Friday 18 August 2017

Emilia Rey Adams | Labour and delivery story

On July 24th 2017 at 5.53am we welcomed our daughter Emilia Rey Adams into the world. After exactly 40 weeks of pregnancy, various scans, antenatal classes, morning sickness, uncomfortable nights with my pregnancy pillow and having swollen body parts I didn't even know had the capacity to swell, we finally met our Emilia. Here is her birth story.

Emilia Rey Adams first moments
When I was pregnant I must have read hundreds of these types of posts. It seemed I had developed a morbid curiosity over what to expect from giving birth and the labour experience and I made it my mission to collect ever morsel of information I could find in writing up my birth plan (which you can read a little bit about right here) And did it go to plan you ask? Absolutely not! 

Everything kicked off at around 5.45am on Sunday the 23rd of July, one day before my official due date. My waters had gone pretty spectacularly when I woke to go for what must have been my 10th pee of the night. I woke Nick to let him know 'it's happening' only to be met with a very sleepy 'what's happening?' Though while my waters had gone that was where it pretty much halted, contractions didn't come on right away as I had expected them to and we were sort of at a loss of what to do. We had been told by our midwife at the antenatal classes we attended to wait for contractions to begin before calling the hospital so we went back to bed and slept for a couple of hours, woke had breakfast,  pottered about the house for a while. Still nothing happened, though my waters had continued to come.

At around 2.30pm we decided we couldn't just sit around waiting anymore and decided to give the hospital a call. We were given a 4pm appointment and pointed in the direction of the Westburn Ward of Aberdeen Maternity Hospital where I was hooked up to a machine to help monitor baby's heartbeat and movement patterns. As my contractions hadn't started, and there was some meconium detected in my waters, it was explained to us that as I was considered to be having a 'higher risk or red pathway' birth I wouldn't be able to give birth in the midwife led unit and would be taken through to the labour ward when there were more staff members available. Of course we were fairly disappointed as it meant we wouldn't be getting the birth experience we had expected initially however in the moment we were really just more concerned with making sure baby was delivered safely.

We were monitored consistently by our midwife, Hannah, over the next few hours and sat in our little room (on what can only be described as the worlds most uncomfortable bed and chair) watching Netflix on my phone until 12.30am on the 24th of July - which was when both a spot became available on the labour ward AND when they had the staff (thank goodness for cereal bars and still Lucozade!) Things finally seemed to be on the move and I was set to 'be induced'

Hannah explained that as my contractions still hadn't started on their own that I was to be monitored for baby heart rate and that I would be placed on a hormone drip that would be increased every half hour that would begin my contractions for me. Did all of this go to plan? Nope. As baby kept moving and squirming it was nigh impossible to get a good trace of her heart rate so she had to be monitored by placing a clip on her head, further reducing my plans for an 'active' labour.

It finally reached 2.30am after more monitoring and having my hormone drip placed things began to kick off. I was dilated 2cm and was told due to having the artificial hormone that I would next be checked over in 6 hours time as things don't tend to progress as quickly and that this time period is standard procedure. The contractions began to build steadily over the next hour and a bit, I would say they were a very manageable pain for the first hour and a bit until I finally caved and asked for gas and air. The gas and air was not pleasant and made me sick almost immediately, it of course helped in taking the edge off of the pain and made me feel a 'drunk dizzy' which helped distract from the pain but it very quickly became apparent that this would not be enough.

Though my contractions had began to build relatively slowly things really ramped up at around 4.00am when I was having back to back contractions with very little break in between, we're talking mere seconds to recover. As the pain had reached quite an intense level I really could only communicate in grunts, nods and shakes so when Nick suggested (begged) I try a higher form of pain relief I nodded and one shot of morphine was administered. I'm not sure as to whether or not the morphine really did help in terms of relieving the pain, though from then on it didn't get much more painful so perhaps that's how it's really meant to work. The hormone drip I had been on was reduced as the midwives were worried that baby was coming too fast, but by then it was too late, she was ready and I was ready to push, in fact I was REALLY ready to push (they aren't kidding when they tell you that your body just knows and tells you when you're ready and when to push, trust your bodies ladies!)

