Picture of Indiana Fox Callaghan taken by Bundles of Joy by Georgina
I haven’t blogged in quite a while and there are a few reasons for this. First of all, I am so superstitious when I am pregnant, I really felt if I blogged too much about it all, that something might go wrong. I know that’s silly but I think once you have had a miscarriage it makes your whole pregnancy so scary and you simply cannot relax.
The other reason I didn’t really blog during my pregnancy was because for the whole 9 months I felt completely washed out, ill in fact and it wasn’t until I gave birth that I realised just how ill I was and it took the brilliant surgeon Mr Flood, at Lincoln County Hospital to find out why I had felt so ill.
This story is about the rather dramatic birth of our newest arrival, Indiana (who you can see in the picture above) and it’s also about choosing the right hospital, which in my case I firmly believe kept me and my baby boy alive.
I’ve already blogged about the fact that after having Phoenix I was left with a hole in my c section scar. I was told that this hole would prevent us from conceiving another baby naturally without a very costly operation. (you can read that blog here)
However, god that my husband is, his sperms managed to swim past this hole to my little old egg and Indiana was conceived. Miracles do happen.
I had a feeling that the hole would be ‘a problem’ during my pregnancy and so I flagged it up right from the start at all my hospital visits.
At the first hospital that I was registered at, they didn’t seem to care about the hole. In fact, a surgeon there told me, she’d never heard of such a thing and that if I went in to labour that would be tough and that she would not performed the c section I wanted and instinctively knew I must have.
She also said that I may have two scars, as my first one had keloid (where the scar is thick and red) and that they wouldn’t necessarily cut that out for me but the second one would keloid too.
She also asked me if I’d like to be sterilised if they did do a c section, because of my age, which honestly, I thought was a bit fucking rich, considering the fact that I had conceived naturally and that she had seen a report showing that my hormone levels were that of a 30 year old before I fell pregnant.
Of course, I declined being sterilised but left feeling really uncomfortable about that hospital and the whole procedure.
Couple that with the fact that Phoenix had caught worms from their midwives’ office (which is horrendous) plus the 3 hour wait I’d had to see the surgeon, I really started to feel that that wasn’t the hospital for me and that I must change. I think most people thought I was mad changing because that hospital was on my doorstep but I just didn’t feel it was right for me and I’m so glad I listened to myself as I think that saved us.
Luckily, in our wonderful country, you can cherry pick your hospital and so I did my research. I decided on Lincoln County Hospital. It was only a 40 minute drive away, it had great public reviews and even though when I visited it I could see it is old, I also could see that is brilliantly clean and very organised. I was not sorry at all that I did change as their care was excellent, even better than the care I received when I had Phoenix and I had him at Arrow Park, which is one of the top maternity units. I promise you, Lincoln is better!
It was in fact only 8 weeks before I gave birth that I actually changed hospitals but Lincoln could not have been more organised at getting me in. There was never any waiting at all and straight away they picked up on the fact that my white blood cell count, was in the 600’s (I believe it should be about 80 if you are healthy) something my previous hospital didn’t seem to find out, even though they did take my blood.
At once I could see why I had felt so ill my whole pregnancy and they treated me with some antibiotics straight away.
My new surgeon, the outstanding Mr Flood, knew immediately that the hole in my old c section scar would be a problem. He confirmed that under no circumstances should I be allowed to go in to labour as there was a 25% chance the hole could rupture, which would be catastrophic for my baby and me. He also said he would remove my old keloid scar and that he would perform a special stitch which would hopefully help prevent any future keloiding on my new scar. He decided he would perform the surgery himself because of the hole and I was booked in on 29th Jan for a c section delivery of my baby boy.
When I went in for a routine midwife check at Lincoln on the 18th Jan, I happened to mention that my old scar had been burning a little. Not wanting to take any precautions that I may go in to labour, they kept me in overnight and luckily gave me steroid injections just in case they had to do the c section before the ‘organised date’ so they could ensure my babies lungs were strong enough for him to survive an early birth. I thought they were a little too cautious at the time but thank goodness they were because he did come early…..
When I was just 37 weeks pregnant, on the night of the 23rd Jan I woke up at 3am with what I thought were Braxton Hicks. Labour was so intensely painful when I was having Phoenix I was pretty sure this was just Braxton Hicks as it really was just a slight bit of pain I was feeling. It did keep waking me up but I figured it was just my body practising for the labour I was never going to have.
That next morning (the 24th Jan) my husband Ayden had a meeting in London to go to. I mentioned to him that I’d had Braxton Hicks but in no way was it labour, I told him he should definitely go to his meeting. He wasn’t sure but I insisted, so off he went.
I hurried off to see my financial advisor that morning and to see my dad's accountant, all the while getting these very mild pains.
At lunchtime, I decided I probably should call the antenatal unit at Lincoln and let them know I was getting small pains, as I knew Mr Flood didn’t really want my uterus tightening just in case it put pressure on my scar. I told them I was sure it was ‘The Hicks’ and that I was fine. The midwife said I should take a paracetamol and that if it was indeed ‘The Hicks’ it should go - but she said I must call her back in hour to let her know I was ok.
I took two pills and I was going to walk in to town with my mum but she insisted that I lie down a bit.
While I was resting, I thought I should start to time the pains I’d been feeling. I think I did it more out of curiosity than concern but I realised they were every 5 minutes and they were not going anywhere. After an hour of timing myself, I called the midwife and reported this…
She said not very calmly – GET IN THE CAR NOW WE NEED YOU IN HOSPITAL AND BRING YOUR HOSPITAL BAGS – it seemed it might not be Braxton Hicks after all!
