My labour story

I always
had a vision of what my birth would be like. Calm, positive mindful. I wanted
my birth to reflect me and what I valued, and I wanted my baby to be born into
an environment of peace and positivity. Unfortunately, like many women… I
didn’t get the birth that I had dreamed of.

Planned home birth

I had
always visualised myself having a home birth, with lots of candles, relaxing
scents and a birth pool. But the more I read online, the more I got scared.
People reacted so negatively about my choice and asked me why I wanted to take
the risk? Especially with it being my first child. But the closer it got to my
due date and the more I spoke to my midwife and husband about it, the more I
wanted to trust my gut instinct. And even though it didn’t end the way I wanted
it to, I still don’t regret making that choice.
Beginning of labour
I went
into labour on 29th May (baby’s due date) and started getting
contractions about 1pm. Within a couple of hours my contractions were about 3
minutes apart, so we called the midwife who decided it was time not bring the
birth pool round. At this point, the contractions were painful and so close
together but once I was in the birth pool that night, surrounded my candles and
my labour playlist I was positive and excited to meet my baby (that night I
hoped). However, after a whole night in the pool I was still only 2cm dilated.
I hadn’t progressed at all despite my contractions being so close together. My
midwife checked the baby’s position and it was down, but its head was to the
side slightly. She gave me some exercises to try and get the baby’s head to
turn while she went home for a sleep (taking the gas and air with her).
I spent
the whole day trying to get the baby’s head in a better position, whilst
hopping in and out of the bath, bouncing on my ball and walking around the
house mooing like a cow. The contractions were still every 3 minutes apart and
I was exhausted. The midwife came back later that night to check on me, and I
had progressed…But only to 4cm. I was upset, but she assured me that once I was
in the birth pool again it might speed things up.
So, I
persevered and spent another night in the birthing pool trying to relax and
practice my hypnobirthing breathing. By 4:30am there was still no sign of baby
and I wasn’t dilating any further. I made the decision to go to the hospital
because I was beyond exhausted and desperate for pain relief. Off we went in an
ambulance (don’t know how we managed that one!) and I was given diamorphine to
help me sleep. Not long after, my waters broke, and I was whisked off for an Epidural.
Going to Hospital
I had
always had such a negative opinion of Epidurals. I was terrified of them and
something going wrong. But honestly, the doctors made me feel so at ease and
the sense of relief I felt after it had kicked in is something that I’ll never
forget. I was given some tea and toast and told that I would be ready to push
in an hour! After such a long labour at home I was relieved to know that I was
going to finally meet my baby.
I started
pushing which was quite difficult considering I was numb from the pelvis down.
But the midwives talked me through it. After about 30 minutes of pushing, the
doctor came in to say that the baby’s heart rate was dropping, and I needed
some assistance. She was going to cut me and use a vontouse, but she assured me
that with one final push the baby would be here. At this point I didn’t care
what they did to me, I just wanted the baby here safely. I gave one final push
as she attached the vontouse to ease the baby out.
The final push
All I saw
next was the baby being pulled out by the suction cup and I saw that it was a
boy and cried ‘It’s a boy!’ (which was the biggest surprise ever!) and they
placed him on my chest. The sense of relief when your baby is finally here, and
the labour is over is the most amazing feeling and one that I’ll never forget.
I was told
by the doctor that he was back to back which is why my contractions were so
close together and intense and his head just wasn’t in the right position to
give birth without assistance. She said that next time I wouldn’t be as unlucky,
and it would hopefully be easier.
How I feel about my labour now
I don’t
regret my decision to have a home birth even though it didn’t turn out the way
I planned it. I still look back with love on the time I spent at home in the
pool with my mum and husband there trying to relax me. If I knew that the next
labour was going to be quick and straightforward, I would try a home birth
again. But I have learnt to not rule anything out because that Epidural really
did save me in the end.
They say
you forget about the pain afterwards once you’ve held your new baby. And I
agree to an extent and I would 100% go through it all to have another baby. But
I also think it’s important to acknowledge that it is still an extremely
traumatic event and we should be able to talk openly about our experiences. Not
to scare anyway off birth, or receive a medal for the most difficult labour but
for us to be able to talk through how we felt about the birth openly and hopefully
find some relief in other people’s similar stories.

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