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Welcome to the world Dylan!

Published December 10, 2017 by Mumumental

So its been over a year since I wrote my last blog, and I have decided to come back to it and share my birth story.

Following on from my last blog, we arrived at hospital just before 9 and I was given a bed in the induction ward at East Surrey hospital. I was really excited and a little nervous, but actually more excited. Call me crazy, but I actually wanted to experience what a contraction felt like and was quite excited to see what all the fuss was about.

Every woman who I have ever spoken to about giving birth, describes just how painful those dreaded contractions are, and yet nobody can quite explain what they feel like. So I wanted to feel what they felt like.

I was laying in the bed and one of the midwives explained that the doctors would come round and examine me, and decide what form of induction would be suitable from there on out. I had read online that you can have a pessary inserted and be sent home to wait for it to work, so that was my first question. Will I be sent home throughout this process? Thankfully the answer was no. I was in now until I had given birth! A very exciting moment to be told that I will be leaving with my baby.

She then gave me the BEAUTIFUL bed stockings to put on and off she went. However, I could barely put on normal socks, let alone these tight, long things so Geri had to help me. This was a task and a half as she had to do this WITHOUT touching my feet, somehow. I cannot have my feet touched, they are so ticklish and I cannot stand it. She managed it though  . . . impressive.

We waited for the doctors to come around . . and we waited. And we waited some more. 2 O’ Clock I was finally seen! 5 hours we waited!! When you’re so excited and nervous already, this felt like an eternity.

I was examined and told that my cervix was closed. I was offered a pessary which a midwife then came in and inserted. I figured at this point that I was a massive wimp. The examination in itself hurt, and the pessary being inserted was awful. If this was that bad, I was probably not going to be great at handling contractions, or the birth itself. I was told that I would wait for 6 hours to have another examination unless it was required sooner, like if I began to have contractions really close together, or if my waters broke. A few hours went by and nothing at all. I was getting a bit bored and hungry, we asked a midwife if we could go out. We were told to go for a walk around the hospital, but not too far as I would be examined around 8pm. It was 6pm now.

Well, I decided as I had 2 hours until the next vile examination,  I would like to go and eat out. So we said we were going to go for a walk around the hospital and to sit in the cafe downstairs for a while, and we actually went to the car and drove to Frankie and Benny’s in Redhill. We went for a nice meal, which was great because I was able to put a picture up on social media of us at dinner to deter people, as I knew after all the messages I had received, people were watching and waiting for me to go into Labour. Partly my fault I guess, for posting so much about my pregnancy, but I was excited.

We had the meal at Frankie and Benny’s, which I remember being particularly nice, actually. Then after the meal we were chatting, and it was then that I got my first cramp. Very exciting, and it was really mild. So I waited to have a couple before I believed they were even contractions. We quickly got the bill and headed back to hospital.

I had another examination around 8-9pm in which they inserted a 2nd pessary. All of the fun. Then I sent my Mum home for the night as the cramps had stopped and we all needed to sleep. Geri managed to sleep in the chair next to me, and I slept in the bed. I woke up a bit upset that I hadn’t had any more contractions over night. But eager to get on with the next step, in the hopes that we could get labour started, and I could finally meet my little boy!!!

My Mum had returned to the hospital at 8am, and so I sent Geri home to rest and eat. They doctor came to examine me again, so I sent my mum out of my bay. (I sent my Mum and Geri out of the room on each examination. Turns out I am a very private person) The examination turned out to be a bloody stretch and sweep!! They failed to mention that and it hurt so much. My eyes filled up and I was saying, “Ow, it hurts . . it hurts!!” A midwife was stood next to the doctor looking at me and said, “If you want her to stop, she will stop. Just say the word” . . To which I replied, “STOP”. The doctor continued, so the midwife snapped at the doctor, “She said Stop!” ….. I was very grateful for that midwife! The doctor stopped and said that the pessary’s had softened my cervix and she had managed to do a stretch and sweep, and dilated me to 2 and a half centimetres. She advised they would be back round at some point in the afternoon to break my waters, if they had not broken naturally before then. As nothing was happening for a while,

I sent my Mum home again too and said I would let them both know when my waters were broken. My mum came back about 13.30 – 14.00 ish with food for me and at 15.00 they came to break my waters. It was again, awful. BUT they gave me gas and air which was great!!

