Growing a Rainbow: The Rapid Arrival of Beatrice Hope

On Tuesday 5th August I woke up at 6am

After the best night’s sleep I had had in ages

My sleep had been less disturbed by loo breaks

I had hardly touched the drink that I took to bed

I was supposed to get up and call the hospital

Book in for my induction

I was supposed to call by seven

As it was I was barely out of bed by seven




David was happy to go with whatever I decided to do

Would it be best to wait a few days to see if our baby arrived on her own?

But what if she, we, did not make it

We could not lose another baby

So just before seven I made the call

Was told to eat some breakfast and come straight in

Aiming to arrive at nine

We called David’s parents to make their way here

And I had a shower, checked my emails, checked my bags

In the emails I found the one that would change everything

From Janine at The Birth and Baby Company

The one I would cling to

And that along with my truly amazing husband

Would get me through the next ten hours

Until our baby was born


We waited as late as we could to leave the house

We wanted to say goodbye to Esther and William

To reassure them that everything would be okay

They, of course, had a wonderful two days with Granny and Granddad

While waiting for their baby sister to be born

Along with our hospital bags

I also took my pink birthing ball from Mama Baby Bliss

And my Theraline Pregnancy Pillow

These had been faithful companions throughout the third trimester

And I wanted them with me to see me through to the fourth

I used them both throughout labour

And continued to use the Theraline pillow after Rainbow Baby was born

Two products that I highly recommend

On the way to the hospital

David and I went to the supermarket

To stock up on drinks and snacks

We had no idea how long the induction might take

And we wanted to be prepared

My email from Janine had said ‘nutritious snacks’

So I went for bananas, grapes and a range of cereal bars looking for things with high fibre

When we could delay it no more we went to the hospital

And reported to the antenatal ward


It was empty when we arrived

We were shown to our room and told we just needed to wait

The doctors were on the ward

The midwife needed to get medication prescribed

And then we could get started

We arrived on the ward at 9.30am

Nothing happened to us at all

Until after lunch at about half past noon

By this time I was having mild contractions

About 10 minutes apart

And was wondering if I would need inducing at all

I kept active all morning

Pacing the room and the corridors of the unit

Walking up and down the stairs

Going to the cafe for lunch

And bouncing on my ball

induction essentials

I also noted down the contractions as they happened

Every 10 minutes

Just after half past twelve

The midwife put me onto the monitor

She insisted that I had to lie on the bed for the first 20 minutes

Which soon became 40 minutes

She wanted to keep monitoring the baby

As at some point the contact of the machine had been lost

At twenty to two I was still on the monitoring machine

I was definitely contracting now

I got myself off the bed and on to my ball

And then we had to ring the bell for attention

As I was desperate for the loo

A different midwife came to our room

And was very apologetic

The original midwife had gone to lunch

And had not handed over that I was strapped to a monitor

If we had not rang for attention

I could have been left there unknowingly for hours

Thankfully the new midwife let me off the monitor

And I was able to go for a wee!

Having read the email from Janine

I was conscious of continuing to eat and drink

I was conscious of making sure that I went to the loo

At least once an hour

To give the baby lots of room to do what she needed to do to be born

When the original midwife came back

She examined me

Did not really tell us anything about what she could feel

Was not overly concerned that I seemed to be contracting already

And proceeded to insert the Propess Pessary

I asked the midwife if I should expect any side effects and she said there weren’t any

I wonder if I should have been given a leaflet like the one I have linked to above

That lists the side effects possible from Propess

As well as explaining more about what to expect from the process

I found the antenatal midwife quite dismissive of me in general

When she examined me before the Propess she said my cervix was far back

But also said she was able to give a good sweep

And that she could feel baby’s head

Of course we knew this would be the case

As the Consultant yesterday advised that I was already 2cm dilated

And that she could feel baby’s head really low

Anyway …

With the Propess inserted it was back on to the monitor to check that baby was happy

Again having to lie on the bed

This time it was just 20 minutes and then I was allowed up

It was not long at all before the contractions became more frequent

And more intense

I wanted to encourage them and so David and I went for a walk around the hospital

This walk was not as enjoyable as the others we had taken

We tried to go outside but I was struggling to walk without pain

We went back to the room

Back to bouncing on my ball

I knew that labour was progressing because I felt a need to be in the safety of the room

