Cooking Up Chaos – Noah’s Birth Story

When I first started this Cooking Up Chaos series I never really allowed myself to believe that the little baby nestled away in my tummy would ever really become a reality. I think it was probably to protect myself a little after our miscarriage last year, I didn’t want to let myself get too attached just in case something went wrong. I worried about every little thing the whole way through and really found it hard to enjoy it or connect with the baby like I did when I was pregnant with Luca.

But I need not have worried. At 40+4, that baby wiggling around in my belly decided to grace us with his presence and make all the anxiety and delightful pregnancy symptoms I experienced worth it.

I’d like to introduce to you all, our little boy, Noah. Noah was born at home, a few weeks before Christmas weighing in at 8lb 11oz after a 6-hour labour.

Continue reading

From Bump to Baby: Part 2 Induction & Birth

As I mentioned in Part 1 I am aware these posts aren’t for everyone, but as time passes my memory of the most amazing day of my life is fading.  By getting it written down somewhere I can’t lose it I will always be able to look back and remember in detail the single most amazing time of my life and the thing I am most proud of myself for achieving. 


Warning, this one may be a little graphic! 


continued from Part 1

….We arrived at the hospital and were shown to our bed, no private room for induction ladies, instead a 3 bed ward until everything gets going. 
I was seen straight away and had a Propess inserted for 24hrs.  This is a pessary containing dinoprostone, a chemical which helps soften & open the cervix.  Within half an hour I was getting period pain type feelings and by the end of the day full blown contractions.  
I was determined to get this labour going as I didn’t want the Syntocinon drip, this is a hormone they give you to bring on contractions, so I spent most of the day wandering the corridors, climbing stairs and bouncing on birthing balls.
The next morning, after a sleepless, contraction filled night, the Propess was removed and I was examined.  
Good news, my cervix was dilated enough that they would be able to artificially rupture my membranes or as it’s more commonly known, break my waters. 
Bad news, they were very busy so I would have to wait.

Cue more walking corridors, climbing stairs and bouncing on birthing balls.

By 5pm that evening there was still no sign of me having my waters broken anytime soon and the contractions I’d been having for 2 days were starting to wear off. By this point I was pissed off. I’d (wo)manned through 2 days of contractions for absolutely nothing, was exhausted from lack of sleep and it looked unlikely they would be broken that evening.  I just wanted it all to get moving so I could see my little man at the end of it all. 

Around 11pm that evening with my contractions nowhere to be seen we were sat in the family room watching tv.  I’d told Ant to stay with me that night as I was hoping they may eventually get around to breaking my waters and wanted him there to hold my hand.  I got on my high horse and started to have a long rant about how ridiculous it was that they had wasted my natural contractions and how pissed off I would be if when they broke my waters they didn’t start again and I’d have to be on a drip to get them going.

After about 50 minutes of ranting Luca had clearly heard enough and this strange uncomfortable contraction type pain had me shoot of the sofa in shock.  As I jumped up my waters broke. 


Halle-bloody-lujah!
The midwife took me back to my bed to hook me up to the foetal heart rate monitor. Now labour had started (even though it wasn’t active labour) I would have to be continuously monitored to ensure baby wasn’t getting distressed, which is quite common in induced babies.

After 10 minutes the midwife decided to move me to a private room as my contractions were getting strong again.  I was then examined and declared to 3cms dilated.  As I wasn’t in active labour at this point it would be another 4 hours before I was examined again.  I was prepared for the slow countdown to birth.

By this time my mum had arrived and Ant decided to go move the car to a long stay car park, after all we could be there a while.  Within the 15 minutes he left a LOT happened.  I went from coping with my contractions with no pain relief to being in absolute agony.  I couldn’t get comfy, when I stood my legs gave way on me, when I lay down it was too painful.  The gas and air was doing absolutely nothing to take the pain away and all the midwife kept saying to me was “You are in so much pain because your baby is back to back”.  I remember telling her that I knew I’d never had a baby before but I was sure something wasn’t right.  In the end she offered me an epidural as that would be the only thing that would take the pain away. I agreed. 

