Here it is, my birth story. Beware as it is long… but then so was my labour!

We arrived at the hospital at 10am on Monday to be induced and little Althea wasn’t born until 3.22pm on Tuesday so it was a very long labour in the end! Now I am a high risk labour for a number of reasons so I wasn’t allowed to go home until she was born so  next time I went home I knew at least that I would have my little girl coming home with me.

After having all the checks, like mine and little ones heart rate, blood pressure, etc, finally had the pill induction. Back on all the monitors for the first hour and then me and my partner were encouraged to go for a walk to get air and help kick start the labour. Sure enough contractions started and after another rest and some lunch we headed back out for another walk.

This time we hardly made it far as my contractions were starting to really build up. By the time we made it back to the hospital room up on the 12th floor it was getting painful so they offered a bath in a beautifully decorated and dark lit room. At first the bath helped the pain but soon the contractions were getting unbearable. It was to the point that when I got back to my bed I was having to be held up by my partner and the midwife decided it was time to try gas and air – this is when everything got hazy for me… This was 7pm Monday night that I finally was admitted into the labour ward.

A bit of a background but I suffered a number of head injuries that before the pregnancy had left me basically housebound – the wonders of pregnancy has helped me get so much better! They weren’t sure what the effects of gas and air would have on me but as it wears off really quickly I was allowed to try it unlike some of the other pain relief options. Because of this, I remember slowly making my way to the lift to go to the labour ward on the 13th floor and only scraps of the rest of the labour but my partner has filled me in with the key parts.

Basically I got sent upstairs because while I was only 3cm dilated I was having 3 contractions one after another and then breaks of 5 minutes before getting hit with another 3 contractions. While this is normal they decided it was best to send me up to get pain relief as it was 3-4 minutes of pain to rest 5 minutes before it all started again.

They decided to try aromatherapy. This might have helped most women but it wasn’t until later that we found out that this was never going to work due to the position Althea had gotten herself into. First the lady tried to make sure the smell wasn’t offensive and then started to try to massage my lower back only for me to scream in pain. Now I remember this bit as I started to scream “Get off! Get off! Off Off! Get the F&*k off!” for her to only apply more pressure resulting in me grabbing her hand to physically take it off my back. Things then went very fuzzy again as I went back on the gas and air.

It was this point that I started begging for an epidural – the other only pain relief option I was allowed. Apparently I started threatening to kill people or begging to be killed as the pain was so much and convinced that it was taking forever to come. I couldn’t stay very still through the back to back contractions due to the pain so it took a while for them to get it in and then it wasn’t completely effective. I had numbness on my right that went right up to under my boob, while on the left I was getting crazy amount of pain in my left hip during contractions. It wasn’t just the placement of the epidural though that attributed to this though as again it was little ones positioning that made it in effective there (I’d been having really bad hip pain there the last few days leading up to this).

My partner tells me how the midwives asked him to try and take the gas and air from me as I had almost gone through a whole canister by myself for him to respond with “I’ll try but I’ll probably lose a finger!” Apparently I was hooked and wasn’t letting it go.

They gave me a top up for my left side but it wasn’t until my partner suggested rolling me on my side that I got some relief and off the gas and air finally. I remember having a conversation with a midwife while my partner had a rest, was forced to eat a sandwich and I was updated on everything that had been going on – I couldn’t even remember it then. I had been so out of it that I couldn’t remember people’s names that I would find something that I liked about the staff and call them by that. This meant that I had the lady with nice accent, pretty eye make up and cool tattoos looking after me – they apparently found this sweet and had giggled at it.

The top up on my left started to stop working so I was back on the gas and air so things went fuzzy again. I had gotten to 9cms but stayed there that they apparently helped get me up manually to 10 cms and pushing.

I was apparently told “Try and push out the biggest poo in your life – that is what the right feeling should be” for me to exclaim “I love to poop!” in my doped state. Yea this was news to me but hey the room was in fits of laughter from what I hear. For me it felt like maybe 10 minutes at most passed of pushing yet I had been hard at it for about an hour! I guess time flies when you are trying to poop and enjoy it – that or more likely it was the gas and air.

After an assessment suddenly the room was filled with a load of people. At this point the mix of all the pain relief and exhaustion I was feeling very out of it. I remember a male doctor come in and calmly tell me that they needed to do an emergency C-section and asked if I had any objection or needed to ask anything. On all of my medical paperwork I was very clear that all important decisions had to go through my partner if I was cognitively impaired – I’m so glad to find out that they kept this promise. After they had basically told me, yet framed in a question, that I needed a C-section they asked my partner along with a load of other questions that they would normally ask me.

I remember my bed being put in a lift before I was in an operating theatre – it still all felt like a weird hazy dream than that I was about to have major surgery to pull a baby out of my stomach. BF had disappeared for a bit as they rolled me onto the operating table and suddenly was back in the room.

Something that they don’t tell you when it comes to C-sections is just how many people are actually involved – there were 14 medical staff in the room during mine! One thing I was aware of was how they introduce themselves if there is time to make it less scary. This would have probably been really helpful but at this point everything got even blurrier and by the time the second person was giving their name, role and a little fact to make them seem more human I was unable to follow what was going on as the next thing I know there was a baby crying.

For BF, he was told to sit next to me (as they know from experience that a lot of father faint) and all the medical staff introduced themselves before doing final checks, a screen went up so that neither of us could see what was going on and then in about a minute after declaring to proceed he heard a baby crying.

I remember the baby crying – what I don’t remember was much else. BF was asked if he wanted to cut the cord but didn’t feel like he could leave my side. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t remember the baby being put on my chest. I think I vaguely remember having her placed on my chest with an image of dark spiked up hair on me but that is really about it. BF has told me that I was crying and talking about how much I loved her before she had to be taken away to be weighed and checked.

Birth Story

She’s here!

Our little girl was then given to BF and he sat next to me while they spent almost an hour stitching me up. This was the first thing that I really remember as I kept trying to look over at them both and seeing BF with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen and basically glowing. It felt like they were both so very far away and it was a struggle to keep looking over at them but I kept trying. I remember him holding her up for me to see bundled in his arms and that smile – to me that is a wonderful image that I hope I’ll always remember.

Soon little one was taken away from BF for another assessment and I remember feeling suddenly very upset. BF was being very calming with how she would be back soon but then he was asked to leave too. I think the fear of being alone kicked in which is why I remember clearly then being moved off the operating table onto the bed and wheeled into a new room back to BF and our baby so things went hazy again.

For me the birth was a massive blur with the occasional flicker of memory or emotions. I am thankful for that as I don’t think it would be great to have memories of that much pain or the fear of a big scary operation. I think it was the gas and air interacting with my brain injury issues that lead to such a level of grogginess but I will probably never know.

I now have a wonderful little girl and that makes it all worth it.

I would love to hear about your birth story so please leave a comment below!

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Annabelle

Annabelle has lived in Exeter, Bournemouth and London but now live in Brighton as a freelancer. With a love of baking, sewing and social media, she is now starting her own blog.

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