Here is the third in my giving birth series. Real birth stories, from real Mums. If you enjoy this I will be posting a different story every Thursday so make sure to pop back each week for a new one.
Thank you to the Mum who wrote this weeks story and congratulations on your gorgeous girl!
Age of Mum: 22
1st/2nd/3rd or more baby: 2nd baby
Gestation born at: 39+6
Any pregnancy complications: None
Type of delivery: Emergency C Section
Length of labour: 14 hours
Pain relief: Spinal block
Any other methods used ie water/hypno birthing: None
Weight of baby: 6lb 1oz
Sex of baby: Girl
Who was present at delivery: Partner
Complications during labour: I bled a lot during one point.
Did you feel informed about your choices during labour: I don’t think we were informed of what was going on.
Complications after labour: None
So I suppose the birth story starts at about 30 weeks. We went to a scan at the hospital and the doctor mentioned to us that baby girl was a bit on the small side and he’d like to keep an eye on it so booked us in again for another scan at 36 weeks. We turned up at the 36 weeks scan (which was really 35+4) and told the person what we were told at the last appointment. It hadn’t been put in my notes for some reason and all this lady did was a fundal measurement. She decided that the baby was measuring fine and we didn’t need another scan, but was booking me in for a sweep at 38+4. I was aiming for a vbac and she wanted to give me the best chance to labour on my own. There was an agreement that if nothing was happening by 40+5 we’d have a Csec.
Happy enough we left and went to our midwives appointment at the local surgery at 36+4 where they did another fundal measurement. The midwife kept getting a small reading. Thinking back alarm bells should have started ringing at this point! She kept at it till my measurement was what it should have been (I found out later this was wrong and she should have called in another opinion after the 2nd try)! So on we went again and waited for our sweep appointment and when it came round I got my sweep (most uncomfortable moment ever!) They did another fundal measurement which was measuring rather on the worryingly small side so we had to go for a scan then and there.
The consultant told us baby was measuring very small and she’d have liked to monitor it over a longer period of time but as it was so late in the pregnancy, that I was to come back next week to see what was happening and probably have her before the due date. Panicking off we went again and waited the week.
We went back in for our last ever scan where they estimated baby girl was about 5lb (big girl was 5lb 15oz so we weren’t expecting a big baby) and they wanted to start the process of getting baby out that night (this was at 2 in the afternoon) As I was awkward and wanted a vbac it wasn’t as simple as stick me on a drip and see what happens. That would put me at a higher risk of placental abruption so they were going to use a cooks balloon to manually open my cervix! I was to go home pack my bags, kiss big girl and be back for 6pm.
6pm came and they brought me in, got into my new jimjams and my partner is looking as white as a sheet. There is another girl in for the same procedure and the nurse asked who wanted to go first so I did (I don’t know what I was thinking). The cooks balloon is something they put in your cervix and fill with water to manually open the cervix and once you get to 3 they start the drip. So there I am lying on the bed, legs in the air, everything out to the world when the nurse tells me she’s never done one of these before! But I feel a bit more reassured when she has the instructions in front of her. It was agony so they gave me gas and air to help, but by God was it painful! Once it was over they said it’d be at least 12 hours before anything could happen so to go and get some sleep. This was never happening because it felt like a cross between the worst period cramps ever and the feeling of being uber constipated and really needing to go to the toilet at the same time! The only thing that helped was walking, so I paced the room most of the night and once the other girl came back we bonded over sweets and the shared pain we were in.
I must have got some sleep because I woke up to a measly bit of toast for my breakfast at 7 am and the nurse said I’d be called to delivery soon to get my balloon out and start the drip. I called my partner and told him to get ready and come up. At about 11 am they come round and got me and took the balloon out. I was 3cm which I was proud of because that was the furthest I got in my entire labour first time round. They stuck me on the drip and I called my big girl for a chat to see how her day was going, I’d never been away from her this long before. I got a bit hungry, so asked for something to eat at which point I was told I wasn’t allowed! I’d had one measly bit of toast for breakfast and here they were telling me I couldn’t eat! But I was allowed juice so I sent my partner to get me some energy drinks. (Just a note I lost all sense of time so can’t remember exact times from now on).
By this point the contractions were getting pretty strong, but I felt good like we must be getting somewhere, but apparently not! At my next exam I was still 3cm, things were still going smoothly so we carried on me with the gas and air my partenr sleeping in the chair. The midwife (who was lovely) was chatting away to me about everything and anything, but I made the choice by next exam if there was no improvement then I wanted a Csection. The pain of the contractions were so intense I couldn’t catch my breath and a lot worse than I remembered from first time. I laboured on for another few hours and the doctor came to check me again and I was only 2cm! 2 cm I’d lost a cm! But when she pulled her hand away a hell of a lot of blood came with it and the doctor seemed to panic a bit. We weren’t told anything except that we were going for a Csection!
They brought me round, took my gas and air off me and the drip out my hand. Just as they were going to put my spinal in another nurse burst into the room and said we needed to leave as there was an emergency coming down! I will admit at this point I got annoyed! I just kept thinking to myself why couldn’t the emergency have waited 5 mins till they got my spinal in. I was brought back round to delivery to wait and with no drip I assumed my contractions would stop, boy was I wrong they got 10 times worse and it made it all worse because I knew I was going through all this agony for nothing really because I was just waiting for my Csection. It took forever and at one point my partner asked the nurse if my contractions were bad and she said they were and kept checking on theatre. I was on my back on my knees but the one thing I wanted to do was walk but I want allowed to because I was hooked up to a machine monitoring my contractions and the babies heartbeat.
Finally sometime before midnight we finally got brought round to theatre and I got my spinal which made me shake a lot it was freezing in the theatre. It was so close to midnight my partner and the staff were joking about if she’d be a 14th baby or 15th. During my operation the surgeons told me she was back to back and looking up (so for her she;d have been looking out my lady parts) and that was the reason for my excruciating labour and the fact I wasn’t dilating. At 00.03 on the 15th, baby girl was born screaming and weighing 6lb1oz (not as tiny as expected) and was amazingly healthy. After being fed because both of us hadn’t eaten since 7am she became the most chilled out quiet content baby ever (still is)!