Before being pregnant (either time), I never understood the fascination with birth stories. I found myself questioning why people would want to know about some intimate moments for a women and her family. However, once I became pregnant I could not get enough of hearing, reading and watching all of these birth stories. One born every minute became a firm favourite, along with reading birth story and seeing all these raw moments of mothers, fathers, siblings meeting this new baby for the first time. I fell in love with being able to see a glimpse into these precious moments and appreciating all those amazing women for sharing those moments. So, now I understand the fascination, here is mine.
I will be honest, my recollection of our birth is a little scattered and although I have tried my best to piece it together and to be as honest as possible, there may be parts I have mis-remembered – apologise and all, but I was midway through bringing my daughter into the world, so I hope you’ll forgive me.
So, as you know, we wanted to have a home birth this time round. This birth plan did not go to plan. When attending my 38 weeks midwifes appointment, I was asked to attend our local hospital for additional checks due to a change in our babies movements. At the hospital all of the additional checks and monitoring showed our baby girl was doing well and showing as healthy. However, it was advised as this change in movement had last for a few continual days, that we should have her induced when I reached 39 weeks. So, it was very simple. My birth plan went out of the window and her well being came first and we agreed to have the hospital birth and being induced.
So fast forward a few days and the time arrived for us to head over to the hospital for the induction process to start. We arrive at 11. I had to go in on my own to the ward where the induction process starts. Dennis was initially not allowed to accompany me. He was only allowed to visit me between set hours of 12-4pm as a visitor. The only exception to this being when I am in active labour and have been moved to the labour ward.
A quick summery of how the induction process was explained to me. You get the 1st pessary which remains in place for 24 hours. At the end of this time (unless you in have gone into labour), the pessary is removed and 2nd one is inserted (can’t remember for how long), if still your not in labour you are given a break from the pessary and after a break a third one will be inserted. At this point the hope is, your labour will begin or you will be dilated enough for your waters to break.
So, after being told the process, I excepted that our birth was likely days away and braced myself for that.
Around 3pm the pessary was inserted. Dennis left at 4 and around 5ish I took myself for a walk around the hospital grounds and had a good phone call with my mum and Dennis. At this time I was having little twinges but they felt like braxton hicks so I carried on. Around 9 I was still having these and they were uncomfortable so I asked for paracetamol. Come 11ish they had amped up a bit and were a topping me from sleeping so the midwife offered me codeine. At 12 I asked for her to examine me as it was becoming painful and my contractions were very regular at this point.
Following the examination it was confirmed I was in active labour and was around 6cm dilated and would be moved to labour ward and Dennis could now return to the hospital and meet me there so we could welcome our baby together. I called him at 12:30am and told him that he needed to return to the hospital. Whilst he was heading over, I was then moved to the labour ward and set in my own room and met the midwife who would be delivering our baby. At 1am Dennis got the hospital and I was still round 7cm at this time.
From there things happened pretty quickly. Upon visiting the toilet my waters broke and at this time the intensity of the contraction and the speed amped up.
Now, this is where things become more hazy for me. But upon an internal examination and the baby’s heart rate dipping, we had to have the emergency button pressed and our room was filled with many doctors and midwifes. When doing the internal check the midwife felt a ridge and was unsure if there was a problem with my cervix and also to check the baby as her heart rate changed. After getting me repositioned the baby’s heart rate settled and the doctor gave the all clear for the midwife to continue with the delivery. At 2am we welcomes Tilly, our daughter, into the world. During the labour she has turned and the ridge that the midwife felt was her facial features. Delivering her back to back was painful but completely worth it.
After her birth I struggled regaining composure. As the adrenaline left my body I found my whole body shaking and feeling extremely exhausted. 4 hours later I managed to get Tilly to latch and feed her and we were able to be moved for recovery before getting discharged from the hospital. Come 1pm ish we get discharged and were released from hospital and were able to start the new chapter of out life as a family of four.