Bristol is my home town. I wasn’t born there, I was born in Truro (Cornwall) but we moved to Bristol when I was quite young.
We went back to Bristol this weekend for a jam packed visit with family! We stayed at Joes parents and got there at about 10.30am.
We went to my brother’s house to celebrate my nephews 8th birthday, meet his new chickens and ducks and see my Auntie from Spain and cousins had come from London.
Felicity loves seeing the family and is the funniest character. She was given an early birthday present from my brother and sister-in-law and her reaction says it all! I can’t wait for her to play with it all.
My Auntie and cousins then treated me to the most amazing meal at The Mint Room, in Clifton. It was Indian cuisine but presented and tasted unbelievable. I know when I have had a good meal, when all I can do the next day is think and talk about it! Joe thinks I’m bonkers! Ha. The service was spot on, very efficient and funny. They also surprised me with a birthday dessert. I would highly recommend it if you are in Bristol.
The Sunday was just as busy, we took the 3 dogs for a walk near our old house, at Blaise Castle, while Joe’s parents took Felicity to the park. We then went for Sunday lunch at the Battleaxes in Wraxhall for roast and that was lush! We then went back to Joes parents and his whole family came for afternoon tea in the garden. Felicity was totally in her element, serving cups of tea, made from water! She then got so wet that she ended up just in her nappy. I literally love it when she just plays, happy to be outside and do her own thing. And it’s so lovely for her to be in her grandparent’s garden.
Me, Felicity and Red the dog, all came back from Bristol this morning. We left at 6.30am and we were back by 8.45. I was unpacking the car and then I looked back at Felicity and she was being sick everywhere! I think she may have inherited by horrendous travel sickness. We plodded on and went to a toddler group, which was lovely and then I’ve had the afternoon at work. Early to bed tonight I think after such a lovely weekend!
I really do feel like a lucky girl. A big surprise weekend by all my friends and then a busy weekend with all our family. Bring on our birthdays in June and Spain!
I was working last Friday and Joey told me to meet him at the pub. We had a couple of drinks and some crisps. Joe then said “I’ve got a surprise for you” and held up a 30 badge. He then said, look outside and walking across the car park was my best friend and god daughter. I burst out crying! It was totally unexpected and I had no idea. Over the course of the weekend, my whole gang and all their gorgeous kids came to our house. Even some friends whose children had chickenpox! I literally had the best weekend ever.
Here is my quick summary; Surprise visit from all my friends, time in the pub, bbq on our patio, walk down to town, custard tart, running in & out of the tide with my babies, lying down on the beach with my best friends, caught in the rain running back to the house, fish and chips for dinner, colourful chicken birthday cake, crazy bath time for all the kids, amazing breakfast with our chicken eggs, kayaking with my girls, Hannafore beach & the most amazing Crab salad and hummus dip.
I would highly recommend the Island View Café on Hannafore Beach, the food and view were incredible.
I am very lucky to have such a great husband who organised it all, decorated and cleaned the house! And very lucky for my gang. Even when I have moved 2 hours down the road!
Ok so let’s talk about hair.
I have had long hair for FOREVER!
But I just decided I wanted a change. Joe asked me if I was getting Mum hair. Mum hair?! What does that even mean? Lol but I went ahead with it anyway! And I love it! It’s made my hair feel so much healthier and I feel completely different. I am relieved that I like it so much!
I went back to get some more cut off of the front and its spot on. I asked Flicky if she liked my hair, she just gave me a massive cuddle and I took that as a yes!
I can still put it half up and in a ponytail so winner winner, chicken dinner!
Jenna Coleman was my inspo. Girl crush!
I have been watching the BBC drama series ‘Three girls’ and I wouldn’t normally write about TV but this drama really hit home. I worked for the police for 7 years, doing multiple different jobs, investigating petty crimes to the worst crimes imaginable. But I was able to deal with it and manage it because I was working hard to get the perpetrator and to help families. I never gave my emotions to the job because I knew I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the job ahead if I did that.
I don’t think it is until you watch a well-made drama series that you can grasp what actually happened to those girls in Rochdale. It has opened my eyes hugely to what happened and how easily it happened. There were obviously huge failings in the police but you can only hope that the guilty verdicts of these men helped these vulnerable girls.
I watched the programme and kept thinking, how would you not pick up on what was happening? But people did, and they tried to bring it to other authorities’ attention and failed. I think the main thing that I take from the programme is to never give up on people, do the best you can, work hard, listen, be friendly, be kind and you will help people.
