Monthly Archives: June 2014

My Birth Story – Part One

I’m going to try to keep this as concise as I can but at the same time I want to record the detail while I still remember it. So apologies, but this is going to be a long one!

So, toward the end of a fairly complicated pregnancy I developed itchy feet in the evening at 36+5 & told myself that if it was still bad in the morning I would call the triage number. The next morning the itching had gone & I forgot about it. That evening the itching returned (a sign of Obstetric Cholestasis (OC) is that it gets worse in the evenings). I called the triage number and they weren’t remotely concerned but said I could come in for the blood test to rule out OC & they would monitor the baby for an hour or so. I popped in, baby was fine & I went home & forgot about it. Enough had gone wrong with this pregnancy that I truely wasn’t expecting OC.

I remember every detail so vividly around this time. Twilight was so beautiful that evening that I took a (rubbish) photo on my phone. That was my last evening at home without my little lady.

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The next morning (37 weeks) a doctor called me and asked me to come back down for a liver function test as my bile salts were “a little high”. Still feeling pretty positive at this point I popped back to the hospital with the clothes on my back & a magazine.

When I arrived it soon became apparent that I would not be leaving the hospital without my baby. My bile salt level was 44. Over 10 = OC. Over 40 = deliver immediately. OC increases the risk of a still born baby so the treatment is to induce labour at 37 weeks to negate that risk. By this point it was about 4pm on the Monday. I was due to be scanned at University College Hospital in London’s fetal medicine unit the next morning as baby G had shown “prominent bowel loops” on the most recent scan at my local hospital & they wanted her to be checked out in order to decide where, when & how she should be delivered. The doctor informed me that that was now irrelevant as they would be inducing me first thing in the morning at my local hospital & the baby doctors would check on her once she was born. (They call them baby doctors instead of paediatricians, is this for the sad reason that I think it is?).

I was admitted on to the ward & my husband had to pack a bag for me. I text him a list that included a nighty but instead he brought me a pair of PJ bottoms without the matching top. When I complained he got all huffy and defensive & asked how he was supposed to know what a nighty was. In retrospect I think he was in a panic!

I settled into life on the ward quite nicely. The food was pretty atrocious, but there was lots of it & I didn’t have to prepare it or clean up after it so I was happy. My mum & dad came down & brought a takeaway curry for my husband as he’d come straight from work. I wasn’t jealous at all!

Here’s a tasty pic of my dinner:

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Admit it, you’re salivating!

The visitors had to leave at 10pm. I was monitored often throughout the night & given drugs to help with the itching. I tried to read my magazine but it was mocking me!

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Not great magazine, not great.

The following morning my husband “worked from home” at the hospital. Visiting hours started at 8am & he was a little late as he came via MacDonalds. (He put on a lot of weight during my pregnancy!) Shortly after he arrived at around 9am the midwife inserted a pessary to ripen the cervix that would stay in place for 24hrs. She explained that at 37+1 she did not expect this to start my labour & once it was removed they would give me a 6hr break before trying another one. In the meantime I just had to stay active as much as possible so we spent the morning pacing the hospital grounds.

Around midday I started to get sporadic, strong period pains that meant I needed to pause while I walked. I can vividly remember being in the hospital shop & grabbing hold of a display of chocolates & heavy breathing like a mad lady!

My parents came to visit in the evening & by the time they left around 8pm my contractions were 3 mins apart & rather uncomfortable. The midwives let my husband sleep in the chair next to my bed on the ward. They gave me paracetamol & I had a long soak in the bath. The midwife even came into the bathroom to monitor me so that I didn’t have to get out! They gave me some temazepam to help me sleep. It didn’t help. I certainly rested but with contractions every 3 minutes all night there wasn’t much sleep to be had.

At 5am I gave up & asked if I could have another bath as I’d been contracting every 3 mins all night. The midwife wanted to monitor baby first so we shut ourselves in the TV room so as not to wake the others on my ward & she monitored baby’s heart rate… Which was a little high for her liking. Any plans for a bath went out the window & she decided to examine me & remove the pessary a couple of hours early. That internal examination was the most painful moment of my life thus far! My cervix was so high up & far back that she had to get elbow deep to feel it. Must be due to my retroverted uterus. They use a little pack of lube but the pessary had made things so incredibly dry that no amount of lube in the world could help me. The midwife thought I was 3-4cm but as it was so far back she wanted a colleague to examine me to confirm. Fun times. When she left to find a colleague I had a little cry. I hadn’t slept & I couldn’t handle an internal, how could I possibly give birth?! The colleague was lovely & used 2 packs of lube. She confirmed 3-4cm and they agreed that it was time I went down to the delivery suite!

To be continued…

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So much to say, so little time to say it…

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I want to blog about my pregnancy & it’s many complications. The Polyhydramnios & Obstetric Cholestasis. I’d like to tell you my birth story. I need to fill you in on the first four-and-a-bit months of parenting, or talk about raising a baby with developmental dysplasia of the hip, who is in a pavlik harness. I could certainly talk about getting Mastitis. Twice.

I will do all of these things in time, when I have the time. But firstly it is about time that I introduce my little lady, Gabriella. She keeps me busy and I am so incredibly grateful for that. She is sweet and cheeky. She smiles so enthusiastically it’s like the top of her head might fall off. She’s developing a sense of humour & often laughs until she is sick or gets the hiccups. She is strong willed & fights every nap like a ninja. She won’t take a dummy, but would quite happily sleep with my nipple in her mouth at all times. She loves music and cuddles apart from when she is overtired, then she wants everyone to SHUT THE HELL UP AND STOP LOOKING AT HER.

We’re making this whole parenting lark up as we go and it is the hardest thing that we’ve ever done, but the reward everytime that our gorgeous, goofy little lady gives us a gummy smile makes every sleep-deprived second totally worth it.

World, meet Gabriella:

“And though she be but little, she is fierce”

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