Eliza’s birth story

Eliza Grace arrived in the world on 3rd June 2015 at 6.03pm weighing 6lb 6oz. She was 4 weeks early.

After 3 previous emergency C sections we would have loved a calm, elective section on the booked date of 22nd June. However, as my pregnancy progressed it became obvious that this wasn’t likely to happen. I suffered from Polyhydramnios from about 28 weeks, and was having weekly scans to check the fluid levels, the cord blood flow and the growth of the baby. At 33 weeks I was admitted to hospital with contractions and given something to stop them, along with steroid injections to mature the baby’s lungs. Thankfully everything calmed down and I was able to go home. 

At 35 weeks my scan showed that the baby’s growth had slowed down. I was booked for a repeat scan at 36 weeks and if the growth hadn’t improved there was talk of bringing my section date forwards. I duly attended this scan at 36 weeks and 2 days. I told the midwife how I had been having tightenings all night and hadn’t slept. I felt like something was happening. I was told to go home and take it easy and to ring the delivery suite if they became more regular.

They did.

I phoned the delivery suite at lunchtime and was told to make my way in. On arrival I was popped on the monitor, and this showed that I was indeed having regular, strong contractions. An examination showed I wasn’t dilating, and so I had a drip popped in and was told I would be taken to the antenatal ward to see if things progressed. As I stood up to walk to the ward, there was an odd popping sound and I found myself stood in a puddle of water. 

Things suddenly ramped up a gear. Because the baby was breech I was immediately examined in case there was a cord prolapse or a lot of dilation. I was approx 2cm dilated and the decision was made to take me straight to theatre for a C section. I made a rather frantic phone call to Kevin to tell him to come in NOW, and I was prepped for surgery.

The epidural was in place, the checks were done and the surgical team were ready to deliver my baby. I knew Kevin wasn’t going to make it, but I had a wonderful team in theatre with me – a lovely student midwife and her mentor as well as the nicest anaesthetist you could ever hope to meet. They made it all a lot easier. Within minutes I felt a lot of pushing and shoving, and before I knew it the screen was being dropped and a wriggling, screaming bundle was being lifted up – a baby girl!

Kevin arrived 2 minutes after she was born, and was able to cut the cord while the paediatrician checked Eliza over. All was well, and for the first time I was able to hold one of my children straight after birth. She didn’t need to go to SCBU and so was placed on my chest for some skin to skin. She stayed there until the operation was finished, then Kevin wheeled her along to recovery with me. I couldn’t stop staring at her. 

Eliza Grace, birth story

Once in recovery we tried a first feed. She rooted and tried to latch on but didn’t quite know how, so because she was early the midwives helped me to hand express some colostrum for her, which she took well. After an hour in recovery we went to the ward where I spent the night wide awake just watching her. She started to become more alert and was feeding by the next morning. The following day we went home. 

I can’t begin to describe the emotions I felt. Shock that labour had started, terrified that she was coming too soon and would need special care. Joy when she arrived and was crying and well. The completely overwhelming feeling when she was placed on my chest and we had skin to skin. The elation when she was taken to the ward with me and didn’t get taken away and put in an incubator. Pride when she fed. But also an underlying sadness that I hadn’t had this experience with the others. Sadness that I was never the first person to change their nappies, dress them, feed them or hold them. But Eliza has mended that hurt a little. She has given me the one thing I have always wanted – a post birth cuddle with my baby. For that, I am grateful.

Eliza Grace, birth story

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24 Comments

  1. June 17, 2015 / 4:38 pm

    Oh Kate I am a crying mess at reading that. I am so, so glad that you got that post birth cuddle but I’m sad that Kevin wasn’t there to hold your hand during the section – I’m glad he wasn’t far away though! x
    Donna recently posted…Home Births and HypnoBirthingMy Profile

  2. June 17, 2015 / 4:44 pm

    How lovely Kate and welcome to the world Eliza

  3. June 17, 2015 / 5:03 pm

    Ok that last part made me well up! So sweet and I totally know what you mean! I have only had that post birth cuddles with one of my babies too. Its so precious and Eliza is just the purdiest little bundle you ever did see. No wonder you stayed awake all night just staring at her. xx

  4. June 17, 2015 / 5:07 pm

    Aww! How lovely! I am so pleased you got the that post birth cuddle and SCBU wasn’t involved! What a rush though! I am so happy is all went well xxx
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Anyone for cream? #WickedWednesdaysMy Profile

  5. June 17, 2015 / 5:09 pm

    Gosh, I bet there were huge mixed emotions! Feeling teary myself after reading this Kate! The best feeling in the world meeting your new baby. She is gorgeous x

  6. June 17, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    What a lovely story. I totally get the “first” feeling. I was exactly the same with Caleb and being able to hold Erin straight away felt amazing!

    She’s so beautiful. Congratulations again to you all xx
    Rebecca Phillips recently posted…Father’s Day Gift Ideas: AccentuateMy Profile

  7. June 17, 2015 / 5:24 pm

    What a gorgeous birth story I’m sorry it was rush but so glad you got to have those post birth moments well done Kate and Eliza xxx

  8. June 17, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    What a lovely birth story! Sounds like it all happened so fast in the end. I missed out on any interaction first time too and can relate to how good it felt to get the skin-to-skin this time round! So glad you had a lovely positive birth experience! Xx
    Sam @ Life of Mum recently posted…Sienna’s First Four WeeksMy Profile

  9. June 18, 2015 / 7:52 am

    Oh how beautiful. I’m so glad you got your cuddle and were able to come home relatively quickly. Her original section date is my birthday! Enjoy xxx

  10. June 18, 2015 / 10:45 am

    Oh my goodness! That was a quick birth! Glad you got to hold her after the birth and she fed so well and sorry you didn’t have this experience with the others.
    She really is a beautiful baby, you must be so happy! X
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Year 6 residential (missing my boy)My Profile

  11. Tracy
    June 19, 2015 / 1:51 pm

    Oh wow! What an emotional post. thank you for sharing your birth story and huge congratulations on the birth of Eliza – so beautiful.

  12. June 22, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    Oh my goodness she is absolutely stunning and what fab photos. Sorry Kevin missed it but glad you got your cuddles and all went ok. Have a lovely time settling down with Eliza in your family xx #maternitymondays
    Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) recently posted…Why is my Daughter so Peppa Pig Headed?My Profile

  13. June 22, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    Oh Kate this is beautiful! What a turn around from a hectic and rushed beginning, through to a lovely happy end that gave you what you’ve always hoped for. She is beautiful too and has two of my favourite girls names 🙂 Thanks so much for linking with #MaternityMondays xx
    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) recently posted…#MaternityMondays week 25My Profile

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