Marlie’s Birth Story

Wednesday 28th September 2016 started out like any other day. An unwillingness to get out of bed for the school run, fighting with Miller to get his teeth cleaned and ready for school, a hectic school run, followed by a reflexology treat, work and errands.

I was doing extra work that week in preparation for my due date on 10th October. Little did I know my planning would be coming in extra handy!

3pm I picked Mills up as usual and we popped to the supermarket to get some food for the evening.

I’d been getting a few twinges through the day, but hadn’t really thought anything of it. I’d had acupuncture on Monday and reflexology that morning, so I put it down to that. But as the day went on the twinges were getting more intense and I started to think it could be the beginning of something. There were a few occasions while on the phone to work colleagues where I had to take a breath and when I picked Mills up I was struggling to keep up with the conversation at the school gates. Carrying the food shop to the car wasn’t very easy either. And looking back it’s all very obvious what was happening, but two weeks before my due date, I was oblivious.

4pm Home, entertaining Miller and dinner prep commences. But by the time Dave comes home at 6pm, I needed time out. The twinges were getting more intense and rushing around was making it worse. (I’d tidied the house, prepped for the next day, and set up my bedroom for the night ahead) So I figured I just needed to have a bit of a chill. I rang mum, who was on stand by to have Mills, to let her know I might be in the early stages. Cue excited squeals down the phone and my reassurance that it was probably a false alarm but to pack a bag just in case.

Dave took over with Mills and I went upstairs. I’d already set up my bedroom for a night of being in labour. Closed the blinds, set up fairy lights and candles, a bit of aroma, and my iPod (is it me or does that sound as ancient as a Walkman?) was set up with Hypnobirthing affirmations. I had a shower, shaved my legs (all the necessities!) and proceeded to bounce on my ball and listen to the soothing sounds of my Hypnobirthing CD, whilst repeating the affirmations to myself over and over again.

Now this is where it all goes blurry. Between then and Marlie being born, there’s calm, bouncing, affirmations, positivity, goodnight kisses, reassurance, visualisations, confusion, a lot of shit, (in hindsight downing pineapple juice to clear my system for a long night of labour wasn’t such a good idea!), 8pm a midwife call (Conversation cut short – me: ‘I think I’m in labour, but I’m not sure, there’s no regular contractions, but I’m getting some pushing sensations.’ Midwife: ‘OK, if you get the uncontrollable need to push, call an ambulance.’), 8.20pm 999 call (me: ‘I think I’m in labour, but I’m not sure. There’s blood. I think something might be wrong. I feel like I need to push but I don’t know whether I’m in labour? I’m so sorry if I’m wasting your time. Etc, etc. [still sat on the toilet thinking I need the mother of all pineapple juice induced shits] Operator: ‘OK, maybe get off the toilet and put some towels on the floor. It does sound like your baby is coming.’ [In the background ‘how much longer until the ambulance arrives?])

Three paramedics arrive to see me on my knees leaning over the bath, half naked, mucus plug gone, waters gone, baby coming, pineapple juice shits coming. Me ‘I’m so sorry about this. I’m not sure what’s going on.’ Paramedics ‘Your baby is coming, we just need to get you to hospital. After your next contraction, we need to get you into the ambulance.’ Once I knew I was about to give birth I was totally focused. The worry that something was wrong with the baby was out and I was in full on hypnobirthing mode.

[PJ bottoms on and I’m off down our steep stairs leaving the paramedics in the dust behind me.]

At this point I’ll fill you in on what’s going on in the background.

On the occasions that Dave has asked if I’m ok. I reply, ‘Yeah, I’m fine, Just sort Mills out, I’m pretty sure I’m in labour but its only just started so it could be all night.’ So Dave is reading an excitable Mills bedtime stories, all set up for a long night ahead. I’m silently back and forth from ball bouncing and ‘omming’ in the bedroom, to the bathroom thinking the pushing sensations are just the pineapple juice in action. On the final toilet trip there’s blood and a whoosh. Mucus plug and waters breaking are obvious now. And it’s then I call Dave (in my calmest, protective mother voice) who stands at the bathroom door looking shocked and disheveled (in his pants I might add) Me: ‘You’d better get dressed, I need to call an ambulance, tell mum to get over quickly.’ iPad comes out for Mills, Mother called [who is now rushing around packing her bag, which she didn’t do on the 6pm call opting to watch TV instead!).

