Meet your sister

Last night was a small reminder of what it was like to be new parents.  Poor Amélie did not settle until 03:00 and for 99% of that time she was crying.  We knew what is was (wind) but there was not a lot we could do.  Tummy massage, rubbing and patting her back and pumping her legs were all tried and failed.  Eventually, either they did work or it just passed naturally either way it meant a very stinky nappy change in the early hours.  Hope you weren’t eating.  Thankfully she did settle after that and apart from a feed at 06:30 we managed to get some semblance of sleep.

So today was the big day.  The day that our family of four began its journey together.  Nanny and Granddad brought Éowyn round to meet her new sister. I opened the door and Éowyn bounded through the door, as she had not seen her parents for the previous two days, “Hello Mommy, Hello Daddy,” she said.  “Oh! Mommy’s baby!” she pointed at Amélie.  And that was that.

Nanny and Granddad came round with Lucinda’s Uncle John and Auntie Margaret, who have flown over from Sydney and so became Amélie’s first visitors.  She was on her best behaviour and so was Éowyn.  We had bought Éowyn a baby born so that she also had a baby and I am sure that the delivery of it was far more traumatic than Amélie.  The amount of wires and packaging meant that it took quite a while to set it free, which is always difficult when you have a small child eagerly waiting for it.

Our visitors left us after a cup of tea and some biscuits in time for lunch and our first meal together.  However before we prepared lunch we thought it was about time that Éowyn got to know her little sister.  So we got her to sit on the sofa with a cushion on her lap and then we laid Amélie on the cushion.  Éowyn was a good as gold and sat there holding her hand and kissing her very gently on the forehead.

Éowyn had her afternoon nap and quite fortuitously the midwife chose that time to pay us our first visit. This allowed us, and her, to concentrate on Amélie.  Nothing seemed to be a concern, although Amélie is showing signs of neonatal jaundice.  Perfectly normal in 2 day old babies as their livers are not fully working and should disappear by the end of their first week.  The cure is sunlight, which may be easier said than done when they have forecast heavy rain for tomorrow.  Éowyn, also suffered from it, but not enough to warrant the UV lamp treatment (for she was in hospital and far from a good source of sunlight).  The midwife will return on Monday to make sure that all is well.

After school, Amélie’s cousins, Lauren and Maddie, came round to see the new addition to the family.  They had been keen to see her yesterday but because of the delay in being discharged we asked that they come today.  Éowyn also likes playing with her older cousins and was quite excited to see them.  It is nice to be part of such a close knit family.  Both Lauren and Maddie got a cuddle, while Éowyn sat close by to keep an eye on them.

This evening it was just the four of us again.  Éowyn has insisted on holding Amélie on a number of occasions and rather than the temper tantrum or feigned oblivity (if there is such a word) I think it is more likely that Éowyn will need to be held back from showing too much interest in her little sister.

As Amélie is seemingly settling down (the infacol is working – fingers crossed) we have decided to try and get an early night and catch up on the sleep we haven’t had and prepare ourselves for that we may not.

The first of the cards have arrived and we thank you early birds, it is very kind of you.  As you may have noticed I am trying to do an update a day at the moment.  They may not continue but please keep popping by for new photos here and on our Flickr page.

Peace and love


Back home!

So our six hour discharge period may have lasted a little over 26 hours but just before 16:30 (BST) on Wednesday 29th September 2010 Amélie Iris Bagnall left hospital into an inclement autumnal afternoon replete with leaden sky and nondescript rain and began her journey home.  She endured her first M25 traffic jam and arrived in Stanwell Moor at around 17:00.

The day had been one of frustration and anticipation.  Anticipation of being discharged and frustration at the time it all took.  After a very straightforward birth and Amélie being Lucinda’s second child we were told that we were on a standard six hour discharge.  We were delighted and built our hopes up that we would be home that very evening.  However, due to the busy nature of St. Peters yesterday (one baby had to be delivered in triage because there were no beds on the labour ward) we were effectively neglected for that entire six hour period and were unable to find anyone that could let us home.  Lucinda, readied herself for a night in hospital but with the glimmer of hope that they would be discharged around lunchtime.

