Today is Alfie’s 1st Birthday. I have chosen today to link up to Acutally Mummy with my birth story. I can’t believe it was a year ago. So here it is…..is quite a long one so bear with me!
After what I had been through having Molly, when I found out I was pregnant again so soon I was sure I would have to go for a c section again. I saw the consultant very early on in the pregnancy and he informed me that there was no reason why I couldn’t have a VBAC, but they would be monitoring me closely and if the baby was looking like it was bigger than Molly then they would do a c section. I had a more complicated pregnancy with Alfie, I was in and out of hospital for monitoring, threw up more or less the whole way through and generally felt rough. Once again I went over due, the consultant had said I was ok up to 10 days overdue and booked me in for a c section on the 23rd November 2010, so all I had to do was wait! I tried everything; nothing was making this baby move!!
On the 21st November, I decided that enough was enough; I walked for miles……seriously miles!! It was freezing, I then came home and hovered, top to bottom (I live in a three story house so trust me when I say that is a lot of stairs!!) and randomly cleaned all of my windows, but still nothing!! At around 2am I woke with the worst heart burn I have ever had, I had been having contractions on and off for weeks so wasn’t surprised that I started to get some tightening’s, they were only every half an hour or so, didn’t mean I was in labour though did it?? I watched a film and by then the tightening’s were every 20 minutes. Paul then got up for work and was surprised to find me in the living room eating grapes!! I told him I was getting Braxton hicks and to go to work and stop making a fuss! He got himself ready and then as he was about to leave changed his mind and rang in to tell them that he thought I might be in labour and he didn’t want to leave me. I was so annoyed with him, I would know if I was in labour wouldn’t I?? It was my body so how would he know?!
He tried to get me to go back to bed, but I was engrossed in a Hollyoaks omnibus so stayed where I was comfy on the sofa!! At about 6 O’clock I decided to go up to bed, I was shattered and knew I had a long day running round after Molly ahead!!
By the time I got upstairs I was in quite a bit of pain, the Braxton hicks seemed to be a bit worse than they had been I could not get comfortable on the bed at all. By this point I did start to wonder if I might in fact be in labour? Maybe?? But still was not sure. So I decided to have a shower and then see how I felt.
By the time I had showered I was in so much pain I struggled to get myself dressed, my so called Braxton hicks had gone from light pains and tightening’s every twenty minutes to agony every seven in the space of half an hour. By now I realised I was actually in labour and Paul got the TENS machine from the nursery and popped it on me whilst I rang the hospital, so Paul rang his sister to come over to watch Molly. In the meantime, labour was progressing for me FAST!! My contractions were now 2 minutes apart and lasting for a minute. This baby seemed in a hurry to make an entrance! It was going to take my sister in law a little while to get to us so Paul rang our lovely neighbour who came round straight away. As soon as she saw me she said to Paul, “you need to get her to the hospital quickly”. He went upstairs to grab the bags, at which point my waters broke everywhere!! My neighbour was amazing, telling Paul what to get and keeping me calm all whilst massaging my back during the contractions!!
Eventually we got in the car, by this time it was right in the middle of the rush hour traffic, so the 16 mile journey to the hospital was stop and start the whole way. It felt like hours and the contractions were really getting to an unbearable level by now. We eventually made it to the labour ward and the lovely midwife came rushing over as soon as she saw us and got me into a bay. I immediately got very emotional, there had been meconium in my waters again and it had scared me, I was worried about the baby, and I was so scared about being rushed into theatre. The midwife was lovely, really reassuring. She did all of her checks on the baby and everything was fine. I asked for some pain relief and off she went to get some and sort out a delivery room for me. I was really uncomfortable laying on the bed so I stood up off the bed to relieve some of the pain for a minute. As I stood up I had an overwhelming urge to push, it was like nothing I have ever felt in my life before. I told Paul to go and get the midwife and off he went. I was convinced that the baby was on its way there and then, and when the midwife arrived I was mid contraction and at the same time, the babies heart rate dropped dramatically, then it disappeared totally off the monitor. Then the power went down!! Nice timing eh? Within a few seconds the generators kicked in and the monitor came back on, still no heart rate though, the midwife got me back onto the bed and fiddled around to try to get the heart rate a bit clearer but there was nothing. During all of this I was having major urges to push with every contraction. The midwife told Paul to pull the emergency buzzer quickly and again like it did with Molly the room filled with what felt like the whole hospital. They put a clip on babys head to monitor the heart rate of the baby which they said was dangerously low and they needed to get me into theatre immediately. I had so many people asking me questions, I couldn’t answer, “when had I last eaten or drank anything?”, “had I had any major operations in the last 2 years?”, “what was my date of birth?” All at the same time that I am in the throes of labour and being told NOT to push when I was having the strongest urges I have ever felt in my life whilst being wheeled along the corridor of the hospital! Paul was trying to answer the questions for me, but they were insistent I answered which is silly really given the situation, but I did my best. I had people sticking needles in both hands and was in the worst pain I have ever felt before.
All I wanted was to know that Paul was with me, they promised me he could stay with me, after what I went through having Molly I was terrified of being on my own. The babys heart rate remained very low, at times dissapearing completely. As they wheeled me into theatre I recognised it all, the smell, even some of the theatre staff were the same. I just remember crying and shouting at them that they baby was coming and they needed to make sure that it was alright. I didn’t want my baby to die. They were all rushing around preparing me for the operation. The last thing I remember was screaming at the consultant not to cut me open, I thought they had forgotten to put me to sleep, she was stood in front of me, with the knife ready before I was even under anesthetic. I was petrified.
I came round I don’t even know how long later and tried to get up, obviously I couldn’t, the nurses stopped me, I was in agony, but I wanted to find Paul, he was nowhere to be seen, I was crying and asking the nurses where he was and all they kept telling me was I had a baby boy. I thought that my baby was dead and all I wanted was my husband. A few minutes later he walked into the room with our baby boy all bundled up in blankets, I have never been more happy.
The fear I felt that day will stay with me forever. They told us afterwards that Alfie’s cord had prolapsed; it basically was coming out first, with every contraction his oxygen supply was being totally cut off as the cord was trapped around his head. We are amazingly lucky that he was born healthy and I will always be forever grateful for the fast work of the midwife that morning in getting help and the team that then took over to deliver my gorgeous little man. We arrived at the hospital at 8am that morning and Alfie was born at 8.53am. When they talked us through what had happened they told us that they made the decision to take me into theatre at 8.35am and delivered Alfie at 8.53am, pretty amazing really. It all happened so fast, I still can’t understand it all fully really, I am not sure I ever will.
I have had a tough time with both of my births, I don’t like to think of either of them, so many memories, and not nice ones either. But I am grateful for my beautiful children, the amaze me everyday and I love them from the bottom of my heart.
Happy first birthday to my amazing little man!!!