About Me

A first time mum blogging the journey.

Monday, 3 December 2012

My Birth Story.

Childbirth is something unpredictable, everyone has a different experience, some easy, some more difficult.  Due to its unpredictability, it is extremely hard to prepare for birth, as well as know how you will cope with the pains of labour.  So here is my birth story.

July 12th 2012, a normal day, Poppy was now 10 days overdue.  I was home alone pottering about my new house.  I had a little burst of energy after lunch and did some ironing.  The baby was moving as usual.  At 4:30 p.m my waters broke.  I was under the impression waters breaking was a small trickle, not so.  I can't even describe the amount of liquid.  So lets describe it as a gush.  My waters gushed. There was no doubt about it, I was about to go into labour.  I text my partner, who was at work, 'I think we are having a baby' and then rang the hospital.  The asked me to come in for 6:30 p.m to be checked over and monitored.  If you don't start having contractions within 24 hours of your waters breaking you will be induced, this is because the baby is no longer protected by the waters and is now prone to infection.  I got our hospital bag and notes ready, had a quick shower and got dressed.  My partner came home and with a quick hug and a nervous smile, off we went.  

The hospital did all the routine checks, monitored the baby's heartbeat and any contractions I might be having. They also booked me in for an induction the next day (just in case).  The baby seemed a little sleepy on the monitor so they asked me to eat something (for energy) to make sure the baby was happy and well, which she was.  The midwife told me I was having contractions, at that time I was eating a sandwich and had no idea, so was excited to think maybe I had a high pain threshold!  Turns out they do get a lot worse..  So with everything fine, they sent us home for the early stages of labour and advised us to call the hospital when the pain was too much.  This was when we found out the midwife led unit that I'd planned to have my water birth in was closed for the evening!  So it was definitely the hospital.  

On the drive home, contractions really set in,  I breathed through each one in silence, keeping calm.  I can't say contractions in the car are pleasant.  We arrived home and my partner had some dinner while I sat on my birth ball, trying to deal with each contraction as they came.  I had a mouthful of dinner and then decided to have a bath.  The warm water really helps, takes the weight of your bump and helps any backache.  I put calming music on and went into a trace, calm, breath, relax.  Eventually you have to come out the bath and try something new.  By this time it was quite late so we decided to go to bed and try to sleep.  We put on a couple of episodes of Blackbooks in bed.  After a while I decided to have another bath, and repeat.  I couldn't sleep, the pain was too much.  My partner drifted in and out a little but with every contraction I had a good squeeze of his hand which kept him awake.  At around 3-4 a.m I said 'I don't think I can do this much longer, can we ring the hospital?'.  They told us to stay put a home even longer, if I could talk to them on the phone, then I'm not in enough pain.  Also the hospital was too full so we'd have to try another hospital!  Another hour passed and I asked to ring the hospital again, after having passed a little blood (known as a show).  Well this got us in, I don't think the hospital would have let us come otherwise, they didn't believe I was in enough pain.

We arrived and found a discarded wheelchair, my partner pushed me in.  A midwife met us, frowned and said, 'can't she walk?'.  We were shown to our room.  They did all the routine checks and an internal examination.  They kept saying if I wasn't 3 cm they'd have to send us home, my partner was extremely anxious by this point.  Luckily I was 5 cm and so could stay in the hospital and have some pain relief too.  They advised gas and air.  At this point I would have taken anything.  Gas and air makes you feel extremely weird, but once you get the hang of it it really does help you through each contraction, that and squeezing my partners hand.  More time passed.  Apparently I was silent, not looking or speaking to anyone, breathing through each contraction.  After a while the pain changed and I wanted to push the pain away.  The midwife said it was too soon, to try not too.  They did another internal examination and I was 9 cm.  After a little discussion the midwife put her gloves on and said to start pushing, she thought the baby would be arriving soon.  My partner smiled, told me well done.  He was pleased for me, not long now.  

It takes a while to get the hang of pushing, it is one really long push, you essentially have to push the baby round the bend.  Gas and air isn't really useful at this point so its all about breathing.  We tried a few different positions, lying down, leaning against the head of the bead and standing up leaning on the bed.  Two hours passed.  Now I have watched enough One Born Every Minute to know, this isn't good.  They realised my bladder was full, which may have been making it difficult for baby, so emptied my bladder.  I carried on pushing but became extremely exhausted and dehydrated.  My partner said my lips were completely dry by this point.  I heard the midwives whispering about getting a doctor in.

A doctor came to examine me, just incase the baby had got into an awkward position and to check what progress had been made.  This examination was the most painful thing I have ever experienced, and left me physically and mentally spent.  He said no progress had been made whatsoever.  It was time to intervene.  He said they would try a forceps delivery first, if this was not successful (as it depends on the position of the baby) then he would carry out a cesarean delivery.  Would I agree?  So I agreed to this and everyone starting making preparations for theatre.  No one was there to help me with my contractions now, my partner held my hand and I feebly tried to push by myself, hoping she might come out and could avoid theatre.  

Another doctor came in to get me to sign papers to agree to the procedure and to warn me of all the possible dangers to me and the baby.  I was trying to sign the paper whilst having a contraction, he seemed impatient.  I had to have a cannula put in my arm and my partner went to put some scrubs on.  This probably took another 30 minutes or so.  Then the midwife asked me to walk myself to theatre seeing as it wasn't far away.  I walked myself there, stopping with each pain and arrived in theatre, it really is a disturbing room.  Lots of doctors, midwives, a table with huge stirrups, bright lights. I had to sit on the end of a bed and have an epidural (this completely numbs the pain), I had to keep extremely still whilst they put the needle in my spine all the while still having contractions.  Numbness starts to spread, the pain fades.  I was reclined on the bed, feet in stirrups.  I told the Doctor I could still feel my feet, he said that it was normal.  

I started to cry, sad about what was about to happen to be but also because no matter how it happened, it was about to be over.  Seeing me cry made my partner cry too.  The doctor then carried out an episiotomy, a cut, so that the forceps could be used to pull the babies head out.  In a matter of seconds he said the head was out, then he pulled the baby out and straight onto my lap.  I couldn't see her face, but could see a perfect body.. The sounds of her cry were a relief, she was healthy.  

A midwife took her straight away to wrap her up and to check her over.  My partner stood with her.  I watched from a distance wishing I could hold her but happy my partner was there, she looked like the perfect baby, all pink and plump.  I saw Poppy try to hold the midwives fingers and wished it was my fingers.  During this time the Doctor stitched up my episiotomy.  At some point the placenta had been delivered in all of this, I was unaware of everything.  My partner bought Poppy over to see me, still crying and looking amazed.  Due to the position of the bed I still couldn't see her face and was desperately trying to look at her.  Nothing seemed real.  My partner and a midwife took Poppy through to recovery and I was wheeled there in a bed soon after (everything still numb from the epidural).  And there she was, 7 lbs 10 oz and a lot of hair.

We had our first cuddle, skin to skin (as discussed in my birth plan).  Lots mums claim their babies look familiar when they are born, this was not the case for me,  I was looking at her just as amazed as she was looking at the world, something completely new.  I wanted to stare at her face to discover it all.  I was a mum.  Our journey begins.  


  1. Abbey your birth story shocks me. I can't believe the midwives reactions to you being in a wheelchair. glad everything turned out okay in the end though

    1. We were shocked too! You feel very vulnerable when in so much pain and it's your birth partner's job to take care of you as best as possible. I guess they like to make you think you aren't in that much pain.