As expected, our little bundle of joy decided to keep us waiting and was actually due on Saturday 23rd September. To be perfectly honest, we were all pretty happy that she was hanging on in there for a few extra days because we'd only got the keys to our new home on 18th September and were grateful for every day that we got to allow us to unpack and get everywhere prepared before the baby arrived! But when we were offered a membrane sweep on Tuesday 26th we were pretty happy with how we'd managed to unpack and get the house sorted so we went to appointment excited about 'starting things off!'
However, after some routine checks the midwife spotted a few warning signs of pre-eclampsia. My legs were a bit swollen, there was protein in my wee (sorry for the tmi!) and my blood pressure was high. She wasn't happy to do the sweep under these circumstances and got me straight in at the pregnancy assessment unit.
After a few hours, the consultant confirmed that yes, I did have mild pre-eclampsia and would need to be inducedeither today or tomorrow! Our jaws just about hit the floor! What started off as a routine trip to the doctors had potentially ended in being induced instead! Much to our relief, there were no beds available at that time so we were booked in for the next day instead. This allowed us to get our head around things, tie things up at work for us both, and most importantly arrange childcare for our eldest Lola!
Wednesday 27th - induction and the start of labour!
After a pretty sleepless night (too excited to sleep!) we got to The Royal for our 1pm appointment time. At 3pm was given a pessary to kick start the labour off. We were warned that it can be a very long process, sometimes taking three days! We were in for a waiting game but luckily we were well prepared and armed with snacks, magazines, games, ipads and music!
The induction ward was full so I was given room 17 which was a private room to myself! We were told that as soon as woman from the induction ward started to go into labour though, then we would have to move out. (Incidentally, this never happened and I started labour first so I got to keep the room - result!)
As expected not much happened for the rest of the day, though I felt sure I was having regular but mild contractions from around 9pm that night and started to write down whenever I got one!
From 10pm, things started to take a turn and the babies heart rate was really fast. When that eventually slowed (over an hour later) my blood pressure had gone even higher. Then at midnight my waters broke which I was really excited about however they slightly were green which is a sign that the baby has pooed in the womb!
Thursday 28th - lights, camera, action!
Scarily, during more monitoring, they lost the baby's heart rate. It was panic stations and lots of midwives were called in. The decided to put a clip on baby's head to get a more accurate reading. Luckily, all was fine when they finally got the clip attached and it hadn't distressed baby too much. This was also my first taste of gas and air (since the last baby 10 years ago!) and it made me feel like I'd had a few glasses of wine (not that I can really remember what that feels like!!) It was amazing!
Unfortunately, my blood pressure was still rising and I had to take some medication to lower it. The midwife who looked after me - Kayleigh aka an absolute angel - was concerned that my contractions albeit regular, were not strong enough. She was also conscious that the baby has pooed which we'd discovered earlier and this can cause problems if not acted on. So it was decided I'd have the hormone drip to speed things up. And boy did things speed up! Within and hour and a half of the drip starting and doses increasing every half an hour, labour was well and truly underway!
Thankfully, the blood pressure medication had brought my blood pressure down and baby's heart rate was normal again now. All was going well other than it being ridiculously painful of course! I don't know how but I managed on gas and air (bloomin love that stuff!) and although the doctor was reaching for the forceps at one point, I managed to deliver without intervention.
My birth partners were my husband and my mum and they were both absolutely incredible - a real dream team! At 7.15am our baby was born. We hadn't found out what we were having beforehand and the lovely midwives gave the job of telling everyone what we'd had to my husband and DDO dad Adam! IT'S A GIRL! We already had a name picked for her so we said hello to our little Poppy Summer!
Friday 29th - bye bye hospital, hello home sweet home!
We had to stay in hospital overnight to keep an eye on my blood pressure but I couldn't wait to get home. We were transferred to the ward and once again the staff were lovely and friendly. However it was another night without sleep because Poppy had other ideas!! She fed almost non stop and refused to be put down in her cot - crying every time I dare try! I felt so sorry for all the other mums and babies trying to sleep whilst Poppy was in a rage!
Friday couldn't come quick enough and after all of our checks we were allowed to go home! It's such a huge shock to the system when you get home with your new baby. It suddenly dawns on you that a tiny human is completely dependent on you and it's a pretty scary thought!
Four weeks on and Poppy has settled in nicely, Lola has taken to being a big sister very well and me and the hubster are adjusting to life that involves very little sleep!
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