Just over 2 weeks ago we welcomed out 2nd son, JJ, into the world. It was a whirlwind few days and for a while we weren’t sure what the plan was going to be. All came out well in the end though and we are now at home adjusting to life as a family of 4!
Labour this time around was both identical but also completely different to my labour with Piglet. I have often expressed my feelings about his labour and I knew there were certain things I wanted to do differently this time around to make it a more enjoyable experience (for me, JHogg AND the midwives!). Safe to say – I think I succeeded!
If you read my latest pregnancy update you will know that I was admitted to hospital at 35 weeks with a view to having the baby sooner rather than later. I had 2 steroid injections, on the Tuesday and Wednesday, and as far as I was concerned we were just to continue to monitor the baby and see how things go.
On the Thursday morning my consultant saw me briefly and said she wanted baby out asap. Although the CTG’s had all been fine, she wasn’t happy with the risks and wanted to get things moving. I had actually been having mild contractions since about 2am and figured I was in the very early stages of labour, so planning to get him out seemed fairly logical anyway. The labour ward was full, so at around 7pm they discussed it with me and said that I would be taken down the next day when things had quietened down a bit.
JHogg visited me that evening and had not long gone home when a midwife appeared at my bed. It was 9:30pm and a sudden change of plan meant there was a space on labour ward and they wanted to take me down now. A quick examination showed that the baby’s head was right down and that i was 1-2cm dilated. Basically – if they didn’t induce me now the baby would probably show up within a week anyway.
JHogg came back to the hospital and they broke my waters at about 11pm, we then waited for the magic to happen. I kept my insulin pump on at this point, and JHogg and I busied ourselves with crosswords to pass the time. I made my intention to have an epidural early on very clear, and my midwife was more than happy for me to have that.
After 2 hours my contractions hadn’t ramped up at all and so we decided to put me on a drip to get things moving. It was when I had the drip in the labour with Piglet that things took a turn, so it was at this point that I insisted on the epidural. Luckily the anaesthetist was available so it was done straight away. It was all very calm and we had a bit of a laugh as it was done. I felt much more at ease and comfortable than in my previous labour and I’m so glad I made the decision to get the epidural so early.
It was now around 2am so I opted to have a bit of sleep for a few hours. I dozed on and off around the midwifes checks, and I’m glad I got the sleep that I did. In the early hours of the morning I became aware of a patch at the top of my stomach that was really quite sore. It seemed that a small section wasn’t being covered by the epidural, but in comparison to having no epidural at all it was very manageable. I was also aware of a fair amount of pressure down below which I mentioned a few times.
It was around this time that I became aware of a bit of activity from the midwife. She had others come in to look at the CTG and kept asking me to change position on the bed – easier said than done with an epidural. It turned out that I was hyper stimulating, exactly the same as had happened with Piglet, and that the baby’s heart rate was dropping. I was taken off the drip and given a drug to try and stop my contractions to give the baby a rest.
In amongst all of this the midwives changed shift. A new midwife and doctor reviewed the trace for the baby and were concerned. Despite trying to stop the contractions I was still have 5 or 6 in every 10 minutes and the baby’s heart rate continued to drop. The doctor explained that they wanted him out, and that they may use forceps to deliver him safely – exactly the same as what happened with Piglet. Again I mentioned the pressure I felt with each contraction and they finally decided to examine me to see whether I could try pushing him out myself first.
It was no surprise to me to find that his head was right there and that we could crack on. It didn’t take many pushes for him to be born, with the second midwife only just getting in to the room in time. The paediatricians were meant to be ready due to it being a premature baby but there was no time to call them – once I was pushing he was coming sharpish!
He was placed on my chest and I was relieved to have him breathing, as we didn’t get that with Piglet. JHogg cut the cord and we had some skin to skin. It turns out that the cord had a huge knot it in. We were very luckily that when pushing the knot didn’t tighten, as apparently that could have left us with an emergency situation. Glad to avoid that!
He weighed 6lbs 11oz and was 48cm long. For a 35 week baby that is pretty big – bigger than Piglet was at 36 weeks. He was a chunky little guy!
For me, it was the best that I could expect out of a labour. It may not have been the lovely drug free hypno-birthing experience that so many crave, but that is just not for me. I was very relaxed through the whole thing, and found it relatively enjoyable. Not that I’ll be rushing back to do it again!
We then spent a week in hospital while JJ gained weight and had treatment for jaundice. During that time I filmed a few snippets to look back on, you can watch them below.
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