Happy Birthday DD2.
My second born turns 8 today.
She was our surprise baby, the one we didn’t TTC. In fact if she hadn’t come along, I don’t know that we would ever have had more than one. But she did and for some reason we decided to go on and have another two!
DD2 reminds me so much of myself. She wears her emotions on her sleeve and finds it hard to deal with disappointment or reprimand. She is easily frustrated. She often ends up in tears when she gets told off or isn’t allowed to do something.
At 8, she’s still partial to the odd tantrum but usually only at home. Her behaviour at school is steadily improving and I’m very proud of her for this; she doesn’t find being a younger sister and the youngest in the class very easy. Her concentration isn’t great unless she enjoys something, then it’s hard to drag her away. She loves maths, science, literacy and art. She’s not that keen on PE but enjoys swimming and gymnastics.
On a good day she is brilliant, sunny, cheerful and enthusiastic. She is also extremely kind and is usually the first one to offer to give me a hand with something.
DD2 was born 19 months after DD1, so that period of my life hardly even qualifies as a blur. I know it happened, because we are all here now, but I have almost no memories of the first 6 months of being a mother of two. Poor DD2, we took very few photos of her as a tiny baby and no video footage. As I am someone who now takes photos of the kids almost every day, I feel quite guilty and very sad that I have no records of her earliest days.
This is the earliest photo I can find of her. She must be around 3 months old as she had no teeth, and she had these by 4 months of age.
She had no hair when she was born and she was almost two before she grew anything more than fuzz.
With DD1, I was induced at 14 days past my EDD, but I had decided to go to a different hospital to have DD2, and they didn’t like you to get much more than a week over. So after a few false alarms, I went at 41+2 for some pessaries but the hospital was too busy to continue with the process. I had some nasty prostin pains, but nothing else and was thoroughly p*ssed off by the time they told me they wouldn’t be doing anything else with me, at 11pm! I’d been there since 7:30 that morning. So I discharged myself and went home.
The IL’s had been looking after DD1, and they were most surprised to see us come home without a baby ! They went back home the next day ( 3 hours away) and I sulked for a couple of days before returning to the hospital for daily monitoring. At 41+5, I consented to speak to a consultant about having a second try at induction and we agreed I would come in 2 days time for a ‘proper induction’.
Before I left that day, a nice midwife asked if she could examine me. I said sure, I’ve never been shy about internals and she said I was 4 cm dilated and asked if she could try a stretch and sweep. Of course I agreed and started bleeding quite heavily straight away.
I had driven to the hospital, so got in my car and drove home, about 20 mins away and filled DH in on the details. DH was ‘working from home’ and it was a stinking hot day so DD1 was in the paddling pool. I went out and sat beside her, my feet in the freezing cold pool for about an hour when suddenly I had an urgent need to get to the toilet NOW. We only had an upstairs loo, so I waddled up as fast as I could. I was gripped by a pain around my bump and then another and another. There was no mistaking that it was the real thing this time.
I got downstairs and called the labour ward. One sentence from me was enough for the MW to advise me to come in straight away. It was a second baby and I was contracting every other word!
Of course, at that point I should have called an ambulance but I didn’t.
Instead, I called a taxi and took a towel to sit on. DH had to stay at home to look after DD1. MIL and sFIL were recalled from Ramsgate but it would take them a few hours to get to us, so DH phoned a couple of people we had on emergency standby. Of course, none of them answered the phone! In the end he rang a friend of mine, whose DH was in the area. He came and sat with DD1 until her grandparents arrived, so DH made it to the hospital just in time.
The taxi driver I got was very laid back and seemed oblivious to the fact he had a labouring woman in the back of his cab. He chatted away while I stared out the window during the pains, fixating on things happening outside the vehicle in an effort to not scream.
He dropped me at the maternity entrance and I made it to the desk before having another contraction, asked where the labour ward was and was directed to the lift. At the lift I collapsed and was rescued by a midwife who was coming off duty. She took one look at me and called for a bed.
Once I was safely upstairs, they practically ripped my clothes off me and I was found to be almost fully dilated. My waters were bulging, so they broke these and it was then they realised that DD2 wasn’t coming head first but face first. There had been some meconium in the waters as well, so suddenly the room filled up with extra people. A pediatrician arrived and stood quietly in the corner, an extra couple of midwives showed up and I was told to push.
It was at this point DH walked in. He was expecting me to be sitting quietly in the early stages of labour so was a little shocked at the crowd and the fact that I seemed to be surgically attached to the gas and air.
Almost immediately after DH, a surgeon walked in. I was pushing but only half heartedly as I ‘was scared it would hurt’. She took one look at the situation, snatched the gas and air off me, and grabbed a pair of scissors from the instrument tray.
As she advanced, I screamed ‘you are going to cut me, aren’t you?’ and as she said yes, she performed the episiotomy. I gave one more push and out DD2 came, a bit blue and rather quiet but she started yelling her head off quite quickly. I could feel that the placenta was close behind, so waited until the surgeon was examining her handiwork and succeeded in my attempt to make sure it hit her on the way out. I was really cross that I hadn’t been ‘allowed’ to keep hold of the gas and air!
So that was DD2′s grand entrance; full speed, a bit of drama and a good audience. Actually it sums up her attitude to life, so far, quite well.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful 8 year old.
We will have 20 girls in our garden, hopefully in the pool. Fingers crossed it’s not completely miserable, please!