I went into labour on the 25th of August 2012, 4 days before due date which I was NOT expecting at all! Earlier that day my best friend had came over and had convinced me to start “Operation:get this baby out of me!” and because I refused to have sex or do any form of exercise (did you see the size of me!) I tried pineapple. 2 hours later whilst Googling “pineapple to induce labour” and regretting eating all those tins before reading that the pineapple was meant to be fresh (oops!) I went into labour!
Contractions came every 3-7 minutes lasting between 30 seconds and a minute each time. I (tmi) had a clear out and lost some plug. I had a bath but hated being confined so I laboured slowly through the night with my TENS machine on which I loved. The next day they started coming every 1 to 2 minutes but they were a lot shorter. Mum freaked out and was saying “I’m not letting you give birth here!” and drove me to hospital despite me not wanting to go.
I was 1cm dilated but I was happy with that! The midwife was a bit concerned that I was going to run out of energy so she gave me morphine so I could get some sleep. BIG MISTAKE! It’s a nasty drug, just makes you very drowsy and trippy and it slowed labour down. I still didn’t get much sleep! Tired isn’t the word!
The morphine wore off that night and I had an exhausting and painful night of contractions coming every 4-6 mins and throwing up everything I ate. I started to get a little delirious and went into a strange trance where I would wake up at the start of the contraction, climb the sofa mooing and then fall back to sleep again!
The breaks between the contractions got shorter and the pain was immense but I was more upset about being woken up all the time! My tens machine kept falling off, I was exhausted, I threw up my breakfast and I was getting really upset. At about midday a voice within me that I had no control over shouted “I CANT DO THIS ANYMORE!” and I snapped.
Aaron woke up (yes! He slept in until mid day! Cheeky sod!) and attempted to console me and failed. He made me walk around but I didn’t have the energy so he tried to get me to nap but it was impossible so he got me in the bath. I hated the bath and I started screaming the place down so we decided now was the time to go in. The lady on the phone told me they may send me home but to come in anyway so I sobbed all the way there expecting to be sent away.
I arrived at Broomfield Hospital crying like a baby with snot smeared all over my face lmao gross! 6 cm dilated! Hooray! They admitted me in and bought me to my gorgeous labour room with a pool and dimmed lights and relaxing music. I got taught how to use gas and air (AMAZING!) and then I got in the pool. Gas and air made me silly and I started talking in an american accent and talking a load of crap. 4 hours later I was 7cm and 4 hours after I was only 7.5 so they broke my waters. The pain jumped 100 levels and I had horrid back labour. G+A was making me high as a kite and they threatened to take it away because I fell over and smacked my chin on the side of the pool lol! I had the urge to push but was told to stop but it was impossible!
I asked for an epi and the midwife and mum agreed it was a good idea because I had been in labour for 3 days and was running out of energy. I changed my mind though and decided to continue on gas and air! Nothing was getting me out of my lovely pool!
I don’t remember being told to push but when I did I HATED it! Worst feeling ever! Just wanted it to stop! I was too tired to push through the whole contraction and it did not feel right at all. The midwife got a bit concerned and called in another midwife for an opinion. Aaron overheard them talking about possibly bringing me to surgery and the stupid beast told me! I FREAKED out but luckily this actually helped me to find my last little bit of energy and finally he started to descend.
The head started to emerge and it turned out he had been back to back the whole time which explains why he was a bit slow. He started to try and turn as he was coming out but it was too late for that! For some reason I started thinking about how amazing it is that gorillas use sticks to get bugs out of cracks in the bark of trees. I’ll blame that one on the gas and air! It helped though! The head was born but the shoulders wouldn’t budge for a few contractions so the midwife gave him a good tug and pulled him out then handed him to me.
The stupid thing is, I didn’t actually expect to be handed a baby! It was so surreal- this was the first time it actually hit home that I had had a tiny human inside me that whole time! He didn’t cry but they said it was ok. He was BEAUTIFUL with his bright eyes that he opened straight away! I wish I had pictures! I couldn’t stop saying how beautiful he was but then I got worried. I could literally see him turning grey-blue and he was shaking a little. He opened his little mouth after what seemed like a lifetime but he didn’t cry- instead he sounded a bit like a lamb. I knew something wasn’t right so I told the midwives to take him. Pediatricians were called and they ran in and stuck a mask on him. I was still delirious and it only really hit home what had happened weeks after the birth.
