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Our Names: Amanda & Tony Finestone
Baby: Ally
Date of Birth: 2nd June 2001
Time of Birth - 17:48
Weight - 7lb 8oz
Place of birth - Watford General Hospital
Email: AgfLondon@aol.comm

My baby was due on 26th May, and I was getting more & more excited. I had had a fairly easy pregnancy - my only real problem had been my back and I hadn't had any sickness. But towards the end, I think my body had enough - I got piles (mmm hmm!) and I started to get quite swollen. Then the real problem kicked in - I developed a hideous rash all over my body, which left me in tearing agony, clawing at my skin until it bled. The rash was caused by an overload of hormones, so we all agreed the only way to end the rash was to end the pregnancy! I was already 4 days overdue, so it seemed the best way forward.

I was admitted into Katherine Ward at Watford General Hospital at 6.30 on Thursday evening and was given my first dose of petocin at 9.00pm.The induction started working fairly quickly, and I spent most of the night and Friday in labour, until the late afternoon, it all inexplicably stopped. The hospital staff said I could go home to sleep, and they would re-start me on Saturday morning. We went back at 7.30 on Saturday morning, and this time, the induction really kicked in - I was labouring fairly intensely, and was really feeling like it would be time to push very soon. But, oh no - after 6 hours of mad contractions, I had barely dilated at all. The registrar decided that they would break my waters to help me along, so I was taken to delivery suite and given my lovely, lovely, epidural - sweet bliss, as my back had gone into spasm, and I was in complete and excruciating agony. As the epidural went in, my waters broke on their own, and I dilated 3cms almost immediately. But by then, Ally had had enough - I had been in labour for the best part of 48 hours, and her heart rate dropped. The registrar & midwife told me I'd need a c-section. So they wheeled me into theatre, Tony put on some scrubs (very handsome he looked too!) and the surgical team took over - there were about 5 midwives, a surgeon, the registrar, a paediatrician and the anaesthetist - so many people!!!!

Tony was able to watch as she came out - it was the most intensely emotional experience of both of our lives - they gave her to Tony, then to me almost immediately, and we both just gazed at her in wonder. Talk about love at first sight! She is so beautiful, absolutely precious & perfect! She weighed in at 7lbs 8ozs and was 53cms long.

The midwives at the hospital were amazing - I don't have a single complaint. We had booked a private room in advance, which I found wonderful - I was able to sleep without any interruptions and my family were able to come & go as they liked without the restriction of visiting hours. Plus the food was great - and my appetite was hearty from the very second she was born!

We came home on the 5th day, and she has been angel ever since. She goes 4 hourly between her feeds, sleeps well and is just a joy to both of us!

And for those of you eagerly anticipating your births... don't be scared. Labour was fine, hard, but gratifying. The epidural was great, and I've had no complications from it, and the C-section is also fine - Ally's birth may not have been my ideal case scenario, but it was a very positive experience none the less. And my baby is here, and healthy, and really, that's what counts!!!



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