Birth No.3 – What happened next..

13 Feb

 In my last post I had forgotten to mention a few things, please forgive me, these things become a bit of a blur! Not only had I had the worst flu I have ever known, but 24 hrs before I went into labour, I had been in A&E. Turned out that I had pulled a muscle between my ribs – but the pain was horrendous. I went to A&E when I got to a point that I couldn’t breath. The pain was so bad, I ended up stood in our kitchen, unable to move a muscle. I was on my own, in masses of pain and scared. I didn’t know what it was, it didn’t feel like pulled muscles normally feel. I then started hyperventilating and panic spread. Mr R was asleep upstairs, following a night shift. Thank goodness he sensed something was wrong, he heard me and came down. We spent the day in A&E, which is why he hadn’t slept when I did go into labour the following night. I had been rushed in as they suspected a pulminary embolism, luckily that wasn’t the case.

Then during my operation, my bladder had to be removed, because of scarring. Well, not actually removed, just taken out of me. They had to remove as much scar tissue as possible and then they ordered a bottle of baby milk, held my bladder in the air and put the milk into it. They wanted to watch my bladder working and make sure there were no holes! That part isn’t needed in the story really, but I thought the medical staff, among you, may like that – it was rather amazing! (MedicJP1)

I was wheeled into the recovery room. I felt OK, considering! Mr R had waited with our baby, for me to return. Then we decided to put some clothing on him. I watched Mr R, filled with pride, begin to dress our little boy. As men do, he held up each item to check ‘it matched’ and was the ‘right’ one. Once he got the nod from me he began. I looked over and had a strange moment. During labour, we had both agreed on a name for him. The name had been bugging me throughout the whole pregnancy, I didn’t want my baby to have no name for the first few days, yet we couldn’t decide on one. Well we did, I don’t know what I was thinking, but we settled on the name ‘Bertie’ (Mr R just agreed with anything to keep me smiling, I think!) When baby was pulled out, they asked his name so that they could write it on his hospital band. I had said I wasn’t sure and could we wait a bit…

Mr R lifted our little boy up, he was naked and perfectly formed. I saw his little pink body in full, and my eyes transfixed on his face. His little face just said something to me, and I thought…’he looks like a Mini Rural’ (Not a Bertie – Name has, obviously been changed here for privacy purposes) I also noticed that he was calm, quiet and peaceful.

He was dressed in his little blue and white, striped, Mickey Mouse baby grow. He looked gorgeous and was passed over to me. I asked the midwives why he was so quiet. They told me he was a ‘good boy’ and we continued to coo over him. A few minutes later I said to Mr R that something didn’t feel right. I asked for some milk as I wanted to feed him. I told the midwives again that he was too quiet, something was wrong, he was getting sleepier and sleepier. As someone was sent to get some milk, a lightbulb suddenly lit in my mind.

“It’s the Gestational Diabetes, nobody has checked him for it, he’s not right, help my baby quick!”

He laid in my arms, not moving, not crying and not opening his eyes. He was breathing and warm but I knew he wasn’t OK. Staff now seemed worried too and, finally, checked his blood sugar levels. (They should have done this as soon as he was born, but it had been missed and I had reminded them). His level was 0.5 – it was dangerously low.

We tried to get him to feed, but he didn’t respond at all, we couldn’t wake him and I knew what needed to be done. They took him, swiftly, down to the special baby care unit. I told them to do it fast, I knew he needed to go there…and then I was left alone, in a recovery room. Nobody around and my baby was gone…I was scared.

It took about 15 minutes before anyone came back in, whilst that doesn’t sound long, trust me – it was! Every second was long and I suddenly felt so, so ill again. I could no longer sit up and talk as I had been doing, I felt awful and I missed my baby, I needed to be with him.

