So it’s been a while……. I haven’t written anything on my blog for a while, to start with it was because I was absolutely knackered with still being at work and being pregnant, then it was because all the things I wanted to write about were about being pregnant and I didn’t want to tempt fate (those of you who know me will know I am very superstitious and having lost one baby I would never have risked it!) and just recently it’s that stupidly, some might say, we decided to move house and have a baby all at the same time.
Anyway in a rare moment of quiet right now both children are asleep, the husband is at work, and whilst I have loads of things I could be doing, sitting down and writing something seemed like a good place to start.
So William is finally here, after what seemed like an epic pregnancy, where I have managed to put on a ton of weight and now look like the size of a house! (6 week check and weight watchers here I come!) and one in which I didn’t feel particularly well but thought it was down to my age, it turns out it probably wasn’t, which let me tell you makes me feel a whole lot better. Having felt like a bit of a burden on my work colleagues for the last 8 weeks of being at work, I think most of the way I was feeling was because I wasn’t so well. So thank you lovely work colleagues for looking after me so well, you know who you are.
William was born via forceps delivery on the 10th of October at 05.58 he weighed 8lbs 15oz and was born at 40 weeks and 2 days as I was induced because of my age, something that nearly didn’t happen because the hospital policy says one thing, but the doctors thought something completely different. Thankfully it did happen as I dread to think how big he would have been if I had been left to do it on my own, Cora was evicted too at 42 weeks exactly so I think the likelihood of him coming naturally was quite slim. Both my babies were induced the both nearly ended up in c sections and both had assisted deliveries.
Being induced is no fun at all, apparently it’s more painful than if you go into labour naturally, which the midwives seem to relish in telling you, is this to try and dissuade you from having an induction or just something they feel the need to tell you? I am pretty sure though that most women would rather go into labour naturally and not have to go through the process of being induced, because it’s certainly no fun. The only benefit of having an induction is that they don’t send you home, once you’re in you’re in until the baby comes.
Whilst I was pregnant with William I had several episodes of reduced movements, leading to me going in to be monitored, where of course as soon as the CTG machine goes on he started wiggling about like you wouldn’t believe. Any of you who have read my bio will know that I am a nurse, I work in a children’s environment and we get the maternity crash bleep (emergency bleep) which admittedly probably makes you slightly more paranoid as our doctors run to those bleeps and we often hear the outcome of what happened to the babies they try to save. So when I had those episodes I knew I needed to be checked out, even so I still felt a little bit like I was wasting every bodies time. To be honest one of the times I went in the midwife looking after me made what was probably a throw away comment about waiting longer before coming in (I phone up at midnight and hadn’t really felt the baby move for a good 8 hours –how much longer do you wait and what, I go to sleep and then there’s no heartbeat in the morning?) she said other things too but that’s what I heard and that’s what I remember from that visit (oh and the fact that even she thought the hospital policy for inducing due to maternal age says that if you are 39 when you book in you don’t have to be induced at term you can wait, the registrar wanted me to be induced at term. I was 40 two weeks after I booked in).
The rate of still birth is still shockingly bad for a developed country like the UK I think I read earlier today that it’s 1 in 220 births, and yes we are talking about it and yes we are more aware of babies movements. Comments like that, oh and that of the sonographer when they did a growth scan, to check that William was ok because I had had 2 episodes of reduced movements, who told me that ‘isn’t it normal for the baby to slow down before birth as there is less room?’ And that ‘it’s just an excuse for another scan’ can you believe that a health professional actually said that to a pregnant women worried about the health of her baby? It’s no wonder the rate is still high, would you go back after that? It isn’t true that babies movements reduce before birth and if you are worried about your babies movements you should speak to your midwife or your labour ward. There is loads of useful information about babies movements on either the Tommy’s website www.tommys.org.uk or on the Kicks Count website www.kickscount.org.uk. Tommy’s have just launched a new campaign all about babies movements called Movements Matter, trying to break some of those myths. Believe me when I say you are not wasting any bodies time and even if you think you are who cares? The most important thing is that your baby is ok and that you know it is. No midwife wants to help bring a baby into the world that will never take its first breath so bother them, if something is wrong they will be glad you did and it might just save your babies life.
Any way back to being induced, we rocked up to the maternity unit at 12.30 on the day we were booked in after phoning in the morning as we were told to and being given a time. The midwife sitting at the desk didn’t say a word, she just looked at us, got up went into the office and then came back, she then showed us into the parents room as there was no bed ready, and told us to wait. She never introduced herself at all, which I think is one of the most crucial things as a health professional you can do, the sad thing about it is that’s what I remember, not that she was actually lovely and that she did look after us very well even if it was only for an hour, when we eventually got a bed, I couldn’t tell you what her name is now because that was my first impression, I can however tell you the names of the midwives and the doctors who did introduce themselves and then gave amazing care, which to be fair to her she did give.
