My due date passed and at 41 weeks I was still pregnant. Not to mention that after miscarrying at 13 weeks and now being 41 weeks pregnant and conceiving her just 2 short weeks after my miscarriage, I had been pregnant for 55 weeks, ONE WHOLE YEAR PREGNANT!!!
I went to see the obstetrician consultant as I was late and I also told them that I was worried about the size of the baby, as I had been and had mentioned for several weeks. However each time I was told not to worry as she would be the same size as her brother who was 8lb 13oz at birth. The consultant was happy to leave me another week before inducing me, despite the fact that they had induced me a few days after my son's due date as they were worried about his size, but he did give me a membrane sweep in hopes that it would get things moving.
The sweep worked and the following morning I went into labour!
Labour progressed quite slowly, although still quicker than my son's 17 hour labour, and by tea time it was getting ready to push time. I'd had an epidural but it was a really good one as I could still move my toes and I felt each contractions as a tightening of my belly, not hurting although a little uncomfortable. I began pushing, but an hour later she still wasn't moving and hadn't moved at all. It seemed she was stuck in my pelvis and nothing, not even the forceps which had helped my son, seemed to work. The decision was made and I was taken to theatre for an emergency section. One look at hubby in his scrubs and I started laughing and wish I'd taken a picture, but I knew it was serious and I worried about the baby.
As the caesarean went on, things changed rapidly. My baby was wedged in my pelvis as her head had engaged about a month early facing the wrong way so she was showing the largest part of her head instead of her smallest. She was so stuck that even though I was completely numb from the epidural and hadn't felt them cut me open, I felt them tug her out and it hurt! What happened next is a bit of a blur. I heard someone say she was a boy (yet hubby says no one said that at all) and then the midwife brought her over to me.
"Meet your daughter!" She said as she showed me her. "Are you ready to hear how big she was? You'll need to brace yourself... She weighed 10lb 14oz, almost 11lb!" I gazed adoringly at my daughter, in too much shock to take in her size at that moment or that despite being told she would be the same size as her brother she was 2lb 1oz heavier! Then I passed out!
For some reason, and something that was never explained to me, I began to hemorrhage after having her. They finally stabilised me and I remember lying on my own in the recovery room for about an hour, crying softly as I felt all alone and wanted my daughter. I didn't know where she was or if she was ok and I hoped that wherever she was, her daddy was with her. I wanted to scream and shout "I WANT MY DAUGHTER!" but instead I just lay there quietly with tears streaming down my face.
Finally a decision was made to move me to the Intensive Trauma Unit (ITU) as I needed a blood transfusion and I finally got to see my daughter and try to breastfeed her. She nursed a little and then I was taken to the ITU. The nurses offered to bring her to me when she wanted feeding, but worried about the other patients in the ITU who would be disturbed by a crying newborn, I made a decision that haunts me to this day. I told them to give her a bottle if she was hungry and leave her in the nursery. To make matters worse I was told the following day that she had cried most of the night as she probably had a headache and wanted her mummy and I wish with all my heart I had told them to bring her to me.
I spent the night in ITU, very uncomfortable and in pain and missing my daughter. I couldn't get comfortable to sleep and it was very noisy with all the machines bleeping and people snoring. I couldn't wait for morning so I could be reunited with my daughter and I was wishing I had told them to bring her to me. Finally hubby brought her to see me, pushing her crib which he had attached a balloon and he'd bought her her first teddy bear. I cuddled her to me and nursed her. I was thrilled when they said I could be transferred back to the ward where I would be with my daughter.
The first few days are a blur, I was in pain and I just wanted to sleep. I'd had a difficult delivery and now it hit me. I tried to nurse her, but after spending 7 hours with her on the boob and then her drinking 2oz of formula I decided to give her a bottle instead.
|You can really see how big she is in this picture as she fills the cot!|
Sadly, she became poorly. She developed jaundice and needed to go under the special bili lights and she also developed an infection and needed antibiotics. This meant she had a cannula in her foot, then her other foot, then her hand and then her other hand as the veins would close and it would need to be moved.
When I had my son, I refused to let him out of my sight, but because her birth had taken so much out of me, and I was struggling to bond with her, every time they offered to take her to nursery so I could get some rest, I was happy to let her go. Out of all 4 of my children, she was the only one I let go, the others I always kept with me 24/7. Of course this didn't help the bonding process between us and made me feel guilty, not only because I wasn't bonding with her but I was also sending her away (or so it seemed to me).
Finally after a week we were both well enough to go home. We had started to bond and now it was her daddy's chance. Sadly at the time he didn't drive which meant he was reliant on other people to give him a lift, which isn't easy when you live 60 miles away from hospital and it meant he hadn't seen us as much as he would've liked. Not to mention I was missing my son dreadfully as well. I must admit the paediatrician wasn't happy that I had given up breastfeeding my daughter as it would have helped make her feel better, but I wonder if the difficult delivery and blood transfusion had affected my milk and supply. I was also beginning to believe that I couldn't breastfeed as I hadn't been able to breastfeed my son either as he'd refused to latch on when my milk came in. Thankfully this wasn't true as I successfully breastfed my youngest two daughters until they were nearly 3 and I'm planning to breastfeed my 5th who is due in 3 months.
Once we were home we settled into a routine, but my daughter seemed to get poorly again. Every time she was fed she would bring back most of it straight away. It got so bad that no one wanted to hold her because they knew she would cover them in sick and both her and I would run out of clean clothes on a daily basis and my poor washing machine never stopped!
At 2 weeks old we were back at hospital. They were worried because her weight had dropped from 10lb 14oz to 10lb 2oz, meaning she had lost almost 10% of her birth weight. After spending all day at hospital they diagnosed her with reflux and discharged her after telling us to try using a different baby formula, one which was designed to be gentler on her stomach. It did cost more to buy but luckily her doctor prescribed it on prescription as she needed it for a medical reasons.
Finally she began to gain weight although she was still sick a lot. As she grew up though and especially when she moved onto solids the reflux cleared up and now aged 8 you wouldn't think she had had such a tough start in life! Although she has a sensitive stomach like mine, and just like me suffers from travel sickness which can make going anywhere difficult, especially as we live in a rural area with everything over 60 miles away!
I'm also pleased to say that her delivery didn't put me off having any more babies and both deliveries were a lot easier and both were natural births (or VBAC's as they're sometimes known. Virginal Birth After Caesarean). My 3rd popped out after a 3 hour labour, much to the amazement of the midwife when she heard the story of my eldest daughter's delivery. My 4th was induced as I was suffering from Gestational Diabetes and came even more quickly with just a 1 hour and 20 minute labour and now I am pregnant again. I also managed to breastfeed my 3rd and 4th till they were both almost 3. They were also smaller than my daughter weighing 9lb and 8lb 15oz respectively.
So it goes to show, each delivery is different and no matter how tough one might be it doesn't mean the next one will be!