Geri had arrived at the hospital just after they broke my waters, and from then, the contractions started. The first contraction was mild . . I remember saying, “Oh that’s nothing. I’ll be fine if they continue like this”. Famous last f*cking words of course!

So the first one came in mild, but the rest were up there. I mean it hit the worst pain, the highest pain . . and it remained that way for the duration of my labour. Apparently this is normal for induction. Its a more gradual increase in contractions if you go into labour naturally, apparently. Well, there was nothing gradual about this! I had in my head that I wanted to go through labour only on gas and air, which was given to me. And after my firs few contractions I was offered pethadine. I immediately said yes, which I was shocked at because I had read about pain relief previously, and didn’t want to have pethadine.

One thing I will tell everyone now, is that there is no point in expecting your birth plan to be set in stone, and to not be disappointed if you do something different to what you had planned. Nothing can prepare you for childbirth and everyone is different. Just prepare yourself to be open minded, and do what you need to do there and then.

The midwife went off to get the pethadine and I remember saying, “Oh god where is she? I am going to have another one.” I stopped another midwife to ask where the one going to get my pethadine was, to which she replied that she had gone to get my pethadine, of course. We all laughed and the midwife said, “I can’t believe you’re laughing. That’s amazing”. I was in pain, but much to mine, my Mum and Geri’s surprise, I handled the pain really well. We would literally be having random conversations the whole time, and each time a contraction came I would just zone out, whilst inhaling and exhaling the gas and air, and then join back in the conversation when it was over. It went on like this for around 2 hours, and then I was examined. I was 4cm, so I was taken to the delivery suite.

I was in a lot of pain, but quietly handling it. I was knackered by this point as well so I didn’t really have much energy to bitch and moan about the pain. I needed all my energy for the gas and air, it was the only thing I had getting me through this pain. I had an older lady as my midwife, I won’t mention her name but she was trying to put a cannula in my wrist,  I can’t even remember what for but she was shaking. Then she pulled the needle out of my vein and blood just started pissing out. I just remember closing my eyes and putting my head back on my pillow thinking, “Great . .. thats just what I need” But again, in true British fashion, I couldn’t be arsed to say anything out loud, so I just let her get on with it.

She must have been able to see I was in agony and so she mentioned that I should consider an epidural, which I said I didn’t want. She said again, as I was only 4cm I had a long way to go and should consider it, but I just ignored her. I had already said no.

Over the next hour or 2, she said a few more times that she thinks I should have an epidural. I still don’t really get why, I wasn’t making loads of noise of fussing, I continued to ignore it and my Mum told her I didn’t want to have one. It got to about 8pm, and I said I needed to push. Of course, she disagrees and  said I just needed to empty my bowels, and to go to the loo as I wouldn’t be needing to push yet.

I get that midwives know what they’re doing, but if someone is telling you they’re needing to do something. Surely you should listen and not shut it down straight away!

I knew this wasn’t the case but by this point I just wanted to get away from her. I went and sat on the toilet thinking, I seriously need to push … but I know it’s the baby making me feel that, and not needing the toilet! The midwife put her head in the toilet door, to which I asked her to kindly fuck off.

I went back out eventually and I said I needed to push, again I was told I couldn’t yet as I was only 4cm. So she convinced me to have the epidural. I was so fed up and tired, so I just went with it, and had the epidural put in, I think by this time it was approaching 10pm.

