Baby “London’s” Birth Story

I have to apologise for being offline for quite a while, but with the arrival of little ‘Baby London’ everything has been hectic especially as we’ve also just moved.  We do things easy in this household don’t we?!

Our gorgeous little boy was born on the 22nd December at 23:23.

The birth didn’t go quite as planned, instead of the glorious non medicalised water birth I had in mind I ended up having the complete opposite birthing experience.

On 21st December my water’s broke and I was having contractions once every 10 minutes.  Completely bearable and really not painful at all but I was checked out at the hospital because my waters breaking also happened with quite a lot of blood loss so they wanted to make sure it wasn’t anything serious.

Once everything was checked and everything was deemed fine I was sent back home to see if my labour would progress and told to return to hospital at 10pm if I hadn’t given birth already due to the risk of infection.

Typically I didn’t progress at all, so off to hospital we went at 10pm so I could be induced to get the contractions more frequent and doing some actual work.  I was nervous and excited by this point.  I didn’t want to be induced but I couldn’t wait to see my little boy!

Unfortunately non of my midwives were on call that night so I had another midwife care for me during this stage.  She wasn’t the most helpful midwife at all, she induced me and then left me alone for about 12 hours.

(Small break between contractions)

As soon as I got induced my contractions started coming on really strong, but being a first time mum I didn’t want to be that annoying person you see on ‘One Born Every Minute’ demanding pain relief so early on.  But it got to the point where I couldn’t cope and no one was checking on me so I sent MrLondonMum to find anyone to give me something.  I was given a pill- no idea what it was as by this point I was just in pain and couldn’t concentrate on anything so swallowed it without a second thought.  The pill took the edge off for a short while, but it didn’t remove all the pain.  But the hypnobirthing techniques I learnt really did help me cope during this time, I was using the breathing techniques to get me through.  Without hypnobirthing I think I’d have gone crazy.  The midwife when she did eventually come back in was surprised at how quiet I was considering the contraction timings and strength on the monitors.

To help me along I was given an additional couple of pills- paracetamol.  Once she figured out these weren’t doing much for me I was offered the gas and air.  I thought I’d love gas and air, and according to MrLondonMum I must have because I apparently didn’t let go of it.  The only problem I found with gas and air was you had to start breathing it in before a contraction so it worked throughout the contraction as opposed to what I was doing for a long time which was breathing it in at the start of a contraction and feeling that numbed feeling after the contraction was over.

Finally one of the midwives from the team that had cared for me throughout my pregnancy came in and took over.  She was an absolute god send.  She did an internal check and after 12 hours of induced contractions I’d only managed to reach 1cm.  I was so upset.  The pain I was in just didn’t seem fitting.  As a needle phobic person I really didn’t want to have an epidural, so I tried to keep focused.  But I just couldn’t cope.  I was physically being sick, mentally I was exhausted and I was in such pain that I knew I couldn’t continue as I was.

My wonderful midwife had already sensed this and knowing the epidural man was in high demand had already put in a request to stop by my room.  I did have to wait an hour for him but by the time he got to my room I just wanted that epidural so badly, I didn’t even care about the needle.  The contractions felt like they were on top of each other and I wasn’t getting much time between them at all.  Knowing I had a phobia of needles my midwife checked my blood pressure at the time the epidural guy was working on me to keep my mind off what was happening.  I actually could have cried at her consideration.

And then the epidural started to work…. bliss.  I actually could have kissed the epidural man.  (I highly recommend the epidural, if you can’t take the pain just give in!)

I managed to sleep, watch some episodes of friends and actually have human conversation.  I refused the catheter at first as I wanted to be able to get up and go to the bathroom myself (the idea of a catheter freaked me out), but after so many hours my legs weren’t working quite as effectively and I was encouraged to get the catheter and promised it wouldn’t hurt.  It really didn’t hurt either- I’m sure the epidural helped here!

