Sunday

My Birth Story

I have been trying to write this blog post for quite some time. The main reason why I haven't is my beautiful bundle of gorgeousness is just taking up ALL of my time and any time I do get I tend to utilise it by getting some tasks done (ie, shower/feel human, make a cup of tea and drink it straight away, grab some toast!).
So, if there are any readers left out there, please do bare with me whilst I get to grips with motherhood and I eventually learn how to juggle tasks like a boss whilst enjoying all the newborn snuggles, dribbles and coos.

As you know my pregnancy was classed as low risk and my midwives were happy for me to have a home birth, which was the best news ever. You can read more about why a planned home birth was the option that was best suited for me here.
So the 13th (my expected due date) came and went which made me feel quite down as I was experiencing all the pre-labour symptoms the week before. I fully expected her to arrive shortly after if not that weekend. A week later still no baby. I tried all sorts of those 'natural inductions' and it just proves that your baby really will come when they are ready!
I tried Raspberry Leaf tea, a spicy curry dinner date, liquorice, bouncing on the birthing ball, acu-pressure, releasing the oxytocin hormones and watching funny films... but nothing worked.
I was booked in to see the midwife on the 15th and had a sweep... which I originally did not want to have but I was so fed up I agreed to it. She told me I was 1 to 2cm dilated and it shouldn't be too long now, a few days perhaps. But a few days past and still no major sign, except I had had the 'show' (mucus plug).
I had started to feel a bit down and fed up after being told that my induction date was booked in for Christmas Day incase the little one didn't appear beforehand. I wanted to relax and sleep and not worry like everyone was telling me to do but the thought of being induced worried me as I really did not want that to happen... plus CHRISTMAS DAY!!!
However, in the early evening of Sunday 20th I felt that perhaps the constant Braxton Hicks that I had been having for over a week had started to get a little more obvious (achy pressure-like pain in my lower back and every 3 minutes lasting 50 seconds or so)... so I called the hospital, as instructed, and they confirmed I was in the early stages of labour. I was to call back if they got more painful or my waters broke. Sebastian and I went into town to visit the Christmas Farmers market and to take my mind off it. After a rubbish night sleep, I woke on the 21st and the contractions had gone. Completely! Sebastian decided to take the day off work and we took a long walk around the block and went to the shops to buy biscuits and milk and by 2pm the contractions started again. I had a lovely relaxing bath with essential oils and by 5pm they were still every 3 minutes lasting 60 seconds but still not hugely painful. I called the hospital and they advised that I was to go in and be monitored. This threw me as the midwife had told me that they would come to me.
Anyway, after a long disagreement about whether to take the hospital bags --I was adamant they were staying behind, I was not having this baby at the hospital because they've dragged me in unnecessarily! --we hopped in the car and made our way to Maternity daycare.

When we were finally seen (after no one not really knowing why I was there) I was told they were going to monitor baby's movement and after a few questions, a long hour of monitoring, an awful sweep (hello? how about being a little more sensitive and gentle down there!?!)- I was 7cm dilated and being told I may have to stay in, I convinced them I was fine and they sent me home. They instructed us to call the midwife the moment we got home (which was now about 8pm) as the contractions started to get more painful. I was so frustrated having been told to go in for no reason as the pain was getting worse and all I wanted to do was to prepare at home and start the TENS machine. This set me back with the pain management.
We got home, Sebastian called the midwife and made me tea and toast (I only got around to eating one slice!!) and we put Home Alone on the television. The Christmas tree lights twinkling and the fairy lights around the window and mantle were subtle and enough for us to feel calm and cosy. We planned to listen to some of my favourite songs but because it was all 'go' we settled with Christmas films.

The midwife arrived at 8'30pm. My contractions were now every minute and I remember Sebastian helping me with the TENS machine as it felt like it wasn't working. We tried lots of positions but the one that helped the most was kneeling on the floor into Sebastian gripping onto his thighs. I remember him whispering to me often about how well I was doing and how we were closer to meeting our daughter. The second midwife arrived a few hours later with Entonox which I really didn't want to use but I needed that extra thing to take the edge off the pain as the TENS machine didn't really do too much at that point. I didn't start using the Entonox until half way through the pushing stage (which I am pretty proud of actually). It didn't help an awful lot but it sure did help biting on the mouthpiece!
When I told the midwives I was ready to push, really push, they supported that and told me to do so. After hours of pushing, breathing and alot of involuntary animal-like noises (and Home Alone 1, 2 & 3 and The Santa Clause) I heard my midwife whisper to Sebastian about having to call an ambulance. My heart sunk. I had been pushing for so long and by 4'30am on 22nd the ambulance crew were standing in my festive lit living room ready to take me to the hospital.
My womb had gone 'floppy' and both myself and little Olive had had enough. She still wasn't fully ready on coming out into the big world... or at least far too tired to.
^^^ First cuddles, skin to skin, before her first feed
^^^ Skin to skin Daddy/Daughter cuddles

