Monday, 6 January 2014

Birth Story Mark II

Monday 2nd December had been an emotional day.  C seemed to be being more hard work than normal, however in reality I expect it was just my ability to deal with her which had altered.  I was overdue, tired and uncomfortable.  I had been having lower back pain all morning which I took to mean the baby had moved further into my pelvis, a positive sign!

In the afternoon I had my 2nd acupuncture appointment. This seemed to temporarily make the back pain worse however by the time I went to bed everything was back to normal again.  I woke up at 12am feeling uncomfortable.  I got up and went to the toilet and felt better.  I returned to bed only to wake again at 1am in similar pain.  This time after going to the loo I stayed up to monitor and assess the pain I was in.  Could I be in the early stages of labour?  It was too soon to tell.

I sat on my birthing ball and bounced up and down for a bit.  Once I had decided these pains were definitely coming and going regularly, I started to time them….  7-10 mins apart and each lasting approximately 2 minutes.  I walked upstairs and put my head round the study door.  By now it was 2am but hubby was still up working.  I warned him that this might be “it” before returning downstairs to my ball.

At 3am, hubby came downstairs to check on me.  We decided that I should phone the local Midwife Led Unit to check they were open and so I was on their radar as being a possible admission for later.  Unfortunately the MLU was closed.  I was therefore left with 2 options, to go to the main Labour Ward at the hospital where I gave birth to C, or go to a Midwife Let Unit further afield.  By this time I was pretty sure my waters had broken therefore I was informed I needed to be assessed somewhere within the hour.  I suddenly felt under immense pressure to make an on the spot decision that I was not sure about.  I was desperate for my water birth but the nearest open MLU was not attached to a maternity hospital and therefore in my opinion carried additional risk.  I asked them to give me 10 minutes to discuss with hubby and said I would ring them back.

I decided the next sensible option was to ring my parents who needed to come over and look after C as it would take them half an hour to get to me.  With them then on their way, I was able to discuss birthing options with hubby.  He was keen to go to the other MLU as he knew how desperate I was for a water birth and what a hard time I had had on the Labour Ward with C.  I on the other hand couldn’t shake the safety fears from my mind, plus there was a strong possibility the local MLU would reopen at 8am once the day shift staff arrived.  Eventually I put my foot down.  We would go to the Labour Ward and hope the MLU would open at the 8am shift change.  Hubby was not happy.
My parents arrived and we set off.  The 20 minute ride to the hospital at 3:45 was lovely!  

On arrival at the hospital I was shown straight to a birthing suite to be assessed. Because they knew I wanted a low intervention birth they tried to keep it the low key as possible.  I put on my hypnobirthing CD and they dimmed the lighting in the room.  They did however need to assess whether my waters had broken and whether blue bump was under any distress.  A quick internal assessment showed that my waters had broken but that my cervix was still closed.  I was informed I had 48 hours to go into active labour before they would intervene.  I was put on a monitor for 20 minutes for assessment.  This is exactly where I did not want to be… strapped to the bed like I was with my labour with C.  Hopefully though, this would just be temporary.  At the end of the 20 minutes they were unhappy with blue bump’s activity.  I was given a glass of cold water and was told I would need to be assessed for a further 20 mins.  40 minutes later, at 5:30, they were finally happy with blue bump and I was allowed off the monitor and I was given a birthing ball to bounce on.  The contractions were coming thick and fast now.  At this point the Midwives were pretty convinced the MLU would open at 7:30/8am.  Just 2 more hours to get through!

Hubby sat behind me on the ball and massaged my stomach through each contraction.  I have never seen this technique written anywhere but honestly it worked wonders!!! He said he could feel exactly where the “knots” were which helped him know where to massage.

At 7am I was offered some toast which I initially declined but after being lectured by the Midwife on keeping my strength up, I reluctantly agreed.  When it actually arrived I discovered I was hungrier than I thought and wolfed down a couple of slices.  

At 7:30 they came to get me armed with a wheelchair.  I was so grateful as I was not sure I was going to be able to manage the walk downstairs to the MLU at this point.  

On arriving downstairs, I hoped to be able to climb straight into the pool but the Midwives seemed reluctant.  To be allowed into the pool I needed to be at least 5cm dilated.  As I was not dilated at all 5:00am, they were concerned they were re-examining me too early.  I was tired, frustrated and by now in agony.  After a quick trip to the loo to provide a urine sample I started using the gas and air, and hubby continued to massage my stomach.   

I am not quite sure what happened next.  The midwife obviously saw something and everything changed gear very quickly.  I became aware of running water and hubby was stripping my clothes off.  I was guided into the pool and helped to the far side.  The warm water was amazingly soothing.  At the next contraction I felt the urge the push.  This appeared to be a surprise only to me.  After 2 or 3 pushes the head was out.  I was then informed not to push and to let gravity take effect.  Slowly but surely blue bump was born, no burning sensation, nothing.

I was turned onto my back and handed my baby boy.  Holding his body under the water to keep him warm, we waited for the cord to stop pulsating and hubby was able to cut it.

Benjamin Thomas Aiden was born at 8:55am on 3rd December.  I was so shocked the end had been so quick and easy!  Here I was cradling my new baby, only 8 hours after waking up with stomach pains.

They wanted me to deliver the placenta out the water so Benjamin was passed to hubby and I was helped out of the pool.  The following half an hour or so was frustrating.  The Midwives wanted me to pass the placenta naturally however it seemed in no hurry to make an appearance.  All I wanted to do was cuddle my new baby but instead I was being made to try various undignified positions to encourage the placenta to make an appearance.  Eventually they bought in a horseshoe shaped seat which I was told to squat on.  This did the trick!
We were then left alone for a couple of hours to bond as a family.  I think the fact hubby got those initial early precious minutes alone with Benjamin did wonders for their bonding.  The Midwives then returned to weigh Benjamin.  Their initial guess from looking at him was that he would weigh around 8lb 8oz.  I guessed 8lb 10oz.  None of us were prepared for the 4.37kg reading on the scales…. 9lb 10oz!!!

I was then examined for signs of any tearing.  There was nothing! I had delivered a 9lb 10oz baby with no tearing at all! I was flabbergasted!

After a shower and further bonding time we left the MLU early that evening and were home in time to put C to bed.


When I compare my second labour and birth to my first, the experiences could not have been more different.  I know many of you probably thought I was making too big a deal out of what I wanted this time around but having a difficult experience previously really does help to focus your objectives.  I knew that being in the water and being able to birth on all fours would help give me the birth I wanted and I was fortunate enough that things worked out so I could put these into practice.  I understand now why some women call childbirth of empowering experience as this time around it really did feel like it was!  Along with the soothing effects of the water, there is no doubt that the shortened length of this second labour did help as I was less exhausted when it came to the end.  I also think the Midwife played a huge part, particularly in helping to ensure I did not tear.  I have recovered remarkably quickly and am so pleased how things turned out.

No comments:

Post a Comment