Editors Note: This particular story is close to a lot of hearts, as this is the story of a very special little girl who had a fight coming into this world. It was written some time ago and I hope you enjoy it!
My labour story. I’m sorry it’s so long and I’m not the best of writers but here it is! Eden’s birth story
On the evening of 26th April 2014, Ben and I made a cast of my bump. I had polyhydramnios, so my baby bump was pretty huge so we had to capture it! Encase it for life so we could always remember. It was fun! Every pregnant lady should do one.
That night, in bed, Ben was snoring as usual, I’m not sure what time it was because I didn’t look, but I moved my leg to give him a nudge to stop him snoring. But, as I moved my leg, I felt a tiny trickle, I had a sanitary pad in so I didn’t get up,I actually presumed it was pee! I was too tired, and maybe a little too lazy to get up and check!
The next morning, 27th April, I woke up with a start at 6:30am. I literally jumped out of bed and felt between my legs. It woke Ben who said “what’s wrong?” I said “I’m wet!” Ben woke up a little, focused and said “yeah, yeah you are!”
I couldn’t feel anything leaking so went to the bathroom and was completely baffled. I didn’t feel any leaking, I thought maybe I had pee’d myself but then it didn’t smell like urine and I’ve never pee’d the bed and it was more than a little trickle.
I had no idea what it was like to feel waters break, when I was pregnant with Eva, the doctor broke my waters so I had no idea if they’d gone or not.
About an hour or so later, I went to the bathroom again to (TMI!) empty my bowels. This is when it started.
My water broke properly then. Not some huge gush but a consistent, fast leak. I had a lot of fluid due to the polyhydramnios so I was leaking through huge maternity pads in seconds. I knew my waters had definitely broken then.
I called Gloucester Royal who asked if I was contracting, which I wasn’t, so they said to call St Michael’s hospital in Bristol, where I was booked in for my induction. Bristol said to go straight in.
Crazy! Exciting! Nervous! Emotional! Petrified! Ecstatic! Overwhelmed! Absolutely shitting bricks! A few emotions to describe how I was feeling at that point in time.
It was a last minute rush to get everything together, my parents came and collected us and I sat on a towel in the car, having very mild contractions by now and dad drove the 45 minute journey to Bristol.
In Bristol, I said goodbye to my parents and Eva at the doors of the delivery suite, I felt extremely emotional and upset that I was having to leave my daughter behind and wanted her to come with me.
Off we went into triage to be assessed.
There, the midwife confirmed my water had broken by doing a speculum check and hooked me up to a ctg monitor which showed mild contractions. They admitted me seeing as I was due to be induced the following day and I couldn’t exactly pop home to wait! Haha!
Ben and I were taken to ward 71, where we had our own room with a TV, 1 bed and a chair. Nothing was happening so we sat and watched Breaking Bad on the iPad whilst waiting for some contractions. It was all very relaxed and I just felt excited.
Around about 11pm, a nurse offered to bring a bed into the room for Ben to sleep on as the chair didnt recline at all. They changed their minds and decided to take us to a much bigger room with 2 beds. Score!!
That’s where we went and we both tried to get some sleep.
At around 4am on the 28th April, I was woken up by some much stronger contractions that I was starting to need to breathe through and I even took a couple of my own painkillers to take the edge off. These were every 15 minutes and I lasted as long as I possibly could before buzzing the midwife. At around 5:30am, I woke Ben up moaning through a strong contraction, by now they were getting a lot closer together, and a lot more painful.
I buzzed the midwife who hooked me up to a monitor and did another speculum check which hurt like a bitch! The contractions were getting very painful by now and I was dying for some gas and air! The midwife left me on the monitor for 10 minutes which showed I was contracting 1 in 3 and my waters were still clear (except for blood which is normal, I think?) but no meconium! Which I was very happy about seeing as when I had Eva, there was meconium in my waters then.
Then it was time to go. By now I was terrified!
And off we went onto the delivery suite.
Into the room where I would eventfully give birth!
We got there about 6 in the morning of the 28th April. Typically, my contractions slowed down to every 5-8 minutes. They were still very painful and I was finally given some gas and air! Woohoo!
Eventually, my contractions became stronger. The second stage of my labour, lasted 1.5 hours. This was the horrible part of labour where you’re in so much pain but you aren’t ready to push.
This labour was by far more painful than Eva’s labour. Things kept slowing down (expect for the pain). My back was horribly painful and they gave me a heat pack, which was bloody hot and burnt my skin a little but I was in so much pain I didn’t care. I wanted my back rubbed the entire time.
There was no position that was comfortable for me. I was literally throwing myself about! They wanted me up on my feet but it hurt more.
I begged the midwives for an epidural, I was starting to get very tired and felt as though I couldn’t go on anymore. I was vomiting too. My energy was just leaving me. The midwives kept saying I was “nearly there” and that it was “too late” for an epidural. They lied. I was not “nearly there” and I had enough time for an epidural. I didn’t get an epidural and just had gas and air but I was using it so much that it was making me throw up all the time. The midwife had to go and get me a powerade, cherry flavour to be precise, to get my energy levels up and rehydrate me. It made me vomit. I can never have anything cherry again!
