My Birth Story.

A month ago, our little pickle, Jack made his entrance into this world. (4th June 2020) What a whirlwind this month has been! If you’ve been following me for a while you will know that I had a very complicated pregnancy.

In my last post I talked about how stressful and overwhelming the pregnancy had been. We had been transferred to St Thomas’ in London to deliver baby Jack. They originally booked me in for an elective c-section on the 5th June. After having an additional scan they moved the date forward to the 2nd June but for an induction, not a section. Our consultant thought we would have a good chance of delivering naturally as Jack was still head down. Plus a natural delivery had many benefits for both myself and Jack. All we had to do now was wait on a phone call to say that there was a cot available in NICU so we could make our way to London. Around 11am we received a phone call to say that there wasn’t a cot available that day. We were devastated. We did however end up making our way up to London that day to stay in the accommodation they had booked for us. We stayed there until a cot became available.

It was a long 2 days of waiting, during which I had blood tests, a swab for Covid 19 and a 3D scan. Finally around midday on Thursday 4th June, the hospital rang to say that there was a cot available and ready! I was so nervous! I made my way over to the birthing suite. I had a private room with a lovely view of the London Eye. The midwife and I had a quick chat whilst she put monitors on me to monitor myself and Jack. Now all I had to do was wait for the monitoring to be complete and for the doctor to come around and see me. Originally they wanted to do a balloon induction for 12 hours which would dilate my cervix enough for them to slowly break and drain my waters in theatre. They would only go down this route if Jack was still head down.

Of course, he had decided to move. Jack made the decision for everyone! The doctor then told me that I would be going to theatre in 2 hours for a c-section. I quickly called Josh and asked him to come across to the birthing suite. We were in shock. We went from thinking we were going to be meeting Jack in the next 24 hours to he will be here in about 2 hours time! The next 8 hours are a bit of a blur in all honesty.

I was emotional for a couple of reasons, firstly, I really wanted to give natural labour a fair shot. Secondly, I just couldn’t believe that it was time to meet Jack. In a weird way, I didn’t feel ready. The next two hours went by so quickly, the midwife fitted a cannula, I took tablets to reduce the acid in my stomach, I got gowned up and before I knew it, I was walking down to theatre. It was 5pm when I got into theatre.

I felt as though I was shaking when I got sat on the bed, the bed that quite honesty looked lost in the theatre. I spoke briefly to the anaesthetists and the surgeon. They administered the two spinal injections. I’ve never felt anything like it. I slowly lost feeling in my legs and then my stomach. It was the most surreal feeling ever! They did some checks to see if I had any feeling. Before I knew it, the drape was up. I just looked at Josh. We talked amongst ourselves which kept me very relaxed.

“This is the tugging sensation I was telling you about” the midwife said to me. Then it hit me, they’ve already started. They didn’t tell me they had even begun! I’m so glad they didn’t to be honest. A bit of tugging and then he was here! They dropped the drape slightly. The cord was around Jack’s neck so they only lifted him briefly, but certainly enough time for me to think “Wow he has a lot of hair!”

I couldn’t see much else for a while and this is where the rest gets really hazy. They took Jack straight over to the incubator. The midwife took Josh’s phone over to try and get some pictures. We could hear the small sounds of Jack crying in the background. It made me so emotional! I remember thinking, he must be so small as they are tiny tiny little cries. I asked Josh what was going on and he said that he couldn’t see as there were that many doctors. After a while the surgeon had finished stitching me up. I forgot they were even finishing up with me as I was so focused on getting information about Jack. The surgeon told me she was done and that the procedure went well. They removed the drape and I could see amount of people in the room. I was so shocked and overwhelmed. The room I thought was huge with a tiny operating bed in the middle of it was suddenly full of teams of doctors, specialists and equipment all working on getting a breathing tube into Jack’s airway. It felt like a lifetime of waiting and looking in anticipation. As I looked across I kept getting glimpses of Jack. I could see his little arms in the air. I could see one of the doctors manually puffing air into him using a tube. It seemed that it wasn’t working. Then I could see them place a tiny mask over his face. Then we waited.

