Hi Kat

I hope all is well with you. Just to let you know that our little (well 9lbs!) Eloise was born in October. Thanks to our hypnobirthing refresher and most of our last experience, I was very calm when I went into labour. 

We made time to sort out plans A-Z for Felix and gave ourselves time (over wine) to talk about what went well and not so well the last time. In the end my labour was 20hrs shorter (!) than last time at a mere 10hrs, although very different experience. 

I found the surges very unpredictable and often rolling into each other, and other times spaced apart so it was difficult to get accustomed to / manage the intensity. Listening to recordings on repeat and James pressing my back massively helped. When we went to hospital I was convinced I was further along than I thought.. but when they said ‘only 4cm’ I had a bit of a wobble, but took a moment to decide next steps. 

Having had such a long birth, ending in a pretty traumatic experience with Felix, I changed my mind about the birth centre and decided I wanted to go to the labour ward and have an epidural, as by this time I was finding it very difficult to manage the intensity of the surges. We just didn’t want to find ourselves in the same situation as before with me too exhausted to push. Ultimately this was a the best decision for us, even though the epidural didn’t really work.. it only took the edge off! 

It turns out I didn’t mind being monitored or checked often,  and in the end I went from 4-10cm in only 2hrs! I suppose it was one of those cases where being given a number was pretty irrelevant, or I relaxed knowing I was in the labour ward so things progressed faster.. who knows. Anyway, I insisted on waiting to feel the urge to push and delivering the placenta naturally (which they were very surprised with but respected my wishes) and our gorgous little girl was born with no extra help or intervention. 

I’ve attached a picture of Eloise and Felix a couple of weeks ago. Felix is a brilliant big brother so far and covers her in snotty kisses and gives her toy rabbits when she is crying (Rabbits are VERY important to Felix!). Eloise, realising she needs to get her voice heard as the younger child is proving she has big lungs and is not to be ignored!!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know the happy end to a very difficult beginning and to say a huge thank you for all your help earlier in the year. I could not have imagined then how complete Eloise makes our family now, and how she was the catalyst to make me stop and give myself space to be vulnerable without feeling weak, as well as remembering to do the things that make me feel happy – not just everyone else. 

Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2018

Love, Alex, James, Felix and Eloise

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