This next bit isn’t exactly pretty: I was taken out of the pool and they gave me the injection to get my placenta out but I was bleeding really heavily and I was getting horrendous pain when they were pushing on my belly. They handed me the G+A again then literally started jumping on me to try and push the placenta out. It wasn’t working and blood was spurting out of me. The midwife shoved her arm up me to try and grab the placenta! This hurt way more then giving birth! She had no luck so another midwife tried, then they called another midwife and she tried, then they called the surgeon and she even decided to try! Finally they called another woman (who was she!?) and she tried too and then said I needed to get it removed in theatre. I was so overjoyed at this news that I even signed a piece of paper to say they could remove my womb if need be! Thank god they didn’t!
Surgery was surreal. I really disliked the spinal and not being able to feel my feet. They defrosted some blood for me (!!!!!) in case I needed a transfusion then they worked their magic down below. I couldn’t feel pain but I could feel EVERYTHING! It was very strange! In the end it turns out I had placenta accreta; my placenta had grown into my womb and they had to cut it out! Gross! I was nervous as hell and started singing “pack up your troubles in your old kit bag”- the surgery staff looked at me like I had lost my mind and when the midwife came in to tell me my baby was going to xray she thought I had lost my marbles!
They never did end up using the blood and to this day I wonder what they did with it! Did they refreeze it or is it like chicken that can’t be refroze when it’s defrosted? If anyone knows the answer then i’d love to know!
They wheeled me into a room for 2 hours then I had to wait another 4 hours on the ward until my spinal wore off. It was sad not having my baby by my side, Aaron had been sent home too so I was all alone, but the lady beside me had a baby in neonatal too but he was being transferred to a hospital in London so I felt lucky really.
The nice lady from catering cut up my toast for me and gave me my tea through a straw (I am forever grateful!) because I was covered in so many wires! At about 11:00am they unwired me and bought me for a shower.
I collapsed in the shower but I entered stealth mode and soldiered on and then attempted to clean up after myself haha! Impossible! I got dried then they said I could go see my baby! Still in stealth mode, I refused a wheelchair and walked to neonatal! To this day I look back and wonder what on earth I was thinking! Took me at least 20 minutes to walk round the corridor.
Theo was now about 8 hours old and this was the first time I had really seen him. It made me cry so much because I wasn’t able to touch him in his incubator. The nurse told me he had pneumonia and was grunting. They had managed to control his breathing but his heart rate was up and down and he also wasn’t keeping down much milk so she predicted a 3 week stay. The little lad Theo shared a room with was called Alfie and he weighed less then 2lb and was fighting strong! Wow! I finally got to hold my baby to breastfeed him but he wouldn’t latch so we had to bottle feed him and put him back in his box Aaron and my family arrived and we all sat and watched him sleep for hours and hours. We went to my hospital room to eat dinner and when we came back the staff had changed. I first noticed that Theo was now being tube fed so I was upset with her (i’d asked that he be bottle fed) but she promised that this was better, if he kept milk down then he’d accept the antibiotics better. I took to this woman right away, she was so lovely, but when she said she could get him better in a night I really did doubt her! While I was eating breakfast the next day my midwife from delivery popped in and asked if she could visit Theo.
She came back to tell me he had been moved from intensive care to nursery! Miracle worker! When Aaron arrived we went to visit him, he was like a different baby, so alert and healthy looking! He looked giant compared to the other babies!!! The doctor explained that he had inhaled dirty water from the birthing pool because he got distressed in the birth canal but he had improved so much that he could come and join me in my room! We were overjoyed!!!! We had to wait until after lunch for his feeding tube to be removed but daddy finally got his first hold! Neonatal demanded our presence at 2am (ouch!) and 2pm every day and also many check ins for re-canulating, pediatrician checks, blood sugar checks ect but our little hospital room became home for a week and the midwives and hospital staff were amazing! Theo learnt to breastfeed like a pro and they were there for every wobble and worry! We went home late September 1st with our healthy, chubby, gorgeous prince! Theo had a bit of an eventful start to life but one year on I can definitely say he was very worth it!!! He is a gorgeous little man with a cheeky smile and a beautiful soul and he makes everyone around him very, very happy! Thanks for reading my extremely long story!