Wednesday, 7 May 2014

David's Birth Story.

Pre-read warning!! This is a birth story, so not only will it be loooong but it will also feature plenty of TMIs. Proceed with caution...

SPD had been playing havoc on my pelvis for months now and the past couple of weeks had been particularly bad with not being able to lay in bed or even move without withering in pain. So when I was woken by a shooting pain at 1am on the 12th of November, I simply thought it was due to my failing pelvis being in an uncomfortable position. I dosed on & off for the next few hours when at 4am it hit me - this wasn't just my pelvis, these were contractions. I started to time when and was surprised to find they were 5 minutes apart and about 40 seconds long. Having regretted not resting in early labour with John, I decided to try and sleep as much as I could.

At 7am we were up with John. I was still getting irregular contractions but the length between them had increased again. I told Iain to go to work as normal and that I'd call him if there was any change. John & I went about our day as normal but I did notice John was particularly cuddly, which was lovely. And I soon lost track of the amount of times we read "Mummy Mummy, What's In Your Tummy".
Before I knew it, it was 7pm and Johns bedtime. Throughout the day my contractions had came and went - getting stronger & closer together, then shorter & further apart. Iain got in at 8pm by which point my contractions were at their strongest and quickly becoming more regular. We decided to order pizza for tea and whilst we waited on it arriving, I called Triage. Much to my surprise, they told us to come in ASAP. I had assumed they'd hear I'd been having irregular contractions all day and tell me to come in when things had progressed further, but since this was my second baby, they said things tend to happen quicker and I'd be better off there.

We called my parents, ate our tea, then sneaked in to give John a kiss before heading in. We arrived at Triage (around 10pm) and were taken straight to a fantastic room in the Birthing Centre. Our midwife went through all the general things with us, checking how dilated I was (4-5cm) and then it was then time to start riding through the contractions.

Like with John, my contractions never really steadied out - I'd have one, wait ten minutes, then have another two in the space of three minutes. It did feel like things were getting a lot more intense a lot quicker though. Within a couple of hours of arriving, I had some dyhydracodeine to help take the edge off of the contractions before I went into the birthing pool. I'd never made it into the pool with John so I wasn't sure what to expect but my god, the relief was amazing! The water instantly made the contractions more bearable but it also slowed them down a little, which meant I had to periodically get out & pace around for a while. Things continued this way for a few hours, during which time Iain napped & I chatted to our midwife between contractions. At some point during the early hours, I also started on my most favourite substance known to man - gas & air!
With John, I had my waters broken to try and make my contractions more regular, so by 2am when my contractions were getting stronger but still all over the place, the midwife said they'd consider breaking them around 5am. By 3am, there was no change and upon examination, despite the contractions getting more & more intense, I was still only 4-5cm dilated (heartbreaking to hear!). The decision was made to break my waters and straight away, things progressed. It was if I could feel David's head shoot down my pelvis - the contractions were awful but the pressure was the worst part.

Iain announced after my waters were broken that he was just going to go for a quick walk. I snapped screamed that he wasn't going anywhere - not now! I knew things wouldn't be long from then on in. My body was already wanting to push and despite my best attempts to pretend it wasn't going to happen, not now, David had other ideas. I kept telling the midwife I couldn't do it any more, that I wanted to go home and that I'd had enough. Her reply was that I was doing it and that I just had to listen to what my body was telling me. Cue me shouting "my body is telling me it wants a c-section!!" I was pushing throughout but I knew myself that nothing was really happening.

At one point my midwife did shout in another midwife, which I remember happening with John right before he was born. I was relieved but within minutes, she'd gone again. After even more attempted pushing, screaming and downright panicking, another midwife came in. I was terrified by this point. I felt like I'd been pushing a lifetime (I think it'd actually only been like 20-30 minutes) but I knew nothing was happening. I was holding back. I still vividly remember how painful it was when John was crowning and I was petrified to feel it again. There was also the fear that not just my world would change as soon as David was earthside but that my little baby John's life would change too. It was too much pressure.

But then something inside clicked. Maybe it was my midwife telling me to keep calm. Maybe it was just the primal instinct of 'if you do this, the pain will stop' but I found myself out of the pool, standing, squatting, lying, sitting... In every position you could imagine. This needed to be over with. Eventually there was progress. We were back to two midwives and David was crowning. A few more pushes & screams and his head was out. The midwife told me to wait for the next contraction before pushing his body out. I couldn't wait. I didn't know if my contractions had stopped or if they were still just being an unpredictable pain-in-the-arse but the next contraction wasn't coming. I could see the midwives faces. I was going to push. "Is that a contraction, Amy?" Yes, I lied. I was pushing him out. I'd had enough and just wanted him in my arms and not half hanging out of my vagina (HA! *boak*).

And out he came. I was kneeling over the bed and the midwife caught him and passed him through my legs to my eagerly waiting - albeit very shaky - arms. I couldn't believe quite how small he was - suddenly John's little hands seemed huge in comparison to this tiny little boys totty wee fingers. And then there was the love - the instant, all consuming, unconditional love. [I didn't feel the same instant love with John, perhaps due to the diamorphine I'd had, but it did come later that first evening together.] Any worries of not being able to love David as much as John were immediately shifted. The midwife murmured something about him being in shock and that he needed a rub to bring him round but I kind of just ignored her and cuddled him into my chest, seconds later he let out his first muffled cry before starting to root around for his breakfast. He was fine, perfect.

David Graham Russell. 13th November 2013 at 4.29am. 8lbs 6oz.

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  1. Aw well done!! What a lovely positive birth story, sounds like you did absolutely great :) xx

  2. Funnily enough I blamed my pelvis at first too as it had been playing up all weekend but I now know that was the earliest co tractions. The birth centre is great and I found the relief from the pool immense (gas and air is the business too though).

    As for holding back, I couldn't because everything was progressing so quickly but I can see exactly why you would when feeling that much pain. How long was your pushing stage in the end out of interest?


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