Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our Birth Story



Sorry for the delay in posting the news - I have been busy playing with my new son who is 3 weeks old today. Several people have been asking to hear the birth story, and so here it is. Be warned, it's long!

It all started on the Sunday, though at a fairly slow pace - my first signs that my little guy would be a fairly laid back little being. I woke up with cramps and then discovered that the mucus plug had started to disintegrate. After a while I noticed that there were times when the cramps hurt more than others... I thought this might be early signs of contractions and that perhaps something might be happening.

I went to bed early on Sunday night just in case. It was a good plan as the cramps were actually enough to wake me at 2 am. I tried timing the intervals between the cramps but it was hard to do - there was a dull ache there all the time which got worse for a bit, but it was really hard to tell where the worse bit (potentially a contraction) started and finished, but it seemed like they were lasting about 2 1/2 mins every 8 minutes or so.

After a while I got up and ate and watched a bit of TV. The cramps became less frequent and less intense so I went back to bed. I slept through the 'contractions' so you get the idea that they weren't that painful! I decided to let donor daddy (DD) and the doula know what was going on, even though things didn't really seem that imminent to me. 

People started saying that I was in early labour and that things could all speed up at any minute - I still didn't really feel like that was the case - but these people had children and I didn't, so I decided that perhaps I should listen to them. I could now see how people manage to record massively long labours though - I decided not to start timing yet! 

DD was encouraged by the women at his work to get himself here as soon as possible, and so he arrived early evening on the Monday. That night too, the contractions were more intense than in the day - I didn't get a wink of sleep. Tuesday came and went, DD busied himself in the kitchen, making me meals for the freezer, I tried to rest. My doula came too to see how I was going. Between them they made me eat and sleep. I took some painkillers that night and managed to sleep between contractions which was great.

And so came Wednesday. Now, things were starting to hurt quite a bit now and I began to feel like I wanted to hurry this baby along. DD drove me over to my parents house where I proceeded to walk around the garden. Then I went to see the reflexologist and massage therapist that I had been seeing throughout my pregnancy. On the drive there the contractions seemed worse, on the drive back they seemed worse still. I was thinking they might calm down once I was out of the car, but no!

So, we took a final photo of Mr Bump
Last ever photo of Mr Bump - 41 + 1
And DD busied himself planing things in the garden, whilst I had contractions on the wheelie bin



I hung out at home for as long as I could and eventually went into hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning. I was 5 cm on arrival. All was well at this stage and I was admitted into the midwife led birthing unit. After a couple of hours the pool was free and so I moved into there. I had no other pain relief still at this stage and the contractions were fairly strong but I could just about manage them with breathing. 

I did have incredible back pain though, the baby was actually back to back, and on examination they found that and my labour had not progressed at all since my arrival. Due to his position the baby couldn't break my waters and so they had to be broken artificially. This made the contractions incredibly strong - I would say that I rapidly went to 10cm after this, though the whole thing is in fact a blur. I needed pain relief and despite having said I wouldn't have pethidine, it seemed like I would be completely giving in to go straight to an epidural, and so I accepted the pethidine offer. 

Turns out I am one of those people for whom pethidine has no effect... so then it was time for the epidural, it seemed to take forever for the anaethetist to arrive as he had emergencies to deal with. Eventually he came, and the epidural was inserted - but it only numbed half of my body. So he had to come back. After turning me over and trying to make it drain into the other side (!), and topping me up, eventually it was taking effect on both sides. 
By this time I think I had been at 10cm for a while. Baby's heart beat was getting slower and slower when I had contractions and the staff were starting to worry - they did some tests on the baby's oxygen levels and they came back "borderline". Suddenly we were and emergency and baby had to be out within an hour - we were on our way to theatre! 
This was a horrible hour, but somehow I managed to stay focussed on the task in hand and ignore all the people rushing about and prepping up in the theatre. I just kept repeating to myself that I was in one of the best hospitals in the country and I just had to get this baby out... 
I could feel nothing but had to learn to push - with the help of one of the midwives I learned to tell when I was having a contraction by feeling it in the the top of my uterus with my hand and then we practiced pushing so that I knew, even without feeling, which ones were effective. Once we actually got to the point where the rest of the team were ready to help bring my baby out it didn't take too many pushes, combined with the pulls of ventouse to bring the Baby Boy (BB) out. 

First photo of the little guy


It took him a while to cry, he needed help to breathe and had to have mucus sucked out of his lungs and was fairly unresponsive at first - I was panicking, but eventually was told that he was fine. It wasn't the birth I was hoping for, but I am happy with it all the same. Little man got here safely and I couldn't ask for more than that!



I know know that his APGAR score was 6 at 1min, 8 at 5 min and 9 at 10 mins - so really, after all that he is a very healthy baby. His weight was 7lb 2.5oz (3.255kg).
BB and I have our first look at each other
He changed really quickly as his head became less cone like and his wrinkles ironed out.

3 hours old
6 hours old
We came home before he was even 24 hours old. 
Just before we left hospital
Many thanks to my doula and to DD for their support throughout the whole event, and to the excellent staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital
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3 comments:

  1. I've been waiting to read the fuller version (though I know I've read most of it already). Your early labour did go on forever! Good thing you were so calm through it. And DD cooking freezer meals! What a star. The thing that really strikes me about your birth story is your determination to birth BB naturally, despite being numb waist-down and having all the emergency pressure. This is really extraordinary and phenomenal. Like I said before, you should be so proud.

    The photos are amazing too! Look how much he changed in 24 hours. Incredible.

    He's beautiful. Hearty congratulations to you and DD, and welcome to the world Beautiful Boy!

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  2. It was lovely to hear your birth story, I liked the imagines you painted for us with your words, for example the wheelie bin and DD working in the garden.
    Enjoy the baby Emma, they grow so fast.

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