Tess Rasema Mary Hecimovic
Daughter of Arnel Hecimovic and Eloise Grout
Born on the 19th of April 2013
at St Thomas’ Hospital, weighing 8lb 6oz
Arnie and I both love children, and we were thrilled when we found out that I was pregnant. Arnie has always been good with other people’s children, so I knew he’d be a great, properly hands-on, dad.
I was super lucky, and had a good pregnancy. I loved my bump! I kept quite active – walking and cycling to work – which I think helped with the pregnancy and labour.
I did have some hip pain, but I saw a physio at St Thomas’ for a few sessions, which helped. I also had great midwife support at my local surgery – I felt really supported, and therefore relaxed.
I’m self employed, so I had to work fairly hard beforehand in order to be able to take maternity leave. I hadn’t packed a hospital bag until the day before! Friends and family were incredibly generous and gave us such a lot of things, so we felt quite prepared. We also went to NCT classes, and my closest friends had babies, so I was able to ask lots of questions.
My favourite thing was washing all the tiny white baby gros and hanging them on the line in the garden – it made it seem so real, and the clothes looked so small and cute.
I went into labour on my due date. My waters broke at about 7pm and my midwife came and checked me. Then I got up and finished icing Arnie’s 40th birthday cake. It was his birthday the next day, so Tess actually arrived on her daddy’s 40th birthday.
We ate pizza and had glass of wine, while we waited for the contractions to start. When they came I didn’t think that they were actual contractions because there weren’t any intervals in between. I thought that the real contractions were still to come, and I was worried about how I would cope, as it was already hugely painful! I only had paracetamol until about midnight, when the pain became severe. I took some stronger painkillers, and was promptly sick. I then became shivery and feverish, which I now know is a sign that things will begin imminently, but at that point I was still convinced I was waiting for the contractions to start! I spoke to the midwife again and she told us to go to the hospital. We signed in at 1am and Tess was born 25 minutes later.
Midwives from the local team usually deliver the babies, but they didn’t make it in time – they got there to deliver the placenta. It was all so quick. I was shocked when the nurse said that I was fully dilated and I should push. The moment that Tess arrived was a bit of a blur. Before I knew it I was on the ward, and Arnie had been sent home. I felt a bit bewildered at that point, as I wasn’t sure what to do, but the nurses in the ward explained that I should keep breastfeeding. I was very happy when Arnie came back in the morning.
We were lucky that Tess fed well and was healthy, so all we had to do was wait for the midwives and nurses to sign Tess off. We were home less than twelve hours after we had arrived. There was a bunch of daffodils on the doorstep from a neighbour, which I was touched by. We spent a magical first day on our own, feeding and gazing at our beautiful baby. I was still shocked that she was already here. My parents came the next day, and I couldn’t have been more proud to show off my baby girl.
My family have been great, we’ve been to stay with them lots and we all get spoiled – heaven! Arnie’s family live in Bosnia, but they’ve been over and we’ve taken Tess there to introduce her to everyone. The early days are tough, and they can be overwhelming, but Tess is our best buddy now – we adore spending time with her and she’s become so much fun. We look forward to watching her grow.