Nothing seemed to be happening and I was getting very upset. Hysterically crying, my blood pressure was getting higher and so was my heart rate.
Baby’s heart rate was dropping too and they had to fit a clip on her head to monitor it better. There was concern because of the fact she has a potential heart problem already so things were starting to get tense.
I felt reluctant to push. At the time, I thought my body and baby just weren’t ready. I presumed that’s why I couldn’t push.
Looking back, I see now that I was reluctant to push and was crying so much, because I was terrified. I already knew my daughter had problems. She was safe in my womb, nothing could hurt or harm her in there and she’d be safe. I was petrified that she would be born and the worst would happen. I wanted to keep her safe. I was terrified of what would happen to her once she was born. It was a very emotional time and it just seems like a blur of tears and fear.
Eventually, it was time to start pushing properly. Baby had come down on her own, whether I liked it or not. We soon discovered she was back to back, which is why my back hurt so much and why I wasn’t comfortable. I had already been pushing but not properly. But now, the urge to push was overwhelming and, ready or not, baby was coming.
7 minutes of (very vocal) pushing later and Eden Jessica Kelly Bourne was born. At 12:09pm on the 28th April 2014, at St Michael’s hospital in Bristol, weighing 7lb 2oz.
She was immediately taken by the NICU doctors and nurses, they clamped and cut her cord and took her to the resuscitation table.
Later, I learnt that Eden needed resuscitating once she was born. It felt like a lifetime, but only after a few minutes, I heard a gargle and a cough. Then a very gargly cry.
I was in hysterics. I was crying so hard. I wanted to hold my baby! It happened so fast, I didn’t even realise she was out until they were cutting the cord. I felt sad that Ben didn’t get to cut the cord.
I already knew Eden was going to be taken to NICU but I was desperate to hold my baby before they took her.
Just before they wheeled my baby away, they lifted her up for me to see. I broke down in tears. I longed to hold her, I physically ached to just touch her.
No one expected Eden to need help with breathing and getting started and she was ventilated as soon as she was on the NICU.
A huge tube down her throat, breathing for her because she wasn’t able to breathe for herself.
Ben and I were left in the room I delivered in. I had no energy at all but I wanted to get down to the NICU to see Eden as soon as possible. They promised to come get us when she was stable.
I tried hard to get myself up and about so I could get down to see her. But whenever I stood up, I felt like I was going to faint. Plus, the midwives need you to pass urine ASAP after giving birth.
Luckily, I hadn’t needed stitches. Unlike with Eva, where I had a 2nd degree tear. With Eden, I just had a teeny graze and no stitches were needed. I was over the moon about that! Eventually i pee’d but I still felt very faint and very nauseous. So had to stay laying down and I needed to eat.
A midwife came in and helped my express some milk to take down even though Eden was nil by mouth and stayed nil by mouth for 3 days.
After 2 hours, the cardiologist came to see me to explain that Eden did not need the prostin (medicine to keep her duct open) because after a scan, they were happy that the duct wasn’t going to close very fast causing the coarctation (narrowing of the aorta) to appear and stop Eden’s blood flow completely. And he explained she was now stable, but ventilated.
Then a midwife gave me 2 photos of Eden. I actually do not like the photos at all. But it was still amazing to see her close up, even if it was via a photo.
Eventually, I managed to get in a wheelchair and go down to the NICU to visit my baby.
I remember seeing her and thinking how terrible she looked. Not something you’d expect a mum to say about their own child. But she was very swollen, completely naked except for a nappy and some bubble wrap to keep her warm. And wires and tubes coming from everywhere. I could barely see her face.
She was in an open top incubator. I was able to touch her. I couldn’t lift her and hold her obviously but I could touch her. Her hands were covered by a bandage to keep the cannulas in.
After only 5 minutes, I started to feel faint again. It was hot in there and it was very overwhelming. I didn’t want to leave but I had to. We went back to the delivery suite and there, we were taken up to the ward.
We were in room E, I remember thinking “E for Eva”. By now, Eden still didn’t have a name. So whilst on our room. We discussed names. This is where we decided on Eden Jessica Kelly. Eden was a name i had read and had put it on the “potential name list” and Jessica was also a potential first name, we both liked the name very much but felt Eden would suit better. Kelly is my sisters name.
We ate some food, they brought a bed in for Ben to sleep on and I had a wash and got changed. I carried on hand expressing every 3 hours into a tiny 1ml syringe.
Later on, we went back down to visit Eden and take the milk down.
I felt much better seeing her and felt more comfortable having photos taken. Now the NICU nurse explained Eden’s care to me.
She couldn’t breathe properly when she came out and needed to be ventilated as I’ve said. And her heart was being closely monitored.
We found out when I was pregnant that Eden had a pleural effusion (fluid on the lung). This didn’t require draining which was good news.
They felt that Eden’s cystic hygroma (fluid at the back of the neck) could have been why she couldn’t breathe for herself. But now she was stable, the ventilator helping her.
Eden’s story continues. And although we are now home, 6 weeks on, Eden is still undergoing a lot of treatment and lots of hospital visits.
She is doing well right now and we hope that she continues to get better.