Vicki Cockerill aka NICU Mum talking all things NICU, HEART, parent and toddler related with honesty, hormones, humour and finding any excuse for a GIN. Hoping to help and comfort others going through the same thing and to improve the NICU experience for all.
*Please be CHD aware, 1 in 100 babies are born with a congenital heart disease *
Thursday, 20 July 2017
The time Fajita night resulted in having a baby in a bath.
What did happen was something no one was expecting.
Wednesday the 5th July… a mundane sort of day
spent cleaning the house and doing the weekly shop. With Greg going back to
work the next day I was determined to make sure everything was ready for when
this baby arrived! I was three days off my due date and still hadn’t had one
single sign this baby was imminently coming. I had been receiving messages from
quite a few people asking if baby was here yet. I was getting fed up as
everything I had tried to induce labour failed miserably and every morning for
the last two weeks I woke up disappointed I wasn’t in labour! I gave up,
walking didn’t help, pineapple made me sick and I was beginning to tire of the raspberry
leaf tea. This baby was staying put.
In the evening I put Elijah bed, and we began to settle down
for the evening. Fajitas had been served
and consumed and we were then about to watch Die Hard 2. At around 9.30pm I
began to get a pain across my stomach and down below. I thought nothing of it
after all I had been getting aches and pains for 9 months straight. It passed,
then another came, it passed, then another. I thought I may have an upset
stomach so went upstairs. I was right and over the next 15 minutes I was
getting pain every 2 minutes and rushing up and down to the bathroom. I began
to track what were quite obviously contractions and they were 2 minutes apart.
I told Greg that they shouldn’t be this close, and we made a plan to see what
was happening in half an hour. (Currently John McClane was still waiting in the
airport not even chasing the bad guys yet!) as it approached 10.00pm it was
clear these contractions were ramping up and the breathing and ball were not
helping (in between made dashes to the toilet), I came down again and was on
all fours on the sofa only to throw up my fajitas which can I say is one of the
worst foods in the world to come back up.
Once I was sick knew this was the real thing, I had been
very sick when I was in labour with Elijah. I ran up to the toilet again, and
Elijah had woken up. As Greg tried to settle him in the next room to the
bathroom, I began to push. Something felt strange, it felt as though the baby
was coming RIGHT NOW. I felt myself stretching and a pressure coming, it had
only been half an hour and my waters hadn’t even gone. I was lifting off the
toilet seat!Then, as tried to get up to
help with Elijah, my plug came out, and I whimpered that I was bleeding to
Greg. He came in, and I said now was the time to call my Nan down to look after
Elijah. Before he went to call her, my waters broke all over his feet!
Literally shooting out like in the movies! At this point I think although I
could feel this baby was coming I was slightly in denial that this was it, but
that confirmed it! I begged him to run me a bath and got in on all fours.
We were labelled as a high-risk pregnancy so when things got
going we needed to call the delivery suite. It was decided that I would need to
go onto a drip after previously haemorrhaging in labour with Elijah. After Greg had arranged a taxi for my Nan to
get down, he was about to call them when I was pushing A LOT. I told him I
think he should call an ambulance instead as this baby was coming and fast but
I don’t think he believed me. I, remember him disappearing off to find the
number for the delivery suite from the trusty Bounty pack and as I was on my
own bath filling I turned over onto my back. Greg appeared, and was on the
phone to the delivery suite and was asked to examine me, I was now screaming
like a cow being taken to slaughter. I remember thinking that the window was
open and that the whole street would hear! Greg looked down in the water and lifted
my bum up and could see hair. He mistook this for me having a lot of hair down
there… which can I say I do not have. A few seconds later I pushed and the head
came out. Greg was in disbelief and this is where he began to turn a white and
swear A LOT. On the next contraction and after some encouragement from Greg,
Harlow Adam Nathan Cockerill was born at 22.27, delivered by his own Dad! This
is where Greg may have freaked out a tad, in the shock, he thought the baby was
going to drown, so scooped him up, unwrapped the cord from his arm and placed
him on my chest, he began to cry which is the best sound in the world after
just giving birth on your own in a bath with no pain relief in less than an
hour! The bath was let out (it has only got to half way) and we were wrapped in
Greg did not know what to do, and ran to get the neighbour whilst
handing me the phone. Still sitting in the bath, I was dumbfounded I couldn’t find
the words to describe how I was feeling. Then the lady on the other end, asked
me is it a boy or girl? We hadn’t even checked! I peeked through the mountain of
towels to see and for the first time in 9 months I found out I had another son.
