My labour story.. baby number 3.

I was sat watching Eastenders one evening when the very familiar feeling of regular contractions began.. ‘lasting longer than a minute and at intervals of every five minutes or so’. As a first time parent they tell you at antenatal classes that this means you are most probably in early labour, and to then take action when you get 3 in 10 minutes. What they don’t tell you is that early labour can actually last for hours, if not days, or in my case this time these early contractions lasted a whole WEEK..

Every night once the boys were nicely tucked up in bed at 7pm, I’d sit down to relax and these regular contractions would start again, they would continue until the morning, and would remain mostly regular. And then, like clockwork, once the boys would wake, they would fade out. I joked that I was only relaxed when the boys were not around and as a result my labour was not progressing. I googled my signs obsessively and decided that I was experiencing false labour. This continued for a week and it felt like I was never going to actually progress into ‘real labour’.

After experiencing this for a week, on the Wednesday night at 7pm once the boys were in bed, I started to feel contractions that started in my back. I was familiar with these types of contractions from my first labour, where my eldest monkey was back to back. So I instantly knew this must be the start of my actual labour for sure, although they were extremely mild and bearable.

They continued all night, and kept coming regularly but had still not intensified. So I got on my bouncy ball in the morning and kept bouncing through them in an effort to get things moving quicker. I didn’t move of the ball for three hours, but eventually got up to use the loo at around midday. Just as I was walking back to the ball, I thought I felt a small a trickle down my leg.. so I went upstairs to get dressed and it happened again.

I called the maternity ward to let them know my waters were leaking, they asked me to come in to be examined. As soon as I got to the hospital the contractions calmed down and become further apart! A change of environment can do that, it didn’t help that I was then there for almost four hours while they passed me from midwife to midwife between the midwife led and consultant led unit. Each time explaining my situation from scratch and being asked what I was doing there πŸ˜‚! I was there as they had asked me to come in but as I had no ‘evidence’ of my waters breaking and they couldn’t confirm that they had from an examination they believed I may have just had an accident, great!

Either way, I would need to be induced by midday the next day due to the infection risks of my waters ‘maybe’ breaking. The final midwife that I saw kindly checked if there was a bed available for my to be induced that evening, as it would happen the next day anyway and my contractions had completely slowed down I decided to come back at 7pm and then stay to be induced (it was already 4.30pm by this point). I’d always said I’d never unnecessarily opt for an induction but I was well and truly fed up and didn’t want another night of no progression but still experiencing contractions.

As soon as I got home even more of my waters had leaked and this time I got the evidence they wanted on a good old pad, so the scan they wanted to do was no longer needed :).

I said a quick goodbye to my boys before they went to bed (by this point grandma had made it down to look after them, so they were in safe hands). I left my husband at home also and took my sister back with me to the hospital. By this point my waters were constantly leaking as well as my mucus plug, but the contractions had not intensified, just continued every 5-8 minutes a part.

I was examined as soon as I got to hospital and was told I was 2-3cm already, so I was given a pessary but no further induction as I could wait to have my waters broken. However I was told that as it was now the night shift staff it would unlikely be until the morning as they were short staffed. I didn’t want to wait until then so bounced on my ball and walked up and down the corridors until 1am before giving up to get some sleep. The contractions were a lot more regular and slightly more intense now, but I was managing with my good old Tens machine.

I managed to sleep until around 5am but was in a really light sleep and could feel the contractions, I would press the button on my tens in my sleep every time a contraction came. My sister bless her managed to sleep on the chair next to my bed for a few hours.

At around 10am my husband swapped with my sister and we walked around the hospital for about an hour. While I was walking my contractions were a couple of minutes a part and hurting a lot more but still bearable. But I was disheartened when I was examined at 11am and I was still only 3cm! I was in ALOT of pain by now. My sister arrived back at this point and I sent my husband back home as no signs of baby yet. The pain I experienced in the next hour was insane, I could no longer walk and felt like I had no energy left.

