Thursday, 22 September 2011

My Birth Story

On Tuesday morning the 26th of July, I woke up early (like I had been doing every morning due to needing a wee - my poor squashed bladder), with what I thought must be braxton hicks, quite strong ones, like bad period pains.
I'd had some similar pains before on the two previous Fridays, one night was very painful but both had turned out not to be anything as the next couple of days I would have no signs, until weak period pains would return about 48 hours after each occasion.
Due to this I assumed this was just practice again, although with it being almost my due date and the regular weaker pains I'd been getting - like a build up, it did make me wonder if it could be starting. I got out of bed when Ashley had left for work as it was too uncomfortable to sleep. I went about a normal routine, having breakfast, writing a post on here, all whilst getting these pains. After a while they then seemed to have mostly worn off so i went back to bed for a couple hours later on thinking they wouldn't come back. I'd even told my sister I'd speak to her the next day after my sweep, as nothing was going to happen in the hours between then.

I was very wrong!

I can't remember when the pains started again, but I'd been getting on with household chores and had been planning to make Butternut squash risotto (after being on the Hipp site and thinking i could freeze most of it for ready meals for when baby came). I didn't realise how much of a challenge sorting out butternut squashes would be! It was hard, especially due to being a massive 40 week pregnant whale and I began to get back ache.
I assumed it was because I'd been stood up too long doing it all, but after I'd been cooking for a while, the backache started to get worse and I was getting cramping pains, and it was getting really hard to do it.
I still didn't think i was in labour though! It was in the back of my mind but I was slightly in denial.

I think it was about 8 in the evening when I realised I was getting regular contraction like pains and I was kind of excited but also thought that they'd wear off just like the other nights (but then they'd not been so convincing as this). When I noticed they were coming every 10 to 15 minutes and they were getting quite painful, it started to kick in that it was pretty likely that i was in labour. I hadn't showered or painted my nails during the day like I planned and I didn't want to go in a mess (which may sound silly) so I realised I had to go get that done. I told Ash, (who was busy playing on his xbox) I was doing so, just in case we had to go to the hospital I was still not 100% convinced - I think I knew but I just couldn't believe it was actually happening. Its hard to describe how I was feeling.
It turns out its not so easy shaving your legs with contractions!! Then when Ashley saw I'd done my make up he laughed.

After then they were getting closer and closer in a very short space of time and stronger so I knew it was labour and called the delivery suite. It was about half ten by then (I think). They were 5 to 6 minutes apart but it was confusing as I would get two or three in a row, which i think is why I'd been unsure since 8pm whether it was real labour, as i never knew you could get more than one contraction at once (always thought it was just one and then the minutes in between then the next and so on).
The midwife I spoke to told me I didn't need to go in until they were 2 - 3 minutes apart and to try paracetamol and a have a bath. I was quite upset then as they were getting pretty painful and it was hard coping with more than one at once. I told Ash he may as well go to bed as I was thinking of my friend Mel who had been up all night in pain until she had progressed to that point, so I thought I would be the same and not be going anywhere until the morning.
He said no though, as I think he thought we would be going to the hospital soon. So he knew better than me!

We started timing them and he was trying to help me get through them and they were 3 minutes apart within no time at all. I couldn't believe it at first, and the multiple contractions were still confusing me, but in quite a bit of pain I then rang the hospital and they told me to come in, it was actually happening!
I'm not too sure if i was excited anymore by then though, as I had already been crying because of the pain and because I knew this was by no means the worst of it! 

We had to get a taxi in as neither of us drive or have a car (yet) so that was fun sitting in the back trying to keep completely composed during contractions! I didn't want to freak the taxi driver out and make him think I was gonna give birth in his car!
It was about midnight, just after when we got to the hospital and delivery suite. I was put on a little ward area when we got in, as they don't let you go into a delivery room until you're in established labour, although in the end i went in before that.
She checked me when we got in and found i was 2-3 cm dilated already, although  because of the pain and wanting something for it, I was hoping it would be 4cm, but it could have been worse! If it had been 1cm dilated I think i would have lost my mind! I didn't realise or had forgotten you couldn't have pain relief until established labour (and I can't have Codeine as I'm allergic) so I was upset as the contractions were very painful now and she told me that getting a few in a row was normal and called coupling. Its bloody awful. I guess everyone probably gets that but i had no idea!

Putting it into perspective they hadn't got that painful until i started throwing up because if how much it hurt. She said its because of your stomach being close to your contracting uterus but I'm so sure it was the pain!
Anyway as they were so strong and coming constantly my midwife got a bath run in one of the delivery rooms (the baths are great, so massive) and so I was off the mini ward which was a relief.

