I saw our Community Midwife at 40 weeks +1 day, on Friday 2nd November. My blood pressure was high, and there was protein showing in my urine, so she sent us straight to LGI for monitoring. When we got there I had my blood pressure done, bloods done and then left to wait while calls were made. I honestly thought they’d send me home and tell me to come back on Monday for monitoring, so I was shocked when they told me the Consultant wanted to admit and induce me – right then!
I made calls to my parents – neither answered! And then made my way up to the delivery suite. After some more monitoring I had a pessary inserted to induce me – and was told it was likely to take 3 days for anything to happen. So I sent Phil off to have tea with the boys. As soon as he left the pain started – but I assumed it was just early days, and the pain would be getting worse. I was up out of bed trying to walk the pain off, and was ending up doubled over on the bed with the intensity of the pain – I managed to wait it out an hour before I went and asked for some paracetamol – the midwives then decided to examine me. Luckily my parents arrived around this point, and my Mum was rubbing my back to try and ease the pain. I had to get back into bed to be examined – which was agony – and then suddenly my waters broke.
I’ve never experienced anything like it, I ended up in tears because I was in my new pyjamas and not my giving birth nightie, and the waters just kept on coming, just when I thought it had finished then there was another rush of it. I started to get a bit panicky that Phil wasn’t there and things were progressing so quickly, so my parents got in touch with him and told him to get straight back. (We’re still waiting to see if he gets any speeding tickets….).
I’d been determined that I wasn’t having any pain relief other than gas and air – that went right out of the window as soon as I was in labour, anything they offered me I took. If I’ve remembered rightly they gave me diamorphine, and things are a bit blurry after that. I don’t remember my parents leaving us, and only vaguely remember moving rooms into a delivery room. Then the next thing I remember is it being night, we had a midwife with us all night keeping an eye on me – she was brilliant. I know it took 5 hours to go from 1 to 5 cm dilated, and then 4 to get to 10cm dilated. During this time I was given an epidural, and I used gas and air. I think this part of the process took it out of Phil more – it was hard for him to see me in pain, and then being out of it.
I was told in the morning that I’d be having a 2 hour break, and then pushing from 9:45 to 10:45am – and if I didn’t progress enough by 10:45am then intervention would be needed. At 9:45 precisely I started pushing, I could feel the contractions, and pushed, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough, and at 10:45am I was told to stop and then taken into surgery for either a forceps delivery, or a C section if the forceps weren’t possible. This was the really frightening part for Phil, but I just wanted the baby to be delivered – even though an episiotomy and forceps were exactly what I didn’t want to happen, it just didn’t seem to matter at the time. I had to have the epidural topped up, it wasn’t taking on my right side enough and I could still feel things. It seemed to take ages for it to start working but in the end it did and the doctor got hold with the forceps and gave a tug. She told me that one tug was all she needed to do and I did the rest by pushing – but I’m not sure if she just said that to make me feel better! I felt the baby come out and start crying, and I kept asking what is it, what is it, they then showed me. A girl. My little baby girl. She was popped onto my chest, and I’m sure I remember someone saying she was weeing on me. I started shaking at this point, which just got worse and wouldn’t stop – to the point I didn’t feel like I could hold her properly. She was taken away for cleaning up and weighing etc, I was so surprised when we were told she was only 6Ib10 – I was expecting a 10Ib baby!
I was stitched up and then we were taken to recovery. I don’t remember much about that, only that I couldn’t stop shaking, and had no feeling whatsoever in my legs. I can’t remember when my parents arrived but they did at some point.
After I’d given birth Phil had asked me what we should call her – the girls names we had picked were Seren (Welsh for Star), Grace and Daisy. We were torn between Daisy and Seren, but Daisy suited her the most. Baby Daisy was born at 11:36am on Saturday 3rd November.
We were taken down to the ward and then my parents left for a few hours to go and get something to eat. So then it was just me, Phil and Daisy left. We had a couple of hours just us and then visiting started again. The visitors all left by 8pm, and then Phil left about 8:30pm to go and get some well deserved sleep.
I started to get worried because I’d not fed her, and tried to get her to latch on to breast feed – she just wasn’t interested and wanted to sleep. I tried again a bit later, and had help from different midwives, but we couldn’t get her to latch on. At about 3am I ended up expressing some colstrum with a midwife having to help me, into a syringe and that was given to her, but by that time I was really stressed out and upset. I also found being on the ward really hard – it was really noisy, and having people so near me made it hard for me to sleep. I tried again in the morning to express but couldn’t get much out by myself. I really started to get worried that she wouldn’t latch, by the end of Sunday we’d tried several times to get her to latch, I’d seen two breast feeding counsellors, and still couldn’t do it – we made the decision to give her some formula. She wasn’t much interested in that either! I was getting really stressed out about having to stay in for another night, and just wanted to go home. My blood pressure had been high all day, but a doctor had seen me and said I could go home – but the midwives wouldn’t discharge me. We were told that if we could get Daisy to have more formula and I accepted the fact I was leaving but could be readmitted if my blood pressure was as high on the Monday. We were really annoyed that nobody had told us earlier that we couldn’t leave until Daisy had X amount of formula – if we’d known that we would have been trying to get her to feed more. It was so confusing that while they thought I was trying to breast feed it didn’t seem like a big deal that she wasn’t hungry, but then as soon as we said we were going to give her the formula that nobody had communicated that a certain amount needed to be had.
In the end they discharged me, and we got home at 10pm on Sunday 4th. I was absolutely exhausted. We went straight to bed, put Daisy in her Moses basket and managed to get a few hours of much needed sleep. She woke in the night and I ended up with her sleeping on me for a few hours because she wouldn’t settle back in her Moses basket.
Last week flew by in a blur – I was given iron tablets by the hospital, it took me till Friday and seeing my GP to be told that they can cause upset stomachs – I’d barely eaten a thing all week, having felt sick the whole time. I then started with a chest infection, so was given antibiotics by my GP – by Sunday those had disagreed with me too – so on Monday this week I decided to stop everything. I’ve felt a huge amount better since stopping the iron tablets. I also had “milk flu” which started midweek, we bought a breast pump and I’d been trying to express so we could also give that to Daisy, my midwife advised me to stop expressing if I wanted the flu symptoms to stop. I found it very hard to give up on breastfeeding – I feel like a failure as a woman because I haven’t been able to get her to latch on. I’ve had 9 months of breast is best forced down my throat and feel utterly devastated that I’m formula feeding. But it’s more important that Daisy is fed, and that I stop being so stressed out about breast feeding not working.
This week has been tough – Daisy has started with Colic, which has been hard to deal with, we’ve had loads of tips from friends/family though and things are starting to get easier with it. We’ve managed a few trips out, but they’ve been learning curves – I think I’ll need to gain a bit more confidence before I dare go out without Phil!
In the last 2 weeks my life has completely changed, I now have this little person who relies on me solely to look after her. I’m now responsible for someone else – it’s scary!