Friday 3 May 2013

Millie’s Birth Story


As you all know (well, most of you do), I finally gave birth to my baby girl on Sunday 28th April at 10:34am... HER DUE DATE! Can you believe it!? She was punctual but extremely stubborn and I didn't have the best time in the process of giving birth!

So, where did it start?! Well... Saturday (27th April) morning at about 1am, I felt a period type pain in my tummy. I thought nothing of it and went back to sleep. I woke up about 5 times in the night with the same pain and when I woke at 6am with the same pain, I knew it was contractions! Adam was due to go to work for a few hours so he went and I ran a bath to try and ease things. (Midwives believe a bath and 2 paracetamol solve everything - it really doesn't!)

At about 8:30am, contractions were still coming on quite regular, around every 10 minutes and I was starting to get a little uncomfortable with the pain of them so rang the hospital and explained what was going on and she confirmed that they were contractions but to try and stay at home for as long as possible. I did just that. I TRIED. I got out the bath and tried to keep to my normal routine, dried my hair, got dressed, spruced the bedroom a little... That was pretty much all I could do. At this point, contractions were about 9 minutes apart and were getting stronger and stronger with each one. I couldn't get comfortable anywhere other than hanging over the back of the sofa with my knees buried in the pillows. Breathing through each of the contractions, I managed to stay at home until 1pm and then I needed to know what was going on so we headed to the hospital.

Just my luck, we hit traffic. A lot of traffic. A journey that would normally take about 15-20 minutes took us 45 minutes and it was stand still at times so people on the other side could see me panting away when I had a contraction, pushing my hand on the ceiling of the car and gripping the door handle for support. I just wanted to get to the hospital!! Luckily, we joked about it in between contractions and got to the hospital with contractions now timing about 1 minute long every 4/5 minutes.

I was checked by one of the midwifes and she confirmed that I was 1cm dilated. Just 1cm. Great. She said that we could go back home or stay in hospital for a while and see if I progressed over a few hours or so. I wanted to stay in because of the uncomfortable journey we had there, I didn't want to do that again! We stayed on the ward until about 7pm, contractions were very strong and i'd had pain killers in the form of liquid morphine, meptid (which is an injection in the top of your thigh to help ease pain) and also a bath (which really didn't help)! By 8pm I was finally 4cm dilated and they told me I could now go to delivery which meant stronger pain killers and of course, I was now in established labour.

Being wheeled down to delivery was a scary thing. Knowing what was going to happen in a few hours kind of took over and all these thoughts were racing through my head but I managed to keep calm and Adam held my hand as we were wheeled down. I met my lovely midwife who would be looking after me, Annabelle, got settled in our delivery room and I had another shot of Meptid to try and ease the pain - this didn't work though so it was time for gas and air. I've never had it before and after a few deep breaths of it, I didn't really like it! I can remember Adam laughing at me and apparently I said 'It's like being back in Magaluf', ha! Classy! I really thought i'd be able to manage on gas and air but the pain was too much so I asked to have an epidural. 

The anethatist gave me the epidural, listing all the pro's and con's before he did so and I went ahead with it. It didn't kick in for a while then I started feeling it work but after about an hour, I could feel the contractions again and I was back in pain. The epidural hadn't been working properly and had numbed more of my left side than my right so the doctor had to come back and sort it out. While he did that, he also topped it up for me because I was in pain again. The pain kept coming back and even though I was getting 15ml of the epidural each hour, with a 30ml top up every hour alongside that because it just wasn't working like it was meant to! All these people that rave about how good the epidural is - I can't say I agree! I was still in heaps of pain for the majority of my labour, it just didn't seem to be doing its job! To top this off, being sick 5 times was making me hungry and for the first time in 9 months, I could feel my belly rumble! 

Because I wasn't dilating quick enough, I had to be put on the hormone drip to help speed things along. Hoping that it would do the job, I tried to get sleep when I could but I was still feeling my contractions so it was hard. I was stuck on 4cm dilation for 8 hours whereas normally, I should have progressed another 4cm at least in that amount of time. It was taking too long and it was starting to effect Millie too. Her heart rate was inconsistent. It kept dipping and rising and the midwife wasn't too happy about it - she noted down it was suspicious and got a doctor to check it. He said it looked ok but to keep an eye on things. I really wanted things to hurry up now that I knew it was effecting her! 