It made me want to wrap Felicity up in cotton wool forever, but I am not that naïve. I was an unruly teenager once and I won’t ever forget that because that is also what makes you. I just want Felicity to know that I will always be there and to talk about sex will never be embarrassing, its natural, its normal and it’s something we should talk more openly with our children and parents.
I will definitely be watching the last one tonight at 9pm.
Love Jessie X
3rd June 2015
I have wanted to write about this for a long time but haven’t found the time or courage. This isn’t about scaring people or putting people off birth but it’s about making people more aware of emergency c-sections and helping me process what happened.
It's quite a long blog post so hopefully you can stick with me!
I was pregnant for the first time; I had all the books and went to private and NHS antenatal classes. I wanted to know everything! But when it came to c-sections, I didn’t even read the pages in the books and stopped listening as soon as anyone mentioned it. As, in my mind, what was the point? I was never going to have one so why waste my time reading about them?
It had been my birthday 2 days before, and Felicity was due in May, but it was now June and the time was up for my big bump! I was due to be induced on the 3rd May. At midnight on the 3rd, I started to naturally contract. Brilliant! I was so happy that I was going to be able to have my natural water birth that I wanted and no medical intervention (oh the naivety). I phoned the hospital later on in the morning to see what I should do regarding the induction and they said to wait at home for as long as possible. I remember sitting in the sunshine in the garden, bouncing on my pregnancy ball. We also walked up and down the road to help the contractions and it was a lovely day.
Joe was going to be my birthing partner, along with my Mum. It got to lunchtime and I was really struggling with not knowing what was going on so I phoned the hospital again and they said to come in. We picked up Mum on the way and went to the hospital. I was adamant I wanted a natural birth and we went to the midwife led section of the hospital. We were taken into a room called ‘Woodlands’, which immediately made me feel weird as my Dad is buried at a place called Woodlands and made me feel like it was his way of showing me he was there. I was examined and they said that I would need to get things going more and have to go up to the doctors led part of the ward. By this point, I was in the hospital, I was so overdue that I felt like I might burst and I just wanted to meet my baby and get on with the process. So we walked up to the doctors led section of the ward and they took us into a room. I have the same humour as my Mum so I remember us all laughing away. I had 2 midwives in the room as one was a trainee midwife who was just about to pass as a fully fledged midwife.
They started conducting the same checks as the previous midwife but also put those bands around my bump. I vividly remember not really paying attention to the checks etc. and just talking and laughing with my Mum and Joe. I noticed the trainee midwife checking something with the senior midwife regarding the bands. I assumed that they weren’t in the right place because I could feel the baby really wriggling around. My contractions had really slowed down but I knew this was because I really didn’t like being in hospitals.
The senior midwife came over to check the bands and the machine and they carried on looking concerned. They said they couldn’t find it. Again, I thought they just meant they couldn’t get the baby in the right place to find the heartbeat. The senior midwife then suddenly took control and pressed the red emergency button. Literally from that moment, it feels like an episode of One Born Every Minute and that I was having an out of body experience.
The senior midwife was trying to frantically break my waters and put a clip on the baby’s head. I hadn’t had any painkillers and this was making me scream out in pain. The room literally filled with people and everyone was shouting. All I remember was looking at Joe and my Mums face and it still makes me want to cry now. They looked petrified. We had been laughing only 2 minutes before. And now I was screaming, and the room was full. An anaesthetist was asking me for verbal consent. At this point, I didn’t really know what I was consenting to but I said that they could do anything to make sure my baby was OK. I then started to hear them saying “GA”. As I had worked for the police for so long, abbreviations had become the norm to me. I soon worked out that meant general anaesthetic. Ah, this wasn’t in my plan, none of this was in my plan. However, if something was going to happen to my baby, I was bloody sure I wanted to know about it. I did not want to be put to sleep and then wake up to some horrendous news. I wanted to know, however bad, what was going on. I didn’t get to say anything to either Joe or my Mum before I was pushed out of the room on the bed along the corridor to the operating theatre. I vividly remember looking at the ceiling tiles thinking I was watching ER. I was moved on to an operating table and told to lie on my side as this was better for the baby. I was like a beached whale and had real difficultly moving that much, especially as I was quite hysterical at this point. I kept saying “please don’t put me to sleep, please do local anaesthetic”. I remember repeating this over and over. Not only did I not want to be asleep, I really didn’t want to be on my own, I knew Joe could be with me if I was awake.