I was going to drive myself as the pain was still really not that bad but I needed my mum to look after my toddler Phoenix. Thank god, she insisted that she and my dad take me with Phoenix to hospital as in fact, this was not a drill, I was soon to find out I was in labour.
I must say I did start to panic a bit as we drove the 40 minute drive to Lincoln but I was still convinced there was no way I was in labour or that I would have my baby that night. I thought maybe they might bring it forward a bit but it was definitely not imminent – how wrong I was.
I went up to the ward and my parents took Phoenix to get dinner. I thought it might be a good idea to let my lovely husband know I was at the hospital, as he was so far away in London, so I text him, ‘Don’t panic, I’m at the hospital, I’m sure it’s just the hicks but they are being cautious.’
They put me on a monitor and the midwife looked at me and appearing half concerned and half amused she said, “You’re not having Braxton Hicks love, you’re in full labour we are going to try and contact Mr Flood as you are going to have this baby tonight and we know it has to be by c section and soon!”
“Labour?” I questioned. “Are you sure?”
Honestly, it did not hurt at all! I mean, when I was in labour with Phoenix, I was in so much pain, I forgot I was having a baby and I thought I was being tortured in a Walking Dead style scenario. This time it was like, really mild period pains but I was already dilated by 2cm and on my way to a possible hole rupture with deadly consequences…
I text Ayden and my mum to let them know – 'it’s happening'…. It was clear to me that my husband may not make this birth now and that he would probably have a meltdown trying to get back in time.
Luckily we had planned that my mum was be in theatre with me anyway, as Ayden is super squeamish but I knew he wanted to be there of course!
Things started to move quickly at the hospital, I was in a gown and waiting to go in to theatre before I knew it. They told me they had got hold of Mr Flood and that he was coming in from home to perform the section. I was a bit panicked he might not make it, so I was thrilled when I heard he was coming in! I was ridiculously calm though otherwise, especially considering the circumstances!
Meanwhile Ayden was having a nervous breakdown. The earlier train, he thought he could get had been cancelled and now the other train was cancelled too. I knew he’d be super stressed as in his head he was sure to have remembered how much pain and how crazy I was while giving birth to Phoenix. I figured he’d be really worried and most probably in a complete tiz.
My contractions did start to hurt a little bit more as I had all my injections etc ready for the theatre but they were really not that bad at all.
The whole c section procedure, was so calmly done. Everyone was so friendly and explained everything to me. Mr Flood told me that he’d located the hole and would fix that and he also told me that my bladder was stuck in my old c section scar and had moved out of place but that he would carefully fix that too.
I realised after it all that my bladder was the reason I had been so ill the whole pregnancy and even before it. When I say ill, there were days when I could hardly do anything at all. I had rarely been able to play with Phoenix or even just sit and watch tv. I felt I needed to lie down most of the time but I put it down to my age. It wasn't at all though, I must have been getting bladder infection, after infection, after infection. I’d had 3 lots of antibiotics in the last 2 months of my pregnancy. I think my bladder was slowly poisoning me.
It seemed to take ages for Mr Flood to get Indiana out of my tummy as he had so much ‘patching up’ to do but I felt in such great hands and when I finally saw my little boy it was 9.53pm and he was perfect!
I felt a bit drunk with the drama of it all and as my baby lay on my shoulder and I looked at his little face, I fell in love all over again.
My mum stayed with me all night and helped me as I couldn’t move my legs for a while until the drugs wore off.
Phoenix and daddy finally checked in to a hotel in Lincoln at 11.30pm that night. Daddy missed the birth but came first thing the next day to see his baby boy with Phoenix, who loved his toys but was less impressed with the fact that I was in hospital with his baby brother.
I think poor Ayden was more exhausted than me because of the panic and worry of trying to get back from London, then having to pick up Phoenix from my parents (he'd been with my dad and got every toy out in their house). Ayden also had to wrap and organise all the toys I had planned for Phoenix to open at the hospital once he met his baby brother, then he had to drive them to the hotel and then spend the night worrying about us, only to get up early to come and meet his baby boy with his bigger boy.
I stayed in the hospital on my own one extra night and it’s weird but looking after my new baby I did felt guilty and like I was cheating on Phoenix but that is another blog completely!
Since I got home I've realised just how ill I had been for such a long time because of my bladder. Even though I’ve just had major surgery I have not felt better in such a long time. It’s only been 5 weeks and I feel and look like a new woman. I have so much energy and I no longer look grey and tired.
I’m so grateful to Lincoln County Hospital and Mr Flood as I now have a nice neat scar, with no keloid. I am healthier than I have felt in two years and I truly believe that because of their knowledge, expertise and caring my baby and I are alive.
The birth was dramatic and it’s a shame that Ayden missed it but I’m so pleased that my baby boy is here now with his family safe and sound. Oh I have had the mum guilts and tears in abundance, which I will blog about next… but there is no greater joy than your baby arriving safe and sound on earth and he’s such a cutie just like his daddy and big brother! I am truly blessed!
It is so important that you choose the right hospital for the birth of your baby and I cannot recommend Lincoln County Hospital and Mr Flood enough. Do your research, don't be put off by an aging hospital, look at the care the staff give and what other people say. It made a huge difference to me and Indiana, they truly saved us!