time flies when you're being a mum

Nancy's speedy arrival

31 Dec, 2018

I started writing Nancy’s Birth Story when she was a week old, and now she’s 6 and half weeks – how time flies. So, my final thing to do before the year is out is to finish this baby delivery story—so help me!!

Back on 14th November (the last time I blogged!), I was 41 weeks pregnant, and I was just about to head into Cramlington for a scan. I’d been feeling less and less of the baby, and with being overdue, I guess I was more panicky.

baby delivery - number 2

On the way for my scan – this is the last photo of my bump that I took!

The scan was all fine and after more monitoring (also fine), I saw the doctor (basically a 12-year-old boy) who, because I was overdue and experiencing reduced movement, offered to move forward my induction from Saturday to that evening at 6pm.

baby delivery - number 2

I said yes, then cried as soon as I left.

I didn’t want to be induced at all. I was worried it would be long and drawn out, but I also worried about the baby. I wanted her out safely. And I’m so glad we did because this was the best possible birth experience I could have wished for because:

  1. I didn’t have travel during labour or even move rooms
  2. It was quick.

Both fears after last time!

Ready?!

Baby Delivery – Number 2

After I was sent away at 3pm, feeling highly emotional, I drove home listening to my birth affirmations to calm me down. By the time I got home I was feeling much more upbeat and excited to meet our baby.

I needed to get everything ready for the kids who were getting picked up by Mike’s parents at 5pm, and collect all the things I wanted in the hospital with me. My bag was mostly packed it was just the last minute things like my makeup bag, laptop and device chargers.

The house was chock-a-block with builders as usual, and once home I had a surreal moment where I was simultaneously discussing the broken boiler with the plumber while trying to pack in record time – life as we knew it about to change FOREVER, but problems with the boiler help to keep your feet on the ground!

Mike came to get me around 4:45pm; then we headed to school to see the kids and let them know their baby brother or sister was on its way and do the handover. I found myself getting emotional all over again as we said goodbye to them as apprehension kicked in…what would the next 24 hours bring? And would everything be ok??

A quick stop at the takeaway pizza place (we were starving and needed sustenance of some kind!!) and then we were off to Cramlington. We were both feeling excited by this point and chatted about names since we still hadn’t decided.

I messaged my friend, Jeannie, who was also going to be my birth partner. Reuben’s birth was so long; I had decided I wanted a couple of birth partners so they could tag team if necessary. Jeannie had been with me every step of the way while prepping for birth – she came to my hypnobirthing classes, with the lovely Shona from Empowered Hypnobirthing, and had busied herself in the weeks leading up to the birth with making sure she had a fun playlist (which her husband Kieran kindly put together for me), tropical twist Fanta (something I imagined drinking in labour when I was visualising the perfect birth!), and fruit and yogurt in her camper-van for when I needed it.

When we got there, we went up to the delivery suite, and I was shown straight to my room. This was the room I’d be in from start to finish, so I was already feeling better. One of my previous fears about giving birth was having to travel – I’d had to go to the hospital multiple times when in labour with Reuben and kept getting sent home. I HATED travelling in the car in labour!!!

baby delivery - number 2

After some checks and another scan, they then put the pessary in, and we were left to it. Mike immediately passed out – like he was prepping for war.

baby delivery - number 2

Jeannie arrived soon after, so we went for a walk and put the roof up in her van ready for the disco! She prepped me some pineapple while I danced about to Beyoncé and other classic bump shakers. We had such a laugh!

baby delivery - number 2

baby delivery - number 2

By 11pm I figured I ought to go back to the room to rest as I’d been warned it could take up to 24 hours before anything even started to happen.

I laid down listening to my ‘fear release’ hypnobirthing and dozed a little, by about 1am I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable with some cramping but also a little impatient. I decided I’d put on a TV program (Parks and Recreation has been my absolute favourite throughout this pregnancy, and I watched three seasons back to back in the first few weeks of Nancy’s life while feeding!) and bounce on the birthing ball.

I sat on the ball, and after about two bounces my waters went. Boing. Boing. Splat. It was 1:45am. I hadn’t managed even to get the show started!

