So I apologise for the radio silence lately but I do have a very good reason, my beautiful baby is here!
I’ve spent the last week taking in family life as a mum of two, snuggling my newborn and enjoying the time with my husband before he had to return to work after his week of paternity leave.
I’ve written my birth story whilst it’s all still fresh in my mind, my labour with my first is a bit hazy these days so I wanted to remember it the best I could. I hope you enjoy!
Friday 9th February
41+5 (12 days overdue)
My induction was booked for 8:30 that morning and we’d arranged childcare for Ethan at Chris’ parents’ house. We dropped him off, said our goodbyes and headed to the hospital via McDonalds for a cheeky breakfast. We parked up and went to the antenatal ward and was met by one of the midwives who looked after me when I was admitted for my possible C-section. She explained that I would be put on the monitor for ½ hour to check baby over and then I would be examined to see how my cervix was looking. After that we would have one of two options, pessary or waters breaking depending on how many centimetres I was dilated. I had an hour on the monitor as they were really busy, everything looked great baby was happy and moving and it even picked up Braxton Hicks contractions. She took me off the monitor and examined me, she also did an unplanned stretch and sweep which I was a bit upset by as I hadn’t consented to it and I had actually declined them due to a bad experience last pregnancy. I managed to get through it and she told me I was a good 2-3cm dilated and she had done a successful one (apparently she has a high success rate at getting people in to labour). We were sent on our way home to get labour going and if there was no luck then to call labour ward the next morning to book in for my waters breaking.
As Ethan was being looked after by his Grandparents we went to go see the new 50 Shades film. I was getting small period style cramps but nothing painful or regular. At 3pm we went to pick Ethan back up and take him home. We spent the rest of the evening chilling as a family, the cramps continued and had a pattern of 5-6 minutes apart but by 8pm they had stopped and we went to bed. I had let my Dad & Stepmum know as they were on call for childcare that night but I honestly thought I would wake up the next morning with nothing.
Saturday 10th February
41+6 (13 days overdue)
I woke at 12:30am with pains, definitely more intense than the night before. I got up to go to the toilet and got back in bed. I timed them on a contraction app on my phone for ½ hour and they were every 3-4 minutes apart. I woke Chris to let him know and we went downstairs for a cup of tea. I expected to be in it for the long haul after my very long labour last time so I wanted to go downstairs where I was close to drinks/snacks and away from Ethan so I didn’t disturb him. The lights went out as our whole street had a power cut but thankfully it was only for a few minutes.
The pains were getting stronger and at 1:30 we called my dad to let him know that he was getting a visitor and Chris took him over. I said my goodbyes to my little boy for the last time as a mum of one and tried to not let him see me in too much pain. I was breathing over my birthing ball until he got home twenty minutes later. We called the hospital to let them know I was in labour, they told me to take two paracetamol and to try a bath. I took the tablets but declined the bath as the thought of water wasn’t appealing to me at all. I was to call them back in an hour when my contractions were around 50 seconds to 1 minute long to update on how I was feeling, or to call sooner if my waters broke. I spent the next hour breathing through the contractions whilst bent over the bed, they were getting really painful at this point and I was getting ready for some stronger pain relief. I got dressed and we called again at 3am. They told me to come in as I was getting ready for some gas and air. That car journey has to be the most uncomfortable car journey I’ve been on, my contractions were every 2.5-3 minutes apart and were lasting 45 seconds to 1 minute each.
We parked up and headed into the maternity hospital and was met by my midwife May who took us to our room. I had a contraction on my way and she told me to take it steady, she also said that by looking at me we weren’t going home as she could tell I was well on my way. I also had a student midwife in the room, it was her first year and she was very new to the hospital environment (turns out I was only the third delivery she had been present at). She brought in a refreshment tray for Chris and some water and Lucozade for me. I was leaning over the bed in the room whilst she said that she had looked over my notes from my last delivery and because of my previous 4th degree tear she was going to take this labour carefully, deliver the baby really slowly and that my chance of tearing a second time to the same extent would be very small. I really appreciated her confidence as it made me feel more at ease. Whilst I got myself into my nightie she said that as I was booked in for an induction I would be monitored in this labour and that she would be breaking my waters for me, both of these were things I hadn’t wanted but in that moment I don’t think I really cared.
At 4am she examined me to see how far along I was, I was only expecting her to say around 4cm dilated. All of a sudden I felt my waters go which May wasn’t ready for and I was met with the news that I was 9cm dilated, before the waters had gone she had guessed I was around 4cm but it was hard to tell as they were bulging so much. She had also said that if I had waited much longer at home, my waters would have gone in the car and I probably wouldn’t have made it to hospital in time. She told the student midwife to get a delivery pack ready, that’s the moment I think I began to panic just a little bit. There was meconium in the waters which we had expected due to how overdue I was. She put me a cannula in just in case it was needed later on and got me the gas and air out. I was laid on the bed and had said I’d wanted to try being on all fours, I tried it but couldn’t get comfortable. They kept losing the trace on the baby so they mentioned putting the clip on baby’s head (I had this last labour with Ethan) but I moved back to being sat on the bed so they didn’t need to do it as they began to pick up again on the monitor.
