Baby C’s Birth Story – ‘Resident Blogger’ Hannah

baby cIt is an absolute joy to bring you Hannah’s story of Baby C’s arrival – or Toby, as he should now be known! Those of us who were waiting for the big announcement on Twitter once we knew Hannah had gone into labour were on tenterhooks to find out what was happening. Here is her lovely birth story – and the first of our Resident Bloggers to welcome their new arrival!

Hannah blogs at

Those of you who have followed my bump updates will know that I was due on July 9th and we’d opted not to find out if we were having a boy or girl.

On Sunday 6th, I started getting some mild, irregular contractions. Not hugely painful, but definitely stronger than the Braxton Hicks I’d had for weeks. We had friends round for tea and I was fine cooking and chatting, although I spent a lot of the evening on my birthing ball, willing things to get going!

On Monday morning, Phil and I had decided to go out for a nice breakfast because we were pretty sure we’d have a baby by the following weekend. I was contracting fairly regularly by then, but they were still mild.

Back at home, I had a bloody show and what looked like some of my waters. I was advised to go in and be checked out, so we packed the car up with our bags and car seat and headed off. From then on, the contractions were increasingly painful and I was sure I was in early labour. At the hospital I was told I was 1cm dilated and given a sweep. The contractions really started to heat up after that and soon they were every 7 minutes, reducing to every 5 minutes by bed time.

I say bed time, by then the contractions were so painful I couldn’t bear to lay or sit down, so on went the TENS machine and I spent all of Monday night pacing the living room and timing the contractions. I tried to take some paracetamol in the hope of getting some sleep, but that made me throw up so I just gave up trying to rest and got on with walking around!

By 4am each contraction was bringing me to the verge of tears, the TENS was on full blast and they were 3-4 minutes apart. Phil called the maternity unit and we we’re told we could go in, but that I’d be best staying at home as long as possible. I managed until about half 5, but by then I was in tears because I was scared I wouldn’t have dilated and would be stuck like this for the rest of the day!

Off we went, Phil driving the 35 minute route as carefully as possible and me pressing that lovely boost button on the TENS machine. I loved that button!

hannah ropeTo our delight, I was 5cm dilated and we were shown through to an en suite room in the midwife-led unit. I was impressed by the variety of bean bags, balls, stools and suspended rope available to me, but I still found that my best coping mechanism was walking. I was offered gas and air, but I hated it and felt sick from it, so decided to leave it for as long as I could.

At 08:52 my waters broke naturally, much to my joy. The student midwife who was caring for me called for her senior and unfortunately, due to a small amount of meconium in the waters, I had to be placed on the monitor which meant being on a bed. We walked down to another private room in the delivery unit and I was strapped up to the monitor. The baby’s heartbeat was okay but there were very few movements so I had to go on to my side. The contractions were so much worse lying down, so I began having small goes on the gas and air.

I can’t remember all the details from here, I know that I was sick a couple of times and that it took a lot of encouragement for me to use the gas and air through the whole of each contraction. I remember asking Phil to put my labour playlist on, then finding my favourite songs too emotional so he put Lucy Rose on, which was a good choice!

I lost all track of time but I remember feeling the need to push and informing the midwife of this in a slightly frantic manner! I heard the midwife in charge mention an internal to confirm I was fully dilated, but they decided not to as my instincts had been spot on up to that point and they trusted me to know when to push.

I pushed and pushed, with Phil and the midwives cheering me on, but Baby C kept crowning then going back in. I had desperately wanted to avoid delivering on my back, but with the midwife telling me I had to come off my side, I knew the pain was too intense to get on my knees, so with everyone’s help I went on to my back.

Things really got moving then and I was able to reach down and feel the Baby’s head, which was amazing. I kept asking Phil if he was okay standing up and apologising to everyone for making noise, apparently that was quite funny!

hannah and tobyAfter what I was told was about an hour of pushing, I felt Baby C make a final descent into the world and Phil and the midwife placed our baby on to my chest.

“What is it?” I asked Phil.

