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Springy's sprung!

10 replies

SpringySponge · 12/04/2009 09:21

Well this is really long, but I've always loved other people's birth stories (& found them helpful) so here goes. I won't be offended if anyone opts out! It's written mostly with my antenatal ladies in mind, so apologies to anyone else if bits don't tie up to background or whatever! I'm too tired to check...

So we left the flat at about 9.10ish on the 10th when the taxi came (I let DH finish watching the old episode of House he was invested in before we phoned for it, even though I'd been in increasing pain in a way that was beginning to make me take notice since about 2). It's funny, because I know that I was all 'oh, I'm not in labour', but I subconsciously had known all day, I think. I'd been up 7 times the night before to wee (excessive, even for me) & started the day with a massive hair removal effort. Then I did all of the various financial paperwork for post-birth circumstance changes & loads of laundry, including lots of baby things. I even cut my fingernails so I wouldn't hurt DH during the labour grabbing! But I wasn't in labour

Because of my denial, I'd spent all day being calm & really down-playing the pain I was in. I thought it'd be another false start & didn't want to become the woman who cried 'baby!', IYSWIM. So I was pacing around on my tiptoes trying not to cry on two paracetamol for a while. It was when I started being unable to breathe, never mind talk, through them that I thought it was time to go & get checked. DH was for the most part oblivious, ignoring my huffing & puffing because of the weeks preceding it. That made his later shell-shock after my first examination rather entertaining

We got to the hospital, where the taxi driver made his own judgement call to go yo the labour emergencies entrance, not the main maternity unit. Good man. We went in & had to wait in triage despite the room being empty apart from an old man & a teenage boy (?!) who made me feel rather uncomfortable as I hopped around in agony. There was a really weird moment when I felt a whole new kind of pain - in the front of my pelvis, it felt like someone had broken a vial of liquid burning pain that trickled down into my fanjo. That was probably the point at which I knew that I wouldn't be going home without a baby.

Eventually, the MW came to examine me & made me lie back on the bed to take my blood pressure, even though I was quite clearly in agony lying down. Apparently not clearly enough though, as we all nearly passed out in shock when she said 'well you won't believe it, but you're 6-7cm dilated!'. I wasn't expecting to be that far gone - I was thinking maybe 3! But at that point I thought 'no wonder it hurts - at least now I can complain about it without being seen as a baby' DH looked like he may pass out at this point & just sat there saying 'it's happening so fast!' - easy for him to say with his uninterrupted House viewing before we left

I was asked about my intentions for labour & said that I was hoping to use the birthing pool. Which, of course, was occupied - apparently barely anyone uses it, but lo & behold... So I was taken into the MLU section at this point & politely listened whilst the MW explained everything about the bath & the birthing balls, etc. To be honest, once she'd explained the gas & air I wasn't interested, but tolerated the talking until I could reasonably grab hold of it & cling on for dear life.

So I was sitting there on the birthing ball with the gas & air for a while, drunkenly texting people (I believe I told frekkles to stop sitting in the pub & get herself some G&A because it was way more fun) & having a fairly good time of it. There was a great moment where I was getting changed into my huge birthing t-shirt whilst totally off my face on G&A & I just collapsed into fits of giggles because I was drunk & I was getting naked with a man in the room - but it would be really inappropriate to have sex now. That was difficult to explain to those who were in the real world

There began to come a point where I couldn't really cope with the pain using just the G&A. Or at least I could, but it was getting to be borderline. No matter how much I carefully prodded at my tummy to feel the very beginning of the contraction & started breathing it then, I ended up with tears in my eyes & beginning to be a bit panicked. The MW left the room for about 5 minutes to fetch some paperwork & by the time she'd got back I'd had 3 or 4 huge contractions & told DH that I was going for an epidural (the main reason I originally hadn't wanted to was because I'd wanted to use the birthing pool & that was out). She laughed at me when I told her this & said 'a bit of a jump?!' & tried to offer me pethidine, but I refused (because of the implications for breastfeeding, mostly) & insisted that I wanted the epidural. So I was transferred to the consultant-led part of the hospital (without G&A - I nearly died!) & set up in a slightly less pleasant (although DH informs me newly painted ) delivery room where I had to wait half an hour or so for the anaesthetist - whilst I kept on with the G&A feeling really thankful that I'd asked before I really couldn't cope. By the time he got there, the MW agreed that I'd made the right decision because I was just totally out of it in pain. Whilst waiting for the anaesthetist, they set up the drip & took some bloods from my hand, etc. I have no recollection of that happening & was surprised to find out that it had because I was just in my own little world of pain.

Having the epidural put in wasn't the easiest thing in those circumstances - trying to curl into a very still ball with a huge bump, those kind of contractions & still clutching the G&A... But by the time the anaesthetist left the room I was calling out to the door he went through 'I love that man!'. I may still have been using G&A at this point for the peak of the contractions as the epidural kicked in

Once it started working, they decided to break my waters. The examination put me at about 9.5cm in not very long at all, hence the sudden increase in pain. They began to worry about the foetal heartrate, as he was beginning to struggle with the speed at which everything was happening. They decided to break my waters, which were blood stained but free from meconium. There was also an obscene amount in there - the MW was very shocked as I totally flooded the bed & made huge puddles on the surrounding floor. I had to get up so they could change the sheets, which was interesting with an epidural. Even then, the waters kept gushing so I looked like I was weeing myself for a minute or so. DH & I became quite hysterical wuth laughter at the whole thing The MW confidently predicted a tiny baby - & indeed, my bump was suddenly a shadow of its former self, which was very odd.