I waddled to the bathroom and removed all my lower half. I sat for a minute. Now what? From experience, my waters going meant jack-all.

I called to Mike to say my waters had gone and he sprang to action. And this was his moment to shine because he was terrific! He was with me every step of the way, giving me sips of Fanta and encouraging me and shutting up when I needed him to. That nap (and Shona’s hypnobirthing classes) clearly did him some good.

As soon as I came out of the bathroom, the contractions started. Slowly at first, but within 30 mins they were a minute apart. I thought about calling Jeannie at this point to let her know, but I was already naked from the waist down! Plus, things felt like they were happening quite quickly and Mike was being great.

We discussed telling the midwife. Did we need to bother her yet? I decided after a few more intense surges, around 15 mins after my waters had gone, that I would let her know. She came to see me and didn’t leave the room until the baby was born.

I didn’t want to lie down, so she hooked me up to the monitoring machine while I stood. The baby was nice and calm, with a perfect heart rate throughout. Around 2:30am she asked me if I wanted to be checked to see how far along I was.

I did, and I didn’t.

The contractions were feeling intense so I didn’t want to find out I was 2cm!

After about three attempts to lie down in-between contractions (I couldn’t bear to be on my back) during one, she was finally able to tell me I was 5cm.

Hurrah! Give me some drugs, please. My earth mother thoughts of a drug-free birth went out the window the minute I knew I was going to be induced.

She gave me some gas and air which did the trick for a while but made me feel utterly drunk. I hadn’t been drunk for over a year, so it was such a weird feeling. I remember telling them during a brief lull that I felt like I was in the taxi queue at the end of a night, with my ears ringing from the music. I might also be sick…

Around 3am the surges turned pushy and weird. I had a wobble, and this was getting hard. Please, can I have some stronger drugs?!

She asked me to hold on and if I was feeling the urge to push as my waters splatted on the floor. Yep! She was worried the baby was going to fall on the floor, so after a couple more contractions she got me on the bed on all fours leaning on the back of the bed, which had been raised. Mike stood on the other side of the bed, whispering words of encouragement.

At this point, I remember using the affirmations I’d listened to over and over again to prepare for the birth. As each surge came, I would think about breathing love down to my baby and surrounding it with oxygen to help it come out.

The urge to push got stronger and I had another wobble. I can’t do this, please can I have some drugs??? Each time I had a wobble I remember thinking, ‘Perhaps this is the transition?’…but I had three wobbles! And when she checked me one last time I was still only 8cm despite the urge to push.

The midwife told me that sometimes with second babies you can push your cervix open. It seems that’s what I did because about 15 minutes later, Nancy was born.

The pushing bit was quite tough, not least because I was pushing before my cervix was ready. I don’t remember the pushing phase with Reuben because I’d had quite a bit of diamorphine. But I distinctly remember this time that burning feeling as she was crowning and having to keep pushing when I didn’t feel I had any more strength. But between Mike and the midwife’s encouragement, I did keep pushing. During each pause, Mike would give me a sip of Fanta. I knew it would see me through!

It took all my strength and a little bit more, and at 3:31am on 15th November my baby girl was born.

The bed must have been utter carnage as every push seemed to release more water. But, still on all fours and in amongst the chaos that I didn’t even notice. I was passed my baby—I had no energy left, but I remember looking to see what she was.

A girl.

Mike and I both had a feeling she might have been, but I still couldn’t believe it. A perfect little girl.

I turned over to lay down with what little strength I had left, and we laid there, exhausted, for what seemed like ages. I don’t know what anyone else was doing – probably cleaning up! – I couldn’t even tell you if I had a blanket on me. I was happy but spent, only just able to hold her whilst taking her in.

Oh and I remember a push for the placenta and the midwife saying “don’t push yet” but I didn’t have a choice, my body did it all on its own!

baby delivery - number 2

After that Mike had some skin-to-skin time with Nancy while I was stitched up.

I had a little tear in the same place I’d had my episiotomy with Reuben, and those needles before were stingy!!

Nothing I couldn’t handle though. I’d done it! We had done it.