Everything after this point was progressing really well until the baby’s heart-rate dropped at 8cm.  The midwife calmly asked MrLondonMum to pull the red cord and in a matter of seconds my bed was surrounded by anaesthetists, doctors, midwives.. in fact pretty much everyone.  I was just silent, I didn’t know what to do.  But the baby’s heart rate picked up again and so they just monitored both of us much closer.  Checking my blood pressure and temperature even more frequently, and keeping an eye on the monitor readings.

At this point my midwife changed over again, but I had another one from the team I had throughout my pregnancy.  So I knew I was in good hands.

At 9cm dilated my temperature soared and every-time I shut my eyes to sleep the baby’s heart rate would drop, so I knew I had to stay awake (don’t ask me what I’m doing in the picture below- I was delirious!).

The doctor was called again and I was told I would need to go to theatre as I’d picked up an infection which was affecting the baby causing his heart rate to be erratic.  They were going to try to stretch me to 10cm and use forceps to deliver, but if they couldn’t do that it would have to be an emergency caesarean.

Again hypnobirthing techniques got me calmly through this period.  Being wheeled into theatre according to MrLondonMum I was just ‘zen.’  I was calm and prepared.

Literally within minutes of being in theatre the forceps delivery was ruled out and I was being prepped for an emergency c-section.  The anaesthetist was another wonderful person, he kept me talking and joked with me.  He was so calm which kept me in that calm state.  I was given a spinal and then he tested to make sure I was numb.

The section started before I was even aware of it, and not long after I heard my baby’s first cry.  Which led to me bawling my eyes out.  MrLondonMum went to go cut his cord and then my little man was handed to me.  But he was having breathing difficulties and was taken away a couple of minutes later.

He was put in intensive care straight away and given antibiotics in case any of the infection I had passed through the placenta to him and he was also treated for his breathing problems.

I was wheeled straight into an aftercare room with a nurse on round the clock care.

Because of the infection I was pumped full of medication and being hooked up to loads of things meant I couldn’t go and see my little man, so MrLondonMum was going between the two of us taking pictures for me.

The day after I managed to get unhooked from everything for a while to get wheeled down to see my little boy.  Most of the equipment had been removed from him by the time I got to see him.  He just had his feeding tube in.  I got my first cuddle too 🙂

By that afternoon our little boy was doing better and was moved over to the special care unit.  But it was another night for both of us in hospital apart.

By the third night we were reunited.  And the day after (Christmas day) we were both released.  I was in pain but our little man was healthy and happy, and I’d had all the antibiotics my body could muster.  My temperature had gone done as had my blood pressure.  I’ve never been happier to see our front door!

One thing they don’t tell you about is the ridiculous swelling that accompanies a c-section due to the immobility and the amount of fluid pumped into you…  so enjoy this piccy 😉

Anyone remember Aunt Petunia from Harry Potter??!!



  1. Ahh congratulations he’s just perfect!! That first picture is amazing with Big Ben in the background. I was at St Thomas for my first pregnancy but moved away a few weeks before the birth so i missed out on the amazing photo opps!
    Oh and epidurals are fab aren’t they :))

    • A week later and we’d have had a prime spot for the fireworks!

      Epidurals are amazing… if I ever have another I’ll be ordering an epidural straight away! x

  2. Oh gosh! A dramatic birth experience but so pleased baby London was all ok in the end! He is perfect, congrats again!
    Were you administered antibiotics when you were first admitted at 10pm? I found the hospital midwives unhelpful too at St T’s. Was it the Clapham team that looked after you? Just the way you describe them sounds like the tean who looked after me! X

    • No I wasn’t given antibiotics at 10- at least I don’t think I was. I had that thing in the hand and something was pumped into me… so maybe I did have it. My head was all over the place!
      I didn’t have the Clapham midwives, but I’m so glad I didn’t just have the St thomas’ ones. I’m sure there are some great ones there but the one I had just spoke at me and never listened to anything I said back or even any questions my other half had. Whereas when my community midwives came in they were so considerate and never left my side. x

  3. Congratulations on the birth of your gorgeous baby boy! Glad you’re both doing well. xxx

  4. Your son is ridiculously cute!! I am glad he is finally here but sorry you had to go through all of that! Hope you are recovering well and enjoying your little man!