I wanted nothing more than Mr R to come and comfort me and tell me what was happening, but I had told him to go with our son, Mini needed us and I couldn’t be there. Staff told me to sleep, I hadn’t slept more than an hour a night for about a week. I had been awake for about 28hrs, was poorly and had just had major surgery. I tried to rest, I really did. I knew Mini was in the right place and that his Daddy wouldn’t let any harm come to him, but I just couldn’t. I was getting upset, as I knew my body couldn’t take much more, then somehow I drifted off…just for 15 minutes or so.

I woke to find a picture in front of me. I looked at the picture and cried. Staff had taken a picture of Mini for me and bought it up so that I felt nearer to him. He had a tube through his nose so that he could be fed. I know it was just a feeding tube, but the image was so upsetting to me. It just reminded me of really poorly babies that you see on TV, I cried and demanded to be taken to my baby. I needed to see him, I longed to be with him. Staff wouldn’t let me go down yet, I still needed to be monitored in recovery as I hadn’t settled yet. I couldn’t get up and walk, it was impossible for me to do so. I told them I wanted a wheelchair…in the end they said they would bring one up soon…..To be continued.

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Congratulations & Thank you!

8 Feb

I started my birth story blog posts, because a certain few people got me reminiscing on Twitter. This morning those same people cheered me up with a happy ending to their tales. I got all excited and wrote this:

I started today, all tired and grumpy,

I tried to make a cake, but it looked all lumpy,

The TV wouldn’t work & I didn’t have a clue,

RuralSgt was in bed, I needed him, he’s the glue.

 

Then in one little moment, things turned around,

A baby was born, a Twitter cheer was the sound,

This week started off with two couples – a journey to endeavour,

By Wednesday, they were parents – life enhanced for forever!

 

I can’t help but feel their excitement & joy,

At their news, the arrivals of their little boy,

So Looby, Badman, Bishy & Kate,

Thanks for sharing with us, your wonderful fate,

 

I’m happy, I’m excited and I’m filled with cheer,

Twitter you’re amazing & I’m so glad you’re here!

 

My Birth Stories – No.3 The Final One (part 2)

6 Feb

I woke with a start…I ‘rushed’ to the toilet…as I started to wake up, I realised exactly what was going on. It was 4am, 3wks prior to my due date and my waters had just broken, in exactly the same way as last time. I filled with excitement and fear, I realised this was too early, I wasn’t supposed to be in labour…and I think I went into a kind of shock.

I found my mobile and text Mr R. He was working in the freezing conditions outside and was an hours drive away from me. Nobody was on standby to help with this, this wasn’t meant to happen. My text read:

“Can you call me? Don’t worry if you’re busy…xx”

I have no idea what was going through my mind. Don’t worry if you’re busy? I had just gone into labour and it was a little premature, in this case. Clearly realising that it’s not normal for me to text him at 4am, Mr R called straight away. I explained the situation…well, I kind of bumbled my way through the conversation, and Mr R was on his way. I phoned the hospital and they told me I needed to come straight in. I explained that I had nobody here and needed to get my other children to their grandparents first. The lady asked me if I was contracting, I explained that I wasn’t so she thought it would be OK. I then proceeded to have a shower and walk about in a daze. My Braxton Hicks were a bit annoying but I was use to those, I had been having them really strongly for weeks and weeks.

I rang close family to tell them what was happening. I couldn’t help but be excited…somewhere inside, I knew I would be meeting my baby very soon. Mr R arrived home with his happy comforting smile and he set about packing my hospital bag…my hospital bag? I hadn’t even done that! We were frantically searching for everything we needed, and my excitement grew. I was surprising myself, just 24hrs before this, I had been so poorly. The adrenalin of what was happening had an amazing effect on my body. When I say I was so poorly, I was probably poorlier than I had ever been. It was a flu type thing, but I literally felt I could die. I was not capable of doing anything at all. I had seen various doctors as this illness was scaring me, it was different but I couldn’t explain how. I had been overworking myself for the 2 months leading up to this point and I was literally a broken woman. I remember crying the night before this had happened, saying to Mr R that these kinds of things can send a woman into labour, and I couldn’t cope with labour. I just couldn’t do it.