Back to it. (around 8.30/8.40pm)

I’ve rushed down the stairs. (they’re ridiculously steep with no hand rail!) The paramedics are still upstairs ready to escort me down the stairs. In shock that I’ve disappeared. I stop at the dining room to reassure Miller that ‘Mummy’s fine darling. I think the baby is coming so hopefully you’ll get to meet it in the morning. Be a good boy. Nanny’s on her way. Love you see you in the morning.’ He’s looking a little shellshocked, but the paramedics have been wonderful with him so he’s not as scared as he could’ve been.

Another contraction in the hallway and out the door. No shoes. In my PJs. A street full of neighbours wondering why there’s an ambulance blocking the street. (it’s a stupidly narrow street that should be one way!) I dash to the ambulance, shouting behind me ‘Leave as soon as Mum gets here.’ to Dave. At that point, Mum arrives, having dumped her car down the street. Me: ‘Quick get into Miller. Send Dave.’

I’m now in the ambulance, paramedics have caught up and there’s another contraction. (I’m just hoping the neighbours can’t hear the groaning sounds I’m making)

The paramedics.

I can’t praise these three men enough. It’s a little off putting when you’re half naked, vulnerable, in a mess, shitting yourself and, unknowingly, giving birth in your bathroom. But that lasted a split second thanks to their amazing presence. All three had an instant calming effect on the house. Great with Mills. Reassuring me. I can’t thank them enough.

Blue lights on. We’re off. 80mph + on the short journey to the hospital. All the way I have one holding my hand giving me an encouraging ‘you’ve got this’ pep talk and the other helping me breathe through contractions to try and help slow things down.

Poor Dave is left behind in the dust. No idea why, but he wasn’t allowed in the ambulance, so he’s following behind in our car.

The journey seemed to last more than minutes and I could now feel a head coming down. So much so the PJs came off and the eyes popped out of the paramedics head, followed by ‘how much longer until we’re there?’ to the driver. I’m guessing Marlie’s head may have been on show!

We arrive at the front of the hospital. Thank the lord it’s a quiet, dark evening and hardly anyone is around. I get wheeled through to delivery as the baby’s head comes further down. (blanket hiding my modesty)

[Dave had lost us in the traffic – dam cars wouldn’t let him out – so he’s now trying to find a parking space]

The midwife is waiting at the door to the delivery suite with a big smile. A familiar face I’m so grateful to see. Me: ‘I think the head’s about to come out.’ Midwife: ‘OK, let’s take a look. Oh yes. No time to get you on to the bed, baby’s coming.’

On the ambulance bed I continue to push, with the help of the wonderful midwife. And, just as her head comes out, Dave rushes in [baby’s head hanging out, paramedics holding my hands, midwives rushing around] Then she’s out. 8.52pm. Screaming like a banshee, she’s put into my arms. I look between her legs. Me: ‘It’s a boy’ Midwife: ‘look again.’ [Umbilical cord moved] me: ‘It’s a girl. Oh my god.’

And that’s Marlie Mavis James Guscott’s birth story. All 7lbs 9oz of her early, quick delivery.

It seems ridiculous now that I didn’t know I was about to give birth. But it all happened so quickly I just couldn’t work out how it could be it. I just felt disappointment at the start that I wasn’t coping as well with the contractions. When I gave birth to Mills I’d been in the water until the end and then had an epidural to push him out. My mucus plug and waters didn’t show until the end of an all day labour. So everything was new and different to what I’d experienced. I’d also been more mentally prepared this time with the hypnobirthing course and listening to the affirmations had worked even better than I’d imagined. (I’m sure it’s this that got things going so quickly) When I had my show on the toilet and I saw blood my head was so far removed from the fact I was giving birth, that I thought something was wrong with the baby. When I rang the ambulance it wasn’t because of the pushing it was because I thought something was seriously wrong. I also hadn’t experienced the intense pushing sensations with Mills so the feeling of needing to pooh didn’t feel right. (even though it’s how it’s described!) I had visions of the baby coming out the wrong way at the time. Hilarious now I look back. But I was seriously so far away in mind from where I was in real life, it was the only possible answer.

The whole thing was quite the experience and it’s a funny story to tell. But it took us all by shock. The fact she was two weeks early was another factor to my calmness. But the hypnobirthing course made sure I didn’t panic and really helped get me through the intensity of the situation. Yes it hurt like fuck, but I was able to focus on my baby moving down the birth path rather than the pain, which made all the difference. Thankfully, because there was certainly no time for pain relief. I had some gas and air in the ambulance, but I couldn’t concentrate on what I needed to do so I gave that up pretty quickly.

