Tuesday, 26 January 2016

MY LABOUR AND BIRTH STORY | PART TWO

Dear Freya, 

I remember the exact moment the midwife told me it was time for us to move to the labour ward. Your daddy had just spent £20 on food for me to keep in the hospital room as we were sure I'd be on the antenatal ward for another night, only for us to find out I was now nil by mouth (except water) until you had been born.
 

We gathered our things and waited for someone to come and collect us. A young midwife called Megan introduced herself and took us downstairs. Megan was lovely. I really really liked her and I wish she would have been the midwife to deliver you. We were shown to our new room, the room you were to be born in, and we settled ourselves in before I was put on the trace machine once again to make sure you were okay before my waters were broken. They break your waters by using what I can only describe as a medical crochet needle. It's not as bad as it sounds, a little uncomfortable but nothing compared to what comes afterwards. I was examined and found out I was already 4cm dilated without having any pains whatsoever. It took her a while but Megan finally managed to break my waters and my contractions started almost instantly.

The feeling of contractions was nothing like I had imagined. People had told me they start high in your tummy and your tummy goes hard and tight, whereas mine were nothing like that. Mine were very low down and felt like period pains on steroids. I tried to bounce on a birthing ball but it just made the pain worse,I just couldn't get comfy anywhere. It was intense. I don't mean to put you off here, Freya, but it really flipping hurt. I remember bursting into tears every time I felt one and then feeling right as rain and apologizing for being an idiot as soon as they stopped. 

I laboured for two hours without any pain relief, going from 4cm to 6cm, before asking for gas and air. It takes a good 10 minutes to get into your system properly but once it's in, oh my goodness what an amazing invention. I had never loved something as much in my whole entire life. It made me super giggly to begin with, your daddy kept looking at me as if I was crazy whenever I started laughing my head off. I don't remember this part of my labour very well as I may as well have been in outer space, but your daddy informs me I was saying all kinds of things. I do remember wanting to be left alone, though. I didn't want to be touched or spoken to so your daddy actually had a fairly easy time of it for a few hours. I began to ask for an epidural at around 8pm (my waters had been broken at 3.30pm) but the anesthetist was busy and I was told I had to wait. I was offered Diamorphine, which I happily accepted, but it made no difference to the pain I was feeling, just made me extra sleepy. I kept falling asleep between contractions and waking myself up by dropping the gas and air on myself. 

By the time the anesthetist was free and I could be examined before the epidural was fitted I was already at 9.5cm and there was no time for an epidural. This is where things started to get a little scary for me and I panicked very quickly. Megan had left by this point and a new midwife had taken over. I didn't like this one, she was very abrupt and forceful and I felt very under pressure and almost scared. She asked your daddy to take an outfit from your bag and lay it out in the cot ready for you. At around 9.30pm I was examined again and told I was the full 10cm and ready to push. My legs were put into stirrups (OUCH) and the bottom half of the bed was removed (amazing, never seen anything like it in my life). Scary Midwife told me I couldn't have the gas and air while I was pushing and took it away. I think this is what pushed me into massive panic mode. My body was doing its own thing and I had no control over anything anymore. I needed to push but the midwives weren't quite ready yet and just told me to let my body do its thing. Before I had you I never imagined the urge to push would be so strong, my body was literally jerking all over the bed every time I had a contraction. 

I remember 10pm being the time I could finally push properly and try to get you out. I won't lie though, Freya, I wasn't handling the pain very well. I had all these plans to be in calm and in control of the situation but it just wasnt happening that way for me. I was very anxious and after a few unsuccessful pushes (my contractions weren't long enough to get three good pushes in so there wasn't enough force to bring you down) I decided very quickly that I couldn't do it. I was incapable of giving birth to you and I didn't want to do it.  was in a pretty difficult place mentally during all of this, I wasn't thinking straight and even started to pretend I wasn't having contractions so that I wouldn't have to push anymore. It was then that your heart rate started to dip and things got very serious. 

I remember about 5 or 6 more people entering the room. I know one of them was the doctor who delivered you and I know on was the pediatrician who checked you out after you had been born but I don't remember the rest of them. A very stern doctor sat at the end of the bed and told me that had already tried to get you out via a suction cup (I have no recollection of this whatsoever) and now they were about to try using forceps otherwise I would be wheeled down to theater for an emergency cesarean. I remember the sound of the instruments being picked up and placed back down again. Metal clanging is not the most relaxing of sounds, trust me. 

Once the forceps had been positioned around your head I was told to push very slowly and the doctor would gently pull on the forceps to help you on your way down. I had tried my best to pull myself back together at this point, and I was concentrating as best I could on getting you out as quickly but as safely as possible. The pain of pushing your head out is indescribable. I had never felt pain like it in all my life but it was all worth it for the relief I felt when the rest of your body was out. 

At 22.24 on December the 4th you were placed on my chest, all mucky and wrapped up in a hospital towel. I was in awe, I couldn't believe you were real and actually here. I forgot about all the pain of the last 9 months straight away and just soaked you up. I kept looking up at your daddy to check he was okay and I can just remember the all consuming love I felt for both of you in that moment. You were taken to the other side of the room to be checked by the pediatrician after a minute or two just to check you were breathing properly since your heart rate had dropped so low during birth, but judging by the screams you were letting out I was pretty sure you were fine (and so you were, scoring a perfect 10 on the APGAR test). 

You were wiped down and wrapped up in a clean towel before being handed back to me, where you latched on straight away and fed like a champ. Once youd finished eating you were passed to your daddy for the very first time and I could see how much he loved you just by looking. 

Meeting your daddy for the first time.

It's been a long almost 8 weeks since you've been born, Freya. Running on very little sleep and looking after a new born isn't easy. But it's also been the quickest eight weeks of my life. The last 8 weeks of my pregnancy felt like they went on forever, whereas these 8 weeks we've spent with you have flown by. We are so lucky to be your parents, Freya, and we wouldn't change you for anything (not even for a longer nights sleep every now and then!). I've just used a youtube video of a vacuum cleaner to send you to sleep and you look so perfect. I still don't understand how your daddy and I made something as perfect as you, and I doubt we ever will understand it. All we do know is that we love you with our hearts and souls and can't wait to watch you grow into the amazing woman you're destined to be. 

All my love,

Mummy x