Birth Story..! Essay Ahead..

As it has been over a year, I think it is finally time to post my birth story!

Birth… Different for everyone! For me, it was definitely not what I imagined at all – but I did get an amazing baby at the end of it, so I can live with it!

When my midwife asked me to complete a birth plan, I politely declined. What is the point in a birth plan when there is no guarantee it will go to plan? If I had a plan that I couldn’t fulfil, I would be left disappointed and upset, so I didn’t bother. I planned to take any drugs I felt I needed and go with the flow. The one thing I felt fairly passionate about was that I did not want a cesarean as I am terrified of needles and the thought of an operation whilst awake made me feel sick. I obviously did accept the fact that sometimes, these need to happen and obviously, I would never object to anything that would keep myself and my baby alive!

37 weeks! I was hoping this would be my last pregnant picture..
From 37 weeks pregnant, I was ready! My hospital bag was packed, the baby’s bag was packed and my husbands bag was (almost) packed. I felt ridiculous having so much stuff (little did I know, it wouldn’t be anywhere near enough!), but I felt prepared! I packed and re-packed each bag about 30 times, just to make sure I had enough of everything. My due date was the 12th December and my last day at work was the 2nd December (I know, on reflection, I was mad cutting it so fine!) and I was soooo ready to have this baby. I was huge and my hips were agony. Although I had the dream pregnancy (no sickness, yay!), I was well and truly over it and wanted to meet my baby!
I started trying every trick in the book to bring on labour.. Nothing worked!

At 40 weeks, my midwife gave me a stretch and sweep (not the most pleasant thing in the world..) and it didn’t get me anywhere. Not even a twinge!

40 weeks..

At 41 weeks, another midwife gave me another sweep. Nothing. She booked me for induction on Christmas Eve. From the moment I had that induction date, I just knew that I wouldn’t go into labour naturally. I felt a little disappointed, but I was so desperate to meet my baby!

On the 23rd December, we tidied the house, I packed and re-packed my bags (just to make sure!), got the baby’s co-sleeper set up, we ate and we tried to get a lot of rest, ready for our 9am start the next day. We decided to not open our Christmas presents until we got back from the hospital. That way, we could have Christmas as a family of three! Little did I know that we would be opening them closer to New Year than Christmas!

We got to the hospital nice and early on Christmas Eve, so that we could grab a coffee and be as relaxed as possible. At 9am, we went onto the ward and were greeted by a lovely midwife. She had even folded my towel into a heart!

She hooked me up to some machines to check me and the baby, and then examined me. 2cm – not enough to break my waters, so she inserted a gel to soften things up. She would then leave us for 6 hours and check me again. We walked, watched Absolutely Fabulous, got more coffee.. Nothing. About an hour before she came back, another midwife hooked me up to the same machine as before to see if I was having contractions and to monitor the baby’s heart rate. Still nothing. I did however start to feel something. It was dull and came and went, but no pain. Not how I imagined contractions at all, so I dismissed it.

When the 6 hours was up, my midwife was on her break, so a different midwife came in to examine me. She was heavy handed and not as nice! She said I hadn’t progressed any further and needed another gel. That meant another 6 hours!! I was less than amused, Greg was definitely less than amused, too! She said she could do it, or I could wait for my original midwife. I asked to wait. A doctor came in and looked at the machine and agreed that I needed it. I did mention that I was having some pains and she didn’t acknowledge it at all as it wasn’t showing on the machine.

My lovely original midwife came back, with the gel. She was very apologetic about having to do the second gel. I said how disappointed I was as I had started having tightenings and I thought this was it! She was very concerned that I was having tightenings and that the doctor wanted to give me a second gel, as the gel can cause you to over contract. She held her hand on my tummy and agreed that I was in fact having contractions but the machine wasn’t picking them up! YAY! She examined me again and agreed that she could probably break my waters. She agreed to send me up to the delivery suit and get this show on the road!!

Another midwife came and met us and showed us to our room. From there, things got heavy, quick! She tried to break my waters but didn’t have much luck because the baby was so low. She left the room to get me some water and when she came back, I was lugging the gas and air as my contractions had gone into turbo and I was in agony. By now, it was 6pm on Christmas Eve.

By 10pm, they agreed that I could get in the pool and relax – my contractions were giving me no break at all, so I wanted to try anything. I really didn’t want the pethidine (mainly because no matter what pain I was in, I was still a little too scared of the needle!).

I got in the pool for about half an hour and although it did really calm me down, I was still in agony and would not let go of the gas and air. The midwife at this point suggested I get out of the pool, and had an epidural. I was in so much pain, I agreed extremely willingly. I was about 4cm dilated at this point.

They attempted to put IV’s in for a hormone drip but they kept missing. I was not impressed but still in agony. They eventually got it in but it kept popping out. It was horrid! We waited for the anaesthetist and he didn’t arrive for ages. When the epidural eventually went in, it was 12.10am on Christmas Morning.

From then on, I got some sleep (despite being woken up every 30 minutes for them to check my blood pressure!). Poor Greg however was on the worlds most uncomfortable chair and got very little sleep!

Christmas morning was finally here – and the whole ward entered my room, dressed in nativity atire – and sang me “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. I wasn’t sure if it was real or if it was the drugs if I’m honest! I was very numb from the chest down and I was dopey.

After 7 hours, I hadn’t dilated. I was still 4cm’s and the midwife was concerned. After the singing stopped, Joseph (who was actually a surgeon) stepped forward and said he was really concerned that I hadn’t progressed and wanted to do an emergency cesarean. I was terrified. Greg was excited!

After the word cesarean was mentioned, it was about 15 minutes before we were in the operating theatre and on the way to meeting our baby. I was so scared, but the staff were all amazing.

As I was about to meet Luke, the surgeon warned me that his head had been stuck for a while, so he would look a little coned. I don’t actually remember this, but I don’t think I cared!

Then, he appeared! I don’t really remember, but he cried and I saw him. Then I went all sleepy and the rest is a bit of a blur (not because anything bad happened! Just because the drugs were awesome!).

10.37am on the 25th December 2016 – there he was!
8lbs 6oz of perfection

Luke James Britton

This is Greg cutting the cord. Luke’s poor head! It went down after a few hours.

The story didn’t end there.. I was in hospital for an additional 4 days due to a suspected infection and mystery pain (trapped air from the surgery).

But I was so happy!

Greg was Luke’s primary care giver for a while as I couldn’t change, lift or feed him for a few days. It meant that Greg and Luke got the best initial bonding experience ever! We were extremely lucky to have Luke at a hospital that allowed the fathers to stay with the mothers and babies.

Once we got home, my bonding with Luke started and Greg was fantastic and helped me every step of the way.

A year on, I am trying to persuade Greg to do it again! I was so adamant that I would never have another child, but now I am ready. Just one more.. Watch this space!