It’s that one that everyone loves hearing all about. Before giving birth I had read and listened to so many different birth stories and they were all incredible but no two the same. I loved reading into different experiences as it helped me understand the vast range of different things that could happen throughout labour and birth.
But nothing could prepare me for my own experience of giving birth. I’d like to share my own experience today and hopefully give a little more insight into the beauty of child birth. This is going to be a long post so please grab a cuppa and get comfy!
Sunday the 28th October, it was a typical Sunday where we went to my Husband’s Nan’s house in the early afternoon to see the family. At this point I was 12 days overdue. 2 days away from being induced. Upon leaving my mother-in-law joked about the baby being like my brother-in-law and making an appearance the day before being induced. At this point I was hoping she was right because the thought of being induced terrified me more than going into labour before!
When we got home around 3 ish we ended up having a nap. This was strange for me because I struggle to sleep throughout the day but for some reason I decided this was a good idea. Oh boy am I glad I napped at this point! It got to about 6 and we woke up and made some tea, which was lovely but I struggled to complete it (disappointingly because I made mashed potato – delicious). We turned on Netflix and decided to watch Hellboy at which point we joked about the baby being called Hellboy if she arrived. I drank some raspberry leaf tea and then decided to lie down on the sofa whilst continuing to watch the film.
It got to 9pm and we were half way through the film when all of a sudden I had this immense pain. It was the sort of pain you get when you’re on your period and feel like you really need the toilet. Or at least that’s what I thought, I mean after not having periods for 9 months it was strange having similar pains. So I ran to the toilet. I was there for about 10 minutes and then noticed blood. As you can probably imagine the first thing I thought was “oh fuck I’m bleeding, this can’t be good, I’m pregnant, this is probably bad, oh crap oh crap”. So I told my husband and we rang the Maternity Assessment Unit and described what was happening. They advised that this sounded like it was my mucus plug releasing and labour was happening or going to happen soon! They said to have a nice warm bath and take paracetamol which should help with the pain at this stage. So I had a bath, some paracetamol and water. I remember feeling really shaky, excited and nervous because I knew this was it.
After I had bathed we went to bed to try and get some sleep. My husband was asleep straight away which I hated him for but at the same time I was grateful he did this considering what was following. I was lying in bed and trying to find something to watch to distract me from the pain. I put on the Boss Baby series and tried to go to sleep.
Nope. It wasn’t working. I couldn’t lay down in a comfortable position and the cramps just kept coming. I then had a huge wave of sickness and had to run downstairs to the bathroom and threw up. Fun.
The pain was still there so I decided to stay downstairs – the thought of walking back upstairs was too much so that was a contributing factor. Annoyingly I left the TV on Netflix upstairs so when I went to watch some downstairs I wasn’t allowed to because there were already two devices on (thanks to my sister)! So I put Futurama on Now TV, bounced on my ball and drank some water. It got to about half 11 and I still couldn’t sleep, still had pain so I decided to have a bath again.
Throughout the course of the night I was not sleeping, I remained on the sofa and every time I drifted off I would woken up by pain. So fun. Each time I had some paracetamol I threw it up so I couldn’t feel much pain relief. I had two more baths which slightly eased the pain and had a total of 3 throughout the night so I was nice and clean!
It got to around 6am and I went to the toilet again and the bleeding looked and felt different. I panicked and rang the Maternity Assesment Unit again and explained everything. They told me they couldn’t confirm what had happened and needed to assess me.
So we rang my mother-in-law and she drove us to the hospital. We weren’t sure if we needed our bags or not but took them in the car anyway (thankfully!). We got to the hospital and I needed to give a wee sample and they assessed my pad. The only problem was I couldn’t wee! Considering I had no problems weeing over the last 9 months this was a strange feeling. I got on the bed and had a strap around me to monitor the baby’s heart rate and movement for about 20/30 minutes. One midwife then came into the bed section and said they looked at my pad and it seemed as though my waters had broke. I hadn’t even realised, my husband turned around to me with a smug look as if to say ‘i told you so’ because he kept saying I probably wouldn’t realise. They said that because they weren’t 100% sure if it was my waters they needed to do an internal examination, yay! So off I popped into a private room where they checked me out and low and behold I was 6cm dilated. I was then wheeled down to the midwife birthing centre (because I was low risk) where I was delightfully introduced to gas and air and the midwife, Gill, who would be looking after me for the morning.
Everything was going OK at this point, I was being monitored every half an hour and the baby every 15 minutes. We were joined by a medical student who was learning all about labour and birth at first hand experience. He had never seen a birth before so I don’t think he was prepared for what was going to happen. I was finally able to go for a wee at about 10am and my goodness it was painful going to the toilet without the gas and air, I was realising the extent of the cramps. After this wee the midwife was going to do another internal examination so I just decided to leave my pants and trousers off. At this point I had no shame, I just had too much pain to care (it gets worse than this though, keep reading to find out). The midwife completed the examination and I hadn’t dilated much further which was a little disheartening to hear. My husband went to get the bags from his mum and I was finally able to put my fluffy socks on (so much comfort). I was then told to eat something so I attempted one of my boost bars I’d packed which I usually enjoy but it was a struggle through the pain!
