Leah’s Birth Story and One Week PostPartum Update!

From broken waters to one week postpartum – Leah shares her birth story

25th September!

I woke up and rushed to the loo thinking I’d pee’d myself (something I hadn’t done throughout the entire pregnancy)
There was a small trickle but it didn’t smell like urine our have the normal yellow tinge – it was clear and in all honesty smelt like a mix of bleach and semen. I put on a pad just in case it happened again and headed back to bed. 
Low and behold a slightly bigger gush in the exact same scent and colour so I changed the pad again and decided to wake Ben for advice – he said to put on a pad and call triage if I got any contractions (worse than the ones I’d been getting since the 9th) or got a bigger gush. Disclaimer; I didn’t call triage due to us having an appointment at 9am at the hospital anyway. 
[5, 630 and 730am]
Repeated the pad change with a little less fluid than at the 4am change. 
Left home for the growth scan with contractions slowly getting more intense, and with Ben starting to believe it might actually be happening. 
Arrived at the hospital with contractions getting considerably worse and leakage now happening on almost every step/movement. 
We got called into the growth scan, I explained my morning and leaked big style as I laid down on the table. The sonographer examined me and verified I had in fact been losing waters and had very little left but also that little Spawn was measuring small so induction was going to be booked. We was then sent to wait for a midwife to do a cervical exam to check if I was dilated and to get a second opinion on the leakage. 
Called into exam room and given a once over; not a comfortable experience by the way.
Midwife verified that it was my waters but that my cervix wasn’t dilated and told that he has 24 hours from when my waters initially broke to make his appearance otherwise he’d be getting a forced eviction (induction). Admitted on antenatal within a couple minutes and made comfy.
This then starts the most boring few hours of my life bar the medium pain contractions I continued to suffer through. 
Contractions started getting stronger and closer together – a painkiller stronger than paracetamol requested (but not given until 230am)

26th September!

Given oramorph finally and Ben arrived at hospital ready for me being moved to Labour ward for induction, but not allowed into antenatal; decided to go sleep in the car until allowed in. 
Still hadn’t been moved despite being promised to be moved by 4am. Ben still sleeping in car and contractions still very intense. 
Ben allowed up into antenatal due to them not sticking to the promise, despite the visiting time rules. 
Finally moved to Labour ward as contractions to the point of crying/struggling to breathe even though a super grumpy midwife was adamant I wasn’t in enough pain and wasn’t meant to go across for induction. Contractions actually floored me before and during walk to ward. Given gas and air.

Given pethidine due to contractions being so intense and barely felt needle due to being so high on g+a. Ben given strict instructions to not make jokes during Labour and also had to assist me walking to the toilet due to being so high – thought I needed to pee but was in fact waters leaking a lot. 
Officially in established Labour – 2cm dilated. 
Second stage of Labour started. Struggled to remember breathing techniques; kept breathing in deep but on outward breathe kept pushing into coccyx. Persistently moaned that I wanted a C-Section and did not let up. Felt very strong urge to push but told not to. Checked cervix shortly after and told I was 8cm dilated hence urge being so intense. Given °2 episiotomy.
(Crowning picture taken. Such a gross but beautiful photo!)
Little Sith Lord Spawn arrived and instantly pee’d on me.
My first words ever spoken to my son was “Aww he’s such a pretty potato”
Felt an overwhelming love seeing Ben holding Anthony; refused to hold him myself due to being too high and not wanting to drop him. 
Given pitocin to help deliver placenta – taken 6 minutes. Episiotomy stitched up whilst on gas and air and made Ben talk to me to distract me from the needle pain. Gas and air taken away – slowly came back to earth. Wanted to get up and dressed but told to relax for a little while so adrenaline can come back down. 
Given first feed via hand expressing and spoon. 
Moved to postnatal ward, given a couple sandwiches and made room homely with blanket and pillow. 
*36 hours Labour // 3 hours 4 mins active Labour*


 Day One 

Now 90% of day one is in my birth story so this one will be brief but there is a few small things to be mentioned.

First of all being how incredible my husband is with supporting me through the gas and air come down, and then through the fear of holding our newborn son; without Ben by my side I doubt I would’ve got through the first night admittedly purely because of how nerve wrecking everything was so thank you Ben for being my saviour and keeping me mentally straight.

Secondly, pooping! I was told this was going to be agony due to having stitches but actually it was the complete opposite and I had very minimal pain from my stitches, although I did have pain in the form of ring sting from the pre-labour clear out which lasted a good couple days.

Another symptom that doesn’t get spoken about regularly is cold sweats during both day and night – this can be quite a stressful experience and a little worrying but it’s completely normal and the easiest way to combat it is with a mass amount of hydration and thin blankets. 

 Day Two 

This day started off awful as little man wasn’t holding his temperature and had to be put in an incubator with minimal handling (only allowed to be held during feeds and changes) – this was extremely deflating and made me feel a little lacking a mother in the inability to grow my child properly.

