I’m back!! And I had a baby!
I didn’t blog during my pregnancy; since starting work at the RSPB and buying our new house I haven’t made time for blogging. However, now I have some time off and need something to occupy my mind so it’s time to get some of these feelings out. Here’s my birth story, be warned there will be some gory detail!
We had known for a while that baby’s back was aligned to my back and not at the front of my tummy but I wish I had known how significant that would be, or what I could have could have done to help. Whenever I had midwife checkups they had found it difficult to say how the baby was lying and sometimes found the heart beat hard to listen to as well.
Baby was due on December 21st 2015 however he decided to stay in there as long as possible. I went in for a stretch and sweep on Saturday 2nd (40 weeks + 12 days) but as my cervix was completely closed the midwife couldn’t complete the procedure.
I was due to be induced on Monday 4th but I started contracting naturally on Sunday at 2am. My contractions got to 3-4 in a ten minute period however they were only 30 seconds long so after another internal exam which showed my cervix was still only .5cm I was sent home to try and relax until the contractions were more meaningful.
On the evening of Sunday 3rd my contractions were now 50 secs to a minute long but not frequent enough. I got into bed but within half an hour I got my show. I wasn’t sure it was my show (I expected a show to be small), it was like raspberry jelly and there was so much of it I thought it might be my waters but a trip to the midwife in hospital told me that it was in fact my show.
The midwife encouraged me to go home but I was losing patience and knew I had to be back for 8am anyway to be induced. She very kindly found me a bed on the ward along with all the new babies and Andy went home to get a proper nights sleep that I knew he needed. The midwife did warn me that I wouldn’t get any sleep because of all the newborns but it turned out that it was me making all the noise, not the poor babies.
Every contraction I was swearing through the pain, I feel so bad for all those newborns whose first sounds they heard in this world are me effing and blinding through the night! Still my contractions were not 3-4 in a ten minute period like they need to be to be considered in active labour.
In the morning I was moved down from the ward to the labour suite ready for induction as planned at 8am. To increase the intensity and frequency of my contractions I was started on a drip and epidural. There was no point in a pessary or gel to start contractions as I was already contracting. Again, because the baby was back to back the midwife found it hard to track my contractions because the tightening was all in my back, not in the front as usual.
One thing I hadn’t considered with being induced is that my birth plan (or preferences as I called them) would essentially be thrown out. An induced labour already has a specific plan so it’s very unlikely that it would involve a birthing pool or surviving with gas and air only.
I found the epidural to be quite scary. I wish that I had done more research into all the steps of an induced labour once I had been given a date for the induction. I was still focusing on my ideal labour that I had in my birth plan. The epidural required all kinds of needles and tape in my back; when the anaesthetist was putting everything in and taping me up I was crying just from feeling overwhelmed and out of control of the situation.
The epidural helped some but unfortunately my pain was all in my back because of the position of the baby being back to back. I still needed to use gas and air throughout my contractions and especially during the internal exams, despite the anaesthetist telling me to try not to use it anymore. I used the manual top-up button that you get with an epidural every time and took more from the anaesthetist as often as I could.
Around 8pm my midwife and doctor prepped me for a caesarian section as I was bleeding so much but as I was now dilating well I think they thought it was worth carrying on and hoping for the best.
Eventually I got to 10cm and I was feeling very out of it with all the gas and air and epidural drugs. The midwives and doctor started telling me to push but I felt that I couldn’t push through the pain and made no progress. I knew that I may be dilated enough but the baby wasn’t far down, it was still going to be a long process. This was the point were I felt even more out of control; I was heavily drugged and talking nonsense most of the time to the point where the things that I really meant to say were not being taken seriously. Poor Andy had to answer some very silly questions from me!
I got to the point where I was really arguing with the midwives and screaming out in pain so much with every contraction because the drugs really weren’t hitting my back where all the pain was. A senior midwife came in and told me that if I didn’t start pushing properly they would have to give me a caesarian section to which I responded to tell her that’s what I wanted, that I couldn’t do any more.
The midwife and doctor at this point agreed to a c-section, everything from now onward went very quickly. The anaesthetist prepared a form for me to sign and the process was all very quick. I was moved to an operating room and given a local anaesthetic but when we went through the tests to see what sensations I had I could still feel what they were doing too much. This meant that I needed a general anasthetic instead.
Apparently within 15 minutes the baby was out and Andy could hear his cries from outside the operating room. Shortly afterwards the anaesthetist came out and handed the baby to Andy. Meanwhile I must have been stitched and patched up because a few hours later I woke up in the recovery area to Andy holding our baby.
I was still quite out of it and at first I turned down holding the baby until I had woken up a bit more. When I did hold the baby and tried to feed him he latched perfectly first time. There are some photos of that moment but I look like a complete crazy person I’m scared someone will come and take him away if they are ever made public!
So there we are, welcome to the world Sacha Bradley Trent Walton! Born 3.15am on 5th January 2016. He weighed 7lbs 15oz and so far has blue eyes and lots of dark hair.
A photo posted by Christinkerbell Sparkle (@xtinasparkle) on
Since the birth I’ve been having a rollercoaster of emotions about the whole experience. I am happy that I didn’t have to keep pushing because I felt so much pain and I dread to think how long that might have gone on for. However, I do wish I had been able to be more “present” and hold my baby straight away which makes me cry every time I think about it.
I am just so happy to have him now, it’s all quite overwhelming… I’m off for another cry – come back for his one week update coming soon!