I’ve seen many blog posts regarding birth stories and thought hey, it’s intimate and personal but why not share mine too!
I (like most) had set out with a birth plan, I’m a control freak by nature so knew having a baby would always be difficult for me as everything about it is out of your control. I did however, want to have some control over the birth of Nandy if I possibly could.
I researched and I prepared – I did numerous hypnobirthing techniques and Pilates sessions during later weeks of pregnancy to help with breathing and core strength. I’d given up physical activity at 12 weeks because I had a heart murmur and I was terrified of over exerting myself!
I wrote my birth plan and expressed to the midwife that under no circumstances did I want a c section – I’m terrified of the thought of being cut open!
We did a tour of the hospital and viewed the theatre room and I was certain I didn’t want to go anywhere near there. The local hospital had just opened a new style birthing centre led by midwives and I wanted to labour in there if possible. It was all dreamy and calm and I thought it would be the least scary place for me as I’m such a wuss. The whole labour thing was terrifying for me and had always been great contraceptive (as it was this fear of pain and being out of control that put me off having children)!
It was week 39 plus a few days in late July, the heat was unbearable and my ankles / belly / face – in fact whole body had swollen up and I was waddling like a massive whale. I wanted Nandy out of me and quick. Suddenly the labour fear started to fade through preference to see him!
As you can see I was looking very miserable and very, very fat!!! (Heavily pregnant). I even bought a paddling pool just to use to keep cool !
I tried walking miles, side stepping and even made hubby give me some sexy time to encourage him out. Nothing was working.
It was 39 and 6 days and I started to get pains, early in the morning I woke hubby and said “I think baby is coming!” I timed the contractions and they were coming one in every 4 minutes. The contraction timing app said to prepare for hospital. I stayed calm… by lunchtime they had gone off – damn!
I spent the afternoon playing uno cards with hubby to distract me and bouncing on my ball to help keep things going. Nope, Nothing. I said to hubby that he might aswell go back to work with a huge sigh!
By 7pm I had decided to make my own bread wraps – the freezer was full of pre made meals such as chilli and casserole ready for when we got home. It was as I stood rolling out dough that the contractions started again. I used my kitchen work surface as a prop to manage the pains and then carried on rolling dough and cooking!
We went to bed as usual that night but I remember feeling uncomfortable; I was getting contractions regularly again. Hubby was snoring next to me as I tossed and turned in bed.
I went to the bathroom at around 4am, it was then I noticed I was bleeding. In a bit of a panic and shaking I went downstairs and called the midwives unit at the hospital to tell them (as not to wake hubby!) they told me to ring an ambulance right away, in fact they made me wake hubby to call the ambulance for me whilst I prepared myself. I was in shock. The puppy pads and towels were on the passenger seat of our new car ready for me. I wasn’t going to hospital in an ambulance – I’d planned to go in my car with my husband!
A few minutes later (as I sat in the hallway bouncing on my ball) the ambulance crew ran in and with disappointment in their voices said “oh, we expected to be delivering this baby tonight!” “It’s Sam’s last day!”
I was frightened now – seeing their panic made it all seem very real. They loaded me onto the ambulance, I could walk but they insisted I lay down. It was a bumpy ride to the hospital and I remember having to breathe harder through contractions. Hubby was following me up in our car as I spoke to the lovely lady about how I was feeling (still feel bad I didn’t get her name).
When we arrived it was pitch black and around 4:30-5am. I remember being taken straight to the delivery suite and getting upset because I wouldn’t have the birthing pool I wanted. I was examined and told I was 5cm dilated! Wow! I was impressed with myself. They said the bleeding was normal and I could go back to the birthing centre! Yahoooo! I was happy. I was also really concerned that I hadn’t said thankyou to the ambulance crew for looking after me, hubby managed to track them down having a break in the reception and asked them to come say goodbye to me in my room. I was so chuffed I got to say thanks to the lovely people for taking care of me on route.
When we entered the birthing room and the midwife explained I needed to stay upright, but, the contractions were so strong at this point that I just wanted to lie down. I’d had no pain relief and couldn’t sit anymore. The bleeding continued too.
A few hours of fancy calm music and flashing lights and I needed air so we had a wander to the kitchen in the birthing suite. I ate crunchy nut cereal between contractions!
