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Oh Me, Oh Mãe II

Portrait Of A Mother Of A Twenty Month Old And A 0 Month Old (14th February 2022)

Hello, it’s me again. I’ve been having a little bit of a social media break. Originally I just intended to try to sort out and post my pregnancy Máscara photos, but I didn’t want to rush that. Then I just realised that I was spending too much time on social media and it wasn’t doing much for me, and then I just got too busy with working/stuff organising/mothering. L is already three months old and I’ve definitely not cracked how to be a good mother to two kids yet, and I’m not sure if I ever will, but every day I try to do things differently and hopefully better but geez I’m tired.

I’ve also felt awkward posting as in my ‘I’m-so-tired-and-why-won’t-my-kids-sleep-and-I-feel-bad-about-every-aspect-of-my-life’ phases I wonder why do I bother making work about myself and think I’m way too whiny for someone as privileged as I am. I have ideas for other work I’d like to make, but for now this seems like the easiest way to keep going. It’s a record for myself, but I also do hope that other people get something from it all. It’s not ground-breaking, award-winning stuff, but it’s my life.

I also feel awkward about this first photo, but it is a ‘I just had a baby and here’s what’s left of my bump’ image, which seems somewhat fitting after a project of tonnes of bump photos.

So anyways, here we go. Here’s the start of Oh Me, Oh Mãe II. Mãe is Portuguese for mother – my kids are half-Portuguese, and now I have two kids so it seemed like an obvious series title (my project of being a mother to one is called Oh Me, Oh Mãe.)

TW: Birth story. First degree tear.

Self-portrait. My arms are raised over my head and I am holding onto my elbows. My top has been lifted up over my head and I am showing what is left of my baby bump.
Portrait Of A Mother Of A Twenty Month Old And A 0 Month Old (14th February 2022)

  #ICanNotBelieveThatIAmAMotherOfTwoAndItIsWeirdHearingPeopleReferToUsAsAFamilyOfFourNow #OnTheEveningIWentIntoLabourISuddenlyFeltUnwellAroundSevenAndTiagoHadToPutBToBed #IWentThroughMyBedtimeRoutineOfStretchingAndPerinealMassageAndPlannedToGetIntoBedAsSoonAsPossible #AroundEightIThoughtIMightBeHavingContractionsButWasNotReallySure #AtEightThirtyITextedMyMumToSayThatMaybeIWasHavingContractionsButMaybeNot #IStartedToMonitorThemWithAnAppAtNineThirtyButWasStillInDenial #ISuddenlyFeltHungryAndAtTenIWasSatOnTheSofaEatingSamosasThroughThem #WithBIWasUnableToEatInEarlyLabourSoIThoughtIWasJustUnwellOrSomething #AtTenThirtyMyMaybeTheyAreMaybeTheyAreNotContractionsWereSixMinutesApartSoICalledMyMum #SheSaidItSoundedLikeThingsWereHappeningSoSheWouldComeOverToWatchBWhichMadeMeFeelABitMoreRelaxed #SheArrivedAtAroundElevenAndNotLongAfterIWasBleedingABit #MyContractionsWereCloserTogetherAndOnTheNHSWebsiteAndItSaidToCallTriageIfYouAreBleeding #SoICalledAndTheySaidToComeInAndWeGotThereBeforeMidnight #WeWereTheOnlyOnesThereAndAfterAWhileWeGotCalledIntoARoom #ItWasNiceToHaveTiagoWithMeAsAtThisPointWithBTiagoHadToWaitInTheCarParkDueToItBeingTheFirstLockdown #SheWasNotConcernedAboutTheBloodSoIFeltBadForWastingTheirTime #MyContractionsHadSlowedDownWhichIThoughtWouldHappenDueToTheChangeOfEnvironment #SheHookedMeUpToAMachineAndToldMeToPressAButtonWheneverIFeltTheBabyMoveButICouldNotReallyFeelHer #SheSaidSheWouldComeBackAndExamineMeInABitWhichGaveMeTimeToRelaxAndMyContractionsBecameMoreRegularAgain #ByTheTimeSheExaminedMeIWasFourCentimetresDilatedAndSheGaveMeASweepAndIThinkMovedTheCervixABitMoreForwardOrSomething #AroundOneWeWentToADeliverySuiteAndItWasANiceBigRoom #INoticedThatThereWasADoorWithASignSayingBirthPoolAndAskedIfItWasPossibleToUseIt #ItWasSharedBetweenTwoRoomsButTheWomanNextDoorHadFinishedUsingItSoItJustNeededToBeCleaned #TheMidwifeWasReallyNiceAndIKeptThinkingThatOtherPeopleWouldTurnUpToBeThereBut

(B’s birth story is here – Turn Baby Turn.)

