!I wanted to write about my Childbirth Experience as I had so many experiences during my 34 hour labour; Gas & Air, Water Birth, Epidural & a C Section! Hopefully, this is helpful to someone out there who is preparing their birth plan, or even analysing their own experience of childbirth (as we all do afterwards!)
My Childbirth Experience:
I was due to be induced at 41+5 at 09:00. At 41+4 my husband and I went out for dinner – this time for our definite last meal before the baby (we said possibly our last meal as a couple about 20 times since week 37 – yes we had naïvely expected it around then!!)
We got home from dinner at 8pm. After being home an hour I was feeling tummy pains – a little stronger than period pains used to be but they had no rhyme or reason to them. I used an iPhone contraction timer and they were all over the place; the closest they got together was 7 minutes apart at one point but still only 30 seconds long. As they contractions were all over the place, I decided to just try and get a good nights sleep! My poor husband never slept a wink as he was convinced as I was having contractions and this was start of everything (later turns out he was right of course).
04:00 my waters break – yes 5 hours before I was due to be induced things finally start naturally – but far too dramatically for my liking. My waters were basically blood, all over my carpet & bathroom floors. Called the birthing unit I was planning to go when contractions got stronger to let them know & they said I needed to call an obstetric ambulance.
With the power of hindsight it’s clear that what happened next was a complete misunderstanding between myself & the 999 controller, he asked “can you feel any arms or legs” me not really thinking clearly put my hand on my tummy felt the baby kick and said “yes”. He then instructed me to not panic and lay down on the bed with my legs in the air and get my husband to get some clean towels. I was baffled as to why but we carried on anyway, he then proceeded to describe to me how to deliver the baby. It was only at this moment that it dawned on me that were completely and utterly at cross purposes! When he asked could I feel an arm or leg he meant outside my body!!!!
The ambulance arrived and all my husband and I could think about was wondering if all was ok with the baby, the put a heart monitor on and her heartbeat was picked up straight away so our minds were settled thankfully.
I was taken to the labour ward by ambulance as I was not allowed to go to the birthing unit because of the blood. On assessment I was 1cm dilated but was being kept in due to the bloody waters (and the fact that I was still bleeding).
I knew that my friend from the NCT class was already on the ward as she had text me the day before to say she was being induced (she was a few days ahead of us). I asked the midwife could I be moved near her as we had been texting that morning and she said the person who was in the next bed had gone home. The midwife went to check with her that I was a friend and some random stalker and once she had confirmed it they let me go in the bed next to her – the room only had two beds so it was lovely it was just us.
We really did share such a unique experience together that has literally bonded us for life. The boys were hungry and its clear my vision of what my husband would want to eat with my packing of my hospital bag was well far from what he wanted as my friends husband went and got them both McDonalds which they then sat & ate in the hospital garden (which our room had a door onto, looking back we were so lucky).
We stayed here just the 4 of us with the odd extra family member popping in and out until I was 4cm. I managed to get this far on just a tens machine, then Oramorph & tens machine but things were definitely getting much worse now. I had requested to be moved to the birthing unit so I could continue with my planned water birth; the hospital had no objection even though I was bleeding so they got me a room on the birthing unit – the only downside was I had to walk there and remember stopping for a very painful contraction on the way.
Again I was really lucky, I got the largest of the birthing unit rooms, it was equipped with reclining chair, iPod dock, exercise ball, and water birthing pool. I asked to get in the pool but was told it was not advisable just yet as I wasn’t far enough along. I used the gas and air for a few hours until I was allowed in the pool. The time flew by in the pool. What I thought was 10 minutes turned out to be 4 hours when I asked my husband afterwards!
I was allowed to use the gas and air in the pool so this explains my complete lack of time! I’d had my relaxing spa playlist playing through dock throughout the whole time (my husband and mum afterwards both told me they never wanted to hear any of the songs ever again!)
I requested an epidural as I really couldn’t cope with the pain any longer; I still believe I would have managed just fine had it not gone on for so long. I was told there was a 4 hour wait as the anaesthetist was tied up with a few caesareans in a row.
Eventually I was moved from the birthing unit to the labour ward for an epidural. This time I had a mobile gas and air machine to walk round with. I remember the epidural itself not being too painful. What happened next was a bit of a blur but the long and short was I given oxytocin to strengthen contractions, nothing happened. I was 10cm and they scanned me. Tthe baby was stuck her head was looking to the side. They told me they would strengthen the contractions more and give me 1 hour of pushing then they would have to consider other options.
Nothing really happened in the next hour and the consultant came in to tell me I would need to have an emergency caesarean.
Lily Rose was born at 14:13 and is absolutely perfect – without doubt the most adorable baby ever 🙂
I like to consider myself an expert on pain relief during labour now as I have had gas and air, tens machine, water birthing pool, epidural, and a c section all in one.!
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