If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram which you totally should be doing, you'll know that on the 27th of September Edith Olivia Rae arrived into the world. The last week and a bit has been amazing and I've loved every minute of being a mama.
I've been excited to write this post ever since I found out I was pregnant. I've always loved hearing people's birth stories and of course I'm going to share mine. I'm going to be brutally honest, no sugar coating here. But before I get started with all the details I will say this experience has been incredible. Every second of pain was worth it. Edith has filled a huge space in my heart, she's all we've ever wanted and I don't think I could feel anymore love for her. She's just incredible.
It all started at 3am on Saturday the 26th. I woke up with pains. I rolled over in bed and the Mr asked if I was ok. We decided we'd go downstairs and I sat on my birthing ball until 9 am bouncing up and down hoping that this was it. Contractions were around 5 minutes apart but not really that painful. We decided to call the hospital and see what they said. They recommended that I took a bath and if the contractions were real the bath would ease them and if it was false labour they would disappear.
Unfortunately for me they eased off. I was devastated and had a little cry I was so fed up. I was almost a week overdue. We just wanted to meet our little girl. I had a membrane sweep booked in for that afternoon if I needed it. So we called the midwife and asked her to come over. She arrived at 2pm. She performed the sweep which really isn't pleasant. In fact it was really uncomfortable but the pain from it stopped as soon as she had finished. The good news was that I was 2cm dilated so things were definitely happening. That afternoon the contractions came and went but nothing regular. We had some dinner and then decided we would go to bed early as we'd not had much sleep. It was a good job we did as I woke up at 11pm with a contraction.
It was a big and a real wake up call. This was it. We called the hospital and the lady on the other end wasn't particularly helpful she would only speak to me and as I was having big contractions 4 minutes apart it was difficult to talk. She said we should go in so we picked up the hospital bags and went to get my mum. Sitting in the car having contractions was awful. I couldn't sit down and the pain in my back was bad.
We got to the hospital and parked up. We walked up to the delivery suite, stopping along the way for contractions. We arrived and were shown to a little room were we had to wait. I swayed side as movement seemed to help with the pain. I breathed deeply through each one. Another girl came into the room to wait and she sat down in the corner. I felt bad for her as she clearly wasn't as far along as I thought I was. She was able to sit down for one. She had to put up with my breathing and oooo's and ahhh's.
Eventually we were seen into the birthing room. I had opted for a natural as possible birth with water there as a pain relief option. We got into the room and I asked for the gas and air. It was wonderful stuff and I really felt like I was on control and that everything was going the way I had hoped. The midwife wanted to check babies heart rate so I got onto a comfy beanbag and the midwife listened in. It sounded slower than it had done before and the midwife confirmed what I thought.
She asked me to move over to the more medical delivery suite to be attached to a monitor for half an hour. We moved quickly between contractions and I layed on the bed and had the monitor attached. The midwife examined me too at this point. I was 2-3cm. I was heartbroken. I had all this pain and had made such little progress from 2pm earlier that afternoon.
At that point I turned into one of those ladies on One Born Every Minute saying I can't do it (never judge annoying women on there, until you've been in labour, I did everything I said I wouldn't). My mum and the Mr were so supportive and gave me some words of encouragement. The good news was that babies heart rate came back up and we were allowed to go back to the natural birth room. The bad news was that baby was back to back, I remember my mum laughing as she gave birth to me back to back, it was karma. The midwife asked if she had always been which at my appointment on the Tuesday she was in the right position. This meant that baby needed to turn back round and explained why I felt a lot of the pain in my back.
The midwife said I needed to be up and about and maybe go for a walk, there was no way I could walk around the hospital or leave my beloved gas and air. When we got back to the room they asked me to go for a wee and once they tested it I had ketones in it. I have no clue what they are but it meant that I was badly dehydrated which was a real surprise as I had been drinking water throughout. So they asked me to eat something sugary and drink as much as possible. The Mr went and got a packet of Malteasers and got out the isotonic drinks we had brought with us. I drank as much as I could and the Mr was force feeding me Malteasers between contractions which wasn't very long at all.
I got back into the beanbag as my back was killing me. The midwife came in and gave me two glucose tablets to give me energy and to help get me the sugar I needed. I chewed on them and around 2 minutes later I looked over at my mum and Mr and said I'm going to be sick. I have a huge phobia of being sick but by this point I didn't care. The Mr quickly rushed to get a bed pan which I quickly filled, he grabbed one more but nothing could stop it. It went everywhere I felt so bad for the midwife and I remember saying I'm so sorry. I stripped off my top and dipped into the water to wash of most of the sick. The Mr then helped to clean me up. The midwife, my mum and Mr cleaned up the beanbag and put a clean cover over the top of it. I got back on to it.
By this time it was 6am and time for me to re-examined. I can't really remember much about it other than the fact I had progressed to 6cm. I was so happy that I had got somewhere at least the pain and contractions had been worthwhile. About half an hour later I remember turning to face my mum and saying I think somethings come out, it must be my waters. The Mr had a look and confirmed it. My mum pushed the button to get the midwife. She checked the waters and said baby has pooed inside. This meant I had to move back to the medical room as it can be dangerous if baby swallows any of the meconium. I waddled as fast as I could in the brief seconds between contractions to the room. I got up onto the bed. The rest of my labour is a blur to me from here. There's bits I remember and the rest has been filled in for me.