So there we were contracting and in pain trying to put boots on my sodden socked feet in my hallway and being carried out arm in arm with two fantastic paramedics. Drama!
We were taken into the Labour suite and I remember thinking we were in there trying to give birth for hours but it turned out to be only less than an hour. There were doctors, midwives, my first midwife and Sebastian all crowded round me like I was an animal in a zoo. They were all trying their best to help me get my little Olive out safely. Unfortunately, due to my now 'floppy' and exhausted womb I had to have an Episiotomy and Forceps. I felt disheartened. I remember sobbing and the comical French doctor telling me off for wasting my energy and saying "You can cry all you want when the baby is here!".

Anyway, at 5'43am our precious little Olive was in my arms, skin to skin cuddles whilst I had a managed third stage. I was 'against' this as I didn't want to be injected with the man-made Oxytocin (Ergometrine) as I had read that it could affect the bond between yourself and baby (not sure how true this is). We also really wanted a physiological third stage for the delayed clamping of the umbilical cord, however due to having Forceps this had to be done. But once Olive was placed on my chest all that pain, pushing, disheartened emotions were genuinely forgotten!
I had a cannula in one wrist and a huge bruise of a failed cannula in the other, achy joints and achy EVERYTHING- including an achy face, sore throat, a hell of alot of blood loss, stitches and a syntocinon drip going through my veins but it was all worth it because I had my perfect little daughter laying against my warm skin snuggled in my arms. And that first moment she latched onto me for a feed I knew there were absolutely no concerns of lack of bonding because this moment was perfect. Sebastian and I just looked at eachother, our eyes full of tears, hearts full of love and faces with the biggest of smiles...
"Look what we made!".
^^^ Emotional & besotted Daddy
^^^ Proud Gramps!

After an hour or so alone as a three; our new little family, Sebastian had a skin to skin cuddle with Olive and then went to meet my Papa outside who was eagerly waiting to meet his first grandchild before heading off on a work road trip. Olive had cuddles with her Gramps whilst Sebastian stepped outside for some fresh air and to call his mother.
When Sebastian came back in and my Papa left he told me that he had felt worried, faint and emotional. He doesn't cope well with blood and needles and such... that and the fact he had no sleep for over 24 hours- didn't really go together too well. However he did such an amazing job at hiding it from me during that last hurdle of labour as well as keeping it together- what a babe!
Sebastian was infact fantastic throughout, I'm so proud of him and proud of what a wonderful father he has become. You can tell he loves little Olive more than anything in the world.

Sebastian had to pop home to gather some extra bits that I hadn't gotten round to packing in our "just incase" hospital bags and the car seat (as well as tidy up bless him- I can't even imagine what our living room and hallway had looked like with all the fluid I lost on the way to the ambulance!). Whilst he was away, Mama had popped down to see me and shortly after my sister did too.
As soon as the IV had stopped, it was 4 hours later and I was told to have a bath. Scared, my Mama walked me to the bathroom and bathed me herself whilst my sister had newborn cuddles. I felt hot, faint and exhausted. I was so very grateful to have my Mother wash me and I remember just crying in her arms (I seem to have done that about 3 times since too!). My emotions were all over the place.
Once I was cleaned (or as clean as I could possibly be post birth!) we went back to my room to discover the staff with all my things ready for me to walk to the ward with my daughter.
We walked (I say walk but I really mean is slowly waddled in pain!!!) to the ward with the midwife who pushed little O, my mother and sister arm in arm with me keeping me from passing out.
^^^ Proud Nanny (& THE most perfect Mother- I am SO grateful!)
^^^ First sleepsuit & Great Nanny's knitted shawl ready for her trip home

I had to stay on the ward for a further 6 hours (after already being in the Labour suite for about 4 hours post birth) due to blood loss, pediatrician checks and for the doctor to discharge me. I wished I had discharged myself as I honestly felt a little neglected. The nursing staff seemed to be fussing over the mothers around me who had had Cesarean's but not once did they record any observations, despite already being told I may have to stay in overnight if I carried on feeling hot and faint.
After the 6 hours were up I had my observations done (for the first time on the ward) and bloods taken to check my iron levels, which then took a further 2 hours for the results to come back and was discharged by a doctor.

At 7'30pm that evening, we were finally home.

