So here we are. We’ve reached the big day.
I haven’t posted either of my birth stories here yet, although I have written them out two or three times. See nothing seems to do them justice. I just do not seem to have the words to express what my births were actually like.
However, there is no time like the present and I have more pictures to steal from Facebook so here goes.
L was due on the second of September 2009. My birth plan said I would like a water birth.
As I’ve said before, we were in the process of finding a house while I was heavily pregnant. On the 1st of August, we moved out of our old house and in with OHs parents until the house we were buying completed. I promise this is relevant to the story.
The purchase of our new maison completed on the 26th of August. I was 39 weeks pregnant. OHs mum and I went to pick up the keys after lunch. We were going to take a look around in preparation for the cleaning party that I had arranged for the 29th.
We got to the house. Our house.
We looked around all of the rooms, making a mental note about the changes we wanted to make over the weekend ready for us to move in on the 31st. After all most first babies are late. I was expecting to still be prdgnant around the 10th of September at least. I wanted to get in and enjoy a few days in our new house before the baby arrived.
Unfortunately, she had other plans.
I was dying for the loo so I went to Christen our downstairs toilet. As I shut the door, I thought “Oh crap I’ve just wet myself!” (It wouldn’t have been the first time!). But wait…I still really need to go…oh.
So I peed, my waters leaking out into the loo. Luckily no blood or discolouration. Pulled up my pants and told OHs mum that my waters had broken. I felt fine. No contractions. No pain. I phoned my midwife and she booked me in for an appointment that evening and told me to just carry on doing what I was doing. I didn’t tell OH as I didn’t want him to panic. I know labour can take hours and he only had three hours left before he would be home anyway, so I just carried on looking around the house.
That evening, after OH came home and just before dinner, I told him my waters had broken and i had an appointment with Aunty midwife. To say he looked petrfied was an understatement!
Anyway, long story short, after a mw appointment, a trace the next day, a rebooked induction and zero contractions, I went into hospital to be induced at mid day on the 28th.
I was fucking terrified. I scared of childbirth anyway, but to know that you’re not leaving the hospital until you’ve done the childbirth thing? That thought made me want to run far far away. I was scared. Very very very scared.
I cried when we arrived. I didn’t want to go through it all. They explained the procedure. I cried some more. They fed me a sandwich because I hadn’t eaten. I ate a little bit and then cried some more. They asked to check me.
I was 3 cm dilated and the mw put her fingers on the babys head. She was coming. The mw (not Auntie mw) asked if her student could feel. I said yes. Then bled all over the bed.
The Dr was called. A sonographer was called. I was strapped up to the monitor and Ls heart rate dropped (she was sleeping. She always xlept at lunchtime.).
I had a scan to see if they could see where the blood was coming from but it was inconclusive, so the Dr demanded they get the baby out as soon as possible. I asked him if it was likely to be the placenta and he looked at me as if I was stupid and should not have dared to ask a question and replied that they couldn’t tell.
They pulled back the curtain to reveal four students outside awaiting the verdict. A little excessive.
I went onto starvation and became a caesarean risk. Water birth out of the picture.
At 2pm, I was taken to the labour room, hooked up to the saline and syntocin and the waiting began.
I pooed. I bounced on the ball. I did a lot of sudoku puzzles. I was having mild cramps but nothing spectacular. They could see my contractions on the monitor but I wasn’t really feeling them. I had asked them to turn down the rhythmic ticking of the fetal heart monitor because I found it distressing.
Auntie mw came in and then left again, leaving me in the care of one of her colleagues. At 10pm, her colleague doubled the dose to get me going.
Not long afterwards I was feeling the contractions. I was helped from the ball onto my back on the bed and they examined me. 4-5 cm.
Fuck, if I’ve got to get to 10cm I’m going to die! I thought.
I couldn’t take being on my back any longer and got them to help me turn over and get up on my knees while I leant over the back of the bed.
I was drinking this horrible clear lime lucozade stuff and I started the sickly gas and air. I had refused an epidural at the start. Now, looking back, that was probably the best choice I made in my entire life, but at the time, as my contractions got heavier, I regretted it.
I started to bleed. I felt myself bleed. OH saw it and all hell broke loose. Originally there had been me, OH, Auntie mw, another mw and a student in the room. Then there was a Dr, a student Dr, and a pediatrician complete with resuscitaire.
They kept losing her heart beat through the contractions so they put a clip on her head.
“I can’t! I need an epidural!” I said at about 11.30. I was checked again. Too late.
A couple of contractions later I told them I wanted to push and with the last bit of cervix being held away from her head and her heart rate slowing I tried to push.
“Get the instrument trolley.” The Dr said
Fuck no. I’d seen some of those things. They were not going anywhere near my bits.
The trolley was dutifully wheeled in as I started pushing. Really pushing.
There was the burn, and the encouragement and the brief feeling of relief as the contractions become less painful and more functional. There was the feeling of strength as my body did something it was meant to do. There was the scream as she was born.
They clamped the cord and I was given the injection for a managed third stage.
I tried to turn round to see her, but was told not to move as the scissors were still between my legs. I could hear her. Those few seconds were psinful. Being able to hear her but not see her.
She looked like this:
She had to have a sample taken from her stomach to check for infection.
I don’t remember much of what happened next, nor the order it came in. There was feeding, there was toast. There was a bath and there were stitches to the sound of happy hardcore while being high on gas and air. There was also a premature cleaner. I remember needing a wee and everyone having to leave the room while I went in one of those cardboard bed pan things.
And with daddy :