All those months of positive thinking even when I was scared, they had paid off. My bits may have felt like they were inside out for a day or so, but I had safely and calmly (sort of!) brought my baby girl into the world. I felt amazing.

baby delivery - number 2

 

Around 5am we messaged our family to let them know the good news. I knew my parents, my mum, in particular, would have been sleeping badly waiting to hear the news – so I figured they’d rather know sooner than later that all was ok.

And then I remembered Jeannie!

I felt terrible that she’d gone to all the effort of classes and coming out to Cramlington to sleep in her van only to miss the action. In reality, the birthing process was in 2 parts. The pushy bit was part two but just as important was the beginning—the bit where Mike rested while Jeannie kept my spirits up and got my Oxytocin flowing. I felt very cared for in her van listening to happy tunes while she fed me pineapple.

She also put twinkly lights around the delivery room and made sure I had a large supply of Fruit Twist Fanta! I think that definitely helped with kick-starting this super quick baby delivery!

Jeannie came up to see us as soon as she woke up to the news and made me a delicious breakfast of fruit, nuts and natural yogurt. It was amazing. And when Mike went home to sort out something to do with the builders and get Nancy’s car seat (we didn’t think we’d be moving so soon!), I snoozed while Jeannie had baby cuddles.

baby delivery - number 2

By midday, we were released so I could go to Hexham hospital to stay there a few days. I’d wanted to stay as long as possible, what with having the builders in, but also because I’d heard such wonderful things about it. I wanted to have the chance to properly establish breastfeeding with their support and have a little bonding time before heading back to the chaos at my house!

I had two lovely days in Hexham; the staff were wonderful and so caring. I had loads of support with trying to get her to latch right and getting her settled so I could rest. Unfortunately, my stay was cut short by a less nurturing midwife, who I hadn’t met before and more or less asked me to leave. I guess they must be under pressure to keep costs down, but as the only person on the ward, I didn’t feel I was being that much trouble and still didn’t feel very confident with feeding her. Feeding was very painful, and I didn’t think Nancy had her position just right yet.

Nonetheless, at 6pm on Saturday night I went home – and despite the tears (my milk was just coming in so there were hormones a-raging!), it was lovely to be back with my boys (Gabby was at her mum’s) and start this new stage in our lives.

baby delivery - number 2

4 comments.

Guest post from Picnics in the Rain

15 Mar, 2015

Ooh I do love a good unexpected home birth story! And as Christmas Chic seems to be all the range with our kids at the moment (see here if you’ve no idea what I’m talking about!), I figured you’d love this surprise Christmas Baby story from the lovely Jess of Picnics in the Rain!

Christmas Baby…Born Beneath the Christmas Tree!

Right before I pop

This is me, posing by the Christmas tree a few days before I pop. At this time we weren’t sure if she would come before Christmas, at Christmas or after Christmas.

2 comments.

Guest post from Free Range Chick

03 Mar, 2015

The Giving Birth Series is finally back!!! And, I thought it would be pretty awesome to kick start the series with a positive birth story. Today I share Fiona, the Free Range Chick‘s story. We’ve been discussing it for ages – she got in touch with me a while back when she asked me to read her take on birth stories, Childbirth: it isn’t that bad, and the fact that as mums we can kind of scare the hell out of each other with our tales of terror…also known as our birth stories.

My own labour experience was long, exhausting but on the whole pretty alright. However, I have to admit, the thought of having another baby has become a lot more scary since reading and sharing over 100 giving birth stories. I now know what can go wrong and I honestly think I will need some sort of therapy if and when we decide to have another.

That said, I also strongly believe in women being able to share their stories in all their glory, as childbirth, whichever way it happens is incredible. So, while I agree with Fiona that we do scare each other, I also believe we are grown ups and should pick and chose what we read and when. For example, if we do decide to have another baby, I will be making sure I only read the positive births… which leads me nicely to Fiona’s wonderful Free Range Birth Story!

Free Range Birth Story - Fiona's positive birth story, ideal reading for expectant mothers!

Fiona’s Free Range Birth Story

Guest post from Fiona Chick

In June 2013 I gave birth to my second child, Fraser. After having a pretty regular birth with my first son Finley (in hospital, failed home birth due to meconium, delivery suite labour with episiotomy, healthy baby, a few stitches, happy days), I was rearing to go. Seriously, I really looked forward to labour again this second time.

