Monday 18th July – TODAY IS THE DAY…Its 4 something in the morning on the day of my induction. I am 38+3 and in just a few short hours I will call the delivery suite and ask if they have space for me and what time I should head in to begin the process. I haven’t slept well at all last night, perhaps 3 hours? not the best when I am facing the marathon of delivering life, but I am rather nervous and it all feels surreal! I have more confidence than I have done throughout my pregnancy, I believe everything will be okay, but I am just nervous for labour and the pure intensity of it all. I am nervous about meeting our new daughter and how that will feel. I am worried about the prospect of her arrival triggering any grief for Poppy, and I am so worried of something going wrong and happening to her. I will be glad when we are on the other side of it and she is here…I don’t like inductions and I really don’t like the feeling of facing one or a delivery generally following a loss.
On another down side and at what could be the worst timing, I have a little buddy sat here with me.. Megs has been up with sickness and I am doing my best to nurse her through the episodes of spewing! It really couldn’t have come at worse time, really.. here I am freaking out and now we have some bug to deal with. Of course I feel so bad for her as she obviously feels absolutely rotten and I am seriously hoping my dad is still okay to have her today – eeeeeek! But I think a day of paw patrol and my little pony whilst we head to the hospital and he may just survive it!!
I cannot believe that by the end of today we could have our baby, I cannot believe that the 18th of July could be her birthday. I cannot believe I am facing one of my biggest hurdles and firsts yet – delivering a baby after a stillbirth…Fingers, toes and everything else crossed that it goes well I am excited but I am utterly terrified too!!
The Induction – I anticipated that this was going to be a long process, with lots of waiting around and not a whole lot happening for I while. I knew it would most likely take up most of the day as hospitals are busy and things always take longer than you think they will anyway, and so I encouraged Nathan to just go to work with an understanding to come if it suddenly was all go (or after work if not) and then my Mum accompanied me to the hospital to hang out. It worked well and she was super excited to be a part of the whole thing too.
I was so nervous and so worried about all kinds of things, I just so very much wanted all to be well and go well. I just wanted this baby to be able to come home. I knew deep down it would be different this time, but it wasn’t enough to counteract the freaking out that was going on all morning…I stalled it for a while; taking Ethan to school and then going back home for things I had forgotten, but eventually I had to face the music, and go ahead with the plan and so we made it to the hospital just after 10 am, was shown to an antenatal assessment room, and after waiting for a while, a chat with the bereavement midwife about my emotions and feelings, some laughs and reassurance I was put on the monitor for a good hour or so to check on everything and get some readings. I was then examined and it was decided that they would just break my waters straight away and so after lunch, another wait for an available delivery room and several moments of “ahhhhhhhhh this is really happening”, the midwife broke my waters at 2pm and began the induction process. I have had my waters broken with all of them and it is something that always weirds me out at the sensation and grossness of it all and is a huge reminder of the yucky side of having a baby – its the point where I realise there really is no going back now..they are on their way!!!
The next stage was a bit of a waiting game with the goal to get things going, so Mum and I took several long walks around the hospital, up and down stairs and back round again and I showed her the marvellous scenes of the old Victorian site…By 3 I was having cramps and by 4 intense contractions every 3 minutes. It was at this point I returned to delivery suite and requested an epidural. This was pre planned in my notes with my consultant because of my anxiety about the birth combined with the prospect of a drip to induce was really too much to face naturally. I had no intention of even trying to and wanted this experience to be as calm and as positive as possible and so an early epidural felt right and made complete sense to me.
The staff were amazing, never tried to sway me from it and from the start/frequently said to me “let us know when you are ready for your epidural” . It was nice to be supported and increased my confidence in my choice. SO yes at 4pm it felt like I was getting ready for that relief and opportunity to get my head ready for the delivery, and knowing again it would probably take time to get the anaesthetist and then to do it, I asked at this stage before it got any closer and I risked not being able to get it! Due to him being in theatre it wasn’t until 6 that it was done, at which point Nathan had arrived, I was
pretty very uncomfortable and I just hoped things were progressing well… despite the frequency and intensity of pain we had some good banter with the anaesthetist and I was so grateful to be made comfortable BEFORE the prospect of the drip. As much as I think I would have liked a non medical birth, I really do LOVE the relief that comes from the good ol epidural.
I was at 5cms by this point and so it was a hook up to the drip (doubled every hour) and then a long night of waiting! There were moments her heart rate dropped, and movements slowed and so I was also given fluid to help. It was 1am before I was examined again, where it was revealed I was fully dilated… they were concerned that whilst her head was low it potentially could go back and so I waited a further 2hrs before pushing. I pushed from 3.30 to her being born at 3.49… and it really was all very straight forward. I felt her little head pop out which was soooo weird again and then a final push and she was here screaming her head off. Alive and well! WHAT A RELIEF!!! WHAT A BLESSING!
I was over the moon to see how much she looked like Ethan and had very little resemblance to Megs or Poppy, which would have been fine, but obviously a lot more emotional to deal with taking home a baby that looked so much like the one we lost, I see it a great blessing that she was obviously a different child with her own look and resemblance to a different sibling. Nathan and I clutching hands and looking down on her as she “popped out” just kept smiling and going a little nuts that she was Ethans little double at birth, it must have been more of a relief than either of us realised but so good as it instantly made me relaxed, so so happy and more than able and willing to hold her. I fell in love straight away…
Finally came the placenta and the need for a couple of stitches, which again was a relief as I have since felt rather well physically. I did loose 700ml of blood, which apparently is loads, but didn’t need any extra and again my body seems to have coped with that too. I was so worried about being induced but really feel it couldn’t have gone better. I look on her birth and am pleased I was confident in my choices, that the team worked with us and were very sensitive to what we had been through. I am happy and oh so grateful that we both are healthy and doing well since.
So it only leaves for one more thing and that is … Say hello to our little Beaut – Alice Grace Smith. born at 3.49am on the 19th of July weighing 7lb 9oz. A little sweetheart straight from heaven to bless our lives. She loves to snuggle, feed and stare at us all and is so very pleasant to have in our lives. The kids love her, we love her, the family love her and I have felt nothing but happiness and joy when I look at her. I kiss and snuggle her far more than the others and truly treasure her…she really is a little light in our family some colour and brightness after a long storm. We all adore her, love she is here and certainly agree she is another little beauty!