We left my parents house, where we had dropped the boys off and I had borrowed, another towel for my gushing waters! I had to keep stopping because of my Braxton Hicks, but we got in and settled quite quickly. I was monitored and told I would have to stay in. There was no way I was leaving the building this time.

The doctors came to see me and told me that they wanted to try and stop my labour or at least hold it off. Given my previous labours which didn’t progress, naturally, this should be simple. They started with giving steroids as we needed baby’s lungs to get as strong as possible before he came. When a Mum has Gestational Diabetes there is a higher risk of problems when baby is born. So, although 3wks early is often classed as term, this case was slightly different.

Wow those steroids stung. I couldn’t believe how much! I was asked to stay put in bed and just wait. So I did. I spent my time watching the monitors and feeling my Braxton Hicks whilst they distorted the shape of my bump. I knew what I was doing now, I knew what all the monitors meant and I could just watch what my baby was doing.

Later that evening I was given a second dose of steroids and they advised Mr R to go home. He did question me on this as he didn’t think I seemed right. My Braxton Hicks were strong, I was tiring. I smiled my way through it all and told Mr R that it was really important that he went home. He hadn’t slept for a day and a half and I was worried about him. To be fair, I pretty much forced him to go home and sleep. I remember my frustration as he wouldn’t go without questioning me. I didn’t want to be questioned, I didn’t really want to talk, I wanted to be left.

Mr R had gone home and a doctor came to check me. We noticed that baby’s heart beat kept dipping. I wasn’t allowed off the monitor and they could see massive movements on the print out. They kept asking me how I was feeling, I smiled and said fine.

Late in the night, the staff were growing increasingly concerned about baby & I. They were coming back every five minutes and I wanted them to go away. I was getting frightened again. It was around this time that I realised I hadn’t been having Braxton Hicks at all, I was in labour and had been all day. I didn’t want to tell anyone. I wanted Mr R to sleep, I was frightened he would crash the car if he didn’t. I was scared that my c-section was going to have to happen and I hadn’t seen Gary, my anaesthetist. I was scared something could go wrong with baby too. My pains increased and I couldn’t hide it from the staff anymore. I hope that it would go away, after all, I had never actually had a proper labour on my own before. I had never progressed past 4cm, my body just didn’t do it.

A lovely nurse gave me progesterone and a small cocktail of other things. She said that it would make baby sleepy and slow or stop my labour so I could get some sleep with a view to a c-section at lunchtime the next day. In a daze, I agreed and prayed for it to work.

Shortly afterwards, I took myself to the toilet, the first time I had been off the monitor for hours. We just kept loosing baby’s heartbeat so I had to stay monitored. Well that was it, things really kicked in. My contractions were suddenly totally full on. The progesterone appeared to have had the total opposite effect. I had a team of people around me straight away. I was still trying to convince them that I was OK and could hold off. They didn’t understand why, I didn’t really know what I was saying. I’m sure I was in some kind of shock and just kept rambling about Mr R needing to sleep. I was doing all this whilst doubling over with contractions. The doctors told me I should call my husband and prepare him to come back in.

I called and woke him after just a tiny sleep. I told him to get a shower, a coffee and slowly wake up before he came. I was still worried about him. I felt comforted that I had not panicked him and put the phone down. About 3 minutes later, I phoned him back.

“GET HERE NOW”

I was now feeling baby pushing down! I had this strange feeling that I hadn’t had with my previous labours. All the pain of my contractions was low down at the bottom of my womb. Each contraction gave me a strong burning sensation but they now included a pushing one too. I had never felt the pushing before…I knew this was different.

I was prepped for theatre and an anesthetist came to see me, it wasn’t Gary. Panic now grew again, not only was it someone else, but he hadn’t yet read my notes and didn’t speak very good English. I begged for Gary, but he wasn’t on duty and there was no time to ask him. I had to go in.

I sat on the operating table, in the position they get you to sit whilst they put the needle into the base of your back. It’s a very specific space that the needle has to go, and you cannot move at all. If things went wrong, there is risk of being paralysed, so you really don’t want to move. It’s an unpleasant experience having that needle, it’s long and it takes a long time. It’s such an odd sensation on the base of your spine, the thought still brings the feeling back now, and I cringe.

