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Our Names: Natalie and Adam Cramer (Natalie known on forum as Turtle)
Baby: Yasmine Alicia
Birth: born at 2:26am on Saturday 9th June
Place: Watford General Hospital

First of all, I have to thank you for all the wonderful messages that you have written on the forum - we are both so unbelievably touched, and I know how lucky I am to have found so many special friends here who have been so supportive throughout my miscarriage, pregnancy, and everything else.

It is amazing to be home again after 3 days in hospital and I'm feeling elated. Yasmine has really settled down well and we love her to bits - I didn't think it were possible to have such intense emotions for anything. You may read my birht story below and cringe, but believe me, it was worth all the agony for our precious gift at the end.

My contractions began at around 3am on Friday morning, and by 3 in the afternoon they were coming regularly at 5 minute intervals, and I felt in enough pain to go in. I'd been wearing my ten's machine the whole time and taken hot baths, as well as used, at the advice of the hospital, clary sage and my breast pump to start things off again when the contractions slowed down. Drinking pineapple juice also helps.

When I got in I was already 4cm, and after that it all goes a bit blurry. Being in the natural birth unit, I was only allowed gas and air. I remember sitting in the birth pool, totally on another planet, taking in the gas and air, and concentrating on the breathing, all the while in agony and wondering why I had put myself through this and not gone for an epidural.

My contractions were particulalry fierce and coming with no breaks in between, and I have to say, in total honesty, I never imagined I would experience a pain so intense.

By 10:30pm I was finally 10cm and ready to start pushing - and was told that the hard part was over. This is when things really started to go wrong - they had me pushing for 2.5 hours, far too long. I was in intense pain, and never actually felt the urge to push. Yasmine was crowning early on, but clearly wasn't going to come out.

Eventually Adam took the midwife aside and she admitted that yes, I'd have to go the delivery suite and see the doctor, as the baby was stuck.

This was my absolute low point. I was incoherent with pain, and
screaming at everyone, and when the doctor finally arrived after 20 minutes and started to examine me, I totally lost it and screamed at him to get his hands out of me and give me an epidural. Thankfully, the epidural came next, and never have I felt so much relief in my life. Finally compus mentus for the first time in almost 12 hours.

I had to sign a consent for a c section and was wheeled into theatre where 8 people were working on me. The first problem was that the drips that had been put in my arm started to enter my tissues not my blood stream, so everything flared up. I had an allergic reaction to the second line put in, and my whole back and arms flared up. The doctor then tried to get Yasmine out with ventouse - this failed. Forceps came next, and then finally she arrived. Hearing her cry was the best feeling in the world.

What had happened was that my pelvis was too small, and they had been unable to get her out of the birth canal - next baby will have to be delivered by c section. It was a miracle that she was so small otherwise I dread to think how bad things would have been.

I was unable to even hold me little darling for almost 2 hrs - she was whipped away from me to be checked immediately. Meanwhile, I was stitched up as I had been cut quite badly. Next problem was that my placenta would not come out. So I then had to be cut open again, and a doctor with small hands had to manually extract - my
placenta was under my ribs, her hands were inside me...enough said!

So, finally, at 5:30 we were alone, our new family, after a really traumatic day. And I have to say to anyone reading this that it is all worth it - worth everything - because as soon as you see this little face, you forget everything that had gone on before.

So, I think I've bored everyone for long enough now, but you get the idea....

Thank you again for all the support and messages - I really wish I had the time to reply to everyone individually, and hope you forgive me for not doing so...being a mummy definitely is a full time job, but I love it already!

I'll be in touch again really soon.

Lots of love


Husband Adam's message:

I have never been so proud in my life. Natalie was incredibly strong and positive throughout the whole labour and Yasmine (to my eyes) can only be rivalled in beauty by her mum!
Both are doing OK and this is a short message because I can't wait to get
back to see them. Oh. By the way, I owe all you forumites a drink, as this forum over the last year has given Turtle (and Mr Turtle when he sneakily logged on) a huge
amount of information, support and best of all friends! Thank you


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