Updated: Mar 30
Pregnancy and labour during covid.
Hi everyone! my name is Emma Prouse, and I am 25 years old, married to the love of my life Chris. I am very excited to share my pregnancy and labour story during these difficult times we have all experienced over the past two years.
On the 29th of April 2020, Chris and I decided to take a pregnancy test. We had suffered with a miscarriage the month before, so we had decided to give ‘trying’ a rest and just go with the flow! I did the test and low & behold the faintest line appeared. I ran out to Chris and asked, “Can you see that?” he gave a smile and said, ‘I think so’. We then decided to do another test later that night. The second test had a much darker line and we thought ‘Yes, this is happening’. With so much excitement I had to show my best friends Paige and Kiera and asked them if they could see what we could see.
I decided to wait until my missed period before going to the doctors as I didn’t want to get my hopes up again, a week later no period arrived. I went to the doctors and asked for blood test forms. With Kiera working in pathology, I quickly drove over to her workplace and got her to take my blood. I waited for her to send me a message with my HCG results and the results showed that my HCG levels were in the 1000’s already!
Three weeks went by, and I decided to tell my workplace. I work in early childhood I needed to let my boss know ASAP. A few weeks went past, and I decided to tell the girls at work about our exciting news. I went around to each of the rooms and said “Baby Prouse will be joining us in 2022”, and I can still remember their excited faces.
I reached 17 weeks; this is where it started to get very hard. One day at work I started to get very dizzy and felt off. That night it happened again so my lovely friend Carley took me to John Hunter Hospital, we still hadn’t been seen after six hours! My dad came up to let Carley go home before Chris came up from finishing night work. 13hrs later we finally got taken out the back to be seen by the doctor, and they discovered that I had high blood pressure. However, as I was only 17weeks pregnant not 18 weeks MADU wouldn’t take me. After waiting a few more hours for them to decide who’s care I was in, we finally made our way to MADU. This was around 12PM the following day, at 8PM they told me I had to be admitted. Chris raced home and found a bag of clothes for me. The next day Covid resulted in the hospitals going into lockdown and I wasn’t allowed any visitors, 2 days later it was finally home time with medication and weekly scans to check on bub and me.
I found a beautiful student Midwife Ellie; I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her. As Covid was a rage during this time with my scans at the hospital, Chris wasn’t allowed to any appointments at all. Thankfully Ellie was allowed! I had that support person with me every week. Glucose test comes around, we also have gestational diabetes, failing by .1 this meant I had to go to the hospital for more check ups alone.
Closer to full term, the talk of induction was brought to our attention from the high-risk clinic because I had GD and High blood pressure. As the hospital was still classed as a red zone this meant Chris wasn’t allowed up for the induction.
The 29th of December, we woke up at 4:30am and packed the car and made our way to the hospital. Reality kicked in and I realised I had to go up to the hospital on my own for this. The whole way to JHH I bawled my eyes out. When we got to the hospital, my wonderful Midwife met me at the door, Chris and myself said our goodbyes and off we went to MADU.
At Arrival in Madu I was greeted with a wonderful RAT test to be done, waiting 15mins for results then we finally got taken to a room. They assessed bub for 15mins then took some bloods before one of the head doctors came in and explained to me what was going to happen today.
The first thing they did to start the induction was putting the cervidil tape in which helps to soften and open the cervix, we waited another 3hrs before getting taken down to K3 for a bed.
I kept explaining to the midwife’s that I couldn’t feel bub move, as they placed on the monitor, they noticed I was having 3minute apart contractions. Three different midwifes came in to check the monitor and they decided to get the head doctor, with advice from him they said I needed a drip on. This was to help control the contractions, which it did the complete opposite. The Doctor said it was time to take the tape out as these contractions cannot be happening.
Around 4pm still on the 29th of December the contractions were not easing, it was time to hop into the shower for some relief. The midwife would make her way into the shower to check on me and my blood pressure every half hour, by 8pm I thought I better go rest. I got back into bed and scrolled through my phone while trying to get comfortable, 8:45pm my waters broke I was in shock! I had no idea what was happening. I pressed the buzzer as I stood up out of the bed and kept saying “it’s still coming” as the midwife just laughed and helped clean me up.
Excitement kicked in and I thought ‘yes Chris can come to the hospital now” but nope that was not the case! I continued to go back and forth from swaying side to side and to the shower. My beautiful midwife T held me up in the shower at one stage. 5am 30th December, we did a cervix check, and I was 5cm and it was go time to birth suite and finally Chris was allowed in. By 6am we were comfortable in the birth suit still without any pain relief. 9am came around and I was still 5cm, I was then told I needed the hormone drip to speed things up. This was added and it got intense very quickly. At 12pm another cervix check was done, and I was 8cm, however they found an obstruction. Baby was stuck on my pelvic bone. Two other doctors come in to see if they could feel the obstruction, which was a confirmed yes. 3pm came I was 10cm and they said we needed an emergency c section; the epidural was inserted, and we waited to go into theatre. As I was pushed into the theatre room the doctor made me have another RAT covid test as they prepped me some more, with a spinal block.
Moments later, I remember laying there staring at the ceiling with 25 or more people around me, “Are you ready to find out if bub is a girl or boy?”, they asked Chris and myself. What felt like hours but was seconds they pulled a beautiful baby girl out. With Chris shouting “It’s a girl” and I was yelling “She’s not screaming” but sure enough bub let out the biggest cry and I let had the biggest smile ever! Chris went over and cut the cord, meeting our perfect baby girl.
Kelsey Jane Prouse born 30th December 2021 at 4:59pm 3045grams of perfection.
We made our way back to recovery and the K3 ward, still with covid restrictions. Chris had to leave 40minutes later and unfortunately, he was not allowed back until 2days later when we were discharged. I was then informed they had forgotten to put my colostrum in the freezer so all 30mls had to be thrown, which then made feeding Kelsey quite hard as she wouldn’t latch.
On the 1st of January 2022, it was time to finally go home as a family of three.