time flies when you're being a mum


How do you get a baby out? Well, there are about a million different ways to do childbirth and this aims to cover as many as possible!

27 Oct, 2014

Last week I shared Katy, from What Katy Said’s first baby birth story and it got a few of you talking about when you arrived at hospital 10cms dilated. Something I could only dream of!! This week we have Katy’s second story and it’s even quicker…but slightly more eventful ending in a fast water birth!

Katy’s Second Birth Story: a Fast Water Birth

By Katy from What Katy Said

Not a very long one as Baby L arrived in style!

I had false labour pains starting week 39 which completely threw me off, making me believe that I was going to go early as I did with Little G. However, my due date arrived and no sign of baby. At 40+2 I had my first sweep, although she wasn’t able to do more than just a stretch. Not a pleasant experience but I didn’t care- anything to help baby out is fine by me!

I had a second sweep at 40+ 5 and this time I lost my plug (bleugh) and had lots of cramps. At 41 weeks (which incidentally was my original due date according to LMP) my waters broke in spectacular style! I was laying on the sofa and I felt a little dribble. At first I thought I was weeing myself or losing more plug but then a little more came out and I realised what was happening. I called for hubby to get a towel while I jumped off the sofa and ran to the safety of the wooden floor. Luckily I was in my dressing gown as I was able to catch most of the waterfall that proceeded to gush out!! That night I had a second gush (turns out you have fore and hind waters).

The next morning I started to have regular contractions so called the midwife. By the time she arrived they had stopped so off I went into hospital to be induced. We arrived and after being strapped up for monitoring, I was given a pessary.

At 11.40am I was only 3cm and my cervix was still very posterior. Mr F went off to Sainsbury’s to get some lunch as we were expecting a long wait. He was back in about half an hour and by that time I was having contractions every 10 minutes. I told the midwife who assured me these were normal pessary pains and to get up and walk around to help get things moving. So up I got and within minutes I was having contractions every 5 minutes lasting 30 seconds.

I continued to walk backwards and forwards in front of the midwife station and within minutes they were every 3 minutes apart. I went to the desk and told them and they said not to worry, if I was able to talk through them they might just be the pessary messing with my system. I then explained how I was able to talk through my contractions right up to 10cm with Little G. This is when the midwife sat up and took notice.

She rang the midwife led unit and explained everything. They didn’t want to accept me and said I needed to be on the consultant led unit as my waters had broken more than 24 hours ago. I owe my birth experience to that midwife as she really fought my corner. She explained that I was within my right to refuse continual monitoring and so that is what I did. They were also having a conflict over whether to examine me or not. I told them I was progressing quickly and in the end they broke protocol and found I was 5cm but still with a posterior cervix.

I’m not sure how she managed to convince the midwives but at 2pm I was walked round to the midwife led unit. No sooner had I got into the room, I grabbed the gas and air. The ward midwife and student midwife arrived and took over from the other midwife. They asked me if I would like a water birth. In my drunken state I said ‘No it is icky’. The midwife asked again and said it would be relaxing so I agreed. She went to take the nozzle off the gas and air to move me to the other room but I grabbed it back and had another swig. Haha!

She then left me there while she ran the pool. At 2.30pm she came to fetch me and we raced round between contractions. I got in the pool before it was ready and the contractions seemed to intensify but I think that was more to do with me crouching in the water. At 2.40pm she turned off the taps and I was ready to push. The pushing seemed to take forever and at one point the pain completely stopped and I said ‘Oh good the head is out’. But apparently not!

Baby L was born at 2.58pm with the cord around her neck. I had to blow on her face a few times to bring her round but she was absolutely fine.  Her proud Daddy cut the cord and had skin to skin while I got dried up. We had to stay in for 12 hours monitoring due to my early waters but everything was well with both mummy and baby. The whole labour was 3 hours and 20 minutes and all a bit of a shock. If that midwife hadn’t paid attention to my body and me, I may well have given birth in the corridor!!

Thank you Katy!

So that concludes Katy’s birth stories…for now! I love that the midwives worked with you on this and you were able to have your fast water birth. Even if you didn’t even know you wanted one!

Did you have a fast birth? Were you still able to have a water birth?

Would you like to share your birth story? Please drop me an email to mumsdays@gmail.com, I’d love to hear from you.

