Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Callie's Birth Story

Apologies for holding you all in suspense following my Pre-Labour story. I have had a beautiful little newborn to take care of so 3 weeks in and here...finally is Callie's birth story!

Waking up at 5.30 on 5th November I sensed something was happening. My contractions were back and this time they had ramped up. Slightly more painful and closer together, could this be another false start though? 

Cup of tea before heading to the hospital
I called the labour ward once I had timed 4 contractions in 10-15 minutes and was told to have some breakfast, get ready in our own time and head in for 8am. I asked if the birth pool was ready but they said to ask when I arrived as they wouldn't know until nearer the time. Joe popped downstairs and got some tea and toast. I must admit at this point my contractions did feel very painful but the worse were yet to come. So between contractions I managed to get dressed, Joe made me a hot water bottle and I took some paracetamol before doing a final hospital bag check, grabbing my notes and making our way to the hospital. 

Parking paid, Joe packed up like the donkey in the nativity and me feeling rather miffed that my contractions had slowed back down, we wandered to the labour ward. At this point I was sure I would be sent home but kept wandering around in the hope the contractions would start up stronger again. Every 5 minutes wasn't enough for them to let me stay, I knew the procedure. I was checked in and shown to Room 1 where I met Sarah, a lovely student midwife and Sam the midwife. They checked me in, made a joke about how much stuff I had lugged in with me and proceeded to examine me. I was a few centimetres dilated, my cervix was nice and soft but at that time I wasn't contracting often enough. Sam gave me a quick sweep while she was examining me which was nowhere near as uncomfortable as my sweep with the consultant a few days earlier.

They told me they would discharge me so I could go home but was welcome to stay on the hospital grounds and go for a wander. I was gutted and was convinced going home was a bad move. I popped my slippers and a dressing gown on, sent Joe back to the car with all my bags and waited in the waiting room for him. While he was gone I had a couple of contractions, I think my gut instinct was right...I wasn't making it home.

We decided to take a walk to the cafe so that Joe could get some breakfast but I barely made it 50 yards up the corridor before having to head back. Contractions were coming every minute or so and were pretty painful. The poor people walking past looked very concerned and we had only just seen my midwives walk off up to another ward so I knew they weren't around anymore. 
Being monitored at the hospital
We went back into the labour ward where I was told as my midwives weren't back yet I had to stay in the waiting room. Again an area where passers by could see everything...including me kneeling on the floor clutching a chair and begging for something to help with the pain. I think we were in there for a good 20/30 minutes before the Sister came out and took us back to Room 1 before offering me a bath. All I wanted was some pain relief but I knew a bath might help and asked for some gas and air too. We all know how long it feels like waiting for a bath to fill with water at the best of times but this felt like eternity. I waddled around the room grabbing anything I could when a contraction came, attempting to use the birthing ball and getting annoyed when it was too big for my short legs!

Eventually the Sister (Teresa) came back and guided me to the bathroom and into the bath complete with a bottle of good old Entonox and Joe by my side. I think this was the last moment of clarity I had as I closed my eyes during the first in bath contraction and didn't open them until Callie was placed in my arms. 

With the contractions getting increasingly more painful and the bath really not helping, I sucked on the g&a like it was going out of fashion. My lovely midwives were back by this point but with my eyes closed I had to gauge who was who based on voices alone. I began to feel like I needed to do a rather large poo (I forgot to mention that I hadn't pooed for days and the midwife commented on this when she did my examination at 8am) so I asked them why I felt the need to poo...actually what I meant was why did I need to push? They seemed to brush this comment off, almost like they didn't think I really needed to push just yet and continued to help me through the contractions.

Sarah sat next to me reassuring me when I panicked because the handle fell off the suction tube, I then begged her to get the baby out. I actually asked for a c-section at one point because I was so desperate for the pain to stop but they reminded me of how much I wanted this VBAC. I am now very glad they did! Within a few minutes they must have realised the bath wasn't working and offered to get me out and back to the room. I had all 3 of them (Joe included) helping me get out of the bath, dressed and into a wheelchair. They then had the space of a contraction break to get me from the bathroom to 'Room 1' before I would need the gas and air again as you can't take it with you. I was across that ward faster than Ussain Bolt and I was back on the happy gas and on the bed a few moments later. 

Joe didn't understand the concept of entonox and kept telling me off for blowing into the tube, telling me I needed to ease off it a little. Sam reassured him that I was nailing it and using it exactly as was intended. I remember being taught how to use it with Ted and despite getting a bit woozy once or twice it helped so much. Poor Joe also got a gobful when he asked me mid-contraction how to spell Enid...I think "Shut up, don't be so stupid" may have been my choice of words!

