A bit about before
When we were pregnant with JJ we lived in Aberdeen and knew that he would be born there. Back then I very much had the view of a “first time birther”, slightly ignorant to what was going to happen, to the pain that I would have to withstand in order to birth him. I ended up having an epidural, which actually only worked in one side of my body despite being put in twice. When I look back on the birth of JJ it was a great experience, I have honestly forgot the pain (which is probably why we are did it all again!) and the care I got was exceptional.
When JJ was 6 months old we moved to Moray. Which means that during this second pregnancy we have been in the care of midwifes in Moray. The care has been just as good as in Aberdeen, in some aspects maybe even a bit better, since we have had much more continuity of carer through the whole pregnancy. Getting to build a relationship with the person taking care of you during such an important time was lovely.
Early on in our pregnancy we spoke to our midwife about the birth plan and pain relief options, she told us, that there would not be the option of an epidural at Elgin hospital, which is the closest hospital to us (about a 15 min drive). The closest place for an epidural would be Inverness hospital and I made it clear to them that I wanted to be booked in there. Not because I definitely knew that I wanted an epidural, but because I wanted to be in a place, where it would be an option.
Getting closer to the exciting stuff
Our due date was the 8th of February 2018. I was secretly hoping that I would go a bit over, because I was enjoying those last days with just JJ, knowing that the baby would come sooner or later. ( In hind sight, considering Silas’s size, I am glad that I did not go past my due date!). I was offered a sweep on the 7th of February which I gladly accepted. I don’t find these as uncomfortable as they sometimes are made out to be, don’t get me wrong, it is not nice, but it is nothing compared to what is to come 😉 At my sweep my midwife told me that my cervix was very favourable, isn’t that the most lovey compliment to give a cervix?! It was soft and already 3 cm dilated. This made me excited and that night I finished writing my pregnancy journal, got the list of phone numbers sorted, finalised the arrangements of who was going to look after JJ when things were gonna happen.
JJ was not feeling well those days. He was full of the cold, had a sore tummy and was throwing up too. So when I that night got a sore tummy too I just assumed that I had what ever he had. I let this go on for quite some time. Eventually I was sitting on the birthing ball and realised that my stomach pain was coming and going. As you might have guessed, this was no ordinary stomach pain, it was contractions!
We called JJs great uncle and great aunt to come aunt look after him at 1 in the morning and around 02:00 we left the house. James had in the meantime called Raigmore, the hospital in Inverness, to let them know that we were on our way. We now had an hours drive up to Inverness ahead of us. Our birthing playlist was playing in the car, the excitement was rushing through my body, as was the urge to throw up and a constant need to pee. The urge to throw up eventually got to big and James had to stop on the side of the road, so that I could open the door and throw up. A few minutes later he had to pull into a layby so that I could pee. It was such a strong urge that both him and me were worried that whilst I squatted to pee the baby would come out. But not much happened, a few drops of pee, which mostly landed on my leggings. I arrived at Inverness hospital with my leggings covered in spew and pee.
Arriving at the hospital
It was 3 in the morning, when we arrived at the hospital. The contractions were now so strong and painful that I could not walk. James found a wheelchair for me and as fast as he could wheeled me to the labour ward. Every time a contraction came along we had to stop so that I could breath through it.
We were meet by a lovely midwife, who asked us for the one thing we could not give her. Our paper notes. Elgin has switched over to digital maternity notes, whilst Inverness has not. We got admitted anyway, because this baby was coming, papers or no papers!
We were given a room and I was quickly on the gas and air. I tried my best to loosen up my body and not to be too tense when the contractions came on, but they felt more powerful than I did and I told the midwifes that I wanted an epidural. By now we had 2 midwifes with us. They were a bit hesitant in agreeing to me having the epidural, which I can understand. It would be best to do without, as there can be complications from having an epidural.
I had the constant urge to pee, even after having a catheter put in. At one point James was alone with me in the room and I just felt at big gush, I told James that I had just peed myself , he took a quick look and calmly said that he would go and tell the midwifes. What he didn’t tell me was that all he could see was a lot blood. The midwife quickly came and took a look, I still remember her saying “Oh ya…” in a calm manor. Then they called for the doctor, who when he came into the room had obviously been running. They told me that I had lost a bit of blood, but that they were not overly worried.