By 9pm my placenta was out, I was stitched up and we were on the phone to Miller telling him about his new baby sister. I was ready to leave the hospital right there and then, but it was a busy night on the ward and I wasn’t allowed to leave until Marlie had been seen by a doctor. Despite having to rush off to another emergency labour, I couldn’t be happier with the service we had from our hospital and I’m grateful everyday for our wonderful NHS. Thank you to all of the staff at Worcester Royal.

Thankfully Mills was allowed to come up and see us while we waited in delivery to be moved onto the ward. It was just what we all needed. Mills got to meet his baby sister and we all got to be together for the first time. A perfect moment that I’ll never forget.

Life Update – a week of five’s

It’s a busy time of year for us. Most of our family’s birthday’s are in the first three months of the year. So it’s been all parties and family get togethers so far. This week happens to be a special week for me and my boy. So I thought I’d do a quick life update:

I TURN 35

I know, I know. Don’t look a day over 21 do I! But yes I am 35 tomorrow. It’s a bit shit having a Birthday on a Monday when your big baby has to go to school. But Mum always books all our birthday’s off school (whether you like it or not!) (haha!) So I’m meeting her for brunch then I’m taking full advantage having her around to have Marlie so I can have an hour to myself in the hairdressers. Can’t wait to get the mop chopped.

Oh how different birthday treats are these days hey. I’m so looking forward to that hour of peace and pampering and cake with my boys and baby girl when they all get home.

5 MONTHS OF MARLIE

She’s bloody 5 months on Tuesday. It feels like it’s flown by, but I can’t imagine our lives without this beautiful bundle of happiness. She really does complete our family. She wakes up in the morning with a smile and doesn’t stop. As long as she’s getting your full attention of course. She’s bloody hard work, let me tell you. But I’m taking a very different approach to this baby malarky this time and I’m trying hard not to take any of it too seriously. We’re surviving. And that’s as good as it gets right now. I’m still feeding her myself. Something I didn’t think I’d be saying 5 months on. But it feels so good and so natural with her I’m no where near ready to give up our special bond yet.

She laughs at everything and loves watching us all running around her. Miller keeps her entertained. Her face lights up when he interacts with her. It’s pretty special.

I never knew I had so much love inside me. But I feel like her arrival has not only given me a new found love for her, but it’s tripled my love for Miller and Dave too. My family is my everything and I feel so very grateful for all three of them.

MILLER TURNS 5

How is this happening? Miller is turning Five on Thursday. He’s a fully fledged primary schooler, going on high schooler, with an attitude to rival the fiercest 13 year old. Kevin ain’t got nothin on Mills. I don’t know where it comes from. Well, I do. I’ll blame his Dad. But I know it’s me! He’s fierce, he’s confident, he’s got a quick wit and the intelligence to out smart any adult. He’s flying through his first year of school with shining stars. I can’t believe how much he’s learnt. He reads books to us. Which is very special. The pride you see in him when he reads a new word is wonderful. A lovely new experience for us as parents. He’s also got a beautiful soul and I feel so incredibly lucky to get to watch him grow into this amazing person he’s becoming.

I feel sad that he’s going to school on his birthday. But he’s excited that he gets to take in sweets for his class mates. To celebrate his birthday he asked for a Disco so he can dance to Olly Murs with his family. And that’s what he’s got. He’s invited a couple of friends from his class too. But the family have been fully briefed to get their dancing shoes on. That’s Grandparents, aunties, uncles and the cousins. I hope they like Olly Murs.

I’ve been putting messages out on Instagram to try and get Olly Murs to send Mills a birthday message. It’s not going well. But I’ll keep trying until Thursday and see what happens. We’ve got him tickets to see him Live in the summer. I can’t wait to tell him. He’s going to be so excited. xx

MUMMY MONDAY – REAL MAMAS MARY AND EMMA – SUPERCHARGED CLUB

Good morning! How is it Monday again? Marlie will be 7 weeks on Wednesday and we’re even closer to Christmas. How is this happening? It feels like it was only a couple of weeks ago we were first coming home with her. All these years of wishing time away is coming back to haunt me.

Anyway, I am super excited about Christmas. Usually I’d be planning from September, but a new baby got in the way. So I am very late to the festive train, but I’m ready to make up for that. I’ll be posting Christmas updates on my instagram and Facebook account if you fancy finding out what I’ve got going on. (search Mission2Mum for both)

I’ve got a double whammy real, super Mama’s Mummy Monday for you this week. The amazing ladies from SuperCharged Club, Mary and Emma, have answered my questions and I’m really excited to have them on the blog.

