So i’ve had so many people ask me about my labour experience and i’ve told the story so many times now that I felt it would be easier to just do a post on it plus it give you guys a chance to read about it too. So let’s just jump into it shall we.
Now everyone wants that calm idyllic birth, and I was no different. I had a very difficult pregnancy and was hoping that the saying that goes bad pregnancy good birth would relate to me..it didn’t. Although Archie is here and so am I. So really I can’t complain. After having everyone tell me that I would be early, even the midwives, I went into hospital on July 30th at 10:00 am to be induced. I was 5 days overdue, and my induction was scheduled early due to me having gestational diabetes.
Now I feel I should mention that the couple of days leading up to my induction weren’t great. I went in on the Tuesday for lack of fetal movement and after being monitored for an hour thankfully all was fine, but I thought while we were there I’d ask for a sweep. For those who don’t know what a sweep is, it’s a technique used to try and bring on labour. During an internal exam, a finger is used to try and separate the membranes of the amniotic sac surrounding the baby from your cervix. The separation is meant to release hormones which may kick start your labour. Well lets just say it wasn’t an overly enjoyable experience for me. The midwife who did my sweep was a senior midwife, and afterwards during my labour, I found out she’s notorious for giving good sweeps. ( good sweeps tend to be quite painful). I wasn’t able to endure the whole sweep, and left in tears. I was in pain for the next 2 days, and cried for about 7 hours afterwards..he midwife said she could have done a good sweep but she managed to pull my cervix forward…urgh it gives me shivers just typing it..But the sweep did it’s job as when I had my internal examination before my induction process was to start, the midwife said she was able to break my waters which would save me 12 hours.
So what should of happened was I would have had a pessary, waited 6 hours and had another one if labour hadn’t started. If that failed too I then would have had the hormone drip. But because the midwife was able to break my waters I saved myself the 12 hours of not needing the pessary. Now I should mention that my midwife was great. I mentioned my awful sweep which in turn made me terrified of having anymore internals and we came up with a sign of when she needed to stop to let me adjust and pretty much when to stop altogether and get out of me! Remember it’s your body, your baby, they are there to help and guide you. If your uncomfortable or worried just mention it to them. During my labour I had 3 different midwives, and with each one I spoke my concerns and we did the same system. Anyway to the breaking of the waters.
So they broke..which by the way didn’t hurt at all, and I was given an hour to see if contractions started, if they didn’t I would be put on the hormone drip. Well it didn’t take long. By having my waters broke I went from 2 to 3 cm dilated. So I was on the right track. Then came the contractions. Now these weren’t a gentle increase. I went straight into 2 minute apart contractions lasting a minute long. The midwife stood there mouth open seeing me contract like clockwork..an hour passed and my contractions showed no sign of stopping. I was contraction a minute apart for a minute and they were getting intense. Bring in the gas and air. Which by the way is great. It makes you giggle and helps with the pain. Also you sounds like Darth Vadar, an impression I did constantly why giggling through contractions! But you do kind of loose it a little. I lost all track of time, had no problem running to the toilet (which wasn’t in my room) with my butt hanging out in my gown. That gave the decorator a bit of a shock who was painting the hall way. Apparently at one point I thought I was in Canada, and trying to sprint in-between contractions to leave my glorious gas and air to go pee..well was a challenge. I did this about 10 times until I realised there was gas and air in the bathroom..typical! Now I had the privilege of having morning sickness all through pregnancy, and it didn’t disappoint as I threw up a lot during labour..and I mean a lot..one point Richard went into the supply cupboard to grab me one of those cardboard dishes to catch my vomit..the next time he wasn’t quick enough as I threw up all over myself…it was so romantic…
Me struggling through contractions, while holding tightly onto the gas and air as if it was encrusted with gold..which believe at that point it kind of was to me.
Bring on a couple of hours of me trying to breathe through my ever increasing contractions. I mean come on where were my five minutes of peace between contractions that only lasted 30 seconds..Anyway they were getting pretty intense and I was feeling some right urges to push…but after being checked and only being 5cm dilated…there was no way I was ready.
It was heartbreaking as the gas and air was starting to not cut it through my now minute and half long contractions which were coming every minute..Now everyone wants that natural birth, but all I can say is go in with an open mind because until you feel that intense pain, and your energy levels start to dwindle, you can’t decided how your going to handle your labour. My next pain relief option was pethidine. To be honest by this point I don’t even remember it going in or doing anything, I was literally trying to jump out of my own skin..the pain was intense. I had been in active labour for nearly 6 hours..and my contractions were coming every 30 seconds…and I was only 6 cm dilated..it was time for the big E.
