It’s one of those things everybody loves hearing about. I have to admit I enjoy reading and listening to other people’s birth stories and as incredible as they are no two are the same. With this one being my second I thought I was prepared and knew what would happen when I went into labour and went on to give birth.
Boy, was I so wrong. Nothing prepared me for my second labour and birth. It certainly wasn’t as traumatic as my first which I have written about here. I had prepared myself for a couple of scenarios of what could happen but I’d like to share my experience today and hopefully share the beauty of child birth with you. This is probably going to be quite a long post so go grab yourself a brew (or a glass of wine) and get yourself comfy.
A few days before my due date I had been joking around telling people that I’d have a Valentine’s Day baby and wouldn’t it be lovely if he was born on Valentine’s Day because he’d be the gift that kept giving each year and I wouldn’t have to buy the OH anymore gifts!! I’d been having Braxton Hicks every night for a few months but no other signs of labour, the night before my due date I’d been able to go see Collabro with my mum and we had a fantastic night (I’ll share it with you soon). Then my due date came, I went to see the midwife and had a sweep (which I can only describe as a drunken rough fingering….uncomfortable and not really fun) then it was a case of waiting to see when the magic would start to happen. I have to say I was getting really nervous as the days went on, not knowing when it would happen or if I’d have to go and be induced, which I really didn’t want to do but needs must and everything.
Then in the early hours of February 14th I kept waking up with period like pains but they weren’t that strong and weren’t regular enough so I tried to sleep while I could and it’s a good job as they were contractions! Yes, finally! However, I had decided that since my waters hadn’t broken I would try and stay home as long as possible and just carry on as normal. I managed to get myself up and dressed, I got the munchkin up and dressed ready for school and was prepared to walk him hoping that the walk would move things along a bit quicker. After doing the rounds with my text messages my mum thought it best I stay home and she take the munchkin to school especially as my contractions were getting a little stronger.
I still didn’t feel like I was going into labour because my waters hadn’t broken and I was worried they’d have to do it in the hopsital when I arrived. This definitely wasn’t like my first labour, my waters had broken first before my contractions had begun. By about 9:30am I felt my contractions getting more and more stronger and had to take some paracetamol just to take the edge off. The OH was enjoying me in pain because I’d been a pain in his arse for the past 9 months with my moods. Of course, it had to be the same day that we had our roof taken off so the house was so noisy and I just wanted to chill. Thankfully I made sure I had eaten some cereal at 7ish for my breakfast.
By 10am my waters still hadn’t broken but my contractions were starting to get closer together and the pain much stronger so I ran myself a bath in the hopes it would ease the pain. It did slightly, but not enough and with fatigue kicking in from the lack of sleep I just wanted to go and lie down on the bed. I drifted in and out of sleep and then felt the need to go to the toilet but at the same time had a slight pop and rush of water sensation come out of me which had to be my waters…..or so I thought, I had absolutely no way of knowing if my waters had gone of if it was just my mucus plug going. I decided to hang on a little while longer and try and time my contractions.
By this point they were between 5-10 minutes apart, my god they were really, really strong I had to be dilated and almost ready for this baby by now. When I couldn’t take it any longer I decided to give the hospital a ring while the OH was putting the bags into the car. We got to the hospital around 12:30ish and I was put into an assessment room to monitor myself and the baby and to get checked to see if my waters did break or not. They said I was only 2 cm Dilated and they would have to give me an internal exam to check if my waters had broken as I wasn’t sure if they had or not.
It was a bit like a smear they believed my waters had gone and they could see the baby’s hair but I wasn’t ready yet as I wasn’t dilated enough. They asked me to take a urine sample if I could after they’d finished monitoring me. It took me a while but I did manage a little sample for them. I wasn’t offered any pain relief and I have to say even though I’d been practicing hypnobirthing, I just couldn’t find my calm and relaxation state of mind as they were the most intense contractions I’ve ever experienced. The midwives said they’d leave me to it and come back to me in about 4 hours to check on my progress.