I was never worried or frightened about labour the first time round. I saw it as a challenge and figured that that was what my body was designed to do. I had faith in my body and I wasn’t disappointed with how things panned out the first time.

My second pregnancy was a lot tougher than my first one. I had a lot of pelvic pain due to SPD, which was made even harder with a long commute to work three times a week, on top of looking after my toddler, who was barely out of babyhood himself (my kids are 18.5 months different in age). I was signed off work as sick towards the end of my pregnancy due to the pelvic pain, and was more than slightly relieved when I started to feel some shifting (and spied a good old bloody show) the day before I went into labour.

On the afternoon of 11th June, Ian helped me put Finley to bed (roughly translated as I sat ball-like watching Ian putting Finley to bed), before I took to bed myself, just to stretch my legs and watch some TV in comfort. It was baking hot that summer, and the heat was ruthless. I was probably watching Hollyoaks (one of my previous guilty pleasures, before I discovered blogging), when I noticed that I had been getting some fairly regular contractions. I began writing them down, just to make sure that I wasn’t imagining their regularity. Yep, they were definitely happening, definitely regular, and I was in no doubt that I was in labour. Yippee!

My mother had a really slow labour with me but almost delivered my younger brother in the car. I was a little concerned about having the same speed of delivery with my second. We’d made a decision not to attempt home delivery this time, largely because we had Finley in the flat and didn’t think it would be particularly convenient for any of us. After a couple of hours of contractions, I let my parents know that I was in labour, as they’d need to babysit Finley while we were at hospital.

It was 9pm-ish when mum and dad arrived, a couple of hours after I had gone into labour. I hadn’t needed any pain relief, breathing through the contractions. Call me odd, but I welcomed each contraction. It was one less contraction to go through, one more contraction conquered and I felt exhilarated by each one. They were coming steadily, so I made the decision to head into hospital, just to avoid having baby’s head hanging out while I negotiated the external stairs out of the flat.

Upon arrival, which was nearing 11pm, I was found to be 4cm dilated. Cool. I was in established labour. The (absolutely marvellous) midwifery team that were on that night advised that I have a walk around to get things going. Fine. I did this for a bit, but being the neurotic soul I am, I was clock-watching and getting cross that I was going to be up all night pacing the hospital corridors when I should be sleeping (knowing that I was going to have a newborn and toddler to look after from tomorrow).

Free Range Birth Story - Fiona's positive birth story, ideal reading for expectant mothers!

The midwives spotted me looking a bit moody and asked me how I was doing. I said I was grand, but explained my sleep stance. One of them suggested that I have some pethidine. I told her that I didn’t need pethidine, because the pain was fine. Her response astonished me. She suggested that I could have pethidine (I’d had it before), which would make me sleepy, as well as relieve the pain from contractions. They’d find me a bed, I could have a kip, and then wake up fresh and give birth. Voila!

Really?! They could actually give me pethidine for the purpose of having a doze, get me a bed and I’d be all set for the big birth the next day? I was totally sold.

Since my first son, I had been concerned about not being active enough during labour, and worried that being stationary would inhibit the progression of labour. However, facing a night of pacing and contractions, I just wanted to sleep. So within minutes they’d found me a bed, given me some pethidine, a blanket (a blanket for poor chilly Ian too – we were right underneath the air-conditioning machine!), and I nodded off. My sleep was broken with contractions, but for the most part, I got to lie down, close my eyes and get some sleep.

I have no idea what time it was when one of the midwives came to see me again. It must have been some hours later. She examined me and said some amazing words.

“You’re a very strong lady. You’re 8cm dilated. We can go to the pool now.”

Awesome! I was still a little sleepy from my snooze and the pethidine, but that bit of news certainly woke me up. The midwife went ahead to get one of the pools ready, and before long we were in our warm room and I was stepping into the pool.

It was pretty early in the morning, probably around 7am, as the day shift had just started, and our midwife was lovely Leanne. She was pretty young, had a very calm manner, was cheerful and spoke gently. There were only three of us in the room (not including Fraser).

