I was lucky this time round, it was almost the birth I wanted. I had originally planned a homebirth, which up to 30 weeks was all going ahead. Until I was told that because I was taking medication that they highly advised against it. It was at that point I felt like my body had failed me. Depression was winning and beating me. I was never told the side effects being on medication would have, until a few weeks before my due date. A neonatal alert was put into place as there was a good chance that Darcie could be addicted to my medication and her lungs would be immature and she would need help to breathe.
I had just started to relax and then the stress just hit me again. I was petrified I was going to lose my little girl. I’d had a comfortable pregnancy up to now, it had to be too good to be true. Of course something had to go wrong. It’s just what happens to me. I had regular meetings with my midwives who were amazing and reassured me when ever I felt down and worried. We decided I’d try for a water birth instead, which is what I wanted with Colby but never got. So I added the extra essentials to our hospital bag so we were prepared to go in the pool. (Fingers crossed it was free)
Saturday 6th February
I had began to relax again, Dane was finishing work early so I decided I was going to cook something nice for tea. Hunters chicken with sweet potato, my favourite. I’d been slaving away, got Colby into his high chair ready. I passed Dane colbys plate and went back into the kitchen. I then felt an almighty gush.
‘Erm Dane, you might want to come here… I think my waters have gone!’
By the time he had passed me a towel I felt a second gush! I was so annoyed as I really wanted my tea, but instead I rang the maternity ward and went in to be checked. They will normally tell you to put a thick maternity pad on, wait an hour and see how much more you have lost. I had changed my pad about 6 times within 30 minutes so I didn’t bother waiting. I got to the hospital, having no pains at all, they told me I was only 2cm. Due to being in no pain at all they told me to come back in 24 hours to be induced as they didn’t think I’d go naturally within that time. So an appointment was made for 5:25pm on Sunday to go back to hospital.
Danes parents had picked up Colby and we decided he may as well stay with them, just in case and so I could get some sleep before the big moment, whenever that may be. Still not even feeling a twinge we went to bed.
Sunday 7th February – 4am
I woke up early in the morning with what I thought was a pain, it wasn’t too painful so I dismissed it. I then had another about 10 minutes later so I decided to have a bath. I just felt like I had stomach cramps and needed a poo. What ever the feeling was it was bareable, as I was in excruciating pain with Colby I didn’t think anything of it. By 10am I realised they had gone from 10 minutes apart to 3/4minutes so I rang the maternity ward and off we went.
‘You are 2.5cm dilated, as you’re not in pain we are happy to send you home or you can stay and see if you progress any further.’
Sod staying, I wanted to go see my baby boy so decided I go to Danes mums and have a bit of dinner. Pain was slightly stronger so the midwife gave me two paracetamol before I left, at 11:20am. We got to Danes mums at 12pm, Colby was asleep having a nap so I didn’t want to disturb him. His mum made me a cup of tea, he might wake up by the time I’d finished it. I took one mouthful and I felt like I’d been kicked in the gut by a horse. The pains had gone from 0-100 within minutes. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t sit, I tried walking in circles, walking on the spot. What was it and my body not letting me have what I wanted, really fancied that brew too! In the end I couldn’t cope anymore so Dane rang the midwives as at this point I couldn’t talk, I had zoned out and concentrating on my breathing.
We got to the hospital at 1:15pm. By the time is got onto the ward I was on my knees, the pain was horrendous. It took a few minutes for a midwife to come get me a wheelchair and helped me onto a bed.
‘Bethany, I can stretch you to 4cm. We can take you through to the delivery room.’
Wow, things were going faster than I had expected. I asked for a room with a poo but my midwife explained they were extremely busy. I wasn’t feeling hopefully. I was wheeled into the delivery room. It was the newly revamped room with a huge pool! I felt so relieved. I asked if they could start filling it up and before she could reply I had stripped off ready to get in it.
The pool was full and I was trying so hard to relax. The pains were starting to become unbareable. I tried kneeling and resting my head on the side, then I tried lying back, nothing made a difference and I was having that much gas and air I started to feel sick and dizzy. At this point I asked Dane to get in with me. He sat with his back against the side of the pool and I sat between his legs. He was quite useful at holding the gas and air for me. Only being 5ft, I could only just reach the other side with my feet. It helped with my contractions, I’d press’s my feet against the pool side and would straighten my body, my head resting back on Danes shoulder.
He was an amazing birthing partner. He kept me as calm as possible, told me I was doing well but he also knew when to say nothing at all. Inbetween contractions we would have a lovely conversation with the midwife about Colby, the name we had chosen this time around and what we did as jobs. Just general chit chat. I was so in the zone I had temporarily forgotten about the possibility of her being born poorly.
