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We went to bed the night before my due date and joked that hopefully I would go into labour so Kieran didn’t have to go to work the next day. Soon after falling asleep I woke up to my waters breaking.

Running around the house panicking, I rang labour ward and was told to go on up. We arrived, and after a 6 hour wait, a judgemental midwife sent me home saying I had probably wet myself and that it was unlikely that my waters had gone. She was infact wrong (and I knew it) and later I found out that I had a high water leak meaning I had to give birth within 48 hours or infection could set in. 

The midwives were clearly rushed off their feet and I have no doubt that they are understaffed, but if you chose to work in a profession that requires accuracy and care, it is unacceptable to rush an examination and as a result give an incorrect diagnosis that ultimately led to my daughter ending up in Neonatal Intensive Care.

We were overlooked and sent home in the early hours of the morning, and continuously every 20 minutes or so, I would have a gush of waters and this continued for the morning and well into the afternoon. We decided to take a walk and pop out to visit family for the afternoon with the intention of going back to the hospital later that day.

Later that afternoon (with the knowledge that risk to baby increases with time after waters breaking) we went back to triage. This time I was examined and the very nice midwife confirmed that I had a high water leak, and booked me in for induction at 11pm that evening. We went home, had something to eat and a shower and returned at 11pm; my waters having now been gone for approx. 25 hours.
waiting around before going to the hospital to be induced

Arriving at 11pm, I was put into a room with another woman, and told I would be induced shortly. 2 hours later a midwife induced me using Propess (a hormone pessary). She did not explain anything and almost instantly afterwards told Kieran to go home as he was not allowed on the ward outside of visiting hours. I was devastated; not just for the fact that since getting together we had never spent a night apart but for the fact that I had never stayed in a hospital before, was petrified and by this time strong contractions had begun and I was in agony.
I was distraught, and Kieran was left to go home. We text all night as I couldn't sleep because of the constant contractions and I’m sure he felt helpless. That night was horrendous. I was sharing a room with a woman who was losing her baby at 26 weeks, and who was screaming and crying. All night she had staff in and out and were talking about the imminent loss of her baby. I felt so sorry for her, but whilst I was in labour myself it wasn't appropriate to have been put next to her and I got increasingly nervous and anxious because of it. 

My contractions were horrendous; the midwife didn’t return until 5am and her words to me where, ‘because you haven’t started contracting we are going to send you down to delivery so they can start a drip’ I felt like jumping at her and ripping her eyes out! I 'not so politely' informed her that I was having contractions and that I had been all night, and if she had bother strapping me to the machine to keep an eye on me and baby she would have known! I was taken down to a delivery room and on the way I rang Kieran and he met me there.
The midwife I was assigned as I got to delivery suite was lovely. She was called Anne Marie and was pretty young. She was funny and was pretty annoyed at the way I had been treated, and after hooking me up to the machine she confirmed the contractions were strong and almost instantly talked me through pain relief and gave me the gas and air, which I loved!

I remember not long after getting into the room the midwife who originally told me to go home the day before came in, she looked right at me and walked out again. I think if she had stayed I would have asked for someone else.
irn bru & glucose sweets helped. oh and the gas & air, i liked that alot

Contractions continued and we were there for a while with me on gas and air and breathing through contractions. My waters were fully broken and there was a lot of waiting. I was quite happy and Kieran kept me entertained and was constantly asking if I needed anything.

Examinations showed that I reached 5cm and things slowed down, probably because I was given Pethodine during some really strong contractions. But the midwife kept getting people to come in to give second opinions. After 10 hours, they established that her head was bouncing off my cervix rather than passing through and when it did eventually start to pass through, her head was coming down at an angle, almost sidewards.

At this point an epidural was suggested for the pain, which I agreed to. I had a feeling that the midwife was trying to be polite and hide the fact that she thought I was going to have to have a caesarean. Within minutes of my epidural she asked a senior doctor to come in and give another opinion where he asked to perform a blood test on babies head to check oxygen levels because of the knowledge that my waters had now been leaking for 41 hours.

I reluctantly agreed and within 5 minutes the results were back. The doctor explained that it seemed baby was struggling and tired. The blood showed low oxygen levels and because of the risk of infection to baby, needed to be delivered as soon as possible.
Quite shortly after signing all the legal stuff, we were in theatre and they began.

It really hurt. They said it would just feel uncomfortable and that I would feel a lot of pressure, but I’m not sure whether it was because I was exhausted and had just had enough but I felt so much pain. The anaesthetist was really friendly and constantly was reassuring me and increasing my epidural.

What felt like hours were actually minutes and very quickly Indie was born. She gave 3 quacks which were her attempts at cries and then there was silence. I was hysterical and panicking as I laid there not able to do anything but try my hardest to look behind me, through all the doctors and midwives. I was crying so hard, convinced that she wasn’t going to make it.

