I used to think all births would be like ‘one born every minute’ when they would be born within the hour of the program and it all be relatively straight forward. It was only with the birth of my first son I realised very quickly that a) it takes longer than an hour and b) birth is certainly not ‘straight forward’
After my emergency cesarian with Theo I felt a wave of disappointment, my body had failed me, I had failed the first hurdle of motherhood. I was so hard on myself for not giving birth in the way I thought I should (crazy I know) but us women can be a little bat shit crazy at times.
So when we fell pregnant for the second time I was determined, adamant if you will to try my hardest to have this baby the way my body was built to have him. Don’t get me wrong I was under no illusion that things could go wrong again but I had to try didn’t I?
Having had a previous section I knew the experience second time around would be somewhat different, there would be no birthing centre, no birth pool, I would be constantly hooked up to monitors and things would be a little less holistic.
lets not continue to beat around the bush though, let’s get into the nitty gritty.
SAtursay 18th May 2019, roughly 1am I started to experience period type pains, this was it I knew this was it but do I wake the world up to let them also no this was it or just lay there relax and be patient just to be sure? I did the latter. The pain was manageable but frequent and a pattern was slowly emerging. I gently woke the husband to let him no things were happening but for him to stay in bed. I wanted to go have a bath and wait it out, there was still a long way ahead of me and I wanted to spend as much time at home as I could.
After about an hour in the bath the contractions had gone up a notch, more frequent more painful but still manageable. I woke the husband up again cause this time it was GO TIME! There was no panic in the air though, we calmly called my mum, got bags in the car, changed, I even gobbled a banana. There was a sense of proactiveness, everyone was where they should be and no one seemed flustered. As soon as my mum arrived to look after my eldest, we called the hospital to let them know we were coming, called the student midwife who was using me as her case study for her training and jumped in the car.
Now I’m not going to bullshit you here that car journey felt like a 2 hour road trip when in fact it was 20 minutes. I felt every nook and cranny of that road from our house to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital, parked and headed to triage all whilst my thumb hovered over the boost button of my tens machine waiting in anticipation for the next contraction.
I had dreamt that when we arrived the midwife would tell me I was 10 centimetres dilated and baby was ready to come, that dream bubble quite quickly popped; I was 4cm. Yes I now am in “active labour” but I still hoped it would be more. The pain was getting stronger the rest time in between shorter and at that moment I thought I’m going to do this, I’m going to give birth.
At this point I think we all thought with the way it was going this baby was going to come pretty soon, they even started to prepare the labour pack in triage as there were currently no rooms available. They managed to swiftly get a room ready, hooked me up to the monitors and there we sat waiting. As soon as we got into that room all seemed to go quiet. Contractions had slowed down, pain was easing, nothing was happening. By 9am I was being examined and I was now sitting at 6cm, things were progressing just slowly. The decision was made to break my waters to bring on the contractions again and with a little nip and pull the flood gates opened (punn intended). Wow there is a lot of water no wonder I was so swollen during pregnancy.
As soon as that water balloon had been popped the pain was back and the boost button in full force. I have to at this point give a little shout out to my husband now because let’s face it for them labour in the beginning is pretty boring. They are only needed for 30 seconds every few minutes and then they spend the rest of the time just watching you in all your glory. My husband by about 10am had maybe had 4 coffees, a couple of wee trips, 2 phone call trips and quite a few pipe puff trips (eye roll).
I didn’t mind though cause when the time came he was there with me.
Now from here on the details get a bit hazy, times are forgotten and quite frankly I’m not sure if some of what I remember is factual or what I dreamt, however I will relay what I remember as much as I can.
As some point in time (as I said times forgotten) I was in pain. I remember the pain not being a contraction but a pain in my hip like my hip was about to explode. This might seem weird and a little out the blue but to give you a brief history I suffered with spd during my pregnancy and as soon as my legs were in stirrups the pain in my pelvis/hip was immense. At this point I begged for some pain relief. I remember there being lots of people in the room I was told to keep really still and suddenly the pain disappeared. I managed to nap, sip water even hold a conversation with the husband. It felt like not even 5 minutes had passed before I was being told that at 4pm we would start pushing. 4pm? What the hell was the time now? So at 4, legs were up and pushing started happening. 5 minutes passed, then 20, then 30 then before I know it I was approaching the hour. Hip pain very much returning and still no baby in sight.
Before I continue I want to let you know how I was feeling. Truth be told I felt the wave of disappointment returning. I felt like I was failing all over and I wanted to cry. This pressure I had inflicted on myself to give birth a certain way has taken a hold of me. But who says birth has to be a certain way?
After a boost of pain relief and baby still not appearing, options were discussed. Forceps, episiotomy, cesarian! Before I knew it risks were being read and a yellow form being signed. I was wheeled off to theatre, saw even more faces above me, jazz playing in the background and my husband head to toe in blue overalls. I remember asking them to not do an episiotomy if they think it would end in a cesarian. The doctor looked at me and with full conviction said she would get this baby out with forceps. That was enough for me. Yes I may have has help from an anecatist but my dream of having a vaginal delivery had come true. Yes not quite how I imagined, yes not exactly to plan but vaginal birth is a vaginal birth.
As with all birth stories though it’s never just the end. I lost some blood, my uterus wasn’t contracting and my blood pressure and heart rate was high and I was sepsis. However non of that mattered to me what mattered was I had a healthy 9lb 11oz boy who I couldn’t wait to kiss and cuddle and hold.
So there you have it a slightly rough around the edge encounter of the day I became Mum to not one but two beautiful boys.