Lifestyle,  Pregnancy

My Labour & Delivery Story.

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After a very hectic and completely surreal (almost) 4 weeks, it’s time to share the story of how our little Teddy arrived in the world. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I became obsessed with reading everyone’s birth stories and their experience. They all the shared the same piece of advice which is not to have your heart set on a certain birth plan and I wish I had taken that on board a little more. I definitely didn’t have the birth I imagined and had planned. At the time I was really upset about how Teddy entered the world, but looking back now I would do it all again. He arrived perfectly safe, happy and healthy which is all that matters! (The pictures aren’t the greatest because they were taken on my phone. I was too busy trying to push a human out of my vagina to take decent pictures, haha!)
When It Started…
On Saturday the 13th May I was having a lazy morning in bed, catching up on YouTube videos when I noticed that I was getting quite bad period pains every 40 minutes or so. I was 8 days overdue at this point so didn’t really think anything of it. I was booked in for an induction on the 17th and had kind of accepted that I would be waiting until then for Baby C to arrive. I decided to get up and start scrubbing the kitchen from top to bottom to keep myself busy and distracted! At about 10:30a.m I noticed the pains had increased to every 25-30 minutes and were gradually getting worse, especially in my back (nothing unmanageable at this point) and text my Sister to tell her that something was beginning to happen but not to get her hopes up. Aaron was at work but only on a short shift until 12p.m so decided to wait until he got home to let him know that anything was happening, I knew he’d be really distracted otherwise. 
Once the kitchen was scrubbed within an inch of its life, I decided to get onto my birthing ball and watch some telly. However as soon as I got a contraction I had to literally jump off the ball as it made the pains so much worse. Being sat down was the worst, as I noticed through the whole labour! Every time a contraction came I would stand up and walk to the kitchen, breathing through the pains. I also downloaded a contraction timer app just to monitor how close together they were and how long they were lasting. Aaron was home at this point, encouraging me to eat plenty and drink lots. 
This went on until about 6p.m, when my Sister text to say she would come around and keep me company for a little while and also help distract me as the pains had got quite intense! Having her there definitely helped, especially with her having three children of her own, she knew exactly how I was feeling and the right things to say or do. We eventually phoned the hospital once the contractions were every 5 minutes or so and they told us to come in!
To The Hospital…
The drive to the hospital was fucking horrific. Being sat down and confined to a seat was the worst part of the whole labour. We only live about 20 minutes away from the hospital, thank god, but it was possibly the longest 20 minutes of my life. I was literally gripping the handles on the roof of the car and pulling myself up off the seat with every contraction. We went straight through to Triage and luckily got examined straight away. I was 2cm!!!! I felt so disheartened and it was a massive kick in the teeth. The pain was almost unbearable and I still had a long way to go. Longer than I thought possible..
The midwife told me that because I wasn’t in established labour I would have to go home and come back when they were closer together. My community midwife had told me to go to hospital when they were 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute, which I did, however I quickly came to realise that every midwife has their own set of rules and completely contradict each other. Which for a first time mum, isn’t ideal! The midwife at the hospital said to come back when they were every three minutes, lasting a minute OR my waters broke. She then offered me some codeine to ‘knock me out and help me get some sleep’..I popped the little bad boys like smarties. I don’t know why I bothered because they did absolutely nothing!!!! We then had to make the dreaded drive home and just wait it out. Aaron managed to get some sleep whilst I spent the whole night pacing around the bedroom, breathing through every contraction. At about 4a.m on Sunday morning I went to the bathroom and suddenly felt a popping sensation and a trickle of water. I wasn’t 100% sure if that was my waters going, as I always imagined a huge, dramatic gush but I woke Aaron up and we rang the hospital back. They told us to come in and get examined just to double check whether it was my waters or not.
