Monday, 29 July 2013

Ophelia's birth story

Friday 19th July neither of us slept very well, due to the cat being her usual naughty self throughout the night and keeping us awake.  So when I felt a few tightenings at 8am Saturday, I bet callum that our daughter would decide to make her appearance, bearing in mind she was supposedly 40+2 at this point.  My alarm went off at 830am but by this point I was already aware labour was on its way as I had already been up to the toilet with bowels literally 6 times in as many minutes.

The morning was spent rather cheerily, I made Callum and I coffee, breakfast and lunch in between contractions and occasionally bounced on the yoga ball.  At this point there had been no plug, nor had my waters broken.  We started using a contraction timer about 9:30am little did we know we were timing them wrong though (you re only meant to time the very peak of the contraction, when you can't speak) and at first I found it hard to know quite precisely when the contraction started and ended.     

About 4pm the contractions started getting too much to bear and I spent pretty much all of the next 7 hours sat on the toilet, bracing myself using at first Callum's hands but as the pain progressed it moved to arms then legs. I also occasionally used the basin or bath, I also had a bath around here and my mum turned up as we had asked her to be our lift to the hospital and look after Inara. 

By this point I started asking Callum to call the hospital because we thought the contractions were 3 minutes apart and 30 seconds long (turns out they weren't).  Callum said the hospital sounded so reluctant each time we called and so he kept trying to put me off calling again.  they recommended paracetemol, which did nothing. 

About 9pm Callum called the hospital as the pain was getting too much for me and they reluctantly said we could come in but we thought they mught turn us away so we held on until 11pm. The show then appeared and the contractions increaed after this, plus I was sick a few times.  It was at this point we decided to go in.

My mum didn't know how ti get to the hospital which I think was partly due to being stressed, so Callum directed.  I'll point out now that the contractions were so strong by this point I couldn't talk.  Callum was trying to help me through contractions, time them, hold the sick bowl AND direct!This explains what happens next! We drove past the turning for the most obvious way to the hospital, which I remember thinking was a bit odd but knew there were other possible routes.  In his stress, Callum took us the one way we couldn't get to the hospital- down the road for busses and taxis only- at this point all I could manage to say was "NO, NO!".  Mum then drove on the wrong side of the road, as cars were coming towards us and then nearly ran over pedestrians!!! I was convinced we were going to crash! We eventually made it to the hospital and got to triage, where they said they had been waiting a while for me and congratulated me for being 4-5cm dilated!! I remember being so proud that we had got that far along and stayed at home.  She proceeded to pull lots of plug out, it was pretty gross- really bloody and thick gunky. TMI?!

My Mum then turned up, i'm not sure why as we had said that she was to go home, i think she was just worried.  It turns out that the ward was quiet, dead some might say! I was the only one there! We were taken to a room and I remember immediately being struck with the panoramic view; overseeing the city with the pier and Brighton wheel all illuminated  The room also felt welcoming, with a yoga ball, bean bag and chairs.  I didn't use the ball as I had found it uncomfortable and unhelpful when at home.  I tried leaning over the hospital bed at varying heights but I didn't feel it helped.  I was at this point keen for drugs after labouring for 15 hours with no pain relief.  The midwives understandably wanted to try lesser pain relief first and also recommended the pool.  Whilst I was pregnant I had liked the idea of a water birth but after contracting in the bath at home and realising it did nothing, i wasn't sure the pool would help.  How wrong I was! Before getting in the pool I tried gas and air,but I really struggled to get on with it in regard to regulating my breathing and the pain was so horrible I was close to tears and requesting an epidural lol.  My lovely midwife somehow managed to convince me to go try the pool and we managed to get me using the gas and air successfully. Together this made for the perfect combination and I spent the next four hours floating around with iced sanitary towels on my face (there is photographic evidence!) high as a kite, babbling utter nonesense whilst Callum and my Mum fed me gas and air/gave me water.  The pain was near enough gone whilst in the pool (until towards the end), so you can understand I was reluctant to get our when the Midwife wanted me to go sit on the toilet a few times, everytime I did this, the pain returned.

After  four hours the midwife examined me for the fist time since triage and I had not dilated any further! I was so disappointed because everyone was saying how well it was going!   I then had to come out of the pool as a senoir midwife wanted to see me and I had some pethidine.  I didn't feel the pethidine worked but Callum tells me it seemed to take the edge off the pain.  They  then decided to break my waters, which I remember being vaguely painful and like someone was going to pull my insides out.  They soon realised that darling daughter had pooed and the midwives were lovely in keeping me informed what was going on, gently mentioning that lots of people may enter the room.  Incidentally at some point they did, but I never felt worried or intimidated.   I don't remember much in detail after this except the tempo seemed to amp up.  They tried to monitor baby but couldn't get the clip to attach to her head (i also found this very painful!), instead it was attached to my cervix so they put something around my midrift instead.  During this time, there were several people prepping and prodding me; I had the midwives at the vag, another one trying to fit a cannula (which then squirted blood all over the place, luckily the drugs made me feel like I was watching it happen on the tv), another midwife trying to fit a catheter and the anesthetist trying to fit the epidural.

The anesthetist was great, making sure to talk me through the procedure and how it should work.  Unfortunately baby was not happy if I sat up (which is the best position for the epidural to be inserted for it to work), so the anesthetist had to try to fit it with me laying down on my side.  She was so patient, trying to wait for the contraction to pass and carefully put all the things in my back. Poor Callum was watching all this happen whilst my Mum either looked out the window or leant on his shoulder because she was worried.  He had to see masses of blood and blood soaked sheets be changed every few minutes, then had to mop blood of the floor!  They gave me a few goes of the epidural but things progressed so quickly from when they broke my waters that there wasn't time for it to work properly.  They sprayed stuff on me to work out where I could and couldn't feel it but I could still feel it pretty much everywhere.  I was by this point getting quite tired and talk began to go towards heading to surgery for forceps or the proviso of an elective c.  It was at this point that they thought I was still about 2 hours from delivering her so they were starting to get concerned.  I had other ideas and just started pushing, much to the midwives' surprise and apparently they had never seen anything like it, sheer determination which came from nowhere.  I had got to the point where pain relief hadn't worked so I just wanted it over and done with as soon as possible.

I found the pushing really wasn't that bad, it gave me something to concentrate on and be an active part of, rather than the contractions which made me feel like a slave to them and unproductive! I was worried that the way I was pushing wasn't right and that it'd go wrong, but apparently instinct kicked in and every push was efficient.  We needed a bit of help via the kiwi and an episiotomy but she was soon born at 8:22am on a sunny Sunday.

Overall we were so very lucky with our experience and the people who took care of us, which we are very thankful for!  Oh, also, it turns out that she was in fact 42 weeks old (the placenta's deterioration gave this away), so the first appointment at the GP was infact the right due date-5th July! No wonder I was struggling so much by the end!


  1. Just catching up on blogs FINALLY and although i've heard this in person its nice to read it again, I wonder if blogs will still be about so you can gross O out with it when she's older?!

  2. This story is very similar to mine. I was puking too, had to have my waters broken and had the epidural. Although mine did end in c-section as my baby was distressed and had the cord round his neck. He'd also.pooed inside of me so we had lots of doctors in too. Childbirth is defo not ladylike!