For many more birth stories, head over to the Giving Birth Series where you will find over 100 more!

Katy's fast water birth!

19 Oct, 2014

My lovely friend, Katy from What Katy Said, has shared her two baby birth stories. The first part is what I would personally hope for next time; fairly quick and event free. 3 puffs of gas and air and voila, here’s a baby! I’m sure Katy doesn’t quite remember it like that…but in comparison with her second baby birth, by Katy’s own admission this was an easy one! Enjoy…

Baby Birth Part 1 – Katy’s fast first baby

My due date was the Saturday 1st October 2011 but because so many people told me that 1st time pregnancies go overdue I really didn’t expect to be seeing my baby any time soon.

In the early hours of Thursday 29th September I woke up with pains, just mild cramping really. I kept quiet for a while not wanting to build my hopes up but after an hour or two I woke up Mr F. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was meant to be feeling so got him to feel my tummy. He was pretty sure that it was tensing up so we started to time them.

Baby Birth part 1 - Katy's first baby arrived quickly, surprising even the mid-wives! Click here for part 1 of Katy's Baby Birth Story: http://mumsdays.com/baby-birth-katy-1/

Every 40 minutes another contraction would start, lasting for a 30 seconds or so. This went on until 9am when everything stopped. A false alarm. Great. I got on with my day (lazing on the sofa watching films on 5).

In the early hours of Friday morning it all started again, exactly the same pattern. I didn’t want to get my hopes up so just got on with my day. At 9am I had an appointment at the hospital to check my blood pressure and test my urine as it had trace amounts of protein at my last midwife appointment. The contractions were about half an hour apart at this stage and pretty intense.

The doctor asked how I was and I said ‘I think I am in labour’. She laughed and said ‘you would know if you were in labour’. I figured she must know what she was talking about and brushed it off as another false alarm.

Mr F took me home and then went off to work as normal. The contractions stayed about half an hour apart but continued to increase in intensity. I sat bouncing on my ball while watching films. By 2 o’clock I couldn’t take much more so took myself off for a bath.

I stayed in the bath all afternoon- I was one wrinkled prune, I can tell you. It seems a long time to be sitting in the bath but when you are working in 20 minute intervals it actually goes quite quickly.

Mr F arrived home at 5pm and the contractions were 6 minutes apart and strong. We had been told that it was important to keep eating throughout so we decided to have fish and chips (me still in the bath by the way!). He took exactly 12 minutes to rush to the end of the road and back again. I only had to deal with one contraction on my own in that time. I found pouring boiling hot water over my stomach really helped get through the pain.

At 7.30pm the contractions were lasting a minute and were 5 minutes apart. I rang the maternity ward and because I was able to talk all the way through them they told me to wait until 4 minutes apart. 4 minutes apart!! Were they crazy??

As a first time mum I did as I was told- looking back on it I should have told them to shove it and I was heading in! But that is a lesson learnt!

At 4 minutes apart I rang again (this was about 10 minutes later). I was still able to talk through them but I pretended I couldn’t. I took fake breaks in speech and feigned heavy breathing. How wasn’t I doing real heavy breathing for goodness sake?!

So off we drove to the hospital, quite calm and collected. Mr F even parked the car while I sat in the reception area. We calmly walked up to corridor and pressed the buzzer. ‘Sorry we have no room, we tried to call you’.

Are you kidding me???!!! With the timings there was no way I could relocate so I was going to have to share a midwife for the evening. Great.

We were left on our own for an hour. I was stood, fully clothed, with no gas and air. Still timing the contractions at 2 mins apart (as if they still needed timing!!) After the hour I was like a raving lunatic and demanded Mr F went to fetch someone.

A midwife came in and set me up with gas and air, I took 3 puffs and was sick. That was the end of that.

Soon after my midwife came in and asked me to go to the loo before she examined me. Well, what I found in my pants was very unpleasant. My plug. Totally gross.

She examined me and I was 10cm dilated. She was shocked I could tell, to be honest so was I!! I was expecting a 15 hour labour – in hospital. But here we were about to give birth.

At 9.30pm I began to push. I think my body had become so accustomed to the pain throughout the day it was ready for that final bit. The head coming out did sting to hell but overall, considering I had no pain relief it wasn’t too bad.

(If you are hating me right now don’t worry, my second labour hurt like hell!!)