I just love what these badass women have created in Supercharged club. It’s exactly what you need to kick start a healthy diet and fitness programme after having the kiddos. There’s no bullshit fads with these two, it’s all about informative, motivational and inspiring advice to help you turn your life around. I love the whole concept and I will be joining the Supercharged club very soon. (once I get my head around this multiple kids malarky!) Head on over to the website ‘click here‘ to find out more. Let’s find out what the girls have got to say…

Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge

Getting to know you

Name: Mary Meadows (left in the picture)

Where can we catch you on social: @superchargedclub @badasshappylifecoach

Website: www.superchargedclub.co.uk

Business: Supercharged Club – empowering women to be the best, badass version of themselves!

Mama to: Albie aged 4 ¾

What’s your wardrobe must have: leggings and anything with glitter on.

Your perfect way to relax: long soak in the bath with lots of potions and lotions and a facemask.

Currently reading/watching/listening to: Cherry Healey’s podcasts, and reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Proudest moment of your life: seeing Albie dancing on stage at the Brighton Dome.

Words you live by: BE KIND.

Your must have product: paw paw lip balm.

Being a Mama

What do you love most about being a Mummy: the amazing conversations we have together and the fact that he helps me see the wonder of the world every day!

What could you do without: the daily struggle of shoes.

What 5 words best describe your birth story: frightening, painful, relief, miracle, wonderful.

What should every Mama have in the birthing room: music – I had Michael Buble playing!

What got you through the first weeks with a new baby: I have no idea! Think it was purely instinct and quite a bit of googling.

Funny things Albie does: he shouts out in the night if his duvet has fallen off ‘mummy snuggle me up!’ its so cute! And gives me spare kisses into my bag when I drop him off at school in case I miss him.

Most embarrassing moment since becoming a Mum: breastpads falling out on a night out with the girls, all glammed up, standing at the bar…

The one product you couldn’t live without now you’re a Mum: coffee.

How do you keep Albie entertained: outside in the parks, and south downs, nothing a stick and a run around in the park wont help!

How did you decide on his name? we had it picked out for many years.

Where do you shop for him: Marks and Spencers, and online in small businesses.

Best piece of advice you could give other Mamas: Trust your instinct and try not to compare your child to others

Thank you Mary. I’m so with you on Paw Paw. Fave lip balm ever. And don’t get me started on breast pads!

Over to you Emma…

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Name: Emma Fullwood

Where can we catch you on social: @superchargedclub @zippedupmumsemma

Website: www.superchargedclub.co.uk

Business: Supercharged Club – empowering women to be the best, badass version of themselves! 6 week online missions, workshops, events and talks

Mama to: Hugo aged 5

What’s your wardrobe must have: sportsbra.

Your perfect way to relax: at the gym my mamame time!

Currently reading: ‘A Happier Hour’ by Rebecca Weller

Proudest moment of your life: giving birth.

Words you live by: never give up on a bad day! Can be applied to everything!

Your must have product: eyebrow pencil

Being a Mama

What do you love most about being a Mummy: when he says ‘I love you Mama’.

What could you do without: waking in the night!

What 5 words best describe your birth story: traumatic, bloody, scary, life changing, unforgettable.

What should every Mama have in the birthing room: gas and air!

What got you through the first weeks with a new baby: it’s a blur, don’t know how I got through them!

Funny things Hugo does: he wont take the cat costume off other than to go to school!

Most embarrassing moment since becoming a Mum: wetting myself in the park.

The one product you couldn’t live without now you’re a Mum: wet wipes.

How do you keep Hugo entertained: tv – ceebebbies saved my life!

How did you decide on Hugo’s name: it came from a character in Home & away and it was the only one we could agree on.

Where do you shop for your kids: h&M

Best piece of advice you could give other Mamas: make sure you get some mama me time whatever that looks like for you, and as often as you can!

Girls – thank you! I’ve loved having you on the blog and love what you’re doing for Mama’s everywhere. Thank you. xx

MUMMY MONDAY – REAL MAMA – JEMMA from Mummas Health Hub

Good morning! Well, it’s been a little while hasn’t it. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ll know that we were surprised with a quick and early delivery of our baby girl at the end of September and it kinda turned our world upside down. We’re getting into the groove almost 6 weeks on, but it’s been a whirlwind. I’ll fill you in on the birth and our first weeks very soon. But first I wanted to get this fab Mummy Monday up for some Monday inspiration.

