So a bit of a back story as to why I was referred to see a consultant during this pregnancy. With Noah’s pregnancy, I had an easy and uncomplicated pregnancy but ended up going 11 days overdue. My bump was always measuring just right or a week or two under at points but they weren’t concerned at all and just told me to expect an average size baby of around 7lb. When my labour began, it was quick and intense. I went into hospital at 5pm and they told me I wasn’t in active labour due to my contractions being too far apart and gave me paracetamol… which I threw across the room as I was in so much pain!!! They decided to keep me in regardless as I was due to be induced the next morning and my blood pressure was sky high. The contractions continued intensely but sporadically.
When the midwife team changed over, I begged them to check me which they did and I was 4cm and WAS in active labour. They moved me to a birthing pool room, which had been my planned method of delivery and gave me some gas and air which literally turned me sky high. I was talking about being a stranded turtle for some reason… what the actual?! Anyway I stood up to go for a wee as they needed a urine sample and my waters broke causing the most intense and painful contractions. The pain felt like it went from 1-100 and I was genuinely struggling to manage with the pain. I was scared and decided to ask for an epidural to help with the pain and I just didn’t know how to manage with the pain.
This was agreed as due to a bleed in my waters, I wasn’t allowed to stay in the birthing centre and would be transferred to the labour ward. While waiting to be moved, the pain was indescribable! I had an overwhelming urge to poo and when they went to check me less than an hour after I was 4cm, I’d amazingly got to 10cm ready to push him out. I started pushing while I was in the lift down to the labour ward and all I can say is that poor bloody porter!!! I don’t think he’s ever wanted a lift to move quicker in his life. I was slightly demoralised by the fact I could no longer have the epidural that I’d agreed to but after that ‘transition’ period the pains got slightly more manageable.
I didn’t get my water birth as Noah’s heart rate needed continuous monitoring so I ended up having to give birth on my back, which wasn’t ideal! After 2 hours of pushing, Noah was in serious distress and they told me that i would need to continue pushing out of contractions as they were desperate to get him out. With hardly any strength or energy left I eventually pushed him at 21.55, less than 5 hours after arriving at hospital! Not bad for a first labour. The experience wasn’t a beautiful moment I’d imagined. He was unfortunately born blue and was rushed away from us before we even had to the chance to see him. That wait was the longest of my entire life. Lying on a busy labour ward, surrounded by crying babies, clueless as to whether one of those is your baby as you’d never heard him cry. After some help, he was finally brought in for a few minutes and then once again taken away for some more help. My beautiful 9lb boy had caused a lot of damage. 5 different tears and a separate tear in my bum which they didn’t realise until a week post partum. They think the damage was due to his size, speed of labour and pushing out of contractions. After 2 hours of being stitched up, I was finally able to spend time with my baby boy.
Recovery post partum was horredous!!! No other way to describe it. I was having to wee in the shower with the hose on my bits for over a month, couldn’t poo without laxatives and struggled with even sitting or lying down. I was still taking laxatives for my bum tear when I returned to work 8 months later.
Anyway this time around, I felt so anxious about the idea of how I would manage a recovery similar to Noah’s with a baby and a toddler. Due to his size too, my midwife referred me to see a consultant which I attended at exactly 22 weeks. It was interesting for her to go through my entire birth experience, as I wasn’t aware of some of the facts. It’s weird to think our bodies are so redundant to someone else and we can be truly unaware of things. The consultant was amazing and advised me they would prefer me not to go overdue. I’m doing hypnobirthing this time around and I’m really keen to have a natural water birth so at present I’ve declined being induced on my due date. She has agreed to start sweeps from 38 weeks and I’ll have them at 38, 39, 39.5 and 40 weeks so you’d think after 4 sweeps, this little baby will have made their appearance. It’s really reassuring to know I can change my mind at any point and be induced on my due date.
I’m still managing my bum tear 2 and half years later through diet and fluid intake. It’s only noticeable nowadays after a heavy weekend drinking and bad eating so she’s advised that I begin a low level intake of laxatives from 38 weeks and continue to up my dose immediately after delivery.
I feel SO positive now about this pregnancy and labour. A ‘bad’ labour experience stays with you forever, it can’t be changed and remains ingrained in your brain so this time around I am determined to get my positive birth experience.