Now this is going to be quite a lengthy tale because if you know our family’s luck then you’d know that nothing is straight forward when it comes to us. And this part is also quite matter of fact because I think that’s how we remember birth, in stages. So I have added some pictures to make it a little more interesting.
(Picture of us on our way to our 32 week growth scan).
Monday 8th June (31+4 wks): Routine Growth Scan at Whiston Hospital, I was asked if I had been feeling damp down below by the sonographer, surprised because I had and because I had been thinking my bladder was just crap (it really is) I wondered if she could see my bladder emptying on screen or something. But no, much more serious, we were told there wasn’t much fluid surrounding baby. It was measuring at 5.8mm, which is below the 5th centile. Off they sent me to clinic where we were waiting for nearly two hours to see what we thought was a midwife, it was only when it was reaching the second hour gone that I leaned over to Stuart and said “I bet we’re waiting for a doctor.” I was right! She had a conversation with me about how I’d been feeling and all about how I’d been feeling damp, if I’d been feeling unwell, which I wasn’t. And she decided with the help of speaking to a consultant that they would send me to Feto Assessment Unit, so off I popped to have my bloods done, temp done, blood pressure done and baby hooked up to a monitor for half an hour. Everything came back fine for me, apart from my bloods were showing the tiniest of infections so they wanted me to come back on the Thursday to repeat all the tests and I was also booked in on the Monday for another scan, to see if the waters had built back up by then. The doctor also decided to carry out a speculum to see if my waters were going and if I was leaking them out, this also came back negative.
(Picture: Bump on bed rest).
Thursday 11th June (32 wks): Repeated tests, they all came back fine, my bloods came back still slightly elevated but because they had stayed consistent and hadn’t risen dramatically they were fine with that. Baby was hooked up to monitor and she was still fine and healthy. They did a second speculum and this still came back negative. I was put on bed rest over the weekend and told to drink lots of fluid. I had to ring work to start my maternity two weeks early (I wasn’t complaining).
(Picture: Just before we left for the scan, hoping for good news).
Monday 15th June (32 +4 wks): Scan repeated, the sonographer carried out the second scan on my waters and they found they had built back up to 7.4mm, which was now above the 5th centile and in the positive, even though they were still a little low, this was good news! I was sent to feto assessment unit, they repeated the same tests on me and hooked baby up to a monitor for an hour because she was being an over active madam and her heart rate was elevated, but apart from that she was fine and healthy. They decided against doing a repeat speculum as carrying out so many at a time was also a risk of infection for me or baby. I was told to resume all my midwife appointments as normal.
(Picture: This photo caused many arguments between Stuart and I because I’d seen something similar on Pinterest and wanted an exact replica. It’s not, but its pretty close and one of my most treasured bump pictures).
(Picture: This photo was taken when Stuart and I had gotten back from a little nights break away for my birthday on the 3rd July. Even through everything that was going on with my pregnancy (we didn’t go very far from home for fear of anything happening) but it was nice to just get away the two of us before we became three of us).
Monday 6th July (35+4 wks): Scan at Whiston Hospital. Babies waters are now measuring at 4.7mm, which is below the 3rd centile, the lowest they have been! So much for good news at the last scan! And I had been feeling less damp as well! I was taken through to feto assessment unit, where they carried out their tests on me, bloods, temp & blood pressure. The doctor came over to speak to me to assess what she thought was the best way to go forward. She explained that because the waters were low, they would have to monitor the baby and get my consultant to carry out a scan himself. They gave me the first lot of steroid injections to help mature my baby’s lungs just in case I would have to be induced before 37 weeks. My temp and blood pressure was spot on, and they said they would have my blood results the following day as I was to come back to receive a second steroid injection and to repeat the tests and monitor baby.
