More than a few weeks have passed since our beautiful baby boy arrived and I’ve been looking forward to sharing my birth story here although it took a while to find some spare time. A cluster feeding newborn baby, a four year old daughter and a 23 month old son to try and entertain. Finding spare time for anything is pretty hard at the moment. But anyway here I am finally typing it out.
Anyway back to the beginning…
At 39 weeks pregnant I felt pretty fed up, I was suffering with SPD and every little chore felt like a massive challenge. I was really struggling to look after my two little ones. My midwife had arranged for me to meet up with the head of midwifes at the hospital to talk about reflexology as I was adamant I didn’t want to be induced after my last experience with induction of labour. The plan was to have a home birth, everything was ready at home, the birth pool had been ordered and a community midwife had brought over the home birth kit containing all the essentials.
So at 39 weeks exactly I made my way to the midwifery led unit at the hospital and sat down with the midwife and had a long chat about my plans, what I wanted and didn’t want. I felt really happy and for once felt in control. After our long chat she then called in the reflexologist and offered me my first treatment that day.
From day one, I knew I didn’t want to be induced with this baby. I was induced with both Krystabelle and Teddy, so I had never felt what it was like to actually go into labour, and I knew that I wanted to try my best to not get induced with this baby and was willing to try anything.
So the reflexologist called me into the room where she had set up all her equipment and talked me through everything. The reflexology itself was very relaxing and I had very high hopes after being told that all women who had the treatment that week had all gone into labour within 36 hours… But for me, that was not the case.
Two weeks had passed and I had already had four sessions of reflexology and four sweeps. The midwifes at the Midwifery Led Unit must have thought I was crazy as I had to use the gas and air to be able to cope with the pain of the sweep. If it wasn’t for the gas and air I would not have accepted to have it done. They really are so unpleasant (painful) but desperate times call for desperate measures.
At 41+9 a midwife sat me down and explained to me that I really needed to start thinking about my next steps, she knew I didn’t want to be induced but could tell how much discomfort I was in and suggested I should accept inducement at 41+10. I sat there for around half an hour scratching my head, wondering what to do and if I should just go for it. Despite my best efforts, it was clear this little monkey wasn’t going to come out on his own accord so I decided to accept their offer, so the midwife booked me in for the next day. I was told to call at 8am where I’d then be given a time to come in.
After a somewhat restless night sleep I called the Induction ward at exactly 8am the following morning. I was told to come in at 11am to which I started to panic. I had two children plus myself to get ready and I hadn’t even packed, then I would need to drive them to their Nans, my mind just went into overdrive. I know I should have been more prepared and packed the night before but sometimes life itself just gets on top of you.
The lady on the phone must have been able to tell I was panicking as she then said I could come anytime between 11am – 1pm. I packed my suitcase as quickly as I could, bathed the children and then had a quick bath myself. The car was all packed, the children were both strapped in and we were off.
I dropped them off at their Nans and gave them both a big kiss and a cuddle. Krystabelle was so excited as she knew I was going to the hospital to have the baby. Teddy on the other hand didn’t understand what was going on. I’m not even sure if he understood I was pregnant.
My husband and I headed to the hospital to start the induction process, it’s only a ten minute drive and I arrived there at 12pm. By this point my nerves were getting the better of me. A healthcare assistant showed us to my bed, she was such a lovely, bubbly lady she made me feel so much calmer.
After a 101 attempt to check my blood pressure, things were finally moving along and I was hooked up to the monitor to check contractions and baby’s movements. After a while on the ward I was examined and the first 6 hour pessary was inserted. I was then told to lay on the bed for an hour before I could walk around again.
The first hour went by in a flash, my husband and I were playing the alphabet game just to pass the time. I hadn’t played this game in years, I forgot how much fun it was.
