Welcome Lyra!

Lyra Grace Natalie Hickling made a swift and easy(ish) entrance to the world on October 8th at 9:19am.










She weighed 9lbs 4oz but is tiny, so I’m not sure how that works! She fits the babygrow I was given when we had Theodore – he only ever wore it once, as he was just too long for newborn size.









I wasn’t in hospital long and her birth was way easier than expected.

I had a difficult pregnancy because I suffered from Polyhydramnios, or in English – too much amniotic fluid. My bump was massive, I had pain everywhere and because of my “obese – high risk” status, I was told I would need to be induced at 40 weeks and that I would be given an epidural as soon as I went in. As I got nearer to the date, my blood pressure and anxiety became an issue, so they decided that it would be better off all around to induce at 39 weeks. I am a firm believer in letting women choose what they want and need in terms of support/drugs and so on during labour, but I also believe that not “experiencing” the birth of Theodore due to a spinal block was partly responsible for my post natal depression, so I was really sad, and upset that the choice was being taken away from me by a consultant that looked at my weight and decided that should I need an epidural or spinal block at some point, I was too fat to make it a success if it needed to be done quickly (I was only a couple of pounds heavier at that point than when I had my spinal block very quickly with Theodore!).

I arrived at the hospital at midday on Wednesday 7th and after telling the midwife how sad and anxious I was about the epidural, she just said “do you want to just see how it goes?” and that was that – no epidural! I experienced the glamour of the induction procedure at about 2:30pm and then put my feet up and did some crochet! Around tea time, I started to feel some twinges, so we got mobile and walked around the block and around the maternity ward. It got quite bad, but the labour ward was busy and so they couldn’t move me. I was given paracetamol and/or co codamol and told to rest and that it was probably fake labour caused by the induction hormones. We tried to watch telly (GBBO final was on) but it was difficult because they were monitoring Lyra’s heartbeat with a belt and we were struggling to get enough of a good trace. I managed to get some sleep but was woken up to be monitored again at 2am (4 hourly monitoring). The pain was worse and the pills didn’t really do much and drifted in and out of sleep. What happened next is quite blurry – I asked for gas and air, and was told to wait as they were doing the handover between shifts (must have been around 7am). An Irish Maternity assistant came to see me and said “I couldn’t leave you without this until we’ve finished handing over, this will be quick, second babies don’t wait”. I did OK with the gas and air and they started to look for a labour room for me – I can’t remember how ready I was, but it was more than 4cm. Just before 9am, I felt like I needed to push so I told Darren and he went to find someone, she came in, examined me and said “can you push the alarm please”, he thought she meant the call button and she said, “not that one, the red one!” I was wheeled into a room that was not ready for me – they were gathering equipment and supplies while I was pushing! Only 20 minutes later Lyra was delivered and the midwife had to get changed bacause the polyhydramnios caused somewhat of a tsunami!

This experience was so different to that of Theodore’s birth and I feel like I’ve been rid of some demons now that I know what a normal birth is like. Still hurt like hell, but in a good way!






We were allowed to go home that day, but of course her aunties couldn’t wait to see her!








I can’t believe how good I felt afterwards – I mean, look at me!!! This is what happens when you are no longer anxious and uncomfortable from carrying a baby plus her own private swimming pool!








Theodore is doing well so far at being a big brother; He’s adorable! He’s been trying to give her presents, but she’s more interested in sleeping 🙂











She already has us all wrapped around her little finger – how could she not with that angelic face?

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