The anaesthetist started to put in my spinal block, I got a massive contraction at the same time. I panicked but remained as still as I could. I told him, in a rather urgent voice, that he had to stop. He didn’t. I told him very sternly that I was contracting and he must stop now, he carried on, smiled and said there wasn’t time to stop. somehow we got through that bit, I felt baby pushing and pushing and then things started to go numb.

As the effects of the spinal block took hold, I regressed straight back to my time with Gary. I remembered everything he said to me, and I talked myself through every step. I knew I would feel sick, so I asked for anti-sickness medicine straight away, I caught it just in time. I knew why my breathing felt strange and I took slow breaths. I made Mr R stay right next to my face. I couldn’t talk loudly, and I needed to focus on him. I blanked out everything in the room and kept him talking to me. He was, literally, my saviour. As long as he was right there explaining and keeping me calm, then I was OK.

I started to feel that everything was going to be OK. I had gained control of the thing that had given me nightmares for over 2yrs, I was doing it.

Another healthy baby boy was pulled from my womb, he weighed a healthy 8lb 3oz and staff put him next to my face. They placed him perfectly so that I could see him. I lay cut open on the operating table but smiling. My baby opened his eyes and looked straight into mine, I shall never forget that moment, it was perfect. As I write this post, I have tears in my eyes, he was beautiful, he was safe and I fell in love all over again.

Again I needed extra work, due to some awkward scaring. Whilst they were working on me, the doctor came to ask me some questions. Deep down I still wondered why I had never been able to deliver a baby naturally. I asked him why my babies had never engaged into my pelvis, I wondered if he could see a problem.

“O no, your baby was fully engaged and pushing out”

I felt relief and pride, silly really, but I knew that I could have delivered after all. Not this time, it was too risky, but if he had been the first or second, I could have done it. I felt content.

To be continued….

My Birth Stories – The Final One

5 Feb

The choice was taken away this time. I now knew that I would never be able to deliver a baby naturally. I couldn’t do what other women did, and I couldn’t help but feel I had failed at that. With time, I grew to accept this twist of fate and, as always, tried to find the positives.

Going into labour was not an option for me this time. That meant that I would be able to plan around our third son’s arrival. The suspense would be taken away, yet I could replace it with calm and a certain amount of order. I could make proper plans for our first two children and know that everything would be OK.

There would be no worrying about a real emergency and I could enjoy it from a different perspective. unfortunately, there had been one big problem. I had been having nightmares throughout the entire pregnancy, and some for the two years since baby no.2 arrived. Nightmares about the anaesthetic / epidural. As both of my experiences from it had been frightening, I had grown a huge fear.

We knew we wanted another child all along, but the seed of worry had laid in the back of my mind the whole time. Throughout the pregnancy it had grown into a very real and terrifying fear which I was loosing control of. I had been under specialist care, due to the return of my gestational diabetes. Whilst talking with the specialist team, I confessed my fears. Thankfully, they were wonderful and got me an appointment with the head anaesthetist to chat it through. I was now weeks from having to face my fear and I had to get control.

I met ‘Gary’ and he restored my faith. He was, literally, fantastic. He explained to me that some people do react differently to these things and that everyone is different. He said that the first epidural clearly hadn’t worked, so on baby no.2 they had increased the amount of anesthetic which was then too much for me. It’s a fine line with anesthesia and it needs to be right. He told me that a spinal block would be much better for me and that he could now work out the exact amounts I should have, of all the various drugs involved. He told me that he would happily take the case on himself and would talk me through every single step. He explained that I probably would still get some breathlessness, sickness and a few other things, but that he would tell me when they were coming and how to work through them. I was happy and ready to take it on.