Ok...so back on the bed and Sam asked Joe if my waters had broken in the bath. Before he could say "No" they burst in her face! Oops! Cleaned up and eyes still clamped shut (I am so weird) and I felt the need to push again. They said if I needed to push to just go with it. It was such a strange feeling to actually instinctively know to push, with Ted the epidural meant I was told when to push as I couldn't feel anything. This time though I knew what to do...chin to my chest and I pushed down into my bottom with all my might. I was going to get this baby out!

I pushed when I felt the need to, rested in between contractions and Joe kept me topped up with water. I got an ice cube in my mouth with one sip and as a contraction came I spat it across the room, much to Joe's shock, so as to get back on the gas and air!

There I was pushing away when I heard Sarah (the student) getting a bit worried, apparently baby's heart rate kept dropping when I pushed and she mentioned getting the crash team on standby. Panic set in..."I don't want to die!" came out of my mouth before I could stop it. I desperately didn't want to be taken into theatre, thoughts of my baby boy and everything I went through to bring him into the world engulfed me. "I want Ted!" another panicked mumble from a worried Mumma. "It's ok, you are not going to die *reassuring chuckle*" I then heard Sam told Sarah I had 1 hour to get the baby out and that "she's got this". 

Those 3 words were all I needed. A few more pushes and I would get to meet my baby girl!

Well...a few more pushes and a near broken hand for Joe as he asked "Is it insensitive to eat a packed of crisps right now" as Callie's head was crowning! Needless to say I clamped his hand tightly in mine. "Don't you dare!" (poor Joe!).

Joe, who had always said he didn't want to see what was happening, 'sounded' (remember Mrs Closed Eyes?) like he was down the business end! He could see her head coming out and was asking all sorts of questions of the midwives. 

"Come on Jade just one more push and her head will be out"

Her head came out...a long wait for the next contraction...a push, some panting (which I probably should have done more of because I tore a little) and a bit of help from the girls and out plopped our baby! A content but slippery baby girl was placed on my chest and  being full of love and perhaps too much entonox the first thing I said was "Hello baby girl, I love you but my goodness you stink!" haha! I love the smell of babies but when they have just come out of your foof...seriously? Give it a few hours and that smell is fine but 2 seconds after...nope sorry! 

Our baby girl!
Snuggling my baby girl and with my husband by my side I really didn't care what happened next. They delayed the cord clamping for 5 minutes while I delivered the placenta. I planned on a physiological 3rd stage but opted for the injection to get things moving along.The placenta came out easily despite me being told by a few people that it is like giving birth again...it actually felt quite nice after pushing a baby out. Joe then cut the cord which he described as being like cutting a large bit of spaghetti!

Unfortunately I did need stitches which wasn't enjoyable. I used the gas and air through these as it was on hand. Joe watched the lot which amazed me and may have scarred him for life! 
Mummy, Daddy and Callie

There you have it, my labour time was 2 hours and 4 minutes and I had totally smashed a successful VBAC with just gas and air. I was a warrior! We were left on our own to enjoy our baby girl and a cup of tea and some toast was all we needed. We left the hospital at 5pm the same day and didn't even make it out of Room 1 and onto the ward. I will share the rest in a little post-labour 'what to expect' post soon so for now I will leave you with a few stats and a picture of our gorgeous little princess, Callie Enid McDonald!


Here is Ted's birth story: Newborn Mummy 
Also a link to what it was like to have an emergency c-section with Ted: If Only I'd Known What Could Go Wrong 


  1. Congratulations on the safe arrival of Callie!
    My third is due next month, but anytime from tomorrow (37 weeks) is good!
    Take care x

  2. Ah I do love a birth story! You totally rocked it xxx

  3. Ah I felt so emotional reading this as I had a c-section with Little M and so hope I can have a VBAC next time (assuming there is a next time!). I was willing you on as I read! xx

  4. oh Jade i so wanted a VBAC for Joshua's birth but due to complications i never made it. It sounds like you were an absolute trooper love!

    Is it wrong i am broody again reading this?

  5. She is gorgeous and I love her name! The part about you spitting out the ice cube really made me laugh! x

  6. Congratulations on managing your VBAC! And on gas and air - total warrior!!

  7. Well done on your VBAC mama!! You are amazing xx


I love hearing from my readers and will try to respond to all comments if possible! :)