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Hi, my name is Shannon, here's a bit about me and my angel.

You don't think it would happen to you, especially not the way it has. These days you wake up, and its if in the blink of an eye the last four years has flown past me, we really do learn to appreciate the tiny things in life. I never thought I would be a young mother, especially to a beautiful wide eyed baby with such need for real TLC, who would make me learn to speak up, fight for what you love, she has shown me the beautiful truths about this world and us as people and how we really fight or flight, how we the learn to become a voice for somebody. We fight for equality, we fight for our loved ones, and we are still here. I am a firm believer in the fact that our babies, our little ones who just need a little more, were given to us to shape us into better people, we learn a lot and we over come a lot of hurdles..

We've learnt so much. My daughter, Olivia-Marie was born at 34+3 at the 17th of July 2016. Healthy weight of 6lb 4oz Straight to special care baby unit (SCBU). To be honest I was too exhausted. Four hours had gone by too slowly for me, I hadn't slept for 3 nights very well at all not to mention that I was the size of a beach whale in the middle of a heatwave.

You know when your pregnant and just had your baby you automatically start thinking of all the beautiful years to come, such as; What school they are going to, prom, and what they are going to be when they grow up. I mean you'd think all you have to worry about is nappy rash and teething right. It's this idea of a perfectly normal life, you'd never expect anything like this. Your life will never be the same again, and that's actually not a bad thing, see our kids they show us the REAL world, i mean boy, you think you've got it all figured out, then along came our little ray of sunshine with extra requirements. I mean wow what an eye opener and a huge learning curve!

I was 18 years old when I fell pregnant, 19 giving birth. My pregnancy consisted of walking around with a bump the size of a beach wale and vomiting issues, everything made me sick, heartburn well and truly was the cherry on top of the cake. When it was time for my first scan (you know the 12 week one not the fancy private ones, not there's anything wrong with them, i just personally didn't get one) I was so excited, its the first time you get to see your baby, well we waited in the waiting room for a good hour before I got called in. 'There's your baby there see, there is the head, there's the feet' and then she continued on to say 'and it looks like you are actually 16 weeks+4 days' well you can imagine my shock. I felt like I had fast forwarded through half my pregnancy, of course learning that I'm further than originally thought, I asked her what her personal opinion on what babies gender would be. She said girl!

Well I was back for my 20 week scan exactly four weeks after and I had the confirmation I was having a girl, I was over the moon immediately began my dreams of what everything going to be like, it's much more real now, started getting everything I needed ready. Oh and they also said I had blood results come back and I had iron deficiency anaemia and gave me some tablets to take every day. They asked to see me again in two weeks because they had noticed how big I was getting so quickly and wanted to have a more detailed scan. So the time came for my next scan, they confirmed i had polyhydramnios but the baby was otherwise healthy, meaning that I was carrying too much fluid and they also noticed that my baby was growing a little bit faster than normal. It was then decided that I was to have scans once a week, one week to measure baby's growth and the next to measure the fluid (and so on) and I was to have a consultant lead pregnancy and birth and when I give birth I was to have a doctor and a midwife with me while giving birth and I was not to have a home birth or a water birth and it absolutely had to be done in the hospital, which was fine by me I would of felt more comfortable giving birth in a hospital anyway.

I'm 34+1 weeks its my last day off work before having time off for maternity, I am having excruciatingly annoying and somewhat painful shooting pains up my back up my sides. (I worked in a small organic shop where there was only one member of staff running the whole shop all day and that was just me) Quickly, i went on my phone and seemed the internet to see what the pain was, ah braxton hicks!! I slowly continued my day in work as productively as I could and closed the shop and locked it up. On the bus home I rang for help to pick me up from the bus stop and drive me up the hill to take me home because by that point I was so tired and uncomfortable to attempt any hill let alone a steep one like that. Ran a bath and laid down to see if it would ease the pain and pressure I had been carrying around all day, not to mention I had already had such a poor nights sleep. Just my luck, it didn't help, nor did lying down in bed for a few hours, the pains just carried on. I rang the hospital and was transferred to the labour ward I explained what was going on and said I originally thought it was braxton hicks but wanted a check over because I was so uncomfortable for such a long time already.