Ok so my biggest fear about having the epidural were the risks of having the epidural, and the idea of having a needle in my spine. Me and Richard had come up with a code. I had the chance to ask 3 times for the Big E. On the 3rd time I was serious, and he was to tell the midwife this. What I didn’t realise was that it can take up to 40 mins to get the epidural in motion, then 20 minutes once administered for it to take full effect. I was on the edge of passing out, but before I knew it (you loose time like I said earlier) a lovely anesthetist was putting a drip into my hand, stroking my back to calmly talk to me about the risk, how it works and that I would have to sit deadly still..my contractions were 30 seconds apart, I told him when I was having one and as soon as it finished I stayed still like a rock.( apparently I mean I was pretty high at this point) and he had done it in 30 seconds. Amazing. and I didn’t feel the needle or anything. It was a god job I went for the epidural as Archie didn’t make an appearance for another 7 hours..there’s no way I would have been able to cope..
I should note that just before my epidural, I peed all over Richards feet. What can I say contractions are intense especially when your standing up..
Me after my epidural asleep…Richard decided to become a documentary photographer during my labour..don’t I look great…One disadvantage to epidurals is having all the tubes attached to you, and not being able to move about. I was lucky as I didn’t have a permanent catheter put it..I just had an in out one..every coupe of hours or so to just empty my bladder. Labour is so attractive isn’t it.
But that was it. Epidurals are pretty amazing. Although I got a bit clicky happy as every 25 minutes you could up the dose a little..so for the next 7 hours I actually managed to sleep a little…and feel little or no pain (sometimes) what so ever. Although when it came to the pushing part I wish I hadn’t been so clicky happy…as it’s hard to push when you have no idea when your having contractions. When I finally hit 10cm..and was told its time to start pushing I went into full panic mode. I had no idea if It was going to hurt, and the fact I was about to meet my baby…well I start shaking..like uncontrollably shaking.. It didn’t help that the monitors wouldn’t pick up my contractions so I was guessing when to push. But it didn’t hurt..I felt pressure plus the need to go to the loo (which I didn’t…yay) but I didn’t feel any pain, the pushing was hard though…I had midwives holding my legs, while a doctor took over and was pretty much screaming at me to push and hold my breath…which believe me is hard to do when you have been in active labour for 14 hours..everything got a bit intense…alarms were going off which I now know was little Archers heart rate dropping..and the doctor was getting more and more concerned. So with a little snip I had a small episiotomy, and he came..he also caused me a small tear, which the doctor assured me was the smallest one she had ever seen..still a 2nd degree one though.
Then he came out, which is the weirdest sensation ever..but he came out blue, Richard got told to pull the emergency cord and about 8 people rushed in..after he was checked though, thankfully everything was fine and he was given to Richard but by god didn’t it scare me to death.
This is Archer a few minutes old. Not the best picture as I was being sewn up at the time…but still one of my favourite pictures ever.
I wasn’t allowed to hold him while I was being sewn up. (I’m not sure why as I have been told by other midwives there’s no reason why I wouldn’t have been able to hold him) but after an hour I finally got my baby. I made the midwives giggle as I said be honest ladies is my vagina fu**ed…I was still slightly high at this point. But Archie was out safely and came to us at 1:43 am. Weighing 8 lb 1 oz and was 50cm long. All family was awake as Richard had done a running commentary the last 14 hours to keep himself occupied. Including lovely pictures of me on the toilet and high on gas. But it was lovely to know everyone was awake waiting for the news of this delivery.
This is me finally holding my baby, and it’s crazy how cute he is. I was expecting a mini E.T. but he looked just perfect, and he still is.
This is me looking rather exhausted..but totally worth it. The next 48 hours were really tough, and I’ll leave that for another post. But now as I sit and write this Arch is asleep in his bouncer, and it’s my first official day looking after him on my own. 3 weeks and 4 days old. Where is the time going. I can’t believe he will be 1 month old on Friday. I’ll have to do a photo and compare him to his first day..he was so tiny!
But that was my labour and to be honest the labour part wouldn’t put me off having another baby. Even the pregnancy I think I could possibly do it again..possibly. It was sadly the hospital stay after. It was a shame really as we had such good care up until he was born. Then a lack of communication ruined it. But that’s another post. Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I’m off to nap..you know sleep when the baby sleeps and all!