31 May

Elly’s Birth Story

Elly is a 30 something mum of one who is still very much learning on the job.

I was ready for baby to arrive, I’d attended NCT classes, read as many book as humanly possible, washed & put away all the baby clothes, stocked up on essentials such as nappies, filled the freezer
full of meals, written my birth plan and packed & unpacked my hospital bag umpteen times.

I started my maternity leave 4 weeks before my due date as I was convinced the baby would be 2 weeks early and I wanted to ensure I had some time at home to prepare for its arrival. So it was typical then that my due date came and went with no sign of baby making an appearance anytime soon.

The birth plan:I had originally intended to give birth at the midwife-led unit at Heatherwood Hospital however I changed my mind when I realised that should I require any medical intervention that this would mean a trip in the back of the ambulance to Slough. The thought of a transfer while mid labour was not a risk I was willing to take.

In short my birth plan was to try to give birth with no or minimal pain relief, to remain as mobile as possible, minimal monitoring and to use the birthing pool if possible.

3 days after my due date I had a sweep to try and get things moving, nothing happened that day and nothing seemed to be happening the following day either until about 6pm. I felt a twinge and wasn’t
sure if it was a contraction or not, having never done this before. So I decided to get the weekly food shop out of the way, just in case this was the start of labour. I waddled round the supermarket with hubby with the occasional twinge. The twinges continued throughout the evening and were getting progressively stronger, it was now clear I was in labour. I knew from my NCT classes and all the reading that this stage could go on for hours, so I wanted to try and remain at home for as long as possible. The pain was increasing so I had a bath and then got out the TENS machine I’d hired, this seemed to help at first but then made me feel and be sick. My contractions were coming quicker, so hubby called the hospital, they advised getting in the bath (again) and taking a couple of parcetamol!! We searched for parcetamol and unbelievably had none in the house, back to the supermarket for hubby. I ran the bath while hubby was out but waited until he returned to get in. In hindsight this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. On his return I took the paracetomal and got in the bath. POP! My waters broke, I threw up the paracetomol and the contractions were now coming thick and fast. We were off to the hospital now, as a bath and 2 paracetomol were not going to do it. Trying to get dried and dressed while having contractions is not the easiest thing in the world, I will never forget hubby telling me that I really did need to get dressed and to basically hurry up.

The drive to the hospital was traffic free but eventful, I was sick twice en route, at which point hubby asked if I wanted him to stop the car? The thought ‘on what planet would I want you to stop and make this journey even longer’ crossed my mind but I simply mumbled no. We arrived at the hospital shortly after midnight, abandoned the car while I made my way through A&E to the Maternity Ward.

We were swiftly shown to a room, I was asked to give a sample, while hubby moved the abandoned car. At this stage I was unsure whether I’d be able to provide a sample as my contractions seemed to be coming so fast. As predicted I couldn’t. The midwife then examined me and declared I was fully dilated and the baby was well and truly on its way. No time for that water birth then!

I started to push and things were progressing really well. Things suddenly took a turn, every time I had a contraction and started to push the babies heart rate dropped. The midwife was concerned
and called a doctor in. It turned out that the cord was around the babies neck and every time I pushed the cord tightened. The call was made to try and assist delivery via a vacuum cup. This meant a episiotomy was required. The cup was attached, throughout this whole process I didn’t utter a word. Hubby kept asking if I was ok and all I could do was nod. I concentrated on breathing and trying to stay calm while more and more people were entering the room. I ended up pushing my baby out naturally, despite the cup being attached it wasn’t used. My beautiful son James was born at 01.25am, I had been at the hospital just over an hour. I cannot even begin to describe the overwhelming sense of relief when I heard him cry for the first time and the feeling of him being placed on my chest.

We eventually made it to the maternity ward at about 5.30 am after being stiched up and taking a much needed bath. Hubby had gone home to catch a few hours sleep and I was alone with James for the first time. I could not sleep as all I wanted to do was stare at this beautiful baby we had brought into the world. I still catch myself looking at him and thinking ‘Wow, we did that’.