Baby Birth part 1 - Katy's first baby arrived quickly, surprising even the mid-wives! Click here for part 1 of Katy's Baby Birth Story: http://mumsdays.com/baby-birth-katy-1/

At 9.50pm on Friday 30th September 2011 my beautiful baby girl arrived. Weighing a tiny 6lbs 11oz. I was totally in love.

The worst bit about it all was having to stay over night on the ward. Mr F was sent home as it was so late and I was left alone. I asked the midwife what I was meant to do. ‘Go to sleep’ she said- as if I was able to go to sleep after such an event!! I laid awake the whole night, wishing it to be morning.

Baby Birth part 1 - Katy's first baby arrived quickly, surprising even the mid-wives! Click here for part 1 of Katy's Baby Birth Story: http://mumsdays.com/baby-birth-katy-1/

As soon as 8am came around Mr F came to rescue me. This is one of my favourite photos. He was totally in love. He was amazing throughout the whole labour and is an amazing dad. I love my little family.

Thank you Katy!

What a pain threshold! I’m looking forward to part 2!!

Did you surprise the midwives?! How does your story differ to Katy’s 1st Baby Birth Story?

12 Oct, 2014

Last week I was at my in-laws reading and commenting on all the wonderful posts that had been linked up to The List when a post from Claire at Joy and Pops completely stopped my in my tracks. I had to quickly and quietly remove myself from the living room and sat in their bedroom quietly absorbing everything Claire had to say. In September Claire’s son would have been 12, they had a memorial service for her baby who was stillborn at 41 weeks. I went on to read her birth story and I felt like I had been punched.

This week is Baby Loss Awareness Week. To raise awareness and remember baby Louis, Claire has shared her stillbirth story as part of the Giving Birth Series: http://mumsdays.com/stillbirth-claires-story

Not every story has a happy ending and up until now I haven’t shared a story in the Giving Birth Series which doesn’t end in a healthy baby. But, in the words of the NHS

“Eleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, making stillbirth 15 times more common than cot death.”

I literally can’t believe that. I knew it was more common than people thought, but not that.

This week is Baby Loss Awareness Week and so I am sharing Claire’s story of stillbirth to help raise awareness.

I think there is two very important elements of National Baby Loss Week. The first is, of course, as a way for everyone to remember babies that died during pregnancy, at, during or after birth. For parents and their friends and families to come together and share in the grief they are going through.

When I was pregnant with Reuben I was consumed with a feeling that ‘something would go wrong’. We were fortunate and our healthy little boy arrived into the world crying loudly. Two weeks later, Mike’s cousin was not so fortunate and their little boy died just before he was born. He would have been 2 in September. I didn’t know Mike’s cousin that well but I grieved for them and felt consumed by guilt and relief that I had my baby. I felt I had to keep my distance and could offer them no support for fear of making it worse. I know now that that was self-centred and ultimately I couldn’t deal with their loss. This is a reminder not to push this grief under the carpet. Leigh from Head-space Perspective, had baby Hugo in February and he fought for 35 days. She has written this fantastic guide of things to never say to a bereaved parent (and what you should say instead).

The other element of this week is to raise awareness and prevent stillbirth. In Claire’s words, “I don’t think we should make pregnancy all doom and gloom but to educate women about the possibility [of stillbirth] and the signs to look out for.”

I would say if you are pregnant, it is of course your choice to read Claire’s story, but it is extremely traumatic and upsetting. So you may prefer to go straight to the advice and signs to look out for, which you can read here.

Stillbirth. My Story, my Son Louis

By Claire from Joy and Pops

It recently occurred to me that in the 12 years since I lost my son Louis, I have never told our story from start to finish. Always the abridged version to fit the audience, just the details that I think they will be able to understand or even want to hear.

So here it is, from the top.

I found myself pregnant at 20 years old, despite not being the previously maternal type, I was thrilled. I was in a fairly new relationship with ‘A’ (for the sake of his privacy) but we were crazy in love – that specific young crazy love where you think everything is going to be fine. I made plans to defer University until the following year, we moved to a new city, got a beautiful puppy called Molly and rented a house. We set about becoming a family, rose tinted glasses firmly in place.

I think about that couple sometimes, just starting out in the world. We may have been naive/crazy  but we really loved each other and we were happy.