I begged my sister to ask the midwife to examine me again but I was told no as nothing would have progressed so quickly yet. By 12.30 I was DYING so my sister asked again, reminding them that my active labour was super quick last time. I was so relieved to hear I was now 8cm dilated and I could move to the delivery suite and finally get some gas and air πŸ™‚

By this point I was so exhausted I decided to finally lie down and just use the gas and air for awhile to manage the pain. My husband had returned also, and spent the next few hours snacking, sipping his tea and watching the horse racing on his phone, but I didn’t even have the energy to be annoyed with him! I was so chilled the midwife said afterwards that she couldn’t believe I was actually in labour. It took until around 3.45pm to be fully dilated and then I was told to wait half an hour or so before I started to push so that babies head could move down slightly. After about 15 minutes I couldn’t wait any longer as the urge to push was so strong so we started pushing.

But I had completely exhausted myself over the last couple of days, I had no energy left to push and mentally I had no energy left either. So after a few minutes I ‘gave up’. The midwife suggested calling a doctor in for assistance and I agreed straight away (very out of character for me). The doctor came in and after looking at me and hearing this was third baby and both previous babies were born naturally, she gave me a little prep talk and told me she wouldn’t be assisting me as I didn’t need it..

It was the motivation I needed, as only a few minutes later at 16.08pm we welcomed our beautiful little boy (7 pounds exactly) into the world. The first thing I did was look down to see the gender, and I wasn’t surprised at all that baby had been a boy all along!

It’s the best feeling in the world having your brand new warm and cuddly baby placed onto your chest straight after they arrive. I remember feeling so relieved that he was finally here and after having initial skin to skin the adrenaline kicked in and I didn’t even feel tired. This was cut short so that I could be stitched up so it ended up being nearly two hours later that baby had his first feed and I finally got a proper look and hold of him.

As I had lost a lot of blood and my iron levels were low I had to stay in hospital that night and as soon as I was settled onto a ward I had the best 2 hours sleep of my life and it wasn’t until the next morning my three boys met for the first time πŸ’™

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Welcoming baby number 2.. my birth storyΒ 

With my first baby, we were in the midst of renovating and moving house so I was in no rush for my monkey to make an appearance. Well this time being heavily pregnant with a toddler (who had just learnt to walk), and being more ‘prepared’ (if that’s even possible), meant that I was counting down the arrival of my little munchkin from around 36 weeks pregnant…Do not listen to people who tell you second babies arrive sooner, it will only make you feel disheartened, and the wait feel even longer!

I laboured at home for the majority of my last labour and coped well with a ‘mama’ tens machine and bouncy ball. I got to hospital when I was 9cm dialated which I was quite chuffed about.. so surely second time round was going to be even easier.. or so I thought!

My contractions started on Friday evening but they were short, only lasting around 30 seconds, and very bearable. So much so I managed to sleep okay at night, but woke in the early hours as the pain was increasing and then didn’t go back to sleep. I now know this was a bad idea and I should have got as much sleep as possible…

My husband was home and my mum and sister had come over, so my monkey was well taken care of for the day. I spent the day upstairs, out of sight of my toddler, catching up on eastenders with my tens machine on and half heartedly using the bouncy ball. I kept thinking that the contractions were no way near as bad as last time, but put this down to the fact that last time I experienced back labour and it killed.

By the evening, the frequency and pain had intensified but was still very manageable. But, having had them for 24 hours at this point, I was convinced I must be almost ready for labour, as surely labour second time round is supposed to be quicker?! My contractions were every 3-4 minutes so off we went to hospital to be examined. After allll that, I was a measley 2cm dialated! I was gutted, although I was laughing and joking through the contractions so should have expected it really. The midwife did say that although I was only 2cm, my cervix had thinned out considerably and was in a good position (not posterior if I remember correctly) so I had ‘done all the hard work already’. She said she thought I’d be back by 1am and I’d have a baby by the morning… hmm. So at around 10pm we left the hospital in search of some nice food.

It was not our lucky night and we drove around for over an hour as everywhere we went had ran out of what we wanted or were no longer doing take aways. We settled for a greasy burger and chips and went home to eat it. My contractions were still bearable but were a lot more painful. I had stopped timing at this point as I was just getting disheartened…

I had just finished my greasy meal and was enjoying my coke (sat on my bouncy ball) talking of getting some sleep, when out of nowhere I heard something rupture in my belly followed by a huge gush. My waters had broke, it was horrible, the water kept coming! It was literally like you see in the movies and so unexpected as last time only my front waters broke, until the very end when I was too out of it to notice. Luckily mum and my sister cleared it up, helped me change clothes and off we went back to the hospital.

