Florence Jude – Birth Story

And so this is how our beautiful Baby Girl made her arrival into the world…

On Boxing Day I was booked in to have my induction at 12pm, die to Covid nightmares we’d had that week we were waiting for childcare so I had to go on my own. It was very strange going in a taxi to the hospital on my own, I can imagine if that had been my first I would have been terrified but I made it there and I was fine.

When I arrived I was put into my own room on the induction ward, I had to wear a mask when someone comes in the room but I could take it off when there wasn’t.

A lovely midwife came in and spoke to me about the plan of action, I was going to be examined to see if I had dilated at all naturally and then o was going to have the tablet. She told me that things could go very quickly once given the tablet as this was my first. This made me so anxious as Tom want there so I rang him and said to be next to his phone, luckily our neighbours were on hand of anything had happened quickly.

I was Examined and I was 2cm dilated before having anything, which I was so shocked at but she had been so low down for so long I actually wasn’t too surprised. My cervix was still very long though so they couldn’t break my waters and I had to have the tablet.

I was Given the tablet around 1pm , and I started getting a few pains here and there.

Tom arrived at around 4pm and my pains were coming a bit stronger but nothing too bad, he ordered us a kfc as I was starving!

I was given the second tablet at 7pm, as nothing was really happening and I was only getting twinges no contractions (I was hooked up to the monitor to see) I told Tom to go home and spend some time with the boys as it was Boxing Day and I wanted him to put them to sleep.

And typically, the minute he left my contractions started coming on like crazy!! There was no break in between them and I had to have gas and air in the induction room as they were so bad. I called Tom to come back asap….

They Gave me the injection to slow contractions down which didn’t work, I was then Suddenly being pushed down to the labour ward in a bit of a panic it all happened so quick and I was in so much pain I’m not really sure how I got there.

They gave me another injection that slowed my contractions down to every 5-10 minutes.

At 11pm I had an Epidural, I’ve had one with each of the boys so I knew what to expect with putting it in my back, I was just so happy to be getting more pain relief as my pain had been so bad.

The epidural would only work on one side, and through the whole Labour I had to keep being revised to see how much mor they could give me as nothing was really working. The midwife said at the end that I’d had the most epidural she ever seen!

Lots happened from having the epidural until around 2pm the next day. They just had to keep trying to manage my pain, but I didn’t get any sleep at all, Yom also had to wear a mask the whole time he was in the labour room.

I had The gas and air a lot and it started to was make me feel so sick and I just started to feel so unwell.

Baby’s head was down but her back was facing the wrong way so they said if she doesn’t turn in the next 2 hours and I don’t dilate more than 7cm (I’d been at this for a very long time) I would need to have a c section. This was really scary and I started to feel very overwhelmed, I’d been in labour for over 24 hours now and was so so tired. I asked to see my consultant who was on the ward as for me having a c section is really unknown territory. I was born with a condition were all my organs were in the umbilical cord so if I was to have a c section they could cut through something like bowls and it just wouldn’t be good. So I spoke to him and he said that they would have a bowls specialist in the theatre incase this happened. Safe to say I was terrified. Those 2 hours were very long but thankfully someone must have been watching over us as Baby girl turned AND I’d dilated to 10cm!! Everything happened really quickly from here and a midwife was just suddenly at the end of the bed saying Grace we need to get you pushing because baby is tired……

I was absolutely exhausted and every push I did felt like the hardest thing in the world to do and the midwife kept saying that the pushes weren’t strong enough and if I wanted to get her out I need to push harder…. at the time I was a bit shocked she was saying it wasn’t good enough but looking back I know she was just making me stronger so I could get her out as Flo was really stressed. Out of all the boys , Getting Flo into the world was by far the hardest as every push just felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere, but at 5.24 on the 27th of December 2020 our beautiful little Baby girl came into the world.

The midwife past me her straight away and I just couldn’t believe my eyes … our baby girl was here.

After about 10 minutes I asked Tom to take her as my chest was feeling really heavy and I just felt really really unwell. I can’t explain the feeling I had but I just knew I wasn’t ok

My consultant came in to say congratulations and he looked at me and said you look very pale Grace how are you feeling, I hadn’t spoken too much up until then as I felt really strange. My reply was ‘I really don’t feel well and my chest feels so heavy’.

Lots happened quickly from that moment, the room filled with what felt like a hundred people and I was having loads of stickers attacked to my chest, for the ECG machine and someone else was trying to get blood from my arm, i was also put on oxygen to help my breathing. I kept looking at Tom holding Flo and my eyes were so shaky and blurry…. I must have said to Tom every couple of minutes, am I going to be ok? In my head honestly I really thought I wasn’t going to be. Tom was absolutely incredible the whole way through he just held Flo and rocked her and told me I was going to be absolutely fine, I know that’s what husbands are meant to do but he really was just amazing.

I had to be taken to the high dependency unit and Flo and I were put in a room with another sea of people. They told me they thought I might have a clot on my lung so needed to do some scans and they were going to start me on blood thinners, they said this isn’t dangerous aslong as we start treating you for it now so try not to worry. They gave me a scan straight away in the room, it was all really scary and I was absolutely terrified. My chest felt like it had totally given up and I was finding it so hard to breathe.

I had a midwife looking after me in there so she could help me with Flo and she was honestly so amazing. I told Tom to go home and get some sleep so he could come back in the morning. That night I just drifted in and out of sleep and every time I woke up the midwife was tending to Flo and I just felt very safe and looked after. It was a strange feeling not being able to do what I wanted too…. I wanted to be changing her nappy and wrapping her up in a blanket but I just couldn’t. She made sure to keep passing me her in the night to feed and to cuddle her.

The next day Tom came back and I’d started to feel a little better than I did, my chest was still very painful but I didn’t feel as unwell as I had, it just hurt to breathe a bit but I was so thankful I wasn’t feeling like I did. Tom had asked me just after she was born what do we think for her name and I said I think Bow, but the next morning when he asked me I just knew her name was Florence 🌸

Both of us were put on antibiotics and that afternoon we went to the postnatal ward. The day after that I had a c t scan and another chest x ray.

Those days spent with her on the ward were so special, it was just lovely to lie with her and know that we were both safe and being looked after.

The doctor came round to see me the day before we went home to tell me the results of the scans, they were hoppy that I didn’t have a clot after all the tests but they had showed that I had an enlarged heart and a collapsed lung. The doctor thought that I could have potentially had a heart attack in Labour but they will never know if I did or not. This was something I never thought I would hear. But they were happy to let me go home the day after aslong as I rested and kept taking my antibiotics.

So the next day we got to take our Baby Girl home finally to her big brothers who were possibly the most excited little boys I’ve ever seen. Taking a new baby home to meet their siblings has got to be one of the most special moments in the world.

And now we are all settling in to being a family of 6, it is crazy, busy, full on, overwhelming and amazing all at the same time and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Gracie xo


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