Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Willow's Wardrobe

Alfresco Dining

Our new apartment in Berlin is on this street

Saturday, August 18, 2007

6 Weeks

Antenatal Class Reunion Lunch - all boys plus Willow!

Proud Daddy showing off daughter at Antenatal Class reunion lunch

Too hot for clothes!

Willow loves her bathtime!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tanc's gorgeous sister Amanda was over from Florida visiting England so she came over to meet her new niece. She was a life-saver in those first few days, doing everything from packing the dishwasher to feeding me as I concentrated on Willow and her needs.

2 Days Old with Aunty Amanda

Exhausted but very proud Daddy!

Exhausted but very proud Mummy!

The Day After....

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Part 3

After walking around for 20 minutes I lay back on the bed in the theatre and Dr Berral was able to give me the first successful internal examination of the day and saw that I was 5.5cm dilated. He said that it would be around another 4-5 hours before delivery as with a first pregnancy the cervix dilates at a rate of a cm per hour.

So Tanc decided to go and find something to eat as it was now 10.30pm and he could finally relax a bit after the day's tension and before the final act. Well, next thing we knew my cervix was fully dilated and Willow was right there ready to come out. All the staff put on their theatre outfits and the lighting set up and I was rolled into position. The only thing left was to find the husband! Dr Berral called his mobile and discovered he was in the port having a tapas and a beer. Tanc had to fly back, put on his greens and run in to where we were all waiting for him! There seemed to me to be about 10 people gathered around my nether regions. Tanc stood by my head holding my hand and saying reassuring things.

It was never going to be an easy delivery as Willow was over 9lbs but the next half hour required an enormous amount of strength from me, the doctor and 2 nurses sitting on my chest, pushing my stomach. Dr Berral was telling me to take a deep breath then push with the next contraction but you try taking a deep breath with 2 women sitting on you! Anyway, it wasn't working and the doctor said, scarily to Tanc, I have to talk to you. We feared the worst, but he went on to say that he would have to us the suction and that he only had 3 tries before the baby would become distressed. It only took one almighty pull/push combination from all of us and Willow was dragged out. Funnily enough her heart rate did not even really change! She was placed onto my stomach and I will never forget the feeling of her skin. It felt like hot, wet velvet. She was then taken by Yolanda and Tanc out of my view to where she was smacked in an effort to start her breathing. I couldn't hear anything and kept calling out to Tanc but soon all the staff were clapping as she took her first breath. It was such a surreal experience, almost out of body experience.

Dr Berral was busy sewing me up with his best cross-stitch technique. Seemed to take an awful long time which was slightly worrying!

Yolanda brought Willow back so I could have a proper look at her. Wow! Good work! She is beautiful! I was rolled back to our suite which was adjacent to the baby room where Tanc had gone with Willow to see the paediatrician and have the tests. Just as I was lying back, obviously shell-shocked, the sky suddenly filled with fireworks! What a magical ending to a hell of a day!

Part 2

After we'd settled in, Yolanda came back with Dr Berral and they strapped me up to the monitor to see how things were looking. It was all very jovial and relaxed as Tanc sat on the couch making jokes with the Doctor while I lay there doing a beached whale impersonation.

I started on tablets under my tongue every half hour to induce labour. The contractions became more and more regular and stronger but manageable. After four hours of this it seemed to stop working so doc put the gel somewhere down there. The contractions got a lot stronger but bareable as I walked around the room and up and down the corridor with Tanc by my side. The first problem arose when the doctor tried to reach my cervix with his fingers to check on the dilation. Willow's head was so big and so engaged that he was unable to reach the cervix as it was so posteriorally positioned. I was in agony as he tried and tried. I began to dread these attempts and my body began to tighten up even more making it impossible. It was very hot and I was sweating with the stress and pain so Yolanda sttempted to put a glucose drip in my arm to deep me hydrated. I screamed as she tried to put the catheter in my right arm. It was impossible as the vein had collapsed and I cried with the pain. She was very upset so Dr Berral attempted on my left arm. The same thing happened to him. They were extremely perplexed as my veins appeared large and juicy. They decided that as well as having extremely muscular legs and stomach muscles I had tough walls of my veins. Basically they said I was a tough old thing! The next option was to take me down to theatre and talk to the anaesthetist about options as it was imperative that I had a drip in asap and that doc got a look at my cervix.

The anaesthetist managed to put the drip in without using an anaesthetic thankfully. Next thing Dr Berral got out the oversized knitting needle and proceeded to insert it. Not the most pleasant experience but he managed to break my waters or rather open the flood gates! Out came the buckets to catch all the amniotic fluid that Willow had been enjoying her swimming lessons in. Well, once that was done the contractions went up about 10 notches in strength and I was soon out of my body with the pain. I was shivering, vomiting, screaming.... the usual things. Poor Tanc was suffering just as much watching me I found out later. The doctor also couldn't bear to see me like that and explained that I would have several hours of this level of pain or more and that he suggested I had the epidural as we had already tried gas and air with no success. As millions of women before me I screamed yes give it to me! Tanc questionned my decision as we had discussed prior, in case I could just hold on a bit longer but not for long as he couldn't cope watching me. Once we had called for the anaesthetist it seemed like an eternity. There was an emergency next door so it was 15 minutes more before he came to see me. It's all a bit foggy but I remember begging Tanc to ask them to wait for the pain to stop before he put the needle in my spine. It was done very smoothly and quickly and I was soon feeling the pain level lift like a dark cloud. My legs began to feel like pins and needles and the contractions were completely bearable.

Tanc used this break in the proceedings to go outside for a cigarette and a beer. The poor thing was quite traumatised. When he came back in (looking very sexy in his Geroge Clooney green outfit) he was overjoyed to see me sitting up smiling. The doctor suggested I walk around to increase the speed of the dilation so we walked laps up and down outside the theatres, me with my epidural drip attached to a mobile station. It was fantastic.... I was smiling and enjoying the moment. My legs were fuzzy but I could still feel them. I told the anaesthetist that I loved him!

end of Part 2 - Willow again!

Welcome back! I have finally got a minute to get typing! You will all have heard by now that our beautiful baby girl, Willow Jasmin de Pola, was born on 4th July at 11.15pm. For those of you interested here is my birth story.....

The 4th July began as any other day. We got up with the alarm, I made Tanc breakfast in bed and I had a freshly squeezed orange juice (I was concerned about filling my bowel!). We showered and dressed for our appointment at 9.30am. It was a very strange feeling to know that by the end of the day, more than likely we will have a daughter! Taking my suitcase with us we drove to the hospital in good time.

Parking is horrendous in Marbella, particularly around the hospital, so we left the car across the road with the valet carwash and said we'd be back later! Yolanda, the Spanish midwife, was waiting for us at the front door. She helped us through the check-in procedure and then took us to our suite. It was definitely the best room in the house with views over the Marbella Marina.

End of Part 1 - Willow is calling me!