Dylan's Birth Story

By Clare Longley - August 20, 2018

When Ethan was tiny I shared his birth story as I didn't want to forget it so it's only fitting that I do the same for Dylan. He's already over 2 months old and time is flying by so I need to pen to paper so to speak before it also becomes a distant memory.
There's a bit of a back story so bear with me but it's important to include all of the facts.

Let's go back to Saturday 2nd June (my due date was the 5th June). I was upstairs getting ready to meet a friend for coffee when I heard Ethan cry out downstairs and he wouldn't stop crying. Tom was with him and even after cuddles he was still upset. He had tripped over the clear mask of Space Snoopy and hurt his leg. We thought nothing of it as he's always falling over something and figured he would be fine in a few hours. I got back from my trip to Costa and he was sat on the sofa and couldn't put his foot to the floor so we took him to Minor Injuries where they said it could be a toddler break and if he was no better the following day to go to A&E. The next day he still wouldn't walk on it so Tom took him to A&E telling me to stay at home as it wouldn't be good for me considering I was ready to drop at any moment. The doctors there diagnosed Irritable Hip and booked him in for a follow up appointment a few days later but gave us a sheet of certain symptoms to look out for and if any appeared to come straight back. 

The following day Ethan was still not walking but happily scooting about in his little car. He seemed well enough in himself but when Tom got back from work he suddenly developed a high temperature of 40.6 so we took him back to A&E as it was one of the things they told us to watch out for and come back if he had one. Initially they thought he had a bone infection and decided to admit us so we were sent up to the Children's ward. Now at this point it's 9pm and the day before my due date so there is a bit of concern that I might go into labour but thankfully I didn't. We were seen by another doctor who immediately diagnosed tonsillitis which is what was causing the high temperature but it didn't explain the problem with Ethan's leg. He was sent for an x-ray and we were told the Orthopaedic Team would see us in the morning. I was advised to stay over with Ethan in case I went into labour as the delivery suite was next door and Tom was sent home to get some rest, pick up a change of clothes for Ethan and I and my hospital bags just to be prepared.

After very little sleep we saw the Orthopaedics Team first thing the following morning and they decided to put him in a cast for 10 days as he didn't quite have a break but there was a bend in the bone. Never in my life have I felt more like a grown up until I was sat on a hospital bed with my little boy talking to a group of doctors. This day was also my due date so I had a few concerned nurses stopping by to make sure I was ok and asking was I getting any twinges. I was so stressed out that I knew I wouldn't be going into labour any time soon.

Thankfully we got home later that day but I did not feel ready to have this baby when I was so worried about Ethan. How could I go in to labour when he was in a cast along with suffering from tonsillitis? This baby just needed to stay put.

A couple of days later we had a little play date and Ethan suddenly felt confident enough to walk on his cast which made me feel so much better. He seemed to be coping so well and the thought of leaving him to give birth didn't feel quite so daunting. I then saw the Midwife for my 40 week appointment and she booked me in for a stretch and sweep the following week and an induction for 10 days later explaining that at Harrogate they had changed how they did inductions and would give me a pessary, send me home and let me labour there as if I had gone into labour naturally and return to the hospital when it was time to deliver the baby.

I came away from the appointment feeling really good and relaxed - Ethan was feeling so much better and a lot more mobile and suddenly the possibility of induction didn't sound quite so bad.

Two days later it was Sunday and a glorious day. I had been vlogging that weekend as I knew it was our last weekend as a 3. Ethan was napping and I said to Tom that we should go to Costa once he woke for coffee and cake and to get a dose of sunshine. We went to Costa then into Sainsbury's to pick up a few basics as we weren't doing a proper shop in case I went into labour (little did we know what was about to happen). While in the queue the lady in front let us go ahead which was so kind. We then headed next door to Kwik Fit to pick up a tyre that was being repaired. They didn't charge us which was very strange but I wonder did they take pity on me being heavily pregnant and Ethan with his leg in a cast.

