She is 10 days old now and finally i am able to introduce to you all our beautiful miracle baby girl:
Emma Annabel Cole - Born on Monday the 9th December at 10:33pm:
I expect you are wondering why it has taken so long to update this blog, well... let me tell you, you will not be disappointed! I don't do things by halves! Ha ha.
After our consultant scan and midwife appointment on Thursday the 5th it was decided that our induction would be moved forward to the Saturday, oh god! Her growth was fine, and they estimated her to be 7lb 2oz but just to be on the safe side i was booked to go in to hospital for 8:30am on the 7th.
We arrived at the hospital on time (of course! ha ha) and i got settled onto the ward and a pessary was put in at 9:40am. We were really excited for the whole process to start and were so happy that we were close to meeting our precious baby girl. With the idea to get things moving we walked up and down the halls of the hospital. On that first day we must of walked 10 miles! My friend Robyn popped in for an hour (but ended up staying until Emma was born! Ha ha, sneaky!) and by 9pm i had only managed to get to 2 cm's dilated... gutting... So Phil and Robyn went home and the plan was to have another pessary put in the following day.
That night was awful... i got no sleep due to a woman who literally sounded like a bear snoring in the next bay to me, and on the other side of me there was a woman making so much noise you would think she had got to 10 cm's in 5 minutes. Turns out she was only 1! In the end, and at 5:30am the midwives decided that i could be moved to a private room so i could get some sleep. I was shattered and mentally stressed, they should of moved me sooner really, but oh well. I managed to get about 2 hours sleep.
Phil and Robyn arrived at just after 9am on the Sunday and i was moved back to the ward and a second pessary was put in. With the frame of mind to get Emma out we all must of walked over 15 miles of the hospital corridors! I was bouncing on a ball, and even got in a bath at one point. I had a fair few contractions throughout the afternoon which suggested that things were underway but when i was checked we were disappointed to find out that i was still only 2cm's! A plan was made that on Monday i would be put on the drip to try and speed things up. In preparation for this, and also for my sanity i was moved to the Central Delivery suite, again into a private room so i could get some sleep. Monday was going to be a busy day!
With enthusiasm at 9am, Phil and Robyn arrived once more! It didn't take long for me to be put on the drip, but first i would have to have an epidural. My original birth plan was to have only gas and air, with the possibility of Pethidine if things got really bad. This is because, if you recall, when i was with Robyn at the birth of her daughter Erica in January her epidural experience was awful! However, there was nothing i could do, if i wanted the drip, then i had to have an epidural, simple as. All the paperwork was sorted, and i was given gas and air so i could get through the whole experience. It seemed to take hours to get the bloody thing in, and Phil and Robyn tell me i came out with some classic comments, such as 'i really like that doctor with the beard' (he was doing the epidural! ha ha), and 'i do love Loz (Robyn's husband) but he does have funny hair'! Ha ha, love it!
The epidural went in with minimal fuss and the drip was started. Here we go! Or so we thought.
After about 6 hours, and lots of chatting i was checked to see how far gone i was, we had made it to 4 cm's! I was hoping it would be more, but at least it was progress! I had already had my waters broken in the morning (which was the most painful thing i had ever experienced... why they couldn't of done it after the epidural had been put in is beyond me...) and according to the monitor was contracting well, so the drip was increased.
That is when things started to go a bit down hill...
Emma did not like the increase at all. Every time i had a contraction her heart rate dipped. The midwives and doctors decided that they would monitor it for a while, but soon came to the idea that they would reduce the drip again. After a few more hours things had not got any better. Emma's heart rate was still dipping with the contractions, and at 9pm i was checked to see how dilated i was and we were gutted to find that i was still only 4 cm's! A decision had to be made... she would have to be born via EMCS (Emergency Caesarean Section).
Things went a bit mad after that, consent forms were signed and Phil was asked to change into scrubs for the operating theatre. Robyn bless her was not able to join us in the theatre which was really upsetting, poor girl had been through it over the past few days! Then we were taken to theatre.
All the checks were made, and the Local Anesthetic was given to me, however it didn't work! I had to be put under General Anesthetic and Phil had to leave the theatre and wait outside the doors!
Emma was born at 10:33pm on the 9th of December and she weighed 6lb 15oz! Phil heard her first cries and within 10 minutes she was passed to him in the corridor for first cuddles.
Unfortunately my first memories of her birth are no longer mine... i only remember opening my eyes and seeing Phil holding her and Robyn standing next to him. Then i remember being given a massive ice cube to suck on... that is it. I was heartbroken...
Phil had to leave the hospital at just after 1am and Emma and i were moved to a ward. I could go in to lots of detail about my stay in hospital but there is so much more to say so i shall just mention that Emma was perfect, i was in a lot of pain and could hardly move, not really ideal when you have just had a baby, but at least she was safe. It turns out the Emma would never of come out naturally because she was being pushed down onto my pelvis with each contraction, hence why her heart rate was dropping all the time. If we had not had the EMCS who knows what might of happened! As a result of the pushing she was born with a large bruise on the back of her head, which has now faded.
We had lots of checks from midwives and pediatricians on the ward and were finally discharged on Wednesday the 11th December. I could not wait to get home as i found it really hard to be in hospital without Phil and my home comforts. Especially as i could barely look after myself, let alone Emma due to the amount of pain i was in.
Now, you would think that this would be the end of my story... but no, it gets more complicated!
