Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ella's Birth Story

Tuesday 22nd April 2014, 22h00

Wyn and I are on the way to the hospital, for me to book in and settle down, so that the induction can be started in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

I had a wonderful “last pregnant day” today – this morning while Mia was at school I did some last grocery shopping, went for a last check-up at my gynea, finished off some admin work, then fetched Mia from school.  We went to my sister’s house for lunch with my parents, and then back home for a wonderful snuggle nap with Mia.

My in-laws arrived in the early evening, and we all went out for a steak dinner at Cattle Baron. (This is what Wyn and I did the night before Mia was born too!)  Then back home for me to collect my bags and say goodnight to Mia.  Luckily no tears, she’s very happy to have Oumi and Oupi with her.

I’m filled with nervous excitement – this is it! It’s time!

Tuesday, midnight

I’m all settled into the labour room.  Had to sign a whole lot of paperwork, and I have a friendly, elderly nurse looking after me.  I’m dressed in the hospital gown already, and they’re going to give me a sleeping pill now so that I can get some rest before the induction medication gets administered around 4am.

I got strapped to the foetal monitor machine, so cute listening to baby girl’s heart rate!  My blood pressure is a teeny bit high, around 140/85, but not concerning.

Wyn stayed with me til now, but he’s going home for some shut-eye too.  He’ll be back at 6am again. Wish he could stay here!

Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 5am.

Some sleeping pill, didn’t really work, I dozed on and off, but not a good proper sleep. Oh well!  The nurse woke me up at about 4h15 and put the drip in, which was quite painful, as the first vein she tried didn’t work well, so she had to redo it.  Then she inserted a gel vaginally, and told me to get some rest again, the anaesthetist will be coming at 6am to administer the epidural.

Couldn’t get much rest, morning tea time in the hospital is 4h45! Yawn. Let me eat a rusk.


Wyn’s here, and the doc has arrived for the epidural.  Eeeek! Even though I’ve been through this before and know it’s not really painful, I’m still nervous.  Avoiding looking at any of his instruments!


Epidural has been done, my legs are all numb and tingly, such a strange sensation.  The worst part of the epidural is the initial local anaesthetic injection which really stings, but after that I didn’t feel much except a pressure on my spine.

The anaesthetist tested it by using an ice-pack – letting me feel it on my arms and then on my legs and tummy.  My legs could feel the pressure but not the cold, however my tummy could feel the cold.  He adjusted something on the drip, and seemed satisfied.  In hindsight, how I wish he tested the icepack again!

My left leg is completely numb, can’t move it at all, my right leg has pins and needles, but I can move the leg and wiggle my toes.  I remember it was the same with Mia’s birth.

The nurse inserted the catheter, and I’m constantly strapped to the machine measuring baby’s heart rate and my contraction activity.  The nurse says the induction medication has definitely taken effect and I’m in the early stages of labour.  Yay!


My gynea, dr Jacquie Grassie, popped in just now, and manually broke my water.  Luckily the epidural has taken effect and I couldn’t feel a thing.

Wyn’s going to the coffee shop for some breakfast, and I was also brought breakfast, I was quite hungry, but didn’t want to eat too much, so didn’t have the toast or yoghurt, but enjoyed the scrambled eggs, bacon and mushrooms.

Now we wait!


Modern technology is so wonderful.  So nice to be able to send instant messages via WhatsApp to my mom and mom-in-law, to keep them updated on how I’m doing, and to find out how Mia is.  Have posted a pic of me in the hospital gown on Instagram and on FB, and getting so many good luck wishes.

The doc has checked on me, I’m having about 3 contractions in 10 minutes.  Baby girl’s head hasn’t dropped enough yet though, and I’m only 3cm dilated.  Doc has said she’ll be back in an hour, and if I haven’t progressed enough we’ll have to do a C-section.  The nurse has added something to my drip to help speed things up.

Such deja-vu, as this is exactly how it happened with Mia’s birth, and things suddenly happened very fast then, so I’m keeping the faith that it’ll happen now too.  However, I wasn’t prepared for the next turn of events…


I’m starting to feel the contractions.  It started as a mild crampy achey feeling, but has progressively been getting worse.  This isn’t supposed to happen!  That’s why I had an epidural done!  At first when I told the nurse, and she asked me how I would rate the pain on a scale of 1 – 10, I said a 4.  But it got worse, very fast!  Ouch ouch ouch!

