The Boy’s Birth Story
So I never thought I’d be the kind of person to share a “birthstory” – far too personal for me!
But here we are… The Boy is 1 tomorrow and Kate says it’s a good idea so I am ready to step outside my comfort zone and embrace the overshare!
My Birth Plan
Throughout pregnancy there was one thing I was always sure about – I was going to be induced and I was going to have an epidural.
This may sound crazy to some – who would want an induction?!! Well the one thing I did not want was to go past 40 weeks. I’m sure we will hash this one out in a blog because Kate has a totally different opinion but I believe that after 39 weeks there is no benefit to the baby of staying inside and that it creates risk.
So it was around 32 weeks that I started to talk about having an elective induction. For anyone within the NHS that is interested in an elective c-section or induction this is a great time to begin to talk about your options with your midwife. The standard process is to talk to the midwife who will then refer you to a doctor to discuss your options.
I cant lie – the midwives were a bit perplexed and I had quite a few people try to talk me out of it with talk of c-sections and instrumental delivery. However once I had my doctor’s appointment at 36 weeks it was very straight forward. We talked about the risks and benefits of each option and she agreed that an induction was right for me. We agreed that I would have a sweep at 38 and 39 weeks and that at 40 weeks exactly I would be induced using Propess pessary.
For the uninitiated a sweep is basically someone reaching up into your hooha to stretch the baby’s membranes away from your cervix. It also hurts. Imagine shoving something up there with little notice. The good news is that it is good preparation for what is to come in terms of uncomfortableness and good old fashioned awkwardness.
For me the first sweep did very little (cervix closed) and the second (1 cm dialated) made me very crampy and I had a little spotting but no real action
So it was on to the induction. After an anxious night of waiting we reported to the hospital at 8am to get induced. The ward seemed somewhat surprised to see us and seemed even more surprised that we turned up with overnight bags etc. Turns out that if you are low risk you can have an induction and go home in between while you wait for labour to begin – fantastic!
The first step was to have The Boy checked out – I had a quick ultrasound to check that everything was OK. After that it was just like someone inserting a tampon and after an hours monitoring we went home to nervously wait it out!
After a lot of lying around the house doing not a lot I started to get light contractions around 4pm.
After a restless sleep I got up to go to the loo around midnight and found that the pessary had fallen out (sorry TMI – I can’t lie it’s getting worse from here!). I had a quick bath and found that my contractions weren’t changing frequency – they were consistently coming every 10 minutes, so we went into the hospital in early labor. It was really happening!
At the hospital
Checking into the pre-labour ward in the middle of the night was a surreal experience – there was only one other person there who was fast asleep and it was deserted. I was shown to a bed and despite the multiple empty beds, The Boy’s Dad was given a patch of the floor. We were very glad we brought extra pillows!
It seemed like a very long night from midnight to 6am when the ward sprung to life. I was in discomfort and it felt like every contraction was a back spasm. It didnt feel anything like I thought labour would – it was all focussed on my back.
Overnight my contraction rate didn’t change – I was steady at one every 10 minutes but they did not increase. So once 6am came round I were wheeled off to the delivery suites to give birth!
The delivery suite
I was a bit overwhelmed when I went into the delivery room – I hadn’t expected to see so much resuscitation equipment for the baby.
We waited around for the midwife to come and introduce herself and talk about next steps. She explained she would put in a drip and would break my waters to get me into active labour and start the next step.
Having the waters broken may have been painless but the results of it was severe pain. It felt like my back was going to break into pieces – all the pain was along my spine / lower back and I was literally being sick with every contraction from the pain.
I tried some gas and air to start off with but it made the nausea and vomiting even worse so I immediately asked for an epidural. Within 15 minutes I was being given my first epidural.
The epidural was AMAZING! I could still walk around, go to the toilet and feel pressure with contractions even though all the pain had gone. At this point I started to ask the midwife if there was a chance that the baby was back to back or occipito-posterior as all the pain was in my back.
Unfortunately after about an hour the epidural started to fail and I started to be in a lot more pain. My second epidural was placed higher than the second and from that point I couldn’t really move my legs and was immobile in the bed.
The next ten hours or so were just bizarre! I didn’t have any pain and couldn’t really feel contractions although they were increasing in intensity as they increased the Pitocin drip. I just hung out with The Boy’s Dad and my mum and the midwife who was in our room to monitor The Boy.
Around 7pm the midwife checked me to find I was fully dilated. We decided to wait an hour for The Boy to descend a bit more before I started to push so I sent The Boy’s Dad out for a walk / swift pint before the action started!
Once I started to push it was clear that the Boy was definitely back to back. Suddenly there were multiple doctors in the room all trying to manually turn him (yes like a vet to a cow…).
It was time to move on to the one thing I wanted to avoid – an instrumental delivery. With no time to move to theatre it was decided we would proceed with an episiotomy and ventose delivery.
At 9.30pm on April 21st we welcomed The Boy into this world and I was overwhelmed by how much I loved him already. His Dad held him skin to skin while I was stitched up (it took over 45 minutes) as immediately after birth I had a haemorrhage of blood.
I never thought I’d forget the horrors of giving birth but I did almost as soon as I held him. He was and is so worth it in every way and I love him so much. I would do it again 10 times over for him.