be sure (!) they checked 4 times over 2 hours (eek). The benefit of this was that all these checks started labour.
Because they couldn’t find my waters, and this was my third baby I was hooked up to the baby monitor for the whole time, which was a relaxing sound to hear baby’s heartbeat throughout the entire labour. I remember listening for it after she was born and realised how lovely it was to have heard it for the last few hours! This meant I couldn’t have a waterbirth, but I was ok with that. I hadn’t really made a birth plan. I wanted gas and air. I didn’t really want an epidural. I wanted to be able to move around – but didn’t mind birthing on the bed. I wanted to be at peace and didn’t want to tear/have stitches… oh and I wanted my baby to weigh less than 9lb. I didn’t mind if there was a student present – turns out a lovely girl called Beth was present, she was about to study midwifery. She read our notes, and came back in and said ‘I see you are a Pastor, Ryan. I go to Church too’. She told us she was praying for us and I felt really blessed God had arranged someone like that to be with us – watching, praying, being lovely – made it feel really relaxed (yes, I just read that back. At times I didn’t have the mental strength to pray a really good prayer it was more a general ‘help’ to God in my head!)
So the last time record I have on my phone is 12:12 when I text Ryan – who was buying sandwiches for lunch – that I was ok. By then I was breathing the sweet gas and air to take the edge off the powerful back contractions. The next three hours blurred into hearing the Dr tell me to set me up for a drip to really get labour going. The cannula didn’t work out in my hand, and is still badly bruised now (ironic that that is the thing that left the most long lasting pain!!)
So no drip then And the contractions were getting stronger. I was on the birthing ball, and at my request Ryan was pushing my back as hard as he could – but it still hurt and I couldn’t get over the backache! I stood after an hour on the ball and realised my bump had completely dropped. The midwife rushed out and got the trolley, with all she needed for the delivery.
And by 3ish I was ‘feeling like pushing’ and I am so glad I could! I realised that the windows were closed and the fan had been turned off – which meant baby was going to be born (if I read the clues right). This gave me strength to push again… Before each of those final contractions, I felt baby bump wriggle in my tummy. Then a massive contraction. And then I heard those amazing words: I can see her head, her head is out. One more push? That moment seemed to last forever, the room went really quiet. I took more breaths of gas and air and then I realised I had given birth! She was hear. No crying. All of a sudden my daughter was lying on my chest. A bundle of precious joy (can you tell I have tears in my eyes as I write this?) What a wonderful whirl of excitement, elation, delight, wonder at my perfect baby girl: Alyssia Honour we love you.
I stayed on the bed for a while, holding our newborn. Starstruck Ryan and I smiled at each other. I called my parents to say we had a girl – I think I told Bethany too and she said something like ‘I did ask God for a sister Mummy’! Then I found out I had to have some stitches and then she was weighed 9lb 5 oz. The exact same weight as Bethany Hope, and 5oz more than Benjamin Theo.
And the past week has whizzed by. Here I am, not pregnant (!) and with a completely perfect, beautiful third child. I am so thankful for all that I have been entrusted with. I thank God for the way He enabled me to go into labour – without a drip, and for all my friends who were praying for us.
Beth and Ben are the most adoring sister and brother a baby could want. Ben wraps the muslin on his shoulder and says ‘my hold baby now’ and he sweetly calls her ‘Lissia’. Her short name is Lissy/Lyssy/Lissie, and Beth was singing to her ‘Lyssie, Lyssie, Lou, Lou’ a few times – Beth is ‘Bethie Beau’ when we shorten her name so it fits well!
The feeding/changing/sleeping routine is broken by lovely Beth and Ben – and this time round feels more relaxed somehow. Yes I worry what it will be like when Ryan goes back to work, and how I will do it. But I have so many friends who live so close – and family too I am sure I will be fine and have company too.
Alyssia has petrol blue eyes (still) and her hair is light - not white blonde but fair.
She loves milk, and being snuggled close and sleeps very well in the evening and in 3-4 hour blocks at night (which is so good!)
With Love, A – mum of three xox