I have been wanting to write this post for quite a while now but a part of me has also been scared to let myself relive it all step by step. Having my daughter was one of the best days of my life but I would also be telling a lie if I didn’t admit it was also one of the most terrifying.
My little girl is now just over ten months and I have reached the point where I want and need her story to be out there in the world, now I will warn you this is going to be a bit of a long one so you may want to grab yourself a cup of tea and maybe some snacks before we settle down.
As you can imagine I really didn’t expect to go into labour at 24 weeks and although I can’t say I had the smoothest pregnancy ever (hello morning, noon and night sickness) nothing ever led anyone to believe I would go into premature labour.
Anyone that has been reading this little blog of mine for a while may know that back in 2014 I sadly had an early miscarriage, so of course I was slightly more wary this time around and for the first couple of months I was utterly convinced that something was going to go wrong, and I did have my fair share of scares along the way such as a bleed at nine weeks that meant I had to have an emergency early scan that thankfully showed everything to be fine, but then it happened again at eleven weeks once again somehow everything was fine and our little baby was safe and over the next few weeks I finally got to enjoy some of the more fun parts of pregnancy such as my twelve week scan and my twenty week scan which happily showed that we were having a little girl. After that apart from horrendous morning sickness that lasted the whole way thorough my pregnancy everything finally started to calm down.
That was until the 30th of June 2015 (which was ironically my due date with my first little one) Ben and I had been dreading the day anyway but when I woke up that morning I started to have a massive bleed and we ended up spending the day in the hospital, but I got the all clear and after an anti-D injection I was sent on my way. But actually looking back at that day now I really think that was the start of everything to come.
So now we have the basic’s of the story up until the 6th of July the day my pregnancy reached 24 weeks. It started off as a perfectly normal day, My partner Ben was working shifts at the time so on that day he had left for work at half past five in the morning and as per usual I stayed up for a bit after he had left and had a cup of tea ( which was basically the only thing i would be able to keep down this wasn’t a baby that liked food ) when all of sudden at 6am i started to get some strange twinges that i just put down to a bad back but actually looking back this was the start of my contractions.
These pain’s carried on coming and going for the rest of the morning and funnily enough my eldest step-son spent the morning saying that he thought I was in labour as did my mother, but I truly never thought it for a second and just thought they were being a tad dramatic (did I mention I’m an idiot???)
I desperately needed to go into town that day and thankfully because I didn’t feel great my mother came with me and so I spent the next few hours trying to distract myself whilst my mum looked on worriedly as I was having to stop and sit down every ten minutes (how the hell did i not see this was labour?)
I tried really hard just to stay calm and tell everyone else not to worry and at around ten pm the pain had started to get a tad worse but because I could still feel baby moving around I simply put it down to my mind working overtime.
At around eleven I tried my best to get some rest but as I lay down on the bed I had a sudden heavy pressure at the bottom of my stomach and I can remember clearly thinking hmm if I was further along I would have thought that was labour, but again being an idiot I quickly told myself to shut up, then over the next hour or so the pain was getting increasingly worse and I finally started to feel like something really wasn’t right (about bloody time Benita) so it was at that point I called 111 and after explaining how I felt the operator sent a paramedic out.
Around half an hour later a lovely paramedic turned up, checked me over and said he wanted me to get checked out at the hospital just to make sure everything was fine as the pain was rather bad at this point and I was getting then every six to seven minutes.
On the way to the hospital he and Ben even joked about it being labour (hahaha how funny …) The thing is no-one was actually that worried as apart from these odd pains I felt fine and most importantly I wasn’t bleeding.
Then at one am everything changed one midwife asked me to do a urine sample ( TMI I know but this whole post is TMI so hey ho) as soon as went into the toilet I instantly saw blood and my heart dropped.
It was only around two months ago that Ben finally told me it was actually in that moment that he thought we had lost her. but at the time he was so calm whilst I sat there not knowing what the heck to think.
A little while later a lovely doctor can in to check me over and she said that she couldn’t see my cervix very well because of the blood she wanted to get a second opinion but as she said this there was a look on her face and my heart just dropped even more, looking back I can clearly see that she knew (hindsight is a wonderful thing)
A few moments later a male doctor came in checked me over simply said okay and then walked off.
