Making and using an umbilical cord tie

One of the birth choices I made this time that I really rate was to make and use an umbilical cord tie. Up until the week before Delilah was born I’d intended to just go ahead with the standard hospital clamp that the midwives provide. As the due date approached, I started to remember why I didn’t like them. With Talitha I felt like it got in the way. It seemed a hard, ugly object between us. I knew I didn’t want to do another umbilical cord burning like we had with Ophelia. It took too long (which is kind…

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Delilah’s home birth story

Delilah was born on the morning of Monday 18th July, a week ago today. I wrote this birth story that night in the urge to debrief. I have gently edited it since. I’d been having lots of little surges (the hypnobirthing term for contractions) from 36 weeks so I knew my body was gearing up to have my baby, whether that meant at 40 weeks or beyond. Either way, Delilah was extremely low down, grinding her head on my cervix and had been since week 38. I felt sure that whenever it happened, this labour would be my shortest. At…

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Maternity shoot with Annie Crossman Photography

Last year, we did a family photo shoot with Annie Crossman, a Bristol family photographer and friend. I’d booked the shoot as a birthday present to myself – a way to celebrate our family with one-year-old Ophelia in it. We then considered our family complete, not expecting to have any more children. Three weeks ago, Annie beautifully documented for us in a maternity photo shoot at Clevedon sea front how our plans can change. I didn’t do a maternity shoot with either of my first two babies so it feels extra special to anticipate this baby with one. It’s exciting…

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How to prepare children for a new baby

I’m 39 weeks pregnant tomorrow and the children are keenly aware that the baby is coming soon. On the whole, I’ve worried less about what this transition would mean for them than I did when I was pregnant with Ophelia. Back then, I wondered if Talitha would feel displaced and was genuinely concerned about being able to give them both what they needed. Now I know that a certain shortfall is inevitable and I’ve seen how much my children have benefited from having each other. Adding a third brings its own questions. How will my now middle child react to…

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38 weeks pregnant with baby number three

It’s weird to think that I’m less than two weeks from my guess date. I’ve stopped calling it my due date because at this stage in the pregnancy it’s unhelpful for me to get too fixated on a date. Talitha was born at 40+13 and Ophelia at 40+3 but that’s no real predictor for when this baby will arrive. I realise, though, that last time, because I expected a baby two weeks “late”, Ophelia felt early. This time, I think I’ll struggle if I go on that long. Two weeks is not a long time. Four weeks seems like it…

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37 weeks pregnant – full term with third baby

A few days ago, I hit the 37-week mark. Full term. Really all it means is that this is the final stretch. The baby could come any day or it could be another five weeks. I’m holding on to the statement on my hypnobirthing CD, Katharine Graves’ reassuringly intoning, “Baby will come when baby is ready. Baby knows best.” At the same time, I’ve gone from feeling not even marginally ready for the birth to fighting back impatience. The clothes, nappies and blankets are all washed, dry and put away. The birth bags are packed. Everything is gathered for the…

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34 weeks pregnant with baby number three

Six plus weeks to go still feels a long time but a look through our calendar with most weekends booked up until then and it really isn’t a long time at all. Physically, all is looking as it should. A midwife appointment last Thursday confirmed that the baby is head down and that my iron levels are in good shape. A Spatone smoothie a day has kept the anemia away so far. This is my first non-anemic pregnancy. The girls went with me this time. Talitha was delighted to hear the baby’s heartbeat and fascinated when the midwife took my…

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