Back in April on the day I finally had a positive pregnancy test I sat and figured when our estimated due date was in relation to my last menstrual period, I had it worked out as November 29th 2012. So I was pretty surprised when at my second dating scan they gave me a EDD of December 13th – not only was it strange that this was also Frankie’s due date two years previously but it would of meant I was only about 2 weeks pregnant when I did my positive pregnancy test. As much as I have almost total faith in the NHS, I’m also a firm believer in listening to your own body and I always said that this baby was going to have a November birthday!
I guess this story starts on the evening on November 27th, I felt really sick and my stomach looked ready to pop. It had that ‘hanging on for dear life’ look that I’d had the night before I went in to labour with Frankie. So I did have a niggling feeling that maybe something was going to happen soon. I had a surprisingly good nights sleep but when I woke up the next morning I felt ‘funny’ (thats the actual word I used when I told Dean, who replied with a raised eyebrow), once Dean was in the shower I realized the sheets beneath me were a bit damp and I actually thought for a minute I might of been so tired that I’d weed in my sleep! As I got up to sort things out I heard a loud *pop* and felt my waters break… everywhere. My consultant had been 100% right about me carrying a lot of water, which I consequently dripped from our bedroom to the bathroom where I told Dean ‘we’re having a baby… soon’.
Thanks to the speedy way in which Frankie decided to enter the world we went in to panic mode, I called my Mum who ordered my Dad out of bed to come and collect Frankie while Dean popped the last essentials in to the hospital bag. I jumped in the shower and Dean bought Fran in to see me in the bathroom which set me off on a good cry… nothing prepares you for how you’ll feel when you realise that it’s the last day your first baby will be your only baby! Suddenly she seemed ever so grown up and I wasn’t so sure I was ready to make her a big sister.
Once she was safely off with my parents we made our way over to the hospital as I was under strict instructions from my consultant to ‘get there quick‘ as soon as my waters broke. A lovely midwife glanced through my notes and looked at my pad to confirm that I hadn’t peed myself! By this point I hadn’t really realised that I wasn’t having contractions yet but once I did it started to bug me. Even though it had been a good 6 hours between my waters breaking and contractions starting with Frankie I’d been hyped up by my consultant to pretty much believe that this baby was gonna slip out at the first sign of my waters going!
I agreed to go home and await my contractions, and was once again told to get back sharpish once things started up or if nothing happened to come back at 8am the next day for a sweep. Me and Dean were both a bit jittery at this point so I don’t think either of us wanted to be sat at home waiting, instead we headed to a retail park close by to take our mind off things. It was bizarre walking round Mama’s and Papa’s knowing that my baby was pretty much in a waterless womb! We then spent some time wandering round Mothercare and Next before doing a little food shop at Tesco. Looking back now it seems bizarre that I was so calm, and I can kinda understand why the lady in Mothercare who asked me when I was due looked like she might faint when I said my waters had gone that morning.
Within 15 minutes of being there my back started to really ache, it wasn’t until my Mum said I was visibly wincing that I even thought they could be contractions. By the time we began the walk home they were really settling in to my coccyx and I had to stop half way to catch my breath… but just as I started to consider them ‘real’ contractions they stopped. Once again I accepted the idea of a sweep the next day and settled down for dinner.
But by 11pm the twinges were back again, there was no pattern or progression but I was convinced these were real. We jumped in the car and headed to the hospital again. I was mortified when we got there and I realised they’d stopped again. I’d randomly get them but nothing that seemed notable. We had a not-so-lovely midwife this time, she hadn’t seemed to of read my notes and didn’t understand why I was there when my contractions weren’t regular. I explained the situation and she looked unconvinced before reluctantly offering me an internal.
She told me I was ‘barely 1cm’ and that we should go home and get some sleep. I explained my history again and she actually looked pained before going off to ask ‘the boss’ what to do. When she came back she told us that they wanted me to stay in Ward 10 but that Dean had to go home. I tried to explain that he wouldn’t make it back in time once things started but she really didn’t seem to care and just took us up to the ward where I was told he could settle me in before leaving.