I also could not concentrate on anything

I did not want to watch TV

I did not want to write

I ate and drank and talked to David

And I ate some dinner at 5.30pm

I had a feeling that I should eat and I wanted David to do the same

My best friend, who lives literally down the road from the hospital

Came to visit us and brought David sausage and chips

Michele stayed with us for under an hour

All the while I was having contractions

About 4 minutes apart

I was sat on my ball

Leaning over the bed, resting on my Theraline pillow

At 6.40pm I felt an enormous pop inside of me

I stood up calling David’s name

And knew

Before the gush

My waters had broken

Michele left

David called the midwife

And all at once I was in agony

My skirt was drenched and removed

The contractions were coming thick and fast

The midwife examined me and insisted I was not in active labour

The contractions continued relentlessly

One after the other

I was in a lot of pain

With barely a second to breathe between each wave

David was amazing

Telling me to breathe through the pain

And when I was able to do that

To breathe slowly and deeply

The pain was much less

But I was frightened

And could not manage my contractions well

I asked for gas and air

The midwife said that they do not have gas and air on the antenatal ward

She could offer me paracetomol, cocodamol or pethidine

There was no way I was going to let her give me pethidine

All of my babies have arrived within an hour or so of my waters breaking

At this late stage there seemed no point in taking paracetomol

The pain was already too strong

The contractions continued to build in intensity

The midwife wanted me to get on my back on the bed to examine me

But I could not do it

I tried but it hurt too much

I think I was also thinking

Need to stay upright, need to stay mobile

I think it was clear to everyone in the room

Apart from the midwife

That I needed to be on the labour ward

David was brilliant

He insisted we were moved so that I could have some gas and air

The midwife from labour ward agreed

That at the very least the gas and air might calm me down

And make me more comfortable

Comfortable enough to be examined

With each contraction now I was clinging to David

And squatting to the floor

The pain was all consuming

I was put in a wheelchair and taken to the delivery suite

We arrived there at 19:20

I have no recollection of the next 10 to 15 minutes

I know that I bit David at some point

I know that I was given gas and air

I know that I was not aware of conversations taking place in the room

I know I never did make it on to a bed to be examined

I know that there was a time when I was not able to respond to anyone

I was sucking on the gas and air

Trying so hard to breathe through each contraction

Each pain

Saying Tilda’s name in my head to help with the rhythm of my breathing

Everything went mad

David says I went crazy

And then I felt her

I felt two things

I felt Rainbow Baby ready to be born

And I felt the presence of Tilda in the room

And referring to one or the other, or both

I held on to David and whispered, ‘She is here’

I then heard David tell the midwife

By this time there were two of them there

And the lady midwife just looked at me

And said ‘You are going to have your baby aren’t you?’

I was then able to be calmer

It was too late for anyone to examine me

But I got up on to the bed

They listened into baby’s heart beat with a doppler

I lied on my left side

I stopped using the gas and air for pain relief

But bit down on the mouth piece to help me focus and push

Push our Rainbow Baby out

The pain was manageable now

I could feel baby moving inside me

The midwives were wonderful at helping me to push and pant at the right times

David was amazing

And in no time at all our baby was born


21 minutes after arriving on the labour ward!

It was fast and intense

I lost control

Entirely at times

I do not know how many times I asked if our baby was alive

Is she alive?

But lots

Many many times

As she came out of me

I went a bit crazy again

Desperate to hold her

Getting David to help me strip my clothes off

So I could hold her skin to skin

I could not wait to hold her

And the relief to have her in my arms

Cannot be described

Our Rainbow was here

Was alive

Was a whopping 9lbs 1oz of perfect pinkness

Recalling that first hold I think will forever make me cry

Our hearts synchronising

Our pulses settling

Belonging together

And she latched on so perfectly

Began to feed

It was perfect

Just perfect

She was perfect

We were perfect together

After the cord stopped pulsating

And Daddy had cut the cord

I had an injection to help deliver the placenta

I was oblivious to it all

Just staring at my husband and our beautiful daughter in my arms

Beatrice Hope

Baby Bea

Bringer of hope and happiness

She was born

Baby sister to Esther, William and Matilda Mae

And as the euphoria of birth began to melt away

The sorrow in my heart made me weep

For Baby Tilda

And how things ought to be

I was holding one baby in my arms

But two babies in my heart

David and I talked about names for a while

But I think we both knew already she was Beatrice Hope

Our beautiful Baby Bea

She was a very fat and grumpy looking baby

Very fat and grumpy indeed

But beautiful all the same

A lovely blend of all her siblings

Our beautiful Baby Bea


I did not tear during the birth

I had a small graze that did not need stitching

We stayed in the delivery suite for cups of tea and sandwiches

Long enough to have a shower and to dress Baby Bea

The midwife said that we could go home that night if we wanted to

But we wanted to see the Paediatric team at SCBU who were going to

Train us in resuscitation and provide us with an apnoea monitor to take home

Before we left the delivery suite they gave us a monitor for hospital use

I still did not sleep a single wink that first night of Bea’s life

But the postnatal ward is another story

I hope you will come back to read it

As we move from

Growing a Rainbow

to raising one

Raising our Rainbow

Raising Baby Bea

Our bringer of joy

Of happiness and hope

Welcome to the world little one

raising rainbow big

Birth Timetable
09.30 Admitted to Antenatal Unit
12.30 Monitored before induction
15.30 Pessary inserted
18.40 Waters broke
19.20 Arrived on labour ward
19.41 Beatrice Hope was born