I was examined again a few times but there was a small lip of cervix that wouldn’t go, then at 5am it went and it was all systems go. I gave up my gas, I was asked to push baby down the birth canal but she reassured me that when it got to crowning I wouldn’t be pushing but breathing. She also used warm compresses on my perineum which was to hopefully prevent another bad tear, I was expecting to tear a little bit. With each contraction baby’s heartrate kept dropping, they gave me some fluids via the cannula as May thought that baby might have been a little dehydrated. I began feeling a huge need to push, it was really intense though, a lot more intense than my labour with Ethan. I must admit I did make some crazy animal noises, I didn’t scream but I could hear myself and I kept apologising for making such noises. May had her hand on the top of baby’s head to hold it back so I didn’t push too quickly. I felt the ‘ring of fire’ which was very stingy, I never felt it with Ethan due to the way he was born. I was told not to push at this point and I felt every part of my baby come out which was an amazing feeling, and at 5:44am our beautiful baby was born.
Chris told me we had a girl and I couldn’t believe it, I cried and said ‘oh my god’ a few times. She was passed straight to me for skin to skin and I was given the injection to help deliver the placenta. We had delayed cord clamping and Chris cut the cord. The placenta took a little while to come and I had to do a few pushes to help it come out. May examined me once the placenta was born to see how badly I had torn and I was ecstatic to find out I had only had a 2nd degree tear and a small labial tear this time. This meant I didn’t need to be taken to theatre to be repaired for 2.5 hours like I did with Ethan, I could stay in the room with my husband and baby whilst it was stitched with local anaesthetic. I passed her to Chris as they gave me the gas and air back whilst they put in the injections and we waited for that to kick in. Once May had started baby was passed back to me to do the first feed which again is something I missed out on in Ethan’s labour, and whilst we were doing this she decided to take her first poo all over my stomach and my chest which was lovely!
Once I had been stitched they ran me a bath and baby was passed back to dad to have some skin to skin which was so great to see. I had a lovely soak in the bath and got cleaned up and once I got out baby was weighed and found to be 8lb 12oz. May caught up on my notes as she hadn’t had a chance to do any as the labour progressed so quickly. My first stage of labour had lasted 4.5 hours and my second stage 44 minutes (A lot faster than my labour with Ethan) and I had lost 450ml of blood. I got some clean pjs on and we said goodbye and Thank You to May as it was time for her to go home. She gave me a big hug and congratulated me again, turns out she’s never had a woman who had a previous 4th degree tear go on to have a vaginal delivery so I was her first. Apparently most women automatically choose C-section which I’m so glad I didn’t do. I honestly couldn’t thank her enough for her support in labour as I needed it, she was truly amazing. A new midwife came in and she did the baby checks, the Vitamin K injection and took some bloods from me. Chris went to move the car as we only had parking until 8am and I called my parents with the news that they had a baby Granddaughter. They brought me some tea and toast (isn’t hospital tea and toast the best thing ever) and Chris came back with a gift bag which contained a beautiful knot necklace to represent our complete family which was gorgeous and I was so very grateful. We were given time to ourselves whilst they sorted all the paperwork to go upstairs with us to the ward, we would need to stay in for the next 12 hours whilst they monitored baby due to the meconium in the waters.
The next few hours went by super quickly, we were up on the postnatal ward and they did baby’s hearing test and observations. The bounty lady also came by to do her photos, I know they are expensive but we had them done with Ethan and they are really special to us so we did indulge in a few photos this time too. I had a jacket potato for my lunch and Chris had a right do trying to find some food as the cafes didn’t seem to cater for weekends. Luckily enough I had packed an emergency pot noodle so he was more than happy with that. We were seen by a midwife on the ward who said she would get all our paperwork ready then so that if baby passed her checks at 6pm we could go straight home. She also gave me my Anti-D injection as I have a rhesus negative blood group. I had the usual discussion on safe sleeping, feeding & contraception. For my dinner I had a pork and apple hotpot which was lush and baby passed all her observations at 6pm and we were allowed to go home! I was also given Dolteparin/Fragmin injections for 6 weeks which I had to do with my first, baby’s red book and then we were on our way.
We came home and my Dad & Stepmum dropped Ethan off so that he could meet his baby sister for the first time, it was lovely to watch and a teeny bit emotional. We then had the family come to meet her the next day. I can’t believe how different this birth was compared to my one with Ethan, his birth will always be special to me as he was my first. But although I would say this birth was a lot scarier, and I mean a lot, it was so much better as I came away with a lot less damage and I think it healed a lot of emotional pain I was still feeling after my first labour. Would I do it all again? Yeah I’m not sure about that.
So here she is my little lady Edith Faith born on 10th February 2018. Our beautiful daughter.
See you next time!