KellyJo Krneta tells her birth story:
I’m 29, married and gave birth to my first baby, Alfie Mykael, in October. I’d had a gem of a pregnancy, no sickness, so heartburn, no swollen ankles, it was great!
My husband already has a son who is 14 and lives with us. We asked if he would like to come along to my second scan and we had decided to find out the sex of our baby. It was a boy and the sonographer said he wasn’t being very shy!
We had decided on the name Alfie Mykael at about 34 weeks (Alfie after my dad’s middle name; Alfred and Mykael after Karl’s grandfather) and had only told close family, but at home we called my bump Alfie.
I was due on Halloween, which also happened to be my mom’s 50th birthday. I’d had to have a scan at 37 weeks as my placenta was very low, but thankfully, it had moved and I was expecting a normal birth. I work full time and wanted to work up to as close to the birth as possible. I actually started my maternity leave at 38 weeks.
On the Monday of my first week of maternity leave the nursery furniture was delivered from Mamas & Papas and erected. Karl came home from work about 7pm and I was really excited about the nursery being completed – I’d spent all afternoon putting finishing touches to the nursery and putting clothes and linen away in drawers, I wanted to show Karl my handy-work.
I’d left him upstairs to get changed after we’d both decided to leave making up the cot for another day; afterall, we still had two weeks to go…
I went downstairs to start tea, but had to sit down for a moment as I had pins and needles in my leg. I’d suffered a lot with this towards the end of my pregnancy – my midwife said my baby was probably lying on a nerve. I watched the first couple of minutes of Coronation Street and that’s when it happened: a really audible ‘POP’ and all of a sudden it was like someone had just thrown a bucket of warm water over my lap!
I just yelled upstairs to Karl that he needed to bring a towel as my waters had just broken – he called down, was I sure I hadn’t had a wee? I was dripping and very panicky – I’d read every book, magazine & article about giving birth, but lost the plot when this happened.
Karl was great, he sent me upstairs to the loo and called maternity triage. They said to use a maternity pad and if it was soaked through in an hour to come on in, but warned they were very busy, so we could be in for a long wait. In an hour, I’d gone through 4 maternity pads, now on my 5th and my waters were still flowing.
Karl got my hospital bag (I’d had it packed for a few days) and we went to Russells Hall maternity ward. I did have to wait a while, but when I was taken to the triage bay, I was monitored for an hour or so to make sure baby was ok – he was fine.
I was having no pain at all. I was not examined, but was asked the colour of my waters – they were clear, so I was told to go home and return at 1.30pm the following day when I would be induced unless things started to happen on their own. I was told that they couldn’t wait over 24 hours due to the risk of infection to my baby.
Karl & I were eating hospital sandwiches in bed back home at 1.30pm, waiting….just waiting. Nothing happened overnight, Karl went into work to tie up loose ends and my mom came down to sit with me. Still nothing happened.
Karl came back from work and we went back to Russells Hall. I was shown to a bed in a small bay. I was monitored intermittently, baby’s heartbeat was still fine and I still wasn’t feeling anything. At 5pm I was examined. The midwife asked if I was experiencing any pain or discomfort – I still hadn’t felt a thing, but I was 3cm dilated!
At 6pm I was given a pessary. Within a relatively short period of time, I began to ‘feel’ something and contractions gradually got stronger and more frequent. In my birth plan I had wanted a natural birth with little pain relief apart from my Tens machine and gas and air.
By 11.30pm, the Tens machine alone wasn’t helping, so Karl went to see if I could be moved to a room so I could have gas and air too. At midnight I went into a private room and was introduced to Carron, the midwife who would deliver our son. I had to have a canula and drip in each hand – in my right had the Cyntocin drip to continue to ‘speed things up’ and in my left, antibiotics to reduce the risk of any infection to my baby due to my waters breaking early.
This and being monitored, made it difficult for me to move around and Alfie was actually back to back which made my labour really uncomfortable. About 2am, I just couldn’t cope with just gas and air and the Tens machine had become more of an annoyance than any help, so I had pethidine. This made me feel a little drunk but didn’t block out the whole experience which I was grateful for.
Karl was amazing as my birth partner – he constantly fed me cool peppermint tea through a straw and never moaned even when I was pulling down on his chest hairs as well as his t-shirt. When I was next examined, Carron could see our son’s head! After about 40 minutes I had an overwhelming urge to push, Karl got Carron and everything seemed to happen very quickly. Karl was able to touch Alfie’s head as he crowned and told me that our baby was moving his own head to the side!
I was getting extremely exhausted and was finding it difficult to push any more and Alfie had the umbilical cord around his neck so Carron pulled Alfie out. He was a purpley colour and I remember saying he wasn’t crying – Carron shook him and said ‘Mommy wants to hear you cry’ and he began to cry – I was so relieved!!!
He was covered in vernix which made him slippy and sticky – Alfie was placed on my chest, but it was difficult for me to hold him with drips in both hands. All the intense pain and agony just vanished the moment he was out and I knew he was ok. Karl took his t-shirt off and held him so he could have skin to skin too – that was lovely!
Alfie was born at 6.10am on Wednesday 22nd October weighing 6lbs 10 1/2oz. I was able to breastfeed an hour or so later and both me and Alfie took to that quite easily. I was at home 12 hours after Alfie was born.
It was the most amazing experience, but nothing can really prepare you for it!’