Sophie Kathleen is here …
Monday 19th December arrived, nerves were definitely being felt. We gathered everything that we had packed the night before and off we went to begin the journey to meeting our prince/princess.
It had been decided the week before that we would be induced, we met with our covering Doctor and he scheduled us in for Monday. If all went to plan and I didn’t go into labour naturally prior to this, it would mean I would get to be at my sister’s wedding and we would have bubs with us for Christmas.
We had a gorgeous midwife from the UK who was looking after us and made me feel really comfortable. We arrived at the hospital at 7am and started being monitored. Our Dr came to see us at 8:15 where he proceeded to do an internal .. OUCH .. my cervix wasn’t ready for my waters to be broken so he applied the gels and the waiting game began.
As each hour passed it felt like only seconds. I managed to handle 4 hours worth of very intense contractions; I was unable to speak and was only having around 30 seconds of peace between each one. I was sucking away at the gas like there was no tomorrow, I hated the way it made me feel, I didn’t find it to be any sort of pain relief, it only made me concentrate on my breathing to get me through each contraction. I was asked if I wanted an epidural, it was almost like I was competing against myself when I heard this, all I could think was am I a failure if I give in to stronger pain relief?! I survived a few more contractions which included an arched back and my hand reaching for the pillow behind me and clinging to it for dear life. I thought to myself – I could labour for another 8 hours, could be less, could be more … there was no way I would be able to handle these contractions for that amount of time, so I said yes to the best type of injection I will ever have.
They called the anaesthetist and ordered me an epidural. It was another 40 or so minutes before he arrived, the injection itself I didn’t feel, it took around 20 minutes to kick in … that’s when the numbness creeped into my right leg and my butt.
As soon as the contractions wore off I was able to completely relax, I had a catheter in so was of course confined to the bed but I wouldn’t want to get up anyway as I’m sure my legs would have given way.
After a few hours which included me dozing, I got the shakes and by shakes I mean my body became an earthquake, then there was the pressure, my midwife examined me where she proceeded to tell me you’re fully dilated, bubs head is engaged, it’s time to push.
This was at 7pm … my last epidural top up was at 4pm, I was beginning to feel hints of contractions and the numbness was wearing off … thank god as I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to feel myself pushing because I was so numb. We all agreed that a top up wouldn’t be necessary as I was now able to feel each contraction which was a bearable amount of pain and I would know when my body was ready to push.
Once bubs’ head was crowning they offered me a mirror, which I politely declined the use of, another midwife entered the room and offered it to me again, Rob who had been undoubtedly the most amazing support throughout the whole day and didn’t faint once said it could really help you because you’ll see where bubs is and you will want to continue pushing.
Amazing doesn’t even come close to how I felt being able to not only feel my baby make her way down but to also see her being born.
In the middle of the 48 minutes that I was pushing for, I had to only give a few gentle pushes as my Dr hadn’t arrived, trying to tell a labouring woman to not push as hard as her body wants to is certainly gutsy.
Towards the end I was given an episiotomy to help bubs fit, which luckily didn’t cause me any major pain.
I surprisingly found the pushing a bearable experience, the biggest amount of pain I felt was a stabbing pain in the left side of my stomach, with each push I had my feet pushing against my midwives hips and with each release the pain was excruciating. This disappeared as soon as the birth was over.
After 48 minutes I gave birth to the newest member of our family and instantly felt an enormous amount of love. We didn’t know whether bubs was a boy or a girl but that didn’t matter, bubs was placed onto my chest, skin to skin, I was in tears and just telling this precious little baby how much Mummy loved them. Rob cut the cord and was pacing next to my bed in awe of what he just witnessed.
The midwife moved the cord aside to see what we had just been blessed with … she announced … a GIRL !!
Becoming a Mum has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Little Sophie is simply adorable and is bringing an enormous amount of joy to both Rob and I and our families lives.
We spent the next 4 days in hospital and were discharged on Christmas Eve. The time spent in hospital was certainly up and down. I felt really good and seemed to be coping with the lack of sleep … until day 4.
Sophie was weighed on day 3 and had lost 10% of her birth weight which meant I was on strict 3 hourly feeds and expressing as well and topping her up with my expressed milk.
This was done over a 24 hour period when she was re-weighed only for the midwife to tell us that she had lost more weight, she had now lost 12.9%.
It was decided that I would need to top her up with formula after each feed and continue expressing to help my milk come in.
I felt guilty and such a strong pain … heartache … to think that I wasn’t providing the best start to Sophie’s new life.
This was all on the same morning that my physical pain was unbearable. I had a pulling feeling which refused to go away, it didn’t matter if I sat or lied down, the pain was excruciating. One of the midwives examined me and she said with my healing, the swelling caused my stitches to pull too tight … agony is an understatement. I ended up having 5 of the stitches cut which along with lots of ice and pain killers, the pain was certainly relieved.
Day 4 blues are the pits!
We were discharged on Christmas Eve ready to begin our lives as a new family !!