Completed: The love of my life

george-1Please let me introduce you to George, my last and greatest project of 2012. I should really say ours!


George was ‘completed’ at 6.02am on Saturday 22nd December at the Whittington hospital in London. His full name is George Thomas Bradfield and he was a sturdy 8 pounds and five ounces. He is just six days old today and he’s already stolen our hearts.


George was ten days late when a check up scan revealed my amniotic fluid had decreased dramatically. Β A previous induction date set for the day before Christmas Eve was brought forward and I was admitted on the spot on the 21st instead. My waters were artificially broken (ouch ouch bloody ouch) and I was left to start labour naturally rather than using a prostaglandin gel to induce. My contractions started at around 4.30 that afternoon. Unfortunately my hopes of labouring in the birth centre were impossible since once they start interventions in your labour you go straight into the labour ward. No birthing pool for me. But gas and air helped…


I laboured for about 5 hours with the contractions getting stronger and longer -averaging about 3 to 4 every ten minutes. But I just wasn’t dilating quickly enough – I was still at 2 centimetres at the end of the 5 hours.

The decision was made to give me a drip to bring up the force of the contractions and induce labour. An epidural was advised (I’d been using a birthing ball, gas and air and the sweet sounds of Marvin Gaye to get me to this point). I quote the midwife here: “you would have to be insane not to take an epidural before being induced my love”. Zoiks!

Epidural and drip duly administered at 10.30pm, I settled down for a long night of contractions and (by this time) old school west coast rap. By 5.30 am there was good news and bad news. I’d got up to 7 cms dilated – let’s hear it for the cervix – but I’d had about 4 bouts of really heavy scary bleeding (later confirmed as placental abruption). The docs decided to take it to the c section and literally within minutes I was holding Matt’s hands, looking into his eyes and whispering Β ‘I love you’ (you know, just in case) as the surgeons got stuck in.


In what seemed like seconds there was a peculiar tugging sensation and then a cry! A baby’s cry. Jesus, words simply can’t express how you feel at this point. You can hear your child but you can’t see it yet and you don’t even know what sex it is. It’s delicious, thrilling, scary and amazing. Matt was asked to peekΒ over and announce the sex and George officially entered the world. We got straight into skin to skin good times and headed up to the post natal ward to recover for the next couple of days.


There’s still so much more to tell about how we were discharged on Christmas Eve and readmitted on Christmas Day but that’s for another post I think. I hope you don’t mind me sharing all of this. It just feels so natural to tell it and important to mark it. We’re now at home having been released yesterday and we’re delighted to be here. We feel like a real little proper family and it’s wonderful. I couldn’t recommend it more!


I’m having an enforced baby moon which is basically two weeks of bed rest whilst my scar heals. It’s extremely painful occasionally and I need to speak to the midwife about it or at least get better painkillers. But I have everything else I need to hand. Crochet of course! Coronation Street on catch up, a family sized box of Maltesers and thousands of nappies. Oh yes…and this little charmer. Lush!

george-2As a footnote, but an important one, I just wanted to say what an amazing health system we have in this country. I’m a big advocate of the NHS and the people who work in it, and I felt important, cared for and supported throughout the whole process. From the midwives and their students who looked after us (Edna, Malin, Lorna and Alex) to the anesthetist who topped up my epidural before the surgery to the lovely breast feeding counsellor Dawn who lay on the floor to show me how to feed in bed rather than mess up my cot. Each and every one – totally brilliant. Makes me proud.


105 thoughts on “Completed: The love of my life

  1. This sounds so similar to my own experience **years ago but you never forget it. Such a special time – try to relax and enjoy it as much as possible. It all goes far too quickly. Take loads of photos – even of mundane things. So great to hear it all- thank you so much for sharing. All the very best to you.

  2. Awwwww!!!! Cry, blub, sniffle, cry, blub, sniffle – ad infinitum. Pass me the tissues, Ella. I am so glad to see these photos and don’t mind at all that you’re sharing the details. I love the details, just don’t like to ask! You all look soooooo happy. I hope you’re okay and that the pain is just about bearable from your op. Several years ago I had an op for fibroids, so I have some idea of quite how difficult it must be to move right now. (Even washing my hair was a major achievement, I recall.) I am so, so happy for you. George is a grand name for a fine fella! I love the photo of his little red squishy body all curled up on the scales. And you giving a thumbs up – priceless! Just so pleased that everyone is happy and healthy. What a Christmas!

  3. He is gorgeous and it always feels right to share, after all as he grows you will share all his other steps, why not the first big one into the world. Rest well πŸ™‚

  4. OMG Joanne… George is BEAUTIFUL!!! Your story brought happy tears to my eyes; I’m so glad you’re all safe & sound ^__^ My absolutely most heartfelt congratulations!!!!!!!! ^_^ xoxo

  5. Big congratulations! He’s gorgeous, but you won’t need anyone else to tell you that! Your experiences sound oh so familiar, especially the hearing your baby before knowing him/her bit. I love that your photos tell the story that you saw your birth through with a healthy dose of humour. Enjoy your beautiful bundle!

