I don’t think I have ever actually posted on here about when I was pregnant or my birth story! How bad is that?!! This is probably because at that time I had a little blog on Tumblr and this blog wasn’t up and running by then. Reid keeps watching the DVD of when he was born and he absolutely loves it. He puts the dvd on like 20 times a day and although it’s cute I’ve seen it now like a million times! So I thought I would talk to you all about it and actually start by telling you how my son entered the world!
I was actually induced, so no natural going in to labour for me. This was due to finding out that I had Obstetric Cholestasis which meant I needed to be induced by 38 weeks as the condition is thought to possibly cause harm to the baby after that time. I kept going in to the maternity assesment unit with the symptoms but my blood test results every time weren’t quite conclusive enough to say, yes, you do have it! It wa only as I was getting towards the final weeks that it finally showed up and they were like, quick, we need to get you booked in for an induction. So basically I was being told that I was now booked in to be induced in 1 week, which was wed 30th October. I would be 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant at the time of the induction so as you can imagine I went from having nearly 3 weeks left (or possibly more) of pregnancy to only having 1 and that was quite a shock.
I was actually quite relieved too that my pregnancy was over earlier than I expected because I had really suffered through pregnancy. I always thought I would really take to being pregnant but my body absolutely hated it! I had morning, noon and night sickness from really early on and right in to the 2nd trimester. I also had SPD which meant having to wear a bandage tube thing covering my bump going right up to under my boobs and part way down my thighs. I also had a huge waddle and screamed in pain when doing most things. I had very bad sciatica in my back which meant I couldn’t get comfortable ever and had a heatpack on the go 24/7. But the worst of all of these things was something called PUPP/PEP. So basically it would appear I was allergic to my own son! I broke out in hives which consumed my entire body apart from my hands and face and it wa there 24/7. I had blisters and was bleeding and was sore and so itchy. I was having 15 cold showers a day and 5 a night and I wasn’t having any sleep. I would go through labour a million times again than ever have that again. Obviously I also had the Obstetric Cholestasis alongside this so, yeah, I had a terrible time.
Obviously with all of these problems I did have to have many trips to the hospital. I saw various people from midwives to specialist doctors. My experience overall was actually really good throughout my pregnancy and birth. The only times I felt a little failed by staff was probably with the PUPP/PEP rash. I remember coming in and telling them I was suffering with it when it first started in my stretch marks and they told me it was just normal itchy stretchmarks. I knew for a fact that it wasn’t and they made me feel a bit like I was being dramatic. I went back again once it had fully spread and no one seemed to know what it was but me. I had to insist on a test to prove that was what it was as it was like they had never seen it before. I also had quite a few appointments cancelled and rearranged which was frustrating and had the odd member of staff who was rather insensitive but still I would say my experience was overall pretty positive.
On the day I was soooo anxious and excited at the Same time. I woke up that morning and funnily enough I had actually lost my mucus plug, it’s like he knew today was the day! I had to arrive for 12PM to be admitted onto the induction suite. Here they assessed my current progress and after an internal examination they found out I was 1cm dilated already. That meant they could break my waters and skip the whole pessary and waiting around process. However as they were super busy and had lots of people in waiting to be induced I didn’t actually get my waters broken until around 6pm! The midwife also decided that after monitoring my baby’s heartbeat we needed to keep the monitors on throughout the induction and birth as it kept speeding up. Although I did have to wait a long time I suppose there were people coming in who were more urgent cases than me so I did understand. They also didn’t seem to have enough room for us all and I think they were hanging off so that birthing rooms were freeing up. I was on cloud 9 still as obviously I was about to have my little guy and also my other half handed me a diamond ring as a push present!
Having my waters broken was a funny…. weird…. uncomfortable but exciting process. They use that horrible looking stick and then after a bit of fiddling around you just feel a big release of warm liquid come gushing out like a massive wee that you can’t control!!! Sorry for the image! In my case there was an unbelievable amount of water coming out and the midwife said that it was the most water she has ever seen come out of someone. So I naturally thought I must have just been all water with my huge bump and my baby is going to be a cute little size….but boy was I wrong!! So once the water eventually stopped gushing I was given a nice big nappy like pad and disposable pants and told to wait until I was to be moved into a delivery suite. The midwife who broke my waters was so lovely and we all had a giggle at the fact that I was practically flooding the place!
I could hear screams and moans of other women around me every 2 mins or so and I was really confused as i was feeling contractions starting but thought it’s really not that bad and they must be overreacting! And how wrong I was again! Basically my contractions were coming on and were getting slightly stronger but weren’t progressing as much as they were supposed to. That meant if they didn’t up their game by the time I was moved to the delivery suite they would have to be artificially started with a hormone drip…. And guess what?! I had to have the flipping drip!! So that lovely relaxing natural water birth I had my heart set on was far gone out of the window now. I was still so excited however, and the fact that having the drip meant labour was to be 4x more painful than natural labour it was somehow at the back of my mind with excitement taking over instead.