The nurse turned the intensity of the epidural up, but it didn’t help at all.  I don’t know what went wrong with the epidural, but although my legs are numb, I’m feeling these contractions spread from my sides all around my back and grip me in a vice that feels frozen in time.

Somewhere through all this, I told Wyn that we are definitely not having any more children, I am done after this!


I’m literally in tears.  I’ve never felt pain like this before in my life.  It’s all-consuming, white-hot pain, it feels like I’m physically being torn in half.  This is way past a 10 out of 10 on the pain scale.  This is indescribable.

I’m moaning, my eyes are rolling back in my head, I’m swearing, I’m asking the Lord to help me, I wish I could just pass out!

Poor Wyn, there’s not much he can do to help me, he’s wetting facecloths for me to wipe my face and the coolness definitely helps momentarily.

The contractions grab me, get worse and worse until I think I’m going to faint, and then release me – but they’re getting more and more regular and more intense by the minute.

Dr Grassie was here now, she said she’s so sorry, sometimes the epidural just doesn’t work right.  She did an internal examination, and said I’m 8cm dilated, it’s happening, I must hang on for another hour.  She’s on her way to theatre to do a C-section and will come back to me afterwards.

Not sure if I can handle this for another hour…


The nurse has been watching me in wide-eyed alarm, and said she wants to do another internal exam to see how things have progressed.  Then, she looked even more wide-eyed, if possible, and said she can’t even do the check properly, baby’s head is right there, we’re ready for action, she’s going to get dr Grassie out of theatre before she starts the C-section.

There’s a flurry of activity as the room is prepped for labour and birth, and the midwife and paediatrician arrive.  I am beyond caring who sees or hears what, and with each contraction I moan, swear and cry and ask for help.


I’m pushing with all my might.  This is so hard.  I don’t know if I can do this.

Wyn’s standing by my head, I’m supporting my knees, and nurse and paed also by my knees.

Someone counts through each push.  It’s so exhausting. 

I don’t know if I’m even doing this right.  The doctors and nurses are cheering me on however, so maybe I’m doing okay.

Dr Grassie said she’s going to use the suction cup to assist in guiding baby out.

I’m pushing as though my life depends on it.


Dr Grassie says, “Okay Jess, here she comes, reach down and pull your baby out!”

Pure instinct took over, what an amazing experience, I reached down between my legs, took hold of my baby by her shoulders, she slipped out of me and I lifted her up onto my chest. “Oh baby, oh my darling little baby!”

And just like that, the pain of the contractions was gone, and pretty much forgotten too.

This moment, right here, is what it’s all about, the whole journey of pregnancy, the process of labour – it’s this little miracle, this human being that has grown inside me for nine months, that makes everything worthwhile. I am filled with such love I could just burst.  Thank you Jesus.

I look at Wyn and he’s looking on, amazed, and just as much in love.  I told him, that was amazing, I will do it again in a heartbeat!

After I cuddled her for a few moments after birth, the nurse and paed took her to a little crib next to my bed and checked her over.  All fine!  She weighs 2.8kg – tiny little one! She’s 50cm long. She scored 8/10 and then 9/10 on the Apgar test.  The paed is happy with her condition, she doesn’t need to go into the incubator immediately, Wyn and I can spend some time cuddling her and staring at her.

Welcome to the world, little Ella Jill Viljoen.  We’re so happy you’re here and part of our family. We love you to the moon and back!



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Introducing... Ella Jill Viljoen

Ella Jill Viljoen was born on Wednesday 23rd of April, at 11:58am.

Stats: 2.8kg, 50cm, Apgar score of 8/10 and 9/10.

Birth story coming soon!

We came home on Friday, and busy settling down nicely, we're all totally in love with this lil person. ♥

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Letter to Mia, and last bump piccie!

It's officially my last full day of being pregnant! So bittersweet.

I went for a check-up with dr Grassie, and all looks good for an induction.  I'm going to book into hospital tonight at 10pm, they start the drip medication at 11pm, then I sleep a while, then they do the gel medication at about 4am.  The anaesthetist will come do the epidural at 6am.  And baby Ella should arrive somewhere between 10am and 12pm!  Wow!!  Sounds like a brilliant plan, I do hope all goes smoothly.