We were also extremely poor. Our families, initially not overly pleased with our news, rallied to help us with baby essentials. We decorated the nursery with a nautical theme using donated half empty tins of paint. ‘A’ spent days decorating the room and painting an old chest of draws, it was late summer, I can still remember the smell of autumn appearing in the air and David Grey’s song ‘Babylon’ was the soundtrack as he worked. The first signs of autumn (and that song) still remind me of that time, it was filled with happy anticipation.

It was apparent that we were having a rather large baby. In fairness, I was absolutely huge. I know everyone says that but I really was. I went from 8st 7lbs to 13st 11lbs – totally massive. I had sciatica and could barely move. My due date came and went, not unusual of course. I had an appointment to discuss induction scheduled for 9 days overdue at the hospital.

As he walked, I shuffled, along the river that weekend – with Molly bounding around us – we talked about how our son would be born the following week. “One way or another” I said, which seems so prophetic now. Again, I think about that young couple and I feel so sad for them.

The morning of my appointment I was sitting on the bed when ‘A’ walked into the room, I blurted out that the baby wasn’t moving. I had tried lying down, poking my tummy and downed a large glass of cold water. Nothing. ‘A’ told me not to worry and reminded me that everyone keeps telling us that he’s so big he got no room to move and as we’re on our way to hospital anyway. We were going to the right place after all.

At the hospital we sat in the waiting room. ‘A’ chatting away, genuinely not worried but I felt cold and clammy with a fear I just couldn’t articulate. When we were called into the consultant’s room, I told them I couldn’t feel the baby move so they got me on the bed and listened for his heartbeat.

I now know what deafening silence sounds like. Silence so loud I can still hear it now.

Reassuring words and a scan arranged in the next room, only to confirm what everyone already knew. A lady saying sympathetically how sorry she was and leaving the room to get the midwife. I tried to stand up but my legs failed and I’m in ‘A’s arms on the floor screaming. I know I’m screaming but I can’t hear my own voice.

We are taken from the scan room to another smaller room. ‘A’ starts calling our families. Everything is such a blur but when I look back I think how hard those calls must have been for him to make. My Dad was visiting from abroad and had been due to have lunch with us, he was on his way to our house when he got the call and came straight to the hospital. He walked in the room and I collapsed on him in grief.

I never knew you could genuinely collapse in grief until that day.

The only saving grace that day was that I was already in labour, so no induction or waiting. Things actually moved quite quickly and I was taken to the SANDS room (a special room donated by the charity SANDS). When labour became more intense I was taken through to the delivery suite. I went to the bathroom on the way and stayed in that tiny room for so long they threatened to break in! I was hiding from myself, in pain on the floor. I knew once I left that room I was going to have to deal with what was happening – obviously it was all happening anyway but hiding in that little room felt like the better option.

I did eventually come out and labour progressed. My mum had been away on a course but rushed back to arrive in the evening. I had an epidural just before she arrived so was a bit more comfortable but when I saw her I broke down, I told her I couldn’t survive it – I knew I didn’t mean the labour.

It was just ‘A’, me and two very kind midwives for the delivery. I wouldn’t push, I didn’t want him to be born. I wanted him to stay inside until someone told me it had all been a mistake. I knew once he was born it would all be true and the real hell would start.

Louis was born into silence. He was silent, we were silent. Everyone was crying – even the midwives – but after the brutality of giving birth, there was not a sound to be heard.

They brought him back cleaned, wrapped in a blanket and lying in a moses basket. He was wearing a little blue knitted hat and holding a bunny. He had lots of black hair, chubby cheeks and podgy wrists. He was a beautiful little boy. He was big at 10lb 11oz. There was however, no way to pretend he was just sleeping, he looked dead and that shocked me. I would have liked to pretend for just a minute.

The house was cleared of baby things (except those I wanted to keep) while I was in hospital. People brought flowers and sent cards, all of which was very kind. For a time people spoke Louis’s name and listened to me speak about him, but even the closest of friends and family moved on leaving me behind, trapped in that moment of grief.

I wish I could say in the weeks, months and years that followed I rose above this terrible situation. The truth is I sank. For a long time, I just hit the depths. My relationship with ‘A’ fell apart by Louis’s first anniversary, I was barely surviving financially and I felt out of control emotionally. At 21 years old I had lost so much, so quickly.

