I’m sorry, this is going to be a really long post. So grab a cuppa and hunker down.
This is my birth story…
So when you’re pregnant, people tell you that you’ll be in the hospital 6 hours and kicked out, apparently hospitals don’t like to keep you in long after birth.Well, that’s all well and good if everything goes to plan and by the way whoever tells you to do a birth plan.. ignore them. It’s pointless, nothing about birth goes to plan unless you’re paying for a planned C-Section. I wanted a natural water birth but there you go.
In my last couple of months of pregnancy my baby stopped moving and each time we got told to go up to the hospital to get it checked out to be on the safe side. After a couple of times of this happening they send you for a scan to check the baby is growing as they should and of course, she was so we were sent home again. Then she stopped again, I was given tests for protein and high blood pressure. Which are symptoms of pre-eclampsia.
It turned out I did have pre-eclampsia and that can be dangerous for baby and mum, so I was sent in for an appointment on Monday 20th June with a consultant. When he checked my blood pressure it was sky high. Guess who got admitted in to hospital there and then. Yea, me. Good job I hadn’t driven up to the hospital that day.
This was all 2 weeks before my due date. After being monitored for a day and night with no sleep, they decided to induce labour that day (which was Tuesday) with a gel. Now if you don’t know what they do during induction, listen up, if you don’t want to know, skip to the next paragraph…. OK, so to induce labour with a gel, a nurse needs to find the opening to your uterus with their fingers. Yes this hurts a fricken lot. If that’s not bad enough, if your not ready to give birth, for example 2 weeks before your due date like me, you uterus opening is still really high up and to the back. Well after what feels like eternity they found it. Then with a big syringe with the hormone gel in it, they keep their fingers where they are and ‘guide’ the syringe in and push that up towards your uterus and empty the gel out. It’s supposed to ‘ripen’ your uterus making it open and move down to where it needs to be for birth. Yea ouch.
The pain is indescribable. Honestly. I’d even go as far as to say it was worse than a contraction, it just doesn’t last as long. After that, they left me overnight when light contractions started but it wasn’t enough to start dilating. SO… I had to have it done all over again on the Wednesday morning. By the afternoon the consultant came to check me over with a stretch and sweep, let me tell you he wasn’t as sympathetic as the lady nurse!! Skip ahead again if you’d rather not know what that is….. OK so when they stretch and sweep, it basically does what it says on the tin, ya know… so when they find the uterus opening, if they can get a finger inside it, they will and they swirl it 360 to separate membranes away from the uterus, again, making it open and help baby to get a wriggle on. Yes I screamed, not going to lie that really fricken hurts I was still hurting from the first induction that morning so I was balling my eyes out knowing what was coming next before he even got to me.
At this point we were 3-4 cm dilated and sent down to the labour ward. Silly me decided she wanted to give it a go with just gas and air but the thing with gas and air is that you need to breath in the gas and air… as in take it away from your mouth and breathe air. Yea, that doesn’t work if your contractions are 30 seconds apart so high on gas and no air I was hallucinating every time I closed my eyes but I didn’t notice when I’d closed my eyes. So confusing! And for the record.. gas and air is rubbish! It doesn’t stop the pain at all! It’s like being drunk. You know when you fall over drunk and it really bloody hurts but because you’re drunk you kinda forget about it straight away? Well its kinda like that but the drunk feeling lasts a hell of a lot less than actually being drunk, then another contraction would start and it would happen all over again. I thought contractions would be like period pain. OMG no. No they don’t. It’s so so so much worse. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life!
When people say you’ll know when you need to push… they aren’t lying! My body started to push by it’s self on each contraction, it felt so weird but actually pushing did help the pain ever so slightly. Sometimes I think if the contractions weren’t so close together and I could catch my breath in between and she wasn’t back to back then maybe I could have pushed on but it didn’t happen that way so nevermind. Hate to break it to you but birth is horrible. So after about 6 hours (and another night of no sleep) of this my husband told them to give me an epidural. I really didn’t want one but I wasn’t holding up so well and I really couldn’t have asked for one in the state I was in, I could barely breathe between screams nevermind talk. The anaesthetist had to jab me 4 times (which is what I was terrified of in the first place) because my contractions were just too close together that I couldn’t sit still. When she finally got the bloody thing in my back the pain just went away. OMG just take the epidural and do yourself a favour!
After another 2 and a half hours of pushing when I was told to because I couldn’t feel the contractions any more (god send btw.. they went to every 5 mins and I napped between!!)they decided she wasn’t coming out because she was facing the wrong way. Her back was next to mine and she should have had her back to my belly. So she wasn’t going to come out by herself. That’s when they told me that I needed a C-section. By the way when they say you have to sign your life away, they mean it! On the form that I had to sign it literally said death on there but at that point at 3-4 in the morning with a baby needing to get out and no more energy left to push and they tell you that’s the only option, you take it. You have no other choice.
They wheeled me off to theatre while my mum was crying and my husband had gone to get changed into scrubs so he could come in with me, my epidural was topped up. By the way when they give you an epidural its not an injection, they place a thin wire into your spine and they pump the pain killers through that. They do it that way so they can add more in case you need it rather than jabbing you again. Anyway, they topped me up so I still couldn’t feel anything and they had a gander and decided they could try turning the baby with forceps and see if I could push her out before cutting her out of my belly, but to get the forceps in….they had to give me an episiotomy….. basically they cut me, there, so either way I was getting cut open. The forceps worked and they turned her around and I pushed her out in 4 pushes. She still has a little mark above her eye where the forceps were but will fade in time. She was so chubby and swollen bless her. She even had massive lump on her head from the traumatic birth but that went down not long after we got home from hospital.
Ebony Rose Larkin was born 5:15am Thursday 23rd June 2016.
We did have to stay in hospital a week once she was out but that’s a whole other post.
I’d love to hear other people’s experiences and birth stories if you’d like to leave a comment.
And if you made it to the end, well done you for sticking it out.
Ebony’s mum x