Due to the diabetes, my two previous c-sections and a few other factors, going into labour was not a factor. My scaring was still pretty bad because of the first rushed operation and the risk of rupture was quite high. They needed to leave baby where he was for as long as possible as they were concerned about some of the complications from my diabetes. He was safest to stay where he was, however, the longer he stayed where he was, the greater risk to my scars rupturing. It was a balance that the consultant wanted to tread very carefully on.

Baby was also due just after Christmas which meant less hospital staff around at the time they wanted to operate. After much debate, the consultant agree to operate 2wks before my due date. I knew when my baby was coming, I didn’t have to worry about labour, I was calmer about the anaesthesia, things were falling into place nicely.

My Birth Stories – No.2 continued…

4 Feb

Then came the epidural….

I had my concerns because of the nightmare last time, but I thought that was a one-off. I told them of my concerns, but they said I should be fine. It did work this time, thank goodness! I was numb, but I felt so sick, and I shook all over again. Not a little bit either, it felt like I was violently shaking. then my breathing went very shallow. I just couldn’t take a breath properly. It was scary all over again. I cried my way through it.

For some reason RuralSgt decided he was very interested in what was going on at the business end of things. He started telling me, in his amazed voice, about the various tools they were using. The main one I remember him talking about was a ‘fish slice’! Apparently they were using this to lift my organs out as they worked! I’m not sure I wanted to hear this but he did kinda make me giggle inside and gave me a smile – somehow!

Then I knew baby was coming. I felt that massive pressure you get as they pull baby out. It feels like a truck has landed on your stomach! Again, nothing else mattered I could hear my baby. I had asked for RuralSgt to tell me what we had, for some crazy reason, at the point baby came out, he then asked me if I wanted to know…as if I wouldn’t want to?

We had another beautiful baby boy. They lifted him over to show me. Now, any medical staff who would ever be involved in this process please listen: Ladies laying flat on an operating table, whilst sliced open and numb, have very little room for manoeuvre. They are at a totally different angle to you and can’t see their babies. I got to see all his genitalia in full, as well as his legs but nothing of his face!

Our baby was sent off with Daddy to the recovery room. This time weighing in at a healthy 8lb 6oz. I had to remain on the operating table for longer. I had some bad scarring, which had attached to my bladder and womb from the rushed job on No.1 arriving, plus the actual ‘slices’ were quite messed up first time round. This all needed to be sorted before I could be stitched up. I didn’t care, my baby was here and it was his due date, and even better, it was fathers day – We didn’t make it banger racing, but what better present could there have been?

I took a long time in recovery, I felt awful from the epidural. Little Rural Teen came in to see us, I remember feeling so poorly yet his face lit up the room as he came in. We had decided that he should be first to know about baby and that he would be the one to come in, find out what sex baby was and then tell the Grandparents. He literally ran in the room, where baby was wrapped all in white and shouted “I knew it, I really wanted a brother!” Thank goodness it actually was a boy! Seeing my boys together and watching the 3 of them cuddling up, was everything I needed to get better quick, I was such a lucky Mummy.

My Birth Stories: No.2

4 Feb

After being told that I wouldn’t conceive for a couple more years yet, this had come as such a welcome surprise. I knew how lucky we were and decided I wanted full control. I wasn’t going to be pushed aside like last time, this would be different. I couldn’t have been happier as the time approached. I had been diagnosed as borderline gestational diabetic (That had been suspected after rural Teens arrival) but this time I was in control. I had been monitored very closely and given loads of advice on how to go forward. I hoped baby would be early, but didn’t really expect that. Rural Teen had been induced at 42 weeks, so I thought this one may be late. I was keeping fit and busy in the hope of starting things off. We had been going for brisk mile long walks most evenings, as it was summer and really pleasant to be out. Rural Teen would play football on the sports field and I would walk round and round as swiftly as I could. About a week before my due date, I felt rather fit indeed, I clearly had a moment of insanity and decided to join in playing football! Five minutes into it, I took an amazing shot – now this is not me bigging myself up, this is as @RuralSgt describes it! Unfortunately that shot ‘bent like Beckham’ and smacked Rural Teen (8 yrs old) straight in the face! The poor lad went flying and that was the end of my football career.

