Say hello to Phoebe

For the last few weeks I have been really uncomfortable. Painful legs, dull period pains, swollen ankles and basically just being a bit of a grumpy head. We were yet to get a moving date for our house and work seemed to be getting a little bit more frantic trying to finish stuff off before my last day. I needed to try and get everything done before Friday 9 October.

I had been resting where possible and even though we had none of the main bits for the baby I had already got my hopsital bag and last Sunday, for some reason, I decided as I was so bored with just sitting down that I’d start packing it. I didn’t know what needed to go in there so I just chucked a load of stuff in – few bodysuits, breast pads, muslins, a blanket, nappies and that was literally about it. Nothing for me and nothing else.

On Tuesday we had a normal evening. It was Poppy’s birthday (my partner’s daughter) the next day so we had a lovely birthday tea, some cake and we watched some TV together. She was incredibly excited about the next morning. When she went to bed I got all her presents and cards ready and laid them out, we blew up some balloons and made it feel special in the front room ready for her grand entrance the next morning.

We went to bed at 10.30pm. I was really grumpy. I would not have even wanted to talk to me I felt that uncomfortable and unhappy. So we kissed goodnight and went to sleep. It felt like we’d been to sleep for ages but in fact it was just half and hour later at 11pm when my waters broke. The most surreal feeling ever. The water just kept gushing and coming.

I was in hysterics and to say I was panicking was an understatement. I got my hospital notes and rang the emergency maternity line. They calmed me down and said to come in. No amount of sanitary towels was going to stop the water coming so I picked up a towel and a bulk of cotton wool for the car journey too. The bedroom looked like a blood bath. We had Poppy to wake up and sort out, a dog who was wondering where we were all going at stupid o’clock and me just wandering round in a blind panic unable to think what else I needed to put in the bag. In fact I chucked in toothpaste, make up and a jumper. That was it. I then got dressed and off we went.  I cannot stress how important it would have been to pack some knickers. In the blind panic I completely forgot. Turns out they’re quite important. I had to wait all day after giving birth until someone could bring me some and the rest of the day had to have a towel to cover me up.

The hopsital is about an hour away so my mind was going through all manner of emotions during this time. I was having very small contractions, I wondered if this meant the baby was coming and would be born, I was scared, I was simply unable to think about what was happening. I was also filled with worry. I was only 34 weeks. There was still 6 weeks to go…this was not supposed to be happening yet!

We arrived at the hospital. I was much calmer by this time and they were waiting for me to be assessed. Within an hour they had checked me over and  by 1am I was 3cm dilated and they told me they could see a whole head of hair. I’m not going to lie this shizzle just got real and I was doing this now. No backing out, no time for stressing. I had a job to do and I had to focus.

I think the fact I had no time to prepare really helped. I just had to get on with it.

I coped up to 7cm dilated without any pain relief. The worst pain was contractions that ran down my legs. Everytime I got one my partner and the midwife had to do leg massages on me because that was the most unbearable bit. The midwife said she’d never felt a contraction run down a leg like mine had been. I’m not sure how bad it would have felt had it not been for this leg pain.

The contractions slowly got closer together and more intense. In fact so intense sometimes you have two contractions one after the other. Not me…I had triple contractions. But my midwife just kept me focused on my breathing. I then gave in and had the gas and air at 7cm.

The next bit was all a bit of a blur really but it felt like I started pushing slowly for a while. They had me and baby hooked up to the monitor the whole way though and then by nearly the end baby’s heart rate went so slow they needed to get it out asap. I’d given up caring by this point. There were all numer of people in the room ready at a resuscitation table as they didn’t know what state she’d be in when she was delivered. They had to cut me, use forceps and then stitch me back up. Gas and air was fine for all this too. I’d come this far so this was the last stage. At 9.56am I then got handed my beautiful baby girl and I just couldn’t stop crying.

Wow. I did it. Me. The person who once was scared of having a blood test. I gave birth to Phoebe Lucy O’Grady. And she is a superstar as she didn’t need any special care. She was a very good 5lb 9oz and was doing well.

I was in the same delivery room all day until they had a spare room in the postnatal ward. And that’s when it got real. I felt so alone that first night. Just me, Phoebe and not a clue what to do but cry. It was hard. But each day we’re in has just been getting better and better.

It was so hard because I was sore – front and back. I’ll do another post on my time in hopsital since Wednesday. It’s been a bit of a journey for us both. She lost a lot of weight early on and went down to about 4lb 14oz and has since been struggling to pack on any more weight. Needing a tube to be fed.

But, although the whole giving birth experience is never far from my mind I feel so proud of my little superstar. By far THE best thing I’ve ever done! FACT!