Tomorrow this time I could be holding my baby girl! ♥

Can't wait for Mia to meet her baby sister, wow.

I prepared a present for Mia, from me, for her to receive tomorrow morning, when she wakes up and I'm not here.  I wrote her a special card, and did a voice recording of what I wrote, so that when she opens the present, my mom-in-law can show her the card and play the voice recording back to her.

Here's the letter:

My darling Mia,
Mommy is in hospital now, so that your baby sister Ella can be born.  How exciting! I can’t wait for you to come visit us at the hospital and meet your sister.
Mommy is missing you so much and thinking about you all the time.  I love you with my whole heart, and I am so proud of you.  You are going to be such a wonderful big sister!  I know you’re going to be my helper girl, and a good girl, and a gentle, caring, sharing sister. 
I can’t wait to come home again, so that we can all snuggle together – you, me, pappa, and baby Ella!
I’m such a lucky mommy, to have two special girls to hug and kiss and love.
Thank you for being my big special!
I love you to the moon and back.

And here's my very last bump piccie - 39 weeks today! 

I've loved and savoured the miracle of pregnancy - now it's time for the miracle and blessing of birth and babyhood!

Monday, April 21, 2014

A special, blessed Easter weekend

This Easter weekend was exactly what I needed. 

Sleeping late every morning, coffee and chocolate in bed, snuggles and cuddles with Wyn and Mia, afternoon naps, a girls-day-out on Saturday for me and Mia - we went to the movies, walked around the shops and had cake at Mugg&Bean - perfect!

Today Mia stayed with my mom and sis for a while and Wyn and I had a date lunch, it was wonderful and special.

Yesterday we had a fun Easter Egg Hunt in our garden for Mia - so much fun playing at being the easter bunny! ;-)  She loved it.  Then we went for a big family lunch at my uncle's house nearby.  Special times indeed, we said we're celebrating the imminent arrival of the newest family member, and my dad's wonderful recovery - he's truly doing very well.

I'm feeling and looking very pregnant indeed.  I can't walk fast, it's uncomfortable to sit, and I can feel baby girl is also feeling squashed, not a lot of space left for her anymore! I've loved pregnancy, but feeling really ready for the next stage.

Now busy doing a few house chores and making lists for this very exciting week ahead of us - two sleepies til baby Ella is in my arms! ♥

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Craft

Mia made Easter cards for everyone in the family this week.

I got the idea off this blog from Pinterest - to paint with earbuds.  It made a nice change from the usual kind of painting!

I helped a lil bit. ;-)

Mia really enjoyed it, such a fun Easter craft to do.  She's so pleased and proud, handing them out to everyone. ♥


Monday, April 14, 2014

I'm having a baby next week!!!

Nine months have gone by in the blink of an eye!

In nine days I get to meet my second baby girl.  I can't wait!

I have quite a lot I want to do this week, so I really hope she doesn't decide to surprise us earlier.  I must admit I am quite nervous of going into labour - would prefer to do the planned induction, and hopefully have a similar birth experience to when Mia was born.

My to-do list includes:
 - Prepare some meals that can be frozen (bolognaise mince, beef stew, chicken stroganoff, soup, lamb curry)
 - Prepare Nala's dog food and freeze in portions
 - Stock pantry and cleaning supplies
 - Sort out Mia's winter cupboard clothes
 - Set up camp cot and baby bath and let domestic worker clean them
 - General tidy up, especially desk, study, bathroom.
 - DIY dye my hair

And then to spend the four days of Easter weekend relaxing with Wyn and Mia, resting, and just enjoying and savouring the last few days of pregnancy.

How scary and exciting!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

I love you to the moon and back

My beautiful Mia Mooi.  You are my heart.  Your face and smile makes me want to burst with love.  You are beautiful.  You are mine.  I love you to the moon and back. ♥

My tiny precious lil Ella.  You are my heart.  I can't wait to hold you in my arms! I can't stop thinking about you.  I love you to the moon and back. ♥

My darling Goggatjie, thank you for giving me the biggest gifts I could ever have asked for.  I love our two daughters more than words can say.  Gogga, please be safe on your new motorbike... Wishing you hundreds of happy and safe kilometres.  I love you to the moon and back. ♥

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mia's First School Holiday

Mia had her first school holiday last week.  Unfortunately, she caught a cold, and her holiday was spent quietly at home, with two visits to the doctor, and not all the outings to movies, dairy farm, ice-cream etc that I had planned! 