My due date fell on Fathers Day. We all know that babies rarely come on their due date so I went with the safe bet and planned a fab day out for RuralSgt. We were taking him to a banger racing track which had loads of other entertainment too. A proper boys day. As with most heavily pregnant ladies, I didn’t sleep well. I, generally, woke every hour in agony, struggled to get to the toilet and back again. The routine continued but I was kinda use to it. It was Thursday night, the Fathers Day treat had been all booked for Sunday and I drifted into an uncomfortable sleep.

I woke with a bit of a start. Without having time to process my thoughts, I found myself leaping out of bed and ‘rushing’ to the toilet again. On my way there I realised, with great horror, that I thought I was wetting myself! By the time I reached the toilet I started to wake up and realised that I had heard this story somewhere else. Events were following the same line of RuralSgt’s cousin just 2wks before. I had woken with a start as my waters had just broken. I filled with excitement and called RuralSgt.

30 mins later we were dropping Rural Teen off at my parents house, I was rather devastated as I had to take a gigantic towel with me. Every time I stood up more and more waters gushed out! This was not ladylike at all!! It was very early on Friday morning when I arrived at the hospital and was checked over. We waited several hours. I was contracting but it was very early days and irregular so they sent me home.

I was slightly mortified that I had to go home, but we got on with it. I decided it would be a good time to stock up on snacks and reading material to take to the hospital. I checked all my things over and went walking. We walked and walked. My contractions got stronger and things were looking good. I knew I wanted to try a water birth. After all, I wanted to remain in control this time. My waters had gone and that was all the hope I needed, to know that I could do this. It was already so different to last time, it wasn’t even my due date, and no induction, for a start! So I continued doing everything I could.  We went back to the hospital when things progressed…again we were sent home. I was only 2cm dilated.

That evening my mother in law came to see me. Things really cranked up a bit and we started timing my contractions. I had walked for miles that afternoon. In fact, I walked until every step hurt. I was doubled over with contractions and they were coming every 4-5 minutes. After my mother in law left, I was ready to call the hospital again. Then everything stopped.

I started to become really deflated. I kept reading my birthing plan and running through everything with RuralSgt. I was trying to remain so positive, but inside I knew this wasn’t progressing properly.

The next day I was back at the hospital to be checked. Still no further, so they gave me something to induce it more. Again this didn’t help. I have lost track of the timings but it had been longer than 2 whole days.(50+ hours)  It was lunchtime on a Sunday and the hospital staff came to talk to me. They told me that I seriously needed to consider a c-section. I was deflated. I wanted to do this properly, I wanted to be able to do what all the other women did. It wasn’t to be and a few hours later I was being taken down to theatre. 

Then came the epidural.

Becoming Mum – part 3

25 Jan

 

