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Proud parents names - Elizabeth & Khalid Karim
Baby's name - Adam James
Date of Birth - 13/10/01
Time of Birth - 6:09pm
Weight - 5lb 11oz
Place of birth - Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester
Email -

I had stopped working at 36 weeks and had great plans for my 4 weeks of maternity leave. However things didn't go to plan as my son had other ideas!

I woke up on Thursday Oct 11th with a mild tummy ache and jokingly said to my husband that maybe labour was about to begin. This ceased to be a joke half an hour later when I had a show and the ache was still there. I was only 37 weeks and had not banked on such an early arrival. My husband was dispatched to Boots to collect a TENS machine whilst I defrosted the freezer, did two loads of washing and ironing and caught up on some overdue paperwork. For the next 36 hours little happened although the pains got gradually worse. The TENS was worth its weight in gold though in getting rid of these pre-labour pains and I got a better night's sleep than I'd had in weeks.

I was woken at 4am on Saturday with contractions and as I got out of bed I realised my waters had gone. It was finally happening. I pottered around the house for a few hours (being upright and mobile really helped the pain) whilst my husband fretted and panicked. We got to the hospital at 7am just as the contractions started to get stronger and more frequent - every 2 minutes at that point. I was assessed and was disappointed to be only 2cm dilated. I had planned to try the water pool to labour in but my blood pressure had shot up and the pool was already occupied. My midwife ran me a deep aromatherapy bath but it did little to help the contractions which were coming fast and furious. After an hour I felt a right wimp as I started muttering about an epidural but this was already being organised in view of my blood pressure.

I don't know whether it was because of the pain of the contractions but I can safely say I hardly felt the epidural go in. Putting the cannula in my hand was more painful! The anaesthetist gave me a low-dose mobile epidural which meant I could feel and move my legs and even stand up. Unfortunately it only numbed the left side of my tummy. After several top ups there was no change so the epidural was resited. By this point I think I must have emptied the drugs cabinet of top up! Even so the lower part of my tummy was not numb but it was much more bearable. By now my legs were totally numb so I had to sit upright in bed. Shame because the mobile epidural would have been great if it had worked first time.

At 4pm I was found to be fully dilated and the baby's head was a fair way down the birth canal so I started to push. That was when things went a bit pearshaped. The unnumbed area in my tummy suddenly became excruciatingly painful particularly when I pushed, the contractions began to wear off and baby's heartbeat started to drop. It was really terrifying hearing the beeps on the monitor slow down for what seemed like an eternity. A forceps delivery was mentioned and suddenly the room filled with doctors. I had worked with the Obstetric Registrar in the past and he got the shock of his life when he walked into the room to find me lying there in stirrups. Not very dignified but by that stage I didn't care. I had yet another top up, was put on a syntocinon drip and found I was able to push more efficiently. The baby still had to be delivered but at least now just with a ventouse. By this point there were 2 obstetricians, 2 paediatricians, the anaesthetist and 2 midwives in my room to witness the grand finale. I think we certainly emptied the labour ward of medical staff for half an hour. As the head was born the cause of the foetal distress became apparent as the cord was wrapped tightly around the baby's neck and had to be cut there and then. With the next contraction the body came out and Adam was born.

He gave a little wimper and was passed to the paediatricians for a check over before being placed in my arms. His eyelids were a little ugly from where he had effectively strangled himself with his cord but otherwise he was lovely. I cradled him in my arms as the Registrar stitched me up and we caught up on old times. Looking back now it seems a bit bizarre - me legs akimbo having a gossip! Adam and I were both cleaned up and taken off to the ward.

That night I spent hours holding him and marvelling that he was my son. He spent hours gazing around and looking into my eyes. I never realised how intense a love I could feel for this little mite and my eyes brimmed with tears several times. He was perfect. He was mine.

Life after Birth -

Life is full of ups and downs. Breastfeeding was tricky but when it works it is fantastic. I still can't believe I'm a mummy!

What Father says -

Didn't realise something so small could be so hard work or noisy. He's worth every minute of it!


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