We got home and Tom said he would cut the lawn and I settled down on the sofa to watch the Lion King with Ethan while a pie was cooking for tea in the oven. I suddenly felt a little twinge but thought nothing of it as I had been getting Braxton Hicks on and off for weeks. 10 minutes after that I got another twinge and 10 minutes after than another one. I told Tom and said it's probably a false alarm but I text my friend who would be looking after Ethan to give her a heads up. At this point it's just after 5pm. We sit down to eat dinner and I'm still getting these niggly pains every 10 minutes or so. At 6pm I text Sara to come and get Ethan in case it is the real thing then he would be settled at least for bed. I nipped to the loo and saw the tiniest pink spot on the tissue and wondered was that the start of my bloody show. Each time after that when a little pain hit I felt a small leak which had me wondering was it my waters. With Ethan they went as a gush while this was more like a small trickle. 

Sara arrived at 6:15pm and I had a couple of contractions while she was there but each one was pretty mild. Oddly I didn't feel emotional saying goodbye to Ethan. We snapped one last photo as a 3 and he went off quite happily. I then phoned the hospital and they said to come in when I was ready and they could see what was going on. Tom went for a shower and I tidied up after dinner. He thought I was mad but I didn't want to come back to a messy house. Once he was done I had a quick shower too as I was quite hot and sweaty as it had been so warm that day. While I got ready he laid a towel in the car for me and fitted the car seat.

We left home at 7:45pm and got to the hospital just after 8pm. At this point the contractions were about 5-7 minutes apart but still not too bad. We made our way up to the labour ward and the Midwife asked to see my maternity pad (I had popped one on once I started leaking) to check if my waters had gone. She then told us to go for a walk to see if things started to speed up so we decided to head down to the car to get my stuff. I had only brought my notes up with me in case I was sent home. At this point contractions are getting stronger, around 5 minutes apart but bearable as long as I concentrating on my breathing. A few porters offered to get me a wheelchair but I needed to keep moving.

We got back up to the ward around 9pm and said I wasn't in established labour yet but they would not send me home as second babies can come quickly and we lived 20 minutes away. The active birth room was free so I asked to go in the pool and by 10pm it was ready for me. They wouldn't give me gas and air yet but by 10:30pm contractions were coming thick and fast and I knew I was in established labour. I tried listening to my hypnobirthing tracks but it was doing my head in and I got Tom to turn it off. The water was lovely but very quickly I felt that it wasn't for me and voiced my concerns that I wanted a positive birth but didn't think I could do it without drugs. I asked for an epidural but was told I needed to be examined. At this point contractions were a minute or so apart so it took a lot of effort to get out of the pool and over to the bed to be examined. The Midwife said I was 8cm and at that point I realised I was too far dilated for drugs and would have to do it with just gas and air. Looking back I wonder was the point at which I was doubting my abilities actually the transition phase.

It was now around 11:30pm and much of the next bit is a blur. I just remember leaning over the bed and concentrating on my breathing while using the gas and air. Suddenly I felt like my insides were going to fall out and yelled that I needed to push. The ring of fire was just as horrific as last time and next thing I know I've stood up straight and locked my legs forcing a cannula to fall out that had been inserted in preparation for any blood loss (I lost a lot of blood last time). Seconds later at 12:26am our beautiful baby boy Dylan is born with his hand at the side of his face and he is passed between my legs and into my arms.

I don't remember how I got on the bed but somehow I did, the placenta was delivered and I was checked for damage (thankfully I only had a small graze). I was stitched up while Dylan was weighed and we were both shocked to hear that he weighed 10lb 2oz considering a growth scan at 35 weeks predicted a birth weight of 7lb 15oz!

I'm still amazed that I delivered him on gas and air with only a small graze. It was a totally different labour and delivery compared to Ethan and recovery was so much quicker. We were home 12 hours later to begin our life as a family of 4.

Sorry it was such a long one but life was pretty eventful in the lead up to Dylan's birth. I'm pleased to report that Ethan is fully recovered too and just adores his baby brother.

Mid contraction. Tom thought it was hilarious that I was leaning on a picture of Prince Phillip 




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