For those of you who follow me on Instagram or Twitter you will have already seen my baby announcement and know that I gave birth to Leila on the 9th September 2016. The last 4 weeks have flown by and I’m beginning to settle into my new role as a mummy. I can’t begin to describe the love I have for my little girl, it’s certainly a love that I’ve never experienced before. Today I’ve finally got some time to look back and document the day our beautiful baby girl was born.
Having spoken to my mummy friends and generally reading about being a first time mummy I was under the impression that I’d be overdue with this being my first pregnancy. When I got to 38 weeks I was more than ready for the little one to arrive especially as September was quite a warm month and I was just so uncomfortable, achy and fed up! I continued to keep increasingly active throughout my pregnancy, as much as everyone told me to keep my feet up and get loads of sleep in I just couldn’t.
At 38 weeks I started to research all the possibilities to speed up the labour process, things that I could easily get my hands on and try in the comforts of my own home. I ate a hell of a lot of pineapple as I read they contain a type of proteolytic enzyme called bromelain that help soften the cervix and induce labour. I also binged on dates as they have been researched to have an oxytocin-like effect on the body, leading to increased sensitivity of the uterus. It also helps stimulate uterine contractions. I even asked my mum to buy me some raspberry leaf tea which I didn’t even get around to drinking!
On Wednesday 7th September I went to visit a friend who’d just had a baby I got home at 7:30pm and started to have a strange sensation down below, I sat on the toilet and lone behold my waters broke! I immediately rang the hospital who asked me to go in to be checked. We made our way to Leicester General Hospital and had a monitor put on for an hour just to check baby at no point whilst I was in hospital did I start to have any pains. I was checked over and told that if my contractions don’t start naturally I would be induced on Thursday 8th September so had to call the hospital at 6pm to check on bed availability.
So off we went home, I had a good night’s sleep and woke up feeling absolutely fine. I went about my normal daily chores/activities and still there were no signs of any pain. I called the hospital who asked me to go in at 8pm to start the induction process. Although the midwife briefed me on the induction process I didn’t really know what to expect all I knew was it’s usually a long process so I needed to try and get as much rest as I could before the pain really kicked in.
At 11:30pm on Thursday 8th September the induction process began with an internal examination and then a pessary (Propess) being inserted behind my cervix, my god the pain was excruciating. I did try some gas and air but it started to make me feel light headed and nauseous so I had to go cold turkey and braved it out. The midwife mentioned that the induction process is lengthy so I should expect the pessary to be removed at 11am on Friday 9th September and another dissolvable tablet inserted if the contractions don’t start.
By 12am the pains began and gradually started to become so much stronger and intense to the point where I was gripping onto the side of the bed in agony. As soon as I was 3cm and in active labour (approximately 2am) I was given a planned epidural which for me was the best thing ever, it made me feel so much more relaxed and I couldn’t feel any pain. I was then examined about an hour later and I was already 7cm, much to my surprise. Things progressed so quickly that even the midwife and doctors were quite surprised given that it was my first pregnancy and usually an epidural slows down labour.
However, Leila’s heartbeat kept dropping below average and the midwife’s and doctors began to get quite concerned and mentioned that I may need to have a C-section if things didn’t improve. At this point I started to get increasingly concerned, the Doctor then decided he wanted to run some tests on the oxygen level and would have to take a small scraping of skin from Leila’s head to send of for tests. As the midwife’s got the equipment ready the Doctor examined me and said ‘you’re fully dilated you need to start pushing’ this was at 6am. I was pretty shocked as things began to happen so quickly and due to the epidural I couldn’t feel any contractions, the midwife closely monitored each contraction and told me when to push and within 19 minutes Leila was born with forceps, it turned out that she had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck hence why her heartbeat kept dropping.
The total duration of my labour was 4 hours, the first stage of labour (when my contractions began) lasted 3 hours and 38 minutes, the second stage (when I pushed my baby into the world) lasted 19 minutes and the third stage (delivery of placenta) was 3 minutes. When they put Leila onto my chest it was the most overwhelming feeling of love, I couldn’t stop crying my baby girl was finally here. Due to having an episiotomy it took a while for the doctor to stitch me up so I wasn’t able to do any skin to skin but daddy took over and was smitten with his baby girl.
So there you have it my labour and delivery story, being a mummy is an incredible experience despite the demands and sleepless nights, I can’t imagine my life without her!