Sharon Mckillop’s Story

“As you know, I was scheduled to be induced on 28th December at 35 weeks due to them finding out that my waters had all but disappeared when they scanned me to check my placenta had moved. I was given the induction pessary about 10a.m on Wed 28th on the delivery ward and then taken up to the maternity ward to monitor my progression.

About 3 hours later, I started to feel lower back ache which increased with intensity as the afternoon went on. I used my exercise ball a lot during this time but found that my preferred position of sitting and rocking on the ball wasn’t comfortable due to sciatic pain down my legs (a side effect of the pessary). I tried a few stretches to ease the sciatic pain but couldn’t stand still long enough for anything to help. However, I tried leaning over the ball on all fours and found this really helped as it took the pressure off my legs and also helped to ease the back ache.
I had my straws at the ready to do my straw breathing but didn’t really feel I needed it as the pain was all copable at this stage. I think the birthing partner class and the whole pregnancy yoga helped to keep both Martin and I calm and relaxed, so at this point we were just excited about the prospect of meeting our little boy.

By late afternoon, the pains had dulled and when they checked me, they said the induction had failed and so they tried a second pessary. The pain just remained pretty dull as the day went on and when they checked me again in the evening, they said I hadn’t progressed at all. Since the baby’s vital signs were all still fine, they told us to settle down for the night and a decision would be made the next morning as to whether to attemp a third induction or go for a caesarean.

Mart and I were really tired as it had been an early start and a long day and neither of us had slept much the previous night through a mixture of excitement, nerves and my frequent toilet trips! As we started to settle down for the night, my back ache started to increase just enough for me to go and ask for some paracetemols so I took these at 11.10 and we switched the lights off. After only a few minutes of trying to get comfortable, I felt as though what was left of my waters must have gone and asked Martin to turn the light on. Unfortunately, what I’d assumed to be my waters, turned out to be blood and there was no sign of it stopping. Martin ran for the nurse and as soon as she saw me, she pressed the alarm. Within minutes, my room was packed with medical staff who then rushed me to the delivery ward.

A quick examination showed that my placenta had ruptured so they told me they needed to perform an emergency caesarean to get the baby out safely. I was then rushed into theatre to be put under general anaesthetic leaving Martin behind. Luckily it was all so quick that I didn’t have much time to be too scared but my body was in shock with the blood loss so I was just shaking profusely. The last thing I remember before going under was how lovely and reassuring all the nurses and doctors were.

James Peter Mckillop was born at 12.15am on 29th December 2011 and apparently came out screaming so they certainly knew he was breathing. Although five weeks premature, he still weighed an impressive five pound seven! James needed specialist care from the Neo Natal Unit and was taken straight to the ICU in SCBU. I was shown a photograph of my son when I woke from the general anaesthetic and it was the strangest feeling being told that this baby was my son when I had not been awake to witness his birth.

I was desperate to meet James in person but had to remain in the recovery room for a minimum of eight hours before they’d wheel me down to SCBU. The wait seemed to last forever but eventually I was able to look at my tiny son in his little incubator and stroke his skin through the windows. It was the best moment but the hardest moment too as all I wanted to do was to hold him but I wasn’t allowed yet. Martin and I eventually got our first hold of our son the following night and we also saw the New Year in holding him in our arms making it the most special New Year Ever.

I was kept on the ward for 5 days and as my health improved, I was able to start caring for James, feeding him and changing his nappies in his incubator. Since I was breastfeeding, I was up and down to SCBU from the ward and worried how I would continue doing this when they discharged me from the ward since it wouldn’t be possible to travel back and forth from home for every feed. SCBU staff told us about Ronald McDonald House which is living quarters for families with babies in the Neo Natal Unit and is ran by a charity so is free. Martin and I were able to move into the living quarters which are literally on the floor above SCBU in Arrowe Park which meant we could be there for James in seconds if the nurses called us. I cannot express enough what a difference this made to us and to the other families all in the unit who were in the same position. If anyone is looking for a charity to raise money for, this is definately a worthy one.

I am pleased to say that James was finally discharged from hospital on 7th January and is now settled and happy at home with Martin and I.

I hope my story doesn’t sound too traumatic for anyone waiting to deliver their precious babies as I want everyone to be assured that the hospital were all totally amazing and gave excellent care and support to both James and I, so there is definitely nothing to fear. Recovering from a caesearean is also not half as bad as I I’d been led to believe.

I also want to say a big thank you to you Ann as the yoga helped me to stay calm throughout the whole pregnancy and gave me lots of tips on ways to relieve those dreaded pregnancy niggles. The birthing partner class was also extremely helpful particularly with missing the Labour in Motion and antenatal classes due to going early and my husband loved the class so much that he is considering joining yoga himself now!

Best wishes to all the girls for their own deliveries and Namaste to them and especially to you Ann.”