Better late than never, she is almost seven months, so we need to jump back to the 17th March.
I was due on the 26th April so I was not meant to go on maternity leave until the 31st March. This specific day we had a film crew at work and I arrived earlier than usual to help them to set up which meant that I ran up and down the stairs a lot. I joked with the crew and said that running up and down these stairs will probably kickstart the labour. Little did I know that this seems to have been exactly what happened.
The filming went on throughout the morning and after that we went straight into a hectic lunch service. I noticed a few contractions on and off during the day but didn’t think much of it as I was only 34 weeks. I assumed that it was just the famous Braxton Hicks you hear about. If I would have been 40 odd weeks I would have probably paid more attention to them.
There were a couple of times when I even had to stop what I was doing, grab hold of something near me and breath for a bit. You would think that might be a clue that it was the real deal, but no…
As I was leaving work about 4pm I briefly mentioned to two people that I have had fake contractions during the day and was going to clock them now just for fun. We laughed about it and I said I’ll see you on Monday, have a great weekend.
So I downloaded an app and started to track my contractions as I climbed on my bike and cycled to Mio’s after school club to pick him up. When I arrived I realised that I was right to start tracking as it came up with 3 minutes apart, 30 seconds for each contraction, apart from when I was on the bike and didn’t count all of them.
I started to get a little bit nervous as it was too early but I still didn’t really realise that it might be real. We walked home together and as we got there about 5pm I went to the toilet and realised that something that looked a lot like the mucus plug left my body. This is when I started to worry a bit but I still couldn’t quite take in that it was happening. I called the maternity ward and they said that I should probably come up but I could hear that they didn’t think anything would happen.
I called The Italian and told him what was happening. I could hear in his voice that he worried but he tried to stay calm to keep me calm. He left work straight away and we said we would meet at the hospital.
Ok, so what do I do with Mio? We had planned for my dad to come to London before the due date, but that was five weeks away so he wasn’t there yet. I called a friend of mine who lived around the corner as her son was Mio’s best friend as well and it felt like the best option. No answer…. I tried again, and again at the same time as I threw a few things in a bag that I thought I might need in case I was at the hospital for a few hours or maybe even the whole night. I finally got through and we went in a taxi to the hospital and met her there and Mio went to her house for a sleepover.
I went upstairs to the 6th floor and the corridor was filled with women in the same situation waiting to be checked or admitted. I am not entirely sure what time we are on now but I would guess about 6.30pm. I was told to sit on one of the chairs and wait for someone to come and see me. The Italian arrived at the same time as a lady came over to me with a thermometer and a plastic cup. The thermometer went into my ear and I was told to go to the bathroom with the cup and come back with a urine sample. Said and done.
I was shown into a room at 7.30pm and they did a swab test to check the water and to get a clearer idea of what was happening. They realised that some of the water from the back had gone. That’s when I realised that it had been trickling out a little bit throughout the day yesterday… It’s hard to know what’s what when pregnant, I thought that maybe it was discharge (which you have quite a lot while pregnant) or maybe I actually peed myself, although I hadn’t done it yet I thought that maybe today is the day that it starts. But it turns out that it was actually the water that was on it’s way out.
I should also mention that I had an appointment with the midwife the day before and she didn’t notice anything unusual, the baby was growing fine and all my results were fine.
After their discovery I heard the sentence that all women in labour want to hear – “You will be admitted to this hospital now and you will stay here until the baby arrives” – HEAVEN!
As I got sent home with Mio this made me feel very safe and looked after. I was left in this room for a bit and wasn’t moved to another room until about 9pm. I shared this new room with another girl who didn’t seem to have any contractions at all, they were eating Mcdonalds and watching tv shows on their phones.