Very soon afterwards, the pain started to return & eventually I had to be given a top up of epidural (& heavily rely on the booster button), with talk of maybe having to relocate it. Luckily, the top up worked in time for me to be told that I was fully dilated except for a 'lip' at the right side & that I'd be ready to push by half 3 (this was at about 3.10). We were told that although they usually allow for a 'passive hour' between dilation & pushing, the baby was beginning to struggle & it was time to just get on with it.

At 3.30, the pushing began. I tried everything - pushing on my back, all fours, on my side, in stirrups... I was catheterised to empty my bladder in the hope that it was only that blocking the way, but no such luck. I surprised the MW with my motility considering the epidural - to be honest, although it was a mobile epi, I still think it never properly worked as it should've. At about 4.30 there was still little progress despite strong contractions & good pushes. I was beginning to tire, as was the baby. So out came the ventouse & the scissors.

This was the first time I was scared - the thought of an episiotomy has always really freaked me out & I didn't want to do it. But the thought of what could happen to the baby if I buried my head in the sand was scarier, so I just stared at the ceiling & tried to ignore The Noise. I was happy enough with the idea of the ventouse - I preferred that to forceps & knew that it would make everything so much easier. Which it did, & within a few minutes & about 6 pushes, George Nathan entered the world at a pretty hefty 8lb 15oz (4050g).

Overall, perhaps surprisingly, it was a really positive experience. My MW was lovely & I was just so desperate to get on with it after 7 weeks of pre-labour that even in the middle of the worst bits I knew that it was worth it & that at least it'd be over soon. DH was fantastic - I didn't at any point feel like holding his hand (although the mattress got a good bending), so he stroked my hair & told me how well I was doing & that he loved me the whole time, which is what I needed. & his excitement when he said 'I can see the head! I can see the head! It's out!' was the final surge I needed to finish the job.

I didn't go in with any expectations, but a lot of background 'research' (mostly MNing ) into what could happen in any particular eventuality - I can look back on my labour & birth & know that I did my best & made the right decisions for me & my baby. Me nor the MW felt that the lack of successful pushing was due to the epidural but the sheer size of the baby - so I have no regrets about that at all. & even if it had been linked, I still think that it was the necessary decision for me.

George cried as soon as he was put on to my tummy (much to my relief) & fed like a pro almost immediately for half an hour! DH cut the cord after it's stopped pulsating (apparently it's not as tough as they say - funny the things men choose to be manly about ) & apart from a very sore, swollen fanjo for me & a slightly misshapen (but already much improved) & bruised head for George, we're perfectly fine. So far he's aced every test thrown at him & is showing no signs of jaundice (a common side effect of ventouse delivery). We were discharged as soon as the paed was available to check him over (not very soon at all!) & were home by about 5 yesterday afternoon without any fuss.

OP posts:
brettgirl2 · 12/04/2009 09:26

Yay, brilliant story!

I can't wait for the gas and air after all these long, sober months!

Kalikaroo · 12/04/2009 09:43

Well done springy - fab birth story!

Makes me feel very positive towards when my LO decides to make an appearance!

PuzzleRocks · 12/04/2009 09:58

Dear dear Springy, I am so happy for you. You did amazingly well.
How much water? I was sure it was only a bit with DD, now i'm glad I bought so much plastic sheeting for my homebirth. When I read that bit I kept thinking about that elephant weeing on Blue Peter.
Rock salt baths and arnica tablets will help with your stitches/bruising.
More pics of your beautiful boy please.

LaurenTheFertilisedEasterEgg61 · 12/04/2009 10:08

yay springy

lovely birth story, more pics!!! xx

KittyCatIsGettingFat · 12/04/2009 12:41

Awwww what a fab birth story you wonderful woman... well done!! XXX

NuttyBlowUpEasterBunny · 12/04/2009 13:17

Springy - LOL only you could think of Nookie while high on gas & Air and giving birth!!!! (thats my girl!!!!! ) Fantastic story sweetheart, you did so very very well xxxxx, glad that you had such a lovely MW and that dh was so supportive. You really are incredible Big love and hugs to you all xxx

mathshoneybunny27 · 12/04/2009 16:31

Loved it Springy and now you have a real boy and not a sponge !!! xxx

SpringySponge · 12/04/2009 23:43

Puzzle, I'm so glad that my labouring puts you in mind of the famous weeing elephant There was a lot. The MW was seriously shocked - I don't know how I was possibly carrying that much water & that much baby & a placenta as well. I have a TARDIS womb.

Nutty, obviously I'd think of nookie at some point - I was there for a few hours & you know I can't block it from my mind

& MM - it's really disappointing how boring my sponge seems now. It's still quite cool how it cleans any mark off any surface, but it kind of just feels like any old bit of sponge It's like a beautiful love spell's been broken

OP posts:
mrsfossil · 13/04/2009 15:46

well done springy congrats and welcome to George

conkertree · 13/04/2009 20:15

great story springy. a good birth story always brings a wee tear to my eye. good on dh too - despite being a little shell shocked.

roll on the gas and air.

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