#ICanNotBelieveThatIAmAMotherOfTwoAndItIsWeirdHearingPeopleReferToUsAsAFamilyOfFourNow

I guess I still find it weird that B is my daughter and she is 20 months old. It’s a lot to comprehend that I grew two small humans inside of me.

#OnTheEveningIWentIntoLabourISuddenlyFeltUnwellAroundSevenAndTiagoHadToPutBToBed

We take it in turns to put B to bed (well we did – now Tiago puts B to bed, and I put L to bed). I just felt unable to do it.

#IWentThroughMyBedtimeRoutineOfStretchingAndPerinealMassageAndPlannedToGetIntoBedAsSoonAsPossible

I was going to skip it all, but suddenly felt a little better and able to do it. My evening stretches involved me sitting on the floor, so I just did that while watching TV.

#AroundEightIThoughtIMightBeHavingContractionsButWasNotReallySure

I felt like I’d been in slow labour for a long time – a week or so. I thought I might have overeaten and was just being off because of that.

#AtEightThirtyITextedMyMumToSayThatMaybeIWasHavingContractionsButMaybeNot

I’d messaged her before saying things were happening, but they weren’t so felt a bit awkward about it. She was going to come and watch B though when things finally happened, so I thought I should pre-warn her – especially as it was night time.

#IStartedToMonitorThemWithAnAppAtNineThirtyButWasStillInDenial

I was like I don’t think they’re contractions, but let’s record them just in case.

#ISuddenlyFeltHungryAndAtTenIWasSatOnTheSofaEatingSamosasThroughThem

I had one, then really fancied another one so I ate two. They were my main pregnancy craving in the last month or so of my pregnancy.

#WithBIWasUnableToEatInEarlyLabourSoIThoughtIWasJustUnwellOrSomething

Too much info but if I ate I just needed the loo – this wasn’t the case this time.

#AtTenThirtyMyMaybeTheyAreMaybeTheyAreNotContractionsWereSixMinutesApartSoICalledMyMum #SheSaidItSoundedLikeThingsWereHappeningSoSheWouldComeOverToWatchBWhichMadeMeFeelABitMoreRelaxed

She asked how far apart they were and with 6 minutes she thought she needed to come over. I was worried I’d have to go to hospital in the middle of the night, so was glad she was coming over now as I could relax and concentrate on my breathing more.

#SheArrivedAtAroundElevenAndNotLongAfterIWasBleedingABit

I hadn’t had any signs of my mucus plug or a bloody show until this point, so I knew things were definitely happening now.

#MyContractionsWereCloserTogetherAndOnTheNHSWebsiteAndItSaidToCallTriageIfYouAreBleeding

I think I’d just been looking up signs of early labour (still a bit in denial) and saw a bold section at the top about calling triage. I’d seen a lot of photos of blood and mucus plugs on a Mum app I’m on and everyone else’s had looked quite watered down. My blood was intense red.

#SoICalledAndTheySaidToComeInAndWeGotThereBeforeMidnight

I took my hospital bags and hoped that things were fine, but that I’d be able to stay at the hospital – and not risk giving birth in the car or something.

#WeWereTheOnlyOnesThereAndAfterAWhileWeGotCalledIntoARoom

I’d walked past triage before and seen so many people there, but that was in the middle of the day.

#ItWasNiceToHaveTiagoWithMeAsAtThisPointWithBTiagoHadToWaitInTheCarParkDueToItBeingTheFirstLockdown

We weren’t sure what the rules were, so were a bit surprised that he was let in.