I did rebuild my life but I was right when I told my mum I wouldn’t survive it. I didn’t. The person I am today is not the same woman who walked along the river at the end of that summer, waiting for her son to be born. I am a better person in many ways. I am stronger, but I am not the same.

Thank you Claire

It was an honour to share Louis’ story and remember him.

If you have been effected by Claire’s story and/or have a similar experience I would recommend visiting both Claire (Joy and Pops) and Leigh’s (Headspace Perspective) websites. They are wonderful, open people who I am sure would be happy to talk to you, and their sites are full of advice, support and hope. The NHS also has advice and support for grieving parents here.

05 Oct, 2014

Ah, c sections. Now there’s a subject that got heated discussion over on the Mums’ Days Facebook page a few weeks ago. For some people it is dramatic and extremely scary, for others it’s not. Both opinions are valid. I think for a lot of new mothers who have taken the anti-natal, NCT route, the general feeling is “I don’t want a c section” and so therefore when faced with it it can be traumatic, especially if mum and/or baby’s life is in danger. For some they feel the disappointed long afterwards. However, Eleanor’s prospective of having an unexpected c section was it isn’t something to fear, and it can  be a calm and enjoyable experience.

Eleanor's unexpected c section - her birth story demonstrates how a c section can be calm and enjoyable http://mumsdays.com/unexpected-c-section/

Eleanor’s birth story – the unexpected c section

A week after my due date, I went to the bathroom in the morning, had a wee, got up, and felt a colossal gush hit the bathroom floor. I actually laughed in delight, things were starting, our baby was on her way! The hospital said not to rush, they’ll be sending me home again probably, so I didn’t panic.

An hour later after several comical attempts to make a coffee as syrupy water continued to go south, I went to change my pants and found a very sticky, treacle-like substance all over them and me. Meconium, the hospital confirmed. Come now.

Still feeling excited, forgetting to eat (do not make this mistake), we arrived and were quickly shown to a delivery suite. No pool for us. Meconium means 24hrs to get the baby out before damage can occur. The vaginal examination was sharp and painful. No dilation, no engagement. No chance the baby was ready. The induction drip was started, the cannulas niggling and jangling in my hand.

It got painful very quickly. ‘No smiles anymore?’ said the midwife. No smiles. The pain of a contraction is hard to describe. It felt like a large heavy weight was being rolled around the inside of my pelvis. In ever-increasing, outward circles. I think I cried a bit. Then I wised up and stuck the TENS machine on. Magic TENS machine.

Four hours later, I was examined. 1cm. Sod this, I thought, and asked for Gas and Air. Magic Gas and Air. I breathed and sucked and said what my sister said everyone says ‘wow, it’s like being stoned’. It passed so quickly, it felt like a battle and I thought I was winning, every contraction doing something. Eight contractions in ten minutes came as they turned up the drip. My husband sat still, telling me good things and fending off the midwives chat.

Four hours later again, midwife shift changed as the sun went down. Husband sensed trouble as my lack of progress was discussed. 2cm now. I was furious, frightened and couldn’t see a way out. “2cm in 9 hours? How could I give birth within 24?” I shouted. They brought Pethadine. Magic Pethadine. Great choice for panickers.

Once it had kicked in and the epidural I’d been so sure I’d never need was on its way, the midwife mentioned we might have to start looking at other birth options. She meant a c section. I sort of ignored her the first time. But after the epidural went in smoothly and my contractions became nothing more than a blip on the monitor each time they happened, she examined me again. 4cm after 19 hours. The baby’s heartbeat is too erratic, they said. We’re going to book you in as an emergency c section. It felt right. We weren’t frightened. I was tired and ravenous, but not allowed to eat.

In between the three top-ups of the epidural to keep me prepared for the operation, they turned off the contraction drip. Our baby withdrew the short distance she had travelled, and went back to sleep with a resting heartbeat. She was safe. We dropped down the emergency list as women in greater need appeared.

Suddenly it was time to go, shift change for the surgeons, we were first job of the day for the elective c section crew. Into the theatre, bright lights and Heart FM. More cannulas and more painkillers. Husband looking fetching in blue beside me. “I’ll feel it!” I cried to the surgeon. They were great. Just calm efficiency and kindness. “You’ll feel me tickling you under your breasts in a minute,” she said. “This will be me bringing your baby out.”