Thankfully at this point we were handed over to a senior midwife and her student who were LOVELY! She told us that Dean could stick around aslong as we were super quiet and he kept himself well hid. I was over the moon and I popped 2 paracetamol, I laughed when I realised that by doing that I’d had double the pain relief I’d had with Frankie already!
Around 2:30am my contractions started up again, once again they were random and varying in strength, but like before were firmly planted in my back so I gladly accepted a birthing ball to bounce on. By 3:30am they’d got ALOT worse and I was writhing with each one, poor Dean was having his arm pulled off with each contraction and once we started to time them we could see they were 4 minutes apart last 50 seconds. They stayed like this until 5am and I begged for some ‘proper’ pain relief. I tried gas and air but it just made me feel sick and completely hammered! Dean loves telling people the story of how I tried to focus on him and just said “I’m fucking fucked” – delightful.
I reluctantly asked for pethidine but was massively disappointed when it just gave me a numb left bum cheek but I didn’t have time to whine as the contractions ramped up a lot! The midwife examined me at just after 6am and told me I was only 5cm, I was pretty upset but I could feel things were coming to an end and I had a feeling that things were about to go quickly like my first labour. Half an hour later I started to feel extremely weak and sick, I couldn’t support my own weight during contractions and the midwifes helped me on to the bed on my side. They agreed to examine me again and told me I was only 7cm but by the time she’d removed her gloves I felt a massive pressure in my bum. I don’t think either of them believed me when I said I thought it was about to happen but they started to go off to grab a wheelchair to take me down to a delivery room in labour ward.
The senior midwife had literally got 5 steps away when I felt a huge push down… I made a noise I can only relate to a mooing cow (!!!) and they ran back before trying to unlock my bed and start wheeling me. This pain was like nothing I’d felt before, with Francesca I’d felt firm, definite pain… this was sharp stabbing pains all over my stomach and legs and it was killing me.
I kept asking to push and no-one would answer me so I resisted the urge as much as I could before finally being told I could start as we entered the delivery room. After only 9 minutes of pushing I felt her head, I remembered to pant-pant-pant and then, at 7:25am on November 29th 2012 Georgiana Rose Barry was born.
As they laid her on my chest I felt like a wave of shock hit me… What was this baby that looked just like Frankie doing here two weeks early!?! I don’t remember delivering the placenta at all. I didn’t have time to think for long though as this girl knew where her food was and was quickly latching on. Shortly after I was examined and told I’d got away without a scratch (again! I know a lot of it’s luck but I’m very proud of myself for having two babies and no tears).
I had that amazing post-labour shower and then spent lots of time having skin-to-skin with Georgie. Eventually she was weighed (6lb 11oz of perfection) and we were transferred up to the maternity ward. It was a blessing in disguise that maternity ward was extremely busy so I luckily was put back in ward 10 where I had a 6 bed ward all to myself.
When I look back on that day I remember looking out the window at the gorgeous sunny winter day, looking the other way and seeing my new tiny girl, watching Dean snooze and then Frankie appearing at the door to meet her baby sister. I may of shed a little tear when they met for the first time and we had our first family cuddle!
Thankfully we were able to go home that evening and that was that. Georgie has spent a fair bit of time in hospital since but that’s another story. It feels so strange that my pregnancy with Gee is over now… it was so incredibly hard that it’s completely put me off doing it again. I’ve never felt so unlike myself, I said to Dean not long after giving birth that literally the second she was born I felt like this big black cloud lifted off me. It was such a bizarre sensation.
My recovery has been slow and I’m still nowhere near 100%. After getting all my contractions in my back again I’m yet to feel like some of my muscles are back to normal still. I’m pretty dependent on paracetamol to get me through the morning. My bleeding has only just eased off and I can’t imagine feeling fine in that area for a long time. Emotionally I’ve really struggled, but once again I think that’s another story for another time.
So that was that… if you’ve got a bit of a thing about birth stories (like me!) then here’s Francesca’s aswell!