Retained Placenta After Labour.

I decided to write about this, to help anyone who may be worried about postpartum clots or bleeding and unsure what to do, as I know I definitely was and I had no idea something like this could even happen. So it was six days since I gave birth to Noah and I went to the toilet that Saturday morning. I felt something slightly hanging out (yes, tmi, but be prepared this is FULL of them) although I’d not really had any until now, I assumed it was a clot and I’d pass it so I left it, I was in no pain so it didn’t bother me. That night around 10pm I went to the toilet and it was further out now, so after some difficult manoeuvring with a mirror, I decided to try and pull it out, it didn’t hurt in the slightest but it did take quite a bit of pulling. My first thoughts when I managed to get this huge 15cm long ‘thing?!’ out, was ‘Oh my god, is that part of the cord?’. I was alarmed so I called John into the bathroom, who was equally as worried, especially as my now previous pinky-brown bleeding, was very, very heavy and bright red. We decided to call my Mum down who advised me it was probably just a clot and to wait until the morning, if I was still bleeding, we’d call the midwives. However, after a couple of hours of very heavy bleeding, I decided to call them and they advised me to make my way in.

I was pretty upset to be leaving Noah & John, I decided it best rather than drag him out in the freezing cold at 12am. My mum drove me to the hospital and the midwife examined me, she took a look at the clot which I did bring in, in a sandwich bag (had to be done) and told us how she thought it was membranes. Then the doctor came after being in surgery, she immediately knew it was retained placenta. She then tried to see if she could get more out with a few medical instruments, she did get some more straggly bits out but as she discovered that the neck of my womb was still very much open, it indicated there was much more left behind. I was given a bed (granted, in my own room again with my own bathroom) on the labour ward and told the consultant would see me in the morning for a scan to see if there was any more left behind, if there was, I would need a dilation and curettage (D&C) which is basically, vacuuming your womb. Morning came and so did quite a rude consultant, she seemed far more bothered about the way my notes were not filed correctly, than the fact I was going through this because their midwives had failed to check over my placenta correctly. She explained how she was going to go ahead with surgery and not bother with the scan as it was very likely there was retained placenta.
 A very happy lady when Noah came for a visit! :D

A couple of hours later I was sat on the side of the theatre table, waiting for the anaesthetist to give me an epidural, something which I was very upset about having. I’d managed to push out a 9lb 13oz baby without one, I really didn’t want one now. But I had no choice. I was given one, which in fairness really wasn’t bad at all. Then the procedure began, I couldn’t feel anything, but could see my tummy moving up and down where the vacuum was underneath. It was all over within around 20 minutes, and I was wheeled back to my room to wait for around 6 hours till the epidural had worn off. As soon as it has, I pestered at the midwives to give my medication and final checks so I could get home to my baby.

All in all I felt pretty traumatised. I was 12 days overdue with Noah, your placenta does start to go bad and break up, the midwife should have examined it properly to see it wasn’t all there when I pushed it out. The D&C procedure can have such lasting and damaging effects, the vacuum can tear a hole in your womb and leave you completely unable to have children. I probably won’t know the full effects that has had, until I do come to have children again or become pregnant. I felt extremely vulnerable and that the hospital really didn’t explain anything to me before it happened, it did all happen so quickly. Luckily, because I had a 3rd degree tear giving birth to Noah, I’d been on antibiotics, had I not been, I would of developed a womb infection from the left over placenta rotting away inside of me. I do hope this helps anyone who goes through the same, as I tried to research desperately that morning in hospital, but found nothing on it. 

Noah You're Six Weeks Old.

So with each Sunday passing, making you a whole week older, this week means you're now six weeks old. Time is going so fast, and you're little personality is developing more and more with each coming day.

Your feeding hasn't changed much since your month update. You still take a whole 7oz of Cow & Gate, hungrier baby milk which you love. You finish your bottles almost every time and you know instantly when we pop your muslin under your chin, that it's time for your bottle. Your little eyes are always fixed straight on us as we're feeding you & you study our faces very carefully. I've tried a little bit of Infacol before your feeds this week, as I think you're struggling to get your wind up sometimes, but that seems to have gone now so you're off it again.

We're almost in the ideal routine I'd like to keep you in. You wake around 9:30am and I bring you into bed with me for 30 minutes, you either fall back asleep or I just babble away to you whilst you coo back and smile. We then get up, I change your nappy & get you dressed for the day. After your late morning feed, you play happily on your playmat until I am ready and then we venture off out together, sometimes to the shops, sometimes for a walk around the village or out with Nanny. When Daddy comes home, he likes to play with you until bath and feeding time before we try to get you down for the night. The only thing I'd like to change is to try to get you to sleep earlier in the evenings. You don't like to go to sleep after your 10pm feed, and often stay up until around 1am. However you have a couple of times this week, slept all the way through from your 2am until 8/9am! What a good boy you are.

