Charlie’s Birth Story
At long last, my baby boy is finally here! After what felt like a very long & difficult pregnancy, I finally get to hold him in my arms. It is so cliche, but he was so worth the wait! Here is my birth story…
Those of you who have been following my pregnancy updates will know that the last few weeks of my pregnancy were really hard. At 33 weeks I went into pre-term labour & nearly ended up having a c-section when the monitors showed some fetal heart issues. After a short stay in hospital & some treatment, all seemed okay again & I was sent home. I then spent the final few weeks in & out of hospital for growth scans & heart monitoring. I received positive results each time & was really hopeful that I would reach 40 weeks.
However, this wasn’t meant to be…
On Saturday 3rd February (37 weeks pregnant), I didn’t feel right. We went to the library & tried to carry on our weekend as normal however I was feeling quite a lot of achey pains low down. I rang the maternity assessment unit & they suggested I may have a bladder infection & told me to go in to get checked. Once there, after monitoring & examinations, they concluded that I was actually in early labour. Excited, but nervous, we were sent home to wait for established labour to begin. They booked me in to come back the next day for monitoring. After leaving the hospital we went food shopping (I wanted to distract myself!) & by the time I came home I was having painful contractions. We spent the rest of the day in a mad rush trying to get everything ready for when baby arrived.
Typically, by Saturday evening, everything stopped.
The next day (38 weeks pregnant) we went back for a growth scan & monitoring. It was during the ultrasound that I felt something wasn’t quite right. The sonographer kept checking baby’s stomach measurements again & again. At the end she informed us that his stomach measurement was behind the expected 38 week development & she needed to speak to the doctor. On her return we were told I needed to be induced. My heart sank as this was not something I was expecting & every induction story I have heard has always been fairly negative. However, my baby’s health was at stake so we were booked in for 2 days time.
The morning of the induction I was an anxious wreck. Hospital bags packed & a piece of toast from Morrisons cafe later, we arrived at the hospital at 11 a.m. I was shown to my bed in the induction suite & we proceeded to wait for the doctor’s plan of action. By 1 p.m. I was finally given the induction pessary. The midwife told us that it was a slow-release one & they would give me 24 hours to start contractions. If I didn’t start then I would be given another one. I was adamant this wasn’t going to happen &, when they examined me, they thought one pessary would be enough as I was already 2cm dilated and 50% effaced.
After a few of hours of lying on the bed waiting for something to happen, I was getting very fed up & grumpy. I decided it would be a good idea to go for a walk. Literally, the second I stood up off the bed I was hit by a contraction. During my pregnancy I’d had so many false starts I thought nothing of it; although I did think it was slightly more painful than normal. We got outside & headed for the main hospital building. Every couple of minutes though I was getting contractions & after about 10 minutes, I was having to stop during them & hold onto the wall. I was getting very funny looks from passers by, but I was still adamant that it was false labour.
We finally returned to my hospital bed & informed the midwife about the contractions. She told us she would be in as soon as possible to put me back onto the monitor. We waited a couple of hours, during which time the contractions were getting more painful. I was still not convinced though. However, once on the monitor they were showing as being very strong & regular. This was it!
The midwife could clearly tell I was in a lot of pain by this point so I was put onto the gas & air & then examined. I was convinced that, considering the pain I was in, I must be at least 5cm dilated. Of course, I wasn’t. I was 3cm… 3 flipping cm… I wanted to cry. The thought of being in this much pain, this early on at a time which isn’t even considered active labour!!! Fortunately, the midwife must have known something I didn’t because after lots of umming & ahhing she decided to remove the pessary & take me to delivery suite. I managed to walk there (albeit at the speed of light as I knew a contraction would come if I didn’t move fast) & I got on the bed.
The rest is a bit of a blur.
I arrived at delivery suite around 7.30pm & by this point was not coping very well with the pain. I asked (begged) for an epidural & was told I could have one, but they would need to take my bloods first. Also, I would need a canula. What happened next is something I will never forget… For some reason the midwives decided that the best time to canulate me would be during a contraction. So imagine the scene –
- The strongest, most painful contraction so far
- A canula being inserted into my hand but not working as they couldn’t find a vein
- The weirdest amount of pressure down below followed by a POP & my waters breaking! All at the same time…
I never felt my waters go with Sophie so always said I would love to know what it felt like. Now I do. It’s like a river of water gushing out of you, so so odd! However, the midwives were having such a problem inserting my canula that the flood had to wait.
Now my waters had gone the pain intensified. I was getting no respite between contractions. The promise of the epidural was the only thing that kept me going. After what felt like a lifetime (probably 30 minutes) there was still no sign of the anesthetist. This was when I started thinking
I Can’t Do This…
If I was still only 3-4cm & the epidural wasn’t here soon, what was I going to do?
Suddenly, as I felt another contraction coming & wanting to die at the thought of having another one, I felt this very odd sensation. A pushing feeling. Oddly, this never happened with Sophie, but there was no mistaking it this time. I told the midwives who said that it could just be the position I was in or baby’s position. However, one quick examination later, they informed me that baby’s head was right there! I had been joking with my family for months that I would only do 3 pushes & he would be out (I pushed for 2 hours with Sophie!). Well… I don’t think I even pushed 3 times! One big push & his head was out. One more & he was born!
Born: 8.36 p.m.
Weight: 6lb 2oz
Looking back, the whole experience was incredible. I cannot believe I went from 3cm to 10cm in less than an hour. I also can’t believe how different this birth was compared to Sophie’s – 20 hours compared to 4 hours! Not too bad for a second birth!
After less than 24 hours in hospital, we were discharged & we were all able to go home. From the moment she saw him, Sophie was totally besotted with her new brother & is constantly kissing & cuddling him. Charlie has settled in really well & I am loving being part of a family of four.