We joked that we had a mystic midwife as it was exactly 1am when we returned, just like she predicted. My contractions had really intensified now and I was in A LOT of pain. But when she examined me I was only 3cm.. I was SO disheartened, I felt ready to push and had contractions less than a minute apart. I wasn’t allowed to stay in the delivery suite, and could have no pain relief. Apparently even if I wanted paracetamol I would need to be admitted on to a ward… no thanks.

I really didn’t want to leave, and the midwife tried her best to let me stay, but the strict rules meant I had to leave again. I literally wouldn’t leave the room so eventually she suggested that we took a walk around the hospital for an hour then came back. So we walked for five minutes back to the waiting room, where I then told my husband and sister that I wasn’t walking anymore and didn’t want to get into the car and go back home as I was in far too much pain and this baby was coming soon.

We stayed in the waiting room for around 40 minutes while I experienced the worse contractions. I had given up on my tens machine a long time ago so was relying on my sister and husband to rub my back through the contractions. I was getting fed up of going backwards and forwards so I decided we would go back to see if my labour had progressed and if it hadn’t I’d accept it finally, and we would go home and wait it out there.

I could barely walk back to the delivery suite, and when we got there and Betty (my midwife) finally examined me (a long time after we arrived as she said she wasn’t going to this time she just wanted to observe me), I was FULLY DILATED! Woohoo! I felt like saying I told you so, but I knew it wasn’t Betty’s fault, she had tried to let me stay.

Straight away I asked for gas and air, but Betty, (and another midwife who suddenly appreared out of nowhere) said no! Great! They told me I really needed to push and get the baby out… so I tried my best, I could feel a sense of panic in the room so tried to focus on finally meeting my baby, which helped me push. Both midwives stayed in the room which added to the panic and they called for a resus kit… I knew I had to push this baby out and quickly, and 15 minutes later my beautiful baby boy was born. I laugh when I read my hospital notes as I was technically only admitted for 15 minutes… but that’s because I spent almost an hour in the corridor before hand!

My poor little munchkin was very blue and didn’t cry on his arrival but I was told he was fine… he had the umbilical chord stuck around his neck, hence the panic I had picked up on, but we got him out nice and quickly so all was fine. My baby latched on straight away but I was so tired that I was falling asleep whilst he had the world’s longest feed. I kept nodding off, only to be rudely awoken by somebody stiching me up (great another tear, I thought, how unlucky am I). I had lost a lot of blood so was told to shower up then get some rest but that I would be going home by lunchtime.

I couldn’t wait to get home, baby was checked over and given the all clear so now I was just waiting on a blood test and then we could leave. I waited hours and hours for the test and finally had it late afternoon, to be told at 8pm that I had to stay overnight as I had lost a lot of blood and was at risk of a blood clot. I was gutted, I wanted to get home and I knew my toddler would be missing me. I was cheered up a little by the Nando’s the husband hand delivered to the hospital (a Nando’s post labour is turning into a tradition). All was well the next day and we were able to go home and spend some time as a family of four 😍😍.

My beautiful baby boy was born on Sunday 18th February at 4.48am, weighing 7 lbs and 4 oz (much bigger than we were expecting)… I am now officially outnumbered by my 3 boys πŸ’™.

What’s in my hospital bag?Β 

So this week I finally did the one thing I’ve been avoiding.. I packed my hospital bag! Or rather, my hospital bags, as just like last time I have a bag for me and a bag for the baby…

Last time I did loads of research and spent loads of time deciding what to pack. I stayed in hospital for 24 hours and used barely any of it and the one thing I wanted I hadn’t packed.. my phone charger lol! 

As I have a habit of overpacking, this time I went through my old list and made a new list of what I feel are the essentials.. the hospital is five minutes from home so if we end up staying longer etc then I’m not worried.

What’s inside my bag? 

For labour:

  • Hair bobbles 
  • Bikini top and a baggy tshirt (hoping for a water birth)
  • Water spray.. I got the Avenue Eau thermale spray from boots 
  • Lip balm.. gas and air makes your lips dry! 
  • Snacks (will sort this on the day)
  • Hospital notes 
  • Tens machine
  • Camera
  • Phone charger 

For my hospital stay:

