Did you know it’s Caesarean Awareness Month? I haven’t actually written up my birth story before, but many will know I ended up having an emergency Caesarean. I’ve discussed Jasper’s first few weeks here, but never the birth. I suppose I kind of blanked it out a little, it wasn’t the water birth with Drake soothing me in the background kinda thing. More, ALL SYSTEMS GO. Without further ado I present my birth story.
On November 22nd I’d been having little aches and pains in the morning. I was due to go for a stretch and sweep as it was my due date. I’d not really put the pains down to much, any pregnant gal will know everything gets a little sore in the end. I headed to my appointed with all muscles clenched dreading what was about to come. They did all other necessary checks and examined my stomach. Unfortunately little J wasn’t playing ball and had decided to totally free his head from my pelvis. The midwife explained she couldn’t perform any internal examination on me whilst he was free as it wasn’t recommended. She told me I’d probably be another week and have to eventually be induced if nothing happened. I was ok with this, but then began hysterically crying as I left the clinic. I was ready for this baby, I wanted to meet him.
I carried on about my day, to get over my little slump I took myself shopping. Whilst lunging for items in Aldi my pains were getting progressively stronger and more consistent. Again, I just thought probably Braxton Hicks.. get on with it Vi. I carried on till about 4 o clock when I popped into my workplace to catch up with everyone. My best friend Ruth offered me a lift home and whether it was her driving over speed bumps or the fact I was so chilled things were progressing. I went to my mums who told me I should start timing things. I kinda did, but again with it being the first baby and told I could be another week I was pretty relaxed. I went home and things really heated up. I decided to call the hospital. If you’re unsure I recommend this to anyone. They told me I was probably in the latent stage of labour and to monitor things and if my waters should break to hop in the car (literally how they described it).
As much as I tried to carry on as normal I was becoming unable to do normal things, getting up the stairs between contractions was painful and I couldn’t eat as I’d thrown up. I rang the hospital AGAIN to be told to just carry on and keep getting on with it. They told me to take a paracetamol. I thought they were joking… like that would touch any of this pain. Don’t get me wrong, I was managing, which is probably why they didn’t ask me into the hospital. I called a third time around 10:30pm and they said as it was my third call I could pop in to be looked over. NO DICE. I got to the hospital, to find no one on reception. I was confused where to go, found some pregnant ladies who directed me and my husband to the Midwife Led Unit. The first midwife I met was friendly, but didn’t seem too interested/believing in what I was saying. I do remember she had lovely lashes and very cold hands. She felt my stomach during a contraction told me to carry on as normal and sent me home. I questioned whether she was going to examine me, but as my waters hadn’t broken she refused. This is where I started to get a little distressed.
Joe and I drove home, with me moaning and groaning all the journey. It was about 12 o clock at this point. We got in, laid a towel on the bed and tried to get some sleep. Like hell was I gonna sleep. I stripped naked, wandered the house. Up on my exercise ball, on all fours, in and out the bath. I could NOT get comfortable at all. Every time I laid down I can still remember the overwhelming feeling of the contractions. I managed till about 1/1:15am ish where I began hysterically crying saying I couldn’t feel the baby moving anymore. I felt my body fighting contractions rather than embracing them. No breathing was helping and I was getting hysterical. I called the hospital begging for something stronger. They told me I could go in and sleep on the ward but without my husband. They told me he’d have to drop me off as he wouldn’t be allowed on the ward. Looking back, this was absurd.
Joe dropped me off at the hospital about 1:30am and I again tried to navigate the hospital without any receptionist to direct me. I remember Joe and I having a row about me going back in but I FELT IN MY BODY it was the right place to be. I headed to the ward for a bed as instructed on the phone to stand and wait for 30 mins whilst a lady came out to tell me no room at the inn. I felt like Mary. I was really upset and quite angry between contractions but all too tired to complain. I asked what the hell I should do as my husband had gone home. She told me to head up to the labour ward and ask if they could help. Looking back again, this was just ridiculous.
I got to the labour ward and met the most wonderful midwife who to this day I’m so thankful for. She listened to what had happened, couldn’t believe it, calmed me down, and talked me through everything. She was an angel, but also a hero in armour. She examined me immediately to tell me I was 6cm dilated and should call my husband immediately to come in. Joe was on his way. My waters hadn’t broke, so she asked if she could break them whilst popping me onto a monitoring machine to keep an eye on Jaspers movements. I remember a lot of silence whilst this machine made noise, three midwives watched it and I had no clue what anything meant. They told me they were a little concerned with Jasper’s heart rate and wanted to get things moving. As she popped the long needle in to break my waters Joe walked in the door. Side Note: If you have to have your waters broke, it’s amazing. Don’t worry about it. It feels ace.
I was shouting at this point ‘GIVE ME ALL THE DRUGS’ ,’I WANT AN EPIDURAL’ and ‘SOD THE NATURAL BIRTH’. They sent off for an epidural but I’d never have one as things progressed.
The midwife pressed the emergency button on the wall and around 15 people ran into the room. I had no clue what was happening at this point until the student midwife explained Jaspers heart rate had gone down to 80 and my waters were filled with meconium. In short, he was in distress and we had to get him out NOW. I was dilating super quickly and Joe was thrown a pair of scrubs and told we were going to theatre. I was told I’d have a spinal block in theatre and to keep chilled. I had no clue what was happening as I was wheeled down to theatre. A nice surgeon with a ginger beard caught my eye and I do remember telling him his beard was fit. He told me to concentrate. Rejected.
Next thing I know I’m being moved onto the operating table. They told me I’d dilated to 9cm and it was too late for a spinal block. I was going to be put under general anaesthetic and the loveliest assistant stroked my head and told me it was going to be ok. Joe wasn’t allowed in the room and I wasn’t awake, so neither of us would witness the actual birth of our baby. I didn’t care. I just wanted everything to be ok.
I remember some limbs being thrown around a bit and then a mask being put over my face. I was told to count down from 10. I think i made it to 6 or 7.
Next thing I know, I’m waking up in a recovery bay. I turn to my left and Joe is there, holding Jasper. It’s still one of the surrealist moments of my life. I was confused, sore, but most of all relieved.
Jasper was born 3:50am. It took them around 20 minutes to deliver him safely. Joe said he heard him cry and a nurse came out to tell him we were both ok. They spent another hour sewing me up. YUM.
I still consider my birth a positive experience to this day. Jasper arrived safely. That’s all that matters to me. As part of Caesarean awareness month we should be acknowledging all births are good births. I am so happy Jasper is here now and I’d do it all again.