My neighbour came bounding up the stairs, and was then followed by an immediate
responder who clamped the cord. Not long after my Nan arrived not even realising
I had given birth!After all it was less
than 15 minutes since we called her to say I was in labour. At this point I think
Greg was very much in shock, he wasn’t quite sure what to do, and I remember
calmly telling him where all the bags were and what we needed to do. He was later
told to go and sit down and he was flapping about. The paramedics arrived after
about 10 minutes and we had to try and get me out of the bath tub attached via
the cord still to the baby. I then not only had to manage that but also get
down my very steep stairs, out the house into the street (where of course Greg saw
someone he knew, as well as another neighbour hanging out the window watching),
into the back of the ambulance and strapped down. This was quite a feat after
the fact a person had just been evicted from me at quite a considerable speed. Being
attached still was the weirdest feeling in the world.
The placenta had not come out naturally and I was beginning to
get a lot of pain on the way to the hospital. We arrived at the delivery suite
still bundled in our towels and a dressing gown (which was now also covered in
pee courtesy of bubs), and arrived at the delivery suite but moved onto the
Midwife Led Birthing Unit. The irony here was that I had ended up in the one
place I wanted to give birth on so badly! The cord was finally cut and Greg got
to hold his new son for the first time. Two or more hours had passed since the
birth so the placenta had to come out, I was given the injection and as I had a
pretty chesty cough, basically coughed it out with the midwife tugging on
it!I began to bleed but nothing
compared to what happened with Elijah. I was made comfortable on a bed and the
baby was checked over and weighed, slightly smaller than his brother but 8lbs
exactly. We had skin to skin and for the first time I breast fed him. I looked
around the calming room and couldn’t believe it, he was here and I was okay. All
the time spent worrying about what would happen seemed irrelevant now. A knock at
the door also brought a lovely visit from a midwife called Zoe that I knew who
had seen our names come up on the delivery suite computer after Greg had called
Things were not completely smooth sailing when after I was
examined to be stitched up it seemed I had a pretty bad tear. A doctor was
called and here was when the second person in not so much time had their finger
up my bum (dignity lost) determining the scale of tear. Let’s just say I gave
birth with no pain relief by the gas and air was wheeled out for this one. I
had a 3A tear and needed to go down to theatre which if you have read my birth
story with Elijah, I knew that this would be far less traumatic. I have to say
the midwives after reading my notes, and abandoned birth plan were so mindful of
my past trauma and were so understanding and kind. I will forever be grateful
for how I was treated. I was wheeled off to theatre leaving the boys on their
own, and I have to say I was slightly scared at this point, but remember trying
to make a joke about having a ‘gunt’ for the rest of my life! The theatre team
were great and less than 40 minutes later, some cracking anaesthetic and painkillers
(plus a suppository up my bum for good measure) I was out and in recovery. Not
long later I was reunited with the boys and we watched the sun come up on a
ward to ourselves as Harlow fed again. I felt like this was it, I had got what
I wanted with my birth. Closure.
Standard obvs and monitoring for both of us for the next few
hours and the obligatory two pees in a jug we basically had one foot out the
door and ready to go home. Later that day we were home as a family of four. Compared
to 9 days in with Elijah, I had my baby home all within 24 hours. Should we be allowed?
I mean surely this was too easy? Still in shock I think I was slightly
delusional (it did not help I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours!) but being a NICU
Mum first, it never really leaves you and our start with Elijah was just so
different, to that with Harlow. Everything was an adjustment and we didn’t really
have any experience of this normal malarkey. Everything that had happened was
just so surreal, amazing but so surreal we could hardly believe it. Plus, what
a cracking birth story this was for the blog!
The smallest of feet
This post is dedicated to a few people who without them, I do not know
what we would have done;
Greg- for delivering our son, for making me laugh and for staying white
for 2 days straight from the shock!
My Nan- for looking after Elijah and for quietly telling Greg that she
had cleaned the bath before we came home.
Nancy our neighbour- for helping with Elijah, taking him to nursery and
being so supportive of us!
Ness and Adrian- for coming to get us and take us home for the first
time as a family, in a pretty fancy car too and being mindful of those speed bumps!
Also on a side note, to Ally my second birth partner sorry for pushing this
baby out quicker than you could get down here, I blame the fajitas.