41 thoughts on “Growing a Rainbow: The Rapid Arrival of Beatrice Hope

  1. I was induced at 14 days past my due date, I had similar experiences, it is a bit frustrating how long things take, and how dismissive some midwives can be, but in the end all that matters is that gorgeous baby. Congratulations Jennie x

  2. Fantastic Jennie, I have been checking for this post from you all night :)
    In the maternity unit where I had my two girls, there are no wards. You are taken to a room, and you stay in that room until you leave if all goes well. I prefer that way I think – no travelling between wards.

    Sounds like the first midwife wasn’t the best – I had a student for my youngest, and she had no interest in me at all, only in paperwork. But the main thing is your beautiful Daughter.

    She is gorgeous. Look at how well you have looked after her so far! She’s chubby and gorgeous, ansolutely scrummy.

  3. What an utterly amazing birth story, Jennie. So emotional, full of love, happiness and sadness. She is so beautiful and I’m sure Esther, William and Matilda are all very proud older siblings. Much love to them and to you and David (he is amazing) xx

  4. You are a hero. And I have zero doubt Baby Tilda was in the room. I know she was. Welcome to the world beautiful, perfect Baby Bea! xx

  5. Oh Jennie,

    What a brave soldier you are! Tilda was there, helping you welcome her little sister. You are all stars.
    So much love to you all and a huge welcome to utterly beautiful Baby Bea!
    Karin xx

  6. I’m so glad you felt Tilda’s presence in the room, I have no doubt she was there with you and David, watching over you while her baby sister was born.
    Thinking of you all xx

  7. Wonderful Jennie! Reading again through tears. This time at the wonder of birth and the joyous news of baby Bea’s arrival and at the sadness that baby Tilda is not there to share. Many Congratulations to you all….so happy for you xx

  8. So glad you felt Baby Tilda’s presence Jennie. Your words fill me with both joy at the safe arrival of beautiful Bea and heartbreak for how it should be. I hope you’re enjoying every minute, managing enough sleep and still feeling Gilda’s presence. Xx

  9. I just bawled my eyes out reading this. I’m so happy for you and it’s so wonderful that Tilda helped you through the scary times of labour. Much love to you all x

  10. Many congratulations to you and your family Jennie.
    Beatrice is beautiful and I am sure Tilda is smiling down at her little sister
    Love to you all

  11. So wonderful to read of the safe arrival of Baby Bea and such an emotional post, brought tears to my eyes. I’m so happy for you that she is here with you at last. Sending much love xxx

  12. I love reading birth stories!
    I am so pleased for you, and what healthy size too!

    I am glad you felt Tilda’s presence through the bad times and had David to help you calm down (funny how you can forget to breathe through the pain until you have someone to tell you to isn’t it!) surprised they didn’t move you quicker!!


  13. Beautiful. Tears here for you all, brought on by your emotional but brilliant writing and recounting of such a difficult, sorrowful and exhilarating experience. Congratulations on the wonderful arrival of beautiful baby Bea and wishing you lots of luck and happiness for the weeks ahead x

  14. Such fantastic news, you told your birth story beautifully. Love that you felt Matilda’s presence in the room. You all deserve every bit of happiness that comes your way. Huge congrats to you and your growing family x

  15. Oh my! I’m in tears reading this!! It’s so wonderful to read about the safe arrival of Baby Bea!!! I’m so glad you felt Tilda’s presence…..Beautiful!!
    Thinking of you all x

  16. Fantastic birth story Jennie, though I do wish that the dismissive mw had been better and more sympathetic towards you.
    It sounds like you did fantastically, and David is clearly amazing.
    Baby Bea is simply gorgeous. I’m so happy for you all and have no doubt that Baby Tilda was there waiting to welcome her baby sister, and remains with you always watching over you all. x

  17. So many congratulations Jennie and David – what a sweet, chubby, rosy-cheeked little bumblebee she is :) Esther, William, Tilda and Bea are all gorgeous – what a precious little family you have – I hope you are safe at home and enjoying getting to know your lovely new addition to the family. Thank you for sharing your uplifting, happy and wonderful news with us x

  18. Just catching up on your recent posts. Congratulations to you all on the arrival of Baby Bea. She is gorgeously chubby and I bet she was grumpy only because she didn’t want to come out of the comfort of your womb.
    Wishing you lots of happiness.

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