By lunchtime Amélie had had all her neonatal checks, and had been give a clean bill of health.  She was given her BCG and all looked good.  So we phoned Lucinda’s parents and said that it would be nice that when we are discharged that they pop round to our house so that Éowyn would welcome Amélie into her house rather than come into her house and find a strange noisy thing taking up her floorspace.  Lunchtime came and went.  The list of couples waiting for discharge was getting longer and longer.  Apparently, the ward was having an inspection and so the senior nurse and midwife who would sign the release papers and ready the paperwork for social services and our G.P. were otherwise engaged.  Frustratingly, instead of just telling this from the onset we were told ‘another 15 minutes‘, ‘another 30 mins‘, ‘soon‘.  If they had have been honest with us and said that it might be mid to late afternoon, we would have asked Nanny and Granddad to have brought Éowyn to the hospital to meet her little sister, instead it is now Amélie’s second night and she still hasn’t met her big sister.   That will be in tomorrow’s update!

So as I sit here and type this post, Amélie is nursing next door.  She has hardly slept today this is partly due to her being very nosy and curious but mainly because she is suffering from wind.  Fortunately we had anticipated this and bought some Infacol.  That was a lesson learnt from Éowyn, however it is amazing how much you forget (or repress) and now we have all that learning again.  The major difference between Amélie and Éowyn was that due to Éowyn’s condition she spend the first few days in St. Peters I.C.U.  Therefore we never got her dressed for the first time, or put her first nappy on or spent this amount of time with her, alone.  It has not harmed Éowyn in any way (although it might do if ever she reads this in the future!) but had maybe not prepared us for the lack of attention we received after the birth.  Lack of attention is probably a little strong but obviously when there is no concerns everyone is a little more relaxed.  Don’t misunderstand me, I would much rather this than going home with your wife on an ante-natal ward with no baby and your little one in an incubator struggling to breathe.

Tomorrow is a big day for Amélie, she will receive a visit from the midwife, but more importantly will meet her big sister and Nanny and Granddad (we are unsure how that is going to go down with Éowyn) .  It is possible that her cousins will pop by as I know that they are excited about the new family member.

Before the obligatory photos, just a word of thanks for all the text messages and facebook messages we have received.  Also a big Happy Birthday to my sister Elizabeth, sorry that Amélie’s card is late but she didn’t get a chance to go down the shops until yesterday!

Until tomorrow

Peace and Love


Amélie Iris Bagnall

At 14:14 (BST) on the 28th September 2010 in the hospital of St. Peters, Chertsey, Surrey our second child Amélie Iris was born, weighing just over 8lb 5oz (3.784kg).  Like her sister Éowyn she has the Badger family ears and the Bagnall nose (another that needs to learn the Bagnall nose rub!).  However, unlike her sister she has dark hair.

Unlike Éowyn, Amélie’s birth was straightforward and as easy as a birth should be.  Lucinda woke at about 04:30 with very mild contractions, they got steadily stronger and more regular through the morning.  We arrived at St. Peters at 12:16 (according to the car park ticket) and went straight to triage.  The midwife there took us straight to the labour ward.  We had to wait for 45 minutes for a birthing room and within 45 minutes of being in the birthing room Amélie was born.  The only pain relief that Lucinda had was one paracetamol, a TENS machine and gas and air during the delivery.  I am very proud of her.

The only reason that I have come home alone tonight, is due to the ward being so busy and a number of sick babies (my heart goes out to those parents) which meant that we were left longer than we should have before being admitted to the Ante-natal ward.  At least that is better than coming home alone 7 nights in a row, as was the case when Éowyn was born.

So, tomorrow at 08:00 I should arrive on ward and hopefully it will not be too long (before 12:15 please as my car park ticket will run out) before my girls are discharged and we can introduce Éowyn to her new baby sister.

Again, before people ask about our choice of name there is no psuedo-history or importance behind the name Amélie, we both just like it.  Iris, on the other hand is in honour of my Great Auntie Iris (Amélie’s Great-Great Auntie Iris) who passed away last year.

Amélie is of Latin origin and is associated with French speaking countries (also a great film), while its variants Amelia and Emily are more common in Germanic and English speaking countries.  All have the same meaning of  ‘hardworking‘, ‘industrious‘ and ‘striving‘.  Interesting coincidence: Amélie (d’Orléans) was the name of the last Queen Consort of Portugal, and she was born on the 28th September (1865).

Iris on the other hand is of Greek origin and has the meaning ‘Rainbow‘.  Obviously, it is also the name of a flower.  Iris was a messenger of the gods who rode rainbows between heaven and earth to deliver messages from Olympus to mortals thus linking the gods to humanity.

Éowyn will now have to share this website with Amélie and I will keep you all regularly updated with the growing pains of both my daughters.  Lucinda and I would like to thank you all for your kind messages and look forward to introducing Amélie to you all in the coming weeks and months.

A special thank you to Lucinda’s parents who looked after Éowyn today, I hope she behaved herself.  And a happy 30th birthday to my baby sister for tomorrow.

Peace and Love


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