Well, a huge 25 days after she made her way into the world, I'm finally managing to find time to formally introduce her and share my birth story. Life with a newborn is tiring but oh so worth it, and I really think I've lucked out on the chilled baby front; A is so easy-going, she only really cries if you wait too long to feed her and gets a little fussy with wind occasionally, but mostly she's happy going with the flow.
She was stubborn until the very end of my pregnancy; I finally went into early labour twelve days after her due date, the evening before I was going in to be induced. My waters started slowly leaking at around 10pm, but as I'd had a bit of a "have they/haven't they?" moment a few days earlier, I was unsure as to whether this really was it. That was, until I started contracting, feeling most of the pain in my back. I spent a good few hours in pain, contracting every ten minutes, until I finally retired to bed at 3.30am, thinking I'd had best get some sleep before the big day ahead of me. I woke up at about 8am, text my Mum and realised, sadly, I'd stopped contracting.
I was due at the maternity unit at 10am anyway, so we headed in after buying some snacks and immediately was popped in a bed, examined, and had baby's heart rate monitored for thirty minutes. After this, they insert a pessary behind the cervix, with the hope the hormones on the pessary will get to work and kickstart your labour. Sadly both of mine fell out, thanks to my waters getting the occasional gush and a very low cervix. The midwives always want to inspect the maternity pads you have to wear, and worryingly one of mine was covered in green mucus, meaning A had done her first poo, meconium, inside me.
After that, I headed pretty quickly down onto the delivery ward as I'd have to be induced a lot quicker than originally expected. I was popped into a tiny little room, examined, and had a needle in my hand ready for a drip to be inserted, and miraculously, I started contracting again. They seemed like they were coming pretty quickly, and within a couple of hours I was contracting every two minutes. I was just breathing through them for most of it, until I decided to use the gas and air to help take the edge of the pain. One of the downsides of being induced is that you're pretty much confined to a bed, which was horrible when most of the pain was coming through my back, (which is when we discovered A was also back to back) although when I did stand up my contractions slowed down, so it was probably a positive thing. But at this point, I'd still been contracting every two minutes for a couple of hours, and was only 1-2 centimeters dialated.
It was at this point they decided to give me the drip, and everything went into overdrive. Pretty quickly my contractions got a serious amount more painful; again, another downside to being induced is that the drip can make your contractions an awful lot worse than if you were contracting naturally. I tried to keep it together but I found it pretty difficult to cope, so out of the window went my natural birth plan, and into my leg went diamorphine. It. Was. Wonderful. I actually seemed to pass out and sleep for about half an hour, as did Kane!
When I woke back up, everything sped up pretty quickly again. The diamorphine seemed to wear off and my contractions were still seriously painful. I tried to keep it together infront of the midwife, but as she left I kept breaking down infront of Kane, assuring him I wouldn't be able to do it! Luckily though I had begun to dilate, and I tried to get through every second with gas and air (a little too much I've been told, the midwife had to tell me off for constantly sucking on it even when I wasn't contracting!) I'm not sure how far gone I was at this point, but I remember feeling my body start to push. It felt like the most uncontrollable urge, and being told I wasn't ready yet and to stop by my midwife was so difficult, because I really felt like it wasn't me controlling the pushing, and I just had to try my best to breathe through it. This happened for about half an hour until I was finally told I'd reached 10cm, and I could start pushing.
Man, this was hardwork. I remember being so hot and sweating like crazy, and having my hair absolutely everywhere as I tried to make every contraction count and push as hard as I could. I was being reassured by my midwife I was doing so well, but unfortunately A just wasn't for shifting. It is harder to push a back to back baby out, but not impossible, so I tried for an hour and a half, but got told her head was just being compressed and swelling up, she wasn't budging further down at all, so I got given two options; a ventouse suction cap on A's head to help her move along the birth canal easier, or forceps. We tried ventouse first which was unsuccessful, and then I was off to the theatre for a forceps delivery.
I felt pretty deflated at this point as I really didn't want to have any sort of assistance with my labour, but I was just so exhausted I knew there wasn't really any option. I'd only been in active labour around six hours, but how often and strong my contractions were had really taken it out of me. Once of the worst pains was trying not to push as I contracted whilst the doctors administered a spinal block ready for my delivery. Unlike an episiotomy, a spinal block is required for forceps as if it's unsuccessful, you'll be getting a caesarean section immediately. The spinal kicked in pretty much immediately, and I felt completely numb from the waist down. I actually remember seeing my legs up in stirrups and wondering how they got there, because I was convinced they were still on the bed!
There were doctors and nurses everywhere, and I was told they'd be starting to try and help me deliver A soon. I was told you only get three contractions to get baby out, so to really try as hard as I could to push with each contraction and the forceps would help guide her out. As my contraction started I remember gripping onto Kane's and my midwives arms which were around my chest, and hoping I was pushing with all my might, although it's quite hard to know when you're numb from the waist down! Luckily I seemed to do okay, and within two contractions she was here. Everything went a little quiet as she was popped on my stomach, until a few seconds later when she let out a little wail. I remember immediately crying; I just couldn't believe she was finally here, after a long pregnancy and difficult labour, I was beginning to wonder whether she was ever going to make an appearance. She was so beautiful, her poor little face and head were badly bruised but she was just perfect, and I could spot immediately that she took after her Mama, sharing my chubby cheeks, turned up nose and cupids bow lips.
She was whisked off pretty quickly whilst I sobbed into Kane, so happy that she had arrived safe and sound, after everything. She was checked over and came through all her tests fine, and so off we went to the recovery room. She had a few more tests in there, and I could finally ask my midwife if I could breastfeed her. Part of my birth plan was that I wanted a natural birth, with skin to skin and breastfeeding as soon as possible after the birth, so having had a relatively traumatic birth and diamorphine, I was a little nervous it might effect her, but she took to it like a pro. As soon as her little body was placed on mine, she started rooting and found my boobie, latched on and we nursed for around half an hour.
And that's how it's been ever since! I kid, I kid, we do spend more time doing things other than just feeding, but she is a hungry little girl and does seem to enjoy being attached to her Mama every couple of hours. But she is honestly just perfect, she's such a good baby and we're finally getting into a routine during our days. Breastfeeding was hard at first, it's difficult adjusting to never really being able to be completely alone because you have a tiny person dependent solely on you. But that's a whole other post, I'll probably update again soon with a whole post about breastfeeding and what I've learnt so far as a new Mum.
I don't think I've ever really cried happy tears until Ada arrived. I look at her and I can't believe Kane and I managed to create such a beautiful little girl; I love her being a squishy little baby, and I'm so excited to see what the future holds, and what sort of girl she'll turn into.
Thank you for reading, if you got this far!