After this they put a monitor around my stomach and also scanned to see how the baby was positioned. A fetal scalp electrode had been put on the babys head earlier on to also monitor how he was doing. The monitoring showed that the baby was in distress and when I was told that baby had to be born within the next few minutes or we had to go for foreseps or even a c-section this gave me a real push. Literally. I don’t think that I did much more than a handful of pushes after that and he was out.
Silas Aonghus Kelly Born
This is the point when you are excited to hear your baby’s first cry, but that did not happen when Silas was born. He was very quiet, they held him up a bit for me to see, but as they realised that he was not making any sounds they took him over to the crib and rubbed him down, sucked his airways and finally he let out a big cry!
We did not know the gender of the baby until he was born. We were however only 100% certain on the name if it was a boy. I remember looking at James when he was born and saying it is Silas.
You can just imagine our relief. I was never really worried, it all happened so fast and the way the midwifes and doctor worked had a very calming effect on me. I remember clearly that when he had let out his first cry the atmosphere in the room got so much lighter and the midwife joked that Silas had hands the size of dinner plates and no wonder that I wanted an epodural. He was then put on my chest. I kissed his head, he smelled so fresh! That newborn smell, I wish I could bottle it up.
Silas was born at 06:07 on the 8th of February. As soon as he was on me I put him towards my breast and he knew, he already knew that there was something there for him. I will always to be in awe of how newborns just know that there is something there. I know that is is due to smell etc, but still, it is fascinating!
The midwife who was with me was very supportive of getting Silas to the breast. It was a nice feeling to have someone there who was very knowledgable about breastfeeding and helpful too. After all it was almost 3 years since I feed a newborn and feeding a newborn is very different to an almost 3 year old.
Due to having an epidural I could not leave the bed to go for a bath after the birth. One of the midwifes offered to give me a bedbath. At first I was a bit hesitant, but she was so nice and told me that it would make me feel a bit more fresh. She was of course right.
Someone might notice that when I write about being pregnant, I say our pregnancy.
James is the most supportive and caring man on this earth. He truly is my other half, without him I am not whole, and that is why I say our pregnancy! He was there through every step of the pregnancy, never did he hesitate going to get me any food in the middle of the night. He attended every single antenatal appointment, scan and antenatal class. He rubbed cream on the tummy as often as I would let him, he took pictures of the growing miracle. If there was anything I needed, he was there for me.
As soon as we realised that I was in early labour he took charge. He called the hospital and got me there. The painful contractions were not easy to handle and there are many little things that I can’t remember from the birth. He is able to fill in the blanks. I am blessed to have him with me on this crazy ride called parenthood.
If there was one thing I would change about Silas’s birth it would be that James should have held him sooner and should have gotten to dress him in his first outfit. About an hour and a half after Silas was born James had to drive home to pick up the few papers we had collected during our antenatal appointments. Silas was still having skin to skin with me when James left.
But I will see the positive about it. Because he held him on the ward for the first time I was able to get these lovely pictures of their first snuggles together.
Our First Day Together
Me and Silas stayed at the hospital that first day and night together. After the birth I had a high temperature and was feeling very tired. I got antibiotics via IV and was monitored closely. I struggled passing urine for the first half day after the birth, then eventually things started working slowly again. Before I left the hospital I even did a number two.
I could not wait to get home to show JJ his little borther, but at the same time I was enjoying the alone time with Silas, because I knew that I was ntot going to get as much of it as I did when we had JJ. We had envisioned that JJ would come to the hospital to meet the baby, but with it being flu season no children were allowed to visit on the ward and JJ was also ill, so we did not want to risk anything.
Going home to meet his big brother
After having spent a day and a half at the hospital we were ready to go home.
JJ and Silas got to meet in our own bedroom. It was such a lovely moment, undisturbed and just us four. JJs face when he saw that we had a baby in our bed was priceless. As we had anticipated he fell in love with his baby brother immediately!