Whilst they are preparing for the surgery, they asked me to take off my jewellery. I had been wearing a necklace through my pregnancy of a little Fox, which represented Felicity, my baby in my belly. I didn’t want them to lose it and wanted Joe to have it. They got Joe to come to the door of the operating theatre to see me before the surgery. They said to Joe “go and say goodbye” and handed him my Fox necklace. Joe took this as something was wrong with me and he was going to lose the both of us. I will never forget the look on his face when he gave me a kiss.
By this point, my Mum has been left in an empty room. Joe goes back to her and explains what they had just said.
One of the doctors had obviously been listening to me objecting to the general anaesthetic and had been watching the baby’s heart rate. She suddenly said that the heart rate had steadied and I would be able to stay awake for it. I was so relieved and asked for Joe to come back. The midwife runs back to get Joe and now my Mum is completely alone.
I have no memory of getting undressed or having any injections. Joe was suddenly by my side and the screen was up. The next thing, they are holding up this massive purple baby, who was screaming. I remember thinking “why is she so swollen?! And purple?!”. They brought her over to us and although she was swollen and very purple, I knew she was ok. She was mine and she was ok. I tried to hold her but struggled. They took her to be weighed and then they brought her back so Joe could hold her. It was then that the senior midwife came up to us and explained that the blood results were showing low oxygen levels and that she would have to go to neonatal intensive care. She had literally just been born and I told Joe that he had to go with her as she needed one of us there. Joe left me and I just led there, the theatre was so much quieter, all the shouting had stopped and my husband and my baby had gone. I couldn’t believe what had just happened.
All I wanted was my Mum.
The senior midwife came back and reassured me that Felicity was being looked after and Joe was there.
She then said to me “someone was definitely looking down on you today”. And I felt all weird again. The Woodlands room and her saying that, all I could think of was my lovely Dad.
The surgeon finishes putting me back together and explained that as he had to act so quickly to save the baby, I may experience trauma to my organs. Sorry what? Trauma to my organs?! I will take that for my baby’s life.
I was taken into a recovery room and both the midwives were there. My Mum came in and I was so happy to see her. I started to shake uncontrollably. And they explained that it was the shock setting in.
I remember saying to my Mum, can you get my phone? I need to ring my best friend, she will freak if I haven’t told her that I have had her! I remember having the most surreal conversation with her. And I remember not knowing what to say was happening with Felicity, because I didn’t know and I wasn’t with her.
Joe came back to update us and explained that they thought Felicity may have brain damage due to a lack of oxygen. Again, I kept saying, “no she will be fine”, “I know she is ok”. Joe kept saying that I needed to prepare myself.
Felicity was put in a cold incubator (cold as if people have brain injuries, when they are cold, it slows the process down and doesn’t make it worse). And they did 12 hours of brain wave tests.
I was taken to the ward, wheeled on a bed into a maternity ward. A room full of Mums with their babies. I felt totally lost as I didn’t have my baby and I was so exhausted. The senior midwife said she would just go and speak to the ward sister and they moved me to a little ward with 2 other Mums, whose babies were also in intensive care. The rest of the night and morning were a blur. Joe texted me to say he was going home and the tested showed her brain was ok but they would do more checks in the morning. My phone battery died and the painkiller wore off; I have never ever felt as much pain as I did after my c-section.
The next 5 days in hospital are hard to piece together. I remember some bits really well and others I can barely recall. Felicity had an infection and needed 5 days’ worth of antibiotics but she was OK. No brain damage. And she was back with me on the ward after 2 days. 2 long days without her and visiting her in intensive care. But I know how lucky I am. I am so grateful to all the staff that looked after us. I am so grateful to Joe for looking after us, running his business in between visiting hours and taking Felicity for me for an hour so I could sleep. Strangely, those 5 days are some of the worst and fondest memories of Felicity being a new-born.
I’m not embarrassed to say that I have subsequently suffered from Post Traumatic Stressed Disorder (PTSD) since this happened. When I was 16, I lost both my Grandparents and my Dad within 6 months. So to have this happen at the birth of my first child, I really suffered afterwards. But I am OK now.
I asked for help and talked about it a lot.
I now look back at the birth with a totally different mindset and I am just so in love with Felicity and our little family that it makes me so proud of how we all dealt with it.
Big love to you all,
Love Jessie x
Hello! I'm Jess.
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