After the first examination she'd said she'd check me in 4 hours, I was horrified, 4 bloody hours, to see if I was in established labour, and before I could have any pain relief.
So we were left in my delivery room and i was in the bath and my contractions started to get horrific, she'd taught me to breath through them, but some were so bad i actually had to kind of scream. Only a few times, but i kept telling Ash I couldn't do it and said it was the worst experience of my life and to make it stop! He was so good looking after me though. He'd helped me sort myself out when I'd been sick a few times on the ward and was holding me and stroking my hair and helping me as much as he could by comforting.
I ended up getting out the bath, I couldn't take the pain and I was a bit hysterical I think. I begged him to get the midwife to take a look at me because I really needed at least gas and air and needed to know how far gone I was, I was sure I must already be pretty well established. So after a bit he got her for me (using the and she checked how far i was which KILLED as it set off another majorly strong contraction, I'd just had one before that had made me scream.
She was very shocked and told me I was 8cm gone already!

She finally gave me gas and air but the pain was still awful, and even though I'd got through almost all of it with nothing I begged her for diamorphine (Leeds don't do Pethidine anymore) or even an epidural (which i had been adamant about not wanting, but i was desperate and hysterical i think....otherwise I'm sure i wouldn't have asked).
She wasn't gonna give me any with being 8cm but the Dr said it was ok, but I don't think they realised or had I by then that I needed to push (and how soon my I'd be giving birth), so I had started doing...I couldn't stop it, so i must have gone to 10cm if lightening speed but i didn't know so didn't click I was now starting to push my baby out.

My body was starting to make me push really hard, so hard at one point all this fluid came rushing out, but I didn't know if it was my waters or i'd wee'd lol, turns out the latter! 
Ash briefly left the room not long after...I don't know why as the Dia morphine made me practically fall asleep in the time between each contraction (such a relief). I think he needed a wee too haha! In that time my waters actually finally did go.....right last minute. I then was pushing really hard again and then thought I'd poo'd myself! I asked to go to the toilet and then I hadn't so was confused, I hadn't realised that the feeling was my babies head popping out into the birth canal, the midwife didn't realise this either ....and after a bit looked and're baby is right there! She thought it might take a while to push out but after a couple pushes she was coming out, but the midwife told me I had to stop pushing (which felt almost impossible) and just breathe her out, as I was tearing.

And then really quickly she came out.

She made a little cry but then stopped and she looked blue, they had put her on my chest briefly but then took her right off because she wasn't breathing. It was terrifying.

 A load of doctors came in and took her over to this area in the corner of the room and were trying to get cries out of her and doing checks whilst I had to deliver the placenta. My midwife (Juliet - she was wonderful) was going to pull it out using the umbilical cord, but that snapped so she was asking for someone else to come in and assist (besides the other person who had to be present at birth) but then I pushed it all out that second so shocked her again! It was huge, i'm sure almost as big as Grace.
The doctors had her for a while and I was so so scared and kept asking if she was ok, even though they told me she was. It was because I'd delivered so quickly after the diamorphine which they weren't expecting. I eventually got her back which was such a relief and she was a normal colour and I had my baby girl in my arms!

:) Shortly after they had to do my stitches, so Ashley held Grace. I had a 2nd degree perineal tear and a couple of other lacerations. However I can't remember feeling any pain pushing her out (that had been the bit I was most scared off ....I just couldn't see how it was possible) and even though the pushing sensation is so strong, it is such a relief from the contractions
I think the girl who did my stitches was still a bit unexperienced as it took her ages and another midwife had to help at one point and seemed a bit annoyed at her. I just wanted it to be over!

Here are some of the first photo's after Grace was born:

Grace Lily Olivia Dykes 7lb10 oz Born: 27/7/11 4.03am

Holding my baby girl properly for the first time <3

Proud Daddy <3
Later on that morning they did quite a few checks on my heart because I'd been having more palpatations and tachycardia. It all seemed fine, but then we had to stay in hospital overnight as the paediatrician detected a heart murmor in Grace that afternoon in the post natal ward.
I was very upset about it and that we had to stay in. Ashley had gone home to get some sleep but came back and my sister and my nephew came over and were the first people to meet her. 
The murmur was still there the next morning so we were told we would have to take her for a scan in about 6 to 8 weeks. She still has it but its an innocent one thank god, so she is perfectly healthy.

She was so well behaved in the hospital. All the other babies were screaming on the ward but she just wiggled a lot and whimpered a lil bit if she wanted something. She didn't have a proper screeching cry at first, like the other babies on the ward, just this cute little wah sound, which finally came out when she had her first bath! Before then it had just been a one off noise, not continuous. However now, as every baby she has a very loud cry when she is not happy about something.

If you are due to give birth for the first time, don't be scared. I used to be terrified of it before being pregnant, but then was less scared when I was as I had the baby to focus on.
It was very painful, but I was lucky and had a relatively short labour (although I do wonder if I started dilating a couple weeks in advance) and despite the pain and having to cope with stitches for a couple weeks after, I would do it again. It was the best experience of my life giving birth to my baby girl and we are so lucky to have her.
 Everyone says you will get through it, and you may doubt it but they are right and it will be one of the happiest times of your life. Good Luck to anyone expecting.

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