I lay on the operating table and cried. It was the first time I had lost control of my calmness, since the start of it all with the ‘no nonsense midwife’ the day before. I don’t remember the details of how the op started, I just know it was quick. As I lay quietly crying the anaesthetist turned to me and told me it was OK and I wouldn’t feel a thing. “But I can, I can feel every snip of the scissors crunching through me”
The anaesthetist looked distraught. Amidst all the urgency, everyone had forgotten about me having some feeling. He hadn’t realised, and the original person looking after me had long gone home, ill. The doctors performing the op couldn’t stop, they had minutes to get baby out. The anaesthetist told me he would ‘put me out’ with a general. For some reason I’ve always been petrified about this idea, and I lost it a bit. I cried lots and begged him not to do that. I told him I could feel almost everything, I described what I felt and he knew I was right. Though I could feel way too much, there was a tiny bit of loss of sensation. A touch of the sharpness was taken away. He was brilliant from that moment on. He begged me to have the general but accepted I wasn’t going to and supported me as much as he could. He stayed right by me and talked me back into a calm state.  Suddenly I heard him, I heard my baby. The odd thing was, that he wasn’t out yet! His head was out and he had taken a breath, but his body was stuck. It didn’t matter, he was breathing and was OK. From that moment on, I felt no pain. A short while later the doctors managed to get him out, they held him to me, I was a Mummy and I loved him.
It turned out that I was right all along, my baby, Rural Teen, had indeed been stuck, probably for a long time. One side of his forehead had been stuck on one side of my pelvis. All my contractions had just pushed him into it again and again. No wonder the poor boy was distressed! He has a huge dent on his head and his face was swollen. He was never going to come out naturally as he couldn’t move away properly. He was 10lb 2 1/2oz and  very long too!! He ran out of room in my womb long before he was born. The midwives suggested that I may have had gestational diabetes. I had been tested for this and found to be borderline. I was not treated or monitored, in fact I was told nothing and left to carry on. I wish I had known. If medical professionals had listened to my concerns and talked with me then it’s unlikely that any of it would have happened. I wouldn’t have been left to suffer so badly for such a long time. Then again, if that hadn’t been so amazing in those crucial minutes then neither of us would have made it, thank goodness we did.
When I looked into my baby’s eyes, I fell totally in love. In love with him, & in love with being a Mummy. I knew from that moment on, that being blessed with a child was the most amazing thing in the world. Nothing I had been through in labour mattered for a moment longer. Anything was worth it for one look at those eyes.
A few days later, I wondered to myself, ‘Could I go through this again?’ I most certainly could, and would….but not for a while yet.

Becoming mum – part 2

25 Jan

 

Someone suggested I take a walk all around the labour ward to take my mind off things. I had been there for 12hrs at that point and welcomed the idea. Little did I know that their suggestion was made with wise insight. Their insight worked well, half way round the ward and the contractions  took a huge leap up. I remember clinging to the wall and experiencing the strongest, strangest pain I had ever known. There was no doubt in my mind, this is what full on labour felt like. I actually surprised myself, I had been so scared about it, that I didn’t know how I would cope. For at least 2 months I had been convinced that I would need a c-section as it felt like my baby was stuck. However, once labour had fully kicked in and I received some encouragement from a few people, I realised that I could do this. I felt empowered. The pain of those contractions was unbelievable, but I knew that I only had to be strong for a couple of minutes and the pain would go again. I took each one step by step. I felt the pain building, that put fear into me every time, but I took control and made myself stay strong and relaxed. As the pain died away again, I knew I was one contraction closer to meeting my baby.
I was moved to the labour ward and they monitored baby. This was only about 2hrs after my waters had gone. Sadly baby was showing signs of distress. Meconium had been present in my waters and although I wanted to keep mobile and in control, they decided I had to stay laying down on the bed, strapped to monitors. I was disappointed but very calm. I continued to labour for a few more hours. I had reached 4cm dilation & been in labour for about 14hrs or so. I was tired. I never once screamed or whimpered. I didn’t shout abuse or get cross with people. I just carried on. I badly wanted to move, but they wouldn’t let me. Baby still wasn’t happy and all of a sudden my body started doing something strange. My contractions started flowing straight into each other. As in no break between them. They were just constant and in waves. They didn’t stop at all. As I was so tired, this became very hard to deal with. Staff rushed a team in to see me. They offered me gas & air, which I took. I can’t say it did anything for the pain at all, but it did give me something else to concentrate on…it kind of helped a bit. Doctors offered me an epidural, I declined and told them that I was coping so I wanted to see how far I could go. It was at this point that I realised I didn’t really have a choice. They explained that they were certain I was in for a tough time and had a long way to go. I told them that I still felt baby was stuck and I would need a c-section. (even though I didn’t want one!) they brushed my comments aside but their faces told me different.
I was getting concerned now, it was nearly midnight and I could tell that this wasn’t a smooth labour. I wasn’t dilating any further and my contractions were still constant. I think they called it ‘tonic’? I, warily, accepted an epidural. It took about two hours for them to get someone to me. Again I hadn’t screamed once, even though I was in excruciating pain. The epidural itself, I found horrible. I couldn’t bear the horrible feeling of having it done. I got through it, and began to relax a little. I could feel the cold fluid go through one side of my body, it was a very odd sensation, but the thought of a little relief had become appealing. 10 minutes later I started shaking violently, all down one side. They checked me over & found that I had areas on one side of my body that weren’t numb. I seemed to be reacting a little strangely to the epidural and whatever we did, I could still feel things on one side. I didn’t mind, as far as I was concerned, I had 50% relief and had been in labour for what seemed like forever. That was enough for me to pass out for an hour and sleep.
Thank goodness I did. When I woke the epidural appeared to be wearing off already and the pain was as bad as ever. I continued this way (with epidural top ups) for hours and hours. My contractions were still the same, no let up. I lost track of time but it was well into the next day. It went on and on, and I became more and more despondent as I slipped into total exhaustion. At some point in the afternoon (the following day) I was being assessed again. I was still stuck at 4cm, still believing my baby was stuck and still having these tonic contractions. Baby wasn’t happy and a doctor said they needed to go internally and take a blood sample from his head, to check for oxygen levels. Soon after they tested, everything changed. Nobody was calm anymore, suddenly my bed was being raced down the corridors, I lay there exhausted yet full of panic. All I could see were the flashing  bright lights on the corridor above me…they were whizzing past, then i was in a lift, then more lights…Somebody was trying to explain to me, whilst running, that we had to get baby out NOW, his oxygen levels were really low and we were at risk of losing him.