I looked at my husband and we held on tight. “Here she is! It’s a girl! Would you like to see her now?”

When they dropped the curtain separating me from our girl, I saw her. Bloody and pink, wiggling and crying. I will never, ever forget that moment. As they wrapped her and put her in my husband’s arms, She’s The One by Robbie played on the radio and I just stared.

Eleanor's unexpected c section - her birth story demonstrates how a c section can be calm and enjoyable http://mumsdays.com/unexpected-c-section/

Very quickly, one surgeon stitched and the other cleaned. I was sent to triage with a baby beside me. She had her first go at eating whilst we watched wondrously and then I demolished the entire contents of my tuck box with a hunger I cannot begin to describe!

Eleanor's unexpected c section - her birth story demonstrates how a c section can be calm and enjoyable http://mumsdays.com/unexpected-c-section/

A c-section was the only way of birthing that I hadn’t considered or planned for. The long first stage of labour was debilitating and at times demoralizing, but I felt supported and listened to. I got the best care possible and good advice, despite what various organisations had told me would occur if I took drugs or had surgery.

If you’re expecting a baby, when it comes to birth, you’ll get told birth stories, not given advice, and I think that’s a good thing. You can plan for labour and birth but you can’t plan for how your body will decide to take things. Don’t be scared of an unexpected c section, read about the risks and benefits and listen to tales like mine. Emergency doesn’t necessarily mean danger or panic.

Thank you Eleanor!

What I took from this story is ultimately it doesn’t matter how your baby comes out, it is still a beautiful moment. Giving birth can be extremely traumatic for some, without a doubt (I’ve shared many of them on here), but we should never beat ourselves up for how our baby is born. Our bodies are amazing. They have grown and nourished a baby from a single cell. A whole baby!

Would you like to share your birth story? Please drop me an email to mumsdays@gmail.com, I’d love to hear from you.

For many more birth stories, head over to the Giving Birth Series where you will find over 100 more!

14 Sep, 2014

I have a birth story today full of excitement – you literally don’t know what’s going to happen next! This is also the first time I’ve published a story from someone who didn’t have a partner to support them through the scary time of giving birth. The story today is from Emily, from Extra Help, and she shares her journey of becoming a single parent.

Becoming a single parent – Henry’s birth story

Emily was rhesus negative, pregnant and preparing for becoming a single parent. Click the link to read her wonderful birth story of giving birth to Henry: http://mumsdays.com/becoming-a-single-parent/


It has taken me a while to write this down but my son’s birth is still something I think of quite a lot – I’m not sure if that is normal or not!

When I found out I was pregnant I knew I would be on my own with my child, and that coloured my entire pregnancy no matter how much I tried to be strong or pretend it didn’t. I think I focused so much on the practicalities of being pregnant with no partner (have you ever tried to build nursery furniture at 8months pregnant?!) that I sort of glossed over the giving birth part.

I had received some treatment shortly before becoming pregnant to remove pre-cancerous cervical cells, which meant that I had quite a few bleeds as my pregnancy progressed due to my weakened cervix. It sounds awful, but I had become quite blasé about this, and was used to popping in to the maternity ward for an anti D injection when needed (I am rhesus negative) and an hour or so’s monitoring to check baby was ok. I was warned it was likely I would go into labour early, so I’d been on high alert from about 36 weeks. As it was, the one day I didn’t expect to go into labour was my due day – and as such I think I was in denial for a large part of my labour!

I woke about 5.30am and went for a wee and noticed blood when I wiped. I called the maternity unit and very cheerily announced it was me again with yet another bleed, and I would wander in once I had had a shower. I was going to drive myself in to the hospital but something made me wait till 6am and call my mum to ask if she could come with me. I remember saying to her that she didn’t need to rush, but I just felt a bit weird… Famous last words!

I had a shower and noticed I was having to pause every now and again because I felt strange. It still hadn’t occurred to me that I was in labour! I went down stairs and leant over my birthing ball on all 4’s. The pain was now bad enough that I was scared I wouldn’t be able to get up to open the front door for my mum, and between “feeling weird” (because, remember, I hadn’t twigged I was in labour!) I made a lurch for the door to open it.

