22 Apr 2011

[ . . 30 before 30 . . ] 1. Have a baby... Part 2

Part 1 of my birth story can be found here.

I was now feeling a mixture of pain and excitement - it really wouldn't be long until we would finally meet Baby B.

After some encouragement, OK well a lot of encouragement, in between contractions I moved off my back on to my knees and into a position hanging over the back of the bed. The pain was pretty constant but to my surprise I kept refusing gas and air but I did keep saying how I couldn't continue anymore and getting quite teary. I'm not sure what I thought the other options were but I guess I was in transition.

We had two midwives at this point, a student who stayed with us the whole time and the main midwife who was in and out. They told me I could start pushing when I wanted to but I just didn't understand what I should be doing. Nothing seemed to be happening. After a while I heard the midwife behind me, I had no idea she was there, say she had a plan and then she left the room. Slightly bemused we continued half pushing on each contraction and measuring baby's heartrate in between.

After what seemed like ages she returned sounding pleased with herself and accompanied by a birthing stool. She explained what to do so I sat on the stool with Mr behind me and I pushed down with each contraction. This seemed to speed up progress and everyone was happy again.

The next hour is somewhat hazy but involved baby's heartrate dropping to 90bpm, them panicking, the implements for an episiotomy making an appearance, me pushing but not much happening and the talk of a catheter when we realised I hadn't been to the toilet for 4 hours. The threat of intervention, the promise of soon meeting my baby and the talk of time limits made me very determined. I was going to push this baby out.

Right up until the end I was walking (ok, hobbling) around in between contractions as I was getting dead legs from sitting on the stool. I remember laughing and joking with the midwives. It was quite surreal and not at all like I had imagined.

After quite a bit of pushing we were making good progress with Mr behind me taking the pressure of me pushing down with my arms, the student midwife to my left intermittently checking baby's heartrate and the main midwife lying on the floor underneath me!

Finally, they said they had got hold of the head and I remember shouting "well don't let go then!" as up until then every time I pushed, baby popped back up again. They laughed and with a few more pushes Baby B was born at 11.14am, only 7 hours after my very first contraction.

I had wanted Mr to tell me whether Baby B was a boy or girl but it didn't quite work out that way as we both saw him at the same time.

It was perfect.

Mr B behind me hugging me with us both looking at our little boy, Elliott Henry.

I'm actually getting quite choked up writing this. I remember him looking back up at me and being completely blown away. Mr and I looked at each other and through the tears and happiness I blurted out "we did it?!" - I truly never thought we would get to this point, it suddenly felt very real.

The midwives asked us for a hat to put on Elliott whilst he was wrapped in the towel but we still didn't have any of our things. All the bags were still in the car. They however have some for these very scenarios, so Elliott's first piece of clothing was a little hand knitted hat donated to the hospital by local old ladies!

It was then that my legs really started aching, I was still sitting/perching on the blooming stool! So whilst having my first cuddle and skin to skin I was thinking about how/if I could stand up. As we had managed the birth completely naturally to that point (I still hadn't had any gas and air) I wanted to try and deliver the placenta naturally. We waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating, had it clamped and somehow I was moved on to the bed. My body was very thankful!

Hello Mummy x

The placenta didn't seem to want to come away on its own and I had lost a fair bit of blood so it was recommended I had the injection. We went ahead and that certainly did the trick. The midwives did their tidying and left us to it. We had about an hour to ourselves, I think they had to rush off to another delivery but it was a great opportunity to bond as a family - not really knowing what to make of everything and just looking at each other.

Mr had his first cuddle and I rang my Mum and Dad to tell them they had a grandson. We tried to get Elliott to latch on but he wasn't really having any of it and was more interested in looking around.

The midwives came back in to check on us and after having a quick check of me said "ah, we best get you stitched up as it is looking a little bit like a horror film down there" - nice!

At this point we were still in the assessment room, there had never been time to move us to a proper delivery suite. So four hours after we had arrived at the hospital we were on our way to a delivery suite, with a baby! They started to wheel me out on the bed and it was then that Elliott decided to latch on. My first breastfeeding experience was therefore whilst being wheeled through a corridor, naked with just a sheet covering my modesty.

I had always thought the birth would be the end of the story, how wrong I was - part three coming soon...

Read part 3 now...

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