The evening of Tues 6th Aug 2013 my contractions began. I didn’t know what to do. My waters hadn’t gone. I started to panic a little. I began to time them. They were quite sporadic (anything from thirteen minutes to four minutes apart). Just before 3am I called the midwife. I told her what was happening and was told to take painkillers and to try to sleep.
The whole next day I was uncomfortable and just willing my waters to go. By the evening I was in a lot of pain and taking painkillers every four hours. At 2am on Thurs 8th Aug 2013 I went into the Maternity Unit. I was given a sweep by the midwife on duty to speed up the process. It wasn’t exactly the natural way I’d intended labour to come on but I was in pain. After being sent home, I was back in the Maternity Unit at 9.30am for another sweep. I was 2cm dilated. I was then sent home again.
By 2pm that afternoon it was beginning to get unbearable. I was given stronger painkillers and got into the birthing pool. I immediately felt better. Over the next few hours I was accompanied by a trainee midwife as well as my named midwife. After my marriage failing I had nobody to be with me. Every so often the midwives would listen to the heartbeat and I’d know my baby was coping better than I was. By 7pm that evening I had been in and out of the pool, been examined numerous times and had eaten some cereal. I couldn’t sit down, I was exhausted and pacing the room. Every time I tried to sleep I’d wake up in pain after ten minutes or so. I was given diamorphine via injection and was told it would help the pain and help me sleep. It didn’t. I felt spaced out and proceeded to throw up. A lot.
My parents came in to visit me and were told I’d probably be asleep due to the injection but I was still pacing the room and throwing up. I was given another injection to stop the sickness by the midwife on duty that night named Lorna. She is a fantastic midwife, and from Tiree!
I was in and out of the pool again throughout the night. I sat in the dark and Lorna put on little battery powered candles and she sat with me and we talked about Oban and the Isles and had a good time. She told me she got her tarot read at Tiree Music Festival and she was told about a little girl named Emily. At 5am she opened the blinds and we watched the sunrise over Montrose Basin. I watched the rabbits running around the grounds of the Maternity Unit and listened to the geese in the water. My contractions had started to become more regular, I was given more painkillers and started on gas and air.
Lorna then left at 8am and I was sad to see her go. There were a few midwives coming and going throughout the morning but I was too distracted by my contractions and trying to focus on my breathing to notice. Then a midwife called Emily arrived and I knew she’d be the one to deliver my baby. She instantly calmed me and knew exactly how to motivate me.
Over the next few hours I had a lot of pain in my back. Another trainee midwife had arrived and watched me struggle with the pain. I think she was more scared than I was. Emily kept making sure I went to the toilet and that I drank enough fluids. The trainee midwife left at 4pm.
As the pain increased my memory gets a little blurry. My eyes were closed for a lot of the day. I remember opening them and seeing the rain against the windows when before the sun had been shining through them. I remember Emily telling me she wouldn’t leave me until my baby was born, I am eternally grateful for that as I had no-one to be with me through the best day of my life.
I couldn’t concentrate. I was in agony. The gas and air didn’t help with the pain but it made me concentrate on my breathing. I remember I kept falling asleep. Then somehow I was getting lucozade fed to me to try and keep me awake and give me energy. I hadn’t slept for days. I was standing up a lot as it seemed to help with the pain rather than being in the pool. Emily was listening to my baby’s heartbeat when my waters finally broke. It felt like slow motion and a big relief. After that everything started to get more intense. I remember telling Emily I couldn’t do it anymore and she told me I was doing it and I was doing it well.
After two hours of blurred memories I remember thinking there is no point anymore as obviously the baby didn’t want to come out. It felt like I had been in labour for a lifetime. I was ready to give up. But all of a sudden I was back in the pool and pushing. I remember practically crawling up the side of the pool to get away from the pain and then a lot of stinging and my baby’s head was out. I reached down and felt hair. It was so surreal. Between the head coming out and the rest of the body I don’t know how much time had passed. My baby was handed to me around my right side and I checked she was a girl. I had been told she was twenty weeks previous but I wasn’t sure whether to believe it or not. She made a noise that sounded like ‘ow’ and I said ‘yeah ow’ and held her. I couldn’t believe it. She was finally here. Sixty seven hours later and I had actually done it.
Emily cut her cord and there was another midwife there, she could have been there for hours and I hadn’t noticed, who held my baby while I attempted to move to deliver the placenta. The pool had been drained but my legs wouldn’t work. I was so tired. I got up with a bit of help and the next thing I remember is being covered in blood, the placenta lying in the pool and I just felt exhausted.
I was taken to lie on the bed and my baby was taken to be measured and weighed. I had told Emily earlier in the day that my baby was going to be called Emily and I remember her asking me if that was her name as she was taken away. I said yes.
I was cleaned up and my tears looked at and finally my baby girl was handed to me and she was the happiest little thing with big eyes and blue hands and feet. She was so wrinkly and full of amazement. For the next little while I ate toast and held onto my baby girl, Emily Fiona Annabeth.
As you all know, I got pregnant via ICSI which is a form of IVF.
Super excited and super happy, life was good. Or at least better than it had been. Then I found myself alone. I'm going to be a single mum. Lots of people do it and can juggle normal lives and jobs etc too. So why not me?
I figured the pregnancy would be the easy part until my little belly bean came along but boy was I wrong!
After being taken to A&E then admitted to hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum, then diagnosed with placenta praevia, then pelvic girdle pain, it was becoming less and less fun. I've been poked and prodded and had all sorts of tests.
I've been having to wear a brace around my middle to hold my pelvis in place, I also took travel sickness pills for most of the past seven months as I was throwing up nearly fifteen times per day, I now have to take special vitamin pills as urine and blood tests showed I had an infection but the midwives can't put me on anything stronger as I have excess blood which constantly streams from my nose and mouth. The vitamins will make baby stronger but not necessarily help me in any way.
I also cannot wear makeup, or perfume, or nail varnish, or have strong smelling shower creams.
With only twenty-eight (!) days until this little bean is due to come into this world I am finding life very tiring.
The midwives have all told me I am very lucky to not have stretchmarks and I have the strongest stomach muscles they have ever felt (due to being sick and walking a very hyperactive border collie!). But I am also not dealing with the emotional stress of being alone and being pregnant. No matter how much I try to move on nothing changes what happened and I'm finding it hard to trust anyone.
Having no job right now to concentrate on and having no home to call my own, as well as being 150 miles away from my friends, let me tell you - it's hard!
I'll try and keep this space updated as much as possible and let you know when bean arrives!
She is a Bluebell chicken and is my replacement for Spice the cockerel as he was getting too protective of his girls and not letting me near them or him. He is in a new loving home back with his breeder and has lots more girls to keep him company.
Bluebell and Saffron haven't been the best of friends today but I'm hoping they will settle in together along with Sorrel and Sage and become great friends.
Lots has been happening around here lately and finding enough time to just sit and write has been hard work. We've had family visiting, work nights out, hospital stays, friends leaving and we've been out visiting people too.
Will update you all soon enough but I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and New Year wherever you are in the world and whatever holiday you celebrated :)