The birth of Isla Grace

By 7/18/2015

Monday 11th May 2015; 


Jack and I were sitting around, watching Game of Thrones with the expectation that we still had a good few weeks to go until Isla arrived. She wasn't due until the 22nd and despite experiencing premature labour at 31 weeks, false labour signs for weeks, and on/off timeable contractions for around a week I still refused to accept that she may come early.

I began feeling some more minor contractions, again they were timeable. 5 every hour, and it had been going on for around 2 hours.

"Shall we put the waterproof sheet on the bed just in case? It might happen over the next week.."-Jack

I told him no. I couldn't be bothered and again I was in denial, desperate to not get my hopes up. We went to bed.

Tuesday 12th May 2015; 


I have vague memories of waking up suddenly for some reason and then falling asleep again before my mind could understand why. I am guessing in hindsight I felt my waters break or the start of the real time contractions.


I was suddenly awake, and on my knees, gushing fluid onto our lovely memory foam mattress. Without the mattress protector. I declared to Jack several times that it wasn't pee- and asked if it was my waters. It definitely wasn't pee I kept telling him. He kept telling me to get up off the dam bed. I couldnt move. It wasn't pee I told him, repeating myself in shock.

I ran downstairs and was sat on the toilet when the first real contraction hit me. This was the big time. All those 'am I having contractions?' moments meant nothing compared to the pain I felt. I was suddenly a cripple, contractions coming every 5-10 minutes. We called the labour and delivery suite who told me to come in and check if it was my waters. Thank god for my insane packing and prepping- we had bags and taxi money and off we went.

I realise now it was a little over-zealous to have taken all our baby bags and overnight bags with us, it turns out they were only checking if it was indeed my waters and then sent me home to dilate further- after several hours of pain I was only 1cm. 1 goddam cm.


Most of the between getting home (I insisted on walking to near 2 miles because it would supposedly help my labour. Sorry Jack.) and returning to the hospital is a blur. I was exhausted and in severe pain, I was having back to back contractions for hours that I struggled to time. I didn't want to go back unless they would definitely let me stay and have the baby. I put off admitting I was in agony for hours until I finally gave in and we went back to hospital.

I was only 1.5cm. The stress and worrying and pain was stopping me contracting fast enough and as a first time mum it's a slow process anyway. I told them I was not going to leave the hospital no matter what they said and I was staying and please give me drugs.

It turns out I am quite sensitive to pethadine; within 15 minutes the posters were sliding down the walls like slugs and my hands were gone with the fairies. I slept for hours. Sorry Jack.

3/4/5pm?! Who knows I was on drugs!-

At some point, after chilling on pethadine and dazing in and out of a drug induced sleep, I was told I was 4cm dilated, I was in active labour and I was allowed up to the room I would be having Isla in! I was told I was low risk according to their checks, and was given a super fancy new-build room with an enormous en suite (handy to not have to leave the room to pee and vomit!), birthing pool and lots of bouncy balls and gadgets to labour on.

"This is the room our daughter will be born in..." -Jack

What would've been a magical moment was sorely ruined by a wave of contractions.

"Don't ***ing talk to me!!!" -Laboring Steph. Sorry Jack.

I spent most of the afternoon and early evening in the birthing pool, with my gas and air and pethadine and classical FM blaring. I didn't want to get out to be checked. It took them nearly 2 horus to convince me to get out the pool because I felt like I was going to poop myself and it could've been the baby.


It wasn't the baby. I couldn't get back in the pool. I was in too much pain to move. I was only 7cm dilated and they, of course, would not let me push. I demanded an epidural. I had to wait, and was told to use the gas and air. My contractions were now back to back and there was no break- and I wasn't dilating as quickly as they thought I would. I hummed back the G&A so much without a break that I found myself passing out into vivid hallucinations and I have the strangest recollections of broken images and the knowledge that I was, indeed, Kanye West's baby and they Beyonce was super disappointed that she wasn't my mum and I came around distressed, unsure of where I was and rambling that I had upset the queen of booty herself.


It turns out, they hadn't thought about the possibility of me having a big baby and the fact I wasn't contracting fast enough meant my risk level was getting higher. I'd been in labour for a long long time and something was going on with baby's heart rate- they didn't mention this at this point but I'm sure it's why they removed me from my swanky pad birthing room into a very medical looking boring room.

I was finally given the epidural. The man administering it kept asking me to shuffle. I told him I couldn't because of the pain. He was trying to talk to me and ask me questions. I ignored him because of the pain. He got annoyed and asked if I wanted it or not. I responded frankly that I couldn't listen because of the pain (in a much more volatile fashion, might I add.)

