Sunday, March 15, 2020

Labour, Delivery & Recovery of Baby Number Two.

I always knew my second labour would be different to my first but I guess I expected it to be easier. I was told pretty much from day one that your body knows what it is doing, that second babies come earlier, faster and with more ease. I had prepared myself for the best, I knew about the worse case scenarios but never expected these to ever take place. 

My hospital bags had been packed from 32 weeks and, thinking I had overpacked with my first, I packed for a short hospital stay with my baby. With Rupert I went into labour really quick, with no time to sit around, no time between contractions to think and so all the magazines and activities I had packed to pass the time weren’t needed. Little did I know I would have nineteen hours spare.

From Monday 9th of March I was experiencing signs of early labour, but with little to no evidence if they were the start of anything or something I was making up in my head in the hope of meeting my boy.

These continued through until Tuesday: with continuous back pain, cramps and sore feelings running through my hips as if something was pushing down on me. I had the contraction tracker on my Pregnancy Plus app out all day, timing the regular and irregular pains. I was getting really irritated and impatient. 

I put Rupert to bed as usual at 8pm and I had a huge feeling that this would be our final evening as just us. Really taking in the cuddles. I decided to take an early bed time and got into my pjs and snuggled up in bed for 9pm: I am so glad I did this as it was going to be my last bit of rest for a long time. 

11pm that evening I started to develop contractions so bad that I was making me curl my body together, this was when I knew I was in labour rather than false pains. 

I then did something I never would have done with my first, but this time I had more of an understanding around ways to deal with the pain yourself at home: Rather than running to the hospital straight away. I took some paracetamol and forced myself to breathe through the pain and sleep. Five minutes to midnight I woke up with more pains, they were getting stronger and I was unable to sleep through them. I decided to run a bath, which was what the hospital recommended with my first labour, I got in and allowed the hot water to sooth the contractions: lying in there also allowed me to time the contractions properly. I hadn't told anyone I was in labour at this point as they were really irregular, going ten mins and then three or five minutes between each contraction. 

At 1pm my mom came downstairs and we decided to get dressed, get the bags together and ring the hospital as the contractions were mild and manageable but regular and 4/5 mins apart.

We rang Harry and told him to get a taxi to the house as we were really unsure how fast things would progress. My mom spoke to a midwife on the phone who told us to try and manage the pain for max an hour. On Harry's arrival, 2:30am, we decided to get to the hospital to be accessed. 

The car journey was only about 15 mins long but my contractions settled, they were again further apart but stronger. We waited to be seen in the Triage clinic, I was examined and told that I was only 3cm dilated: I was told to go home and try to sleep for an hour or so and return when the pain was unmanageable. I was given some Codine pain relief and sent away, but my contractions were getting worse and I didn't want to go home just to come straight back again. So Harry and I sat in the waiting room, hoping things would progress. They didn't. 

It got to 5:20am and I was having no contractions at all, I was tired and being repeatedly sick with fainting spells. We decided to get in the car with my mom and go home to sleep. 

I lay on the sofa at home, knowing I would wake Rupert up if I went to bed. I slept from 5:30am to 6:30am when I was woken by a cuddly Ru and a contraction. I decided to wait for them to develop more and save us a pointless trip to hospital, which was a great as I had on and off contractions (having hours with nothing) until 2pm in the afternoon. Even taking a walk around the block to get them to speed up.

3pm we were back in Triage with on and off contractions: They were really strong and unbearable when they hit but didn't happen often enough. I was accessed with what could only be described as the worst sweep of my life. A sweep for those lucky enough to have not had one is where a midwife sticks her arm as far up you as she can get and swipes her hand around to try and get baby moving. Midwives love to joke and call it 'tickling babies head' which is a nice graphic for you.

I was told to go for a walk around the hospital because sending me home would be slightly risky as it was my second baby, meaning things can change really fast. I am so glad they didn't send me'll find out shortly.

4pm we walked from the women's hospital down a large flight of stairs to the main QE hospital just a five min walk away, Mom wanted a Costa so it made sense to walk there and back. By the time we had reached Costa I was having contractions 2 mins apart and they were unbearable. I was screaming, crying, scratching Harry and unable to stand. I got back to Triage where I was crying for the midwives to see me and give me some pain relief. 

At this point I had been in labour for 18 and a half hours with nothing but paracetamol and a bath. 

5:30pm I was taken to the delivery suite where I was SCREAMING for gas and air, plus an epidural. This was something I didn't have with Ru and up until that moment...never wanted. But I contact a lot in my legs and from being in labour such a long time my legs were burning and shaking. I just wanted all the pain to go away. 

The midwife started to get the Gas and Air ready..which didn't in the pipe wasn't working and I wasn't able to get the pain relief I wanted. The midwife took her time trying to fix the problem and finally got someone in to help to fix the problem.

6pm was when I was finally given gas and air. It wasn't doing a lot because they were so intense and I was in pain from having them for so long. I was in so much agony that I was screaming for an epidural. 

The midwife left the room to get everything ready for me to have the epidural. 6:15pm I was still fully clothed, having immense contractions and my waters were still in tact...just about. 

I could feel a water balloon really down low between my legs which over the hour was really annoying me. I hadn't been examined by my midwife who still wasn't in the room, I was clothed with my leggings on and baby's heartbeat hadn't been checked once. 