It was still a special week, with lots of snuggles and cuddles watching movies on the couch.  Mia enjoyed dressing up like a pirate the one day. ;-) She made her own sandwiches - sort of, hehe.  We visited my dad a couple of times during the week, and popped in at my grandfather on the weekend.

Luckily she didn't seem to feel physically sick, just a whole lot of sinus-type post nasal drip going on.  I've kept her home from school for two days now, but I feel she's ready to go back tomorrow.  She's getting quite bored at home!  I've enjoyed the extra two days to sleep-in a bit though, must admit. ;-)

Following on from my post a while ago about Mia's disobedience and defiance - I think that was just an exceptionally bad week, as since then it hasn't ever been quite as bad for me to handle.  Still a few occasions that she tries to push the limits, but I think with both Wyn and I being more firm with her so that she understands what we say goes, it has been easier.

I'm so aware of how little time is left for me to give all my time to Mia, but trying hard to shift my mind-set, it's not mourning her loss of being an only child, it's celebrating the joy of getting a sibling!  We're focussing on that. :-)


Monday, April 7, 2014

Maternity & Family Photo Shoot

Two weeks ago I shared our sneak-peek photographs - this weekend I got the disc with all the pics on - and they're just amazing!  I love the emotion captured in the photos, so much love. ♥

Get more info on Karin Meiring Photography on Facebook or on her website.  Highly recommend letting her shoot you! ;-)

Love these pics so much! ♥

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

36 Weeks Pregnant!

1.  How far along are you now? 36 weeks today!

2.  When is your due date? 29 April 2014, but an induction of labour is going to be done on the 23rd of April.

3.  What has been your preggy high this week? To-do list is mostly completed.  Almost done packing hospital bags. I love her lil hiccups!

4.  What has been your preggy low this week? Uncomfortable Braxton hicks contractions, and constant pressure on my bladder! I lie awake at night, my mind racing.  My clothes are very tight, feeling very fat!

5.  What is your current over-riding emotion? Hmm, I think mostly I'm quite anxious... Anxious about labour and birth, anxious about Mia, anxious about being prepared...

6.  What is on your list of things to do in the next month regarding preparation for baby?  Finish packing hospital bags.  And put my feet up!

7.  What is your current craving? Tzatsiki dip on salticrax. Delish.

8.  How are you feeling physically? Waddling when I walk, constant pressure on my bladder, uncomfortable when I sleep...  Feeling just like a pregnant woman should in the final weeks of pregnancy, I guess!!

9.  How are you feeling emotionally? Rollercoaster emotions going on, from impatience to meet baby girl, to anxiety at how everything is going to change, worried about labour and birth, amazement at this perfect little person growing inside me...

10.  How is your partner dealing with the pregnancy at this stage? Good, mostly, although struggling to deal with these rollercoaster emotions I'm flinging around the place!

11.  How are you feeling about the pregnancy at this point? I love her lil hiccups, but the Braxton hicks contractions are so uncomfortable... Pregnancy has been fun, but now I'm feeling ready for it to be over and done with!

12.  How much does baby weigh/measure at the moment? No idea, she was 2kg at 33 weeks, guessing she should be around 2.6 - 2.8 at the moment.  Will find out next week at gynea appointment.

13.  How much weight have you gained to date?  I've put the scale away!!!

14.  What is the nursery room theme and what have you done for the nursery recently?  Grey and pink.  It's all finished! Clothes and linen washed, bed made up, toys washed, pram and car seat washed.  Everything ready for the lil body that is going to sleep there!

15.  What are the latest baby-related items you have bought or got given? I was very spoilt with a wonderful baby shower two weeks ago - got a big supply of nappies, wetwipes, toiletries, clothes - super blessed!  Did some last shopping last weekend, of a few odds and ends like baby clothes hangers, sleeping bag, nappy bin refills, newborn vests...  Realised I need a few more receiving blankets, so will get that soon!

16.  What are you looking forward to? Meeting Ella Jill, kissing her lil face and fingers and toes! Helping Mia adjust to being a big sister! Getting my body back to myself! (Well, mostly, seeing as my boobs still won't be my own.)

Bump piccie:

And here's my 36-weeks preggy update I did when I was pregnant with Mia!

Wow, it's my baby's birth month! ♥