I love Baths…
After being examined again it was confirmed that my waters had gone but I was still only 2cm, ALMOST a 3. I remember bursting into tears and telling Aaron how fucked off I was. It had been almost 24 hours since the pains had started and I felt like a failure that I hadn’t progressed at all. The midwife was really lovely and said that I could stay in and have a bath in one of the birthing suites for four hours (when I would be examined next), she brought us some juice and toast, turned the radio on and left us to it. I absolutely LOVED being in the water and it helped so much. Every time I had a contraction, Aaron would use the jug to pour hot water over my bump and it felt amazing. I had planned for a water birth and knew it was the best decision! Flash forward four hours and as I got out of the bath…I experienced the gush that was my waters breaking! It went everywhere! I also didn’t know that once your waters go, they just keep on bloody coming! The midwife re-examined me and I was ALMOST a four. Still not established labour! Baring in mind that it was 10o’clock Sunday morning now so I had been in slow labour for over 24 hours. Aaron rang my Mum and updated her on what was going on and asked if we could come round to use her bath as we don’t have one yet in our house. I reluctantly got dressed and they told me to come back in two hours. 
As soon as I saw my Mum I just burst into tears, telling her I couldn’t do it and it bloody hurt! Who would willingly do this to themselves?! Who thought this was a good idea?! Who wanted a baby anyway?!! 
Four hours later (about 3p.m Sunday afternoon), resembling a prune, I dragged myself out of my Mums bath and headed back off to the hospital. I was still not QUITE a four. I literally cried to the midwife telling her I couldn’t do another car journey home, I also realised that I really wanted my Mum and wanted her there at the birth as well as Aaron so we rang her and she came straight away. Turns out that because my waters had gone in the early hours, they wouldn’t let me go home anyway and I was booked in for an induction on Monday morning. The worse part of this was that Aaron and my Mum would have to leave until the morning when I went downstairs to delivery. Little did I know my plan of a water birth in the birthing centre were now out of the window. I honestly didn’t think I would manage the pain without Aaron there for support and getting me through it. I burst into even more tears, which set him off because he felt so guilty. However looking back, it was the best thing to do so he could get some sleep ready for the next day when Baby would be making their appearance.
All By Myself…
At 9p.m I was taken through to the ward where I would be spending the night until it was time for my induction, which they said would be about 3a.m MONDAY morning, due to my waters having been broken for 24 hours and the risk of infection. Luckily there was only one other woman in my room so it was really chilled. They also offered me some Pethidine which I originally didn’t want but at this point, I would do anything for some sleep so eventually said yes. Yet again, it did absolutely NOTHING. My body must be immune to pain relief! I spent the whole night pacing around the room whilst the woman opposite me snored her little head off. Lucky cow. As soon as it got to 3a.m I was buzzing, waiting for them to come and get me. Only for them to come and tell me that there were lots of emergencies happening downstairs so I would have to wait, which I really didn’t mind knowing their were women who were having a much rougher time than I was. I remember at the point I was feeling lots of pressure down below and it didn’t feel right, but I continued to breath through the contractions and walk around my little section of the ward, also mooching up and down the corridor a couple of times. At 7a.m it was finally my turn! I rang Aaron and my Mum and told them what was happening and where I would be. When I got to the room I would be giving birth in, I was greeted by a lovely midwife who hooked me up to the monitors which I would be on for half an hour to see how Baby was doing, before they would start the induction. Unfortunately the midwife was finishing her shift and would be changing over. I was dreaded her being swapped for some sort of battle axe midwife! However I had absolutely nothing to worry about! The midwife and student midwife who arrived were absolutely amazing and so lovely. Once they took me off the monitors it was time to be examined and get the induction process started. 
Or not…
I had somehow got to 8c.m overnight, after being stuck at 2cm for two days, and would no longer be needing the induction! Hooray. I can’t tell you how happy I was and it literally gave me a massive surge of energy. I went into the bathroom and had a shower, brushed my teeth and got my nightie on. All of a sudden I felt the urge to push, I shouted for my Mum and told her that I felt strange and something wasn’t right. Obviously it was fine, but when your body suddenly takes over and you have no idea what is going was the most surreal feeling ever. I spent the next god knows how many hours in every position you can imagine! Squatting, on all fours, legs in stirrups. You name it, I tried it. Pushing was the strangest feeling ever. My body literally took over and pushed for me and the sounds I made were like weird grunts. I thought I would be a screamer but I hardly made a sound! I also pooped. A lot. People said I probably would because your pushing into your bum so it’s natural that it would make you poo. I did warn the midwives in advance. “I think i’m going to poo, i’m definitely going to poo, i’m pooing. Oops, I’ve pooped!” They were very professional and cleaned me up. Which I honestly didn’t give a shit about. Pun not intended. Honestly, you leave your dignity at the door. Turns out Baby’s head was slightly tilted and was not for coming out. I was dilating to a 9 & a half cm, but that last half cm was not for budging. Before I knew it the surgeon and doctors arrived to figure out a plan of action. All the while Baby was being monitored and stayed happy as bloody Larry! They decided that I would be going through the theatre to try for a forceps delivery and if that wouldn’t work they would be going straight into a C-section. Before I knew it I was signing consent forms, being changed into a gown and being wheeled the theatre. I was disappointed that my Mum wouldn’t be there to see her grandchild being born as I had hoped but was also unbelievably excited that our baby was FINALLY on the way. My mum worked out that I had been in labour for 55 hours! I know they say your first can take a while but bloody hell, I expected 24 hours at most. Silly me..