The midwives were concerned the contractions weren’t getting stronger despite them coming one in every 3 minutes. I was having to bend over a changing table and breathe with every one: as hubby rubbed my back but decided he needed what he calls “a nervous poo” he decided to do this in the bathroom which was connected to my Birthing room and made a god awful smell, which made me wretch, annoying me so much that my contractions slowed to every 8 minutes!!
It was at this point that the midwives decided I needed to go back to the delivery suite due to the time it was taking for me to dilate and at around 11am I was still 5cm dilated – how frustrating.
Everything beyond this point seems a blur. I had taken Codine just before I left the suite and felt woozy already. I had my heart set on not having an epidural, so took the drugs on offer with the hope of avoiding it. In hindsight I shouldn’t have gone so long without accepting the drugs.
I remember the midwife insisting I get into a gown and a consultant examining me, he decided to break my waters which he did without me taking any pain relief. I recall my legs shaking like jelly and feeling like Bambi. I tried to stand but immediately wanted to sit back down.
The midwife was stressing I needed to sit up so we agreed on me hanging over the back of the bed on all fours – I needed the gas and air now. With every contraction I was taking 5 sucks as hubby limited it! The first time I took it I spaced out and saw stars, so hubby decided I needed control and he held the gas between contractions for me (and then took it away!) and wiped my brow.
It was so insanely hot in there and I was dripping wet. Hours and hours went by and no baby.
I begged for the epidural. Yes, the exact thing I didn’t want.
The consultant came to see me around 4pm (I have no idea of time by this point) and asked me if I could sit still for the epidural needle and all the risks associated; I was screaming “yes” over contractions which were coming so fast there was no rest at all. She said “blimey she’s not getting any rest in these contractions is she” little did I realise that I was actually ready to be pushing by this point. I recall the consultant then saying “it’s too late for this epidural she’s having this baby in 20 minutes, she’s pushing!”.
The midwife asked me – “Becky, do you want the drugs you must tell me now”, I remember being totally out of it and pathetic to be honest so hubby said give her the pethadine.
My legs were put into stirrups and the midwife took away the gas and air for me to push. I failed miserably at pushing – I kept blowing my air out and didn’t push down properly. I wasn’t moving the baby. The consultant came again and said it was because Nandy was facing sideways. I needed to push and turn him 160 degrees to get him out normally or 30 degrees to get him out in a back to back position.
He gave me one hour attempt to turn him before they considered intervention.
I remember looking at the clock and seeing it was around 5pm. I pushed and pushed but I was fearful of that sting they tell you about when the baby crowns.
I was having no gas and air and as I pushed and I could feel the pain which was making me hold back. Hubby said he could see hair! I recall The midwife pulling at me and telling me to “push her fingers away” to help encourage me to push correctly.
It was 6pm, I had the hour and baby hadn’t come. Despite turning and moving him down, it wasn’t enough. I had my bladder emptied and I was being prepped for surgery. I recall signing a form that said they were going to try forceps and then a C-section if that failed. I just remember not caring by this point I was so out of it and tired. I was wheeled down the corridor by my friend who is a midwife and as I was still pushing. I recall her saying “come on! use those contractions, you can get this baby out before you get into the theatre!!” But I had given up ~ I was exhausted.
I was told to sit on the edge of the theatre bed and sit still. This request felt impossible when you’re contracting and on the verge of pushing your baby out the last thing you can do is sit still and sit upright!
I don’t know how I managed it but I remember the feeling of utter bliss when the spinal took hold and the pain just turned into a magical warmth down my body. I recall begging them not to touch me as I could still feel their touch, so they sprayed me with cold and asked if I could feel it but I couldn’t. I thought I would go totally numb but you do still feel pressure without pain, it’s bizarre.
I was told that I needed to push still as they would insert forceps and try that first. Because I couldn’t feel anything the midwife told me when I needed to push and I did. It’s strange pushing and feeling nothing back, I had no idea whether I was being effective or not! But sure enough after 9 pushes he was delivered! His head was like a massive cone and I remember saying “he’s so ugly” when he was placed onto me.
Hubby didn’t get to cut the cord properly due to the delivery but he did cut the cord stub for show!
Nandy was born at 6:59pm weighing 8lb 3oz bang on his due date 27th July 2016.
All in all my labour was emotionally and physically draining and if I could do it again I’d hope it would go differently.
I’ve struggled ALOT since the birth with black areas in my memory and I’m still not certain why it went the way it did, but, Nandy is safe as that’s all that matters!
Hope you enjoyed reading my story and feel free to share yours or leave me a comment below …