At this point my mum jumped in.  She knew I had been adamant I would never have an epidural for lots of personal beliefs and reasons.  She told the midwife to check me again as I wasn’t a wuss.  The midwife said no and went to get the anaesthetist.  Ant arrived back and was shocked to see his well held together fiancée now an absolute wreck in such a short space of time.  I couldn’t even talk to him to tell him what was wrong I was in so much pain. 
The anaesthetist came in and talked me through the epidural, I have no recollection of anything she said to me, I was so wrapped up in the pain.  The only thing I do remember is her telling the midwife there was no way she would be able to give me one as I couldn’t keep still.
Now my mum was getting annoyed.  She quite plainly told the midwife she would examine me again as there was something not right and she knew me better than anyone and she knew I wasn’t just being a wuss.

The midwife agreed and I hauled myself back onto the bed.  She examined me, just 20 minutes after my initial examination and found I was 10cms dilated and ready to rock and roll.  I had been in so much pain because I was fighting my body trying to give birth, not because my child was back to back.  The midwife then said to me “Your 10cms, what do you want to do?” I had got myself in a complete flap by this point and her stupid question did nothing to make me feel any better.  What the f**k did she mean what do I want to do?

My initial midwife who’d looked after me since my induction, Leslie, came into the room just at the right time.  She had seen the anaesthetist leave and wanted to check everything was ok.  She gave me  back the gas and air and told me to continuously breath it, not stop between contractions.  After a few good lungfuls I felt my body physically relax, I had been so tense as I was in such a panic.  As soon as my body relaxed nature took over and I pushed without even asking my body to.  After about 20 minutes of pushing Luca’s heart rate fell and they rushed in an obstetrician with some forceps to give me a hand.  They also wanted to give me an episiotomy.  Luckily my midwife knew me quite well by this point and knew forceps or a cesarean were my worst nightmare.  She told them to give me 5 more minutes and I was given the anaesthetic in preparation for an episiotomy. 

I was determined that I could do this without the assistance of forceps, after all this is what my body is designed to do.  After a few more huge pushes on my part he made his miraculous entrance into the world.  

Despite the circumstances of induction, which I hadn’t wanted, I got as close to my dream birth as possible.

Thanks to my amazing midwife Leslie, I gave birth to my beautiful 7lb 8oz baby boy at 1:45pm, just 1hr and 55mins after my waters broke without any further intervention. 

He was quite as a mouse and when they placed him on my chest he just stared into my eyes.  I’m not gonna lie, I was shocked that I didn’t cry when he lay there all perfect. After all I’d been an emotional wreck the whole way through my pregnancy.  I’m not sure if it was the shock of such a fast labour, the relief it was over and I hadn’t had the dreaded forceps or the unfathomable realisation I was now a mummy.  But despite the lack of tears I have never been so overcome with love for anything.  He was perfect and he was mine.


.Unfortunately I sustained a 3rd degree tear.  A 3rd degree tear is a more severe type of tear that involves vaginal tissue, perineal skin and perineal muscle.  Therefore I had to be taken down to theatre to be stitched. 
Instead of putting me under general anaesthetic they gave me an epidural so despite my attempt for no pain relief I had it in the end anyway.
After the surgery I was fit with a catheter so had to stay in for 2 more nights, but we eventually got to take our beautiful little boy home….



Photographs ©LittleLucaandMe

From Bump to Baby: Part 1 Pregnancy

I’ve decided to put into words the story of how my little man made it into this world for safe keeping as this blog will hopefully store some memories for me amongst other things.  I also found it useful reading other peoples birth stories when I was expecting as I had more of an idea of what to expect (basically the unexpected). I am warning you now the posts may include all of the finer details of induction, labour and post-birth in case anyone who reads this will be embarking on their own labour journey.  
I’m fully aware this may not be everyones cup of tea so please feel free to close this post and look at my cute bunnies Rocky  & Halle instead. 