We saw 4 different midwives between coming in on Saturday afternoon and still not being in labour on Sunday morning all of whom told us something different, and really made me feel like they couldn’t be bothered because this is what happens with induction nothing really! That if you are going to be induced it’s a long old process and the baby won’t be here for days, despite the fact that within 6 hours of having the propess with Cora I was in labour (although again the midwife on the late shift didn’t believe me because it was my first baby and they take at least 48 hours to come!) They do however give you a different drug if it’s the second time of being induced and so you do get checked after 6 hours which is better than the 1st time, and you do get to hear your babies heart beat at regular intervals as they check that the drug hasn’t distressed the baby. On Sunday morning a really lovely midwife came on duty, now what I don’t know is if they had suddenly decided to read my notes and saw what I did or if I am just being cynical and that actually she was just excellent. I mean she was excellent but was that how she always gave care or was it because of my job? There was a definite change in my care and the level of care we received. Any way all that aside, she took everything in hand and basically sorted out what was going on and got me reviewed by the registrar and got a plan in place. 2nd Prostin given but I don’t think she thought it was going to work, however 6 hours later 2cm dilated and a review by the Reg and we were off down to delivery suite for them to break my waters (in an attempt to bring on labour and not require any further drugs).
Once we were on the delivery suite we had a midwife with us until the baby was delivered and actually for some time after. Our midwife was amazing, unlike when I had Cora when I was in active labour by the time we got to delivery suite and actually have 6 hours of my life missing, I can actually remember most of William’s delivery, although entonox (gas and air) makes me like a drunk person so I do have some gaps which Gareth relishes in telling me the things I was saying.
My waters broken and I had 2 hours to start ‘doing it on my own’ when they would make a decision about whether I needed to have the IV infusion or could carry on without it. Thank fully I was progressing so I didn’t need it, and was given another 4 hours to progress further until the docs reviewed again. During that time William was monitored every 15 minutes by Doppler to check he was ok and once an hour a different midwife would come and check with fresh ears, something I don’t remember them doing with Cora, although like I said I have 6 hours of her labour missing and when I asked Gareth he couldn’t remember!
2am arrived and I was at 6cm so allowed to carry on but this is the point at which it all becomes a bit of a blur to me. Sometime over the next couple of hours I decided I wanted an epidural, which by the time the anaesthetist came to put it in I wanted to push so decided against it, thinking that he might be here soon so I would be ok, only to still be pushing 2 hours later and starting to really struggle, not only because I had now been up 48 hours but also because I have a pin in my hip, so I have a limited range of movement and was finding it hard to get into a comfortable position to push. During this time there was talk of a caesarean because they thought William’s head was tilted sideways, although a change in my position sorted that out. Eventually I think it was decided that I wasn’t going to get him out without a bit of help and the Reg was amazing, she put all my fears about forceps deliveries at ease, I was offered a spinal for it but she said it would take about half an hour as I had to go to theatre for that and by that point I had had enough, so I told her just to do it and get the baby out. She did she had him out in 2 minutes, a healthy baby boy, weighing 8lbs 15oz, unfortunately for our lovely midwife, she had gone for her tea break as William was born, we did have an equally lovely midwife take over from her, but since she had been with us since 20.00 the night before it was quite sad that she didn’t see him born.
They had asked us what our birth plan when we got to delivery suite, but to be honest with both children we didn’t have one, just for the baby to come safely into the world, and although William was an assisted delivery we were able to have skin to skin and delayed cord cutting and all of those lovely things that happen after an uncomplicated birth, the things we missed with Cora because she was distressed and had meconium. We have a lot to thank the staff for as we do have 2 beautiful children who were bought into the world safely and although things happened during both of their deliveries because of the amazing midwives we had both times they were picked up quickly and dealt with effectively.
Because William was delivered by forceps we had to stay in 24 hours after he was born, which to be honest wasn’t a bad thing. I was feeling quite light headed and breathless post birth and had had a larger than normal blood loss so they did my HB which was low so decided to start me on iron tablets, I have to be honest I am not a good patient and having not seen Cora for 4 days and seeing how upset she was when she had to leave William and I in the hospital the day he was born really upset me. I really wanted to go home, I don’t think I even told Gareth how rubbish I felt. Just walking from my bed to the desk made me breathless and I continued to feel lightheaded, however when I was sat down I felt ok, so when I was asked how I felt I was generally sat down so told them I felt fine, probably not my greatest move as I ended up having to go back twice as my HB dropped and I needed to have an iron transfusion. Really not what you need when you are trying to pack a house up to move and you have a new baby.
It turns out that I also have a low B12 so am now being investigated for other stuff that might be wrong to give me a low B12. This does make me feel a whole lot better as I was quite breathless for the last 12 weeks of my pregnancy for no apparent reason and as I said before I thought it was because if my age, so I am quite glad that here may be another cause. I would rather not have anything wrong, hopefully a course of B12 injections will sort me out.
Cora is absolutely besotted with her baby brother and is turning out to be a great big sister, she is coping really well with moving house and becoming a new big sister which at 2 I am really proud of. We have had the odd tantrum and some really not very Cora like behaviour but in the whole she’s doing pretty well, and William well apart from being a bit sick after most feeds he’s a model baby, you couldn’t ask for a better behaved baby. We are truly very lucky and have the most wonderful family, welcome to the world gorgeous William we love you very much xx