I hand expressed 15mls which was amazing for only being on the second day but then I tried skin to skin to get him to latch but his mouth/suck was too small and he strug
gled so I ended up giving in and feeding him via spoon which took him almost an hour – very disheartening to not be able to breastfeed when it’s all I ever wanted to do through pregnancy as the feeding option.

The upside of this day however was that little man decided to open his eyes briefly and we got to see his very shiny fresh eyes which made the day that little bit more bearable. 

 Day Three 

Little man was moved from spoon feeding to teets as his feeds got increased – I managed to keep up with both hand expressing and pumping but still very flattened by the lack of breastfeeding.
Emotions started to dip so broke the rules of Ben not being allowed on the bed and had cuddles – I cried, a lot! and thanked him for giving me this life with all our babies. The hormone dip was awful and with me being so stubborn on crying I felt very out of control – cried multiple time and even had to hug two midwives due to getting emotional. THIS DOES NOT LAST; DO NOT FEEL WEAK FOR TEMPORARY HORMONES. 

 Day Four 

We had a minor achievement in the form of little man latching but only for about three seconds; made me feel incredibly happy to know it could be a possibility but again gave a dip as I felt unable to do what was ‘expected’ for a mother. That being said, not being able to breastfeed doesn’t make you less of a mother or a failure in anyway and as long as you are feeding your child then you are doing a perfectly fine job! Don’t give up because you may end up successful like I did on day six.

In the afternoon we were allowed home and it was honestly one of the most terrifying experience I’d had in a while as I knew I wouldn’t have the midwives or doctors to help if things went wrong but with the help of Ben I managed to just about hold it together to enjoy it for a few minutes.

In the hospital before we left I was told to follow the rule of feeding 30mls every three hours which in turn made the first night incredibly difficult along with us not playing music and having the light off. I was waking every three hours on the dot and trying to feed regardless of whether he wanted to or not which made me sleep deprived, stressed and very emotional (along with the baby blues starting to take effect very strongly). The rule should be; sleep when they sleep and feed them when they cry – don’t force yourself to follow any strict rules as you will just end up stressing yourself out more than you should, which will in turn stress out the baby (and potentially your partner too).
 Day Five 

This was hands down the hardest day of my mothering journey yet, and maybe my life due to the downward plummet my hormones took – it was incredibly steep and I felt broken in every possible way mentally. Thankfully a midwife popped over to drop off a electric breast pump for me to use as I was engorged to crying point and the pump we had wasn’t working; we talked through my emotions of the night/morning and was told it was completely normal having just had little one but to keep an eye incase it doesn’t ease (which can be a sign of PND – YOU ARE NOT WEAK OR LESS WORTHY OF BEING A MOTHER IF YOU HAVE THIS!)

After a few hours of calming down my wonderful neighbour, Jessica, came over to give me some human contact that wasn’t my husband or son and let me rant/rave at her about the struggles of becoming a mother… It helped more than anyone will ever realise. Don’t hold those feelings in and feel like your wrong for having them – talking always helps in one way or another. 

Oh and baby blues are incredibly fucking rough, or at least they are for me but as I said talking helps! Wishing you was back in hospital or that split second thought where you wish you hadn’t got caught pregnant does NOT make you a bad mother. It’s the hormones – you still love your child and don’t really think those things.

Baby blues does NOT last and crying does NOT make you weak. Walking away from your child for a moment and asking for help doesn’t make you weak either.

Basically nothing we did the night before would settle him – not food, cuddles with either of us or his dummy and I started wishing I was back in the hospital becaus
e atleast they knew what they was doing and could help, and due to the way I was feeling I got scared to be alone with him and was scared to go outside in case he did it again (incase someone judged or I broke in public).

The upside? He started to open his eyes alot more and kept them open which gave me strength in making me believe I knew what I was doing ever so slightly. 

 Day Six 

If you are not breastfeeding or using formula exclusively then pumping is essential to not getting mastitis, which might not sound like a painful thing but it can ruin your week! Thankfully I only got a few lumps and a couple red patches before running to the pump and feeling receive beyond belief. 
Seems stupid to mention but don’t use your dominant side constantly as you WILL get muscle pains that you didn’t realise you could get. 

The rule sleep when the baby sleeps is so essential as is so easy to get over tired which will make the hormone dip feel so much harder. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your partner, family or even friends – they will not turn down baby cuddles!

The best thing that happened this day? Something that helped pull me up out of my hormone dip – Our little man latched!! He took to the boob as if he knew exactly what he was doing and was extremely happy with himself. 

 Day Seven 

Breastfeeding, when done properly, feels so damn amazing! Your milk leaving your body feels something beautiful and knowing it’s going to growing your tiny human is so rewarding. Although that being said the hunger you get from breastfeeding/pumping is horrendous – eating a meal and then instantly making another becomes a little tedious. Starving is definitely a something that felt possible despite eating so much. Protein is your friend and vital in making you feel human again – Stock up!
I didn’t start getting postpartum contractions until I started breastfeeding exclusively but holy fuck! They were comparable to my Endometriosis pains and almost made me go back to bottle feeding. They, much like almost every other bad thing in pregnancy/postpartum, taper off and stop. They also help your body bounce back to prepregnancy function.

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