Here goes nothing…

Part 1: Pregnancy


My ‘Baby Shower’

The day I found out I was pregnant I was brushing my teeth doing a “just to make sure” test as I’d changed my pill and was having pretty irregular periods.  The result was not what I was expecting.  Having said that I couldn’t have been happier to find out we were gonna have a baby. 

The start of my pregnancy was awful, I had horrendous morning sickness, not quite hyperemesis gravidarum but awful all the same.  I wasn’t always physically sick but felt horrendously nauseous all the time for a good couple of months.  Luckily this slowly reduced as my pregnancy went on.


Truthfully, I did not enjoy being pregnant.  I loved the fact I was having a baby and that he was growing away in there but I didn’t enjoy pregnancy one bit, you can find the full story why here  
Just as I thought the end was in sight and I didn’t have much longer to put up with these awful symptoms I started to itch!  It was only the tops of my feet that itched but they drove me absolutely crazy.  The little sleep I was having was cut even shorter by them and all day long they itched as well.  I was close to scratching the skin off the top of my feet when I decided maybe this wasn’t normal and rang my midwife.


Unfortunately she informed me it could be a sign of Obstetric Cholestasis (OC), a condition associated with the liver and an excess of bile salt levels. It can potentially be a serious condition but clears up once you have given birth. If you get it in one pregnancy you will usually get it in subsequent pregnancies.  I needed a blood test to rule out OC as itching can just be due ti stretching of the skin and the increased blood supply to the skin. I needed to go for it as soon as possible.  No need to tell me twice, I rang work (GP’s surgery) and asked a colleague if she would do one for me that day.  The next day I rang to get my results.  The Maternity Assessment Unit told me my results were abnormal and I did have OC, which meant I needed to go in for monitoring and to see a consultant so they could decide a plan of action.

CUE ONSLAUGHT OF TEARS AND UTTER PANIC!!

I went down to the unit that evening and was hooked up to a foetal heart rate monitor and they checked all my usual vitals.
Eventually when a consultant was free to see us we were informed that although baby was absolutely fine as far as they could tell (PHEW!), I would need to be induced as studies have found there is an increased risk of still birth in full term babies with OC mummies.  

CUE SECOND ONSLAUGHT OF TEARS AND UTTER PANIC!

I think the consultant was taken aback by my dramatic reaction but I’d been planning a very natural water birth with very little assistance or pain relief.

They had initally told me they would keep me in overnight and induce me the next morning. But after my reaction the consultant said I could go home and stay home the next day to get my head around the situation and come in on the Sunday.

Between that Friday night and being induced on the Sunday I cried a lot, I wasn’t deluded in thinking my birth would necessarily have been plain sailing if I hadn’t have needed induction but I would have had a chance of getting my dream birth.  However, know I knew there was no chance of that birth I had dreamt of, I was devastated.  With no choice in the matter, after all my child’s health was more important than my dream birth, I decided I could focus on what I wanted out of this other birth instead and rewrote my birth plan.

Sunday morning came and off we went to the hospital.  Leaving our flat knowing the next time I was home I would have my baby with me was a very strange feeling but did make the whole process a little easier.  I would definitely have my boy in my arms by the end of the week (induction can take a while)……………..

For more information on Obstetric Cholestasis visit ICP Support or check of this video directed by Honest Mum who also had Obstetric Cholestasis here.

*IF YOU EVER EXPERIENCE ANY ITCHING IN PREGNANCY PLEASE SEE YOU MIDWIFE*

Photographs ©LittleLucaandMe

8 weeks to go until L Day!

Well I am now 32 weeks pregnant, 32!!! That means only 8 weeks to go assuming he comes on time.
 I can’t believe how fast it has flown by so far.  Everyone told me it goes so slowly but for me it’s zipping past faster than I can actually believe and I keep having ‘Oh my God, I’m having a baby’ moments. 
At this stage now we are pretty much ready for his arrival, we are just waiting for his cot and pram to be delivered at the start of June but everything else is in place for him which is getting me ridiculously excited.   I have even washed all his clothes and bedding ready.

Continue reading