♥ Bump to Birth


The main purpose for this post is to remind myself of how life is filled with surprises and to share my experience with other Mums or Mums-to-be :) My baby Charlie is now 4 months old and I'm attempting to write this as he's soundly asleep (for now!) I will try and update this as and when I remember parts of my journey, as it has become a blur!


I remember taking the pregnancy test on 27th April 2014 and it was a lovely bright sunny day. It was also on the same day as my best friend's birthday and also a day when we spontaneously made a trip to Centre Parks with one of my closest friends from school. We didn't tell anyone about the pregnancy so it was all hush hush and I had to avoid physical sports and alcohol! Here's a fantastic homemade video by my lovely friend which captured the day of my 'secret pregnancy'!

We eventually told friends and family about 16-20 weeks - I can't exactly remember when but it was later than most would usually reveal! Around this time my little baby bean got to experience a trip to the good old Backstreet Boys concert at Hyde Park, London. Hopefully, he enjoyed listening to the music in the womb! Here is my music video of our trip to Hyde Park when I was about 3 months pregnant. Even walking around at 3 months was painful for me but I kept calm and carried on!


Now this was fun! Most ladies are lucky enough to go through their pregnancy with no issues at all but unfortunately, I suffered from physical pains (pelvic girdle pains / back pains). Towards the middle of my pregnancy; I was diagnosed with Obstetric Cholestasis causing high bile acids in my blood which meant I had to be induced. However, I was lucky enough to avoid morning sickness etc. I think I caught a virus at the local swimming pool which then caused OC (had a week of rash and itchiness!) Typical! I go swimming to help aid my back and in return I developed OC...sigh...

Bump to Birth
I will try and keep this part short as it was not so enjoyable but at least the doctors / midwives kept a close eye on me and baby throughout the whole pregnancy. Usually, you would only need to see the doctors once every couple of months for check ups but I had to go into hospital every 2 weeks and sometimes more frequently to do blood tests. My memory of this was basically, wake up early -  drive to the park & ride (hospital parking is horrendous) - get the hospital bus into QMC - wait up to 2-3 hours sometimes to get my blood tested and to see the consultants. I was such a regular the staff was on my Christmas card list! haha.

Except for that, I quite enjoyed my baby bump, especially when you get to see and feel baby's little kicks! I didn't have a huge bump but it did stick out more (they say if it sticks out more it is a boy - so I guess it's true in my case).

My first scan was amazing - it's the first time you get to see what's growing inside you - a little person! Second scan was just as cool as we got to see if its 'blue or pink' :-) A part of me knew it was going to be a boy but from our family history there was more of a chance it was going to be a girl! (I have 3 younger sisters and hubby has 2 sisters!) Either way, we were ecstatic to hear it was a boy - the sonographer showed us his 'little bits' - very cute :) I bet when Charlie is older and reads this he will get all embarrassed - sorry baby :-)


OK bare with me on this section; in summary if you want to skip the details; the labour took 22 hours and I had all the drugs they can offer me to relieve the pain! Please excuse the amount of exclamation marks below but this summed up how I felt!!!

Due to Obstretric Cholestasis I had to be induced, this was scheduled for either a week or two weeks before Christmas - a date could not be set as I had to check if my placenta was obstructing the cervix meaning I may have needed a C-section. Everything was unknown and it was a matter of waiting. I was working pretty much right through the end and I am thankful for having such good friends/family/work colleagues and of course, my husband; who supported me throughout my anti-natal ordeals (hospital visits and fear of the unknown - birth!)

My induction was due on 14th so we were pretty much prepared with our bags etc. Oh and I nearly forgot to mention the 'membrane sweeps'! I had one the week before the induction date to try and kick start labour more naturally but it didn't seem to have done anything. But I do remember it hurt so much! At the time I was 2cm dilated. Under a week later, I went in to have a second sweep and it didn't hurt as much surprisingly. I remember getting myself worked up about it that it was going to hurt a lot like last time! But anyway, it worked because my waters broke 2 days after (4AM on 14th December 2014). It was quite funny as I was whatsapping my sister-in-law when it happened and updating her on what was going on! Live-updates!  I remember rolling on the birth ball in the bedroom trying to relieve the pain - it was more an abdominal pain - I wasn't quite sure if I was going into labour!

I rang the hospital straight away to explain what had happened but they told me to call back in the morning [7am] to be precise to check what stage I'm in. On TV shows when someone's water breaks the baby is born in a matter of hours. But in reality, when your water break it could take up to 1-2 days until you actually go into labour so what they show you on TV is false.

