Thank you to my lovely client Tamsin for sharing here birth story.
My first pregnancy was initially consultant led due to it being an I.V.F pregnancy. I then ended up having extra growth scans and more appointments as my ‘bump’ was always measuring too small.
I was due on Thursday January 14th 2016. After yet another growth scan on this day I was going to be booked in for induction the next day. I was told baby was measuring fine and all fluid etc is how it should be, so basically no risk to baby. Once I knew all was ok I managed to get the induction changed to the following Friday (22nd). I was booked in for a sweep on the Monday and I wasn’t going to be given that chance of leaving me be and see what happens/how far I can get alone.
I just wanted (and needed) some part of this journey to be “normal”. Obviously, our baby’s health came first, so I wouldn’t have hesitated if there was a valid reason to be induced beforehand.
I’d spent the Wednesday morning cleaning literally EVERYTHING!
I felt a bit ‘crampy’ but nothing major. Lost my mucus plug, at 3pm, had bloody show at 6pm. Cramps were becoming stronger, but I could continue to do things. I decided to have a shower and get my hair washed and of course went on a marathon shaving mission haha.
I went to bed at 11pm, where the pains were quite strong and making me stop and concentrate on breathing. Tried to lay in bed and get to sleep but staying still was excruciating. I paced up and down the landing for what felt like forever. At 1am I gave up, woke my husband and told him I think I need to go in. He went and scraped the car of all the ice/frost and put the bags in. I found the triage number to let them know my progress.
I was told it doesn’t sound like you’re ready yet and that I can stay until I feel like I can’t cope anymore. At that point I wanted to be checked. The contractions were so strong.
We arrived at the hospital around 2am. I was put on the monitor for what I was told would be an hour, that hour turned into about 4! They were extremely busy though. Laying down for hours seemed to make it all so much more painful. At one point they came in and said baby’s heart rate keeps dropping when I’m contracting, but because it returns to “normal” once finished they weren’t too concerned.
I was examined around 6am and was told “…you’re 2cm dilated, but your cervix is nice and thin.” I was devastated. At that point I was thinking how on earth can I get any further with no major pain relief. I can handle pain well, but these pains were so intense, and I wasn’t getting much of a break in-between.
I was given the choice of going back home until ready or going to a room. I chose the room, as I didn’t know at this point how/if I’d be able to tell when to come back.
I was asked about my plans, which all I said was that I would really like a waterbirth if possible. I was told if a pool was free I could do but I need to be a bit further along. Doctors were doing their rounds about 9am, so they’d have pain relief for me then if needed. I rocked back and forth on the birthing ball they’d given me and tried to sleep with my head on the bed.
Around 10am, despite the strong intense pains, I was only 4cm dilated. I remember being told that they could see how intense the contractions were – pressed my tummy and could see by watching – but the spikes on their graph from the monitor still weren’t going high enough apparently.
I mentioned again that I was hoping for a water birth but if I’m like this now I don’t know how I’ll manage. The midwife said she could go and check if a pool was free and that being in water would help with the pain. At this point I couldn’t bare waiting. All I’d had was paracetamol and the last lot I’d taken was at home around midnight. She said the doctors will be round soon and explained to me about using diamorphine.
However, had I have known the wait I would’ve stuck with water birth. But at that time, I NEEDED some relief. It was just after 10am by the time I was given this AMAZING injection.
Almost instantly the pains stopped. I went to sleep for a couple of hours. I woke with such a jump at such a painful, long contraction. I suddenly felt the urge to push and my Husband pressed the button.
The midwives were telling me NOT to push. I was examined and was 8cm. Still being told not to push because I wasn’t fully dilated. I got into a comfier position (on my knees with head and arms flopped over the head of the bed). I now had gas and air too. Mainly used to bite the mouthpiece when a contraction hit. It felt like hours of rocking and intense pain and the constant voices – “don’t push, don’t push. You’re not ready yet.” I think there was a couple of times I just really couldn’t help it. Had no control at this point.
I asked them to break my waters. As they were bulging they went ahead and tried. They tried a couple of times but couldn’t get them to break. On the third attempt I had the urge to push and said, “I have to push, can’t stop any longer, sorry.” Waters broke, and baby shot out at the same time.
The room filled with more people. They had to get the birth kit etc ready. My husband got to cut the cord and told me we had a little girl .
Sophie was born on 21st January (1 day before induction and 1 week overdue) at 2.19pm weighing a very healthy 7lb 9oz.
She needed to be monitored due to there being meconium in her waters and the speedy entrance into the world.
The main midwife apologised to me for thinking I wasn’t ready. She said I was so calm and when she’d examined me I wasn’t fully dilated.
The delivery of the placenta was fine – no pain.
Stitches – Still to this day the stitches were the worst pain I’ve ever had. This was the point I sucked and sucked that gas and air and screamed. I still wonder if I had enough of the anaesthetic to numb ‘down there’ or not.
Fast forward the 4+ hours we’d been left alone for. I had thrown up the tea and drinks I was given. We had washed and dressed our daughter and I’d tried numerous times at feeding, but as a first time Mum I didn’t have a clue. She just wasn’t interested. We enjoyed lots of skin to skin cuddles.
Another staff member came in and said she’d help me get to the shower. It took me a good 5 minutes and went through an awful amount of pain to just sit up at the edge of the bed. Once stood up I felt light headed and didn’t feel ‘right’. Every step was painful. I felt like I still needed to push. I couldn’t make it to the shower but sat and took a rest on the toilet. There was ‘something’ hanging down from me. The button was pressed, I went back over to the bed to lie down and more staff appeared.
It was a piece of jagged membrane that was left and retained placenta!
Looking back, I remember the midwives trying to find all the padding and things they needed to weigh to check the placenta after birth. Guessing due to the speedy delivery everything went a bit chaotic. According to my husband what was left inside me was the same size as our daughter!
I was then hooked up to a drip – fluids/iron for a guess. I’m not quite sure.
That shower I finally had was amazing and apart from looking like Casper the ghost I felt amazing too! Once I was in clean nightwear and comfy with our little girl my husband went home, around 11.30pm.
My community midwife who I had seen throughout my pregnancy was working that night and I was told it was a really busy night. She came in to see me and have a hold and cuddle of our Daughter. I was asked if I wanted anything. At this point I was starving. She came back with a plate full of toast and a lovely cup of tea.
My daughter and I were in the ‘observation’ room right next to the midwife station for that night – I was on four hourly observations and our daughter 2 hourly.
I was on antibiotics and iron tablets.
The next day we were moved up onto a ward, where we stayed for 2 nights. Our daughter got the all clear and was fine. My iron levels weren’t coming up enough.
I was finally allowed home on Sunday (3 days after birth) on the condition that if I felt dizzy or unwell at any time to come straight back in. My community midwife continued to check my iron levels with blood tests too.
Sophie came in for her newborn photos at just 5 days new. She was so good and totally rocked her session.