Tuesday 7th July (35+5 wks): Second steroid, was given and all the tests repeated. Both me and baby were fine, I was told my bloods once again came back slightly elevated but that, that could be anything, from a sniffly nose to just generally feeling unwell. They weren’t concerned, because my urine came back negative for anything and my temp and blood pressure were fine. The midwife disappeared and came back to say that my consultant was free and could carry out the scan that same day, save me coming back on Wednesday. So off we popped into the scan room to finally meet the consultant I have been under throughout the pregnancy and never seen. He was super nice and friendly! He shook mine and my mum’s hand and he told me that it was a good thing I hadn’t seen him until now because the midwives would only let him near me if something was wrong. He asked me if I understood why I was there and why I had been given the steroid injection, I told him everything I thought I knew and he was happy and he even said “oooh if baby wants to make an appearance now then I am happy, they are very welcome.” To which I could only laugh because really I was nervous as hell at the thought! We seemed to be forever in the scan while he prodded and poked, but he talked through everything he was doing and he let me watch. He even at one point tried to get some good 3D pictures of babies face for me, but as usual she was hiding her sweet little face in the placenta so we couldn’t see her much, but I got a few glimpses. I thought this was extremely nice of him because he didn’t in fact need to do that for me at all, he was only there to carry out the job in hand really. He measured all around baby in the little “pockets” of waters surrounding her, he kept pointing to the blue bits and saying “see this is water” and pointing to the red bits saying “this is cord” from what I could gather, the fact we could see a lot of cord was a bad thing. And that the waters were measuring low. So he decided to do a speculum. He told me that he didn’t think my waters were breaking but that he definitely thought “something” was happening down there due to the amount of discharge. (I’d also had some of the mucus plug coming away for a couple of days over the last week). I was told that the plan of action would be to come back on Friday when my consultant would carry out another scan and see where we would go from there. But that in between now and then, if I thought anything was progressing quicker or that I felt a gush of my waters then I was to ring the labour ward and go straight in.
Friday 10th July (36+ 1wks): My mum took me to the hospital for my consultant, Dr Nwosu to carry out another scan. Baby was monitored before we went in and she was fine. Then we went into the scan room and my consultant carried out his scan and measured the pockets of waters surrounding baby and he said he could see a lot of cord still. He checked babies heartbeat and all was well with baby he then did a speculum to see whether my waters had gone or not. He determined that they hadn’t but he said that my body was showing signs of preparing for labour and that “something is definitely happening”. He said that he wanted to admit me that day but that the delivery ward was at full capacity and they had even had to send one woman in labour to a different hospital. So I was to be booked in for the Monday to start inducing me and to come back on Saturday and Sunday for monitoring.
(Picture: Taken the night before I went in hospital to be induced, my last bump picture at home).
Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th July (36+2 and +3 wks): Baby was monitored for an hour each day to make sure she was okay and that she wasn’t reacting negatively to the low amniotic fluid, which she wasn’t. And my blood pressure was also monitored, which also came back normal.
Induction (36+4 wks)
This part is very structured because I wrote this all in the notes section on my phone as it all happened. It was my lowest point so I probably didn’t want to remember much of it and I do not wish induction on anybody!
9am – Admitted to ward
12pm – Cervix checked and it is thinning, first gel inserted, had a few pains and tightening
8:15pm – Cervix thinned and shortened, second gel inserted, pains start 3 every 10 mins on the monitor
9:40pm – Off monitor, pains relax then build up again through the night
(Picture: Not the most flattering picture ever, but we always want to document these things don’t we?).
1:45am – 2am – Paracetamol given
2 – 5am – Managed 3 hours of sleep
9am – Put back on the monitor but baby’s heart rate was higher than usual so they didn’t want to give the third gel straight away
11am – pains and tightening by this point near enough stopped. Was having one tightening around every ten minutes but nothing was regular
2-3pm – Was unsure of baby’s movements so the midwife had a listen in with her Doppler and was happy with her heart rate and she started to wriggle then!
4pm – Put on the monitor and baby’s heart rate is back to normal
4:25pm – Examined, cervix is only open a fingertip on one side so the third gel is inserted, put back on the monitor
5:25pm – Taken off the monitor, having a few tightening and pain but nothing major or regular
9pm – 2am – Woken up with really bad pain, constant down my left side, in my back and low at the front, thought this was it but managed to lie back down and go to sleep
7am – Woken up with no pain, some tightening but nothing regular again, determined to stay active today so been bouncing on the ball all morning
8am- Told the midwife I didn’t want the rest day and wanted to push on with the 4th gel but doctor advices against that because of the reason I am being induced they don’t want to distress the baby
11:30am – Put on the monitor
3pm – Examined, still just a fingertip, done a cervical sweep to see if that helps kick start my cervix to dilate, start to have period type pains but nothing more
(Picture: Again, so unflattering, I was extremely fed up in this photo, but it is my last ever bump picture of Ivy in there before she finally made her appearance).