I felt a huge push down in my body. Now if you've ever had a baby you'll know what I mean, when you push during labour it is out of your control. Your body pushes down and you can't stop it. With each gasp of the gas I was feeling a huge surge of needing to push. 

6:20pm I pushed down whilst screaming at who ever would hear, that I was pushing. I pushed down and felt a huge pop and a gush of water gushed out of my legs and through my leggings to the floor. 

My mom panicked and ran into the corridor to find any midwife or help to tell them I wanted to push. My midwife reappeared and my mom was taking my leggings off. 

His head was nearly out.

They tried to get me to lie on the bed but I was in so much pain and the pushing sensation was taking over my body: I couldn't move.

I got myself lying on my side on the bed as I couldn't get on my back.

I pushed down whilst screaming 'I need an epidural' and In my dazed and panic state I remember faintly hearing people say 'It's too late', 'Keep your legs open' and 'He's nearly here'.

I had no idea what was happening which scared me so much.

I pushed down and his head came out.

I felt the midwife's hands moving around and spinning his body almost. With one more push I felt the body come out, followed with a flood of water (I don't like to think about what else was in there). 

He was placed on my belly and covered in a blanket.

Born ten mins after pushing.

I would love to say I was overwhelmed with emotion and cried but I didn't, I lay there shaking and staring at the ceiling. I couldn't process what happened, I was still so scared.

I was given the injection to get my placenta out and Harry cut the cord. The baby was passed to Harry and I was still taking the gas. I remember the midwife saying she was going to pull my cord to get the placenta out, which petrified me as I was unaware of what she was doing or what she meant. Everything was happening too fast for me to process that it was sending me into states of anxiety and panic attacks. The placenta was born and I felt so happy that it was all I thought.

The midwife didn't wait around and wanted to examine me for tears and cuts. I still hadn't calmed down and had the midwife checking my area, which didn't hurt but as I said I was still in a panic and didn't understand what was going on. The words 'You don't need any stitches or further aid' was music to my ears and I could finally relax. 

I was shaking, scared and completely out of it. 

I was asked a few times if I wanted to hold my baby but I couldn't even talk. I shook my head. I didn't want to hold him which makes me feel so guilty now but I just felt so empty and shocked I didn't want that to be my first experience with him. I wanted to hold him and see him and be able to process it with love, which I wasn't feeling in that moment. 

About Half an hour passed and I was able to move my body to sit up, eat some toast and have a sip of some tea. I was coming round and able to hold my baby and see him properly. 

He was perfect. 

People were taking photos and FaceTiming and I just felt so overwhelmed.

8pm came around and I felt better.

I was able to stand, get off the bed and walk into the bathroom for a shower and deadly 'first wee'. I stood in the wet room, naked, with my mom helping me shower: a moment I had when Rupert was born that makes me feel so lucky to have my mom around. I showered and was able to go for a wee with no problem, bare in mind it took me two days to wee after Rupert as I was in so much pain.

I got into my nightdress and slippers and was wheeled up to the ward with my baby. It was scary as I was instantly thrown into an unknown environment with a very newborn baby, with my support system being sent home.

The first night was a lot easier than expected. I was exhausted and able to sleep, my newborn slept for hours on end. This was so strange to me because Ru was a nightmare for sleep for the first few months: I slept most of the evening despite having my hand on his tummy the whole time to make sure he was breathing.

Morning came around, 7am, wake up which was much later than I would have woken at home with Ru. We were instantly taken for his newborn checks and then I was assigned someone to do mine. I felt a huge amount of support from the midwives: more than I did before. I had a wonderful lady listen to my breastfeeding story from Ru and spent ages working with me on techniques, showing me how to pump and stimulate more milk and even went through different ways other than BF that I could do. If I would have had this with my first, I don't think I would have had such a horrible first few months with him and my confidence in being a mom wouldn't have been shattered.

Then came the time for Rupert to meet his new brother. He walked down the ward corridor with me shouting 'Peppa Balloon' and entreated the ward to see his dad with his new brother. It didn't go to well, mainly because he was tired and hungry. He didn't want to know his baby brother at all and was getting very grumpy. He did show him his 'Peppa Balloon' and gave him his own 'Baby Boy' one. 

Let me tell you though since coming home he has been so loving.

We were able to go home around 12 midday, which was a fast turn around. I felt a lot more comfortable as everything had been done with so much detail and love by the staff. I was going home to start my new life. 



  1. Congratulations! Might have taken a long time, and not gone as expected but it's all worth it in the end x

  2. Although it sounds like a horrible birth, I'm so glad you have recovered quickly! Rupert is going to be the best big brother!

  3. Congratulations Leah, he is absolutely gorgeous. I'm glad to hear you've recovered well, but the experience sounds like it was really difficult for you!

    Lucy | Forever September

  4. Congratulations! SOunds a little traumatic but he's so beautiful x

    Joyce |

  5. Massive congratulations!! OMG I am so broody right now but it is so good to read a real account rather than seeing the glamourised version I see on socials!

  6. congratulations - sorry you had such a long and stressful labour but wishing you all the happiest time together x

  7. Oh bless you, the second time around didn't sound as "easy" as you had hoped it would be. Not that it is easy I'm sure but you know what I mean.

    I am glad you and baby are well :)

    Amy x
    The July Rose


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