My mum arrived and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sit in the front seat, so I got in the back and spent the entire journey on my knees facing the rear window and clutching the head rest of the seat. I remember looking at cars beside me as we were stuck in traffic and thinking they must wonder what the hell I was doing. The pains were increasing at this point, and I really went into myself, which I think scared my mum as I went totally silent. We were at traffic lights by St James Park, and I said to my mum, “I think I will get out here, I need to push so I will go behind a pillar so no one sees”. It seemed totally logical to me that because I wasn’t going to make it to the hospital, there was the next best place to give birth.

Luckily my mum ignored me and we arrived at the hospital just after 7.30am. This was where things started kicking off a bit. When I called the labour ward just 2 hours earlier I was adamant I wasn’t in labour and was coming in because of a bleed. Therefore when I arrived, totally silent and trying not to push, they didn’t actually believe I was in labour. I remember them putting me into a cubicle to wait for a midwife and I went back to reception to beg for someone to help me. The midwife who followed me back actually laughed when I tried to take off all my clothes, and said I was going to struggle with labour if this is what I was doing after a bleed.

I was examined and here is where things get a bit blurry. I was told I was 10cm and I burst into tears because I wanted to be 6cm so that I still had time for an epidural. I felt totally disassociated from what was going on, it felt like it was all happening to someone else.

The midwives put me onto a wheelchair – I say put because I couldn’t sit, so was kneeling on it grabbing the back as they wheeled my down the corridor. We sailed past a load of workmen and the midwives were trying to cover me with a sheet as my mum told me to behave and keep my clothes on!

We got into the delivery suite, and I climbed up onto the bed, and this was where things started to immediately go wrong. My baby was monitored and his heart rate was dropping with each contraction. The nurse pressed a buzzer and the room filled with people as the crash team assembled. A doctor explained that they needed to get my baby out now, and she was going to put me in stirrups, give me an episiotomy and use keloid forceps. I still hadn’t had any pain relief, and she explained that it was now too late, I couldn’t even have gas and air as it would affect my pushing.

I never know how much to say about things at this point, I find it hard to think about, whilst at the same time I sometimes think about it obsessively!

I think up till now I had coped with the pain ok. Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly painful, but I felt I was coping and it was managable. The doctor numbed me with local anaesthetic and then cut me, something I didn’t feel. Then she used the forceps, which was ironically the one thing I had put in my birth plan that I didn’t want. I remember screaming, but it felt like it was happening to someone else. Henry had become stuck, and needed turning, which was excruciating. A few things that struck me at this time, was the weird sensation of being able to feel my baby moving down inside me, and also of how wide apart my legs needed to be to accommodate getting a baby out. It just hadn’t occurred to me!

Emily was rhesus negative, pregnant and preparing for becoming a single parent. Click the link to read her wonderful birth story of giving birth to Henry: http://mumsdays.com/becoming-a-single-parent/

After 3 contractions, less than 4 hours after I woke up, Henry Jack was born. He was placed on my tummy for a second, while the doctor cut his cord and then the crash team whisked him away to another corner of the room. I remember apologising to my mum because I had wanted her to cut his cord, and asking her to go to him so he wasn’t alone. It seemed like an eternity before he cried out, and those minutes where they were working on him and the tension in the room grew will stay with me forever.

Emily was rhesus negative, pregnant and preparing for becoming a single parent. Click the link to read her wonderful birth story of giving birth to Henry: http://mumsdays.com/becoming-a-single-parent/

We transferred from the hospital to my local hospital up at Hexham where we stayed for 4 days. The early days were incredibly hard, because it all felt so surreal, and because the stitching I had was quite extensive my recovery took a good 6 weeks. I think on reflection I probably had a touch of PND, and I was later diagnosed with PTSD relating to his birth.

Henry is now a happy and healthy 2.5 year old, and we are an awesome team just the two of us. I look at him, and know it was worth it…. But he will definitely be an only child!

Thank you Emily

I would have loved it if you had given birth behind a pillar at St James’ Park (Newcastle’s Football Stadium) – that would definitely have made the news!! – but obviously from a safety point of view, I’m glad your mum didn’t let you get out the car! Thank you also for being honest about how you felt after the birth. I think a lot of people might have felt the same but tried to push it out of their minds. It’s so important to talk about PND so others can start to identify it in themselves and get the help they need.

How did you feel about being a single parent? Did you get the support you needed during labour? How did you feel afterwards?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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