In my opinion the pushing stage hurt far less than the contractions and I didn't feel as though I was pushing for very long at all (though Nick says it felt like forever - but perhaps my memory is already getting hazy) I was pretty determined I wasn't going to have any intervention or assistance in my delivery, and as my birth experience hadn't quite gone to plan thus far I was giving the pushing stage my all.

And in just over 24 hours after my front waters broke (did you know you have front and back waters by the way?) and only 3 and a half hours in labour Emilia Rey Adams finally arrived at 5.53am on July 24th 2017 weighing a lovely 7lbs 8.5oz, stealing our hearts and turning us into a family of three.

Thank you for reading my labour and delivery story, while my birth didn't 100% 'to plan' I still consider it to have been a positive experience and would do it all again (no time soon of course!)

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Pregnancy Update | The Third Trimester

Pregnancy experience

Here we are at the home stretch. This has to have been the quickest pregnancy in the history of pregnancies! The third trimester begins at the 29th week of pregnancy and goes on until your due date (and after) at 40 - 42 weeks.

This trimester has been characterised by at times colossal feeling weight gain, trouble sleeping and swollen hands and feet (primarily due to the heatwave we have experienced here in sunny Scotland this summer!) 

The third trimester began very smoothly, baby continued to grow at the optimum pace and didn't give me too much of a hard time, she kicked and wiggled regularly and at times it really did feel like I was growing a parkour enthusiast or incubating the next Bruce Lee,  but it really felt amazing... though jarring at times. We attended antenatal classes at our local GP with our community midwife in order to get a better idea of what to include in our birth plan - which you can read a bit more on here.

Over the course of the third trimester my weight increased at a rate I wasn't expecting - it was as if I woke one morning and had this massive baby bump. Nothing fit me anymore, walking to and from anywhere felt like a struggle and towards the very end it really did feel as though the baby could just drop out at any moment.

My maternity leave officially began 2 weeks prior to my due date, for which I had plans of organising the house, washing all of the baby clothes and clearing out my cupboards and perhaps even receiving a bit of pampering and seeing a few movies at the cinema before baby decided to make her entrance. I was lucky enough to have help throughout the first week of my maternity leave as Nick took a holiday so we could have a mini 'baby moon' before madam arrived. We took it easy, went to the cinema, out for some meals and got a few last minute bits and pieces organised to make life with a newborn that little bit easier. As we had been told our baby was measuring on the larger side and that her head was already engaged we were waiting on tender hooks for her arrival... of course that didn't happen!

As time moved on - keeping in mind I still hadn't reached my due date I grew impatient and really quite miserable. All I wanted to do was shut myself away and not communicate with anyone bar Nick until my baby arrived. I was SO uncomfortable. Due to my weight gain walking was a struggle. particularly in the heat we had been enduring in Aberdeen, my back was in agony (thanks to a pregnancy massage from Pure Spa that only seemed to make things worse!) and my hands and feet were swollen beyond recognition, as in my wedding and engagement rings came off and I had ONE pair of shoes that could just go on my feet anymore!

But it was all soon to be over as my waters broke on the 23rd of July (one day before my due date) and as you all know our beautiful Emilia Rey Adams was born exactly on her due date of July 24th 2017.

Stick around in the coming weeks to read all about my labour and delivery story, what went to plan, what didn't go to plan and hopefully I'll have a chance to sit down with a warm(ish) coffee and write all about our first few weeks with a newborn. Keep updated via my social channels of Bloglovin, Twitter and Instagram.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Emilia Rey Adams

She's finally here!

Welcome to the world Emilia Rey Adams, born exactly on her due date, July 24th 2017 at 5.53am weighing 7lbs 8.5oz.

We honestly couldn't be more in love with her and we are so excited to begin our new life as a family of three plus our fur baby Marble.

I'm planning on writing down my labour and delivery story very soon as well as a summing up of the third trimester while it's all still fresh in my mind, they really aren't kidding when they say how quickly you forget specific details and how quickly you forget the pain.

Until then we'll be living in our new family love bubble a little while longer,

H.Elizabeth x

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