Jessica tells us her about her birth experience on the Labour Ward

Jessica gave birth to baby boy called Louie on 17 May 2020 at 7:23am.

Jessica and baby Louie

Previous birth experiences 

My first child was breech which is the reason I had a caesarean. With her, I had planned for a lovely calm water birth, with candles and soft music - so my reality was very different.

Pregnancy

My pregnancy was high risk due to gestational diabetes. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy due to bouts of reduced movements and concerns over the baby’s growth. I had additional checks and weekly scans after 36 weeks with induction scheduled at 39 weeks. With this baby I didn’t make any further birth plans due to how different my experience turned out to be with my first baby. 

Birth of baby Louie

At 38 weeks pregnant I was induced due to concerns about baby’s movements when placed on the monitor following another bout of reduced movements. The induction process started at lunch time on Saturday and my baby was born Sunday Morning.

I used gas and air for pain relief during the contractions. My midwife Gemma was incredible and egged me on the whole duration of my labour. She had literally just returned from delivering a baby via caesarean. She came with me to the labour ward and the poor woman was probably exhausted but she didn’t let is show at all! She was amazing throughout the whole experience. At one point the baby’s heart rate has dropped and she acted immediately and managed to regulate it.

My children’s father was my birthing partner. He was fab at plumping my pillows or sips of water when I needed, and helping me up to the toilet but it was my midwife who really helped me through the toughest parts.

All of the staff who cared for me were wonderful - so lovely and warm and guided me through the whole induction experience amazingly because even though it was my second child, I’d never laboured before.

I’m forever in debt to Gemma who delivered my baby boy safely. Her quick and prompt action meant baby’s heart rate stabilised which meant I avoided another caesarean, which I was so desperate to do. She encouraged me the entire time and as I said, was probably exhausted but she never showed that. She remained calm and friendly the whole way through, she made me laugh and I couldn’t have done it without her.

I had been so worried about whether I could love another baby as much as my first born but as soon as he was placed on my chest I knew I absolutely could, because I did. I had skin to skin right away which was incredible. He weighed 7lbs 4oz which is the exact same weight as his sister 3 years beforehand!

I’d describe my birthing experience as ‘empowering’. That’s the only word I can think of to truly capture the feeling.

Postnatal

I was really well supported with breastfeeding. The staff on the recovery ward were all incredible, they helped me with different feeding positions and really encouraged me to keep going as I had made it clear how much I wanted to feed him.

Jessica’s message to women who are due to give birth is:

My top tip would be to not hang too tightly on to a birth plan because more often than not, they go out of the window. Giving birth, no matter how you do it or whether you stick to your birth plan, is the most empowering, incredible experience in the world - there is nothing more amazing than seeing a baby you created for the first time. That’s all that you will remember at the end of it all - not your birth plan, but how you felt seeing your baby for the first time.

Jessica send a message to women who are due to give birth during the Covid-19 pandemic and says:

I gave birth during the Covid-19 pandemic and apart from the restrictions on visiting, the experience was amazing. It was actually nice to not worry about lots of visitors in to see my newborn and gave me the time I needed to bond with him before we returned home to the chaos of family life with a toddler and newborn. The staff were just incredible and put me at ease throughout the whole experience and I just couldn’t be any more grateful to them - every single one of them. They are doing amazing things day in, day out. What could be more important than delivering the next generations safely?

Thank you for sharing your experience with us and huge congratulations to Jessica and her family from all of us at the Trust.