CTG scan 
Anyway, I tried to go back to sleep but the pain wasn't letting me and I kept making trips to the loo. 7 am struck and I rang them again ; I was in much more pain then and could just about walk. We got our bags together and drove straight to the hospital. Luckily it was on a Sunday - early hours in the morning - no traffic. I hobbled towards the labour ward and they assigned me to the room I was suppose to have for the induction. It started well, they hooked me on to the CTG scan to monitor baby's heart beat. Everything seemed OK - my midwife was called Amber and she talked through what would happen etc. Looking back my contractions were mild at this stage so I was able to roll around on the birth ball and hubby gave me back massages with special oils. A few hours passed and contractions were still the same.

A few more hours passed again you could see the contractions building up on the CTG scan - I remember seeing the digits rise and at the same time the intensity of the contractions came in waves! It was a good indicator, indeed! The midwife checked my cervix and I was around 3-4cm dilated. Still a while to go! The doctors decided to give me an IV line in case I needed infusions. Oh more needles :-(

Mum and siblings came to the ward around lunch time and I was lying in bed curled up in agony! haha. What a sight to see ;-)

Who is giving birth may I ask?!
Shortly after they left my contractions were getting stronger and more frequent! This was when I was introduced to gas and air! Wow - it really does make you feel tipsy for a short while as you're inhaling. Even hubby had a go!

OK - I don't know if you have ever had this pain relief but it makes you quite dry in the mouth! Now imagine being on this for 12 hours! Yep 'twelve' hours! Towards the end I was feeling very drowsy and I wasn't sure if it was helping me any more. I remember kneeling and clinging on to the back of the bed whilst my contractions came and went. Excruciating! I nearly ripped the mattress open! I was squeezing hubby's hand so hard he yelped in pain - but that was no match to my pain let me tell you! Also, I now have vague memories of having everything on show but I didn't care at the time! I drank lots of water and Lucozade Sports drink - it made me vomit and regurgitate everything out - at one point I almost overflowed the bedpan! Around this point was when they changed my midwife as the other finished her shift! The next midwife was called Jacky - she was quite good I thought as she offered me a choice on pain relief whereas the other made me feel like I could get through it all on only gas and air because I had gone so far already! Due to vomiting I suffered dehydration - ketosis so they put me on a drip.

A few more hours in and the contractions were still coming and I decided to have diamorphine to help ease the pain. I was screaming so bad at this time and waiting for the drug seemed to have taken forever - I swore they took longer on purpose - I was very impatient at this point! [Flashback - A few days before I went into labour we visited the labour ward to monitor baby's heart beat because I though there were less movement so they hooked me on the CTG scan as per usual. I remembered hearing a woman in one of the labour rooms screaming very loudly and I thought to myself why and that I would never scream like that! Haha - I was that woman screaming the ward down! How ironic. .

IV line eek!
Anyway - the diamorphine worked a treat! It really calmed me down and I actually got some rest. But it made my contractions slow down and they needed to kick start the contractions again. I think it was oxytocin on a drip (into my veins via the IV line). The hormonal drug would make my contractions stronger so I decide to have an epidural. The anesthetist came to have a chat about the procedure whilst my contractions were still active. Parts of the conversation was paused as I couldn't focus on what she was saying - and I just agreed to whatever they said but I'm glad hubby was there to guide me through as well. I had to sit on the side of the bed slumped over so she could insert the needle into my spine. Surprisingly, this part was not painful unless all the previous drugs in my system helped me block out more pain! She then sprayed cold water on my legs to test my sensation - I couldn't feel my legs. They then kick started the oxytocin into my body - not sure how long it took but I think the contractions started to come stronger.I felt numb on the left but I could still feel the contractions/pain on my right side. The anesthetist had to come back and top me up – i.e. give me more drugs in other words! This time it worked! it blocked all the pain and my legs were pretty much dead! It felt weird prodding myself on the legs - no sensation at all! 

The midwife and Dr helped lift my legs up on stirrups ready for the birth! I was in a calm state at this point and things happened really quickly from here. I must say the epidural helped a lot after an exhausting day - I just don't know why I didn't have it any earlier! 

They left me for a while and the midwife came back to check and I was fully 'delighted' (her words! aka dilated)  meaning it was time to push! But because I couldn't feel anything I pushed too quickly causing a second degree tear - yikes. Baby came out pretty quickly too after a few pauses - the umbilical cord was loosely around his neck but it was all fine. Hubby saw the tip of his head - hairy indeed. Then he popped his head out to say hello! I couldn't see anything from my end but I was told he starred at Daddy with big eyes and it was all so overwhelming especially if he's been nice and cosy in the womb for nearly 9 months!

A few seconds later, the rest of him pushed out and we all heard the cutest cry :-) Hubby got to snip the umbilical cord too! The midwife cleaned him up and placed him on my chest for the benefits of skin to skin. Within seconds he pooped on me! From this day we call him Charlie Bum!  

Welcome to the world, baby Charlie :-)

Hello Charlie - weighing 6lb 5oz

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