Whilst at home i found that i was struggling to catch my breath, it felt as though someone was standing on my chest and i was unable to lie down on my left side and back and breathe. At first i thought that it was just because i had had the EMCS, i thought that maybe it was normal and i was just going to have to wait until it healed. However by Sunday i decided that something wasn't right and at 11pm Phil, Emma, Phil's mum Chris and I arrived at the hospital. We were seen pretty quickly due to the nature of my complaint, after blood tests, monitoring and a doctor listening to my chest i was moved to a side room for further testing, which included a chest x-ray. We waited and waited and waited and at around 5am the consultant broke the news that i had Pneumonia. What the...!
Whilst it is not common, it is also not unheard of to catch Pneumonia after an operation, and i had caught it. I had a partial collapse on my right lung, and fluid on both lungs. No wonder i could hardly breathe! We were all in shock. After another long wait we were moved over to the maternity ward because the doctors decided it was safer for Emma to be away from the main hospital. We were again put in a private room and told that i would be having a CT scan to check for blood clots.
At around 8:30pm Phil and Chris had to leave, i was so upset... how could i look after my newborn baby by myself now that not only had i had major surgery, but also had a serious medical condition! I was devastated, and did not have a good night at all. Alongside that my right breast had cracked (due to Emma being offered it after my General Anesthetic and clearly she latched on wrong) and i was in agony with it. Although i had been trying to ride through the pain, with the new diagnosis i felt that it was just too much, so i expressed milk for her from that side. It was trial and error, my left breast was used a lot more because she didn't seem to get full from the amount given to her from expressing so i had to top her up from it each time. Then as a result it was becoming a little sore, i was so worried that we would have to stop breastfeeding, and the hospital midwives were useless with any advice and kept suggesting that i was not latching on correctly. I was getting really annoyed.
On Tuesday morning Phil arrived to Emma and I snuggled up together, which was lovely! We spent the whole day waiting for the CT scan, which eventually happened at 2pm. A dye was injected into my veins so they could test to see if the was a clot in my lungs or heart. It was horrible. I then went back to my prison cell... i mean side room! I was told that the doctor would have to review everything and would come back with a decision of what to do, however in the mean time i would start taking an antibiotic called Amoxicillin which would treat the Pneumonia and thus heal the collapse and reduce the fluid on my lungs.
More waiting and waiting, and then it was time for Phil to leave us again. I had really struggled with giving Emma the expressed milk and my left breast was continuing to get more tender, so we decided that Phil would get me some nipple shields so that i could hopefully stop expressing milk and start using my right breast again. We hoped that Emma would have a full feed off both breasts alternatively and i would not have to use the left breast to top up the right side expressed feed. I spoke to the midwives at the hospital about this idea and they were against it, but we didn't care... we are her parents, and as you will see shortly... we do know best, ha ha!
After another awful night of the midwives popping in to check my blood pressure every hour, and listening to them laughing and talking loudly in the hall i had had enough and was ready to leave. I was feeling so low, and Phil was really missing his girls at home. We had already had an awful birth experience and this second hospital stay was really pushing us to the limits. We had both had a good cry, and just needed to be home together as a family so we could try to fix the mess that had been caused.
We spent the morning together, relaxing and watching comedy shows on Phil's phone, it was really lovely. Plus the nipple shields are fantastic! Emma took to them straight away and we were able to carry on with our breastfeeding journey. I was so happy and proud of her, and of myself for persevering and ignoring the midwives opinions, I felt awesome!
I was desperate to go home and i could tell the midwives wanted to get rid of me too, i did not feel welcome at all. Out of the blue we were visited by a doctor who told me that she was going to try and get me home today, the consultant had decided that i did not have a clot but i was to have an ultrasound to see how much fluid there was on my lungs, and whether i would need to have it removed (they would do this by using a needle, inserted between my ribs, to draw out the fluid... i was not looking forward to that). She had a meeting to attend first but promised she would be back later to do the ultrasound.
Thankfully she kept to her word and arrived to my room at about 4pm, machine in tow, and got straight on with the ultrasound, i was so happy and impressed by her efficiency. She was satisfied that the fluid amount in both lungs was not large enough to need draining so her assistant gathered up the huge pile of needles and other items that she would of used to drain them... phew!
We were then told that the original doctors that had seen me on Sunday night would have to discharge me, but apparently they had not realised that i was still at the hospital! So that is why it had taken almost 4 days to get the the point of me being able to leave! Phil and I were furious! I had spent the past 4 days in the place i least wanted to be, and i was becoming mentally unwell. It had taken forever it seemed to organise and sort out something that could of been dealt with in maybe just 1 or 2 days.
However, thankfully the original doctors didn't waste any more time and came to my room quite soon after the lovely doctor had left to organise my discharge (i must just mention that the midwives had tried to get my to discharge myself... isn't that outrageous! As if i would do that!). They said the chemist had already sorted my medication to fight the Pneumonia and it was just a case of waiting for that to be delivered to me.
At 8pm Phil and I finally left the hospital... it was cold, and it was raining... but it was a magical moment and a few tears of joy and relief fell from my eyes.
The first 10 days of my daughter's life have been a mix of emotions, i am so happy and overwhelmed by her presence in our lives. She is amazing and we are incredibly lucky to have her. She is beautiful and healthy, and we look forward to every day with her.
Her birth though has been so traumatic for me, and now i have a serious illness that i need to get through. I have many issues with what has happened to me and my little family in the past week or so. I will deal with them one day, but for now i must hold on to the good things, and start to enjoy my time together with my husband and my daughter.
They say that children can break the strongest of relationships, but my love for Phil has never been stronger. He is my rock and i love him and need him more than i ever have... and he loves me too.
We are truly blessed...
Take Care All x