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Rebecca Adlington talks to M – B about the birth of her daughter

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Rebecca Adlington talks to MB about the birth of her daughter

Rebecca Adlington talks to M - B about the birth of her daughter

After months of anticipation, Rebecca Adlington gave birth to daughter Summer on 8 June.

Becky, 26, has been sharing her journey to motherhood in MB since early pregnancy, so we couldnt wait to catch up and find out how she and husband Harry got on. Becky was hoping for a water birth, as befits a swimmer who won two gold medals in the pool at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, followed by two bronzes in London 2012. But Summer had other ideashellip;

It was the most weird and incredible experience. When the midwife put Summer on my chest for the first time, it was surreal. The relief that came over me was incredible: relief that she was finally here, that she was fine, and that I didnt have to push any more! Harry looked at me with tears in his eyes, and I was like, lsquo;Its OK. Weve done it.

I woke up at six oclock on Sunday morning and thought, lsquo;I just dont feel right. I had a constant period-like pain, then on-and-off cramps that got progressively worse. I phoned my sister, whos got a little boy, and she was like, lsquo;Thats how my labour started!

At nine oclock that night, Harry and I went to the hospital. The midwife told us I was only 2cm dilated, so we went home and I had a bath, which really helped. But then I couldnt stop shaking. Harry was like, lsquo;Babe, are you meant to be shaking? I didnt know! He phoned the midwife and she told us to come in, as shaking can be a sign that things have progressed. We got to the midwife-led unit at 1.30am, and I was 4cm dilated.

Rebecca Adlington talks to M - B about the birth of her daughter

Yes, I got in the pool and had gas-and-air. But by half past four, I was in so much pain, I wasnt even talking. In my head, I was like, lsquo;This is taking hours! The midwife said, lsquo;Beck, what do you want to do about pain relief? Harry knew exactly what I was thinking and said, lsquo;Can you check her and if shes only 6cm, lets give her pethidine. We knew that if I had pethidine I wouldnt be able to stay in the pool, which I really wanted, but I was just so tired.

I got out of the pool to be checked and the midwife said, lsquo;Ive got some good news ndash; youre 9.5cm dilated! And then my waters broke all over the bed. So I didnt have the pethidine after all ndash; by five oclock I was back in the pool and ready to push. But trust me, if I had only been 6cm dilated, I would have had that pethidine.

The difference in pain levels in and out of the pool was unbelievable. Out, the pressure was insane. I dont know why anyone would want to not labour in a pool. It made the pain manageable.

I just wanted it to be over and pushed as hard as I could. I had my eyes closed, I didnt say anything. Harry says I was almost turning blue, I was pushing so hard. You know when youre driving and you have those little black-out moments and think, lsquo;Oh, I just forgot what I was doing then? I kept having those. I pushed for 1frac12; hours, and the babys head kept coming out, but popping back in. Then the midwife said, lsquo;You need some help ndash; you need to get out of the pool. I just burst into tears.

I got on the bed and had an episiotomy [cut]. Id not done any of the screaming thing the whole way through, but then, all the dogs in the surrounding area must have gone, lsquo;What was that? But two pushes later and she was out. What we didnt realise until she came out was that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her leg three times, so it was acting like a bungee. Every time I pushed, the cord pulled her leg back ndash; she was never going to come out on her own. I would have really loved to have had a water birth, but I was in the pool for nearly five hours and enough was enough. Harry cut the cord as wed planned, but it squirted all over his face, which I dont think he quite expected!

Summer was born at seven in the morning, and we were home by five in the afternoon. Summers checks were fine and, nice as the birth centre is, we wanted to be home in our own space.

We didnt choose her name until two days after shed been born. We really liked lsquo;Thea and lsquo;Indy, but when she came out Harry said, lsquo;Shes not Thea, and shes not Indy. Everyone kept telling us which name they liked ndash; even the midwife said theyd had lots of Indys born lately. When Harry and I finally had some time to ourselves, I said, lsquo;Babe, what do you like? and we had a chat, just the two of us. lsquo;Summer wasnt even in the running at the start!

Weve been finding our feet. To start with, Summer screamed for hours and wouldnt be put down. Then she lost a bit too much weight, and although she was feeding, she wasnt really peeing. My nipples were bleeding and cracked. So the health visitor suggested topping her up with formula ndash; but then Summer kept being sick. So I tried expressing. And thats what Ive been doing ever since. Before that, I was nearly crying when I put her on my boob. Now its manageable. Weve just had to play it by ear and find our own way.

Im constantly anxious and feel that I need reassurance, so I keep googling stuff and texting the health visitor. Everyone keeps saying to me lsquo;you know best and I keep saying, lsquo;I dont know. Ive been a mum for all of a few weeks, how am I supposed to know? At the start, I was only getting two hours sleep a night. But last night, Summer woke up every three hours

for a feed, then went back to sleep, so Harry and me did too. Im very happy with that.

Rebecca Adlington talks to M - B about the birth of her daughter

Congratulations Jamie and Jools Oliver on the birth of baby number five!

Rebecca Adlington talks to M - B about the birth of her daughter

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