  6. He’s darling, Joanne. I am so happy for you guys. You looked beautiful even while drugged. I’ll have to ask for what you had, for sure πŸ™‚

    Congratulations. I hope our little ones can meet one day. Hope you heal quickly!

  7. Oh, huge congratulations on the birth of your gorgeous boy! Enjoy your baby moon!! Take it easy! Loved the pics, please give us more!! ( off to find a tissue, sniff sniff. Was glad it wasn’t just me who had a ‘moment’!!!

  8. Such a cute boy! Congratulations!!

    As adorable as your new family piccies are, my fave is you sucking on the gas! That is solid.

    Heal quickly and all the best.

  9. All best wishes to the three of you from here across the pond. George is one lucky little boy to have such a wonderful, talented, caring mom. And he is adorable!! Thank you for your lovely story of his birth (you are such a good writer) – and the beautiful photos!

  10. Ohhh he’s absolutely lovely! And George is a super name (I love the old names, my 2nd is a Henry). Like others will tell you, no matter how many years it is, you’ll always remember the birth. Mine were both emergency CS too, and it was 5 or 6 weeks before I could walk normally! Take lots of pics, and videos too. You’ll want to remember the little squeeks he makes when he feeds…it’s magical!!

  11. Congratulations Joanne! What a lovely little man. Motherhood is amazing…there is no other experience that comes close to that first meeting between mama and baby! Enjoy the first few weeks as they simply fly by.

  12. Congratulations to you both – what an account of this wonderful experience which you too can share later with George in its joy. I love your no holds in your photos and how you managed to post at this chaotic time and share it with us all is amazing..

  13. AHHHHH!!! He’s so beautiful! I love the name! What a blessing that you’re finally together (especially after all of that stress and scariness in the hospital)! Your story is so moving and sweet– I’m seriously tearing up over here! Major congratulations!

  14. Congratulations, what wonderful news of George’s safe arrival into your lovely family. Wishing you a long, happy and healthy future together. Looks like 2013 is going to be a fabulous year of discovery for you all – enjoy

  15. Congratulations!! What a wonderfull baby! It’s been so nice reading about your pregnancy, since i’m 2 months behind you. When you started posting about the dip in sewing productivity, I thought, i would do better, silly me. Off course i also got tired😊
    So now reading about your delivery, i think it sounds good, but off course i hope to not have a c section. But you look like it is still very ok, so that took some anxiety away for me.
    Enjoy your first time as a family and i hope the pain will get less!!

      • Thank you sweet heart! I bawled my eyes out reading this (it took me 3 attempts to get all the way through!) I am so so so happy for you all. Well done and thank you for letting us share such a special moment. It means the world x

  16. Welcome George and congratulations Joanne! I have been similarly impressed with the NHS when I had my girls, particularly my last one – the only one to come on time, but caused the most problems!
    Enjoy this enforced rest period and hope you heal well.

  17. Oh Joanne!!!!! What wonderful news and what a beautiful boy with such a gorgeous kissable baby backside! I’m so pleased and relieved that everything worked out well in the end and that your little family is now three strong. I heartily agree about the NHS. Both my boys were C sections and me and my first boy wouldn’t be here today without their intervention and care. I recommend high doses of arnica to help the scar heal and for the pain to lessen. It does get better quite noticeably after about 3 weeks, but people don’t realise what a major, major operation it is. Look after each other and love each other from your very happy, blubbing friend. xxx

    • Thank you so much Jane for the Arnica advice – I’ll pop it on the shopping list for Matt today. He’s off to get me some tee tree oil for a nice bath. Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and lovely vibes – I can’t wait to introduce you to George and you are totes allowed to kiss his backside! xxx

  18. Congratulations! George is gorgeous and so glad to hear you had a good experience. We had our daughter at the Whittington in April and also thought they were great. Wishing you lots of rest and lovely baby cuddles.

  19. Huge congratulations to you and your new family! George is beautiful, what a sweetie. I have loved reading about your pregnancy and it is wonderful to finally see your most lovely project. I think we had very similar birth experiences, despite Elodie being 3 weeks early (she is exactly18 months older than George, although she was 6:29am :o) ). I hope you take plenty of time to rest and relax with your boys. Reading your experience made me blub! best wishes to you all. A very happy and lovely new year! Catherine x

  20. Huge congratulations, wishing your little boy much happiness and joy in his life. A very happy New Year to you all, it’s fine I’m not expecting many sewing posts for a while! πŸ™‚

  21. Awwww, congrats! He is so beautiful! I’m glad to read your birth story. I’ve been reading up and watching videos (ack!) to try and figure out what my plan is. But plans can change, so others tell me! Glad he’s here. You’re a trooper. The end result makes it all worth it!

  22. Congratulations! George is a dream! And, your story… wow! You are one brave lady, and I’m glad you had such a great medical team to back you up. Enjoy your rest. I can’t wait to hear what 2013 brings!

  23. Such a joyful pose – huge congratulations, and well done!
    George is an excellent name, by the way (my eldest is a George)!
    The NHS gets such a bad rap, but I think we are so lucky to have it – my experiences have all been positive!
    Rest up and enjoy x

  24. Yay!!! Congratulations – he is beautiful! Sounds like you had a bit of a rough time, but all totally worth it now I’m sure.

