• Amy

MOTHERHOOD // GIVING BIRTH IN ITALY - ROSIE'S BIRTH STORY PART 1

Updated: Feb 6

This is a post I have been dreaming of writing for ages, so bear with me as this gets pretty long {and contains ALL the gory details - not sorry, this is the kind of post I read and read when I was pregnant}! It was such an amazing experience and there is so much I don't want to forget so here it is all written down.


Being overdue are some of the longest days of your life, and I think every pregnant woman would agree. Rosie {or 'Bump' as she was known at the time as we hadn't found out the gender} was due on Friday 15th February 2019, but it took her another whole 8 days to start making her appearance. She was just too comfy.


40 weeks pregnant and hiking in the snow!

My Mum and Stepdad Paul were over in Italy for the week I was due and so we actually had a really fun week trying to pass the time! Although, at times it definitely didn't feel so fun... I was SO ready to meet our baby and the constant messages from friends and family asking for any baby news was really getting to me!


Thursday// 21st February 2019

The midwives had checked me for cervical dilation a couple of times in the week leading up to Rosie's birth weekend, but every time I was still frustratingly 0cm. Finally on the Thursday morning {40+6w} I was 1cm dilated {hooray!} which was enough for them to strip my membranes/do a sweep. For the rest of that day I felt a bit crampy, but we walked Arthur the dog 3 miles around Lake Fimon as we had done everyday, and then attended a cookery class and dinner with friends in the evening who were also in the final stages of pregnancy. I finally lost my mucous plug when we got home and went to bed anticipating being up in the night and going into labour... i was SO excited!


Cookery class with my other preggo ladies!

Friday // 22nd February 2019

...but no such luck. Friday morning came and still nothing changed. We did the usual dog walk and various errands to keep my mind off it all, and lots of ball bouncing. But by Friday night, still nothing had changed.


Saturday // 23rd February 2019

Saturday morning I was due to go back to the hospital for a Non-Stress Test (NST) at 8am which was not in the normal American OB clinic but in the main hospital. They didn't speak any English, Rob couldn't come with me, and it was in a room full of other Italian ladies in various stages of late pregnancy/early labour. This was sadly the worst experience of my entire pregnancy and birth. I left feeling ignored, deflated, still very much pregnant, and with no new knowledge of how I was progressing.


The only silver lining being that at least baby was healthy and okay as they were happy for me to go and return to the usual American OB clinic 2 days later.


I arrived home and my Mum and Paul were out walking Arthur, so Rob suggested we soak up some last moments just us 2 and go out for a coffee in the village. With my very large belly at this point, and my mind in the clouds, I tripped up the step on the way out of the gate... and immediately just burst into tears. It was all just too much and I was feeling so emotional... {In hindsight, maybe the first indication that something hormonal was happening that day!?} Anyway, after apologising to Rob for my super-pregnant-lady teary outburst, we enjoyed our cappuccinos in the crisp Italian winter sunshine, and got a message from some friends saying they were going wine tasting in the hills just south of us and did we want to come. With baby looking unlikely, we jumped at the idea of spending a sunny day with some of our best friends rather than moping around home. So off we went.


It was a perfect day of family, friends and fun for our little girl to be born into. 3 wineries, fantastic friends & family, so many belly laughs, food and a crisp, cold sunny Italian Saturday...it was just perfect. My bump was feeling pretty heavy all day and especially in the afternoon but that was all and so I didn't think anything of it- { I was fed up of waiting and analysing every little sign or symptom I had!}





Infact, we had SO much fun, we then decided to all meet up in downtown Vicenza a couple of hours later for sushi at our favourite restaurant, Yumi!


We arrived at Yumi at 7:30pm and I sat down on the plastic chair and IMMEDIATELY felt uncomfortable. {I thought it was just an uncomfortable plastic chair and being pregnant!} But then felt the need to go to the toilet 3 times in the next 45mins, struggled to eat my usually favourite crunch roll, and realised that the chair only got uncomfortable every 5 mins... I was in labour!! I texted Rob over the table to say that I thought I was in labour and that we might have to leave shortly.. but that I would keep him in the loop with how I felt. I didn't want to announce to the whole table just incase i wasn't... but i'm pretty sure my friends Kayla and Nicole who were also heavily pregnant knew and had worked out why I was a bit 'off' my usual self!


At 9pm I finally decided I couldn't sit on the chair anymore and it was time we headed home. I was struggling to sustain a conversation with Kayla sat next to me, and needed to lie down and start breathing through my surges - {we did hypnobirthing so we called them surges not contractions.}


As soon as we left the restaurant and I started walking my surges ramped up and I had to start breathing through them myself. I turned on my app 'Freya' as we walked back to the car (the wrong way... whoops!) and she helped me to breathe through them at the same time as timing how long they were and how regular. By the time we got back to the car they were every 4mins and 30 seconds long each time! Anyway, we headed home to relax and load the hospital bags into the car. It was going to be a long night!


We got home, I immediately went upstairs and got comfortable in bed, and Rob and my Stepdad busied themselves downstairs loading up the car and getting sorted whilst Mummy came upstairs to help me. No sooner than I got comfy I then shot straight out of bed and proceeded to vomit my sushi straight back up into the toilet... lovely. I got back into bed, sent Mummy downstairs, and asked for Rob to come up and be with me. It was now about 10pm and my surges were strengthening every time.


Rob was timing my surges and they were 3-4mins apart and a minute long. This is when you should usually head to the hospital but having only been in labour 2.5hours I really didn't want to go in yet and just have to sit on the ward all night..! I wanted to labour at home as much as possible in my own comfortable environment. Rob finally convinced me that we should head to the hospital after bargaining with me that I could have a shower and wash my hair- I was adamant I wanted to do this before I went!


We left home at 10:45pm and arrived at the San Bortolo ER at 11pm. Rob dropped me at the door with the bags, and went to find a parking space. I must have looked rather strange standing on my own at the door hugging my pillow against the wall... but no-one said anything and I was in my own little world with Freya counting my surges. We were met there by the Patient Liason to be our translator and taken through the hospital to the OB ER triage area where they immediately got me up onto the bed and checked dilated I was... at which point my water broke allllll over the floor and the poor midwife! I was only 3cm. I got cleaned up and a sheet wrapped around me, an ultrasound and an NST and a cannula put in. My surges were pretty intense now, and as Rob answered questions, my Freya app kept me calm and breathing through my surges.


We got taken straight up to the delivery floor as things were progressing pretty quickly and I was definitely in active labour...


Amy x

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