Saturday, 28 August 2010

Little Miss E - The Birth Story

A lot of you have been asking how everything went so I thought I'd put it all in a blog for you to read all about my pain and our emotional rollercoaster of a day...

The last you all heard I had been summoned for induction due to my DVT... so on Saturday evening just before 6pm, Chris and I headed to Grandma's house and said goodbye to Mister A before making our way to the hospital.

We arrived on the antenatal ward (not for the first time in the past few months!) and we were allocated a lovely bed by the window and then we waited...and waited... and 2 hours later, at 8 o'clock, the doctor finally arrived to 'deliver the prostaglandin gel'. After an uncomfortable 5 minutes the deed was done and I had to lay flat for an hour to allow the gel to work and I was hooked up to the fetal monitor.

I had to have this done twice last time around and the gel worked on the second application so I was told that that was good news because it meant my cervix was favourable(!?) and should 'know what to do'.

Despite having the same period type pains as last time Chris still had to leave at 10pm when visiting hours were over but both he and I were expecting that he would receive a call in the early hours when it all kicked off.

Unfortunately his departure meant that I faced another night on the "1cm?, F*^£ off, is that all ward" with the 3 other mums... and just like had happened a few weeks earlier, the woman in the bed opposite started to get light contractions. She was in tears when she received similar 1cm news as the previous lady. I eventually drifted off to sleep but was awoken at 12.30am to labour screams followed by 'the big light' being put on. I found my eye mask and tried to block it all out and eventually the lady had reached 6cm by 2.30am and was moved to the labour ward.

The next day...

I awoke to a different 'shift' and the midwife hadn't bothered to read my notes so I had to explain why I was being induced and what the plan was. When I told the midwife that I was having my waters broken that morning she laughed and said "There's not much chance of that today if your Bishop score was only 1 last night." I politely explained that the doctor was going to break them regardless of this Bishop guy because of the situation with my DVT and my medication. She replied in 'a tone' "So the doctor is coming to see you especially is she?" Grrr!!

Chris arrived back on the ward after breakfast (I managed to find the cereal this time around!) and eventually the doctor came round at 10am. She said that although my cervix wasn't properly ready she was going to have me moved to the labour ward and then she would break my waters. All we needed to do was wait for confirmation that the labour ward wasn't too busy and we could go!

An hour later I was on the labour ward with my legs in stirrups, having a knitting needle inserted where it shouldn't be. The doctor explained that given the 'unfavourable state' of my posterior cervix we were probably in for a bit of a wait and that after half an hour or so we'd be able to have a walk around. If contractions still hadn't started after 3 hours then I'd be put on a syntocinin drip to get things going.

Well my 'unfavourable cervix' did not hold back! My contractions started within minutes and soon I was hooked up to my TENS Machine. The contractions started coming thick and fast although I was only 3cm by this point. Soon after I discovered that I had the TENS machine on 'low' so Chris switched it on to the deep contraction setting and I opted for some gas and air. Chris controlled the TENs machine throughout - using the 'boost' button every time he 'sensed' (or should I say felt the nails digging in to his bare skin) that I was getting a contraction.

I really could not believe how painful the contractions got so quickly, I kept saying I was ready to push but the midwife kept saying I wasn't - I was only 6cm. Another hour later we most definitely were 'ready' and the pushing began!

I had completely forgotten that the gas and air gets taken away when you reach the pushing stage - I won't tell you what I said to that but was something along the lines of a slightly stronger version of 'Oh Bugger'!

I pushed and pushed at each contraction and I don't know if the time passed really quickly or whether it genuinely was a short period of time but soon baby was crowning *eyes water* and I reached the final *stinging* pushing stage. One huge - what seemed like 5 minutes long push - released her head then the 'mini pants' began until the next contraction.

Owwwwwwwwwwwww the final one came and I pushed with all of my might and at 2.06pm my beautiful daughter arrived - just 2 and a half hours after my waters had been broken.

At first she didn't cry and I panicked - "Is she ok, is she ok?" but a few seconds later she began to wail and my baby daughter was placed on my chest.

It's a strange feeling in those first few moments after you give birth - it is so overwhelming when you realise that you have created a life, another life - you experience so many different feelings in such a short space of time - panic, relief, hope and joy all with an added twist of exhaustion and most importantly the biggest surge of love you can ever imagine. It is that perfect moment, a moment that you feel you have searched for for all of your life. It is the warmest feeling you can get inside and the most powerful moment in a relationship. I looked to Chris who had tears in his eyes and I knew he was feeling it too. 

Unfortunately the moment was broken as the midwives began to discuss the third stage of labour - the placenta delivery - and my emotions began to stir. Ellissia was taken away to be checked and I began to panic.

When I had Alex back in 2007 I lost over 6 pints of blood when the placenta failed to deliver. I was prepped for theatre but in the last moments before being wheeled away the consultant managed to inject the cord and remove the placenta.

