Updated: Apr 16
I was due an induction on the 26/9 due to baby being too big.
What I had in my birth plan:
Unmedicated, unassisted, water birth
What I had:
All the medication I could, an episiotomy and forceps
He was born 23/9/21 at 9:23am
Weighing 8lb 1oz
Tuesday 21st September 23:30
Woke for a wee and noted strong period pains when I went back to bed. Pains were a constant ache that didn’t go with changing sides.
Wednesday 22nd September 00:36
Woke again with much stronger period like pains. Laid in bed and tried to get comfy but couldn’t. So I went downstairs and sat on the sofa googling signs of early labour. All the while the period pains were constant.
About 1:10am ish I needed to poo. Which never happens at night and was the first sign of early labour. I begun pacing the living room trying to decide if the pains were regular and coming and going before waking Pete up.
I went back up to bed having decided it must be labour and I needed to sleep. Pete woke up and I told him what was happening. We tried putting a film on (Moana) and dozing off as we knew it would be a long wait. At this point It was still just super intense period pains. Pete got me a hot water bottle and we tried to cuddle in bed watching the film. The pains began to build over the next hour and a half of Moana. I also started to realise the pain was shifting downwards and I could feel pressure in my bum.
We put the tens machine on and we begin timing them as they started a pattern and building in intensity. They were around 15 minutes apart then. I paced up and down and around the house. I couldn’t sit or stand still from the pain in my lower back and bum more than anything! So Pete would hold me and I would gently rock and breath, all guided by Pete.
We phoned triage as they had become the 3 in 10 and I was feeling them in my front and back. The tens machine was helping but I couldn’t sit down because of the pressure in my lower back and bum. Triage advised we stay home until around 8am. Have a hot bath and relax as much as I could. The midwife was lovely on the phone and did say if I was really struggling to come on in. So we had a shower and Pete made another hot water bottle. The shower did help. But getting the tens machine on and off was such a faff! We tried every position we could think of to get me to rest but I just couldn’t find anything comfy. Pete got me the birthing ball thinking rocking on that would take the weight off. But I couldnt stand any pressure on my back passage! I i phoned my mum around this point to let her know what was happening! She was as shocked as me. But so supportive and kept saying I could do it and she was so proud of me.
Ohhh the contractions were still regular and so strong in my bum now. Pete tried to make me some toast to eat but the pains were so strong they kept making me nauseous. We spent some time with my head over the sink and saliva pouring out my mouth. We weren’t in a hurry to go to hospital as we didn’t want to get sent away. But as the contractions had gone on for so long and had become so regular we thought it was time we packed the car etc. Pete helped me get dressed as I literally couldn’t lift legs or sit. The one thing I regret funnily enough was not putting any deodorant on! I hadn’t shaved or anything but I didn’t care about that in the end. I had all these plans before the induction for all of that! Sitting in the car was awful! The traffic out of Selsey was terrible because of rush hour. They also had traffic lights pop up on the anchor pub. Contracting in the car and not being able to stand up was savage. Pete did have me on a pillow which took some weight off. But because of the nausea too I had massive bowl for the journey to juggle as well. When we got to the hospital Pete parked as close as we could and helped me out. It was slow going! Walking up there! As it was daytime I felt like everyone was watching me as we had to keep stopping for the contractions. We eventually made it and got in the lift. When we got to the floor we had to wait for a while in the corridor which was super embarrassing, I hated being in public and in pain!
9:30am got to the birth centre
We were put into our room and introduced to our midwife and examined. She said I was 2cm and she could feel my waters bulging!! But I needed to be at least 4cm before they’d let me stay in. She advised we went home and rest. I told her I couldn’t sit down because of the pressure in my bum and hips. I asked for stronger pain relief and she advised we stay but go to the ward. I was hesitant because Pete wasn’t allowed on the ward though. I walked the whole way down the stairs to the ward in agony. But I made it! The lovely midwife snuck us in a private room that way Pete could stay with me.
New midwife (lucy) and on the ward in our private room. She gives me morphine and anti sickness and that’s when we discover he is back to back. This is why I’m in so much pain and the contractions are so regular in my front and back. She tells us that this is going to be much more painful, harder and longer. But I can do it naturally. Thanks love!
The nice midwife finds us a bath on the ward which we use and it helps the pains. I’m around 3-4cm dilated at that moment. We stay in the bath for as long as I can and until I know it’s around the time I can have more drugs again. Pete is a trooper at this point. He’s barely eaten or slept at all. He continues to help me breathe through the pain in the bath. When we do get out, the midwife left me a hospital gown to wear. Which I actually quite loved. Very free and breezy
I’m given more morphine and an examination. I’ve made it to 7cm. Which is awesome! But I’m super struggling now. Saying I can’t cope and want an epidural. I have to get to 8cm and around 8pm before they’ll take me to the labour ward and that’s the only place you’re allowed one! I’m both chuffed to have made it so quickly to 7cm when the first part took forever but also know it’s a while away until we are ready to push. However I’m hopeful at this time that we will meet baby today!
I start being sick and loose my mucous plug finally. Some went in the toilet but I wiped some and the midwife confirmed it. Yay! They can’t examine me down here again as it’s only allowed to be every 4 hours unless you have a lot of pressure. So we sit tight. I’m still requesting the epidural. They let labour ward know what I want. And say we should be going up soon. I feel so so sick constantly now and the sick bowl is never far away.