You're smiling!! Not just spontaneous smiles, but full responsive smiles. You especially adore me telling you 'I love you Noah' and do the biggest smiles at me. You like it when your Uncle Egg tickles your tummy and we've even managed to catch some of these big smiling sessions on video. This week your personality has really come through and you really are such a happy and smiley baby. You've even begun to smile away at your musical toys on your playmat in the mornings, which melts my heart every single time.

Noah is a month old!

So it's been a whole month since I gave birth to little Noah pants. It really has gone so quickly, and I can suddenly feel my maternity leave slowly slipping away. This first month has been a complete emotional blur of sleepless nights, sick stained tops & most things being my other halves fault. But it's also been the best month of my life, because we have our beautiful little boy. I thought I'd give a little update on how things have been in our first month, especially as everything changes so quickly week by week.

Noah has always been a good feeder since he was born, being a big boy at 9lb 13, I knew he would take a lot. He took 4oz for the first week, then 5oz in his second and 6oz in his third, so now we're on 7oz of Cow & Gates hungrier baby formula and he is very content on that. He's usually fed every 4 hours, however sometimes he can go 5 hours and he usually does that in the night, which is quite nice. We often 'dream-feed' Noah, so after his 10 o'clock bottle, we tend to try and give him another (he usually only takes half) at around midnight when we're heading to bed, that way, he often sleeps till around 6am.

I think the first two weeks are the hardest because you have no real routine. But around his third week we've started to get into one, which has made things a lot easier on ourselves. Now Johns paternity leave is up, he's at work so it's just me and Noah. We often wake around 9 or 10 after his 6am feed, I get Noah dressed into a daytime outfit & we head downstairs, he has his feed and then we usually play ; either on his playmat or me just talking to him, as I get ready around him. After his early afternoon feed, I then take him out, usually to the shops or to run errands and if I have nothing to do, we simply go for a walk. It usually sends him fast asleep so when we're home I'll then tidy up / make bottles etc and if I can take a little nap. When daddy comes home, he does Noah's evening feed and then before his late night feed (around 10) we bath Noah and put his sleepsuit on, just so he knows it's time for bed. I've also stopped putting Noah in his Moses Basket in the daytime, if he sleeps it's in his slumber swing, that way he understands his basket is for night time.

Since about three weeks old, we've wondered if Noah has been smiling, not wanting to make something out of nothing we put it down to wind. However we are now one hundred percent sure he smiles, he loves his musical playmat and often smiles away on that in the mornings as I get dressed. He really loves musical & light up toys and turns his head to look toward the direction they're in. Noah is now fully in his 0-3 month clothes, he weighed 11lb 5 at his last weigh in when he was three weeks old, so he's still a little hunky chunky. He's certainly getting to understand how his feeds are, because as soon as we pop the muslin down on his chest he goes all quiet and starts rooting for his bottle, the clever little pudding.

As for myself I feel so much better now we're getting into a little routine, we do still have our days however where it all goes out of the window, but we're getting there. I think the biggest contribution to making me feel more human is getting out of the house. It does take up a bit of time, the whole getting him ready & fed before I leave, then in the car etc. But then it makes the day much quicker and he's always much better for us if he's been out in the day. I think fresh air does us all good. Nothing can prepare you for motherhood at all, you just learn what works for you and each day Noah will do something new and make us fall further in love with him, which makes the exhaustion completely worth while. 

Moses Basket Drama & Resolve.

So this past week we've had a bit of trouble getting Noah to rest down in his Moses Basket. To be honest, he'd been like that since he was born, but we'd persevered, until about a week ago when it got pretty difficult and we knew we needed a solution. Noah would often wake after around 5/10 minutes of being put down, and then we'd have to go through the whole settling him routing and putting him down again. It would often happen between 2-4 times before we'd actually manage to get him down and stay down. Now firstly I must say this was not my idea at all, and all credit goes to the Blissful Baby Expert (@blissfulbabyexp on twitter) her complete genius has saved us lots of sleep already. And I'd recommend buying her book when it comes out in Feb, I know I will be.

So it basically consists of getting a couple of towels (or one huge one as we have done) and rolling it up, you then place it in a horseshoe shape around the bottom of your babies Moses Basket. Ensure that it leaves a space at the top which is towel free for your babies head and shoulders. Then as you would normally, wrap your baby in their blanket, and place them on their side in the middle of the horseshoe. This lures your baby into an almost false sense that they're still in your arms, therefore helping them sleep with that thought in their mind.

This is our Moses Basket above, (It's from Mamas & Papas if anyone is interested) do excuse the blue sheet, Noah has been sick on his last white one and they're all in the wash, oh motherhood. Anyway, it really has worked complete wonders for me and John with Noah. No more holding him in our arms in the basket, no more tiptoeing round him once we'd put him down and more importantly, no more waking up after five minutes of him being put down. Once again full credit to Blissful Baby Expert & her wonderful, sleep saving idea.