I'm hooked back up to the monitor to check on babies heart rate, babies heart rate was dipping with every contraction so they were a little concerned. They called the Dr in to check what was going on. The Dr, who was absolutely amazing decided that I needed an IV as I was still really dehydrated. I have no memory of it going in at all. She also puts in a catheter, because I was dehydrated I couldn't wee. While she's doing everything they decide to re-examine to see how far along I am. The Dr also puts a clip on baby's head at this point to monitor her heart rate better. After checking I'm at 9cm. I had progressed really quickly in such a short space of time, although I have no concept of how long it was. At this point I really felt the urge to push. Trying not too was so difficult and I remember grunting really loudly. I could also feel a burning sensation which was baby turning into the right position. The midwife suggests I go on all fours, leaning over the bed to help ease the pain. This position worked really well and did help to ease the pain in my back. The Dr kept telling me to wait and not push as I was still only 9cm. If I had of pushed at this point I could have made my cervix swell which would stop baby coming out properly.
I'm told to turn over to be examined which I said no to as I was comfortable in that position. The Mr said its not for you its for baby. He knew that this would make me move. The Dr was concerned about baby's oxygen levels so they performed a scrape on top of babies head, they did numb it first, to make sure she had enough oxygen to cope with labour and her low heart rate. I then get the go ahead to start pushing. They put my legs up onto the stirrups. The Dr then explains how to push. Putting my chin on my chest and pushing right down in my bum, exactly like doing a poo! You push for ten seconds not making a sound or breathing then catch a breath and doing it again. It was really hard to not make a noise or breathe in the 10 seconds, but I really focused on what I was doing. The medical team need to get baby out as quick as possible so they gave me three more contractions to try and get her out myself before they took a more medical approach, which I couldn't do. The Dr then numbed down there as she needed to perform an episiotomy (Google it or don't). I have no memory of this at all. The gas and air made the whole situation a blur which in a way I'm pretty grateful for.
At this point I'm still pushing, baby's head is very nearly there and they can see her hair. I remember being so happy that she had hair! It made everything seem a bit more real. The Dr then gets the Ventouse (suction cup) onto baby's head while I'm still pushing to help get her out. Her head is finally out and the contraction stops. The Dr tells me that with the next contraction baby will be here. The next contraction arrives and baby is out! At 8:44am our beautiful baby was born. They put her on my chest for skin to skin briefly, it was such an amazing moment and one I'll never forget. The love I felt for her already was incredible and any pain I felt went away instantly. We were both totally in love with our baby girl. They handed her over to the pediatrician to get her checked over. I was so happy and in a rush to hold my baby I knocked the cannula out of my hand, which the Dr quickly grabbed to stop blood from going everywhere, the fluid squirted out of the wire so much they thought that the baby had had a wee on me.
Baby was absolutely fine and soon handed back to me. While the pediatrician was checking baby over I had the injection in my thigh to get the placenta out, I had originally opted for natural management, just leaving it to come out by it's self but by this point I didn't care I just wanted all the medical things to be over and to be with my baby. The midwife was pushing on my stomach to help get it out. It didn't take long and the Mr said that it was the most disgusting looking thing ever, I'm a bit gutted I didn't get to see it. When baby was handed back to me I got her latched on to my breast to start feeding her. She went on so easily and I fed her for around 45 minutes, it all felt so natural and incredible that I was feeding my baby. It's such a proud feeling even now. When I see drops of milk around her mouth, she loves to guzzle it down, I feel so proud that I'm producing everything she needs. While I was feeding I was stitched up and cleaned up. At this point I looked over at the Mr and we decided that we would call her Edith Olivia Rae, it suited her and and we had only agreed the day before that we liked those names in that order. We were always going to wait and see before making a decision. But it suited her so well. My little Eadie.
Once all the medical bits had finished we were then left together. It was such a lovely moment. I remember asking my mum and Mr to help me move Edith on my chest as I had no energy to move her myself. The midwife weighed Edith and gave her a vitamin K injection. She weighed 8lb 7oz which was a lot smaller than we were expecting, we do really big babies in both of our families. She's so petite for her weight and were struggling to find clothes to fit her. She's now fitting into newborn sleepsuits. I had tea and toast (which was incredible after labour) and was told that I would have to stay in one night so they could monitor baby. It really wasn't what I wanted but it was best for baby.
They transferred me to the ward around lunchtime after I had showered. I was given a roast dinner which I wolfed down. I don't if it was good but it was a perfect energy boost after labour. My mum had to leave as you were only allowed to have one birth partner stay with you. She stayed for as long as she could before having to leave. We then had the Mr's mum and sister come and visit us in the afternoon. At 8:15 the Mr left. He had to go at 9pm and he was exhausted. He hated leaving us there, he said he wanted to take us both home, which still makes me well up.
I had no sleep that night. Other people's babies crying and just feeling on edge, I'm socially awkward and I don't cope well in situations I'm not comfortable in. Neither Edith or I could sleep, so we spent the night having cuddles. The Mr came back at 8:45 he sneaked in as he wasn't allowed in until 9am really, we were so happy to see him. We then spent the day waiting around to be discharged, the longest wait. That happened at half three/four ish. We were so glad to get home and takeaway and showers were well and truly needed.
So that's the story of how Edith came into the world. I've been really honest and I hope it doesn't scare you if you're expecting. Not exactly how I had planned, even though I kept my birth plan as flexible as I could but I don't care, it's our story and it was the best experience of my life. An experience I would never have got through if it wasn't for my Mr and Mama. My mum provided comfort and the Mr was the bossy one, he repeated everything back to me as it was really hard to concentrate on anyone else's voice. They were both incredible support to me. I'm also extremely proud of the Mr for watching everything, he always said he wouldn't but he took it all in and said it was the most incredible experience to watch. I know you'll be reading this so thank you and I love you so much!
I did and said everything I wouldn't. From saying I can't do it and shaking me head to let's not have anymore babies. (I've changed my mind already, another couple of years and she needs a sibling!) She is healthy and so beautiful, I would go through the pain a million times to have her in our lives.
Welcome to the world Edith, what an adventure we are going to have!