The first of our birth stories series is by Hayley from HayleysLittleThings. Thank you for sharing your story Hayley!
If you read my blog on a regular basis you will know I was planning a home birth, you can look back on the planning post here if you fancy. I was always open about this and always honest with myself in that I knew planning a labour isn’t an easy task as anything could happen at any time and sometimes things just don’t work out the way in which you envisage. This is unfortunately how it went for me! But do you know none of that matters, I now have little Daisy and she is healthy and here safely, as am I.
This post could be a little lengthy – sorry in advance!
So after Easter weekend I went to bed on the Monday evening and then woke up at 1am with the sharpest pains I have ever felt, I got up and walked to the toilet thinking maybe moving may help. I made it to the bathroom just in time for an almighty pop followed by a gush! I thought I had wet myself! I waited for it to stop as much as possible, cleaned myself up and went back to bed as the pains had vanished. Somehow I managed to go back to sleep but then at 3am it started again – another gush! And then the pains followed! I again got back into bed remembering what I had been taught at birthing classes about getting sleep whilst you can, I dozed on and off until about 6 and then I decided to call my mum who was my other birth partner. We milled around the house for what felt like ages, bit of tidying, washing and bouncing on my ball.
The pains started to get more and more intense and after a bath I felt that things were progressing around lunch time. I called the midwife who came out shortly after to examine me.. 1cm – pushing 2. Marvellous. What a let down!
Off she tootled and I got back to bouncing on my ball and trying to breathe through the waves overcoming my body. I was told I would need to go to the hospital in a few hours just to go on the monitor for half an hour to ensure baby was happy as my waters had gone some time ago by this point. So off we went to the hospital, having to stop and lean against things including Ben on route. Daisy showed she was nice and happy and it also showed my contractions were in fact real! This is when I remember the pains becoming a bit too much and starting to get a bit grouchy and tired. I was examined again – by a woman I can only describe as Miss Trunchbull (think Matilda) and guess what.. 2cm. I could have punched her! And after she had messed around the pains got a million times worse! Trying to get back to the car and back home was interesting, had a bit of a stand off in the carpark! They gave me a tens machine to borrow whilst I was there but it annoyed me so much I wanted to chuck it!
When I was home things got no better, I lost control and threw myself around, shouting for a few hours – felt like a lifetime. All the reading I had done and classes on breathing etc was out of the window. The only thing getting me through was the positions I had learnt in Lazy Daisy classes, rotating to dilating. The midwife came out and explained how I needed to get to 5cm before I could have any pain relief at home and that I would only have until 1am to be close to delivering otherwise Id need to go into hospital as my waters would have been gone 24hours and I was at risk of infection. So.. She examined me.. This time I really thought I must be at least 4cm, these pains meant business! But hey guess what 2cm… so almost 24 hours later I was no better off. Enough was enough for me. I needed help in managing the pain and I needed a rest or at least progress so decided I needed to go to hospital so they could help me. This was the only time during my labour I thought and said I can’t do it, I felt useless! My baby obviously wanted out yet I couldn’t seem to let her!
The journey to hospital was the worst 10 minutes of my life, on my hands and knees in the back of the car with a sick bowl just in case!! When we got there I was given a room in the midwife led unit and finally given an injection of a drug similar to pethidine but not as strong as well as anti sickness. The relief between contractions was enough to allow me to lie on my side and close my eyes, but the drug still allowed contractions to take a hold. Again this was a long few hours, it was the middle of the night, we were all exhausted and I just wanted the pains to stop and to have my baby! A few hours later I was examined and who knew I was pretty much 4cm, finally! This meant I could go up to labour ward which mentally felt good but also I know I could have more pain relief there like Gas and air.
Because my waters had gone over 24 hours ago and I had now had a certain drug it meant a water birth was out of the question and I was now on consultant ward. I didn’t mind at the time, I knew it was all for the right reasons. As soon as I got in our room it hit me, there was equipment in there like scales for a baby! I was going to leave this room with a baby! Almost right away the midwife showed me the Gas and air, I didn’t hang around- this is what I needed! The sensation to start with was odd and I only describe it as very, very drunk! I remember swaying all over the place and Ben or Mum sat behind me as I stood next to the bed in case I fell! I got on well with it once I learnt how to manage it and it worked perfectly. For a while anyway.
Things didn’t speed up, the sun came up and we were on to yet another day! I needed rest and fluids by now so I was hooked on to an IV drip and made the decision to get an epidural purely for the reasons of a bit of sleep and the hope of maybe nibbling something to get more energy. Also by now they’d said I would need a hormone drip to help me progress at some point in the very near future, I’d had enough. I had always said no way was I going to have an epidural but my god it was a miracle to me! It wasn’t painful to have done and it allowed me to snooze on and off, I could feel my contractions and my legs which I was pleased with and it wasn’t the awful pains I had been having.
All was feeling better, for a while. All I remember was waking up from what I thought was a little sleep with around 12-14 heads in my face, stood over the bed all talking to me in one way or another and oxygen masks over my face! I had crashed and gone unconscious which had caused Daisy’s heartbeat to drop too for over 5 minutes! My blood pressure has fallen too far, they’re not sure why but it’s probably down to exhaustion. They were prepping me for a C section! I just remember looking around seeing mums panicked face and not seeing Ben anywhere! He then appeared at the door looking panicked, he had only gone to the toilet!
There were a few consultants and registrars in the room that were stood over me and looking at the monitors, my levels started to improve as did Daisy’s. They made the decision to observe for 5 minutes and to make a call on surgery or not. Thankfully it was decided they’d keep watching every few minutes but a c section wasn’t going to be done right this minute after all. There were a few things that needed to be done now such as ramp up the hormones so I progressed quickly, switch off the epidural so that didn’t affect blood pressure, fluids squeezed through me, monitors on Daisy’s head and blood tests taken from her head too 😦 poor baby. But again all for the right reasons.
The next 2 hours or so were over in a flash, probably because I had consultants in and out, midwife sat next to me at all times and always the threat of theatre which kept cropping back up! Anyway a few hours later and I felt a different sensation, I really needed the toilet! The only person who’s eyes lit up at this time were my mums who knew I would be serious and knew what it could mean! The midwife left it a while explaining how baby was probably moving her way down. But a few minutes later I said again and could she examine me! Well I was 10cm and no sign of cervix! Baby’s head was right there!
The consultant was brought back into the room and he looked over the traces and watched my contractions, he allowed me to push a few times so he could see the effect it had on me and Daisy. Sadly Daisy seemed to become distressed on the back of the contraction so again we needed intervention. Although he had tried to turn her manually as she was back to back but side on and with her head back on her neck, as soon as he moved away she would roll back! So off he went and he came back with the vontouse, with his gang all in scrubs. I didn’t mind at the time, I just wanted my baby now. He told me quite strongly that I had 3 attempts at pushing this baby out with his help of turning her and a bit of suction or I’d be in theatre with forceps. I was getting her out! With all I had been taught about pushing and breathing I gave it my all, and out she came! The next thing she’s on my tummy looking rather slimey but the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! She did a bit of shouting which they all seemed pleased with!
Ben cut the cord and then the consultant and his gang did their repairs and tidy up whilst I just stared at my daughter! I was a mummy! Finally!
3 things I think every new mummy needs:
Wet toilet wipes
Vaseline for your lips
Energy sweets – Lucozade for example!
Make sure you go and follow Hayley over on her blog – Hayleys Little Things! one of my favourite blogs and a must read!