Sunday, 24 June 2012

Marmaduke arrives!

Felix Boucher Brown.
18th June 2012.
36 weeks 4 days

(Boucher is his middle name)

Oh my.

At about 6.30 am on Monday I felt a weird twinge in my ladyparts and decided I needed the toilet.

By the time I got to the bathroom I was drenched. "oh" was about all I could manage. I sat on the toilet and leaked for a while and then I finally woke up and realised that what was going on was actually going on.

"Ray, I think My waters broke"

Ray woke up in an instant and became super organised.

Called the hospital, got my bag, got my notes, fetched the car, forgot my bag, forgot my notes, got me, notes and bag into car.

It was a beautiful morning, the streets were almost empty.

We arrived on the labour ward and were put into a small room. questioned and strapped to the monitor.

An evil doctor explained that I needed an internal and proceeded to evilly torture me with his evilness. "Only 1cm but I did a little stretch" Owowowow!. I may sue. Or send the boys round after him.

 Before things became scary.

We were continually monitored for a while and just as they were about to STOP monitoring, and let me labour untethered, baby's heart decelerated. And again and again with each strengthening contraction. So the monitor was left on.

The day continued and the contractions became stronger and stronger.

I was given entonox to suck on. Ahhhhh. But what I really wanted was to get up and move.

Baby's heart kept decelerating.

By the evening I was in heaps of pain and being coached in efficient entonox use by Ray who had used it for both his endoscopy and otherendoscopy.

Baby's heart began deceleratiing below 60 bpm and the midwives began preparing me for surgery "just in case".


"My" midwife K (who was there for George and Little Poppet, and who I have had appointments with throughout this pregnancy) just happened to come on shift to cover for someone and stayed with us from then on.

There were some rather surreal moments with doctors trying to get me to make informed consent and me trying to bury the pain under the entonox.

Wow. No one told me that getting the spinal going took SO LONG. Contractions at this point were back to back (and I was only 2cm dilated!) and I couldn't stop sucking on the mask.

Finally there was no more pain. They laid me down and pulled up the curtain. Ray appeared at my shoulder and kissed me.

At 11:20pm we heard our son cry loud and long.

I think I said, "he's alive".

Ray went to see him and there it was. A large true knot in the cord. (we have video - coming soon)

The midwives were quite impressed.

They were also impressed with the "chunkiness of the cord".

K bought the bit of knotted cord to show me: I saw his cord before I saw my son!

And then there he was on my chest in front of me.

Our son.




Are you crying yet?
I'm crying again!

2 hours later I was finally stitched up after what the surgeon described as "oozing" but which Ray described as a huge puddle of blood under the table. I don't think it was that bad because I'm not anaemic and I didn't need a transfusion.

Not the birth experience we wanted. But the very exact birth we wanted.

Because it saved his life.

If my waters hadn't broke early I wouldn't have been monitored so closely and the decelerations might not have been picked up. I might have laboured my beautiful natural birth and most likely delivered a dead baby boy killed by his own cord.

I HAD to go into labour early and I HAD to have that c-section to get my real live boy.

So that's ok then.

Felix had been a name on my list since I began making name lists for this boy. Ray wasn't keen, but then again Ray wasn't keen on any boy names. Despite hours of internetting on name sites he couldn't find one. Not one. And then he found one which he didn't really like but he felt he had to contribute to the list.

Felix means lucky or happy.

And this boy is lucky. These parents are lucky. The way the day went was lucky.

And he will be happy.


 Bundle of fluffy love

 A room corner of a hospital ward with a view.

 Skin to skin after one of our most successful booby feeds.

 Proud daddy. Very proud indeed.
Fatherhood has been a revelation so far for Ray.
He is overcome by the force of his emotions.

Just me in a hospital ward for 6. Bliss.
Midwives on tap.
Peace and quiet.
Sadly it only lasted one day! 

 Who needs a crib?

 Well I suppose sometimes I have to let him go...
But not far.

Felix is a sleepy little boy! He is jaundiced which makes him lethargic but he also has some weird aversion to the boob! He will launch himself at my nipples, suck briefly and then shove himself away with the most disgusted look on his face! It's so comical. And frustrating too.

I have had the most amazing help in the hospital from a team of midwives determined to help us breastfeed.
I have been woken every 3 hours to try this and try that, to pump, to manhandle poor Felix into all sorts of contortions. A special care baby nurse spent most of a night with us helping. They are wonderful.

We, on the other hand, are not there yet.

As of Friday morning I absolutely HAD to get out of that hospital. Most of the other women in that ward had been coming and going in a matter of hours, even other c-section women. 
And there I was, stuck.
I had a huge hor-moany teary meltdown and was scooped into the arms of a midwife who began negotiations to get us home.

We promised to feed our boy as often as we could. Pump, breast, formula. Goat tethered in the garden. 
Ray dashed out to buy supplies.
(no, you can't buy a goat at 8.30 pm in Torquay on a friday - whodathaughtit?)

We got home about 10pm.

And collapsed into a squidgy heap of family bliss.

I think we emerged from bed at about midday on saturday just in time for my Mum to turn up, rubber gloves in hand to "help". (Ray has been alone with a kitchen for a week - imagine)
And then a midwife visit to take poor Felix's blood once again to test his Jaundice levels - still below that line!
Woo hoo.

Right now our priority is a jaundice-free, alert little boy. And that means feeding lots. Pumped milk and formula. Oh and sun bathing by the window too. Not that there's much in the way of sun...

But we haven't finished wrestling with the boob yet!

Any tips on how to get my little sucker on the boob full time after using bottles for a few weeks would be much appreciated!