I arrived at the hospital it was 10pm (ish) i was soon seen and examined. They explained that they had to do an internal examination, I was mortified, I wasn't prepared for it I was embarrassed and they actually had to convince me to let them do it because it wasn't going to be long before I was to have my legs open for every man and his trainee to see anyways. Anyway examination done 'You're 4cm dilated!' the woman told me 'Your in labour and your doing incredibly well' They put me in my own cubical, hooked me up to a bunch of monitors and gave me steroid injections to help the baby because my labour was too early. I was told not to eat in case I had to have a C section and to stay hydrated and gave me sugary tablet looking things so I wouldn't pass out. The next day they examined me again, 5 cm dilated, great i was due my baby shower that same day so asked because it was taking so long could I go and have my baby shower and come back in a couple of hours, of course they said no.

As we are heading into the evening they checked to see how dilated i was again still 5cm, so they moved me into a shared ward with 5 other women. As if I couldn't sleep already, and already missed out on two nights sleep, even if there wasn't any pain I wouldn't of been able to sleep because all the other woman were in pain and crying too. It was around 2 am and i called a midwife in because i just couldn't take it anymore, she said I could have pethadine which is what i originally didn't want because I had heard it affects the baby, but i was hurting so much and I was so tired and so scared, upset and alone I agreed to have it. She measured me again and i was only 5.5cm, only gone up by 0.5, I was fed up I just wanted it to hurry up now. I asked if I could call someone and have them sit with me but they said I wasn't allowed because its not visiting times.

So there I am, now 19 scared, alone, tired, not eaten since Friday and in so much pain and in a room full of 5 other woman who are also in pain too. Around 9 am they had came in to see me and said that they are going to start thinking about when to break my waters for me. 10 am comes and they are measuring me again, and as they do, my waters go.

Immediately I was moved back into my own cubical and given some toast to eat and said i should not of gone that long without food and I just rolled my eyes, too shattered to really hold a conversation, meanwhile my waters are still going and I'm practically turning the room into a walk in paddling pool! My belly didn't seem to be getting any smaller. I'm all hooked up to monitors that tell me when I'm having contractions like I haven't been feeling them for the past nearly three days now. I asked where the loo was to go. I had one in my room so I locked the door and continued to do my business, well I hear people shouting my name in panic...

I'm thinking what on earth is the issue, they are asking me if I'm having wee or a poo, and I kid you not I tell them its a poo if they must know and they are shouting at me to unlock the door and it wasn't a poo it was the baby and I needed to push, me being stubborn sat on the loo trying to argue that its a poo still but eventually return to the room because it was taking too long. From then on if I needed the loo they gave me a cardboard bed pan thing to use. Legs up, feet apart, knees apart resting against something. Time to start pushing, waters still going, I go for the gas and air because I thought it was safer but it just kept making me projectile vomit, I've got two midwives with me. Helping me sit me up, wash me down and put clean gowns on me every 10 mins because I cannot deal with the pain and the gas and airs making me vomit. So i have the epidural, in between having doses or that yellow liquid through a tube connected to my back/spine they still try to push the gas and air down my gob despite the fact its that that's making me so so sick, projectile vomit sick. When the epidural kicks in I get some shut eye for an hour and everyone just allows it because I had pretty much 0 sleep in the past 72 hours. Changeover comes and I have a heavily pregnant midwife in with me and a student midwife. Push push push she arrives at 9:37pm with the cord tight around her neck, no wonder it took so long for her to be pushed out.

She's quickly taken to the table at the end of the room resuscitated and quickly rushed out in one of the nurses arms showing me only her face on the way out the door. I close my eyes again picturing her chubby cheeks and the nurse explains to me that she's in SCBU and i have to stay and have a four hour IV session because I had barely consumed or drank much in days. So they bring me in a photo of her an hour in then I have another small nap until they are ready to put me in a wheelchair to take me to see her. And that, is where our journey began.

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