Welcome to my birth stories..
My two girls were born 10 years apart, due to secondary infertility ( that’s another blog post ) and both pregnancy’s, labours and deliveries, couldn’t have been more different.
I was 22 when we conceived our first daughter, I was young and thought it would be great to have a baby, it would be a breeze, I told myself, after all, I’ve been an aunt since I was 11. I had no idea what I was in for. The first trimester was pretty standard, I was a little tired and I couldn’t be around a dishwasher because the smell made me nauseous, but other than that, I was fine, excitedly planning, thinking baby names and resting. My second trimester felt great, experiencing my baby’s movements for the first time and having a burst of energy, I truly believed that this would be a walk in the park.
Then at 35 weeks, things changed, I started to feel lethargic and kept getting painful headaches & visual disturbances, as this was my first pregnancy, I thought it was all normal. At my next midwives appointment, I had the same checks as always but rather unusually, after taking my blood pressure, she asked me to lie down… we chatted about the normal things and she listened to baby, measured my bump and then she did my bp again. She asked me sit up and said ” you’re not going to like me, but, I need to send you to the hospital to have some tests done”. Well to be honest with you, I was totally shitting myself, I was terrified of hospitals and felt like I was walking in to a horror movie.
Neil took me straight there, and they immediately hooked me up to the fetal heart monitor, took blood & urine samples then left me on the bed to wait.
A Dr came to see me and told me that I had high blood pressure and that I needed to stay in for the night to be monitored, on my own. I was so scared, but I wanted to be sure that our baby was OK. This back and forth went on for the rest of my pregnancy, I was admitted again at 38 weeks and 4 days, the Dr was worried about my condition turning into preeclampsia and so thought it was the safest option for my baby and I, if he induced my labour. It was 8am, I was on the hospital ward and my husband was at home in bed, when the Dr delivered that news, so I rang him and he was at the hospital in a flash. My induction took about 28 hours to get things going and the hospital staff were amazing. As soon as I showed signs of going into labour, they put me on a I.V, and that’s when all Hell broke loose, I was screaming and I do mean screaming, I went from no pain to full-blown contractions in a few minutes, It was like nothing I had ever experienced and hope I never do again, my poor 19 yr old husband felt totally helpless as he watched me writhing in agony and screaming for someone to help me.
Help did come, in the form of an anaesthetist, I’m pretty sure he came in to my room, bathed on light and to the sound of Angels singing. I had heard mention of an epidural and at that point I would have chewed off my own arm if it stopped the pain, so I decided to go for it.. Everything calmed down then and my labour ticked along nicely while I watched Easteneders and chowed down of 7 or 8 hot crossed buns, it was 4 hours and 40 minutes, from the point of the demon I.V to when they told me to start pushing, I wasn’t really prepared and I couldn’t really feel my contractions, even when they turned down the epidural, the midwives were at the back of my room discussing emergency C sections ( as recalled by my terrified husband ) when I finally felt ‘that’ urge to push, and after 1 hour and 20 mins of pushing and just 6 hours of labour, my beautiful baby girl was born. Welcome Evelyn Mae weighing 8lb 8oz , and she was so worth it.
Fast forward 10 years to Baby no.2, and my story is shorter ( thank ‘F’ for that I hear you say, if that is, you’ve made it this far) and much less eventful, I was now 33 and had waited 8 long years for this baby, and thanks to a very good friend for going through her wonderful hypnobirthing course with me ( for free I might add, what a legend, thanks Kym ) I was prepared even if it meant going through the same shit that I had from the first time. However, apart from a sharp intake of breath every time my blood pressure was taken, my pregnancy was a dream, I had a beautiful bump, I didn’t gain much weight and I was on cloud 9 most of the time, I did have shocking nausea for the first trimester, but it felt a small price to pay to have a second child. At the beginning of my third trimester I started to get pain around my pelvis when I turned in bed, sat/stood or walked for a long time, which was diagnosed by my Angel of a midwife ‘Maxine’ as Symphysis pubis dysfunction, but again small price and all that.
At 39 weeks and 2 days on 6 Dec 2012 in the middle of the night my contractions began, I noted them down and didn’t wake Neil as I wanted to enjoy this part of spontaneous labour that I didn’t get last tim, by myself and I knew it could take a long time. By the morning they had tailed off so we went about our day as normal, apart from Neil staying home from work, just in case, we did the school run and things like that and I was feeling mild contractions all day.
It wasn’t until about 7:30pm that I really started to feel them, I had the lights low and everything was calm and quiet while breathed each one through and my now 10 yr old daughter used her perfect sized fist to press into the base of my back to ease my discomfort, it really was a perfect labour. I called the maternity hospital ( which was 35 minutes away ) and they told me that they were very busy, and as my contractions were still about 5 minutes apart, they would have a quick check, but would probably have to send me home – helpful! So as I was feeling a little pissed off now, Neil decided to call our local birthing centre which works with the hospital, to see if I could go there and get checked out, and save us the longer journey, they said yes of course come on over.
After the hospitals less than helpful “we’ll probably have to send you home” comment, the hubs felt there was no hurry, and so insisted that he finish the washing up before we left. We dropped our eldest at my parents and set off. It was only 8 minutes away, but as soon as I’d waved goodbye to my big girl, the pain hit… I made my frantic husband pull over on the way, as I just needed to stand, he honestly thought he would have to deliver our baby on the side of the road. I managed to drag myself back into the car, and made it round the corner to the birthing centre, on my knees facing the back of the car seat and quite literally shitting myself on the way there.
When we got there, the midwife met us outside, she took one look at me, heard me groan and said ” you’re not going anywhere sweetheart” , I got in and cleaned up, she checked me and said ” time to push poppet” ( insert shocked face here), I could not believe I had laboured completely at home and walked in hand beneath my legs holding my babies head in. 20 minutes after arriving, a hairy moment when they lost her heart beat and as they were about to give me an episiotomy, my second baby girl came into the world. Welcome Elizabeth Grace, weighing 8lb 11oz of incredible, squirmy gorgeousness.
I then had the best bath of my life whilst Daddy dressed and cuddled our new bundle of joy, and just 2 hours after we arrived at the centre, we were back at home.
Our lives were complete and we couldn’t have been happier.
Wow, well there you have it, sorry it’s a long one folks, thanks if you’ve made it to the end, it felt good to relive these precious moments.
Thanks again for reading