After a slow 12 hours in that delivery room, not really making much progress, the swap over of midwives at 7am meant that I was due to being examined again... I needed to be 8cm at least! The midwife checked and I was 10cm, finally! She called the doctor back to take a look at Millie's heart rate again to see if things were ok to proceed or whether I needed another hour or so before I could start pushing. The doctor come and wasn't happy with her heart rate so he wanted to take a sample of blood from Millie's head to test her oxygen levels to ensure she was OK... It was an uncomfortable process - legs in stirrups, bearing in mind they were DEAD, lots of poking and prodding... Yeah, you get the picture. They got the sample they needed and the results were fine, she was happy and comfortable but the doctor wasn't. 

Another doctor was then called in to examine me because Millie still hadn't dropped down like she should have, she was still way too high for me to start pushing. Another uncomfortable examination meant that the doctor could see that even if I did start pushing, Millie wasn't going to come out naturally. I had to be taken to theatre to have an assisted birth. I couldn't believe it! She explained that they would try ventousse delivery first, which is the vacuum sucky thing and then if that didn't work it would have to be a c-section. I was so scared and really didn't want that to happen but if it was the only way to get her out then so be it. 

Adam got given scrubs, I was wheeled down to theatre in a glamourous gown and said about 10 Hail Mary's on the way. All I can remember is the lights of the corridor and then being wheeled into theatre and seeing loads of people all in blue and this huge operation table. For someone that has never been in hospital for anything, this was daunting. Worst thing was, I couldn't see Adam! They had made him wait outside because they needed to prepare me - giving me a spinal block for pain relief, taking out my canular to replace with another one, taking grips out my hair, putting plasters over my earrings, shifting my legs up and over the bed and putting me onto the operating table. I felt like a rag doll being pulled and tugged everywhere! After that, I couldn't really tell you what happened because I couldn't see. Adam was now with me though, thank god. 

Doctor explained that she was attempting the delivery via ventousse and got me to push through a contraction. I couldn't feel a thing and nothing was happening. The next thing I heard was 'It's not working, we need to do the section...' It was happening. Adam was moved, again, I was told that they needed to get Millie out because her heart rate had now dropped. I just wanted her out! I couldn't feel anything, just lots of tugging and pulling at my tummy and then... She was here. I was so relieved!! She was cleaned up, checked and given to Adam whilst I was stitched up. She was beautiful and I couldn't help but cry. My baby was here, finally! 

The midwife took Millie and Adam down to recovery and I was wheeled down to them once I was stitched up. I arrived in recovery and got to hold Millie for the first time. It was magic! No other feeling like it! After about 30 minutes in recovery, we were all taken up to the ward where i'd be staying. It was finally over. 

Over 22 hours in hospital, 10 of those being 'established labour', I finally had my baby. We were finally a family. It really wasn't the nicest experience but I knew that in a few hours, it would all seem worth it. Unfortunately, I still struggle to see how it was worth it because of how traumatic I found the whole experience but my gosh, I was happy to be holding Millie in my arms and we were both healthy and doing well. I was given such good care whilst I stayed in the hospital so i'd like to thank the staff for looking after me and the doctors for their quick thinking. If it wasn't for them, it may not have gone the way it did and could have ended a lot worse.

And also thank you to Adam. He was my rock through the whole thing, not leaving my side, feeding me water, reassuring me when I needed it and just being amazing through the whole thing. It couldn't have been easy for him seeing me in so much pain and even through the whole c-section procedure. He really was the reason I got through it. 

Eventually, we were told that Millie was face up in my womb and her head was too small for the suction cup to deliver her which is why it resulted in a c-section. Any longer in the position she was in, she may have suffocated because of the position her head was in. 

It's a scary thing pregnancy. It can all change so quickly but for the first sight of your newborn baby, whatever it is you have to go through is definitely worth it! 




  1. Congratulations ! She's beautiful.
    Sorry to hear about the problems you had, but at least you're all well now :) xxxx

  2. I love reading birth stories. Must have been so scary at the time. Beautiful photos xx


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