  5. Oh my gosh your son is adorable! Look at how swollen you are - wow! Has it gone down now? Congraulations xxx

    • Yes thankfully the swelling has gone down, it did take about a week though! I honestly thought they’d never go back to normal! xx

  6. Congratulations! He is beautiful. just perfect! I also had feet like that. I could hardly fit into my flip-flops. I called them elephant feet. Mine went back to normal after my milk came (which didn’t happan for like 6 days…). Wish you lots of health and happiness. xoxo FANNI

    • Thank you 🙂 Glad I wasn’t the only one with huge feet post pregnancy haha x

    • Thank you, 7 weeks on it’s funny how much I’ve forgotten. I was adamant I was never going to experience birth again.. I’m thinking now that Baby London would love a brother or a sister in the future… lol x

  7. Thank you for linking to this post, I really enjoyed it! What an experience, it sounds quite traumatic. But Baby London is absolutely beautiful. And I’m with you on already thinking about ‘the next one’, despite swearing at the time I’d never do it again!!

    rachael @ xx

    • I’m already planning when the best time to have the next one is lol.. I’m thinking maybe when he’s 18 months giving it a go 😉 xx

  8. Pingback: Relationship Reality Post Baby | TheLondonMum
  9. Glad you found your birth a positive experience even if it did not go as planned. It sounds like you have your C Section in the UK? Is that right?
    I am from the USA and over here it is all so different. Most American hospitals see birth as a medical condition and care is led by the OB in hospital not midwives. Over here(in the US) a lot of C Sections are done unnecessary and they are not family centred like the UK ones. Here in the US they actually strap your arms down to the armboards both arms and they don’t untie them to let you hold the baby until you are taken to the recovery room.Glad they never did that to you. I hear they don’t do that there in the UK.
    Congrats on your baby BTW.

    • If they were to strap my arms down I think I’d of started yelling. That would be awful, you already feel like everything is out of control but that would have felt so restrictive and taken away any sort of joy from the birth. Even though I didn’t get to hold my SOn for long I wouldn’t have been able to cope with not being able to see or touch him at all.
      In the UK they tend to encourage natural birth even after you’ve had a c section unless you have a serious medical condition- I think because of the risks involved and also the price for the NHS. Because I’ve had one c section I can request another for my next child but they’ll no doubt still try and convince me to have a natural birth.

      • Unfortunately in the USA it’s still standard practice in many places here (strapping the arms down.) I saw that UK Show you mentioned in your post One Born Every Minute and from what I saw the UK C Sections are a lot different from here in the US. In that all the mums had their arms free and were not restrained at all. And I noticed the operating theatre staff seem to be a lot more caring towards the mother. The nurses were supporting the mother as was the doctor. And all of the mums got to hold their babies in the OR.
        Here in the US the medical the staff virtually ignore the mum and her partner during the C Section. And she cannot even hold her partners hand or her baby when it comes out because her arms are strapped down.

        Also you really have to fight to have a natural birth in hospital without intevention in the US. Here women are not allowed to walk around during lobor and continual fetal monitoring and IV’s are done as routine. And the only position for birth is lying flat on your back on a delivery bed. And a lot of hospitals here won’t do a Vaginal birth VBAC after a C Section. So here in most US hospitals you don’t really have a choice unless you have your baby at home. It’s shocking how childbirth in the USA is so far behind and seen as more of a medical than a natural event.

        • That really is shocking, I didn’t think the US would be that behind in medical practice when it comes to child birth. In the operating theatre, the team are given various roles meaning that at all times the mother is supported while she’s being operated on. The anaesthetist I had was so lovely and kept me calm the whole time chatting and joking with me, while my partner was to my other side.

          • Yes I agree it is an appalling practice but it happens in many USA hospitals. If you watch A Baby Story our American TV show about birth you which I think is also aired in Britain.You see a lot of US C Sections are done this way. I was looking at one You Tube Clip of A Baby Story and I winced at it all(the mums arms were strapped down). I posted you the link private as the video might upset some people.

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