It had not been a very enjoyable pregnancy.
I had bad sickness at the beginning, followed by Symphysis
Pubis Dysfunction (bad pelvic/back pain!) and put on a LOT
of weight; nearly five stone in all! Three stone of this was
in the final ten weeks - it turned out to be a lot of water.
I was induced on Friday 6th April, a week early, due to pre-eclampsia
(high blood pressure, lots of water retention and protein
leaking into urine).
They inserted the pessary at 12 'o' clock and I started having
contractions at 3 pm. They didn't hurt much though' and at
this point I thought labour was a piece of cake.
I poured bubbles into the hospital bath, climbed in and sat
chatting with Alec about how easy this was. Then I felt a
pop and my waters broke. Suddenly my contractions were agony
and coming every minute (they had been coming every ten minutes).
I didn't know what to do with myself, could barely get my
breath between contractions and could barely focus on any
instructions. At this point the midwife peeked round the door
and asked what I wanted for lunch
I demanded gas and air and the midwife said she didn't think
I was in 'established labour' yet!! She offered me a couple
of paracetamol! Then she witnessed one of my contractions
and gave me an internal. I was 5 cm dilated. She conceded
that I was in established labour and got the gas and air.
I super glued my hand to the mouthpiece and it kept me reasonably
sane. I was muttering 'I can't do this' over and over again
(and my husband, bless him, was irritatingly echoing 'yes,
you can' in the background).
I laboured like this for a further 4 hrs, sucking on the
gas and air, crying in between that I couldn't do it. Then
I just couldn't cope anymore with the strength of them and
the frequency, they were practically continuous. I screamed
for an epidural.
I had to wait an hour for this while they did a blood test
for something and got the anaesthetist.
Finally they put the epidural in, but it needed to be topped
up three times before I stopped feeling the pain.
Then, I felt nothing . . . it was bliss in comparison and
we sat watching 'Later with Jules Holland'!
The midwife decided that it might be time to up the dose
of oxytocin in my drip, but then blood started appearing in
the urine bag (catheter in due to the epidural) and I started
losing blood. An examination revealed I was only 7cm dilated
and the babies head was face up and twisted sideways.
The midwife was worried as my contractions were reading as
incredibly powerful, yet I wasn't progressing. She decided
to wait before upping the dose until they could do a blood
oxygen level test on the baby
The baby's heartbeat was showing signs of distress, but efforts
to get blood from baby's head to measure her oxygen levels
were failing due to her position. I hated watching them trying
to get this blood from my poor baby, Alec said he felt such
a strong protective urge at this point, he wanted to drag
the doctor away.
The midwife commented on how she could see our baby had dark
hair, I was so sure our baby would have fair hair, I was convinced
she'd got it wrong. She also kept saying he; and I was sure
we were having a girl, despite not finding out at the scan.
By now my urine was completely red and I was losing more
blood vaginally too.
They decided there was no option, but to do a caesarean section.
I was suddenly terrified and couldn't stop shaking.
They topped up the epidural and before I knew where I was,
husband had been gowned up and they were getting on with it.
I focussed on my husband's eyes while they got on with it.
I was amazed that it really WAS painless, just pulling and
tugging. The obstetrician called over the midwife at one point
and she gasped at what she saw. Apparently the lower portion
of my womb was pulled so tight, they could see little Evie's
face through it, facing up at them, blinking at the light.
A few moments later, I suddenly heard the most amazing noise,
my baby's cry! I immediately started crying too, it felt completely
wonderful They held her up to me and my husband and I both
said together 'a baby girl!'! (8lb 7oz). I whispered 'hey,
mummy's here!' and she just stopped crying immediately and
stared in my direction. She DID have dark hair!
After she was wrapped up, the midwife asked if I intended
to breastfeed. I said yes, and she whipped my breast out and
latched Evie on!
She stayed at my breast for an hour while I just cried with
joy and relief. Then we drank tea, ate toast and watched the
sun rise. A new day and a beautiful new baby daughter
It turned out that the bleeding was because the lower portion
of my uterus was beginning to rupture. (due to the powerful
contractions resulting form being induced, combined with babes
awkward position) We were very lucky, if the midwife has upped
the dose of the oxytocin as she very nearly did, it would
almost certainly have been fatal for the baby and possibly
The midwife took a wise decision. She was called Eve. Being
that Evie was on our list of girls names, it felt right that
we picked it!
They've advised that I have a section at 38 weeks in my next
pregnancy, because my uterus is unlikely to cope with another
set of contractions.
We watched the sun come up with a cup of tea and our new
So, it was all a bit scary and not completely as I had hoped,
but the end result was better than I had ever imagined.
The hospital was wonderful and I was out two and a half days
later and have recovered very well from the op.
Evie settled in very well at home and seems to have taken
to life on earth like a duck to water!
Four months on and we are still delighted with our beautiful
We think she's pretty impressed with us too (though equally
impressed with the chap behind the counter at the post office.
She's a very happy, alert little girl.
We both love her very much