After quite a drugged up labour with Dexter, followed by a caesarean with Paisley, I had hopes (dreams, even) that this time would be different. Alas, my shitty pregnancy made me ‘high risk’ so my dreams of a spontaneous labour with a beautiful and calm water birth were dashed. I wasn’t allowed to labour on my own, I required a midwife with me for one to one care and baby needed to be monitored the whole time. To be honest though, being pregnant had completely wiped me out and anyway the baby had to come out was fine with me. Ideally I didn’t want another section but if thats what needed to happen then so be it. As long as it was over soon.
Anyway, lets start at the very beginning….. a very good place to start (admit it, you sang that part)
I had a growth scan at 36 weeks along with a consultant appointment to discuss my gestational diabetes. It was agreed at this point that the baby was measuring large (above the centile lines) and I had polyhydramnios (too much fluid around the baby) so a plan was made to induce me at 37 weeks and a bed was booked for me for the following Tuesday.
Tuesday rolled around, Liam and I dropped the kids off at my mums and off we went to hospital. I was shown to a room right at the end of a corridor. It was ok I guess but it was missing a few things so it looked like a room that was barely used and that people had taken equipment out of whenever they needed it. Sort of like the junk room or the ‘spares’ room.
Eventually a midwife must have remembered I was there, came round, strapped me up to the monitors, brought me a jug of water and left me there for ages again. Little did I know, this was to become a trend. After what felt like forever, she came back, apologised and unplugged me.
She gave me an internal examination, and ‘while she was at it’, gave me a stretch and sweep. Contractions started quite well so she said there was no need to give me the pessary. We were to see how it went, so Liam and I went off for a walk. By this point I had a very numb bum so was glad to be up and moving.
We had dinner in the hospital restaurant and then had a wander round the grounds before heading back to the room. Eventually it got late and we both fell asleep. After that, nothing happened. Contractions stopped, no more midwives came in and we were left alone. Again.
Wednesday was awful. Apparently they was really busy. I didn’t see anyone all day. I was promised people would be ‘with me soon to discuss my plan’ but nobody came. On the shift handover, somebody came and introduced themselves but I never saw them again and when we asked if anyone was coming we were told they were ‘really sorry and somebody would be round shortly’.
Fact is, nobody actually came to see us until gone 5pm and by then I was very hot, bored, uncomfortable and pissed off to the point I couldn’t even complain. I just cried.
I had another stretch and sweep from the same midwife that I’d seen the day before, just before she finished her shift and handed over to someone else.
Contractions started again and I was alone. Again. Considering they had told me I needed one to one care, it all seemed a bit… lacking.
At some point later that night, I actually met a really lovely midwife that stayed with me. Her and a colleague managed to break my waters and then they put me on a drip to keep the contractions going. Once they had actually broken my waters, they didn’t stop. I was just constantly dripping, leaking everywhere. It was so gross, I felt like I was just weeing myself for hours!
The contractions started to pick up intensity so I wondered about pain relief. There was a leaflet on the side about epidurals and Liam mentioned that when I had Dexter, he had to read the leaflet out to me before I could have the epidural so that I knew what I was signing up for but apparently I was so off my head with the gas and air I had no idea what he was on about. So this time, I read it for myself and decided I definitely did NOT want the epidural. And in that moment, my mind was made up. I was going to get this baby out on my own. Well, with some help from Liam, the midwife (Harriet) and the gas and air.
The next part seemed to go both really slowly and really fast. Once I had the gas and air in my hand, I got a bit giggly. I remember Harriet commenting that not many people actually get giggly even though essentially what you are chugging on is laughing gas. Between breaths, I could feel a massive grin forming across my face and then a little chuckle forming. At the same time, I could feel liam rolling his eyes. I didn’t see him do it because I had my eyes shut from here on in but I know he was rolling them, probably so far that they rolled all the way back in his head.
The contractions were remaining steady so Harriet turned up the drip that I was on. They definitely picked up and Liam was passing the gas and air to me for each one and then giving me sips of water between.
Harriet had to go for her break. I remember feeling horrified that she was leaving me. She handed over to another midwife who introduced herself as Claudia and then she was gone. I didn’t like Claudia. I don’t think Liam did either. She seemed to focus on watching the monitor and not really listening to what I was saying or even checking on me.
Harriet returned just in time. Before long I felt ready to push but Liam and I are both certain we heard them say I wasn’t dilated enough but we had to just go with it as we had no choice. Baby was coming.
I was so much more aware of things this time round. I don’t remember feeling as much with Dexter due to how drugged I was but I could certainly feel myself stretching and could feel her little body as she made her way out. Once she was actually out, I just kept saying ‘I did it!’ I was so amazed that I’d stuck to what I wanted and had a natural labour with nothing more than gas and air. There were moments during my pregnancy I didn’t ever think that would be possible. I felt so proud of myself. So empowered. I’m glad I finally got to have that experience on my last baby.
She was born at 03:14 on Thursday 15th June. She was placed on me while they cut her cord and then put a hat on her. I remember she felt heavy but at 7lb & 8oz, she weighed less than Paisley so maybe I was just feeling weak. She waited before taking her breath just to give us a little scare but then she made a beautiful little squeaky wail sound.
I still needed to deliver the placenta so Liam took Bridget while they helped me do that and then stitched me up. I tore in 3 places and the stitches were not a pleasant experience. I told the midwife that did them that I didn’t like her (Sorry, if you’re reading this)
Once we were moved onto the ward, things were a bit hit and miss with the care we received and we ended up staying in until the Sunday but I will save that for Bridget’s first month update.
So that is how our trilogy became complete. If you would like to read my other two birth stories you can read Dexter’s here and Paisley’s here. I Hope you come back soon to see how she settles in and how we all adjust to having her here.