Meet Elizabeth Scarlett Petrides. We are lucky enough to work alongside this incredible mama, stocking her beautiful lifestyle brand, Elizabeth Scarlett, but she’s also just given birth to her first child, beautiful Meiri.
Elizabeth has kindly shared her birth story with us, in the hope it will help and inspire any new mums-to-be, as it did her, reading positive birth stories when she was pregnant.
Meiri’s Birth Story.
It was a crazy, intense, magical experience. I’d been so nervous and worried for weeks beforehand, but I needn’t have been.
Around 40+2 days my hindwaters waters started to break before my actual waters has gushed. I didn’t realise this had or could happen. I was just a bit wet. But on the evening of the 8th (40+4) I went in to the hospital because Meiri’s movements had slowed down. I just knew something was up and she had very slightly softened down in her nightly wiggles. Only slightly - but my mothering instincts were sharp!
After a few tests, my waters were confirmed as slightly, slowly broken. I wasn’t sure exactly when it has started, so decided to be induced to prevent any chance of infection for Meiri.
I had the gel pessary inserted first at 10pm that night for 6 hours — with Alex by my side (sleeping on the floor of the Royal Free!) — and then the doctors advised that I follow on with the hormone drip. At 4am my contractions were so intense I opted for an epidural as we decided the drip was necessary and it would have made them even more intense, very quickly.
A lovely anaesthetist came to my labour suite at 6am when the sun was rising over a view of Hampstead Heath from our window. We were so lucky to have this! I used everything in my power to stay calm whilst the contractions were increasing and whilst he fitted the epidural. It took 3 attempts to insert as my back ligaments were apparently so tough and muscly - the anaesthetist asked me if I worked out. Once it was fitted I felt no pain, just a gentle soft ache when I was contracting - amazing!
The whole day ahead from 6am to 5pm was surreal and dreamy. I relaxed into the day, Alex was the most incredible birth partner - wearing his mask throughout bless him. He dressed the room with faux candles, fairy lights and an essential oil lavender diffuser, and gave me regular foot massages and cold compressed on my forehead. Yum.
I spent the day slurping apple juice, lucozade sport and cups of black earl grey tea. Having the epidural meant I had to fast. At 5pm, after zoning into some deep KG hypnobirthing breathing cycles, I had breathed her right down my body and was fully dilated.. excellent news, except... the epidural stopped working down my left hand side, so I went from 0-100 in contractions on just one side of my body. Not so good news.
Luckily, after an intense half an hour, the anaesthetist managed to get it working again, just in time for me to recover, have a little rest, get back in the zone and start pushing at 7pm, I had her out by 7.28pm. Delivered by my wonderful cousin-in-law Eleni Maverides who was a wonderful partner throughout my pregnancy. A huge thank you my wonderful midwives throughout the day, especially Angela & Sophie.
She was finally here, on my chest. Big eyes, little fingers, a smudgy soft head and a full mane of hair. Wow. Alex was in tears, I was overwhelmed with love. I needed a few stitches but I couldn’t feel a thing or notice what was going on down below. All I could do was hold her in pure wonderment in my arms. The first words I managed were - “She is just delicious”
I decided to share this because I got so much joy and confidence through reading other women’s birth stories, giving me courage and belief in my instincts and the strength of my body.
Photos by Susheel Schroeder
Visit www.elizabethscarlett.com to view her full luxury lifestyle and homeware collection.