The warm water was wonderful. My contractions had been pretty steadily increasing in intensity over the night, but once I was in the pool, they were easier to cope with. However, they did slow down.

Although the time in the pool was chilled and relaxed, it was a little dull, if I’m really honest. For a while it was just a sleepy morning for Ian and Leanne, watching me contract every few minutes, and then a bit of conversation in between. Ian was probably desperate for a proper kip and some food. Leanne was probably contemplating the rest of her long day at work! I was fine, puffing on a bit of gas and air from time to time, although I actually found the gas and air more distracting than anything.

I asked Leanne if she was happy with how slow things seemed to be, and she was absolutely fine. She checked baby’s heart-rate every so often, but didn’t examine me. After some time, I had begun to feel rather more uncomfortable than one normally would in the final stages of labour. I felt incredibly heavy in the nethers, literally feeling like I was carrying an enormous weight with my vag. Oh wait, I was.

I decided that I wanted to get out of the water for a bit. I couldn’t even tell you why. I think I thought I would feel more comfortable out of the water, or that I needed to move. I don’t know. Anyway, I got out of the water, got onto a bed and moved around a bit. All sorts of positions. My water hadn’t broken yet, and I was really feeling horribly heavy, so decided that I would try and give a little push to see what happened. I hadn’t yet had urges to push, and thankfully Leanne wasn’t hassling me to get things moving quicker. I was very grateful for her chilled manner.

I gave a little push, then another, and was astonished to then find myself firing my newly-broken waters across the room (I’m giggling at the image of that). And what a relief it was to be rid of the waters, and to hear that they were clear of meconium. My waters breaking relieved a lot of the pressure that I had been feeling, so I felt the desire to return to the pool.

It must have been a bit over an hour since I had got into the pool, and I was getting a bit fed up of not very much happening. My waters breaking a few minutes prior to now was a good thing, and I felt that I had helped that happen by giving some little pushes. I was waiting for this great urge to push to happen, but it wasn’t. My contractions had slowed down and were getting easier to manage. In my head, this wasn’t the way that labour was supposed to go, especially as I’d dilated so well to 8cm.

It was then that I decided to give some more little pushes another try. So I gave a little push, and the craziest thing happened. It was like I had kick started a motor that I couldn’t stop, that I had no control over. The little push had caused my body to do an uncontrollable, huge, unstoppable push of my baby. I’m probably not describing it very well, but there was absolutely nothing active that I was doing in those moments after I gave that little push. All I could do was steady myself and hold on to the side of the pool, as my uterus quite literally gave my baby the most powerful kick in the bum. I could have been asleep or sedated, and my body would have expelled him from me.

Free Range Birth Story - Fiona's positive birth story, ideal reading for expectant mothers!

I think Leanne got a bit excited at that moment. It was probably the most intense part of my labour. Everything before then had been about riding the contractions, and killing time. That first huge, unstoppable contraction pushed my baby’s head down and out. And my god, that was the hardest bit. I hadn’t had the whole ‘ring of fire’ sensation with my first (above average sized) baby. But this time, I felt everything. Leanne had got her hands into the water by this time to see what on earth was going on. She guided me through that contraction, to the point where his head was delivered. One thing that happened in that moment was that Leanne had a mini-panic and called another midwife into the room (she told me this afterwards). She saw the size of Fraser’s head, and thought that I was going to be delivering a monster.

So the next thing, another midwife was in the room, just in case the ‘monster’ got stuck. Leanne told me to wait until I got another contraction before pushing again. I didn’t have to push again. Another massive, intense, unstoppable contraction started again, pushing my Fraser’s body all the way out, with no problem. I didn’t need to do a thing. And thankfully, although he was a big baby (9lb for my 5’1 frame), he was long and thin with a whopping (off the charts – literally) head.

