Eleanor Rose Brear

Whoazer, what a day. I’m not sure I can cover it all quickly. I am quite tired and ought to head off to bed and get some much needed sleep. I’ll try something, though.

Brief details: Eleanor (Ella) Rose Brear was born this morning at 9:47 by c-section. She weighed in a 6lbs 11 ozs (3.03 kg). She has two arms, two legs, 10 fingers and 10 toes. She has dark hair (not ginger as my Mum thought it would be). She has been brilliant throughout the day, even coping well with her Daddy changing her nappy twice and dressing her in a very cack-handed manner. She was fast asleep when I left the hospital a little after 10pm.

Long version. Hannah had a difficult night because she was woken every hour for blood sugar tests as she was on a sliding scale of insulin. If she was tired when I arrived this morning, she didn’t show it, though. In fact, even though she said she was petrified, she looked very calm and collected. Not long after I arrived, our midwife for the day, Jenny, too us through the pre-op checklist. Barbara arrived shortly after me. Both Hannah’s anaethesitist and Mr Ridley dropped by: the former to make final checks; the latter for a chat. Both of them made the same joke: that they were ‘ill’ and were going home. Both of them made raised eyebrows at yesterday’s happens with the possible transfer. I got the impression that everyone felt that this should never have happened, and many of them most certainly wouldn’t have let Hannah go because they wanted the satisfaction of delivering the baby at St Marys.

After a bit we went off to the labour ward, a short wander up the corridor from the maternity ward, though it did feel a bit like a journey to some fateful happening. Once there, we were separated, with Hannah going off to get prepped and Barbara and I into the relatives room. An age later, Jenny came and got me so that I could get changed, and after that I had another age to wait until they called me into the theatre. Once in there I sat at the head end, and declined the chance to watch over the screen. I reckoned that I would have too many questions if I watched, and would be much better concentrating on Hannah. She found it very weird, as she could feel the messing around in her belly, but there was no pain. Really the business part of the operation didn’t take very long, maybe 10-15 minutes. The only complication seemed to be that they had to fight past Hannah’s strong abdominal muscles (from singing), and Ella needed to be pulled out with foceps. Dr Noble, the anaethesitist made the announcement that the baby was a girl, and Hannah did rather exclaim with astonishment as she was so sure it was going to be a boy.

When she came out she made a good crying noise. I really didn’t know if that was enough crying because it wasn’t superbly loud (but loud enough that Barbara later said she could hear it further down labour ward). We didn’t see her straightaway as they took her to the other end of the room to be checked out and wrapped up. Then they brought our wonderful little girl to us. She was all wrapped in blankets so all we saw was her little face, blinking slowly away, trying to ignore the fact she had been whipped out of her warm, comfortable womb. She seemed to have the most enormous eyes and she was covered in the vernix, apparently the best moisturiser known. Hannah got to hold her for a time while Mr Ridley and the surgical team did more of what had to be done. When they were nearing completion I got to take Ella out with the midwife and go to the recovery room. I got a good hold and cuddle during this time, which was lovely. I’m not sure it had a great effect on Ella, who was still very calm and pretending nothing was going on. Barbara got to come in at this point, and she got to have a little hold as well.

When Hannah had been tidied up, she was brought in to recovery and hooked up to various monitors. She had a rather complex canula in her hand for her sliding scale that would later cause problems getting tangled up when she tried to get changed out of her surgical gown. At this point Ella was weighed, quite a while after the birth. Once Hannah was ready, she was given Ella, who was tempted with the breast to take her first feed. Amazingly, she settled really quickly and was sucking away and had an enormous feed, taking 30 minutes. I am sure this was excellent bonding time for Hannah, and it was fantastic to see everything going so well. I then made a couple of phone calls. Ella had her first blood sample taken for blood sugar test. This was vital because if it was too low, then she would have to go down to the NICU. Fortunately it was much higher, so we knew we had her for another 3 hours at least. Then Ella had another feed again.

It was somewhere during this time that I, with Barbara’s help, got to dress Ella. This was the time in the day she have her biggest cry when her nice warm blankets were taken away and she was open to the cool air for a brief time. After putting on her nappy (the wrong way round, Barbara’s fault, not mine ), a vest, babygro, cardigan, bootees, hat and gloves she was quiet again.

By 1:30 they were ready to allow us to go back to Hannah’s room in maternity. Hannah was obviously still in her bed, with IV drip stand in tow, and I had Ella in her wheeled baby cot. We were a bit of a convoy going back to maternity, and when we arrived and went past the nurses’ station there was so many staff who were all wishing us well, it was wonderful, one of the more emotional parts of the day to see so many people pleased for us.

The rest of the day was a mixture of just Hannah, Ella and I, with Barbara around some of the time, and Hannah’s Dad, Jack, came to visit in the evening. Ella slept almost all of the time. We tried to get her to feed again at around 4, so that her blood sugars would be good for her testing at 5. As it happened she wasn’t that interested, as she was really still asleep and had fed a lot back in recovery, but it didn’t matter because her blood sugar was even better than before when measured.

She continued to sleep on, despite various sessions of being held by myself, Barbara and Jack. She had a long session of skin-to-skin time on Hannah’s chest, which is meant to be good for temperature control and bonding. Before the not successful feed I got the task of changing the first nappy, which was full of the black meconium. I had help from one of the midwives, so this nappy change went well, with some tips on putting feet into babygros, where to put the used nappy etc. Later on I had another nappy to change, with slightly runnier meconium, and this time it was less successful, with it getting on her feet and the towel underneath. I had to chase the bits around, cleaning them up. Plus when I dressed her, she seemed somewhat lopsided, with one side of hands and legs fitting into her clothes, and the other being shorter than the sleeves and babygro legs.

Hannah was very tired through the afternoon, and managed to get a couple of short dozing sessions. She did marvellously well, coping with the pain and doing fantastically well with the breast feeding. One of the midwives said she had never seen such successful breast feeding from an early c-section mum before. We had a successful feed in the mid-evening, so by the time I left Ella had taken three feeds, and was getting quite familiar with how to take the breast.

Ella was great too. She slept a lot of the time, as new babies do. She never cried when the blood was taken for her blood sugars, and her sugars remained good, as well as her temperature. If either dropped, then she would have had to go downstairs to the NICU. Wonderfully, this didn’t happen, bucking the protocol of babies of diabetic mums going straight down to the unit.

All-in-all the day went much, much better than we hoped, and as superbly well as it could have done. Ella is with her Mum in
their room in maternity. She seems quite settled and content and is feeding well. Both Hannah and I are very tired after the day, but very, very happy. Hannah says she still can’t believe it’s all real, but it is, and we have a lovely new daughter.


4 Responses to “Eleanor Rose Brear”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hi. Your mum here. Not signed in but wanted to read all about it, so am using D&J’s computer. Ella looks lovely and I am looking forward to my getting a hold of her tomorrow for a while. Please pass my love to Hannah.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Congratulations to the 3 of you! from Dan & Alison

  3. Chris R Says:


    I enjoyed reading about your experiences at Ella’s birth. I am pleased that all went well and look forward to seeing you, Hannah and Ella next week.



  4. kieronb Says:

    One reader of this post was apparently in tears reading it. I’m not sure how to take that. Hopefully it was goodness.

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