I have a lot of mother/parent following but also so many who are pregnant with their first child (including amazing mummies to be who I have connected with!) and it’s made me remember how hard it is to be pregnant,especially with your first child with no clue what to expect, except for what you’ve been told (which is limited!) No amount of ‘what to expect when you’re expecting’ books can truly prepare you for the good, the bad and the ugly of labour/childbirth.
My two birth stories are completely different, so it just goes to show that no two labours are the same; I’ve got one positive, and one negative birth story which I’m going to share with you and hopefully give those pregnant ladies some more insight, and be more prepared for things that can go wrong.
I went to the hospital with Bonnie when I was 39+1 as labour was starting, I was only 2cm when I arrived but because the blood flow around her was low, they decided to keep me in to keep an eye on this issue.
The next day, they said if I hadn’t had the baby by the following day (39+3) they would break my waters (well, firstly they said they would give me a pessary to start me off, I had to remind them I had already started to dilate; I was 2cm yesterday!)
The next day (after an awful night of no sleep and horrendous pains) they brought me to the labour ward to break my waters and get me started, this was 11am. I can’t really remember much of the rest as I was using gas and air (amazing stuff!) but I remember her heart rating dropping, what felt like a million doctors running in and them telling me to push like never before otherwise they’d have to give me an episiotomy, which I really didn’t want!
I pushed and pushed and there she was at 4pm the same day, a healthy little girl weighing 6lb (really good seen as I didn’t know I was pregnant for 6 months!)
However, I lost A LOT of blood. She tore me on the way out but the midwife couldn’t stitch me properly as I was tensing too much, I was sent to theatre and was given an epidural JUST for stitches. I kept dropping in and out of consciousness, I had a heated blanket on me but felt so cold I was shivering and because I lost almost 2 litres of blood, I just overall felt like death. what felt like hours later, I was taken to a recovery room where they gave me antibiotics (For group strep b – for another blog!) and started off my blood transfusions; I finally saw my baby girl properly at 9pm, 5 hours after I’d given birth to her.
The first night in hospital was the worst, because of the epidural I was unable to move at all, I had to call for the midwives during the night to change her nappy for me and pass her to me to feed, I literally couldn’t move at all! The next morning I wanted a shower (understandably) and the new midwife seeing to me hadn’t read my notes so didn’t know I’d had an epidural, she told me to get up and eventually helped me when she saw me struggling and I told her I’d had an epidural the previous day, she asked me if I had a pad on, ‘erm, no? The shower room is only there?’ HA. Well, even a five step walk is not what you need after giving birth; bring the biggest pads you can find!
Two blood transfusions and five days later (this long because of group strep b), we were allowed home.
Other than the first wee after birthing a child (pour warm water down there – lessens the sting!), being unable to poo but the hospital not letting you leave until you have proved (not literally!) you are able to and the horrendous blood clots you have after giving birth, it is ALL worth it, and remember this is my BAD birth story, they’re not all like this! Let’s end on a positive note…
Margot was four days late, I got to 40 weeks and accepted the fact the baby wasn’t coming anytime soon…
Well on the 4th day, I woke up at 7am with Bonnie and the pains hit me like a tonne of bricks, I just wanted to sit on the loo! (strange things, contractions), I called the local hospital at 9am, they said I’d have to travel over an hour away to the next hospital as they had no available beds (they were a brand new birthing unit!)
My dad came to give me a lift and refused to take me to the further hospital, said they can’t turn you away and we won’t make it! So we arrived, the time was now 10:10am, the midwife checked how dilated I was and I was 8cm! She told me she thought I’d only be around 2cm because I was handling the pain well (I have a high pain threshold), I wanted to try the birthing pool so they took me into the room to get ready for baby number 2! (If a birthing pool is an opportunity for you, I highly recommend!)
From getting to the hospital, Margot was with us within 50 minutes, so it’s a good job we didn’t go to the further away hospital, otherwise my dad would have delivered her at the side of the motorway!
I also didn’t know the sex of Margot and everyone kept saying she was going to be a boy (Ultrasound scans couldn’t confirm the sex even with extra growth scans as her legs were crossed too tight!), So when she came out and her cord was covering her bits, it was the nicest surprise ever for them to move it and see I had another little girl.
So for a labour that lasted 3 hours start to finish, the only issue being a tiny tear and no amount of worrying blood loss, it’s safe to decide which labour was the best – only downside I wasn’t using the gas and air properly so I felt e v e r y t h i n g.
I had Margot in my arms at 11am, and we were at home by 6pm, it was amazing to spend that first night at home.
I hope I don’t scare anyone from the issues I faced, but I didn’t know about half the things I’ve spoken about and it happened to me! So it’s always good to educate others on both the positives and negatives, so you can be mentally prepared for any situation.
One last thing – Do not, I repeat DO NOT create a birth plan! This may seem like a great idea, like you’re in control of what will happen, but it’s likely you will not be able to follow it and you wouldn’t like to feel disappointment or like you’re not in control of the situation because it’s not going to ‘plan.’ The midwives and doctors are there to help you so trust what they say and do.