I loved being pregnant. It was one of the most wonderful, special times of my life.
I was one of those ridiculously happy (& no doubt annoying) pregnant people – over indulging on cake, because I did not realise that baby weight does not magically disappear overnight once the baby is born; taking hypnobirthing classes, because I genuinely believed that I could silently breathe my baby out; enjoying every midwife & clinic visit, because I was enjoying a healthy pregnancy; and boring everyone in a 10-mile radius about how I’d never give my baby a dummy (I did), how I would breastfeed for at least a year (I did not) and how having a baby would not change my life (of course it did).
I was lucky in that my pregnancy was straightforward, so of course I expected that my birth would be too.
I went out for cake on my due date and joked with the waitress “Any day now!”.
Of course, this joke got very old around 14 days later, when my baby still had not been born and the weight of carrying an 8lb baby with his head engaged, was starting to feel very uncomfortable ‘down there’.
After two sweeps had not managed to kick start labour, I was scheduled to be induced. Typically, the same morning I went in to hospital to be induced, I went into natural labour.
So, they sent me back home to wait it out.
Back home, I listened to my hypnobirthing CD and praticsed my visualing and breathing techniques with the Greek God(zilla), who I suspected was also secretly watching sport on the laptop with his headphones in.
About 8 hours later, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and I was struggling to remain focused on visualising my womb as a flower opening and closing.
I was starting to feel quite uncomfortable too, so we called a cab and I was back at the hospital just 15 minutes later.
When I arrived at the hospital and was examined by a midwife, she told me that my contractions were not yet strong enough and I was only just 3cms dilated. After 8 hours!
I really did not want to be sent home to wait it out again, so she suggested they artificially break my waters and see if that sped anything up.
And, that was when I knew that I would no longer be simply breathing my baby out and it was going to take something a bit more powerful to get me through.
The contractions felt so much stronger after my waters had broken, although they did not become more effective. Progress was slow. After a further 3 more hours, I was still only 4cm dilated.
“Try some gas and air” suggested the midwife.
So, I did. And then promptly threw up all over my feet, the floor and the birthing ball in the corner.
The next contraction came a few minutes later and I threw up again. This time I got half of it in the sink in the other corner, but the midwife still came back in with a mop for the trail I’d left on the floor.
“Would you like me to call the anaesthetist?” she asked as I winced in pain again.
“No” piped up the Greek God(zilla) from the cheap, comfy, pain-free seats at the back “we are hypnobirthing so please don’t offer us any pain relief” exactly as we had rehearsed per the script we’d been given by our hypnobirthing therapist.
“Hold on” I interrupted between contractions “I’d really like an epidural”
I had been breathing through the pain for over 12 hours at this point. In the book, it said I would be able to comfortably breathe my baby out in less than 8. Or, at least that was the bit that I thought I remembered.
Once the epidural had been administered, I started to feel much calmer. But, labour was still not progressing and I was still only 4cms dilated, so the midwife suggested they put me on Oxytocin.
It was after the Oxytocin was starting to do its thing, that I started to regain feeling all down my right leg. So much so, that it just started shaking uncontrollably and the poor anaesthetist had to be called to come back to top the epidural up again.
The pain of the contractions erased, but I was still vomiting with gusto.
It was a long night but by the time morning had come, I was a full 5cms dilated WOOP WOOP.
Not so much.
A Surgeon came in to visit me with a team of students. He said that if I failed to progress any more in the next hour, they would need to start thinking about a c-section. I tried not to take it too personally.
Then, off they all went and left me sitting it out for another hour. Another Doctor visited later and gave the good news that as I was finally fully dilated, they were going to let me start pushing.
But, not for too long she warned as she’d just discovered meconium in the amniotic fluid.
They needed to let the epidural wear off a bit first so that I could feel when to push. That was fun.
But push I did, and an hour later I was still pushing but the baby’s head had not moved at all.
The Greek God(zilla) had struck up a conversation with our midwife to pass the time, and it turned out that her father was one of his teachers at school.
“Really?” he said to her, as he rested his elbow on my stirruped leg.
Ermmm, do you mind?
Another half an hour passed and the surgeon came back in. My baby’s heart rate had started to drop and he was in distress so they wheeled me straight down to theatre, as a nurse threw a pair of scrubs at the Greek God(zilla) to put on.
15 minutes later (& 36-hours), my baby boy was born through the sunroof via emergency c-section. He let out a loud cry in protest at being disturbed from his slumber.
The relief swept over me. He was beautiful and safe and weighed a healthy 8lb 3oz.
“I don’t think I can ever go through that again” cried the Greek God(zilla) as they placed our baby on my chest.
But, I was not listening. I was holding my baby in my arms and everything in my world had changed.
This blog post was written for Save the Children’s BlogitforBabies campaign. Every hour of every day, 11 newborn babies die in Bangladesh. That’s about one every six minutes. 1 in 19 children do not live to see their fifth birthday in Bangladesh because access to basic services such as healthcare is very limited, particularly in rural areas. For every 10 births in Bangladesh, 8 mothers have to give birth in their home without a skilled health worker present, putting the life of their baby at risk.
Please help Save the Children to raise money to build 7 new clinics in Bangladesh.
The new clinics in Baniachong and Ajmiriganj will reach 21,500 women of child-bearing age with family planning services; 3,000 pregnant women with antenatal care; 2,190 newborn babies with postnatal care, breastfeeding support for their mothers and antibiotics when they become ill; 2,218 infants aged up to one year, by helping their mothers to breastfeed and wean them safely and reducing the chance of life-threatening diseases such as diarrhoea and the risk of malnutrition and 43,600 people in the area with information on how to stay healthy and where to get help if they do become ill.
READ MORE BIRTH STORIES AND UPLOAD YOUR OWN HERE: http://blogitforbabies.org/posts-by-bloggers/
Ways you can help:
- Donate £5 to the Build it for Babies Campaign (the cost of one brick that will make up a clinic’s walls)
Text BRICK to 70008
- Donate £1 to the Blog It for Babies Just Giving Fund.
Text the following code: XVRL71 £1 tothis number: 70070
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- If you are a blogger, write a post telling the story of your birth and link it up
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