So it occurred to me whilst jotting down some blogging ideas, that I haven’t yet shared my birth story and lets face it, all mummy / baby bloggers share their birth story at some point!
When I fell pregnant I went through a stage of being terrified of giving birth, and I had a huge fear that I might actually die. For those that know me well, I can be a little dramatic and I worry a headache is going to be the end of me, but this was a genuine fear. It’s also no secret that I’m not the most maternal of people so the idea of birth wasn’t a natural thing to me and it made me feel a little queasy every time somebody mentioned it.
As my pregnancy went on, my mindset changed and I thought ‘he has to come out one way or another’ and my worries seemed to subside and I didn’t really think about it.
Fast forward to Friday 3rd July 2015, 4 days past my due date and I was getting the odd twinge. I had been up in the night with period type pain but thought nothing of it. It was early evening, Kyle had gone to work and the pains were becoming more regular, but I told myself it was nothing. After a short while I called the maternity unit who advised me to make my way up there, I tried to stay calm, called Kyle’s work, got him home and off we went.
That evening is all a bit of a blur, I was examined by the midwife and consultant, and given a sweep. The consultant was concerned about the small size of my belly and baby, along with signs of pre – eclampsia, and informed me I would not be going home. I was given a sweep and told that of things didn’t get going by the next day I would be induced. The fear really started to set in and the reality that the next time I went home, would be with our baby.
a condition in pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, sometimes with fluid retention and proteinuria. ”
I don’t remember much else from that evening, I just remember wishing Kyle could stay with me, but they sent him home.
The next morning I was getting ALOT of pains, I was examined again and was still only 2cm dilated which was the same when I had arrived the night before, the midwives were swamped with their workload and I was alone for what felt like forever. By the time Kyle arrived around 10am I was climbing the walls in agony, I was literally clinging to the wall – I have no idea why but it was all that I could do to get in the zone and not go into panic. It was actually one of the domestic staff that realised I was in active labour whilst cleaning the room I was in ( I was lucky and had a room to myself) she said she used to be a midwife herself and she went off to find somebody. Turns out I was having back to back contractions so they got me ready to go down to the labour suite. I remember the midwife saying “are you happy to walk down” and I just started walking, I just wanted the pain to stop. I also remember her saying “I know you don’t want to have an epidural, but if you were my daughter, in this much pain, I would advise you to have one, but you need to make a decision now as the anaesthetist has an emergency coming in” I didn’t even hesitate – she could have offered me class A drugs and I would have taken them without a second thought.i was quickly prepped for the epidural and I remember the feeling like it was yesterday, I could feel the cold of it running down my spine, but it was nowhere near as bad as people had described to me, in fact compared to the contractions it was pretty pain free!
Hours passed, I was still only 2cm dilated and Harry’s heart rate was dropping with every contraction. It was a strange feeling sat there, just waiting. Our midwives shift was coming to an end and the next one came in to introduce herself and do her checks, she was instantly concerned and called for the consultant to come and see us. Within minutes I had a room full of medical staff doing all kinds of examinations – and this was actually the worst part for me – I had an extremely rough internal exam as the doctor tried to get a blood spot from Harry’s skull, this wasn’t successful, and they could see he was in fetal distress. The consultant made the decision that an emergency c- section was needed right away, Kyle was whisked straight off to get in his scrubs and I was rushed to the theatre.
This was THE scariest moment of my life so far. I remember feeling completely terrified, I was so worried I was going to lose my little boy and my emotions were all over the place.
I was shaking uncontrollably as I was introduced to a huge amount of doctors and nurses, who were all wonderful and put me at ease the best they could. I was soon re-united with Kyle and I was so relieved to have him back by my side. Never have I needed him like I did in that moment.
Within minutes, they had cut me open, I could feel it, a strange numb kind of pain, and it felt like they were washing up in my belly, after some rough tugging and pulling, the pain was getting much worse so they topped up my drugs, the consultant told me if it got any worse they would have to put me out, but moments later he was here.
Harry Thomas Welsh, born 3.26pm on Saturday 4th July.
I remember Kyle peering over the screen and looking and I just laid there, in a complete daze. We didn’t get to see or hold him as they needed to check him over thoroughly due to the distress he had been in, he was covered in meconium so they gave him a bit of a clean too. It was all very strange, my boy was here but he wasn’t with me.
Kyle was taken off while I was sewn up and the next time I saw them both was in the recovery room. Kyle had to dress and feed him and I laid there watching, in awe of how brilliant he already was as a Dad. I was shaking uncontrollably at this point – a reaction to the painkillers I had been given.
When I did hold him, I couldn’t believe he was mine. He belonged to me, this teeny tiny human (5lb 9oz tiny)
I knew I was going to love him, but I didnt feel that instant, overwhelming love that I always hear other mums talk about. I just felt tired and numb, physically and mentally.
And this is where my journey began.
And now I’m going to be doing it all again…
I still feel guilt that I didn’t have an ‘instant bond‘ and for the feelings I had for the months following Harry’s birth, and I worry that this guilt will take over when his little sister arrives, what if I feel differently? How is that fair on him?
Harry won’t remember all of this, but I will.
I go back to that place a lot, and wish my birth story was different, if things were different would I have given Harry a better start to life, been a better Mum?
But I know I’m being hard on myself. He is so loved.
Nobody can control what Mother Nature decides.
I’m hoping for a v-bac this time (vaginal birth after caesarean) but time will tell!
For now I’m not going to worry and enjoy the last of our time as a family of 3 before we grow to 4.
I hope this wasn’t too much of a snooze fest – I could have rambled for hours!
Ps – I would love to hear your birth stories too!