Throughout this pregnancy I have stressed that this was a huge fear I had - that the same thing would happen again. The midwives had spent the last 9 months re-assuring me that the chances of it happening again were minimal and that I would be put on a special drip 'just in case'. But the drip wasn't there as promised and I began to worry.

There didn't seem to be the same urgency as last time so I tried to relax but as the clock ticked over I could sense the same movements as last time - a slight panic from the midwives, a call to the consultant - I knew it was happening all over again, only this time my body had the added complication of a DVT and my blood thinning drugs to contend with.

An hour after I gave birth the placenta still hadn't arrived and I was still bleeding - the decision was made to take me to theatre. I had only held my daughter for a few minutes after she was born and I was desperate to hold her again, to feed her, to cradle her.

The anaesthetist was called and 10 minutes later I was having a spinal injection to numb me from the waist down. I could barely sit up through fatigue and had to lean on someone whilst they tried to keep me still to administer the needle. My legs, heavy from the injection, were placed in stirrups and I began to feel sleepy. I knew I was either drifting in and out of consciousness or drifting off to sleep, but I couldn't work out which.

Throughout the manual removal of the placenta I could hear the consultant and the midwife discussing how much 'loss' i'd had. They were essentially arguing - I had apparently lost 400ml more blood than the consultant had been made aware of and she was clearly angry that this had endangered my wellbeing. She kept saying "I never would have left her this long if I'd have known about that there was an additional 400."

I just kept getting visions of my baby and poor Chris and worrying about how they were. Then my thoughts turned to Mister A and my mum and dad - no doubt Chris had called them - I bet they were worried sick. At one point I even questioned if I would make it. It may sound silly, but in the weeks running up to the birth I had scoured the internet for stories about retained placentas to see if I could avoid another and I knew how serious they could be, how people could bleed to death. Then there was the stories i'd read about DVT and how it was the single most common cause of maternal deaths in the world. I was an emotional mess and the 'in theatre' squabble was not helping.

Eventually I opened my eyes and heard the consultant say it was over. I was moved via a board back to my original bed and then wheeled back to the room. The clock showed that it was 10 minutes past 4 - I had missed the first 2 precious hours of my daughters life. When the doors opened I could see the relief on Chris face he was pale and clearly worried sick.

I later found out that during the hour that I was in theatre, not one person had entered the room to give him an update on how I was. He had just been abandoned with a newborn baby and no news of her mother. It upsets me that he was left like that - just not knowing - it's horrible.

Chris kissed me and I knew everything was going to be ok. Despite being weak I immediately asked if I could feed Little Miss E, I wasn't sure if I would be allowed due to all of the drugs but she was passed to me and she latched on immediately.

The earlier feelings of overwhelming love came back and the anxiety slowly drifted away, we were all together again and I couldn't wait for Mister A to come and meet his new baby sister.

When mum and dad arrived with Mister A I still couldn't feel my legs and I felt so guilty that I couldn't even lift him on to the bed to give him a big hug. He was ecstatic and just in awe of our new arrival. He kissed her gently on the head and I knew that our lives had just got a million times better.

It's almost a week on now and after spending 3 long nights in hospital I was allowed home with a huge bag of drugs; iron tablets, antibiotics and unfortunately more Clexane injections... but everything is good...we are all together again... the perfect family. xx


  1. Anne moore28 August, 2010

    Oh Leanne, what a lovely, if somewhat a little harrowing at times, story. I admit, I shed a few little tears xxx

  2. Oh my god Leanne you have just had your mummy in tears, how moving. I could not imagine anyone reading that to not shed a tear or two. Love you

  3. Well done on keeping yourself together. I had a crash section with Maxi, so do know some of what you went though. Anemia is pants!

  4. Congratulations again, you all did great and I am so proud of you all!

  5. lovely story and what a beautiful family. x

  6. Oh jesus! Sounds almost as terrifying as mine. Theres nothing worse than laying there half asleep/drifing in adn out of conciousness and having the medical staff arguing, I had that when they delivered J except I was also spread open on the table and had been for two hours! Not fun!
    Glad you are all safe and well! Those injections dont sound fun but if they are good for you then I guess it has to be done! Well done on completing your little family! :D xxx

  7. Just found you via British Mummy Bloggers. So glad to hear that you are ok and what a gorgeous little girl you have.
    Good old NHS, eh? After the birth of Nipper I spent the first hour of his life being stitched up in theatre and hubby was left all on his own too (and Nipper was his first child so he had no idea what to do!) You wonder sometimes why people go into midwifery don't you - some of them are such cows!
    I remember them trying to take the gas and air off me as well. Apparently it doesn't help at the pushing stage. Hubby asked if keeping it would do any harm, and since it wouldn't he got them to leave it with me. I didn't notice it causing any problem but then Nipper arrived about 5 minutes after I needed to push!
    Anyway, many many congratulations to you and your lovely family.