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Tuesday Birth Story- Open minded

May 12th. 2015 | 1 Comment

At 6 days over I started to get contractions, and I was so excited!!! Although they were mild they were frequent enough …between 6-9 minutes apart. I rang the labour ward and because it was my first baby, a bad night and a bit of a journey the midwife suggested we came in sooner rather than later. I arrived in around 1am and was put on the trace. While the contractions were frequent nothing much was happening, I probably went in to hospital too soon. I spent the night having contractions but when my consultant checked me in the morning I hadn’t started dilating!!!!
My husband and I spent a very long but lovely day chatting, listening to music and walking around, rudely interrupted by frequent and intensifying contractions! But using a tens machine, my ball and the deep breathing techniques practiced in bump room classes made them very manageable. When I was checked that evening I was told I was still not dilating, which was frustrating as contractions were down to 5 mins apart. This was the very worst part of it all…I just couldn’t believe we were still so far away from meeting baby and I was facing into my second night of no sleep. My lovely midwife assured me that I was doing all the hard work and it would pay off, that when I did start I would dilate fast, it was comforting to hear!
At this stage tiredness was creeping in as I hit the 24 hr mark, I found I had to stand during contractions so my legs were beginning to ache ( I was very grateful for all the squats we did in class!!)
Finally around 2am I was checked in labour ward and was 3cm, I got pethidine and was excited of the prospect of a sleep.  We sent my husband home and turned out the light! About 5 mins later I sat up to my waters breaking! (And vomiting, probably from the pethidine). Back to the labour ward and husband was called back (he hadn’t time to get too far!) I was 6 cm …the lovely midwife was right, once I started it went quick!

While on the trace the midwife was concerned about the baby’s heart rate dropping during

contractions. The consultant was called and he took a foetal blood sample, from the baby’s head to check the baby’s oxygen levels and was satisfied they were ok so he wanted to wait a little longer. ( it felt like similar to a smear test). Just in case, I was prepped for an emergency c-section and I decided to get an epidural.The baby’s heart rate continued to drop during contractions and at 9cms the consultant said he wasn’t happy to wait any longer so we went to theatre.
What felt like mere moments later our son was born! The umbilical cord was up at his head, in his way so that’s why his heart rate was dropping. In light of this, the consultant said attempts at a vaginal birth would have resulted in the need for forceps/vacuum and would have ultimately failed so the right call was made.
And our baby was out healthy, safe and well and that is really the only birth plan we had.
I was conscious of the importance of skin to skin so my husband spent the whole time I was in recovery with our little man on his chest. While I was eager to get back to them, I was delighted they got that bonding time.When I returned and attempted our first feed, he latched on with no issue and we successfully exclusively breastfed for six months. I have to give huge credit here to the wonderful nurses, each were hugely supportive and great with tips and chats during the many, many, many feeds on those first few nights.
While I hoped for a quick and natural, and while we’re at it -pain free- birth! ( a girl can dream ,eh?) I remained very open-minded to interventions. I think this really helped us stay calm when things went awry. The labour ward was very quiet and calm with all of us listening to baby’s heart. My husband was brilliant, knowing how to read me and saying the right things at the right time. He told me after that watching the epidural was the worst part, while I didn’t mind that bit at all! I definitely felt the ante natal class prepared us well, being made aware of what’s involved in all interventions, and even being told how many people are in theatre for an emergency c-section all helped keep me calm.
I was lucky to have a really good recovery with no issues, I followed all the guidance and tips Ailish, and the docs, had given. There were a few days when I thought I was better than I was and tried to do too much and felt the pressure but I had to listen to my body and tried to take it easy.

This could have been a traumatic birth story – 30 something hours in slow labour, baby in distress and emergency c-section but it really wasn’t. It was a very special time that we reflect on happily. I credit that to the preparation I received in the bump room and gentlebirth, along with the great care we got in hospital.

So my big tips for all the bump room mums-to-be would be:
Keep a cool, calm head and concentrate on your breathing, trust your baby, your body and your midwives…. And do a few more squats!!!!

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One comment on Tuesday Birth Story- Open minded

  1. Florence

    Brilliant post. Thanks for sharing.