Updated: Jan 11
Lexi turns 3 tomorrow (21st December) so I'm feeling reflective.
Disclaimer to my birth story; I get real but not hugely detailed but this does involve, contractions, a man in scrubs, forceps and scissors.
I went into hospital at 8am on 19th December for the pessary in the hopes to kick start labour as my blood pressure and Lexi's heart rate was all over the place. A pessary is basically a hormone covered tampon It wasn't too bad, nice wee bed, tv a bit boring but couldn't complain much. Was all great till that evening I realised I was going to have contain the urge to smother the woman across from me who snored so loud it was going to end me locked up.
After a restless night, some cramps and being woken every few hours to have my blood pressure checked it was time to go to the labour ward...
Deep breathes, positive thinking. I just kept thinking of the birth plan, calm water birth...calm water birth. That was until I was told I couldn't get a water birth as they needed to monitor Lexi's heart rate which was up and down.
10am came and that's when my waters were broke. Always heard this was awful, but it was actually fine, that was until I had 2 different midwives and 1 doctor want to have a feel of my "narrow pelvic canal" which may or may not cause issues when trying to deliver. Hmmmm...ok so what's the plan then?? We will continue the labour and attempt the delivery as normal then see if we come across any difficulties. (This part is important to remember for later on...spoiler alert, there were difficulties). It was uncomfortable having my waters broke and hands everywhere but the comment of "oh she has lots of hair" really gave me the heave.
As Lexi's heart rate was still causing concern they decided to clip a monitor to her head...yes at this point she is still inside me, so I'm waddling about like some irobot with cables coming out of all different places, but this did let me still walk around the room.
The day went so quick (Although hubby disagrees haha). The pains were horrific, whoever says it's like really bad period pain needs to give birth again as I don't think they got the "full" experience last time. Gas and air was incredible, would highly recommend. It gave me that feeling of when you're in a club, loving life, dancing and feeling like you're floating, but without the alcohol, the music and the loving life part, I know which of the two I would prefer.
Late afternoon I had had enough. I asked for an epidural but was advised I was so close to pushing it would only delay the birth longer, so to keep going (Again another important part to remember for later...spoiler alert, labour slowed down and we were definitely not close).
Between 5-8pm I was so over the whole thing, my contractions had slowed down, I was exhausted and just could not be arsed any longer. Could she just live in there, it would make everyone's lives so much simpler surely?
8pm. It was time...pushing commenced. Why does no one tell you it feels like the baby is trying to come our your ass??
9pm. Yes. We're still here. Pushing. Pushing. No progress WHAT SO EVER!!!
10pm. Yup. Still pushing here. Crying. Hubby getting frustrated that no one seems to be listening.
Finally a doctor comes in to check. Remember that point I made earlier about how that narrow pelvis birth canal comment would be vital, yep that’s now.
At this point I'm thinking I have no idea what's about to happen but I have been getting strong contractions for 12 hours, constant pushing for 2 hours. I do not care what they have to do, to just get this baby out of me!
We get told we're going to theatre. Hubby comes strutting out the toilet is scrubs thinking he looks epic, I'm trying to listen and consent to something about needle in the back, similar to epidural, forceps and/or potential c-section. Not really sure what I'm signing for, but if it means all this is over then I'm signing.
The only downside to going to theatre which no one told me until to moment we had to leave was that I couldn't take the gas and air with me. Apparently it's not portable. So here I am laying on the bed, getting wheeled into theatre with ZERO pain relief. But it's ok I can do this. Get to theatre and the anesthetist asks if I'm comfy enough for him to do the spinal block....I am not comfy but stab that needle in back now so I can lie down and chill for a bit, and so he did.
At this point I'm now numb, cannot feel any contractions, still feeling woozy from gas and air all day and even better THERE'S CHRISTMAS MUSIC PLAYING. Did I sing, yes, yes I did. Now we have the music playing, we just need the alcohol and it is like a club.
Now we get to the "good" bit. I am told they will use forceps, basically big tongs, to try and help when I push. Downside if this doesn’t work then its c section which would be fine but the fact I’ve already had an episiotomy (the fancy word for a surgical cut you know where), so there was no way I was leaving this hospital with a c section cut, a cut where no cut should be and a newborn.
When they told me push I bloody pushed.
I actually did it it one. Proudest moment of my life. Singing along to Shakin' Stevens- Merry Christmas Everyone, not feeling a thing and now cute little Lexi with an impressive bruise on her temple is born.
Then came the lovely news of, oh that surgical cut we made, well it also tore so you now have a 3rd degree tear. I didn't quite comprehend how big the tear was as I was still numb, however the leaflet they gave me made it very clear. I won't go into full detail but I definitely think that's where the saying "tear you a new one" comes from.
And on that note, thank you if you have read this far, I will continue this story in another post as it's actually helped me so much to understand where my anxiety started from. Getting it all down on paper and adding some humour has made me feel much less angry and bitter towards the experience.
I love hearing other women's birth stories so please feel free to tell me about yours. I think there something so powerful about talking about the struggles, traumas and joy together.
Laura & Lexi