Giving birth three weeks before maternity leave starts

One mum shares her story of having a baby before her due date


Caroline Kirk, 29, from Worksop, had to text her boss when her waters broke in the early hours of the morning…


“There were still six weeks before my due date when I came home from work one evening thinking, ‘I’m getting tired, must take it easier.’ I was still working as a council public relations officer and couldn’t wait for my maternity leave to start in three weeks’ time.

Waters breaking

“Later, at 3am, I woke up in bed to a gushing sensation, I went to the loo and in my sleepiness thought I was just weeing. As I walked back to bed it was trickling down my legs and I woke my husband, Chris. “Either I’ve become incontinent or my waters have gone!” I said. I called the hospital and was told to put a maternity pad on and go back to bed, but I couldn’t sleep.

Admitted to hospital

“I dropped off, but only for half an hour, when I woke up to period-type pains and rang the hospital again. They said to come in and at 4am they confirmed my waters had broken and I was admitted. At 6am I texted my boss, when I knew she’d be awake, to update her. She was a bit shocked and wished me well, and told me not to worry about work.

Dealing with contractions

“As I waited for the doctors to see me, I used my phone to email other colleagues from hospital to ask them to check my diary. They were fantastic, texting me good luck messages throughout the day, which kept my spirits up. The contractions built up during the morning while I finished off my work handover.

“Then a doctor came in to examine me and told me I was 5cm dilated. I wouldn’t be going home then! I’d only had two paracetamol but now I could have gas and air, which was fantastic. They checked me again about 7.30pm and said I was 10cm and it was time to push.

Pain relief changes

“At this point they took the gas and air off me. Every time I stopped pushing the baby slid back. The midwife said I had to push harder to get him round the bend, but I was complaining I was already pushing as hard as I could. Hot and bothered but unable to move as I was on a glucose and insulin pump because of my gestational diabetes, I was really starting to flag.

“The midwife and doctors started discussing the possibility of ventouse or forceps, which I really didn’t want. Hearing that, and having a local anaesthetic injection, gave me the incentive to push a bit harder and after two more big pushes the head came out.

“At 9.05pm the body followed and 5lb 9oz Rowan was born. He was placed on my tummy and I suddenly blurted, ‘Oh my God, I’ve had a baby!’. Before I could have a proper cuddle, he was whisked off to the special care unit, but I got to hold him a few hours later.”

Read more on…

Coping with a prem baby

Pain relief options in labour


First hours with your newborn

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