“It’s a Toby”

Our beautiful son arrived at 11:58, weighing a fantastic 7lb 9oz, he latched for a feed soon after and we both spent a long time having skin to skin cuddles with Toby. Phil and I are overwhelmed with love for our son and can’t speak highly enough of both the student and senior midwives, Liz and Laura, or any of the other wonderful staff at Peterborough hospital. We were discharged 6 hours after his birth and off we went, taking our son home.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @BuddingSmiles


Budding Smiles – ‘Resident Blogger’ Hannah

hannah clarke picBlogs For Babies is just starting out on the road to building a lovely community of parent bloggers sharing their stories, so we are more than happy to introduce you to Hannah – just starting out on the road to parenthood! In fact, we’ll let Hannah introduce herself…

“Hi! My name’s Hannah. I’m a 27-year-old wife to Phil, travel-loving, Tottenham-supporting, outdoorsy country bumpkin with two cats, five chickens and an ever expanding bump.

Mine and my husband’s first precious little baby is due July 9th. I have recently started blogging about my pregnancy and am loving being able to share my stories. I hope that you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it.”

In this first guest post from Hannah, she tells us more about herself and we welcome ‘little bean’.

Hannah blogs at

As a teenager I wasn’t content at school, and then I wasn’t content at college, so I travelled. I went to Canada, Brazil, Peru, Thailand, Singapore, Australia – It was amazing and it taught me what the shy, nervous child I’d been could actually achieve.

The following few years weren’t easy, I left home in 2008 for a relationship that was doomed from the beginning and so by 21 I was living alone and working 50+ hours a week to pay my bills . It wasn’t all bad, I have an amazing family who have supported me through thick and thin and in August 2011, I went to Devon for a week with my cousin.

Single for two years, she decided to join, but only if I did it too. Reluctantly, I set up the most basic of profiles and duly set my iPod to one side, forgetting about it. That night however, I received an email to inform me that someone had ‘winked’ at me on Match. I clicked the link to see what his profile was like…

15 months later, basking in the Cambodian sun and perched atop a tower at Angkor Wat, the man who had cyber winked at me asked me to marry him. In September 2013, Phil and I became husband and wife in a beautiful ceremony at a gorgeous farm in Ashbourne.

2013 was a crazy, wonderful year. I saw the year in with my new fiancé at a huge street party in Cambodia. From there we spent four days living high up in a tree house in Laos, zip lining through a jungle inhabited by gibbons. On to outdoor rock climbing in Thailand and then we were back in Blighty and having an offer accepted on a lovely country cottage whilst planning our wedding.

We moved into the cottage in June and began renovating – every room needed attention – then we got married in September. Having been married for five blissful weeks, November 1st became another amazing day to add to the 2013 list when the magical words ‘Pregnant. 1-2 Weeks’ appeared on a digital pregnancy test.

We told a few people straight away, wanting to share our joy with those closest to us but also wanting to build a support network should our little pip not be strong enough. In the weeks leading up to the first scan and to Christmas, I was exhausted, constantly nauseous but unable to be sick, sensitive to smells to the point of giving up eating meat and too bloated to fit properly into my regular jeans.

None of that mattered when, at our 12 weeks scan, a clear, perfect image appeared on the screen. Our little bean – we’d taken to fruit and vegetable references – was wriggling, kicking and waving at its proud Mummy and Daddy.

We told the rest of our close friends after the scan and everyone was over the moon. My nausea began to ease, my bump began to form and at our 16 week midwife appointment the wonderful sound of our baby’s heartbeat filled the air.

hannah clarke scanAt 19+1 we had our second scan and by then I had started to feel tiny flutters. Baby Clarke stretched and yawned, being very well behaved and not sharing its gender with us so that we can still have a surprise on the big day.

As I write this post, I am nearly 22 weeks gone and I can honestly say that I adore being pregnant. No, my body isn’t the slim line one of my wedding photos. Yes, I get sore hips, trapped nerves in my back, I become tired easily and I miss eating rare steak and runny eggs. Is it worth it? Without having even met my baby yet, the answer is an unequivocal yes! I get to feel the growing mini human inside me kicking and moving. I get to watch my belly jump about to baby’s own private beat. I get to love this child for the rest of my life and that makes any sickness, pain or discomfort fade into oblivion.

I’m so excited to be blogging about my life and my pregnancy. I’d love for you to join me and be part of this incredible chapter in my life. Thank you for reading xxx

Follow Hannah on Twitter @BuddingSmiles