Hi lovelies! So I am FINALLY getting round to writing this! It’s only taken nearly 5 weeks! As you can imagine, everything has been a little manic getting settled in etc but now we are all good!
Before I start, please note (especially as I know a lot of my family and friends may also read this!) – it may be a little TMI in places! Birth is beautiful and amazing but also incredibly gross! If you don’t want to read about me discussing my lady parts then you may want to look away! Some of my times may be a little off but all are thereabouts! Her birth time is spot on though!
So I will start right at the very beginning, around 7.30am on Monday 25th July. I was 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant and my day started by me getting up for some breakfast. I pottered downstairs and had some toast before fussing the dog a little bit. She was on her bed under the living room window and I was on the sofa at the side of her and I bent over to fuss her and looking back I remember hearing a noise, which I now realise was a ‘pop’ but at the time I thought my back clicked or something and thought nothing of it! I got up to go for a wee and I remember thinking as I was sat doing my business that I felt a little odd down there. It soon became apparent that I was still ‘going’ despite me finishing my wee! I stood up and there was a gush! Cue me standing there looking horrified! Realisation soon kicked in that this was my waters! I did panic a little as it was a bit bloody but I was told by the midwives later that I had my bloody show at the same time. Nice!
No pain at all so far, I was just dripping a lot! I rang my mum to tell her and told her not to tell anyone! I then rang the hospital and they advised me to go into the ADU (antenatal Day Unit) to be checked out and make sure all was ok. They do this as there is a higher risk of infection for mum and baby of the waters break before labour begins. They call it Pre Rupture of Membranes. Sounds a bit scary!
I then thought oh crap, I haven’t even phoned Simon! Whoops! It was now 9.45am so I text him asking when his break was as he cant use his phone at work. He rang me at 10am (break time 😂) and I told him he has to come home as my waters have gone! He didn’t sound panicked but I imagine he was driving home like the wind!
We got to the hospital at around 11am and I did my usual wee in a pot for them! They checked my blood pressure and then eventually (it was very busy) popped me on a monitor to check babies heart beat and see if I was having any tightenings. After about an hour, all was well and I was starting to have contractions but I didn’t feel them at all and they were very faint in the monitor. After about another hour or so of waiting we were taken into a little room and a midwife had a look to see if I was dilated. I wasn’t but she said she could see my cervix and all looked like it was heading in the right direction! She said if labour didn’t start by 9am the next day I would be induced by drip and she made me an appointment for the next day, we then headed home. By this point it was around 4pm.
We got home at around 5pm and I had a bite to eat as I thought if it all starts I may not get anything! I get hangry as it is!
At maybe 6pm ish, I stared getting little pains, very similar to period pains. Very irregular and not for long, maybe 30-40 seconds. So I had a bath and decided to try and get some sleep. I dozed but couldn’t sleep. I watched a bit of telly and nodded off around 11ish. Then it all got real!
At 2am I woke up in agony! The contractions had started and they were at a 6 on the pain scale already I would say. The pain was all in my back and thighs which I wasn’t expecting and I found I was unable to talk and was breathing my way through them already, which shocked me. I told Simon to stay in bed and rest as I needed him to be fresh and ready when I needed to get to hospital. I paddled about downstairs breathing through each one and found leaning on the fireplace the most comfy place to be. They were about 6 mins apart and lasting up to a minute. I did have a few that seemed to last ages though, maybe 2-3 minutes and they were horrid. I guess it was a couple back to back but there was no rest. I eventually rang the hospital at around 4.30am and they said to try and eat, have a warm bath and take a paracetamol and come in if I was struggling. I had previously tried another bath but it made them worse this time so I put my TENS machine on and it was helpful! It didn’t take the pain away but did help take the edge off.
I woke Simon up at 6am as I was really in a lot of pain at this point and we got ready. We set off from home at 7.30am and got to hospital at 8.45am. The traffic on the way was HORRENDOUS and I was having awful contractions every 4-5 minutes and giving death stares to anyone looking in the car at me! I must have looked possessed! Once we finally got up to the labour ward I was taken to room 14 to be checked. My midwife was called Kay and there was also a student called Hannah and they were both so lovely. I did a wee sample and had my blood pressure checked, answered a few questions about how I feel and then pottered about for a bit, breathing through contractions which were still coming thick and fast at that point and around 10am they checked me. I don’t want to alarm anyone about to have a baby but HOLY MOTHER OF GOD that hurt!! I know some people aren’t bothered at all by it but it hurt me so so much! Good news though! I was 4cm dilated and was admitted to the ward as was in established labour, yippee! They put me on the monitor to check babies heart beat for around half an hour and then I was free to move around as I liked which I was so pleased about! Sitting and laying was AGONY both during contractions and inbetween them. They got me a birthing ball to bounce on and some incense to help keep the room calm. Both were lovely but I was starting to feel more and more pressure and pain and it was starting to make me feel panicky. Contractions were every 3-4 minutes at this point and seeming to hurt more with each one. They came and checked babies heart beat every 15 minutes and my pulse, they did this because of my waters breaking the day before.