The midwife check and I was 8cm dilated. I couldn’t believe how fast things were going. Darcie’s heart rate was nice and steady and I could feel her wriggling around which was reassuring.
The familiar ‘I feel like I need to poo/push’ feeling came. My midwife told me to relax but I couldn’t. I knew my body and I needed to push. I was amazed it made it this far with no pain relief.
I began to push, as I was completely aware of what was going on I sheepishly told Dane that I had done a poo, which had landedon his foot. After another push and her head was out. I reach down and could feel her, the relief of pressure just made me ‘ahhh, is that really her head? I’ve done it.’ One last push and she was here. Along with a nice meconium poo on daddy’s other foot.
I was waiting to hold her for some skin to skin but nurses and doctors flooded into the room. The cord was wrapped around her neck and they had trouble clamping it too. When they took her from the water, blood went everywhere. Surprisingly I was still quite calm.
She needed a little help breathing, I could see the doctors and nurses putting the tiny little mask on her face. I still remained calm, I needed to for the sake of my little girl. I could tell Dane was worrying though. It was a scary 10 minutes. During that time the midwife explained she was going to give me a little injection to help me pass the placenta. So I climbed out of the pool and onto the bed. A quick prick and one more contraction and the placenta was out. I was curious to see what it looked like so I asked. One side looked like a used tea bag and the other side was fleshy and raw. It was quite interesting actually.
While they were still helping Darcie to breathe and stabilise her, the midwife checked my nether regions. I had escaped with a tiny graze.
We had realised due to all the commotion, none of us had actually noticed he exact time she was born. The earliest time the midwife could remember was 15:19. So that was that, my gorgeous teeny tiny girl was born at 3:15pm.
Finally I got to hold her, she was tiny, so much smaller than her brother, I could cup my hands and she would fit easily. This time around I was determined to breastfeed, and she latched straight away, I felt my butterflies in my stomach. I was overwhelmed with love. After I’d had my first cuddle I passed her to the midwife so she could finally weigh her. 6lb8oz. She was smaller than the average doll you could buy in a shop.
I’d cleaned myself up, had a shower and got my gorgeous newborn dressed into her first ever item of clothing. I was still in the delivery room but we had family eager to visit. It was Danes dad who came to see us first. I felt excited as that also meant Danes mum was also here with Colby. I couldn’t wait to see him and to show him his new baby sister.
[Her first little outfit, tiny baby size was still a bit big]
Before I had anymore visitors I was moved round to the postnatal ward. Babies were screaming but I didn’t pay attention to any of it, I couldn’t stop staring at my beautiful creation.
The time finally came, Colby met his new baby sister. He was unsure at first. ‘Buhbye, all gone Darcie.’ He was confused seeing mummy and daddy with this little baby who had just suddenly appeared. None of us wanted to stress him so they took him home.
This is when the nerves kick in. My first night alone with her. I soon realised she had reflux so spent most of the night holding her and feeding her.
Monday 8th February
I had hardly slept, I spent most of the night just gazing at her. The doctor and midwives came and did the usual checks and they said we could go home at lunch time. I got her dressed into her first ever dress which was miles too big, along with all the clothes we had for her. We were all packed up, she was snug in the car seat and we said thank you to the midwives and off we went.
Tuesday 9th February
We had only been home one night, the midwife came round to visit and I mentioned to her that she kept doing a ‘jitter’. The midwife witnessed her doing the jitter and rang the hospital for us. We had to take her back in, but this time onto the children’s ward.
I was terrified, my earlier worries of something going wrong were coming true. They took blood tests and a urine sample. Her whole body would shake. All I could think of was epilepsy or some kind of fit. After the results came back I was told she had very low blood sugar levels. So we had to weigh every nappy and had to check her sugars before every feed. After a while she didn’t cry as she was used to being stabbed by numerous needles. We had a night in hospital so they could monitor her.
Wednesday 10th February
After hourly feeds her sugars had stabilised and no further treatment was needed. She was jaundice but they told me if I kept feeding every few hours it should go. Her bilirubin levels were below the treatment line which was positive. She still continued to have her jitters but at least my mind was at ease at there was nothing seriously wrong.
She is now 5 months old and growing at a very fast rate. She has been wearing 6-9 month clothes for the last month and uses the same size nappies as her brother. Her jitters have competition stopped and she is of perfect health. Our next big hurdle to tackle, weaning.