Well. If I was having difficulty remembering things about pregnancy a few weeks ago, I don’t really stand a chance now.
I am no longer pregnant. I am now a mummy. 🙂
Sedgbean arrived at 04:18 on the 16/07/12, weighing in at 6lb 12oz. Sedgbean is now known as Elizabeth Ann Sedgwick, but her friends and family call her Betty. Betty decided that she had enough of being carried around in my belly and wanted to make an appearance.
Betty taking 5 after her Epic journey down the birth canal.
She was 5 weeks early, making her a premature baby. Mums-to-Be are not classed as being at Full Term until 37 weeks meaning that a baby born at less than 37 weeks Gestation is classed Premature. Because I had not even considered that my baby would be premature, I had no idea what this could mean for Betty. I mean, 35 weeks is nearly fully baked? So, what could be the problem with her arriving now? Surely, as so many of my Facebook friends pointed out, I was lucky to have her so early, missing out on those last few uncomfortable weeks or pregnancy, avoiding those last few stretch marks, getting to meet her early, her not going to full term and being a 10lb whopper and ruining me. Let me tell you, I would rather have gone through all that than have her arrive prematurely and risk not being ok.
Even at 35 weeks, there are risks to baby. Lungs may not be fully developed meaning she could have had difficulty breathing, she may have arrived early because of complications, she is vulnerable to infections, and those last important weeks of bulking up and finishing developing certain senses and reflexes that are crucial were missed. But no, I’m lucky, obviously! 🙂
My waters broke just before 2am on the 14th of July. I was visiting my parents about 90 miles away from home. I had not discussed any birth plan with my Midwife, not discussed what to do if my waters break, or even how to establish that my water were no longer in tact! So, once I had told myself I was not simply unable to control my bladder, the process of contacting hospital began. I got through to the Delivery Suite at Arrowe Park Hospital and spoke to a lovely Midwife who talked me through what was happening and what to do next. I had to call back in one hour to re-confirm my symptoms. After one hour I was no different so I was asked to come into the hospital to be checked over.
Arrived at hospital and checked in at 4:45am. I was taken into a Delivery Suite, and hooked up to a Monitor to check Sedgbean’s Heartbeat and also to check for any contractions. I was having Braxton Hicks but Labour certainly had not started. After being monitored for around an hour, I was checked over by the Midwife and Doctor. They confirmed that my Waters had broken, and also that I was not in Labour. Had I been full term, I may well have been sent home. However, as Sedgbean was quite early, I was told that I was being admitted. Once your waters break, there is risk of infection for any baby. However as our Sedgbean wasn’t technically ready, I was not allowed anywhere. I was to remain in hospital incase Labour started naturally. If it hadn’t started on its own after 24 hours, I would be induced.
Fast forward 24 hours, because Sedgbean changed its mind. I was induced at 12:00pm on the 15th of July and so it began. I was warned not to expect too much, that it may take 24 hours for things to start happening and even then labour may not be quick. So, when I was taken to Delivery at 6:20pm, I still wasn’t expecting much, Although my “Braxton Hicks” had started again. I was introduced to my lovely Midwife Donna, we checked and I was 1 – 2 cm Dilated and we settled in for the night. Radio on, chatting and putting the world to rights.
Donna went for her break around 1am and left us with the Lovely Zoe, who had been looking after me up on Maternity ward. My twinges were becoming more intense and frequent but still not classed as being in Labour. By the time Donna got back, in her words, “it was like I had a different patient on the bed”. By the time Donna had finished her break, I was on my way. A further exam confirmed that I was 4 – 5 cm dilated, I was in pain, and I was only in bloody labour!! I was offered pain relief, I willingly accepted. Good old Gas and Air to start with, and having no knowledge of pain relief (No birth plan, remember!) we had briefly discussed my other options and I had chosen Diamorphine when the time came.
Well, the time came very bloody quickly actually!! Sedgbean decided to turn and choose the back to Back position. Any mums who have been through this, isn’t it just the worst pain ever! any Mums to Be, I’m sorry but this pain only adds to the agony you are already in and consumes you. Its horrific. 🙂 Gas and Air was just about taking the edge of until the whole Back to Back thing, and then I may as well be having a cigarette for pain relief, it was that much help. I stuck with it, and tried to push past the pain (if you’ll pardon the pun) and eventually Sedgbean moved.
I was established as fully dilated at 3:30am and FINALLY allowed to give in to the overwhelming urge to push at 3:40am. Sedgbean then arrived at 4:18, and made Donna’s day. She was convinced that she would have done all the hard work for someone else to deliver my baby. We were told not to be alarmed but the Pediatric Doctor had to b called as a precaution to check Sedgbean over once born. We were told to prepare for Sedgbean to spend some time in SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit) and possibly need to spend time in an incubator. We were told all of these things and we took note, preparing ourselves for the worst case scenario. So, when we were told that we had a little girl, I was elated, but slightly high on drugs as I had been given my Diamorphine by this point. I was overwhelmed to have her dropped onto my belly, a heavy grey-blue lump wrapped in a towel that was instantly the most perfect and beautiful little girl I had ever seen (even if we were expecting a boy). We had to give her back so that she could be taken to SCBU but we were thrilled to be told that instead of having to visit her there, she would be allowed up to the ward with us after being treated. This news was EPIC!!!
So our baby Girl had arrived, and been whisked away from us. Once we were over the shell shock and had a nice cup of tea, we were taken back up to the Ward to await Betty’s arrival. Donna brought her to us and all of a sudden we were parents. Betty had a canula fitted, and was to receive antibiotics twice a day for 2 days. It had been 50 hours between my waters breaking and Betty arriving into the world. That is a fairly long time by anyone’s standards. She would need the AntiBiotics to make sure she could fight off any infection and would need to be monitored for 24 hours after the Antibiotics were finished. Add to this the fact that she needed Heel Pricks after her first 3 feeds to make sure her Blood Sugars were ok, our poor little girl was beginning to resemble a pin cushion. The main thing we told ourselves was that in the grand scheme of things, Betty was fine, she was ok, and other people suffer a lot more.
I don’t think it all hit me until a couple of days later what had actually happened. I was glad that we had kept it private that my waters had broken. I am still glad that we kept everything else private. The next few days, the first week. It’s all coming, don’t worry. But as I have just re-lived the birth of my child here in this blog, I will give us both a bit of a break.
Welcome to the World Betty. We Love You.