I had so many experiences during my 34 hour labour. I tried Gas & Air, Water Birth, Epidural and then eventually ended up with a C Section! Hopefully, this post is helpful if you are preparing your own birth plan.
My C Section Experience:
I was due to be induced at 41+5 at 09:00. At 41+4 my husband and I went out for dinner. 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 that I was having contractions and this was start of everything (it later turned 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. My waters broke with blood; all over my carpet & bathroom floors. |I called the birthing unit to let them know that my waters were extremely bloody & 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! The 999 controller 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 my husband and I were both terrified by the blood and praying that everything was ok with the baby. The ambulance crew 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 that it was just us.
We really did share such a unique experience together that has literally bonded us for life. The boys were hungry so my friends husband went and got them both McDonalds which they then sat & ate in the hospital garden. We were lucky that the room we were in had a little door opening onto a mini hospital garden. So far, things were not at all how I had imagined labour to be!
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; I 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 with 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 was absolutely perfect.
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! I recovered from the C Section well, within 1 week I was going out for little walks and off all pain medication. The only struggle that I had beyond the first week was getting in and out of bed; I remember using my feet against the wall to push myself out of bed for quite some time.
To read about the 41 and a half weeks prior to my childbirth experience, take a look at my Pregnancy Diary Week by Week.