After a while I started to shake uncontrollably which, at the time freaked me right out! At this point I asked for Pethidine. I just wanted the pain to go away. It was almost like a burning pain all around my lower back and thighs, very hard to describe! Not the period type pains people like to talk about! They asked me to lay on the bed (nooooo!) for the injection of Pethidine into my thigh and they turned the lights down to try and keep me calm as I was still shaking away and really tensed up. I don’t remember feeling any different at all pain wise and thinking it was rubbish however Simon, stood watching the whole drama, said I did look much calmer after the Pethidine. It must have helped me relax and stopped the shaking a little but oh my, it did not take the pain away at all, if anything my contractions were getting stronger and stronger now.
I think it was around 12.30pm now and around this time my sister arrived as she was my second birth partner. She lives in Nottingham which is around 2 hours away by car, so drove like the wind to get to us! I started feeling sick and icky and kept feeling like I needed to use the loo (yes gross I know, sorry!) so was back and forth back and forth but nothing happened. The pain was so so intense now I could barely breathe so I asked for epidural. The Pethidine had worn off as it only lasts around 2 hours (not that it helped my pain one bit) and I didn’t care about the needles I just wanted it to stop. They asked for the anesthetist to come and while we waited I stood and swayed and prayed he would hurry up! My waters started dripping again and quite a lot of it was coming out mixed with blood but they were not concerned and said it is all normal. Around this time I noticed that with each contraction my body was pushing all by itself, it was so bizarre! I felt such strong pressure and my body was pushing away for me! I told the midwife and she said this is great, its a sign of things progressing and she asked me to get on the bed to be checked. she didn’t even really need to check with her fingers, she had got a light and had a look and said she could see the baby’s head and I was around 9 cm with a little bit left! Great – but wait! Also not great because just then the guy knocked to come and give me my epidural and all of a sudden panic hit home – I couldn’t have it! Kay confirmed to me that by the time it was in and working, I could already have my baby so they wouldn’t be able to do it! AHHHH!! I actually cried but then thought, come on Sophie, you have done this much so far, lets do this!
It was after another short while at almost 2pm or there abouts and a few more checks of baby’s heart beat and my pulse, that Kay decided we would try pushing and see what happened. I was on the bed kneeling and leaning over the top of the bed with Simon to my right and my sister to my left, and so away I went with the practice push. It actually felt like a relief to push and the contraction didn’t seem to hurt as much so I gave it all I could! I was moving her slightly but she kept going back and I needed to ‘get her around the corner’! I carried on, squeezing both of their hands so hard! Simon had to take his wedding ring off! Pushing is like the worlds most tiring workout. I was sweating and puffing and panting away! Simon gave me a drink of water between contractions which were now every 2 minutes or so, and my sister held a fan up for me to cool down. The midwives checked babies heart beat between each one too.
After about an hour or so Kay said to me that we would have to maybe start thinking about giving me a little help which terrified me, I WAS NOT having forceps and that was that so I pushed and pushed with all of my might and did move her much better. She definitely scared me into pushing harder! I remember every time I got a contraction all 4 of them were shouting push push push push come on push and I was getting so frustrated! I shouted back several time ‘I AM PUSHING!!!’ I know they were trying to encourage me but I remember thinking I wasn’t doing it right and feeling stressed!
After about another 30 minutes I decided I wanted to change position and I moved onto my back. This felt much better and they said it was an instant change, my pushing was much better and Chloe all of a sudden was there, crowning. Believe me when I say OUCH but it was worse when not pushing! They let me feel the top of her head and this made me feel so amazed, I was actually doing it! With no drugs! A few more painful pushes and ‘pop’! Her head was out! I remember asking if she would go back in and they said, no Sophie, it took you all that effort to push it out, its not going back in without a fight! I felt her head again and with another contraction and lots of pushes her shoulders were out and then at 3.41pm on 26th July 2016, Chloe Rose Hornby made her grand entrance into the world weighing 7lb 9 oz. She cried right away and I remember feeling so overwhelmed! We all cried! Daddy cut the cord and got the first cuddles. It was so amazing to see him holding her. My sister had a cuddle too and then she came over to mummy while I was delivering the placenta.
I had to stay in at least 24 hours to keep an eye on us both due to my waters breaking early in case we both had an infection. Simon was allowed to stay the night too and we did have a bit of drama that night at around 3am as her breathing went funny and she was wheezing. I told the midwife and within 5 mins the baby doctor came to check on her and said she needs to go up to NICU for a cannular to be inserted antibiotics as they suspect infection. This would mean we would have to stay for at least another 48 hours. I was terrified and couldn’t go with her to watch them sticking needles into her pretty newborn skin. They said that is fins and is very normal, not many parents do go and watch and she reassured us both that nurses would be with her to hold her little hand and they would bring her back down from NICU as soon as possible. She came back down with it all in place and they protected it with a sock! It did look a bit funny but aww my poor baby. She had to keep going for antibiotic injections into the cannular every 12 hours and finally on the Friday at 3pm, which was 4 days after birth, they said she is fine and took it out and let us go home, yippee!
She is 6 weeks old now and is so perfect and wonderful. We can’t remember or imagine life without her!
It bloody hurt but you know what? I would do it again in a heartbeat! Well, a few years maybe! hehe!
I would love to hear your birth stories, feel free to post them in the comments or send me the link!
Hugs and loves from Chloe and Sophie! x