Sweet bliss. I felt nothing. It didn't hurt going in and I got a nifty little top up button which I was told to use once every 20 minutes- ahahahahaha they wished. I'd gone from an animal whose mood would switch every time I got even a tiny bit annoyed (I saw you texting mister Jack!) to someone who wasn't even acting like she was in labour!

Wednesday 13th May 2015; 12am-

So my contractions weren't dilating me. I was put on a drip to try and speed things up. The next two hours were a blur. I kept getting told off for drinking Powerade- but goddam it was getting to be thirsty work and I was exhausted.


The glorious moment came, I told them I wanted to push...and I was 10cm! Fully dilated! She was on the way! My energy suddenly roared back into me, and I was told we would be doing an hour of practice pushing and then the real thing. I had my first go at pushing, and they made me stop. Isla's heart rate had plummeted as I had been pushing. We tried again and the same thing happened.

They asked me if they could put a probe on her, and we agreed. The next push, Jack said he could literally see the probe moving out of me. So much for practice pushes- the midwives were impressed!

Suddenly, people were rushing in- the emergency cord had been pulled for reasons I didn't understand. I was flipped onto my side and they put an oxygen mask over my face. They had lost Isla's heart beat and told me to stop pushing (easier said than done...). After a minute on my side it appeared again as if nothing had happen. They decided I should push on my side.


I will tell you, pushing on your side with your knees around your ears is really not the most comfortable or easy thing to do. But it was working. I had to swap sides a few times when her heart rate played up but she was coming out like no-ones business and within 15 minutes she was crowning. I couldn't believe it- so much for the practice pushing! Jack had a look and they let both of us feel her was the most incredible feeling. I kept my hand on her crown and pushed again, feeling her move from inside of me. I could do this!


After only 10 more minutes of pushing, I felt her come out of me. I can't put into words for you how this felt, she was finally here. She literally flew out as I pushed so hard.

We sat and waited for her to cry, but within 30 seconds of her being born we were suddenly surrounded by around 6 new people,- doctors and midwives responding to the emergency alarm again. A resuscitation unit had been bought in and we still hadn't heard our little girl make a noise. No-one would tell us what was happening, and a woman stood in front of me trying to distract me so I wouldn't panic. I still hadn't seen my baby.

I asked Jack why she hadn't cried. He couldn't find any words.

Eventually, after around 5 minutes, we heard the sweetest most relieving sound in the world. She croaked and gurgled.

So at last, we were given our sweet baby girl. She had to spend some time on a monitor and they kept taking her away from us and giving her back for a few hours, but it was precious time and despite what was going on I was happier than I have ever been in my life.

She was perfect- and she still is. She had low cord gasses and low blood sugar- so she had gone into shock. She had to have a lot of tests and was taken away from us for a day and we still aren't sure what happened at the end of my labour.

After a stay in the neonatal unit, lots of blood tests and worries she was declared healthy and we took our little princess home on the Friday evening.

I have never felt more whole.

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  1. Wow, I've completely wiped the whole experience from my brain. I vaguely remember wailing, "Give me drugs ...!" That's a lovely picture of Isla Grace too.

    1. Thank you :)
      There are so many blank spots- I cant even remember what the midwives looked like but me & Jack talked it through so many times a lot is embedded in my brain xx

  2. Oh my goodness this brings back some memories...some of them not so nice! Stopping over from #mummymonday

    1. Aw thank you! Like I said above, I feel like there are a lot of blank spots in my memory. Jack remembers some things that I don't and it took me a few days to realise how many stitches they gave me- it's crazy how easily stuff gets blocked out! Thanks for visiting :) xx

  3. Oh wow, what a journey, so glad you and Isla are well, lots of love x

    1. It was really insane, and a long journey- hopefully when we go for number two in a few years the labour won't be so long! xx

  4. That photo of her is absolutely beautiful, and so glad she arrived safely if not with a bit of drama added in! ;) Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie xx

    1. Thank you honey she really is a petal :) it was done by the Bounty people I was really impressed with them after initially reading horrible things about them!x

  5. Oh my goodness this brings back some memories, bot my natural labours were similar, long and painful and ended up with the baby being distresses. They are all worth it though, well done :) Thanks for linking up to #PickNMix

    1. I'm hoping next time (a long way off!) goes better. Nice and quick and no complications but she's perfect now so I'd take all the bad again for sure because it was so worth it to have her how she is now :) xxx

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  8. Gosh! Hello, I just stumbled across your blog from Twitter! I've only got as far as your birth story but felt the need to comment as it made me cry! Sounds unbelievably stressful, I felt like I was watching One Born! I had my baby girl 6 months ago and had a relatively easy birth (didn't realise it at the time). I'm so pleased that things worked out ok in the end! I'll carry on reading the rest of your blog now! Claire xx (