The midwives had changed over shifts now, and I said to my new midwife straight after the epidural had been put in that I really felt I needed to push, and so to give me peace of mind, the head midwife at the time examined me again. And there I was at 8cm . . .not 4cm! They said they would come back in 2 hours to examine me again.  . I was like, “what?! 2 hours with this immense urge to push?!” but again, couldn’t be arsed to talk so just thought that in my head.

Well then Dylan’s heart dipped a couple of times, and I was still saying I felt the need to push. My midwife pushed a button because of the heart rate dipping, and within seconds a load of midwives ran in. I cannot tell you how bloody scary that was . . She examined me again, which was around 10 minutes after the last examination and she said, “Oh you’re 9, no wait i’ve just stretched you to 10 . . you can push” The head midwife then took over and I cannot tell you how amazing she was. She put a clip on Dylan’s head to monitor his heartbeat whilst I pushed, and she got me through every single second from then on. She told me his heart was very up and down, and as it kept dipping I needed to get him out. I honestly had no idea how long it took to push a baby out so I said, “How long is this going to take?” to which she replied, “It could take up to 3 hours. . it really depends on you”.

“THREE FUCKING HOURS! PUSHING FOR 3 HOURS?”, I thought to myself. But a contraction came and I started pushing. The head midwife who was called Louise was saying, “Keep going, keep going, keep going” whilst I was pushing, along with, “Don’t stop . . keep going. . if you stop now his head will go back up . . keep going, keep going.” In between a couple of contractions I said,”I can’t do it”. To which she said , “Yes you can! You are doing it, keep going” Then I heard a voice from the side of the room, “You can dooooo iiiiiiit”  .. it was Geri, and actually made me laugh. I forgot for a minute that my Mum and Geri were even there!!! I kept going, then Louise said “Ok Ellie, we really need to get him out, we may need to use forceps, and an Episiotomy” . . . “HELL NO” I thought to myself. Forceps scared me, as did the thought of them cutting me!! So I pushed even harder than I already was, which I didn’t think was possible! “Thats it, That’s it!!! Keep going” . . and his head was out!! …  So she said, “Nexr push and he will be here!!”

My midwife started to take the sheet off of me which was just over the top of my thighs, up to just under my belly button, covering my modesty! I snapped, “What are you doing?!?!” . . and quite shocked she replied, “Just taking the sheet off so you can have skin on skin contact”.  I replied by pointing from my belly button upwards and saying, “Here is my skin for contact!!!” She sharply left the sheet where it was placed and backed away.

The next contraction came really quickly so I pushed as hard as I could and let out a huge scream for the first and last time during pushing,  and out he came. The feeling was weird, you can feel the length of the baby coming out, and he was a long baby! I was so relieved that he was out.

They put him on my chest. I always imagined I would cry when I first saw my baby, but I didn’t. I was just so relieved it was all over and he was out safe, that I just kind of held him and relaxed.

(By the way, I got him out in 19 minutes. and I didn’t get any relief from the epidural as it was put in too late, it takes 30-40 minutes to kick in, and he was out by this time)

I didn’t cry but it was the most amazing feeling in the world. He was all puffy and frowny, but I thought he was absolutely gorgeous. The love is overwhelming, just like everyone tells you, but you never really get it until it happens. I just stared at him.

Dylan grabbed onto Geri’s finger, which was pretty cool. Then my Mum and Geri were sent out of the room whilst I was cleaned up and stitched up, as I had torn during the pushing. I had Dylan in one arm, and I was inhaling the gas and air whilst my midwife stitched me up, But I didn’t take my eyes off Dylan. I honestly don’t even remember how long it took, I think it was around an hour, but just staring at Dylan alone would have got me through being stitched up. But the gas and air was an extra bonus. After this my mum and Geri came back in the room and they each had a cuddle.

I named him Dylan James Jackson Paul. He was born 24th October 2015 at 22.34 and weighed 7lb 11oz.

