My pregnancy with her was one of the most difficult one of all..
It all started when I began bleeding, but as I was due my period anyway at first it didn't seem anything different. But then a few days later I wondered why the bleeding had been so light and why I hadn't come on properly. So because we were trying for another baby to complete our family I thought I had better do a pregnancy test to make sure. I was completely shocked when it came up positive, especially because of the bleeding.
I went to the Drs for a check up and told him I'd had a positive pregnancy test and he asked me whether it was happy or sad news. When I told him happy, he grinned as well! Because of the bleeding he wanted me to go to hospital for a scan to check everything was ok. So off I went with my parents to hospital, taking my youngest daughter with me as I was still breastfeeding her at the time.
I had a scan but the baby was very small, a lot smaller than they were expecting me to be as they thought I was 6wks but I was measuring about 4wks. Because of the bleeding and the size of the baby (they could only really see the sac) they decided to keep me in for a few days to do a blood test to check that my numbers were climbing the way they should for a successful pregnancy. So there I was, having to stay in hospital and because I had expected to just have a routine ultrasound and be let home, I had nothing with me! Luckily I had a sympathetic nurse (who also happened to be an old primary school classmate!) who let me pop into town to buy some things that I needed. I had no idea how long I was going to be in hospital and it turned out to be about 4 days! When I went home I was worried that my 28mths old wouldn't want to breastfeed anymore, but she happily did and carried on nursing until I was 7mths pregnant and she was 34mths old.
|My 7 week scan|
I went back for another ultrasound a couple of weeks later and this time they could see the baby a little bit better and everyone breathed a sigh of relief that everything seemed to be going ok. This scan was followed by a dating scan at 12 weeks. It's incredible, looking at the two scan pictures, how much she changed and grew in those 5wks! In the first picture she looks like an alien, but in the second she looks like a proper baby!
|My 12 week scan|
I wish I could say that the rest of the pregnancy passed smoothly and I suppose in a way it did, until I was about 28wks pregnant when my midwife decided to send me to hospital for a Glucose Tolerance Test. She was worried I was at risk from Gestational Diabetes because of my size and my previous large baby (my 2nd was 10lb 14oz at birth). I'd had the GTT with all my other pregnancies, so I wasn't worried, although this time I had to have it in hospital and drink some lucazade which was different to my other GTT's when I'd had them at the maternity clinic and drunk a sugary drink they had given me. I wasn't worried about the test as I'd always passed it in the past and assumed I would again... but I was wrong... I failed the GTT and was diagnosed as having Gestational Diabetes.
Being told I had Gestational Diabetes was frightening. I worried about the baby and what it would mean to her, but the clinic were very helpful and explained everything to me. I remember telling them that I didn't eat much sugar, but I was amazed to learn that carbohydrates were sugar as well as I'd never realised that and ate a lot of carbohydrates. I saw a dietician and was also shown how to perform a finger prick test and where to record my results before being shown how to inject myself with insulin in my thigh. As my pregnancy progressed I needed more and more insulin and towards the end of my pregnancy I was injecting myself four times a day.
As my due date approached I saw the consultant and they discussed whether I needed an elective section or whether I was ok to have a virginal birth, especially as I had already had one section. Finally it was decided that they would try with a membrane sweep on the 30th December, when I was 37wks pregnant and if that didn't work then I would be induced the following week. I remember asking the consultant if I was ok to be induced, having had a previous section because I had heard you couldn't be induced if you'd had one as there was a risk of your scar opening up. But he was confident that because it had been almost 5 years since my section and I'd only had one section and a successful VBAC (virginal birth after caesarean) 3 years earlier I would be ok being induced.
The day of the 30th dawned and it turned into a family expedition as my parents came along to look after the children. I was given a sweep and then because the baby was agitated and they couldn't get a very good reading from her they sent me to be monitored. Of course by now it was getting dark and starting to snow and my dad was getting concerned about driving over the mountains home. Finally they let me leave, minutes before my dad told them to admit me because they were leaving. Driving home the weather was really bad as it was snowing heavily and we saw a few cars slipping and getting stuck in the snow. I was so glad my dad was driving my car and terrified I would actually go into labour whilst we were travelling. Thankfully we made it home safely and now I was free to go into labour I didn't!
I had been given another date to go back to hospital... New Years Day! Of course by lunch time it had started snowing in our town, which was very rare because we live so close to the sea and I was a bit concerned about the roads on the way to hospital, given what they had been like a week earlier and the fact that I wasn't supposed to be there until 8pm! It was also a good excuse to stay home and watch the final part of Doctor Who and see the Tenth Doctor regenerate (even though I didn't want him to!)
The following day was my mum's birthday, and we gave her a lovely present of her grandchildren to babysit whilst my dad gave me and hubby a lift to hospital so I could be induced. We got there about lunch time and then had quite a boring wait until the evening when I was finally taken to the labour ward and given pitocin to start my labour. I fully expected it to take days to work, especially as I'd been induced with my eldest and it took 3 days to work with him. That night I spent an uncomfortable night with lots of stomach pain, but the midwife explained it was just the pitocin and I hadn't gone into labour yet. Poor hubby was forced to try and sleep on a chair outside the ward as they wouldn't let him in with me and he couldn't drive home and we lived too far away.
The following morning, at 6.45am I was taken to the labour ward and a 5 minutes later the consultant came in to break my waters. He was quite rough and I remember trying to climb up the bed to get away from him!
When a midwife came in to check on me after 10mins I was already on all fours and she gave me the gas and air and I asked to be given an epidural. By the time the anaesthetist arrived to give me it I was screaming. I remember them telling me to calm down and use the gas and air or they wouldn't give me the epidural and I started using it, even though I found screaming was more effective! But by then it was too late and the baby was on her way out!
I can remember the moment I actually gave birth, I didn't have to push as the contractions were pushing her out for me, all I did was try and endure the pain and I felt the relief and her actually slithering out. The bad part was that as soon as she was born the contractions stopped and I tore giving birth to the afterbirth because I had no contractions to push her out! She was born an hour and 20 minutes after they broke my waters, weighing 8lb 15oz at 38 weeks gestation.
I love giving birth naturally as I had a quick shower afterwards and started to feel "normal" with just a bit of stomach cramps. The shower was absolute bliss! Then I got to proudly push my daughter back to the ward whilst the midwife carried my bag!
Although she was my 4th, because of my gestational diabetes, we were kept in hospital a few days for her blood sugar to stabilise You have to remember that whilst she was in my womb she was receiving extra sugar through the placenta and her body was making insulin to deal with it. So once she was born the sugar stopped but her body was still making extra insulin. It meant that she was very sleepy the first day and I had to keep waking her to nurse and thanks to the suggestions of a friend who is also a breastfeeding councillor I knew to give her lots of kangaroo care (skin to skin contact) as another way of helping her sugars stabilise.
We were soon home and started adjusting to being a family of 6 and now, before I can blink, we are celebrating her third birthday! It's amazing how quick children grow and why one of my New Years Resolutions is to try and cherish the time I spend with them and not get too hung up on the little things but to enjoy them whilst they're small.
|One Month old on her Christening Day|
She wore the gown that both my dad and I wore
on our Christening Days!