If you follow me on social media (I'll leave links below) you'll have already seen my announcement. But for those who don't, I'd like to officially introduce you to our daughter. Arabella Rae was delivered into the world Thursday 9th June at 2.35pm weighing 7lb 10.50z.
Since becoming pregnant I became obsessed with watching pregnancy videos on YouTube, and some of my favourite to watch were birth story videos. So I decided I'd like to do a blog post about my birth story, not just for you lot but so I can look back on it myself, a bit like a diary entry. I'll just add this little warning now - as it's a birth story, I can't guarantee what is and isn't going to be too much information. And this may be a bit of a lengthy post, so I'll apologise in advance.
Fast forward a few hours, after just going to bed as normal, and I woke up about 2.30am the Thursday morning. I was getting pains in my tummy and the odd one in my lower back, but I didn't think too much of it as I didn't want to get my hopes up of anything happening. Come 3 o'clock, I decided that something was definitely up, so I woke Dan and all we could do was wait to see if it was actual labour, but I had a feeling we would be meeting our baby soon.
By around half 4, after having both a shower and a bath, and after sending Dan to Tesco for paracetamol and Ribena, I rang the hospital and they said to just labour for as long as I could at home, to time the contractions and to come in when it got too much. By 6 I was in a considerable amount of pain and rang again, but according to the woman on the phone I didn't sounds in that much pain and that I should stay home! She asked me the same as the lady on the phone before, but when she asked if I had felt the baby move I realised I hadn't felt her since the night before so they advised me to go straight in.
We got a taxi straight to the hospital and went up the ward and was lucky enough to be put straight in a private room with a bed and en-suite etc. They did all the required checks and put me on a monitor and monitored baby's heartbeat for an hour, and said everything was fine and they were happy with her movements.
This is where it could get icky, so sorry again!
By this point I'd lost a lot of my mucus plug, so the midwife did an internal examination, but said she couldn't feel much and that she would give me another sweep to get things going, only to realise that, actually, I was already 4cm dilated!
Straight away I got changed into my pyjamas and was put on the gas and air and was there to stay until baby made an appearance.
By around 9.30am I hadn't progressed much further and was in even more pain and asked for an epidural, but it wasn't possible for me to have one and opted for diamorphine. By dinner time, I still hadn't progressed with the dilating, so I had to have my waters broke to speed things up. As the midwife broke them, she realised it contained meconium, and that we needed to get the baby out sooner rather than later.
At around 2pm, I was shocked when they did a check to find I was already 8cm and was moving along nicely. All I remember is squeezing Dan's hand, trying to resist the urge to push. I told the midwives and she said it was the baby bearing down, and that if I needed to push then to just go for it. I can't remember much from the day, as the diamorphine made me feel totally out of it, but I just remember having to hold my leg up, push down and breathe.
Approximately 30 minutes and 8 pushes later, Arabella was here. I didn't even dare look when she was out, as I hadn't heard her cry. But as soon as I looked, I just couldn't believe it. She was there, in person, all 7lb of her chunky little limbs. She was bright purple and screeching, and Dan and I were just in awe. That moment when I saw her for the very first time is definitely the best moment of my life. She was cleaned up and brought straight over for cuddles, and we were finally a family!
After a while I had to deliver the placenta and get checked over, to which they found I had second degree tears and would need stitches, so I was back on the gas and air and actually fell asleep through getting them done!
Eventually they moved me up to the ward, but by this time it was time for Dan to go home, and Arabella and I had our first night together.
We had to stay in the Thursday and Friday night, to keep an eye on the stitches and to establish breastfeeding, and were finally allowed home the Saturday afternoon to begin our family life properly.
Giving birth is definitely the most rewarding, surreal, amazing thing I have ever achieved, and I never want to forget a single moment from that day.
I'll be doing a lot more posts about Arabella, but to keep updated make sure you're following me on social media, and we'll be sure to see you soon.
Beth, Dan & Arabella x
Twitter - @_bethhenderson
Instagram - @_bethanyhenderson