Some bits after the birth are blurry as it was over 2 years ago now, but at some point during all of this I was helped with getting him to latch and breast feed. And I remember saying which outfit I wanted him to wear, and I believe my Mum dressed him whilst I got up and headed to shower and get dressed. I was really faint and went really white, the midwife had to come in and help me shower and dress. So after keeping myself fairly covered the whole time . .  besides the obvious, it all went out of the window at the last hurdle! I was put in a wheel chair after I was dressed and my midwife gabbed me a can of coke and a breakfast bar from my bag and told me to get them inside me.

I was given Dylan straight after and started to be wheeled out. “Am I going home, yeah?” . . “No, you have to go to the post natal ward now as its late, and you will be discharged in the morning” I was told. I really knew nothing about pushing or aftercare at all . . I was gutted. It might sound mad for a first time mother, but I was so confident and ready to go home and get on with it. But off to post natal I went.

Below is a photo of me holding him straight after he was born, and Dylan holding Geri’s finger.

To be continued. . .

The waiting game . . .

Published September 2, 2016 by Mumumental

Once I had finished work, had my baby shower and completed the nursery, the final things to do were pack my hospital bag and set the chicco next2me co sleeper up in my room.

I started packing my bag 15th September. I wasn’t due until 12th October! I just figured it could happen at any moment by this point . . I say figured, but I mean hoped! I felt like I was pregnant for about 2 years. Finding out so early was a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I knew to stop partying and smoking, and a curse because of how long it makes the pregnancy feel.

Here’s a couple of pics I sent to my friend whilst I was packing my hospital bag.

I was very much enjoying maternity leave, I was told to nap loads before the baby came. I took that advice HAPPILY. I had lots of lazy days in bed watching TV, napping and eating. I remember going out for Karaoke a few evenings and a few dinners.  I did lots of cleaning the house. I became a bit obsessed with cleaning actually, but I just wanted to know that if I did go into labor, the house would be perfect to walk back into with my baby boy.

The day slowly but surely approached and I was booked in for a stretch and sweep. And yes ladies, in my opinion, it is definitely as scary as it sounds. I aint about to sugarcoat this. I think I had my stretch and sweep booked for the Friday before my Due date, I was due on the Monday. I was nervous but really excited that this could help bring on labor. I went in, had a chat with the midwife then got onto the bed ready for the stretch and sweep and, OH MY F*CK did it hurt! She tried to do it but failed. My body was not ready and the cervix was too high. I could have cried, in my head I was screaming. . . “So you’re telling me I just went through that pain for nothing!!!” . . But in true British fashion, I just smiled politely and agreed to book back in for a week and a half later… if I hadn’t had the baby by then.

I left the appointment feeling really deflated that the sweep had failed. It was the first time in a long, long time I had felt really down. The last time I felt this low was when I had the bleed and thought my pregnancy was failing. Once that had stopped I had been so happy and had the best pregnancy, until this point. I was fed up and wanted to meet my little man, I thought this day would bring me closer but it felt like the day was moving further and further away, as crazy as that may sound.

The due date came and went,  and no baby. I had the odd cramps which would get me excited but, false alarm . . of course. 4 days past my due date, I went on a night out in Horsham to Mungos. It was a last minute thing for me, it was planned for my friends but I decided to go last minute instead of moping around the house waiting for labor to start. I went in and was made a lovely alcohol free, fruity cocktail by the barman. It got quite busy which I was always worried about incase I got knocked by anyone, so we sat in a booth inside. We then went back to a friends house and everyone else got drunk, whilst me and Geri stayed sober. Geri was forced to stay sober by yours truly, as she was my birthing partner! Sorry Geri! I had a really good night, all just laughing and chatting .. and as it turned midnight, I announced it was my birthday! 28 AND STILL NO BABY! I thought he would definitely be born by my birthday at least!! I stayed at my friends house until about 1 or 2am and then came back home and crashed out.