At about midday I had another examination before Gill finished her shift and I was going to be taken care of by another Gill. The next few hours get a bit blurry for me so I’m getting my husband to read through and make sure there’s nothing I’ve missed out. The contractions were getting stronger but I was still struggling to go for a wee, I went back on the bed and the midwife suggested that I lie on my side as a different position may help me dilate more. The contractions started feeling different, I was getting ones where it felt like I needed to push out a giant poo. This was good apparently because these were the contractions I was needing in the final stage of labour when I needed to push out the baby. So anyway, there I was, lying on my side having these contractions with my bottom half exposed. You can probably guess what happened at this point right? Yup, I pooped myself, on several occasions. I’m not too sure how messy it was but thankfully the only person who was that side was the midwife who cleaned it up for me (thank you). I remember just lying on my side, facing towards my husband and having this contraction and then realised I had pooed myself and I gave my husband a look (because I didn’t want to vocally express it) and he instantly knew. He had told me later on that before he realised I defecated that he was going to make a joke ‘careful you don’t poo yourself’ but then he saw the look on my face and realised. Ah the connection we have is beautiful.
Anyway, I was being monitored again at about 4pm (ish) and I was still not able to go to the toilet even though I really needed a wee. So I had to have a catheter put in and I managed to fill up a bag or two of wee (I forgot that this bit happened so my husband had to remind me of this). At this point I was also dehydrated so I was trying to have a drink of water and my isotonic drinks but I wasn’t able to drink enough. I ended up throwing up twice through two contractions I had, once all down my tee shirt (which I stayed in throughout labour) but the second time my husband saw it coming and ran towards me with a bowl and managed to catch it, whoop! Because I was dehydrated I had to have a drip put in (yay). The midwife then had to have some assistance from a doctor to check me over because my temperature was too high and so was my blood pressure (the joys). So they decided it was going to be best for me to go to the high dependency unit for me to give birth because I needed to have constant monitoring and the doctors were easily accessible here. The move there was not fun at all, I had to go upstairs but I couldn’t have any gas and air on the move so I was told to suck on the nozzle when I felt pain (it didn’t do much but it was a good distraction). I vaguely remember the transfer but I know that it took place past the visitors waiting and I was covered in sick, probably smelt like poo and was sucking this nozzle (what an image hey).
It was 5pm when I was at the high dependency unit and as soon as I got there I was told that I would need to start pushing through each contraction. My goodness this was hard and SO long. Each time I was pushing though the two midwives that were with me were so encouraging and helped a lot. They kept saying things like ‘come on, nearly there’ ‘so close now’ and each time they said it I remember thinking oh my days how long is this going to go on for (me pushing, not the midwives encouragement). Almost an hour and a half later I was STILL pushing through each contraction whilst kicking the poor midwives in the stomach. They put up some leg holds afterwards instead so my legs were elevated but I didn’t have to kick them each time which helped. When I was pushing I don’t remember feeling a head or anything, just feeling like I really needed to push out this giant poo that was stuck. That was the thought going around my head. Not that I needed to get this baby out, just that I really needed this poo. Why? I don’t know.
Anyway, it got to a point where the midwives said that I needed an episiotomy – basically I had to be cut on the part between my vagina and my bum hole (YAY). Oh my days I felt so panicky at this bit because they said they needed to inject me down there and then they would cut me. I had been feeling okay about the whole labour since I was in the hospital but this bit freaked me a little. I knew it was best though so I grabbed the gas and air, grabbed my husbands hand and let them get on with it. This definitely helped SO much. I felt like I was able to push a lot better and I started feeling more and more like there was this heavy lump by my vagina (which there was). My husband said that after one push I stopped and he could just see our daughters nose hanging out, lovely right? He said it was so gross but he couldn’t stop watching. I then remember that final moment, the midwives were saying to me ‘come on, one big push and that’ll do it’ and I went and fucking pushed so hard. All of a sudden, at 19:10, I felt all kinds of release from my vagina as she came out, it felt SO weird. When my husband had regained his hand strength back after all the squeezing, he cut the cord and Poppy was placed on my chest and I cried. I was crying, Poppy was crying, it was definitely a room full of emotions.
She was finally here, after 22 hours of labour and 13 days overdue, we finally met our daughter.
All I needed to do now was get the afterbirth and placenta out, this shouldn’t take long and I could attempt motherhood for the first time, right? Well you’ll have to watch this space to find out what happened next!
If you’ve made it this far down, thank you for taking the time to read my extremely long post!
Until next time.