By now it was 4pm, we decided to have a walk around the hospital, I needed to find the car park office so I could pay for a week parking just to be on the safe side, I’d prepared myself for a long stay after my last induction process took a few days. After the car park was all paid for we headed back to the ward. I asked to have a bath so the healthcare assistant ran me a hot bath and poured some essential oils in there for me. I didn’t stay in the bath for long as it got too hot and I started to feel all queasy so I got myself dried up and got changed into my pyjamas.
At this point it was around 7pm, I was put back on the monitors again as they needed to make sure everything was ok before I could have my next pessary. I sat watching Emmerdale on the little tv that they provide you with. I can’t believe how expensive they are just for 24 hours.
Half an hour went by, the midwife came in to have a look but wasn’t happy with the result as baby’s movements looked all over the place so she set it for another half
an hour. By now it was past 8pm and the midwife still wasn’t happy with the result and kept leaving me on the monitor until she got the result she needed.
Another hour went by and the midwife still wasn’t happy and advised she wouldn’t be giving a pessary until the following day. As it was 9pm, it was time for my husband to leave. We said our goodbyes and I settled into bed and looked for a movie to watch on the tv. They had all the new movies so I ended up watching ‘A Star Is Born’ I’d been wanting to watch this for a while.
Fast forward 45 minutes, the midwife came in and asked if she could examine me, I grabbed the gas and air and she started feeling around my cervix, it was very painful and she then asked if I would mind if she gave me a sweep, I shook my head and that exact second my waters broke.
I tried to stay calm, that was until my contractions started five minutes later and I suddenly called my husband to tell him to come back to the hospital.
Contractions were getting stronger and more painful but I was adamant I wanted to breathe through them on my own, as I felt so proud of myself considering my previous birthing experiences, little did I know what was to come. The midwife was timing my contractions and told me it was time to go to the delivery room. She grabbed a wheelchair and helped me to it and wheeled me to delivery, by now my contractions were incredibly painful.
My husband arrived, and I just lay there looking all smug as I was managing all on my own with a little help from gas and air. My contractions were about a minute apart and between each minute I’d sip some water as I felt so thirsty.
Half an hour had passed and the midwife kept telling me that it was time for me to push, I didn’t feel like I needed to push but then again I’m not sure I felt the urge to push when I had Teddy.
There I was trying my hardest to push for around an hour whilst screaming in pain only to then find out I was only 2cm dilated. The midwife couldn’t understand how I was only 2cm dilated as my contractions were so close together and I had been having them a while. They became more and more painful to the extent that I looked like I was being possessed by a demon and undertaking an exorcism.
The midwife left the room and then returned with a doctor five minutes later, she introduced me to the doctor and said “you’re in safe hands, he’s one of the top doctors at this hospital” I took one look at him, laughed and said “I taught you a thing or two though didn’t I” I can remember the embarrassed look on his face because it was actually true, little ol me actually educated a top doctor on breastfeeding when I saw him at the beginning of my pregnancy. ( I won’t go in to detail )
The doctor advised I had an epidural as I was only 2cm dilated and clearly in too much pain to be able to carry on in so much pain, I agreed to have it and not long after he proceeded with the epidural after having to spray my back with local anaesthetic to help numb the area so that I’d be able to keep still whilst he inserted the needle.
Another couple of hours passed and the midwife was starting to panic when looking at the monitors that I was hooked up to, she wouldn’t say anything but left the room and once again, returned five minutes later with the doctor. The doctor took a look at the monitor and they both started whispering in the corner but wouldn’t explain to me what was happening.
I demanded that she told me, and then she said that my baby’s oxygen levels were dropping after each contraction which is a concern s they shouldn’t be dropping after a contraction and that she wouldn’t be as concerned if it was during. She kept an eye on it for a few minutes and again fled the room to fetch the doctor. By now I really started to panic.. What was wrong with my baby? Why was this happening?