#SheWasNotConcernedAboutTheBloodSoIFeltBadForWastingTheirTime

I felt a bit stupid to be honest and thought we’d be sent home.

#MyContractionsHadSlowedDownWhichIThoughtWouldHappenDueToTheChangeOfEnvironment

With B I was at the hospital for my entire early labour, so it allowed me to ‘get in the zone’.

#SheHookedMeUpToAMachineAndToldMeToPressAButtonWheneverIFeltTheBabyMoveButICouldNotReallyFeelHer

I could just feel contractions…

#SheSaidSheWouldComeBackAndExamineMeInABitWhichGaveMeTimeToRelaxAndMyContractionsBecameMoreRegularAgain

Hurrah. I did my hypnobirthing breathing throughout the contractions and I think I was playing my birthing playlist by this point.

#ByTheTimeSheExaminedMeIWasFourCentimetresDilatedAndSheGaveMeASweepAndIThinkMovedTheCervixABitMoreForwardOrSomething

At this point I wouldn’t have said no to a sweep, but I was a bit annoyed that she didn’t mention it until she was actually doing it.

#AroundOneWeWentToADeliverySuiteAndItWasANiceBigRoom

It seemed bigger than the one I had in Liverpool, but maybe not. Not that it matters. We were just shocked by how nice it was. There were fairy lights in the ceiling above the bed which was a nice touch.

#INoticedThatThereWasADoorWithASignSayingBirthPoolAndAskedIfItWasPossibleToUseIt #ItWasSharedBetweenTwoRoomsButTheWomanNextDoorHadFinishedUsingItSoItJustNeededToBeCleaned

She asked about my birthing plan. I’d got Tiago to read it, but he was out getting my other bag so I had to try to remember. I mainly just mentioned delayed cord clamping and skin to skin.

She offered me gas and air, but I said no. I didn’t even use my TENS machine this time, as you can’t use it in water so there didn’t seem much point in using it by the time Tiago got it sorted.

#TheMidwifeWasReallyNiceAndIKeptThinkingThatOtherPeopleWouldTurnUpToBeThereButItWasJustHer

There were a lot of people at B’s birth, so it was nice that it was just Tiago, me and her.

#AtTwoIWasAllowedInThePoolAndJustGotIntoADeepSquatPositionAndRestedMyHeadOnTheSideOfThePoolThroughContractions

My playlist was playing in the background. The room was darkish. It was nice.

#BeforeLongIKnewIHadEnteredTheDownPhaseOfLabourButReallyFeltLikeINeededTheLoo #IManagedToWaddleThereAndInstantlyKnewItWasAMistakeAndWasWorriedIWouldGiveBirthOnTheToiletButLuckilyIWaddledBackAndBabyLWasBornJustBeforeThree

I was surprised she let me go to the toilet, as at B’s birth they made me just sit on the bed over a kind of potty thing. The midwife was impressed that I managed to waddle to and from the toilet with the baby just about to come out.

The annoying thing about the pool was having to stand up every 15 minutes to have baby’s heartrate checked.

#SheWasNinePoundsNineWhichWasATotalShockAndSheHadALotOfDarkHairWhichWasASurpriseAsBHadNotVeryMuchLightHair

The midwife would check on how far away the baby was from birth with a torch and mirror. At one point she said ‘wow the baby has a lot of hair’ and we looked at the mirror. I put my hand down and could feel her hair blowing in the water.

#IHadAFirstDegreeTearThatNeededSomeStitchesAndTheyWouldHaveLetMeComeHomeTheSameDayButIWantedToStayANightToMakeSureThatBreastfeedingWasGoingOkay

They said I had a first degree tear. I asked if that was the worst kind – ‘no the best kind’. I had a graze too, but that didn’t need stitches.

#SheWantedToBeFedQuiteSoonAfterBirthAndSheManagedToLatchOnFairlyEasilyWhichDidNotHappenAtAllForALongTimeWithBSoWeWentHomeTheNextDay

I wish I’d just come home the same day really, but more of that next time…

Welcome to the world L!

She was born to either Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean or Margaret In Captivity by The Decemberists. I don’t remember CQ playing, so I’m thinking it was that one.


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