Emma Tierney tells her birth story:
‘When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified.
At 18, I thought my parents would kill me and I couldn’t find the words to tell your Dad. We weren’t together and you weren’t planned…
But after 3 weeks I got so excited! I couldn’t wait to feel you kick, hear your heartbeat and most of all, to give birth to you!
Your Daddy was like me, scared to begin with but eventually he started to tell me that he was excited and that he hoped you were a girl. I was desperate for a girl too, but convinced myself that my baby was a boy, more out of fear of being disappointed. So I bought some blue outfits and talked about names. I chose Michael.
The first time you kicked I thought I had imagined it, but then you did it again. It was like butterflies in my tummy. Towards the end of my pregnancy, it was like you were purposefully trying to hurt me!
You were due on September 9, 2008. Four days before that, staying with my Mum and Dad I started to get a dull ache in my tummy and thought that maybe it was indigestion. A short time later, around 6.30pm, it dawned on me that you might have been on your way. You shifted to one side of my tummy and it went really hard. By then the pains were stronger, but not too bad.
I told Granny I thought I was in labour, and she didn’t believe me. She told me to go for a walk to take my mind off it.
At 7pm I went back into the house to watch Emmerdale with Granny and Granda and as the introduction finished, I heard a pop down below! I guessed my waters had broken.
I ran into the bathroom and called Granny. I was shaking with nerves and excitement, but I wasn’t scared because I knew that I’d be seeing you soon.
When Granny said, “Emma, that’s blood,” I almost dropped with fear. I thought something was wrong and I didn’t know what to do. Granny said it was just a show, and she has eight children, so she knew what she was talking about.
I rang your Daddy – the conversation was short! When he picked up he asked if I was ok and when I told him that I was in labour he hung up! He rang straight back and told me he had panicked and almost forgotten his name!
A midwife at the Hospital said they were busy and didn’t want to see me until at least 10.30pm unless it was very urgent.
My contractions were already strong but irregular, so I couldn’t time them. I was throwing up and still bleeding heavily. Every time I stood up I had a gush of blood that landed on the floor, full of clots.
By the time we left for hospital, it was around 10.30pm and the roads were bumpy: every bump made the contractions worse.
A driver almost crashed into us but I couldn’t even find the energy to feel scared. I felt sick and I couldn’t think straight because I was so dizzy. I kept asking if they had rung your Daddy; they assured me they had.
We got to the Hospital around 11.45pm and my contractions were only 50 seconds apart: they felt neverending. We were told to wait in the Admissions room where lots of women were in early labour.
Meanwhile, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, I was being sick and my contractions were very painful. I soon found out I was 6cm dilated and your head had engaged!
Eventually I was taken into a side room where a female Registrar gave me an internal examination. She reached inside to feel how dilated I was, but instead was gathering scoops of clots. She checked your heart rate and told me that it was very slow and that you were distressed.
They had to act fast. I had to give verbal consent to an emergency Caesarean as there was no time to sign anything and I was shaved before they ran into Theatre with me.
A Nurse asked if it was okay to cut my bra… I was so out of it I said, “No, it’s new. Shall I take it off instead?” Then I spoke to the Anaesthetist and he put me under.
I still hadn’t seen your Daddy, but he was outside the Theatre waiting to meet you. You were born at 00.35 on September 6th, 2008. I came around at about 12.45am and you were nowhere to be seen.
I thought something had happened to you and was starting to panic when I noticed an incubator in the corner… it was you. You were floppy and not breathing when you were born, your Apgar scores were three and nine.
I asked a midwife what you were and she said, “It’s a girl. Five pounds and twelve and a half ounces.” I was then asked if I wanted a cup of tea and some toast… I wasn’t even given the option of holding you.
The midwife left and your Daddy, Auntie Grace and Auntie Michelle came in and wheeled you over to me… you looked so tiny, but perfect. I could have cried just looking at you.
Eventually a midwife came back and handed you to me, and you were tiny, the smallest thing I’d ever seen in my life. You latched on straight away and fed well, but later you were unsettled and a midwife gave you a formula feed while I was asleep.
The reason for the C-section was because I had a Placental Abruption where the placenta breaks away. I had a 60% abruption, and you were being starved of oxygen and nutrients.
You almost died, and me too. That was a terrifying thought. Now that I have you, I could never be without you.
Now you’re a healthy 7-month-old, you’re trying to repeat everything I say, you’ve just got your first two teeth and you are beautiful!
I love you Ellie-Rose, forever and ever. I promise to always do my best to protect you and always be there when you fall.’