Now I have no idea how much later the next part happened but by this point the pains where every few minutes and a very nice midwife came in and said right were just going to take to down to the delivery ward and somehow in the next few seconds the room was full of people who we were told were from the neonatal team and how they where going to look after our baby and what would happen in the minutes after her birth. Cue Ben and I looking at each other and saying what quite a lot, and it was at the point that one of the nice people informed us that I was actually six centimeters dilated.
My first thought after being given this information was how the hell do we stop this, I vaguely remember reading things in the past where they stop labour, I had heard of it happening, I had hope.
The hope was short lived … Sorry we can’t do that one of the many doctors said and rather than feeling my heart drop further it just plain broke, I burst into tears and listened as people told us how tiny she would be and how they really wanted to be able to move us both to Oxford before she was born but they didn’t know if they had time but that they would move her afterwards.
We didn’t know if I was going to give birth that day, the next day or the next week no one knew.
So I was moved down to the delivery ward by which point I was a hell of a lot of pain and really had a strong urge to pee but couldn’t, then at 4 am my waters broke and to this day its the worst pain I have felt in my life and from what I know that part isn’t really supposed to hurt that much so whether that’s pointing to the reason that I had her so early I just don’t know as to this day I have never been told why this happened.
Anyway back to the horrendous pain, the next few hours pass in just a blur of contractions, scans and me telling everyone to fuck off (at least most of the last one was in my head)
Just after seven am another midwife entered the room and as her and the original midwife done their handover thingy my contractions started to get even worse all of a sudden and I had a bit of a weird feeling, cue me saying this and the original midwife telling me it’s fine, then it happened again about a minuet later but this time I really wanted to push and again I tell the midwife that something is happening.
And its at that point that she tells me I’m just panicking and it’s all fine. This annoyed me a little bit and I actually felt really rather calm but however I could feel the baby coming and so as this was all happening I somehow very calmly told her I wasn’t panicking but I did want to push, I knew this was the moment I had to stay calm just to get her to believe me, she then kind of sighed (don’t get me wrong she was lovely but I just don’t think she thought it would happen that quickly) So she sighed and moved the sheet off of me and I can still picture the look of pure panic on her face and her saying oh she’s coming and running out of the room (Ben later informed me she was shouting for every doctor that we had a twenty-four weeker coming right now but I didn’t know about any of that at the time) All I knew was that lovely new midwife was trying her best to keep me calm and tell ing me to try to not push (harder said then done trust me)
Suddenly there was a very lot of people in the room once again and Delilah Elizabeth Sweetness was born at 07:24 on the 07/07/2015 weighing in at 1 pound 6 ounces
I had one person telling me HE was lovely and another saying SHE was beautiful so I spent a few minutes wondering whether I had a son or a daughter. And watching on helplessly as three women calmly worked on Delilah (she was a girl yay) Oh and FYI those three women where wonderful throughout our entire nicu stay and i will never be able to thank them enough for helping save my little girl’s life.
They spent the next five to ten minutes ventilating Delilah and making her safe enough to travel up to NICU (New Born Intensive Care Unit) but because she kept spitting out her tubes I got to hear one tiny cry from my daughter before she was whisked away upstairs . I then delivered my placenta and had a shower ( the second midwife was so lovely that she ran around finding me shower bits and bobs as I didn’t have a single thing with me)
As soon as we could we went upstairs and saw our beautiful tiny girl in her incubator for the very first time as the team from Oxford arrived and started to get everything ready to transfer her across. Those few hours are such a blur that the only things I can really remember is one of the nurses coming over and asking if Delilah had a H on the end of it or not as they where making up her little name card. And Reg the ambulance driver making Ben and I a cup of tea and I can remember thinking and hoping it was a really good sign that he shared the same name as my granddad (It made me feel like he was watching over her as she traveled between hospitals)
So suddenly we had a beautiful small but amazingly perfect little girl and at twelve pm she was rushed off to the john radcliff hospital whilst I had to wait to be transferred over (which didn’t happen for another eight hours) and I spent those hours just hoping she would make it until i got there.
But that part of the story can wait until another day as this post is certainly long enough.
Delilah (or Lilah for short) is now ten months and five days old and not a second passes by that we don’t realise just how lucky we are to have her home, she never fails to amazing me with just how strong and brilliant she actually is, if you see her today you would never realise what a journey she has had in her little life (the main thing that gives it away is the fact that she’s still only the size of a five or six month old although of course she is massive to us) And I am so thankful to every single Doctor and Nurse that not only helped make our little girl strong and keep her safe but also kept me slightly sane in our five month stay with them.
Thanks for reading lovelies
Love Benita x