I’m not sure how fast time went at this point, the OH was good and trying to calm me down and wasn’t happy with how much pain I was in, the midwives had me back on a monitor again and they had me moving in all kinds of positions I think because with each contraction his heart rate was dipping. At this point I was starting to feel like my body wanted to push and no matter how much I told them this I was simply told to just breathe through each contraction as I wasn’t dilated enough to push, until they took at look at the monitor then off the midwife went to get a doctor to take a look at me.
The Dr came into the room took one look at me and told the OH I needed a Cesarean, she was trying to tell the midwives this who wanted to give me another half an hour before I was taken down to the delivery room, I was begging for some pain relief and still trying to tell them I needed to push. I’d made it to 9cm and was finally taken to the delivery room where I was hooked up to another monitor and given gas and air and it felt great. I was still being told not to push no matter how much my body wanted to. It was so hard and I was getting tired and emotional and the poor OH had to deal with me crying and trying to take in information I was being fed by Drs and midwives. I wasn’t in there for long before I was being told I’d need to go for another emergency C-Section as the baby was going into fetal distress. They were explaining if they had time I could just have a spinal and be awake during it or they would have to give me general anesthetic to knock me out if there wasn’t much time.
There were so many people introducing themselves to me and explaining what they’d be doing, whilst explaining the risks and having me fill out all the consent forms that I knew the risks and what was happening. I was starting to get a panicky feeling and getting overwhelmed with everything. The next thing I know they’ve sent the OH out of the room to go and scrub up and get ready for theatre while I’m getting rushed down there. He was there and waiting for me along with loads of other professionals all introducing themselves to me and explaining what they’d be doing and why they have to be in the room and thankfully they had time and were going to do a spinal.
I was given something to numb my insides which I knocked back like a shot, (they did say it wouldn’t taste pleasant. Hahaha). Then I had to sit up and keep still while they put the injection in my spine which was hard as my contractions were so close, however the lovely anesthetist managed to do it in between. Then it started to work and they were asking where I could feel them touching me with I think it was a spray on my sides. When they were happy I was numb they put a screen up in front of me and the OH, who I have to say was amazing with me throughout, sat and talked to me and I was getting emotional over the whole process. Even the midwives were great telling me I’d done well, and I wasn’t a failure I’d gotten so far and done really well, some things just can’t be helped.
I have to admit it was the weirdest sensation, it felt so strange. I could feel tugging and pulling sort of like a washing machine, it’s the weirdest thing to try and explain then you feel a massive relief and all the pressure sort of stops when the baby is removed. We held our breathes waiting for that first cry which seemed to take ages then as soon as I heard him I burst into tears. It was the most emotional thing, my whole labour and birth was to be honest.
He was finally here at 18:20pm on Valentine’s Day. My forever Valentine. I was only in labour for two and a half hours. Wow, talk about quick labours. Darren was asked if he wanted to cut the cord and he did. They cleaned the baby up and wrapped him up. Darren managed to get a few pics of him born and a video of him being weighed. I was able to see him but couldn’t hold him until they’d finished putting me back together. The OH said it looked like an autopsy but with a talking head, he said it was mental and an image he won’t forget in a hurry. Darren and the baby were then taken back to the delivery room we were in so he could get back into his normal clothes and where I could stay until I’d finished my drip and they’d finished monitoring me.
I really didn’t like how I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down, I tried so hard to move my toes and legs but couldn’t. I had to be lifted and moved and it was so weird. I finally got to hold the baby and have cuddles with him. We agreed on the name and the OH unfortunately had to go home. I was able to breast feed Arlo straight away and we spent a good couple of hours feeding. It felt so good. I’d missed out on so much with Mason and it really got me down but I was so glad I was able to experience this with Arlo. I’m gutted I never got my VBAC, if I ever get pregnant again it’s a straight C-Section. They won’t let me try again for a natural birth because both have ended in the baby going in distress.
Not how I planned my labour and birth but I’m so glad he arrived safely and he was born the same day. We were discharged from hospital 24hrs later. My recovery is going OK, but I still have to remember to take things easy which I have to admit has been hard to do. I’d forgotten how hard it is to recover from a C-Section, but I’ll get there.
Thank you for reading my massively long post.
Lots of Love