Eventually they brought her over to me. According to Kieran I kissed her, but all I remember was as quick as she was there, she was gone. I couldn’t hold her, I couldn’t cuddle her, and I couldn’t see her. They told me she was going to intensive care as she needed help breathing. What they were all actually doing after she was born (while I was crying hysterically) was resuscitating her because she stopped breathing.

we can't remember taking this picture and assume it was the first ever photo

Kieran went with her to Neonatal Intensive Care and made sure she was alright. He brought me back 2 photos so I could actually see her face because I didn’t get a chance through the tears earlier. He said she was now on support for her breathing with tubes and an IV for antibiotics and feeding tubes. Looking back, I know he must have been so upset too, but he hid it so well and stayed strong for the pair of us.

I got taken to recovery and we rang everyone to tell them that she was born. We made out that everything was alright and that she needed a little help, but we were so worried.

In recovery I was told that I couldn't see her until I could walk so I was trying so hard to move my legs but after the epidural I could only move one leg. The rest was a bit of a blur. I remember being taken to the ward on my own and Kieran was sent home. I was hurting and in pieces. I was put onto a ward with mums and babies because there wasn't any room on the transitional care ward for me to be near Indie. That night was horrible. I was so upset that she was all alone and I had no clue how she was. I kept buzzing the staff for updates and they said they would ring to check on her but they never got back to me. The care I received in hospital was abysmal.

When Kieran came back at 6am we went straight down. He wheeled me in a wheelchair because I was hurting quite bad and they wouldn't allow me walk that far. The ward was very slow and didn't keep on top of my pain relief. I was told I would be issued Morphine every 4 hours, but 6/7 hours would go buy and I would have to constantly ask for it. Incompetent staff kept forgetting to give me my painkillers and when I asked for them they couldn't issue any because they had lost my notes. 

I had emotional hurt but the lack of painkillers meant my caesarean wound was more painful.
Going into the intensive care scared me, seeing all the babies attached to wires I wondered which one was mine. The minute I saw her I burst into tears. She was beautiful; I couldn't believe she was ours. I had my first cuddle and then so did Kieran, we were so in love with her.
after wiping away the tears, my first cuddle

kierans first cuddle

The nurse told us a little more about why she had to stay in NICU. She was on antibiotics because she had a slight temperature and they thought this was because of infection from me being left so long with my waters gone, and she was on oxygen because she needed support with breathing initially.

During the day on Wednesday we were to and from my ward and NICU as there were still no beds for me. There was such a lack of communication between staff. I was told countless times that she would be with me within a few hours, then at the changeover of staff this changed and became ‘maybe tomorrow’.

On Wednesday evening I was finally moved to my own room, still on the mother and baby ward without my baby. I was told I should be on the transitional ward but there were still no beds for me near Indie.

On Wednesday night I was told by the paediatric nurse in NICU that I could come down to try breastfeeding at 1am. I went to sleep so excited with an alarm set to wake up and go to bond and breastfeed for the first time. I was taken down there in a wheelchair to find that, once again, changeover and lack of communication had meant that someone had just fed her as they had not been informed I was coming down. I burst into tears and was gutted; they said I couldn't even go to see her as the consultants were doing their rounds. Reluctantly I went back to the ward and came back at 4am instead.

This was my favourite night. I went to spend time with Indie, successfully breastfed for the first time and had lots of cuddles. I sang the Red Hot Chili Peppers song Scar Tissue (mine and Kieran’s song) and I took photos of us together. I got to change her nappy for the first time and put her first ever outfit on her.

On Thursday morning I was finally moved onto the transitional ward, and was told that after final checks I would be allowed to be with Indie. We waited in NICU and finally wires were removed, leaving just her feeding tube. When we got to the ward, a doctor told us we could take Indie home that evening. We were ecstatic. About half an hour later we asked a midwife when we would be looking at going and she said that Indie’s feeding tube had to be out for at least 24 hours before we could go. She had no idea why the doctor had said we could go. We were so upset and frustrated but were confident this would be the last night at least. That day was great. We really got to bond without machines and nurses watching over us. We fed her and winded her, she was doing really well. We had the tube removed, so the 24 hour wait began.


Thursday night I laid awake watching her, I couldn't sleep I was so happy. I cuddled her all night, and only put her in her crib to watch her sleep.

Finally Friday morning came around and Kieran returned. We were so excited but the day dragged so much. Eventually at 3pm we were told we could go home. Walking out of the hospital with her was the best feeling in the world. We were so proud and relieved to be finally going home to start our life as a proper family.


I cannot help but feel upset that Indie spent time alone in an incubator scared and without her mummy or daddy. I’m gutted that we didn't get to immediately bond and I couldn't visit as often as I wanted to because of being confined to a wheelchair on a ward on a different floor. But now I have a healthy, happy baby and am very grateful. I am aware that a lot of people have it harder, but for me my experience was really upsetting and distressing and for the first few months I was convinced I didn't want any more children if it meant returning to that place under their care.

My husband was amazing. He offered so much support and I know I couldn't have done it without him. He has put a lot of what happened into perspective for me and helped me beat post natal depression and ultimately made me the happiest I can be.

I love my husband and daughter unconditionally.

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