I‘m sooo late in the day publishing this birth story – needless to say having three children and keeping up my blog has been hard work. However sitting here in a quiet living room, 14 months after our amazing little Dougie entered the world, I’ve opened up my laptop to do a bit of housekeeping and noticed there’s a half finished account of his birth sitting waiting for me to finalise. I really don’t want the memories to fall into the stillness of time and so I’m here and am going to attempt to capture everything I remember in the hope that he doesn’t wake up before I finish!
The last you heard of this birth story was in Pregnant Through Covid, where I was sitting bouncing on my birth ball whilst inhaling my Clary Sage Candle and watching the Oscar Pistorius documentary. Oscar was actually on our list of potential names mid-way through my pregnancy and it kept ringing through my head as I wanted the trial unfold. I was certain Dougie was going to make an appearance that day as I’d reach the end of my to do list and finally had the house to myself whilst Ettie was at school and Ollie nursery. But alas it wasn’t to be and when they all came skipping through the door at home time, I knew nothing was going to happen that evening. I took my ‘final’ bump photo in front of the mirror and tried to get some sleep.
The following morning we all woke up in the same bed which miraculously we had managed to share throughout my pregnancy! Ettie and Ollie start the night in their own rooms but gradually one by one they both wander through and so by morning there’s always 4 (and a bump) of us in a normal sized double bed! I’d taken to sleeping with my head in the Snuzpod which was attached to my side of it. I knew we were going to sort out the sleeping arrangements once baby had arrived, but at that point I was too tired and sentimental to turn them away.
So yes 6.30am arrived and we all woke up excited. I had been playing a game with Ollie recently where we’d put our hands on my bump, one by one and say a rhyme like ‘hip hip hooray baby’s coming today‘ although devastatingly I can’t actually remember if that’s exactly what we said (sob 🙁 ) Luckily I managed to capture it on camera. I wanted to remember everything from the whole morning. It’s such a funny feeling knowing the life of your whole family is going to change so dramatically over the next couple of hours. They had breakfast (I had been told I wasn’t to eat in case I needed a C-Section – but luckily I sneaked a piece of toast). I got dressed and took more ‘final bump photos’. I really wanted to capture every moment of my bump – deep down I knew it was probably the last time I was going to feel a baby inside my tummy, but at the same time I wasn’t ready to come to terms with that realisation. I’ve loved being pregnant every single time and loved having a baby bump .
When Stu’s parents arrived to take over, I took some photos with Ettie on the stairs and Ollie in the kitchen, suddenly having the worry that something might go wrong and I might never see them again! Why do such dramatic images come to mind when you’re a Mum!? Then we said our goodbyes which was very surreal and Stu took me to the hospital.
When we arrived, they weren’t expecting me which was a little annoying as we’d had to arrange childcare and could have waited until Ettie had gone to school, however in hindsight it was actually a blessing because I got to spend a lovely peaceful afternoon in hospital reading my birthing book (The Positive Birth Book is amazing) – which I hadn’t managed to pick up whilst pregnant! Nothing like a bit of last minute cramming to get your ready for birth ;0)
Stu wasn’t allowed to stay with me in the hospital because of Covid and so he went home on standby whilst I relaxed and waited for the consultant so we could figure out a plan of action.
When the Consultant arrived with the midwife, she hadn’t read my notes properly and we had a really awkward conversation where she asked me how my daughters (meaning Edie) we’re doing. I couldn’t believe what she was asking and just wanted the ground to open up and the conversation to stop asap. Luckily I think the midwife realised what had happened and she changed it quickly.
After that we realised my midwife was actually the midwife who had looked after me when I was having Edie. She recognised my voice but couldn’t remember where from, and the conversation with the Consultant had reminded her. I found that really comforting and really wanted her to be the one who would stay with me through the birth but her shift was changing in an hour. Still looking back it was a wonderful coincidence and perhaps a little nod from the universe that Edie was with me. However it was too painful to think about things like that at the time and so I let my eyes water behind the curtain when she had gone, trying to process the emotion.
I relaxed a bit during the day and kept in touch with Stu via text. I was being monitored continually which was comforting and I sent some pics of the baby monitor to the girls via Whatsapp which was exciting. The midwife came to try a sweep but nothing happened, so I made the most of the peace and quiet and just waited. 4.30pm was the allocated timeslot for visiting the bed that I was in so Stu came back and we went for a walk. The Midwife said if we timed the walk right he would be able to stay with me until they wheeled me down to the delivery suite for my induction at 6pm.
I was getting a couple of little pains by this point so it was nice to get out and move my legs and I hoped that the ‘exercise’ would get things moving naturally so that I didn’t have to be induced. We went for a walk along the streets surrounding the hospital and then in the hospital grounds- I hoped that every little feeling was the start of something moving but it wasn’t. It started to rain so we Facetimed Ettie and Ollie who were at our house with Stu’s parents. That was strange seeing someone else put them to bed but they looked like they were having fun so we said our goodbyes and walked back inside. By this time it was 6pm and I had missed dinner. I was absolutely starving because I hadn’t eaten lunch in case I needed a C Section – so I ate some flapjack because I thought it would be good for energy. It was a bad idea because it just sat on my stomach and made my mouth dry!
The good thing about it being so late was that we’d made it to the time that Stu was able to stay. After waiting around and having a relaxing day it suddenly felt a bit rushed getting all my things together – literally shoving a flapjack in my mouth worried I’d have no energy to push the baby out! At 6.30pm I waddled down to the delivery suite arm in arm with Stu, ready for them to break my waters……
Click here to continue reading Dougie’s Birth Story Part 2….