My Birth Story - Finley

Finley was born on New Year's Eve, weighing a dainty 5lb 15oz (and was the last baby of 2013 to be born at our local hospital!)

Unfortunately my labour was quite long and complicated... It all began just a couple of hours after my due date, which had been spent trying to relax despite the countless "any news?!" texts from friends and family! I had a long soak in the bath and went to bed, convinced that I'd end up being seriously overdue.

Then at 2.30am I woke up to find that my waters had broken! I sat in the bathroom for a moment trying to gather my thoughts until my partner, Dave, woke up and came in to check I was ok. I remember grinning from ear to ear as I told him my waters had gone. He, on the other hand, went straight into panic mode!

I phoned the hospital, showered, got dressed, had some toast, double checked that our bags were all packed and by 4.30am we were at the hospital.

When we arrived I was strapped to a monitor which revealed that every time I had a contraction, my baby's heart rate was slowing down. No-one seemed to know what was causing this to happen, so we were sent upstairs to one of the birthing rooms for more monitoring and checks, just to be on the safe side.

As the morning went on, my baby's heart rate showed no signs of stabilising. By lunchtime it was clear that he needed to get out as soon as possible and since labour was progressing so slowly, I was put on a hormone drip to speed things up. The midwife explained that this would make my contractions a lot more painful and encouraged me to take every drug she offered me (which I did!)

Come the evening I was still only 2cm dilated. I'd had paracetamol, codeine, gas and air (which I LOVED!) an epidural which quickly wore off and some meptid but we were getting nowhere, so eventually the decision was made to go in for an emergency c-section.

By this point I just wanted it all to be over. I was hungry, thirsty and exhausted to the point where I was actually falling asleep between contractions! I didn't know much about c-sections or exactly what they involved but right then I didn't care, as long as it got my baby out safely and put an end to the excruciatingly painful contractions.

Dave had been incredible the whole way through. He'd held my hand, passed me things, cheered me up, gave me words of encouragement and didn't once complain or get stressed. The midwives were great at including him in everything too and much to my relief, there was never any question about him coming into the operating theatre. They gave him some scrubs to wear for the delivery so he quickly got changed, grabbed the camera, a hat and a blanket for the baby and off we went!

The whole thing was a blur but I remember various medical staff introducing themselves when we got into the operating theatre, sitting on the edge of the bed being talked through what was going to happen, being given an injection in my spine, lying on the operating table feeling numb... And the next thing I knew my little baby boy was being held up in front of me!

It turns out that the poor thing had got himself completely tangled up in his cord and would never have been able to make it out on his own, hence why I hadn't been able to progress normally.

As the staff congratulated us and Finley was taken off to be cleaned and weighed, the first of the New Years fireworks could be heard going off outside and we were given a 'born in 2013' babygrow as a gift for having the last baby of the year! The whole thing was totally surreal and felt like something from a movie!

Unfortunately things got even more complicated later on. Poor Finley's blood sugar levels were very low and he wasn't interested in feeding so he was whisked off to intensive care, where he was put on a drip and numerous tests were carried out to make sure there weren't any underlying problems. Walking backwards and forwards to NICU with a fresh c-section scar was horrible, as was seeing Finley so poorly.

Luckily he only had to stay in for a few days in the end, so we're all home safe and sound now and doing well so far (despite all the sleepless nights!)