By this point, my room was filled with midwifes and doctors, all talking, whispering to each other and I just lay there crying, trying to breathe as I was so worried, but I couldn’t catch my breath and ended up hyperventilating. The midwife gave me a paper bag and told me I needed to breathe into it. As I was breathing into the paper bag, the doctor told me that he needed to insert a long needle into my vagina to take blood from my baby’s head to test his oxygen levels.
I had never felt so scared, I was petrified I was going to lose my precious baby. He took the blood and took it to be tested but couldn’t get a result. They all started whispering again and I just cried, pleading with them to let me know what was happening. The doctor then told me that he needed to give me an emergency c section. I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking apart from feeling sick at the thought of my belly being ripped open. Even my husband was shook up, this is something he always said he’d never be able to witness. He had to go outside to get some air and off he went.
As the midwife was getting my prepped for my emergency c section with those horrendous socks, I felt a huge pressure down below with an urge to push. she took a look and saw my babies head, I can remember her shouting at someone telling them to call reception for them to tell my husband to come straight back, and then turned to me and told me to start pushing. I started pushing, my husband came back in and within a minute or two, there he was, my baby boy, all perfect and healthy, 7lb 13oz of sheer perfection. She lay him on my chest and I burst into tears, tears of happiness that he was safe in my arms. I had never felt so relieved nor have I ever felt more empowered than I did that moment.
The midwife didn’t say much to me after that, it was handover time and it seemed she more interested in going home, I kept trying to get her attention as I wanted him laying on my skin and not over my nightie as I wanted to be able to give him his first feed, and that first skin to skin time is so important. Luckily the new midwife on shift came in, congratulated me and helped me with my nightie and I managed to get him to latch on for his first feed. I couldn’t believe how well he managed first time, it just felt so natural.
Half an hour later, my husband got Hugo dressed whilst I ate some breakfast. I got given a choice between a bowl of cereal or some toast, but of course I asked if I could have both. I can be so greedy when it comes to food. After breakfast the midwife gave me a wash and helped me into my clean pyjamas and I was then wheeled down to my own room where I could relax with Hugo for a couple of hours whilst they got my discharge letters ready.
My husband had left as his mother was looking after my other two children and had a doctors appointment at 10:30am and couldn’t take them with her due to not having a car seat. I lay down with Hugo to give him another feed, although he didn’t need feeding I knew it was good practice for him and a good time to bond too. I then lay him down in the cot in the room and made myself look a little more presentable by brushing my hair and just freshening up a bit.
By now it was 12pm and I was wondering where my husband was as I was waiting to go home, I gave him a call and he told me his mother had now gone to Bingo. I was going to suggest that I go home on my own but the car seat was in the car and I didn’t really want to ask a midwife to watch my newborn baby whilst I went to the car to fetch his car seat, I didn’t want to spend a second away from him. Luckily my husband advised that he would get a taxi to the hospital with my daughter as Teddy was fast asleep and his uncle was over at his mothers house to be able to keep an eye on him.
My husband and Krystabelle arrived at the hospital fifteen minutes later and Krystabelle was so excited to meet her new baby brother for the first time, she was totally smitten with him. I handed over my car keys, and my husband went to fetch the car seat whilst I got ready to leave.
Just before we left, the midwife handed me all the papers and explained how I’d need to return the following day to pick up some injections that I’d need to give myself everyday for the next ten days. She also went through all the procedure that they go through before a mother leaves the hospital, such as safeguarding etc.. but to my surprise it had all changed in the last two years and they now suggest bedsharing if breastfeeding.
We soon left, got to the car and Hugo’s car seat was strapped in to the front passenger seat for the ride home, firstly we picked up Teddy and then headed home. For the journey home, Teddy hadn’t realised that there was a baby in the car. He didn’t realise until we arrived home and I sat him on my knee next to the car seat. His face lit up and all he has wanted to do ever since that moment is give Hugo endless kisses and cuddles.
I’m hoping they’ll be the best of friends when they’re older.