I was recently blessed enough to welcome my beautiful baby into the world! Below is a fairly detailed description of my birth experience. Overall I’d describe it as intense. It was nothing like what I had imagined or planned but I feel very lucky to have been able to experience it. I recognise not everyone has a good birth experience, but although not every part of the birth was ideal it all worked out and so I consider it a good experience.
Here we go!
So around 7 pm on the Friday I started feeling contractions. At this time my parents were around having take-away with me (although I couldn’t really eat) whilst my husband/baby daddy was at the pub seeing a friend. I messaged him and said not to rush home as there would be plenty of time. He came home within the hour, at which stage the contractions started to ramp up and my parents left. We went upstairs and my husband had put on my (electric) tea light candles, a scented candle and my chilled birth playlist. I tried to focus on my hypnobirthing as the discomfort ramped up. It felt like heightened period pains, and was mostly in my back – I expected to feel it in my front/ bump but never really did, it was always in my lower back.
Around 11 pm we phoned the hospital and they told us to hold on if we could. We did but then phoned again at midnight to say we were coming in. I had thrown-up a few times and we thought my waters had broken. When we got to hospital they checked me out and said I was only 2-3 cm dialted, meaning they could do a sweep and give me pain meds but then I’d have to go home. I told them that as I’d been sick I was worried about taking painkillers as I didn’t want them to just come back up! They gave me an anti-sickness injection then some painkiller pills. I waited for them to kick in and then be discharged. As I was getting off the bed to leave my waters broke! Turns out at home it was my hindwaters (didn’t realise there was more than one) and it felt like a water ballon bursting inside me. They told me to get back on the bed and they’d check me again in a bit. They came back and checked me, still only 2-3 cm but as the baby was in a weird position and adding extra preassure (and thus discomfort) that I could have a stronger pain killer. I accepted the Pethidine injection – although they said that as it crossed over into the baby not to have it if you are about to give birth in the next 3-4 hours but that there was no way I’d be giving birth by then so it was safe (of course I did give birth within this time frame).
Over the next couple of hours I was in and out of conciousness, but when I was conciouss my body kept pushing, so I kept shouting ‘NO NO NO don’t push!!’ because I knew it was too soon to push but I couldn’t stop it! Around 6.30 am I told my husband I thought I could feel the head. He had a quick look but said it was all good, so at 7 am I told him I needed to go to the toilet because if it wasn’t a baby then something else was about to come out of me that I would rather leave in the toilet. My husband helped me to the toilet and I asked him to stay. Instinctively I felt inbetween my legs and then exclaimed, ‘I can feel the head!!!!’ My husband was rather suprised, but when he looked he confirmed, ‘Oh my god yess!!!’ He ran into the corridor and found the first person who looked authorative (luckily a midwife) and told her. They put a towel down in the doorway of the bathroom and got me on all fours. Other midwives came and put a screen around – this is still in the triage ward. They then asked if I could move and I said yes, so I waddled over to the bed I’d been on and climbed on it so I was still on all fours. They then decided they could try and move me. So I’m on all fours on a bed, pushing and I’m being rushed through the corridors with my husband running alongside me trying to reassure me and let me know he was still there.
We made it to a labour suite and they asked me to transfer beds, so I climbed over to the other bed. I was then pushing and the head wasn’t quite coming out so one of the midwives told me to turn over and lie on my back. I did and as soon as I did the head came out! Instant feeling of relief! But as the baby had decided to come out sideways (rather than facing up or facing down) his shoulders were getting stuck. They kept telling me to push and I was, but nothing was happening. Then one of the midwives hit the emergency button and a whole bunch of people came running in. I just remember four people suddenly grabbing my legs and pushing them up practically behind my ears and then another person put their hand inside to pull baby’s back arm out. I then pushed again and he came out. Now, I don’t remember this because I was just in the zone, but apparently he was blue when he came out. So they handed him to someone they called ‘the baby guy’ and he put the baby on some special equipment and made him a pink and crying baby! My husband held him first. Hubby had brought a shirt to the hospital to wear for the birth to make skin-on-skin easier, but as it had all happened so quickly all of our stuff was still on the triage ward, we had to just abandon it all, so he was still in his dirty t-shirt he’d been sleeping on the floor in. He just whipped it off to do skin-to-skin. They then told me to hold the baby as the placenta didn’t want to come out (even though I’d had an injection to help). Eventually it did come out and then I got showered and stitch up whilst we came up with the baby’s name. My husband just kept going ‘Hello mummy, my name is….’ and I’d respond ‘no, it isn’t’ until we landed on the right one.
So that’s the story. My first birth experience was nothing like I’d planned or anticipated. It was quick, I had painkillers and there was no water birth or delayed cord cutting (they obviously had to sort baby out quickly). Despite all of this I will cherish the experience forever. It gave me my little cub and I couldn’t love him more.