Day before with spent with my pregnant friend who was having contractions and using TENS machine. I feel heavy and walking is hard…
Nice massage and early bed…
11am – message hubby to say he’s probably got today but not tomorrow. Settle down with wire work craft project and episode of Shield. Bouncing on ball…
11.20 – hmmm, what’s that? Contractions?? Better time them…
9 minutes… 3… 3… 3… 2… 2… 1… 1 minute!!
11:50 – Phone Hubby “Come home, now”… “Ok”… Shortest phone call ever!
12 noon – Phone triage… “yes, come in, we have the lavender room ready for you” – ah bliss I know that room
Sweaty daddy-to-be arrived home after super quick ride home! “go ahead hun, have a shower, I’m sure we’ve got time!”
Trying to pack up food while clinging to worktops and humming. Put clothes on!
Car packed with stuff – how did the gym ball fit??!
Kind man held the lift for us. Pacing up and down while waiting to be let into the suite. Straight into the birthing centre. Kind nurses smiling encouragement.
1:07 – Hubby went back down for bags. They wanted me on the bed for an examination. Could see from their faces that they thought I wasn’t very far… still worrying they would send me home. Couldn’t sit or lay on bed no matter how much they wanted me there. Nearly got in position and then desperately slid off the bed and clung onto the edge. A big gurgle high up and a huge pop signalled my waters breaking!!!
I’m not sure if it’s a normal reaction to giggle hysterically! Which is what I was doing as hubby returned. Water kept coming and coming into a pool on the floor
Eventually I behaved myself and got onto the bed…
The midwives quickly started filling the tub with water. Asked for a floor mat. Tried to do some floor and ball positions but really the only place I was comfortable was pacing and swaying.
Into water – it wasn’t even fully filled but I just wanted in.
Then came quite a lot of splashing and cursing as I tried to get “comfortable”. Poor hubby was chasing me around the tub with the gas plus a towel to put on the edge. I didn’t realise it until later the next day that I had banged my head on side of the solid tub!
I think it was at this point that I started begging for drugs or c-sec… “just get it out now!” I kept trying the gas & air but felt rather sick – up came my yogurt from this morning. They gave me an anti-sickness drug, in between writhing, as I pathetically whined…
“Do I not at least get my paracetamol?!”
Shift change brought a very senior midwife who I had met previously at the first hypnobirthing class – Caroline. She talked me down out of the rafters and helped me to get back on track. My paracetamol arrived and she also suggested a bit of sugar to boost my energy. A yellow lemon jelly baby was put in my mouth, I took two chews and promptly threw it up with the paracetamol too! Oh well, I don’t know what I thought it would do at that point anyway – I just wanted it!
Between Caroline and my Husband we calmed down and started to get the breathing in place for each wave. Sometimes I got it right with the gas & air and sometimes I just breathed through. I think the trick with the gas is to get it in preemptively. If the contraction is already in play I found it useless. Some waves just washed over me as my hands floated on the water. Doing “nothing” is hard but really letting my body be was the best thing. I may not have been the perfect poster-child for hypnobirthing but I’m glad I did it and was able to use the skills I learnt. I’ve certainly used them since!
The water was super relaxing and time flew by…
Poo needed? “You can just go in the water” – but I couldn’t and so got out and onto the toilet. Sat on the loo but nothing came, just felt like I needed to push? Each contraction was so much more intense out of the water.
It was a good point at which to check the progress as they were suggesting diamorphine to give me a rest for a while. I didn’t want this and I felt like I was at the next stage… I could see that the team were sceptical that a first timer would be ready in just two and a half hours!
10cm – fully dilated… time to go
Back in water. Hard to find a good position.
Reaching down I could feel Baby’s head.
A funny sensation and then… my thigh went numb on the surface. Not particularly worried as only surface level, let Hubby know…
Hubby gets in… water – too high! I’m sinking so he holds me up while they drain some water… then all of a sudden… ekk, ouch!
Here it comes… torpedo! Daddy barely has time to catch our baby as it comes out in a rush, facing up… he guides Baby gently into my arms.
Boy or Girl???
The water is still too high as we try to lift high enough to find out… ouch that’s the cord still attached!! Can’t lift too high.
She calmly lays in my arms as we both look on stunned. Wow! Such a rush of emotions as she peacefully sighs her first breaths. She’s perfect and she’s ours! We snuggle close as Daddy supports us both.
She is covered head to toe in soft slick vernix, as we are invited to get out of the pool I fear we’ll both slip as I’m now covered too! Surprisingly it’s easier than it looks and Daddy looks on in amazement as I step out, holding baby close and rest onto the bed.
Five hours and 43 minutes of labour. She weighs in at 7lb 14oz.
We get wrapped in warm blankets and towels. A little while later the placenta is delivered naturally – omg it’s huge! They save it for us to take a look [I’ll post about this separately]. The next hour or so is a complete blur… I’m just staring at our beautiful baby girl and feeling so thankful that we got to take this journey. This is exactly where I need to be. She takes her first feed as we wait quietly for theatre to be ready for me. She gets her vitamin K injection and doesn’t even squeak! Just a wide eyed look of surprise. Skin-to-skin we snuggle on as she sleeps peacefully.
Did you know that you have to wait at least an hour after water birthing for any surgery? Nope – neither did I but it didn’t matter as I didn’t feel in pain.
I opt to go to theatre as her speedy birth has caused a fair amount of damage and I want to allow the doctors the best chance of a good repair. Looking back I think this damage happened as the midwife said to push and I didn’t feel it was the right point but did anyway. Perhaps I should have stuck with trusting my body that had worked so well so far? Easy to say with hindsight – maybe helpful for others?
We were transferred to the Labour ward down the corridor and surprisingly it was the same room I saw on the tour! I needed to go to the toilet and was helped to the en-suite by the nurse. Hubby was so surprised to see me walking so soon after the birth. I felt tender but not in agony and standing up was actually nice as my bum was going numb sitting in the bed. I couldn’t, however, face sitting on the toilet so I stood under the water in the shower and had my wee. The water sluicing down me was so refreshing and also washed away quite a lot of blood and goo too. And then we were ready… time to go to theatre.
Baby was left with her bemused but quietly confident Daddy. Wow – he has a new title. My heart melts seeing him holding her.
The surgical team we fantastic and we chatted quite a lot – Hubby said it sounded like a “coffee morning” from down the corridor! The surgeon confirmed that having the repair in theatre was definitely the best option! “You would have been a right grumpy pants”
It’s so odd seeing your legs waving around and being moved without any sensation! I did end up shaking quite a lot but apparently this is normal as your body feels like something is wrong and tries to resolve it. This was reassuring to be told as soon as it started otherwise I would have fretted that something was wrong.
It was at this point I realised that we had forgotten the expressed colostrum. This was exactly the situation that we had it for! Oops!
After over an hour we returned to the room. Baby was in the cot next to her Dad and she was all wrapped in a cosy blanket. He’d done the first nappy change!
She was hungry so they gave her back to me and she went onto my breast, such an odd sensation but lovely to see her feeding…
So there we were.
A happy little family with our beautiful baby girl at the start of an amazing new part of our journey.
I wrote this shortly after we had got home so I didn’t forget the details… I meant to come back to it and flesh it out but on reading it back I like the way it feels. Hope you like reading it.