Tuesday, 27 January 2015


.....Levi Luke Manning, born on Tuesday 13th January at 9.50pm, weighing 7lb 2oz.

My due date was on the 17th January and I was really eager for Levi to come early. I was kind of hoping that he would come over Christmas while we were up in Norwich at my Mum's and I somehow managed to convince myself that it would actually happen. I was a little disappointed when we came home after Christmas and Levi still hadn't arrived!

In the couple of weeks leading up to him being born, I had loads of contractions. On a couple of occasions I phoned Seth to tell him that I was having them and told him that he might need to come home from work. He came each time, only to get home and discover that my contractions had stopped completely! I wouldn't have minded if Levi didn't actually come until his due date, but with all of the false alarms, I kept getting my hopes up and then was disappointed when nothing more came of it. Of course, I knew that at some point he would actually come, he could only spend so long inside me but I was just eager! It was quite a strange mix of emotions that I can't really describe, I really didn't want to wish the time away of it just being me, Seth and Caleb as I wanted to soak up as much time with just Caleb as I could but at the same time, I really wanted the baby to make an appearance!

On Tuesday, Caleb and I decided to go into town to do some shopping. I had a bit of a dull ache in my lower back but I just didn't want to sit around at home in the hopes that it would materialise into something, so we went out. As we were walking around the shops, I felt some mild contractions start up. I tried to put to the back of my mind the thought that this might actually be it as I had already done that a few times and nothing happened, so I thought that I would just take it as it comes this time. When it got to the point that I had to lean on Caleb's pram for some support whenever I had a contraction, I thought that it might be an idea to head home while I could still drive, you know, just in case!

We got home at around 3, which is when I started to time my contractions. I put on some washing and stuff as I timed the contractions (obviously not crazily strong at this point or I really would not have been doing the washing!) and at around 3.30pm I called Seth to say that I thought I was actually having contractions. He told me to sit down for a while and he would call me again in half an hour to see if I was still having them and if I was, that he would come home from work (bear in mind that he works in central London and it takes him around an hour for him to get home from work. One of my biggest fears was that I would have a really quick labour and that the baby would come before Seth could even make it home!). Every time I thought I was having contractions before, whenever I sat down they would stop, which I think is why Seth told me to sit down. But this time I actually had some contractions whilst sitting down so when he called at 4pm, I told him that it might be a false alarm again, but maybe he should come home just in case. I was really beginning to hope that this time wasn't a false alarm and to be honest, I didn't really think it was. The other times, I didn't feel the crampy feeling in my lower back like I did this time. Suffice it to say, my hopes were definitely up at this point :).

So, as I waited for Seth to get home, I made dinner - yes, I actually made dinner! When I started, the contractions weren't too bad but by the time I had finished, I needed to start breathing through them. Seth arrived home just as dinner was ready and I was just getting Caleb into his highchair when my waters broke. I didn't call the hospital straight away, we had dinner first (I was hungry and I had made it, after all, ha ha!) and after that I called the hospital. They said that if I was still feeling okay, to stay home and to call back again in an hour but if during that time I decided that I wanted to come in, then give them a call. I wasn't feeling too bad so I just contacted my family to let them know what was happening and called Mum to tell her to get the train down to us that evening, as we had planned. Around 20 minutes later, the contractions were getting pretty painful so I called the hospital and told them that I would be coming in. Our good friend Liz came over to watch Caleb until my Mum arrived (he was in bed by this point - we had put him to bed and said prayers with him. Afterwards, he asked me for a cuddle so I obliged, hugging him for longer and tighter than usual - little did he know that the reason for that was that I was having a contraction at the time and couldn't actually move, ha ha! Still, I enjoyed the cuddles as always!).

We got to the hospital at around 8pm and we left the bags in the car as we figured that Seth could just go out and get them later, and we headed up to the labour ward. We were waiting around in the labour ward reception for around 15 minutes as they had someone else in triage being assessed at that time. A midwife saw me and said that it looked like it was a delivery room that I needed, not triage! A few minutes later, I was in a delivery room! The midwife strapped me up to a monitor which meant that I had to lay down in bed for a while. The contractions slowed right down when I was laying down but when they came, they were so much more intense so I was breathing on the gas and air like a mad thing! I had planned on trying to be as mobile as possible to move things along but once I had started on the gas and air, there was no taking that away from me and I was too woozy to get out of the bed anyway! The midwife held off on examining me for a while as my waters had broken and apparently they don't like to examine you too much because of risk of infection. I kept telling Seth that I wanted an epidural and to make sure that I got one. He mentioned it to the midwife when she came back into the room, at which point, she said that maybe she would examine me. It turns out I was 8cm dilated! I was pretty happy when I realised as I was worried that I would only be 3cm (it took me a while to realise - I had to ask Seth 3 times how far dilated I was because it was just going in one ear and out of the other - the joys of gas and air!). Seth asked if he could go out to the car to get my hospital bag as my nightie was in there but the midwife said that if he went, I may have had the baby by the time he got back so he stayed with me instead! (yep, I gave birth wearing the same clothes that I had arrived in!).

When it came to pushing, they took the gas and air away from me which I was a bit gutted about, I was loving that stuff! The midwife said that she needed me to push and so I couldn't have the gas and air. I told her that I could still push if I had it but apparently she had been telling me to push for a little while and I just wasn't doing it so I had to surrender my beloved gas and air!

At 9.50, our beloved little Levi Luke arrived. I was a little bit out of if still and it took me a few minutes to realise that I was actually holding my newborn baby in my arms! Seth and I were both shocked to see loads of jet black hair, which I really wasn't expecting. I got to cuddle him for a nice long time which was just lovely. He is just the most perfect little boy and we love him so much already.

Levi has been with us for two weeks now and I will do another post on what those last two weeks have been like as this one is long enough! Also, for those of you who don't know, despite this post where I said that I would never find out the sex of the baby, we did this time around although we didn't tell anyone what we were having. I'll do a post on my views about finding out as well :). I can't say when though, this new little one of mine likes to cuddle a lot in the evenings and while he is enjoying the snuggles, I am making the most of it!

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