Milo 4 days old

Shaz's Story

Milo Thomas Hearn was born on his due date of Saturday 27th March 2010 at 5am weighing in at 5lb 5oz.

To cut a long story short I wanted to try a water birth at St Mary's midwife led unit and ended up with a forceps delivery at the LRI. Despite this, the experience was all a really positive one and I am really proud of myself and the way I remained calm and in control the whole time.

Things started about 10.30am on Friday morning and was in full swing by about 6pm that evening. The whole time we were at home I worked with my breath, standing and supporting myself on the banister swaying side to side. We got to St Mary's (after an hours drive and a couple of unscheduled detours!) and I was 7cm dilated, we were there just long enough for Ernie to get the bags from the car before an ambulance was called due to my blood pressure and I was taken blues and twos style to the LRI so that me and Milo could be continuously monitored for the rest of the labour. Once at the LRI I insisted on being in a standing position leaning forward on a high chair, swaying. I used just the TENS machine up to about 8-9am dilated before I needed a bit extra and used the gas and air. Everything was progressing really well and I was feeling pretty good, the time to push came and they put me on the clock giving me and Milo an hour to deliver. Again I remained upright and used a birthing stool with Ernie sitting in a chair and supporting me from behind. With each contraction and push Milo was making slow but steady progress. Towards the end of the hour as I pushed the midwives could see Milo's head, but as the contraction ended Milo would 'reverse' slightly, in a two steps forward, one step back kind of way. An hour passed. For the whole labour Milo's heart never missed a beat and I was by no means tired, but after an hour a doctor insisted on examining me and I was made to lie on my back on the bed.

Milo 7 days old

I lay on my back and the contractions just stopped. Everything just stopped! The doctor said we need to get baby out, again for this whole time Milo's heart never missed a beat. I agreed that we needed to now do something in the best interests to get Milo out before he may start to get distressed as everything had stalled. An anaesthetist called to prep me for theatre and an assisted delivery or if that failed a c-section. The doctor said 'feel free to deliver baby before I get back'. It was the most surreal experience, it would have been great if I could have done, but everything just stopped and I was there on my back willing another contraction to come - they just didn't!

I was transferred to theatre and given an epidural for the forceps delivery. Because we'd done so well on our own and were almost there with one push Milo arrived into the world and it was love at first sight.

We left hospital when Milo was 4 days old, we'd had to stay due to my blood pressure issues and Milo had trouble feeding. Due to his size he struggled to latch on properly and tired very easily before he could get the colostrum he needed. On day 5 he had lost over 10% of his birth weight and being a little baby he couldn't afford to loose any more. I made the decision to express breast milk and solely cup feed him. By day 7 he had gained 100g (you can see the difference in the two photos). As I write this Milo is now 9 days old, he is still exclusively receiving breast milk via a cup. It's tiring and time consuming expressing to fulfil his needs but it's incredibly rewarding and a huge relief to see him now gaining weight and a much happier and contented baby. Our plan is to take our time and when we're both ready go back to the breast and we every confidence that we'll succeed.

I have to say that through the whole labour, and during Milo's first days, the most important thing for us has been to have an open mind, take each thing as it comes and to look for the positives in everything that happens - because there always is a positive. It was amazing how I could just cope with everything and anything during the labour, and this following week, by taking the time to stop and breath before saying okay, we can do this.

Shaz & Milo xxx