Birth Story | Ellie

Ellie is now 4 weeks old. 4 weeks! How on earth did that happen?? As she turns 1 month old, I thought it would be a good time to share my birth story. And boy am I pleased to have a positive birth story to write.

My birth story with Alex was a really difficult one to put into words, it was long and tiring and by all accounts quite traumatic (although I am aware that others have had much much more traumatic births than me, this is how I felt and still feel for my experience). Although Ellie's birth wasn't as straight forward and plain sailing as most positive birth stories, and on paper it was still fairly traumatic, I still feel that this was an extremely positive story and I wanted to put it out there that although a birth might not be easy, it can still be positive.

I want to start at my 37 week consultant appointment. We went ahead to this appointment ready to finalise how our baby girl would be delivered. At the previous appointment we were given a few options to discuss and choose from - all of which seemed to end in a caesarean section. After 2 weeks of discussion and tears, I made the decision with Tim's help that we would opt for an elective caesarean. We booked the operation for 4th April and went home with our pre-op and section dates in the diary feeling a whole mixture of emotions.

The pre-op date came and we went along not really knowing what to expect. I had bloods taken in preparation, signed paperwork to say we understood the risks of a caesarean and had my usual weekly monitoring and were then sent on our way. Me and Tim then decided that we would have a TGI Friday's lunch to celebrate the end of our pregnancy as we did at the start after our 6 week scan when we found that we had a baby with a healthy heartbeat on board.

The rest of the week was spent clearing our bedroom in preparation for our new carpet. This was fitted on the Wednesday morning and then that afternoon my mum popped over and between me and her we put together the furniture we had got from Ikea and getting our bedroom all ready for baby's arrival the following week.

All of the hard work we had done earlier in the week took it's toll and my back would not stop hurting, however we had plans for the Friday to go over to my friends house so our sons could have a bit of a play. Throughout the day I experienced a few painful braxton hicks but thought nothing of them. I even managed a fish & chip shop dinner that evening at the in laws!

Within a few hours of returning home I noticed that there was a pattern to the braxton hicks and so started timing them. When it was evident that they were lasting 50 seconds and coming every 5 minutes we called the delivery unit and was told to go in just to be checked over. Both me and Tim fully expected to be sent home - this would not be the case. I didn't get chance to see Alex one last time as my only child.

I was checked over and examined to be told I was at 1cm and that they would keep me in (although I'm not 100% sure why - I think it was because I was so uncomfortable and possibly because of how long my previous labour lasted. Or it could have been because of the cholestasis). Tim stayed with me, I had a couple of doses of Pethdaine, and eventually at around 4am on the Saturday, I called my mum. She came to the hospital and we sent Tim home to get some rest. I had a third dose of Pethadine and even tried using a bath as pain relief. I found I was able to breath through my contractions as they got stronger, even if they weren't as controlled at Tim, my mum or the midwives would have liked. I started on the gas and air but made sure that this time I used it to try and help control my breathing rather than as a pain relief method.

I eventually asked for an epidural and this was granted. It took 2 attempts but eventually it was in and I slowly started to feel a bit better - even managed a bit of sleep. Eventually they had to stop the epidural for a short while as my blood pressure was dropping which was causing baby's heart rate to drop. This made everything a lot more difficult until I was eventually allowed to start it up again.

They continued to monitor the situation and after a while a doctor came to speak to me to say that I wasn't progressing in my labour and although they could let me go until I was fully dilated and assist with forceps, baby was already getting stressed and it would be more beneficial to do a caesarean. As this is what was planned and I had mentally prepared for anyway, I was happy with this. Especially as I just wanted her here safe.

It was stated that it would be a category 2 section, albeit a 'swift' category 2. They started preparing and Tim was given his scrubs and I was wheeled down to theatre. No sooner had we got there and I had been hauled onto the operating table, the 'swift' category 2 section very quickly turned into a category 1. She needed to be delivered fast. My blood pressure had dropped even more and her heart rate had dropped even lower.

And then, before I could even question when they would be starting the operation, we were informed that, at 9:28pm on Saturday 31st March, our little girl had been born. We could only watch at this point as she was taken straight over to the baby doctor and midwife. We could only watch as our baby girl lay lifeless and being given oxygen through a mask. A few times they lifted her little arm and it flopped back down onto the table. It was only 60 seconds but it felt like an eternity. Then, she cried. And they called Tim over to see our daughter. He was able to take some pictures before being handed her to bring across to see me.

It may have been quick and we may have had a panicky minute after she was born, but I feel like all in all my labour and birth was a much more positive one. I can remember much more of it - although those memories seem to be fading fast, too fast.

Post-Partum Update | Week 3

If you weren’t aware, 3 weeks ago I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. It was a positive birth all in all (birth story coming soon!) and I thought I would try and do post partum updates as we go along.

We’ll start off with my baby girl. Ellie is doing really well. We’ve had all our midwife appointments and have been discharged from midwife care. She only lost 3oz of her birth weight by day 5 which had all been put put back on and then some by day 10. She’s not the best sleeper at night and we are having a few difficulties there which we are working through. We also think she suffers with colic and might also be a tad constipated. Last week we had to take her to the GP because she had spent 5 hours screaming through the night and hadn't had a dirty nappy in 5 days. Since then we've had a few dirty nappies but she does seem to go at least 2-3 days in between. Only when you become a parent does talking abut poo become normal!

Ellie is changing day by day and I already can't wait for the first milestones - the first smile, the first laugh and when she can interact with us.

Onto my recovery. It's up and down to be honest. Let's start with the downs and end this post on a high. First off, physically. My scar is taking longer this time to heal compared to my section with Alex. I think this must be down to having to run around after a toddler this time as well as looking after a baby. I decided to jump on the scales for the first time since May last year and I'm a stone lighter than I was then! That means that I am lighter coming out of pregnancy than I was going into it! Onwards and upwards there!

And mentally? It's not been the best. I've been extremely weepy. Everyone knows about the baby blues, but they only last that first week at most. I haven't shown any signs of stopping my teary days as yet. PND is definitely lingering and I'm trying my hardest to fight it and keep it at bay but if I'm being completely honest, I'm struggling. And it's very difficult to ask for help. It's like it's a sign of weakness. Like I can't look after my own children. The reality is, those difficult moments where you have your toddler testing boundaries and your newborn crying for what seems like hours, when it's actually only 5 minutes, feel like the whole world is crumbling around you and you feel like you can't cope and start questioning why you ever thought you could do this whole parenting malarkey for a second time and this time with 2 to look after as well as yourself.

I need to make sure that I keep an eye on my mood and how I'm feeling and make sure that the first sign of things getting worse that I make an appointment to see my GP.

As for the positive side, I'm loving having a newborn around again. It's really nice having a newborn and a toddler as I feel like I get the best of both worlds (even if that does come with the worst of both worlds too). It might not seem like much but my two children take up the most room in my heart and most of the time I'm beaming with pride that thee two beautiful human beings are my own. Me and Tim together are raising these gorgeous kind hearted people and I love them very much.

We Had A Baby

In my last post, I questioned whether my 38 week update would be my last update. I never thought this would actually be the case as proved by the lack of bump photo. I never got chance to take a final bump shot.

Me, Tim and Alex would love to introduce our beautiful daughter and sister, Ellie. She was born 10 days early and we are all totally in love.

I will be writing up my birth story over the next couple of day to post in the next couple of weeks. I am actually really excited to write this one a I feel that I actually had a positive birth experience this time around!

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support throughout my pregnancy. I'm also really thankful I have this blog as I have loved keeping a log of everything I've been doing and feeling right to the very end.