I never thought the end of my Pudding club hunt would come at Christmas. In the UK we typically have Christmas pudding as our dessert at Christmas dinner. I don’t think this could be the most apt end to 2016 on the Great Pudding Club Hunt.
Aviana Ruby arrived safely on 21st December at 9.21PM (21/12 @ 21:12!!!!) weighing a teeny 5lbs 1oz and measuring a staggering 19.5″ long!!!!
I will write my birth story another time but quickly here is what happened. I was admitted to the hospital at 9PM on Tuesday 20th December, to be induced at 38 weeks because the doctors felt Aviana would thrive better outside of my body as she was suffering from intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). I was given Cervidil to ripen my cervix, the doctor likes it to be in for 12 hrs before it is removed (it’s kind of like a tampon thing that hurts like hell). On Wednesday 21st at 10AM our doula arrived and the cervidil was removed. I began labour naturally, so the doctors held off giving me Pitocin, but unfortunately at around lunchtime my contractions slowed down and I had to start the Pitocin induction.
The contractions got stronger and harder and more painful, but Chris and my Doula coached me through the pain. We tried almost every birthing toy in the box in the hospital and every position possible to survive without pain meds. I started pushing at about 8.45PM. Unfortunately several times Aviana’s heart rate was decelerating dangerously and there were a couple of moments when it looked like C-section was on the cards. At one point all I could think of was do whatever is best for my baby to survive, I don’t care what needs to be done, just save my baby!
I only pushed for 37mins, but this was mostly because her head was so low already and a lot of amazing work from the team, I was coached to push and she had to be vacuumed out. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) team were on standby – a terrifying feeling – but they weren’t needed in the end. The feeling of her coming out in the last and final push was euphoric. She was a lovely sticky warm gooey mess and she was placed on my abdomen and Chris cut the cord. Yes she was tiny and super skinny, but her APGAR scores were 8 & 9!! So amazing. We were able to do skin to skin after she was thoroughly checked and NICU team sent away. I was also able to breastfeed within the first hour too.
On Friday 23rd at lunchtime, we were all discharged from the hospital. Having a pain med free vaginal birth meant I was able to leave earlier than was expected. Many people were surprised at how healthy Aviana was and how quickly we were allowed to leave! When we left Aviana was just 4lbs 12oz. On Christmas Eve we followed up with our pediatrician and she weighed just 4lbs 8ozs, my milk hadn’t come in by then, so we are supplementing breastfeeding with some formula now, hoping she starts to thrive.
Aviana Ruby truly is the best Christmas gift I could ever receive. We have been so fortunate that things have worked out so well despite hurdles thrown at us along the way. My heart is simply full of extreme gratefulness and happiness to finally meet Aviana, AKA Rocky, AKA my little sweet Christmas pudding.