I, on the other hand, had contractions on and off and it felt so nice to have a bit of a break in-between them as I didn’t have any breaks at all during my previous labour. I do apologise about not knowing the term names for all the things that are happening to me from hereon…
We waited for about an hour and the contractions were stronger and stronger and closer together. Midwives came and went and they noticed that it was more intense but they were having problems finding a CTG-machine that could measure the baby’s heart rate. As soon as they finally hooked me up to one of them at 10pm the pressure on my belly really got things going and the breaks in-between the contractions were gone. As I had a c-section last time they had to put a thing in my hand that they could hook up to something in case I had to be rushed into surgery. Three different midwives tried three times each but it just didn’t work so they gave up.
I realised around this time that the baby was actually coming today and I started to ask if she was going to be ok as she was premature. They answered me vaguely but I luckily didn’t really register this and in my head I thought that it just had to be ok.
At 11pm a doctor came to see how many centimetres I was open and asked if my water had broken yet. I said that I didn’t think so, but clearly I didn’t know what it felt like so I wasn’t sure. She examined me and realised that I was 9cm open and at the same time as she told me that, water was gushing out. Now this was quite a strange situation as she had her whole (??) hand inside me and looked me deep into my eyes and said “That’s your water coming out now” And then her hand stayed inside me until it was done…
After that I was wheeled into a labour room and they asked me if I felt the urge to push. Although Mio was born with c-section it was an emergency one so I went all the way to being ready to push and at that time the urge came from under my boobs and it was impossible to stop.
This time I didn’t really feel anything at all but I assumed that they knew what they were talking about when they said that it was time to push at about 11.30pm. So I pushed and pushed and pushed. She went down and down and down but clearly the urge wasn’t strong enough so it was really difficult to get in the flow and get her to come all the way out. The doctor said that as she was so little they felt that she needs to come out soon so I was to push another couple of times and if she didn’t come out then she would assist me slightly.
I though to myself that I hope to God that she doesn’t mean forceps… I could see in the corner of my eye that she started to open a package and surely there it was, the massive tool that was meant to come inside me. I don’t know if you’ve even seen forceps but they’re basically as big as a spatula. Sadly after two more pushes the baby was still inside me so in they went. So in between my legs we have a head, two spatulas and as I’m sure you understand it was not the most comfortable situation I’ve been in.
One more push and she was out at 11.48pm on the 17th March. The most beautiful girl with lots of black hair.
They put her straight on my chest which I was vey very happy about as I missed that moment with Mio. Sadly they cut the cord straight away as I hadn’t had time to tell anyone that I would like for it to be attached for as long as possible.
They brought her over to the other side of the room and weighed her. She weighed 2.1kg which meant that we didn’t have to go to neonatal. Their cut off was 1.7kg or under 34 weeks. I was 34 + 3 the day we went into labour.
The doctor started to stitch me up at the same time and they sent the Italian off to the shop to buy nappies as we didn’t have any with us. The doctor said that she thought that it was a normal tear even after the forceps but it felt as if she was working down there for ever. Everyone says that once the baby is out all the pain goes away. Yes the contractions are gone but the sewing hurt like hell, so she had to keep adding local anaesthetics. After she was done she put a massive cloth inside to check if there was still any bleeding.. And then she shoved a pill up my bottom for the pain. Needless to say she was not my favourite person after that and I said that she wasn’t allowed to come near me anymore…
After The Italian came back everyone else left and we were alone in the room until after 2am. We spent this time cuddling our new family member and just feeling calm and happy.
We were taken up to the eighth floor and once there The Italian was sent home.
2.45am they brought some clothes for her as we didn’t have any.
We were woken up every three hours for the next week while we were in the hospital to check for her temperature and blood sugar and blood pressure etc. I managed to breastfeed straight away but she was also offered a bit of formula to top up and luckily she took the bottle easily as well.
It was tough to stay in the hospital for a whole week and I missed Mio like crazy. But every time I felt like I just wanted to go home I felt ungrateful for the help we had received and the privilege we have to receive hospital care for free for that long.
So there it is, the story of how Macy arrived. I wish I had been a bit more like Margaux Dietz and documented a bit more but sadly in the moment we forgot all of that.
No one has given me an explanation of why she came early and I will never find out.