It’s been almost 14 months since Isaac made his way into the world, making me a mummy and I think I’m about ready to re-live and share which was simultaneously the best and worst day of my life.
Isaac was late, 10 days in the end, it drove me made. For someone who pre child was very punctual it was pretty hard to accept that in the end there was nothing that I could do to help him jolly along. I tried everything, and I mean everything…curry, pineapple, walking, raspberry leaf tea, scrubbing the floors, bouncing on my birth ball, and everything else. Nothing and I mean nothing worked! For my next child I will be doing nothing and just waiting for nature, in the end it’s the only thing that does work!!
Any way at about 1:30 in the morning I woke up with pretty uncomfortable tightening, period like pains…looks like this is it, thanks goodness! I ran my self a bath and lay there until the pain was worse and they were more regular. At this point I woke up my husband and asked him….I’m sure extremely politely…to call the birthing centre who said that we should come in
Not a fun car journey at all…pain every minute. You don’t have a clue what to expect from labour if you haven’t done it before but you do at least expect to have the standard 3 minute cycle…2 minutes respite, one minutes pain…not so for me. One minute on and about 30 seconds to a minute recovery…intense. My initial check showed me to be four and a half centimetres dilated…phew I don’t have to go home. I did some pacing and lying in different positions. Next check six centimetres and I decided to have some gas and air and get in the birth pool…I guess I had this earth mother ideal picture in my head…my experience of a birthing pool was nothing like that at all. Now I am not disputing whether pools work or not, I know some people to find it very useful…me not so much. The water did little to ease the pain and I felt like a huge hideous whale when I needed to haul my massive, wet pregnant body out of the pool to be checked. On the plus side my check showed me to be eight centimetres now. While checking me the midwife, my guardian angel, accidentally ruptured my waters. I don’t know what I was expecting from my waters breaking but a torrent of murky green water that poor Anne had to literally jump out of the way of! The presence of meconium as all people who know anything about birth will know, put paid to my earth mother idea…not that I was overly upset, the birth pool was not my friend! I was wheeled down the hall…water periodically pooling in my wake to the labour ward for closer monitoring.
Up on the bed, a drip, heart rate monitors for me and him, lots of machines, pretty intimidating when you didn’t want any intervention. Isaac was pretty wriggly so in the end they had to put a monitor on his head to ensure constant contact. At about that time I was really, really sick. After that I was sure I needed to push…the midwives not so sure…after all it had only been 5 hours and 40 minutes since my initial check. Luckily for me my husband is always the first to make sure I get what I need. Off he popped and brought back a midwife who checked me and confirmed that I had reached the hallowed 10cm…HURRAH. It was at that point the midwife said how productive my contractions must have been but that if they had induced me they would have taken me off the drugs cause my body was contracting too much…I didn’t know that you could have too many…apparently I can! So I was allowed to push for an hour before they came back to check me at 11:35. Both midwives (Ann from the birthing centre although she didn’t need to had decided that she wanted to stay with me for support) huddled round the monitor showing Isaacs heart rate, then my nerves started going…how normal is it for them to huddle for that long? Then the dreaded words: your baby is experiencing some decelerations during your contractions, they are recovering but we need a registrar to come and have a look. They agreed to keep a closer eye on me. At 12 he had a big deceleration and that was it,Royput on scrubs we were being rushed to theatre for a Category 1 C-section.
Rushed down the hall with doors being bashed open into a large white hospital-y smelling room. Bright lights; lots of people. The only thing that struck me was my god, how many people have they fir in this room…is this really serious? The anaesthetist started to give me a spinal block…I’d been pushing up till now, don’t bother cried the surgeon we need to knock her out now. Too late I’m half way through was the reply….I to this day can still not decide if I would rather have been knocked out or have had to go through the C-section aware, I think in hindsight I’m a stronger because of it. Once the spinal was on board the pulled up the sheet and started. All I did was stare at the ceiling or atRoy’s hands, looking at them in minute detail, the hands that have cared for me through thick and thin for seven years…the hands I desperately needed to make this situation ok. I remember seeing a lot of shuffling over to the resuscitaire in the corner…movement that I knew was centring around my newly delivered son…no crying…every mother’s nightmare. Please don’t let my baby die. I haven’t prayed in years but I had no where else to go…please god please don’t let my baby die. “Why isn’t he crying, is he ok?” I lost count of how many times I asked this question and received no answer. It felt like hours, in reality it was about 4 minutes. I watched for four agonising minutes three paediatricians crowded around my son, holding a mask over his face, furiously rubbing his chest. At his point I remember looking at the white board and seeing operation start time 12:15, delivery time 12:19, I remember thinking is that all, it only took them 4 minutes to open me up and get him out…surgeons are truly amazing. Finally they stepped away from his table and we were told he was ok but needed to be taken to Neo-natal as he was severely shocked by his delivery and had scored a 0 on the APG score at delivery. They wheeled him round in his plastic box and said you can touch him quickly now if you like before we move him. I remember thinking oh can I quickly touch my son…thanks ever so much. I reached out and touched his tiny hand then they wheeled him off. Now this bit I found pretty gross…when they opened me up the placenta had a funny smell so they decided that both Isaac and I were to have antibiotics every four hours for 48 hours. It later turned out that the smell was due to me having Group B Strep although we did not find that out until my six week check and until then I had no idea what Group B strep was or how serious it could be.
I didn’t meet my son properly for a further four hours, the longest four hours I have ever experienced and the whole world seemed to be revelling in my pain. They wheeled me in to recovery and I was sharing t with a woman, her husband and their new daughter…happy families. I was wheeled up to the post natal ward and the bed they had arranged for me in a near empty ward with no babies had gone…oops the nurse giggled, there’s a space in this ward though so they wheeled me into the middle bed of a ward of six beds and I was surrounded by new families, me my husband and a gaping hole. Do you want your curtains opened? No.
Eventually my Birthing centre midwife Ann came and found me and said they will be bringing up your son in a couple of minutes. He’s fine now. They wheeled him in to my room, picked him up and put him under my gown on my chest. It struck me then that they could have given me any baby because I had seen him for such a short period before he was taken away, and I was son doped up. Daddy remembered his tiny, perfect face though. It turned out that Isaac, being 9lb 1 (4.5kg) had got stuck due to my 5ft4 size 10 frame which obviously had been pretty distressing for him. Shortly after I had a surprise visit from my midwife that had taken care of me for the 41 weeks…first off I got a scolding…I had called her as soon as I got out of surgery to tell her that I wouldn’t be able to make it to my next planned cervical sweep. To this day I have no idea why I called her over everyone else. How traumatic his birth had been hadn’t fully sunk in yet. It only hit me when I asked her why she was here and she replied that Ann had called her to say one of her girls had just come in and had a traumatic birth that actually yes, it was a horrific experience, and my brain hadn’t had a second to think about it until then.
It was heart breaking watching Isaac be wheeled off every four hours to be given his intravenous antibiotics and be subjected to blood tests, his little hand with a canula in it. My baby was hurting and as I was still numb and had a catheter in I couldn’t be there to care for him or stroke his head and tell him everything was ok. When we had both finished out course and were allowed to leave it was the happiest day of my life and walking through our front door, a new family I was completed.
Isaac is a happy, healthy, inquisitive little boy now and you would have no idea about how he entered the world. People are forever stopping me and telling me how cute he is…obviously he loves the attention. He smiles and waves all the time and I love him more than I ever thought was possible. He is my little miracle. Every single day I am grateful for all of the nurses and doctors that saved Isaacs life and I am so grateful that this story has a happy ending.
Did your birth go to plan? Did you need an emergency C-section, how did you deal with it?