Hello everyone! I am writing to you from my sofa wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of tea and with my son snuggled up beside me. I sometimes still feel so overwhelmed when I think that he’s ours and I get to be there for him forever. My son, I’m a mum! While he’s sleeping, I thought I’d tell you my birth story as nothing turned out to be as we initially planned.
I finished work a few weeks ago and I had a lot of things planned that I still wanted to do around the house before the baby arrives. I was so happy to be off work as even though I was feeling well, I felt the train journey to and from work was starting to exhaust me and my back was suffering the consequences of standing up for 30 minutes during the train ride. My due date was on the 28th October so I thought I’d have enough time to organise everything before I go into labour. Little did I know…
Towards the end of my pregnancy the doctor’s were getting concerned about the baby being slightly on the smaller side so I had a few additional scans. On my birthday (14th October) I had another growth scan at the hospital. After the scan they told me that I had 2 options. Either to have another growth scan a week from then and be induced on my due date or to be induced tomorrow. I wanted to wait as the baby was completely fine, just looking a bit small. The doctor said that was fine and asked me to wait for a report. A few minutes later the doctor came back and told me that he looked at all my stats and given my height, the baby is looking very small so I will need to be induced the next day.
Safe to say I was completely unprepared for that. We have moved a couple of months ago and I wanted to give birth in a different hospital that was closer to our new house. I called my midwife at the other hospital, explained my situation and asked if someone could see me at the second hospital to see if I could get an induction date with them. The maternity ward was very busy so I waited a couple of hours for my appointment (fun birthday, huh?) but when I was finally seen, they agreed with the doctors from the other hospital and asked me to stay overnight to be induced tomorrow.
I didn’t have my hospital bag with me or anything at all really as I was only going in for a scan. Most of my things were packed so my boyfriend picked up my things and met me at the hospital after work. They told me that my induction could take up to 3 days as this is my first baby and I still have 2 weeks until due date so my body is not ready. They were going to start the process the next day in the morning so I asked my boyfriend to go home and get some sleep.
The next morning at 10.15am they gave me a pessary which is the first step of the induction process. The goal of this was to shorten my cervix and have me dilated by 2cm so they can break my waters. When they brought me some lunch at midday I could feel pain in my lower abdomen that felt like period pain but stronger. It felt uncomfortable, but not unbearable. However, as the time went by, the pain was getting stronger and stronger. It must’ve shown on my face because around 6.30pm the midwife strapped me to the monitor to see whether the pain I was feeling were contractions or not. It turned out that I was definitely having contractions and having way too many than the doctors would’ve liked me to. They told me they had to remove the pessary not to distress the baby as the contractions were 1 minute apart. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night because the contractions were happening so often I didn’t really get to rest in between. The good news was that I was 2 cm dilated and ready to have my waters broken. The only problem was that they didn’t have a free delivery room and there were 3 women before me in the queue for a bed.
I asked for the pethidine injection to rest and gather my energy for what was to come once they broke my waters. I kept having contractions throughout the night, but they felt manageable. Around 4.30 am, I felt a pop and thought that the baby kicked me but as soon as I sat up I felt that it wasn’t my baby but my waters broke. And yes, it was as you see in movies, a big gush of water. My boyfriend helped me get to the bathroom to change and that’s when I felt pain that I’ve never felt before. Contraction from this point onwards were so painful that I struggled to speak, breathe or think. We called the midwife and she strapped me to the monitor to see how the baby reacted to my waters breaking. While they were watching the baby, I felt like they had to check how dilated I was as this definitely felt like the second phase of labour. I called the midwife for some pain relief, she said I couldn’t get an epidural as I needed to be 4cm dilated and last time they checked I was only 2cm. At that point I felt really frustrated because yes, what she was saying was true, but that was at 7pm the evening before and now it was 4.30am and no one has checked if anything changed. The midwife brought me a paracetamol instead. A few minutes later I asked my boyfriend to call the midwife as I felt like i wanted to push. She saw that I was really suffering at that point, so she took me off the monitor and checked how far along I was. Aaaand it turned out I was already 8cm! She immediately called some help and they moved me to the delivery room. As soon as they moved me ( which took maybe 1 minute) I asked for an epidural. They checked again and it was too late for any pain relief as I was 10cm dilated and the baby was coming.
This was something I was really worried about from the start. I knew 1 thing for sure and that was that I wanted an epidural to get through this. When they told me I’m going to have to do this without any pain relief I felt a bit scared. But hey, I didn’t have much time to dwell on it because the contractions kept coming and like it or not, I had to do this. I started pushing and it took me 2 or 3 contractions to figure out when was the best time to push and how to help your body to push more effectively. It was around 5.30am when the midwife said the baby would be here before 6am but I had to focus.
My beautiful son was born at 5.41am that morning and holding him in my arms for the first time was a feeling I will never forget. I would go through all that pain a thousand times to have my baby in my arms and to see that he’s healthy and to kiss him for that very first time.
K. (and baby Lucas)