I have a slight fear of needles (I should have been used to them by now!) and after a good 5 minutes of the midwife trying to get this huuuuuuugggggeeee needle into the back of my hand and me crying my eyes out she eventually had to call an anaesthetist in. Luckily he managed to get the needle in before I even had time to panic again, although I did feel kind of traumatised still. So there I am getting over the trauma from a drip being put in and I start to get excited again, eager for the hormone to kick in!!! And my god did it kick in!! I still thought ‘hey this isn’t so bad’ and held off gas and air as long as possible. Using a contraction timer on my phone we all awaited the next contraction every 3-4 mins and after a while the midwife upped the dose of the hormone which made my contractions faster, longer and more painful… Eventually as it started to hurt a little bit more I started on the gas and air, this probably helped for about half and hour and then it felt absolutely pointless.
All I wanted to do was move around the room, bounce on a bouncy ball etc but as I was having the drip and since his heartbeat needed monitoring, I was literally stuck to a bed. I wasn’t allowed to move even a little as I had the horrible itchy uncomfortable monitors on my belly, so for the entire labour and birth I wasn’t going anywhere. Every time I squirmed in the bed I knocked the monitors and the midwife had to try find the heart beat again so it was like I was strapped to the bed!! So fast forward a good few hours of labour and I am now really suffering with the pain so after holding off from pain relief for as long as I could I ask for the diamorphine! I’m just going to say it, that stuff is absolutely brilliant! I was definitely ‘off my head’ and it helped the pain so much! So for a while it started to seem not so bad again. And I start to turn all soppy and lovely with my partner saying how much I love him and how amazing he was. ( I don’t know why I was so nice as I was expecting to be a total cow!) I was also apologising over and over again for embarrassing myself which when I think back to it what a stupid thing to apologise for… I was pushing a human being out of me so any noises or faces I was making was completely normal!!
Fast forward a few more hours and the really bad pain starts coming back and this time I’m starting to feel an urge to push. This is where I start mooing like a cow with the pain and screaming I need to push I need to push!!! This is also the point where I start to get upset and say I think I might have to have an epidural against all my wishes and all my hopes and I feel like I just can’t do it. I was desperate for diamorphine but I wasn’t due any for another half an hour at least. So this is when my mum tries to stall me as I had previously told her not to let me cave in and have an epidural. So she tells me that the midwife has gone to get me more diamorphine and to hang on a few more minutes. Obviously my mum was lying and there was no diamorphine on its way yet and I didn’t get anymore for another half an hour. Not long after that the midwife examined me again and said the words I had been dying to hear ‘your 10cm’s it’s time to push him out!!!!’ For some reason that was enough to snap me out of moaning in pain and I dropped the gas and air and for a good hour and ½ was completely silent and just pushed and pushed that baby out with every last bit of strength I had!!!
Eventually I was handed a big (slimey) gorgeous baby boy, who weighed a massive healthy 9lb 6.5! So no wonder I was sooo big!!! My partner tried to cut the cord and the midwife said it was the biggest cord they had ever seen as well and my poor man nearly broke his fingers trying to cut through it! The next bit to follow was the birth of the placenta which took its time but again on arrival the midwife was in disbelief at the size of it! Thank God I didn’t go to full term because there was just no more room in there! Towards the end of the labour and birth it’s all a bit fuzzy from the diamorphine and although it is clear that it was far from my dream labour and birth I had a healthy baby boy with little complications so I can’t complain! In the end that is all that matters is a healthy baby and a healthy mummy. People were so so right when they told me not to make a proper birth plan and just go with the flow. Giving birth is not something you can plan in reality. You can have an idea of what you would like but its rare it ever goes fully to plan.
I have to say, of all the staff and of all the care I experienced throughout my pregnancy and birth, the midwife who helped me bring my son in to the world was just the best ever. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience under the conditions. She was just so amazing and so lovely and not once did she make me feel like just another patient. I actually had her from the beginning until the moment of the birth. I have since moved to a different area after having my son and I actually feel sad that I won’t be going back to that hospital for any future births. When I watch the DVD of the birth I always think how amazing the experience was and how I would love to do that again! It was way better than my experience of being pregnant and having such amazing support from my partner, mum and the brilliant midwife made it such a positive experience that I will remember forever.
How was your experience of being pregnant and giving birth? What was the care like and was it a good one or one that you would happily forget? I have heard so many horror stories especially about clinical negligence that I think it’s nice to share my experience as it certainly wasn’t a bad one overall. Make sure to comment below either way with your own experience.