 Let's try a nipple shield.

 Nah, lets try daddy...


The very worst thing is that I have come out of hospital with an awful cold that seems to be seeping into my chest. Oh. my. god coughing with your gut trying to heal is so very very much NOT fun!

Last night Ray sent me to bed at 9.30 and I slept until 2.30am when he came to bed with Felix. 
the most sleep I have had in months.
There are definite benefits to pumping/supplementing.
As of last nights poonami Felix has just started pooing regular poos.  One rather scared Ray dealt with the poonami all alone too!
And as of this morning the jaundice seems to be improving.
Pure bliss.


  1. I normally just lurk but I had to comment out of the shadows to tell you congrats on Felix's arrival!


  2. Congratulations!! He is just gorgeous. : )

  3. So happy for your family and sending many warm thoughts from this side of the pond!

  4. So freaking wonderful!!! I am over the moon for you guys! And yes, I cried my eyes out!! Xoxoxo

  5. I am so incredibly happy for you all! I kept wondering what was going on since you didn't post a weekly post. Many congratulations. I am so excited for you all!

  6. What wonderful and happy news! Welcome to the world Felix!

  7. CONGRATULATIONS from the rooftops!!!

    I love the name Felix, and I loved Felix the cat! I think we had a video game where we played on his capers.

    I am glad he survived the true knot. So glad for the monitoring.

    I understand the concept of birth experience, but what I have understood is that ultimately the well-being of mummy and baby matters. Am so happy to see Ray stepping in so good, and that he is being so brave at the pooathons.

    Just wanted to say that my baby was jaundiced too, and her jaundice went down only when her feeding (and hence pooping and peeing) those poopathons are good.

    Take Care!

  8. I love the photos - you made a beautiful boy, Barbara. Congratulations once again.

    George struggled with feeding in the beginning due to being tongue-tied so he had pumped bottles for the first 2 weeks and then once he got his tongue fixed he went to the boob full-time - I just kept latching him before each feed for about 10 minutes so he'd get used to the notion of sucking. Eventually, we both figured it out. It's not easy though - hang in there. Sounds like you're in very good hands.

    Welcome to Felix - he is a lucky boy indeed. Having birthed a boy who died due to a cord accident, I know how scary that must have been. I'm so relieved everything worked out.

  9. Five good things all in one!

    I'm just so delighted (and relieved and excited) for you. Congratulations and welcome, Felix!

    This is so important: Not the birth experience we wanted. But the very exact birth we wanted.

    Hugging a pillow on your middle when you cough helps (some), though, yes, that's hard when you are holding a baby. Hot lemon and honey for the cough?

    Having had uterine surgery and three c-sections, I recommend really taking it as easy as you can in the first few weeks (and following the suggested limits on lifting). Makes for a much better healing situation (that and keeping the incision clean and dry.

    I never managed to produce enough milk (did all the things I was supposed to). The more I was able to put aside the guilt and pressure, the more I could appreciate and enjoy what breastfeeding I did do. And, yes, the poop should be a good sign for the jaundice!

  10. I am so overwhelmed with happiness for you and Ray! And yes, I am crying! Welcome sweet Felix, you are so, so loved! I'm glad all went well and he is healthy.

  11. YAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! I AM crying thank you very much - for you and for me and for all of us who have lost and finally birthed a baby who is alive. Do we all say or think "he (or she) is alive" after the we hear the first cry? He is beautiful and I am so happy for you. WOO HOO!!!!! xoxo

  12. Yup definitely crying! Felix is just so gorgeous and his name is simply perfect. So lucky, I'm sorry about the true knot that must have been heart stopping to see. I am very, very pleased for you and Ray and for Felix, having such lovely parents.

    Reuben had jaundice and it really complicated the whole breast feeding thing. A midwife on the ward stuffed a bottle of formula in him before I was even asked (cats bum mouth, not that I'm at all anti-formula as J was a formula / bottle fed baby once she left NICU but it would have been nice to have been asked!)

    Have you got one of those lovely boppy pillows? Those were a great help to me. Stroking around the mouth? That sometimes helps them to open wide to latch. I had supply issues and found that the Mother Love supplement helped. Might an SNS help?

  13. Oh and wasn't he an amazing weight for a 36 weeker!? Go Felix!

  14. Didn't cry until I got the picture of Ray and Felix. Now the tears are flowing freely and joyously.

  15. Beautifully written Barbara...almost felt like I was along for the ride. Love all the photo's and so nice of you to share. Looks like Ray is a pro already. Rest as much as possible and enjoy that handsome little boy. xo

  16. I'm here from LFCA and you have me in tears of joy. So very happy for you and I love the name Felix and that it means lucky & happy. What a beautiful boy you have! Congratulations! Also really love your humor - especially wanting to send the boys round to take care of that evil doctor that gave you an internal!

  17. Wow, congratulations! What a story. What a gorgeous baby! (lfca)

  18. Congratulations! Your boy was born a few days after mine. I have no advice on the feeding. I am also struggling! He is really adorable and I'm glad everything worked out.

  19. I am experiencing Euphoria in honor of Felix! I always feel a sense of, well...I dunno...FANatacism (sp?) when a BLM gives birth to a healthy living baby. As if someone on our "team" finally scored and I jump up from the bench screaming and fist pumping! By golly, there's hope yet. Congratulations to you and Ray both on such a gorgeous, living, breathing, bouncing baby boy! SCORE!!!

  20. Wonderful news. Welcome little are stunningly beautiful xo

  21. Late to the party as always but YAY!
    Best news EVER!

  22. just saw this today, Barb! so happy for you and Ray! Congratulations and welcome to Felix!!



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