They move me to labour ward at last! A midwife we haven’t seen yet comes to our private room to help us up in the lift. She asks if I can walk or need the wheelchair. I definitely can’t walk cos I keep being sick but also unsure if I can sit on my bum because that’s where all the pressure and pain is from baby being back to back! She manages to get me in the wheelchair and off we go up to a private room on labour ward, a massive room with a birthing pool! I’m examined by the new midwife (Alice) who says I’m 8cm contracting well and baby has half turned out if back time back position and I tell her I want the epidural still. I’m sick more times. More anti sickness injections happen. There is a student midwife who is fab with me puking an keeps track of what fluid I’ve lost to tell Alice. Alice is debating putting anti sick into a drip for me. The pains are so intense in my back and bum now. I bleed after an examination because of my cervix changing. Think it’s my waters. Nope! Excitingly though I loose more of my mucous plug and i actually bleed after Alice examines my cervix. I felt it dripping down my legs and just kept saying something is coming out of me! She then decides to try me on gas and air whilst we wait for the epidural doctor. Not sure at this point if gas and air worked at all or it made me sicker. But the student midwife Charlotte had to bare the brunt when I started throwing up green acid all over the place again.
Very lovely doctor comes to chat to us about how epidural all works. By this point the contractions are so strong and the pain in my bum is killing me. I can’t find any position comfy anymore and feel sick all the time. Alice try’s a cannula in my hand and fails it bleeds everywhere! The doctor comes back and explains how I’m to sit. The position is hard for me with the pain in my bum. Neither the local anaesthetic or the epidural even hurt at this point and the relief is wonderful. I’m given a button to press for more, Alice and me decide every half hour is good to press it. She tags me up to monitors for all sorts and different drips. Baby is now constantly monitored and we can always hear his heart beat. Alice sets up a blood pressure monitor on my arm. And makes Pete a bed on the floor. Bless her! She advises us to sleep now and she will be in and out the room checking vitals etc every 30 mins. And that’s how we carry on for quite a while!
Alice breaks my waters as everything has slowed down. She also gives me the synthetic drip thing to get them going again. She raises a small concern with his heart rate a few times and a consultant comes to see me. He asks about my pains, the bum ones etc, he asks to examine. And discovers the swelling on baby’s head. Says he will give me an hour to push before he thinks we need to discuss next steps. He leaves Alice to look after me and encourages her to increase the synthetic drip.
I’m 10cm and Alice is happy with everything. So we get the bed set up to help me push. The only problem is that the epidural is starting to wear off which helps me push. But the pain from sciatica (which I had for the last four weeks of pregnancy) in my hips is coming back with vengeance. I can’t feel contractions but can feel this horrendous shooting cramp like pain radiating all through the right of my pelvis. All the time. Not just when contracting. I explain to them I’ve suffered since about 36 weeks with constant sciatica and not being able to move has aggravated it. Alice increases the pain relief in the drip again for me and we decide to try pushing. She guides me using a vaginal exam to help me understand which part I’m pushing for. She then guides me when a contraction is starting and helps motivate me to keep pushing.
The consultant comes back and re examines me after nearly an hour and 20 of me pushing with Alice. He deems the head has come down now but it is still presenting off to the side and baby is still round the wrong way. He decides we are done pushing and need to move to next steps.
The midwife team changes over and we meet our new student midwife poppy and senior midwife who’s name I don’t know. We also get told that the consultant is handing over to the new consultant. So he comes round first to me with a consent form that explains what will happen next. And discusses with me if I’m comfortable proceeding to an assisted birth. When I see he’s telling me forceps i immediately tell him I don’t want that and want a c section. He says it depends where the head is exactly in the canal as it can be dangerous to take the head back out the pelvis! So I consent and sign all the forms after he patiently goes through all my daft questions.
We get wheeled down to theatre which is on the same floor as the delivery suite luckily. The room is huge and airy and bright was my first impression. And filled with people! I still have the epidural in but now we are moving to a spinal block in case forceps fail and I need a c section. Before they start the lead midwife read out their ‘who’ which meant we heard who everyone in the room was. I was asked if I minded students being present and examining me. I consented. Then they got the spinal block in me and started spraying me with freeze spray asking where I could feel. It was a very odd feeling as everything under my boobs was dead with no sensation at all. I even found breathing felt odd. I was assured it wouldn’t last long. The doctor begun. I just remember looking down and seeing my legs in these stirrups and all these doctors at the business end. They had always asked if I was ok with student doctors examining me and being in the room and I’d said yes.
This part is a blur. And was over so quickly really! Suddenly the consultant was asking me to push and as I had no feeling whatsoever I just had to sort of bear down and try. It must have worked cos two pushes later, our baby boy was born!
He was quickly held up and lifted onto my chest and he was perfect. I couldn’t believe he was actually real! 9:23am on 23rd September. Just 3 years after Pete and me first met! What an anniversary gift baby was taken back and Pete got to cut the cord.
Then he was popped onto a machine to have all his vitals checked. The consultant sewed me up and said he was very happy with the job and I won’t even notice it. I clearly didnt believe him cos I kept asking how bad the tear was! But he’d performed an episiotomy and it was only second degree. It didn’t take long for baby boy to have his checks and suddenly I was given this little baby on my chest and we were wheeled back to our room on the labour ward.
The midwives in our room bring me toast. The best meal I’ve ever had! And Pete and me get to know this new little bundle. We decide to call him William. A name we both loved and it just fitted him perfectly when we saw him! I get to do skin to skin now to encourage him to feed but he is so so sleepy and lethargic that I have no success. The student midwife grabs some syringes and helps me hand express the colostrum and feeds him this way. And then we just work on keeping him on my skin. It doesn’t take long and with loads of support from the student midwife, we breastfeed successfully.