It just goes to show that no matter what you discuss with your midwife regarding your birth plan it doesn't always go the way you want it to. But that's ok because it means you and your darling baby get to be safe.
I may have had to always have little Olive delivered with assistance but I tried it my way and I got to experience labour in my twinkly living room surrounded by Christmas and comforts and it was amazing. Yes it was hard to accept being transferred, it was actually physically hard to be transferred (contractions! Ouch!) and disheartening to not do it all naturally like I was made to do but hey- look at us now! It felt like ages ago and that precious little girl is quite easily the meaning of my life!!


I hope this has been more helpful than frightening for you. I will be writing about the bit after birth and The Fourth Trimester... when I get round to it!! In hope that you may find it useful but mainly because I like to keep these memories all in one place, for me to look back on.

13 comments:

  1. Thankyou so much for sharing this, my friend was in a similar situation to yourself. She was all set up and excited about a home birth, but little man had other plans and she ended up having to have a c sec. She was so upset afterwards because all her carefully laid plans had been trampled on but she was given the chance to go back and talk about the situation with the doctors. She and little man were actually very lucky, things deteriorated quite quickly and could have taken a very different path if she hadn't come in when she did.

    It goes to show that sometimes things are out of your control and you have to trust those who have seen it all before (even if they are sometimes a real pain!) xx

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  2. I am so incredibly proud of you. You did the best you could and thats all that matters.

    I am glad I read your post as of course I am also planning a home birth. I feel now more prepared that actually it may not go the way I want but knowing that you made it through makes me feel I can do it as well.

    Home Birth, Hospital birth as long as baby is safe thats all that matters.

    One thing I didn't like reading is that they made you walk to the next ward after birth and being in pain. They should have asked a porter to come and wheel you over. Also my sister will agree with you about the neglect. She has the same. She was left for hours and not even offered a drink of water. She was treated rather poorly.

    Remember we are all proud of you.

    Love you.

    Han xxx

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  3. I teared up reading this (as I do with most birth stories!!) but I am so glad little Olive arrived safely even though it wasn't exactly as you planned. She's precious and healthy and in the end that's all that really matters! xoxo

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  4. Such a beautiful post, and I'm honestly so happy for you, she is beautiful! And please don't worry about keeping us waiting for your blog posts. Honestly, the most important thing in your life right now is your little daughter. Blogs can definitely take a back seat for a while!

    Enjoy every moment, and thank you for sharing your wonderful stories with us, they really do make me smile (and broody, hehe) <3

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  5. What a beautiful birth story, even if it didn't go quite as planned, and it's so great that you felt the bond immediately, :)
    Also (other than mine of course), your mum does sound like the absolute best, reading about how she helped you along at the beginning was just so heartwarming. Little Olive seems very lucky to be born into such a loving family.

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful birth story with us... I was so hoping you would but I didn't want to pry (too much) :)
    Your labor must win the "most festive" award for sure.

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  7. Congratulations again!

    And at last - somebody else who got nothing from Entonox but a tube to bite on!

    Please don't be too hard on yourself about not doing what you "were made to do"; I felt disappointed to need a forceps delivery and devastated when breastfeeding wasn't working because that's what women are "SUPPOSED to do" but, the fact is, in the olden days, mothers and babies didn't get through these problems - you did what you had to do to get yourself and your daughter through birth safe and well. It sounds like you did an incredible job. x

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  8. I often see your Facebook page pop up on my newsfeed from my friends liking your posts.

    I just felt like commenting to say; congratulations on bringing your beautiful baby girl into the world safely and full of love.
    It's the most incredible thing us ladies can do!

    I could relate to a few things in your birth story. (particularly the after baby was born bits)
    It's easy to say but don't worry too much about it not going how you'd hoped it would. The birth of my little boy took 72hours, I wanted to have him in a pool but was so exhausted I ended up having interventions too. He's now 18months old though and full of mischief! The love you feel will only get stronger ��

    Enjoy every cuddle!

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  9. You did so well and it sounds like the part at home was magical. Well done. Olive is beautiful. I felt a bit like I dodn't get monitored after very well either in the hospital either, even though I had complications. Im glad you're all well. xxx

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  10. Thank you for sharing your story, you did so well and you made me cry :)

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  11. Oddly this makes me really want a baby, just look at her gorgeous face! Probably the most beautiful baby I ever did see, especially that sweet first outfit, well done you and Sebastian, I wish you nothing but love and good health <3 xxx

    www.charlottelizabethblog.com

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  12. Just wanted to say hi and congratulations on the safe arrival of Olive. I have enjoyed reading your pregnancy journey and look forward to hearing how you get with your new addition. My daughter Chloe was born the day after Olive so I'm trying to get to grips with a newborn too! Enjoy the snuggles, I know I am! xxx.

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  13. So I'm not the most broody at all, but this post was absolutely beautiful and definitely warmed my little heart up. she looks like such a cute bundle, and also big love to you for being an awesome new mama! xx

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