I’d like to welcome the absolutely gorgeous and inspiring Jemma from Mummas Health Hub. I’ve been following Jemma on Instagram for a while now and just love her positive, inspiring words and posts. She is also a really lovely lady and incredibly supportive of other Mama’s and their businesses. I’ve been introduced to so many new fab Mama’s thanks to Jemma’s shares.

She recently launched the Mummas Health Hub Pack of Hacks – a set of 21 postcards to help us busy Mama’s fit in exercise. Each card has a different exercise / fit tip on and they’re only £12.95! Who needs a gym when you have innovative Mama’s bringing the gym to your kitchen!

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I have great pleasure in handing over to Jemma for this weeks Mummy Monday…

Jemma, founder of Mumma's Health Hub, photographed in London Fields, Hackney.

Jemma, founder of Mumma’s Health Hub, photographed in London Fields, Hackney.

Getting to know you

Name: Jemma Thomas

Where can we catch you on social: Instagarm @mummas_health_hub

Website: www.mummashealthhub.com

Business: Training and fitness

Mama to: Jude 5 and Buddy 10 months

What’s your wardrobe must have: Nicely fitting jeans and good work out gear.

Your perfect way to relax: Films and box sets, with no phone in sight to distract me as I’m terrible for double screening!

Currently reading/watching/listening to: Reading Jon Ronson ‘So You’ve been Publicly shamed,’ Watching –‘ The Night Of’ on Sky Atlantic, really addictive, Listening to Michael Kiwanuka

Proudest moment of your life: Has to be giving birth twice, sorry to be a cliché!

Words you live by: Just be nice

Your must have product: Tangle Teaser

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Being a Mama

What do you love most about being a Mummy: I love listening to Jude and hearing him say funny things and asking really inquisitive questions. Also watching Buddy and Jude interact even though there’s 4.5 years between then is so cute! The brotherly love is def there already.

What could you do without: 4.50am starts!!

What 5 words best describe your birth story: I was in control throughout. (thanks to hypnobirthing day course with The Yes Mum !!)

What should every Mama have in the birthing room: Straws, ice, (I munched through cups of the stuff) nice calming essential oil, kit kats, oh and some music.

What got you through the first weeks with a new baby: Another cliché but my husband, family and friends. We got so much support and encouragement from everyone. The hard times were hard, but made easier knowing we could call on people to be there if we needed them. Also I froze a few nice meals, that helped too.

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Funny things the boys do: Jude went through a stage of spelling out swear words, I couldn’t keep a straight face through him saying.. ‘I know how to spell shit – S-H-I-T.. ‘ he was so proud of himself!

Most embarrassing moment since becoming a Mum: Erm, I’m not sure I’m capable of being embarrassed anymore since giving birth twice and the various strange things you do when I labour, moo’ing, being naked in front of the whole room! Maybe just when Jude used to ask me really inappropriate things about people on trains, who were sat opposite us, ‘Mummy why does that man have a really big nose’ etc!

The one product you couldn’t live without now you’re a Mum: I really love coconut oil, it’s good for almost anything, I use Kokoso, it’s lovely to put on the baby after a bath.

How do you keep Jude and Buddy entertained: I ‘try’ to do funny voices to Buddy, that might keep him quiet for 5 minutes, and Jude loves being outside and making up games where we live in a secret den! So we find bushes in the park and pretend we live there, ha sounds weird I know!

How did you decide on the boy’s names: Jude was always a favourite and Buddy we just heard one day and both loved.

Where do you shop for your kids: Everywhere and anywhere really, online at cool little boutiques we’ve found through instagram, and also the Zara kids sale is great!

Best piece of advice you could give other Mamas: When you’re in a compete mess due to sleep deprivation or newborn settling issues (there are MANY!) Just remember it will pass and quickly, I promise. Oh and if you can get an hour to yourself, do something for you, go for a run, get your nails done.. it’s not selfish so don’t feel guilty.

Thank you so much Jemma. Loved sharing this insight into your world. You can buy Jemma’s exercise hack cards right ‘here‘. I’ll also be sharing more about these and my post baby exercise goals very soon. xx

Thanks also to the wonderful Emily Gray photography for these beaut pics of lovely Jemma. You can check out Emily’s pics on Insta @emilygrayphoto xx

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