Leanne assisted, but I was able to fish a newborn Fraser out of the water and into my arms. It was the most amazing moment in my life (other than the birth of Finley). He was perfect and healthy, if not a little bit battered-looking, or ‘mash-up’, as my mum says.
I stayed in the pool with him for a few minutes before I got out with him. He remained attached to me via his cord for ages. I don’t know how long, but it was ages. I’d never really thought about all of these details beforehand. I was just keen to be healthy and have a healthy baby. In the time that I’d got out of the water, got dry, sat down, had a cuddle with Ian and a chat with Leanne on the bed (all the while, with Fraser in my arms) we still had an intact cord.

I was really interested in the cord, as I had not got the chance to see my cord or placenta for my first labour. It probably sounds weird, but I got a chance to touch it, look at it and Leanne showed me the details of it. I found it fascinating, although I understand some people may be a bit grossed-out by it. I also cut the cord, which looking back, seems like such an odd thing to do. The act of a new mum cutting the cord that has attached her baby to her seems so significant. It has to be done, but it is so symbolic.

Free Range Birth Story - Fiona's positive birth story, ideal reading for expectant mothers!

Leanne asked if I wanted to have the injection to assist the third stage of labour (the delivery of the placenta). I declined this time, especially as everything had gone so blooming well. I soon got a contraction and delivered the placenta, totally naturally. And the final icing on the cake was that I needed no stitches at all, despite having a baby with an enormous head. It was a marvellous experience and was a beautiful way to end my childbearing days (we’re not having anymore).

My inspiration for sharing this story is because I feel passionate that we should avoid scaring each other about childbirth. It isn’t helpful to other women, especially the women who already have anxieties. I sympathise deeply with women who have had a difficult childbirth experience. But if one woman had a tough time, it is not a guarantee that every woman will have a similar experience. I wanted to share a positive birth story, as a point of reference for women who will be going through childbirth for the first time, or who have had a difficult labour and want some positive thoughts.

Otherwise, that was my story of the birth of my second child, Fraser Chick. I really hope you enjoyed it and can take a feeling of positivity from it.

Fiona x

Thank you Fiona!

I can take the feeling of positivity from it!! In fact it’s almost made me excited to go through it all again. Not quite but almost!

What did you think of Fiona’s Free Range Birth Story? Did you find it important to seek out positive stories when you were preparing for labour?

Please do leave your comments below. Also, if you have a positive birth story (or not so positive!), please do get in touch. You can email me hannah@mumsdays.com.

If you’re not sure where to start then read of this post: How to write a story for the Giving Birth Series.

5 comments.

Guest post from Mama Ramblings

23 Nov, 2014

Today I bring you the lovely Emily, from Mama Ramblings, and her lucky baby birth story. It’s such a great story, which I have a feeling many mums (myself included) will relate to…waters breaking, taking aaaaaages to get into ‘established labour’, and then needing to be induced. But there’s still the added little bit of luck that pulls this story together! Enjoy!

Mondays Child- My Birth Story Part I

By Emily, Mama Ramblings

This is me 9 months pregnant; overdue, starting to climb the walls and so excited to meet our baby.

Emily's Lucky Baby Birth Story! http://www.mumsdays.com/lucky-baby-birth-story

I was due on the 3rd, that date you know really means nothing but you spend 9 months pinning everything on to it. The day came and went with not so much as a twinge and a very uncomfortable, relatively unsuccessful cervical sweep. At that stage I had a bishops score of just 1 (really unlikely to go in to labour naturally at that point) and the whole process at the midwife left me feeling hot and dizzy and rather unwell. (more…)

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16 Nov, 2014

I have a fabulous birth story that tosses the rule book well and truly in the bin without even a cursory glance! Proving that not all first labours are long, Ellen, who writes El and Baby A, share her experience.

If you’re a first time mum-to-be, get your goggles on this story and focus on it!

Not all first labours are long!

By Ellen from El and Baby A

Tuesday, May 27th, I was 40+5 weeks pregnant, we had a routine hospital appointment. I turned down the option of a membrane sweep and was scheduled in for an induction the following Monday at 9am. I remember being so annoyed I had to wait until June to have my baby, such a minor detail now but try telling an overdue momma that! I came home from the hospital and cried to Clayton that night in bed about the terrible things I had heard about induction and what if I couldn’t handle the pain of it all. After a lot of reassuring I finally went to sleep. (more…)

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