10:30am – Feeling very fed up today. Examined, cervix still not open, fourth gel inserted, start to have period type pains while on the monitor for an hour
12:30pm – Me and Stuart go for a walk about after dinner, meet up with my mum and dad (cried when I saw my dad because I was so exhausted and fed up) having some pains on and off and tightening throughout the day
5:30pm – Have a mini breakdown because I got the wrong end of the stick and thought I would be examined today but they’re leaving me now till the morning if nothing more happens
7:30pm – Decide to have a shower (have another little sob) and pains and tightening are quite strong in there but calm back down when I come out
10:30 – 11:30pm – Night staff doing observations put me on the monitor, end up on that for an hour because baby’s heart rate is between 160-180 whereas her usual is 140 – 150, she is really active at this moment. They ring the registrar who says to ring the delivery suite, they observe the monitoring and decide to take me off of it to see if baby calms down (really thought this was it). Pains and tightening were reaching up to 60 on the monitor. I noticed a wet patch where I had been lying on the bed while on the monitor, told to put a pad on and lie on my left side for half an hour and then to check if the pad is wet. Decided my waters hadn’t gone, given painkillers and to try and sleep and told that I’m to stay nil by mouth from midnight just in case I have a c-section tomorrow.
5am – Woken up still with pains so have a bath to ease it but not getting my hopes up that this is it
9:30am – Put on the monitor, baby’s heart rate is fine
9:45am – Examined by a doctor, my cervix hasn’t dilated any so to go forward with a c-section for around 11:30 today, signed all the consent forms, rang Stuart and told him to get to the hospital ASAP
2pm – Taken down to the theatre and Stuart is taken to get changed into scrubs (he takes a few selfies) while they ask me a few questions and introduced me to some of the team before taken to the actual theatre room
It was all quite surreal walking into the theatre room, very bright lights and even more people (there must have been at least 8 people but I couldn’t register any faces). The only one I remember is the extremely lovely anaesthetist who made me feel so well looked after. I wanted Stuart with me while they put the spinal in place, which was quite painful and they had to attempt it twice because the first time the anaesthetist said my back had bent the needle! But once it was in, they told me to lie back and get my feet up and it seemed to take affect straight away but I still felt like I could feel my legs and I felt like there was a pain in my ankle (which I had sprained a week before) but when it came to cutting me, they asked if I could feel anything and I couldn’t.
I didn’t feel any pain but I could feel everything they were doing, all the pushing and pulling and pressure. Stuart and the anaesthetist were trying to keep me talking and Stuart chose some music to put on because I just couldn’t concentrate on anything else. At the time it felt like it was going on forever but then the anaesthetist said it was time to get the baby out and that I would feel like someone was sitting on my chest and that is the only way to describe it, it kind of takes your breath for a minute.
And then at 14:51 our daughter was pulled out of me and being held around the curtain for us to see and her little face was all screwed up but she wasn’t making any sound. They took her away again to be weighed and checked and this little cry came out, I shed a few little tears. We were told she was 6lb 7oz and breathing perfectly and she was wheeled in a little cot to Stuart and I remember one of the midwives counting her ten fingers and ten toes and then handing her to Stuart. I couldn’t take my hand off of her face and I couldn’t stop staring at her. Me and Stuart had a little kiss as well.
And of course all this was happening while they were getting the placenta out and then whilst I was being stitched up the anaesthetist said that I may start to feel a little sick, as soon as he said it I went all hot and prickly and I just knew I was going to throw up, I turned my head away from Stuart and Ivy because I remember thinking “I don’t want Ivy to see this” you know, because the baby was really more bothered than Stuart… But the anaesthetist put the sick bowl on their side so I had to turn my head to them to be sick. It soon calmed down after he gave me an anti-sickness drug.
And in no time at all I was all done and wheeled into the recovery room with Stuart and Ivy and two midwives where my vitals were monitored. I got to have my daughter on my chest for some skin to skin and within ten minutes she worked herself down to my breast and with a little help she latched onto my nipple and fed for 20 minutes which I found absolutely incredible. I’m not sure how long we stayed in that room for but it didn’t seem very long.
We were then wheeled on to a ward where I was going to be staying till home time. My parents and Stuart’s mum joined us and I tried to have a little something to eat while Ivy was being passed around. And that’s when things went downhill again and I couldn’t stop being sick but I felt so hungry having not eaten since 6pm the day before! So a midwife gave me another anti-sickness drug and it all calmed down again enough for me to devour a sandwich. I was told by the look of my urine in the catheter that I was quite dehydrated and that I needed to drink plenty of fluids.
And that is how my little girl came in to the world. Not the shortest of tales but she was most certainly worth the long wait. (Besides I can always keep reminding her of how awkward she was when she’s older, right?)