Thursday 23 April 2015

BABY: Birth Story - Part 1

I can't believe I'm sitting here, with my daughter in my lap, writing my birth story. There was a stage a few weeks ago when I thought this day would never come - pregnancy seemed to be never ending! If you follow me on Twitter (@Treasure_E_M) then I'm sure you were aware of this, as everyday I was wishing to get labour 'over and done with' and to finally meet our daughter. I'm clearly an impatient person because in the end our daughter arrived the day before her due date, so I didn't have to wait as long as some. Anyway on to the rather lengthy birth story...

It all began at 8.45am on Tuesday 31st March 2015, my husband and I were watching TV when I got up to close the curtains. As I walked towards the curtains I felt a rush of liquid between my legs, such a strange feeling. I was pretty sure I wasn't wetting myself, despite being heavily pregnant I still had some bladder control! I ran to the bathroom and just sat on the toilet, waiting for my husband to follow me up and help - I didn't know what to do. I dug out the maternity pads, popped one in and rang the birth centre I was planning on giving birth in. They said that I'd have to go in to be examined, just to make sure that my waters had in fact broken, that baby was ok and hadn't pooed etc. The birth centre is about 40 minutes from our house and with the addition of roadworks it took us 1.5 hours to get there, lucky I wasn't in labour! They checked me over and all was fine, so I was sent away to wait for labour to begin. I was given 24 hours before I'd have to go back to be induced. I was told that if I didn't go into established labour (3-4cm dilated) within 24 hours then I wouldn't be able to give birth in the birth centre anymore (due to there being a higher risk of infection, as my waters had broken). So off we went back home, wishing and wanting labour to start. 

At around 4am I woke up with (what I thought were) bad contractions, but they were NOTHING compared to what was to come. I dealt with them by myself for two hours, before waking my husband for moral support. We both eventually fell back asleep in the early morning and upon waking again my contraction had completely gone. The first of many false alarms. 

For the rest of Wednesday 1st April I did everything I could to bring on labour - walking around, bouncing on the yoga ball, drinking raspberry leaf tea etc. I also painted my nails and did some of the last jobs we needed to finish before her arrival. At around 5pm I went for a nap and started getting contractions again, this time they were a bit more painful and were happening every 6 minutes, lasting 30-40 seconds. This time I rang the birth centre, hoping this was labour, but after talking to the midwife she was confident I wasn't in established labour because I could still talk through the contractions. A couple of hours later and once again the contractions had completely disappeared. We had our last meal as a couple (domino's for those that are interested) and headed back to the hospital for 9pm.

We went to the induction ward, where we were shown to a room with 4 beds in. When we arrived we were the only one in the room but during the night it filled up with ladies waiting for planned c-sections and a couple of other women being induced. I was hooked up to the machine to be monitored, where it was evident I was once again having contractions. This meant that they didn't start my induction, with the hope my body was naturally going into labour. I had a bath and we both tried to get some sleep, conscious that we both needed as much energy as possible for when labour did eventually begin. We tried sharing the single hospital bed, but with my big bump that was almost impossible, so we took it in turns to sleep on the bed or in the chair. I think we both got about 2 hours sleep and at around 4am my contractions had stopped again. Oh joy. The midwife did her first internal examination (which was pretty uncomfortable) and broke the news I was a 'fingertip' dilated - barely 1cm! Not the news we wanted to hear. I was given a pessary (a bit like a flat tampon) at 5am, really hoping this would kick start labour. We both got a little bit more sleep before breakfast. I have to say I was impressed with the hospital food - nothing like I thought it was going to be.

We spent Thursday 2nd April walking around the hospital, hoping gravity would help bring on labour. It was the same story as Wednesday though, I'd start getting contractions (which were definitely getting more painful) then they would disappear again. However, by the evening I was well and truly having contractions and they were incredibly painful, baring in mind my pain threshold is pretty low though. I had another bath to try and ease the pain, as well as two paracetamol. They didn't really have much in the way of pain relief on the induction ward. The pessary I had had fallen out, so I was given another one. Fast forward a couple of hours and I was squirming around the bed in pain, it felt like our baby was going to come out of my back - pain like I'd never felt it before. The midwife examined me again and I was only 1-2cm dilated, not much progress in 24 hours! My body really didn't want to go into labour. I was in a lot of pain by now and the only way to get comfortable was to perch on the edge of the bed and hold on to my husband for dear life!! The midwife finally offered some stronger pain relief - pethidine. I had written in my birth plan that I really didn't want pethidine because it can make the baby drowsy, which in turn can make breastfeeding hard. The drowsiness is only an issue if the baby is born within 2 hours after the pethidine injection, being as I was only 1-2cm dilated it was very unlikely she was going to be born within 2 hours so I decided to have it. It's fair to say my birth plan went out of the window, as they often do. The pethidine injection gave me a couple of hours of relief, so I got some more sleep.

Watch out for part 2...

Were you part of the 20% of women who's waters break before going into labour?

Feel free to leave me a comment :)

Helen x


  1. I look forward to reading part two, it sounds like your lovely lady didn't want to leave you. lol. I had to have my waters broken and once they broke them Molly was here within an hour. Can't imagine how you must of been feeling. x

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