Becoming Mum

25 Jan
I was sat in the hospital, alone for the first time that day, and scared stiff. It had been a long day, I had been induced at 0800hrs and it was now teatime. I had been starving and requested a McDonalds….it was on it’s way and I suddenly felt sick as a pig. I was 42wks pregnant and although I had been having contractions on and off for 3wks, nothing much was happening. I couldn’t get any bigger if I tried and I didn’t know how all this worked. For weeks I had been telling the midwives that it felt like my baby was stuck, wedged against one side of my pelvis. I was a small frame before I fell pregnant and my baby was clearly anything but small. I just knew that he had no room whatsoever in there. The pain and discomfort was horrible and my skin was torn to shreds. Why wouldn’t anyone listen to me? I did what I was told and waited…and waited… No help was offered and no advice. Being my first one, I didn’t understand my options, or that I could have more of a voice. I had taken 2 lots of tablets to induce labour and things were starting to crank up. A
Midwife came to check on me, suddenly I felt overwhelmed with fear of the unknown and a little of the pain I was about to embark on. I burst into tears. Midwifery is usually a caring profession, not in this case. The midwife took the ‘no nonsense’ attitude, gave me some paracetamol and told me I had better get a grip as I was going to experience a hell of a lot more pain yet.
My dinner arrived. At the same time my bedside phone rang. I answered the call and my waters broke mid chat! When I say broke, I had one massive contraction and they burst in a massive gush! I felt mortified. I couldn’t eat for feeling sick and I couldn’t stop apologising to the staff  cleaning up the mess! Luckily this was a turning point for me. My loved ones were giggling at the situation and lifted my spirits. I knew this was it, baby was on his way.

Find a smile

21 Dec

Not everyone finds Christmas exciting. At the end of the day, Christmas is another day in the calendar. We all try hard to spread the festive cheer and have fun, but life still happens all around the world. Sadly, people still suffer loss, crime still takes place and things go wrong. I’ve become very aware of all these types of things lately and I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge it. I love Christmas and really wanted to spread the cheer as far as I could, but I realise that not everyone wants to receive it. I know, right now, that there are people I tweet with who are suffering and not having a good Christmas this year. Some feel they will never have a good Christmas. I am sorry that you are in that position. I hope each and every one of you can find some happiness inside, at some point over the next week or so. Maybe you can draw on a nice Christmas memory, maybe you can make plans for a nicer future memory. To those of you that are having a good time, please carry on doing so, make beautiful memories and appreciate what you have. When you can, give a moment of your attention to someone who needs a smile, it just might help them get through a difficult moment. x