I have always been a bit scared about writing my birth story, for both of my babies. When I had Molly I felt like such a failure after she was born, this was due to my labour and delivery, I never want to feel like that again, and writing this reminded just how hard it all was, and just how far we have come since!
The whole way throughout my pregnancy with Molly, I glowed. I adored being pregnant, loved watching my bump grow and reading all about how our little runner bean (her nickname!) was developing. It amazed me. My due date came and went, and no sign of the baby. On Tuesday 20th January, I did my usual crazy housework stint – the house was spotless, ironing up to date ect ect, then had a lovely lay on the sofa watching the telly, had some dinner and head to my bed for my weekly dose of Holby!! Just before the end of Holby, we both heard a massive clunk, it was the weirdest sound, this was followed by a sharp pain, I got off the bed and my waters gushed…..everywhere!! You know how they do on the films when you see people in the supermarket? Yep that was me!!
It wasn’t till I managed to move from my room into the bathroom I noticed that my waters were think with meconium. I vaguely remembered the midwives saying that this can be a sign of a problem so immediately shouted Paul, who reassured me everything was ok, and we rang the hospital, who said to come straight in to be assessed. In the car I had a couple of contractions, nothing regular and nothing really painful more uncomfortable. The nearest hospital to us is 16 miles away so we had a bit of a drive to get there.
The midwife checked me over and said that I needed to stay in so would be transferred to the ward. By now the contractions were getting stronger, they gave me a birthing ball and the midwife told Paul he had to go home. I got so emotional then, I wanted him with me, I was so scared, the pain was getting worse and I knew I couldn’t mange without him. I begged the Midwife to let him stay, but the she insisted that he must leave because the bay was for females only (even though there was a man sat next to me with his wife)……I cried so much when Paul left.
After Paul left I asked for some pain relief and midwife simply said “your not in labour so you shouldn’t need anything, but if you insist you can have some paracetamol” charming eh? There was me thinking Midwives were there to support you ? So she gave me some paracetamol and wandered off leaving me laying on the bed in tears.
I tried to listen to some music but was so uncomfortable that I just couldn’t relax, usually music always calms me no matter what, but it wasn’t working so I decided to go for a walk. I walked along the corridor a bit and started to feel really sick, as I wandered into the toilet I came over really dizzy and promptly threw up all over the sink and floor. I was right next to the midwives office, but no one came to help despite the door being open, surely they must have heard me? By the time I had cleaned myself up and attempted to clean up my sick from the toilet floor whilst still having regular contractions, the midwife wandered over to see if I needed some help……….
I eventually ended up wandering around the day room with the contractions getting worse and closer together each time. In the end I had to go and get help, I wandered back along the corridor to the midwife who told me that because I wasn’t in labour I could not be transferred to labour ward, but as I was “making a fuss” she would ring them and see what they said. A little while later another midwife appeared and she took me to a labour room.
When I arrived on the labour ward, I remember asking for them to phone Paul, I didn’t want to be on my own anymore, it felt like hours since he left, I was scared and wanted my husband with me. The midwife said she would ring him straight away. The first thing she wanted to do was get me onto the bed and examine me to see if I was dilated at all. I was 6 cm……In my book that is established labour, no wonder I was in so much pain! The midwife got me going on the gas and air and then off she went, to ring Paul (so I thought). When she eventually came back and I asked for stronger pain relief I was offered an epidural, I had said on my birth plan that I wanted to remain mobile throughout my labour and was scared about having an epidural, I knew it was not the right thing for me. But I was off my head on gas and air and so scared, Paul was still nowhere to be seen. The midwife said I was able to have a mobile epidural, where I would not be totally numb but it would take away the pain and make me more comfortable. I really was not sure that this was right for me, but the midwife was not offering me any other options. I had asked for pethadine, but she just kept going back to an epidural, in the end I agreed. I then asked if Paul was on his way, it had been hours and he still had not arrived, the midwife said she would go and ring him…….GO AND RING HIM????? I know in my heart that if he had been with me, things would have been very different.
Just as they were about to put the epidural in Paul arrived, I was so emotional I think he thought he had entered into a horror movie. So epidural was in, and all I had to do was wait……..
And wait and wait and wait and wait and wait……..my labour stopped, more or less as soon as the epidural went in, no contractions, no tightening, no nothing. They decided to hook me up to another drip and induce me, the more drugs they pumped in, the more distressed the baby got, heart rate would go all over the place and they would have to stop the drip. This went on all night……I was exhausted, wanted to sleep but just couldn’t. In the morning the consultant came to see me, I was 8 cm at this point, but they said I was not progressing fast enough. They started taking about me having a c section. Baby’s heart rate had settled so they were not immediately concerned, but they wanted me to be prepared. I was gutted but the midwife was still hopeful of a normal delivery so I just waited some more.
4 midwives later, I finally heard the words, your fully dilated, you can start to push, this left me confused, I was barely getting any tightenings, and no urges to push at all. The midwife said to wait an hour or so and then I could start to push. After 2 hours waiting and another midwife coming on shift and taking over I was told I could start to push, I explained at this point that my tightenings were really weak and I didn’t think I was ready to push yet, I had no urges at all to push. I was told, its fine, and I wouldn’t feel any urges because of the epidural, so the midwife told me when I needed to push and I did. Something didn’t feel right to me, I was pushing and feeling nothing. I did about three pushes and on the fourth the heart rate fell on the monitor. I was told to wait and not push on the next contraction, the heart rate recovered. I was told to push, again the heart rate fell, this time the recovery was slower, but it did go up again. The midwife told me again to push and this time the heart rate dropped so low that it was barely beeping on the machine, I waited and waited for it to recover, but it didn’t, the look on the midwifes’ face said it all really, she pushed the emergency buzzer and ran out into the corridor shouting for help.
It felt like the whole hospital entered the room at that point, midwives, consultants, students, you name it they were all there. The consultant did an examination and straight away said “why is this lady pushing she is not even fully dilated” he then said we needed to go straight into theatre. It had been about three hours since I was examined, no one had checked before telling me to push that I was actually ready. I was getting really emotional by this point, the heart rate had recovered but was still all over the place. Why had no one listened to me? I was telling them that it didn’t feel right to be pushing, why didn’t they just listen? The consultant asked everyone to leave the room and give us a few moments alone. Paul kept telling me it was alright and that everything would be fine. I felt terrible. My baby was not even here yet and I felt like a failure as a mother.
The next thing I knew I was in theatre, it happened so quickly. Molly was born at 4.03 on the 21st January 2009, weighing 8lbs 1oz. We were convinced I was having a little boy so seeing Paul’s face when he looked and told me it was a girl was amazing!! I was so overwhelmed with everything.
The consultant told me afterwards, that Molly’s head would not have fitted through my pelvis, she was in a difficult position, and even if I had got to fully dilated I would not have managed to push her out, at best I would have needed a forceps delivery. I recovered well from the operation, was up and about really quickly, the emotional healing took a longer time and if I am totally honest there is a part of me that feels as though I still let her down.
From the moment I had the epidural put in, I felt like I had failed, I felt like I had done it all wrong.
Molly’s labour and birth was traumatic for me and I entered motherhood feeling like a failure, it took me a long time to get over that. I focus on the positives now, I have a happy healthy daughter who is perfect in every way, and really I guess it doesn’t matter how she got here the fact that she got here safely is the main thing!
It is Alfie’s first birthday next Tuesday and I will be marking this by writing his birth story and linking it up with Actually Mummy again!! xxx