Stretch and Sweep (37 Weeks + 4)

This is an outtake of a diary I kept during my pregnancy…

It is the 4th April 2017, my mummy’s birthday and the day for my stretch and sweep at the MW.

She told me straight away if baby isn’t engaged and cervix isn’t favourable she won’t even bother trying.

Secretly I was hoping that my cervix wasn’t favourable and it wouldn’t happen. But it was, very favourable, and I did have it done and now I’m quietly shitting myself.

MW said I was 2-3 cm dilated already, but this could be down to the fact I’ve already had a baby. That my cervix was soft and my waters were bulging which means she thinks if my waters were to be broken then labour would ensue. 

Baby’s head is nicely engaged but not touching cervix due to bubble of waters between head and cervix which is why she thought if waters break I would go into spontaneous labour.

The actual sweep itself was almost verging on brutal. She did warn me she wasn’t gentle, but crikey…. that?!

Since this I have been having cramps and I’m still having them now, 8 hours later.

I’ve frantically sewn up the shawl, washed it and it’s now drying.

I’m panicking because I’ve still so much to do and I’m worried tonight will be the night… I’m just not sure whether these cramps are something, or nothing.

Now Noah is settled for the night (please god let him sleep all night tonight) I’m going to go and sit and time these cramps and see if there is any order to them.

A baby tonight?

Eek! Who knows?!

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My (Second) Birth Story

We have now welcomed our amazing, beautiful little girl into the world and here is how it happened.

I suppose I should start where my last post left off, where the induction is concerned…

Thanks to the lateness of the appointment we managed to get DS nicely settled before we had to go. G came round at 1900 to watch him and off we went.

We arrived at hospital at 2030 and waited in maternity triage. About 2130 we got called through onto triage and met Kirsty the MW who would be looking after me at this stage of the induction process. 

She explained that I’d have to be monitored for half an hour then have a VE, a scan to check Baby was head down and then I’d have a pessary inserted to soften cervix and that this would be in for 24 hours before being taken to labour ward and put on the hormone drip, Syntocinon if nothing happened beforehand!!!

24 hours?

We don’t have childcare for more than tonight and tomorrow!!!

Cue panic and begging to just go straight on drop. She said that unless I was ‘favourable‘ then I would have to have the pessary.

The next hour I spent pleading silently with my cervix that it would be favourable.

Thankfully I was, it was. I was 6cm dilated so given the news that I’d go straight down to labour ward and onto the hormone drip as soon as they were ready for me which should be an hour or so so we tried to grab an hour’s shut eye, it was gone midnight by this point.


A lovely MW called Georgie came and fetched us about 0130 and immediately we got on. Her little boy Charlie was born 5 days after DS so we instantly had plenty to talk about.

We were settled into birthing room number 5 and brought teas and coffees to keep us going, we were both pretty exhausted by this point.

At about 0230 a doctor came to fit a cannula and the drip was fitted and activated by about 0300 and Georgie assured me baby would be here by 6!!

This wasn’t the case.

Despite having regular and strong (according to the machines) contractions everyone was amazed that I just couldn’t feel anything. All I can explain it as was a tightening of my outer stomach muscles like you get with a TENS machine, nothing deep within

I went from 2ml/hour to 4, to 8, to 12 then back down to 8 to prevent too many.

At this point Georgie mentioned that she thought she had felt what could have been an ear when she examined me meaning that Peanut’s head could be slightly turned meaning it wasn’t properly engaged and pushing onto my cervix thus causing this stalled progress.

If this continued then I was aware that there was a very real possibility of me having to have a c-sec.

I continued to bounce on the birthing ball, walk around the room and when OH discovered a wireless speaker behind the curtain we put on some music so I started to dance quite vigorously to desperately try and shift baby’s head.


At approximately 0750 as Georgie neared the end of her shift she told me she was going to crank up the hormone and upped it to 16 then her replacement, Lynne, turned up and she handed over to her.

We were so lucky with midwives as Lynne, too was a great laugh and we managed to have a bit of a chat about my birth plan and what my preferences were.

At 0840 the first proper contraction hit and boy it was a doozy. I literally went from 0-1000 in one contraction. Lynne asked what position I’d like to be in and I replied not on my back between pelvis cracking contraction pains. At this point she got me on the bed where I climbed up and onto my knees grabbing the handrails on the ‘back’ of the bed.

I heard her tell me to push when I felt the urge which I was amazed about as thought I can’t have dilated that quickly but within a contraction I heard her opening the delivery pack and I was pushing.

Within half an hour, at 0913 I birthed Peanut’s head and two minutes later, at 0915 I gave birth.

It took a few seconds for her to cry which felt like a lifetime then a sobbing OH told me it was a girl!!!

That moment will be etched on my brain forever. 

A girl. 

Our family is complete. 

No pain relief but yogic breathing and a natural (barring the hormone induction) birth with no intervention. I felt every single centimetre of her descent, of her crowning and of her being born, a sensation I didn’t have with DS due to having put myself in some zen like state for the labouring hours and having been deadened ‘down there’ due to an episiotomy. Although I never got to have the water birth I would have so liked I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, all considered.

Although having another boy would have been absolutely fine with me I think I possibly would have felt the need to try for another and with our advancing years and the time it takes us to conceive and with the risks of more miscarriages and complications due to my age I think the risks of doing so need to be considered. We’ve successfully rolled the dice twice now with a perfect outcome each time, and even though in an ideal world I would have loved three children, it’s time I stopped tempting fate and now we have one of each I don’t feel a need to risk it. 

An Announcement

A little late, almost 6 months late to be exact, and more for the benefit of those who don’t know us personally (or on social media) but here it is, short but sweet.

On the 9th of April 2017 at exactly 9.15AM, weighing in at a remarkable 8Ib 4oz we welcomed to the world our beautiful baby daughter.

Two weeks early, she has blessed our lives and completed our little family.