The First Three Weeks

Well we’ve survived the first three weeks of being parents without killing Charlotte — although judging by the volume of her screams sometimes, you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s what we were trying to do to her! :((

We came home from the hospital on day six and then rushed around buying baby things we didn’t realise that we’d need — we actually drove from the hospital straight to Baby Buntings (Aussie equivalent of Mothercare), Sara and Charlotte even still had their name tags on their wrists. 😮

Once at home we quickly established a routine. Charlotte’s now going about 3½ hours between feeds, sometimes a bit longer during the night, and she often stays awake after her morning feed. In between feeds, assuming Charlotte is settled, we rush around cleaning up, preparing formula, sterilising bottles, endlessly washing clothes, blankets and bibs. #:-s

Now that I’m back in work, Sara is taking care of the night-time feeds. If Charlotte wakes early in the morning, I tend to just get up and stay up with her. Although we’re both tired, it’s not half as bad as we thought it might be. (:|

The midwives visited us at home a few times initially, but now we take her to the local community health centre. She’s growing daily and at last weigh-in was just over 3 kilos (6lbs 10oz). 🙂

I’ve added another 30+ photos to the gallery. There’s also a short video clip here (10Mb).

We’re just tidying the house up, ready for a barbecue tonight with Andy, Johanne and all the family. No work tomorrow because it’s Easter Monday, so I’ll take care of the night-time feeds (hopefully whilst watching United vs Liverpool) and Sara can let her hair down tonight — it’s her birthday tomorrow. <:-p

Introducing… Charlotte Louise Torkington

Charlotte Louise Torkington was born on Saturday 1st March at 6:25am. <:-p I'm sorry it has taken so long to post this message, it's been the most action-packed week of my life and we've barely had a moment free. Anyway, here's the long version -- minus most of the gory bits -- for those of you who haven't already spoken to us... Sara started having contractions last Thursday evening. We drove to the hospital on Friday morning where the doctors examined her and confirmed that she was in the early stages of labour and prescribed some pain relief and sleeping tablets before sending us home again for a few hours. :-w By mid-afternoon the contractions were much stronger and more frequent so we called the hospital. They told us to come in, so we checked in to the Delivery Suite. Another doctor confirmed that labour had definitely started but said it could still be a long wait. Sara was in a lot of pain so they gave her a dose of pethidine which allowed her to get some rest before the big event. #:-s There still hadn't been much progress by the time that wore off, even though Sara was still having strong regular contractions, so the midwife gave more pain relief and sleeping tablets and settled us down for a couple more hours of rest. It was probably around 2:30am by now, Sara had been in labour for more than 32 hours and was pretty spaced out from the drugs and pain. @-) Sara woke up at sometime around 5am, in a lot of pain, saying she thought she might be bleeding. When I checked it was like a horror show, she was lying in a *big* pool of blood -- I called the nurses straight away. The next hour or so is a bit of a blur: numerous doctors, midwives and nurses went to work on Sara like a Formula-1 team changing the tyres on a racing car. They strapped monitoring equipment on her (showing baby's heart rate rising and falling dramatically), put in intravenous lines, saline drips, catheter, paged Sara's doctor and the on-call obstratician -- the speed and quietness with which they worked and the expressions on their faces told me this was very, very serious. I felt completely helpless, terrified. :(( The obstratician arrived on the scene and he basically said "Baby is in distress. She needs to come out very quickly. The quickest way is a caesarean. You need to give consent, sign here." Within minutes Sara was prepped, wheeled into the operating theatre and anaesthatised; I was dressed in scrubs, looking through the theatre window until they allowed me in. They told me to expect: baby would probably come out looking blue and limp, they might need to work on her to get her breathing, she might need to go straight to intensive care. [-o< Happily it wasn't half as bad as I expected. Within five minutes they beckoned me into the room and passed me my newly-born daughter. She was tiny but wasn't blue or drowsy, she seemed fine. I certainly wasn't expecting to be the one to hold her straight away as soon as she was born, but it just felt fantastic and I seemed to automatically know exactly what to do. o:-) Her little nostrils were flaring slightly because she was struggling to breathe, so they wanted her to go up to the special care nursery in an incubator. Sara was still unconscious, but everything went OK, it would be another 30-40 minutes before she would recover. So they let me wheel baby up to the special care unit and sit by the incubator, waiting for Sara to be returned to a room on the maternity ward. I just sat and watched her, it was amazing. 🙂 By the time Sara was brought back upstairs, baby's breathing had settled down and she had been weighed and checked. Even though she was very small, she was perfectly healthy so they said it would be OK to join Sara in her room. In turns out that Sara suffered a antepartum abruption haemorrhage, where the placenta comes away from the lining of the womb, potentially life-threatening for mother and/or baby. Although we still have a few questions about whether this should’ve been spotted sooner — there were earlier signs — we have no complaints at all about the fantastic medical attention received or the superb care and facilities afterwards. Mother and baby are both absolutely fine. 😡

I’ll blog separately about our first week as parents when I get a chance. In the meantime I have uploaded about 50 pictures taken in the first couple of days. You can find them in the photo gallery.