One of the doctors came over and explained that they needed to take him over to Evelina Children’s hospital which was next to St Thomas’. They asked if I wanted Josh to stay with me or go down with Jack. We decided that Josh would go with Jack to theatre. The doctors placed Jack into a massive travel incubator. They stopped passed me for a couple of minutes before they took him. I placed my hand in the incubator and felt his tiny cheeks with my fingertips. It was truly a special moment and one I will never forget.

I left the theatre crying, no longer pregnant but not with my baby either. We were in there that long I had almost full feeling back in my legs. Thus started what I now know has been what I can only describe as the most turbulent and emotional month of my life so far.

-Hannah x

5 Ways To Stay Positive.

With the end of April approaching, 2020 is resembling something like a nightmare, it’s been such a uncertain time for everyone. Since the outbreak of Covid 19, I’ve found myself more anxious than ever before.

I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant with my first baby and if that wasn’t enough stress as it was, the virus outbreak has added nothing but pressure, more uncertainty and heaps of anxiety. I’ve been finding it incredibly difficult to stay positive and focused. I’ve allowed myself to spiral into obsessive habits and negative thinking, I’m sure that I’m not the only one?

I think that this coming week will mean that I will be going into my 7th week of full lockdown. I feel that I have to admit that each day that has gone by I’ve been an anxious mess. I’m constantly on alert to whether I have symptoms of the virus, I’ve not been able to sleep because of the fear of not being able to breathe. Every niggle, every scratch in my throat, every hot flush (oh pregnancy!) has had my mind working overdrive thinking that I’m going to get ill.

Things hit breaking point last week and as I was discussing over the phone with my counsellor.

This needs to stop!

So over the past week I’ve compiled a list of 5 things (5 seemed like a manageable and achievable amount) that will help myself and hopefully you too, to stay positive during this incredibly uncertain and stressful time.

  1. Journal
    Lets start with journaling… It’s always something I’ve found extremely therapeutic and helpful. Theres just something about getting your thoughts out of your mind and on to paper. I really feel like it clears my mind and allows me to focus more clearly on being present during other parts of my life.
  2. Yoga/Meditation
    Although, I will be honest, yoga is a bit of a struggle now that I’m pregnant, I do try to do some basic stretches to ease some of the back pain I’ve been getting! I like to conclude each yoga (or stretching session) with a short meditation practice. Like journaling, meditation also helps to clear my mind.
    (I’m a massive fan of the CALM app. It’s so easy to use! I’ve tried lots of different apps but I always find myself coming back to that one)
  3. Go for a daily walk
    Of course (with the virus outbreak each countries rules are different) but for us in the UK we are allowed 1, 1 hour walk a day. Up till the other day we hadn’t been going for walks. We had just been sitting in our back garden and the only time that either of us went out was if I needed to go to a hospital appointment or Josh needed to go shopping. Other than that, we haven’t been leaving the house. We made the decision this week to start going for short walks for a couple of reasons, the first being, it’s good to exercise and can be more damaging to your physical and mental health than you realise by not going. The second, I was getting more and more achy from being pregnant and not being able to stretch and walk to ease those pains.
    So yes, if you can, I would truly recommend a short walk around your local area. Just ensure you adhere to your countries rules and social distancing lockdown procedures.
  4. Read
    Now if you follow me over on my Instagram you will know that each year I set myself a challenge of reading 12 books a year. I didn’t quite meet my goal last year (I’m not quite sure what happened) but this year I’m right on track, I’m ahead in fact! Reading can be an amazing escapism and a great way to expand your imagination and knowledge. Having a reading goal might also be a great way to keep you motivated during this time!
  5. Learn something new
    A bit like reading, I love setting myself new challenges. Learning something new or acquiring a new skill makes me feel so good about myself. It also increases how productive I feel and is such a good focus. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has a list of things they want to do or learn but because life and work gets in the way I never seem to find time to make a start on them. Now is my chance!

I’m interested in the ways in which you’ve been finding positive things to do during this time. I would love to know what you’ve been up to. ๐Ÿ’™

Stay safe,

H x