Story of birth -
Saturday 10th February 2001, our baby is due today.
No sign of anything happening yet, so we decided to go out and visit
grandma, we got ready, got in the car, turned the key; nothing!
The baby is due today and the car won't start!!! This is not good.
A few panicked moments later, a big breath, and the car started;
off out we went.
We visited some family, drove around, came home, no baby.
Sunday; there was lots of snow on the ground, still very pregnant,
we hoped the car would work today if we needed it, but looking at
weather, we hoped we wouldn't need it!
Monday; still pregnant.
Tuesday; still pregnant, getting fed up now.
Wednesday; still pregnant, we went to the hospital today for our
ante-natal check-up, all was well, and we were booked in for induction
if needed on the 22nd February; a whole 8 days to go, and I could
be pregnant by then.
The following week seemed like the longest week ever, each day nothing
happened, no pain, no twinges, no baby.
As the 22nd of February came
there was still no sign of a little baby,
so as per the instructions from the hospital we phoned the maternity
ward to see when a bed would be free, 3pm came the reply, so we
needed to fill the best part of a day before anything was any where
happening. So after the longest day to end the longest week, off
to hospital, we were shown to a bed, in an empty side ward, so although
it wasn't a private room I was at least on my own so had a little
privacy. A midwife came to book me in, taking blood pressure etc,
hooked me up to the baby monitor to see how things were going. It
appeared as though I was already having small contractions by now
although I couldn't feel anything at all. We had to wait for a doctor
come and examine me before deciding on any course of action.
We waited for nearly 3 hours before a lady doctor came to perform
the examination - NOT the most pleasant experience of my life!!
She then applied the first dose of prostaglandin ready to start
me on my way. Andy stayed with me as long as they would let him
whilst nothing much happened with the baby. After Andy left me I
tried to get some sleep, but I didn't get much, I had no pain, and
couldn't feel any contractions although the machine they kept hooking
me up to through the night kept saying I was having contractions.
Shortly before 6am the night duty midwife examined me and found
I was at 4cm dilated so decided not to apply anymore prostaglandin.
At 6am Andy returned and I gave him the news that I was at 4cm and
they reckoned the baby would be here later that day. We were told
we were just waiting for a bed on the delivery suite then I would
be moved. Andy hadn't had much sleep so the midwife sent him back
home to get more rest (lucky him!) and said they would call if anything
happened. Andy returned at lunch time to find I wasn't on the ward
any more - they had moved me to the delivery suite and hadn't called
him! He finally found me in my private delivery room, watching TV.
The midwife in delivery examined me and found I was
only 1cm dilated! So
administered a second dose of prostaglandin but by early evening
nothing had happened, still at 1cm. We watched TV, walked about
had a bath whilst we waited for something to happen, and nothing
The midwife suggested I would have to go back to the ward and Andy
have to go home again for the night, but they gave me a third dose
shortly after this the pains started. There was lots of pacing up
down, and walking round the delivery suite, but now the monitor
saying the contractions weren't regular so 'labour' hadn't started.
fact you could set your watch by them, and they lasted similar lengths
of time obviously didn't count for much ;-)
Around midnight the midwife suggested we move to a different room
Andy could try to sleep on a camp bed whilst I slept in a normal
but by the time we got there, the pains were so bad I couldn't bear
move, standing up hurt, sitting down was uncomfortable, and when
to lie on the bed I almost passed out. Andy called the midwife down
helped me get some gas and air whilst she examined me and she confirmed
I was now at about 6cm and labour had started.
We were moved back
to the original delivery room and I was given the gas
and air to cope with the ever increasing pains. Andy insists that
crying for my daddy, but I don't believe him. By now I was acting
drunk due to the gas, but the pains were so bad I had to ask for
epidural, which as I had stated in my birth plan I never wanted!
anaesthetist arrived shortly after, and asked me directly if I really
wanted one, and explained all the risks etc. none of which I remembered
happening but Andy assured me it did. I remember being worried about
injection going in as I couldn't keep still due to the pains of
contractions. She assured me it would be ok, and it was over in
and all the pain went. This was probably about 2am, and from then
slept on and off till 6am whilst Andy sat by the bed watching and
waiting. At some point in the night they became concerned that either
the baby was in distress, or the monitor was just losing the heartbeat,
so they attached a monitor to the baby's head which gave a better
and showed that there was no distress.
Around 6am the midwife told
us we would have a baby by breakfast. After
breakfast, and still pregnant, the day shift arrived and Jackie
student midwife Helen took over and told us we would have a baby
10am. Shortly after 10am Jackie explained how the 'pushing' would
and that she would allow the epidural to reduce so I could feel
contractions to push with. We'll have a baby by 12 they said. At
after almost 2 hours of pushing, in several positions, but with
further downward movement of the baby they decided they would have
get some help, so they topped up the epidural and moved us again
another room big enough for the doctor, his two students, a
paediatrician, and Jackie and Helen to gather round and assist with
birth. An episiotomy was performed and a ventouse cap was used to
baby along the last few centimetres. Andy saw her come out, he had
wanted to cut the cord, but under the circumstances the doctor did
before holding her up for Andy to see what she was - we had argued
about what we would have, Andy insisted it would be a girl, I was
was having a boy, Andy proudly proclaimed it was a girl before they
passed her to me and laid her on my tummy.
After a couple of minutes Jackie took her away to be weighed and
and wrapped in a blanket before coming back for a proper cuddle.
She seemed to alert straight away, and was taking in everything
going on. She looked beautiful. So after almost 48 hrs in hospital
12 hour labour our baby was finally here. Apart from a sore head
the ventouse which caused a bit of crying over the next day or so
was perfect, no wrinkles, no dry skin, no blotches. Around teatime
transferred us back to the ward, where I had asked for a private
held Caitlin on the bed as they wheeled us to the lift and up to
floor, she was looking all around, as someone later said, she looked
like she has been here before and knew exactly what was going on.
Life after Birth -
Life is just great, in the early weeks she seemed to sleep really well
at night, and was in her own bed in her own room by 10weeks old and we
had many full nights sleep.
What Father says -
Caitlin is absolutely ACE, she is the apple of my eye, the light
of my life. Even when she wakes up at 11pm and wants to play games
till 2am I wouldn't change her for the world.