Whilst Aaron was getting his scrubs on, I was being prepped in theatre. I was having a spinal anaesthetic and they explained how it works and what would be happening. By this point i’d kind of presumed that I would the forceps wouldn’t work and i’d be having a section which I had accepted and was fine with. I was adamant that I wanted Aaron to announce the sex to me, skin to skin as soon as possible and also delayed cord clamping. These are the only things on my birth plan that I was determined to have. I had kissed my relaxing water birth goodbye, I wasn’t giving these up as well. 
The theatre was soon full of people, my midwives stayed with me up near my head on one side, talking me through what was going on and Aaron was sat on the other holding my hand. The spinal anaesthetic was an absolute godsend and I remember asking where it had been for the last three days!? At 16:43 with a FORCEPS delivery, our baby boy finally entered the world! Hearing him cry was the best sound in the world. When Aaron told me we had had a boy, I was completely shocked and didn’t really take it in. Teddy was taken away to be weighed and checked over due to his long ass delivery and then brought straight over for skin to skin. it felt so surreal to finally have our baby in my arms. I had to be cut to get him out and bled quite a lot after but I didn’t really take any of it in, I just couldn’t stop staring at his face. Not quite accepting the fact that our baby was here. After 9 months of pregnancy, 10 days overdue, 55 hours of labour, having to go into theatre.. It was all completely worth it. It had all led to this moment. One that I’ll never ever forget. 
Now It’s All Over…
After we came out of theatre I was taken to the recovery room, just to keep an eye on my bleeding but luckily it calmed down straight away and everything was fine. We tried to get Teddy to feed but he was having trouble latching on, I think it was down to him being so tired! You and me both kid…
I was then taken back through the room where I had gone to be induced and it honestly felt like a million years since I had last been in there. I was back there as someone’s Mummy! My mum came back in, followed by my Sister & Dad who I had rang on the way to recovery to share the news. I was so happy to see everyone and for them to finally meet our gorgeous son! I had to stay in overnight due to my waters having been broken for over 24 hours and the fact that I had had the spinal anaesthetic and couldn’t feel anything from my boobs down *praise the lord!*. I was taken up to a private room but unfortunately Aaron couldn’t stay (visiting for your designated person is 9a.m-9p.m) so we said our goodbyes which I did feel a little wheepy about as we had not long been a family! Then it was just the two of us, we had the loveliest snuggles and skin to skin. I had to hand express my colostrum as he still wasn’t latching and then the midwives would syringe it into his mouth. We wanted to make sure he got all the good stuff! The midwives were so lovely and came in every three hours to help try and get him to latch. I remember panicking in case he never got it and our breastfeeding journey would be over before it had even begun. Little did I know that he would become a little milk monster and feed just fine! We ended up staying in for two nights just to make sure that he was feeding well and i’m so glad we had those nights in hospital with the midwives support.
After Thoughts…
We are almost four weeks on and it feels like a lifetime ago. I can’t remember life before him, what did I do with all my free time?! He has slotted so perfectly into our lives and whilst I do sometimes feel like a milk making machine, I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is honestly nothing that I would change. My midwives were so lovely and the doctors & surgeons in theatre were incredible and really put me at ease. Talking about our love for Harry Potter and how much our partners don’t appreciate it. Actually, the only thing I would change is the length of my labour! Hopefully baby number 2 won’t take as long. Fingers crossed. I can’t believe that Baby C is actually here and we made something so unbelievably perfect. 

Theodore Atlas David Cope//7lb 11oz – 15th May 2017

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