Summer in London

I’m quite stressed out at the moment.  I have all these thoughts going round and round in my head – and I can’t do a lot about some of it.

Sorry – let me start from the beginning!

V was born in London.  There was never any question as to where I would deliver.  I lived in the UK for 15 years before I moved back to Lagos.  My parents had a flat there and there was plenty of space for LagosDad, me and a new baby.  Although, my parents did have to move into the smaller guestroom and we took the larger master bedroom (to fit the crib and changing table, etc.).

This time round, we decided I’d deliver in Dubai.  Because that’s where my parents are now.  I want to be with my mum.

We toyed with the idea of London briefly.  Very briefly.  But decided it might be easier in Dubai.

But, it’s really not that easy!

Here’s why.

1. We’ll be there over the summer – it’s very, very hot.

2. It will be Ramadan.  No eating or drinking in public.  I would have to stay home all day!

3. My parents’ driver is going on leave during Ramadan.  That’s ok.  I figured we’d manage.  I could drop V off at summer camp on the Metro.  Then I realised it would be too damn hot to even walk to the Metro station (17 minutes walk).

4. To enroll him in a nursery, I need proof of residency.  I’m not a resident there, and neither is LagosDad

5. My mum said there won’t be space for all of us in their flat, so we’d have to rent an apartment.  Where do you even start?

6.  I don’t know anything about the process of registering the birth or applying for a baby’s passport in Dubai.  However, from what I’ve read, it’s not a straightforward procedure.  And – ONLY THE FATHER CAN REGISTER THE BIRTH!

7. It is illegal for a single woman to give birth in the UAE.  I know this doesn’t apply to me – but I still find it unsettling.

8. I would probably only get a three-month visa for the nanny – but I’d need her there for four.  I know – it sounds ridiculous – but it was stressing me out.

9. Everything is so expensive there – I didn’t want to buy all my baby clothes there because it’s so expensive.  A pair of pyjamas for V costs about $28 in Mothercare.  ONE PAIR!

10. And lastly… I just found out on Friday that I actually can’t deliver the baby in Dubai because neither LagosDad or myself are residents there.

So my last six weeks of research – summer camps, nurseries, serviced apartments, visa requirements, buying online in the US and delivering to my sister-in-law, etc has all been a waste.

Now we are back to London.

And to be very honest – although I’m finding it stressful to start my research all over again – I am much happier.

1. Fresh air.

2. Taking V to Regent’s Park to play and feed the ducks.

3. Walking on the high street.

4. Selfridges.

I could go on.

I love the thought of summer in London.  But there are a few things I have to do.

1. Apply for the nanny’s visa!

2. Book in with a doctor.  I’ve emailed the one who delivered V – I loved him and would want him to deliver this baby.  I think I may have left it a bit late though.  Last time I booked in with him at 10 weeks.  Now I’m 16 weeks and I’m hoping that he’ll fit me in.

3. Find an apartment to rent for four months.  I’ve been looking – but we may have to make a trip to secure somewhere I think.  Or maybe I’ll ask LagosDad to go.  If you know of any two bed/two bath apartments for rent in St John’s Wood – please let me know!

It’s all very daunting – but I’ve got to do it!

Wish me luck!

Birth Story

Before you start reading, please note that there is information in this post about waters breaking, merconium and other things  and descriptions about ‘bodily functions’ that SOME people may not want to read about!

Vinay was born on 7th September 2010.  On his due date.  Many of my friends had told me how they were all over-due with their babies and how it was quite common to be over-due, especially with the first one.  And since I was so nervous as to what to expect in labour and the birth, I just tried to put it all out of my mind.

I had a doctor’s appointment four days before my due date and he told me that the baby’s head was still high, and there was no way he was coming any time soon and that I should just relax.  So I did.  I had all the restaurants I wanted to go to planned for the whole of the following week!

On the 7th morning I woke up at about 5am to go to the loo (for about the third time that night) and knew something was different because I was rather… Damp.  I didn’t know what was going on and decided to go straight back to bed.  I woke again at 8am – again to go to the loo.  I knew then that my waters had broken.  But I also realised that something wasn’t quite right because the water was green.  I hadn’t read anything in any book, magazine or on any site about it being green!

I did as I had been instructed – called the hospital, told them I was coming and booked a mini-cab.  There was a tube strike that day and the cab didn’t come until 11am!

After doing all the usual form-filling exercises, they monitored the baby’s heart-rate for a little while.  The doctor came in to see me and said that the baby’s head was still very high, his heart-rate showed that he was in distress, the green stuff in my broken waters was merconium (gross!) and that I was only 1cm dilated!  We had two choices, he said.  We could either: 1. Induce labour (which could take up to 17 hours or more) and have the baby naturally, although we were not sure how the baby would cope through the contractions. Or 2. Take him out immediately.

The Hub (who obviously had not been listening to the doctor as I had) said, ‘Natural is best’.    The doctor wasn’t quite sure how to respond to this and told us he’d come back in five minutes so we could discuss 🙂  In those five minutes we (I) decided a c-section would be best!  I later told Hub that when he is the one going through labour for 17 hours and giving birth, then he can decide.

Thank goodness we opted for the c-section because not only did I not want to go through 17 hours of labour, but because when they took Vinay out, they saw that the cord was round his neck.  Twice.  Scary!

From planning to give birth naturally (with drugs, of course), I ended up having an emergency c-section.  And I’m actually quite happy.  I would choose to have a c-section next time!

My recovery was pretty good.  I do feel the odd twinge now and then – but it’s bearable.  And my boy is SO worth it!