Thinking about the pending birth with baby No2 has got me thinking about and reflecting on Evie’s birth. I wanted to write it down for my memories before a new experience starts to cloud it (although I’m not sure it ever could!).
I never made a birth plan as such. I didn’t want one. There are so many scenarios of what could happen. I left it open to go with the flow and see how I felt at the time. I might only want gas and air or I may be screaming for an epidural. I like the idea of a water birth but might totally hate it when I get there. The only two things I really wanted was for the Mr to cut the cord and to have skin to skin contact. As it happens I didn’t have the luxury of making any choices and out of all the scenarios running through my head, what actually happened never entered my mind!
I was 6 days overdue when I finally felt a contraction. It was about 8am on Friday 19th Dec. I continued to have them about 1 every hour throughout the day. I phoned the delivery suite, they explained that it was probably early labour and that things might speed up when I go to bed. I carried on that day pottering around the house and watching the rest of my DVD boxset. I wasn’t in much pain and felt excited that I would hopefully meet my baby soon.
The contractions continued throughout the night but there was no pattern. They had definitely increased in pain and I didn’t get any sleep. I was convinced that we would be off to hospital in the morning. No such luck. As the contractions were not regular we were told to stay at home, take paracetamol and have a warm bath. I spent the whole of Saturday led on my sofa feeling like rubbish and getting contractions here there and everywhere. Later that day at 6.30pm I went to the toilet to be greeted with blood. This worried me as I had already had my bloody show so wasn’t expecting anymore. I rang my maternity unit. The midwife wasn’t concerned and my mind was put at ease. I did ask twice if someone could check me over but they didn’t feel there was a need.
I went to bed thinking it was all false labour and it would probably fizzle out by the morning. I was wrong. At 1am Sunday I woke to strong contractions and when popping to the toilet I had a gush of blood. I was worried again as this was a lot more than earlier. The Mr told me I was over reacting and that it was all part of labour. I wasn’t taking any chances and was fed up of constant pain and not knowing what was going on. I phoned maternity again and told them I was coming in to be checked. Much to the Mr protesting we took the 40 min journey to the mat unit at 1.30 am
When I arrived, the midwife suggested a sweep to hurry things along and hopefully I’d be back in the morning with regular contractions. When she checked I was actually 8cm dilated and would not be going anywhere! The midwife asked when my waters had gone. I replied with ” ummm they haven’t”. But apparently they had. To this day I don’t know what happened to them! I remember starting to panic a bit. OMG I’m going to have to actually deliver my baby in a minute. Within 15 minutes of being there I was ready to push. The midwife thought baby would be here within the hour. Errr wrong! I pushed for 2 hours with no joy. An obstetrician checked me over and said my pelvis was square shaped and it doesn’t look like baby can get through. They decided to give me an epidural and asked me to relax for an hour. Yeah right. When you’re that far down the road, an epidural does diddly squat with the feeling of wanting to push. Trying not to push for an hour was horrible. After an hour of ‘relaxing’ I pushed for another 2 hours with no joy. At this point babys head was grating against my pelvis. There was no way she was getting out that way. I needed a c section but had to wait and push for another hour before the obstetrician was available.
I was finlly taken down for an emergency c-section. I remember being wheeled in. The anaestheticist spraying cold stuff on me to see if i could feel anything and asking me to drink a shot of something . I was moved onto the operating table and things got worse…
I could feel pressure and lots of pressing-what I expected but I had a lot of pain in my chest. It felt like a car was sat on top of me. Babys head was stuck in my pelvis and they had to deliver her feet first. Her feet were in my ribs and I wasnt anaenatised that far up. This is what caused the pain/intense pressure. At 8.19am she was born but didn’t breath for 4 minutes. The longest 4 minutes in history. I was so confused. I didn’t know what was happening to her and at this point I was screaming in pain. Nobody reassured me or spoke to me which added to my confusion. I finally heard a cry and was then swiftly told they were putting me under general anaesthetic . I told the Mr to be with Baby and not to leave her. He was crying, at the time he thought I was dying!
The next thin I know I’m in recovery. There was a lady battling with my numb legs to get stockings on them. The Mr showed me a picture of our beautiful baby girl. She had been taken to NICU. She has a lot of my blood on her lungs, her glucose levels were down, she has jaundice and was stressed from the delivery.
It was such an odd feeling of knowing I had had my baby but at this point not actually seeing her. On the other hand I was so drugged up that I wasn’t really aware.
Later while in recovery I discovered that I had suffered internal bleeding as my bladder had been crushed in all the kerfuffle. Hence the general. I lost a litre of blood and needed IV anti-biotics due to the risk of infection from not knowing when my waters went.
I spent a pretty crappy day in a side ward on the delivery suite.
Finally afterr 12 hours of being in recovery and baby being in NICU we got to meet.
Evie was in a incubator so we couldn’t have cuddles and I was still bed bound so had to give her a stroke through the incubator while led on my bed!
A few hours later I could feel my legs so could get out of bed and go down to NICU for a cuddle. It was quite a strange experience, cuddling her while she’s attached to lots of wires and a NICU nurse there watching over you. I just wanted it to be us cuddled up in bed and away from the world.
The next day Evie was bought up to me on the ward. She had to go to NICU every 4 hours to be monitored and sleep there at night but I was ao glad she was by my side.
It was not the birth experience that I expected and not something I look back on with happiness. Of course I am happy that my little Evie arrived and thankfully safely in the end. I was so upset that I missed out on all the major bonding experiences like skin to skin, cutting the cord, giving her her first feed. I felt let down in some ways by health professionals for not explaining to me what had happened. I had to read it myself in my notes. and in other ways so thankful because without them we would not be alive.
But the ending is happy and we have a beautiful, healthy baby girl who I could not love more if I tried.
I will be having a planned C-Section with Baby No2. I am praying that this is a more positive experience, although I am very nervous!
Thanks for reading