  • A cotton dressing gown.. it gets so hot on the wards so I didn’t want a full blown robe
  • Slippers.. the hospital bathroom facilities are yucky! 
  • A nightie.. I’ve packed one with buttons for easy feeding
  • PJ’s.. again I’ve packed buttoned down pjs. And grabbed a Β£12 bargain from Boux Avenue. I like warm pjs, but if you don’t and the wards are warm, they have nightie versions too πŸ™‚ 
  • An outfit to go home in.. leggings and a baggy top! 
  • Socks
  • Towel 
  • Toiletries.. miniatures of things I use daily for my face/hair 
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant 
  • Hands, face and body wipes
  • Knickers.. including disposable maternity briefs 
  • Disposable breast pads 
  • Lanisoh 
  • Nursing bra’s 

I’m rather pleased with how it’s all fit nicely into a small weekend bag. I don’t feel as though I’ve overpacked this time:) 

What’s inside my babies bag?

The most exciting part about my babies bag is the bag itself. I treated myself to a new changing bag and went for the Tiba + Marl Elwood in quilted black. So excited to use this! It’s so nice that I’m almost thinking it’s too nice to take to the hospital and may repack! Here’s what’s inside:

  • 4 sleepsuits.. I’ve gone for some newborn, and some early/tiny baby as Sami was teeny tiny
  • 4 vests 
  • Nappies x 10
  • Cotton pads (I use cotton wool and water for nappy changes)
  • Water wipes 
  • Handful of nappy sacks
  • Travel size sudocrem
  • 2 disposable change mats 
  • Socks 
  • Hats x 2
  • Scratch mitts x 2
  • Going home outfit 
  • Snow suit 
  • Blanket 

In addition these are my must have’s for labour.. 

  1. A tens machine.. they are literally amazing. My last labour was back to back and I used it alllll day and night until I left for hospital 
  2. A ball to bounce on. I had a bright green davina one and bounced through my contractions
  3. Water spray
  4. Lip balm
  5. Snacks

Last time I used the tens machine and bouncy ball to get me to 9cm dilated at home, hoping they’ll be as useful this time. 

    All of that fits so nicely in my lovely new mum bag.. it’s all starting to feel so real now and a huge weight has been lifted now that I know my bags are ready. I keep telling my husband that the baby is coming soon, but he’s not convinced. For now it’s a waiting game..

    My labour ‘must haves’
    My cute new Boux Avenue pj’s
    My new mum bag 😍😍😍

    D day.. My Birth Story

    As you may have guessed, moving day turned into THE day. Luckily by Saturday night the new carpet was laid in the new house, and all of our furniture had been transported. Sunday was spent fixing the curtains, cleaning the house, and unpacking essentials. I was therefore a little more relaxed about the prospect of our new arrival.

    I had mild back pains from the early hours of Saturday morning, but had convinced myself that this wasn’t the real thing, so continued as normal. By Sunday morning I knew I was experiencing contractions (they feel nothing like braxton hicks FYI) but was still convinced I wasn’t really in labour and they would soon stop. This didn’t happen and instead they intensified throughout the day, by 9pm I had contractions every 3 minutes.

    I spent the day in new house, sat on my bouncing ball with my tens machine on. I used both to manage the pain, swaying through each contraction with the tens machine massaging my back. I really don’t think I could have coped without these two things, especially as everyone else was busy with setting up the new house, I was pretty much managing on my own.

    By Sunday night, the contractions had intensified, I suspected I was in back labour and this made it even more painful! Luckily for me, my sister came to my rescue through the night, and massaged my back through every contraction (every three minutes, poor her). By 4am she was dozing off and I felt bad as she was exhausted from unpacking my new house, so I left her to sleep and switched back to the tens machine.

    To cut a long story short, my waters broke at around 6.30am on Monday morning, and we arrived at the hospital around 8am (I wanted to go sooner but my husband wasn’t convinced it was ‘time’ and went back to sleep for an hour). He was so sure we would be sent back home that he stayed in the car, and continued to nap for another hour and a half whilst I was being examined! Thank god for sisters.

    We were all pretty shocked to find I was already 9cm dialated by the time I got to hospital, bumpy was pretty much ready to come out! It took almost three hours to get to 10cm, partly due to the gas and air which made me drowsy and I was falling asleep through each contraction. This bit is a little bit of a blur to be honest.

    At around midday, I started pushing (which I struggled with at first), and after an hour of pushing, my little boy was born. Little Sami was born at 13.01pm on Monday 29th June, weighing a teeny tiny 5 pounds 14 oz. I was instantly in love. Sami was and is the cutest and most adorable thing I have ever laid eyes on.