    I completely agree with you about the NHS – without it my little boy wouldn’t be here today.

    I hope you manage to get some rest, and that I can meet George (and you!) soon xx

  25. Awwww! I’ve been away for a week and look what happened!!! Huge mungous congratulations Joanne and hubby! What a total cutie, and I’m in huge admiration that you’ve pictures during as well as after to remind you of the event itself….and awww, I’m still all gooey…he’s gorgeous George xx

  26. Welcome to the sewing world Gorgeous George where you will be much adored and celebrated.
    My birthing story was quite similar to yours but without the Caesar – and she is now a gloriously beautiful 9 year-old – time really does fly. Enjoy every precious minute. xox

  27. Oh Joanne!! Congratulations!! He’s so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story with us. It was incredibly moving. I’m so glad you’re all home and snuggled in. Rest up, and enjoy this time with your new little family. Many warm thoughts, my lovely!

  28. Congratulations!!! Enjoy each precious day as it comes for all too soon the little one will be grown and you will wonfer where time went.

  29. Oh my goodness, Joanne – congratulations to you and the family! He’s soooooooo sweeeeeeet. Wishing you a swift recovery, stronger painkillers, and lots of lovely family time together. xxx

  30. Oh Joanne, George is beautiful and I’m now crying like an idiot! You’re such a brave woman and despite the challenging time you had, this post still comes across as one of the most positive accounts of labour/childbirth I’ve ever read. Thank you so much for sharing this very personal experience with us and I can’t wait to hear/see more of George and your new family unit. Many, many congratulations…you deserve a bloody medal!xxx

  31. Well, hell, I have tears in my eyes after reading this. What a gorgeous little boy you managed to make, the two of you! Many many (MANY!) congratulations – you did it! I am so happy for all of y’all – and happy happy birthday, sweet baby George β™₯

  32. Whoa, a baby! Like a little tiny human! He’s absolutely delightful to look at (so beautiful!) and he has such a handsome name! Thank you for sharing such an honest and special story with us, it is so warming to read. RL x

  33. Oh! Congratulations! He’s perfect! Enjoy every minute, he’ll be big before you know it!

    I too had unexpected c-sections, and with my baby girl (#2), I got an infection in my incision. It was very painful and made me feel like crap! Make sure you get that checked out if you’re not feeling right. And rest and enjoy that darling!

  34. Oh, how utterly gorgeous!!! This post made me smile and cry, both at the same time. Well done lovely lady! Enjoy those baby cuddles. πŸ™‚

  35. Sheesh he’s beautiful and so are you!
    I thought twice about reading this post. Even 4 years down the line the intense emotions of those first days are instantly returned by watching One Born Every Minute or reading birth stories.
    You capture it beautifully Joanne πŸ™‚
    Right, off now, lump in throat, to shed a quiet tear somewhere where other half can’t see me and accuse me of being soppy….(I’m not kidding either!)

  36. Awww…I read this when you first post it but I had such big fat tears falling and a lump in my throat that I thought I’d leave the commenting to when I could think (and see) clearly. Such a beautiful post and such lovely photographs, it’s amazing of you to share this with all of us, so many people these days seem to shut themselves away from the world in the first few weeks (and what people feel is right for them is obviously the right thing for them to do) so this post feels like a real treat.
    My first (now 21) was an emergency c-section after a long old labour and my second (now 19) was born at the Whittington from where I have good memories…it’s good to hear that even though you had such difficulties you’ve still come out of the experience able to smile.
    All the best to the three of you…also…crochet hooks were on my Christmas list after being inspired by your blanket. I’ve a few knitting projects to complete and then I shall be away…
    Thank you for a lovely blog and a beautiful beautiful post.

    • Oh bless you Susie and thank you to everyone who has left such lovely comments here. You guys all got me going with the tears again! Will definitely be responding individually at a later date but for now…many many many thanks xxxxxx

  37. In tears reading this. Joanne, WELL DONE! He is an absolute darling and you have that beautifully unmistakable blissed out mummy face. Strangely enough your labour is almost to the last detail the same as mine was, so I was feeling and reliving every moment as I read your account! I did have a lovely post-partum haemorrhage the next day though… I really hope that’s not what came next for you too!

    SO happy for you and your beautiful family!! Much much love.

    Elisalex xxx

  38. Congratulations to you all, what a wonderful, beautiful little boy you have! I hope you’re recovered now and enjoying these early days. I loved it that despite how tired you must be feeling you still found the strength to thank our brilliant NHS, respect! I worked at The Whittington many years ago (in admin, so nothing heroic)! Really happy for you x

  39. The best time of your life, be sure to document everything. You think you will remember, but you don’t. Take thousands and thousand of pictures. Bring us all along on your wonderful journey. Hello, George, and welcome!

  40. Welcome George, what a cutie you are! And congrats Joanne and Matt! Sorry I’m only sending this message now, I have been far behind on my blog reading.

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