The next day I went for a birthday lunch with my Mum, Aunty Ali, and my Nephews Jack and Taylor. (They are actually my cousins kids, but I love them to death and prefer to call them my nephews . . so screw you society) I had a really nice lunch, then went home and chilled out again. I still thought that maybe my little boy would make a birthday appearance. How wrong I was. . .

Here is Jack and Taylor at my birthday lunch;

Jack and Taylor

It might sound crazy but throughout my pregnancy I would have visions of me and my baby, then something would pull me back, and I would think it was too good to be true. I had this nightmare throughout the whole pregnancy, (which I kept to myself) that I wouldn’t be coming home with my baby. I think because of the bleed, and the few times I went in for monitoring, it made me think something might still go wrong. It was heartbreaking and I tried not to think that way, but I did. I did have a really good and happy pregnancy after the bleed, but I would just have this horrible thought every so often. Then now at 5 days overdue this feeling got worse and worse. I read that the more overdue you go, the more at risk you and your baby are. (DON’T GOOGLE STUPID THINGS LIKE I DID) I got really down and I had a few crying moments in my room, alone.

People were messaging me constantly asking if there were any signs of baby coming, and it just got me more and more upset. I know people were just excited for me, but constant messages reminding me in the few minutes I had managed to take my mind off it, that he still wasn’t here just made me more and more upset.

One person that really got me through this last bit was my friend Lauren. She is my half brothers girlfriend, who already had a beautiful little girl called Georgia, and was now pregnant with her second little girl. I believe she was due 3 days before me, so towards the end of our pregnancies we got talking a lot. She was overdue with Georgia previously by 8 days, and had now gone overdue again, at the same time as me. So at least I wasn’t alone and I had someone else going through this misery with me! I felt like she was the only person who really understood how I felt and having her there picked me up a bit, when I was feeling really down. I remember this night on 19th October, I hadn’t really spoken to her as much, so I had a thought that maybe she was having her baby! And she was, baby Olivia was here!  I was so, so happy for her that she had now had her little girl, and could tell me all about the birth . . now please God be my turn!!

The last picture I took of my bump also on the 19th October;

19th bump

I went back into see the midwife on Wednesday 21st October now 9 days overdue and more fed up than ever. She offered me another sweep which I refused. I was not about to put myself through that pain again for something that was not guaranteed to work. I burst into tears when I was talking to her, explaining how I was really down since leaving my last appointment with her. I explained that I was really struggling and just wanted to have my little boy in my arms. You are usually booked in to be induced on day 12 of being overdue, this was the following Saturday, so my midwide called the hospital to see if they were looking booked up on Saturday, as she didn’t want me to end up not being able to go in on day 12, if he still hadn’t decided to make an appearance on his own. Thank God she called because they said they had a lot of pre bookings that day, so it was unlikely I could be induced then. Usually they would go to the following day, but she looked at me before continuing the conversation, then went back to the lady on the phone and said, “What about a day earlier, what about Friday. My lady is really struggling and I would really like to get her in?”. I have never felt relief like it. She gave them my details then explained I would still have to call them Friday morning to check it was OK to go in, as they cannot plan how many women might still be in there, or get sent there last minute.

Finally. . I left the appointment feeling excited again! 2 more sleeps and I know I would likely, and HOPEFULLY, be going into hospital to meet the love of my life! I cleaned the house excessively the next day, and as I still hadn’t put the chicco next2me side crib up, my Mum and Geri came over to set this up for me.

This is a pic of my room after it was all set up;


I had everything ready to go and I was so excited. I had a few cramps over night also, and thought maybe I would still have a chance of going into natural labor, but no. Wrong again. I woke up about 06.30 and had a shower, did my hair & make up and called the hospital, as advised to do by the midwife, at 07.30. Well 07.24 actually. I was very eager!  They said that yes I could come in today to be induced, and to please be there for 9… I can’t even explain the feelings that I had. Excited, nervous, scared, happy, anxious! You name it, I probably felt it.

So at 08.30, off we went to the hospital! Me, my Mum and Geri.

To be continued …